Christina Keppie, Director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies
Christina Keppie is the Director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies as well as an Associate Professor of French and Linguistics in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. She received her PhD in French from the University of Alberta in 2008 before moving to Bellingham. She is committed to innovative teaching here on campus. Some of her favorite projects have resulted in student productions of French Acadian plays, sociolinguistic original research projects on the effects of study abroad experiences in French second language acquisition among students in Western’s French program, and a successful summer global learning program to Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Keppie’s primary research focus is cultural and ideological identity of Francophone minorities of Maine and Eastern Canada, which she approaches through an ethnographic framework. She enjoys a healthy lifestyle of fresh air, martial arts, boot camp, cooking, and cats.
Natalie JK Baloy, Associate Director of Transboundary Initiatives
Natalie is the Associate Director of Transboundary Initiatives, which includes the Border Policy Research Institute, the Center for Canadian-American Studies, and the Salish Sea Institute. She is committed to facilitating place-based learning and connecting across disciplines, borders, and boundaries. Originally from Ohio, Natalie has lived on the Pacific Coast for over ten years. She completed her Masters and PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, living on Orcas Island while writing her dissertation. From 2014-2016, Dr. Baloy was a postdoctoral fellow with the UC Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California. At WWU since 2016, she continues to engage in work related to ethics, colonialism and its ongoing impacts, and regional history and politics.
Kyla Sweet, K-12 Education and Curriculum Specialist
Kyla grew up in Alberta, Canada but spent many years in Vancouver, B.C., and relocated to the USA in 2004, after marrying her American husband at a “transboundary” wedding that included a model of the Peace Arch border crossing. Kyla earned her BA at Portland State and her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. However, she and her family were eager to return to the PNW, so she accepted a position as a school librarian at a French Immersion school in Seattle where she spent eight years. Sharing resources and new perspectives was her favorite part of school librarianship and are an integral part of her new position. Elle est heureuse de commencer à travailler avec vous tous. Allons-y!
Lisl is Austrian-American and spent most of her first 25 years in Europe; she has also lived and worked in British Columbia. She earned her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology in Rhode Island and her M.A. in International Affairs in Washington, D.C., before relocating with her family to the beautiful Pacific Northwest over a decade ago. Lisl’s professional background is in international education administration and conference planning. She enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, yoga, gardening, and keeping up with friends and family around the world. Lisl is delighted to join the Center for Canadian-American Studies to support its growing programs!