Alumni Success Story: Thomas Coldwell

June 19, 2017

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Alumni Success Story: Thomas Coldwell

Class of 2013
Bachelor of Arts Sociology (Honours)
Cross Cultural Certificate
Youth Leadership Certificate

What have you been up to since leaving Crandall?

After graduating from Crandall, I studied at University of Ottawa. In 2015, I graduated with my MA in Globalization and International Development with specialization in Feminist and Gender Studies. During this time, I briefly interned with Citizens for Public Justice, a faith-based public policy organization focused on Canada’s poverty, climate, and refugee policy. I also participated in Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), which was timely because my MA research focused on indigenous social movements in Mexico and their impact on the rights and lives of Indigenous women.

My wife, Jen, and I both live in Calgary, where I work full-time with Mennonite Central Committee Alberta as the Peace Program Coordinator. I coordinate service and learning opportunities for youth and young adults to learn about homelessness in Calgary, migration and refugees in Mexico and Central America, and peacebuilding with young people from Canada and across the globe.

How has Crandall prepared you for the future?

The education I received at Crandall University provided a solid foundation for graduate studies and my current employment. My sociology degree nurtured confidence in research methods, statistics, and social theory, which was very useful throughout my master’s degree. The academic writing instruction I received equipped me to write at the graduate level.

Courses like “Perspectives on Poverty”, “Population and World Hunger”, “Globalization and Current Social Issues” were very relevant for my graduate degree in international development. I entered my MA with a firm grasp of main concepts and issues, and I built on this knowledge at U of O.

Aside from academics, I learned the value of community while living on campus and building lasting friendships with both students and staff. (How I miss spontaneous games of Ultimate Frisbee on the field and evening worship band practices!) Achieving academically has little value unless the benefits of that education seep into the community, and Crandall’s emphasis on both of these strengthened my commitment to these values.

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