Current Students

Si's First Friday GroupSi currently supervises and mentors a variety of graduate students across a handful of disciplines. 

Her students attend a meeting one Friday a month as part of the "First Friday Research Group" (on the right, a photo showing Si and some of her students).

To read more information on the methodology and practice behind the FFRG visit the Study with Si page.

Below is a sampling of some of Si's current graduate students, who they are and what they're studying.

Janice Forde (2014)

I've lived in the Yukon for more than 20 years and left my home in Whitehorse to attend UNBC in September of 2011. Having completed my coursework for my MSW, I will be heading back north in July. By then I hope to have my thesis proposal approved and my committee in place so I'm able to continue my research after returning home. It's been quite the adventure, packing my stuff away, renting my home, and making the long trip with 3 dogs and a cat - then dealing with the challenge of settling into a new and unknown environment. I can't believe that I made it through and the journey is almost complete.

I'm a feminist who has spent much of my career working with women survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For a number of years I provided trauma counseling at a specialized victim services unit in Whitehorse and most recently worked for a Yukon First Nation in a more generalized capacity. My choice of thesis topic grew out of this experience and my many questions about my role and the role of all white counselors, working with Aboriginal people. Here at UNBC I explored the literature on historical trauma among Aboriginal people and the ways in which personal, collective, and inter-generational grief and loss are interconnected. I cam e to an understanding of the severe limitations of the individual trauma model when working with marginalized people in general, and Aboriginal people in particular, and the necessity of referencing historical injustice when working with such multidimensional trauma.

My research involves interviews with dominant culture (white) trauma counselors to determine how they think about Aboriginal trauma and what their trauma treatment consists of. I was to determine when and how white practitioners can be helpful in addressing Aboriginal trauma (which has decidedly political dimensions), and when their training, understanding and trauma treatment falls short of the anti-oppressive social work values we want to inform our practice. Working with Si has proved such a positive experience and provided me with the help and encouragement needed to make it through the rough spots.

WinofskyEllen A. Winofsky (2013)

I am a regional student located in Quesnel, BC. My thesis topic is an analysis of the experiences of female social workers that live and work in rural and remote communities who have faced bankruptcy after completing their educational requirements, and who have worked in the care work field—this study will examine how their experiences have affected them both personally and professionally.

The purpose of my research is to capture the authentic experiences of women who been faced with bankruptcy after having completed post-secondary education and after having secured a position in the care work field.

Joyce Henley (2013)

I have my BSc in Psychology from UNBC and am therefore in the 2 year MSW program.  I'm just finishing up my first year after doing my first practicum with UNBC Counselling Services. I have two part time jobs at the university.  One as the Office Manager with the Institute for Social Research and Evaluation the other is Wellness Program Coordinator at the UNBC Wellness Centre.  Both jobs allow and demand that I practice my own brand of creativity on a daily basis.
My MSW thesis will be focused on research with female street level sex workers.  I would like to look at the factors that encourage women to stay in the sex trade as well as the factors that encourage women to exit.  My research will specifically look at the roles that other women play in the lives of sex workers...whether that means pressuring them to stay in or supporting them when they decide to exit.

Kathryn Ens, RSW, MSW (c) (2014)

Kathryn is committed to blending spirituality and social work. Kathryn is bow-WOW over dogs. Words she lives by, "have money will travel". She is taking the scenic route to finishing her masters. Compassion, kindness and forgiveness are her spiritual principals. She is tenacious, loyal and a Capricorn.

Kuruye-AleleSomina Kuruye-Alele (2013)

Somina is researching the topic of Mothers and Daughters disconnection and homelessness in Prince George. I'm exploring the kind of relationships Mothers have with their daughter and that daughters have with their mothers, to see what prompted the disconnections, and on the other hand the aspect of homeless mothers and daughters in Prince George.

Tasha Ahlstrom (2013)

My name is Tasha Ahlstrom and I have been a graduate student of Si's since 2009.  I am almost completing my thesis entitled  "The virtual cup of coffee" - social work, telehealth and cancer patients in Northern BC.

My recent philosophy of life comes from my new favourite poem  "I will not die and unlived life"  ~ Dawn Markova

I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

I love to travel and enjoy fresh fruit and be by water; but large commitments can have me shy away from this. As such, I am even more dedicated to completing my thesis.

Some tips I learned during this process:

  1. Whenever you come across a good quote in an journal article, write it down and reference it. Keep them in a electronic paper and when you get several, put them in categories.
  2. When working on your thesis when you have the OMG this is the last thing I want to do feeling, say to yourself - I am only going to work 15 minutes each day.  Make that promise to yourself.  At the end of the week you will have worked at least 2 hours (as often 15 minutes turns into 20 or 30).
  3. Follow Si's advice! I.e. Just give her something - it doesn't have to be perfect.  This truly helps you feel good.
  4. Go physically to the graduate office at UNBC as they are very helpful with keeping you on track with papers and forms required for UNBC and thus it lowers your stress and SI's frustration.

I hope to be on Si's graduate student wall before the end of 2013.... send me positive thoughts for this accomplishment.

Jacqueline Nobiss

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” online fitness forum After recently coming across this quote in a fitness forum, a great epiphany came upon me in that so many challenges we face on a regular basis become the change-makers in our lives.  Education is no different.

I took a leave from my MSW at UNBC a number of years ago and eventually withdrew to accommodate the challenges that arose in my life.  Although I have since accomplished a Master’s in Business Administration as well as additional ‘schooling’ from First Nations traditional knowledge keepers, the MSW has remained this ominous, unfinished cloud lingering above me and continuing to call out to me.

My desire is to now return full circle and complete the MSW with a focus on Making the Invisible—Visible.  My research will be a return to work I previously touched on, where I would explore Aboriginal women’s experiences with their two-spirit identity.  The importance of this work is multi-disciplinary at best, exploring history and traditional areas of Aboriginal peoples, gender identity, feminism and community constructs of identity in the sociological realm.    At the heart of it, this work comes down to the near-absence of Aboriginal women’s stories, lives, and experiences from the writings on two spirit peoples.

This is about identity.  Without identity, the knowledge and teachings of two spirit Aboriginal women will continue to be at risk of being erased and forgotten.  With identity, the stories of the women will serve as a documented resource that brings a newfound awareness and a gendered and cultural value to the field of Social Work and other disciplines alike.

Bernadette Bernadette RidleyRidley

My name is Bernadette Ridley and I have been working as a counsellor in the social work field for approximately 18 years.  Most of the counselling that I have done is with women that have been abused at any point in their life.  My biggest passion is working with women that have experienced childhood sexual abuse.  Likewise, my thesis interest is exploring the long-term relational impacts of childhood sexual abuse.  I am currently doing the Master of Social Work courses and I hope to begin the process of writing my thesis this year. 
I love quotes.  One of my favourites “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  Ghandi. That is what I am striving for.

Adam Calvert

I am transcribing, writing and after a few bumps in the road am continuing to write my thesis. The work is titled "Child Welfare: Compatibility of Administrative and Educative Supervision ". I live in Surrey, work in Vancouver with the PGT. I am a part-time student and am trying to complete my thesis, after getting the wind knocked out of me by having my sponsor for MCFD back out on me after being approved by MCFD to complete my research. I believe this happened because I left MCFD and as long as I worked for them they felt that they could control my research and then I left for another "company" they pulled their approval.

I am now transitioning from a qualitative (interview six to 12 people) to an auto-ethnographic/historical review approach to my research. I appreciate the guidance, wisdom and push from Si. I appreciate being able to get ideas from Daniel I had one of my wonderful classmates/colleagues interview me - EW thank you very much, I am now transcribing the interview. I have found that if you video tape it and use Youtube Closed Captioning it makes it easier to transcribe. I have felt like giving up a couple of times and found that the encouragement I relieved from the Friday groups has helped, pull me back from the brink. I am excited about moving forward with the writing and am in the full swing again, so Si can look forward to the progress again.

I think that if you regularly attend the Friday group and follow through with your commitments to Si and the group you will be one happy person. I have included the photo of me wearing an In-N-Out Burger hat as I felt that it would be a good reminder of why I need to finish my thesis. So I can go to In-N-Out Burger as a reward. They are mostly found in Southern California and that is where I will be going.

Transcription to Si by September 15, I will have my draft in to Si by middle of October 2013 and I will progress from there.