Wider Horizons

Since taking the reins at Lethbridge College more than five years ago, I’ve become a bit of a braggart. tracyWhether I’m out chatting up the community or negotiating with government, I find myself slipping easily into that mode of talking up the sense of excitement infusing our campus, the programs, research, innovation and, of course the achievement of our students and alumni. It’s a rush to which I admit I’ve become rather happily addicted.

None of these boasting points, however, could be possible without the people who make them reality. I know it’s nothing new for a CEO to attribute a company’s success to its employees, but I’ll forgo the originality for the enjoyment of praising the men and women who keep Lethbridge College an institution of choice, not just for students, but for those who desire careers with us.

They come to us from other post-secondary institutions, from industry, other businesses, other countries. Some never leave campus, graduating in spring and joining the payroll before autumn. (Never fear: even if we kept all the best ones for ourselves, there are plenty of great ones to go around!)

They soon find the campus experience infectious. We’ve reached that critical mass that allows us to play off each other in a true spirit of collegiality, celebrating our successes and supporting each other in our outrageously audacious endeavours.

A few short years ago, we removed “community” from our name. But I am often reminded as I watch the Lethbridge College saga continue to unfold, we did not remove our presence from the community. In this issue, you’ll read about just a few of our employees who are so connected to the city through their non-campus activities, that they embody the college wherever they are. Whether they make up a well-known Celtic trio, help develop a sport at a national level, serve on vital committees or devote countless volunteer hours to the community, they all take a piece of Lethbridge College with them into their “other lives.”

They do us proud, as do the alumni we honour annually in our April edition. They, too, have placed themselves in their communities as people who can be counted on to carry the load. Is it any wonder I tend to brag?

In this edition, you’ll read Mike McCready’s insightful piece on social media. Mike is our manager of Web Services and it would take far more than 140 characters to laud his knowledge of the emerging phenomenon.

I would not have expected, upon arriving as the president of Lethbridge College, to be “blogging.” But here I am, with a Facebook presence, communicating with government and students alike.

Mike’s cautionary piece explains the advantages – and the dangers – of social media, a tool which allows each of us to become our own marketers. The image we present to the world can either lift careers or dash them, depending on what side we decide to show and to whom. I incorporate Facebook to facilitate communication with colleagues, the provincial government and other professional contacts. It’s a fascinating evolution of technology when used with appropriate protocols; just another way to tell the Lethbridge College story!

Wider Horizons
Dr. Tracy L. Edwards Lethbridge College President & CEO
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