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Stampede Issue


Partners in community Celebrating history with the Calgary Stampede Research that’s fit | Art starts | First crop of vets | Olympic dreams

Let’s talk about mental health “Mental health has long been ignored at great social and financial cost. It’s time we start funding the research needed to make a difference.” RonAld P. MATHIson President & CEo, Matco Investments ltd.

Calgary-based entrepreneur Ronald P. Mathison.

Ron Mathison wants to start a dialogue about mental health. His $10-million gift to the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute will get the discussion going. Few people want to talk about mental health even though one in five Canadians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their life. Young people are especially vulnerable; 75 per cent of all mental health issues begin before the age of 24. The new Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the University of Calgary will give young people their lives back through better prediction, prevention and early intervention. All because one person took a stand.



On the Cover


Upstanding Alumni

14 Community partners

43 Cosmic calling

University celebrates wide-ranging ties to the Calgary Stampede.

David Kendall’s mission is to keep space program thriving.

24 A start in art

44 Bad taste to great art

New competition offers art students community recognition.

Gisele Amantea uses flock to explore childhood tableaus.

28 Vets at work

45 Passion for law and politics

First graduating class heads for jobs near and far.

Linda Taylor’s work at the United Nations takes her all over the world.

Departments 4 UNIVERSAL NOTE Professor Max Foran looks at the many faces of Stampede.

5 U P D AT E N E W S

The latest developments and upcoming events at the University of Calgary.

9 UNCOVER RESEARCH Tracking tool keeps construction sites safe and an unexpected discovery may lead to diabetes cure.

10 UNCONVENTIONAL RESEARCHER Climatologist keeps fit while sparing the environment in a unique solution to boredom. 3 2  U N R E L E N T I N G D I N O S 14 Community partners

University athletes and officials in search of Olympic dreams.


Fred Wah is Canada’s new poet for the people. 3 9  U G I V E B A C K New centre looks at leadership beyond the bottom line.

4 0  U N L I M I T E D A L U M N I Catch up on your peers’ news in the latest class notes.

4 6  U N F O R G E T T A B L E I M A G E R Y Student contest winner Olivia Cheng is getting into the swing of Stampede. 24 A start in art

28 Vets at work

The gold standard for following the health of heart patients | An innovative use of technology in muscle research | Archaeology meets virtual reality in Nunavut | Students work for a Fair Trade campus | Helping young offenders through dance and prayer | Todd Hirsch asks why Canada is invisible on the world stage. See


Jason Stang


Stampede Issue


Partners in community Celebrating history with the Calgary Stampede Research that’s fit | Art starts | First crop of vets | Olympic dreams

Volume 8, Number 2, Spring 2012 U is published three times a year by University of Calgary University Relations and the Alumni Association.

Executive Editor Matthew Fox

The many faces of Stampede The institution is worth far more than “10 mad days in July” By Max Foran The first Calgary Stampede took place in 1912. As centenary celebrations begin, one should keep in mind that this first Stampede was essentially a rodeo competition. The modern Calgary Stampede is much more, and embodies the traditions and practices of its partner, the Exhibition. The Calgary Stampede is also an institution whose blue ribbon event just happens to be a 10-day festival in July. Overshadowed in the annual discourse about fun and frolic, meaning, myth and money, is the institution itself, which has much ongoing worth to both city and region. This is aptly reflected in the role played by the Stampede in coalescing livestock and agriculture in the city. Almost half of the Stampede committees are agriculture-based, and early Exhibition manager Ernie Richardson staged agriculture-related events year-round before the end of the First World War. The annual bull sale is one of the best on the continent. Calgary is headquarters to various breed associations and just beyond the city limits are cutting-edge artificial insemination and embryo transfer facilities. Currently, agricultural education aimed at children is carried on in programs like Aggie Days, the Stampede School and 4-H on Parade. By allowing its facilities to be converted to ice surfaces, the Stampede consolidated the presence of hockey and curling in the city. The tradition of art exhibitions began in the 1930s and over the years has afforded


countless young artists the opportunity to display their talent. The Stampede’s commitment to community is also seen through its annual Western Legacy Awards where three individuals, including one youth, are recognized for sustained community work and for making a difference. The encouragement of youth has figured prominently in Stampede priorities. Funded through the Stampede Foundation, the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts provides training and scholarships in voice, dance and gymnastics. The Young Canadians, along with the Stampede Showband, enjoy international reputations and rank among the city’s most popular ambassadors. Perhaps the most telling statement about the Stampede’s place in the city’s urban fabric lies not in its major role as an economic growth engine but rather in its approximately 50 operational committees drawn from some 2,000 volunteers. The fact that the composition of these volunteer committees transcends age, race, gender and class, while demanding a heavy time commitment, says far more about what the Stampede is to the city than those “10 mad days in July.” U Historian Max Foran, BEd’68, MA’70, PhD’81, is a professor in the Department of Communication and Culture and edited Icon, Brand, Myth: The Calgary Stampede.

Managing Editor Veronica Hoskins Associate Editor Beth Frank Art Director John Vickers, Scout Communications Contributors Jennifer Allford, Rick Bajornas, Riley Brandt, Olivia Cheng, Karen Cook, Jenny De Guia, Marcello Di Cintio, David Fairbanks, Max Foran, Beth Frank, Elise Hetu, Todd Hirsch, Brooke Hunter, Azriel Knight, Erin Mason, Don McSwiney, Marc Montplaisir, Tara Moran, Jennifer Myers, Ewan Nicholson, Grady Semmens, Colleen Seto, Jennifer Sowa, Caitlyn Spencer, Jason Stang, James Stevenson, Fred Wah, Dana Yates and Leanne Yohemas. Contact information A113, 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB Canada T2N 1N4 Email: Reader feedback phone: 403-220-8500 Address changes phone: 403-220-8500 Toll free 1-877-220-8509 Address changes on the web Views expressed in this magazine do not reflect official positions of the University of Calgary or the Alumni Association. Publications Mail Sales Agreement #40064590 Cover University of Calgary alumni Vern Kimball, right, and Paul Harrison are part of the Calgary Stampede’s executive management team, leading this year’s celebrations. Cover photo Jason Stang U is proudly printed on Nature Web 30 gloss, 30 per cent recycled.


Roadmap to reach top five by 2016: Introducing the academic plan After last fall’s launch of Eyes High, work began in earnest on an academic plan, the foundational piece and essential component for reaching the University of Calgary’s goal to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, fully engaging the communities we both serve and lead. Provost and Vice-President Dru Marshall and Vice-President (Research) Ed McCauley designed a process for maximum campus participation and led the wide consultation to develop the academic plan. The result is a bold, yet concrete plan with seven high-level academic priorities and recommendations for action within each of these priority areas: talent attraction, development and retention; teaching and research integration; interdisciplinarity; leadership; internationalization; connection with community; and sustainability. The academic plan takes the overarching strategic goal of Eyes High and breaks it down into steps that can be achieved through the full involvement of students, faculty and staff. It is the University of Calgary’s comprehensive roadmap for our journey to reach the top five by 2016.

Chasing the triple bottom line A first-of-its-kind centre advancing corporate sustainability has been launched at the Haskayne School of Business. Enbridge has committed $2.25 million over 10 years to partner with the university on the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability, which will advance the science and practice of achieving the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line refers to decisions aimed at balancing environmental, social and economic considerations. Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel, far right, says the centre’s international scope and focus on sustainable resource development sets it apart.

Investment in mental health Calgary-based entrepreneur Ronald P. Mathison, president and CEO of Matco Investment Ltd., and his wife Tara, have invested $10 million to create the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, in partnership with the university’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute. The centre will be unique in Canada, dedicated to finding innovative treatments and providing early intervention for mental illness.



University wins United Way gold

The University of Calgary has won the prestigious Spirits of Gold Partnership award from the United Way of Calgary and Area. The 2011 on-campus campaign raised $321,955—surpassing a goal of $225,000. Not only were donation goals exceeded, but employee participation and leader donations were the highest in university history. The award was accepted on behalf of all volunteers by United Way Committee Co-Chair Don Barker, left, and University of Calgary VicePresident Development Gary Durbeniuk.

Campus is water-wise

The University of Calgary has reduced its water consumption by 33 per cent since 2005, thanks to a multi-year plumbing fixture replacement program in existing buildings and the use of highly efficient water fixtures in new buildings. Some buildings are using grey water and captured rain water for toilet flushing, and grey water is used for irrigation. In addition, 40 water fountains across campus have been retrofitted to include water bottle filling devices.

Leadership team appointments

Several key appointments to the university’s leadership team were announced recently. (L-R) Benedikt Hallgrimsson, the Faculty of Medicine’s senior associate dean of education, begins duties as deputy provost July 1. As the de facto second-in-command in the provost’s office, Hallgrimsson will help lead campus-wide strategic initiatives and enable partnerships with the government, Campus Alberta and others. Dr. Jon Meddings is the new dean of the Faculty of Medicine, effective July 1. Currently vice-dean, Meddings has held many significant leadership positions at the University of Calgary, University of Alberta and the Calgary Health Region. Also on July 1, Susan Barker will begin work as the vice-provost (student experience). Barker comes to Calgary from the University of Alberta, where she was chair of secondary education, professor in science and environmental education, and from 2008 to 2010, associate dean in the Faculty of Education. Mark Sollis, formerly the senior director, operations and planning in alumni affairs at the University of British Columbia, is University Relations’ new associate vice-president, alumni relations. Prior to his roles with UBC, Sollis held positions in external relations at the University of Alberta, SAIT Polytechnic and Mount Royal University.



Retaining global talent

A conference exploring ways to ensure newcomers to Canada can get jobs suited to their credentials was held in March, made possible through a partnership between the Haskayne School of Business, the Graduate Students’ Association, the University of Calgary and the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation. The Retaining Global Talent conference was organized by business professor Eva Klein, centre, and attended by international students, top policymakers and leaders in business and government.

Antimatter zapped

In an international effort led by a Canadian team, researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have provided the world with its first glimpse of an anti-atomic fingerprint. “Our team was able to peek behind the curtain where no one has looked before,” says co-author Rob Thompson, left, a physicist at the University of Calgary. Tim Friesen, right, a doctoral candidate, played an important role in shaping the experiment.

Jack Perraton remembered

John R. (Jack) Perraton, C.M., Q.C. was remembered in February as an unparalleled supporter and tireless leader of the University of Calgary after he passed away following a battle with leukemia. Perraton, LLD’11, was the first person to serve as both Chancellor, from 1998 to 2002, and Chair of the Board of Governors, from 2007 to 2010. He received an honorary doctorate from the university last fall.

Scholars program honours Hotchkiss

Neuroscientists from around the world will share their knowledge and expertise with Alberta researchers as a lasting tribute to Harley Hotchkiss, LLD’96, the late Calgary business and community leader. Greg Weadick, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, right, announced a $5-million commitment to the Campus Alberta Neuroscience International Scholars program at a tribute event honouring Hotchkiss, who died in June 2011. The investment builds upon private-sector contributions collected by the university’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute.



May 25, 27; June 1, 3

July 4

8 p.m. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre The Department of Music presents CONTRASTS, the 8th annual University of Calgary Chamber Music Festival, displaying the expertise of Faculty of Arts alumni, outstanding music students and world-renowned musicians. Four concerts will feature baroque, romantic, jazz and world music.

12 p.m. University of Calgary Downtown Campus, 906 8th Avenue S.W. Join us at this year’s alumni BBQ-lunch and celebrate the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Stampede President and CEO Vern Kimball, BA’81, MBA’90. Enjoy western food, music, swag and a special lecture by Max Foran, BE’d’68, MA’70, PhD’81, Canadian Studies instructor on the Culture of the Calgary Stampede.

CONTRASTS Chamber Music Festival

Third Annual Alumni Stampede Event

May 31

The Arch Awards Theatre Junction GRAND, 608 1st St. S.W. Celebrate the Alumni Association’s recipients of the annual Arch Awards: The Distinguished Alumni Award, the Graduate of the Last Decade and our Future Alumni Award. Registration required.

June 20

Stampede Public Lectures and Showcase 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. University of Calgary Downtown Campus, 906 8th Avenue S.W. This event, featuring a Stampede-style pancake breakfast, kicks off a three-day (June 20-23) showcase of historical images and artwork, Stampede memorabilia submitted by Calgary Herald readers and lectures provided by university experts on the history of the Calgary Stampede. For more information:

June 29-July 28

Summer Orientation Every Friday and Saturday All new students are invited to campus to attend Summer Orientation, a half-day introduction to life as a student at the University of Calgary. Students get personalized registration assistance, take part in sessions on academic and student life, can explore campus on an in-depth tour and have the opportunity to meet other students.


September 7


The name says it all. KICKOFF is the University of Calgary’s way of ringing in the new academic year. It is also the finale of Fall Orientation Week (www., one of the university’s most visible campus traditions, which officially welcomes students to the university. At KICKOFF, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University of Calgary gather to cheer on the Dinos football team in their first home game of the season. Wear red and bring plenty of cheer.

September 13

Distinguished Writers Hello/Goodbye 7:30 p.m. Arrata Centre, 1315 7th Street S.W. The Calgary Distinguished Writers Program’s Hello/Goodbye event features outgoing Canadian Writer-in-Residence Jeramy Dodds and incoming Canadian Writer-in-Residence Deborah Willis. The reading is free and followed by a book signing and reception.

Riley Brandt

Riley Brandt


Reza Maalek, left, and Farnaz Sadeghpour have developed a tracking tool to improve safety on construction sites.

Dr. Pere Santamaria’s study of white blood cells has led to a significant discovery about Type 1 diabetes.

Towards safer building sites

Unexpected discovery could lead to diabetes cure

Construction sites are often chaotic, filled with workers, equipment and building materials. They can also be dangerous, not just for workers, but sometimes for the public, too. In 2009, a three-year-old girl was killed when a sheet of corrugated steel fell from a Calgary office tower under construction. Researchers at the Schulich School of Engineering went looking for solutions and have developed a high-tech tracking tool that uses radio-frequency chips and remote-sensing technologies to keep tabs on the location of everything on a building site. The goal is to improve efficiency and reduce the chance of accidents. Civil engineer Farnaz Sadeghpour and graduate student Reza Maalek have been exploring the feasibility and reliability of Ultra Wide-Band, a version of radio-frequency technology. “Most construction accidents happen because of falls or people clashing with equipment,” says Sadeghpour, assistant professor in the Centre for Project Management Excellence. “With this new tool, when someone gets too close to equipment, or a worker or a piece of building material gets too close to an edge, an alarm will go off. It could be an alert on a mobile phone or an urgent announcement on the site. It could be in whatever format we choose.” The system could also benefit the public. The risk of falling debris causes road closures during high winds. A tracking system would help ensure materials are properly secured and kept a safe distance away from open thresholds. There are further advantages for inventory or theft control. Removing an item from a site without authorization, for example, would trigger an alarm. Attaching tracking tags to individual objects might sound expensive, but Sadeghpour predicts it won’t be cost-prohibitive. “This technology is getting less and less expensive all the time. And you need to be selective about what you track. You don’t need to follow every nut and bolt, just the things that are really important and valuable.” Besides, she adds, when you consider the devastation caused by injuries and deaths, or the high cost of construction delays, the expense of a tracking system is a real deal. U

Walt Disney once noted, “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” That saying is certainly true of Dr. Pere Santamaria, whose curiosity helped him come across a treatment that may one day prevent and even reverse Type 1 diabetes. Santamaria is a professor in the University of Calgary’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Also chair of the Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, he is a member of the university’s Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases. Santamaria has sought to understand how white blood cells (WBCs)—which normally protect us from infection—are triggered instead to attack the body. For example, the immune systems of the 300,000-plus Canadians living with Type 1 diabetes have destroyed the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. On the surface of this gland, Santamaria discovered two types of WBCs—the strong and the weak. While the former brought about disease, the latter appeared to play no role—an idea that didn’t seem right to Santamaria. “I have the conviction that everything in the body serves a purpose,” he says. So with additional study, Santamaria found that weak WBCs were part of a David-and-Goliath fight in the body—that is, they slowed down their stronger, disease-causing counterparts. This was a key discovery. At about the same time, Santamaria was engineering a contrast agent consisting of iron oxide nanoparticles decorated with WBC “baits.” The agent—like those used in MRI scans—was used to lure diabetes-causing WBCs into swallowing and then ferrying it to the pancreas. From there, Santamaria hoped to image the inflamed gland in real time. But when the contrast agent was injected into laboratory mice, the substance did something surprising: it prevented the mice from developing full-blown diabetes while boosting the numbers of what appeared to be diabetes-causing WBCs. These unexpected, counterintuitive observations made Santamaria realize that what the bait-coated nanoparticles were actually doing was expanding the numbers of the diabetes-countering weak WBCs. “It was a eureka moment.” U

—Jennifer Sowa

—Dana Yates


UNCONVENTIONAL RESEARCHER Below: Shawn Marshall skis to the Kwadacha Glacier in northern British Columbia. Facing page: Field assistant Andrea McCormick sets up an automated weather station on Kwadacha Glacier.

Tara Moran

Redefining “active” research Novel boredom-buster keeps climatologists fit while sparing the environment It’s -25 C, snow is blowing and Shawn Marshall is stuck in a tent in the Canadian high Arctic waiting for the twin otter to take him to the other side of the icefield. In the meantime, there are only so many books he can read and so many helpings of chocolate he can eat. Really. Sitting around is often a part of the research process, whether it’s waiting for transport, a weather window, test results, data analysis or models to run. It’s particularly tough for Marshall, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, who is an avid cross-country skier, marathon runner and triathlete. He felt trapped. “It can be pretty frustrating,” says Marshall, a glaciologist, climatologist and professor of geography at the University of Calgary. “Part of the reason for me choosing this sort of field work was to escape from my computer.” So Marshall came up with a novel way to ward off boredom and collect his crucial meteorological, snowpack and ice core data: he hired students and researchers to ski, bike or run with him to the research stations to help collect data. “I could keep fit and sane and, at the same time, get at the data in a more environmentally sound manner. On Ellesmere Island, some of my research team and I would bundle up and ski to the stations, minimizing the use of snowmobiles or aircraft,” he says. It was a dream job for Tara Moran, a former national cross-country skier and Ironman competitor. She first applied to work with Marshall as a field assistant during her undergraduate years studying environmental


science and then she worked with Marshall while working on her PhD. The two would ski to stations on Ellesmere Island and, closer to home in the Rocky Mountains, they would run to a variety of field stations, including one that was a 20-kilometre run each way. Other stations required a full day of biking, trailrunning and bushwhacking to access. “There was usually a tent and other supplies stashed at the station so sometimes we would run back the next day,” says Moran, who was helping to measure the health of the Haig glacier in Kananaskis Country. “Not only could we get there faster than hiking, we could also collect data at more remotes areas; areas where cars or ATVs could not get to.” Marshall is always looking for people to help with field work. They don’t have to be students: it can be anyone who likes to be active in the outdoors and is interested in

science. A lot of the data collected makes its way into scientific journals that help researchers and the public better understand the many issues surrounding climate. After a few trips to Ellesmere Island, Marshall devised a way to add a little friendly competition between researchers. He developed a propane-powered groomer to create cross-country ski trails around one of the base camps. The first Ellesmere Island invitational cross-country event was held a few years ago, a 20-kilometre pursuit race with three participants, including one snowman acting as a race marshall. U —Leanne Yohemas


To see more photos, click on UExtra at

Tara Moran


Vern Kimball, BA’81, MBA’90 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

Nick Blitterswyk, BSc’04 2012 Graduate of the Last Decade Award UMAGAZINE 12

Dave Campbell, Faculty of Medicine student 2012 Future Alumni Award

They make us proud.

Congratulations to our 2012 Arch Award recipients.

From international peacekeeping to medical breakthroughs, athletic excellence to entrepreneurial innovation, our alumni family makes outstanding contributions to our communities every day. Vern Kimball

Nick Blitterswyk

Dave Campbell

Calgary Stampede CEO Vern Kimball has been called a “top difference maker” and one of “Alberta’s 50 Most Influential” and he’s leading the venerable Calgary non-profit through its 100th anniversary in 2012 with a personal foundation of western values and an unshakable passion for his city. Kimball also devotes his time to the Rotary Club of Calgary and the Calgary Philharmonic Society.

Actuary turned wind energy entrepreneur Nick Blitterswyk co-founded New York City-based Urban Green Energy (UGE) in 2008 built upon the core values of “Be Green, Be Great, Have Fun.” Just four years later, Blitterswyk has helped UGE grow into a premier manufacturer and supplier of renewable energy solutions with installations in over 60 countries.

Faculty of Medicine Class of 2012 graduate Dave Campbell’s list of accomplishments and accolades defy the odds, and he’s just getting started. Described by a faculty member as “the most unique medical student I have ever come across” Campbell has already made a mark in medicine and clinical research in Calgary and internationally.

This event is generously supported by

Stories by James Stevenson | Photos by Jason Stang

This summer, the Calgary Stampede turns 100 years old in a celebration sure to envelop the entire city in a sea of Stetsons, stacks of pancake breakfasts and a chorus of “Yahoos.” For those in the know, however, Stampede is far more than a 10-day party. It is a celebration of Calgary’s frontier history, a symbol of western hospitality at its finest and a critical link between our modern urban world and the agricultural community that still supports us. As one major Calgary institution supporting another, the University of Calgary salutes the Stampede in reaching a major historical milestone. And we want to shine the spotlight on our rich and varied connections. Our historians and experts in the Faculty of Arts have literally written the book on the Calgary Stampede and teach a course on it each year. Our animal science specialists at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine provide critical advice and innovative research to ensure animal-care practices are leading edge. Other researchers provide insight into midway rides and food, as well as how to prevent rodeo injuries. And our alumni are everywhere within the Stampede, from the senior executive offices to Stampede royalty to the army of dedicated volunteers who keep the show going. Here is just a sampling of the University of Calgary’s connections to the Calgary Stampede.



Studying the Stampede Experts research and teach the history, culture and social impact of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Rodeo injuries: A career spent keeping cowboys safe Dale Butterwick and his sport medicine team walked to the centre of the rodeo ring, a single spotlight shining. More comfortable behind the scenes, they fidgeted in the infield dirt, as the capacity crowd for the 2011 Canadian Finals Rodeo last fall fell to an expectant hush. On the scoreboard screen, Curtis Anderson, a former professional bull rider, told the story of how Butterwick saved his life after he suffered a traumatic brain injury at the Ponoka Stampede in 2002. Anderson, who can once again walk, came out of the crowd to present Butterwick with a commemorative plaque, a sign of gratitude for an outstanding professional career devoted to the sport of rodeo. Butterwick is an athletic therapist, associate professor, researcher and part of the Faculty of Kinesiology’s Sport Injury Prevention group. Rodeo reflects his passion for the people and values of rural Alberta. “The cowboys I treat are the sons and daughters of the ranchers and farmers whom I count as good friends. Over the last 27 years, my goals have always been to give them the best chance to compete safely, perform well and walk away without getting hurt.” Butterwick has been treating cowboys since 1984, as part of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. As a researcher he’s spent most of his career looking at interventions to prevent or lessen the number and devastating impact of rodeo injuries. He’s launched a worldwide Rodeo Catastrophic Injury Registry to learn more about how, why and how often rodeo injuries occur. As the Stampede celebrates 100 years, it was fitting that the cowboys took the time last fall to “tip the hat” to a man who has helped many of them continue to compete and has saved more than one from serious injury and death. Canadian champion Scott Schiffner presented Butterwick with an honour usually reserved for one of their own. A pro rodeo cowboy belt buckle, given out of respect, to a man who has earned theirs over the years. —Don McSwiney



to unique University of Calgary classes, Canadian Studies 451 is right up there. Though a senior-level course, it might as well be called Stampede 101. A popular choice often filled with an eclectic mix of students from a wide span of departments and faculties, it “examines the Calgary Stampede as a unique phenomenon, a celebration that impacts and reflects the region and has evolved into a powerful expression of a culture popularly identified with Western Canada.” Not surprisingly, to teach Canadian Studies 451 over the years, the University of Calgary has called upon its small cadre of researchers in the communication and culture department of the Faculty of Arts who study, document and write about the Stampede and its rich history. This includes well-known historian Max Foran, BEd’68, MA’70, PhD’81, visual culture specialist Brian Rusted and PhD candidate Judy Bedford. On the topic of the Calgary Stampede’s history, professor Foran literally wrote the book. Or at least edited it. Icon, Brand, Myth: The Calgary Stampede is usually required reading for Canadian Studies 451 and features chapters written by many University of Calgary academics. Foran’s fascination with the Stampede began decades ago. “My research projects begin when I’m puzzled by something and I want to probe its origins and development. I’d always heard that the Stampede was an old-boys club with the city in its pocket. So I decided, as an urban historian, that I’d have a look at this relationship between the city and the Stampede. And what I concluded was that while there is a close inter-relationship between the two, the city has often exerted a powerful influence on the Stampede. Foran wrote an article recently for the American Journal of Canadian Studies on Guy Weadick, the American performer and promoter who founded the Calgary Stampede 100 years ago in September 1912. He argued that Weadick was a visionary in many ways and is under-recognized. Lately, Foran’s been working on an article about Ernie Richardson, the second manager of the Calgary Exhibition and an even more HEN IT COMES

forgotten man than Weadick. But the two men made history in 1923 when they fused their two events to create Calgary’s first Exhibition and Stampede. It brought the excitement of the Stampede rodeo together with the agricultural tradition of the Exhibition—and the annual celebration never looked back. “In a way, the Stampede now looks like just straight entertainment. But if you take the time to go into the barns, if you take the time to look at all the livestock-type exhibits that are there, you’ll still see a lot of classic exhibition-type activities. If you look at the educational and arts shows, that’s exhibition. All you ever hear about is the midway, some entertainment and the Grandstand Show and rodeo. But it still remains as much an exhibition.” Despite his academic objectivity, Foran is an admitted fan of the Stampede. “I’m in favour of the branding and what it brings. Stampede’s more than just a rodeo. It’s a way of bringing the city together. It’s a true festival as it embodies all the classic criteria of festival—everything from reenactment to ritual. It does it all.” Associate professor Brian Rusted studies and teaches courses connected with Canadian folklore, visual culture and performance studies. The Stampede touches on all those aspects in a big way through the craft skills and knowledge of the cowboy, the visual record and art of the Stampede and the West, and the Stampede as a performance. “I think the Stampede is without question one of the dozen great festivals on Earth. And for somebody that’s interested in cultural performances, the question is why wouldn’t you want to be trying to understand it and study it?” Along with his academic credentials, Rusted also has a view from the inside as a Stampede volunteer—one of the small army of nearly 2,000 who return each year. And as someone who studies the culture of organizations, the fact that these committed and dedicated volunteers return each year— some for upwards of 35 years in a row—is food for thought. “From my point of view, any organization that can engage volunteer support for that duration has something going

Previous pages: Historian Max Foran has a “museum room” at his home where he collects and displays western artifacts. Above: Brian Rusted, Stampede researcher and volunteer, traces the narrative and rich history of the Stampede’s involvement with art. Left: PhD candidate and researcher Judy Bedford is telling the historical and cultural story of the Indian Village.


David Fairbanks

for it. And it’s worth thinking about what the culture of the organization is that encourages that kind of support and participation.” Rusted has spent a great deal of time tracing the narrative and rich history of the Stampede’s involvement with art. Two years ago he put together an exhibit for The Nickle Galleries on the main university campus. “In its 100-year history, the Stampede has collaborated with every major art institution in Alberta. Virtually all of the art associations, the Banff Centre, the art college, you name it. And you can see over that century the change in those relationships and how the Stampede understood the role of art in creating an experience of the West.” For his very first Stampede in 1912, Weadick had the forethought to invite the already-famous “Cowboy Artist” Charles Russell up from Montana to put on an exhibition of his paintings. Rusted believes Weadick understood that the role of artists like Russell was central to the way people understood the West, how they imagined it and how they connected to it. “Even back in 1912, probably half the population of Calgary had no connection with the history of ranching life. The city had doubled in size in the previous 10 years and all those people were coming from somewhere else—out East and from parts of Europe. So they had no connection to western history or the opening of the West or the old open-range culture. And the only way they connected with that is through the works of imagination like visual art and fiction and music.” Another inspiration of Weadick’s right from the earliest days of the Stampede was to invite the region’s First Nations to take part and form the “Indian Village.” A 100 years later, Indian Village remains a key part of the Stampede grounds, with a temporary population of about 1,200 people and 26 teepees. When she first became involved with the Village in the late 1990s, Judy Bedford quickly realized that there was something going on, something very traditional and representative of real community—not just a show. And when she was asked to help put together a training program for Village interpreters to tell the history, she ran into a problem. There


was no information. “Nothing of significance has ever been written about the Village and the Village as a community where the teepee owners have a voice. They’ve never had a collective voice before, so that’s my project: to give them one.” The Village itself is a complex group of five separate tribes from Treaty 7 First Nations that cover a broad swath of southern Alberta. And within the village there are four different language groups including English. Using participatory action research, Bedford hopes to explore the true significance of the Indian Village, through both the teepee owners and the teepees themselves, with their historical and culturally meaningful designs. Working towards her PhD, Bedford sees her research as a type of community forum that will ultimately help further Village and Treaty 7 goals of cultural and heritage preservation. And she believes that this centennial year will provide the impetus needed to get enough recorded that the Village will be able to apply for historic designation at all three levels of government. An entirely different cultural approach, the lack of any written or recorded history, a completely oral culture and issues of trust towards outsiders (even though Bedford volunteered in the Village for over a decade) all pose formidable challenges for Bedford, but she remains committed to her task. “The Indian Village is so significant that this is something I feel needs to be done. I’m not sure how much will be discovered as this type of research is also an act of discovery of peoples’ own heritage and how the representation of their culture has actually changed over the years from 1912 to present day. Yet I view this as something not to be taken lightly—it is very significant and hopefully someday the Stampede will truly understand what they have.”

Stampede rides: The science of the midway When you’re riding the Wacky Worm Rollercoaster at the Calgary Stampede this summer, you may wonder why it doesn’t fall off its tracks when it goes upside down. The University of Calgary’s self-confessed “ride nut” Phil Langill can tell you why. As a youngster, Langill lived across the street from the Stampede. Not only did he have a frontrow seat to the fireworks, but he could easily indulge in the midway rides he loved so much. It’s not surprising that today the physicist is an expert in the science of rollercoasters and teaches a course at Calgary’s Calaway Park for junior and senior high school students about the math, forces and physics of amusement park rides. “The people that engineer rides are geniuses,” says Langill, director of the University of Calgary’s Rothney Astrophysical Observatory. “They think about the angles, timing and making the rides safe and efficient. In other words, how to get a lot of people on the rides without wearing out the equipment.” So why does the rollercoaster stick to the tracks? The simple answer: speed. If it were to suddenly stop, it would fall off, he says. “There’s a lot of engineering and basic physics in rides; they need to move fast as well as be strong and rigid.” There’s a reason why they go uphill first and the angle of the hill used. “It’s deliberate,” he says. “The lower the angle, the more people you can get on the ride and the machine doesn’t have to work as hard.” If the angle is too high, you can get a lot of people on the ride in an hour, but it’s very hard on the equipment and the electricity bill is huge. If the angle is too low, your equipment is happy but you can only get a few people on the ride in an hour. So the angle chosen optimizes these two considerations. There’s one ride Langill is fascinated by—a rollercoaster in California propelled by magnets. “It’s like being on a rocket,” he says. But that’s a physics lesson for another time. —Leanne Yohemas

Above: Alumni Vern Kimball, left, and Paul Harrison are working to build a vibrant organization that will be around for another 100 years.

Alumni on parade University of Calgary graduates support the Stampede at all levels


HEN VERN KIMBALL, BA’81, MBA’90, started his political science degree at the University of Calgary in the late 1970s, he was aiming for law school or the diplomatic service. Fortunately for the city of Calgary, the chief executive officer of the Calgary Stampede never made it to either. Kimball, who has worked his way up through the Calgary Stampede organization for the past 25 years—and has held the top spot for the past seven—looks back on his formative undergrad years studying political theory as key to how he views the world now. “It was a wonderful place to think about those things that make meaning in life.” He returned to the campus part-time to work on his MBA and learn the skills required to be a business leader. “The

combination of both those degrees in total was the best time of my life.” Leading one of the most public and influential not-for-profit organizations in Canada, Kimball says the mission is what’s important in creating a place for others to gather. “It’s much more than a party. It’s what this community sees as its best attributes— things like western hospitality. And it acts as a beacon to draw people to Calgary to live and work and play.” Kimball will play a central role in this year’s centennial celebrations, leading a core of 1,200 employees and about 2,000 volunteers. He’s worked hard to build a vibrant organization that will be around for the next 100 years and continue to be a focal point of the Calgary community. “I’m delighted in the great relationship

that the Stampede has with the University of Calgary. I take great pride in my alma mater as a leader in intellectual thought. I view the profs as academic rock stars that can better engage the university with the community.” Earlier this spring, Kimball was chosen as the 2012 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award. “Kimball’s leadership and vision has made the Calgary Stampede one of Canada’s most iconic organizations and the Alumni Association is delighted that a University of Calgary graduate is at the helm, leading its remarkable growth and 100-year anniversary celebration,” says Ken McKinnon, BComm’80, association president. Like his boss, Paul Harrison, BComm’96, MBA’06, also took his undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary and then


Left: Wendy Tynan says her involvement in campus student clubs gave her a solid foundation in event planning, sponsorship and community relations. returned to get his MBA to round out his management training. He has also worked his way up through the organization and now holds the role of chief financial officer and vice-president, support services. “People still ask me what I do for the other 355 days of the year, but this is a $120-million business, so it’s not small potatoes.” Along with the 10-day festival, the Stampede runs a number of year-round enterprises including a casino, the BMO Centre and a significant catering operation. Still, Harrison says one of the hardest things for a not-for-profit is to define success measures. “We’re not bottom-line driven. We need to be conscious of the bottom line and we need to be financially sustainable to ensure that we can continue to do the good things that we want to do. But really what we’re competing for is a share of the heart in this community. So we need to make sure what we’re doing is resonating with Calgarians.”


Harrison says the Calgary Stampede is heading into its centennial celebrations off an “unexpectedly good year” in 2011, thanks to the global spotlight provided by the parade appearance of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—who also visited the University of Calgary’s Ward of the 21st Century Research and Innovation Centre. “You couldn’t have asked for a better platform heading into 2012 than having Will and Kate come to the Stampede and give us that extra media buzz around the world.” There are also an untold number of University of Calgary alumni within the Stampede’s volunteer brigade. One of them is Wendy Tynan, BComm’99, who juggles her time on two committees as well as holding down her day job as director of public engagement in the Alberta government’s executive council. She’s the immediate past-chair of the Grandstand committee, which is responsible

for the Young Canadians and Grandstand Show, and also sits on the Centennial Committee responsible for “all the iconic events” like rodeo, chuckwagon races and the Grandstand show. “Basically for 10 days each year I don’t leave the Grandstand.” Tynan cites the skills she learned at the Haskayne School of Business in her success as committee chairman responsible for budgeting, marketing and communications. She also believes that her active role in various student clubs on campus built a solid foundation with respect to event planning, sponsorship and community relations. “It’s pretty exciting to play a role in such a big year in the life of the Stampede. Every one of the 2,000 volunteers has had their eye on this for some time and anyone going to the Stampede this year will know they’re experiencing something new and special.”

Riley Brandt

Volunteer vets Researchers are committed to rodeo animal welfare

D 2012 Indian Princess: Role model of cultural validation It’s been a whirlwind six months for the Calgary Stampede’s 2012 Centennial Indian Princess, Amelia Crowshoe, BCC’09—and it’s not even July yet. Crowned in September, Crowshoe became the official ambassador and representative of the five tribes of Treaty 7 and the fifth generation of her family to participate in the Stampede’s Indian Village. “Since I’ve been crowned it’s gone by in a blink,” said Crowshoe, days before departing on her second official trip to China earlier this year. “I’m totally ready for Stampede.” Since graduating from the University of Calgary’s communication and culture program in 2009, Crowshoe has completed various contracts in stakeholder and community relations through Traditional Knowledge Services on her home reserve of Piikani Nation in southern Alberta. She also moved to British Columbia for part of 2010 but returned to Calgary later that year. “Around that time came a break where I said ‘what next?’ ” says Crowshoe. “I’ve always wanted to be a Stampede Indian Princess, so I decided to apply.” Her duties as Stampede Royalty are a fulltime job right now, but Crowshoe has plans for a career in First Nations law so she can continue to work closely with her community and be a role model for young women. “My grandpa always told me that you can’t live life within books,” says Crowshoe. “I’ve always believed that I’ve needed to experience what I’ve learned.”

has spent more than 30 years providing veterinary services for chuckwagon cowboys, but the reward he cherishes most is getting to know the families involved and seeing how much they care for their animals. He receives photos, notes of appreciation and Christmas cards thanking him for tending to their beloved animals throughout the year. There’s no doubt in his mind that animal welfare is central to the rodeo lifestyle. Atkins, a senior instructor in production animal health at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Springbank, just west of Calgary. He graduated from veterinary school in the early 1970s and joined the Calgary Stampede’s volunteer dairy cattle committee. His Stampede transition from milk cows to chuckwagons came naturally, as the clinic he worked for provided veterinary services for the Stampede. Currently, Atkins serves as vice-chair of R. GORDON ATKINS

the Stampede’s chuckwagon committee. It’s a high-profile spot in a very high-profile year as the Stampede celebrates its 100th anniversary and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine graduates its very first cohort of new vets. In his more than 30 years of involvement with the Stampede, Atkins says major changes have impacted the rodeo, but none greater than the increased public sensitivity to animal welfare issues. “The thing we recognize in working with everyone involved is that these people have a real love of the animals they work with. They have an underlying commitment to animal welfare that is often not understood by the general public.” The fact that less than three per cent of the population has any real connection to agriculture, or really knows where their food comes from, is both a challenge and opportunity for the Stampede and the volunteer University of Calgary vets who help each year. While the training and use of

—Erin Mason


Facing page: Dr. Gordon Atkins has found the rodeo community has an underlying commitment to animal welfare. Above: Dr. Ed Pajor is doing research on whether animals are afraid during rodeo performances.


animals was once commonplace in daily life, hardly anyone has that connection anymore. To bridge that gap in understanding, the Stampede serves to educate an urban population. But it’s also in a very tricky position from a public relations standpoint, trying to present the shows and competitions in an aesthetically acceptable way to a public that is relatively naïve as to how animals have been used in developing the West. Call it “educational entertainment.” “There’s naturally a lot of differing public opinions on rodeo and the chuckwagons,” says Atkins. “To me, the Calgary Stampede preserves and celebrates the whole issue of western heritage and where we came from. The centennial is really going to put a spotlight on that.” To show a concerned public that they were at the forefront of protecting animals, the Stampede, working hand-in-hand with the chuckwagon committee, developed its Fitness to Compete program, which they say is one of the most comprehensive animal care programs in North America. Beginning last year, every horse that competed in the chucks had an electronic chip planted

in its neck, which could be scanned and identified. Every horse had its health and fitness certified by veterinarians before each night’s races to ensure they were healthy and ready to go. And with the micro-chip, the vets know exactly which animal they’re dealing with. Throw in recent rule changes to severely penalize interference infractions and random drug testing of horses, and you have leadingedge policies that have also been adapted by the two major chuckwagon associations. The next step is some intriguing new research that will be conducted by University of Calgary veterinarians. Current Stampede rules stipulate that horses can’t compete for more than four consecutive nights and then must have two days of rest. “Since little research has been done in this area, we look forward to the results of this project to provide the guidance necessary to confirm whether these parameters are necessary,” says Atkins. Starting this year, associate professor and equine internal medicine specialist Dr. Renaud Léguillette will use wireless electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment to

Stampede food: A taste of childhood freedom

monitor the heart rates and electrical activity of horses before, during and after races. He’ll be able to track the differences between rested horses and those racing after consecutive nights, as well as estimate the cardiac effort of the pairs of horses pulling the wagons in the first row (“leaders”) and second row (“wheelers”).The results of the project may even help affect change to the training methods for horse owners. Another fascinating research project goes right to the heart of the rodeo controversy: Are the animals involved in the big bucking events consumed by fear, or do they actually enjoy the performance? Dr. Ed Pajor, an animal welfare professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and an internationallyrecognized expert in animal welfare standards and legislation, hopes to find out. Pajor started the research at last year’s Stampede together with famous animal behaviour expert Dr. Temple Grandin from Colorado State University. And while it’s hard to measure enjoyment, there are lots of measures that demonstrate a fear response in animals, such as increasing whiteness in the eye and swishing of tails.

“What we found was that for the most part, animals showed very little fear behaviour,” says Pajor. “They’re trained performers. These animals are back there with soft brown eyes, waiting patiently for their turn to go. There is some fear response, but surprisingly less than half the animals showed anything. The cowboys seem much more nervous than the animals are, prior to the event.” Pajor and Grandin will be back near the chutes again this year, expanding and honing their research. In the meantime, Pajor is also a member of the Stampede’s voluntary animal care advisory panel, which was formed two years ago. “The Calgary Stampede is under a great deal of scrutiny in terms of how animals are treated. Unlike lots of other rodeos, their event is broadcast worldwide. They recognized that although they believed they were doing the right thing with their animals and treating them well, unless there were mechanisms in place to demonstrate that, it was going to be very hard to convince the public they were actually trying to do the right thing.” Of all the recommendations from the animal care advisory panel that have been quickly adopted by the Stampede, one of the most unique is the new practice of having third-party assessments—basically independent auditors—to ensure their rules and policies around animal care are being followed to the letter. “That doesn’t even happen in the Canadian food industry yet. It’s a huge change,” said Pajor. The animal care advisory panel has also recommended some changes to facilities— pens and the ways animals are moved in and out of the stands—to improve the care and comfort of animals. “There’s no other rodeo in North America that I know of that’s putting in anywhere near this type of effort into the area of animal welfare,” says Pajor. U

Food often evokes memories of our childhood, usually good ones. Remember the smell of fresh baked bread at grandma’s, or the first juicy bite of a barbequed steak in spring? For those who have gone to the Calgary Stampede since they were kids, the food on the midway brings them back to one of the most exciting times of their lives. A time where nutritional rules were broken for a day and children were given permission to wolf down mini-donuts and cotton candy. As adults, we still associate Stampede as a nostalgic time of life when rules are thrown out the window, says Dawn Johnston, MA’99, PhD’05, a professor in the Department of Communication and Culture, who researches and teaches courses in food and popular culture. “It’s a time to be hedonistic, throw caution to the wind and embrace the food in a child-like way.” Although mini-donuts and corn dogs were once Stampede-specific treats, now they are available at other festivals. Today’s much-longer list of Stampede goodies have a decidedly deep-fried theme—deep-fried pop tarts, deepfried pickles, fried strawberries, the donut burger, 10 kinds of poutine and the Colossal Onion. “What we’re seeing is a bit of a trend in popular culture to push the limits,” says Johnston. “Shows like Fear Factor and Iron Chef and all the over-the-top cooking competitions are building an expectation for food that’s far out.” You’ll find that—and more—at Stampede as food vendors keep finding new ways to tempt hungry cowboys and cowgirls of all ages. Johnston’s advice: “For the few times of the year that we go to Stampede, we should stop obsessing about food and simply enjoy the pleasure of it. Food is fun.” Amen to that. —Beth Frank


Story by Jennifer Myers | Photos by Ewan Nicholson

New competition offers art students recognition in the community


Facing page: When Evan Smibert draws, he maintains constant eye contact, never dropping his gaze to the paper.


TWO ANNUAL SPRINGTIME ART EXHIBITIONS took on new meaning this year and may help launch the career of an emerging artist from the University of Calgary. Senior students exhibited their work at PUSH, a juried exhibition at a private gallery. This was followed by the Bachelor of Fine Arts Show of graduating students’ artwork in preparation for a new competition. My First Professional Exhibition offers a solo exhibition at a local art gallery to one graduating student from the visual studies major (studio concentration). “Our two major student exhibitions represent a broad and diverse showing of the best works of students from the Department of Art both on campus and in the broader Calgary community,” says Robert Kelly, associate professor in the Department of Art. The concept for the new competition came after the 2011 BFA Show was held at Virginia Christopher Fine Art and graduate Joseph Brocke was added to the gallery’s stable of artists as a result of the show. At the same time, donors George and Susannah Kurian were looking for a way to honour their recently deceased friend, artist Dorothy Macfarlane, while supporting emerging artists. For the next five years, their donation will fund a solo exhibit in a local gallery for

one University of Calgary art student each year, called My First Professional Exhibition. “A show in a commercial gallery is a crucial step toward an artist’s success, facilitating recognition in the wider community and opening doors to other galleries and artist-run centres,” says JeanRene Leblanc, head of the Department of Art. “It makes a signature difference for emerging artists at the University of Calgary.” The inaugural recipient of My First Professional Exhibition will show at Virginia Christopher Fine Art this fall. The Kurian’s gift includes advertising for the show and the tuition for the four courses required for the BFA studio concentration. The competition couldn’t come at a better time as Calgary ramps up to celebrate its designation as the Cultural Capital of 2012. Evan Smibert, Sylvie Richard and Andy Dinh are just three of many 2012 BFA graduates and upcoming artists in the Department of Art who will emerge in the cultural capital of Canada ready to make their mark on the world of art and culture. —With files from Caitlyn Spencer

Evan Smibert Drawing as meditation between artist and stranger


VAN SMIBERT IS EXPERIMENTING with meditation and impermanence in a performance art piece. Perched atop a Zafu and Zabuton (meditation cushions), he and his subject experience the process of art creation together. While maintaining constant eye contact for the length of time it takes to create a drawing, Smibert carefully observes and draws in layers of charcoal, without ever looking down at the page. “For me, drawing is an act of meditation. The connection you make when really seeing—not just looking at—a stranger is really intimate,” says Smibert. “So, the act

of drawing is a meditation between me and a stranger, where we will go through the process of art creation together and experience it on a different level. There is a heightened energy through the process that is difficult to put in words.” The impermanence of the process is intentional. Smibert, whose other creations have come in the form of wall drawings that are erased and redrawn over, says his work is rooted in the principle of change and “non-doing.” It is a reminder to experience the journey of life rather than to focus on the outcomes or products of our efforts. “So often in life we’re more ‘human-

doings’ than human-beings. But everything in life is impermanent and always changing— even art—so we shouldn’t cling to things so much. Meditation is about not producing anything. This is artwork about valuing the process rather than the end product and switching from doing to being.” Smibert has exhibited and performed his work in The Nickle Arts Museum, Virginia Christopher Fine Art and has taught at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery. He plans to continue his studio work, attend residencies and apply for exhibitions across Canada.


Andy Dinh Cardboard fort evokes memories of being safe

D Sylvie Richard Sending a message about self-esteem and identity



artwork may be about adornment, but it’s not the walls of your home she’s thinking of. Art as social commentary is a theme that runs through all her work, specifically that related to gender, sexuality and identity. “Art can be pretty and that’s OK, but you can also send a message with art and create something that’s not necessarily nice to look at,” she says. Play with Me is a piece Richard displayed in the Little Gallery during the final year of her degree. It’s a bit like playing paper dolls. A silkscreen print of a cow—whose form takes the shape of a woman—is displayed on a magnet board with pieces of clothing that viewers can use to dress the figure. “We live in a society filled with sexual imagery where talking about sex is scary for people,” she says. “It’s a fun thing to play dress up, but I wanted to use this to make people realize that we look at magazines or TV with expectations of what women should be. And that those images impact our self-esteem and identity.” Richard has also created pieces through sculpture and 3D animation and has exhibited in the Little Gallery, the Dean’s Gallery and in PUSH. She plans to pursue 3D animation and game design. OME OF SYLVIE RICHARD’S

when you were a kid? Or play a version of “the floor is lava” where to be safe you leapt from one piece of furniture to the next? Andy Dinh did. Now he’s aiming to invoke your childhood memories of such play through his artwork. One of his projects is designed to give viewers a sense of remembering the past and imagining the future. His work explores the human condition through losing the past and forgetting. His larger-than-life fort, which contains a version of the lava game, is an installation that uses cardboard and drawing. “I want to create an experience that recreates the past such as when you were a kid and made forts,” says Dinh. “That confined space of your own—which you may have imagined as a rocket ship, a car, or anything—was a space where you felt safe.” Dinh has exhibited at Calgary’s New Gallery and Art Central and has participated in the Market Collective. He is considering pursuing commercial-based art and creating art for exhibitions in artist-run centres or galleries. “Art is about aesthetics, but when you can plant a seed in someone’s mind—an idea— it’s a strong tool,” he says. “You can use it to learn new things. Art has the ability to make people aware and give a conceptual pleasure that is sublime.” ID YOU BUILD FORTS

Above: Some of Sylvie Richard’s artwork can be playful and pretty, but the underlying theme is social commentary. Right: Andy Dinh works with cardboard and drawing to recreate the experience of childhood forts.


Story by Jennifer Allford I Photos by Riley Brandt

First class heads off to work Inaugural graduates of Veterinary Medicine program pursue an array of careers


HEY’VE TENDED TO THOUSANDS of cows, horses, dogs and cats, hundreds of caged birds, dozens of reptiles and now the first 30 graduates from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are heading out to work—around the corner and all over the world. The first students to graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Calgary this spring are taking jobs in all areas of veterinary medicine—in established practices, in research and at internships in veterinary hospitals. The University of Calgary’s vet school is one of a handful anywhere to use only a community-based model—sending students to dozens of different clinics to learn firsthand the veterinary and business skills they’ll need to become successful practitioners. This unique model has been getting noticed. The first class aced the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination, a knowledge-based test that students have to pass to be eligible to be licensed as a veterinarian anywhere in North America. The class received a 100 per cent pass rate on the exam, beating the typical rate of 90 to 95 per cent. Their innovative educational grounding is opening career paths in a wide variety of specialties—large and small animal practices, wildlife and exotic animals, research, teaching and more. See how five of these new grads represent this diversity as they begin jobs in a range of fields, near and far.


Amanda Elliott

Brooke Berard

It’s all about horses

Small animals suit best

When she was five, Amanda Elliott watched in amazement as a veterinarian tended to a horse on her family’s ranch near Pincher Creek. “The horse had colic, a severe gastrointestinal issue and a vet came out and fixed the horse and it was a miracle,” she recalls. “Ever since then, I wanted to be a vet.” Elliott chose equine health as her area of emphasis in school and plans to build her career working with horses. “You’ve got ranch horses and performance horses like jumpers, or cow horses; then you’ve got the 4-H kids with their pony and horse projects. There’s lots of variety.” She starts work as a veterinarian with an equine internship in Okotoks and eventually hopes to set up her own equine practice in southern Alberta. As for her family’s ranch, she fully expects they will call on her to be more than a spectator the next time there’s a problem with a horse. “But I don’t think they’ll be paying me!”

Brooke Berard’s first career was as a geophysicist. She’s getting ready to start her second career as a small animal veterinarian in a clinic in Calgary. “On any given day I could have cases in dentistry, neurology, dermatology, ophthalmology—just to name a few,” she says. Berard is well equipped for the challenge. While studying in the investigative medicine area of emphasis, she did research into hypothermia in dogs and cats under general anesthetic—a common problem that increases the risks for the animal. Her research project delivered practical recommendations—including using forcedair warming blankets—and cemented her ambition to work with small animals. “The beginning of veterinary college is fascinating because you get to try on a number of different hats in all areas of veterinary medicine and see what suits you best,” she says. “Trust me, I went through a dizzying number of different scenarios in my mind of the different kinds of veterinarian I could be.”

Jordan Holt

Lauren Adelman

Nicole Rose

Supporting livestock and rural Alberta

Clinical research into cancer

Wildlife conservation and rescue

Over the course of his four years at veterinary school, Jordan Holt had a few different ideas about what he would do after graduation. Enrolled in the production animal health area of emphasis (which produces veterinarians with the knowledge to support the livestock industry and rural Alberta), Holt initially thought he’d end up in a mixed practice. For a chunk of time he was “fairly confident” he’d become a bovine veterinarian after being inspired by professors who “convinced me the field was exciting, interesting and progressive with lots of opportunity.” A job on a horse farm during his third year had him considering a strictly equine practice. But his mixed animal rotations in fourth year convinced him to go with his original plan. Holt’s going to work in a mixed animal practice in the High River area. “I’ll have a large amount of variety to my work and be able to develop a particular area of interest later, if the desire arises.”

As she is packing up to take a one-year internship at a huge veterinary animal hospital in Los Angeles, Lauren Adelman is thinking she may come back to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine one day to teach. Adelman, who chose investigative medicine as her area of emphasis, is planning to apply for a residency in oncology after her internship at VCA West Los Angeles animal hospital. “I know that research will always be a huge part of my career,” she says. “Before getting into vet school, I did three years of a microbiology and immunology degree at the University of British Columbia and also worked at two large animal research centres where I was exposed to a large amount of academic research.” She’s particularly interested in small animal oncology, something she learned a lot about in her third year. Her ultimate goal is to be a board certified oncologist in a veterinary hospital where she’ll incorporate clinical research into her practice. “I also hope to make teaching a part of my future.”

After getting her degree in zoology from Montreal’s McGill University, Nicole Rose moved to Calgary to do conservation research at the Calgary Zoo. About the time the zoo contract ended, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was starting, and Rose signed up. Now that she’s graduating, Rose is taking a one-year internship at Tufts University near Boston. “It’s a rehabilitation centre and they provide rescue and medicine to animals in the local area, and they also work in conservation.” She became familiar with Tufts when she spent a couple of weeks there as part of her fourth-year rotations. She helped rehabilitate a lot of turtles that were hit by cars, especially females that were trying to migrate to lay their eggs. “I’m really lucky and honoured to receive this internship,” she says. “Going there and seeing what they have to offer, making contacts; this is the first step and I guess I will see where it goes from there.” U



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Welcome to the MD Menagerie, Blobfish!

Not every medical school can say it’s full of turkeys, poodles, pandas or blobfish. U of C’s MD graduating classes proudly carry animal namesakes along with their degrees. Best wishes in your residency and beyond. Keep in Touch! Call 403.210.8935 or email

the engineering leaders campaign cabinet is complete! In December 2011, we revealed the founding six members of the Engineering Leaders campaign cabinet. Since then, we have welcomed five new cabinet members who have committed their passion, time and expertise to ensure that the next generation of Schulich engineers is provided with a top of the line learning environment to become Engineering Leaders. We are excited to have their input as we undertake the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history. The new members of the Engineering Leaders Campaign Cabinet are: Eric Axford, MBA Executive Vice-President, Business Services Suncor Energy Inc. “In order to continue to attract and develop great engineers for the future, we need to support the Schulich School of Engineering’s longer term vision for growth and renewal.” Dale Dusterhoft, PEng Chief Executive Officer and Director Trican Well Service Ltd. “The Schulich School of Engineering will need to play a key role in educating engineers for the future. In order to do this, we need to have the best professors, students and facilities.” Cam Kramer, PEng Senior Vice-President, Operations ARC Resources Ltd. “Material improvements to the Schulich School of Engineering facilities will allow us to grow our engineering community, critical for the future growth of Canadian industry.” Audrey Mascarenhas, MEng, PEng President and Chief Executive Officer Questor Technology Inc. “The best gift we can give young people today is a quality education in facilities that inspire them to innovate and find solutions to the many global challenges facing us.” Robert Wichert, MS, PEng Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Whistler Energy LLC “It is critical to develop young talent to take on the challenges facing us of greater and greater magnitude with innovative solutions.” We are grateful to these engineering leaders for their support. For more information, contact Serey Sinn, Director of Development, Schulich School of Engineering, at 403.220.2626. UMAGAZINE 31


Olympic dreams University family prepares for London Games Riley Brandt



as the Olympic Games begin in London, England. Among the athletes and officials representing Canada, there will be some familiar faces from the University of Calgary. Student swimmers Erica Morningstar and Amanda Reason will be there, and track star Sam Effah is hoping to don the red and white maple leaf of the Canadian team. Bonnie MacRae-Kilb, BPE’83, a board member of the University of Calgary Alumni Association and Senate, will be attending the Olympics with her husband Brad Kilb, a senior kinesiology instructor. The two were chosen to be statisticians for men’s and women’s volleyball—part of a select group of 16 from around the world. All five say they’re grateful to the University of Calgary for its role in preparing them for the Olympic stage. “As a kid you have far out dreams about wanting to go to the moon; you want to do big things. One of those things for me was the Olympics,” says Effah, the 2011 Canadian champion in the 100 metres. “To actually make that happen is crazy to think, but I train hard and I think I truly deserve to be there.” For Morningstar, the 2011 University of Calgary female athlete of the year, London will be her second Olympic trip, after competing in Beijing in 2008. “Last time, it was about going to compete and getting into the semi-finals and finals. This time, I want to win a medal and I want to win it badly.” Morningstar qualified in April for the 200-metre individual medley. Reason qualified at the same trials, and will compete in the 4x200-metre relay. The first-year marketing major at the Haskayne School of Business was shocked she made the cut but happy to have familiar faces on her team. “It’s a weird feeling, kind of like a feeling of security. I know Erica is going to have my back over there and I will have hers.” MacRae-Kilb, Dinos Hall of Fame inductee, a former national team member and three-


time All-Canadian volleyball player with the Dinos, says her experience as an athlete and coach prepared her for a role as an Olympic official. Besides, she laughs, “At 51, how else are you going to get to the Olympics?” Morningstar says it’s been challenging to juggle classes towards her communications degree while getting ready for the Games. Extra travelling for training camps has left little time for her to compete at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level this year, but she’s kept up with her classes, taking online courses in the winter semester to allow more time to focus on swimming. “A lot of my profs have been very good at helping me know what I would be missing, or giving me extensions for writing tests when I get back,” she says. For Effah, University of Calgary coaches were as big a draw as the reputation of the university itself. “I knew the coaching was great and many athletes have gone to school here. Seeing a fellow student (2008 Olympian Jessica Zelinka) go to the Olympics is huge,” says Effah. “I wanted to make sure I had a good education, too, and the Haskayne School of Business has a very reputable name.” While Effah has taken the 2011-2012 year off from classes to focus on qualifying for the Olympics, and hopefully a place on the podium, he stays close with his Dinos teammates. “I like to be involved with clubs on campus still. Just because I am running in different places around the world doesn’t mean I can’t still have the same friends,” says Effah. For Kilb and MacRae-Kilb, they see their Olympic moment as a culmination of their time at the university as athletes, coaches and instructors. “We are very fortunate to be part of the University of Calgary family,” says Kilb. —Brooke Hunter

Riley Brandt

Far Left: Bonnie MacRae-Kilb and Brad Kilb are part of a select group chosen to be volleyball statisticians. Left: Sam Effah took a break from classes this year to concentrate on training.

Riley Brandt

Below: Erica Morningstar is hoping her second trip to the Olympics will result in a medal.




Do you ever wonder how giving to the University of Calgary influences the bigger picture? This year, our alumni and friends helped decrease student debt, enhance classroom and student spaces, build buildings, and reward and foster academic, athletic and research excellence through the Annual Giving appeal. Your gifts make a difference. Thank you for being an important part of the bigger picture and continuing the proud tradition of giving back.

To find out how you can contribute to our bigger picture, visit

CA Bridging Your bridge to an accounting career. A ALG OF C SITY 2012 VER ING SPR


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CA Bridging enables you to complete all the business and accounting courses needed for admission to the CA School of Business (CASB) while continuing to work full-time. Designed specifically for those with a 4-year degree in any field to transition into a career as a CA. Available exclusively on the University of Lethbridge Calgary and Edmonton campuses: Calgary Suite 1100, Rocky Mountain Plaza 615 Macleod Trail SE 403-571-3360




Edmonton Suite 1100, University of Lethbridge Tower 10707 - 100 Ave. 780-424-0455

A partnership between the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge Faculty Of Management.


munity s in cthoe Camlgary Stampede r e n t r a P ating history with Celebr


that’s fit

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U Magazine is also online. Get all the stories and photos in our latest edition, plus more. UExtra features additional background and more content on selected stories.

WHERE TOMORROW’S LEADERS LEARN TO LEAD. Announcing the launch of the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. The Centre will be a hub for Corporate Sustainability, teaching tomorrow’s corporate leaders the skills needed to manage the economic, environmental, and social bottom lines. Taught by worldclass academics and industry experts, the curriculum will support student and faculty research with a focus on sustainable resource development and management. It’s our shared goal that it will make Canada’s energy capital, Canada’s sustainable business capital. To learn more visit or

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UExtra bonus features in this issue: Read these bonus stories by clicking on UExtra at

Unleashed Opinion:

Unite Community:

Uncover Research: Unearthing Solutions: Uncover Research:

Todd Hirsch argues that Canada needs to be more visible on the global stage.

Nursing professor Cheryl Ugoalah is helping young offenders through dance and prayer.

Kinesiology’s Tim Leonard is winning awards for innovative muscle research.

Students are taking the campus closer to Fair Trade status.

Some gifts can’t be wrapped. When it comes to creating a legacy, think of giving in a different way. You can help shape the future of the University of Calgary in many ways. From cash donations, land, securities and charitable trusts to retirement assets, life insurance, even art. Your gift in whatever form can help shape the world. To learn more about your estate planning options, visit


Dr. Merrill Knudtson has developed the gold standard for tracking the health of heart patients.


Ewan Nicholson


Poet for the people As Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Fred Wah is engaging the nation with poetry University of Calgary Professor Emeritus Fred Wah was recently named Canada’s fifth Parliamentary Poet Laureate, bringing his innovative and collaborative literary style to the national task of drawing Canadians’ attention to the reading and writing of poetry. Poet, editor, novelist, teacher, mentor and volunteer, Wah was professor of English and creative writing at the University of Calgary from 1989 to 2003. Wah has been writing and publishing since 1965. Author of five limited-edition chapbooks and 18 books, he has received major literary awards in three genres. He is grateful for the opportunity to sustain poetry’s presence in the national imaginary. “My work as Parliamentary Poet Laureate will continue to engage poetry as it represents our homes and migrations, our questions of history and identity.” The following are a selection of Wah’s poems, reprinted with his permission from his book Sentenced to Light, published by Talonbooks (2008). These poems are part of a series called “Articulations” written in a collaboration with Calgary artist Beverley Tosh, MFA’87, who taught at the University of Calgary from 1988 to 1998.

(slips up) Morning slips Cloud scuttled night What just happened re Leased from the hook Does the fish die? Let’s remember rust No fall’s that free Over and over more slack Sinking as permitted Body washed ashore

(bell theory) Are you in the neighbourhood? Scissors at hand. Is this the blank for disaster? No, the shot for the plan. The rip that erases the target a rose? That’s the temptation. Do you really melt in fiction? Indifferent to meaning. Is a bell wood? That is the theory!


Lapse irrevocable Lips open and diving Old hunger mouth, love Wet lips and tongue bait Syntax slips up.

Breathing through your toes Climbing up the stairs Forever playing thoughtful Repeating disappearance Stuck to you with patience Breaking foreign changes Waiting for disaster Attracting back the meaning Facing all the numbers Sighing by the stove Obeying all the stars Taking off your clothes


Rather let this murmuring Remember all the prayers

Stick to you like pasture Broken foreign chances


Writing more disaster A tract of surplus bookings Opacity in marching Faking naked truth

Among other national and international activities, Fred Wah is currently a faculty member at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Azriel Knight


Leadership beyond the bottom line New centre at the Haskayne School of Business will entrench ethical business standards The leaders of two Calgary energy-based companies don’t hesitate when asked about the secret of their success. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer doesn’t come from the oilpatch, but rather from what they’ve built within their organizations—a culture of shared values, vision and purpose backed by an unswerving belief that people are their greatest natural resource. As Mac Van Wielingen, a founder of energy investment firm ARC Financial Corp., and oil and gas company ARC Resources Ltd., says: “ARC Financial and ARC Resources are very different businesses. Yet, both have demonstrated incredible results because they share a common cultural heritage that is attributed to the strength of their culture and to leadership.” To Van Wielingen, the responsibilities of a good leader go far beyond growing the bottom line. It’s about leading ethically, respectfully and with integrity. It’s also about fostering an environment that attracts exemplary employees and doing what it takes to retain the best. “Yes, you want to go out and hire great people, but leaders need to ask themselves

if they are creating the conditions where each of us can truly be our best in order to contribute from areas where we have natural gifts and capabilities.” ARC Resources Ltd. CEO John Dielwart, BSc’77, agrees. “People are not commodities. If a leader can build a culture of integrity, commitment to the community and respect for one another into his or her organization, it’s magic. The results take care of themselves.” Dielwart and ARC Financial Corp. CEO Kevin Brown cite Van Wielingen as their mentor. They are passing on to the next generation what they’ve learned from him as a leader, and what they’ve emulated in their roles within their own companies. “Leaders need to inspire trust,” says Brown. “A big part of what I’ve learned from Mac is that you inspire trust by demonstrating that you truly care about the people you work with, not just through words, but through actions.” Those actions have led to their most recent venture—a gift of $9.5 million to launch the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business at the Haskayne

School of Business. An initiative spearheaded by Van Wielingen, the donation was made by Van Wielingen, his wife Susan and their family (through the Viewpoint Foundation), ARC Resources Ltd., ARC Financial Corp., and Kevin and Nadine Brown (through the Brown Family Foundation). “We need to give young people the opportunity to be exposed to deeper levels of understanding about leadership, so that they can take on leadership responsibility more effectively, more competently and more ethically,” says Van Wielingen. The centre, set to open this fall, will embed leadership skills and ethical business standards in the curriculum, research and culture at the Haskayne School of Business, impacting every aspect of the student experience. U —Jenny De Guia

L-R: Kevin Brown, Mac Van Wielingen and John Dielwart are ensuring that business students understand the importance of integrity, trust and respect.



Class Notes

Find out what your fellow grads are doing now. You can share your news and updates by going to and clicking “Class Notes.”


John Dielwart, BSc’77, is one of the founding donors of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business, a national leadership centre expected to open later this year at the Haskayne School of Business. Wolfe Keller, BSc’72, received the Schulich School of Engineering’s Distinguished Collaborator Award earlier this year. Wolfe has collaborated with several faculty members on projects related to water, waste water and watershed research. Gayland Pedhirney, BA’71, joined TrueNorth Capital Partners as a senior advisor. Patty Shortreed, BComm’78, was a guest speaker at Graduating This Year’s building confidence seminar. Ralph Angelo Vigna, MEd’73, passed away at home in Vancouver, B.C., on December 22, 2011 after a lengthy illness. He is survived by his spouse Daniel Sarunic; sons John, BA’89 (Nancy), Mark and Peter (Judy), and their mother, Annie Vigna BA’97; and grandchildren, Rene, Isabella and Natalia. He is predeceased by his son, Paul (June 1, 2007). Cenek Vrba, BMUS’70, has retired as concertmaster at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.


John Challice, BSc’85, is the vice-president for advanced education for Oxford University Press, based in New York, N.Y. Tom Donaldson, BComm’81, is the CEO of Calgary-based Edo Japan, which has 101 stores in North America. Dawn Farrell, BComm’83, was appointed president and CEO of TransAlta Corporation in January, 2012. Ken McLeod, LLB’85, was appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta in March 2012. Dr. Julianna Nagy, MD’82, received Edmonton’s 2010 Physician of the Year award and recently retired after a long career in rehabilitation medicine at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. Andrew Pearce, BSc’84, MSc’88, director of research and development at DreamWorks Animation, spoke to the Class of 2012 as part of Graduating This Year’s final keynote event. Dr. Len Wade, MD’85, was named the Physician of the Year by the Alberta College


of Family Physicians.


Jill Clayton, BA’90, MEDes’99, was appointed Alberta’s new privacy commissioner. Patrick Cleary, BComm’98, LLB’03, joined the law firm of Beaudin & Lang LLP. Patrick is currently president of the Vancouver Bar Association and vice-chairman of the B.C. Business Law Subsection. Kris Demeanor, BA’92, was named Calgary’s first Poet Laureate in March 2012. Marjan Eggermont, BA’91, BFA’96, MFA’98, was invited to be an editor and designer on ZQ, which just launched its first issue at www. ZQ is a publication devoted to the nexus of science and design. Jenny Gulamani-Abdullah, BA’91, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Calgary’s Women’s Resource Centre in March 2012. James Maskalyk, MD’99, spoke at The Grandest Challenge, an event that explored important issues facing global health, in Toronto in April 2012. Chad Saunders, BA’96, left his post as station manager at CJSW earlier this year to work for Cantos Music Foundation on its National Music Centre Project.

David Trexler, MSc’95, is a paleontologist and published a book in 2011, Becoming Dinosaurs: A Prehistoric Perspective on Climate Change. Dr. Jeffrey Veale, BSc’97, MD’00, was featured in a New York Times article in February, called “60 Lives, 30 Kidneys, All Linked,” about the longest-ever kidney transplant chain. Jeffrey is a transplant surgeon at the David Geffen School of Medicine in the Department of Urology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Jeffrey, who received the Alumni Association’s Graduate of the Last Decade Award in 2009, plans to research relationships between kidney transplant recipients and altruistic donors. Laura Walker, MD’95, joined St. Alexius Medical Center’s hospitalist program in 2011. Laura has more than 12 years of clinical experience in rural North Dakota and South Dakota. Rita Wong, BA’90, is a poet and associate professor in critical and cultural studies at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, B.C. She was the inaugural English Honours Alumni Lecture recipient this year.


Phina Brooks, BCC’06, is a filmmaker and has her own production company, Phinchic Productions Inc. Andrew Gustafson, BSc’00, came back to

fyi. The University of Calgary collects personal information about our alumni under the authority of and in accordance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The following questions are occasionally asked by alumni. Who has access to my contact information? Only university staff and volunteers who have signed non-disclosure agreements and have a specific, approved need can have access to your information. Does the university share my information? From time to time, affinity partners of the Alumni Association will offer alumni benefits and services through email, mail or by telephone. We protect your information by sharing it for these specific offers only. Our affinity partners do not maintain lists of our alumni, nor do they have direct access to our alumni contact information outside of making these specific offers. Does the university sell my contact information? No. Alumni contact information is never sold. We carefully protect your information so that alumni lists cannot be maintained or used outside of the university. What should I do if I do not want to receive some types of communication? Let us know! Visit our website,, to choose what types and how much communication you want to receive. You can also email, call (403) 220-8500 or visit Taylor Family Digital Library Room 153. We will ensure your information is accurate and treated in accordance with your wishes.

UNLIMITED ALUMNI campus to speak at a Graduating This Year 2011 seminar on wellness. Andrew owns Natural High Fitness in Okotoks, Alta. Latonia Hartery, MA’01, PhD’10, wrote and directed the documentary, Rum Running, which focuses on the smuggling of liquor from Nova Scotia and the French Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. Tim Higham, BSc’00, works at the University of California, Riverside, and is an expert on leopard geckos. Matthew Hillhouse, MBA’04, is a managing partner at Taleo Project Services. He planned the fourth annual Tonic event in support of KidSport Calgary in April 2012. Dr. Richard Hydomako, MSc’07, PhD’11, received the 2011 DNP Thesis Prize, awarded by the Division of Nuclear Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists. Dr. Kirsten Johnson, MD’01, is an assistant professor at McGill University and an emergency physician at two teaching hospitals. She is the founder and director of the McGill Humanitarian Studies Initiative. Cyndy Morin, BA’02, LLB’06, opened her own law firm, Resolve Legal Group, and practises family, real estate, wills and estates, and immigration law. Nitin Puri, BSc’03, is the ICT product manager at Gyanwave in New Delhi, Delhi, India. Melissa Wusaty, BA’09, is the founder and editor-in-chief of Conglomerate Magazine. She spoke to students and staff at Calgary’s Bishop Carroll High School and promoted career possibilities in the Canadian fashion industry.


Kathryn Clarke, BComm’11, gave back to the Haskayne School of Business by being a guest speaker at a Marketing 433 class. Jarrett Dragani, BSc’11, is a project engineer at Cenovus Energy and is working at its Christina Lakes oilsands operation. Joan Lee, received international media attention and was featured in more than 30 newspapers around the world for her University of Calgary thesis in linguistics entitled What does txting do 2 language? She is now writing a book on a similar theme. Dr. Esteban Ortiz-Prado, MSc’10, travelled to Thailand and the U.S. in March to give multiple conferences in hyperbaric medicine and then returned to continue with his academic career at Universidad De Las Americas as a principal professor. Andrew Turnbull, BComm’10, spoke at a Graduating This Year 2012 seminar on personal brand. Andrew works as an associate planner at digital agency Critical Mass.

EnginEEring building block party

Schulich School of Engineering Alumni and Supporters are invited to the

Building Block PArty May 24, 5-8pm, Schulich School of Engineering register at:

An ‘out of the blocks’ experience! see the new building designs

explore the renovations

enjoy tasty treats

have fun with family and friends

For inquiries contact: 403.220.2548


DISPLAY WITH PRIDE Degree Frames. Your choice of different styles with prices ranging from $59 to $189. All styles feature an embossed University of Calgary coat of arms and wordmark. These frames are Canadian made and exclusive to University of Calgary graduates. Order online at

Questions? Please contact the Alumni Relations service office. 403-220-8500 or 1-877-220-8509,

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USE YOUR CONNECTIONS The purchasing power of 145,000 alumni. Your Alumni Association has negotiated preferred alumni rates on home, auto, life, health and dental coverage, as well as medical evacuation protection. As a grad, you also have exclusive access to investment and retirement planning services and a University of Calgary credit card. When you take advantage of these programs, you help us finance scholarships, alumni events and more. Learn more:


Courtesy of Canadian Space Agency


A cosmic calling David Kendall is on a mission to keep Canada’s space program thriving David Kendall was nine when Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, was launched. He was 13 when the first human went into space. These events had a lasting impression on him and would, eventually, shape his career path. “The whole race to the moon during the ’60s was quite an amazing time,” says Kendall, MSc’72, PhD’79. “It was very formative in my thinking.” After completing his undergraduate physics degree in his native United Kingdom, Kendall jumped at an opportunity to do his graduate work at the University of Calgary—a place he knew very little about. “When I arrived, I saw they had an excellent space and upper atmospheric group doing cutting-edge work. I really lucked out that a spot was open. It just all fit together.” He came across the pond and hasn’t looked back. These days, you’ll find Kendall in SaintHubert, Que. where he’s Director General of Space Science and Technology for the Canadian Space Agency. It’s his job to make sure that Canada’s space program continues to thrive by attracting bright minds and bright ideas. He works with members of

industry, academia and government to build the next generation of space scientists and and the new innovative ideas behind future Canadian space missions. “Canada has managed to have a world-class program because of our excellent people and ideas,” he says. Because the nation’s space budget is small—approximately $300 million compared to $6 billion at the European Space Agency or $18 billion at NASA— Canada competes by surpassing international colleagues in special areas where our scientists and engineers excel. “In strategic areas, we have been very competitive and we need to ensure that remains,” says Kendall. “It’s my job to build on that for the next 10 to 15 years.” Although Canada’s space program is relatively small, it has huge applications. Space technology is used every day by every citizen through the use of communications, navigation, remote sensing and much more. “We need people who understand the complete chain as to how space delivers on the services that Canadians expect,” says Kendall. “As example, I can cite the issues in the

Arctic—from navigating in ice-infested waters, to land-use management, to being able to securely communicate with communities in the North, to understanding climate change and ozone depletion. All of these areas are being studied by Canadians and providing solutions to policy-makers. We cannot rely on our partners to do this for us.” Even with all his heady work, Kendall remains very down to earth. “What I love most is working with people, especially the young people at the universities—seeing their enthusiasm and drive. It really excites me to see the excellent work that’s being done across the country. I’m also blessed with an outstanding team. Going to work every day is an incredible pleasure.” U —Colleen Seto

In his role at the Canadian Space Agency, David Kendall is helping to launch the next generation of space scientists.


Marc Montplaisir


From bad taste to great art Gisele Amantea explores the domestic tableaus of her childhood with use of unusual material Throughout her long career as an artist and teacher, Gisele Amantea, BFA’76, has worked in ceramics, photography, fibre and video—among other media—and produced everything from large-scale installations to a graphic novel. Her creative heart, though, belongs to flock. Flocking is the application of fine textured nylon and rayon particles to a surface. In the 1960s and ’70s flock appeared most often as textured wallpaper, often in Italian homes like her own. As a child, her living room was adorned with red and gold flocked wallpaper. As home décor, flock represents an outdated medium of questionable aesthetic taste, but Amantea rehabilitates it into fine art to create, among other things, wall-size depictions of wrought iron gates, chain link fences and barbed wire. Few artists work in flock, and perhaps none use the material as much as Amantea. She is drawn to flock for its tactile nature and physical intensity—“it’s so matte and dense”—and because it’s unusual. “I’m hoping people will linger with it longer. You have to pay attention to this strange material. You have to say ‘What the heck is this?’ ” Amantea spent her year between high school and university working in Banff. It was 1971 and the mountain town was crawling with painters, sculptors and musicians. “Everyone in Banff was an artist,” she says. “Everyone was there being bohemian.” Inspired by the creative people around her, Amantea decided to study art and enrolled at the University of Calgary in 1972. “What I like about the university is that it is a larger context,” she says. “You can take courses in the sciences or in English which you can’t do in the same way


in art school. And you are around a lot of different people.” Amantea returned to the University of Calgary as a sessional professor in the early 1980s after earning her MFA at the University of Puget Sound in 1979. She taught for a few years in Calgary before moving on to stints at the University of Regina and Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Since 1995 she’s taught in the Department of Studio Arts at Montreal’s Concordia University. “Teaching is an interesting way to think about art,” she says. “It is very different than just having your own internal dialogue. In many ways, you learn a lot about your own art, your own values.” Amantea’s body of artistic work, however diverse in scale and media, explores common themes. She is interested in what people value and what they don’t, and “what gets left out and why.” Especially in domestic tableaus.

In White Folly (1988), for example, Amantea covered a wall with hundreds of unpainted ceramic objects found in craft shops—benign and banal items like kittens, cherubs, poodles and rose blossoms. That piece linked back to her own childhood and the curios her mother collected. “I grew up in an Italian Catholic family with all of this stuff everywhere that had all this meaning imposed on it,” Amantea says. “And in art school I discovered that it was all in really bad taste.” She laughs. “I didn’t know I’d grown up with such bad taste.” U —Marcello Di Cintio

Artist Gisele Amantea works in a variety of mediums, but is focusing right now on flock.

UN photo/Rick Bajornas


At the centre of world events As a principal officer at the UN, Linda Taylor combines her passions for law and international politics Few think of the United Nations (UN) without associating it with a sense of goodwill. For Linda Taylor, BA’76, LLB’79, it also evokes emotions about Canada shining on the international stage. “I think every young Canadian of my generation went through a phase of wanting to work for the UN,” she says. “We grew up on stories of Lester B. Pearson and Canadians proudly wearing the blue helmets while serving as peacekeepers.” So it was no surprise that when an opportunity to join the UN presented itself, she started living the dream. Taylor went from private practice in downtown Calgary to the legal department of a major UN organization in one of the most fascinating areas in the world. “My first post was in Gaza as a lawyer with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East,” she says. “It was a life-changing experience to live and work in a different culture and a pressure-cooker environment.” She had to adapt to working with people not only from different countries and customs, but also from different legal systems. Despite this, or perhaps because of the challenges, she made lifelong friends and also got to observe key political developments unfold firsthand. Taylor has since spent the past decade serving in various capacities for the UN, and is now a principal officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in New York—a post she’s held for over three years. As the Secretary-General is the chief administrative officer of the UN, Taylor’s duties include providing legal advice and support, representing the Secretary-General in mediation proceedings and liaising with UN departments and offices. Her job also

involves travelling internationally with the Secretary-General to countries as varied as Afghanistan, Myanmar and Kiribati. And yet Taylor’s worldly experiences stem from rather modest roots. She was one of the first graduates of the University of Calgary’s then freshly minted Faculty of Law. “It was a very special experience,” she recalls. “Everyone was excited to be part of this new and innovative law school. It was a small class and there was no one ahead of us to show us the ropes, so we bonded quickly. We supported one another in law school and that has continued in practice.” Her initial interest in law was triggered in junior high school as a result of several social studies teachers who sparked an abiding interest in current events and politics. At that time, she didn’t really know what lawyers did, but law seemed to offer entry into politics. “I noticed that many politicians were lawyers and decided that I would study law as a stepping

stone into politics. That changed with my first moot court exercise, in first-year constitutional law. I loved the challenge and adrenaline rush of advocacy and decided on the spot that I wanted to become a civil litigator, which I did.” Through her work at the UN, Taylor has come full circle—perfectly combining her passion for the law and international politics. U —Colleen Seto

Linda Taylor flies over Baghdad in a Blackhawk helicopter.


Olivia Cheng


Getting into the swing of Stampede Third-year business and architecture student Olivia Cheng was taking a break from her job last July and enjoying time with her friends at the Calgary Stampede. “We got there mid-afternoon and were enjoying the crazy foods as well as the people-watching that comes with Stampede.” Eventually


they headed over to the midway rides, the favourite spot for kids of all ages. “I saw the people on the swing ride moving up and I saw their silhouettes against the sunset and I thought it was really beautiful. I immediately picked up the camera and took the picture.” Cheng’s photo won Best Overall Honourable

Mention in the University of Calgary’s 2012 Centre for International Students and Study Abroad’s (CISSA) International Photo Contest, an annual celebration of students’ photographic talents. For more details, see U

Leadership beyond the bottom line “Great leadership and enduring success are founded on trust and strong ethics. The ‘we’ is more important than the ‘me.’ ” MAC VAN WIELINGEN Co-Chairman and Director, ARC Financial Corp. Chairman, ARC Resources Ltd.

Made-in-Calgary business leaders Kevin Brown, Mac Van Wielingen and John Dielwart.

Calgary is Canada’s most enterprising city and one of its most powerful economic engines. Here, we are challenging traditional views of what it means to be a strong business leader, and founding donors Mac and Susan Van Wielingen and their family (through the Viewpoint Foundation), ARC Resources Ltd. (led by CEO John Dielwart), ARC Financial Corp. (led by CEO Kevin Brown), and Kevin and Nadine Brown (through the Brown Family Foundation) are leading the way. Their generosity establishes the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business at the Haskayne School of Business. Here, we will develop a new generation of principled business leaders who think beyond the bottom line. Our city, our country and our world will profit.

Be InspIred. LeAd BY eXAMpLe.

“I never thought my alumni group rates could save me so much.” – Kitty Huang Satisfied client since 2009

See how good your quote can be. At TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, we know how important it is to save wherever you can. As a member of the University of Calgary Alumni Association, you can enjoy preferred group rates on your home and auto insurance and other exclusive privileges, thanks to our partnership with your association. You’ll also benefit from great coverage and outstanding service. We believe in making insurance easy to understand so you can choose your coverage with confidence.

Get an online quote at or call 1-866-352-6187 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Insurance program recommended by

The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex home and auto insurance program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. The program is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc. in Quebec and by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in the rest of Canada. Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. *No purchase required. Contest organized jointly with Primmum Insurance Company and open to members, employees and other eligible persons belonging to employer, professional and alumni groups which have an agreement with and are entitled to group rates from the organizers. Contest ends on January 31, 2013. 1 prize to be won. The winner may choose the prize between a Lexus RX 450h with all basic standard features including freight and pre-delivery inspection for a total value of $60,000 or $60,000 in Canadian funds. The winner will be responsible to pay for the sale taxes applicable to the vehicle. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at ®/ The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.

Return undelivered Canadian addresses to: University of Calgary 113 Administration Building 2500 University Drive N.W. Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Telephone: (403) 220-8500 Facsimile: (403) 220-1312 Toll Free: 1-877-220-8509 E-mail: Publications Mail Agreement: 40064590


U Magazine  

University of Calgary Alumni Magazine

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