Nov. 19, 2015
Are you wondering what your life will be like at university? Ask a Laurier student!
Meet Rachel Simmons (pictured left). Anishinabe Kwe from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia, Ontario, Rachel has been a pivotal member of the Aboriginal Student Association since she began her studies at Laurier. As president in 2014-2015, she led the club to win the WLUSA “Most Active Club” award. She was instrumental in the creation of Radio Laurier’s first show with Aboriginal content, called Moccasin Tales.
An avid powwow dancer and ambassador for her community and for the Aboriginal Student Centre at Laurier, Rachael excels at youth outreach. She teaches First Nations culture and dance, including a “Pow Wow Pump” workout class to first-year students. You will often see her at the Aboriginal Student Centre booth at community events spreading the word about Laurier and services for Indigenous students.
Rachael has a passion for championing mental health initiatives and dreams of one day working in her community as a speech pathologist.
Or why not ask Elizabeth “Liz” McLeod about her experience? Hailing from Timmins, Ontario, Liz is Cree from Moose Cree First Nation. She came south to Laurier’s Waterloo campus for her undergrad in 2010, a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, which she completed in 2014.
Liz credits her connection with the Aboriginal Student Centre for the opportunity to work with Stephen Perry in a biomechanics lab on an the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Undergraduate Student Research Awards grant during the summer of 2013. This research opportunity assisted her decision to pursue a master’s degree. She is currently in her second year while contemplating a transition into the work force or whether to continue on in academia.
One of Liz’s favourite things about Laurier is the number of unique learning opportunities available to students. Liz took advantage of one such opportunity and travelled to Spain for an international biomechanics conference.
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