Undergraduate Alumni News

Welcome to news from Canadian Studies Killam Fellows and Associated Undergraduate Students of the Center. Our students have gone on to pursue higher education and to contribute to a greater understanding of Canada in their diverse professions. We hope you enjoy their stories.

 

December 2013
2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance Alum Awarded $30,000 OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies
Monica Chahary, 2011 Task Force Alum was awarded OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies for the 2014-2015 academic period carried out by the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture of the Organization of American States by the Organization of American States (OAS). More ...

November 2013
Task Force Student Wins National Award for Research Paper on Québec's Arctic Policies
Nicolas Van Tulder, International Studies major, was just awarded the Martin Lubin Undergraduate Award in the Social Sciences for his paper on Québec Arctic policy. More ...

March 2013
Alumna Continuing Experience from the 2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance
Jennifer Grosman did not expect the highlight of her undergraduate studies to continue after her graduation in 2011. More ...
 

November 2012
Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty Alumna's New Journey
by Victoria Choe, Public Administraion and International Relations, Syracuse University 
Five months ago when I walked across the commencement stage, I realized that it was a beginning of a new journey in life. More ...

August 2012
Former Killam Fellow now Applies Understanding of Canada to Policy Work in D.C.
Former UW Killam Fellow Gregory Johnsen (McGill University, Fall 2010) graduated from the University of Washington this June with a BA in International Studies (Canada Track) and BS in Economics. More ...

August 2012
Task Force on Arctic Governance Students Team up in Nunavik, Québec
by Dominic Maltais
I was awarded the 2012 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council masters scholarship (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship) to support my research on Québec-Inuit relations at McGill university. More ...

March 2012
Internship with the Government of Québec
by Dominic Maltais, International Studies
I graduated in the summer of 2011 from the Jackson School of International Studies with a major in International Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies. More ...

November 2011
Henry Street Settlement's Workforce Development Center, AmeriCorps VITA Volunteer
by Monica Chahary, International Studies
I'm an AmeriCorps VITA volunteer at Henry Street Settlement's
Workforce Development Center, which is a community based nonprofit organization. More ...


December 2013
2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance Alum Awarded $30,000 OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies

Monica Chahary, 2011 Task Force Alum was awarded OAS Scholarship for Graduate Studies for the 2014-2015 academic period carried out by the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture of the Organization of American States by the Organization of American States (OAS). Chahary applied for the award to complete her her degree in Master in Business Administration. She was awarded $30,000 a year for 2 years as a full-time student. 

Chahary's area of focus, chosen from among various OAS initiatives, is "Sustainable Development and the Environment." Canada is at the forefront for a variety of policies and issues concerning the Arctic region, even more so now as they enter their second term of chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013-2015). She hopes to learn more about what Canada is doing to promote sustainable development in the region, with regards to growing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

For award announcements, click here.

Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The Winter 2011 Canada Task Force was entitled, "Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance."

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November 2013
Task Force Student Wins National Award for Research Paper on Québec's Arctic Policies

Nicholas with Luc Ferland, Member of Parliament for Ungava, Parti Québécois, Chair of the Committee on Institutions and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources (Northern Affairs file). Nicholas served as Monsieur Ferland's host during our Task Force research trip to Québec City (Québec City, January 2013).

Nicolas Van Tulder, International Studies major, was just awarded the Martin Lubin Undergraduate Award in the Social Sciences for his paper on Québec Arctic policy. He is the first recipient of this new award. 

Van Tulder’s research paper, Le Québec Total: Creating a Unifying Vision for Northern Development (Un Plan Pour Tous) argues for the creation of a new vision for northern development in Québec based an understanding of Québec that includes both regions. Van Tulder compares the northern strategies of both the Government of Québec and the Inuit in Nunavik to define the diverging agendas of these two regions. He uses the work of renowned Québec geographer, Louis-Edmond Hamelin, to point out that Québec’s identity is indeed split with the south seeing itself as distinct from the indigenous north. Van Tulder uses the concept put forward by Premier Marois – un plan pour tous – to argue that Québec Arctic strategy must take into account the northern perspectives of the Nunavimmiut. The research paper was part of the course requirements for JSIS 495 Arctic Securities co-taught in Winter Quarter 2013 by N. Fabbi and J. Plouffe.

Van Tulder will be awarded on Friday, November 22, 7:00pm—9:00pm (Grand Salon E) at the biennial meeting of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.

Read his paper here

Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The first Task Force on Arctic Canada was offered in 2009. In Winter Quarter 2013, the Arctic Canada Task Force, "Arctic Securities," focused on Québec’s role in the Arctic and received significant funding from the Government of Québec.

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Alumna Continuing Experience from the 2011 Task Force on Arctic Governance

Jennifer Grosman did not foresee that the highlight of her studies would continue after her graduation but found that Canadian Studies is just too irresistible! As a general international studies major, Jennifer chose to join the Task Force on Arctic Governance with little knowledge of the area but a desire to understand more on the emerging importance of Arctic sovereignty. Task Force was a taxing but incredibly valuable experience as she engaged with the fascinating issues of Arctic governance, honed her research skills, and bonded with the other students and Task Force Advisors Nadine Fabbi and Vince Galucci.

Jennifer is delighted to further her understanding of Canadian-U.S. Relations in her new position as a Program Coordinator for the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region. The organization, based in Seattle, WA, is a public/private non-profit created by statute in 1991 by the northwestern U.S. states and Western Canadian provinces and territories. PNWER is the only statutory cross-border, bi-partisan forum for legislators, government agencies, nonprofits, and business leaders to come together to develop regional solutions to global challenges. After interning with the organization with fellow Task Force participant Victoria Choe, Jennifer assumed the responsibilities of coordinating the organization’s biannual conferences. This July, Jennifer is very excited to travel to Anchorage, Alaska for the 600-person gathering of regional legislators and business leaders. Arctic Issues will be incorporated throughout the week-long event with the economic, environmental, and energy interconnections between the Arctic and greater region influencing agenda development. Jennifer is also supporting PNWER’s U.S. – Canadian Arctic Roundtable to be held at the Capitol on March 7th. Ms. Julia Gourley, U.S. State Department, who was the Task Force Evaluator will be participating in the event; yet another Task Force connection!

Though, Jennifer is excited to be working in her field, she is envious of the new Arctic-themed classes offered this spring! She would like to invite everyone to the Summit in Anchorage. Visit www.pnwer.org for more information on the Arctic Caucus and other programs.

The Task Force on Arctic Governance is a joint program between the Canadian and Global Studies Centers in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and part of the Canadian Studies Center and Makivik Corporation, Nunavik, Canada, Educational Initiative. The 2011 Ottawa Research Trip was sponsored by the Canadian and Global Studies Title VI grants, International Education Programs Service, U.S. Department of Education; Government of Canada; Hellmann Fund for Innovation and Excellence; Maxwell M. and Julia Fisher Endowment; International Studies Program Discretionary Fund; Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Wilburforce Foundation, Seattle; and Makivik Corporation.

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Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty Alumna's New Journey
by Victoria Choe, Public Administraion and International Relations, Syracuse University

Victoria and 2012 Thomas. R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows, 16th cohort.

Five months ago when I walked across the commencement stage, I realized that it was a beginning of a new journey in life. I would not have been able to embark on this new journey without the academic and professional experiences that I gained at the Canadian Studies Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. I received a tremendous mentorship from Nadine Fabbi, the Associate Director of the Canadian Studies Center, who encouraged me to utilize my strengths and passion in search of a career. I was in the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada with my Transnational Arctic Task Force group, when I learned about the career in Foreign Service. A year and a half later, I was honored to find out that I would be one of the 2012 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows.

Currently, I reside in Syracuse, New York and I am pursuing a Master degree in Public Administration and International Relations in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. I chose a practical degree that would assist me in acquiring administrative skills to be an effective and efficient Management Officer in Foreign Service. I aspire to be a Management Officer who makes the diplomacy work!

In summer of 2013, I will be moving to Washington, D.C. to begin my internship with the State Department. I am eager to contribute my Arctic knowledge and experiences that I gained from Canadian Studies Center in the Office Ocean and Polar Affairs at the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Furthermore, I envision continuing my education at the Free University of Berlin in Germany in spring of 2014. My research in Germany will focus on the EU’s energy security and implications of involvement in the Arctic region.

While it is daunting to begin a new journey, I am constantly reminded of unconditional support that I receive from the community at University of Washington. And I am forever thankful to those people.

The Task Force is the capstone course for the International Studies major. The first Task Force on Arctic Canada was offered in 2009. The Winter 2011 Canada Task Force was entitled, "Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance" co-instructed by Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center. Victoria served as Coordinator. In Winter Quarter 2013, the Arctic Canada Task Force, "Arctic Securities," will focus on Québec’s role in the Arctic.

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Canada and the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Michael Tillotson, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, 2012-2013 FLAS, Tlingit

As a student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, my studies focus on the physical and abstract interactions of the human and natural worlds in the marine environment. The coast is a particularly important place to study these interactions because of the incredible amount of human and natural activity that takes place in a relatively small area, and because of the rapid pace of change in coastal communities and ecosystems. For communities that have historically prospered based on their proximity to the ocean change has not always been kind. Very generally my research is intended to explore the ways in which place-dependent communities can survive in the face of change. There is perhaps no better example of a place-dependent community than the indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest. Not only do they have some of the longest standing traditions and ties to the land, but they have also demonstrated a huge capacity for adaptation, and continue to face some of the most significant challenges among coastal communities.

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest have for time immemorial adapted to change along our coasts. Their way of life has survived the advance and retreat of glaciers, as well as to the advance of Europeans. Today the challenges faced by indigenous communities seem no less significant. They face changes in the marine resources on which they depend in addition to lingering social and economic issues. A lack of local economic opportunities can lead to migration away from communities which in turn weakens cultural ties to the place and its resources. My research seeks to address this issue by considering what types of economic development can successfully and sustainably utilize the cultural and natural resources of indigenous communities to ensure that they survive in the face of change.

With the generous funding of the FLAS fellowship I have been able to enroll in Tlingit language classes; an indigenous language of Southeast Alaska and Northern British Columbia. This opportunity has been challenging – Tlingit contains at least 20 sounds not used in English – and fascinating. I have been pleased to find that the language and the culture cannot be readily separated, and thus my language studies have been integral to gaining a better understanding of what is at risk of being lost if indigenous communities cannot find sustainable industries.

Throughout Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia indigenous communities are experimenting with industries that draw off their existing capacities while honoring culture. These include, for example, cultural tourism, aquaculture, seafood processing and renewable energy. Over the remainder of the year I will be working to evaluate such opportunities and their success in achieving the goal of cultural, economic and environmental sustainability in indigenous communities.

Funding for FLAS Fellowships is provided by a Center allocation from International and Foreign Language Education, U.S. Department of Education. Visit our FLAS page: http://jsis.washington.edu/canada/flas/.

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Former Killam Fellow now Applies Understanding of Canada to Policy Work in D.C.


Former UW Killam Fellow Gregory Johnsen (McGill University, Fall 2010) graduated from the University of Washington this June with a BA in International Studies (Canada Track) and BS in Economics. He now researches U.S. fiscal policy full-time with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in New York City. Although his work focuses primarily on domestic policy, Gregory says his Canadian Studies background is proving quite useful.

"Canada and the U.S. have a lot in common – more than most other countries the U.S. could be compared to. As someone who is researching policy, it is interesting for me to see where the two countries make policy decisions that are similar, and where they diverge. In that respect, Canada serves as a sort of policy experiment to see other ways things can be done. It is a valuable perspective to have."

Gregory says he is enjoying life in New York and hopes to take advantage of the close proximity to Canada by traveling in Ontario and Québec.

The Killam Fellowships Program provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students from universities in the United States to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in Canada. UW students may participate in the program as a direct exchange student (registering at their home university, paying their home fees, and attending the host university as an exchange visitor). The Killam Fellowships Program provides a cash award of $5,000 US per semester ($10,000 for a full academic year), an all expense paid three day orientation in Ottawa, and a three day all expense paid seminar in Washington (plus other benefits). The Canadian Studies Center is a partner institution with the Killam Foundation enabling up to two full academic year fellowships annually for UW students.

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Task Force on Arctic Governance Students Team up in Nunavik, Québec
by Dominic Maltais, Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty Graduate, 2011

Dominic (left) with Lisa Koperqualuk with the Koksoak River in the background in Nunavik, northern Québec. 

I was awarded the 2012 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council masters scholarship (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship) to support my research on Québec-Inuit relations at McGill University. This research is a continuation of the work I did for the 2011 International Studies-Canadian Studies Task Force course I took at the University of Washington entitled, Arctic Governance. This program enabled me to reorient my research towards current Québécois political affairs. The knowledge I built and the resources I acquired through this Task Force provided me with the needed tools to start a career with the Québec Government.

Lisa (right) and Dominic (second to the right) with Saturviit's Board of Directors in the Kativil Regional Government building in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. 

Through the Secrétariat aux Affaires Autochtones (SAA), I have been working closely on maintaining good relations between the Québec government and the Inuit of Nunavik. I recently had a chance to travel to Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, thanks to fellow Task Force student Lisa Koperqualuk. Mme Koperqualuk, now president of the Nunavik Women Association (Saturviit), invited me to the association's Board of Directors meeting, held in the Kativik Regional Government's building, as a SAA representent. This provided me with the opportunity to exchange with the board and present to its members various provincial programs and resources which are made available to organizations like Saturviit.

The Winter 2011 Task Force was entitled, "Melting Boundaries: Rethinking Arctic Governance." Lisa's chapter was enttitled, "Maqaittiit as a Profession" and Dominic's chapter was entitled, "Québec and Nunavik: A Governance Model." The Task Force was co-led by Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies, and Vincent Gallucci, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Julie Gourley, Senior Arctic Official, U.S. State Department, served as the expert evaluator. The Task Force will be offered again in Winter Quarter 2013 focused on Arctic Québec.

View Task Force 2011 Website
View Task Force 2011 Report 

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Internship with the Government of Québec 
By Dominic Maltais, International Studies (2011)

I graduated in the summer of 2011 from the Jackson School of International Studies with a major in International Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies. I am currently enrolled as a Master's student in comparative politics at McGill University. I always had an interest in indigenous politics but my participation in the Arctic Governance Task Force, carried out by the International and Canadian Studies Centers at the University of Washington, redirected my research and my career from Latin America to the Arctic. I came to be very interested in important developments happening in my home province of Québec, and the close relationship the government is building with its Inuit people. Since the beginning of the Task Force in 2010, I have received tremendous support from the Canadian Studies Center which has helped advance both my research and professional skills. Most notably, the Center gave me the opportunity to meet, learn from and build relationships with important Inuit and Québécois political figures, as well as the opportunity to present my research at the biennial Association for Canadian Studies in the United States conference in Ottawa. I have also received an invitation to publish my work in the American Review of Canadian Studies. Recently, I was offered an internship at the Secretariat aux Affaires Autochtones du Québec. I will be working on maintaining and improving ties between the Inuit of Nunavik and the Government of Québec. To this end, I will participate in negotiations and assist in the implementation of various agreements. Needless to say, this is an incredible career opportunity and I am immensely grateful to the Canada Studies Center for helping me get there!

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Henry Street Settlement's Workforce Development Center, AmeriCorps VITA Volunteer
By Monica Chahary, International Studies (2011)

Workforce Development Center, which is a community based nonprofit organization. Henry Street Settlement opens doors of opportunity in a community which has historically been and continues to be one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation. Foreign-born residents comprise 37.7 percent of the population, and 56 percent speak a language other than English at home. [henrystreet.org] During my year of service I will assist with workshops geared at helping individuals with their job search process, screen individuals for federal/state benefits, and become certified to provide income tax assistance. My experience here is in many ways an extension of what I learned while a student at UW. At the JSIS I learned about so many issues that effect our nation today, many of which concern immigrant and those in need. I look forward to learning more about the nonprofit sector during my year of service and exploring the city that never sleeps!

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Canadian Studies Center
University of Washington
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
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canada@uw.edu