Department of Sociology & Criminology

The Careers of Our MA Graduates

Amanda Nelund (MA, 2010)

For her MA research, Amanda Nelund wrote about the conflict between feminist organizations and the government surrounding the implementation of restorative justice in Nova Scotia. Her research was funded by a fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Amanda's work while at Saint Mary's included research assistantships with the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice-Community University Research Alliance. After completing her MA, Amanda went to work on a PhD at the University of Manitoba. She is fully funded by the SSHRC Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship. Of her time at SMU Amanda says "much of the credit for where I am belongs to the direction I received at SMU. The coursework prepared me well for my PhD coursework and the thesis process gave me a good sense of the academic work I will be doing in the future. At SMU I was part of a small cohort of students which allowed my supervisor, and other members of faculty and staff, to give me personalized attention. The knowledge, community ties, research experience, and mentorship from the SMU program were crucial to helping me continue in academia."

Alanna Howell (MA, 2008)

“I finished off my year with NRCan's Canadian Forest Service sector in May. I worked at the UN in NY for one week in February for the launch of the International Year of Forests.

At the end of May (2010) I started my final placement with NRCan in the Earth Sciences Sector in the Mapping Information Branch. I've been working with a group leading strategic review for our branch: developing new planning & reporting processes for the major projects in our branch. I'm learning a lot about geomatics and the role that NRCan plays in providing geomatics data to various government depts and the public sector.”

Aunshul Rege (MA, 2008)

Effective July 2012 Aunshul will be taking a position at Temple University in the department of Criminal Justice.

Aunshul is a PhD candidate at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, and her dissertation examines cybercrimes against industrial control systems in the electricity sector. She received her MA at Saint Mary's University, where her thesis analyzed cybercrimes at gambling websites. "The Criminology Masters program at Saint Mary's University provided me with a strong theoretical, methodological, and analytical background, which was necessary for pursuing a PhD. The program was intellectually challenging, stimulating, interactional, and inter-disciplinary, which not only made it a great learning environment, but also gave me the ability to think critically and actively engage with fellow PhD students and professors at Rutgers. Many of the MA courses encouraged writing effectively and concisely, a skill that I use extensively in the PhD program. The prospectus and thesis writing process at SMU was extremely important, as I knew what to expect and how to go through the process in the PhD program. What I also liked about the MA program was that students were encouraged to write grant applications and journal articles, which is much needed, and often overlooked, when embarking on an academic career. And the best part was the outstanding faculty and staff, who were supportive, informative, and easy to talk to - it was a very comfortable environment to be in.”

Sonya Ferrara (MA, 2007)

Says that “The Graduate Program at Saint Mary's University provided me with a broad foundation of academic research and insight into criminological issues.  The flexibility of the Program allowed me to work while upgrading my qualifications.  As a result, I have moved into a policy and research position within provincial government.”  Ms. Ferrara is currently a  Research & Policy Analyst, with the Child and Youth Strategy, Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.  She is also a board member of the Nova Scotia Criminal Justice Association

Nicole Landry (MA, 2006)

Nicole Landry has gone on to independent research and teaches part time in our undergraduate program. She has also published her thesis as a book called The Mean Girl Motive: Negotiating Power and Femininity (Fernwood, 2008). She is currently involved with Girl Talk Video Project and the website is Women who are interested in getting in on the discussion (sharing experiences from their girlhood) can contact me to sign up at .

David MacDonald (MA, 2006)

"I've worked as a police officer for 8 years and I'm currently working with the Saint John Police Force as a forensic identification technician. 

As I began my career in policing, I began to notice how the ethnographic research part of my thesis gave me insight into police work while conducting investigations and doing interviews. I also found that the collection methodologies for research were similar to police investigations with respect to building rapport, conducting interviews, providing surveys and even monitoring or surveillance. As a patrol officer, I had a unique understanding of not only how the police and justice system functioned, but also critically thinking about and understanding the reasons that may explain a suspect's motivation for criminality. Now further into my policing career as a forensic identification technician, I've found that doing research in a university context gave me the organizational skills, meticulousness in report writing which are needed in more complex police investigations and also required for court testimony. The forensic field itself also follows a scientific methodology for day to day work, of which I was already familiar due to my research work. 

In general, I enjoyed the small class sizes at SMU and one on one work with thesis supervisors, which was where the best learning took place."

Delthia Miller (MA, 2006)

Says: “Since graduating with a Master of Arts from SMU in 2006, I have taken many interesting career paths. Initially, I managed a large youth gambling research project in which I had the opportunity to co-author and publish three academic articles, as well as present research findings at an international gambling conference in Slovenia.  Since then, I have held several short-term contract positions, such as peer reviewer for community project applications, literature reviewer for a researcher on policing, as well as part-time lecturer at SMU where I have taught, prepared curriculum, and graded students at the undergraduate level. Recently I wrote an article based on my MA thesis, which was published in Critical Criminology. Currently, I am involved in knowledge transfer, where I manage a large, federally-funded crime prevention project for the Atlantic Coordinating Committee on Crime Prevention and Community Safety entitled “Building Knowledge of Model and Promising Crime Prevention Practices”.”  Publications may be found here.