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Meet our graduate students

Francis Apasu

I come from South East Ghana, Africa. I speak Ewe, French, English and, at the beginner’s level, German. I studied French Education at the University of Education, Winneba, in Ghana, where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in French Education. During the first level of my degree, I carried out research in didactics. Whilst at university I met linguists who have tremendously nourished my dream of becoming a bilingual professor of linguistics. Therefore, I would like to do my research on the challenges of bilingualism as part of my MA degree in French. Having read online the achievements of the University of Calgary, I am convinced and confident that studying here will make my dream a reality since the institution has given me admission with funding. I am interested in Gospel music and football, my favorite movies are Nigerian movies, and my favorite novel is Candide.  Also, I love teaching, traveling and parks.

Allison Bajt

In 2012 I graduated from the University of Calgary with a BA in Psychology with distinction and a minor in German. I am currently in my final year of an MA in Applied Linguistics with a specialization in German. I was motivated to pursue my MA at the U of C due to the many strong, positive relationships I made within the German department during my time as an undergraduate student, and in particular, the support and encouragement of my wonderful supervisor, Dr. Mary O’Brien. My research interests include second language pedagogy, identity and language learning, and the development of culturally sensitive and transformative teaching practices for ethnically diverse language learners. I am especially inspired by Jim Cummin’s work on identity texts with Indigenous students and Dual Language Learners in Canada. I have been awarded SSHRC, the Queen Elizabeth II Master’s Scholarship, the Curtin Family Graduate Scholarship and the Thomas Dick Graduate Scholarship in Humanities.  When I am not on campus you will find me practicing yoga, drawing or painting, or running the bike path along the Bow River. 

Víctor Bedoya Ponte<br />

Víctor Bedoya Ponte

I graduated in Philosophy from the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain. I am enrolled in the Ph.D. program. I chose the UCalgary because it has a growing community of researchers and students. It is also located in a beautiful landscape, near the Rocky Mountains. I am mainly interested in twentieth-century fiction, and my thesis is focused on the short fiction of Chilean writer José Donoso (1925-1996), where he explored the topics of identity and its disguises. My supervisor is Dr. Luis Torres. A native Spanish speaker, I studied English for eight years. I also lived in France, so I am fluent in French. I learnt German towards the end of my Master’s, reaching a B1 level. I have received the Eyes High Doctoral Scholarship. Right my favourite novels are The hive, by Camilo José Cela, and The process, by Franz Kafka. The movies I think of now are Sunset Boulevard, by Billy Wilder, and Amanece, que no es poco, by José Luis Cuerda. My hobbies are writing, watching movies, and biking.

Neha Bhatia

Born in a Punjabi family that migrated to India from Lahore after the partition of India in 1947, I speak fluent  Punjabi, also read, speak and write in Hindi, English and French. Given my multilingual and multicultural background, coupled with a B.A. degree in English literature from University of Delhi M.A. And M.Phil. degrees in French and Francophone Studies as well as M.A. from Université de Perpignan,  I wish to develop my research skills further through a PhD in French Cinema at University of Calgary. The University of Calgary has a dynamic community of researchers in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures. The multidisciplinary approach of the program will prove to be an asset for my research which focuses on psychoanalysis, feminism and film analysis to interpret the representation of adolescent sexuality in contemporary French cinema. I have received funding through School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Calgary. I am a cinéphile and appreciate International cinema. Some of my favourite films include Anti-Christ, Dead Poets Society, Respire, Nymphomaniac Vol. 1&2 and La vie d’Adèle to name but a few. I also enjoy reading poetry, particularly Urdu poets; Gulzar and Kaifi Azmi are two of my favourite contemporary Urdu poets.

Jaime Boyzo

Jaime Boyzo

I began my university career in New Mexico completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Spanish. Since then I have completed my Master’s Degree here at the University of Calgary, and I am currently in my second year in the Ph.D. program in Spanish literature. At the moment, I am working on 16th and 17th peninsular literature, focusing on the role of religion in literature during this period. My supervisor is Dr. Rachel Schmidt. I enjoy reading, and some of my favourite books are Don Quijote de la Mancha, Pedro Páramo, and El Coronel no Tiene Quien le Escriba. I also enjoy movies; two of my favourites are Los de Abajo and Mar Adentro. I was born and raised in Mexico City and I enjoy returning there during vacations to see my family and friends. I also enjoy studying here at the University of Calgary.

Marie-Louise Brice

Marie-Louise Brice

I am enrolled in the Ph.D. program. My research focuses on German philosophy (especially Nietzsche) and French literature of the nineteenth century. I am supervised by Dr. Anthony Wall.
I am very fortunate to have received Queen Elizabeth II scholarships. I love reading novels, swimming and traveling. My favorite novel is Germinal by Emile Zola, and my favorite movie is Lord of the Rings. I speak Wolof, French, English, and possess a working knowledge of German and Spanish. I decided to study at the University of Calgary because I love the city of Calgary.

Trinity Byfield

Trinity Byfield

I am currently enrolled in the fourth year of the doctoral program Spanish Literature. Having finished my B.A. in Spanish at the University of Calgary, I have since remained at U of C, partly in thanks to the variety of specialists working within the department. At the moment, my main academic interests are in fragmentation and border issues in Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha, as well as in more contemporary Mexican works, like those of Carlos Fuentes. Luckily for me, Dr. Rachel Schmidt, resident Cervantista, has agreed to guide me on my Cervantes adventure. To relax, I enjoy reading anything by Gerald Durrell and contemporary Latin American women authors, and also watch movies that make me laugh, like Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.

Berenice Cancino

I am an M.A. student in Spanish. I graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Higher Education with a Bachelor in Communication Studies in 2011, and since then I developed a career as a university instructor of written composition. I chose the UofC because of its multidisciplinary approach to the study of Spanish. My research interests include  Latin American dictatorship novels of the 20th century, as well as popular culture elements in contemporary Mexican narratives. Some of my favourite books are Ensayo Sobre la CegueraLa Ciudad y los Perros and El Señor Presidente; regarding films, the ones that I have enjoyed the most are Los Olvidados, El Violín, Somos lo que hay, as well as all the movies by Quentin Tarantino. My other interests include film post-production and sound design, through which I have been able to participate in independent Mexican film productions.

Marie Caroline Daigle

I grew up in a French Canadian home in Calgary and being in a bilingual environment sparked a curiosity about languages and its connection to the mind. I recently obtained a bachelor in Linguistics and Languages with Distinction from the University of Calgary. My undergrad degree included a concentration in French as well as a minor in Psychology. I decided to further pursue my interest in language by enrolling in the French Master’s Program at the U of C. I chose to stay here for two reasons: first being that the professors have always constructively pushed and challenged me. The second reason being that although the Calgary French community fairy small, I believe it is strong, thriving and has plenty to learn from. Besides languages, I am very interested in food and our planet and so with my free time, I am usually in the kitchen trying to recipes and researching new ways of being environmentally friendly. 

Kendra Dalke

Kendra Dalke

I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Spanish. My research interests are Latin American and Spanish cinemas, and gender studies. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Mount Royal University in Calgary, and have also studied at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Spain. I chose to come to the University of Calgary for my M.A. to work with academics in Hispanic film studies and gender studies. I am currently working under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Schmidt on an anonymous manuscript, the Morisco ms. S2, a miscellaneous text covering the Morisco expulsion from Spain in 1609-14, the migration to Tunisia, Islamic short stories, and Muslim teachings on marriage. My favourite novel is Curvas peligrosas by Susana Hernández, and my favourite film is Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino.

Paul Frey

Paul Frey

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology (with distinction) and a minor in French. As of September 2016 I will pursue an MA in French. Due to my background, my research interests revolve around natural sciences and geosciences and their correlation with French literature, society and cultural aspects. I have received the Jason Lang Scholarship in two consecutive school years for academic excellence in the Geology program (2014-15 and 2015-16). I decided to remain at the University of Calgary because of the excellent quality in instruction in the departments of Geology and French. I am fluent in English and French and hold dual citizenship (Canada & France). My favourite French series to read as a child was Les Aventures de Tintin by Hergé. My favourite English book would have to be Holes by Louis Sachar. My favourite movies are the Star Wars series. My favourite French film would have to be the comedy Les Visiteurs with Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. My other pastimes include soccer, racquet sports and international travel, especially travelling to Europe.

Harriet K. Haggerty

Harriet K. Haggerty

I am a PhD student in French. I hold a B.A from Makerere University (Uganda) and an M.A in Applied Linguistics from the University of Alberta. My research focuses mainly on Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics with specific interest in Discourse Analysis. My supervisor is Dr. Ozouf Amedegnato. I speak Luganda, English, French, a little bit of German and Swahili. I chose the University of Calgary because of the learning resources and the conducive academic environment. I love listening to music, watching movies, traveling and poetry. I enjoyed reading Les bouts de bois de Dieu by Ousmane Sembène. My favorite movie is The Ultimate Gift.

Jennifer Heidebrecht

I am an MA student in German. I graduated in 2017 with a BA in Music from the University of Calgary, with a minor in German. I speak English and German with growing fluency. My research interests include music and film and how the two have shaped German cultural identity. My graduate supervisor is Dr. Cheryl Dueck and I chose to further my education at the University of Calgary due to the supportive and encouraging environment of the SLLLC and the school's multidisciplinary approach to studies and research. My favourite film is Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and my favourite novel is Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I continue to be active in the performing arts, including being a member of the Calgary Opera Chorus and singing at various local events.

Ivo Jirásek

Ivo Jirásek

I am originally from what used to be Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic. All my life I have been interested in science, have Phd in Physics from Prague Technical University and spent my professional career working with computers, the last 10 years teaching in the Computer Science Department here at U of C. After retirement I wanted to explore the humanity side of the academic life and decided to do a degree in Spanish, because I was already familiar with the language and have traveled extensively in Latin America. I have finished my B.A. in Spanish in 2016 and decided to continue with M. A. program. The topic of my B. A. honours thesis was comparing the Czech and Chilean exile literature and in my M. A. thesis I would like to expand this comparison to other aspects of literary fiction. In my spare time I like to go to the mountains for hiking and skiing.

Shuo Kang

I come from China where I obtained my B.A. in English Translation & Chinese Education and M.A. in English Linguistics and Literature from Shandong University. My research interests include Chinese as a foreign language acquisition, translation studies between English and Chinese, as well as Chinese modern literature. Now I am enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics at University of Calgary, which is a precious opportunity for me to continue my research comprehensively.

The reason why I choose University of Calgary is that I am able to develop my research skills and academic potentials under the guidance of the faculty members with great expertise, which will also help me enhance my employability. I speak Chinese, English and a little French. My favorite novel series is The Three-Body trilogy which portrays a grand picture of human life in the future. In my non-academic pastime, I like reading (especially short stories), going to the gym and watching comedic movies.

Riley Klassen-Molyneaux

Riley Klassen-Molyneaux

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a degree in Philosophy and another in French. I have decided to pursue a Master’s in French with the likes of Charlotte Jacobson and Dolly Sillito. I am interested in philosophy and specifically how it applies to literature. I like Foucault and Hegel and how they can shed light on anything from novels to Critical Theory. I plan to write my thesis on Aboriginal Literature, using Foucault as my lens. I am the recipient of the French Centre’s Award for Study in Quebec and the Swiss Government’s Book Prize, among others. I speak English, French, passable Spanish and a little German. I chose the University of Calgary because I admire the faculty members and know that they can help me develop my ideas to their full potential. My favorite novel right now is Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins, though a more canonical favorite that I happened to enjoy was La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas. The movie that sticks out in my mind right now as my favorite is Merchants of Doubt. I enjoy reading, Olympic Wrestling and spending time with friends and family.

Lisa Kowalsky

Lisa Kowalsky

I completed my B.A. in Spanish at the University of Calgary. I chose the University of Calgary for my Master’s program because of the high calibre professors who unreservedly share their knowledge and expertise here. I am interested in Medieval History, Medieval and Golden Age Spain, and Manuscript Studies.  I my supervisor is Dr. Rachel Schmidt, and my co-supervisor Dr. Kenneth Brown. I speak both English and Spanish. In my free time I can often be found in the library or the bookstore. My favorite novel: hmmm.... Sofía de los presagios by Gioconda Belli, O’Malley of Shanganagh by Donn Byrne.... too many favorites, ask me sometime and I’ll list them all for you. No favorite films for me. If I can’t be found in my day-to-day haunts, then I am in my kitchen cooking, or off exploring somewhere new, or dancing Argentine Tango. I may also just plain be snuggling with my two red, short-coated mini Dachshunds, with a cup of coffee, chatting with friends and family.

Michael Kudi

Michael Kudi

I am a Ph.D. Candidate. I have obtained a B.A. and an M.Phil. from the University of Cape Coast (Ghana). My research interests are narratology, post-colonial francophone African literature; of particular appeal is the area of frontiers of narration. My supervisor is Dr. Sélom Gbanou. I have received two Eyes High Doctoral Scholarships. Before entering the program, I was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of French, University of Cape Coast. I chose the University of Calgary on the warm recommendation of a fellow countryman, who is pursuing a graduate degree at this institution. My favourite novels are S. A. Obianim’s Amegbetoa alo Agbezuge fe nutinya, and K. Azasu’s The Stool. My favourite movie is Amistad. I speak Ewe, Twi, English, French.

Isabel Lara

Isabel Lara

I am an international Ph.D. Student, having arrived in Calgary from Colombia in September 2012.  For my Master's degree, obtained from the University of Calgary, I wrote a thesis on Francisca Josefa de Castillo y Guevara, a Colombian mystic writer from the seventeenth century. My dissertation analyzed the erotic components in Castillo's writings as well as the mystic language used in them. Now for my Ph.D. I am planning to continue my research on mysticism under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Schmidt.  I love cinema, dancing and nature. One of my favorite novels is Heinrich von Ofterdingen and my favorite movies include Happy Together, Solaris and The Mirror.

Laura Larrad

Laura Larrad

Work brought my family temporary to Calgary. We liked it and decided to stay, which pushed me to continue my education at University of Calgary. I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation in francophone literature under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Wall and Dr. Eileen Lohka. My research hones in on how several French-speaking writers from the Maghreb have taken on the cause of “Oriental” females, not only to debunk the old stereotypes, but also to give a new voice to such overly exploited figures. I hold a Master in French Studies from Paris IV, a Master in International Relations from Universidad San Pablo CEU (Madrid), and a BA in Spanish Studies and a Master in Education from the University of Oviedo (Spain). Alongside my university formation, I have been teaching fifteen years French as a Second Language and Spanish in public schools in France, Spain, USA and Canada. I love French cinema, especially movies directed by Robert Guédiguian; my favorites novels are La Regenta by Clarin and Les Identités meurtrières. In my free time, I love skiing, spend time with my children and travel around the world. I speak Spanish, French and English; I have also studied Chinese (Mandarin) for several years.

Sophie Qing Li

I am an international Ph.D. student enrolled in the program of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I come from the People’s Republic of China. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Translation and Interpreting from Shandong University, China. And I received a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the same university minoring in Cultural Industry.

My research interest lies in the translation studies between Chinese and English and I am typically interested in the English translation of Chinese cultural texts. If possible, I also hope to research about teaching Chinese as a foreign language. The reason that I chose to pursue a higher research degree in University of Calgary lies in the great research atmosphere and a general research funding that I was provided with. The views of mountains and lakes also make me believe that I will have a pleasant stay here.
 
I am passionate about learning different languages and cultures. Besides my mother tongue Chinese, I am fluent in English, and I can also speak a little bit Japanese and French. I don’t have a favorite author, but I like to read books about history and geography, detective fictions and Chinese classics. I enjoy watching the Trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. In my spare time, I prefer to watch documentaries, travel to an ancient cities to visit museums, spend time with my family and friends, and explore new things.

Sarah Lunt

Sarah Lunt

I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in French and a minor in History. I chose to continue my education at this university because of the quality and passion of the professors. My research interests are in French Literature, particularly the 19th and 20th centuries and how they are reflective of the societies within which they were written, and linguistics. I am currently pursuing a thesis-based Master’s in French. I am bilingual in French and English. My favourite books are the Harry Potter series and Stephen King. I enjoy a wide range of movies including anything Disney and superhero movies. My interests outside of the realm of French include Scottish culture, ballroom and Latin dancing, reading, wine tasting, and traveling.

Juanma Martínez Alonso

Juanma Martínez Alonso

I am an MA student in Spanish. I studied at the University of Oviedo, Spain, from where I received a B.A. in English Studies and a B.A. Spanish Studies. I have also obtained an M.A. in Education from UNED. The reputation of the FIS department at UCalgary was the main reason for me to choose Calgary. I research Spanish Golden Age literature, especially Cervantes´ work, under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Schmidt. I have held a graduate assistantship (research) with Dr. Kenneth Brown through his SSHRC-sponsored project dealing with preserving Catalan manuscripts. Besides, I am also interested in film studies, mainly in Spanish cinema. My favorite movie is Tesis by Alejandro Amenábar. I love soccer and I am involved coaching the University team, Dinos. If I had to choose a novel that would be The Great Gatsby.

Alfred Mulinda

Alfred Mulinda

I am a Ph.D. student in French. I hold a B.A. in Education from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and an MA in French from the Université de Genève (Switzerland). My research interests are French Language Didactics and Language-in-Education. My supervisor is Dr. Ozouf Amedegnato. Before my admission into the PhD programme, I was an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam. My choice of the University of Calgary was motivated by recommendation from a friend who was then pursuing a graduate degree in Canada. I speak Runyambo, Kiswahili, English and French. I also have scanty receptive skills in Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Luganda and Lunyankole. I greatly enjoy reading novels by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Une Vie De Boy by Ferdinand Oyono, watching movies from Nollywood movie industry and watching European football.

Anna Pletnyova

I come from Kharkiv, the second-biggest city of Ukraine, sometimes called Ukraine’s City of Students because it has so many universities and young people studying there. I chose the University of Calgary because it is also young, vibrant and full of fresh ideas. I am a PhD student supervised by Dr. Ozouf Sénamin Amedegnato, and my thesis topic is connected with second language teaching as well as sociolinguistic elements important for French and English language learning. I have received the Eyes High Doctoral Scholarship.

I speak five languages (English, French, Russian, Ukrainian and German), and in each I find fascinating works of literature to read, so it’s difficult for me to pinpoint one favourite writer. As for movies, I like watching the French films in which Kristin Scott Thomas acted, and I also greatly respect the Coen brothers. Among my favourite pastimes is doing yoga, which I took up after going in for rhythmic gymnastics professionally, as well as hiking and cycling.

Bernadette Raedler

I completed my Master’s Degree at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany in 1996. After three transatlantic moves I arrived in Calgary in 2007, and later decided to pursue a PhD degree. I am currently a PhD candidate in the German program. I am interested in literature that evolves at borders, marking political, historical, cultural, or linguistic change. My dissertation project focuses on the metareferential treatment of identity construction in fictional biographies. My supervisor is Dr. Cheryl Dueck, my co-supervisor is Dr. Florentine Strzelczyk. I was awarded two Queen Elizabeth Doctoral Scholarships in 2016. I love the Rocky Mountains which remind me of the Alps. The Rockies intrigue me with fantastic powder snow for skiing and their foothills for hiking. My hometown mountains seduce me with alpine lodges on every hike that offer Kaiserschmarrn and adipsous fluids. I like New German Cinema and cherish the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole for his novel Open City.

Richard Slipp

I am a PhD candidate in a co-tutelle agreement between the University of Calgary and the JL-Universität Gießen in Germany. I completed my BA in English and MA in German at the UofC, and have also worked here as a sessional instructor since 2005. I seem to keep getting drawn back to Calgary between long academic and work stints in Freiburg, Dublin, Leipzig, Jena, Erfurt and Berlin, where I currently live. I am writing a dissertation on the narrative treatment of memory acts in the prose of Christoph Hein, under the supervision of Dr Carsten Gansel (Gießen), Dr Florentine Strzelczyk and Dr Cheryl Dueck. I hold a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and was awarded the Chancellor’s Challenge Scholarship in 2016 and 2017. I speak English, German and some very basic Spanish. My research and teaching interests are in aspects of narratology, East German literature, and German film – especially those of Christian Petzold and Andreas Dresen. Narrowing down my literary favourites is difficult, but a short list would include Franz Kafka, Max Frisch, Günter de Bruyn and Thomas Glavinic.   

Daniela Spago

Daniela Spago

I am a Ph.D. student in Spanish. I received a B.A. from University of New Brunswick, and an M.A. from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the University of Calgary. My research interests are medieval Iberian literature; Judeo-Spanish language and literature with a focus on Sephardic community of Sarajevo; cultural cosmopolitism in medieval Spain and the Ottoman Empire; feminist and gender theory; and women`s writing. My supervisor is Dr. Kenneth Brown. I was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II (Master`s Scholarship) in 2012-13, and the Queen Elizabeth (Doctoral Scholarship) in 2013-14. I speak Bosnian, Spanish, and English.

I fell in love with the University of Calgary while completing my M.A. degree. In addition to having a supervisor who provides the liberty for me to choose the direction of my research, I consider myself lucky to be a part of a small student body which is closely knit and very supportive. In my free time, I love spending time with my family and friends, as well as reading anything by Kate Chopin. My favourite film is Tarkovsky’s Solaris, followed by the movies of Alfred Hitchcock.