Employees from the Registrar’s office created the Enrolment Services Entrance Bursary.

Capilano University’s Campaign for Student Success is aiming to increase the amount of general bursary funding for Cap U students.

Currently, a student who qualifies for $3,500 in financial need receives approximately $800 in bursary funding from Cap—only 22 per cent of what is needed to fulfill their educational goals.

Today, we’re highlighting employee donors who are helping to ensure that students have the bursary funding they need to successfully complete their studies at Capilano University.

When staff within the Office of the Registrar first heard of the opportunity to help meet the general bursary need back in 2011, they were energized to take action. Deciding that they could do more together than separately, they decided to participate as a team to help alleviate the need for increased general bursary funding.

“Bursaries are our biggest unmet needs category,” says Registrar Karen McCredie. “We have students coming in with great expectations and high hopes for their education—what they need is further financial support.”

Working with Advancement, the group set up an Enrolment Services Entrance Bursary—from funds personally donated by staff members.

The bursary targets full-time students with demonstrated need who are in their first semester at Capilano University. The program seeks to award at least two bursaries per year, at a minimum of $300 per bursary.

“First year university takes a lot of people off guard—it’s more expensive than they think,” says Karen. “If we can do a small bit to ease that kind of burden for a few people, it makes us a better place.”

Thanks to those Registrar’s office staff who contribute to this endeavour!

Kathleen Kummen: Empowering students

Kathleen Kummen has been a committed educator at Capilano University in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for the past fifteen years. Her guidance and instruction have helped jumpstart countless careers. This year, she’s gone one step further to support her students with the creation of a financial award for her department, the Patricia MacKenzie ECCE Award.

The award is in honour of her mother, Patricia MacKenzie, whose strong sense of character and advocacy for the rights of women and children inspired Kathleen to go after her goals. Now, Kathleen wants to help her students do the same.

“I had a lot of support to be able to think about what I wanted to do,” says Kathleen, “and I want this award to open those same doors for other people.”

Breaking from tradition

Kathleen remembers her mother as a woman of conviction and strong academic principles. Although originally accepted into the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba, her father had her switched into home economics.

Unfazed by this change of course, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, but was not dissuaded from pursuing her own academic goals. She decided to go back to university and earn a diploma in early childhood education while Kathleen was in high school.

While balancing family life and schoolwork is hardly an easy task today, it was even less common back then. But Kathleen’s mother was not the type to follow the norm—even when it came to matters of the heart. Kathleen remembers her mother encouraging her to pursue her education and personal goals before thinking about marriage.

“Today, that might sound like an everyday thing, but [back then,] that was really challenging the times,” says Kathleen.

An inspiring educator

Education was a natural fit for Kathleen’s mother, who went on to teach nursery school. “She had great respect for children. She listened to their stories and believed in children as confident and capable beings,” says Kathleen.

Kathleen has applied that same care and attention to her own career. She has worked in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education for more than 25 years and has experience in various roles including child life therapist, childcare licensing officer, instructor and her current role as ECCE department coordinator.

As coordinator, Kathleen oversees the two-year diploma and four-year degree programs for ECCE students at Cap. “I am interested in how we can reconceptualize early childhood education in our classrooms to address the issues of the past and the challenges of tomorrow,” says Kathleen.

She also continues to teach and her courses are aimed at helping students to think about their work from a position of social justice and equity—two topics her mother also felt passionately about.

Empowering her students

The new award will pay tribute to Kathleen’s mother not only in name, but also in spirit. Granted to any outstanding first-year student in the ECCE department, Kathleen hopes the award will help support students’ academic goals the same way her mother supported hers.

“Any award signifies that something is of value—that the learning is of value, that the people in that program are of value and that the children are of value,” says Kathleen.

Although Kathleen says that she just “fell into it” when it came to her own study of childhood education, her mother’s achievements clearly left a lasting impression. The award is a celebration of her mother’s enduring legacy—one of pushing boundaries, fearlessly pursuing her goals and empowering women along the way.

Submitted by Marketing & Communications, with files from Natalie Walters

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