Education News EdNewsSpring2017finalweb | Page 16

CHRISTINE SELINGER | WHERE HAS YOUR B.ED. TAKEN YOU? A lum n a C h ri s ti n e S e lin g e r Alumna Christine Selinger (B.Ed./B. Sc. 2011) has been in the news for a variety of reasons over the years. In 2006, while a second-year Education student at the U of R, Christine was injured in a rappelling incident that fractured her vertebrae in her lower back. Just three years later, she won her first international medal at the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, and in total won 10 International Medals, including the first-ever 2010 Women’s ParaCanoe V1 World Championship. Also in 2010, she was the first person living with a paraplegic condition to go on an expedition through the Nookta Trail, which is an especially challenging back-country 35 kilometer hike. At her convocation in 2011, Christine graduated with Distinction and was the recipient of the President’s Medal. Christine has recently received worldwide recognition for her work on sex and disability. The following is an interview with Christine to find out where her B.Ed. has taken her: What are you currently doing professionally? I am now the Educator for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario in Toronto. I sustained a spinal cord injury in December 2006, which was during my second year at the U of R, and that has helped to lead me here. I create learning opportunities for people with spinal cord injuries, their loved ones, healthcare professionals and essentially anyone who wants information about spinal injuries. In my current role I create online, blended, and in-person learning opportunities—meaning, that I provide educational opportunities through several different mediums. I manage learning projects and make those learning opportunities available across the province, country or world (depending on the project and its scope). I host and develop webcasts and online meetings. I design, develop, and implement training opportunities through the use of the authoring tools Adobe Captivate and Camtasia Studio. I also still privately tutor Mathematics and English in the evenings (after work). I love working with students and found that I really missed that interaction in my everyday work. In 2013, I was the Lead Instructor for a Math tutoring agency called Mathnasium, but now I privately tutor students. How did you come to live and work in Ontario? What obstacles did you find in becoming employed? How did you overcome? What support did you receive? I moved to Toronto just after graduation with my partner, Jerrod Smith. He was headed here to pursue his Master’s and Ph.D. in Mathematics, and I didn’t want to live across the country from him, so I picked up and moved too! I had a really, really tough time finding a job here, which was quite heartbreaking. I spent about four months applying to pretty much everything I could—everything from teaching positions to retail positions. One of the biggest obstacles I came across was that Toronto isn’t as accessible as I (objectively) think it should be, given that it is the largest city in Canada (and has the largest population of people with disabilities). I was offered several interviews, only to discover that the employers either didn’t have barrier-free access or didn’t have a wheelchair- accessible washroom. It was a really disheartening experience. My mom once told me