Nov. 27, 2017
Mabbott Family Travel Award helps nursing students gain international study experience in Qatar
Randy and Shelley Mabbott may have degrees from other institutions, but UCalgary (where they both received their Bachelor of Arts degrees) holds the top spot in their hearts when it comes to post-secondary education. And they are showing the love to nursing students with the Mabbott Family Travel Award, established to offer an international study experience at the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) to students who, without financial assistance, would not be able to have the opportunity.
The Mabbotts met the first three recipients of their award - Alexis Goodman, Amber Allen and Julia Janicki - at an informal reception in early November to learn about their adventures in Doha.
For Janicki, the chance to head to Qatar on exchange was a main reason she chose UCalgary for her nursing program. “I have always loved the idea of not being just a tourist in another country, but actually working abroad. When I got here, though, I realized the chance to go to Doha would be financially out-of-reach for me. I feel blessed that the Mabbotts stepped forward with this award and I was able to go.”
Goodman agrees. “This gift gives you an incredible opportunity to better yourself as a person and as a nurse. We see a lot of cultures in health care and we have to learn to understand and help manage their challenges. Getting a first-hand look at how they nurse in the Middle East was so valuable.”
UCQ students may also have benefitted from the visit. “They seemed really excited to meet us,” says Allen. “We were on a floor with second years and they wanted us to watch them do their assessments. And they helped us with the language barrier.”
This was all powerful feedback for the Mabbotts, who stipulated that they wanted to hear from the students who received the awards and understand the impact.
“As a member of the University of Calgary Senate in 2007, I was invited to the inauguration of the Qatar nursing program,” explains Randy (BA’84), who, until two years ago, owned a Cochrane law practice with Shelley (BA’87) and is a member of the Faculty of Nursing Community Advisory Council. “Three years later, I had the good fortune to return for the first convocation.
“We have an interest in giving back, we both have had experiences that have shaped our education and careers and we wanted to help students have similar adventures.”
“We want to see well-rounded people come out of this school,” adds Shelley. “The University of Calgary is our first degree and where our home is. We are so excited to hear the experiences of these students and know that they will carry it forward.”
The next recipient of a Mabbott Family Travel Award is currently in Qatar and will return in early December.
Watch the slideshow video of the students' time in Doha between Sept. 5 and Oct. 2, 2017 (Video courtesy of Amber Allen.)