Introduction – William Handfield-Jones

Hello everyone,

My name is William Handfield-Jones, and I am a fifth year Public Affairs and Policy Management student.  I have specialized in international policy with a concentration in conflict as well as taking a history minor which is why I am currently enrolled in this class.  Most of my research throughout university has focused on International Humanitarian Law, the Canadian military and Canada’s role on the world stage.

My interest in these fields stem from my family’s history in the Canadian military.  Both my parents as well as two uncles and my grandfather all served, and this allowed me to live in Europe throughout my high school years as my father was posted in Belgium.  While there I was able to meet the offspring of military members from other NATO countries, who I am still friends with to this day.  Some of these friends are from Eastern and Central European countries, and their families’ experiences living in the USSR spurred my interest in European history and politics, especially when related to authoritarianism.  As many of these countries have mandatory military service, and due to my family history, I was inspired to join the Canadian military, and am currently in the process of enrolling as an infantry officer.

In my personal time, I enjoy spending time with my roommates whether it be watching tv, board games or anything else that helps pass the time in these weird days.  I have a number of friends who work in the Byward Market and am looking forward to paying them visits in the future once everything has opened up again.  I enjoy travelling a great deal, so hopefully once I am done Basic Training, I will posted somewhere abroad that I have yet to see.

I look forward to getting to know you all better.

Introduction – Étienne Plourde

Hi all!

My name is Étienne; and as my name suggests, I’m from the Quebec side of the river. I used to live in Montreal before moving here for my undergrad. Before that, though, I lived in the United States – I’m a dual citizen, which gives me something of a special interest in the whole ‘Trump/inauguration’ drama we’re covering this week.

I’ve also spent some time working on U.S. affairs with Global Affairs, but that’s more of a coincidence; I’m not planning to focus on American issues in studies or work. Instead, I’m doing my master’s in the EURUS program, where I’m studying Turkish settlers in Cyprus and what that means for Turkey’s relationship with the European Union. Turkey, in a sense, fits particularly well in this course, both undergoing something of a populist movement and being targeted by movements in Europe. I’ve spent some time in Turkey, and have some basics of the language, but improving that has been one of my COVID projects.

Otherwise, I’ve been trying to find good slow-cooker recipes; running an online board game club; co-opting a book club to finally get through all the books I’ve snagged at garage sales; and critiquing the 3D ‘open house’ tours on a real estate site (a bit odd-sounding, perhaps, but excellent fun with the right company; I’ve gotten creative to keep up with Ottawa folks since I’ve returned home).

My apologies for the delay – after a bit of a struggle, I thought I’d take the ‘wait for class’ option written in the initial post, but eventually figured it out.


Hello everyone, my name is Vincent Larocque and I am in my first year of the EURUS masters program. I did my undergrad in Political Science with a concentration in International relations at Carleton and I have allot research interests that go back and forth but I am very interested currently in security and defense issues pertaining to the EU and NATO and its relationship with Russia, and how they deal with the different situations that have risen out of conflicting interests. Specifically, I find the on going conflict in eastern Ukraine something that should be continued to watch closely.

I have lived in Ottawa all my life and have only had the opportunity to travel in southern Ontario, BC and the American east and southern coasts. I was hoping to get an opportunity to travel abroad to Europe but that’s not in the cards as of now but fingers crossed for the future! With all the extra time staying put at home during COVID, I have been trying to read more novels, draw, and made attempts to bake and cook more which I find relaxing.

I’m looking forward to gaining more insight in this class to the causes of the rise in authoritarian power and the movements that help them seeing as we can draw on comparisons to occurrences happening in todays political happenings.

Introduction: Alexandra H

Hello! My name is Alexandra and I am a second year masters student in EURUS, focusing on Russia and Eurasia. My academic research thus far has focused around postcolonial studies and the utilization of borders and language within the colonial process and their ongoing impacts/legacies. I now focus specific on post-Soviet states, but might shift my MRP to something completely different, i.e. a gender analysis of witchcraft in Russia vs. Western Europe.

I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, Nickle capital of Canada, and moved to Ottawa almost six years ago to being my undergrad at Carleton in political science. Prior to that I was living in Dublin for about 9 months after finishing a college diploma in business administration and before embarking on a university degree. Pop-culture, feminist, anti-racist, and queer studies are my passion outside of academia and I’ve recently found tiktok to be an interesting tool for engaging in political discourse. I also find the algorithm that curates our feeds to be fascinating. Bimbo tiktok has been a blessing and I would highly recommend.

I have a small 14 year old Chihuahua that I adopted roughly 4 years ago, she’s super sweet to me and questionably kind to everyone else depending on whether you have food. She has many clothes which should make an appearance this semester.


Hello All!

My name is Austin Pellizzer. I am a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in European and Russian Studies and minoring in Political Science. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a great interest in European history, politics, and current events. Being adopted from Russia and raised Italian, I have been exposed to facets of what it truly means to be European and share in the heritage and history of such a diverse and unique continent.

Two years ago, I had the privilege of being a student in Professor Evan’s class of 20th century German History. It is in this class that I acquired a true interest in the politics of “remembering” related to the Post-Cold War nations of the Eastern bloc. Specifically, East Germany. It is because of these very significant historical aspects I believe it is imperative to understand why and how the rise of populism is becoming so mainstream.

Lastly, on a more personal note, some of my hobbies and passions include travelling, photography (particularly aviation and landscapes), binge-watching horror movies (the classics are my favourite), and learning all there is about European history, American and Israeli politics, and getting sushi with friends.

My trip to Israel in December of 2017 was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

I am so excited to meet you all and to have lively and respectful discussions and debates.

Introduction: Gabe McReynolds

Hi everyone! My name is Gabe and I am in the last year of my B.A. program for history. I’ve been lucky to explore a variety of topics and ideas over the past few semesters at Carleton University!

I was born in Ottawa, but spent 13 years in Casablanca, Morocco before moving back to Canada in my last year of High School. This also allowed me to explore a lot of Southern Europe as we lived in relatively close proximity to it. Prior to attending Carleton, I had the opportunity to live overseas in Thailand where I was pursuing a professional Muay Thai fighting career, and later in Southern France and Corsica. Having lived overseas and had the chance to interact with people of all different walks of life sparked an interest in peoples’ cultures and histories. Currently, I am interested in International Security and Conflict and I believe this course will tie in nicely to that!

On a personal note, I am an avid sports fan both watching and participating. Prior to this pandemic I played a lot of hockey and soccer and am looking forward to getting back into this once this is all done with! In the meantime I am been enjoying spending time with my family and catching up on lots of reading.

I am looking forward to working with all of you and getting to know you all better over this term!


Written by Conrad Yiridoe

Hello everyone! This intro’s cutting it close but better late than never eh?…

My story is a little different (unique? unusual?) than everyone else’s. Neither of my previous degrees were focused chiefly in policy, geography or even history. My first degree is actually science based (Microbiology), while my second degree is in healthcare (Pharmacy).  At the moment, I am a first year M.A. student in the EURUS program. While I was studying during Pharmacy, I was fortunate to spend some time abroad, specifically in Madrid, Spain. Having kept an eye on the situation in the region of Catalonia (after their recent push for independence), I was further inspired to continue to follow up on European affairs after the trip (specifically with regards to policy and integration issues). Partnering this experience with my previous trip to western Europe a few years prior, where I was fortunate enough to visit among other places, the Palace of Versailles in France, the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands, and Checkpoint Charlie in Germany, my curiosity for European affairs has never been fully satisfied. As a result, given my passion for certain policy focused issues in Europe (from the Catalonia independence movement to Brexit), I felt as though this class would provide a fantastic opportunity to better solidify my understanding of the history in the continent in order to better understand the policy decisions and political stances of today.

In terms of hobbies, thanks to Covid-19 I have gone from venturing outside to experiment with photography on a weekly basis, to picking up yoga and meditation (very helpful after a long day at the pharmacy dealing with stressed out patients), to currently considering adopting a kitten after debating it for a couple years (my close friends have all strongly been pushing me to do so, so I guess we’ll see…).


Lucas Lang


My name is Lucas Lang. I was born and raised in Ottawa and have lived in the region my entire life. I have two brothers with myself being the middle one (not always an easy position). I enjoy reading, writing, art, a little too much of video games, and hanging out with my cat when I am not at work or stressing out on school assignments. In history, I am primarily interested in politics and military conflict, especially the second world war. I am, however, always interested in learning more about any topic which I am not familiar with and more about topics which I already know.

 I am on my fourth and final year of my History major with a minor in Archaeology and am looking forward to hopefully graduate this spring. My goal for after I graduate is to complete a course at Fleming College in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management in order to pursue a career in artifact conservation and restoration. Another aspiration I have for the future is to travel to Europe and visit as much as I can, especially the battlefields.

I look forward to this course and to hearing from others this semester. I want to wish everyone the best for their studies this semester and for their future careers.  

Introduction: Jackie Howell

Hi everyone! My name is Jackie (she/her), and I am in the second year of my MA program in International Affairs (NPSIA), concentrating in International Organizations and Global Policy. I’m also pursuing a Graduate Diploma in European Integration Studies. Before moving to Ottawa, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor in International Relations and Development, concentrating in Economics and French Studies. While my academic interests vary, I am mainly interested in environmental policy and European politics, focusing on far-right parties and movements.

My curiosity in European politics stems from my study-abroad course on the European Union during my undergrad. In May 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Belgium and visit various EU institutions, NATO, and NGOs. Learning the difference between the Council for Europe, European Council, and the Council of the EU sent my head for a spin, but I found the intricacies of the EU fascinating. A highlight of my experience was listening to the UK negotiators that worked on the Brexit deal discuss their frustrations with the UK and the EU.

I’m originally from Erieau, ON, which is a small town between Windsor and London. I am currently the only resident that will have pursued a Master of Arts, although Erieau only has ~400 residents. Since it’s a small town, news travels fast, and everyone knows everyone (think Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, and that’s pretty much Erieau). My backyard looks out over Lake Erie (facing Cleveland), so I often stargaze in the summer, but I also enjoy fishing and boating.

 Looking forward to the term with all of you, and from the words of The 100, “May we meet again.”

Seeing the pier in Erieau is the highlight of my run.

Introduction: Sydney Linholm

Hi everyone! My name is Sydney Linholm, and I am in my last semester of my BA in Political Science with a concentration in North American Politics. My main academic focus is on the function of parliament, specifically parliamentary and electoral reform, and I also have an interest in how political campaigns and political offices run as well as the representation of women, Indigenous people, and minorities within both chambers of parliament. I’ve done some preliminary research on these topics in my undergrad, but I plan to dive deeper into how parliamentary and electoral reforms could affect representation in parliament when doing my MA degree.

European history is more so a hobby interest of mine, as some of my family history is centred around the USSR and the Soviet occupation of Estonia. My grandmother was born in Estonia, however she had to escape to Sweden at the age of ten because of the Soviet occupation. My grandfather is also from Estonia, and his stepfather was the Minister of Industrial Trade from 1925-1926 and later served as a diplomat to Greece and Turkey–he was arrested by the NKVD in 1940 and ingested poison before being transported to Tallinn’s Patarei Prison (where he died the next day) in order to not be tortured into giving away information about the goverment. As a result of this (tumultuous) history that my family has, I’ve taken an interest in the history of the USSR and even traveled to Russia in 2018.

In my personal life, I like to spend time with my partner and my 5 roommates, who also happen to be my very good friends. I like to cook, and experiment with new recipes. I also enjoy watching shows like Jeopardy (RIP Alex Trebek) because I enjoy trivia, and Downton Abbey. I also enjoy going for hikes and walks around Ottawa, and I do yoga almost every day as a grounding technique. I am looking forward to this class, and to getting to know all of you!