Getting to Know Bishop’s – Meet Dr. Mary Ellen Donnan

Getting to know your #Ubishops community is a must if you wish to fully immerse yourself into the BUbble! We decided to help you out by conducting monthly interviews with staff and faculty that contribute to the school’s success. This month we had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Mary Ellen Donnan, Associate Professor in the Sociology Department.

Favourite book of all-time?
The favourite books roll through and change as life experiences reshape me. My current favorite is Madeline Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, but no one book gets an all-time favourite designation.

Favourite group or singer?
Similarly to my comments about books, one chooses the music that works with the mood of the moment and for me it could be rock ‘n roll, classical, blues, R&B, folk.  If I am to mention just one, there have been quite a few Bird York days in the last few years.

Favourite movie of all-time?
One of the most beautiful films is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blue. On some days I would choose to watch David Lynch’s The Straight Story instead.

Favourite spot on campus?
My office and sanctuary, McGreer 310.  It looks south onto the big white pines at the edge of the quad.  Before my occupancy, it was the office of my beloved partner, Gerry Coulter who went on to other realms of existence in November 2016.  Inside there is art, there are great books, along with mementos of Gerry & of past students.

Favourite spot off-campus?
The Pinacle hike.

Favourite #Ubishops moment?
I have been witness to some beyond-wonderful groups of senior students in action as inspired learners. Seeing them working together in my seminar classes to understand difficult texts and solve world problems while supporting each other with kindness, conviction, and humor is a gift that keeps on giving to my spirit.

Describe #Ubishops in three words.
Energizing, commitment, supportive.

If you had to switch jobs with someone on campus, what would it be and why?
I really do love being a prof but it would be amazing to switch into the Drama department version of that role to work on productions with the students.

If you had to join a club or student group on campus, what would it be and why?
The Indigenous Cultural Alliance. I am student of North American First Nations cultures. I am keen as a settler to keep reconciliation as a life practice, and over the years I have been impressed by the quality of leadership I have witnessed in that club.

If you had to go back to school, which program would you pick and why?
English literature. Reading fiction has been a life-saver for me since childhood and the three or four literature courses I took as an undergrad (just after the ice age) just were not enough.

To learn more about the Sociology Department: ubishops.ca/sociology

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