As a professional opera singer, Caitlin McCaughey (BMus '13, BA '24) has performed for thousands and even serenaded a rat in the streets of Italy. Now, upon returning to higher education to pursue her passion for history, she can proudly include 'two-time University of Lethbridge graduate' among her list of achievements.

Imposter syndrome doesn't go away, so embrace your uniqueness and offer what you can to your field!

Meet Caitlin: Effervescent. Dreamer. Curious.
Hometown: Cranbrook, BC
Program: Bachelor of Arts | Major: History

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

The mock Witch Trial in Dr. Janay Nugent's class. I stand that Lord Lady Caitlin had nothing to do with the events and that my Lady Lord Husband didn't either!

What have you gained from the liberal education experience at ULethbridge?

I completed the liberal education requirements for this degree during my first degree. However, my gratitude for a liberal education has grown in the 10 years since I graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge in 2014. It gave me a greater base knowledge of several subjects outside of my degree(s) that many of my friends from other universities did not have.

Have you participated in experiential or work-integrated learning?

I participated in two independent studies. My first research project compared Victorian and Post-war homemakers through their appliances including ovens, vacuums, and washing machines. My second research project delved into the commercialism of the Victorian Christmas and the working class who made the celebrations possible.

My three big take-aways from my independent studies were:
Just start writing. Get something down on the page and the ideas will start to fall into place.
2. The joy of microfilm! Although research may be tedious at times there are nuggets waiting in the smallest forms.
3. Interlibrary loans are your friend. Speak to your librarian and find the books any way you can.

Did you receive scholarships and awards?

I am grateful to have received the University of Lethbridge Scholarship and the Students' Union Quality Initiatives Scholarship. These scholarships were imperative to my returning to University. It was a relief to not have to take on several jobs to complete this degree.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?

I appreciate all of my professors, but I would not have been as successful as I was in this degree without the help of a few key people. Dr. Amy Shaw, Dr. Janay Nugent and Dr. Sheila McManus all helped me figure out where I fit and what I have to offer. They took the time to listen as I processed my ideas, and supported me as I grieved a loved one. I am forever grateful for their guidance! I am also grateful for friendship.

Although I am at least 10 years older than most of classmates they were all so kind and supportive. Special shout out to Anna Entz, a fellow student in the Faculty of Arts & Science, who helped me survive this final year.

What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?

Talk to your professors. They are here to guide you. Don't be afraid of them and remember they were once in your shoes!

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I have found a love of academia and hope to start my Master's degree in 2025. I would love to combine my history career with my operatic career. The big dream would be to work as a researcher during the day while singing in the evenings.

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