Shada Aborawi began her academic adventure at the University of Lethbridge with a clear focus on political science. Before long, her curiosity led her to expand her studies into social studies education, adding a valuable layer to her educational experience. Her role as the Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator at the Campus Collective Centre showcases her commitment to advocacy and community organizing, providing her with opportunities to collaborate and organize events that resonate with her passions. Shada was recently been appointed as a member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada Youth Council.

I am currently working my second term as the Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator and getting to work at the Campus Collective Centre and engage with the community has been very complimentary to my studies. Advocacy and community organizing have been long-standing interests of mine, so exploring those concepts in my classes and then applying them through my work has been very beneficial.

Meet Shada | Ambitious. Driven. Advocate.
Program: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education | Major: Political Science/Social Studies Education
Hometown: Lethbridge, AB

Why did you choose ULethbridge?

I grew up in Lethbridge and have done most of my schooling here. I have family members who are alumni, so ULethbridge seemed like an excellent choice when considering where I would go for post-secondary. The small class sizes and diversity in opportunities and experiences here were other draws for me, especially the opportunity to put what I was learning into practice. I appreciate the sense of community that exists on campus, and I hope to contribute to that as I continue my education.

Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge?

I was 100 percent certain about my desire to study political science, and hearing about the excellent faculty at ULethbridge certainly reinforced that. When I first started at the University I was pursuing solely a Bachelor of Arts in political science. After learning more about the Faculty of Education and the program here, I expanded my degree to include social studies education. I had no idea I wanted to pursue education, and now that I am undertaking my first professional semester, I am so glad I made the shift.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience so far?

I am continuing my second term as the Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator of the Campus Collective Centre, one of five levy organizations on campus. This role has granted me so many opportunities and memorable experiences. Working with a fantastic team of students and collaborating with other organizations has been incredible. I was fortunate to be a part of the team putting on the Advocacy 101 Conference for students. The Campus Collective Centre, in collaboration with the Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group, was able to organize a day for students looking to become advocates, and we were able to engage some really amazing speakers and active community members to be involved. Having the opportunity to be involved in that was an excellent reminder about the power of collaboration as well as all the fantastic resources and opportunities available on campus. I was fortunate to work with an incredible team of friends, and I look forward to being involved in organizing another advocacy conference this year.

How have your professors impacted your education?

I have had so many amazing and passionate professors at ULethbridge who have helped me discover many of my newfound passions, and taken the time to engage with all of my questions and interests. I have been fortunate enough to take a couple of classes with Dr. John von Heyking, whose passion for political theory drew me to the subject. Despite being quite intimidated by the subject initially, I have come to learn a lot about it and found the same passion for it through his classes. I hope to continue delving into the subject and explore the various upper-level classes offered as I continue working on my degree. A subject area outside of my discipline that I have come to love has been English, specifically, classes I have taken with Dr. Jay Gamble. One of my favourites was a poetry class, where his passion was reflected in the level of student engagement and discussions that took place. While my degree does not have the capacity for a minor in English, I hope to continue incorporating English classes in my degree and engaging with the discipline further.

Shada displays outstanding academic performance which is displayed most vividly in the high quality of insights she expresses in class discussions and one-on-one conversations. She is a joy to teach! - John von Heyking, Department of Political Science

Is there anyone else who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?

My experience at ULethbridge has been shaped by all the amazing friends I have made here. Getting to connect with so many engaged and passionate students over our shared interest in different subjects, and forming profound friendships from those connections, has been a highlight of my time here. My friends and fellow students serve as my inspiration.

Have you received any scholarships and awards?

I have been fortunate to receive some scholarships and awards that have aided my academic pursuits. Most recently, I was awarded the Laurence Decore Award for Student Leadership as well as the Lethbridge ATA Local 41 Scholarship. Such scholarships have been tremendously helpful in aiding me to continue my academic pursuits and remain an engaged and active student.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I really enjoy recharging by spending time with friends and family, watching movies, and delving into a really good book. I also love grabbing a coffee at one of the lovely local cafes and going book shopping downtown.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I'd love to continue my schooling and pursue graduate studies in a master's program related to political science. I look forward to continuing my degree at present and discovering areas of interest to explore in a graduate studies program.

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

Be engaged in classes, reach out to your professors, and take advantage of all the opportunities that are available. There is so much space to explore your passions and build a network of support; you just have to put in the effort and take the first step. And don't be afraid to lean on your fellow students. You'd be amazed to discover all the meaningful relationships you can develop once you step out of your comfort zone and make an effort to connect with people.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us about your decision to pursue a university degree?

I completely understand and relate to the struggle of finding balance when working with a chaotic schedule, although it is so important to value and take care of our wellness. There are so many resources and supports available both on campus and beyond that and I have learned the importance of valuing my wellness. Throughout my degree, I have come to understand that I cannot be a good student if I am not managing my wellbeing and utilizing the supports available.

Quick Answers

Favourite class: ENGL 2100 (Poetry) and POLI 2511 (Political Theory)
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: Spending time at the Campus Collective Centre, of course!
Favourite place to study: I love the nooks in the library or the 24-hour study area.
What are three awesome things about you? I read just under 50 books each year, I'm very engaged in mental health advocacy and get to work with some super cool organizations, and I have an odd passion for tea (Earl Grey and Chai are my favourites).