During her undergraduate degree, Governor General Silver Medal recipient Katie Boisvert discovered her passion for working with individuals living with physical and intellectual impairment. Her involvement with Special Olympics began as a Community Service Learning course, and has become a staple in her life
Congratulations to new KSR alumna Katie Boisvert, the winner of the Governor General’s Silver Medal, awarded to the top three undergraduate students at the University of Alberta who achieve the highest academic standing overall upon graduation.
Katie discovers her passion for working with individuals living with physical and intellectual impairment during her time with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. Learn more about Katie’s academic journey from Grande Prairie Regional College to the University of Alberta, and how her academic success goes beyond just hard work.
What brought you to the University of Alberta?
I was born and raised in Grande Prairie and, growing up, I remember being so excited to one day attend the prestigious University of Alberta. I began my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the Grande Prairie Regional College and completed the final two years at the University of Alberta. I am so grateful to have been able to transfer to the University of Alberta and experience the diversity of opportunity that the campus offers as it promotes excellence in research, athletics, and academics.
Why did you choose the BScKin degree program? Was there a specific topic/interest?
I have always had an interest in science and a fascination with the human body’s ability for movement and recovery, so the pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology enabled the harmonious integration of my passions. I chose the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology program at the University of Alberta because I believed that this degree would afford the strongest foundation to achieve my ultimate goal of attaining a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy.
What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was KIN400: Human Gross Anatomy, which I completed in the final year of my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. I am a hands-on learner, so this course afforded a wonderful opportunity to experience, firsthand, everything I’d been learning about from a textbook throughout the previous years of my education.
What has been your most memorable experience at the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation?
During my undergraduate degree, I discovered my passion for working with individuals living with physical and intellectual impairment. What began as a 10-hour Community Service Learning Project for an Adapted Physical Activity course quickly developed into a lifelong drive to discover ways to adapt any activity to empower every individual to achieve success.
Following the completion of the CSL Project, I continued to volunteer with Special Olympics both in Grande Prairie and then in Edmonton.
To expand the impact I was able to have as a coach, I completed my professional practicum with Special Olympics Edmonton. Reflecting on my experiences at the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, my placement with Special Olympics Edmonton stands out as my most memorable experience. During my four months working with the Organization, I am so thankful for having the opportunity to travel with Team Edmonton to Provincial Games in Calgary, build relationships with our wonderful partners and volunteers, and facilitate positive and inclusive physical activity experiences for all of our amazing athletes.
What does it mean for you to be awarded the Governor General's Silver Medal?
I am truly honored to be awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal. Receiving this award is my proudest academic accomplishment thus far. I was the recipient of the Governor General’s Bronze Medal upon completion of high school, so I am proud to be able to continue to build on my educational legacy. This award is recognition of my hard work throughout the four years of my undergraduate degree and encourages me to continue to pursue academic excellence.
What was key to your academic success with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation?
I believe that the achievement of academic success goes beyond hard work. The key to my academic success lies in my ability to recognize the importance of being able to ask for help. I have always been the type of student who brainstorms most effectively during study sessions with friends, who stays after a lecture to ask the professor questions, and who calls their parents to practice an upcoming presentation or receive feedback on a project. The strong foundation of support provided by those surrounding me, including my family, friends, professors, and fellow students, has been integral to my success.
What is next for you after graduation?
I am beyond exited to be returning to campus in the fall to complete a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy and am grateful for the opportunity to continue my education at the University of Alberta. I believe that pursuing a career in Physical Therapy will be the perfect avenue for me to empower individuals of all levels of ability through their rehabilitation journey and to encourage the holistic benefits of leading a physically active lifestyle.
What advice do you have for fellow students in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation?
The best advice I could give to fellow students in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation is to work hard towards reaching your educational goals, but remember the importance of achieving balance. We can quickly become overwhelmed by our obligations and responsibilities, so strive to set aside time each day to partake in something that allows you to have a little fun and find relief, even if only temporarily, from some of the stresses of being a student.