Providing advocacy and leadership for all students
Student leadership and commitment are being celebrated at Red Deer College, as Brittany Lausen is announced as the RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award recipient for 2021.
The annual award recognizes a student whose actions have significantly enhanced RDC, whether through governance, membership on committees or other meaningful contributions. Lausen was nominated by her peers to receive the honour again this year due to her immense contributions to student leadership at RDC and far beyond.
“It’s very humbling to receive this award, and I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that being a part of the Students’ Association and Red Deer College have provided, allowing me to be as involved as I have been,” Lausen says. “I’m also very grateful to the amazing student leaders who I have gotten to work with over the past six years, since I first became involved with the Education Undergrad Society.”
Lausen’s leadership has evolved and grown during her time at RDC, as she has played a key role on the Students’ Association Executive Team, serving as the VP Community & Wellness in 2018/2019 and as President for the past two years. She has also been on RDC’s Academic Council for three years and has served as a student representative on RDC’s Board of Governors since 2019, in addition to myriad other volunteering, committees and initiatives at the College.
“Red Deer College is fortunate to have Brittany as one of our students, and the RDC Foundation is pleased to provide her with the outstanding student award for 2021,” says Kevin Beattie, RDC Foundation Board Chair. “Her continuing dedication and commitment to her fellow students and to the College exemplifies why she is so deserving of the award. Brittany’s selfless hard work in representing and advocating on behalf of her peers and also the College benefits the entire RDC community. We can think of no better candidate to receive the RDC Foundation Outstanding Student Award.”
In addition to Lausen’s work and leadership at RDC, she has also dedicated time to representing students across the province. Through her role with the Students’ Association, she became part of the Alberta Students’ Executive Council (ASEC), where – as the longest serving student leader in the province – she was unanimously elected to be Chair in June 2020.
For Lausen, it is important to engage in governance at the provincial level to influence policies and affect change for future students. “It’s about what you, as a student leader, can do to make sure that the students who come after you have the best time possible in post-secondary,” she says. “To me, it is so meaningful knowing that the advocacy you do today will potentially impact the lives of future students for years to come.”
Through her province-wide perspective, Lausen also recognized a need for Western Canadian students to be better represented at the federal level. As part of her work with ASEC, she was elected to sit as one of the founding members of the Federal Student Advocacy Alliance. This Alliance, representing ASEC, BC Federation of Students and Sask Polytechnic Students’ Association, allows students from the three western provinces to have a greater voice in advocacy issues at the national level.
From national to local issues, Lausen has tirelessly worked to benefit the student experience. During her most recent term as Students’ Association President, she takes great pride in how the SA Executive and Council advocated for degrees, ensuring that the students of RDC and the people of central Alberta’s voices were heard. Lausen, herself, also had the opportunity to be part of Alberta 2030, the post-secondary review led by the Government of Alberta. She represented students from across Alberta and was able to bring the RDC students’ perspective to the province’s new post-secondary strategic direction.
“Brittany has continually demonstrated strong leadership in representing post-secondary students at all levels,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President. “In her two years on RDC’s Board of Governors and through her work with the Students’ Association, I have gained a great appreciation for her collaborative approach and also her determination to do what is best for students at RDC and for post-secondary students across the province. During her time at RDC, she gained a strong understanding of governance and student needs, and that has served RDC’s students well for many years.”
Now, as Lausen looks to the future, she is excited to graduate in April 2022 with her Bachelor of Business Administration in General Management, with minors in Finance and Economics, from RDC’s collaborative degree with Mount Royal University. She is currently interning with Amazon and hopes to accept a position with the company pending completion of her degree. She is also looking to continue her educational journey by attaining a Master’s degree, either in Public Policy or Public Administration, which would build on her extensive experience in leadership and governance.
When she reflects on her time at RDC, she is thankful for the privilege to serve students. “I am so grateful to the students of Red Deer College for trusting me for the past three years to be one of their elected representatives,” she says. “It has truly made my time at post-secondary, and it is something I will miss dearly.”