Lucas McMahon received a student award from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta’s 2000 Alberta Summer Games Legacy Fund in 2011, which assisted him in completing his Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Calgary in 2012.
“Receiving an award from the Community Foundation helped to alleviate some of the financial burden of post-secondary education, and gave me the freedom I needed to develop intellectually and decide to go on graduate study,” he says.
McMahon continued his studies in Ottawa, wrapping a Masters of Arts in Classics in 2014 before moving to Budapest, Hungary where he completed a one-year MA in medieval studies at Central European University.
With that under his belt, McMahon moved to the United States to bring a Ph.D in History at Princeton. Though he remains a doctoral candidate in Princeton, McMahon is currently spending a year in England at the University of Cambridge where he is writing his dissertation on the interplay of logistics and communication in the Byzantine Empire.
“It is my hope that after the completion of my doctorate I will continue on in academia, ideally to continue doing research as well as teaching,” says McMahon. “I intend to turn my dissertation into a book, and continue to publish articles on various aspects of late Roman and Byzantine history that both interest me and pertain to broader historical debates.”
The academic study of history is not just knowing about the past, but rather acquiring the skills needed to ask how we know what we think we know about the past, and how to interrogate critically the source material upon which that knowledge is based, says McMahon.
“Without support of this sort from the Community Foundation I would never have had the opportunity to go beyond the lectures and books of an undergraduate education to engage with historical source material at a deeper level and form the research skills and questions needed to advance knowledge.”
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift is distributed to projects in our community and students to assist in their funding of school. Donations can be made online here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/5797 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.