Get to know Erin Chapman as she shares her experience as a student at the University of Ottawa. Adept in the art of dancing and natural entrepreneur, Erin became involved with the Communication Student Association in her early academic career. She was also involved in several organizations dedicated to the promotion of the arts.
What does being elected class valedictorian mean to you?
It means so much to me! As soon as I learned they were looking for this year’s classes valedictorians, I emailed the Faculty to show my interest in the position. I think it’s the perfect way to end this chapter of my life and to get involved with the Faculty one last time. To be the representative of my peers is something I enjoyed when I sat on the Board of Administration at the SFUO as representative of the Faculty of Arts, and it’ll be an honour to do it once again. It’s very meaningful to me!
Did you have a role model during your studies here at the University of Ottawa?
I had three teachers that really paved the way for me during my studies. Izabel Barsive acted as a mentor to me. She had a very hands-on teaching style in her classes and allowed us to gain skills that’ll come in handy in our future careers. The final project of her video class was screened as part of a film festival. Pierre Bélanger and Mike Stasko were also great professors because they encouraged us to be creative and moved away from the traditional theoretical way of teaching.
Tell us how the University of Ottawa prepared you for what’s next.
The CO-OP program gave me hands-on practical experience that is the key for any young alumni looking to start a career. It gave me the chance to build my own network as well. In several courses, the professors really taught me new ways of doing things and also how to step outside of my comfort zone and how to think on me feet.
If you could describe your years at uOttawa in one word, what would it be?
I would have to use a phrase for this one: Never a dull moment. Everything was different each term. Every class brought something different to my studies and it was a never-ending process of new experiences and meeting people.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m currently a cheerleader for the Red Blacks and a competitive aerialist. I’ll also be competing for Miss Universe Canada in the fall. I work for the government in a job I discovered through the CO-OP program. In the distant future, I see pursuing my passion for the arts and my interest in business. With a Faculty of Arts degree, we’re ready to adapt to any environment and challenge the status quo.