Where are you from?
I grew up in southeast Calgary with my parents, three brothers and a golden retriever. I moved to Lethbridge in 2004 to start my undergrad, with the intention of doing four short years and going back to Calgary, like everyone else I knew. I wanted to stay somewhere in Alberta that was still close to home but I wanted to leave Calgary. My parents both lived in residence when they went to university and they encouraged me to do the same. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and I thought management was as open and general as I could pick. I started off in marketing and I ended up doing most of my classes in finance, but I found I really enjoyed the human resources part of it.
During my undergrad, I lived in residence and got involved in lots of other things. I became a residence assistant in my second year. That changed my whole life. I had a really great experience and it was a great exposure to a leadership role on campus. The next year, I ran in the elections and I was the vice-president of University Hall for the Organization of Residence Students (ORS). I led a team of RAs. In the following year, I ran for president of the ORS. I did that for a year and was the residence rep on the Students’ Union general assembly. By that time in my degree, I had decided I wanted to do something in the not-for-profit or public sector in a leadership role. By the time I graduated, I decided that I wanted to work at the University.
When did you come to the University and what do you do here?
I was very fortunate there was a job opening in Housing Services after I graduated. I started as assistant manager in Housing Services in March, 2009. I learned a lot from the leaders in my department and found some great mentors on campus. As housing grew, I had a chance to try a few more things. I had some great opportunities to learn about big software implementation projects, to do renovations to some of our residences and to build Mt. Blakiston. As our department grew, my role changed. I became associate director in 2012, and in 2015, I became the director. I have the privilege of working with a team that oversees the student experience for the 1,000 students who live on campus. We look after everything from the physical infrastructure of the seven residence facilities to all the residence life programming. It’s very much a small village and I get to change hats about 100 times a day. I thrive on that; it keeps me energized. I’ve never had a boring day here.
What’s the best part of your job?
It’s a two-way tie between working with my team — they are amazing — and working with our student leaders. I can’t say enough about how much fun my team is to work with. We truly have the best department on campus. It’s a very busy place. We serve 1,000 students and try to meet all of their varying needs. We have a tight-knit group here that thrives on working together. And I absolutely love working with our student leaders. They bring so much energy to the department and they’re lots of fun. I am constantly impressed by their energy and innovative ideas.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
My passions are travel and the outdoors. My wife and I love to explore the world and we have been very fortunate to have visited lots of different countries. I’ve visited 48 countries so far. My goal is to see as many as I possibly can. I’m an avid hiker, too. I’ve had the chance to do some amazing hikes around the world including the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, Machu Picchu in Peru, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal.