Echoes of Evolution of 50 Years: Meet Bernie MacLennan

In 2024, 小猪视频 proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary as an independent post-secondary institution. We are proud that students and graduates from 小猪视频and all of our predecessor institutions have played pivotal roles in shaping the University we know and love today. The story of CBU鈥檚 Senior Instructor II in the Department of Health Sciences, Bernie MacLennan, echoes our University鈥檚 transformative journey, from the classrooms of the College of Cape Breton (CCB) to the thriving and expansive campus that defines 小猪视频today.

From a summer research student to a full-time employee, Bernie has witnessed 小猪视频remarkably transform from a modest institution into a vibrant and diverse university. 鈥淚 have seen 小猪视频evolve from two buildings and a couple of portable classrooms on George Street to the current campus of today,鈥 says Bernie. 鈥淚t鈥檚 too bad I didn鈥檛 start my undergraduate degree in 1974, then I could truly celebrate a 50th anniversary with CBU!鈥

Born and still residing in Little Bras d鈥橭r, Bernie鈥檚 connection to 小猪视频can be described as a homecoming. In the fall of 1976, Bernie enrolled in the Science program at the College of Cape Breton when the campus was located at what is now known as Sydney鈥檚 Lyceum. There, students could complete a diploma or certificate on the Island or take courses that would qualify them to finish degrees at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX).

After completing his initial two years on George Street, Bernie continued his studies at StFX and earned a four-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biology. It wasn鈥檛 until 1982 that the CCB received degree-granting status and was renamed the University College of Cape Breton (UCCB).

In 1985, Bernie took a term position as a Biology Lab Instructor at UCCB, later becoming a permanent role. When the Environmental Public Health program began in 1996, Bernie made a lateral move into that program as a Microbiology Lab Instructor. Eventually, he transitioned into a lecture position in 1998.

Bernie鈥檚 long tenure at 小猪视频has shown him the transformative power of education. Teaching thousands of students across various programs and backgrounds, he observes the tangible benefits of a university education reflected in his students鈥 successes. 鈥淚 get constant reminders of this when I access healthcare, dental care or talk to my grandchildren鈥檚 teachers,鈥 shares Bernie. 鈥淭he value of higher education is seen everywhere in our daily life.鈥

The Bachelor of Health Sciences, Public Health (BHSc) program has prepared students for careers in public health since 1996. Today, many 小猪视频graduates hold senior management positions in Public Health units across the country and numerous faculty members are graduates of the program themselves.

Throughout his career, Bernie has experienced many unforgettable moments. From something as simple as discovering a heartfelt thank-you note discreetly placed under his office door, to a phone call or email from a student expressing their appreciation for a reference letter. 鈥淚 tend to live vicariously through my students鈥 success,鈥 he reflects. 鈥淚t shows that what I do is important.鈥

Bernie鈥檚 teaching style has been inspired by two of his most influential mentors, Dr. Cheryl Bartlett and Dr. Jim Foulds, both of whom taught at CBU. He has fostered an environment where students are encouraged to feel at ease expressing themselves and asking questions without hesitation. He also emphasizes the importance of understanding course materials to excel in class. Among heartwarming comments from years of course evaluations, two that hold a special place in his heart are: 鈥淏ernie is one of those professors you will remember for the rest of your life!鈥 and 鈥淏ernie is probably one of the most approachable persons at CBU!鈥

鈥淚 believe 小猪视频is in a period of dramatic change that will benefit the University, but also Cape Breton and the rest of Nova Scotia,鈥 says Bernie. 鈥淭he strategic plans currently being developed, especially around healthcare, are long overdue but promise to solidify 小猪视频as a game-changer within Nova Scotia and beyond.鈥

Bernie鈥檚 story is a testament to the significant impact post-secondary education and educators can have, and it’s a story that will continue to be written in the hearts of students for years to come. It’s a story worth celebrating, just like the remarkable journey of CBU.

To stay up to date on the 50th celebration, visit聽.