Keyword: In Their Own Words

Alumni in Their Own Words - Nicole Richard Williams

Nicole Richard graduated from CMU in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music Therapy.

Where has your life taken you since you left CMU?

After finishing my Bachelor of Music Therapy at CMU, I worked as a music therapist in Winnipeg for about three years. During this time, I started working with many clients on the autism spectrum and noticed that doing rhythmic and drumming interventions with these folks really seemed to help them reach some of their therapeutic goals. I wanted to deepen my understanding of how exactly music therapy could help autistic children. Going to grad school had always been a dream of mine, and so I decided to take some time off working to do a Master's in Music and Health Science at the University of Toronto. During that degree, I decided I wanted to continue on and do a PhD and was accepted again at the Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory (the lab out of which the master's and PhD are based) at the University of Toronto.

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Faculty in Their Own Words - Dr. Nicolas Malagon

Dr. Nicolas Malagon is Assistant Professor of Biology. He has taught at CMU since 2019.

What do you love about your work here?

Working with the students. You have small classes, so instead of having 300 students you can have here 10 or 20 and in that way you can know them better and work with them.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Alexander Sawatsky

Dr. Alexander Sawatsky is Professor and Chair of Social Work. He joined the CMU faculty in 2023.

What are you enjoying about your work here so far?

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. Heather Campbell-Enns

Dr. Heather Campbell-Enns is Associate Professor of Psychology. She has taught at CMU since 2019.

What are you teaching right now that you're most excited about?

"Identity and Intersectionality." That class has been just a pleasure. We're asking questions of identity, looking at concepts and theories of identity. Students are really wrestling with, "Who am I?" Questions around how stable is my identity and how much am I changing and who am I becoming? It's such a beautiful experience, with these students who come into this course at the end of their degree, thinking about: who have I become in this program at CMU? They come into the class with a lot of curiosity, and I see them go through this uncomfortable time of being faced with these questions. I've taught it a few times, and by the end of the course they're grounded into knowing something about themselves and accepting that they are becoming someone and that it's a lifelong journey. That has been really beautiful—including students talking about who am I in relation to the church and the God I've always known and who I am still knowing. It's been impactful for me to witness that with students because it's a journey we're all still on and to have them share that with me is pretty remarkable.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. Jonathan Sears

Dr. Jonathan Sears is Associate Professor of International Development Studies, Affiliate Faculty of Political Studies, and Associate Dean of Menno Simons College (MSC), a program centre of CMU. He has taught at CMU since 2008, primarily from the MSC campus.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. Jonathan Dueck

Dr. Jonathan Dueck, Vice-President Academic, Academic Dean, Associate Professor of Social Science (Ethnomusicology), and of Writing, has taught at CMU since 2017.

What do you love about your work here?

I like the sense of play that we have as an institution. We invite people to do things they care about, things they're passionate about, and to try them out. As students, as faculty members, and even as an institution, we're willing to try new things in a way that is about what we love.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. Sunder John Boopalan

Dr. Sunder John Boopalan, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, has taught at CMU since 2020.

Where or how do students give you hope?

I got into this business precisely because of that. Every day, students give me hope. Sometimes stuff happens in the classroom—I call it a change in plot. You walk in and you think, I know how the story is going to play out...and what I think we sometimes take for granted is that actually a person's place in the story can change the plot of the story. I think that's the place where students give me the most hope, because each of those persons sitting there with me in the classroom can change the outcome of the conversation. That open-ended plot of any interpersonal encounter gives me the greatest hope, and students do that all the time.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. Cheryl Pauls

Dr. Cheryl Pauls is the serving president of CMU. Prior to her installment in 2012, she taught for 26 years in the areas of piano and music theory.

What do you love about your work here?

As much as I value the creativity of the arts, I have to admit, even to my musician friends, that I find it takes even more creativity to do administration. That's what I love about my current role; I love the range of people that I get to bring together, the ways I have to think forward when there's no template for how things should go. It's a wonderfully creative task for me!

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Justin Neufeld

Justin Neufeld has been an Instructor of Philosophy at CMU since 2008.

What are you teaching right now that you're most excited about?

This winter I'm teaching Disability and Difference: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives. It's a class that I've really come to under the influence of students here at CMU. Years ago, a student wanted to do an independent study on disability, and I had more interest than expertise, but we were willing to kind of work on it together, and that gave me confidence a couple of years later to offer a course on the subject. This year will be the second time I'm teaching it.

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Faculty: In Their Own Words - Dr. John Derksen

Dr. John Derksen, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies, has taught at MSC since 2000.

What do you love about your work here?

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