Governor General’s Medal winner feels privileged by the honour

Jennifer Reed (Susan Hickman photo)

When Jennifer Reed was a young girl, she was enamoured with true crime novels. Especially fascinated with forensics, it was only a matter of time before Reed, now 44, would find her way into the field. Graduating this spring with a bachelor of arts honours degree, with a major in psychology, Reed has already decided she will continue on with graduate studies in forensic psychology at Carleton this fall, and may even go on to pursue a PhD.

Winner of Carleton University’s Governor General’s Medal and University Medal in Arts, Reed started shaking when she heard the news.

“It was total shock,” she says. “I didn’t expect it at all. I am so honoured and I feel privileged.”

Reed’s first foray into post-secondary education was in the field of computer science and then she went on to work in the high technology sector. When her children were born, she stayed at home with them for more than a decade. Then, in 2009, when her youngest of two children was old enough to come home from school by himself, Reed enrolled at Carleton to study criminology.

“I was really nervous going back,” recalls Reed, who admits her husband and children were very supportive nevertheless. “I was afraid I wouldn’t meet people my age, but it’s been great. I worked harder this time. It was a different experience and a different mind-set.”

And Reed enjoyed her studies at Carleton, pointing to the “beautiful campus” and the “great” professors. It also didn’t take Reed long to realize the psychology courses were the most interesting part of her program.

This summer, Reed is working as a teaching assistant for the honours essay course for psychology and will pursue her master’s in forensics in September.

“I have always liked academia. I might go into teaching eventually and will probably go for a PhD.”

While Reed prepares to continue on with her higher education, her 20-year-old, who has already earned a theatre diploma at Algonquin, will be joining her at Carleton in September to begin an undergraduate degree in philosophy.



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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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