Fierce determination and supportive guidance from his supervisors ensured that Canadian alumnus Dr Kelly Sundberg was not only able to reach his PhD milestones but his life goals too.
“Undertaking my PhD under the supervision of Professor Jude McCulloch and Professor Sharon Pickering was outstanding,” Dr Sundberg said.
“I was able to work on my studies at my own pace, completing two residencies in Melbourne and working the rest of the time via email and Skype. This flexibility was the only way I could have completed my PhD from Canada.”
Dr Sundberg started his PhD at the University of the West Indies in 2007 while working with the Canadian Border Services Agency and travelling frequently to Jamaica.
A change in his travel schedule and assignments meant he had to find a way to complete his PhD.
“In 2008 I left the Government of Canada and took a position teaching criminal justice at Mount Royal University (MRU) but still no closer to completing my PhD,” Dr Sundberg said.
“It wasn’t until I read an article by Professor McCulloch - ‘National (in)Security’ - that I became convinced that Monash was where I needed to go and Professor McCulloch was who I needed as my supervisor.
"In May of 2008 I applied to Monash and promptly re-commenced my PhD studies.”
In 2009 Dr Sundberg and his wife had their first child.
“I found the PhD a real challenge! Yet my supervisors were so supportive and urged me to push forward,” Dr Sundberg said.
“In August 2011 I was appointed Chair of Justice Studies at MRU. I continued in my studies while running a department with 400 undergraduate students, 10 full-time faculty, three full-time staff, and eight support staff.
“In early 2012 my wife and I had twin daughters and again, I found my PhD fell by the wayside. However with the support of my supervisors and many late nights and long weekends, I was able to complete my thesis in December 2012.
“Needless to say, my lovely and supportive wife is very glad I'm finished now!”
During the course of his PhD, Dr Sundberg co-edited a book Border Security in the Era of Al-Qaeda, a chapter in another edited work, Law Enforcement Ethics, co-authored four peer-reviewed articles, co-authored another work in the RCMP Gazette and presented at six international conferences. He also taught a course each term and supervised a Masters student and five honours students.
“I'm very proud of having completed my PhD at Monash, and will forever be connected to the University," Dr Sundberg said.
“Monash is not only a world-leading University; it's a University that supports the achievement of its students through its world-class faculty and staff.”