Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario, the youngest child of my parents, who immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1969. After high school, I travelled across Canada for a year with Katimavik, living and volunteering with a small group in communities in B.C., Ontario and Quebec. You’ll see that being on the move is a continuing theme in my life and career!
I attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. for my undergrad, earning a BA (Hons) in philosophy with a minor in women’s studies. After a year’s break from school, I moved to St. John’s, N.L. to complete my MA in philosophy at Memorial University, then to Toronto, Ont. to complete my PhD in philosophy at York University. I taught briefly at Trent University in Oshawa and Peterborough, Ont. before completing an MA in Public Policy and Administration at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Ont. My first full-time academic position was at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. (2012-2015), after which I worked at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. (2015-2018). In 2018, I moved to St. Louis, Missouri and then to Edwardsville, Illinois to work at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2018-2023).
In 2023, I accepted the offer to come to the University of Lethbridge as the inaugural Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership, one in a network of five Chairs across the country. I am excited to be back in Canada, in an area of the country I’ve always found beautiful and compelling, at an institution that seems both welcoming and innovative.
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
I’ve been a member of the ULethbridge community since July 2023. I will begin teaching in the Spring 2024 semester; in the interim, I am busy with my ongoing research, with getting settled in my new province, city, institution, and department, and with collaborating with colleagues at ULethbridge, as well as my fellow Jarislowsky Chairs in other parts of Canada.
What's the best part of your job so far? What kinds of things are you planning?
As Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, I will engage in the usual tasks of teaching, research and service, all of which I enjoy immensely; I consider myself lucky that I get to do these things and call it my job. As Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership, I’ll bring to these tasks expertise in and resources to develop opportunities for students and members of the community to discuss, learn about, and practice the skills required for trustworthy, competent, ethical leadership. The Jarislowsky Chairs network is in early days still, but we’ve started discussing the sorts of projects we’d like to pursue, from programming for students to collaborative research agendas, from engaging with our local communities to building mentorship networks. There are some exciting avenues to explore here, and I hope that I and my fellow Jarislowsky Chairs will serve our communities well.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
In my downtime, I enjoy walking with my husband and my dogs (the trails in Lethbridge are great!), gardening (though I have a lot to learn about the climate here!), reading fiction (I welcome recommendations of local authors!) and watching good TV. I’m always keen to learn new skills; I’ve dabbled and plan to continue taking lessons in tai chi, pottery and banjo. When time permits and occasions present themselves, I travel — I love a good road trip as much as I love an excursion to international locales. I hope to take advantage of the amazing opportunities in Alberta to do more paddleboarding, hiking and camping.