Thank you, Jenn McRae: our Manager of Edu Initiatives is moving on to her next challenge

IMG_3163It’s a bittersweet day in building any organization when a key team member finds an amazing opportunity to spread their wings and take on a new challenge. We’re sad to announce that Jennifer McRae is leaving her role as Manager of Edu Initiatives at RADIUS, but thrilled for her and the next steps in her career. She is taking on a wonderful project with our good friends at CityStudio Vancouver, where we will surely soon find new ways to collaborate in our shared vision for a better world.
No-one on a team like this is replaceable, each bringing a part of our fundamental DNA and a unique set of experiences, skills, knowledge, networks and perspectives. Jenn has been an integral part of our formative years. She leaves RADIUS a better organization, with a clearer vision for our work in accelerating Radical Doers, a deeper focus on the relationships and communities that underpin all we do, and a legacy of amazing projects, programs, and collaborations.
Just a few examples of ideas Jenn has brought into the world include:

  • SFU Change Lab, overcoming all odds to create a hugely innovative, cross-disciplinary undergraduate program with co-founder Deanna Rogers when they were just completing their own degrees. This video gives you an idea of the program, which has directly impacted 90 SFU students from all faculties over the last 5 years, and is now being replicated and entrenched as one of SFU’s most powerful student offerings.
  • The RADIUS Fellowship Program, fresh off a highly successful first year accelerating 20 of Vancouvers’ next gen social change leaders, and soon to recruit for Cohort 2.

You can add ReSchool, ConcAUCTION, the Young Innovators Crawl, SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund, and more, and you don’t have to take our word for it! Just a few of the notes shared by people she has worked with in the last two years:
Jenn is a refreshing cold drink on a hot day, the one that will know just when to make you laugh instead of fighting through, she has passion to inspire, she is the one who remembers little thoughtful details to make you feel special and she is a mastermind who can make it happen on the ground. She holds both sensitivity and strength with a delicate balance and still knows how to throw a party! The world would be a better place if there were more Jenn’s in the world.
– Deanna Rogers, co-founder of SFU Change Lab
Jenn is a vibrant, creative and inspiring leader who radiates emotional intelligence, vision and innovative thinking. I have always come away after working with her more hopeful and energized. I look forward to the next opportunity to collaborate with her.
– Candace Le Roy, Director of SFU Sustainability Office
We tend to classify crushes these days: there’s the straight-up crush, the man-crush, the friend-crush. I have a human-crush on Jenn. She’s the kind you want in your corner.
– Brielle Morgan, RADIUS Fellowship Program Alumna, 2015
It’s been amazing how much Jenn has contributed to SFU and our community over the years.  She studied here and she saw the gaps and opportunities to bring new ways of thinking about how we educate and how we engage our students, faculty and community.  She is one of those people who quietly but diligently has been pushing the boundaries and represents the best of SFU’s DNA of being radical.  I really look forward to seeing what’s next!
– Kirk Hill, Assistant Dean, External Relations, Beedie School of Business
Thanks to Jenn for her ready smile, her hard work and creativity; they were much appreciated.
– Blaize Reich, Dean, Beedie School of Business
I’ve never seen anyone handle conflict, discord, and the yucky stuff like Jenn does. She has a magical touch, a way of looking at things and talking to people and diffusing these moments in a way that is uniquely Jenn McRae. When I find myself in a sticky situation, when I am faced with disputing colleagues or disagreeable bureaucrats, or horribly insensitive aunts, I often think to myself, WWJD: What would Jenn do? Because I know if there is anyone who can take a rotten moment and find something positive about it and somehow arrange it so that everyone walks away happier and more whole than before…it is Jenn. What I wouldn’t give to have her set of magical powers! The world needs more people like Jenn. 
– Elaine Su, RADIUS Fellowship Program Alumna, 2015
1B8A1473Change Lab changed my life – I’d never felt part of a community like I did in this program, and I wouldn’t be where I am without it.
– Jessica Beketa, Change Lab 2013 alumna
She always gave us that extra push of encouragement and believed whole heartedly in what my team and I wanted to accomplish. Whenever I was around her, I immediately felt a positive and warm feeling that was unique and special and only came from Jenn.
– Negar Naghshinehpour, Change Lab 2013 alumna and Student Social Innovation Seed Fund Committee member
So, while we won’t say goodbye as she’ll be just across town and always a part of the family, we will say thank you, and we will miss you. Your imprint on our work will last, and your imprint on the world is just beginning. We can’t wait to see what comes next!
On behalf of the entire RADIUS family,
Shawn Smith
Director, RADIUS SFU