PROFile: Kimberly Buffie

Instructor, Department of Chemistry, U of W

Photo by Daniel Crump

“I wouldn’t change a thing about my job. I love what I do,” Kimberly Buffie, who’s been a chemistry instructor for 16 years at the University of Winnipeg, says.

Buffie realized she wanted to teach chemistry and started teaching classes even before she finished her undergrad degree.

“I knew in my third year of undergrad that I really wanted to teach. I thought to myself that I need my lab instructor’s job, and so then, several years later, that’s what I had.”

Buffie knew during her high-school time that English and history were not her cup of tea, and chemistry was what she wanted to pursue.

“I happened to be good at chemistry. I liked the puzzles and the exploration and figuring out how things work,” Buffie says.

When starting out as an instructor, Buffie’s teaching style was strict, as that is how her own teachers had been. She soon switched styles, adapting to her student’s needs and expectations. Her current focus during
lectures is on student involvement and interaction.

“So now I am doing more group work in the laboratory, so that they can develop a collaborative approach to learning. The students are building their own knowledge base, and I act more like a facilitator,” she says.

Her love for teaching coupled with her adaptable nature keeps her going. When asked to describe what teaching means to her, Buffie says “it’s rewarding.”

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to your students?

“I would say to work hard and to learn to embrace being out of your comfort zone.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?

“I work out a lot. I used to do CrossFit. I am really good at lifting weights, and that’s why I’m happy.”

What is the best part of your job?

“Being able to interact with the students.”

What is your favourite thing about yourself?

“I like to think I am just pretty laid-back and drama-free.”

What was your worst grade in university?

“I got a C.”

Published in Volume 74, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 26, 2019)

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