Having grown up in Cape Breton, Kathleen feels a strong connection to the island and when it came time to choose a university, CBU was an obvious choice. What wasn’t so obvious, however, was the path of study Kathleen would take.
In 2012 when Kathleen began her CBU journey, her original plan involved a Bachelor of Science. Knowing that Anthropology was her true passion, however, Kathleen changed her program of study to Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Anthropology, and since has had no regrets. In fact, Kathleen says, “I owe most of my success to the fact that I realized that I needed to stop and rethink my academic plan.”
Kathleen also contributes her academic success to the small class sizes at CBU. “The class sizes were always comfortable,” says Kathleen. “This was especially true in my third and fourth year classes. When you have a fourth-year thesis class with only five people in it, you have the advantage of getting the help and attention you need to succeed.”
During her time at CBU, Kathleen worked as a Research Assistant to Tracey Harris, Assistant Professor, Sociology, whose research focusses on the Tiny House Movement. Kathleen’s contribution to Tracey’s research included collecting newspaper articles, coding data and transcribing audio recordings. Along with gaining solid research skills, working as a Research Assistant allowed Kathleen to view things in a new light. “The chance to work with a sociologist while doing my anthropology degree was an excellent learning opportunity,” says Kathleen. “It gave me a chance to view ideas in both an anthropological and sociological perspective. Having the chance to see ideas in both ways allowed me to learn to think more holistically and to utilize as many other areas of study as possible.”
With Convocation just a few days away, Kathleen is already looking forward to getting back in the classroom. Putting her degree and research expertise to good use, Kathleen plans to remain in Cape Breton and apply to CBU’s MBA in Community Economic Development. “I would like to take my anthropology background and utilize it to help redevelop Cape Breton,” says Kathleen. “It’s all about investing my time into our island and I want to help Cape Bretoners in as many ways as I can in the future.”