2023 Staff Award for Promising Future Dialogue Practitioners: Clemance Bisamu

October 16, 2023
Clémance Bisamu

We’re thrilled to announce Clémance Bisamu as one of the Centre’s recipients of The Centre for Dialogue Staff Award for Promising Future Dialogue Practitioners.

Supported by the WUSC organization, Clémance started her post-secondary education at Simon Fraser University in Fall 2019. In addition to the support Clémance has for her education, she has also been working long hours to support both herself and her family all the while balancing a full-time course load.

“I was so happy,” says Clémence. “I was so grateful, I felt humbled. A huge weight has been lifted off, and now I am able to dedicate more time to my education.” 

Clémance became inspired to pursue dialogue during her time in the Senior Seminar in Social Health Science HSCI 481, and special project based course HSCI 495. These were more collaborative and discussion-based courses, says Clémance. Dr. Rochelle Tucker encouraged Clémance to take the Fall 2023 Semester in Dialogue: The Future of Health Care.

Through SID, Clémance developed her skills in public speaking practices, interpersonal communication, sharing and receiving ideas, finding a place of belonging, collaboration, and community connectivity. She expressed a few challenges that she has now immensely grown from since initially starting the course.

“I am a shyer individual, and anxiety has often affected my ability to organize thoughts. As a senior student, I'm not used to this learning model, I'm used to traditional learning. So, the syllabus style for the SID program was a huge environmental shift, which was a hard transition at first, but so enriching once I adjusted”

Clémance participating at a dialogue event

Ultimately, in the short time she has been enrolled in this program, she has been thriving. Already showing an improvement in various skills, Clémance shared her appreciation for Dr. Diane Finegood's teaching methods. Dr. Finegood has created an environment not reliant on devices, that is an open and creative space for her SID cohort, says Clémance.

“These practices in relation to having us seated in a circle has shifted paradigms of power imbalances in learning environments. The removal of devices has reduced barriers for open dialogue, and we are able to participate in more engaged learning.”

The last six weeks have been such a dynamic experience for her, as it was initially hard to start conversations and build trust, now she feels that she is surrounded by an empathetic and compassionate community in the SID program. Clémance expresses gratitude to many sources in her life:

 “Dr Rochelle Tucker, Professor Ilhan Abdullahi, and Paola Ardiles Gamboa were amazing. Their classes were different from traditional learning classes. Upon joining the Semester in Dialogue, I've learned a lot from my peers, they're brilliant. Dr. Diane, I admire her dialogue, she has great ideas and lessons on perspective discourse.”

Clémance strongly encourages students of various backgrounds and circumstances to apply to the Semester in Dialogue program. It is a way to tremendously enhance soft skills, interpersonal relationship practices, facilitation methods, environment mediation, communications and doing things intentionally with relationship-based approaches rather than transactional approaches. Semester in Dialogue has been a tool to reflect on elements of the self, and how to give back to the present in which we live in.

An admirable effort has been made on Clémance’s part to honour her educational, personal and familial needs. Therefore, it is with no surprise that she stood out as a top candidate for this award, and it is our honour to commemorate her for it.

The Centre for Dialogue Staff Award for Promising Future Dialogue Practitioners was established to assist current Semester in Dialogue (SID) students who show promise as a future dialogue practitioner. Two awards are granted every calendar year to students who demonstrate a genuine value for the awarded amount, and who demonstrate a deep resonance with Semester in Dialogue principles.

Want less talk, more conversation? Sign up for dialogue in your inbox.

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Email: *

How would you like to engage with us?