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Karun Karki

Dr. Karun Karki

Faculty Associate

Abbotsford campus, B165aa

Phone: 604-504-7441 extension 4279

email Karun


I was born and raised in a rural community in eastern Nepal – profusely laden with spectacular landscape, including the Mt. Kanchenjunga and a wide range of flora and fauna. The diverse topography and people with multilingual, multireligious, and multiethnic identities shape my epistemology of ‘how I know what I know.’ I embody a rustic life of indigenous Nepali that contour my inner ‘self’. I am keen to learn about ‘life’ through travelling and exploring about how other people live a life that is different from mine. This has been the main source of my new knowledge. I have been lucky enough to travel more than 14 countries across the globe! Yes, the world is so beautiful, and there are so many things to admire and treasure; the people we love, the places we visit, and the memories we make along the way! I am fortunate to have made a cross-Canada trip (from St. John’s, NL to Abbotsford, BC), driving for 16 days with my family in August 2020.

I joined the School of Social Work and Human Services at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2020. Before that, I was an assistant professor of Social Work at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a part-time contract instructor in the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, where I earned my PhD. In addition, I have an MSW degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA, with two additional MA degrees in Sociology and English Literature. I also have a B.Ed. in Linguistics and Psychology and a B.A. in English Literature and Demography from Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

My academic journey has been a pathway of un-learning and/or re-learning the existing body of knowledge that has been established and ‘re-righting and re-writing the right, and unheard voices to be heard’. I am a critical race scholar whose scholarship attends to minoritized voices and experiences, especially those of racialized and/or marginalized individuals, groups, and communities (i.e., immigrants, refugees, women, and LGBTQ+ people). My scholarly inquiries are grounded in critical theories (e.g., anti-colonialism, anti-racism, anti-Black racism, and intersectionality) and anti-oppressive/social justice praxis. I explore the sense of belonging among racialized diaspora as well as various minoritized communities, including immigrants, refugees and LGBTQ+ people in Canada. I am also interested in topics such as ethno-racial and gender segregation in the Canadian labour market, and social determinant of health of diasporic and marginalized communities. In my social work practice, I adopt collaborative and community-based approaches that foreground the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

My teaching interests at graduate and undergraduate levels include: Social work philosophy and practice; Social justice and social work practice; Ethical thought and reflexive practice; Anti-racism and social work practice; Social work research methods; Social work and community development; Transnational social work; Canadian social policy; Social welfare in Canada; Human behavior and social environment; and Statistics.

I welcome the opportunity to mentor students interested in any of the above research areas. Further information about my academic and professional work can be found here:



2018 – present: United Nations Association, Canada
2017 – present: National Partnership for New Americans
2015 – present: Centre of Excellence for Research on Migration and Settlement
2015 – present: Pathways to Prosperity Canada (Standing Committee on Student and Junior Scholar Engagement)
2013 – present: International Federation of Social Workers

Editorial Board Member
Social Sciences

Qualitative Social Work Journal

Research Interests

Current research projects

  • Working with Dr. Delores Mullings and Dr. Sulaimon Giwa, Memorial University of Newfoundland
    • Research projects: Workplace experience of LGBTQ+ people; Social and regional dimension of discrimination; Dismantling White privilege and racism; Globally displaced populations and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Working with Dr. Nancy Freymond, Wilfrid Laurier University
    • Research Project: Research in the MSW Field Placement; Professional Identity Formation of Social Worker and Social Work Researcher.
  • Working with Dr. Rupa Banerjee, Ryerson University
    • Research Project: Employment Status of Immigrants Coming to Canada through Express Entry Program.
  • Working Dr. Rupa Banerjee, Ryerson University
    • Research Project: Keeping Her in Her Place: Gender Intersections, Migration, and Socio-Political Exclusion.

Research Grants

Research grants, fellowships, scholarships, and awards

University of Technology Sydney, Australia, 2018
Travel Award, International Metropolis, Sydney, Australia

Centre for Community Based Research, Waterloo, Ontario, 2017
Helmut Braun Memorial Scholarship Award

Metropolis North America, 2015
Metropolis Professional Development Award

Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada, 2013 -2019

  1. Research Grant, Office of the Research Services, 2018
  2. Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2018 – 2019
  3. Dr. John Melichercik PhD Social Work Award, 2017
  4. Social Work Alumni Award for Graduate Student, 2017
  5. Travel Grant, Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies, 2017
  6. Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship, 2016
  7. Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2015 – 2016
  8. Academic Development Award, 2015
  9. Research Grant, Faculty of Social Work, 2015
  10. Professional Development Award, 2015
  11. Travel Grant from Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies, 2015
  12. Laurier Graduate Fellowship, 2013 – 2016
  13. Graduate International Student Scholarship, 2013-2014
  14. Entrance Scholarship, Faculty of Social Work, 2013

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois, USA
Graduate Scholarship, 2010-2012

Tribhuvan University, Nepal, 2007
Graduate Scholarship



Peer-reviewed conference presentations

Karki, K. K. (2020). Employment integration of skilled minoritized immigrants in the Canadian labour market. 13th Poverty and Protection Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tomorrow People Organization, April 15-17, 2020.

Karki, K. K. (2019). Global race for skilled workers: Continuation of colonial legacy in Canada’s immigration policy. International Metropolis Conference, Ottawa, Canada, June 24-28, 2019

Karki, K. K. (2019). Doctor there, taxi driver here: Downward occupational mobility of skilled minoritized immigrants in Canada’s job market. 19th Annual Graduate Student Conference, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, March 9, 2019.

Karki, K. K. (2018). Canada’s immigration policy and the colonial past: A critical analysis through skilled immigrants’ perspective. 11th Social Work Research Forum, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada, November 16, 2018

Karki, K. K. (2018). The Deskilling Experiences of Skilled Minoritized Immigrants in the Canadian Labour Market: A Study in Third-Tier Cities in South-western Ontario. International Metropolis Conference, Sydney, Australia, October 29 - November 2, 2018.

Karki, K. K., & Chaulagain, R. (2018). Skilling, reskilling and deskilling: Lived-employment experiences of minoritized immigrants in the Canadian Labour Market. The Oxford Symposium on Population, Migration, and the Environment. The Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, August 2-3, 2018.

Karki, K. K., Nyaupane, B., & Sapkota, D. (2017). Reintegration challenges and coping strategies among the survivors of girl trafficking in rural communities in Nepal. International Conference on the Global Status of Women and Girls. Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, USA, March 24-26, 2017

Karki, K. K., Khan, M. N., Miah, M. M. (2016). Microfinance: A gateway to achieving millennium development goals and post-2015 development agenda. Canadian Association of Social Work Education. University of Calgary, AB, May 30-June 2, 2016.

Laurila, K., Juan, W., Karki, K. K., Bakash, B., Sky, I., Smith, A. B. (2016). In search of epistemologies: Our reflexive epistemological journeys of how we have come to know; so far. Panel Discussion. Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, May 18-21, 2016

Karki, K. K. (2016). Walking the complexities between two worlds: A personal story of epistemological tensions in knowledge production. Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, May 18-21, 2016

Karki, K. K. (2015). The hidden face of violence behind closed door: Intra-women relational conflict between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in the rural communities of Nepal. Fifth Women’s Leadership International Conference. Boston, MA, September 18, 2015.

Karki, K. K. (2015). Credential recognition and skill utilization: Are the streets paved with gold for skilled visible minority immigrants in Canada? Canadian Association of Social Work Education. University of Ottawa, ON. June 4, 2015

Vasic, J., Gokani, R., Karki, K. K., Chi, M., Grosset, C., & Kumsa, M. K. (2014). Entering Precarious Job Markets in the Era of Austerity Measures: The Perceptions of Graduating Social Work Students. Faculty of Social Work, Research Forum. Wilfrid Laurier University, ON, February 23, 2015

Chi, M. Karki, K. K., Clarke, S., Gokani, R., Grosset, C., Vasic, J., & Kumsa, M. K. (2014). Engaging the boundaries of austerity measures: MSW student’s concerns and strategies of creating new frontiers. Canadian Association of Social Work Education. St. Catharine, ON. May 29, 2014

Karki, K. K. (2013). Acculturation gap, role reversal, and family functioning in immigrant families in the United States. Graduate Research Forum. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, March 18, 2013

Cho, D., Karki, K. K., Joseph, K., Morrison, S., & Robinson, L. (2013). Influence of parental demographics on collegiate expectations an involvement. Graduate Research Forum. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, May 4, 2013

Karki, K, K. (2011). Barriers to international students in utilizing student health center. Regional Behavioral Health, Aging & Wellness Annual Conference, IL, USA. September 2011.


Media podcast

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Global Geopolitics (May 30, 2020).

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Globally Displaced Populations (June 02, 2020).

Peer-reviewed publications

Mullings, D. V., Giwa, S., Karki, K. K., Gooden, A., Shaikh, S., Spencer, E. B., & Anderson, W. (forthcoming). The settlement and integration experience of temporary foreign workers living in an isolated area of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration.

Giwa, S., Mullings, D. V., & Karki, K. K. (2020). Virtual social work care with older Black adults: A culturally relevant technology-based intervention to reduce social isolation and loneliness in a time of pandemic. Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

Karki, K. K., & KC, H. (2020). Nepal-India relations: Beyond realist and liberal theoretical prisms. Journal of International Affairs, 3(1), 84-102. Doi:

Giwa, S., Logie, C. H., Karki, K. K., Makanjuola, O. F., & Obiagwu, C. E. (2020). Police violence targeting LGBT people in Nigeria: Advancing solutions for a 21st-century challenge. Greenwich Social Work Review, 1(1), 36-49.

Karki, K. K., Chi, M., Grosset, C., Vasic, J., Gokani, R., & Kumsa, M. K. (2018). Entering precarious job markets in the era of austerity measures: The perceptions of MSW students. Critical and Radical Social Work, 6(3), 291 – 310.

Karki, K. K. (2016). Walking the complexities between two worlds: A personal story of epistemological tensions in knowledge production. Qualitative Social Work, 0(00),1-12. doi: 10.1177/1473325016652678.

Karki, K. K., Miah, M. R., & Jurkowski, E. T. (2012). Global health. In R. Keef & E. T. Jurkowski (Eds.), Handbook for public health social work (PP. 213-230). New York, NY: Springer

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