March/April 2008

CIM Distinguished Lecturers – a branch's perspective

By R. Pillo

For the past few years, the CIM Red Lake Branch has been very active in their participation in the Distinguished Lecturer Program. With an average of four out of five possible presentations a year, they are one of the branches that hosts the most lecturers. With this many presentations under their belt, they surely must be onto something.

CIM caught up with Inge Robinson, chair of the branch, to give us an inside look into this distinguished program.

CIM: How does the branch go about selecting a lecturer?

I.R.: The selection of a distinguished lecturer is based on the local interests — the mining folks tend to come out and support anything related to mining, whereas the geology group does not come out for geology lectures — as well as present-day issues such as shortage of manpower, aboriginal issues, etc.

CIM: How does the Distinguished Lecturer Program benefit the branch?

I.R.: The program helps to get people out and participate in ongoing and present-day topics, as well as getting the newer folks in town to meet the older ones. It also brings suppliers into the mix.

CIM: How is student participation at the presentations?

I.R.: Student participation is good. The talks make it worthwhile for students to come out and make new acquaintances and meet with their peers and future employers.

CIM: Are there any challenges to attracting members to presentations?

I.R.: The challenge here is getting people out when temperatures are really cold. The challenge in attracting non-members is finding topics that would be of interest to them; topics provided by the lecturer program revolve around the mining and minerals industry.

CIM: Why should CIM branches bring in Distinguished Lecturers?

I.R.: The program offers opportunities that might not always be readily available. It also keeps us informed on what is happening with the rest of industry and allows for good discussions.

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