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Student Concerns Subcommittee

The Student Concerns Subcommittee (SCS) includes three elected members representing Canada’s regions: Western (BC, AB, SK, MB), Central (ON, QC), and Eastern (NB, NL, NS, PEI). Three additional elected members will hold cross-appointed positions on this subcommittee representing (and liaising between) the Black Caucus, Decolonization and Equity Issues Subcommittees.

The members of the subcommittee choose the Chair (who sits on the Executive Committee). Additional consultative members may be appointed by the subcommittee, with the approval of the Executive Committee, to develop policy, participate in programs or initiatives, and take action in special areas or regions, as required.

The mandate of the subcommittee includes;

  • Identify priorities with respect to issues affecting students
  • Advise on student funding programs and assist with adjudication
  • Stimulate and facilitate communication among students
  • Membership on Association initiatives supporting students
  • Membership on the Awards Committees
  • Knowledge sharing through virtual events, website resources, and Conference sessions


2024-2025 Subcommittee Members

The Subcommittee members are excited to continue building an inclusive, supportive, and informed student culture. We welcome ideas and involvement from all sociology students.


Contact Us

  • J Overholser - Chair / Communications

    J Overholser, University of Calgary

    B.Sc. (Neuroscience and Psychology, Honors; Michigan State University), MA (Gender Studies, with Distinction; University of Leeds), PhD (Sociology – Current; University of Calgary)

    Pronouns: they/them, ze/zir

    I am pleased to work with the Canadian Sociological Association’s (CSA) Student Concerns Subcommittee (SCS) as the Communication Representative. I look forward to applying my background experience and passion for informal and alternative communication to this position, especially when it comes to utilizing platforms such as twitter for professional and academic knowledge mobilization.

    My work both in academia as a queer and trans* studies scholar and within community/public service has been built upon a foundation of critical social theories. Thus I emphasize the need to apply academic research, knowledge, and inquiry to address contemporary inequalities and marginalization faced by a variety of communities and their members. With this foundation I also focus on improving the accessibility and inclusiveness of academic/research institutions and spaces. I am truly excited to bring my academic experiences and my background in 2SLGBTQ+ community outreach to this position. Most notably when it comes to collecting and disseminating information and resources to help address specific community concerns, further building knowledge mobilization networks to support graduate students, and engaging in accessible and informal communication methods. I am honored to be able to work with the Student Concerns Subcommittee and help facilitate engaged communication with the committee members and the graduate students they seek to support.

    J Overholser


  • Shayan Morshedi - Eastern Canada Rep

    Shayan Morshedi, Memorial University

    BSc (Chemical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology), MA (Cognitive Sciences, Cognitive Sciences Studies), PhD (Sociology, Memorial University).

    I am honoured to be on the CSA Student Concerns Subcommittee. As an Eastern Canada representative, I am here to voice student concerns and needs.
    I obtained my B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology. Due to my social concerns, I dramatically changed my field and attended the Institute for Cognitive Sciences Studies (ICSS), where I achieved my MA in cognitive sciences, working on violence and collective cognition. In September 2022, I started my Ph.D. in sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. My current research focuses on collective memory, violence, and social cognition.

    My main goal in the Student Concerns Subcommittee is to voice students’ issues and concerns. Particularly, regarding my studies and interests, I am interested in voicing the silences and pointing out marginalized and forgotten groups.

    I am looking forward to finding ways, with my colleagues in the SCS, to reduce the hidden barriers for students and introduce opportunities to highlight and improve their research.

    Shayan Morshedi

  • Sara Hormozinejad - Central Canada Rep

    Sara Hormozinejad, University of Toronto

    Education: PhD Candidate (Sociology; University of Toronto), MA (Anthropology; University of Toronto), BA (Anthropology, Honours; University of Calgary), BSc (Physics; Azad University of Tehran)

    I am pleased to serve as the Central Canada Representative on the CSA’s Student Concerns Subcommittee. I look forward to connecting with fellow students, understanding their experiences as CSA members, and communicating their concerns to the CSA. My goal is to contribute to making the organization more open, responsive, and fair for all student members.

    I have been a university student in Canada since 2016 and a member of the CSA since 2021. Throughout my academic journey, I have actively engaged in conversations about issues that concern students, including EDI, political and economic turmoil, climate change, and the rise of AI. I have recently served as a student member on the Ad-Hoc Committee for AI in Grad Education at the UofT Department of Sociology, where I represented graduate students, advocated for ESL students, and highlighted the challenges and opportunities faced by students in using AI in academic studies. My academic pursuits, volunteer engagement, and service work are all grounded in my passion for social justice and advocacy. I am committed to bringing my advocacy experience to represent students from Central Canada at the CSA. Please feel welcome to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

    Sara Hormozinejad


  • Alhan Yazdani - Western Canada Rep

    Alhan Yazdani, University of Calgary

    BSc (Science Psychology, MacEwan University), BA (Sociology, First Class Honours, University of Calgary), MA (Sociology – Current, University of Calgary)

    Pronouns: she/her

    I am pleased to be the Western Representative on the CSA Student Concerns Subcommittee. My role in this committee is supported by my previous experience serving on a number of student committees at U of C, including being the Conference Event Coordinator for the Sociology Department Graduate Student Research Symposium, the Communication Representative on the Sociology Graduate Student Caucus, member of the EDI committee, graduate student representative on the Sociology Department Council, and a member of the Faculty of Arts Appeal Committee.

    In this position, I will build upon the existing efforts of my colleagues and continue to advocate for the interest of fellow students. For me, I have always been interested in understanding how different laws impact those who are marginalized, especially focusing on youth who have come into contact with the law. As a result, I look forward to seeking out diverse ways that I can apply my professional academic knowledge and experiences to address student concerns, improve conditions, and create opportunities for students worldwide conducting research. I hope to challenge and bring into light some of the existing issues student are facing and with the help of my colleagues on the SCS begin to address them. Isabella Mendez-Figueroa says in one quote that: “If I was the only visible representation available, I was going to use my voice to echo the feelings of my entire community and make it known that we are all here– all of our struggles, our efforts, and our passions, are not absent from places where we are not seen.” This is what I hope to achieve during my time on the SCS committee. In addition to addressing marginalization issues, I look forward to seeking out different meaningful ways the subcommittee can promote and improve a stronger collaboration between faculty and students.

    I commend the work of previous CSA executives and it is an honour to have this opportunity to contribute to the work that is being done by the CSA and the SCS.

    Alhan Yazdani


  • Rezvaneh Erfani - Equity Issues

    Rezvaneh Erfani (she/her)

    PhD Candidate (ABD) - University of Alberta, Department of Sociology

    It’s an honor to serve at the Student Concerns and Equity Issues Subcommittees. I have lived in, struggled within, and persisted through Canadian academia since 2013 as an international student, a Muslim woman, and newly as a student-parent. I would like to see the CSA as a welcoming and safe space for expressing and addressing our challenges in the Canadian sociological lifeworlds as we experience it as individuals and collectively on a daily basis. For me, it means to acknowledge the diversity of research questions that has motivated every one of us to choose social sciences over other and multiple life paths and to create space for everyday resistance as scholars, activists, and citizens. I am currently involved in the Committee on Racial Inclusion, Equity and Justice (CRIEJ) at the American Sociological Association’s Environmental Sociology Section, Climate Change Interest Group at the American Anthropological Association, and the Green and Gold Leadership and Professional Development Grant adjudication committee at the University of Alberta. Along with my previous involvement in student groups and as student representatives in Canada and internationally, my current academic and community engagement and commitments will help me to envision ways in which CSA can offer greater support to its student members.

    Rezvaneh Erfani


  • Michelle Nadon Bélanger - Francophone Affairs Rep

    Michelle Nadon Bélanger (she/her/elle), University of Toronto/Université de Toronto

    BA (Sociology and Anthropology, McGill University), BMus (Jazz Studies, McGill University), MA (Sociology, University of Toronto), PhD (Sociology – current, University of Toronto).

    I am very happy to be a part of the CSA Student Concerns Subcommittee. As Francophone Affairs representative, I look forward to better accounting for and voicing the concerns of Francophone students across Canada. I received both my B.A and my B.Mus from McGill University before I transitioned to my current position as a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Department of Sociology. My graduate education has taken place in an exclusively Anglophone environment, which has sensitized me to the lack of resources and community support that is available to Francophone students located beyond the province of Québec. My time as a member of the CSA has also motivated my desire to establish a stronger community of Francophone sociologists at all levels, with an emphasis on the development of a culture of mentorship.

    In this position, I look forward to better accounting for concerns of Francophone students that pertain to community support. As a researcher whose work focuses on micro-level, experiential dimensions of systemic inequality in occupations, I am deeply committed to doing so in a manner that includes the experiences of Francophone student members of the Canadian sociology community whose linguistic roots extend beyond North America. In doing so, I strive to better understand the differences between students’ experiences while also bringing them together to shed light on Francophone students’ most pressing academic and professional needs.

    Michelle Nadon Bélanger