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Laurel-Lee Kidd with her son and her quote

Laurel-Lee Kidd as she appeared in the virtual convocation procession

Prepare for your future with Extended Education

Keep learning online from anywhere in Canada with us

November 16, 2020 — 

As the pandemic persists and we all continue to face disruption to our lives, one thing is certain. Extended Education at the University of Manitoba is here for you, to help you prepare to move forward in your life and career. This winter, study online, part-time with us, from the safety and comfort of your own home.

You’ll be in good company. Many people keep learning with us. In fact, in October, Extended Education celebrated its virtual (online) fall convocation, recognizing 305 graduates from 19 different programs including part-time programs like Management and Administration, Human Resource Management, and Municipal Administration.

For example, the Municipal Administration program is one of our partnership programs that connect us with our community. It is offered in long-time partnership with the Manitoba Municipal Administrators’ Association. Executive director, Adrienne Bestland, says, “The program arms our members with the ability to do a very difficult task, being Chief Administrative Officers of municipalities. It’s a specific skill set that isn’t necessarily acquired in any other program.”

Three grads share how they are now facing the pandemic, with the power of their new UM Certificate in Manitoba Municipal Administration (CMMA). As David Mandzuk, Acting Dean, Extended Education told his fall graduates, “Although there is much uncertainty that lies ahead, we have faith that all of you will be able to navigate any turbulence that lies ahead thanks to what you have learned in Extended Education.”

Jodi Thorkelsson

Jodi Thorkelsson, Municipal Administration Grad

Jodi Thorkelsson, West Interlake
Municipal Administration graduate, Jodi Thorkelsson is the administrative assistant for the Rural Municipality of West Interlake. She was born and raised in Ashern, Manitoba.

“The biggest challenge we’ve had is the constant release of updated health care recommendations, how we’ll be moving forward doing municipal operations. Now we have a lot more procedures and guidelines to make sure everyone is safe,” says Thorkelsson.

A friend originally suggested Thorkelsson apply for the job in the municipality. She’s been there for a few years now and really enjoys it. “The program helps me be a better administrator.”

More specifically, she built on her knowledge of municipal administration, governance, and budgeting. Having to prepare a budget was new to her, and she says she felt very prepared having taken the Municipal Finance course.

“In municipal government, we’re pretty quick to adapt. So I feel like COVID was just another one of those things that just pop up and you know, you just take the information you have and go from there.”

Laurel-Lee Kidd

Laurel-Lee Kidd, Municipal Administration Grad

Laurel-Lee Kidd, Selkirk
Municipal Administration graduate, Laurel-Lee Kidd is an accounting clerk for the City of Selkirk. She lives in Selkirk, Manitoba.

“For me, I think, for the biggest challenge for municipalities on COVID is making sure that they are keeping their citizens safe and their municipality boundaries safe and making sure they’re adjusting their budget accordingly for any losses that may be happening because of the COVID,” says Kidd.

With the program, she increased her knowledge of the various acts that govern how a municipality operates including The Municipal Act. She adds her UM certificate to her resume, eagerly using her new knowledge in her work.

Kidd shared her graduation with her two young sons, eager to let them know that yes, you can continue your education and graduate from a program later in life. She also inspired her husband to consider continuing his education and moving into a new career, encouraging him to start looking at Extended Education.

“What I see are the numbers of what COVID is actually costing the city. So we’ve actually been lucky enough that we are almost pretty on par of not losing money because of COVID for some of our programming where as there are other municipalities by us that we are seeing are having really negative effects because of COVID.”

Paul Boily

Paul Boily, Municipal Administration Grad

Paul Boily, La Broquerie
Municipal Administration graduate, Paul Boily is administration and finance clerk for the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie. He was born, raised, and continues to live in La Broquerie, Manitoba.

“Every part of how we operate has had to adapt to this and it’s been a challenge. Until now the public could easily come in and voice their concerns in-person and so on, and those are the things we need to make sure don’t get lost here. We still want the public engaged with their municipality and having their concerns heard,” says Boily.

Boily considers his municipality like one big family and enjoys his work, doing something to help his community. His Chief Administration Officer encouraged him to take the program and he was glad he did.

“Graduating was very enriching and it is something I will cherish for a long time. I grew as a person in the municipal world both personally and professionally.”

These grads have done it. You can too. May their success inspire you to learn more about our online, part-time programs today.

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As published in the Winnipeg Free Press


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