Having now completed three degrees at MSVU – a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education – valedictorian Shannon Davis exemplifies many of MSVU’s most cherished values. In addition to being bright, articulate and insightful, she is community-minded, a critical thinker and a leader. She is known as a supportive classmate and a generous listener.
Having returned home to Bermuda, Shannon has already moved forward in her career and is now teaching at a local school.
Shannon will deliver her valedictory address during the fall 2020 virtual convocation on November 1st at 3 p.m. AT; you can watch the ceremony via MSVU’s Facebook and YouTube pages. We asked Shannon to tell us what she learned during her time at MSVU and what’s next for her. Read on to find out more about Shannon.
Hometown: Sandys Parish, Bermuda
Current city/town: Bermuda
Degree being awarded: Master of Education (Literacy)
High school attended: CedarBridge Academy (Bermuda)
Previous education completed:
- Bermuda College: Sept 2013-May 2015, Associates of Arts (Science)
- Mount Saint Vincent University: Sept 2015-May 2017, Bachelor of Arts (History with a minor in English)
- Mount Saint Vincent University: Sept 2017-2019, Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
Why did you choose to study at MSVU?
MSVU is held in high esteem in Bermuda and is very well-known for its Education program. I was assured that the size of MSVU (both class and campus) was one I could relate to, as I am from a place very small in size. I thought this was the perfect fit and this is clearly true as I decided to do all of my degrees here.
How were you involved on campus during your time as an MSVU student?
- I was employed at MSVU’s Financial Services office for two semesters.
- I was a member of the MSVU Caribbean Society where from 2016-2017.
- I was a member of the MSVU History Society from 2015-2018.
- I was an MSVU History workshop tutor.
What class, professor, project or learning activity has held the most meaning for you? Why?
My first year at MSVU, I took a class with Professor Dr. Jonathan Roberts who encouraged me to write a paper about a riot or revolutionary movement that occurred in Bermuda. My initial response to him was that an event like that had never taken place in Bermuda. He sat with me and we researched and found out that there were multiple social unrests that took place on the island due to racial tensions and I was able to find a variety of sources in order to write my paper. While I was happy to have been able to write a paper around my island home, I was left feeling a bit uneasy. It had taken me to be overseas receiving a higher education to find out such important history that was directly tied to me and my home. It was this awakening that fostered a love for social justice issues.
What is your favourite location on campus and why?
Of course, I enjoyed the views of the Bedford Basin that I could see from Seton. However, to be quite honest my most favorite location on campus was the library. More specifically, the back of the library in the quiet section. I used to aim for the same cubicle. It was honestly the place that I would go for peace and quiet. The place that I insisted on working in. My friends would know exactly where to find me. I always felt so on top of things there. I would sit and complete schoolwork there for hours at a time. However, I would be sure to stay no later than 6 p.m. to make sure I did not become overwhelmed. I owe my success to this location. As I write this, I can picture myself there. I sure do miss it.
If you could share just one piece of advice with your pre-MSVU self, what would it be?
I would tell my “pre-MSVU self” to be open and ready for the change that you are about to undergo throughout the next five years. I would also say that you are about to transform and see and understand things differently and that you will love who you will become. Just be ready.
Do you have any favourite stories about your time at MSVU?
My most favourite story would be from my first year at MSVU, which was 2015. I remember being in my dorm in Westwood and looking out the window to see white pieces falling from the sky. I remember thinking “Oh my God! It is really happening!” This was the first time ever in my life seeing snow. I remember my roommates and I getting suited in our never-used snow jackets and running outside to play in the snow. It was so magical! I felt like a child.
What’s next for you?
I have now returned back home to Bermuda where I have been blessed enough to land a position in the Bermuda Public School System teaching Grade 6 and 7 Social Studies. It is currently my first year ever teaching. Of course, COVID-19 has brought its challenges, but I feel extremely ready and equipped to tackle this school year and hopefully finish with a bang!
Anything you would like to add?
I am extremely grateful for my experience at MSVU. I have learned so much about the world, people and even myself. I have grown into a more open-minded, vocal and confident individual over the last five years. At MSVU is where I began my adult years, and it has helped to shape the way that I think and exist. If anyone asked me if I would have rather gone to a different university, my answer would be no. I am proud to be a part of the Mount Saint Vincent University alumni. MSVU will forever hold a very special place in my heart.