Connecting the dots from student to teacher
Dr. Anomi Bearden’s journey at Red Deer College has come full circle. When she attended classes as a student at the College beginning in 2000, she envisioned returning one day in a different role. “When I was a student here, I realized that I wanted to instruct, and I visualized myself teaching in these classrooms,” says Anomi. “I felt connected to this place. It became a part of my purpose and passion. The focus here is teaching, so people who want to instruct and are passionate about educating gravitate towards this kind of institution.”
Anomi completed her graduate studies in Calgary and Victoria but always felt a link to RDC and central Alberta. “I grew up in Red Deer, and I have roots here,” she says. “I did my B.A. at Red Deer College, so I’m an alum of the program. I made connections with faculty and within this community.”
After completing her Masters of Science in Experimental Social Psychology at the University of Victoria in 2006, Anomi pursued her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Calgary. Her appreciation of the focus on students at RDC grew. “Even as I went on to pursue my masters and Ph.D. at larger institutions, I reflected that it would be awesome to work in an institution like RDC,” she says. “With the smaller class sizes, there is a better opportunity to get to know the students and support their learning while encouraging them to achieve their goals.”
During her doctorate studies, the goal of teaching became a reality. Anomi was hired as an instructor at RDC in 2008. She was a full-time student and a full-time educator for two years. After her Ph.D. was complete, she continued to instruct at RDC. Anomi credits a supportive group of instructors at the College in helping her reach her goals. “I wouldn’t be Dr. Anomi Bearden if it wasn’t for a small handful of teachers I had in my B.A. here that believed in me,” she says.
Anomi stepped into her role as the Head of Psychology at RDC in 2016. Along with full-time instruction, research, publications and presentations, Anomi is heavily involved in central Alberta in a variety of ways. In addition to teaching mindfulness and self-care, she volunteers and encourages students to engage with central Alberta by donating their time.
“I enjoy igniting that spark in my students and helping them find out where their purpose lies,” explains Anomi. “Successful education is when students become empowered and confident to use their skills to give back to the community in impactful ways. I love to connect with students through community service learning and applied research.”
“To be back connected with this community and making a difference is really meaningful for me,” Anomi says.