I chose ULethbridge because the campus environment was warm and welcoming. I also really appreciated the University’s emphasis on liberal education and having the opportunity to take classes outside of my major requirements.
Julisha Roache (BA '22) took advantage of work-integrated-learning opportunities at ULethbridge and thoroughly enjoyed the breadth of opportunities available to her. As part of her honours thesis, Julisha examined how the process of racialization affects the social identity of Caribbean immigrants in Canada. Julisha graduates this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.
Please tell us about your work-integrated learning experiences at ULethbridge, and what were your biggest takeaways?
I completed several independent studies at ULethbridge. One study focused primarily on how identity operates, specifically for immigrant populations in Canada. Another explored the phenomenon of dreaming in the context of the cultural and social systems of the Caribbean. I also completed a multi-modal project to highlight student projects in the anthropology department. And finally, I completed an honours thesis that looked at how the process of racialization affects the social identity of Caribbean immigrants in Canada.
My first big takeaway from these experiences would be the importance of believing in yourself. Self-doubt was a major challenge that I faced while participating in these projects so I would say believing in yourself and your abilities are extremely important. My second big takeaway is that while research is often difficult, it can also be rewarding. The process of doing research was not easy but it allowed me to produce work that I was deeply proud of. The third is the importance of collaboration. The best work is often produced with the help of others and I found that to be true for all of my projects.
Please tell us a bit more about your honours thesis.
My honours thesis primarily focused on racial identity and sought to understand how these immigrants become “Black” in this cultural context. My goal was to compare how the process of racialization occurs in the Caribbean and Canadian context and see how this contrast affects the relationship that Black Caribbean people living here have to Black identity. I conducted ethnographic interviews with Caribbean students at ULethbridge as well as other Caribbean people in Alberta to explore the complexities of this relationship. This honours thesis was my most memorable ULethbridge experience. Not only did it allow me to study a topic that I was really passionate about, but I was also able to grow as a student and a person.
Are there any other memorable experiences to share?
Many memorable experiences came from classroom discussions which changed my perspective on certain topics and expanded my understanding of the world around me.
What is the most important lesson you have learned so far at ULethbridge?
The most important lesson I have learned so far is the importance of courage. I learned that courage is not the absence of fear—it’s being scared and doing it anyway. I had so many fears which prevented me from pursuing many opportunities, but once I overcame them, my life changed for the better. I realized that taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone is the only way to grow as a student and person.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
My hope for the future is that I will be living a life that brings me joy. I also hope to have a career that allows me to do what I am passionate about and have a positive impact on my community.
What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their ULethbridge journey?
My advice would be that it is completely okay to be lost. There is a certain freedom that comes with being lost because it gives you the opportunity to explore new paths. I started my university journey not knowing at all where it would take me, and I ended up finding something that I really love doing. So, try not to spend so much time worrying about having a plan. Be present and just explore the things that you are interested in—it might lead you to your passion. And, trust yourself. Even if things do not end up working out the way you planned, you are more than capable of dealing with whatever life throws at you.
Favourite class: Decolonizing Ethnography
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: Hanging out with friends on campus
Favourite place to study: Library
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