Sandy Howe

Applied Health Sciences (MA/MSc) – FAHS
Research adviser: Dr. Maureen Connolly

Program entry date: 2020

I’m Sandy, a transplant to Niagara as of 2010 (who loves to eat, drink, and attend the great events in our region!), and someone working on campus to support our goals for experiential learning. I’ve been working professionally for 16 years, 11 of those at Brock and just LOVE the campus and the people Brock attracts. I am so proud of what we do here and the student experience provided that I want to achieve a Brock degree!
Over the course of my life, I am been impacted by Indigenous peoples in transformational ways and although a third-generation settler on these lands, I’m a strong Indigenous ally as a result. My research is a participatory action research study with Indigenous peoples with the goal of looking at ways we can decolonize experiential learning, and acknowledge its Indigenous roots, in better ways on our campus. This topic is meaningful to me in a variety of ways and I’m always happy to chat about it and learn about your work if you’d like to reach out!
I knew going back to school after such a long time away from classroom learning would be a steep learning curve, and it has been, but every step of the way has been such a rewarding experience with faculty who want you to succeed. I have used ALL of the campus services around me a great deal from A-Z learning and the library for academic support, to Student Life and Faculty of Graduate Studies program to bolster my student experience and professional development.
I would recommend any student dig in: Put your head down and work hard, remember why you started and keep that motivation and goal in mind, reach out for help with classes when you need it, talk to other students and researchers about your research…oh ya, and take time to enjoy the process!
I had a really hard time as an undergraduate student. I wanted to have an awesome student experience and found value in outside-the-classroom experience just as much, if not more so, than classroom experience. I worked hard, but grades were always a struggle and I scraped by with an Honours degree. Stepping into graduate school as a mature learner has really helped me realize that learners come in all different forms. In grad school, I largely create and piece together the experience I want to have, and the professional experience and critical thinking skills I’ve developed from my time working are serving me in amazing ways. It’s refreshing to have that past student experience erased for this current one where I feel empowered, and see my effort pays off every day one way or another.
For me, I knew the time was right to go back to school when all the pieces started falling into place at the right time. I’m so glad I took this leap back into post-secondary education and feel like a beginner once again. The journey is the reward.