Skip to main content
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Communications Officer

empty
Photo of Asia
“I realized there were so many amazing opportunities in front of me that I was willfully neglecting. That’s when I decided to make a shift and change this narrative of disengagement for myself.”

When Asia Clarke graduated from high school, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in activism and social justice but was unclear of the path to get there. Inspired by her Law 12 course, she found the Criminology program at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and took what she calls “a leap of faith.”

Clarke’s leap of faith led her to pursue a Certificate in Legal Studies in addition to her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminology. “The moment that solidified my decision to go into law was while taking CRIM 230: Criminal Law with Dr. Tamara O’Doherty. Just hearing from someone who is so passionate about the law really spoke to me,” she explains.

Confident in her chosen area of study, Clarke soon came to realize that she was missing a sense of community.

Second year was a pivotal time for Clarke as she decided it was time to become more involved in SFU’s community. “I realized there were so many amazing opportunities in front of me that I was willfully neglecting,” she says. “That’s when I decided to make a shift and change this narrative of disengagement for myself.”

Clarke met with Brian Fox, the Student Engagement Coordinator at Arts Central, who helped kick-start Clarke’s SFU involvement. “It was Brian who pushed me to take that first step to get involved,” she says, “to finally make me feel like I have a sense of community and belonging at SFU.” With Fox’s encouragement, Clarke became a FASS Connections peer mentor for first year FASS students.

Becoming a peer mentor was only the beginning of Clarke’s involvement at SFU as she also became President of the Criminology Student Association (CSA), a Teaching Assistant for the Criminology department, and a Writing and Learning Peer Educator for SFU’s Student Learning Commons (SLC).

One of her proudest accomplishments in her role of President at the CSA was hosting a virtual career fair. Initially designed to be an in-person event in March 2020, the pandemic caused the CSA to shift gears and host the event online – despite others telling them to cancel the event outright. With two weeks to change plans, Clarke and her team persevered and hosted a successful virtual event. “We had over 100 students attend the event virtually,” she says, “which was important as the event connected so many people during a time of uncertainty.”

In her final semester, Clarke took a special interest in the course CRIM 438: Wrongful Convictions and Other Miscarriages of Justice taught by Instructor Pamela Glatt. The course inspired Clarke to learn more about wrongful convictions and eventually become an advocate for those impacted by miscarriages of justice. Clarke is a co-founder of the Wrongful Convictions Collective where she is the Director of the Education Initiative. The goal of the WCC is to educate the public on wrongful convictions as well as advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted. Clarke’s Education Initiative team presents to high school students, typically in Law 12 classes, to educate students on topics of wrongful convictions that are seldom part of their high school curriculum. The WCC has also been successful working with news outlets advocating for the change of problematic story headlines where inappropriate or derogatory language is used towards exonerated peoples.

In September, Clarke will be attending Peter A. Allard Law at UBC to pursue her Juris Doctor degree where she is working towards a career in law. As Clarke looks back at her time at SFU, she is grateful for her Criminology professors, “my professors truly shaped my academic career and helped support me through everything I have done in my undergraduate degree. They even helped me to the point of going to law school!” Specifically, Clarke wanted to thank Professors Pamela Glatt, Dr. Helen Love, Dr. Danielle Murdoch, and Dr. Tamara O’Doherty.

Clarke’s advice to new and incoming students is, “get involved! Start with one thing you are really passionate about and when you devote yourself to that, you can take on more opportunities as they come. If I didn’t take that first step to becoming a peer mentor, I would not be where I am today.”


This story was originally published on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website on May 30, 2022.

SFU Staff
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Communications Officer

You Might Like These... Career Exploration, Professional Development, Workplace Transition, Student Success, SFU Alumni, Convocation

Guy wearing his graduation gown, standing at the edge of a cliff overlooking the city
Justin's Journey

After Justin and Samantha decided to create Career Friends, the rest was history. They have kept each other on track while job-hunting post graduation. Read Justin's story about his experiences after graduating in 2002, and how he overcame the challenges of finding full-time employment.

Graduation ceremony
How to Prepare for the Workforce Before Graduation

How do you stand out and stay ahead of the game in today's increasingly competitive job market? Read on to learn about 4 important resources that can help you advance your career while you're still in school.

christina wu laughing
Life After Co-op Series: Connecting Local and Global Experience

Christina Wu finished a joint major in Business and Communication at SFU and is now working as a Communications Coordinator for the BC Council for International Education. She sat down with us to share her rich Co-op experiences and how they played a significant part in developing the skills and connections she has today.

You Might Like These... Convocation

Photo of Jess
Fostering Inclusion and Equity in the Community

Jess Dela Cruz graduates with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GSWS), passionate about furthering social justice, inclusion, and equity on and beyond campus.

Photo of Chao
Driven by a Passion for Research

Chao Bao graduates with a Ph.D. in Mechatronics. Equipped with a master's degree in engineering and nine years of experience in government research and industry, he made the difficult decision to leave a stable job to pursue his passion in research, with the goal of making a difference in society.

Janine Roller at her graduation
Convocation Reflections: The Winding Road to Find Where You Were Meant to Be

Janine Roller looks back at her SFU co-op experience while speaking at her convocation. She shares how the path you take may not lead to where you expected to go, but it could end up somewhere better.