Brescia’s new Vice-Principal and Academic Dean Dr. Lauretta Frederking grew up just outside London, Ontario. A political scientist, her interests include relationships between migrant populations and host communities, and the interplay between laws and cultural norms. She most recently served as Associate Provost at the University of Portland.
What’s it like to come home to London?
It’s a tremendous opportunity to reconnect and contribute to the communities that shaped me. I feel as though I’ve been on a long journey, collecting experiences and broadening my perspectives, and now I can use what I have learned in a place and with people about whom I care deeply.
How do you approach teaching?
I want my students to learn the confidence to be curious, and the commitment to collect and weigh evidence against claims and theories. I want the classroom to be a rich place where we grapple with ideas together — a place where people participate because they have something to say.
Why did you choose to become an academic leader?
For me academic leadership is about service. Earlier on in my career, others invited me to take on new challenges. And I relished those invitations, seeing them as an opportunity to work with others to support the development of future leaders.
We live in a time when education needs to be of the whole person. We need to attend to the ethical as well as the intellectual. Brescia is a leader in this approach. It is nurturing innovative ways to teach, providing unique learning opportunities, and constructing meaningful learning outcomes. I want to be a part of that.
What else are you passionate about?
Writing – fiction more than non-fiction now. Living my values. Leaving the world a better place.
What’s your favorite place to think?
Anywhere with my family. When they’re nearby, I feel comforted and ready to liberate my thoughts. Running is another good place. I always begin a run with a question and let the endorphins and good energy unpack it!
What’s always in your carry-on?
The Financial Times, a novel, and a notebook to write down my thoughts.
Your favorite book?
Depends on the day! One is Hermann Hesse’s Narcissus and Goldmund. In it the two main characters live very different lives and have different values but love each other dearly. For me it’s about the treasure of an authentic, well-lived friendship.
Your favorite film?
I often include Goodbye Lenin in my comparative politics classes. It’s a beautiful film with a strong sense of how politics affects lives. The main character exudes a profound, exquisite pain at the thought of change, but simultaneously embraces the excitement of the future. I love that message for young people.