"I am deeply appreciative of the depth of expertise in SFU's political science department, especially in my own specialties of democratic theory and Canadian government. This means that I am encouraged to pursue my own research path while being exposed to different perspectives that help broaden my own."

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Student Profile: Caroline Elliott

September 15, 2021
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Political Science doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I'm a PhD student in Political Science at Simon Fraser University, studying democratic theory and Canadian government. I'm also a mum of two young kids, a political commentator, and run my own business offering strategic communications and policy advice to clients.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I entered SFU's doctoral program because of the excellent supervision I received during my MA (which I also did at SFU). I've been fortunate to work with incredible experts in their field who have allowed me to develop my ideas and further my perspective in so many ways.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research looks at the intersection of liberal democracy and cultural autonomy in the Canadian context. I believe my area of interest is of increasing importance as Canada grapples with how we accommodate cultural minorities and Indigenous self-governance in ways that are (or are not) consistent with liberal democratic values. Understanding where and when cultural freedom and those principles conflict, and which ought to take priority in those cases, is an issue that demands attention in a thoughtful way that takes into account the many sensitivities at play.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I am deeply appreciative of the depth of expertise in SFU's political science department, especially in my own specialties of democratic theory and Canadian government. This means that I am encouraged to pursue my own research path while being exposed to different perspectives that help broaden my own.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I was fortunate to receive the Dave and Ann Trick Foundation Graduate Award in Political Science, among others that I have received during my time at SFU. These awards have allowed me to apply the insights I have gained from my PhD readings and research to national commentary. I am a contributor to The Hub, a new media platform that aims to get our country back to thinking about the ‘big’ questions facing Canada. I also have contributed to the Vancouver Sun and The Province, BC’s most read newspapers. In addition, I'm a political panelist on Global TV and have regularly appeared on CBC Radio to discuss issues and events. All of this is because generous donors allow students like me to spend more time developing our research and ideas, and it is very much appreciated.