Inaugural convener of the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics named at Mount Allison

23 Jun 2021
New school supports growth in University’s PPE program with student scholarships, internships


Dr. David Thomas, Mount Allison Politics and International Relations professor, has been appointed as the first convener of the University’s Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).

“The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics academic program is a very challenging one but Mount Allison students have continuously risen to and exceeded my [and my colleagues'] expectations,” says Thomas. “The establishment of the McKenna School will help provide more opportunities to students through scholarships, internships, and other experiential learning options, both on campus and abroad. I am excited to be part of this growth in this new role.”

Working with colleagues from all three academic departments and across the University, the convener will oversee the direction and implementation of the McKenna School’s programming and wider initiatives. Thomas will serve as program advisor to all PPE students and also engage the campus and wider communities with a focused speaker series and other community outreach initiatives.

Teaching in Mount Allison’s Politics and International Relations (IR) Department since 2008, Thomas has published in leading academic journals and authored or co-edited two books in the past three years, Bombardier Abroad: Patterns of Dispossession (2018) and Capitalism and Dispossession: Corporate Canada at Home and Abroad (forthcoming). He holds degrees in Commerce and Political Science and collaborated with Mount Allison students as well as colleagues at the University of Ottawa and Ryerson University on research initiatives and publications. Thomas is the faculty supervisor for both the Model United Nations (MUN) and Atlantic International Studies Organization (ATLIS) student clubs, and also serves as the IR program advisor.

“The McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics gives students an exceptional academic experience, led by faculty members like Dr. Thomas,” says University Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Jeff Hennessy. “Dr. Thomas is highly-regarded for his engaged teaching, and students routinely seek out his courses. I am pleased to welcome him into this new role and look forward to seeing the initiatives from the students and faculty of the McKenna School of PPE.”

Announced in 2020, the Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics will greatly increase opportunities for students and enrich the undergraduate student experience through new scholarships, internship opportunities, international exchanges, and conferences. Mount Allison’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, established in 2013, is the only PPE program in Canada east of Ontario, and one of only three in the country. The program offers students the opportunity of a multidisciplinary immersion in these three academic areas, helping to prepare them for myriad of career paths. Courses in the PPE program are drawn from established courses in all three disciplines, with special topics courses offered in upper years.

The McKenna School of PPE will also welcome a post-doctoral fellow for this coming academic year.

The convener appointment is for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2021 and will rotate between faculty members from the three academic departments.

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