Kianna Turner transferred from Red Deer College, choosing the University of Lethbridge for its quick response time and small class sizes. Here, she has discovered different areas of interest through the liberal education model, explored experiential learning, and engaged in extracurricular activities.

A significant benefit of the liberal education model is its interdisciplinary nature, which assists you in looking at the same issue from multiple angles.

Meet Kianna | Ambitious. Creative. Level-headed.
Program: Bachelor of Arts | Major: General Major Social Sciences

Why did you choose ULethbridge?

I transferred from Red Deer College. When COVID hit, I decided to stay in the province for school. I was accepted into multiple universities, but the University of Lethbridge had the quickest response time. The small class sizes were a significant asset when deciding on ULethbridge.

Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed since you began your studies?

Before post-secondary, I didn't know what I wanted to study, so I enrolled in various courses to explore different areas of interest. Throughout my degree, I have changed my major multiple times. Luckily, ULethbridge offers a general major, allowing me to broaden my scope. A significant benefit of the liberal education model is its interdisciplinary nature, which assists you in looking at the same issue from multiple angles.

Have you participated in experiential or work-integrated learning?

I participated in four applied studies, all with different department designations. Two of my applied studies were with the City of Lethbridge and the Prentice Institute.

My three biggest takeaways from work-integrated learning (WIL) are: discovering a genuine interest in a career path I hadn't considered before, establishing professional relationships and building a network of contacts for future employment opportunities, and experiencing the rewarding application of theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, making the learning experience more practical and relevant.

Applied studies completed:

  • ANTHROPOLOGY: Municipal Government: Research & Analysis, Engagement Planning, Public Art, and Urban Design
  • SOCIOLOGY: Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity in Urban Planning and Policymaking
  • LIBERAL EDUCATION: Organizational Psychology and Student Journalism
  • PSYCHOLOGY: Community Psychology: Social Supports and Non-Profit Organizations

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience so far?

Getting to know my professors has been the most memorable experience at the University of Lethbridge. Drs. Shelly Wismath (liberal education) and Shayne Dahl (religious studies), as well as Amy Mack (anthropology) have all been influential in my academic journey. They have encouraged me and opened doors to several possibilities. I have immense gratitude and respect for all three as I believe they embody what an educator should aspire to be. They all lead with intellectual curiosity, authenticity, and empathy.

Kianna makes a point to use her studies and to give back to her communities: in addition to being Editor in Chief of the Meliorist for 2022-23, she has done several applied studies projects, working with various groups on campus and in the city, and is a regular volunteer as well. One example is an Applied Studies course she did in Liberal Education on financial access to post-secondary education in Alberta, and the barriers facing different student groups. Kianna exemplifies our liberal education model of using skills and knowledge to make the world around her better for everyone. - Dr. Shelly Wismath nominated Kianna as a Shining Student

Have you received any scholarships and awards?

I have received some scholarships and awards. As a low-income and first-generation student, receiving any amount of assistance is invaluable. Scholarships drastically reduce the financial stress associated with attending post-secondary. I hold immense gratitude to all donors for their generosity.

Are you participating in any extracurricular activities like sports or in the arts?

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I plan on attending graduate studies in the future.

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

Post-secondary provides both academic and personal development. Everyone's experience within it is different. At times it might feel like you are on top of the world, and at other times you might feel like all cards are stacked against you. Post-secondary is a privilege regardless of which mode of thought you are in. It is important to find gratitude and value in what you do.

As you embark on your journey at ULethbridge, it's important to consider the employability of your chosen degree while also pursuing your passions. Balancing both short-term interests and long-term goals can set you up for success in the professional world. Make the most of this opportunity by showing up and putting in the effort required to excel. Remember to prioritize your well-being and be mindful of your limits. Your best may vary depending on circumstances, so be kind to yourself. Building a relationship with your professors can be beneficial, as they are approachable individuals who can offer guidance and support throughout your academic journey.

About Shining Students

Shining Students engage inside and outside of the classroom. What makes a student shine may differ from person to person, but they all share a passion for learning. They may be top students, involved in an innovative project, participating in ground-breaking research, playing Pronghorn athletics, fighting for social issues or all of the above! When students find something they enjoy and combine it with what they are good at, they shine.

Each year, the Faculty of Arts & Science's faculty and staff nominate students who exemplify the ULethbridge student spirit. Congratulations Kianna!

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