Stricken with a case of empty-nest syndrome, Linda Tame decided to begin her undergraduate studies alongside her youngest son.
In 2008, Tame began part-time studies at Brandon University in visual art and creative writing, something she had wanted for most of her life after raising five children.
Now 61, the business owner and third-year student was one of 21 women anonymously nominated by teaching staff and honoured by the university’s status of women review committee yesterday as Outstanding Women at the John E. Robbins Library ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday.
"My youngest son decided to attend university and he asked me if I wanted to join him," Tame said, "I just said ‘you don’t really want your mom going to school with you’ and he said ‘I really do.’"
During their first year of their fine arts degrees, they took all the same classes and studied together, an experience she said was the "best way to get back into school."
After her son branched off and attended another school after his first year, Tame, who never graduated from high school, continues to work toward receiving her degree while feeding her creative hunger.
"I was just completely surprised and honoured," she said about receiving the recognition. "I’m just a regular person and it was just really fun to get that."
The university’s status of women review committee itself is built into the faculty's collective agreement to ensure women on campus are treated equal in such areas as hiring practices, promotions, tenure and research grants.
Kathleen Nichol, chair of the committee, said the Women’s Day event is about recognizing "future leaders," and has been celebrated on campus for more than a decade.
"Almost all of them are advocates in their area somehow," she said. "It’s nice for Brandon University to recognize women and this is how we’ve chosen to do it."
The nods are meant to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of the school’s female pupils — and high grades don’t hurt either, like in the case of Bailey Kacsmar who was also recognized yesterday.
The 20-year-old third-year student is taking a double-major in computer science and philosophy, an interesting scholarly concoction that she said was the result of her desire for something more complicated than straight math or English.
"It’s kind of cool, because I work really hard to get the grades that I do," she said after receiving yesterday’s honour.
Recently, Kacsmar was the only woman of 39 participants in a provincewide computer programming competition in Winnipeg, something Nichol pointed out when she introduced Kacsmar.
"I would have expected there to be some females in the competition, but I got there and I definitely thought it was odd," she said.
While her initial plan was to make her way into law school after she completed her BU career, she’s now contemplating pressing on with her computer science studies and she was recently accepted to a two-week study session at the University of Waterloo — one of Canada’s top engineering schools.
Each year, as part of International Women’s Week celebrating the social, political and economic achievements of women, the Brandon University Status of Women Review Committee honours students who excel both on and off campus. This year’s honourees included:
• Toni Bouchey
• Maria Cherwick
• Alexandra Daum
• Emily Diehl
• Erin Dodds
• Kendra Elliott
• Anne Lucie Azanfack Fone
• Jacqueline Flett
• Amanda Forest
• Rebecca Gray
• Bailey Kacsmar
• Krystan McCaig
• Nicole Peel
• Mesha Richard
• Alena Saliyeva
• Janelle (Vachon) Schwindt
• Naomi Sirota
• Karla Stouffer
• Linda Tame
• Mandie Woodson
• Morgan Yeroschak