Giana Tomas is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. She is passionate about improving our system so society can be more welcoming towards new Canadians as they resettle, transition, and recreate ‘home’. Over the course of her academic training, Giana has gained experience in community-based research for newcomers to Canada, in equity-driven research informing labour policies for supporting mothers of colour in academia, and in transformative justice-oriented research influencing policies for creating inclusive reporting systems for long-term care staff.
As Housing Coordinator, Giana is responsible for advocacy of affordable, safe, and equitable student housing, especially in conversations wherein graduate students might be overlooked. Some ways Giana advocates for graduate student housing are through maintaining active campus partnerships to create resources and make support systems available for graduate students, being the voice for graduate students in community housing committees and working groups, and supervising GSA’s Housing Research and Action Group. Informed by her dissertation work about the ‘home’ and her personal manifesto centred on care, Giana strongly believes that equitable housing is necessary to support the social and academic well-being of graduate students; graduate students who are well supported beginning but not ending with equitable housing, can in turn, feel safe, seen, heard, and may be strongly positioned to thrive not only academically, but in all areas of well-being. It is incumbent upon Giana to advocate for this mission within our community and its decision-makers.
In her free time, Giana enjoys doing yoga and pilates, watching a new show, painting her nails, trying out new recipes, and exploring ways to make her wardrobe more sustainable!