When balancing a young family at home and a full-time job at Durham College, Allison Hector-Alexander thrives.
The director, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions works all day and then goes home and spends as much time as possible with her kids. “It’s a combo, working all day and making sure the kids are okay,” she says.
In 1996, Hector-Alexander moved to Canada to be with her maternal family so she could further her education. Her aunts and uncles moved to Canada, while her mom and grandparents stayed in Dominica. Hector-Alexander explains her grandma was the village go-to.
She says her grandmother is the biggest inspiration in life. Her grandmother was the one who instilled in her she can do anything she wants. “She taught me to always cook extra in case someone passes by,” she says.
“The most memorable moment has to be the birth of my kids. It changed my life. They bring so much joy to the family,” Hector-Alexander says. Her kids are 2 years-old and 7 years-old and Hector-Alexander says they’re full of energy.
She started working at Durham College 13 years ago when she was hired by the student government at the time to create a women’s centre, campus food centre, LGBTQ+ centre, and a sexual health resource centre. She believes this was an opportunity for build on the skills she had developed over the years.
One of the things that inspires her is community building. She says it seeps out of work into her home life. She says she finds herself looking for examples and stories in her community that she can learn from.
When having free time for herself, she enjoys “vegging out and catching up on a TV show or even reading a book,” Hector-Alexander says.
“Allison’s work ethic encompasses a dependable and responsible outlook that focuses on student success with a strong team foundation,” says Leesa McLeish-Diaz, who works alongside Hector-Alexander.
“My favourite memory of working with Allison so far is having her professional accomplishments honoured within the Durham Region community. She was awarded the Madiba Award, which embodies Nelson Mandela’s values, visions and commitment,” McLeish-Diaz adds.
The legacy that Hector-Alexander wants to leave behind at the college isn’t something small. She wants it to be about creating spaces where people can bring all of themselves to what they do.
“I want them to know it’s a space that respects and celebrates all of those areas,” says Hector-Alexander. She wants Durham College to be the institution where all students can be themselves.
She speaks about how she’s always wanted to teach and how she loves consulting. She says she may be getting her PhD, but that has to wait until her kids are older.
Ten years down the road has a lot of potential and avenues for Hector-Alexander. “It just depends on where I land,” she says.