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Leslie Baker

After finishing my BA Honours at MSVU under the supervision of Dr. Benzaquen in 2007 I continued on to complete my MA in history at Dalhousie University in 2008. I am currently in the final stages of completing my PhD in history (with a focus on medicine and gender) at the University of Saskatchewan under the supervision of Dr. Erika Dyck who holds the Canada Research Chair in Medical History ( I can honestly say that my experience at MSVU as an undergrad was life-changing, as a mature student and a single mother I found an extended family and support system at the Mount, especially among the history department and my fellow history majors. Involvement with the history society proved rewarding on many levels, I’ve stayed in touch with many members and even married one of them! The professors of the history department, and especially Dr. Benzaquen, encouraged me to pursue an academic career which has given me the freedom to truly follow my passion for historical research.

In addition to my love of research I have also discovered that I love to teach and recently I have been very pleased to be able to teach at the Mount, interacting with a fantastic student body. As both a student and an instructor I would encourage students to be versatile and follow their interests. Although both my BA and MA focused on early modern European history I am now working on modern North American medical and psychiatric history which I find extremely rewarding. I’m also very fortunate to be a teaching assistant at the University of King’s College in the History of Science and Technology programme and a contributor to The History of Madness in Canada website ( My dissertation, which I plan to defend in the spring of 2013, examines the role of eugenic ideology in shaping the early twentieth-century Nova Scotia population with a focus on the role of public health initiatives and innovations in the institutionalization of both positive and negative eugenic policy in the province.

November 2012