School of Graduate Studies

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Archives 2020

In the winter of 2016, CFRC approached the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to see if there was interest in doing a show on graduate study research and of course the SGS said yes!  the rest is Grad Chat history.  On behalf of our students and the SGS, to CFRC a big thank you.

Fall 2020

December 2020

December 29th, 2020

DJ bear and CJ the DJ

Suyin interviews CJ the DJ

Topic: What's Up 2021!

Overview:  Suyin (aka DJ Bear), asks CJ the DJ what to expect in 2021.

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December 22nd, 2020

DJ bear and CJ the DJ

Suyin interviews CJ the DJ

Topic: It's a wrap!

Overview:  Suyin (aka DJ Bear), puts the spotlight back on CJ the DJ to wrap up 2020.

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December 15th, 2020

Bailey Brandt

Bailey Brant, MS Candidate, Neuroscience, supervised by Dr Stephen Vanner & Dr Alan Lomax

Topic: Diet, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Pain 

Overview:  My research looks at how a popular food additive, monosodium glutamate (MSG), can cause pain in a pre-clinical model of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The goal is to provide a neuronal mechanism that underlies MSG's ability to trigger pain in this patient group. 

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December 8th, 2020

Cheryl Bruce

Cheryl Bruce, PhD Candidate, Cultural Studies, supervised by Dr Colleen Renihan

Topic: The role of women orchestral conductors, particularly within the Canadian context.

Overview:  Although in the early stages of my research, my current focus has been identifying some of the ways in which women are excluded from orchestral conducting at the highest levels. This includes mentorship and educational shortfalls, gender bias and media representation.

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December 1st, 2020

Sofia Melendez

Sofia Melendez, M.Ed Candidate, Education, supervised by Dr Saad Chahine

Topic: Towards improving the education that mental health professionals receive about transgender-spectrum health

Overview:  Sofia’s Master’s thesis aims to develop an instrument that measures mental health professionals' knowledge, skills, and awareness (KSA) about trans health. Having this instrument is an essential starting point for the design of better educational practices that will improve mental health trainees' KSA towards trans healthcare. Her work on this project is funded through the Ontario Women's Health Scholars award and the Canadian Graduate Scholar Master’s level award (SSHRC).

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November 2020

November 24th, 2020

Suyin Olguin

Suyin Olguin, PhD Candidate, English Language & Literature

Topic: Grad Student, Parent, Teacher - Coping with Covid

Overview:  Join CJ the DJ and Suyin Olguin as they chat about a grad students life during the pandemic. How you balance your own work, with parenting and teaching duties.

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November 17th, 2020

Candi Raudebaugh

Candi Raudebaugh, DSc in Rehabilitation Health Leadership, supervised by Dr Marcia Finlayson and Dr Kathleen Norman

Topic: Life Skills Training For Therapy Assistant Students

Overview:  College students often struggle with basic life skills such as coping skills and managing finances, leading to challenges with coping, academic performance, practicum, and employability. Rehabilitation students who are expected to work on life skills with clients can face particular challenges if they lack experience or competence in these areas themselves, so this research targets students in rehabilitation diploma programs. The purpose of this study is to improve therapy assistant students’ life skills to improve their short-term success as students and long-term success in launching their careers.

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November 10th, 2020

Maleeka Thaker

Maleeka Thaker, MES in Environmental Studies

Topic: Studying bird-window collisions on the Queen’s University main campus

Overview:  Aiming to estimate the number of annual collisions on main campus and test the effectiveness of collision mitigation film so it can be incorporated into campus planning.

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November 3rd, 2020

Siobhan Speiran

Siobhan Speiran, PhD in Environmental Studies, supervised by Dr Alice Hovorka

Topic: The Lives of Monkeys in Costa Rican Sanctuaries

Overview:  Despite Costa Ricas' ‘green’ reputation, their monkey populations are at risk. My work addresses the call for interdisciplinary in tourism research by drawing on animal welfare, conservation, tourism and animal studies to understand the entangled lives of monkeys and humans, and what a ‘good life’ looks like for a monkey in a sanctuary.

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October 2020

October 27th, 2020

Brianna Bradley

Brianna Bradley, PhD in Chemical Engineering, supervised by Dr Carlos Escobedo

Topic: Microfluidics for cell studies

Overview:  The microfluidic devices are well suited for the study of individual cells since the small scale of operation allows for the manipulation of these cells. Microfluidic devices can be used to sort and isolate individual cells for analysis as well as to create different on-chip conditions to study the cells’ responses. In my research, I design these devices, computationally simulate the conditions in the device, and fabricate these devices for experimentation with the cells.

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October 20th, 2020

Book Cover

Clarissa de Leon, PhD in Education

Topic: Queen's Reads - Other Side of the Game

Overview:  Clarissa will explain this year's programming for Queen's Read book, the Other Side of the Game, by Amanda Parris.

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October 13th, 2020

Sue, Sean and Carrie

Susan Bazely (PhD Geography & Planning), Sean Marrs (PhD History), Carrie Ewins (MSc Biology)

Topic: Queen's Grad Students In Action - Part 2

Overview:  Want to know what some of our graduate students do on the side!  Three grad students will talk about their research and volunteering with tours recently during Doors Open Kingston at the Lower Burial Ground.

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October 6th, 2020

sue, sean and Carrie

Susan Bazely (PhD Geography & Planning), Sean Marrs (PhD History), Carrie Ewins (MSc Biology)

Topic: Queen's Grad Students In Action - Part 1

Overview:  Want to know what some of our graduate students do on the side!  Three grad students will talk about their research and volunteering with tours recently during Doors Open Kingston at the Lower Burial Ground.

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September 29th, 2020

Claire and Stepan

Claire Lee and Stephan Kukkonen, MPL in Geography & Planning, supervised by Dr Ajay Agarwal and Dr Patricia Collins

Topic:  How planners can help Cities and Towns even during a pandemic

Overview: Claire talks about  "Public transportation Covid-19 response and recovery" and Stephan talks about the "Quite Streets Pilot in Kingston"

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September 22nd, 2020

Rachel Fernandes

Rachel Fernandes, PhD in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr Petra Fachinger

Topic: Asian Mixed Race Identity Creation in Contemporary North American Literature. 

Overview:  I am interested in looking at genres and forms of literature to see how multiracial people with Asian heritage construct their identities. These forms include the novel, memoir/creative non-fiction, and poetry 

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September 15th, 2020

Sarah Flisikowski

Sarah Flisikowski, Master in Environmental Studies, supervised by Dr Tristan Pearce & Dr Graham Whitelaw

Topic: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Polar Bear Co-Management in a Changing Arctic. 

Overview: Polar bears are a species of significance to Inuit culturally, spiritually, economically, and for subsistence. This makes including Inuit understandings of polar bear health under changing climatic conditions of great importance to the co-management of polar bears across the Canadian Arctic.. 

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September 8th, 2020


CJ the DJ and CFRC Program Director

Topic: Welcome to Queen's and what's been happening!

Overview: As classes have started we thought we would look back on this past summer and look forward to what's happening in the Fall in graduate studies. 

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Summer 2020

Rest of Summer Line up - re-broadcasting of earlier interviews.  See Line up here(PDF 15KB)

July 2020

July 21st 2020

Olivia Manning

Olivia Manning, PhD student in Rehabilitation Science.

Topic: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of A Community-based Water Exercise Transition Program for Individuals with Chronic Stroke.

Overview: Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada. By designing a step-down exercise program to bridge the gap between formal rehabilitation and community exercise, I hope to demonstrate a feasible and acceptable option to manage and support chronic stroke survivors in our communities. 

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July 14th 2020

Stephanie Nijhuis

Stephanie Nijhuis, MA student in Religious Studies.

Topic: How perceptions of Greco-Roman cults affected the development and use of music in Early Christianity

Overview: Throughout my research, I hope to show a lineage of how trance and altered states of consciousness (ASCs) induced through music function within the religious experience of Dionysian rituals and how it leads to how early Christians either accepted or rejected specific musical practices throughout their own rituals and worship, especially surrounding percussive instruments and dance. 

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July 7th, 2020

robyn Carruthers

Robyn Carruthers, PhD in English Language & Literature, supervised by Drs Asha Varadharajan & Yael Schlilk  

Topic: Foreign Relations: Contemporary Travel Writing and the Unsettling Poetics of Foreign Space

Overview: Robyn studies contemporary travel writing and how it shapes our ideas about what it means for a person, place, or thing to be ‘foreign’ in the world today. 

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June 2020

June 30th, 2020

Jhordan Layne

Jhordan Layne, PhD in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr Chris Bongie 

Topic: Celestial Bodies and Spiritual Possessions

Overview: Jhordan's thesis explores the representation of religion and superstition in the work of two Jamaican novelists Kei Miller and Marlon James. Through that exploration he also uncovers new perspectives on the colonial and postcolonial histories of Jamaica that continue to shape ideas of race, gender, and violence throughout the  Caribbean Diaspora. In his research he reveals pathways to self-possession that complicate ideas of religious freedom, poetic faith, and the praxis of being human 

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June 23rd, 2020

Safa Moussoud

Safa Moussoud, PhD in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr Petra Fachinger 

Topic: The cultural production of Muslim youth of the 1.5 and second generation

Overview: My research is interested in the identity construction of Muslim youth who grew up in the shadow of 9/11 and more importantly the global war on terror. I examine art by and about Muslim youth to analyze how the ongoing social and political discussion around Islam and Muslims shaped the identity of young Muslims who have not known a world prior to the events of 9/11. 

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June 16th, 2020

Scholars of colour

Suyin, Jhordan, Safa, Aprajita

Topic: Scholars of Colour in Watson Hall

Overview: Join CJ the DJ for a conversation with Scholars of Colour at Watson Hall. Safa Moussoud, Jhordan Layne, Suyin Olguin (PhD English), & recent graduate Dr. Aprajita Sarcar (PhD History will be discussing their academic research and their experiences of being graduate students of colour at Queen's.

Web page -

Facebook page -

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June 9th, 2020

Liv Rondeau

Liv Rondeau, Masters in Education supervised by Dr Lindsay Morcom

Topic: Language Revitalization.

Overview: Language revitalization research recognizes and honours the rights of all Indigenous people to have their needs fulfilled physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Through this research, I can contribute to language revitalization efforts as well as aiding Indigenous children in developing a strong Indigenous identity that executes pride and power as an urban Indigenous child. This work is particularly significant because research involving Indigenous communities, even when done in collaboration, is frequently conducted by outsiders.

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June 2nd, 2020

Martina Palohiemo

Martina Jakubchik-Paloheimo, PhD in Human Geography supervised by Dr Heather Castleden

Topic: Land reconciliation, a new critical geography of peace in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Empowering Shuar resilience and resurgence through two-eyed learning.

Overview: This research will work in collaboration with the Shuar community in Ecuador, specifically with the community of Chiriap, Shuar family lineage who are seeking to conserve and preserve both their ancestral knowledge and land against rising mining interests in their territory.

For more information and to help this community go to the crowdfunding campaign 

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May 2020

May 26th, 2020

Joshua Jones

Joshua Jones, PhD in Environmental Studies supervised by Dr Mick Smith

Topic: The Emptiness of Ecological Loss and Extinction.

Overview: The goal of my research is to rethink the notions of ecology and extinction so that we can better understand the connections they have to emptiness, as well as explore the ramifications of emptiness for both the human, and more-than-human, world. 

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May 19th, 2020

Rachel Kuzmich

Rachel Kuzmich, PhD in Geography & Planning supervised by Dr Paul Treitz

Topic: Examining bird habitat structure across space and over time using remote sensing data.

Overview: My research will contribute to an enhanced understanding of habitat occupancy by using airborne laser scanning to describe and quantify relevant habitat structure. It will also make a methodological contribution to the emerging field of ecoacoustics by developing and testing a method for using bird recording data captured at survey points in the field.

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May 12th, 2020


Brittany Jennings and Andrew Evans, MEERL;

Topic: Everything you wanted to know about MEERL!

Overview: MEERL or Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership program. What is the significance of this program and how has it impacted industry?

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May 5th, 2020

Megan Tucker

Megan Tucker, M.Ed in Education, supervised by Dr Elizabeth MacEachren  

Topic: Experiences that inspires one to be an Environmentalist

Overview: The purpose of this research is to explore environmentalists’ perceptions and sense of oneness with the natural world. By listening to the stories of environmentalists, this study will explore participants’ significant life experiences, and the everlasting sensory impression of those experiences on current understanding of their sense of oneness with the natural world. Lastly, this study will explore the significance of environmentalists’ in sharing their personal stories.

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Winter 2020

April 2020

April 28th, 2020

Claudia Hirtenfelder

Claudia Hirtenfelder, PhD in Geography & Planning, supervised by Drs Laura Cameron and Carolyn Prouse

Topic: Cast Out Urbanites: A comparative history and geography of how cows disappeared from Kingston and Cape Town

Overview: Today, while certainly not absent in all cities, cows are invisible as lively beings in many urban areas in which they once lived, illustrating the changing multi-species nature of urbanisation. Historically, cows were present in urban settlements and were used by humans as sources of milk, meat, leather, and labour. While humans continue to use cows for much the same, the spatiality and scale of these relations has undergone dramatic changes. In order to understand how urbanisation is shaped through processes of multi-species inclusion and exclusion, this research aims to unpack how cows became absent in two cities, Cape Town (South Africa) and Kingston (Canada).

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April 21st, 2020

Suyin Olguin

Suyin Olguin, PhD in English Language & Literature, supervised by Dr  Brooke Cameron

Topic: What's it like being a student parent during Covid-19

Overview: Tips on how to keep your kids occupied, home schooled, feel special and still get your research done too.

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April 14th, 2020

Alastair Keirulf

Alastair Keirulf, PhD in Chemistry, supervised by Dr Diane Beauchemin

Topic: Working remotely

Overview: Tips on how to continue to move forward with your research, keep positive and look after yourself, family and friends.

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April 7th, 2020

Leo Erlikhman

Leo Erlikhman, Masters in Sociology & Public Administration, supervised by Drs Victoria Sytsma and Heather Murray

Topic: Youth Alcohol in Kingston

Overview: Recent evidence shows an increase in alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visits among youth. We sought to quantify the impact of ED visits (type and frequency, patient characteristics and resource use) related to alcohol in our centre

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March 2020

March 31st, 2020

Leo Erlikhman

Leo Erlikhman, Masters in Sociology supervised by Drs Victoria Sytsma and Heather Murray

Topic: Youth Alcohol in Kingston

Overview: Recent evidence shows an increase in alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visits among youth. We sought to quantify the impact of ED visits (type and frequency, patient characteristics and resource use) related to alcohol in our centre

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March 24th, 2020

Zee Mir

Zuhaib Mir, MSc in Epidemiology, supervised by Dr Patti Groome

Topic: Postoperative liver decompensation events following partial hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma among patients with cirrhosis

Overview: My research is focused on studying adverse outcomes after surgical resection of liver tumours. Specifically, the majority of patients with liver cancer also have underlying liver disease, called cirrhosis. So, the decision to remove the cancerous portion of their liver must also take into account the function of the remaining liver left behind

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March 17th, 2020

Jennifer Rotonja

Jennifer Ritonja, PhD in Epidemiology, supervised by Dr Kristan Aronson

Topic: Night shift work, melatonin, and circadian gene methylation in the development of breast cancer

Overview: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Canada and globally. Breast cancer etiology is complex, and work environment as a risk factor is still poorly understood, particularly with respect to night shift work. It is estimated that 10-30% of the global working population are night shift workers. While research indicates that night shift work raises the risk of breast cancer, not all research is consistent, due to differences across studies. Further, it is still unclear how night work may make an individual more susceptible to breast cancer.

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March 10th, 2020

Jackson Pind

Jackson Pind, PhD in Education, supervised by Dr Theodore Christou

Topic: The history of Indian Day Schools in Ontario between 1920-2000.

Overview: My research will conduct oral history Interviews with Indian Day School survivors by using Indigenous methods of data collection. I will then contextualize these histories with additional archival research conducted at the Library and Archives of Canada. This research will inform our understandings of Canada’s colonial educational system and provide a voice for survivors to share their stories that have yet to be documented in Ontario.

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March 3rd, 2020

Sherri Dutton

Sherri Dutton, PhD in Public Health Sciences, supervised by Dr Colleen Davison

Topic: The use of arts-based methods in health research

Overview: I will be talking about my Master's work and what I intend to do with my PhD exploring the use of arts-based methods in health research and incorporating a collage activity into that research as well.

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February 2020

February 25th, 2020

Morgan Lehtinen

Morgan Lehtinen, PhD in Chemistry, supervised by Dr Guojun Liu

Topic: H2Only: Smart Filters for Efficient Oil/Water Separation.

Overview: In a world that relies heavily on the use of crude oil as an energy source, clean oil recovery and spill remediation is of dire importance. Removing oil from surfactant stabilized oil-in-water emulsions has become an issue in numerous industries as current separation processes are tedious and wasteful of resources. Our research group has developed functionalized 'smart' filters that can selectively and efficiently separate the oil from oil-in-water emulsions.  I will discuss the environmental and operational advantages of this novel filter and its potential to improve the cleanliness of a normally dirty industry.

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February 18th, 2020

Keegan Turner-Wood

Keegan Turner-Wood, PhD in Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, supervised by Dr Steven Smith

Topic: How to gain access to energy stored in plants by designing biological nanomachines which can efficiently release trapped energy.

Overview: With the continued depletion of fossil fuels the search for new sources of renewable energy are growing ever more urgent. One possible source of energy is the vast repository of carbon found within plant biomass. We aim to gain access to this functionally limitless pool of energy by designing biological nanomachines which can efficiently release their trapped energy

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February 11th 2020

Jasmin Manseau

Jasmin Manseau, PhD in Management, supervised by Dr Tracy Jenkin.

Topic: “The Future of Work”

Overview: I am interested in the future of work and the changing nature of work more specifically how employees are beginning to use artificial intelligence at work through interactions with chatbots (i.e. IBM Watson) and intelligent employee assistants (i.e. Alexa for Business, Google Home at work, etc.). What is the work of tomorrow shaping to be like?

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February 4th, 2020

Alastair Keirulf

Alastair Keirulf, PhD in Chemistry, supervised by Dr Diane Beauchemin

Topic: Developing the Continuous Online Leaching Method for use in Bioaccessibility Risk Assessments

Overview: When soil is contaminated, we must perform a risk assessment to determine the potential for hazard towards humans who may work, play, or live in contact with the soil. A common method for modeling this soil exposure is through a bioaccessibility study, which can be performed in-lab without the need for animal subjects. My work is on validating a continuous on-line leaching method. Conventional methods use a batch method of analysis, which can take hours to complete, but we have seen results with the online leaching method take as low as 30 minutes!

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January 2020

January 28th 2020

Jennifer McConnel

Jen McConnel, PhD in Education, supervised by Dr Pamela Beach.

Topic: “Academic literacy in first year college (the necessary “language” for communicating successfully in college)”

Overview: I’m researching the perceptions teachers and students have of academic literacy in the first-year of college.

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January 2020

January 21st, 2020

TEDx Group photo

Terry Soleas, Jennifer Guiho, Bessi Qorri

Topic: “TEDx Annual Conference

Overview: Grad students discuss what it means to do a TED talk

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January 14th, 2020

Shannon Hill

Shannon Hill, PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences, supervised by Dr Heidi Cramm

Topic: Understanding and Supporting the School Transitions of Military-Connected Adolescents

Overview: The purpose of my two-phased sequential qualitative study is to (1) provide an in-depth, multi-perspective understanding of the school transition experiences of military-connected adolescents in Ontario, and (2) provide recommendations to inform policy and practice related to the school transition experiences of military-connected adolescents across Canada.

For more information on the study see attached flyer. You can also contact Shannon on or follow on Twitter  @Shannon_LD_Hill 

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January 7th, 2020

Linda Mussell

Linda Mussell, PhD in Political Studies, supervised by Dr Margaret Little.

Topic: “Handing Over The Keys: Intergenerational Legacies of Incarceration Policy in Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand.”

Overview: I use critical policy analysis to unpack the legacies of incarceral policies in three countries, where generations of people within one family or community can be criminalized and experience institutionalization.

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