What is your role at NSCC?
My current role at the college is Manager of contracts. I am the liaison between NSCC’s Community Innovation Leads (CIL’s) and our legal team. I also assist in writing and editing contracts for our researchers as well as any of our customized contacts that come in and out. I also oversee some of our processes and work with our applied researchers on a day to day basis. So, I am very familiar with the contracts side of the college.
What is your professional background?
I am a trainer by profession. I’ve always been involved in education, I worked for a university and prior to coming to NSCC, I worked for Emera Utility Services, where I organized training and development for its apprentices and International employees.
What is your connection to Springboard within your institution?
I’m not as directly connected as our CIL’s are, but I do get to take part in sessions and training through Springboard. I like being connected to a network where I’m able to reach out to other universities and colleges for their perspective or advice; especially when it comes to contracts. We’ll talk about templates, or how specific contracts impact NSCC. The role that I’m in now is brand new to NSCC, but because of Springboard, I can network with other colleges, which would have otherwise been a challenge, because I’m more internal facing.
How did Springboard help you when you first joined NSCC?
When I first started this position, it was all brand new to me. Springboard was brand new to me, applied research was brand new to me. I went to my first Springboard meeting two days after starting on the job—I was a deer caught in the headlights. It was a steep learning curve, but everyone was so helpful. I would say that over the past year, my understanding of Springboard and their outreach within the region and, really, the whole country, has grown.
How does applied research differ in a college setting?
There are less funding opportunities we find, but we are gaining more traction because of Springboard. We now have the ability to work with organizations, like Mitacs for example, and we’re learning best practices from the other colleges in terms of grants and other funding opportunities.
CIL’s do a lot more industry engagement than I would since they are more outward facing. I regularly interact with our CIL’s regarding their Industry engagement, whether it is training or research related.
What are the benefits of doing applied research with a community college?
We can assist a lot of industries across the Province, because we have campuses spread out throughout. For example, you could be in Cape Breton and not have the researchers right there, but you can still have access to them through NSCC. Because we’re scattered throughout the Nova Scotia and because we’re all connected at the same time, it’s easier to access all areas and different facilities for training and research.
Where does Springboard help you in your day to day?
I really see the benefit of connecting all the colleges. Because, I can just pick up the phone and call someone at NBCC, for example, and say, ‘hey this is what has come across my desk have you ever seen this, or I have a researcher asking me this question and I have no idea how to answer, what do you think?’. Having that network is instrumental for that support as a college.
And for my other NSCC colleagues, the availability of Springboard’s connections right at their fingertips boosts our industry engagement capacity. I see these benefits for our entire team daily.