My most memorable ULethbridge experience is not so much one moment but a collection of moments of the people that I have met along the way.

Kathleen Mah (BA '22) has an incredibly exciting summer planned that will take across the country and as far as Portugal! She is off to two conferences where she will present her research work on the Freedom movement. Kathleen is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, with a minor in women and gender studies. In September, she begins her master's at Carleton University.

Please tell us a bit about your experiential or work-integrated learning. What were your three biggest takeaways from participating?

I participated in a research-based honours thesis where I studied the Freedom movement from May 2021-September 2021. This study was an incredible experience and has fundamentally changed me as a researcher and anthropologist. The research conducted in this study has opened many doors for me. I have two publications coming up, and I will be attending the Canadian Anthropology Society conference in May and the Global Meeting of Law and Society conference in Lisbon, Portugal in July to present my work.

The three biggest takeaways that I learned from this experience are:

1.       To have empathy for my participants despite vast political differences and harmful actions on their part.

2.       To have confidence in myself and my ability to conduct academic research. And,

3.       To never shut any doors on possibilities for projects because you never know what will create more opportunities for you.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

My most memorable ULethbridge experience is not so much one moment but a collection of moments of the people that I have met along the way. I have met some of the most incredible scholars and friends who made ULethbridge my home.

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

The opposite of hope is not hopelessness; it is complacency. It is okay to be discouraged sometimes, but it is okay as long as you are not content and continue to wish for change.

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

The Department of Anthropology is full of the greatest people at the University. Steve Ferzacca, my supervising professor, is someone I will admire for the rest of my life. Also, many have shown me that women don’t just belong in academic space but drive it have inspired me greatly. These include Jenny Burke, Jodie Asselin, Jan Newberry, Andrea Cuellar, Catherine Kingfisher, Caroline Hodes, Suzanne Lenon, and Jenny Oseen.

Did you receive scholarships and awards? If so, please tell us a bit about how they helped you throughout your studies.

I received a few scholarships. Of course, these helped me financially, but knowing that I earned them,  boosted my confidence as a student.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I will be attending Carleton University for my master's degree in the fall. And I hope to follow this up with my PhD. But more generally, I hope to try and make the world a better place.

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

Do not be so hard on yourself. Give yourself time to grow and learn. It is hard starting university. Show yourself as much empathy, care, affection, and patience as you would a good friend.

Congratulations, Kathleen!

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