2017 Convocation Story Ideas

Celebrating Dedication, Perseverance and Success - 2017 Convocation Story Ideas

Managing the psychological challenges of your new career

Now that students have graduated, landing their first full-time professional job can be both exciting and overwhelming. New graduates often face a range of challenges during their transition from student to professional including working with difficult personalities, adapting to new schedules and the stress of feeling the need to prove themselves as a valuable asset to their new employer. Psychologist David Mensink, can offer advice on how to navigate the psychological challenges faced by recent graduates during this transitional phase of their lives.

What do graduates consider when choosing a career?

Eddy Ng, Professor and F.C. Manning Chair in Economics and Business can provide insight into the career expectations and priorities of new graduates as they explore employment opportunities. Whether it be financial compensation, work-life balance or professional development/advancement opportunities, Professor Ng can also provide advice to employers looking to attract and retain new graduates.

Inspiring student stories

Dedicated community member at home and abroad
Njillan Forbes is an international student from The Gambia. Accepted by Dalhousie to study chemical engineering, she switched to management for her first year but eventually found fulfilment in earth sciences.

Njillan lost her mother in her first year of university, a personal tragedy that threatened her education. In 2013, she was awarded the Slaight Family Foundation Scholarship for African Students, which allowed her to complete her education at Dal. During her five years at the university, Njillan contined to work hard at her studies and in connecting with the wider community.

In her third year, she improved her GPA so she was eligible for an honours program and she graduates as an honours student this June. She found a sense of community at Dal and has worked hard to be an active member of her North End community, by volunteering weekly at the St. George’s YouthNet, an after-school program.

While Njillan isn’t quite sure exactly what life after Dal will look like, she is pursuing a career that includes community development and is dedicated to making a difference. Njillan inherited her mother’s private junior high school in The Gambia and while working towards permanent residency in Canada, she hopes to continue her mother’s legacy of providing meaningful education to others.

Combining three passions - arts, culture and ecology
Shalan Joudry has always been interested in how to help ecosystems and people better coexist. From Kespukwitk, the Mi’kmaq region of southwestern Nova Scotia, Shalan is graduating with a masters of environmental studies (MES) degree. Shalan has an undergraduate degree in agriculture and environmental sciences from McGill University. After completing her undergraduate degree, Shalan returned to Nova Scotia to work first in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site as a cultural and ecological interpreter and then to work on ecological projects in her community, Bear River First Nation.

Shalan entered the MES program as a means of combining her passions for ecology and the arts with a third passion—Mi’kmaq ways of learning and expression. For her thesis, Shalan studied fire in an environmental context. Seeing through the Mi’kmaq lens set Shalan’s thesis apart from much academic ecology work. She defended her thesis in Bear River First Nation in a ceremony opened by Elders, becoming the second SRES student to defend a thesis off campus.

Shalan will continue to intertwine her devotion to the environment, her culture and the arts after graduation as a professional oral storyteller and ecologist. She will continue her efforts to preserve species at risk in Kespukwitk where she is able to share some of what she learned from her MES and the Elders.

Dedicated to providing affordable housing
Ashley Salvador chose to study at Dalhousie for two reasons: a soccer scholarship and the university’s college of sustainability. After sustaining a soccer-related injury, Ashley stepped away from sport, but continued as team manager. During her time at Dalhousie, Ashley was involved with youth mentoring for sport and the sustainability leadership program, where she focused on affordable housing.

In her final year, Ashley completed her honours thesis on laneway housing - small homes in people’s backyards that are rented out to others – in her hometown of Edmonton. Her research looked at how people living in the city could leverage and use garage and garden suites as affordable housing. Since completing her thesis research, Ashley has founded YEGarage Suites, an organization that promotes and educates the public on laneway housing. She has received significant media attention surrounding YEGarage Suites and is actively pushing the city to improve its policies on laneway housing; this summer Ashley will to be involved in a film on the subject.

A Rhode’s scholarship finalist this year, Ashley will be continuing her studies at the University of Waterloo where she will pursue an MA in planning. While home in Edmonton, Ashley sits on the board of directors for the Infill Development in Edmonton Association (IDEA), and the Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC).

Recreation grad and Paralympic Goalball coach supporting athletes who are blind or visually impaired
Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by athletes who are blind and visually impaired
around the world. In 2014, Lisa Odland volunteered for the first ever Nova Scotia Open Goalball Tournament. Three years later, she has coached teams at national and international tournaments across Canada. Lisa also completed her recreation management internship placement with the Canadian Blind Sports Association. During her internship, she helped organize the 2017 Canadian Senior National Goalball Championships. While at Dal, Lisa also completed four seasons as the team statistician for the men’s and women’s hockey teams.

Lisa is the first student at Dal to complete a recreation management degree with a major in environment, sustainability and society. She hopes to continue working with individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Lisa has also been considering taking a masters in orientation and mobility to support individuals who are blind or visually impaired in using their remaining senses and teaching techniques to travel safely and efficiently throughout their environment.

Coast-to-coast travel for hands-on aquaculture experience
Originally from Sussex N.B., Patrick chose to major in aquaculture at the Dal Agriculture Campus for the hands-on learning opportunities and level of technology the campus offers to students. Last summer, Patrick moved west to Vancouver Island to gain hands on work experience by working on a west coast fish farm – Cermaq Canada. The company is the second largest producer of Atlantic salmon in Canada. Patrick says it is his time at the Faculty of Agriculture that gave him the skills to work in the industry. He is passionate about aquaculture and says it is a key way to provide food for a growing planet. Patrick graduated from the Dal Agriculture Campus on May 12, 2017 and is returning to Cermaq Canada this summer as a full fish health technician.

When Patrick isn’t getting his hands dirty with aquaculture, he was an active member of the men’s varsity soccer team and plays ultimate frisbee.

To set up an interview with our inspiring graduates, please contact:

Lindsay Dowling
Media Relations Officer
Dalhousie University

Janet Bryson
Senior Communications Advisor
Dalhousie University