Coming Full Circle with Jennifer Meixner (BSW/10)

After graduating high school, Jennifer Meixner’s post-secondary education journey started with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Conflict Resolution. While working as a STEP student with the Manitoba government, she was encouraged by a friend to look into social work. This friend was studying at Booth UC and suggested Jennifer investigate the social work program.

“I looked into it, and I liked the feel of Booth UC,” she explains. “It was what I wanted, a smaller institution where I could get to know my instructors and the community.” Just as important, Jen was fascinated by the rigor of the program. “It looked to be very robust in comparison to some of the other universities I’d looked at.”

When she received her acceptance into the Bachelor of Social Work After Degree program, “it was a no brainer”. Right from the beginning of her Booth UC journey, Jennifer felt the impact of being part of the community, and the social work program lived up to all her expectations. Her course work and practicums were directly applicable to her job as she worked full-time in probation services while completing her degree. “I was fortunate that I was able to undertake two practicums through my employer, adding and expanding roles and responsibilities through each one.”

The practicums propelled her career, especially the second practicum, where she developed a youth-justice mentor program that led the provincial government to partner with a non-profit organization to deliver it. Jennifer provided oversight and implemented this mentor project in a gang unit for boys.

After graduating in 2010 with her BSW, Jennifer moved from government and justice to work in the community with Indigenous organizations and nonprofits. She also continued her educational journey and graduated with a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance.   

While reflecting on her time at Booth UC Jennifer recalls how she connected with the faculty. Bonnie Bryant, in particular, made a huge impact. “Bonnie Bryant probably changed the course of my life, actually,” she shares. “During my first year Bonnie said, ‘Jen, when you finish this, you should go and get your masters and come back and teach at Booth UC.’” Little did Jennifer know, that is exactly what would happen 12 years later.

Knowing how important her practicums were, Jennifer took on and supervised social work practicum students from Booth UC from 2011 to 2017. She also stayed in contact and met regularly with Bonnie, Buetta Warkentin and Alex Sawatsky. “They were the ones who motivated and encouraged me to apply for positions so I could come back to Booth UC as an instructor.”

Now, we are excited to welcome Jennifer back as a faculty member. She will be joining Booth UC as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work on July 1, 2022.

“As a student, I was inspired, challenged and encouraged to achieve things I didn’t know were possible for myself. Upon graduating from Booth UC, I continued to feel included through a sense of community and opportunities. It is an honour to come full circle where I can return the same gifts I received, with future students.” 


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