Zankhna Mody has a passion for understanding the interconnectedness of the local to the global, and a life-long interest in storytelling. After a rigorous selection process, the fourth-year Trent University student has been awarded the prestigious Gzowski Internship at CBC starting this summer, where she will join a program that will hone her already diverse skill set and potentially launch a career in journalism.
Born and raised in Gujarat, India, Ms. Mody has already spent extensive time travelling and living abroad, including being a global youth volunteer with Canada World Youth, living in Ghana, and volunteering on an organic farm in Costa Rica. At Trent University, she is currently finishing her interdisciplinary Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and Biology.
Having moved to Canada at the age of twelve, Ms. Mody learned English upon her arrival and says that she fell in love with the new but challenging language. “I devoured books, newspapers, films, radio shows and began to write extensively as a means of learning and expression,” she said.
Speaking of her years at Trent, Ms. Mody commented that, “Trent contributed to my learning in terms of storytelling, communication and local/global issues not only through academics, but also through various extracurricular activities such as the Trent Colleges Citation in Leadership, the Impact Conference, the Community Movements Conferences and various workshops, lecturers, visiting speakers and events organized and open to students.
Very active in the Trent community, Ms. Mody volunteered and participated in initiatives such as Sustainable Trent; the Kawartha World Issues Center; the Seasoned Spoon café; Cultural Outreach, and the Disabilities Services Office in her first two years. She co-founded Canadians for Mining Awareness, a working group through the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), where she and her team actively wrote articles for the Arthur student newspaper and made a special radio broadcast on Trent Radio. The group is still very active.
Ms. Mody is enthusiastic about how the Gzowski Internship will allow her to learn more about how media is produced and broadcasted across the country while she gains further technical skills nurturing and applying her creative and critical thinking skills.
According to Ms. Mody, at Trent, “the ability of professors to connect to their students offers a much more interactive and meaningful pedagogy.” She cites Professor Stephanie Rutherford (Environmental Studies) and Professor Dan Longboat (Indigenous Environmental Studies) as teachers who continually inspire her to develop critical and creative thinking and writing skills in academia and beyond. “I found that professors continually challenged and supported me in my academic work, and I was able to pursue learning about issues that I was passionate about and express it creatively in my coursework.”
This past year Ms. Mody enjoyed taking an interesting mix in her courses including a fourth-year Global Environmental Policy class and a third-year class in Plant Biology, while also having the opportunity to perform with a third-year class in Indigenous Dance Theater – “I couldn't imagine doing that at many other universities,” she added.
As a science student, Ms. Mody is interested in many different aspects of natural studies, from being outside and learning about botany and ornithology, to thinking and understanding environmental issues and ecology through reading and writing. “I consider being involved in social and environmental grassroots activism to be important in my life,” she said.
Ms. Mody recommends Trent University for undergraduate students who are looking for a more personable learning experience where they are able to get to know their professors and have discussions. “Trent offered me flexibility in terms of interdisciplinary learning and I found it easy to balance the arts and sciences in my undergraduate degree,” she said.
The CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internship
Gzowski Interns are selected annually to receive a week of training in the basics of radio production at the CBC in Toronto and spend the remainder of the internship gaining first-hand experience in contributing to radio programming in a variety of ways.
Created to honour the memory of Peter Gzowski, who died in 2002, the internship program with CBC Radio is available to final-year university students at four institutions across Canada that have a link to the well-known author, broadcaster, and columnist. They are: Trent University, McGill University in Montreal, Memorial University in St. John’s, and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.