PROFile: Durdana Islam

Sessional Instructor, Department of Geography, U of W

Photo by Keeley Braunstein-Black

One of the things Dr. Durdana Islam loves about the University of Winnipeg is its small campus and the sense of community that comes with it.

“When I teach,” she says, “it’s not just a student sitting in my class. It’s somebody I would like to build a relationship with.

“The students here and the people I work with are amazing.”

Islam has been an instructor for the Department of Geography for two years. She came to her position by following her interests and her passion to learn.

While hopping from IT to business and then to environment, Islam explored each area of study and earned degrees along the way.

“Some people might say ‘oh, you were confused,’” she says. “I’m like ‘no, I was just curious.’”

In addition to a profound love for teaching, Islam also puts her energy into politics and social justice.

“I ran for office in the last provincial election,” she says.

As an NDP candidate from Seine River, Islam believes in having “representatives from all walks of life in politics” and fighting for climate justice.

Whether in the scope of the university or provincial politics, Islam strives to connect with people and create a sense of community.

What is something you’ve learned from your students?

“That I talk really fast.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“I would want to eradicate child poverty.”

What was your worst grade in university?

“The worst I got was (a) C+, and I hated it.”

How do you think we could be more mindful of the environment?

“It is very important that we know how we’re leading our lifestyle, especially our carbon footprint. For instance, saying no to plastic. I haven’t used single-use plastic for a long, long time.”

Published in Volume 74, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 23, 2020)

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