Welcome to our first installment of CLEBC’s new “Meet Our Staff” series! We are delighted to introduce Allison Smith, CLEBC’s Online Course Material Coordinator.
If you are a CLEBC volunteer, you may recognize Allison’s name from her friendly email reminders about materials for courses you’ve presented at. If you’ve ever taken a CLEBC course, you may recognize her from our Event App correspondence which contains all the resources you need for a successful learning experience.
Allison, what is your background?
I did a degree in philosophy and then worked as a research assistant and a test administrator at a college. I wanted to work in education and was drawn to CLEBC because it’s an organization that focuses on continuing education. I was also interested in publishing, so that’s how I ended up here!
What does your role involve?
I liaise with volunteer contributors to receive course materials, format materials to make sure they work with our Event App, and send materials through the app to course attendees. My role involves frequent communication with volunteers (whose names I start to get very familiar with!) and internally with our CLEBC Programs team that delivers courses.
What do you enjoy most at CLEBC?
I like the group dynamic amongst my colleagues. We often work together to tackle problems. There are always projects happening that anyone can join and there’s a lot of room to grow. I also like how professional we are towards volunteers and customers. We really try to be customer-oriented and provide a good experience.
What do you like about working with our volunteer contributors?
I find a lot of the materials prepared by our volunteers to be really interesting. Although I don’t have a legal background, there are nonetheless many hot topic issues addressed in submissions that intrigue me. I also like seeing our volunteers’ different personalities and I think it’s interesting how some volunteers use materials as a creative opportunity to try new things and engage course attendees. It’s fun to be a part of that.
Our CEO Ron Friesen is dedicated to continuing education, not just for the legal profession, but also for CLEBC staff. What are your plans this year for your continuing education?
I’m planning to take some coding or web development classes. After our Programs Director Rob came back from a conference, I became involved in a project along with my colleagues Brian, Katrina, and Jessica to improve our existing basic HTML app for courses. Together, we designed the new Event App’s look, decided on features, and thought through what resources course attendees really need. We’re still in the testing phase, which is why I’m interested in learning new coding/web development skills, so we can explore what else we can do with it.
What’s a memorable class you’ve taken in the past?
My favourite class during my philosophy degree was a class on objectivity. In philosophy, the same topics tend to get discussed again and again, but this class introduced theories of science and sociology through a philosophy lens. For example, we studied aesthetics and discussed whether it’s possible to say if something is objectively beautiful.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to draw, read, or watch Netflix with my boyfriend. I also recently joined a basketball team! Even though we’ve lost every game, we try our hardest and it’s fun getting to know my teammates. We play against good teams, so we have a chance to improve each week.
Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Thank you to our customers for being willing to try new things (any stereotypes out there about lawyers not being tech-oriented are mistaken!) and for your great feedback on our paperless initiatives and Event App.