Share your story

Share your story

To update us on your adventures since leaving Sociology and Legal Studies at uWaterloo please contact the department.

Our alumni

Dr. Joel Thiessen

photo of joel thiessen

Dr. Joel Thiessen, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta, completed his MA (2006) and PhD (2011) in Sociology at the University of Waterloo. His areas of interest are in the sociology of religion, namely religion and culture in Canada.

During his time at Waterloo he valued the excellent instruction, mentorship, and encouragement that he received from his supervisor, Dr. Lorne Dawson, as well as the close community that he experienced with fellow graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Thiessen attributes his teaching and publishing success, including a forthcoming co-authored book with his doctoral supervisor, to the quality education that he received at the University of Waterloo.

For more information about Dr. Thiessen see his personal website.

Sean Stynes - Counsel/Avocat, Aboriginal Law

Mr. Sean Stynes graduated with a BA in Sociology from Waterloo in 2000 (which at the time had a “legal studies and criminology option” that he completed). After graduating he went on to complete law school at Western in 2003, became a lawyer and was called to the bar in Ontario in 2004. Sean practiced law for a few years before returning to academia to complete a masters in Law (LLM) at the University of British Columbia in 2007. Following that, he returned to the practice of law and landed a job as Counsel in the Aboriginal Law Section with the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver where Sean has remained since, practicing aboriginal, constitutional and human rights law. Sean works on all sorts of interesting cases at the Department of Justice.

Through all my schooling and professional experience, Waterloo stands out as a fantastic university. I owe a lot of my success to the wonderful faculty and education I received at Waterloo.  I would be happy to ‘share my story’ if you are looking for alumni.

Noemi Chanda

After completing her honours undergraduate degree at Waterloo, Noemi went on to earn a Master's degree in Economic Policy from McMaster University and her law degree from the University of Toronto. She's now a consultant on the legal and regulatory issues surrounding technology, health, and privacy. For Noemi, the emphasis on innovation at the University of Waterloo continues to shape her career. In her words, "It taught me to collaborate across disciplines, be critical of the status quo, and push to develop innovative solutions to difficult problems facing society. UWaterloo also taught me that how I communicate my ideas is often as important as the ideas themselves - I apply this daily when presenting complex issues in a simple, clear way to my clients.

Read more to learn Noemi's advice for taking advantage of your UWaterloo experience.

Set Shuter

Set completed her undergraduate degree in 2012 and was the recipient of an Outstanding Graduate Award from the Canadian Sociological Association. She's now a freelance DIT/Colorist in the film industry and a systems engineer. Her career contributing to the creation of the feature films and television shows allows her to combine technology, artistic expression, and ongoing learning in a challenging environment. At the University of Waterloo, she learned to hone her impulse of thinking outside the box, and how to apply social theory. She now applies that sociological problem-solving ability in her media-industry career, especially when interacting with both clients and technology.

Read on to learn about Set's favourite Professors and her advice for taking courses outside of your comfort zone.

Nicole Frantz

Nicole graduated with an Honours degree in Sociology in 2012, and went on to earn her Master's degree in Public Service in 2015. She is currently working with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada as a Manager with the Government Advisory Directorate. She loves being a public servant, because in her own words, "the work that I do does not serve the bottom line of a corporation, but rather contributes to the overall betterment of our country and its people".

Read more to learn what courses specifically sparked her passion for public service and her advice for completing your assignments, especially those in Statistics and Research Methods.

Lisa Pender

Lisa is carrying on the Sociological tradition - she's a Professor at Mohawk College in Hamilton who loves challenging the way her students view the world. She choose a career teaching Sociology because, in her words, it's a "unique opportunity to leave a legacy, whether it's through the articles we publish or the footprint we leave behind in the classroom. The beauty of teaching is that we don't have to choose on or the other. We can have both."

Read more to learn Lisa's advice for handling the ups and downs of an academic career.

Kristyn Frank

Kristyn graduated with a PhD in Sociology in 2009. An early course on surveys shaped not only her dissertation, but sparked a wider interest in methodology, emphasizing how we must pay attention to even the smallest details in research design. Inspired by this, Kristyn went on to take another survey course from the Department of Statistics, which led to her successful career as a Senior Research Analyst in the Social Analysis and Modelling Division at Statistics Canada.

Read more to learn Kristyn's thoughts about what coursework is most valued by the industry, and how to develop transferrable skills.

David Hoffman

After finishing his PhD in 2015, David started an exciting career in SUNY Polytechnic Institute (USA). Now an Assistant Professor, David enjoys the balance between teaching and research that an academic career provides. David credits his career success partly to his methodological training, faculty mentorship and a professional development seminar offered by the department. Also important are the "informal" lessons that he learned from his numerous one-on-one interactions with faculty members. In David's words, the "unwavering professional and personal support" along with high quality substantive and methods training prepared him for his post-graduation career.

Read more to learn about David's training and his advice for students.

Tiffany Lin

Tiffany completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in 2015. She's currently a Research Associate at the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where her work involves research work and project coordination in their cybersecurity and open data projects.

Her time in Knowledge Integration and Sociology allowed her to gain the practical skills of facilitation and collaboration while also being challenged academically by the variety of senior seminar courses. These courses, along with extremely supportive professors in both departments, in Tiffany's words, "gave me an opportunity to really be able to pursue my own research interests in Internet-related research and be part of an inspiring and diverse community in both departments".

Read more for Tiffany's advice for undergraduate students.

Arjun Puri

Arjun completed an Honours Degree in Sociology in 2011 and is currently completing his Master's Degree in Public Health and Health Systems with a focus in health informatics and data-driven decision making. He gained work experience working independently during his summer terms at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, assisting with geriatric research and Gunggo, a company that specializes in digital advertising. At Gunggo, Arjun was a Senior Media Buyer and carried out demographics research and campaign planning.

Read on to learn about Arjun's fascinating work on the use of wearable technologies and how they can help our aging population and health care system.

Preethi Ledchumykanthan

Preethi graduated with a Honours degree in Legal Studies and Arts and Business with a minor in Sociology in 2014 and is currently in the process of earning her Master's Degree in Public Service. Through Legal Studies and Sociology, she learned a lot about the various social injustices occurring within Canada which directed her to the Master of Public Service program at Waterloo. Preethi wants to be able to address these injustices through a future career in public policy.

Read more to learn about Preethi's favourite courses and the advantages of taking Statistics and Research Methods.