Elinor McNamee-Annett, Fall 2013
Highlighting the experiences of recent Semester in Dialogue grads: Elinor McNamee-Annett, Conflict and Governance (2013).
What semester did you participate in?
Fall 2013, "Conflict and Governance" with Sean Blenkinsop and Geoff Mann.
What was one highlight from the semester?
One of the biggest highlights from this semester was having the opportunity to learn from so many diverse people. From my professors to my peers, along with guests who work in professions I hope to pursue, this type of open learning encouraged me to find educational lessons regardless of the context.
What are you doing differently now as a result of the semester?
Through the Semester in Dialogue, I have come to see my education as part of the process instead of the end goal. As undergraduates, too often we rush through our degrees thinking our lives begin on the other side. By beginning to treat my education as an experience instead of just a GPA, I have been able to supplement my studies with opportunities that will leave me feeling fulfilled and grounded when I graduate.
Tell us about one of your projects in the Semester and why it mattered to you?
During my semester I had the opportunity to work with a group of my peers to conduct community research into the status of refugee healthcare in the Metro Vancouver area. Through conducting interviews with stakeholders and service providers, we were able to not only gain valuable insight into the struggles posed by recent healthcare cuts, but were also able to produce a research proposal for a similar project moving forward.
As Canadians, I believe that we have a responsibility to willingly open our arms, hearts, and country to those who have faced difficult circumstances in their life. I have been passionate about refugee issues for a long time, and through this project I was able to find ways to tangibly address them in my community. It was refreshing and reassuring to work alongside peers who were as passionate about these issues as I am, and to see the impacts of our work in the community.
What are you doing now that you want to tell the world about?
Through working so closely with the refugee community during my semester, an opportunity arose for me to lead a project at the Canadian Red Cross to help develop access to community resources for refugee service providers. I have also decided to only take courses part time for the upcoming semester to develop opportunities which maintain the same level of engagement in my community that I experienced during the Semester in Dialogue.