Gerry Turcotte Presenting an award to Kyrie Bouscal

She’s been a part of the St. Mary’s University community for 5 years and is still not ready to say goodbye!

Kyrie Bouscal began her journey at StMU in 2016, enrolling in a 3-year general studies degree with an ultimate goal of entering the Education program. She enjoyed the freedom of taking courses in every discipline available, since the courses she wasn’t too fond of were mandatory: English and History.

After her first year of courses, she got a letter in the mail from her English professors encouraging her to join the faculty. Surprised but confident, she made the decision to switch her degree major to be able to pursue a 4-year program.

“I am so grateful for that encouragement from my first year professor because without it, I would have never considered becoming an English major. This degree is irreplicable and while I was never very fond of reading, the skills that I built in that program will serve me for the rest of my life.”

Kyrie Bouscal

Kyrie became more than just someone who attends classes in her first year by joining the Social Justice club. She went to events off campus and helped host events on campus to engage the student body. She met like minded students who were interested in building others up and offering acts of service to the community, even though they were all in different degree programs.

As time went on through her English degree, she grew closer with the cohort of students and professors studying in this discipline, and these connections opened many doors for her. She was asked to work on campus as a Peer Mentor for the final 3 years of her degree. This allowed her the opportunity to invest in the students coming up behind her in the faculty.

“I came to understand that yes, I am good at this and I can be of help to my fellow students. This built my confidence in my abilities and I began submitting my work to both the academic and creative journals on campus. I have various pieces of mine published now, and it has been very rewarding to see my work in print.”

During one of her courses, her professor proposed a project that would connect interested students from that class with older adults at the active living centre across the street from the University. Kyrie was paired with one lady from this building, and also decided to partner with her grandfather to co-author life stories. She was among over a dozen students who participated in this project, and the life stories of these older adults were all published together in one beautiful book.

Kyrie continued to build on her experiences in the community, joining the school choir and attending specialty on-campus events. Her appreciation for these events shows through her attention to lived experiences: “I learned not only to be humble in trying new things in the company of students who often had more experience than me, but also to be rewarded by

stepping out of my comfort zone and applying myself to extra curricular on-campus activities. You gain this unparalleled sense of belonging, knowing that you are a part of what is occurring on campus outside of your courses.”

As part of the 2020 grad year, she did finish up her degree online, and her classmates missed out on delivering their graduation projects in a conference due to COVID-19. The group was invited to have their papers published in a special edition of the university academic journal, and Kyrie was able to support this effort as a member of the editorial board for this forthcoming journal.

After graduation, she applied to the University as an Advancement Assistant and received the summer student position. She was also accepted to the Education program and joined on as a student ambassador for the first year English students who were beginning their University careers online.

Kyrie Bouscal

She ultimately decided not to continue with the Education program, but instead chose to stay on in her summer role for the full 2020-2021 school year. Kyrie has been working closely with the advancement and communication departments of the university, building up her resume and learning so many transferrable skills.

As this year comes to a close, Kyrie will be leaving the province to attend Law school. On this, she says:

“In my application to the JD program, I was surprised at how easily I could see myself using all of the skills I learned in my English degree as a law student and future practicing lawyer. My interest and skills lie in communications with attention to social responsibility. I enjoy relating to people through truths found in stories and lived experiences. My intention is to bring this passion to the legal field in order to better understand how policy decision impact human rights. I know that my training in English, which includes accepting individual experiences as truth and validating argumentation and change built around these truths, will enable me to enter the legal profession with a strong, confident voice.”

The support from her coworkers in the StMU community has been incredible, and she is grateful to have spent this isolating year in good company. Kyrie will miss the attention to individual success that this University provides to their students and staff, but is thankful for the dedication of the greater university community for their immense contribution to her life.