Meet our Students

Each year, the Nova Scotia PhD Program in Educational Studies admits approximately 10 students. Currently, we have over 50 students enrolled in various stages of the program.

Students in the Doctoral Program are engaged in investigating exciting research topics that span the range of the six fields of study supported by the program.

Rola Abihanna (Candidate, Class of 2012)


Catherine Baillie Abidi (PhD, Class of 2011)

Catherine successfully defended her dissertation in 2015.


Zhanna Barchuk (Candidate, Class of 2011)

As an educator with research interests in globalization, global education, integrative multiculturalism, and inclusive citizenship, Zhanna has always aimed at developing inclusive practices where students diverse in culture, religion and language would celebrate their identity while becoming globally educated people. (Supervisor: Dr. Mary Jane Harkins, MSVU).


Michael Belgrave (Candidate, Class of 2015)


Eleanor Bernard (Candidate, Class of 2015)


Cynthia Bruce (PhD, Class of 2011)

Cynthia began her PhD in Educational Studies after 15 years of working as a clinical music therapist, a music therapy educator, and a disability activist. She has conducted research in Inclusive Post-Secondary Education for students with intellectual disabilities. Her research interests centre on equity issues in inclusive education in both public and post-secondary settings with a particular focus on Disability Studies in Education. Cynthia successfully defended her disseration in April, 2017. (Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Aylward, Acadia).


Erin Careless (Candidate, Class of 2011)

Erin is looking at the experiences of working mothers in various employment sectors, as well as the influence of society in the gendering of certain career paths. Another area of research interest centers around the learning experiences and coping strategies of parents whose children have been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. (Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Gouthro, MSVU)


Robert Carreau (PhD, Class of 2011)

In 2010, Rob served as a full-time high school principal in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. He earned a MEd degree through StFX in 2004 and 2008, he graduated from Dalhousie University with a MSc in Agriculture. His research interests are in the areas of aboriginal education, science, and instructional leadership. Rob successfully defended his dissertation in March of 2016. (Supervisor: Dr. Joanne Tompkins, StFX)


Christopher Cocek (Candidate, Class of 2011)

Chris received his Master of Arts in Education from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2008, where he was awarded the Senate Award of Distinction for Academic Achievement. His research focused on technology and critical thinking with elementary students. Chris is currently an elementary educator in Halifax and is pursuing his doctoral research in the area of teacher professional development and online learning. (Supervisor: Dr. Lisa Lunney-Borden, StFX) 


Margaret David (Candidate, Class of 2014)


Kristin Domm (PhD, Class of 2012)

Kristin is a teacher and writer with 27 years' experience teaching language arts and English as a second language in public schools. Kristin writes for adults and children, and her 4th book for children was published in 2010. Her work has appeared in Saltscapes and Cricket magazines. Kristin's writing is anchored by a sense of place. Kristin successfully defended her dissertation in September, 2016. (Supervisor: Dr. Lorri Neilsen, MSVU)


Karen Dyke (Class of 2011)

Karen Dyke is an elementary school administrator with more than 30 years' experience as an educator in public schools at all levels, in special and regular education programs. She worked as a board level specialist for students with severe learning disabilities. Her areas of interest include teacher education, supervision and evaluation, inclusive education, educational assessment, equity and social justice in schools, educational leadership theory and practice. (Supervisor: Dr. Ann Vibert, Acadia)


Michael Fisher (Class of 2015)


Margaret Garnier (Class of 2015)

Kendra Gottschall (Candidate, Class of 2014)


Jacqueline Greenough (Candidate, Class of 2014)

Over the past 15 years Jacqueline has worked as an educator in various roles in private, public and post-secondary educational institutions. Jacqueline is keenly interested in representing and empowering traditionally marginalized populations. Her doctoral research will place a focus on looking at asset or competency-based pedagogies, and identity development in vulnerable student populations. (Supervisor: Dr. Mary Jane Harkins, MSVU)


Jennifer Guy (Class of 2015)


Greg Hadley (Class of 2016)


Brenda Hattie-Longmire (Candidate, Class of 2013)

Brenda is interested in queer women's health, queer spirituality and women in the Christian tradition. A part-time faculty member in the Women's Studies Department at the Mount since 2005, Brenda has taught gender studies at Acadia and Dalhousie University. She has co-authored several reports and presented at academic conferences. (Supervisor: Dr. Susie Brigham, MSVU).


Angella Hull (Class of 2013)


Betsy Jardine (PhD, Class of 2011)

Betsy's current interest in linguistic analysis, First Nations’ ontologies, interpretive research, Chaos Theory, transformative learning, open systems and the new biology are indicative of a broader and deeper approach to the ecological crisis. Betsy successfully defended her dissertation in December, 2016. (Supervisor: Dr. Alan Warner, Acadia)


Shawn Jolemore (Candidate, Class of 2013)

Shawn is a workplace learning and performance professional who administers and advances leadership development programming in the Nova Scotia Health Authority. He holds a MEd in Adult Education (MSVU, 2005) and is a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP). Shawn is pursuing doctoral research in adult learning and development in the context of physician leadership in healthcare. (Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Gouthro, MSVU)


Mohamed Kharbach (Class of 2014)


Colin King (PhD, Class of 2013) 

Colin is a certified athletic therapist and instructor in the School of Kinesiology at Acadia University. He received BKin and MEd degrees from Memorial University and a Bachelors of Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College. Colin is currently completing his doctoral research in exploring the use of technology-assisted pedagogy in athletic therapy classrooms. Colin successfully defended his dissertation in August, 2017. (Supervisor: Dr. Gregory MacKinnon, Acadia)


Andras Kocsis (Class of 2016)


Lyse Anne LeBlanc (PhD, Class of 2011)

Lyse Anne intends to further examine the developmental issues and implications of electronic and digital and critical media literacy in the education of young children. Lyse Anne successfully defended her dissertation in December, 2016. (Supervisor: Dr. Daniel Séguin, MSVU)


Garry Leyte (Class of 2015)


Allyson MacDonald (Class of 2016)


Phillip MacEachern (Class of 2015)


Wendy Mackey (Candidate, Class of 2016)


Scott MacPhail (Candidate, Class of 2011)

Scott is investigating the history of lifelong learning in Industrial Cape Breton, in particular, the influence that the power relationships between industry, the state, and unions played in its development. He will also examine the changes modern globalization and neoliberal policies are having on lifelong learning in Industrial Cape Breton. (Supervisor: Dr. Donovan Plumb, MSVU)


Stephanie Mason (Candidate, Class of 2015)


Martin Morrison (Candidate, Class of 2012)


Késa Munroe-Anderson (Candidate, Class of 2011)

Késa research interests include lifelong learning, inclusion, curriculum, storytelling, African Indigenous Knowledge, the African diasporic experience, and all aspects of African Nova Scotian education. (Supervisor: Dr. Susie Brigham, MSVU)


Liad Neem (Class of 2015)


Joseph Nyemah (Candidate, Class of 2012)


Lawrence Nyika (PhD, Class of 2013)

Lawrence successfully defended his dissertation in June, 2017. (Supervisor: Dr. Anne Murray Orr, StFX)


Patrizia Olivieri (Class of 2016)


Lillian Omosa (Class of 2015)


Sandra Pickrell Baker (Class of 2015)


Kevin Redmond (PhD, Class of 2012)

Kevin successfully defended his dissertation in March, 2016.


Jennifer Riley (Candidate, Class of 2014)


Jennifer Rizwan (Class of 2016)


Ingrid Robinson (PhD, Class of 2012)

Ingrid successfully defended her dissertation in February, 2017.


Mehrdad Shahidi (Candidate, Class of 2013)

After finishing undergraduate study in clinical psychology and his master's in educational psychology, Mehrdad came to Canada and started a post-graduate program in the field of teacher training at George Brown College.In 2011, he started his second master's degree in child and youth studies at MSVU. He began his PhD in the area of psychological aspects of education in 2013, and finished all courses, comprehensive portfolio, and defended his doctoral dissertation proposal with outstanding marks. Mehrdad has been teaching for more than 20 years at one of Iran's universities. He published five books in psychology in the Persian language, 14 academic papers in English, and recently is working on depression, loneliness, and self-regulation in Canadian and international students. His supervisor is Dr. Fred French.


Anne Steeves (Candidate, Class of 2012)


Laura Stiles Clarke (Candidate, Class of 2015)


Katherine Swales (Class of 2016)


Mary Sweatman (Candidate, Class of 2014)

Mary’s research interests are in transformative learning experiences, community engagement, empathy and social action.  She received a BRMH from Acadia University, a MA from Dalhousie University and a BEd from Trent University.  Mary has taught in a range of places and spaces, from formal education settings to the woods, from pre-school to university, from environmental education to research methods, from Katmandu to her backyard.  She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Community Development at Acadia University.  (Supervisor: Dr. Alan Warner, Acadia)


Karl Turner (Class of 2012)


William Walters (Candidate, Class of 2014)


Monica Williams (Candidate, Class of 2013)


Richard Zurawski (Candidate, Class of 2011)

Richard Zurawski is a meteorologist, writer, guest speaker, university lecturer, published author, independent documentary film producer, teacher, PhD student, instructor, on-air television host, and radio and TV personality. (Supervisor: Dr. Andrew Manning, MSVU)