Sunday, April 21, 2024

Doing it his way

By Minal Abhange

Cluny Way credits his father with giving him a philosophy on life that carries over into his own experiences and teachings.

“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it – this philosophy reflects in everything I practice in my life and my classroom,” says the Architectural Engineering Technology instructor at Ridge Road campus in St. John’s.

 There’s no doubt that Cluny leaves a lasting impression on his students. His personal commitment towards student success, a passion for the field of Architectural Engineering Technology, and his vision for program excellence, is the reason he was recently recognized by the Association of Engineering Technicians and Technologists of Newfoundland and Labrador (AETTNL) with a Teacher Excellence Award.

The award description explains that the prize acknowledges exemplary teaching practices that combine excellence and innovation to maximize students’ assimilation of the subject matter, as well as the impact on students and the profession (i.e. student feedback which indicates teaching excellence and student satisfaction).

“I really love what I do, and strive to include innovative, current industry-relevant subject materials in my class, and encouraging students to be aware of real-world applications,” he says. “I am really humbled to receive an acknowledgment from AETTNL.”

A native of Newtown, a small town on the north end of the Bonavista Bay, Cluny has called St. John’s home since 1977.

From an early age, he was always keen on building things around his home, which fuelled the passion to pursue engineering as a career.

“I loved helping my father build small things around the house – the idea of deconstructing something just motivated my curiosity,” he explains. “It also moved me to further my education. Some amazing work opportunities also helped me reach goals.”

Full circle

Drawing from his experience as a student, alumni and teacher, he says life has come a full circle at CNA.

“I am a forerunner of the CNA’s Architectural Engineering Technology program at the Ridge Road campus. Today, reflecting back on everything, it feels like some things in life are just planned to work out. I graduated from the program in 1982, and after working away for a while, I decided to come back to CNA in 1988. I haven’t left ever since.”

Walking a similar path as his father, Cluny is very passionate and humble about his role as an educator. Over the past 29 years of teaching, he feels his proudest moment is watching students study, graduate and succeed.

“I kind of grew up with teaching in my blood, and knowing that my father was respected as an educator, further motivated me to take up teaching,” he says. “I always looked up to him and followed one simple advice from him that I live by – you are going to meet these young people a few years from now, and they are going to be professionals one day. Remember that you will likely meet many of these mature professionals on the street or at the mall years from now. You must be able to say hello – confident in, and proud of, what you did for them as their educator and mentor.”

On top of the many hours he devotes to his students, Cluny also engages in collaborative initiatives with industry experts, provincially and internationally with associations like AETTNL, to bring relevant modern-day experiences to his classroom.

“I am associated with AETTNL and a few other professional organizations, and we work together to bring innovative, modern-day experiences of technology used in the industry to the classroom. The primary focus of this is to engage students in hands-on training experiences, which give our students cutting edge over others.”

Looking towards the future, Cluny proudly reflects on what he call an “amazing career at CNA,” and now he is ready to explore the next phase of his life with retirement in the cards.

“As I transition into the next phase of my life, I am looking forward to retiring when the time comes and doing some travelling, relaxing and enjoying some time with my friends and family.”

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Glenda Tompkins
Glenda Tompkins
Glenda is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran currently specializing in photography/videography and social media management. She has garnered multiple awards for her innovative, strategic campaigns at CNA. Her experience includes writing, editing, graphic design, event planning, and more. When she’s not reviewing social media engagement analytics, she enjoys spending quality time with her young family.


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