The Algonquin Times introduces the three newly-minted Algonquin College Board of Governors internal members — representing the students, support staff and administrators. The BOG is tasked with overseeing the management of the college.
Naina Kansal — Student representative
By Kory Glover
Be the change: that’s Naina Kansal’s motto in her effort to give students a better college experience as the newly-appointed student representative.
When Kansal was living in India, she contributed heavily in leading a non-profit organization that encouraged local youth to give back to their communities. Kansal feels that she can transfer the skills she used with that organization to be the voice of Algonquin’s students.
“It was my technical background as well as the business and leadership qualities,” said Kansal.
One of Kansal’s goals while in her new position includes creating an enjoyable experience for the students at Algonquin.
“We are really trying to act and make decisions according to what students want and what they need and make their college experience worthwhile,” said Kansal. “It doesn’t matter if they are full-time students, part-time students or online.”
Another goal of Kansal’s is also to communicate with her fellow students and learn their concerns about issues like the cafeteria, parking or anything else campus-related.
In order to reach her goals, Kansal follows the wise words of one of her idols Albert Einstein — that education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think. She believes in those words by fighting for students to learn by doing.
“We want the students to learn by doing and learn by doing what they enjoy,” said Kansal. “We want to create leaders in their respective fields and that Algonquin students should shine once they graduate from here.”
There weren’t many hurdles to jump through in settling into her new role because when she came to Algonquin as an international student, the student body made her feel welcome.
“I don’t think there were any hurdles because my intentions were clear, I just wanted to serve [the students],” said Kansal. “The students were very welcoming.”
Valerie Sayah-Hoareau — Support staff representative
By Michael Clarke
As Valerie Sayah-Hoareau walks the halls trading smiles and shaking hands with staff and students, it is clear she is a familiar face at the college.
Sayah-Hoareau has been working with Algonquin for 30 years and in June was elected support staff representative for Algonquin’s Board of Governors.
After serving her first term on the board from 2008 to 2011 on the board and governance sub committee, Sayah-Hoareau is excited to be back representing Algonquin support staff.
With a background in human resources and part-time teaching experience with Algonquin’s language institute, Sayah-Hoareau plans to bring fresh insights to the board.
“I’m seeing various perspectives with the day-to-day operations in the classroom,” said Sayah-Hoareau.
She wants to make sure the board continues to promote Algonquin’s official values of caring, learning, integrity and respect in upcoming projects, including the completion of the new C-building.
It’s this focus that helped the board create E-building (Student Commons), what they named “the heart of the college” when it was approved in 2011.
“There wasn’t a place where students could go to relax and study,” said Sayah-Hoareau. “When (E-building) was approved, it showed that we are here for the students.”
It’s projects like these that keep Sayah-Hoareau excited to be on the board for the Algonquin community.
“The various opportunities Algonquin has for our own people is great,” she said. “We’re like a family.”
Krisha Stanton — Administrative staff representative
By Devyn Barrie
Krisha Stanton was well-prepared for her new job as administrative staff representative on the Board of Governors, because she was vice-president of the Students’ Association when she was studying here in 2014.
“I think I want to be able to serve the administrators that I represent,” she said during an interview in her ground floor C-building office, adding that her time on the SA board gives her insight into the complex governance at play within the BOG.
Stanton, who is a senior manager in the Registrar’s Office, took the Bachelor of Applied Business (eSupply Chain Management) program from 2010 to 2014. She’s held a variety of jobs at Algonquin since, ranging from faculty marketing officer for the School of Business, to manager of financial aid – even a stint as a part-time business teacher.
Although she’s worn many hats, she’s relatively new to the administrative side of the college and thinks that could help her.
“It provides me that different lense,” she said.
She said it’s a privilege to sit on the BOG and looks forward to learning and growing as she does it.
“I’m starting this new path, this new journey.”