new trail W i n t e r
T h e
2 0 1 0
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
Iâ€™ll Be Watching You U of A Experts Weigh In On The Issue Of Public Surveillance PM40112326
Plus: Grads Running Away To Join The Circus Alumni In Syria, Hong Kong and Kyrgyzstan a
The Win Your Grad Year In $$$$ Photo Contest
LE DERS ALBERTA ALBERTA AL
MBA/MF M BA/MF 2008
MBA M B DAN DA AN STICKNEY
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, T SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINAB B USINESS SOLUTIONS SOLUTIONS BUSINESS PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS PRIC CEW WATERHOU T SECOOPERS LLP LP LL My experiences e during the MBA were w we nothing short of ph phenomenal: henomenal: ďŹ rst-class instructio instructionn and a support, international inter n national competitions and study stud dy tours, and endless endle ess networking opportunities opportunities to o name n only a few. few w. Before I knew it, I had already alrea ad started my next n career prior to graduation. graduation.
FULL-TIME, PART-TIME, FULL-TIME, PART-TIME, EXECUTIVE, E X E CU FORT F ORT M MCMURRAY CMURR AY Specializatiions in: Specializations Natural Reso Resources, urces, Energy & Environmentt Technology T echnology C e Commercialization Finance F inance - Inte International ernational Business 2008/09 Study Stu udy y Tours: Tours: o France, France, China, Brazil, B Bra Austria, Belgi Belgium um and Germany
EDMONT TO ON CANADA
www.mba.net www w.mb ba.net
Top 100 Globally
new trail Vo l u m e
N u m b e r
features 12 On the cover: A composite photo of a possible surveillance camera monitoring situation. Some closed circuit TV cameras are fitted with speaker capability so the person doing the monitoring can address litterers, loiterers or even wayward lovers.
Circus Act It’s surprising how many grads have run away to join the circus
The Baker of Osh An alumnus has an educational awakening far from home
Travellin’ Man A grateful grad creates a legacy gift for the Faculty of Business
I’ll Be Watching You
Chip Off the Old Block
31 Pearl of the Orient An alumna takes us on a tour of her hometown—Hong Kong
The walls no longer only have ears, they have eyes, too
A professor imagines a future that’s positively scan-dalous
Dervish Days Meet the man who holds a new chair created by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities
Also inside Look in the centre of the magazine for the Alumni Recognition Awards nomination form.
New Kid in Town Sean Price takes over the helm in the Office of Alumni Affairs
departments Your Letters Our readers write to us
48 Alumni Events Engage with your alma mater
Bear Country Goings-on around the U of A
49 Class Notes Keeping classmates up-to-date
11 Acknowledgments Accolades, honours, milestones
56 In Memoriam Bidding farewell to friends
46 Bookmarks Featuring U of A authors
60 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
Office of Alumni Affairs
Reader Response Line: 780-492-1702 Class Notes/Comments: email@example.com Advertise: 780-417-3464 or firstname.lastname@example.org Address Updates: 780-492-3471; toll free 1-866-492-7516 or email@example.com Online: www.ualberta.ca/newtrail
Call: 780-492-3224 or 1-800-661-2593 Fax: 780-492-1568 Online: www.ualberta.ca/alumni 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. Winter 2010
new trail W
ALUMNI COUNCIL 2009/10
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 Deb Hammacher Deborah Holloway John Mahon, ’76 BMus, ’83 MBA
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 *
Chloe Chalmers, ’00 BA Coordinator, 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 Tiffany Teslyk, ’04 BCom Angela Tom, ’03 BA Assistants, Alumni Education Dianne Tougas Assistant to the Director Vi Warkentin Assistant, Alumni Chapters Debbie Yee, ’92 BA Coordinator, Electronic Communication
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 [acting] Executive Director, Alumni Association Sean Price, ’95 BCom Students’ Union President Kory Mathewson Graduate Students’ Association President Jennifer Landry
he University of Alberta
has made an indelible mark
upon my life, as it has upon countless U of A alumni. For me, the U of A is not really about a place, but rather about people, experiences and the opportunity for personal growth. My fondest memories are from the four years I spent living in Lister Hall, competing in Campus Recreation events and studying for my business courses in Rutherford Library.
In fact, I see it every day when
As the new associate vice-
I have the chance to re-connect
president of Alumni Affairs, I’m incredibly excited to be
with alumni like you. Please feel free to contact
continuing the legacy of excel-
me — or any Alumni Affairs
lence that has been established
staff — to share your U of A
in the Office of Alumni Affairs.
experiences and find out how
The chance to work with alumni
you can re-connect with the
to enhance the reputation of our
University. As alumni, we can all
alma mater and to continue the
be ambassadors for the U of A
momentum created during the
in many ways, such as helping
centenary celebrations is a great
to recruit students or acting as
opportunity. It is the University’s
their mentors for academic and
goal to be recognized as one of
career planning; working with
the world’s Top 20 institutions
our office to reach more U of A
of higher education by the year
grads through alumni events in
2020, and I’m confident that
your area; or giving to the U of
our alumni can help the U of A
A to provide for student schol-
reach this goal.
arships, world-class teaching
In my short tenure in this
facilities, enhancements to the
position, I’ve already had the
student experience and much,
opportunity to speak with many
alumni and it’s amazing to see
I look forward to working
the passion that we all have for
with all of you to build our
our school. I see it demonstrated
alma mater into a truly leading
by Alumni Council, a group of
approximately 30 volunteers representing each of the University’s faculties. And I saw it when I recently travelled to Hong Kong to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the University of Alberta Hong Kong Alumni Club and heard their stories about how the U of A changed their lives.
Sean Price, ’95 BCom Associate Vice-President, Alumni Affairs Executive Director, Alumni Association
Letters Panda Motion
Golden Boy I feel an obligation to all the New Trail readers to make note of the fact that Gino Fracas, ’57 Dip(Ed), ’58 Dip(Ed), ’58 BEd, the respected and fondly remembered coach of the Alberta Golden Bears (196368), passed away on October 29. Many U of A alumni will remember him for his contributions to Canadian intercollegiate athletic football, especially when he coached the Golden Bears to a 25-7 victory in the Golden Bowl game in Edmonton on November 16, 1963, at Clarke Stadium—a game watched by 8,000 to 9,000 people, or the whole student population. The win was the necessary ingredient to initiate a national, intercollegiate, post-season playoff program. The Golden Bears’ Golden Bowl victory led, two years later, to the first national intercollegiate playoff, now known as the Vanier Cup, a legacy of coach Fracas and the great Bears football team of 1963. Punter Maury Van Vliet Jr., ’61 BSc, ’64 LLB, remembers Fracas a half century later “as the best-prepared coach I ever played for. His integrity, fair play and respect for his players were his hallmarks. He never lost his cool.” Robert Lampard, ’64 MD, ’66 BSc, ’67 MSc, Red Deer, AB Editor’s Note: A complete description of this seminal Golden Bowl game is in the Autumn 2007 Issue of New Trail (“A Golden Opportunity”) at www.ualberta.ca/newtrail.
I participated in intervarsity sports at the U of A from 1947 to 1951. That’s why I was intrigued by “The (Panda) Bear Facts” letter in the Spring 2009 issue (pg. 3). Although the letter says that a student named Helen Plasteras, [’45 BCom, ’47 BEd], suggested the name “Pandas” for women’s sports teams, in 1951 I, too, was at a basketball meeting that year to select a name, and we also decided on Pandas. It was the tradition to label women’s groups with the suffix “ettes,” so we played against the University of Saskatchewan Huskiettes and the University of Manitoba Bisonettes. In spring of 1951, Patricia Austin of the Physical
Green Room Your Autumn 2009 theme of “Going Green” convinced me. Cancel my subscription to New Trail unless you can send it to me electronically. Paul Pierzchalski, ’83 LLB Edmonton, AB Editor’s Note: We replied to Paul’s e-mail, saying that, “we appreciate your concern for the environment in accepting print material, and we are working towards having a more robust version of New Trail online (www.ualberta.ca/newtrail),
Education Department called a meeting of the basketball team to discuss a name, as it was recognized that a break from tradition was necessary. Although visually the name Bearettes might be acceptable, the auditory aspects were not. Someone said “Pandas,” and we all agreed. Following this meeting, The Gateway would always refer to the girls’ teams as “Pandas.” At the beginning of 1951, the Golden Bears were listed by name in the U of A budget, while the budget still listed “Basketball (2 teams)” under the general heading for Women’s Athletics. That changed in the fall of 1951 when the new listing of “Pandas” appeared in the
but for now only certain sections of the magazine can be viewed online. There is also an electronic e-newsletter that you can subscribe to if you wish (www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/ alumni/etrail).” Paul’s response to this was: “Print my letter and your explanation, and I will provide you with a reasonable opportunity to ‘Go Green.’” We are currently looking at having a complete New Trail available online in the fall of 2010.
Bird Call In the latest issue of New Trail [Autumn ’09, pg. 6] reference is made to DDT and its purported injury to birds’ eggs. You might want to read a piece that can be sourced at the following web address: www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/summ02/Carson.html Leigh Schubert, ’68 BSc(MechE) Calgary, AB
budget with itemized costs for basketballs, uniforms and trips. In summary, The Gateway made — and the Austin meeting seconded — the motion for the name “Pandas.” Helen M. Eckert, ’51 BEd, ’53 MEd Berkeley, CA Editor’s note: Above is the item that appeared in the February 22, 1945 issue of The Gateway.
Shoe-In Regarding your Tuck Shop picture on page 56 in the Spring issue, I was on one of the house league broomball teams during my first two years as an undergrad. We played on skates in ordinary street clothes. The games were set up across the width of the rink (instead of down the length), so two games could be going on at once. It was loads of fun! In high school we also played broomball, and it was also on skates, not shoes. Margaret Harris, ’66 BSc Edmonton, AB Winter 2010
TWO NAYS I browsed skeptically through the latest issue of New Trail magazine, which boasted at length of the level of environmental involvement the U of A has displayed. I consider myself quite aware of the environmental footprint philosophy, and I must say that when I visit campus I don’t get the feeling that the U of A is equally aware. The engineering learning centre has its lecture theatres named after oil companies. But it’s suggested that professor Anne Neath’s work to reclaim the northern tar sands is somehow a greening act. Although this type of work lessens the negative impact of the process of oil extraction, perhaps the University should be working proactively to prevent such mitigation from being necessary. I find it amazing that a university of the U of A’s calibre isn’t doing more to curb the direct causes of climate change and atmospheric emissions rather than simply cleaning up the mess. The article featuring the Edmonton waste management centre was interesting, but
whenever I hear commentary such as this I don’t hear the message that society needs to reduce its output of garbage. In fact, there are people who would gladly increase their consumption and garbage creation because they feel like they are being sustainable when they learn that methane gas can be collected from garbage sites; a totally renewable system in their minds. In your next report on U of A greenness I hope that you can direct me to the office of meaningful green policy initiatives and report on the University’s plan to reduce emissions through architectural and engineering initiatives on campus and their plan for education of the public and society at large to reduce their own ecological footprint. Ken Eshpeter, ’71 BSc(Ag) Daysland, AB *** Reading through the Autumn 2009 New Trail I was surprised to find articles about the research done at the
University, searching for technological fixes to the environmental destruction caused by tar sands development. As the impact of climate change is increasingly obvious, it has become mainstream to “go green.” Grappling with the environmental footprint of economic and other human activities requires a focus on avoiding environmental destruction in the first place, rather than developing expensive “end-of-pipe” solutions that need to be financed by taxpayer’s money. The companies involved in the tar sands — as well as the Alberta government — steer research priorities in this direction, as exemplified by the $2 billion investments in carbon capture and storage technology. It is seriously questionable that research on tar sands development can ever be categorized as going green. If the U of A truly wants to go green, its research focus should be shifted to alternative energy, conservation and green transition strategies, rather than perpetuating the environmental havoc of dirty oil. Geert De Cock Edmonton, AB U of A PhD candidate, Department of Political Science
Business Professional Development
Certiﬁcates, Citations, Seminars & Short Courses
Editor’s note: While it would be preferable for such things as the oil sands and the waste generated by a city to have zero environmental impact, such an ideal is not yet achievable by any known extraction or collection method, so that the best that can be done is to strive to ameliorate the environmental impact and try to reclaim what has been disturbed. Such things as working on a waterless extraction method for bitumen from the oil sands, reducing the size of tailings ponds, returning mined land to its natural state as quickly as possible and trying to recycle as much waste as possible are all worthy endeavours. However, not creating a mess that needs cleaning up in the first place is always preferable to trying to find ways to make that mess disappear. As for “architectural and engineering initiatives on campus,” the Edmonton Waste Management story did include the information that the University has recently announced the creation of the new Office of Sustainability as well as the facts that the newly renovated Triffo Hall has passed its first review for Gold LEED certification and that the new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science will have a LEED-Silver equivalent rating.
FOUR YEAS Although I agree with all efforts to conserve wherever possible, I find myself getting angrier every day with the unscientific attacks on the energy industry by many uninformed groups (led by Greenpeace, who know better but are obviously evil bent). Those that want to shut down the oil and gas industry (and falsely believe they can replace it with so-called “renewables”) should also know that, if that happens, the food production in our world will decrease drastically. In fact, within two years of shutting down the “bad” energy industry, it is likely that three to four billion of the over six billion human beings currently on this planet will die of starvation (due to the severe lack of fertilizers, ammonia and phosphate that the energy industry provides). For the United Nations (who have always wanted to severely lower the human population on Earth) and some groups (such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Pembina Institute, the Suzuki Foundation, etc.), this is exactly “what the doctor ordered” — of course, none of these “great thinkers” want to be part of the starved-to-death bunch, right? They have promoted the global warming (climate change) hoax to help demonize the energy industry and make billions of dollars from taxpayers in North America and Europe. And, most of you are either going along (without questioning their scientific falsehoods and lies) or are ignoring what these people and groups are actually promoting—a genocide that is beyond any this Earth
has ever witnessed before. Of course, they intend to survive (as the elites) while the rest of us starve to death. When will you people wake up to the folly being pursued and implemented by these elitist groups? Paul E. d’Haene, ’73 BSc(ChemEng) Kelowna, BC *** This issue [Autumn 2009] is the best I’ve read in a long while. Ordinarily, we see only bad press on the oil sands. Another thing that narks me is that most of the crude product is shipped to the United States where it is refined, and some of the resulting product is shipped back to us.
Thank You Times Three Thank you for the latest issue of New Trail. I always appreciate getting the magazine, but I found many more items of interest to me in the Autumn, 2009 edition. The whole layout was splendid. Allen R. Wells, ’51 BSc(Ag) Sarnia, ON *** Thanks for the Autumn, 2009 edition with the fascinating article about rhodiola. Faye Despins, ’70 BA St. Albert, AB ***
Thank you so much for the inclusion of the note about my dad, doctor John Bradley, [’40 MD, ’72 LLD (Honorary)], on page 55 of the recent New Trail. Fabulous “Green” issue all around. I’m very proud of my alma mater. Ann Matheson, ’75 BEd Alax, ON
We would like to hear your comments about the magazine. Send us your letters via postal mail or e-mail to the addresses on page 1. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.
Walter Allen, ’50 BSc(CivEng) Montreal, QC *** I was very encouraged by your Autumn 2009 issue. In view of the global warming situation, the work our grads are doing is very impressive and newsworthy. Thank you for all the interesting information. Anne Becker, ’55 BSc Vancouver, BC *** Many thanks for the Autumn Issue of New Trail. I read it from cover to cover and found it full of good people stories that inspired hope for the environment and for the human race. Despite all the doom and gloom in this world of ours, so long as there is education and commitment by individuals—such as those portrayed in your stories—to the overall health and well being of our whole ecosystem, and to society at large, there will be hope and progress. Keep up the good work. David Sherwin, ’68 BEd Red Deer, AB
“Bug Out” Winner! We got a LOT of entries to our “Bug Out” Tuck Shop contest (Autumn 2009 pg. 64), where we asked readers to identify the bug photographed with the first electron microscope on campus. Many alumni thought it was a dust mite. Unfortunately, they were wrong. As were the ones who wrote in with house fly, bed bug and grasshopper. David Larson, ’65 BSc, ’68 MSc, wrote in to enter the contest with this answer: “My identification for your contest is: Beetle (Order Coleoptera); Ground Beetle (family Carabidae); genus Elaphrus; species—possibly the Old World species Elaphrus cupreus.” He is absolutely correct; however, his was not the name on the first correct answer randomly drawn from a hat (literally) by new Associate Vice-President of Alumni Affairs Sean Price, ’95 BCom. The only word required to be entered to win was “beetle,” and the name drawn that had that correct answer was Jacqueline Villeneuve, ’62 Dip(Nu). Congratulations, Jacqueline, and we hope you enjoy your new Travel Companion GPS positioning system. Winter 2010
here was no real wow factor during competition in the CBC reality figure skating show Battle of the Blades — which put hockey players into figure skates (except Tie Domi) — such as there occasionally is in American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. The wow factor came after competition closed when Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson were declared winners and Louise Miller, ’71 BSc(Nu), ’79 MBA, went... “wow!” As chairwoman of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society (SCITCS), Miller is set to receive a $100,000 cheque from the combined winnings of Salé and Simpson, who had designated her organization to benefit if they won. The money will be put toward a new research chair in spinal cord injuries at the University of Alberta. “When they won, I couldn’t quite believe it. It was a mix of total elation, anticlimax, relief and thank God,” says Miller, who had to sweat out the final competition that pitted Salé and
Simpson against fellow finalists Claude Lemieux and Shae-Lynn Bourne, as well as Stéphane Richer and MarieFrance Dubreuil. Vivian Mushahwar was also thrilled at the result of the competition. The U of A biomedical engineer — who works in the area of nerve damage and repair— heads up the SCITCS Research Laboratory, a new state-of-the-art spinal-cord rehabilitation lab on campus. She says that a dedicated group has been working hard since 2004 to raise $1.5 million which the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry hopes to have topped up by an equal amount from the government, to fund the research chair, and she was as delighted as Miller to watch as Simpson and Salé
won the competition that brought them $100,000 closer to realizing their financial target. Simpson himself has also pledged to come up with another $500,000 to help fund the chair. “Establishing this position will mean that the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry will be able to recruit a highranking clinician and/or researcher in the area of spinalcord injury who will complement the strengths we currently have and assist us in translating our research findings to the clinic,” says Mushahwar. “This will allow our research to reach those who need it the most.”
Sweating the SMALL Stuff A
lthough thousands of papers are written every year about how to best exploit the burgeoning field of nanotechnology, a whole lot less attention is being paid to the possible environmental impact of letting nanoparticles loose in the world. But that’s about to change as U of A biologist Greg Goss has recently been awarded a three-year, $3.3 million federal grant to create an Edmonton-based research group to study the environmental issues arising from the use of nanotechnology. This research group — which will bring together 13 scientists, five universities,
three government departments and two national research institutes in a collaborative effort with similar groups in the U.S. and Europe — will investigate such questions as why certain materials, while harmless at normal size, can become toxic at the nano scale. “The greatest challenge is just trying to understand what the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity are and being able to predict them,” says Goss. “If we know the reason why they’re toxic, then we can start to design materials that still retain the properties that we want but have limited or no toxicity.
With nanotech, we have the first chance to actually get in on the ground floor with the new manufacturers and say, ‘Can we be green in our approach toward integrating new materials into our lives?’ ”
Photo courtesy CBC.
Craig Simpson and Jamie Salé — n-ice work.
We Got Game
Archives photo EA-20-273.
ver the years, there has been a lot of Olympic participation from the University of Alberta. The 2010 Winter Games being held in Vancouver are no exception. Perhaps two of the more watched Olympic participants will be Melody Davidson, ’86 BPE, who will be behind the bench as head coach of the Woman’s National Hockey Team, and Neville Wright, ’07 BPE, who is the brakeman for Team Canada’s four-man bobsled team. Even Alumni Association President Jim Hole, ’79 BSc(Ag), is getting in on the act as a torchbearer for the Olympic flame’s trip through Edmonton, including a run through the U of A campus on January 13. Other torchbearers include Wilton Littlechild, ’67 BPE, ’75 MA, ’76 LLB, ’07 LLD (Honorary), co-founder of the North American Indigenous Games and also an Olympic Games Ambassador, and wheelchair basketball player Danielle Peers, ’01 BA. Doreen Ryan, ’73 BEd, ’83 Dip(Ed), has been given the honour of being Edmonton’s final torchbearer for the 2010 relay. She will carry it the last 300 metres into Churchill Square, where it will be used to light the celebration cauldron. Ryan competed as a speed skater at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics. She also managed Canada’s track athletes at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and ran the athletes village in Calgary in 1988. Finally, although she’s not carrying the torch herself, Marcey Mabey, ’08 BA, is a member of the management team for the torch’s 45,000-kilometre journey across Canada. Other Olympic tie-ins include Richard Damecour, ’88 MBA, whose company, FVB Energy, is tasked with converting Olympic Village sewage into energy; Philip Boyle, ’67 BEd, who’s researching urban security governance at the Games; and Joe Leeson, ’95 BA, an RCMP corporal who’s working the Games. Jonathan Christenson, ’89 BA, ’92 BA(Cert), ’96 MFA, who wrote and directed Nevermore, and Beth Graham, ’95 BA, ’98 BFA, who cowrote The Drowning Girls with Daniela Vlaskalic, ’98 BFA, will see their plays performed at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Another play at the same venue, SPINE, has sets designed by Roger Schultz, ’03 MFA, and costumes designed by Robert Shannon, ’85 MFA. (SPINE was written by current U of A Lee Playwright-in-Residence Kevin Kurr.) Former Olympic figure skating judge Sally Rehorick, ’69 BA, ’71 MA, served as a board member for the Vancouver-Whistler Bid Committee to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as did Bob Steadward, ’69 BPE, ’71 MSc, ’02 LLD (Honorary), and Frank King, ’58 BSc(Eng), who was also appointed as a games ambassador.
Doreen Ryan in 1953.
arren Achtymichuk, ’08 BSc(Eng), has helped make using Edmonton public transport a little more interesting for tech-savvy commuters with his award-winning adaptation of the KML programming language — and its satellite imagery — developed by Google. The internet behemoth offered prizes in student and professional categories to those who came up with the most useful and innovative ways to use the combination of software and hardware fea-
tured in its KML in Research Contest. Achtymichuk was one of only two student winners worldwide. What he came up with was a comprehensible 3-D graph showing ridership on an Edmonton Transit bus route from Mill Woods to downtown. The graph
Science Project I
ts name is a mouthful — Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies — but then the whole project is hard to get one’s head around. Although work on the new home for the Faculty of Science won’t be finished until early in 2011, some components, including a 500-seat lecture hall, will welcome students and staff early in 2010. When complete, the building will be used by five departments with a total enrolment of 9,000 students who will share eight lecture halls — two built below ground to increase Quad green space — that can accommodate 2,239 students. It was a major logistic challenge to outfit the building with such things as special wiring to cut down on static electricity and isolation pads in some areas that reduce vibration to the barest minimum. The underground spaces also include a heavy lab for subatomic physics, which features a 10-metre-high ceiling fitted with a grate at the top that can be removed to allow large items to be lowered inside. A few of the building’s other impressive features are the almost cathedral-style
Artist’s rendering of the new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies.
seminar rooms with their five-metre-high banks of windows that overlook the river valley and the south-facing façade built with two layers of glass set half-a-metre apart. The space between the glass creates a heat chimney in the summer and provides insulation for the winter — something that will help the building obtain its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver-rating. As well, a stunning terrazzo floor runs the full length of the central hallway on the ground floor, with a design that incorporates sketches of neurons, mathematical formulas, dinosaur fossils, a medicine wheel and a galaxy. “There’s a lot of passion in this thing,” says Dean of Science Greg Taylor, who stands alone as the last serving member of the original team involved in the build-
ing’s planning that began seven years ago. Part of that passion is the desire to, as U of A president Indira Samarasekera frequently says, “break down silos.” The building is part of a trend at the U of A — as well as at campuses around the world — to accommodate a more inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to education. As such, it’s designed to bring together students, professors and researchers from a variety of science departments to create a unique collaborative approach to scientific inquiry. Other buildings on campus are designed with the same goal in mind, such as the Edmonton Clinic, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the National Institute for Nanotechnology. The CCIS was designed with an abundance of common spaces to encourage
follows along on the actual Edmonton streets as seen on Google Earth and shows the ebb and flow of ridership on the bus during morning rush hour. The colourful, roller-coaster graph shows bus speed, fuel flow-rate and the number of riders at any given moment in the bus’ journey. Achtymichuk, who is currently working towards his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the U of A, obtained the bus-location data for the project from a GPS antenna mounted on the bus, while speed and fuel consumption information came from the engine controller in the bus. “To display the results,” he says, “I generated KML code that plotted the
route the bus had travelled in Google Earth.” One of his more ingenious calculations was tabulating the changing number of riders — to do so he developed a mathematical model that factored in aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and road incline. For his award-winning effort, Achtymichuk won a $700 prize package, including an iPod Touch and a Garmin hand-held GPS unit. He also might win the accolades of city transport systems everywhere if he realizes his ultimate goal of giving public transit agencies an economical method to track the number of passengers utilizing various routes. For more information on the contest go to www.google.com/educators/kml_contest.html.
interaction, and many of the glass walls not only help bring in natural and free light but also put teaching and research on display. “It is designed to encourage informal interaction, which is the fuel of collaboration,” Taylor says. The goal of most interdisciplinary courses, programs and buildings is to integrate the contributions of different academic disciplines or fields of study so that topics, problems and phenomena under study are better understood. That same collaborative approach can also be seen in the U of A’s Faculty of Arts, which has an Office of Interdisciplinary Studies that offers five interdisciplinary programs and four fields of study for undergraduate or graduate students. “It’s all about the people who will come here to have their potential realized,” Samarasekera says about the students, professors and researchers who will use the new Faculty of Science building. The Centre’s interdisciplinary nature is the way of the future for learning and discovery. In such environments, she says, “traditional boundaries disappear and new — completely new —fields of discovery appear. The Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science is a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance our research reputation and foster interdisciplinary collaboration. It is a brilliant and visionary investment by Albertans in the future of science and knowledge.” Go to www.science.ualberta.ca/ccis.cfm for more information.
Team Effort The U of A and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres have teamed up to try and tackle some of the pressing environmental concerns facing Alberta’s oil sands. Partnering the U of A’s leading-edge research with the Helmholtz Association’s 16 elite science and technology centres across Germany, which employ over 28,000 people, will only help to move forward and add value to the almost 50 individual oil sands research projects currently underway on campus. “This is a project that is much larger than the sum of its two parts,” says Lorne Babiuk, U of A vice-president (research) about the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative (HAI). “This is also a partnership between government and industry that we hope to build upon in the years to come.” The four immediate concerns to be addressed are the mitigation of the current carbon dioxide output, replacing natural gas with geothermal energy, enhancing water recycling technology, and improving reclamation abilities for land and water. HAI research and development can also be adopted for coal industry operations in both Alberta and Germany. U of A president Indira Samarasekera noted that the current cost to the environment can not continue unabated as the demand for energy grows. “But these challenges are bigger than can be met by Alberta alone,” she says. “And we now have this best-in-class partner, one of the world’s most respected scientific research institution.”
Massive trucks at Syncrude Mine. © 2005 The Pembina Institute, David Dodge.
Group Gr oup home h and auto o insurance
IInsurance as simple as as for memberss of the University of Alberta Alumni Association ociattion Insurance doesnâ€™t need d to bee complicated. As a member of th the he University of Alberta Alumni Association, you de deserve eserve â€“ and receive â€“ special car care re when you deal with TD Insurance Meloche he Monnex. Monnnex. First, you can enjoy savings avings through preferred group rates. 6HFRQG\RXEHQHĂ€WIURPJUHDWFRYHUDJHDQG\RXJHWWKHĂ H[LELOLW\WRFKRRVH URP JUHHDWFRYHUDJHDQG\RXJHWWKHĂ H[ URPJUH HDW FRYHUDJH DQG \RX JHW WKH Ă H[[LELOLW\WRFKRRVH [LELOLW\ WR FKRRVH the level of protectionn that suits suuits your needs.1 Third, youâ€™ll receive outstan outstanding nding service. oche Monnex M insurance easy for you At TD Insurance Meloche our goal is to make insurance WRXQGHUVWDQGVR\RXFDQFKRRVH\RXUFRYHUDJHZLWKFRQĂ€GHQFH$IWHUDOO FDQFKKRRVH\RXUFRYHUDJHZLWKFRQĂ€GHHQFH$IWHUDOO weâ€™ve been doing it for or 60 years! y
Request a quote and you could
IInsurance nsurance program program recommended recommended by by
1 866 352 2 6187 Monday M onday to to Friday, Friday, 8 a.m. a.m. tto o 8 p.m. p.m.
www.melochemonnex.com/ualberta w ww.melochemonnex.com /ualberta TD Insurance Meloche Monnex is the trade-name trade-nam me of SECURITY NATIONAL NA ATTIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY COMPPANY A who whho also underwrites underwrites the home and auto insurance program. The program is distributed by b Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Services Inc. in Quebec and by Meloche Monnex Financial Ser vices Inc. in the rest of Canada. Services Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not n offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. Certain conditions and restrictions may apply. Certain apply. *No purchase required. Contest ends on January January 14, 2011. Total Total value of each prize is $30,000 which includes the Honda Insight Insight EX and a $3,000 gas voucher. voucher. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Skill-testing Skill-testiing question required. Contest organized jointly with Primmum Insurance Insuurance Company and open to members, employees and other eligible people of all employer and professional and and alumni groups entitled to group rates from the organizers. Complete Complete contest rules rules and eligibility information information available at www.melochemonnex.com. www Actual prize may differ from picture shown. Honda is a trade-mark of Honda Canada Inc., who is not a participant p ticipant in or a sponsor of this promotion. par Meloche Monnexx is a trade-mark of Meloche Monnex Inc., uused under license. TD Insurance is a trade-mark of The Toronto-Dominion Toronto-Dominion Bank,, used under license. 1
acknowledgments In 2008 U of A President Indira Samarasekera was honoured with the Women’s Executive Network Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 10 Award. In 2009 she was named as a Hall of Fame inductee by the same organization, as was Beverley McLachlin, ’65 BA, ’68 LLB, ’68 MA, ’91 LLD (Honorary), chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. As well, Arlene Ponting, ’69 BSc(Pharm), ’95 PhD, CEO of Science Alberta Foundation, was honoured in the Trailblazers & Trendsetters category. U of A neurologist and Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry professor George Elleker, ’69 BA, ’75 MD, was presented with the Dr. Joseph Mikhael Award for Medical Education. The Canadian Association of Internes and Residents presented the award to Elleker, who was one of five medical educators nominated for the 2009 award given out by the group, which represents more than 7,500 resident physicians across the country. The Association’s president, Roona Sinha, said, “Doctor Elleker is a true champion of medical education at all levels.” Elleker — who teaches third- and fourth-year undergraduate medical students as well as acting as an associate dean and supervising residents in his clinical practice— says that it was gratifying to him to be recognized by those he has taught and mentored, even more so than if the award came from his peers. “I actually feel the residents are my peers,” he says. “They’ll say, ‘I’m a fourth-year resident.’ And I’ll say to them, ‘I’m a 34th-year resident.’ It’s a continuous exercise of lifelong learning.” George Elleker accepting the award from Roona Sinha, CAIR pastpresident, at the Rideau Club in Ottawa.
Campus Saint-Jean professor Claude Couture was honoured with the University Cup as the U of A celebrated its 14th anniversary of teaching and learning excellence. Couture, director of the Canadian Studies Institute at Campus Saint-Jean, won the University Cup for a career of excellence in teaching, research and public service during which the distinguished scholar of Canadian studies has authored eight books and dozens of academic papers. Couture also received the University of Alberta Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2006, was named a Killam professor for 2007–2008, and received the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations Distinguished Academic Award in 2008. “Winning the University Cup is doubly sweet,” Couture says. “I was very happy to win, and also proud to be one of the few recipients from a smaller U of A faculty. I believe it reflects well on Campus Saint-Jean; we have worked very hard for the last decade to be competitive. This award acknowledges those accomplishments.”
Robert Burrell, chair of the U of A’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded this year’s $100,000 EnCana Principal Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation in recognition of his revolutionary work in wound treatment. Burrell is the inventor of Acticoat antimicrobial wound dressings. The nanocrystalline silver-coated dressings are used in clinical practice in over 40 countries around the world to prevent life-threatening infections and promote wound healing. Acticoat is the world’s first commercial therapeutic application of nanotechnology. Since 1997, the nanotech dressings have become the treatment of choice in settings such as burn units, diabetic foot clinics, chronic wound clinics and nursing homes. The sustained release of silver from Acticoat dressings means that they can be left in place for days, saving patients the pain and trauma of frequent dressing changes. The unique coatings also have potent Robert Burrell anti-inflammatory activity. The dressings have saved limbs and lives, allowed pediatric burn patients to safely recover at home, and healed decades-old debilitating wounds in weeks. Frank MacInnis, ’68 BA, ’71 LLB, and his wife Beverley MacInnis, ’76 BEd, have donated $2.5 million to the Faculty of Law for the creation of The Frank and Beverley MacInnis Centre, an addition to the faculty’s space that houses two smart classrooms, a computer lab, seminar rooms and a student research area. The Camrose, AB, native is also donating money to facilitate the restoration of Camrose’s Bailey Theatre. Frank is chair and CEO of electrical and mechanical construction giant EMCOR Group, which employs over 26,000 people who work out of 170 locations around the world. The firm has worked on such sites as London’s Heathrow Airport and Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Frank MacInnis— who was a 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award-winner in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the community— says that he hopes incoming students recognize the tremendous value of
the education they receive at the U of A and the opportunities that it creates for them worldwide. “I hope that they’ll come to realize, as I have, how much value the University and the law faculty have imparted,” he says. “I hope that that they, too, will feel both gratified and responsible for ensuring that process goes on.” Three U of A researchers—Paul Armstrong, Robert Welsh and Padmaja Kaul, ’02 PhD— won one of eight Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Awards from the Canadian Medical Association Journal and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The University of Alberta research team, led by cardiologist Paul Armstrong, devised a novel way to advance care of the most deadly type of heart attacks— the acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)—which causes significant loss of blood flow to the heart. They are training paramedics to do an in-thefield 12-lead electrocardiogram of the heart of people suspecting of having a STEMI heart attack and sending the results, via cell phone, directly to an on-call cardiologist’s laptop computer who can then advise that clot-busting drugs be immediately administered. In this way, normal heart function can be restored in just minutes and irreversible damage to the heart muscle avoided. If other treatment methods are deemed more appropriate, the patients can still be more quickly triaged to the hospital best-equipped to perform the procedure. “Time is muscle, and muscle is life,” says Armstrong. “That’s the algorithm that we work on.”
Paul Armstrong Winter 2010
Circus Act Under the big top with the U of A’s circus adventurers By Sarah Ligon
he stage is an explosion of light and smoke and colour. The bloodpumping beats of a drum line ricochet off the walls. Four men plunge from the ceiling on bungee chords, while their female partners catapult off springboards on the floor. They meet in a mid-air embrace, their lips coming close enough to steal a kiss, even though they are travelling towards each other at several miles per hour. They then repeat this gravity-defying tête-a-tête again and again and again —30 times during the course of the show, two shows per night, more than 200 nights per year, and each time with unfailing precision. This scene — the opening act from LOVE, Cirque du Soleil’s Beatlesinspired masterpiece, currently running at the Mirage in Las Vegas — is full of all the zip, bang and wow that audiences have come to expect from the 25-year-old neo-circus troupe whose artistic mission is to “invoke, pro-voke and evoke.” Creating that sort of magic on stage,
night after night, all around the world, is the ceaseless task of thousands of people working behind the scenes and a surprising number of them are grads of the University of Alberta. At a recent meeting of vice-presidents and directors at Cirque’s Montreal headquarters—a sort of United Nation’s summit of the Cirque world, if you will, with representatives from France, Russia and across North America — one of the biggest contingents came from, of all places, the U of A. “It was really interesting,” says Krista Monson, ’91 BA, head of casting for American and Asian Residential Shows. “We would have assumed that we were in the minority, but we weren’t. In fact, we tied with the University of Montreal, which also had two representatives.”
“Alberta is not — perhaps stereotypically — where most people would expect to find a lot of culture and creativity,” says Rick Chamney, ’92 BPE, ’01 MA, who was the other half of that alumni duo at the meeting and is one of Cirque’s directors of performance medicine. “For me, it’s really impressive that we have so many graduates, specifically within our vice-presidency, in this Quebec-based, global entertainment company.” Beyond these two alumni in senior positions at Cirque, there are three U of A graduates — Todd Richardson, ’95 BPE; Eugene Marte, ’99 BSc(PT); and Brian Oudyk, ’02 BPE — working with Chamney in the performance medicine department, and another grad, Cherie Hoyles, ’98 BFA, ’99 MFA, working in technical operations on a show that is currently touring Asia — not to mention several others who have previously worked for the company.
he roads to working with the circus are as many and varied as one might expect, and nobody knows that better, perhaps, than Monson, whose own path to Cirque was pretty circuitous. Almost as soon as she could walk, she began training as a dancer in her hometown of St. Albert, AB. She then studied ballet at Université Laval in Quebec City, before transferring to the U of A, where she fell in love with musical theatre. After graduation, she choreographed more than 40 musicals for the stage, before hitting the big time in 2001 with RythMatix, a percussive dance show in the vein of Stomp that she created with her husband Paul Shihadeh, a professional bass player, as the opening and closing acts for that year’s IAAF World Championship in Athletics. After the success of that show, Monson, her husband and their thenfour-year-old son took the leap of moving to Los Angeles in search of bigger opportunities. “I guess it was kind of nuts,” remembers Monson. “When we left Edmonton, we were doing well, but
we sold everything, packed up and left. It was crazy and terrifying, but exhilarating.” One gets the sense that’s just the type of chutzpah that Cirque was looking for. In 2004, she was tapped by the company to be the artistic coordinator for O, Cirque’s extravagant water show at the Bellagio in Vegas. Now Monson herself is tasked with filling hundreds of openings within the company every year. “We have 20 shows right now, and I’m responsible for 10 of them: seven in Las Vegas, two in Asia, one in Florida, and next year, one in New York and another in Los Angeles,” explains Monson. “My role is to maintain a global pool of artists — to fill the bank, so to speak — and empty that bank in terms of getting the artists to the shows. I make sure we’re where we need to be, globally, in terms of certain profiles. We have rare profiles, general profiles, unique profiles. We don’t hire choruses of people with stock qualities; we’re really hiring needles in haystacks — even for the most general of roles.” A dislocation expert for
Zumanity, a contortionist for ZED, an Asian martial artist for KÀ, a high diver for O, a freestyle cyclist for La Nouba, an African gumboot dancer for LOVE — these are not positions that traditional HR reps could fill from their personnel files. To find these “needles in haystacks” Cirque holds auditions around the world several times a year. Her office also has teams of talent scouts who scour the globe looking for the rarest acts, as well as the next big thing. “Guy La Liberté” — the founder and CEO of Cirque — “was a fire artist from the streets,” explains Monson. “So we never close our eyes to what’s happening on the streets.” In fact, Cirque has been on the forefront of introducing audiences to many street trends, from extreme sports such as skateboarding, rollerblading and freestyle cycling, to various forms of
© 2006 The Cirque Apple Creation Partnership
The closing act of LOVE at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Winter 2010
U of A alumni based with CIrque in Las Vegas: Brian Oudyk (back left), Todd Richardson (back right), and Krista Monson (centre), surrounded by performers from the cast of LOVE.
street dance—jacking, whacking, locking, popping, breakdancing, headspinning. One of the new trends that Cirque has prominently featured in its more recent shows is free-running, which is a hybrid of acrobatics and street dance that originated in France. For instance, in LOVE, hip young Beatles groupies in bellbottoms and flak jackets bombard the stage to an upbeat medley of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Drive My Car.” They bounce off trampolines hidden in the stage floor and do summersaults in the air before landing on foot-square platforms jutting out from a narrow, six-foot-high wall. Of course, given the diversity of these roles, there’s no “typical” audition. “How you do a breakdancing audition is different than a trampoline and a tumbling and an extreme sport and a singing audition,” explains Monson. “The format is always differ14
ent, but our goal remains the same: to get the best of that artist.” To that end, an audition may last a few hours or a few days, as Monson’s team tries to plumb the depths of an artist’s abilities. “With each audition, there’s a part that’s devoted to technique, and that’s more like a traditional dance audition, where you do certain exercises and combinations. But, there’s another side, which is equally important, and that’s to see what the artists bring to whatever you ask of them. We dedicate a lot of time to improvisational elements. We’ll put on a song or give them a scenario, and they’ll have to think on the spot, because that’s what’s needed once a person is cast for a show.” As for Monson’s own audition with a Cirque recruiter, “It was terrifying!” she exclaims. “Normally you tailor-make your responses according to what you know of the job, but this was different.
It was really personal. She would ask ‘What are you passionate about? What colour is your blood? What makes your blood change colour?’ And I’d answer the question, but in the back of my mind I was my pragmatic self asking, ‘What am I interviewing for, and when does it start?’ And when the interview ended, and I asked about the traditional ‘next steps,’ her answer was, ‘Oh, we just wanted to meet you.’” Now Monson is the one doing the “interviews,” and this has landed her in some pretty interesting situations. She recounts the story of how a woman once showed up at an open audition for “eccentric dance” with a very large, very eccentric-looking basket. “We didn’t think twice about it, because most people had props of some kind, until she opened the basket and pulled out this massive python. She was a snake charmer! We were
Cherie Hoyles oversees the set-up of Corteo, Cirque’s travelling tent show now touring Japan.
scared to death.” But did she get hired? “Unfortunately, no. We don’t work with animals,” Monson deadpans. “Still, she was very good.” Until she accepted her first position with Cirque in 2004, Monson was still teaching dance and dancing professionally and admits that she never expected to be doing work that was, so, well, corporate. “I said to my husband — literally, this morning — that I’m now doing what I never thought I’d do: I get ready in the morning, I drive my son to Montessori School, and I go to work all day in an office,” she laughs. “But, on the other hand, I’m very involved in the action, just in a different way. And I find it very, very creative. I’m working with 700 different roles, and so when I need to find a drag queen for Zumanity, for instance, I’m literally throwing myself into the drag queen world. Then when I’m
looking for a headspinner, I become an expert in headspinning, and I have to learn all I can about what it takes and who’s out there in the headspinning world making waves. And sometimes I’m doing that all at once.” Of course, despite the magic that Cirque evokes of the old-fashioned European tent circuses, it has travelled a long way from its genesis as a small band of Quebec street performers and is now, with more than 4,000 employees worldwide, not unlike any multimillion-dollar global corporation. “There’s certainly a machine part of it,” she admits. “You’re always working with management and administration and politics. But the good thing about Cirque is that we never lose sight of our core. I feel like the foundation of Cirque is really strong: the live performance, the humanity, the wow, is never far away.”
eanwhile, half a world a way, another U of A grad is doing her part — a very essential part — to making sure that the wow audiences have come to expect from Cirque du Soleil always makes a grand entrance. As the assistant technical operations director for Corteo, Cirque’s travelling tent show currently on tour in Japan, Cherie Hoyles, ’98 BFA, ’99 MFA, is responsible for moving the entire show—one of the biggest travelling shows in the world, with some 130 cast and crew members, 29 trucks and one big top tent that is 52 metres in diameter — from town to town, and all in under 26 hours. What some might call a logistical nightmare, Hoyles merely calls a “challenge.” As she explains the myriad details of her role coordinating that move, you get the sense that this is a details-oriented woman who totally thrives on a technical challenge. “Once we’ve arrived in a new city, it takes us about 10 days to set up and get ready for a premiere,” she explains. But there’s no rest for Hoyles on the 11th day. Once the show is up and running, she’s already planning the next move, in addition to doing equipment inspection and maintenance before and after each show and occasionally running a show track — the hundreds of unique tasks, per person, that must happen back stage to keep the show running, from putting the artists in their harnesses to pushing massive set pieces into place. On the Japanese tour, she works one-to-two shows per day, six days per week, up to 12 hours each day. Not that Hoyles is complaining. “Life on tour is pretty great,” she says. “Sure, we work a lot of hours, and you have to get used to living out of two suitcases. But we get to live in a new city every month or two — long enough to really get to know an area instead of just seeing the sights. And Cirque provides us with housing, food and transportation — they take really good care of us.” Indeed, Cirque provides professional chefs so that its performers and staff eat well on tour, and the company rents apartments for its employees near the big top, which is Winter 2010
hey say “the show must go on,” and with Cirque du Soleil, it does go on, despite inclement weather, disaster — even death. A critical component to making sure that the curtain opens every night on the artistry and amazing acrobatic acts that audiences have come to expect is the company’s expert team of sports therapists and physiotherapists — many of whom received their training at the U of A. “Because these artists perform 476 shows a year, there’s a lot of overuse injuries, strains and sprains,” explains Brian Oudyk, ’02 BPE, an athletic therapist who began his Cirque career at La Nouba in Orlando before moving to LOVE in Las Vegas. “It’s a lot of hip and knee, foot and ankle injuries.” “We check the artists’ medical status, and decide what they can do in terms of training,” says Eugene Marte, ’99 BSc (PT), a physiotherapist for a soon-to-beannounced show now in the creation stage at the company’s headquarters in Montreal. “We mostly deal with workrelated injuries, but we also manage their overall health. On tour, we’re often the artists’ first point-of-contact, whether they have a cold or a stubbed toe, or when it’s something more serious, we provide emergency care.” Since joining the company in 2006, Marte has toured North America and Australia with the shows Quidam, KOOZA and Dralion — and once the current show he’s working on gets out of the 16
creation stage, he will go on tour with it throughout North America and Europe. Also working on one of Cirque’s new shows is Todd Richardson, ’95 BPE, the supervisor of performance medicine with Viva Elvis, which is set to debut in Las Vegas in January 2010. Very little information has been released about the show, other than that it is an “abstract biography” about the King of Rock n’ Roll, in the vein of the Beatles’ inspired LOVE, but with more “acting moments.” Despite his insider information, Richardson is staying mum about the show, but he’s happy to talk about his role overseeing the health of the show’s 75 performers. In addition to providing them with the preventative medicine, strength and conditioning, first aid and emergency care, and rehab that Oudyk and Marte do on their respective shows, Richardson helps the Viva ELVIS creative team design acts that are safe and feasible to perform on such a repetitive schedule. “I assess the biomechanical risk in the act and come up with strategies of prevention to help the artists get through those acts,” says Richardson. “Very rarely do I need to suggest that they change anything. By the time a show gets to me they’ve usually got that figured out.” Most of those changes occur earlier in the creation stage — when a show is at Cirque’s international headquarters in Montreal, where Rick Chamney, ’91 BPE, ’01 MA, oversees the sports medicine department. “I have a multifold role in creation,” explains Chamney. “I oversee the team of therapists that we bring in to support creation, and I do the physical clearance exams for all new artists. Then I work with the creative team in the develop-
ment of the new acts and do the risk management. In other words, even though it’s really cool to shoot someone into a wall from a cannon, maybe we shouldn’t be doing that. At the same time, I make sure that the needs of the creative directors are met, make sure they understand the implications of injuries for the short and long term. It’s a definite tightrope walk.” Coincidentally, most of these guys were at the U of A at the same time or worked together at some point prior to joining Cirque, and they all come from a background in elite-level sports. Marte spent two years working with the Panda’s volleyball and field hockey teams. Richardson was a therapist for the Edmonton Eskimos, and Oudyk did his practicum with Richardson and the Eskimos, before moving to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. “I certainly never thought I’d be running off to join the circus,” says Oudyk.
ut working with athletes doesn’t necessarily directly translate into working with circus performers, whose “season” lasts all year. And don’t let the slim build and short stature of the performers fool you; beneath all that spandex, they are pure muscle. “The first time I saw a Cirque performance was when I came to inter view for my job,” remembers Richardson. “It was Mystère, and
“We’re everywhere with respect to injured body parts … But sometimes, you really have to laugh when you go into a meeting and you have to explain that Groucho the Clown is off for a week with a sprained thumb. I mean, how did that happen?” — Rick Chamney, ’92 BPE, ’01 MA
Cirque du Soleil, Corteo
set up in some of the world’s most beautiful and historic city centres. It’s that itinerant life that initially attracted Hoyles to the circus. Since joining Cirque in 2006, she’s lived in 25 cities across North America and Asia, and, after Japan, she’s moving with the show to Russia. Along the way, she’s wakeboarded on Lake Geneva, climbed mountains in Colorado, motorcycled across the American West, and watched the sunrise on Mount Fuji. She’s also set up stages in an Arizona snowstorm, had to rip others up due to surveyor error, and managed an on-stage flood during a freak thunderstorm in Denver. “At least it’s never boring!” she exclaims.
I’ll never forget what an eye-opener it was. I had worked with hockey players and football players, and I mean, football guys are strong, but, my God, there’s no comparison with these guys!” And because of the nature of the performers’ jobs, Richardson and his colleagues are often called upon to treat some pretty unusual injuries. “I once had to dig a splinter the size of a toothpick out of somebody’s butt because they were backstage rehearsing and tried to do the splits on an unfinished plywood floor,” he laughs. “You certainly don’t see that kind of thing in football.” “For us, the odd thing is not that injuries happen, it’s how they happen,” explains Chamney. “We’re everywhere with respect to injured body parts. You’d expect a trapeze artist to occasionally have shoulder problems, or that someone who jumps on a teeter board 20 feet into the air, lands on an 18-inch platform, and then jumps back down to the ground to occasionally have ankle and knee problems, right? But sometimes, you really have to laugh when you go into a meeting and you have to explain that Groucho the Clown is off for a week with a sprained thumb. I mean, how did that happen?” Of course, given the death-defying nature of many of Cirque’s acts — and how often they perform them— the odds are, no matter what precautions are taken, there will occasionally be a serious injury. This past October, a young Ukrainian acrobat was killed when he suffered head injuries after falling off a trampoline during a routine training exercise at the Montreal facility where Chamney and Marte work. In an interview a couple of weeks before the accident, Marte addressed the risks inherent in the performers’ jobs: “The shows are designed to be spectacular, but not too dangerous. However, when you do something repetitively, you are going to have injuries. In the threeand-a-half years I’ve been with Cirque, people have fallen, and we spineboard them and take them to hospital. I’ve done it maybe three or four times, but it always came out well. It’s just part of the job.”
Rick Chamney (left) and Eugene Marte (right) look out for performers’ physical well-being at Cirque’s Montreal training facility.
More routinely, their job is to help these artists get back on stage, and seeing such talented artists return to the stage after recovering from an injury is the best job satisfaction there is. “What the audience doesn’t see is that, after someone returns from an injury, all the other cast members and staff are backstage clapping and cheering them on and generally going crazy,” says Richardson. And sometimes, their job is to cheer up the audience in the face of tragedy. Chamney recalls visiting Vegas and interviewing for his first position with Cirque during a very challenging time: September 11, 2001. Like everyone else in the U.S., he was grounded while the country tried to come to terms with what had just happened and so had a unique window into the soul of his future employer. “The company prides itself on creating ‘wow’ every night for
as many people as humanly possible,” he recalls. “But the tragedy was palpable, and there was a lot of hemming and hawing about whether the show should go on or not.” Across the country, theatres went dark out of respect for the dead and out of concern that audiences would be too afraid to come out or else uninterested in a little lighthearted entertainment. But on September 12th, Cirque opened its doors across the country. “One of our veteran clowns fully supported the company’s decision to go ahead because, as he said, people needed to get their minds off what had happened, if only for an hour and a half. And those two performances were the loudest standing ovations I have ever heard, before or since, and being a part of a company that can do that, whether as a janitor or the senior vice-president of paperwork, is really inspiring.” Winter 2010
By Carl Conradi, ’07 BA
e had descended upon Osh from different directions, blistered and skeletal. While we had all begun the day’s journey at a common point, our group quickly became splintered. Some of my fellow cyclists managed to find the correct checkpoint along the UzbekKyrgyz border, but for those who had lost our way and met the frontier much farther north, it had been a 200-kilometre day—the longest of our three-and-a-half month expedition along the Silk Route, a trip organized by the Canadian-based company Tour d’Afrique. Although we were staying in a hotel that night and were finally able to benefit from a proper bath, the communal mood was grim. Osh is one of Kyrgyzstan’s most ancient and important trading posts, but night had fallen and all we could do was search for a cold bottle of pivo and something to eat. After changing out of my tight-fitting — and in conservative Central Asia, scandal-inducing—biking shorts, I set out with Richard, a young Londoner, in search of a cheap meal. We quickly found one in a restaurant built adjacent to a bustling market, where men in traditional black-and-white felt hats ped18
dled their wares. In the kitchen, which was located underneath a tall tree, women were pulling long strands of laghman— doughy noodles that are a staple of Central Asia. We ordered two plates of manti (Kyrgyz dumplings) and breathed in the wonderful energy that surrounded us. After a couple of hours, when our heads were swimming pleasantly in beer, we were approached by a group of about six strapping teenaged boys. “Welcome to Osh,” one of them exclaimed with a smile. “Why are you here?” Richard and I cast each other a weary look, trying to decipher whether a conversation would be wise. Richard took the initiative: “We’re bicycling,” he explained, “from Istanbul to Beijing. It’s 10,500 kilometres.” The boys were only mildly impressed by our adventure. Of much greater interest, it seemed, was one of the boy’s battered-looking cell phones. “Look,” he commanded after a few minutes of banter, shoving his way towards Richard and me with a mischievous grin and holding up the phone. Richard and I were then treated to 30 seconds of hardcore pornography, the sight of which sent the group of boys
into great peals of laughter. Completely unsure of how to react, Richard and I merely laughed nervously. The moment was totally incongruous; here we were, only a few dozen kilometres from the Fergana Valley, home to one of the region’s most conservative manifestations of Islam, watching cell phone pornography that would shock even the most liberal Canadian minds. In retrospect, it was the beginning of a strange education. Pornography soon gave way to far tamer Kyrgyz music videos. More manti were ordered, and I offered to buy a round of beer. The boys opted for Coke instead. As the night wore on, I came to feel more comfortable around our new friends, even as Richard remained somewhat guarded. We asked the boys if they studied or worked, and nearly all of them told us that they were bakers who woke up early in the morning to produce the Frisbee-sized flatbreads that are so ubiquitous in Osh. Although they contributed most of their earnings to their families, they saved as much as they could so that one day they could go to school. The commitment to education that these boys embodied, some of them just 16, was humbling.
The Baker of Osh
Then, as suddenly as our conversation had begun, it was declared that the night was over, but that Richard and I were not to return to our hotel. Instead, one of the eldest boys invited us to spend the night at his family’s home. Looking back, my decision may have been stupid and rash — perhaps it was the beer that was talking. Nevertheless, I eagerly and immediately accepted. Richard, on the other hand, went cold. It was an impossible situation for me to have put him in: he would either have to return to the hotel himself and potentially lose track of me altogether, or he would tag along, be robbed and murdered, and his body found by our fellow cyclists the following morning, lying in a ditch next to mine. He was terrified, but could not say so in our new friends’ company. In the end, we waved goodbye to the other boys and got in the back of a strange car, headed into an unknown part of town. As our new friend Akmaldin drove through the dark, narrow and labyrinthine streets of Osh, disorientation quickly induced sobriety… and fear. What if he did intend to rob us? Would Richard and I be able to outmuscle him? Would we be able to steal his car? Did Richard know how to drive a manual? My imagination was running wild. Soon, however, we reached Akmaldin’s family’s home. He pulled into the side street and insisted that I leave behind the beer that I had been carrying, as his mother would not approve of it being in the house. I did as I was told, and we were quickly ushered through the front gate. The house was extremely basic, but strikingly beautiful. A ring of small rooms, each of which belonged to a branch of Akmaldin’s extended family, surrounded a small moonlit garden, in which a tangle of irrigation channels fed fruit and vegetables that hung on the verge of ripeness. For a moment, everything was silent except for the sound of some clothes fluttering on the line and the drip drip drip of rainwater that was trickling from a rooftop cistern into a number of earthenware pots. The relative silence of the night was shattered when Akmaldin called out to his mother and sisters and asked that they prepare food
for us, his new friends. Despite their interrupted sleep, the family greeted us with effusive smiles and ushered us into the living room with gentle nudges. Like the rest of the home, the living room was simple: its walls were bare save a massive and somewhat kitschy tapestry depicting the Kaba’a in Mecca, while the
As our new friend Akmaldin drove through the dark, narrow and labyrinthine streets of Osh, disorientation quickly induced sobriety… and fear. floor was covered with nothing more than a few stacks of inexpensive carpets and pillows. We were invited to take a seat, and one by one, Akmaldin’s sisters brought in plates of fruit, nuts, candy and (eventually) freshly baked flatbread. Unlike the conversation with the other boys at the restaurant, speaking privately with Akmaldin was comfortable and fluid. We spoke of a great many things, including sports, politics and love (on this latter subject, Akmaldin found it necessary to console me for not being married, for at 21 years of age, there must surely be something wrong with me). Most memorable, however, was our conversation about history. At one point, Akmaldin’s mother appeared carrying a stack of photo albums. She cleared away some of the dishes and placed them in the middle of the carpet, her face suddenly cast in serious reverence. “This,” she explained, “is our family.” The first sepia-toned photograph was of a young man, no older than myself at the time, wearing a military uniform. His Asiatic features were stern, a descendent of Genghis Khan dressed in the finery of the Soviet army. “This,” she told us, “was my father.”
She turned the page and another soldier looked back at us, gun slung over his shoulder, smiling as if he’d just heard a lewd joke. I was reminded of the videos I had seen back in the restaurant. “This,” Akmaldin’s mother told us, “is my husband. Now he lives in Bishkek, and I don’t get to see him very often.” We looked at photographs until nearly three o’clock in the morning, when Akmaldin declared it time for bed. After all, he had to work in the morning. As we drifted to sleep on our pallets on the floor, I was overwhelmed by the intimacy of the moment. A hundred years ago, had I dared to visit Central Asia, I would have been greeted by as many bandits as I would have friends. Fifty years ago, I would not have been allowed to visit Kyrgyzstan, period: Akmaldin’s father and grandfather were the “enemy,” just as my forefathers were their “enemy,” all of us shrouded behind alternate sides of an iron curtain. Even today, common sense would dictate that to allow a complete stranger to take you down a dark street is to tempt disaster. Instead, here we were, having just shared stories and eaten off the same plate, falling asleep next to one another. Any caution or prejudice that I brought to the evening dissolved into a happy shame. There is a line from the Qur’an that I first encountered at the U of A while cramming over late-night readings for my Islamic Politics class. It goes something like this: “God created Man and Women, and Nations and Tribes, so that Mankind might get to know itself.” It wasn’t until my evening with this young baker of Osh that I fully internalized the meaning of that line. It was one of the most remarkable moments of my education, and I have Akmaldin to thank for it. After cycling the Silk Route, Carl Conradi, ’07 BA, completed a year-long fellowship with the Boston-based Insight Collaborative, where he provided conflict management services in the U.S., Somaliland, the Democratic Republic of Congo and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in conflict, security and development at King’s College London. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Winter 2010
Travellin’ Man A grad thinks back to the good times and plans ahead for another would-be grad’s hard times ave McCagherty, ’91 BCom, recalls with absolute clarity the moment that led up to his decision to arrange for a bequest in his will to create the David McCagherty Award in Commerce in support of a business student in financial need. It all started in September 1986, “Day One” for Dave at the University of Alberta. He was, like hundreds of others, standing in one of the many lines in the Butterdome, preparing to register before running around campus to sign up for his classes. As he was standing there, he experienced what he calls a “defining moment.” Clutching his registration materials in the midst of thousands of fellow students, Dave thought to himself: “You are an adult now. You are responsible for your own life.” In that brief moment, everything changed. His life suddenly had more purpose, more clarity. Sure, he was still a student and not everything had to be freighted with the seriousness of adult concerns, after all, there’s no rule against adults enjoying themselves. So Dave set about taking full advantage of his university experience. He got involved in intramural sports, joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and enjoyed an active social life. He also, of course, attended classes, and thinking back on them now recalls that, although not all of them were fun, each has a special memory. There was the unique hockey course he took from Clare Drake, ’58 BEd, ’95 LLD (Honorary), the renowned Golden Bears coach for whom the University’s ice hockey rink is named. There was also the field hockey course he took with members of the Pandas
Susan and Dave McCagherty celebrating the festive season.
How Dave’s Gift Works
“How did I get to this position where I
Dave has made a residual bequest in
could even leave a
his will to transfer a percentage of his
legacy?” The answer
estate to the University of Alberta, once all debts, taxes, administrative
expenses, and specific bequests have been provided for. Funds from the
“The experience I
bequest will establish the David McCagherty Award in Commerce.
had at the U of A.”
Including a charitable bequest in your will is an effective method of supporting the University without com-
Field Hockey team, which, he laughingly admits, he may have taken to meet girls. Although meeting them the way he did on the playing field — where, he says, “they definitely beat the pants off me” — may have been the beginning of his bad back and shins. After graduating from the School of Business, Dave moved to Toronto, a move that proved propitious, as that’s not only where he started his career, but also where he met his wife-to-be, Susan. In 2000, the couple relocated to London, ON, where Dave is now a senior account executive for RBC Insurance, a company he has been with, through various mergers and acquisitions, since 1995. Dave still has a fondness for sports, playing hockey and golf on a regular basis, but he’s also broadened his interests, developing an appreciation for fine wines—with a preference for Bordeaux vintages—and a new-found wanderlust that he credits his wife for initiating. Tahiti, Hawaii and a six-week-long tour of Europe are just some of the trips they have ventured on together. Now they’re embarking on a different kind of trip together, a journey into uncharted financial territory that is seeing them seriously look to the future and plan for the end game. Part of that plan includes arranging for a bequest in Dave’s will to create the David McCagherty Award in Commerce.
“When you’re married,” he says, “things like financial planning and having a will become important.” And since he and Susan have no children, he asked himself: “What kind of legacy do I want to leave?” After some thought, this question led to another: “How did I get to this position where I could even leave a legacy?” The answer came quickly: “The experience I had at the U of A.” Dave explains that, for him, it was an easy decision to include a residual bequest in his will for the establishment of the award. “I had a good, well-rounded experience at the U of A,” Dave says, “and I want to help others have that same opportunity.” Apparently giving back is another interest Dave and Susan share. A busy and ambitious woman with three degrees to her credit, Susan also feels grateful for her university experience and has provided for her alma mater, the University of Guelph, in her will. Dave’s legacy will leave a lasting impression at the University of Alberta by impacting the lives of future business students, both on campus and after graduation. Dave hopes this award will ease the financial burden of commerce students so they will have the time to benefit from a full campus experience, much like he did. —Kathy Fitzgerald, ’92 BA
promising current living standards. As one of the many ways of making a gift to the University, bequests are usually one of the largest gifts an individual can make. Charitable bequests can help reduce the tax payable by the estate, thus allowing more of the estate to be used as desired. If it is your intention to include the University in your will, or if you would like to learn more about how to do so, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Ê 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: email@example.com Winter 2010
I’ll Be Watching You U of A profs probe the reasons why it’s getting increasingly difficult to hide from those who make it their business to know your business by Kim Green he image is still haunting. A young boy, just over a month shy of his third birthday, is seen holding the hand of an older child. At first, it looks innocent, perhaps even a little Rockwellian in that one can imagine that it’s a big brother lending a comforting hand to his younger sibling. But there’s nothing innocent about this image captured on closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in 1993. The boy being led away by the hand is James Bulger, who, moments before, wandered into a common area of the New Strand Shopping Area in Bootle, England. Any mother can imagine the moment of panic as she spins around from the item she’s been examining in a store to suddenly realize her child is missing. Usually the child is quickly found and fear abated. But it’s already too late for Denise Bulger as her son is being led away by two 10year-old boys —Jon Venables and Robert Thompson —who have skipped school and spent the day shoplifting before settling on a plan to convince a young child to come along with them so they can murder him. This leading away of an innocent to the slaughter in some way helps to explain why Britain now has millions of CCTV cameras that capture almost every nuance of the public lives of its citizens. No one knows how many cameras train their monocular gaze on the British. Guesstimates put the number at somewhere between four and five million —at least one for every 14 citizens. In heavily surveilled Central London, every person going about their business is captured on camera about 300 times a day. Plans are in place to install another 50,000 cameras in London in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Every Breath You Take “One thing that can’t be downplayed in the British context with the proliferation of CCTV cameras —which is an unprecedented experiment in transparency in a democratic nation —is the James Bulger story,” says U of A sociology professor Kevin Haggerty (see story page 28). “The cameras show his killers leading him away by the hand, and you can’t underestimate the power of that image. It helped to create a feeling of something happening off the screen, and if only we could have opened up that image more widely we could have done something to save that child.” “Britain is sort of the birthplace for common law protection for civil liberties and privacy so it’s kind of strange from an outside observer’s perspective to see that society change so dramatically in terms of
its attitudes associated with privacy,” says U of A law professor Steven Penney, ’90 BA, ’94 LLB, who also notes that much of the acceptance of CCTV surveillance in Britain can be traced to a fear of terrorism. “People forget,” he says, “that the fear of bombings in Britain, particularly in London, predates 9/11 by over a couple of decades because of the IRA.” But it’s not only in Britain where the fear of terrorism has changed the landscape with regards to video surveillance, or, indeed, surveillance of all kinds. A document titled A Report on Camera Surveillance in Canada (written by researchers based at Canadian universities, including Wade Deisman, ’92 BA, and Jennifer Whitson, ’04 BA, ’06 MA) points out that “the growth of camera surveillance in Canada is undeniable and is steady. It is also, generally speaking, unremarkable.” The fact that there’s so little opposition to the placement of public camera surveillance systems is in part because they are often installed following well-publicized incidents of violence that are used to justify their placement. For instance, Toronto began considering their placement after the Boxing Day 2005 shooting of 15-yearold Jane Creba. In Edmonton, surveillance cameras showed up on Jasper Avenue near 109th Street in the summer of 2008, after two police officers were attacked when they intervened in a fight outside one of the many bars that had opened in the area. But regardless of when or how the cameras arrived in our neighbourhoods, on our buses and trains, in our taxi cabs and police cruisers, and at our transportation hubs, they are clearly here to stay and will only grow in number. They are also joined by an increasingly sophisticated network of other surveillance techniques
Kevin Haggerty: “The process of forgetting is starting to disappear.”
that are progressively blurring the lines between our public and private lives. Kevin Haggerty has had a long-standing interest in surveillance issues. He remembers teenage discussions with his father, an RCMP officer, about the hypothetical prospect of CCTV cameras on public streets. Some years later, his first major academic publication was about turning the cameras and computers back on those conducting the surveillance as he focused on surveillance aspects in monitoring the police. “The computers and cameras the police have installed in their cars mean they can get data and do surveillance on you,” says Haggerty, “but it also allows a real-time monitoring of police by their supervisors. There is that dialectic in a lot of these things that surveillance often allows for the monitoring of the people doing the monitoring, too. There’s power dynamics at play.” The power dynamics of using CCTV cameras often sees the images they capture used for purposes not intended by their
original installation. The 58-page Report on Camera Surveillance in Canada states: “While most systems are installed for the purposes of deterrence and the increase in public perceptions of safety, these systems are susceptible to what sociologists call ‘function creep.’” For example, CCTV cameras ostensibly installed to monitor
“Imagine a state
that can monitor everything you discard in the trash.” potential consumer theft at retail stores can be used to reduce worker-related theft, manage workforce productivity, and to profile employee behaviour in close detail over a sustained period of time. As for monitoring human behaviour in close detail, it’s no surprise the British
Some CCTV Sites www.therainiervalley.com/international_webcams.html www.bbc.co.uk/london/travel/jam_cams/index.shtml www.edmontontrafficcam.com/cams.php www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html
lead the pack. Three years ago, 500,000 “wheelie bins” (garbage cans on wheels) were fitted with penny-sized microchips that communicate with a computer on the truck into which the bin is being emptied, recording the weight of the contents. Further, in Twyford, England —home of the modern ceramic toilet —a company has designed a “smart toilet” called the Versatile Interactive Pan that, as well as moving up and down to accommodate different users comfortably, also has built-in sensors in the “pan” that can analyze stool and urine for such things as blood sugar levels and send the results automatically over the Internet to the user’s doctor or pharmacist. These two technologies can, of course, be very useful in that perhaps people should pay for the weight of the refuse they create and those with medical issues might well want to be more accurately and easily monitored. But think of the potential for “function creep” here. Imagine a state that can monitor everything you discard in the trash as well as what you eat, drink, secrete and expunge every day. Imagine corporations getting their hands on that data so they could precisely identify you as a consumer of their products or, even more sinister, match your job or insurance application with your urine and stool samples and decide, based on what they discover, if they’ll consider interviewing or insuring you. Winter 2010
And Every Move You Make Here in Canada, in October, the privacy commission quietly gave its blessing to the placement of airport scanners that, essentially, have the power to strip someone naked as they pass through airport security. For now, not everyone is going to have to pass through the “T-ray” (a less powerful and safer form of X-rays) scanners and those —no doubt, “usual suspects” —singled out for this special treatment can still opt for getting a physical pat-down instead. But all it might take is one incident of somebody getting something onboard a plane that shouldn’t be there, and, voila, welcome to the convenience, comfort, safety and security of across-the-board Tray scanning. And if they’re good enough for airports, why not install them in nightclubs, schools, banks or any other place where security might be an issue? “If you study surveillance issues for any length of time you’ll notice a process of function creep,” says Haggerty. “You start with something small, and then arguments are put forth about how, ‘wouldn’t it be good to expand it from that use to this use?’ This is one of the ways that surveillance has been expanding for a quarter-century.” Like Haggerty, Harvard graduate Steven Penney also comes by his surveillance issues bona fides honestly. As a law student, his interest in the subject was piqued when he clerked for Supreme Court of Canada Justice Gérard La Forest, ’88 LLD (Honorary) —one-time dean of the U of A law school —a major privacy advocate who wrote a lot of the leading court decisions in the 1990s, including one interpreting a section of the Charter of Rights that protects everyone against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as others dealing with electronic surveillance. Penney tells a tale, not so much about function creep, but about “functionality creep.” He recounts a court case where police attached an old-fashioned radio beacon tracking device to a car so they could follow its movements and that of its murder-suspect driver. But the court 24
threw out the tracking device evidence on the grounds that the suspect had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The government of the time then amended the law to allow such devices. But the law that was amended to allow that kind of surveillance didn’t anticipate the new ways that can be employed to shadow people. “Question is,” Penney asks, “now that the technology has changed, is that what the old [amended] law intended? We now have very accurate tracking technologies where police can pinpoint your location just by using your cell phone. Now we’re also seeing a widespread use of video surveillance networks, and a number of people, including me, have raised the question of whether or not you might have an expectation of privacy in those circumstances. Even though you’re in a public space, these cameras can potentially track someone over a very wide area of space
“If you really
want to understand what’s interesting about surveillance these days you have to start thinking about integration.” and reveal intimate details of your activities and contacts and associates so that, if the police wanted to, and had a sufficiently powerful network of these cameras, they could basically find out everything you did in intimate detail over an extended period of time. “Many people have argued that there ought to be some justification before the police are authorized to use that technology. Or that no one should be allowed to do that unless there are grounds for suspicion that the person under surveillance is up to no good.”
But quite the opposite is already happening as the surveillance landscape has been irrevocably altered in the name of combatting terrorism. Following 9/11, new laws—granting policing and security agencies unprecedented powers —were drafted and passed post-haste, laws that changed how we view not only camera and other types of surveillance in Canada, but that also reshaped thinking about the balance between privacy and surveillance itself.
Every Bond You Break “National security has been an important motivation for the proliferation of camera surveillance in Canada,” states the Report on Camera Surveillance in Canada. “The Anti-terrorism Act [Bills C-36 and C-42] expanded the government’s ability to intercept wire, oral and electronic communications relating to terrorism, to share information related to criminal investigations, and to conduct electronic surveillance. Furthermore, the act gave increased powers to the Canadian security establishment, allowing, in some instances, for the interception of domestic communications.” The bills’ most controversial clauses allow for the arrest and detainment for up to three days —without a warrant —of anyone police suspect may be contemplating committing an act of terrorism and allow judges to compel witnesses to testify in secret about past associations, with the power of throwing non-compliers into jail. “Embedded in this legislation,” says Haggerty, “are provisions that ‘we’re not going to tell you who we’re monitoring and we’re not going to tell you how many wiretaps we’re doing.’ So there’s this divide about what we can know about those doing the monitoring and what they can know about us. There are valid reasons for secrecy for some issues, but if you don’t trust your government, that often feels a lot like manipulation.” The European Union has taken the initiative to require Internet service providers to practice “data retention,” which requires that all the transactional material surrounding electronic commu-
Steven Penney: “What exactly is that fear and how realistic is it?”
nications be maintained. That information is analogous to what’s found on the outside of a letter envelope. The EU’s data retention policy directive obliges all member states to pass legislation mandating data be maintained for a fixed period of time —six months for Internet communications and one year for telephones. “Similar proposals have been made in the U.S.,” says Penney. “In Canada, the government hasn’t even tried to pass a bill that would require data retention on that kind of systematic basis. But what they do have pending is a provision that would require an ISP to essentially freeze an individual’s information if the police have reason to suspect them, so the police could attempt to obtain a warrant to collect that information before it’s deleted.” Of course, function creep is always on the periphery of this picture. If we can save data for six months or a year, why not five, 10 or 20 years? If we can get access to the transaction record, why not get our hands on what was actually said or written and to whom? If we can get a look at someone’s electronic signature in all their communications, why not just slide on into their computer and see what nasty business they’ve been up to? “If you think about what’s coming, this is a huge invasion,” says Haggerty. “It essentially opens up your home; it opens up your life. Everything about our lives is now on our computers. That includes your communications, your finances, your taste
in erotica, it includes just about anything about your life. It’s your communications system, it’s your filing cabinet, it’s you in many ways. The extent to which ‘they’ can go in there and poke around is going to be a real battleground.” Raymond Lahey, the Catholic bishop of Antigonish, NS, recently found himself on the losing side in that battle when he flew into Ottawa from London on September 15. The customs agent noticed that, not only was he a single man who had travelled to such known underage
“Be careful what
you post on Facebook.” sex trade centres as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, but that he was allegedly nervous, evasive and slow to answer the question as to whether or not he had a laptop computer. The agent flagged Lahey for further scrutiny which brought him to another customs agent who looked through his laptop and found images she thought could be child pornography, prompting her to call the local police. The police had a look and let Lahey go, but without his computer. After looking more thoroughly through his laptop, the police came to the decision
that it did indeed contain images and videos allegedly depicting child pornography. But it wasn’t until September 23 that they applied for a search warrant to “further search the computer and hard drive.” Two days later, Lahey was officially charged with possession and importation of child pornography. Now, almost no one would argue for allowing child pornographers to blithely go about their pernicious business. However, it is somewhat unnerving to realize that customs agents have more power than police officers when it comes to arbitrarily searching everything —and that means everything —in your possession or even inside of you. What if that diminished expectation to privacy inherent at airports and borders is expanded to other areas of our public lives? And isn’t that what’s already happening with surveillance cameras and other high-tech methods of capturing the monetary, verbal and electronic transactions of our day-to-day existence? And what does all this mean in our wired world, where the reams of information it once would have taken a house to store can now be carried around in your purse? What does it mean when really the only thing preventing the proverbial “they” from composing a complete profile of every individual from the cradle to the grave is the will to do it and the funds to carry it out so that no public discourse, interaction or association would go unrecorded, undocumented or unknown? Winter 2010
I believe... I should feel good about the choices I make
You make choices every day. You want to make the right ones. We can help you with the choices you make to protect your family’s future.
Let us help you have the life you planned Term Life Insurance • Critical Illness Insurance • Health & Dental Insurance Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance • Dependent Children Term Life Insurance
For a personalized quotation or to apply online, visit the web address below.
1.800.266.5667 www.iapacific.com/uofa ™ Trademark of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc., used under license by Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc.
Every Step You Take “If you really want to understand what’s interesting about surveillance these days you have to start thinking about integration,” says Haggerty. “What’s key is the bringing of all the databases that exist out there together. Policing agencies, security agencies, consumer agencies —they’re all talking the language of breaking down informational silos, because if you can network this stuff you compound your abilities to create profiles of people.” For his part, Penny sometimes thinks the fears of Big Brother and the rhetoric associated with the loss of privacy can get out of hand, as a lot of the discussion around these issues isn’t very precise or rigorous. “What exactly is that fear and how realistic is it?,” he asks. “For the most part we have the legislative and constitutional framework in place that allows us to achieve a reasonable balance between the need for law enforcement and national security investigators to do what they need to do to protect us while maintaining a reasonable level of privacy for ordinary people so they don’t feel they are constantly under surveillance and they can’t say or do certain things without fear of that information being used against them.” That, however, doesn’t begin to take into account the virtual surveillance we do of ourselves, the surrendering of personal information and images to such social networking sites as Facebook, MySpace and Flickr that can leave us open to, at best, ridicule and, at worst, public censure or loss of prestige, employment and privilege —or even careers, relationships and lives. Personally embarrassing —or even criminally reprehensible — imagery captured with cell phones or compact cameras is constantly popping up on these sites, not to mention the semiliterate incoherencies and inanities that often pass for communication on Twitter, which people spew out in the spur of the moment and could, theoretically, still be accessible decades from now. Even U.S. President Barack Obama weighed in on that issue with his September 2009 speech to high school students
Campus Candid Cameras U of A surveillance cameras monitor many of the buildings and structures around campus, such as the Student Union Building, Lister Hall, the Jubilee Parking structure, University Terrace, Enterprise Square, the Saville Sports Centre and the Medical Sciences Building, to name a few. The Emergency Blue Phones positioned around campus also have surveillance cameras installed, as do some of the University computer rooms. As well, many departments have their own surveillance systems and some use Internet Protocol cameras that allow images to be viewed in real time on a computer or phone.
in suburban Arlington that was aired in classrooms across America. “Be careful what you post on Facebook,” he said. “Whatever you do, it will be pulled up later in your life.” Or, in fact, even after death, as Facebook recently announced plans to “memorialize” profiles of the dead if their friends or family request it. “You get this stuff now with Facebook with kids saying things that hang around forever,” says Haggerty. “The process of forgetting is starting to disappear. There used to be a process you’d work through as an adolescent or a teenager where you’d make mistakes and they’d be forgotten and you’d move on. Now the possibility for remembering that stuff and holding it against you has been profoundly expanded.” There is an upside to allowing access to information about yourself that in another era people could never contemplate complete strangers knowing about them. For the institutions that collect data on us and take our picture and issue cards that entitle us to special privileges there are great gains in efficiency. For us, as well, by allowing the collection of this data we can more easily navigate through life by bypassing lineups, going around the queue, driving in a special lane. “The downside,” says Haggerty, “is harder to get your head around. The most dramatic downside is that essentially we are inadvertently creating, step-by-step, a society that’s hardwired for surveillance and that has a remarkable capacity for evil. If you wanted to turn all of those systems to negative ends —and the ability to do so is unprecedented —it would make
the Stasi look like pikers in terms of their informational abilities.” Most people don’t get worked up about these issues because people generally trust the democratic institutions that govern and regulate most of these technologies. But by offering up this trust we have inadvertently inverted the relationship between the citizen and the state. Traditionally, a democratic government is meant to be transparent to the people it governs so it can be held to account for its actions. But, in a world where everyone is viewed as either a risk or a resource, it is increasingly the citizenry who are becoming transparent to both governments and private corporations. Part of the real danger is also the fact that institutions don’t last forever. Technologies currently in use —as well as ones yet to be invented or deployed —are going to outlast the current governmental regimes. As well, agreements people might now have with one company won’t necessarily apply to the next one that buys it and the information it has amassed. You may think that some trivial piece of personal data collected and stored today is perfectly innocent, but you can bet the Hollywood Ten felt the same way about attending a couple of meetings to discuss alternative economic and political ideas. “It’s wildly impossible to predict what is going to be the next form of deviance that gets a lot of people worked up,” says Haggerty. “Is it going to be some form of identity, some form of sexuality, some type of skin colour? What activity is going to become the next fear? So the real danger is that we could become the target.” Winter 2010
Chip Off the Old Block U of A professor Kevin Haggerty imagines a generational shift Department of Sociology professor Kevin Haggerty is a leading international scholar in criminology, socio-legal studies and surveillance studies. His co-authored paper in the British Journal of Sociology, called “Seeing Beyond the Ruins: Surveillance as a Response to Terrorist Threats,” set the course for the rapidly growing field of political and criminological research that emerged after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Haggerty was also given the U of A’s prestigious 2008 Martha Cook Piper Research Prize, an award that recognizes faculty members who, at the early stage of their careers, show outstanding promise as researchers. Even before his teaching career began, Haggerty turned heads when he co-authored — along with his doctoral supervisor, the late Richard Ericson — his first book, entitled Policing the Risk Society, that was called “a ground-breaking classic” by former acting U of A Dean of Arts, Gurston Dacks. Earlier this year, Haggerty and a team of researchers from around the world were awarded a $2.5 million, sevenyear Major Collaborative Research Initiative grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to explore what they call “the new transparency.” Along with numerous articles, book chapters and reviews, Haggerty has also co-authored Making Crime Count and edited a collection entitled The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility. Both texts have become required reading in criminology. Haggerty is also editor of the Canadian Journal of Sociology (www.cjsonline.ca) and the book review editor for Surveillance and Society (www.surveillance-and-society.org). Here is Haggerty’s portrait of a potential future in which the word “chipper” might have an entirely new meaning.
y the time my six-year-old son is swathed in the soft flesh of old age, he will likely find it unremarkable that he — and almost everyone he knows — is permanently implanted with a microchip. Automatically tracking his location in real time, it will connect him with databases monitoring and recording his smallest behavioural traits. Most people dismiss such a prospect as a science-fiction fantasy. The technology, however, “ ” already exists. For years, humane societies have implanted all the pets that leave their premises with a small identifying microchip. As well, millions of consumer goods are now tracked with tiny radio frequency identification chips that allow satellites to reveal their exact location. A select group of people are also already “chipped” with devices that automatically open doors, turn on lights and perform other low-level tasks. Prominent among such individuals is cybernetics professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University in England, who is a leading proponent of the almost limitless potential uses for such chips. Other users include VIP members of the Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, many of whom have paid about $150 (US) for the privilege of being implanted with VeriChip’s implantable microchip, an identifying chip that allows them to bypass club queues and purchase drinks by being scanned. These individuals are the advance guard of an effort to expand the technology as widely as possible with microchips that will become progressively smaller, less invasive and easier to deploy. As of now, any realistic barrier to the wholesale “chipping” of Western citizens is not technological but cultural. It relies upon the visceral reaction against the prospect of
being personally marked as one component in a massive human inventory. Today, we might strongly hold such beliefs, but sensibilities can, and probably will, change. How this remarkable attitudinal transformation is likely to occur will involve no 3:00 a.m. knock on the door by storm troopers come to force implants into our bodies. The process will be more subtle and cumulative, couched in the unassailable language of progress and social betterment, while mimicking many of the processes that have contributed to the expansion of closed-circuit television cameras in public places and the corporate market in personal data. Here is how the next generation will come to be microchipped. The first widespread use of human implanting will occur in nations at the periphery of the Western world. Such developments are important in their own right, but their international significance pertains to how they familiarize a global audience with the technology and habituate them to the idea that chipping represents a potential future. In the West, an increasing array of hypothetical chipping scenarios will be depicted in entertainment media even as the first chips are being implanted in members of stigmatized groups. Pedophiles are the leading candidate for this distinction, although it could start with terrorists, drug dealers or whatever group happens to be that year’s most vilified criminals. Short-lived promises will be made that the technology will only be used on the “worst of the worst.” In fact, the wholesale chipping of incarcerated individuals will quickly ensue, encompassing people on probation or parole and even accused individuals, a measure justified on the grounds that it will stop them from fleeing justice.
Any realistic barrier to the wholesale
chipping of Western citizens is not
technological but cultural.
Many criminals will welcome this development, since only chipped inmates will be eligible for parole, weekend release or community sentences. From the prison system will emerge an evocative vocabulary distinguishing chippers from non-chippers. Ironically, although the chips will be justified as a way to reduce fraud and other crimes, criminals will almost immediately develop techniques to simulate other people’s chip codes and manipulate their data. Commercial success, however, is contingent on making serious inroads into chipping the larger population of law-abiding citizens. Other stigmatized groups will therefore be targeted. This will undoubtedly entail monitoring welfare recipients, a move justified to reduce fraud, enhance efficiency and ensure that the poor do not receive “undeserved” benefits. In time, welfare recipients will receive their benefits as electronic vouchers stored on their microchips, a policy that will be tinged with a sense of righteousness, as it will help ensure that clients can only purchase government-approved goods from select merchants, reducing the always disconcerting prospect that poor people might use their limited funds to purchase alcohol or tobacco. Civil libertarians will try to foster a debate on these developments. Their attempts to prohibit chipping will be handicapped by the inherent difficulty in animating public sympathy for criminals and
welfare recipients — groups that many citizens are only too happy to see subjected to tighter regulation. Indeed, the lesser public concern for such groups is an inherent part of the unarticulated rationale for why coerced chipping will be disproportionately directed at the stigmatized. The official privacy arm of the government will now take up the issue. Mandated to determine the legality of such initiatives, privacy commissioners and senate committees will produce a forest of reports presented at an archipelago of international conferences. Hampered by lengthy research and publication timelines, their findings will be delivered long after the widespread adoption of chipping is effectively a fait accompli. The research conclusions on the effectiveness of such technologies will be mixed and open to interpretation. Officials will vociferously reassure the chipping industry that they do not oppose chipping itself, which has fast become a growing commercial sector. Instead, they are simply seeking to ensure that the technology is used fairly and that data on the chips is not misused. New policies will be drafted. Employers will start to expect implants as a condition of employment. The U.S. military will lead the way in this
regard, requiring chips for all soldiers as a means to enhance battlefield command and control — and to identify human remains. From cooks to commandos, every one of the more than one million U.S. military personnel will see microchips replace their dog tags. Following quickly behind will be the massive security sector. Security guards, police officers and correctional workers will all be expected to have a chip. Individuals with sensitive jobs will find themselves in the same position. The first signs of this stage are already apparent. In 2004, the Mexican attorney general’s office started implanting employees to restrict access to secure areas. The category of “sensitive occupation” will be expansive to the point that anyone with a job that requires keys, a password, security clearance or an identification badge will have those replaced by a chip. Judges hearing cases on the constitutionality of these measures will conclude that chipping policies are within legal limits. The thin veneer of “voluntariness” coating many of these programs will allow the judiciary to maintain that individuals are not being coerced into using the technology. In situations where the chips are clearly forced on people, the judgments will deem them to be undeniable infringements of the Winter 2010
right to privacy. However, they will then invoke the nebulous and historically shifting standard of “reasonableness” to pronounce coerced chipping a reasonable infringement on privacy rights in a context of demands for governmental efficiency and the pressing need to enhance security in light of the still ongoing “wars” on terror, drugs and crime. At this juncture, an unfortunately common tragedy of modern life will occur: a small child, likely a photogenic toddler, will be murdered or horrifically abused. It will happen in one of the media capitals of the Western world. Chip manufactures will recognize this as the opportunity they have been anticipating for years. With their technology now largely bug-free, familiar to most citizens and comparatively inexpensive, manufacturers will partner with the police to launch a high-profile media campaign encouraging parents to implant their children “to ensure your own peace of mind.” Special deals will be offered. Much like today’s cell phones, implants will be “free,” providing the family registers for monitoring services. Loving but unnerved parents will be reassured by the ability to integrate chipping with other functions on their PDA so they can monitor their child any time from any place. Paralleling these developments will be initiatives that employ the logic of convenience to entice the increasingly small group of holdouts to embrace the now common practice of being chipped. At first, such convenience chipping will be reserved for the highest echelon of Western society, allowing the elite to move unencumbered through the physical and informational corridors of power. Such practices will spread more widely as the benefits of being chipped become more prosaic. Chipped individuals will, for example, move more rapidly through customs. It will ultimately become a condition of using mass-transit systems that officials be allowed to monitor your chip. Companies will offer discounts to individuals who pay by using funds stored on their embedded chip, on the small-print condition that the merchant can access large swaths of their personal data. These “discounts” are effectively punitive pricing schemes, charging unchipped individuals more as a way to encourage them to submit to monitoring. 30
Kevin Haggerty: “Any prospect of removing the chip will become increasingly untenable.” Corporations will seek out the personal data in hopes of producing ever more finegrained customer profiles for marketing purposes and to sell to other institutions. By this point all major organizations will be looking for opportunities to capitalize on the possibilities inherent in an almost universally chipped population. As the uses of chips proliferate along with the types of discounts offered, each new generation of household technology becomes configured to operate by interacting with a person’s chip. Finding a computer or appliance that will run through “old-fashioned hands-on” interactions will become progressively more difficult and costly. Patients in hospitals and community care will be routinely chipped, allowing medical staff — or, more accurately, remote computers— to monitor their biological systems in real time. Eager to reduce the health costs associated with a largely docile citizenry, authorities will provide tax incentives to individuals who exercise regularly. Personal chips will be remotely monitored to ensure that an individual’s heart rate is consistent with an exercise regime. By now, the actual process of chipping for many individuals will simply involve activating certain functions of their existing chip. Any prospect of removing the chip will become increasingly untenable, as having a chip will be a precondition for
engaging in the main dynamics of modern life, such as shopping, voting and driving. The remaining holdouts will grow increasingly weary of Luddite jokes and subtle accusations that they have something to hide. Exasperated at repeatedly watching neighbours bypass them in “chipped” lines while they remain subject to the delays, inconveniences and costs reserved for the unchipped, they, too, will choose the path of least resistance and get an implant. In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade. In the coming years some of the most powerful institutional actors in society will start to align themselves to entice, coerce and occasionally compel the next generation to get an implant. Now, therefore, is the time to contemplate the unprecedented dangers of this scenario. The most serious of these concern how even comparatively stable modern societies will, in times of fear, embrace treacherous promises. How would the prejudices of a Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover or of southern Klansmen — all of whom were deeply integrated into the American political establishment — have manifest themselves in such a world? What might Hitler, Mao or Milosevic have accomplished if their citizens were chipped, coded and remotely monitored? Choirs of testimonials will soon start to sing the virtues of implants. Calm reassurances will be forthcoming about democratic traditions, the rule of law and privacy rights. History, unfortunately, shows that things can go disastrously wrong and that this happens with disconcerting regularity. Little in the way of international agreements, legality or democratic sensibilities has proved capable of thwarting single-minded ruthlessness. “It can’t happen here” has become the whispered swan song of the disappeared. Best to contemplate these dystopian potentials before we proffer the tender forearms of our sons and daughters. While we cannot anticipate all of the positive advantages that might be derived from this technology, the negative prospects are almost too terrifying to contemplate. See www.kevinwarwick.com and www.verichipcorp.com for further reading.
Hong Kong: The Pearl of the Orient By Vivian So, ’02 BA
A local Hong-Konger and U of A alumna lets drop a few pearls of wisdom about her native city.
any spots throughout Asia lay claim to the name “The Pearl of the Orient”—Penang, Shanghai, the Philippines — but, in my opinion, only Hong Kong truly earns the title. Seated at the mouth of the Pearl River, the port of Hong Kong was seen by its British colonizers as the entry-point to the wealth of Asia. The colonial coat of arms for the city even featured a large pearl being taken from the hands of a dragon, symbolizing China, and passed on to a crowned lion, symbolizing Britain. However, since the British handover in 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (as the city is now officially known) has embraced the title for itself. There is even a wellknown song about the city titled “Pearl of the Orient.” But the name “Pearl of the Orient” has a much more personal meaning for me. As a child returning to Hong Kong — the city of my birth — from the home
my family and I had made in Edmonton, I remember the excitement in the cabin of our plane as soon as the lights of the city became visible. Hong Kong, a city of millions, hung there in the dark waters of the South China Sea like a dazzling pearl on the neck of China. As a Hong Kong resident today, I still love the city’s lights, as well as the diversity that is a result of its multicultural history. And no matter how long I live here, I can never be bored in this city of hidden and not-so-hidden gems that I call home.
EATING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CITY One of Hong Kong’s most popular pastimes is going “yum cha,” which directly translates into “drink tea,” but which, in addition to steaming cups of Chinese tea, also includes a full brunch of dim sum. My favourite place to go “yum cha” is Maxim’s Palace in Central, the enormous restaurant located on the
second floor of the City Hall building, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of Victoria Harbour along with great tasting food. Unlike other dim sum restaurants that dot the city, Maxim’s still serves a traditional menu from those now-rare dim sum carts, and every weekend there are crowds of people waiting for the restaurant to open its doors. One dish I cannot get enough of is the pineapple BBQ pork bun — juicy bits of tender meat wrapped in a layer of soft bread. But to get one, you have to get there early as the chef only makes a limited number every morning, and they are usually gone before noon. Besides going “yum cha,” another Hong Kong institution is the British tradition of afternoon tea, or “high tea.” In Hong Kong, high tea usually includes a three-layer silver tray full of dainty pastries, sandwiches, scones, preserves, sweet creams and desserts. There are many hotels and restaurants Winter 2010
Enjoy authentic dim-sum at Maxim’s Palace, and (right) hunt for bargains until late in the evening at the Ladies’ Market.
around town that serve high tea. The most popular one is the Peninsula Hong Kong, the five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. But I like to travel further away from the city to The Verandah, in Repulse Bay, to enjoy my delicacies along with the tranquil, resort-like atmosphere of this southern beach. With its links to the West and the influence of immigrants from across Asia, Hong Kong puts many of the great flavours of the world at your fingertips. For instance, The Peak Café, in the busy Soho neighborhood, combines Chinese flavours with a variety of culinary influences from around the world. My friends and I order the Chinese roast duck pizza and a lychee mojito every time. Another dish worth trying is the Thai pomelo and roasted chicken salad, which is a plate of tangy pomelo bits (like a mild grapefruit) sprinkled with peanuts and chicken strips roasted in a sweet and spicy sauce. The Singapore fried noodle is also a house specialty, with assorted seafood served on a bed of crispy and fluffy egg noodles topped with mild chili sauce. And if you’re not ready to call it a night after dinner, move the party upstairs to The Peak Café Bar or venture out to one of the many eateries in Soho where desserts, coffee and cocktails are available until the wee hours of the morning. 32
WHERE THE NIGHT LIFE IS CENTRAL
SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP
From pocket change purchases to splurging like a millionaire, visitors to When the sun goes down, it’s time for Hong Kong can’t help indulging in the Lan Kwai Fong to wake up. This street, conveniently located in Central, is where city’s most popular pastime — shopthe “in crowd” goes for happy hour — ping. Shopping among the street venand often stays until dawn. Lan Kwai (as dors in Hong Kong’s many open-air locals call it) is packed markets, though a with restaurants, bars, little crowded, is nightclubs and people like a treasure hunt Hong Kong wanting to see and be for surprisingly seen. For instance, at great bargains. The Volar you can often spot puts many of best of the bunch is models and actors from the Ladies’ Market the booming local film in Mongkok. As the the great flavours industry. name suggests, the But fun isn’t limited market is known to only Lan Kwai (where of the world at for the variety of there’s even a Canada women’s clothing Day celebration held and accessories; every July). There are your fingertips. however, you can many other popular also find those places around the Oriental knickCentral district, such knacks and unique souvenirs for about as Dragon-I, which serves a pan-Asian menu of dim sum and Japanese fare and 15 percent less than what you would is a great one-stop destination for pay at the more touristy markets in quality dining and dancing in a lounge Stanley. atmosphere. Another favourite is If you’re looking for a more upscale Beijing Club, the biggest nightclub in shopping experience, visit Hong Kong’s town, which boasts dance floors on largest shopping centre, Harbour City, three storeys and an outdoor balcony located in Tsim Sha Tsui. With more featuring Hong Kong’s largest open-air than 700 shops spread over two-million square feet, the mall houses everything projection screen.
A ride on the 120-year-old Peak Tram reveals the panorama of Hong Kong below. (Right) Lantau Island is home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha.
from mid-range stores like Esprit to luxury boutiques like Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Although the price tags have many more zeros than those at the Ladies’ Market, Harbour City is sure to have something for everyone. For clothing and accessories for the young and hip, Causeway Bay is another famous shopping area with clusters of street vendors, department stores, shopping malls and boutiques. There you can also find unique imported labels from around Asia, as well as the works of local designers. The most unique items — and the best deal around — are the tailor-made shoes and bags. In addition to these famous shopping districts, there are various themed shopping streets located throughout the city. For instance, the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei sells gemstones and jade accessories, Ap Liu Street Flea Market in Sham Shui Po sells bargain-priced second-hand electronics as well as antique watches, the Sportswear Street in Mongkok has all the latest sportswear and equipment, and the Goldfish Market in Prince Edward is full of different aquatic animals.
PEAK VIEWS Hong Kong’s beautiful Victoria Harbour is one of the territory’s greatest assets. The best place to see this stunning harbour is at the Avenue of Stars along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Organize your time well and be sure to stay until 8:00 p.m. to catch what the Guinness Book of World Records calls the “World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show.” The Symphony of Lights is a multi-media display of lights and music that features coloured laser beams shooting out of more than 40 buildings along the promenade. Another excellent and easy way to see the harbour is to simply take the Star Ferry, which travels back and forth between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. For a different view of the city, take the 120-year-old Peak Tram up to the Peak Sky Terrace to see an amazing panoramic view of Hong Kong below: the soaring skyscrapers, the ships sailing across the harbour, and the outlying islands framed by the green mountains in the background. While up there, get some exercise by hiking on one of the nature walks around the
Peak. And if you stay until the sun goes down, you can even see the lights below sparkling like jewels and get a feel of what is meant by the name “The Pearl of the Orient.” Another aerial view of the city can be had by taking the 25-minute ride up into the mountains on the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars, from which you’ll see the green slopes and the natural surroundings of Lantau Island. The glassbottomed cable cars take you up to the Ngong Ping Village, a cultural-themed village with historic Chinese architecture. You can also visit the Po Lin Monastery where 260 steps lead you up to the “Giant Buddha,” the world’s largest outdoor bronze Buddha. One of the most interesting things about Ngong Ping is its link with Alberta: in order to build the village, six mules were recruited from the province to assist in transporting smaller items such as cement grout, diesel, water and timber along the steep trails between Ngong Ping and Lantau Island. Thanks to the mules’ 14 months of service, Ngong Ping was completed in two-anda-half years and has been a popular tourist attraction ever since. Winter 2010
Alumni Education & Travel there’s nothing quite like being there
Call for more information about: Grand Tour of Egypt March 8–19, 2010 from $3,778*+airfare Cruising the Canary islands April 8–16, 2010 from $4325*+airfare Alumni Campus Abroad in Sicily April 23–May 3, 2010 From $4,095*+airfare
Imagining Tuscany Imagine yourself in Tuscany. You and your camera, with ample time to explore your abilities as a photographer.
ith its historic villages, olive groves, vineyards and vibrant sunlight, Italy’s Tuscany region has long been a favoured destination for photographers. “Imagining Tuscany” provides an opportunity for photographers of all levels of expertise to enhance their skills while enjoying the friendly ambience of the ancient hill town of Cortona. With an emphasis on digital photography, the eight-day workshop is based at the friendly Hotel Italia, which provides comfortable accommodation and meeting space only steps away from the town’s busy main piazza. An exceptional learning experience, the workshop combines expert instruction with superb meals at a variety of local restaurants and a day trip to some of the area’s most scenic locations.
Join us for a remarkable learning experience that combines wonderful photographic opportunities with good food, fun and fellowship. June 8 – 15, 2010 $3,095 per person, airfare not included ($380 Single Supplement)
Treasures of Morocco May 9–18, 2010 From $3,795*+airfare Alumni Campus Abroad Amalfi Coast May 12–20, 2010 From $3,545*+airfare Spain Grand Journey May 13–25, 2010 From $4,475* +airfare Celtic Lands May 25–June 3, 2010 From $6,715*+airfare Turkey Grand Journey June 23–July 4, 2010 From $4,545*+airfare Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches July 5–13, 2010 From $3,061*+airfare Alumni Campus Abroad in Scotland August 22–30, 2010 From $3,195*+airfare Grand Journey Around the World September 4–29, 2010 From $35,995* includes businessclass airfare
Ancient Greece and Turkey September 5–13, 2010 From $3,260*+airfare *All prices are per-person, double occupancy; single supplements apply. Prices may be subject to change.
For more information about Imagining Tuscany 2010 and other programs of the Alumni Association’s Alumni School in Cortona, visit:
THE OTHER HONG KONG If you think Hong Kong is all bustling metropolis, a visit to Stanley will definitely show you the city’s quieter side. Located on the south side of Hong Kong Island, Stanley is famous for its sandy beaches, blue waters, unique architecture and the Stanley Market. The open-air stalls of Stanley Market are full of such items as traditional Chinese clothing, embroidery, paper lanterns, scenic paintings, neat toys and calligraphy products. After pushing through the busy market, stroll along Stanley’s waterfront or take a break and enjoy the breathtaking view of the sea at one of the sidewalk cafés. Be sure not to miss Murray House, the three-storey waterfront colonial building. Once a British government building in Central, it was dismantled in 1982 and rebuilt in Stanley in 1999. It now houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum as well as a few restaurants. For an even more relaxed outing — especially during Hong Kong’s hot summers, when temperatures can reach highs of 34°C — hire a junk boat for a day and explore the more remote and unblemished parts of Hong Kong. Departing from either the Tsim Sha Tsui or Central Pier gives you a full view of Victoria Harbour before you reach the quiet, outlying beaches. My
FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND: The Peak Café (and the Peak Café Bar) 9-13 Shelley St, Soho (852) 2140 6877
Maxim’s Palace Second floor, City Hall Low Block (852) 2521 1303 The Peninsula Hong Kong Salisbury Road, Kowloon (852) 2920 2888 www.peninsula.com Harbour City 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (852) 2118 8666 www.harbourcity.com.hk Lan Kwai Fong www.lankwaifong.com
The blue waters and relaxed atmosphere of Stanley provide a respite from the busy city.
favourite port of call is Sai Kung with its clear waters, perfect for adventurous types who want to go scuba diving or snorkelling. To end the day, get off at the Sai Kung Pier and walk along the quiet waterfront of Sai Kung Town while watching the sunset. Before you leave, be sure to visit Hai Pong Square — home to some of the area’s best seafood restaurants. Select an attractive entrée from inside the glass fish tanks in front of each restaurant, or just follow the neon blue and green signs to the Seafood Island Restaurant and order my favourites — fried pepper
The Verandah 1st fl, near Shouson Hill, 109 Repulse Bay Rd, Repulse Bay (852) 2812 2722 www.therepulsebay.com/ restaurants.html Dragon-I UG/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central (852) 3110 1222 www.dragon-i.com.hk Beijing Club 2/F, 3/F, 5/F, Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central (852) 2526 8298 www.beijingclub.com.hk Ladies’ Market Tung Choi Street, Mongkok Jade Market Junction of Kansu and Battery Streets, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
squid and sweet and sour prawns. Enjoying a delicious meal while watching the sun set behind the harbour is the perfect end to a perfect day in the Pearl of the Orient. Vivian So is now trying to catch up with the volatile foreign exchange market, work that she finds is just like Hong Kong itself — busy and exciting.
Ap Liu Street Flea Market Ap Liu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
VISITING HONG KONG?
Sportswear Street Junction of Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok, Kowloon
There are over 1,500 U of A grads living in the Hong Kong area, and the Hong Kong branch of the Alumni Association is one of the largest outside of Canada. The club is certainly the most active, with more than a dozen events happening every year. So if you are Hong Kong-bound, touch base with your fellow grads there and get an insider’s view of the Pearl of the Orient.
Goldfish Market Tung Choi Street, Mongkok, Kowloon Peak Tram Lower Peak Tram Terminus, Garden Road, Central www.thepeak.com.hk The Stanley Market www.hk-stanley-market.com Sai Kung www.travelinsaikung.org.hk/ english/intro/index.aspx Ngong Ping 360 www.np360.com.hk
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the blog at www.uaaahk.blogspot.com.
New Kid in Town Sean Price takes the helm at the Office of Alumni Affairs
ean Price, ’95 BCom, should consider himself warned. Stepping in as the new executive director of the University of Alberta Alumni Association and the University’s associate vice-president responsible for alumni affairs, he has to know that the two people who preceded him stayed in their jobs for a total of 58 years. In 1981, Susan Peirce, ’70 BA, became the fresh new face of alumni affairs as executive director of the Alumni Association and director of the Office of Alumni Affairs. She put her own stamp on that position for 28 years as the staff of two that she inherited grew to over 20. During her tenure Susan also expanded valuable alumni contacts as well as the programs and benefits all alumni can take advantage. Thirty years before Susan took up the job, Alexander Gilmour Markle, ’48 BA, ’62 BEd, ’65 MEd, volunteered to “keep the alumni office open” while his father, Alumni Association secretary John Markle, recovered from a heart attack. Not unlike many of the university graduates of his day, Markle brought to the position experience and comportment beyond his years that he had acquired while in — and out — of uniform during the Second World War. A fighter pilot for the South African and Royal Australian Air Forces, he was
twice shot down in the North African campaign. In 1942, it happened while he was dive-bombing enemy troops at El Alamein, in Egypt. On that occasion, he was picked up behind enemy lines by two British armoured cars. Later that
“I had the best years of my life here at the U of A as a student.” year, his luck was still with him as he survived being shot down for a second time, but on this occasion he was captured by Italian soldiers and endured 10 months in POW camps before taking part in the largest mass prisoner-of-war escape in Europe. He then spent seven months hiding from German troops before finally making it safely across the Italian Alps to neutral Switzerland. Now, Susan taking over from Markle — a Second World War fighter pilot who participated in a mass prison break
and endured a months-long dash to freedom over mountainous terrain while evading capture by the Nazis — might pale in comparison to Sean taking over from her. But it’s still a daunting task since, like Markle before her, Susan’s name is indelibly linked to the Office of Alumni Affairs. For Sean there’s also the matter of the new twins at home that might demand a bit of his attention. In fact, it was the impending birth of the twin boys — he and his wife, Kristine Price, ’99 BSc(PT), also have a four-year-old daughter — that prompted Sean to start thinking about leaving the Edmonton Oilers organization where he’d worked in a variety of sales, marketing and brand management roles for 14 years. If you’re an Oilers fan, you can thank him for his work as part of the team that helped keep the Oilers in Edmonton by nearly doubling the number of season ticket holders in the ’90s. “I loved what I was doing with the Oilers,” says Sean. “And I will always have a special place in my heart for the team. I’ll never forget some of the highlights of working for the organization — having the opportunity to plan the Heritage Classic outdoor game against the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium, being there for the Oilers 2006 Stanley Cup run, and launching the Golden Baseball League’s
Edmonton Capitals. But I needed to take time to welcome the twins into our family, and now it’s time for the next challenge.” Sean had worked for the Oilers since graduating from the U of A, working himself up through the organization to eventually assume the roles of vicepresident, ticket sales and then vicepresident, family brands. During that time he also took a year off in 2000 to get his MBA from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He chose Notre Dame “because,” he says with a smile, “I’d always really wanted to play football for the Fighting Irish.” Did he? “No. By the time I got there I don’t think they were looking for any 28year-old walk-ons. But obviously sports is a passion of mine. And after working in sports for as long as I did, I knew that I wanted to work where, similarly, I could feel good about what I was doing. So I began making a list of organizations I would like to be a part of. The U of A was right at the top of that list.” And the first job that caught his eye when he went to the University’s careers website was the position in Alumni Affairs that he now occupies... much to the delight of U of A president Indira Samarasekera. “We are delighted to welcome Sean Price,” says Indira. “As associate vicepresident of Alumni Affairs, he takes on many roles in one: business manager, volunteer organizer, community builder, travel consultant, marketing and sales specialist, and communications expert. With his wealth of experience and his proven dedication to the University of Alberta, I am certain that Sean will not only meet the various demands of the job but will also lead U of A’s Office of Alumni Affairs in exciting new directions.” While his predecessor inherited an alumni base of approximately 65,000 graduates, Sean is tasked with personally meeting — just kidding — the over 210,000 living alumni of the University. All he can say is that he’s excited at the
prospect of reconnecting with as many alumni of his alma mater as he can. “I had the best years of my life here at the U of A as a student,” says Sean. “I got the chance to earn a great education, live on campus in Lister Hall, participate nightly in Campus Recreation intramural sports, and really figure out who I was. Practically all my best friends in the world are people I met at the U of A. I’m happy to be home at my alma mater, working with our current students and alumni to make this University one of the world’s best.” In 1930, Robert C. Wallace, ’51 LLD (Honorary), the second president of the University, wrote: “It is the desire of the University authorities to obtain, and to keep on record, as complete information as possible of the careers of the men and women who graduated from the University of Alberta. It is our feeling that a university should know how her sons and daughters are playing their parts in life.” Those words are as true now as they were then. Whether for pragmatic, historical, sentimental or prudential reasons, it is of vital importance for any university to remain connected to their alumni and foster a mutually beneficial life-long relationship with these graduates. Over 175 years ago, when the first alumni association representing a total alumni body was founded at an American institution, its purpose was recorded: “That the influence and patronage of those it has educated be united for its support, protection and improvement.” And that, says Sean, is as eloquent and valid a statement of alumni purpose today as it was in 1821. —Kim Green Winter 2010
Ibrahim Abu-Rabi in front of the gate of a government office in the city of Hama, Syria. A photograph of the current president of Syria graces the entrance to the building.
Dervish Days All U of A Islamic Studies chair-holder Ibrahim Abu-Rabi wants is a little peace, love, understanding ... and fun by Tom Verde n a May afternoon — the sort of day that inspires indulgent professors to hold impromptu, alfresco lectures in some sunny corner of campus — Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, the newly appointed chair of the Faculty of Arts’ Islamic Studies Program made possible by the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC), is already one step ahead of his colleagues. Make that several steps ... and several thousand miles. “This way, over here, follow me,” Abu-Rabi calls to a group of wide-eyed U of A students, professors and other assorted Edmontonians as they nudge their way through a crowded bazaar in the ancient Syrian capital of Damascus. The Canadian coterie is in the Middle East on a two-week, informal educational tour. The ambitious itinerary includes sites of political significance — such as the remote villages of the Golan Heights — and religious importance — such as the 1,300-year-old Umayyad mosque in Damascus and Jordan’s Mt. Nebo, where Moses is said to have first gazed upon the Promised Land. “The Muslim world is a big place. There is much to see and do here, and much to learn,” says the dynamic, 52-year-old, Palestinian-born scholar and world traveller. Abu-Rabi has visited nearly every Muslim country in the world many times over. This particular trip to Syria, for instance, is his fiftieth. Yet to a man of Abu-Rabi’s inexhaustible curiosity and energy, each visit to some far-flung mosque, shrine, bazaar, madrasa or hookah café — no matter how familiar — is like his first. No detail is too small nor any experience too insignificant to pass by unsavoured. Consider, for example, his views on the green almond.
David J. Goa, Director, Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, Augustana campus, University of Alberta.
Muslim visitors at the Memorial Church of Moses on Mount Nebo.
“You must try some of these, they are delicious,” he declares, stopping off at a nut seller’s stall while on his way to the nearby Saida Zeinab Mosque, one of Shia Islam’s holiest sites. “You can’t get almonds like this in Edmonton,” he smiles, breaking open the wrinkled, green pods to expose the salty-sweet nuts within, even as eddies of pilgrims swirl past, bound for the riotously decorated mosque that is encrusted from floor to ceiling in mirrored glass mosaics and hand-painted tiles, all topped off by crystal chandeliers. Once inside the mosque, Abu-Rabi offers a brief but inspiring lecture on Shia Islam to the group before spontaneously engaging a pair of Pakistani pilgrims in a political discussion, translating a prayer plaque on the wall for the non-Arabic speakers in the group, and paying his solemn respects at the tomb of Zeinab (the daughter of Imam Ali—the fourth Caliph). He concludes the visit with a somewhat less solemn, touristy request to have his picture taken in front of the glittering, silver-gated shrine.
And so it goes in the company of Abu-Rabi, a sort of professorial Pied Piper whose zigzagging journeys from one end of the Muslim world to the other are never dull, always enlightening and even... nutritious. “He makes great tea,” affirms Soraya Hafez, ’75 BEd, ’75 Dip(Ed), a board member of the ECMC, the body responsible — together with the Alberta government — for endowing Abu-Rabi’s chair. Hafez, a former U of A Arabic teacher, is one of a dozen or so Edmontonians accompanying Abu-Rabi during the spring trip to Syria and Jordan. It’s the first visit to Syria for the Egyptian-born Hafez, and the first trip to the region for many of the other group members, which include David Goa, director of the U of A’s Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life; retired U of A professors Nicholas Wickenden, ’56 BA, and Anna Altmann, ’69 BA, ’74 BLS; as well as Edmonton-area clergy and a handful of U of A students. Winter 2010
Abu-Rabi (top left) during the group’s first evening in Damascus spent in the home of their host, Shaykh Hussam al-Din Farfour, vice-rector of Al-Fatih Islamic Institute and lecturer at the Great Umaiad Mosque, Damascus. The men on the tour are seated in Farfour’s library while the women are in an adjoining room.
For Hafez and the others, the trip is not only an opportunity to see the Middle East, but to also get to know Abu-Rabi outside the lecture hall and in “the field,” as it were — an environment in which the peripatetic professor truly thrives. The antithesis of the aloof and solitary ivory tower scholar, Abu-Rabi views travel experiences as valuable learning opportunities to be relished and shared with others. “He needs to be in an environment where there is always something going on. He can’t exist without people around him,” observes Hafez, who also says the trip has reaffirmed her confidence in Abu-Rabi as the right choice for the ECMC-sponsored chair. “We were concerned about hiring someone who was too conservative,” Hafez recalls. “But we found Ibrahim open, joking, full of energy, and eager to learn all he could about the local Muslim community. Plus, his academic views are based on sound scholarship.” It would be hard to dispute Hafez’s latter observation. A renowned scholar who specializes in Islamic revivalism, Abu-Rabi came to Edmonton in the fall of 2008 from the Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. At the Hartford 40
Seminary he co-directed that institution’s Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, America’s oldest centre for such study. He also co-edited the Center’s prestigious scholarly journal, The Muslim World, the oldest U.S. academic journal devoted to Islamic
“Interfaith dialogue and co-existence are not novel here, they are ancient.” studies. His own scholarly œuvre amounts to nearly two dozen books and three times again as many articles, book reviews and book chapters. “He is a prolifically well-published scholar with an outstanding reputation in the field,” remarks former U of A Faculty of Arts dean, Daniel Woolf. Contributing significantly to that reputation is Abu-Rabi’s extensive international experience. The recipient of multiple Fulbright Fellowships, as well as
fellowships from Oxford, the Rockefeller Foundation and elsewhere, Abu-Rabi has lectured, conducted research, travelled and/or lived in virtually every country in the Muslim world, from Egypt to Pakistan to Indonesia. “His research and lecture travels to south Asia, central Asia and Turkey have provided him with a productive scholarly network that we expect to be of benefit to the University,” says Willi Braun, director of the U of A’s Religious Studies Program. And that’s not the half of it, as anyone who has travelled with Abu-Rabi can attest, he’s a walking Rolodex (or BlackBerry or iPhone) of contacts who can provide unique opportunities for his fellow travellers to have one-on-one meetings with various high-profile thinkers, writers, historians and religious leaders whom he knows personally. Over the course of the trip to Syria, for example, he helps organize an academic conference in Damascus for a Canadian delegation. Entitled “Islam and the West,” the event is sponsored by the Syrian government and the Al-Fatih Islamic Institute, a school of higher education under the leadership of two of Abu-Rabi’s friends — Abdul-
The Umaiad Mosque in Damascus (left) and Abu-Rabi with David Goa.
Fattah Al-Bizen, the Mufti (foremost Islamic religious authority) of Damascus, and Sheikh Hassam-Eddin Farfour, personal religious advisor to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The panels of participants include scholars from the University of Damascus, in addition to government officials (both Syrian and Canadian) as well as Syrian Christian and Muslim religious leaders. While perhaps more ambitious than the group anticipated, the three-day schedule of intense, daylong sessions afforded participants the chance to make new friends and exchange ideas with their Middle Eastern counterparts. “Coming to Syria has been an opportunity to see, for the first time, what we share that is challenging to us,” says Goa in his opening remarks at the conference. Echoing Goa’s sentiments, Abu-Rabi states that the history of Syria is a human history that belongs to all of us, Christian, Jew and Muslim
alike. He goes on to observe that the Middle East is, and always has been, a land of many cultures and religions. “Interfaith dialogue and co-existence are not novel here, they are ancient,” Abu-Rabi says. “It is a [religious] tradition in Syria to always welcome the stranger. We need to elevate this tradition and these relationships among nations.” To know Abu-Rabi is to know that such statements are more than abstract, academic rhetoric; they are a code of life by which he lives. Born in Nazareth in 1956, Abu-Rabi was one—as he glibly puts it—of only 13 children.“We had no TV, and my parents had nothing else to do at night,” he chuckles. On the streets of his neighbourhood, Abu-Rabi grew up alongside Muslims, Jews and Christians, and spoke Hebrew as well as Arabic. His parents, who placed a premium on education, enrolled him in what they considered the best Catholic high school in
town. There, he excelled in his studies, and by the time he was a teenager he had amassed a personal library of 300 books (a collection that has since ballooned to a ponderous 20,000-plus). “All of us in the family knew that he would be a scholar, so did his teachers,” recalls Ikhlas Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim’s sister, who still lives in Nazareth. Abu-Rabi graduated from Birzeit University, a Palestinian school in the West Bank, and went on to earn two MAs — one in political science from the University of Cincinnati and the other in religious studies from Temple University, where he also received his PhD in Islamic studies. Though predominantly Western in his academic training, Abu-Rabi remains deeply connected to his Palestinian roots. A U.S. citizen, he consistently identifies himself ethnically as an Arab and a Palestinian. Multilingual (he speaks six languages) and bi-national, he moves effortlessly back and forth among the various cultural and intellectual identities that define him: Muslim, Westerner, Israeli-Palestinian, scholar, teacher, bon vivant, tour guide, travelling companion, mentor. His approach to matters of religion, politics and the often-perilous ground in between, is similarly kaleidoscopic. “He listens to all sides of an argument,” observes Father Phillip Eriksson of Edmonton’s St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Sobor Christian church, one of the Canadians on the trip. “He has a gentle, open-minded approach to relations with Christians and the West.” Winter 2010
Maintaining that open-mindedness has not always been easy. As with many Palestinians, there are chapters in Abu-Rabi’s life that are painful to thumb through, such as the suffering and privations his family endured in the aftermaths of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1967 Six-Day War, when many fled to Syria and Jordan as refugees. For the sake of their privacy, AbuRabi politely declines invitations to discuss this personal family history. For his own part, Abu-Rabi is philosophical about the Arab-Israeli conflict, emphasizing that he harbours no ill will against Israeli Jews, but does object to the principles of Zionism which seek to oppress Palestinians. He is equally critical of Muslim extremists who resort to violence to impose their political will on others. In a swift and summary condemnation, he says simply: “That is not Islam.” Sorting through what Islam is and what it is not is among Abu-Rabi’s top priorities at the U of A. Growing the 42
A whirling dervish (left) and the group relaxing prior to the noon prayers in the Great Umaiad Mosque.
Islamic studies program in the Faculty of Arts is another. “I want to bring at least one other faculty member into the department and am working with ECMC and the University on fundraising for that position,” he says. Academically, his aim is to fuel awareness among students, faculty and the public that the Muslim world is not monolithic, but diverse. “Islamic studies embraces not only Middle Eastern studies, but African studies, Asian studies, American studies,” he observes. “I want to challenge the stereotype that the Muslim world begins and ends with the Arab world.” The U of A, Abu-Rabi notes, because of its size and multinational student body, is an ideal place to hold this discussion. That the ECMC should be housed at the U of A is also fitting since Edmonton is home to one of Canada’s longest-standing Muslim communities as well as having North America’s first mosque, which was opened in the city in 1938.
Meanwhile, back in the old city of Damascus, a quartet of musicians plays at a rooftop restaurant as Abu-Rabi and his group of fellow travellers gather for a post-conference dinner. A whirling dervish spins before them. The mesmerizing, twirling dances of these followers of the medieval Mevlevi order of Sufi mystics are said to be a form of transcendental meditation. As the tempo of the music builds on the moonlit night, the dervish spins faster and faster, his left hand dangling towards the ground, in acknowledgement of his earthly unity with humanity, and his right palm facing heavenward, a symbol of his spiritual aspiration. At the head of the table sits Abu-Rabi, smiling, laughing, answering questions, engaging others, enjoying himself to the fullest. In many respects, he is not unlike the dervish — a non-stop, kinetic source of physical, spiritual and intellectual energy, one hand firmly rooted in the conventional, earthbound rigours of his academic life, while the other floats high in the air, liberated and in search of his next adventure.
REFLECTIONS First of all, I’d be remiss if I didn’t begin by welcoming Sean Price, the University’s new associate vice-president of Alumni Affairs and executive director of the Alumni Association. I look forward to helping him get his bearings in his new position— not that he’ll need much assistance from me as he’s already proven himself very adept at fitting right in. Even though our U of A degrees are separated by 16 years, both of us fondly remember our time as students on campus and both of us have remained connected to our alma mater. Of course, in his new job Sean’s going to be a lot more connected physically than I’m ever likely to be, but I look forward to meeting with him on a regular basis in my current role on Alumni Council or just informally at various alumni events, such as some of the activities associated with Alumni Weekend. Sean has a background well-suited to the various and sundry talents required in his new post, and I think it was an excellent choice to hire him to replace Susan Peirce, who spent 28 years building the Office of Alumni Affairs into what it is today. One of Susan’s favourite tasks was choosing cover images or making other decisions about what went in to New Trail. Sean says he wants to be equally involved with the magazine you are now holding, which, this issue, takes you to Hong Kong where a grad gives you a tour of her native city’s sights and sounds. Another feature story takes you to Damascus with Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, the newly appointed chair of the Faculty of Arts’ Islamic Studies Program. Also in this issue are two stories about the way we are evolving into a totally transparent society, where not much we do in public goes unnoticed or unrecorded by electronic surveillance equipment of one sort or another. Weighing in on the surveillance issue are U of A and Harvard grad and Faculty of Law professor Steven Penney and Kevin Haggerty, a leading international scholar in criminology, socio-legal studies and surveillance studies from the Department of Sociology. Enjoy, and best wishes for the New Year. Jim Hole, ’79 BSc (Ag) Alumni Association President
rtist Blake Ward, ’80 BFA, was first inspired to create the series of sculptures (one of which is seen here) that comprise the “Fragments” campaign during a trip to Vietnam. “Like most people,” he says, “I thought the Vietnam War was over in 1975. But when I arrived in Vietnam in 2003 as a guest of the University of Hanoi, I realized it wasn’t over, that there were still casualties.” The casualties he’s referring to are the victims of landmines left behind by fighting forces not only in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, but also in the other 65 countries around the world where these remnants of old wars— or current conflicts— maim
or kill approximately 2,000 people a month, including around 8,000 children a year. “The Fragments campaign is about saving lives,” says Ward. “While the inspiration for the work originates in the horror of war and military waste, the objective of the art is to fund landmine clearance and provide survivor support.” To that end, 75 percent of the sale price of the one-quarter-life-size sculptures of the fragmented human forms goes to charity. Several ongoing landmine clearing initiatives are currently funded by Fragment sculptures that have been exhibited in London, New York and Monte Carlo. www.blakefragments.com, www.blake-rethink.com Winter 2010
NI M U L A A T R UALBE ni Enter the Alum O OT Association PH chance our CONTEST for y ating year du to win your gra !! in dollars that Submit a photo tter “A” ck le includes the blo hance to win c image for your ,010. up to $2 ni can win Even non-alum entering up to $1,500 by s. their photo
n, It’s easy, it’s fu it’s $$$$.
31, 2010, h rc a M s e s lo c t Contes ies in now. so get your entr ontest details, c te le p m o c r o F er “A”, to get your lett try go to: ur en or to submit yo a/alumni/ www.ualberta.c test photocon 44
Dal & Rice Wendy M. Davis, ’75 BSc(OT) (McGill-Queen’s University Press) mqup.mcgill.ca
n 1914 Godfrey Davis arrived in Britishruled India as a junior officer in the Indian Civil Service. When he left, after partition in 1947, he was a well-respected — and
The Third Man Factor: The Secret to Survival in Extreme Environments By John Geiger, ’81 BA (Penguin Group, Canada) www.penguin.ca
istory is littered with accounts of him: the vague, yet corporeal being who, at moments of crisis, appears to the seemingly doomed and provides the life-saving hand of guidance, companionship and the will to survive. But whether the encounter is historic or contemporary, at the bottom of the ocean or at the top of Mount Everest, underneath an avalanche or inside one of the smoldering Twin Towers, the details are strikingly similar.
Waiting for Columbus By Thomas Trofimuk, ’87 BA (McClelland & Stewart) www.mcclelland.com
n contemporary Spain, a man arrives at a mental hospital claiming to be Christopher Columbus, spinning fantastic tales of 15th-century exploration and liaisons with Portuguese queens and portending an upcoming disaster. His nurse, the lovely yet lonely Consuela, attempts to bring him back to reality, even as she falls in love with the man he pretends to be. Meanwhile, in France, an Interpol investigator with his own traumas sets out in search of the man this Columbus was before he became Columbus. The stories of these three broken souls interweave to form the rich tapestry of this delicate novel — the dark horse of the fall
knighted — high-court judge. In Dal & Rice, his daughter, Wendy Davis, chronicles the remarkable period of transformation that Sir Godfrey witnessed during his long career and that she observed through the lens of her own storybook childhood in India. Named after the simple Indian comfort food that she ate every morning at her convent school in Srinigar, Dal & Rice is itself a hodge-podge of ingredients: part memoir, part social history, part travelogue. In her poignant and very intimate account, Davis brings to life her extraordinary father, who was a powerhouse at the bench and, at home, a sensitive animal lover. She also profiles her indomitable mother, Bessie, who appeared
as regal at formal state dinners as she did chasing monkeys from the washroom with her slipper. Some prominent characters also make appearances, including Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India; his predecessor Lord Wavell; and Mahatma Ghandi. In one of the most fascinating chapters in the book, Davis recounts how Sir Godfrey was required by British law to imprison Ghandi for orchestrating the famous Salt March in protest of the recently imposed tax on salt. According to Davis, her father was a great admirer of Ghandi, visiting him frequently in jail. And Ghandi must have admired him in return, for when they were both in London some years later, Ghandi requested an impromptu meeting with his former jailer, and they spent the day together exploring the London tube.
Some have called this unseen companion a guardian angel or ghost or the hallucination of an overstrained mind, but T.S. Eliot, writing in his famous poem, “The Wasteland,” coined the term that stuck — The Third Man. In The Third Man Factor, best-selling author, explorer and adventurer John Geiger paints a portrait of this elusive figure in the flesh. Combing through history books, expedition diaries and his own reporting, Geiger, an editorial board editor at The Globe and Mail and governor of the Royal Canadian
Geographic Society, unearths a treasure trove of encounters with the Third Man: how he guided Sir Ernest Shackleton in the final hours of his disastrous Antarctic crossing and how he kept Charles Lindbergh on course during his historic solo flight across the Atlantic. Mountain climber Frank Smythe even shared his Kendal mint cake with “him” at the summit of Everest. Geiger himself experienced the phenomenon when, as a child, he came face-to-face with a rattlesnake while hiking with his father in Southern Alberta. Although it was Geiger’s father, and not some “third man” who saved him from the snake’s bite that day, he recalls the strange otherworldliness of the experience, of being outside
publishing season, which emerged from obscurity to win lucrative contracts with Canadian, American and British publishers as well as interest from Tom Hank’s film production company. Waiting for Columbus, has frequently been compared to Michael Ondaatje’s The
English Patient and, insofar as they are both intensely erotic romances shrouded in page-turning mysteries, the comparison is apt. Both make extensive use of presentday triggers to uncover memories of the buried past. In the case of Columbus, details about his true identity are slowly revealed through the simple act of shaving, a waitress stumbling in her stilettos, and lines from ancient Persian poetry. Trofimuk, himself a noted Edmonton poet, does a great service by introducing lay readers to the ghazals of Hafiz, a 14th-century “poet’s poet.” But you don’t need to know the difference between a ghazal and a gazelle to appreciate these poems, and their poetic expressions of loss — and the beauty of love despite that loss — are central to the story.
The partition of India following its independence from Britain and the forced exile from his adopted home almost broke Sir Godfrey, who, as Davis writes, “believed, like Ghandi, that a country can never be divided on religious grounds and that partition was the greatest betrayal for which the British had ever been responsible.” For Davis, though, her departure from India was not the end of a life, but the beginning of a new one. When she immigrated to Canada following her father’s death in 1968, she writes that her new country “uncorked” her — a condition that seems to run in the family. Dal & Rice is the ninth installment of McGill-Queen’s University Press’ “Footprints” series, which introduces readers to extraordinary Canadians who have led interesting lives at home and abroad, and Wendy Davis is certainly at home among them.
his own body, a detached yet curious observer of his unfolding fate, and ever since he has sought an explanation. So what exactly causes the Third Man to appear, and how does his presence, real or imagined, enable a person to overcome the most daunting odds and survive? Here, Geiger, who studied history at the U of A and has spent several seasons as a researcher in the Arctic, investigates this fascinating phenomenon in a way that is both scholarly and accessible. Viewing these encounters through the lens of modern neuroscience and psychology, he attempts to explain the phenomenon — with surprising results. At the same time, his incredible stories of survival at the extremes of human endurance make for thrilling bedside reading — particularly on cold winter nights.
Unlike Ondaatje’s book, Trofimuk’s novel has more of a political bent, drawing deft parallels between past and present: the Spanish Inquisition and the War on Terror, the New World and the New World Order (post-9/11), and the mapping of the unknown seas and the unknown self. Trofimuk delves even deeper into the uncharted waters of the mind, asking the reader to judge which is ultimately more important: the truth of the teller or the truth of the tale. It’s a tribute to the talents of the teller of this tale that the story of the delusional Columbus is so compelling that, like Consuela, the reader will fall hopelessly in love with him and wish to join him in his fantasy forever. Unfortunately novels, like fantasies, must end, and the ending of this story will amaze you, proving that the heart and the mind are still terra incognita.
FICTION & POETRY
The Exclusion Principle By Leona Gom, ’68 BEd, ’71 MA (Sumach Press) www.sumachpress.com
Huge Blue: Western Canadian Travel Sketches Patrick M. Pilarski, ’09 PhD (Leaf Press) www.leafpress.ca
Squire Davis and the Crazy River By S. Minsos, ’83 BA, ’89 PhD (Spotted Cow Press) www.spottedcowpress.ca
Collected Stories for Ma and Pa: An Anthology of Folktales By Murray Hoke, ’64 BEd, ’70 MA (Educational Media Review) Available from email@example.com
The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature By Eva-Marie Kröller, ’78 PhD, & Carol Ann Howells (Cambridge University Press) www.cambridge.org
Retiring the Crow Rate: A Narrative of Political Management By Arthur Kroeger, ’55 BA, ’04 LLD (Honorary) (The University of Alberta Press) www.uap.ualberta.ca
Women of the Apocalypse By Roxanne Felix, ’94 BSc, & Eileen Bell, ’96 BA, et al. (EDGE Publishing) www.womenoftheapocalypse.com
Dead Frog on the Porch Janet Markley, ’83 BA (Gumboot Books) www.gumbootbooks.com
Criminal Justice in Native America Edited by Marianne O. Nielsen ’79 MA, ’93 PhD, & Robert A. Silverman (University of Arizona Press) www.uapress.arizona.edu
The Meteorites of Alberta By Anthony J. Whyte, ’74 BSc (The University of Alberta Press) www.uap.ualberta.ca
Druids By Barb Galler-Smith, ’83 BSc, ’87 BEd, & Josh Langston (EDGE Publishing) www.druidsbook.com
A Legal Guide to Aboriginal Drinking Water: A Prairie Province Perspective By Linda F. Duncan, ’70 BA, ’73 LLB, & Marie Ann Bowden Available through U of A Faculty of Native Studies
The Power of Mentorship: The Mastermind Group By Colleen Clarke, ’75 BA RecAdmin, et al. (Real Life Publishing) www.thepowerofmentorship.com
Public Art in Vancouver: Angels Among Lions By John Steil, ’73 BSc, ’86 BA, & Aileen Stalker (Touchwood Editions) www.touchwoodeditions.com
The Frog Lake Reader By Myrna Kostash, ’65 BA (NeWest Press) www.newestpress.com
If You Tell… It will kill your mother By Ardith Trudzik, ’66 BEd (Borealis Press) www.borealispress.com
Alumni Events January 22, 2010 — Edmonton, AB Please join other U of A Mixed Chorus alumni in your own private skybox to watch some great hockey at Clare Drake Arena. Pizza, pop, complimentary parking, door prizes and a cash bar. Fun Times! COST: $5. Call Vi at 780-492-2896 to register or go online: www.ualberta.ca/alumni/mcaabearsden. January 23, 2010 — Edmonton, AB Please join other Public Health Sciences alumni in your own private skybox to watch some great hockey at Clare Drake Arena. Pizza, pop, complimentary parking, door prizes and a cash bar. Fun Times! COST: $5. Call Vi at 780-492-2896 to register or go online: www.ualberta.ca/alumni/mcaabearsden. February 4, 2010 — New York, NY Alumni in the New York area are invited to dust off their skates and have a great time enjoying a pasta dinner followed by skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park during this annual event. For more information and to register contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. February 5, 2010 — Lethbridge, AB Attention all hockey fans — and Pandas fans... The U of A Pandas hockey team will be playing the University of Lethbridge on Friday, February 5th. Join us to turn the arena green and gold and cheer for the Pandas! For more information and to register contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail email@example.com. February 22, 2010 — Tokyo, Japan We are excited to welcome all alumni and friends to a reception in connection with the Prince Takamado Japan Center. The U of A has strong connections to Japan, and we welcome all to join us at this special reception. Contact Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register. February 26, 2010 — Phoenix, AZ What’s a shindig? Come find out! Meet U of A alumni and friends at a local hotspot for drinks and appetizers. Mingle and meet in a relaxed and casual setting — what a great night out! For more information and to register contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail email@example.com.
They say it takes a village… Learn about child development from guest experts, meet other new parents and fellow alumni, and enjoy some light refreshments at the U of A Alumni Association’s New Parents’ Group, beginning February 9, 2010. $40 for 8 meetings (second and fourth Tuesday of the month, February– May, 2010). E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-492-7726 to register or for information.
Vancouver-area alumni enjoyed the opportunity to learn various table games at an Alumni Casino Night in November. The best part for most was betting with “Bear Bucks” instead of their own cash!
February 27, 2010 — Phoenix, AZ This annual brunch is always a highlight of the snowbird season. We welcome all alumni who live near Phoenix or who are visiting this beautiful region to our annual get-together at the Paradise Valley Country Club. For more information and to register contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail email@example.com. March 13, 2010 — Vancouver, BC We invite all alumni in the lower mainland to a reception and a special showing of the play SPINE, written by U of A Lee Playwright-in-Residence Kevin Kerr. This topical play will be part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For more information and to register contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. April 24, 2010 — Victoria, BC Join alumni from all over Vancouver Island as we enjoy our annual Spring Brunch. Catch up with friends old and new! Call Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail email@example.com for information. April 25, 2010 — Vancouver, BC The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club provides the beautiful background to our annual Spring Brunch. Enjoy the view of the yachts in the harbour as we reconnect with each other and catch up on news from campus. Call Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information. April 2010 — Houston, TX, and Dallas, TX Watch your mailbox for news about our alumni receptions in Texas. We love the Lone Star State, and so do our students! If you are an alumnus and living in Texas, join us at one of our alumni shindigs in connection with student recruitment fairs. For more information contact Gina at 1-800-661-2593 or email@example.com.
Location, location, location... HOME-BUYING SEMINAR. Buying your first home is the biggest, most rewarding — and sometimes the most daunting — purchase of your life. Don’t leave anything to chance. Get expert advice from industry professionals and make an informed purchase. $15 for U of A Alumni Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 6 –8 p.m. Glacier Room, Lister Centre. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-492-7726 to register or for information.
May, 2010 — Lethbridge, AB The Alumni Association has strong ties to Southern Alberta and an active group of alumni there. Join us at our spring event and find out who else in your community is a U of A grad. For more information contact Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail email@example.com. June 10, 2010 — Calgary, AB Our annual alumni reception and dinner at Spruce Meadows is a highlight for many Calgarians! We enjoy a fabulous meal in our private pavilion overlooking the course and cheer for our riders. This event is so popular we usually sell out, so watch your mailboxes for your invitation this spring and register early! Call Cristine at 1-877-492-1059 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
c lassnotes BA, ’40 MD, of Victoria, BC, was recently profiled in her hometown paper as one of a select group of “Local Women Making a Difference.” As reported in the profile, Anathalie was one of only three women in her class of 35 at the U of A School of Medicine. After graduation, she joined the Air Force, worked as a radiologist during the Second World War, and practised medicine until the age of 72. Now, at 95, Anathalie remains active in her community and volunteers at the Greater Victoria Art Gallery.
’53 Joyce Cutts, (Dip)Ed, ’54 BPE, of Welland, ON, informs us that she was one of four women in the over75 category selected to compete for Canada in the International Tennis Federation Tournament held in November in Perth, Australia. In the group competition, Team Canada placed fourth out of seven countries, and in doubles, Joyce and her partner played the fourth-ranked U.S. team to three sets, but lost. “I feel pretty good considering we had to play on grass, which is something we don’t do here in Ontario,” she writes. This was the fifth time Joyce was chosen to play for Canada in the tournament. She also finished fourth in singles at the national competition in Montreal in August and second in the provincial-level competition held in Toronto in July. Joyce adds that she is now looking forward to “spending the winter in Florida and playing tennis outdoors in nice weather.”
’62 Harlan Hulleman, BEd, ’71 MA, of Red Deer, AB, received the 2009 Red Deer Heritage Recognition Award in the category honouring “significant interpretation, publication, research, advocacy and education in the area of heritage.” Harlan has received four other awards for his heritage work, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
’67 Neil Wittmann, LLB, was recently appointed as the new chief justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. He replaces Allan
Wachowich, ’57 BA, ’58 LLB, who has elected to become a supernumerary justice. Gwyn Morgan, BSc(Eng), ’06 LLD (Honorary), was recently appointed to Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year Advisory Board for 2009. Although now retired, Gwyn is the founding president and CEO of EnCana Corporation. ’68 Patrick Daniel, BSc(Eng), was recently appointed as a member of the CIBC Board of Directors. Patrick is the president and CEO of Enbridge Inc., a major energy and pipeline company in Calgary.
’70 Donald Pether, BSc(Eng) was recently appointed chair of the board of governors of McMaster University. Jo-Ann Reil (Lo Balbo), BPE, writes to say that after a long career in education in Alberta, she has retired to Mexico. “My husband and I are building a home on a beautiful beach in the little fishing village of Teacapan,” writes Jo-Ann, adding that she returned north briefly this fall for a reunion of physical education grads held in October in Jasper, AB. “Having not seen most of my fellow grads for 40 years, it was fun!”
A Special Empathy Although much has changed since Ted Aaron, ’39 BSc, ’42 MD, graduated from medical school at the U of A more than 60 years ago, one thing has stayed the same: students still have to overcome daunting financial hurdles in order to pursue a career in medicine. “There has been no progress made over the years in this area. Financial barriers still exist to getting a medical education, as they always have, and that’s not right,” says Ted. “Medical students are suffering financially today as much, if not more, than in my time.” So when this philanthropicallyminded allergist and researcher decided to donate to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, he wanted his gift to benefit deserving students. After all, he reflects, when you help students, “you’re helping people in the medical faculty go out and help other people.” Ted and his wife, Gloria, have recently established four annual scholarships for students: one in pulmonary medicine, one in allergy and rheumatology, one in oncology — in honour of Gloria, a cancer survivor and cancer volunteer— and one for a student demonstrating exceptional clinical skills. This last award is intended to recognize future physicians who display what is, according to Ted, perhaps the most important attribute of all— empathy for the patient.
Richard Siemens/U of A Creative Services
’37 Anathalie Taylor Lee (Heath),
Although Ted is diminutive in stature, he remains a giant of medicine, and everyone who uses antihistamines for cold relief has him to thank. During a research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, he was the first to do drug and human testing of two new antihistamines that controlled cold symptoms, and later, while working with the pharmaceutical company Merck, he was the first to develop the idea of using a steroid nasal aerosol spray for allergic rhinitis and to treat nasal polyps. He also helped develop a popular eye drop solution for allergy sufferers called Opticrom. In addition to his ground-breaking research, he also took time away from the lab to serve his community. During the huge polio epidemic of the 1950s, Ted left private practice to work full time at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Isolation Hospital where iron lungs were used to help patients
breathe. Ted says he is still in contact with some of those survivors. During his long and illustrious career, Ted had repeated offers to go back to the University of Pittsburgh and one from Stanford University. However, he chose not to settle in the U.S., but came back to live and work in his hometown, where his contributions go beyond medicine. He has involved himself in several community and arts organizations, and at one time served as chair of the board for the Alberta Ballet. For his many achievements, Ted was one of the 100 Physicians of the Century honoured during Alberta’s Centennial year in 2005. Through it all, this pioneer of 20thcentury medicine has never forgotten his alma mater, and now one of his bursaries may well make a difference to someone who goes on to become a 21st-century pioneer of medicine. —Julie Necheff
Mary Martin, ’71 (Dip)Ed, of Grande Prairie, AB, writes that she returned to Canada in June 2009 after having spent the past nine years in Nepal, where she started the physiotherapy program at Kathmandu University— the only program of its kind in the country. “We have now graduated five classes of students, and over 50 Nepali physiotherapists are now working in many different settings across the country,” she writes. This was Mary’s second stint in Nepal, as she had taught physiotherapy at Tribhuvan University, also in Kathmandu, from 1983-1987. In addition to her professional work in the country, she was also an advisor to Children At Risk, an organization that helps small Nepali NGOs address issues of child trafficking, corporal punishment and disability within their own communities. Now that she is back working as a hospital-based physiotherapist in Grande Prairie, she is again “enjoying the luxuries of water to drink and bathe in, and electricity which functions most of the time— all things just dreamed of in most of Nepal!”
’70 Norm Costigan, BSc, ’77 MD, recently received the 2009 C.M. Hinks Award, the highest award given out by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to the individual or organization that has done the most on behalf of people with mental illness. Norm operates a psychiatric practice in Red Deer, AB, and works closely with organizations such as the CMHA and the Safe Harbour Society to provide services to individuals with very complex needs, including mental illness, brain injury and addictions.
’72 Gerhard Kennepophl, PhD, received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo in June. Gerhard is the founding principal and an ongoing member of Waterloo’s Centre for Pavement and Transportation, and he is considered one of Canada’s leading authorities on road and pavement technology.
’73 Ian Wight, MSc, of Saanich, BC, writes that after graduating from the “old” master’s in geography program at the U of A, he is now an associate professor of city planning at the University of Manitoba. “My interests are in the relationships between place, placemaking and planning,” writes Ian, adding that he has a lot of time for field research, commuting between his home in B.C. and his job in Winnipeg during term time. ’74 Bruce Logan, LLB, writes to say that he retired from his legal practice in April and is now a part50
time justice of the peace, sitting as a traffic court commissioner in Grande Prairie, AB. He adds, “I reside on the family ranch near Crooked Creek, where I have a small calf-cow operation.” Geoff Tate, BSc, was recently appointed as a member of the board of directors of GreenRoad, a leading provider of comprehensive services to improve driving behaviour. Tate is the chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, and he serves on the advisory board of the computer sciences department at the University of Alberta. Gerry Protti, BA, was recently appointed director and chairman of the board of Flint Transfield Services Limited, a company that provides operational and management support to Canada’s oil and gas, mining and power industries. Gerry is currently the executive advisor of EnCana Corporation, where he has worked in a number of senior positions since joining the company in 1995. Jim Ralston, BCom, was recently appointed comptroller general of Canada, effective Oct. 3, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Jim was previously the chief financial officer and assistant commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency. His daughter, Laurel Ralston, ’08 MA, writing to inform us of her dad’s appointment, added that more than 35 years after graduating her dad is still a “proud Golden Bears fan.”
’75 Connie Kaldor, BFA, of Greenfield Park, QC, was back in Edmonton— and at the U of A— this past November on a transCanadian tour to promote her latest album, Postcards from the Road. On Nov. 25, Connie performed at the U of A’s Convocation Hall, just
down the street from the theatre department, where she honed her stage skills before carving a path through Canada’s acoustic music scene. Connie has received several Juno Awards, is a past recipient of the Alumni Association’s Honour Award, and has been appointed a member of the Order of Canada.
Make it soup-er!
Alumni Weekend 2010: September 22–26 Interested in re-connecting with old friends from the U of A? Let the Office of Alumni Affairs help you get the party started! We can help with contact lists, mailings and event planning. Volunteers are now being recruited to help organize their class reunion. If you’d like to help your class re-connect, contact Colleen Elliott at (780) 492-0866 or toll-free 1-800-661-2593 for more information. E-mail email@example.com. For a listing of classes which have already begun planning their reunion, visit our website at
www.ualberta.ca/alumni/reunion. Come join the festivities and invite your friends to the party!
Brian Guspie, ’78 BSc(Med), ’80 MD, and Barbara Ward, ’78 BSc(Med), ’80 MD, both of Edmonton, want their 1980 medical school classmates to go ahead and mark their calendars for their 30-year reunion coming up this summer. The reunion will be held July 1–4 at the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort in Parksville, BC. To book your reservations at the resort, call 1-800-663-7373, and for more information about reunion events, e-mail Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Barbara (email@example.com).
’75 Colleen Clarke, BA(RecAdmin), has just co-authored a book, The Power of Mentorship: The Master-mind Group. A career specialist and corporate trainer, Colleen’s contribution to the book—a chapter titled “If You Aren’t Appearing You’re Disappearing,”— describes how to build an internal network by increasing your visibility within your organization. To learn more, visit colleenclarke.com. Dorie Miller, BEd, ’84 PostgradDip, writes that she and husband, Bob Miller, BEd ’76, “have been happily living and working in Bali and Bangkok for the past 10 years,” and that she will return to Canada in the summer of 2010.
’78 Eva-Marie Kröller, PhD, of Vancouver, writes to inform us of the publication in November of The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature, which she co-edited with Coral Ann Howells from the University of London. Weighing in at 800 pages, this hefty tome tells the history of Canadian literature—in English and French—from its beginnings to today and features 31 chapters written by notable Canadianists from around the world. Eva-Marie adds that there are “several con-
nections between this book and the U of A: two of the chapters were written by the distinguished E.D. Blodgett, professor emeritus, former poet-laureate of Edmonton and twotime winner of the GovernorGeneral’s Award; and one of Professor Blodgett’s chapters features an image from the U of A’s Bruce Peel Special Collections Library.” Eva-Marie has been a professor in the English department at the University of British Columbia since graduating from the U of A. Brenda McIntyre, BSc(Ag), writes from Ottawa that she moved to the capital city in 2006 and now works there as a senior policy advisor with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Roman Petriw, BSc, ’81 BA, ’98 BEd, of Edmonton, writes that his phobia of needles led him to abandon his planned career in dentistry and pursue his passion, photography: “I am now official grad photographer at the U of A for 26 faculties and departments, as well as for Concordia [University College of Alberta], King’s [University College in Edmonton], Campus Saint-Jean and the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business.” Roman is the founder and CEO of Images of Distinction Photography (imagesofdistinction.net).
Connectivity nectivi ity more than just a firm handshake Conference Services
780-492-6057 | con firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Winter 2010
’80 Peter Bowal, BCom, was recently appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for a three-year term in the Calgary office. He was formerly a law professor at the University of Calgary. ’81 Harry Kope, BSc(Ag), is now working for the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range as a provincial forest pathologist, his father, Lothar Kope, ’66 BEd, informs us. “We are proud of our son, who has accomplished a lot, is very humble, and has many friends in his chosen profession,” writes Lothar, adding that Harry now lives in Victoria with his wife and two daughters.
’82 Panos Kelamis, PhD, the chief technologist of the EXPEC Advanced Research Centre, was recently honoured by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists with its prestigious Life Membership Award, which recognizes exceptional service to the Society and outstanding contributions to science and the profession.
Tony Mankowski, BSc(ChemEng), has joined the energy company Nexen, Inc., in the Fort McMurraybased position of vice-president of operations, synthetic crude.
’83 Brenda Leong, BCom, was recently appointed director of British Columbia Securities Commission’s new legal and market initiatives division. Barb Galler-Smith, BSc, ’87 BEd, of Edmonton, writes that she published her first novel, Druids, in October and that it’s been nominated for the 2010 Alberta Readers Choice Award. Barb teaches writing at the Grant MacEwan Writing Works program. Jerry Iwanus, BA, ’86 MA, writes that he is now serving his second term as mayor of Bawlf, AB, where he lives with his wife, Michele, and daughter, Jillian. He is also a certified Canadian residential appraiser and the president of the Daysland Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada.
University of Alberta’s
Johann Strauss Ball a formal Viennese Ball in support of music scholarships for study in Austria
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Crowne Plaza Hotel | Champagne Reception 5:30 pm | Dinner Seating 6:00 pm Tickets $225*| Students $100 Buy tickets online www.arts.ualberta.ca/ball | Or phone 780r492r6580
*A tax receipt will be issued for a portion of the ticket price.
Jan Markley, ’83 BA, wrote in to say that her debut novel for middle school readers (ages 9 to 11), Dead Frog on the Porch, has just been published by Gumboot Books (gumbootbooks.com) of Vancouver and is available from Amazon.com and local independent booksellers. This past fall, Jan went head-to-head with another alumni author, Marty Chan, ’90 BA, at Greenwoods’ Bookstore in Edmonton. “Marty writes mysteries and thinks he’s funny; I write mysteries and think I’m funny, so I challenged him to a mystery-comedy smackdown,” writes Jan. Marty’s most recent book for children, True Story, was reviewed in the Autumn 2009 issue of New Trail [pg. 50]. According to Jan, the event was a success, with a turn out of more than 50 people, who were entertained by the writers’ antics. No word yet, though, as to which author emerged victorious.
’84 Altaf “Al” Jina, BCom, ’84 LLB, writes from Vancouver to say that he has been reappointed to the board of the Continuing Legal Education Society and re-elected to the board of the Health Employers Association, both in B.C. Al is the president and CEO of Park Place Seniors Living in Vancouver. Jean Crozier, BSc, received the 2009 SAGE Award for business and entrepreneurship at a ceremony held in November at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton. Given out by the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton, the SAGE Awards recognize seniors for their contributions toward making Edmonton a better place to live. Jean established and developed Crozier Information Resources Consulting, the foremost library and information management company in Western Canada, and she was honoured for her support of a variety of professional, community and student mentoring organizations. Jean is also the award-winning author of the book No Corner Boys Here, which won the 2008 Independent Bookseller’s Award for the best non-fiction book published that year in Western Canada (nocornerboyshere.com).
Darin Stepaniuk, BSc, ’87 LLB, ’97 MSc, of Edmonton, is the new director of Alberta Justice, environmental law section, which has a team of 13 lawyers and is the primary provider of legal advice to the Government of Alberta departments of the environment, sustainable resources development, and the parks division of tourism, parks and recreation. Janet Davidson, MSHA, was recently awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Windsor, her undergraduate alma mater. Janet is currently the president and CEO of Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, ON, and was recently elected as the second vice-chair of the Ontario Hospital Association. She also serves on the board of Health Insurance Reciprocal of Canada.
Susan Minsos, ’83 BA, ’89 PhD, of Edmonton, and her new novel, Squire Davis and the Crazy River, were part of a unique publishing event held this fall. On September 18th, Minsos’ book, which is published by Jerome Martin, ’76 PhD, of Spotted Cow Press, was released simultaneously at the U of A bookstore and Titles, the bookstore at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. The audiSusan Minsos, left, and her publisher, ences at both bookstores Author Jerome Martin. were connected via live satellite feed, and after Susan’s reading, copies of the book were printed at both locations using the bookstores’ new Espresso Book Machines, which print and bind made-to-order books in just four minutes. Susan is a retired professor of Canadian studies at the U of A, and her book is available at both university bookstores and through Spotted Cow Press (spottedcowpress.com).
’85 Wendy Doughty, MEd, ’95, PhD, of Edmonton, was recently appointed director and advisor of the U of A’s Fresh Start Program, which allows selected students who have been required to withdraw an alternate means to re-establish satisfactory academic standing and regain eligibility for readmission to their faculty. Wendy has over 25 years’ experience as an adult educator in post-secondary education at the U of A, Grant MacEwan University and even in Uganda and Inner Mongolia, and she was named Teacher of the Year in 2008 in the U of A’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences.
Several alumni were recently recognized by the City of Edmonton with its Award of Distinction at the 58th Annual Salute to Excellence Awards held at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton in June. Doreen Poon-Phillips, ’86 BA, ’89 LLB; Stephen Tsang, ’86 BSc, ’90 BSc; John Yee, ’78 BSc; and Wei Wong, ’78 BSc, were honoured for their work on behalf of the Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association (ECBEA), now in its 25th year, which was instrumental in introducing bilingual Mandarin education in Edmonton’s public schools.
Edmonton’s Mandarin program, with more than 2,000 students in 12 schools, has been called “the best Chinese language program outside of China” by visiting officials from the Chinese Ministry of Education. And this past August, the ECBEA, along with the City of Edmonton, hosted 18 earthquake victims, ages 10 to 17, from Chengdu, China, for an eightday visit to the city, which included a day at the University of Alberta’s DiscoverE Engineering Camp. For more information about the association, visit ecbea.org.
Ketchup with all your old friends. Alumni Weekend 2010 • September 22–26 Alumni Recognition Awards • Alumni Dinner • Breakfast • Lectures • Faculty events • Campus tours • Concerts • Saturday Scholars Series
MORE 780-492-3224 or 1-800-661-2593 toll-free INFO: www.ualberta.ca/alumni/reunion Winter 2010
The Banff Centre
Affordable Meetings in an Inspiring Location BOOKING REWARDS
Do you have high or cholesterol? family history of high cholesterol? The University of Alberta is carrying out a 12-week clinical trial on a natural health product designed to lower cholesterol
Research Participants: Must be aware of mild to moderately
elevated cholesterol levels
in otherwise good health between the ages of 18-75 years
Must not be
For a limited time select a reward when you book a new meeting at The Banff Centre including a mountain ďŹ lm night, complimentary reception, and more. Please view the Special Offers page on our web-site for full details.
The Banff Centre delivers the perfect environment for getting down to business. Nestled on the side of Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park, our range of accommodations, meeting rooms, dining venues, and recreational options are designed to inspire productivity, reďŹ‚ection, and creativity.
The Banff Centre... For meetings that are productive, energizing, rewarding, memorable
on cholesterol medication using natural health products
Participants will be reimbursed for their travel expenses
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive, Box 1020 Banff, AB, Canada T1L 1H5 Ph. 403.762.6435 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toll Free: 1.877.760.4595 www.banffcentre.ca/conferences
life as a grad student can be more than a dream... regardless of your schedule. MA in Communications and Technology part time study
full time learning
Apply by December 15
’85 Simon Farbrother, MA, was recently appointed Edmonton’s city manager, effective January 2010. Kelly Dabbs, MD, was Global Television’s Woman of Vision for October. The Edmonton surgeon was recognized for putting the city on the leading edge of breast cancer treatment and for developing new models of care for breast cancer patients. Kelly is an associate clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the U of A, the chair of the breast division of Cancer Surgery Alberta, and the medical lead of the Comprehensive Breast Care Program with Alberta Health, a virtual clinic unique in North America. Louis Francescutti, PhD, ’87 MD, a U of A professor and emergency room physician, was recently selected as the 41st president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Louis is a U of A professor and emergency room physician and is the former director of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control.
’87 John Fitzgerald Young, BA, was appointed to the board of directors of CBC/Radio-Canada on September 10. He is the dean of the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia and a senior fellow at the International Centre for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University. ’88 Jody Dahrouge, BSc, ’94 BSc, a geologist, was recently appointed to the board of directors of Sola
Resource Corporation. He is the president of Dahrouge Geological Consulting in Edmonton. Darcy M. Tkachuk, BA, ’92 LLB, was recently appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as a member of the refugee protection division in Calgary. Hemanta Sarma, PhD, was recently honoured with a distinguished membership award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers at its annual technical conference and exhibition. Hemanta— who is the chairman of the petroleum engineering program at the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi— was recognized for his distinguished career as an educator and consultant and for his more-than-25 years of service to the society.
’89 Kenneth Brown, MA, of Edmonton, writes that THEATrePUBLIC, the theatre company he directs, just completed a successful year on the fringe festival circuit. “Homeless, the multi-award nominated play I directed with Jeremy Baumung was once again a huge hit in Winnipeg,” writes Kenneth. “Spiral Dive, my new trilogy about a Canadian spitfire pilot was very successful on its eastern swing this year, wining ‘Best Drama’ in Ottawa. And George Orwell is My Real Name, which I co-wrote and directed for Kevin Williamson of the English Suitcase Theatre Company, received wonderful reviews in both Edmonton and Winnipeg and was named a ‘Top 10’ at the Winnipeg Fringe.”
’90 Ray Iler, BCom, recently joined the hedge fund team of Deloitte’s asset management services practice. Prior to joining Deloitte, he served as chief financial officer and corporate secretary for Quandris Canada, an oil and gas technology company. Paul Plakas, BA(RecAdmin), has a new gig. The Edmonton-based fitness trainer appears as head trainer on X-Weighted, a reality TV show that follows individuals and families on their road to weight loss. In addition to his role on the series, Paul runs his own personal training studio, where he trains celebrities and NHL hockey players. X-Weighted, which won a Gemini Award in 2008, airs on Sundays on the Slice Network.
Charles Lee, BSc, ’93 MSc, ’96 PhD, of Framingham, MA, has joined the advisory team of BioNanomatrix, Inc., a developer of nano-scale technologies for biomedical research, molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. Charles is a pioneer in the field of structural genomic variation. He is currently the director of cytogenetics for the Harvard Cancer Center, an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, and an associate member of the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
’92 John Kaul, MSc, of Edmonton, was recently appointed vice-president, national accounts, of Acklands-Grainger Inc., Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products.
Several alumni were recently named to Avenue magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” list, which recognizes young professionals who excel in their fields, give back to the community, and raise Edmonton’s profile: Trevor Anderson, ’95 BA, local musician and award-winning filmmaker; Geoff Ball, ’02 PhD, director of the Pediatric Centre for Weight and Health at the Stollery Children’s Hospital; Ken Bautista, ’99 BEd, associate creative director of interactive at RED The Agency and the CEO of the website Central Institute for Exploration: Seek Your Own Proof; Tamisan Bencz-Knight, ’07 BA, resource development coordinator for Edmonton’s Food Bank; Tanya Driechel, ’08 MLIS, community programmer at the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta; Janaya Ellis, ’97 BEd, lead singer of the award-winning band Souljah Fyah; Bretta Gerecke, ’96 MFA, awardwinning resident designer at Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre; Don Iveson, ’01 BA, city councillor representing Ward 5; Stephanie Jonsson, ’05 BFA, instructor at Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and gallery educator at the Art Gallery of Alberta;
Peter Kiss, ’97 BSc(Ag), owner and president of Morgan Construction and Environment; Mack Male, ’07 BSc, founder of Paramagnus Developments; Christy Morin, ’91 BA, director of Arts on the Ave.; Ian Mulder, ’03 BA, artist and owner of Mulder Studios; Simon O’Byrne, ’98 BA, head of urban planning and landscape architecture at Stantec Consulting; Shannon Scott, ’06 PhD, U of A assistant nursing professor and leader in the field of knowledge translation; Jared Smith, ’98 BCom, principal at Incite Solutions, Inc.; Moira Váne, ’02 LLB, crown prosecutor and former vice-president of the Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association; Renée Vaugeois, ’04 MA, executive director of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights; Cary Williams, ’03 BCom, co-chair of the City of Edmonton’s Next Gen Committee.
In Memoriam The Alumni Association notes with sorrow the passing of the following graduates:
’30 Reginald Wilson Salt, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in March 2009
’32 Elly Thomas Margolis, BSc, ’34 MSc, of Los Angeles, CA, in July 2009
’34 Muriel Elinor Thomas, BSc(HEc), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 ’37 Pearl C. Kunelius, BA, of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 Anne Bradda Crofton, BSc(HEc), of Victoria, BC, in August 2009 ’38 Mary Sussex Campbell, BA, of Oakville, ON, in October 2009 ’39 Gladys Ethel Lester, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Robert Francis, BA, ’42 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’40 Francis Severin Johnson, BSc, of Dallas, TX, in September 2009 Stanley Daniel Cameron, BA, of North York, ON, in October 2009 Robert C. Peck, BSc(CivEng), of Peterborough, ON, in January 2009 ’42 John Douglas Park, BA, ’49 LLB, of Oliver, BC, in October 2009 ’43 Edith Elizabeth Gardener (Selwood), BA, of Edson, AB, in August 2009 Rose Irene Sinclair (Noon), Dip(Nu), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Albert Benjamin Samuel, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’44 Freda Sather (Mason), Dip(Nu), of Vancouver, BC, in June 2009 ’45 Robert Pulleyblank, BA, ’47 BEd, ’47 Dip(Ed), of Nanaimo, BC, in October 2009 Orville Anseth Stratte, Dip(Ed), ’45 BA, ’64 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’46 Robert Gardiner Price, BSc(ChemEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 ’47 Lillian Adeline Michaluk, BSc(HEc), of Calgary, AB, in July 2009 Helen Jane Scott (Ireland), BEd, ’58 BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 ’48 Claude Alma May, Dip(Ed), of Stony Plain, AB, in August 2009 Zupito D’Amico, BSc(MiningEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Raymond Benjamin Hager, DDS, of Alberta Beach, AB, in September 2009 Arthur Markham Wheeler, BCom, of Edmonton, in August 2009 James Lewis Grant, BSc(ChemEng), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Ian Martin Gunn, BSc, ’50 MD, of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 Shirley Deale (Patterson), BSc, ’50 MD, of Portland, OR, in June 2009 ’49 Mervin Douglas Stewart, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Murray Carslaw Hyslop, BSc(MiningEng), of Surrey, BC, in August 2009 Peter Stanley Kozdrowski, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 John James Eatock, BSc(ChemEng), of Belleville, ON, in May 2009 Evelyn Whitmore (Capsey), BA, of Burnaby, BC, in September 2009
Ralph Egil Farvolden, BSc(Ag), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Alison Hankins (Matthews), BA, of Canmore, AB, in October 2009 Gordon Buchwald, BSc(Pharm), of Calgary, AB, in July 2009 John William Sharpe, BSc(ChemEng), of Sherwood Park, AB, in October 2009 Frances Eileen Whitelaw, Dip(Nu), ’50 BSc(Nu), of Salt Spring Island, BC, in October 2009 Ralph Henry Ohrn, Dip(Ed), ’51 BEd, ’61 BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Andrew David Berry, BSc, ’51 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 James Mackenzie Thomson, BSc, ’52 LLB, of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 ’50 William Neil Love, BSc(Ag), of Calgary, AB, in January 2009 Gwendolyn Aileen Scott, Dip(Nu), of Altamont, NY, in September 2009 Margot Egbert (Burton), BA, of Calgary, AB, in July 2009 Robert Stuart Matheson, BA, ’51 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Hector James Hortie, BSc(Ag), ’52 MSc, of Waterville, NS, in October 2009 Earl Lomas, BCom, ’53 LLB, of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Alvin Roland Backstrom, BSc(Pharm), ’56 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 William Earl Dawson, BEd, ’75 Dip(Ed), of Camrose, AB, in July 2009 ’51 Stanley Walter Paskevich, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in June 2009 John Richard Wilson, BSc(Ag), of West Vancouver, BC, in September 2009 Victor Swanberg, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 Philip Strashok, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Albert Edward Chase, BSc(ElecEng), of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 Donald Campbell Gordon, BSc(ChemEng), of Delta, BC, in May 2009 Lionel Mckechnie Narraway, BSc(MiningEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Ann Stewart (Field), BA, ’52 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Walter Wynnyk, BSc, ’52 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Joseph Alexander Blonsky, BSc, ’55 LLB, of Cochrane, AB, in September 2009 ’52 Florence Woodward (Miller), Dip(Ed), ’67 BEd, ’76 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 James Wensley, BSc(CivEng), of Delta, BC, in October 2009 John Henry Westlake, BSc(ElecEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Howard William Schwartz, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 ’53 John Albert Williams, BSc, ’55 MD, of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 Eugene Lipinski, BSc, ’55 Dip(Ed), ’59 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 George Dale O’Brien, BCom, of Calgary, AB, in September 2009
’54 Shirley Beck (Barr), Dip(Nu), of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in August 2009 Felicity Ruggles, Dip(Ed), of Westerose, AB, in May 2009 Hugh John Lawford, BA, ’55 LLB, of Kingston, ON, in August 2009 George Robert Hislop, BEd, ’59 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Dorothy Forbes (Lee), Dip(Nu), ’55 BSc(Nu), in July 2009 Thadeus Alphonsas Kasper, BSc, ’56 MD, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 William Douglas Ritchie, BSc, ’57 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 ’55 Robert Ellis Shea, BSc(Pharm), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Dixon Keane, BEd, of Legal, AB, in September 2009 Robert Bailey, BSc(CivEng), of Ottawa, ON, in June 2009 Daniel Victor Bogda, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Charles Arthur Bulmer, BSc, of Cochrane, AB, in October 2009 Marshall Theodore Syska, BSc, ’61 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’56 Daphne Margot Rogers, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Grace Agnes MacLeod (Williams), Dip(Nu), of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 ’57 Leonard William McArthur, BA, of Surrey, BC, in May 2009 Allan Bruce Fox, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 Mary Ann Muzyka (Litwin), BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 David Walter Irving, MD, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Gino Mark Fracas, Dip(Ed), ’58 BEd, ’58 Dip(Ed), of Windsor, ON, in October 2009 ’58 Mary Akiko Oikawa, Dip(Ed), ’59 BEd, of Lethbridge, AB, in September 2009 Doreen Zahar (Bacon), Dip(Nu), ’59 BSc(Nu), ’69 Dip(PHNu), of Saskatoon, SK, in August 2009 ’59 Sharon Gail Peary, Dip(RM), of Langley, BC, in July 2009 Arlene Showers (Pearson), BSc(HEc), of Vancouver, BC, in September 2009 Arthur Raphael Klimchuk, BSc, of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Eugene W. Corry, BA, ’61 BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 ’60 David Rankin, PhD, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Herbert Michael Howard, BSc(CivEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 Patrick Daniel Macrae, DDS, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009 ’61 Robert G. Walsh, BSc(ChemEng), of Vancouver, BC, in October 2009 ’62 Neil William MacDonald, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Harold Lynn Perrin, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Harold Terry Storlien, BSc, of Medicine Hat, AB, in December 2008
Elmer Keith Conrad, BA, ’63 LLB, of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 Paul Mulyk, BEd, ’67 Dip(Ed), of Lac La Biche, AB, in October 2009 Donald Melven Albers, BSc(MineralEng), ’67 BEd, of Rimbey, AB, in November 2009 ’63 Lyndon Irwin, BA, ’64 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Phyllis Ellen Krause, BEd, of Sherwood Park, AB, in October 2009 Elizabeth Marie Eddy, BEd, of Lacombe, AB, in November 2009 Samuel Humphries, BEd, ’74 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’64 Donald Stewart Schultz, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 Louis Oscar Minnig, BEd, of Vancouver, BC, in April 2009 Margo Wilson, BA, of Hamilton, ON, in September 2009 Helen Harriet McCleary, BA, of Camrose, AB, in September 2009 ’65 Walter George Seyer, BSc(ChemEng), of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 Ella Ann Atkinson, BEd, of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in September 2009 Glenda Bernice Patterson, BMus, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Derek Kurt Trachsel, BSc, ’67 MSc, of Port Williams, NS, in January 2009 Ronald Garry Jans, MD, ’67 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in May 2009 Leona Anderson, BEd, ’70 MEd, of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in June 2009 ’66 Glen Edward Bigam, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009 William Simeon Tanasichuk, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 John Andrew McTaggart, MEd, of Langley, BC, in August 2009 ’67 Barbara McKendry (Malanchuk), BSc(HEc), of Knoxville, TN, in October 2009 Wayne Allan Halabisky, BCom, ’79 MBA, of Spruce Grove, AB, in November 2009 ’68 Leonard Steve Yaniw, BCom, of Sherwood Park, AB, in October 2009 Audrey Louise Harbison, BEd, of Stettler, AB, in January 2009 Daniel Orval Chostner, BSc, of Craigmyle, AB, in April 2009 Eugene Orest Zapisocki, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 William Allin Marshall, BCom, ’76 Dip(Ed), of Calgary, AB, in November 2009 ’69 Ronald J. Zukiwsky, BEd, ’72 Dip(Ed), of Pincher Creek, AB, in July 2009 Helena Catherine Mireau, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009 Gladys Adeline MacKoway, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 ’70 Florence Haruko Yakura, BSc(MedLabSci), of Port Moody, BC, in February 2009 Rudolf Penner, BEd(VocEd), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Evelyn Minnie Chostner, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009
Neil Arthur Bailey, BEd(VocEd), of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 Hugh Stephen Hicklin, BSc(MechEng), of Calgary, AB, in September 2009 William Robinson Howson, BEd, of Lacombe, AB, in August 2009 Allan Edward Fries, BSc(CivEng), of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009 Catherine Pearson (Bell), Dip(RM), ’76 BSc(PT), of Calgary, AB, in April 2009 ’71 Ralph Wilbur Thomas, BEd, ’73 Dip(Ed), ’76 MEd, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Yvonne Allison Sutherland, BLS, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Anthony Lincoln Steel, Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Robert John Swanson, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 John Joseph Kish, BSc(Ag), ’72 MSc, of Calgary, AB, in July 2009 ’72 Frederick John Moriarty, MHSA, of Calgary, AB, in January 2009 Dorothea Adelheid Hantel, BEd, of Sherwood Park, AB, in October 2009 Douglas David Neely, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 Thomas Hugh Jamieson, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Theresa Caroline Herchuk, BEd, ’90 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 David Francis Bouyea, BEd, ’77 Dip(Ed), ’92 MEd, of Morinville, AB, in September 2009 ’73 Brian Patrick Cleary, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’74 Maxine Geraldine Sanford, BEd, of Leduc, AB, in June 2009 Maryalice Evelyn Stewart, BEd, of Stettler, AB, in September 2009 Susan Bulmer (Dougall), BDes, ’75 LLB, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’75 Gabriel Michael Savary, BEd, of Bonnyville, AB, in October 2009 Robert Packolyk, BSc, of Fort McMurray, AB, in September 2009 Thomas Michael Olenuk, MA, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 ’76 Gordon William Morash, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’77 John Douglas Pink, BEd, of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 Consorcia Mendoza (Leonardo), BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Randall Patrick Kimmitt, BA, ’78 SpecCert(Arts), ’81 LLB, of Kelowna, BC, in August 2009 Norman Bryan Elicksen, BEd, ’83 Dip(Ed), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’78 Trudy Yuk-Fun Yeung (Kwok), BSc (Spec), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 Stanley Gordon Dyke, BEd, of Hanna, AB, in September 2009 ’79 Brian Lynn Buchkowsky, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Eric Wing-Sang Tsang, BCom, of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’80 John Prast, BA, of Tofield, AB, in August 2009
Asgeir Ingibergsson, MLS, of Edmonton, AB, in November 2009 Peter John Nicholls, BSc(MechEng), of Calgary, AB, in March 2009 ’81 Grant Wood West, BEd, of Radway, AB, in August 2009 ’82 Dorothy Olga Wyrstiuk, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 Jurgen Freund, MSc, of Ulm, Germany, in June 2009 Douglas Edward Anderson, PhD, of Woodville, NS, in September 2009 Peter Douglas Holt, PhD, of Athabasca, AB, in November 2009 ’83 Robert Edward Roughley, PhD, of Winnipeg, MB, in November 2009 Alexandra Mary Deane, BA, of Edmonton, AB, in July 2009 ’84 Robert Lawrence Sinclair, MSc, of Toronto, ON, in November 2009 ’85 James Vaillancourt, BSc(Spec), of Edmonton, AB, in August 2009 ’86 Connie Ann Tywin, BEd, ’00 BSc(Nutr/Food), of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009 ’87 Barry Richard Jonson, BSc(Pharm), of Manning, AB, in August 2009 David Alan Kellendonk, MSc, of St. Catharines, ON, in May 2009 ’88 Shelley Shields (Buma), BSc(Nu), of St. Albert, AB, in September 2009 Allan Douglas MacDonald, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 ’89 Steven Allen Mack, BFA, of Calgary, AB, in August 2009 ’91 Glen Alexander Cameron, BEd(VocEd), of Doha, Qatar, in August 2009 ’93 Virginia Njuguini Mwai, MSc, of Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2009 ’97 Lynn Janet Voisin, BEd, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 ’98 Patty Lam, BCom, of Santa Barbara, CA, in November 2009 Michel Ouellette, PhD, of Douglas, AZ, in June 2009 ’01 Kerry Glen Avey, BEd, of St. Albert, AB, in September 2009 ’02 Grant Michael Lappin, BSc, of Edmonton, AB, in October 2009 James Bertwistle, MSc, of Hinton, AB, in July 2009 ’04 Pia Wilkinson-Chapman, MA, of Calgary, AB, in October 2009 Michael Eric O’Boyle, LLB, of Vancouver, BC, in April 2009 ’05 Joneson Yi-Ting Chiang, BSc(ElecEng), of Edmonton, AB, in September 2009
*** In the Autumn 2009 issue of New Trail we inadvertently listed Nestor Saskiw, ’69 BEd, in the In Memoriam section. Nestor is alive and well, and we apologize for the error.
*** Alumni can submit remembrances about U of A graduates by sending a text file to email@example.com. Tributes are posted on the “Memory Lane” webpage at www.ualberta.ca/alumni.
’92 Colin Oberst, BEd, of Edmonton, recently penned the song “Growing in the Spirit,” which has been selected by the Edmonton Catholic Schools as its new district song. The songwriter, a music and arts teacher at Holy Family School, recently shot to fame for another song he wrote— “Canadian Gold,” which won CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada challenge last year and is now the opening theme song for that well-watched program. Tim Dare, PhD, of New Zealand, writes to say that he is currently the head of the philosophy department at the University of Auckland, where his focus is on the philosophy of law and professional ethics. Tim’s book, The Counsel of Rogues? A defense of the standard conception of the lawyer’s role, was published in June 2009.
’93 Susan Jaques, BSc(CivEng), writes that after spending the past three years working on engineering infrastructure projects in Johannesburg, South Africa, she and her husband have returned to their home in Brisbane, Australia. “We enjoyed our African adventure very much,” writes Susan. “Now Brisbane has welcomed us back, and I am working in the pipeline industry again, constructing gas pipelines in the Australian desert.”
’94 Roxanne Felix, BSc, has published her first work of long fiction: a novella that appears in the speculative fiction anthology Women of the Apocalypse (womenoftheapocalypse.com). In addition to running her own consulting company, Felix Research and Consulting, Roxanne has also recently been appointed as an adjunct faculty member at the U of A’s School of Public Health in the Centre for Health Promotion Studies.
’96 Douglas A. Clark, MSc, a conservation policy scientist, was recently awarded a five-year appointment as the Centennial Chair in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan.
’97 Shohini Bagchee, BSc (ChemEng), writes that after working for several years in Ottawa’s intellectual property field, she is now happy to be back in Edmonton, where she has started her own practice, Brion Raffoul, Patents & Trademarks, which provides intellectual property prosecution for clients across the country. Classmates can look her up at brionraffoul.com. Jaret Cardinal, BA, the chief of the Sucker Creek First Nation, was recently elected the grand chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta. Brenda Hanke, BSc, ’99 MSc, was part of the winning team at the Cincinnati Museum Center, which recently won a National Medal for Museum and Library Service, one of the highest honours a museum in the United States can receive. Brenda is the curator of the Center’s Invertebrate Paleontology Office and an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati. Leo Seewald, LLB, of Hong Kong, was recently appointed deputy general manager of Manulife Taiwan and the chairman of Manulife Asset Management Taiwan. Leo joined Manulife’s Asian regional office in 2006 as vice-president and chief legal officer for greater China, after a successful private practice in Canada and Hong Kong.
’98 Patrick Lusk, BSc, ’05 PhD, was recently made an assistant professor of cell biology at the Yale School of Medicine.
’99 Brent Knowles, BSc, writes that after 10 years as a lead designer with the role-playing game developer, BioWare, he is now pursuing a freelance career as a designer and writer for the gaming industry. Brent is also a fiction writer, with stories appearing in On Spec, Tales of the Talisman, Not One of Us and, in 2010, in the anthologies Through Blood and Iron and End of Days 2. And he recently found out that he’s been named a finalist— for the second time— in the “Writers of the Future” contest. Brent lives in Edmonton with his wife and two sons and can be reached at yourothermind.com. Winter 2010
’01 Wayne Pacquette, BA, made his Citadel Theatre debut this past fall, directing Blackbird, an awardwinning—and provocative—new play by Scottish writer David Harrower about a relationship between a 40year-old man and an underaged girl. Wayne has been called “one of the city’s hottest young directors” by the Edmonton Journal and has made a name for himself directing dark, nuanced productions for fringe festivals, including Skirmishes and A Year of Magical Thinking at the 2009 Edmonton Fringe Festival.
Warren Serink, ’00 BA, of New York, writes, “With my brother’s graduation in 2008, all five of my immediate family members now hold U of A degrees. We marked the occasion by having professional pictures taken outside the Arts Building with our gowns and degrees, which is proudly displayed in our family home.” You can see all five of the proud graduates, from left to right: Justin Serink, ’08 BSc(CivEng); Evelyn Serink, ’74 BSc; Jim Serink, ’73 BCom; April Serink, ’02 BSc(HEcol); and Warren.
’02 Carey-Ann Burnham, BSc, ’07 PhD, an associate director at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, was recently certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology. This prestigious certification recognizes the expertise of doctoral-level microbiologists seeking to direct public health or clinical microbiology labs.
’03 Ben Sefcik, BCom, of Airdrie, AB, writes that he has now completed additional studies in the U.S. and has returned to Alberta to start
his podiatry practice, adding that his time at the U of A School of Business “has made it possible for me to make better business decisions.”
’04 Wes Chalifoux, BSc, is heading to New York City for a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry at Columbia University. After defending his doctoral thesis at the U of A this past November, Wes will spend the next two years working at Columbia with Jamie Leighton, a world-renowned chemist.
Heather Mandin, BA, has been making headlines in Vancouver, where she owns and operates Parts by Heather, a jewellery and accessory store that features her one-of-a-kind designs. Her signature style is incorporating recycled materials and vintage pieces from the ’20s to the ’50s to create bold new pieces.
’07 Uichiro Nakano, MA, writes from Chicago to say, “My days on the U of A campus as a graduate
student and a member of the U of A ski team are still some of the best days of my life.” Uichiro has been working for the Japanese foreign ministry since 1997 and is currently posted at the Japanese consulate in Chicago. He is very much looking forward to meeting up with other alumni at U of A events in the Windy City, and “would like to pass ‘da Bears’ on to coaches and old members of the ski team.”
See olive your old friends. Alumni Weekend 2010 September 22–26 Alumni Recognition Awards • Alumni Dinner • Breakfast • Lectures • Faculty events • Campus tours • Concerts • Saturday Scholars Series
MORE 780-492-3224 or 1-800-661-2593 toll-free INFO: www.ualberta.ca/alumni/reunion 58
’07 Steven Olson, BSc, recently scored $30,000 after kicking the pigskin 30 yards in TSN’s fifth annual Wendy’s “Kick for a Million” contest. Steven, a graduate student in physics at the U of A, attempted field goals from 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards and, had he been successful from the fifty yard line, would have been eligible for the grand prize of $1 million. The former Edmonton high school football player was randomly selected from 7.8 million entries— the most ever in the history of the contest— to compete in the event, and he defeated his rival, Paul Sinisi, of Ajax, ON, in the kickoff competition held during halftime of the Oct. 23 game between the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Toronto Argonauts. Daniel Ma, ’76 BSc, wrote in from Edmonton to say that his daughter Jillian Ma, ’08 BA, returned to the U of A this September to begin her second degree—this time in the Faculty of Education—after spending several months travelling through China, Japan and Singapore. “With the Mandarin language skills Jillian learned in the Edmonton Public Schools and at the U of A,” writes Daniel, “she can communicate well in Asia countries.” He says it was her brother, Ryan Ma, ’04 BPE, ’04 BEd, a teacher in Melbourne, Australia, who encouraged Jillian to seek an advanced degree in education at the U of A: “Ryan said that after spending four years teaching around the globe, he knows that the University of Alberta produces some of the world’s best teachers.”
August 31 is a date with powerful meaning for U of A grads Robert Burke Richardson, ’99 BA, ’05 BEd, and Kuen Tang, ’06 BEd. On that day in 2001, the couple was injured in a car accident in B.C. that left Kuen paralyzed from the chest down and changed both their lives forever. But this past year, on the eighth anniversary of that accident, their lives were changed yet again when their comic, Absolute Magnitude, won the monthly competition held by Zuda Comics, the online imprint for comic-book giant DC. The win not only brought the couple a publishing contract worth $13,000, it also made Kuen the first quadriplegic to do lettering for DC. “After the accident, I knew that we’d have to reorganize our lives,” says Robert, who has been Kuen’s full-time caregiver for the past eight years. “I thought that if I were a writer—and successful at it—it would allow me to help take care of Kuen. So I think it’s very fitting that on the anniversary of that accident, I should get my first really well-paying writing gig, and hopefully that will lead to others.” The first eight panels of their comic—a space opera in the vein of Joss Whedon’s popular Firefly television series—are already available on Zuda’s website, and, beginning in January, one new panel in the story will be released each week for a year. “Hopefully, if it’s popular, we’ll do another season and another and another,” says Robert. Previous winners of the competition have had their comics published in print editions. Absolute Magnitude is Robert’s fifth comic and his third with Argentinean artist Martin Morazzo. Robert and Martin had entered the Zuda competition in 2008 but lost. In the interim, Kuen joined the team as letterer, an addition that made for a winning formula. “Normally, the letterer is the low person on the totem pole, but my wife is integral,” explains Robert. Traditionally the letterer’s job is limited to the strategic placement of text and speech bubbles on the page after the ink has already dried, so to speak, on the script and illustrations. But Kuen, who uses a computerized lettering software, is given
Robert and Kuen on their wedding day with their niece Audrey, and the cast of Absolute Magnitude.
much more creative freedom, incorporating unique graphic elements into the panels and even influencing editorial decisions. “Often she’s working in the next room, and she’ll say, ‘Robert, you’ve written too many words here.’ So I’ll make changes.” But does it ever get difficult working on a creative project with one’s spouse? “Sure it magnifies things,” he says. “But it’s also another way for us to do something together.” Kuen sees it a little differently: “Robert has been my caregiver for the past eight years, doing everything he could to support my interests and goals. So I started off
wanting to help him achieve his—and then I fell in love with lettering and the challenge of it.” One gets the impression that there is no challenge too great for this creative duo. Now that they have achieved Robert’s goal of breaking into the comic-book world, they want to use the security bought with their publishing win to help finance another goal—starting a family—and that might be a challenge of a far greater magnitude. To read Absolute Magnitude visit zudacomics.com/absolute_magnitude, and to follow Robert’s other projects go to comicspace.com/robert. Winter 2010
Game Faces T
hese early rugby players (if you know any names, please let us know) were the vanguard of a storied tradition of football at the U of A. The University of Alberta Golden Bears football program began in 1910 as a rugby team with W.M. Edwards as the first head coach. The U of A’s rugby team won the provincial championship in 1914, but by 1916 the program was shut down due to the fact that all members of the team were serving on the Western Front during the First World War. The game returned to the University in 1919. In 1948, the Evergreen and Gold first officially referred to the game as “football,” but from 1949 through 1958 the “football” program would disappear, as there was no competition in the West, prompting the University to donate its jerseys to the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, who would forevermore wear the green and gold as their colours.
Maury Van Vliet, ’79 LLD (Honorary), the U of A’s first dean of Physical Education, brought the game back in 1959. The Golden Bears have won three Vanier Cups out of their six appearances to decide supremacy in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The team has also sent over 50 players to the CFL, including former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, ’51 BA, ’52 LLB, ’86 LLD (Honorary), who was a member of the 1947 and 1948 teams and then went on to play with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1949 to 1952, while still a U of A student. In 1976, Bears receiver Brian Fryer, ’83 BPE, was the first Canadian intercollegiate football player to be drafted by an NFL team. He played for the Washington Redskins before returning to Canada and competing for the Eskimos teams that won five Grey Cups in a row, beginning in 1978.
WHERE INVENTIONS INSPIRE BUSINESS TEC Edmonton is the
exclusive technology transfer agent for the U of A and commercialization service provider for the Edmonton region
www.TECedmonton.com TEC Edmonton Edm monton is a joint joint venture between betwe een
To be a mentor, you don’t need superhuman qualities, just human ones. Spending as little as an hour a week with a young person can make a difference. There’s a waiting list of young Albertans who can beneﬁt from your life experience. Find out how you can help at albertamentors.ca