Studying Abroad During the COVID-19 Lockdown

When I left Canada to pursue a master’s degree in England, I expected my life to change. But I never expected this. As I write this, I am living in London, UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. My International Journalism program at City, University of London has moved entirely online; our university campus is closed. Students are leaving my residence in droves, moving back to their home countries for the foreseeable future.
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Published in The Globe and Mail (Opinion), March 14, 2020

Opinion: Reality TV offers escapism, but at what cost to contestants’ mental health?

Netflix has struck reality TV gold with its latest hit, Love is Blind. On this dating show that makes relationships on The Bachelor seem conventional, strangers have the option to get engaged, but must do so within just 10 days – sight unseen. After “dating” from adjacent pods, contestants finally see each other face to face once they have popped the question. Four weeks later, couples walk down the aisle. “I dos” – and in some cases, “I don’ts” – are exchanged. When the show began streaming o
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Opinion: We can offer shelter to Canadians with eating disorders from the pandemic’s perfect storm

A noxious diet culture has surged in recent months, from the influx of home workouts on social and mainstream media to constant jokes about gaining the “Quarantine 15." Being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t just a battle against boredom – it’s become downright dangerous for so many Canadians.
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CHARLESTON MAGAZINE

Bylines in Charleston magazine: March - June 2019

Champion on Ice | Charleston Magazine

Canada’s Shae-Lynn Bourne and partner Victor Kraatz in action during their routine at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City Shae-Lynn Bourne is constantly in motion. As one of figure skating’s most sought-after choreographers, she helps skaters tell stories through movement. During her 28-year career in figure skating, the Ontario, Canada, native won 10 national championships and the 2003 World Championships with her skating partner, Victor Kraatz. Today, Bourne crafts programs for the spo

Taste of The Tropics | Charleston Magazine

A selection of sipping rums at Cane Rhum Bar, including Black Tot (center)—a Caribbean blend and last consignment of Royal Navy Rum. Spirits devotees typically covet aged scotch or bourbon, while their tropical cousin, rum, is often associated with kitschy cocktails such as daiquiris, zombies, or mai tais. But some liquor connoisseurs believe aged rums—each bearing its own complex, intriguing flavor—merit greater praise. While American whiskey production is highly regulated, “rum is wide open,

Taking the Lead | Charleston Magazine

For those in creative fields, running a business requires a different scope of knowledge that is often left unexplained before entering the professional landscape. Women working in male-dominated industries, like the culinary world, are particularly disadvantaged. As of 2017, 79 percent of head chef positions nationwide were held by men—suggesting that female leadership in food and beverage roles remain an uphill battle. But Randi Weinstein, founder of the FAB (“Females And Business”) Workshop,

Charleston's tearoom tradition | Charleston Magazine

St. Philip’s Church (left), the oldest Anglican parish in the state, is open for tours during tearoom season. In a city bursting with stylish, trendy restaurants, Charleston’s church tearoom tradition is a welcome blast from the past. Each spring, places of worship across the Holy City transform into bustling cafés, churning out classic Southern staples. Local parishioners, all volunteers, cook and serve old-fashioned fare such as ham biscuits, okra soup, and chicken salad, as well as indulgent

Splendor in the Glass | Charleston Magazine

Txakolina—often shortened to txakoli (rhymes with broccoli)—is native to the uniquely independent Basque region in northern Spain. With vineyards overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, salt air wafts over the vines, adding a component of ocean spray to the wine’s bright, mineral-driven taste. Frequently found as a white (made from indigenous hondarrabi zuri grapes), txakolina’s characteristic slight effervescence makes for an ideal beverage to break out as temperatures rise. “Spritzy wines cleanse the

U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship Tees Off in Charleston | Charleston Magazine

The 74th U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship tees off on May 30 at the Country Club of Charleston, bringing world-class competitors and fans aplenty to the Lowcountry. For five days, 156 of the best golfers in the world will duke it out for the coveted title on James Island 1739 The year golf arrived in Charleston: local merchant William Wallace received a shipment of clubs from his Scotland-based brother. The U.S. Women’s Open is available to professional and amateur female golfers with a Han

How to Make Pickled Ramps | Charleston Magazine

Chef Kevin Johnson’s culinary curiosity first took hold during a vegetarian stint in his twenties. He learned cooking basics by reading books and soon discovered his interests extended beyond the home kitchen. The native Virginian worked in several local restaurants before pursuing a culinary arts degree at Johnson & Wales University, then located in Charleston. He continued to build his professional skills by studying with renowned chefs Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia and Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad. Johnson opened his restaurant, The Grocery, in December 2011, where he has since received multiple James Beard Award nominations (including 2019 Best Chef Southeast). He is known for championing seasonal ingredients, local purveyors, and farms. Preserving fresh produce—like the wild ramp—with his in-house canning program is a hallmark of the chef’s culinary style that also highlights housemade charcuterie, Lowcountry fish, and game.

Taking Aim | Charleston Magazine

Her head held high and bow drawn, Peg Drennan confidently demonstrates her archery skills during lessons in the gardens of the Joseph Manigault House. It was the early 1940s, and amidst World War II, The Charleston Museum had leased the 1803 structure to the United Service Organization (USO) for use as a Red Cross training facility and a “home away from home” for servicemen and -women. There, Drennan met her future husband, David Elder, a junior officer of the Army Air Corps. Drennan was both di

VERGE MAGAZINE

Articles produced as a featured blogger for Verge magazine, a travel with purpose magazine 

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My U.S. Internship

I have officially completed my internship in Charleston, South Carolina; my first-ever work abroad experience. While I am pleased I took a leap and found a job outside my home country, I certainly made plenty of mistakes and faced numerous surprises while obtaining my visa and moving down South. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. With that in mind, here are a few facts I wish I knew (or, at the very least, wish I had thought about more carefully), before I accepted my U.S. internship: 1. Find th

How to Make the Most of an Internship Abroad

While most internships come with defined start and end dates, temporary positions in one’s home country sometimes turn into full-time employment. Working abroad on a visa, however, means the start and end dates are much less flexible. Throughout my internship in the United States, I knew that no matter how much I loved my job, I would have to return to Canada when my visa expired. Here’s how I made the most of my final days in the U.S.A.: I enjoyed my internship in the United States immensely—

An Outsider's Perspective on U.S. Politics

When I decided to move to the U.S. for a few months, I got a few quizzical looks and raised eyebrows from fellow Canadians. With the current political climate in the U.S.—from the detentions at the border, to the battles over abortion and women’s rights to their own bodies, to the deeply flawed man and his tweets at the helm of it all—it seemed to be a strange time to enter the States. While there are lots of small differences I’ve noticed while living in the South, I don’t often feel like I’m

The Reality of Nine-to-Fiving Abroad

It’s important to remember that working abroad is just that—work. As I take stock of the almost two months I’ve lived in South Carolina, what stands out the most is not meeting new people or exploring the city—it’s how much time I’ve spent in my new office. Beginning any new job is stressful: Every workplace is a unique environment with its own quirks, and learning the ropes is always draining. Despite how excited I was to begin my internship, and how great the experience has turned out to be a

The “Right” Job: How to Trust your Gut and Escape the Ordinary

I heard a lot of jokes about “post-grad problems” before I finished my degree. I understood the age-old struggle of needing real world job experience before finding a job in one's field, which begs the question: How, pray tell, is one supposed to actually gain this experience? As I neared graduation this past spring, I braced myself for the hardship of finding meaningful work connected to my degree in English and journalism. After all, it’s not exactly the most clear-cut degree to transfer into

Preparing to Work Abroad in America? Pack Your Patience

Some adventures are best left unplanned: spontaneous, flexible and ready to begin at a moments’ notice. Working abroad in the United States is not one of those adventures. After months of planning, re-arranging and refreshing email chains, my internship in the US will start on January 14th, which is two weeks later than I intended. The various stages of obtaining a U.S. work visa are full of uncertainty—more than anything, it’s been an exercise in patience. Unlike other work visas for placemen

DAL NEWS

Bylines in Dal News, Dalhousie University's online news publication

Making Great Streets Together

Tamika Butler of the Los Angeles Neighbourhood Trust visited Halifax last week as one of the keynote speakers for the SHIFT: Streets conference organized by students in the Dalhousie School of Planning. Inclusive urban planning means creating cities that are safe, accessible and equitable — places that work for everyone. For this to happen, experts say we need to acknowledge those who have historically been left out of the conversation. “We have to acknowledge that people experien

Ensuring a Perfect Fit

Nova Scotia’s new Lieutenant Governor delivered his first Speech from the Throne last month to kick off the start of a new legislative session, all while wearing an extremely heavy coat. Like many of his predecessors, the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc — installed as the province's 33rd Lieutenant Governor in late June — gave the speech clothed in the high-collared tailcoat that’s part of an official civil uniform. “It’s a shockingly heavy piece of clothing,” says Dalhousie Costume Studies profe

From genetic codes to postal codes

The connections between race, place and the environment have been long overlooked, but a two-day symposium held last week in Halifax highlighted some of the many reasons it’s time to have the conversation. Over the Line brought experts from across Canada and the United States, as well as the local community, together on Thursday and Friday to discuss place-based inequalities and how they prevent marginalized populations from meeting their needs. For Black studies professor George Lipsitz, who

Countering hate in the digital age

In the digital age, hate is easier to find than ever, worming its way into every corner of our lives through laptops, smartphones, and other technologies. Social media presents a new challenge, but hatred itself is hardly new. In his talk “Countering Hate in the Digital Age,” as part of the annual Shaar Shalom Lecture, Stephen D. Smith discussed the way the power of human testimonies can combat hate in the global community. “Hate is not a digital problem,” said Dr. Smith at the event h

Architecture students prep colourful, sustainable contribution to Halifax’s Parade of Lights

With Halifax’s annual Holiday Parade of Lights coming up this Saturday, Dal Architecture students are hard at work in the final stage of assembling their float. Well, not exactly a float in the traditional sense: the students are building a fleet of bikes with colourful, geometric butterfly wings that will “fly” through the streets using kinetic energy. The team, which has been working on its contribution to the parade since mid-October, has created its own assembly line process to com

Marking the 70th anniversary of Dalhousie football

Dalhousie Tigers fans decked out in black and gold at the Dal Tigers Football Club’s home opener on September 24 had a lot to celebrate — including the 70th anniversary of the team's founding. But the anniversary was certainly sweetened with a 39-0 victory over UNB Fredericton — the same score by which the team had defeated UNB Saint John the week before. “We have never defeated a team 39-0, let alone two weeks in a row,” says Rick Rivers, the team’s general manager since 2010 and a fo

Showcasing Dal's Diverse Artistic Talents

Beyond the labs, classrooms and research, across many programs and majors, there is great artistic talent within the Dalhousie community. A reception held last Thursday brought together art appreciators of all kinds to celebrate these artists and mark the opening of the 63rd annual Dalhousie University and University of King’s College Student, Staff, Faculty, and Alumni Exhibition.   The talent is diverse and the standard for art is high in the Dalhousie Art Gallery for the show, which

Supporting wounded soldiers through sport

This story was orginally published by Dal News on March 13, 2017 Retired soldier Luc Martin, centre, speaks during a panel discussion on the Invictus Games and adaptive sport in the Rebecca Cohn. (Daniel Abriel photos) “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquered” and a fitting word to describe the wounded soldiers competing in the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto this September. A panel hosted by Dalhousie's Faculty of Health Professions last Tuesday explored the unique opportunity the Games p

Discussing Black Lives Matter and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Black Lives Matter movement began long before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, but a big turnout for a panel held earlier this week at Dal indicates many see the organization's work as more essential now than ever. Attendance at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) panel in the Student Union Building last Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was so strong, in fact, that attendees spilled out into the halls and more than 40 people had to listen in from a neighbouring room. “The atte

Fulbright Scholarship takes Dal graduate student to California

Dalhousie graduate student John Mitton has gone from the east coast lifestyle to the golden coast to study at the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. Mitton set up shop at the Los Angeles-based university in August as part of a fully funded nine-month research term he was awarded by receiving a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. It’s another mark of distinction on Mitton’s already stellar resume. In 2015, he was also awarded the Bernard Brodie Pr

Accelerating entrepreneurship — one weekend at a time

A lot can happen in 54 hours. Just ask the members of Prudens, one of the 11 teams that emerged out of a Startup Weekend event held at Dal last Friday through Sunday. “We’ve come really far over the weekend,” says Jay Harris of the Prudens team, which came up with an idea for a startup focused on smart jewelry that would notify emergency contacts when the wearer is in trouble. Harris, an Electronic Commerce master's student at Dal, and his partners — who came from Dal, Saint Mary’

Students explore summer job options

In February, summer can seem like a distant light at the end of the tunnel of midterms, essays and, eventually, exams. But the winter semester often passes faster than expected, and last this month’s Summer Job and Career Fair brought students the chance to connect with employers for upcoming job opportunities. Hosted by Dalhousie’s Career and Leadership Development Centre (CLDC), the fair on Thursday, February 2 featured more than 50 booths of potential employers from across Canada se

An ocean of possibilities

Marine vehicles, underwater image mapping and ocean education were just a few of the areas explored last weekend as part of Launch Oceans, a Dal-led startup event that saw students, scientists and community members come together to develop new approaches to problems in the ocean sector. Participants pitched ideas and coalesced around different projects during a panel discussion Friday night and by Sunday afternoon five teams were presenting their fresh business ideas to a team of judges, wh

Published Work


Opinion: Reality TV offers escapism, but at what cost to contestants’ mental health?

Netflix has struck reality TV gold with its latest hit, Love is Blind. On this dating show that makes relationships on The Bachelor seem conventional, strangers have the option to get engaged, but must do so within just 10 days – sight unseen. After “dating” from adjacent pods, contestants finally see each other face to face once they have popped the question. Four weeks later, couples walk down the aisle. “I dos” – and in some cases, “I don’ts” – are exchanged. When the show began streaming o

An Outsider's Perspective on U.S. Politics

When I decided to move to the U.S. for a few months, I got a few quizzical looks and raised eyebrows from fellow Canadians. With the current political climate in the U.S.—from the detentions at the border, to the battles over abortion and women’s rights to their own bodies, to the deeply flawed man and his tweets at the helm of it all—it seemed to be a strange time to enter the States. While there are lots of small differences I’ve noticed while living in the South, I don’t often feel like I’m

Splendor in the Glass | Charleston Magazine

Txakolina—often shortened to txakoli (rhymes with broccoli)—is native to the uniquely independent Basque region in northern Spain. With vineyards overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, salt air wafts over the vines, adding a component of ocean spray to the wine’s bright, mineral-driven taste. Frequently found as a white (made from indigenous hondarrabi zuri grapes), txakolina’s characteristic slight effervescence makes for an ideal beverage to break out as temperatures rise. “Spritzy wines cleanse the

Charleston's tearoom tradition | Charleston Magazine

St. Philip’s Church (left), the oldest Anglican parish in the state, is open for tours during tearoom season. In a city bursting with stylish, trendy restaurants, Charleston’s church tearoom tradition is a welcome blast from the past. Each spring, places of worship across the Holy City transform into bustling cafés, churning out classic Southern staples. Local parishioners, all volunteers, cook and serve old-fashioned fare such as ham biscuits, okra soup, and chicken salad, as well as indulgent

U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship Tees Off in Charleston | Charleston Magazine

The 74th U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship tees off on May 30 at the Country Club of Charleston, bringing world-class competitors and fans aplenty to the Lowcountry. For five days, 156 of the best golfers in the world will duke it out for the coveted title on James Island 1739 The year golf arrived in Charleston: local merchant William Wallace received a shipment of clubs from his Scotland-based brother. The U.S. Women’s Open is available to professional and amateur female golfers with a Han

Taking Aim | Charleston Magazine

Her head held high and bow drawn, Peg Drennan confidently demonstrates her archery skills during lessons in the gardens of the Joseph Manigault House. It was the early 1940s, and amidst World War II, The Charleston Museum had leased the 1803 structure to the United Service Organization (USO) for use as a Red Cross training facility and a “home away from home” for servicemen and -women. There, Drennan met her future husband, David Elder, a junior officer of the Army Air Corps. Drennan was both di

Making Great Streets Together

Tamika Butler of the Los Angeles Neighbourhood Trust visited Halifax last week as one of the keynote speakers for the SHIFT: Streets conference organized by students in the Dalhousie School of Planning. Inclusive urban planning means creating cities that are safe, accessible and equitable — places that work for everyone. For this to happen, experts say we need to acknowledge those who have historically been left out of the conversation. “We have to acknowledge that people experien

Ensuring a Perfect Fit

Nova Scotia’s new Lieutenant Governor delivered his first Speech from the Throne last month to kick off the start of a new legislative session, all while wearing an extremely heavy coat. Like many of his predecessors, the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc — installed as the province's 33rd Lieutenant Governor in late June — gave the speech clothed in the high-collared tailcoat that’s part of an official civil uniform. “It’s a shockingly heavy piece of clothing,” says Dalhousie Costume Studies profe

From genetic codes to postal codes

The connections between race, place and the environment have been long overlooked, but a two-day symposium held last week in Halifax highlighted some of the many reasons it’s time to have the conversation. Over the Line brought experts from across Canada and the United States, as well as the local community, together on Thursday and Friday to discuss place-based inequalities and how they prevent marginalized populations from meeting their needs. For Black studies professor George Lipsitz, who

Countering hate in the digital age

In the digital age, hate is easier to find than ever, worming its way into every corner of our lives through laptops, smartphones, and other technologies. Social media presents a new challenge, but hatred itself is hardly new. In his talk “Countering Hate in the Digital Age,” as part of the annual Shaar Shalom Lecture, Stephen D. Smith discussed the way the power of human testimonies can combat hate in the global community. “Hate is not a digital problem,” said Dr. Smith at the event h

Architecture students prep colourful, sustainable contribution to Halifax’s Parade of Lights

With Halifax’s annual Holiday Parade of Lights coming up this Saturday, Dal Architecture students are hard at work in the final stage of assembling their float. Well, not exactly a float in the traditional sense: the students are building a fleet of bikes with colourful, geometric butterfly wings that will “fly” through the streets using kinetic energy. The team, which has been working on its contribution to the parade since mid-October, has created its own assembly line process to com

Showcasing Dal's Diverse Artistic Talents

Beyond the labs, classrooms and research, across many programs and majors, there is great artistic talent within the Dalhousie community. A reception held last Thursday brought together art appreciators of all kinds to celebrate these artists and mark the opening of the 63rd annual Dalhousie University and University of King’s College Student, Staff, Faculty, and Alumni Exhibition.   The talent is diverse and the standard for art is high in the Dalhousie Art Gallery for the show, which

Discussing Black Lives Matter and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Black Lives Matter movement began long before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, but a big turnout for a panel held earlier this week at Dal indicates many see the organization's work as more essential now than ever. Attendance at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) panel in the Student Union Building last Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was so strong, in fact, that attendees spilled out into the halls and more than 40 people had to listen in from a neighbouring room. “The atte

Marking the 70th anniversary of Dalhousie football

Dalhousie Tigers fans decked out in black and gold at the Dal Tigers Football Club’s home opener on September 24 had a lot to celebrate — including the 70th anniversary of the team's founding. But the anniversary was certainly sweetened with a 39-0 victory over UNB Fredericton — the same score by which the team had defeated UNB Saint John the week before. “We have never defeated a team 39-0, let alone two weeks in a row,” says Rick Rivers, the team’s general manager since 2010 and a fo

Supporting wounded soldiers through sport

This story was orginally published by Dal News on March 13, 2017 Retired soldier Luc Martin, centre, speaks during a panel discussion on the Invictus Games and adaptive sport in the Rebecca Cohn. (Daniel Abriel photos) “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquered” and a fitting word to describe the wounded soldiers competing in the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto this September. A panel hosted by Dalhousie's Faculty of Health Professions last Tuesday explored the unique opportunity the Games p

Fulbright Scholarship takes Dal graduate student to California

Dalhousie graduate student John Mitton has gone from the east coast lifestyle to the golden coast to study at the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. Mitton set up shop at the Los Angeles-based university in August as part of a fully funded nine-month research term he was awarded by receiving a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. It’s another mark of distinction on Mitton’s already stellar resume. In 2015, he was also awarded the Bernard Brodie Pr

Accelerating entrepreneurship — one weekend at a time

A lot can happen in 54 hours. Just ask the members of Prudens, one of the 11 teams that emerged out of a Startup Weekend event held at Dal last Friday through Sunday. “We’ve come really far over the weekend,” says Jay Harris of the Prudens team, which came up with an idea for a startup focused on smart jewelry that would notify emergency contacts when the wearer is in trouble. Harris, an Electronic Commerce master's student at Dal, and his partners — who came from Dal, Saint Mary’

Students explore summer job options

In February, summer can seem like a distant light at the end of the tunnel of midterms, essays and, eventually, exams. But the winter semester often passes faster than expected, and last this month’s Summer Job and Career Fair brought students the chance to connect with employers for upcoming job opportunities. Hosted by Dalhousie’s Career and Leadership Development Centre (CLDC), the fair on Thursday, February 2 featured more than 50 booths of potential employers from across Canada se

An ocean of possibilities

Marine vehicles, underwater image mapping and ocean education were just a few of the areas explored last weekend as part of Launch Oceans, a Dal-led startup event that saw students, scientists and community members come together to develop new approaches to problems in the ocean sector. Participants pitched ideas and coalesced around different projects during a panel discussion Friday night and by Sunday afternoon five teams were presenting their fresh business ideas to a team of judges, wh
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