College hires program graduate as Journalism instructor
Dorrell-taught Roger LeBlanc confirmed as short-term assistant learning manager
By Sara MacLeod
Roger LeBlanc, a journalist with the The Express in St. John's, Nfld., has been selected as a temporary replacement in the Journalism program at Holland College, about one month after the tragic death of learning manager, Martin Dorrell.
The program has proceeded to run with only one learning manager, Wayne Young, for the past month. While Young took care of different aspects of the course than Dorrell, it made for a tight work schedule on Young's part.
"It's been extremely busy," Young admitted. "I'm really looking forward to Roger arriving. I'm certainly going to put him right to work."
Brian McMillan, executive director of program operations, said LeBlanc was highly recommended by people within the field of journalism.
"Fortunately, a number of people came to me to recommend someone they thought would make a contribution to the college," McMillan said. "Roger was one of those."
He added that since LeBlanc is a former graduate of the college's program, it would be in everyone's best interest that he be chosen.
"It really gives us confidence for someone to come in and know the program well," McMillan said. "He'll know his way around the program and he'll be able to help the students with how they might be feeling, what their frustrations are and what they'll need to help them grow."
"It's great to have that second person there," he said. "If you're having personal or school problems or you just need someone to talk to, the time is there."
"Wayne may be in ratings all day long and it's like ŒGet in line'. Now I can relieve some of that pressure, and freeing up Wayne to do what he's there for," he said, adding that the fact the course had two instructors was among the deciding factors of his attending Holland College.
Along with a strong journalism background, LeBlanc has won writing awards, worked as a freelancer for various papers, served as a provincial affairs columnist, and worked as an assistant editor, a role in which he was thought of very highly, according to McMillan.
LeBlanc's position as assistant learning manager is short-term. McMillan said since the position had to be filled quickly, a more extensive, investigative search was out of the question.
"In our experience, you just can't do this in two or three weeks," McMillan said.
However, in the spring of 2000, a type of competition will be in place for the position of a full-time learning manager. Advertisements for the position will be in place followed by gathering resumés and conducting interviews. It will be more detailed than the five-month, short-term contract of LeBlanc's, which has the potential of exceeding the stated duration.
"This is a time-consuming process and we want to have time to do a thorough search," McMillan said.
For LeBlanc, the emotion behind this opportunity is still there, after losing someone who he said to have considered to be more than an instructor, but a friend.
"To go back in those circumstances . . . it's tough," he said. "But at the same time, I tell myself, ŒI'm not going to replace Martin in any way, I'm going to help Wayne.'"
LeBlanc's duties will officially commence Nov. 15.