Through her research on online dehumanization, Jodi Newman (BA '19, MA '24) showcases her commitment to creating safer and more equitable digital environments. Her dedication to philosophical inquiry and drive for social change are evident in all that she does.

Despite pandemic-induced delays in her time at the University of Lethbridge, Jodi learned that significant accomplishments require patience and perseverance.

Not everyone's timeline is the same. Judge your work not by the calendar but by the level of importance.

Meet Jodi | Mother. Humanitarian. Environmentalist.
Program: Master of Arts | Major: Philosophy
Hometown: Nobleford, AB

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

I gave he first in-person Philosophy Colloquium Series presentation Following the return to campus (after the COVID-19 pandemic). The title of my talk was "Human Cloning in a Time of Contagion." While it was a small audience of a few faculty members and some philosophy students, it was the best time. The topic engaged every member of the audience and allowed us to venture a little ways into the realm of science fiction. We ran far over time because we just kept exchanging ideas and arguments. It was one of my most vibrant experiences of doing philosophy.

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at ULethbridge?

During my undergraduate degree coursework, I developed strong interests in social and political inequality, ethics, and the communication practices that accompany our contemporary social environments. Subsequently, I was encouraged by multiple faculty members to explore the possibility of graduate studies to increase my understanding and contribute to this field of study.

What does your research focus on? What do you hope your research will accomplish?

My Master's thesis focused on the dehumanization of women in our contemporary online social environments. My work lends to the recognition of the ways that dehumanization of women manifests online and that dehumanization carries the potential for serious and cumulative harms for women. I hope that my work will contribute to an intersectional understanding of dehumanization as well as the development of stronger policy frameworks for online social environments

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?

I was fortunate to have Dr. Michael Stingl as my MA supervisor. He has been so supportive, understanding, and committed to my academic success. Additionally, his approach to teaching philosophy, ethics in particular, was invaluable. I was able to fulfill both research and teaching assistant roles to Dr. Stingl and he provided many opportunities to assist and engage with students which undoubtedly supported my professional and academic development.

I was also fortunate to be a graduate research assistant to Dr. Kent Peacock. Through this extended position, I travelled to multiple philosophy conferences across Western Canada. I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent the University of Lethbridge and the Department of Philosophy.

Did you receive scholarships and awards?

During my time at ULethbridge, I received multiple awards including the Research Dissemination Travel Award. These awards supported the costs of tuition, equipment and supplies, and travel to conferences. As a single parent, these scholarships and awards were very important.

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I hope to start a PhD program in the near future as my overall goal is to have the expertise to inform social and political policy in Canada. Our social environments are evolving faster than our ethical frameworks are responding to these evolutions, so I seek to be able to provide policy guidance for safe, diverse and inclusive social spaces. I also hope to have a future opportunity to teach in the post-secondary environment.

What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?

I would highlight the importance of engaging with other students. Positive social environments can have an incredible impact on academic success, and diverse viewpoints can shed light on ideas that we wouldn't have otherwise considered. Also, register for philosophy classes—learning how to structure a strong argument is a valuable life skill.

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