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Nora Murdock presented her thesis in three minutes at this year's 3MT. She says the experience was challenging but well worth it.

Q & A: PhD candidate committed to First Nations education

Committed to ensuring Indigenous student success

June 2, 2016 — 

Nora Murdock is one of the Faculty of Education’s current PhD candidates and an Indigenous student here at U of M. We recently did a Q & A to find out her thoughts on the program and what she plans to do post-graduation.

What are you currently working toward in the Faculty of Education?  Can you provide the topic and what got you interested in it?

I am currently working on my PhD in educational administration at the University of Manitoba. My topic is on First Nations education leadership for schools that are situated on the reserves in Manitoba. I am interested in this topic because my career in education has been in First Nations communities where I have worked as a teacher, vice-principal, principal and director of education. My commitment has always been to First Nations education, to ensure that First Nations students experience educational success.

Why did you decide to pursue your PhD at U of M?

I attended the University of Manitoba for my undergraduate degrees and always found the university to be conducive to success in postsecondary education. I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Masters’ degree in education from the U of M. I enjoyed being in the Faculty of Education and always found the professors to be very helpful.

Why did you decide to take part in the Three-Minute Thesis this year and what do you think you got out of the experience?

I decided to take part in the 3MT because I thought it would be a fun and challenging event to participate in. I enjoy challenges and it definitely was a challenge in terms of trying to summarize my PhD topic in three minutes and remembering it in front of an audience! It was well worth the experience; to summarize my topic so precisely, hearing about the research that other students were engaged in, and just being part of the competition. I congratulate the winners!

What are your plans post-graduation?

I am currently working for the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, which is an organization that provides education services to First Nations band-operated schools. I work as a director of system development, which involves establishing an education system for the First Nations schools in Manitoba. I plan to continue with this work after graduation. I completed my M.Ed. while working full-time and have almost completed my PhD while working full time.

Does the U of M provide good support for Indigenous students here, in your opinion?

I feel that the University of Manitoba provides good support for Indigenous students, more so now in 2016 that they have in previous years when I first started my postsecondary experience.

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