Madeline Van Impe is the newly appointed Assistant Director, Planning and Administration, of Wilson College. Supported by a $50 million gift from former McMaster Chancellor L.R. “Red” Wilson, Wilson College is a unique teaching, learning and research environment focused on fostering strong, diverse and resilient civic leaders who are able to anticipate and address social, economic, political and environmental challenges, and work towards creating a more ethical, inclusive and sustainable civic culture.
We caught up with Madeline to talk about what led her to this role, what she’s excited about the most, and what she does outside of work.
What excites you most about Wilson College?
I am most excited by the impact that Wilson College will have, both within McMaster and in the wider community and society at large. The intention to cultivate a space for students and faculty who have a desire to lead and build a better Canada with a sustainable future is inspiring. As someone who works ‘behind the scenes’ in educational administration, the opportunity to contribute to the development of a new initiative from the start is pretty rare and exciting. The generosity of L.R. ‘Red’ Wilson will leave a lasting legacy, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I am fortunate that there has been significant groundwork laid by faculty and staff in Social Sciences and Humanities, especially Kathy Denney and Pat Fraser, and I hope to carry that momentum into 2024 and beyond. I look forward to working with Academic Director, Don Abelson, and colleagues across both faculties, to continue to develop and shape Wilson College. In particular, I am eager to begin the recruitment and welcoming of our inaugural undergraduate cohort for the Fall of 2025.
Tell us about your professional journey.
I always loved being a student and so it was no surprise that I chose a career in educational administration. I have worked in elementary and secondary schools but have always felt most inspired in higher education. While at McMaster, I have worked in the Arts & Science Program and the Faculty of Social Sciences, most recently as the Academic Department Manager in Sociology. I completed my Master of Education, Studies in Teaching and Learning, and have my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. I look forward to bringing this experience to Wilson College.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I am grateful to live in the beautiful town of Dundas with my husband and two daughters. If I’m not at the local rink watching my kids play hockey on the weekends, we are either hiking in the many Hamilton Conservation Areas or at our family cottage.