Alexandra Doran

Sustainable Development, Post Baccalaureate Diploma Alumni

  1. Can you give a 3-4 line biography on who you are and what you are currently doing.

    Originally from Halifax, N.S I completed an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies (BES) from Saint Mary's University in 2014. In 2017 I completed Simon Fraser University’s Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Sustainable Community Development. Over the past year I have become LEED certified while having worked for three Vancouver based non-profit organizations. Today I am completing a Master of Urban Planning program at McGill University in Montreal, QC. Most recently I have been conducting research pertaining to active transportation and equity with Dr. Julian Agyeman, a visiting professor from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

  2. How did you find out about Sustainable Community Development?

    Having relocated to Vancouver after graduating from my undergrad, I was looking for a short program to supplement my degree that would allow me to keep working. I started searching online and found that SFU had an abundance of certificate and diploma programs.

  3. (Branching off q.2) Why were you interested in Sustainable Community Development at SFU?

    I saw an opportunity to not only build off my pre-existing knowledge in environmental studies, but explore matters pertaining to urban environments – something I had always been interested in, but never had the opportunity or time to pursue. It was also feasible to continue working while completing the diploma.

  4.  What was your favourite course while completing your Sustainable Community Development program? And based on your response, Why?

    My favourite course was by far Urban Planning and Policy - Geog 363- taught by Dr. Meg Holden and Teaching Assistant Chris Puzio. Dr. Holden is most definitely one of the best professors I have had in eight years of university. She not only provided valuable content and insight, but also a fair marking scheme. Essentially this course re-affirmed my desire to pursue more schooling and an eventual career in Urban Studies (or in my case, Urban Planning). 

  5. What was your favourite experience while completing your Sustainable Community Development program? And based on your response, Why?

    I loved receiving an education from a different university than that of my undergrad. I think it is important to learn from professors that come from different places and backgrounds. I also appreciated the many financial and work experience opportunities that SFU offered or facilitated. Not only did I obtain a work-study internship with a non-profit associated with SFUs Centre for Dialogue, I also received a research grant – the Vice-Presidents Research Award Grant for Social Sciences and Humanities.

  6. Would you recommend this program to upcoming undergraduates? And based on your response, why? 

    I would recommend this program to students who are looking to bide time while they figure out what they might like to do for a career or pursue as additional education. It is also a good way to re-enter a university setting if it has been a number of years since you’ve attended. …the diploma program definitely serves as a good “in-between”.