Alumni in the Field

Fred Connors
STU Degree: BA '00
Major: Criminology and Psychology
Job Title: SPR of Alternative Education, Leo Hayes High School
Location: Fredericton, NB

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
The past three years I have been a Resource Teacher at LHHS. I will next be piloting an Alternate Site Program at the school for kids that can’t function within school system for various reasons. To name all the responsibilities and duties associated with that initiative would be vast.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
Volunteering in schools is imperative. Any chance a student has to show a willingness to work with people and develop the social skills needed to interact with various personalities it will be seen as an asset. Be involved in as many community groups as possible and take course that you’re interested and engaged in so you can establish a solid GPA.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
STU was the springboard for what I needed to be successful as a teacher. The broad range of courses and experiences I had were beneficial in gaining an understanding of  many different types of personalities and competencies.

Kathryn Crossman
STU Degree: BA ’12, BEd ’13
Major: Bachelor of Education
Job Title: Teacher at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen
Location: China

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
As a teacher, I’m responsible first and foremost for the safety and well-being of my students. At a close second is my responsibility to educate students to the best of my ability so they can become well-rounded global citizens. Aside from the main classroom duty of teaching, I’m also responsible for planning my year, units, and lessons in detail, collaborating with my colleagues, as well as communicating with administration, parents, and other teachers. I have to supervise students during lunch recess, and I volunteer my time outside of classroom hours coaching badminton, supervising the Student Representative Council, supervising a chess club, and organizing a Caring Week at the beginning of the school year.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
If students are interested in pursuing a career in the Education, go for it! It’s something that’s challenging, it differs daily, and it’s incredibly rewarding. In order to prepare, students need to make sure they fulfill the entrance requirements for the Education Program in whatever province or country they choose. This can start with thinking of your teachables, or subjects that they’re interested in teaching. Outside of the academics, the most important thing you can do is volunteer. Taking a few hours a week to help at a school not only improves your application, but can be an experience that helps you decide if teaching is for you. So to prepare, be mindful of the courses you’re taking and get involved in local schools.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
My Bachelor of Arts from STU gave me the tools I needed to succeed in Education program. My skill set proved to be incredibly useful in becoming an independent learner, researching, giving presentations, and facilitating activities. My liberal arts education also allowed me to feel comfortable expressing my opinion, and thinking critically about concepts and theories. It’s because of St. Thomas University—its tight knit community and its professors (with an emphasis on the exceptional professors in the Education faculty)—that I became independent, self-aware, and confident that I chose the right career. Each year that I’ve been teaching in China has allowed me to grow and develop as a professional, while seeing the world and growing as an individual. It’s without hesitation that I say STU can help you find your passion as long as you’re willing to put in some hard work and do some searching.

Kayla Blackmore
STU Degree: BA '12, BEd '13
Major: Bachelor of Education
Job Title: Teacher at Rothesay Netherwood School
Location: Saint John, NB

What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
At Rothesay Netherwood School, an independent boarding school, I’m a Social Studies and French teacher, a Middle School homeroom teacher, the Head Coach of the Varsity Girls Hockey team, Student Leadership Faculty Advisor and House Parent of the Junior Girls Residence.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
Students at St. Thomas University can prepare themselves for work in the field of education by making time to volunteer and work with children in schools, camps, and as mentors in extra-curricular activities such as sports teams, music groups or after-school programs. These rewarding experiences provide a great opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with young people, which is a key factor to success as an educator.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
My experience at St. Thomas University, in both my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, provided me with many of the skills necessary for a successful career in teaching and coaching. While at STU, I learned to communicate my opinions effectively, speak confidently, manage a busy academic and athletic schedule, develop meaningful relationships, and cultivate my love of learning and passion for making a difference in the lives of others. I’m incredibly grateful for my experience at St. Thomas University, for the opportunities that have been afforded to me at Rothesay Netherwood School and in the field of education so far in my career.