Frank Gallo named Dean of Skilled Trades and Applied Technology
Originally posted: September 02, 2022
Long-serving MITT employee – and alumnus – reflects on his career
As the 2021-22 academic year gave way to summer, MITT began preparing for the Fall 2022 intake. One of the first changes implemented was promoting long-standing employee Frank Gallo to the new role of dean of skilled trades and applied technology.
“Frank brings a wealth of experience to his new position and will be a great asset to the academic team as we continue to build upon our previous successes here at MITT,” says Neil Cooke, vice-president, academic. “With his experience as an instructor, academic coordinator, and program manager, Frank has a deep understanding of the academic needs of our students, faculty, and administration.”
As Neil describes, this promotion is the latest in a long line of career advancements for Frank during his time at MITT; but Frank’s history with the college stretches back even further.
During his high school years, Frank was a student at MITT’s predecessor Winnipeg Technical College (WTC). He first enrolled in the Technical Drafting program before moving to the Electrical program. After completing his studies, Frank found employment at Nor-Tec, the same company where he completed an apprenticeship.
He was at Nor-Tec for 15 years, first as a registered apprentice and later as a project manager/site supervisor, before fate brought him back to MITT.
“At Nor-Tec, I reconnected with one of my previous instructors. I asked him about teaching at WTC, and he said, ‘it’s great. It’s such an awesome place,’” Frank recalls. “He told me they would be looking for an instructor, and I should think about teaching since I was mentoring our apprentices.”
Though initially apprehensive, Frank figured there was no harm in submitting an application. He received an interview, which would include a 10-minute lesson.
To prepare, Frank spoke with his wife, herself an educator, and discovered a love of teaching. “She helped me out with creating a lesson,” he recalls, “and while we were building the plan, I thought to myself ‘this (planning) is really cool.’”
A few weeks after the interview, Frank got the call that the job was his. Coming from Nor-Tec, Frank admits that teaching was an adjustment; but with his years of experience in the electrical industry, he knew he had the expertise to share with his students.
“Prepping and planning for a classroom is night and day different from working in the trade, but I enjoyed it. I didn't feel like I was climbing a hill or pushing a boulder up that hill,” he says.
Frank was an instructor for five years before an advancement opportunity opened and he moved into an Academic coordinator role for seven years. From there, Frank again saw an evolution in his work at MITT as he became a program manager. This was a passion area for Frank.
“You're still working with programs and coordinators in managing, supporting, and leading capacity, but there was just another level of development and opportunities that you can implement,” he says.
Frank served as a program manager which provided him greater insight into an academic leadership role. This served him well as he moved into the acting, then permanent role of Dean.
Looking back on this incredible journey Frank admits he misses teaching, but still finds time for those connections with students, enriching their experience and providing inspiration for them to find a similar path as he did, while at the same time finding motivation in their energy to drive his work forward.
“My title and job description have changed over the years, but my ultimate goal remains the same – to provide students with the encouragement and support they need to reach their goals and show them the limitless potential they have in their professional and personal lives,” Frank says. “I am fortunate to work with instructors and staff who share the passion for nurturing growth while keeping an open mind to the concepts our students bring forward. There are so many days that I go home and think of how lucky I am to not only be educating, but to be continually learning.”