From Undergraduate to Graduate Studies: Lessons From Kwantlen Alumnus



Many undergraduate students are interested in pursuing their education and entering graduate studies. A number of Kwantlen students have successfully transitioned from undergraduate to graduate studies. In the following presentations Kwantlen Alumni enrolled in various graduate schools across the world speak about their experiences at the 2nd Annual Sociology Undergraduate Student Conference that was held on Friday, October 12, 2012.

‘From Surrey to Glasgow:  An Alumnus' Reflection on his Experience at Kwantlen and Beyond’
Kyle R. Mitchell, (PhD candidate in sociology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland)

Kyle is currently undertaking doctoral research at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, focusing on the political economy of water. His broad research interests include political economy, nature-society relations and the ideas of property, the commons and human rights. Kyle enjoys teaching and has taught sociology at various undergraduate levels. He has presented at international conferences and his recent publications include, “The political economy of freshwater: Reinvigorating the question of property” (2012, in The right to water: Politics, governance and social struggles, Taylor and Francis) and “Property and the human right to water: Toward a non-liberal commons” (accepted 2012, Review of Radical Political Economics). Email: 

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Adjusting to Grad School: How Funding Helps?’ – Trishia Coburn, MA Student, Forensic Psychology, SFU

Patricia Coburn graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic with a BA (Honours) in psychology. Her research focused on the role of executive functions in perspective taking tasks. She received SSHRC funding to attend graduate studies at Simon Fraser University. She is in her second year of the MA program in Forensic Psychology; experimental stream. Currently her research examines decision making in cases involving child witnesses, specifically focusing on how stereotypes and memory reconstruction might influence interpretation of evidence and affect perceptions of credibility. Email:

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‘My Road Map to Grad School – Turning Passion into Profession’– Stephan Struve, MA Student, School of Communication, SFU

Stephan Struve is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, exploring the role of the media in hyping genomic science and focusing on the public understanding of genetic science. Stephan received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2011. Prior to immigrating to Canada in 2008, Stephan completed a Bachelor of Journalism degree in Germany, where he worked as a freelance science journalist. Email: 

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‘Carving Your Path to Success: Getting a Degree vs. Getting an Education’ – Sara Yasan, M. Ed., UBC

Sara Yasan received her M.Ed in Educational Psychology and Counselling at the University of British Columbia in 2012, focusing on applying critical and anti-oppression theories of teaching, learning and human development in empowering marginalized communities, particularly women. Sara's Bachelors of Art in Psychology (major) and Sociology (minor) was completed at Simon Fraser University in 2009. Before immigrating to Canada in 2003, Sara was an elementary teacher in her home country, Iran. 

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