M.A. Student Profiles
Kate Brillinger M.A. Thesis Stream

I completed my Honours degree here at Trent University with a major in Geography, minor in Cultural Studies. My research interests throughout my undergrad have been rooted in urban planning and development in cities and towns of all sizes.  I am mostly interested in city design as well as city re-design through urban revitalization processes (i.e. Creative City model). My current research will deal with looking at the revitalization processes within Peterborough, comparing Peterborough with other cities of similar size/industry to see what determines success.

Outside of my studies, my time is spent reading just about anything I can get my hands on, as well as spending time with my husband, Wayne and our 3 year old son, Lucas.

Evan Brockest M.A. Thesis Stream

My research interests encompass a broad range of topics from community development and evidence-based policy to the social, economic, and environmental conditions that impact social movements aimed at enacting meaningful community development and social change. I am particularly interested in looking at how various economic, legal, spatial, and representational apparatuses interact in ways that are productive of specific social, political, and economic relationships. My M.A. research explores these intersections through an examination of present efforts among corporate and governmental actors to define ‘acceptable limits’ of engagement among citizen populations that entrench and reinforce a program of neoliberal economic globalization.

Outside of academia, I am involved with several community-based organizations, and in my spare time I am an avid organic hobby farmer in Warsaw, Ontario.

Erin Dokis M.A. Thesis Stream

Erin Dokis is Anishinabe from Dokis First Nation and is a granddaughter of Nipissing First Nation. She holds a BA in Gender, Equality and Social Justice, with a minor in Native Studies, from Nipissing University. For the past six years, Erin has worked in support and administrative roles at Nipissing University in the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives. She is currently involved in a research partnership between Nipissing First Nation and Nipissing University. Her research interests include Indigenous identity, political theory, decolonization and alliance work. In recent years, Erin has focused on research relationships within the academy and with First Nation communities. In her spare time, Erin is an amateur sleuth who enjoys playing German board games.

Ulrike Fliesser M.A. Thesis Stream

For me, higher education was not an option in my youth. In Austria I learned to be a floral designer, then later in Canada a computer programmer analyst and after that an environmental consultant. As a late starter, I discovered a passion for knowledge. Over the past five years I pursued a B.A.H. in Environmental Studies and Geography. With my Honours Thesis on outdoor learning, I combined a Community-Based Education Project - a thought-provoking combination. Tourism is one area of interest that will occupy my next two years. I will investigate its development in the Northwest Territories.  The written word holds a fascination for me, and I believe that honing writing skills is a worthwhile pursuit.



Natalie Gingerich M.A. thesis stream

Natalie earned her BA in Legal Studies and History from the University of Waterloo with a focus on the historical evolution of women in the Canadian justice system, from criminalization in the pre-confederation period to representation on the bench of the modern Supreme Court. She is focusing her upcoming thesis research on feminist movements in business and the contrasting traditional gender roles perpetuated by popular media in the mid-to-late twentieth century. Her goal is to examine divergent patterns of liberation and confinement by opposing cultural forces in working women’s public and private lives.

Nat is active in the queer community and volunteers her time to local music education programs in her hometown of Oakville, ON. In her spare time, she plays softball and tries to spend as much time in nature as she possibly can.

Sarah Jessup M.A. Thesis Stream

I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology here at Trent University. Broadly, I am interested in people and health. Throughout my education and my previous studies and experience in policy, business management, and Ontario Law, my interests have increasingly involved understanding the ways that workplace policies can impact and even determine employee health and wellbeing. More specifically, I am interested in the relationship between workplace bullying and harassment policies and the health outcomes of employees within Ontario healthcare settings

Outside of my studies, I enjoy spending time with my family and reading.

Maddy Macnab M.A. MRP stream

Maddy completed her undergraduate degree in Contemporary Studies and French at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2011. Her research interests in the politics of memory and commemoration led her to the field of public history, where her work has focused on examining narratives in Canadian immigration history, and documenting migration stories using oral history methods. Through the Trent Community Research Centre, she plans to pursue her interest in immigration history and in community-based research by examining the early history of Peterborough’s New Canadians Centre, founded to support Vietnamese refugees to Peterborough in the 1970s.

Maddy is new to Peterborough, and while she is here (when she is not busy studying), she hopes to: explore all the bike paths, find some folks to play viola with, and try her hand at community radio.

Abigail Myerscough M.A. Thesis stream

I did my undergraduate degree at Trent University with a double major in Canadian Studies and Gender and Women's Studies. I have chosen to write my thesis on this country's elder care system due to the inspiring lecture of one of Trent's many fine professors, and my family's history in this sector. My mom worked as a Registered Nurse for twenty years in the Long Term Care network and the flaws never ceased to amaze even my younger self, but now I have been given the opportunity to look deeper into this regime, and perhaps, promote change.

I am very excited to continue my education at Trent, it has been a long time dream to become a part of the Frost Centre and I look forward to the opportunity.

Mykelle Pacquing M.A. Thesis Stream

Coming from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in Aboriginal Studies and Semiotics and Communication Theory, Mykelle is interested in researching the theoretical implications of the oral traditions of song, dance, and story as cultural institutions and how they serve in past, present, and future generations amongst local Indigenous people and beyond including the possibilities of healing the disconnections within our identities.

Mykelle is an ardent multi-disciplinary artist and enjoys recreational athletics in his spare time. He is excited to experience what the beautiful land around Peterborough can offer just outside the bustling city of Toronto.

Martin Schoots-McAlpine M.A. Thesis Stream
email I completed a B.A. in History at the University of Ottawa in 2013. My research interests are primarily focused on the political history of the working class in Canada. I am particularly interested in the history of militant and radical working class political organizations, including the Communist Part of Canada, and the Marxist-Leninist movement in Canada and Quebec during the 1970s and 1980s. I am also interested in the theories of the labour aristocracy, from a Marxist framework, and using an understanding of the labour aristocracy to account for changes in the political line of the organizations that I study.
Emily Yamashita M.A. Thesis Stream
  I completed my undergraduate degree in History and Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto. In my masters, I plan to research mining in Northern Canada and specifically, how such development impacts surrounding communities.
Ph.D. Student Profiles

John Bessai


John Bessai is a researcher, writer, producer, director and educator, who has focused most of his attention on Canada. While completing his MA at York University in International Relations he started making educational films on Canadian politics, art, the health care and the environment .  In the mid 1990s - “Greenpeace: A Canadian Discovery was shown across Canada documenting the extraordinary accomplishment of Canadian activists founding a political powerhouse. In the next decade he developed and produced Green Heroes which took a multiplatform approach to storytelling about change.  This project eventually became a 12 half-hour  series of TV broadcasts which are now shown  regularly on TVOntario. He also co-produced the authorized TV biography of Buffy Sainte-Marie.

John is excited about continuing his journey at Trent with his new research project on the impact of new forms of digital interactive media on Canadian social movements.

Holly Brant

Karennahawe is a proud Ihstha and Totah and a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte enrolled in the Canadian Studies Doctoral Graduate Program.  She holds a diploma in Social Services from Loyalist College, an Honours BA with a Certificate in Law and Justice from Laurentian University and graduated in 2009 with her Masters in Social Work from Carleton University.  Karennahawe has opted to investigate the harmonious or contested emergence of Indigenous people and Social Work. Her research interests lie in the full engagement of Indigenous people in navigating a holistic journey that is inclusive of emotional, physical, spiritual and physical healing with settlers who may be involved in this journey.  Effective communication, respect, dialogue, understanding and implementation will be at the root of this quest between Indigenous and Settler relations with the Indigenous person’s optimum vision of wellness as their guide.


Sean Carleton


Sean is a PhD Candidate in the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies & Indigenous Studies at Trent University. He completed BA and MA degrees at Simon Fraser University specializing in education and Indigenous history. His doctoral dissertation examines settler colonialism and the rise of state schooling in what is now know as British Columbia between 1849 and 1925. He is also a founding member of the Graphic History Collective and an author of May Day: A Graphic History of Protest.


Karen Everett


Karen’s research examines Canada-US border security policy and practices. More specifically, her research uses securitization theory and political discourse analysis to understand the policy making process and what Canada’s border management programs promise to deliver. In addition, she examines the unique needs of remote border crossings in northern Canada. Karen completed both her BSW and MA at Ryerson University.


Matthew Hayes


I am an academic, artist and filmmaker, with eclectic interests. My PhD research will involve scouring Canada's UFO archive for interesting things about science policy and government secrecy during the Cold War. Much of my work, especially the artistic side, explores the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and attempts to explain why I continually confuse the two. I've experienced a range of employment opportunities, from dishwasher, to running a t-shirt kiosk, to writing a history book for a museum, to shooting wedding video, to most recently working at Artspace in downtown Peterborough. Everything I've ever done has informed my work, and my continues to force me to reflect on everthing I've ever done. My twitter hande: @freefoodfilms

Magen Hudak


Honing from an academic background that includes a Masters degree from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, at the University of Toronto (2012), and a Masters degree from the Department of Atlantic Canada Studies, at Saint Mary’s University (2014), I am truly an interdisciplinary scholar. Generally speaking, I am interested in the social and cultural connections between people and place - particularly with the relationships that human beings in rural and semi-rural communities form with the natural environments and ecosystems which surround them. My current research analyses and reflects upon theeffects of beach tourism and coastal natural resource exploitation, within Nova Scotia, and the Maritime Provinces at large, over the past century and a half. I consider materials from the disciplines of cultural studies, landscape studies, geography, and environmental and social history, when examining beaches through social and cultural perspective.

Being born, raised, and having spent most of my life in Cow Bay, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, I am passionate about my province and my region of Atlantic Canada, both as a scholar and as an individual. Yet, furthermore, I have an enthusiasm for the landscapes and peoples of Canada, as a whole, and how they interact, in both a regional, and in a global sense, as well. I am interested in the ways in which the relationships between human beings and place, in Canada, contrast and compare with those which present themselves in other regions and countries of the world.



Heather Levie


Heather is an English Language and Literature teacher. She has Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Education from Queen's University and a Masters Degree in English Literature from Dalhousie University. Her research interests include Atlantic Canada literature and the relationship between place and identity in literature in the Canadian hinterland. More specifically, her work examines literary representations of the impact of rurality and regional particularity on young women.
Mary Anne Martin Mary Anne completed a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters of Social Work specializing in social justice and diversity. She has worked as a counsellor with women survivors of violence and with unemployed and parenting youth. She is interested in the ways people are transcending the dominant market ideology in order to meet their practical, social and environmental goals. Specifically, Mary Anne's interests lie in the ways people are reclaiming the food system through programs like Community Supported Agriculture and initiatives for making food distribution more equitable.

Derek Newman-Stille


Derek’s current research is focused on the role of the monster in current Canadian urban ‘dark’ fantasy literature and the ability of the body monstrous to be inscribed with alterity. Particularly, Derek is exploring the role of monstrosity as a symbol for exploring issues of disability (such as accessibility, accommodating to a normalised world, and bodily difference). The monster, as an extremified symbol of difference, illustrates the ludicrous nature of not creating accessible spaces for people with disabilities. Derek did his BA (hon) in Classics and Anthropology and his MA in Anthropology. He taught a course on “Werewolves as Symbols of the Human Experience” and “Witchcraft in the Greek and Roman World” at Trent University.


Melissa Sharpe-Harrigan


Melissa’s interests are wide ranging, but she spends a great deal of time investigating the politics  of citizenship and identity, immigration and refugee policy, governmentality, reproductive and maternal theory, and challenging traditional understandings of scale. Her research focuses on merging ideas of citizenship and migration in Canada with urban identity and local politics. Her thesis will look at how policies of ‘immigrant dispersion’ are interpreted and understood by second-tier cities across Ontario, and the repercussions of such interpretations. Melissa has a background in politics, obtaining her BA in political science and English at Carleton University, and her MA in political science at York University. She also holds a graduate diploma in Migration and Refugee Studies from York University. She is involved in local immigration through her employment as a Research and Implementation Specialist with the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration.

When not working on her PhD, Melissa enjoys playing sports of all kinds, cooking new foods, and enjoying her family.