Ambrose University

Bernie Potvin Retires

Dr. Bernie Potvin is retiring from his position as Associate Professor of Education—a program he helped design and establish. Over the years, he has served in various capacities at Ambrose, beginning with the development of the Bachelor of Education (After Degree) program, and serving as the Director and, more recently, Interim Associate Dean, of the program. Along the way, Potvin has helped with the development of online learning in the Ambrose Seminary, and taught courses in Educational Psychology. For a short while, he also served as Dean of Arts and Science.

Developing education curriculum in Afghanistan

For the past five years, he has also invested deeply beyond Ambrose, leading a team of international educators in building a teaching and learning infrastructure—from the ground up—in Afghanistan. Sponsored by the Canadian government (Global Affairs Canada), working in partnership with a number of international governments and agencies, this labour of love has resulted in the creation of a national curriculum and the training of teachers in challenging post-war circumstances.

Ambrose thanks Potvin

“Bernie: you are a change agent and a passionate advocate for those you are called to serve,” says Dr. Linda Schwartz, current Dean of Arts & Science. “You will be missed by colleagues in all programs at Ambrose University.”

“The many teachers here in Alberta, across Canada, and around the globe, for whom you have been and continue to be a colleague and mentor, are grateful for your diligence and care for their welfare as pre-service and new teachers. And your many friends and professional associates across the Alberta Education system and in the international community also wish you well in your future pursuits and adventures.”

Understanding education through incarnation 

As Dr. Potvin reflects on his tenure with Ambrose university, he notes:  “Each of us in education is committed to a real, incarnational experience of integration, beginning with our experience of God, as a given, always with us. We remind ourselves and our students that the recognition of the incarnation is in the hints and guesses, prayer, discipline, thought and actions of real life (T. S. Elliot).”

“Integration for us has always been in the particulars and not found in the generalities and abstractions of Christianity. Truly, the hint half guessed, the gift half understood (in our program) for us has been first saying ‘yes’ to the incarnation.”

“The value added has been shaping the lives of over a hundred graduates, most of whom have taken up their careers in schools. Also, personally, I have valued the chance to work with some of the most amazing, inspiring people I have ever worked with.  As I retire I am pleased that the foundation for future good work has been laid and that the future is indeed good.”

Looking ahead

Ambrose is deeply grateful for Potvin’s commitment and service to our university community. Our best wishes go out to him as he takes up new and interesting pursuits and challenges, both personal and professional.