1. Most of my students know that I’m a proud Canadian, and that tends to show up in my use of “eh?” and “Sorry” (pronounced “sore-y”). But, not everyone knows that I grew up in Nova Scotia, at the eastern end of Canada. As a kid, I proudly honored the heritage of Nova Scotia by studying as a competitive Scottish highland dancer. For more than seven years I competed provincially by dancing the Highland Fling, Sword Dance and many others in a custom Kilt, which I still have today!
2. I’m a lover of facts, trivia, and information. So much so, a number of years ago my friends gave me the nickname “Fips,” a mashup of “Facts and Tips” because I really just can’t help myself from sharing information with others. I like to believe I’ve channeled a lot of that incessant fascination with information into my teaching, as I am quite exuberant when sharing information in the classroom!
3. I may be a professor, but I like to believe I’m an entrepreneur at heart. As a high school student, I was an active participant in the local Junior Achievement “Company Program” in which high school students form and independently run a business over 22 weeks. My business ventures through this program included decoupaged light-switch covers, memory bulletin boards, and custom jewelry. In all cases, I’m proud to say the businesses profited and these experiences led me to study business at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
4. As an undergraduate student at Queen’s University, I created, directed, and managed an on-campus reality “show.” Students competed in business challenges while a student film crew from the film studies department filmed and edited a “reality-style” episode which was shown each week at a live pub event where contestants were eliminated. It may or may not have been inspired by then-popular reality TV show “The Apprentice!”
5. My first big international trip was not for vacation – it was for a student trade mission to Brazil as part of the Junior Team Canada trade delegation, which is a student group that engages in mock trade relations with foreign countries. For my first trip, I was a delegate to Brazil in 2004, and later on a second trip, I was a student representative to the APEC Summit in South Korea, also in 2004. One of the highlights (besides great food, culture and exploring a cool part of the world) was getting to use a cell phone that had live TV (we only had basic Blackberries in North America at that time) and doing a radio interview with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) about my experiences.
6. I definitely caught the travel bug through my trade experiences, as my favorite thing to do over holidays and when I have time to spare is to travel. In the last few years, I’ve hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, road tripped Germany and Switzerland, explored Volcanos in Hawaii and driven the California coast. I greatly look forward to my next trip – wherever it will be!
7. My summer 2020 project was planting and growing a vegetable garden with the Capital Roots community garden systems. My husband and I really took this seriously and were able to grow over 100 lbs of produce! We grew tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, bok choy, napa cabbage, arugula and carrots and I can’t wait until next year when we can do it all again!
8. I’m most definitely a cat lover and always have been. Did you know that cats most commonly don’t start meowing until they understand that it can create a reaction in humans? Our tabby cat Kitkat, has gone from not ever using his voice to an incredibly loud cat, which has taught me that he really is my master (not the other way around)!
9. I’m a big fan of books, and I try to read as many as I can in my spare time. I tend to read widely and I’m always on the hunt for something interesting to read. In the last year, the books that I’ve enjoyed the most are: Disappearing Earth by Julia Philips, Foe by Ian Reid, The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, Billion Dollar Brand Club by Lawrence Ingrassia, and Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall.
10. Lastly, I’m always trying to learn something new. Presently, I’ve been teaching myself German through Duolingo (Guten Tag! Wie geht’s?) and working on becoming proficient at crochet. You’ll know I’ve succeeded if you see me around campus wearing something I’ve made!