With a Canadian father and a British mother, Sarah’s international experience started at two years old with a trip to England to meet her extended family living in Kent and Hampshire. When she was seven, she lived in Kent for a year before returning to Canada. The experience left her with a deep curiosity about other cultures and other ways of living.
After graduating with a B.A. (Hons.) in English, Sarah went to Madrid, Spain, on a scholarship from the Spanish Embassy. She studied Spanish language and culture at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The experience shaped her career significantly, and she went on to become a language teacher and advocate of second and foreign language learning.
Her Spanish language skills have opened many doors for her. In 1997, she was honoured to be selected by the then Alberta Centre for International Education (ACIE) to be part of a seven-member team from Alberta invited to take part in a provincial educational trade mission to Mexico, serving as the unofficial translator for the mission, including a presentation at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City.
While working at the University of Calgary, she had the additional privilege of being seconded to the Universidad Católica de Honduras where she collaborated with colleagues to help establish a language program for foreigners. She also gave the address to the graduating class of the university during her stay. Later in 2000, she took a lead role in facilitating the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions.
In 2008, together with her good friend and colleague, Karen Dodge, she was invited back to Mexico by the Ministry of Education in Jalisco. Together, they presented a workshop to foreign language teachers called “Bilingual Education: Sharing ideas, understanding context: Experiences from Alberta.”
An experienced and dynamic speaker, Dr. Sarah has presented on her work in a total of seven different countries (Canada, U.S., Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Spain and the U.K.). These presentations take the form of professional talks, scholarly research dissemination, webinars and interactive workshops.