Social Science Methods


The Social Science Methods Department offers three compulsory courses in methodology that form an integral part of the Social Science Program at John Abbott College.  The courses are Quantitative Methods in Social Science Research (QM), Social Science Research Methods (RM) and Integration of the Social Sciences (ISS).   A multidisciplinary approach is emphasized, and the courses are taught by faculty from various social science disciplines.

Some of the resources available to students include the Social Science Drop-In Lab  in H-431, where peer tutors help students with QM, RM and ISS.   A lab technician is also available to aid students with course-related problems and research.


Members of the Department

Sarah Bean : Coordinator

Sarah Bean

514-457-6610 ext. 5413
H-334 - Anthropology

Courses taught: Introduction to Anthropology, Human Evolution, Anthropology in the Museum, Understanding the Evolution-Creationism Controversy, Social Science Research Methods, and Integration in the Social Sciences.

Biographical information: Sarah first became fascinated by Anthropology after taking courses at McGill University in Prehistoric Archaeology and Human Evolution and excavating at a Neolithic site in northern Finland. After completing her B.A. (Anthropology and History), she obtained an Ontario Post-Graduate Certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship at Sir Sandford Fleming College. Her internship at the Canadian Museum of Civilization further increased her passion for all things museum and Anthropology related.  In 2008, Sarah joined McGill University’s WOW Lab, a Science Education Research and Development Project, where she helped create evolution education activities for elementary and high school students. She also became a member of The Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill. Sarah began her Masters of Arts in Anthropology at McGill University in 2009, and was interested in finding out how human evolution was presented in museums across Canada, and also how Creationist Museums were dealing with the topic of human origins. She is currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching from the University of Sherbrooke.

Vicki Beaupré-Odorico : Coordinator

Vicki Beaupré-Odorico

514-457-6610 ext. 5019
H-338 - Sociology

Kathryn Allen :

Kathryn Allen

514-457-6610 ext. 5124

Jessica Burpee :

Jessica Burpee

514-457-6610 ext. 5059
HO-306 - Geosciences/ Environmental Studies

Jessica joined the Geosciences Department in 1999. She has a Bachelor degree in Geography from Mount Allison University and a Masters degree in Geography and Public Policy from Concordia University. Jessica is also Coordinator of the Environmental Studies Certificate at John Abbott College and has been an active member of the College Sustainability Committee. She led a STARS Sustainability assessment of the College campus.

Julien Charest :

Julien Charest

514-457-6610 ext. 5983 HEPS
H-315 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

BACKGROUND: Bachelor of Arts - History & East Asian Studies – Université de Montréal

Masters of Arts - History – McGill University

EXPERTISE: history of Japan and Asia

COURSES TAUGHT: History of Western Civilization, Research Methods in the Social Sciences,

Integration in the Social Sciences

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I lived and taught English second language for 1 year in northern Japan.

David Desjardins :

David Desjardins

514-457-6610 ext. 5878
H-319 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

Lynda Gelston :

Lynda Gelston

514-457-6610 ext. 5816
H-307 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

Lynda Gelston teaches political science and research methods at John Abbott College.   She graduated with a Double Honours in Political Sociology from Concordia University and was supported by an SSHRC scholarship to complete her M.A. in Political Economy at the University of Toronto.

With about thirty years of teaching experience, Lynda enjoys developing instructional material and hosting active learning simulations in her political science classrooms.  She is a faculty advisor for a John Abbott College student club, the Model United Nations, where students compete and host conferences of re-enacted historical and literary gatherings.

Just underway, Lynda is busy constructing a website for social science research with the Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique (CCDMD).  Up to a dozen people from pedagogical specialists, animators to media-wizards are helping her to do what she likes best – generating useful pedagogical material for students.

Alexa Leblanc :

Alexa Leblanc

514-457-6610 ext. 5721
HA-110 - Humanities, Philosophy and Religion (HPR)

André LeBlanc :

André LeBlanc

514-457-6610 ext. 5062
H-317 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

André LeBlanc began his university studies in the sciences, taking a B.Sc. in biology and psychology at the University of New Brunswick in 1990. He went on to do his Master’s (1993) and PhD (2000) at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto.

After completing his PhD, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en science et technologie at the Université du Québec à Montréal (2000-2002) and in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University (2002-2003). In 2004 he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he taught for three years as a visiting assistant professor in the History of Science and Technology Programme at the University of King’s College.  In 2010, he spent a month teaching as a visiting professor in the Master en Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences at the University of Bordeaux and has been teaching a seminar on the Historical, Philosophical, and Social Aspects of Science at the Science College of Concordia University since 2011.

Professor LeBlanc joined HEPS in January 2008 and has been happily teaching history, research methods, and the history and methodology of science ever since. He has published in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, History of Science, Scientia Canadensis, and the Human Nature Review. His research interests include the nature of the placebo effect, the relationship between science and religion, the role of mind in evolution, and the problem of free will from the perspective of science.

Grace Lin :

Grace Lin

514-457-6610 ext. 5803
Grace Lin

Roger MacLean :

Roger MacLean

514-457-6610 ext. 5755
H-346 - Sociology

Derek Maisonville :

Derek Maisonville

514-457-6610 ext. 5495
HA-113 Humanities, Philosophy, & Religion

Tanya Rowell-Katzemba :

Tanya Rowell-Katzemba

514-457-6610 ext. 5918
H-304 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

I have been a teacher of History at John Abbott College since 2012. I have a Master’s in History from Concordia University, where my research focus was on 20th century Mexican history. In my graduate research, I looked at ideas about race in the construction of the nation after the Mexican Revolution, and the role that history textbooks have played in diffusing these ideas to schoolchildren. In my work outside the college, I am involved in community work with migrants to Canada, trying to work towards more equitable access to basic services and human rights. I’m passionate about history, and strive to share that passion with my students here at the college.

William Russell :

William Russell

514-457-6610 ext. 5101
H-306 History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

Avinash Samboo :

Avinash Samboo

514-457-6610 ext. 5630
H-315 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

Avinash S. Samboo holds a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. in Economics from University of Mauritius, Mauritius. He also studied at Georgia State University, USA and at University of Nottingham, U.K. as a Commonwealth Research scholar.

His research interests have been in Public Finance and Welfare Economics and Political Economy with specific focus on the modeling of the social security budget in a welfare state. His other interests include Growth Theories and Labor Economics. He was also involved on various projects sponsored by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

He has been teaching at John Abbott College since August 2006. He has also taught at University of Mauritius, University of Technology, Mauritius and Georgia State University, USA.

Laura Shillington :

Laura Shillington

514-457-6610 ext. 5592
HO-306 - Geosciences

Laura joined the Geosciences Department in 2013. She has a BSc in Geography from the University of Victoria, an MSc in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, and a PhD in Geography from York University. Her research interests are in gender, political ecology and urban social-environmental justice with a regional focus on Central America.

Jean-Michel Sotiron :

Jean-Michel Sotiron

514-457-6610 ext. 5535
H-304 - History, Economics, Political Science (HEPS)

Professor Sotiron has been a member of John Abbott College’s Political Science Department since 2012. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Concordia University, as well as a Master’s in Political Science from UQAM; his thesis was on Hindu nationalism. He also serves as a member of the Methods committee of the College.

With regards to student life, Professor Sotiron is involved with the JAC Model UN programme as well as the annual inter-collegiate debate event hosted at the college.  What Professor Sotiron enjoys most about teaching at JAC is fostering healthy debates in class by discussing political ideas with students.

Courses taught:        Modern Political Ideas 385-250-AB

Introduction to Political Science 385-100-AB

Integration in the Social Sciences 300-301-AB

Research Methods 300-300-AB

Quantitative Methods 360-300-RE


For further information on courses taught in the department,  please visit the Social Science section of the Course Calendar.


Supplemental Information

Social Science Drop-In Lab

Social Science Drop-In Lab

Open Monday to Friday
8:30 – 16:30

  • For use by Social Science students on a drop-in basis
  • Computers, textbooks, study guides and reference materials are available for course-related problems, research and applications.  Software includes Microsoft Office, SPSS and Inspiration.  The lab is also connected to the Internet.
  • Peer tutors for methods courses (QM, RM and ISS) are available at posted times (posted on lab door around week 4).