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Linguistics honours student discovered rewards of volunteering

Laurence B. Violette volunteered with Concordia's Leadership, Initiative and Volunteer Centre for two years
June 19, 2012
By Lesley De Marinis

Laurence B. Violette, who graduated with a BA Honours in Linguistics this week, became involved with Concordia’s Leadership, Initiative and Volunteer Engagement (LIVE) Centre soon after it was created.

“I was looking for a way to volunteer during my first year,” she says. “I met with the centre’s volunteer coordinator who was looking for volunteers to help run the centre, and I ended up helping out for two years.”

Laurence B. Violette, who received the Modern Languages and Linguistics Plaque, will pursue graduate studies at Harvard University this fall.
Laurence B. Violette, who received the Modern Languages and Linguistics Plaque, will pursue graduate studies at Harvard University this fall.

The LIVE Centre is the university’s destination for information about volunteering on campus, locally, and abroad. As a volunteer, B. Violette began meeting with students and helping them find volunteer opportunities.

Her major contribution was to help create a library of resources of volunteer opportunities by academic department.

“We needed to search various websites to find opportunities for students,” B. Violette recalls. “I took on the job and made lists of opportunities with various major programs of study, starting with linguistics and modern languages.

“The centre can now provide information on volunteer opportunities for students in all majors, and even for students interested in doing specific activities, such as animation, office work, or gardening,” she adds.

B. Violette received a Concordia Council on Student Life Outstanding Contribution Award on April 19 for her work with the centre. These awards are given to Concordia students and staff members who have made exceptional contributions to student and university life.

“I was pleased but it was still a big shock,” she says. “I hadn’t realized how useful the work I did was.”

The LIVE Centre was not B. Violette’s only volunteer experience. She also organized fundraising events for the Concordia JKA Shotokan Karate Students’ Association, participated in the Many Tastes of Concordia festival, as well as helped out at the SPCA.

Always making sure that she also left enough time for her studies, B. Violette made the Dean’s List every year and received the Modern Languages and Linguistics Plaque at the Faculty of Arts and Science convocation on June 18.

B. Violette will attend Harvard University in the fall. She was one of up to three Canadian students chosen annually to receive the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship to pursue graduate studies at Harvard.

“I’ll be in a PhD program in linguistics for five years, after which I hope to get a job as a university professor and researcher in that field,” she says.

Related Links:

•  Read about more 2012 Great Grads in the Faculty of Arts and Science
•  Concordia LIVE Centre
•  LIVE Centre Drop-in Schedule
•  “Recognition Awards Celebrate Students and Staff” — NOW, April 25, 2012


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