Introducing a new AU podcast, Go the Distance
Athabasca University learners want to complete a university degree that allows them the flexibility to achieve their educational goals while balancing life’s other demands.
Tens of thousands of learners have done just that, and you can discover how some of them did it with a new podcast from AU: Go the Distance.
Go the Distance features stories from learners of all backgrounds—from working parents to Olympic athletes—who have discovered the transformative effect of online learning and its ripple effect.
These learners and alumni are taking the education they got at AU, and using to the transforming their lives and transform their communities. When education is accessible, our world changes for the better.
Going back to school later in life can be daunting, even before you factor in an artificial-intelligence-powered virtual co-op, ADMN 405. But for Laverne Wells, taking on the challenge of getting a degree and navigating an innovative new course has all been worth it.
When Margot Van Sluytman was a teenager, her world was shattered by the murder of her father. She used writing to cope, and through a master’s degree, created a new way to help others find peace with tragedy.
It’s not easy to fit school into the busy schedule of a professional athlete, but that’s exactly what two-time Olympian Emily Nishikawa was able to do with AU. While competing on the international cross-country skiing circuit, she was able to earn a degree, setting her up for success now that she’s looking at her next steps.
Kimberley Lamarche has always had two passions: nursing and the military. That’s how she found herself studying to become a nurse practitioner while deployed to a country recovering from war. Today, Kimberley Lamarche teaches at Athabasca University.
Growing up with facial differences, which meant many reconstructive surgeries and hospital visits, Rakesh David said he doesn’t think his experience too different than other kids. But when he started looking at post-secondary education, he struggled to find a school that would give him the flexibility he needed. With the support of Accessibility Services at AU, he’s well on his way to a political science degree.
Lackesiha Lewis fell in love with computers early on and intended to get into the industry. But she got pregnant at the end of high school, which complicated her plans. As a single mom, she turned to distance learning to further her studies. Through her master’s program, she got to work on an innovative partnership, applying data to the natural world.
She could help launch satellites into orbit, and command missions for the Canadian Space Agency, but Stefanie Ruel still struggled to break the glass ceiling. She decided to upgrade her credentials with an online Master of Business Administration from AU, and that experience helped her to realize she was being discriminated against at work.
Vickram Minhas helps run a vast family business, spanning trucking, hospitality, cannabis and more. He talks about the path that led him there, the tough lessons he learned along the way and how his MBA helped him overcome his early struggles.
Barb Tiedemann always liked working with people, but she left the workforce to care for her children. As they got older, she started to notice concerning mental health trends among preteen girls. She wanted to do something about it, so she went back to school to gain the tools she needed to make a difference.
Living through the siege of Sarajevo, Djenana Jalovcic saw first-hand that volunteerism can literally mean the difference between life and death. She left the city, spent time in a refugee camp, and then came to Canada. Now she’s putting her education to use, helping provide educational opportunities for people with disabilities.
Raised by a settler family, it wasn’t until later in life that Shelley Wiart reconnected with her Métis roots. Learning more about the community, and the challenges Indigenous women face, inspired her to make a difference. As an undergraduate learner with AU, she was able to apply grant funding to help Indigenous women tell their own health stories, with the goal of driving positive change within the healthcare system.