Georgian College's new president visits Collingwood campus 0
The new president and CEO of Georgian College got the lay of the land with a tour of the Collingwood campus Monday during her first week on the job as part of a month long tour of Georgian's seven campuses.
MaryLynn West-Moynes said she missed the electronic sign that was flashing her name with a welcome message because there was a lot to take in when she first drove into the John Di Poce South Georgian Bay campus.
“I was busy going 'wow!,'” she said.
“It's an incredible facility,” said West-Moynes. “You can feel the community involvement in this building. The community has taken a lot of interest, supported the development of it and I can feel a sense of pride by the staff in hearing about what they do here and how magical it has been to work with the community to get this incredible spot for students.”
She received her PhD in Education from the University of Toronto and has been working in post-secondary education for more than 27 years. She was recently vice- president of external relations at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and she was the president of Mohawk College.
The Collingwood campus has been up and running in their new building for the past year. West-Moynes saw firsthand their top-of-the-line Smart Board computers, projectors and whiteboards that are located in every classroom.
West-Moynes was particularly impressed by the laboratory that has fully accessible lab benches, three mock hospital set-ups, and a classroom setting that can be converted into a space to practice first-aid. The multipurpose classroom is used to teach biology, nursing, and even cake decorating.
She was pleased to see the modern equipment and said a challenge for Georgian College will be striking a balance between technology and the more traditional “touch” methods of teaching.
“I think a lot of times people think they are not so interested in learning from a program that comes through information technology or on the web because it is just so isolating,” she said. “But, maybe we can come at that from a totally different way.”
She said the staff she has met at the Barrie and Collingwood campuses have been very skilled and demonstrated a clear understanding of students' needs and a desire to help them succeed. She will travel to the five other campuses throughout this month.
“I don't think you can be a leader of an organization if you don't understand the rhythm and rhyme of an organization,” she said. “So getting to know what people value and what they think is important will help us build the kind of college I think can become the best in the country.
“There is nothing that is holding us back from being the absolute best and that’s what I think students deserve,” she added.
Lynn Hynd, Collingwood's campus manager, led the president on the tour and said she found West-Moynes to be very personable.
“She sat back and she made people feel comfortable and asked about them on a personal level so she could get a sense of the team,” she said. “(She is) very focused on the students which is why we are here and recognizes that we have got tremendous opportunity for growth now that we have the new facility.”
Hynd said she believes the new president will help the campus move forward with plans for expansion, increasing enrolment, and additional programming.
Last year, enrolment increased 28% for the fall semester and 70% for the winter semester with the new building and Hynd said they want still want to increase the numbers.
“We want to fill the place,” she said.
West-Moynes replaces Brian Tamblyn, Georgian's president for 13 years, who also served as the college's vice-president for seven years.
With files from Sun Media