Current Students | Past Students

Andrea Choi

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

A Choi

A Choi

Research Interests

Racism in education; North American universities; alternative pedagogical approaches; the production of geographical knowledge; Critical Race Theory; Canadian nationalism; place.

Current Research

The slow-growing demographic of racialized geographers has raised a number of vital questions about the nature of the discipline. Despite a steady increase in visible minority populations in both the United States and Canada, the practice of geography and the bodies of geographers remain predominantly white. For my doctoral research, I am examining the relationship between the historical/colonial origins of the discipline of geography and the evolution of anti-racist geography in the US and Canada. During this research, I will illustrate the factors perpetuating racism within geography by investigating the factors allowing for the continued weight of whiteness in the practice of geography. By tracing of the progression/regression of geographic thought through the oral histories of geographers of colour engaged in anti-racist geography, I seek to provide the lineages between individual geographers and contemporary understandings of the role of race within the practice of geography.


Nel Coloma-Moya

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

N Coloma-Moya

N Coloma-Moya

Research Interests

My research interests lie within the fields of social, cultural, and political geography and cover a range of topics including racism/anti-racism, citizenship, institutional geographies, geopolitics, and human rights strategies.  My Masters work examined the experiences of racism of second generation Canadians of colour and their influence on feelings of belonging in Canada. In my doctoral research I look at the institutionalized anti-racism initiatives of organizations and the factors that influence their effectiveness. Combining a range of qualitative methods, I assess the factors that influence the strategic directions and decisions of the organizations through an examination of three different research sites and their respective policy interventions. The research contributes to geographical knowledge of the processes of institutional social change at a range of sites from the local to the international. By positioning institutionalized anti-racism initiatives as the focus of study, this research fills a gap in geographical literature in anti-racism.

Alexandra Giancarlo

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Research Interests

A sample of my research interests include critical race studies, the American South, the negotiation of identity in public spaces and its connection to citizenship, qualitative research methodologies, mobility, and disability studies.

My Master’s research focused on the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery of the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, an area that experienced profound devastation in the wake of the storm and came to epitomize the racial and socio-economic disparities in aid and recovery efforts. My doctoral research focuses on the racial politics and cultural activism of Louisiana Creoles with particular emphasis given to their practice of trail riding (recreational horseback riding), which I contend functions as a highly visible display of their rural heritage and constitutes a locus of identity for Creoles. I have also edited and authored publications in the field of critical disability studies as well as disability-related policy.


Shannon, David, Alexandra Giancarlo, and Mary Ann McColl. 2015. “More than voting booths: Accessibility of electoral campaigns for people with disabilities in Ontario.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 4 (1): 89-110.

Carney, Jeffrey A., Dylan Wade, Alexandra Giancarlo. 2014. “Five Feet High and Rising: Barriers to Implementing Solutions in Coastal Louisiana.” Proceedings of the 45th Annual

Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association New Orleans, Louisiana.

Colten, Craig E., Jenny Hay, and Alexandra Giancarlo. 2012. “Community Resilience and Oil Spills in Coastal Louisiana.” Ecology and Society 17 (3): 5.

Colten, Craig E., Alexandra Giancarlo. 2011. “Losing Resilience on the Gulf Coast: Hurricanes and Social Memory.” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, July-August.

Giancarlo, Alexandra, David Shannon, and Audrey Kobayashi. “A New Road for African Nova Scotians With Disabilities: Some Possibilities Arising From The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities,” submitted to the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (2015).

Shannon, David, Alexandra Giancarlo and Ulysses Patola. “We Were All Equal In The End: Equality, Dignity, Vulnerability And Assisted Suicide In Canada Today,” submitted to the Journal of Law and Equality (2015).


Nemoy Lewis

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Nemoy Lewis

Nemoy Lewis

Research Interests

I’m a fourth year PhD student in Geography, and my doctoral research analyzes the current foreclosure crisis and how it has affected the lives of racialized people, low-income families, and economically disadvantaged communities in two of the hardest hit cities across the United States: Chicago, Illinois and Jacksonville, Florida. To further the work that I have already undertaken in these two cities, I intend to situate the foreclosure crisis as the most recent installment in the long history of racialized inequality in the American housing market. It is my goal that this research may ultimately contribute to the eradication of racial inequalities within the U.S. housing market.

My research interests include: Housing, Social Justice, Critical Race Studies, Urban Policy, Economic Geography and Political Economy.


Sean Patterson

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

S Patterson

S Patterson

Research Interests

From 2009 to 2012, I completed my master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Kipfer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Geography, undertaking a comprehensive study of the industrial cleaning industry in the Toronto and Hamilton regions. In this project, working with Dr. Audrey Kobayashi and Dr. John Holmes, I seek to examine the advocacy efforts by union and non-union organizations to improve working conditions for immigrant workers. I am particularly interested in employment conditions in the cleaning industry and the union and non-union strategies, and government policies addressing issues related to precarious employment and the service sector.
My areas of academic research interest are work, labour and employment and precarious work, and industrial cleaning and the union movement and government policies.


  1. Ph.D. Research (Queen’s University – Geography)
    Supervisors: Dr. Audrey Kobayashi and Dr. John Holmes
    Advocating for Immigrant Workers in Toronto and Hamilton’s Industrial Cleaning Industry
  2. M.A. Research (York University- Environmental Studies)
    Supervisor: Dr. Stefan Kipfer
    An Empirical Case Study of the Workers’ Action Centre: Re-regulating Ontario’s Labour Market from the bottom-up.My master’s research employed an empirical case study of the Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto to explore how labour markets are being reshaped and legislation strengthened to mobilize workers. My research demonstrated that, in this instance, a nonconventional workers’ organization was instrumental in achieving improved employment standards for precarious workers. My key finding was that colour-blindness to the processes of class exploitation on the part of organized labour hindered the development of solidarity between temporary workers and their permanent co-workers at the scale of the individual workplace. It also hinders non-unionized workforces developing and strengthening relationships at a more macro scale. The race/class dynamic is crucial for labour organizations to take into consideration when attempting to organize workplaces.


Rebecca Pero

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:


Research Interests

I completed my Master’s degree in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in 2011; my Ph.D. work is a continuation of my Master’s project, entitled “The New Local Governance of Immigration in Canada: Regulation and Responsibility.” I am more specifically interested in immigrant perceptions and experiences of immigration policies, immigration policies in practice in small- to medium-sized Canadian cities and the Local Immigration Partnership model. In addition, I have conducted research and analysis in the areas of surveillance, Latino geographies and border studies and am attentive to issues of social justice and activist methods of research.

Research Contributions

Pero, Rebecca. 2015. Book Review: Liquid surveillance: A conversation by Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon, Polity Press: Malden, MA, 2013; vii + 152 pp., $12.95 pbk (ISBN 9780745662831). New Media and Society, 17(3): 478-480.

Pero, Rebecca and Harrison Smith. 2014. “In the ‘Service’ of Migrants: The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project and the Economization of Migrant Labor in Canada.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(2): 401–411.

Pero, Rebecca. 2014. Book Review: Immigrant settlement policy in Canadian municipalities edited by Erin Tolley, and Robert Young, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, QC and Kingston, ON, 2011; viii + 331 pp., pbk $29.95 (ISBN 9780773538887). The Canadian Geographer, 58(2): e34-e35.

Research Reports

Egan, Rylan. 2014. Project Evaluation: Enhancing Registered Nurse Job Readiness and Patient Safety Outcomes Through Clinical Simulation report. Produced by the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen’s University for the Queen’s School of Nursing. (Researcher).

Qayyum, Adnan and Meyer Burstein. 2012. Organizational Best Practices
of Local Immigration Partnerships. Welcoming Communities Initiative. Produced for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (Researcher).

Non-Refereed Contributions

Pero, Rebecca and Harrison Smith. 2014. A Five-finger Discount: The      Governance of International Migration and Biometric Information-sharing Regimes. Conference Presentation. International Political Science Association World Congress, Montreal, QC. (Co-Presenter).

– Conference presentation, International Political Science Association World Congress, July 2014. Session: “The Technologization of Mobility Governance: Trends and Concerns.” Organizers: Martin Geiger, Carleton University and William Walters, Carleton University.

Pero, Rebecca. 2013. Biometrics and the Economization of Migrant Labour in

Canada. Conference Presentation. Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. (Presenter).

– Conference presentation, Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, April 2013. Session: “Borders, Surveillance, and the New Politics of International Mobility.” Organizers: Harrison Smith, University of Toronto and Martin Geiger, Carleton University.

Pero, Rebecca. 2012. The New Local Governance of Immigration in Canada:

Regulation and Responsibility. Conference Presentation. Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, New York City, NY. (Presenter).

– Conference presentation, Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, February 2012. Session: “Non-Metropolitan Regional Development and Migration.” Organizer: Tim Elrick, University of Erlangen.

Teaching Experience

Geography 250: Geographies of Canada with Dr. Marcus Létourneau (Winter Term 2015)

Geography 229: Place, Space, Culture, and Social Life with Dr. George Lovell (Fall Term 2014)

Geography 257: Geographies of Middle America with Dr. George Lovell (Winter Term 2014)

Geography 254: The Caribbean in a Globalizing World with Kay-Ann Williams (Fall Term 2013)

Geography 229: Place, Space, Culture, and Social Life with Kay-Ann Williams (Winter Term 2013)

Geography 101: Intro to Human Geography with Drs. Anne Godlewska and Joyce Davidson (Fall Term 2012)

Geography 101: Intro to Human Geography with Dr. Giselle Valarezo (Winter Term 2012)

Geography 258: Geographies of South America with Dr. George Lovell (Fall Term 2011)

Sociology 301: Urban Societies, Space and Culture with Dr. David Murakami Wood (Winter Term 2011)

Sociology 362: Cultural Studies with Dr. Annette Burfoot (Fall Term 2010)


The Bowen Graduate Fellowship in Human Geography (2015-2016)

SGPS Student Contribution Award (2015)

Queen’s University Peer Leadership Award Nomination (2015)

Queen’s University Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award Nomination (2015)

Senior Women of Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) Graduate Student Award of Merit Nomination (2015)

R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship (2014-2015)

The Bowen Graduate Fellowship in Human Geography (2014-2015)

School of Graduate Studies’ Student Advisor Dean’s Award (2014-2015)

School of Graduate Studies’ Dean’s Award (2013-2014)

Robert Charles Wallace Graduate Award (2013-2014)

Geography Exceptional Merit Award (2013-2014)

School of Graduate Studies’ Dean’s Award (2012-2013)

Queen’s Entrance Tuition Award (2011-2012)

Queen’s Graduate Award (2009-Present)

Acknowledgement of Achievement in Conversational Spanish at St. Lawrence College, Kingston, ON (2008)


Ronald J Roy

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

R Roy

R Roy

Research Interests

Recent global flows of people and culture bring new challenges to citizenship and belonging. Negotiations of identities are taking place as people migrate to new cities where experiences of exclusion challenge the relevance of social justice. I focus on people’s social constructions of difference and how these differentiations impact people’s lives as they move through places in the city.

My current research considers the experiences of recently arrived French-speaking people in minority Francophone cities in Canada. In the French places of the city – such as community centres, schools, health centres, and Francophone organizations – race and language differences are foremost in challenging newcomer “integration” and how members of Francophone minority communities imagine themselves and the world around them.

My subsequent research involves the expanded use of mobilities in qualitative methods and looking at how new media technologies impact migration.


Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). Acadian Nationalism on parade: The diversity of National Acadian Day. In Celebrating Canada: National holidays, commemoration and identity politics, edited by R. Blake and M. Hayday.

Roy, R.J. with Godlewska A, Leger A, Adjei J, Schaefli L, Finlay J, Whetstone S, and Massey J. (Forthcoming). Place Matters in Learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). The emergence of urban cosmopolitanism: Cultural diversity as commodity in everyday consumption landscapes.

Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). “Walking Westboro: Examining opposition to neighbourhood intensification in Ottawa, Ontario.”

Roy, R.J. 2013. Book review: Cities in translation : intersections of language and memory.” Urban Studies 50 (5).

Roy, R.J. 2012. “A review of Dix ans d’études urbaines au Québec. Bilan et perspectives d’avenir.” Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 57 (1).

Conference Presentations:

Roy, RJ. 2014. Francophone Places of Inclusion and the Politics of French-Canadian Identity. At the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies Canada: Place, Space, and the Politics of Identity conference. Toronto, Ontario.

Roy, RJ. 2012. Les traits et les formes de l’oppression que rencontrent les immigrants francophones dans les petites villes en Ontario et au Nouveau-Brunswick. At Métropolis. Toronto, Ontario.

Roy, RJ. 2012. The types and forms of oppression faced by Francophone immigrants in small cities in Ontario and New Brunswick. At the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. New York, New York.

Media Interviews:

2012 “Déclin du français au Canada.” Interview concerning Statistics Canada’s report on language use in Canada on Y a pas deux matins pareils. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

2012  “Compressions: recherche sur l’immigration?” Interview concerning Metropolis funding cuts on Y a pas deux matins pareils. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

2011  “La francophonie entre deux communautés.” Interview concerning linguistic communities in small cities on Grands Lacs Café. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


Ricardo Smalling

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Ricardo has degrees in Geology, Natural Resources Management, and Law. His PhD research focuses on indigenous rights in the Canadian constitutional context with an emphasis on its applicability to non-renewable resource extraction. As part of this research work, and more broadly, his research is concerned with issues of race and the underlying structural biases that indigenous persons in Canada face in the legal system when trying to vindicate their rights. His research also touches on aspects of identity and the role the law plays in shaping identities.


Cheryl Sutherland

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

C Sutherland

C Sutherland

Research Interests

My research interests include: social geographies of race and gender; geographies of social justice, citizenship, and human rights; place and the construction of community; emotional geographies; activist geographies; and smaller city geographies. I am particularly interested in the ways in which racialized women experience smaller Canadian cities and my PhD research will explore how racialized women negotiate and contest their identity(ies) within this geographic location.