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June 2018 • Faculty of Public Affairs in Review

THE GAHAGANS One Family, Two Masters MEET GRADS Already in the Workplace Special Convocation Issue • Special Convocation Issue • Special Convocation


Message from our Dean Sometimes, it can be easy to be a bit glum about the future. But in reading our students’ stories in this issue of FPA Voices, I have hope.

I hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as I do. We have some fantastic students in the Faculty of Public Affairs and I look forward to watching their career paths in the years ahead.

I am also reminded of the essential reason we are here on the Carleton Have a wonderful summer, campus: to prepare students to be the leaders of tomorrow in their chosen field. These students will change our society for the better, help build democracy and address the challenges we face regionally and globally. André Plourde Their skills are strengthened by the fact Dean, Faculty of that so many of them are graduating Public Affairs with global experience, thanks to international learning and research opportunities supported by their academic units and Carleton. The graduates in this issue of FPA Voices pursued learning experiences in India, Switzerland, Ghana, France, the United States and South Africa, among other places. They conducted research, took university courses, produced journalism, and created strong connections between Canada and other parts of the world. This year also marks the first time we have graduates from our Bachelor of Global and International Studies program (BGInS). This wildly popular degree program includes international learning and language requirements. In this issue, you’ll meet BGInS graduate Keisha Derrick, who describes how she conducted research in South Africa with PhD students—while still an undergraduate. FPA Voices • Page 1


Summer Lewis Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and Criminal Justice Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice Summer Lewis had dreamed about being a lawyer since high school. But she didn’t expect her opportunity to stand before a judge would come so soon. “It was my third-year field placement and the lawyer I worked with sent me to speak in front of the judge, as well as meet with lawyers and court administrators,” recalls Lewis. “I was terrified.” But Lewis’ field placement experience, working in the office of a criminal defence lawyer, convinced her to pursue a career in law. In September, she will be attending Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. “I met many articling students at the courthouse who were really supportive and willing to talk. Even the judges started to recognize me,” says Lewis. She was attracted to the interdisciplinary approach used in criminology and criminal justice, with courses not only in law, but also in sociology and psychology. She says her law courses introduced the foundational concepts of the legal system, as well as an understanding of the different groups affected by the justice system. Her favourite class was taught by criminal defence lawyer Mike Smith. “He would just come in and grill us: how would you defend a client? What evidence would you need,” she recalls. “I definitely feel ready for law school.”

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Suzanne Gahagan and Mackenzie Gahagan Stewart Master of Arts, Legal Studies Department of Law and Legal Studies

In 2000, Suzanne Gahagan left the graduate program in Legal Studies to focus on her young family. Eighteen years later, she found herself sitting in a classroom next to her daughter: both pursuing the same Master’s degree. “I had visited the Law department to ask about returning and Professor Diana Majury said, ‘Come back!’” recalls Suzanne. “I felt so welcome—I was treated like any other student.” For her daughter Mackenzie Gahagan Stewart, the idea took a little getting used to. “It was a little awkward in the beginning as we found our footing in this new terrain,” explains Mackenzie, who had just finished her Bachelor of Arts in Law. “We had to navigate the mother-daughter relationship in a different dynamic, but then we fell into a groove.” The pair had some things in common beyond their familiar bond: both had earned a Bachelor of Arts in Law from Carleton, both were interested in issues related to women and the law, and both served as teaching assistants. After focusing on Law as an undergraduate, Suzanne was FPA Voices • Page 3

eager to do further research and writing on women’s issues while pursuing her Master’s. “As a result, I have a life goal of improving the lot of women.” Those themes also resonate with Mackenzie. She and Suzanne became involved with the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project which works on issues related to incarceration at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre. They organized workshops and discussions that brought former inmates to speak at local community centres. “We drove all around Ottawa picking these individuals up, so we were able to hear their personal experiences,” recalls Mackenzie.


"You don’t usually hear their raw stories, and I felt privileged to do so.” Suzanne says it’s just one of many new experiences the two shared. “It was made so much more interesting because Mackenzie is no longer simply my young daughter, but my classmate. There was a great synergy between us. At times, our study group involved us, in our pajamas, at the dining room table.” Moving forward, both are eager to continue their research. Mackenzie is considering a PhD or law school elsewhere; Suzanne is thinking about pursuing a PhD here at Carleton. “I don’t feel finished yet,” says Suzanne. “I would really like to work on a research paper about risk factors for incarceration as it pertains to women and girls.”

Mature Students Welcome Suzanne Gahagan has a lot of company in the classrooms of the Department of Law and Legal Studies. Dozens of mature students are taking classes: some pursuing a Bachelor’s degree for the first time; others are picking up a Master’s or PhD they had put aside years ago. “The vast majority are women who at some point started a degree and had to stop because of family obligations." says Christiane Wilke, an Associate Professor and the Graduate Supervisor. “Others have been working for an extended period of time.” Wilke finds they have different worries than the younger students, often fearing that they aren’t working fast enough and that they won’t be able to adapt to the technology. Some even started their Master’s thesis on a typewriter. “They have different needs than a 20-year-old student, but having them here is so enriching and gratifying. They balance out the classroom in a different way,” explains Wilke. “They bring an enormous sense of experience and perspective so when the younger students are panicking, the older students are able to mentor them through that.” FPA Voices • Page 4


Ansh Sanyal Master of Arts, Communication School of Journalism and Communication

Ever since he was a child, Ansh Sanyal has been passionate about sports. “At one point I realized that every time I wanted to decompress, I would turn on a sports game. I loved everything about sports, from playing cricket and basketball in high school, to watching Formula One racing on TV.” Not surprisingly, Sanyal landed a job in sports marketing after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Carleton in 2011. He worked for four years in top marketing agencies in Toronto as well as with the Toronto Raptors and the Adidas brand. But he was interested in more than promotion: he wanted to understand why some brands or sports connected with the public at a deeper level than others. He decided to return to Carleton to pursue his Master’s degree. FPA Voices • Page 5

“I grew up in India, where cricket is such an intrinsic part of Indian identity, it becomes the top news story of the day. So I decided to explore that,” he says, “I found the media uses it as a form of social communication.” Sanyal identified the dominance of cricket in the Indian media through the Twitter analytics of major news organizations. He found, in turn, that other sports were being ignored, which may affect participation rates among youth. His intention with his Master’s thesis was to create something with a practical application. “Now I can show my skills in cultural studies, the social sciences, social media and research skills to marketing or communication teams,” says Sanyal, as he returns to the marketing field with a new skill set. “It was really exciting to dissect this work and open everything up. If you want to come up with new ideas, you have to break apart the old.”


Alumni Who Inspire

carleton.ca/fpa/generation-fpa


We joined a class of doctoral students at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and did their readings, lectures and fieldwork for a month. What did that fieldwork entail?

Keisha Derrick Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS) Arthur Kroeger College and Institute of African Studies Congratulations on being one of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Global and International Studies degree. What attracted you to the program?

At first, I chose a double major in Journalism and African Studies, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. When I read about BGInS, I was immediately interested. I liked that I didn’t have to choose just one other subject, but could get a really well-rounded education in subjects like Political Science, Law and Economics. I chose the Africa and Globalization specialization because my family is from the Caribbean and I’m interested in the African diaspora and how it has changed globally. What was one of the highlights of your experience?

I went to South Africa with Professor Blair Rutherford as part of the African Studies 3100 course, which is held in a different country each year. FPA Voices • Page 7

We were studying migration and the effect on migrants’ health. We drove towards the border with Mozambique and talked to Mozambiquan farm workers. We also talked to a local mobile health team that goes to various farms around the area to ensure people get check-ups, HIV tests and medication. Then we spoke to the owner of a farm and the workers along the border with Zimbabwe. It was interesting because the system of migrant work is similar to Canada’s, but I was learning from and talking to people from very different backgrounds in South Africa. It made me realize that I could go to graduate school if I wanted to. What else did you appreciate about the degree?

We didn’t only study geography, but communication, information, culture and economics. It also gave me a lot of opportunities to meet different groups in Ottawa, which was really special to me. It changed the way I see myself and interact with the world. What’s next for you?

I got a position as a pension assistant for the Canadian Forces through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). It’s now full-time indeterminate. It gives me a chance to use my research skills, time management and critical thinking. But I am still considering an advanced degree.


“I took one class and I absolutely loved it: everything just made sense,” recalls LaRose, who switched to a combined honours in Economics and Journalism. “The whole world opened up to this new way of thinking.” LaRose says she was struck by how “everything in Economics is relationships.” “It’s jarring how connected everything is. If you adjust inflation, you affect trade. If you adjust the exchange rate, it affects small business. There are all of these relationships that can be explained by mathematics and theory,” says LaRose. She says her passion for Economics was confirmed during an internship with the Government of Alberta, working on the Domestic and International Policy for Agriculture and Forestry. “I was researching NAFTA while President Trump was talking about it,” she recalls. “It was so cool to see all of the inner workings of trade policy.”

Sydney LaRose Combined Honours Economics and Journalism Department of Economics and School of Journalism and Communication

When Sydney LaRose first came to Carleton, she was majoring in Journalism. Then she took her first Economics 1000 class.

LaRose also credits her mentors, Professors Simon Power and Hashmat Khan, for encouraging her to pursue a master’s degree. LaRose will be starting a Master of Arts in Economics at the University of British Columbia in the fall. “A lot of my friends think I’m crazy, but I love it so much, I would like to be able to call myself an economist someday,” she says. “I hope to contribute to policy changes that make a difference in the world.”

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Ummni Khan Professor of Law and Legal Studies, Pauline Jewett Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at Carleton University and University of Ottawa

Emily Nickel Master of Arts, European, Russian and Eurasian Studies Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (EURUS)

What drew you to pursue a master’s degree with the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies?

While I was studying for my Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management (BPAPM), I became interested in how international organizations manage refugee crises. This master’s degree gave me a chance to do further research into the refugee crisis in the European Union. EURUS was a really good choice because it has faculty members who specialize in that area. What was the focus of your research?

I evaluated the effectiveness of European Union agreements that allow FPA Voices • Page 9

the EU to return third-country nationals to non-EU countries that they aren’t from. Many of these countries don’t have the ability or interest in protecting the rights of returned non-nationals, so there are serious human rights and legal concerns with these agreements. How has your experience as a graduate student affected your career?

I’m a senior analyst on the international affairs team at Public Safety Canada, so my knowledge of Europe and international decision-making has been very helpful in my field. I was lucky to work on recent G7 meetings, and my knowledge of international affairs and the EU was helpful in drafting materials and preparing for the event. EURUS also requires you to pass a language exam, so I now have English, German and French under my belt.


Hamzia Bawa-Zeba Combined Honours in Journalism and Law School of Journalism and Communication and Department of Law and Legal Studies

What did you like about studying both Journalism and Law? The combination was so interesting. In Law, they want you to use the terminology of the field, while in Journalism they say to forget all of that—speak plain English. Either way, the skills are transferable to so many fields. Can you tell me about your internship with the World University Service of Canada? I spent four months in Ghana working as a communications and documentation officer for the WUSC Ghana office. I was responsible for documenting the work of Canadian volunteers there. Even though I’m Ghanian-Canadian, I learned so much about myself. It also completely opened my eyes to the realm of international development. It had never crossed my mind to work in that field, but now I’m really interested in it. What’s next for you? I have an internship with Precedent Magazine, a legal and entertainment magazine in Toronto, this summer. In the future, I’d like to return to Ghana and contribute to the society in whatever capacity that may be. Any advice for students who are just starting out? The best way to get the most out of your experience is to try new things and challenge yourself in new ways. What you experience in these four years may not be what you expected. FPA Voices • Page 10


the candidate and the campaign and when it came time for his practicum in the Master of Political Management program, Boswell returned to Singh’s campaign office—this time at the federal level.

Jordan Boswell

“I worked as the Peel Region Campaign Coordinator on the leadership campaign and then stayed on throughout the summer and into the early fall,” says Boswell. “When Jagmeet won, I was offered this role. It was not anything I expected to happen, but here I am.”

Master of Political Management Arthur Kroeger College

As executive assistant to the Leader of the New Democratic Party, Jordan Boswell’s life is immersed in details. Every day is a different combination of meetings, travel, media interviews, and events with supporters and voters. “What is this job? That’s something I ask myself a lot,” muses Boswell, who is on the road with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh virtually 24/7. “A big part of it is managing the leader’s schedule, making sure he’s on time and meeting the right people…and learning how to change on the fly.” Boswell says he got the job thanks to “great luck and good timing.” But beneath his good fortune is a strong foundation provided by his education and volunteer experience. While earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminology at the University of Toronto, Boswell volunteered for then-MPP Jagmeet Singh’s re-election campaign in Ontario. He developed strong relationships with FPA Voices • Page 11

While Boswell couldn’t have predicted his future, he credits the MPM program for offering him a solid underpinning in the political world. “It was the applied politics aspect that piqued my interest. It wasn’t just a broad overarching conversation about what government does,” explains Boswell, who received his degree at last November’s convocation. “We got into the nitty gritty of how to work in government: making policy, the actors affected by it, the consequences. They broke down all of the facts and looked at the implications.” Boswell also offers credit to his fellow students who, despite their partisanship, formed a strong bond. “I worried people would be hyper-partisan, but we were able to have good discussions and disagree, and still respect each other as people,” he recalls. “That has made me better in my job now. I meet people who may not share our vision, but I respect where they’re coming from. It gave me a better perspective.”


Bridget Steele Master of Arts, International Affairs Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA)

Bridget Steele arrived at NPSIA with an interest in international economics. Two years later, she’s doing research for the Canadian International Development Platform, an initiative based in the Norman Paterson School that conducts data analysis on foreign aid. It’s the first step in her chosen career as an academic, which she will continue as a doctoral student at Oxford University in September. “NPSIA offered me an excellent foundation in theory and research methods as well as incredibly interesting lectures and assignments involving practical applications and policy,” says Steele, who praises NPSIA’s faculty members. “A lot of the professors have worked in the field and draw on their own experience as government advisors or public servants. Our classes were very current and relevant.”

interaction with your peers would be to your education. I’ve learned almost as much from them and their contributions as I learned from the professors themselves,” she says. In the fall, she plans to explore various dimensions of violence prevention at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at Oxford University. It’s a shift from her previous focus on international economic policy, but she says the skills she learned will be invaluable. “The research may seem different, but the way you approach and examine a subject—critically analyze it—is fairly consistent,” she says. “I’m always amazed at the diversity of research in one person’s career.”

In addition to her position with the Canadian International Development Platform, Steele served as a teaching assistant and a research assistant. She was also awarded a prestigious ThinkSwiss Scholarship, which enabled her to spend last summer conducting research on counter-radicalization at a university in Switzerland. Steele says she also benefited from her interactions with fellow NPSIA students. “I didn’t realize how important the FPA Voices • Page 12


me. I liked the idea that it is an interdisciplinary program that includes law, history, French, and politics—all of my favourite subjects. PAPM would also allow me to specialize in an area of particular interest, and enable me to take a minor in business. I look forward to starting the Masters of Political Management in the fall. How has your career evolved over the past four years? Photo Credit: Peter Thornton

Kevin Mason Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management (BPAPM) Arthur Kroeger College

Most students choose a program and then find a career. It sounds like you found your career first. That’s true. I was disappointed with the results of the 2014 Ontario provincial election, so I started volunteering for MP Colin Carrie in my home riding of Oshawa. I asked his advice about university choices and he suggested that for a career in politics, it was best that I go to school in Ottawa. I took his advice by accepting my offer to take PAPM at Carleton. Two weeks after arriving in Ottawa, I began working in Dr. Carrie’s office on Parliament Hill. What appealed to you about the Bachelor of Public Administration and Policy Management? What caught my attention initially was the picture of Parliament on the front of their brochure. The more I read about the program, the more it appealed to FPA Voices • Page 13

After Dr. Carrie offered me a job, I began to assume additional responsibility while getting to know more people in the Conservative parliamentary family. In the summer of 2015, I applied for the Conservative internship program and was placed with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Chief of Staff, Ray Novak. I worked from early morning until late at night, but it was the most exhilarating experience of my life. Since 2015, I have worked with Senator Linda Frum and the digital marketing firm, Eddt. I currently serve as the Senate Conservative Caucus Liaison for Senator David Wells (Newfoundland and Labrador), the Senate Conservative Caucus Chair. It is my role to coordinate caucus activities and do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into caucus management. I also act as an intermediary between Conservatives in the Senate and the House of Commons.


Nathan Taylor Master of Arts, Political Economy Institute of Political Economy

In 2010, Nathan Taylor was working at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) (now part of Global Affairs Canada) when he decided it was a good time to get a Master’s degree. First of all, CIDA would pay for it. Secondly, it would be an asset in the international development field. Then, he was offered a job at the World Customs Organization (WCO)—an intergovernmental body that works closely with customs officials and plays a leading role in administrating trade agreements. “Carleton was so flexible: whether it was deferring an exam because I was going to Pakistan, allowing me to do directed research in Brussels, or working with my advisor via Skype. I couldn’t have done it otherwise,” recalls Taylor, who took courses towards the degree over an eight-year period. “At the same time, I was able to apply academic theories to my work and bring some real world examples into the seminar room.” In 2015, Taylor returned to the WCO to assume responsibility for a multi-country program to support customs officers in the implementation of the new World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, intended to harmonize imports and exports. He has since overseen the delivery of 130 workshops all over the world. “I was struggling to find a research

project when it dawned on me that a project was sitting right in front of me: what effect does it have when we treat our clients as members of a community, rather than something that needs to be improved upon? It’s a challenge to the traditional discourse of development,” says Taylor. Thanks to his studies, Taylor has started questioning the discourses and norms in a field where he’s worked for 20 years. And he’s not sure he’s finished learning. “You’re never too old to learn,” he says. “I think doing a degree in your 40s is a richer experience than doing it in your 20s. It makes me wonder if I want to do a PhD.”

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Chris Brown Bachelor of Social Work School of Social Work

What led you to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work? Initially, I earned a Police Foundations Diploma from a local college because I thought I wanted to be a police officer. But I naturally gravitated to working in social services. After getting my diploma, I started working at the John Howard Society with people who had been incarcerated and at Main Street Community Services with young adults with mental health issues. That’s when one of my colleagues suggested I apply for the Social Work degree. You’re still working for those organizations, but how has your approach changed now that you’ve been through the Social Work program? The program teaches from the lens of the structural approach, which looks at social inequalities and access to resources. I feel that I have changed the way that I work with individuals because now I look at the larger problems and how the system creates oppressive barriers for the individuals that I work with. So now, when I work with people, I understand a lot more in terms of the systemic factors that have led the individuals that I work with to poverty and homelessness, incarceration, mental health issues or addictions.

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I feel that I can draw a lot of connections from what I learned in the class and connect it to what I do at work. I also feel that I understand myself better. I constantly reflect on my own upbringing and morals and how they will affect my practice with the individuals that I work with. What’s next for you? This summer, I’ll be working at the John Howard Society, Main Street Community Services and at the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre. I find working with youth really gratifying. Then in the fall, I will be returning to Carleton for my Master of Social Work. I’m looking forward to a practicum with more responsibilities, and I hope to eventually go into direct practice counseling individuals.


with Carleton faculty members who work in political philosophy. At the time, I also thought I’d like to apply my knowledge to actual politics, so I got a job with a Member of Parliament. The fact that I could be in Ottawa both working for the House of Commons and pursuing a graduate degree seemed a perfect match. After receiving your master’s degree you continued working in federal politics for a bit before switching into the public service. Why did you decide to return for your PhD? I realized there were questions from my master’s degree that were still lingering. I didn’t want to put that side of things away entirely, so I took a five-year leave from my position to pursue my PhD. How has your experience as a doctoral student influenced your career?

Janice Freamo Doctor of Philosophy, Political Science Department of Political Science

When did you first become interested in Political Science? I was really drawn to the field of political philosophy when I was getting my bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta. I became interested in politics as a forum for ranking societal priorities and discussing conflicting opinions about the common good.

It made me much more thorough in my research and analysis. It also made me more inclined to pursue larger challenges like I did when I sought after and won, a Fulbright award during the course of the PhD. I’m now working for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada again. As I develop this stage of my career, I’ll be focusing on applying those research skills to the larger challenges facing Canadian society.

How did you end up at Carleton? My professors in Alberta put me in touch FPA Voices • Page 16


What was your favourite part of the program? I came in as a blank slate and I learned so much. I had minimal experience in the broader nonprofit sector and appreciated the expertise of such a diverse faculty. I learned a lot about program evaluation and was especially interested in nonprofit leadership in light of the unique leadership structures in classical music. What really surprised me was the complete revival of my love for writing and academic research. How did you balance your studies with your career? For someone who is traveling all over the world, I can’t describe what an asset the program’s flexibility was. We had two summer sessions on campus, but the rest of the work was on line.

Meghan Lindsay Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) School of Public Policy and Administration

You’re a highly successful opera singer who has performed at the Royal Palace of Versailles, at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe and Canada. Why did you decide to get a Master’s degree?

I was in Europe all last year, but I worked with Professor Paloma Raggo to develop an intensive literature review of the classical music sector for my research project. She was phenomenal. What’s next on your agenda?

I’m hoping to pursue a PhD to further explore the research I began in the MPNL program. As for my opera career, I will be heading on tour to Chicago and I was curious about the fact that classical France next season, and making an exciting role debut in Toronto. music is primarily nonprofit in North America and wondered about how that fit into the broader tapestry of the nonprofit sector as a whole. I think it’s important for artists like me to do research in our fields. FPA FPA Voices Voices •• Page Page 17 17


Audrey Tong Master of Public Policy and Administration School of Public Policy and Administration

What was your first experience in public service? As a co-op student, I had the opportunity to work in the Specific Claims Branch at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), which deals with the historical grievances of Indigenous people. It was a really gratifying experience, and it inspired me to pursue a career as a public servant. Why Carleton? I was inspired to apply because it’s such a well-known program and it provides the fundamental skills needed to work in government. You’re an evaluation analyst at the Department of Justice. How does your degree help you on the job? It helped me get this position, especially through the training in management, performance measurement and evaluation skills. I’ll soon be moving to the Department of Finance in a full-time permanent position, where I’ll be doing policy and economics work for the financial crimes division. I find macroeconomics fascinating and I’m excited to be linking it to policy on the job. What advice would you offer students who are interested in a public service career? Definitely get involved with student societies and organizations, which often reach out to alumni. I would also recommend finding out about the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, which has lots of networking opportunities. FPA Voices • Page 18


FPA Voices carleton.ca/fpa/voices

FPA Voices June - Convocation Issue 2018  
FPA Voices June - Convocation Issue 2018