Share your memories of your time at the School and the influence of Glen on your professional career. We will be posting some of these memories as part of our fundraising efforts.
Bob Masterson, MA in Public Administration, 2002
President & CEO Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
It’s a busy world and we all lead very busy lives. The pace of activity and the pressures of work, family, and life mean we seldom give adequate reflection on the individuals whose contributions had the most impact on us. Like many Graduates of the Carleton SPPA program, I know that when I do have the opportunity to reflect, I recognize that Dr. Glen Toner has been one of the most important difference makers in my life. During my time at SPPA, and since, Glen has been there for me, both professionally and personally. I have been fortunate to return to SPPA regularly and have been able to maintain contacts with a broad network of colleagues, influencers, and decision-makers whom also benefitted from the SPPA experience. Through those experiences I have come to recognize that I am not alone. It seems that Glen has been a primary difference maker for many of us – providing the same support and encouragement and exposing us all to the same opportunities and challenges so that we each might reach our own fullest potential. In recognition of Dr. Glen Toner and on the occasion of his retirement from SPPA, I hope you will join me in providing a meaningful contribution to the Dr. Glen Toner Scholarship fund and to ensure future students will have similar opportunities through their time with Carleton SPPA
Matt Jones, MA in Public Administration, 2001
Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change Canada
The School of Public Policy and Administration, and Glen and his courses in particular, introduced me to the issues of sustainability and climate change and gave me the opportunity to have a career focusing on these important public policy issues. What I thought was a four month co-op placement was in fact the beginning of a long and rewarding career. Glen cares about each of his students and as much as anyone I have known, he is committed to ensuring that they realize their potential. He pushed us to get the most out of us. He called in personal favours to get leading experts into his classes. He launched the SIGNALS network to link current students with established professionals. What sets Glen apart is how much he cares. He cares about environmental issues and sustainability; he cares about his students and he cares about preparing them to become leaders in this field. I am fortunate to have had the career that I have had and all of the rewarding experiences that have gone with it. Glen had a lot to do with setting me on this path and I am hopeful that this scholarship can help prepare more students to make big contributions.
Brie Morrison, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2019
Natural Resources Canada
Graduate school was an incredibly formative time in my life and I can say unequivocally that the personal and professional growth I experienced was a product of Glen’s dedication to the SPPA and his students. Glen brought unparalleled knowledge of his field and infectious enthusiasm for change and betterment to every SEP class and event. He is not only an outstanding professor but also a mentor who is 100% committed to his students and their futures; I am a better writer, learner, professional and activist for having had the opportunity to study under Glen. Glen has written more letters of recommendation for me than either of us can count, opening doors and creating opportunities that have shaped my professional life. As a critic, cheerleader, professional networker, and – most of all – as a leader, Glen has helped create a community of incredibly talented and dedicated alumni, many of whom I am lucky enough to work with everyday. I continue to be grateful for the wonderful experience I had at Carleton and the role Glen played in that time in my life. Congratulations, Glen! A retirement well-earned.
Milana Simikian, MA in Public Administration, 2012
Senior Policy Advisory, Pan-Canadian Framework Implementation Office, Environment and Climate Change Canada
I first had the good fortune of meeting Glen during the second year of my undergrad in Public Affairs and Policy Management. He was teaching PAPM 2000, a Policy Analysis course that I remember distinctly because it was my very first introduction to environmental public policy and Glen’s passion for it was contagious. At the time, I was sure that I would be pursuing a career in foreign affairs, but perhaps it was just then that Glen gave me the idea that environmental policy work was a path worth considering.
Fast forward to 2010 and here I was again sitting in Glen’s class, only this time as a MAPA grad student in a room of 6 others looking at a very, very long list of readings on climate change. I remember feeling a bit scared and intimidated by the workload and Glen’s expectations of us but I was also excited and proud to be part of Glen’s class because I knew that I would learn a great deal. I will admit that I spent more time preparing for Glen’s classes and assignments than I did for any other of my classes. See, Glen has this effect on students. He believes in you before you believe in yourself. He sets the bar high and expects you to shoot even higher. So that’s what I did. I worked hard to make Glen proud and aimed higher than I ever thought I could.
Glen’s another remarkable quality is that when he sees potential and hard work, he rewards it. With me, it was a research assistantship job. For over a year, I got to work directly with Glen, Dr. James Meadowcroft, and a few other grad students on an innovative climate research project sponsored by Carbon Management Canada. Not only did this job take my research and writing skills to the next level, but it had also positioned me to secure a job immediately after graduation at a time when such opportunities were scarce. Glen provided me with a solid reference to help me land that first job. He continued to give me this kind of support as I moved forward in my career.
Glen’s latest contribution to my professional development and career growth was only a couple of years ago. Drawing on his wide network of people, Glen got me in touch with another former MAPA student who is now Assistant Deputy Minister overseeing the implementation of Canada’s climate plan and clean growth. His office was hiring and I was already in a government pool of pre-qualified candidates for a similar position. Timing could not have been more perfect. Thanks to Glen (again!), I now have a dream job for which he made sure I would be well prepared just a few years ago.
Dr. Glen Toner has been instrumental in my professional and personal growth. I could never thank him enough for the continuous support, encouragement, and guidance he has given me and others throughout all those years. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be his student, his mentee, his staff member, and his friend. I am delighted to see the creation of the Dr. Glen Toner Scholarship fund as it now provides the perfect way for me and others to express our sincere gratitude for Glen’s unparalleled leadership and lasting impact on so many lives.
John McNally, MA Sustainable Energy Policy, 2019
It’s hard to imagine a more passionate professor than Dr. Toner. It’s equally hard to imagine how any professor could make any more of an effort to be attentive and available to students than he was. Glen pushed every years crop of students to be the best versions of themselves, to learn and to grow as professionals, and to realize their potential every time they came to class. It was an honour to be in classes, and it’s heartening to know that Glen’s characteristic style and influence will continue to support the careers of sustainability leaders in the years to come.
Travis Dagg, MA in Sustainable Energy, 2018
International Clean Technology Analyst, Natural Resources Canada
As the world changes around us, it is important to be active and engaged. It was Dr. Glen Toner who instilled in me the value of critical thinking and discerning fact from fiction. He pushed me to articulate an intelligent position and to be prepared to defend it. Whether in or outside of the classroom, Glen always encouraged me to ask questions and meaningfully contribute. Furthermore, he believed in developing social capital, something no other professor had mentioned to me before. Glen’s influence has had an immensely positive impact on my personal and professional development.
Glen always saw the big picture and thought in terms of generational shifts. As students, he saw our potential and would frequently tell us that we were leaders and change makers. I will always appreciate this and I believe it has helped me explore new opportunities and build deeper connections.
Dr. Glen Toner has been an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend. In recognition of his invaluable contribution to Carleton University and on the occasion of his retirement, I encourage you to join me in providing a meaningful contribution to the scholarship fund in his name.
Professor, Environmental Governance & Political Science
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
I was so very fortunate to have taken Glen Toner’s public policy class as an undergraduate at Carleton at the very beginning of his remarkable career. I remember him teaching us really interesting theories of the policy process, and what they all meant for helping governments and society address critical challenges – from wise management of energy and resources to understanding how responsible environmental policies might be fostered.
My memories are of a professor who took a keen interest in student advancement – even undergraduates. He made it a point to invite us to attend really interesting public policy workshops that showcased faculty research on critical questions. And, I remember he was always keen for engaging students in thoughtful conversations about the key public policy issues of our times. When I was in Ottawa on sabbatical in the fall of 2017 he invited me to that year’s launch of the student journal he created, ISEMA, where I was able to witness, over three decades later, his unwavering interest in showcasing past and present students around research and outreach.
One of my fondest memories was during the graduation ceremonies at the National Art Center in the fall of 1986. Glen made it a point to seek out my parents, who had travelled from Vancouver, to congratulate them for what their son had achieved at Carleton. I remember beaming widely. It was those personal touches, keen mind, and problem orientation that combine to make Glen such a cherished and devoted faculty member for so many. Indeed, Glen’s mentoring played a key role in my eventual recognition that I, too, wanted to engage problem focused public policy research around key domestic and global challenges. I think it therefor fitting that 33 years later, I conclude my recognition of Glen’s path breaking achievement at Carleton by thanking his parents for raising such a fine son.
Sasha Hanson Pastran, MA in Public Administration, 2017
Policy Analyst, Strategic Energy Policy, Natural Resources Canada
Zoé St Pierre, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2019
When I started my graduate studies at Carleton, I felt a bit like I didn’t belong. Coming to a new city, a new school and a new program, it was intimidating. I was surrounded by some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I had trouble believing that I too, had what it takes to be among them. It wasn’t long into my first term that I realized how devoted Glen was to his students. I decided to talk to him about some of these worries and he assured me that I wasn’t the only one who feels like this when they start grad school. In fact, Glen made a point from then on to encourage me to voice my thoughts, my opinions and my ideas at any time. His interactive classes were structured in a way that permitted all of his students to feel challenged, to grow their confidence and to participate in a meaningful way (whether they wanted to or not at 8:30am). To any future student reading this, if you can take even one class with Glen, I promise that you will not regret it.
Thank you for being such a great mentor, Glen. Your genuine support and encouragement throughout these past few years has helped shape the next chapter of my academic and professional life.
Erik Koskela, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2019
I have never been more engaged in a classroom than during my time with Dr. Glen Toner. He has an extraordinary ability to push his students outside of their comfort zone, encourage them to think critically, and prepare for the next steps in their careers. I attended grad school as a part-time student and initially had many reservations, but he made the experience exceed my expectations.
I’ve seen the results of working with Dr. Toner translate directly into my professional life, and will be forever grateful for the two courses I took with him and the subsequent directed study under his supervision. I could not think of someone more deserving to have a scholarship fund in their name.
David Cherniak, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2014
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
I first met Glen by phone while on a backpacking trip. I had applied to a couple of programs at Carleton and was considering my options. Glen reached out to discuss the programs at the School of Public Policy and Administration; he wanted to ensure that I had as much information and resources as possible to make an informed choice for my graduate studies. However, with Glen nothing is ever quite that simple and straightforward. After a few short emails we ended up having an hour-long chat over the phone where we quickly moved from academic interests to family backgrounds, sports obsessions to life goals. I remember hanging up the phone that day thinking “man, that was a lot of effort for this professor, whom I’d never met, to go through for a student he’d never met.” Little did I know how much that phone call would impact my career.
The passion that Glen had that day and the willingness to engage, was the start of our relationship and I can say that nobody has done more to encourage and challenge me since I moved to Ottawa to do my master’s. Glen’s passion for his students, his recognition of hard work, willingness to challenge a less than thorough effort and his commitment to environmental sustainability, are just a few of his trademarks in the classroom. He pushed me as a student, guided me as a colleague and remains an excellent mentor and friend to this day. I am thankful for having had a chance to work with him as a student and am grateful for his friendship today. Carleton will lose a truly “one of a kind” professor when Glen decides to hang up the keyboard. This scholarship will help ensure that futures students will be able to benefit from the foundations that Glen helped build.
Zak Jacques, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2017
Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy and Electrical Energy Division, Natural Resources Canada
During my time at Carleton, I was one of many students that benefited from Glen Toner’s mentorship and teaching. What sets Glen apart from other professors is the level of sustained, personal commitment he shows to his students in both their professional and personal development. Whenever I asked, Glen was always there to help or provide advice, and would follow-up to see how things unfolded. He also actively went out of his way to create opportunities that he knew would help with my professional development. When I reflect on many of the unique opportunities that were afforded to me at Carleton (e.g., participating in conferences, meeting senior executives from Canada’s energy sector, or working on collaborative research projects) Glen is somehow involved in making almost all of those experiences take place. He did this for my peers as well – in many instances paving the way for students to start their careers in the field of sustainability.
In many of our conversations, Glen would reinforce lessons and values that he has held throughout his career. One that he has instilled in me is the importance of giving back, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate Glen’s retirement than setting up a scholarship in his name that will set-up a student to work in the an area he has dedicated his life to furthering – sustainable energy and environmental policy. In celebration of Glen’s outstanding career, dedication to giving back, and mentorship, I encourage you to donate to the Glen Toner Scholarship Fund.
Carey Frey, MA in Public Administration (ISE), 2004
Vice-President TELUS Security and Chief Security Officer
By the time a student reaches the post-graduate level, they invariably have been exposed to numerous educators. It is also probable that most of those students were fortunate enough to develop a special relationship with a teacher that resulted in a profound impact on their lives. With Glen Toner, many students discover a commitment to teaching that exists on an entirely different level than what they have likely experienced in the past. Glen’s infectious optimism, his profound networking skills and his leadership in public policy influence his students far beyond the reach of his classroom.
The challenge Glen issues to students is evident immediately in the first engagement between teacher and student. Most of Glen’s subjects present students with difficult, long-term global issues that are overwhelming to newcomers at the beginning. Students frequently object that public engagement and potential support for his point of view are low or non-existent and that existing systems are too entrenched in the status-quo to change. However, Glen makes the point that if that is the case, then everyone in case should pack up and go home.
As students continue studying with Glen, they learn that the world can be changed and that they can personally make a contribution. His abilities continually provide inspiration to his students and work as a force multiplier for good.
Harris Berton, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2016
Senior Advisor, Energy R&D Programs, Natural Resources Canada
There are very few graduate programs in Canada that have both as much value and relevance as the MAPA-ISE stream and the Sustainable Energy Policy Program for young professionals in energy and environmental policy. Glen offers his students an unparalleled knowledge of the evolution of energy and environmental policy in Canada and the world, and his classes gave me the opportunity and framing to dive into topics that I continue to draw on in my career. However, it is Glen’s enthusiasm and commitment to students that truly makes these programs standout. Glen is always pushing students to maximize their opportunities, and he won’t accept anything less. SPPA will not be the same without Glen, but his impact will be felt for many years, and he sets a high standard for his successors and for alumni to maintain their invaluable engagement with current students. Glen makes it clear to student that you get out of grad school what you put into it, and I this scholarship is a wonderful way to help keep that critical insight front and centre in the minds of SPPA graduates and alumni.
Mary Marquez, MA in Sustainable Energy Policy, 2019
Policy Analyst, Strategic and Horizontal Policy Division, Natural Resources Canada
One of the first things that Professor Toner said to our class was something along the lines of “I will be pushing you in this class because I want to see you succeed, but I will support you along the way.” This is a bit intimidating for any first year graduate student to hear. However, as the semester passed, this phrase became less intimidating and much more reassuring. The support Professor Toner provided us represented important resources and tools necessary for our course assignments and papers, but which also directly translated to our professional lives. Our assignments -as well as our course- were structured as training for the tasks we would receive in the jobs we would eventually step into -both during our co-op positions and throughout our careers. This was in no way a coincidence, it was of course intentional, and is one of several reasons why this program, and Professor Toner’s courses, have been so useful to me in my career. The approach of this program, and the varying teaching methods, keep students on their toes and constantly up to date on the latest developments in the space of energy policy and everything sustainability. It was a long, tough road, but very much a worthwhile one to take.