"I appreciate the freedom my professors give me to explore writing projects that align with my goals and values. I'm highly motivated and tend to take my own path, so this freedom works well for me."

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Student Profile: Estella Carolye Kuchta

March 11, 2022
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doctoral student in the Faculty of Education

I am a researcher, writer, and postsecondary educator. My novel, Finding the Daydreamer (Elm Books, 2020) explores themes of love and ecocriticism in British Columbia's Cariboo region. My creative writing projects have been published in the literary journals Event, Prism, Subterrain, Puritan, and Grain. My academic research has been published in The International Handbook of Love, and is forthcoming in The Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, in The Encyclopedia of Teacher Education, in Pedagogy in the Anthropocene (Springer), and from Cornell University Press.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

SFU is one of the leading research institutes on environmental education.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

Many of the greatest problems of our times--climate change, oppression, inequality, mental health issues--can be traced to the same root causes: A worldview that prioritizes individuals over relationships. How can a deeper awareness of love connections between humans and nonhuman nature help us shift to a worldview oriented around relationships? What can we learn through love that we can't learn any other way? How can a broader understanding of love help us appreciate and support the deep bonding some people experience with land, bodies of water, and other aspects of nonhuman nature? How can learning become more equitable, ecological, ethical, and joyful when love is recognized as a medium for learning? These are some of the questions I'm tackling.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I appreciate the freedom my professors give me to explore writing projects that align with my goals and values. I'm highly motivated and tend to take my own path, so this freedom works well for me.

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.

This year, I received a Graduate Fellowship which covers the cost of my tuition for the year. This has eased the burden of debt for me, allowing me to focus more energy on my studies.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

This program places a high priority on diversity, equality, and inclusion. Professors are non-traditional, open-mined, and original thinkers who give students a lot of freedom to pursue their interests.

 

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