Stephen Patterson named new dean, Faculty of Arts, Media and Design

Stephen Patterson says he's prepared to make big changes as Fanshawe's new dean of Faculty of Arts, Media and Design.

Fanshawe's Faculty of Arts, Media and Design (FAMD) gained a new dean on April 2, with the appointment of Stephen Patterson.

According to a March 28 Fanshawe Corporate Communications press release, Gary Lima, the College's senior vice president [of] academic services had positive notes to share about Patterson's appointment.

“Mr. Patterson is an exceptional choice to lead the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design into the future. During his time as acting dean of FAMD, Mr. Patterson has enhanced his already strong relationships with members of the College's senior leadership and most importantly, he commands tremendous respect from faculty—a group he has always supported and championed,” Lima said.

Patterson spoke with the Interrobang and explained that he started university as a mature student at the age of 26 and didn't finish until his early thirties. Patterson said it was tough to be attending school out of sequence, however, he now holds both an honours bachelor degree in English literature and a master of education, from Western University.

Patterson has always been passionate about teaching and learning, hence why he pursued a lifelong career dedicated to Fanshawe College and multiple programs offered within the school.

“I loved being at university, I loved the educational environment. To me teaching was like the single best job in the world; it still is. I actually loved the students and working with them,” Patterson said.

According to the press release, Patterson is also involved in many industry associations including Heads of Media and Design Ontario (HOMAD), Heads of Interdisciplinary Studies Ontario (HOIS), Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), National Training Association of Canada (NTA), the Canadian Council of Aviation and Aerospace (CCAA) and Women in Aerospace (WIA).

Patterson has been at the College since 2003 and previous to his new role as dean, he's held many positions including as a teacher in the School of Language and Liberal Studies, an Ontario Learn co-ordinator, Distant Studies Program consultant, program manager in the School of Language Liberal Studies, chair in the School of Language and Liberal Studies, chair of the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology and acting dean of FAMD since 2017.

“I'm excited to be here, it's exciting. It's a whole portfolio mix. There's the School Of Language and Liberal studies, which is my home. I came from there years and years ago. There's the School of Design, Contemporary and Media, English Language Institute and we have the Centre for Digital and Performing Arts (CDPA) downtown. So I'm really pumped because there's honestly just so much to do. This is the Faculty of Arts Media and Design, like a microcosmos of the world. There's all these different aspects to it. I'm honored to be here, excited,” Patterson said.

As dean of FAMD, Patterson says he's always planning on making big changes. In the next year or so Patterson is hoping to have strategic and tactical plans honour what everyone is doing in this department. Patterson noted that this is a brand new time, not just for education, but for the world as well, with a shift in innovation, opportunity and entrepreneurship, [which is] making people nervous.

“I feel for your generation, it was a lot simpler than mine. We all understood the workforce we were entering and today the workforce is so very different than it was ten years ago,” Patterson said. “I can imagine the kind of anxiety it produces for people to see all these options and opportunities, you become your own brand.”

For student currently attending Fanshawe and students in general, Patterson wants them to remember that the world is changing, very rapidly and the future is currently in your hands. Patterson suggests to know your value and power and to take on the world.

“It's an exciting time for education, it's a super exciting time to be in the world. It's a scary time too, but that's what the education's here to do [it] is [here to] prepare people for that. I'm excited to be here. It's an exciting time,” Patterson said.