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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
April 17, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Alumni Testimonials

Competitive Advantage

"As I see it, I have the best of both worlds. I have the skills to make a useful contribution as a geographer yet have a broad enough education to work effectively with a variety of other disciplines. Even within my chosen specialty of resource management, I am more comfortable with the social, cultural and historical aspects of our field than many of my classmates.... Although there are times when my classmates in graduate studies benefit from their more specialized undergraduate degrees, I believe that my background in contemporary studies has given me a uniquely useful set of skills. In particular, I believe that I am more critical of the assumptions that underlay theory. I am also better able to imagine an issue from a variety of perspectives. In short, I see the world in far more shades of grey than my more discipline-specific colleagues."

David Morris, Contemporary Studies graduate and President's Gold Medal Award winner, 2003, PhD candidate in Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo

Real Life Issues

"My education experience, especially my Contemporary Studies major, helped me create a classroom that was dynamic and real. Because of my background, not only was I prepared to teach almost every subject, I also could integrate real life and world issues into my Literature class; I could incorporate environmental issues in geography; I produced an exciting science unit on crime. Through projects and multimedia presentations, my students experienced a taste of the world wars, of AIDS, of terrorism, and of poverty. My students learned to think critically as we examined advertisements and news articles."

Lindsey Koppert, Graduate of the Contemporary Studies Program ('06)

Critical Thinking

"The professors who taught CT courses emphasized the necessity for students to be critical thinkers. I had ample opportunities to fine-tune this skill through class / online discussions, tutorials, written assignments, presentations, and examinations. In the CT courses, my professors implemented lecture norms that allowed me to feel comfortable with sharing my viewpoints. Critical thinking has been invaluable for me in graduate school, and in the workforce. CT has provided me with the skills set required to critique subject matter in a 21st century manner by developing perspectives that are valid, empirical and novel. Definitely, my CT knowledge base has been advantageous. Critical thinking is a learned skill, and I am thankful for my Laurier education in helping to foster this skill. Members of my cohort in graduate school were skilled, and experts in their given fields. However, my CT background distinguished me when delivering presentations in my 1st and 2nd year of graduate school. Put simply, I was confident in presenting my viewpoints, supported by evidence in novel, and creative ways." Jeffrey Tamusuza, MSW graduate from Valdosta State University, who graduated from the Honours Contemporary Studies program at Laurier Brantford. "I find I have benefited greatly from having contemporary studies as a part of my undergraduate degree. It has been useful when applying theory to the real world. Having a CT background has allowed me to think in a more diverse manner. CT has improved my critical thinking. I am able to be critical about the principles that underlie certain theories. While some of my MA colleagues are more specialized in their undergraduate degree I feel I am more able to apply the geographical, historical, or cultural approaches to certain topics. The CT program was very rewarding for me."

Justine Scriver, M.A. Candidate, Graduate with Honours Criminology and Major in CT

Multiple Lenses

"All the contemporary studies courses have been taught by professors who make it a priority to teach their students how critically analyze information. The world we live in today cannot be viewed through a single lens. Our children in elementary school and especially in high school MUST be taught from a multi-disciplinary perspective if we expect them to be able to appreciate the diversity that surrounds them."

L. Michelle Evans, Graduate of the Contemporary Studies Program ('07) and current student in the WLU Consecutive Education Program