Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:40

MHC's new director, regional stewardship and Brooks Campus unique blend of skills

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When the Medicine Hat College administration was searching for a new director of the Brooks Campus and regional stewardship, there were a lot of attributes they were probably looking for in order to effectively fill the position.


Enter Cindy Slenders, a well-spoken person with equally strong backgrounds in education and an extensive knowledge of Brooks and surrounding area.
"When I saw the ad I was intrigued," the County of Newell native says. "I wanted to be involved in the college...it was a natural extension of my career path."
It is quite the career path as she management and teaching experience with the adult learning councils of both Brooks and Taber.
She was also a district principal in the East Central Catholic School Regional System. Slenders has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Education (Educational Leadership) from Concordia University Online.
Slenders’ background understanding of the area stems from being a longtime resident in the rural area of Scandia within the County of Newell.
With her work and community involvement (i.e. she is the chairperson of the Scandia Centennial Celebration committee, has been involved in the Newell County Band Association, provincial 4-H), she knows the county’s intricacies and has made countless contacts within the area as well.
Slenders also points to the fact she comes from an entrepreneurial type of family, the hope is that she can bring all of those skills together to help with building of partnerships between the Brooks campus and the city of Brooks and the county.
The flat economy does not frighten her as she looks at it as a hurdle, not a complete hindrance.
"It's certainly a nice bridge (type of position) to cross-over being involved with education," says Slenders.
"Want to roll these into one... administration is a challenge. With being executive director of two non-profits, I'd like to think of it as being a welcome challenge.
"The goal is to definitely revitalize the campus and bridge key strategic partners. There is a large amount of work and focus which needs to go into this process...it will require 'out-of-the-box' thinking. We have to be innovative in what we are doing."
Slenders says Brooks campus needs to evaluate what it is doing in a  lot of areas to ensure they are best serving the region and most importantly the students.
She says the county of full of entrepreneurial spirit with not only the petroleum sector, but the agriculture sector including specifically irrigation.
She says instead of seeing what is a young workforce that is labelled as transient, Slenders says they need to look on finding training which satisfies and enables those workers who favour mobility.
"We need to get the data on how to best serve," adds Slenders.
If one is interested in learning more about MHC’s Brooks Campus, please visit the website at:www.mhc.ab.ca/brookscampus.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor