MAIS – January 2017 to summer 2019

Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University allowed me to focus on subjects that were pertinent to my interests and my goals. Descriptions of courses are from the Royal Roads website except for the Directed Study and the Major Project.

Introduction to Academic Integrity

The Introduction to Academic Integrity course illustrates academic integrity and plagiarism in real-life scenarios. A clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, and the integrity of university academic work and the degrees conferred by the university is dependent upon the honesty and soundness of the teacher-student learning relationship and of the evaluation process. Therefore, all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism, and other academic offences. The Introduction to Academic Integrity course serves as a helpful, interactive companion to the academic integrity policy and procedures outlined in the Student Policies & Procedures, which contains the policies and procedures that guide academic life at Royal Roads and support our mission as a university.

Theory in Interdisciplinary Studies – Dr Deborah Hanan

Guides students in exploration of dominant theoretical paradigms currently used in applied social science studies. Draws from theories used in anthropology, communication studies, education, environmental studies, gender studies, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. Places special emphasis on interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary theoretical frameworks and on theories guiding applied research.

Social Science Research Methods – Dr Jaigris Hodson, Holly Baines

Introduces students to qualitative and quantitative research methods commonly used in the social sciences. Emphasizes applied research projects designed from interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary or transdisciplinary perspectives. Covers basic research process, research topics and questions, research design, accessing and evaluating research, common methodologies, data collection, ethics, and analysis interpretation and communication of research results.

Global Perspectives on Indigenous Ways of Knowing – Dr Cliff Atleo

This course will introduce you to Indigenous ways of knowing in a global context. In the Canadian context, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommends increased awareness of Indigenous peoples and perspectives in K-12 and post-secondary institutions. Leaders and scholars have long advocated for greater awareness and cross-cultural education to facilitate the establishment of new relationships based upon recognition and respect. In this course we will explore Indigenous ways of knowing through an understanding of Indigenous worldviews, identities, places and experiences, including colonialism and contemporary challenges. Importantly, we will also outline some key limitations to understanding Indigenous epistemologies in the context of a university course. Additionally, we will privilege a decolonial approach that actively seeks to improve respectful relations with Indigenous peoples.

Communication, Culture, and Media – Dr Deborah Hanan

Communication, Culture, and Media presents an overview of the historical development of theories and approaches to cultural studies, especially as they interconnect with communication studies. Considers the meaning and production of culture, the culture industry, various interpretive practices and how mass distributed media has influenced and been influenced by social, political, economic, and technological conditions.

Strategic Communications – Raaj Chandran

Explores effective management of external communication programs in a business context. Reference is made to the linkages between all major communication efforts, including marketing and advertising; however the emphasis of the course is on public relations, stakeholder relations, and corporate communication. The course focuses on the requisite skill set of corporate communication managers, including reputation management, crisis management and strategic communication planning. Current trends, such as the use of social media, are highlighted. The course is delivered through a combination of case studies, in-class exercises and lectures designed to provide an opportunity for applying learnings through realistic scenarios and role playing.

Media Production – Dwayne Beaver

Introduces the principles, styles, and strategies that characterize the creation and distribution of research-based media into the public sphere. Students practice the mechanics of combining digital photography, video, sound and text into sequentially based options using various styles and channels. Involves working peer-to-peer and with the instructor to analyze, foster and cultivate audiovisual grammars through creative processes.

Intercultural Competence – Amy Christofferson

Examines core concepts and theories on culture and cultural competence. Engages students in application of theoretical frameworks in professional and personal settings. Provides students with an opportunity to critically examine their own socio-cultural locations to raise intercultural awareness, assist in intercultural mindset development, and facilitate intercultural competence development. Enables students to apply an intercultural analysis to complex situations involving stakeholders of different cultural backgrounds.

Directed Study: Cultural Appropriation: Dr Deborah Hanan

This directed study will examine and review influential literature regarding Indigenous populations and cultural appropriation. This dynamic will be examined through the lenses of ethics, identity, and law as well as various methodologies that have been used to approach this issue. In addition, student will be able to identify complexities surrounding cultural appropriation and the arts.

Major Project: Exhibition, Thesis, Catalog & Documentary: Bridging Cultures: Dwayne Beaver

From the beginning of this Master’s degree in discussions with Dr. Hobson, it was always the intention that this interdisciplinary project would be fine art based with qualitative emphasis of voice, and the presentation of the project through public exhibition. There are three parts to this project. The first part involves the creation of artwork, drawings, paintings, sculpture, installations, inspired and provoked by the research question. The second part is the formal paper discussing relevant academic and professional literature provoked by the research question as required by Royal Roads Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies. The directed study conducted with Dr. Deborah Hanan provided the opportunity to determine the appropriate research method that would guide this project. Additional layers of scholarship through dissemination of the project will be a catalog and a video production of the process and experiences and potentially reactions at/to the exhibition. The project title is “Bridging Cultures” and was presented at Penticton Art Gallery May 17 to June 16.