Northern Lakes College gets its man

Sandy Vanderburgh

Joe McWilliams
For South Peace News

Meet Sandy Vanderburgh.
He’s the new man near the top of the Northern Lakes College. His title is vice president, academic, and he’s been on the job since May 2.
“Still wet behind the ears,” says Vanderburgh in a May 5 interview.
Wet behind the ears in NLC terms, but he’s no rookie when it comes to college deanery. Vanderburgh served in similar roles in post-secondary institutions, both in Alberta and British Columbia. This is just his latest posting, and he seems pleased to be here.
“I like the north,” he says. “I had met Glenn [Mitchell, his new boss]. That was the real attraction as well.”
Vanderburgh hasn’t been on the job long enough to say much about how it looks or how it’s going. He’s been meeting people, has visited the new High Prairie campus already and is getting an idea of the lay of the land. His role, he says, has to do with “the programming aspects, student success and learning services.”
Born and raised in Calgary, Vanderburgh earned his first two degrees from the University of Calgary. Then he went to Simon Fraser University for his PhD in Physical Geography.
“I’m a coastal geographer by discipline,” he says.
He worked in the field, in Oregon and Washington state, studying coastal erosion problems.
Vanderburgh has also spent time doing research up north, in the Slave, Athabasca and Mackenzie River deltas.
In 2008, he took a position at Lethbridge College as a dean. He’s also worked for Medicine Hat College and Kwantlen Polytech in Surrey, B.C.
For now, Vanderburgh’s wife is in Lethbridge, where their youngest child is about to graduate from high school. Their daughter is at the University of Calgary.
Outside of work, Vanderburgh says he likes mountain biking, and describes himself as “a really bad guitar player.”
He looks forward to getting involved in the community in some fashion, once he gets settled.

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