At a glance

“PLLC prepared me for a career that relies on teamwork, creativity and compassion to enhance the quality of life for amputees. PLLC is structured to give students an experience that is nearly seamless to the real world workforce and industry.”

– PLLC alumni feedback

According to a recent alumni survey:

  • 80% of alumni who are not engaged in further study are currently employed
  • More than one third of alumni are currently enrolled in further education, including graduate studies, medicine, and law
  • 76% of alumni volunteer, lending their expertise to boards, councils and committees
  • Over 90% of alumni who are in the workforce believe the PLLC Certificate Program helped
    prepare them for the transition from school to work
  • 98% of respondents would recommend the PLLC certificate program to others

Congratulations to the UAlberta graduates that annually receive PLLC's Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies in addition to their primary degrees each convocation! We celebrated the 2020 graduates and sent best wishes through this video created by PLLC scholars, faculty and a Mentor Team member. The June 2020 convocation marked the graduation of many of our 2018-20 cohort, who created the mental health videos in the #UAlbertaCares campaign. Like each cohort before them, we're proud of their growth and look forward to seeing what they accomplish after graduation.

Celebrate UAlberta grads on the University of Alberta Convocation homepage or learn more about select PLLC graduates like Molly, Sheldon and Radha.

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Featured Alumni

Jack poses proudly in a white coat with a stethoscope hanging around his neck.

Jack Tang, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

Jack, now a medical school student at Yale University, gained clinical experience during his undergrad through his Stretch Experience. He wrote to us during his graduate studies to share how PLLC contributes to his success in medicine:

"Put simply, PLLC is transformative. The curriculum trains you to be adaptable and persevere through the things you find difficult. You work with incredible mentors who are there to help you grow. You learn the language of other disciplines and practice collaboration in diverse groups of people. 

The leadership, communication, and teamwork skills developed in PLLC has been incredibly useful in medicine. The foundational concepts taught in PLLC help me better recognize the inequities in the healthcare system. I feel more capable communicating complex problems with patients across a spectrum of health literacy, which not only keeps them informed, but more importantly helps empower patients to take charge in their own care. After so much exposure to other disciplines and emphasis on “stretching” oneself in the College, I now find I always have a basis of knowledge and skills to take on unfamiliar challenges in the real world."

yasmin posing in a university hallway

Photo by Richard Siemens.

Yasmin Rafiei, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

It was Yasmin’s own journey applying to medical school that got her thinking about the barriers some applicants face.

“The majority of my friends applying for medical school had never worked a service job,” says Yasmin, a Rhodes Scholar that's currently a MD student at Stanford University. “They weren’t necessarily stressed about some of the financial barriers to applying.”

Yasmin began researching the demographics of healthcare professionals, realizing that people from Indigenous communities and low socioeconomic backgrounds were critically underrepresented. She resolved to design a program that would open doors to healthcare professions for students from such backgrounds, creating Venture Healthcare as her Stretch Experience with PLLC.

Yasmin has seen Venture Healthcare pay off for countless participants who have been accepted into medical school, dentistry, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy programs. Recently, she received a message from one such participant.

“She said Venture Healthcare expanded her scope of what was possible,” says Yasmin. “Before she came to the internship, she’d never considered herself as being the kind of person who’d go to one of these medical programs. The premise of this initiative was to give people information – but in the process of that we were, at every point, validating that they were worthy of being in those roles.”

Read the full story in the 2019-20 PLLC Annual Report.

Madeleine poses outside

Madeleine Stout, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Arts graduate

We featured the multi-talented Madeleine in our 2020-21 Annual Report, when she was a Project Coordinator with Civida, the largest provider of social and affordable housing in Edmonton. She had recently completed her Masters in Human Geography. Her thesis on winter cities expanded on skills she gained in her Stretch Experience, which included research and policy recommendations. Madeleine also works with Taproot Edmonton on their People's Agenda project, a public conversation seeking to identify the municipal election issues that are most important to Edmonton residents. She continues to volunteer for various causes including New Music Edmonton.

mason speaks at the front of the classroom to a group of people

Mason Schindle, PLLC alumni and Faculty of Science graduate

Mason Schindle was recognized by the University of Alberta Students’ Union with both the Centenary Award for Outstanding Community Leadership and the Student Group of the Year Award for his work on The FentaNIL Project. His Stretch Experience was also dedicated to addressing the opioid crisis, particularly in rural, underserved areas in Alberta, where he distributed over 100 naloxone kids and trained more than 100 people. Read about the project in his own words on the PLLC Stretch Blog.

Tharsini posing in front of the This is Public Health display
Tharsini Sivananthajothy, PLLC alumni and School of Public Health graduate

Tharsini is a passionate public health researcher and an advocate for creating healthy public policy rooted in social justice and equity. She joined the City of Toronto's Urban Fellows program which provides new professionals with an intensive, yet innovative introduction to the world of public service. Tharsini entered PLLC as graduate student pursuing her MSc in Public Health. These different yet complementary disciplines were significant in pushing Tharsini towards the world of research, policy development and public service. Tharsini pursued a stretch experience at the City of Edmonton's End Poverty Edmonton department as a social policy analyst. Through this opportunity, Tharsini developed an implementation strategy for five priority areas, and facilitated stakeholder engagement processes. This hands-on experience in the real policy world along with her graduate training in research, were instrumental in defining her career path.