SHIFTer of the Month
Here is our March Shifter of the Month, Ellen Mackay, a passionate and hardworking individual. Ellen grew up in Wheatley (pop. 1600), about an hour south of Windsor, and attended the University of Windsor for her Undergraduate degree. She moved to Thunder Bay to complete her Bachelor of Education at Lakehead, and then fell in love with the city. Her decision to move back home made her miss Thunder Bay, too much. She immediately changed her mind and moved back to Thunder Bay to pursue and complete her Masters of Education degree. Just before Ellen’s graduation, she was hired at Lakehead University, and knew that she would make Thunder Bay her permanent home.
Originally, she chose to move back because of what the city has to offer (the nature, the food, the community, the school), as well as being accepted into the Masters program, but within a few months, she fell in love with a born-and-raised Thunder Bay-ite, and six years later, they got married in the city they both love so much.
After completing her Masters, she accepted an Assistant position in the Economic Development and Innovation office. Soon enough her hard work was recognized, she moved from Assistant, to Technology Transfer Officer, to Acting Manager, to Manager of Innovation Development. Ellen also managed the Office of the President as the Executive Assistant to the President for 8 months, for a maternity leave. She also mentioned that she had some amazing mentors and she is so grateful for the work, the colleagues and the life that Lakehead has provided her.
Ellen elaborated about LU, and said, “Teaching over 8000 students, and employing over 300 faculty, and 1800 staff members, Lakehead greatly contributes to the economic growth and success of Thunder Bay. Lakehead's economic impact on the City of Thunder Bay in fiscal 2016/17 was $1.3 billion dollars.” She also mentioned that for the third consecutive year, Research Info-Source has named Lakehead Canada’s Research University of the Year in the Undergraduate University category. Ellen believes Lakehead University makes it easy for its staff and students to feel proud to be a part of such an exceptional and unconventional institution.
When asked “why SHIFT?” she said “I am part of SHIFT because I think it is important for young professionals to support one another and work together to make positive impacts in their community. I'd really like to stress that the Research Staff, the Faculty and the Researchers at Lakehead are all incredibly phenomenal, both personally, and professionally. Lakehead's Researchers are greatly contributing to our society, to our community and to our world”. Ellen also highlighted Ingenuity, their new student business incubator, which will be launching this fall. This will help support student entrepreneurs interested in starting their own businesses and forging new pathways. Ellen’s closing statement with us was “I love Thunder Bay, I love SHIFT and I love Lakehead University!”.