Congratulations to our recent graduates! Here we would like to introduce you to some of our BA, MA and PhD graduates 2020, and highlight some of their experiences and research stories. Be sure to scroll down to find out more about our graduates and their experiences at Carleton.

We are proud to announce our Undergraduate Student Graduates November 2020

BA graduates share their Carleton experiences

Tinuola Akinwande

When I chose to come to Carleton, I envisioned a journey like no other; one that is filled with growth, sustenance and fun. And honestly, that is exactly what I received. I am very thankful to have experienced the vibrancy that is Carleton University. I am originally from Toronto, Ontario and coming to Ottawa was a culture shock to me. Learning to have two homes at once and love them for different reasons is truly a blessing for those who choose to go away for university.

For my degree, I chose to major in Political Science because I admire its interdisciplinary and multifaceted levels. Whenever someone asks me to define what political science is, I always say it is the study of power. This is because anything you learn here, whether it be theory, statistics, international relations, gender politics, or even policy development, can always be applied to other sectors of knowledge. For me, I did this through an Africanist lens by combining my political science courses with African Studies courses, as it gives a more comprehensive perspective on why and how states operate today.

I have enjoyed my program so much that I will be continuing my Honours, including my minor in African studies and concentration in public affairs and policy analysis. After university I will be using my degree to apply for law school in either Toronto or the United Kingdom.

I have enjoyed the community that I have fostered here at Carleton. The great Maya Angelou once said, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Having the opportunity to study Political Science at the capital has made my experience at Carleton memorable. Especially with today’s circumstances, I hope everyone who studies here continues to be motivated and make the best out of the many opportunities and experiences Carleton has to offer. Congratulations class of 2020! You deserve it!

Megan Dewar

In 2015, when I was 18, I came to Carleton from the Toronto area.

I had originally planned on going to UOttawa, just like my mom. However, after touring the Carleton campus I instantly fell in love. I knew it was meant to be when I received my first letter of acceptance – and, of course, it was from Carleton. I wanted to come to Ottawa to study because I was interested in government and politics, and I knew Ottawa was the right place to be. I was given the opportunity to volunteer for a few Members of Parliament. I found a community of close friends in first year residence with my floormates in Stormont, and made memories that shaped my university career.

However, it was in third year when I discovered my passion for Eastern European politics, specifically Russian politics, with the help of Professor Andrea Chandler, who’s passion for the subject made it easy to enjoy. Professor Chandler taught me how to properly write a research paper, a skill that was vital in guiding me through political science, and above all I want to thank Professor Andrea Chandler for her guidance and willingness to share her knowledge and expertise.

Calissa Daly

I grew up in Ottawa and when I graduated high school I wanted to get away from my hometown. I spent my first two years at Acadia University, in Wolfville Nova Scotia. While I enjoyed my time at Acadia, being away from Ottawa made me truly appreciate it. I decided to move back to Ottawa and transfer to Carleton in my third year.

One of the factors that drew me to Carleton was the fact that they had a reputable curling team. I had been curling for 13 years at the time, having recently lost a provincial final in Nova Scotia. I was welcomed onto the Ravens curling team immediately and also got involved with CUSA as I started working at Roosters.

That same year, my competitive curling team won Provincials, which earned us the right to represent Ontario at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships. While I was beyond excited to have earned this right, I remember being panicked trying to figure out how I would manage schoolwork, my part-time job at Roosters, and curling. Thankfully all of my professors were beyond accommodating and proud of my accomplishments, and my manager at Roosters gave me time off as needed.

The following year, I saw the same success with my curling and qualified for Canadian Juniors again. Taking time off in fourth year is never easy as the workload is quite heavy, but all of my professors guided and helped me during my time away from school.

I would like to specifically thank Dr. James Milner and Dr. Achim Hurrelmann who made several accommodations so that I could find a way to succeed academically from a distance. Being a student-athlete has taught me a lot about time management and hard work, but being a student-athlete at Carleton has specifically shown me that our faculty is there to support you in all of your goals, whether they are academic or not.

Looking to the future, I have been accepted into the Master of Public Administration program at Queen’s University and will be beginning that program in the fall of 2021. There, I hope to expand my knowledge of Indigenous Policy and plan to join the Queen’s curling team.

MA graduates share their Carleton experiences

Rachel McNally

I first came to Carleton because I wanted to study the politics of migration and refugee issues. I enjoyed it so much I decided to stay for a PhD! I moved from small-town Nova Scotia to the (comparatively) big city of Ottawa. My courses were very informative, but I really appreciated all of the opportunities outside of the classroom. I had the privilege of working as a Project Officer with an incredible international partnership called the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN), a role I am now continuing in my PhD. In that position, I have worked on planning events, editing papers for the working papers series, and analyzing journal publications in the field of forced migration studies to see which authors and voices are represented. I also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Politics of Migration and World Politics courses, participated in an eye-opening internship with the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) office in Ottawa, and planned student research conferences with the Migration and Diaspora Student Society. For my thesis, I worked with my amazing supervisor Prof. James Milner to investigate Canada’s refugee resettlement programs, drawing on the guidance of Prof. Fiona Robinson to incorporate a care ethics perspective. Now, two months into the PhD, I am still glad I chose Carleton, though I never expected to be doing my PhD online, from another province, in the middle of the pandemic. I want to thank all of my professors who gave me opportunities and inspired me as I continue on this academic journey.

Khalid Shoukri

Having immigrated to Canada in 2006, I was amazed at how much there was to see and learn. From a diverse population, to a rich indigenous culture and unique political system, taking it all in became overwhelming at times.

That is until I came across The Rick Mercer Report. The show immediately caught my attention as it showcased the various political issues, vibrant communities and natural beauty of this country. From that moment on I knew that I wanted to work in public policy.

Throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies in Political Science at Carleton, I was constantly amazed at the diversity of the field, as well as the quality of the professors I have had the privilege to study under.

My journey at Carleton has also given me the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the brightest upcoming minds in the field, many of whom I am fortunate enough to consider friends. I cannot express enough how my graduate studies have helped me develop my critical thinking and analytical skills.

Writing this, I cannot help but reflect on my eternal gratitude for both my academic and workplace mentors for encouraging me to complete my graduate studies, as well as my family and friends for their constant support.

My parting advice to any student starting their own journey is to always pursue knowledge, build real connections and never give up!

PhD graduates share their Carleton experiences

Dunja Apolstolov-Dimitrijevic

Dunja is graduating this Fall with a Doctorate in Political Science with a Specialization in Political Economy. With the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, she developed a research project that examines the presence of emerging economies (specifically China and Russia) in the Western Balkans (specifically Serbia) in the context of the region’s trajectory of EU integration. She approached this subject as a study of different, though overlapping, national and transnational social fields each with distinct modes of practices and governmentalities. While completing her doctoral work, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies in Graz, Austria and at Maynooth University in Ireland. The two fellowships were made possible by the Ernst Mach Grant, awarded by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation, and Carleton’s Graduate Research Innovative Thinking Award respectively. Dunja is currently teaching Comparative Politics of the Global South at Carleton, a course she adores, and is getting ready to commence a research stay at the University of Belgrade.

Maggie FitzGerald

I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have completed my graduate studies at Carleton University. The Department of Political Science provided ample opportunities for me to partake in exciting research projects and develop professional skills that are transferrable to a variety of settings. At the same time, I was also afforded space to pursue my own research program, which draws upon a feminist ethics of care to rethink global ethics so as to attend meaningfully to deep and pervasive ontological and epistemological difference (captured by the notion of the pluriverse). I was also able to complete a specialization in Political Economy through Carleton’s Institute of Political Economy. Through this specialization, I learned the importance of critically interrogating the relations of power which shape all aspects of politics – including the ways in which we practice and study global ethics.

I am so grateful to my supervisor and committee members, Dr. Fiona Robinson, Dr. Cristina Rojas, and Dr. Hans-Martin Jaeger, who supported me throughout the PhD process. Completing a PhD is a difficult process, and I truly do not think I would have been able to do it were it not for the support of the amazing faculty, administrators, and fellow students in the Department of Political Science.

Sacha Ghandeharian

I originally joined the Department of Political Science at Carleton University in 2012 to start my Master’s and I feel very fortunate to have now also completed my PhD. During my time at Carleton, I have greatly benefitted from the knowledge of the always supportive faculty, the attentive and always helpful administration, and the opportunity to conduct and share my research with fellow students.

The Department of Political Science at Carleton was the ideal place for me to pursue my research in the field of contemporary critical political theory because of the diverse array of specializations represented by the faculty. My doctoral research focused on the conceptual tensions within contemporary critical theory, as it relates to the question of subjectivity and ethics and sought to develop new theoretical tools vis-à-vis a critique of contemporary society and politics.

I am grateful to have been able to complete both of my graduate degrees under the supervision of Dr. Fiona Robinson, whose knowledge, support and patience were crucial to both my academic and professional development. I am also very thankful for the invaluable guidance of my committee members, Dr. Marc Hanvelt and Dr. Sophie Bourgault, as well as the support of the Department of Political Science and Faculty of Public Affairs as a whole.

Stephen Smith

In the summer of 2014 I found myself sitting in small lecture hall in Taipei listening to a lecture given by a visiting Canadian professor from Carleton University. He was introduced by his Chinese name – bao tianmin – and spoke about the Chinese Communist Party with erudition and wit. Several months later, I was fortunate to be admitted to Carleton to study under that professor, who is better known in the Department of Political Science as Jeremy Paltiel. Like many other things in life, my path to a PhD came from the chance meeting of interest and circumstance.

My own research focuses on Chinese politics, foreign policy and theories of international relations. I was lucky enough to spend two years in Shanghai doing fieldwork and enjoying all the pleasures that come with living in a foreign place – new friends, many cultural faux pas, and being challenged daily. Half a decade after beginning this adventure, and doctorate (finally!) in hand, I find the old adage about the journey being more important than the destination to be undeniably and intimately true.

More stories:

Graduation Stories Spring 2020

Convocation Stories 2019

Convocation Stories 2018