Congrats to Dr. Leighton from CStudies

Tess Wixted
Hilary Leighton

This week Hilary Leighton successfully defended her doctoral dissertation Wild (Re)turns: Tracking the Epistemological and Ecological Implications of Learning as an Initiatory Journey Toward True Vocation and Soul at the University of Victoria. For three and a half years she has given her passion, her commitment, her soulful expression, and her inspiring words to her course work and writing her dissertation while at the same time serving as the director of Continuing Studies, supervising master’s candidates, and teaching in Continuing Studies, the MAEEC program and other various degree programs at RRU and UVic.

Continuing Studies exists today because of Hilary. Her exquisite brilliance, her eye for the extraordinary, her undaunted embrace of learning, and her fierce heart guide us on the path of our work each day. Over the years our mission and our staff have grown to include not only professional development, green learning,  personal enrichment  and the arts, but also visits from luminous visionaries such as Jane Goodall, David Whyte, Robert Bateman, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macy, Mark Nepo, Margaret Wheatley and David Abram. Under her guidance our Employment Skills Access program has helped hundreds find new avenues for expressions of work in the world and our contract training opportunities have blossomed under her care and well tendered attention to both clients and learners. We are not just sustainable, we are thriving.

Hilary believes in the essence of each student, in the beauty of learning, and the art of teaching. The earth and its lessons, the sky and the stars that map the heavens are signposts for her direction in life. As her doctoral ascent has now reached its apex, a new vista will begin to appear. In the words of Wendell Berry, “…And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.”

Congratulations Dr. Hilary. We’re glad that for now, you are here.