I’ve been much too preoccupied with my own doctoral exam and graduation from SCARP to celebrate the accomplishments of two of my fellow Ph.D.s, both of whom defended in October. This is long overdue!

Dr. Danielle Labbé has spent years studying how a small locality, Hoa Muc in Viet Nam, has made the shift from a rural village to an urban neighbourhood (access her dissertation, On the Edge: A History of Livelihood and Land Politics on the Margins of Ha Noihere). Her analysis focused on the villagers’ livelihoods and land strategies in the context of state regulations and territorialization projects, demonstrating how local practices and norms interact with the state’s regulatory function to shape the periurbanization process. Dr. Labbé recently began her postdoctoral research at York University’s CITY Institute.

Dr. Silvia Vilches has also reached a significant milestone with her dissertation, entitled Dreaming a Way Out: Social Planning Responses to the Agency of Lone Mothers Experiencing Neo-Liberal Welfare Reform in Western Canada (click here to download). She used grounded theory and narrative analysis to explore in-depth interviews from a longitudinal study of 17 lone mothers over a three-year period. She argues that “without recognizing women’s agency, impoverished lone parent families will remain invisible and underserved by existing planning practices.” Dr. Vilches has just started a postdoctoral research position with Dr. Jane Pulkingham at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Since we shared the same supervisor (Dr. Penny Gurstein) Silvia and I have shared many experiences at SCARP. The most memorable include last year’s ACSP conference and this summer’s road trip to Calgary for the CAG/ACUPP conference, where we presented in a joint session with Penny and our colleague Naomi Bartz. I always say I learned as much from my colleagues as my professors, and in Silvia’s case this is particularly true!

Congratulations to two of SCARP’s best!

One Response to “Congratulations Dr. Silvia Vilches and Dr. Danielle Labbé”

  1. Silvia Vilches says:

    Your comments, above, are kind, but equally, you deserve the same. Full congratulations are in order, Dr. Thomas, as you take up residence in Amsterdam and continue your studies of transportation and housing issues. We “newly minted” PhDs each continue to deepen our knowledge on our respective subjects, and I look forward to the evolution in your blog as you compare North American (far west Canada) and European (Netherland) perspectives. I know you will help demystify the perfection that we imagine over there, as well as uncovering strengths we don’t know we have. Perhaps we can revisit our Calgary session with new reflections on how or whether Canadian planning presents unique challenges, ways of working and perspectives on problems. Until the next time!

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