Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Dec. 18, 2017
Shell Canada's SEEL Program Fund provides learning experiences beyond the classroom
On Nov. 30, the University of Calgary hosted the 10th annual celebratory luncheon for a diverse group of students who participated in activities funded by the Shell Experiential Energy Learning (SEEL) Program.
Having just completed its 11th year, the SEEL Program at UCalgary provides funding to undergraduate students and groups for field trips, conferences, special projects and other activities focused on sustainable energy, environment and economy, with a priority placed on hands-on learning experiences.
Sponsored by Shell Canada and administered by UCalgary, applications to the program were judged by a committee of students and professors, chaired by deputy provost Kevin McQuillan. This year, over 700 undergraduate students in all disciplines have been impacted by the program.
Lise Rajewicz, who is in her final year of the human geography program, reflects upon her experience studying the ongoing narratives around climate change in Alberta. "It was really inspiring to be able to discuss and get feedback about my research with others who are thinking about the same things, and to learn about the all the projects are that are currently underway in my field," she says. "It’s hugely motivating and energizing to be reminded that we are not working alone in our respective silos on the big issues like climate change, and how we’re shaping our collective future. This is really the value of programs that bring us together in the spirit of collaboration."
The benefit of collaboration and the value of learning through unique cultural experiences were echoed by many of the students who spoke at the event.
"Shell’s funding allowed us to experience a new culture," says Kazi Fattah, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student who was part of a group that studied project management in Malaga, Spain for one month. "Living in Spain gave us the opportunity to adapt to — and appreciate — Spanish culture and lifestyle, making us more understanding global citizens."
Over the last 11 years, thousands of students have benefited from Shell’s significant contributions to the SEEL Program. UCalgary looks forward to many more years of support for hands-on learning outside the classroom.
The next deadline for applications to the SEEL Program is Feb. 15. More information can be found on the provost’s SEEL Program website.