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Andrew Drinkwater

North Van boy finds calling at SIAT

June 1, 2007

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By Terry Lavender

Community. That’s what the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) means to Andrew Drinkwater. When he first started at SIAT in 2002, after graduating from Windsor Secondary in North Vancouver, Drinkwater gave the fledgling Surrey campus program two weeks to impress him.

"I was blown out of the water," says Drinkwater, who is graduating with a bachelor of science degree. "I came because the SIAT program sounded cool and a friend here recommended it. But what kept me here was the community."

Drinkwater is deeply involved in that community. He works as a SIAT academic advisor and student recruiter, has worked with campus summer camps, as a research and teaching assistant; and as a student-tour leader proclaiming the benefits of SIAT.

For Drinkwater, those benefits include courses such as the summer-semester Italia Design field school in Italy. "It opened my eyes to the fact that a technical student could also be a creative person, that design wasn’t just a field for artists but for those who wanted to make things happen."

As for professors, Drinkwater recalls a calculus teacher so dedicated she volunteered to be on MSN Messenger the day before homework was due in case students needed help. "I couldn’t believe what I was hearing—our professor was going above and beyond the call of duty."

His proudest moment came when a student he mentored received an award for community leadership. "This taught me that I was a leader and that those who follow you can become great when they achieve more than you could have."

While he may eventually do a master’s degree in an area related to leadership or high-tech management, Drinkwater’s happy working for SIAT, helping other students and "spreading the word about our program further afield."

"I never would have had a chance to evolve into the creative leader I am today if not for the unique experiences at SFU and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology."

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