uni(di)versity is a collaborative blog which aims to provide space for voices that are often marginalized in academic environments. Each of our contributors speaks for themselves; their views and opinions are their own.
Caitlin Williscroft – co-founder
Caitlin is currently working on her Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University Of St. Andrews in Scotland, having completed her Bachelor’s in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at the University of Ottawa in 2010. She worked for three years in Malawi with government, NGOs, and private sector business. Caitlin is currently a member of the Colombia Working Group at the University of St. Andrews Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and writes an international affairs column at MindThis. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @cait_willis.
Dayna just finished her undergraduate degree in Women Studies and Political Science at the University of Ottawa where she will be beginning her Master’s in Women’s Studies in fall 2013. She has experience working in government and NGO settings with a focus in health, vulnerable populations, and HIV/AIDS. Dayna is a lesbian with an avid interest in queer theory, feminist theory, politics, non-fiction reading, and baking. In her spare time, she enjoys deconstructing pop culture, playing guitar, and discussing feminism.
Devon Black – co-founder, editor-in-chief
Devon is working on a law degree at the University of Victoria after finishing up her Bachelor’s in International Development at the University of Ottawa. She’s worked for government, NGOs, an intellectual property law firm in Kuala Lumpur, and most recently an organization that provides direct service to vulnerable women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. When she’s not writing or studying, Devon is arguing on the debate team, swing dancing, or ranting about the intersectionality of oppression. You can find her weekly column on Canadian politics at iPolitics.ca, and you can follow her infrequent tweets @devonblack.
While she wishes she was an awesome Mexican painter, Frida currently spends most of her days pretending to learn law on the West Coast. In her non-existent free-time, she runs around calling out white male privilege, deconstructing power relations, and scoffing at normativity. Her latest quest is to disrupt her own narratives, engage in nuanced analysis, and explore feminist and queer understandings of love. She is brown, cisfemale, queer, feminist, and socialist. Her life goal is happiness, but failing that she will settle for some peace.
Kelci is an International Studies student at the University of Saskatchewan, specializing in international cooperation and conflict. She is a white cis queer woman navigating the invisible disability trifecta of depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. She is an avid debater, and dabbles in swing dancing and knitting. She will talk your ear off about history or feminism or both, and she spends more time than she would like to admit geeking out over portrayals of sexuality and gender in her favourite sci-fi shows. Follow her on Twitter @KelciW.
Livia has not lived in the same place for more than 2 years in the last decade. Having realized this fact, she is planning on setting roots somewhere – anywhere! – after finishing her Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden. Fascinations include: the life of an international (an identity quickly overcoming that of her Polish-Canadian nationalities), security, human rights, and international affairs. Occasionally, however, she enjoys frivolous diversions such as urban design, food, furniture and shoes. Follow her for periodic retweets of interesting things @LiviaNassius.
Lorena comes from a background in anthropology and archaeology. After getting her fill of playing in sandboxes, dirt pits, and museum exhibits, she is now studying for her Master’s in International Security at the University of St Andrews. She is a 1.5 generation immigrant concerned with issues of racial and gender inequality and with the deficiencies of the American educational system. She has experience working with inner-city youth and Boston-area Latino immigrants. In her free time, Lorena enjoys making origami and paper stars, watching movies, obsessing over pop culture, and advocating for the educational benefits of celebrity gossip.
Michael is a Communications and Culture major with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Calgary. He’s a queer femme atheist white able-bodied cisgender Newfoundlander man who was raised in Kingston, ON, and Calgary, AB, and doesn’t take gender too seriously. He’s the second son of an academic and former nurse-turned-teaching assistant for children with special needs, and has an interest in Canadian and American politics, questions of queerness, coffee, and cinnamon buns. You can find him on Twitter @klaas89.
Sabrien lives on the peripheries of various borders – intersections between countries, communities, identities, social circles, ideas, and dreams. Currently, she goes through life as a graduate student, working as a political intern in the diplomatic corps in Ankara, Turkey. She obsesses over perimeters and what they mean for different folks. She has chosen to specialize in security studies after finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights and a Master’s in International Relations, both at the University of Ottawa. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @SabrienAmrov.
Sean hates writing bios because they usually turn into laundry lists or chronologies. Sean is a full-time queer student thinker poet imaginer for which he is paid generously in debt, hugs, possibilities, and friendship. He considers himself religious but spiritual. He spends way too much of his time in a tucked-away library of the Ivy League campus he never thought he would attend. He learns through a learning disability and inhabits a white upper-class educated settler social space. Sean tries to bring a critical edge to his scholarship and activism by challenging it to be useful beyond academia, calling out societal evil (that’s right, evil), appreciating the resistance that is already present, and building the capacity to imagine something more. Check out his blog, Spark Within, and Twitter, @seanneilbarron.