Air Date: September 21, 2020
Sep. 21, 2020
0:00 Interview with Lisa Andreana and Derek Szilagyi, Alumni Relations
15:18 Interview with Oniqua Kamaka, Alumna, Law and Society
25:15 Interview with Claudia Volpe, Alumna, Criminology
One Market is hosted by Associate Professor Bruce Gillespie, Program Coordinator of Digital Media and Journalism.
Thank you to Melissa Weaver for One Market graphics and Nicole Morgan for campus promotion. Music by Scott Holmes.
Bruce Gillespie 0:02
Surprise, and welcome to a very special Homecoming Edition of One Market, keeping the Laurier Brantford community connected. I’m Bruce Gillespie. In this bonus episode, we learn all about the plans for this year’s virtual Homecoming celebrations taking place this weekend. Whether you like pancakes or basketball or video games, there’s something for everyone. Plus, we check in with two alumna who share some of their favorite memories from their time on campus and update us on what life is like post Laurier. All that and more coming up on this episode of One Market. First up, we speak with Alumni Relations officers, Lisa Andreana and Derek Szilagyi, who, along with their teams, have spent the past few months adapting their Homecoming plans for virtual celebration. Here’s our conversation.
Hi, Derek and Lisa, thank you for joining us today on this very special Homecoming episode of One Market.
Lisa Andreana 1:02
Thanks for having us.
Derek Szilagyi 1:03
Yes, very excited to be on this.
Bruce Gillespie 1:07
I think the natural place to start is with explaining to folks what Homecoming is because I presumed that at least some of our students maybe those in first year, have never heard of or been to Homecoming before. So, can you tell us what Homecoming is?
Lisa Andreana 1:21
So, Homecoming is our largest annual opportunity for alumni to reconnect with each other and the university. It’s two weekends long, actually. So, it’s a weekend on Waterloo campus and a weekend on the Brantford campus where alumni return to campus to reunite and celebrate.
Bruce Gillespie 1:44
Great. Why do you think Homecoming is important? Why do you think we it’s important to celebrate it every year as we do?
Lisa Andreana 1:51
So, Homecoming has a long rich history at Laurier. So, it’s been around for over six decades, and Laurier is known across the country for having such a strong Homecoming program. It’s a special time for alumni to reconnect and reminisce and stand in places where they hold such fond memories and see those friends that they haven’t seen in years. So, it’s a special time where it’s almost like the floodgates are open for memories that come pouring back in for alumni.
Bruce Gillespie 2:29
I think that’s especially true at the Brantford campus which has grown. I mean, we’re just a relatively very young campus and has grown so much. It’s always fun to have alumni back and they can see there’s new buildings, there’s things that weren’t there, there’s a new athletic centre that wasn’t there when they were students. So, there’s always lots of change to see when alumni are able to come visit campus in person for Homecoming. Of course this year, that will not be happening. We’ll be celebrating Homecoming in a slightly different way than usual as we are adapting all of our other plans during the pandemic. So, can you tell us a little bit about what Homecoming celebrations will look like this year?
Lisa Andreana 3:04
Yeah, so when one Homecoming wraps up, we’ve already started to plan the next so, this year that planning did take a turn in March when COVID was declared a pandemic. So, we switch gears into planning a celebration that’s fully virtual. So, in our scheduled events, we’ve recreated some events that you would traditionally associate with Homecoming. Over the weekend, you’ll be able to tune into a replay of Laurier’s most iconic football game, the Hall of Fame, the Athletics Hall of Fame will recognize its 2020 inductees. The Alumni Association will hold this annual general meeting that is open for all alumni to attend. We’ve reimagined how our pancake breakfast could live on virtually.
Bruce Gillespie 3:50
Lisa Andreana 3:51
Right? Yeah, and we’ve invited alumna Mary Berg, Master Chef season three winner, and host of Mary’s Kitchen Crush, to lead us through an interactive cooking class where alumni, students, community members, family, friends, anyone will learn to make Mary’s favorite pancake recipe from their own kitchen.
Bruce Gillespie 4:15
That is amazing. What a great idea.
Lisa Andreana 4:17
Yeah, thank you. So, we are really excited to have Mary. I personally am a graduate from Laurier’s Kinesiology program, and I’m excited to share that my favorite professor, Dr. Kim Dawson, will be joined by Dr. Anne Wilson for an inspiring conversation titled “New Year’s Take Two: How to Find Motivation When the Future is Uncertain.”
Bruce Gillespie 4:41
Hmm, that sounds very timely and very relevant.
Lisa Andreana 4:45
Yes, very timely and very relevant for sure. Especially right in September when lots of people are heading back to school, times are changing. I can imagine When we say that programming is fully virtual that folks picture themselves sitting in front of a screen all weekend, but we’ve included lots of opportunities for everyone to get up and get moving. Athletics will be running virtual fitness classes over the weekend. And you can participate in the Hawk Walk. So, this is a choose-your-own-adventure -style activity to choose your date, your time, your activity, you can walk, run, hike, bike, paddle, swim, and choose your distance and get moving. So, this Hawk Walk activity will be in support of our students.
And I assume anyone who’s listening to this is not only a Golden Hawk fan, but also a Raptors fan. And we have something for you too: Nav Bhatia, Raptors super fan, the man who hasn’t missed a Raptors home game since their 1995 beginning, will be joining us to chat not only about the Raptors, but also in sharing his story. We’ll hear his message on diversity, understanding, hope and kindness. Through Nav’s love of basketball, he looks to change the perception of Sikhs and South Asians to the mainstream audience, hoping for a more united community where people won’t have to face the discrimination that Nav has felt over the years.
Bruce Gillespie 6:28
So Derek, maybe you could tell us a little bit about what Homecoming normally looks like in Brantford so people have something to compare to the virtual experience that we’ll be having this year.
Derek Szilagyi 6:37
Usually, our Homecomings are on two different weekends, as Lisa mentioned, but this year, it’s combined with the Waterloo Homecoming in one weekend. So that’s really exciting to have one large celebration as a Laurier community. Last year was a really exciting year in Brantford for Homecoming, and for the campus itself. We celebrated our 20th anniversary of the campus. We had a few students, a few alumni come back who were in the first class of students back in 1999. Two of the 39 students actually came back to see the campus and to celebrate Homecoming. They were blown away with how campus has really grown in the downtown core of Brantford as they they fondly remembered just the one building and the three professors and now it’s over 17 buildings and over 3,000 students, so they love to hear what has changed. We also had stories and special remarks from Dr. MacLatchy, Dean of Students Adam Lawrence and the mayor actually came out to say a few words as well. So, like anything in Brantford whenever something, some event happens, it seems like the entire city rallies around it and really embraces that Golden Hawk spirit.
Bruce Gillespie 8:27
Derek, I understand there’s some new programming coming around as well.
Derek Szilagyi 8:32
There is, Laurier is moving into the exciting world of eSports. If you don’t know what eSports are, they’re essentially competitive video gaming. Back in our younger days, I’m sure we heard moms and dads say to us that you can’t get a scholarship or you can’t put food on the table by playing all those video games. Well, now you can. There’s been a number of professional video gamers who make north of $1 million per year. So, this industry is really booming with the demographics of our students in the under 25 student population and has boomed even more during the pandemic,
Bruce Gillespie 9:32
Which totally makes sense with everybody being home so much right? So, maybe not only are you playing video games more than you used to but a lot of people are watching them more than they used to.
Derek Szilagyi 9:40
Yes, yeah, there’s something, the stat during the pandemic was that teenagers communicate on video games primarily 83.4 per cent of the time. So, in a few short years, they’ve gone from texting on their cell phone to Facebook Messaging to just primarily communicating through video games.
Bruce Gillespie 10:10
Wow, that is a shocking stat for those of us who remember the days not too long ago when it was not possible to communicate by a video game.
Derek Szilagyi 10:20
Yes, yeah, it definitely has exploded in recent years, primarily due to the popularity of the game Fortnite. So, Fortnite is a game that can be played on consoles, or even your mobile phone. And it’s gained in popularity with the teenagers a few years ago, which now are our current students. And for Homecoming, we actually have a Fortnite event, a Battle Royale, where the winning student will win $1,000 cash.
Bruce Gillespie 10:59
Derek Szilagyi 11:01
And over $2,000 in prizes. so the days of wasting time on video games, now you can say, well, it’s a job or I’m making money off of this.
Bruce Gillespie 11:16
All these disappointed generations of parents, like, oh no, what am I gonna tell my kids now, right?
Derek Szilagyi 11:22
Bruce Gillespie 11:23
So, how do how do students take part in this Battle Royale?
Derek Szilagyi 11:27
So, they will need to register through the Laurier Athletics eSports website. And once they register a special code will be sent to them for the private arena that they will compete in. There will be two qualifiers on Homecoming weekend, followed by the Finals. The Finals are also going to be live streamed on Twitch on the Laurier eSports. platform.
Bruce Gillespie 12:04
This is so new and so exciting. It just seems, it almost seems impossible we’re talking about stuff like this. But I think it’s so interesting. And I know Derek, you spent a lot of time this summer sort of researching eSports and how this could happen. So, it must be really exciting for you to actually see all this come to fruition.
Derek Szilagyi 12:21
Yes, it’s been extremely exciting the last few weeks to see this really take off with Laurier eSports Live, your traditional recreational student programming. So, before where they can, where the students can play, recreational and intramural basketball, or volleyball or dodgeball, now they can play a wide variety of eSports games, which range from your traditional sports games like NBA 2K and NHL, but also your more popular eSports games like Fortnite, or Rocket League or Super Smash Brothers, which is a fun one for the gamers that remember Mario, and Pikachu, and Luigi and the fun Nintendo avatars, fight it out in an arena. So, it’s really exciting that we can offer this to the students now, since they’ve been really asking for it. And, and this is essentially where they are socializing now.
Bruce Gillespie 13:35
It seems like a perfect kind of social activity for students. And many people in general to engage in now that, you know, we’re spending so much more time at home, away from people where we might see them on basketball courts or baseball fields, or, you know, this is where people are meeting these days.
Derek Szilagyi 13:50
Yes. Yeah, I’ve been playing NBA 2K recently, and there’s a playground mode in the game where you have to wait beside a court and wait your turn to get on the court and you team up with other players around the world, and it’s very similar to going to the park with your ball and meeting somebody new and competing. And you don’t get the same traditional exercise as you would, however you do see gamers workout their hand-eye coordination. They’re learning different skills, they’re learning different methods of playing in the game. They’re learning different strategies, they’re thinking quickly so there’s a lot of different skills that gamers use that are just a bit different than your traditional cardiovascular exercise.
Bruce Gillespie 14:50
Well, this is really exciting and how exciting to be able to roll this out as part of our 2020 virtual remote Homecoming celebrations. It sounds like your team has put a lot work into all of these celebrations. So, I’m looking forward to participating and hopefully a lot of folks in our listening audience can participate too. Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Derek and Lisa.
Derek Szilagyi 15:10
Thank you so much for having us on as guests.
Lisa Andreana 15:15
Yeah, thank you, Bruce.
Bruce Gillespie 15:18
Our next guest is Oniqua Kamaka, who graduated from the law and society program this past summer. Here’s our conversation.
Hi Oniqua, and thanks for joining us today on One Market.
Oniqua Kamaka 15:29
Hi Bruce, thanks for having me.
Bruce Gillespie 15:31
So, as one of our newest alumni, we thought it’d be a great opportunity to talk to you. So, you graduated from the law and society program just this past year, so you’re one of these many folks who actually missed your official convocation in June?
Oniqua Kamaka 15:45
Yes, yes, I am. Yeah, it was it’s kind of crazy to me that I’m done that like four years has, like, just gone past me. So, June, kind of, like, convocation, kind of would have, like, put a, like, pause on that and be, like, “Hey, yeah, woo done!” But, like, we got the toast to the grads. So, that was nice.
Bruce Gillespie 16:07
Yeah, and I saw some great video of the toast of the grads sort of, you know, thousands of people on a Zoom call raising their glasses it actually looked, it actually looked really celebratory and fun.
Oniqua Kamaka 16:16
Yeah, it was, it was fun, because I’m part of SAA, so that was one of the events that we do is have the toast to the grad. So, it’s kind of fun to still be able to do that, even though everything was all up in the air with COVID.
Bruce Gillespie 16:32
And like I said, it’s weird not to have a convocation. I think lots of who are faculty and staff at campus, many of us volunteered to help out at convocation because it’s one of those real milestone events, it’s sort of, it’s a great opportunity to see people cross the stage and think, “Oh, look, I remember you in first year, I remember the challenges you’ve overcome, I remember the great work you’ve done”. And then it’s a really significant sort of marker of a time in your life being over, right? So, I imagine that you like the rest of us are, like, without convocation, like, this year is just sort of going on forever.
Oniqua Kamaka 17:05
Yes. I plan to go to school in September. So, it, like, convocation with high school is, like, that’s the end of one chapter, it’s starting of a new one. So, I kind of, like, didn’t really get that, like, “Oh, it’s the end of this chapter, here’s a new one,” until I got the degree mailed to me. And I was, like, Oh, well, I guess this is real.
Bruce Gillespie 17:26
That’s right. Throw yourself some confetti. Yeah, I mean, the good thing is that we will eventually have convocation and I think, I think whenever we’re able to finally hold it, it will be the most exuberant joyous convocation ceremony ever, because we will all just be so excited to be together again, and be able to mark an end to this strange time.
Oniqua Kamaka 17:48
And I think that, like, because the end of the semester ended so abruptly that all of us grads are gonna be super excited to see each other again, because it was, like, we’re used to having so much longer to say goodbye, and to, like, study for exams together. We didn’t really get that this year. So, I think that like everybody, when we get together for convocation, it’s gonna be so exciting to see everybody again.
Bruce Gillespie 18:12
Yeah, I think you’re right, and I think profs will feel the same way. It’s sort of you know, you because you plan it, but you plan like your narrative arc for the semester, right? And you have this natural sort of ending point with your last class and especially with of course, your students, you know, you sort of say goodbye, there’s stuff you do. Where as this year was, like, I guess we can have a Zoom call, but it doesn’t feel the same.
Oniqua Kamaka 18:31
Yeah, it was, it was kind of weird to, like, say goodbye to, like, some profs that I’ve had since first-year. And then just be, like, I sent, like, a quick email, like, “Thanks for this semester”.
Bruce Gillespie 18:45
Yeah. So, you graduated with a Law and Society degree, so what are you doing now? You said you’re going back to school and a couple of weeks? What are you, what are you looking to do?
Oniqua Kamaka 18:53
So, I’m going to Algonquin College in Ottawa for Human Resources Business Administration. So, I kind of like looking into the more, like, corporate realm of working in employment. So, I’m just, like, super excited to, like, start that new chapter of, like, HR. Because I worked, I helped with conduct at Laurier and, like, just fell in love with that kind of administrative side of, like, working. So, I thought HR would be, like, a good fit for me.
Bruce Gillespie 19:30
For sure. And again, with your experience working with the Student Alumni Association, clearly, you’re a people person. Clearly you want to meet people and work with people.
Oniqua Kamaka 19:38
Yes, I love working with people and meeting new people. And I love, like, planning events to do those kind of things, too. With SAA, we did a lot of that and hosted for, like, almuni to come back and talk to first-years, or not not just first-years, but, like, current students. So, things like that where I get to, like, talk to people, find out more about people. And I think, like, HR would be a good field to kind of, like, learn, like, the backstories of, like, individuals and also help with, like, problem solving and, like, training and stuff like that.
Bruce Gillespie 20:12
Absolutely. And I love that idea of finding alumni to come and speak to current students, because I think that’s a big piece of it right? You want to sort of meet people who used to be in your situation, and figure out what they’re doing now and how they got there.
Oniqua Kamaka 20:24
Yeah, I think that it’s always nice to see alumni, like, flourishing, because right now, especially when you hear that, like, how hard it is with COVID, and stuff that, like, some people have done it, and then you can get their advice on how to do it yourself. So, it’s, like, and then, like, the whole job security isn’t really assured. And then just learning different ways in which you can market yourself to be employable from these alumni is also, like, a great experience.
Bruce Gillespie 20:59
So, speaking of alumni, this is obviously our special Homecoming episode. When you were a student, you probably attended Homecoming events. So, what does Homecoming mean to you?
Oniqua Kamaka 21:08
I think with Brantford, being on the Brantford campus Homecoming is a little different from Waterloo and that it’s more of, like, a tight knit kind of celebration of, like, the school. So, because there’s so few of us on the Brantford campus, everybody’s celebrating together, and it’s, like, this, like, really true, like, camaraderie that comes out around Homecoming. Especially when we have, like, sporting events to go to, and just, like, different events, we all just get to see each other and celebrate what it means to be a Golden Hawk. And, like, especially a Golden Hawk on Brantford campus, because that’s always a lot of fun.
Bruce Gillespie 21:45
I think you’re right, especially because we do have a smaller campus, we do really have that sort of community kind of feeling, right? You recognize people from all sorts of different walks of life and different programs, and you get to do all sorts of events with them in person from this wide range of people.
Oniqua Kamaka 21:59
Yeah, I think because we do have such a community feel, events, like Homecoming, and events where we all get to come together, are even more meaningful on the Brantford campus. And I think, like, the feeling I get at Homecoming in Brantford is just, like, family coming together, like, you know, like, one of those family reunions. And everybody’s just, like, saying, “Hi”, to people, because the first month is always so busy for everybody. So, you get to, like, see each other and then connect on, like, how our lives are going, especially when the alumni come back. And you see, like, your friends that have graduated a year ago or two years ago, sometimes, like, even longer, and you get to, like, catch up on their lives and get to see how, like, the’re doing and stuff.
Bruce Gillespie 22:45
I think that description is so apt, that idea of a family reunion, right? So, it’s not just, you know, current students all hanging out together. It’s not just alumni hanging out together, it’s these two groups mixing right? And so you’re getting that really, that diversity of voices and experiences, I think it’s always really fun.
Oniqua Kamaka 23:00
Yeah, I think this year, the way Homecoming was done was a lot of fun. Having that, like, space where we had games and a beer garden for those who are of age to kind of, like, bond and then go over to watch basketball, like, it was, like, very structured, but also very conducive to conversations between current students and alumni.
Bruce Gillespie 23:32
Mm hmm. I agree. So, now that you are an alumna, what are some of your favorite memories about Laurier Brantford? What will you, what will you think back to, you know years from now?
Oniqua Kamaka 23:42
Um, I think one of the biggest things for me was Orientation Week every year, um, being a first-year and then also being an icebreaker, and being a part of orientation for first-years. I just love, like, the welcoming energy that comes from Orientation Week, and then also, like, the meeting of new people. So, like, I always think back to, like, Orientation Week, the bonds that were built during Orientation Week that continue on for, like, years. Like, my first-years that I helped move in when I was my second year of university, and I are still close today. So, I think back to Orientation Week all the time.
Bruce Gillespie 24:24
It’s funny, right? I mean at the time, it doesn’t, you know, it seems exciting, and you know, everything’s happening. But, you know, I think during anyone’s Orientation Week you wouldn’t normally think, you wouldn’t necessarily think, “I’m meeting people I’m gonna remember for the next 20 years,” but that’s really how it does work out.
Oniqua Kamaka 24:40
I think that, like, the best part about Orientation Week is that you get to start building these relationships. And, like, look back at it, like, I have, my friends and I look back at the pictures that we took in Orientation Week in our first year, and then look to us now that we’re just graduated and it’s coming on to, like, the, “Oh, this is the first year we’re not all together.” So, having those pictures from Orientation Week is, like, really cool.
Bruce Gillespie 25:08
Oniqua, thank you so much for talking to us today.
Oniqua Kamaka 25:11
Thank you for having me. Thank you so much. It was a lot of fun.
Bruce Gillespie 25:15
Our final guest is Claudia Volpe. Claudia earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Criminology at Laurier Brantford and was an active member of the Criminology Students’ Association. I started by asking her what Homecoming means to her.
Claudia Volpe 25:30
I would say Homecoming to me, both as a student and as an alum, it means community. So, I think something that we often hear when we’re at Laurier Brantford is that the campus is so small, it’s so tight knit that there is such a sense of community and almost a family sense, where you can’t walk down the street without knowing someone, or without giving a wave or a smile. And so, I think with Homecoming in my undergraduate and graduate years at Laurier, it was honestly such a time where it was so much more than just the Homecoming event, it was so much about community and it was really nice to see, like, the formal events leading up to the actual Homecoming sporting event or dinner, or whatever activity it was, that it really just fostered and really enhanced that sense of community because you had, you know, the Student Alumni Association have their booth and talk about what the Alumni Association does for current students. And so, I just think it was a great time to learn more about the campus for sure, and really feel connected to other students who maybe you’ve seen around campus, maybe you haven’t, but really just allows for that open conversation and discussion to chat about, you know, what does going to Laurier mean to you? What does it mean to be a Golden Hawk. And honestly, that sense of community and that feeling that I have toward Homecoming hasn’t changed since I graduated.
So, being part of the Brantford alumni chapter now. What I still think of Homecoming, I still think of that sense of community, and going back home again, because Laurier is such a family that even when you graduate, you cross the stage, you don’t leave a family. So, you definitely go back home and you’re able to see current students and people who’ve graduated, who maybe you didn’t even expect to see. So, really just fostering that community. And it’s so nice to catch up with people and see what they’ve been up to since graduation or just during their time of their studies at Laurier Brantford. So that’s what Homecoming would mean to me, I would say it’s very much synonymous with community.
Bruce Gillespie 27:34
I think too, part of what I love about it is coming back to a small, still relatively young campus like ours, whether you’re able to come in person or whether you’re doing it remotely this year, you get a really clear sense of how much has changed since you’ve been here. The programs are always growing and changing, the campus is often growing and changing with new buildings and construction. So, it’s fun to see how much has changed compared to when you were a student here
Claudia Volpe 27:57
For sure. And even like with the virtual nature of things right now, you see, you know, certain programs or courses that were just developing during your time at Laurier, and you see how far they’ve come, just like what you said. And just you know, seeing how different buildings are being revamped and used. It’s the neatest thing.
Bruce Gillespie 28:14
Yeah, I mean, it sort of makes me feel old on the one hand, but it’s fascinating to watch right?
Claudia Volpe 28:18
It is and again, it just makes you feel so connected. Like I know what’s going on.
Bruce Gillespie 28:23
So, when you were at Laurier you were studying Criminology.
Claudia Volpe 28:26
Yes, that’s correct.
Bruce Gillespie 28:28
What have you gone on to do since?
Claudia Volpe 28:30
So, I completed both my BA and MA at Laurier Brantford in Criminology. And since, I have started my PhD in Sociology at the University of Guelph, and I’m heading into my second year in the fall, I did take a little bit of a pivot, in terms of research area. So, my Master’s looked at self-harm online forums, and I was obviously studying Criminology in my undergraduate and graduate years, and I continued the Criminology stream of Sociology, as I headed into Guelph. But I have changed research areas. So now I’m looking at sociology and mental health, specifically how universities define and regulate student mental health status.
Bruce Gillespie 29:13
Claudia Volpe 29:14
Yeah. And I do hope that, you know, in the future, my criminology background and this new area of research intersect, and there are so many opportunities for it to intersect. So, it’s really great that, you know, you do have that criminology lens, and it still is so applicable in research that I’m looking at right now. And even just like the way that you can think about how you can possibly, perhaps, like formulate certain programming to align with both your criminology and right now my sociology and mental health screen.
Bruce Gillespie 29:46
Claudia Volpe 29:47
Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve been a full time student and I do love it.
Bruce Gillespie 29:53
That’s great. So, you’re going into year two, so you must have been spending the last year doing tons and tons of reading.
Claudia Volpe 29:58
Yes, I did. I did. So, I’m actually in the middle of my qualifying exam, hopefully in the next couple of months, that process will be, will come to a close. So, that’s that is lots of reading, but enjoyable.
Bruce Gillespie 30:12
Well, and really timely, right? I mean, as I think anyone remotely close to university or college campus knows these days, the discussion about mental health among students, and what kinds of services we can and can’t provide on campus has really grown in the past 10 or 15 years. So, this is a really interesting, relevant and growing area of research.
Claudia Volpe 30:32
Absolutely. And I really do hope too in the time of COVID, that I think we have been introduced to a lot more people talking about how their mental health has been affected during this time of pandemic. And my hope is that, and I know, it won’t just be this instance that normalizes conversations about mental health, but I hope that it pushes us in the direction of talking more about mental health. And I think it’s also really important too, so I’m taking a sociological perspective on mental health, and I think it’s really important to have those conversations not just within universities, and you know, partner with different disciplines, but to transcend those conversations beyond university walls, because it’s so important, and it’s so real.
Bruce Gillespie 31:15
Absolutely. I’ve always sort of wondered about this idea that, because it feels like mental health is something we talk a lot about on campuses these days, what’s it like to graduate and go into the real world where these conversations probably don’t happen as often or as openly?
Claudia Volpe 31:30
Right, for sure. And that’s definitely a barrier to integrating conversations with mental health into all areas of life. That’s something that I’m very passionate about. Mental health does not just have to be a topic that’s discussed within wellness centers, that is not and should not be how it is. And so just really fostering a culture where, and even as students wellness comes first and wellness is a very holistic concept, and so we have to start talking about that as such.
Bruce Gillespie 32:01
That sounds fascinating, good for you. I can’t wait to read some of your research.
Claudia Volpe 32:04
Bruce Gillespie 32:06
So tell us some of your what are some of the favorite memories you have of being a student at Laurier Brantford.
Claudia Volpe 32:12
Okay, so I would definitely say there were two highlights during my time at Laurier Brantford. My first is being part of the Criminology Student Association as their Secretary on the executive committee. So, I did that in my third and fourth year of undergrad, and those were the years that I really felt more integrated into not only the criminology program, but the campus as a whole, because our programming like social nights, certain brown bag lecture series, law career fairs, those really helped me learn more about, obviously, the discipline and careers in criminology and law, but also really get to know students and faculty outside of the formal classroom setting that we’re usually accustomed to. So, I would definitely say that Criminology Student Association was a huge highlight for me.
And second was the Peer Wellness Education team that I was part of. So, I was a peer wellness educator in my graduate years at Laurier. And that was a really great opportunity to see how the Wellness Education program actually began out of the Wellness Center at Laurier Brantford and how I as a student and my fellow students, both undergraduate and graduate students, could really chat with our fellow peers about wellness and mental health and what that looks like and how that really comes first, even as we are students and, you know, studying is very important, but we can’t do that if we’re not well. So, I think it’s also really powerful to have those conversations between students like from a student to student perspective, because obviously, we have amazing resources on campus, but it is really I think there’s a level of relatability that maybe students can really latch on to when it’s a student talking to their fellow students about mental health.
Bruce Gillespie 34:01
And those are both really good examples of the importance of getting involved outside again, your formal school work to meet with your peers to meet your profs, instructors outside of the classroom, as a way to really feel engaged with the campus community.
Claudia Volpe 34:15
Bruce Gillespie 34:16
Claudia, this has been wonderful talking to you. Thank you so much for making time for us today.
Thank you so much, Bruce.
And that’s a wrap. Thanks for joining us. We hope it’s helped you feel a little more connected to the Laurier Brantford community right in time for Homecoming weekend. If you liked what you heard, tell your friends and colleagues. You can subscribe on Apple, Google, Stitcher or wherever you find your podcasts. Worried about missing an episode, sign up for our newsletter. You can find the link on Twitter and Facebook @onemarketlb. We’ll be back with a new episode in one week. One Market was created and produced by Bruce Gillespie and Tarah Brookfield music by Scott Holmes, graphics by Melissa Weaver. Special thanks to Derek Szilagyi for reaching out with the idea for a homecoming episode. If you’ve got an idea for a special episode, let us know. Thanks for listening. Keep in touch.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai