How have you been a leader at the University of Calgary? What qualities do all good student leaders possess?
Leadership is taking on a role of guiding and helping others or on behalf of others. This can be formalized in service opportunities such as my taking on a Vice President position in the new Graduate Programs in Education Student Association (GPESA). As well, it can take the form of being available to other students who may be looking for a student's perspective on research, teaching, or funding opportunities.
How have you been involved in the community during your university career?
During my university career, I have worked in various capacities that benefit the university directly, the larger teaching and academic communities, as well as my local neighborhood. For five years, I have helped to organize German Day, a high school competition held on campus. Last year, I co-organized a teacher's PD workshop in my role on the executive of the Alberta Association of Teachers of German. Previous to that, I was the Lead Graduate Student organizer of a pre-conference day for the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies. I regularly provide teacher workshops under the auspices of the German Teacher Facilitator Network. For my neighborhood soccer club, I am a Team Manager for one team.
How have you balanced school with your other commitments on campus and in the community?
I have discovered that I love working on projects that are finite in nature. There is a feeling of accomplishment at the end of a workshop or conference or at the end of a soccer season. I use that time to evaluate how the experience went and decide if it is something that I would like to do again or if it is time for me to move on. Working on Ph.D. research is similar, except that it has the added challenge of comprising of several overlapping projects, such that one never seems to be completely done! Still, I find that if I take time to evaluate the experience, I move forward with a greater understanding of where I would like go next.
University is what you make it, so how have you been making the most of your university career?
I have enjoyed the numerous opportunities to attend workshops and lectures on campus. Since my interests are interdisciplinary, I go to talks in a number of departments when they are of interest to me. In addition to talks, I like to take in fine arts and book reading when I can such as the musicals by the University of Calgary Operetta Company or the upcoming events that are a part of Wordfest. As well, I try and get to know other students at every event. I enjoy finding out what they are studying and what connections that might have to my work or interests. I try to maintain those connections despite everyone's busy schedules.
Class Ambassadors are permanent representatives of their graduating class. What is the role of University of Calgary alumni in the community and how will you represent the university to alumni and future alumni?
University alumni embody the goals of the university and as such are looked at with high expectations. As a class ambassador, I envision providing interested people with concrete positive examples of my university experience and I look forward to new challenges the position may hold.