Current Students

Current Student Profiles


Gender Studies is pleased to introduce our seventh cohort of MA students: : Front row: Graduate Assistant Terrie Easter Sheen, Emily, Vanessa, Director of Graduate Studies Scott Morgensen; back row: Jenna, Melissa, Zayven, Christopher, Shelby, Brett, Yaniya; missing Alisha



Christopher Bennett
Zayven Butler
Jenna Kring
Yaniya Lacharite
Shelby Loft
Emily Merklinger
Melissa Pole
Brett Willes
Alisha Williams
Vanessa Yzaguirre-Robles








Bianca Beauchemin graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Women's Studies from York University. As a biracial girl born and raised in Montreal, she recognized the limitations of rigid binary identity categories, especially when it came to define herself; she realized she was stuck in between. Many years later, this constant negotiation of identities has fuelled some of her research interests dealing with discrimination within the Black diaspora in Canada with its connection to multiculturalism, pigmentation and mixed-race. She is also very interested in issues of violence against women, sexual assault, good/bad girl dichotomies, media representations, colonialism, identity politics, queer theory and appropriation of cultures, to name a few. Her future endeavours include a career in Canadian politics, where she plans to change the world, one smile at a time! :)

Avery Everhart graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. in Religious Studies (Disciplinary Honors with thesis “Stately Fetishes”) and French and a B.A. in Women's and Gender Studies (Disciplinary Honors with thesis “What’s Gender Got To Do With It?: Rethinking Trans Subjectivity and Experience”) with minors in Sociology and African-American Studies. Avery is a performance and installation artist living, thinking, and working at The Artel, an artist collective/co-op and venue/gallery in Kingston, in addition to their master's work at Queen's. Their art work looks at intersections of art, theory, and praxis through notions of community, accessibility, reflexivity, and affect. In keeping with, though branching off from those themes, their academic work focuses on critical race theory, performance studies, sociolinguistics, and queer and trans activism and thought. They can be reached at

Jamie Harnum received their B.A. Hons in English Language and Literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland. They did most of their growing up in Carbonear, Newfoundland before moving to St. John's for their degree. During this time they were able to participate in a number of activist projects centering queer and trans communities. Although they learned a lot from these experiences that continues to inform their research, much of their earliest exposure to concepts surrounding sexual and gender diversity was through the internet. Their proposed project seeks to engage with the roles that online trans communities play in the lives of their members and the different approaches trans people take to sharing their experiences and narratives. A few of their other interests include life writing, performativity, new media, interactive storytelling, graphic narratives, cyborgs, and cats.

Bilan Hashi holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in the areas of Anthropology, Linguistics and Women & Gender Studies. Her research interests include subjectivity, affect, trauma, memory, narrative, cultural geographies and visual anthropology. She is also involved in creative writing, photography, interactive storytelling and other art projects. By incorporating aesthetics and cultural theory, she hopes to offer an alternative conception of diasporic memory. Her proposed MA thesis addresses the production and articulation of female Somali Diasporic subjectivities in Canada through the textuality and materiality of .

Monique Harvison completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies at Queen's University in 2013. During the later years of her undergraduate career she discovered the field of Gender Studies and found her eyes opened to a host of exciting ideas that fascinated and enticed her to explore the field further. Her research interests broadly include social policy, poverty and welfare. In her proposed MA thesis she is interested in exploring the culture of poor-shaming that permeates contemporary neoliberal society and is reflected in social policy. She is especially interested in understanding how socially constructed neoliberal narratives about the poor are drawn upon to justify their socioeconomic position and maintain the status quo.

Danyel Haughton graduated from York University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Development Studies and a minor in Sexuality Studies. She is an avid reader and HBO addict who enjoys dancing to reggae, dancehall and soca music. Her research interests are varied and include: race and development, queer theory, critical race theory, post-colonialism, post-colonial identities, indigenous studies, black subjectivities, slut shaming, the politics of black hair, surveillance, performativity, technologies of self, body discipline and negotiating safe sex.

Kanonhsyonne/Janice Hill, Turtle clan mother, single mother of two sons, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, is Mohawk. Born in Messina, NY and raised at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Jan has spent her life working for the revitalization of the Mohawk language and the culture, traditions, and spirituality of her ancestors. Grandmother, mother, auntie, sister, political and spiritual activist, and teacher – she believes in the power of knowing who she is and where she comes from. Jan acquired a bachelor’s degree in native studies from Trent University and a bachelor of education at Queen’s University. She is interested in increasing the breadth and depth of understanding of the historical and contemporary place of Mohawk women in the preservation of language, culture, ceremony and governance of the people in relation to social and critical theories in order to be able to teach and share knowledge particularly in an academic environment. It is her wish as part of her research to explore the notions of Nationalism vs. Feminism as held by traditional Mohawk women with an aspiration to make a meaningful contribution to the field of Gender Studies towards the understanding of differing perspectives of influence and power.

Zoya Islam completed her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Gender Studies at Queen’s University and graduated in 2012. After working in the non-profit sector abroad and in Canada, she returned to Kingston to do her Masters at Queen’s. Zoya’s research includes but is not limited to gender and global development, social policy, globalization, and feminist political economy. She is a seasoned traveller and has an aptitude for speaking multiple languages. Zoya is eager to get involved with community initiatives, charitable organizations, public policy and public sector opportunities. To learn more about her experience and interests, she can be contacted at

Astri Jack graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA in Indigenous Studies. Her undergraduate work focused on colonialism, representations of Indigenous Peoples in art and literature, two-spirit identity, Indigenous women’s activisms, and women in the sex industry. Her scholarship and lived experiences thus far have led her to engage in a deeper inquiry of the social, cultural and political underpinnings of sex work in Canada. To guide this investigation she will be drawing from the fields of affect theory, geography and migration, critical race theory, masculinities, and political economies. When Astri gets away from her work she enjoys creative writing, photography, cooking, and taking leisurely walks with her (very cute) dog.

Melanie "Mel" Large completed her BA Honours at the University of Ottawa in English Language and Literature, with a Minor in Women's Studies. While working for the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa, she became interested in how governments contribute money to community organizations, particularly those involved with health, and the effects that this funding has on the form of the work that these organizations do. Her research focuses on social marketing agendas undertaken by community organizations and NGOs that target chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, and the deficits in this messaging for groups such as (but not limited to) transfolk, First Nations folks, and newcomers.   

Shelby Loft received her Honours Specialization in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research with a Minor in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts Honours from the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests include settler colonialism, whiteness and Indianness, Indigenous studies, Indigenous feminism in terms of decolonization, sex work, the decriminalization of sex work and the resurgence of traditional Indigenous teachings. Shelby is a Haudenosaunee woman and her community is Tyendinaga, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. Many of her research interests are fuelled by her cultural beliefs.

Meg Lonergan graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Social Science degree from the Joint Honours Criminology and Women's Studies program at the University of Ottawa in 2014. Her research interests focus on the intersections of sex/sexuality and the law, particularly involving sex work and sex worker's rights. Other areas of interest to Meg include: postcolonial studies, representations of masculinities in popular culture, terrorism, international queer politics, and critical religion. Meg was fortunate to have the opportunity to complete an internship with a women's rights advocacy centre in Accra, Ghana. She also has previous experience as Queer Women's Health & Sexuality Coordinator at Pink Triangle Services in Ottawa. Meg looks forward to new learning and activist experiences here at Queen's University, and may be contacted at

Katherine Mazurok

Kara Melton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a burgeoning table top game enthusiast and lover of most things musical. At the core of her research are questions that engage with race, sexuality, and critical geographies. Her proposed research project will engage with creative works of black authors to explore the relationship between the histories of oppression that are mapped in our geographies and the production of marginalized subjectivity that moves through these spaces. She can be reached for questions, comments, and suggestions on the best places to eat at

Dorota Polonska received her Bachelor of Arts (Women's Studies) and her Bachelor of Nursing Science degrees from Queen's University in 2008. Her research interests center around global health, refugee migration, child poverty in the Global South, and transnational activism.

Roxanne Runyon completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta, where she attained an Honours B.A. in Women's and Gender Studies with first-class honours in 2014. Her research interests include body studies, theories of subjectivity, biopolitics, settler colonialism, feminist art practices, French feminisms, queer theory, and critical mental health studies. Her graduate research examines the relationships between feminist subjectivity and affect, attending particularly to the emotional labour of feminist community building and the management of difficult feelings in a neoliberal context. Sandra Bartky describes feminist consciousness as an ‘anguished consciousness’: an acute and painful awareness of the contradictions and problems of social existence. While anguish may be vital for feminist politics, as it motivates and animates activism, the weight of this feeling can be a difficult burden to bear, contributing to experiences of burnout, emotional exhaustion, and mental illness. Roxanne engages with affect theory, critical mental health studies, critical race theories, and Marxist feminisms to consider the complexities of how those engaged in social justice movements struggle to live and to thrive in a world that they deeply want to change. Roxanne is an avid hiker, yoga practitioner, amateur ukulele player, and lover of cats, craft beer, house music, and karaoke. During the summer months she can most often be found in the backcountry of the rocky mountains or dancing at music festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia.

Natasha Stirrett holds a BA Honours in Sociology from Queen's University (2012) and a Behavioural Science Technology Advanced Diploma from St. Lawrence College (2009). Her research interests include: indigenous studies, feminism, queer theory, critical race theory, post structuralism, settler colonial theory, intersectionality, creative text, film, surveillance, transracial adoption, interdisciplinary methodologies, decolonization and social justice.

Sanchari Sur is a Bengali Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. She holds a BA Honours in English and Psychology from York University (2008) and English MA from McMaster University (2011). A recipient of the  2012-13 R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship for academic excellence, her current research interests lie in formulating a methodological approach to trauma theory through the lens of feminist psychoanalytic discourse, while using fictional texts as points of departure. She is also into creative writing and photography. You can find her at

Katie Thibault graduated from Trent University, with a bachelor (Honours) in Gender and Women's Studies. Her research interests include the criminalization of women in Canada, critical race theory, colonialism, and feminist movements centred on social change/activism. Her proposed graduate thesis will examine the historical and contemporary criminalization of marginalized women and how debates in feminist criminology have informed various methods (women's centred model/prison abolition) of addressing changes to women's interaction with the prison system.

Brett Cassady Willes completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Women's and Gender Studies with first-class honours at the University of Alberta. Her master’s research pertains to race and colonialism, with a particular focus on queer cultural production in the prairies. This work seeks possibilities for ethical modes of engagement with Indigenous texts on Indigenous lands. Email with inquiries about the above research, her grandmother’s pastry recipe, or Drake:

Vanessa Yzaguirre completed her B.A in Media and Communication as second of her class in Universidad Central de Venezuela. While working as a journalist in Caracas, Venezuela, and getting involved with NGO's she decided to start her M.A in Gender Studies. Her research interest includes poverty, human rights, global health and international relations. At Queen's she will be working with health and poverty issues among immigrant and refugee communities. In the future she hopes to work for non-for-profit organizations and community based initiatives.