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FALL 2014


Athletic Therapy alumni dodge bulls, broncs and other four-legged livestock to help rodeo athletes maintain prime condition

Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi with grad Harnarayan Singh Having a ball at the new Conservatory and Bella Concert Hall Launching the careers of some of Alberta’s most successful interior designers

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10 2014 Alumni Achievement Award Winners

Mount Royal’s annual Alumni Achievement Awards celebrate four former students who epitomize the University’s mandate of intellectual excellence, combined with strong societal values.

18 Faculty Abroad »» Students follow in the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm during a Germany field school. »» Launching Canoes for Peru, a friendship between a Peruvian family and a Mount Royal ecotourism professor sparks a movement in the Amazon.


4 Exceptional moments





22 Athletic Therapy On The Prairies

38 A Beehive Of Activity

Athletic therapy grads let their rural roots shine through while volunteering at the rodeo.

28 LaunchPad Helps Made-At-MRU Business Tee-Off

Students team up on the golf course and in the boardroom to launch TLink.

32 Degree By Design

46 Events calendar

48 Closing words

A group of elementary children get stung by the science bug.

New Conservatory and Bella Concert Hall to open in 2015.

47 Mahriaa Shot, Keeta Goal! He shoots, he scores! From coast to coast it’s hockey night in Canada in Punjabi – hosted by MRU alumnus Harnarayan Singh.

51 Giving Their Time, Treasure and Talent

Calgary high school students get a leg up on post-secondary by earning university credits through Mount Royal.


42 Get Ready To Have A Ball At The Bella

Mount Royal’s Interior Design program has launched the careers of some of Alberta’s successful interior designers. Now, the University is taking the historic program to a new level.

36 One Step Ahead

In Every Issue


There’s a lot more to community stewardship than meets the eye. At Mount Royal, we are fortunate to have supporters who back us in many ways. We introduce you to three exceptional supporters.


President Mount Royal University


any given day, there are as many as 15,000 people on our campus. I am fortunate, as President of Mount Royal University, to have the opportunity to meet so many of these people. Whether they are members of our campus community or visitors to the University, everyone has an interesting story and a unique way of contributing to society. Our people are the foundation of our community. At Mount Royal, our students, faculty, staff, management, alumni and donors are an important part of the University. It’s their stories, dreams and successes that remind us to continue our focus in providing a high-quality supportive learning environment. In doing so, we play a role in society through the success of our students in the classroom and after graduation. We are focused on Mount Royal’s future, and we are setting our strategic direction for the next 10 years. As we embark on shaping that direction, what is clear is that people are the foundation of our work. Our role is to engage our students with opportunities to learn through experience and to prepare them for life after university as citizens in our community. We want them to be able to tell their own story, not just through words, but through achievements, spurred by ideas and actions which ultimately translate to shaping our society. At Mount Royal, we formally celebrate achievement through ceremonies such as Convocation and the recent Alumni Achievement Awards — but for all of those achievements that are publicly recognized — I know that there are also many remarkable stories that go untold. This issue of Summit tells some of those stories. I encourage you to get to know the people featured in this edition. We introduce you to members of our community who are spearheading innovations, growing businesses and facilitating change. The diverse features included in Summit highlight the people who make the University what it is today. We hope that by sharing their stories, we will enrich your story.




Carole Simpson


Theresa Tayler


Michal Waissmann




Bryan Weismiller and Melanie Veriotes



Michelle Bodnar, James May, Roth & Ramberg, Laura Stobbe, Michal Waissmann, Colin Way, and Bryan Weismiller


Laura Stobbe and Michal Waissmann


Deb Abramson, Paula Arab, Michelle Bodnar, Carla Ciccone, Chris Galius, Brendan Greenslade, Mike Hwang, Lisa Kadane, Kimberly Molnar, Karen Richards, Theresa Tayler, Adam Thurston, Kelly Trinh, Melanie Veriotes, Bryan Weismiller and Sherri Zickefoose Summit is published by Mount Royal University in the spring and fall of each year. Distributed through various internal and external channels, Summit tells Mount Royal University’s ongoing story to its various audiences. Summit’s content will showcase the aspirations, achievements and contributions of Mount Royal students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters and, in so doing, clarify Mount Royal’s profile as a Canadian leader in undergraduate education. ISSN 1929-8757 Summit Publications Mail Agreement #40064310 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: University Advancement Mount Royal University 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W. Calgary, AB, Canada T3E 6K6


Summit is published in the fall and spring each year. Like this issue, its pages will introduce you to the exceptional students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of Mount Royal University who are, together, helping to change the face of education in Canada. Now, you can enjoy Summit by arranging to have a digital version of the next issue delivered right to your desk or home.

IT’S EASY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Simply e-mail summit@mtroyal.ca with the following subject heading: YES, I WOULD LIKE TO ENJOY MRU SUMMIT BY E-MAIL. Same great stories — now, sustainably yours.

EXCEPTIONAL MOMENTS Universities Without Walls fellowship goes to MRU professor Brent Oliver, PhD, was selected for the elite Universities Without Walls fellowship. Oliver, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work and Disability Studies, will now complete community-based research in Alberta with a goal to establish a research caucus within the Alberta Community Council on HIV. In June 2014, Oliver learned he was accepted to participate in Universities Without Walls (UWW) for the second time. It’s a coveted position, as UWW invited only 10 people from across the country to participate as fellows in this year’s cohort. Participants receive a $20,000 award to be directed towards strengthening an HIV community-based research agenda. Through his research, Oliver also aims to help ensure financial resources, support and expertise will be directed to community-based HIV research in Alberta with a specific focus on the health and wellness needs of gay, bisexual and other individuals.

Business professor receives coveted designation from CMA Canada Professor Ráfik Kurji, Bissett School of Business, received his Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants — (FCMA) designation from the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Canada National Board of Directors (summer 2014). CMAs who are awarded the FCMA designation epitomize the qualities of leadership, professional accomplishments, civic mindedness and dedication to advancing the profession of management accounting. CMAs bring distinction to the profession through their personal career accomplishments, their volunteer involvement with CMA Canada or its provincial partners, and have helped the CMA professional organization grow and increase its profile in the marketplace. Rafik began teaching at MRU 1992.

Professor appointed to International Paralympic Committee — Sport Science Standing Committee David Legg, PhD, professor in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies, was elected to sit on the International Paralympic Committees (IPC) — Sport Science Standing Committee following approval from the IPC governing board at its June 2014 meeting in Bonn, Germany. Legg joins representatives from 21 different countries, representing five different continents. 4


MRU students support flood-hit businesses in High River Staying true to the community nature of MRU, students from the local Enactus chapter — a worldwide organization that mobilizes students to make a difference in their communities — initiated Project High River in the wake of the 2013 floods in southern Alberta. Over the past year, student participants worked to establish the High River farmers’ and artisan markets. The group aims to revitalize the formerly vibrant downtown business district and help the town recover from its economic struggles in the aftermath of the historic flood.

BMO Aboriginal Peer Mentorship Program takes full flight In fall 2014, BMO Financial Group announced plans to fund aboriginal initiatives at Mount Royal with a generous donation of $1.25 million. One year later, programs are in full swing, as a portion of the BMO funds have gone to the BMO Aboriginal Peer Mentorship Program. Run through the Iniskim Centre, the mentorship program trains third- and fourth-year students to mentor new peers. The BMO-sponsored program is an important step in fostering a communitybased atmosphere at Mount Royal. Many aboriginal students come to campus from outside of Calgary. Along with their studies, they must adjust to a new community — often without the support of those who share their culture. The BMO Aboriginal Peer Mentorship Program aims to ease the transition by pairing new students with older student mentors of similar backgrounds who have had successful university experiences. In its debut year, the mentors were: Dwight Farahat (Social Work), Craig First Rider (Social Work), Michael Broadfoot (Psychology), Erin Neal (History), Kevanne Ditto (History), Tim Kenny (Communications) and Simone Foster (Nursing).

MRU profs STEAM during Beakerhead 2014 Beakerhead is a Calgary-wide, hands-on movement that includes a mishmash of engineering, science and arts programming. Mount Royal professors joined the Beakerhead fray and demonstrated various science, technology, engineering, art and math (known as STEAM) programming during the four-day festival held, Sept. 10-14. Students in the Interior Design program and their professors built a large-scale paper house that was featured in a showcase of bizarre and beautiful pop-up structures. Mount Royal physics Professor Manuel Diaz-Avila, PhD, rolled out the “disappearing beaker” while biology Professor Todd Nickle, PhD, presented “strawberry DNA” during an event that captured audience attention with science busking on Stephen Avenue. Business Professor Patricia Derbyshire showed off a 3D scan of women “in geodesic dome with torch motorcycles.”

Grad Class Gift tradition helps first-year students flourish The Grad Class Gift campaign commenced this year, marking the start of what’s set to become a new tradition at Mount Royal. The campaign asked those graduating from MRU in 2014 to commemorate their grad year by donating $20.14 to a bursary set up to help incoming firstyear students with financial challenges. Nearly $3,500 was raised, with students, alumni and families of grads all donating to the bursary. Graduating students who donated to the Grad Class Gift of 2014 will be recognized on campus with a design created by students in the Interior Design and Information Design programs.

Broadcasting chair receives Michael Monty Memorial Award Broadcasting Journalism Chair Brad Clark is chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada’s Michael Monty Memorial Award. The Broadcast Educators Association of Canada is comprised of educators from universities, colleges and technical institutions in Canada that offer education either in broadcast journalism, creative radio and TV production and technical operations. Clark is honoured for his ongoing passion for teaching excellence, support of student achievement and dedication to having his students reach industry-level standards. Clark was nominated by his students for this national recognition. SUMMIT – FALL 2014


Largest SSHRC grant ever allocated to MRU

PR student awarded Susan Francis Prize for dedication to public relations and gender equality In February 2014, Hailey Laycraft, a fourthyear student in MRU’s Public Relations program, took home the Susan Francis Prize in Public Relations (a $1,000 national prize). It’s an honour, in part, awarded for her determination to help improve life for girls around the world. Laycraft is a volunteer with Because I’m a Girl (BGC), which operates programs worldwide to improve the status of girls, giving them equal access to health care, education and protection, as well as improving independence and opportunities to participate in society. The Susan Francis Prize in Public Relations is awarded annually to a public relations student in the final year of his or her studies at Mount Royal, the University of Calgary or SAIT Polytechnic. The prize honours the memory of the late Susan Francis, who studied at the University of Calgary and was a member of the Calgary Public Relations Society (CPRS). Established by the CPRS and the Francis family, the Susan Francis Prize is awarded for a public relations or communications project that addresses one of the many issues Francis dedicated her life and career to: gender equality, the environment, international development, political action and crisis communications. After working with BGC, Laycraft decided to write a communications plan based on a proposed run and walk event for the group, which she entered for the Laycraft award. The Awards representative for the Calgary chapter of CPRS, Vicki Barnett, says Laycraft’s entry was chosen for its strong understanding of the communications planning process and of the requirements of the award. 6


Gladys Sterenberg, PhD, and Kevin O’Connor, PhD, of Mount Royal’s Education and Schooling department recently received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant for $215,990. This grant supports post-secondary based research, training and knowledge mobilization activities in the social sciences and humanities. This grant will allow research in the area of designing and implementing curriculum and pedagogy for the Bachelor of Education program, further enhancing the program’s real world connections. Research has already begun through the building of associations with school and community partners. The aim is to enhance curriculum and teaching materials co-created with mentor teachers through the implementation of realistic experiences for teacher candidates. Mount Royal continues to strive to provide teacher candidates with real world and relevant classroom experiences and this grant will only deepen those connections. Results are expected to be significant as research dictates how to implement transformative pedagogies that will foster teacher candidates’ development throughout a teacher education program.

Library Award for excellence in Scholarly Endeavours MRU histroy student Sabina Trimble was named the 2013–2014 winner of the MRU Library Award for Excellence in Scholarly Endeavours. The award honours student research in many forms, such as papers, films, digital projects, poster presentations and other creative work. With the support of her professor Liam Haggarty, PhD Trimble entered her honours thesis in ethnohistory — her paper was chosen from over 2o other impressive applications. Trimble’s research centres on her experience at the Ethnohistory Field School, which is held jointly every other year through the University of Victoria and the University of Saskatchewan. The field school involves living and working in partnership with the Stó:lÅ indigenous peoples, who reside in the Fraser River Valley and Fraser River Canyon. Trimble graduated from MRU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts — History, and will continue her education at the University of Victoria as she pursues her Master’s degree.


Two of Canada’s prominent voices of environmental sustainability, Justice Thomas R. Berger and David Schindler, PhD, joined several speakers to present at Mount Royal’s award winning conference series: Under Western Skies 3: Intersections of Environments, Technologies and Communities (Sept. 9 – 12, 2014). Berger opened the conference with a keynote address, 40 Years after the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, while Shindler concluded the conference on Sept. 12, with an address at a reception hosted at Mount Royal’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Under Western Skies is a conference on the environment that welcomes academics from across disciplines as well as members of artistic and activist communities, non-profit organizations, government and NGOs to collectively address environmental challenges faced across the globe.

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Photo: Lisa Warner

MRU alumni winner of the 2014 Canadian Ethnic Media Association award for excellence in television Mount Royal alumnus Harnarayan Singh (Broadcast Journalism 2004) is the recipient of the 2014 Canadian Ethnic Media Association’s (CEMA) award for excellence in television. Singh is honoured for his exceptional work as host and play-by-play announcer for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, a groundbreaking language hockey broadcast. The MRU alumnus describes hosting Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi as his dream job. As well as CBC, Singh’s career has included work with TSN, OMNI, and Red-FM. He covered both the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. He was also the anchor for CBC Calgary’s TV Sports coverage for the past two NHL seasons along with hosting weekly behind the scenes features for the Calgary Flames website. Singh spends time giving back to the community by speaking through motivational lectures to students across Canada. The CEMA’s presented the 36th Annual Awards Gala on June 20th at the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre in Toronto. Each year, through this gala event, CEMA recognizes and celebrates excellence in media, while also acknowledging Canadian Multiculturalism Day, held annually in June. Read more about Singh on page 47.

MRU opens Centre for Community Disaster Research On Sept. 19, 2014, Mount Royal University opened its new Centre for Community Disaster research (CCDR) in the wake of the devastating June 2013 floods in Alberta — the most costly natural disaster in Canada to date. Research developed by the CCDR will assist in effective responses to catastrophe. Funded mainly through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Aid to Small Universities Fund, the Calgary Foundation’s New Initiatives Program and MRU’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability, the Centre is a trans-disciplinary hub for research, education and outreach related to natural, social, technological and economic disasters. Among other initiatives, MRU faculty will lead two major new SSHRC-funded projects totalling more than $250,000. The Centre will be under the directorship of Tim Haney, PhD. Research into understanding residents’ reactions to the flood warning will eventually assist public officials’ awareness of the needs of a community before, during and after a disaster. As well, Caroline McDonald-Harker, PhD, will continue her work in High River on learning about communication, coping and caring in family life post-disaster, as well as how families may be assisted in best moving on. Both Haney and McDonald-Harker are with MRU’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In the coming months, the CCDR will engage with stakeholders from the emergency management, non-profit and private sectors.

Compiled by: Michelle Bodnar, Carla Ciccone, Brendan Greenslade, Mike Hwang, Karen Richards, Theresa Tayler, Kelly Trinh and Bryan Weismiller




OPEN HOUSE Saturday, October 25, 2014 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning mtroyal.ca/openhouse

2014 ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS Mount Royal University’s alumni family is comprised of more than

85,000 graduates who have realized remarkable achievements and great professional successes in their chosen fields. Many of the University’s grads have also made significant contributions to their communities

as engaged and philanthropic citizens who care about others. Mount Royal’s annual Alumni Achievement Awards celebrate four former

students and one future alumna who epitomize the University’s mandate of intellectual excellence combined with strong societal values.

»» The Horizon Award recognize the outstanding achievements of an alumna or alumnus early in their careers. »» The Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus who has brought great honour to the university and fellow alumni through meritorious performance in professional, community and/or personal endeavours. »» The Outstanding Alumni Awards recognizes those who demonstrate outstanding achievement in their fields. »» The Future Alumna or Alumnus Award is given to a current student based on their academic accomplishments, school involvement and volunteer history.

We introduce to you the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award recipients. BY MICHELLE BODNAR



Rick Smith Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award Business Administration, Mount Royal transfer program (1969) Rick Smith meets everyone with a big smile, a polite lift of his Smithbilt, a courteous bow, and a hearty handshake. He is immediately gracious, welcoming and unguardedly humble — a natural leader, and one capable cowboy. Smith, well-known and loved in Calgary for his 33-year tenure at Heritage Park, retired in 2006 as general manager. He is western hospitality personified, remembering the people he’s served rather than the accolades he’s received. Born in Longview, his parents moved the family to Thorncliffe in northeast Calgary when Smith was nine. “Six houses from the edge of town,” he says, which was still too much big-city for a country boy like him. He enrolled at Mount Royal in 1967 when the school was still called Mount Royal Junior College (MRJC), admitting to not having the grades to attend university after being too busy playing sports at Crescent Heights High School. Smith says while Mount Royal has undergone many changes over the past four decades, the school has always fulfilled an important need in the community. Smith joined the Business Society, cutting his teeth at event

planning and fundraising, and founded a Cougars fan club called the Lady Godiva Memorial Marching Band. After two years at Mount Royal, Smith transferred to Eastern Washington State University, finishing a business degree in 1971. He started his career working for a major oil company, but soon felt his rural roots pulling him in another direction. He spotted a small newspaper ad for an assistant manager at Heritage Park. It seemed ideal. “I love the outdoors. I don’t like wearing suits. I like dealing with people and I like the rural way of life,” he says. In 1973, when Smith started the job, Heritage Park was only nine years old. From Heritage Park’s board members to volunteers and employees, the people meant the most to Smith throughout his career. During events everyone pitched in to deliver a quality experience. “I sure had fun,” he says. “I got to drive the train, the boat and a team of horses all in the same day!” Inspired by the volunteers at the park, Smith was encouraged to reach out into the community, and so he joined the Historical Committee of the Calgary Stampede. Since then he has become a member of many local organizations, including the Bar-U Ranch Board, Tourism Calgary, Rising Sun Extended Care Centre and the Longview Music and Arts Festival. He won the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, was the 2013 Western Legacy Award Winner and recipient of the 2005 Calgary Awards.



Mercedes Brown Outstanding Alumni Award – Professional Achievement General Studies Arts & Science – Natural Sciences diploma (1993) Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program (1995)

Now an experienced Calgarian with nearly three decades worth of winters under her belt, Mercedes Brown’s introduction to this city was a bit of a shock to the system. She arrived in Calgary from Jamaica as a 19-year-old international student on Aug. 28, 1984, beginning classes at Mount Royal right away. Because she was unfamiliar with the registration system, her first semester consisted of mainly 8 a.m. courses, which left her shivering at the bus stop while she adjusted to her chilly new surroundings. Constantly toiling on two or three life goals at once, Brown describes her resume as “flowing.” Intermingling education and practical work experience, Brown briefly suspended her studies at Mount Royal to complete a medical secretarial course, starting her first hospital administration position at the Colonel Belcher Hospital (now known as the Carewest Colonel Belcher Care Centre) in 1989. This year she celebrated 25 years with Alberta Health Services. “My grandmother once told me, whatever you learn, you never know how you will use that knowledge,” she says. While at the Belcher, Brown returned to Mount Royal part-time to complete her General Studies Arts & Science – Natural Sciences diploma in 1993. She began the Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program (CCNP) in 1995, a collaboration between Mount Royal, the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and the University of Calgary while continuing to perform various roles at Calgary’s hospitals (she received her nursing degree from U of C in 1999). In 2002 Brown obtained specialized certification as an Enterstomal Therapy Clinician Specialist and currently works with diversion patients at the Rockyview General Hospital. She meets with them before surgery, explains procedures, observes their access to resources and then follows through after until they are back home in the community. She says she tries to use each person’s experiences and stories to help others. “When I nurse, I nurse the person. The individual,” she says. “We have the science behind medicine, but the art part comes with listening.” After returning to post-secondary for what she says will be her final time, Brown completed her Masters of Nursing at the University of Calgary in 2010. She currently provides the same sort of leadership and training to Mount Royal nursing students that she received from like mentors, and she is looking forward to being able to teach more in the future.



Jonathan Hak, Q.C. Outstanding Alumni Award – Professional Achievement Diploma – Criminal Justice Careers – Police (1980)

When asked about the numerous high-profile trials he has prosecuted as one of Alberta Justice’s most senior criminal litigators, Jonathan Hak simply says, “You can just do a (Google) search. It’s all there.” As a Crown Prosecutor with the specialized position of Office Counsel, Hak’s name is often in the news. It’s not difficult to find out about the most recent criminal driving case he was involved in, or how he played a part in Alberta’s first-ever murder trial involving DNA. Practising in Calgary for 26 years, Hak primarily works on homicides and sensitive files, dealing with realities incomprehensible to most. “People have weaknesses and we do horrible things to each other. I work for an office that takes people to task for those horrible things,” Hak says. With the initial intention of becoming a police officer, Hak entered then Mount Royal College’s Police Science and Criminal Justice program in 1978 directly after high school, receiving his diploma and moving on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree (with distinction) at California State University. An injury prevented him from further pursuing a law enforcement career and so the next logical step was, to him, to become a prosecutor. “To finish the job the police started,” he says. He then earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Cambridge in England. “Of the four post-secondary institutions I eventually went to, Mount Royal was the most pivotal,” he says. “Mount Royal invigorated in me for the first time a joy in learning and in striving”. Returning the favour, Hak has spent the last 25 years as one of Mount Royal’s most respected instructors and mentors. Until 2007 he taught in Justice Studies (and previous incarnations of the program), as well as Forensic Studies (from 2003 to the spring of 2014). A specific focus for Hak has been forensic video analysis law, an area in which he has instructed for the FBI Academy since 2000. He also developed and teaches a course on expert witness testimony in various locations across North America, and was formerly the president of the Alberta Crown Attorneys Association, Vice-President (Prosecutions) of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel and has been Queen’s Counsel since 2006. Hak says both prosecutors and teachers need to be organized, proficient communicators and have a comprehensive depth of knowledge of the subject matter. “The professional achievement that I sought when I was at Mount Royal is something that I ultimately achieved, and it’s Mount Royal that got me started on that track,” he says. “That’s particularly gratifying.” SUMMIT – FALL 2014


Pieter Boekhoff Horizon Award Bachelor of Applied Computer Information Systems and Business (2007)

You’ve likely heard of the iPhone, iPad, iStock … but, have you heard of the iMirror? The iMirror is the brainchild of Mount Royal alumnus Pieter Boekhoff, an innovative entrepreneur who uses his own experience building successful ventures to assist others in starting their own. With a degree from Mount Royal in Computer Information Systems (CIS) (2007) and a minor in Entrepreneurship, Boekhoff says his education provided him with essential technological skills, plus tools, for evaluating and implementing business plans. Three years after graduation he launched Fenture Solutions Inc., which evolved into POSH View Inc. and is now Nobal Technologies. Specializing in custom software development focusing on interactive solutions, Boekhoff’s interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to the creation of Nobal’s latest product, the iMirror. The IoT refers to the very near future where most everyday objects will be connected through the Internet, and most people will own at least five devices capable of accessing the growing network. Huge amounts of useable data will be generated through innumerable interactions between humans and their gadgets. “Big data, information capture and behavioural analytics are a growth industry in hospitality,” says Boekhoff. “We’re trying to be on the forefront of that wave.” The iMirror is the perfect tool for the hospitality industry, aimed at helping them better understand their clients. When turned off, it acts just like a conventional mirror. When it’s on, it becomes a large, multi-touch screen providing several applications such as ticket purchasing, traffic updates and email access. Already trademarked in Canada and the U.S., the iMirror will soon be launched at a number of hotels in Las Vegas. Boekhoff, who grew up in High River, co-founded his second venture, AcceleratorYYC, in large part because of his passion for helping newbie local entrepreneurs kick-start their own ideas. After participants complete a six-week course, Boekhoff offers free desk space to would-be entrepreneurs. He mentors start-ups through their concept development, teaches new owners how to pitch properly and introduces them to local venture capitalists. “The goal is to provide a point of transition from a university graduate to a full-fledged business owner and operator,” he says. Boekhoff also co-founded the 2013 Charity App Challenge, leads a monthly Founder’s Forum and facilitates mentorship among the A100, an elite group of Alberta’s top tech engineers. He is a keen advocate for organ donor awareness and helps raise funds for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.



Kristin Milloy Outstanding Future Alumni Award Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and Cellular and Molecular Biology

Kristin Milloy has a perfect GPA of 4.0 and aspirations aimed directly at medical school. Entering her third year at Mount Royal University in fall of 2014, she is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program, taking double majors in Health Sciences and Cellular and Molecular Biology. Her hunger to learn, partnered with her deep dedication for helping people, led her to spend four weeks of the summer of 2014 volunteering at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Sri Lanka. Milloy, whose ultimate goal is a career as a neurosurgeon, shadowed doctors, scrubbed in to observe surgeries and even sutured patients while volunteering at Karapitiya. She says the health issues presented to her in Sri Lanka were of far greater acuteness than anything she has seen in Canada. “In our health care system” illness and disease are often discovered and treatment is started in the early stages. In Sri Lanka, by the time patients made it to hospital, their symptoms or disease were usually much more severe,” she says. Already making her mark on the medical research field with her intensive work on the function of astrocytes, research done for assistant professor Biology, Adrienne Benediktsson, PhD — which could eventually assist those with brain and spinal injuries in healing from trauma — Milloy says that school involvement has been a key component in her accomplishments thus far. “There is absolutely no way I would be able to achieve the things I have without the endless help and support from my peers, professors and campus services,” says Milloy, who is currently president of the Chemical and Biological Students’ Society as well as a former student councillor. “The relationships you build are really what is amazing about Mount Royal.” Drawn to the intimacy of the University’s smaller campus and class sizes, Milloy says that she enjoys learning at both the macro and microscopic levels. She doesn’t expect science or life to give up any easy answers. Her advice to those just starting out in their education is to never give up. “Success isn’t a straight and easy path, it is full of hardship and failure. The struggle is when you learn the most and gain the most experience,” she says. Citing her parents for teaching her the value of hard work and perseverance, and volunteering for offering lessons to the importance of teamwork and community involvement, Milloy seems clearly undaunted by challenge. Her innate sense of curiosity, combined with her compassion for others is the stuff that will surely solve medical mysteries.

Astrocyte DiOlistics






NOMINATE Nominate Mount Royal alumni for an Alumni Achievement Award! Nominations for the 2015 Alumni Achievement Awards will be accepted until Feb. 28, 2015. Find nomination forms at mtroyal.ca/alumniachievementawards 16











RENAE WATCHMAN, PhD Department of English






he Fairy Tale Route, as it’s known, is a wild ride. Those who make the journey are encouraged to pack their imagination along side their toothbrush — one can expect to meet witches, princesses, huntsmen, pied pipers and animal musicians along the road. Through Mount Royal’s ENGL 3397 – Studies in Children’s Literature, and Film 3701 – Studies of Film, 16 students from various faculties participated in a Germany field school that sent them down the Rhine River, through Frankfurt and on to many other locations, such as Hamburg and Berlin, to experience the historic Fairy Tale Route. The 600-some km road, which runs between Hanau and Bremen, includes the birthplace of and several locations where the Brothers Grimm lived, as well as various fairy tale

settings — some authentic, some imaginary — where many of the beloved stories took place. Shannon MacNaughton, a fourthyear Business major arrived in Europe ready to immerse herself in a literary adventure. “Being in Germany, as opposed to a classroom, while experiencing these stories and legends truly made it more memorable,” she says. “When I think back to each place on our tour, I can picture each story. For example, when I think of Göttingen, I think of the Goose Girl. When I think of Bremen, the Bremen Town Musicians are present in my memories as well.” Spearheaded by Renae Watchman, an associate professor in Mount Royal’s English Department, the trek took place from June 10 through 23, 2014, and was an opportunity for students to analyze and theorize tales of the region. Watchman, PhD, teaches courses in North American

Indigenous Literatures and Film and was keen to explore ways of merging North American Indigenous folklore with German fairy tales. The course was an introduction to folklore and orality, and while class work included the Brothers Grimm, Watchman purposely focused much of the content on introducing students to American Indian traditional stories and tales. “(Tales that) had typical fairy tale motifs, yet probed universal questions of the role of women, of gender, and of otherness,” Watchman explains. “These cautionary tales span continents and evolve, like all oral stories, yet are not popular, like such tales put forth by the Grimms. “I hope students came away with a wealth of knowledge about oral storytelling and tales, as well as an appreciation of world cultures.” MacNaughton felt that the Indigenous stories the class learned about portrayed a stronger sense of authenticity. She says each story had an underlying aspect of realism that resonated with her, while the European stories in contrast seemed more mystical – yet no less enjoyable. “There is a feeling of the surreal when reading Grimms’ fairy tales that distances the reader,” she says. While it wasn’t MacNaughton’s first time overseas, it was her first time spent on the road with other students and professors, such as Watchman and Mount Royal Provost and Vice President Academic Kathy Shailer, PhD, who also took part. MacNaughton says sharing the experience with academics and fellow scholars opened up a wealth of opportunity for provocative discussion around how storytelling impacts culture. Shailer agrees.

“There is no better way to get a true sense of the student culture of a school than through teaching,” she says. “I loved (Watchman’s) emphasis on storytelling — oral, written and filmic — across distinctly different cultures, and the students, regardless of their major, seemed equally captivated.” When Christine Thompson, a third-year Public Relations student signed up, she never guessed that the experience would give her just as much of a lesson in public relations as it did in English. “Not only did we get to see each town, but we were able to experience the German culture that was built around each location,” says Thompson. She expected to learn a lot about folklore. However, she was pleasantly surprised that the field school also equipped her with significant lessons to take back to her public relations studies. “The importance of communications was solidified in a new way for me. With the language barrier, asking for directions or other questions of locals was intimidating. Using a little German went a long way,” she says. Before catching the transatlantic flight, students were required to attend nine, full-day classes in addition to screening feature films on their own time. The first film Watchman screened for the class was The Princess Bride (1987). “It begins with a storyteller re-telling a tale, using tried and true fairy tale and folklore motifs, engaging viewers in a comedic way,” says Watchman. “I wanted to combine a filmic component since so many of the popular tales have been Disneyfied.” MacNaughton believes that the tales kept alive on the Fairy Tale Route will be treasured and passed on, but she expects

that — as with all orally-passed on tales — they will be constantly morphing and changing from generation to generation. “It’s more common for a child to have seen the Disney version of one of these fairy tales than to have read through it themselves,” she says. And she’s not completely convinced that evolution is always for the best. “Seeing these stories edited further by Disney has really changed how little girls may see the female role. I still love those Disney films, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely have a new perspective having taken this course.” Disney isn’t the first group to make tweaks and embellishments to classic tales. Many fairy tales the Grimms’ appropriated were edited and changed when the brothers began to record them — for example, any mentions of pre-marital sex or pregnancy was removed before they were published. “I wanted students to engage critically with the material… These three facets of the course: a comparative and critical approach of folklore (both Indigenous and German); the film adaptations; and the actual Fairy Tale Route provided ample material to see how orality goes through various revisions, which is ripe for critical work in the classroom and in the field,” Watchman says. “The students were fantastic, as they all stemmed from various cultural and academic backgrounds, which made our discussions highly stimulating.“ The Mount Royal group’s 12-day tour took them to 13 towns, various gothic and medieval churches and castles, as well as Berlin, where the opulent gravestones and memorials to the Brothers Grimm are located. SUMMIT – FALL 2014






Faculty of Health and Community Studies


oe Pavelka makes friends wherever he goes. The Mount Royal associate professor and coordinator of the Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (ETOL) program has a calm, worldly nature that suggests he can fit in just about anywhere. From Belize and Mexico to the Yukon and North West Territories, Pavelka, PhD, has operated field schools (which bring Mount Royal students to select areas across the globe) throughout these locals. One of his latest endeavours is concentrated on the Manu National Park region of Peru. Pavelka is spearheading an initiative in the area called Canoes for Peru, which will create a partnership between Mount Royal and a Peruvian family. The goal of the program is to bring 12 canoes and related gear to Manu National Park by May of 2015. The boats will be delivered to the family, who own and operate Bonanza Tours, the only locally-owned and operated tour business in the region. The Huamani family will incorporate the canoes into their eco-tours down the Alto Madre Rio River, which flows from the eastern slopes of the Andes into the Amazon. “By focusing on one region and creating connections and friendships, we have been able to open up a number of amazing opportunities for our students to be part of,” Pavelka says. “The locals begin to trust you enough to also dream with you about amazing possibilities for the area.”



The intended outcome of the program is to bring immediate economic benefits to the region, create awareness of the park and wildlife, showcase the possibilities and benefits of ecotourism, and most importantly, to further establish friendship between the Mount Royal community and the Manu Park region. As part of Canoes for Peru, young boys and girls from the nearby village of Atalaya will be taught canoeing technique and safety so they too can begin to earn above average wages as Amazon river-guides. While it is common to see powerboats on the Alto Madre Rio, experiencing the river in traditional canoes, over a sevenday period, will be a distinctive opportunity. The use of canoes represents a return to a more traditional way of experiencing the river via self-propelled water travel, something that has become less prevalent since the advent of motor boats. “It is this ability to expand and grow ecotourism impact in the region that drives the Canoes for Peru initiative,” Pavelka says. “We want to develop a program to introduce local children to canoe travel and work with small local schools to offer trips. Not only would this add to the diversity of our field schools — it would also provide local children with a new experience in their own backyards.” If Canoes for Peru is to be successful, Pavelka and his students will need to raise funds to for not only canoes (average cost for a new canoe is about $2,000), but also for shipping.


A SHARED PASSION FOR ECOTOURISM It all began when Pavelka was visiting a café in Huacachina, a small village a few hours outside of Lima, in 2008. This is where he met Ryse Huamani, one of five siblings who run Bonanza Tours. As the two men started up a conversation, the Canadian professor and the tour guide from Peru soon realized they had a lot in common — namely, a passion for sustainable tourism — they soon got to chatting about how they might be able to bring students to Manu National Park. Ryse and his family operate Bonanza Tours on a plot of land that his father established in the 1970s. When Ryse’s father laid stake to the 12,500 hectares of jungle forest beside the Alto Madre Rio, his plan was to someday use it to harvest commercial crops. However, as Ryse and his brothers grew older they began to study ecology and economics. They soon came to the conclusion that this magnificent part of the jungle might be better served if it were to be preserved. Their father was hesitant when they first pitched the idea to found an ecotourism business on his land. However, when they showed him the profit margins that were possible, he agreed to their plans. Today, the Huamani family make their living giving travellers once-in-a-lifetime experiences visiting the untouched

Amazon. When Mount Royal students visit Peru with Pavelka, Bonanza Tours is an integral part of their experience. The goal of the field schools to Peru is to allow students to learn, through immersive hands-on experience, about the growing ecotourism industry, culture and life in the country. While there, students complete research on various sustainable tourism and cultural topics. Mike Overend, Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (2013) was a participant in the 2011 Peru field school and is also involved in the Canoes for Peru initiative. “I believe that Canoes for Peru is an excellent opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with an ecotourism initiative. I’m especially passionate about this initiative because I believe in the positive outcomes of ecotourism,” Overend says. Canoes for Peru is about working with friends who have a passion for helping to create a new experience in the region. It is also something that the locals can use to build, grow and develop an ecotourism business and prosperous community. A community that not only welcomes Pavelka, Overend and others involved in Canoes for Peru and the ETOL program, but all of those in the Mount Royal community.

»» Capital: Lima »» Population: 28,674,757 »» Ethnic groups: Amerindian 45% - Mestizo 37% White 15% - Black, Asian, or other 3% »» Agricultural products: potatoes, wheat, seed, cotton, coffee, maize, rice, beans, sugar cane, fishing »» Average life expectancy at birth: male: 68.33 years - female: 72.04 years »» Fertility rate: 2.46 children born/woman »» Religions: Roman Catholic 81%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%, other Christian 0.7%, other 0.6%, unspecified or none 16.3% »» Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, many indigenous dialects »» Gross Domestic Product per capita: $6,600 »» Population below poverty line: 54% – Courtesy of Joe Pavelka

THE NEXT STEPS To find out how you can help launch Canoes for Peru visit www.canoesforperu.com or contact Joe Pavelka at jpavelka@mtroyal.ca or 403.440.6512 Mount Royal and Canoes for Peru will present an evening of collected images and film from the Amazon on Oct. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Jenkins Theatre.





ATHLETIC THERAPY ON THE PRAIRIES Mount Royal University athletic therapy graduates let their rural roots shine through BY LISA KADANE


he noonday sun beats down on a hot July day and a bead of sweat trickles from Brandon Thome’s forehead to his chin as he deftly wraps a bullfighter’s ankle with tape. “We tape their ankles every performance, so they don’t roll them over,” explains Thome, an athletic therapist and volunteer with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team (CPRSMT), as he tightly winds the bandage. His patient, Scott Byrne, a rodeo veteran of 19 years, doesn’t seem to mind the snug ankle support — the taping is a precautionary measure to prevent injury while Byrne distracts an angry bull so the rider can get away after dismounting. “These people here are pretty crucial to what we do,” says Byrne, nodding toward Thome. “Without them, my career would’ve been a lot shorter.” Inside the infield building, just behind the chutes, athletic therapist John Reinbolt confers with a massage therapist who is flushing Luke Butterfield’s knee. The saddle-bronc rider’s right knee was scoped 12 days ago following a meniscus tear from riding on June 14. SUMMIT – FALL 2014


Butterfield needs the swelling to go down so he’ll have better mobility in the saddle today. Before the rodeo even starts, more then 30 riders, steer wrestlers, calf ropers and bullfighters will have been adjusted, massaged and taped to prepare them for the spills that inevitably come in their line of work. It’s just another day behind the scenes at a rodeo — in this case, the world-famous Calgary Stampede — for athletic therapists Thome and Reinbolt. Both men earned their Advanced Certificates in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University as part of a degree program through the University of Calgary. Now, Thome and Reinbolt work together, bringing their skills to athletes in Calgary and the rural communities of Rocky Mountain House and Sundre, Ab. through their athletic therapy business, Prairie Therapy. They credit Mount Royal with helping them gain the practical and business experience that is crucial to starting their own athletic therapy practice. The pair spend their weekdays helping figure skaters, hockey players, skiers and farmers, among others, get back in the sport or out into the field after an injury. Then, instead of collapsing on the couch come Saturday, they dedicate their weekends between May and November to helping out at rodeos like this one as volunteers for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team, an organization



that has been providing medical and therapy support to Canada’s pro rodeo competitors for 30 years. Thome and Reinbolt were both recruited as CPRSMT volunteers by Mark LaFave, PhD, one of their Mount Royal athletic therapy professors. “Because we teach students in the Athletic Therapy program, we look to recruit them into rodeo,” says LaFave, who himself has been volunteering with the CPRSMT since 1994 and is one of its past-presidents. “Brandon and John have this passion to give back to rural-based communities,” he says. “They’re both rural kids ranch kids that moved to the big city.” Reinbolt grew up on a ranch near Fox Valley, Sask., where he learned to rope calves, while Thome was raised just outside of Medicine Hat, Ab. Though located in different provinces, the two towns are just 115 kilometres apart, and in that slice of prairie, rodeo culture is alive and well. LaFave is impressed his former students have grown Prairie Therapy to include offices in Rocky Mountain House and Sundre, two examples of small towns where there is a dearth of therapy services. He’s doubly impressed Thome and Reinbolt then spend their weekends helping rodeo athletes get back in the saddle, so to speak.

RODEO BY THE NUMBERS • Bull riding and bareback riding are the 2 most dangerous events with the most traumatic injuries • The most injured body parts for rodeo competitors are the these 3: head, shoulders, and knees • The average number of competitors or support workers seen per day at a rodeo for treatment before or after, plus any care needed in the arena is 35 • There are 2,000+ man-hours required by the CPRSMT to coordinate practitioners for each rodeo, travel to the events and work at the performances



“It’s the people, not the events. It’s an adrenalin-junkie sport, but it’s also a lifestyle ... I love that we get to know the competitors and their families.”

But which came first, their love of rodeo, or the desire to be athletic therapists? “We do the Prairie Therapy thing to support our rodeo habit,” jokes Thome. In reality, the two passions are nearly inseparable. During the 2014 rodeo season Thome and Reinbolt will drive close to 22,000 kilometres around Western Canada, hauling a mobile treatment trailer stocked with two treatment tables, braces, bandages, tape, wound care supplies, medicine and other supplies, as volunteers with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. Once on site at a rodeo they’re available to triage injuries, as well as teach injury prevention or help cowboys ride with existing injures. Two athletic therapists attend every rodeo, in addition to a chiropractor and a massage therapist. Thome and Reinbolt rarely attend events together, instead alternating rodeos; they also volunteer as service managers and medical coordinators for the CPRSMT, as well as hands-on athletic therapists. “We cover 130 rodeos a year,” says Reinbolt. “Competitors come to us and say, ‘I’m going to ride today. What should I do?’” Sometimes they just need to tape arms or ankles. Other times they might refer the competitor for a massage or a chiropractic adjustment. If the injury is serious enough, Thome or Reinbolt can put the cowboy in touch with a sport medicine doctor who can order further screening. You could say the CPRSMT is like MASH, for cowboys. As if to prove this point, the Calgary Stampede delivers an injury not 30 minutes in to today’s rodeo. The crowd watches in horror as a bareback rider gets “caught up” trying to dismount his horse. He’s dragged along the ground hanging by his thumb for an agonizing minute or more while the pick-up riders try to slow down his horse. Eventually the rider is able to get his hand free and walks off the field to a chorus of cheers.



John Reinbolt, Prairie Therapy

Fortunately, rodeo injuries aren’t always that dramatic, says Reinbolt. Instead, he and Thome see a lot of repetitive strain injuries — shoulders from too much lassoing, thumbs and wrists from holding on to a bull or bronc — as well as their share of blown-out knees, broken ankles and concussions. “If a bull rider falls off a bull and gets stomped, he’s going to get hurt. But that’s few and far between,” says Reinbolt. He recounts a story of a 14-year-old steer rider whose ride stepped on his back giving him two broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a lacerated spleen. As the boy was lying inside the ambulance he asked his father, “Dad, when can I ride again?” To say that the cowboys Reinbolt and Thome work with are “tough” is an understatement. There aren’t many other athletes who would ride a bronc 12 days after having their knee scoped (and then manage to stay on their ride for the full eight seconds, like Butterfield). Basically, Thome and Reinbolt and all the volunteers with the CPRSMT understand rodeo culture and help these boys and men “cowboy up” for the next competition. But rather than letting them suffer in silence, which used to be the cowboy way, the team helps relieve their pain, or gently suggests they don’t ride. “If they tell me to sit out, I sit out,” confirms Butterfield. Following Thome and Reinbolt around at the Calgary Stampede, it’s easy to see the appeal of helping these athletes — rural kids who started roping or riding at age three, and grew up on the back of a horse. The rodeo competitors love what

they do, and are driven to get back in the saddle or on the bare back of a bull as soon as possible. It’s exciting to watch them compete in adrenalin-fuelled events, but it’s apparent that what draws Reinbolt and Thome to rodeo is the way of life, the small-town community spirit of knowing your neighbours and helping others. “It’s the people, not the events. It’s an adrenalin-junkie sport, but it’s also a lifestyle,” says Reinbolt. “I love that we get to know the competitors and their families.” It’s also incredibly rewarding work, because the patients are so completely appreciative, he says. It means a lot to Reinbolt and Thome to help these men maintain a lifestyle, and livelihood. At the end of the performance, no one is seriously injured. Some of the riders have been knocked around a little bit, but they’ve been taped and treated by the CPRSMT. And when the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth wraps up after its 10-day run, Thome and Reinbolt will pack up the mobile treatment trailer and drive it to the next rodeo.

PRAIRIE THERAPY Mount Royal alumni Brandon Thome and John Reinbolt started Prairie Therapy in 2010 to fill a need for athletic therapy in rural Alberta communities. They have offices in Sundre and Rocky Mountain House, as well an office in Calgary, and the business partners have plans to move in to more small towns. “There’s a real need for rural health care,” says Thome. Small town residents are often tasked with driving six or seven hours into a city to see a specialist; many just wait and hope their injury will heal itself. “We come to them. We’re like the specialists they would drive to see in the city,” Thome explains. Athletic therapists provide immediate assessment and care of sport and other musculoskeletal injuries, and get patients going on a rehabilitation program. They also teach injury prevention and can refer clients to a sport medicine doctor, if warranted. Prairie Therapy works with a variety of athletes, from university varsity teams, to lacrosse and hockey players, to rodeo professionals, to ski team racers. Some of their clients live in Calgary; many come from small towns. Small-town boys themselves, Reinbolt and Thome love what they do. “For John and I, it’s about helping people from the same community we came from.” For information visit prairietherapy.ca or call 403.200.2190



Mount Royal students team up on the golf course and in the boardroom to launch TLink

LaunchPad helps made-at-MRU business tee-off BY BRENDAN GREENSLADE

It’s nearly impossible to call a hole-in-one from the tee box while the ball is still in the air. When the trajectory is straight and the wind is just right — you can hope it’s going to be one heck of a shot. Now, the success of your golf drive might just be getting a little easier to predict. Two Mount Royal students have invented a new tech-savvy device aimed at helping you point your swing in the right direction. 28



a hot summer day at Bearspaw Country Club and Derek Rucki and Stefan Radeta are ready to tee-off. They both stare at their wrists as if they are checking the time. In fact, they’re calculating their next drives using TLink, their flagship invention — a lightweight Bluetooth device that pairs with a smartphone and gives a golfer the front, middle and back yardages to the green. Rucki takes aim, swings effortlessly and the ball takes flight, landing lightly on the green. He smiles with a knowing grin. “My background is golf. I have been playing competitively since 12 years old and did my first two years of university on a scholarship in Texas before coming to Mount Royal,” says the Bachelor of Business Administration — General Management student.

“When GPS golf devices started to hit the market, I tried a few different products, but found them to be bulky, wide, heavy and really just distracting while taking a swing.” Those “bulky” GPS devices are what inspired Rucki to design the first prototype of TLink in 2013, which he debuted at Mount Royal’s LaunchPad competition — a Dragons’ Den-style business proposal event for over $50,000 in cash and prizes. It was during LaunchPad 2013 when Rucki first met Radeta, a fourth-year Bachelor of Computer Information Systems student who was also pitching his own idea, a mobile app. The two quickly saw potential in teaming up. Rucki’s business acumen and passion for golf, combined with Radeta’s technical savoir-faire lead the twosome to combine talents. »


220 yards 209 yards 197 yards


10,271 steps 4.9 km 627 calories




Measures yardages to green Weighs only 30 grams Information on over 30,000 courses Readable in bright sunlight Available in five colours Connects to a smartphone Also tracks steps, calories and distance

Keeping design and functionality top-of“ (Rucki and Radeta) are two of the most entrepreneurial mind, they created the first model that year. minds that I’ve met. I couldn’t be more proud of their Rucki and Radeta were determined that TLink stand apart through everything from progress thus far.” its price-point (at $99 it’s considerably more affordable than like products); to size and R AY D E PAU L weight (at 30 grams it’s about half of the D I R E C TOR O F M O UN T R OYAL’ S I N S T I T U T E F O R I N N OVAT IO N weight and half the width of similar products); A N D E N T R E P R E N E U R S H I P and through features such as its pedometer function and software capabilities. about TLink, and the product hadn’t even drive,” says Brown, who acts as not only Their hard work paid off. At 2014’s hit the market yet. TLink had begun to monetary investor, but also as a business LaunchPad in February, Rucki and Radeta attract the attention of the local media, mentor to the business duo. “I hope to took home the chief prize. The team as well as movers and shakers in the see them reach their vision… then go accumulated an impressive haul of $30,000 golf industry, such as Fred Greene who on to contribute to the ecosystem of consisting of $10,000 from JMH&Co. featured the device on his popular golf entrepreneurship and become angels Chartered Accountants; $10,000 in legal podcast, GolfSmarter. for someone else one day.” services from Stikeman Elliot LLP; $5,000 TLink doesn’t just capture the imagination Currently, the TLink shop is open nearly in marketing services from Design4Change, of golfers, the product also interests potential 24/7 operating out of the Slate Startup Lab Mount Royal’s in-house boutique marketing investors. In May, the team closed their in the Bissett School of Business. As Rucki agency; and $5,000 from the Building Up first round of private investment. and Brown navigate the business-side Successful Youth (BUSY) Foundation to One of TLink’s “angel investors” is Rod of the venture during the daylight hours, move TLink to market. Brown, who’s spent the majority of his Radeta takes the nightshift to communicate As spring approached, the snow melted career working with startups. with the manufacturer in China — the and golfers across Calgary begin to hit the “(Rucki’s) personality is impressive. time change between nations was an links in hoards. The buzz on the course was He really has a lot of passion and serious unanticipated challenge for the team. 30


Rucki (left) and Radata (right) are determined to see TLink succeed.

Launching Alberta-born businesses Mount Royal students are securing investment money towards their fledgling business ideas through a new and unique program, aptly named, LaunchPad. Through a generous donation of $250,000 over five years, JMH&Co., in collaboration with the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal, has created the JMH Venture LaunchPad program (founded in 2013). LaunchPad is available to all Mount Royal students and takes place annually. It’s been described as a kinder, gentler Dragons’ Den where students can win cold, hard cash towards their start-up business ventures. Each year there’s $50,000 up for grabs!

“Luckily I prefer programming late at night,” says Radeta. Caddying for team TLink at Mount Royal is Ray DePaul, director of Mount Royal’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as Ricardo Hoar, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. The support has been priceless for the pair as they struggle to keep up with the mounting momentum of their new company. “(DePaul’s) constant guidance and support has been amazing, he’s not only helped us inside of the classroom — ­ he has extended his networks and expertise to us as well,” Rucki says. Meanwhile, Hoar offers his advice on the technical back end. “Ricardo has been an amazing resource for me as he has helped me take the skills, theory and knowledge learned in the classroom to apply it directly to TLink,” explains Radeta. DePaul says TLink is successful first and foremost because of the passion, dedication

and incredible efforts of its founders. He notes that Rucki and Radeta took advantage of the University’s intimate classrooms, experiential courses, engaged professors and active volunteer community to conceive and refine their idea. “I doubt (Rucki) would be the CEO of his own company already if he were sitting in the back of a lecture hall absorbing without putting to practice,” says DePaul, adding that TLink is a “made in Mount Royal” company. “(Radeta and Rucki) are two of the most entrepreneurial minds that I’ve met. I couldn’t be more proud of their progress thus far.” With a lofty goal of having one million units sold by the end of their first five years of business and eventually becoming the leader in golf tech, the boys from TLink have a long way to go. But if they can keep shooting straight, you may just see them — or at least their state-of-the-art TLink product — on the PGA Tour one day. TLink is now accepting pre-orders through their new website (golftlink.com). SUMMIT – FALL 2014



Mount Royal’s Interior Design program has launched the careers of some of Alberta’s most successful interior designers. Now, the University is taking this historic program to a new level, as it transitions to a proposed four-year bachelor’s degree. 32


Interior design drawing by Monica Blain


he proposed Bachelor of Applied Interior Design degree at Mount Royal University is set to raise the bar on its already much-lauded program. Pending government approval, the program will be responsible for training some of Canada’s best interior designers as it transitions from an applied degree to a four-year bachelor degree. “The impetus behind the change is to improve the quality of the program, which will translate into better-prepared and more highly skilled graduates,” says Helen Evans Warren, associate professor and chair for the Department of Interior Design at Mount Royal. Additionally, the change from an applied degree to a proposed four-year bachelor will further Mount Royal’s program among interior design programs in Canada. Currently, there are only three CIDA-certified (Council of International Design Accreditation) interior design programs in Western Canada, including Mount Royal’s highly competitive curriculum (more than 300 applicants compete annually for just 40 spots). “A move like this, overall, will raise the level of interior design qualification for practice in Canada,” says Evans Warren. “It’s about raising the professionalism and increasing the knowledge and skills of interior design professionals across the country.” The program is adding two full academic semesters of course work, while decreasing the number of work terms required from two to one. The overhaul will consolidate some of the program’s one-credit and two-credit courses into comprehensive, well-rounded three-credit courses. Studio courses will also be project-based, and lecture material will be delivered in a hands-on workshop setting. “It’s a more integrated approach,” says Evans Warren. Mount Royal interior design graduate Amanda Hamilton applauds the proposed change in degree status. “There is so much information that you need to know in this industry that it has to be a four-year degree,” says Hamilton, creative director at Amanda Hamilton Interior Design. She credits Mount Royal with giving her a strong foundation from which to launch her own interior design business. “Interior design is about a lot more than picking colours,” concurs Evans Warren. “It’s about integrating meaning into space for a client. Interior designers are like interior architects, they have an understanding of systems and structures and how they come together to create a liveable environment.” Summit Magazine caught up with three Mount Royal interior design grads who have taken their degrees in different directions.


During Monica Blain’s final year at Mount Royal University as a Bachelor of Applied Interior Design student, something Master of Architecture clicked. Blain realized she candidate, Columbia no longer viewed design as University Graduate School merely the practice of drafting of Architecture, Planning floor plans — rather, through and Preservation (GSAPP) internships, the exacting curriculum and her instructors, she had come to understand its potential to transform the built environment and shape human interaction, and reaction, within it. “The faculty at Mount Royal made a huge difference and taught me that architecture is not just a vessel that contains space. It’s an interlocutor. It creates a dialogue,” says Blain, now a graduate student in architecture at Columbia University in New York City. “Spaces create profound experiences for people. That’s the meaning of design to me.” After graduating from Mount Royal in 2010, Blain decided to leave Calgary to pursue a higher degree. She was accepted into the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University and started there in 2011. “It was very scary getting into Columbia. It was intimidating — a new city, new people, the prestige of the school,” she says. But the top-rated school is pluralistic in its approach to architecture — for example, the program accepts students with degrees in engineering, science and even history — and Blain soon realized that her degree in interior design was a huge advantage. She already knew how to draft plans and she understood the technical aspects of design and construction. If anything, she says she had to let go of some of that ingrained practicality in order to think more creatively. Now on the cusp of obtaining a Master of Architecture, Blain may yet return to Calgary to practice. “I want to show people different ways to live. I want to show them they can step out of the (suburban) box,” she says. She would love to bring the flair of Calgary’s Peace Bridge, or the lines of the Burns residence (3639 8a St. S.W.), for example, to Calgary’s residential districts. She would also love to return to the city as an instructor in Mount Royal’s new four-year degree program in interior design. “I really want to teach at Mount Royal University one day,” says Blain. “I’m totally invested in the program. My heart’s in it.”





He’s designed modern homes, rustic retreats and over-the-top Versailles-inspired villas, and he’s currently working on a spectacular lake house in Principal, Paul Lavoie Kelowna, B.C. But Paul Lavoie, Interior Design one of Calgary’s best-known residential interior designers, says that every home he works on doesn’t have to be a statement project. Though many are grand in scale, some are modest, which suits him just fine. Lavoie loves to listen, and then create a liveable space — large or small — perfectly tailored to his client. “I listen really well. In this industry you always listen to what someone wants. It’s their house — you’re not going to live there,” says Lavoie, who’s been designing homes for more than 25 years and whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Avenue, Style at Home and Western Living magazines, among others. He’s quick to note that all of his projects may be “done by the same person, but they’re not the same at all.” Designing homes comes naturally to Lavoie. As a child, he tinkered with floor plans instead of playing with trucks, so it’s little wonder he enrolled in Mount Royal’s Interior Design program, which in the 1980s was a two-year diploma. In addition to providing Lavoie with a strong interior design foundation and the technical skills necessary to be competitive in the industry, Lavoie says Mount Royal taught him how to successfully communicate his ideas. “You must be able to express how you plan to help someone,” says Lavoie. “You’re verbally communicating something that’s visual, and that’s a challenge.” Because of his experience at Mount Royal, Lavoie understands that interior design students coming out of the school are prepared to hit the ground running as employees; as a result, he only hires Mount Royal grads. “They just get it,” he says. “We all seem to have the same basic design instinct and skills.”




When Amanda Hamilton travels, she likes to sit right up at the bar and chat with the bartender, or make Creative director, Amanda conversation with locals Hamilton Interior Design inside a crowded café. “You’re more likely to talk to strangers when you’re sitting close to them,” observes Hamilton, who applies this truth to the commercial spaces she designs. At 80th & Ivy Modern Kitchen restaurant on 17th Avenue S.W., for example, communal tables and cozy niches within the larger space “create opportunities for people to come together,” she says. “A lot of the restaurants we do have a residential feel.” Hamilton graduated from Mount Royal in 2005 with an Applied Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design. She launched her own design firm in 2009 and splits her focus between residential clients (roughly 70 per cent) and commercial projects. “What I love about commercial design is there’s a little more of a creative edge there,” says Hamilton, who is known for her bold and unconventional style. “Most restaurants renovate after about five years, so there’s an opportunity to do interesting things inside the space that people would never do inside their own home.” Añejo on 4th St. S.W. illustrates this point nicely. The Mexican restaurant wows diners with custom furniture made from parota wood, bright patterned throw pillows and kitschy Day of the Dead statues. Some people may not “go” for this “south of the border” look in their own homes, but Hamilton was encouraged to take creative license. Hamilton also drew inspiration from a semester she spent abroad in Guadalajara years ago — the family she stayed with had a gigantic wall of Mexican crosses inside their home, similar to the statement wall that resides inside Añejo. “I’m always inspired by travelling,” she says. Hamilton credits Mount Royal for providing her with a solid foundation from which she was able to launch her business. As a result, when hiring, she looks for applicants with a degree from her alma mater. “I know what it takes to be successful in this industry. It’s a bonus if they come from a program I trust,” says Hamilton. “I had a really great experience at Mount Royal.” SUMMIT – FALL 2014


One step ahead

Calgary high school students get a leg up on post-secondary education by earning university BY PAULA ARAB credits through Mount Royal


rade 12 English is hard enough without adding a university-level literature and writing course to the load. That challenge didn’t stop high school senior Tim Wun from taking advantage of a partnership between Mount Royal University and Bishop Carroll High School that provided an opportunity for Grade 12 students to take English 1101. The part-time university course was first offered in 2013’s winter semester (as a pilot project) to Grade 12 students who had successfully passed their English diploma requirements. “The course provided a safe bridge between university and high school,” says Wun, now in his second year of university. “It allowed us to experience what a university class is like in a small, enclosed high school



setting where the professor was able to slowly guide us along and provide each of us with close supervision and help.” Starting in September 2014, English 1101 at Bishop Carroll is now offered as a dual credit, allowing students to earn both high-school credit and university credit from one course. It is one of two Mount Royal dual-credit partnerships approved for funding by the provincial government. Mount Royal profs are also teaching high school students at Springbank Community High School, where learners in Grades 11 and 12 are able to choose between two introductory Environmental Science courses. Those students have the chance to earn high-school credits while exploring the option of a career in environmental science, earning six university credits that will be recognized by Mount Royal’s

Bachelor of Science — Environmental Sciences degree should they wish to enrol and get accepted into the program. “We’ve set prerequisites for all of these courses and in our experience, these high school students are quite capable of succeeding with intro level university coursework, assuming they have the prerequisites we have established,” says Jim Zimmer, PhD, dean of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning. “It’s a situation where students are obtaining simultaneous credit at the high-school level and at the university level. The high school is supplementing our (MRU) courses with additional instruction, tutoring and an experiential component in the community. It’s more than us showing up for three hours each week.” Richard Harrison, the Mount Royal

MRU professor Richard Harrison lectures university-level English to Calgary high school seniors.

“ University is still a distant place for high school students and I’m like an ambassador from this foreign place they’re going to go to.” Richard Harrison Mount Royal University professor, English

professor who has taught the intro English course at Bishop Carroll for the past two years, says the partnership works because it exposes students to first-year course work from the safety of their high school comfort zone. “There are subtle differences in the dynamics of the classroom,” says Harrison. “I’m on their turf. They are taking a course in their home environment. They’re at least comfortable with the surroundings. “University is still a distant place for high school students and I’m like an ambassador

from this foreign place they’re going to go to.” The students still have to face the emotional challenges all high school students face when they go to university, but by taking dual credits in high school, “they’re able to deal with the intellectual side of it without having to also deal with being away from home for the first time and a new environment,” says Harrison. The course work is the real deal, with university-style inquiry and expectations. “It’s exactly how I teach the course at Mount Royal,” he says.

Wun, now 19 and a history major, agrees. “The hardest thing about the course was adapting to a new university environment … things like citations, research papers and adapting to university particulars are things that most high school students have to jump straight into in their first year,” says Wun, who overcame the challenges and earned an A-. “My favourite part of the course has been engaging in professor Harrison’s free writes where we essentially spend five minutes each class writing, sharing, and reflecting on anything that comes to mind. It provided an opportunity not only to get to know each other better (something that is much harder in a larger university setting), but to analyze each person’s thoughts and reflections and how almost anything can tie into writing, literature and critical thinking, which were the aims of the course.“ SUMMIT – FALL 2014


A beehive of activity

MRU helps a group of Calgary kids get stung by the science bug


“Everyone wants to constantly record the data and be involved in the process as much as they can. It’s pretty funny to see kids so excited about science.“

Nathan Scherger

Mount Royal University Bachelor of Science, Biology graduate


a crisp, clear October day, a group of Grade 4 students set off to scour the wilderness. Armed with Google Earth figures, the kids trudged through the brush in search of the wooden chests they had installed months earlier. But this was no typical treasure hunt. The students weren’t rummaging for gold nuggets, precious jewels or even chocolate eggs. These youngsters were looking for bumblebees. “This was a treasure hunt with great excitement as the reward when the children discovered a colony,” said Katherine Boggs, PhD, a geology professor at Mount Royal University who led the group of some 50 nine-year-olds. The kids were part of the Geological Bumblebee project, which not only studies the health and behavior of Calgary bumblebees — the population of which has been dramatically dropping



— but also includes a geology component and examines the long-term benefits of engaging children in real-life science projects at a young age. The stages of the project are designed to also incorporate elementary school curriculum from the Alberta Education Science Program. “They learn how to identify the bees — there are about 20 different species in Alberta. They also learn about the bumble bee lifecycle, including how the queen bees build their colonies,” says Boggs. The interdisciplinary research project was born in 2013 when Boggs went on sabbatical and wanted to spend more time with her son, Hendrikus, who was in Grade 3 at the time but is now going into Grade 5. What started as a collaboration between Mount Royal and Grade 3 kids at two Calgary Board of Education elementary schools has expanded to four elementary

schools and some 400 children in Grades 3, 4 and 5. The handmade “hives” are being installed at new and varied locations, which include a landfill site, a Scouts Canada camp west of Calgary, and the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area. Boggs is also working with the City of Calgary to gain access to even more green space to place the bee boxes. In Grade 3 the children build their bumble bee boxes, stuffing them with raw cotton to provide the queen bee with suitable materials to build her colony while keeping wasps out of the boxes. During their spring field trips, these Grade 3 students install these boxes with the hopes of attracting the queen bumble bees. That year, the children made the bee boxes at school and stuffed them with raw cotton. They go on a field trip in spring to install the hives in hopes of attracting a colony.

Bumble Bee Facts » Bumble bees generate static electricity when they fly. » Bumble bees use “buzz pollination” when they hold onto the flower and vibrate their detached wing muscles to free hard to get pollen.

The following fall, they return as Grade 4 students to study what’s in the boxes and record their observations. In making a hive, the queen bee gathers the organic plant material she uses to reinforce and insulate her hive, and secretes wax to build a series of cells, one for each egg she will lay. The first round she builds consists of 10 or 15 cells, where she lays the “worker bees” of the colony. These are female, infertile bees. They do the heavy lifting, such as getting food and guarding the colony. After producing enough workers, near the end of the season, she lays the reproductive bees like the drones and new queens who will eventually leave the nest to reproduce and never return. Near the end of the bumble bee queen’s life cycle, she lays an egg which develops into the juvenile queen. Only this juvenile queen survives the winter, emerging from

hibernation in the spring to start the next bumble bee life cycle. That’s why kids can find dead bees in their boxes, or empty cells, which look like crunchy organic material, or nothing at all. One box had as many as 300 cells in it, indicating a very large colony. Nathan Scherger, who just graduated from Mount Royal with a biology degree, was a student mentor, researcher and manager on the project. He says taking the kids back out in the field to find their wooden beehives is better than Christmas morning. “It’s so much fun, it’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had,” says Scherger, who now hopes to do his Masters of education at the University of Calgary. “When we go out on the field trips, the kids practically race each other head-over-heels to find the bees and the boxes. Everyone wants to constantly record the data and be involved in the process as

» Unlike the European honeybee, bumble bees can sting multiple times because their stingers are smooth. » Our native bumble bees do not communicate which means that each individual bumble bee forages independently.

» There are long faced/tongued bumble bee species that can feed on deep flowers (not possible for honey bees). » Similar to bears, juvenile queen bumble bees build up insulating fat stores so that they survive hibernation in underground burrows.

much as they can. It’s pretty funny to see kids so excited about science.” Boggs plans on introducing new components to her interdisciplinary research project as the original cohort of kids grow older. They enter Grade 5 this fall, and as part of their wetlands requirements, these students will be examining the impact of engineered wetlands on flood mitigation and bumble bee habitats. One entire K-9 school will also be examining the impact of the southwest ring road construction on wetlands and bumble bees. Boggs plans to expand the Geological Bumble Bee project with new components each year in order to follow Hendrik’s original class through to graduation from Grade 12. She wants to examine the long-term impact of engaging children in authentic hands-on science at a young age. SUMMIT – FALL 2014


A historic Memorandum of Understanding between Mount Royal and the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area promotes educational, cultural and scientific collaboration BY MICHELLE BODNAR


May 22, 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Mount Royal University and the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) was signed on top of a grassy hill near the entrance of the carefully preserved natural area. The agreement will result in a huge outdoor classroom and endless research opportunities. Found just southwest of Calgary off Highway 22X, the ASCCA will now act as a 4,800-acre laboratory and classroom for Mount Royal students. The area will play a pivotal part in the objectives of outdoor education, conservation and environmental sustainability, and promoting educational, cultural and scientific collaboration through numerous areas of study, research and cooperation.
 “Discussions are already underway for Mount Royal’s science, education and

ecotourism faculties to help us research how outdoor education programs can be more effective,” says Dallas Droppo, QC and chair of the ASCCA. “Likewise students and faculty from MRU will have an opportunity to undertake meaningful research and develop outdoor-focused educational programming at a living natural laboratory close to Calgary.” 

 Every faculty, school and department at the University will be able to find some way to benefit from access to the area. Students will have the opportunity to study watersheds, wildlife (birds, bears, cougars, beavers and even moose), geology and agriculture. “It’s a laboratory, it’s a teaching environment, it’s an opportunity to get involved in planning,” says David Docherty, PhD, Mount Royal president.

The land is rife with inspiration, and those working on the MOU are coming up with new ideas every day. There are already fascinating projects underway, such as research led by members of Mount Royal’s Faculty of Science and Technology aimed at involving children in the observation and analysis of the behaviours of bumblebees and the health of their population in Calgary. The MOU will allow for even more experiential learning at Mount Royal, and further the University’s goal of being a place where students not only gain knowledge, but also the experience needed to help make long-term differences in their communities. “We don’t simply graduate students, we help create and craft citizens,” says Docherty.

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less than a year, the Mount Royal University Conservatory will be opening the doors to its very own home. And Calgary will be welcoming the city’s newest performing arts centre since the 1980s. The new Conservatory and Bella Concert Hall — a landmark $90-million construction project which broke ground in spring 2011 — is opening next fall and launching its first season with a high-profile fall arts festival in September 2015. The Conservatory is one of Mount Royal’s original programs, dating back to 1911. Today, it is the largest music education institution of its kind in Canada. Nearly 5,000 students enrolled in non-credit programming fill rehearsal and classroom spaces scattered around campus. The Conservatory attracts worldfamous faculty to teach its Academy for Gifted Youth and international Morningside Music Bridge summer training school, and has famously helped launch the international careers of music prodigies, including concert pianists Yuja Wang and Jan Lisiecki. Grammy nominee and Juno award-winning singer-songwriter Feist studied voice at the Conservatory as a teenager. Since the ‘90s, limited space has capped growth for the Conservatory’s successful early childhood education classes, speech arts, private lessons, masterclasses for gifted students and ensemble activities. “For years, we had to stay at the same size. We were also part of the oldest building and we were surrounded. There was nowhere

to expand to. We just needed a place to grow,” says Conservatory Director Paul Dornian. Growth is just what’s in store for the Conservatory and its new free-standing building, located at the east end of campus beside the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning. Plans to expand youth and community programming will see its student numbers more than double by 2018, 8,500 music and speech arts students — from babies to retirees — are expected to fill classes. With 43 private teaching studios, five early childhood classrooms, five master classrooms, six large rehersal halls, two traditional classrooms and one multipurpose room. “On any given day, you could conceivably have babies with their parents or grandparents in the early childhood suite,” says Dornian. “You could have a percussion ensemble rehearsing up in the percussion room; a couple of different concert bands in the ensemble spaces; a full orchestra rehearsing in the TransAlta Pavilion. You might have fifty or sixty private lessons in oboe, bassoon, harp, violin, cello, saxophone and piano. And who knows? You could have a symphony orchestra performing in the concert hall. All that can happen at the same time.” The cost of the project is divided among the federal and provincial governments, which are contributing $20 million each, and the City of Calgary with $10.3 million. Mount Royal is providing $3 million in land and project costs. The remainder of the budget is being provided through generous donations from a variety of corporations and private citizens. Opportunities still exist to join this group. »

Daniel Okulitch

FAMOUS ALUMNI Besides offering private lessons, group classes, the Calgary Youth Orchestra, chamber ensembles and choirs, the Mount Royal Conservatory serves as a launching pad for child prodigies and gifted musicians. Many are star performers in leading orchestras around the world.

The prestigious Academy for Gifted Youth and international Morningside Music Bridge summer training school alumni includes internationallyrecognized concert pianists Yuja Wang and Calgary’s own Jan Lisiecki, both Deutsche Grammophon recording artists.

3 4

Daniel Okulitch studied in the vocal academy from 1989 to 1995. Okulitch sang the role of Schaunard in Baz Luhrmann’s 2003 Broadway production of La Boheme, a role he repeated in Los Angeles in 2004. He has since appeared with orchestras and opera companies in Europe and North America. He performs frequently with the San Francisco Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Calgary Opera and Vancouver Opera. SUMMIT – FALL 2014


Not long after Calgary philanthropist Don Taylor was approached, the family announced a record-breaking $21 million donation in 2010, making it the largest single private donation in the University’s history. In addition to the Taylor family, TransAlta Corp., the late F. Richard Matthews Q.C. and others have also pledged support. The Bella Concert Hall is named after the Taylor family matriarch, Mary Belle (Sherwood) Taylor, known as Bella to her loved ones. “Don wanted to do something to honour his mother and do something public, something appropriate and it’s a public concert hall,” says Dornian. “The Taylor family are amazing community supporters. They do things in a big way and very thoughtfully.” Taylor says the entire family is anticipating the big launch. “We’re really looking forward to that. The hall is going to be one of the most majestic and impressive concert halls in all of North America,” he says. “I don’t think there’s anything that will come to close to matching what the building is going to be.” By 2011, Pfeiffer Partner Architects Inc., and Sahuri + Partners Architecture Inc. began work on the performance centre, which takes up an 8,700 gross metre footprint. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified building is the project of a lifetime for CANA Construction, which is tasked with the complicated demands of building acoustically-engineered spaces. Sound-proofing practice rooms require box-within-box construction to enable singers, cellists or clarinetists to practise side-by-side without sound bleeding from one room to the next. The 773-seat concert hall is a state-of-the-art performance centre — the city’s first since Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts was built in 1985. »

Jan Lisiecki Jan Lisiecki began studying piano through the Conservatory at age five. He made his Canadian stage debut at nine years old, the same year he started studying high school courses. Now 18, Lisiecki has a busy world-touring schedule of sold-out shows and was named Gramophone Magazine’s 2013 young artist of the year. 44


“ Architecturally, it’s a stunning space… a signature piece. I think when people walk in, their jaws will drop. It’s edgy but at the same time it’s warm. I don’t think Western Canada has seen a space like this before. Generations of Calgarians are going to come through this building and really appreciate the fact that it’s a very distinctive statement that absolutely blends in with the western esthetic.” Paul Dornian Conservatory Director


Yuja Wang

Grammy nominated and Junoaward winning singer-songwriter Feist sang in Calgary choirs and studied private voice lessons at the Conservatory during high school. Her early 1990s voice instructor Dawn Johnson says Leslie Feist was committed to reaching her goals, whether it was winning Kiwanis Festival classical competitions or commanding the stage with a band.

China’s Yuja Wang was one of the youngest students accepted by Morningside Music Bridge summer program. The talented young pianist moved to Calgary to continue studying at Mount Royal Conservatory. Now 27, Wang is widely recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation and performs with the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

Paul Dornian, Conservatory Director, anticipates performing in the new concert hall, which is finishing construction. SUMMIT – FALL 2014


“While Calgary is home to many theatres and performance halls, there’s nothing in the medium range,” says Dornian. The Bella’s medium size is large enough to accommodate a 100-piece orchestra and 90-person choir loft but its classic design offers concert-goers an intimate space with superb acoustics. The classic shoebox structure and rural prairie heritage-influenced design — structural elements are reminiscent of a barn roof, and wooden sound reflector panels mimic the petals of an Alberta rose — mean the Bella is no cookie-cutter concert hall. “Architecturally, it’s a stunning space,” says Dornian. “It’s a signature piece. When people walk in, their jaws will drop. It’s edgy but at the same time it’s warm. I don’t think Western Canada has seen a space like this before. Generations of Calgarians are going to come through this building and really appreciate the fact

that it’s a very distinctive statement that absolutely blends in with the western esthetic.” The Bella and the Conservatory rehearsal rooms will provide space for dance troupes, film festivals, theatre and spoken word performers, and all forms of music performance. “It will create new opportunities with us to partner with the whole arts community that we haven’t had the right space for before,” said Dornian, who is in his 23rd year as director. “We have this wonderful history going back to when the doors opened in 1911 of being a community organization, the Conservatory being a credit-free operation that is there to enhance and provide cultural opportunities for the city of Calgary. That part won’t change, and I hope it never changes. It’s a great mandate and a wonderfully positive thing to be part of.”

MEET BELLA With a goal of making life better for everyone around her, Mary Belle (Sherwood) Taylor succeeded at every turn. Whether it was scratching out a new life on a southern Alberta farm as a young bride, supplementing tough times by supporting her family or rallying for a much-needed community school, Mary Belle orchestrated success. “She was a great Alberta pioneering woman, in every sense,” says son Don Taylor. The Bella Concert Hall — at the heart of the new Conservatory — is named in honour of the Taylor family matriarch Mary Belle (Sherwood) Taylor (1891-1972), known simply as Bella to loved ones.



Slated to open next fall, the city’s muchanticipated medium sized professional concert hall would not have been possible without a generous $21-million contribution provided by the Taylor family. It’s the largest private donation in Mount Royal’s history. The concert hall will serve music students and audiences, as well as provide a hub for a broad range of performing arts activities for the community. The story of Bella is the story of true pioneering spirit. In the spring of 1912, the 21-year-old bride boarded a train in Kingston, ON, bravely heading west to start a life farming with her husband on the Prairies. After the family lost the farm in Barons, AB during The Depression, Bella moved to Calgary where she ran a boarding house for 12 years to help support her family.

“She was an incredibly great lady and very hard-working,” says Taylor. Bella was an enthusiastic supporter of education and was instrumental in bringing an elementary to Grade 12 schoolhouse to serve Barons, a rural village located 170 kilometres south of Calgary. The school was featured in a scene of the 1978 film Superman. “It was such a small community, it couldn’t be justified. But she campaigned with the local and provincial governments. And it happened solely because of her efforts.” Much like Bella’s efforts to further education, the Taylor family’s philanthropy will benefit music lovers and theatre goers for generations to come. “If my mother was here I’m sure she would be justly proud,” says Taylor.





Harnarayan Singh (right) gives play-by-play commentary during the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, along with analyst Inderpreet Cumo. SUMMIT – FALL 2014



a crisp December Saturday night in Canada. As snow softly begins to fall outside, families across the countr y gather in front of the television. Young children, grandparents and everyone in between, eager to watch their idols, wait with anticipation for the start of the weekly ritual so deeply ingrained in Canadian culture. The music starts, the opening montage plays and the host’s familiar voice begins the broadcast... “Canada dhay hockey premeea noo, athay naal Amreeka athay Newfoundland vich betthay premeea noo vee, jee aya noo.” (Hello Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland!) From coast to coast on CBC, it’s Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi with your host, Harnarayan Singh. A proud graduate of Mount Royal’s Broadcast Journalism program (class of 2004), Singh always dreamed of hosting a hockey show. He never imagined living his dream in Punjabi. His journey had twists and turns as he overcame self-doubt, xenophobic detractors and even being an Oilers fan. Perseverance and dedication helped him climb the ranks from an intern at TSN, to a field reporter with CBC, to now anchoring the Punjabi segment of the flagship show for hockey in Canada. When Singh was in Grade 6, he had an assignment to write his autobiography. On the last page he wrote: “When I grow up I want to be a hockey commentator or critic.”



It was an ambitious goal for a youngster growing up during the mid 1980s in the small town of Brooks, AB. Back then there were fewer than 10,000 residents and the Singhs were the only Sikh family in town. But for Singh, the son of a school teacher and a math professor, it was an inevitable certainty. Early on it was clear that hockey was Singh’s first love. He was an Oilers fan who idolized his favourite player, Wayne Gretzky. When he watched games on television, Singh would run around the room imitating players as Bob Cole announced the play-by-play calls. His family eventually had to tell him to stop rebroadcasting the game — they wanted to hear the television, not their son. “We always had to tell him to quiet down,” explains his father, Santokh Singh,

PhD, laughing. “It was bad enough he was running around the room during the game pretending to be a player, we didn’t want to hear the game commentary twice as well.” Singh was surrounded by a tightknit, supportive family at home, but he felt alone and separated at school from the rest of his classmates. He was the only student in school who wore a turban and he had a vegetarian diet. Hockey helped bridge that cultural gap — he wore hockey sweaters to school and conversations about that weekend’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast created common ground to make new friends. It didn’t matter that he looked different from his classmates when they were all cheering for the same team. It was in high school when Singh first dipped his toe into broadcasting. He had

a local radio show with his friend Mark Scholz featuring Viewpoint, an opinion segment. That was when the idea of broadcasting as a career really began to feel realistic. His family provided the guidance and reassurance he needed. “My parents were very supportive. They realized this was my dream and wanted me to pursue it,” Singh says. His choice to attend Mount Royal was driven by the school’s success with previous alumni. The three years previous (2001-2003) students from Mount Royal’s Broadcast Journalism program had been selected for an internship at TSN, the largest broadcaster of sports coverage and news in Canada. As fate would have it, in his second year, Singh was selected for one of the four internship positions available at TSN from thousands of applicants across Canada. All his life he had watched from the other side of the screen and now he was in Toronto working side-by-side with on-air personalities such as James Duthie, Jennifer Hedger and Darren Dutchyshen, learning firsthand what it took to make it in sports broadcasting. He moved back to Calgary in 2005 and began working as a reporter for CBC. After a few years working in the field delivering news

stories, Singh had found moderate success. One of his big scoops was a story exploring the discrimination of new immigrants with certain last names by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The story went viral, garnering coverage around the world. Singh credits his early success to the preparation and education he received at Mount Royal. “The instructors I had at Mount Royal all worked in the field,” says Singh. “They shared the ins and outs of the industry as well as what employers would be expecting from us. The first day I arrived at CBC they were able to assign me to the field because I knew how to operate the equipment and I had experience delivering a story.” Still, that elusive spot at the sports desk remained out of Singh’s grasp. Then came a critical day in 2007… “It was very lucky that I was already working for CBC as a reporter and that I had prior experience at TSN,” Singh says. “On top of that, Kelly Hrudey (former NHL goaltender and now an analyst with Rogers Sportsnet) whom I consider a mentor of mine in the industry, was a big part of the English broadcast and knew how passionate and obsessed I was with hockey.” As part of CBC’s pilot to provide diversified

hockey programming, the station was going to include multi-lingual broadcasts in Mandarin, Cantonese, Inuktitut and Punjabi. They needed someone who knew one of those languages and had an incredible passion for hockey. They needed a commentator. They needed Singh. His first assignment: Broadcast the 2008 Stanley Cup finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. “I literally could not believe it was happening. It felt like a dream, something I thought was never possible. I had a sense of nervous excitement. It was just unreal,” he says. The pilot was a resounding success. The following season, CBC asked him to host a regular schedule of broadcasts all from the studios in Toronto. Singh was still living in Calgary at the time so he had to make a quick and important decision. “In my heart I knew I couldn’t give this opportunity up, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I told them ‘don’t worry I’ll be there’,” he says. “Being there” meant working in Calgary from Monday to Friday, flying to Toronto for the Saturday game, and then flying home for work on Monday. It became a weekly


“The show would not have been going this long without the tremendous response from the Punjabi community.” harnar ayan singh




home tow n

Brooks, Alberta shoo ts

Left favourite Pl ay er

Wayne Gretzky favourite te am

Edmonton Oilers w ife’s favourite te am

Calgary Flames consecuti v e game s hos ted Regular season and playoffs

397 favourite pre-game drink

Chai tea recent award

2014 recipient of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association award for excellence in television 50


ritual of red-eye flights, sleeping on a friend’s couch and living out of a suitcase. Marc Chikinda, dean of Communication Studies, says Singh’s curiosity and passion was evident from the moment he walked into the classroom. “When I met Harnarayan during his first year in the Broadcast Journalism program he was incredibly interested in finding a way to bring hockey to a larger portion of the population,” says Chikinda. “His success did not surprise me, it was not a coincidence that the only multi-language version of Hockey Night in Canada to survive was the one hosted by Harnarayan.” Chikinda was also confident that Singh would forge a path to the English side of the show as well. “The new generation of viewers care more about the knowledge of the person they watch on television than what they look like,” he says. “On top of that, Canada

is a proudly multi-cultural nation that embraces each other’s differences.” A unique aspect of the Punjabi broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada was the creativity and improvisation required. Technical hockey terminology doesn’t always translate smoothly to Punjabi. As a result, Singh and his co-hosts needed to invent words to describe things like the puck or the offside rule. “We try to have a hybrid commentary and include aspects from traditional Punjabi sports broadcasts. We add bits of poetry, limericks, metaphors and we reference food since food is a big thing in our culture,” says Singh, who is in his seventh season of Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. He credits the success and longevity of the show to support from a tight-knit Punjabi community. “The show would not have been going this long without the tremendous response from the Punjabi community,” he says.

“Smooh dharshik a dha theh dhilo dhanva adh, athay shubhra athree.” (Thanks for watching and goodnight.) The hockey game ends for another night. Viewers at home start chatting about the great game — all of the conversations in Punjabi. Young children born in Canada, wearing their favourite player’s sweater, excitedly remember the highlight reel goal — mothers in traditional Punjabi dress argue about line combinations, while grandparents chime in, quickly falling in love with hockey. In the background, Singh, the host of Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi signs off on another successful show.


TIME, TREASURE AND TALENT Philanthropy often means cash donations. However, there’s a lot more to community stewardship than meets the eye. At Mount Royal, we are fortunate to have supporters who back us in many ways. Whether it’s through monetary giving, volunteering time, lending expertise or helping to guide our Board of Governors, there are a number of innovative, individually-tailored ways the community gives. Here are three examples that illustrate just a few of Mount Royal’s amazing time, treasure and talent contributors.


TIME Eleanor Chiu // Service on Mount Royal University’s Board of Governors Eleanor Chiu’s passion for philanthropy was inspired at an early age. She grew up in Hong Kong at a time when numerous refugees were eager to escape the powers of communist China. Many of Chiu’s friends left school out of necessity, as early as elementary, to work to help support their large families. Chiu eventually left China, landing in Calgary during the 1980s with only a couple of suitcases in hand and $4,000 to live and study with. She completed a degree in finance and accounting through the University of Calgary and considers education to be one of the most important prospects available to society. “If people are capable, they should have the opportunity to attend post-secondary,” she says.

Chiu attributes her experiences growing up in Hong Kong, as well as her strong Christian roots to the importance of community service. She is currently the CFO of Trico Developments Corp/Trico Homes and also serves on the Board of Governors at Mount Royal. She supports numerous charities involving culture, children and post-secondary. Before joining the board, she spent her time as a member of the Mount Royal University Foundation Board, serving as vice-chair, and chair of the finance committee. “I support Mount Royal’s philosophy to offer a positive student experience. When I look at how students relate to their teachers and how they are supportive of the University, that face-to-face contact is a reflection of how the University treats




TA L E N T Lorne Motley // Lending his expertise to the Journalism program’s advisory committee

“INSTEAD OF JUST GIVING A D O N AT I O N , W E A S K O U R S E LV E S ‘ W H AT M O R E CAN WE DO? HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE CHARITIES T O B E S E L F- S U S TA I N I N G ? ’ ” Eleanor Chiu, MRU Board of Govenors them, and in return they have this love and passion for Mount Royal,” she says. “(Education) not only gives you applicable training, but an opportunity to think and learn, especially in how you set goals and in return find meaning in your life and what you’re passionate about. Most of all, it gives you the opportunity to contribute to the next generation.” Today, Chiu and her husband Wayne continue to have success with their business, Trico Homes. This prosperity enables them to give back to various community groups, including Mount Royal. “Instead of just giving a donation, we ask ourselves ‘what more can we do? How can we encourage charities to be self-sustaining?’” says Chiu. “If you can maintain sustainability then you can keep doing good for the community.” — Molnar 52


Looking at the impressive roster of Mount Royal alumni, it’s clear that the school has turned out some high-achieving graduates since being founded more than 100 years ago. Lorne Motley, who is currently the editor-in-chief of the Calgary Herald, is one of them. Motley came to the big city from small-town Alberta when he entered Mount Royal’s Journalism Diploma program in 1984. He remembers being overwhelmed by the school at first. “I grew up in between Carstairs and Acme,” he says. “There were about thirty two people in my graduating class, so Mount Royal seemed huge to me at the time.” Despite the school’s relative immensity, Motley says his classes were quite small and intimate, a characteristic Mount Royal has held strong to in its transition from college to university. “I have very fond memories of the program,” says Motley, who served as editor of The Reflector, a student-run newspaper, while at Mount Royal. “Mount Royal really did a good job of explaining the industry to me and preparing me for it,” he adds. Motley eventually kicked off a rewarding journalistic career by working at the Calgary Sun newspaper during his second and final year at Mount Royal. As one of the school’s most respected graduates, Motley was honoured with an Alumni Achievement Award by Mount Royal in 2010, and he has been on the Journalism

“IT’S A SMALL COMMITMENT BUT A RE WARDIN G O NE .” Lorne Motley, Journalism program advisory committee member program’s advisory committee since 2000. Alumni who sit on advisory committees usually meet once a year to discuss the state of the program’s new initiatives, and future possibilities. For Motley, who moved to the Herald in 1997, being a part of the committee has afforded him the chance to stay involved with the Journalism program he so fondly remembers attending. “It’s a small commitment but a rewarding one,” he says. Mount Royal journalism students indirectly benefit from Motley’s advisory board role, and his newspaper also offers three and four-month internships, as well as the year-long Michelle Lang Fellowship. But students need not worry if they’re not selected. “When I graduated, I applied to intern at the Herald… I didn’t get the job and I always said back then, ‘well, I’ll never work at that place,’” Motley says, smiling. As such, Motley advises students to be aggressive and open-minded in their careers after graduation. “I think it’s just about being open to different opportunities because you don’t always land exactly where you want to from the very beginning,” he says. “Be vigilant and don’t be afraid to try different things.” — Ciccone

TREASURE Shell Canada // Gift-in-kind to Earth Sciences research Something old yet new arrived at Mount Royal’s Earth Sciences department this past spring. Two treasures weighing more than 200 pounds with the ability to deliver speed and sensitivity through innovative technology. The Rigaku MiniFlex II XRD and Primini Biofuel XRF are the two new additions to Earth Sciences. Not sure what a Rigaku MiniFlex or a Primini Biofeul XRF is? Have you been living under a rock? In short, students can now X-ray minerals! Cool, right? Mount Royal’s Earth Sciences department will use the donated pieces to complete research in the areas of environmental science, material science, geology, engineering, pharmaceutical and biology. Though the greatest advantage is the research possibilities, students will now have the ability to create their own research projects and conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis. The state-of-the-art pieces of equipment are a gift-in-kind on behalf of Shell Canada. Jeff Pollock, PhD, associate professor of Isotope Geochemistry and Tectonics was more than pleased to have the machinery donated, which was valued at an estimated $220,000. “We are very lucky to have this machine. It was very generous of Shell to donate it to us. This could open up opportunities for our department in acquiring more complicated, more advanced analytical equipment,” he says. The Earth Sciences department is currently setting up proper regulations and developing training for students and staff so that these treasures will be widely used for all faculties, as well as by external groups. — Molnar


For more events, check out Mount Royal’s events calendar at: mtroyal.ca/events



OCT. 25

OPEN HOUSE 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Ross Glen Hall, The Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning A great opportunity to learn about the programs offered at Mount Royal University. Meet professors face-to-face and tour the campus and residences. mtroyal.ca/openhouse OCT. 26 – NOV. 2

CALGARY ORGAN FESTIVAL AND SYMPOSIUM Wyatt Recital Hall and venues across the city The Mount Royal University Conservatory and its partners are delighted to host 10 days of exciting and inspiring events in celebration of the so-called “king of instruments.” Join us for festival concerts, master classes, “Pedals, Pipes, and a Pitcher!” (a discovery day for adults), and a festival worship service. mtroyal.ca/conservatory



Scotiabank Saddledome MRU is a proud educational sponsor of We Day. This event is tied to the year-long We Act program, which offers educational resources, campaigns and support materials to help turn the event’s inspiration into sustained activation. Through We Act, students commit to taking one local and one global action to better the world, earning their way to We Day. weday.com NOV. 6 – 8

2014 SYMPOSIUM ON SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING Banff, AB Organized and hosted by Mount Royal’s Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, this annual conference is for practitioners dedicated to developing teaching and learning research, sharing early findings, going public with results of completed projects and building an extended scholarly community. isotlsymposium.mtroyal.ca NOV. 7

CONVOCATION Noon – 4 p.m. Triple Gym Graduates and their guests are invited to attend Fall Convocation at MRU. Convocation offers graduates the timehonoured tradition of celebrating their accomplishments with faculty, peers, family and friends. mtroyal.ca/convocation

NOV. 9

WYATT ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE CONCERT SERIES 7:30 p.m. Leacock Theatre Brazilian-born brothers Sergio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the guitar/lutenist Monina Tavora (1921-2011), a disciple of Andres Segovia. The Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them including Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radames Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, Jorge Morel, Edino Krieger and Francisco Mignone. $50 Adults, $35 Students/Seniors/MRU mtroyal.ca/conservatory NOV. 29

CHRISTMAS IN SONG 7 p.m. Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Create a family tradition and celebrate the season with the joyful sounds of the MRU Conservatory. Alumni emcees the Heebeejeebees are joined by MRU choirs, the Calgary Youth Orchestra and special guests. mtroyal.ca/conservatory



Choose from a diverse range of professional and personal development programs.

CROWCHILD CLASSIC FINALE Scotiabank Saddledome The Crowchild Classic is the ultimate crosstown smackdown. It’s a year-long friendly sporting competition between the Mount Royal Cougars and the University of Calgary Dinos. This finale is a men’s and women’s hockey doubleheader at the Scotiabank Saddledome. crowchildclassic.ca

Why MRU? • Teaching and learning for tomorrow’s skills today • Facilitators are practicing industry experts • Innovative and engaging learning experience

JAN. 17

WYATT ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE CONCERT SERIES 7:30 p.m. Leacock Theatre One of America’s most thought-provoking, multifaceted, and compelling artists, pianist Jeremy Denk, was named Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London, and regularly gives recitals throughout the United States. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which has appeared in The New Yorker, New Republic, The Guardian, and his blog, Think Denk. $50 Adults, $35 Students/Seniors/MRU mtroyal.ca/conservatory


On Campus • Small classes, big ideas • State of the art classrooms in LEED certified building • Network with a diverse group of learners Online • Anytime, anywhere, 24/7 learning • Facilitators apply video lectures and dynamic interactivities • Connect with a global network of learners

mtroyal.ca/conted 403.440.6875



will always be grateful to coach Bob Rose who took a chance on a skinny high school kid from northeast Calgary to bolster his roster on the Mount Royal College, as it was then, Cougars men’s basketball team. It was an opportunity for me to compete in college athletics, and eventually to learn the skills to forge a career (25 years so far!) in broadcast journalism. I’m no longer skinny, and I’m certainly not a kid… but I feel a connection to Mount Royal every day, thanks to the training and guidance I received from my coaches and instructors in school. I remember so clearly the life-changing meeting I had with then Athletic Director Al Bohonus at the conclusion of the 1986-87 season. (Bohonus was athletic director for 16 years, starting his term at Mount Royal in 1979. It ended in 1995 when he passed away from heart problems.) I had enrolled in General Studies and although my marks were generally very good, I was like many young athletes, going to school to play basketball, when I really should have been playing basketball to go to school. Al knew the difference.

He was kind enough to suggest that while I was attending Mount Royal, I should make sure I leave with an education that mattered because, as he put it, “basketball wasn’t going to pay the bills.” I had to agree. I was the twelfth man on a 12-man team and that wasn’t going to get me to the NBA. I chose Broadcast Journalism, and my passion for learning overtook my passion for basketball. I left the team and applied myself with Al’s voice ringing in my ears. It was the best decision I ever made. Over the past 25 years, I’ve covered some amazing stories and met the most interesting people. I’ve lived in Dallas, Texas and New York City. Since coming back to Canada in 2006, I’ve anchored the No. 1 newscast in BC where there is never a dull moment in politics, the environment and transportation. None of it would have been possible without the early investment my instructors and mentors made in me at Mount Royal. If there’s one thing that truly stands out about the quality of education at Mount


News Hour Anchor, Global B.C. Television Royal, it’s the people. By taking a genuine interest in the lives of their students, they help focus skills and abilities. The encouragement I received from Al and others (you know who you are!) will stay with me forever. It’s why I’m so proud to be a graduate of Mount Royal and an advocate for its programs. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years of storytelling will bring.

CHRIS GAILUS PASSIONATE ALUMNI Emmy-winning anchor Chris Gailus graduated from Mount Royal’s Broadcasting program in 1989. He is the host of Global B.C.’s News Hour, winner of back-to-back Gemini Awards as Best Newscast, Large Market. Chris was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in 2013 for Best News Anchor. He returned to Canada and the Global News family in May of 2006. Prior to that, in 2000, Chris anchored Good Morning Texas 56


at WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas and in 2002 was nominated for a Katy Award, the highest honour in Texas journalism. From there, Chris moved to New York City to host Good Day New York at WNYW, the Fox news affiliate in New York City, where he won an Emmy as anchor of the Best Morning News Program. Chris has 25 years of experience in broadcast journalism and has also worked

for CTV Lethbridge, CTV Calgary and Global Calgary. Outside of the newsroom, Chris actively supports the B.C. Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and organizations that support research and treatment of diabetes and arthritis. Chris is also a passionate advocate for literacy. — COURTESY OF GLOBAL NEWS|SHAWMEDIA

THANK YOU Thank you to the amazing 405 donors who gave towards scholarships and bursaries this past year. You have made a tremendous difference in student’s lives! Your generous gifts have supported 270 awards and raised over $1.6-million. Your support helps Mount Royal University students achieve success and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Profile for Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University Summit Fall 2014  

Our people are the foundation of our community. At Mount Royal, our students, faculty, staff, management, alumni and donors are an important...

Mount Royal University Summit Fall 2014  

Our people are the foundation of our community. At Mount Royal, our students, faculty, staff, management, alumni and donors are an important...

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