Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised just down Highway 3 in Medicine Hat. The summer after high school, I received a call from Medicine Hat College inviting me to apply to their Visual Communications program. They had apparently been given my name by my high school art teacher. (Clearly, FOIP legislation did not exist then!) I applied and did a year of study there before taking some time to more carefully consider my interests and pivoting to a degree program at ULethbridge.
Lethbridge was appealing to me in that it was a smaller city that also received a lot of southern Alberta sunshine, the university was well known among my peers and had a reputation for good quality education and small class sizes, and was also far enough away from home that my mother could not open my mail.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in the early 90s. After receiving my first degree, I joined the staff at Lethbridge College and worked with unemployed/underemployed members of the public referred by WCB and some provincial/federal offices. I later moved to student advising in what was then Counselling Services there. After seven years, I returned to the University as a Student Program Advisor in the Faculty of Arts & Science. At that time, I also began work on a second undergraduate degree — a Bachelor of Management in Human Resources and Labour Relations. This degree fed my interest in industrial/organizational psychology, but I was unable to complete it because my final four required courses were only offered during hours when I was at work!
After that, I continued to work at ULethbridge but took some time away from post-secondary education to get married and start a family, eventually returning to University classes to complete a Master of Counselling degree in 2014.
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
I have been at the University either as a student or an employee (or both) for most of my adult life, but I officially started as an employee in early May of 1998.
What's the best part of your job?
There are a number of things I enjoy: The students I have the opportunity to talk with who have big dreams and want to change the world; or those who start out fearful and not doing well but are persistent and guileless in seeking help and turning things around; or those who are making their way through their program and suddenly encounter a discipline or a professor who sparks a new passion and they quickly become very committed to a particular educational and life path.
In addition to the students, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with so many exceptional colleagues who are intelligent, knowledgeable, compassionate, warm and incredibly funny!
Finally, I would have to say that I have always found the actual campus environment to be very stimulating. From random intellectual conversations in the halls to artwork in the galleries; a continuous flow of speakers to campus; students, staff and faculty getting involved in important social movements; and even seeing the wildlife activity out my second-floor window, there is never a dull moment.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am busy raising two sons, which means I buy groceries and attend their sports events. In addition to that, I can also frequently be found walking my very large dog, stopping to take photos of random, weird or funny things along the way. I enjoy the outdoors primarily in the summer and am happy camping, golfing, paddleboarding, etc. In the colder months, I’m all about cooking family dinners on Sundays and watching fictional and/or historical docudramas. I have a sideline hobby of collecting craft supplies that ‘I will use someday.’