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My Educational Self

Personally, it is hard to write about who you are. In social work, I sometimes ask students to answer this question and after their initial response I still keep asking them for another two or three minutes: “who are you?” to get more reflections. We all have different roles, which we need to play in our everyday living. To briefly share about myself, I can say that I am a fortunate person, that was born in Lviv, Ukraine, Sasha, who has two hearts, two lives, and two Mamas in Canada and Ukraine. I became a Canadian citizen in 2013 and now I call Winnipeg my Canadian home while Lviv is always my birthplace. I love teaching and plan to further my education career in Canada and around the world. I often travel to different parts of the world and conduct guest lectures. To date, I visited more than 25 countries and held guest lectures in Ukraine, China, Mongolia, and US Universities both online and in face-to-face formats. Some other relevant information about my education includes personal education background, teaching, and practice experience.

I recently defended my Ph.D dissertation at the University of Manitoba. I also have completed the MSW Degree at the University of Manitoba in February 2008. I also possess an MEd and BSW Degrees from Lviv National Polytechnic University in Ukraine with equivalency at the University of Manitoba.

I have had twelve years of extensive experience teaching Social Work accredited courses at the Faculty of Social Work Fort Garry and Inner City campuses, Distance Education, and Aboriginal Focus Programs at the University of Manitoba, Dalhousie School of Social Work and University of Northern British Columbia. I am currently employed at the Thompson Rivers University (Assistant professor at the School of Social Work and Human Services). I have developed and taught all required Bachelor of Social Work degree courses, many Family Social Sciences courses at the University of Manitoba as well as some Sociology, Psychology, Education and General Undergraduate Degree (Basic University Skills / Introduction to University) courses both in Canada and Ukraine. Some courses at the University of Manitoba I have taught in different settings, such as Nelson House, Split Lake, Long Plains, Little Grand Rapids, Sagkeeng, Nelson House, Thompson, Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, and Brandon communities. I often attend seminars, conferences around the world on current developments in social work policy and practice, post-secondary education, counseling and community development fields of practice. In addition to my home countries Ukraine and Canada I have visited Russia, US, China, Peru, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Montenegro, Hungary, Australia, UAE, UK  and learn a lot from local people. In my teachings, I try to share as much knowledge as I have gained through my life experiences with different cultures in various countries of the world. I have first-hand experience working with students from diverse backgrounds. I can say that I might know at least one person from each country of the world. To date, I taught more than 120 times and assigned more than 3500 final grades. I also visited more than 100 country pavilions at the recent EXPO 2015 in Milan that focused on food security and global collaboration. While having extensive international experience, more than half of the courses I have taught are primary to Canadian Indigenous students. I maintain a connection with my former students and have more than 1000 active connections with practicing social workers in Canada and around the world.

In all my courses I am trying to encourage students to explore a variety of topics and find those areas where they can become the most successful in their future professional and personal career. In 2013, I was honoured at the traditional pow-wow graduation ceremony at the University of Manitoba as one of the four instructors who went above and beyond for Aboriginal students to support them in their learning. I was also nominated for the Migizii Award by students from Aboriginal Focus Programs. One of the major honours that keep me passionate about teaching and promoting social work education in Canada is a nomination to become a Canadian Torchbearer during Vancouver Olympic Games. My essay on the role of education in promoting peace allowed me to run in Portage la Prairie with Olympic flame, and now I try to share that flame in all my classes by making my students believe in themselves and their ability to make this world a better place to live through sharing the gift of education.

My areas of research interest include issues related to social work and education, Indigenous people in Canada, Canadian and International social work policy and social development practice models, counseling techniques, family communication, distance learning, human rights, immigration, aging and community development. I like to work with people in any area of human services, although my primary research interest is on how to provide the best educational services for everyone who want to learn and practice social work. I have a strong knowledge of recent developments in the social work profession, family social sciences field of practice, as well as in numerous teaching related skills. I enjoy public speaking, facilitating students learning process, developing courses, conducting lectures and seminars, working with diverse groups of adult learners and administering distance delivery social work programs.

My social work practice experience to date includes work with multi-children families, youth offenders, community development and work with students at all school levels as well as University settings both in Ukraine and Canada. Additionally, I have had a field placement at the former Winnipeg Child and Family Services with a focus on child protection at the Intake level as well as the After Hours Unit. I have continued to provide periodic voluntary services at the After Hours Unit as well as child welfare related services with immigrant families from Ukraine now residing in Winnipeg.

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