I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo exploring how networked communities can function democratically and encourage rhetorical citizenship.
My multidisciplinary academic background—an undergraduate degree in Psychology and master’s in English, Rhetoric and Communication Design—support my concurrent pursuit of a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science that offers an interdisciplinary perspective on my research. I'm also passionate about teaching, having been nominated for the TA Award for Excellence in Teaching, and being enrolled in the Centre for Teaching Excellence's Certificate in University Teaching program.
My research has in part been shaped by my extensive background in the print media industry, which includes time at the Guelph Mercury, and most recently in my tenure as the Marketing & Community Relations Manager at the Waterloo Region Record. In this role I developed partnerships with over 200 local charitable and not-for-profit organizations, fundraised for and promoted the newspapers’ charitable initiatives, and spearheaded award-winning marketing campaigns—all with the intent to encourage philanthropy and community building within Waterloo Region. I've also hosted numerous events on behalf of The Record, most notably the public election forums, as well as the Governor General inspired Barnraiser Award Ceremony.
Both my academic and professional experiences have emphasized the importance of the idea of community, and how it can encourage belonging, inclusiveness, and participatory citizenship.
I'm working to find ways to leverage virality in established, democratically-oriented online communities such as Imgur and Reddit, to the benefit of a more inclusive democracy in Canada where citizens can participate meaningfully in political life by capitalizing on the affordances of virtual platforms.