Dr. Sherry L. Beaumont (1989)

Sherry-Beaumont-2003Dr. Sherry L. Beaumont received funding from the O’Brien Foundation to complete graduate studies at the University of Waterloo, where she was granted a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1993. She is currently a Full Professor at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) where she teaches and conducts research in the areas of positive psychology and lifespan development. She has held research grants, published, and supervised many graduate students in the areas of self-identity and emotional well-being across the lifespan.     Most recently, her research has investigated the role of self-identity for the development of wisdom, spirituality, and life meaning. Her research articles have been published in scholarly journals, such as Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research and the Journal of Adult Development, and have been featured in media sources, such as the University of Chicago’s “Defining Wisdom Research Network.” Most recently, Dr. Beaumont is in the process of developing an intervention for positive identity development during emerging adulthood that focuses on the benefits of self-expression using verbal and visual imagery. This research will incorporate her recent training in art therapy. For more information, see http://web.unbc.ca/~beaumont/.

Dr. Lucy A. Wilson (1985)


Wilson, Lucy Ann, Campbellton, New Brunswick: Doctoral Studies in Archaeology and Geology, University of Paris.

I received my fellowship in 1985. I was then entering the final year of my doctorate at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) in France; I finished there in mid-1986 and came home soon afterwards. Now I am full Professor of Geology, in the Department of Biology at UNBSJ. I am the only geologist on this campus (which is why I’m in the Biology department – have to be ‘housed’ somewhere!), so I am responsible for all geology teaching here. I offer the full first-year course every year, and also like to add on a second course of some sort every winter, to add variety to my life and scope for the interested students to do more geology. Geology majors have to go to Fredericton after first year, however. This year I am teaching “Introduction to Geoarchaeology”, since my research is in fact geoarchaeological. I use geological techniques to answer archaeological questions, in particular concerning the rocks used to make prehistoric stone tools, and still mainly work on French sites.

Dr. Thomas A. Clair (1987)

dr-Tom-ClairIn May 2013, I began a new job as Lead Scientist with the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  WBEA is the non-governmental agency responsible for environmental monitoring in the Alberta Oil Sands Region, providing independent information on air and water quality to regulators, the public and industry.  I moved to WBEA and Fort McMurray after a 40 year environmental research career of which 34 was with Environment Canada in the Atlantic Region. In my new job, I am responsible for overseeing a wide variety of scientific programs which are designed to ensure that the best possible environmental information is gathered and made available to governments and the public as quickly as possible.

The move to the oil sands and Fort McMurray came as a big surprise to me.  I had just retired from Environment Canada where I spent my career trying to understand the interaction between air pollutants especially acid rain, mercury, reactive nitrogen and aquatic ecosystems. I had published over 80 papers in the refereed scientific literature and an equal number of technical reports and policy documents.  I had also led Canada-US research groups on mercury and acid rain modeling and was Environment Canada’s representative on the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Europe’s Working Group on Effects of Air Pollutants, as well as its Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen.

The offer of the job in Alberta came on my last work day with EC and despite the need to relocate to cold Fort McMurray, the opportunity to play a part in helping monitor the environment in one of the biggest industrial developments in North America was too good to pass up.  My wife, having also just retired as a professor of Mathematics at Mount Allison, decided that we should make an adventure of this opportunity and here we are for a few years.  The job comes with a great deal of responsibility because of the global interest in the development and my appointment was even recorded in the Wall Street Journal!  None of this interesting work and life trajectory would have been possible without the O’Brien Foundation.  I drink a toast to the people who made it possible at least once a week.

Dr. Mylène Lachance-Grzela (2008)

Mylene-LGDr. Mylène Lachance-Grzela is a native of Hearst, a small Francophone community in Northeastern Ontario. After obtaining a BA in psychology from the University of Hearst, she completed a masters and a PhD in psychology at the University of Moncton. She received honourable mention in recognition of the quality of her masters and PhD theses at the University of Moncton. During the course of her higher education, she also benefited from important grants, including one from the O'Brien Foundation (2008) and two from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

After finishing her PhD in August 2011, Mylène was appointed assistant professor at the University of Moncton, where she teaches courses in Introduction to the Psychology of Human Development and Helping Relationships.  Her research interests are focused on the development of the young adult, and in particular on adjustment to the role of spouse or parent.  She has been published in scientific journals such as Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. Myène is also the author of several scientific publications that she has presented at national and international conferences. She holds a professional licence to practice psychology from the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick.

Dr. Mélanie Méthot (1999)

melanie-methotB.A., McGill
M.A., Université de Moncton
Ph.D., University of Calgary

Dr. Mélanie Méthot is Associate Professor of History at The University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta.

Dr. Méthot teaches courses in Canadian History, Crime and Criminal Justice in Canada, Canadian Urban History, Women in Canadian History, Quebec History and Methods of Historical Research. Her current research interests are focused on Canadian Legal History. Mélanie has published on social reformers in academic journals such as the Urban History Review, Manitoba History, Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society, and Revué D'Histoire Intellectuelle de L'Amerique Francaise.


H. Wade MacLauchlan, C.M. (1982)

H-Wade-MacLauchlan-C-MH. Wade MacLauchlan, C.M. is President Emeritus of the University of Prince Edward Island, where he served as President from 1999 to 2011.   Previous positions include Dean of Law at the University of New Brunswick, and professor of law at Dalhousie University.  He received an O’Brien Foundation Scholarship in 1982, to pursue an LL.M. at Yale Law School, focusing on administrative and constitutional law.

Wade was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2008, and received the IPAC Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Public Service Leadership in 2010.   He is a Trudeau Foundation Mentor, and is an elected member of the North Shore Community Council in his home district of Stanhope-Covehead PEI.   

Wade is a director of Medavie Inc. and partner in Anne China Inc., whose new Mandarin translation of Anne of Green Gables was short-listed as the “Most Influential” book (novel) published in China in 2012.  He is writing a book on the premiership of Alex B. Campbell, Prince Edward Island’s longest-serving Premier (1966-78), and is co-Chair of the 2013 Georgetown Conference Rural Redefined.

Dr. Nicole Bourque (1989)

I would like to start out by thanking the O’Brien Foundation for awarding me one of their scholarships.  The award allowed me to fund a period of fieldwork which was crucial for my PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

How the O’Brien Foundation Helped with my Career Development

Nicole-BourqueAfter graduating with a first class honours degree in Anthropology from the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, I was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to do a PhD IN Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.  This scholarship was for 3 years and would only pay for me while I was in a commonwealth country.  During the second year of my PhD, I did 15 months of fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Andes.  As this is not part of the commonwealth, my PhD funding wouldn’t cover my travel or living coasts during my fieldwork.  Thankfully, I was awarded an O’Brien Foundation Scholarship and this covered the coat of my field work (1989-90).  There was even enough left over for me to buy myself a computer and printer and to take typing lessons.  All of this helped with the completion of my PhD, Dissertation: Soups, Saints and Sucres: An Analysis of Food, Religion and Economy in the Central Ecuadorian Andes.

After finishing my PhD in 1993, I was given a lectureship at the University of Glasgow in the Department of Sociology (now called Sociology, Anthropology and Applied Social Science).
I am still here at Glasgow and have been promoted to Senior Lecturer.  I am currently in charge of our Honours Sociology and Anthropology Programme.  I teach at all levels of our undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and have supervised a number of PhD dissertations.

 My original research was on the relationship between religious and economic change in the Ecuadorian Andes.  I have continued to do research in the same village, returning in 1995 and 2006.  I have also done fieldwork in the Bolivian Andes, looking at conversion to Protestantism and also to Islam.  In Scotland, I have also done research on conversion to Islam.  I am currently involved in two interdisciplinary projects with other researchers at the University of Glasgow.  Together with people from the Department of Management Studies, I am looking at how anthropological theories of ritual and ritualization can be used to analyze corporate strategy ‘away-days’.  I am also part of a large funded project (365,000 pounds) looking at the teaching of Religious Education in schools in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.