With a degree in psychology, Sooyi'kitstaki (Water Offering), Christine Scout-Bastien (BA ’23) has gained an appreciation for the benefits that come with truly listening to, and communicating with those around her, whether they are peers or professors. She learned the importance of networking, and through her liberal education experience, the skills of critical thinking and paying attention to details. She also discovered the importance of self-care and mental health for students, and how the support of scholarships and awards can alleviate those stresses.

Make sure to connect with your professors and don’t be afraid to approach them with any questions or concerns. Their job is to teach you, so make the most of it by building a network of classmates and colleagues.

Meet Sooyi'kitstaki (Water Offering), Christine Scout-Bastien: Passionate. Curious. Motivated.
Hometown: Fort Macleod, AB 
Program: Bachelor of Arts| Major: Psychology

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

My most memorable experience was building a network with classmates and future colleagues. I enjoyed being able to learn new skills while being able to grow as a student by paying attention to what my profs and classmates were saying. It helped me gain the confidence I lacked before coming to ULethbridge.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at ULethbridge?

The importance of self-care was one of the most important lessons I learned. If you’re not taking care of yourself the likelihood of your success may not be what you expect. You need to prioritize rest and mental health, because without them I wouldn’t have made it to graduation.

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

Critical thinking and paying attention to detail are among the skills I gained. Liberal education has helped me to think critically about the research I do, including the questions I ask. This is also beneficial at work, when it comes to making ethical decisions while working in the community.

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

Roy Pogorzelski had a significant influence on my experience. I took an Indigenous law course with him, and he made learning very enjoyable. His lectures pushed us to engage in conversation about our class content, even when it was hard to discuss. He always gave us space to have open discussions in a respectful way without involving our personal opinions. This really helped me to learn listening and communication skills, both of which I use actively in my career. His knowledge about the content and suggestions for students wishing to pursue a career in law is something I will never forget and hope to take with me to law school someday. I am also grateful to Dr. Jennifer Mather for her efforts when it comes to inclusion and creating space for Indigenous students to have their stories heard, including the opportunity for cultural practices. I was fortunate enough during my studies to have the opportunity to share traditional medicine with classmates, which is something I haven’t been able to share at other institutions. Dr. Mather further provided me opportunity to complete research with my career and the capacity to grow by teaching us public speaking skills. This also assisted me in understanding patience as a learner and professional. This has been a remarkable experience I will never forget, and I hope that other students in the psychology department will continue taking classes with her and learn from her like I did.

Did you receive scholarships and awards?

I received the Indigenous Careers award through ULethbridge, as well as scholarships through Indspire, the Piikani Youth and Education Foundation and the Peigan Board of Education. These scholarships helped provide financial relief so I could work less and focus more on my studies. Financial insecurity is detrimental to the mental health of students, so I greatly appreciated that assistance when things were stressful.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I plan to either attend law school or become an occupational therapist.

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

Make sure to connect with your professors and don’t be afraid to approach them with any questions or concerns. Their job is to teach you, so make the most of it by building a network of classmates and colleagues.

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