Learnings from a Trip to India

I had the tremendous opportunity to travel to India last month with Carol Altilia, Sheridan’s new Vice-President, Student Experience & Enrolment Management.  Notwithstanding some bumps (more on that below!), I loved it and plan on going back soon.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

After 30 years as a learner and leader in higher education, I can honestly say that Convocation is still my very favourite time in the academic calendar. 

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Happy New Year!

It’s a new calendar year and — as you’d expect — I heard lots of talk last week about resolutions.

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Cultivating Long Term Vision

My two kids are athletes who take tremendous pride in their performance. As it did for me, athletics has cultivated their goal setting and time management skills; it has also fostered resilience and perseverance. I admire Bennett and Olive very much and often marvel at their burgeoning ability to make informed, smart decisions that fuel their goals. But sometimes … they don’t.

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Embracing the Next Challenge

Convocation

Photo Credit: Matthew Mioduszewski

When I got the job of Vice-Provost, Students at York, my son Bennett boasted to all of his friends that I would soon be responsible for all the sports fields on campus.  As a seven-year-old athlete, he saw this as the pinnacle of career success.  He was devastated when I had to tell him that the job I was so excited about didn’t include driving a large mower or painting yard lines.

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Heroes and Villains

Janet and Ken fully transformed in to Superhereos

On Saturday, February 24, my partner Ken and I attended the Bal de Neige, an annual Oakville event hosted by AMPed for Life, a team of amazing leaders — including the Pace family — who raise funds for children and families at risk.  The organization was founded to honour my sister-in-law’s nephew: Alexander Murray Pace (AMP).  Since 2010, the Bal has raised almost $600,000 for local and national charities, including:  Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children and Kerr Street Mission.

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The Complexities of Learning

Capes for Kids

My partner and I have spent a lot of time in recent weeks talking to our twelve-year old son about strategies for fueling his own learning.  For those of you with experience parenting pre-teens, you’ll appreciate that—at times – this has felt a bit like bashing my head against a wall.  (Bennett is smart, opinionated, and articulate.  We, his parents, know nothing; he is omniscient!)  In those moments, however, when Bennett is open to self-reflection and contemplation … we’ve had some great conversations about learning styles — visual, auditory, kinesthetic – and how each modality might be leveraged to optimize his comprehension and retention.  In the process, I was reminded about key tenets of evidence-based pedagogy and/or scholarly teaching.

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Community and Empathy

Snowflakes

Photo Credit: iStock.com/dibrova

As many of you know, my Dad has been unwell in recent months.  After 30 days of intense radiation, he underwent 16 hours of head and neck surgery last Thursday in Toronto.

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Are We There Yet?

Emporer penguins with chicks

Photo Credit: iStock.com/vladsilver

This past week has been difficult for every member of our learning community. Faculty and staff at Sheridan are deeply committed to delivering premier, purposeful educational experiences for students.  The ongoing strike, and the consequent cancellation of most classes, is disruptive for all.  In my conversations with students, colleagues on the picket line, and/or community partners, however, I have been inspired by individual and collective demonstrations of our character.   We are a community committed to social responsibility, inclusivity, caring and generosity.  As is often the case, those characteristics are most evident when we’re facing a formidable challenge.

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Happy Fall!

janet, bennett and olive

Like many of you, I have lived my entire life on an academic calendar. I love September and the adrenalin rush that comes with the arrival of a new academic year.  It was a privilege to welcome so many students last week at orientation events across our three campuses; I was equally thrilled to welcome back the outstanding faculty and staff who make Sheridan such an exceptional place to work and learn. For me,  late August and Labour Day are like the May 24 long weekend: there’s a frenetic energy in the air and the promise of what’s to come looms large.

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