Shannon McKechnie

PhD Candidate

Profile

Shannon is a fourth year PhD Candidate in the Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies ARC, working under the supervision of Dr. Melody Viczko. Shannon completed her undergraduate degree in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and her MA in the Western Education CPELS ARC. Shannon holds an Ontario Graduate Scholarship for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.

Shannon is currently serving as the 2021/2022 President of the Education Graduate Students’ Association. To get involved, contact her at egsa@uwo.ca.

Memberships

Canadian Association for the Study of Higher Education

Currently serving 3 year term on Board of Directors

American Educational Research Association

Canadian Association of College and University Student Services

Connect with Shannon

LinkedIn

Research Gate

Twitter

Research

Assembling Student Employability: Post-Pandemic Policy Networks

Shannon’s research explores the relationship between the university and the labour market, by way of the concept of ‘student employability’. In Ontario, student employability is a significant policy priority, reflected in federal, provincial, and institutional strategies for student development and assessment. There is concern amongst policymakers, educators, and industry leaders about the preparedness of students leaving post-secondary education and entering the job market (Viczko, Lorusso, & McKechnie, 2019). Emerging from this context of concern is a range of government, non-government, and non-education actors with a vested interest in improving student employability who are playing increasingly significant roles in the creation of curriculum and delivery of employability programs for university students.

In early 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic emerged, complicating the ability of universities to deliver academic and student development programming in addition to severely affecting the financial wellbeing of students and their current and future employment prospects. In the wake of the initial spread of the virus, developing ‘employability’ has solidified as a top concern for students, policymakers, and post-secondary institutions, and the network of actors interested in employability as part of the provincial and federal path to economic recovery.

Shannon’s research interrogates the concept of ‘employability’ as an organizing principle for PSE in Canada during the time of COVID-19, and maps the network of actors who are responsible for the ‘work’ of employability in the PSE context. Drawing on a theoretical framework of actor-network theory and assemblage, Shannon’s research asks: How is student employability assembled in PSE policy in Ontario in the wake of COVID-19? Which actors are involved across education, student, NGO, and industry sectors, and how are they related to each other? How do these actors influence programs and policies in post-secondary institutions? What is the effect of this network on the student experience? 

Course Work Completed

  • D. Seminar
  • Introduction to Education Research
  • Qualitative Research in Education
  • Graduate Seminar in Leadership
  • Critical Policy Studies in Education
  • Social Context of Education
  • Equity & Social Justice in Education
  • Globalization & Education
  • Indigeneity & Decolonizing Education
  • Independent Research & Reading (Digital Methods)
  • International Perspectives on Education Policy (University of Verona)
  • Digital Methods Winter School (University of Amsterdam)

Awards

  • (2021) Alpha Omicron Pi Foundation of Canada Scholarship
  • (2021) Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • (2020) Delta Delta Delta Foundation – Sarah Shinn Marshall Scholarship
  • (2020-2021) Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • (2019) International Leadership Association Global Case Competition (Graduate Division) – 2 nd Place
  • (2019) Faculty of Education Graduate Student Conference Travel Grant
  • (2019) Society of Graduate Students Conference Travel Grant
  • (2019) Delta Delta Delta Foundation – Live Learn Lead Scholarship
  • (2018) Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 
    Graduate Policy Research Award
  • (2017) Delta Delta Delta Foundation – Sarah Shinn Marshall Scholarship
  • (2016) University of Toronto Alumni Association Gordon Cressy Student
    Leadership Award

Conferences Attended

McKechnie, S. (2021). Preparing students for the ‘real world’: Tensions and challenges of student services practitioners. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Virtual Conference.

McKechnie, S., & Finn, H. (2021). Student activism as a response to campus sexual violence. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Virtual Conference.

Viczko, M., Détourbe, M.A., & McKechnie, S. (2021). Understanding responsibility for refugee access to higher education: A mapping of policy actors and issues in Canada, England and France. Paper presented at the 2021 meeting of the American Education Research Association.

Viczko, M., Détourbe, M.A., & McKechnie, S. (2020). Mapping refugee access to higher education in Canada, England and France. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, London, ON. [Conference cancelled.] 

 

Finn, H., McKechnie, S., Hartman, E. (2019, October). Rethinking student activist leadership as a courageous response to sexual violence. Poster presented at the International Leadership Association Annual Global Conference, Ottawa, ON. 

McKechnie, S. (2019, June). Representations of skills in education policy and student affairs practice. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, Calgary, AB.

McKechnie, S. (2019, June). Discursive representations of skills in student affairs practice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Vancouver, BC.

McKechnie, S. & Viczko, M. (2019, June). Locating the skills agenda in international HE: A digital methods approach. Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Vancouver, BC. 

Viczko, M., Gardiner, R., McKechnie, S., Finn, H. (2019, April). The politics of sexual violence in universities as represented in policy documents and #metooPhD. Paper presented as a President’s Selection at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, Toronto, ON.

McKechnie, S. (2019, March). Skills & student affairs. Paper presented at the Robert Macmillan Graduate Research Symposium in Education, London, ON. 

McKechnie, S. (2018, April). Digital methods for educational research. Paper presented at the Robert Macmillan Graduate Research in Education Symposium, London, ON.

McKechnie, S. (2017, May). Addressing the ‘skills gap’: student affairs and policy enactment. Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Toronto, ON. 

McKechnie, S. (2017, May). Equity & extra-curriculars: race, class, gender, and the ‘successful student’. Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Toronto, ON.

Publications

Academic Papers (refereed)

Viczko, M., Lorusso, J., & McKechnie, S. (2019). The problem of the skills gap
agenda in Canadian post-secondary education. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 191, 118-130. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cjeap/article/view/62839

Book Reviews

McKechnie, S. (2020). [Review of the book Preparing students for work and life: policies and reforms affecting higher education’s principal mission, by W. Archer & H. G Schuetze (Eds.)]. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 50(3), 100-101. https://bit.ly/2YywoON 

Forthcoming Papers

Viczko, M., Detourbe, M-A., McKechnie, S. (in press). Understanding the networks of actors involved in refugee access to higher education in Canada, England and France: A digital comparative approach. LATISS

Project Reports and Papers (non-refereed)

McKechnie, S. (2020). Policy problems: preparing students for the ‘real world’. CACUSS Communiqué, 20(1), 35-37. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/edupub/176/

Viczko, M., McKechnie, S., van Buggenhout, N., & Barrios, J. (2018). Mind the gap: Mapping the politics of the skills gap in higher education. Working project report, Digital Methods Winter School, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Retrieved from https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/WinterSchool2018MindGap.

Invited Presentations

McKechnie, S. (2021, February 7). Youth, Education and Mental Health in the age of COVID-19. Invited panellist. Hamilton Region Women’s Liberal Association, Hamilton, ON. Other Panellists: Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, MPP Don Valley West; Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood; Zeelaf Fatima, OWLC VP Young Women.

McKechnie, S. (2020, January 15). Case Study Policy Research: Students for Consent Culture [Guest lecture]. GRADED9202 Critical Policy Studies, Western University, London, ON.

McKechnie, S. (2018, March 20). Participating in international research workshops. In M. Viczko (Chair), Presenting at International Conferences: Are you ready for this? Researching International and Comparative Research Meeting, Western University, London, ON.

McKechnie, S. (2018, February). Addressing the ‘skills gap’ with student affairs practitioners. Invited paper at the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Policy Research Symposium, Toronto, ON.

Podcasts/Audio Media

McKechnie, S. (Guest). (2020, September 22).  Planting the seed to success. (494). [Audio podcast episode]. In GradCast. Society of Graduate Students. https://gradcastradio.podbean.com/e/291-shannon-mckechnie/

McKechnie, S. (Guest). (2020, December 14). Lifelong Learner, Critical Questioner, Embodied Thinker. [Audio podcast episode]. In Humans of Grad School. https://bit.ly/3ovR70r