Becoming a Leader: Keep Going
Written by: Pat Morden
Deanna Vezina brings energy and commitment to her role as President of the Brescia University College Students’ Council
Deanna Vezina is the proverbial Energizer bunny. She is going into her final year in French Studies at Brescia. She was Vice President of Communications on the 2015-2016 Students Council, and will serve as President in 2016-2017. She also holds down a regular job at a local LCBO store. In her spare time, she loves to bake, cook, decorate cakes, paint with water colors, dabble in hand lettering, and read fiction and non-fiction. “I’ve been told I do too much,” she says with a smile.
Although she grew up in London, Ontario, Vezina didn’t know much about Brescia until a high school guidance counsellor suggested she check it out. “I came for a tour and got a really good feeling,” she says. In the end, though, it was the excellent French program, with its focus on preparation for teaching that tipped the balance. “I’ve had some really amazing professors here,” she says. “They know us, they’re always willing to help us, they’re really concerned that we succeed at our academics, and they give us opportunities to do great things outside of the classroom.” For example, one of her professors arranged for her to spend a month in France in June, polishing her language skills and helping a French professor improve her conversational English.
It was a friend at Brescia, Caitie Cheeseman, who suggested that she join the orientation program as a Soph in her second year. Cheeseman also “shoulder-tapped” her to join the Students’ Council executive in her third year, and then run for President. “I trust her judgement!” says Vezina. Among her goals as President: getting the Council incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, celebrating the completion of three refurbished student spaces funded by the Council and starting an informal breakfast program for students.
Vezina plans to attend a Faculty of Education when she graduates, and then find a job as a French teacher. Eventually she’d like to complete a Masters, qualify as a Principal and play a role in changing the school system.
Despite her own busy lifestyle, her advice for incoming Brescia students is to take things slow. “Get involved, but not too involved. Instead of jumping in with both feet right at the start, get to know your limits and ease yourself in. If you get overwhelmed, you won’t want to do anything.”
Vezina says Brescia has provided a rich environment for her to develop her leadership skills. She hopes to do the same for her students. “It’s really something that the next generation needs to know— that everyone can become a leader.”