March 5, 2015

WestCAST 2015: Enagage. Inspire. Empower.

Cynthia Prasow, Director, Student Experiences, gives her impressions of the student conference

We were all definitely engaged, inspired and empowered by the Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching (WestCAST) 2015 conference that was recently held( February 19 – 20) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  The outstanding attendance of 30 delegates, including three faculty members, from the Werklund School of Education –was by far the largest contingent of any institution in attendance.

Our students were poised, articulate and thoughtful in their debating, questioning and discussions on a variety of topics such as:  “STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) engagement in FNMI (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) students through outreach and mentorship”, “Intergenerational trauma and the lasting impact of Residential Schools on Aboriginal education”, and “Promoting metalinguistic awareness in a bilingual classroom”. 

All in all, there were 24 excellent presentations from students in our Year 1 and Year 2 programs.
I was particularly struck by the cohesiveness, collegiality and comradery of our students and this reflected their strong sense of professionalism and care for one another!

I would like to thank Adam Olmstead and his Education Students’ Association team, as well as Amy Burns and Patricia Danyluk, Werklund’s Directors of Field Experiences, for their support.

Also, a thank you to Dianne Gereluk, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs, for supporting WestCAST and making this trip possible through grants for our students.

Note: Two of Werklund’s undergraduate students, Alix Esterhuizen and Adam Olmstad, made a presentation at WestCAST 2015 entitled, “Bill C-33 and the Growing Gap in Aboriginal Education Funding”.   Alix and Adam were interviewed by  Saskatoon Star Phoenix reporter Janet French and her story on Bill C-33 appeared in the February 21, 2015 edition of the Star Phoenix.