Recipient of the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit and the Governor General’s Gold Medal (Graduate Studies)
Through a social justice lens, Dr. Aimee Benoit has developed a novel theoretical approach to the study of the lived and experiential dimensions of Divided Cities, the ways in which individuals navigate social difference and inequality, and the ways in which inequalities unfold in everyday lives and routine neighbourhood spaces. Her theory of belonging as practice will set a new reference marker in many urban studies disciplines. Aimee is this year’s recipient of the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit for Doctor of Philosophy. She is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded to the student who graduates with the highest standing in their institution.
We asked Aimee about her time at uLethbridge:
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
I’ll always be grateful to my undergrad mentors, Dr. Malcom Greenshields and Dr. Bill Baker, who inspired me to pursue a career in history. In recent years I’ve been warmly welcomed into the human geography department, and I especially appreciate the guidance and encouragement of my graduate supervisors Dr. Tom Johnston and Dr. Ivan Townshend.
What is the most important lesson you learned?
After completing three degrees at the uLethbridge, I’ve learned just how much I have yet to learn! I’m continually amazed by the work being done by members of the uLethbridge community.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I’ve been really privileged to complete graduate studies, and I feel it’s important to pay that forward. My PhD focused on the concept of belonging, and I hope to bring that more fully into my professional work, to create more space for voices that need to be heard.
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin their post-secondary (graduate studies) journeys?
Everybody has a unique path, but I think it’s important to stay connected to the people and activities you care about — just to maintain some balance. I also think it’s important to stay open to a range of perspectives and approaches to your research topic.