Shining Graduate Student Helen Wandera decided to pursue a Master of Education because of her belief in the importance of continued education. Her dream is to one day establish an inclusive school in Kenya, with a focus on prioritizing access for underprivileged students.
The most important lesson I have learned during my time as a graduate student at University of Lethbridge is to maintain my focus on my studies and prevent any distractions. This period of my life is valuable, and I owe it to myself to prioritize my academic pursuits!
Meet Helen: Compassionate. Selfless. Persistent.
Program: Master of Education (Educational Leadership)
"Helen is the epitome of service-oriented leadership," says Dr. Kevin Wood, Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Education.
What are three unique facts about yourself?
- I possess a child-like heart that enables me to seamlessly integrate into any group.
- My affection and passion for children is unwavering.
- I am committed to lifelong learning and personal growth, showcasing my dedication to expanding my knowledge and skills regardless of age.
Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge?
Two years ago, my family and I relocated to Lethbridge from Ontario with the specific goal of pursuing my Master of Education. The University of Lethbridge came highly recommended by numerous individuals, prompting my decision to enroll at this institution.
Tell us about your work experience prior to beginning graduate studies at ULethbridge
I worked as a pre-K teacher at a school in Lethbridge, where the majority of the children had special needs. This experience significantly influenced my perspective on children with special needs.
Have you been involved in research? Tell us about it!
By actively participating in research, I can leverage those findings and experiences to drive strategic decision-making, foster innovation and create a collaborative and empowered work environment that is poised for success and sustainable growth in future.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience so far?
The most memorable University of Lethbridge experience I've had is when I delivered a metaphorical representation of professional leadership and identity and some members of the cohort provided positive feedback in response.
Are there any faculty members who have made a big impact on your time at ULethbridge?
I would attribute my positive experiences at University of Lethbridge to the entire Faculty who have guided me during my master's program. However, some professors have left a significant impression, including Kevin Wood, Annette Bruised Head, Leah Fowler, Heather Fansher and Cheryl Gilmore.
Have you faced any obstacles on your journey? How did you overcome those obstacles?
Balancing academic demands and personal commitments! Juggling the demands of coursework, research and academic commitments alongside personal responsibilities and family obligations was challenging and it required careful time management and support. To overcome these obstacles, I took several proactive steps in my time management; I established a structured schedule, seeking support from family and friends and leveraging available academic support services at the University to help manage both academic and personal commitments effectively.
How do you think your graduate studies will impact your practice/work once complete?
I will develop a strategic mindset and advanced leadership skills and strategies, enabling effective team leadership, fostering a positive work culture and organizational success within the education sector.
What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
For those about to embark on their journey at the University of Lethbridge, I would offer the following advice: stay organized, utilize campus resources, seek opportunities, prioritize self care, embrace diversity and respect and build relationships. By embracing these recommendations you can make the most of your time at the University of Lethbridge, and lay a strong foundation for personal and academic growth that will benefit you throughout your educational journey and beyond!
* General major theme: Literacies & Numeracies
* Educational Leadership major
- Reinvigorate your practice while teaching
- Create change you're passionate about
- Build on your inspiration, experience and skill
- Enjoy support and shared learning in a cohort