Career paths and liberal arts
What can I do with a degree in Liberal Arts? To gain an understanding of the breath of options that are open to you with a Liberal Arts degree, please survey the careers of LAC graduates.
An LAC education opens up the world to its graduates. A thorough immersion in Western thought has proven to have limitless applicability, enriching students' professional and personal lives in ways that cannot be quantified and go well beyond the brief and incomplete summary here. As in George Eliot's Middlemarch, here are people from so many disparate origins and occupations, united not by the geography of a provincial town, but by a fine, demanding, and caring small college in Montreal at Concordia, and by the learning for life that goes on there.
See what other students and visiting professors have to say about the education at Liberal Arts College.
It is a testament to the College's education that so many students have gone on to pursue graduate studies and become leaders in the academic world.
- Thomas Ponniah ('88) is one such example, an award winning lecturer on social studies at Harvard University.
- Ariela Freedman ('94), returned to the College and served as Principal after graduating from NYU with a PhD in modern English literature.
Other graduates are pursuing academic work at both founts of Western Culture, Jerusalem and Athens.
- Edward Breuer ('82) works in Jerusalem as an Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish History, Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University.
- Alyssa Quint ('93), following a PhD from Harvard, now lectures at Columbia University, teaching Yiddish literature and Eastern European Jewish culture.
- Emmanuel Bourbouhakis ('96) is a self-described 'itinerant Classicist,' currently working as a research fellow in the History department at Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany.
College graduates teach across many disciplines, from Art History (John Hatch, '82, Western Ontario), through Philosophy and Women's Studies (Christine Daigle, '92, Brock), to Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Jean Revez, '84, UQAM). But a surprising number of our graduates are associated with English departments. A few examples are:
- Marta Straznicky ('84), head of English at Queen's University
- Jason Camlot ('90), Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at our own Concordia University
- Colin Hill ('95) an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, who teaches Canadian literature and writes on Canadian modernism
More recent alumni are still in the course of their graduate studies.
- Julia Haas ('08), spent eight months in Namibia, before enrolling in doctoral studies at Emory University in Philosophy
- Anabelle Bernard-Fournier ('08), is pursuing an MA in English Victorian literature in Victoria, BC
- Jonathan Cayer ('07) is doing a doctorate in French medieval literature at Yale University
- Denis Robichaud ('06) is completing his doctorate in Renaissance literature at Johns Hopkins University
- Bryan Brazeau ('08) is a PhD candidate in the Italian Department at New York University
- Heather Stein ('08), having done an M.A. in Italian Renaissance humanism at the U. of Toronto, has just been accepted into doctoral work in Renaissance literature at Johns Hopkins.
Teaching English as a second language (ESL) has been a career pursued by many graduates. Isabelle Grossenbacher ('99) taught ESL in Mexico and now teaches it at the CEGEP level in Montreal. Pierre Gendron ('98) took a year out of his career in NYC to teach ESL at the University in Kunming, China.
Graduates have found work abroad through the Canadian government.
- Patrick Riley ('96) works for the Canadian Foreign Service and has been posted to India, Ghana, and most recently, the Philippines
- Stephen Cartwright ('05) works for the Department of Foreign Affairs and has been posted in Nigeria and Kabul, Afghanistan
Carol McQueen ('95), after graduating from LAC, won the Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford (Balliol College). She works for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as Deputy Director of the Democracy Unit, and was a Political Affairs Officer with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Making a difference in the world and the lives of others:
- Hillel Neuer ('93) – our 30th Reunion Distinguished Speaker – is working as the Executive Director of United Nations Watch, a human-rights NGO operating out of Geneva, Switzerland. Neuer, widely published and regularly appearing on tv news shows, appears regularly before the UN Human Rights Council, intervening for a range of causes including the rape victims of Darfur, political prisoners in Cuba, and Middle East peace.
- Steven Courchesne ('03) is also in the non-profit sector, having just finished an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University; he is working with Human Rights Education Associates, an NGO in Boston.
- Reid Cooper ('04), founded ABC with his wife, a non-profit organization facilitating education for children in Burkina Faso. Cooper, presently living in London, England, is also pursuing a PhD in Architecture (as a Commonwealth Scholar), investigating the nexus between social justice and the built environment in India.
On the local level, graduate Craig Sauvé ('04), is busy with municipal politics and working as a volunteer for the NDP in Quebec. Heavily involved in the NDP's recent gains in this province, Sauvé is also the president of his local riding association and a political analyst for a CKUT radio program.
Jean Proulx ('06) is another graduate volunteering in Canadian political causes, and he is currently following this interest in politics and government with a Master's at Concordia in Public Policy and Public Administration.
It is interesting that a humanistic education at the LAC has led some graduates to the health and medical fields:
- Jessica Kovitz-Lensch ('01) is in her third year of a neurology residency in the CHUM
- Mihai Radulescu ('05) is about to graduate from Dentistry at UdeM and begin a one-year residency in the Bronx, NYC.
- Debra Collette ('95), with an M.Sci. in nursing, now works for Northern Health
- Jean Nelson ('91), a lawyer, has been Chief Privacy Officer for the Canadian Medical Association in Ottawa since 2000.
Some of our graduates have found careers in the local media spotlight.
- Laura Calder ('92) is a chef, cookbook author and host of the Food Network's cooking show French Food at Home
- Rebecca Baugniet ('00) who has published two culinary tomes
- Rima Elkouri writes for La Presse
- Jean-Philippe Wauthier ('03) works for the CBC and Radio Canada
- Joanna Smith ('06) is a journalist with the Toronto Star and is currently posted to the parliamentary bureau in Ottawa
In the international media spotlight:
- Owen Clegg ('96) is a senior broadcaster with the BBC World Service, and occasionally edits and studio-produces their flagship breakfast program, The World Today
- Andrew Matheson ('94) has been, since 2005, an editor of the Emmy Award-winning Colbert Report in NYC
Graduates have continued to experience culture through art.
- Allison Freeman ('05) graduated with a BFA from Concordia, worked as apainter for three years, showing her work in exhibitions, and is now in her first year of the MFA painting program at Yale University
- George Magalios ('91), LAC graduate turned artist, has an MFA from Carnegie Mellon and an MA from San Francisco Sate, and is a practicing painter, sculptor, photographer and performance artist in Florida
LAC graduates have also gone on to combine interest in the arts with academic careers.
- Melissa Templeton ('07) is working on a PhD in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California Riverside, as well as dancing and working with choreographers in Southern California
- Talia Wooldridge ('97) went on from LAC to obtain an MA in Ethnomusicology from York University, Toronto
Love of culture led two of our graduates to working in museums.
- Lisa Kahn-Amelan ('83) received her Masters in History Museum Studies from SUCO in Cooperstown, New York and now works at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
- Lisa Miniaci ('01) also chose to go into Museum studies but now works closer to home on the collection at the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationale du Québec, in Montreal
- Deborah Vincelli ('95) has also been drawn to museums, working now as a librarian for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC after receiving her Masters in Library Science from McGill
Some graduates have taken to out-of-the-ordinary fields.
Eric Denman ('07) taught special education kids for two years before joining the US Air Force. He is soon moving to Germany to work on F16 armament systems.
Andrew Burr ('99) also followed his LAC education with a very interesting set of careers. He spent a few years as a professional actor, and after marrying, completed a PhD in psychology in 2010.