Graduating with an honours BA with a double major in psychology and labour studies
How did you pick your major of study, and why did you choose the University of Windsor?
I returned to school after 15 years of trying to decide what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” When I went to university after high school, I went into a program based on what my friends at the time were going into. I didn’t take time to discover what I wanted to do for me. When I returned to school I had settled on a field that I had been thinking of for years and one that I had kept coming back to – psychology. Through my many years of work experience I have come to see that there are many issues in the workplace that cause disharmony between and within workers. I wanted to enter a field from which I could make a difference in the lives of the working people. I chose the University of Windsor because this was the last institution that I attended before postponing my education. I returned because I was comfortable with the school and the location.
What were your expectations of university? Has the University of Windsor met those expectations?
My expectations of university were simply to get a degree – the university has most certainly helped me achieve that.
What would you say is the most important thing you have learned at university: about yourself, about other people, about your field of study, or about the world?
However, the most important thing that I learned/discovered once returning to school is that I am a remarkable person who really has the strength to achieve her goals and my family is a tremendous source of strength and support. I am a wife and a mother of four beautiful young children (10, 8, 7, 5). I returned to school when the youngest was 17 months old. I commute an hour and 20 minutes each way to attend classes at the University of Windsor. Balancing family and education is a tremendous challenge – the days are never long enough. It is a challenge that I have met with both trepidation and fortitude; the journey, however, has been worth every minute. I am happy to have discovered a passion for learning, for I/O psychology, and for improving the lives of working people. I am most proud though, of the example that I am setting for my children. While this journey has been difficult and extremely stressful at times, it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am proud to know that my children see me as an example of academic achievement and perseverance. I am proud that they can celebrate my successes with me and I rejoice in their visions of post-secondary education.
What would you say has been the most memorable part of your UWindsor experience?
Most memorable part: For seven terms I was a TA in the Labour Studies department. This was a tremendous experience for me. I had some great mentors who imparted wonderful skills that will certainly benefit me in years to come. Time management is of the essence for any university student; this skill becomes all the more important when you are required to fulfill obligations of a teaching assistantship along with meeting the requirements of your own degree. I believe I learned to be an effective marker, leader, and mentor to others. I spent a great deal of time working with other students, sharing my own experiences and helping to guide them through a course, an assignment, or academic challenges.
Please tell us why you are proud to be part of the University of Windsor’s graduating class of 2011.
I have enjoyed every minute of my time as an undergraduate student at the University of Windsor. I am so proud to be graduating because this is an achievement that has been a long time in the making. I have reached an important milestone in my life that I will be so proud to share with my family. I will not only receive my degree, but this will be an affirmation of how far I have grown as a person.
Did you have a course, professor or classmate who inspired you?
In 2007, I took Organizational Psychology with Dr. Catherine Kwantes – it was this class that put a name to the kind of psychology that I wanted to pursue. Up to this point, I only had psychology as a broad field in my sights. This course narrowed my focus. Mr. Len Wallace of the Labour Studies department sharpened my concern for the working people. His passion for worker’s rights, health, and safety are inspiring.
What are your plans following graduation?
I have recently been accepted into the Applied Social Psychology Doctoral Program at the University of Windsor and will commence my Masters Degree in September. I am so very excited to begin the next stage of my academic career. I know what I want to do with my life and this is the next step in that journey. I am proud to have accomplished so much. Most of all, I am so excited to be an example to my children that anything is possible if you just believe you can do it.