Fall Convocation on November 20 is a day for our newest grads to reflect on just how far they’ve come.
Studying microplastics, blending history and theatre, reducing reoffending, dreaming of a Nepalese gallery – these are just some of our grads’ big plans.
Here, members of the Fall Class of 2018 takes us through some of the moments, memories and milestones that stand out most.
Lucas Provencher, Bachelor of Communication Studies
Language was the only thing I was ever any good at, but I never wanted to use it in the service of fiction. I like to argue too and If you put those two traits together, journalism was kind of the obvious path for me.
Receiving a national award last year for a story I covered for a feature writing class was definitely a highlight, but the best moments of my time here were spent with the friends I made. It’s cliché to say that, but it has become cliché for the right reasons. I have people that I can depend on. They are people who can depend on me. I’m proud and thankful for them. If I spend the rest of my life trying not to mess that up, I think I’ll have lived well.
Larissa Lautner, Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences
I’ve always been the type of person who wants to know how and why things work the way they do. I think that’s why I’m passionate about molecular biology – it explores the how and why questions about living organisms. A simple molecular biology question can have an alarmingly complicated answer, but those answers can help us solve big problems or understand more about the living world.
Now I’m a graduate student in the Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, and I’m hoping to pursue medicine in a couple of years.
Brooklyn Rowe, Bachelor of Arts, History
I love historical dramas, but they are rarely accurate and that has always bothered me. So after finishing Theatre Arts, I decided to study history to make sure I’m accurate when writing my own historical dramas. I thought I’d keep my interests in theatre and history separate, but in my second year I started to see how often they fit together. Instead of using my papers to focus on wars, I looked at the ancient Greeks’ perspective on time in theatre. I researched how the European witch trials are connected to demonology. I studied Henry VIII’s court through his wives and their influence on his decision making.
Now I’m working on an after degree in education. I want to show my future high school students that history is a fantastical story with outlandish characters just waiting to be discovered.
Mackenzie Brown, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
When I think about my university experience, I think of a journey. There were times of growth and times of struggle. There was even a time when I wanted to leave the field altogether. I felt burnt out and was questioning whether I was really cut out for child and youth work. If it wasn’t for the support of my professors and peers, I’m not sure I would’ve kept going.
And now, here I am, so hopeful about what I studied. Youth are important. They’re our future, and they deserve so much love. I am passionate about working with Indigenous youth in particular, especially in cultural reclamation. I believe in sharing my beautiful culture and using it to heal young people. Youth are resilient. Sometimes all they need is one person in their corner.
Bhuyash Neupane, Arts and Cultural Management
Cultural differences never bothered me much. I’m used to interacting with people from the stage – I’m a musician and I play the tabla, a pair of drums – but as an international student, I was very hesitant to start smaller conversations. I’m lucky to have had supportive and wonderful faculty and classmates who helped me open up.
I came to MacEwan to better understand the connections between musicians and venues, but I’m leaving with a strengthened interest in music research and collaboration. I looked at ways to take an oral tradition of teaching music and present it online. I’ve played the tabla with rock bands, hip hop artists and psychedelic musicians. Every experience during the past two years has made me more passionate about music and its relationship to other art forms. So much so, that I hope to one day create a gallery to showcase the traditions and cultural practices of Nepal’s music.
Taylor Bujaczek, Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences
One of my third-year profs said he thought I had the chops for research, and that I should at least try an independent study. Until then, I hadn’t even considered research. I didn’t think I was smart enough for it.
It was definitely challenging, but I pushed through and realized I could do it. That experience started a whole chain of events – researching microplastics in the North Saskatchewan, stormwater ponds in Edmonton and stormwater drains in Calgary. It was exciting and challenging and rewarding. I learned a ton, I presented at conferences and even figured out what I want to study for my master’s thesis.
Jack Digiuseppe, Bachelor of Arts, Economics
Understanding economics is essentially understanding how the world works. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.
The highlight of my time at MacEwan would have to be the capstone seminar course in my final year. We had to choose an economics topic and support a thesis using quantitative and quantitative analysis – tools I picked up throughout my undergrad. I chose to write about the economic opportunities of cannabis legalization in Canada. Not only did I get to pursue a contemporary topic and understand its fiscal and societal impact, I also developed analytical expertise that ultimately led to a career opportunity in an emerging industry.
Delores Gladue, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology
As much as I hated social statistics – it was my worst course – it taught me about correlations. I love looking for connections and figuring things out – things that you might not necessarily see on the surface. It’s something I do every day. Both of my jobs involve offenders – I have been in the judicial field for over 15 years, whether in a courtroom or writing Gladue reports. But helping Indigenous clients navigate the judicial system doesn’t feel like work – it’s my passion.
I get to help people see the moments in their lives when things changed. And when you hit something, it’s like planting a some kind of seed – one that could grow.
K-Lyn Allen, Travel program
When I started the travel program, I didn’t know what to expect. Once I was elbows-deep in assignments and studying, the thing that carried me through was being surrounded by a group of people that shared my passion. Our classroom conversations covered everything from our dream destinations to sharing bad, and often hilarious, travel stories. We were our own little crew that stuck together in the same two classrooms for twelve months.
I adore both travelling and the planning of the trip itself – how the hum of mild excitement grows as you turn what was once just an “I wish” into an “I am.” I love the thought of helping others turn their dream adventure into a reality.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.