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Second PhD enhances job success

June 12, 2018
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Written by Allen M. Quinn (SFU Convocation 2018)

To say that Dr. Sanja Boskovic goes above and beyond for her students is an understatement. As head of the Department of Power Engineering at BCIT and with a PhD in engineering from the University of Wisconsin, many would say she should be done with school. Yet Boskovic, 55, is graduating with an SFU PhD in educational technology and learning design this month after defending her thesis last fall.

Boskovic completed her PhD while working full-time at BCIT, where she oversees the development of online programs that train professionals to perform at the highest levels in their industry.

She was inspired to pursue another PhD when she found few students were completing the highest certification levels. She wanted to understand why.

“When I was in a position to look at how we’re going to enhance learning and help students be successful in our program area, I realized my teaching needed to be re-evaluated,” says Boskovic.

“I was missing the tools. I was strong in a technical area, but there was a human component missing in my teaching. I needed to learn a different set of skills in order to serve my students better.”

As a mother working full-time, she knew returning to university would be a challenge, but she had plenty of help along the way.

“People at SFU were so understanding and supportive. From the librarian to IT services, there was no area I didn’t feel welcomed or helped. You are not just a number. You are treated like a student, and it’s a great culture where everyone wants to help you succeed.”

To those thinking of going back to school, Boskovic has this to say: “Age should not be the stopping point. Learning gives you power. You have to go further in order to best understand your students and their needs.”

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