Andrew Fullerton

Graduated 2022

Double Major in English Languge and Literature and the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities

Hometown: Stittsville, ON

After SASAH: Lululemon Vancouver, Director of the Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders

What are your thoughts about life as a SASAH student? What makes it unique?

In my mind, the way that SASAH facilitates meaningful relationships between peers and between professors and students is its defining feature. From the moment I stepped on campus, through to my last day, I had the opportunity to build meaningful personal and intellectual relationships with my instructors and my peers that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to build until graduate school or later.

What lessons and skills contributed to your success after you graduated?

The School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities taught me not to shy away from the unknown and the complicated. When it came time for me to do my fourth-year independent research project, I had a big and bold research interest: I wanted to re-think the way that we use clinical research and data to design mental health outreach efforts for eating disorders. This idea felt big, and I doubted myself at the beginning. I remember meeting with Dr.  Suksi to discuss my research progress one afternoon, and I confessed that I was considering changing my project; I was worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew with my research interest. In that meeting, she encouraged me to lean into the uniqueness of my project, lean into my passion for the topic, and see it through. 

After many long hours of research, and many hours of writing, I completed the project. That same project helped me earn a position on the Board of Directors at the Looking Glass Foundation and is the foundation for much of the work I am aiming to do in British Columbia’s mental health community by speaking to stakeholders about the need for a more systematic approach to mental health outreach and eating disorder awareness efforts. SASAH taught me to embrace being outside the box. 

As an experienced graduate, do you have any advice for current SASAH students?

I want to remind students of SASAH’s mission statement: “to educate citizens who thrive and lead in a time of transformative change.” I encourage all past, present, and future SASAH students to keep this statement close to heart throughout their studies, aim high, and connect their studies to today’s pressing issues. Many of the most successful change-makers, leaders, and innovators have one thing in common: they can think outside the box and bring many seemingly disparate components together to solve big problems. Our interdisciplinary background puts us in a unique position to be change-makers, and drive change through academic innovation and unconventional thinking; I would encourage all of us not to take this opportunity lightly.