English major Emily Mooney has been able to make the most of her university experience while excelling in her area of study, thanks to generosity of donors to the Annual Campaign for Students.
This past fall, Mooney’s dedication to academics was rewarded, as she received the College of Arts & Science Undergraduate Student Award. This award, which netted $3,000 for Mooney, is one of several awards supported by alumni and donors through the Annual Campaign for Students.
“It’s a great feeling for your university to recognize doing a good job with an award like this. I really appreciate all donors and supporters of the university,” Mooney said. “It’s great to know that there are all these people rooting for students at the U of S.”
The award for Mooney is not only recognition of excellent performance, but also a source of gratitude and motivation. “I know a lot of people who work full-time jobs to put themselves through university,” she said. “So, not having to do that helps me focus on my studies, and motivates me to keep my grades up and to keep working hard.”
A native of Southey, SK, Mooney is a third-generation U of S student in a family which includes six graduates. “My Mom’s parents met at the Ag Bag Drag. So it’s cool to hear their stories and how things on campus have changed,” she said. Emily’s parents Patrick (BEd’90) and Shelly (BEd’90) are alumni, and her older sister Alyssa (BScKin’16) is a recent graduate. “I didn’t really come to the U of S with any peers, but it was very nice having that family legacy, and obviously, family support.”
Mooney just completed her second year as an Honours English major. She knew very early that her path would involve her passion for the written word. A voracious reader in grade school, Mooney would read the Harry Potter series on a continuous basis. She also developed an interest in editing, a fascination that her high school classmates helped to ignite. “My peers would get me to edit their papers before they would turn them in,” she says with a laugh, reminiscing about high school.
Receiving the College of Arts & Science Undergraduate Student Award meant that Mooney could pursue her many interests outside of the English program. She is also musically talented, having been trained in voice and piano through high school. Mooney has been involved with the Newman Sounds Glee Club for the last two years, performing everything from Broadway show-tunes to The Beatles.
Mooney has also found time to give time back to the community, as she volunteers at the Hands On Outreach and Development Centre, an organization that serves inner-city youth in Saskatoon. “I like working with kids,” she said. “It’s nice to help out in Saskatoon and feel like part of the city”. In addition to a full course load, glee club, and volunteering, Mooney carves out time to work a part-time job a couple days a week.
Enjoyment of editing has endured for Mooney who has aspirations to be a freelance editor. She is also considering pursuing a Master’s degree.
Whether it is the support of donors or her own family, Mooney acknowledges that it has been integral to her well-rounded university experience, and her future prospects. “I want give back to the next generation, for sure. Especially when I know how much it has helped me and my peers who have received awards funded by donors.”
Over $848,000 has been raised through the Annual Campaign for Students to support student scholarships, bursaries, and awards. Read more about how the campaign made a major difference for students this past year in the Expanding Our Horizons series:
Sean Conroy is a development and alumni communications coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan.