Skip to the content of the web site.

Dr. Bruce Dadey (MA 1995, PhD 2006)

“[T]he life of the mind is a great life, and it extends well beyond the academy.”

     It’s said that landing a full-time position as a tenure-track professor feels the same as winning the lottery. Dr. Bruce Dadey (MA 1995, PhD 2006) considers himself very fortunate to hold a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of English at Laurentian University in Sudbury, where he teaches courses in rhetoric and American literature.

     During his MA, Dr. Dadey worked as a co-op technical writer for a Mississauga IT company and found the work interesting, challenging, and unconventional. During the placement he became an "accidental programmer," learning various programming languages and platforms to facilitate his writing tasks. “It was great fun facing the challenges associated with producing documentation across so many platforms and trying to figure out appropriate and workable technical solutions,” he says. He returned to this employer to work as a full time technical communicator for a few years after completing his MA before returning to Waterloo for his PhD.

     When Dr. Dadey began facing the challenges of doctoral studies, he found the experience “both exhilarating and grueling (sometimes simultaneously), and [Dr.] Kevin [McGuirk] very ably supported and prodded me as I made my way through it.” He remembers the faculty in the English Department being supportive throughout his studies. Dr. Dadey commuted from his home outside Kitchener- Waterloo, and on top of his school responsibilities devoted time to his expanding family. However, he did find time to participate in graduate forums that he found to be “useful academic preparation for the work I do now.”

     In general, Dr. Dadey remembers “the intense intellectual stimulation that accompanied my classes. I felt (and still feel) that professors at Waterloo managed to make the classes both academically rigorous and collegial, so that students were challenged but were also comfortable expressing their views and interacting with both the instructor and other students.” While Dr. Dadey finds all of his courses were enjoyable, four of them stand out in his memory. First, a self-directed reading course in rhetoric with Dr. Randy Harris “allowed me to take my rhetoric field exam before I was even finished my coursework and still forms the foundation of many of my intellectual pursuits.” Second was a class on Kenneth Burke with Dr. Glenn Stillar. He remembers this class especially for frequent student debates “[that were] often so intense that Glenn could barely get a word in edgewise.” Third was a Native Canadian literature course taught by Dr. Linda Warley, “[which] provided me with new insights into my previous experience teaching in a First Nations community, as well as [the basis of] my first publication. Lastly, “the class on American Popular Literature with Dr. Victoria Lamont was instrumental in my development as a teacher of American literature.”

     Dr. Dadey first chose to attend the University of Waterloo as an MA student because he was interested in the relationship between technology and language. As he progressed, he developed an interest in the history and theory of rhetoric. “Rhetoric offers so many possibilities for study and application that I knew I would never tire of the subject,” says Dr. Dadey, “and Waterloo offers a unique opportunity to study classical and contemporary approaches to it.” He continued studying at Waterloo as a PhD student because he was able to combine the study of rhetoric with his interest in American literature, which directly links to his academic career. “My Waterloo education prepared me precisely for the academic position I currently occupy, and it has given me skills and knowledge that have also enabled me to undertake various tasks outside the academic world.”