Melissa Armstrong is a PhD student and Vanier Scholarship winner in Carleton’s Department of History and Institute of African Studies. Her research concerns health care provided by the African National Congress (ANC) and its military wing during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa between 1963 and 1990.
In 2014, she published preliminary findings in the South Africa Historical Journal.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012, she obtained a Master’s in African Studies from St. Antony’s College at Oxford University in 2013. That year, she won a Commonwealth Scholarship Plan that would have enabled her to continue studying at Oxford, but she turned down the offer in favour of Carleton and the opportunity to study in the first and only Institute of African Studies in Canada.
“Carleton provides students with amazing opportunities to excel academically and enjoy the graduate student experience,” says Armstrong. “The Institute of African Studies facilitates the building of a community of Africanists on campus and provides opportunities for students to both hear new research, as well as share and receive meaningful feedback on their work. I have already been given opportunities to present my research at events organized by the Institute.”
Armstrong was awarded a Vanier Scholarship in 2014 valued at $50,000 a year for three years. The scholarship aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in a variety of fields.
Armstrong plans to teach African history when she completes her PhD. Through Carleton’s Educational Development Centre, she received a certificate after completing Preparing to Teach, a three-month extra-curricular course that trains the fundamentals of teaching excellence in a university setting. She is currently a Teaching Assistant.
Armstrong was a pitcher on the Canadian Women’s Baseball Team, which won a silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games.