ccording to statistics provided by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), approximately 184,800 master’s degrees and 26,700 doctoral degrees were awarded in Ontario from 2001 to 2013 — higher than any province in Canada.

Think of a graduating class, in that period, that exceeds the populations of city centres such as Burlington, Oakville, and Oshawa.

That’s a force of bright, knowledgeable, and passionate graduates with advanced research and professional degrees. Their investment in graduate education is resulting in meaningful career opportunities that offer a strong earning potential.

Kirby Calvert, Emelia Ayipio Asamoah, and Rebecca MacPherson, graduates from Brock University in St. Catharines, On., are part of the impressive pool of recent graduates.

Each possess various skills required in the current marketplace and are highly motivated to be innovative and creative in ways that will better communities across Canada and the world.

“The interdisciplinary nature of the SJES program, and the distinct backgrounds of the faculty, provided me with diverse perspectives on social justice issues such as gender inequality and imbalance international trade policies that are dear to my heart."

Kirby Calvert’s master’s degree in geography led him to Penn State to be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. More recently, he’s taken a position at University of Guelph.

“My time in graduate school was transformative. I was exposed to world class levels of thinking and research methodologies,” says Calvert. “I was mentored by a number of individuals, who helped me to envision a future within the academy as a professor, but also beyond the academy as a professional geographer.  I never felt like a number in my classes at Brock — I felt like a respected individual.”
Emelia Ayipio Asamoah, an international student from Ghana, completed a master’s degree in Social Justice and Equity Studies.

“The interdisciplinary nature of the SJES program, and the distinct backgrounds of the faculty, provided me with diverse perspectives on social justice issues such as gender inequality and imbalance international trade policies that are dear to my heart,” she says.

Asamoah has returned to northern Ghana and is working as the Country Director of Create Change Organization, a girls and women centred NGO where she oversees social programs in education, clean water projects, and school infrastructure.

Rebecca MacPherson is a bright and gifted young health sciences researcher. After completing her PhD degree, she went to the University of Guelph as a postdoctoral fellow, following a path that  she hopes will lead to a position as a university researcher and teacher. 

“During my PhD, through graduate courses and excellent mentorship I learned to design, plan, and complete my own research studies,” she says. “I learned several biochemical techniques at Brock that I continue to use today and teach students in my new lab at Guelph. I enjoy the university environment and the opportunity to continue to learn and research in my field of interest.”

With another group of graduate students about to complete advanced degrees this spring, there will be even more bright minds ready and willing to contribute to the economic, social, and cultural success of communities close to home and far away.