Sophie Johanna Been

2021 International Women's Day Nominee - Sophie Johanna Been

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I grew up in a small town in Groningen, the Netherlands, and immigrated to Canada in 2011 with my parents and my younger sister. My family has always been incredibly important to me. Likewise, seeing my parents’ dedication to their careers continues to inspire me to pursue my goals. I enjoy volunteering in the Brandon community, and I volunteered at Westman Immigrant Services for several years primarily with the afterschool English program and the summer camps. I am also a member of the Brandon University Gender Empowerment Collective.

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Neelin High School in Brandon where I challenged myself academically by completing an International Baccalaureate Diploma. I am currently in my third year at Brandon University and am working towards completing a four-year Arts degree with an honours major in English and a minor in Philosophy.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

For the past two years, I have been working as a Writing Skills Peer Tutor with Brandon University Student Services and I currently also work as a Research Assistant. I feel immensely fortunate to be able to apply my skills in areas that reflect my studies and my passions.

I have been a recipient of several scholarships including the Winnifred I. Harvey Scholarship in English and the Marion E. Bowen Scholarship in English Literature. Furthermore, I have been on the Dean’s Honour List since my first year of university and I was inducted into the President’s Honour Society following my second year.

I am moreover extremely honoured to have been nominated for this International Women’s Day Award. I am deeply grateful and will cherish this for a long time to come!

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always had a great passion for reading and, later, for writing as well. However, it was not until halfway through high school, after a life-changing event, that I truly realized the power of storytelling. From that moment on, I became determined to study English literature.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is to always keep learning, to treat everyone with kindness and respect, and to wholeheartedly dare to give everything my all.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I would love to continue my education and am therefore planning to pursue graduate studies in English literature.

What do you #ChooseToChallenge?

I will help forge an inclusive world.

Nominator’s Comments:

Johanna Lambertha Josephina “Sophie” Been is a 3rd year English major with a cumulative GPA of 4.08. She has received two scholarships and has been on the Dean of Arts honour list since 2019.

Sophie has been a peer tutor with the Writing Centre since September 2019. In this capacity she has been a tremendous asset, praised by her supervisors for her dedication and efficiency in helping fellow students with their written assignments. In 2020, Sophie was hired as a research assistant by Jonathan Allan, professor in English and Gender & Women’s Studies and Canada Research Chair in Men and Masculinities. Dr. Allan states that she has an inquisitive mind and is able to “move between projects with ease and grace.” She has contributed ideas, conducted research, compiled bibliographies, and proofread texts for these projects.

I believe Sophie deserves recognition for these scholarly contributions.