Roxan is currently enrolled “the last few classes before obtaining [her] Bachelor of Professional Arts – Communications Major.” She related, “It’s been a long journey but I’m almost there.”
On a personal note, Roxan is “a 42-year-old, currently Marketing Coordinator in Rosetown, Saskatchewan,” who has also “worked in the Broadcast/ Communications industries for 18 years.” She continued, “I was born in Herschel, Saskatchewan, which has rich Indigenous and Paleontological histories. If you’re ever in the area – it’s a must see.”
She had some great advice for new students and/or prospective students. “My advice would be to make sure to reach out to tutors, student support, join the AUSU and AU social media channels and take part in webinars where applicable. There is also the Write Site—which I just learned about recently and I sure wish I would’ve known about it years ago. What a wonderful resource that is. I would also say take your time if you can and aren’t under funding restraints. There is no shame in taking longer than most, the end goal is the most important.”
As for advice for current students? “I’m a goal-oriented person. So writing down what I need to accomplish helps. What keeps me motivated to study is setting goals monthly. I try to complete a class once a month or month and a half and that is what I work toward. I try to do a bit of my classes every night.”
When she is not studying, Roxan is “an avid world traveler and this fills [her] cup.” She stated, “I have been to many different places all over the world. I live by the motto that you can always make more money, but you can’t make more memories without doing something—so do it.”
She let The Voice Magazine know about one of her most memorable vacations, which was “hands down Africa.” She mentioned, “I travelled to Rwanda, then trekked Gorillas in the jungle in Uganda and then summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Africa is life changing and if you ever have a chance to go, go!” This journey is also closely tied in with her proudest moment in life, which she said “would be summiting Mount Kilimanjaro … on mom’s birthday.” She explained, “She had passed away a couple of years before that—but I think she was right with me when I was up there.”
As for her most valuable lesson learned in life? “Your mind is far stronger than your body and you can accomplish anything you put your mind too. And don’t take anything or anyone in your life for granted—ever!”
Roxan had a unique response to the question of who in her life has had the greatest influence on her desire to learn. “This is an interesting question, there was no one person who influenced me to start this journey. I have always had a bucket list—and obtaining my degree was on it … so I started down the road,” she stated.
As for her experience with online learning so far? “Online learning has been difficult at times. There are no other students within your class (unless you search for them or join online groups) to bounce ideas, receive feedback from, etc. so the interpersonal communication can be a struggle. Time management with daily tasks in life can also cause some stress, with deadlines within class looming. However, the self-directed learning that occurs far outweighs it. There was a lot of freedom in some of the classes that I’ve taken to be able to do projects on personal interests. And you can work at your own pace. I have been able to complete some courses within a month so that has been great.”
Roxan’s most memorable AU course so far has been CMNS 419: Digital Storytelling. She explained, “I was a former news broadcaster, so I was able to use my former career and skills to accomplish this class in a short amount of time and the projects were really fun.”
As for communications with her course tutors? “I find it very helpful and for the most part my tutors have been helpful.”
If she were the new president of AU, Roxan had a few suggestions as her first project. “When a student is first accepted into their program, they need to send a physical package of materials to them, outline all of the wonderful resources AU has, such as Write Site, student counsellors, HealthLink, the library, etc. Everything that’d you’d be able to physically find at a university in person,” she continued, “make a big binder and send it out. I’d designate one person to each student to be their contact for their term of their schooling that can help them with any questions and directions the student may have. I would also implement the option of either having paper copies/textbooks or strictly online options. There are still some people that prefer paper and books to online.”
When The Voice Magazine asked which famous person, past or present, she would like to have lunch with, and why, she chose author Chevy Stevens, stating “she is one of the most amazing authors I’ve ever read.” She continued, “I have read everything she has ever written, and I hope she’s writing another book currently. I think she lives in Vancouver, so I’d let her pick the place as there are some great places to eat in that city.”
On a final note, Roxan stated, “I wish everyone wherever they are in the world and within their educational journey the best! You got this!” Best of luck Roxan!
At times, in an online learning environment, it can feel like you are all alone, but across the nation and around the globe, students just like you are also pursuing their Athabasca University (AU) studies! Each week, The Voice Magazine will be bringing you some of these stories. If you would like to be featured next, do not hesitate to get in touch!