Robert and Tierney met the way we often meet people: on Twitter. Robert was chairing the Applied Communications department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Tierney was a student in the psych department, and they had a contact in common.
When Tierney noticed from Robert’s Tumblr that they shared a love of people-watching on Vancouver transit, they met IRL and Vantransient was born. It started as a blog, but really seemed to work best as a Twitter feed.
They chatted over coffee from time to time, and learned they had a number of things in common: loves of flânerie, used bookstores, and raw oysters. And as they got to know each other better, they discovered they also had a number of themes in common:
Robert has worked at a handful of institutions, including Stanford, SFU, as well as Kwantlen (since 2003), and he’s taught English (from Shakespeare to Kerouac), professional communications, and marketing. Tierney’s worked as a writing and math tutor at a community college, and has been involved in various initiatives around Kwantlen to help students succeed.
Writing and Communications
Before going back to school, Tierney worked in mobile games at Nokia doing editing, proofreading, layout, and graphic design. She’s also been active in creative writing groups and classes both online and off. Robert considers himself an editor and publisher at heart, and worked in books and magazines in the United States for a number of years before moving to Canada, where his focused moved to business writing and online work.
Tierney’s been described as “the most extroverted introvert you’ll ever meet.” She discovered at Nokia that what she really loved was working with people, not information, and that prompted her to take counselling courses and go back to school for her BA in psychology. Robert says he’s more motivated by getting the work of colleagues and friends published than just about anything else
Robert is an optimist who believes that technology enhances communication between people. The first day he got on the “world wide web,” in 1993, he lost all track of time for the first time in his life (but not the last). Tierney got her first Internet account back in 1995 and was busy being social on the Internet years before social media was even a thing. She quietly osmoses her husband’s work in IT security, and cares a lot about online privacy. And she’s an avid gamer.
Tierney was born and raised in New Orleans. When she and her husband moved to Vancouver in 2003, she was delighted to find herself back in a multicultural salad bowl, albeit of a different sort. Less jazz, more sushi. Robert was born in Canada but raised in the States. He returned to his native land in 1996, and has described Vancouver as the love of his life.