Valencia Gaspard

Portrait of graduate student Valencia Gaspard (PhD, Rural Studies) in the atrium of the Albert A. Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph


Your work matters here. Graduate researchers at U of G improve life, that's a powerful community to be part of.


Rural Studies, PhD

Why I Chose Guelph… 

I chose to complete my graduate studies at the University of Guelph because I saw a direct connection between a need in rural Ontario and research being done at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development through the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership.

About My Advisor… 

I am fortunate to be advised by Dr. Allan Lauzon at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. My advisor comes to academia with years of diverse work experiences outside of a university setting. This rich history positions him strategically to challenge the theoretical and methodological merits of my research while ensuring its relevance and applicability. Dr. Lauzon has a contagious commitment to improving life and serves as a constant source of guidance. Dr. Lauzon is supportive of my academic pursuits, encourages me to develop new ideas, and challenges me to think systemically about solving problems.

About Being a Grad Student at U of G… 

Being a graduate student at U of G means being part of a commitment to improve life.

What Makes U of G Unique?

What I like most about campus is the accessible green space. From Johnson Green to the Arboretum I derive tremendous value from its natural landscapes during the four seasons.

About the City of Guelph… 

I like the community-minded activities that happen throughout the City of Guelph - like the farmer's market, Fab Five festivals, and street celebrations. There is no shortage of opportunity to get off campus and be part of the city.

About Future Goals...

After graduation, I plan to work as a university professor and research consultant. The University of Guelph has helped me prepare for this goal by offering opportunities to conduct scholarly research, modeling faculty who support a work-life balance, and connections to employment opportunities.

How Will Your Research Improve Life?

I have had the opportunity to deliver my research findings to the organizations that support individuals who are precariously employed in rural Ontario. My project's outcomes are useful in crafting rural policy and programs which mitigate the negative impacts of precarious employment in rural Ontario.