Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies, Minor in Sociology (‘18)

Kevin Parent, Communication Studies

Kevin Parent, Communication Studies

Amid the global pandemic, Kevin Parent has received international attention for his ability to effectively communicate important public health information over social media. As the Social Media Lead for Ottawa Public Health, Parent’s messages about COVID-19 safety have become internet-famous, even giving him the opportunity to collaborate with the Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds

A self-proclaimed nerd, Parent completed his Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a Minor in Sociology at Carleton University only a few years prior. As someone who adores research and theory, it was Carleton that challenged Parent to apply what he was studying and learn how these theories actually play out in the real-world.

The opportunity to learn from faculty experts in health and crisis communication like John Rainford and Josh Greenberg attracted Parent to Carleton, but the campus’s physical environment was also a huge factor.

“I know it sounds simple, but the campus itself was a big sell,” he says. “I spent hours sitting outside and enjoying the peacefulness of the campus while reading and doing work. Also, the tunnels! People…winter sucks, and it’s cold in January…being able to make your way around campus in the dead of winter while wearing jeans and a t-shirt is a seriously underrated perk.”

At Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication, Parent was immersed in courses that mixed theory with real-life application. “Many of the professors come from the industry, so they have real-world knowledge to impart,” he explains. “These lessons helped me navigate the environment I entered into when I first started working, and still help me to this day.”

Hired by Ottawa Public Health right after graduation, Parent and his work have since been profiled by MacLean’s, appeared on CTV’s morning show, and received academic attention. Additionally, Parent has given a TED Talk on how to spot misinformation online, and—in case you missed it—he has worked with Ryan Reynolds.

Parent advises new students to learn everything they can. “Ask every question,” he urges. “Your professors have a wealth of knowledge…ask them things. And don’t be afraid to fail. Accept the fact that you’re not always gonna hit home runs, and that you’re going to stumble along the way, but it will work out if you keep at it.”

Last updated: March 10, 2023 by Michelle Hennessey

Friday, March 10, 2023 in , ,
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