Hi everyone! My name is Mackenzie Claggett and I am OUSA’s Research Intern for the summer!
This past semester I completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Western University. During my time at Western, I was fortunate enough to work with PhD students and professors whose mentorship inspired me to pursue research and policy development as a career. Specific areas of study that I became particularly interested in included political theory, feminist research, and sexuality studies. Ultimately, I hope to put this background to good use as I pursue a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Toronto this fall!
Outside of academics I have always been passionate about accessibility and equity. A significant portion of my previous work experience and volunteer commitments involved working with children with disabilities. My first job was at a summer camp where I had the amazing opportunity to work with campers with different exceptionalities and teach them swimming! While in London, I continued to volunteer with the Learning Disabilities Association where I tutored children who showed me how critical support mechanisms and equity policies are in the creation of a fair education system.
These two backgrounds led me to really value the work that OUSA does in advocating for evidence-based solutions to the accessibility and affordability issues that post-secondary students currently face in Ontario. As a student at Western, I was able to see first-hand how student advocacy could bring about meaningful change to how the provincial government funds student financial assistance and on-campus mental health services. I am really looking forward to working with the Home Office at OUSA to improve my research and policy development skills, and in the process continue the important work of advocating for a more fair and equitable post-secondary education system in Ontario.
Working in the heart of Toronto is going to be a big change, but I know it’ll definitely contribute to my personal and professional growth. I’m excited to learn every step of the way!
Summer Research Intern