By Karen Kelly
Photos by Bryan Gagnon
As a public servant working in the areas of international trade and development, Kerri Carisse is immersed in Canadian public policy. But after several years on the job, she wanted to take a closer look at the underlying factors affecting society.
“I was interested in developing a greater understanding of different viewpoints and considering the influencing factors of how we make decisions,” says Kerri, who remained in her career while earning her degree. “Sometimes viewpoints create barriers between people and I wanted to find ways to build bridges between those viewpoints.”
That’s something the interdisciplinary program is known for, as students discuss topics such as post-colonialism, feminism, post-structuralism, and neoliberalism. Kerri says it was an exceptional learning environment.
“I was thoroughly impressed with my fellow students. They are really thoughtful, intelligent people who challenged me to strive for a higher goal,” explains Kerri. “At the same time, the professors and staff were very invested in my personal development. They really want you to succeed.”
Kerri’s thesis examined the workplace practices of the Mondragon Corporation, which is based in Spain. While the company is a cooperative at its headquarters in the Basque region, it does not extend those rights to workers outside the country. Her thesis centered around the question of where its allegiances lie: with co-operative wellbeing or with corporate competitiveness?
Upon graduation, Kerri won’t be job hunting. But she is confident her degree will open doors for her in the future—both personally or professionally.
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