Annette Bergeron, General Manager, Alma Mater Society
One thing is consistent in each of Annette Bergeron’s campus offices, although she’s worked in a number of different capacities at Queen’s: the leather engineering jacket hanging casually over a chair in a corner. She calls it her museum piece.
The jacket hangs in her office in the lower level of the John Deutsch University Centre these days, where Ms Bergeron has worked as the General Manager of the Alma Mater Society Inc. (AMS) for the last three years. But when she was wearing it as an undergraduate in the late 1980s, she couldn’t have imagined she would ever hold her latest title: President-elect of Professional Engineers Ontario, the province’s regulatory body for engineers.
While Ms Bergeron admits that the new position will be akin to having a second job when she gets home from work in the evening, she’s not complaining.
“It’s a compliment when people elect you and think you’ll be good at it,” she says.
It’s another way she gives back to her community, like with her position on the Board of Directors at the Kingston General Hospital.
Ms Bergeron earned a degree in metallurgical engineering at Queen’s in 1987 and then moved into a career in the steel-making industry in Hamilton. After earning an MBA, however, she decided to return to Queen’s to try her hand at teaching in 2000. She started with a course in entrepreneurship within chemical engineering, later becoming the Director of the first year engineering program. She then taught in the Commerce Department before moving into her current role with the AMS, Queen’s undergraduate student government.
The $15 million corporation is akin to running a medium sized business, except that her position also requires her to work closely with students as a mentor and advisor. That’s one of the best parts of the job for Ms Bergeron, who always maintains an open door policy at work – her engineering jacket clearly visible to anyone wandering past.