School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (SASAH); Sexuality Studies; Scholar's Electives
Hometown: London, ON
Current Activity: MA in Women’s Studies, University of Oxford
What attracted you to this program?
I was initially interested in SASAH because I had a high-school experience that allowed me to find richness in many different things – theatre, literature, leadership, philosophy, community service – and I didn’t want to give any of that up by entering a university program with a single focus. SASAH’s curricula and commitment to making knowledge work outside of the classroom, as well as the fact that it allowed me lots of room to create and execute my own projects, drew me to it immediately.
"I didn’t realize until I had left how absolutely incredible the Western A&H faculty and programs are. Soak in every moment – take every class you can, seek out every perspective you can, meet your professors, grab coffees with people whose work interests you, and put your own work out there."
What are your thoughts about life as a SASAH student? What makes it unique?
Engaged professors, brilliant community members who have so much to offer, amazing artistic initiatives, connections to every part of the university, and a cohort full of interesting perspectives!
How did your relationships with other SASAH students positively affect your experience at Western overall?
In my SASAH classes, I met people who were as outwardly driven as I was, and who were willing to both open their minds and stick to their principles. We were all equally passionate about completely different things, and from them I learned how to debate, how to react with compassion, and how to find balance in a complex world.
How has SASAH prepared you for the job market and/or graduate school?
In graduate school, I find that I’ve often been exposed to a wider breadth of texts and types of knowledge than my peers have due to SASAH’s interdisciplinary nature. I’m able to rely on myself and my own motivation (a key quality in grad school!) because of what I learned about myself working on independent projects through the 4th year credit in SASAH. I’m able to make connections between things that may otherwise seem unrelated, which sparks new lines of thought within my own work
What lessons and skills contributed to your success after you graduated
Most importantly, the lesson that I need to make sure that my theory is useful to the people it is meant to serve. Beyond that, SASAH taught me how to express my ideas clearly and passionately.
As an experienced graduate, do you have any advice for current SASAH students?
I didn’t realize until I had left how absolutely incredible the Western A&H faculty and programs are. Soak in every moment – take every class you can, seek out every perspective you can, meet your professors, grab coffees with people whose work interests you, and put your own work out there. It’s easy to get discouraged when an experience isn’t perfect, but what SASAH does well is it allows its students to influence their own education. If you see a gap, or a shortcoming, it will be an experience of growth in itself to see how you can creatively fill that gap.