Alumni Profiles

Alumni from our Undergraduate Program

Jen Pederson


Director of Development, Certified Fundraising Executive

Graduated: BA (Hons), 1997

In my final year I took two history courses that perhaps foreshadowed my career – a seminar on the settlement of the Canadian West and a historiography class that had a profound effect on how I looked at history, the notion of objectivity, and museums. After several working years in the charitable sector with sojourns into historical research and writing along the way, I came to the Western Development Museum (WDM) as the Director of Development in 2011. I oversee fundraising programs for the WDM, seeking to ensure ample resources for Saskatchewan’s history museum. The WDM’s work is grounded in the artifacts and their stories and I like to think that my academic background helps me to share those stories with our supporters.

Beyond learning the names and dates, larger concepts, patterns and themes, I appreciate having had the opportunity to study with professors and instructors with diverse areas of expertise and approaches, which helped inform my communication style when talking about history. I was part of the group of students that founded the History Undergraduate Students’ Association, an early opportunity to build relationships and leadership skills. I know I use my history degree every day in my job. Fundraising is work that requires passion for the cause one is working for. Being a confident researcher and writer, and being able to draw connections and common threads allows me to create a solid case for support for the WDM and gives me the opportunity to share my passion for history with everyone who chooses to give to the WDM.

Tracey Mitchell

Sarah Nickel

Mentor and Coordinator

Graduated: BA (Hons.), 2007 in  History & Sociology.

I currently work for Next Up Leadership coordinating training programs in Saskatchewan for young social and environmental justice leaders. My other job involves coordinating and mentoring mental health & addictions peer support workers. I am also involved in the community, as a member of Bus Riders of Saskatoon and Climate Justice Saskatoon, an active volunteer in the arts community, and a member of the national board of the Council of Canadians.

I have never been able to just pick one thing and run with it, so pursuing a double major in History & Sociology worked well for me. Studying history made me a better writer. In seminars, I became more confident discussing my ideas, and learned not to take it personally when others disagreed. The History department at the U of S offers a lot of really interesting classes about stories that used to get lost in history books including Indigenous, LGBTQ, women's, Latin American and environmental histories. I loved the excuse to "nerd out" in the microfilm room in the library, reading old newspaper stories about key events and moments in the history of movements of which I am now a part. We can't make a better future without knowing our histories. I am ever grateful to the professors and staff in the U of S Department of History for the opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally in my time there.