Andrea McCluskey

Andrea McCluskeyAndrea McCluskey’s untiring work in breaking down barriers to post-secondary education over the past 15 years at The University of Winnipeg has helped to dramatically increase enrolment by First Nation, Métis and Inuit students. Today these populations represent approximately 12% of the UWinnipeg student body, among the highest rates in Canada.

As the Manager of Micro-Communities, leading both the Aboriginal Student Services Centre and International Student Services, McCluskey has a particular gift in creating a welcoming, safe and supportive “home away from home” for students who are navigating the new and unfamiliar university world. Her quiet strength and open-door policy foster a seamless student service experience, incorporating academic supports as well as holistic, cultural and spiritual accommodations aimed at ensuring individual student success.

McCluskey is also a talented quilt maker. She volunteers her time teaching the art to students — using this opportunity to build community, talk about education, provide guidance and impart knowledge far beyond quilting.  She donates many of her exquisite star blankets as gifts to visiting dignitaries, such as the Governor General of Canada, and to support UWinnipeg’s fundraising dinners. From humble Métis beginnings, McCluskey has never forgotten her roots and is an authentic and caring role model to both students and staff. 

McCluskey spearheaded numerous programs to support some of the most vulnerable populations, including at-risk youth, incarcerated individuals, and high school drop-outs. She is also an experienced facilitator for a number of internationally-acclaimed projects, including Lost Prizes and Northern Lights, aimed at supporting at-risk Aboriginal youth. She has contributed several articles and chapters about these initiatives, and is co-author, with her husband Dr. Ken McCluskey, of the best-selling book Understanding ADHD: Our Personal Journey.

For her deep kindness and commitment to supporting each and every student in a meaningful way, The University of Winnipeg honours Andrea McCluskey with The Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service.