Proud to be an alumni

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It’s been almost 15 years since I graduated from the Faculty of Education with my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Wow! Has it been that long? My family and I were purging (aka. spring cleaning in the fall) stuff in our house, which includes my office. It was time. Forging through papers, books and tokens from my past, I came across a framed poem from one of my summer classes at SFU. In this illustration I am “Chris” and I gave a presentation about curling, systems and roles in organizations. Hmm ... it’s funny to look at this. I was in Dr. Michael Ling’s class. 

Looking back, I loved that I was able to connect one of my true loves, curling, with education and philosophy. I was so grateful that the faculty held a two-year program on the Sunshine Coast to accommodate remote learners, like myself. The program was led by my edu-hero (and mentor) Dr. Geoff Madoc-Jones. He was ‘crazy’ sometimes, but he gave me the courage to believe in myself and my practice. I loved his mind, knowledge and lived experiences. He was an innovator … and possibly a troublemaker. I appreciated the stories that he would tell, the abrasiveness of the knowledge he imparted and his kind, gentle heart that supported me during the tough times. Geoff just seemed to know what to say at the right time to provoke deep thought and contemplation. I can only dream to be a fraction of what he was. 

PhD philosophy students-in-training, summer class of 2000

Another edu-hero is Dr. Carolyn Mamchur. She taught about Myers-Briggs Personality Type Preferences and how they connect to teaching and learning. One hundred questions. I loved her ENFP approach to teaching, research and storytelling. At the time, I wondered if I was “the broken math teacher” who didn’t cry when a student cried, unlike my empathetic colleague who taught English. Problem solved: I was an ESTJ. Understanding my type helped me to understand those around me (a little bit better). 

Finally, I want to thank Dr. Murray Ross, who messed up my brain and had a brief mention in the poem as seen in the photo. He taught the first course in our program. He questioned everything. Another philosophy course and I was so challenged by (my now favourite) philosopher Alasdair MacIntryre and the “goods internal to the practice.” It was like a puzzle. Once again, I could only solve it by making a connection to curling. Crazy, I know, but the ‘nature of virtues’ provides me with an underpinning to my practice. 

Now let’s return to Dr. “Michael” Ling. His kindness, love for learning and expertise highlight my learning experience at SFU. Although I am an SFU alumna, I have returned back to SFU as a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program. The Master of Education program gave me hope as a learner, the tools to question and the will to understand why.

Thank you Michael, Geoff, Carolyn, and Murray for being stellar teachers. Happy 50th, SFU! #proudtobeanalumni

Christine Young-Husband
M.Ed. 2001, EdD (current)

Read all the stories from the 2000s