Here's the full version of the Q+A with Red River College's new President and CEO Stephanie Forsyth that was excerpted in the most recent issue of RED magazine.
1. What led you to a career in post-secondary education?
Prior to my first job in PSE, I was working in the hospitality industry and it was a challenge to get highly qualified people. Selkirk College approached me to develop and initiate programs for the hospitality sector. Over the next several years I worked both within the college sector and in the hospitality industry. I became engaged in assisting the more marginalized to obtain an education and employment and realized the power of education to transform lives. It has been inspiring and deeply gratifying. There was a time I would have never imagined I would be in education; now I’m completely devoted to this work.
2. What drew you to Red River College?
It’s perhaps the only college in Canada that could lure me out of B.C. It’s located in a “big small town,” it has an excellent reputation and its values and strategic directions fit with my interests and background, such as: working closely with communities, industry and the province in social and economic development; seeking to enhance access and success of Aboriginal learners and the chronically underemployed; leading in applied research and innovation; aspiring to be a green college; and the list goes on!
Additionally, I was very interested in learning about the lifestyle and culture of prairie Canada. So far, my impression is that Winnipeg is a great place to live that’s greatly misunderstood by the rest of Canada. It’s an accessible, affordable city with a lot to offer! I’m very impressed with the arts and culture, the amenities, and the warm and welcoming spirit of so many people, from shopkeepers to college staff.