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"Carol is a passionate educator who is a joy to work with. Ever since I met her when she started her Masters degree at SFU more than a decade ago I was very impressed with her incessant strive to make a difference in the lives of the students she engages with. She is a true life-long learner constantly reading, thinking and talking about addressing issues of inequities in educational settings and being guided by profound care for the well-being of all involved in educational endeavours. I was delighted when she decided to embark on a PhD journey as her thoughtfulness and curiosity are great complements to her passion and will guide her in what I expect to be an exciting and thorough exploration into ways to make internationalization activities at universities more ethical and responsive to the needs of the diverse multilingual students in our institutions."
- Roumi Ilieva
Student Profile: Carol Suhr
Languages, Cultures, and Literacies doctoral student in the Faculty of Education
I am an English as Additional Language Professional with experience working in both the private and public post-secondary education. I came to Canada as an international student in 2007, and hold a M.Ed in TEF/SL and a M.A in Curriculum and Instruction from Simon Fraser University. My specialty is in English as additional teaching and learning, as well as multilingual student support, and have worked in various role within the field since 1998. Most recently, I had worked as an Internationalization Specialist in the Teaching and Learning Centre at a post-secondary institute in BC, where I consulted faculty, staff, and student workers in ways to better support multilingual/international students' success. This role, as well as my previous experience working with students from diverse backgrounds, have prompted me to rethink what it means for Canadian higher education to internationalize its policies, curriculum, and pedagogy for the betterment of its students, especially the multilingual/international students.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I decided to pursue my doctoral degree at SFU, because it has been more than a learning space for me during my first ten years here as an international graduate student. The faculty and staff members I have met and worked with during my two master’s degrees have not only helped me academically but have helped me consider Canada as a possible new home away from home. Without the small gestures of individuals at SFU, I probably would have returned to Korea years ago.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
I am interested in internationalization of higher/adult education, particularly in ways curriculum and pedagogy could better embrace the uniqueness of multilingual /international students studying in Canada. I wish to prompt others to question the established ways of doing education, and to notice the hidden messages within the official discourse of doing education. My hope is that by questioning the status quo, institutions such as SFU could provide better learning experience for its diverse student population by purposefully weaving international and intercultural dimensions to its formal and informal curriculum (Beelen & Jones, 2015). In addition to internationalization of higher education, I am also interested in the internationalization of English Language Teacher Training programs (e.g., TESL/TEFL/TESOL, to name a few) to become more meaningful for language teacher candidates that are diverse, unique, and different.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I am enjoying my encounters with the various perspectives of analyzing language—in particular, the English language—for education. Language is so much more than just a combination of symbols and sounds, and it is certainly not only a tool to make communication happen. It is fascinating to be able to recognize and understand the multiple dimensions of language, the complexity of its users, the context and the way language is used to create meaning, and how all of these reflect one’s individual and collective culture. In addition to my studies, I am enjoying meeting and working with new colleagues and faculty members in the Faculty of Education.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I have received the Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship (SGES) and Research Assistantship for the 2021-2022 academic year. They have allowed me to focus on my studies fulltime, without having to look for other work.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?
If you are interested in doing research on language and literacy education and culture, this is a great program that would support you. You will benefit from learning with the faculty members who value diversity and are willing to work with the uniqueness you bring to the program. You will also be working with colleagues who come from various backgrounds and lived experiences, which makes the learning experience much more dynamic and thought-provoking.
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