Graduate fellows

Jillien Hone, 2016-2017

Jillien Hone is a SJRI MA Fellow for the 2016-2017 year. Jillien holds a Baccalaureate in Arts Honours from the University of Guelph, where she majored in International Development Studies with an area of emphasis in Gender and Development, and minored in Hispanic Studies. One of her most significant undergraduate social justice experiences was a month-long, intensive work placement at a local NGO in Dharamsala, India. She conducted research on the Tibetan human rights situation, especially the treatment of political prisoners, and recorded these testimonies for a local and international audience.

Jillien is currently researching new foundations and providing project proposal/report support for a Canadian non-profit organization, which does social justice and people-centered development in Central America and Mexico, and works with migrant workers in Canada. She also co-facilitates anti-oppressive community programming, and assists with community outreach as an operations team member at another grassroots organization in her home community.

Jillien will pursue her graduate education in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University with the intention of strengthening the relationship between her research and activism. She is currently interested in researching methods of individual and community-led healing for survivors of social injustices and inequities, such as the violence that women, Indigenous people, refugees, newcomers, immigrants, and migrant workers often disproportionately confront.

Alaina Interisano, 2015-2016

Alaina Interisano was a SJRI Fellow for the 2015-2016 year. Ms. Interisano has completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in Sociology, concentrating in Critical Animal Studies, at Brock University, where she is currently enrolled in the Critical Sociology Master of Arts program. Her MA research is studying the practice of vivisection in universities for educational purposes, specifically how this practice is contextually taught and how pedagogy affects students’ perceptions of vivisection and this industry’s use of non-human animals.

Within mainstream schooling a proposed hidden curriculum is used to transmit and reproduce social and scientific narratives that normalize the procedures and uses of non-human animals for human purposes. Alaina will apply critical pedagogy to analyze the hidden curriculum present in the education of vivisection in university settings, and how students are acculturated and socialized to justify the experiments performed on non-human animals. She will employ the sociological frameworks of critical pedagogy, post-humanist theory, animal liberationist theories, critical discourse analysis, and post-structuralism to examine the degree to which latent educational discourses in vivisection are socially produced to reflect students’ perceptions of animal research.

Mark Omiecinski, 2015-2016

Mark Omiecinski was a SJRI Fellow for the 2015-2016 year. Mr.Omiecinski hold an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Brock University with a concentration in Criminology. He is currently enrolled in the Critical Sociology Masters of Arts program at Brock University. His MA thesis is concerned with exploring accessibility to existing harm reduction services in the Niagara region, as well as barriers to such services that may arise.

Ideally, through identifying best practices and barriers to harm reduction practices, and by providing evidence for their efficacy, this project will provide evidence for the continuation and expansion of such services in the Niagara region and beyond. This research will run contrary to conventional political opinions and provide an evidence based foundation to add to the already considerable research supporting harm reduction as an integral piece of a comprehensive solution meant to tackle poverty and addiction. This project will be performed using an intersectional feminist framework to understand the complex ways in which class, race, gender, sexuality, and a myriad of other factors interact in relation to harm reduction service provision and accessibility.

Mr.Omiecinski thanks the Social Justice Research Institute for this additional funding as it may open up research opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible.

MJ Deschamps, 2014-2015

MJ Deschamps was a SJRI Fellow for the 2014-2015 year.  Ms. Deschamps holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Carleton University.  Her MA thesis is looking at themes of socio-spatial exclusion and urban renewal/gentrification in the neoliberal city through an exploration of the types of pressures social service workers/program managers at community health centres in Ottawa, ON are currently experiencing in terms of distribution of health and human services to vulnerable populations.

With the geography of Canadian cities becoming increasingly urban, and major gentrification projects in central, inner-city neighbourhoods taking place across the country, it becomes important, from a social justice perspective, to understand how growing privatization of the (formerly public) city under a neoliberal, neoconservative political economy is creating new social and geographical barriers for the vulnerable/socially disadvantaged populations who have traditionally occupied (and accessed community health services within) neighbourhoods currently undergoing gentrification.

James McBride, 2014-2015

James McBride was a SJRI Fellow for the 2014-2015 year. Mr. McBride completed his undergraduate studies in Ecological Restoration at Trent University, earning both a College Diploma and Bachelor of Science (Hons.). He is currently enrolled in the Social Justice and Equity Studies Master of Arts program at Brock University.

Mr. McBride’s research interests revolve around the production of particular ‘natures’ and their discourses, especially with respect to how particular ‘natures’ inform our relations with earth-others, the furred, scaly, winged, leggy and leafy beings that we share the Earth with. Not surprisingly, he enjoy’s a particular interest in the discourse of Invasive Species and its discursive precursors of pests, vermin, weeds, and monsters. James is hoping to explore and create a genealogy of the discourse of Invasive Species either as his current thesis project or as a personal project in the future.

Outside of academia, James enjoys hiking and bike riding, as well as reading outdoors, where he enjoys prose and poetry. He also has a passion for
Wildlife Rehabilitation, having worked and volunteered in the field since 2012, and hopes to return to the field in some capacity in the future.

Mr. McBride would like to thank SJRI for all the opportunities granted to him, which he fully intends to make the most of!

Blaire Hinsperger-Fox, 2013-2014

Blaire Hinsperger-Fox is a graduate of the social justice and equity studies program. Her major research paper is titled “Harm Reduction and Social Justice: Examination of Discourse Surrounding Safe Injection Sites in Toronto”. The mrp contributes to social justice through providing a discussion of safe injection sites and harm reduction in Canada through a feminist intersectional lens including discussion on gender, race, class and ability. Throughout her paper she argues the following: despite research evidence suggesting that safe injection sites save lives through preventing overdose and injection related disease, among other benefits, and that there is a need for safe injection sites in Toronto there are still several barriers. It is argued that safe injection sites are a human right and improve the quality of life of marginalized populations.

Although it is unlikely that a safe injection site will open in Toronto soon, public support has been growing and discussions are being had as people start to question the war on drugs and recognize that people who use drugs are persons deserving of care.