Valedictorian - Stephany PetersonStephany is what her Dad affectionately calls a “professional student”, a nickname that stems from a lifetime of endless questions and insatiable curiosity, of constantly asking “whys” and “how come”.

Having spent more of her life in the classroom than out, the foundations of what considers being education: learning, understanding and interpreting, have become like dear friends she visits on campus. Her approach to education isn’t limited to the bricks and mortar of our institution, though. The most significant learning happens in dialogue between individuals, not between the walls of these hallowed halls.
With the ink still wet on her honours degree in sociology from UNB, she embarked on her journey to the Mount to explore the concept of critical thinking. Through her graduate studies, she was given something of even greater value than the piece of parchment upon which her diploma is penned: a map and a compass, to navigate the terrain of the field of sociology in education. 

Stephany’s passion extended far beyond the classroom, though. She was heavily involved with a number of volunteer boards, raising funds for children and families, especially those in need. Stephany, although still a student, was also heavily involved with the local Alumnae association, and coordinated a number of education-related conferences.

As one of bell hooks’ “seekers on the path”, Stephany extends the utmost gratitude to the faculty, staff, and fellow students who enriched her academic career at the Mount. “It is through many invaluable insights, heated debates, sharing in a community of inquiry (rather than simply imparting information to be memorized), and providing genuine teachable moments that together we have truly harnessed the learning opportunity we seek to define as the educative process,” she says. “Thank you for keeping that fire lit and making this adventure a reward as rich as the challenge.

Stephany wishes the very best to her fellow graduates, noting, “Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” (Dewey, 1997). “May this be the beginning of your journey, armed with this map we have been charting – and most importantly, a pencil with which to continue sketching and exploring, adding, and changing the terrain we encounter.”