Welcome to Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Queen's University

Randy Herrmann

Nation: 
Métis
Degree: 
B.Sc. in Geological Engineering
Job title: 
Director - ACCESS Programs at the University of Manitoba

Type(s) of Engineering:

Geological
Favourite thing: 

"Helping Aboriginal students achieve their dreams of a higher education."

More on Randy

Sometimes engineers are story - tellers. Take Randy Herrmann. As Director of ACCESS Programs at the University of Manitoba, one of his jobs is to go out and tell students and their teachers what engineering is all about. As he says, he's gone from "engineering buildings to building engineers - and doctors and nurses."

Like many other people who choose to study sciences, Randy chose engineering because, "I always enjoyed math and science in high school and figured that engineering used both of these elements. Engineering was also one of the few areas where the education reflects the job that you will be doing. The things that you learn in University are directly applicable on your first day of your first job as an engineer."

Randy applied the skills he learned in university at a consulting engineering firm, but was soon working as the Technical Services Advisor for the Ogemawahj Tribal Council. Then he became a Project Manager for the Rama First Nation, where he directed the construction of many community buildings including the arena/recreational complex, seniors' complex, school, strip mall and new Band Council office. What struck him most from his work with First Nations communities and within the field of engineering is the lack of Aboriginal engineers. His desire to help change the situation and make it easier for Aboriginal students to pursue post-secondary professional science degrees led him back to the University of Manitoba and his position of Director of ACCESS programs.

Randy says he "would like to see more economic prosperity within First Nation communities. This will only occur if there are more engineers to lead the way." When he goes out and meets students, he first encourages them to stay in school and study math and science - even if they don't want to be engineers. "Good math skills will assist you whether you wish to be an artist, hunter, trapper, electrician, engineer, doctor, or lawyer." Then he encourages them to keep pursuing education beyond high school, "Get the highest level of education you can. The ability to learn is one of the gifts the Creator bestowed on everybody. Use that gift to change your life. Get an education, then become a role model for other Aboriginal students, tell your own story and encourage them to pursue their dreams."

 

See also:

University of Manitoba's Champion of Engineering Education profile (YouTube)

Minding the gap: Proactive Indigenous symposium to focus on maths and sciences (MyToba.ca)

The Engineering Access Program [ENGAP] profile (Say Magazine)

Manitoba sees need for more First Nations engineers (Canadian Consulting Engineer)

 

 

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