Members of the Department



Carle, Emmanuelle :

Carle, Emmanuelle

514-457-6610 ext. 5168

Emmanuelle Carle has been a member of John Abbott College’s Department of History since 2006. She holds a Bachelor degree in History (Specialization) from Concordia University, as well as a Masters from Université de Montréal and a PhD in History from McGill University. With a FCAR scholarship and a Travel Grant, she moved to Paris to research Gabrielle Duchene (1870-1954), French feminist activist, unionist, pacifist, antifascist, fellow traveller of the French Communist Party and an innovator as a propagandist. Duchêne symbolizes the ideological congruence of these movements. She has published her findings in French History and in the Archives du Féminisme (Université d’Angers).

Emmanuelle Carle has taught at McGill (First World War, Modern European History), UQAM (Histoire des Femmes au 19e et 20e siècles) and at Concordia (Intro and Modern European History and History of France since 1871). At JAC, she teaches Western Civilization and Modern History, but has also taught History of Science and Methodology in the Liberal Arts Department, Learning Techniques (Pathways), Research Methods and Integration to the Social Sciences.

Charest, Julien :

Charest, Julien

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.

Humes, Catherine :

Humes, Catherine

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

Kalemkerian, Kathryn :

Kalemkerian, Kathryn

514-457-6610 ext. 5994


Leblanc, André :

Leblanc, André

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.

Osowski, Edward :

Osowski, Edward

514-457-6610 ext. 5100

Edward Osowski received his Ph.D. in History from Pennsylvania State University in 2002 with a specialization in Latin American History.  While on a Fulbright scholarship, he conducted archival research on colonial indigenous history in Mexico City and has presented his findings at conferences and seminars at Harvard University, UCLA, the Université de Montréal and other institutions.  Before joining the faculty of John Abbott College in 2006, he taught at McGill University, Concordia University, and the University of Northern Iowa.  In addition to having several publications to his credit, he is co-editor of Mexican History : a Primary  Source Reader, forthcoming from Westview Press in 2009.  He brings his love of the history of music, myths, and ideas to the courses that he teaches at John Abbott College and believes that students new to history have the ability to do the rigorous work of interpretation, writing, and discussion.

Racine, Félix :

Racine, Félix

514-457-6610 #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.

Rowell-Katzemba, Tanya :

Rowell-Katzemba, Tanya

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.

Russell, William : Chair

Russell, William

514-457-6610 ext. 5101

I have been a member of John Abbott College’s Department of History, Economics and Political Science (HEPS) since 1993. Born and raised in Montreal, I attended Concordia University where I earned a B.A. and M.A., specializing in Russian and Modern European History.  For the most part, I teach Western Civilization and Modern History courses, but have also taught Research Methods and Integration in the Social Sciences (ISS). I have been privileged to take students on Historical and Archaeological tours to Europe and North Africa with Professor John Serrati for the last eleven years.  What I enjoy most about teaching at the College is the everyday interaction with students and members of the JAC community. John Abbott is both a great place to go to school and work.

Serrati, John :

Serrati, John

514-457-6610 ext. 5992
H-319 - Classics and History

Education: PhD, University of St Andrews, 2001

Research interests:

The main area of my research involves the modalities of Roman imperialism and early provinciae. I focus primarily on the mid- and late Republic, looking at Roman provincial administration, the economy, and the non-military expansion of control in conquered territories. Sicily acts as a microcosm for this line of inquiry; here, I concentrate on the role of the island in the Roman Republic and the formation of the earliest proviniciae. Included in this project is an analysis of Cicero’s Verrine Orations. The aforementioned areas cross over with my broader field of study, which involves the examination of monetary and non-monetary capital in the military sphere. My research in this field looks at the role that royal and state economies played in projections of power and in providing rulers and ruling elites the means to wage war.

Other ongoing projects include the reception of classical Sparta in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the perception of space in the early Roman forum, and a greater study of ancient imperialism.


Serrati, J., Beck, H. and Jehne, M. (Eds.) (2016). Money and Power in the Roman Republic. Brussels: Latomus.

Serrati, J. (2016). Early Provincial Economies in the West: The lex Hieronica and the Financing of Roman Conquest. In H. Beck, M. Jehne and J. Serrati (Eds.) Money and Power in the Roman Republic. Brussels: Latomus.114-130.

Serrati, J. (2016). War, Weaponry, and Empire. In N. Dalmackie et al. (eds), The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Empire. Oxford: Blackwell: 1-13.

Serrati, J. (2015). Éditer les fragments des historiens romains. Latomus, 74, 1077-1083.

Serrati, J. (2013). Government and Warfare. In H. Beck (Ed.). A Companion to Ancient Greek Government. Oxford: Blackwell. 317-331.

Serrati, J. (2013).  The Hellenistic Experience with War: Stagnation or Development? In B. Campbell and L. Trittle (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.179-198.

Serrati, J. (2012). Various entries. In R.S. Bagnall et al. (Eds.). The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Oxford: Blackwell

Serrati, J. (2012). Imperial Expansion and the Fall of the Roman Republic: Post Hoc, Propter Hoc. In D. Hoyos (Ed.) The Companion to Roman Imperialism. Leiden: Brill. 155-168.

Serrati, J. and  Covino, R.J. (2012). Euripides’ Bacchae and the Greek Theatre in Syracuse. Didaskalia 9, 38-44.

Serrati, J. (2011). The Rise of Rome to 264. In D. Hoyos (Ed.). The Blackwell Companion to the Punic Wars. Oxford: Blackwell. 9-27.

Serrati, J. (2011). Neptune’s Altars: The Treaties Between Rome and Carthage (509-226 BC). (Republication of 2006 article, infra). The Best Classical Scholarship of the Last Sixty Years: Classical Quarterly Special Issue. 100-121.

Serrati, J. (2008). A Syracusan Private Altar and the Development of Ruler-Cult in Hellenistic Sicily. Historia 57, 80-91.

Serrati, J. (2007). Warfare and the State. In P. Sabin, H. van Wees, and L.M. Whitby (Eds.). The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 461-497.

Serrati, J. (2006). Neptune’s Altars: The Treaties Between Rome and Carthage (509-226 BC). Classical Quarterly 66, 113-134.

Serrati, J., Anglim, S. et al. (2002). Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World 3000 BC-AD 500: Equipment, Combat Skills, and Tactics. New York: St Martin’s,  256 pp.

Serrati, J. and Smith, C.J. (Eds.) (2000). Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus: New Approaches in Archaeology and History.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 241 pp.

Serrati, J. (2000). Garrisons and Grain: Sicily between the Punic Wars. In C.J. Smith and J. Serrati (Eds.). Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus: New Approaches in Archaeology and History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 115-133.

Tomaszewski, Fiona :

Tomaszewski, Fiona

514-457-6610 ext. 5717

Professor Fiona Tomaszewski has been a member of John Abbott College’s Department of History, Economics, Political Science and Classics since 1998. She holds a Bachelor degree in Honours History from McGill University, as well as a Masters in History and a PhD in History from McMaster University. At JAC, Professor Tomaszewski served as the Honours Social Science Coordinator from 2003 to 2012.  She also serves as a member of the Library Media Services committee of the College. For many years she was on the Social Science Program Committee. She enjoys teaching the enthusiastic and curious students at John Abbott College.

Tosaj, Nicholas : Methods

Tosaj, Nicholas



PhD: University of Toronto (In Progress)
Masters: Concordia University
Hon. Bachelors: Concordia University

Research Interests:
My research interests gravitate around food history, particularly in the context of empires and colonialism. My PhD focuses on the place of bread and staple carbohydrates in the Modern French Colonial Empire while my MA centered on the role of Auguste Escoffier’s cooking in diffusing French culture through British hotels. Field work for both degrees has taken me to archives in France, Cambodia, Vietnam, Martinique and Morocco. I am a current affiliate of the Culinaria Research Centre as well as being a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. I have been fortunate enough to present my research at Harvard University, to the Association for the Study of Food and Society as well as in other academic contexts. I enjoy using food and other diverse sources to demonstrate to my students the range of different approaches which can be used to interpret history.

Tošaj, N. Finding France in Flour: Communicating Colonialism in French Indochina through Bread. In Cecilia Leong-Salobir (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Food in Asia. (Forthcoming)

Tošaj, N. Weaving the Imperial Breadbasket: Nationalism, Empire and the Triumph of Canadian Wheat, 1890-1940. Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 2017, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp. 249 – 275.

Vandervort, Jessica :

Vandervort, Jessica

514-457-6610 ext. 5978

Jessica Vandervort has been a member of John Abbott College’s Department of History since 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Women’s Studies from McGill University (1994) and a Master’s degree in History from Concordia University (2003). Her thesis examined the diaries of a female adolescent who lived in Victorian Montreal. She teaches in both the History and the Research Methods departments and is a member of the Teaching and Learning Environment and Pathways committees. She helps her students cultivate a more active role in their own learning through participation in classroom workshops and discussions. This social historian believes that “success in the classroom has been attained when students have developed a critical lens and a deep comfort with unanswered questions.”


Desjardins, David :

Desjardins, David

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)

Provencher, Mathieu :

Provencher, Mathieu



Professor Provencher holds an undergraduate degree from Université de Sherbrooke and a Master of Arts degree from Dalhousie University, both in Economics.

With approximately ten years of teaching experience at the university level and over two years at the cegep level, he has taught to a wide range of students.

He quickly specialised in teaching to students that were new to Economics. His methods were very well received at Université de Sherbrooke (Canada), McGill University (Canada), and Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (Peru).

At Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL), he was in charge of all their Economics courses for their USA and English programs. He taught courses in association with Broward College (USA) as well as the University of South Florida (USA). He also co-created their UK program in association with the University of London (under the supervision of the London School of Economics), where he taught several courses and was responsible for selecting the students that would be admitted.

His constant drive for innovation led him to develop an intuitive approach that helps students understand complicated Economic models instead of simply remembering formulas by heart.

Over the years, he specialised in teaching introductory economic courses in which he presents key models using a multi-ideology approach to ensure that students have the full picture. His areas of expertise are Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Economics of the Environment, International Economics, and Labour Economics.

In 2015, Professor Provencher set out to create online economics classes that would be available to students all around the world. He has completed one course, Introduction to Microeconomics, and is aiming at completing Introduction to Macroeconomics in the next few years.

Samboo, Avinash :

Samboo, Avinash

514-457-6610 ext. 5360

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.

Seck, Medoune :

Seck, Medoune

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.

Somers, Bertram :

Somers, Bertram

514-457-6610 ext. 5105

Bert has an Honours Economics BA from Loyola College and a MA and PhD in Economics from McGill University. He has taught Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Money and Banking for several years at John Abbott and has given courses on a part-time basis at university. In particular, Bert has taught CPA and MBA students for the Faculty of Management and undergraduate courses for the Economics Department at McGill University. At Concordia University he has taught graduate (MBA) and undergraduate courses for the Finance Department at the John Molson School of Business and undergraduate courses for the Economics Department. His research interests include the analysis of the economic effects of public pension plans in Canada and the feasibility of using monetary policy to deal with regional disparities in Canada.

Political Science

Chowanietz, Christophe :

Chowanietz, Christophe

514-457-6610 ext. 5717

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).

Hope, Nicola :

Hope, Nicola

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.

Morency-Laflamme, Julien :

Morency-Laflamme, Julien

514-457-6610 ext. 5390

Sotiron, Jean-Michel :

Sotiron, Jean-Michel

514-457-6610 ext. 5535

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 a complete list of courses taught by the HEPS department, please visit both the Social Science and the General Education (Complementary courses) sections of the College main web site.

Supplemental Information