Candy Ho

"The MEd program at SFU has allowed me to study where I work and research students in my workplace, meaningfully connecting my professional and academic realms."

Program/Degree: Educational Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts EdD

Alumna: Educational Leadership: Post-Secondary Student Affairs and Services MEd

A recent alumna of the MEd in Post-Secondary Student Affairs and Services, I have worked in SFU Student Services since 2005. Having worked in departments such as University Advancement, Student Development, and Student Success, my current role is the Manager, Residence Life Training Programs at SFU. My research interest includes: First year experience, new student orientation, development and pathways of paraprofessionals and early student affairs professionals.

What attracted you to come to SFU?

Long story short, I live and breathe SFU! While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a student leader for campus departments and formed meaningful connections with faculty, staff, and fellow students. This resulted in developing a true passion for student affairs and working with students in post-secondary institutions. The MEd program at SFU has allowed me to study where I work and research students in my workplace, meaningfully connecting my professional and academic realms.

Who is a faculty member that you enjoyed working with at SFU and why?

Dr. Michelle Pidgeon has been phenomenal throughout my MEd experience as our Site Sponsor. She is insightful, approachable, and student-centred. I thoroughly enjoyed her classes as she tailored content to suit the needs of our class; anticipated challenges and worked with us to ensure we met our goals and successes. I look forward to continuing my work with Michelle as she mentors me and my classmates in publishing our research projects.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school at SFU?

A few points:

  • Do your best to tie your area of study/research to your professional practice as it will be more meaningful and applicable to your work.
  • As cliche as it is, love what you will be studying as you'll become very intimate with the subject matter for a long period of time...through highs and lows.
  • Discuss your changing priorities with your family, friends, and loved ones and ensure that they are supportive with your graduate study.
  • Understand that "life happens" (ie. changing jobs, getting married, babies) and the importance of communicating changing circumstances to your faculty members so they can advise you on how you can integrate academics to your life.
  • The process is just as important and rewarding as the outcome: While I was certainly looking forward to crossing the stage during Convocation, I think back to the two years in the program to how much I have learned and grown, and the theories and concepts I have continued to integrate into my professional practice. In reality, completing the MEd program is just the beginning of further educational experiences.