This summer, Spheres of Influence has been honoured to welcome 12 new volunteer staff writers. Coming from diverse academic, professional, and cultural backgrounds, these new numbers bring unique perspectives on a number of pressing, underreported issues – ranging from the US-China trade war to the politics of Indian cinema to the legacy of queer history in current affairs.
As Canada’s only youth-led global affairs publication, providing opportunities for and amplifying the voices of the next generation of global change-makers in a monopolized media landscape is central to our mission.
Welcoming Our New Staff Writers
Anupriya Dasgupta is a sociology graduate interested in pursuing innovative, reflexive and intentional approaches to storytelling. Her interests lie in studying power, legitimacy and agency through historical approaches, utilizing an anticolonial, queer and radical feminist lens. Anupriya is committed to making critical and nuanced analysis more accessible, responsible and intentional, and is curious about the role of emotions as more legitimate ways of knowing and sharing knowledge. As a journalist, she is interested in microcosmic cultural exchanges that offer tangible glimpses of larger systemic operations and socio-politically informed interaction.
Alex Senchyna (she/they) recently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a B.A. in International Studies and History and currently works in refugee resettlement. Their interests include human rights law, migration policies, and Middle Eastern history. Outside of writing, they can be found practicing yoga, hiking, and rewatching old episodes of Drag Race.’’
Hamad Abdullah is a Pakistani student who recently completed an MA in History from The University of British Columbia. He is interested in issues related to the history and culture of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora in Canada.
Aditya Bhagirath recently graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2022, where he received his B.A. in International Relations. His interests include queer history, the interconnectedness of art and culture with global politics, and peace & conflict studies. Outside of writing, he can be found reading, trying out new recipes, and working to perfect his ‘Hot Honey Rag’.
Rhita Bounaaja is a graduate of UBC with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French. She currently works full-time at the university with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Her areas of interest are human rights, environmental politics, as well as peace and security studies. She hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy. During her free time, she likes to travel, explore the city, and go hiking.
Henry Stevens is originally from Waterloo, Ontario and is currently attending UBC in Vancouver where he is completing his B.A in history with a minor in international relations. His studies focus closely on global experiences of colonialism and decolonization as well as revolutions and wars of independence. He also enjoys learning about new cultures, and finding joy in music, film, and art from numerous different countries around the world.
Jasmine Acharya (she/her) is from Ottawa, Ontario, and is currently completing an MSc in the History and Philosophy of Science at University College London. Her main research interests centre around gender equality, social justice, and economic empowerment. In her free time, you can find Jasmine taking photos, cooking, and listening to podcasts.
Maya Edwards is a recent graduate from The Ohio State University, where she earned a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (B.A.) as well as Italian (B.A.). She currently works in D.C. at the Atlantic Council, an international think tank, and is interested in attending graduate school in the future to earn a master’s degree in International Affairs. Her interests include environmental and climate justice, human rights, gender and race politics, and global governance. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, hiking, live music, and spending time with friends.
Natalia Tola is an Ecuadorian journalist currently studying at the University of Kings College, Halifax. Her main research interests include international politics (particularly those focused in Latin America), intersectional feminism, strikes for human rights, social justice and cultural minorities. In her spare time Natalia works on student politics, writes poetry in her phone or devours the latest Haruki Murakami novel.
Helen Guan (she/her) is a third-year student studying political science at the University of British Columbia. Originally from China but immigrating to Vancouver, Canada at a young age, she is particularly interested in the Asian diaspora and Chinese-Canadian history. Her interests also include critical theory, activism, human rights, and social justice. In her free time, you can catch her reading, coffee shop hopping or making overly specific Spotify playlists.
Rose Solovitch graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in English literature with a minor in philosophy from Queen’s University in 2015. She became a licensed Paralegal from George Brown College in 2016. She is passionate about writing, editing, reporting and journalism with a focus on issues of justice and equality. Rose specializes in areas of gender equality and human rights, disability and Accessibility issues, and legal matters. In her spare time, Rose enjoys reading, writing, singing and dancing, and spending time with the people she loves the most: her friends and family.
Lukas Troni is a Chilean geography student at the University of British Columbia. His topics of interest include Climate and Social Justice, Indigenous Rights and Latin-American Politics. A Vancouverite at heart, he enjoys trail running, biking and rock climbing in his free time.
We’re excited about the energy, skills and perspectives that all of them bring to the table, further strengthening the collaborative effort at our volunteer-run publication. Welcome to Spheres of Influence!