Former Research Fellows


Lauren Catterson Picture
Lauren Catterson

Lauren Catterson is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation examines allegations of misconduct and abuses of power levelled against United States immigration officials in the early twentieth century, using these cases to explore limitations on the exercise of power and authority by such officials and how the early U.S. immigration bureaucracy policed its employees. It also analyses public criticism of the U.S. Immigration Service and reform efforts within the agency. More broadly, her research interests include migration, immigration and border control, citizenship, the modern American state, and gender and sexuality. Lauren’s PhD research has been generously supported by the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, Ontario Graduate Scholarships, and the University of Toronto’s Department of History, Jackman Humanities Institute, and Centre for the Study of the United States.

Sara Hamed photo
Sara Hamed

Sara Hamed is a PhD Candidate in the Department for the Study of Religion. She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Religious Studies, both from McMaster University. Her doctoral research brings together the anthropology of Islam, North American religion, organization theory, as well as rhetoric and persuasion studies. Currently, her ethnographic research focuses on the dawah or persuasion practices of national charitable Islamic organizations in Canada in relation to the state, the non-Muslim majority, and the Muslim communities they serve. Specifically, she explores how these organizational entities themselves agentively inhabit the Islamic tradition and contribute to the making of Canadian Islam, exceeding the actions of individual Muslim practitioners. Sara is a two-time recipient of graduate level funding awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. She is also an acclaimed course instructor and award-winning teaching assistant at the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. 

Sara Hormozinejad photo
Sara Hormozinejad

Sara Hormozinejad is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research examines the elastic boundaries of membership and belonging associated with international migration and settlement. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation project investigates the puzzling return migration from the Global North to the Global South to shed light on the complexities of the migrant integration process and to reveal nuances in migrants' experiences of belonging/non-belonging and inclusion/exclusion in socially diverse receiving societies such as Canada. Sara has a B.A. and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto, respectively. Sara was a teacher in her country of origin, Iran, and she enjoys teaching English as a Second Language as part of volunteering programs which support newcomers in Canada.

Laura Lam photo
Laura Lam

Laura Lam is a PhD student at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto where she holds a SSHRC J.A. Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. She is a researcher at the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration program and her research interest is at the nexus of migration, precarious employment and gender. In addition, she has conducted and published research on venture capital funding’s impact on societal wellbeing and collaborated with researchers on a qualitative ethnographic project on understanding employment trajectories of migrant women entrepreneurs. She has previously worked in a marketing capacity with various startups and technology accelerators, and currently co-owns an employment-based social enterprise based in Vancouver, The Good Chocolatier. 

Laura’s research interest is in migration and precarious employment, her current research focus is on the use of app-based digital labour platforms in care work settings. She is also involved in learning how care workers in precarious employment settings find ways to achieve better working conditions and outcomes. She is also engaged with studying the labour market trajectory and outcomes of new migrants to Canada through the use of longitudinal administrative data

Sophie Marois photo
Sophie Marois

Sophie Marois is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her main research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology, critical race studies and the sociology of punishment. She is the recipient of a Canadian Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC), which will support her dissertation project on the commemorative politics of the 2017 Québec City mosque massacre. In addition to her dissertation, Sophie is involved in a number of research projects on responses to mass violence, collective memory and terrorism. Off campus, she is a board member of the Ligue des droits et libertés—section de Québec and a community organizer for the annual commemorations of the mosque shooting in Québec City. She holds an MA in Sociology from Laval University.

Hazim Zahir Mohamed photo
Hazim Zahir Mohamed

Hazim Zahir Mohamed is a PhD Student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His dissertation examines the ethical and practical problems generated by questions of membership in contemporary political communities. As such, it aims to investigate the extent to which the legal foundations of modern citizenship and cross-border mobility are in tension with the normative language in which the concept of citizenship was classically understood, both in order to understand how this tension plays out in empirical cases where political identity is at stake as well as to explore how it can be potentially bridged or reconciled. His previous work includes an ethnographic study on expatriate communities in the Persian Gulf that investigates the impact of exclusionary state mechanisms on attempts by non-citizens to secure affective linkages to their host countries. His broader research interests include: the thought of Hannah Arendt; the resurgence of concerns about national identity; the promises and limitations of cosmopolitanism, and the role of ethics and normative considerations in political life. His work was presented at the American Political Science Association, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and the MAPSS Academic Graduate Conference at the University of Chicago. Beyond academia, Hazim has worked in Communications and Public Affairs, particularly in the Higher Education sector.

Peter Sekyere photo
Peter Sekyere

Peter Sekyere is a political science Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, specializing in International Relations and Development Studies. His research interests include African politics, human rights in Africa, and ethnic and secession struggles in postcolonial Africa. His doctoral research examines the strategic behaviour of secession movements in independence struggles in postcolonial Africa. The study explores the role of diffusion theory in explicating external linkages among secession movements in postcolonial Africa to provide new dimensions of understanding secessionism. Peter was a fellow of the Trudeau Center for Peace, Conflict and Justice program for the 2021-22 academic year. Before enrolling in the doctoral program, Peter was a fellow of the Norwegian Government Quota Scholarship program in the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Master’s program and served as an intern at Ghana’s national human rights commission, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science from the University of Ghana, a Master of Philosophy in Human rights from the University of Oslo, Norway, and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Brock University.


Headshot of Aden Dur-e-Aden

Dur-e-Aden is a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science. Her major and minor fields are International Relations and Comparative Politics, respectively. Her research examines the mobilization of individuals within the radical right-wing groups in Canada through a gendered lens. She is a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholar, a Junior Affiliate at the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS), and a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI). Apart from being a graduate student, she has completed multiple work terms with federal departments such as Public Safety Canada, Global Affairs Canada, and the Department of National Defense. Her goal is to bridge the academic/policy divide by gaining experience in both domains.

Headshot of Godze Bocu

Gözde Böcü is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Her research interests include transnationalism, migration, and authoritarianism. In her dissertation project, Gözde explores authoritarian diaspora policies and their effects on diasporas from a comparative perspective. Currently, she is working towards completing her dissertation project by conducting multi-sited fieldwork. In addition to her dissertation project, Gözde is involved in several academic projects on transnational repression, diaspora mobilization, and kinship and citizenship policies of authoritarian home states. Prior to joining the Ph.D. program, Gözde held several research fellowships and national scholarships in Germany. She has a B.A. and an M.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany. 

Headshot of Ella Hartsoe

Ella Hartsoe is a Master of Global Affairs Candidate at the Munk School for Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. She has worked as a labour union leader and community organizer in Canada and the United States, and on global labour migration policy at the International Organization for Migration. She has an honours Bachelor’s degree from McGill University and holds citizenships of both the United States and Mexico. Ella’s research interests lie at the intersection of social movements and international law. Completing a Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies, her MGA research will investigate the roles and responsibilities of North American states and changing international frameworks on climate migration. She is also interested in economic development, international labour law, and human rights discourse.

Headshot of Melanie Ng

Melanie Ng is a third-year PhD student in the History Department at the University of Toronto, and a Museum Educator at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her research critically analyzes the power dynamics that transpacific empires, racial thinking, and state legal apparatuses had over the movement of Chinese migrants across imperial boundaries and state borders during the late-nineteenth to late-twentieth century. In particular, she investigates the clandestine migration networks that transpacific Chinese migrants to and through Canada created to challenge racist and exclusionary immigration laws, as well as relied upon to establish new identities and communities. Her research interests include: race, racism, migration, histories of Asian America and Asian Canada, Asian settler colonialism, transpacific empires, diaspora, legal history.

Headshot of Sarah Panjvani

Sarah Panjvani is a Dual Degree Candidate in the Master of Global Affairs at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto and Master of International Affairs at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany. Her research interests lie at the intersection of transatlantic affairs, migration policy, and diversity and inclusion. She is a recipient of the Canadian Graduate Scholarship (2021-22), which will support her thesis project on the implementation of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy in Europe. Prior to joining the Master’s program, she gained professional experience in the public sector at the Embassy of Canada to Germany, the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin, and the International Organisation for Migration in Vienna. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University.

Headshot of Jessica Stallone

Jessica Stallone is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research examines the racialization of Muslims—and their cultural and religious practices— in English Canada and Quebec. She investigates how the politics of race and gender are embedded in public debates such as the Quebec Charter of Values, Bill 21 and the wearing of the niqab at the citizenship ceremony. She is currently investigating nativist logics that drive Islamophobic narratives on social media. Jessica is the session coordinator and co-organizer for the Race and Ethnicity Research Cluster at the Canadian Sociological Association. She has been awarded a Quebec grant (FRQSC) to support her research on anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada.  

Headshot of Dorottya Szekely

Dorottya Szekely is a second-year Master of Global Affairs student at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Dorottya has spent extensive time working with refugees in Toronto’s newcomer settlement sector, as well as volunteering with asylum-seekers in Paris, France. Currently, she is an intern with the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, part of the International Cooperation & Partnerships division at the International Organization for Migration. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto where she majored in Political Science, with a double minor in Sociology, and Women and Gender Studies. Dorottya’s main research interests lay within the fields of migration, disseminating populist nationalism and sustainable development. Recently, she has been become interested in the growing relationship between mobility and global inequality, and hopes to continue researching the effects of the digitalization of borders on migrants.

Headshot of Samia Tecle

Samia Tecle is a Sociology PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Though born and raised in Toronto, Samia has had the privilege of engaging daily with migrants, refugees and newcomers through her varied professional and personal life experiences. Her doctoral research examines the relationship between mobility and global inequality, and in particular, Canada’s management of refugee migration. By investigating Canada’s humanitarian approaches to extend refugee protection to asylum seekers both inside Canada and abroad, Samia hopes to understand Canada’s refugee programs in tandem. Her research interests include: race, migration, diaspora and colonial histories.  

Headshot of Man Xu

Man Xu is a Sociology PhD candidate at University of Toronto. Her research interests include studies of global migration, transnationalism, racial and ethnic identity. She has conducted research in the Middle East and in China on the reception of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, media discourses about refugees in Western host societies and Chinese Muslim diaspora’s transnational engagement with the Middle East. Her dissertation project examines the trade activities and social relations of Hui Muslim traders in Yiwu, China. This research sheds special light on the ways in which Hui traders in Yiwu build social connections and develop tactics to navigate various formal rules and informal economic practices of global trade business. It also examines how cross-border interactions and transnational entrepreneurship impact on Hui trader’s sense of belonging to the national and global Islamic communities.

Headshot of Edward Escalon Jr.

Edward Escalon, Jr. is a PhD Candidate in the Department for the Study of Religion. Edward’s interests lie at the intersection of affect theory, North American religion, and the anthropology of religion.  His ethnographic research focuses on the experiences of American Evangelical missionaries who work with street-connected youth in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Edward traces the affective attachments formed between Honduran youth and Americans and how these attachments complicate the social and political commitments of North American Evangelicalism. In 2019, Edward received a U.S. Fulbright Student Research Grant in Anthropology. He is an award-winning Teaching Assistant at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies and a Course Instructor at the Department of Historical Studies and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Edward holds a BA in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard College and an MA in Church and Society from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.