Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

SL Leaders

2018/19 Leaders

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  • Isla Adderson

    Isla Adderson
    Accounting and Economics

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    My best or most memorable SL moment… In one SL session, everyone was focused on solving problems and trying to come up with the answers the fastest, you could pretty much hear people’s minds humming. This moment was unique because there was no stress of an exam, yet each student still had the focus of achieving outcomes.

    What drew me to become an SL leader? I really enjoy helping people succeed and was very grateful for the SL leaders when I needed their assistance. I am thrilled to offer the same support I had available to me.

    I never go to class without: My calculator!

    Best advice I’ve ever received: Use different coloured highlighters to group categories together, this makes it quick and easy to see what goes where. Awesome for exams too!

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: Where to park!

  • Kennedy Aberdeen 2018

    Kennedy Aberdeen
    Accounting and Economics

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    I never go to class without: coffee or a water bottle.

    I didn’t think I needed SL until: I attended a midterm review session and learnt how to study with others.

    What I wished I knew on day one: The more you get involved and work with your classmates, the better your experience will be.

    Best or memorable SL moment: While leading an SL session, a student asked me a question I had to think about and another student in knew the answer and helped answer that student’s question.

    Best advice: Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.

  • Carter Lindsay

    Carter Lindsay
    Accounting and Economics

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    What drew me to become an SL leader? I wanted to help people achieve better results while gaining valuable experience.

    I never go to class without: A note book and pencil.

    Best advice I’ve ever received: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

    What I wish I knew on my first day of university: What resources were offered to help new students achieve their goals.

    My academic “a-ha” moment: When I realized what study methods worked for me, and how I could apply them to better my grades and university experience.

  • Luca Williamson

    Luca Williamson

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    My best/ most memorable SL moment was when I had a student come up to me after an exam, and say: "Thank you so much, I really appreciate all the work you do for us." She told me about how she got an A on her exam, which she felt she wouldn't have gotten without the help of SL. It made me feel so fulfilled.

    I was drawn to be an SL leader as I benefited so much from SL in my first year, that I really wanted to be able to give that experience to other people as well.

    I never go to glass without spare sheets of blank paper. You can use it to draw out diagrams or write side notes, or even to just write down some material the prof seems to be talking about a lot (which usually means it is very important to know).

    The best advice I've ever received is that just because something is harder for you to master than others doesn't mean you can't do it. Being dyslexic, reading can be hard for me; however, just because it is challenging, it doesn’t mean that I can't get all the readings done for a course, I just may have to take more time with it and use some strategies to help the reading process go smoother.

    I wish I had known how to make a study schedule on the first day of university.

    I didn't think I needed SL until I went to my first session and found out that it was a great, free, resource to help me succeed in my more difficult classes.

    My academic "a-ha" moment: at some point in my first year I realized that if you are learning things you are genuinely interested in, then you tend to remember it and conceptualize it much more clearly. Focusing on a program which suits your individual interests best, helps you succeed and maintain a positive attitude.

  • Julianna Bissonette

    Julianna Bissonette

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    What drew me to become an SL leader? Being an SL leader has many benefits besides helping my peers succeed. I am also able to understand subjects more deeply by listening to other people’s explanations. SL helped me in many of my first-year courses; showing me how to succeed during the rest of my education and I wanted to help other students with skills I have gained/ learned.

    I never go to class without: A pen and both lined and blank white paper. In class, you want to write down the important points of the lecture; you don’t need to write everything the teacher is saying- just the main points. The blank paper- especially in science- helps for diagrams and pictures. It allows you to include visuals in the lesson and aids in remembering later on.

    Best advice I’ve ever received: Within ten hours of class, sit down and rewrite your notes, review your notes and/or plan to study them. This way you still have your memory of the class fresh therefore you can add information that your notes are missing and sort through what the teacher emphasized and what appears to be extra information. What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: The best places on campus to study! I’ve since learned which areas are quiet and more conducive to focusing for studying alone, and spaces are best suited for group study. Different buildings and even individual levels of each building change the entire atmosphere. It takes a while to explore campus and see where you focus the most and are the least distracted.

    I didn’t think I needed SL until: Exam season. Throughout my first semester, I rarely attended SL sessions. However, when exam season approached I figured I’d check out an SL review session. The amount of information that I had missed in class was astonishing, as the practice questions they provided me with and a fuller scope of the entire course and knowledge of what to study for the final. By the next semester, I found myself going to more SL sessions, which reinforced new and old concepts every week.

  • Elvira Mukharryamova

    Elvira Mukharryamova

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    My most memorable SL moment was when I was an SL student. During a two-hour preparation session for organic chemistry test, I was tackling an assignment with a friend, but then the whole class joined in. We were laughing, making jokes and solving chemistry problems. I realized that I was ready for the test and was not at all nervous.

    What drew me to become an SL leader? Being a scientist means working in groups, so it is essential to be organized, well-spoken when leading a group, which is exactly what the position of an SL leader will teach me.

    I never go to class without my colorful highlighter pens. Colorful and well organized notes help me study more efficiently. Best advice I’ve ever received: “Don’t stress out before the tests, let the force be with you.” What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: It is never wrong to ask questions.

  • Aidan McGeough

    Aidan McGeough
    Anatomy & Physiology

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    What drew me to become an SL leader? I enjoyed attending sessions so much in my first year, that I wanted to find a way to keep going.

    I never go to class without: Snacks

    Best advice I’ve ever received: “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: Your professor's office isn't as scary as you think. Most of them are really nice and want to help you learn. My academic “a-ha moment”: You need to study effectively if you want to do well, not just put in the hours.

  • Cody York

    Cody York
    Anatomy & Physiology

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    What drew me to become an SL leader: The opportunity to discuss interesting topics with likeminded individuals.

    I never to go to class without: Way too many pens. Best advice I've ever received: Pizza makes any study group better. What I wish I'd known on the first day of university: Study groups with the right people can make any course achievable.

    My academic "a-ha moment": Realizing how impactful flashcards are.

  • Ndumiso (Jonathan) Makunura

    Ndumiso (Jonathan) Makunura

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    Ndumiso Makunura is one of three leaders for chemistry. He is an international student from the Republic of Zimbabwe. Ndumiso is a second-year Chemical Biology major and plans to, later on, study Medicine. He has recently been taken aback by the concept that is individualism, and his journey to rekindle it in himself. He has learnt so much in the short amount of time he's spent integrating with different cultures at TRU, and his everyday experiences have humbled him and taught him that there is more to learn than the day before. His hobbies include gyming and playing musical instruments in bands. A lot of Ndumiso's kitchen experiences have ended in meals that are only edible by himself due to his desire to experiment with flavour, which other's find to be a bit too flamboyant. "Never give up" and "Anything is possible" are words he lives by. Always dress to impress...look sharp...keep strong and study as if the test is tomorrow and eventually it will be... are some of his life mottos. He's proud of the fact that he has made it to where he is currently in life, not on his own, he reports, but with the help of his parents, friends, experiences (tragedies and joys). He believe's that he's on the right track and is grateful for that.

  • Portiaa McGonigal

    Portiaa McGonigal

  • Domenic Mercuri

    Domenic Mercuri

    Learn more about Domenic

    What drew me to become an SL leader? At the beginning of my university career, I was a rather uninspired and undedicated student. I eventually discovered what interested me and what it took to get what I wanted out of my education. I realized how much more school gives back when you dedicate your time and take an active interest in your learning experience.

    Becoming an SL Leader seemed like an exciting opportunity! I wanted the chance to connect with other students on similar pathways and be a helpful presence on their academic journey.

    I never go to class without my notebook and pencil. However, what is most important is making it to every class…even if it’s not a huge content day, or I'm feeling a little tired. I believe that at least some information will make it into my brain by osmosis if I'm present and paying attention.

    Best advice I’ve ever received: “Study Less!” Well…not exactly. It’s important to set hard boundaries on your school work schedule. Make a deal with yourself that you'll never study past 5:00 pm, and leave your evenings open for hobbies, exercise and time with friends. Ultimately, you end up working smarter, not harder. Academic life becomes infinitely more manageable when its confined to a part of your day, and not swallowing up your every spare minute.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: That school is a lot more enjoyable when you work hard. As long as you make a point of working for a portion of each day, you have more than enough time to enjoy all the social aspects of university. If you neglect the work, school becomes an overwhelming hassle and a negative stressor rather than a satisfying and rewarding portion of your life.

    My academic “a-ha moment”: When I realized that the area of any circle divided by its Radius squared is equal to Pi. For every circle, ever!

  • Narain Spolia

    Narain Spolia

  • Breena Rusnell

    Breena Rusnell

    Learn more about Breena

    Most memorable SL moment was doing exam review sessions with my classmates. I really love the different learning strategies that we used, because I felt like I benefited from most if not all!

    What drew me to become an SL leader? I enjoyed the SL courses in the past, which inspired me to encourage learning in others as previous leaders did for me.

    I never go to class without: MY WATER BOTTLE! I hate missing slides as it messes with my note taking process. This way, I cut down on the time that I’m out of class and it also helps me stay focused and hydrated.

    Best advice I’ve ever received: “Always take notes!” Whether you hand write (which I highly suggest) or type them, proper note taking is 100% important. Sitting in class and listening is a passive way to learn and generally doesn’t help. Even if you are taking notes of only the important information, anything is better than nothing.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university: That the textbook is not always required by each teacher/course! I suggest waiting to buy the textbooks and search around on TRU Textbook Trade/Sell or Amazon for cheaper alternatives.

    I didn’t think I needed SL until: I missed classes due to athletic commitments and felt completely lost! SL really helped me get back on track.

    My academic “a-ha moment”: When I declared my major - I was focusing on the sciences and it wasn’t working out as I planned. I decided that I needed a change, found geography and I have not gone back since.

  • Tim Burris

    Tim Burris

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    What drew me to become an SL leader? I found SL very helpful for psych stats (PSYC 2100), and had already been leading an informal study group for logic class. I wanted to be an SL leader almost as soon as I learned what an SL leader was!

    I never go to class without: A little notebook to jot down course information, stray thoughts, essay ideas, or anything else that's separate from class notes. This really helps keep me organized.

    Best advice I've ever received: My grandfather told me, "Time does not stand still." It took me some time to really appreciate the significance of this.

    What I wish I'd known on the first day of university: Putting maximum effort into school can be extremely satisfying. When I first started university I wasn't nearly as motivated as I am today. Looking back, I wasted so much time!

    My academic "a-ha moment": I returned to university in Fall 2015 after an 8-year absence, intending to finish my degree. By my second semester I realized that I wanted to go to graduate school for clinical psychology. A professor told me that I definitely could, but would need to start doing a lot better than 80% on tests. That stuck with me!

  • Savanah Cockrell

    Savanah Cockrell

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    I think what drew me to becoming a leader is because I love to help people learn and grasp new things. Once you’re given the opportunity to help someone else understand something, you often walk away with better comprehension as well.

    I never go to class without a pen and paper, a tablet, or in desperate situations my phone, it’s so important to be able to take notes during lecture.

    The best advice I’ve ever received is to relax. It sounds silly, but if you know you’ve studied and properly prepared for a test or anything really, then stressing out and cramming last minute will rattle you unnecessarily. Instead of going into an exam feeling calm and collected, you end up worried and stressed before you’ve even started.

    The first day of university I wish I would have known how beneficial it can be to study with a group rather than alone.

    I didn’t think I needed SL until I saw how working as a collective can really help you understand the material.

    My academic a-ha moment came when I realized that I should stop second guessing myself. I realized that committing myself to my studies and getting my tasks completed on time enabled me to succeed. SL helped me realized this.

  • Devon de Vries

    Devon de Vries

    Learn more about Devon

    Most memorable SL moment… I felt such crippling anxiety before attending my first session. It seems silly in hindsight, but I was so nervous about talking to strangers. It got much better after I attended that first session.

    What drew me to become an SL leader? Communal learning. In psychology we're taught the importance of strong social support for an individual; the same principles can be said about an individual's learning.

    I never go to class without: A stapler. It's the handkerchief of the office supply world. Best advice I’ve ever received: "... never let school interfere with [your] education." - Mark Twain. This quote taught me to prioritize the value of learning and information over credentials and certificates.

    I didn’t think I needed SL until: A friend convinced me to attend a session. Within ten minutes someone shared a way they understood a concept and it just clicked. Seeing the problem another side helped solve the bigger puzzle.

  • Sarah Miller

    Sarah Miller
    English (in collaboration with the Writing Centre)

  • Dave Gore

    David Gore
    Law (Torts)

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    David is in his 3rd year of the Law Program. He competed his undergrad from TRU, with a major in Chemical Biology. He really enjoys sports and will pretty much watch any sport that is on TV! His suggestion to incoming first year law students is to work hard and be willing to change your study habits. He says you have to find what suits both you and that particular course the best!

  • Kate Dueck

    Kate Dueck
    Law (Torts)

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    Most memorable SL moment: When my group worked on practice questions and the leader said we hadn't missed anything in our answer.

    I never go to class without: Tim Horton's Steeped Tea. Best advice I ever received: "Your character is worth more than your career." -- my dad What I wish I'd known on the first day of law school: I wish I had known how many great people I would meet.

    My academic "a-ha moment": When I was studying theatre, I was a total perfectionist, and I couldn't figure out how to perform an assigned monologue. I was getting anxious and self-conscious. My professor encouraged me to stop worrying about getting things "right" and to try a few different approaches until we found what worked. I never felt great about that performance, but I learned that it’s okay to try something that doesn't work out, which has been very useful in law school.

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