Spark change in your world

The University of Calgary is embarking on something special — our first-ever Giving Day. From April 27 to 29, we’ll be working to create 50 new scholarships in 50 hours, in celebration of our 50th anniversary.

Danielle's Story

UCalgary alumna influencing the next generation of learners

Alberta has always been a draw for Canadians from all across the country for countless reasons. To dozens of families who have relocated to the province in recent years, however, Alberta is tough to beat for another significant, if relatively little-known reason: we are home to what is arguably the country’s most comprehensive treatment and support system for children with needs for educational or developmental support, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Such depth and breadth of ASD research and care is one of the reasons Nelson, B.C.-transplant Danielle Droucker, PhD’13, chose the University of Calgary to pursue her doctoral studies in applied child psychology. It was a path that ultimately led her to her current position as the Director of Clinical Education and Training at Renfrew Educational Services, a not-for-profit school offering specialized programs for children with ASD and other developmental conditions.

“I was drawn to the attention given to children with autism and for the incredibly meaningful research being done here,” says Droucker. “The speech development lab at the University of Calgary was working with families of children with ASD and I knew I wanted to do my master’s and doctoral research with them.”

Droucker’s research focused on identifying early indicators of ASD in infants and children based on their attention to speech and language. Communication and its impact on a child’s emotional, social and academic development has always been an area of interest for her; at Renfrew, she is able to put her related research and expertise into action every single day.

The donors to my student awards have absolutely influenced my career and life. Having that appreciation for what I do and the hard work I put into my studies helped drive me and challenged me to complete my degrees. Because of that, I'm here in the community helping families every day.

Danielle Droucker, PhD’13, director, Clinical Education and Training, Renfrew Educational Services

Achievements made possible in part by student scholarships

To her great personal and professional satisfaction, Droucker has helped nearly 150 children and their families in numerous, and often life-changing ways. As a school psychologist, she diagnoses, assesses and develops programs that help children communicate, socialize, and understand and express their emotions in positive ways.

Everything Droucker is able to do as a professional, she credits back to the substantial scholarship support she received as a student; it motivated her to aim high and stay focused. “The scholarships I received were quite competitive and I worked very, very hard for them,” recalls Droucker. “I was incredibly grateful to the donors who created these scholarships and proud that someone believed in my work and believed that I could achieve everything I set out to do.”

Droucker continues to feel inspired by those gifts, and now she pays it forward by giving back to the community through her work at Renfrew Educational Services.

See other ways scholarships can shape your world

Phil Robertson, BSc (Eng)'00, and Sebastian Sztabzyb, BSc (Eng)'00, began growing their passion for coffee after attending the University of Calgary thanks to student scholarships.

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Improving learning spaces for families in Calgary

Improving learning spaces for families in Calgary

After graduating from the Faculty of Environmental Design, alumna Kate Thompson, MArch'02, is at the helm of the New Central Library project.

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Caring for families suffering from cancer

Caring for families suffering from cancer

Dr. Nancy Moules', BN'95, MN'97, PhD'00, research takes a closer look at the effect cancer has on relationships, on families and on communities.

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Starting one of the most successful bakeries in Calgary

Starting one of the most successful bakeries in Calgary

His science background and the scholarships he received helped Aviv Fried, BSc'04, MEng'08, achieve success with his Sidewalk Citizen bakery.

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Giving Day 2017 - 50 hours, 50 scholarships, 50 years of impact