Launched in 2020, the graduate program of Migration and Diaspora Studies will be celebrating its very first graduates this June. Regine Cirondeye is one of the two graduates from the MDS’s Graduate Diploma program. Congratulations to her!

As a Carleton alumni with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Minor in Law, Cirondeye received an email promoting the newly launched graduate program. After attending an information session led by the Program Director, Dr. James Casteel, she was convinced to subsequently apply for the MA program in MDS.

When asked how her journey began, Cirondeye says that completing her undergraduate studies long before her application for the MDS program with a lack of recent academic reference might make her application appear as a more appropriate fit to the Graduate Diploma program compared to the M.A. program.

“But at this point, I think it is a great decision for me,” says Cirondeye, “The best idea from the GDip is that all the 2.5 credits earned for the GDip are transferred to the MA. After this, I will then finish the MA. Two steady steps, without interruption.” Graduating from the Graduate Diploma program this June did not end Cirondeye’s journey with MDS. Instead, by taking advantage of the standalone feature of the Type 3 Diploma, she will take the “laddering” option to continue her studies this fall towards an M.A. degree in MDS with all her Diploma credits transferred.

When asked what she gained from her one-year studies in MDS, Cirondeye said, “Everything. More knowledge on Migration issues including gender and other inequalities. I had access to extended relevant literature; I acquired more research techniques; I am more aware of existing migration policies and practices around the world, its strength/weaknesses and ongoing discussions as well as future policy and practice trends.” The program’s interdisciplinary features provided great inspiration for Cirondeye’s past and ongoing research on subjects such as “resettlement, irregular migration, protracted refugee camps, humanitarian assistance and Afrocentrism”.

Previously, Cirondeye worked at Global Affairs Canada as a Policy Analyst in charge of Migration, Demography and their impact on Development for 12 years. She has been working for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a Research Analyst for the last four years. According to Cirondeye, MDS has had a great impact on her insights into her career in the migration field. “It cemented my view that it is a great career to pursue.”

Moving on to the M.A. program, Cirondeye is working on a research essay as her capstone project and she believes that it will allow her to learn more research techniques and how to write high-level academic papers.

Read Cirondeye’s interview with FGPA.