Convocation: Governor General’s Medal winner “shocked” by honour

Ottawa was a bit daunting for Kevin Walby, who grew up under the open skies of Canada’s Prairies. Nevertheless, he found Carleton University to be a “fantastic academic home” during the five years he pursued his PhD in sociology.

Walby, who has earned Carleton’s Governor General’s Medal at the graduate level, as well as the University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work, began his post-secondary studies in drama.

“I took an intro course in sociology and it completely changed how I thought about my place in the world. I had never heard of sociology before.”

He went on to complete undergraduate and master’s degrees – from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Victoria respectively – in sociology.

Walby says he is “shocked” to receive the awards.

“No one sets out to win an award with academic research,” he says. “It’s a recognition that academic work doesn’t happen all by itself (but) in a network of people (who) deserve as much credit as I do.”

Walby cannot say enough about the supportive Carleton community.

“Academics wouldn’t get much done without the time and effort the administrative staff put in to making the department function smoothly. It takes a team to make good things happen.”

Most of Walby’s research has been in policing and surveillance, but his dissertation focuses on the sociology of sexuality. “More and more, these two trajectories of my research are overlapping.”

While he came to Carleton specifically to work with criminology professor Aaron Doyle, who fuelled his interests in criminology theory, policing studies and the sociology of crime, Walby also credits professors Andrea Doucet, Alan Hunt and Nicolas Carrier for their inspiration.

Currently a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at the Centre of Criminology at the University of Toronto, and a teacher at Carleton’s Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Walby intends to eventually seek out an academic position at a Canadian university.

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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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