AU Profiles – Student: Patricia Boyle

December 11, 2002

The student/staff profile of those whose lives are involved with AU is a new column in The Voice. It is our hope that reading about those who are part of the make-up of what makes AU unique will draw our students closer together although we span countries and continents. We are a part of AU, and as such, we carry a common bond.

I hope you will enjoy reading about the students and staff at AU – and be inspired to participate in our new PROFILES column!

Patricia Boyle

Voice: What province and city/town do you live in?

Patricia: Verdun (Montreal), Quebec

Voice: Do you have a family/ kids/ pets?

Patricia: No kids but three cats (Le Loup, Blackey, Charley)

Voice: What are your hobbies / interests/ activities/ etc.

Patricia: Reading, animal rescue, church activities, studying

Voice: Can you tell us about the AU Courses you are taking at the moment, or a favourite course?

Patricia: Presently I am taking PSYC395 (Forensic Psychology) as part of my BPA – Criminal Justice program.

My favourite course was CMNS311 (Media Law). The professor, Dr. Ellerman, is fantastic.

Voice: How long have you been a student? (And where)

Patricia: I have been a student all of my life. I trained as a nurse after graduating from high school then went back to get my B.A. (Psychology) at the University of Waterloo. After that, I took accounting and computer courses and switched careers to become a technical writer. I got my masters degree in Information Studies from McGill University in 1995. I then took a course from Acadia (Death and Dying). I have been at Athabasca University since 2000. I did take a Criminology course at Concordia University here in Montreal during the summer of 2001.

Voice: What do you think of your courses/ the AU experience/ distance education?

Patricia: I love my courses and Athabasca. I tried to take a course here in Montreal but after working all day, it was hard to drag myself to school and to concentrate. Plus I found that the course was not demanding – just learn by rote – no research work.

Voice: Do you work? What do you do?

Patricia: I do work. I am the senior technical writer for Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. in the IT Department. I write, edit, and proofread technical documents; I translate technical material from French to English; I administer databases; I create online Help system for in-house use; I act as a resource person.

Voice: How (or) Is AU helping you towards a goal?

Patricia: Personally, this degree will not satisfy any goal; it is purely for my own interests.

Voice: What are your future goals?

Patricia: I intend to remain a technical writer and database administrator; I love my work.

Voice: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for other students?

Patricia: Distance education is not an easy road to a degree; in fact, based on my experience, it is much harder than attending regular university classes. The person must be self-disciplined, love to learn, be a very good researcher, and able to write well.

Voice: Anything else we should know? Funny stories about the dog eating your laptop/ praise for your favourite tutor/ recommendations for a course:.

Patricia: No funny stories.

Recommendations: any course taught by Brian Whitelaw. He is a demanding professor but you really learn a lot. Plus, of course, anything taught by Dr. Ellerman.

Thanks to the Library staff for their swift response to my numerous requests for books.

Voice: If you have a picture of your self in a jpeg or gif format you would like to include, please do so!

Patricia: No picture of myself but I have attached a picture of my three babies – my cats.
Good Luck to you in the future, Patricia – And thank-you for taking the time to volunteer to be a part of AU Profiles!

Anyone interested in being featured in AU Profiles should email Tammy Moore, Editor of The Voice at My thanks for your participation and readership!