Lou has lived most of his life in rural parts of Ontario, first in Dufferin County and later in Carling Township, a small community near Parry Sound. Having attended the University of Toronto for his BA in political science, he is keenly aware of the rural/urban divide that shapes this province. He has also spent time living abroad in Spain and travelling throughout Europe, North Africa, and Mexico, which has enabled him to learn more about rural and urban life in other countries. This combination of experiences has led him to the University of Guelph’s Rural Planning and Development program, in order to learn how to make rural communities more livable and inclusive.

Lou’s research interests include comparative rural policy, economic development, and immigration. In the past year, he has contributed to projects exploring rural policy lenses, local planning for climate change, and microbrewery development in Southwestern Ontario. During this time he has participated in a number of conferences and events, including a presentation on his rural lens research at the 2019 Rural Symposium at OMAFRA. Currently he is working on projects concerning provincial rural strategies and philanthropy as a research assistant for Dr. Ryan Gibson. He will also be attending the 2019 ICRPS Summer Institute in Rovaniemi, Finland this June.

This September, Lou intends to start field work for his thesis on the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). This will bring him to Mexico to interview participants in the program. His thesis will examine the relationship between workers’ housing arrangements and their experiences in host communities, including their access to services and food, as well as their interactions with community-members and employers.

Upon completion of his MSc, Lou hopes to enroll in a PhD program in a related discipline, so that he may continue to pursue a career in research. To learn more about Lou’s thesis research, click here.