Subcommittee Members

Central Rep – Awish Aslam

Eastern Rep – Finbar Hefferon

Western Rep – Nicole Malette

Cross-appointed Decolonization Subcommittee Rep – Alicia Clifford

Cross-appointed Equity Subcommittee Rep – Carieta Thomas

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Chair and Member Representing Central Canada

Awish Aslam, University of Western Ontario

Sociology, PhD. Student
BA and MA at the University of Western Ontario

As the Central Representative for the Student Concerns Subcommittee I have worked to identify and better address members’ needs through advocacy and programming.  This included creating a survey to ascertain student concerns, coordinating a strategic communications plan (including more frequent contact via email, updates to our webpage, and the launch of our Twitter account), participating in the development of a mentorship program for Black, Indigenous, and racialized students, planning student-focused events and panels at the annual CSA conference, and establishing a professional development webinar series to provide students with knowledge of and access to career information (within and beyond academia).  I look forward to not only continuing this programming but also building on these efforts to meet the dynamic needs of our members.  Finally, I would like to encourage and create opportunities for wider student engagement with the subcommittee.


Member Representing Western Canada

Nicole Malette, University of British Columbia, Department of Sociology

BA and MA (McMaster University), PhD Candidate (current, University of British Columbia)

I am proud to be the Western Representative for the Canadian Sociological Association’s (CSA) Student Concerns Subcommittee (SCS). My role on this committee is supported by a previous experience serving on a number of in-house student committees at UBC, including being the Vice President of Finance, PhD Student Faculty Representative and Hiring Committee Student Representative. I have also been a member of the Canadian Sociological Association since 2013, was the recipient of the Canadian Sociological Association Graduate Student Research Award in 2015 and am a member of the Sociology of Education research cluster. At UBC I chaired the Sociology Undergraduate Mentoring Program for four years and worked with the UBC Sustainability Scholars program to identify areas of needed support around TA wellness at UBC, and built capacity around Teaching Assistant (TA) wellness in departments across the university. My previous academic experiences have lent themselves to my current work for the CSA-SCS. As a member of this committee I have helped facilitate online professional development webinars, served as a student representative for the CSA Mentor Program for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Graduate students and co-authored the CSA SCS Newsletter. I hope to continue to support student needs by analyzing survey data collected from CSA student members and by creating meaningful programming that reflects your interests.


Member Representing Eastern Canada

Finbar Hefferon, Memorial University, Department of Sociology

BA (McGill University), MSc (University College Dublin), PhD Student (Memorial University)

I am pleased to represent Atlantic Canada as the Eastern Representative on the CSA Student Concerns Subcommittee. In this position, I will continue to advocate for the interests of my fellow students in a variety of areas – particularly related to identifying their needs in academic and professional development, and in addressing chronic funding challenges. As a member of the Subcommittee, I will build upon existing efforts in the CSA to create supportive student-focused programming while also promoting stronger links for collaboration and mentoring between faculty and student members. I look forward to seeking out innovative ways to apply my social and environmental justice research interests and my professional experiences working internationally for the UN and OSCE, to improve conditions and opportunities for students conducting research internationally.

For this role, I look forward to drawing on my experiences at the University of Toronto, MUN, the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development and the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project, organizing various public engagement, networking and skill-building initiatives for students, faculty and the general public. Within my department, I have assumed the role of Faculty Liaison in 2020 within the Memorial Sociology Graduate Student Society, advocating for student interests and facilitating communication between students and faculty members. On campus more broadly over the past year, I have dedicated my time to organizing mentorship and public awareness initiatives with the MUN Mentors international student program and Cinema Politica St. John’s. I believe that my broad previous experiences working across academic and administrative spheres at multiple universities have prepared me with a holistic understanding of the needs of students on campus. This includes recognizing the unique challenges faced by international students and how to effectively support all students with additional learning options within their academic journeys.

Cross-appointed Decolonization Subcommittee Representative

Alicia Clifford, McMaster University, Department of Health, Aging and Society

BA and MA (University of Calgary), PhD Student (McMaster University)

It is such an honour to be cross-appointed to the Student Concerns and Decolonization Subcommittees. Over the past eight years, I have been involved in various initiatives that sought ways to educate and prioritize Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing. I am grateful to be able to continue this work. While at the University of Calgary, I co-founded a graduate student group that provided peer-to-peer mentorship to non-Indigenous graduate students that wanted to learn more about colonialism, what it means to build relationships with Indigenous communities, and engage in ethical research. Currently, at McMaster, I am a CUPE3906 Indigenous Solidarity Working Group member. We work collectively to support local Indigenous voices in their fight for sovereignty. I have been a member of the Canadian Sociological Association since 2018 and was the recipient of the Angus Reid Practitioners/Applied Sociology Student Award in 2019 for my community work alongside Indigenous women. As a settler, I have a responsibility to be of service and actively participate in decolonization. I look forward to creating a space to continue the dialogue about how best to engage in decolonizing the association, the academy, and the research we undertake.

Cross-appointed Equity Subcommittee Representative

Carieta Thomas, University of Calgary, Department of Sociology

BA (Agnes Scott College), MA (Syracuse University), JD (New England Law I Boston), PhD. Candidate (University of Calgary)

I am excited to serve on the Student Concerns and Equity Subcommittee. I have gained extensive experience working with disadvantaged groups and coordinating projects through my work with non-profit organizations such as The Carter Center Conflict Resolution Program, International Rescue Committee, and Greater Boston Legal Services while in the U.S. I have also gained expertise in the areas of intersectionality of race, class, gender, and sexuality as well as critical race theory, urban sociology, and policy through my MA in Pan African Studies. In law school I honed skills of negotiation and conflict resolution. I later harnessed those skills in my role as Acting Head of the Law Department at University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, where I implemented a Law Department Academic Advising program, developed workshops for improving student learning, and negotiated a fee reduction for returning students. In my department at the University of Calgary I have served as an advocate and liaison between graduate students and the Department as the Graduate Studies Committee Representative of the Sociology Graduate Student Caucus. I am currently serving as the international student representative. I welcome the opportunity to bring my past experiences to bear in this role and work with others in creating a more equitable CSA for students.

Past Subcommittee Chairs

  • Jennifer Adkins (Western Student Rep, University of British Columbia) 2018 – 2019
  • Timothy Kang (Central Student Rep, University of Toronto) 2017 – 2018
  • Rebeccah Nelems (Western Student Rep, University of Victoria) 2016 – 2017
  • 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)