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T h e

o f

U n i v e r s i t y

A l b e r t a

A l u m n i

M a g a z i n e

U of A grad helps bring the film to life

Todd Cherniawsky, ’93 BFA

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new trail Vo l u m e

6 6

N u m b e r


features 10 14

The Li Ka Shing Institute A $28-million gift kick-starts a new institute of virology at the U of A

Cover story Mechanic 24 Pandora’s Todd Cherniawsky’s hand in Avatar’s winning an Academy Award

University 2010 Olympians Thanks for the memories to the Olympian grads with U of A connections


Report To The Community


Photo Contest Winner

19 Behind the Seams

On the cover: Todd Cherniawsky Photo by L.A.-based freelance photographer Lorne Resnick.

A pictorial tour through the Clothing and Textiles Collection

Avatar production stills provided by Twentieth Century Fox and WETA™ and © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

30 32

Engaging stories from the U of A’s past year of discovery and learning

One lucky student takes home $1,500 while a grad gets a GPS unit

Indiana Bones An internationally renowned paleontologist really “digs” what he’s doing

Also inside Look in the centre of the magazine for your guide to all the Alumni Weekend festivities happening this September

Real Havana A U of A grad takes us on a tour of Cuba’s capital

departments Your Letters Our readers write to us

56 Bookmarks Featuring U of A authors


Bear Country Goings-on around the U of A

58 Alumni Events Engage with your alma mater

12 Learning Curve Education doesn’t end with school

59 Class Notes Keeping classmates up-to-date

22 Question Period A student interviewing session

66 In Memoriam Bidding farewell to friends

36 Whatsover Things Are True A new column by Aritha van Herk

72 Photo Finish The picture-perfect finale


ISSN: 0824-8125 Copyright 2005 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40112326 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Office of Alumni Affairs, University of Alberta, Main Floor, Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5J 4P6


New Trail

Office of Alumni Affairs

Reader Response Line: 780-492-1702 Class Notes/Comments: Advertise: 780-417-3464 or Address Updates: 780-492-3471; toll free 1-866-492-7516 or Online:

Call: 780-492-3224 or 1-800-661-2593 Fax: 780-492-1568 Online: Write: University of Alberta, Office of Alumni Affairs, Main Floor, Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5J 4P6

This University of Alberta Alumni Association magazine is published three times a year and mailed free to over 127,000 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. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail





Executive Director Sean Price, ’95 BCom Supervising Editor Rick Pilger Editor Kim Green Associate Editor Sarah Ligon Contributing Editor Jodeen Litwin, ’90 BSc(HEc) Art Director Lisa Hall, ’89 BA Advisory Board Rob Campbell Susan Colberg, ’83 BFA, ’91 MVA Kathy Garnsworthy Deb Hammacher Tom Keating John Mahon, ’76 BMus, ’83 MBA Frank Robinson Cynthia Strawson-Fawcett, ’05 BA OFFICE OF A L U M N I A F FA I R S

Sean Price, ’95 BCom Associate Vice-President Rick Pilger Associate Director/ Manager, Alumni Education Programs Gina Wheatcroft, ’94 BEd Associate Director/ Manager, Alumni Branches * * * Karla Barron, ’06 MA Chloe Chalmers, ’00 BA Coordinators, Students & Young Alumni Colleen Elliott, ’94 BEd Coordinator, Alumni Special Events Coleen Graham, ’88 BSc(HEc), ’93 Med Executive Project Manager Kim Green Communications Manager Lisa Hall, ’89 BA Coordinator, Graphic Communications Jennifer Jenkins, ’95 BEd Assistant, Alumni Special Events Sarah Ligon Communications Associate Jodeen Litwin, ’90 BSc(HEc) Coordinator, Alumni Recognition Ann Miles Assistant Alumni Services Cristine Myhre Assistant, Alumni Branches John Perrino, ’93 BA(RecAdmin) Coordinator, Alumni Chapters Andrea Porter, ’03 BCom Coordinator, Alumni Branches Jacquie Reinprecht Finance and HR Administrator Tracy Salmon, ’91 BA, ’96 MSc Manager, Marketing & Special Events Angela Tom, ’03 BA Assistant, Alumni Education Diane Tougas Assistant to the Director Vi Warkentin Assistant, Alumni Chapters Debbie Yee, ’92 BA Coordinator, Electronic Communication


new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

Executive Committee President Jim Hole, ’79 BSc(Ag) Past-President / Vice-President Nominating & Bylaws Heike Juergens, ’72 BA, ’79 MEd, ’87 PhD Vice-President, Alumni Engagement Brent McDonough, ’77 BSc, ’79 BEd Vice-President, Awards Deni Lorieau, ’73 BA Vice-President, Scholarships Jane Halford, ’95 BCom Vice-President, Student Life Cornell Lee, ’01 BSc(Dent) ’03 DDS Board of Governors Representatives Dick Wilson, ’74 BA, ’75 LLB Bill Cheung, ’86 LLB Senate Representatives Kerry Day, ’80 LLB Judy Zender, ’67 BA Secretary Stephen Leppard,’86 BEd, ’92 MEd, ’03 EdD Faculty Representatives Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences Anand Pandarinath, ’93 BSc(Forest), ’00 MBA, ’00 MForest Arts Colleen Judge, ’87 BA, ’90 MA, ’99 PhD Augustana Stacey Denham Gibson, ’95 BA (Augustana), ’98 LLB Business Jane Halford, ’95 BCom Campus Saint-Jean Deni Lorieau, ’73 BA Dentistry Cornell Lee, ’01 BSc(Dent), ’03 DDS Education Don Fleming, ’76 BEd Engineering Glenn Stowkowy, ’76 BSc (ElecEng) Graduate Studies Marlene Keanie, ’86 BEd, ’01 MEd, ’07 EdD Law Bryan Kickham, ’71 BA, ’74 LLB Medicine Richard Fedorak, ’78 MD Native Studies Heather Taylor, ‘97 BA(NativeSt) Nursing Janis Sasaki, ’83 BSc(Nu), ’87 LLB Pharmacy Rose Anne Lawton, ’73 BSc Physical Education and Recreation Hugh Hoyles, ’66 BPE School of Public Health Grant Frame, ’87 BSc, ’93 MHSA Rehabilitation Medicine Anne Lopushinsky, ’79 BSc (Speech/Aud) Science Luca Vanzella, ’81 BSc, ’88 MSc Members at Large Terry Freeman, ’82 BCom Brent McDonough, ’77 BSc, ’79 BEd Academic Representative Frank Robinson Ex Officio Honorary President Indira Samarasekera Vice-President (External Relations) Debra Pozega Osburn Executive Director, Alumni Association Sean Price, ’95 BCom Students’ Union President Nick Dehod Graduate Students’ Association President Jennifer Landry

Director’s Note


s I write this, Edmonton is experiencing one of the fiercest snowstorms we’ve had all winter ... and it’s May. A short while ago I was barbequing in my backyard in a T-shirt, now I will have to shovel the walk when I get home. Just as the weather can undergo a transformational change of epic proportions, so, too, can the fortunes of the University. Although budget cuts and austerity measures have hit institutions throughout North America, in April the U of A was able to announce the establishment of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology thanks to an extremely generous donation of $28-million from the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation — the largest cash donation in the University’s history. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach also committed $52.5 million in provincial funds to the new Institute over the next 10 years. This kind of generosity is transformational and sees the U of A join such world-leading institutions as Cambridge, Oxford and Stanford — among many others — in having Li Ka Shing Foundation-sponsored research initiatives. The story of Li Ka-shing himself is inspirational. Forced to leave school at the age of 15 to support his family, he is now reportedly the 14th wealthiest person in the world. His various foundations have awarded almost $1.5 billion to charities and organizations, most of it in his home country of China and the lion’s share of it for education or health care. By all accounts he’s a very humble man who’s sometimes referred to by the Chinese media as “Superman.” He certainly is a superman to the numerous Canadian institu-

tions who have been beneficiaries of his largesse. As well as the U of A, Li Ka-shing has also spread his philanthropy to Lakefield College, Mount Royal College, U of Toronto, U of Calgary, U of Manitoba, U of Newfoundland, and Toronto’s St. Michael’s College and the Hospital for Sick Children. If you go to Li Ka Shing Foundation’s website ( you’ll find a series of his quotes that constantly refresh on the screen. One of my favourites is this: “The strength of a nation and its people depend on education and medical care. These are the country’s roots. And like a tree, the deeper its roots, the more flourishing its branches and foliage.” Although Li Ka-shing couldn’t make it to Edmonton to personally witness the real emotion in the room when his gift was announced, I’m sure he’s aware of the transformational nature of his gift whose roots will spread from the U of A to the world.

Sean Price, ’95 BCom Associate Vice-President, Alumni Affairs Executive Director, Alumni Association

Your Letters Letter Imperfect

Gas Light

operations will consume two

would heat about 21,000

In response to the “Green

I look forward to receiving my

million cubic feet [Mcf] of

households, or a city of about

Room” letter in the latest edi-

New Trail and reading up on

natural gas per day, enough to

45,000 people, which is the

tion of New Trail [Winter

my fellow alumni at the U of A.

heat every home in Canada.”

size of Grande Prairie, AB. And

2010, pg. 3], I have to com-

However, I would like to sub-

On the contrary, as Canadians

it would have to not be any

ment on the tone of its com-

mit a correction to an article

use an average of 1235.9 Mcf

day in February where it can be

mentary, which I found

that appeared in the Autumn

of natural gas per day for


offensive. The author certainly

2009 issue (“Time for an Oil

household heating, that stated

has every right to enquire

Change,” pg. 26). The author

number is three orders of mag-

about electronic access to New

states that “by 2012, oil sands

nitude in error. Two Mcf/day

Brad Powell, ’92 BSc. Project Advisor, Shell Canada Calgary, AB

Trail as his preferred method of reading the magazine, but it is

Photo Finish

my hope that a printed copy

I researched the U of A pre-war

will continue to be made avail-

rugby teams for my book, I Was

able for those of us who prefer

There: A Century of Alumni

the feel of reading material in

Stories About the University of

our own hands. I spend my

Alberta. The 1914 team was

entire working day in front of a

comprised of 24 players whose

computer, as well as many

coach, William Hardy

evenings in my home office. To

Alexander (known affection-

pick up a book or magazine at

Gridiron Guesses

as some five or six players

my leisure, away from a com-

I believe I can help indentify

were given a ride to dream-

puter screen, is a choice I hope

some of the football/rugby

land during the game, some

I will be able to continue to

players in the photograph on

of them being seriously

have available to me.

the “Photo Finish” page in the

injured. For Varsity, Alton,

Marjorie Leigh-Spencer, ’75 BSc Sherwood Park, AB

Winter 2010 issue of New

Nolan and Blayney played

Trail. My father, the late J.D.

well, while Sells and Fife

“Mac” Alton, ’49 BSc, ’51

showed class in spots.

Get Plain Sense

MD, ’54 MSc, was familiar

Hotchkiss between the sticks

Acronyms are a form of short-

with this picture and was quite

handled everything in finished

hand commonly used in speech

certain that his father, Jack

style....” This should provide a

and writing by the majority of

Alton, was the player on the

lead in identifying at least six

people. However, it behooves

far left in the first row.

of these football pioneers.

ately as “Doc Alik”), described as “perfectly balanced and endowed about equally with brains and brawn.” That team beat the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Tigers to cinch the provincial championship. A year later most of the team were at the front in the First World War, and by 1917 most had been killed in action, including 1914 star players Ernie Parsons and Arthur Deitz. The Rugby team members

represent before we attempt to

attended the U of A for a year

John Alton Toronto, ON

use them. Hearing people

before going on to study medi-

Editor’s Note: Our records

row: A.J. “Jim” Law; R.M.

speak of PIN number and

cine at the University of

show first names and degrees

Martin; J.G. “Pinky” White;

ATM machine causes me to

Toronto, but the details of his

for five of the six people men-

A.E. “Albert” Ottewell, ’12 BA,

cringe. In the sidebar on page 5

time at the U of A were not

tioned above who are most

’51 MA; I. Grierson; John

of the Winter 2010 New Trail,

clear. Mac and I visited the

likely—based on their degree

McQueen. Middle row: W.S.

the author has written the fol-

U of A archives last year and

years—the rugby players

“Bill” Hyssop; Sandy Caldwell;

found that Jack had attended

named: Henry Nolan, ’14 BA;

P. Sells; Fred Parney; Cy Hotch-

the U of A in 1910–11 and

York Blayney, ’12 BA; Cyrus

kiss. Front row: Alton (do not

was indeed on the rugby team.

Hotchkiss,’13 BSc; and either

know if this is the first or last

The April 20, 1911 issue of

James Fife, ’11 MSc, or Walter

name and I don’t know the mid-

The Gateway describes a game

Fife, ’13 BSc. We can find no

dle student); York Blaney.

against Alberta College: “It

corresponding record for a

was a rather sanguinary fray

player by the name of Sells.

Ellen Schoeck, ’72 BA, ’77 MA Edmonton, AB

us to know what the letters

lowing: “... we hope you enjoy your new Travel Companion GPS positioning system.” Yikes! Art Davison, ’51 BSc(ChemEng) Edmonton, AB

We knew that Jack had

depicted on page 60 (Winter 2010) are, left to right, back

Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


Creep-y I think the

Someone’s Watching Us

article “I’ll

I’m writing in connection

be Watching

with your cover story “I’ll

[Winter 2010, pg. 47] made

Carry That Torch

You” [Winter

Be Watching You” [Winter

note of The Frog Lake Reader

We missed

2010, pg. 22]

2010, pg. 22], which we

by Myrna Kostash [’64 BA],

mentioning a

was timely

read with interest. It is a

which prompted me to inform

number of grads

and the ques-

good article. However, we

you that I wrote the official

who acted as

publication, whether it be in print or online. Your “Bookmarks” section

tions raised do require debate.

are somewhat surprised at the

biography of William Bleasdell

torchbearers for

However, I also think there are

lack of attribution for the

Cameron—frontier writer,

the Olympic flame’s

more long-standing issues

report mentioned in the arti-

journalist and a survivor of the

trip across the

around privacy and the powers

cle. SCAN (Surveillance

1885 Frog Lake Massacre—

country. Olympics

of the state, in particular the

Camera Awareness Network)

which was published by

Canada would not

powers of the Canadian

is the author of the Report

Athabasca University in 2009

divulge the names

Human Rights Commission.

on Camera Surveillance in

under the title, William

of the torchbearers

The powers granted the CHRC

Canada, and it is available

Bleasdell Cameron: A life of

and the only way we had

in their search for hate, discrim-

online on our website:

Writing and Adventure.

of knowing if they were

Robert W. Hendriks, ’68 BEd Heinsburg, AB

U of A grads was if they

ination, etc., is truly scary, and


yet there is little, if any, debate

David Lyon Coordinator, SCAN, and director, The Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen’s University, London, ON

on these powers. And remember that anyone can make a complaint—at no cost to the complainant. I realize that the obvious “camera in your face” creates an instant connection

contacted us. Here are some torchbearers who we

Thanks Thank you for the review of my book, Dal & Rice [Winter 2010, pg. 46]. I hoped the message of the review would be of how the

found out about after the fact: Marjorie O’Connor, ’83 BEd; Liz Olson, ’77 BEd; Stewart McDonough, ’99 BA; Sheldon Wagner, ’97 BCom; Kristy Derkson,

to issues of privacy, but I’m

Writer Reader

British contributed to

more concerned about the

I enjoy reading

the life of India—

“function creep” that happens

New Trail. While

which is how the

in various government institu-

bringing back many

book was interpreted.

tions that goes unmentioned

happy memories, it

Also, if Dal & Rice

and then becomes assumed to

has also enlightened

can encourage others

be right. How did that happen?

me about happenings,

Maureen Matthew, ’77 BSc(HEc) Regina, SK

which I was not aware of or

I would be very happy.

e-mail to the addresses on

had only heard rumbles of.

Wendy Davis, ’75 BSc(OT) Edmonton, AB

edited for length or clarity.

Please keep producing the fine

to write their own stories then

’09 BSc(Env/Cons).

We would like to hear your comments about the magazine. Send us your letters via postal mail or page 2. Letters may be

Convenience venien nce more than just a great location Conference Services 4

new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

780-492-6057 | conf

bear country

Research Excellence O

ne of the professors recognized in March during the U of A’s Celebration of Research and Innovation was clinical epidemiology researcher Padma Kaul, ’00 PhD, who — along with medicine professor Paul Armstrong and interventional cardiology professor Robert Welsh — received a joint award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “It’s very nice to be recognized,” says Kaul, whose team’s research on heart-attack outcomes led to an initiative that allows emergency responders to conduct time-sensitive, life-saving measures prior to the patient arriving at the emergency room. “It’s also nice to see what else is happening at the University,” she added. The Celebration was initiated in 2009 as a way for the University to acknowledge students and faculty who have been recognized for their research contributions to society. More than 1,000 U of A students and faculty received awards from various Canadian and international institutions in 2009. And between 2007 and 2009, the University also received the second-highest amount of research dollars of any university in Canada, behind only the University of Toronto. For Lorne Babiuk, U of A vice-president (research), the event is all about acknowledging excellence. “It’s important for the University to celebrate our most precious resource — our people,” says Babiuk. “It’s a way of being able to tell the world about what we’re doing, what our people are great at and how their work is benefitting society.” Another of this year’s award-winners was fine art and design professor Liz

Ingram, ’76 MVA — one of two U of A fine arts professors elected to the Royal Society of Canada last year. Ingram was born in Argentina and grew up in New Delhi, Bombay and Toronto. She’s been teaching at the U of A for over 30 years and says the ceremony is a good way of communicating across faculties and connecting with the community. “This kind of event can bring public attention to what’s going on at the University, and it also encourages interdisciplinary communication, bringing people together from all disciplines. You start getting ideas of whom you might connect with.” Beyond the acknowledgment of faculty and students, this year’s event launched the Support Staff Research Enhancement Award. “More than 20 nominations were received for the newly minted award,” says Babiuk.

Two staff members — Elizabeth French and Allan Lindoe — received recognition for their contributions to supporting research at the University. “As the province continues to place emphasis on diversification and the knowledge economy, our researchers are the individuals who are going to be adding to the economic and social well-being of the province,” says Babiuk. “So it’s important to acknowledge that and to encourage people to continue doing what they’re doing because it’s appreciated and valued.” For more information on the award recipients visit —Michael Davies-Venn

Liz Ingram and (top) Padma Kaul. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


EXPO 2017? W

hat would Edmonton’s counterpart to the Eiffel Tower look like? Finished in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) when it was held that year in Paris. Montreal hosted EXPO ’67 and now Edmonton is looking to be the third Canadian city —Vancouver hosted EXPO ’86 — to welcome the world to a fair like no other as it moves forward on its bid for EXPO 2017. The University has partnered with the City in this bid which would see South Campus as the principal site for Edmonton’s EXPO 2017. The proposed theme of the bid is “Harmony of Energy and Our Future Planet,” in recognition of the fact that energy comes in many forms—human energy, physical energy, spiritual energy and knowledge energy. “In 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary as a nation,” says U of A President Indira Samarasekera, “What a wonderful time to host an EXPO and showcase the extraordinary accomplishments of our nation.”

Hospital for Women efore she passed away in 2005, the Honourable Lois Hole, ’00 LLD (Honorary), spoke of what has now officially become the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. She said that it was her “hope that when people come to this new hospital, they’re going to have a little extra hope — that real, uplifting hope — that things will turn out okay.” Hole got her wish as things certainly turned out okay for the Lois Hole



new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

An artist’s rendering of how South Campus could be transformed by EXPO 2017.

As with previous world’s fairs, new knowledge and perspectives gained can be carried forward as these expositions are meant to ignite imagination and ingenuity for improving the quality of life for people around the globe. The knowledge transfer from EXPO 2017 will continue as the people’s legacy. “What we have to realize in bringing EXPO to Edmonton in 2017 — which I think is a dynamic and exciting prospect — is that the word ‘energy’ will mean something completely different in 2017 than it does now,” says Eric Newell, ’02 LLD (Honorary), Chancellor Emeritus of the U of A. “Personally, I’m incredibly excited by the new ideas and inventions that we’ll see when the world comes to visit us.”

“The hosting of EXPO 2017 in Canada’s 150th year will be a watershed moment in Edmonton’s history,” adds Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, “the moment we bring the world into our home to talk about the most important issues imaginable. It will be an intellectual, political, recreational and cultural opportunity not to be missed. I can’t wait!” Edmonton is the only Canadian city putting forward a proposal to the federal government, and the city hopes to have provincial and federal financial support by the fall of 2010. The international bid would go forward in June 2011 with the final international award being announced by the end of 2012.

Hospital for Women, which is now the latest addition to the Royal Alexandra Hospital family — thanks, in part, to community donations totalling more than Peggy Sagle $20 million. In May, the $190-million facility began accepting the approximately 24,000 patients a year it expects to see in its outpatient clinic. As well as dealing with a variety of women’s health issues, the hospital aims to be a centre of academic excel-

lence and a specialized facility that will enable medical students, residents and researchers to work hands-on in a clinical environment that is focused on obstetrics and gynecology. “This new teaching and research facility will have a significant impact in Alberta,” says Peggy Sagle, acting chair of the U of A’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “Research done here has the potential to change how we treat patients in the future.”

Lois Hole

Ball Barrage U

nofficially, the U of A is king of the world when it comes to dodge ball on a record-breaking scale. How long the University holds this title is anyone’s guess, as there are already rumblings on social networking sites about how the U of A’s dodge ball war with 1,200 combatants is a record not long to last. Nonetheless, it’s sweet to beat the previous record held by San Diego State University, which played a game with 450 participants. The U of A had more balls than that — 600 — and almost three times as many participants. “Our goal was to get 1,200 people playing, and that’s exactly what we did,” says Nick Dehod, president of the students’ union. “Now we just have to wait to get the attempt confirmed by Guinness.” That takes a while, as the folks at The Guinness Book of Records

need to review the film and still pictures of the game and, more importantly, the sign-up forms that all players had to fill in and have witnessed. The record-breaking game was a collaboration of the Lister Hall Students’ Association, the Students’ Union, the Lister Dodge Ball League, the Office of the Dean of Students and the U of A Alumni Association. The challenge for these groups was to get all 1,200 participants signed up in an hour as well as hand out team headbands and T-shirts in either the U of A green or gold colours. For the record, the gold team won. “I was really excited going into it. I knew we were either going to fail at the record attempt completely, or we were completely going to blow it out of the water,” says Brennan Murphy,

external administrator of the Lister Dodge Ball League. Being good sports, members of the U of A senior administration also participated, including Provost Carl Armhein, Deputy Provost Dru Marshall, ’82 MSc, ’89 PhD, Registrar Gerry Kendal and Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Phyllis Clark. The event was a kickoff for a weekend dodge ball fundraiser tournament. Money raised went to KidSport, a national organization helping more children play organized sports by removing financial barriers.

Physical Education & Recreation Magazine Goes Online Active Alumni — the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation’s annual alumni magazine will no longer be printed and mailed. An electronic copy of the final issue is available on the faculty’s website at alumni.cfm and on Facebook at physedandrec. “Active Alumni, the print magazine, may be no more, but the spirit of the magazine — ‘in touch with you’ — will be revived and renewed in another format,” says Jane Hurley, the faculty’s communications strategist. “So we have much to look forward to as this metamorphosis of Active Alumni takes shape.” More details will be available on the faculty’s website in the weeks to come. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


bear country

Air Craft A

little money from the University of founded to commemorate the 10,659 “The Anson artifacts are emblemAlberta, 20 loads of gravel and six Canadians killed in bomber squadrons atic of certain pieces of the past that months of work with family, friends and during the Second World War.) are forgotten, repressed or seen as not other volunteer help were all it took for “I felt it would be a tragedy to lose useful,” Harder continues. “However, Keith Harder, ’89 MVA—Augustana them forever,” says Harder of the that past is still with us and deserves Campus art professor and chair of fine planes. “Because, regardless of their an accounting.” arts—to create Gravitas on a piece of decay — and maybe because of that — He titled the project Gravitas for pasture land donated by a landowner they were powerfully attached to stothe word’s allusion to both solemnity near the southern Alberta and gravity. “Gravitas is a hamlet of Cayley. palpable manifestation of Best viewed from the the ravages of time on matair, Gravitas comprises 12 ter and memory,” he says. silhouettes of airplanes “But the planes are also a arranged in a compass — reminder that gravity has or clock — formation with been, and can again be, each of the 12 silhouetted overcome. There is a certain planes containing the liberty in that image of remains of an airframe of transcendence, so this arta real twin-engine Anson work is also about the pos— a plane once used to sibility of overcoming gravtrain pilots of the British ity, transcending adversity Commonwealth under the and redeeming time.” Air Training Plan during Harder also hopes the the Second World War. installation will show his Gravitas measures about 100 metres across and can be seen from commercial A one-time flyer himstudents how art can be airliners approaching Calgary from the south. It lies two kilometres north of Cayley on Highway 2A, 50 kilometres south of Calgary. self, Harder began his framed in non-traditional Above: Keith Harder (second from left) with Anson and project volunteers. project four years ago ways. “It shows what can when he heard about a be done,” he says. “As uniboneyard of broken-up Ansons belongversity teachers, we are their mentors, ries that have broad implications for ing to the Nanton Lancaster Society and they have to see us working and reflecting on the human condition. Air Museum. The Ansons had given up exhibiting, to see that we are more They’re like ghosts of the past hauntall their reusable parts and were slated than just talking heads.” ing the present. They say a lot about to be sold for scrap. (The Society was For more on Harder’s art see page 55. death and dying, about gravity.

Business Professional Development

Certificates, Citations, Seminars & Short Courses


new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

The University’s Stanley Cup

Photos courtesy Uwe Welz


hen the buzzer sounded to end the game, it didn’t matter that the first-ranked McGill Martlets had an 86-game wining-streak and two consecutive national championships under their belts, all that mattered was the score: University of Alberta Pandas 2, Martlets 0. The Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s hockey final was played in Antigonish, NS, in March, and it marked the seventh time in the Pandas’ 13-year history that they have won the national title. Melody Howard scored at 6:09 in the first period, and Alana Cabana wrapped up the scoring with her goal at 18:49 of the second. Dana Vinge made 18-stops for her third consecutive shutout at the national sixteam championship, tying a CIS record. “I feel a great sense of relief,” said Pandas head coach Howie Draper, ’91 BPE, after the championship game. “It’s been a tough road for this team, but we came together at exactly the right time, and it’s a great feeling.” “We’re a family, and we believed we could accomplish this,” said Pandas forward Tarin Podloski. “We all worked hard for each other, and words can’t describe the feeling of winning today.” Unfortunately, the Pandas’ male counterparts didn’t fare as well. The Golden Bears were looking to win their second CIS championship in three years. The team was ranked number one going into their March match against the third-ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies, who

The Pandas pose on Antigonish ice after their CIS national title-winning game. Left: Chad Klassen; below: Tiffany Proudfoot.

scored in overtime to win that school’s first national hockey championship in 80 years by a score of 3-2 in Thunder Bay, ON. The Golden Bears have won the CIS championship three years out of the five that Eric Thurston has been coach and eight times over the last 10 years. The loss was a little tough to take, especially since the Bears outshot Saint Mary’s 34-22 over 60 minutes and then had a Mark Ashton-shot ring off the post in overtime. “It’s so tough,” said Thurston, “because often your season is defined by one game, and that’s a tough way to live for a team. We’re based on national championship wins, but I’m very proud of these guys, very proud, and we’ll move on from here and try to get better.” In other athletic news, the 2009-2010 Green and Gold Athletic Awards to honour the U of A’s top male and female student-athletes from the past season were handed out in April. Winner of the Bakewell Trophy — awarded to the

top female athlete who exhibits athletic prowess, leadership, character and academic ability — was Pandas volleyball player Tiffany Proudfoot. The Wilson Challenge Trophy — awarded to the top male athlete — went to Golden Bears hockey forward Chad Klassen. The Physical Education and Recreation student was also named the Canada West MVP after leading the conference in scoring this season.

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bear country

A Gift for the Ages L

i Ka-shing is a remarkable man. Born in Eastern Guangdong, China, in 1928, he had to flee that region with his family when he was only 12 years old to avoid the perils of war. Settling in Hong Kong, further upheaval ensued when his father died three years later forcing the 15-year-old Li Ka-shing to quit school to find a job to care for his family. But all those deprivations are behind him now as he clearly demonstrated by donating $28 million from the Li Ka Shing Foundation (Canada) to create the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the U of A. “This gift will transform the learning and discovery experience of students and faculty,” said U of A President Indira Samarasekera about the largest cash gift in the history of the University. Speaking before a packed house that included Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, Samarasekera announced the $28-mil-


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lion gift and was followed on the podium by Stelmach who said the provincial government will also contribute $52.5 million to the new Institute over 10 years. When Samarasekera returned to the podium she said that the newlyformed Institute will increase exponentially the U of A’s ability to recruit major new talent and attract external funding. “But, most importantly,” Samarasekera said, “this gift has the power to transform lives around the world. With this major endowment, research that has the potential to save and improve the lives of people vulnerable to the devastating effects of viral diseases will have financial support in perpetuity.”

Lorne Tyrrell (above) with Frank Sixt at the new Li Ka Shing Institute. Left: Li Ka-shing.

U of A professor Lorne Tyrrell — the inaugural director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology — choked back tears as he thanked the Foundation for its support and talked about how important this new institute is for virus research. “I’m not very good at math,” he said, “but since I began practicing in infectious diseases over 30 years ago, there’s been 30 new infectious diseases. You don’t have to be a math genius to figure out that’s one a year. And a number of these viruses have been proven to cause cancer.”

Photos by Michael Holly/U of A Creative Services

“I firmly believe that knowledge can change fate, so we must steadfastly acquire new knowledge.” — Li Ka-shing Left: Tyrrell with Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. Below: Sixt with Chinese and English language plaques that will be installed in the Institute and with Stelmach and U of A President Indira Samarasekera.

Although the self-made billionaire could not attend the dedication, Samarasekera talked about meeting with him over the years that this relationship between the Li Ka Shing Foundation and the University was being negotiated. She noted that the University and Li Ka-shing hold a similar philosophy of public service and said, “I was inspired by his vision, touched by his humanity and dedication to make a difference in the quality of life of people everywhere.” The U of A now joins such institutions as Cambridge, Oxford and Stanford— among many others—in having Li Ka Shing Foundation sponsored research initiatives. Li Ka-shing—a major shareholder in Husky Energy—has long ties

with Canada and Alberta. Thirty years ago he invested in CIBC, and, in 2005, he disposed of his entire stake in the company (approximately $1 billion), dedicating all proceeds from the sale to his charitable foundations while also creating the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation. Frank Sixt, president of the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation, noted that this partnership with the U of A is one that reflects the purpose of the Foundation and of its founder. “One need only think about the threat to human well-being posed by virus pandemics—avian flu, swine flu, the next

unidentified killer—to see how today’s gift has the potential to be transformational in the lives of literally millions of individuals,” said Sixt. “This opportunity to partner with the U of A is, we think, an opportunity that can accelerate the translation of research into care and can ensure better prevention and deliver faster cures, not just in Alberta, not just in Canada, not even just in China, but maybe on a global scale.” Spring/Summer 2010

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learning curve

At Home in the Rural The dean of Augustana, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, considers the importance of a university with deep roots in the rural West. By Roger Epp, ’84 BA


n July 2004 I returned to the University of Alberta. Or rather, it returned to me, when it incorporated what has become its Augustana Campus in Camrose. In the process I got back something old: my student ID number which, thanks to bureaucratic thrift, became my employee number. I also got something new: the job of dean. I had come to Augustana [the former Camrose Lutheran College] in 1990, a refugee in a tight job market. Eventually I faced Wendell Berry’s question: “The world is full of places.Why is it that I am here?” Over time I claimed what he calls a “beloved country,” a point of reference outside the academy, in the rural West, the world in which I and many of my students were raised: landscapes, rises and rivers, livelihoods, histories, communities encountered at close range. I’d gained a clearer sense of inherited obligation as a fourth-generation settler living on Treaty Six land. This was no consolation prize. It led to things different and better than I’d expected. It was one thing to commit personally to a scholarship of place, another


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to have it inform a campus identity and purpose — even when “rural” was part of the rationale for becoming part of the University. Rural is an imprecise, complex adjective. On one hand, our students who come from small prairie and northern communities do not regard Camrose — population 16,000 — as rural; it has traffic lights, box stores, and cappuccinos on Main Street. On the other hand, professors were understandably wary of the designation. Rural is inferior, red-necked. It is not where PhDs are earned. It is not where Richard Florida’s “creative class” lives. Powerful outsiders imagine the rural either as playground or else as utility corridors and resource plantations from which wealth is extracted. The decline of most of its communities is considered inevitable. Rural people are lectured by think-tank economists to move where the jobs are. The idea of a long, irreversible shift from rural to urban is so deeply embedded that it is “natural” that wealth, people and intelligence — like water — should fall even in the remotest highlands but then flow down-

hill in widening streams into major cities. Indeed, universities have been the channel from rural childhoods to urban professional careers for generations. Can the university think outside this story? Can it find itself genuinely and ambitiously at home here? There is more at stake in those questions than economic spin-offs, jobs and access for local students — the usual pitch. First of all, a university can only be at home if enough of its professors appreciate the cadences of a place and find satisfaction in the questions it enables them to ask. Augustana, in fact, has more than its share of “dual citizens,” equally at home in the academy and in the communities and watersheds beyond campus; they exemplify settled, integrated lives and a practical, sociable intelligence. But such duality can’t be assumed. It must be encouraged, for it is deeply counter-cultural. The challenge is not so much that professors are usually from elsewhere. Instead it lies in intellectual prejudices as old as Aristotle. The idea that thinking should somehow be bound to any

Illustrations by Nickelas Johnson

place — much less a rural place — is unorthodox and threatening. Historically, universities have answered to other imperatives. Not only does the road to respectability run through emulation. The academy at its most high-minded has imagined that it should set itself against or diminish the particular, the parochial, in pursuit of a truth that is higher, bigger, detached, universal — or at least reproducible. Call it principled indifference to place. While such indifference may safeguard scholarship from national or religious creeds in extreme times, there is an everyday price to be paid when professors neglect those with whom they share an immediate geography, including their students. Augustana is home to about 1,000 students. They come from around the world and across Canada, but a higherthan-normal share of them are rural, first-generation students. Not uncommonly, they are among the few graduates from their small high schools at university. They are less worldly-wise than students I have taught elsewhere. They recognize the importance of credentials for career purposes, but leaven such calculation with a refreshing openness to the possibility that education will change them in ways only vaguely imagined when they start. Certainly they count the costs. They must leave home for school — a financial reality that partly explains the gap in university participation between rural and urban populations. But the cultural barriers and costs are no less significant. Stories of bright young people who return home by Christmas, unable to cope, are familiar in every town. So are stories of aunts and uncles — the smart ones — who grew aloof when they went off to school and remain the subject of family talk that tells young people, or spouses, how much is at stake in making the same choice. The risk is real. When one of our graduates told a faculty retreat that he found a welcome sense of home on campus, he said so revealingly: “I was not made to feel ashamed of where I came from.” Evidently he expected otherwise.

It is easy enough to confirm in rural students a sense of backwardness. For generations they have paid the price inflicted by professors who, as Eric Zencey writes, “tend to mistake ‘disconnected from locale’ for ‘educated.’” While local pieties should be immune from respectful scrutiny, the mission to root out parochialism is destructive; it encourages students’ alienation from — not their ability to live in — the worlds they know. A university at home, conversely, will have a curriculum that is attentive to place and finds pedagogical opportunities nearby. It cannot be generic.

The idea that thinking should somehow be bound to any place —much less a rural place — is unorthodox and threatening. Students in Camrose and Toronto ought to experience an education that is differentiated, not by professorial credentials, but by the histories, cultures, watersheds, literatures and policy challenges that frame those respective settings. This is an argument, in other words, about good teaching. It is also hospitable to treat students as rooted in real places, and, if they are from further away, able to love their own and another through such attentiveness. Finally, the university at home in the rural will do business in a way that reflects what it knows about regional ecology, culture and economy. It will

know that words and deeds must align locally; it cannot hide behind marketing campaigns. It will ensure, for example, that as much food served in its cafeterias as is practically possible comes from regional producers and processors. In doing so, it will create teaching moments and serve the public interest in a more sustainable food system — not just squeeze out the lowest price. The university will be a good neighbour. It will understand it cannot flourish alone. Its doors will be open for concerts, plays and lectures. Its professors will be its face in the community— involved, as they are at Augustana, in initiatives around wildlife biodiversity and wetlands, architectural heritage, service-learning and music. My own experience continues to teach me that for a university to be part of its region is not to limit horizons or retreat to a ready-made excuse for mediocrity. There is no reason to do so. At Augustana, however, it does mean that we take a special satisfaction when our student choristers from places like Camrose and Forestburg take the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York; or small-town students from Tilley and Lac La Biche find a sense of vocation in an ecology field research course in Costa Rica; or graduates from Thorsby and Athabasca, Daysland and St. Paul, take their place amongst the brightest professionals and young scholars of their generation—without forgetting or disparaging the places from which they come. Each of those experiences answers the question of what difference it would make if our campus did not exist where it is. In challenging times, when universities aspire to world-class standing, it is just as imperative that they are rooted in place. This is neither faddish nor an attempt to curry political favour. It ought to be restorative. Roger Epp is dean of the University’s Augustana Campus in Camrose. This essay is extracted and adapted from his book, We Are All Treaty People: Prairie Essays (U of A Press, 2008). It is published by permission. Spring/Summer 2010

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U of A 2010 Olympians... Thanks for the Memories ance coaching, she was behind the bench as head coach of Canada’s under22 team in 1998-99, head coach of Canada’s national team when they won the 2000 world title, and an assistant coach of Canada’s 2002 Olympic champions. She was also the head coach when Canada won gold at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. As for how winning gold in 2010 differs from that same accomplishment in 2006, she says, “Still trying to figure that out. But it was different.” Davidson was recently named winner of a 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award, which will be presented on September 22 during Alumni Weekend celebrations. Melody Davidson

MELODY DAVIDSON: Coach of Canada’s Gold Medal-Winning Hockey Team elody Davidson, ’86 BPE, would have loved to have played hockey as a kid, but instead had to make do with the next best thing. “I wanted to be part of the game,” she says,“so I coached and officiated.” Growing up in Oyen, AB, Davidson was a self-confessed “rink rat” who began her coaching career by stepping behind the bench of her younger brother’s team. “I was in grade eight,” she remembers, “and coached that team until I finished high school.” At that point it was her turn to take to the ice as a player. After enrolling at the U of A, Davidson tried out for and made the Panda’s ice hockey team. “It was great to play with the University team,” she says. After one year at the U of A, she spent two years at Red Deer



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College while also playing with a senior women’s team. She then returned to the U of A, taking to the ice with a senior AAA team until she finished her bachelor of physical education degree in coaching and sport administration. Much as she wanted it, a coaching career seemed like a pipe dream. “You wanted it, but never thought it could become reality,” she says. “The closest thing was recreation director, so I took a job doing that in Castor, Alberta. In fact, in Canada it has never become a reality for me; I’ve had to go to the United States to make my living as a coach.” (Davidson was the head coach of Cornell University’s women’s Division 1 team and prior to that was head coach of Connecticut College’s women’s team.) But it’s in Canada where she’s had her greatest success. After enrolling in the National Coaching Institute and earning her diploma in high perform-

MARC KENNEDY: Second on the Men’s Gold Medal-Winning Curling Team arc Kennedy, ’05 BCom, has been curling since he was eight years old. For the past four years he has been the “second” on Team Kevin Martin — others on the team are John Morris (third) and Ben Hebert (lead). Before joining the Martin team, Kennedy helped put a major obstacle in his current skip’s path to glory. You can bet Martin wanted to tell Kennedy something a little less polite than “hurry hard” when Kennedy helped prevent his boss from claiming a berth at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. “I might be getting fired when I get back to work next week,” quipped Kennedy, who, at the time, was working for Martin at Kevin’s Rocks-n-Racquets at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton. His transgression was that he was then curling for the John Morris rink that


defeated Martin at the 2005 Olympic Trials held in Halifax. Later, both Morris and Kennedy would team up with Martin (and Hebert) for a push — successful as it turned out — at the 2010 Olympics. Martin had hired Kennedy to work in his store shortly after Martin returned from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics where he won a silver medal for Canada. And although Kennedy—who now owns an Edmonton M&M Meat Shop — said he wasn’t getting paid much at the time, he also suggests maybe he should have been paying Martin for the education he was receiving. “We were always talking curling at the shop,” says Kennedy. “Kevin has helped make me a better curler. Back then, I asked him a lot about the Olympic experience. The first thing he ever told me was that when you go to the Olympics, you’re stepping out of the curling world. That it’s so much bigger.” Martin may have seemed to be effectively demonstrating the old adage “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” when he lured Kennedy and Morris over to his team, but that’s not really the case, especially with Kennedy. “I worked with him for three years before I curled with him,” says Kennedy, who credits Martin with bringing the same work ethic to the rink as he does to his business. “Same work ethic,” he says, “same philosophy.”

NEVILLE WRIGHT: Brakeman for Canada 2 in FourMan Bobsleigh or Neville Wright, ’07 BPE, two-tenths of a second was all it took for him to find himself in a bobsleigh piloted by Edmonton’s Pierre Lueders at the 2010 Olympics. That’s the slim margin by which Wright missed qualifying for the 100metre dash at the 2008 Canadian Olympic track team trials. And that’s when he decided to take up bobsleigh. Before that, Neville had won six conference titles in sprinting and four medals — two gold, a silver and a bronze — at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level. He also represented Canada at the World University Championships in 2005 and again in 2007, when he ran the 100-metre dash in 10.37 seconds, good enough to earn a bronze medal. But it was while studying and competing in track at the University of Alberta that Wright met Quin Sekulich, ’00 BPE, a strength coach for the Canadian bobsleigh team. Sekulich encouraged him to try bobsleigh. “I


Marc Kennedy

Neville Wright (far right)

went to the camp in Calgary for a week, and it went really well,” says Wright. “Then I got invited out for nationals, and things went really well there, too.” Pierre Lueders has won 98 international medals — including Olympic gold and silver — during his 20-year career piloting sleds. And while Lueders returned for his fifth Olympics in 2010, it was fellow Edmontonian Wright’s rookie Olympic campaign, as it was for Edmonton Eskimo star running back Jesse Lumsden. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, BC, was the fourth man in the sled and has been on Team Lueders since 2007. Strong, fast runners are recruited to bobsleigh teams for their ability to push the sled off to a quick start. A good start can often mean the difference between winning and losing when that difference is determined by tenths of a second. For instance, although only a little more than one second behind the gold medal winner, Canada 2 placed fifth in Vancouver. But despite the lessthan-hoped-for finish, Wright wouldn’t have missed it for the world. “I love the competition that is involved in athletics,” he says.” I also really like being able to travel to other places. But it was a great experience doing it on home soil. I felt like I had all of Canada backing me up.” Spring/Summer 2010

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SHANNON SZABADOS: Goalie for Canada on Gold Medal-Winning Hockey Team his Edmonton native—and one-time U of A education student — was given the nod to start the gold medal game by coach Melody Davidson and stood tall in Canada’s 2-to-0 victory over the United States. The Canadian men’s goalie, Patrick Luongo, likewise did a great job in helping to win gold for his team, but, if needed, Szabados probably could have helped the men’s team out as well. You see, other than the Olympics and World Cup or other international tournaments, Szabados has been playing with boys’ teams her whole life. At 16, she became the first female to play in the Western Hockey League. And although she was only on the ice for 20 seconds, it was still a rather


David Bissett (right)

DAVID BISSETT: Bronze Medal Winner and Brakeman for Canada 1 in Four-Man Bobsleigh or Canadian bobsledders David Bissett and Neville Wright, the Games did not begin auspiciously. Just days before Bissett’s four-man bobsleigh team competed on the Whistler Sliding Centre track, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed when he lost control of his sled and was flung off the track into a metal girder. That’s got to put everything in perspective. Nonetheless, Bissett’s team later captured the bronze medal — mere hundredths of a second behind the gold medal winners. As the team’s brakeman, Bissett helps to push the sled down the chute with the three others — driver Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Behan and Lascelles Brown — then he jumps in and tucks down for the up-to 145-kilometreper-hour bone-rattling ride and hits the brakes at the bottom — but not too soon or the chance of winning will be annihilated.



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At Vancouver, Bissett’s team missed the silver medal by only 0.01 seconds. However, it was still an historic performance, as it’s only the second time that Canada has brought home a four-man bobsleigh medal since it began competing in the event in 1964 — when Canadian pilot Vic Emery took everyone by surprise by winning gold. Bissett honed his athletic power and strength during his years competing with the University of Alberta’s Golden Bears football team. His speed on the field or the ice was also developed as a member of the U of A’s track team, where he competed in the 60-metre sprint. Previously, Bissett helped push Pierre Lueders’ four-man sled to two World Cup podium finishes, and he was also part of Lueders’ four-man team that captured a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Shannon Szabados

unwise move as it made her ineligible for American scholarships unless she did the unthinkable ... sit out for a year. So Szabados returned from her brief WHL foray to play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, taking the team to the top record in the league and within a game of winning the AJHL championship. As the rookie goalie on Team Canada, she was thought an unlikely choice to be given the nod to go between the pipes over veterans Charline Labonte and Kim St. Pierre for the gold medal game. However, Szabados had a 17-2 record in the Canadian women’s 55-game schedule that began in August 2009, including a 3-1 record against the Americans. (Make that 4-1 now.) All of this was not lost on team coach Melody Davidson, who later said she had an inkling there would be a strong performance from the Olympic rookie against the Americans. “I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with her,” Davidson said after the gold medal game. “She said, ‘the only thing I have to ask you, Mel, is could you give me one game versus the U.S. this year?’ ” Well, Szabados got her game, and more. She also got a little surprise after the big game. Bill Ranford — the former Edmonton Oiler and Conn Smythe Trophy winner — sent her a text message congratulating her on the victory. “I have no idea how he got my cell number, but I’m really happy,” she told the Vancouver Sun. “That was one of the highlights. He was my hero growing up.” Now that Szabados is a hero to lots of young women dreaming of one day accomplishing what she has, Szabados has this advice for them: “Always remember that there will be people waiting for you to fail, but there will be that many more rooting for you to succeed. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. Just work hard, prove them all wrong, and follow your dream.”

The “Other” Olympians It was easy to see the joy on the faces of the 26 Canadian medal winners at the 2010 Olympic Games and 19 medal winners at the Paralympic Games. But behind the scenes there were also a lot of smiles on the faces of the support staff of volunteers, such as these U of A grads ... ebecca Spiers, ’00 BPE, had her own Olympic experience as a volunteer on hand to assist in spectator first aid at the Cypress Mountain skiing site. “The best part of being at that venue and being at the Olympics,” says the former alpine ski racer, “was being there for Alex Bilodeau’s gold medal run in the final of the men’s moguls. It was a historic night for Canadian sport, and it’s one of those things that people will talk about for years to come and remember where they were when they saw it. I’m lucky because I’ll be able to say that I was there, in person, to witness it.” Two professors from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation — John Dunn, ’92 MA, ’98 PhD, and Michael Kennedy, ’95 BPE, ’97 MSc, ’06 PhD — also had their Olympic “moment.” Kennedy was the head technician for Canada’s Paralympic cross-country ski team, one of whose members — Brian McKeever — won three gold medals. And Dunn actually took a yearlong sabbatical to work full-time with the Canadian men’s alpine ski


team and the women’s biathlon to help them mentally prepare for the Games. (The sport psychologist has also worked with the Edmonton Oilers and the Golden Bears hockey team.) “The media buildup to these games was huge,” he says. “This far exceeds anything that any Canadian athlete has ever, or may ever, experience in their lifetime.” continued> Top to Bottom: Rebecca Spiers; John Dunn; Michael Kennedy with cross-country skier Brian McKeever.

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Jodi Abbott, ’93 MEd, ’96 PhD, was a Canadian judge for ice dancing. Jodi, who’s judged skating events since she was 16, says: “Not many people have the opportunity to compete at the Olympics. This was really the ultimate in terms of an athlete. From a judging perspective, I think we have that same kind of pride and privilege that we’re actually there, when they could’ve selected many others, they selected us to participate.” Shandia Cordingley, ’00 BSc(PT), was a physiotherapist on the medical team for athletes and says: “I’ve always wanted to go and work at the Olympics.” She wanted to go so much she stayed around to work the Paralympic Games. Also working the Paralympic Games was biathlon coach Celine Feagan, ’00 BSc(PT), who says, “The Paralympics were amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was so much fun to have our athletes compete in front of the home crowd and showcase ParaNordic Biathlon to Canada and the world.” 18

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Colin Young, ’88 BPE, is co-owner of the Calgary-based Agenda Sports Marketing agency. Five of the 14 Canadian gold medal-winning athletes are Agenda Sports Marketing clients. Chris Craddock, ’96 BFA, had his play bash’d (“a gay rap opera”) performed as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Stefan Betkowski, ’73 BA, was a medical first-responder at the hockey events, while Dianne Calder, ’67 BSc(Pharm), and Ellen Williams, ’72 BSc(Pharm), both volunteered as pharmacists in the athletes village. Wendy Antoniuk, ’78 BSc(PT), was a volunteer doping control officer who has been volunteering in that role since 1989. “It’s a good way to get involved with athletes,” says Antoniuk. “You get a chance to observe sports you haven’t seen.” Douglas Paraschuk, ’87 MFA, was a member of the Vancouver Organizing Committee’s creative team involved with staging the opening and closing ceremonies (he’s been a designer at Stratford for 23 seasons). During the opening ceremony a malfunction of the Olympic cauldron’s hydraulic system prevented one of the four arms — the one that was to have been lit by Catriona Le May Doan — from deploying. Paraschuk’s team parodied that slip-up during closing ceremonies with a humourous skit featuring a mime repairing and finally raising the missing arm of the cauldron and offering Le May Doan a chance to finally light it.

Also involved at the Olympics were three nonalumni who, nonetheless, have deep ties to the U of A: Connie Lebrun, physical education professor and director of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, Marcia Clark, U of A professor of surgery, and Rob Krepps, head coach for the Canadian women’s curling team (as well as curling manager at the Saville Sports Centre and Pandas curling coach). Lebrun— an Olympian in volleyball in 1976 and a veteran of five Olympic Games as a member of Canada’s medical team— was the Canadian snowboard team’s physician and medical director. Clark was the physician for the men’s alpine events. Krepps was at the Olympics to work with Cheryl Bernard’s curling team that won a silver medal. “This was my first Olympics, and with Canada as the host nation, I couldn’t have been more excited,” says Krepps. “I felt sorry for Cheryl when she missed that last shot that would have given her the gold, but it’s not as easy as it looks.” For other U of A Olympic participation see the Winter 2010 issue of New Trail, page 7. Top to Bottom, L–R: Jodi Abbott; poster for Chris Craddock’s play (Craddock in background); Douglas Paraschuk; Connie Lebrun.

Behind the Seams A peak inside the closets of the U of A’s Clothing and Textiles Collection

Photos by Michael Holly/U of A Creative Services


elcome to the biggest closet in Alberta,” says collections manager Vlada Blinova as she opens the door to the storage vault of the U of A’s Clothing and Textiles Collection. With more than 23,000 artifacts housed in 7,300 square feet it’s certainly big—it’s also, remarkably, the cleanest closet you’ll ever see, with each and every garment hung neatly on its own padded hanger or tucked away in a customized storage box. The secret to fitting so many items in such a relatively small space, are the 46 computerized sliding shelves, which expand accordion-style to house hundreds of items a piece — that, and Blinova’s incredible organizational skills. “Even though I have been here 10 years, I still sometimes walk down a shelf and am struck by some beautiful object that I have never seen before,” she says. “It’s just a magical, magical place.” As collections manager, Blinova is responsible for the storage and care of each and every petticoat and parasol in the collection, which consists mainly of western women’s fashionable dress from the 19th and 20th centuries, as

well as small but important holdings of men’s and children’s wear and ethnographic textiles. Each item comes with its own special care instructions: from hanging Japanese kimonos on six-foot frames to rolling some of the 677 quilts in the Rosenberg quilt collection on individual mylar-wrapped spools. She also has to keep each object within arm’s reach for visiting professors, researchers, students and guests. “This is a teaching collection, and it’s dedicated to being used by students in the U of A’s human ecology department,” explains Blinova. “For me it’s really amazing. Before I came here, I was working as a design instructor in Siberia, and we were only able to study these things from books,” she says. “We would have had to go all the way to Moscow to see things like these. So it’s really wonderful to have this great resource on campus, right next door to the design lab, so that students can come

here for inspiration or to explore different techniques, basically any time.” Here, students can look at handtailored British men’s suits when they are taking a class on the history of dress or look at the wear and tear on a set of 1960s “disposable” paper dresses when studying textile science and conservation. “The only thing the students are not allowed to do is wear the clothes,” says Blinova. However, there is a small set of student-made reproductions—including 18th-century women’s undergarments and Victorian bathing suits—that the students can try on to get a feel for what it must have been like to live and dress in a different era. —Sarah Ligon Blinova is leading a small number of tours of the collection on Friday, September 24, 2010, as part of Alumni Weekend. Don’t be fashionably late! Register early at

Vlada Blinova carefully shows off a 1960s disposable dress.

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New York-based designer Michael Kaye, ’88 BA, designed this elaborate evening gown — as well as the unique greenand-gold tartan pattern — to commemorate the University’s centenary in 2008. After the centenary celebrations, he donated it to the Collection, where the department’s aspiring young designers can now study its 16 yards of bias-cut wool and hundreds of individual pleats.

This pair of rough, rubber Wellingtons belonging to the late-U of A chancellor and world-renowned gardener Lois Hole, ’00 LLD (Honorary), was donated to the Collection after her death in 2005, along with a large number of her signature hats. Look closely and you can see a layer of the rich, dark Alberta soil that she so loved still caked onto the soles.

No doubt alumnae from the early ’60s will remember “disposable” dresses such as these. Made from wood pulp and rayon, they were meant to be thrown away — like tissues — after just one use. Remarkably, the Clothing and Textiles Collection also contains several examples of disposable bathing suits. Can anyone write in and let us know how well those paper-based bathing suits held up in the water?

The woman wearing these richly woven 18th-century French stays would have been advertising her wealth to everyone around her. Threads dipped in gold are interwoven with the brightly coloured embroidery, and although they have become tarnished with age, they would have shimmered and shined when new. A tear in the lining allows for a glimpse of the baleen, or whale’s teeth, that gave women of the period their fashionably small waistlines.


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Shoes like this pair of late-19th-century silk slippers adorned the feet of upperclass women in China, who bound their feet from a young age in order to slip into such petite soles into adulthood. Although this particular pair of 4 1/2 -inch slippers was probably made for the tourist market and likely never worn, they do serve as an important illustration of the lengths — or lack thereof — to which women have gone in pursuit of fashion.

Appraised at more than $21,000, this 17th-century British stumpwork box is one of the rarest and most valuable artifacts in the collection. The only one of its kind in Canada, this case was most likely created by a young girl in the 1730s or ’40s to display the range of her embroidery skills and store valuables such as writing instruments, jewellery and cosmetics. The embroidered scenes on the exterior depict stories from the Bible, including Joseph’s coat of many colours, Moses and the bulrushes, and David and Bathsheba.

Mythbuster: Contrary to conventional wisdom, people in olden times were not that much smaller than people are today, even though most of the clothing that has survived is XXS. “The people were a little bit smaller,” says Blinova, “but the reason so many of the clothes in museum collections are so small is just because fabric in earlier times was so expensive that they would recycle and remake their clothes into something new until the material just fell apart or the pattern colours went out of fashion. It’s really hard to make something from something that is already small, so it’s mainly the smaller pieces that have survived. That’s why we very often get bodices and blouses, but not skirts, because the skirt provides a large amount of fabric for future projects.”

Show & touch: Visit the Depart-

This hat belonged to a young boy from the minority Miao people of southern China. Dating back to the early 20th century, it was designed to resemble a fish and was likely worn during religious ceremonies. It is one of hundreds of artifacts that make up the University’s substantial collection of ethnographic textiles, including Japanese kimonos, Central American huipils and Indonesian batiks.

These 18th-century-style undergarments were part of an entire wardrobe made by human ecology graduate student Carolyn Dowdell, using the same materials an 18th-century seamstress would use — and produced under 18th-century conditions. For months, Carolyn sat in a hard-backed wooden chair in her basement apartment sewing the garments by hand, using only natural light or candlelight. Her goal was to understand the physicality of the conditions experienced by seamstresses of that day — including the sanitary conditions, which didn’t allow for frequent baths. These reproduction undergarments now reside in the Clothing and Textiles Collection so that other students can study — even wear — them without having to put in the gruelling labour … or miss a bath.

ment of Human Ecology from now until June 16, 2010, to see “The Great Pretenders,” an exhibition that uses artifacts from the Clothing and Textiles Collection and private collections to examine what is real, what is fake, and, above all, what is authentic. Organized by 3rd- and 4th-year students in an human ecology class taught by Professor Megan Strickfaden, ’89 BA, ’02 MDes, this exhibition is accompanied by a tactile, multimedia display titled “Sense and Sustainability” that looks at issues of mindful consumption. “Sense and Sustainability” is fully accessible for the visually or hearing impaired and runs through October 13, 2010.

More online: For more images behind the seams of the Clothing and Textiles Collection, go to to see New Trail’s web-exclusive slideshow. And browse through hundreds of pieces of footwear, headwear, outerwear— even underwear —now on “exhibit” at the Clothing and Textiles Collection’s website:

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question period

THOMAS TROFIMUK, ’87 BA The alumnus and award-winning author of Waiting for Columbus talks to U of A graduate student Heather MacLeod about the power of the pen, his next book and why both he and his characters want to destroy all PowerPoint presentations. Waiting for Columbus, your third novel, has had a really spectacular year: publishing contracts in Canada, the U.S., the U.K, Europe and South America. It’s won the 2010 City of Edmonton Book Prize, and it’s received universally good reviews. And rumour has it that it’s being optioned for a film, is that true? Well, nothing’s official, but there’s an offer on the table from a Canadian production company. They’re talking about a CanadianEuropean co-production, and those kind of partnerships tend to get things done. And beyond that it’s been shopped around Hollywood, and it’s currently with Tom Hanks’ production company. I think Tom Hanks would make a great Columbus, but we’ll see what happens.

 In addition to writing novels, you also

have a day job… I’m called a “business planning analyst.” Mostly I write and edit outside communications for the Government of Alberta. I handle the annual report, and I do e-scanning, where I get a bunch of newspapers and I look for an oblique connection to the business that we do in our ministry.

 It sounds very dry.

Yeah, although the hardest part of my job is dealing with the bureaucracy, and you saw that in Columbus when Emile is dealing with the Interpol bureaucracy and shoots up the PowerPoint projector. That was a direct reflection of how I feel some days when I go into a meeting and wish the PowerPoint projector would just fall out of the ceiling. And my colleagues have read the book, and they still invite me to meetings where there’s a PowerPoint presentation, which surprises the hell outta me. 22

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 So when do you

get to quit your day job and write full time? If we have the kind of response from my next book that we had from Waiting for Columbus, then, yeah, I’d love to because I’m getting old. And as you age, time gets so important, and carving out time to write, carving out time to edit, carving out time to not write and not edit but to walk around and think about what you’re going to write —all that stuff—it becomes really valuable.

 Do you keep a vigilant schedule while

you’re writing? Do you write every day? When I’m working on a book I write 1,500 words every day. I don’t care if I have a 104-degree temperature or it’s my birthday or Christmas. Some days I finish writing, and I’m like, “Oh, my God! You have no idea what you’re doing.” Then two weeks later I’ll look at it, and I’ll be like, “OK, it’s not all bad.” I invariably find little gems even on the days when it’s very hard.

 Did you always want to be a writer?

Was it something you imagined yourself doing as a child? I always wrote, but I wrote letters. I guess I was writing myself in the sense that when you’re writing a letter you’re the main character, you’re discovering who you are.

 Do you still handwrite letters?

I still handwrite all my first drafts—with a fountain pen! Ellen Seligman [senior vice-president and publisher of fiction] at McClelland & Stewart asked me once, “So how do you write your first drafts?” I said, “I do it with a fountain pen,” and I showed her my fountain pen. And she said, “That’s why you’re good.”

 What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Robert Kroetsch’s new book of poetry, Too Bad, and I’m so digging it. [See review page 56.]

 You’re unusual for a writer in that you

write in many different genres: novels, poetry, short fiction, drama. Was this something you consciously set out to do? No. I’m just really interested in all those genres, and I’m a bit stupid and fearless. I’m just willing to say, “How do you do a haibun [a combination of prose and haiku] or a ghazal [a form of ancient Arabic verse]? Oh, well, I can do that.” I have an inbred temerity and curiosity.

 You also experiment on your website,, with unfinished poems. I don’t think most writers are willing to take such a risk. What led you to start publishing these? It started seven years ago with just friends and family, so it really wasn’t brave. I was like, “OK, I can just torture my friends and family.” And then the friends and family started to expand, and now there are almost 700 people on the list, and they’re across the planet. I get e-mails from people I didn’t even know were on it. I got this e-mail from Lorna Crozier [’80 MA]—I didn’t even know she was on the list.

Photos by Michael Holly/U of A Creative Services

 You are one of the founding fathers of

The Raving Poets and a pianist in The Raving Poets Band, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this April. How did this group get started and what keeps it going strong 10 years on? When we started we were looking around at the poetry events in the city, and they were getting kind of dusty—a lot of rhyming couplets at public libraries. So we said, “OK, why not improv music and poetry in a bar?” And we didn’t know it would work, but it did. There are no membership cards. If you come and you hang out and you read and listen for a few weeks, you’re in. You’re a Raving Poet. For me, it’s a wonderful creative outlet that’s so different from writing. I can go and I can play the piano and there are no wrong notes. The hard part is grunting that piano up the stairs once a week.

And the dreaded question: what are you working on now?

I’m okay with that question because I haven’t started the 1,500-word-a-day thing yet. I can tell you I’ve got a couple of characters that I’m really digging. One of them is named Mehmet, and he’s a lapsed Muslim just out of Guantanamo Bay. And the other guy is named Thelonius Pinsky, and he’s a Canadian hiding out from a disastrous marriage. And these two meet on a beach on the Mexican Riviera. I’ve actually got about 30,000 words already on the characters. It’s a little nest egg to get me going. I find that if I hit the 50,000-word mark, I’m going to finish writing the book.

 Was there a specific moment when

you identified yourself as a writer? It happened two-fold for me. I was getting poems and stories published in literary magazines, but I was still moping about, and I was having wine with a mentor, and I was like, “Look at Rudy Wiebe [’56 BA, ’60 MA, ’09 DLitt (Honorary)]. He’s a writer. How do I become a writer?” And she looked at me straight and said, “So what do writers do?” “Well, they write.” “So be a writer.” And when I woke up the next day I was a writer. The second part of it was when I published my second novel, Doubting Yourself to the Bone [2006]. Because my first novel, The 52nd Poem [2002], is really connected to me. It’s a real first novel in the sense that you write about your life and then change the names. I did more than that, but still at the heart of that it’s me. So I felt that I really wrote Doubting Yourself to the Bone, because I really removed me.

 In your novels, your characters are

all deeply broken. Is that intentional? That’s how I look at the world. I don’t see whole people, I see whole people with scars. They’re in various stages of love, damage, pain, joy. I’m going to sound like Leonard Cohen here, but I like the imperfect. You need to be imperfect. Perfect writing is boring. It’s like what I do for the annual report. It’s the imperfect that I’m looking for.

 Do you conceive of your characters—in all of their imperfections—before you begin writing them, or are they slowly uncovered? They don’t come fully formed. I don’t know what I’m going to be writing from day to day. If I know what I’m writing, I don’t write. I have a general idea of who they are. But I literally will take my character shopping. I will walk up and down the aisle with my characters and a shopping cart and look at everything on the shelf and figure out what they eat. And that gives me a really firm ground of who they are. But then they shock me.

 Your third novel, Waiting for Columbus, incorporates elements of the historic Christopher Columbus. Do you really enjoy the research aspect of writing fiction? I do.

So you’re not a proponent of “write what you know”? No, I think you should write what you don’t know. It’s way more interesting. I think the hardest part for me was pulling it back to the story. The version of the book that went to my agent was 140,000 words. It was a pretty big book. It had four more main characters than this one does. The book in its finished form is 100,000 words, so I chopped a lot.

Interviewer Heather MacLeod is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Film Studies, where she is writing her dissertation on speculative fiction and horror films. She is also the author of three published books of poetry, including The Burden of Snow (Turnstone Books, 2004). Interested in mentoring a student? The U of A’s Career Placement Services offers a number of opportunities for you to share your insight and experience — either online or in person — based on your availability. To find out how you can help a student navigate a career path e-mail Spring/Summer 2010

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A U of A grad has a hand in helping take home an Academy Award for best art direction by Kim Green 24

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Lorne Resnick

Avatar production stills provided by Twentieth Century Fox and WETA™ and © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

erhaps if Todd Cherniawsky, ’93 BFA, had been a little more focused it all would have played out very differently. He would still have gone to NAIT for his Architectural Technology diploma and then moved on to the U of A’s industrial design program. But after that he would have packed up his belongings and moved to Denmark. “Seriously,” he says, “when I first started at the U of A in industrial design I wanted to move to Denmark and work as a designer for Lego.” But sometimes, as the old song goes, you can’t always get what you want. So instead of Copenhagen it was Los Angeles and instead of Lego it was an MFA in production design at the American Film Institute — financed, in part, by two Alberta Heritage Fund scholarships in back-to-back years. Armed with his education and considerable ability, it didn’t take Cherniawsky long to begin getting work as a set designer, working on such films and with such directors as Michael Bay (Armageddon), Barry Levinson (Sphere), Ang Lee (The Hulk), Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express), Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 13) and Brad Siberling (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). He was also assistant art director for Stephen Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and was set designer for Tim Burton’s version of Planet of the Apes. He recently teamed up with Burton again as the art director of the delicious-looking Alice in Wonderland.

Left: Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), a Na’vi resident of Pandora. Above: Todd Cherniawsky beneath an Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suit, a combat vehicle he helped design that is worn and controlled as a large motorized suit. A suit similar to this—minus the armaments—was seen in Aliens, a film also directed by James Cameron.

That’s a pretty impressive catalogue of A-list directors Cherniawsky’s worked for, even without adding James Cameron to the roster. Yeah, that guy, the Canadian director responsible for the two highest grossing films of all time: Titanic and Avatar. Cameron may like his film titles small, but he sure likes his movies big. And he also likes working with Cherniawsky, who worked for Cameron on Ghosts of the Abyss, Disney’s first 3-D film, before becoming an art director on Avatar. Although Avatar didn’t win the Academy Award for best picture, it did win in the art direction category, as well as for visual effects and cinematogra-

phy. The people singled out in the art direction category on Awards night were Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair. Cherniawsky refers to Carter (Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump) as his mentor. And as to what difference his having a hand in Avatar winning an Oscar for art direction will make in his life, he said on the Monday following the film’s win, “No difference. I’m just as unemployed now as I was on Friday. Just kidding. It’s been a nice run of work, and now I’m taking some time off.” We won’t know until next year if Burton’s wonderfully inventive Alice in Wonderland will win an Academy Award for art direction, but it’s near certain to be nominated in this category. Cherniawsky helped create the entire digital environment for Alice, beginning his research of how that world would look by studying art history books and even exploring how the natural and supernatural worlds were perceived in 19th-century England, when Lewis Carroll wrote the original book. Although Alice presented its own design challenges, they paled in comparison to what was required for Avatar. Cherniawsky was originally hired for that film as an assistant art director in charge of designing the control room for the mining operation on Pandora, the imaginary planet in the movie on which the native Na’vi people battle the rapacious earthlings who will stop at nothing to obtain the precious mineral Spring/Summer 2010

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motion machine, very intense. He just works hard — a transplanted Canadian with a good work ethic. Working with Jim is like taking a master class in filmmaking. He also doesn’t have any problem communicating ideas, and he’s a good art director and drawer himself. He helped keep us on track as to where we needed to end up once the designing process began.” For Cherniawsky, that designing process began in the library. “Going on the Internet is all fine and 4 good,” he says, “but you need to look through 12-pound books and digest the stuff. I knew immediately the level of detail Jim was expecting would be pretty prominent. And since my focus was on the vehicles, I spent the better part of two months visiting aircraft manufacturers looking at what’s out there and what’s coming. And I also spent a few days on the phone talking to other U of A alumni — engineers who talked me through some large-scale mining operations.” To ensure all the vehicles looked like they could actually be operated in the fictional environment in which they were supposedly functioning, Cherniawsky made sure the vehicles didn’t look like they were fabricated from expensive and exotic materials and that they appeared sturdy and rugged so they could take a beating and continue in operation. “All of this ends up informing the look of the vehicles,” he says. “The fact that they look like vehicles already used in wars is because of the research. I also had to keep in mind the fact that

COCKPIT DOORS (both sides) to be made fully functional and removable. Mechanical movement may be required. Consult with SPFX.

it would cost a couple million dollars to send one pound of material to Pandora.” Which brings us back to Cameron, who had not only mentally been to Pandora, but he also started out in the film business as a model builder before quickly progressing into production design, which, as he says, “made sense because I could draw and paint.” All pretty daunting for Cherniawsky. There was, in fact, one occasion when Cherniawsky’s team took the Vietnam War-era look of the war machines in the film way too far, prompting Cameron to reproach, “Last time I looked, I thought this was a sci-fi film.” It was another sci-fi film that Cherniawsky remembers seeing that really got him jazzed about the genre — 2001: A Space Odyssey (that same movie inspired Cameron, who saw it when he was 14, to want to make his own films). “I didn’t care what else was on TV,” Cherniawsky says. “Just the movies. And as a kid, when I did go to the movies, I’d walk out of the movie theatre and think ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be

Illustration by Todd Cherniawsky, under ownership and copyright of Lightstorm & 20th Century Fox, © 2009.

unobtanium that, unfortunately, lies beneath some sacred Na’vi real estate. His role expanded to being one of the supervising art directors. He was responsible for the design of the air and ground vehicles in the film, and getting the people under his supervision—up to 30 depending on the phase of the movie— focused on realizing Cameron’s vision of what those vehicles should look, feel and perform like. That wasn’t the easiest of tasks because not only is Cameron one of the film industry’s premier production designers in his own right, but, Cherniawsky says reflectively, “Jim has been to Pandora.” Of course, Pandora is a nonexistent planet, but to Cameron it was so real that he had “seen” everything he tasked others with making reality. Many have labeled Cameron — justly or unjustly — as someone who is a tad difficult to work with. Kate Winslet, who worked with him on Titanic, said, “There were times when I was genuinely frightened of him. Jim has a temper like you wouldn’t believe.” Cameron hasn’t helped matters much by saying such things as, “Torturing crews and actors? That’s my job.” And, “I don’t love pain. I love results, and sometimes results require pain.” So what was Cherniawsky’s experience working with the notoriously uncompromising director during “nevershorter-than-12-hour days” on the set over a period of 19 months? “Oh, Jim,” he begins slowly. “I don’t feel the stories and myths about how tyrannical he is are fair. He expects 100 percent every moment of the day. He’s a perpetual

ROTORS shown in illustration for reference only. DO NOT BUILD.

Entire vehicle might require multiple pick points for crane harness. Consult with ART DIRECTOR and SPFX.


Entire vehicle will require POOR-MAN'S MOTION BASE. Consult with SPFX.

Cherniawsky’s drawing of the SA-2 Samson, a twinducted fan utility aircraft armed with two doormounted machine guns and capable of firing missiles. And (left) Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in a heavily armed C-21 Dragon Assault Ship, which can deliver troops and AMP suits. “The assault ship,” Cherniawsky says, “was actually built full-sized and moved around by a crane.”

TAIL SECTION shown in illustration for reference only. DO NOT BUILD.

6 CARGO DOORS (both sides) do not function on camera. Fabricate doors so they can be installed (closed position) or completely removed.

Stefan Dechant


Cherniawsky with the AT-99 Scorpion Gunship he designed — it’s wrapped up for transport to Pandora aboard the Interstellar Vehicle Venture Starbulk carrier that remains in orbit around Pandora while Valkyrie shuttlecraft that dock with it transport supplies and equipment to the planet’s surface. Spring/Summer 2010

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Alice in Wonderland production still provided by Disney Enterprises, Inc.™ and © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” The White Rabbit (that Alice follows down the rabbit hole) and Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

great to be able to do that,’ but dismissing it immediately.” Over time that attitude obviously changed. It was while he was at the U of A that Cherniawsky began to think seriously about a film career. “The U of A was a great grounding platform where I could explore all sorts of things that would come in handy later on,” he says. “It’s hard for me to imagine any of the following film steps taking place without that U of A step. It covers a lot of ground and nothing is useless down the road. Once he got to the U of A, Cherniawsky also found his initial foray into architecture broadening out to encompass a much wider umbrella of design and other aspects of art, literature and science. “I was able to sample theatre design,” he says. “I was able to take graphic design, I was able to take some painting and some sculpture. I was also able to take comparative literature, some engineering, some statistics. All of a sudden I was rounding out a background to become a production designer — without even knowing it.” Although he’s been there before — with the low-budget cult classic werewolf film Ginger Snaps (under $5 million) and the higher-budget (over $24 million) Splice — Cherniawsky is now set on waiting for the phone to ring with an offer to oversee an entire art department as the production designer. “I have a 28

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chance now to make the move into production design,” he says. “So right now I’m turning down art direction jobs while I wait for however long it takes for an offer to do production design. “As I said, the U of A was instrumental in helping to make that possible. For instance, I took a history of science

“... most of the teachers and professors I had were more like mentors. I felt like I was in very good hands with them ...” course that I thought would be tolerable. But when I started working on Planet of the Apes, one scene cut out of the final film was a medieval laboratory. All of my information for creating the look of that scene came from the grounding of that course. And taking cultural anthropology at the U of A helped me understand the Na’vi in Avatar. As well, most of the teachers and professors I had were more like mentors. I felt like I was in very good hands with them in that they not only taught me but educated me as to how I could teach myself down the road.”

While at the U of A Cherniawsky used the architectural drawing skills he’d acquired at NAIT to make money drawing for architects. He also taught skiing, something he really misses easy access to in his adopted city of Los Angeles. “As a kid, all I wanted to do was make the Canadian ski team,” says Cherniawsky, who was brought up on an acreage outside of Ardrossan, AB. “But I just wasn’t strong enough. Technically I was good, but I didn’t have the strength.” Although he misses the snow somewhat, he says, “Not having it around on a day-to-day basis is pretty good as well. My wife’s from the Lake Tahoe area, so I get a couple weeks on snow every year.” And as for his obsession with Lego, nothing much has changed. Although he may not be working for the company, he still goes back to his roots on a regular basis. “To this day I’ve remained a Legomaniac,” he laughs. “There is a Legoland down here, and there’s this Lego store where you can buy things by the pound.” Clearly someone should be contacting him to discuss his participation in Lego: The Movie. I kid you not. Warner Bros. is actually planning a film of that name in association with the Danish toy manufacturer. Maybe, just maybe he’ll get that call he’s waiting for.

A Cast of Other Grads in Film & TV

Two of the most wellknown alumni in film or TV are Paul Gross, ’97 BA, and Lorne Cardinal, ’93 BFA. Gross recently played a gunslinger in Gunless, but is perhaps bestknown for the TV series he created and acted in, Due South. He also recently directed and starred in the film Passchendale that was shot in Alberta. Cardinal most recently played a local cop in the hit comedy series, Corner Gas. The series wrapped up production in 2009 after 107 episodes. A third wellknown grad would be director Anne Wheeler, ’67 BSc, ’90 DLitt (Honorary), whose films include Bye Bye Blues and The Diviners. She’s also been behind the camera for such popular TV series as Da Vinci’s Inquest and North of 60. Other alumni in the business include Steve Blackman, ’97 LLB, who serves as a writer and co-executive producer for Private Practice. Joel Cohen, ’88 BSc, is a writer and producer for The Simpsons. Director and producer Tim McKort, ’92 BA, is currently filming a sequel to his hockey comedy Sure Shot Dombrowski, a film that also had Cherniawsky onboard as production designer. Becky Scott, ’87 BSc(HEc), runs a movie and theatre special effects company in Calgary called Bleeding Art Industries and has also worked with Cherniawsky on Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning when it was shot at Fort Edmonton Park.

Pat Kiernan, ’90 BCom, is the morning anchor for NY1 News, Time Warner Cable’s 24hour news channel in New York City. Kiernan has also appeared as himself in two movie cameos — Night at the Museum and The Interpreter. Mieko Ouchi, ’92 BFA, is an actor, writer and director who appeared in 11 episodes of the TV show The Guard and whose films have played over 30 festivals and aired internationally. Janet-Laine Green, ’74 BFA, is an actress whose TV credits go as far back as The Beachcombers to as recent as This is Wonderland. Josh Miller, ’77 BA, is a writer, producer and owner of the Edmonton-based Panacea Entertainment that is responsible for the TV series Anash and the Legacy of the Sun Rock and the film Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale starring Tom Green and Crispen Glover. Mark Haroun, ’03 BA, is a writer for the CBC television drama Heartland. Jay Ingram, ’67 BSc, is the co-host of Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet. Thomas Peacocke, ’55 BEd, ’59 BA, taught in the U of A drama department and won a Genie award for his performance in The Hounds of Notre Dame. Greg Ball, ’93 BA, has written for the TV show Bones. Patrick Gilmore, ’00 BA, has a regular role as Tau’ri astrophysicist Dale Volker on the TV series Stargate: Universe... after being killed off after one episode of Stargate: SG-1 and suffering the same fate in Stargate: Atlantis. And Amritha Vaz, ’97 BA, ’02 LLB, recently finished work as a composer for the film Cooking With Stella starring Don McKellar and Maury Chaykin. Cora-Lea Black

Cherniawsky, of course, is not the only U of A alumnus to graduate into the film or TV business. In fact, the University has so many grads working in front of or behind the cameras that we’re sure we’ve overlooked some of them. We apologize beforehand if we’ve left your name off the list and we’d love to hear from you.

Above, left to right, top to bottom: Paul Gross, Pat Kiernan, Mieko Ouchi, Lorne Cardinal, Janet-Laine Green, Josh Miller, Patrick Gilmore, Anne Wheeler, Mark Haroun, Amritha Vaz, Tim McKort, Becky Scott. RIght: Jay Ingram.

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Indiana Bones I

n the nine years that internationally renowned paleontologist David Krause, ’71 BSc, ’77 MSc, has been digging for fossils in Madagascar, two incidents in particular stand out. The first happened on a hot summer afternoon in 1996. That was when he and his international team of dinosaur hunters suddenly came upon the remarkably well-preserved skull of a snub-nosed, short-legged predator that had prowled the earth more than 65 million years ago — a find the paleontologists had been in search of for more than three years. “As soon as we saw what we had, we started jumping up and down,” recalls Krause, today one of the world’s best-known prehistoric fossil-hunters. “It was one of those magical moments that paleontologists dream about. I was so excited that I was screaming in French ... and I don’t even speak French. “Nous avons un theropode! We could hardly believe our eyes, because the skull of this creature — a large meateating theropod dinosaur known as Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the Late Cretaceous period — was exquisitely preserved and just amazingly complete, with many teeth still in the jaw. When we found him, it was like we all became children again, jumping and screaming for all we were worth.” For the infectiously enthusiastic Krause, now 60, it was a eureka moment to treasure forever. It was also a major scientific break- through that helped establish his current reputation as one of the world’s most accomplished paleontologists — an Indiana Jones-like figure whose discoveries have greatly expanded our understanding of the


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enormous reptiles that once roamed the planet. Now a professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, Krause has enjoyed a fabulous career as a paleontologist. He’s made significant finds not

“I was so excited that I was screaming in French ... and I don’t even speak French.” only in Madagascar — the island-nation of about 21 million located in the Indian Ocean off southeast Africa — but also in Pakistan, India, the United States and Canada. Only a few months ago, Krause and a team of Stony Brook researchers again made international headlines by publishing an article on their discovery in Madagascar of the fossil remains of what was undoubtedly the largest frog ever — a beach ball-sized, 4.5 kilo hopper known scientifically as Beelzebufo ampinga, Latin for “armoured devil toad.” Nicknamed the “frog from hell”

by the researchers who spent 15 years patching it together from 75 incomplete specimens, Beelzebufo was so fierce and formidable that it may have eaten dinosaur hatchlings as part of its regular diet. The former University of Alberta zoology major has also unearthed the ancient bones of a strange-looking, pugnosed, vegetarian crocodile and several other unknown creatures from the era of the devil toad. Featured recently in USA Today, the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications, several of Krause’s latest Madagascar finds are now on permanent display at Stony Brook University in New York and several other institutions in the United States, Japan and Madagascar. Born and raised on a cattle ranch near Medicine Hat in southeastern Alberta, Krause decided to become a paleontologist while hunting for dinosaur fossils with U of A biology professor emeritus Richard Fox in the Canadian Badlands back in the late 1960s. “When Dr. Fox offered to have me join his field crew on one of his expeditions, I was thrilled and excited,” says Krause. “I’m forever grateful to him, because I was young and, frankly, didn’t have too much selfconfidence. He believed in me more than I believed in myself in the early years of my career. “We spent months roaming the Badlands looking for the fossils of mammals — dinosaurs, crocodiles, lizards and other backboned animals — and right away I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

Beelzebufo ampinga faces off against the largest known living frog in Madagascar.

Stony Brook University

He came to Madagascar looking for something very old; he continues to go back to bring something very new

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Krause with some of the Madagascar children who benefit from the Madagascar Ankizy Fund and from the dentists, doctors and other health care professionals who volunteer their time and skills on the island. At right, Krause is seen with a plaster cast of the skull of a large meat-eating theropod dinosaur known as Majungasaurus crenatissimus (seen below) from the Late Cretaceous period. David Krause was recently named winner of a 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award, which will be presented on September 22 during Alumni Weekend celebrations.

After sticking around to earn a master’s in zoology at the U of A and later a PhD in geology at the University of Michigan, Krause would go on to launch his own quest for fossil bones in the remote Crazy Mountains Basin of Montana. After a decade or so of exciting finds there, he arrived in Madagascar in 1993 to begin looking for the remains of Majungasaurus and its superstar dino-buddies. Although Krause has now spent nine summers digging in the wilds of Madagascar, the second incident that really stands out for him happened during his very first dig on the African island. It was during that dig, he says, that he made “a far more important discovery” than the ancient fossils he was after. It happened when he noticed how his team of international paleontologists was constantly being tailed by a gaggle of bright-eyed, exuberant children who “seemed to have a whole lot of time on their hands.” When Krause made inquiries, he discovered that the playful kids didn’t attend school. “I asked, ‘Why not?’ They told me that there was no school for them in the entire region. Well, these were very bright, very sharp kids, and their parents were desperate for them to

be able to read and write. So we initiated a series of meetings with the parents and local officials, and it wasn’t long before we’d created a fundraising operation and begun building our first public school on the island.” Known as the Madagascar Ankizy Fund (“Ankizy” means “children” in the local Malagasy language), Krause’s foundation has so far built four public schools on the island and brought teams of health care professionals and students from Stony Brook University to offer free services to children who had never been seen by a doctor or dentist. “We’ve been building schools and providing free medical and especially dental care for more than a decade now,” says the cheerfully upbeat dinosaur detective. “And as far as I’m concerned, the most important contribution we’ve made during our nine summers there is the help we’ve been able to give these children. “These kids are terrific, and just being around them while we’re doing our excavating has been a joy and a privilege,” he adds with a smile of pure delight. It’s also been good for the medical and dental

students at Stony Brook, many of whom have gained invaluable and unparalleled life experience while treating children in such a faraway place with such a different culture. “Building schools and setting up clinics, while being able to do our paleontological research at the same time — hey, that’s a win-win for everybody involved,” says Krause. “We may have made some exciting discoveries during the past 15 years, but our biggest accomplishment by far has been building schools and providing medical clinics for the children of this impoverished African country.” —Tom Nugent

Spring/Summer 2010

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Real Havana By Mateo Radford, ’00 BA

An alumnus shows us an insider’s view of the Cuban capital


he Malecón is the magnet. For Cubans of all ages, shapes and sizes, this cement promenade in downtown Havana serves not only as a seawall against the pounding surf, but as a place to congregate and ponder the quixotic realities of modern Cuba. In good times, children come here to hurl themselves into the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, old men fish for their supper, and young adults meet here in the thousands each night to drink rum, dance, and wait for the sun to rise over the Florida Straits. In worse times, Cubans come here to protest against government policies (their own as well as those of the United States), or even to launch homemade boats for the hazardous journey north. Whatever the reason that draws them here, this eightkilometre stretch of rocky shoreline is ground zero for the citizens of this 500year-old city and should be the starting point for any visitor wanting to see the real face of Cuba. 32

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Although tens of thousands of Canadians visit Cuba every year, the vast majority of them see Havana as part of a day trip from the beach resort of Varadero and they rarely venture beyond the Old Town (called Habana Vieja) unless on the top of a doubledecker tour bus. Without a doubt, the Old Town is worth a visit. This compact area of the city contains the original Spanish colonial town, built between the 16th and 19th centuries, and it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. Since then, the once-crumbling shells of buildings have been rebuilt, repainted and filled with new restaurants, cafés and dollar stores. But though the area is teeming with both Cubans and tourists alike, it increasingly has the feel of a colonial theme park, with guided tours elbowing past each other and dime-a-dozen bands serenading bar patrons with classic tunes like “Guantanamera.” Every day, hordes of tourists partake solely in this pre-pack-

Top: jumping into the sea by the Malecón and (bottom) a vintage car in Habana Vieja.

aged ideal of mojitos, cigars and Che Guevara T-shirts, but Havana has much, much more to offer. In order to encounter regular Cuban folks and see this gritty metropolis at its authentic best, it is necessary to move beyond the sanitized tourist experience of Habana Vieja, the luxury hotels and the Tropicana nightclub, and into some of the outlying neighbourhoods where the daily rhythms of this great city can be felt.

Steps leading to the University of Havana, and (right) lining up for ice cream at Coppelia— one of Havana’s most beloved landmarks—on a hot day.

Private Reserve The first place to go to immerse yourself in the real Havana is the immense neighbourhood known as Vedado. Until the late 19th century, Vedado was a thick tropical forest prized by the Spanish colonial government as a crucial barrier against any land-based attack on its treasured port. For centuries it was strictly forbidden to clear this area for development, which led to the nickname Vedado, meaning “private reserve.” However, by the early 20th century, after Cuba had gained independence from Spain, the forest was quickly replaced with a luxurious new residential zone, where Havana’s elites constructed glorious classical mansions all laid out in a very North American-style grid, complete with leafy tree-lined boulevards and a wide array of public parks. A counterpoint to the claustrophobic and largely treeless downtown, Vedado very quickly became the city’s second centre. Solidifying Vedado’s importance, the esteemed and beautiful University of Havana, founded in 1728, was relocated here in 1902. Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the mansions and luxury apartments of this area have almost all been converted into multifamily dwellings, resulting in a diverse and exciting neighbourhood.

The central artery of Vedado is Calle 23, rising up from the Malecón to the famed Havana Libre Hotel, several blocks north. Originally the Havana Hilton, this imposing structure was completed in 1958, just in time for Fidel Castro’s assumption of power. In fact, Castro and his guerrilla fighters used the

Ciné Yara in the Vedado district.

hotel as their base of operations when they first arrived in the capital. Now it sits in a vibrant section of Vedado dubbed La Rampa (meaning “the ramp”), and is surrounded by restaurants, bookstores, movie theatres and bars. Check out the lobby with its grainy photos of the victorious guerrillas, but skip the rest of the hotel and walk directly across the street to one of the most beloved of the city’s landmarks: Coppelia. A must-see for anyone interested in experiencing the real Havana, Coppelia is not just an ice cream shop, it’s a

social institution. Every day, throngs of Cubans mob the three entrances to this enormous domed complex, lining up for hours in the hot sun for an ice cream. A dozen or so flavours are on offer, and they change daily, but among the best are piña colada, limón, and the always popular fresa y chocolate. Enjoying the ice cream is just part of the fun here. The people watching is a great time in itself. Vedado is also a movie-lover’s dream, with no fewer than six theatres all within walking distance. Across the street from Coppelia is the beautiful 1940s Ciné Yara, and further down Calle 23 is the granddaddy of Havana’s theatres, Ciné Charles Chaplin, the headquarters of Cuba’s powerful national film institute. Cubans have been cinephiles for decades and attending a show once a week — or even every night — is commonplace. No doubt part of the appeal is the chance to escape from the searing heat and humidity into an air-conditioned theatre, but even more is the entry fee: a paltry two pesos (approximately eight cents). With the latest Hollywood blockbusters being few and far between, Vedado’s cinemas show an incredible array of international films, as well as classic black-andwhite pictures from the ’40s and ’50s. These theatres also play host to the annual Latin American Film Festival every December. Spring/Summer 2010

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Necropolis Cristobal Colón, and (right) old cars line up on the street.

Just around the corner from Ciné Chaplin, on Calle 12, is the entrance to one of Cuba’s most incredible and treasured spots, the Necropolis Cristobal Colón. This graveyard, at over 50 hectares, is practically a city unto itself, with numbered streets and dozens of large, intricately carved pantheons dedicated to the island’s most celebrated families. Over 800,000 Cubans are buried here, and spending a few hours visiting the final resting places of luminaries such as novelist Alejo Carpentier, political martyr Eduardo Chibas, musician Ibrahim Ferrer and poet Nicolas Guillen is like taking a trip through Cuba’s cultural history.

come with bread, rice, beans, a salad and even a beer for just $5. For a less upscale, but equally tasty meal, try one of the hundreds of informal pizza shops that have opened all over Havana since the disastrous economic crash of the early ’90s. While generally not for the faint of heart, these meals form the core of many Cubans’ daily diet and are often served right out of the doorways of local homes. Many

The Locavore’s Dilemma Although Havana is not necessarily known for the quality of its cuisine, it is possible to enjoy a delicious meal in the city — especially in Vedado — but you’ll have better luck if you avoid the expensive hotels that cater to tourists and stick to places with a more “local” atmosphere. Unión Francesa, on the corner of Calles 17 and 6, may sport the Eiffel Tower on its logo and maps of Paris on its walls, but this quirky restaurant is as authentically Cuban as it gets, offering an amazing selection of local dishes on its rooftop patio. Best of all, whether you order the fried shrimp and tomato sauce or the enormous fried half-chicken, all entrees 34

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Spring/Summer 2010

Inside Cafe Vedado.

months of trial and error led me to Pizzeria La Gaviota (The Seagull), a very humble yet popular enterprise run out of a family home on Calle 10, just a couple of blocks north of Calle 23. Its pizzas are markedly superior to those of most competitors and are an incredible value at around 13 pesos (50 cents). Another excellent street option is the bustling Cafeteria H y 17 located, appropriately, on the corner of H and 17. Always surrounded by a crowd of Cubans and foreign students, this flimsy looking stand serves up delicious pork

chop sandwiches for 20 pesos (75 cents) and the best batidos — or banana milkshakes — I have ever had. With a communist, centrally planned economy, and a long-standing, U.S.-led trade embargo against it, Cuba suffers from a chronic shortage of many foods, and there is a general shabbiness to much of what is on offer. This phenomenon is best combated, in my opinion, with a visit to Barrio Chino. Wedged between the Old Town and Vedado in the crumbling district of Centro Havana, Havana’s Chinatown is a fascinating remnant of what was once the largest Asian community in Latin America. In the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants arrived in Cuba to work the sugar cane fields, and many settled in this area of the city that at one time comprised as many as 44 city blocks. However, after 1959 most departed for the United States, leaving a contracted neighbourhood, now centred around Calle Cuchillo. For the few thousand Chinese who remain— and for anyone who appreciates a delicious and varied cuisine — this district is an integral part of Havana. While a dozen or so good dining options exist here, my favourite is Tien Tan, a Havana fixture, run by a friendly Chinese-Cuban couple. They offer some 120 different dishes — a mind-boggling variety for Havana — and many of them include a healthy dose of green veggie, something often lacking in the Cuban diet. Expect to pay around $10 per person.

Places to visit in Havana:

Necropolis Cristobal Colón Main entrance is at the corner of Calle 12 and Calzada de Zapata Open daily 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Admission $1

Havana Libre Hotel Calle L between 23 and 25 Tel: (53) 7 8346100

Unión Francesa Calle 17 between 4 and 6 Open daily 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Tel: (53) 7 8324493

Coppelia Calle 23 between L and J Open daily 11 a.m.– 11 p.m.

Pizzaria La Gaviota Calle 10 between 17 and 19 Open daily 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Ciné Yara Calle L between 23 and 21 Ciné Charles Chaplin Calle 23 between 10 and 12 Festival of New Latin-American Cinema of La Havana Takes place every December, principally at Ciné Charles Chaplin

Beach Blanket Bebés The majority of sun-seeking Canadians visiting Cuba will get their fill of the sand and surf in resort towns like Varadero, but, in fact, it is very easy — and much more fun — to tap into the Cuban beach experience in the eastern suburbs of Santa María del Mar and Guanabo (known collectively as Playas del Este). With white sand and turquoise water just as dazzling as at the private resorts elsewhere on the island, these beaches have one major advantage: Cubans. For the vast majority of Cuban families, visiting places like Varadero is simply beyond the realm of economic possibility — not to mention the fact that, until last year, they were not allowed into luxury hotels and resorts anywhere in the country! But these two beaches, which sit side-by-side about 20 kilometres from downtown Havana, have no major resort facilities and relatively few tourists and for both of those reasons are extremely appealing. If the weather is nice, expect to see hordes of locals here playing volleyball, dancing and drinking copious amounts of beer and rum. Generally speaking, Guanabo is the louder and more raucous of the two, while Santa María is where families bring their young children. Getting to either on public transporta-

Santa María del Mar and Guanabo Located about 20km east of Havana. From Habana Vieja, take the harbour tunnel and continue along the Vía Monumental. Merge onto the Vía Blanca after approximately 5km and then look for signs for Guanabo.

tion is a hassle of legendary proportions, so I highly recommend commandeering a dollar taxi and haggling with the driver. You should be able to get there and back for roughly $20.

Mi Casa Es Su Casa Returning to Havana after a long day trip to the beach, I always relish being greeted by my Cuban host family. Unlike most vacation destinations, Havana offers literally hundreds of private homes where tourists can stay for a night — or months on end, as was my case. Called casas particulares, these accommodations are found in virtually every part of the city, but are concentrated in Centro Havana, Vedado and the further flung suburb of Miramar. While they vary greatly in terms of quality and reputation, one guarantee is that a visitor to the city will save hundreds of dollars in comparison with a standard hotel. Casas have other advantages, too, such as home-cooked meals and free Spanish lessons. Most importantly, getting to know locals within their homes will greatly enhance anyone’s understanding of contemporary Cuba. I have stayed at several different casas during my many trips, and I have always found my hosts to be insightful and hospitable.

Cafeteria H y 17 Calle H between 17 and 15 Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tien Tan Calle Cuchillo between Zanja and San Nicolás Open daily 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Tel: (53) 7 8615478

On this six-month visit, I am staying with Ana, who runs a fantastic casa next to Ciné Chaplin, and every evening she tells me in vivid detail about her daily concerns, local events, and the ever-changing cultural, political and economic landscape of her city. Either in Spanish or English, our talks constantly remind me that the truly vibrant heart of Cuba is not to be found in the canned playgrounds of Varadero or Habana Vieja, but in the challenging and dynamic lives of everyday Cubans.

After six months of soaking up the Caribbean sun and navigating labyrinthine archives, Mateo will soon return to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he will commence the infinitely more difficult portion of his dissertation: actually writing it. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


whatsoever things are true

True Lies We asked writer and alumna Aritha van Herk, ’76 BA, ’78 MA, to muse on the value of the beneficial effects of a timely told lie


uaecumque Vera (Whatsoever Things are True) is a lofty motto to ride a capstone above the heads of students and professors. It’s especially fitting because in this age of complicated falsehoods and complicated truths, the pursuit of that vera is more elusive than ever. In fact, almost everyone doubtless commits subtle and contextual untruths every day. Veritas is the motto of Harvard University, too, and we’re well aware of how many lies that venerable institution has bankrolled, not the least of them their own special model of how to stoke institutional endowments in terms of asset management, hedge funds and absolute return strategies. I have just, right in front of your eyes, told a lie, perhaps not an overt lie, but an implicit lie. My glib distribution of those terms suggests that I know what hedge funds and absolute return strategies are. Let me come clean. I don’t. To be absolutely truthful, what I know about the complexities of money and its management is finite. But I can balance my cheque book and I do, every month, making me in practice more honest than those who might “understand” private equity but who promote risky investments, promising returns they may never yield. Truth and lies have become fungible assets.


We all lie. We may not lie criminally, but we mould, disguise or shape the truth into a construction more palatable than naked and terrifying facts. Truth, as the U of A’s motto insists, is indeed something to be steadfastly pursued, but that chase is increasingly labyrinthine. The elusive justifications for lying — to protect someone else or to avoid an unnecessary confrontation — are frequently called upon as serving a greater good. If we weren’t inherent prevaricators, we would have thousands more instances of road rage, public paroxysm and line-up acrimony. By pretending that we cannot hear that inches-away tooloud cell phone conversation about the results of a young woman’s STD test, we can prevent ourselves from slapping her into sane silence. By hanging up on telemarketers, we avoid the temptation to launch a blistering attack on dinner-hour interruptus. Those lies of accommodation could be called protective colouration in an age of eroding privacy. Joan Didion said, “we tell ourselves stories in order to live.” That this is the title of her collected non-fiction is entirely without irony. There is greater need for beautiful lies in life than there is in fiction. Honesty is not always conciliatory. Truth can be a nasty bludgeon. And if lying were impossible, we’d dodge indubitably disagreeable truths. In this age of prevarication, deceit, disguise, hyperbole and exaggeration, it’s no surprise that truth is related to fact and exactitude, while the permutations of dissemblance are intricate and inventive. Falsehood sounds heavy, almost legalistic. A big lie is a lie so obvious (as in weapons of mass destruction) that everyone

shrugs and accepts it. Euphemisms are economies of communication. Quibble is almost laughable, evasion a defensive strategy, while collusion is a sin and mendacity now cousins the tarnished clergy. We have learned to our chagrin that political truth is an oxymoron and monetary promises chimeras. Self-help books promise the delights of success — in body image, moneymaking, popularity and personal satisfaction, not to mention love. All lies, damned lies. And so we yearn for truth and practice lying. Survival strategy, camouflage or wishful thinking? Or just a human love for a better story than the quotidian one we’ve been assigned? It is sometimes even a lie that graces discovery. Without one critical and intensely serious lie, medical research would not proceed. We know that blind clinical trials or randomized controlled trials are the basis on which health technologies balance the differing factors between treatment groups. The ethical question that is never resolved with this scientific approach is that, of necessity and to obviate conscious or unconscious bias, some of those involved in the trial are not given complete information. Without that sanctioned lie research could not advance. So be smart about the line between brutal honesty and dangerous falsehood. Don’t lie to your doctor, but if your best friend is wearing a really ugly dress, hold your nose and tell her she looks good. Call me Pinocchio but una bella bugia — a beautiful lie — can work miracles that the truth may not. This year’s theme for the U of A’s Festival of Ideas, November 17 – 21 is “Truth and Lies: Trust Me.” For more information visit

Aritha van Herk, is a U of C professor and the award-winning author of 10 books, including Judith, The Tent Peg, A Frozen Tongue and Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. She also travels the world giving readings, lectures and workshops on culture and community, literature and life.

University of Alberta

Report to the Community Serving Through Knowledge

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The modern state university has sprung from a demand on the part of the people themselves‌ The people demand that knowledge shall not be the concern of scholars alone. The uplifting of the whole people shall be its final goal. This should never be forgotten.�

Henry Marshall Tory

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President’s Message


his 2010 Report to the Community demonstrates that the work of a great university never stops, even during challenging times. Throughout the last year, our students, faculty and researchers have tirelessly continued their work, fulfilling the promise that has inspired the University of Alberta community for more than 100 years—uplifting the whole people. In these pages you will meet students who are working in their communities and abroad to address social

problems of all kinds. You will meet teachers and researchers who have made amazing breakthroughs in both learning enhancement and research discoveries that advance the economic prospects and quality of life of Alberta, the nation and the world. As a university, we are focused— first and foremost—on setting the standards in Canada for delivering a quality education, the kind of education that turns learners into next-generation leaders. And through research, we push the boundaries of knowledge to dis-

cover ideas that can change the world for the better, both in the short term and for generations to come. We are the University of Alberta. Proud. Strong. Creative. Proactive. Dedicated to serving the people. Nous sommes l’Université de l’Alberta. Fière. Forte. Créative. Proactive. Dévouée à servir la communauté. Thank you for your loyalty and for sharing our exciting journey with us as partners, supporters and friends.

Indira V. Samarasekera, O.C. President & Vice-Chancellor University of Alberta

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Right now, it’s easier for kids to make unhealthy choices. We’re changing that.” Paul Veugelers

Helping Kids make healthier choices


rade 4 students at Lee Ridge Elementary School are busy growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers in their classroom garden while they learn first-hand about fresh food.

At Holy Cross Académie Internationale, Grade 5 students take turns guiding younger students through positive, inclusive and popular recess play activities that they choose themselves. And in after-school cooking classes, the kids at Belmead School are discovering that tasty, healthy food is fun and economical to prepare. Ten Edmonton elementary schools are now APPLE schools, participating in the Alberta Project Promoting active Living & healthy Eating, a comprehensive in-school health program that is

attracting national and international acclaim. It began in the School of Public Health with a $5 million gift from an alumnus living in Calgary and a belief that we need to do more for our kids. The three-year program, now in its second year, is headed by Paul Veugelers and trained, in-school facilitators. “Right now, it’s easier for kids to make unhealthy choices,” says Veugelers. “We’re changing that.” The president of the American Association of School Administrators recently asked, “How can we expect

to succeed in confronting childhood obesity if we eliminate recess, serve unhealthy lunches in our schools, ignore the need to work with other groups and reduce physical education classes?” With nutritious hot lunches, physical activity that encourages social interaction and student leadership, afterschool cooking classes and community gardens, APPLE schools are leading the way in promoting healthy choices and putting kids first.

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From the beginning, I always felt a calling to return to my roots and practice medicine in a rural area …” Glen Armstrong

Métis Scholar dreams of giving back


hen it came time to choose a career in the late 1980s, Glen Armstrong didn’t hesitate.

Like his father and grandfather before him, he began farming. He obtained a diploma in crop production in 1989, met his wife, and—three children later—realized that farming wasn’t the best option for him. Armstrong then tried his hand at the forest industry. He did well and enjoyed being outdoors, but after eight years and an industry downturn, he again found himself contemplating his next career move. Armstrong was studying chemical biology in Kamloops when one of his professors suggested that he pursue a

medical degree. “Being an adventurer like my ancestors,” he says, “I decided to take the leap and apply for medical school. From the beginning, I always felt a calling to return to my roots and practice medicine in a rural area, caring for people who—like my family and friends—are simple, hardworking adventurers and pioneers.” In his third year in the U of A’s medical school, Armstrong became one of the first recipients of the Métis Endowment Fund. In April 2008, the Métis Nation of Alberta established a $1.5 million

endowment to fund scholarships for Métis students. Since then, the group has contributed another $500,000, and 25 Métis students have received awards. Armstrong completed his rural rotation in the High Prairie area and loved it. “Many people have helped make my dream of becoming a rural family physician a reality,” he says. “I will always be grateful for this. My only hope is that I can give back to my community as much as they have given me.”

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Our ambition is to make a positive difference in how Albertans understand and act on climate change, and to transform how municipalities and the provincial government engage citizens on tough environmental issues.” David Kahane

Engaging Citizens on climate change


hink of it as a conversation of thousands, a chorus of voices striving for consensus and raising the bar for democratic participation.

With a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, political scientist David Kahane has put together a stellar team of 35 researchers—nine of them from the University of Alberta —involving 19 universities and 19 community organizations to find the best ways to translate grassroots deliberation on climate change into political action. Called “Alberta Climate Dialogue: Deliberative Democracy and Climate

Change in Alberta and Beyond,” the project draws on expertise from disciplines as diverse as rural economy, public health, education policy studies, political science and business. Working closely with Athabasca University, the University of Calgary and Grant McEwan University, the team will bring together thousands of Alberta citizens as well as community and business leaders to consider solutions to climate change and find the best ways to ensure the deliberations result in effective policy.

The goal, says Kahane, is to have all Alberta citizens examine our lifestyles, think more deeply about what we most value, and welcome reflections from citizens in all walks of life. “Our ambition is to make a positive difference in how Albertans understand and act on climate change, and to transform how municipalities and the provincial government engage citizens on tough environmental issues.”

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Our research will allow important advances to be made that underlie the complex systems associated with carbon storage and energy efficiency.” Rick Chalaturnyk

Exploring carbon capture


University of Alberta engineering professor is building a one-of-a-kind research facility that will provide new insights into carbon storage and unconventional hydrocarbon recovery.

The facility will enable Rick Chalaturnyk and his colleagues to apply up to 5,800 pounds per square inch of pressure to rock formation samples and use acoustic imaging techniques to “see” the way carbon dioxide stored underground behaves in its liquid, gas and supercritical phases. They will also be able to simulate conditions used in enhanced oil recovery, heating test samples to temperatures as high as 350 C. The research plays a key role in the Government of Alberta’s Climate

Change Strategy, which aims to store 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year starting in 2015. Funded by the provincial and federal governments and industry supporters, the $4 million Geomechanical Reservoir Experimental Facility is also a key fixture in a new five-year, $25-million partnership between the U of A and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, aimed at driving technological innovations towards cleaner energy production. “It will take time for society to

make the transition to renewable energy and other forms of energy, and carbon capture and storage is one of the options that allows us to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions during the transition period,” says Chalaturnyk. “Our research will allow important advances to be made that underlie the complex systems associated with carbon storage and energy efficiency related to oilsands and other types of unconventional hydrocarbon recovery.”

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It’s very rewarding to have students that really look forward to coming, to know you’ve helped give them something they’ll have their entire lives.” Sophia Barry

Students Building community at home…


he music students admit they were a bit apprehensive at first. After all, volunteering to teach at an inner-city school is not your typical course assignment in fine arts.

But it didn’t take long to see the light, says third-year music pedagogy student Sophia Barry. “It’s very rewarding to have students who really look forward to coming, to know you’ve helped give them something they’ll have their entire lives,” says Barry, who, along with a classmate, taught a group of three elementary students at Edmonton’s Mother Teresa School. “Once you see everyone beginning to improve, and they take a liking to you, remember your name, and have a

story to tell you, then it’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t wait until next week.’” The U of A course is one of 20 across campus integrating volunteer work with classroom studies. The brainchild of director Sara Dorow, the Community Service Learning Program was launched in the arts faculty in 2003 but has since grown to include courses in four faculties and on three campuses. Instructors and community partners work together to design volunteer experiences that help community organizations while fulfilling academic

course requirements. There are 300 students in Augustana Campus’ program, and about 270 others at Campus Saint-Jean and in the faculties of arts, education, native studies, and agricultural, life and environmental sciences. “It’s another angle on [our students’] learning, one that’s visceral,” says Dorow. “Because it’s experiential, more of their nerve endings are pinging, and they understand that knowledge is contextually produced and applied.”

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It just feels so much better knowing you’re making a huge impact on someone’s life rather than just a profit.” Brianna Lackie

… And abroad


or Brianna Lackie, “career” means something very different than it once did.

After two extracurricular servicelearning trips—one to New Orleans two years ago to help rebuild the city and this year to Guatemala to build houses for families in need—the degree she’s working on in civil engineering has been cast in a whole new light. “I’m really assessing my career direction and realizing my knowledge as a civil engineer can actually help people abroad,” says the third-year student living in Lister Centre. “Instead of going ‘big corporate,’ I’m really looking into

how I can give back to others. It just feels so much better knowing you’re making a huge impact on someone’s life, rather than just a profit.” The 10-day Service Learning Experience is a partnership between U of A residences and Habitat for Humanity. On a trip over reading week, 24 residence students worked shoulder-toshoulder with villagers near the city of Totonicapán, building houses made of cement and rebar. “They dug trenches, moved large

piles of dirt and rock, carried bricks, mixed cement, installed bricks and secured rebar into the foundation,” said Chelsey Evans, co-ordinator, student engagement and learning, for Residence Services. The students also spent time with the families for whom they were building, communicating, for the most part, with gestures and humour. “There was a huge language barrier,” said Lackie. “But it was so much fun … we taught each other simple words in each of our languages.”

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The magic of it all was being able to present the dissertation directly to the Gitksan people and talk to them about what they had taught me.” Val Napoleon

Defence with a Difference: taking research back to the people


t’s not your usual thesis defence by a long shot. But what could be more relevant than presenting a dissertation on indigenous law to the same First Nations community upon which the research is based?

That’s exactly what Val Napoleon, a professor cross-appointed in the faculties of law and native studies, decided to do when she took her dissertation on Gitksan law and legal theory to the Gitksan community of Gitanyow in northern British Columbia last spring. “The magic of it all was being able to present the dissertation directly to the Gitksan people and talk to them about what they had taught me,” said Napoleon, herself a member of the Treaty 8 community of Saulteau First

Nation. “Community members were able to ask questions in addition to the defence committee’s questions, so their participation was a critical part of the whole process.” Napoleon demonstrated that the Gitksan people have their own substantive body of law and longstanding legal traditions, around which she developed a legal theory. She will be revising her findings into a book this summer. In her teaching and work, Napoleon is devoted to promoting what she calls

“intense democracy,” encouraging students to apply their learning to their lives as citizens, to their communities, and to a world they can imagine and build. She also promotes the constant search for new ways to communicate that learning. “One of the community members even suggested a Law and Order: Gitksan,” said Napoleon. “Wouldn’t that be a hoot?”

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Because of our extensive work with the women’s team, our research centre certainly enhanced their chances of making it to the podium.” Rob Krepps

From Lab to Olympic podium


esearch at the University of Alberta played a key role in helping the Canadian women’s curling team capture a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

A state-of-the-art research lab, created by Pierre Baudin and Rob Krepps from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, helped the team improve the technical aspect of their game. Members of the men’s goldmedal Olympic curling team also took advantage of the research facility, says Krepps. “All members of both Cheryl Bernard’s and Kevin Martin’s teams have been analyzed in our lab. But because of our extensive work with the women’s

team, our research centre certainly enhanced their chances of making it to the podium.” A curling sheet at the Saville Sports Centre was transformed into a research centre with eight motion analysis cameras and 12 video cameras. Baudin and Krepps discovered that what really matters when delivering a curling stone is what happens with the line, weight and rotation of the rock. With their high-tech approach, they have been able to help athletes

understand critical cause-and-effect principles that can be incorporated into the game. The researchers have also been able to modify the delivery for wheelchair curlers, and are going forward with their research to assure Canadian curling athletes maintain their worldclass status. “It’s truly special what we have. To our knowledge, there’s no other permanent setup like it,” says Baudin.

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There’s still that twinkle in their eye when I see them; the trip is still something they speak of with great emotion.” Simon Pagé

Campus Saint-Jean: the African classroom


ake 10 students, place them in a remote village in Kenya and prepare for a transformative experience that will profoundly influence the lives of everyone involved.

So it was with a group of Campus Saint-Jean education students who, in 2009, took part in the second of a five-year partnership with Craig Kielburger’s Me To We Foundation, a social enterprise affiliated with Kielburger’s internationally acclaimed Free The Children organization. Simon Pagé, one of the program’s co-ordinators, says the anticipation students felt before the trip was eclipsed only by their commitment to be more socially conscious when they returned.

“There’s still that twinkle in their eye when I see them; the trip is still something they speak of with great emotion,” says Pagé. The students delivered classes to Kenyan children in Grades 5 to 7, bringing Canadian classroom practices and structures to the Kenyan curriculum. By the end, the local teachers were picking up on strategies that engaged the children, such as allowing for more student participation through sharing of opinions or ideas.

But the Campus Saint-Jean students’ influence didn’t end there. They are still in contact with the principal of the school, who has informed them that the school’s Grade 8 class had the most improved test results among a 50-school division. “It was our presence there, our inspiration, our enthusiasm, that inspired the teachers and the students as well,” says Pagé. “Hopefully it will have a lasting impact on that school.”

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I plan to encourage new nursing scholars and students to get involved and excited about research with seniors and their families.” Wendy Duggleby

Pulling Together for improved seniors care


t was important for Elly de Jongh’s husband to remain in the comfort of their home while he battled cancer.

“All that time he was home, he was really happy,” said de Jongh, thanks to nurses who taught her how to care for her husband and administer his pain medications. After he died in 2001, she made her first contribution to the Faculty of Nursing. “Pain control was my motivation, and I never looked back,” said de Jongh. “If you can control pain, it will improve your condition, the way

you feel, and you can still have quality of life,” she said. De Jongh is proud to be one of 315 community members whose contributions have made possible the faculty’s endowed Nursing Research Chair in Aging and Quality of Life possible. It’s a University of Alberta landmark, since support for such a chair typically comes from either a funding agency or a single donor.

Wendy Duggleby took on the position in January and says she’s encouraged by the support from community members, alumni and U of A faculty and staff. “I feel very privileged and determined; I will represent their legacy by focusing on the future.” Adds Duggleby, “I plan to encourage new nursing scholars and students to get involved and excited about research with seniors and their families.”

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Philanthropy—the generous acts of our many alumni and friends—is making this journey possible, and we are so very grateful.” Debra Pozega Osburn

A Journey of Discovery inspired through generosity


s president of the University of Alberta’s Alumni Association, Jim Hole knows how much the cost of university education has increased over the years.

That’s why he has become such a strong advocate for raising funds to support students through scholarships and bursaries. The U of A currently awards $81 million annually in financial assistance. Much of the funding for scholarships and other significant academic initiatives comes from donations received from alumni and friends of the university. In 2009–10, the U of A received more than $102 million in donations from some 20,000 alumni and friends.

“The level of support that we receive is remarkable, and is absolutely essential to the university’s success,” says Vice-President (External Relations) Debra Pozega Osburn. “The U of A is on this exciting path of discovery, leading our students, educators and researchers toward an even better educational environment. “Philanthropy—the generous acts of our many alumni and friends—is making this journey possible, and we

are so very grateful.” Alumni contribute half of all donations to the U of A—“something we can all take pride in,” says Hole. “I believe we all have a stake in assuring the U of A’s place among the very best public universities in the world,” he says. “Our gifts ultimately make for a stronger university —one that will continue to make world-class advancements in research and provide an outstanding education for our students.”

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Fast Facts plinary Science were completed, while the main building is scheduled to open in 2011. A flagship initiative that will be truly transformative for the Faculty of Science, the new facility will bring together students, professors and researchers from a variety of science departments to create an interdisciplinary approach to scientific discovery, opening the door of opportunity for more undergraduate and graduate students. The U of A is also in the process of creating a learning and teaching environment where health research and clinical teams can work more collaboratively together. Opening in the fall of 2011, The Edmonton Clinic is a partnership between Alberta Health Services, the U of A and the Alberta government and will establish an innovative, patient-centred health delivery system that integrates outpatient care with a new interdisciplinary approach

Sponsored Research Revenues* (in millions)

Where the money comes from Projected Budget Revenues (Fiscal Year 2010−11) Government

to health sciences education and research. The result: a transformed experience for patients, families and learners. In addition to being one of the world’s best universities, the U of A is one of the province’s largest employers, with almost 15,000 full- and part-time employees. More than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs in Alberta are supported by the university’s activities. A big part of the U of A’s economic impact comes from TEC Edmonton, a partnership between the university and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, forged to bring the results of innovation to the benefit of Albertans by fostering commercialization of research. Technology transfer has stimulated economic growth in Edmonton with the creation of 92 portfolio companies and by employing hundreds of people.

$ 916.7 M

Tuition and fees

$ 216.0 M


$ 462.8 M


$ 1,595.5 M

$ 500M



oday about 37,600 students from across Canada and 142 other countries are enrolled in 18 faculties on five campuses: the original North Campus, South Campus and Michener Park, Augustana Campus based in Camrose, the French-language Campus Saint-Jean and Enterprise Square in downtown Edmonton. The student body is made up of nearly 30,500 full- and part-time undergraduate students and more than 7,100 graduate students. The university’s prized Faculty of Extension, located at Enterprise Square campus, offered lifelong learning activities to another 14,289 students last year. Last year’s spring and fall convocations saw the University of Alberta hand out 6,715 bachelor degrees, 1,228 master’s degrees and 371 doctoral degrees. In January, the north lecture theatres of the Centennial Centre for Interdisci-

$ 400M

$ 300M

$ 200M

$ 100M

Where the money goes Budgeted Expenses (Fiscal Year 2010−11)

Scholarships & bursaries TOTAL

$ 81.6 M $ 1,579.0 M

8 00


8 -2

7- 2






6 -2

5 -2






4 -2

3 00

00 3 -2

2-2 200


0 01

002 1- 2



0 -2


-19 99

-19 98

-2 0

19 9 9

$ 565.4 M

19 9 8

$ 932.0 M

Materials, supplies & services

19 9 7

Academic services & salaries

19 9 6

-19 97


*The total sponsored research revenues include clinical trial and related research funding with then-Capital Health and the then-Alberta Cancer Board, and include capital revenues for research. **An estimate for 2010 research revenues was unavailable at press time.

Produced by the Office of External Relations under the auspices of the Community and Government Relations Committee of the University of Alberta Board of Governors. ©2010 University of Alberta •

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The “Village” People The art of group-giving has brought a new chair into the fold


t may now be time to add the word “chair” alongside “child” when talking about how it takes a village to raise one. In the case of the Faculty of Nursing, it was a “village” of over 315 faculty members, alumni and friends who came together to raise $1.6 million for the newly endowed Nursing Research Chair in Aging and Quality of Life at the University of Alberta. It’s the first time in the history of the University that a chair—occupied by Wendy Duggleby, ’90 MNu— has been funded so broadly. In keeping with the collaborative approach to funding this chair, Duggleby will work in partnership with Alberta seniors, their families, and other researchers and nurses while conducting her research. “I plan on consulting with individuals, seniors groups and agencies to find out what they feel are important issues,” she says. “We began this project eight years ago,” says Jessica Twidale, director of development and public relations in the Faculty of Nursing. “To date, every one of these individuals who donated money gave because they understand the difference nursing research makes to quality of life.” Given the fact that seniors are one of the fastest-growing population demographics in Canada— even though Alberta still has the youngest population of the three Prairie provinces— it makes Duggleby’s research all the more timely and relevant. According to the most recent population projections, the proportion of seniors in the Canadian population could nearly double in the next 25 years, while the proportion of children is expected to continue falling. In 2000, one out of every eight people in Canada was 65 years old or older; by


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Spring/Summer 2010

2025, the number of Canadians over the age of 60 is expected to increase to one in four. And as soon as 2016, Canada will have more seniors in its population than children 14 and under, something never before seen in this country. As of right now, a record one-in-seven Canadians is 65 or older. This shifting age structure across the country will have serious impacts on both Canada’s economy and its social organization. It will also bring with it concomitant pressures on the health care needs and the cost of delivering that care to the country’s citizenry. And it will inevitably mean that more people will be clamouring for fewer resources. Duggleby says her research agenda will focus on answering questions people think will directly affect this aging demographic, a cohort that is not only becoming an increasingly significant issue for Canada, but also has implications for countries around the world. “The goal of my research is to enhance quality of life for older adults and their families,” says Duggleby.

Wendy Duggleby

“This will be through developing “vested interest in the topic of aging.” new nursing knowledge, which can Field also recently established her change nursing policy and practice, own scholarship in the names of her as well as support family members parents, Ivor and Peggy Field, which and friends to care for seniors.” is awarded to a graduate student in One major donor to the research maternal-child nursing who has chair was 82-year-old Elly de Jongh demonstrated clinical competence whose late husband, Herman— forand academic brightness. Fields says merly an anaesthetist at the Royal that although “I could not afford to Alexandra Hospital— was paralyzed donate a large sum all at once to in bed from cancer that had spread bring the scholarship funding up to to his spine. With the required help from two $20,000, a U of A nurses who monthly payment “We have cause stopped by reguwas feasible, so larly, de Jongh was along with my to rejoice that able to keep her book royalties and husband at home consulting fees the we have had for almost the entire target was eventusix months he was ally reached, the opportunity bedridden before he although it took passed away. De 10 years.” Jongh is grateful for When she to work or the nurses’ assisheard about the tance and proud to Nursing Research study in a vibrant have been one of Chair in Aging the donors to make and Quality of and growing the chair possible. Life, Field once “If you can control again decided to faculty.” pain and it will donate. Further, improve your conher personal dition, the way you choice for leaving feel, you can still have quality of life,” money to the Faculty of Nursing she says. after she passes on is through her Duggleby has also been recoglife insurance policy, which, she nized nationally and internationally says, “carries with it a yearly tax for her “Living with Hope” research deduction on premiums.” Although with seniors and their families that that may be a win-win situation, it’s she began conducting when she was not the main motivation for her with the University of Saskatchewan. magnanimity. The purpose of the research is to “We have cause to rejoice that we develop and implement a “Living have had the opportunity to work or with Hope” program for elderly palstudy in a vibrant and growing facliative home care patients with canulty,” says Field. “However, it needs cer. “Hope is different for people continued financial support from who are dying,” she says, “but it is colleagues, alumni and those who essential for their comfort and peace have received care from nurses and of mind at the end of life.” wish to express their gratitude. In University of Alberta professor this way, the Faculty of Nursing will emerita Peggy Anne Field, ’80 PhD, continue to lead the way with strong was a keynote speaker when the new researchers, excellent teachers and chair was officially announced. top students. This is why I give.” During her remarks she jokingly pointed out that she now has a — Angela Phinlay

How a gift of life insurance works As people’s lives evolve over a number of years, life insurance policies that were once important guarantees for someone’s financial future may no longer be needed. Life insurance offers a flexible and affordable way to support the U of A. The first consideration is whether you want to retain ownership of your life insurance policy and designate the University to receive all or a portion of the proceeds at the time of death. Or, you may transfer ownership of your existing policy to the U of A while you are still on this earth. In naming the University as beneficiary only of a policy, the charitable tax receipt is issued to the estate once the death benefit is received. No premium payments are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. In making the University the irrevocable owner and beneficiary of an existing policy, a charitable tax receipt is issued for the current cash surrender value of the policy. Future premium payments that are made will also be eligible for charitable tax receipts. You may also make a gift of a new policy, where the University is made the owner and beneficiary, and all premium payments are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. The policy can be paid up over a number of years or for the donor’s lifetime. For more information about how to make a gift of life insurance or any other type of legacy or estate gift, please contact the University of Alberta Gift Planning Office.


Name:______________________________ Address:____________________________ ___________________________________

Telephone:___________________________ e-mail:______________________________ Please contact us at: Development Office, Gift Planning Unit Enterprise Square 3rd Floor, 10230 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4P6 Telephone: 780-492-0332 Toll Free: 1-888-799-9899 e-mail: Spring/Summer 2010

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Alumni Association

PHOTO CONTEST We Have Our Winner! The lucky grand prize winner of the Alumni Association’s “Win Your Grad Year In $$$$” photo contest was Lauren Charanduk, a second-year U of A education student. Since Lauren is a student and not an alumnus (yet), the amount she could win— as stated in the contest rules—was capped at $1,500. A dollar for every unique entry received was also donated by the Alumni Association to the University’s Emergency Student Bursary Fund. Entrants had to include in their photo a stylized letter “A” that could be pulled out of the Autumn 2009 issue of New Trail or downloaded from the Office of Alumni Affairs website. All entrants were eligible to win the grand prize and the winner was chosen at random. Charanduk’s photo was taken in Edmonton. This contest gave alumni from around the world—in such countries as Australia, Germany, Brazil and Denmark—a common bond as they submitted entries that ran the gamut from adding the “A” to a pre existing photo or taking the “A” with them to exotic locales, such as atop Mt. Kilimanjaro or to The Great Wall of China. The winner of the early bird prize—a GPS unit—was Shane Jaffer, ’90 BCom, ’90 BA, from Calgary. His photo was taken in Maui during a family vacation and features his four-year-old son, Alexander, who, Jaffer says, “Liked the ‘A’ because his name begins with the same letter. I was trying to get my son and daughter in the photograph to inspire them to think of the U of A as their school. However, my daughter was too busy enjoying the water.” To view the gallery of 500 “best of” submissions—out of the almost 3,500 entries received— go to alumni/photocontest. Lauren Charanduk’s winning entry.


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his (2.3 x 1.4 metre) painting entitled Observing December “is a bit of a walk down memory lane,” says Keith Harder, since it was the major work he submitted for his masters of fine arts degree from the University of Alberta that he was granted in 1989. Harder was hired as a professor of visual art at the U of A’s Augustana Campus in 1992 and became chair of the Department of Fine Arts there in 1999, a position he still holds. This painting depicts a view from the top of the U of A’s 14-storey Henry Marshall Tory Building looking east toward Edmonton’s High Level Bridge and the city’s downtown core. In most of his work— and this work is an example—Harder’s descriptive, realistic style concentrates on capturing images that are often lost in a passing glance or are just a flicker in the corner of the eye. His work pays close attention to the contemptibly familiar or the anonymity of the obvious. Quirks of individuality and the degree of technical rigour provide subtle spin to the realism that characterizes this approach. Go to and click on “Map” to see more of Harder’s work. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


bookmarks Non-fiction: The Dragon and the Cross: Why European Christianity failed to take root in China By Louis K. Ho, ’71 BEd Xulon Press,

Edited by Serge Cipko, ’95 PhD, and Natalie Kononenko The Kule Endowment Group, available from the Ukrainian Folklore Centre at the U of A:

The Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta: The First Half Century 1922-1975 Robert A. Macbeth, ’42 BA, ’44 MD, ’88 DSc (Honorary) University of Alberta Department of Surgery, contact Jocelyn Reekie at

All Mixed Up!: Family Favourite Recipes of Gail and Dick Harington Gail and Dick, ’54 BA, ’57 BSc, ’77 PhD, ’04 DSc (Honorary), Harington Polar Bear Publishing,

William Bleasdell Cameron, A Life of Writing and Adventure Robert W. Hendriks, ’68 BEd Athabasca University, auarchives/

Write an Effective Funding Application: A Guide for Researchers & Scholars Mary W. Walters, ’70 BEd The Johns Hopkins University Press,

More Moments in Time: Images of Exemplary Nursing Beth Perry, ’78 BSc, ’82 BSc(Nu), ’94 PhD Athabasca University Press,

The Rose that Grew from Concrete: Teaching and Learning with Disenfranchised Youth Diane Wishart, ’85 BA, ’99 MEd, ’01 BEd, University of Alberta Press,

Fiction and Poetry: Faded Love (Stories) Robert N. Friedland, ’90 LLB Libros Libertad Publishing Ltd.,

Aphelion (Poems) Jenna Butler, ’02 BA, ’04 BEd NeWest Press,


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Spring/Summer 2010

Danielle Schaub

Champions of Philanthropy: Peter and Doris Kule and their Endowments

Too Bad: Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait Robert Kroetsch, ’48 BA, ’97 DLitt (Honorary) University of Alberta Press

obert Kroetsch’s newest volume of poetry—though slim—is dense with references to people, places and time. Many of the poems allude to works by other writers—Mark Twain, Al Purdy, Matthew Arnold, William Carlos Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Henri Rousseau and James Joyce, just to name a few. And the collection moves around like a charming, intoxicated tour guide—from China to Yellowknife, Japan to the Mississippi River. In the poem “To Eli Mandel,” Kroetsch manages to seamlessly work in references to both that late 20th-century poet and the Canadian prairies that inspired him: “in your voice scorched prairie, the solace of touch,/ the rent regions of the heart, the place without place.” Many of the poems in this collection also seem obsessed with time, which is perhaps not surprising for an 83-year-old poet. One of the earlier poems in this volume, “Afterthought 2,” opens:


A tree is a kind of calendar, our teacher explained, each ring in the wood a year, each tree a memory of itself, a history.

In this and many other poems, Kroetsch weaves the measuring of time — the literal taking stock of moments — with images of trees, the sun, the seasons, time zones, days, daylight savings time and waiting. In another poem, “Taste,” he writes: “I waited and I waited. I ate the cookies./I couldn’t name the taste. I’m still waiting.” And then in a poem towards the end of the collection, “Time to Spare”:

I have time to consider what was and is. By the time I speak the word then it’s now. The future will name itself on arrival. Right now I am waiting. Just simply waiting.

This collection — so saturated with allusions, geography and the inevitable passage of time — nonetheless contains a strong element of humour, which makes Too Bad, Kroetsch’s first volume of poetry since 2004, worth the wait and a pleasure not to be missed. —Heather MacLeod, PhD candidate in English & Film Studies

Cambridge Footsteps: A Passage Through Time Ian Sheldon, ’99 MSc Cambridge University Press

lthough Cambridge has all the trappings of a modern English city — such as megastores and double-decker buses — a few steps inside the gates of one of the many colleges of the University of Cambridge is a trip back in time. Inside the colleges, the ghosts of 800 years of Cambridge alumni seem ever-present. It is this history that Ian Sheldon has captured in his delightful new collection of watercolours, Cambridge Footsteps. Cambridge Footsteps is appropriately titled. Looking at the paintings, it is easy to imagine you can hear the footsteps of some of the prominent thinkers that have called Cambridge home. Peer into the windows of Christ’s College and you can almost see Charles Darwin (Class of 1831) reading the letter inviting him to voyage on the HMS Beagle. A glance at Cambridge’s Gothic masterpiece, King’s College Chapel, might convince you that John Maynard Keynes (Class of 1904) is considering economic theory while enjoying evensong service inside. And the truly imaginative might even see John Cleese (Class of 1963) practising his famous “silly walks” up the steps of one of the neo-classical porticos at Downing College. Like Sheldon, I am an alumnus of the University of Alberta and the University of

Darren Greenwood


Cambridge (’07 PhD). Consequently, Cambridge Footsteps is a delightful keepsake for me, as I’m sure it will be for those who have visited or studied at Cambridge — or those who will visit it only through the pages of Sheldon’s book. I was pleased to see a late afternoon view of the Old Granary at Darwin College, my home at Cambridge. The rarity of sunny days frequently inspires students and tourists alike to partake in punting excursions up the River Cam. Those champagne-soaked (and occasionally river-soaked) days will often end with the precise scene that Sheldon captures. Sheldon includes some of the famous views of Cambridge, but also rarely seen ones such as the Senate House Passage, the unremarkable cobblestone alleyway into which a stunned graduate emerges seconds after receiving his or her degree. These scenes, along with other small details, like the ubiquitous bicycles, bring Cambridge Footsteps to life. If fortune smiles upon the University of Alberta, then 700 years from now an artist like Ian Sheldon will capture a similarly illustrious history. — Ian Colman, ’00 MSc

Toby: A Man

Chris Schwarz

Todd Babiak, ’95 BA HarperCollins Canada

oby Ménard (a.k.a. Mushinsky), knows the answers to all questions of etiquette, and shares his knowledge with the uninitiated in his self-titled segments for Montreal television, “Toby: A Gentleman.” But though he may know how to wear a dress handkerchief, compose the perfect toast, and execute the perfect handshake (i.e. forward thrust, firm but not too firm, and lasting no longer than three seconds), he


proves ill-equipped to answer life’s thornier questions, such as what to do when an on-air racist gaffe costs him his job, when his news-anchor girlfriend cuckholds him with his boss, or when his increasingly erratic father sets himself on fire. Before long the former man-about-town and founder of the Benjamin Disraeli Society finds himself living in his parents’ basement, working at Chien Chaud, the failing family hotdog stand, and most improbably, caring for a two-year-old boy whose mother (a reckless one-night stand) suddenly skips town. Can Toby, a gentleman, rise above his circumstances to become Toby, a man? This is the fourth novel by award-winning author, journalist and screenwriter Todd Babiak, and here he cements his reputation as a keen wit and scathing social satirist. Like his previous novel, The Book of Stanley (2008), which is currently in development for TV, Toby: A Man seems tailor-made for Hollywood, complete with product placements for BMW and Bombay Mahal. But beneath the stage makeup and Klieg lights, Toby proves to be a very real — and very sympathetic — character. After all, in an era of celebrity nip-slips and reality TV smackdowns, there is something deeply appealing in Toby’s belief in the “enduring links between traditional manners and success, between clothes and the soul.” Babiak himself certainly seems to think so. As readers of his popular column in the Edmonton Journal will know, Babiak has transplanted himself and his young family to rural France in search of Old World values and a certain je ne sais quoi. And if you have enjoyed his dispatches from his family’s mad-cap adventures abroad, you will enjoy even more this novel full of family, misadventure and lots and lots of heart. — Sarah Ligon Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


Alumni Events For more events and up-to-date information, subscribe to e-trail, the Alumni Association’s monthly electronic newsletter, at

May 30, 2010 — Lethbridge, AB Join us for an afternoon of “Desserts, Deserts & Dinosaurs” with U of A paleontologist Phil Currie. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at or call us toll-free at 1-877-492-1059.

June 10, 2010 — Calgary, AB The annual alumni reception and dinner at Spruce Meadows is a highlight for many Calgarians. Enjoy a buffet dinner in our private pavilion and cheer on your favourite horse and rider. This event sells out, so register early at or call us toll-free at 1-877-492-1059.

June 11, 2010 — Calgary, AB Come check out the Alumni Shindig happening at Local 522. This is a casual gathering of recent grads and friends at this great downtown pub. Tickets are $10 and include a drink and delicious appetizers. RSVP at Shindig or call us toll-free at 1-877-492-1059.

Mixed Chorus Alumni cheered on the Pandas at a recent Bear’s Den event.

Summer — Kelowna/Penticton, BC

September 25, 2010 — Edmonton, AB

Plans are underway to visit the Okanagan valley again this summer! Let us know if you have any suggestions and make sure you’re on the mailing list by e-mailing us at

Fraternity Alumni Chapter — Fraternally Yours: Open House and House Tours. Reception: noon – 1 p.m. at the Law Centre, Room 105. Tours: 1 –3 p.m. See Alumni Weekend brochure in this issue or e-mail: RSVP at

June 25, 2010 — Edmonton AB

September 24, 2010 — Edmonton, AB

All U of A orthodontic alumni are invited to attend the Orthodontic 2010 Graduation Celebration Dinner, Royal Glenora, 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner. $75 per person. Contact Vi Warkentin at 780-492-2896 or toll-free 1-800-661-2593, or RSVP at

Mixed Chorus Alumni Reception & Rehearsal – Meet up, rehearse and perform at Saturday’s Alumni Dinner. Registration required. If attending the Alumni Dinner, you must RSVP for it as well. See Alumni Weekend brochure in this issue. RSVP at

July 2010 — Tanzania

September 25, 2010 — Edmonton, AB

The U of A is visiting Arusha, Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar in July, and we hope to have some alumni gatherings. To be put on our contact list please e-mail Gina at

Did you live in Lister Hall? Catch up with old friends at the Rez Reunion and BBQ, 11:30 – 2 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Go to for more details or to RSVP.

On-going — Hong Kong The University of Alberta Alumni Association of Hong Kong is a busy branch with so many fun activities to choose from. Skating, badminton, mahjong and dim sum have all been featured in recent events. Make sure to visit their website at to see the latest information.

July 2010 — Kenya The U of A is visiting Nairobi and Mombasa, and we hope to put together some events for alumni in the area. To be put on our contact list please e-mail Gina at

Summer — Vancouver, BC Last summer we hosted a very popular winery tour, so we are excited to be planning another trip to a lower mainland winery this summer. We are also planning to hold bi-monthly shindigs in the Vancouver area at local hotspots. Notices will be sent by e-mail only, so make sure you are on the list by e-mailing us at


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September 25, 2010 — Edmonton, AB Dental Hygiene alumni are invited to the annual DH Reunion Reception, 3–5 p.m. at the Edmonton Room, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. See Alumni Weekend brochure in this issue. RSVP at


November 20, 2010 — Edmonton, AB SAVE THE DATE! Gateway Centenary Celebrations. More to come.

All-Canadian Alumni Events

All-Canadian events are organized for alumni who attended any Canadian university and are great way to keep in touch when you’re far away. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Washington, DC, and London, UK, all hold regular All-Canadian events. Notices are sent by e-mail, so make sure you let us know your current location and e-mail address so we can keep connected. E-mail us at

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’28 N. Dermott McInnes, BA, ’31 BDiv, of North Vancouver, BC, is one of the oldest-living alumni of the University of Alberta, having recently celebrated his 102nd birthday surrounded by family and friends. Dermott writes that after receiving his bachelor’s of divinity from St. Stephen’s College in 1931, he received a travelling scholarship to study at Union Theological Seminary in New York, from which he received a master’s of sacred theology in 1932. Dermott spent his working life in the ministry of the United Church of Canada in Alberta and British Columbia and completed his career as a chaplain at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. Dermott adds that he is grateful for his student days at the U of A— and for being on the mailing list of New Trail.


’31 William L. “Bill” Kent, BSc (CivEng), is another of that proud cohort of the U of A’s oldest-living alumni. Bill spent his career as a civil engineer in Canada, the U.S. and the Philippines. Today, he still travels back to his alma mater by bus from Langley, BC, to attend alumni events, including Reunion Weekend, where he catches up with old friends and makes some new ones.


’53 John Godel, BSc, ’55 MD, of Heriot Bay, BC, was recently named a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to pediatric health care in remote northern Canadian communities and for his international volunteer work.

’58 James Lavers, BEd, ’70 MEd, of Edmonton, writes that since retiring from his career in education in 1984, he has been designing interactive decision-making programs based on his master’s research in neuro-linguistic programming at the U of A. The programs combine Jungian typology with various learning modes, including analytic, visual and kinetic learners. Three of these programs have been trademarked in Alberta, and Jim is currently working on marketing them nationally. In addition to his programming work, Jim is also an amateur historian and has recently proposed two submissions to the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation on his Scottish-Metis ancestors.


’62 Donald Storch, BA, of Victoria, BC, recently received the Order of Canada for his contributions and volunteerism in the fields of social welfare, family services, law and health care, particularly through his involvement with the Victorian Order of Nurses. Donald’s wife, Jan, writes that Donald has been very active in volunteer work throughout his career— in Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria— and that he is now semi-retired as a counsellor in Victoria, where the couple have lived since 1996. Jan and Donald are the proud parents of three children and the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

’65 Ralph Krueger, BA, of Calgary, ’68 Krishan Joshee, BEd, of writes that he has been retired from the Calgary Board of Education for the past 11 years and is now on his third trip to Brazil, where he and his team are completing the construction of a drug rehab centre in the city of Florinapolis. Ralph has taken similar building trips to Cameroon with charitable groups from Calgary. “So much to do, so little time left,” writes Ralph. ’67 Donald R. Bolstad, BEd, ’70 BA, of Wetaskiwin, AB, writes that after graduating he taught junior and senior high school in Alberta, before going on to earn a master’s of divinity at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon. “I served as a pastor in parishes in Alberta, the Yukon and British Columbia,” writes Donald, who retired in 2008. “I earned several certificates in addiction counselling and have spent a lot of time working on behalf of special needs children and for the poor, homeless and addicted.” Karl Ewoniak, BA, of Edmonton, has been appointed to the board of directors of Fidelity Capital Structure Corp., part of Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest providers of financial services. In addition to the Fidelity board, Karl serves on the boards of Canadian Direct Insurance Inc., the Alberta Securities Commission and the Alberta Capital Markets Foundation. John McDougall, BSc(Eng), of Edmonton, was appointed president of the National Research Council of Canada, effective April 19, 2010, for a mandate of five years. Lois Wilkinson, BCom, of Delta, BC, the director of Envision Financial, was recently appointed chair of the Delta Hospital Foundation.

Dick Harington, ’54 BA, ’57 BSc, ’77 PhD, ’04 DSc (Honorary), of Gloucester, ON, writes that he and his wife, Gail, have just published a cookbook, All Mixed Up!, that includes nearly 140 family recipes— many of them with Alberta connections— such as a recipe for the famous U of A Tuck Shop Cinnamon Buns and the renowned Calgary invention, Ginger Beef. Dick has published three other books in his professional career as a paleo-biologist and curator— now emeritus— of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, including Canada’s Missing Dimension: Science History in the Canadian Arctic Islands and The Year without a Summer: World Climate in 1816. He writes, “My main research interest is studying ice age vertebrates of Canada, and, in 2008, I completed 10 summers of excavating the four-million-year-old Beaver Pond site on Ellesmere Island, which has produced bones of small beavers and ancient relatives of black bears, wolverines, etc.”

Edmonton, recently received the Stars of Alberta Lifetime Volunteer Award. A retired science teacher, Krishan has chaired and served on numerous boards and has volunteered on many committees. Allan E. Scott, BSc(Eng), received the John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts at the 23rd annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts held on March 22 by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton. Allan is the chair of the board of directors of the Art Gallery of Alberta and recently oversaw the opening of its new $22-million building in Edmonton’s Churchill Square. Michael Grandin, BSc(Eng), of Calgary, was recently appointed director of HSBC Bank Canada. He is the former chair and CEO of Fording Incorporated and Fording Canadian Coal Trust.

’69 Edwin Ashton, MSc, ’73 PhD, ’00 BSc(Nu), of Grande Prairie, AB, writes in to say that he retired from the psychiatry department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in September and is now working as a volunteer chaplain and registered nurse at the Grande Prairie Care Centre. Barry Leon, BA, writes that he has joined the Ottawa-based law firm Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP as a partner in the international arbitration group, which was established at the beginning of 2009 to represent Canadian and international businesses and governments in arbitrations around the world. Barry adds that after graduating from the U of A he obtained his MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and his law degree at the University of Toronto. He had practised with Torys LLP in Toronto since his admission to the Ontario Bar in 1976 and has more than 30 years of experience as counsel in complex and significant disputes involving many different industries. E-mail

Spring/Summer 2010


’70 Doug Flynn, BSc(Eng), a senior mines inspector for British Columbia, recently won the David Barr Award for Excellence in Leadership and Innovation in Mineral Exploration Health and Safety. The award recognizes Doug’s commitment to his profession. Mary M. Walters, BEd, of Toronto, writes that she is a freelance writer and editor and has been working with academics for more than 20 years. Mary is the author of three books of fiction, and, most recently, a book of non-fiction, Write an Effective Funding Application: A Guide for Researchers and Scholars (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). A former awards facilitator at the University of Saskatchewan, Mary now lives in Toronto, where she consults and gives workshops on effective grant writing.

’71 Betty Charnaw, BSc(Nu), writes that she is now living in Toronto after 20 years working in community health in British Columbia. “I am a member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and a team leader in the MS Walk,” writes

Betty, of the annual fundraising walk for MS research that takes place in over 160 cities across Canada in the early spring and fall. “Please join us in your city!”

fiction and non-fiction by Kingstonbased authors, and Window of Dreams, a collection of writings for children. Contact Mary-Alice at

’73 Mary Anne McCorquodale,

’74 Margaret Louise Boyd, MHSA, of Kinistino, SK, writes, “I am beating the odds in a battle with metastatic bone cancer. I am doing fine and am still able to shovel snow, drive my car, and walk my little Cairn dog, Dusty Rose. I would like to see news of my classmates from the classes of 1969–1974. My early years at the U of A were part-time so my classmates are many.”

BA, ’85 LLB, was recently appointed a judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta in the Calgary civil court. Jack Mintz, BA, was recently appointed as a trustee of the Morneau Sobeco Income Fund, the largest human resource services company in Canada. Mary-Alice Thompson, BA, was recently made a partner with the Kingston, ON, law firm Cunningham Swan. A certified specialist of estates and trust law, Mary-Alice is the co-author of the widely used book, Drafting Wills in Ontario. She is also the co-editor of Written in Stone, an anthology of the best

Cindie Thompson (Lister), BEd, of Edmonton, writes that she has retired from full-time teaching although she continues to volunteer in teaching French and English as a second language. Cindie is also a keen traveller and an avid five-pin bowler.

’75 Anne Papan, BSc(Nu), of Granum, AB, writes in to say that since graduating she has worked as a staff nurse, an infection control nurse and an occupational nurse at several hospitals in northern Ontario and in Alberta. She was also a

nursing officer in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1975 to 1977. Dorie Miller, BEd, ’84 PostgradDip, and her husband, Bob Miller, ’76 BEd, wrote in to say that they have been “happily living and working as writers, coordinators and teachers in Bali, Indonesia and Bangkok, Thailand, since 1999.” Dorie will be back at the couple’s home in MaMe-O Beach, AB, this spring and summer while she is on sabbatical and will return to Bangkok in the fall. Check out their work— and a short video— on their website at: Pauline Le Bel, BA, has just released her fourth CD of original songs, Rescue Joy, in which the male gospel trio, The Sojourners, provides backup vocals for Pauline’s soulful melodies and lyrics. The CD can be purchased online at or from Pauline at

life as a grad student can be more than a dream, regardless of your schedule. Master of Arts in Communications and Technology

part time study 60

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full time learning

’76 Stephen Rothfels, BSc, of Calgary, writes that after graduation he worked in Edmonton as a fire weather meteorologist with the Alberta Forest Service. Since moving to Calgary in 1980, he has worked as a meteorologist and a meteorological consultant for the CBC and CTV. Stephen adds that he loves to run, ski, cycle and hike, and he has a continued interested in antique automobiles. William Andreassen, BA, ’79 LLB, and Gordon Deck, ’76 BCom, ’80 LLB, were recently appointed as judges of the Provincial Court of Alberta. William was appointed to the bench in Camrose and Gordon to the bench in Red Deer.

’77 Ivor Ruste, BCom, of Calgary, was appointed executive vice-president and CFO of Cenovus Energy in December 2009. Cenovus is the oil sands and refining spin-off of the natural gas company Encana.

’78 Jeffrey Lozon, MHSA, an innovative leader in health-care management and a past recipient of a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award, was recently named a Member of the Order of Canada.

’79 Gwendolyn Joan Andres, BEd, writes that after graduation she worked as a teacher in Australia and Rocky Mountain House, AB. “I am of Swiss citizenship so I spent many years travelling and living abroad,” writes Gwen, who also earned a nursing degree in 1970. “I am now living in Victoria and working with a UVic team called Global Medical Brigades, which completed a trip to Honduras in February.”



’80 Yasmin Jivraj, BSc, is the president of the Edmonton-based information technology firm Acrodex that recently landed a $70-million contract with the provincial government to provide standardized desktop computer management services in 24 government ministries in Alberta. Dennis B. Denis, BA, ’83 LLB, of Edmonton, writes that he is wrapping up his final year as the past president of the U of A’s Alumni and Friends of the Faculty of Law. He adds that he has been appointed Queen’s Counsel, which, in the words of Justice Minister Alison Redford, “recognizes outstanding expertise, work and contributions in a lawyer’s public life.” Brian Ferguson, BCom, of Calgary, was recently named the CEO of Cenovus Energy Incorporated, Encana’s oil sands and refining spin-off company. Brian is the former CFO of Encana.

’82 Panos Kelamis, PhD, of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, recently received a prestigious Life Membership Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in recognition of his contributions to this field.

’83 Janet Cardiff, ’83 MFA, and George Bures Miller (who also studied at the U of A), are the creative force behind The Murder of the Crows, a sound installation that is making its North American debut at the new Art Gallery of Alberta. Janet and George have been showing their work together under the name “Cardiff Miller” for 15 years— including at the 2001 Venice Biennale and the 2008 Sydney Biennale— and now divide their time between homes in Berlin and the Okanagan.

Bill Mathewson, ’76 BA, of Edmonton, submitted this photo of his daughter, Wendy Mathewson, ’84 BA(RecAdmin), to the Alumni Association’s photo contest this past spring. Bill writes that the photo was taken after Wendy had competed as a SWAD (Swimmer With a Disability) at the World Masters Games in Sydney, Australia, winning three gold medals. “This added to her previous three gold medals won at the World Masters Games when they were held in Edmonton in 2005,” he writes. “Wendy swims with the Edmonton Masters Swim Club at the Kinsmen Sports Centre and is the subject of a book, Courage After Coma, authored by her mother, Mufty Mathewson, ’75 BSc(PT).”

’90 Cheol Ho Park, PhD, writes

Emo LeBlanc, ’94 BSc, ’95 (Dip)Ed, of Edmonton, wrote in to say that he’s been on the road this spring promoting the release of his fourth country music album, Dirty Job. Writes Emo: “In February, I headed to Nashville to work on my live show with Tom Jackson, who also produces Taylor Swift’s live show, and with vocal coach Brett Manning, who works with Miley Cyrus.” You can purchase all of Emo’s albums as CDs or MP3s from, and you can find out more about his work and touring schedule on his blog at

’85 Greg Dowler-Coltman, BFA, was recently honoured with the Excellence in Artistic Direction Award at the Mayor’s Celebration of Arts, which was put on by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton. Greg is the director of the fine arts department at Victoria School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Edmonton. David Hall, BSc(Eng), of Calgary, was recently named CEO and president of RMS Systems. Lisa Austin, BA, ’92 MA, writes from Edmonton: “After 20 years working in corporate communications, I’ve become a private communications consultant. Self-employment is great!”

’87 Thomas Trofimuk, BA, of Edmonton, received the Edmonton Book Prize on March 22 for his third novel, Waiting for Columbus (McClelland & Stewart). The prize was awarded at the 23rd annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, which was put on by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton. For an interview with Thomas, see page 22. Roger Couture, MA, ’91 PhD, of Sudbury, ON, was recently appointed dean of Laurentian University’s Faculty of Professional Schools.

from Chunchon, South Korea, that he has been a professor of bio-health technology at Kangwon National University since earning his PhD in 1990. Cheol’s research focuses on buckwheat, and he was the chair of the International Buckwheat Research Association from 2001 to 2007. He also uses his research to provide assistance to developing countries—including Laos, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea— through overseas development projects supported by the Korean government. Ray Suchow, BEd, of Beaumont, AB, writes to say that for the past 10 years he has been teaching computer studies and information processing at Christ The King School in Leduc, AB. “I’m involved in two projects to upgrade technology throughout my district,” writes Ray. “And I recently won the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Golden Apple Award for best article published in 2009. Life is good!” Larry Westergard, BA, was recently appointed president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

’93 Marc Adler, LLB, of Calgary, writes that he recently moved from the law firm of McCarthy Tetrault to a senior counsel position in the Calgary offices of General Electric Energy Financial Services (GE EFS), where his focus is on renewable energy. “GE EFS is based in Stamford, CT, and holds more than $22 billion in energy and water investments worldwide ($4 billion in renewable energy),” says Marc. “My position provides full legal support as an integral member of GE EFS deal teams, and I will be focusing on new transactions, as well as portfolio restructurings, asset sales and monetization of transactions.” Stéphanie Madill, BSc(PT), writes from Montreal, that she has received a PhD in rehabilitation science from Queen’s University for her doctoral thesis “Differences in pelvic floor muscle activation and functional output between women with and without stress urinary incontinence.” Stéphanie is now completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre de recherche institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


Marilyn McKnight, BEd, of the Argyll Centre school in Edmonton, was one of several alumni recipients of the 2009 Alberta Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence. Marilyn received a certificate of achievement award.

’94 Sheetal Mehta, BA, received the Lloyds TSB Jewel Award for Public Service on November 7 at a ceremony at the London Hilton, Park Lane. Sheetal is the founder of Innovative Social Ventures, which provides advisory services to socially conscious technology companies. The Jewel Award recognizes the brightest stars of the British Asian community. Sheetal is also a recipient of the U of A’s 2008 Alumni Award of Excellence. ’95 David Francoeur, BA, was recently named an associate with the law firm Andreasson Borth in Camrose, AB. David is a fifthgeneration Camrosian, and, prior to returning to his hometown, he worked as an in-house counsel for various public companies in London, Dublin and Singapore. Now he is happy to be back in Camrose,

where he and his wife, Sharon, are busy raising three young children. Trevor Anderson, BA, won the TELUS Courage to Innovate Award at the 23rd annual Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, which was held on March 22 by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Council of Edmonton. Trevor is an Edmonton-based independent filmmaker. His latest film, The Island, was described by the Edmonton Journal as “a comic blend of animation and live action.” Greg Dunn, BA, ’98 LLB, and Sheldon Popiel, ’95 BA, were recently named in the Calgary edition of Avenue magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. Greg is a criminal defence lawyer with Dunn & McKay, and Sheldon is the creative director of global brands at Corbis, a Seattlebased stock photography company.

’96 Lisa Byrne, BSc, was honoured as the 2009 Police Officer of the Year by the Vancouver Board of Trade in recognition of her work on key gang files in Vancouver, where she helped bust some of the most dangerous gangs in the city. (See story page 65.)

elevate your me meeting eeting experience The Banf Banfff Centr Centre e

James Kelso, BEd, of the Argyll Centre school in Edmonton, received a certificate of achievement award at the 2009 Alberta Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.

’98 Casey Hudson, BSc(Eng), is the executive producer of the recently released video game Mass Effect 2, which sold two million copies in the first week of its release this past January. The muchhyped game earned an average review score of 96— making it the second-highest rated game of all time on the Xbox 360 platform. Bioware, the gaming company that produces the Mass Effect series, is one of the most respected developers in the video game industry and was founded by Ray Muzyka, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD; Greg Zeschuk, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD; and Augustine Yip, ’90 BSc(Med), ’92 MD. Adrienne Breeze, BA, writes to say, “I have recently moved to Zurich, Switzerland, with my husband after having lived in Paris for the past two years and London prior to that.” In Paris, Adrienne worked as managing director of a fashion firm,

coordinating fashion programs for VIP clients and eventually taking on the role of developing strategies for the firm’s Asian market. “Fashion has always been my passion,” she writes. “And of all places, Paris was truly the right place for fashion. I took a fashion marketing program at Parsons School of Paris and off I went! From background work and strategies to personal shopping and styling for clients, I love them all. I love the unlimited possibilities and imagination I get to play with.” Although she has left Paris for Zurich, Adrienne will continue to work with her Paris firm, coordinating luxury fashion programs for clients coming to Europe. During her spare time, she writes a blog,, in which she offers advice on fashion and trends.

’99 Tim Kirby, BCom, ’03 LLB, of Edmonton, was recently made a partner at Felesky Flynn LLP where he practices tax law. Tim and his wife, Sonia Kirby (Cooper), ’00 BA, welcomed their first child, Sydney Rose, in September. Sonia is manager of investor relations at Stantec.

The Pied Piper of Edmonton n September 2006, Jessica BaudinGriffin, ’05 BEd, had a lot going on in her life. She had just given birth to her first child, Bria. She was trying to figure out how to make a career change that would allow her to spend more time with her daughter than her previous job as a dance teacher at an inner-city public school allowed. And she was also suffering from severe postpartum depression. A casual conversation with another mom put her on to a new dance program being developed for mothers and babies, and within a month she was the exclusive Edmonton licensee of Salsa Babies and the director of her own dance studio, J’Adore Dance. In one graceful leap, she found a solution to many of her problems.


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Spring/Summer 2010

“I knew from my own frustrations and challenges with postpartum depression how hard it is for new moms to find activities that allow them to reclaim some of their prebaby selves while also bonding and nurturing their new relationships with their babies,” says Jessica. “Salsa Babies allowed me to go to work with my daughter, continue to teach


’00 Andrew Birkby, BCom, recently joined the investment banking team at Canaccord Capital in Calgary.

’01 Jeff Cao, BSc, ’05 MD, and Joy Cao (Corpuz), ’01 BSc (MedLabSci), of London, ON, wrote in to announce the birth of their daughter, Elodie Joy Cao, on September 29, 2009.

’02 Brenda Draney, BA, ’06 BFA, was the national winner for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition for her piece, Aim is Important. This $25,000 award was established to help support artists early in their careers. ’03 Kym Francis, BEd, and Kristi Specht, ’03 BEd, both teachers at Hardisty School in Edmonton, were among the many alumni recipients of the 2009 Alberta Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence. Kim and Kristi each received certificates of achievement.

Optamedia, was named by Alberta Venture magazine as the sixth fastest-growing company in the province in 2010. Raymond Biesinger, BA, received the Northlands Award for an emerging artist at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, which was held in March by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Council of Edmonton. Raymond is an Edmonton-based illustrator whose work has graced the pages of the New York Times, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Walrus, and the Globe & Mail, just to name a few. Jeffrey Spady, BA, of Castor, AB, was recently made an associate with the Camrose law firm Andreasson Borth. Jeff has a general practice, including family law, criminal law, wills and estates and dependent adult matters. Jeremy Enarson, BSc(Eng), was recently appointed as the acting city engineer for the City of Camrose.

’04 Chris Bolivar, BA, of Edmonton,

’05 Stephanie Jonsson, BFA,

wrote in to tell us that his marketing communications agency, McRobbie

recently won the award of achievement from the Alberta Craft Council

and dance, and offer fitness solutions for moms in my community.” Salsa Babies is family-based dance program created by Torontomother Jennifer Torres, in which moms—and dads—learn popular Latin dance moves with their little ones strapped snuggly to their chests. Older toddlers can participate by shaking maracas, while younger ones can just bounce along to the soothing salsa beat. Three months after first hearing about the program—and after receiving the blessings of her father, U of A kinesiology expert Professor Pierre Baudin, who pronounced the program physiologically sound— Jessica had sold-out her first three classes. Since then, her studio has grown by leaps and bounds. By 2008, J’Adore Dance had seven instructors offering 20 classes a week in Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park. Around the same time Jessica found out that she and

“Dance was historically something families did together, and I feel in our Western culture we’ve lost that a little.” her husband would be expecting their second child, and as Jessica’s waistline expanded, so did her course offerings—including Salsa Tots (salsa for the one- to five-yearold set), classes for adults and teens, and a new pre-natal dance class, Salsa Bellies, which Jessica developed herself. Although Jessica again suffered from postpartum depression after

Tyrel Brochu, ’06 BCom, of Edmonton, writes that he and his wife, Shannon Brochu, ’07 LLB, competed in the Superama 2009 dance competition held at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. “This is the largest dance competition of the year held by the Arthur Murray franchise, with over 11,000 individual dance entries,” he writes. “Of these entries, Shannon and I had 61, dancing nine different styles of dance: waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha-cha, swing, West Coast swing, salsa and lindy hop. We are pleased to report that we took home gold in our division and category for all of the dances we performed together, and we received an award for top solo for a newcomer in the lindy hop. This was particularly rewarding as our routine was entirely choreographed by Shannon.” When not dancing, Shannon is a research lawyer at Chivers Carpenter, and Tyrel is a prospect research analyst at the University of Alberta. for her works in steel and ceramics. Stephanie is an artist, instructor and educator at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and a gallery educator at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Gabe Wong, BDes, an Edmontonbased graphic designer, was recently commissioned by the City of Edmonton to create digital

the birth of her second child, this time she had a thriving dance company—and a community of supportive dancers—to help see her through. “Postpartum depression is a scary, lonely place, and so many women suffer in silence,” explains Jessica. “Our classes give moms a safe place to come, sweat, feel a sense of community and, most importantly, know they are not alone.” Today, J’Adore Dance has again expanded—moving into a shiny new studio in Edmonton’s Lendrum Place in April—and become something of a family affair. This past year, Jessica’s husband, Chris, left his full-time job to partner in the company and help take care of the couple’s two daughters, Bria, now four, and Malia, 18 months. And both girls can often be seen dancing alongside their mother in several classes per week. “Dance was historically something families did together, and I feel in

murals for two new transit stations opened this spring. He is also known around the city as the creator of Blockheads, a series of easy-to-assemble paper toys, and, on February 6, he unveiled a 1.8metre-tall Blockhead at an art party celebrating Edgar Degas held at the new Art Gallery of Alberta.

our Western culture we’ve lost that a little,” says Jessica. “With our programs, we are really trying to encourage parents just to move to music with their children daily. The benefits for the family are so great, and it’s such an easy, low-cost thing that anyone can do.” So far the response has been phenomenal, and most of their spring classes are full—with long waiting lists. It’s not hard to see why. Jessica’s energy and enthusiasm for what she does is infectious. At a recent Salsa Tots class held during the opening week of her new studio, Jessica could be seen leading a room full of 20 toddlers and their moms in an energetic—and surprisingly coordinated—conga line. Like some pretty, 5’3” Pied Piper, Jessica had every one falling right in step, and as the parent of any toddler can testify, that’s no small feat. —Sarah Ligon Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


’06 Justin Wong, BCom, of Edmonton, recently obtained his chartered accountant designation and accepted a position as manager of special projects at Acrodex Inc. Justin also recently proposed to his long-time girlfriend Letitia Chow, ’05 BSc, ’07 MSc, and is delighted to report that she said “yes.” Letitia will receive her doctor of veterinary medicine degree this spring from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

’07 Tara Whitten, BSc, recently won first place in the omnium and in the points race at the World Track Cycling Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. This season, she set a record in winning the individual pursuit at the Pan-American Track Championships in Mexico City, and she placed first in the individual pursuit, points race and scratch race at the National Track Championships in Burnaby, BC.

’08 Deanna Iwanicka, BPE, ’09 BEd, of Edmonton, was recently named as the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference women’s hockey coach of the year. A former player with the Pandas, Deanna now coaches the NAIT Ooks women’s hockey team. Andrew Usenik, BSc(Eng), is the lead singer of the band Ten Second Epic, which was short-listed for the best new group award at the 2010 Junos held April 16 –17 in St. John’s NL. Although the award ultimately went to another group, Ten Second Epic has had an incredible year, touring the world from Japan to the U.K. Vue Magazine describes the band as playing “tight, vocally-driven rock tunes tinged with punk influences and a healthy dose of catchy pop hooks.” Jeff Zabudsky, PhD, was named president of the Sheridan Institute of Technology in Oakville, ON, a position he assumed February 1, 2010. Jeff was previously the president and CEO of Manitoba’s Red River College.

’09 Anna Hopkins, BA, is currently one of 10 recent Canadian graduates participating in the Parliamentary Internship Program. In the fall, Anna had the opportunity to work for Bloc Québeçois MP Johanne Deschamps, and she recently crossed the floor to join the office of Conservative MP


new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

Colin Blanch, ’06 BCom, of Houston, TX, recently scaled the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with his dad, Morley Blanch, ’73 BSc, ’81 MAg, of Edmonton. “At 6:30 a.m. on February 16, 2010, we had the unforgettable experience of watching the sun rise over the highest point in Africa, fulfilling one of Colin’s long-time dreams,” writes Morley. “I took particular delight in discovering that we shared the mountain with at least one other U of A grad that day: Lara Minja, [’07 MA]— proof that the U of A reaches the far corners and the highest points of the globe!” Morley, who is a member of the U of A Senate, adds that he is now looking forward to adventures that don’t involve sleeping in a tent at high altitudes in sub-zero temperatures. Greg Rickford from Kenora, ON. She writes “I definitely recommend this unique program, as it allows you to act as a ‘participant observer,’ learning more about how our political system works (and its dysfunctions) through direct experience, and then using seminars and comparative study trips to gain an even deeper understanding. And when else in your life will you get to dance to ‘Man, I Feel Like a Woman’ with Gilles Duceppe at a Christmas party?!” Meaghan Goebel, BA, has worked since graduation as the executive director of the Campus Food Bank, which distributes food hampers to

Colin Blanch, left, and Morley Blanch, on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

the U of A community, including students, staff and alumni. As executive director, Meaghan is responsible for the financial accounting of the organization as well as volunteer coordination and event planning. But despite the many responsibilities of her job, she writes that she still finds the time to dance as a cast member with Edmonton’s Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company. Leah Trueblood, BA, has been applying the lessons from her degree in philosophy to her present position as vice-president (academic) of the U of A Students’ Union (SU). Leah writes that with a staff of more than

200 and a budget of over $10 million, the SU teaches her every day about the value of critical thinking— and of her arts degree. Jason Wong, BA, writes that since graduation he has enrolled in the U of A’s Master’s of Library and Information Studies Program, where his focus has been on the up-and-coming knowledge management field. “Even as the librarian profession morphs to encompass more technology, its core remains the people it serves,” writes Jason. “And with my arts degree, I know I will have the perfect set of skills to make technology accessible and open.”

Home Maker teve Ruggiero, ’03 BEd, ’03 BPE, president and general manager of the Edmonton-based Kimberley Homes, has little business being in the business he’s in. For one thing, at 29 he’s pretty young to be running such an organization. For another thing, his education and physical education degrees differ vastly from the scope of his lofty position in the home-building industry. And thirdly, what’s he doing prospering during a recession while others fall by the wayside? His company’s decision, he says, to be growthoriented while others were downsizing led to the right land deals at the right time that eventually gave rise to a 54-unit luxury lifestyle-choice community for young professionals called Rutherford Estates and the development of Kimberley’s new “Crystal Series” homes in the Edmonton neighbourhood of Ambleside. Steve initially joined Kimberley Homes at the invitation of his father-in-law, who offered him a six-month contract to modernize the company’s production and estimating needs through the development and implementation of new IT solutions. He found he had


an affinity for the home construction business that led to him eventually becoming the company’s president. “While this business can be very financially rewarding,” Steve says, “I really believe we’re building homes for our clientele, not just houses. The greatest reward comes when we hand our customers the keys to their dream home.” Steve’s dedication to what he does was one of the many reasons Kimberley Homes was named 2009 Builder of the Year by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Edmonton Region.

Streets of Vancouver Y

ou could say that Lisa Byrne, be in the wrong place at the wrong time. ’96 BSc, was born to be a cop. As In 2009, murder charges for the killings the daughter of a one-time RCMP were finally laid against five people officer, she bounced from one Alberta linked to the Red Scorpions gang. community to another as her family All of the major gangs in the region followed her father’s professional posthave crossed paths with Byrne, who, ings. She also has two uncles who preafter moving to the Gang Unit, became ceded her into police work. So it’s no the lead investigator in high-profile surprise that after being credited with prosecutions of such gangs as the Indehelping take down some pendent Soldiers, The of the most dangerous United Nations, the Bhuttarand predatory gangs in “Dealing with Malli’s and the Sanghera British Columbia—and Group—the 15-member being honoured as the these criminal gang allegedly behind a 2009 Police Officer of the rash of drive-by shootings Year by the Vancouver in Vancouver during 2008. gangs is Board of Trade— her Byrne was also the direct next assignment will be link between the anti-gang the most with the Vancouver initiative called “Project Police Homicide Squad. Rebellion” and the Special challenging Within two years of Prosecutions Unit of the her joining the Vancouver B.C. Provincial Crown part of Police Department in Counsel, a project that 2000, Byrne and her culminated in 28 gangpolicing.” partner, Pat Gormley, sters being charged with received Inspector’s Com228 criminal offences and mendations for identifywith the arrests of the ing and apprehending a suspect in an entire Sanghera Group crime family. East Vancouver homicide. A year later “Project Rebellion was very successshe assumed the role of field trainer ful,” says Byrne. “The Sanghera Group and participated in over 100 drug and was responsible for many of the drivevice operations. And three years after by shootings that were occurring in the that her team was singled out for city in 2008, and the number of drivedepartmental recognition in connection by shootings in the city was significantly with a three-month undercover operareduced in their absence,” she says, tion that looked at illegal activity assoadding that the most satisfying part of ciated with rooming houses. In 2006, the anti-gang initiative was making the Byrne was given what was probably city safer by getting deadly firearms off her most difficult assignment up to the streets. As well as shootings, the that time—the Gang Unit. Sanghera Group was allegedly The Vancouver area is a hive of involved in abductions, robberies gang activity and perhaps the most and home invasions. gruesome example of the lengths to Even before moving over to which gangs in the province will go to the Gang Unit, Byrne had an protect their turf was the grisly 2007 interest in the inner workings slaying of six people in a Surrey apartof violent gangs and organment. All were shot in the head execuized crime and was curious tion style, and while four of the six about such groups as the victims led a criminal lifestyle and were Hells Angels and how known to police, two just happened to they were structured.

“Dealing with these criminal gangs is the most challenging part of policing,” she says. But in comparison to the more traditional biker gangs that have operated in the province for some time, gangs such as the Bhuttar-Malli and the Independent Soldiers are “much more dynamic and violent,” says Byrne. Of course, as she moves into homicide she’ll be dealing with lethal violence as a full-time occupation, something that should keep her busy as a 2009 Maclean’s magazine survey ranked Vancouver as the fifth most dangerous city in Canada in terms of its murder rate per 100,000 population. But that statistic is only likely to mean that Byrne should be up for another commendation in the near future. —Kim Green


new trail

In Memoriam The Alumni Association notes with sorrow the passing of the following graduates:

Bruce Livingstone Baker, BSc, ’60 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in March 2010

James Ernest Simpson, BSc, ’57 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

Lorne Herschell Hock, DDS, of Vancouver, BC, in January 2010

’48 Ian Charles MacDonald, BEd, ’56 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Keith Steward Goodman, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in February 2010

Theodore Taras Melnychuk, BSc(Pharm), of West Vancouver, BC, in March 2010

James Larry Way, BCom, ’49 BEd, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

Lloyd George Seath, BSc(Ag), of Vermilion, AB, in December 2009

’56 Arthur Haviland Elford, Dip(Ed),

’38 Catherine Sutherland Smith

Lena Henrietta Jacques, Dip(Ed), of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

Samuel Hardin, BSc(Pharm), of Vancouver, BC, in March 2010

(McKenzie), BSc(HEc), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Melvin Thomas Sillito, BEd, ’50 MEd, of St. Albert, AB, in December 2009

William John Yurko, BSc(ChemEng), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’38 George William Spady, BA, ’41 BDiv,

Zetta Oswald (Krukowski), Dip(Nu), ’49 BSc(Nu), of Tustin, CA, in September 2009

William Shannon Armstrong, BSc, ’52 DDS, of Saanich Peninsula, BC, in June 2009

’49 Alexander George Morison,

William Stroschein, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009

’35 Chester Mariotte Prevey, BA, of Mississauga, ON, in February 2010 ’36 Rosemarie Hart, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’38 Jean Willoughby (Cogswell), Dip(Pharm), ’39 BSc(Pharm), of Lethbridge, AB, in July 2009

Norris Gayle Koch, BSc, ’59 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in January 2009 Rosemary Anne Gafka (Zeller), Dip(Nu), of Vegreville, AB, in December 2009

’58 Anne Melissa Wright (McKay), BEd, of Rimbey, AB, in November 2009

’51 Alexander Easton, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

John Enns, Dip(Ed), ’61 BEd, ’72 Dip(Ed), ’77 MEd, of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in November 2009

John Grotski, BSc(Ag), ’58 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Lucienne Mercier-Croteau, BEd, of Bonnyville, AB, in December 2009

John Kenneth Ontko, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in March 2009

Maria Fogarasi, BSc(MineralEng), of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

Patrick Joseph Moran, BSc(Ag), of Regina, SK, in February 2010

Patricia Joan Reid, Dip(Ed), ’60 BEd, of Calgary, AB, in February 2010

John Douglas Alton, BSc, ’51 MD, ’54 MSc, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Walter Falkson Thomson, BSc(Ag), of Fort Assiniboine, AB, in December 2009

Robert Kenneth Vickerson, BA, ’59 LLB, of Wetaskiwin, AB, in March 2010

’52 George David Quirin, BA, ’58 MA,

Margaret Kathrine Arnold (Fraser), BSc(HEc), of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

Kari Alice Moore (Maryka), Dip(Nu), of Victoria, BC, in November 2009

of Calgary, AB, in March 2010

Margaret Maxine Nicol, BSc(Pharm), of Ma-Me-O Beach, AB, in August 2009

Lorna Mae Hall, Dip(Ed), of Vancouver, BC, in February 2009

’44 Josephine Mary Brown, BSc, ’46

Richard Dennison Scragg, BSc, ’51 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

William Patrick Dockery, BSc(PetEng), of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

Richard Gavin Reid, BSc(ChemEng), of Toronto, ON, in December 2009

’53 Margaret Thomson Zuhling

’39 Mary Jane Middlemass (Ross), Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Daniel Wilfred Sullivan, BEd, of Fort Macleod, AB, in January 2010

’40 Elizabeth Marie Hughes

George Donald Nickoloff, BSc(ChemEng), of Campbell River, BC, in February 2010

(Rosengren), BA, of Toronto, ON, in January 2010

’41 Randolph Mathias Lauer, BSc(MiningEng), ’47 MSc, of Trail, BC, in November 2009

’42 Alexander Homer Johnston, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in February 2010 Alfred A. Ryter, BSc(MiningEng), of Sudbury, ON, in May 2009

MD, of Athabasca, AB, in February 2010 Mary Catherine Copley (Armey), BSc, ’46 MD, of Sarasota, FL, in January 2010

’45 Asta Hooper, BA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010 Donald Saunders Gilmour, DDS, of Surrey, BC, in November 2009 George Emerson Miller, MD, of Calgary, AB, in June 2009

Hazel Mary Greenway (Millett), BSc(ChemEng), of Qualicum Beach, BC, in December 2009

Russell James Munro, BCom, of Calgary, AB, in February 2010 Ruth Elizabeth Klukas, BSc, of Kelowna, BC, in November 2009 William Joseph Necyk, Dip(Ed), ’51 BEd of St. Albert, AB, in December 2009

Robert Steven Patterson, Dip(Ed), ’59 BEd, ’61 MEd, of American Fork, UT, in March 2010

’59 Gladys Joan Fonteyne, Dip(Nu), ’63 Dip(PHNu), of Calgary, AB, in February 2010 Grant Arnett Ross, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

(Galbraith), BA, ’74 BEd, of Bon Accord, AB, in March 2010

’60 Donald Glen Kross, BCom, ’61

Robina Baker, BEd, ’66 Dip(Ed), of Devon, AB, in March 2010

Geraldine Marion Makarenko, Dip(Nu), ’65 Dip(Nu), of Olds, AB, in August 2009

Tibele Halpern, BA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

’54 Helen Margaret Moritz (Slager),

BEd, of Oliver, BC, in February 2010

Percival Jack Kirby, DDS, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

William Selezinka, BEd, ’57 MD, of San Diego, CA, in January 2010

Dip(Ed), ’76 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009

’61 Beverley Joan Miller (Barnhouse),

’50 Albert Okazaki, BSc, of Deep River, ON, in December 2009

John Nichola Hnatuik, BSc, ’56 MD, of Camrose, AB, in February 2010

Bohdan Gauk, DDS, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009

Alf Petersen, BSc(Ag), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Tony Milobar, BSc, ’58 MD, of Kamloops, BC, in February 2010

Ichio Ibuki, BEd, of Toyko, Japan, in March 2009

’46 James Trowe Humphreys, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

Edward John Arnold, BSc(ElecEng), of Victoria, BC, in December 2009

Victor Samuel Sweetnam, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in February 2010

James Nicholas Courtney, BEd, of Lacombe, AB, in October 2009

’47 Annabelle Jean Hoar, Dip(Nu), of West Vancouver, BC, in December 2009

Howard Moss, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

’55 Allison Claire Simpson (White), BCom, of Delta, BC, in February 2010

Lavona Jean Parker, BSc(Nu), of Victoria, BC, in October 2009

Mildred Hoch Nelson, BSc(HEc), of High River, AB, in December 2009

John Ivan Huberdeau, BCom, of St. Albert, AB, in January 2010

Arthur Gordon Dale, BSc(PetEng), of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

’62 Eugene Roy Workun, BSc(Pharm), of Calmar, AB, in February 2010

’48 Alan John Blayney, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

James Alexander Kennedy, BSc(Ag), of Kelowna, BC, in November 2009

Joseph William Worobec, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

Phyllis Reta Weber (Acton), Dip(Nu), of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in March 2010

’46 Douglas Barnes, BSc(Ag), of Calgary, AB, in January 2010 Edgar John “Jack” Cuyler, BSc(ChemEng), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010


BSc(MiningEng), of Calgary, AB, in February 2010

’59 BEd, ’63 LLB, of Vernon, BC, in November 2009

new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

BA, of Toronto, ON, in February 2010

Warren S. Roy, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in May 2009

’69 Alain Rejean Michaud, BEd, of

Kenneth Joseph Galloway, BA, ’74 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

’80 Kenneth Bernard Doepker, MHSA, of Oliver, BC, in December 2009

’63 Dallas Mary Cullen, BA, of

Mary Christine Warren (Cowie), Dip(Nu), ’70 BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

William Franklin Northcott, BEd, of Airdrie, AB, in February 2010

’81 Elizabeth Andruchiw, BEd, of

Yvonne Dumonceaux, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

James Joseph Zazula, LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’74 Ellen Tarves, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Katherine Jaster, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009

Elliott Dale Dlin, BA, of Dallas, TX, in March 2010

Victoria Elizabeth Luck, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Milos Hajek, BA, ’79 BEd, ’95 MA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009

’82 Regina Anna Chicoine, BEd, of

William Basil Zapisocky, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

William Crouch, BEd, ’74 Dip(Ed), ’75 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

’83 Ronald Wayne Mahlberg, LLB, of

’71 Barbara Louise Stewart, BEd, of

’75 Anne Marianne Stretch, BEd, of

Edmonton, AB, in October 2009

Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’71 MEd, of Salt Spring Island, BC, in December 2009

Eric Gordon Brown, BA, ’73 Dip(Ed), ’81 BEd, of Lundbreck, AB, in November 2009

Elizabath Jane Hodkinson, BA, ’76 Dip(Ed), ’89 BEd, ’02 BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

Reginald Joseph Schuller, BEd, ’67 BSc, of St. Albert, AB, in February 2010

Joanne Kathleen Karlsson, BA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010

Margaret Elizabeth Hickmore, BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

Wilma Gail Winter, BEd, of Lethbridge, AB, in September 2009

Lyle Norman Bolstad, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in March 2010

Norman Allan Burgess, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

’66 Adrienne Ann Day, Dip(RM), of

Mankeshwar Lal Kurichh, BEd, of Mississauga, ON, in June 2009

Pauline Kathrine Joly (Marko), BEd, of St. Albert, AB, in March 2010

Margaret Shirley Sloan (Antoniuk), BSc(HEc), ’72 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Robert Bruce McFadyen, BPE, ’76 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

Robert James Carney, PhD, of Nanaimo, BC, in December 2009

’76 Colin James Smith, BSc(CivEng), of

Susan Clara Degen, BA(Spec), of Ardrossan, AB, in December 2009

Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

’95 Andy Jan Troszok, BSc(Pharm), of

Ronald Alexander Mikulin, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Hilda Marian Campbell, BEd, ’87 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

Canmore, AB, in January 2010

’72 Anna Doris Miller, BEd, ’76 Dip(Ed),

Edmonton, AB, in January 2010 Kenneth Hilton Bobier, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in February 2009 Mary Lobay, BEd, ’66 MEd, ’92 LLD (Honorary), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Boswell, BC, in January 2010

Michael John Johnson, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010 Patricia Dinning Yates (George), BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

Naida Anne Maher, BA, of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

Walter F. Durnin, BEd, ’73 Dip(Ed), of Cache Creek, BC, in July 2009

Walter Max Lenz, BSc(ChemEng), of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

’70 Alice Margaret Broughton, BEd, of

’64 James Wallbridge, BSc(MetEng), of Calgary, AB, in March 2010 Wilfred Yaremie, BSc(Ag), of Andrew, AB, in November 2009

’65 Margaret Jacobs (Jones), BEd,

Lethbridge, AB, in September 2009 Alexander Anthony Tesan, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in January 2010 Barry Robert Weaver, BSc, of St. Albert, AB, in February 2010 David Joseph Tilley, BA, ’69 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009 Donald G. Wargo, PhD, of Morrison, CO, in September 2009 Ellen Marie Muller, BEd, ’69 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009 Floyd Francis McCurry, BEd, ’70 Dip(Ed), of St. Albert, AB, in December 2009 Francis Sidney Abbott, PhD, of Dunrobin, ON, in February 2010 John Luke Tobias, MA, ’71 PhD, of Red Deer, AB, in December 2009 Lorne Dale Sparks, BEd, ’81 Dip(Ed), of Chemainus, BC, in March 2010

’67 Carl Oliver Gerard, BSc(MechEng), of Halifax, NS, in December 2009

’67 Leslie Nils Sorensen, BPE, ’76 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’68 Brian Craig Magill, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Wetaskiwin, AB, in December 2009

Mossleigh, AB, in December 2009

Winnipeg, MB, in June 2009 Calgary, AB, in January 2010

’84 Christy Lynne Burley, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in January 2010 Eric Holm Johnson, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010 Kettle Shoemaker Ross, BFA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

’86 Donald James Mohler, BEd(VocEd), of Camrose, AB, in December 2009 ’86 John Campbell McComb, BSc(Spec), of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

’92 Julia Ann Yaremko, BSc(Nu), of Vegreville, AB, in March 2010

’96 Craig Wayne Flanagan, BSc, of Nanimo, BC, in February 2010

of Camrose, AB, in February 2010

Kenneth Ernest Melnichuk, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

Beverly Drake (Lane), BEd, of Westlock, AB, in March 2010

Mildred Alexa Seitz, BEd, ’83 Dip(Ed), of St. Albert, AB, in November 2009

James Neil McIntyre, BA, of Seba Beach, AB, in March 2010

Robert Bruce Pugh, BEd, of Okotoks, AB, in January 2010

Jeffrey Francis Holton, BPE, ’75 Dip(Ed), of Stony Plain, AB, in January 2010

’77 John Christopher Kovats, BA, of

’04 Jeffery Michael Shewchuk, BCom, of Sherwood Park, AB, in March 2010

Winnipeg, MB, in March 2010

’05 George Rudolf Miok, BEd, of

Mary Elizabeth Forest, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010

Sherwood Park, AB, in December 2009

Lloyd William Unterschultz, BSc(Ag), ’75 MSc, of Spruce Grove, AB, in February 2010 Margaret Joy Nystrom, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in March 2010 Peter Skrypichayko, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’73 Dick William Meindersma, LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009

Leonard Victor Maier, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Heinz George Zoller, BA, ’74 Dip(Ed), ’84 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

Margaret Ann Ford, BA, of Victoria, BC, in December 2009

Johanna Fredrika Lubberts, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in December 2009

’78 Dale Rudolph Pregizer, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Dorothy Doreen Evoy, BA, of Wetaskiwin, AB, in March 2010

’79 Gregory Robert Miller, BSc(MechEng), of Calgary, AB, in February 2010 Stuart Charles Adams, MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010 Wayne Stanley Alford, BA, ’82 LLB, ’96 MBA, ’97 LLM, of Calgary, AB, in December 2009

Everett Edison Horlacher, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in February 2010 Treena Ellen Fenniak, BEd, ’96 BSc, ’01 MSc, of Edmonton, AB, in January 2010

’06 David Ronald Fehr, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 ’07 Christine Pannekoek, Dip(Ed), of Athabasca, AB, in February 2010 ’09 Linda Mary Ann Lickacz, BSc(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in March 2010

*** Alumni can submit remembrances about U of A graduates by sending a text file to Tributes are posted on the “Memory Lane” webpage at Spring/Summer 2010

new trail


The Pirate Hunter W

hen Lt.(N) Nicole Robichaud, ’98 BSc(Forest), heard her ship, the HMCS Winnipeg, was being deployed as part of a NATO coalition to fight pirates along the eastern coast of Africa, she couldn’t believe her ears. “I was surprised to learn that there were still pirates out there,” she remembers. “Most people think of pirates as something from the movies or the history books, but they are still around, and they’re a real threat.” Despite popular myth, modern-day pirates are not at all like the romantic swashbucklers from the Disney films. “It’s really not glamorous at all,” explains Nicole, who toured the Gulf of Aden— the troubled waters off the coast of Somalia notorious for harbouring pirates— from February to August 2009. “Most of these guys are really poor, and they’re just trying to make a living any way they can. They

Nicole Robichaud aboard the Winnipeg.


new trail

Spring/Summer 2010

are really not much different from the street gangs that we have in big Canadian cities.” Except that these gangs are armed with AK-47s and rocketpropelled grenade launchers, and they are becoming increasingly bold and desperate. According to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre, there were a record number of attacks and hijackings by Somali pirates last year. Some 214 vessels were attacked in the region— nearly twice as many as in 2008— and of the 47 successful hijackings, 12 ships with a total of 263 crew members are still being held for ransom. Although the pirates mainly target cargo vessels, they have also gone after smaller private ships, including the recent high-profile kidnapping of a British couple, the Chandlers, who have been held for ransom by Somali pirates since October.

Nicole’s first encounter with pirates came on the night of April 18, when she was on the watch during a routine escort of a World Food Programme ship— another prime target of pirates. As night began to fall, the Winnipeg received word that pirates were pursuing a nearby civilian vessel. In the dark of night and with the ship’s navigating lights turned off in the interest of stealth, Nicole, navigating officer aboard the Winnipeg, helped manoeuvre the ship at top speeds of more than 30 knots to overtake the pirate vessel and allow the ship’s officers to board and disarm the pirates. Although the Winnipeg lacked the authority to arrest the pirates, the Canadian sailors were able to confiscate equipment and weapons, making it more difficult for the pirates to carry out acts of hijacking in the future. The execution of such a daring manoeuvre in blackout conditions earned Nicole the Chief of Defence Staff Commendation, and during her tour of duty in the Gulf of Aden she helped stop seven or eight other pirate vessels. “Of course, you can’t get complacent,” says Nicole. “Each time you approach a vessel it’s a different situation. They’re armed. They could fire on you. It could be very dangerous.” These days, as she awaits her next deployment, Nicole is back on terra firma, instructing young maritime surface and subsurface officers at the naval officer training centre outside Victoria, BC. But wherever she goes, one question is never far behind: what led a girl from the Alberta prairies with a degree in forestry to embark on a career hunting pirates on the high seas? “Well, I’ve always loved the outdoors,” explains Nicole, “that’s one of the reasons I went into forestry. But as a kid, I was involved in Sea Cadets and spent my summers working on ships around the ocean. So after working a couple of years in the forest industry, I went back to what I loved and I knew I could do.” —Sarah Ligon

Alumni Education & Travel there’s nothing quite like being there

Join us for a Summer of Discovery Once again this summer the Alumni Education Program is offering a series of day trips in and around Edmonton. Space is limited so be sure to register soon. Alumni and friends welcome.

Costa Rica Wildlife Project Zambia Literacy Project

Cambodia & Laos Project

Travel &


The Univerisity of Alberta Alumni Association is pleased to announce that its 2011 Learning on Location travel program will include three voluntourism itineraries.

Contact us to learn more about how you can explore the wonders of the world while contributing to the global community or phone 1.800.661.2593 Voluntourism information sessions Edmonton: June 9 & 12

An Intimate Experience of Tuscany

• Calgary: June 10 & 12

Institute of Prairie Archeology Field School & Multi-Heritage Murals and Luncheon Tour in Stony Plain This spring, the U of A’s Institute of Prairie Archeology will begin excavating a rich archeological site near Edmonton that was first occupied more than 10,000 years ago. Our day trip will include a visit to the site as well as a stop in the “Town with the Painted Past,” for a tour of Stony Plain’s famous murals and historic sites including the Multicultural Heritage Centre. June 3, 2010; 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Cost: $40 per person (includes transportation by motorcoach and lunch)

Waste Management Tour Come along to visit the “Ultimate Waste Theme Park”! The Edmonton Waste Management Centre is North America’s largest collection of modern, sustainable waste processing and research facilities. Discover how recyclables get sorted, how old computers get recycled and how your garbage turns into compost. June 17, 2010; 9:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m. Cost: $20 per person

Tour of Campus Trees

Bella Toscana

Based in friendly Cortona, ‘Bella Toscana’ offers an October 19-29, 2010 in-depth look at the diverse elements that make $3,125 per Italy’s Tuscany region so special. Through lectures person + and field trips, including day trips to airfare Orvieto and Perugia, you’ll gain an appreciation for the natural and historical forces that have shaped the Tuscan way of life. You’ll also discover the processes that turn grapes into wine, sheep’s milk into cheese, and olives into oil. And you’ll experience Italian cuisine like you’ve never tasted before.

Join tree enthusiast Dr. Paul Woodard, professor of forestry in the Department of Renewable Resources, on a walking tour to view the wonderful variety of campus trees. You’ll never look at trees the same way again! July 15, 2010; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Cost: $5 per person

Meanook Biological Research Station Located within a 214-hectare National Wildlife Area, this U of A environmental research station is a centre for aquatic and terrestrial research. Our day trip will include a walk in the woodlands of aspen, balsam, poplar and white birch and discussion of the current station research. August 19, 2010; 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Cost: $40 per person (includes transportation by motorcoach and lunch)

For more information about these programs phone 1.800.661.2593 or (in Edmonton and area) 780.492.1835 or visit:

Vino, Vidi, Vici A former lawyer leaves the profession behind for a career in ... wine urvinder Bhatia, ’87 BSc, readily admits that he has the best job in the world. “I get to eat, drink and travel for a living,” he says with a smile, then adds with a shrug, “What could be better than that?” Despite degrees in science, business and law, Gurvinder decided to drink from a different career cup, and in 1995 he left a 10-year career in law to open his own wine boutique. Now, more than 15 years later, Vinomania is one of the busiest wine stores in Edmonton, and Gurvinder has made a name for himself in wine as an international educator, writer and commentator, and consultant to over 100 hotels and restaurants. But what led him to leave a lucrative—if dry—career in business law, and plunge headfirst into the world of wine? “I was never planning on practicing law for the rest of my life,” he admits. “For most law students, you go to law school, you become a partner at a law firm, and you stay there forever. I had no desire to do that.” Although he had always loved food and wine, he wasn’t sure how one made a career out of that, but after earning three degrees the one thing he did know how to do was be a good student, so he applied himself to the study of wine. “I travelled and talked to winemakers. I read a lot, and I tasted, tasted, tasted. It was very, very hard work,” he laughs. “But I took it seriously. I approached it the same way I approached my legal career: I studied hard because I wanted to be the best at it.” And in a relatively short period of time, Gurvinder has proved himself just that. After the province privatized the sale of wine and liquor in 1993, Gurvinder saw an opening in the local market for a store that could offer a better selection than the mom-and-pop liquor stores but without the pretentions of the more-


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Spring/Summer 2010

Photos by Vi Warkentin


Gurvinder has scoured the globe for little-known wines to offer at his Jasper Avenue boutique.

established boutique dealers. “Our niche has been exposing people to great wines from small producers around the world—wines that wouldn’t be in Alberta if it weren’t for us,” explains Gurvinder, who scours the globe in search of uncommon wines from littleknown producers. This past year alone he’s travelled to Italy three times—once to get married—the California wine region twice, as well as Oregon and Chile. “For a lot of the wines that we carry, frequently we are the first people in Alberta to carry them, and often we’re the first in Canada or even North America.” Remarkably, these great wines from small producers needn’t bust the bank. For the past 10 years, Gurvinder has hosted a wine segment every Thursday morning at 7:50 on CBC-Radio One in Edmonton in which he introduces local listeners to a new “value” wine—all of them available for less than $40 and most of them for under $30. These short segments have made Gurvinder Bhatia such a trusted household name that his “Pick of the Week” often sells out in just a few days.

“The whole idea was to make good wine as accessible to as many people as possible,” he says. “And people know that when I recommend a wine, it’s not because it’s a good deal—I mean, it is a good deal—but it’s really because I believe it’s great quality.” His credibility and scrupulous taste have made him a respected name far beyond Edmonton’s borders as well. Since 2004, he has been a contributing editor at Tidings, the most widely distributed food and wine magazine in Canada, where he also writes the magazine’s monthly column, “Davine.” And since 2005, he’s been a wine judge at international competitions including the Wines of Chile Awards and VinItaly, the largest wine competition in the world. Italy—and the country’s more than 600 distinct grape varieties—has become another of Gurvinder’s specialties in recent years. Wine collectors from across the country now come to Vinomania for its exceptional selection of Italian wines. “I hadn’t really planned on becoming an Italian wine expert, but my palate just went in that direction,” he says. “There’s just some-

Gurvinder’s New Trail “Pick of the Week” is Warwick Estate’s Trilogy 2007, a red wine with lots of wild berries and black olive aromas that alumna Norma Ratcliffe, ’69 BSc(HEc) produces at her family-run winery in South Africa. It’s available, of course, at Vinomania: 11452 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.

thing about the food and wine from there that I have a great affinity for.” That’s a bit of an understatement. When travelling to wine events in Italy, Gurvinder is often asked if he’s from there. (In fact, his family is originally from India.) And the former Italian consul in Edmonton once took his Italian wine class. Gurvinder also consults with a number of Italian restaurants in Edmonton—not just on their wine lists but also on their food menus as well. He actually travels to Italy more frequently than do many of the owners, and he’s always pushing the restaurateurs to be more and more authentic in their offerings and to have their menus reflect what is currently happening on the food scene in Italy. But although he admits that he has perhaps a greater affinity for the subtleties of wine than most, Gurvinder insists that unlocking the mysteries of wine is a skill that anyone can learn. “Tasting wine is a combination of your palate, your nose and your memory, so the more flavours you’ve been exposed to the bigger a database you build up, which helps you to pinpoint the many different flavours in wines.” So what’s Gurvinder’s advice on switching careers and becoming a wine expert—or, at the very least, becoming well-versed in the language of wine? “Taste, taste, taste, and maybe take a basic wine class,” he says. “Oh, and never say no to tasting anything.” That’s advice that should go down easy. —Sarah Ligon Spring/Summer 2010

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photo finish

Barn on the Move B

uilt in 1920 where the Stollery Hospital stands today, the old horse barn was relocated to South Campus in 1930 and was recently moved again to a temporary location north of 65 Avenue and east of 118 Street. The barn was relocated to accommodate the construction of the GO Community Centre — a recreation facility scheduled to open in 2011— and it will be on the move again later this year to a site near the composting facility before eventually finding a permanent home somewhere on South Campus. After its first move to South Campus, the barn was used to house and breed Belgian, Clydesdale and Percheron horses so students could be taught how to properly judge them. The horses were also sold as working animals to area farmers. In 1955, the horses gave way to a few sheep and a provincial lab until 1966 when a quarter of the barn was taken up by a meat research lab and the rest was used to store livestock feed. Beginning in 2000, the barn again saw new use as an agricultural museum housing almost 400 items of historical significance. On hand to watch the horse barn embark on its latest journey was former animal technician Jack Francis, who worked on South Campus for 43 years and was also part of the group that gathered the artifacts for the agricultural museum collection. “It was exciting to watch,” says Francis. “I’m glad they’re keeping it because the barn has a lot of historical importance. It was among the first 15 buildings built on the U of A campus, and it’s still structurally sound.”


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Spring/Summer 2010




SENIOR A ASSOCIATE, SSOCIATE, T SU SUSTAINABLE STAINAB BUSINESS SOLUTIONS B USINESS SOLUTION S PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS PRICEW WATERHOU T SECOOPER RS LL LLPP My experiences during the MB MBA BA we were nothing short of phenomenal: ďŹ rst-class instru ction a instruction and support, international inter national competitions and study tours, and opportunities endless networking oppor tunitie es to nname only a few a few.. Before I knew it, I had alread already started graduation. my next career prior to graduat tion.

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Profile for University of Alberta Alumni

New Trail Spring/Summer 2010  

University of Alberta Alumni Magazine

New Trail Spring/Summer 2010  

University of Alberta Alumni Magazine