Friday, August 23, 2019

Know Your Profs: Irene Wallace on the importance of a Starbucks glass half-full

May 15, 2019 by Katy Weicker, staff writer

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

Do you have an instructor who you want to see interviewed in the paper? Maybe you want to know more about one of your teachers, but you’re too busy, or shy, to ask? Email and we’ll get on it.

This issue we talked to Camosun Career Services employment facilitator Irene Wallace about applied learning, her love of lattes, and getting inducted into a sports hall of fame.

1. What do you teach and how long have you been at Camosun?

I served as head coach for the Chargers women’s basketball program for nine years starting in 1998. I was an instructor in the Sport Management program for one year. I was hired in June 2008 as employment facilitator responsible for Student Employment Services, now called Career Services, within the Co-op and Career Services department.

2. What do you personally get out of teaching?

The most rewarding outcome of career coaching and working with a student is to see them “arrive” and take charge of believing in themselves. Erasing fear and uncertainty allows a person to see possibilities in a whole new way.

Camosun College Career Services employment facilitator Irene Wallace (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

3. What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

Well, I am most proud of having just been inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in November 2018 in recognition of my many years of coaching provincial and national basketball plus athletic achievements including national team softball and university basketball and field hockey.

4. What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

Have to say that I don’t have an answer here. I consider myself a genuine person, so what I share is who I am.

5. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

Getting to know and work with so many students and faculty from all the different programs Camosun offers. It has been a true privilege.

6. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

Hmmm, I honestly can’t think of anything that I would consider “worst.” Other than maybe there is no Starbucks on campus.

7. What do you see in the future of post-secondary education?

It is very exciting to see that career development is becoming an integral part of the academic paradigm. From my observations across the country, there is movement in which a student’s academic learning and career development are progressing in tandem as opposed to separate silos. There is growing interest in development of experiential and applied learning and I find this particularly exciting. Also, there is more interest unfolding in people pursuing entrepreneurial ventures and opportunities. 

8. What do you do to relax on the weekends?

As mentioned, my life has been heavily involved in the sports world, so on weekends, I love to golf, hike, work out, and—most exciting—I love to play ice hockey. I don’t like to sit down much, but when I do I enjoy reading a book and sipping my Starbucks latte sitting outside in the sunshine.

9. What is your favourite meal?

Steak and lobster—when I decide I can afford it.

10. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Being around people who see the cup half empty. I am an optimist.

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