What Our Graduates Say


"I love my work and my international relations academic background and the MAIS program have helped me achieve success professionally. I would not be where I am today, both personally and professionally, without my positive MAIS experience. In fact, my fat thesis clinched me a nice government job not once, but three times! I worked for the PEI Government from May 2010 until June 2011 as an intern Policy Analyst/Researcher mainly with Municipal Affairs and Provincial Planning in Charlottetown. I won that internship via a job interview where I proudly slammed my big-boned thesis on the interview table and simply and rather boldly proclaimed: 'This is what I am capable of!' And that was honestly that. I won the position. I pulled the same 'slam down the thesis on the interview table card' at my job interview with the Government of Alberta. I beat out 195 other individuals to win my first permanent job at the age of 29. And, most importantly, I fulfilled a long-held dream of mine to move to Alberta and become an Albertan."

Jordan Walker
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) Government of Alberta
MAIS 2009

"I will always be grateful for the time I spent studying at UPEI in the Master of Arts Island Studies program. I continue to use the knowledge I have gained from my MA research in my daily work life. The MAIS program gave me the opportunity to learn more about how 'my island' works in the context of the global economy and in context of the history and experience of other islands around the world. The study of nissology (islandness) provided me with an awareness of how unique small islands are, the challenges that are faced on islands present a microcosm of life in small and rural communities around the world and has application in many fields of work and research."

Doug Deacon
Sustainable Economic Development Coordinator Town of Stratford, PEI
MAIS 2011

"The Island Studies program at UPEI allows researchers to undertake a broad socio-historical perspective that recognizes that islands are at the frontline of many of the main problems surrounding the environment and development. Indeed, the potential to understand societies, cultures and their relations with the natural environment within a complex structure such as globalisation, while accepting that we are seeking to do so because humanity has not only contributed to, but is likely solely responsible for its problems, is by far the most intriguing and promising aspect of nissology. More simply put, Island Studies is positioned to reveal that social and natural problems are interconnected, and an interdisciplinary approach rooted in a structural analysis, derived from the integration of human ecology and political economy, can explain the linkages in an undistorted way."

Faiz Ahmed
PhD Candidate, Political Science, York University
MAIS 2008

"The interdisciplinary nature of the MAIS program was what drew me to the program initially. I had been looking into graduate level education for some time but felt the majority of options available to me were more an extension of my undergraduate experience. As a mature student who was working full time, I was looking for a program that allowed me to draw upon twenty-five years of work experience while challenging me to look at issues from a fresh perspective. The MAIS program did not disappoint. The small seminar class size led by dedicated faculty passionate about the subject matter was what I had hoped a graduate level experience would be."

Patricia (Pat) MacAulay
Director, Center for Life-Long Learning, UPEI
MAIS 2011

The Master of Arts in Island Studies program at UPEI changed my life. It sparked my interest in scholarly pursuits, and has taken me to places – physically and psychically – I could never have imagined going before. Now, as a PhD student studying “Islandness, sense of place, and the importance of ‘story’ in the islands of Newfoundland and Tasmania,” I am trying to get at the heart of why people are so attracted and attached to their islands. I hope to show that island studies can make a difference as I explore what islands can teach us about resilience, and how island societies can live with particularity in a globalized world. The MAIS program at UPEI made that possible.

Laurie Brinklow
PhD Candidate, School of Geography and Environmental Studies,
University of Tasmania
MAIS 2007

"Registering for UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies program allowed me to pursue research in a topic important to me while at the same time obtaining a post-graduate degree. The tight-knit group of students and professors had one thing – “islandness” – in common plus many varied insights to share with each other as each student followed their own course of study. With small class sizes, plenty of time to discuss and a solid set of resources, the MAIS program is ideal for free-thinkers who want to investigate issues and ideas wrapped around the concept of islands. UPEI has a very credible background in this field and is an excellent setting for the MAIS program."

Carol Horne
Chief Marketing Officer, Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Owner, Wordscape Communications
MAIS 2007

"The MAIS program has positively impacted my life in countless ways. Not only was the program very important in jump-starting my career, but I have met many incredible people from all types of communities during my studies. I have formed a number of amazing relationships and have made life-long friends. There are endless opportunities available to MAIS students - I had the privilege: to represent UPEI as a MAIS student and travel internationally to share my work with Island Studies Scholars from around the world; to assist with a review in the Island Studies Journal; and to participate in various committees, such as the Institute of Island Studies Advisory Council. As a student in the program, you can enjoy, and truly be part of, an Island Studies family."

Erin Kielly
Policy Analyst, Government of Prince Edward Island
MAIS 2012

"Looking at issues from an international, and cross-disciplinary aspect is what initially drew me to the MAIS program. Positioned here at UPEI, with the historical work of the Institute of Island Studies, the program attracts international scholars who deliver courses, presentations, and are willing to mentor and supervise. Opportunities for international and experiential learning are plentiful with MAIS's global scholarly community. The small seminars and class sizes are conducive to excellent support from classmates and faculty, and we had a lot of fun!"

Laura Lee Howard
Sessional Lecturer, Researcher, Administrator
MAIS 2009

"The MAIS Program goes to the heart of my being — it has given me the legitimacy and confidence to speak as an islander, in any forum, and the tools to connect with like-minded islanders around the world..."

Kathy Stuart
Researcher and Writer
MAIS 2007

"Since I had a background in Island Studies through the Island Studies Minor Program at UPEI, the MAIS program has enabled me to further explore the study of islands from a multiplicity of perspectives. The MAIS program has provided me with an in-depth analysis of issues from differing disciplines rather than through a single bias. This has fostered my personal and academic growth."

Roger Baird
MAIS 2011