Leading Scholars Program

The Green College Leading Scholars Program

Since 2014, the Green College Leading Scholars Program has provided opportunities for UBC faculty members newly appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor or Assistant Professor of Teaching (tenure-track) to make connections across disciplines while sharing ideas in a convivial setting. 

The appointment is for a two-year period, after which Leading Scholars have the option of continuing as Members of Common Room at Green College for a further two years. In their first year, Leading Scholars meet several times in groups before and over dinner at the College and/or virtually on Zoom. In the second year, they organize and host one or more series of presentations as part of the College's interdisciplinary programming, for which they are allocated a budget.

The 2022-24 Green College Leading Scholars Cohort

  • Abdul-Fatawu Abdulai
    Abdul-Fatawu Abdulai, Assistant Professor, Nursing
    Email: fatawu.abdulai@ubc.ca

    My program of research is on health informatics, human-computer interaction and the design and evaluation of digital health technologies. Specifically, I seek to explore how digital health technologies and trauma-informed user-centered design approaches can be leveraged to address inequities in sexual and reproductive health access for marginalized populations. Primarily, I conduct informatics-related research on endometriosis-associated sexual pains, sexually transmitted infections, and reproductive health. I apply user-centered design and integrated knowledge translation approaches by engaging patients and healthcare professionals in my program of research.

    Digital Health, User-Centered Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Trauma-Informed Care

  • Hassan Ahmad
    Hassan Ahmad, Assistant Professor, Law
    Email: ahmad@allard.ubc.ca

    I am a legal scholar, advocate, and activist interested in how governments and courts devise laws that concern human rights and environmental harm on the part of multinational corporations. How do dispute resolution laws mimic global economic forces? In my work, I analyze legal doctrines and, at times, employ comparative and historical methods to understand how dispute resolution laws have interacted with the global economy across time and space. Currently, I am working on two projects: a monograph entitled The New Corporate Immunity: Law, Sovereignty, and Human Rights in the Third World and a project around climate change litigation.

    Human Rights, Courts, Torts, Corporations, Dispute Resolution

  • Anwar Ahmed
    Anwar Ahmed, Assistant Professor, Language and Literacy Education
    Email: anwar.ahmed@ubc.ca

    My current research investigates if contemporary approaches to teaching argumentative writing are supportive of democratic disposition and citizenship. My key objective is to find out if pedagogies of argumentative writing encourage students to take a combative and hegemonic approach to knowledge creation and to ignore cognitive biases while exerting their rhetorical skills to win an argument. If this is the case, then I will explore ways to de-emphasize the combative approach to academic writing and promote the idea of argument as a dialogical social practice in which the primary goal is to understand, rather than defeat, the Other.

    Argument, Academic Writing, Democracy, Dialogue, Citizenship

  • Dominic Alford-Duguid
    Dominic Alford-Duguid, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
    Email: dominic.alfordduguid@ubc.ca

    I am a philosopher of mind and language, with a strong side interest in the philosophy of law. Much of my research concerns the relationship between perception and thought. Among the other things it allows us to do, perception enables us to think about the observable properties of objects (e.g., their colour, their shape, their size, etc.). I investigate what this fact should lead us to say about perception and thought, especially perception’s ability to inform us about the outside world. In philosophy of law, by contrast, I write on the nature of law, as well as informational privacy.

    Thought, Perception, Representation, Privacy, Law

  • Fatema Amijee
    Fatema Amijee, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
    Email: fatema.amijee@ubc.ca

    A primary focus of my work is the Principle of Sufficient Reason (roughly: 'Everything has an explanation'). The principle was a prime tenet of early modern rationalism, and thus much of my work in the history of early modern philosophy concerns metaphysical themes in Leibniz, Spinoza, Du Châtelet, and other early modern rationalists. I also spend a lot of my time thinking about the Principle of Sufficient Reason as a thesis within contemporary metaphysics. Aside from metaphysics and early modern philosophy, I also work at the intersection of feminist philosophy and Islamic studies, with a particular focus in Quranic interpretation.

    Principle of Sufficient Reason, Explanation, Emilie Du Châtelet, Islam, Feminism

  • Irem Ayan
    Irem Ayan, Assistant Professor, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies
    Email: irem.ayan@ubc.ca

    As a trained conference interpreter, I work at the intersections of feminist standpoint theory, settler colonialism, and theories of resistance to investigate how the implications of dominant ideologies of gender, class, and racialization affect the way interpreters perform and/or resist their task of becoming the voice of the speaker. I explore the dark side of being a marginalized interpreter, looking at the various ways in which interpreters are sexualized, harassed, discriminated, and treated as non-persons, drawing also on frameworks that analyze emotional labour and worker exploitation. My current ethnographic research explores the experiences of Indigenous interpreters in British Columbia.

    Translation, Interpreting,Gender, Race, Settler Colonialism

  • Alifa Zafirah Bandali
    Alifa Zafirah Bandali, Assistant Professor, Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice
    Email: alifa.bandali@ubc.ca

    My research and teaching prioritize social justice issues and approaches – in particular the importance of an intersectional framework. I draw on my own life histories and positionality to explore and highlight Muslim women’s representations in the media. I am interested in how artists (among others) challenge and resist dominant tropes and stereotypes that depict Muslim women as powerless, as suspects and as victims of religious oppression. I am committed to research and teaching that focuses on: Creative activism; women, work and care primarily in Southeast Asia; emotional labour; feminist and anti-racist pedagogies.

    Social Justice, Feminist and Creative Activisms, Art, Anti-Racism

  • Ignacio Barbeito
    Ignacio Barbeito, Assistant Professor, Forest Resources Management
    Email: ignacio.barbeito@ubc.ca

    I am a forest scientist interested in how to balance multiple—and sometimes contradictory—objectives such as wood production, wildlife habitat management, biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in the context of climate change. Promoting mixed-species forests could be part of the solution, as they can improve forest resilience to increasing forest fires, droughts and pest outbreaks. I use hands-on and data-driven methods involving countless measurements of tree girth and height; core samples that cut through tree rings; as well as sifting through stacks of data collected over the years. My ultimate goal is to provide forest managers guidance and tools to support their decisions.

    Forest Management, Climate Change, Resilience to Disturbances, Forest Fires, Drought

  • Nadine Borduas-Dedekind
    Nadine Borduas-Dedekind, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
    Email: nadine.borduas@ubc.ca

    I am an atmospheric chemist interested in the fate of molecules in the atmosphere. My group strives to bring a molecular perspective to atmospheric processes to address issues of air quality and climate. We use gas phase and aerosol instruments to study the emissions of wildfire smoke and indoor personal care product and to study the fate of molecules in clouds and in biogeochemical cycling.

    Atmospheric Chemistry, Photochemistry, Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric sciences, Indoor Air

  • William Brown
    William Brown, Assistant Professor, Theatre & Film
    email: will.brown@ubc.ca

    My work straddles theory and practice, focusing primarily at the present time on film as a medium for allowing us to see, hear, think and feel beyond the human. While this means that there is in my work an 'ecological' engagement with the non-human world of animals, plants and matter, it also involves an investigation into how film historically has helped to construct the human in white, heteropatriarchal terms, and the ways in which to look 'beyond the human' must of necessity engage with issues of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, nationality and other technologies of (de)humanisation.

    Film Studies, Film-Philosophy, Posthumanism, Research-Creation, Race

  • Stephen Kwame Dadugblor
    Stephen Kwame Dadugblor, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Writing and Media
    email: stephen.dadugblor@ubc.ca

    My research is at the intersection of democratic deliberation, culture, and rhetoric. I study the ways in which postcolonial African societies draw upon cultural deliberative resources to refashion and decolonize their social worlds in the aftermath of colonialism. Currently, I am at work on two major projects. The first, Deliberating Electoral Disputes, investigates citizen deliberations surrounding electoral politics in Ghana. The second, Forging Peace, Cultivating Citizenship attends to the rhetorical processes by which the Ghanaian nation-state fosters an ethos of peace and non-violence across ethnolinguistic and religious differences to cultivate citizenship following military interventions in the country's politics.

    Democracy, Deliberation, Memory, Africa, Decolonization

  • Tamara Robin Etmannski
    Tamara Robin Etmannski, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
    Email: tamara.etmannski@ubc.ca

    The ‘Educational Leadership’ research I am interested in is connected to exploring ways to broaden engineering education by exposing students to real world problems and multidisciplinary teams. This includes work connected to experiential and community learning practices. In parallel with this work, I am also a Co-Director or the Environmental Engineering undergraduate program and am continuing to conduct some more technical engineering research exploring the viability of up-cycling arsenic-ridden sludge (a by-product from the use of drinking-water filters) and building a business case to improve the negative impacts associated with the use of such widespread technologies.

    Engineering Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Engineering Impacts and Sustainability

  • Tim Frandy
    Tim Frandy, Assistant Professor, Central, Eastern, Northern European Studies
    Email: tfrandy@mail.ubc.ca

    I am a Sámi American, born and raised on Anishinaabe Aki on the south shore of Gitchi-Gami (Lake Superior) amidst the region’s thousands of lakes and deep pine forests. My research involves traditional culture, decolonization, environments, education, and cultural revitalization, and I’ve worked with culture keepers, harvesters, ceremonial leaders, artists, and activists. My translation of Inari Sámi Folklore (2019) is the first polyvocal anthology of Sámi oral tradition published in English, and my co-edited volume with B. Marcus Cederström, Culture Work: Folklore for the Public Good (2022), on explores public arts and humanities projects today in theory and in praxis.

    Indigenous Studies, Decolonization, Folklore Studies, Environmental Humanities

  • Christopher Hammerly
    Christopher Hammerly, Assistant Professor, Linguistics
    Email: chris.hammerly@ubc.ca

    I am a linguist and descendent of the White Earth Nation of mixed Anishinaabe-Norwegian heritage. Much of my work focuses on documenting and understanding my ancestral language Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe). I use a variety of methods to understand the cognitive representations and processes underpinning human knowledge of syntax (sentence structure) and morphology (word structure), including formal theories, fieldwork, computational models, and experimental tasks. I am especially interested in what patterns of eye movements can reveal about our limits and aptitudes for learning and processing language. Recently, I have also been involved in building (psycho)linguistically-informed language technology for Anishinaabemowin learners.

    Language Revitalization, Psycholinguistics, Syntax, Morphology

  • Julia Henderson
    Julia Henderson, Assistant Professor, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
    Email: julia.henderson@ubc.ca

    I have a background as an occupational therapist and a professional actor. My research employs critical age studies and occupational justice approaches to investigate representations of aging and older age, with a focus on strategies that redress ageism in North American culture. I use qualitative and mostly arts-based methods, especially theatre, to work with older adults on projects that range from collaborative creative engagement with people with lived experience of dementia, to older adult activism, to developing creative accessibility strategies for older adult theatre artists and audiences.

    Critical Age Studies, Older Adults, Theatre and Performance, Dementia, Accessibility

  • Sara Jacobs
    Sara Jacobs, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Landscape Architecture
    Email: sjacobs@sala.ubc.ca

    I research how socio-ecological relations become legible through landscape to work toward just land futures. I primarily study how attending to interconnected histories of land, racialization, and settler-colonialism allows for reinterpreting contemporary environmental knowledge. As a transdisciplinary scholar of design, environmental history, and geography, I do this work by writing and drawing about how practices of care shape ideas of nature towards life-affirming relations. I often focus on infrastructural or extractive landscapes shaped by social and environmental injustices to show how entanglements between people, water, and more-than-human life refuse the ordering logic of extractive capitalism to create caring relations.

    Keywords or topics of primary interests:

  • Sara Ann Knutson
    Sara Ann Knutson, Assistant Professor, History
    Email: sa.knutson@ubc.ca

    I am a historical scholar working at the intersection of global history, archaeology, and museum anthropology with expertise on the Islamic World and its global interactions across premodern Afro-Eurasia. My teaching, research, and educational leadership bridge the premodern-modern divide in the historical discipline by exploring the enduring influence that the Afro-Eurasian past holds in contemporary constructions of cultural heritage and in practices of collection, not least in museums and archives. My current work centres the Islamic World’s role in global history as well as the contemporary communities who are important stakeholders in the construction of this past.

    Museums, Islamic World, Afro-Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa, Heritage

  • Jillian Lerner
    Jillian Lerner, Assistant Professor, Art History, Visual Art and Theory
    Email: jillian.lerner@ubc.ca

    I am a historian of modern visual culture with research interests in photography, media theory, and social justice pedagogies. I study the ways that art-forms and technologies of seeing shape human experience and the lifeworld. My current project considers how photographic practices perpetuate or contest imperialist modes of extraction and appropriation. Investigating diverse strategies of sense-making, storytelling, and historical retrieval, I explore how media artifacts and histories can be developed as tools for perceiving, relating, and imagining otherwise. How do we foster responsibility for the worlds (communities, ecologies, stories, futures) we create and destroy?

    Media History, Photography, Pedagogy, Decolonization

  • Jasmin Ma
    Jasmin Ma, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology
    Email: jasmin.ma@ubc.ca

    I am a Kinesiologist specializing in helping people with diverse physical abilities to be physically active. My educational leadership activities involve the development and implementation of experiential learning opportunities in community-based exercise settings. My research focuses on supporting strength training behaviour change and developing methods for tailored physical activity interventions among people with chronic disease and disability. Meaningfully engaging community and clinician partners throughout the research process is at the core of my lab’s research approach, with the intention to help ensure that our work gives back to those who the research is intended for.

    Physical Activity, Disability, Behaviour Change, Exercise Prescription, Work Integrated Learning

  • Alexis McGee
    Alexis McGee, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Writing and Media
    Email: alexis.mcgee@ubc.ca

    Driven by Black studies, history of composition and rhetoric, cultural rhetorics, and Black feminist rhetorical theory, my research intentionally brings historical moments in conversation with contemporary Black expressions of being. Largely, my scholarly activities investigate ways Black women’s rhetorical, sonic ecologies document survival, agency, and resistance so that Black women and girls may apply it to our everyday realities across time, place, and media. My first monograph, From Blues to Beyoncé: A Century of Black Women’s Sonic Rhetoric (forthcoming with SUNY Press) examines how Black women operationalize language, voice, and rhetoric across media as generational strategies for survival.

    Black, Feminist, Rhetoric, Theory

  • Keunhyun Park
    Keunhyun Park, Assistant Professor, Forest Resources Management
    Email: keun.park@ubc.ca

    With an interdisciplinary background in urban planning and design and landscape architecture, I conduct behavioural research in urban nature through the use of spatial data analytics and digital technologies. My Urban Nature Design Research (UNDER) lab examines 1) urban nature design and planning and its social, behavioural, and health outcomes and 2) technology-driven research for public space monitoring (e.g., sensors, drones, smartphone-based big data). Ultimately, my research aims to understand how to design healthy, just, and resilient cities through urban nature. These projects require interdisciplinary collaboration with experts from forestry, geography, transportation engineering, computer science, and more.

    Urban Forestry, Public Space, Urban Design, Behavioural Research, Environmental Justice

  • Thomas Pasquier
    Thomas Pasquier, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
    Email: thomas.pasquier@ubc.ca

    I work on computer systems constructed broadly. My main research focus is to devise means to observe computer systems and to act on the collected information. Applications include security, accountability, and transparency. For example, I work on applying machine-learning techniques to automatically detect anomalous behaviors that indicate that a computer system is under attack. I also work on techniques to automate and facilitate the reproducibility of scientific computational results. Finally, I have worked for several years on questions at the intersection of computer science and law.

    Computer Science, Systems, Accountability, Security, Transparency

  • Ethan Raker
    Ethan Raker, Assistant Professor, Sociology
    Email: ethan.raker@ubc.ca

    I am a sociologist-demographer studying the consequences of climate change for community and individual well-being. I focus particular attention to the role of social contexts and political institutions in creating the conditions for disasters and responding or changing in ways that exacerbate inequality. My work often relies upon the application of novel administrative and climate data to address theoretical questions about the relationship between the environment and society. I joined UBC as an assistant professor in 2021.

    Climate Change, Health, Disasters, Neighbourhoods

  • Andrea Reid
    Andrea Reid, Assistant Professor, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
    Email: a.reid@oceans.ubc.ca

    My name is Andrea Reid, and I am a Nisg̱a’a citizen who was raised on Epekwitk (PEI). I now live in Nisg̱a’a Territory, and work both remotely and in-person as an Assistant Professor in the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. With a wonderful team, I am helping to launch and lead the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, committed to the study and protection of culturally significant fish and fisheries. In strong and equitable partnership with Indigenous Peoples and organizations, the Centre undertakes interdisciplinary research, collaborative teaching, and youth-centered outreach that responds to partner-identified needs and priorities.

    Indigenous Fisheries, Indigenous Science, Aquatic Conservation

  • Mohammad Shahrad
    Mohammad Shahrad, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Email: mshahrad@ece.ubc.ca

    I am broadly interested in improving the efficiency of cloud computing systems and have worked across the computing stack toward this goal. So far, this has included building novel scheduling solutions for cloud systems, modeling user-provider interactions to propose new pricing models, and building a new processor for efficient off-chip scalability of cloud workloads. I lead the Cloud Infrastructure Research for Reliability, Usability, and Scalability (CIRRUS) Lab at UBC. My team is currently working on a range of projects to improve the performance and cost efficiency of emerging cloud services.

    Cloud Computing, Software Systems

  • Elif Sari
    Elif Sari, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
    Email: elif.sari@ubc.ca

    I am a queer feminist anthropologist, an uninvited immigrant on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation, and a new faculty member in the UBC Department of Anthropology. Currently, I am working on my first book manuscript, which offers an engaged ethnography of LGBTQ asylum from the Middle East to North America by focusing on the experiences of Iranian queer and trans refugees waiting in Turkey. I am also excited to start two new research projects, one focusing on private refugee sponsorship programs in Canada, and one exploring the connections between migration, sexuality, and art (particularly drag).

    Asylum, Borders, Diaspora, Gender and Sexuality

  • Rosanne Sia
    Rosanne Sia, Assistant Professor, Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice
    Email: rosanne@mail.ubc.ca

    I do historical research at the intersection of performance studies, critical race theory, and gender & sexuality studies. My first book project, Fantasy in Motion: Performing Racial Imaginaries in the early Cold War, looks at women of Asian and Latinx descent who danced and sang on early Cold War nightclub circuits. I was lucky enough to meet a number of former nightclub entertainers who were in their eighties and nineties. I felt an urgent need to share what I had learned about lives that I found so extraordinary, daring, and brave in the face of racism and sexism. My book draws on both oral histories and archival research to explore how entertainers crossed boundaries of genre, nation, language, race, and sexuality that exceeded Cold War narratives of racial integration.

    Transpacific, Latinx, Gender and Sexuality, Performance, Cold War History

  • J. Logan Smilges
    J. Logan Smilges, Assistant Professor, English Language and Literatures
    Email: logan.smilges@ubc.ca

    With commitments to trans feminism and disability justice, I understand my work in queer & trans disability studies, rhetorical studies, and the history of medicine as a means to advocate for gender expansive equity and anti-ableism. I am particularly interested in writing genealogies that reveal how ideas related to sexuality, gender, and disability are mutually entwined. For example, my first book Queer Silence: On Disability and Rhetorical Absence (2022) charts the foundational role of disability in the field of queer studies, and my current book project Neurotrans Intimacies dials in on the cultural and political entanglements of transness and mental disability.

    Disability, Gender, Sexuality, Theory

  • Giulia Toti
    Giulia Toti, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
    Email: giulia.toti@ubc.ca

    I am an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the computer science department. I have a variegated background (a Master degree in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science, specifically in Machine Learning), but now my focus is in computer science education. I am currently designing a new course on responsible use of data science: given its wide applicability and popularity, I believe it is important for students to understand their role not only as technical experts, but as future decision makers. I am also interested in alternative grading systems, such as Mastery Learning.

    Data Science Ethics, Alternative Grading, Mastery Learning

  • Desiree Valadares
    Desiree Valadares, Assistant Professor, Geography
    Email: desiree.valadares@ubc.ca

    My research theorizes repair in the context of landscape preservation. I study the aftermath of redress movements which coalesce around the preservation and stewardship of Second World War confinement landscapes in Hawai’i, Alaska, and British Columbia. I work alongside community organizations, cultural heritage professionals, and policymakers and draw insights from archival research and place-based methods including architectural drawing, photography, and participant-action research. Broadly, my research contributes to ongoing debates on war reparations, Asian-Indigenous relations, land tenure in settler colonial contexts, and infrastructural and environmental histories of Second World War prison camps in former US territories and in western Canada.

    Redress, Social Movements, War Reparations, Landscape, Preservation, Land Claims

  • Katherine Wagner
    Katherine Wagner, Assistant Professor, Economics
    Email: katherine.wagner@ubc.ca

    My work focuses primarily on Environmental and Energy Economics. I study how economic policy can prevent further climate change from occurring and encourage adaptation to its effects. On the first topic, I have on-going work on costs of delayed action on carbon pricing. We show that manufacturing plants that open when energy prices are low consume more energy throughout their lifetime, regardless of subsequent prices. On the second topic, I’m analyzing the equity implications of natural disaster insurance reform; my previous work studies why homeowners’ willingness to pay in this market is puzzlingly low even when insurance benefits are high.

    Environmental and Energy Economics, Public Economics, Climate Change, Natural Disaster Insurance

  • Tina E. Wilson
    Tina E. Wilson, Assistant Professor, Social Work
    Email: tina.wilson@ubc.ca

    My work explores how scientific and social justice knowledges combine within helping professions and human welfare systems. On one hand, I am interested in broad cultural shifts in the enduring trifecta of need, help, and who is to blame in relation to perceived social problems. On the other, I engage the “new” for how it creates possibilities for change within established ways of life. My current research explores how the environmental turn challenges modern professions like social work to revisit our human-centric units of analysis and intervention, including how we imagine and attempt to enact social justice.

    Helping Professions; Social Justice, Environment, Academic Disciplines, History and Philosophy of Social Science

  • Kwang Moo Yi
    Kwang Moo Yi, Assistant Professor, Geography
    Email: kmyi@cs.ubc.ca

    I work in the area of Computer Vision, with a focus on reconstructing and understanding the 3D geometry and the appearance of objects observed as 2D imagery. My methods often consist of novel deep learning methods/frameworks for this purpose.

    Computer Vision, 3D Vision, Deep Learning-Based Vision, Keypoints, Correspondences

  • Shoufu Yin
    Shoufu Yin, Assistant Professor, History
    Email: shoufu.yin@ubc.ca

    I am a historian of Chinese and Inner Asian political cultures and thoughts in global historical contexts. I specialize in areas where social/institutional history meets literature and philosophy. My publications show that it is productive to engage the intellectual world of hitherto overlooked and marginalized groups—including peasant women who fought in wars, Manchu translators who processed imperial documents, anonymous typesetters behind the production of books. Ultimately, my scholarly passion lies in writing new kinds of global intellectual histories that foreground the theoretical contributions of both “canonical” and “everyday” thinkers of different traditions.

    Global History, Intellectual History, Political Culture/Thought, Literary Culture, China and Inner Asia

  • Keren Zaiontz
    Keren Zaiontz, Assistant Professor, Theatre & Film
    Email: keren.zaiontz@ubc.ca

    I research the cultural politics of contemporary performances that take place on stages and in the streets.

    Performance Studies, Performance and the City, Art-Activism and Social Movements, Festivals and Mega-Events, Socially-Engaged Art and Performance

  • Helena Zeweri
    Helena Zeweri, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
    Email: helena.zeweri@ubc.ca

    My scholarship lies at the intersection of global migration studies, the social impacts of policy, and diasporic identity, with a focus on Australia, the Afghan diaspora, and the US. Grounded in ethnographic methods, my first project examined how migrant sociality becomes an object of moral concern and legal intervention for the Australian state in the wake of increased maritime migration from post-war contexts. My current project looks at the political life of Afghan diasporas in the US and Australia since the Global War on Terror, with a focus on first and second generation community leaders.

    Migration, Political Life, Empire and Settler Colonialism, Australia, US, Afghan Diaspora

  • Lily Wenya Zhou
    Lily Wenya Zhou, Assistant Professor, Neurology
    Email: lily.zhou@alumni.ubc.ca

    I am a stroke neurologist and do health services research looking at cost benefit analysis in health care and stroke epidemiology. Currently, my main research focus is on using data generated during health care delivery on a population level (called administrative data) to study and predict health outcomes and to improve the cost effectiveness of health care delivery. The use of administrative data allows us to study and improve the health of people previously under-represented in research, to track health outcomes over decades and to see how treatments work outside of clinical trials.

    Health Services, Epidemiology, Stroke

  • Mila Zuo
    Mila Zuo, Assistant Professor, Theatre & Film
    Email: mila.zuo@ubc.ca

    I work on global film stardom, transnational Chinese and Asian cinemas, film-philosophy, and critical studies of race, gender, and sexuality. My book Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (2022) explores the ways in which Chinese women film stars perform oppositional stances against white supremacy, Chinese colonialism, heteropatriarchy, gender and sexual normativities, and capitalist work. My current and future research focuses on representations of ancient magical beliefs in global film and media, and cinema as a divinatory and spell-binding phenomenon.

    Film and Media Studies, Esotericism, Philosophy, Embodiment, Stardom


The 2021-23 Green College Leading Scholars Cohort

The 2021-23 Green College Leading Scholars Cohort is comprised of the following members:

  • Kimberly Bain
    Kimberly Bain, Assistant Professor, English Language and Literatures
    Email: kimberly.bain@ubc.ca

    In my scholarly and critical-creative work, my most pressing and urgent concerns have consolidated around questions of the history, theory, and philosophy of Blackness. I am currently at work on two scholarly monographs. The first, entitled On Black Breath traces a genealogy of breathing, Blackness, and racial capitalism in the United States. My second book, Dirt: Soil and Other Dark Matter, turns to dirt for understanding how Blackness has shaped global considerations of the Anthropocene and refused the extractive relations of racial capitalism.

  • Samuel Beswick
    Samuel Beswick, Assistant Professor, Law
    Email: beswick@allard.ubc.ca

    I am a private law scholar with primary research interests in the areas of torts, unjust enrichment, limitations, remedies and privacy. My current research concerns the temporal scope of judicial changes in the law. Does, and should, new “judge-made law” serve as precedent to past circumstances? I am also the editor of an open-access coursebook Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries (2021 CanLIIDocs 1859), which explores the law of civil wrongdoing through the themes of the rule of law (equality of officials and ordinary people under law) and comparativism (common law development through judicial conversations over time within and between jurisdictions).

  • Anna Blakney
    Anna Blakney, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
    Email: anna.blakney@msl.ubc.ca

    My laboratory is a multidisciplinary group of engineers, immunologists and molecular biologists seeking to engineer the next generation of RNA vaccines and therapies. We seek to gain a deeper understanding of how the components of gene delivery formulations interact with the immune system to improve potency and enable clinical translation. We use a type of RNA called 'self-amplifying RNA', which is able to replicate upon delivery to a cell and requires a ~100 times lower dose than normal messenger RNA.

  • Benjamin Bryce
    Benjamin Bryce, Assistant Professor, History
    Email: ben.bryce@ubc.ca

    I am a historian of migration in the Americas. At UBC, I teach courses on the Americas and global history. I am working on two SSHRC-funded projects. Healing the Nation examines the role of immigrant-run hospitals and mutual aid societies in providing healthcare in Buenos Aires. Grounds for Exclusion highlights the many ways that bureaucrats, politicians and nationalist agitators in Argentina developed both formal and informal methods to exclude a range of groups based in race, gender, health and ability. I am also a co-editor of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association

  • Annie Ciernia
    Annie Ciernia, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Email: annie.ciernia@ubc.ca

    My research focuses on understanding the molecules and processes that control how our brains develop during childhood and what goes wrong in the cases of brain disorders such as Autism. I specifically focus on immune cells in the brain and how they interact with the rest of our body and environment. We use mouse models to test how genetics combine with early life experience to shape brain function and our behaviour. The ultimate goal is to understand these mechanisms and leverage them to develop new therapeutics for brain disorders. 

  • James Connolly
    James Connolly, Assistant Professor, Community and Regional Planning
    Email: james.connolly@ubc.ca

    I am an urban planner specialized in the intersection between environmental planning and social justice. Broadly, my work asks how cities can be made greener and more socially just at the same time, without forcing one goal to be traded off for the other. My published works thus far explore this topic through a highly interdisciplinary and decidedly mixed methods approach with a focus on contemporary cities. I examine the issues at stake within several topics including urban climate planning; green gentrification; urban environmental stewardship; urban social-ecological justice; urban greening policies; and critical urban sustainability and resilience politics. 

  • Megan Daniels
    Megan Daniels, Assistant Professor, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
    Email: megan.daniels@ubc.ca

    I research social, political, and religious developments in the eastern Mediterranean world in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages (1500-500 BCE) through ancient texts and iconography. My current book project explores the long-term ideologies that undergirded divine kingship in this region to articulate the religious mechanisms behind the emergence of the Greek city-states. More generally, I research the social functions of religion in human societies. I also have interests in ancient migration across Eurasia and in particular the historiography of migration studies in archaeology. I will be heading up the Mobilities Cluster next year at the Centre for Migration Studies, so I am excited to see how these interests intersect with the opportunities at Green College!

  • Igor Drljaca
    Igor Drljaca, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Film
    Email: igor.drljaca@ubc.ca

    My work deals with memory, diaspora, trauma, ideology and dystopias. My award-winning films have screened at hundreds of festivals including Berlinale, Locarno, Toronto, Telluride and Rotterdam. My recent work includes the feature documentary The Stone Speakers (2018), which examines the intersection of ideology and post-war tourism in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the short The Archivists (2020), a sci-fi dystopian musical. The White Fortress (Tabija, 2021), my most recent feature, is the first co-production between Canada and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and had its world premiere at the 71st Berlinale this year. It is also Bosnia-Herzegovina’s selection in the 2022 International Feature Film Oscar race. I am currently developing a VR project about the Canadian citizenship ceremony, The Oath, and a docufiction film, Park Europa, about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future admission into the European Union.

  • Olivia Michiko Gagnon
    Olivia Michiko Gagnon, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Film
    Email: olivia.gagnon@ubc.ca

    I work at the intersections of performance studies, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and critical Indigenous studies––with additional specific interests in archives, experimental form and performative writing. I’m currently working on a book manuscript about closeness as a minoritarian method of doing history otherwise, through art & performance and beyond archival stricture. My next project takes on a more experimental (at-times dialogic) form, and explores the weave of (classroom) pedagogy, performance (studies) and critical questions of race, gender and sexuality.

  • Friedrich Martin Götz
    Friedrich Martin Götz, Assistant Professor, Psychology
    email: friedrich.goetz@ubc.ca

    I am a social-personality and geographical psychologist, pursuing an interdisciplinary Big Data approach to investigate the causes and consequences of spatial differences in psychological characteristics (e.g., personality traits and values). Applying classic interactionist theories from social and personality psychology to real-world settings, I adopt two integrated streams of research: On the micro-level, I study how distinct regional psychological profiles emerge and shape individual cognitions, behaviours and emotions (e.g., personal spending and well-being). On the macro-level, I research how regional psychological profiles shape an area’s social, political and economic climate and affect relevant macro-level outcomes (e.g., suicide prevalence, election results and start-up rates).

  • Ayasha Guerin
    Ayasha Guerin, Assistant Professor, English Language and Literatures
    email: ayasha.guerin@ubc.ca

    I research Black social life and ecology in New York City’s floodplain and I write about how abolitionist activism on urban waterfronts has been shaped by diasporic relationships and inter-species entanglements. As an artist, I am invested in art practices that are also forms of activism and believe a responsibility of the research profession is to make knowledge accessible through public actions and exhibitions. My second research project is focused on transnational Black feminism and arts activism in Berlin, Germany, where I have ongoing collective work with CCC (Curating through Conflict with Care) and Black Art Action Berlin. 

  • Kristen Haase, Assistant Professor, Nursing
    Email: kristen.haase@ubc.ca

    My research program centres on supporting older adults as they manage cancer, chronic disease and wellbeing, in domains of symptom science, self-management and technology-enabled interventions. I am committed to conducting my research with people with lived experience (often called patients, but not necessarily always accurate). I aim to partner with community groups who play an integral but often overlooked role in supporting seniors’ wellbeing. While my research is health focused, I am also interested in how older adults manage wellbeing and socialization as they age. I aim to leverage all the tools available to support older adults–not just healthcare resources but technologies and community services.

  • Nina Hewitt
    Nina Hewitt, Assistant Professor, Geography
    Email: nina.hewitt@ubc.ca

    I am a biogeographer specializing in plant dispersal, migration and disturbance ecology in temperate forests and alpine ecosystems, with research in Ontario, BC and the Karakoram-Himalaya. I am interested in human impacts associated with ecosystem fragmentation, altered disturbance regimes, introduced invasive species and climate change, and how to manage these impacts. I also research and develop digital tools for experiential field learning, including virtual and augmented reality tours of alpine, forest and other ecosystems that bring the field to the student (virtual reality) or the student to the field (augmented reality) and complement my own ecological research.

  • Manu Madhav
    Manu Madhav, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
    Email: manu.madhav@ubc.ca

    My work investigates how the brains of animals, including humans, create maps of the external world and represent them as neural activity, how we use these ‘cognitive maps’ to navigate, and how this ability to represent and navigate degrades due to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Our lab (NC4) designs and builds experiments where rats or humans navigate physical or virtual-reality environments. We record neural activity from rats and behavioural responses from both rats and humans. Using analysis techniques from control theory, robotics and machine learning, we extract structure hidden within neural and behavioural data.

  • Matias Margulis
    Matias Margulis, Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Global Affairs
    Email: matias.margulis@ubc.ca

    My research centres on the global governance and politics of food security. Food is recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental human right, yet nearly one billion people suffer from hunger and that number is rising. The impacts of climate change on food production, a new global land rush, and the rising use of foodstuffs to produce renewable energy are all transforming the global food economy and creating new challenges for ensuring equitable access to food. I seek to understand the role of global economic and political institutions in facilitating food insecurity as well as providing potential solutions.

  • Kelly McCormick
    Kelly McCormick, Assistant Professor, History
    Email: kelly.mccormick@ubc.ca

    I am a historian of modern Japanese visual and material culture. My book project, The Cameraman in a Skirt, traces pivotal women who broke into the highly gendered sphere of the photography world to understand the changing relationship of Japanese women and the camera from the 1930s through 1970s. I am the lead investigator on "Behind the Camera: Gender, Power, and Politics in the History of Japanese Photography," a collaborative digital humanities project on the history of Japanese women in photography from the mid-nineteenth century to today.

  • Leora Morris
    Leora Morris, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Film
    Email: lmorri01@mail.ubc.ca

    As a theatre practitioner, my research focuses on the role of the director in creating new works of performance, and is rooted in my view of theatre as a social practice in which the director serves as a kind of “societal acupuncturist.” In addition to developing and directing new texts with playwrights, I direct adaptations, musicals, devised works and theatre for young audiences at theatres across Canada and the US. Most recently, I have begun to create sensory works for children under five and their caregivers, an emerging practice known as Performance for Early Years (PEY).

  • Priti Narayan
    Priti Narayan, Assistant Professor, Geography
    Email: priti.narayan@ubc.ca

    My research and teaching interests center around urban processes and politics, particularly in South Asia. In my primary research project, I use ethnographic and archival methods to investigate how residents negotiate with local politicians, bureaucrats, and activists to preserve citizenship in urban landscapes marked by violent, large-scale slum evictions. All aspects of my academic work are informed by my decade-long association and work with Pennurimai Iyakkam (“Women’s Rights Movement”), a 40-year-old organization that mobilizes female residents of urban poor settlements around the rights to land and housing and access to basic services in Tamil Nadu state, India.

  • Anaïs Orsi, Assistant Professor, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
    Email: aorsi@eoas.ubc.ca

    I am a polar climate scientist, or perhaps I should say a climate detective. Today, the Arctic is the region that is warming the most in the whole planet, but we do not have direct measurements of what the preindustrial climate was in vast areas of this largely un-inhabited region. My work is about finding clues in the natural environment to reconstruct past climates so that we can understand what polar environments looked like before the recent warming period. The tools can be esoteric but the aim is clear: What is the baseline that we measure climate "change" from?

  • Chris Patterson
    Chris Patterson, Assistant Professor, Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
    Email: c.patterson@ubc.ca

    My friends call me Kris. I’m a gender/genre fuzzy dad, a taro-and-potato mash of Filipino and white, and the agnostic grandson of two fervent Christian preachers. My research on race, literature, queer erotics and video games manifested in the books Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific (Rutgers 2018) and Open World Empire: Race, Erotics, and the Global Rise of Video Games (NYU 2020). I also write creative works under my matrilineal name, Kawika Guillermo, like the novels Stamped (2018) and All Flowers Bloom (2020). I've lived in Las Vegas, Seattle, Gimhae, Nanjing, Hong Kong, and now I’m here.

  • Julia Schmidt
    Julia Schmidt, Assistant Professor, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
    Email: julia.schmidt@ubc.ca

    My research aims to understand and improve everyday life for people after brain injury. I am focused on areas including self-awareness, identity, roles and resiliency. I hope to develop health delivery methods and programs to improve the experience and quality of life after brain injury, and build knowledge of the factors that facilitate engagement in life after brain injury.

  • Elise Stickles
    Elise Stickles, Assistant Professor, English Language and Literatures
    Email: elise.stickles@ubc.ca

    I am a cognitive linguist specializing in metaphor analysis; in particular, I study variation in metaphoric usage across linguistic varieties and genres by applying methods from corpus and computational linguistics. Currently, I am focusing on a comparative analysis of metaphors for cancer and COVID-19 in American and Canadian Englishes. I maintain the MetaNet metaphor database, which documents metaphors used in American English and Spanish, and am now expanding it to include Canadian English and French. I obtained my MA and PhD in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley and then completed a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Stanford University before joining UBC as an Assistant Professor in 2019.

  • Bronwen Tate
    Bronwen Tate, Assistant Professor, Creative Writing
    Email: bronwen.tate@ubc.ca

    My areas of interest and accomplishment include poetry, literary criticism, creative nonfiction and scholarship on the teaching and learning of creative writing. I’m currently at work on a book of creative nonfiction that explores the power and traps of stories and storytelling against the backdrop of the final years of an experimental college in crisis. As faculty in UBC’s Educational Leadership stream, I’m also investigating teaching strategies that invite students to experience the deep process and sustained attention necessary for art-making, which are often in tension with social pressures towards efficiency and distraction.

  • Ori Tenenboim
    Ori Tenenboim, Assistant Professor, Journalism, Writing and Media
    Email: ori.tenenboim@ubc.ca

    I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism, Writing and Media. My main areas of interest include digital journalism, political communication and media economics. I investigate how journalists and news organizations blend older and newer norms, behaviours and forms on different platforms, and what elicits user engagement with the news. I also seek to better understand how news organizations can connect with communities to promote shared benefits, such as knowledge gains and increased trust. 

  • Hannah Turner
    Hannah Turner, Assistant Professor, Information
    Email: hannah.turner@ubc.ca

    I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Information, where I research the connection between cultural heritage and technology. I examine systems of classification and categorization in museum ethnographic collections, and experiment with how emerging technologies are used to represent cultural heritage.  

  • Daniel Vigo
    Daniel Vigo, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry | Population and Public Health
    Email: daniel.vigo@ubc.ca

    I am a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist and public health specialist originally from Argentina. I am an Assistant Professor at UBC, a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, an Advisor to the PAHO and the WHO, as well as the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Systems. I have worked in clinical, research, teaching and leadership positions across the public and private sector, in Buenos Aires, Boston and Vancouver. My expertise is in public health, health systems, global mental health, psychiatric epidemiology, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy and e-mental health. I currently work closely with Health Authorities, the BC Ministry of Health and Health Canada to deliver evidence-based mental health and substance use services, with a focus on the most severely ill population with concurrent disorders.

  • Meike Wernicke
    Meike Wernicke, Assistant Professor, Language and Literacy Education
    Email: meike.wernicke@ubc.ca

    I am a settler scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. My research is situated at the intersection of teacher education and language learning and teaching. In my work I focus on the ideological and discursive workings of language, culture and educational policy, and the impact of these on the identities and practices of language learners and teachers. My work involves drawing on critical perspectives and decolonizing approaches to examine how we can prioritize equitable language practices in both initial teacher education and teacher professional learning.

  • Lydia Wytenbroek
    Lydia Wytenbroek, Assistant Professor, Nursing
    Email: lydia.wytenbroek@ubc.ca

    Health and medicine is a lens through which I analyze the global circulation of medical knowledge and power. My research explores American women surgeon and nurse missionaries in twentieth-century Iran and I argue that mission nurses' efforts to promote American nursing in Iran intersected with Reza Shah's modernizing initiatives in a way that served Iranian nationalism and state building. My work is locally grounded, but I use transnational medical encounters in Iran to explore larger issues of global migration, nursing imperialism, the often false dichotomy between religion and professionalization, gender liberation and the power and politics of global health initiatives.  

  • Renren Yang
    Renren Yang, Assistant Professor, Asian Studies
    Email: renren.yang@ubc.ca

    I do research on 20th and 21st-century Chinese literature, film and popular culture, with a focus on the intersection between critical literary and media studies. My work centers on celebrity authorship, interface design, time-travel imagination and surveillance cinema in modern China.

  • Ayaka Yoshimizu
    Ayaka Yoshimizu, Assistant Professor, Asian Studies
    Email: ayaka.yoshimizu@ubc.ca

    I am Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Asian Studies, and I also teach arts courses for the UBC-Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Programs. My research is concerned with transpacific migration and cultures, memories and senses, and performance ethnography. I teach Japanese studies in Asian Studies, and Canadian and transpacific studies in the UBC-Rits Programs. My position makes my curriculum development work uniquely multidisciplinary, as I constantly move across national borders as I teach two distinct audiences in the two programs. My pedagogical projects are centred around decolonializing teaching and learning and promoting social justice in and beyond classroom. 

Previous GC Leading Scholars Cohorts

If you have questions about Green College or the Green College Leading Scholars Program, please feel free to contact either gc.principal@ubc.ca (Mark Vessey, Principal) or gc.programs@ubc.ca