News & Events

Canadian Health Course - Summer 2023


Saint Mary's University's Model UN Delegation wins Distinguished Delegation Award for representing Saint Kitts and Nevis at the 2023 National Model United Nations

From Left to Right: Apoorva, Sorav Sogy, Manav Khera (Head Delegate), Anali Gorozpe, Devin Gallo, Naza Yammine, Kamryn Zboya, Pyper Lane, Ishaan Singh, Marc Doucet (Faculty Advisor).


This year’s delegation won a Distinguished Delegation Award for representing Saint Kitts and Nevis at the 2023 National Model United Nations (NMUN) that took place in New York City on April 1st to April 7th of 2023.

The 2023 Delegation included nine undergraduate students and one faculty advisor.  Two of the delegates, Pyper Lane and Naza Yammine, also won an Outstanding Position Paper award in recognition of their pre-conference research on 1) Youth for Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and Peace; and 2) Addressing the Illicit Supply of Weapons to Non-State Actors.

Link to SMU News Article

The Department is very proud to announce that Pyper Lane (Honours Candidate, 2023-2024) has been selected for Simon Fraser University's summer NATO Field School and Simulation Program 

In addition to participating in a high-level NATO simulation exercise at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Pyper will visit Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, followed by visits to a number of NATO's European sites including Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; Vilnius, Lithuania; and NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The Department wishes to congratulate Pyper on being selected for this prestigious program!  


Mehak Tekchandani, Fall Graduation Valedictorian shares her thoughts about her Model United Nations Experience

Mehak Tekchandani of New Delhi, India who represented Saint Mary’s at the National Model United Nations conference in New York, where the university’s team received a Distinguished Delegation Award last April shared her experience.

The complete article can be found here:

Meet your Valedictorian: Mehak Tekchandani BA’22 CertHRM’22, Faculty of Arts | SMU News and Events

Reflecting on her Model UN experience Mehak comments,

“We met people from all over the world. It was fascinating to hear their thoughts and how one action has a different ripple effect all over the globe. I realized how big the world really is and how much there is to know and explore. If you are at SMU, I would highly encourage you to take this course! I’d also like to acknowledge those who made our trip possible: Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, who helped us with the US visa process, and our amazing professor Dr. Marc Doucet, who was a constant support and a rock for our team of delegates.”


Political Science Honours Alumna is sworn-in as a Senator in St. Kitts and Nevis

We are proud to share with everyone that Ms. Isalean Phillip, who holds an Honours degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Women and Gender Studies from Saint Mary's University, was sworn-in as a Senator in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis on August 13, 2022. She has been appointed Minister of Youth Empowerment, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Ageing and Disabilities.

A video of the swearing-in ceremony of the federal cabinet can be found here:

Reflecting on her time in the program, Isalean writes,

When I think about my career trajectory, I can’t deny the influence of my undergraduate experience as a Political Science Hons student at SMU. I believe my ability to think critically and strategically was nurtured and honed by professors in the department who always challenged me to engage with the material beyond a superficial level. Having a Political Science Hons degree as my educational foundation helped to capture my interest and expand my passion for political thought and engagement. Today, as a young, female Senator in government, my competency and aptitude for success is grounded in theoretical and empirical knowledge that informs my understanding and guides my decision making as a leader and policy professional. Since graduating from SMU, I’ve stayed connected and always felt comfortable popping up and reaching out to professors in the department, who always respond with welcoming encouragement and assistance; that’s the kind of community-level support that makes SMU stand out as a post-secondary institution in Canada.”

Hon. Senator Isalean Phillip
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Ageing and Disabilities
Government of St. Kitts and Nevis


Emergent-cies: Politics Today and Tomorrow

The Department of Political Science will be hosting this year the APPSA 2022.  The Annual Conference of the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association will take place in Saint Mary’s University from September 30 to October 2, 2022 where practitioners, activists, and graduate students will be gathering from across the region.

Program Highlights

“Resistance and Resurgence: Contesting the Colonization of Our Collective Futures,” Dr. Pamela D. Palmater (Toronto Metropolitan University)
“The Politics of Abortion Rights after the Fall of Roe v. Wade,” by Dr. Joanna Erdman (Schulich Law School, Dalhousie University)

Alexa McDonough “When in Doubt Do Both” 
The Ukraine-Russia War of 2022: Ukrainian and International Responses to the Russian Invasion 
Climate Emergencies: Exploring the Political Economy of Global Climate Breakdown 

APPSA 2022 Emergent-cies: Politics Today and Tomorrow poster


Political Science Major Valedictorian Baden Mercer

Baden Mercer

Baden Mercer, who graduated with a double major in Political Science and Religious Studies, was valedictorian at the Winter 2022 Saint Mary's Graduation Ceremony.  The Department of Political Science is especially proud! Congratulations Baden!

See the links below to hear his speech and to read the article posted by CBC News:

Video of Baden's valedictorian speech

"Saint Mary's University Valedictorian on autism spectrum shares message of hope"


Public Forum – War in Ukraine: Awareness, Agency and Assistance

A Message from the Chair

On Friday, March 25, 2022 Saint Mary’s University, in partnership with the Faculty of Arts, hosted a public forum on the war in Ukraine. The event was held in person and was also streamed live, online, for those who wished to attend remotely. It can now be viewed here.

The invasion of Ukraine is an explicit assault on democracy, political sovereignty, and the rule of international law. As such, the war is catastrophic not only for Ukrainians, but for the entire Saint Mary's community. As an academic body, we have not only the capacity but the obligation to respond in the best way that we can: with information, knowledge, critical analyses, and expertise.

In sponsoring this event, the Department of Political Science wishes to express its solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and hopes to contribute to an understanding of Ukraine’s response to the war. At the Special Forum, an international panel of speakers unpacked the diplomatic, legal, and humanitarian dimensions of Russia’s unlawful incursion into Ukraine’s sovereign territory.

During the event, organizers provided information about donating to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal fund set up by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and Ukrainian Canadian Congress.  Donations and support continue to be needed.

Dr. Stella Gaon, Political Science Department Chair


  • Mobilization of international legal norms in Ukraine’s defence; Oleksandra Matviychuk, Head of the Centre for Civil Liberties, Ukraine
  • Ukraine’s Energy Futures; Olena Pavlenko, President, DiXi Group, Ukraine
  • International responses to Ukrainians fleeing the war; Dr. Luna Vives, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Université de Montréal
  • Women’s experiences and engagement in the war; Dr. Tamara Martsenyuk, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
  • The role of international humanitarian assistance; Kalina McCaul BA’09; Honours Political Science graduate with global experience in child protection issues; security sector reform; and women, peace and security initiatives.  
  • Moderator: Dr. Lyubov Zhyznomirska, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Saint Mary’s University


Kalina McCaul 

Photo of Kalina McCaul

Kalina McCaul hails from Ottawa, Canada. She holds a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, Sweden, and is a graduate of the Honours Political Science program at Saint Mary's University. She has led programming within the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in Canada and around the globe, for organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross; the British Army; and the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security.

Kalina brings expertise in child protection, security sector reform, and Women, Peace and Security, as well as designing training and capacity building programs. Most recently, Kalina has established missions in fragile and conflict affected contexts in South Sudan, Mozambique and Sudan.

Olena Pavlenko

Photo of Olena Pavlenko

Olena Pavlenko, PhD, is President of the Ukrainian think-tank DiXi Group and co-founder of the “Ukrainian Energy” website. Olena has worked in the energy sector for more than 20 years, dealing with such issues as energy security, energy transparency, oil and gas market liberalization, and EU-Ukraine-Russian energy relations.

Olena is a Deputy Head of the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) MSG (Multi-Stakeholder Group) in Ukraine. She is also Chair of the Global Council of PWYP (Publish What You Pay) coalition and Member of the Ukrainian side of the EU-UA Civil Society Platform. Olena has served as not-on-staff Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2019) and to the Minister of Energy (2015-2016).

Olena coordinates different projects, funded by USAID, EU, GIZ, World Bank and OECD, on such issues as increasing the transparency of Ukraine’s energy sector; implementation of the EU legislation in Ukraine, including Ukraine’s commitment to join the EU Green Deal initiative; monitoring Ukraine’s commitments to European energy reforms; and promoting new energy legislation (gas and electricity markets, energy regulator). Olena was among those who initiated the draft laws on Energy Regulator and on Data Disclosure in Extractive Industries.

Tamara Martsenyuk

Photo of Tamara Martsenyuk

Tamara Martsenyuk holds a Ph.D. (Candidate of Sciences) in Sociology. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine), and former Fulbright Scholar at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University (the USA, 2017-2018). She is the author of more than 100 academic publications, chapters of textbooks and chapters of books.

Tamara is engaged in educational activism, conducting training for a wide target audience: journalists, think tanks, civil servants, politicians, civic activists, and more. She shares the idea of public sociology – science and research for the sake of social change, and is therefore constantly involved in various research or teaching projects. Her research interest is connected with gender and social structure, among them women’s access to the military.

From 2015-2021, Tamara (with the research team) conducted sociological studies called “Invisible Battalion” to examine the successes and challenges of gender equality implementation in the Ukrainian armed forces, the status of female veterans, and the problem of sexual harassment in the military.

Luna Vives

Photo of Luna Vives

Luna Vives is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Montreal. She studies how borders are used to stop, divert and manage unwanted migration. She is particularly interested in the tension between policy priorities and the protection of migrants’ rights along the EU’s external borders.

Oleksandra Matviychuk

Photo of Oleksandra Matviichuk

Oleksandra Matviychuk is a human rights defender who works on issues in Ukraine and the OSCE region. At present, she heads the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, and also coordinates the work of the initiative group Euromaidan SOS.

The activities of the Center for Civil Liberties are aimed at protecting human rights and establishing democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region. The organization develops legislative changes, exercises public oversight over law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, conducts educational activities for young people and implements international solidarity programs.

In 2016, Oleksandra received the Democracy Defender Award for “Exclusive Contribution to Promoting Democracy and Human Rights” from missions to the OSCE. In 2017, she became the first woman to participate in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program of Stanford University.

Letter from Canada: Olga Zaitseva-Herz

Photo of Olga Zaitseva-Herz

The event will conclude with a video of Letter from Canada, a musical performance by Olga Zaitseva-Herz. It’s a contemporary arrangement of a historical Ukrainian folk song about immigration.

Olga is an internationally recognized Folk Fusion Music Artist specializing in voice and violin, and is the bandleader of ZAITSA. Olga is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology under the supervision of Dr. Michael Frishkopf in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), and a research assistant at its Kule Folklore Centre.

Her work focuses on the fieldwork of Dr. Robert Klymasz from the 1960s and 1970s, which resulted in thousands of hours of song recordings of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada and first-generation Ukrainian-Canadians. Olga’s previous work focused on digitization and analysis of this collection and currently, she is working on making these recordings accessible to researchers worldwide. Furthermore, Olga is working on creating a musical play based on the history of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. She obtained a degree in violin, a graduate degree in sound design from the Kyiv Karpenko-Karyi University of Theater, Kino and TV (Ukraine), and completed her studies in singing at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Germany).

Honours Event via Zoom - 1 April 2021

Congratulations to Kaitlyn and Michael for two excellent, rich and engaging, presentations!, Thank you to those who were able to attend this event, and for such stimulating questions and thoughtful observations!  Honours Event March 2021

Our first Zoom Meet and Greet was a great success

Thanks to all who attended

Join us @ MEET AND GREET 2021


Dr. Stella Gaon Wins book award!


Congratulations to Dr. Stella Gaon, Professor of Political Science, Saint Mary's University, who has been awarded the 2020 Symposium book award for her book, The Lucid Vigil: Deconstruction, Desire and the Politics of Critique (Routledge 2019). Symposium is the journal of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy (CSCP/SCPC). Dr. Gaon's book "ranked at the top" among many excellent, prize-worthy books. Well done and well-deserved Dr. Gaon!

Please click on the link below to hear a message from Acting Chair for Political Science:


"The Department of Political Science is excited to announce the launch in September 2020 of a new multidisciplinary minor delivered jointly with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the International Development Studies Program (IDS). The course requirements for the Minor can be found under "Programs" on this page.

Poster Global
If you have declared a Political Science Major, Minor, or Concentration, please contact to request to be added to the Political Science Mailing List.
(Please note, if you were on a previous mailing list, you may still need to be added to this list).
The Department is delighted to announce that Eddie Spriggs’ honours thesis “Is Canada “Back”?: Multiculturalism as Canadian Identity” (supervisor Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky), was chosen as Best Social Science Paper (Upper Level) 2018 in the Saint Mary's University Academic Writing Awards. This is the latest in a series of writing awards recognizing outstanding work by Political Science students. Congratulations Eddie! 
The Political Science Department would like to congratulate the following student for their Writing Centre awards:
Honourable Mention, Undergraduate Social Science Paper (Upper Level):  Sydney Hull
Paper: “Take Home Exam: The Hierarchy of Sovereignty in the International Criminal Court and the International Monetary Fund” (Political Science 3321.1)
Prize: Notation on transcript

The Alumni Association was pleased to honour Dr. Marc G. Doucet with the Father William A. Stewart, S.J., Medal for Excellence in Teaching at the 2017 Spring Convocation.

The Father William A. Stewart, S.J., Medal for Excellence in Teaching was created in 1983 by the Alumni Association, Faculty Union, and Students’ Representative Council (now SMUSA), in honour of Father Stewart who faithfully served the Saint Mary’s community for many years, both as a teacher of Philosophy and an academic administrator.

Dr. Doucet joins Drs. Edna Keeble, Ron Landes, and Edward McBride as recipients of this award from the Department of Political Science.

The Alumni Association was pleased to honour Dr. Marc G. Doucet with the Father William A. Stewart, S.J., Medal for Excellence in Teaching at the 2017 Spring Convocation.   The Father William A. Stewart, S.J., Medal for Excellence in Teaching was created in 1983 by the Alumni Association, Faculty Union, and Students’ Representative Council (now SMUSA), in honour of Father Stewart who faithfully served the Saint Mary’s community for many years, both as a teacher of Philosophy and an academic administrator.  Dr. Doucet joins Drs. Edna Keeble, Ron Landes, and Edward McBride as recipients of this award from the Department of Political Science.

The Department is proud to put on display at the Patrick Power Library its first book acquisitions purchased with the Gerald P. Beech Memorial Fund. Many thanks go to Wendell Sanford for initiating the fund and to members of the Saint Mary’s Alumni for their contributions.

Books purchased in Memory of Gerald P. Beech
Books donated to Library - 2017
The first panel to present their Honour Thesis, Sydney Hull, Cassie Hill and Aaron Johnston.
Honours Thesis Panel I Q&A - Aaron Johnston, Cassie Hill and Sydney Hull
The second panel to present their Honours Thesis; Alex Isenor, Elinor Hammond and John-Paul Nwaezeigwe.
Q&A with Alex Isenor, Elinor Hammond and John-Paul Nwaezeigwe
2017 Honours Thesis presenters: Alex Isenor, Sydney Hull, Elinor Hammond, Cassie Hill, John-Paul Nwaezeigwe and Aaron Johnston.
Honours Presenters 2017 - Aaron Johnston, Cassie Hill, Sydney Hull, Alex Isenor, Elinor Hammond and John-Paul Nwaezeigew
The Political Science Department would like to congratulate the 2016-2017 Honours students on their successful Honours Thesis Presentations on 31 March 2017!
Honours Presenters with Instructor Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky
Our Model UN Delegation won an Honourable Mention Delegation Award for their work at the National Model UN (NMUN) Conference last week. In addition, two delegates, Elinor Hammond and Sara Little, won Outstanding Delegate Awards for their work in UNHCR; and two delegates, Analia Lowe and Jermaine Addo, won an Outstanding Position Paper Award for their pre-conference preparation for the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. We had an excellent delegation this year. They were very well prepared and work very hard during the entire conference. We are very proud of their accomplishments.
Analia Lowe - Winner - Outstanding Position Paper
Elinor Hammond and Sara Little - Winner - Outstanding Delegate
SMU Political Science - Winner - Honorable Mention Delegation
2016-2017 Model UN 
Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky attended the ‘Imagining a Future Canada: An Interdisciplinary Conference’
Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky attended the ‘Imagining a Future Canada: An Interdisciplinary Conference’ March 2-4th, 2017, in Ottawa. Conference participants, which included civil servants, non-governmental organizers, university faculty, graduate students and alumni, discussed innovative ways of promoting collaboration between researchers and the community with the goal of responding to the challenges Canada faces.
The Department of Political Science hosted the viewing of a new documentary on the life and work of Hannah Arendt, Wednesday, November 2nd, 7:00-9:00pm, Atrium 101. The one hour documentary titled Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Stella Gaon (Political Science), Maria Gomez (Sociology & Criminology) and Marc Doucet (Political Science). 
The goal of the panel was to draw from Arendt's work on politics, totalitarianism, ideology, and other themes to generate discussion on current global political events including the US Presidential elections.
We had a wonderful turn out for our Student/Faculty Meet and Greet on 27 October!
Discussion - Political Science Social - Gorsebrook Lounge - Oct 27 2016
Meet and Greet 1
Meet and Greet 2
Meet and Greet 3 

  • Saint Mary's University, and Political Science alumna Kalina McCaul has received a Rotary International Fellowship, read about her experience here

  • The Political Science Department would like to congratulate the 2015-2016 Honours students on their successful Honours Thesis Presentations on April 7th, 2016!
In the photo: Dr. Marc Doucet, Matt Gaul, Iara Aguilera-Riera, Emily Prosser, Isalean Phillip, and Dr. Lyubov Zhyznomirska 

  • Once again, Saint Mary’s University’s Model UN delegation won a Distinguished Delegation Award at the 2016 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference. Some 5,500 students representing over 400 schools debated, negotiated, and drafted resolutions in simulated UN committees during two back-to-back conferences held in New York March 20th to 31st. Representing Switzerland at Conference B, this year’s delegation included 18 students from Saint Mary’s and 4 students from Freiburg University of Education in Germany. The joint delegation, a first for Saint Mary’s, was headed by Dr. Marc Doucet of the Department of Political Science. Saint Mary’s was one of only four Canadian universities to be awarded a Distinguished Delegation Award. In addition, two students, Wesley Wilcox and Thomas Lee, were awarded Outstanding Delegate Awards in recognition of their work in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). While in New York, students also had an opportunity to meet with officials at Switzerland’s Permanent UN Mission in New York to discuss the Swiss position on UN related issues. 


  • The Hunting Ground film screening, January 12, 2016 at the Halifax Central Library.  A panel discussion was led by Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky following the screening, featuring (from left to right) Lyndsay Anderson, Rachel MacDonold, Diane Crocker, Elaine Craig, Sylvia Hamilton, Caroline Andrew and Jackie Stevens.

  • Professor Alexandra Dobrowolsky is the proud recipient of Saint Mary’s University’s President’s Award for Research Excellence.  Dr. Dobrowolsky is thrilled with the fact that she is the first woman in the Faculty of Arts (and the third woman in the history of the Award) to achieve this distinction, and she has every confidence that this marks the beginning of a long line of Research Excellence Awards to come for women in the Arts, and throughout the university.

A. Dobrowolsky Receiving Award


  • The 2014-2015 Saint Mary's Model UN Delegation won an Honourable Delegation Award at the National Model UN (NMUN) Conference in New York. The award was announced in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations. Seventeen Saint Mary's students from the Faculty of Arts participated in this year's conference. With some 2,500 students representing close to 200 universities, the NMUN conference is one of the largest university level UN simulations in the world. Saint Mary's was one of four Canadian universities recognized in the Honourable Delegation category and one of seven Canadian universities recognized overall. 

First row, from left to right: Laura Crocker, Sydney Hull, Cassie Hill, Tatiane Camargo, Isalean Philip, Julia Rodgers (Head Delegate), Thokozani Sithole

Second row, from left to right: Yannick Manga, Brandon Hawley, Aaron Johnston, Benjamin Mawdlsey, Emily Prosser, Matt Gaul, Wesley Wilcox, Antoine Dutil, Alexander Isenor, Thomas Redden, Dr. Marc Doucet (Faculty Advisor).




  • The Political Science Department would like to congratulate the 2014-2015 Honours students on their successful Honours Thesis Presentations on March 26th, 2015!

In the photo: Dr. Marc Doucet, Michael Smith, Sean Hanlon, Callee Luddington, Tatiane Camargo




  • "Why Nova Scotia should look beyond econocentric immigration policy." Saint Mary's Political Science professor, Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky and Dalhousie Sociology professor, Dr. Howard Ramos discuss alternative immigration policy in the Centre for Policy Alternatives report, Expanding the Vision.  See their Chronicle Herald OpEd piece here.



  • Alexandra Charter Day 2014Congratulations to Dr. Alexandra Dobrowolsky, who received the Award for Overall Excellence in the Field of Education at Saint Mary's University's 2014 Charter Day celebrations! ‌








  •  The Political Science Department would like to congratulate the 2013-2014 Honours students
    on their successful Honours Thesis Presentation event!
Nova Scotia government has to look beyond the economics of immigration report urgesWhy Nova Scotia Should Look Beyond Econocentric Immigration Policy - See more at:
May 20, 2014

Halifax- Over the past 20 years, the number of immigrants to Nova Scotia has increased, but the share of immigrants coming to the province has not, and retention rates remain among the worst in the country. This is the context for the challenges that are tackled in a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia today.

- See more at:

Nova Scotia government has to look beyond the economics of immigration report urges

May 20, 2014

Halifax- Over the past 20 years, the number of immigrants to Nova Scotia has increased, but the share of immigrants coming to the province has not, and retention rates remain among the worst in the country. This is the context for the challenges that are tackled in a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia today.

- See more at:
2013-2014 Honours Thesis Proposals




Faculty of Arts
Department of Political Science
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