Education News Fall2015/Winter 2016 - Page 12

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALUMNA STEFFANY SALLOUM

Photos courtesy of SCIC
To read the full interview visit : http :// www2 . uregina . ca / education / news / steffany-salloum
Alumna Steffany Salloum , Public Engagement Program Officer for the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation ( SCIC ).
As is demonstrated in Steffany Salloum ’ s story , the B . Ed . degree offers possibilities for a variety of careers . Assignments engaged in and relationships formed while a student can help shape future directions .
Steffany SalIoum ( B . Ed . ‘ 07 , Secondary Education – English Major and Social Studies Minor ) is currently the Public Engagement Program Officer for the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation ( SCIC ). Last summer , Steffany coordinated a Global Citizen Youth Leadership ( GCYL ) Program and involved some of her U of R connections for preparing youth from 8 Saskatchewan schools for their educational experience . Steffany also designed current research that is reviewing Global Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan schools . The following is an interview with Steffany about her experience as a student in the Faculty of Education , and how her Education degree equipped her for the work she is now doing .
What was a highlight for you while a student here ?
There was a moment in my 4th year , after my internship , when I understood what it meant to build a learning program from scratch . I realized that it was a highly intentional series of decisions and planning , where all the learning that took place from year to year would build on the previous years to make my holistic learning experience possible . It was clear that the Faculty of Education had hired some exceptional staff and had decided on a strategic direction that would directly influence my passion for activism and for making the world a better place .
In what ways did the Faculty of Education contribute to your personal / professional development ?
Throughout the 4-year program it was clear that the Faculty of Education valued instilling the skills associated with becoming a reflective practitioner and life-long learner . If it were not for my Education Professional Studies ( EPS ) courses [ now called Education Core Studies ] and professors I would not have learned the importance of educating for critical consciousness . The skills I learned were fundamental in my personal and professional growth then and now . By critically engaging in my own experience and ways of knowing , I was better able to connect with my teacher identity and personal goals .
In your current position , you are involved in coordinating an intercultural education program for youth : Briefly describe the work you do and how your education at the U of R equipped you for such a role ?
In my position as Public Engagement Program Officer for the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation I designed an educational solidarity trip called Global Citizen Youth Leadership ( GCYL ) Program . The GCYL Program took 8 Saskatchewan high school youth to El Salvador during the 2015 summer to learn about international development . The GCYL program was a unique , short-term , immersive , international experiential learning opportunity for global-minded Saskatchewan youth . Participants explored concepts of solidarity , sustainable development , and equality through three components : pre-tour education , international travel to an SCIC member project , and post-tour debriefing and public engagement work .
During the pre-tour orientation , which laid the foundation of the intercultural education program , we had three facilitators from the U of R Campus :
• Dr . Michael Cappello facilitated workshops on anti-oppression , racism , and identity ;
• Leo Keiser of the UR Pride Centre facilitated workshops on LGBTQ , gender and sexuality to prepare students for visiting projects supporting HIV / AIDS patients and gender work ;
• Lee Prosper with the Aboriginal Students Centre facilitated the “ Blanket Exercise ” workshop , a resource developed by SCIC member KAIROS to teach about the impacts of colonization and residential schools in Canada .
I would not have been able to develop the GCYL Program without the foundational skills , values , and knowledge that I gained from attending courses provided by the U of R Faculty of Education . Specifically , I learned how to design a course by paying particular attention to ensuring the content and teaching method is inclusive of regional backgrounds and diverse learning needs . Special consideration was made to ensure that the youth were supported through the entirety of their learning experience from pre-orientation readings to the post-trip speaking tour . I understand that some of the best learning takes place when you are completely immersed or place-based , there are hands-on activities , and the structure of the learning is based on building relationships and understandings across cultures and language barriers .
What was the highlight for you in this work ?
The highlight for me in doing this work is being able to observe the transformational change in the youth from the beginning of the program to the end . It is rewarding to participate in the learning experience with the youth because I am able to answer or pose questions that help them think more critically and relate their experiences to our context in Saskatchewan . It is my passion to guide people on a questioning path to learn about and understand the world around them .
Page 12