Grenada project helps W Booth School build an international reputation – Faculty of Engineering

Grenada project helps W Booth School build an international reputation

Earlier this year Allan MacKenzie participated in a faculty mobility initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada to help strengthen collaboration between Canadian and foreign institutions.

White spring flowers bloom on a tree, a blurry Engineering Technology Building is in the background

The W Booth School thrives in a dynamic global environment that provides growth opportunities for students and faculty alike.

This broad context supports the school’s ongoing work to build an international reputation for excellence in engineering education. A recent outreach experience by faculty member Allan MacKenzie is one example.

Allan is Assistant Professor, Leadership and Management in the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University. He joined the school in 2012 and offers expertise ranging from strategy development to entrepreneurship and innovation. Drawing on more than 25 years of practice-based engagements in the private, public and not for profit sectors, Allan presents students and colleagues with real-world insights on organizational success. He is known for his right-brain thinking combined with a pragmatism that has guided organizations in articulating and implementing strategies to achieve results. His specialization is “organizational ecology” — applying restorative design science to help create workplaces that are healthier and more productive.

Earlier this year Allan participated in a faculty mobility initiative through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), funded by Global Affairs Canada to help strengthen collaboration between Canadian and foreign institutions. His project paired the W Booth School with St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies.

Allan MacKenzie poses in front of a brick wall.

Allan spent three weeks in Grenada on an assignment to share pedagogical best practices, lecture on a variety of business and leadership topics, and interact with members of the local business community. All this to spark collaborative opportunities that over time may benefit McMaster University in general and the W Booth School in particular.

At St. George’s University ― a private international university founded in 1976 and today best known for its School of Medicine ― Allan delivered a set of five faculty development workshops, facilitated an online lecture for International MBA students, and participated in a dozen meetings focused on innovations in teaching and learning. The overall objective was to share examples of practice-based education from the W Booth School “playbook” and gather ideas from St. George’s University on topics such as curriculum design, assessment methods, and global educational programming.

Within Grenada’s broader business community, Allan interacted with two leading organizations: The Grenada Investment Development Corporation and the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He delivered a workshop titled “Essential Productivity Hacks for Business Success” to an audience of local small business owners and operators. On separate occasions with two groups of industry leaders he spoke on talent acquisition best practices and organizational ecology principles to support employee wellness management.

Allan believes that helping Grenadian businesses tackle practical issues resembles the community development work carried out in the Hamilton area by the W Booth School. “It’s something we do very well,” said Allan, noting his intent to explore collaborative projects with members of the Grenadian business community. This includes the possibility of helping the largest Grenadian credit union introduce employee wellness opportunities based on biophilic design principles at its new headquarters.

Allan is also investigating the possibility of a collaborative project with St. George’s University that would integrate biophilic design elements to enhance the campus learning environment.

Global relationships — including bonds with leading academic, business, and community partners — are a vital component of the W Booth School’s long-term development plans. To a large extent, success will continue to come from mobilizing the talents of Allan MacKenzie and other faculty members who are keen to collaborate across international borders.

A special word of appreciation to the Government of Canada, St. George’s University and McMaster University for providing essential support to make this project possible.