Profile: Logan Thienes, Recipient of the Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award

Posted on 2021-06-09 in News

Recently, we spoke with Logan Thienes, English Undergraduate Honours Student, about winning the Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award.

What does it mean to you to receive the Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award?

It means a lot to me. I chose the word "grateful" to summarize my feelings for the Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award at the Department of English Undergraduate Awards celebration. I'm grateful- not just for the award itself, but for the opportunity to express my thoughts and know that they were appreciated by the award sponsors.

In your award-winning essay, you wrote about the value of a liberal arts education. Could you share your thoughts about this? What is most valuable to you about the education you’re receiving?

Since the Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award aims for people from hometowns of less than 100,000 people, I decided to focus my essay on the importance of the liberal arts in relation to my hometown of 2,000 people.

There is a lot of good that can come from growing up in a small town, but one's worldview also tends to be limited simply due to how small and homogenous the environment can be. Liberal arts education is something that can circumvent this. While there are elements of the liberal arts all throughout childhood education, my university-level liberal arts education, in particular, exposed me to new ideas from a myriad of sources.

As a result, I learned how to engage with and respond to new ideas and worldviews, a skill which is especially important today, where small Saskatchewan towns are becoming increasingly linked to the world through media and the Internet.

Did you always like English? Did you know that was what you wanted to study when you were in high school?

I'd always liked reading and writing ever since I was young. However, in high school, I decided to study computer science, so that I could get a "real job” with my university education. Then, in my second year of computer science, I noticed that my humanities courses were consistently interesting me a lot more- not to mention the disparity in my English and computer science marks! So, I changed my major to English halfway through my second year, and I have been happy since. It was also great to learn that I can get a "real job" just fine with an English degree. Wish someone had told me that sooner!

What are your plans for the summer and for next year?

This summer, I’m working at our local museum and putting my language skills to use helping to develop exhibits and online media. I'm also working for Heritage Saskatchewan, helping to grow their awards program. This fall, I'll be moving into the final year of my undergraduate degree. This next year will constitute the first full year I'll spend in pursuit of an English degree, so I'm excited to return.

The Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Award was established to honour the memory of Ronald and Mary Dyck, and to thereby encourage the study of the liberal arts at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Ronald and Mary Dyck Memorial Awards are awarded annually to one third-year and one fourth-year English major, on the basis of an original essay on the value of a liberal arts education. These awards are for students who have graduated from a Saskatchewan high school in a city or town of less than 100,000 residents.

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