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

Vicki Beaupré-Odorico : Coordinator

Vicki Beaupré-Odorico

514-457-6610 ext. 5019

Ibrahim Al Balushi : Methods

Ibrahim Al Balushi

514-457-6610 ext. 5823

Mohammad Bardestani : Methods

Mohammad Bardestani

514-457-6610 ext. 5171

Julien Charest : Methods

Julien Charest

514-457-6610 ext. 5983

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.

Christophe Chowanietz : Methods

Christophe Chowanietz

514-457-6610 ext. 9717

I received my Ph.D. in political science from the Université de Montréal and my MSc in international relations from the London School of Economics. I am teaching introduction to politics, international politics, and political economy, as well as crisis management.  I am the author of Bombs, Bullets and Politicians (published by McGill-Queen's University Press).

Elaine Clendinneng : Technician

Elaine Clendinneng

514-457-6610 ext. 5424

Elaine completed a Certificate in Management (Accounting and Finance option) from McGill University.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) from Concordia University as well as a Master of Arts in English from the Université de Montréal.  Her Master's thesis examined the first three novels of award-wining Canadian author Jane Urquhart.  She subsequently wrote a manuscript on the life and artistic legacy of the celebrated Canadian painter Tom Thomson (1877-1917).   She conducted extensive archival and field research, visiting many of the sites frequented by the artist in Algonquin Park, Georgian Bay and Owen Sound.  She also completed two courses (Introduction to College Teaching and Developmental Psychology) in the Graduate Certificate in College Teaching program offered by the Université de Sherbrooke.

Jenny Cockburn : Methods

Jenny Cockburn

514-457-6610 ext. 5486

David Desjardins : Methods

David Desjardins

514-457-6610 ext. 5878

David Desjardins has been a member of the Department of Economics at John Abbott College since the winter semester 2000. He Currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Concordia University, graduating with honours in Econometrics. Having done all of the course work and passed comprehensive examinations, he holds a Ph.D. A.B.D (all but dissertation), which he may finish should the timing prove right. He has also studied at the University of British Columbia (Economics) and McGill University (Law).
His research interests are in the area of financial economics and econometrics as it pertains to financial markets; more specifically, the area of liquidity, asset pricing, and the term structure of interest rates.
Professor Desjardins has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the university level along with college level classes since 1996. Given his specialty in Econometrics and statistics, much of the teaching centres around statistics and its applications.
College courses
• Introductory macroeconomics
• Introductory microeconomics
• Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences
• Research Methods in the Social Sciences
• Integration in the Social Sciences
University courses
• Introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics
• Introductory statistics
• Intermediate macroeconomics and microeconomics
• Econometrics (theoretical and applied)

Dario Guiducci : Methods

Dario Guiducci

514-457-6610 ext. 5118

Wendi Hadd : Methods

Wendi Hadd

514-457-6610 ext. 5734

Vanessa Harrar : Methods

Vanessa Harrar

514-457-6610 ext. 5054

B.A. Psychology and Math (York University)
M.A. Psychology: Brain, Behaviour, and Cog Sci (York University)
Ph.D. Psychology: Brain, Behaviour, and Cog Sci (York University)
Vanessa grew up in Montreal and moved to Toronto for university. She received her Bachelor of Psychology from York University, then joined Laurence Harris’s lab and under his supervision, earned both her Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees in Cognitive Psychology, specializing in Multisensory Perception, also at York. Thereafter, Vanessa was awarded a 3-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Oxford University, where she studied the integration of the senses across time and space in Charles Spence’s lab. She then moved back to Montreal and continued her research at the University of Montreal, looking at multisensory integration in older adults and congenitally blind individuals. She tested and developed technologies to help blind people “see” using touch and hearing.
Over the years, Vanessa has taught several courses in psychology, statistical analyses, and research methodology, both at the collegiate and university level. Her favourite course to teach is Quantitative Methods because math is concrete, and playing with numbers are fun. Vanessa also loves the opportunity to talk about the outstanding research coming out of psychology studies today!
Vanessa is in a committed relationship and a proud mama of two bright and beautiful boys. They enjoy hiking in the Laurentians with their 70lb dog. Vanessa loves making sourdough bread, plays hockey recreationally, and is learning to make useful things out of clay.

Nicola Hope : Methods

Nicola Hope

514-457-6610 ext. 5102

Nicola holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a specialization in National and Subnational Aspects of Development from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. She graduated from the Honours Social Science Program at John Abbott College in 2001.
While in Ottawa, Nicola held various positions on Parliament Hill, though most of her career has been spent in the international non-profit sector. For 10 years she coordinated healthcare and education programs at the World Federation of Hemophilia where she contributed to the improvement of access to care and treatment for people with inherited bleeding disorders all over the world.
Nicola is teaching Modern Political Ideas and Quantitative Methods. She joined the Political Science department in 2017.

Catherine Humes : Methods

Catherine Humes

514-457-6610 ext. 5817

Catherine Humes has been a member of the Department of History at John Abbott College since the fall semester of 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and History/Classics from McGill University, as well as a Master of Arts in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University, and a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in History and Religion from the University of Toronto (OISE).  Her interests include the history of religion, gender and social justice, and pedagogy centered on critical thinking and student engagement. She is a member of the Harassment Awareness Committee and participates in the Women’s Studies and Gender Relations Certificate at the College

Lara Jenkins : Technician

Lara Jenkins

514-457-6610 ext. 5452

Lara received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from McGill University in 2017.  An alumna of John Abbott College in the Double DEC program, she was very pleased to return to the College to work as a technician in the Drop-In lab.  She is passionate about helping students understand their Methods courses and the real-life applications of research.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising and cooking.

Onur Kapdan : Methods

Onur Kapdan

514-457-6610 ext. 5492

André Leblanc : Methods

André Leblanc

514-457-6610 ext. 5062

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.

Julien Morency-Laflamme : Methods

Julien Morency-Laflamme

514-457-6610 ext. 5390

Charbel Nassif : Methods

Charbel Nassif


Felix Racine : Methods

Felix Racine

514-457-6610 ext. 5714

Félix Racine began his bachelor in Political Science at the Université de Montréal but somehow graduated in History, which he pursued at the doctoral level at Yale.  Somewhat fittingly, he is now part of a department where historians and political scientists work together.  Before coming to John Abbott, Félix taught Ancient History at the universities of St. Andrews (Scotland) and McGill.  His interests include the history of geographical knowledge, pre-modern travel and the reception of Greek and Latin science during the Renaissance.  He is also on a quest to find the best historical comics.

Azra Rashid : Methods

Azra Rashid

514-457-6610 ext. 5722

Tanya Rowell-Katzemba : Methods

Tanya Rowell-Katzemba

514-457-6610 ext. 5918

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.

Medoune Seck : Methods

Medoune Seck

514-457-6610 ext. 5068

Medoune M. Seck is a native of Senegal. He is fluent in Wolof, French, English and has limited working proficiency in Arabic. His skills in the use of technology are current and broad. He has used several instructional technologies such as Camtasia, showme application, and Wacom bamboo tablet to produce numerous instructional videos that are effectively improving the students’ learning experience. He is a fervent proponent of the integration of technology into the learning and teaching process. He sees it as potential cost-cutter for the implementation of well proven active learning strategies.
Mr. Seck holds Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degrees in economics (currency and finance) from Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne. He earned a Master of Arts in economics and a Graduate Certificate in Federal Statistics from George Mason University. For several years , Mr. Seck has taught economics at NOVA the largest public educational institution in Virginia and the second-largest community college in the United States, and he has been teaching economics at John Abbott since 2014.

Laura Shillington : Methods

Laura Shillington

514-457-6610 ext. 5592
H-344 - 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 : Methods

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

Social Science Drop-In Lab

Open Monday to Friday
All day

  • 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).