Interview with Kellie Forand, Class President 2017

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Kellie Forand

Successful Gee-gee and outstanding student, Kellie Forand shares her tips for a healthy life balance and remembers her sporting and academic career here at uOttawa. As she was honoured class president of the 2017 convocation, the Faculty of Arts sat down with her to discuss about the challenges she faced, how she handled things, but most importantly, what’s next for her.
 
What does being elected class president mean to you?
 
I feel honoured that they gave me such a symbolic role. For me, the Convocation ceremony is an important rite of passage. To be given the chance to represent your peers in front of the uOttawa community is a very unique experience. The end of our studies is a great accomplishment for everyone and I am honoured to be able to celebrate everyone’s success. It’s also very flattering.
 
Did you have a role model during your studies here at the University of Ottawa?
 
Simon Beaudry, a professor of communication and psychology, marked my academic journey here at the University of Ottawa. With his passion for teaching and dedication to our success, he managed to make me enjoy my statistics course! He was also a basketball coach in the Gatineau area, which inspired me to be ambitious. He also inspired me to pursue my master’s degree.
 
Tell us how the University of Ottawa prepared you for what’s next.
 
It prepared me in so many ways! First of all, the University allowed me to learn so much about myself. In life, it’s useless to know everything…it’s in fact impossible. Thinking on your feet and having a critical approach to what you learn are really the skills you’ll need for your career. In the job market, we’ll be confronted with many situations and my Faculty of Arts degree has prepared me to be able to face them. I was also able to develop a network here. Moreover, I developed the essential skill of writing without mistakes. This ability will follow me all my life—and in any field.
 
How did you get involved here at the University of Ottawa?
 
Throughout my academic career, I had the opportunity to be a guard for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s basketball team. In fact, I was elected co-captain of the team the past two years. Being a Gee-Gee truly developed my sense of belonging to this institution—representing the University of Ottawa is a privilege. In addition to focusing on my studies and being involved in sport, I was employed through the Work-Study Program for several years, and I also volunteered at the University and with the City of Ottawa. Doing these activities, I was able to demonstrate my skills as a leader, but especially as a francophone leader.
 
What does the future hold for you?
 
In the fall, I’ll begin my master’s degree in communication. And since I still have a year of eligibility as a basketball player with the Gee-Gees, I will be back on the field. I’m looking forward to this last year and to ending things on a high note.
 
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