Getting to know Vice-Dean Trish Reay

As the school's vice dean, Trish Reay is committed to putting people first and supporting the school's cutting-edge teaching and learning, industry-leading research and community outreach.

As the school's newly appointed vice dean, Trish Reay is committed to putting people first and supporting the school's cutting-edge teaching and learning, industry-leading research and community outreach. A long-time faculty member with the Alberta School of Business, (for over 20 years!), Reay is a professor in the school's department of strategy, entrepreneurship and management, and most recently served as the associate dean, PhD and research.

Read on to get to know more about your new vice-dean!

You're now the vice dean of the Alberta School of Business. What excites you about your new role?

Taking on the vice-dean role at the Alberta School of Business is a real opportunity for me to be part of the process in moving forward. We are building on already developed strengths at the school to advance research and teaching even further. We're a highly rated, research-focused business school, and we are poised to continue advancing our level of excellence. With increasing enrollments in both our undergraduate and master's levels, we're bringing in more faculty and staff, making this an exciting time to be part of the leadership team.

We're also building on strong connections with the local business community to further engage students and faculty in the Edmonton environment. These developments are embedded within our already strong international reputation in research and teaching. All in all, it's going to be an exciting and energizing time ahead as I work with Dean Vikas Mehrotra and the team to continue advancing the Alberta School of Business!

Tell me about your research. What are you most passionate about? What draws you to your area(s) of interest?

trish-reay_5x4-resize.jpgMy research focus is on the dynamics of change in organizations and institutions. Some of my research projects have been focused on understanding how professions and professionals themselves have changed over time, sometimes in response to organizational change initiatives, or government policy changes, and sometimes in response to societal transitions. I'm particularly interested in how people working at the frontline of organizations can make a difference in larger processes of change.

You used to be a nurse. What inspired the shift from healthcare to academics?

I've worked in a few different occupations over time. I previously worked as a research policy analyst at the Alberta Legislature, and before that, I worked as a registered nurse at different hospitals. Both these positions helped me develop important perspectives about how people work in organizations, and how different systems of organizing play out within society. All of these experiences are foundational to my research and teaching interests. Overall, I think that having knowledge about the world outside of academia is really helpful in being an academic.

As the former associate dean, PhD and research, you're well versed in leadership roles. How does your research background in organizational and institutional change equip you for your current role?

Every role at the Alberta School of Business allows different avenues of sight into how the faculty and the university meet the goals of research, teaching and service. As associate dean for research and the PhD program, I learned a great deal about the interfaces between the school, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the broader university.

There are amazing people everywhere on campus who are all engaged in advancing learning and research opportunities. I've learned a lot about how to reach out for help, and how to (try to) be helpful.

The key point, and this is well-established in research about organizations and organizational change, is that people matter. We have a truly great group of people in the business school, and I see my role as working with them to move forward in accomplishing our next advancements.

What do you enjoy most about living in Edmonton?

Edmonton is a great place to live! There are friendly communities and truly excellent public schools. My favourite activity is walking in the river valley, usually with our dog.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Whenever we can find time, I really like to go hiking in the Rocky Mountains. We've been on almost every day hike in Jasper and Banff National Parks and have hiked some of our favourite trails several times. Always fantastic!

Can you tell me something people may not know about you?

I like baseball. My husband and I have been to quite a number of the Major League Ballparks in Canada and the US. They all have their own culture, making the experience just a little different in each location. Who's my favourite team? Blue Jays, of course!

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