Community voices at Congress 2023

Congress 2023 attendees outdoors at the Keele Campus

YFile communications officer Joseph Burrell spoke with attendees of Congress 2023 and asked “What have you enjoyed most about your Congress 2023 experience at York University and why?”

Here’s what they had to say:

Mohammad Sohel portrait, photo by Joseph Burrell
Mohammad Sohel

Mohammad Sohel, York U master of social work (MSW), Congress presenter

“Today is my first day joining here. But it’s a great opportunity for me, and for people like me, to be meeting other scholars. There are a lot of publishers here too – publishers from all over the city and elsewhere. It’s a time to expand your knowledge, your skills and to make connections.

“My paper’s title is ‘Deficit of Professional Skills and the Experience of Skilled Bangladeshi Immigrant Physiotherapists in Ontario.’ I explore the skilled profession of physiotherapy and how immigrants face difficulties. I interviewed physiotherapists here who have experience back at home, extensive experience, but they are waiting years to get work here and in other countries. I present that work here June 1.”

Joshua Brand portrait, photo by Joseph Burrell
Joshua Brand

Joshua Brand, PhD student in philosophy and AI ethics at Institut Polytechnique de Paris

“I came to Congress to participate in a specific conference with the Canadian Society for Practical Ethics, so it was great that we could bring in people from all over Canada and the world, and also interact with people from other provinces.

“There’s some really great interdisciplinary discussion that’s going on. And today (May 31) I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Michaëlle Jean at her big speech – that’ll be a nice opportunity.”

Sherri Priestly portrait, photo by Joseph Burrell
Sherri Priestly

Sherri Priestly, instructor at The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Edmonton

“I read a book called Rehearsals for Living by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard, and they’re in conversation with each other in the book, and they’re here in conversation with each other on stage, so I’m excited to check that out.

“It’s my first time at Congress – and I’ve never been to York University, so that’s also a first. The campus is beautiful. Good first impressions all around.”

Quinton Huang portrait, photo by Joseph Burrell
Quinton Huang

Quinton Huang, master’s student in the Department of History at University of British Columbia

“I’m a master’s student and this is the very first time that I’ve been at Congress. It’s so incredible to see. You know that Congress is all of the social sciences and humanities associations coming together to have conferences at the exact same time, but coming here to actually interact with all of the really fascinating communities of researchers and scholars and practitioners – from across the country and beyond – it’s kind of invigorating.

“I think for myself, the opportunity to not only meet the scholars at the Canadian Historical Association – who have greatly influenced my work, that was a really important part for me – but also just getting exposure to all of the other amazing people who are working on subjects that are not necessarily relevant to my own field, but nonetheless have sparked my imagination and curiosity.”

Riley Yesno portrait, photo by Joseph Burrell
Riley Yesno

Riley Yesno, PhD student in political science at University of Toronto

“Congress has been great so far; I’ve gone to some really interesting panels and have learned a lot from people that I probably wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to have a discussion with in an average day. That’s a big win for me.”