Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Student Experiences: My Path to Graduate School

April 28, 2018
By: Andrew Coombs

Diversity that makes our Faculty an illuminating place to be

"We are drawn from around the world to Duncan MacArthur Hall"

I am constantly amazed by the multitude of paths that my fellow graduate students have taken to our program. We are drawn from around the world to Duncan MacArthur Hall, bringing with us a stunning array of experiences, skills, and knowledge. It is this diversity that makes our Faculty such an illuminating (and productive) place to be.

Prior to moving across the country to work with Dr. Chris DeLuca, I spent a little over 6 years studying pediatric blood cancers using a live animal model in the Berman Laboratory. It was fascinating work with quite the collection of unique individuals that certainly solidified my quantitative inclinations. During my time this time, I completed a B.Ed. from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) and got to know two important people.

Graduate Student Andrew Coombs with colleagues at Queen's University

Kingston Sign and Train

The influential people who brought me to Queen's

"interest in statistics + whole new world of educational research now open to me + Dr. DeLuca = time to rent a moving truck"

The first was Dr. Krista Ritchie, a professor that I had originally met while she was working as a consulting scientist at IWK Health Centre but got to know better as a professor at MSVU. In her class, I was introduced to educational psychology and the value that statistics could have beyond medical research. The second person was Dr. Christine Doe, also a professor at MSVU who had graduated from the Faculty of Education at Queen’s. She opened my eyes to educational research. This may seem like an odd thing to be blinded to but I was working in a hard science lab where there was no alternative to objective, triplicated, and blinded experiments. She then put me in touch with Dr. DeLuca… interest in statistics + whole new world of educational research now open to me + Dr. DeLuca = time to rent a moving truck.

If you want to learn more about the research I have been involved in while in the graduate program, find me in the grad lounge and I’ll be happy to chat. (On an unrelated note, I am in the midst of preparing a three-part apology to those who sit near me in the grad lounge for talking too much while they are trying to write). If that isn’t going to work for you, you can read about some of my research on my MEd thesis here and here, as well as listen to me here (under April 2017).

Our community, current and prospective graduate students, in particular, would benefit from learning the path you have taken to graduate school at Queen’s. Email Sara to share your student experience story.

Contact Andrew by email at andrew.coombs@queensu.ca or on Twitter at @ajcoombs13

PhD Student Andrew Coombs