GSA Vice-President Student Services 2017-2018:
Chenyang “Royle” Feng
"The Vice-President Student Services is responsible for GSA and University services provided to graduate students" (GSA Bylaw and Policy, Section D: GSA Officers, GSA Bylaw, Section D.BYL.2.2.e).
I come from China and now I am a first year PhD student in the University of Alberta. When I was an undergraduate student majoring in resource exploration engineering, I learnt that Alberta in Canada is famous for its abundant oil and gas resources and advanced technology of exploration and development. At that time, I just imagined that there may be a close bond between Alberta and me. Two years ago, I met my supervisor now in the China University of Petroleum in Beijing during my study period of Master. As a student majoring in geological engineering, the research field regarding anisotropy in shale of Dr. Potter impressed me deeply. So, I was really active in his course and talked with him about his research projects whenever he was available. Hereafter, every year he came to Beijing to instruct his course, I would chat with him face to face. Our topics were really various, from shale oil and gas, Chinese and Western food culture to his traveling plan in China. Last year, according to the suggestions of Dr. Potter, I applied for PhD in Geophysics Program at the department of physics successfully and started a new journey in Edmonton with many new friends here. Ultimately, it is me myself who forge this close bond between Alberta and me. And, it is me myself who will forge the path forward for my future!
In our U of A, apart from taking my course, as a TA, I teach lab sessions to first-year undergraduates once every two weeks. It is not easy to be a good instructor but I have my own trump card. For example, giving interesting opening remarks is my unique method of creating active classroom atmosphere. Through this way, more and more students in my class enjoy taking my course. What’s more, I always share them what I know based on my personal experiences and I hope that they can evaluate my experiences by themselves, utilize the information gained to adjust their plans in the future. During the Chinese Spring Festival this year, I received a celebration card from my students, on which are written, “Thank you so much for your kind guidance, enthusiasm and generosity. You are an awesome TA and a wonderful person”. I regard these touching words as a kind of full recognition to my work and me. Keeping such inspiration in mind, I will continue to go all out to accomplish everything that I do in the future.
Besides, I am an adventure enthusiast and I am really curious about new things. Rocky Mountain is a new thing for me, so I have had a wonderful traveling in Banff and Jasper. In order to enjoy the spectacular sceneries of the Hudson Bay, I will make a plan to visit the Churchill in Manitoba. Canadian political system has been attracting me deeply so that I decide to pay a visit to the Parliament Hill in Ottawa. GSA is also a new thing for me and I believe that this adventure can satisfy my curiosity I will get a good harvest finally.
Both of my undergraduate program and major for master’s degree in China are about geology, which gives me the optimism, confidence and the spirit of adventure and teamwork. For last three years in China, I have been an assistant of foreign affairs office in my university. During this period, I was responsible for helping international students to have campus tour, communicate with their professors and any other consulting services. Due to my patience, carefulness and good communication skills, my job was always accomplished perfectly. In addition to study, I paid more attention to social activity. From 2010 to 2011, I designed investigation questionnaires by myself and facilitated social survey about environmental protection, transportation, housing price and food safety online and from door to door. Through this social activity, I gain a clearer picture of our society and become more enthusiastic about social causes. Furthermore, in 2014, overcoming so many challenges, I seized the opportunity to participate in APEC CEO Summit in Beijing. As a youth delegate, I had chances to talk, debate with youth delegates from other countries about green energy, youth education and marine economy, which really broadened my horizons and sparked my interest in communicating with the outside world thoroughly. Last but not least, due to my excellent performance as a TA, I received the Graduate Student Teaching Award this year, which has made me believe that work hard and do your best are really worth it. Where there is a will, there is a way. Based on my full experiences above, I always keep in mind that I need to be responsible for my position as the Vice-President Student Services. I also believe that with your kind help, this adventure or this journey will be incomparable!
Finally, I want to share you the most cherished principle that I always stick to: Please never waste my time and your own. And this is also my only promise to the GSA, to every graduate student in our U of A.
Walk the talk!