Ruth Silverman

"My time at the Faculty of Education changed my life, partly by facilitating my recognition of new competencies and interests within myself."

Year Graduated: 2003
Program/Degree: Counselling Psychology MEd

I first applied to SFU when I was relatively new in town, practicing as a lawyer, and feeling unhappy about both.  Continuing education classes in Counselling at Vancouver Community College were the bright spots in my weeks, so I decided to try to change careers into Counselling.  Almost immediately after entering the Masters Program at SFU and starting work as a TA, I felt much happier.  I felt that I had found both my calling and my people, and I finally started feeling at home in the Vancouver area.  A practicum at SFU's Health and Counselling Services as part of my Master's program was another transformational experience for me.  Afterwards, I worked for 4 years as a Career Counsellor/ Facilitator at SCCI Project Restart in Surrey.  Then, based on seeds that I had planted in my Master's work and practicum, I had the opportunity to return to SFU as a Learning Services Coordinator at the Student Learning Commons.  I have been in this role since 2007, couldn't be happier, and owe much of that happiness to SFU's Faculty of Education.

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.
Online research.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.
I was looking for a relatively small Masters program in which I could develop close relationships with other students and Faculty.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?
Dr. Jeff Sugarman
and Dr. David Paterson both stand out.  I took courses from and TA'd for both of them, and they were both supportive and intellectually influential to me in both roles.

What do you miss most about your graduate studies in the Faculty of Education?
I miss meeting regularly with classes for learning and camaraderie, and I miss wearing many hats (student/ TA/ Counselling Intern).  I am happy to say that my current position also has all these elements, but I miss them in the particular context of that time and place.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school in the Faculty of Education?
I would highly recommend the Faculty of Education as an intellectually rich and supportive community.

Is there anything else you wish to share?
I am very grateful.  My time at the Faculty of Education changed my life, partly by facilitating my recognition of new competencies and interests within myself.