Research Assistants

Current Research Assistants

Ngā Hau/Christine Elers

Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa

JRO and PhD student, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University

Through her mother, Christine’s Iwi or tribal affiliations are Ngāti Kauwhata in the Manawatū, where she was born and has lived most of her life. She is also affiliated to the tribal nations of Ngāti Hauā and Ngāti Maniapoto in Waikato.

Through her father, she traces descendancy to the tribal nations of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne in Wairarapa and Ngai Tahu in the South Island. Christine is a Junior Research Officer at CARE, the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation in the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North.

She is also a PhD student utilising the Culture-Centered Approach to build infrastructures for voice amongst Māori with lived realities of multiple socioeconomic and communicative disparities.    

Pooja Jayan

JRO and PhD student, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University

Pooja Jayan is a Junior Research Officer and PhD student in the Center of Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Pooja’s current research interests are in health communication, specifically looking at health experiences and inequalities among marginalized communities. Her doctoral thesis looks at the health and wellbeing of migrant Indian nurses in New Zealand. She received the Society for Research on Women Research Award (SROW). 

In her research projects in New Zealand and India, she engages with migrants, refugees, women, and minority communities experiencing marginalization.   

Md Mahbubur Rahman

JRO & PhD Student, School of Communication Journalism & Marketing, Massey University

Md Mahbubur Rahman is a Junior Research Officer at Center for Culture-Centered Approach for Research & Evaluation (CARE). He is now pursuing a PhD at Massey University, New Zealand at Manawatu Campus.

His PhD research topic is “Health Communication among the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.” At CARE he is dealing with the Refugee and new migrant communities of New Zealand utilizing Kaupapa Māori theories and working on communication research using participatory and Culture-Centered Approach (CCA) theories to develop community driven communication solutions. His primary research interests include health communication, media communication, intercultural communication, migrant health, refugee health, pharmacy and medicine.

Before commencing his PhD study, Md Mahbubur Rahman has been working as a News Producer at Bangladesh Television (BTV) for more than 9 years and as a Program Producer in Bangladesh Betar (Radio Bangladesh) for more than 8 years. Besides he has been working as a Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy at University of Development Alternative, UODA, Bangladesh in 2009-2010 session and then continued to participate at the research activities of the Pharmacy department of UODA. He is a NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) scholar as he has been offered NOMA scholarship of Norway in 2009 for doing his Regional Masters in Journalism, Media and Communication degree. His Master dissertation titled “Credibility of Al Jazeera English (AJE) News in Bangladesh” examined the credibility of various news channels in Bangladesh like BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and some local channels. He has been awarded Gold Medal (Chancellor Award) in his MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree in 2006. He is also a registered Pharmacist of Bangladesh.

Research Assistants – Alumni


Ashwini’s research, and previously employment and volunteering, has been in collaborative projects between NGOs and academic departments. Her PhD thesis is an ethnographic research with the farming community in Maharashtra, India, battling the ongoing agrarian crisis. Her other research project concerns the discursive constructions of inequalities in Singapore. Relying on the Culture-centered methodology, her research examines marginalization, and its implications for social change and public health. Following a Master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai, India, and an M.Phil from the same department, she joined NUS as a PhD student (August 2014 – August 2018). Her master’s film ‘352: Remembering Emergency’ won the gold in students’ film category from Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA, 2009). In 2010, she worked in the capacity of Program Associate with the Tsunami-affected indigenous residents of the Nicobar Islands. Driven by practice-oriented creative work for social impact and change, Ashwini worked as a subeditor for a comics magazine for two years between 2010-2012, when she and worked with comics artists and wrote stories for children to develop social conscience. As a PhD student, she was a part-time Research Assistant with Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) where she began her research with farmers. During her PhD candidature, Ashwini has worked as a part-time teaching assistant for six modules at the Department of Communications and New Media. She also attended the 2015 ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School on the theme ‘Politics, Civil society and Participation’, at University of Bremen, Germany. Besides her research, Ashwini has a passion for painting, and track-running.


Dazzelyn Baltazar Zapata is currently a lecturer at the Communications and New Media Department, National University of Singapore. She first joined CARE as Graduate Research Administrative Assistant in July 2014 and went on to be a Research Associate after completing her PhD in July 2015. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow (teaching) with CARE from January 2016. She remains involved with CARE’s working Filipina foreign domestic workers project, the transgender sex workers project (Project Stiletto) and the conference for social change edited book project. Dazzelyn teaches science communication, new media and health communication and critical perspectives in advertising. She was also a tutor for various CNM modules while she was a graduate student with the department such as Theories of Communications and New Media, Communication, New Media and Society, Culture Industries, Social Psychology of New Media, and the IARU NUS ‘Asia Now!’ Global Summer Program.Indigenous peoples, representation, development and mobile phones are the core of Dazzelyn’s PhD dissertation. Her research looked into the influence of mobile phones on the indigeneity of the Igorot people in Mountain Province, Philippines, and explored the connection between mobile phone use and the community’s understanding of development through the culture-centered approach. Prior to moving to Singapore, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Baguio handling courses in communication, journalism, broadcasting and media studies. She completed her BS Development Communication major in Science Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Banos and MA Media Studies major in Broadcasting at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Back in the Philippines, she is a volunteer facilitator/trainer for various grassroots programs. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she taught full time as gurong pahinungod (teachers to the village program) in a remote indigenous community in Abra, Philippines. For the past 14 years, she has closely worked with various indigenous communities in the Philippines, mostly in the Cordillera Administrative Region where they have a very high concentration of indigenous peoples in the country.


Pauline Luk is a doctoral student at the Department of Communications & New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore, and a CARE Research Assistant. Pauline received her Master’s degree in Journalism from Renmin University of China for research on the relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners in Hong Kong. Her research interests are in health communication, public relations, and marketing. Prior to joining NUS, Pauline was an Assistant Professor and Programme Director in Public Relations and Advertising for the Department of Journalism and Communication at her alma mater Hong Kong Shue Yan University for more than 10 years. She taught various courses in public relations, integrated marketing, and news reporting, and was also the coordinator of the summer internship programme for undergraduates. Pauline’s previous work experiences include copywriting and account servicing for advertising and public relations agencies in Hong Kong. She also volunteered for AIDS prevention programmes in Hong Kong. In 2010, Pauline attended a summer course held at Renmin University of China called “Summer Institute of Health Communication,” which featured lectures by professors from the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania. In 2011, she participated in workshops in strategic health communication and health crises management at the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.


Ee Lyn was a journalist for over 22 years, first with trade publisher Petroleum Argus and then with Reuters. Based first in Singapore and later Hong Kong, she covered a wide gamut of news ranging from health, science, politics, business and current affairs to disasters like epidemics and earthquakes. From 2006 to early 2013 as Asia health and science correspondent for Reuters, Ee Lyn became deeply interested in public health issues and broader themes like how resource inequity is the root of poor health, morbidity and premature death. In 2009, she received an Asia Human Rights Press Award for an article on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, and in 2010, she earned her master degree in public health from the University of Hong Kong, where her thesis explored the motivations for psychotropic drug abuse in Hong Kong.

Ee Lyn returned to her home base in Singapore in 2013 and now works as a research assistant at the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation, a unit at the National University of Singapore, where she will focus on marginalized and disadvantaged populations and how their health may be impacted. Her other passions are sea swimming, brisk walking, reading and housekeeping.


Satveer Kaur is a doctoral student at the Department of Communications & New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore, and a CARE Research Assistant.  Satveer’s current research interests are in health and political communication, specifically looking at health experiences and inequalities among impoverished communities, where health disparities are rampant. Her doctoral thesis looks at cardiovascular disease and the Malay community in Singapore. Her other research projects include health experiences amongst subaltern migrant communities, framing of migrant worker communities and health information seeking behaviour in Singapore. Satveer received her Master of Science (MSc) in International Public Policy from University College London in 2011. She studied contemporary global affairs, the theoretical underpinnings of international relations, international organizations, global treaties, and transnational crime. Her Master’s dissertation looked at illegal wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia within the broader context of wildlife regimes. As a student of NUS where she received her Bachelor of Social Science (BSc with Honors) from the National University of Singapore, she was an active member with the university’s animal welfare group and a participant in the International Alliance of Research Universities, Oxford’s Global Leadership Programme at University of Oxford, in the Summer of 2009. Satveer was also a teaching assistant with the CNM department at NUS. Previously, she worked with the Housing and Development Board of Singapore as a Corporate Communications Manager, where she specialized in media relations and planning.


Somrita Ganchoudhuri is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Communications & New Media (CNM). She received her Master’s degree in Communication Studies from University of Hyderabad, India.

Her primary research interests are in the field of health communication, media content analysis and the culture-centered methodologies to develop community-driven communication solutions to various issues. Her Masters thesis titled ‘Media Coverage of Delhi High Court Judgement on Section 377’ focuses on how the Delhi High Court verdict of decriminalizing homosexual behavior was framed by different elite English newspapers in India. Her paper goes beyond noting the different frames in the media to critique lack of a more democratic, rights-based approaches in media coverage of sexual minorities. Currently her thesis is concerned with examining the role of Nongovernmental organizations in health sector, and communication processes and strategies and tactics they use in the realm of HIV/AIDS in Nagaland while also asking critical questions about health disparities, culture and health to identify the extent to which health issues have been addressed.

Previously she worked at Thomson Reuters as a publishing specialist. As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility at Thomson Reuters, she worked closely with marginalized communities such as elderly and orphans.


Daniel Teo was a CARE Research Assistant and a Master’s degree student at the Department of Communications & New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore (NUS). Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science (1st Class Honours), majoring in Communications with a minor in English Literature. He is also a recipient of the Hill & Knowlton Best Communication Management Award. Daniel’s research interests are in health communication, journalism, public relations, critical theory, cultural studies, and narrative theory. His undergraduate thesis, which critically analyzed news reports on the H1N1 pandemic, was able to combine all these interests. Daniel’s current thesis work for his Master’s degree focuses on health narratives. In 2011, he was invited to spend a semester at Purdue Graduate School as the first student in a developing Purdue-NUS graduate exchange program. Before joining CARE, Daniel worked as a Teaching Assistant at CNM for two years. He taught various classes in public relations, publication and design, and culture industry, and was awarded the department’s Best Teaching Assistant Award in 2011. Daniel’s other work experiences include serving as a military musician in the Singapore Armed Forces, and copywriting annual reports and other publications.


Sarah Comer received her Master’s degree from the University of Georgia’s Department of Communication Studies in the United States and is now working as a CARE Research Assistant. Sarah’s Master’s research focused on redefining pedagogical and evaluative practices used for communication training in American medical schools. Specifically, she examined how physicians can best communicate with their patients about difficult subjects such as error disclosure and behavior change. Before joining CARE, Sarah was a research assistant for a collaborative grant funded by the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse through the University of Georgia and Emory University. This grant focused on teaching safe sex negotiation skills in hopes of lowering HIV/AIDS rates. Sarah also worked at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as a research assistant to the Behavioral Science team working on projects such as multimedia development for continuing medical education, interpersonal communication development for Physician Assistants, and the development of a social support website for cancer survivors. Sarah’s other research interests include decision-making in health settings, cross-cultural communication in hospitals, conceptualizations of health by marginalized populations, and health intervention planning. Sarah can be contacted at


Rahman was a Research Assistant and a Multimedia Producer at CARE. He received his Bachelor’s of Social Science (BSc) from the National University of Singapore with a major in Communications and New Media and minor in English Language. Rahman’s previous work experiences include project management and client servicing, along with the handling of publication design projects and videography assignments. Some of his clients include Mandom (Gatsby), Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle, MOE Malay Language Centre and Artbug – Centre for the Arts.


Ahmed Khan was a doctoral student at the Department of Communications & New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore, and a CARE Research Assistant. He is a self-professed “story teller.” He has produced and directed films on rights-based issues around the world. Selected key directorial work include The Dreaming Vendors (Bangladesh-Thailand), Votes Echoing Hope (Afghanistan), andClick to Protect, Change to Connect (Brazil-Thailand). Ahmed was the artistic director of the first human rights film festival in Thailand. He has also previously worked in the knowledge management for human rights, and on social justice issues such as culture and current affairs, children and women, ethnic minorities and migrant workers. Ahmed has also conducted extensive academic research on rights-based awareness and media in South and Southeast Asia.  He has worked in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Jordan, and received training in Italy and the Netherlands. Ahmed holds two Master of Arts degrees, one in Philosophy (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) and one in Human Rights and Social Development (Mahidol University, Thailand). He also received a diploma from the European-Inter University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) Summer School on the topic “Cinema and Human Rights.” Ahmed’s experience in knowledge management and organizational development is combined with strong verbal and written communication skills which have been instrumental in his work as a lecturer, mediator, facilitator, trainer and coordinator of programs.


Naomi is currently pursuing her M.A. with the Department of Communications and New Media. During her time as an undergraduate She was previously an undergraduate student at CNM , with experience working on research projects on the role of ICTs in developing communities and for marginalised groups. For her Masters thesis, she plans to delve deeper into the fields of health and development communication. Her dissertation will focus on the problem of food insecurity in Singapore, the communicative erasure of the subaltern in this context, and instances of resistance and agency. Her other research interests include the usage of ICTs in developing countries, and new social movements.


Manishankar was a Research Assistant at CARE. He has read Msc. in Environmental Engineering from the National University of Singapore and Graduate level coursework in Sociology from the Nanyang Technological University on a National Research Foundation-Competitive Research Program Scholarship. Prior to CARE, he was a Senior Consultant with a boutique sustainability advisory in Muscat, Oman and a Project Manager with a Fortune 500 Engineering Services Major in Gurgaon and Mumbai in India. Manishankar is a popular Development Blogger and has been associated with a number of non profits in Singapore, Mumbai and Delhi. His career interests are located at the intersection of Social Development, Sustainability and Research Project Management.


Munirah worked at the National Gallery for a few months as a research assistant dealing mainly with copyright issues and a project that would be launched when the museum opens. Currently, she is working on the Malay Heart Health Project and is excited to be part of other projects in CARE that will benefit the society. Her interests lie in seeking knowledge; basically anything that requires me to learn something new and imparting it another person. And for this reason, learning new languages, travelling, cultural exchanges and art with a spiritual aspect such as calligraphy, are the things she looks forward to during her free time.