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New knowledge

Fisheries resource master's graduate seeking sustainable industry

special feature: Student success

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.

Fall graduate Audrie-Jo McConkey is a believer in continual learning, especially as industry practices in her field continue to evolve at a rapid pace.

As an instructor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., Ms. McConkey is passionate about fisheries and aquaculture and the need to achieve a sustainable industry. It’s an interest she developed growing up in the rural fishing community of Havre Boucher, N.S.

New fall graduate Audrie-Jo McConkey is an instructor in Dalhousie's Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture.
New fall graduate Audrie-Jo McConkey is an instructor in Dalhousie’s Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture.
Photo: Submitted

“I was privileged to spend my childhood fishing and learning about the practices my grandfather had traditionally used,” she said. “With this legacy passed on to my brother, who is a fisherman, achieving a sustainable industry is critical, particularly since I want my children to have the same experiences that I had.”

This week, Ms. McConkey will graduate from Memorial’s Fisheries and Marine Institute’s master of marine studies (fisheries resource management) (MMS) program with new knowledge and a new network. She currently works as a senior instructor (aquaculture-finfish) with Dalhousie’s Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture. She enrolled in MI’s MMS program to broaden her scope on issues related to fisheries management.

“The MMS program appealed to me on a personal interest level, but additionally on a professional level,” she said. “The knowledge I’ve gained from this program can and will be applied in my current work position.”

Finding balance

As a full-time instructor, volunteer and mother of three, Ms. McConkey is no stranger to finding balance, which was important as she completed her MMS — a 30-credit hour program delivered online. She describes the program as “stimulating,” while providing the opportunity to work at her own pace.

“It was important for me to present an example to my children.” — Audrie-Jo McConkey

“Balancing personal, work, volunteer and academic requirements was challenging and required significant dedication to fulfill course requirements,” she said. “It was important for me to present an example to my children, so they can understand the value of education but additionally the devotion and commitment required to achieve a targeted goal.”

Rewarding experience

It is her belief that “you get out what you put in” and that she is graduating from MI with new information, a new perspective and new connections.

“With the diverse backgrounds of colleagues and instructors at the Marine Institute, I gained a wealth of information,” she said. “MI has a unique culture and it is so important to appreciate the experiences that you are exposed to during the program.”

MMS instructors are unique to their fields and have valuable and relevant information to share – one of the many aspects of the program that stand out for the new fall graduate.

“My fellow classmates also brought forward insightful ideas, each with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This network of new colleagues will be an asset throughout my career.”

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