Gallernault, originally from the Duck Lake area in Saskatchewan, is not only committed to his career and professional development, but also to be there for his family. He credits the support of his spouse and two children for his continued success.
Gallernault will receive an award for his academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.
The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.
We asked Gallernault a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.
Why did you choose the Educational Administration program?
I chose the Educational Administration program as I felt it would benefit me in my current position as Student Outreach Coordinator here at the University of Saskatchewan. As someone with background in social work, I felt that this program would help compliment my undergraduate degree in learning how to best support students. I also had the opportunity to speak to a few people who have taken the program who had positive things to say about both the program and the faculty.
What advice would you give to other parents pursuing higher education?
The best advice I could give other parents who are pursuing higher education, is to find a healthy balance of family and school life early on. I have personally found that utilizing time before work and during lunch breaks has helped to afford me time to be involved in my children’s extra-curricular activities in the evenings and spend quality time with my family on most weekends.
Are there any challenges/benefits to being a staff member of the university while also pursuing a degree?
I have found that being both a student and a staff member of the university has been useful as it provides a firsthand understanding the life cycles of the students I work with. I feel it has also helped to motivate me in my program, as I have had the opportunity to witness the accomplishments of many students who have overcome huge amounts of adversity.
What plans do you have for the future?
At the present time I am enjoying my current role as Student Outreach Coordinator as I have the opportunity to work with a number of other professionals on campus to support our students. It is my hope that the Educational Administration program will assist me in better supporting the students and staff that I work with.
Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?
I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by a supportive family growing up who have always encouraged me to better myself. Now that I am a parent myself, I draw inspiration from my children, as I want to set a positive example for them and hopefully influence them to pursue their own goals.
This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?
I would use my voice to encourage people to get involved and invest in their communities as I feel that we have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being each other as community members.