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Graduate Student Testimonials

What do our graduates have to say about McMaster's Political Sciences programs?

Zeina Sleiman-Long

"I chose to pursue my doctoral studies at McMaster for a number of reasons.  I knew that I would be studying in a department that was small, but that meant that I could pursue my studies surrounded by a small supportive community of excellent scholars.  My committee members and supervisor are all well known in their field and provided great support during my studies. There is also a good representation of female scholars in our department which spoke to me as a woman of colour. 

Not only is the department supportive in our scholarship, it also provided me with adequate financial support that helped me fund my field work in the United States. The way that the program is structured also allows for student to reasonably expect to finish the degree within 4-6 years.

Being surrounded by the McMaster community allowed me to successfully finish on time, but also gain the knowledge and experience that I needed to pursue a career in research and teaching.  Once my maternity leave ends, I plan on returning to my teaching position at NorQuest College in Edmonton, while working on community-based research projects in the city with migrant communities.

Stefano Ballesteros

I like to say that I didn’t choose McMaster. McMaster chose me. I didn’t know the university when I applied, I just did because it had a later deadline for graduate programs and I had missed my chance at other universities. I was overwhelmed by the work of applying to graduate school and I didn’t think much of it for a time. Naturally, I felt foolish when my undergraduate advisor congratulated me in excitement after I got accepted, “You got into McMaster? That is an amazing university! Peter Nyers teaches there!” She said, “I’m so jealous!” Then I started looking into it.

I found a top-tier Canadian university with world-class professors conducting important research. I found an amazing campus, despite the Orwellian-1984-dystopian inspired architecture, with a vibrant community of students. I found an exciting program that encouraged creative learning, open discussion, and innovative research. Such as that I focused my research here in outer space policy and law, something that was quickly met with excitement and support from my professors and peers. As the program progressed I found myself a member of a community not only of students, but of professors and staff that regarded me as a colleague and friend. This is incredibly rare in a university this size and one where professors are continuously researching and publishing their work. But it is something I believe is essential for a conducive learning environment.

In the end, my biggest complaint is that the program was only a year long, and that I could not get my fill of all the classes I wanted to take or get to learn from all the professors in the department. Now that I am graduating I want to continue to use and develop the skills I refined as a student and researcher by working for a think tank or an international NGO with a focus on policy, law, and technology before pursuing a PhD.

Cassandra Preece

I originally chose the McMaster Political Science MA program because of the school’s reputation and its proximity to home in Niagara. After completing my first year, the program had proven to be so much more than that. I have learned more this year than any other time in my academic career. Not only did the courses expose me to new areas of interest and provide me with applicable skills, but the professors and other members of the department showed a genuine interest in my success.

Being given the trust and mentorship to pursue my own areas of interest pushed me to conduct my own research as part of the MA thesis stream. I am focusing my thesis research on the foreign policy priorities and campaign promises of Canadian political parties and I have contributed to research projects on democracy, elections and political representation in East and Southeast Asia. I have been fortunate to work as a teaching assistant and research assistant in the department. These incredible opportunities have expanded my knowledge of comparative politics and have shed light on the realities and possibilities of a future in academia.

McMaster’s excellent academic training has facilitated the movement of our PhD graduates into rewarding jobs in the university and public sectors.

Our graduates have secured postdoctoral fellowships (Johnson-Shoyama School, Asia Pacific Foundation) tenure track university positions (Bishops,  Brock, Carleton, Guelph, Mount Allison, Ottawa, l’Université de Montréal, Western, Winnipeg, York,  PUC-RIO Brazil, ) research positions at think tanks (IRPP) and in the federal and provincial civil service (Treasury Board, Higher Education Quality Council, Ontario Ministry of the Environment).

Below is a list of names, positions and contacts of some of our PhD Alumni:



 BHATIA,  Vandna

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON


 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Western University, London, ON

 BROWN,  Sherri 

 Director of Research, TIES Advisory, Vancouver, BC

 BOUCHARD,  Genevieve

 Research Director, IRPP (Institute for Research on Public Policy), Montreal, Quebec

 COLES,  Amanda

 Lecturer, Arts & Cultural Management, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

 CONTEH  Charles

 Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario 

 DEWAR,  David

 Principal Senior Policy Analyst, Privy Council Office, Government of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

 FLYNN, Greg

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

 GABEL.  Chelsea

 Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Aging & Society and the Indigenous Studies Program, McMaster University


 Director, Institutional Planning & Analysis & Records and Information Management, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology  (SAIT), Calgary, Alberta

 GRACE, Joan

 Associate Professor, Politics Department, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg. MB


 Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON

 JOHNSON,  Heather

 Lecturer, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University, Belfast

 KPESSA,  Michael 

 Research Fellow, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon

 LEONE, Roberto

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Western University, London, ON


 Assistant Professor, Department of Politics & International Relations, Mount Allison, Sackville, NB

 MARGULIS,  Matias

 Lecturer, Divisoin or History and Politics, University of Stirling, Scotland

 McGUIRE,  Sara

 Visiting Assistant Professor, Intelligence and National Security Studies, University of Texas at El Paso (Sept. 2014)

 McKEEN-  EDWARDS,  Heather

 Assistant Professor, Political Studies Department, Bishop's University, Sherbrooke, Quebec


 Professor and Directeur, Departement de science politique, l’Université de Montréal, Montréal QC

 MONTSION,  Jean Michel

 Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, Glendon, York University, Toronto, ON

 MOULIN  AGUIAR,  Carolina

 Assistant Professor, Institute of International Relations PUC-RIO, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 QUINN,  Joanna

 Associate Professor & Director, The Africa Institute, Centre for Transitional Justice & Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Department of  Political Science, UWO, London, ON

 REED,  Austina J.

 Partner, Reed-Edmunds, LLC, Chicago, Illinois


 Associate Professor & Department Chair, Political Science, Glendon, York University, Toronto, ON

 SAJED, Alina

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, McMaster University

 SNEYD, Adam

 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

 WILLIAMS,  Mark  

 University-College Professor, Political Studies, University of Vancouver Island



Recent Theses (2012-June 2018):

 The Affect of the Political: On the Politics and Psychology of Internalizing the International

 Di Gregorio, Michael 

 The New Sponsor States: Economic Nationalism & Venture Capital in Quebec and Scotland, 1990-2017

 Rioux Ouimet, Hubert

 Cultural Political Economy of Financial Literacy in Turkey

 Ayhan, Berkay

 Muslims of Interest: Practices of Racialization in the Context of the War on Terror

 Blab, Danielle

 When Global Ideas Collide with Domestic Interests: the Politics of Secondary Education Governance in Chile, Argentina and Colombia

 Diaz Rios, Claudia

 Designing Equality of Opportunity in National Innovation Systems Moving Towards Gender Conscious Policy, Performance Measurement, and   resource allocation

 Rowe, Andrea

 Actors and Entanglements in Global Governance: The ILO in sub-Saharan Africa

 Bernards, Nicholas 

 Inter-National Imag(ining): Canada's Military in Afghanistan

 Wegner, Nicole

 The Green Publicity State: Sustainability, Austerity, and the ‘GreenEconomy’ in Michigan and Ontario, 2007-2012

 Tombari, Stephanie 

 Gender, Migration and Frames of Deservingness: The Gendered Management of Women’s Care Migration from Armenia to Turkey

 Teke Lloyd, Fatma Armagan

 Reasserting Private Authority in Times of Crisis: Technical to Moral Discourses in Anglo-American Finance

 Campbell-Verduyn, Malcolm

 North Korea Does Not Exist: Human Rights in Asymmetry

 Haarink, Steve

 Comprehending China’s Stances Toward Global Financial Governance: A Two-stage Model

 Zhang, Falin

 Securing Borders in West Africa: Transnational Actors, Practices, and Knowledges

 Frowd, Phillipe

 Feeling like a Citizen: Integration Exams, Expertise, and Sites of Resistance in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

 Merolli, Jessica

 Global Ethics and the Power Relations of  Responsibility

 Busser, Mark

 'Securing' the Homeland? A Comparison of  Canadian and American Homeland Security Policy  in the Post-9/11 Period

 McGuire, Sara K.

 Governing the Future, Mastering Time:  Temporality, Sovereignty, and the Pre-emptive  Politics of (In)security

 Stockdale, Liam

 Building from and moving beyond the state: The  National and Transnational Dimensions of Afro- Brazilian Women's  Intersectional Mobilization

 Franklin, Jessica H.

 The Role of Islam in the Construction of the  Foreign Economic Relations of the Republic of  Indonesia

 Williams, Mark S.

 The Autonomy of the City: Re-Imagining Political  Belonging and Agency

 Vermilyea, Jennifer

 Hunger in a globalizing world: international  organizations and contestation in the global  governance of food security

 Margulis, Matias E.

 Writing Southeast Asian Security. The “War On  Terror” As A Hegemonic Security Narrative And Its  Effects In  Southeast Asia: A (Critical)   Security  Analysis

 Mustapha, Jennifer

 Towards Healthier Aboriginal Health Policies?  Navigating the Labyrinth for Answers

 Gabel, Chelsea

 The Inclusion of Atypical Minorities in Public Policy:  Urban Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and Travellers  in Ireland

 Heritz M, Joanne

 Municipalities and the mega-event

 Phillips, Carol

 Counting Canucks: cultural labour and Canadian  cultural policy 

 Coles L, Amanda

 Private authority and global health governance:  Public-private partnerships and access to HIV and  AIDS medicines in  the global south

 Brown, Sherri


All theses are available through the McMaster Library Digital Commons.