Davin Helkenberg: The birds, the bees and the library?

By Nick Rego

Davin's hometown: Surrey, B.C.

Davin Helkenberg; her friends describe her as intelligent, silly and anxious.


Davin Helkenberg is a PhD student who loves answering the difficult and weird questions about human nature. Her research investigates how stories of sex and relationships in Young Adult novels inform young women readers about sexuality.

In her research, Davin explores whether Young Adult novels are good sources for sexual education. Admittedly not a big fan of the genre, Davin finds these stories both positive and problematic. She also examines the role libraries can play in giving youth access to sexually explicit material for recreational and educational purposes.

Davin’s interest in these subjects happened organically over time. She enjoyed her time at Western as an MLIS student, and she chose FIMS for her PhD because her thesis supervisor, Dr. Paulette Rothbauer, explores similar topics.

Another important member of Davin’s thesis committee is her dog, Buffy. “She is the first dog to be officially listed on a FIMS thesis committee,” she says. Buffy has come to campus with Davin and is a familiar face to many.

"If you want to make change and have an impact, FIMS is the place for you."
Davin appreciates FIMS’ unique identity and says, “it’s a great place to make connections.” Her advice to students considering FIMS is to have a personal passion about a subject and let it carry you throughout the process. “If you want to make change and have an impact, FIMS is the place for you," she says.

Fun Fact

Her dog, Buffy, is on her thesis committee.

When she’s not doing her research, Davin enjoys spending time outdoors and camping in the Okanagan Region. She also volunteers her time to various causes and helped organise the FIMS mediations Workshop Series.

As for the future, Davin hopes to work in academia. Currently, she works full-time as a Youth Services Librarian and looks forward to completing her thesis soon.


Profiles in the Meet Our Students section are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.