2018 O'Brien Fellows
Diana Loomer is a PhD Candidate with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Department of Civil Engineering. She is an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canadian Graduate Scholarship recipient and Dr. William S. Lewis Doctoral Fellow. The focus of her PhD research is the evaluation of groundwater chemistry and occurrence of methane in private well water across southeastern New Brunswick.
Diana received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Geochemistry at UNB. She has worked in environmental consulting focused on industrial and agricultural contamination in New Zealand and also in relation to the mining industry in Vancouver, BC. Prior to commencing research for her PhD dissertation, she worked at UNB as a research scientist in analytical method development related to scientific studies concerning deep geological repositories and the ultimate storage of nuclear waste.
Diana’s interest in water availability, contamination, and remediation developed from participation in a Canada World Youth exchange to rural Indonesia. It was a learning experience developed to teach cross-cultural understanding; leadership and team building skills; to experience a third-world country; and to critically evaluate social issues. Currently, Diana is the Chair of the Fredericton Branch of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick.
Gilbert McLaughlin originally comes from Tracadie, in northeastern New Brunswick. He is a proud member of the Acadian community, who has always been committed to his community. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with specialization in Political Science at the University of Moncton in 2011. Passionate about Acadian politics, he earned a master’s degree in Political Thought and Analysis of Ideologies at the University of Ottawa in 2013.
Gilbert is presently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa. His research, focusing on beliefs and collective imaginaries, is conducted under the supervision of Stéphane Vibert, an associate of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM).
Gilbert has already published several scientific articles, primarily about the Great Upheaval myth among the Acadian elite. He intends to pursue a career in research. Concurrently with his doctoral studies, Gilbert cofounded of Astheure magazine and for several years also organized the Point de Mire sur l’Acadie series of conferences in Ottawa.
James originally hails from Nova Scotia but has called Fredericton home since 1995. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children together. For the past seven years, James has been active as a social studies teacher, curriculum-developer and consultant, researcher, and university instructor. After graduating from St. Thomas University in 2006 with a focus in philosophy and political science, he went on to complete consecutive Bachelor and Master of Education degrees from the University of New Brunswick. His M.Ed. thesis in Critical Theory focused on professional teacher identity scripts and inequities confronting beginning and early career teachers living in New Brunswick.
James is in the second year of Ph.D studies at the University of New Brunswick under the supervision of Dr. Alan Sears, Dr. Lee Windsor, and Dr. Lindsay Gibson (UofA). Through a community history project in partnership with the Government of New Brunswick, Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, James' research challenges perceived knowledge gaps and deficit discourses that contribute to a blurry image of young learners and the nature of historical thinking. By focusing on how students articulate and speak back to official histories and pedagogies experienced in school, his work anchors youth as the basis from which to expand communities of disciplinary practice and for improving curriculum and teaching. In 2017, the students he works with were recipients of the Fredericton Heritage Trust Award for their contributions to Fredericton heritage.
James’ research is supported by a 4-year Doctoral SSHRC and NBIF scholarships at UNB. Continuing his research this summer, he will travel to Europe in July as a participant with the UNB Gregg Centre’s "War and the Canadian Experience" Teachers' Professional Development Tour of France and Flanders.
Janelle grew up in the French-Acadian village of Saint-Louis, New Brunswick. In May 2017, she graduated from her honours degree in psychology at the University of Moncton. The following September, she began her doctorate in clinical psychology, again at the University of Moncton. Throughout her studies, Janelle has worked as a teaching assistant in child development and psychobiology, as well as a research assistant in the field of child psycholinguistics.
Her honours thesis and her graduate studies pertain to mindfulness, and both were conducted under the supervision of Dr. Geneviève Bouchard from the University of Moncton. Her current research explores the potential adverse effects of mindfulness on people who show signs of anxiety and psychosomatic disorders. She hopes that this study will lead to more symptom-specific mindfulness-based interventions. Janelle has received support from the University of Moncton, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and she is honoured to be receiving additional support from the O’Brien Foundation.
Currently, Janelle is completing her child and adolescent clinical practicum under the supervision of Dr. Monique Savoie, a grief and sports psychologist in Dieppe, New Brunswick. After she graduates, Janelle hopes to deliver personalized mindfulness-based interventions to a variety of clients.
Josée Boudreau is from Saint-Sauveur, a rural community in New Brunswick. In 1999, she obtained a Multimedia Presentations Creator diploma at the CCNB in Bathurst. She later pursued her studies and obtained a Web Graphic Designer/Developer and Programmer diploma at the Eastern College School of Business in Moncton. Upon graduating in 2013, she received two awards of excellence for obtaining the highest mark in her program. After working 11 years in the IT industry, she decided in 2014 to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology at the Université de Moncton. During her studies, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Cognitive Psychology Laboratory and in the Couples Research Laboratory. She has co-authored 5 posters presented at conferences in Canada and in the United States.
Josée is the recipient of the Golden Jubilee Scholarship 2018 awarded by the province of New Brunswick for academic excellence, a recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Counsel of Canada (SSHRC) scholarship, and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) scholarship. She is pursuing a Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at the Université de Moncton in order to become a clinical psychologist. Josée is also currently a volunteer at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre where she visits and accompanies inpatients from the Extended Care unit.
In 2004, Kathryn moved from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to New Brunswick to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She fell in love with New Brunswick and has remained there ever since. Since 2004, she has completed her Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours, Human Resource Management) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Psychology) at the University of New Brunswick, and worked in Fredericton for an e-learning company and a provincial sporting organization. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of New Brunswick, under the supervision of Dr. Scott Ronis. Kathryn’s research has been supported by Joseph-Armand Bombardier Master’s and Graduate Doctoral Scholarships. Kathryn is honoured and appreciative of the O’Brien Foundation for the support of her research.
Kathryn’s dissertation research focuses on how people in inter-jurisdictional relationships (a specific type of long-distance relationship where a romantic partner works in one province but maintains a permanent residence in another) manage and maintain their romantic relationships. She is particularly excited about her research given the direct relevancy to Atlantic Canada, and New Brunswick in particular, where many people are involved in these types of relationships. She plans to share the results of her study with both the academic and local communities, with the goal of improving the experiences of inter-jurisdictional couples who face job-related mobility. Following the completion of her Ph.D., Kathryn hopes to practice as a Clinical Child Psychologist in New Brunswick.
Ken Holyoke grew up in Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick. He attended the University of New Brunswick for his BA (2008) where he gained an interest in anthropology and prehistoric archaeology in the Maine-Maritimes region. He returned to UNB for his MA (2012), studying prehistoric Wabanaki stone tools from the Lower Saint John River region with supervisor Dr. Susan Blair (O’Brien Fellow, 1996). Following the completion of his MA, Ken worked professionally as an archaeological consultant based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. In Fall 2017, he began his Doctoral research at the University of Toronto.
Ken’s PhD project will explore how stone-tool (lithic) resources and the geological bedrock sources for those stones may have shaped interactions and social relationships within and among Wabanaki groups in the prehistoric Maine-Maritimes region. His project will be focused on the known bedrock lithic source at Washademoak Lake, New Brunswick. This research proposes to answer questions pertaining to prehistoric territories and territoriality, human movement and exchange, and how continuously revisited places in the prehistoric landscape of the Lower Saint John River Valley shaped ancient Wabanaki worldview and influenced the locations where the Wabanaki camped and settled in the past,
Ken has over a decade of experience working and researching in archaeology, and in that time he has had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in Belize, British Columbia, Labrador, Maine, and all three Maritime Provinces. He has published past research, has presented at numerous national and international conferences, instructed at the University of New Brunswick, and volunteered his time to teach the public, university students, and youth about archaeology. Ken also serves as a Board Member on the Association of Professional Archaeologists of New Brunswick and has volunteered for Prostate Cancer Canada since 2009. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter, and cat, and looks forward to returning to the Maritimes for research work.
Marc was born and raised in Cap-Pele, New Brunswick. A hockey scholarship moved him from the French high school Louis-J.-Robichaud in Shediac, New Brunswick, to a private school in Maine. But it was not until after a detour to the oil fields of Alberta that Marc found his way to Dalhousie University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science with Honours in Physics and Mathematics. Discovering computer programming and realizing the potential and power of computational methods in physics led him to research that uses state-of-the-art supercomputers to simulate real materials on the scale of only a few hundred atoms.
His initial research efforts involved simulations of materials at elevated pressures and temperatures and offered the opportunity to work at a national laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. Currently, Marc is in the Ph.D. program at Dalhousie University where he focuses on materials relevant for lithium-ion batteries. He hopes to use simulations to help make lithium-ion batteries more durable and to bring awareness to the utility and value of computation in scientific research.
Beyond academics, Marc enjoys being involved with his surrounding community, serving as President of the Physics Society, organizing intramural sports teams, promoting physics in outreach programs, and most recently launching the Dalhousie Golf Society. He loves staying active: rock climbing, yoga, golf, surfing, and cycling are his favorite activities. A Maritimer at heart, Marc is grateful for the support and recognition from the O’Brien Foundation.
Flutist Phoebe Robertson has performed in concert halls across Canada and the United States as both a soloist and an orchestral musician, with such ensembles as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. As one of two musicians to represent Canada in the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (OA), she will spend her summer in residency at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, Poland, before embarking on a tour of Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and Scotland with the OA ensemble, made up of 80 of North and South America’s most promising young professional musicians.
Raised in Sackville, New Brunswick, Phoebe began her flute studies under the tutelage of Anne Varner, continuing with Karin Aurell, Professor of Flute at Mount Allison University and l’Université de Moncton. An active participant during her youth in the Sackville Music Festival, the Greater Moncton Music Festival, and the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music, she also performed with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra and volunteered as a flute teaching assistant with Sistema NB in Moncton, l’Harmonie de l’École Mathieu-Martin, l’Harmonie de l’École Carrefour de l’Acadie, and the Wind Masters Workshop at l’Université de Moncton.
Phoebe continued her musical studies at the University of Ottawa, where she studied with Camille Churchfield. In 2015, at the age of 19, she was awarded the highest prize of the National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition and its Special Award for Orchestral Excerpts, performing as a concerto soloist with the NAC Orchestra later that year. She is presently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with Scottish-born flutist Lorna McGhee, Principal Flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
In March 2017, she presented at the Ottawa Graduate Music Student Conference, and received the University of Ottawa Silver Medal of the Faculty of Arts for her academic work.
Phoebe is deeply honoured and grateful to the O’Brien Foundation for their generosity in awarding her the 2018 Fellowship, and she eagerly anticipates joining the esteemed alumni of the Foundation in continuing to represent New Brunswick on the international stage.
Samuel Gagnon is a second-year Master’s student in Education at Université de Moncton with a Bachelor of Education (Elementary). Born in Montreal, Samuel has been living in Moncton for many years and now considers himself an Acadian. His fields of interest include critical thinking, philosophy in school, and scientific research in education. The working title for his research paper is Regard sur le processus par lequel les enseignantes et enseignants mobilisent des habiletés de pensée en communauté de recherche philosophique.
Since beginning his graduate studies, Samuel has given scientific talks in Regina, Toronto, Fredericton, Shippagan, and Moncton. His work can be found in the 21st issue of l’Info-CRDE, a scientific magazine published by the Centre de recherche et de développement en éducation. Over the next few months, his plans are to get more of his work published in collaboration with his thesis advisor, Mathieu Lang. This year, his efforts earned him a second place finish at the 29th annual Colloque des jeunes chercheuses et chercheurs, which rewards students who give the best talks on their research project.
Looking forward, Samuel is considering pursuing a doctoral degree. He is also determined to continue working on scientific research in education in New Brunswick. In the meantime, he hopes that his research will help make school a fertile ground where critical thinking can blossom.