Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the heart of Toronto and travelled out to Hamilton to complete my bachelor’s in civil engineering and management (B.EngM '16) at McMaster University. As a kid and then throughout university, I was always spending my summers up north at camp. If I could avoid the city all together — even better. Still to this day it’s a place I visit every time I’m home. After I graduated, all my friends were getting settled in their engineering jobs, but that never felt like the right fit to me. I wanted to find a way I could combine my love of camp and teaching with my formal education. That’s where STEM Outreach came into play. I started working with the Outreach program at McMaster and fell in love. A few years later, a position opened here at the U of L with Destination Exploration and I jumped on the opportunity. This is now my fourth year with DE and I'm still loving every bit of it.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I’ve been at the U of L since January 2019 – currently in year four in this role. I am the program coordinator for Destination Exploration which is one of the youth STEM outreach programs here.
What's the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is there is always something fun or new going on. I get to talk with teachers in our community to book workshops for their classrooms. I get to learn how new robots work so they can be used in our camps. I get to take pictures and find ways to share what we do on social media. And most importantly I get to build and create with kids. Showing them that the world of STEM is endless and that it’s fun.
What we do is not school, we take concepts learned in school and build hands-on activities for kids to do and explore with. Seeing their faces when they realize that they are encouraged to make a mess or build that crazy idea they have in their heads is the best.
Plus, with our STEM summer camps (registration opens March 15) I truly have found a way to combine my love of camp and engineering. Definitely not an easy career to describe to people, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work, I try my best to go explore the mountains. As someone who grew up without the Rockies a short drive away, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I still feel like a tourist sometimes. Feel free to share your favourite areas to visit if you see me around. I’ve recently started to focus on photography and use it as motivation to find new hikes or areas.