Press Releases

History students visit Ottawa, Ontario

Alfred University | 11/21/19

A group of Alfred University history students and two faculty members of the Human Studies Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences returned recently from a trip to Ottawa, Canada, that included not only a tour of the Canadian Parliament but a sampling of Canadian food including “beaver tails” – Canadian for fried dough.


A group of Alfred University history students and two faculty members of the Human Studies Division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences returned recently from a trip to Ottawa, Canada, that included not only a tour of the Canadian Parliament but a sampling of Canadian food including “beaver tails” – Canadian for fried dough.

The weekend excursion was a hands-on extension of the students’ history class Empire: 1451 – Present, taught by Visiting Lecturer Andrew Kless, who helped organize the trip. Both Kless and Assistant Professor Mallory Szymanski accompanied the students to the Canadian capital, and the trip was made possible with funding from Alfred University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Bernstein Family Student Faculty Development Fund.

Kless notes Canada remains part of the British Commonwealth and a constitutional monarchy although its government is functionally independent of Great Britain. The last real vestige of British authority in Canada is the Governor General, who acts as Canada’s Head of State on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ottawa, the federal capital of Canada, “exemplifies Canada’s legacy of being part of the British Empire,” Kless says; “History and Empire came alive in Canada’s capital.”

During the weekend, Alfred University students stayed overnight in the historic Ottawa jail, now converted into a youth hostel. On Saturday, they braved sub-freezing temperatures to walk across the Ottawa River to Gatineau in the French-speaking Province of Quebec (once a French colony), where they visited the Canadian Museum of History. Returning to Ottawa they gathered for a group dinner in a local pub. On Sunday, they visited the Canadian War Museum and ended the trip with a tour of the Canadian Parliament before returning to Alfred.

In photo above from left: Jonathan Thousand, Visiting Lecturer Andrew Kless, Cory Schutte, Michael Samul, Douglas Vrooman, Katherine Herrick, Assistant Professor Mallory Szymanski, Brenna Steffey, Ryan Brown, and Larissa Hageman.