Holly Reimer

Holly Reimer

What education have you taken?

In 2012, I graduated Rossburn Collegiate Institute with honor roll, and attended BU for a 3-year Bachelor of Arts degree studying English, History, and Religion. After graduating with my BA in 2015 with Greatest Distinction and Honours, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Education After-Degree Program, which I will complete in May 2017.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I’ve been very blessed with many great opportunities during my short time at Brandon University. As a young adult, I feel that the volunteer opportunities and early affiliations I’ve had both on and off campus were very influential in shaping my values and many of my perspectives on wealth, community, and individual responsibility.

On campus, I’ve had the pleasure of working with The Quill in a variety of capacities–as a journalist, Web Content Coordinator, and then Assistant Editor-in-Chief–where I was given the privilege of attending the NASH 77 Canadian Student Journalism Conference as their delegate. I’ve also worked alongside the Student Services’ Student Leadership program. During my B.Ed., I’ve been able to participate in the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) BU Chapter and Education Students’ Society (ESS). Encouraged by my sister and friends, I was part of the BU’s women’s soccer team for the first three years of their involvement in Manitoba College Athletic Association (MCAC). During this time, I was named MCAC Athlete of the Week and our team entered finals twice, taking silver in 2015 and gold in 2016. Perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had thus far was presenting a paper and being published in the Manitoba Education Resource Network (MERN) Journal, and shortly after becoming one of the first undergraduate authors published in the BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education.

Off-campus, I’ve been able to volunteer at the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen, Westman Immigrant Services, and for a few educational functions within the city, such as the Western Manitoba Science Fair.

During my final year in Ed, I’m incredibly thankful to have received the Dr. Wilfred W. McCutcheon Scholarship and the BU Alumni Association Award in the Faculty of Education, both of which have helped me put a greater emphasis on my studies and my career as an educator.

Tell me about yourself.

My early years of schooling were spent in the U.S., California and Indiana, before my family permanently settled in Rossburn, Manitoba. Living in Rossburn allowed me the opportunity to become very involved in my school and community through activities like student council, athletics of every kind offered, 4-H, guitar lessons, and volunteering in town. My exposure to diversity and the encouragement I received from my family, friends, and teachers to work hard for what I desired and believed in dramatically shaped my attitude, interests, and motivation to succeed.

My mom raised my sister and I during our formative years, and “the good, the bad, and the ugly” that we experienced as a tight-knit family taught us, through experience, much about the value of family and the nature of success, hard work, grit, and humor. These people and moments have undoubtedly made me into the ambitious, determined, sometimes stubborn person I am today.

Throughout the years, I’ve taken a keen interest in the arts, everything from reading to drawing and crafting with discounted fabrics to photography, music, writing, and painting. During my post-secondary schooling, I’ve worked on campus at the Writing Centre as a Peer Tutor, with the Education Building’s Resource Room, at Career Trek as a Campus Assistant, and at Mini University as a Promotions Representative/Photographer. To focus on my studies during my final year at school, I’m working at Westman Immigrant Services as an ESL Teacher.

This past summer, I married my best friend, someone who inspires me to love bigger, challenges me to be better, and helps me appreciate the simple joys in life. To say the very least, I’m excited for what lies ahead for both of us.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I initially entered BU with the aspiration of becoming a journalist, attracted to the profession by my passion for writing, interest in social justice, desire to travel, and eagerness to experience new things. After completing a few fabulous years in the Arts Department, I thought I’d give Education a try. I’ve been inspired by my teachers immensely throughout the years, and always felt that I flourished in an academic setting. Prompted by my gratitude towards my own teachers, my creative and organizational skills, and my love for reading, I felt that becoming an English teacher could be a worthwhile profession. As someone who seems to thrive on confronting new challenges, I think I also entered the field because I was petrified of public speaking and wanted to master, or at least become proficient in this area. After completing nearly two years in the faculty, I’m excited to begin my teaching career!

I’ve also been inspired by the work I see young people (and especially those becoming adults) do, their passion for pursuing what is right, their belief in their own abilities, and their creativity in the face of adversity. I also sympathize with them for the new challenges they’ll face regarding technology, the environment, and gender and race-based equality, to name a few. I believe that presenting students with the opportunities to explore the human condition and modern issues through the study of text and history can motivate them to think critically about their life and their world and act responsibly – the greatest lesson an educator can impart on her students. And that’s my goal as an educator.

What is your philosophy in life?

Although I don’t always find it easy to live by, I guess I try to make the best of situations as they arise by working hard to persevere through them. Challenges are opportunities for greatness and chances to learn more about yourself and the world. And although these challenges don’t make life easy all the time, I believe it’s important to surround yourself with people who enrich your life with joy, perspective, and compassion.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I’d like to be teaching high school English, feel competent in my field, and be surrounded by people who support and inspire me.

Nominator’s Comments:

Holly Reimer (nee Kalyniuk) is an outstanding student in the second year of her Bachelor of Education After Degree Program, in the Senior Years stream. On top of being an exceptionally dedicated and strong student, Holly is a member of the BU Women’s soccer team, a writer for the BU newspaper and works for Mini-University on campus during the summer months. Holly was also a student facilitator for our Resource Room in her first year in the B. Ed. Program. Holly is a quiet, thoughtful and positive student who is curious, reflective and committed to her chosen profession. She approaches all tasks with a positive outlook and supports her classmates in multiple ways.