Graduating class of 2014

Most students who graduate from the Department of Politics and International Studies at Bishop’s University go on to graduate school and other exciting positions and careers. Here are the testimonials of some of our former students:

Maia Lugar

My experience in the Politics and International Studies department here at Bishop’s is something that I am incredibly thankful for. I graduated from Bishop’s in 2021 with an Honours in Political Studies and a Major in International Studies, after making sure that I took all of the politics courses that I could, and that I was as involved in the department as much as I could be.

In my time at Bishop’s, I participated in the Jeux de la Science Politique, Model United Nations, the BU Leadership Retreat, and I served as the President of the Politics and International Studies Association. I also had the opportunity to work as both a Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant for various professors, and that experience helped open doors for me in my master’s program, as that kind of experience in undergrad is rare (outside of Bishop’s).

I’m currently completing a Master’s degree in Political Management at Carleton University, and the decision to do so was shaped significantly by my time at Bishop’s. Not only did I have professors who encouraged me to pursue my passions (and who offered courses that aligned with my passions), but the tight-knit department gave me the friends and the support systems I needed to confidently be myself, and to shake of the ‘imposter syndrome’ that so many women feel. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Bishop’s; they gave me all of the tools I needed to step outside of the Bishop’s bubble and into the world.

Maia Lugar, Political Studies Honours and International Studies Major ‘21
Junru Bian

I pursued my Honours Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, with Minors in French and Political Studies at Bishop’s University. Arriving in Canada at the age of sixteen, BU was a welcoming and nurturing environment for me to begin my undergraduate studies in a new country. There, I was lucky to build lasting friendships and work with inspiring professors. The small class sizes at BU were particularly significant – as they have prepared me for graduate seminars later on. Knowing my professors personally and having them witnessing my growth over the years at BU was so valuable – and it is something that I would have never experienced at a larger university. I was able to complete an honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Heather McKeen-Edwards, who was exceptionally patient and insightful. I was also part of the BU Model United Nations delegation led by Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé, for which I had the opportunity to travel to New York for the week-long annual National Model United Nations simulation at the UN Headquarters.

After graduating from BU in 2019, I have served in several assignments in Mongolia, Myanmar, and Ethiopia as a humanitarian aid worker. Then, I joined McGill University for my Master’s degree in Political Science, where I received a Fonds de recherche du Québec: Société et culture (FRQSC) grant for my research on the identities and practices of aid workers in conflict environments. I am now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Ottawa School of Political Studies. My doctoral research focuses on the “auxiliary spaces” of conflict relief and intervention, where aid workers interpret, shape, and reproduce humanitarian ideals and values through their everyday practices. I am also a member of the Réseau d’analyse stratégique-Network for Strategic Analysis (RAS-NSA), which mobilizes Canadian knowledge in international security and multilateral cooperation.

Junru Bian, International Studies Honours and French and Political Studies Minors ‘19

When I decided to go to university I was nervous, I had heard the horror stories of institutions and classes that were too large and where it can be difficult to fit in. Bishop’s quelled all of these fears. The Bishop’s style of learning promotes a strong student-professor relationship inside the classroom, adding to its overall community feeling. One of my earliest memories is sitting down in my professor’s office and being recognized instantly as a writer for the university newspaper. Since deciding to study at Bishop’s I have been a Resident Assistant and member of the Student Safety team, as well as a participant in the National Model UN, a simulation of the UN for a full week in New York City. Perhaps my favorite experience was a one-month study-tour of the European Union in Belgium during the summer of 2013, and the subsequent internship which allowed me to develop my professional skills. By studying Political Studies at Bishop’s I’ve developed an excellent understanding of Canadian and international politics but also the organizational and communication skills that I will need for graduate studies and the work force.

Dylan Gagnon, Political Studies Honours ’14

At Bishop’s University, I discovered my passion for International Political Economy. When I started my undergraduate, I had no idea what to do and I owe it all to one of my politics professors who sat down with me in the first semester and told me that I could combine my interests in economics and international politics and development and end up with an Honours degree. The intimate environment and the openness of my professors and the Bishop’s community greatly contributed to my success. In addition to all the academic support, there were many opportunities along the way to further my education. Along with being on the SRC for two consecutive years, I was also privileged to be the 2010 Nicholas Bachand Canadian Civil Society Intern and to go on an international exchange to South Africa in 2011. In my final year, I was the STEP intern and participated in the Model UN, proudly representing Australia in ECOSOC. My degree illustrates that a student is provided with the flexibility and guidance to pursue their interests and apply their knowledge in practice. For these reasons, the Politics and International Studies Department at Bishop’s University offers the highest quality in an undergraduate education.

Sophia Faria, International Political Economy Honours ’12

It is difficult to emphasize enough the difference that attending an institution the size of Bishop’s can make compared with other, larger, universities. The access to professors, the opportunities to develop close ties both with faculty and with a large proportion of the other students in your program, never having a question go unanswered or a discussion left unfinished: these are just a few of the factors which make Bishop’s an exceptional place to study political science. In my time here I had the opportunity to take classes in a range of topics which interested me, to represent the department at the National Model United Nations in New York, go on a semester abroad to Australia, to foster close working relationships with my professors and advisors, present my own research at an academic conference in Montreal, and participate in a two-month internship in Peru. I don’t believe that any other university could have offered me the range of experience, the intimate quality of education, or the exceptional support which I received at Bishop’s, and which have prepared me so well to continue my studies elsewhere.

Will Greaves, Political Studies Honours ’06

After having completed her undergraduate degree in Political Studies with minors in French and Public Administration, Dorcas completed a Masters Degree in Political Science at the University of Windsor, Ontario. Her final research focused on the role and impact of federalism in ethnic conflict management examining Nigeria’s political structure. In summer of 2006, she got the opportunity to intern at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She was assigned to the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch where she worked on the 15th Supplement of the Repertoire of the Security Council. This involved extensive research on the Council’s proceedings and decisions on various issues from 2004 to 2005. Issues that she focused on included the protection of children in armed conflict, small arms and light weapons, cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations and the prevention of armed conflict. She also used this opportunity to attend numerous Security Council meetings and a General Assembly meeting where she assisted in drafting a report for senior level officials. She also volunteered as a group leader for the Day of the African Child, a yearly event hosted by the United Nations African Mothers Association to bring attention to the plight of African Children. In addition, she was a member of the Yearbook Committee.

My Bishop’s University education helped me develop my research and analytical skills and the wealth of knowledge from the diverse courses and interactions with the professors has been very beneficial. Bishop’s University also helped me discover my passion and through that set goals for my career. My time at Bishop’s has provided me with numerous opportunities and tools that will last a lifetime.

Dorcas Onigbinde, Political Studies Honours ’05