Correction: The article has been updated for accuracy to correct homeless to jobless. The Runner regrets the error.
Lubna Moosa has been a faculty member in the communications and journalism department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 2018. Originally from Mumbai, Moosa received the Navchetna Award for being the first female Muslim to receive a PhD in communications and journalism from the University of Mumbai. After receiving her PhD, Moosa published multiple research papers about social media’s impact on communication, which have appeared at national and international conferences, as well as lecturing her papers to research scholars.
Moosa was also a reporter for All India Radio and an assistant professor at the University of Mumbai before deciding to immigrate to Vancouver. Some of her areas of interest include radio journalism, new media, sports journalism, and news media management. Although she loves connecting with her students and is thankful classes are back in-person post pandemic, in her spare time Lubna enjoys volunteering for non-profit Options Community Services and loves impulsively travelling on a whim.
When did you join the KPU community and why?
After I immigrated to Canada, I was jobless for four months and was desperately looking for a job. I was very fortunate that I came across this opportunity. Mark Hamilton was the chair of the department of communications and journalism at KPU at the time, and I thought I would get in touch with him. He emailed me one day and said, “We have an opening, if you are interested in applying for it.” I applied for it and ended up getting the job. It was a part-time job at first, which slowly converted into a permanent position. That is the reason why I joined KPU and I am glad that I did.
What is your favourite story of your time at KPU?
Most of my students work in either retail or at one of those food joints. During COVID-19, I remember during online classes, students weren’t showing their faces and they were just icons. One night I was craving McDonald’s ice cream, so I went to the drive-thru. After I finished my order, this girl in the window said, “I recognized your voice while you were ordering and thought when you came to the window, I would ask your name.” I told her it was Lubna and she was like, “Oh, we meet tomorrow in our online class.” It is a very nice feeling when you know your students recognize your voice when it is an online class.
Because I teach communications, I most certainly want in-person classes. I remember teaching COMM 1100 (Foundations of Communication Studies) online and it did not go the way I expected it to because interpersonal communication is all about talking to people and interacting, so I missed that a lot during COVID-19. Even though you put students into breakout rooms, it’s not the same. You do not see them or know what they are discussing in those breakout rooms. I feel in-person classes, especially for communications, is the right choice.
What is something that you would like to say to people new to the KPU community?
I have a lot of international students and they always fear speaking up. When it comes to interpersonal communication, I see a lot of people have stage fright. I am an immigrant and because English is not my first language and I have to teach it, I understand the fear. I always tell my students one thing, “Being a student is the best platform that you can have and where you can make the most mistakes. When you make mistakes as a student, you learn from those mistakes. These mistakes help prepare you for the world outside.”
So, make as many mistakes as you can. When you are a student, nobody is going to judge you because every one of you is on an equal platform. Make mistakes, but learn from those mistakes, so that you do not make the same mistakes in the world outside.
What are you working on right now?
I am not working on any research papers at the moment because I’ve got a full load to teach. I am teaching four classes. But, each time I get an opportunity, I try to bring something new to my classes, like a game. I am teaching COMM 2210 (Media, Audiences and Popular Culture) right now and, because I teach a bunch of super young adults who know more about pop culture than I do, I love creating little games for them to play.
What is something you’d like people to know about you?
I am a big traveler, I love travelling. I am the one person who would go on a random trip. For example, the past two summers, I just packed my bags — I didn’t even know where I was going — and I just left. One summer, I was in Metrotown and I just stepped outside and I saw that the weather was great and I usually have a lot of things in my car — my car is like my second home — and I drove all the way to Prince George. This summer, I am not teaching and have decided to give myself some me-time. I might go to Europe, but one trip I hope to do is go to Haida Gwaii. I would love to go there.