SERS Alumn Q&A — Emily Wong

Emily Wong is currently completing her teaching degree at the University of Ottawa.

Emily Wong holding up some paper

What years were you at SERS?

September 2012 - April 2017

What degree did you complete in SERS?

Bachelor's of Environmental Studies, Major Environment and Resource Studies, Minor Geography

What was your favourite thing about your program/time at SERS?

All the genuine (and genuinely helpful!) peers and faculty. I felt that everyone was presenting their honest selves - no one acted a certain way just to get ahead or to pretend like they were any different than they were.

What was your favourite course and/or learning experience (and why?) in SERS?

ERS co-op was my favourite because of the range of opportunities we were able to access - work at all levels of government, NGOs, education, and lab/field work (or so my friends told me!). SERS co-op is how I got into "teaching as a career" by interning at the Toronto Urban Studies Centre.

What are you doing now that is meaningful to you?

Right now, I'm in teacher's college and it is great! I mean, on balance. The day-to-day is full of ups and downs, but I'm fairly sure that this is what I'm good at and what I want to do with my life and I know not everyone can say that so soon after finishing undergrad.

If applicable, how did what you learned/experienced in SERS assist with what you are doing now?

Probably the most transferable idea is "the importance of engaging multiple stakeholders" and doing interdisciplinary work (yes, pulling out the million-dollar SERS words!) And what I mean by that is, in education, there's a lot of talk now about engaging with students and parents and the broader community in ways that didn't happen as much, even 10 years ago. A friend of mine put it well when she said that teaching has gotten a lot "broader" - it now encompasses student well-being in all its different facets, rather than just being about content delivery. SERS is all about connections and I think education is about that too. It's nice to already be familiar with some of the "big ideas" and the vocabulary that goes along with it.