The world is rethinking education, and distance learning has become a major part of the conversation. It may seem new and strange, but it’s been going on for a long time, creating opportunities and transforming lives. This series will share stories from learners at one of the world’s leading distance and online education institutions: Athabasca University, Canada’s Online University. We hope it will inspire you to start your own path to education. How far will education take you?
Building a New Approach to Indigenous Health
Raised by a settler family, it wasn’t until later in life that Shelley Wiart reconnected with her Métis roots. Learning more about the community, and the challenges Indigenous women face, inspired her to make a difference. As an undergraduate learner with AU, she was able to apply grant funding to help Indigenous women tell their own health stories, with the goal of driving positive change within the healthcare system.
From Refugee to PhD
Living through the siege of Sarajevo, Djenana Jalovcic saw first-hand that volunteerism can literally mean the difference between life and death. She left the city, spent time in a refugee camp, and then came to Canada. Now she’s putting her education to use, helping provide educational opportunities for people with disabilities.
Creating Space B’Tween Girls
Barb Tiedemann always liked working with people, but she left the workforce to care for her children. As they got older, she started to notice concerning mental health trends among preteen girls. She wanted to do something about it, so she went back to school to gain the tools she needed to make a difference.
The Thrill of a Life in Business
Vickram Minhas helps run a vast family business, spanning trucking, hospitality, cannabis and more. He talks about the path that led him there, the tough lessons he learned along the way and how his MBA helped him overcome his early struggles.
Quitting Space to Help Women in STEM
She could help launch satellites into orbit, and command missions for the Canadian Space Agency, but Stefanie Ruel still struggled to break the glass ceiling. She decided to upgrade her credentials with an online Master of Business Administration from AU, and that experience helped her to realize she was being discriminated against at work.
Analytics in the Athabasca River Basin
Lackesiha Lewis fell in love with computers early on and intended to get into the industry. But she got pregnant at the end of highschool, which complicated her plans. As a single mom, she turned to distance learning to further her studies. Through her master’s program, she got to work on an innovative partnership, applying data to the natural world.