Dr. Jamie Gillies: Prof By Day, Family Man By Night

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Dr. Jamie Gillies is one of the latest and greatest additions to the St. Thomas faculty. Though he has been in the political science department for four years, this is his second year full-time and has played a huge role in the revised communications and public policy department.

He and his family moved here six years ago, when his wife got a full time position at the University of New Brunswick in the education faculty. His passion for politics developed while growing up in Victoria, BC.

Interestingly, Gillies specialty is in American politics, despite his Canadian roots.  Before arriving at STU, he was a visiting faculty member at the University of Michigan.  For his first three years in Fredericton, he commuted between New Brunswick and Ann Arbor, MI.

“I’ve always found it interesting to compare and contrast Canadian and American culture,” he says.

Another facet to his fascination?  Gillies says he can do impersonations of US presidents, “and I could do that since I was like 10 years old.”

Last year, St. Thomas University unveiled the communications and public policy (COPP) program, an overhaul of the original communications program.  Gillies says the new program is unique to STU.  COPP teaches students practical communications skills across all sectors, with an emphasis on public policy and what it means.

Gillies says these are incredibly important skills for today’s students.

“I love that we can take a program, situate it within a liberal arts environment, give students a great grounding in liberal arts, but add a set of practical skills that make them highly competitive for the job market as soon as they leave St. Thomas.”

Gillies says he loves teaching the upgraded program, calling the students “fantastic,” and noting the student internships as one of the program’s highlights.

Now that he’s in Fredericton for the long haul, Gillies says he’s quickly grown to love the city.  He says that even though it’s small, he likes to see how his family grows along with the city.

Even though he’s a professor by day, Gillies is also a family man.  His face lights up excitedly whenever he mentions his daughter.

“I love being a dad,” he says.

Gillies says he gets to see his wife and daughter throughout the day.  While his wife works down the hill, his three-year old daughter goes to daycare two minutes away. 

He says that close proximity just another thing he loves about Fredericton.

“There’s so few places in the world that I would get this opportunity to not only work with my partner, but also my daughter be so close by,” he says. “And we can see her any time, we’ll take her out on afternoons and go swimming on a Friday. Where else in the world can you do that, or have the time to do that, where the commute to work is like five minutes.”

Professor by day, family man by night – that’s Dr. Jamie Gillies for you.