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Current Student Bios


2014 Student Bios

Kirsten Berry

BACKGROUND: Kirsten holds a Joint Major Bachelor’s degree specializing in Political Science and Development Studies from St Francis Xavier University (St. FX). She has experience in both the non-profit and public sector. She spent a summer as an intern at Farm Radio International, a non-profit dedicated to working with radio broadcasters across Africa to fight poverty and food insecurity. After completing her undergraduate studies Kirsten was a Communications Associate with WaterAid Canada, an organization that strives to provide clean water, access to sanitation, and improved hygiene to the world’s poorest communities. Most recently Kirsten joined the public sector working with the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) at Public Safety Canada.

Research Interests:  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Cross-Cultural Communication, Advertising and Consumer Culture, Popular Culture & Media

Professional Aspirations: To pursue a career in corporate communications brining her background in Development Studies into her work to help businesses create a positive global impact. No she does not care how naïve this may sound, she is 23 years old and way too young to be that cynical already.

Interesting Fact:  Kirsten has been fortunate to have the opportunity to live in multiple cities across Canada. She was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and spent a year living in Kingston, Ontario. She travelled around the East Coast while completing her undergraduate degree in Nova Scotia. After Antigonish, home of St. FX North Rustico, Prince Edward Island is her favorite place to visit on the East Coast having made many happy summer memories there. Now that she is living on the West coast she is certain that it doesn’t matter where you live in Canada, this country is full of some of the greatest people and cities in the world.

Why did you choose this programme? The opportunity to study at one of the top schools in Canada and then in China, one of the super-powers in today’s globalized society, was impossible to pass up.  Being able to have the experience of working and learning in both of these amazing countries is invaluable. This program challenges Kirsten everyday by forcing her to consider and re-consider the complex issues, ideas, and relations that shape the world we live in.  It almost goes without saying that getting to live in Beijing and find time to travel throughout Asia will be nothing short of incredible as well.


Beatrice Chao

BACKGROUND: Beatrice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Ming Chuan University and has worked as a radio programmer at a radio station in Taiwan.

Research Interests: Popular Culture and Media; Cross-culture communication; East Asian Culture; Development of Eastern and Western Culture communications.

Professional Aspirations: Beatrice would like to find a career working in media. She is still considering many possibilities.

Interesting Fact:  Beatrice was born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Vancouver. She grew up participating in several extracurricular activities such as brownies, joined swim clubs; figure skating, snowboarding, has attended air cadets. Beatrice enjoyed working as a volunteer in Morocco, Africa over a year ago and plans to go back some day as well as travel the world. She is a dog lover and is also a twin.

Why did you choose this programme: Asia is rising in different aspects, understanding it is extremely important. The opportunity to study globally is a challenge but allows us to view the world and have a better understanding of communication in both East and Western perspectives.


Shawn Jones:

BACKGROUND: Shawn holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Film Studies and Japanese Language & Literature from the University of Georgia. Upon graduating, he moved to South Korea where he worked as an ESL teacher. Additionally, he worked as a co-host on two national radio stations in South Korea, where he discussed film, music, and literature.

Research Interests: Popular Culture & Media; Death Rituals; Sexuality and Communication; Cross-Cultural Communication; East Asian Media & Culture.

Professional Aspirations: Shawn hopes to continue work in academia.

Interesting Fact: Although Shawn is an American citizen, he was born in Germany and spent part of his childhood in South Korea. He enjoys living in different countries, as opposed to simply traveling to them, because it allows him to have a home base from which he can explore the culture more deeply. He has lived in Germany, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Plus, he likes weird food.

Why did you choose this programme?: I felt that this program combined my interests of East Asia and my knowledge of the West, and also broadened my undergraduate studies to include other forms of communications in addition to film. Likewise, the opportunity to spend a year in Canada and a year in China was one I could not resist.


Hatty Liu

BACKGROUND: Hatty received a BA (Hon.) in History from McGill University and was a visiting student at the School of History at Renmin University of China for the 2012-2013 school year. She worked as a research assistant at McGill's Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) for the major research initiative on the development and structure of the IOW global economy (environment, disease, conflict and migration stream) and the Franco-Quebec collaborative research initiative on human bondage in the IOW from the sixteenth century to today. She also works as a freelance writer/editor and (formerly) a theatre arts teacher.
Research interests: Transnational journalism; journalistic practices paradigms; reading the news as text; Chinese literature and contemporary literary culture; modernity and urban development in China; postcolonial societies; the moral economy of rural agrarian and urban working classes.
Professional aspirations: To work in transnational news media in China and eventually create a journal or independent media project on Chinese urban affairs; add ethnic, cultural and gender diversity to news representations; make positive contributions to the journalism profession.
Interesting facts: Hatty once came in third at an international accordion competition. Also, she used to work as a cake decorator and likes to recreate Japanese woodblock prints on cake.
Why choose this programme: Having worked so many years in journalism and around journalists, Hatty has developed a lot of thoughts about what events and ideas gets included in the news and how journalism is most people's first line of knowledge about other nations, their history, their problems, and their culture for better or worse. However, she lacked a framework for assessing the significance of these thoughts and for articulating these thoughts constructively. This is something she believes she ought to work on if she wants to make positive change in the industry, create her own publication, or simply become a better journalist.


Wei(Sarah) Huang

BACKGROUND: Wei holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Economic and Trade from the Huaqiao University at Quanzhou. Wei was an exchange student to the Tatong University in Taiwan in 2010. Currently, Wei is doing her Master’s degree at the Communication University of China, and is majoring in Media Education.

Research Interest: Cross-cultural Communication; Media Education; Globalization and Transformation of Cultures; Popular Culture and National Soft Power.

Professional Aspirations: As Wei is keen on the splendid cultures our Chinese possess, she decides to pursue a career related to media and cultures.

Interesting Face: Wei loves movies, especially VFX, cult and magical fantasy movies, i.e. The Pirates of Caribbean and the movies produced by both Marvels and DC. She has learned pencil sketch for 5 years and violin for 4 years. Being a bookworm, she is crazy about fantasy novels, like the Lord of the Rings, detective novels, like Sherlock Holmes, magic realism literature, like Мастер и Маргарита, and martial arts fiction, like Dragon Oath. Also, she enjoys traveling. “You can either travel or read, but either your body or soul must be on the way.” (— Roman Holiday) This is what she believes and what she tries to practice in her life.

Why did you choose this program?: The world is under the trend of globalization, like the Uruguayan economist Enrique V. Iglesia said, “The South is aware of the North and the North is aware of the South, but the South is not aware of itself”, Wei wants to go outsides of China to see her motherland more objectively, and hopes to gain a new perspective to consider and analyze how could people from different backgrounds communicate and negotiate with each other more effectively as well. Moreover, this is a god-given chance to execute my life credo.



Yu Song

BACKGROUND: Yu graduated from Sichuan University with a B.A. in Chinese Language & Literature. During the undergraduate, he completed a thesis on three formation models of public opinion in China, and did his undergraduate thesis to analyze new expressions in Chinese from a sociolinguistic perspective. Currently, Yu is doing his Master’s degree in International Journalism, at Communication University of China. Yu has done several part-time jobs and interesting internships - as an assistant in a governmental department, a researcher in a private enterprise, a teacher in a language training center, a journalist in a broadcasting station, and an editor in a television station.

Research Interests: Globalization and Power Shifts; Cross-cultural Communication; Media Institutions and Communication Policies; Public Opinion within China and in the Context of Globalization; New Media, etc.

Professional Aspirations: Though considering many possibilities, Yu thinks that to pursue a career in media might be the top choice. He wishes to present the world in a globalized perspective and build a bridge between different cultures. Besides, he would love to work in a corporation related to communication, or later return to academic life as well.

Interesting Fact: Yu loves learning English, and loves watching English TV series as a way to relax as well as to learn. He participated in several English proficiency contests back in China. This provided him with a lot of great opportunities to see the real world, including a part-time job as a teacher and an executive assistant at a language training center during his undergraduate life. Interestingly, he and one of his students won prizes at the same time.

Why did you choose this program? In an increasingly globalized world, acquiring an international vision is vitally important. Canada is an attractive country with so much diversity, which I believe will create a favorable environment for my further education and life experience. As for this double degree program at SFU, I do appreciate that I can meet people from diversified educational background and cultural environment, and my academic capacity and critical thinking can be enhanced through the academic training and field placement.


Amanda Liao

BACKGROUND: Amanda holds a B.A. in History from McGill University, with her areas of study ranging from Ancient European to Modern East Asian history. During her undergraduate career, she interned in Johor Bahru, Malaysia with several non-profit organizations, working with mentally and physically disabled youth. These positions included teaching, as well as community outreach programs to foster participation, volunteering and engagement in the local developmental disabilities community. Amanda also has previous experience in the tourism industry, working as an Office and Marketing Coordinator for Vancouver Photowalks, an educational photography tour company.


Research Interests: Internet and Media Policy; Social Media and Internet Activism; Popular Media & Culture; Neoliberal Globalization; Communication and Social Justice

Professional Aspirations: Amanda hopes to pursue a career that fosters cross-cultural dialogue and understanding in the global community.

Interesting Fact: Amanda is a photography enthusiast; though she’s stumbled through dark rooms dabbling in black & white film, she prefers the convenience of digital photography. Linked to this is her love for photography post-processing and editing. She is also passionate about almost anything ink and paper, including watercolor painting, mixed media art, illustration and typography. Other pursuits include being mediocre at yoga, pretending to have a great sense of fashion, and food (eating it, more so than making it).

Any time off from school or work is ideally spent travelling for Amanda, who has found her living out of a bag and eating weird things in all sorts of places around the world. She hopes to make South Korea, Peru, Egypt or Kenya her next destination.

Why did you choose this programme? The world is becoming progressively globalized. At the same time, it is becoming vastly important to study the differing, oftentimes contentious global media policies and perspectives on this discourse. This program offers a course of study from two ends of a spectrum – western and non-western – both within the classroom and outside of it. It is a rare opportunity to gain a complex, yet extremely relevant, body of skills and knowledge that will likely be essential for a future young professional.


Michelle Lorna Nahanee

Michelle Lorna Nahanee is a member of the Squamish Nation and holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication from Royal Roads University. She also graduated with an honours diploma from BCIT in Media Production and Marketing Communications.
 Michelle is a communications consultant and graphic designer. She works with First Nations–focused clients to communicate their vision, create awareness and change minds through a suite of creative services including writing, illustration, photography, and publication design. Whether creating work for personal or social marketing purposes, she explores and expresses the juxtaposition of contemporary Native issues with traditional art and spirituality. Cultural iconography and textures are made prominent – not only as design elements but as part of the reconstruction of the valuation and perception of Native identity. Her professional experience includes social marketing and health promotion for national Aboriginal NGOs including First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and Native Womens Association of Canada.  By pursuing work in the field of Aboriginal-specific communications, she aims to add Indigenous voice to the public sphere.The double MA is an opportunity to gain expertise in a more global context especially in relation to China.
 RESEARCH INTERESTS: In terms of her academic training, Michelle’s research interests are primarily postcolonial/postindian. She explores cultural studies, structuralism/post-structuralism, art theory, indigenous methodologies and intercultural communication to understand how dominant narratives of race are constructed and how communications can change perceptions in local territories and globally. In other words, how do we change how dominant culture, other nations and global corporations and governmental bodies impact us, as Aboriginal people or any other misunderstood grouping?
She hopes her academic work will add to the wave of strong First Nations scholarship that is currently being published and catalyzing change. Through the Double Degree MA in Global Communications, Michelle feels encouraged to locate her indigenous focus within international power structures and struggles.
She  was born in the village of Eslhá7an which also known as the Mission Reserve. She lived there until she was 10 years old then moved with her non-Native mother to the suburbs. Since then, she has moved back and forth between her Nation and the city and, in true mixed heritage fashion, has grown to love and understand both worlds. Her Squamish (Sḵwxwú7mesh) family, the Nahanees, are First Nations but also mixed heritage with their founding fathers landing on Sḵwxwú7mesh shores from Hawaii in the mid-1800s. At that time, they were called Nahinus and Joe Nahinu was her great, great grandfather. He married Mary See-em-ia of the Sḵwxwú7mesh and their legacy is a family tree of over 2000 Nahanees. “We are a proud family who values commitment to culture and community as much as success in education and business. I am so grateful to have been taught to walk in both worlds, balancing traditional and contemporary values is a huge source of personal strength for me.”
Michelle sees similarities between Chinese and First Nations cultural struggles where ancient knowledge fuses with contemporary life. And on a macro level, she would like to know if nations can transition from collective frameworks to economic development frameworks without becoming neoliberal? Is there another modernity outside of a capitalism/socialism binary? Do some people need to suffer in order for others to gain? Michelle’s work at the intersection of resource development and First Nations governance, with the Aboriginal Mentoring and Training Association, left her asking this question.

Emem-Obong Lucia Inyang

BACKGROUND: Emem-Obong holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from the University of Jos, Nigeria. She gained a one year experience as a teacher while serving her country during her National Youth Service Corp and at the same time she worked as a columnist/event planner at Red Carpet Protocol.

After her youth service she worked briefly with one of Nigeria’s biggest and outstanding bank, Zenith Bank Plc as a customer service representative before leaving for SFU.

Research Interest: Telecommunications, Social Justice; NGOs and Entertainment; show business, popular culture, event planning.

Professional Aspiration: To pursue a career in telecommunications and entertainment and also participate in voluntary jobs for NGOs.

Interesting Facts: Emem-Obong is from Akwa Ibom State the Southern part of Nigeria. She was born and brought up in Abuja, Nigeria, West Africa. She is the first of two children, she loves to shop, watch movies and read. She has always longed to visit Canada and admired everything about the country. This dream of hers became a reality when she decided to further her studies at Simon Fraser University. She is funny, focused and ambitious.   She would love to be a presenter on E! Someday.

Why did you choose this programme? First of all the course “Global Communication” sounds intriguing. It appeals to our everyday activity. The opportunity to study both in Canada and China is a perfect way to grow both culturally and academically. For me this is a dream turned reality.   


Mengtong (Yume) Lin

BACKGROUND: I hold a Bachelor of Management in Public Relations from Sun Yat-Sen University.  I am a current master student of Communication University of China.  The rewarding and fulfilled undergraduate life and study at Sun Yat-sen University as a Public Relations Major and a Public Administration Minor has not only brought me valuable knowledge but also help me advance career. It is worthy to note that I have achieved high scores in most of my communication courses. I scored an average grade of over 88 on the 100-point scale in my major, awarded of scholarships and honorable titles of the Liberal Education Program. My paper named Analysis of the Effecting Factors of College Graduates Employment in 2010 has published on Journal of Modern Education Management. Additionally, I completed the chapter of Widget Marketing of the book named Practical Internet Marketing: A Comprehensive Interpretation of the Best Internet Marketing Cases in the 2nd edition. Besides, I have engaged in various internships such as brand specialist, administrative assistant, marketing planner, network marketing specialist, news anchor, etc., the work experience of which benefits me in lots of aspects, for instance, skills promotion, familiarization with business statutes and rules, practical communication operation. For me, marketing communication studies have proved to be a fascinating subject, one that offers unlimited professional opportunities.


RESEARCH INTERESTS: for me, marketing is not merely composed of such elements as product design, promotion through advertising, pricing models, and distribution channels, but an area that needs excellent quantitative and analyzing methods, communication skills and in-depth cultural insights. However, undergraduate study in public relations and current study in advertising are not sufficient study for me to make achievements in multicultural corporation. I need to prepare myself to think globally and act locally. In my future studies, I would like to focus on social responsibilities of transnational corporations and marketing of multinational companies under cultural pluralism. I wish to learn abroad to recognize local customs and advanced knowledge, research methods as well as practical skills in global marketing.

Professional Aspiration: My desire is for unique perspectives and capabilities to find out marketing opportunity, to predict and grasp market fluctuating accurately, and to satisfy market needs.

Interesting Facts: I have participated in a number of extracurricular activities and academic competitions. Since I was in high school, I have shown great talent in communication and international affairs. I was invited to the U.S. as the delegate of Boston International Model United Nations Conference 2008 for High School Students. During the rewarding and fulfilled life at Sun Yat-sen University, I got an average grade of 88 on the 100-point scale in my major, awarded of scholarships and honorable titles of the Liberal Education Program. My paper named Analysis of the Effecting Factors of College Graduates Employment in 2010 has published on Journal of modern education management. Additionally, I completed the chapter of Widget Marketing of the book named Practical Internet Marketing: A Comprehensive Interpretation of the Best Internet Marketing Cases in the 2nd edition. I was the news anchor of Sun Yat-sen University TV Station and now I still keep some of those videos. I was the member of Lingnan Culture Academic Winter Camp of the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong College Students in 2011 and was an exchange student of department of communication and technology, National Chiao Tung University in 2012. As an outstanding graduate of Sun Yat-sen University with a major in public relations and with a minor in public administration, I was recommended to the Graduate School of Advertising of Communication University of China to study advertising in 2013 and won the Outstanding Freshman Scholarship (Grade 1).

Why did you choose this programme? As a graduate of Sun Yat-sen University and a current master student of Communication University of China, I am very interested in your double degree program in global communication, especially in the area of cross-cultural marketing.

2013 Student Bios

Yuanhao Zhang

Background: Hao holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Media from the Communication University of China at Nanking(CUCN). He worked for one year as a content editor and online video host in Beijing.

Research Interests: Social Media; Modern News Industry; Development of International News in China.

Professional Aspirations: To pursue a career in the ultimately complicated Chinese media industry.

Interesting Fact: Hao was born in southwestern China, enjoyed his college years in Nanking, and is still in the post-graduate process at CUC in Beijing. He also completed one of his internships in Shanghai. Basically, for many years Hao has been busy travelling around China collecting degrees...

Why did you choose this programme?:  Being abroad itself offers a brand new way to view this world, and more importantly, the country where I grew up. Majoring in International Journalism in CUC, I deeply appreciate what this program can give me: the ability to have a deeper understanding of the communication system and politics in the West and also in Asia.

Rebeca Lucia Galindo

Background: Rebeca holds a Bachelor in Journalism and Communication from Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, and a Master in International Affairs from Externado University of Colombia. She has five years of experience working for a national Colombian press, El Tiempo, covering national and international events and publishing in a media convergence environment.  

Research Interests: Development; International Relations; Cinema and Art Studies. Rebeca is interested in studying how to approach Asia beyond the narrow, market-driven perspective that has dominated the foreign affairs discourse in most Latin American countries.  

Professional Aspirations: To return to mainstream media, learn Mandarin, and pursue cultural diplomatic formation. To be mature and humble enough to lecture as a university teacher and to answer the question ‘How is my job helping heal a society during armed conflict?’

Interesting Fact: Rebeca was born and raised in San Pedro Sula (Honduras). She has been a frustrated artist and failed doctor. She is in North America for the first time, thanks to the Inter-American Press Association Scholarship.

Why did you choose this programme?: The one year in Canada and one year in China experience is unique and vital to acquire a global view in communications and to understand Asia’s complexity. It is also a perfect program to help reduce a personal conceptual gap between journalism and international studies.   

Mike Johnston

Background: Mike has travel in his blood. Privileged by his father’s vocation as a Canadian diplomat in foreign affairs and international trade, Mike has lived across North America and Asia. This international, wonderfully mind-expanding lifestyle informed Mike’s personal passions and academic pursuits. He completed his B.A. in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, where he did his best to be a generalist about the histories and cultures and languages of Asia. In addition to learning, Mike loves teaching. He has taught English as a Second Language, Spoken Word/Slam Poetry, and hopefully some compassion, too.

Research Interests: Military-Entertainment Complex and the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network (big words for studying video games in graduate-level academics); Militarised Communications; Neoliberalism; Feminism/Gender Theory; Marx and Engels

Professional Aspirations: To find (or create) meaningful work—meaningful in a humanitarian sense. Making communities and/or the world "better" is a contentious and nuanced goal, but not making the world worse is a must. A vagabond communications artist working for equity, culture and rights would be ideal.

Interesting Fact: Mike is a passionate dilettante. Acting, singing, spoken word/slam poetry, guitar, and story-writing all fall in his domain of interests. Recently, he has begun learning banjo, and already sees a niche musical genre of acid bluegrass country rap that needs occupying. Mike has performed a one man show in Viet Nam, a slam poetry exposé in Cambodia, and recently stepped down as the Slam Master of UBC Slam in Vancouver. He has performed for community/charity art initiatives like Art For Impact, and helped make poetry cool for inner-city elementary school kids during a Reading Week Project in his undergrad. Mike appreciates the vastness of beauty in the wildest of places, and dreams of returning to Nepal, to hike the Annapurnas one more time. Or many more times.

Why did you choose this programme?: It is a daily observation that Asia, especially China, is causing a profound shift in global (and local!) relations, economies, cultures and systems of power. Yet how are we addressing this shift? How are we preparing to accommodate or adjust to a worldview and life experiences that grant Asia more weight and consideration? This programme is positioned at the cutting edge to engage the hows and whys of a rising Asia, with a still more international perspective that accounts not only for China, but the world at large. Few programmes could be more topical or relevant than this for providing the rich and complex background that arguably is, or will soon be, demanded of the aspiring cosmopolitan professional. Also, one year of study in Beijing. Yes please!

Lyne (Sitong) Lin

Background: Lyne graduated with a B.Com (Hons) in Organizational Behaviour & Human Resources from the University of British Columbia. Specializing in Organizational Consulting, her undergraduate studies focused on assisting businesses in managing change. In one of her projects, Lyne helped a client determine a business exit strategy. Using Kotter's Eight Step Model to change and providing specific recommendations geared towards increasing value of the business, Lyne’s work was well received by her client. Most recently, Lyne was a Teaching Assistant working in Sauder School of Business at UBC. She instructed over 120 students enrolled in "Comm 290: Quantitative Decision Making" on a weekly basis and taught students how to structure business problem effectively on topics such as profit/cost optimization using Microsoft Excel.

Research Interests: Popular Culture & Media; Asian Media & Culture; Documentary & Reality-Based Media; Communication & Cultural Industry; Advertising & Consumer Culture

Professional Aspirations: To pursue a career in public relations or corporate communications. Also, Lyne is very interested in organizational consulting.

Interesting Fact: Lyne was born in Yunnan, China, and grew up in Warsaw, Poland. Now a Canadian, Lyne sees herself as a "global nomad". To date, she is still shocked by herself for going on a reality dating show in which she won a trip to Greece. Lyne is also crazy about belly dance and labradors.

Why did you choose this programme?: In an increasingly globalized world, understanding the role of media in our contemporary society becomes increasingly important. It is also the competitive edge which many companies seek. This dual degree program not only equips one with a better understanding of communication, but it also offers the opportunity to study communication from both a Western and non-western perspective. The most appealing part of dual degree program is its program design – one year in Vancouver and one year in Beijing. What could be a better way to get a taste of two cosmopolitan cities at the same time while getting your education than this?

Vanessa Kong

Background: Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s degree of Social Science in Government and Public Administration from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She specialized in the area of Political Theory, and wrote an undergraduate thesis to examine how individuals are emancipated in a collective, through understanding the inter-subjectivity of performance artists in Hong Kong. Based on Hannah Arendt's notion of freedom and people's action and speech, the paper goes further to look into the Chandra Mohanty and Biddy Martin’s politics of 'home' and contends that individuals emancipation is never possible in isolation but in a collective.

Research Interests: Vanessa’s main research interest is in developing cities which include people of diverse social identities and cultural backgrounds. She examines possible cultural and social policies in creating cities as sites for the lived reality of globalization. Through dialogue, local and lived experience, and various forms of artistic expressions, she hopes to mobilize and empower all different individuals to be engaged in building and constructing their ‘home’ cities. Cities that respond to the concerns of everyone, including the immigrants, indigenous people and ethnocultural minorities.

Professional Aspirations: To rebuild mutual trust and respect across different people and mitigate potential disruptions and conflicts caused by the differences.

Interesting Fact: Vanessa was born in Melbourne, Australia, and has an Australian citizenship. Being an Ozzie, she loves kangaroos and koalas. She used to have British accent because of the years of choral training she had. Yet after a year spent in Vancouver, Canada, as an exchange student at UBC, her British accent was gone. She was raised in Hong Kong, as a typical Hong Kongese. Being Chinese, she knows she must speak Mandarin well, but she's still learning.
She likes singing, playing violin and piano, dancing, figure skating, snowboarding, swimming, windsurfing, hiking, rolling on the grass, and playing card games and mah-jong.

Why did you choose this programme?: China has recently become one of the global super-powers. However, since its historical, social and political contexts are very different from other leading ideologies, there has always been a misunderstanding of Chinese behaviour and habit at both individual and international levels. Under such tensions between the East and the West, Vanessa would like to devote herself to being a bridge and liaison between them, and mitigate these misconceptions caused by the misunderstanding of cultural and social practices. Given the opportunity to gain both knowledge and working experiences in China and Canada, she hopes to make a significant contribution in facilitating the cultural exchange and peaceful interaction between these two countries in the long run.

Joseph Nicolaï

Background: Joseph graduated from Simon Fraser University with a B.A. in Communication as well as a B.A. (Hons.) in the Humanities. As an undergraduate, he had the privilege to participate in various functions, such as the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, as well as to present at events such as SFU’s FCAT conference for outstanding undergraduate-level research. Outside of school, Joseph has been engaged with the community at large and most recently was elected as a counsellor to an NGO that provides services for refugees, new immigrants and the local francophone community. 

Research Interests: Tourism & Heritage Industries; Multiculturalism Policy & Cross-cultural Communication; Communicating Globalization; ITU Policy; Political Economy of Historiography; Environmental Communication

Professional Aspirations: Joseph hopes to find a career that works towards fostering a culture of peace and non-violence.

Interesting Fact: His first love was Medieval philosophy and the "problem of universals". He currently harbours a secret interest in the anthropology of food.

Why did you choose this programme?: In an ever-changing world confronted with ever-new challenges the opportunity to not only study global issues but study them globally was one I could not resist.

Maggie Chao

Background: Maggie holds a BA (Hons.) from Simon Fraser University in Communication. As an undergraduate, she completed an Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Jan Marontate, which explored how the intersections between art, politics, and commerce inherent in street art meaningfully differentiate it from other forms of urban inscription. Outside of the academic environment, she has experience working with non-profit cultural organizations, and at-risk children and youth. Most recently, she was a Research Assistant working in the SFU Visual Studies Lab, assisting with interview transcription, bibliographic research, and video editing, and was responsible for the design and implementation of a database of international collaborative contemporary art conservation projects for a SSHRC-funded research initiative.

Research Interests: Spatial Politics; Urban Culture; Globalization; Marxist Geography; Gentrification; Urban Policy and Planning; Cultural Geography; the work of Henri Lefebvre

Professional Aspirations: Maggie hopes to pursue a career at the intersections of research and praxis.

Interesting Fact: Maggie is passionate about all things outdoors and remotely active. As a youngster, she was engaged in all manners of sports from pick-up basketball, swim club, baseball in the park with makeshift bases, street hockey, track and field, family skate and tennis sessions, organized soccer and volleyball. Maggie has since added yoga, hiking, ocean and white-water kayaking/canoeing, snowboarding, backpacking, and more to her list! Other interests include film, design and architecture, contemporary art, and baking.

Why did you choose this programme?: It's undeniable that the world has become progressively more globalized in the past thirty years, and recent events such as the economic crisis of 2007/2008 serve as a very potent reminder of that. This program promises to not only provide that global perspective in the classroom but through our lived experiences as students studying in an international environment - something that is sorely needed and undoubtedly will be required of citizens in order to rise to the challenges of the 21st century.

Helen (Yang) Liu

Background: Helen holds a Bachelor’s degree from Lanzhou University, China, where she majored in English & Journalism and Communication. Helen was an exchange student to the School of Communication and Technology, at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, in 2011. Currently, Helen is doing her Master’s degree in the Institute of Communication Studies, at the Communication University of China. Helen won second place in the 2010 CCTV Cup National English Speaking Contest in Beijing. As one of the members of the DRAGON WISH committee in Hong Kong, she helped to organize the New Youth Forum and cross-strait exchange plan in 2011. Helen also did an internship in 2012 at City TV in Beijing, where she worked as a program director.

Research Interests: Development of China's Cultural Industry; Popular Culture and National Soft Power; Global Power Shifts

Professional Aspirations: Helen is considering many possibilities, but hopes to pursue a career working in media. She would like to build a more diverse and influential Chinese media.

Interesting Fact: Helen has been playing Gu Zheng , a Chinese traditional musical instrument, since she was 4 years old, and she has passed the highest level of national music grading. She likes singing and dancing and all kinds of music. Chinese and K-pop music are her favorites. She also likes travelling a lot. Sometimes, she speaks Chinese with Taiwanese accent...

Why did you choose this programme?: By studying abroad, I can make more progress in English, as well as learn different methodologies for analyzing China's issues. I can also make more international friends, and broaden my knowledge through studying together with them.

Jane (Qian) Liu

Background: Jane holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Beijing International Studies University, China, where she majored in Interpretation and Translation. Currently, Jane is doing her Master’s degree at the Communication University of China, and is majoring in International Journalism. Jane participated in the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and World Tourist and Tourism Conference, where she was mainly responsible for interviewing and news editing. She did a research project for Radio Peking, focused on the use of new media in radio programs. Jane also completed an internship at the International Journalism Research Institute, where she was responsible for editing English news. Jane has worked as an assistant program director for China Central Television, China’s largest media broadcaster.

Research Interests: Globalization and Power Shifts; Cross-culture Analysis; Social and Cultural Policy; Internet and Social Media in Global Communication

Professional Aspirations: To pursue a career as an international journalist, working in media, and showing people the truth about the world.

Interesting Fact: Jane loves movies, traveling and all kinds of music. She has learned Chinese painting as well as calligraphy. She has a great passion for art and literature.

Why did you choose this programme?: Since my major in CUC is international journalism and in cross-culture directions, I really want to broaden my horizons by studying abroad and analysing issues from different perspectives. Moreover, I am also interested in the culture of North America. This program is a good chance for me to train my academic, logical thinking, learn different research methods, and analyse important issues from different perspectives. I also greatly appreciate meeting so many friends with international cultural backgrounds, and polishing up my English while I'm studying abroad.

Vivien (Biwei) Wang

Background: Vivien graduated from Shandong University with a B.A. in Journalism and with a B.Ec. in finance. Vivien was an exchange student to the Communication University of China to study journalism in 2009. She is now doing her Master’s degree at CUC, majoring in Media Literacy. She did her undergraduate thesis to analyze the fragmentation trend of new media that empower the people which was recognised and awarded as an outstanding undergraduate thesis by Shandong University. As a volunteer and assistant, she took part in the National Tourism Conference in 2010 and National News Conference in 2012. She did her internship in Xinhua News Agency, Shandong Branch, in 2009, and People's Daily Overseas Edition in 2013.

Research Interests: Cross-cultural Communication; Globalization and Transformation of Cultures; New Media in the context of Globalization; Media Literacy

Professional Aspirations: Vivien aspires to find a job related to media and cultures. Through media, she wants to show people the splendid cultures we possess, help the protection and development of Chinese culture as well as work in service of the communication and exchanges between different cultures.

Interesting Fact: If Vivien loves something (a book, a movie), she will read or watch it, again and again without any boredom. Each time, she gets some new feelings and ideas, which are so fascinating and meaningful to her. She loves painting, novels, geography (reading maps) and researching the history of Qing Dynasty. Although she has learned violin for 6 years, she is still tone-deaf.

Why did you choose this programme?: Under the trend of globalization, Vivien wants to go abroad to see the outside world. She hopes to have a new angle to analyze how people from different nations, states, and cultures communicate, negotiate, and even struggle with each other. This will do inform her future career on cross-cultural communication. At the same time, she wants to practice her English, make friends from different cultural contexts and have a fresh experience of studying and having internship aboard.