Be Informed

Checking in with Mount Royal alumni: Grace Dafoe

Grace Dafoe checking in photoYour name, program and year of graduation at MRU
Grace Dafoe, Bachelor of Health and Physical Education — Physical Literacy '16

What are your future plans now that you've graduated from MRU in 140 characters or less...(Twitter style)
Landing the perfect job in my field less than a week after exams! Training for skeleton while balancing a career is the  goal.

What three words describe your student experience at MRU?
Challenging, Motivation, Balance.

What was the most important course you took at MRU and why?
There are so many! I use the knowledge day to day from a lot of my core classes, but the capstone course, Issues in Physical Literacy with Shannon Kell, brought all the knowledge and skills I gained and challenged them even further. It also gave us the opportunity to build community connections with guest speakers. I ended up in a meeting for my new job a month later with two of my guest speakers from that class, except this time I was a peer! I made the effort to be engaged with the presentations and they became an instant network.

How are you investing in your community now as an MRU alumna?
I’m coordinating a Multisport Program in Cochrane right now, and I’m excited that this program will make the community healthier and discover how much fun activity and sport are! A program like this, the second of its kind in Canada, seems to be a great model to develop physical literacy. I also am the athletes representation on the Alberta Skeleton Board, and I can bring my Long-Term Athlete Development knowledge to the board, while also being the voice of the athletes. This is a community I aim to make a big difference in, ensuring all decisions made are fair to the athletes.

What is the best piece of advice you received at MRU that helped get you through and prepare you for your career?
When doing our research project in my capstone course, I was told to think about what makes my blood boil enough to have a passionate conversation about and then go in that direction with my research. It led me to the perfect research topic I was excited to work on for the course. It motivated me to follow my passions and interests, which I bring over in to my career and personal development opportunities every day. 

What is your claim to fame?
Claim to fame? The Breaking Inactivity Summit Magazine article and video.  I had to watch it in almost all of my classes in my final year. It was also played at  two conferences I attended after it came out.  When it debuted at the #GetMovingYYC conference at MRU, everyone at my table turned around to look at me and whispered “That’s you!” That was a big turning point in my final year and it helped me become more confident in myself. 

What are you looking froward to most now that you're no longer a student?
Now that I’m not a student, I have more time to put towards my sliding career as an athlete, and I won’t have to turn down any trips to slide in Europe because of exams. (No regrets though, I know I made the right decisions over the last few years!) It also dawned on me that I can go on vacation any time — I can go when I would have usually been in school!

What will you miss most about being a MRU student?
In September when I see the back to school ads, It will sink in that I'm done. I’m going to miss challenging my learning every day in the classroom and the satisfaction of rocking an assignment, presentation or exam! I’ll still be around though — hopefully inspiring the future physical literacy leaders at MRU.


Follow Grace on Twitter @skeletongrace