Grad profile: Making the most of support

Spring Convocation: Vivian Dixon, Faculty of Health Professions (Transition Year Program alum)

Stefanie Wilson - May 26, 2014

Social Work grad Vivian Dixon. (Danny Abriel photo)

Vivian Dixon has wanted to attend Dalhousie ever since high school.

“It was actually in my yearbook that I would attend Dal and become a social worker,” she recalls. “But life got in the way and I just kept putting university off.”

After earning a diploma and several certificates, and building a career in the helping professions, Vivian finally seized the opportunity to make her university goal a reality. And when she did, she was glad to have Dal’s Transition Year Program (TYP) to prepare her for university.

“I’d had a career in social services for over 20 years but to actually be in the academic setting was a whole new learning curve,” she explains. “The TYP helped me maneuver my way around university life. I needed the transition, even as a mature student, because the work and academic experiences are totally different.”

Getting to Dal might have taken longer than she expected but the experience and insight that she’s been able to bring to her academic career are invaluable.

“I’m in the right place at the right time. My past experiences have definitely served me well. This is something I’m already comfortable with. And now I’m getting the credentials to go with it.”

Though Vivian is graduating with her Bachelor of Social Work degree in May, she’s not done with Dal yet. “I knew as soon as I was accepted into the Bachelor of Social Work program that I was going to do the master’s straight after.” She will begin the Master of Social Work program in the fall term.

Vivian reflects, “Without the support of my family, my husband and children, my sister and friends, this would not be possible.”
 
So, it’s fitting that she’s now looking forward to welcoming her daughter to campus. “My daughter has applied to Dal. So we might be here together!”

This article is part of a series on our newest graduates. These profiles are also published in the 2014 Spring Convocation Keepsake, which is distributed at Convocation ceremonies. For more on Convocation (including live webcasts), visit the Convocation website.


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