Vanessa Bergeron’s quest for a MSW in the Okanagan revealed adventure and opportunity
Vanessa Bergeron developed a greater passion for social work during her year of learning and adventure in the
Okanagan Valley, while on leave from a job back home in Regina. “It has been challenging to move and build new roots,” she says. “However, I have found lots of opportunities to become involved at UBC’s Okanagan campus. It has been a community effort.”
Bergeron volunteered in the Faculty of Medicine’s Walk ‘N’ Talk for Life community health research study, helped to pioneer the Social Work Student’s Union, co-organized Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction on campus, and mixed in plenty of mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in and around Kelowna.
While working in Saskatchewan health regions, Bergeron was drawn to UBC’s Master of Social Work through the university’s reputation, the location, and Associate Professor Daniel Salhani’s policy work in Canada. “I have since met some amazing teachers and students that have inspired me in my professional and personal life,” she says. “I have been able to learn more about new perspectives and the struggles and resilience of people, and been challenged by the clinical emphasis of the courses.”
For her summer practicum at the School’s Interprofessional Clinic, Bergeron “found opportunities to learn and practice skills that I wouldn’t have had the chance to do in other settings.”