Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews conducted with members of the Dalhousie Alumni Association.
Dianne Desrosiers, nee Levesque
Nickname: Frenchy. It was my Frosh name and it seriously stuck. I am sure half of my university friends don’t actually know my real name.
Class of ‘99
BA and diploma in health services admin (2001), bachelor of social work (2003)
Current role: Resource development social worker, P.E.I. Department of Community and Social Services
What made you decide to become a social worker?
I wanted to become a social worker in a health care setting, as I always wanted to work in the area of helping and counselling patients and their families. I really enjoyed my second placement as a social work student in nephrology (patients with renal failure/kidney disease) at the QEII. I love my current job because I assess adoption applications, and interview families of people who want to adopt in the province of P.E.I. I also work and assess prospective foster parents and conduct foster parent support groups.
Why did you decide to attend Dal?
I had considered going farther afield for university but my parents were wanting me to stay closer to home, which is in Yarmouth. Dal had an amazing reputation for academics—and I have never regretted the choice. I really hope my kids go to Dal one day.
Where did you live while you were at Dal?
I lived at Shirreff Hall for two years in the years when trying to get boys into the dorm was beyond difficult and we had paper meal cards. Harold in the cafeteria used to punch the cards for us and we loved Harold. I hope Harold is still at the Shirreff cafeteria. I also worked for Dal with Conference Services for many years. I spent several years at Fenwick Place—I must have loved it, because I even worked at the front desk there for years.
Where could you be found most often on campus while you were at Dal?
Definitely the Grawood on Thursday nights, the Life Sciences Centre, because I did three years of science studies, in the geology lab, and in the atrium of the Killam drinking coffee.
Favourite place to study while at Dal?
The Killam Library—I used to hide back in the stacks in seclusion, so I could avoid being distracted.
What was your biggest distraction while you were at Dal?
My husband would kill me if he head me say this, but shopping and boys—and my friends.
What was your favourite cafeteria food on campus?
The omelets. They had an omelet bar in the morning at Shirreff Hall, every once in a while, which gave me a real reason to get out of bed. You could even put your own cheese and other toppings into your omelet.
What is your favourite Dal memory?
Probably my favourite memories were of the annual charity balls—not sure if they still happen. We would all get dressed up in the winter and go over to the McInnis room. It was such a great time. I also always loved Frosh Week. Shirreff Hall was also amazing. I made some excellent friends who have continued to be close pals, even years later.
How did your Dal experience prepare you for your current role?
I find that Dal taught me a lot of independence, which was very useful to me in later life both professionally and personally.
What do you see as the best thing about being a Dal alum?
I am proud to be a graduate of one of the top universities. I am always proud when I tell people I am a Dal grad.
Do you have any words of wisdom for current Dal students—something you wish you had known when you were a student?
Get involved and harness all the opportunities that Dal offers. In addition to great academics there are lots of opportunities to get involved—I was the environment rep at Shirreff Hall and science rep (1995-96). I was highly involved in the student union, my residence and other activities and I benefited so much from them and met so many people.