Maham Bushra

Scholars’ Publications Editor-in-Chief and Purpology Student Coordinator

4th year, Medical Sciences (Pathology)








Rebecca Smith

Scholars’ Programs Coordinator, The Student Success Centre

I fell in love with The University of Western Ontario Fall 1997 – yes, 1997!  I came from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to begin my undergraduate studies and have never looked back.  I graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and have continued to explore courses in Psychology, Religious Studies and dabble in the area of co-active coaching.  After graduating from Western I took a summer position at Student Central and that summer job has help mould my career path.  After nearly five years working in Student Central, I took a leap and applied for a position in the (former) Centre for New Students (and now The Student Success Centre) to become the Academic Counselor and Program Coordinator of Scholars’ Programs.  Needless to say my application for the position was successful and over the last five years I have been working with incredible students participating in the Scholar’s Electives Program, Western Scholars and WISE.  I have truly been blessed to be able to support the finest students on campus and I am grateful for the multitude gifts this outstanding group of students gives me each and every day.

In May 2011 my life blessings increased significantly when my husband (Chris Smith) and I welcome our first child into the world.  Zara is an amazing little creature, who brings me more happiness and inspiration than one could possibly imagine.


Grace Nasri

Founder of Purpology


Hello! I am currently in my 4th year in the Scholar’s Electives program at Western. I’ve created my own degree through the program, combining two areas I love to study most: Medical Sciences and Psychology. I’ve lived in five countries, and being fluent in four languages I enjoy travelling and putting my language skills to valuable use. I love animals and have owned a variety as pets: duck, chicken, goat, sheep, dog, birds, cat and an uncountable number of goldfish (in case you’re wondering, I’ve never lived on a farm!) With an interest in listening to people’s stories and what they have to share, I’ve created Purpology to be a space for Scholars’ programs students to reveal their campus and program experiences, serving as a window for prospective students and the rest of the community to better comprehend who we are.


Alyssa Molko


2nd year Social Sciences

alyssaHi! My name is Alyssa, and I am a second year Social Science student. My favourite colour is purple so, needless to say, I’m quite happy with my choice to come to Western. I love to read and watch Netflix in my spare time, which I do more than I probably should. I have a collection of movie and concert tickets which I started about 6 years ago. I’m super excited to work with Purpology and make some videos!


 Ann Kamau

Writer and Junior Editor

3rd year Arts and Humanities

Profile Pic“Yo what’s crack-a-lackin in the hood my peeps? I be loving this Western life and can’t wait to get this Purpology party started, you feel me?” Is what I would have said in grade 9 before I realized no 14 year old in Mississauga talks like that. Now I’m a second year Arts and Humanities student trying to understand why I hated proper English so much. I’m so happy to be a Westerner and already feel at home. I love reading, writing, and the heat – my ideal temperature is 28 degrees so this winter should be interesting. I speak Swahili and have mastered 5 words of French after 8 years. I would also love to watch TV shows for a living if someone would pay me (by the way, everybody needs to stop, drop, and roll in front of a laptop and watch How To Get Away With Murder. Pronto.). I’m so excited to see where this blog takes me and hope you like what you see.


Brenda Xue


3rd year MOS

brenda xueHi friends! My name’s Brenda Xue (pronounced “zoo”) and I’m a second year MOS student from Richmond Hill. As a Netflix enthusiast, you can find me binge watching the next episode of Suits instead of doing my readings and assignments. I love foreign and cult films, but I’m open to any suggestions whether it be a TV series or movie (hint hint). In my spare time I like to read, blog, play video games and bake/cook (and eat). I’m always open to new recipes and tips so hit me up if you want to share.

I’m so super excited to be at Western and even more so to be part of the Purpoplogy team. I can’t wait to get this party started and see what adventures and experiences await!


Courtney Mann


2nd year Creative Writing and English


Hi all! My name is Courtney and I’m currently pursuing an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature in my second year here at Western University.

Ironic as this may be, words cannot express how much love and passion I have in my heart for this school – and it’s people. Hopefully through this blog I will be able to capture at least some of it.

Apart from being an avid reader and writer, I’m a nature enthusiast who will never turn down a fresh cup of coffee or a slice of cheesy pizza, and I dream of being an editor someday – after I’ve travelled the world of course.


Erin Shimkovitz

Writer and Social Media Manager

2nd year MIT
erinHi! My name is Erin and I’m in my second year of an Honours Specialization in MIT. I grew up in Thornhill (just outside of Toronto) and decided to come to Western specifically to study media! You can usually find me watching Netflix, hanging with friends, or listening to music. I love a variety of artists, but some of my favourite are Bon Iver, The Lumineers, and Crosby Stills and Nash. I’m also obsessed with dogs and have an adorable Goldendoodle named Rory who is named after Rory Gilmore! I’m so excited to be involved with Purpology and Scholars’ Publications this year and can’t wait to connect with all of you!




Gazal Kukreja


4th year Kinesiology

gazalHey Everyone! My name is Gazal and I’m a fourth year Kinesiology student. People always have trouble pronouncing my name, so let me make it easy for you: it rhymes with puzzle (guzzle). I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for most of my formative years where I developed a love of the ocean. Along with swimming in the freezing cold Atlantic, I also have a passion for good food, travelling, and working out; nothing gets me more excited than all-you-can-eat sushi after a good sweat at the gym. Ten years from now, you will probably see me working in the field of neuroscience, psychology, or mental health somewhere in France or Australia. Anything to do with the brain and human psychology is fascinating to me. I look forward to being part of the Scholar’s Publications team and hope you enjoy my posts!


Julia Sebastien


2nd year SASAH and MIT
imageI am a 2nd year student from Toronto double-majoring in SASAH and Media Information and Technoculture. This year, I am the Theatre Critic Commissioner on the AHSC. My other hobbies include singing/songwriting, screenwriting, running, watching youtube videos and making really bad puns.




Katherine Argall


1st year Medical Sciences

12087332_1071902929510690_2000629377_nHello! My name is Katherine Argall and I am in my first year of Medical Sciences. Whenever I’m not busy studying for all my classes, you can find me playing video games, or writing fanfictions for the numerous TV shows I’ve accumulated over the years. Science is my first passion, but writing falls in at a close second. And videogames in a tight third. 9 times out of 10 I’ll start a conversation either with a random science fact, or by telling you what the latest quest in my game is about.

Although I’m pretty sweet, I’d actually rather be salty or sour or bitter, because then bees wouldn’t be so attracted to me. Seriously, I freak out at bugs. Unless we’re talking about black widows, or, very specifically, about Black Widow. I can also go on and on about comic books and movies.

If you see me around campus, feel free to say hi!


Martin Spassov


1st year Computer Science

msHi everyone, my name is Martin and I am a first year computer science student. I love tech of all sorts, and spend a lot of time learning about new devices and gadgets. Recently, I’ve gotten into photography and video editing, and I think that Purpology is the perfect outlet to experiment with creating media of all sorts. I’ve been able to play around with Premiere and Sony Vegas, and I find it so cool how you can manipulate film to better tell a story with just a mouse and keyboard. I find it so rewarding to capture someone’s voice or story and memorialize it though video, and there’s so many possibilities with video editing tools. In my spare time I love to swim, and I used to swim competitively throughout high school. I also really enjoy going on hikes, and just exploring different places. Once I graduate, I really want to travel the world and take pictures of exotic places.


Salena Nazarali


2nd year MIT

Hi! I’m Salena – second-year student in MIT and proud owner of a living houseplant. I joined Western Scholars mainly because I really like to write. As an MIT student I always have an essay due, and in my free time I write articles on two other online blogging platforms. I have an affinity for weird healthy foods, all forms of caffeine, romantic-comedies and unnecessarily large sweaters. I’m looking forward to writing for Scholars Publications this year!


 Sarah D’Aurizio

Head Videographer

4th year Ivey and MIT

IMG_1951Hello all! My name is Sarah D’Aurizio and I’m a FIMS student looking to follow the MIT stream in further years. I am hugely obsessed with the film and television industry and have a gross affinity for the colour purple, which is 67% of the reason I chose to be a mustang this year. The other 33% comes from all the opportunities Western can give me, including being part of this super awesome blog. I also recently got back into playing soccer here after leaving my competitive team when I was 15 and despite the obvious deterioration of my skills the reunion is blissful.

When I’m truly a fan of something it tends to take over my life; I’m a dedicated Swiftie since 2007 and when January 12th, 2014 comes I will live and breathe Shameless (the US version) probably until summer. I fall into passions easily. I have a younger sister and a team of former Chapters coworkers whom I miss terribly, and Nashville is my second home although I eventually want to live in L.A.; however, I will probably retire to be that crazy cat lady living next door to my Italian cousins back in my hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Thanks for reading, and welcome to Purpology!


Savanna Gao


1st year, Social Science


Hi all! My name is Savanna and I am currently a first year student at Western University. I am planning to pursue a Honours Specialization in Economics in my second year.

Although I have never taken film studies or a professional film editing class, I am passionate about making videos. Films help me express my ideas, imaginations and feelings in an unbelievable way. Being part of the Western Purpology Team has helped me improve my skills and techniques, broaden my views and enrich my first-year experience. I am so grateful to have joined this family and am excited for all the great things that are yet to happen.


Stephanie Li

Blogger and Junior Editor

2nd year Social Science

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAHello, fellow humans. My name is Stephanie and I’m a Social Science student. On most days, I can be found enjoying a strong cup of coffee or tea and indulging in way too much television for my own good. As of late, I have also been trying (and failing) to master the art of sarcasm and wit. My clothes may seem outlandish and my personality soft-spoken, but that will not stop me from being an opinionated, unapologetic individual. Join me on my undergraduate journey as I navigate the mysterious, yet fascinating waters of post-secondary education.



Sydney Gable-Cook


2nd year Social Science

DSC_1273I am a second year student from Oakville, Ontario who enjoys fitness and athletics in general. I have a love for tennis paired with a unique obsession of all things European. I am a very tenacious individual who believed that hard work, dedication and passion are the keys to success. I think that if you dream big and work tirelessly towards your goals, you can achieve the impossible.




Thomas Sayers


2nd year MTP
Thomas Headshot
Hey everyone, Thomas here! I’m a first year student in MTP and I’m super psyched to be here at Western. London is my hometown (this one, not the one with the big clock) so I know my way around here. I’m a theatre kid at heart, having been in musicals and plays for long enough that I forget how many years it’s been. I’m also super passionate about making videos, so Purpology is a great place for me! I’m a huge fan of mockumentaries (The Office and Parks and Rec are great) and TV shows in general as long as they don’t have a laugh track. Super excited to get started with this blog!


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