SJU Student Leadership Profile: Interviewing a Peer Academic Leader (PAL)
20 Sep, 2019

This is the first post in our student leader profile series!

Today’s post focuses on our Peer Academic Leaders, also known as PALs. A PAL offers academic support by assisting fellow students with the following: 
•    Providing general information about programs 
•    Course selection 
•    Declaring majors and minors 
•    Providing direction concerning academic resources, and personal support services 
•    Informing students of policies and procedures 

PAL Logo
Media Folder: 

PALS are available for daily support during their office hours, held in Sweeney Hall. You’re always welcome to come by with any of your questions related to academics- the PALS are here to help you! 

The PAL program is directed by our Advising Specialist, Joe Varamo. If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact him! He can be reached at

This week, our PAL being interviewed is Laura! Laura is in her 3A term of Psychology and Social Development Studies. 

Media Folder: 
What do you do for students in your role as a Peer Academic Leader? 
Laura: I assist students with their academics by helping them navigate course enrollment, sharing study tips, and connecting them to resources to help them succeed!
What do you enjoy about being a student leader at SJU?
L: I love getting to know my peers, and having the opportunity to support others in a meaningful way. 
Why did you decide to come to SJU?
L: I decided to come to SJU to get that close-knit community feel that I loved in high school, while also having the opportunity to study at a world-class university!
What would you say is unique about the SJU experience?
L: SJU is made up of passionate, fun, caring people. It is very unique to go to a university where you can walk down the hall and see so many familiar, friendly faces!
What is your favourite course that you have taken so far at university, and what made it so great?
L: My favourite course was SDS 231R: Intro to Social Policy Processes. I would have never thought I would be interested in policymaking until taking this course! I think I enjoyed it so much because it was something completely new that I had never done before. I highly recommend trying out new subjects in university- you’ll never know what you might end up finding a passion for!
How do you decide what courses you want to take?
L: I follow the academic calendar for my program, and browse through electives that interest me!  
Side Note: If you’re interested in looking at academic calendars for programs, or reading through University of Waterloo’s course descriptions, you can access those through this website. 
What extracurricular activities have you been involved in during your time at university? 
L: I am in two A Capella clubs on campus, and intramural volleyball.
What are your goals post-graduation?
L: I aspire to be an elementary school teacher!
What is your best study advice?
L: Teach what you’re learning to a friend! Putting things into your own words and explaining it to somebody else is a great way to understand subject material and have fun while you do it. 
Over the next months, we will be sharing profiles of our student leadership positions on Fridays! Stay tuned for next week’s post. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions concerning the blog, please contact Have a fantastic week everyone! 

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