Home 9 About Providence 9 Faculty Features 9 Nicole Barnabé


Associate Dean for Providence Downtown

About Nicole:

Nicole was born in Saint-Boniface, which is now part of Winnipeg, and both of her parents are of Acadian heritage. After her Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba, Nicole worked for a while then got an MBA, also from the University of Manitoba. There are a number of business courses that she enjoys teaching, including Organizational Behaviour, and her area of strength is Strategy. Nicole’s research interests include teams and the learning organization – specifically how to curate information within an organization to make sure that it is retained when staff leave and is easily accessible by anyone who needs it. Nicole has presented papers at conferences in Montreal, San Antonio, and Melbourne.

Q: Before arriving at Providence, where did you live and what did you do?

I have probably worked in every industry apart from manufacturing: during my undergraduate degree, I was a grader, a management trainee at the Old Spaghetti Factory, an officer in The Fort Garry Horse (an armoured reconnaissance unit in the Canadian Forces reserve), and a sales assistant at Grand & Toy, all at the same time. My first full-time job was with Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, my second with a multinational call centre, and my third with Providence University College and Theological Seminary. In between, I’ve done a lot of gig work, including selling women’s clothing as an independent agent, teaching at l’Université de Saint-Boniface, Asper School of Business, Providence (Otterburne campus), Extended Education, and finally Providence Downtown. My life’s goal is to be the person who helps, teaches, and coaches people to get what they want from their lives and their careers. Apart from a few months spent away in military training, I have always lived in Winnipeg.

Q: What about Providence was appealing to you?

As a practicing Christian, I deeply appreciate the freedom to express my faith in my work and with my colleagues. We help each other to be better Christians every day. We pray together. I’ve never heard of any other university that has Student Life the way we do, and I’m proud to be part of an organization that demonstrates our caring for students and doesn’t just talk about it.

Q: What is something you hope people will learn from your classes?

There’s a reason for everything, and if we can figure out what the reason is, we can understand what’s happening and maybe master it. Searching for different points of view will generally yield better results. Ask questions, look for the patterns, don’t ever be afraid to say that you don’t understand something. Keep asking until you understand it. A different teacher may have a model that might make everything just snap into place.

Q: What is your teaching philosophy?

Since most of our students have work experience, I like the Socratic method. Very often the concepts I’m teaching are new to students only insofar as they are learning new words and frameworks to organize what they already know. I like to ask about their experience, about examples that they can give. I want students to be able to apply what they learn and use them so they can get better jobs and be better employees, managers, and leaders. I’ve been teaching in DLI programs for seven years now, and I love teaching and learning from our international students.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

I have been working with a trainer at the gym for fourteen years now, and have just started swimming on alternate mornings. In warmer weather I cycle rather than taking the bus, and in very cold weather I enjoy snowshoeing and skating on the Red River. I started cross-country skiing last winter and am sure that I will learn to enjoy that too. I live with a thirty-year-old African Grey parrot named Gandalf who might have been named either Newton or Dr. Destructo if I’d waited to name him until I got to know him better. He would like more attention.