A! Volunteer and Practicum Students – ii

On Giving Tuesday we are celebrating the mutuality of giving. University of Regina students join our team for a semester or sometimes longer.  Nick Cuthbert, Astrid Liska, and Bushra Burki are part of the A! team this semester.

Nick Cuthbert

After meeting with A! Executive Director Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous and A! Program Coordinator Melissa Turbuck, Nick Cuthbert chose Astonished! as his practicum placement for his Bachelor of Sport & Recreation Studies. Nick felt Bonnie and Melissa would be good mentors in helping him achieve his learning goals: to expand his program management skills, and increase his communication skills in one-to-one, group, and professional settings.

Nick is the second son in his Weyburn family, and family is important to Nick. He brings his learned skills of caring, paying attention, and responding, to his practicum experience at Astonished! Nick partners with Student Researcher Sean Davis and they attend to Sean’s individual goals. The whole community benefits from the strong bond of respect, trust, and fun they have established. Nick also provides leadership in small group activities on Thursday afternoons in the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre. In his meetings with Bonnie and Melissa he has increased his knowledge and skills in budgeting and grant writing.

Students in Sport and Recreation Management develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the importance of recreational and leisure pursuits to a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle. Nick says his two major learnings have been: always focus on the person first, and in Yoga for Every Body he has learned a lot about connecting with a group of people.

Astrid Liska

Moving from a town of 575 people to a university of 16,501 full-time and part-time students can be a bit of a culture shock. Astrid Liska, from Raymore, Saskatchewan set two goals for herself as she entered this transition. She wanted to become more comfortable and confident.

Astrid is a first-year student in the Faculty of Nursing. As part of her CNUR 100 class (Practice Education: Community Partnerships) Astrid did 45 hours of placement work with Astonished! CNUR 100 focuses on communication and collaboration in a service-learning environment. Learners can begin integration of values of social justice and of socio-environmental perspectives, particularly the influence of social determinants of health. Astrid has been part of Yoga for Every Body and the A! Social Club. She says ‘I couldn’t have picked a better placement’.

She was drawn to nursing because ‘it is hands-on and interactive, and there are lots of options for what I do and where I do it.’ Astrid brought her willingness to learn and her attention to people and details to her work with Astonished! She has more than achieved her goals of becoming comfortable and confident. It has been great to have Astrid on the A! team this semester.

Bushra Burki

Bushra Burki is in her second year of Education at the University of Regina. She is working on a major in English and a minor in Chemistry. Bushra is interested in sciences and is curious about how things work together. She says this mindset informs her in both English and science.

Being curious about how things work together is also informing Bushra in her various roles this semester. In her Education Core Studies 300 class she is doing her field placement with grades seven and eight students at Dr. George Ferguson school. As a volunteer with Astonished! she is using the All Curriculum with Student Researcher, Kennen Dorgan, to help Kennen expand her literacy skills. Bushra has noticed how the All Curriculum highlights approaches that are useful to her in her field placement.

Bushra was also a leader in the Astonished! Summer Literacy program and you can learn more about Bushra on our Summer Literacy page . For Bushra one of benefits of being part of the Astonished! team has been getting to know individual people in the community.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and practicum students, past and present, and those we have yet to meet. Together we are making a difference.



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