Meet our Team is an ongoing blog series that features Bow Valley College faculty and staff.
Laurel Madro has worked at Bow Valley College for almost twenty years. Since 2008, she has been the program coordinator of the Corporate Readiness Training program. Laurel brings her expertise and leadership to the numerous programs that she coordinates, including the mentorship and workplace training program, DiverseCity on Board, the Immigration Practitioner Certificate Program and the CELPIP Prep Program.
Every work day is different for Laurel – some days you will find her at her desk writing reports, budgets and proposals and other days she is off site meeting with project partners and promoting new initiatives. Collaborating with staff, project partners, and learners is integral to her role. She thrives in a continuously changing work environment that fosters lifelong learning and allows her to meet new people.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like the most about my job is seeing the change in our learners when they get a job. I love seeing the transformation when a person finally, after a lot of hard work, finds their path to the career they want. It is great to feel you have helped a person to get their career re-started here in Canada, and start to feel confident and hopeful about the future.
What’s one thing that you’ve learned since working here?
I have learned that learning keeps you young, and that there is always more to learn and you never know when your next learning opportunity might arise.
What do you value most about your colleagues?
I have been so grateful since the day I started here at BVC to have colleagues who are generous with their time and expertise, really motivated to create learning opportunities for their students and very creative and collaborative. We have done some pretty cool, amazing and fun things together!
Who is an educator that has impacted your life?
There are a quite a few. My high school English teacher Mr. Marshall is certainly on the list. He used to act out full Shakespearean plays for us; having fully memorized all the parts and played them all. I still enjoy Shakespeare. More recently, my dear friend and colleague Leslie Levant, who always put her heart and soul into every day she taught and saw the success of every single learner as her personal mission.
What are three traits that are important in your role?
I would say email management, email management and email management…
Seriously...Job task planning and organizing is the most important skill with managing people, timelines, projects, and resources as the subset of this larger Essential Skill. I have to infuse Essential Skills into this! It has become how I think about work, tasks, and training!
What is your favourite go-to resource?
- For technology type teaching ideas: Cameron Young
- For anything to do with AGRESSO: Kamlesh Doad
- For DIY tips: YouTube
- Everything else: Google
Can you describe an aha moment you have experienced in your role?
I would have to say that having spent eight years in the TOWES department and learning about the complexities of skills and the value of looking at learner success through the Essential Skills lens has been the greatest teaching Aha moment for me. The more I dig into this way of dissecting tasks and identifying skills gaps, the more relevant this framework becomes.
What do you want to learn this year?
I currently am doing an Applied Research project to learn more about the threshold concepts for adult learners that cause them to become stuck and not learn the skills they need to continue to grow in their jobs. We know people get stuck (liminal state) during the learning process, and I want to learn if anyone has looked at this from a skills development focus rather than just a content focus.
What is your favourite book?
This changes all the time.. but the one I am telling everyone to read right now is What Makes Olga Run? by Bruce Grierson. Great book about how to age well!
Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know.
I have moved around a bit. I have lived in four provinces: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. I have lived in 3 countries: Canada (of course), Texas, USA and Argentina. I have lived in 18 different houses.