Cogie Cogan is a curious first-year student at Huron University. They are from Winnipeg, Manitoba and are looking to do a combined degree with courses from the Centre for Global Studies and Ivey Business School. They describe themselves as a student athlete and advocate, eager to keep growing. They are passionate about corporate social responsibility, gender equity and environmental sustainability.
Cogie found out about Huron in high school, and when the university made an effort to get to know them, they realized how personalized it really was. The idea of a tight community with small classes where you could really engage with other students and professors finalized Cogie’s post-secondary school choice.
Cogie graduated from high school in 2020, just as the pandemic started. Though it was a time to process the loss of a new start, Cogie still found a way to learn and innovate. They created a video for the graduating Class of 2020 featuring the valedictorian speech of students from 17 countries around the world. It was meant to highlight the accomplishments and efforts of those who didn’t get to celebrate as expected. They were able to connect with a diverse range of people and listen to other experiences.
At first, Cogie’s transition to Huron was challenging. Courses were hard and finding ways to stay active, while juggling their course load, became difficult. However, little by little, they found strategies for success and started to appreciate the process.
Knowing I could ask for the help of upper year students was very useful. Having attentive professors, who will respond to your questions, and a personalized, discussion-based approach to education, which Huron is highly-regarded for, made the online semester much easier.
As part of their degree, Cogie supplements their program with the Scholar’s Electives module. The small cohort has become a source of meaningful friendships and a system of support that goes beyond the classroom. The members of the Scholar’s Electives have become key contacts with whom Cogie can explore new interests and they are so happy to have found them.
It was a similar process of connecting with other students that led Cogie to found the Western Environmental Business club. They realized there was not a place where business and the environment intersected, so they decided to create it themselves. The student organization Cogie founded is looking to explore green infrastructure and initiatives within the corporate landscape. This semester they have planned several events such as conversations with sustainability consultants, among other activities.
Since their arrival at Huron, Cogie has made sure to get involved in the community. They ran and were elected as a First Year Representative for the Huron University College Student Council (HUCSC).
Representing the First-Year community has allowed me to connect with more people and learn how the HUCSC works. It has been a great opportunity to advocate for challenges, which are especially hard for those transitioning into university, while still living at home, including things like finding a place to live for the 2021-2022 school year.
Cogie was also selected as the First-Year Representative for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Student Collective. They have been working on initiatives for students to get engaged with the Gender Studies department and have a diverse set of experiences during their time at Western.
I asked Cogie what they are looking forward to in the upcoming year and they thoughtfully responded:
I want to see the Environmental Business Club grow and look at how it can positively impact students. I want to declare my major and secure an internship for the summer.
Overall, they want to use the rest of their time at Huron to keep exploring the intersection between business and sustainability, with a foundation in global studies. They hope to do it through passionate and genuine leadership.
I think leadership with heart means having a people-first approach to life, applying what I learn in a way that it is beneficial to others.