Minds We Meet-Foteini Evangelidou

Foteini Evangelidou has recently completed the Master of Education in Distance Education program at AU. She currently resides in Kavala, a small beautiful city in Northern Greece that offers both the residents and visitors a combination of modern life with archaeological and historical sightseeing amidst the natural tranquility of sea and mountains. Named after both her maternal and paternal grandmothers, Foteini’s name comes from the Greek word “fos” which means light. Her passion for Academics and Technology is sure to help brighten many minds in the future.

What has your post-secondary journey looked like?

I graduated from 1ο Γενικό Λύκειο Καβάλας (the 1st senior high school of Kavala) in 2009 and succeeded in the Pan-Hellenic entrance examinations to the University. Specifically, in 2013 I acquired a bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Education of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with the direction of School of Primary Education.

What has been the hardest part about studying online in Canada from Greece?

Honestly, I faced no difficulties with the program itself studying by distance. The hardest part would be my personal busy schedule, including job and housekeeping. I was obsessed with my studies, I loved studying and I wish I had more hours available for studying. Because of my desire to do my best in my studies and due to my everyday obligations, I was always studying late into the night over the past two years. However, I never allowed tiredness to slow me down. On the contrary, I dug my heels in and left no chance to allow external factors to prohibit my studying or my strong yearning to achieve my personal learning goals.

What has been your favourite AU course?

This is a difficult question to answer. Each of MDDE courses are special to me. However, if I need to choose one, I would say that Instructional Design in Distance Education (MDDE604) was the most beneficial and complete course. The course is totally devoted to instructional design (ID) principles and provided a great opportunity for us to develop a unit of instruction based on the theory of ID. The creation of the instructional unit was demanding, but a very interesting and beneficial task.

Why did you choose AU?

When I ended my first year of undergraduate studies, I came across a textbook of Professor Dr. Tsinakos about his course “Distance Education” in the department of Computer Engineering of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH). My studies in the field of primary education made me interested in whatever deals with the field of education and learning. So, the title, Distance Education, of that textbook attracted my interest and I read it carefully in only one day. I was just absorbed! From that moment, distance education was in my future studies-plan. In the last year of my undergraduate studies, I found the master’s program in Distance Education of Athabasca University. I was enchanted and I registered. There was no other master’s program in Greece with specialization in distance education. That was the reason behind the selection of the particular program. Moreover, combining the topic of the master’s degree with the flexible nature of Athabasca University, AU was a unique opportunity for me to study my field of interest without time or place restrictions.

What was the last movie you watched?

The last movie I watched was Life of Pi. Even though the release date of the movie was 2012, I watched it a week ago. It’s undoubtedly very interesting and worth watching. The metaphoric implications are wise and it demands your mind and concentration while watching. Life of Pi is by no means a light movie.

What is the number one reason someone should vacation in Greece?

Greek history, of course. It is an undeniable fact that Greek civilization is not only beautiful, but also formed the basis for other civilizations all over the world. Ancient buildings, sculptures, churches, manuscripts written in Ancient Greek Language, and objects are dispersed all over the country—either protected in museums or located outdoors. No visitor should miss Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, as well as Knossos in Crete Island. My city, Kavala, has plethora of historical monuments too. Besides history, sun, sea, hospitality, and tasty food form the identity of Greece. Olive oil, nuts, fresh fishes, and Greek Yoghurt are some of the most nutritious and delicious Greek products that each visitor should taste.

What is your dream job?

The M.Ed. in Distance Education constituted a strong inspiration for my future plans, concerning my academic and professional desires. First of all, I want to continue my studies with a doctorate in the field of distance education and the affordances of mobile or blended learning in education. These areas are not very famous in Greece and currently they are not applied in primary education. Because of my first degree in primary education, I would like to devote my doctorate to both sciences taking advantage of the innovative character of this master’s program. Furthermore, I am stimulated to implement personal research on the field of distance education and contribute the adaption of online learning in Greek educational contexts. Briefly, I would say that my dream job is to become an academic and researcher combining the fields of education and technology. Recently I accepted a position as a researcher at Advanced Educational Technologies & Mobile Applications (AETMA) Lab at Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology. I am honoured and excited as this gives me the chance to not only used the knowledge and skills I gained from the M.Ed in Distance Education program, but also participate in innovative projects.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Rock music is what I prefer to listen to! I love Radiohead, Madrugada, Placebo, and Offspring. But, while I am working or studying I love listening to a particular playlist on YouTube, the Disney Piano Collection. I am obsessed with Animation Disney Movies and I adore their soundtracks. The particular playlist is relaxing and helps me to stay concentrated and focused on my tasks.

What super power would you like to have?

I would like to be a time-traveler! I would like to have the power to travel back in the past, from the ancient years to the recent past! This would give me the opportunity to see how primitive people live, to observe the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, to meet meaningful personalities, such as Socrates and Plato, to have some more moments with my mom that I missed at a young age.

Do you have a favorite sport?

Generally I prefer individual sports rather than team sports. I find sports like athletics or gymnastics very interesting, because each athlete has to break their personal record. It seems like a bet on their personality. I think that I prefer this kind of sports because they remind me of myself. I always bet on myself and I always want to break my “records” and become continually better!

Laura Nelson is a marketing analyst by day and a bibliophile by night. She is in her final stages of completing her BA with a major in English through AU.

[It wouldn’t be a Best of the Voice Magazine without a student interview.  I chose this one from among those recommended because it shows, in one article, the heights AU students can reach for, the breadth of their back-grounds, and how, in some ways, we’re all alike no matter where we’re from.  I think getting all that into one article means it deserves its spot here, don’t you? -Ed.]
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