Catherine McGregor

"I knew [SFU's] program design would offer me flexible choices and deep engagement in the area of educational leadership."

Year Graduated: 2007
Program/Degree: Educational Theory and Practice: Curriculum and Pedagogy Stream PhD

Year Graduated: 2002
Program/Degree: Educational Leadership MEd

I am currently serving as the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education at UVic. I began my academic career working as a sessional instructor at SFU in their off-campus graduate program. When I completed my doctoral studies, I was hired to my first academic position at UNBC in Prince George. After working in their teacher education program for 3 years, I was hired at the University of Victoria, in the Leadership Studies unit (2006). In addition to being a professor and researcher at UVic, I've also served as the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs, and now as the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs & Research.

Please tell us how you first discovered your program.
I began my graduate learning at SFU as a Masters student, enrolled in a community-based program in Kamloops, BC. My cohort was led by Dr. Geoff Madoc-Jones: his enthusiasm and support were infectious and he soon persuaded me to apply for a PhD at SFU.

Please tell us why you chose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies.
I began my relationship with SFU as a Masters student, and I was initially attracted by its flexible program design and relevance to my professional life as a teacher. When I decided to do my PhD SFU seemed a natural choice -- I had received an excellent education and knew its program design would offer me flexible choices and deep engagement in the area of educational leadership.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with and why?
While I've worked with a number of faculty members, I think Dr. Suzanne de Castell deserves greatest recognition. She is among one of the best feminist scholars in North America and provided me with meaningful research experiences that prepared me for the world of working within the academy.

What do you miss most about your graduate studies in the Faculty of Education?
The time to read, reflect and dialogue with other learners! We had an amazing community of graduate student learners that developed my capacity for critical thought.   

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school in the Faculty of Education?
You get out of a graduate degree what you put into it; so immerse yourself deeply in this experience. Ask LOTS of questions. Search out colleagues and create a community of support.