Terri in a UBC T-Shirt and the Thunderbird Mascot

The Next Chapter

Getting healthy, changing jobs and starting over (at least on my research)

Let me start by saying I love McGill University, I love my colleagues and I love Montreal. However, I also love my family and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to move back to my beloved Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Spokane, Washington and over the years most of my family, including my 4 sisters, their children, and their grandchildren have moved to Seattle. My son Andrew is in Portland, and my son Brandon is in Menlo Park with his father (Mike and I split our time between Canada and California).

When the University of British Columbia made me an offer to join their political science department, it took me some time to consider if this was a move I wanted to make. However, despite my love for McGill and Montreal, I knew this was a time in my life when I wanted to be closer to family. I have to admit, issues with the healthcare system and the language politics being played by the provincial government in Quebec also played a role in my decision. I hope that the government will take into account that many workers like me, a francophile, are paying attention to the ways that they are treating healthcare workers and higher education.

However, I would prefer to focus on the positive — I’m very excited to be able to work with my colleagues Antje Ellerman and Irene Bloemraad who will be co-chairing UBC’s Centre for Migration Studies. I’m looking forward to re-connecting with these colleagues who I have known for many years. This is an important opportunity for me to restart my research, get back to regular teaching, and focus on my interest in the intersections of migration and race.

Over the past few years I have made some good friends, and I appreciate my friends and colleagues who were there for me this past year when I was having serious back pain issues. I have gotten healthy with support from my chiropractor, my physiotherapist at the McGill Sports Medicine Clinic, and I’m getting stronger through weight training and my regular walks/jogs in Parc Lafontaine (sometimes with my favorite dog, Caramel).

I will miss everyone, including my friends who are there every Sunday at McKibbins’ Irish Pub, playing fiddle, guitar and singing some fun tunes. This sense of community can be hard to find in the middle of a big city, and I’m grateful for all the wonderful experiences I have had. I’ll be in Montreal through July 11th — give me a shout out if you want to connect before then, I’ll be at the amazing Jazz Festival as well!



Terri E. Givens - terrigivens.com

Professor of Political Science, McGill University. Higher Ed Leadership, Immigration & European politics. Author of Radical Empathy & The Roots of Racism