Hello, and welcome to my website! My name is Dax and I'm currently the Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University and a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Constitutional Studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta.
I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, but have been living elsewhere while I pursue academic opportunities - mostly in Ottawa, Edmonton, and now Kingston. Although the academy is my current home, I took a few detours before arriving here. Following secondary school, I was an entrepreneur for a short while, running a retail skateboard shop. After a few years, I decided to pursue a post-secondary education with the hope of finding a niche within the skateboard industry. However, my studies made me realize that I desperately missed 'big ideas.' Since then, I have continued my studies with ambitions to eventually find a career teaching and researching in a Canadian college or university.
I have a Bachelors Degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management (2013) and a Masters Degree in Political Economy (2015), both from Carleton University, and most recently a PhD in Political Science from the University of Alberta. My academic interests are diverse but my primary research project revolves around freedom of expression. My doctoral research project - for which I received a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship and recently nominated for the Governor General's Gold Medal - examines the contemporary state of freedom of expression on Canadian university campuses. The project blends literature from the fields of Political Science, Law and Legal Studies, and Philosophy and uses a qualitative mixed-methods approach that includes literature reviews, legal analysis, media analysis, personal interviews, and access to information requests. My MA thesis (passed with distinction) examined the demise of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
I also research the politics of alternative sport and skateboarding subculture. This work has more recently focused on how skateboarding subculture will change as it becomes an official 'sport' in the Olympic Games. In addition to my academic research, I have written blog posts, op-eds, and reports in more accessible venues. You can find links to some of my published academic and non-academic work in the 'Research' and 'Writing' section of this website.
I have been the recipient of several academic awards and scholarships, including the Faculty of Arts Graduate Teaching Award (2018), the Andrew Stewart Memorial Graduate Prize (2020), and the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship (2020, 2021). Throughout my studies, I have been involved in a number of community and non-profit groups. My major extra-curricular project as an undergraduate student, for example, was creating and hosting a regular documentary film screening series at Carleton University. More recently, my passion for teaching has led me to spearhead a working group dedicated to pedagogical training, mentorship, and collaboration among graduate students and faculty.
In my personal life, I am passionate about the outdoors and recreation. As an avid cyclist, skateboarder, and snowboarder, I relish traveling and especially exploring new terrain.