Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from almost as far south in Canada as you can go — Windsor, Ontario and vicinity. I completed my first two degrees at the University of Windsor. After finishing my master's degree, I decided to move elsewhere for my PhD. That journey began in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba. However, about nine months into my time there, my supervisor announced they were leaving and heading to the University of Calgary. As there were no other faculty that undertook research in my areas of interest, I decided to follow my supervisor, so off to Calgary I went. I completed my PhD at the University of Calgary. I was not planning to stay in Alberta, but a University two hours down the road was hiring a one-year term position — I applied and was hired. And that one year turned into 17 more (and counting!).
How long have you been at ULethbridge and what do you do here?
I have been at the University of Lethbridge for 18 years (and counting). I am a tenured faculty member in Computer Science. Almost all of my research falls under the area of Spatial Data Management. A Geographical Information System (e.g. Google Maps) is an example of a platform that utilizes spatial data. In addition to research and teaching, I am the current Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science.
What's the best part of your job?
There are a few things I love about my job. I love the fact I can study the areas of research that I am interested in! I also love teaching — something I never expected to say ever in my life! Not only do I enjoy teaching about the worlds of databases, programming and other areas, I also enjoy learning new things from my students, including the graduate students I have supervised over the years. I have also enjoyed learning how the university functions from the various committees I have served on and other service commitments I have taken on — including my current role as department chair! Finally, I have enjoyed the opportunities for travelling to and participating in conferences held around the world! (This must be said, or those who know me well will say something is missing from the answer to this question!)
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
From October to March, I curl two to three times a week. I took up curling for the first time when I moved to Lethbridge, and I enjoy it a lot! In addition, I am a certified Level 1 curling umpire. So when major curling events such as the Scotties or the Brier come to town, I volunteer as a game timer.
In the summer, I enjoy hiking in nearby national and provincial parks (mainly Waterton and Castle, but I do venture to Banff once in a while, too). All year, I also enjoy hiking within the City of Lethbridge, which has many opportunities of its own!