In this blog series, we talk with Stu Mackay, Dean at Yukon College—a leader in innovative educational programs and advanced delivery of these programs.
Stu Mackay is the Dean of Professional Studies at Yukon College and is responsible for the Departments of Business and Administration (Business, Office Administration, Tourism, Culinary), Health and Human Services (Early Childhood Development, Public Health and Safety, Nursing, Community Support Worker), and Trades and Technology (Computer Studies, Automotive, Carpentry, Electrical, Welding, Pipe Trades).
He joined Yukon College in 1992 after working throughout the eastern and western arctic as a Community Economic Planner, Community Adult Educator and Regional Education Co-ordinator. Stu also worked as a teacher for four years in northern Nigeria and was a military pilot for 12 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science (Honours Mathematics) and a Master’s of Natural Resources Management.
Stephen: Stu, thank you for coming in today to share your deep insights with the audience.
Stu: My pleasure.
Stephen: Can you tell us more about your work prior to taking on your current position with Yukon College?
Stu: Like many people of our generation, I have had the opportunity to experience many careers. I was fortunate enough to receive a Canadian Armed Forces scholarship out of high school and, after completing a BSc (Honors Mathematics), I was employed as a military pilot. The majority of my flying career was in the Search and Rescue role on the east coast of Canada with a year spent with the United Nations peacekeeping unit in Egypt.
I left the military in the early 80’s and joined a Canadian development organization called CUSO. The next 4 years was spent in northern Nigeria – 2 years in a remote village teaching math and science and 2 years at a vocational college as a flight instructor. Upon my return to Canada, I enrolled in a Masters program at the Natural Resources Institute at the Univ. of Manitoba. This interdisciplinary program allowed me to focus on a number of topics that were of personal interest to me, (e.g., northern development, evaluation research and transportation economics).
After graduating, I took the job of an Economic Planner for the Hamlet of Eskimo Point (later renamed Arviat) in the Northwest Territories. It became clear that one of the largest barriers to economic growth was the education and training levels in the community. A community training plan was developed along with the economic plan and I remained in the community as Community Adult Educator for the next 4 years implementing the plan. Next came a two year assignment in Inuvik as the Regional Education Coordinator with Arctic College.
I joined Yukon College in 1993 to assist them in developing customized training programs for industry and organizations. In 1997, I took on the role of Dean, Professional Studies. This senior education administration position is responsible for programming in Business and Administration, Health and Human Services and Trades and Technology.
In the next blog, Stu will talk about:
– Yukon College’s leadership in technology and distance education;
– The University of the Arctic, a unique circumpolar international alliance;
– Collaboration efforts with other northern colleges.
I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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