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Faculty Profiles

Jeff Ruigrok

Jeff Ruigrok

Professor, School of Skilled Trades

Jeff Ruigrok has been a professor with the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology since 2012. For him, teaching (Mechanical Techniques) Plumbing at STC to the next generation of trades professionals has been a privilege without bounds and part of a goal realized.

Jeff is a veteran of Ontario’s construction industry. He has over 30 years experience in the plumbing, heating and water quality industries.  As operator of his own business, Jeff has accumulated 25 years of organizational and business management proficiency.

Jeff is a member of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association through its affiliate Ontario Trades Association and holds a plumbing certificate (Mohawk College, 1987) and a diploma in technological education (University of Toronto, 2010). Jeff has achieved the following professional designations: Plumber (Ontario College of Trades), and Construction Technology, Special Education, and English as a Second Language (Ontario College of Teachers).

Jeff’s passion for teaching grew during a mid-career hiatus. Throughout this semi-retirement period he raised three children and actively supported a broad range of community organizations. This community involvement soon turned to the local co-operative education program. Working alongside co-op students helped him understand the challenges youth face and the strengths they embodied. In 2008 he tested the proverbial teaching waters in the apprenticeship programs at Conestoga College. Soon after, he brought these experiences to the bachelor of education program, offered to him by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto).

Jeff has worked with many educators across Ontario. This helped him develop his own philosophy of education – that inclusive values are different by nature. By means of this philosophy, Jeff has developed a pedagogical approach that could be termed “physically active service learning.” He believes that emotional and physically literate knowledge objectives create accessible buy-in opportunities for a broad range of students and that by developing a safe technical learning environment with such broad strokes, tradecraft curriculum will benefit an inclusive range of personal values and learning style differences.

In addition to his professional roles, Jeff is the director of the Run for Life – Running Water program. This technological initiative brings awareness and resources to bear on the sustainable use and reuse of water resources. This skilled knowledge set has led Jeff to Kenya, were he has helped communities develop sustainable water resource and hygiene facilities. He shares the Running Water experience with plumbing technology students regularly and has arranged a bursary that will support similar active-service-learning experiences for tradecraft students.

In the future, Jeff plans to secure a faculty position that will complement his work in Africa and help him realize his far-reaching goal of what he terms “Blue-Ribbon Blue-Collar” education.

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