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Student profiles


Edward Fenner

A part time–student in the Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies, Edward Fenner is delving further into the personal and family history of Robert J. Van de Graaff than ever before.

“Everybody who has been to a science centre knows Van de Graaff because of the shiny metal ball that makes your hair stand on end when you touch it,” says Kenton Kroker, graduate program director for Science and Technology Studies. “But we know very little about the history of the man or the device,” he says. Edward’s research includes photographing and piecing together over 8,000 (and counting) photographs of Van de Graaff’s personal papers and other materials at Van de Graaff family homes.

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Francesc Rodriguez

Originally from Barcelona, Francesc Rodriguez studied in Berlin and Bielefeld, Germany before beginning his doctoral studies at York. After completing a master’s degree in history, philosophy and sociology of science, he says he came to York because "the Graduate Program in Science & Technology Studies perfectly matches my expectations." Francesc wants to employ best practices in critical communicative research to “include the excluded” in policy making.

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Alyssa Brierley Alyssa Brierley chose to come to York to not only pursue her PhD inpolitical science but also an LLB atYork’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Excelling in both programs, in 2007she competed in the graduate divisionof the York Public Affairs Essay Competition and was awarded the McCarthy Tetrault LLP Leadership Award at Osgoode. When she graduates from York, Brierley will provide legal assistance to groups in developing countries and study the ways in which social movements are appealing to international law as a tool for change.
Robert Mizzi Education PhD student Robert Mizzi is specializing in international education, peace education, educational development, gender, race and sexuality issues in education. His work focuses on an awareness of global and local dynamics which shape education in differing countries. One of the highlights of his work at York was attending the Mark and Gail Appel Program for Holocaust/Anti-Racism Education in Germany and Poland. Mizzi is also the founding director of the non-profit organization Queer Peace International which facilitates outreach projects to sexual minorities in developing countries.
Amaris Siegel Amaris Siegel is doing her MSc in Kinesiology & Health Science with a focus on neuroscience. To complement her studies, she works with the Sensorimotor Control Lab at York’s Centre for Vision Research. She credits her success — including her participation in two international conferences in her first year — to the highly collaborative nature of program and the support received by her supervisor. For example, after joining the program, Amaris was quite impressed with the way her professors treat her like a colleague.
Sheila Colla Sheila Colla came to York University to complete her PhD in conservation biology and work with renowned bee expert Professor Laurence Packer. Colla recently submitted a paper on bumble bee population decline and presented a poster at the International Pollination Symposium at Iowa State University. In future projects she hopes to determine what is threatening her region’s bumble bees. She explains the importance of her work: “When we conserve the bees, it in turn conserves the plants and crops they pollinate and the animals which feed on those plants.”
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