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Student Successes


Tyson Cameron Priebe

Tyson Priebe

I started attending the Urban and Inner-City Studies program at the University of Winnipeg after several years of academic soul-searching. At this point, my only intent was to attend law school, and I just needed an undergraduate program to get me there. Choosing the UIC program was the best possible decision that I could have made! Not only did it frame my understanding of the functions of law and policy, but it grounded my education through experiential and practical training in a unique way. My undergraduate experience went from an academic stepping-stone to one of the most formative and impactful experiences of my life, and I couldn’t be more happy with the education that I received from this program!
For me, the UIC department represents a body of learning that relates to positively changing the world. Every bit of my experience at Merchants Corner taught me to understand the systems that influence life in an urban setting, to advocate for positive changes to these systems, and to keep an optimistic outlook amidst a barrage of critical theory. Through the courses and extracurricular activities that UIC involved me in, every bit of this theory was effectively tied to practical participation, and the experiences of real people.
After three years of education through UIC, I will realize my goal of attending law school, albeit with a much different outlook than the one that my University of Winnipeg experience started with. While I am excited to start this next academic chapter of my life, I will miss the teaching, environment, and community of the Selkirk campus that houses the UIC program. I will remain forever grateful to the faculty and students who made me feel welcomed and valued, and who continually gave me unique opportunities that I would not have experienced otherwise!



Denise MacDonald

Denise MacDonald

After a decade working in the field of Communications in Ottawa, I moved to Winnipeg to follow my passion for community development by obtaining an Honours degree in Urban and Inner City Studies. It was just the change I needed and a fantastic experience! I learned a great deal about everything from poverty to Indigenous history and culture to local politics and economics. The small classrooms, mentorship from professors, and philosophy of giving back to the community really sets UIC apart.

While in the UIC program, I worked as a tutor for the Beginning University Successfully (BUS) Program, an innovative initiative which aims to make university education more accessible to those typically excluded from academia. My practicum opened my eyes to the ways panhandling is policed and I got the opportunity to conduct my own qualitative research study, which ended up getting published! These opportunities gave me hands-on experience in the field, which opened so many doors to me.

After I graduated, I obtained a great community-based job right away at Daniel McIntyre / St Matthews Community Association. It was satisfying to apply the knowledge I received from UIC on the ground. I then landed a dream job with the Manitoba NDP Government, working as a Minister’s Assistant and Issue Manager. Here, I was able to apply the skills UIC taught me in policy, community inclusion, and compassionate governance. When the NDP lost government, I was immediately hired for another dream job: I am the Director of Communications and Fundraising at West Central Women’s Resource Centre. Here, I can combine the best parts of my careers in communications and community development. I continue to learn every day, and am grateful to UIC for the solid foundation it provided me. I am also grateful to UIC for inspiring me to be a kinder, more compassionate person who is committed to treading on this land in a good way.



Binesi Boulanger

I went into university directly after high school with no plans to finish a degree. I had never liked school, even going as far as to leave high school after grade 11 and finishing via distance. My original plan was to get my 30 credit hours and apply to law school, but that quickly changed in my second year when I began taking classes at UIC. While I majored in Indigenous Studies and History, numerous classes I had were cross listed with Urban and Inner City Studies. I began to really enjoy school and my classes as time went on and am happy to say I finished a 3 year BA in Indigenous Studies and History with a minor in Urban and Inner City Studies instead of jumping directly into law school. The environment at UIC was so welcoming and inclusive that I felt at ease and comfortable in expressing myself and my views in class. I am not a talkative person, but the people and the professors at UIC helped to bring me out of my shell.

With the help of Shauna Mackinnon (thank you again for writing one of my recommendation letters) I applied and was accepted into law school in 2018. While I am grateful to be attending law school, I miss the environment of U of Ws Selkirk campus. The opportunities I was given through UIC had a huge impact on my worldview and career path, inspiring me to take courses for my BSW concurrently with my law degree. I would like to thank the instructors, staff and students who encouraged me and made me feel heard. 



Stefan Hodges Grad Fall 2017 - 4-Year BA

Stefan Hodges

I graduated from the Urban and Inner City Studies 4-year B.A. program in Fall 2017, but it took me almost seven years to finish the degree! In my first few years of university, I took courses at the University of Manitoba in departments of History, English, Environmental Design, and Philosophy, but it was difficult to focus on a particular subject or really find my place in a program. I must have dropped half of my classes before the VW dates, and worked at restaurants to pay them off. Around my third year, a friend suggested Urban and Inner-City Studies at University of Winnipeg, and I transferred the following year. I instantly felt engaged in the smaller class sizes, which permitted space for some really challenging and compassionate discussion. After having taken classes in a dozen departments, I can say that the UIC cohort is the most well-rounded, collaborative, and welcoming group of students I have studied with. They bring so much to that environment.

Over the next three years of my degree, I was able to choose from classes that pulled me deeper into the subjects where I uncovered my interests, and was given several opportunities to apply my academic interests into practicum experiences in amazing placements. Planning has never come naturally to me, but the faculty and staff guided me into research and practical experience that allowed me to chart a clear path and transition smoothly from the program into professional work.

Since graduating, I have worked for a few research contracts, and have held a position providing front-line support and systems-level organizing around housing issues in the West Broadway neighbourhood. In my day-to-day, I wear many hats and am able to engage with stakeholders across disparate class lines. I truly have UIC, and the UIC cohort to thank for teaching how intersectionality plays into urban governance and community building. Next year, I look forward to carrying the lessons learned from UIC into my graduate studies as I pursue a MSc in Concordia’s department of Geography. 


May Henderson

May Henderson 

I am a single mother of 2 sons and 2 daughters and grandmother of 8 granddaughters.  My family originally comes from the Sagkeeng First Nation.  After many years of working in the administrative field, I felt a career change was in order, this is when I decided to return to school. My university education did not start in the usual way.  My first semester I enrolled intro 2 entry level courses and then in my second semester I enrolled in the Beginning University Sucessfully (BUS) program.  During that first semester, I struggled with my tests and assignments, which lead me to debate whether or not to continue on with my education.  Being a student was hard enough, but being a mature student in your fifties was even harder.  I found that I had to study more than the average student just to retain everything I learned.

But there was a success story.  I received my first  'A'.  WOW!  What an accomplishment that was for me and it made all the struggles worthwhile.  Fast forward and four years later I am a University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Urban & Inner City Studies (UIC).  Although I never received another 'A', it was that one 'A' that gave me the incentive and determination that I needed.  I will be forever grateful to this professor who gave me an ‘A’ because it cemented my decision to stay in school.  Being a student of UIC was an awesome experience, I met some great people and made new friends.  The UIC faculty and staff are understanding and they make themselves available to students, providing guidance and support.  Their support contributed to my educational experience. 

I hope that I am a role model for my grandchildren, Seeing their grandma return to school and earn a degree, will hopefully encourage them to stay in school.  I encourage any person who is considering returning to school to go for it.  If I can return to school at my age and graduate, then so can you. 

The Department of Urban and Inner City Studies would like to congratulate Chantal Quill and Nicole Lamy on their acceptance into the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Program at the Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 

This award winning program is an excellent opportunity where the participants will have strong mentorship support in empowering them to further develop their leadership capacities and an opportunity to develop a network of Indigenous women from across Canada working in various sectors in their communities.  Being selected to participate in this program is a great accomplishment as only 25 applicants from across Canada are accepted into the program every year, each receiving a full scholarship. http://coady.stfx.ca/themes/women/IWCL/

Chantal Quill is in her final year completing a double major in Business Administration and Urban and Inner City Studies and will graduate this spring 2016.  Nicole Lamy graduated in 2014 from the University of Winnipeg majoring in Urban and Inner City Studies.  Nicole is currently the northern coordinator for Food Matters Manitoba working on food security issues in the north. 

We look forward to seeing these two extraordinary women contribute further to strengthening and building our communities and growing into their leadership roles!  A big heartfelt congrats again to Chantel and Nicole!!


After graduating from UIC Chantel Henderson (right) was accepted into the Concordia University Community Economic Development graduate diploma program in the School of Community and Public Affairs. Chantel has graduated from that program and is now working with the First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec. 

Chantel has this to say about her experience at UIC: “I learned a lot form the UIC program at the U of W.  I first learned about community organizing, urban planning and the implications of poverty within an urban environment.  I had amazing, understanding, compassionate teachers and professors.  This program gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams of a higher education.”  To hear an interview with Chantal about her work in Montreal and with the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls click here soundcloud.


Evelyn Crate completed a Certificate in Urban and Inner City Studies in 2015 after which she started working as a Family Support worker with Island Lakes CFS. She recently held a position as a sponsored Executive with the United Way.

Evelyn has this to say about her experience at UIC: "My experience was awesome. I learned about myself and my culture. I met wonderful people including students, instructors, support staff, people in the community and leaders. This course has opened my eyes to many things and has taught me to be more assertive in my daily life."

IainIain Brynjolson graduted from the U of W in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Urban and Inner City Studies. He was voted the #1 activist on campus by the Uniter in 2013 for his work with food sustainability in the North End. He has been working as the produce manager at Neechi Commons since 2012. Iain also founded Food for Folks, a produce stand in the Folkfest campground and has helped bring farmers markets and community gardens to the North End.

Iain has this to say about his experience at UIC: "I have found the UIC program to be an effective program for approaching practical applications of philosophy. From a classroom setting, to the city in theory, and to the reality unfolding in our lives."

tylerAfter earning a Bachelor of Business Administration, Tyler Blashko (left) graduated in 2014 with a four-year Honours Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Urban & Inner City Studies. Since 2012, he has worked as a Student Parent Support Worker with Wayfinders, an after school tutoring and mentoring program for high school students in 7 Oaks School Division. He is the President of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and also sits on the Board of Governors for Université de St. Boniface.

Tyler has this to say about his experience at UIC: “I feel that UIC offers a unique and challenging university experience. I learned a lot about our various histories, power structures, about myself and how to play a role in positive change within our communities. The experience and knowledge each class contains allows students to learn from each other as well as benefit from the exceptional professors and instructors."