Thompson Rivers University

Students support service and safety net initiatives

  Posted on: February 16, 2017

Co-op students Dale Drozda and Sarah Johnston

Known for their contemporary perspectives and unique ideas, Co-op students offer a breath of fresh air to the workplace. The Faculty of Student Development recently welcomed two new Co-op students to assist with the development of Early Alert and the Mentorship Programs/Excellence in Service initiatives.

Dale Drozda is presently at work helping staff and faculty engage with the Early Alert referral program, a safety net for students in difficulty. Pamela Fry, Learning Strategist-Early Alert, referred to Dale as a “thoughtful, creative thinker, supporting research projects and promotional efforts to help ensure that everyone is in the know about this academic safety net.”

In her fourth year as a Sociology major, this is Dale’s second Co-op position. During her first work term, she was an Archive Clerk for the Territory of the People, formerly known as the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior.  Dale has discovered the value of applying her Arts education on a professional level. “Had I not done Co-op, I would not have heard about jobs like an Archival Clerk or Learning Strategist.”

On that note, Sarah Johnston-Learning Strategist said “there are as many opportunities to see what you like, as much as what you do not like. Co-op adds an extra tier to your education. Understanding the ‘why’ behind your studies is essential.”

Currently working alongside Brad Harasymchuk, Sarah coordinates opportunities for peer mentors. She is also working with Amanda Ellison, Human Resources Manager, and Sara Wolfe, Assistant Dean of Students, on the Service Excellence initiative.

This eight-month position is Sarah’s fourth Co-op work term. She has also held placements at Tourism Kamloops Visitor Centre, Tenisci Piva LLP Accounting and Career Education. Sarah is in her second year as a Study Abroad Ambassador and spent a year in England as part of the Study Abroad program.  The Human Resources major is close to completing the Bachelor of Business Administration program. As founder and President of the Co-op Club, Sarah strives to heighten professional development through shared experiences and peer interactions.

Disregarding Co-op programming means losing a crucial element of post-graduate life. “You’re one step ahead of other students that don’t have that experience,” Sarah remarked.

“We value their generational insights, especially when creating programs to develop educational growth,” Brad said.

Sarah stated that the “Co-op program is not only about work experience, but also about the reflection piece, goal setting aspects and mentorship elements. It allows you to learn what you are capable of and what you’d like to do.”

For more information about Early Alert please visit the website.

For more information about Mentorship please visit the website.

For more information about the Service Excellence Initiatives, contact: Sara Wolfe, (778) 471-8352,, or Amanda Ellison, (250) 852-7254,