By Jensen, Randy on July 4, 2020.
Aimee Benoit has graduated from the University of Lethbridge with three degrees and two distinguished awards.
The Catholic Central High School grad leaves the U of L having completed her BA ’98, MSc ’16, PhD ’20.
That has earned Benoit the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit and the Governor General’s Gold Medal (Graduate Studies).
She is one of four southern Alberta high school graduates to receive prestigious medals during the recent U of L online Spring 2020 Convocation.
Through a social justice lens, Benoit has developed a novel theoretical approach to the study of the lived and experiential dimensions of Divided Cities, the ways in which individuals navigate social difference and inequality and the ways in which inequalities unfold in everyday lives and routine neighbourhood spaces.
Benoit’s theory of belonging as practice will set a new reference marker in many urban studies disciplines, making her the recipient of the School of Graduate Studies Silver Medal of Merit for Doctor of Philosophy and the Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded to the student who graduates with the highest standing in their institution.
“After completing three degrees at the University of Lethbridge I’ve learned just how much I have yet to learn,” said Benoit. “I’m continually amazed by the work being done by members of the University of Lethbridge community.”
Benoit credited her undergrad mentors, Malcom Greenshields and Bill Baker, for inspiring her to pursue a career in history.
“In recent years I’ve been warmly welcomed into the human geography department and I especially appreciate the guidance and encouragement of my graduate supervisors Dr. Tom Johnston and Dr. Ivan Townshend.”
Benoit said everyone’s path is unique, but stressed staying connected to the people and activities one cares about to students starting their post-secondary education.
“Just to maintain some balance,” she said. “I also think it’s important to stay open to a range of perspectives and approaches to your research topic.”
With the completion of her graduate studies, Benoit feels it’s important to now pay it forward.
“My PhD focused on the concept of belonging and I hope to bring that more fully into my professional work, to create more space for voices that need to be heard.”