The University of Lethbridge’s AGILITY program is off and running and it now has a new champion with the appointment of Tyler Heaton (BFA ’15) as manager.
Heaton moves into the role after spending close to nine years in the University’s Teaching Centre, formerly the Curriculum Re-Development Centre. With a background that encompasses technology integration and instructional design, Heaton is enthused about taking his skills to the AGILITY platform and all the possibilities the new program provides.
“I’m really excited about the potential of this program,” says Heaton, who was raised in Magrath and completed his new media degree at the U of L while working in the Teaching Centre. “We have the opportunity here to inspire students to have new ideas and through our program, we give them the skills to follow those ideas through. I think that’s pretty powerful.”
AGILITY is a university-wide initiative designed to nurture and support innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. Building on the strong foundation of liberal education, the program provides students access to knowledge about innovation within key sectors of the Canadian economy, and supports them through talks and mentorship by faculty and industry leaders, course work, scholarships and fellowships, and access to the latest technological tools and physical innovation and collaboration spaces.
“Tyler Heaton is an absolutely great fit for this position,” says Dr. Lesley Brown, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Academic). “He was an advocate for the program through the early stages of our development and planning, and he brings a genuine enthusiasm, passion and understanding of liberal education, and about the U of L, that is exactly what we need to continue to build a program that resonates with who we are as an institution. I am incredibly pleased that he has joined the AGILITY team.”
Heaton says his priorities include raising the profile of the program both internally at the U of L and in the broader southern Alberta community; helping to develop programming, curriculum and bridging opportunities between courses; creating maker spaces and innovation zones within which students can work and collaborate ideas; and continuing to secure funding that will eventually make the program self-sustainable.
“This is an entrepreneurship and innovation program, and when we say entrepreneurship, we don’t just mean preparing students to run their own business or to commercialize an idea, we also mean that entrepreneurship is about opportunity,” he says. “You don’t have to have a business idea, you just need to have an imagination. We’ll help you work through your idea, and if it becomes a business, great, but if it doesn’t, that’s OK too because it’s the skills you learn along the way that are also important outcomes for the AGILITY program.”
Find out more about AGILITY at the program website.