- Created on Friday, 20 September 2013 19:27
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By KAITLIN TIESSEN
The School of Media welcomes two new leaders this year: the Dean of Media and Technology, Misheck Mwaba and the Public Relations Co-ordinator, Emily McInerney.
Both come with interesting backgrounds and experience. Mwaba has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, as well as a PhD in energy technology. McInerney has a graduate certificate in public relations, as well as an undergraduate degree in English and sociology.
Mwaba was living in Ottawa before he came here. Born in Zambia, living in St. Catharines now, Mwaba says he’s in the process of house hunting to find something closer to the Welland campus.
Before Mwaba chose to begin his Niagara College journey, he was chair at Algonquin College, Ottawa, for mechanical transportation technology. Mwaba says this involved programming, manufacturing, automotive apprenticeship, as well as making robotics.
“I made sure the programs were current, sustainable and relevant.” Mwaba says he hopes to apply all of these attributes to this school year.
“I was also responsible for department growth,” another thing he would like to focus on.
Mwaba started two programs for Algonquin in Saudi Arabia: industrial millwright, and electrical engineering technician. Mwaba says this began when the government called Algonquin College looking for someone willing to participate, and he decided to take this on. Following this, the opportunity to be dean at Niagara College came up.
“Niagara College has a reputation of being both innovative and fast growing, it is also number 1 in student satisfaction.” Mwaba says the college has “very good diversity” along with “passionate” staff.
Mwaba says he would like to see more innovation.
“I would like to apply entrepreneurship in all programs.”
This initiative will keep options open for graduates after college, because not only can you look for a job, but you also have the option of starting a business.
Cam Cole, 22, is in his first year of Game Development after switching from Computer Programming. Cole says that considering how creative one can be with programming, it’d be great to work for himself as well as have a better understanding of how to do that.
In the School of Media, new co-ordinator McInerney, says she worked in public relations (PR) for 11 years, mainly in Toronto. One of those years was spent in Windsor as public relations director for the Windsor Spitfires, an Ontario Hockey League team.
“I was very focused on sports PR. I only spent one season with them but it was a great experience.”
McInerney worked for some of the largest firms including: Heineken Beer, Cadbury Chocolate, Irish PGA, and The Body Shop, Canada.
“My first experience in Toronto was in a small boutique agency that was very arts and entertainment based.”
She says she had an “incredible” journey so far meeting many “amazing” people, including Bill Clinton, former president of the U.S., Al Gore, former vice-president of the U.S., and science broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki. While working for Fan Expo she also met Elijah Wood, an actor, best known for his part in The Lord of the Rings, and Carrie Fisher, an actress best known original Princess Leia in Star Wars.
At Humber College in Toronto, McInerney was a guest speaker and “loved it.” She says this sparked her interest in teaching. Four years ago she finally started her transition into teaching and received her master’s degree from Stirling University in Scotland, which she attended for one year.
To break into teaching she returned to Canada. Her career began at Humber, as a part-time teacher. While there, the Niagara College job was posted.
“I honestly did not expect to get the job, so I applied for it, not being overly confident about it.
When she received a call she says she was “blown away.” Once the second interview was suggested she was excited but didn’t want to get her hopes up.
“Niagara College has a nice feel to it. I was silent in shock when I found out I was going to be teaching here, I was absolutely thrilled.”
McInerney says Nancy Geddie, who retired as program co-ordinator in June, has been a mentor to her. “I definitely have big shoes to fill.”
Geddie speaks highly of McInerney, describing her as “a gem.”
“I feel very confident that she can handle whatever comes her way as the PR program co-ordinator because she has a solid knowledge of PR practices, a quick intellect to figure whatever needs to be handled and terrific instincts about how to handle situations.”
McInerney says she would like to make Geddie proud and continue to build this program as she did. She plans to take this opportunity “very seriously.”
“We both agree that students are indeed our clients, in that we should do whatever we can to make their time in the PR program the best educational experience they ever have. However, those students are also our product so they must meet standards and expectations in order to succeed at college and in the profession,” says Geddie.
Her retiring was made “much easier” by knowing McInerney was taking over.
McInerney says students will be able get a glimpse of future careers with the internship opportunity in April.
“This will allow them to be truly exposed and have them ready to hit the ground running.”
At the Welland campus, Mwaba’s office is in L23, and McInerney’s office is in S315.