Dean of Academics in BC Spreads Her Vision for Lifelong Learning In Vancouver

Student Stories

February 23, 2017

Written by Moe Kamal

Yorkville University, Vancouver Campus, Deirdre Pickerell

Among our many stellar faculty at Yorkville University, one in particular, is proving to be an inspired thought-leader in the area of lifelong learning.

Dr. Deirdre Pickerell, who began working with Yorkville University in 2013 right after earning her PhD., is a passionate expert in the ongoing, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge.  Initially, she taught in Yorkville’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and was instrumental in the development of the Yorkville University Writing Lab, which now serves the entire Yorkville student body.

But the benefit of Dr. Pickerell’s expertise in lifelong learning extends well beyond Yorkville students and staff. Recently, Dr. Pickerell was the subject of a radio interview and she also penned a thoughtful newspaper column on the subject.

In an interview with Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver, Dr. Pickerell shared her views on the importance of an ongoing search for knowledge and skill development, which she sees as beneficial on several levels, but also necessary. You can listen to the interview here.

“My specialty is career and workforce development, and we’ve been talking about the importance of lifelong learning for twenty-five years, so it hasn’t gone away, this notion of continuing to learn.  It’s also becoming harder to avoid,” she said. “There are immense personal benefits to continuing to learn, including direct correlations between keeping your brain engaged and your health.”

Dr. Pickerell expanded on this idea in a recent op-ed piece published in the Vancouver Sun, and gave several tips on how to access resources and support as an adult learner.  For everyone, ongoing skill and knowledge acquisition is a vital part of remaining relevant in today’s increasingly technology-based society. You can read Dr. Pickerell’s column here. 

“It’s fascinating that robots are now taking over some jobs, but jobs are also evolving.  You have to learn technology, and if you’re not prepared to learn technology, you have to learn something else.  Jobs are changing and new jobs are entering the market.  You need to continue to learn and to develop your skills over your lifespan,” said Dr. Pickerell. “I’m an educator and also a learner at heart.  I can’t imagine not learning every day.”

Yorkville’s Vancouver campus officially opens its doors with a celebration on March 10, 2017. Unique to this campus, 1090 West Georgia Street, is this flexible delivery model, which allows students to combine both online and in-class learning specific to their needs. It uniquely blends the flexibility and accessibility of online learning with the benefits of real face-to-face interaction. This hybrid model of learning is particularly beneficial for working people, aiming to advance their career. Each of the four specializations have a fully functioning Advisory Panel composed of B.C. industry experts. The members of the Advisory Panels are key assets in Yorkville’s mission to equip students with the skills required to excel in the B.C. economy.

Dr.  Pickerell’s vision for Yorkville’s new west-coast location is as a centre for growth and learning in downtown Vancouver.

“I see the new campus as a thriving learning community where students can connect with each other and connect with faculty.  I really hope that it becomes a flourishing campus,” she said.

If you are interested in finding out more about Yorkville’s campus in BC click here.