Sara Smith (Griffith)

'12 BSc

Chaplaincy Assistant @University of Alberta Augustana Campus

Sara spent her first three years at Augustana working towards a double major in psychology and biology with a plan to devote her life to research. After a brain injury before her fourth year, she was forced to re-evaluate and decided that her time and training as a student chaplain was ultimately where she wanted to spend her limited energies, and thus her future life. After graduation, Sara quickly fulfilled her master’s in pastoral care and chaplaincy and then returned to Augustana and Camrose where still resides six years later with her family.

Q: What is your favourite memory from your time at Augustana Campus?

A: My very first worship service on move-in day. I knew with every fiber of my being that is where I belonged.


Q: What was your favourite class you took? What did you like about it?

A: Theories of Leadership. While it was a physical education course that I took just to fulfill core requirements, learning about leadership, how to be a leader and analyzing your own leadership style is something I regularly think about and refer back to.


Q: How did you spend your time outside of the classroom?

A: Usually outside the chapel with the other student chaplains or in the library trying to carve out some focus time.


Q: Who was your favourite instructor and what do you remember about them?

A: Tim Parker. I loved being able to use and review his textbook that he was writing at the time. While he was the expert we were there to learn from, he respected us as students and our inputs enough to invite us to give our feedback and opinions on something he worked so hard to write. 


Q: How did your time at Augustana impact who you are today?

A: Being involved in a ministry where each individual is respected for their own beliefs and encouraged to ask questions and be curious has shaped how I went about my ministry training and how I have chosen to ultimately come back to a place where I feel the whole person is a focus and not just training in one set of beliefs.


Q: What advice would you give to current students? 

A: Pay attention to where you choose to procrastinate. Often, those things that you enjoy and give you life is where you should be spending your time. Enjoy learning everyday; it is a luxury. Take it seriously, but be sure to do the learning that happens outside of the classroom—that's the stuff that you take with you.