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4 New President TAKES THE HELM




MacEwan Alumni News


PHOTOGRAPHER POURS HEART INTO AUTISM FUNDRAISER Brock Kryton, a 2011 graduate from the Design Studies program, has been doing mentorship work with Ben Kurtz, a 22-year-old man with low-functioning autism, since May of last year. Each week he, along with Ben’s aide and mother, would meet to take photos. “Ben is non-verbal and his motor skills aren’t the best, so people, of course, stared as we would walk by. It was a compelling sight – it seemed like we were forcing him to take the photos,” Kryton says. “My role has been to facilitate what he sees and to help exhibit that to others, in hopes that through the photography, people can see the deeper meaning of what it represents.” In October, which was also Autism Awareness month, Kryton held an exhibition entitled Autism Artistry, a fundraiser for the Autism

Society in Edmonton as well as the Kurtz family. Ben’s photos along with his 18-year-old autistic brother’s paintings were sold off to help further their mentorship opportunities and career development. “These men will never have a job as we do,” says Kryton, and so this is a means of providing support to them. It has helped their mother and father feel a sense of purpose for the boys as there is limited adult programming for people with autism. “The evening was a great success,” says Kryton, “with the majority of all pieces being sold and over $3,000 raised, with donations still coming in.” Photography has helped Ben in many ways. “He gets out of the house. He gets to walk around. He gets to enjoy looking and feeling different textures, patterns and rhythms – something he truly

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enjoys,” he says. “But in the end I have learned that I am not really Ben’s mentor; rather, he is my mentor. He has taught me to find beauty in the mundane and in the things I would normally pass by. Ben has taught me to have no inhibitions and to go where I want

to go and to not worry about what people think of me as I do it,” Kryton says. “But most importantly Ben and his family have taught me the deeper meanings of humility, patience, charity, meekness, kindness and unconditional love.”


Local Independent Group Takes Canada’s Top Country Award

From Left to right in the photo are Darren Gusnowsky (guitar)  Stacie Roper (vocals) and Rob Shapiro (keys).

A welcome mixture of surprise and deep satisfaction took hold of the members of Hey Romeo as they were declared the Canadian Country Music Association’s “Group of the Year” on September 12th in Hamilton, Ontario. It has been a long road to success for the former Music program students Robert Shapiro and Darren Gusnowsky. For the past three years, the band has been nominated for the award. Yet each year resulted in them graciously applauding as chart-toppers Doc Walker took home the honours. But with this year’s triumphant win, it is clear that the Edmonton-based trio is no longer sitting on the sidelines.

The group initiated their musical partnership in 2002 when guitarist Gusnowsky and keyboardist Shapiro were “loaned” to vocalist Stacie Roper for a rodeo gig. Instantly recognizing a connection, as well as Roper’s incredible talent, the collective continued to tour the rodeo and corporate event circuit under the delightful handle “Udder Madness”. Support from fans and friends to create original material led to the official formation of Hey Romeo in 2006 and the release of their first album in the following year. Their creative instincts were proven correct as the Canadian Country Music Association awarded Hey Romeo the title of “Best New Group” in 2008.

“That first award was a real shot in the arm,” says Gusnowsky. “It really boosted our drive and focus after spending many years working so hard in the country scene.” And drive they did, both figuratively and literally. With renewed vigor, the band engaged in a relentless touring schedule while already planning their follow-up recording. Not willing to accept anything less than greatness, the band headed to Nashville, Tennessee with the sole objective of making a truly world-class country album. At the helm of the project was producer Byron Hill, an incredibly accomplished American songwriter who has penned several #1 hits in the States, including George Strait’s “Fool Hearted Memory” and “Born Country” by Alabama. Hill co-wrote several tunes with the band, while collaborations with familiar Canadian names like Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Victoria Banks contributed other songs. The concentrated effort would result in the 2010 release of “That’s What I Am”, a veritable powerhouse of a contemporary country record. Though the trio first assembled in 2002, the creative engine that is Hey Romeo began taking shape much earlier. Shapiro and Gusnowsky initiated what would become an enduring creative partnership in 1997 while they were

both enrolled in the University’s Music program. Recalling his experience, Gusnowsky states, “I had been touring since about ’93, then a friend suggested I take it a step further and go to MacEwan. I was really immersed in the jazz stuff, and tried to soak it up. The most important thing I learned is to be open-minded about other genres. To play music for a living, you need to be able to play it all to stay alive.” The seriousness with which these musicians approach their craft is evident in the superb performances captured on “That’s What I Am”, and has resulted in Rob Shapiro being named the CCMA All-Star keyboardist a total of three times. Shapiro remarks, “It’s quite an honour to win an All-Star award. The guys in there are really good.” With a laugh, he concludes, “You really can’t go up there and suck.” Taking not a moment’s rest, the band is determined to further establish itself as a major player in Canadian country music. Already halfway through writing their next record and heading to Nashville again only weeks after their big win, they seem almost certain to do so. With countless hours of travel under their belt, a great body of work, an ever-growing fan base, and now top industry honours, Hey Romeo is indeed a band whose time has come.

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MacEwan Alumni News We welcome your feedback and comments. All correspondence and inquiries regarding advertisements and story ideas should be directed to: Traci Toshack Coordinator, Alumni Relations and Services 780-497-5543 MAILING ADDRESS: Alumni Relations and Services MacEwan University City Centre Campus P.O. Box 1796 Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 2P2 MOVING? Call us at 780-497-4273 or send us an e-mail at and we’ll make sure that your record is updated.

Front Cover: A Journalism student in the early ‘80’s studying at the Centre for the Arts and Communications Campus.

MacEwan Alumni News



2011 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS One of MacEwan University’s highly regarded awards, the Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to graduates who exhibit outstanding achievements or make significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: service to the community, business, the arts, human development, the environment, lifelong learning, post-secondary education, and/or government. Congratulations to the following 2011 recipients on receiving this honour.

Alexandra Hatcher

Barb Reid

Dr. Mark Sirett

Amanda Woodward

Arts Administration (Arts and Cultural Management), 1999

Rehabilitation Practitioner, 1982

Arts Administration, 1980

Design Studies, 1999

Alexandra’s first position upon graduating was an executive director which in itself exemplifies her potential and her ambition. Since then she has gone on to complete her Masters degree in Public Administration and was one of a very few Canadians selected to attend the J. Paul Getty Trust Museum Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. Her drive and ambition is matched only by her intense vision for arts and culture. All who know her agree  –  Alexandra Hatcher is a dynamic force in our community. Her most recent accomplishment was the recognition given her by Avenue magazine which named her one of 2010’s Top 40 under 40. In every area of her professional life, Alexandra has continued to distinguish herself in the 12 years since graduating. Alexandra is currently the Executive Director of the Alberta Museum Association.

Barb Reid has worked in the field of supporting families and children with disabilities for over 25 years. Her professional practice is grounded on values of community inclusion, family-centered practices and early childhood development. As Executive Director of Getting Ready for Inclusion Today (GRIT), a non-profit early childhood program, Barb provides leadership in balancing best teaching practices from the fields of early childhood and disability studies. For families, she supports their journey helping parents envision an inclusive future for their children within a community where diversity is embraced. Barb thoroughly enjoyed her time returning to MacEwan University as an instructor from ’90-96 in the Rehabilitation Practitioner and Early Childhood Development programs. Barb is committed to life-long learning and looks forward to completing her Master’s degree in Education Policy Studies in June 2012.

Dr. Sirett is an award-winning conductor and composer of 100 published choral works and is currently Artistic Director of the award-winning Cantabile Choirs of Kingston consisting of eight choirs and 300 singers. His works have been performed by some of Canada’s leading choirs, and heard on CBC and internationally. Mark is frequently in demand as a guest conductor, choral clinician, and adjudicator in Canada and abroad. This season he will serve as guest conductor of the Niagara Choral Festival, the Luxembourg Choral Festival, and Manitoba Children’s Honours Choir. Ensembles under his direction have been recognized at the national and international level for their high performance standard and unique programming, including the Jury Prize at the Cork International Choral Festival, Ireland.  Recent honours for Mark include the President’s Leadership Award from Choirs Ontario and “Outstanding Choral Composition” by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.

Ms. Woodward is a positive and enthusiastic individual who has excelled in her career as an illustrator and designer. As a professional in the design industry, her peers and colleagues hold a great deal of respect for her. She holds an executive position on the board of the Graphic Designers of Canada – Alberta North chapter. As owner of her own firm, Woodward Design, she has served a lengthy list of clients including Edmonton Journal, ATCO, City of Edmonton and Cricket magazine. In addition to her graphic design work, she continues to exhibit illustrative artwork locally and internationally, from coffee shops in Edmonton to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. She is dedicated to serving the community and has worked on fundraising and awareness events for organizations such as Edmonton Women’s Shelter, United Way, Doctors and Derrieres, Homeward Trust Edmonton and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Her support of the arts includes pro bono work for the Brian Webb Dance Company, Northern Light Theatre, International Street Performers Festival and North Country Fair. Ms. Woodward is committed to enabling future designers. She lectures at post-secondary institutions and offers internships for new graduates. Whenever opportunity presents itself, Amanda credits MacEwan for providing her with the foundation upon which she has built success. Amanda was one of Avenue magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2010.

Do you know of an alumnus who has exhibited outstanding achievements or has made significant contributions to our community? If so, please contact our office as we are currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards. For details go to: Alumni


MacEwan Alumni News



MacEwan University’s new president, Dr. David Atkinson.

“The symbiosis between the downtown and business communities and the institution created by our location alone is enormous.”

David Atkinson is happy to be back in Alberta. Leaving behind the milder weather of the west coast was not a hard decision for the University’s fourth president. Coming to MacEwan was an opportunity he couldn’t resist. “I’d been keeping an eye on MacEwan for quite a while,” he grins. “I saw MacEwan as a place that was really interesting for what it was doing.”

and, most recently, Kwantlen Polytechnic. A passionate teacher, he has always tried to fit teaching into his schedule, even as university president. He’s already teaching a first-year English course this fall. “You learn a lot from the students. I’m really looking forward to it.”

MacEwan University– the place to be

David respects what his predecessor, Dr. Paul Byrne, has accomplished. “Paul has done remarkable things,” he says. He maintains that Paul was integral to cementing the relationship between the University and the community, a legacy he plans to build on. “The need to continue that process is probably the most important piece of advice I’ve received,” he says. As he takes over the leadership role in the University’s 40th year, David is proud to join an institution that has come so far. But he expresses the importance of remembering who we are and what we are here to do. “Although the word ‘community’ has been eliminated from our name, we can’t eliminate the idea of ‘community’. Teaching is our core business. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the experience and the academic program that’s most important.”

The learner-focused teaching model, the “remarkable transformation” Alberta’s newest university has undergone, and the downtown location of the future single-sustainable campus were among the features that drew David to the position. “The strategic advantage of being in downtown Edmonton is huge. The symbiosis between the downtown and business communities and the institution created by our location alone is enormous.” In addition to his interest in MacEwan, David’s decision to return to Alberta was made easily because most of his family lives in Edmonton. “When you put those two things together, it wasn’t a difficult decision,” he smiles. “And I thought that this would be a great place to make a contribution.”

A leader and a teacher David brings an impressive background as educator, researcher and author, and president of three Canadian universities – Brock, Carleton

Community is key for Edmonton’s downtown university

MacEwan Alumni News



Making the World a Better Place An Organization for Local and Global Development is Founded by MacEwan Alumni

Alumna, Christina Kuzyk with children from San Andres, Nicaragua. Today, Christina is the Co-director of Education for Ceiba, working to create local and global learning opportunities for youth.

Ceiba promotes bilingual education – a young Miskito girl from BOSAWAS, Nicaragua with Alumna, Katie Young.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” so begins Margaret Meade’s old saying about ordinary people working together to do extraordinary things. For a small group of MacEwan alumni, Meade’s words have rung true since August 2010 when they collectively founded the Ceiba Association, a non-profit organization based in Edmonton, Alberta. Their goal? To provide opportunities for youth to learn and participate in local and international grassroots development projects and to share resources with marginalized communities at home and around the world. Ceiba is rooted at MacEwan University through an eight-year student movement called Project HOPE. The student-initiated program succeeded in empowering over 120 University students to engage in grassroots organizing, fundraise over $300,000 for various infrastructure projects in Latin America, and participate in month-long cultural exchanges in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Bolivia. Today Ceiba provides long-term stability to Project HOPE, facilitating, in partnership with MacEwan University, unique opportunities to learn about development and participate hands-on in making a difference. The 2011-12 team was recently selected to fundraise $60,000 to build two classrooms

in a remote indigenous community in Nicaragua. “Through our experiences at MacEwan, we’ve been able to build a strong foundation,” said Christina Kuzyk, Director of Education for Ceiba (and former Bachelor of Education transfer student), “and now we’re branching out to grow in new directions, and to create more local projects for youth in our own community.” In late August, Ceiba received a grant from the Edmonton Community Foundation to launch their first local initiative called “Painting for Change” – an educational workshop that brought together high school youth to paint murals on the themes of community and anti-oppression. Mural painting is a medium Ceiba first learned about when they visited a Nicaraguan human-rights mural organization in 2007. After they saw its positive social impact on Nicaraguan youth and children, they decided to bring the idea home. “Our projects build solidarity with global partners,” said Michelle Mahe, Director of International Projects (and former Physical Therapy student at the University), “and through education, we hope to inspire youth to become global citizens in their communities.” What makes Ceiba unique in the context of NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) is that its programming is 100%

organized by youth, for youth, giving young people the chance to learn hands-on, make decisions, and gain valuable experience in community organizing. “We want to build a community of youth change-makers,” said Trina Moyles, Vice-Chair of Ceiba,  “who are critical of social injustice at home and afar, and have the tools and support to participate in solution-building.”

Learn more about Ceiba and their projects by visiting Donate to the 2011-12 Project Hope team at

Heidi and Joleen building bricks to construct a high school in San Andres, Nicaragua.

In 2010, University students built the first high school in the remote indigenous community of San Andres, Nicaragua. In 2012, Ceiba and students will return to build an additional 2 classrooms which will provide education to 500 youth living in the region.


MacEwan Alumni News



An educational and elightening feature sharing facts and figures about MacEwan University.

In the four decades since 1971, MacEwan University has built a reputation for inspiring minds, providing career opportunities and opening the doors to academic excellence. From our roots as a community college, we evolved to become Alberta’s newest university – a comprehensive institution that proudly offers more than 60 programs including undergraduate degrees, applied degrees, diplomas, certificates, continuing education and corporate training to students from across Alberta, Canada and the world.







Grant MacEwan Community College is established, in Scona Campus (Strathcona High School). The college is named in honour of Dr. J.W. (Grant) MacEwan former Lieutenant Governor, MLA, Mayor of Calgary, and a noted author, historian, environmentalist and educator. The first classes are held in September. The first programs offered included: Nursing; Social Worker; Child Care and Psychotechnician.

On June 17, the Board of Governors approves the Griffin as MacEwan’s athletic symbol.

MacEwan receives approval to offer university transfer programs.



The Mill Woods Campus opens in the city’s southeast corner. The original Scona Campus closes.

The provincial government commits $100 million for the construction of City Centre Campus.




The Jasper Place Campus opens on Stony Plain Road and 156 Street.

The Jasper Place Campus opens in Edmonton’s west end, leasing space from elementary schools.


Construction begins on the new City Centre Campus building on former Canadian National rail yards, located on the north edge of downtown Edmonton.

1974 Construction begins on the Mill Woods Campus (current home of MacEwan’s South Campus).

MacEwan Alumni Association (now Alumni Relations and Services) is established.

1993 City Centre Campus opens.

MacEwan Alumni News










MacEwan celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Student Residence opens at City Centre Campus.

MacEwan University appoints its fourth president, Dr. David Atkinson.



The college is renamed Grant MacEwan College.

The Robbins Health Learning Centre opens in September.



On July 1, Alberta College is officially integrated with Grant MacEwan College, making the building the college’s fourth campus.

The university’s Coat of Arms is approved by the Board of Governors on April 10 and is entered in Volume V, Page 286 of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada on March 20.

2004 MacEwan becomes an accredited degree-granting institution and launches two undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Child and Youth Care.

2011 MacEwan University celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

2009 Grant MacEwan University becomes Alberta’s sixth university on September 24.


MacEwan Alumni News


The Kingsgate Studio

WORLD CLASS STUDENT After earning a certificate and a diploma from MacEwan University, Ryne Cender wasn’t ready to hang up his graduation cap right away. Cender, after an amazing work experience abroad, enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program majoring in International Business. Cender saw no better option when it came to selecting what post-secondary institution he would attend. “I gave it a lot of thought and always knew I wanted to get into the arts sector, but on an international level. The programs I wanted to take, and the path I was hoping to follow seemed perfectly laid out for me at MacEwan,” he says. In August 2010, Cender, through MacEwan International, took advantage of The Washington Center’s Intern Abroad program. He spent four months in London, England, where he attended classes and

was placed in an internship position tailored to his interest in arts management. Cender worked part-time at an art gallery and studio complex (Kingsgate Workshops Trust), where he honed the skills he acquired in the Bachelor of Commerce program, Arts and Cultural Management certificate and Management Studies diploma. Interning at the gallery was an amazing experience, says Cender. He began his stint at Kingsgate doing database work, but was soon moving into the realm of event organization. He found that the experiences he gained from the business program came to light when he was faced with realworld work experience. “I spent about two days a week working there. Initially I started doing what I expected as internship work, but eventually it got to where I was helping setting up the exhibitions they did in the galleries,” he says.

Currently in his final year of the Bachelor of Commerce program, Cender is finally ready to hang his hat for a little while and trade it in for a passport. “It was sort of a long-term plan to come here [to MacEwan] and take the Arts Cultural Management certificate and the International Business degree so I’m able to graduate and be qualified for an international position in the arts, preferably in the music industry.” Cender’s experiences in London have helped him envision his career path, which may eventually include a master’s degree in arts management. Either way, he plans to return to England to pursue a career in the arts sector. “I’m hoping to get back to London,” he says. “I really loved it; it was great for the arts. It seemed like there was always something to do, and I want to be part of that environment, working.”

Ryne Cender

The University’s Commerce degree offers four major – International Business, Management, Supply Chain Management and a new major in Accounting. A number of courses are available in part-time and online format to accommodate students with demanding or restricted schedules. Cender sees the value in international education and encourages other students to do the same. “I think that in this world,

no matter what program you take in university, you need to see what’s going on outside of your local area. It’s important to see how things are done in an international environment. Their ways of conducting business are often on a totally different scale using different schools of thought.”

You mean I don’t have to leave home to learn?! Be amazed at how quickly you can build your skills with MacEwan Business Continuing Education and

These six-week courses in business and personal development are offered online so you can learn anywhere you can plug into the internet. With hundreds of courses to choose from, you can find the courses that fit your learning needs and your hectic life.

Learning that Fits . . . anywhere you are

M Magazine Ad size: 3.75” wide x 5” deep Runs: Spetember, 2011 CMYK

MacEwan Alumni News



A LEGACY OF GIVING Harry Hole, pictured here with family, was honoured on June 23rd 2011 with the Distinguished Citizen Honourary Bachelor of Arts for his outstanding contributions to Grant MacEwan University students.

MacEwan University has been fortunate to receive generous support from the wider community which helped pave the path for the University’s remarkable 40-year journey. Mr. Harry Hole and the Hole family exemplify this generosity, leaving an enduring mark on the institution’s history and the students that have been touched by their support. Long before the transition from college to university, Harry helped guide the University’s philanthropic direction by sitting on the Foundation Board of Directors, providing instrumental support during MacEwan’s early days as an institution. In fact, Harry’s involvement helped forge a partnership between MacEwan, the Edmonton Police Service and the Edmonton Police Foundation, which has led both to the development of state-of-the-art simulation and computer labs and outstanding professional development and field placement experiences for MacEwan students. Harry’s influence has extended beyond the realm of leadership, creating opportunities for students to succeed through a number

of substantial donations. The philanthropic legacy of Harry and the Hole family is remarkable. In 40 years, the Holes have contributed over $3 million to the University, ensuring that hundreds of students will be able to receive vital financial support and recognition for outstanding academic achievement now and in the future. Directed to MacEwan through the Edmonton Community Foundation in the late ‘80s, the Hole family established the “Hole Family Scholarships and Bursaries”, recognizing students in the Bachelor of Nursing program who demonstrate academic excellence or financial need. Each year, 20 MacEwan University students receive a bursary or scholarship, inspiring continued student success and perseverance. More recently, Harry Hole and Mrs. Ada Hole established the “Annie Hole Bursary for Children’s Nutrition” in memory of the family’s matriarch, Annie Hole. The purpose of the bursary was inspired by Annie Hole, whose hard work and determination ensured all nine of her children were well

nourished during the Great Depression when income was nearly wiped out among families. Annie’s education was brought to an end from an early age in order to work and support her family’s finances. This inspired Annie to help others to obtain their education, including her nine children who all achieved university degrees. In carrying on her legacy, the bursary addresses the needs of students who are experiencing financial obstacles as parents today. Each year 200 MacEwan students will receive $1000 to help support their family and carry on Annie Hole’s legacy while they are pursuing a post-secondary education. The Hole family is very proud of this bursary and the support that is provides to the recipients and their families. Harry and the Hole family will continue to touch the lives of MacEwan students not only through the establishment of scholarships and bursaries, but also through the example they have set as leaders in our community. By exalting the virtues of citizenship and volunteerism and extending his expertise as a

leader, Harry Hole and the Hole family have supported numerous organizations in their quest to make our community better. Their commitment to Edmonton, along with MacEwan University, has demonstrated inspired

philanthropy, supporting initiatives that have enhanced health care, education and culture in our community and beyond.

The Annie Hole Bursary for Children’s Nutrition was established in honour of Hole family matriarch, Annie Hole.


MacEwan Alumni News


Left: Carol and Gerry Feist of Canadian Tire Edmonton West show off their team jerseys as they were recognized as Honourary Griffins for their support as the Pro-Am’s presenting sponsor since 2008. Right: Former President Dr. Paul Byrne and wife Nancy.

GOLFERS CHIP IN  TO CREATE SCHOLARSHIPS Now in its fourth year, the MacEwan Pro-Am presented by Canadian Tire Edmonton West raised over $275,000. Proceeds provide scholarship funding for student athletes and Professional Golf Management students. Twenty teams of four, captained by the University’s own CPGA Golf Professionals (all current students or alumni of the Professional Golf Management program), took to the beautiful Edmonton Petroleum Club golf course this past June. The course proved to be a spectacular backdrop as teams vied for the tournament’s top prizes. Prizes included a $50,000 luxury car, $1,000 cash and a golf trip to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. The Sorrell Financial $1,000,000 Hole-in-One ShootOut gave 20 golfers an opportunity to score an ace and take it to the bank. Players drew cards at the 5th hole to determine which team member would be in the shoot-out. Kathy Hanson was one of them. “This is my first time at this tournament. It’s awesome, and so well organized. But I didn’t think I’d be in the shoot-out; I had to draw an ace to beat a king.” Kathy was

one of a handful of shooters who hit onto the green, but the cup was still empty after the final shot. As they put their clubs away, golfers looked forward to putting away a gourmet meal and finding out whose names would go down in history for 2011 MacEwan Pro-Am Champions. The Synergy Projects team, comprised of Dennis Mozak, Dave Kosowan, Gord Driedger and Keith Johns took home the trophy along with the tournament’s $10,000 cash prize. The calibre of this tournament is a testament to the vision of title sponsors Carol and Gerry Feist (Canadian Tire Edmonton West) and the organizing committee co-chaired by brothers Greg and Gary Christenson. Changing the tournament to a pro-am format and securing excellent sponsors made the tournament more attractive to golfers, and most importantly, significantly increased the funds raised for student scholarships. The Feists have sponsored the Pro-Am since its inception in 2008 and will continue to support the tournament as the presenting sponsor of the event for

two more years. At the banquet, Carol and Gerry were made honorary Griffins and proudly donned hockey sweaters with their names on the back. The Christenson family has been a major contributor to the University for several years. Tournament co-chair Gary Christenson, the head golf pro at Stony Plain Golf Course, was also a member of the Professional Golf Management’s first graduating class. Alan Riley, Professional Golf Management co-ordinator noted, “This year is our 20th intake of students. Our students learn about golf and business. You’d be hard pressed to find a golf course in Alberta that doesn’t have at least one MacEwan grad.” The 4th MacEwan Pro-Am, presented by Canadian Tire Edmonton West, took months to plan and only hours to play, but the scholarship funds it generated will help student athletes and Professional Golf Management students for years to come.

Pro-Am Co-Chair, Greg Christenson, in preparation for a day on the course with MacEwan University golf pro Dan Philpott and Jim McCoy.

MacEwan Alumni News



GRIFFINS GOLF REACHING NEW HEIGHTS Golf Management Alumnus named ACAC Coach of the Year It only took three diligent years to develop a top-ranked golf program, but for co-head coaches Jodi Campbell and Alan Riley, the ride to the top has been nothing short of incredible. During the 2011 season, the duo guided both their men’s and women’s golf teams to Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Championship titles. They also coached Megan Vermillion to a gold medal finish and Adam Bruce to a silver lining. The masterminds were recently honoured by their peers and voted the ACAC Golf Coaches of the Year and also nominated as Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Coaches of the Year. “I was surprised (to be named ACAC Coach of the Year). We haven’t been in the league that long,” said a frank and humbled Jodi Campbell, a University Advisor for the Golf Management & Management Studies programs, of the accomplishment. “We have grown as a program in leaps and strides, but we are still young and have come a long way in such a short period of time. Any time you are recognized by your peers and teams in the ACAC, I guess it means you must be doing something right as a program.” Creating and competing in a high-performance atmosphere in the short time frame has been a priority for the MacEwan University alumnus.

“I’ve been thinking about this season for about a year. Since we came up short last year, I was ready to get right back out there with the team. Alan (Riley) and I want to win and compete, just like our players do. This season we had to knock off a lot of great teams like Mount Royal and Lethbridge to achieve our success, so it’s rewarding to know we earned it. “Our challenge for coaching golf is we wanted to take an individual sport and make it a team sport. Everyone we have on the team can play, and they all have very good skills. When we coach, it is 75 per cent mental and 25 per cent physical. The game is about mental toughness, preparation and golf course strategy. Everyone can play, but it’s those skills that separate the field in the end. Without players who buy into your program, you have nothing. We just try to show them the benefits and with the right environment, show them the possibilities are endless.” Finishing with the most decorated season to date for the Griffins golf program, the postseason accolades and the notoriety that comes with success, it’s not lost on Campbell on where it all began. “I was able to take a lot of what I learned from MacEwan’s Golf Management program to the golf team. I love sport psychology and having taken courses on player development and

management, it is nice to look back at the skills I can apply to my passion and watch players be successful because of it. I am a coach at heart. I love working with young people; whether it’s hockey, rugby or golf, I believe a coach is a coach for a reason. They just love it. And being recognized for our work is just a bonus.” As for his co-coach, Alan Riley, a Curriculum Coordinator for the Golf Management & Management Studies program, “I couldn’t have asked for a better co-coach than ‘Al Rye’. When it comes to the golf swing or simply playing the game of golf, no one is as good as Alan. We see our roles as coaches in the same way, and we both love to compete. Having Alan’s experience and teaching skills on the team has made our program stronger and my job easier.” Creating a winning culture, giving back to his alma mater and doing so with the approval of his peers is what being a Griffins coach is all about. To follow the Griffins visit:

(Left) Alan Riley and (right) Jodi Campbell.

Ready for the next step? Human service professionals can now get the skills they need to move into a management position through the Bachelor of Applied Human Service degree. Offered on a part-time distance delivery basis, you can complete your degree on your time and in your community.

Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration


MacEwan Alumni News


MACEWAN’S PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION New Science Labs Showcased and Gratitude for the Harder Family Donation MacEwan’s President Receptions are held twice a year and provide community members the opportunity to experience what the University is all about and a chance for donors to see the results of their generosity. The guest list includes business community leaders, civic and provincial politicians, and local philanthropists. This past May, former Premier Ed Stelmach welcomed all attendees to the University’s bi-annual President’s Reception, and personally thanked the evening’s guests of honour, philanthropists Ed and Anna Harder. Their recent donation to the Faculty of Arts and Science was matched by the Government of Alberta’s Access to the Future Fund. Stelmach affirmed that contributing to students’ education is essential, “as the province moves from a resourcebased economy to a knowledgebased economy.”

The Harder family has been supporting MacEwan students since 2003 with general bursaries and Bachelor of Science in Nursing bursaries. To date, Anna and Edmund have contributed close to $1,000,000 to the University and have already helped over 100 students. Edmund explained, “We grew up in the Dirty Thirties, and we both had to struggle for our education. We know that today students are still struggling, and we wanted to help alleviate some of the hardships that they face.”

The Harder’s continued generosity creates an endowment that doubles the number of bursaries available to students in Arts and Science programs. Dr. David Higgins, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, described the University’s new four-year Bachelor of Science degree and its six majors. The program boasts updated laboratories that offer state-of-the-art learning and research opportunities delivered by faculty who engage students who are curious about the world they live in. Dean Higgins then invited guests to tour the new science labs which include an aquatics installation for studying marine biology, a tissue culture laboratory, a microscopy suite and a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer. The new weighing chamber, which isolates the scales from dust and air currents, is the only one of its kind in Alberta. Dr. Robert Hilts, a Faculty of Arts and Science faculty member, identifies the teacher-student ratio as a big part of the MacEwan advantage. “Our students get hands-on experience with sophis-

Donors Anna and Edmund Harder pose with family and former Premier Ed Stelmach at the Spring President’s Reception. (From left to right: Melissa Harder, Grant Harder, Edmond Harder, Anna Harder, Vicki Martinek, Henry Martinek, Premier Stelmach)

ticated lab equipment. At other universities, because of student numbers, the same types of equipment can only be operated by technicians.” By working with state-of-the-art equipment and excellent faculty, graduates of the new Bachelor of Science degree will take an impressive combination of knowledge and experience to their graduate studies or new jobs.

Shaping future leaders by creating a student-focused environment is what MacEwan University is all about and supporters play a huge role in making it happen. Anna Harder summed up the spirit of the evening when she said,  “We are people of modest means, and it makes us feel good to know we will be helping those in need finish their education. After all, education is the hope of the world.”


Kim Brix

Audio Visual Communications, 1998 | Digital Video Specialist If I could eat one food for the rest of my life it would be meatballs.

My one favourite place on campus is Basement of 105 St Building.

It’s Sunday morning at 10 am if I’m not sleeping, I’m flossing.

My greatest accomplishment since graduating is my wife and three kids.

My greatest fear is fear itself.

One lesson garnered from my days at MacEwan is not taking myself too serious.

If I could invite any one person to my birthday party, dead or alive, it would be My Uncle Chris. I wouldn’t sell my soul for a million dollars. One book everyone should read is Time Traveler’s Wife. One movie everyone should see is The Big Lebowski.

My favourite indulgence on campus (food or other) is big sandwiches. In one word, MacEwan students are smart. My MacEwan experience in one word: tiring. “Your name” in one word: doughy.

One song that would be on the soundtrack of my life is Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey. One thing I want people to know about me: I’m a hard worker.

IN ONE WORD is a fun feature that attempts to capture an alumnus in a short interview with one word responses. Interested in being interviewed? E-mail

MacEwan Alumni News



ACUPUNCTURE PROGRAM’S FRESH NEW SPACE For the first time in its 13year history, the Acupuncture program has its own program space – Room 9-302, located in the Robbins Health Learning Centre at City Centre Campus. The new space offers all of the facilities needed to provide an excellent acupuncture teaching space and functioning clinic. It features 13 treatment areas, including 10 beds in a main teaching and practice clinic and 3 private treatment rooms. A large storage room hosts over 400 herbs ranging from predictable (such as dried kelp) to bewildering (such as dried flying squirrel dung). Practitioners use each herb for a particular facet of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture students supplement their education by learning a wide range of skills and knowledge that draw from TCM. The Acupuncture program is introducing four new courses into its program of study. Three begin immediately, including courses on TCM Diagnostics, Research Methodology, and QiGong and Tui Na. QiGong involves balancing energy through aligned motion and breathing. Tui Na consists of traditional massage techniques involving acupressure points. Beginning in 2014, the program will put the herb storage room to more use when it begins offering a course on Chinese Herbology for Acupuncturists.

In addition to the move, a number of new faculty members have joined the program including David James and Darren Tellier. David James, a physiotherapist and registered acupuncturist, is the program’s new anatomy instructor. James was formerly the president of the College of Physical Therapists and of the Alberta Physiotherapy Association. Darren Tellier is a registered acupuncturist with a special

interest in Chinese Herbs. In 2006, Tellier created a virtual Chinese Herbal Pharmacy. Three other faculty members will join the program in January - Adam Salzman, Bruce Tan and Sue Wang. The program also welcomes its new chair, Jiu-Lin Wang. Jiu-Lin has been with the program since 2001. Students of the Acupuncture program will surely benefit from the new space and resources at

their disposal. The three-year diploma program prepares students to become Registered Acupuncturists in Alberta. The program serves as the benchmark for registration in Alberta and is the only public, post-secondary program of its kind approved by Alberta Education.

If you are interested in receiving acupuncture or other treatments offered by the clinic, you can book an appointment online or call the program at 780-497-4610. Visit for more details. The Acupuncture program invites all alumni to visit and explore its new space.

POOL RENOVATIONS TO MOVE FORWARD In the interest of students and the broader community, the Board of Governors of Grant MacEwan University has given its approval to spend five million dollars refurbishing the City Centre Campus swimming pool and expanding the fitness centre in the Christenson Family Centre for Sport and Wellness. This decision is in response to a Review Task Team report issued in June 2011. The Task Team, comprised of faculty, staff, students, community, and other representatives from the University, gave its recommendation in June 2011. The Board of Governors approved it at its September 22, 2011 meeting.

“This decision was a difficult one given other pressing priorities within the University,” said President David Atkinson. “Short of other mechanical or structural failures, these repairs will extend the life of the pool for quite some time. This also provides us with an opportunity to respond to the high demand for fitness facilities identified in the report.” Atkinson noted that there are “no guarantees” for the future if the pool were to require further major repairs. The date for the temporary pool closure for renovations has not yet been determined.


MacEwan Alumni News


Echoes of a Forgotten Past Alumnus Mat Levitt is chasing the origins of a British folk tradition shrouded in mystery Much like an adventurer searching for a lost treasure, alumnus Mat Levitt is tirelessly seeking the historical source of mummers’ plays, an English seasonal folk drama mounted by costumed actors in private homes or pubs in exchange for money, food or drink. Currently there is no commonly accepted source of their origin. Since graduating in the spring of 2009 with a B.A. Major in Anthropology, Levitt has obtained a Master of Anthropology from the University of Alberta. His master’s dissertation explored the practice of mummers’ plays, which prompted Levitt to travel to England in December of 2010 to experience the tradition first hand. The plays were most popular in the 18th century, yet waves of revival occurred in the late 19th century and again during the 1960s when folklore studies were very much in vogue. Yet despite these intermittent surges of renewed interest among historians and enthusiasts, none can convincingly prove where, or when, the plays first emerged.

Claims of the tradition’s origin vary wildly and include everything from 18th century England to pre-Christian pagan rituals. With no concrete reference material, Levitt’s studies rely on meta-folklore, which is essentially “what people say about what they do”. This entails sifting through stories, academic writings, popular literature, video documentaries and other sources to find instances of people mentioning mummers’ plays. “It is so fun to research,” says Levitt. “There are just so many dead ends. It really gets into the realm of speculation. What’s really fun is what people say about it, and how their accounts differ from others”. The plays follow a typical storyline involving a hero, a villain, a doctor, and a fool. Conflict between the hero and villain results in one of their deaths, and the doctor (most often) resurrects the fallen character. Yet the plays differ greatly between localities, with supernumerary characters often portraying local politicians or other equally viable targets for ridicule. Although the inherent

colloquialisms and inside-jokes make the humour often unintelligible to the outsider, the plays provide a wonderful insight to the particular community that comprises the audience. While planning his trip to England, a fortunate stroke of serendipity put Mat in contact with Ronald Shuttleworth, keeper of the most extensive archive of folk plays on earth. While staying at Shuttleworth’s home in Coventry for the entire Christmas season, Levitt was able to witness the various idiosyncrasies of the mummers’ plays performed in numerous surrounding communities. The mystery behind mumming initially peaked Levitt’s curiosity while he was in the twilight of an education degree at the U of A. Though having already completed his practicum, further research on the plays so inspired Mat that he completely changed his educational direction and began studying anthropology at MacEwan University. Of his experience at the University, Mat states, “I felt incredibly comfortable there.

I had great relationships with the anthropology and history departments, and they really supported me. It’s cheesy, but I really felt like I was in control of my fate. I felt that if I want to do really well, MacEwan was the place.” Levitt is now not only accepted into the PhD program at the University of Alberta, but has also been awarded four years of tuition from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Though not certain if his PhD will encompass his study of mumming, Levitt plans to continue researching the history of the plays well after his doctorate program is complete.

Of particular interest to Levitt is the revival of mumming right here in Edmonton as a result of the cultural revitalization of Alberta Avenue. With its central focus on locality-specific content, the centuries-old tradition finds relevance any place where a desire to foster a greater sense of community is present. Revealing an uncommon passion for learning, Levitt plans to make his research a lifelong pursuit. “There really is mystery surrounding (this tradition). What’s truly captivating is the quest for discovery and trying to find the secrets behind this whole thing”.

TESTING THE DARK TRIAD Psychology is most intriguing, most illuminating, when cast in the depths of the human psyche and the seedy complexities of human relations. While probing these depths as a third – year Honours Psychology student, Scott Semenyna stumbled upon the ominously named Dark Triad, which he describes as “horrible and fascinating all at once.”

The Dark Triad and dominance The Dark Triad is a set of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Scott’s honours adviser, Lynne Honey, explains: “The Dark Triad is a relatively novel exploration of something that everyone already knows about. There are personality traits associated with people who are relatively manipulative and calculating and who are good at it. This so-called ‘James Bond’ personality can use others for his

own gain and not feel a lot of guilt. A person who behaves this way can be very successful and use that success to achieve dominance.” Dominance is much harder to define, says Scott. But he did find that dominance fell into three styles – the dominant leadership most people think of, which involves someone being prominent and vocal; the ruthless self-advancement style where someone steps on people to get ahead; and coalition building, where someone gains influence over a group by forming group cohesion. “But even these don’t adequately describe dominance,” he says.

The study Scott’s study looked at the correlation between Dark Triad traits and dominance in women, building on research by one of Lynne’s fourth-year students.

 “We applied the Triad to measurements of dominance to see if someone with these traits will try to dominate a group and looked at the ways they would do that,” he explains.“It was a great idea,” explains Lynne. “It was a perfect fit for the overall research program.” Scott’s study involved 445 participants answering online questionnaires. While it did not require funding, he did receive funding to travel to present his findings at a conference in France.

Scott’s findings and future Although not surprising, the results of the study were insightful. It indicated that women who scored high on the Dark Triad tests tended to practice ruthless self-advancement. It also showed a negative correlation between the Dark Triad and coalition building. “These individuals

don’t seem keen on maintaining group cohesion or bonding,” says Scott.  “They come in with their own purpose and don’t try to be a peacemaker or facilitate a group dynamic.” Lynne explains how invaluable the experience of projects like this is for students. “He got to see the mistakes that can happen and how to deal with them,” she says.  “He learned how to analyze data, got to interact with experts

in the field and saw research from all over the world. We even came up with a new project that he is going to run next year for his thesis.” Scott hopes to continue his studies focusing in the fields of evolutionary psychology and behaviorism. Contributed by Doug Johnson, Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing student

MacEwan Alumni News



Have news to share?

Let your classmates know what you have been up to by sharing your stories and successes in the CLASSifieds. Submissions can be sent by e-mail to or by mail to: Alumni Relations & Services, MacEwan University, PO Box 1726, Edmonton, AB T5J 2P2 High resolution photos are welcome and will be used when space permits. We reserve the right to edit submissions for content, length and clarity.



SCOTT SMITH (Advertising and Public Relations) has been an imaging writer for Corus Entertainment in since 2008. He was recently awarded Bronze at the 2011 New York festival for a station imaging campaign. Scott currently resides in Bowmanville, Ontario.

JENNA O’FLAHERTY (Applied Communications in Professional Writing) is currently working as a graphic designer with Primal Tribe Inc. Jenna lives and works in Edmonton.

1999 CHRISTINE HASSAY (Fine Art) is a self-employed artist here in Edmonton, Alberta.


DAVID CORMICAN (Theatre Arts, 2001) splits his time between Lethbridge, Toronto and Regina. He recently made partner with Minds Eye Entertainment and is founder of the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition. He was elected as the youngest board member for Canada Media Production Association (CMPA) and continues to serve Regina Downtown Business Improvement District (RDBID) board. His short film Rusted Pyre, screened at the prestigious 2011 Cannes and Worldwide Short Film Festivals, among several other high profile international fests including both Calgarys and Edmontons, was honoured as one of the top 100 short films of 2011 and won the Best in Canada award. He is currently in post-production on The Tall Man, a $19.2M thriller starring Jessica Biel, which is readying for a 2012 theatrical release and is currently in production on the zombie slasher, 13 Eerie, shooting in Moose Jaw with producing partners Kevin DeWalt, Don Carmody and Oscar Winner, Roger Christian.

2009 SHEILA COUSINEAU (Management Studies, 1995; Bachelor of Applied Human Services) started working at the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network in 2006. Since graduation, Sheila has been promoted three times to her current position of Business Manager.




PRABJOT KAUR (Special Needs Educational Assistant) has nothing but praise for MacEwan, “MacEwan is the best place to get education and practical experience together. As an international student, I learned a lot about culture and language. It feels like home whenever I am at any of the four campuses. Thanks to the International Office for their guiding and welcoming, the Student Resource Centre for their advising and help with visas, the SA for all the fun stuff, MacEwan for giving me opportunity to live there as student then as staff, and thanks to Aramark Food Services to help me meet my financial needs. To top it off, I can’t leave the instructors behind who gave me so much of knowledge and information.”

ROBIN HAIRSINE (Bachelor of Arts) is an AISH Generalist Intake Coordinator for the Government of Alberta in Calgary, Alberta. Robin attributes this opportunity to her degree from MacEwan. She is very excited to have this position with the government, as it is something she has wanted to do for some time. Robin is grateful for all the support and help that she received along the way during her time at MacEwan.

JAMES WALKER (Accounting and General Administration) was recently recognized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA) as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Jim is an associate partner with KPMG LLP in Edmonton and is actively involved with the continuing professional development program of the ICAA, both as an author and course facilitator.

PATRICIA ORIZAGA-BROCKS (Social Work) works for the Ben Calf Robe Society. She began this position in September 2011 shortly after her graduation from MacEwan. Patricia lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta.

JILLIAN TURANOVIC (Bachelor of Arts) has become a published author, and has recently received her Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. Jillian’s thesis explored the consequences of substance-abuse coping in response to violent victimization. She is currently involved in a research project funded by the Arizona Governor’s Office which explores the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. In her spare time, she teaches a domestic violence class to women in prison. She is now working on her Ph.D, also at ASU, where she will continue to study the impact of violence victimization as well as the collateral consequences of incarceration. Jillian’s research agenda was sparked during her time at MacEwan by Dr. Joanne Minaker, who was key in shaping her interests.


MacEwan Alumni News



“To Nanma and Nanpa’s House We Go”, by David Cormican, Theatre Arts, 2001. Do you have a talent for photography? The alumnus who submits the published photo will receive a $100 gift certificate for MacEwan Bookstores. Photographs can be submitted to For more details visit

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MacEwan University Alumni News - Winter 2011  

MacEwan University Alumni Publication Winter 2011