It's definitely not a secret that I've had my (un)fair share of "issues" at Western over my graduate school career. I guess "issues" is a nice way of putting it.
But I do unequivocally believe in what Vicki Esses, Belinda Dodson, Daniele Belanger, and all the faculty and students involved in the Migration and Ethnic Relations (MER) Centre and Collaborative Graduate Program at Western are doing in academia and the "real world."
Here's a perfect example:
We got the inside scoop during our colloquium series back on October 4th, 2012 on this story titled "Mitigate 'brain drain' by investing in diaspora-led development projects, study urges Canadian government," from Jonathan Crush himself. Live and in colour.
The story itself is pretty interesting especially the idea of pressuring the Canadian Government to start seeing immigration policy as a form of international development/aid through diasporic networks.
What is more important than the story is that MER students are "on the ground" for real issues in Canadian policy. We are engaged in what's happening outside of the academe. We interact, and literally sit at the same table at our after talk dinners, with the movers and shakers in Canada.
How many students can say that they had an hours long conversation over dinner with a leader in international policy? How many students can say that conversation was genuine and not about "getting a leg up" in their own careers?
Unless Crush is one of the selectors for the West Indies Cricket Board, I'm doing this whole academic networking thing completely wrong. Or maybe I'm doing it the right way. One with integrity. The MER way.
For all those looking for a graduate programme, I fully endorse MER at Western. If you want "real world" experience to add to your graduate degree, MER is the place to be.
And if by any chance Crush is reading this post, good luck to South Africa at the ICC Champions Trophy next month. Gayle, Sammy, Pollard, Bravo (and Broad, Dhoni, and Kohli) are gunning for ya.