Making a splash with CCR

Learning to teach beyond the classroom



YouAlberta is written by students for students.

Liam is a graduate of the Faculty of Education, originally from Ottawa and now living in Edmonton. He has been working at CCR since 2018, where he serves as a Head Lifeguard and Non-Academic Instructor for the Aquatics Department. Liam’s true passion lies in teaching, especially in underprivileged communities, as he believes in making education accessible to all. Outside of work, he enjoys escaping the city with his fiancee, Emily, and spending quality time with his friends.

What attracted you to become a student staff member in Campus and Community Recreation (CCR)?

I applied to work as a student staff member as soon as I got accepted into my program. I knew that staying part of the Aquatics world was really important for me, and that being a part of that community on campus would benefit me throughout my degree. 

What programs and activities were you most involved with as a student staff in CCR?

Working at the Aquatics Center has provided me with opportunities to be part of exciting transitions and programs. One of my proudest achievements was creating and running our mentorship program, which helps new staff members feel welcomed into our community. I also had a great experience working with the SwimAbilities program and collaborating with the esteemed Steadward Center for their swim program. Being able to witness the positive impact of these initiatives on individuals has been incredibly rewarding. Overall, these experiences have enriched my time at the Aquatics Center and fueled my passion for creating inclusive and impactful programs. 

What was the most rewarding part about your experience in your position?

One of the best parts of my job has been the amazing people I’ve had the chance to work with. Over the past five years at CCR, I’ve met incredible individuals who have inspired me with their passion and growth throughout their degrees. Helping new staff find their place on campus and fostering a sense of community has also been a rewarding opportunity. The people I’ve connected with and the supportive environment we’ve created have made my experience enjoyable and fulfilling. 

How did working with CCR help you succeed and meet your academic, personal or career goals?

As a teacher my experience as an Instructor for CCR has been incredibly influential in shaping my own teaching style and beliefs. It has been a valuable journey of self-discovery, allowing me to refine my pedagogy and develop a strong foundation for my approach in the classroom. Moreover, the connections I’ve made with other teachers during my time working for CCR have been an invaluable resource. These relationships provide me with a supportive network of colleagues who understand the challenges and triumphs of the profession, and offer guidance and resources to help me in my teaching career. 

How did working with CCR allowed you to make a difference in the U of A community?

One of the most impactful changes I’ve been a part of is the collecting effort to improve the working conditions for our new student-staff. We recognized the importance of creating a supportive environment, especially for those working outside of regular full-time staff hours. To address this, we developed a mentorship program that aims to ensure our staff members feel included and valued. In the Aquatics department, we genuinely care about embracing the diverse experiences, skills, and personalities our new staff bring from all walks of life. It’s crucial to us that they are not overlooked or dismissed simply because they are considered “student-staff”.

What would you say to someone interested in being a student staff member in CCR?

I would recommend reaching out to someone in the CCR department you’re interested in working with. Building relationships with individuals in your desired field can be incredibly valuable throughout your degree. They can offer guidance, support, and insights that can greatly enhance your academic experience and future career prospects. 

Apply to work with CCR