Alumni Corner: Overcoming Obstacles with Cody Rogers (BA/17)

Alumni Corner: Overcoming Obstacles with Cody Rogers (BA/17)

How a Booth UC alumnus hopes to change the world through his own experience with chronic illness.

Booth UC’s commitment is Education for a Better World. Our students emphasize how they hope to change the world, and our faculty strive to teach them how. It is in the stories of our alumni, however, where we often see it being lived out day-to-day beyond the walls of Booth UC. Cody Rogers (BA/17) has just such a story.

Cody was born with kidney disease and has lived with chronic illness his whole life. At age 7 he received a kidney transplant from his mom, and many healthy years followed. Yet, after his grade 12 graduation the transplant rejected and he had to go on dialysis. After a few years, Cody came to the realization that even though dialysis might be a long-term thing, it was time to start moving forward. He began to explore post-secondary education.

“I decided to look into Booth UC because of its world-renowned social work program. I’ve always wanted to go into a helping profession. I was also drawn to the small class sizes because, being immunocompromised, it was good for me to not be in large groups.”

After starting at Booth UC, Cody soon realized that his interests were shifting beyond social work to applied psychology. “I guess the ‘ah-ha’ moment for me was when I realized how big the field of psychology is, and how many possibilities there are…to learn that I could use my education for something I was both interested in and passionate about was huge.” It was also around this time, after his first year of studies, that Cody had his second kidney transplant. He finished four more years at Booth UC and today has “never been better” juggling part-time work with Master’s degree studies.

Beyond classes, research and exams, Booth UC opened two unique doors for Cody. First was an internship at Red River College and second was a pathway to Master’s studies in sports psychology. “Part of my program at Booth UC was an internship and [psychology professor] Dr. Evan Curtis found me a really great opportunity in the Academic Success Centre (ASC) at Red River College…to apply the skills I learned in the classroom in a practical setting was an invaluable experience.” In fact, Cody stayed on part-time after his internship and continues to work at the ASC as a writing tutor and academic coach.

At the same time, he is currently finishing up his first year of a Master in Kinesiology, with a focus on sports psychology, at the University of Manitoba. It was during his time at Booth UC that he realized sports psychology was even a possibility and that his future was headed that way, because of both his desire to help people and his own lived experience.

“I’m doing research into how sport can help people cope with living with a chronic illness. For example, if you’ve played a sport in the past, how might the things you learned like stamina, resiliency, discipline, help you cope or manage living with a chronic illness later on in life.”

No doubt, Cody will continue to make an impact on those around him through both his resilience and care for others. “Whatever I’m doing I want to be helping people. Whether it is at Red River or if I’m helping athletes, or people in a healthcare setting…bottom line I will be helping somebody. That’s where I want to be.”