A support system for success
Students, faculty and staff at the School of Public Safety and School of Community Studies within the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS) know they can count on outstanding support from Program Support Specialists Sabrina Lakhani and Farah Almilli, and Field Placement Coordinator Karyn Carty.
Almilli and Lakhani provide front-line and administrative support to the programs within their Schools. They respond to program-specific student inquiries and provide referrals, prepare documentation for curriculum development and general program information, assist the program Academic Portfolio Administrators and Associate Deans, coordinate logistics for Program Advisory Committees (PACs), Program Review meetings and more.
“I love watching them [the students] grow from day one” – Farah Almilli
Almilli is dedicated to supporting the School of Public Safety (programs include Community and Justice Services, Investigation – Public and Private, and Police Foundations) and she also supports the Program Quality Assurance Committee (PQAC) for FAHCS. She joined Sheridan in 2009, one year after emigrating to Canada from Iraq as a refugee. After enrolling in Sheridan’s program for newcomers to Canada (Enhanced Language Training for Internationally Trained Individuals), she completed her unpaid work placement at the college and eventually joined FAHCS in her current role. For Almilli, the most rewarding part of her role is watching students that she supported graduate and succeed: “I love watching them grow from day one,” she says. Almilli also enjoys taking part in the fitness classes offered by the public safety programs.
Lakhani provides support to both the School of Community Studies and the School of Public Safety (programs include Social Service Worker -Gerontology, Community Worker – Outreach and Development, Social Service Worker, Child and Youth Care, Emergency Management and Paralegal). She has worked at Sheridan for seven years, providing front-line support to the Counselling and Accessibility teams in Student Affairs before joining FAHCS. Lakhani loves immersing herself in the culture of the programs she supports, learning program-specific terminology so she can provide the best information to Faculty administrators and PACs. Like Almilli, Lakhani values being able to connect with students throughout their journeys at Sheridan and assisting them however she can. “Sometimes students come back after graduation and thank us for our support,” she says. “That is very rewarding.”
“Sometimes students come back after graduation and thank us for our support. That is very rewarding” – Sabrina Lakhani
Beyond their program support roles, Almilli and Lakhani also play a critical role in running their Schools’ special events such as career fairs, student project showcases, and expert panels, looking after all of the logistics and ensuring the events run smoothly. In particular, Lakhani coordinates the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies’ Student Awards night – one of their biggest annual events, which recognizes students throughout the Faculty for outstanding achievement. Almilli coordinates the School of Public Safety’s Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Symposium, which brings OPP officers to Sheridan to share insight with public safety students.
Karyn Carty is a part-time professor and Field Placement Coordinator within the Investigations – Public and Private program. In her role, Carty helps prepare students for their field placement, assists in matching them with community organizations, and guides them through the placement process. As part of her course, she brings in experts from the investigations sector to speak to students and help them discover potential career areas. “I try to go beyond the mainstream choices, and dig a little deeper to introduce students to opportunities they may not know exist,” she says. This means bringing in speakers from both the private and public side of the Investigations industry. Past speakers include members of the By-Law Services sector, private investigations firms, police staff sergeants, alumni who are supervisors and directors in Loss Prevention Capacities, as well as a Toronto Housing Authority Special Constable. One of the highlights within her role is welcoming graduates back to campus to share their experience with new Investigations students.
“I try to go beyond the mainstream choices, and dig a little deeper to introduce students to opportunities they may not know exist” – Karyn Carty
Carty brings a unique perspective to her role that has made her a vital part of the Investigations program – she also works as a civilian with Peel Police, as an Emergency Services Communicator, Communications Trainer, Acting Platoon Supervisor and most recently, as Supervisor of Communications Systems. Her work with Peel Police over almost 30 years has helped her build and maintain relationships with many host organizations, transforming them into a community partnership network. Under Carty’s leadership, and with support from the Sheridan Career Centre and the Investigations program faculty team, the network has become a cornerstone for the success of their students. Many network partners end up hiring their placement students.
Carty coordinates the placement program with a distinctly nurturing touch, guiding students as they begin to step into the workplace and using her sharp problem-solving skills to help them manage any challenges they encounter. The most rewarding part of her job is helping her students grow and succeed in their own particular way – especially those that sometimes struggle with their first foray into professional life. “It’s not about everyone being an A+ student. Success comes in so many different forms, and my job is to help all my students flourish” she says.
Through their different roles, Almilli, Lakhani and Carty all help create a strong, responsive support system for the students and faculty at the School of Public Safety and School of Community Studies.
Pictured at top of page: Sabrina Lakhani (left) and Karyn Carty. Not pictured: Farah Almilli. Photo by Sheridan alumnus Jonathan Bielaski.
Written by: Carolina Salcedo, Internal Communications Officer at Sheridan.
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