Heather Baglole is a Halifax based playwright, queer activist, Mount Allison alumna, and current Saint Mary’s University graduate student in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a Halifax-based playwright and queer activist.
Through the influence of WGST at Mount Allison, Heather was inspired to pursue her interests in social justice and theatre activism. She was the Queer Acts Emerging Artist for the renowned theatre festival in 2016, and developed an original play titled Speak! with six other actors in Halifax, NS as part of her thesis research.
Baglole was a panelist for “Allyship in Leadership” at the Women in Leadership Conference in Sackville, NB in March 2016. She was a contributing editor on the LGBTQ online course for the Canadian Police Knowledge Network of PEI in 2015 as well as a delegate of the Young Women’s National Leadership Summit 2015 in Muskoka, Ontario.
Lydia Blois graduated from Mount Allison University in 2014 with an Honours in International Relations and a double minor in Women’s and Gender Studies and English literature. While at Mount Allison she was a research assistant for Dr. Marie Hammond-Callaghan and a Teaching Assistant in the Program. Lydia was the Coordinator of the Mount Allison chapter of WUSC’s Student Refugee Program, and a Co-Coordinator of the Centre for International Studies (CIS). After graduating from Mount Allison Lydia taught English in Paris, France for a year before being accepted to the J.D in Common Law Program at the University of Ottawa, where she is entering her second year. She is also a current Jaimie Anderson Parliamentary Intern in the office of the Hon. Lisa Raitt, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition.
“I would not be who I am today if not for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Mount A. I started taking gender studies courses in my second year and never looked back; it changed the focus of my honours, and changed the way I looked at the world. Being a part of the program helped me to be more culturally aware and prepared me to coordinate the Student Refugee Program, and directed the way I approached bringing speakers in for the CIS. It also allowed me to explore teaching, deepened my research abilities, and gave me an inside look at what it is like to work within academia. Without the critical thinking skills I gained through WGST I would have been much less prepared for the already incredibly steep learning curve of the first year of law school. But beyond academics, WGST at Mount A changed who I am as a person, and opened my eyes to a world outside of my comfort zone; it made me compassionate, critical, open, adaptable and altogether, a better person.”
Since graduating in the Spring of 2016, I have been working at YMCA Camp Glenburn outside of Saint John, New Brunswick. It was my second summer as the Assistant Director, where I helped facilitate and carry out the camp programming as a whole, as well as dealt with the administration, camper issues and staff training. I think my time in the Women’s and Gender Studies program influenced the way in which I saw camp and the programming we provided, thus I was able to change the way staff were trained in order to best work with kids and peers in an inclusive and understanding way. During the week long staff training this year we had a speaker who addressed LGBTQ children’s needs, allyship and an inclusive spaces. We also invited a speaker to discuss sexual assault in the workplace, which had never been talked about in our camp setting. Finally, I facilitated a conversation on language and being positive role models to children who may not have that at home. I really feel I was able to rely on my that my background in WGST and incorporate that knowledge and passion into my job this summer.
This fall I am going to teach English in Vietnam and my I hope to continue applying Women's and Gender Studies in my teaching practice.