Christine Streeter

Worker’s experiences of the changing conditions in the Non Profit and Social Service sector, pre and during COVID-19
Carleton University
Tell us a bit about yourself – what stage of your PhD are you in and what’s your project about?

My name is Christine Streeter and I am entering year 4 of my PhD. I started my PhD in 2017 after working at a large NGO, as well as on research projects involving youth social exclusion and professional suitability in social work. As well as working at York University in the Research and Innovation Division.

Recently, I have been involved in ethnographic site studies involving unpaid work in long-term residential care, as well as identifying and comparing promising practices to support older adults when imagining age-friendly cities. I am currently leading a Mitacs Accelerate Grant, on LGBTQI2S seniors’ and workers safety in health care, social care and municipal public services.

As a social worker committed to improving insecure working conditions for care workers in the social work and social services work sector, the research I am involved in explores gender, work and labour. My thesis research draws on feminist political economy to investigate social service worker’s experiences during COVID-19.

I also share my PhD journey on my blog called Scholar Culture, which is an educational and lifestyle blog for graduate students. Scholar Culture works towards bringing life back into the academic lifestyle through discussions around mental health, balance and meaning. Learn more over on the blog at

What does a typical day or week look like for you?

Every day and week is different! However, I have been trying to develop a morning routine that is consistent and all for me. I wake up early to drink my coffee and read. Then I meditate and go for an hour walk. When I come back I am in a good space to get start on my work. My work includes teaching assistantships, contract assistantships, research assistantships, reading, writing, publishing and working on my thesis.

What’s one thing that you’ve enjoyed the most during your PhD?

The one thing that I have enjoyed most about my PhD is that I have learned and pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, more than I ever thought possible.

What’s been the most challenging part of it?

One thing I discuss on my blog is the struggle with my mental health. Because I have pushed myself so hard, I found myself getting caught up in the productivity mindset of academic. Learn more about my mental health journey here.

Where do you see yourself 5 years after completing your PhD?
All I can hope for is that I am happy doing whatever it is I am doing!

What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer students that are thinking of doing a PhD?
One piece of advice that I have for students who are thinking about doing a PhD is to think long and hard to ensure that you want to pursue this challenge. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible if you are wholly committed. If that is the case, everything you need to know is inside.

What makes your university a good place to study?

Carleton University’s doctoral program in Social Work aligns with my interest and values in human rights, along with my critical approach when working towards social change. In addition to its structural approach, Carleton offers a specialization in Political Economy, which provided me with the knowledge analyze the social, economic, and political simultaneously, as well as a chance to meet other faculty, and colleagues.

Lastly, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time I like to spend time outside in nature, with my family and friends, as well as my partner, Steve. I love yoga, cooking and creating. Oh and reading fiction as much as I can!

Want to learn more about Christine?

Check out her website and follow her Instagram using the links below:

Website | Instagram

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