August 28, 2012 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Work by King’s Professor Pamela Cushing was recently out in two academic publications. The study involved researching and interviewing alumni about how they’ve used their Social Justice and Peace Studies (SJPS) degrees. It also focused on how universities might better prepare graduates for post-graduate work and study. Both articles highlight findings relevant to any department of school that emphasizes a liberal arts education. 

“I perceived that students were often interested in the program early on, but uncertain about what they could 'do' with this kind of interdisciplinary, liberal arts degree,” says Cushing. “Since I knew anecdotally that many students who kept in touch were doing diverse and remarkable things, I thought it could be helpful to current students or potential students, to hear about the possibilities.”

King’s student Kim Ruiter was instrumental in the project acting as co-author and Research Assistant. Ruiter recently graduated from SJPS/sociology with honour roll distinction. She begins law school at Western this fall.

Over 100 King’s graduates took the time to participate, lending their insights to the study. “It was humbling to have this generous participation,” continues Cushing. “This is a great reflection of their ongoing care for King’s.”

The first article highlights the study results and tentative recommendations. -

The journal article describes the project development process and underlines the value of better understanding how your students are using what they learned in their bachelor degree. 

As for the future use of the findings, Cushing notes that SJPS faculty and students will need to come together to discuss “how the diverse and sometimes divergent findings of this research can be woven back into our program planning. There are four core areas that can be informed by this research: curriculum, pedagogy, student supports and research.”

Click here for more information about the SJPS program.

Click here to view Pamela Cushing’s bio page.