Professor Spotlight: Dr. J.P. Lewis

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Anyone who has had the pleasure to be in one of Professor J.P. Lewis’ Canadian politics courses know two things: he is a passionate and witty lecturer, and has eclectic music tastes.

However, there is much more to the man than those two basic facts.

Born an only child with a love of reading and writing in Kitchener, Ontario, Dr. Lewis received his PhD in 2011 from Carleton University, after getting two Masters degrees in history and politics from the University of Guelph, and finishing his undergrad at the University of Waterloo.

Reflecting on his educational experience, Dr. Lewis says that, “…one thing led to another and by 2011 I found myself with a PhD in political science and on the hunt for a job. The stars aligned and I ended up at UNBSJ and I thank those lucky stars everyday.”

Dr. Lewis considers teaching as one of his favourite aspects of his job. Although he is currently on leave, he states that, “One thing that I didn’t expect would become my favourite aspect of my work is watching our students graduate, especially the first class that had started with me – meeting their parents was a nice treat.”

“When you teach politics it’s always interesting to see what grabs students’ attention,” Lewis explains. “I will come to class with something in the news that I think is exciting and the class will look at me like I put on a Yanni album. Or I will start talking about something that I don’t think is that engaging and the students are all over it. I’m always surprised, well I shouldn’t be anymore, but I was once always surprised how much students cared about voting age (they think it is low enough).”

Dr. Lewis is also a passionate researcher, who finds great enjoyment interviewing former politicians.

“My favourite part of research is interviewing a former politician and hearing something new,” he explains. “It’s always difficult to tell if it’s new information to the public but those moments when you think it is are satisfying.”

Dr. Lewis is a well-known authority and commentator on the Canadian political system. He describes his best work as an article published in the Canadian Parliamentary Review on cabinet size. Likewise, Dr. Lewis and Dr. Everitt have co-edited a book on conservative parties in Canada.

Professor Lewis will be back to lecturing and teaching in the winter term to the delight of all his former students.