Where is your favourite place on campus?
Well, Quad is beautiful. I like to hang out in Quad. The new area in front of the Student’s Union Building is also a very beautiful place that I like to relax in.
Tablet or paper?
I have this poster of women workers from the 1900s. My husband bought it from the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Basically it’s advocating for equality for women at work from a long time ago. I think it’s quite a provocative poster.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
I’d say family. I have quite a large family and whenever you need something there’s always someone to turn to.
If you won airfare to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
So many places! I’d say Sweden. I’ve always wanted to go to the Scandinavian countries. I haven’t had a chance and I think that’s where I’d go.
You can invite anyone—alive or dead, real or fictional—to dinner. Who would it be?
I think I would have my parents and my husband’s parents and my husband. My dad and my husband’s mother had passed away before we met. Neither of us ever met those parents and they obviously hadn’t met each other. I think it would be interesting to meet them and have my parents meet both of his parents.
If you could switch jobs with someone else on campus for a week, what would you do?
I would do your job. I mean how interesting. You get to go around, talk to people, ask them interesting questions, and write up interesting stories!
What does “uplifting the whole people” mean to you?
For me, it means that the university is here to serve the community—that the people who come to the university whether students or staff really benefit. But we also have an obligation to serve the whole community so it’s not just that the people who benefit are the people who work here or study here, but everybody benefits.
If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be?
I think it would be inequality. I think if there is more equality or equity in the world, it would go a long way in terms of solving a lot of other problems like homelessness or poverty.
What 3 words best describe your U of A experience?
Rewarding, diverse and interesting.
About Joan Schiebelbein
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.