Leah Levac

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Phone number: 
519 824 4120 x56065
MCKN 537
Education (doctoral degree): 
University of New Brunswick, PhD Interdisciplinary Studies; Queen’s University, B.Ed

My research program focuses on the interplay between historically marginalized citizens – particularly young women and women in northern communities – and the framing and development of public policy. Within this, I have three interrelated areas of research specialization, including:

  • intersectionality, Indigeneity, and the politics of engagement in northern Canada;
  • students’ development as engaged citizens and community engaged scholars; and
  • intersectionality and citizen engagement in policy development, and policy impact, particularly at the municipal level.

My first area of focus, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and SSHRC, aims to advance our understanding of how diverse northern women, including Indigenous women, are impacted by, and have an impact on, factors such as economic restructuring and growing inequality, and to inform policy and other decision-making processes. 

My second area of specialization is best exemplified by my teaching and learning scholarship, and my work in curriculum development. For example, in collaboration with the Student Life Department at the University of Guelph, I have worked over the last three years to develop the Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship. For more on the Certificate, visit: Student Experience.

My third area of specialization bridges the first and second, adding an emphasis on municipal public policy and citizen engagement. Besides focusing my own research in this area, I work with municipal governments and local organizations to develop community engaged learning projects for senior undergraduate and graduate students. Examples of recent projects include collaborations with the Canadian Federation of University Women, The Seed, Women Transforming Cities – Vancouver, and the Guelph Community Health Centre.

  • Levac, L., McMurtry, L., Stienstra, D., Baikie, G., Hanson, C., & Mucina, D. (2018). Learning across Indigenous and western knowledge systems and intersectionality: Reconciling social science research approaches. SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis report. Available online at: Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
  • Levac, L., & Worts, S. (2018). Invisible young women and public policy in Ontario. Canadian Public Policy, 44(1), 41-53.
  • Robinson, A.A., & Levac, L. (2018). Transformative learning in developing as an engaged global citizen. Journal of Transformative Education, 16(2), 108-129.
  • Levac, L. (2013). “Is this for real?” Participatory research, intersectionality, and the development of leader and collective efficacy with young mothers. Action Research, 11(4), 423-441.

Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science Early Researcher Award, 2017-2022.