Leslie Pulsifer: Time manager extraordinaire



She might just be Wonder Woman.

Leslie Pulsifer is the Student Union clubs co-ordinator at Trafalgar, she’s in the third year of Animation – a renowned world-class program that ends in a Bachelor’s Degree – she is vice president of the martial arts club, she models for photography and makeup students looking for portrait subjects, and she produces stop-motion short films for fun.

Pulsifer can do it all… Well, almost.

“One of the things I don’t do well is relaxing,” said the 21-year-old Salmon Arm, B.C. native, as she shuffles through the jungle of items that have overrun her desk space, before declaring “My life is organized, my desk is not.”

And she is organized. Really organized.

“Good time management skills really pay off,” says Pulsifer, who walks to and from school 20 minutes each way and often stays until the animation studio closes at 2 a.m., adding that she rarely sleeps because of “a very heavy course load.”

She’s currently working on a short animated film project as production manager, delegating responsibilities among 11 other students, and making sure everyone stays on pace for their final due date. This means 11 schedules, 11 personalities, 11 sets of problems.

“She’s a leader in the class,” says James Caswell, who teaches Story and Advanced Project Development to third-year students in the Animation program. “Some folks don’t like their leader, but everyone seems to like her.”

With glowing brown eyes and an eloquent demeanour, her beauty is as intimidating as her résumé, however her down-to-earth perspective and open-mindedness make her easily approachable.

“I like meeting different people, I don’t know, I love people,” she says. Her program is tailored to specific character traits and does not exactly lend itself to a mosaic of personalities, which is why she decided to apply for the clubs co-ordinator position.

In her job, Pulsifer is the primary correspondent for all 40 club presidents at the Trafalgar Campus. She allocates funds, permits access to club space and uses her resourcefulness to help solve problems.

And she’s well-suited for it.

“I like the way she communicates with students. She’s very accepting and laid-back, which really helps when you’re dealing with so many different types of people,” says co-worker Jenna Pulver, who is Student Union president as well as Pulsifer’s main contact as clubs co-ordinator. “She’s great with people.”

Lauren Marinigh, Student Union marketing and communications assistant manager and a Sheridan alum, agrees with the sentiment.

“She’s very friendly, which makes it easy for clubs to come to her with problems they have. She’s one of those fun, bright personalities and the Student Union needs people like that,” says Marinigh, adding, “she’s the one that designed this room.”

The “clubs room” was an idea put forth by Pulsifer earlier this year. She restructured the Student Union conference room into a space clubs can use if they need it.

And then she painted the walls lime green.

She says the shade “grows on people like a fungus” and “boosts creativity and energy.”

And therein rests her passion: visual art.

When she walks through the third-floor doors in the animation wing, she enters her kingdom.

Her pen is her wand, interacting with animated elements in the digital world she has created on screen. When her pen touches the monitor, a flurry of exuberant colours dance across its plane as her playful and mysterious characters come to life.

A masterfully drawn cartoon figure with crab-like legs walks across the pink-and-purple-walled background, invoking an ominous tone inside a flowery room that suggests its resident is a young girl.

Pulsifer often consults templates to maintain continuity from scene to scene: bird’s-eye views of tables littered with animated makeup appliances and pencil crayons, 360-degree perspectives of each character, and detailed Photoshop brush palettes specific to each scene.

“She’s so versatile, she can do hyper-realistic work, but she can also do quirky, funny little side comics,” says her roommate Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya, 24, an international student from Kenya in her fourth year in Animation.

Oluoch-Olunya has lived with Pulsifer since 2012 and finds her friend’s work endearing, terming it “femme-badass-chic.”

But what she truly values is Pulsifer’s dependability and willingness “to push herself for people who care about her.”

“Whenever I need a comrade-in-arms, she’s there. When I’m sad, she’s there. She’s a really good listener. She knows when to be silent, she knows when to say something positive. She’s always there to hear me out without judgment. I know I can always trust her,” she says. “I cherish our friendship.”

Pulsifer seems to have the makings for a successful future in any avenue of life, but don’t call her perfect.

“I know I’m not the be-all, end-all. We’re all on this journey to become better people.”

The next step in her journey is waiting to hear back from animation internship programs based in Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles.

And then, maybe, she can finally learn how to relax.