Alumna works collaboratively with communities

Posted: March 19, 2013 1:30 p.m.

PhD candidate Amber Fletcher
PhD candidate Amber Fletcher Photo: U of R Photography

Graduates from the University of Regina fill more than a third of Saskatchewan's need for a university-educated workforce, and are significant contributors to the cultural landscape of our city and our province. Below alumna Amber Fletcher (BA Hons ’06) shares her thoughts about the University of Regina. Fletcher is currently completing her doctorate through the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy examining agricultural policy, climate change and the future of farm women in Saskatchewan. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Women’s Studies from the University of Regina in 2006, followed by her Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from York University in 2008.

Q: What does the University of Regina mean to you?

A: At the University of Regina, I have had the opportunity to study with world-class scholars – not only in my own field, but across several disciplines. The diversity of research opportunities here is outstanding.  As a prairie researcher, studying at the University of Regina has meant actually living what (and where) I study.

Q: How did your education prepare you for the world after graduation?

A: I entered graduate school fully equipped with the knowledge I needed to succeed not only as a researcher, but as an involved member of my community. At the University of Regina, I learned that education is not just about training for a job; it’s about learning to engage with one’s community and to work collaboratively with my community to create a better society.

Q: What professional accomplishment are you the most proud of and why?

A: There are two. In 2011, I was the youth recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case, which is given to only one woman under 30 in Canada. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions” to “promote the equality of girls and women in Canada”.

In 2012, I was selected as one of four Canadian women to form the official Canadian NGO delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. While attending the Commission, I had the opportunity to address the assembled national representatives to speak on issues affecting farm women in Saskatchewan.

Q: Why did you decide to stay in Saskatchewan?

A:  I returned to Saskatchewan because the University of Regina offered me an opportunity to do advanced social scientific research in the prairies. I also returned because of the people. There is a sense of community here in Saskatchewan that is truly unique.

Q: What would you like to have achieved by 2020?

A: I will complete my doctorate at the University of Regina early this year. By 2020, I would like to have built an established research and teaching career that helps address major problems people face in their everyday lives, especially problems related to environment, policy, and gender equality. I want to teach students how to engage with, and improve, their community in the same way I was taught to do at the University of Regina.