Gretchen Ferguson


Associate Director, Partnerships and Programs

My interests are in connecting people, ideas and information to create positive change and innovative initiatives that respond to social and environmental challenges. My background in community development means that I approach each situation by seeking to understand the system around a particular issue or need, identifying a leverage or intervention point that could make a real difference, and then looking to the existing strengths, assets and resources available in a community to mobilize for action. Relationships are key to this work; through trust, respect, and open dialogue we can find pathways and inspiration to truly make a difference. One of the main channels for my work currently is through the SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre.

Why community enegagement matters to me:

Universities are a vital space in society to create, generate, nurture and disseminate knowledge and information and to develop the leaders to address the complex challenges facing our society. I deeply believe in the importance of universities acting in service of the communities in which they are embedded. Knowledge needs to be co-created between academics and civil society, with mutual respect and a genuine appreciation for diversity and diverse ways of learning and knowing. Students need opportunities to learn from and with the communities in which they live through experiential education and opportunities for engagement and innovation. Creating and facilitating connections between university and community is key to creating sustainable, healthy, and resilient people and organizations.  

Telephone: 778.782.8082