“Education is not about filling a pail, but about lighting a fire”
William Butler Yeats
For over 20 years, Sophie Ménard has dedicated herself to andragogy, a focus on adult learning and development that takes into accounts people’s wisdom and experiences to create the changes that they desire. In August 2013, she successfully defended her doctorate dissertation entitled Coaches’ Interventions That Are Most Susceptible To Foster the Emergence of Different Types of Insight in Executive Coaching. For Sophie Ménard, coaching presents an effective application of the principles of Andragogy.
Academic and Professional Achievements
In 1990, Sophie Ménard obtained her B.A. in Psychology from Concordia University. Upon graduation, she was working as the general manager of a community-based organization where she supervised a team of 17 employees. This experience encouraged her to pursue a Certificate in Human Resources Management, during which she discovered an interest for work relations and employee training and development. This happened at a time when several large organizations were undertaking the restructuration of their operations and went ahead with massive layoffs of their workforce. Ms. Ménard was interested by the psychological distress of the layoff survivors. She strongly believed that these individuals needed assistance to determine the meaning of their contribution in their workplace. She undertook a Master’s Degree in Andragogy, from 1995 to 1998, which allowed her to work in human resources development in the corporate sector. The various mandates that she was entrusted with from 1998 to 2001 allowed her to provide advice to her employers to help the survivors of massive layoffs and to offer leadership development training.
In 2001, Sophie Ménard accepted a full-time position to teach in the undergraduate program Group Facilitation at Saint-Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. The research work that she conducted to prepare her courses allowed her to deepen her knowledge and expertise in adult learning and development. She was entrusted with the design and implementation of a new program of study in Group Intervention and Leadership, which she realized in collaboration with the Faculty of Human Sciences, the Office of the Vice-Rector, Academic and Research of the University and several employers in the National Capital Region. She also had the privilege of recruiting a team of lecturers as passionate as she was with the field of leadership development and group work. It is also within this time frame that she began her doctoral studies in Education and was promoted assistant professor in 2013. During a one year mandate, 2013-2014, Sophie managed the Center for Organizational Development and Learning as part of Human Services at Ottawa University. She became director of Leadership Learning and Organizational Development sector in 2015 at the University of Ottawa where, with a team of passoniate employees, she supports the institution’s performance.