It is with profound sadness that CERIC learned of the sudden passing last week of its founding Board Chair and one of Canada’s foremost career development leaders, Dr. Robert (Rob) Shea.  

Rob had been involved with CERIC since its inception 20 years ago and was a member of its current Board of Directors. He was also the Founding Editor of the Canadian Journal of Career Development, a partnership with Memorial University, where Rob was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education. Additionally, he was a long-standing Board member of CERIC’s funder, The Counselling Foundation of Canada. 

“Rob touched and shaped so much of what CERIC is today. He was a true champion of career development in Canada and had an impact on the lives of so many in the field from his home in Newfoundland and Labrador to across Canada and globally,” said Riz Ibrahim, President and CEO of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, who counted Rob as not only a colleague but a longtime friend. “His passion and enthusiasm were infectious. This is a heavy loss.” 

Rob had a significant and deep history with CERIC and its work. He was the Board Chair at ContactPoint, the pioneering web hub for Canada’s career development community that launched in 1997. He was also instrumental in establishing the Etta St. John Wileman Award, bestowed for outstanding achievement in career development. And he helped to shape Cannexus into Canada’s largest career development conference, continuing to support its growth. 

Those in the career development community are remembering Rob as a transformational leader, a gifted storyteller and a positive force. An award-winning researcher, he was passionate about students and career development and an inspirational mentor to countless colleagues. Rob has influenced generations of graduate students and contributed his talents to support multiple associations in the career development sector and beyond. His peers are reflecting on the huge hole he leaves in many hearts and his tremendous legacy in the career development field.  

“In the year since I joined CERIC, Rob had generously shared his wisdom and incredible depth of knowledge as part of our Board,” said CERIC Executive Director Kay Castelle. “Rob has been a tireless advocate for our work and was excited about new projects CERIC was developing, including around military to civilian transitions, which he was particularly passionate about.” 

The CERIC Board and staff extend their deepest condolences to Rob’s family, friends and colleagues. We will be continuing to showcase and honour Rob’s remarkable life, and contributions to the career development field over the coming weeks and months.