Headshot of Karina Auclair

By: Brier Cook

Karina Auclair’s first Carleton memories date back to her childhood participating in Virtual Ventures: the youth technology and engineering program offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Design on campus. She also could see Dunton Tower from the street she grew up on.

“I don’t think I knew it was Carleton, but it’s funny to think about now that I’ve been here [on campus] for so long.”

Currently, Karina works as the Departmental Administrator for The College of the Humanities while actively pursuing her Ph.D. and giving back to the Carleton community.

“It’s so important to support students pursuing education and help to ensure their basic needs are met so they can flourish,” said Karina.

Karina began her Carleton journey in the Bachelor of Humanities program in 2007 and switched her focus to anthropology in her 4th year. She’s been an active member of the campus community since her undergraduate years as a volunteer, fitness teacher, teaching assistant, and employee. Since coming to Carleton, she’s graduated with both her BA and MA in Anthropology.

During her time so far at Carleton, Karina has donated to a number of FutureFunder initiatives. Most recently, she decided to donate to the Centre for Initiatives in Education (CIE) – Enriched Support Program (ESP) Mentoring Program.

When asked why she was initially inspired to give back to Carleton and the CIE-ESP Mentoring Program, Karina explained she deeply appreciated the support she received from mentors and administrators on campus who gave great advice and helped her navigate academic challenges over the years. She hopes her contributions can help others have a meaningful and fulfilling university experience just as she had.

“It’s easy to begin giving. There are so many options for donating to an initiative or fund you care about” said Karina.

Behind the Donor Curtain

Do you have a favourite quote or personal motto?

Alok Vaid-Menon, comedian, poet, speaker, and author, says “Compassion over comprehension” in reference to the importance of the safety and dignity of trans and marginalized folks. This inspires me to bring compassion into how I shape my work, my values, and my connections to others.

If you could go back in time, what profession other than your own would you like to try?

I liked the idea of exploring space and seeing our Earth as an astronaut, but then I read Chris Hadfield’s book and the training seemed too intense and isolating for me! I think I’d be an outdoor educator and combine academia with my love for the outdoors.

What is your favourite spot on Carleton’s campus?

The greenspaces on campus. They are what initially drew me to Carleton. I like seeing the animals and enjoy the swing in the quad!

What inspires you to give back to the Carleton community?

Carleton has shaped most of my adult life, and its people have and continue to inspire me!