Students from the TWU Master of Leadership program (MAL) recently had the opportunity to hear from one of British Columbia’s greatest leaders. Rick Hansen, who set out on his “Man In Motion Tour” almost 25 years ago, was a guest lecturer last week at the Langley based University.
Hansen is best known as the CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, a charitable organization that works to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. . But Hansen is also heavily involved in ecosystem conservation efforts especially focused on the Fraser River. He is the Chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society and the founding Chair of the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund Society. Here he uses his leadership skills and life experience to help protect sturgeon and salmon, ultimately hoping to see them restored to a healthy status.
During the hour-long discussion Hansen shared many experiences and examples of where strategic leadership has played a vital role in his career and his businesses decisions. He spoke about the importance of leaders having a solid focus with clear objectives that will keep organizations and principals on track during difficult times. After his presentation Hansen took questions from the group.
TWU professor Dr. Paul Kariya, who coordinates the MAL Non-Profit Leadership Stream says, “There are few speakers as compelling as Rick Hansen.Whether he is talking about spinal cord research, saving salmon and sturgeon in the Fraser River or supporting Aboriginal youth issues, all causes he works and lives to support, you know he is passionate, totally committed and absolutely strategic in response.”
First year MAL student and London Ontario resident, Chris Moss, was keen on hearing Hansen’s presentation.In anticipation of his visit Moss said, “It’s going to be exciting for me to hear from him because I have worked with adults with disabilities for 14 years, so I work with a lot of people with spinal cord injuries. It’s so neat to see someone who is really driven with a vision of creating something and having a goal and doing so much good. It’s inspiring.”
Trinity Western University has been offering the Master of Leadership program since 1999.
The 25-month course – taken mostly by correspondence – is designed for individuals who have previously completed an undergraduate degree and have three years of related experience. Students must be leaders or emerging leaders in one of five employment sectors: health, non-profit, business, education, and Christian organizations.
Kariya says, “TWU is at the cutting edge in terms of the latest developments in leadership education, which seems to be happening around the area of transformational servant leadership.In a nut shell, TWU offers a values-based approach that teaches that leadership needs to come from throughout an organization for it to successfully deliver on its mission and vision; our character model is Jesus Christ.”
He continues, “The program we have takes the best we can glean from the literature and theory and ensures our students can apply it practically in the real world. Visits like this help studentsapply the theory they’re learning, because they can see that others, like Rick Hansen in his foundation, are doing it too. In terms of the class on strategic leadership, I could think of no better guest than Rick to address this subject.”
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2009-07-03