ASET spotlights Lamont resident for National Volunteer Week
17, Apr, 2023
EDMONTON, April 17, 2023 – An inequity in the way engineering technologists were viewed by co-workers in various industries inspired Lamont resident Edward Medynski to help change that perception by becoming a volunteer for his professional association, the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). Medynski, a now-retired architectural technologist, holds the ASET record for contributing the highest number of volunteer hours in the history of the organization.
Medynski is not surprised by this finding given that he’s been an ASET member since 1975, and volunteerism has been a part of his life since he was young. He currently volunteers for the Lamont seniors transportation committee, Skaro Shrine Parish steering committee, and Knights of Columbus. In the past, he served as chair of the Lamont parks and recreation committee, manager of Lamont Minor Ball, and as a Catholic youth group leader.
He was raised in Skaro Shrine, a rural religious area where his parents set a high bar for the importance of volunteerism. From the start, he fixed broken toys, bikes, chore tools, and vehicles, and went on to organize youth social events, barn dances and group trips.
“Throughout my upbringing, it was ingrained in me to do the things that needed to be done and not look for someone else to do them,” said Medynski.
His commitment to volunteering was only matched by his fascination with how things were made and worked. His father built a loft barn on the farm where they lived and that catalyzed his visions of designing and constructing his own grand structures. He entered NAIT’s architectural technology program after high school and had plans to eventually earn a degree in architecture. However, the more exposure he had to the technical aspects of architectural technology, the more he liked it and decided to remain on that career track, ultimately becoming a registered engineering technologist (RET).
Over the course of his 45-year career, he worked for architects as a specification writer, project manager and contract administrator.
“The joy I experienced simply drove me deeper into my quest for new opportunities and experiences in the field,” said Medynski.
An issue that did concern him, however, was hearing from architects and engineers - especially in the early days - that engineering technologists were seen as glorified draftspeople. That sparked a fire in him and he became determined to show and convince employers that engineering technologists were so much more than that and play a vital role in all aspects of industry and daily life.
He kept tabs on what was happening in the field and within other engineering technology disciplines where the term technologist was fast becoming an understood household word. It was at that point that he became actively involved with ASET and grew increasingly confident about the future of engineering technology.
Since then, he has volunteered for ASET’s board of examiners, multiple steering committees, and on competency exam development exercises, and served as a file reviewer, subject matter expert (SME), presenter, and application advisor. In 2012, he won ASET’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
“As a member, to get true value out of an association, one must put something of value into it. Volunteering pays back tenfold to that of a wage. By volunteering, one grows personally and socially and hopefully offers a model for others to emulate,” added Medynski.
“I don’t know how an organization like ASET would function without the tremendous contribution and professional expertise of volunteers like Ed,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “He is absolutely unselfish and an excellent role model for young engineering technologists: he’s accomplished a lot and gives back that much and more.”
After working four-and-a-half decades in the design/construction industry for private practice architects and municipal and provincial governments, and as a sole proprietor for 15 years providing consulting services, Medynski hung up his shingle to invest in other passions, community volunteerism being among them.
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 17,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET