Recipient of the Faculty of Education Gold Medal
Jessica (Lohues) Nelson completed her combined Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in the fall of 2019. Excelling academically and in her field-based placements, Jessica has a perfect 4.0 grade point average, a remarkable achievement. Jessica excelled in the classroom while at the same time contributing significantly as a goaltender for the uLethbridge Women’s Hockey team. Her field experience reports speak to a capable teacher that is knowledgeable, caring, fun, and engaging. One student at Wilson Middle School in Lethbridge commented, “She is very good at teaching math” then in the next breath said, “It is easy to feel cared about in this class.” Congratulations to Jessica for this outstanding achievement and being this year’s recipient of the Faculty of Education Gold Medal!
We asked Jessica about her time at uLethbridge:
What is your most memorable uLethbridge experience?
I was able to spend five years playing for the women’s hockey team at uLethbridge. There are so many memories from those five years, and I know that I will always look back on my university career through the student athlete lens. Beyond that, there are a few others experiences!! Attending the Men's Basketball playoffs a few years ago with my friends and teammates, and going crazy when the team won in the last few seconds of the game; it was so cool to see everyone so united to the team finding success!! Next, attending the Academic All-Canadian dinner each year; it is not often that academics and athletics are celebrated in the same space, and I'm proud to have been a part of that each year. Lastly, I received a handshake from one of my professors when I got 100 per cent on a midterm. I was the only non-major in the room, and I was also the only one to have received a 100 per cent, which was pretty cool!!
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your uLethbridge experience?
There are two people who I would like to recognize here: Sean Fitzpatrick and Richelle Marynowski. They both pushed me to become the best that I could be, Sean in the math portion of my degree and Richelle in the education portion. They also guided me and supported me in finding success in other areas. I am very thankful to call them my mentors!!
What is the most important lesson you learned?
I think the most important lesson that I learned was that it is okay to sit in your prof’s office and ask questions!! I think I did some of my best learning in that time when I was able to work through difficult concepts with the prof there to guide me (Thanks, Sean!!). I think I also learned that it's good to take a break every once in a while!! Your work will still be there when you get back, and you'll probably be in a better state of mind to complete it, which means getting it done faster!! Take that break. Get that coffee. It's good for you!!
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I want to become a junior high math teacher!! At one point I would've said that I wanted to stay and teach in southern Alberta, but I think that's changing. I would love to stay in southern Alberta, but I also want to explore new places. I want to start a family. I think someday I want to take my master’s, but who knows? I want to change lives and help my students find a love, or at least a tolerance instead of a hate, for math!!