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Online learning experience makes Kat want to give back

By August 17, 2020September 1st, 2020No Comments

“Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) and the Country Univeristies Centre (CUC) provide the opportunity for students to meet in a close-knit community where daily struggles are understood by many in the same position.”

SAY HI TO KAT CYN!

Hometown:
Cooma, NSW

Studying:
Bachelor of Arts (Digital Interaction and Experience Design)
(Professional Writing and Publishing)

Institution:
Curtin University (online)

Local foundation:
Country Education Foundation of Snowy Monaro

WITH THE UNEXPECTED SHIFT TO ONLINE LEARNING AS A RESULT OF COVID-19, KAT CYN ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO THINK ABOUT THIS OPTION  AFTER SCHOOL AND TO SEEK SUPPORT IN THEIR REGION.

Katerina Cyn (or Kat as everyone knows her) was born and raised in Cooma and attended most of her schooling in the region. She hopes to follow her mother (who completed her teaching degree online in 2012) and be the second generation of her family to graduate from university.

Kat is currently completing her third year of online study to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Digital Experience and Interaction Design) (Professional Writing and Publishing) through Curtin University. She’s aware the name of her degree is long and complex, so in her words she “makes writing sound fancy and builds websites.”

In a year full of the unexpected, Kat’s passion, dedication and determination have shone through. Alongside the bushfires, COVID-19 lockdown and some personal challenges the thing she’s most proud of is not having deferred her studies.

“I was very overwhelmed with what was going on, what was within my abilities and what was worth pushing aside or giving up, and what was worth pursuing.”

When she is not studying, Kat is volunteering at Country Universities Centre (CUC) and the RSPCA. She says: “It may sound surprising, but these volunteer positions have actually boosted my studies, rather than affected them negatively.”

“That I am tackling one of my toughest academic decisions while still being able to pursue my side interests and volunteering really does make this aspect of pushing forward very memorable for 2020.”

What about your online learning experience?

Part of the support network that keeps Kat moving forward is her local Snowy Monaro Country Universities Centre (CUC). Thanks to the centre, she didn’t need to move away for study, and has spent the last three years studying there, almost becoming part of the furniture.

In fact, she has had such an amazing experience, she currently volunteers at the centre, helping out where she can and taking on design-based projects that allow her to implement what she is learning. “As I am there constantly, I hope to give something back to the organisation for its assistance with providing a quiet place to study.”

This is why she encourages students keen to stay at home, to seek out a CUC or similar study hub in their area. “Even if you never use its facilities, just knowing that such an option is available to you can be a weight lifted off your shoulders.”

“I really cannot give it the praise it deserves beyond pointing my fellow university students in the CUC’s direction.”

How did CEF help you, and why are they important?

Also vital to her successful online study experience, is the grant she received from CEF Snowy Monaro. She was introduced to CEF by the Snowy Monaro CUC Centre Manager who provided with info about the local Foundation, backed with encouragement to apply.

Kat was successful in receiving a local grant in 2019. This financial assistance helped her to purchase a new computer that meets all the specifications for the design portion of her degree: a fancy piece of technology that doesn’t come cheap.

Kat knows how important it is to keep in touch with the CEF family, as they are one of few organisations providing information and help especially for rural and regional students. She also says “The CEF grants provide students with a bit of extra financial stability to assist students in their studies.”

Finally, she says “I really recommend looking for all the options available to you. Even if you have lived regionally all your life, there may very well be something new or that is forgotten that can make all the difference in how to pursue those pathways without needing to move away.”

FUN SPEED ROUND WITH KAT:

Oh geez…. Let’s see….

Favourite place for coffee?
P.D. Murphy’s Café

Last book you read?
A Redtail’s Dream by Minna Sundberg

Fantasy study group?
Two of my online friends who are also fellow designers
Two CUC friends who are also currently studying
Someone who knows how to think outside the box

How would you spend your last $10?
Probably toss it onto a small bill if there are any, or buy a small gift for a friend

Nicole

Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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