Lethbridge’s Cherie Souther grew up in oilfields around the world. So when the mother of seven children started thinking of returning to school, she looked back to the experiences she had as a child in the Mediterranean and Canada where her father, an engineer, lived and worked. “I got a taste for it growing up,” she explains, “and I thought I’d like to give my own children that experience.”
She met with the Lethbridge College’s career counsellors and realized that a career in Geomatics Engineering Technology – work which could take her back to oilfields to survey and map the land – was the perfect fit. “They really helped me form a picture of what the future could look like,” she says. Souther started school in the fall of 2011 and graduated two years later, and her instructors and mentors called her an outstanding student.
She says her grandmother and children have been her inspiration. “My kids are inspirational because they set a good example,” she says. “And my grandmother was a strong woman who went on to do things she never thought she’d be able to do.”
You’re teaching us actual stuff we can use in the field.
What is the velocity of detonation? How is a methodical search for a bomb conducted? Where would you set up a command post in a hostage/armed and barricaded subject situation? Question after question, Lethbridge Regional Police Sgt. Christy Woods challenged her students in her Preliminary Response and Investigation course. It may have been the last day of classes and a perfect, blue-sky afternoon, but Woods wanted her class to be ready for the final exam and, more importantly, ready to respond to some of the challenging situations police officers may face in their careers in criminal justice.
In a hostage situation, what are the three courses of action to keep in mind? What are the three types of hostages? True or false: Traumatic stress only occurs immediately after a traumatic event? With a voice shaped by experience and filled with encouragement, Woods, a 1999 graduate of Lethbridge College’s Conservation Enforcement program, took her 17 students through a review of the semester-long class, one of many each year at the college that are taught by instructors who are actively working in their professions.
The students responded eagerly to her questions and appreciated the perspective she offered as she shared real-life stories of crime scenes and investigations she undertook in her work with the Lethbridge Police Service. Barrett McMillan, a student in the class, came up to her at the end to thank her, saying “You’re teaching us actual stuff we can use in the field.”