Have you met … Shenin Mehnaj?

Academic program co-ordinator in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

01 March 2024

Shenin Mehnaj

What is your role in KSR? 

Since June 2022, I've been the academic program co-ordinator at KSR. My responsibilities include checking prerequisites, monitoring enrolments through Campus Solutions, tracking final grades, managing calendar changes, and co-ordinating the collection of course outlines. Additionally, I oversee deferred final exams each term and actively contribute to KSR Teaching Matters sessions, striving to enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. My role extends beyond administration, focusing on creating a well-informed academic experience for both students and faculty.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The best part about my job is my fantastic co-workers. Our teamwork makes everything easier and the positive atmosphere we create together makes each day enjoyable. I also love that the nature of my job ensures there is always something new to learn, making it both exciting and rewarding.

What do you love about kinesiology and how it impacts people’s lives?

It's not just about exercise; it's about overall well-being. Whether it's helping recover from injuries, boosting sports performance or encouraging general fitness, kinesiology empowers individuals to live healthier, more active lives. Our students are learning how to make this positive impact, ensuring a bright future for promoting well-being through kinesiology.

What degrees have you earned at the University of Alberta?

I completed my bachelor of science in nutrition and food science with a minor in food policy in 2021. I have also obtained three certificates: international learning, sustainability and global citizenship

What made you choose the U of A for your education?

I chose to come to the U of A from Dhaka, Bangladesh for a few key reasons. Firstly, it had strong science programs that aligned with my interests in food science. Additionally, the affordable tuition fees at that time, compared to other Canadian post-secondary institutions, made it a practical choice for my family, especially considering my mom is a single parent. She needed to support both my brother, who was studying engineering, and me. The reasonable living expenses in Alberta also played a role in making this decision. Overall, the U of A provided a balanced combination of academic excellence and financial feasibility for us.

What were a few highlights from your time as a student?

I had the privilege of receiving two Students’ Union Awards: the Filistix International Student Excellence Award and the Award for Global Connection. In my last semester, I worked on a project called "Unity through Dance" for my certificate in sustainability. In this dance video, I explored how songs in different languages can convey similar messages through dance. I presented this project at the Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (FURCA) in March 2021, bringing together my love for research and sustainability in a creative way.

How does it feel to work for your alma mater?

It feels like I’m completing a meaningful circle. I have the opportunity to contribute to the institution that significantly shaped my life in Canada. My familiarity with the campus and the connection to the university community bring a sense of belonging, allowing me to share my knowledge and experiences with others. It's a fulfilling journey to give back to the place that played an important role in my academic and personal growth.

What’s something your KSR community might be surprised to learn about you?

During my undergraduate degree, I took a KSR course on life, leisure and the pursuit of happiness with Dr. Shin Kono, and I absolutely loved that course. On a personal note, I'm not a fan of pineapple on pizza.