Alumni Spotlight, People
UBC Okanagan transforms Kayley Miller from Sociology student to engaged global citizen
August 22, 2016
Alumna (Class of 2016)
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
Bachelor of Arts (in progress)
“I have learned to enjoy learning.”
THIS WAS A RELATIONSHIP BUILT TO LAST. After almost five years as an undergraduate student, Miller is still enamored with the UBC Okanagan campus and recognizes its uniqueness.
“You have the luxury of intimate classroom settings with a smaller campus. This remains just as important to me today, as it did when I first began my studies,” she says.
The native of Calgary, Alberta says she’s experienced significant personal growth during her time in the Okanagan. “My perspective has changed over the course of my studies. Most notably, I have learned to enjoy learning. In high school and even at the beginning of my studies, I was just interested in getting my degree. After taking just a few sociology courses however, my outlook changed, particularly how I view our society.”
VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA
In her third year of studies, Miller embarked on an international journey by partnering with International Volunteer HQ.
“I had heard many great things about travelling and volunteering abroad—how it can be a life-changing experience, so I spent seven weeks in Ghana volunteering at an orphanage. The experience opened my eyes to the impact we can have as global citizens.”
Miller continues to concentrate her efforts on supporting the less fortunate. “Seeing firsthand how there are so many individuals who do not have basic privileges because of their social position, has motivated me to pursue social work as a career.”
Miller credits campus resources such as the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) for their support toward to her academic success. “I don’t think I would have been able to make it this far without the accommodations they provided.”
To show her gratitude, Miller is giving back by being a DRC Peer Mentor. She is also actively involved with Campus Life, serving as a first-year experience Peer Mentor for Arts students, as well as Kick Start Orientation Leader and Create Student Orientation Leader.
“I have met many amazing people at UBC Okanagan, and made lasting friendships. I am grateful for everything that my peers and professors have taught me,” she says.
“Having the opportunity to be involved with the Campus Life Peer Mentor program—which facilitates new-to-UBC Okanagan students’ transition to university—has been a very rewarding experience.”
She says that first-year UBC Okanagan students should make the most of their first year as much as possible.
“First year is one of the best, most exciting years in university. You should work hard in your classes but also remember all the other things that make university great. Every first year student should try to get involved with the campus community.”
—by May Li