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Alum builds Canadian Studies in New Jersey

July 30, 2010

Kate Dunsmore

Kate Dunsmore received her doctorate from the Department of Communication in December 2008. She was appointed to a tenure-track position at Fairleigh Dickinson University in the Department of Communication Studies.

This area of New Jersey fully lives up to the state’s nickname – Garden State. The tree-lined roads and traditional architecture make this a charming place to live. The Olmstead-designed former estate of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombley, the Fairleigh Dickinson University Florham campus is beautiful.

My area of particular responsibility is international and intercultural communication. I was able to integrate Canadian material in my graduate class on globalization and intercultural communication. This semester I am bringing in many examples of Canadian multiculturalism in my global communication undergraduate course. One of my students has chosen Canada for his geographic focus area, because he wants to know more about Canada than just hockey. Another is focusing on the circumpolar region. For her first project, she explored perspectives from Russia, Nunavut and Nunavik.

The Canadian Studies community in this area is very small, but by using the approach the UW Canadian Studies Center has taken, I hope to develop ties between scholars who may now be isolated. For example, I will integrate Canadian examples into guest lectures, raising the profile of Canadian Studies among students and faculty in other departments.

Currently I am developing would have a study-abroad component that would bring Florham campus students to Vancouver, British Columbia for a week or two. Fairleigh Dickinson has a Vancouver campus so is a natural place for cross-border collaboration. The course would explore intercultural communication in the case of US-Canada relations. I hope to introduce students firsthand to the impact of official bilingualism and the different status accorded First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians.

I am also looking forward to activities with the Middle Atlantic and New England Council for Canadian Studies as a way to work toward regional collaboration.

I hope to see many of you at ACSUS and other conferences!

Kate Dunsmore’s research at the UW was supported, in part, by funding from a Canadian Studies Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.