Irena Szmihelsky’s opus

After teaching music in an elementary classroom for 35 years, all it took to reignite the spark of learning for Irena Szmihelsky was an open studies music education course.

“It was an eye-opener,” says Szmihelsky of that first course. “It’s almost shameful for me to say how little I know in music after teaching it for so many years. I thought to myself, ‘I’m doing myself an injustice by ignoring the possibilities before me.’”

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The long and winding road to success

After a long road on her own out of poverty, Bachelor of Education student Amanda Beekman is “beyond excited” to be graduating from the University of Alberta.

With a sometimes part-time class schedule, in combination with international aid projects building houses in Mexico and visiting orphanages in Guatemala--and some breaks for travel to India, Africa, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam--Amanda has already had a good taste of ‘real life’. But as a result, the usual four-year education degree has taken more time.

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Spring 2013 Convocation

Convocation is such a special time.

For the parents who have given their kids their best chance for a successful and happy future by sending them to university, it is a proud moment. For the K-12 teachers and university professors who have championed their students through the ups-and-downs of years of classes, it confirmation of a job well done. For the students it is completion of a modern rite of passage and a sign that a destination has been reached in what has been a long and difficult journey.

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