Carleton’s Canadian Studies graduates pursue an extraordinary variety of professions and are leaving a lasting legacy in boardrooms, heritage sites, newsrooms, museums, embassies, legislative chambers, galleries, and universities around the world.

See what our alumni are saying….

Hanna Stewart, 
BA CDNS 2018
The School is such a wonderful family with the opportunity to build life long friendships with people from different cultures and histories, with like-minded views. I am appreciative of how the School encouraged students to network, get involved and to think critically.

Due to its small size, my fellow classmates and I had a much more interactive relationship with the profs and admin staff. These relationships will last a lifetime.

Daniel Olson, MA CDNS 1977 Adjunct Professor, Alfred University

I had a most successful 35 year career teaching Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate courses in the Soc. Studies Dept. at Victor, New York’s Senior. High School and Finger Lakes Community College.

I continued my graduate studies completing a second MA at Elmira College. Currently I am an adjunct Professor of Political Science at Alfred University. I was also the Republican Chairman for Wayne County for 24 years and twice a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

After serving as a teacher in the US Peace Corps in the West African Country of Cote d’Ivoire, I found Carleton to have been a great place to study. The Professors were some of the best in the world and the experience was excellent. Taking classes in both French and English was a real draw for me.

After your Carleton education, never stop learning and never stop volunteering in your community.

Emily-Jane (Hills) Orford, MA CDNS 1996

The Canadian Studies program opened my eyes to the myriad of fascinating Canadian stories which need to be shared, written, appreciated and this is what I’ve done with my multiple books and through online and print publications.

Jessica Helps, MA CDNS 2014
Information Management Specialist, Government of Canada

I enjoyed my time in academia and I know that it has prepared me in a myriad of ways, but I’ve been struggling with the paradox of being over educated and under qualified. I am excited to see what opportunities will be in store in the future and how my career with advance. I am very happy with the department I am currently working in, but I’d like to apply my advanced research and analysis skills more directly.

I enjoyed my experience in the department and program. I liked being in an interdisciplinary program because my academic interests are diverse and inter-sectional. I think that it is important to find passion in what you engage with in order for it to lead to a path you want, because being in a program you dislike will not contribute positively nor will it encourage you to succeed.

I was going through a difficult time of my life while also pursuing my graduate degree at Carleton, and it was through the support of classmates, teachers/ supervisors, and counselling services on campus that I was able to cope and succeed academically.

Since graduating my life has become a bit quieter. I have worked a few positions in the federal government, and I strongly support the departments’ mandates by supporting documentation services or supporting the legal rights of citizens. I have volunteered in my community supporting cultural and heritage programs. After graduating I wrote a blog post for NiCHE about my graduate experience.

Christine Kelly, PhD CDNS 2012
Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences

I am presently working as an Assistant Professor in Community Health Sciences, a large research-intensive department that fosters interdisciplinarity as both a practice and a worldview. My research interests cross disability studies, feminist and gender studies, cultural gerontology and sociology.

My degree in Canadian Studies allowed me to pursue these diverse interests and prepared me to work in my current position. Canadian Studies exposed me to a wide variety of ways of knowing and understanding the world through the vibrant faculty and students. My time in the department also allowed for opportunities to plan graduate student conferences, as well as work and teach broadly in other departments.

Pursuing an interdisciplinary graduate education can be intellectually stimulating as well as challenging as you learn across backgrounds and terminologies that often compete. Canadian Studies provides an important arena to have these discussions, and to take pause over previously unquestioned assumptions. The small size and collegiality of the department opens up opportunities for student leadership, teaching and mentorship that can be difficult to find in larger departments.

Rosalie Smith McCrea, MA CDNS 1980 Department of Communication Design & Interior Architecture, College of Architecture, Kuwait University

My PhD studies returned to British Art ca. 1760-1841. My doctoral theses examined the impact of the British Parliamentary Debates on the Abolition of the Slave Trade on British Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking during these dates. I was awarded my PhD degree from the University of Manchester in 2001.

My memory of the Institute of Canadian Studies’ program for the M.A degree was that it was thorough. Students had to take prerequisite courses and electives as well. I was able to take courses that gave me a broader knowledge of Canadian history and culture from an artistic, literary and musical perspective. It is, I believe a very good program if one wants to teach and work on a permanent basis in Canada. My MA thesis was directed by Dennis Reid who was then a leading Curator in Canadian painting at the National Gallery of Canada.

For many years I taught as a part-time lecturer in Art History at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia (Sabbatical replacement), White-mountain, Elliot Lake Fine Art Academy and in Kingston Jamaica at the Edna Manley School of Visual & Performing Arts. I was also Art Critic for the “Ottawa Journal” and the “Ottawa Citizen” for a few years before this.

I think that my MA in Canadian Studies had more relevance to my contract work in the above stated Canadian jurisdictions. I also worked on contract for the Canada Council. I have been teaching Visual Art and Culture at Kuwait University in the Gulf now for several years returning for the Summer holiday break each year to my home in Ottawa.

Frank Meness, MA CDNS 2006

Carleton’s M.A. program prepared for the challenges of the workplace by instilling a critical analysis approach to problem-solving and an appreciation of multi-disciplinary pedagogy.I would recommend Canadian Studies at Carleton because the professors are very interested in allowing to the realize your potential. Your peers are diverse and interesting and come from all walks of life and life experiences.

The School brings Canadian Studies to life!

Moira Anne MacDermaid, MA CDNS 1967

I was University Archivist at Queen’s University for 17 years for which Canadian Studies at Carleton, and the Carleton/National Archives certificate in archives prepared me with a solid foundation.Now more than ever, we need to understand our past and mobilize our resources and energy in order to flourish as a country and to work in solidarity with First Nations, immigrants, and other less privileged groups in society to achieve equality. I heartily recommend Canadian Studies as a route to this understanding.

Dr. Fernand Ouellet was a stellar teacher in my day! Carleton has grown and changed but I am sure its ethos has remained the same.

Presently in my new career, as I near retirement, I am part of a local group who has sponsored and is working with a Syrian Refugee family, helping them feel at home in their new country.

John Woods, MA CDNS 1995
Chief Academic Officer, Education Corporation of America

I oversee curriculum and instruction for an organization that serves more than 30,000 across the United States. It was in the Canadian Studies program that I learned to appreciate the value of interdisciplinary studies, small class learning environments, and problem-solving. My initial experience as a graduate student informed my work as a legislative assistant to an MP who served as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, and the experience fueled my passion for learning such that I was inspired to pursue my doctorate in the United States. I enjoyed my experience in the department and program. I liked being in an interdisciplinary program because my academic interests are diverse and inter-sectional. I think that it is important to find passion in what you engage with in order for it to lead to a path you want, because being in a program you dislike will not contribute positively nor will it encourage you to succeed.

I would indeed recommend Canadian Studies at Carleton. The setting of the program, in Ottawa, as well as the interdisciplinary approach, make it a great choice for students with a variety of interests and strengths they want to continue to explore in their pursuit of a degree. I also completed my undergraduate education at Carleton, and though I earned a degree in Anthropology, my interest in the Canadian Studies MA program was sparked, in part, by the fact that I had spent nearly six years collecting credits from, as best I can recall, at least seven different departments within the university (English, Sociology, Anthropology, Religion, Canadian Studies, Music, Psychology, and I believe Art History). The Canadian Studies program provides a platform for students to “spend their credits” on courses in many areas of interest, making them a broad thinker, exposing them to an incredibly diverse range of concepts and ideas. Some student love Math, or History, or Psychology, but it is my belief that students benefit from a more broad-based education. Indeed, the concept of a liberal arts education calls for a lesser degree of discipline-based specialization, within which the Canadian Studies program’s collaboration with other schools and departments fits perfectly.

In my capacity as CAO I work with a team to design and build academic programs that are focused on learners seeking to obtain specific hands-on skills that will make them immediately employable in professions where open positions are plentiful. We match market demand (open positions) with student interests to create small learning environments that allow a student who, in the majority is at-risk and/or a first generation college learner, to succeed. We are measured by our placement rates and pride ourselves on learning innovation. I was not a great undergraduate student at Carleton, until I stumbled upon classes, and the professors who taught them, who engaged me and got me excited, which made me take ownership for my own learning. In my role I try to ignite that passion in our more than 30,000 students by having programs and courses that meet the needs of employers, are fun and engaging, and are taught by faculty who truly want to change student’s lives. When I speak at one of our campus graduations, it’s not atypical for a group of fifty or sixty grads to be supported by an audience of over five hundred, which is a reflection of the magnitude of the accomplishment and the impact the education will have on not only the degree recipient, but also many people around that individual. The education endeavor I’m involved in changes lives.

Julie Rak, MA CDNS 1991

My degree was absolutely foundational to my PhD work, which was on Canadian autobiography. The reading I did at Carleton in the area has laid the foundation for my career path and my chosen area of research.I benefitted from the interdisciplinary learning atmosphere and resources at Carleton, and I was in class with students from across Canada. I highly recommend the program.

Cara Des Granges, BA CDNS/POL SCI 2012

Canadian Studies prepared me for graduate school and to work in various fields such as the non-profit sector, government, museums and more. The degree gives you critical thinking skills, allows for development of creative thought and much more.I would recommend the program as it is a really diverse degree that is a great fit for those with diverse interests like culture, history, politics and more. Because of the diverse topics covered you are constantly learning new material which is fun.

I work in the non-profit sector spreading civic education among Canadian youth and the greater public. I create tools and campaigns that educate young Canadians about the importance of being active citizens in their communities, I challenge them to know more about their country and shape them to participate in their democracy.

Christine Loth-Bown, MA Canadian Studies 1997

Doing an MA in Canadian Studies has prepared me well for a career in the federal public service. Given that the degree program is multi-disciplinary in nature, I gained the critical thinking, analytical and research skills necessary to take on a variety of policy roles. I have worked in three federal departments and a Crown Corporation and found that my degree has enabled me to comfortably navigate diverse public policy issues and enabled me to make a contribution to Canadian society.I would definitely recommend the Canadian Studies program at Carleton University. With its location in Ottawa you have access to some amazing research facilities as well as guest lecturers from public policy think tanks, federal government officials and members of parliament.

I was able to do a research practicum at a federal government department and that opened up employment opportunities for me as a policy advisor in the federal public service.