Student Subcommittee

CSA’s Student Subcommittee (2016-2017):

Chair and Member Representing Western Canada (2015-2017)
Rebecca Nelems,Rebeccah Headshot University of Victoria

With a B.A. in Political Philosophy (University of Toronto), and a M.A. in Social and Political Thought (York University), I discovered my passion for sociology not within academic walls, but through 10+ years of applied sociological research with social change organizations working at the community, national and international levels. I am now in the second year of my PhD in Sociology at the University of Victoria, where I will be conducting participatory research with youth on the topic of empathy. I became a member of the CSA in 2014, when I attended my first CSA conference, and saw what a resource the CSA is not only for established academics, but also for students.

I would like to bring my previous work experience to the role of Western representative on the Student Concerns Subcommittee for the CSA by working with fellow committee members to advocate for student needs and priorities within the CSA, increase student member engagement, and promote CSA accountability to students. I am interested in hearing and communicating student members’ ideas for how to enhance the CSA’s support to them – whether this means ensuring the travel grant program meets students’ needs so more students can attend the annual conference, or organizing workshops that students would find useful, whether related to employment, teaching, supervision, grant or publication processes and issues they are facing. I’m also interested in increasing the Student Concerns Subcommittee’s web presence, as a means of promoting both engagement of, and accountability to, CSA’s student members. Finally, I’m interested in engaging sociology students across Canadian institutions who may not be members or regularly attend the annual conferences, and in finding ways that this Subcommittee can offer a community of support to all students as they face the challenges of completing their respective academic programs and moving into the workforce.


Member Representing Central Canada (2016 – 2018)

tim-kang-bio-picTimothy Kang, University of Toronto

My research centres on developmental and life-course criminology. My dissertation focuses on the desistance process during the transition to adulthood and how this is experienced differently based on gender and race. I am also working on a project with Candace Kruttschnitt and Phil Goodman studying the process of criminal persistence by examining persistent offenders’ social contexts, self-evaluations, and reflected appraisals. I strongly believe that Canadian research can and should make important contributions to sociology and criminology and have presented or organized sessions at every meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association since 2012. For instance, this year in Calgary, I am co-organizing a session (with Daniel Kudla at the University of Guelph) titled Canadian Contributions to Theoretical Criminology that aims to discuss and promote Canadian research. I believe that much can be done to further encourage and support the research conducted by students in the CSA and look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the Student Concerns Subcommittee.


Member Representing Eastern Canada (2016 – 2018)

gary-catanoGary Catano, Memorial University

My dissertation research examines how national park workers engage with and make sense of protected ecosystems and human-made environments as they master skills, form relationships, and complete everyday tasks. I hold a BA from Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in Sociology from the City College of New York, CUNY. My interest in the Eastern Representative position on the CSA-SCS’s Student Concerns Subcommittee is grounded in the work I performed with Memorial’s newly established Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Council throughout the 2015-16 term. As the departmental representative for sociology, I collaborated with an interdisciplinary cohort of scholars and administrators to collectively build an organization capable of realizing the council’s advocacy goals – working on behalf of the interests, concerns, and struggles of graduate students at Memorial University. My identity as a half-Puerto Rican, working-class queer shapes the leadership roles I take on, and frame how I approach authority, responsibility, and privilege. At Memorial, I learned to embrace my own status as a visible minority to bring forward the voices of vulnerable groups within my university’s graduate student population. As the Eastern Representative on the Student Concerns Subcommittee I can continue that work by amplifying the concerns of students within my region, and by working with the other representatives to form relationships of reciprocity, trust, and action, to effectively address the needs of the CSA’s student members.

Past Subcommittee Chairs

  • Louise Birdsell-Bauer (Central Student Rep, University of Toronto) 2015 – 2016
  • Katie MacDonald (Western Student Rep, University of Alberta) 2013 – 2015
  • Jamie Baker (Eastern Student Rep, Memorial University) 2010 – 2013
  • Stella Park (Central Student Rep, University of Toronto) 2007 – 2010
  • Kelly Greenfield (Eastern Student Rep, Memorial University)