A Simon Fraser University professor is the most recent recipient of Douglas College’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. Amy Parent was chosen as the 2018 distinguished alumni for her contributions to reducing barriers to education for Aboriginal youth after overcoming her own challenges in seeking a post-secondary education, according to a press release from the college’s alumni association.
Parent studied social sciences at Douglas, eventually transferring to SFU to complete a bachelor’s degree before pursuing a master’s and PhD in education at the University of British Columbia.
Dave Seaweed, Aboriginal Student Services Coordinator at Douglas College, nominated Parent for the alumni award.
“Amy was a young person coming from a small community and was struggling to find an identity. In her first semester, she took three courses and ended with three withdrawals,” he said in the release. “With support from her community and Douglas College, she decided to give post-secondary another try. She created lasting bonds with other Aboriginal students, and together they formed a strong support group who embraced their cultures while focusing on ways to succeed in their academic pursuits.”
Parent continues to share her experiences with Aboriginal students at Douglas, and her undergraduate paper, Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit: An Aboriginal Survival Guide to University, has been used at the college since 2007 as a handbook for new Aboriginal students, noted the release.
Parent is an assistant professor of Indigenous education at SFU. She also sat on the Urban Native Youth Association’s board of directors, the American Education Research Association’s Indigenous Special Interest Group and the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education.