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- Season 1
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- Ep. 8 | Joanne Curry: Engaging Our Campus and Community
- Ep. 9 | Michael Heeney: Building Surrey's City Centre
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Alumni Feature: Meet Judith Reaugh
SFU Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts - Major in Psychology, 2021
I am currently the Vice-President of Communications and Governance at The Centre for Child Development of the Lower Mainland. The Centre has provided multi-disciplinary & collaborative medical rehabilitative services to children with special needs since 1953. I coordinate communications for the organization, manage the administrative team, am involved in establishing business administration systems and processes, and support the CEO and our Board of Directors.
What I value most is caring for and supporting each other unconditionally, equality for all regardless of ability, gender, background or identity, celebrating the differences that make us unique and special individuals, and embracing diversity that enriches our experiences and broadens our perspectives.
What drew you to your area of study?
Being a naturally curious person and a compulsive problem-solver, I've always been fascinated by what drives and motivates people, and how personal characteristics interact with experiences to shape and create unique perceptions and influence actions. We all interact with other people every day, so regardless of the field I choose to work in, the learnings of psychology are applicable and extremely useful.
What is your favourite memory of your time at SFU?
I don't know if I have one favourite memory- my overall experience of learning new things and intellectually engaging with others is what I would call my favourite memory.
I have always been thirsty for knowledge, so being able to learn new concepts was immensely satisfying. I wasn't able to pursue my degree right after high school, so having the opportunity a bit later to expand my knowledge base and examine new perspectives was incredibly energizing.
I truly enjoyed the engaging discussions with instructors and fellow classmates that took place during many of my classes. Hearing other students' perspectives and what struck them about the material was always very interesting, showing how the same material can impact different people in different ways. And often I would be encouraged to examine a different idea or perspective, one that I hadn't thought about myself- this expanded my mind and helped me sharpen my perspective-taking skills, encouraging me to put myself in others' shoes. This skill of stopping for a moment and considering how others may see/think/feel about a situation is extremely valuable when you interact with others, both at work and in your personal life, and makes you a more empathetic and understanding person.
What advice do you have for SFU students going through their degree?
I clearly remember being stressed about deciding on a major, especially as I was working full-time and taking classes. Taking classes was a sacrifice of the little free time and energy I had, so I felt like I had to make it count! During one orientation session, an instructor explained that many people didn't end up in the same industry as their degree, but the majority of the concepts and skills we would learn are transferrable and applicable within the wider sphere of work.
I have indeed found this to be true- of course my degree deals with people, whom I encounter every day, but so many of the things we learned helped me to sharpen my critical thinking skills, hone my writing and argument-building skills, learn how to examine arguments and evidence, and become a more thoughtful consumer of information.
So my advice to students: don't stress about whether you'll go into the field that your degree is focused on. Rather, enjoy the experience of learning how to think and reason, how to evaluate what you hear and see, how to craft compelling and evidence-supported arguments, and take the opportunity to learn about different perspectives and new concepts from both instructors and peers. Your university experience can shape your way of thinking and open your mind to new perspectives for the rest of your life, making you a more valuable employee and well-rounded person.