King's Program: Arts

Jennifer Bell

Team Lead at Small Globe, Inc.

The story Jennifer Bell wants to tell is an amazing, globe-shrinking, beautiful account of a family torn apart by conflict then reunited after twenty years. It feels impossible. It feels like it should be a movie. Jennifer is at the heart of the…

Nicholas Day

Teacher

Soon after arriving on campus, Nick jumped into his King’s journey. Nick got heavily involved in student life. He played soccer for and captained the King’s Blue Devils, he ran the Amateur Athletics Association, he worked in the Wardroom, and he…

Lindsay Cameron Wilson

Writer, Host of The Food Podcast

‘Finding the story in the everyday’ is the guiding and core principle of Lindsay Cameron Wilson’s work. As a food writer, recipe developer and host of The Food Podcast, Lindsay has been leaning on this core principle more than ever, with COVID-19…

Robert Muggah

Co-Founder, Igarapé Institute

In late 2019, Robert Muggah, BA(Hons)’97, and his family moved to New York from their home in Rio de Janeiro. Back in 2010 Robert co-founded the Igarapé Institute in Brazil, a ‘think-and-do tank’ which works primarily on citizen, digital and…

Jessica J. Lee

Author and Environmental Historian

“It’s strange to me that I circled back and became a writer,” Jessica smiles, “I got there in the end. It was just that I had to take a very different path.” That path has sent Jessica all over the world and created a career that Jessica didn’t…

John S. Weeren

Founding Director of Princeton Writes

John Weeren finished Foundation Year Program (FYP) in 1982, yet still spends his days on a campus that reminds people of Hogwarts. But it’s not King’s. It’s Princeton. As an undergraduate student, Weeren’s first encounter with collegiate life was…

Rachael Cadman

PhD candidate, Interdisciplinary Studies, Dalhousie University

Working in fisheries governance in Labrador may seem like a world away from studying Contemporary Studies and Classics at King’s – however, for Rachael, it was fairly logical progression. Rachael’s goals as an undergraduate at King’s were simple;…

Jennifer MacLeod

King’s Alumni executive

Jennifer MacLeod had every intention of becoming a nurse. Both her parents were health professionals, so why not? She applied for the nursing program at Dalhousie. “I was accepted by Dalhousie but they said I needed to do one year of undergrad…

Shawn Martin

Policy Coordinator/Analyst, Health PEI

Shawn Martin was thinking about what he might say to new or prospective King’s students. He had two thoughts. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from,” Shawn says, ”if you’re thinking about King’s, you belong at King’s.” His second…

Stephen Maher

Contributing Editor, Maclean’s Magazine

Throughout his 30-year journalism career, Stephen Maher has relocated several times and worked as a general reporter, restaurant critic, political reporter and magazine correspondant. While his career has continually evolved, one thing that’s held…

Katherine Connolly

Software Engineer at Neo Financial

Katherine Connolly admits that going from a liberal arts education at King’s to writing code for a brand-new digital bank is, well, an unusual path. “And it’s even weirder when you see what happens in between the two,” she laughs. Indeed, it is.…

Scott Andrew Christensen

Advanced ITC Teacher at Saudi Aramco College Preparatory Program, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Scott Christensen did a little time travelling in 2019. He had enrolled in a program to teach creative writing offered at the University of Cambridge in England. “I walked around King’s College at Cambridge,” Scott says, “and it took me back to my…

Nevin French

Vice President Public Policy, Information Technology Association of Canada

There probably isn’t a collective noun for a group of civil service positions, but for Nevin French, if there were, it might be an “excitement” of jobs. “I have always just wanted to do work that interests me,” he says. This resulted in him moving…

Joanna Carroll

Chief Operating Officer at Think Research

Joanna Carroll has some advice for graduating King’s students. “Just go for it,” she says. “Take the risks. It’ll open up to things you’d never know.” It’s a philosophy that has taken Joanna from the King’s quad to law school, to a private practice…

Rose Lipton

Executive Director, Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

“It is all about the individual child,” says Rose Lipton. She’s talking about her approach—in the classroom as a teacher, then her years as Director of Canada Programs at Right To Play International, and now as Executive Director of the Indigo Love…

Temma Frecker

Middle School Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator: The Booker School in Port Williams, NS

Temma Frecker is pretty clear about her teaching philosophy. She says, “Empowerment is foundational for me—giving the students the tools and the confidence to help them delve into whatever is important to them.” It’s a philosophy and a teaching…

Lisa Crystal

Management Consultant, McKinsey & Company, New York City

Lisa Crystal makes no bones about who her favourite physicist is. “Albert Einstein,” she says without hesitation, adding that she wrote her thesis in her final year in the Contemporary Studies Program (CSP) on Einstein. “I was always interested in…

Robert Cribb

Investigative Reporter, Toronto Star

For Robert Cribb, there was never any question. “The only kind of journalism I ever wanted to do was investigative,” he says. True to his word that is exactly what Rob is doing with the Toronto Star. “It’s the kind of journalism that looks at…

Phoebe Johnston

Program Director, Halifax Association Community Living

Phoebe Johnston had graduated from King’s and, typical of many new grads, was looking for what to do next. A group of friends suggested she go with them to live in Berlin. Not a bad idea, Phoebe thought. But she had another one. She had been an…

Shannon Brownlee

Associate Director (Cinema & Media Studies); Assistant Professor - Cinema and Media Studies; Gender and Women's Studies

Shannon Brownlee discovered a kind of academic freedom when she went to King’s. “I never felt like I was, what’s the word? Grade grubbing? It was never about the grade,” Shannon says. “It was about the material and the learning—learning for the joy…

Lezlie Lowe

Freelance Journalist and Journalism Instructor

Life has been a series of epiphanies for Lezlie Lowe. There was the one she had while studying in the Contemporary Studies Program (CSP). “I found that I could study philosophy, but I didn’t have to think about or write about old stuff by white…

Marco Chown Oved

Investigative Reporter for Toronto Star

“I’m a little like Forrest Gump,” Marco Chown Oved says with a laugh. He has a point. Marco found himself, again and again, witness to major events. But not just a witness. He has made a career out of documenting them. When Marco graduated from…

Mordecai Walfish

Deputy Director at Leading Edge HQ, New York

Mordecai Walfish sees himself, sometimes, as a translator. “One thing I am good at is toggling between different languages,” he says. Then he lists off the ones in which he is fluent. “I‘m able to speak strategy. I’m able to speak program. And I’m…

Susan Leblanc & Alex McLean

Artistic Directors of Zuppa Theatre

A long lasting collaboration, a relatively rare event in Canadian theatre, began one day when Alex McLean held auditions for a King’s Theatre Society (KTS) production he was to direct. Sue Leblanc had only just started acting but she gave it a…

Kate Cayley

Writer

Kate Cayley has published works of fiction, collections of poetry and produced several plays; but she didn’t always know she was a writer. After graduating from King’s, she and some fellow alumni started a theatre company called Stranger Theatre,…

Laurel Collins

Lecturer, University of Victoria; City Councillor, Victoria

It was mid April in 2011. Laurel Collins was walking through the market in the Northern Uganda city of Gulu. She was working with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—her field placement as she finished up her Masters degree at Royal…

Michael Da Silva

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Law/Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Ask Michael Da Silva what he does, and he will say, “I’m a teacher and a writer.” Ask him about what and you get a snapshot of a man who has embraced academia. “I am a lawyer by training, but I have done graduate work in philosophy and I continue…

Johanna Skibsrud

Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona

When Johanna Skibsrud was just 18, she felt restless. Part of it was being a teen wanting to get on with life and to become a writer. But there was something else. She had finished the Foundation Year Program (FYP) at King’s and it had been, well,…

Stefan Leslie

CEO at Research Nova Scotia

Stefan Leslie wasn’t going to wait for the big one to hit, shaking Canada’s west coast. It would be too late then. “It is likely that there will be a seismic event creating a tsunami; we just don’t know when,” he says. “It would impact shipping…

Laura Armstrong

Sports Reporter at the Toronto Star

Laura Armstrong knew it would be tough finding a job in journalism after graduating. “I gave myself five years to find a career in this industry,” she says, knowing that the writing and communications skills she developed at King’s would help her…

Safia Haq

Co-owner, Tart & Soul Cafe

It was early in 2017 and Safia Haq was scrolling through Facebook. She saw an ad. It asked for a business proposal for a space that had been a café. Interesting, she thought, and sent it to a friend. Saf had been thinking about starting some sort…

Lia Milito

Fellowship Program Manager, Code for Canada

“It was terrifying for a while,” says Lia Milito. Lia had just joined a small team to create the start-up non-profit Code for Canada. The idea was good; the potential for helping Canadians was great. But could they make it work? “There was a period…

Sarah Fulford

Editor-in-Chief of Toronto Life

Sarah Fulford loved the notes her King’s professors gave her on the bi-weekly essays she had to write. She says, “I was quite bad at the beginning but I was much better by the end because I got such good feedback.” It was the feedback, as much as…

Shani Hamilton Greenlaw

Senior Project Manager, BaAM Productions

Shani Hamilton Greenlaw has been managing large-scale events for almost eight years now, from NHL outdoor hockey games such as the Winter Classic to the 2020 NFL Super Bowl LIV Opening Night in Miami. It’s no exaggeration to say that Shani has…

Miranda Spence

Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP

Miranda Spence didn’t take any business classes when she was at King’s. Nor did she focus on business law classes at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. But here she is, a partner in the Toronto law firm Aird & Berlis LLP, with a broad…

Daniel Boos

Filmmaker

There is a scene in the short film Bound, directed by Daniel Boos, that is intense and rife with suspense. An immigrant worker at a sawmill hands over a twenty dollar bill to a shopkeeper. Wrapped inside the bill is a note but we don’t see what’s…

Rebecca (Moore) Brown

Owner, Clearview Tea Company

When Rebecca Brown is looking for a little comfort, she might put on an ivory cable knit sweater. But her ivory cable knit sweater is not a wooly pullover; it is a tea blend that she created.“It was one of those cold rainy days and I made this…

Sarah Burns

Rhodes Scholar; Economist with Bank of Canada

Sarah Burns just doesn’t give up. As a lean and lanky twelve year old she failed the test to become a competitive figure skater eleven times before she finally nailed it. When she was looking for a job after graduating from King’s, Sarah was turned…

Anna Gainey

President of the Liberal Party of Canada and Co-Founder, Executive Director of the Gainey Foundation

Anna Gainey will tell you this: “I don’t think I ever woke up one day and thought - I want to be in politics.” But as President of the Liberal Party of Canada she is in the upper echelon of the Canadian political scene. She goes on to say this: “I…

Andrew Laing

President, Cormex Research

As a self-professed news junkie, Andrew Laing has made a career out of his talent for observing patterns in the world we live in. He is the president of Canada’s leading media research firm—and what makes this his dream job is that he has a front…

Anjali Pala

Book Designer

Anjali Pala stood in the National Gallery in Ottawa and stared. And compared. And made notes. “We spent a lot of time with the paintings, examining them against our proofs,” she says. “We were surrounded by scribbled Post-its and Pantone chips.”…

Stephanie Dick

Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Standing in an airport on her way home for the holidays, Stephanie Dick heard two men talking about their families. “They seemed like really good people. Really good dads,” she says. “And then one of them said, ‘It’s a shame, though. Jessica…

George MacLean

Vice President Academic, University of New Brunswick

Wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, he moves to the front of the stage, his fingers working the frets of his electric guitar. It’s solo time and he’s in a zone. This is George MacLean, lead guitarist for the Fredericton rock ‘n roll cover band Van…

Michael Sacco

Founder, Chocosol

Spoiler alert. Michael Sacco becomes a chocolate maker by the end of this short bio. In the mid-nineties, Michael Sacco enrolled at King’s and found what he loved in the Foundation Year Program (FYP). So he just kept going on the same track. “When…

Barry L. Craig

Principal, Huron University College

Barry Craig will embark on a new chapter in his career this summer, as Principal of Huron University College. “To be able to lead an institution very similar to King’s, nothing could be a greater cap to my professional life than that,” he says.…

Amber MacArthur

Author, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and TV/Radio Host

How do you go from a two-room schoolhouse in rural PEI to becoming a leading voice in new media and technology? According to Amber MacArthur, even just one year at the University of King’s College makes all the difference. Described by Canadian…

Kristi Bryson

Opera and Choral Singer

Kristi Bryson thinks parents who are not professional singers probably sing more to their children than she does. But she will sing a Mozart aria or two to her young son and certainly some Christmas carols. But little Matthew knows his mother’s…

Sarah Cook

Curator / Dundee Fellow at University of Dundee

Ticking away on a computer screen in the lobby of a building at the University of Dundee in Scotland, is the entire sequence of the human genome. The entire thing. The constant parade of the letters GCAT, that represent the building blocks of DNA,…

Mark Fleming

Lawyer, WilmerHale

As he was waiting to be called, Mark Fleming remembered the advice his mentor had given him: “Make sure you take the time to look around. Remember where you are. And say to yourself: This is really cool! (You are) about to have an experience that…

Natalie Meisner

Associate Professor at Mount Royal University

Natalie Meisner is both thoughtful and eloquent when she talks about her craft as playwright. “I do think of the play as a kind of exquisite blueprint. It is still a work of art but it isn’t really breathing, it isn’t alive until people inhabit…

Lorraine Vassalo

Owner and Operator, Avondale Sky Winery

The vineyard is one of the oldest in Nova Scotia, planted on the pastoral beauty of the Avon Peninsula. The retail space is the carpenter gothic of a church more than a century and half old, moved by truck and ferry forty-two kilometers. The winery…

Cassandra Hallett DaSilva

Secretary General, Canadian Teachers’ Federation

When Cassie Hallett DaSilva arrived at King’s, which for the BAH ’91 graduate now seems a lifetime ago, she had a law career in her sights. Well, rarely does life’s path follow a straight line. She quickly realized that her place was in the…

Michael Crouse

Senior Vice-President Kraft-Heinz

Journalism may have brought Michael Crouse to the University of King’s College, but it was his discovery of a passion for business during his undergrad that has left a lasting legacy. After completing the Foundation Year Program, Crouse was bitten…

Peter L’Esperance

Law Student, Dalhousie University

When you turn on your lights, drive to the store, or board a plane, Peter L’Esperance would like you to consider this: “Many of our activities have an environmental cost that we don’t necessarily pay for,” he says. He figures if we did pay for it…

Laurelle LeVert

Associate Vice-President, UNB Saint John

For Laurelle LeVert, Associate Vice-President of the University of New Brunswick, Saint John, it all comes back to service. “My priority,” she says, “is to keep that engine running – to keep students thriving and learning, to support the faculty so…

Rosanna Nicol

Community Development Consultant

Rosanna Nicol is a quiet force to be reckoned with. Working in the field of Indigenous state relations, she has helped facilitate important work in Canada’s Indigenous communities. However, if asked, she wouldn’t say it was a ‘calling’. “I didn’t…

Paul Thomson

Investor Relations Specialist, Numus Financial Inc.

Paul Thomson made a mid-point career change and it was his liberal arts background that gave him the confidence to make the move. After graduation, Thomson “just kind of fell into” a career in the pharmaceutical industry. And even though he found…

Sophie Brauer

Architect at Gottlieb Paludan Architects, Copenhagen

Every once in a while Sophie Brauer would walk past the Dalhousie School of Architecture in Halifax and see the fascinating shapes and designs students were working on spread out on the lawn. She filed the images and her interest in them away and…

Johanna MacMinn

Landscape Architect

One looks like a box of jewels. Another is a sea of purple. A third textured, dappled in sunlight, rich in hues of greens and dark red. These are the words that describe the gardens that Johanna MacMinn, a Brisbane based landscape architect has…

Jennifer Josenhans

Assistant to the Director of the Ecologic Institute

When Jennifer Josenhans looks out the massive window in her office in Berlin she sees a large tree. And looking at it, as she researches issues related to climate change and drafts documents for the Ecologic Institute, the same thought often pops…

Haritha Popuri

Master's in Theatre and Performance Studies, York University

It is a long way from a class on the history of alchemy at King’s to a stop at Yonge and Bloor on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway. A long way geographically, but not so far in Haritha Popuri’s fertile brain. “I was thinking about…

Al Tuck

Singer-Songwriter

As a “roving troubadour” Al Tuck is hard to pin down, but he’s content with that.“Since King’s, I’ve become the kind of performer I hoped and imagined I would be. I’ve had varying degrees of success, but I don’t care—I’ve been able to do what I…

Angela Chang

Communications Officer, Science East

In her final year at King’s, Angela Chang didn’t know whether she would qualify for her degree by the time semester ended. She was the first student to attempt a combined degree with Saint Mary’s University, and the reciprocal agreement was not yet…

Emma Teitel

Columnist, Toronto Star

When Emma Teitel compared the Toronto rapper and recording artist Drake to Isabel Archer, the protagonist in Henry James’ novel Portrait of a Lady, she was channeling her time at King’s. Emma made that comparison in Maclean’s magazine. And it…

Ian Kenny

Programme Coordinator and Communications, Graduate School of Social Sciences Summer Programmes Office, University of Amsterdam

On a special shelf in Ian Kenny’s room at the University of Amsterdam sit three letters. He treasures them. They are glowing letters of reference from three of his professors at King’s that helped him win the prestigious Amsterdam Merit Award. It…

Wilson Bell

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, History, and Politics - Thompson Rivers University

Wilson Bell loves being in the classroom. The father of two is an Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University, but growing up in rural Nova Scotia, he says he “didn’t know what a thesis statement was” before attending King’s. “A lot of (my…

Megan Buntain

Chief Marketing Officer, Buntain + Partners

Megan Buntain has been busy—since launching her startup buntain+partners in summer 2015, her team of three now represents 10 clients. “We’re learning a lot—quickly, ‘failing fast’, building trust with our clients, and are still a bit shocked that…

Joshua Bates

Senior Policy Analyst, Accessibility Directorate, Department of Justice at Government of Nova Scotia

Joshua Bates has learned the ropes at all three levels of government; first with Toronto city council after he completed his master’s degree, then in Ottawa where he worked with MPs and later an advocacy group for Canadian municipalities, and…

Pamela Halstead

Professional Theatre Producer, Director, Dramaturg, Actor and Educator

Pamela Halstead can tell you how tough it used to be in the world of Canadian theatre. “I have a playwright friend who jokes that there was a time when he couldn’t get his work produced because he didn’t have a coal miner or fisherman or fiddle in…

Alex Tesar

Assistant Editor, The Walrus Magazine

Since leaving the University of King’s College, Alexander Desiré-Tesar has been fortunate enough to work with both Lapham’s Quarterly and The Walrus, exploring history and contemporary ideas through journalism. He’s also travelled widely,…

Lauren Brown

Flight Instructor and Bush Pilot

Lauren Brown’s future is up in the air. Interested in the humanities as a high school student, Lauren applied to King’s last minute. Like many university students, she felt anxious at the prospect of having to decide on a major or career path at…

Samantha Robertson

Localization Writer/Editor, Nintendo of America Inc.

Samantha Robertson’s degree in English and Comparative Religion from King’s and subsequent Master in English from Dalhousie led first to an editorial position with Dark Horse Comics, and then to her current position as a localization writer/editor…

Ryan Hreljac

Founder and Executive Director, Ryan’s Well Foundation

One day in 1998 while he was sitting in his Grade One classroom in Kemptville, ON, Ryan Hreljac’s teacher, Mrs. Prest, told the students that some children were sick, and some were even dying because they didn’t have access to clean water. As Ryan…

Mitchell Cushman

Artistic Director, Outside the March

Mitchell Cushman is a triplet, which is interesting in its own right as triplets account for just one in ten thousand births, far more rare than twins (one in 250). But what are the odds of a set of triplets attending King’s at the same time? And…

Mark Dance

Communications Coordinator, Samara Canada

Contemporary studies (CSP) and philosophy graudate Mark Dance has been busy since he graduated from King’s as co-valedictorian. As a parliamentary intern in Ottawa, Mark’s research on digital democracy landed him an interview on CBC’s The House.…

Liam Hyland

Camera Operator/ENG Technician, CTV National

Liam Hyland hand-delivered his application to former King’s journalism director Kim Kierans, unsure if his high school marks would be good enough. “On paper it may not look great, but if you give me a chance, I’ll show you that I can do it,”…

Ben Caplan

Touring Singer-Songwriter

“When I was in FYP I thought I wanted to be a philosophy guy with a music hobby, and now I’m a music guy with a philosophy hobby,” folk singer Ben Caplan observes. Since the 2011 release of In the Time of Great Remembering, Ben’s time for pondering…

Don Harrison

President of Global Partnerships and Corporate Development

While Aquinas and Aristotle are worlds away from Android operating systems, reflecting on his studies at King’s Don Harrison observes how “(they) set me down a road of critical engagement that’s always been helpful in everything I’ve done since.”…

Marc Almon

Film Producer

For moviegoers, Blackbird is an award-winning production about the juvenile detention system. For producer Marc Almon, the film is the biggest risk he’s ever taken.“There were periods of production when I thought I was going to go bankrupt. It was…

Karim Mahmud

Lawyer, Jones Day

Ask your average Canadian liberal arts student where they’ll be in 25 years. They probably won’t tell you they’ll be in London, practising international law for the oil and gas industry. But the great thing about liberal arts students from King’s,…

Michelle Rosetta Hamer

Owner and Queen Bee at Bee23 Natural Beauty

Michelle Rosetta Hamer was at a crossroad. She had a family to support, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to work for someone else. She wondered: “What have I done with my potential?” An idea started to form. Michelle…

Margaret Evans

Actor and Theatre Producer

Thanks to Margaret Evans, Maggie to her friends, there is a gang of American actors who know all about toques and poutine. Maggie and two fellow King’s grads, Graeme Gillis (BJH ’95) and Jeff Margolis (BA ’98) were working on their master’s degrees…

Ruth Spencer

Senior Editor with New York Magazine’s, The Cut

It was a Sunday night in June 2013. Ruth Spencer was in her tiny New York apartment with a few colleagues from The Guardian US where she was Community Editor. Edward Snowden, the man who had leaked thousands of documents from the American National…

Owen Averill

Physician at Whitehorse Medical Services Ltd.

Owen Averill can look out on his lawn and see deer browsing, maybe a fox slinking by. Out back there are biking trails, but word of a sow grizzly bear and her two cubs hanging around is keeping him off those paths. “Attacks are few and far between,…

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