Meet the Alumni!  Day 1 Luncheon | Tuesday March 7  

12:15 – 1:00 PM

Raj Venugopal is General Manager of International Relations at Canada Post Corporation, previously Director of Regulatory Affairs. In this role he has oversight over all postal bilateral and multilateral agreements and international revenue assurance. He serves concurrently as Canada’s Head of Delegation to the Universal Postal Union (UN agency governing global postal exchange) as well as its Restricted Unions. In the 2021-2025 Abidjan cycle he serves as Co-chair of Committee 2 of the Council of Administration (Postal Policy and Regulation).

Prior to joining the national postal service Raj worked in the Government of New Brunswick (Ministries of Executive Council, Economic Development, Intergovernmental Affairs), and in the Senate of Canada. While in New Brunswick, Raj was an award-winning adjunct university Professor of Political Science for ten years, teaching courses including: public policy analysis, public administration, international relations and foreign policy, and Canadian government.


Gaëlle Rivard Piché is a strategic analyst with Defence Research and Development Canada. Embedded with the Canadian Armed Forces, she provides direct decision-making support through evidence-based research on topics such as threat analysis, defence planning, and the Arctic. She is also a fellow with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDAI) and the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University where she completed her Ph.D. in 2017. She was previously a Fulbright research fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (2014-2015) and the vice-chair of WIIS-Canada (2017-2020).

As a defence and international security expert, her research spans across a wide range of topics. She co-authored two books on Arctic defence and security: At the Gaps and Seams: Canadian Special Operations Forces in the Defence of North America (with Nancy Teeple and Bradley Sylvestre, forthcoming 2023) and The Newport Manual on Arctic Security (with Walter Berbrick and Michael Zimmerman, November 2022). She previously contributed to edited volumes on Canadian foreign policy and Latin American politics, authored policy reports on the legacy of post-conflict interventions, and published her doctoral research in scientific journals, including Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, International Journal, and Études internationales. Her latest research with Danielle Gilbert on China’s hostage diplomacy and its implications for middle powers was published in the Texas National Security Review in December 2021.


Panel Presenters at the 2023 Emerging Perspectives: FPA Graduate Conference    

Maia Wenger is a graduate student at Carleton University completing their Master of Arts in Legal Studies. They are currently working as a research assistant on a project examining the relationship between fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and the criminal legal system.  Maia’s paper examines dominant harm reduction discourse in an online forum. By using Julia Kristeva’s notion of abjection, I argue that the forum’s emphasis on harm reduction operates in part as a mechanism for posters to distance themselves from “abjected” drug users.

Kyla Wills is a Master Social Work student at Carleton with a professional and academic passion for community-centred approaches to socio-ecological justice. She has professional experience in a wide range of fields including organic agriculture, providing psycho-social support to underhoused individuals, community food programming, and environmental movement organizing. As a social worker, Kyla aspires to mobilize research and direct practice with communities and individuals to support meaningful processes of change and transformation.  Kyla’s presentation is about socio-ecological equity, a growing priority for many municipalities. Yet, the process of “green gentrification” is often unaccounted for in urban housing and sustainability policy. This presentation will use the case study of a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood in Montreal to explore these unique and understudied tensions.

Tanya Rumble and Ellen Doty are both fundraising leaders currently working in university settings. Tanya is the Director of Development in the Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University, and Ellen is the Assistant Dean, Development in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. This research was also conducted by our colleague Bill Mintram, Director of Indigenous and Northern Relations at Rideau Hall Foundation.

The research examined the current principles that inform philanthropic gift acceptance policies at Canadian universities and how adequately existing gift acceptance policies account for the nuanced considerations related to: ethics; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI); and reconciliation when working with donors or potential donors. We close with recommendations for advancement professionals and charitable organizations to consider when creating or revising their gift acceptance policies.

Nataly Tofilis is a fourth year PhD candidate in the department of Economics at Carleton University and who is dedicated to contributing to knowledge in her field. Nataly’s research interests center around Development Economics   Nataly’s presentation explores the impact of the gold price spike during the 2008 financial crisis on women living within mining districts of the Peruvian Highlandsfocusing on their risk of domestic violence, labor force participation, and household bargaining power.

Danielle Matta is a first-year graduate student in the Institute of Political Economy. Danielle is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Peter Andrée on a project entitled “A Strategic Framework for Accelerating Agricultural Sustainability in Canada.” Danielle plans to write her thesis on the emergence of Regenerative Agriculture in Canada and the barriers to creating sustainable food systems. My research interests include sustainable agriculture, environmental policy, food systems, and the emerging concept of regenerative agriculture.  Danielle’s presentation will argue that, among many understandings of regenerative agriculture (RA), politically-focused understandings are more popular for their enticing storylines, despite misrepresenting the science. This analysis demonstrates how the current RA discourse could hinder RA’s translation into effective policies.

Dmitry Prokoptsov obtained a B.A. in Honors History and a minor in Human Geography (2022) at Trent University, Canada. Currently, Dmitry Prokoptsov is enrolled in the M.A. program European, Russian and Eurasian studies at Carleton University, Canada (2022-2024). During this time, Dmitry Prokoptsov has worked as a research assistant on The War in Ukraine Observatory. He is currently working as an intern at a private company called SecDev.  His research interests are Russian area studies, museums, memory, the gulags, and terror in relation to history.  Dmitry’s presentation focuses on the memory of the gulags, and the way this memory is translated to the younger populations of two different former Soviet republics of Estonia and Kazakhstan.

Flavia Alves is a Ph.D. candidate in public policy at Carleton University. Her research focuses on the impact of telecom technology on the banking industry and in the labour market. Prior to starting her PhD, she served as a senior advisor to the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil. She is currently an external contractor for the International Labour Organization (ILO) and is also involved in the environment-related projects and classes. In her presentation Flavia will present the outline for the second paper of the Doctoral Thesis (“Covid-19 and the Rise of Inequality of Opportunities: Evidence in Labour and Banking from Brazil”). The topics will cover the motivation, the research question, the setting, the literature review, the empirical strategy, the preliminary results and conclude with the implications for policy and the next steps.

Audrey Gauthier is a first-year master student at Carleton University’s Institute of European Russian and Eurasian studies. Normally, her research mostly focuses on international relations and diplomacy between the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and the Middle East. However, she is also very interested in the fight for LGBTQ rights, both in Canada and abroad. Before starting her studies at Carleton University, Audrey Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, with a major with honours in history and a minor in Russian culture, from McGill University.  Audrey’s presentation examines the legal and social obstacles LGBTQ migrants must overcome during their journey out of their country. Moreover, this presentation explores the different resources available for LGBTQ Ukrainian refugees during this conflict.

Eamama Daniyal is in her final year, completing her Masters in Migration and Diaspora studies here at Carleton University. She completed her BA at York University in International Studies with a minor in Political Science. Her research interests lie at the intersection of diaspora studies and social movements, with a particular focus on diasporic youth from minority groups in the MENA region. Eamama plans on continuing her education and pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology. The goal of Eamama’s research is to outline the ways in which diasporic Assyrian youth are creating a new sense of belonging while maintaining a strong connection to their identity.

Sena Aydoner, a graduate of the Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management program, with a Specialization in Communication and Policy Studies, Sena is currently pursuing a Masters of Political Management here at Carleton University. Throughout her studies, Sena continues to focus on strategic communications, institutional challenges facing Canadians today and how to address gaps in public policy through effective communications and messaging. A major area of interest of hers are Canada’s systems of governance and how they can be better equipped to serve Canadians and carry out the functions of democracy. Due to the increased involvement of media, Question Period has become political theatre.  Productive question and answer does not occur, which impacts the functionality of democratic institutions in Canada as the wrong messages are being delivered by those in positions of power.

Nicholas Morrison is a first-year Master of Arts student at the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. His thesis research focuses on the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Anti-Nuclear Movement and environmentalism in late Soviet Kazakhstan. Prior to joining Carleton in 2022, Nicholas completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Medieval Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Nicholas will present a paper which focuses on how autocratic leaders in two former Soviet states, Russia and Kazakhstan, use the negative memory of the post-Soviet transition in the 1990s to buttress their position as heads of their respective states.

Christopher Dougherty’s research focuses on the charitable sector in Canada. Prior to starting his PhD, he completed a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) at Carleton University, a Bachelor of Applied Nonprofit Studies at Mount Royal University, and is Certified in Volunteer Administration. His past work experience in the charitable sector included roles with STARS Air Ambulance and Scouts Canada. He currently volunteers with the Imagine Canada Standards Program as a peer reviewer, with Canada’s Volunteer Awards as a National Advisory Committee member and regional reviewer, and with the ANSER-ARES annual conference committee. His research is supported in part by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  Christopher’s project will test whether a shared, underlying political identity is a better predictor of financial flows from private foundations to charities than other factors like cause and geographic proximity would on their own.”

Carly Dybka is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and Communication. Her primary interests relate to communication between governments and publics, and the affordances and limitations that digital technologies play in these exchanges. Under the supervision of Dr. Mary Francoli, Carly’s dissertation looks at the Government of Canada’s use of social media monitoring to understand the public environment. Carly works as a communications manager in the Government of Canada, with experience in areas such as public opinion research, stakeholder/public engagement, social media and digital client service. Carly’s presentation offers a brief and partial summary of her doctoral dissertation, which examines social media monitoring by Government of Canada departments: why it’s done, how it’s conducted and shared, and to what ends (among other things).

Nahya Awada is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration, starting in September 2015. Her main research interests centres on access to healthcare services and drugs for rare diseases in Canada. Her areas of expertise include research, education, management, and genetic metabolic diseases. Nahya holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Research and Administration from the University of Liverpool and International Post-graduate Degree in Genetic Metabolic Disorders from Germany. She is a proud recipient of the “Outstanding Examplar” award for leading a Magnet Prize-winning program that promoted the quality of life and health outcomes of patients with rare genetic metabolic diseases in Saudi Arabia.

Bingjun Tang is a first-year Master’s student studying international affairs with a specialization in data science. His primary academic interest lies in all aspects of China’s global involvement, with a particular focus on the intersection between Chinese domestic political needs and foreign policy objectives. While fascinated with quantitative research techniques and possessing a preliminary experience in their applications, Bingjun is now familiarizing himself with case study methods in order to broaden the scope of phenomena that he is able to explore.  BIngjun’s presentation surveys the effect of voting distance in the UN General Assembly and non-permanent membership in the Security Council on the behaviour of China’s outward foreign direct investment at both the aggregate and the firm level.

Salma E. El Refaei is a PhD student at the political science department at Carleton. She specializes in Gender, Diversity and International Relations (IR). El Refaei specifically studies pathways for care-full engagement with refugees in IR.  Salma in her presentation asks what ethics orientation informs engagement with refugees in IR which does not collapse the complexity of their suffering into a preconceived ethico-political project? She will explore how an ethics of care approach to research engages with refugees as complex, vulnerable, resilient and relational offering pathways to reorient refugee research in the field.

Diksha Kale is currently doing her PhD in Legal Studies at Carleton University under the supervision of Dr. Stacy Douglas. Diksha was awarded Dr. B.A.M. University’s gold medal in 2019 for excelling in her LL.M. program and for her graduate thesis. She is also a recipient of the National Overseas Scholarship (fully funded) from the Government of India. After working as a defence attorney for six years, Diksha has shifted her research interests from criminal law to the intersections between queer legal theory and cultural activism. Diksha’s paper is a critical exploration of Jewelle Gomez’s novel The Gilda Stories (1991) to understand the potential of certain fictional texts in navigating queer of color utopias and bringing about cultural as well as legal transformation.

Daniel Scholte received his undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Lakehead University with a focus in criminology and political science. Daniel is currently completing a MA in Law and Legal studies at Carleton. He is interested in settler colonialism as a process which structures settler and indigenous identities and relations. Daniel’s research focuses on issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction in settler colonial contexts – in particular land and resource governance – as well as settler colonial knowledge production. His current thesis work examines settler discourses on the Wet’suwet’en – Coastal GasLink pipeline conflict. Applying insights from Sara Ahmed’s (2012) On Being Included, Daniel askes what it means for post-secondary education to practice reconciliation? Daniel looks at the strategic choice of language, the nature of settler colonial institutions, and the limits of neo-liberal inclusion.

James LeGallais is currently completing his Master’s in Political Science at Carleton University after receiving his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Studies, at Queen’s University. During the completion of his Bachelor’s Degree, he became passionate about the topics of Immigration, AI and the Environment and received two research grants to explore these interests. This work inspired him to become an Advisor to the Canadian Government in the field of Immigration with the aim of helping those who are most vulnerable in the world and our society. James’ presentation will explore how the countries have begun to utilize emerging technologies, such as AI, to further limit migration into their borders and increase the removal of irregular migrants. In doing so, I will provide a new categorization of the different ways in which these technologies have been deployed in relation to migration

Michael Tate has lived in Ottawa his entire life and has attended Carleton University since 2014. Michael graduated with a bachelor’s in economics in the fall of 2020. Michael just recently graduated from the MA in Economics program and has an interest in possibly pursing a doctorate in Economics in the near future. Michael has an interest in researching topics related to monetary policy and learning new data analysis techniques. Michael currently works for a cybersecurity company as a data/sales analyst. Michael’s presentation attempts to analyze the economic well-being of farmers compared to other workers during the time of the pandemic and its lockdowns. Results show that on average farmers earned 9.1% less than other workers during that time.

Segun Ofongo is a Ph.D. candidate at Norman Paterson school of international Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His primary research focuses on Contemporary Strategic and Critical Security Studies, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Defence and Foreign Policy, State Fragility and Politics of Aid and Development. Segun research explores the securitization of aid as a policy instrument; the effects of foreign military aid and security sector assistance provided to both state and non-state actors. In addition to his academic pursuits, Segun’s previous experience includes serving as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Parliamentary Secretary of Defense and International Development.

Blue Miaoran Dong is a PhD student at the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. Her research interests include the critical political economy of communication, telecom history, public policy, and platform regulation. She is a research assistant for the Ghost Management project and the Global Media and Internet Concentration (GMIC) Project.  Blue’s paper investigates the influence of platform power and profits on platform governance by comparing Facebook and Google’s “bigger is better” public relations and advertising campaigns in the US, UK and EU. It challenges the narrative that the Western internet is autonomous and free from government control by examining the intertwined relationships between government and corporations. The paper argues that Facebook and Google’s campaigns are shaping public debates on platform regulation and ushering in a new era of digital corporate liberalism, which has unique characteristics and differences from previous eras of corporate regulation.

Elena Kaliberda is a PhD Candidate in Communication and Media Studies and an Instructor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. Her research interests are media and the public sphere.  The presentation considers the phenomenon of media fandom through the lenses of public sphere theory. It focuses on the use of media by various fan communities to participate in a public life, in particular, on the transition of fans to political activists.

Margaret Janse van Rensburg is a 3rd year PhD student in the school of social work. Her work and research interests include research ethics, disability, autism, and sexual violence.  Co-presenter Maria Peddle is a 1st year Masters student in the school of social work. Her work and research interests include mental health, education, policy, and sexual violence. Together they will present a subset of a scoping review (Sewell et al., in press) summarizing the evidence published between 2011 and 2022 which maps the available evidence of workplace-based supervision within VAW settings, identifying study characteristics, key concepts, methodological approaches, and outcomes, showing where opportunities exist for strengthening the research base on the outcomes of supervision in settings addressing violence against women and imagining possibilities for enhancing supervision practices.

Segun Ofongo is a Ph.D. candidate at Norman Paterson school of international Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His primary research focuses on Contemporary Strategic and Critical Security Studies, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Defence and Foreign Policy, State Fragility and Politics of Aid and Development. In addition to his academic pursuits, Segun has also worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Parliamentary Secretary of Defense and International Development.  In this paper, Segun will argue that instead of promoting democracy and peace, the militarization of aid in Lake Chad has aggravated the fragility of the region and heightened corruption, ethno-regional conflict, and democratic decline (an unintended consequence of USA military aid), all of which combine to undermine military aid effectiveness in the region.

Casey Pender is a PhD student in the Department of Economics and my research focuses on North American and Indigenous Economic History. Casey’s presentation draws on monetary economics to show how the Potlatch could have plausibly served as an efficient method for recourse allocation among First Nations along the Pacific Northwest, despite the claims made to the contrary by the Canadian federal government.

 Mohammed Jahirul Islam is a Law and Legal Studies Ph.D. student at Carleton University. He has been teaching in the Department of Criminology and Police Science at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University (MBSTU) in Tangail, Bangladesh as an Associate Professor since 2010. His research interest is on prison and punishment, theoretical and historical criminology, philosophy of science, punishment, female criminality, rape, enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killing, terrorism and fundamentalism. His Ph.D. research title is ‘Trajectories of Prison Governance in Bangladesh: A Post-colonial Critique of Foucauldian theory of Bio-power.’  This presentation will attempt to review Prison Resistance from a subaltern theoretical perspective in this essay. By highlighting the limitations of conventional Marxist prison theories and Foucauldian poststructuralists theories in the sociology of prison and punishment, Jahirul argues that negotiation (O’Brien, 1996), rightful resistance and lawfare resistance (Commeroff and Commeroff, 2006) are more effective than revolutionary movement as a strategy for prisoners resistance.

Read about the 2020 Conference