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Renaissance College
UNB Fredericton

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About Renaissance College

Founded in 2000, Renaissance College is UNB’s School of Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies and the first initiative of its kind in Canada. It remains at the forefront of leadership education in the country.

We combine innovative teaching methods, rigorous academic content and experiential learning opportunities in small classes that together create a unique educational experience.

What makes us unique

It’s not just the small classes or the internships that make Renaissance College special. It’s not just the students it attracts or the dedicated faculty and staff it employs. It’s not just the way students learn or even where they learn. It’s how all these elements come together to provide a learning environment that gets results.

Renaissance College is an interdisciplinary leadership studies program, dedicated to enriching people’s capability for understanding and demonstrating leadership. Students grow as problem solvers and citizens, transforming into leaders who really care about our world, while deepening their knowledge of self and others. 

Why we're called Renaissance College

When we think of Renaissance we often think of Leonardo da Vinci. He was considered by many to be the Renaissance ideal because of his vast array of knowledge and mastery of many roles: inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, writer, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician and engineer all in one! Renaissance College embraces this interdisciplinary mindset, where students’ learning is fostered in a variety of subject areas.

The word college captures the importance of our tight-knit learning community in our students' education and experience. Renaissance College embraces the idea of community in both our learning atmosphere and in student interactions with the greater community that form an integral part of the B Phil curriculum.

Anticipate, adapt and drive change

Our programs are the right fit for ethical, civic-minded individuals who are prepared and willing to assume the responsibilities of leadership.

We strive to help you become a lifelong learner and leader in whatever field you choose.

Our programs create opportunities and help you reach your personal and professional goals by:

  • thinking critically
  • communicating effectively
  • working cooperatively
  • problem-solving creatively
  • reasoning ethically
  • participating effectively

You will have the attention and mentoring to succeed with our small class sizes, engaged faculty and strong community connections.

After you graduate

Graduates of Renaissance College lead with imagination and courage, addressing issues and building capacity into the communities they call home. They speak and write with confidence and openness. They have an insatiable appetite for learning and are motivated to learn more about community, citizenship, and service to both.

Our aim is to help our students become leaders in whatever careers or endeavours they choose. As a result, our graduates are successfully engaged in a wide range of careers. The BPhil degree prepares students for future study in a variety of fields, including:

  • law
  • medicine
  • education
  • business
  • politics
  • social work

Most importantly, our graduates are ready and eager to make a positive difference in their community and workplace.

What our graduates do

Class of 2016
Minor in Applied Science

Current employment: Farm Sales Specialist, SomaDetect

After leaving RC in 2016, Ryan Cobb joined SomaDetect, a startup that uses deep learning to help dairy farmers make the best milk possible. Today, Ryan is responsible for managing the company’s direct-to-farm sales.

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach to his education, Ryan thanks RC for setting the foundation for the necessary skills and abilities to help an early stage company grow. Ryan’s time at RC prepared him to tackle many challenges in a startup; each day Ryan needs to utilize his communication and leadership skills that he built during the many community projects at RC. Learning outcomes such as multi-literacy and problem-solving have helped Ryan navigate and succeed in the fast-paced agriculture technology sector. Ryan hopes to be a part of building a more sustainable food chain.

Class of 2006
Minor in History

Additional education: Master of Environmental Studies with Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies; Master of Teaching; PhD in Community Research and Action, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), 2014

Current employment: Assistant Professor of Community and Justice Studies, Guilford College

After completing her PhD in 2014, Krista acquired a job as an Assistant Professor of Community and Justice Studies at Guilford College, which is a small liberal arts university in Greensboro, North Carolina. She teaches courses on systems of oppression and how individuals, groups, and communities resist/work to transform these systems and create more just and humane systems.

“My students are wonderful and they remind me a lot of RC students in terms of their passion for understanding and addressing complex social problems. My scholarly work still focuses on the immigrant justice movement, but I've also been engaging in research in the area of critical/radical pedagogical practices in university contexts which has been significantly influenced by my experience of critical and transformative approaches to education at RC!”

Class of 2003
Minor in History
Minor in International Development Studies

Additional education: Bachelor of Education; Master of International Humanitarian Action

Current employment: Program Manager, Alberta Council for Global Cooperation

Following completion of the BPhil program with a concentration in History and International Development Studies, Leah completed a BEd in Social Studies and ESL Education at the University of New Brunswick. This led her to work as a teacher in La Paz, Bolivia for one year, followed by a three-year stay in Shenzhen, P.R. China working at one of New Brunswick's partner High Schools, Concord College of Sino-Canada.

Taking a break from teaching, Leah received an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to complete a Masters in International Humanitarian Action in Uppsala, Sweden and Bochum, Germany, leading her to become a consultant with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies.

After consulting and working as a teacher in Kenya for three years, she has returned to Canada and is the Program Manager at the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) in Edmonton, Alberta.

Class of 2006
Minor in Political Science

Additional education: Law

Current employment: Law Associate at Stewart Mckelvey

At the time of graduation, Alison had already started working as the interim coordinator of the New Brunswick Environmental Network. After that contract was completed, she moved to Woodstock, New Brunswick where she was a project leader for Katimavik.

Alison’s Renaissance College education was a wonderful asset for both of those work positions. Problem-solving, leadership, social interaction and communication were all essential skills that were necessary for her day to day working life. While at RC, contributing to the community became an important value to her and why she decided to become a Katimavik project leader and apply to law school.

Alison graduated with an L.L.B. from the English Common Law program at the University of Ottawa in 2010. During her degree, she spent one summer working for Stewart McKelvey in Saint John, New Brunswick and one summer working for the Attorney General's office in Victoria, British Columbia. After graduation, Alison returned to Stewart Mckelvey to complete her articles. She was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 2011 and now works as an associate at Stewart Mckelvey.

Allison is thankful that Renaissance College gave her a diverse and challenging educational foundation and her time there stands out as being a turning point in how much she enjoys formal education.

Class of 2006
Minor in Business Administration

Additional education: Master of Business Administration

Current employment:

While at Renaissance College, Jason served as an elected faculty representative to the Student Union and was awarded both the Associated Alumni Leadership Award and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Silver Medal. He also ran as a candidate for public office in the City of Fredericton, raising awareness of important local issues to city hall while paving the way for future student participation in municipal affairs.

After graduating from UNB, Jason joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. With McKinsey, Jason focused on strategy and marketing projects across a broad range of sectors, with a particular focus on mobile telecommunications in developing markets. Before returning to school to study for his MBA at INSEAD, Jason joined the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as a Deputy Venue Manager at Athlete’s Village, Whistler. As a member of the management team, Jason helped design and manage both the Olympic and Paralympic operations, leading and motivating a team of over 100 paid and volunteer staff.

Currently, Jason resides in Seattle, WA, where he is a director of global operations & strategy at A Place For Mom, the largest assisted living and nursing homes referral service in the USA. In addition to his professional work, Jason volunteers for Camp Oochigeas as a counsellor at its residential camp for children with cancer.

Jason has also stayed involved with UNB over the years, serving a two-year term as a councillor with the UNB Associated Alumni. He enjoys playing recreational basketball, performing live music on the drums, and travelling, particularly throughout Africa.

Class of 2007
Minor in French
Minor in Political Science

Additional education: Master of Science in International Health Policy

Current employment: Chief, Strategic programs and innovation, New Brunswick Medical Society

The unique blend of academic education and real-world experience that Andrew gained at RC created a desire to improve lives. Through the public policy case studies and reviews completed in class, he realized that he wanted to go further with his educational line of choice, which was health policy. Andrew applied and was accepted to study an MSc in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics in the UK, which was a phenomenal experience.

Returning home, he landed a position in Canada's leading independent healthcare consultancy in Toronto, Ontario. Working on projects related to complex IT project management, capital infrastructure planning, university research and chronic disease management, he quickly gained exposure to a number of 'careers', not unlike the breadth of learning found at RC. From there, he moved to the Ontario Medical Association first in developing health policy and then moved on to manage a professional team developing physician leadership, building stakeholder partnerships, and communicating with doctors across the province.

He then moved back to Fredericton and has spent several years working with the New Brunswick Medical Society in health system planning and funding, information technology, and making an impact for patients and doctors. In his working life, Andrew continues to apply the critical thinking and analytical skills gained at RC, and he works in a "system thinking" context with real-world impact - just like the Renaissance environment.

Graduating class of 2007
Minor in Business Administration

Additional education: Master of Business Administration

Current employment: Vice President, Account Executive, Willis Towers Watson

As a Riverview High School (NB) alumni and while attending RC, Jocelyn spent four years as a member of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on Youth which did grassroots research, policy advising, and visioning for the youth of New Brunswick.

Upon graduating from RC in 2007, Jocelyn joined Jacques Whitford (now Stantec) as a Sustainability Consultant in the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office. In 2009, she returned to school and completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) through Dalhousie University. This led her to become an employee of Aon based out of Calgary, Alberta. She is now a Vice President, Account Executive for Willis Towers Watson out of Calgary and specializes in risk management and transfer for large, complex engineered risks.

Renaissance College exposed Jocelyn to the intricacies of leadership, public policy, and global citizenship, and prepared her to be a dynamic member of any professional team across a variety of industries. Whether it be her private, public, or academic experiences since graduating, Jocelyn believes that her time within the uniquely collaborative learning environment at RC has helped her tremendously.

Jocelyn resides on a rural acreage outside of Calgary with her husband and two young sons. She is proud to be an ambassador for RC wherever her travels take her and encourages both potential students and community stakeholders to learn more about the program.

Class of 2015
Minor in Business Administration

Current employment: Business Analyst, T4G Limited

Sara is a Business Analyst at T4G where she leverages her strong communication, problem solving, research and analytical skills to deliver valuable solutions. A design-thinking enthusiast, she is passionate about solving customer problems using data and design. Sara is the co-founder of Open Data Atlantic, facilitating and leading sessions on open data discussions and data analysis, and collaborating with various stakeholders to grow the understanding and movement for open data within the Atlantic Canadian region.

Dedicated to social innovation, she is curious to explore how the economy, technology and data can be leveraged to create transformative change. To contrast time spent with technology, Sara grounds herself in natural spaces, developing her yoga practice, playing cribbage, riding her bike or playing guitar.

Class of 2003

Additional education: Doctor of Medicine

Current employment: Gynecologic Oncologist, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Since graduating from RC in 2003, Laura has completed a Doctorate of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She then went on to sub-specialize, obtaining a Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of British Columbia and the BC Cancer Agency. She is currently working at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario.

Laura is a strong advocate for Women’s Health and in addition to performing oncologic surgeries, administering chemotherapy and palliating women with gynecologic malignancies, she is also the region’s Colposcopy and Cervical Screening Lead. By promoting and advocating for regular cervical screening, she is trying to help prevent and eradicate cervical cancer.

International volunteering continues to play an important role in Laura’s career. She has spent time in several countries both caring for ill women and educating local medical providers. RC provided not only academic education but also a diverse variety of real-world experiences. This helped develop an appreciation for complex issues and a holistic approach to encountered challenges, including medically related and patient care. Laura is deeply grateful for her time spent at RC.