Meet KPU: Journalism Faculty Member Tracy Sherlock
Features / March 23, 2020
Note: Meet KPU is a new and ongoing special feature series designed to familiarize readers with active and inspiring members of the on-campus community. If there is someone you would like to recommend for a Meet KPU feature, email our editor in chief at email@example.com.
Meet Tracy Sherlock, an instructor in KPU’s journalism and communications department. She used to be a journalist who worked at the Vancouver Sun, but is now a freelance journalist, on top of her teaching career at KPU. Before she entered into the field she works in now, Sherlock was divided between becoming a journalist, teaching, and practicing law. Now, she has achieved two out of those three goals by working as a journalist and an instructor at the same time.
She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from KPU, but also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from UBC. Sherlock also graduated from Athabasca University where she received her Masters Degree in Global Change. Sherlock has been awarded B.C.’s top journalism prize, the Jack Webster Award, and received a citation of merit for the Michener Award, an award for public service journalism.
When did you join the KPU community and why?
I taught my first course at KPU in 2017. It was a Social Issues Journalism class in the fall. At the same time, I was also teaching Politics and Journalism. I had always wanted to be a teacher, and I had a hard time deciding when I was younger between journalism, teaching, and becoming a lawyer. I was working as a journalist at the Vancouver Sun and I was offered one course so I was going to do part time and carry on as a journalist, but there were layoffs at the Vancouver Sun and they offered me a buyout, and I chose to take it.
What is your favourite story of your time at KPU?
My favourite story of my time so far at KPU is the story of how I started a mentor network for former youth in care. I had this idea, and I had worked for an organization long ago, that cared for youth in care and I had written about it as a journalist as well, so it was on my mind. I had written about the universities in British Columbia waiving tuition fees for former youth in care so they could get good education. When I came here, after about a year I offered to the Associate Dean, Wade Deisman, I would like to mentor one former youth in care. I thought it would be a small thing, and he looked at me and said, “That’s a great idea. I think we should start a mentor network,” so right now, the Faculty of Arts is piloting a mentor network and I’m part of it. I have a mentee. She is great, and I am really enjoying it. I hope that it grows! This is my favourite story because it shows you what is possible.
What’s something you’d like to say to people new to the community?
My answer here is related to my answer in the last question. I want to say to the people who are new to the KPU community: Kwantlen really makes anything possible. I actually finished my Bachelor of Journalism degree at Kwantlen myself. The way this came about was I had already finished a Diploma of Journalism at Langara College nearly 20 years before and I had a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia. Then Kwantlen came out with a new Bachelor of Journalism program and I thought, “That would be a great thing to do,” because although I had done a lot of freelance work as a journalist, I still was not able to land a full time job. I knew even after a long time of doing it, that pursuing the degree would include a practicum component, so I really wanted to do that, and I came back to Kwantlen. It was very easy. They made it seem very seamless and smooth for me to complete the degree with the minimum of the journalism requirements and I got the practicum which led to a full-time job.
What are you working on right now?
I have a lot of projects underway, but I am going to keep this one short and sweet. I am always working on making my health better. This means trying to eat healthier, exercise more, and get more sleep.
What is something you would like people to know about you?
The first one is kind of funny. I would like people to know that I love baseball. It has been a lifelong passion for me. I love watching baseball, I love scorekeeping baseball, and I have been a coach for my daughter’s softball team for more than 10 years. The second thing is that I love reading. I will read anything and everything. I was the books editor at the Vancouver Sun for the better part of 10 years, and I have read so many books that I love. I love reading! The last thing is, even though I am a journalism instructor, my Masters Degree is actually in Global Change, and that is a passion for me.