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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Art, music and making the world a better place

by Crystal Lamb | October 17, 2016

Name: Corry Faulkner, BFA’16
Age: 22
Hometown: Brantford, Ont.
Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Arts) with a minor in Religious Studies

Whether she’s shaping acrylic paint on a large canvas or helping to mold young minds, Corry Faulkner believes in going where inspiration leads.

“In high school I became very interested in art and photography. Then I took a peer mentoring course where I was able to teach with the help of a teacher. That showed me I wanted to put them together and pursue a career as an art teacher,” said Faulkner, who spent the past three summers tutoring students. She began her Bachelor of Education degree at Nipissing University this fall.

“I really love to see people learn and I want to help younger generations find their passion,” she continued, adding she hopes to teach Grades 7-12 Art and Religion. “Art really sparked something in me; I want to show them they can pursue it as a career.”

While at Western, Faulkner was an involved member of the art community, showcasing her work – mostly large abstract paintings – in gallery expositions, studio installations and creative journals. She also volunteered with Envelope for Joy, a pen pal program pairing Western students with children around the world and for a mentoring initiative with Big Sisters.

A recipient of the Parents’ Fund Award, Faulkner says donor support gave her the opportunity to pursue her dream. “I had to pay for school myself and relied on loans and bursaries. It really made a difference to know that someone was there helping me along the way and allowing me to focus more on my education.”

Name: Justin Forte
Age: 22
Hometown: Stratford, Ont.
Program: Bachelor of Music – specialization in Music History/minor in French Studies

Every morning for the past two summers, Justin Forte has marched through the streets of Ottawa, trumpet to lips, playing The 10 Provinces March and leading the new guard to Parliament Hill.

“It’s been a great experience,” said Forte, who joined the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves last summer so he would be eligible to join the Band of the Ceremonial Guard. “Every day at 10 a.m. we march from Cartier Square Drill Hall and up Parliament Hill to play while they do the Changing of the Guard and then we march back down to the drill hall.”

The band, which performs each year from late June to late August, is considered the top military marching band in Canada and supports official functions held in Ottawa. Performing with this group, as well as the Western University Wind Ensemble, allows him the opportunity to pursue his passion for music, while the reading, writing and critical-thinking skills he’s acquiring through his degree in Music History will prepare him for his dream career in law, Forte said.

“I’ve loved playing the trumpet since high school and I think as long as you’re doing something that makes you happy, you can make it work. I’ve never thought, ‘What am I going to do with this music degree?’ I never considered giving it up.”

He’s also looking forward to helping out future generations of students. “Receiving donor support is so helpful for music students because we have not only the cost of textbooks, but also the cost to buy instruments and sheet music. All those extra costs really add up.”

Name: Lisette Farias Vera
Age: 32
Hometown: Santiago, Chile
Program: PhD, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

During the summer of 2015, Lisette Farias Vera used her Global Opportunities Award to study the root causes of child migration and it changed her perspective.

“Although I grew up in Chile, it was a shock how the lack of access to adequate housing, health services and even staples, such as nutritious food and clean water, could create such significant obstacles for families attempting to live off their land that they feel forced to migrate in search of alternatives for supporting their families. They are forced to make what, for us, are extreme survival decisions,” said Vera, who spent a month with a local family in a research field school in Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“What drew me to this particular field school was my fellow students were from different countries and disciplines. It will take teams with different perspectives and strengths to mitigate the negative consequences and position the broad trajectory of communities and societies in more positive and healthier directions,” she continued.

“Through this generous award, I was able to harness the power of 13 other individuals to explore how Guatemalans view migration and what they think should be done to address it. I have laid the foundation for a research network,” she said.

“I’ve been given the gift of real-world experience and the chance to understand how my work as a researcher and health professional can be the catalyst for creating better societies,” she said. “When donors give students these opportunities, we go out into the world with our skills and passions to make it a better place.”

This article appeared in the 2016 edition of Western's Parent Connection
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