Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I read about interesting projects that combine social science research with geographic information systems (GIS) and decided I was interested in doing that type of research myself, so I signed up for a GIS program and followed that up by pursuing a doctorate degree in Anthropology.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I was living in Vancouver when I decided to return to school, and my wife was already a student at UBC. I also enjoyed my undergraduate degree at UBC and figured returning to the university would be a good fit for me.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
UBC's Department of Anthropology is highly regarded for their scholarship. I also appreciate that a big focus of the program is to be engaged with communities where students and professors do work. This is very important to me, and I want my research to be directly involved with people where that research occurs. Many of the faculty in the department are very involved with the communities where they work.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
UBC family housing was a very excellent fit for me and my family, and it has been a great place for my kids to grow and develop.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
Starting to do actual research in Nunavut (though it's quite daunting to take that step too).
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Continuously ensuring that my work is beneficial to people where I work and striving to help communities be the best they can be.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
I have had a lot of support in getting me through the course-work and other requirements expected by my program. My supervisory committee and department has helped me proceed to candidacy quickly, and I expect that the support will continue as I work in Nunavut, separated from the comforts of campus life.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Working in jobs that were not tasking my intellect and were really not what I wanted to do was one of the biggest motivations to figure out what I wanted to do. Once I knew that, figuring out a plan how to make a career in that field possible has given me focus and drive to take on this graduate program and continue it to the end. At the same time, I received the excellent opportunity to work with the Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre for the first two years of my degree, and that prepared me for the far more practical realities of doing applied anthropology.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Read fiction, listen to music, play guitar, write, bicycle.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Don't get too caught up in the small things. The ebbs and flows of department and university politics and happenings are important to be involved with and informed about, but remember why you originally started your degree and stay true to that love.