Keeping it "200": Meet banner students Tricia Crawley and Catherine Callaghan

- December 1, 2017

Banner students Tricia Crawley and Catherine Callaghan.
Banner students Tricia Crawley and Catherine Callaghan.

Signs of Dalhousie’s forthcoming 200th anniversary are, literally, blowing in the wind. The Dal 200 banner series, which can be found on lamp posts across campus (and was recently featured on the MacDonald Bridge), profiles exceptional Dal students from all of the university’s Faculties. In the weeks leading up to 2018, we’ll be sharing short Q&As with some of the featured students.

Learn more:

Tricia Cr


First-year undergrad; Transition-Year Program alumni

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a mature student and mother — un June, my son Triquel graduated from Dartmouth High School. His graduation was bittersweet for me, as I did not walk across the stage my Grade 12 year; I didn’t finish because I was pregnant with him. 

It is truly amazing how a little person can have such an tremendous impact on your life especially at such a young age.  I made a promise to myself, my son and my amazing mother, that I would go back to school and receive my diploma. 

In 2001, at the age of 20, I completed my grade 12 at Dartmouth High School, the same school my son would graduate from 16 years later. I was determined to beat the odds stacked against me as a young black single mom. I wanted to show my son that whatever obstacles are placed in your way, you can still achieve your goals, sometimes it may take a little longer to get there. Then in 2005, I graduated from CompuCollege receiving a diploma in the Medical Office Assistant Program, graduating with high honours.  

This year, I didn’t just attend his graduation, I also attended my own. My son’s last year of high school I graduated from the Transition Year Program, and now I am currently working towards my degree.

The three years Triquel spent at Dartmouth High, I volunteered. I managed the girl’s basketball team, and also the football team that he played on.   Currently, I help my best friend with her business Queens and Kings Natural Products, and also a girls group she started called Queens in Training, mentoring young girls between the ages 7-13, from the community of Mulgrave Park.

Career ambition?
I plan to apply to the School of Social Work. I would like to do some type of counselling, possibly in the mental health field, and make youth my focus.   Just over two years ago, I lost my cousin to suicide. This was a life-changing experience and gave me a different outlook on life. It made me realize how short life truly is, you got to live it, and do what truly makes you happy. His death gave me the push I needed to go back to school and find my purpose.

I would also love to help young moms.  I can relate to them without judgment and encourage them because if I can do it, they can too. I always say 'just because you have child at a young age does not mean your life is over, it just means sometimes you must put things on hold.’  I am living proof of that.

At the end of the day, I just really want to help people. If I can make a difference in just one person’s life, then I know that I am on the right path.  People can relate to you better if you are willing to share your experiences and listen without judgement.  By sharing your story you never know who you will inspire.

What brought you to Dalhousie?
The Transition Year Program is what brought me to Dalhousie. I was fortunate to be chosen out of a number of applicants. I could not have asked for a better program to prepare me for the years ahead. It was very challenging year, where I learned a lot about myself, including how much I procrastinate, which a very hard habit to break. You can truly do anything you put your mind to it, and it always helps when you have an awesome support system.  The faculty is pretty amazing I have been blessed to be a part of this amazing opportunity, and I highly recommend this program.

What’s the best class you’ve taken at Dalhousie and why?
Considering I am only enrolled in two classes this semester I would have say Sociology. Before I took this course, I already looked at the world differently then most. I know what it’s like to be judged so I try not to judge others, but I am not perfect. The world we live is not so black and white. There are different reasons people do the things they do, although we may not agree with their choices, who are we to judge others on the decisions they make.   There is always a bigger picture, we may never know that person’s story. At any point in our lives our own situations could change, and we may find ourselves in places we would never thought we would be. As Professor Helland says “use your sociological imagination.”

What do you think of your banner? Have you gotten any fun reactions to it?
I think it’s great. Recently, I began to realize how large this banner campaign is going to be, and it is just starting to sink in. Every time I see myself I am still in shock, in a good way of course.  A few people told me they seen my picture when it was on the bridge, and a friend took a picture the banner and sent it to me. Recently, I began working at the College of Continuing Education — fittingly, the faculty on campus that I represent on the banner.

What does it mean to you for Dalhousie to celebrate its 200th anniversary?
As Dalhousie embarks on its 200thanniversary, I feel blessed to be here.   University is not somewhere I thought I would be.  I love seeing the diversity around campus, the people, the faculty as well as advertising. This is a milestone, and just goes to show you how Dalhousie University has evolved because the campus was not always diverse.

I think to move forward it is important not to forget the past because we don’t want to repeat it.

I will never forget the ones who fought hard so that I could be here. As long as we continue to move forward Dalhousie will continue to be one of the top universities in Canada and I am proud to be a part of it.   

Catherine Callaghan

First-year Engineering

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am on the volleyball team at Dal. This means a lot going on, practices, training, travelling and competing. Being a varsity athlete does not only mean on-court stuff. I have gotten to do a lot so far this year in the community. I have had lots of fun being a camp councilor for little tigers, helping with residence move-in, helping with volleyball activities during orientation week and volunteering at Light the Night with the team!

Career ambition?
As of right now I am undecided what I would like to pursue as a career, but as far as engineering goes, I am looking into taking mechanical or electrical. 

What brought you to Dalhousie?
Well of course the great reputation that the volleyball team has but also the reputation that the school has. I went to high school in Halifax so I knew what a great city it was and how well suited it and Dalhousie is for me.

What’s the best class you’ve taken at Dalhousie and why?
I would have to say that my favourite course so far would be Design.

What do you think of your banner? Have you gotten any fun reactions to it?
I find it kind of odd to see myself all over town but it has been really fun hearing everyone say they saw me on the bridge or they saw me downtown and stuff like that. I get a lot of funny reactions when people realize it is me on these posters.

What does it mean to you for Dalhousie to celebrate its 200th anniversary?
What does it mean to you for Dalhousie to celebrate its 200th anniversary?: As I said before, Dalhousie holds a great reputation so for me to celebrate the 200th anniversary is very cool, and a big privilege. It is a huge milestone that I am very happy to be part of and celebrate.

Learn more about Dal’s 200th anniversary at


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