Jenn de Lugt, graduate student
With the delicious smell of soup wafting through the Ban Righ Centre, Jenn de Lugt is reminded of what originally attracted her to the small house on Bader Lane.
“The free soup was definitely a draw for me,” says Ms de Lugt, who is currently completing her PhD dissertation in the Faculty of Education. “I soon discovered the warmth of the centre in the figurative sense because of the kinship it offers to mature women students.”
Ms de Lugt first visited the centre in 2004 shortly after starting her graduate studies. She was struck by the centre’s promise of “quiet strength” and took comfort knowing staff members and peers would be there for her if she ever needed academic or personal support.
Ms de Lugt, like many women students who return to university after a time away, faced unique pressures and challenges. A single mother of two children, she found herself trying to balance family, her main priority, with her academic responsibilities. Whenever the stress grew, she dropped by the centre to rest and chat with staff and other students, appreciating their perspectives.
The support she received from the Ban Righ Centre was invaluable as she completed her graduate studies on the relationship between reading difficulties and behavioural problems among elementary school students. In addition to receiving a lot of encouragement along the way, Ms de Lugt used the Ban Righ Centre’s welcoming spaces for focus groups and one-on-one interviews.
Ms de Lugt has recently accepted a position at the University of Regina as an assistant professor of inclusive/special education. She quickly shared the news with the Ban Righ Centre because “they are like family to me.”
Ms de Lugt and other mature women students will tell their inspirational stories at the Ban Righ Centre’s annual spring celebration on Wednesday, May 2.