The School of Liberal Education is pleased to congratulate Erin Burns, this years’ winner of the 2020 School of Liberal Education Volunteer Scholarship.

Burns, a second-year student in the Faculty of Fine Arts, hopes to become a teacher and her passion for lifelong education is evident in all of her volunteerism. She has spent time volunteering with Frontier College, a national charitable literacy organization that seeks to improve education and literacy among marginalized adults in Canada. Burns has also volunteered at a number of University of Lethbridge events, as well as at the Calgary Drama Festival.

“As a student, I am always looking for opportunities to enrich my educational experience,” says Burns. “Although taking courses at the university is a significant part of the liberal education experience, I believe that going out and becoming involved in the community can teach so much. Not only does volunteer work provide opportunities to connect with people working in your field and gain work experience, but it also creates genuine human experience which I think is a deeply important educational tool.”

The School of Liberal Education Volunteer Scholarship was established in 2019 by Drs. Steve and Shelly Wismath to celebrate the importance of volunteer work as part of the University of Lethbridge’s foundational philosophy of Liberal Education. The award of $1,000 recognizes the immense amount of work being performed by U of L students and goes to a student with high academic standing and a strong record of volunteer activity in the community.

“Erin truly embodies the foundational philosophy of Liberal Education within both her academic and community service records,” says Shelly Wismath, dean of the School of Liberal Education. “She is a shining example of what is means to be an engaged citizen.”

The U of L’s model of Liberal Education encourages students to use their broad, integrated knowledge and their critical thinking skills to participate in and give back to their communities at all levels. This award is given annually to a student who is registered with the UVolunteer Program and embodies the philosophies of Liberal Education and volunteerism.