'The takeaway is you cannot have criminal justice without a social justice framework'
What is your area of interest, research and/or creative work?
I have a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University. My research examines mental health within the context of the neoliberal restructuring of work and cuts to public funding around health care, social assistance and post-secondary education. I examine experiences of stress, worry and struggle within the political context of economic crises.
When did you know you had found your discipline?
I did my BA in Psychology. I developed questions regarding anxiety and depression in relation to poverty and precarious work. In search of the answers, I decided to pursue my Master's degree in Social Justice and Equity Studies. I began to focus on the correlations between economic inequality and mental health and never looked back.
Why did you choose to work at Okanagan College?
Because of the focus on teaching. I especially love teaching for the Criminal and Social Justice Diploma. My teaching focuses on issues of social justice and inequality in relation to issues of criminal justice. The takeaway is you cannot have criminal justice without a social justice framework. This is incredibly important for folks working in the criminal justice system to understand. By teaching at Okanagan College, I can make an important and positive contribution in that regard.
What do you like the most/least about the work you do?
Honestly, marking exams and assignments is the least favourite part of my job. Don't get me wrong! Many of my students write really interesting papers, but marking a whole stack of them can be tedious. I mark a few at a time so I don't get grumpy, haha.
Favourite teaching experience?
The light bulb moments are my favourite. When students realize to what extent their personal experiences are actually connected to a bigger picture of social relations, it is incredibly meaningful. It's fulfilling to see students take on the challenge to move beyond their own perceptions and see the world from the perspective of others.
Who gave you the best advice you ever received?
My grandmother always had the best advice. She told me to never lose sight of what really matters in life. I often remind myself of that.
Where are you the happiest?
In the company of loved ones.
What matters most to you right now?
Health and happiness.
If you ran the world?
It would be a vast improvement.
What is Sociology?
Study in Sociology allows us to understand how human behaviour is influenced by the social and cultural groups to which we belong and the society in which we live.
Criminal and Social Justice Diploma
Gain a practical understanding of criminal and social justice issues in Canada and the world. Improve your analytical reasoning, critical thinking, communication skills, and information retrieval to prepare you for your future profession.