What education have you taken?
I am currently completing my Master of Education Degree in Special Education from Brandon University. Prior to this I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax, NS, and a Bachelor of University Studies with Elementary Education Concentration, from the University of Maine in Fort Kent, ME.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
This question brings to mind a number of group memberships, awards and accomplishments in my life. However, there is one accomplishment that I am most proud of above all of the others. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and despite the life-long struggles associated with living with anxiety I have grown into a healthy and well-balanced adult. I work extensively on learning coping strategies and adopting lifestyle choices that improve my mental wellness. I am an advocate for breaking the stigma associated with mental health, and I will continue to stand strong; not just for myself but for anyone else who is struggling with anxiety.
Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia with my Mom, Dad and older sister Kate. We lived right beside the Bedford Basin, an enclosed bay that leads directly into the Halifax Harbor. I enjoy living in Manitoba, however I do miss barbecuing and playing crokinole with my Mom and Dad, getting into trouble with my sister, and of course the invigorating ocean air!
My hobbies growing up included dance (jazz, ballet, hip hop and modern) and volleyball, the latter becoming my sole athletic passion during my time as a provincial volleyball player for Nova Scotia and varsity athlete for the MSVU Mystics.
I met my husband 14 years ago while on the road between Halifax and Fredericton, NB for a volleyball tournament; the rest has been an excellent adventure for us. Our loving family has grown to include our energetic 3-year-old Thomas and our equally as energetic 6-year-old rescue puppy Chuck. My passions include travelling, reading, geocaching, running, photography, cycling and crafting.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. From as early as I can remember, I would come home from school, eat supper and then “play school” well into the evening; my favorite thing was to draw attendance sheets with perfectly intersecting lines and check off the attendance of my imaginary “students”.
Since then, my interest in education has continued to grow. I’ve come to realize, however, that there is quite a bit more to education than just taking attendance! Ha!
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy is to attempt to be present in every moment of the day. The present moment is all that we are guaranteed, and we miss out on the beautiful nuances of life by living too far in the past or in the future. When my thoughts are stuck in the past or the future, I simply return my energy to my breath – slowly inhaling calmness and exhaling that which I can’t control.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself continuing to move forward. When a goal is reached, I will set a new goal. If one door closes, I will search for the next door to open. When an adventure is complete, I will plan my next one. I want to stay engaged in the world around me because it is a beautiful place filled with endless opportunity. Life is made up of the experiences we seek out, the relationships we keep, the successes that we can put on the shelf, and the kindness that we can offer the world.
I am honoured to nominate Kristen Welsh as an “Exceptional Female Student” for recognition during International Women’s Week in March 2017. Kristen is a busy Learning Support Teacher in Kelsey School Division, working on her master’s degree in special education. In addition to being the only student who achieved A+ as a final letter grade in my Graduate Scholarly Writing course during spring term 2016, Kristen’s term paper has been accepted for publication in volume 9 of the BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education, scheduled for release in October 2017. Kristen epitomizes graduate scholarship as she balances her M.Ed. studies with her home and school commitments in The Pas, Manitoba.