|The view from here: Graduating students share their stories|
|Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:39 PM|
|From the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to Fine Art, from Asper School of Business to the Faculty of Medicine to the Faculty of Engineering, students find very particular benefits in their programs at the University of Manitoba.|
The Bulletin spoke to several graduands about where they’ve come from and where they are going, how they feel the U of M has prepared them for what’s next, and what they’ve appreciated about the time in their programs.
‘Sweet little utopia’: Kae Sasaki
The Japanese immigrant since 2000 says she always wanted to study fine art. Married to a math and physics teacher and human rights activist who founded RESPECT, where she served as art director, Kae Sasaki took eight years to complete her degree while raising young children and keeping a full time job. She calls the School of Art a “sweet little utopia” for the “warm support” she felt from faculty and the opportunities afforded her by her time in the program.
The painting major has been commissioned to make a bronze sculpture for the “Sculptural Experience” through the Collaboration to Promote Art and Music (CPAM) program. It will join the four other permanent sculptures by students in the plaza surrounding University Centre (one of her favourite places on campus, along with the Art Barn). Sasaki also has a solo painting show coming up at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It will draw from her thesis work entitled “In Praise of Shadows,” which consists of 24 oil paintings depicting Grimm’s Snow White but with references to both eastern and western influences and symbolism.
‘Push yourself — a safe and supportive environment to explore new ideas and initiatives’: Mark Hearson
Mark Hearson’s favourite time of year on campus is fall, not only because it’s beautiful, but because of the “sense of a fresh start.”
This fall, the 2011 Rhodes Scholar will be experiencing autumn in Oxford, where he will pursue a Master of Philosophy from the School of Geography, with coursework relating to nature, society and environmental policy. “My degree at the U of M has provided me with knowledge of many of the physical systems that surround us, whether it be roads, dams, sewers or buildings,” he reflects. He’s confident in the quality of his education, he says, and thoroughly enjoyed his time at university.
His athletic, musical, academic and other talents kept him very busy through his program at the U of M. Involvement in the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter lead to him to become increasingly interested in transportation engineering. Hearson’s other activities, he says, “ranged from intramural sports to student government work with the U of M Engineering Society, from sitting on search committees for new professors to being involved with student groups and technical societies, and from working as a research assistant at the university during summer terms to simply enjoying university life.”
Upon entering the Faculty of Engineering, he says, he was told by a previous senior stick “that university is a safe and supportive environment to explore new ideas and initiatives, and to push yourself to do things you previously might not have believed yourself to be capable of.” Hearson found those words to be true.
‘A solid foundation and countless opportunities’: Sally Parsonage
Growing up on a farm outside Baldur, Manitoba was perhaps Sally Parsonage’s biggest influence in helping her choose what to pursue at university. She says that her faculty has the added bonus of boasting a “great, close-knit student body held together by a passion for agriculture.”
She has put her own passion to use as a student ambassador for the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, speaking to high school students and parents around the province about the opportunities available within the faculty, something she calls one of the highlights of her time in the program.
She has already begun her master’s program in soil science at the U of M, asserting that her B.Sc. from U of M has given her “a solid foundation to build my career on, and professors and staff have provided me with countless opportunities to learn and grow within my chosen industry and in my life.”
Winnipeg home boy, and ‘proud to be a U of M graduate’: Mark Lipson
Another native Winnipegger and graduate going on to further studies is Faculty of Medicine graduate Mark Lipson. He is going on to Calgary to complete five years of training to become a general surgeon.
According to Lipson, choosing U of M for his medical education was not difficult, in spite of being offered positions at other universities. “Manitoba is my home and so it was an easy choice to attend medical school at the U of M.” Significant support in the form of an entrance scholarship also played a factor, he adds.
He calls the Bannatyne Campus “a bit of a hidden gem,” and says his favourite place on campus lately is the newly renovated Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library in the Brodie Centre.
Reflecting on his education, he says, “Having already completed rotations across the country as a medical student, I know the strong clinical reputation of the U of M. Our graduates are well trained and competent, often functioning above their level compared to other medical students across the country. I am proud to be a U of M graduate.”
‘Go where you are appreciated and valued’: Emmanuel Rotimi (Timi) Ojo
After graduating with a Bachelor of Agriculture degree in 2008, this top student from Nigeria says that his choice of U of M for his postgraduate studies was simple. “My advisor and co-advisor showed genuine interest in me, even though they hadn’t met me. We had great conversations, helped me through the process of applying for scholarships and informed me about the research I would work on,” says Ojo.
“There was none of this personal touch and warmth from the other schools, so the choice was quite easy for me: Go where you are appreciated and valued!”
But Ojo has passed on the appreciation, too. One of his first stops at the university, he says, was the International Students Centre (ISC), for which he soon became a volunteer. “The orientation program by the ICS was very insightful, the staff was welcoming and this first impression of the university dispelled any uncertainty,” he says.
In fact, Ojo calls this involvement a highlight. “It is exciting to see the glow on the faces of students who discover that being in a new environment does not mean you cannot be involved and engaged,” he says.
And he is both. So much so that he is continuing his education here. Though he had a job and other admission offers, he says, “I feel U of M has prepared me to excel in my field of study. The nature, scope and novelty of my current PhD research as well as the warmth from my advisor, the department and friends made me stay at the U of M for another degree.”
‘More than just an education’: Danielle Osrusko
Native Winnipegger Danielle Osrusko entered the Asper School of Business directly after high school and graduated from her program in December 2011. She started working in her field in January 2012.
Osrusko credits the program with providing “the practical skills, life experiences and a strong foundational knowledge” she needed. Her highlights include her participation in two programs: the Arni C. Thorsteinson Exchange Program and the Co-op program.
The co-op program allowed her to work for three different companies in three very different roles before graduating. “This program has allowed me the flexibility to try different jobs and helped me to identify what I am looking for in an employer, position and career,” she says.
“I knew, going in, that Asper School of Business is one of the best business schools in Canada. My experiences let me explore outside classroom walls, ensuring a balanced education,” she adds.
“Being at U of M provided me with more than just an education: it gave me the chance to embrace new and different opportunities.”
|For more information, contact:|
Mariianne Mays Wiebe
Editor, The Bulletin
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