Forsyth is currently the President of Northwest Community College (NWCC), based in Terrace, British Columbia, serving 10 communities in northern BC. She has held this position for the past ten years.
"Red River College is a dynamic and innovative institution that makes a significant contribution to the social and economic development of Manitoba," said Forsyth. "It is a good fit with my values and leadership style and a terrific opportunity."
Forsyth cited RRC’s national reputation, growing applied research program in sustainable technology, capital expansion plan and focus on aboriginal education as factors that drew her to the position.
"Stephanie’s positive and supportive leadership style will nurture the people-centered culture we’re creating at Red River College," said Sheryl Feller, Chair of RRC’s Board of Governors. "The Board is particularly impressed with her commitment to enhancing post-secondary education for aboriginal students, which is a strategic priority for the College and the Province."
At NWCC, Forsyth has woven indigenous knowledge and traditions into the college culture, and strengthened ties with aboriginal communities through initiatives like the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, the House of Learning and Applied Research, and the Challenge the Paradigm Conference on decolonizing post-secondary education. She is of Blackfoot ancestry, and is an adopted member of the Tsimshian Nation.
Forsyth has also been a leader within the Canadian college system in advocating for sustainability. She has challenged her colleagues across the country to green their campuses, initiated an ambitious plan to make NWCC a carbon-neutral institution, and overseen construction of several LEED Gold construction projects.
Prior to joining NWCC in 2000, Forsyth spent seven years as Dean of Community & College Partnerships and Dean of Career & Vocational Programs at Capilano College. She has also previously worked as an instructor and academic leader at Malaspina University College, Vancouver Community College and Selkirk College.
Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University, a Master of Education from the University of British Columbia, and is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education from Deakin University in Australia. She is a Director of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the BC Achievement Foundation, Science World British Columbia, and the BC Post-Secondary Roundtable on Aboriginal Education.
Forsyth’s progressive vision, passionate leadership, and tireless work have brought vibrancy and innovation to NWCC, resulting in a college actively engaged in the social and economic development of the northwest and a leader in Aboriginal education. She leaves NWCC well-positioned for continued excellence.
Forsyth will assume her new position on September 27, 2010. Catherine Rushton will continue to serve as Interim President & CEO until that time.