President’s Year End Update and Farewell
After a busy, exciting, and rewarding year, the members of the 2018–2019 ESSCO team have officially wrapped up their term. It’s now time for the incoming 2019–2020 team to take over and execute on ESSCO’s mission and vision. But before we move the spotlight to the new team, I want to take the time to reflect on some of the great work done by our team over the past year.
Our team, along with the ESSCO council, put in a tremendous amount of work in formalizing ESSCO’s advocacy initiatives. We worked closely with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) to release a joint advocacy report on engineering tuition, coop, and job prospects. The report was adopted by the ESSCO council earlier this spring (for ESSCO this is the first such report of its kind). Since then, the recommendations to government and universities found in the report, have been communicated to students, MPPs, and the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineerings (CODE) with great success. The report can be found on our website: http://www.essco.ca/advocacy.html.
In addition to releasing a public advocacy report, ESSCO continued to grow its in-house research through Working Groups. The Mental Health Working Group collected best practices from universities and Engineering Societies relating to Mental Health. The data was then compiled into a presentation for Engineering Deans and Engineering Societies. The Sustainability Working Group collected information on sustainability initiatives from across Ontario and released recommendations for ESSCO as a whole and for individual Engineering Societies. Lastly, the Academic Working Group took the first steps in developing a province wide survey on instruction quality, to be released in the fall of this year.
This year our team also worked on ensuring ESSCO keeps delivering more value to students in the long term by putting forth the initial investment for the ESSCO Fund and rolling out governing documents for the Fund and the Fund Foundation. The objective of the ESSCO Fund will be to advance engineering education by empowering and financing student projects and activities within the province of Ontario through the equitable distribution of the endowment fund’s capital. We look forward to this fund making a lasting impact on engineering students in the years to come.
One of ESSCO’s major value propositions to member schools has long been providing a medium for the exchange of best practices. Traditionally, this medium has been the ESSCO Conferences. Conferences allow student leaders from all over Ontario to network and share valuable ideas and initiatives. However, conferences are naturally limiting as they require students to be in the same place at the same time and each member school can only send so many delegates. This is why this year our team introduced ESSCO Webinars. Webinars serve as an alternative medium to sharing best practices without the need for students to be in the same physical location. We ran two successful webinars at the tail end of the year and have developed an extensive report to ensure their success in the coming year.
The last initiative that I want to bring up is our ESSCO In the Loop Newsletter. Since the beginning of the term the ESSCO team has published the first two editions of ESSCO In the Loop (available on our website: http://www.essco.ca/newsletters.html). The newsletter is a way of communicating our latest updates with the stakeholders relating to engineering education and it is put together really nicely!
I could write extensively on the various other successes achieved by our team whether it be the Provincial Hockey Tournament, the new Food Drive, or the consistent improvement of conference quality, however in the interest of keeping this blog concise I’ll carry on.
Over this past year I have been very fortunate to work with a wonderful group of individuals known as the ESSCO team. I am extremely proud of the work we have done in advocating for engineering students and providing value to engineering students through our different services. I wish all the best to every single member of the team and look forward to what you will accomplish in your future.
To the new team, the road ahead is not easy, but no road that is easy is gratifying. I believe you’ll find the journey to be very rewarding as long as you hold the interest of the engineering students at heart. Best of luck!
It has been an honour to serve as the ESSCO President this year. To lead an organization filled with passionate students seeking to better not just their personal engineering experience, but the engineering experience of all students in this province is truly inspiring. I extend a big thank you to everyone who has helped ESSCO along the way. The student leaders from each school, our many partners, and stakeholders, all play a critical part in ensuring ESSCO is successful in promoting unity, continuity and visibility among Ontario engineering students.