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Scott-Morgan Straker

Associate Professor


Department of English

People Directory Affiliation Category

Dr. Straker spent time explaining content I did not understand, he was kind when I couldn't meet deadlines, and he always listened to me without judgement. He is an amazing professor who is extremely passionate about what he does!

Anonymous Student

Every member of our community has lived through difficult times recently, due to the pandemic on top of whatever else is going on in their lives. The boundary between bearable work-related stress and the stress that overwhelms has become very narrow. It's therefore important to me to offer students whatever help I can, whether that's offering more time and support for them to complete their commitments, or reassuring them that it's okay to let things go if the time isn't right for them. Above all, I want students to understand that nobody gets anywhere in life without a lot of help, so there should be no stigma in asking for it and accepting it.

Above all, I try to treat people with kindness: you never know what they have going on, so being kind is the best way to ensure that you're not adding to their burden of stress. I'm a parent of teenagers, so I try to treat my students as I want my kids to be treated when they need help. That doesn't mean I can always give them everything they want, but it means trying to make them feel seen and heard, so that they can see how seriously we take them, their aspirations, and their struggles. Staff and educators play a critical role in ensuring that Queen's is not only an institution, defined by rules and procedures, but also a community in which students can feel assured that they'll get a sympathetic hearing and that their wellbeing matters.

I want to stress the importance of follow-ups: emotional, financial, and health struggles tend to be ongoing, and can't be solved by a single extension or appointment. Even when the immediate crisis has passed, it's important to check in with students to make sure that they're okay, and to listen to their concerns. Supporting students' wellbeing requires ongoing relationships, not one-and-done measures.

--- Dr. Scott-Morgan Straker