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Randy Marsden is on a mission to make a dirty world a safer place

Do Great Things

10 ways you can make a difference this summer


Meet 6 researchers who leave the lab behind

Discover why over 375,000 graduates enjoy greater savings

Join the growing number of graduates who enjoy greater savings from TD Insurance on home and auto coverage. Most insurance companies offer discounts for combining home and auto policies, or your good driving record. What you may not know is that we offer these savings too, plus we offer preferred rates to members of the University of Alberta Alumni Association. You’ll also receive our highly personalized service and great protection that suits your needs. Find out how much you could save.

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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 October 31, 2013. Draw on November 22, 2013. One (1) prize to be won. The winner may choose between a Lexus ES 300h hybrid (approximate MSRP of $58,902 which includes freight, pre-delivery inspection, fees and applicable taxes) or $60,000 in Canadian funds. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at ÂŽ/ 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.

S p r i n g 2013 VOLUME 69 NUMBER 1

On the cover: Randy Marsden, ’89 BSc(ElecEng), sometimes uses Glo Germ and UV lights to illustrate how quickly bacteria can be spread by touch. Photo by John Ulan

features 16 Time to Contribute For decades, Glenn Stowkowy has helped build new buildings on the U of A campus. Now this engineer sets his sights on building up the Alumni Association


20 Building a Better Undergrad How students are going beyond the books to reshape what it means to get a university education


28 New Health-Care Horizons From cancer to stroke, dementia to kidney disease, discover six health-care breakthroughs that could bring you a healthier future


38 The Magic Touch Cleankeys creator Randy Marsden takes on the No. 1 cause of preventable death, one keyboard at a time


departments 3

Your Letters Our Readers Write


Bear Country The U of A Community


Whatsoever Things Are True Column by Todd Babiak


Question Period Venture’s Ruth Kelly Takes on Digital Radio

46 Trails Art from an Alumnus 48 Events In Edmonton and Beyond 50

Class Notes Keeping Classmates Up to Date


In Memoriam Bidding Farewell to Friends


Photo Finish The Picture-Perfect Finale

ne w tr ail .ualberta .c a

Executive Director Sean Price, ’95 BCom, MBA Supervising Editor Cynthia Strawson, ’05 BA Editor Lisa Cook Associate Editor Sarah Ligon Art Directors Marcey Andrews, Ray Au, ’88 BFA Associate Art Director Lisa Hall, ’89 BA Editorial Intern D.C. Johnson Features Photographer John Ulan Advisory Board Anne Bailey, ’84 BA; Linda Banister, ’83 BCom, ’87 MPM; Jason Cobb, ’96 BA; Susan Colberg, ’83 BFA, ’91 MVA; Deb Hammacher; Tom Keating; Lawrence Kwok, ’04 BSc(Eng); John Mahon, ’76 BMus, ’83 MBA; Robert Moyles, ’86 BCom; Julie Naylor, ’95 BA, ’05 MA CONTACT US Email (Comments/Letters/Class Notes) Address Updates 780-492-3471; toll free 1-866-492-7516 or Call 780-492-3224; toll free 1-800-661-2593 Mail

Office of Alumni Relations, University of Alberta, Main Floor, Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB  T5J 4P6

Facebook U of A Alumni Association Twitter @UofA_Alumni, @New_Trail TO ADVERTISE This University of Alberta Alumni Association magazine is published three times a year and mailed free to over 138,000 alumni. The views and opinions expressed in the magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the University or the Alumni Association. All material copyright ©. New Trail cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. ISSN: 0824-8125 Copyright 2011 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40112326 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Office of Alumni Relations University of Alberta, Main Floor, Enterprise Square 10230 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, AB  T5J 4P6

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Sean Price, ’95 BCom, MBA Associate Vice-President Tracy Salmon, ’91 BA, ’96 MSc Director, Alumni Programs Cynthia Strawson, ’05 BA Director, Marketing, Communications & Affinity Relationships Kyla Amrhein, ’09 BA Volunteer Co-ordinator Larissa Brese, ’09 BA Assistant, Alumni Branches Chloe Chalmers, ’00 BA Auralia Brooke Co-ordinators, Student Engagement Joanna Chan, ’09 BA Assistant, Alumni Recognition Lisa Cook Associate Director, Communications Lesley Dirkson Administrative Assistant/Receptionist Colleen Elliott, ’94 BEd Manager, Education and Special Events Coleen Graham, ’88 BSc(HEc), ’93 MEd Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives Lisa Hall, ’89 BA Co-ordinator, Graphic Communications Jennifer Jenkins, ’95 BEd Co-ordinator, Regional Chapters (Canada) Jodeen Litwin, ’90 BSc(HEc) Co-ordinator, Alumni Recognition Sarah Ligon Communications Co-ordinator Cristine Myhre Co-ordinator, Campus Chapters Kelly O’Hara Assistant, Marketing and Communications John Perrino, ’93 BA(RecAdmin) Co-ordinator, Regional Chapters Vanessa Nemetcheck Co-ordinator, Alumni Relations, Calgary Andrea Porter, ’03 BCom Alumni Association Business Lead Lindsay Sylvester Marketing Lead Meghan Sylvester, ’06 BA Assistant, Student Engagement Angela Tom, ’03 BA Co-ordinator, Edmonton Programs Diane Tougas Executive Assistant Teresa Trovato, ’03 BEd Assistant, Edmonton Programs and Alumni Travel Vi Warkentin Assistant, Campus Chapters Katy Yachimec, ’04 BA Assistant, Edmonton Programs Debbie Yee, ’92 BA Co-ordinator, Electronic Communications

Alumni Council Executive President Jane Halford, ’94 BCom President-Elect Glenn Stowkowy, ’76 BSc(ElecEng) Vice-President: Reputation & Messaging Mary Pat Barry, ’04 MA Vice-President: Educational Engagement Lorne Parker, ’08 EdD Vice-President: Centenary Planning Janis Sasaki, ’83 BScN, ’87 LLB


Vice-President: Histories & Traditions Cindie LeBlanc, ’01 BA Vice-President: Volunteerism Rob Parks, ’87 BEd, ’99 MBA Board of Governors Representatives: Jim Hole ’79 BSc(Ag) Don Fleming, ’76 BEd Senate Representatives Stephen Leppard, ’86 BEd, ’92 MEd, ’03 EdD Anne Lopushinsky, ’79 BSc(Speech/Aud) Secretary Linda Banister, ’83 BCom, ’87 MPM Faculty Representatives Academic Representative Jason Acker, ’95 BSc, ’97 MSc, ’00 PhD, ’09 MBA Agricultural, Life & Environmental Science Reint Boelman, ’97 BSc(Ag) Arts Michael Janz, ’08 BA Augustana Jason Collins, ’97 BA Business Rob Parks, ’87 BEd, ’99 MBA Campus Saint-Jean Cindie LeBlanc, ’01 BA Dentistry Vacant Education Lorne Parker, ’08 EdD Engineering Tom Gooding, ’78 BSc(MechE) Extension Mary Pat Barry, ’04 MA Graduate Studies Chris Grey, ’92 BA, ’95 MBA Law William Ostapek, ’79 BSc, ’83 LLB Medicine vacant Native Studies Darlene Bouvier, ’91 BA, ’09 BA NS(Hons) Nursing Janis Sasaki, ’83 BScN, ’87 LLB Pharmacy Adam Gordon, ’08 BSc(Pharm) Physical Education & Recreation Wanda Wetterberg, ’74 BA(RecAdmin) Public Health Ximena Ramos Salas, ’07 MSc(Public Health) Rehabilitation Medicine Linda Miller, ’89 BSc(OT) Science Luca Vanzella, ’81 BSc, ’88 MSc Members at Large Linda Banister, ’83 BCom, ’87 MPM Jason Krips, ’93 BCom, ’96 LLB Ex Officio Honorary President Indira Samarasekera Vice-President (Advancement) O’Neil Outar Vice-President (University Relations) Debra Pozega Osburn Executive Director, Alumni Association Sean Price, ’95 BCom, MBA Dean of Students Frank Robinson Graduate Students’ Association Huimin Zhong, VP Student Life Students’ Union Colten Yamagishi

upfront In my previous life, before returning to our alma mater, I spent many years working for the Edmonton Oilers. My time there confirmed that sport is one of the most powerful community builders in society. You need only look at how Team Canada united our country during the 2010 Winter Olympics or how the Golden Bears and Pandas energize our campus. Integral to the power of sport is the impact of volunteers. All athletes begin as kids playing minor sports and would be nowhere without the volunteer coaches, referees and others. In the world of sport, the arts, sciences and other areas of life — volunteers light us up as surely as any championship win. Glenn Stowkowy, ’76, BSc(ElecEng) — like 99 per cent of us — never played in the NHL. But a simple pair of skates transforms him into a community leader. For 14 years coaching his son, and then seven more years as a referee, Glenn and his skates became part of the fabric of the community of St. Albert, just northwest of Edmonton. Glenn has spent the past 37 years, literally, building Edmonton from behind his desk as an engineer at what is now called Stantec, and yet he still finds the time to build his community. Now Glenn is taking over as the president of the Alumni Association, bringing those talents to bear in the service of the quarter million University of Alberta alumni. (More about Glenn on page 16.) You may have read recently about the economic realities facing all post-secondary institutions right now. And I hope you’ve also heard about the economic impact of the University of Alberta — $12.4 billion according to a 2012 Alberta School of Business survey. But this is only part of the story. U of A graduates build corporations, but they also build communities. We’ve long recognized that our alumni seem to volunteer in inordinate numbers, paying forward the value of their educations on a local, national and global scale. In late April, the Alumni Association launched its Do Great Things Alumni Volunteer Challenge as a way to celebrate the contributions of our grads and to create an even greater impact. This summer we are facilitating countless volunteer opportunities, from your campus to your community. The campaign is called Do Great Things, not just because that’s what our grads do, but in recognition of the vision of our founder, Henry Marshall Tory. There’s more about volunteering on page 11. Join Glenn Stowkowy and thousands of other alumni, and Do Great Things with us.

Sean Price, ’95 BCom, MBA, Associate Vice-President, Alumni Relations; Executive Director, Alumni Association

Larisa Cheladyn @artbylarisa It’s a good day for @new_trail arrived in the mail! Wonderful tribute to Peter Lougheed... and The North. Nate Box @nathanbox If one thing could make me open my @UofA_ Alumni mag it’s @ben_hen talkin #yegwinter! #rad #onelove #respec’

Keep in touch between New Trail issues. You’ll find web-exclusive content online and in e-Trail, our monthly electronic e-magazine. Visit alumni/extras to see these stories and more.

3 Minutes to a Proper British Accent

’Snow Problem Many years ago I stopped receiving New Trail, probably because we have had 17 homes in two provinces and four states since graduating in 1970. Imagine my surprise and absolute delight when “poof” — yesterday there was the winter issue in my mailbox. It was a great read and reminded me how much I had missed reading the publication. Thanks for catching up with me…. However you did it! — Stan Kaufman, ’68 BA, ’70 MBA, Sun Lakes, Ariz.

Snow Proud

Adoption is a Plan

I really enjoyed the Winter 2012 New Trail issue — especially “Latitude Attitude” [page 26]. That article nicely captured the feelings we students had in living in the cold winters during our time at U of A. I still remember walking to class when it was so cold my shoes squeaked when I walked. But the view of the lacy tree limbs covered in hoarfrost was beautiful! The winter festival at the residences that included ice/snow statues was a fun way of making the most of the cold. I must admit that during the winter I usually scan the weather in the newspaper to check out just how cold Edmonton is and take some perverse pride in knowing that I enjoyed four winters there. — Jan McNeill, ’75 BSc(Chem Eng), Houston

I enjoyed reading the article “Bringing Birth Back to the North” [page 33, Winter 2012]. Having recently adopted my son, I now take notice of and must advocate for more positive adoption language when I have the chance. This article refers to parents “planning on giving their baby up for adoption.” Before adopting, I wouldn’t have given it second glance. Now, I recognize that this phrase suggests the birth parents gave up on their child rather than making the difficult decision not to parent. I would encourage your editorial staff to use alternative language when referring to adoption. Alternative phrases include “planning to place their baby for adoption,” “making an adoption plan,” or “choosing to place their baby for adoption.” — Kelly Small, ’95 BSc, Calgary

Volunteer Joy I enjoyed reading your article in the Winter issue of New Trail [Up Front, page 2]. What a true joy and reward I receive when I volunteer to teach English to New Canadians! The pure curiosity of myself as their teacher and also them — my students, encourages us all to ask questions and learn and grow together. I love talking about our holidays, our seasons and our traditions here in Canada, and relish hearing about the same in their homelands. Volunteering gives me what money never could: a feeling of belonging, a place in the world where I can share my experience, my knowledge and my love of being a Canadian, showing respect, concern and the joy of learning to all new Canadians. — Cynthia Joy (Lister) Thompson, ’74 BEd, Edmonton

Spend a few minutes with David Ley (page 5), and he will have you speaking like a Brit before you can say “tea time.”

The Making of a Storyteller Like a gopher in a prairie field, Todd Babiak, ’95 BA, is popping up everywhere these days. Get to know the newest New Trail columnist.

The Mighty Kuen Kuen Tang, ’06 BEd, blazes a trail as the first quadriplegic to summit 2,400-metrehigh Ha Ling Peak.

Startup School is in Session … with Michael Sikorsky, ’96 BSc, CEO of app developer Robots and Pencils. Bring your ambition and your crazy socks.

Watch as We Do Great Things There are 250,000 U of A alumni across the globe. Imagine what we could accomplish if every one of us donated one hour of time. new trail spring 2013    3

The many faces of inclusion and exclusion


Sushanta Mitra, professor of engineering, holds a sensor that will help ensure safe drinking water.

U of A tech quenches thirst at home and in India The University of Alberta recently unveiled new technologies that will result in better water for remote communities in Canada and India. The advancements include new rapid detection for pathogens and contaminants, new low-energy UV treatment technologies, and novel engineered nanomaterials. When introduced into a drinking-water supply, biologically benign engineered nanoparticles passively degrade organic and biological contaminants, thereby making the water safe to drink, said Greg Goss, executive director of the U of A’s Water Initiative. Goss presented the university’s proposals at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Feb. 16 in Boston. In Canada, U of A undergraduate and graduate students will work in communities as varied in size and location as Thorsby, 30 minutes south of Edmonton, and the hamlet of Pangnirtung, 50 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle. In India, the U of A team will test and install next-generation water purification technology in two locations: the city of Nagpur and the remote town of Banga in Punjab. “Our students and researchers will be boots on the ground in waterchallenged communities, putting U of A technologies to work at home and in India,” said Goss.

top photo by richard siemens

For this year’s International Week photo contest, the University of Alberta International’s Global Education Program posed a seemingly simple question: What do inclusion and exclusion look like? Students and staff took photographs as their answers. The winning image, The Road Ahead, comes from Ruth Vilayil, ’10 MD. See page 64 for another image from the 20 contest finalists.

Ringette ices cancer U of A Ringette hosted the fourth annual Ringette Scores on Cancer charity tournament this past January at West Edmonton Mall, raising money for cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute through the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The reigning national university ringette champions broke their six-figure goal, ending up with $110,000, according to media reports. That’s on top of the $250,000 raised over the first three years of the tournament. Players from participating teams each raised a minimum of $100, and with 21 squads signed up from Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Ringette Scores on Cancer IV was bigger, livelier and more fun, said organizers. Participants also faced off against former NHL players, other athletes and local personalities for the media/celebrity game. — Bryan Alary

Helping People Find Their Voice

bottom right photo by John Ulan


he first thing David Ley does when he introduces himself is apologize for his voice. “I’ve been suffering from viral laryngitis this week, so I sound like Barry White,” he says, in a deep bass voice that is quite at odds with his wiry figure. “But it’s kinda fun; I might keep this one.” Choosing which voice to adopt, whether in life or onstage, is the specialty of this actor, voice coach and professor in the U of A’s Department of Drama. For the past 15 years he has been helping actors discover new dialects, whether they are students in the BFA program or professionals on the main stage at Stratford. His own repertoire of dialects is pretty impressive. In less than a minute he transitions from the rolling lilt of Tennessee hill folk to the languid Southern drawl of an East Texan and back to the rounded vowels for which Canadians are famous. His vocal tour of the British Isles is even more astounding. In addition to his dialect work, Ley’s research focuses on textural analysis: how an actor can interpret the structure of language to best convey a text’s meaning, especially Shakespearean texts, which can be hard for modern ears to decipher. One trick he uses for teaching actors how to interpret the Bard is having them read aloud

from the works of another poet: Dr. Seuss. Recently, his research has taken him in a new direction: using external vibration to improve voice quality. It began when he was asked to help a fellow actor who had suffered from her own bout of viral laryngitis, the effects of which were so severe that she couldn’t seem to break out of the Barry White bass her voice had maladapted to. So Ley thought to try massaging her larynx, a common practice in speech pathology, but using an innovation of his own: a hand-held vibrator. Yes, that kind of hand-held vibrator. “It’s amazing,” he says of the technique he has developed. “It’s like instant resonance. When I do my [vocal] vibrator warm-up, I can get in seven or eight minutes what it would take me 30 minutes to do with a regular warm-up.” Ley is now busy exploring the implications of his discovery for everything from the natural vocal deterioration that occurs with aging to a therapy for TMJ disorder, painful “popping” in the joints that make up the jaw. The story of the vibrator that can add colour to your voice as well as your love life went viral online this spring, but the personal media attention is less important to Ley than spreading the word about the restorative powers of such a simple device.

Polar bear milk tastes like “the chalky cream of a fishy cow” and contains 46 per cent fat, compared to 3.6 per cent with cow’s milk. Andrew Derocher, professor of biological sciences, described the milk’s unusual taste in an interview with Slate. com. In a fit of dedication, Derocher tried some for his book Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior, and encourages his grad students to try it, too. Did You Know?

Faculty Profile: David Ley, Drama

“It’s something truly wonderful to help people find their voice,” he says. “Whether you’re exploring the voice or acting in general, fundamentally what you are studying is human nature, and humans are endlessly fascinating.” — Sarah Ligon

More Online Check out the Spring 2013 issue online to see video of Ley demonstrating his vocal massage techniques, as well as a tutorial on how you, too, can achieve a British accent.

new trail spring 2013    5

U of A comes a long way to show its

When Kris Wells, ’94 BEd, ’03 MEd, ’11 PhD, was

Rev. Charles M. Bidwell

working on his undergraduate degree, he heard only

Instructor, St. Stephen’s College, spiritual advisor for Camp fYrefly, retired Faculty of Medicine instructor

one institutional reference to the gay community. “It was in an adolescent psychology class. One example [in a film the instructor showed] was of a teenager who cheated on his girlfriend with another guy, and then gave his girlfriend AIDS,” says Wells, assistant professor and associate director of the university’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Service. “The only reference was about disease and pathology.” Nearly two decades later, Wells was a key organizer of the U of A’s first campus-wide Pride Week — a 10-day celebration in March that included a parade around campus, distinguished lectures and an array of campus-wide Pride banners. The week also launched the Alumni Association’s first Pride chapter and the kick-off of a $5-million campaign to expand iSMSS research and programs. “The chapter allows alumni to support their alma mater in a way that is meaningful to them — by promoting the excellent work of our institution in the area of sexual and gender minority studies, supporting and connecting with students and coming together as a community of alumni,” says Cristine Myhre, campus chapters co‑ordinator. The alumni chapter is open to all LGBTQ alumni as well as allies from the university community. Here is a timeline of the university’s evolution on Pride, politics and policies, including memories from some members of the U of A community who were there through the decades. To share more memories, contact Wells at For more on the Pride chapter, email — Lisa Cook

1975 Students create Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) — one of the first gay-affirming campus groups in Canada.


1984 > GALOC (Gays and Lesbians on Campus) is founded.

“I joined the Faculty of Medicine in the mid-70s and knew nothing about any other LGBTQ faculty or staff.… Sexual orientation and rights for non-heterosexuals was never mentioned — as if it either wasn’t believed to exist or was so taboo that it was all underground and confined to anonymous encounters in washrooms.” The following year, Bidwell spoke openly of his sexuality on CBC. He was embraced by his peers, and he was asked to offer an elective on sexual orientation for med students, which remains part of the curriculum. “I have been very pleased with the progress of the last decade. St. Stephen’s College a few years ago voted to publicly proclaim the college’s welcoming of people of all orientations and gender identities. Maybe the next step is to adopt unisex washrooms such as U Vic has, with all stalls and no entrance doors, to accommodate people transitioning or transgendering.”

1998 > SIDERITE, Lister Hall’s Student Residence Organization for Sexual Minorities, is founded.

Christopher Michell-Viret, ’83 BSc, ’84 BSc(Spec Cert), ’89 MSc Doctoral candidate with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Michell-Viret’s support system in the 1980s was informal student gatherings in the rocking chair lounge in HUB. “There was a lot of tension with campus security. They would ask for your name and ID number, sending a clear message that this was not supported. There were, equally, no signs of support at provincial or civic levels.” In 1996, Michell-Viret’s partner was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. With his employer unable to make accommodations, he took a position at the U of A, which extended benefits to his partner. “In the ’80s and ’90s, the university changed remarkably, and continues to serve as a beacon for change. “The Pride chapter is a coming of age for the U of A. The timing is right to invite members of the community who have distinguished themselves at the local, provincial, national and international levels to come forward and celebrate their achievements as a statement that we can help establish a more inclusive and equitable world.”

2000 > Agape educational program and resource centre for students, faculty and staff opens.

2003 > Inside/OUT provides a safe and confidential space on campus.

photoS BY LAUGHING DOG photography


Fern D. Snart, ’79 PhD

Kris Wells, ’94 BEd, ’03 MEd, ’11 PhD

Dean, Faculty of Education

As a student, Snart was not really aware of LGBTQ issues on campus. But that changed when she took on the role of the Faculty of Education’s associate chair of undergraduate programs in the mid-90s. “Someone asked if I would put this sticker on my office door — I guess it would be like a Safe Spaces sticker now. I was quite affected by a couple of students who happened see the sticker and shared their stories with me.” It was after Snart took over as dean in 2005 that professor Andre Grace and his team formed iSMSS and propelled it into a community outreach and research program of international acclaim — a university program. “That was the tipping point in me learning about and appreciating the needs on campus.” Allies like Snart are an important part of meeting the needs of the LGBTQ community. “There is always strength and substance in a diverse community. For any group in a minority to find support requires a broadly based community to take actions on important issues.”

2004 > Camp fYrefly outreach project focuses on sexual- and gender-minority youth. > Inside/OUT Speakers’ Series launched, with sexual-minority related research and teaching seminars.

Alexis Hillyard, ’06 BEd, ’11 MEd

Assistant professor and associate director of iSMSS

Linh Lu Co-chair, OUTreach students’ group

Education co-ordinator with iSMSS

Wells is proud of how far the university has come since his days as an undergrad. “In the early ’90s there were no basic human rights protections for [the LGBTQ community] in Alberta. It was a dangerous time to be different.… My experience was one of invisibility, where you had to hide who you were to simply survive. As a result, I never spent much time on campus because I never felt fully included or valued for my identity.” Wells found GALOC in his third year and was supported to “come out” during his final semester. “But it wasn’t easy; it took great courage to walk into that room and meet other students like me.” Now, as associate director of U of A-based iSMSS, Wells is able to help sexualand gender-minority youth who are themselves seeking support and information. “Social equality is ... ultimately about cultural change — small changes that lead to a campus culture where everyone can feel safe, supported and fully included.”

2008 > Michael Phair Leadership Award, the first award specific to the LGBTQ community, is handed out to Josh Dalledonne.

Hillyard always felt comfortable during her time as an undergrad in the early 2000s, most of which she spent in the Fine Arts Building. “I had a good experience in my course work … campus was an accepting place…. I was pretty sheltered.” But a Safe Spaces survey conducted by iSMSS in 2011 revealed that many students were not aware of the support systems on campus. “One person said, ‘I feel really alone.’ They didn’t know about iSMSS. So we tried to come to the students and say, ‘Hey. We’re here.’ ” That led to the organization of Pride Week — a great moment for LGBTQ rights on campus, and a moment of personal pride for Hillyard. “For me, I was most impressed and happy with the way the U of A really rose to the occasion. It was super present. “I was really proud of my university.”

“I identify as being gender queer, an umbrella term used where a person’s gender identity is not the same as their biological sex. I don’t identify with either end of the male/ female spectrum. It’s more like an absence of gender. It is a very new concept for people, and … I feel like I am still very new to it. “When I first started on campus in 2007, I was in the Faculty of Engineering, and I found that trying to share [my gender and sexual orientation] was difficult. So I learned not to talk to people about it. Eventually I found different outlets, including OUTreach. I have since changed over to an arts major. “Campus is very much like home to me. Pride Week was a big statement of solidarity, and there are talks about a gender diversity centre within the Students’ Union. “Now we have momentum. There are more and better things to come.”

What do we mean by LGBTQ? It is an inclusive way of referring to the many different people who make up the gender- and sexual-minority community. It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

2008 > Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) is established.

2013 > U of A celebrates first Pride Week > iSMSS launches a $5M fundraising campaign. > Alumni Association launches the Pride chapter.

new trail spring 2013    7

The Road to a Rhodes

Student Life

This past fall, Megan Engel, ’12 BSc, became one of 11 Canadians to receive a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, bringing the U of A’s total to 69. After finishing her master’s degree in physics at the U of A this spring, the 23-year-old will begin a PhD at Oxford’s Merton College, where, in addition to studying biophysics, she will be walking in the footsteps of her literary heroes.

What are you studying at the U of A right now? I’m working on the folding processes of biological molecules. Basically, we’re using lasers to force molecules to unfold and refold and unfold again, with implications for a lot 8

of diseases of protein-folding, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. And if we’re talking about a nucleic acid, for instance, those factor in virus propagation. So understanding how those structures work could help to stem the propagation of viruses down the road.

What do you think made you stand out from the competition? It’s a scholarship that focuses on the well-rounded individual, and I was academically strong in the sciences and well-balanced in artistic elements, in music and drama, and had this volunteer background. I’ve played piano since fourth grade. I’ve always loved to read and write stories, poetry and essays. In high school, I was really involved in drama. I played Peter Pan, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. And right now, I volunteer with the Artist on the Wards program at the University of Alberta Hospital. So having all those different elements was important.

What are you most looking forward To next year? I would be lying if I didn’t say that it was going to see all the places that were important in Tolkien’s life. I think places are important and hold a certain power. Also, all the literature I read growing up was English: Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I want to go to Baker Street and see the heather on the moors, because I’ve been seeing this in my mind since I was a kid. I should have said “the worldclass academic institution,” which is true, and I’m really excited about that, too. What do you hope to get out of the experience? I hope to be brought to the point where I feel like I’m really a physicist. Ultimately, I would like to come back and teach at the U of A. I found out I love research, and I think the U of A is a fantastic school. I have faith in this school and this community. — Sarah Ligon

photo by john ulan

Why did you apply for the Rhodes? I’m a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, and I knew that he went to Oxford and taught at Oxford. I applied to Merton College, which is where Tolkien finished The Lord of the Rings. Also, they just started this program on quantum-inspired biotechnology — it was exactly what I was interested in.

The Dinosaur Mating Dance Some dinosaurs used to strut their stuff like peacocks when looking for a mate, suggests a U of A researcher. Scott Persons looked at the evolutionary process of four different dinosaur species, some separated by millions of years, and determined that a group called oviraptors had fused vertebrae in the ends of their tails that formed a blade-like structure. Among modern creatures, only birds have a similar structure — strong evidence these dinosaurs had feathered tails. Persons believes the dinosaurs waved their plumage to attract a mate. Make your own dino discovories this fall as the U of A launches Dino 101, its first massive open online course.

photo by richard siemens, ILLUSTRATION BY Sydney Mohr

Raise a glass for the Bears and Pandas There is a new way to show your green and gold spirit this year, and it comes in red and white — wine, that is. With every sip of the white — a blend of 2011 Reisling and Pinot Gris grapes called Ursa — or the red — a blend of Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot and Zweigelt grapes called Ursus — you will help ease the burdensome cost of student athletes travelling to national games. The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation has created a pair of customlabelled wines to support the Golden Bears and Pandas sport programs. All profits from wine sales go into the Championship Fund, a new initiative by the dean of the faculty, Kerry Mummery, ’94 BPE. With 24 varsity teams and more than 500 student athletes, the Golden Bears and Pandas are one of the most successful in Canada. Last season, the price tag of airfare alone for 19 Golden Bears and Pandas teams to travel to national championship tournaments was more than $300,000. The wines are produced by Kelownabased Bounty Cellars, owned by Wade Rains, ’90 BSc(Pharm). The

47-year-old started the wine business in 2005, and says he’s proud to be using wine as a tool to a greater end: in support of his alma mater. “Athletics are an important part of the university and seem to be the first on the chopping block with budget cuts,” he says. “I loved going to the games and watching the Bears hockey games.” For this pharmacist, the transition to winemaking was easy. “There are two parts to winemaking. There’s the science, which my degree helps with, and then there’s the art.” Rains marvels at the variety of flavours that come from a single grape. “Depending on the yeast, the kind of barrel, the temperature — all can change the texture, feel and quality of wine.” That’s the challenge — and the art — he relishes most. — Tina Faiz

Enjoy the fruits of Rains’ labour (pun intended) at Golden Bears and Pandas home games, on campus through Aramark Classic Fare Catering, Conference Services at Lister Hall, in the Faculty Club and at the Room At The Top (RATT). You can purchase the wine in Edmonton at Kegs and More Liquor, Vinomania and Sherbrooke Liquor Store.

Alumni Community Expands The University of Alberta Alumni Association is welcoming two new groups into the alumni community. Medical and dental residents, and U of A certificate holders are now considered associate U of A alumni, following a decision this spring by Alumni Council, the governing body of the association. “Alumni Council wanted to be as inclusive as possible,” says Jane Halford, ’94 BCom, president of the association. “These are people who complete a course of study at the U of A, and we want to ensure we include them in our alumni family.” Although benefits accorded to associate alumni will vary slightly from regular alumni, they will receive access to alumni events and initiatives, affinity partner discounts and New Trail. The associate alumni designation will automatically apply to all residents and certificate holders going forward. Those who completed their courses before spring 2013 and want the associate alumni designation can call (780)492-3224 or email

DiscoverE, the Faculty of Engineering’s outreach program, became the first Canadian organization to win Google’s Roots in Science and Engineering award. DiscoverE programs are directed at young women and underrepresented groups. It received $20,000 toward technology camps and sessions around Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Did You Know?

new trail spring 2013    9

In the span of minutes, future nurses, health-care aides, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, doctors, paramedics and other health sciences students go from nervous anticipation to full-out action, triaging, diagnosing and treating a steady stream of patients in a busy emergency room. These 250 students took part in the annual Save Stan this March, which put them through nearly two dozen training scenarios in the state-ofthe-art HSERC simulation lab and the Nursing Learning Resources Centre in the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. The simulations ranged from working with high-risk inner city youth

to palliative care to prenatal care to the ER “mashup,” featuring the highfidelity mannequin nicknamed Stan. The annual event brings together students from across the health sciences from the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, NAIT and NorQuest College. Save Stan is an opportunity for U of A students to take their skills beyond the classroom and learn about programs from other institutions, says William Lau, a nutrition student and co-president of the Health Sciences Students’ Association. “We are doing our very best to prepare our students to provide the best care, whether they go into an emergency room, into the community, in palliative care or in the inner city,” says Sharla King, ’92 BPE, ’95 MSc, ’01 PhD, director of the Health Sciences Council’s Health Sciences Education and Research Commons, creator and an organizer of Save Stan. “We’ve given them the skill sets they need, in scenarios that require collaboration across disciplines.” — Bryan Alary

Alumni Weekend is More Fun with Friends Become a Class Organizer and get the old gang together for Alumni Weekend.

Visit or call 780-492-6530 for details. 10

eal t

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

FoMD produces more than great physicians The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry injected $2 billion into the Alberta economy in 2011-12, according to an impact study released in May. That number is a result of the faculty’s teaching, research and clinical care mission. When the study’s authors took into account the related impacts — such as research and commercialization — the actual economic impact was closer to $4 billion, according to the study, conducted by Pennsylvania-based consulting firm Tripp Umbach. “The purposeful linkage of education, research and patient care creates a critical mass of expertise in a system whereby research develops the evidence base, patient care applies and refines the evidence base and faculty members build on the evidence base to teach best practices for care and prevention,” according to the study. The faculty has played a critical role in at least 21 spinoff biomedical companies over the past five years. Within Alberta, U of A Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry graduates make up: • 28 per cent of practising family physicians and specialists • 52 per cent of practising dentists • 25 per cent of medical laboratory technologists • 40 per cent of dental hygienists Source: Tripp Umbach, Economic Impact of Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

photo by richard siemens

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the best Vancouver-based alumni can head to VanDusen Botanical Gardens on May 22 to share their U of A experience and some helpful tips with future students. There is a similar volunteer opportunity in Edmonton on May 28.

learn a

new skill

go Your Own Way become an Alumni

Alumni Ambassadors are the heart of the Alumni Association, giving back to the U of A in so many ways. From supporting events to mentoring the next generation of U of A students, Alumni are involved across campus. Most Alumni Ambassador opportunities take place from September through April.



Most people cite lack of time as the biggest barrier to volunteering. Invite an old friend to come volunteer with you, and scratch two things off your To Do list. You’ll finally have a chance to catch up while creating new memories together.

No, really

I don’t have time to volunteer




interpersonal skills

communications skills

organizing skills

Volunteers for the U of A’s Habitat for Humanity build in Edmonton — July 12 and 13 — can add “swinging a hammer” to their new skill sets as they have a chance to sign up for a free tool training session before the event.

Wherever you are in the world, go ahead and create your own volunteer opportunity when you Start Your Own Initiative. Tell us your idea and we’ll help make it a reality by connecting you with other local grads and supplying the T-shirts.


You gain more than a good feeling from giving back. Most volunteers report learning new skills, including:

ways to

A recent Statistics Canada study, “Volunteering in Canada,” found university grads were more likely to be among the country’s top volunteers — putting in 161 hours or more a year. The Alumni Association encourages you to show us your volunteer spirit by participating in the Alumni Volunteer Challenge. Help us record 2,015 volunteer experiences by the Alumni Association’s 100th anniversary in 2015, and show the world how our grads give back. But don’t do it for us; do it for yourselves. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, gain experience, and give back to your alma mater and your community. Here are 10 ways to get started doing great things. — Lisa Cook

Start the

be like


In 2008, U of A President Indira Samarasekera closed her Centennial Address with a quote from the school’s founder, Henry Marshall Tory: “There is wine in the air; a feeling of excitement; of expectancy … great things are about to happen.” The Alumni Association is shining a spotlight on some of our alumni who Do Great Things. Visit alumni.ualberta. ca/volunteer/alumni-ambassadors to see how student mentorship is helping U of A programs.

fly your


Get a front row seat to one of Edmonton’s most popular summer events by volunteering at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, Aug. 15 to 25. U of A grads will receive some extra green and gold swag to dress up their Fringe volunteer gear, and have a chance to meet other alumni Fringe enthusiasts at the Volunteer Recognition Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Alumni Association.

Summer Green

That’s OK — you’re not alone. In the 2012 StatsCan report more than half (52 per cent) of the people who said they wanted to volunteer but simply couldn’t find the time preferred Join the Alumni Association to give dollars instead of hours. June 1 as we team up with Many of your favourite causes Edmonton’s Capital City have pages on their websites Clean-Up program to start where you can easily (and the summer green — and clean quickly!) make a monetary Share your volunteer story at up the River Valley. donation. Those dollars volunteer so we can count it toward the make a difference, too. Get Alumni Volunteer Challenge. More Ways to Do Great Things started at We post volunteer opportunities as they come up. Visit regularly to find more ways to give back. new trail spring 2013    11

Make it COUNT

The Accidental Pro The Accidental Protester by Glenn Kubish

Not one to wave placards or chant slogans, a BA alumnus explains why he nevertheless feels compelled to speak up as others debate the worth of his education When the Alberta provincial budget came down March 7 with a 7.2 per cent reduction in operating funding for postsecondary institutions, it came as a major shock to all involved in higher learning. The period since then has been filled with speculation about what the cuts will mean for students, faculty, staff and for education in general. At press time, much uncertainty remained about the university’s $67-million operating deficit for 2013–14, but the University of Alberta is working to deliver the best-quality teaching and research that we have all come to expect. In the public sphere, many alumni took the opportunity to publicly share their thoughts on the value of the positive impact U of A grads have had on the province. For many, it was imperative to explain how the worth of a university degree goes far beyond the value of a paycheque. Glenn Kubish, ’87 BA, shares this story about finding himself drawn to an April 10 march on the provincial legislature by about 300 students from the Alberta, Lethbridge, MacEwan and Athabasca universities. You can read more from Kubish at 12


wonder about the quiet people at political protests. The ones who know enough to come with saucepans and drumsticks, the ones who know the words to the chants, the ones who are willing to bang on doors and put video cameras in the faces of security officers and the ones who wear red patches on their coats … all these are interesting folk. But as much as I am intrigued by their tactics and curious about their stories, I find the quiet people — the ones who stand next to walls at the edges of the protests — just a little more interesting. Maybe I know them better. Among the protesters at the April 10 rally against post-secondary budget cuts in Alberta was one of those quiet ones. If you saw him, you’d be right to conclude it had been a few years since he was at an event like this. And that he felt a little uncomfortable, a little out of his element. Had he been asked by one of the many news reporters on the scene why he was there, he would have admitted to that very discomfort. He might have laughed that his after-work plan had been to go to the YMCA to exercise but, somehow, the need to make his presence felt in the rainy snow was more powerful. And if the reporter was still listening, he would have then shared a short story. About his own grandfather — another one of the quiet ones.

Because his grandfather, dead many years now, had been weirdly alive in his thoughts again recently. As a young man, his grandfather, with the war on the wind, was essentially ransomed out of what is now Belarus, then Poland. The men of his village, sensing in him more the temperament of poet than a soldier, paid for his passage to Danzig and Copenhagen and Halifax. From there, he took the train to Edmonton. It was 1928, and many of his fellow trainmates who knew what little awaited them in the Alberta capital crawled out the train windows in Montreal. But he stayed. That young man married a girl from Mundare, Alta., and started a family. He was a proud Canadian in a time when patriotism meant being thankful for a job hauling flour in the Sunland Bakery. His great wish for his family wasn’t as much to learn the old ways, the old culture, as to love their freedom and be educated. “Learning,” he would say, even though he had very little of the formal variety himself, “is like the ocean. You can go down and down and there’s always more to learn.” That sentiment was in the air in the house in Parkdale where he lived, where his grandson, born in 1964, listened to him and learned from him. It was what informed regular trips in a 1965 Ford Custom, in the days when families went on Sunday drives together, to another

“Learning is like the ocean,” Alex Gaychuk told his grandson.

world, imaginary but real, exotic and thrilling: the University of Alberta. Time flew and his grandson made good on that dream. He attended the University of Alberta and obtained a bachelor of arts degree. It felt very natural then but, with the passage of time, the accomplishment acquired an unreal aspect. After all, this grandson, only two generations removed from the lonely European refugee, spent years in the most wonderful conversations at that university, listening to learned professors lead him through the classics, through Machiavelli, Rousseau, Hobbes, Nietzsche. That education taught him to read and listen carefully. Argue with reason. Love music and painting and architecture. He read Pope and Gerard Manley Hopkins. He read Marx and he listened to those who followed Milton Friedman. He understood he wasn’t getting a professional education. He wasn’t going to come out of the academy as a teacher, lawyer or engineer. But that was just fine. He was more interested in Stephen Dedalus than a guaranteed paycheque. He learned French and some Greek. He carried a Kittredge Shakespeare with him and he learned about worlds that were real even though they couldn’t be measured. He met his wife there. He was proud of his degree, the province that made it possible and the grandfather who set the stage for it all.


He gave his grandparents his diploma. And so, years later, when this grandson — now a parent of two University of Alberta arts-studying sons — watched the news and learned about threats to academic freedom at his alma mater, and sensing that his arts faculty would again have to defend itself in the numerical language of the conqueror, he took the train after work and joined the protest. As a quiet one. To somehow bear witness to his story. The story of an immigrant’s grandson who got to Athens and Jerusalem by going to the University of Alberta. And when he was at the protest, he felt the strangest thing. As he walked down a legislature corridor along with other demonstrators, he felt he was somehow walking along the gangplank of a ship and into a new world — and he was quietly glad he’d made the journey.

student loans forgiven for rural nurses, doctors Health-care professionals working in some rural communities can now apply for student loan forgiveness. The federal government announced the loan forgiveness program in April to encourage health-care professionals to serve in rural and remote communities. Good news for many Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry graduates, who are helping solve the shortage of rural and family doctors in Alberta. This year 42 per cent of the 181 medical students graduating chose family medicine — a record for the program. One reason for the increase is an Integrated Community Clerkship program, started in 2007, that places third-year medical students in rural communities to work with family doctors. Visit for more on the loan forgiveness program.

new trail spring 2013    13

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A Loser Like Me by Todd Babiak

photo by Greg Southern


n the final year of my undergraduate degree, one of my best friends ran for vice-president of student council. The plan was to win, thrive and go for the big job the following year. My friend, Dave, was never subtle about his ambitions. Someday he would be prime minister. This was in the middle of the 1990s. Oil prices hovered around $15 a barrel and other commodities were poorly priced. Like today, we wondered how to steer the Canadian economy away from the hewing of wood and the carrying of water. Young people then, like some young people today, felt they would graduate into a catastrophic job market. My reaction to signs of economic catastrophe was clownish resignation. I spent my free time writing for The Gateway, where I honed my skills as a romantic and a cynic. As hard as I tried to find readers, writing and rewriting, the trick was for it all to appear effortless. Caring too much was socially unacceptable. I gently mocked Dave for his shameless determination. Dave was immune to mockery, gentle or otherwise. He had a magic potion, sincerity, and he somehow convinced me to work on his campaign. I tasted enough of it to make me an emotional wreck at his victory keg party that turned out to be a not-victory keg party. He absolutely trounced the joke candidate and came painfully close to winning. At the party, in the dusty basement of an apartment complex, Beck played on the hi-fi:

Soy un perdedor I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me? Everyone but Dave sang along. When we graduated into that terrible job market, Dave was the first of us to find a proper job. And if he hadn’t found a job, I have a feeling he would have invented one for himself. It took me another 10 years to realize I had made a mistake, or many of them with a single theme. There was nothing punk or even interesting about my undergraduate pose. I had refused and ignored opportunities to experiment: to dig up ancient civilizations in Israel, to study in France or Italy, to start a business, to try something terrifying like physics, to run for politics. When we are in our glorious, unforgettable undergraduate years, we should be taking well-informed but courageous risks all the time. While young people graduating today are still having that conversation about wood hewing and water carrying, Alberta is a different place. The University of Alberta is a different place. Brad Ferguson, ’92 BA, ’95 BCom, U of A graduate and the current president and CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, is also the founding co-chair of Startup Edmonton. Entrepreneurialism, Brad likes to say, is a liberal art. Or it ought to be. In Edmonton, our favourite institutions weren’t built somewhere else and imported. Businesses large

and small, the Fringe and the Folk Fest, the revitalization of Alberta Avenue, and the public school model were invented in Edmonton — many of them by U of A graduates. No matter where students end up, Arts or Fine Arts, Business or Science or Engineering or Medicine, that entrepreneurial spirit can be a key part of their education, officially or unofficially. It is the founding spirit of Edmonton’s culture, what makes it the right sort of city for the right sort of person. I think of my friend Dave often when I visit Startup Edmonton, in the converted Mercer Warehouse on 104 Street and 104 Avenue. The young people who launched it started their first companies when they were still undergraduates. One of them, Ken Bautista, ’99 BEd, took education — not business. In my time-travel fantasies I go back to my undergraduate years at U of A and spend a summer in Israel and a year in Grenoble. I start a property management company after all and file for bankruptcy at 21. I take molecular physics and work even harder on my silly Gateway columns about sex and nightclubs. I write a terrible novel. I run against Dave for student council vice-president and, when I lose, I sing along to Beck with my fingers crossed.  Todd Babiak, ’95 BA, did finally study in France and co-founded his own company, Story Engine. His latest novel, Toby: A Man, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and won the Georges Bugnet Prize. new trail spring 2013    15

Time to Contribute

by Karen Sherlock

Glenn Stowkowy is a VP and community leader. Now, as incoming president of the Alumni Association, he finds a new way to give back


f you visit Glenn Stowkowy, ’76 BSc(ElecEng), and his wife, Donna, it’s entirely possible you’ll leave with a package of home-baked goodies. It’s the kind of warmth and generosity that seems to come naturally to the family. A visit to the Stowkowys’ unpretentious St. Albert home one evening is filled with laughter, banter and easy conversation with Donna and Glenn, their son, Kyle, ’05 BA, and his new wife, Laura Stowkowy (Neeland), ’10 LLB,


who are over for a visit. Kyle teases Glenn about his golf score and Donna ribs her husband about being handsome. Laura and Kyle, who were married last September, are over this night for dinner — a common occurrence for the foursome and the extended family. Glenn’s two brothers’ families, Donna’s two brothers’ families, and now Laura’s parents and siblings, get together regularly for holiday meals and special occasions.

Glenn counts nine other alumni in his family. Aside from Laura and Kyle, there are his two brothers, Allen, ’77 BSc(CivEng) and Steve, ’79 BSc(CivEng), a niece, a nephew, two sisters-in-law and an aunt. His new daughter-in-law brings more connections: both Laura’s parents and six of her seven siblings are U of A grads. A strong U of A connection is one reason Glenn has chosen to volunteer on the Alumni Council for the past four

Family and community have always been a priority for Stowkowy (centre), who has dinner nearly every Sunday with (left to right) his daughter-in-law, Laura, his son, Kyle, and wife, Donna.

years and has accepted the role as the association’s newest president. But his desire to give back goes deeper, says Donna. “We’re so grateful for what we have, and it is all because Glenn got a great education. He was employable after he finished engineering and he has worked in the same profession for 37 years. We’re grateful for the opportunities that we’ve been given. Now we want to give back.”

photo by john ulan

A Passionate Community Since graduating in 1976 with a BSc in electrical engineering, Glenn Stowkowy’s career has kept him connected to the university in another way: through Stantec, where he is now a vice-president, he has been involved in

designing and building several landmark buildings on campus over the years. He has also volunteered many hours as an alumnus, helping organize class reunions from the 10-year mark right up to his 35-year reunion in 2011 and, most recently, serving as engineering representative on the alumni association’s governing body. He speaks from personal experience about the benefits of staying connected as an alumnus. “I was a little nervous about getting involved in the Alumni Association at first. But when I did, I found working with the other people really interesting. They’re bright, thoughtful and very talented, and they are passionate about the university. It’s engaging and inspiring to be part of those initiatives,” he says. “There’s the fulfillment of giving back, but there’s also the camaraderie of working with people in the same cause.” Giving back is a strong motivator for Stowkowy. Aside from his U of A volunteer work, he coached minor hockey for 14 years, starting when Kyle was four. Then they both spent another seven years refereeing. He still hears “Hi, Coach!” now and then or gets an email from a former player, though those once-young kids are now in their 30s. He likes to think he has instilled a love of the game and maybe inspired his players to keep playing or to coach one day. Kyle certainly has a love of the game — he continues to play in two rec leagues despite a busy law career at Parlee McLaws in Edmonton. (Kyle broke with family tradition by earning his law degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 2009 — a fact he is constantly teased about by his family.) It’s easy to see why Stowkowy’s players still remember him and greet him warmly. He has a relaxed,

Great things are about to happen When Glenn Stowkowy officially took on the role of president of the University of Alberta Alumni Council at the annual general meeting on May 21, he joined a nearly century-long line of grads who have given back to the university and their community. It’s fitting, then, that one of Stowkowy’s priorities as council president will be to help drive the success of the Do Great Things Alumni Volunteer Challenge. The goal is to engage alumni in 2,015 volunteer experiences by the association’s 100th anniversary in 2015. See page 11 for more information on how to get involved. “We’ve always known that U of A alumni feel very strongly the importance of bringing their time and talents to bear in the service of their campus, communities and across the globe,” says Stowkowy. “The Alumni Volunteer Challenge is our chance to demonstrate to everyone the effect our 250,000 alumni living around the world can have when they come together. “If every graduate volunteers one hour of time, the result could equal three decades of impact. What an incredible opportunity to truly fulfil [U of A founding president Henry Marshall] Tory’s mandate to go forth and uplift the whole people. “When U of A alumni come together, they can Do Great Things.” Stowkowy is excited that his twoyear term as president allows him to symbolically lead the association into the next century. In addition to the volunteer challenge, there are other exciting projects afoot that will be formalized in the coming year.

easygoing manner and a ready sense of humour, often self-deprecating. He’s pretty humble, too. Getting him to blow his own horn is not an easy matter. But back in St. Albert, his family readily fills in the gaps with words like dedicated, trustworthy, loving, hardworking and genuine. For Kyle, his father is a role model, mentor and, he says sincerely, his best friend. Some of his fondest memories involve his dad, he says. “Glenn is kind. It’s the first thing I noticed about him,” says Laura. “He is new trail spring 2013    17

His family readily fills in the gaps with words like dedicated, trustworthy, hardworking and genuine.

comfortable to lean back and let other people take the spotlight.… He listens and he makes people feel valued.” Donna adds: “Throughout his hockey involvement, through all his business dealings, Glenn never sought any accolades. He never asks for attention. He just gets the job done and is quiet about it.” Then she turns to her husband and jokes: “Now you say something nice about me.”

Building his community Stowkowy’s 37-year career as an electrical engineer has been a rich one. After graduating at the age of 20, he

started as an engineer-in-training with Allsopp Morgan Engineering. Within two years he became a partner and shareholder. (His work even played a part in his marriage: he and Donna began dating when Glenn’s company did the Youville expansion at the General Hospital where she worked as a nurse. They celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year.) The firm eventually became Stantec, which boasts offices and projects around the globe. Stowkowy is vice-president in buildings engineering, responsible for the key client sectors of education, science and technology, and airports and aviation. He expresses gratitude for an amazing group of mentors at Allsopp Morgan — John Morgan, Harry Dowhan, ’59 BSc(ElecEng), Glenn Parker and Don Hickey, ’71 BSc(ElecEng), now U of A vice-president of facilities and operations — and says he has tried to emulate their good qualities in his own work. “I learned a lot from their quiet, confident leadership,

their emphasis on the importance of excellence, and their different styles and personalities.… And all four of them were just fun to work with.” Stowkowy is proud to have played a role in prominent Edmonton buildings such as the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Edmonton International Airport expansion and, currently, the proposed Edmonton downtown arena. Particularly meaningful for him has been his involvement in the design and construction of landmark U of A buildings, including several for the engineering faculty. He considers it a career highlight to have returned to his former faculty to work on projects with dean David Lynch and faculty members who, in some cases, were there when he was a student. He was electrical engineering consultant for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Facility, the Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex, the Natural Resources Engineering Facility, the National Institute for Nanotechnology,


Sandra Bromley, BFA ‘79 Alumna, artist advocate: discover how Sandra is making her time count on campus and in her community. 18

the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy and the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences. From an engineering point of view, the buildings presented some interesting challenges. Some work at NINT, for example, involves materials at the molecular and atomic scale. That meant wiring had to be installed and layered without creating electrical forces that could affect sensitive processes and research; air pressure, temperature and noise variations had to be reduced to a minimum; and structurally, even minute vibrations such as those caused by someone walking down a hall had to be virtually eliminated. “They actually tuned their equipment to take into account the effect of the magnetic north pole,” notes Stowkowy. “It was a unique building.” When he’s not at work, putting in volunteer hours or on the golf course with Kyle, Stowkowy is out running and walking: a couple of hours several times a week. Professionally, he sits on the steering committee for the Alberta-

What is Alumni Council? Alumni Council is the governing body of the U of A Alumni Association, representing the interests of all alumni, providing advice and contributing to alumni engagement. Representatives from all faculties review programs, provide input to the university administration and set a strategic course for alumni relations. The council is made up entirely of volunteers. For more on current council members, visit

Canada Fusion Energy Program. He served as president of the Edmonton chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and is currently past president. He was on the Alberta executive of the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society for four years and continues to sit on the national membership committee. Stowkowy says one constant in his life is an ambition to make things better. “If there’s something that’s not right or appropriate, let’s not just sit and watch. Let’s do what we can to make it better.” That attitude comes through when he speaks of being an active alumnus. He believes alumni can play a valuable role in supporting the U of A and post-

secondary education. “It helps all of us if we can be better representatives of the university, to help increase recognition and appreciation for its role. Given the importance that postsecondary education has for Edmonton and Alberta and Canada, it’s important that it remains a prominent focus for alumni and the public as a whole.” The university needs its alumni, he says — possibly now more than ever. “The university doesn’t make it on its own. Its volunteers are a big part of it,” he says. “A lot of our predecessors put in their time to make things better when we were going to school; now it’s time for us to contribute.”

Volunteer With Us River City Clean Up June 1 Edmonton

Canadian Blood Services Blood Drive June 26 Calgary

Habitat for Humanity July 12 & 13 Edmonton

Fringe Theatre Festival Aug 15 - Aug 25 Edmonton

new trail spring 2013    19


photos by john ulan, UN Photo by Nelson worsley

Building a better


by Omar Mouallem | photos by John Ulan

Gone are the days when undergrads spent four years stuck in lecture halls. The 21st-century student publishes in journals, travels the globe and then does volunteer work at home. Meet the global citizens headed into the real world armed with so much more than a degree.

It’s no longer enough for undergraduate students to just attend classes and study hard. Students like Justin Selner pack a variety of interests and experiences into their undergraduate years.

A week after tonsil surgery, 16-year-old Justin Selner was at home holding a bowl under his mouth to catch the blood. It was gushing, he was choking, and his mother, a recent nursing grad, was panicking. She drove him to a St. Albert hospital where, he recalls, “I’m getting an IV in both arms and a doctor and five nurses are working on me.” After the anesthetic wore off, he awoke in the back of an ambulance. “We’re rushing you to the University hospital,” said a paramedic. The University of Alberta is where Selner was always headed, but not so soon and definitely not under these circumstances. A competitive swimmer who’d competed internationally and once dreamed of the Olympics, he was just months from becoming a Golden Bear varsity athlete. After losing four litres of blood and 14 kilograms, he

spent the next year and a half recovering. “My goals never changed,” says Selner, who will graduate with a BA(Hons) this spring, “but my body changed. Mentally I was still committed, but the physical reality didn’t match that.” Stroke after stroke, he saw teammates’ hands touch the wall before his. It would take him a year and a half to merely match his old lap times. “It was hard to watch.” Today, he’s wrapping up an honours political science degree, but at the time he didn’t even have a major. As he puts it, “I was the athlete-student, not the student-athlete.” For Selner, an admitted overachiever, his education had to match the demands of his swimming, which would seem impossible for someone who was in the water more times a week than there are days. But through the U of A, he found a way to make his undergrad experience work at his pace. new trail spring 2013    21

Balancing “feather boards” and the Board of Governors, Frank Robinson can attest to the life-changing possibilities of a positive undergraduate experience.


Last summer alone, the student-led non-profit Golden Future sent him to South Africa to assist teachers with promoting health and post-secondary education, just before the U of A Go Abroad program set him up with an internship at The Protection Project, a D.C.-based think-tank on human trafficking. Then, after attending a UN conference on discrimination against women, he returned to Edmonton to

finish his self-directed research on how the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) may offer growth opportunities across Africa, a project for which he received a $5,000 grant from the Undergraduate Research Initiative. In March, he received the Lou Hyndman Edmonton Glenora Award — $20,000 over two years — for outstanding leadership, high academic standing and involvement in university or community organizations.

And somewhere in between he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. A generation ago, undergraduate students with a modicum of Selner’s stamina would be left to search out their own opportunities. To research, travel abroad and intern in your field — before graduation — was almost unheard of. Now, as a result of the Students’ Union and University’s efforts, undergrads are graduating more confident and more experienced than ever.

Undergrad Revolution There has been a quiet proliferation of literature on campus and, though far from Marxist, it is changing the way students think about the redistribution of educational wealth. From the anthropology department’s Diversipede to PoliSci’s The Agora, these undergrad research journals are written, published and peer-reviewed by students like Selner. There was no institutional effort behind them, says Crystal Snyder, ’10 MSc, research co-ordinator for the Undergraduate Research Initiative. She’s seen them simply crop up over the last few years. The URI, however, took eight years of championing before its 2011 launch with a $200,000 investment. What started as a Students’ Union idea got a little bit of help from the Office of the Dean of Students and CaPS U of A Career Centre, and now offers students grants to do research — not for grades, but in the pure pursuit of new knowledge. Each applicant just needs a quality proposal that is interdisciplinary and will contribute to the student’s own knowledge and skills, plus a faculty supervisor. Sometimes, URI simply acts as matchmaker between undergraduates and professors looking for extra help on current research.

Andrea Budac used a $5,000 URI grant to help Dr. Sean Gouglas’s team understand the attachment video game players have to their avatars, the user’s graphical representation in the game. The URI stipend supported her last 12 months of coding and analyzing how players of the popular video game Mass Effect reacted to the introduction of the game’s first heroine. Once completed, Budac, a computer science major set to graduate in 2014, hopes to see her name in a cultural studies journal and improve

to the 1998 Boyer Commission report by the former U.S. commissioner of education, which suggested undergraduate education was failing its baccalaureate students. Completed shortly after Ernest L. Boyer’s death, Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities, accused academia of caring more about credentials than experience, being too pedagogical and turning the freshman year into a “repetition of high school curriculum.”

“Students can actually stop just being passive learners — writing notes and memorizing for the exam — and begin generating knowledge.” — Frank Robinson, vice-provost and dean of students

her chances of getting into a master’s program. But she’s already benefitting: “Getting the URI showed me research could be easier than I thought.” Snyder sees URI as more than a bridge to graduate school. “They’re developing skills that are relevant to their discipline. They’re meeting people. They’re getting outside the classroom and seeing all the possibilities of what they can do with their degree,” she says. “We’re very focused on having students get the most out of their undergraduate experience.” Though URI is unique in Alberta, the experience-focused revolution in undergrad studies is happening across North America. Some trace the impetus

It was especially critical of research institutions, suggesting they had the habit of championing their professors while simultaneously refusing undergraduates access to them. “If those challenges are not met,” the report read, “undergraduates can be denied the kind of education they have a right to expect at a research university, an education that, while providing the essential features of general education, also introduces them to inquiry-based learning.” Removing the barriers between baccalaureates and doctorates, Boyer believed, could only strengthen schools. Frank Robinson, vice-provost and dean of students, sees it that way, too. new trail spring 2013    23

Arisha Seeras’s experience repairing houses in Mexico helped place her lab work and coursework into context.

The New Undergrad Glossary Gone are the days of long registration lines and sleepy lecture halls. Undergrads these days need a whole new vocabulary to make it through to graduation day. Bear Tracks The online portal that allows you to conduct business with the University of Alberta. Applicants can track their application, and students can sign up for classes. Blended learning Combines the best parts of face-to-face and online learning practices. Didactic learning Thought of as a traditional classroom approach, this style of teaching is often equated with rote learning. The university is encouraging instructors to move away from using only this style of teaching in the classroom. E-Class The online portal through which students can interact with instructors for the duration of the course. Students can download lecture notes, get supplementary materials, receive and submit assignments, and take quizzes. Experiential learning Gives students the opportunity to learn through hands-on practice. Flipped Classroom This model allows the students to read the lecture notes online before the class. This enhances student engagement and makes the student a more active participant during the lecture. Peer-based learning Students with common interests work together and learn from each other. In this case, the instructor fulfils the role of moderator and facilitator. Problem-based learning Students are presented with a problem to solve, rather than a lecture or assignment. The idea is that they learn better by actively solving the problem.


“We sometimes apologize that we are a research-intensive university,” he says, “and I’m sick and tired of that because there are advantages for students being here. One of them is that students can actually stop just being passive learners — writing notes and memorizing for the exam — and begin generating knowledge.” If it wasn’t for undergraduate research, Robinson doesn’t think he’d have a degree, let alone a fifth-floor corner office on the campus of one of the world’s top schools. As a young man at the University of Saskatchewan, he was ready to drop out by the third year of his studies until an animal science behaviour class changed his mind. “I spent the whole semester looking at chickens in cages, seeing whether they would avoid looking another chicken in the eyeball if they were a dominant or subordinate chicken.” Not only did it get him his first A, but it led to his life’s work: “I’m a chicken gynecologist by training.” As a professor he’s not abandoning pure lecture-style learning, but he does emphasize research and hands-on experience to his first- and second-year students. One student, Josh Perryman, was not counting on the latter. The shy 19-year-old panicked when he learned about “There’s a Heifer in Your Tank,” the professor’s popular course that turns research about agriculture into a theatrical performance before a public audience of 400. “I spent the first class on my iPad … trying to find another class I could take instead,” says Perryman. “But staying in the class was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Getting to do that research and making those contacts outside of university really helps get a feel for other

paths that I could take in this field.” (See sidebar on page 27 for more on the class.) Indeed, removing the uncertainty that haunts students from the day they enrol to the day they start the job hunt is a huge feat. From the moment they don their robes and shake hands with the university president, they’re anxious to know whether the next hand they’re shaking will be connected to a suit or a paper hat. And who could blame them? According to global management firm McKinsey & Company, only 45 per cent of employed university graduates felt adequately prepared for their careers. Sadly, even fewer employers thought the graduates came to them adequately prepared. The survey results are even stranger when you note that almost three-quarters of educators believed they were adequately preparing students. Have academics been living in their own bubble?

Moving toward exceptional A linguistics graduate, Chelsey Nazar, ’03 BA, has one word for her U of A baccalaureate experience: “unexceptional.” “It was nothing more than attending classes and passing exams,” she says. “We never experienced anything first-hand.” Nazar believes she could have done just as well by studying the textbooks and only showing up for mid-terms. Whether or not she’s right, her opinion is echoed by thousands of Canadian graduates each year. But in the past decade, universities have started responding to their grievances. Though untimely for Nazar, the same year she graduated the U of A launched the Community Service Learning program for students like her, who were

seeking more first-hand experiences. The CSL matches students’ coursework with volunteer work for credit, so the students, communities and non-profits all stand to benefit. Pat Conrad is the executive director of SKILLS, a 30-year-old Edmontonbased non-profit that finds meaningful ways for disabled people to participate

in their communities. When a colleague told Conrad about CSL in 2004, she jumped at the opportunities it offered. For more than 20 years, U of A students had completed practicums at SKILLS, but the Nonprofit Board Internship Program — offered by CaPs and CSL — was a chance to bring fresh minds to the group’s elected body. Not only did they

bring new knowledge to the board, but Conrad says they also helped hold it accountable. “We have really good ideas about things we want to do, but critical issues and other stuff get in the way, and we don’t fulfil some of what we hoped we would,” she says. “But the students’ presence pushed us to stay on path with projects that were really meaningful.” new trail spring 2013    25

“[Students are] getting outside the classroom and seeing all the possibilities of what they can do with their degree.... We’re very focused on having students get the most out of their undergraduate experience.” — Crystal Snyder, ’10 MSc, research co-ordinator for the Undergraduate Research Initiative

From the students’ perspective, Conrad says the real benefit isn’t the credits they collect but seeing their textbooks come to life. New alumnus Jon Weller, ’12 BA , agrees. After interning for a community development organization in rural India, Weller graduated with a CSL certificate that shows future employers he’s gained knowledge through both textbooks and community involvement. Now a filmmaker with a company that makes promotional films for non-profits, Weller says the experience helped him overcome his post-graduation anxieties. “It gave me a lot of confidence in just knowing that I can step into a role I haven’t done before and I’ll figure it out eventually.”

Making global experience local The push for international studies is even happening at the federal level. In 2011, a Foreign Affairs advisory committee released the report International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity. It said that Canada should lead the charge for international education “in order to attract top talent and prepare our citizens for the global marketplace, thereby providing key building blocks for our future prosperity.” Recently hired as director of education abroad at U of A International, Kate Jennings has worked for similar programs at four 26

major Canadian universities and has noticed their evolving mindsets. “What we’re seeing more at universities, the U of A included, is making sure that [students’] learning abroad is being thoughtfully considered as part of the curriculum back home.” Even though U of A International is 30 years old, it is now working to truly ensure that its programs reflect the “global context” of what students are studying. Last year Arisha Seeras, ’12 BSc(FoodSci), and other Faculty of ALES students spent a week in Cuernavaca, where they visited La Estacion, one of Mexico City’s poorest regions. There, they helped repair houses where pocked walls were stuffed with newspapers and roofs were outfitted with loose aluminum sheets. It might seem unrelated to her nutrition studies, but she remembers the moment it clicked into place: “[In class] we discussed a lot about how the lack of money in your environment contributes to a poor diet, and it was after I visited La Estacion that I realized how much of that is true.” Today, Seeras is a food scientist at Agri-Food Discovery Place, the University’s bio-product processing facility, where she works to reduce the spread of listeria in deli meats. U of A International has seen nursing students work in Ghanaian hospitals, engineering students intern with German firms and fine

arts students learn at Italian satellite universities. With each return flight, Jennings hopes the students arrive home with higher doses of teamwork, and intercultural and communication abilities — all of the “soft skills” she says employers are looking for. She points to a QS World University Rankings survey of 10,000 employers in 116 countries. It showed that 60 per cent of them gave “extra credit” to candidates with international student experience, and 80 per cent actively sought students with international studies. “Canada has realized we need to get our young students more engaged in the international environment,” says Jennings. “Not only to keep Canada competitive, but also to make sure our graduates are getting the full experience of what a university education can be.”

A learning community With Canadian tuition costs rising an average of 350 per cent since 1990, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that undergraduates want more from their universities. But many of these opportunities are actually funded through donations. Both the Undergraduate Research Initiative and Study Abroad Programs are supported by the university’s Annual Fund, one of the school’s largest funds and one of only two fundraising programs that funnel money university-wide.

photo by epic photography

With all of this emphasis on experience outside of the classroom, it leaves one wondering whether we’re forgetting the hallmarks of academia: pure knowledge and critical thinking. Campus Saint-Jean student Emerson Csorba doesn’t want to see universities abandon discussion- and lecturestyle education. “It forces students to communicate their thoughts effectively, consider others’ points of view and defend their own arguments,” says Csorba, a third-year arts student who co-founded However, he does see a lot of potential in research- and experience-based learning. In fact, as former Students’ Union vice-president, academic, he cut the ribbon that opened URI. “As universities move toward more of a community-service approach to learning, where movement and hands-on learning are paramount, we should question whether our university classrooms fit within this experiential focus.” He respects programs that remove the hierarchy created by desks pointed toward a professor at a table like a preacher at a pulpit. Professor Robinson also wants this hierarchy erased. “I want to build a learning community — not a class,” he says. “Anybody can get a class with a list from the registrar’s office — that’s a class. But I want to make a learning community.” 

Lecture halls were never like this. A moment from the 2013 variety show featuring all of the There’s a Heifer in Your Tank projects.

Say Goodbye to the Lecture Hall Students these days have plenty of opportunities to get out of their seats and experience learning. Check out a few classes currently on the course list.

Animal Science 200 Popularly known as There’s a Heifer in Your Tank, this class is the brainchild of Frank Robinson, vice-provost and dean of students. In lieu of a term paper, students give presentations about the basics of animal production and management. Most choose to do so in outlandish and extremely entertaining ways, up to and including claymation videos. Students from every discipline vie for a spot in the class, and the end-of-term presentations are the hottest ticket on campus.

Mechanical Engineering 415: Busting Myths with Analysis Think of it as a literary re-imagining of the popular television show MythBusters, debunking myths with simple explanations — and a few advanced mathematical formulas. In this course, Warren Finlay, ’83 BSc(ElecE), ’84 MSc, and Jason Carey tackle questions ranging from the simple: Does water spin in a specific direction based on the equator’s position? to the bizarre: Can a car drive upside down on the ceiling of a tunnel?

DES 396/601 Community Research This course brought together juniorlevel and graduate-level design students to develop a new visual brand for a community wellness team on campus. The students collaborated with the Dean of Students, community partners and members of the public to research, analyze and ultimately create the designs. They then set up an interactive display of their work in the Students’ Union Building to field test and refine their designs.

Science 100 Introduced in 2008, Science 100 is an alternative to the typical firstyear experience. Eschewing large lecture-hall courses within a single department, this cohort of 40 students takes only one class — Science 100 (coupled with a writing course). The course surveys all seven scientific disciplines, exploring the connections among them through fieldwork, group projects, novel lab experiments and a capstone research project.

More Online

Visit for more Heifer fun and to watch Finlay and Carey bust some myths.

new trail spring 2013    27

New Horizons in Health Care six people working to make sure your family lives longer — and better Not all breakthroughs happen in the lab. These people are challenging the clichéd image of a researcher hunched over a Petri dish or crunching data until the wee hours. You’ll find these health-care leaders out in the community, making clinical visits and making a difference. And, yes, sometimes even hard at work in the lab. But wherever their work takes them, their efforts will help improve your quality of life in the next decade. Read on for a peek into the future with a few of the amazing researchers and alumni poised to alter how you and your family think about health care.


by Scott Rollans | photos by John Ulan

aging population

Sharon Anderson

’10 MSc Health Promotion CURRENT POSITION: PhD student with Research on Aging, Policies and Practice in the Faculty of Agricultural, life & environmental sciences Field: Community living after stroke WHY SHE’S ONE TO WATCH: she expands our understanding of personal relationships in rehabilitation and quality of life. She recently received a Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship.

In 1997, Sharon Anderson and her husband, John, had a stroke. The event itself occurred in John’s brain, but it transformed them both as a couple. It also drastically rerouted Sharon’s career path. She left her job as a dental hygienist and headed back to school, eager to expand on her own experience in a marriage affected by stroke. She earned two master’s degrees — one at the University of Calgary and one at the U of A. Now she’s working on a PhD, studying the experiences of other couples who have survived strokes, and how their relationships affected their recoveries. When John suffered his stroke, at age 46, the prognosis was grim, recalls Sharon. “The neurologist told me to put him in a nursing home. I said that wasn’t an option.” Instead, Sharon brought her husband home and hired private therapists. Within a month, John had improved enough to be accepted into a rehabilitation program. Today, he maintains his own website, The couple’s effort not only improved their quality of life, it spared the health-care system an estimated $73,000 per year for care in a nursing home, says Sharon. “My husband is now 15 years out of stroke. If you look at the cost of keeping him in a nursing home for 15 years, that’s a lot of money.” Anderson is delving into the experiences of couples in a similar situation. “What happens in that couple’s relationship to help the stroke survivor get better, or to keep the couple together?” she wonders. Existing data already show stroke survivors in stable relationships recover better and require significantly less long-term care. Anderson’s findings could maximize the benefits enjoyed by stroke patients in relationships, while finding ways to provide better community support for all. Anderson is particularly excited to be working with Norah Keating, U of A professor of human ecology, who is helping her explore medical questions from a holistic perspective. She also continues to look forward to her shared future with John. “When people refer to me as a caregiver, I say, no — I’m my husband’s wife.” — Scott Rollans new trail spring 2013    29

Sci-Fi Diagnostics

David Wishart ’83 BSc

CURRENT POSITIONS: Professor in the Departments of Computing Science and Biological Sciences, with adjunct appointments in Pharmacy and Laboratory Medicine & Pathology; Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for two companies (Chenomx and BioTools) and Project Leader of The Human Metabolome Project FIELD: Metabolomics WHY HE’S ONE TO WATCH: Wishart and his colleagues have made the University a leading centre of metabolomics, a technique that could revolutionize the way we diagnose illness.


100 Years of Innovation “Remember Star Trek and the ‘Tricorder?’ Well, metabolomics is going to allow everyone to have their own tricorder in the next 10 years.”

University of Alberta researchers and alumni have been contributing to the field of health care for the past 100 years. As the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry celebrates its 100th anniversary, we share a few highlights from the 20th century. For a complete faculty history and to learn about 100 years of medicine celebrations, visit During the First World War, U of A faculty member Allan C. Rankin helped identify and develop treatments for trench fever, meningitis, typhoid and malaria. He later went on to become the first appointed dean of the medical school.

Chances are you’ve of other compounds that can tell you never heard the word how bad the diabetes is, whether it’s metabolomics (pronounced going to progress, or even if you’re metabo-LOH-mics) but it just might going to get diabetes.” revolutionize medical diagnostics That kind of detail opens the door around the world — and the U of A to personalized health care. “You can stands at the global epicentre of this actually have a metabolic profile that emerging field. could be used to diagnose, or predict, “It’s clinical chemistry on steroids,” or prognosticate, or assess the explains David Wishart, project risk for a whole bunch of different leader for the U of A’s Human conditions.” Eventually, Wishart Metabolome Project. Metabolomics hopes, a urine sample could be as seeks to identify and catalogue every useful a diagnostic tool as a Star Trek chemical we produce in our bodies, tricorder (if not quite as sexy). and to look for the patterns that The Human Metabolome correspond to various illnesses and Project, launched by Wishart’s conditions. Instead of looking for lab in 2005, has catalogued about one or two compounds — for example, 40,000 different chemicals found blood glucose — metabolomics in the human body. Although the measures hundreds or even project hasn’t yet made its way into thousands of compounds all at once. everyday medical practice, that By doing so, metabolomics vastly day is definitely coming. Several expands the amount of information companies, including three in that we can derive from a single Edmonton, have already started tissue or fluid sample, says Wishart. developing specific tests based on “In the past, it was like looking at the the data, including one for pre-colon world through a keyhole. But now, cancer and another for HIV. we can look at the world through a Meanwhile, the U of A’s Human picture window.” Metabolome Project database is In other words, metabolomics accessed by millions around the allows diagnosticians to see the big globe every year. It just might be time picture. “Blood glucose tells you if for a new sign on Gateway Boulevard: you have diabetes or not,” explains “Welcome to Edmonton — City of Wishart. “But there’s a whole bunch Metabolomics.” — SR

In 1922, J.B. Collip, ’24 PhD, ’26 MD, ’46 LLD(Hon), joined a University of Toronto research team looking to find a way to treat diabetes. Collip was tasked with extracting and refining a pure form of insulin from a pancreas. The team was successful and won the Nobel Prize for their work in 1923. In the 1950s, Theodore (Teddy) Aaron, ’39 BSc, ’42 MD, was the first person in Alberta to administer penicillin, and the first person in Western Canada to do Rh blood typing to ensure compatibility for blood transfusions. Aaron conducted clinical studies on the use of antihistamines that led to these becoming universal cold remedies. In 2012, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award. John Callaghan performed the first successful open-heart surgery in Canada in 1956 at the University of Alberta Hospital. His team saved the life of a 10-year-old girl, Suzanne Beattie. In 1982, Patrick Doyle, ’47 BSc, ’49 MD, performed the first cochlear implant surgery in Canada, enabling a young woman who had been totally deaf to hear environmental sounds, understand speech and talk on the telephone. He is a 1995 Distinguished Alumni Award winner. D. Lorne J. Tyrrell, ’64 BSc, ’68 MD, led the team that developed the world’s first oral antiviral drug for the treatment of hepatitis B in 1986. Tyrrell and his team discovered the anti-viral properties of the compound lamivudine, which was licensed as Heptovir in 1998 as the first drug treatment for chronic hepatitis B carriers. At the end of the 20th century, James Shapiro, ’01 PhD, led the team that developed a landmark treatment for Type 1 diabetes that became known around the world as the Edmonton Protocol. new trail spring 2013    31

food safety

Kamaljit Kaur CURRENT POSITION: Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences FIELD: Research in Medicinal Chemistry WHY SHE’S ONE TO WATCH: Kaur’s work with peptides — compounds that occur naturally in foods such as yogurt — holds great potential in food safety and cancer treatment.

When Kamaljit Kaur contemplates a container of yogurt, she sees much more than a topping for her morning granola. The lactic acid bacteria in yogurt produce peptides, compounds that lie at the very centre of her research. “These peptides are very friendly to humans,” she says. In fact, they’re more than just friendly. Those peptides, it turns out, are very effective in killing pathogenic bacteria, like listeria, a foodborne illness that can cause serious infections. By harnessing the power of peptides, Kaur and her colleagues could potentially banish listeria from our food industry, along with other deadly microbes such as E. coli and salmonella. 32

Because they are derived from food sources, these antimicrobial peptides, also known as bacteriocins, could provide industry with a much healthier way to fight pathogens. “Current practices use a lot of chemical preservatives and conventional antibiotics,” Kaur explains. Kaur’s work earned her $495,000 in funding from the Food Safety Research and Innovation Program, with the support of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. During a threeyear research project, Kaur and her colleagues hope to develop new methods for mass-producing these bacteriocins. The project teams Kaur with longtime colleagues David Wishart, Computing

and Biological Sciences; Lynn McMullen, Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science; and industrial partner CanBiocin Inc. (See page 30 for more on Wishart’s research.) Kaur has another major research area also focusing on peptides — using them to target cancer cells, including breast cancer. “That’s equally exciting,” she says modestly, “but this grant is mainly for our antimicrobial work.” Above all, Kaur is grateful for the atmosphere of support and collaboration at the U of A. “The funding makes it possible for our team to pursue our ideas,” she says. “These peptides are very promising, and they haven’t been explored to the extent they should have been.” — SR

From her earliest days as a nurse, Hannah O’Rourke has been drawn to working with people with dementia. “Those were the people I really enjoyed working with, and who surprised me — who really got underneath my own assumptions,” she recalls. “You have something in your mind of what Alzheimer’s disease means, or dementia. I found, when I was actually working with these people, that things are much more hopeful and not nearly as sad or depressing as I thought they might be.” Over time, O’Rourke began to recognize that many patients face similar barriers in their day-to-day lives. “I thought, you know, there are probably some pretty simple things we could do here that could make things a lot better.” She suggests giving care providers the time and training they need to develop positive, supportive, respectful —and personal — relationships with patients with dementia. She also hopes to find and document better ways to listen to people with dementia, to draw on their own experiences and knowledge in order to improve their lives.

“Persons with dementia really can speak about their lives, and can speak about what matters to them. So there’s more of a drive now to actually speak to people with dementia, and not assume that we know what matters to them.” For her PhD thesis, O’Rourke is synthesizing findings from 12 studies that involved interviewing individual patients about their lives. She hopes to identify specific measures that will make the biggest difference for the largest number of patients. “My dissertation looks at identifying a common set of factors that influence quality of life. It’s useful from both a health care and a research perspective to identify some common things that we can do at a health-systems level to improve quality of life.” With growing policy concerns over an aging population, O’Rourke’s work could very well help improve future care for people we love. “How can we really know how to improve their lives if we don’t ask them?” — SR

aging population

Hannah O’Rourke ’08 BScN(Hons)

CURRENT POSITION: PhD student in Nursing FIELD: Quality of life for dementia patients WHY SHE’S ONE TO WATCH: O’Rourke recently received the prestigious Vanier Scholarship — $50,000 a year for three years — a rare honour for a nursing student. As our population continues to age, her work in dementia stands to become ever more important. new trail spring 2013    33

community health

Kathryn Dong ’04 FRCP, ’07 MSc

CURRENT POSITION: Co-Director of the Edmonton Inner City Health Research and Education Network Field: At-risk populations WHY SHE’S ONE TO WATCH: Dong’s efforts in addressing the health needs of inner city residents have made her name synonymous with a caring attitude.

“This is my calling,” says Kathryn Dong. Based at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, she champions the needs of those people who live on nothing, with nothing, and who often turn to drugs and alcohol for escape and release. For these people, a visit to the hospital is often an overwhelming and intimidating last resort, says Dong, who has worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital since 2004. She came to the U of A specifically for its first-rate residency program. She followed that with a master’s in population health. “I think, regardless of what I might 34

have done in medicine, I would have ended up working in this field,” she says, cradling her third son in her lap. “Addiction is a disease. Just as I may treat a person with diabetes who comes into emergency, I see addiction and alcoholism in the same way.” In 2009, she and her colleagues launched a survey to find out how satisfied at-risk inner city residents were with the care they were getting from their local hospital. “We did not really know if we were meeting their needs, nor did we understand fully the underlying causes contributing to their health issues.”

The results of this survey are still being analyzed. “We still need to figure out where the gaps are, exactly, and the community will tell us how best to address them.” says Dong. Her dream is to make the hospital a welcoming place for inner city residents and ensure it provides compassionate and more holistic care that not only deals with patients’ acute issues, but also helps to improve the social determinants of their health, such as housing and social supports. “I feel very connected and feel like this is exactly what I should be doing,” she says. — Wanda Vivequin

Solving the world’s health challenges


niversity of Alberta research has implications far beyond provincial borders. Seven U of A researchers have received Rising Stars in Global Health awards from Grand Challenges Canada.

The $100,000 Phase I award supports innovators who offer solutions to global health conditions — especially ideas that will have a large impact in developing nations. Award recipients must take an integrated, innovative approach, which means the health solution incorporates scientific or technological, social and business innovations. Meet the U of A’s Rising Stars.

Aman Ullah

Assistant professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science Project: Filters from feathers The aim of this project is to create costeffective, reusable and biodegradable filters from poultry feathers and use them to remove arsenic from contaminated drinking water. Arsenic poisoning affects 140 million people worldwide, particularly in developing countries where poultry feathers can serve as a cheap raw material.

Karim Damji

Professor of Ophthalmology Project: Preventing Blindness in Sub‑Saharan Africa Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, and sub-Saharan Africa is the hardest hit. Both adults and children are affected. Damji was awarded a grant for his plan to care for the disease in order to prevent blindness. His four-point plan includes awareness programs, early detection and treatment—especially in rural areas through the use of “telemedicine”—training subspecialists who can work in teaching hospitals, and creating centres of excellence for subspecialty practice.

Ratmir Derda

Assistant professor of chemistry, Faculty of Science Project: Paper-based diagnostic tool Derda’s team is working on a paper-based diagnostics device that doesn’t use power, so it can be stored at room temperature—important in countries where resources are limited. The cells grow in paper just as they do in a culture dish, so tests can be conducted on-site to diagnose diseases like malaria, HIV or TB.

Abdullah Saleh, ’10 MD

ICChange Project: Kibera Medical Records Initiative Saleh proposes to develop and implement a standardized patient medical record system in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums. This improves patient care and resource use, but will also allow clinics and health institutions to track illness geographically, ultimately allowing for better prevention and treatment of outbreaks and targeted interventions. Julianne Gibbs-Davis

Assistant professor of chemistry, Faculty of Science Project: Affordable TB detection Gibbs-Davis’s team developed a system to amplify and detect unique DNA sequences associated with a host of infectious bacteria like TB and malaria. They are working on implementing this system in a DNA test that can be conducted cheaply and easily to accurately diagnose active TB, including drug-resistant forms of the disease. Michael Serpe

Assistant professor of analytical chemistry, Faculty of Science Project: Prevention of disease overtreatment in developing countries In developing countries, lives are sometimes lost unnecessarily because people receive treatment for a disease they don’t actually have. Serpe proposes designing an easy-to-use diagnostic tool that requires no infrastructure and identifies multiple biomarkers for one disease. This makes the test results more reliable, and helps prevent costly and potentially deadly overtreatment. Stephanie Yanow

Assistant professor, School of Public Health, and program leader, Provincial Laboratory for Public Health Project: Bringing the lab to the village Yanow’s team is working to bring disease detection to rural villages in Africa. A health-care worker collects a blood sample and tests it on a chip that contains special gels — each designed to test for a different disease: malaria, dengue fever, the flu, etc. When a patient’s blood is added to the chip, it is absorbed into the gel. The chip is run in a mobile instrument that tests for the DNA of each organism. If that organism is present in the blood, the gel will light up and a health-care worker on-site can have a result without needing a lab.

Editor’s note: At press time, two more U of A researchers received Grand Challenge grants: John Davis, working on rapid and non-invasive breath sensors for diagnosing diseases; and Darryl Adamko, who hopes to improve the diagnosis of respiratory disorders through urine tests. For more information, visit new trail spring 2013    35


kidney disease

Marcello Tonelli CURRENT POSITION: Canada Research Chair in Optimal Care of People with Chronic Kidney Disease FIELD: Care delivery and quality of health care WHY HE’S ONE TO WATCH: Kidney disease affects more than two million Canadians. Tonelli is one of Canada’s top experts in identifying kidney patients at greatest risk, and in partnering with health policy-makers to get patients the most effective care possible.

Most people needn’t lie awake at night worrying about kidney disease, says Marcello Tonelli. But if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease, Tonelli wants you and your doctor to be aware of the stakes. “People with kidney failure have very poor quality of life and they are very likely to die,” Tonelli says. “But, fortunately, there are effective treatments available that prevent the kidneys from failing. The major focus of my work is to try to figure out which patients are at highest risk, and what treatments we can use to reduce that risk and improve their outcomes. I’m also looking at how we can make the health system work better, to deliver those treatments in a way that’s easy for them to take.” Currently, Tonelli is focusing on a relatively low-tech strategy. “We’re returning to an older test, for detecting protein in the urine,” he says. “With a very simple and cheap urine test, you can discriminate between someone who is only at slightly greater-than-average risk, and someone who’s at a very high risk.” With research partners throughout Alberta and around the world, Tonelli has his hand in a wide range of initiatives. “We meet every week or more by teleconference, and we’re talking on the phone several times a day,” he says. “Honestly, it’s one of the best things about my job. I get to work with such a great group of people.” Tonelli also works to see that same approach reflected in patient care. “Policy-makers in Alberta are quite interested and engaged,” he says. “Whether that’s Alberta Health or Alberta Health Services or other organizations — people are willing to share their priorities. That helps us to do research that matters.” — SR

new trail spring 2013    37

“The problem with bacteria is you can’t see it,” says Randy Marsden, who has invented a technology that makes it harder for deadly bacteria to lurk in hospital rooms. He hopes to make a dent in hospital-acquired infections, a leading cause of death in North America.


by SArah Ligon | photos by John Ulan

The Keys to Life Why Randy Marsden is the most important inventor you’ve never heard of


n February 5, 2012, Gil Allan, ’82 BEd, visited his father in the recovery ward of an Edmonton hospital. Allan was relieved to see his dad, Bud Dahlseide, looking in such good colour and spirits after a month-long hospital stay to remove the defibrillator in his chest and replace it with a pacemaker. They went down to the food court for ice cream, where Dahlseide joked with the staff. “Everyone’s expectation was that he was fine and real soon would be going home,” remembers Allan. “But when I was putting him to bed, he said, ‘You know, I feel funny. I feel like I have the flu coming on.’ ” Somewhere in the hospital’s corridors, Dahlseide had come into contact with Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, one of the strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as “superbugs.” Once the bacteria entered Dahlseide’s body, they found their way to his colon, multiplying and releasing toxins that caused severe diarrhea and bloating. Within four days, his kidneys had shut down. “On Feb. 5, he was my dad, he was completely himself,” remembers Allan. “Four days later he was dead.” What happened to Bud Dahlseide is tragic but increasingly common. Hospital-acquired infections, including C. difficile, are the No. 4 cause of death in North America, behind cancer, heart disease and stroke. Every year, more than 220,000 Canadians will acquire an infection while in hospital, and at least 8,000 of them will die. The numbers are even more staggering in the United States, where 1.7 million people will become infected and nearly 99,000 will die.

new trail spring 2013    39

“Just imagine if we put the same energy, passion, money and attention into looking at the hard problems in our societ y, instead of what’s the next big Facebook.” — Randy Marsden

“That is the equivalent to the audience at this year’s Super Bowl — and that many will die every year,” says Randy Marsden, ’89 BSc(ElecEng), an Edmonton entrepreneur who is working to drastically lower that figure. “It should be completely preventable.” Marsden is one of the rare individuals who can claim “inventor” as his occupation. He is in his late 40s, with a thick build, thin-frame glasses and a neatly trimmed beard. His wellkempt appearance belies the popular image of the dishevelled, eccentric genius. It is easier to imagine him the clean-cut Mormon kid from southern Alberta who, at 19, undertook a two-year mission to Japan and became fluent in the language. Even today, 25 years later, he is as full of certitude as any proselytizer, but his mission now is to save lives by preventing hospital-acquired infections. His target is the keyboard on which this story was typed.

Technology that Matters When you think about it, a computer keyboard really is impossible to clean. There are at least 60 keys, and well over 100 on some keyboards, on which harmful bacteria can rest, and each key has four exposed sides down which liquid and debris can creep and fester. In addition, depending on the model, there are any number of cords, ports and screws that can harbour harmful bacteria. A 2012 study by the University of Calgary and The Ward of the 21st Century monitored the presence of harmful bacteria, including C. difficile, on hundreds of keyboards in five 40

different hospital settings, and the results were surprising. Where previous studies had shown that hospital ventilators and infusion pumps were one per cent contaminated and faucets were 11 per cent contaminated, the 2012 study showed that the mostcontaminated surfaces, at 58 per cent, were computer keyboards. It turns out that keyboards are something Marsden knows a lot about. Marsden is the creator of Swype, a text-input technology for smartphones, which he sold for $102.5 million in 2011 to Nuance, a Boston company responsible for the voice-recognition technology behind the iPhone’s Siri. His innovation was designing a flat-panelled keyboard surface where, instead of tapping out individual letters, you rest your finger on the first letter, then slide it from letter to letter to form a word. What found commercial success as a software add-on that enables faster texting — now installed over 200 million times — actually began as an assistive technology Marsden developed for the disabled, particularly those with limited or no use of their hands. In one way or another, he has been developing keyboards that improve lives since he was an undergrad at the University of Alberta. Back in 1987, Marsden’s third-year engineering class was assigned a semester project. “They gave us a couple of choices,” he remembers. “They had these wheels that spun around, and you could make a circuit that counted how many times it turned around. Or you could make up your own thing. Well, I made up my own thing.” Working with lab partner Michael

Tanne, ’89 BSc(ElecEng), Marsden set out to create a keyboard to help a family friend communicate after a paralyzing accident. Si Peterson was just 16 when he fell from a gymnastics high bar, severing his spinal cord in three places at the first vertebra. By the time Marsden began working with him, Peterson had been confined to a bed for more than a decade, unable to move below his chin, breath on his own, or even speak. In less than a semester, Marsden and Tanne created an early version of a laptop that allowed Peterson to use his lip to touch a switch that would scroll through a list of about 100 phrases, which would then be “spoken” using digitized speech. The technology allowed him to communicate and, later, to control his surroundings. Marsden and Tanne’s invention was so ahead of the curve it placed second in the Canadian Engineering Competition that year, beating out nearly 150 other entries. (The next year, Marsden notes, he placed first with another project.) It also won them another distinction. Just before graduation, Sym Systems, a Silicon Valley company that specialized in assistive technology, flew the lab partners down to California to interview — along with several other candidates — for a single position. “They saw our student project, and by the end of the weekend they had offered us both jobs,” remembers Marsden. Tanne took the job, and later got an MBA from Stanford. He is now an entrepreneur and investor working with early-stage technology companies in Silicon Valley. But Marsden decided to stay in Edmonton and start his own company, Madentec. “I knew I’d found what I wanted to do,” he says. In the past 25 years, Marsden has headed up companies that develop and commercialize his inventions, primarily assistive technologies that have allowed people, including Muhammad Ali and the late Christopher Reeve, to access computers. “Once they had access to a computer, we opened up the world to them,” says Marsden. “Vocation, education, socialization,

communication — you don’t know if the person on the other side of that computer sending you emails has a disability. It just removes the disability.” Assistive technologies aren’t beneficial only for people who are disabled. Consider, for example, the number of able-bodied people who use a building’s automatic doors rather than the manual ones or who use the curb cuts on a sidewalk for their baby strollers or bicycles. “They say closed captioning is seen by more people in bars than by deaf people,” says Marsden. “If a technology makes life easier for a person with a disability, it makes life easier for everyone else.”

The Birth of Invention The Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who frequently writes about innovation, once hypothesized that the requirements for a successful invention were “genius, obsession, serendipity, and epiphany in some unknowable combination.” Marsden would certainly seem to conform to that formula. He believes inventors are “born not made,” and he remembers as a child how it worried his mother that he was always destroying his toys. “It was because I wanted to see how it worked,” he says, “and sometimes that meant destroying it.” When his parents started buying him Lego, Marsden stopped destroying his toys and started building them, instead. To this day he still enjoys Lego and recently helped his own 10-year-old son, the youngest of his five children, design a “black hole” using a plastic garbage bag and Lego Mindstorm, a series of the popular toy line that includes both the small, plastic building blocks and computer software for creating programmable robots. “I actually ask every engineer I interview if they played with Lego as a kid,” explains Marsden, “because the true engineers always say, ‘Yeah.’ They want to build stuff, to solve a problem, to stop that door from squeaking.” Clearly, Marsden was born with that need to tinker, but with his recent innovations in text input, he is taking invention a step further. “Text input



It’s often the case that something originally designed to help people with disabilities winds up helping everyone. Technology-based innovations for the disabled that have been universally adopted are often called “electronic curb cuts.” Here are some that you probably used today:

Closed Captioning Original Use Translation of sounds on TV for the deaf or hard-of-hearing

Mainstream Use TV screens in bars, airports and gyms where everyone has a hard time hearing

Computer Keyboard Equivalents

Digitized Speech

Original Use Controlling menu items on a computer for those unable to use a mouse or see the screen

original Use Computer-generated speech allowing those unable to speak with their own voice to communicate (think Stephen Hawking or patients who have had laryngectomies)

Mainstream Use Anyone wanting to save time with computer shortcuts (control “s” to save, for example)

Mainstream Use Voice prompt telephone systems, those often-annoying menus when you call a customer-service hotline

Word Prediction

Onscreen Keyboards

Original Use Speedy text entry for people unable to use their hands to type

Original Use Entering text for those unable to use their hands to type on a traditional keypad

Mainstream Use Now used almost everywhere (especially in cellphones) for speedier texting

Mainstream Use Most tablets, smartphones and PDAs now use onscreen keyboards for entering text

new trail spring 2013    41

is the future of the computing world we’re going to be living in for the next 50 years,” he says. It’s a world in which we are, despite our increased reliance on gadgets, a lot less device-centric. The days of everyone carting around a personal laptop are over. Computers are built into nearly

Social Impact Award, a 2011 Manning Innovation Award. In central place of honour is a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records given to Hank Torres in 2011 for “fastest hands-free typing.” Torres, paralyzed from the neck down, earned the record using Marsden’s TrackerPro — a head-tracking

“I’m an inventor. i get excited about creation. ... What I think about in my spare time is always the next invention.”  — Randy Marsden

everything in our environment — our cars, our phones, check-out lines — and they all require you to input text onto surfaces. Marsden is currently developing technology that enables a user to more easily enter text on tablets. Users can set down their fingers anywhere on the surface, and a keyboard forms around their fingers. Then they begin typing. “I’m an inventor,” he says. “I get excited about creation. Once it’s invented, there’s a whole lot of work to do to get it done: business development, commercialization, marketing and sales. I don’t enjoy that stuff as much as inventing, so I hire people who are good at those things. What I think about in my spare time is always the next invention.”

Making the impossible possible The offices of Cleankeys, Inc., are about as far away in size and scope as they are in distance from the giants of Silicon Valley. They are housed in a nondescript, two-storey industrial park building in South Edmonton, in between a stainlesssteel wholesaler and a company that builds custom cabinets. Inside, on the taupe walls of the conference room, are awards Marsden’s inventions have won over the years: a 2008 Alberta Science and Technology’s 42

device that allows users to control a mouse pointer by puffing through a thin straw attached to a computer loaded with Swype technology. Interestingly, it was that very same model of TrackerPro that led Marsden on the path to creating Cleankeys and a solution for hospital-acquired infection. In 2007, Marsden saw an order through his company for the headtracker from a dentist in France. Since, he figured, the dentist was not practising hands-free dentistry, he emailed to ask why he wanted the device. It turns out the dentist had just invested in a digital X-ray system for his treatment room, but every time he touched the mouse and keyboard he had to change his gloves. The French dentist had discovered he could avoid that trouble by attaching one of TrackerPro’s reflective stickers to the back of his hand-held dental mirror and waving it through the air to move the computer’s cursor. At first Marsden thought he might have a new market for his head-tracking device: dentists. But a dental focus group in Edmonton was less than enthusiastic. “They said, ‘This is a $1,000 mouse, and we can probably just wipe down the mouse between patients.’ ” But as they were leaving,

Marsden had a thought: “You say you can wipe down the mouse, but what do you do about the keyboard?” “And they said, ‘Oh, well, the keyboard is impossible to wipe, so we have to wrap it in Saran Wrap. Now, if you can come up with a better way to clean a keyboard … then that’s something we can all use,’ ” recalls Marsden. Six years later, on the factory floor at the back of Cleankeys offices, a pair of employees is assembling dozens of keyboards that have no keys, no screws, no openings at all — only two flat acrylic panels attached with adhesive. One version of the keyboard and its mouse operates on wireless technology, so there are no cords, either. It is completely wipeable, front and back. In fact, you could dunk it in a bucket of water because it’s completely waterproof, too. Since launching commercially in February 2011, Cleankeys has sold about 20,000 keyboards to dentists (at $399 each) and has more or less solved the problem of the cleanable keyboard. Now, Marsden has set his sights on getting them into the hands of doctors.

Typing, swyping AND wiping In more than 90 published studies, researchers have found that handwashing compliance in a normal hospital setting is only about 40 per cent. That jumps to 90 per cent when health-care workers know they are being monitored. Marsden and his team have developed software that can automatically detect when one of his keyboards has been cleaned, how well it has been cleaned, with what and by whom — and he did it using the same ideas that led to Swype. It has to do with the capacitance of touch surfaces. All surfaces have an electric field, which becomes disrupted and changes when it comes in contact with other things — fingers or liquids, for instance. By measuring changes in the electric field, the sensors in his technology can distinguish between when you’re just setting your fingers

down on a touch-sensitive keyboard and when you begin typing. “Well, we figured out that the same sensors that we were using to detect typing can also detect wiping,” says Marsden. The software runs on a computer’s dashboard and lets the user know when it’s time to clean. “The problem with bacteria is that you can’t see it,” says Marsden. “So we simulate it. Then as you wipe, it starts to clean those grey areas, and if you miss a corner you can see it on screen. And it won’t allow you to reset the clean-meter until you’ve reached 100 per cent coverage of the surface.” If you try to cheat, by just wiping it with your hand, it won’t work. Marsden’s software pushes the data for each keyboard up into the “cloud,” where a hospital administrator can monitor all keyboards in a hospital at any given time and issue warnings — directly through the computer — that it’s time for a particular workstation to be cleaned. And the application of this software doesn’t just stop at keyboards. It can be adapted to monitor mopping the floor, wiping down countertops, changing bed linens, even the Holy Grail of compliance: employee handwashing. Currently, prevention activities in hospitals are mostly of the pen and paper variety. An administrator might find out a week or two later that a room or workstation wasn’t cleaned properly. But by then, the damage would have been done. Gil Allan believes that his father contracted the infection that killed him because hospital staff weren’t following protocols. Across the hall from his father’s room was an isolation room, where everyone entering and leaving was supposed to wear gloves and booties. “What struck me,” says Allan, “was that I saw hospital staff going in and out of that room without following the protocols they made visitors from off the street observe.” “If we can monitor prevention activities in real time to get their compliance up,” says Marsden, “that should put a real dent in the spread of infection.” 

‘Who Are You Going to Help Next?’ Although his inventions have been hugely successful, Randy Marsden has struggled to base his companies in Edmonton. Despite the wealth in the province, Alberta is primarily an oil- and agri-based economy, and local investors are wary of venturing into new territory. “the reason silicon valley is so successful is the people who are investing there made their money in technology; they understand it,” he explains. “I remember pitching to one investor, and he said to me in the end, ‘You know, Randy, I completely believe you that you understand what you’re talking about, but I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about or how you’re going to do it competitively.” Ultimately, he had to move Swype to Seattle, Wash., to see it through the “Valley of Death,” the hazardous terrain between R&D and commercialization, when government research grants have dried up but before venture capitalists are ready to jump onboard. However, this time he’s committed to keeping Cleankeys in Edmonton, although it took 125 different pitches to 85 individuals before he found a single angel investor. At the moment, Edmonton is seeing a burst of energy in the technology and entrepreneurial sector. Two organizations have launched in recent years to accelerate local innovation and turn Edmonton into the Silicon Valley of the Prairies: TEC Edmonton, which helps spin off U of A research projects into commercial ventures, and Start-Up Edmonton, founded by Ken Bautista, ’99 BEd, which offers similar support for the creative class. Now, Marsden is serving as board chair of a third, Technology Alberta, an association of locally based technology companies, founded in 2012, trying to affect government policy to make the local environment more fertile for tech start-ups.

“It’s possible to have a home-run technology company in Alberta,” he says, citing the $5 billion in successful technology companies that have come out of the province in the past 10 years. They include: Zedi; BioWare, founded by Ray Muzyka, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD, Greg Zeschuk, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD, and Augustine Yip, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD; Wintax, founded by Bruce Johnson, ’83 BSc, and Chad Frederick, ’78 BCom; and Axia, whose CEO is Arthur Price, ’73 BSc(MechEng). Still, Marsden admits that he might have been more successful had he headed south after graduation. But he always hears a voice in the back of his head reminding him that inventing new technologies should be about more than creating the next Facebook or Twitter or YouTube. “Si [Peterson] changed my life with one question,” said Marsden, in a TEDx talk he gave on “engineering for the social good” in Edmonton last July. “After he tried our stuff, he turned to me and said, ‘Who are you going to help next?’ “If those big companies started thinking about the bigger social issues and put their resources behind it, imagine what’s possible,” he mused later. “I have no doubt that Apple could knock out hospitalacquired infections if they put their money behind it. Instead, we’re sitting here as this little 15-person company.… It may sound dramatic, but we really can save lives with a computer keyboard.” new trail spring 2013    43


by Tina Faiz

Ruth Kelly,

’78 BA

The magazine publisher of two of Alberta’s most-read titles talks about business decisions, the future of print and a new venture into radio Ruth Kelly, president and CEO of Venture Publishing, has had an awardwinning year. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs’ Celebration of Achievement Award and the Achievement in Publishing Award from the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. She talks about her accomplishments past and future.

photo by john ulan

In 1997, you purchased Alberta Venture magazine from the Alberta government for $100. How has your business grown since then? I now own Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil, and we reach over half a million people a month. We also have a custom publishing division, where we do another 17 magazines for a range of clients, from private corporations to educational publications for the Alberta Cancer Society or the United Way.

if you look at my custom division, we do content on every industry segment relevant to Western Canada: from forestry and construction to health care and education — everything. So this will be a new channel for us. Why now? Technology has become incredibly accessible and affordable.... The penetration of mobile devices means you can listen at your desktop in your office or over your phone in your vehicle.

What will a radio day include? It’s an eight-hour, live-streaming day, Monday to Friday. There will be breaking business news and breaking market news, and we’ll have interviews and features. You can listen live, or you can subscribe to a particular podcast, and it will be delivered to whatever device you want.

Why do your clients still want to communicate through magazines? Long-form media remains an incredibly powerful way to capture someone’s attention. When you are reading, you’re completely engaged in that — unlike any other medium where you can do two or three things at once. So what companies and associations know is that if they want to have a more complex communication tool, a magazine is a visually, intellectually engaging tool to position and shape their messaging the way they want.

Since your first issue of Alberta Venture, you have reported on some of the country’s most successful people. Have you seen a pattern that has led to their success? Persistence can never be underestimated. Success takes effort. It also takes a certain curiosity. Some of the most successful business people I know — the serial entrepreneurs — they mostly started a business because they were really curious. And you have to be risk-oriented. If you wish to be successful in business, you have to embrace risk and understand that along with embracing it, there’s potential for failure.

You’re launching a new digital business radio network in September called Venture Radio. Why radio? Why now? Our capacity to deliver content is quite broad. On top of Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil,

You’ve also had a front-row seat observing the evolution of Alberta and its business community. What stands out? The province’s population has grown by 39.7 per cent since I started Venture, which means more than one in

three people in this province have only arrived here in the past 15 or so years. Our GDP has tripled. The province has taken a whole different role, and we’ve been fortunate just to report on that. [But] we are not just talking about Alberta to Alberta, we are talking about Alberta to the rest of the world. Almost 50 per cent of my visitors to Alberta Oil’s website come from outside of Canada. People in financial districts in Toronto and New York and Washington and Houston and London read my magazines. They know what we are here because Venture has told them, and that’s an important responsibility for us.

Do you consider yourself a business success? I don’t define myself as a success, yet. To me, success suggests there’s an end point, and I’m not at that end point. I’m still on a journey. If you become satisfied, why would you continue to do something? There are two kinds of magazine publishers: those that publish something about a topic they are deeply passionate about, and those that seek to make money. I am the latter. I have a nasty shoe habit, and I need to keep it satiated. Has there been a low point in your career? Mistakes you’ve made? Many! Too many to enumerate: people mistakes, business decisions, timing. I bought Alberta Oil in June 2008, right at the peak, just as oil was $149 a barrel. I always say I signed the deal the day the recession started, and it just went downhill from there.... There have been many dark nights of the soul. I don’t know many entrepreneurs who haven’t faced that. If they don’t tell you that, they’re just lying. new trail spring 2013    45

artist profile

When a night at the Power plant becomes a work of art



or maximum impact, Welcome to the Cult by Fred Brown, ’93 MVA, requires from the viewer equal parts imagination, nostalgia, raw energy and irreverence. This piece, somewhat reminiscent of an image from Pink Floyd’s The Wall,

started off as a coat draped across a pool table at the Power Plant, a campus bar at the time. “It kind of evolved from there,” says the artist, who is now based in British Columbia. The colourful triptych — measuring 1.2 metres by 2.4 metres — is part of the

U of A Museums exhibit Size Matters: Big Prints from around the World. The exhibit has given Brown the opportunity to be a little nostalgic about his time on campus. Welcome to the Cult was a piece in his final-year show. “The piece represents some of the times I had at the U of A,” he says. “It was a glorious time, a kind of a club or cult, I guess, and I was printing as much as I could to maximize time in the studio.” Brown’s medium is woodcuts, a threepart process of painting, cutting and printing. It’s a highly physical technique that Brown relishes. “With these pieces I was influenced by the physicality of the medium and my own body.” Brown explains that the painting, on boards, is abstract expressionism — not knowing where he is going and then letting the painting talk to him during the process. The colours can come to him at any time in the process and, in this piece, the choices evolved as the triptych emerged from the original pool table idea. He chose the title provocatively to acknowledge the sense of community that develops in the campus fine arts studio or on campus as a whole. “Welcome to the cult, welcome to the club — it was my way of saying we had all shared something together,” says Brown. He continues to work as an artist, spending as much time as he can working out of a studio at North Vancouver-based Capilano University. The exhibit featuring Brown’s work runs at Edmonton’s Enterprise Square from April 4 to June 29. For more information, visit Exhibitions. — Wanda Vivequin

Welcome to the Cult by Fred Brown (Canadian, b. 1965), 1993, ink on paper (woodcut)

new trail spring 2013    47

alumni events Summer of Service Signature Event:

Regional activities

Start Your Own Initiative! Bring the Alumni Association’s Summer of Service to your community — start your own initiative! From cleaning a community park to volunteering at your local food bank, the options are endless. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan a U of A Alumni Volunteer event in your community. We’ll get in touch with other local grads to spread the word — and supply the T-shirts.

September 25–29, 2013 Alumni Weekend is the time to reunite and reminisce with old friends and make new ones. You never know who you’ll see. With more than 45 events and activities including tours, speakers and open houses, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re celebrating a reunion or just want to see what’s new at the U, come and join the fun.

Stay involved with the U of A through one of the more than 50 active alumni branches around the world. Check online for information about events near you. Around Canada Calgary  |  May 25 Educated Adventure: Bike Tune-up & Tour Grande Prairie/Peace Region  |  May 25 Alumni Reception featuring U of A paleontologist Philip Currie and Chancellor Ralph Young

Edmonton |  May 28 On Your Way to the U of A at PCL Lounge — CCIS Ottawa  |  May 29 Reception with researcher Ian Mann Edmonton  |  June 2 Memorial Service Calgary  |  June 6 Annual Spruce Meadows Reception and Dinner featuring the National Tournament Okanagan  |  june 17 Reception with Chancellor Ralph Young Toronto  |  August 18 Pre-Game Party & Eskimos Football Game Around the World New York  |  May 30 Reception with researcher Joanna Harrington denver  |  June 3 Mixer with School of Business Dean Joseph Doucet Seattle  |  June 25 Alumni mixer

volunteer opportunities On Your Way to the U of A! Calgary  |  May 13 Vancouver  |  May 22 Edmonton  |  May 28 Come share your U of A story with students who are planning to attend the university in September. Volunteers will be on hand to chat with future students and share a few tips about the U of A.

Summer of Service Signature Event: River Valley Clean Up Edmonton |  June 1

Summer of Service Signature Event: Habitat for Humanity Build Edmonton |  July 12 and 13 We team up with the Edmonton branch of Habitat for Humanity to construct its largest project to date at Neufeld Landing in south Edmonton. Volunteers should be able to lift and carry at least 15 pounds.

Dates are subject to change; events are added daily. For more or to register, visit


Summer of Service Signature Event: Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Edmonton |  Aug. 15–25 Team up with the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival to send out the summer with a bang. Alumni who participate as Fringe volunteers will receive extra green-and-gold swag to dress up their Fringe volunteer gear, as well as a special invitation to mix and mingle with other alumni Fringe enthusiasts at the Volunteer Recognition Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Alumni Association. Become an Alumni Ambassador Alumni Ambassadors are the heart of the Alumni Association, giving back to the U of A in so many ways. From supporting events to inspiring the next generation of U of A students, alumni are involved across campus. The majority of Alumni Ambassador opportunities take place from September through April.

bottom right photo by laughing Dog photography

Toronto |  May 28 Reception with President Indira Samarasekera and researcher Ian Mann


1. William Kobluk, ’67 BA, ’69 BEd, ’80 Dip(Ed), tackles noodles and Chinese culture at the Try Some Dim Sum Educated Palate event at the Golden Rice Bowl in Edmonton.


2. Families bundled up for the annual Cabane à Sucre family event in Edmonton. Activities included sleigh rides, showshoeing, maple syrup tasting and the traditional playing of spoons.


3. Vancouver alumni gathered at The Pint for a guided tour of local microbrews. Taking in the tour were (left to right) Farrah Ahmad, ’01 BCom; Diane Lee, ’07 BSc(Pharm); Chris Cunningham, ’07 BA; and Nicole Villareal, ’07 BA, ’11 LLB.


4. Richard Odland, ’61 BSc, ’64 DDS, gets a warm greeting at the Phoenix Alumni reception.




5. Wendy Jerome, ’58 BPE, sports a retro Golden Bears jersey as one of the alumni volunteers who helped introduce more than 300 international students to the sport of hockey at January’s Golden Bears Hockey Alumni Night. 6. Edmund Wang, ’09 BSc(MechEng), chats with another alumnus at the recent alumni Hong Kong dinner and reception. Joseph Doucet, interim dean of the Alberta School of Business, spoke to attendees about global leadership. 7. Enjoying the recent Calgary Pub Night are Christy Tomkins-Lane, ’08 PhD, (left) and Sarah Baugh, ’05 BA.

Advertise in New Trail Magazine Your message delivered to the doorstep of more than 150,000 U of A grads. new trail spring 2013    49




’40 Bob Blackburn, BA, ’41 MA, had a 34-year career at the University of Toronto Library and was chief librarian of the university for 27 years until he retired in 1981. In 2012, he published two books, Against the Snow and other Stories and Poems and The Last Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, a Verse-Drama, bringing his total to six.

’49 Arne Nielsen, BSc, ’50 MSc, ’00 DSc (Honorary), recently published a memoir, We Gambled Everything: The Life and Times of an Oilman, which chronicles his role in the development of the North American oil industry.

1950s ’39 Harriet Younie, Dip(Nu), was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her dedication to nursing. It was presented to her by Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Alberta’s lieutenant-governor, Donald S. Ethell, ’10 LLD (Honorary). Harriet has devoted her life to nursing, spending the majority of her career in operating-room and recovery-room management. In 2011, she established a bursary through a gift in her estate to help nurses and LPNs complete their education at the University of Alberta.

’57 Evangeline Munns, BSc, was recently recognized by the Canadian Association of Child and Play Therapists for making an “outstanding contribution to the field of play therapy in Canada.” Evangeline is a certified clinical psychologist with extensive experience in working with children with severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and their families. She has been affiliated with the Theraplay Institute in Chicago, the Canadian Association of Child and Play Therapists and the Association of Play Therapy in the United States. She has also edited two books about theraplay and has contributed to 14 other books.

The University of Alberta Conference and Event Management team offers a variety of services including: on-line registration, budget management, event logistics

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’61 Danny Daniels, BEd, ’73 PhD, won a bronze medal in decathlon at the World Masters Championships in Lahti, Finland, in 2009 and the gold medal in the indoor pentathlon at the World Championship in Kamloops in 2010 — record performances for Canada at both. For his athletic accomplishments, he has received a number of awards, was inducted into the BC Athletics and Canadian Masters halls of fame, and received an honorary fellowship from his English alma mater, Brunel University, in 2011. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in regional, national and international athletics. In May 2011, Danny retired from his position as vice-chair of Athletics Canada, a position he held for 12 years.

’68 Stan Kaufman, BA, ’70 MBA, of Fargo, ND, writes that he recently retired from executive positions in banking and insurance and that he is currently enjoying spending time with his wife, Susanne, at their summer residence on Lake Superior and their winter residence in Sun Lakes, AZ.

Historical Society of Germans from Russia in February 2012. In 1996, Anne retired as a teacher and librarian in Calgary. She still calls Calgary home.

’69 Anne Stang, BLS, was elected president of the Calgary chapter of the American

Beth Case Warters and Rod Warters, ’60 BSc, recently joined other San Franciscobased alumni to hear James Pinfold discuss U of A discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.

Come Back to Campus Reminisce about your student experience while making new campus memories at Alumni Weekend 2013. Visit to view the full schedule, or contact us and we’ll send you a program. Phone: 780-492-3224 Toll Free: 1-800-661-2593 Email:

new trail spring 2013    51


Mitsunobu Akiyama, ’69 MEng, ’73 PhD(Eng) (Ieft); Junichi Tajino, ’12 MSc; and Yukiko Kurioka, ’06 BA, share a toast at the Tokyo Alumni Reception recently. Kanpai!


’70 Bill Taylor, BEd, ’75 Dip(Ed), ’98 Dip(Ed), writes that he and his wife, Gail, recently moved from Wetaskiwin, AB, to Red Deer, AB, to be closer to their grandchildren, Ava and Hudson. Bill retired in 2003 from Wetaskiwin Public Schools after serving for 28 years as a teacher, principal and language arts consultant. He continues to serve central and northern Alberta as a freelance literacy consultant. ’71 Candace Savage, BA, of Saskatoon recently won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for non-fiction, the largest monetary prize for non-fiction in Canada. Candace won for her memoir, A Geography of Blood, which is part memoir, part history of the settlement of the western plains in the Cypress Hills area of Saskatchewan.

’73 Kevin McCracken, PhD, writes that he retired as dean of environmental and life sciences at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, at the end of 2008. Since his retirement he has co-authored a book, Global Health: An Introduction to Current and Future Trends, published by Routledge in June 2012. ’74 Ronald Holgerson, MA, was recently named president and CEO of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. ’76 Merna Forster, BA, has published a new book, 100 more Canadian Heroines,

which features the inspiring true stories of Canadians, with a foreword by astronaut Julie Payette. The book is the second in a series about Canadian heroines authored by Merna. In 2013, she will be developing a newsletter that will share additional profiles. To subscribe, visit ’77 Bob Rennebohm, BSc, writes that he is currently working as a psychotherapist in Salem, MA, after spending more than 30 years as a social worker in Edmonton. His wife, Heather Rennebohm (Wilson), ’77 BSc, ’87 MHSA, is running a retail consulting business within Goodwill Industries’ non-profit sector in Salem.

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’80 Tim Wiles, BCom, was appointed deputy minister of Alberta Education in May 2012. Tim previously served as deputy minister of Alberta Finance and Alberta Seniors & Community Supports. ’83 David Orrell, BSc, ’86 MSc, recently published a book, Truth or Beauty: Science and the Quest for Order (Oxford University Press), in which he looks at early scientific thinkers, from the ancient Greeks to Galileo, and examines the scientific developments of the 20th century. ’84 Michael Zuk, BSc(Dent), ’86 DDS, of Red Deer, AB, writes that he has had an unusal — and unusually high-profile — year for a dentist. Michael recently made news for purchasing a dental crown once worn by Elvis Presley, enlarging a personal celebrity

Michael Zuk (left) with Evan Michelson (centre) and Mike Zohn, co-owners of Obscura Antiques & Oddities shop

dental collection that already included a tooth belonging to John Lennon. In the past year, public interest in Michael’s collection has taken him to the United Kingdom, where he was part of a “John Lennon Tooth Tour” to raise awareness about mouth cancer, and to New York City, where he appeared in an episode of the Discovery Channel show Oddities. In addition to his interest in celebrity dentistry and operating a dental practice for non-celebrities in Red Deer, Michael has also written a book, Survival Guide for New Dentists, which helps new grads on the path to a successful career in dentistry. ’86 Doris C.E. Bonora, LLB, of Edmonton recently joined Fraser Milner Casgrain as a partner practising in the area of wills, estates and trusts. ’89 Edith Hogarth, BSc, reports she is the founder, designer and director of Cedar Rock, a new “healthy community” proposed for Rock Creek, BC. The community hopes to help individuals coping with environmentally induced, cyclic health conditions like multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and electromagnetic hypersensitivity — as well as provide safer places to work, study, learn, play and live for anyone interested in quality-of-life issues.

’81 Don Ross, BMus, writes that he is delighted to be back at the U of A teaching his fellow clarinetists in the Department of Music. Don also teaches clarinet at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music at Grant MacEwan University, in addition to playing some150 engagements per year. His musical interests run the gamut from classical to jazz, world to experimental music. Recent projects have been with the Road to Django Orchestra, Vinok Worldance, MacEwan Musical Theatre, the Boreal Electroacoustic Music Society, New Music Edmonton, the El Morocco Big Band, Mile Zero Dance and his own group, St. Crispin’s Chamber Ensemble, just to name a few. Last summer he toured Taiwan with the Katie Calverly Dancers.

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Three-time Grey Cup champion and Edmonton Eskimo Wall of Honour Member Chris Morris, ’97 BEd, has been chosen to turn around the Golden Bears football program. Having coached high school football for years in Edmonton, Morris says he is excited to work with the wealth of talent that northern Alberta offers, and help the Golden Bears reach their potential. “I’m excited to empower others, to work with people and football organizations to turn this program around and into something that the university deserves and can be proud of,” he says. While still playing in the CFL, the Scarborough, ON, native became a full-time teacher in Edmonton in 1997. He later became principal of Spruce Avenue Junior High. Morris has also been extremely active with the MakeA-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Eskimos drafted Morris in the first round (eighth overall) of the 1992 Canadian Football League draft. He started in his rookie season and played an additional 14 seasons in Edmonton. He was a team captain, playing in five Grey Cup games with the Esks and winning three. Of his new role, Morris says, “One of the big, most appealing parts of this job is the fact that you’re in one of the very limited and select seats in the province that gets to shepherd football. It’s a unique opportunity to work with the minor football associations, the

high school ranks, the Canadian junior teams and the Eskimos in a collaborative model that supports the advancement and development of the sport.” — Matt Gutsch

Communications & Technology

More than 30 computing science alumni and their professors from the mid-80s reunited at Alumni Weekend 2012. Thanks to the long hours they spent slogging away in the computer lab as undergrads, they got to be great friends and found some creative ways of unwinding. The selftitled geeks had a “geek house” just off campus. They formed a hockey team, a baseball team and other sports teams, with both home and away jerseys. They even invented a class called COMP 469, which met at RATT on Thursday nights — a tradition that continues for computing science students to this day. The reunion was such a success that one grad, Marc Shandro, ’86 BSc, wrote back later to say when he woke up the following morning, he was so happy to realize it wasn’t a dream.

top left photo by john ulan

Grey Cup champ new Golden Bear coach




“Finely Tuned to Your Needs” 54


pro f il e

A simple recipe to financial independence

top left photo by richard Siemens

Keeping Cree Alive Struck by the difficulty, and rarity, of teaching Cree in elementary schools, Caylie Gnyra, ’10 BA(NativeStu), set off to make the language more accessible. She first put together a Cree book as a class assignment, which became her first e-book. This book and her next two projects offer rich narratives told in Cree, written in roman characters, with English translations. The series, free online, aims to provide elementary school teachers a free and fun way to teach their students Cree, and to help foster understanding of the culture. Caylie is currently looking for illustrators who want to volunteer their talents. Contact Alumni Relations at kyla. to get involved.

Paulette, ’80 BCom, and Tony Lashuk, ’79 BCom, have always been on the same page, it seems. The pair grew up in the same town, Athabasca, AB, about 150 km north of Edmonton, and were high school sweethearts. And both were raised in families where obtaining a post-secondary education was encouraged. The Lashuks had one more thing in common. They were both savers. They paid for university themselves, working summers and evening jobs. It wasn’t easy, but they never considered a different route. That “savers” mindset carried through into their working lives, where Tony found work as a stockbroker and Paulette worked as an accountant. They followed the prescription for financial health that has confounded so many in recent times: live within your means, work hard and save. It paid off. The pair retired in their mid-40s. “That was largely because we set financial goals and planned for an early retirement.… Having goals gives you the discipline to save. Other distractions in life — you ignore them,” says Tony. Now, living in Lone Pine, AB, they continue to follow the simple lifestyle that led to early retirement. They are very self-reliant, and grow and process much of their own food. Travel and expensive toys never appealed to them, but



they did have one goal for the money saved throughout their careers: give back. The couple recently made one of the largest-ever bequest commitments to the University of Alberta — a $5-million gift to endow an “innovation fund” in the faculties of engineering and science. “Engineers and innovative people are in short supply, so we wanted to do our part to ensure there are more of them in our society in the future,” says Tony. “Alberta is very fortunate — we’ve got a lot of resources, but that may not always be the case,” says Paulette. “This gift is our way of encouraging diversification of our economy.” To read more about the Lashuks, visit aspx. — Christie Hutchinson








new trail spring 2013    55


1990s ’91 Jennifer Janz, BSc(MLS), ’05 LLB, was recently made a partner with Field Law in Calgary.

’94 Kathleen “Kit” Brennan Watters, MFA, recently published her first novel, Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards, about a woman who flees trouble — and a troubling divorce trial — in 1840s London. Kit has planned four novels in the Lola Montez series, which will follow her heroine’s adventures around the world, from Spain to Paris, Bavaria to the United States. The second book, Whip Smart: Lola Montez and the Poisoned Nom de Plume is scheduled to appear in paperback in fall 2013.

Edmonton writer Debra Kasowski, ’95 BScN, and her co-author, Charmaine Hammond, have recently made Amazon’s Kindle bestseller list for their book, GPS Your Best Life. The book, about how to get more out of your career and personal life, also made the Edmonton Journal bestseller list and was ranked No. 1 on’s “Mover and Shaker” list. Find out more at


’99 Ranjan Agarwal, BA, recently made partner in the Toronto offices of Bennett Jones LLP, where he practises commercial and constitutional litigation. Last June, Ranjan was recognized by Precedent magazine as one of its “Precedent Setters,” which honours lawyers who “do things differently from the rest, taking changes out of the gate to become leaders in their practice areas and their communities.”

pro f i l e

What’s a Lo-hi-cod-shi? And Where’s Senanga, Anyway? A trip to Africa launches a lifetime of creating positive change


ur four-by-four pulled into Sikumbi, a village in Senanga District, Western Province, Zambia, and came to a halt. As we climbed out, we were greeted by 10 women in shitengas, the traditional and colourful wrap dresses worn locally. The women were dancing and singing, “You are welcome here.…” When the song was over, they began to cheer. “We did it! We did it!” “What did you do?” I asked. “So many things!” they replied. “We grew new crops and harvested so much that we started a food co-op. We finished the mothers’ shelter and our Safe Motherhood Action Group network. Our sisters will not die giving birth, and their children will be healthy and HIV-free.” It was not large-scale foreign aid that enabled these women to accomplish these goals. It was lo-hi-cod-shi. “Low-cost, high-impact, community development, sustainable health initiatives” are simple, health promotion projects designed with local people to be appropriate for their settings and cultures and resources. Residents articulate their situation and its challenges, identify needs and assets, determine priorities and best strategies, and outline how they can contribute to engagement, implementation and evaluation. I was always interested in prevention. My dad, Joseph, and mom, Anne, ’52 Dip(Ed), ’74 BEd, were my early models — with nutrition and teen issues. Their inspiration led me to pursue my BSc Ag, and focus on development with farmers in low-resource communities in Canada and Africa. My prevention energies found outlets briefly in Sierra Leone and Kenya, but mostly with Alberta farmers and youth. A growing interest in earlier learning led me to return to the U of A for education training and to teach in rural Alberta for six years. Interest in linking community development, education and research led me to pursue my MD, then PhD,

Gene Krupa raises funds for his initiatives by “renting” his British Columbia home to friends and colleagues while he is away. To date, his “Holiday in Kelowna; Make a Difference in Zambia” effort has raised $4,000.

related to teen sexual health and chronic illness prevention. Presently, I focus more on early childhood development, working part time with the Centre for Health Promotion Studies. I returned to Africa in 2007, when my son, Joel, was 18 and my daughter, JoyAnne, was 17. We were all struck by how hard people worked but how little they progressed, due mainly to inadequate foundations for well-being, or “determinants of health.” They seemed so happy but died so young. They were resourceful but remained so dependent on aid. So many “big aid” initiatives did not realize their promise, and some did more harm than good. Within two weeks, Zambian colleagues and I formed plans for a more community-driven, people-centred approach to creating change and improving health in low-resource situations. One initiative leads to another. Over the last three years, six U of A graduate students in public health and health promotion have completed practica in the Western Province. They have assisted in training human resources personnel for health and worked with communities to create positive change.

Since 2007, I have returned to Zambia nine times to continue these projects and initiate others, often with a family member. My son, Tim, worked with leaders in Senanga to engage youth through sport and encourage school completion and healthy behaviours. JoyAnne helped train health volunteers and nurses. My wife, Kate Woodman, ’80 BA, ’83 MA, ’93 PhD, is training NGO leaders in program evaluation and proposal development this year. — Gene Krupa

Gene Krupa, ’78 BSc(Ag), ’90 MD, ’94 PhD, is an adjunct associate professor with the School of Public Health. He has worked in Canada, Zambia and South Sudan to create health promotion, prevention and training initiatives that are appropriate for local contexts and build capacity in health systems and institutions. For more details, go to aspx?EventID=41303&LangPref=en-CA and select “Zambia Health Initiatives.” new trail spring 2013    57



’01 Matthew Protti, BA, writes that he is the CEO of Blacksquare, a software company that specializes in online wine distribution and sales. Blacksquare, which operates out of Calgary’s Heritage Building, also runs wine clubs, including WineCollective, Canada’s largest monthly wine club. To find out more, visit

Three students recently accepted scholarships from the Alumni Association. Ivanna Kruhlak (centre) won the TD Meloche Monnex Leadership Scholarship, while Veronica Haring (left) and Neekoo Collett received the Alumni Advantage Award.

2013 3M National Teaching fellow ’88 Heather Zwicker, BA, was honoured by the 3M Company with a 2013 National Teaching Fellow award.

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bottom photo by richard Siemens

’01 Kevin Moran, PhD, writes that after finishing his graduate studies at the U of A, he joined the research and development team at Syncrude Canada, where he helped develop bitumen extraction technologies. Then, in 2008, he began working for Titanium Corporation to assist with the development of froth treatment tailings remediation technologies. Throughout his career, Kevin has put his research and development skills to the test, leading a large-scale commercial demonstration of a novel froth treatment technology, which was integrated into Syncrude’s commercial plants. Writes Kevin: “The roles I have held represented exciting opportunities to make a difference to an industry about which I am passionate. The work is different from period to period and requires deep technical knowledge.”

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’02 Jay Van Bavel, BA, of New York City, received the 2012 Early Career Award for distinguished contributions to social neuroscience by the Society for Social Neuroscience. Jay received his PhD in psychology in 2008 from the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor at New York University. ’02 Kristy Williams, BA, writes that after graduation she moved to Grande Prairie, AB, with her soon-to-be husband, and started working for Statistics Canada as a field interviewer. They have now been married for

eight years and live on an acreage with their three children: Alexandra, 7; Bradley, 5; and Corben, 2. ’02 Charlene Davidson, BEd, writes that she moved to Ottawa with her husband, Dany, in 2003 and has been teaching in the Ottawa Catholic schools since February 2004. They now have three children: Gabriel, a kindergartner; Lillian, 2; and Samuel, who was born in September, just months after Charlene completed her master’s degree in education at the University of Ottawa.

In February, the fourth annual Nordlys Film & Arts Festival took place at the historic Bailey Theatre in Camrose, AB. Nordlys, which means “northern lights” in Norwegian, featured a full weekend of award-winning films, local music and headliner entertainment. “This shaped up to be an exciting year,” writes Nordlys Society president Hans Olson, ’03 BA. “We’re building on a strong foundation and thinking big in terms of special guests.” The festival was put on with the help of a number of volunteers who attended the U of A.


Starting left in the front row: Hans Olson, ’03 BA, Lowell Dahlman, ’99 BA, Kierra Koetke, ’11 BA, Angela Chapel, ’06 BMus, Laurie Moffitt-Bar, Randy Kohan. In the back: Steve Hansen, ’05 BA, Michelle Reshaur, ’05 BA, ’09 BScN, Dorina Brown, ’06 BA.

’02 April Serink, BSc(HEcol), was recently made marketing manager for the Calgary Public Library, one of the largest public library systems in North America and the second largest civic public library system in Canada. ’02 Deborah Sterling, PhD, was recently named director of the biotechnology and chemical group at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, an intellectual property law firm based in Washington, DC. Deborah represents clients in patent re-examinations and in interferences before the Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and has been involved in multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent litigations. She also has extensive experience in evaluating patent portfolios and frequently assists clients in devising designaround strategies for issued patents. ’03 Jamie Tronnes, BA, was awarded the 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for her work promoting democracy in 16 countries on four continents. Formerly the deputy regional director for the International Republican Institute — a Washington-based non-profit, nonpartisan organization — Jamie has recently started a new role as director of programmes at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in London, England. She has helped train civil society and political activists, throughout her career, and observed elections in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Egypt.


Class Nortieess & Memo

new trail spring 2013    59

C LASS NOTES prof i l e

Meteorologist couldn’t have predicted a better career path Five days a week, Yellowknife-based meteorologist Christy Climenhanga, ’12 BSc, is in the hot seat, forecasting weather for a region bigger than the United States. “My friends are just a little bit jealous that I have been able to get such an amazing job,” says Climenhanga from her Northwest Territories home, where she has been based since September 2012. As CBC’s first northern meteorologist, 22-year-old Climenhanga knows her first job out of university is a great opportunity — one she secured by taking full advantage of her U of A connections. Inspired to study weather through her love of flying — she got her pilot’s license in 2010 — she did not initially think about a career as an on-air meteorologist. A meeting with Distinguished Alumni Award winner Claire Martin, ’95 BSc, at the 2011 Alumni Weekend put the idea firmly on her radar. Martin mentioned an internship with CBC in Toronto, which led to the Yellowknife position. However, the northern meteorologist job is not an easy one, says Martin. “This particular posting would have been tough for even an experienced broadcast meteorologist — the sheer size of the region that is covered by Christy is vast, truly vast,” says Martin. “She runs a one-man weathership up there, creating all her own graphics, doing her own forecasts and delivering her own product on-air. I have nothing but great

respect for this young and rising star.” While Climenhanga’s time on air, both television and radio, may be short, the preparation can take all day. Climenhanga says her studies in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the U of A prepared her exceptionally well for these challenges. “I still use my course

notes from one or two of the classes on a daily basis.” She also still reaches out to her mentor, Martin, from time to time. “There is not a lot to work with up here but I do my best and, for the most part, I think I am getting it right,” she says. “If I can forecast up here, I can forecast anywhere.” — Wanda Vivequin

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The Alumni Association notes with sorrow the passing of the following graduates (passings reported between September 2012 and March 2013 unless otherwise noted) ’36 Bryce Reikie, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012

’45 John Debs McInnis, DDS, of Prince George, BC, in August 2012

’38 Elizabeth Mary King, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’45 Mary Sheahan, BSc, ’63 BSc(Pharm), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’39 Virginia Ruth Smith (Lamb), Dip(Ed), of Sylvan Lake, AB, in February 2013 ’39 Muriel Ruth Wanless (Andrews), Dip(Nu), of Elgin, ON, in November 2012 ’40 Gordon Albert Asher, BSc, of Ottawa, ON, in December 2012 ’40 Lloyd Wallace Johnston, BSc, ’44 MD, of Lethbridge, AB, in September 2012 ’41 Alexander Macdonald Burka, BSc(Ag), of Aurora, ON, in December 2012 ’41 Raymond Arthur Litkenhaus, BSc(MiningEng), of Victoria, BC, in September 2012 ’41 Margaret Molloy, BA, ’45 BEd, of Victoria, BC, in December 2012 ’41 Isabelle Doreen Sissons, BA, of Medicine Hat, AB, in July 2012 ’41 Isabel Ann Wynne (Howson), BSc(HEc), of Mile Ranch, BC, in August 2012 ’42 Ruth Elizabeth Hyndman, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’42 Robert Blackwood Layton, BA, ’51 BEd, of St. Catharines, ON, in November 2012 ’42 Lola Evelyn Olsen (Dyer), Dip(Ed), ’44 BEd, ’52 BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’42 Ronald F. Watts, BA, of Oakville, ON, in January 2013 ’43 Helen Catherine Jacobson, BSc(HEc), of Calgary, AB, in December 2012 ’43 Jacob Norman Janzen, DDS, of West Vancouver, BC, in September 2012 ’43 Lucien John Lambert, BSc(ChemEng), of Hamilton, ON, in October 2012 ’44 Donald Reid Colter, BSc, ’49 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’44 James Ernest Nix, BA, ’54 BDiv, of Kitchener, ON, in January 2013 ’45 Stanley Howard Asselstine, BSc(ChemEng), of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012

’49 Donald Francis Edie, BSc(CivEng), of St. Albert, AB, in September 2012

’50 Charles Henry Weir, BSc(CivEng), ’52 MSc, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012

’53 Patricia Ann Kyle (Klamsky), Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’49 Harry B. Hobbs, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’51 Norman Berg, Dip(Ed), of Camrose, AB, in October 2012

’46 Constance Marie Deslandes, BA, of Calgary, AB, in September 2012

’49 John Alexander Irvine, BSc(ChemEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2012

’51 Joyce Muriel Byram (Trevithick), Dip(Ed), of Drayton Valley, AB, in November 2012

’53 Marie Dolores Poburan (Longchamp), Dip(Ed), ’66 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2013

’46 Shirley A. Elliott, BEd, of Beaumont, AB, in March 2013

’49 Ethel Marguerite King-Shaw, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in March 2013

’46 Jean Templeton Hugill, MD, of Vancouver, BC, in September 2012

’49 Edmund Eugene Newhall, BSc(EngPhys), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013

’51 Yvonne Aileen Gray (Mosley), BSc(Pharm), of Bassano, AB, in November 2012

’46 Shirley Helen Imeson (Ells), Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’49 Forest Nephi Sherwood, BSc(Ag), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’46 Thomas Alexander Sissons, BSc(ElecEng), of Medicine Hat, AB, in January 2013

’49 John Jacob Sigal, BSc, ’51 BEd, of Côte Saint-Luc, QC, in August 2012

’46 Wilfrid A Walker, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’49 Harry F. Wilson, BA, ’50 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012

’46 Jack Leland R. Williams, BSc, of Sturgeon County, AB, in February 2013 ’47 Ida Gertrude Hair (Warke), BSc(HEc), of Calgary, AB, in December 2012

’50 Edward Louis Alexander, BSc(MiningEng), of White Rock, BC, in July 2012 ’50 William David Barnett, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in May 2012

’47 Sarah Teresa Monaghan, BSc, of Lethbridge, AB, in December 2012

’50 Kenneth James Boyd, BA, ’51 LLB, of Airdrie, AB, in January 2013

’47 John Ronald Nattress, BSc, ’49 MD, of Lloydminster, AB, in February 2013

’50 Richard Harding Cunningham, BEd(IndArts), of Sherwood Park, AB, in December 2012

’47 Lawrence Arthur Sagert, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in October 2012

’50 Edgar George Diamond, BSc, ’54 MD, of Regina, SK, in October 2012

’47 Fred Eugene Worger, BEd, ’58 MEd, of Calgary, AB, in October 2012 ’48 Marion Anne Black (Puffer), Dip(Ed), ’49 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’48 Howard Lawrence Irving, BA, ’51 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’48 Aileen Jordan Shier (Irwin), BA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2013 ’48 Fred Terentiuk, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in February 2013 ’48 Edith Louise Whitecotton, BCom, of Red Deer, AB, in October 2012 ’49 Lionel William Barber, BEd(IndArts), of Okotoks, AB, in January 2013 ’49 Robert John Buck, BA(Hons), of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012

’50 William Maxim Karney, BCom, of Ajax, ON, in October 2012 ’50 Romanus Koncohrada, BSc(ChemEng), of Victoria, BC, in October 2012 ’50 Roger George Motut, BEd, ’54 MA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’50 James Denoon Paterson, BA, ’51 LLB, of Lethbridge, AB, in December 2012 ’50 Albert Frederick Rayment, BSc(Ag), ’56 MSc, of Leduc, AB, in February 2013 ’50 Catherine Ritter (Dickie), BA, of Spokane, WA, in November 2012 ’50 Eva Trott (Sawka), Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’51 Herbert Allan Jacobson, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in November 2012 ’51 Paul Kozub, BSc, ’53 MD, of Kamloops, BC, in February 2012 ’51 Maria Annamelda Liviero, BEd, ’60 BA, ’70 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’51 Olga McGeean, Dip(Ed), ’58 BEd, ’79 Dip(Ed), of Sherwood Park, AB, in November 2012

’54 Robert Hugh Bradley, BSc(Ag), of Pelly Crossing, YT, in August 2012 ’54 Fred Theodore Cenaiko, MD, of Wakaw, SK, in May 2012 ’54 Fred Hochachka, BA, ’58 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’54 Jo-Lene Mutsuko Takenaka, Dip(Ed), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013 ’54 Amelia W. Zacharuk, Dip(Ed), of Calgary, AB, in September 2012 ’55 Hugh Angus Becking, BDiv, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012

’51 Edward Albert Powell, BSc(Pharm), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013

’55 Alexandra Iris Farries, BSc(Pharm), of Calgary, AB, in October 2012

’51 Kathleen Emily Smith, Dip(Ed), ’76 BEd, of Lacombe, AB, in January 2013

’55 Olive Patricia Lee, Dip(Ed), ’72 BEd, of Calgary, AB, in November 2012

’51 Anita Doreen Spark, Dip(Ed), of Calgary, AB, in November 2012

’55 Albert Max Malanchuk, BSc(CivEng), of White Rock, BC, in September 2012

’52 Frances Noreen Christopherson, BCom, of Delta, BC, in December 2012 ’52 Leora McNeill (Frizzell), Dip(Ed), ’52 BSc(HEc), of Kamloops, BC, in September 2012 ’52 Hugh Fraser Morrish, Dip(Ed), ’54 BEd, ’58 MD, of Calgary, AB, in January 2013 ’52 Catherine Elizabeth Thomson (Wilson), BA, of Calgary, AB, in February 2013 ’52 Margaret Isabelle Trotter, BSc, ’55 MD, ’59 MSc, of Winnipeg, MB, in February 2013 ’53 Robert Donald Biamonte, BA, ’60 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012 ’53 Frank Friesen, Dip(Ed), ’58 Dip(Ed), ’60 BEd, of Medicine Hat, AB, in November 2012 ’53 Bruce Edmund Jacquest, BCom, of Westerose, AB, in January 2013 ’53 Frank James Kisko, BSc(Ag), ’69 BEd(VocEd), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’55 Rachel Madeleine Pucylo (Brochu), Dip(Ed), ’57 Dip(Ed), ’58 BEd, ’63 BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in June 2012 ’55 Arvid Arthur Schultz, BSc, ’56 MSc, of Monarch, AB, in November 2012 ’55 Kenneth Walker Scott, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’55 Carl John Yaskowich, DDS, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’56 Mary Margaret Fisher (Peterson), Dip(Nu), ’73 BSc(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in November 2012 ’56 Gerald Edmund Golden, BSc(ChemEng), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’56 Barry Harrison, BSc, ’63 BEd, ’69 Dip(Ed), ’72 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’56 Victor Lopushinsky, BCom, ’57 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’56 Marianne Mellor, Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in May 2012

new trail spring 2013    61


’56 Lois Carol Murphy, Dip(Nu), of Irvine, CA, in November 2012 ’57 Lorne Roy Baker, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’57 Hiram Irving Hastings, BEd, ’66 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’57 Vern Lowry, BEd, ’68 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’57 Helen Louise Pierce, Dip(Ed), ’60 BEd, ’64 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’58 Martha Margaret Alexander (Krasowski), BEd, ’68 Dip(Ed), of Boyle, AB, in December 2012 ’58 Constance Joan Cooper, Dip(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013

’62 Lloyd Albert Anderson, BSc(MechEng), of Kelowna, BC, in November 2012

’64 David Allister Mackay, PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’67 Dennis Raymond Hartwick, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012

’62 Harvie Andre, BSc(ChemEng), ’66 PhD, of Calgary, AB, in October 2012

’64 Mangesh Ganesh Murdeshwar, PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’67 Cicero Rose-Marie Lo (Cromie), BEd, ’83 Dip(Ed), of Sherwood Park, AB, in February 2013

’62 Helen E. Cotter, Dip(Nu), ’67 BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’64 Ronald Malcolm Parker, BSc, ’67 BEd, of St. Albert, AB, in January 2013

’67 Susan Margaret Sutherland, Dip(Nu), ’68 Dip(PHNu), ’70 BSc(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013

’62 Gary William Dean, BA, ’66 MA, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012

’65 Maureen Patricia Bain, BSc(Pharm), ’85 BCom, ’89 MHSA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’68 Winnifred Evelyn Coleman, BSc(Pharm), of Gabriola Island, BC, in November 2012

’62 Edwin William Jahraus, BEd, ’72 Dip(Ed), of Lacombe, AB, in February 2013 ’62 Terence Gordon Morris, BEd, of Lethbridge, AB, in October 2012 ’62 Walter Henry Panteluk, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’58 Robert Kenneth Germundson, BSc, ’60 MSc, of Sudbury, ON, in June 2012

’62 Donna Mae Seland (Wolstenholme), Dip(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in February 2013

’58 Diane Estelle Patterson, Dip(Nu), ’59 BSc(Nu), of Victoria, BC, in November 2012

’63 Chesley Kenneth Brown, MEd, ’67 PhD, of St. John’s, NL, in February 2013

’58 Verna Jean Smith (Burns), BSc, of Crossfield, AB, in January 2013

’63 Peter Squire Ffoulkes-Jones, BSc(PetEng), of Calgary, AB, in February 2013

’59 Dena Ethel Farquharson, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in September 2012 ’59 Michael Anthony Holyk, BSc(Pharm), of Vancouver, BC, in December 2012 ’59 Arthur Henry Rosenau, BEd, of Sherwood Park, AB, in December 2012 ’59 Peter Sawchuk, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2011 ’60 Nancy Patricia Brine (MacRory), Dip(Nu), ’87 MHSA, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012 ’60 Jean Louise Clark, Dip(PHNu), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’61 William Harding Davies, BSc(CivEng), of Victoria, BC, in February 2013 ’61 Gordon Kenneth Munk, BSc(MiningEng), of Salt Spring Island, BC, in December 2012 ’61 Mickey Mykitiuk, BSc(ElecEng), of Ardrossan, AB, in November 2012 ’61 George Delbert Simpson, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012 ’61 Waldemar Renaldo Unruh, BEd, ’62 MEd, of Calgary, AB, in September 2012


’63 Arthur Allan Peet, BEd, ’87 MEd, of Penticton, BC, in December 2012 ’63 Gordon Pritchard, PhD, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012 ’63 Victor John Prystawa, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’63 Ken Shutt, MD, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’63 Arthur Eugene Vollendorf, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in October 2012 ’63 Marius Fas Vos, BSc(CivEng), of Shawnigan Lake, BC, in December 2012 ’63 Gayle Elizabeth Watt (Scott), Dip(Nu), of Red Deer, AB, in April 2012 ’64 Marshall Dmytryshyn, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’64 Isabelle Grace Eadie, BEd, of Vancouver, BC, in May 2012 ’64 Donald Murray Hamilton, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’64 George Lackonick, BSc(MetEng), of Kingston, ON, in February 2013

’65 Janice Irene Branson, BSc(MedLabSci), of Victoria, BC, in December 2012 ’65 Roy Leighton Burnard, BEd, ’69 BSc, of Sherwood Park, AB, in June 2012 ’65 Ka Iu Fung, MSc, of Saskatoon, SK, in January 2013 ’65 Brian Robert Heffel, BPE, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’65 Ronald Bruce Vaughan, BEd, ’71 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’65 Roy Wilson, BEd, ’70 MEd, ’75 PhD, of Medicine Hat, AB, in October 2012 ’66 Raymond Reinhard Adam, BSc, ’91 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’66 Robert Nelson Christie, BEd, ’70 Dip(Ed), ’72 MEd, of Lethbridge, AB, in January 2013 ’66 Brian E. Clarke, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’66 Francoise R. Froment (Arbour), BEd, of Morinville, AB, in November 2012 ’66 Kenneth Raymond Gillespie, MSc, of Calgary, AB, in March 2013 ’66 Jerry Larry Malicky, BSc(Pharm), ’68 MSc, ’72 PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’66 Rosemary Shacker, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’66 Loya Verne Stonehocker, BEd, of Cardston, AB, in January 2013 ’66 Lawrence B. Thompson, BEd, ’69 BA, of Abbotsford, BC, in September 2012 ’67 Robert Fraser Balfour, BCom, ’71 MBA, of Calgary, AB, in October 2012

’68 Emil Joseph Fiala, BEd(VocEd), ’69 Dip(Ed), ’70 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’68 Albert Raymond Haskell, BCom, of White Rock, BC, in January 2013 ’68 Dean Morrison McKenzie, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’68 Barbara J. Wallace, BA, of Port Coquitlam, BC, in September 2012 ’68 Maurice Walters, BEd, ’70 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012 ’68 Arlene Claudia Wasylynchuk (Hannochko), BA, ’70 BEd, ’91 BFA, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2012 ’69 Sherry May Belcourt, BMus, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’69 Cynthia Gwen Farvolden (Anaka), BSc, ’70 MD, of Calgary, AB, in October 2012 ’69 Paul Hawryluk, BEd, of Lethbridge, AB, in October 2012 ’69 Laura Jean Hutchinson, BPE, of Edmonton, AB, in May 2012 ’69 Barbara Ann Racine, BSc(Nu), ’71 MHSA, of Regina, SK, in October 2012 ’69 Hella Ingeburg Watson, BLS, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’70 John C. Courtice, BSc(Pharm), of Turtleford, SK, in June 2012 ’70 Leslie C. Day, BEd(VocEd), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’70 Douglas James Evans, LLB, of Beaver Mines, AB, in September 2012 ’70 Stein Georg Jahnsen, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’70 Inge Lucy Kinna, BSc(Pharm), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012

’70 Bryan Earle McPhail, MD, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’70 Leonard Gordon Miller, MEd, of High River, AB, in January 2013 ’70 Margaret Laura Mitchell, BEd, ’83 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’70 Elizabeth Loreene Oginsky, BEd, of Sturgeon County, AB, in November 2012 ’70 Wayne E. Ruhl, BEd(IndArts), of Barrhead, AB, in October 2012 ’71 Anna Mary Bamford, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’71 Dianne Lorraine Blahun, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’71 Marjorie Elizabeth Niehaus, BLS, of Prince George, BC, in September 2012 ’71 Donna M. Shantz (Trautman), BPE, ’72 Dip(Ed), of Camrose, AB, in February 2013 ’72 Catherine Elizabeth Brownlee, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’72 Eugene Michael Martinuk, BEd(IndArts), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’72 Thomas H. Ross, BSc(Ag), of New Norway, AB, in October 2012 ’72 Charles Robert Stewart, BA, ’75 LLB, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012 ’73 Raymond Harry G. Ball, BEd(VocEd), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’73 Paul Eugene D’Haene, BSc(ChemEng), of Crofton, BC, in September 2012 ’73 Emmanuel Benjamin Ema, Dip(Ed), ’75 MEd, ’76 Dip(Ed), of Nigeria, in January 2013 ’73 Allan Armand Maisonneuve, BEd, ’76 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’73 Ronald Mackintosh Mann, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’73 Betty Jane Misanchuk (Yaremko), BEd, of Qualicum Beach, BC, in November 2012 ’73 Wayne Christie Nesbit, PhD, of St. John’s, NL, in September 2012

’73 Mary Winnifred Nimmons, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’76 Deborah Joan Bentz (McKenzie), BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’80 Jan Damgaard, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’85 Cheryl Lee Kluck, BSc, ’87 BA, ’89 SpecCert(Arts), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012

’00 Marc Andres Scott Brisbourne, BDes, ’05 MDes, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013

’73 Terrence Michael O’Dwyer, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’76 Linda Lou Cole (Dennis), BEd, of New Norway, AB, in September 2012

’85 Kenneth Edward Szopa, BEd, of Sherwood Park, AB, in December 2012

’00 Fidelia Nwabua Okolo, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’73 Lorraine Pearl Pacholek (Hogge), Dip(Nu), of Abbotsford, BC, in January 2013

’76 Lavern Edward Eagles, BSc, of Dawson Creek, BC, in July 2012

’80 Karen Ann-Marie Demilliano (Motoska), BEd, of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in January 2013

’86 Christine Klein (Matemisz), BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012

’03 David King Chung Ng, BSc(MechEng), of Edmonton, AB, in March 2012

’86 Lois Elizabeth McGinnisBax, BSc(OT), of Calgary, AB, in December 2012

’04 Alan Desmond DeSilva, BSc, ’12 PhD, of Edmonton, in February 2013

’86 Kathryn Jean Olstad, BA(Spec), of Vancouver, BC, in November 2012

’05 Aristotle George Hadjiantoniou, BA, ’09 MA, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2013

’86 Doris Louise Tedeschi, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012

’05 Kevin Carl Indergaard, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

’73 Terrance William Rausch, BA, of St. Albert, AB, in February 2013 ’73 Theodore Stephen Sadlowski, BEd, ’79 MBA, ’93 PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’73 Paul Norman Sicard, BA, of Millet, AB, in November 2012 ’73 David George Young, MEd, ’79 PhD, of Stony Plain, AB, in December 2012 ’74 Clarence David Jones, BSc(Ag), of DeWinton, AB, in October 2012 ’74 Lucille Gwendolyn Odegard, BEd, of Camrose, AB, in January 2013 ’74 Arthur Dennis Sabo, BCom, of Mundare, AB, in February 2013 ’74 Heather Louise Sabo, BSc, of Anniston, AL, in November 2012 ’75 Patricia Maureen Campbell, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’75 Margaurette Fanny Elder (Palm), BEd, of Red Deer, AB, in September 2012 ’75 Olga Fedorchuk, BEd, of Vegreville, AB, in November 2012 ’75 Marie Leonida Kraft, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’75 Lorna Marie Laustsen, BEd, of Spruce Grove, AB, in October 2012 ’75 Marvin Garry Mishio, BSc(MechEng), of Leduc, AB, in December 2012 ’75 Joseph Chenide Omoruan, PhD, of Abraka, Nigeria, in January 2013 ’75 Gladys Margaret Utendale, Dip(Ed), of Langley, BC, in December 2012 ’75 Marjorie Kathleen Vollo, BEd, ’84 Dip(Ed), of Sherwood Park, AB, in November 2012

’76 Robert James Foote, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in May 2012 ’76 Rose Eileen Heaton, BEd, of Sherwood Park, AB, in February 2013 ’76 Ernst Klaszus, BEd, of St. Albert, AB, in November 2012 ’76 Darlene Irene Vinge, BA, ’79 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’76 Phyllis Lorraine Wilson, BEd, of Surrey, BC, in October 2012 ’77 Jenna Adams, BEd, of Barrhead, AB, in January 2013 ’77 Sylvianne Josephine Borle (Hebert), BEd, of Red Deer, AB, in October 2012 ’77 Louis Joseph Jacques, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’77 Mary Francis Logue, BSc(Pharm), of Calgary, AB, in October 2012 ’77 Douglas Allan Lynkowski, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’77 Dolores Bernice O’Sullivan, BEd, ’83 MEd, of London, ON, in February 2013 ’77 Jim Leonard Woodward, BA(RecAdmin), of Athabasca, AB, in January 2013 ’78 Karen Marie Bradley, BSc(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013 ’78 Denis Raymond Thibodeau, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’79 Janice Lynn Cline (Skuba), BSc(Pharm), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’79 James Ernest Durec, BSc, ’83 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’79 Patrick Kimberley Houghton, BSc(Pharm), of Wetaskiwin, AB, in November 2012 ’79 William Syroid, BSc(MechEng), of Spedden, AB, in December 2012

’80 Timothy Bruce Guilbault, BCom, of Innisfail, AB, in November 2012 ’81 Helen Margaret Befus, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in December 2012 ’81 Patricia Louise Bingham, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’81 Kimberley Christine Calder, BMedSc, ’83 MD, of St. Albert, AB, in January 2013 ’81 Eva Doreen Gillis, BEd, of St. Albert, AB, in December 2012 ’81 Joyce Lorraine Lohner (Kiper), Dip(Ed), of Camrose, AB, in December 2012 ’81 Shirley Adeline Turner, Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012 ’81 Faith Alice Watchorn (Martinell), BEd, of Smokey Lake, AB, in December 2012 ’81 Dennis Stephen Young, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’82 Norman Bruce Anderson, BEd(VocEd), of Bon Accord, AB, in October 2012 ’82 Earle Robert Bunten, MD, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’82 Indira Singh, MA, ’83 BSc(Pharm), of London, ON, in September 2012 ’83 Arnold Dean Carlin, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in June 2012 ’83 Nelson Gordon Durdle, PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’83 Ramona Zelia Hergert, BEd, of Innisfail, AB, in June 2012 ’84 June Kirk Arnison, MLS, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’84 Kenneth William Hind, BA, ’87 BCom, ’90 SpecCert(Arts), of Richmond, BC, in March 2012 ’85 Deanna Marie Fuhr, BA(Spec), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2012

’87 Patricia Ann Jobb, MLS, of Garden Bay, BC, in October 2012 ’87 James William H. Scott, BA(Hons), ’93 MA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2012 ’88 Mary Anne Crowe, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’88 Keir Warburton Howarth, BA(Spec), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’89 Harminder Sonny Anand, BSc, ’93 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’89 Rob McMenamon, BEd(IndArts), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’89 Margo Lynn Rayment, BPE, of Camrose, AB, in January 2013 ’89 Duncan Zavislake, BCom, of Vernon, BC, in December 2012 ’90 Bartlett Russell Silverthorn, BCom, of Camrose, AB, in December 2012 ’92 Paul Anthony Altrogge, MA, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2013

’05 Lorraine Margaret Sambrooke, MEd, of Rocky Mountain House, AB, in January 2013 ’06 Geoff Oliver Newton, BMus, ’12 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013 ’07 Julia Faye Darlington, BA, of Camrose, AB, in October 2012 ’07 Chelsea Dawn Friesen, BEd, ’07 BSc, of Vernon, BC, in August 2012 ’08 Nathan William Brown, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2012 ’09 Michael John Denton, BSc(Spec), of Calgary, AB, in January 2013 ’11 Lars Harald Donald Welde, BSc(ElecEng), of Hay Lakes, AB, in November 2012 ’12 Sandra Cobban, PhD, of St. Albert, AB, in January 2013 ’12 Tian Mi, BFA(Drama), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2012

’92 Patricia Anne MacDonald, MEd, of Winnipeg, MB, in August 2012 ’92 Debra Jean May, BSc(Nu), of Devon, AB, in December 2012 ’96 Ian Edward Carrigan, MBA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2013 ’97 Paul Norman Smith, LLB, of Yellowknife, NT, in December 2012 ’98 Wayne Golbert Simpson, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2013

Submit remembrances of U of A graduates by sending an email to Tributes are posted to the “In Memoriam” webpage at

new trail spring 2013    63

In the old market in Hebron, on the West Bank, the street is lined with Arab shops but Jewish settlers live in the houses above. A chain-link fence hangs like a canopy over the street to protect the Arab Palestinians from objects that might come down from above. This image by Marcelle Kosman, a PhD student in English and Film Studies, was a finalist in this year’s International Week Photo Exhibition: Inclusion and Exclusion. The contest was part of International Week, which brings speakers to campus and allows students, staff and faculty to become engaged with today’s most pressing global issues. See a slide show of all finalists at


photo by Marcelle Kosman




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New Trail Spring 2013  

The magazine of the University of Alberta Alumni Association

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