Julye-Anne McKenny is a student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in the Master of International Public Policy program. She recently graduated from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a minor in creative writing.
At TRU Julye-Anne was deeply involved on campus. She worked for four years as a Writing Centre tutor assisting other students with writing skills and development. As well, she was the co-chair of the nationally recognized Philosophy, History, and Political Science Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by TRU. Additionally, to have a direct role in the processes of the university’s administration, she was involved with the TRU Students Union (TRUSU) through the Student Caucus, through which she sat on the Space Management Committee and was later Co-Chair of the Senate Student Success Committee. In her role as co-chair, she pioneered the student co-chair project by creating a foundational handbook encouraging other academic committees to include student voices on their committees.
As a Co-op student, Julye-Anne coordinated with the Co-operative Education department to tie her studies into the professional world. She worked with the Ministry of Forests as a First Nations Relations liaison for the summers of 2021 and 2022. In this position she conducted consultation with Indigenous Nations to assess constitutional rights and the management of natural resources in the Cariboo District in British Columbia (BC), Canada.
This position inspired Julye-Anne’s undergraduate research project on the effectiveness of consultation between the provincial government and Indigenous groups as a reconciliation measure in BC. This research combined the story-telling elements of Indigenous research methodology and the Western academic emphasis on written language legitimacy. It was presented at both the Philosophy, History, and Political Science Undergraduate Research Conference at Thompson Rivers University and the Western Political Science Association’s 75th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. Following this experience, Julye-Anne acted as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador and co-developed a podcast about Undergraduate Research in Canada called the CURNcast. The podcast was funded by the Research department of TRU and seeks to support other students and faculty in promoting undergraduate research.
Her research and work with the provincial government inspired Julye-Anne’s interest in policy development. During her time at the Balsillie School, her focus will be on human security and international environmental policy. Julye-Anne has interest in topics such as humanitarian intervention, food security, and climate policy development in today’s changing world. Following her degree, she hopes to gain work experience in the federal government and ultimately pursue her PhD.