Joel Feenstra Assistant Professor, Electrical Department, UFV Applied & Technical Studies
I love being mentally and physically active. It turns out teaching electrical and technology at UFV is a perfect combination of both. I’ve built and created things in the UFV shop I never thought would have been possible. Last summer I built my own paddleboard that my family takes up to Cultus Lake and paddles around.
At the same time, teaching satisfies my deeper need to be part of something larger. I’m sending students out into a workforce where they’re going to be successful.
At UFV I get to be creative by learning and building things myself. But I also get to help students learn skills that will help them thrive. I love that.
I love hiking. I grew up in Qatar where hiking wasn’t really possible so it’s special to live in a scenic place that’s not overcrowded. The first time I saw a clear blue sky free from pollution was when I arrived in BC! But, I still enjoy big-city culture and crowds from time to time.
I began working at the university as a student. I started as a lab monitor, then as a work- study student, then as a co-op student and then as a support analyst. After graduation, I was hired as a technical analyst.
Working at UFV and living in the Fraser Valley means I don’t have to choose between career and lifestyle. I can grow in my career, hike at Lindeman Lake and take advantage of everything Vancouver has to offer.
Dr. Joanna Sheppard Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kinesiology
At UFV, you're not just an employee. You’re a person – you are human. I get to be who I am and bring my personality into my job.
Because I get to be myself, I can connect with students on a deeper level. They know my stories and I know theirs. I am a facilitator of knowledge, but also someone they can reach out to after graduation. It’s that sense of connection and community that I’ve really been looking for in my career.
What I’ve learned from my time at UFV is that everything can blend together beautifully – from my teaching to my students, to my own family. And that’s the best part of my job.
Satwinder Bains Director, UFV South Asian Studies Institute
Generationally, there has been a thread of social justice weaving through our family. I hope to pass this on to my next generations and students.
My passion for social change spills over into the classroom where I help students see their larger role in society after graduation. I share my knowledge, show them new ways of thinking, and encourage them to not become complacent with the way things are. Without activism, academia is lifeless, and doesn’t create the spark that you need to ignite new ideas and new ways of thinking.
They will go on to make powerful and positive change in the world as justice advocates, international development workers, teachers, social workers, and much more.
At the University of the Fraser Valley, I can both mentor the next generation of changemakers in the classroom and lead by example in my community.