“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
Vincent Van Gogh
“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Erin Elaine Casey – October 8, 2019
When Amy Hak says, “I’m probably not your normal student,” it just might be the understatement of the year. Hak graduates with a Master of Information Management (MIM) this fall and is already putting her new knowledge and skills to work in her role as a forensic officer in the Forensic Science Section (FSS) of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
Originally from Minnesota, Hak earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University in Saint Paul, majoring in biology and minoring in anthropology. “I had envisioned being a vet, but I attended a talk on forensic anthropology and immediately decided to change my career path to forensic science. It was before CSI, so that’s dating me,” she laughs. “The OJ Simpson trial and verdict also happened while I was at Hamline, which put a spotlight on forensic science.”
After completing a post-baccalaureate forensic science certificate, Hak started working as a civilian forensic scientist with the Minneapolis Police Department.“I responded to crime scenes and was a latent fingerprint examiner. I was encouraged to specialize in an emerging forensic science field, so I chose forensic video analysis.”
In 2006, Hak became certified in forensic video analysis and in 2009 moved to Calgary to be with her Dutch-Canadian husband.
“In Canada, civilians don’t work on crime scenes,” she explains, “but it just happened that the Calgary Police Service employed forensic video analysts, so I started working full-time in the Technical Crimes Unit.”
Developing critical skills
Hak also started her own consulting business, ALH Forensic Video Analysis. “The influx of digital video, audio and multi-media evidence led me to want to do an information management (IM) degree. The volume of this type of evidence was becoming a monster for law enforcement agencies because everyone has a video camera on their cell phone, surveillance cameras are everywhere, and the technology is constantly changing, with things like deep fake videos and artificial intelligence.”
Dal’s blended/online industry-focused MIM program builds on students’ existing knowledge and experience to develop critical information, risk and change management skills. The degree is the first of its kind in Canada, and was a perfect fit for Hak.
“I was blown away! The professors really helped me understand how IM was so important to my field. I work with surveillance video, so understanding privacy issues was one of the bigger topics for me, especially with the introduction of facial recognition and body-worn police cameras. I’m now using my IM skills and writing information policy here for the FSS. I use my degree every day! I invested wisely, that’s for sure.”
Hak’s MIM capstone project centred on the ICC’s e-court, a system that shares information digitally among the prosecution, defense and trial chambers. “I completed a program evaluation of the redaction process because it safeguards the integrity of investigations and the personal information of staff and witnesses.”
The ICC investigates and tries people charged with genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. “I was hired to assist with forensic video analysis. Our investigations involve a lot of open-source video. It’s imperative to have someone who understands video technology and can accurately analyze and present it in court. I perform image comparison analysis to verify locations, or to narrow down identifications or exclusions of people in the videos by comparing clothing and other objects.”
Because she took on her ICC forensic officer role in May 2018, Hak was doing the job concurrently with her MIM. “It was difficult to say the least,” she says. “I’ve actually been able to see some of Den Haag now that I’m finished. My husband’s parents are from here, so it’s really nice to be living here.”
Hak’s advice to anyone considering pursuing an MIM? “Information management applies to every field! My colleagues in the courses were from vastly different fields, but we all need to deal with information efficiently and effectively.”
“I can say with confidence that the Dal MBA helped me progress in my career while I was a student, but it did something else – it helped me become a better teacher.”
Terry Lampropoulos MBA(FS) Class of 2019 Senior Manager, Risk Framework & Methodologies at Scotiabank
Graduations signify passages and transitions, of moving forward and of accepting new ventures and challenges. Terry Lampropoulos crossed the stage in October 2019 to receive his degree, signifying the completion of a robust academic journey. In a virtual interview with CEGE Connection, Terry shared his insights on how his years of study influenced his direction going forward.
The feeling that I had when I graduated from Dalhousie with my MBA (FS) is something that was truly surreal. I felt happy, nostalgic, grateful, and, honestly, weird because I now had something known as “free time.” I reflected upon what I had learned during my journey to my MBA and I thought back to all the wonderful courses and professors who I had the privilege from which to learn. With a background in sciences, learning about topics like accounting, finance, marketing, and international business was a humbling but very worthwhile experience because I, like many of the alumni finishing MBAs, work in the banking industry. I can say with confidence that the Dal MBA helped me progress in my career while I was a student, but it did something else – it helped me become a better teacher.
In addition to working in the financial industry, I am also the Coordinator and Instructor at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario for their Risk Management program. I started teaching at Seneca in January 2015, but it has become an absolute passion for me. Seeing my students complete their studies on a part-time basis (something to which I can definitely relate!) but also excel in the classroom and in their careers is something that brings me unbridled joy. My time as a teacher, however, did not start smoothly. I had just started my MBA studies when I started teaching and my style was, well, rudimentary. Considering all this, I realized that my time as an MBA student was going to give me insights on how to control a classroom, communicate with students using an online platform, build knowledge through discussion, and ensure that my students were engaged in, not only the theoretical material being taught in the textbooks, but also in the real world.
Seeing my professors navigate course material with case information was a dream. Observing the teaching styles of Dr. Carolan McLarney, Dr. James Barker, and Dr. Greg Hebb (I do not intend to miss names, so I apologize) showed me that being myself in a classroom was the easiest way to get students to engage. I would like to say that I know a thing-or-two about risk but listening to my students, the way my professors at Dal did, is something that cannot be forgotten. I felt that I developed a rapport with my professors while I went through my Dal journey and now I hope to do the same with my students. Every time I am in the classroom, I aim to inject knowledge, humor, but, most importantly, create connections. It is these connections that resonated with me at Dal and I hope to do the same with my students at Seneca.
Editor’s Note: CEGE Connection is delighted to advise that Terry has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection. We wish him the very best in his career and in his role as professor at Seneca College
“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.”
Sir Ken Robinson
“Convocation 1999 remains top-of-mind to this day…I have never been one to attend my own graduations. For me, the educational process had always been about getting the information and the designation and moving on to the next stage of life.” Joseph A Macdonald
Memories of my MBA Financial Services Experience:
Yvonne Thevenot, Consultant at RBC:
I remember at one particular point during one particular course I was absolutely sure I was not going to make it. Two young children at home, an incredibly demanding job, and more reading than I could ever imagine on the weekend path in front of me. A standing Sunday afternoon call to one of my colleagues and suddenly it all seemed doable. Play it forward then to a different course, and a same but different moment for one of my classmates. Heading into the final and standing in the washroom with a few tears. I just borrowed that rally-up-you-can-do-this speech I’d heard just a few months earlier, and like magic we came out of the washroom laughing, hugging and ready to face the world. That’s what this MBA was all about to me – not the courses, not the piece of paper at the end, just the people. And how amazing is that!
Judy Kealey, Director, AML Operations Scotiabank, Global Operations:
Getting to see the campus through the eyes of a mature student and quickly realizing what a vibrant place Dalhousie and Halifax are. The camaraderie and willingness to assist from both the faculty and my fellow classmates was amazing. Yes, we were competitive but in a helpful way.
“- Being the first MBA-FS class- we all fought together to do our MBAs – reviewing, pushing, pulling and working together. It was a remarkable time for all of us. “
Mike Floyd, Executive Vice President at PlanPlus Global:
My fondest memory is the first week of the very first intensive session in Halifax. Seeing all of my fellow students for the first time, face-to-face and sitting together with them for the lectures. We all really felt part of something very special! And it was!
“But in my heart, I knew that my entrepreneurial spirit wanted to seek new challenges. As much as I enjoyed the support of a big bank, I missed being a part of a small dynamic team. Earlier this year I was presented with an opportunity to leave the bank. While I had previous offers, this time was different.”
Director, Sales & Partnerships at Prefera Finance
Treyman Burrows is currently in the MBA(FS) program and will graduate in the Class of 2020. In a virtual interview with CEGE Connection, Treyman shared his thoughts on how his academic journey has influenced his career choices and strategic direction going forward.
My first job out of university was for an independent (~300 employees) non-prime automotive financial institution. I was drawn to working for a smaller company, which offered an opening to build my skill sets within a collaborative framework. Two years later, the company was acquired by a top 5 Canadian bank. Because our office was in midtown, rather than in downtown on Bay Street, we were able to keep some of our small business culture in place. Over the next 10 years, I moved from a sales role into a sales leadership role and finally two product management roles, gathering knowledge and experience through each transition. The bank invested in my learning and rewarded my hard work with promotions and awards. Working at the bank was amazing and fulfilling.
But in my heart, I knew that my entrepreneurial spirit wanted to seek new challenges. As much as I enjoyed the support of a big bank, I missed being a part of a small dynamic team. Earlier this year I was presented with an opportunity to leave the bank. While I had previous offers, this time was different. The offer was to join a small (13 people) financial institution with a mandate to grow and expand rapidly. In this role I would be given the freedom to make the changes I wanted to make at the speed I wanted to make them, within a cultural environment that reflected my values. I would be a part of a remarkable team that was building something from the ground up.
I had to weigh my options: Should I stay at the bank where my job and the company’s future is certain, or should I leave security behind and take a chance on a new exciting company?
After much reflection, I decided to complete a risk analysis (thank you Dr. Rick Nason!) to help in my decision-making process. In the end, I decided that the upside risk of staying at the bank was small, given that I would likely continue to have a successful career, but at a slow and steady pace. The upside risk of joining a small company in a rapid growth phase is immense. While being a financial investor could be fortuitous, the greatest draw was the invaluable experience that I would gain in participating within a team that would build a fledgling company. The downside risk to leaving the bank was losing my tenure at the bank and a stable job but it was a small downside compared to downside risk of not joining a new and upcoming business. My entrepreneurial spirit was aligned to this prospect. To let it go would be a significant risk to me.
Fast forward, I am two months into my new role. Only time will tell if I made the right decision, but I took the risk….one thing I know for sure is I have no regrets.
Editor’s Note: CEGE Connection is delighted to advise that Treyman has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection. We wish him the very best in his new role as Director, Sales & Partnerships at Prefera Finance.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”
Herophilus (335–280 BC)
“Policy must create the conditions that enable broad collaborative efforts to address public issues successfully and sustainably. The policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation process must deliver policies that work, that move our society forward in a positive and useful way.”
Founding Fellow, MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance
Dr. James Barker has been appointed a Founding Fellow of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance, for the term 2019 – 2021. The Founding Fellows play an important role in shaping the Institute’s agenda and profile, and ensuring it becomes the ‘go-to’ place for policy discussion and analysis regionally and nationally.
CEGE Connection reached out to Dr. Barker for his thoughts as he begins his tenure as a Founding Fellow.
Dr. James Barker:
I am very deeply honoured to be named a Founding Fellow of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance here at Dalhousie University, Halifax. I am especially honoured to be the first faculty member from the Rowe School of Business to receive one of these Fellowships.
First off, what exactly is the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance? As an Institute here at Dalhousie, MacEachen is a think tank that seeks a diverse public engagement on public policy decisions. How do we get public involvement into the discourse around public policy? We create conditions for public engagement in a beneficial way within our society so that we can energize and inform public policy, education, ideas, and debate. That is the broad vision and mission for the MacEachen Institute. As a Founding Fellow, my role is to do that energizing, informing and moving forward debates about public policy in a useful direction.
What roles do the Founding Fellows play?
I am not the only Founding Fellow. Right now, there are nine Founding Fellows from across Dalhousie University, coming from Health, Law, Arts, Medicine and Engineering. As Fellows, we work to shape the agenda for the Institute and to ensure that it becomes a go-to place for public policy debate, not just regionally but across Canada.
Why does policy matter? This question is the lead-in to what I want to discuss.
Public policy is very important to us because it creates the conditions that enable broad and collective efforts to address the public issues that we all face. As a civil society, we must address those issues successfully and sustainably.
Right now, the big issue we first think of is climate change. We know we must address climate change sustainably and successfully to ensure everyone’s (and everything’s) future. Public policy, then, in its formulation, implementation and evaluation, must deliver new climate policies that work and move our collective action forward in a positive and useful way.
My focus, as a Founding Fellow, will be on public health care policy, and I will be working to help the MacEachen Institute become a ‘hub’ for public health debate. My specialty area is community pharmacy safety, and I work to facilitate the ability of community pharmacies to deliver their business work in a safe and effective manner. For the next two years, I will be shifting this work more toward public and regulatory policy. I want to move forward public engagement with the community pharmacy practice that will contribute toward the sustainability of our health care system and help foster the development of governance, of operational mechanisms that community pharmacists can use to support the sustainability of health care. Much of our current discussions about health care in Canada involve pharmacies and pharmacists particularly, with the notion that pharmacists will expand their scope of practice to take on more of the health care work as a way of making our health care systems more sustainable. I am involved in ensuring that pharmacists can take on expanded roles in a productive and safe way.
That brings me to the next point I want to make.
Why is a business professor involved in this endeavour? A few months ago, I sat down for an interview with a local TV station to discuss our pharmacy safety research. I was expecting the first question to be about the work on safety, but instead I was asked: “What’s a business professor doing involved in public safety and public health?” The answer to that is quite simple and straightforward and very important.
Think about our health care delivery system, especially the role of community pharmacies in that delivery system. We have made a conscious decision, in our society, that the delivery of pharmacy products to the public via the community pharmacies is a business. As a society, we have conducted ourselves in that manner. For the business of community pharmacy to work well, we have to ensure the safe delivery of that health care in the community pharmacies via the dispensing of medications, the counseling about medications, the enhanced services that are offered by community pharmacies, the giving of flu shots, or other kinds of inoculations. To make the complex delivery of community pharmacy services to work requires an integration between the health policies of the Federal and Provincial Ministries on one hand, and the business practices of those pharmacies on the other, whether it be corporate or a small family-owned pharmacy. Said another way, for the delivery of pharmacy products to be safe, the pharmacist must be able to incorporate those safety practices in a sustainable way by integrating those practices into their business activities. That is where my role comes in, as a business professor. It is a pivotal role.
There is yet another reason for a business perspective – partnerships.
I first saw this in action when I lived and worked in New Zealand several years ago. One thing that impressed me about New Zealand was the strong partnership between the government, the universities and the business organizations to develop effective business models, government policy and plans and strategies for the good of the country. Much of the country’s success was due to the very tight and mutually supportive partnership between those three entities. Now, it is easier to do this in a small country like New Zealand, and much more difficult in a larger country such as Canada. But my New Zealand experience and seeing how that type of partnership worked – the policy partnership, the university partnership, the business partnership, taught me the importance of that tripartite partnership to a country’s economic success. My experience with such work in New Zealand made a big impression upon me and I brought that knowledge of partnering for policy to my work here with community pharmacy safety. The pivotal relationship between government, industry, and universities is why a business professor to be involved in public policy.
Things to look for in the next two years as I’m working with this fellowship:
I am going to be organizing a number of events around community pharmacy safety and general public health policy under the auspices of the MacEachen Institute to help foster that engagement that I was talking about before. I will also be steering a good bit of my writing in terms of my articles and the other works I do towards policy and how we can create better policies that give our community pharmacists the kinds of conditions they need to be able to incorporate new safety practices while still achieving their business outcomes that they must achieve.
I am very excited about what lies ahead. This is important work. For me personally, I enjoy this area of exploration and feel it is my contribution to society. It is also important for the Rowe School of Business to be deeply involved in the MacEachen Institute and in this essential dialogue.
Dr. James Barker
James R. Barker is the Herbert S. Lamb Chair of Business Education in the Rowe School of Business and leads the Safe Assured Pharmacy Safety Research Consortium.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon – September 1914
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam