Words: Natasha Di Luorio & Carla Du Toit
Randal is the dad everyone wished they had. He is a motivator, and realist, and a pivotal member of the Centre for Arts & Technology. If you stepped into any of his Professional Development classes, you would see an entire room full of engaged students – students figuring out who they are, what stresses them out, and where they excel. You don’t take a PD class with Randal and not be professionally developed in some way.
So who exactly is Randal, and what makes him unique?
By title, Randal Typusiak is the Director of Student Success. He is the overseer of student services, dealing with industry relations, alumni placement, and student mental health referrals. Though this is a new title for Randal, he has been building up to this role his whole career.
While in university at SFU, Randal ran a youth program for street kids in North Van, worked a full-time job at a city farm for the district of Vancouver, all while newly married!
He didn’t know it then, but Randal was already qualified to teach our unique blend of art students.
After a few trips to the Okanagan on horseback, Randal and his pregnant wife decided to move to Merritt for work – wait no…they actually decided to move here while horseback riding, but that’s a story for another day… Fast forward 14 years of marital bliss, parenthood, and eventually finding his place here at the Centre for Arts & Technology.
Randal is real, and actually listens to you. “I talk to students like they are my kids. Sometimes I ask questions, and sometimes I challenge you. I often will cut right to the chase, like a dad would. But this comes out of a place of love. I really care about our students.”
Randal believes that what happens beyond the classroom is key to student success. Student success is about bringing each student to their next best. He is always searching for that ‘Aha! Moment’, that moment when what he is teaching clicks. This is what makes him happy – that, and naps.
Randal’s wish for students is that they focus on building soft skills while studying their programs’ technical skills. “If you are the best at what you do, but don’t have the people skills to back it up, you will be at a loss in the industry. Be authentic, bring kindness, and take responsibility of your actions – good or bad.”
Here are a few other things Randal had to say to our students:
1. Be gentle on yourself. There is a lineup of people you will run into who will try to knock you down…don’t be part of that lineup. Realize that humans make mistakes, and that once you accept this, you will be liberated.
2. You are weird. You are amazing. You are super talented and intelligent. You are wise. And some of you…well, you are dicks. Don’t be a dick.
3. Create relationships. Do it. Network and create connections with other students – your career has already started, so get out there!
4. Don’t stop learning. Education is never a waste of time. The value of an education is what you invest.
The door to student success is always open. You will often find Randal sitting at his desk, usually eating something delicious. You don’t need to be intimidated – stop by, or book an appointment to chat with him yourself. He’s worth it.