Social Science staff celebrate their commitment to continued education

October 22, 2019

Wendy Palmer, Sandra Vilovski, Trish Regier, Ann Seabrook and Nicole Harding

(From left, Wendy Palmer, Sandra Vilovski, Trish Regier, Ann Seabrook and Nicole Harding)

Story and photo by Rob Rombouts

Day in and day out, Western staff work to help students achieve success and complete their degrees.

Along with this work, many maintain a commitment to their own personal and professional development. This fall, five staff from the Faculty of Social Science will be among the graduates celebrating their Convocation. The graduands completed degrees while balancing work, family and social commitments, and are examples of hard work and a dedication to education, in diverse fields.

“We have an outstanding staff in the Faculty of Social Science, with a true commitment to lifelong learning,” said Linda Brock, Director of Administration for the Faculty of Social Science.

Wendy Palmer, Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Dean, completed a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Information & Technoculture (MIT)

Four others completed the Masters of Professional Education, in different fields:

  • Nicole Harding, Academic Counselling Assistant (Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice);
  • Trish Regier, Academic Counsellor (Field of Teaching Students with Exceptionalities);
  • Ann Seabrook, Administrative Assistant, Office of the Dean (Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice); and,
  • Sandra Vilovski, Graduate Affairs Assistant, Department of Sociology (Field of International Education).

Balancing work and life represents a challenge for many students, and this was true of the Social Science staff.

“Working full time, having a family and finding time for school was a delicate balance and involved sacrificing and creating rewards along the way,” said Ann Seabrook.

“I feel a sense of accomplishment and a relief as working full-time and having a very active young daughter can leave very little energy for learning,” said Vilovski.

Palmer completed her degree after 12 years of part-time studies. “I feel great for accomplishing and finishing,” she said. “Twelve long years felt like a part-time job, so it is great to have ‘me time’ again!”

Through it all, family and colleague support helped keep the graduands motivated.

“I’m the first person in my family to obtain a graduate degree so that was a big motivator,” said Harding, who was also inspired by applying her knowledge. “Knowing that I can effect social change using the knowledge from my degree kept me going.”

“Knowing I could do this, and not having good enough excuses to quit kept me motivated,” said Palmer. “I also had a lot of support and encouragement from my colleagues, which helped a lot.”

“I was kept motivated by the real-life learning and successes along the way as well as modelling life-long education for my daughter,” said Seabrook.

The graduands saw the impact their learning could have in their professional lives as well.

“Being part of the MPEd program allowed me the opportunity to research education productively and inspired me to implement programming for our students that I may not have had the chance to do otherwise,” said Regier, an Academic Counsellor. “Learning ways to make connections that are more meaningful with students kept me motivated.”

“This program taught me to self-examine and gave me confidence as a scholar-practitioner in international education and that benefits my role in Department of Sociology,” said Vilovski.

All five staff celebrated their Convocation on Thursday, October 24th.