Students’ Favourite: Anderson’s Journey and Passion for Service
Michaela Anderson, the sweeper of the 2020 DCS Affirmation Ceremony’s Facilitator Awards, proudly displays her plaques for being the most influential, amiable and professional facilitator during the Department’s virtual event held on Sunday, September 13, 2020.
By: Crystal Scale
If you have taken her course or interacted with her, then her warm smile, professional working standards and thoughtful enquiry about your well-being most likely left a memorable impression of Michaela Anderson.
However, it was her life’s journey to self-discovery, passion, and personal and professional growth, that has blossomed her into the facilitator she is, one who is admired by her future peers and present colleagues, at the Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) Main Campus.
Anderson revealed that it was about at the age of 6 or 7 years old when she dreamed of following in her mother’s footsteps to become an educator.
Trotting the pathway, paved by her parents’ guidance, her first stop was as a reluctant student at NCU, resistant to learning during her pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. Then a life-changing moment reshaped her university years.
“I sat in one of Ms Daley’s class and I got an F… I realized that I had to change my attitude and I had to pass my course and graduate,” the NCU alumnus shared.
In the classroom, she pursued her learning, but on her farm, she was the businesswoman financing her tuition.
“I think of myself as a small but tough person,” Anderson said.
After completing university, her journey to become an educator took a turn. Confronted with the choice of working at the Jamaica Information Service, or the Jamaica Red Cross, her decision took her beyond the island’s shores.
“I chose the Jamaica Red Cross because I got to travel and I got a scholarship from the British Commonwealth, through which I got a placement in England,” the Academic Adviser explained.
It was through this new journey, she experienced a self-discovery like none other.
“I came to an appreciation of who I was as an individual,” she stated.
“I saw a different side of humanity that was more sustainable… I had to rely more on my PR skills to do whatever I needed to do and it felt more fulfilling than creating the next best story before moving on,” the NCU Sector Lead of Public Relations added.
Though Anderson admitted to not “loving going to school”, she was willing to ensure her success. As a result, when a learning opportunity presented itself, she broke the promise in her journal to not enrol in school again- she took up the opportunity to pursue Chiropractic Medicine.
Impacted by her insightful experience with the faculty and staff, she realized that, “Learning is not individual, it’s a community.”
Unknowingly, Anderson, fueled by her experience in her Medical Programme led her, full-circle, to realize her childhood dream to become the beacon on the hill.
When the call came from her former facilitator, Ms Daley, to enter the NCU classroom, she answered, “Yes.”
January 2019 dawned and up the hill she went to NCU’s Department of Communication Studies (DCS). Since then, Anderson has notably impacted her students and present colleagues.
Testament of Anderson’s impact was confirmed at the recently held DCS Virtual Affirmation Ceremony, where she ‘swept-up’ the facilitator awards for being most professional, amicable and influential.
“… she has influenced so much, both at the student level and even internally… I am proud of her and I am happy that she is being affirmed by the students for the hard work that she continues to do to help the DCS brand,” said the Chair of DCS.
Surprised by the results of the ceremony, and the outpour of appreciation for her, she had a message for her supporters.
“I really appreciate the faith, the trust and the confidence in me. They are seeing something deeper within me than I see in myself… hold me accountable.” was Anderson’s emotional reply.
Anderson simplified her success as a facilitator. On one hand is her growth from a student into a respectable professional, the love for and attitude towards her work, and the development of her skills. On the other hand, are lessons about teaching and learning, from her medical program, and her peer relationship with her students.
“I’m going to support you to become the best version of yourself as a professional within our industry and especially within my classroom, within the boundary that we operate in, in aspiration for professionalism,” she summated.