Alec Mullender: From Ancient History to present day

By Anthony Fava

Alec's place of birth: South-East England

Western University LIS PhD student Alec Mullender is studying Critical Classification Theory to better understand how classifcation and the organization of knowledge reinforce systems and hierarchies of oppression.


Alec Mullender earned his undergraduate degree in Ancient History from the University of Edinburgh in 2008, and originally came to Canada as an international exchange student: taking his third year at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

After completing his Undergraduate Degree, he moved to South Korea to teach English for a few years. In 2011, he returned to Canada, emigrated, and began to further his own studies. He decided to enroll in Western University’s Master of Library and Information Science program in London, Ontario.

“I was thinking about employability and greater technological proficiency when I chose Western’s Master of Library and Information Science program,” he says, adding that he fell in love with both the program and the library sciences field.

"There were things I kind of got involved in that were interesting. There were people in the program who I found interesting. But this one thing, this one project, just something clicked in my head. Like, I want to do this, I want to be involved in this."

Alec remembers one particular moment that sparked his love for library sciences, while he was enrolled in Professor Melissa Adler’s Research Methods course. During a group project that introduced him to the work of renowned librarian Sanford Berman, Professor Adler encouraged her students to research the topic of critical cataloguing further and to even get in touch with Berman himself.

“I wrote to him, he wrote back, and now I’ve actually been in touch with him for over five years,” he says.

That class assignment is now a research paper that Alec and a classmate are preparing for publication. 

Fun Fact

Alec met his future wife while studying Ancient History on exchange at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

After graduating from the MLIS program, Alec decided to continue with the research aspects of the field and was accepted into Western’s doctoral program in Library and Information Science, where he is studying Critical Classification Theory. He works part-time in the Interlibrary loan department of D.B. Weldon Library to enhance his practical experience in librarianship. 

His academic journey may have begun in Ancient History, but Alec is enjoying this moment and is making the best of the opportunities available to him at Western. Does he know what’s in his future?

“Getting set up in a solid academic library and getting to do my academic research is what I want to do,” he says..

Profiles in the Meet Our Students section are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.