When Faculty of Arts & Science students need help planning their academic careers, they often find their way to Lesley Rode.
An academic advisor at the University of Lethbridge for the past 13 years, Rode gets to know students well and has come to understand the struggles they face – inspiring her to provide help above and beyond her advising role.
Starting as an academic advisor at Lethbridge College, Rode made the move to the U of L in 1998. More and more of the students she worked with at Lethbridge College planned to transfer to the U of L, so coming here seemed like a natural progression for her. One of the draws to the U of L for Rode was the unique student experience offered here.
"I really like the fact that students at the U of L are able to work with professors through independent studies and other unique learning opportunities," says Rode. "I see this as a real key to students finding success."
Rode revels in the opportunity to work closely with students and see them progress as they move through their academic careers. She says she has no problem being their biggest cheerleader, especially for those who may be struggling to find their way.
"I am most proud when the students with the greatest challenges complete their programs," she says. "When the students do well it's very validating, and makes you feel as though your work is really worthwhile."
Just as Rode's advising is important to students, she recognizes how important student success is to faculty and staff.
"Without students we wouldn't be here," she says. "Taking part in the Supporting Our Students campaign is a way to remind students of their valuable place here and how much we appreciate they have chosen to get their education here."
For Rode, scholarships are essential to students being able to achieve their goals.
"When students receive scholarships it's a tremendous boost to them," she says. "My hope is that scholarships can one day be given to all students. The SOS campaign is a step towards that."
For more information on Supporting Our Students, please visit www.uleth.ca/giving or call University Advancement at 403-329-2582.
This story first appeared in the April 2012 issue of the Legend. To view the entire issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.