Using technology to improve the learning experience

New Northern Lakes College IT guy brings a world of experience to the job

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

If you’ve been looking for an answer to the trivia question, ‘Who in Slave Lake was born in India, grew up in the United Arab Emirates and last worked in Regina?’ here it is: his name is Bruce D’Sena.
D’Sena is Northern Lakes College’s Chief Information Officer, hired just a few weeks ago.
And what exactly is that?
“We need to provide a world-class online learning experience,” D’Sena says. “That’s part of my job.’
D’Sena’s expertise lies in information technology, which he’s been working in one way or another for 26 years.
“My first job was a tutor, in Dubai,” he says. “I also developed accounting software, got into telecom and networking and took a job as head of IT (in the UAE). I’ve got a degree in computing science.”
D’Sena was also in private business in the UAE. In the early 2000s, he took a job in Toronto with a telecom company called Primus, which – among other things – “launched the first business voice-over IP service in Canada.”
D’Sena says he got into private business again in this period – but the timing was bad and it didn’t go so well. He wrapped that up and took a job as chief information officer with Workmen’s Compensation in Saskatchewan, later becoming the executive director “of the claims side of the business.
“We parted ways last October,” D’Sena says. “A week later NLC made contact and three months later here I am.”
Besides all of the above, D’Sena is near the end of a master’s degree in strategic leadership – all done online, he says, which gives him some useful perspective relating to his new job.
“We need to maximize the potential that technology has for the college,” he says. “Making their (the students) learning environment comfortable for them.”
But doesn’t the college already do that? Isn’t it already well known as a leader in online education in Alberta?
“We’re going to make it even better,” he says. “I know how online education works. I believe in what NLC does. I wanted to work here since Day One.”
D’Sena, as noted above, was born in India. His dad was a mechanical engineer with an expertise in the braking systems of railroad locomotives. His mom, he says, was a sculptor, who for a time “ran an institute in Qatar.”
D’Sena’s wife Vandana and two children are still in Regina. Vandana is working a master’s degree in counselling and their daughter Natassia is in her third year of psychology studies at the university in the Saskatchewan capital. Son Kieran is 14.
Outside of work and family, D’Sena enjoys sailing and playing golf. He looks forward to trying a bit of kayaking as well.
“I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time outdoors.”
D’Sena is also an avid photographer and has published a book of his photos. More can be seen on his website –


Bruce D’Sena

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