On March 22, 2004, I walked into the, then called SFU Business, with nothing but ideas in my head on student engagement. I did not have an academic background in it or an idea of what to expect…just knowing that we needed to engage students. Back then, our students would typically come to school, do their classes and go home. How do I make them stay and get involved? How do I spark passion and interest to take their academic education to a new level? Will I get buy in? Can we shift the culture of disengagement? These are some of the very real questions as I walked in to meet my first co-op – Jessica Wong…a lovely person who is still connected to me.
OK, so now fast forward to today, April 16th…after many years industry gaining valuable experience, amazing positions, having a passion at SFU to help students in student engagement and 8 years of building a program that did not exist, I now find myself moving to a new opportunity and challenge. After taking the two months parental leave, I have been asked to start up a new position as Associate Director, Undergraduate Alumni Engagement. Now at first I was a bit hesitant because I was so attached to my past position in student engagement; however, taking the two months of parental leave has provided clarity and I am now looking forward to building again. My responsibility will be to create an alumni engagement platform for the undergraduates. I do thank our Associate Dean, who I will be reporting to directly. He is someone I have great respect and appreciation for. I am going to enjoy working directly under his support.
The timing is perfect as I really do feel that I am due for a change and a new challenge. I have to stop admiring the house that I built called student engagement and start building a new house called alumni engagement. This will still meet my five core elements of leadership, public speaking, corporate and community relations, people development and teaching.
To my students…thank you for the opportunity of getting to know you and while I am heading in a new direction, you will always have my support and appreciation. You have always been my inspiration. You are not being abandoned. Rosanne Ng will be taking over and she brings tremendous experience
I hope to create the spark and culture with our alumni that we have created for our students. I am going to be seeking alumni champions so I hope you join me on this journey. I love the school so I am once again pouring my heart and soul into this. Sam’s 50/50-2012 is all about discovery and challenges…bring on the latest adventure and I hope you are going to be riding with me. When I talk about the extraordinary in the ordinary…there is nothing ordinary about you! Wish me luck!
PS – as I write this and think about what to say – Greenday and Time of your Life was playing…fitting ?
PSS – I am going to miss being at home for two months, miss the family, miss my daily adventures with Ishaan (it will be a big change for him not to have me around) and even miss the daily diaper changes