Sam Magazine - Winter 2018

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on the cover Installation photo from the exhibition Liquid Being Photograph by Kirsten Meiszinger The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery presented an exhibition by internationally renowned artist Ed Pien. The installation, titled Liquid Being, ran from Sept. 14 to Oct. 28, 2017, and created an immersive environment reflecting on the sentience of water. The image on the cover is one component of the Liquid Being exhibition: 100 drawings on clear Mylar of fish species found in southern Alberta, suspended in a web formation from the floor, which was paved in river rocks to the ceiling, and the silhouette of a child playing with the fish projected onto the wall behind.

2017 was truly a golden year for the University of Lethbridge. The last 12 months brought our community together to celebrate the 50th anniversary, sharing memories and making new ones through events, initiatives, products, plays, music and, of course, birthday cake. And not just any cake — a replica of our own University Hall created by alumna Amy Whipple (BA ’07), pictured here. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us — founders and friends, faculty, staff and students, and the many alumni who came home to mark the occasion. It was a pleasure connecting with familiar faces and meeting new friends along the way. For more on our 50th year, visit: This issue of SAM, while highlighting our 50th celebrations, looks ahead to our next 50 years and begins outlining the steps to get us there. You will hear from President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon on the objectives we’ve set, Vice-President (Research) Dr. Erasmus Okine on the future of research and innovation, and U of L Alumni Association President Michael Gabriel (BA ’04) on what’s next for alumni programming. We’ll also get you caught up on the progress of the new science and academic building, and what the new facility means for our campus and southern Alberta. I hope you’ll see your own vision for the future reflected in what’s to come. This is your university and we shine brighter together. Sincerely,

For more information please visit:

Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock Editor

2 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS The community came together to celebrate 50 years. Check out some highlights of this historic year.

23 SIGNIFICANT & MENTIONABLE Get caught up on what’s been happening at your university.

7 FUTURE 50 It’s the beginning of a new half-century for the U of L. President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon shares the path forward.

26 THE GOOD LIFE In this awardwinning essay, Dalys Fletcher provides a student’s perspective on liberal education.

EDITOR: Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Alesha Farfus-Shukaliak ART DIRECTOR: Stephenie Karsten CONTRIBUTORS: Kristine Carlsen Wall Dalys Fletcher Betsy Greenlees Aaron Haugen Lee Illes Janet Janzen Trevor Kenney Andrea Kremenik Elizabeth Lepper Anna Linville Josephine Mills



Ever wonder what happens when a curator, a monkey scientist and a designer work together?

PHOTOGRAPHY: Levi Balan Jason Jones Leslie Ohene-Adjei Rob Olson Erica Perreaux Arden Shibley Pronghorn Athletics

Learn more about a few of the U of L’s bright minds and the questions they are seeking to answer.

The scope of scientific discovery is set to transform as the new science and academic building takes shape.


Kali McKay Lyndsay Montina Kelly Morris Penny Pickles JoAnn Rennick Brown Linda Sebastian Taryn Tamayose Elaine Van Rootselaar Meagan Williams Dana Yates Caroline Zentner


Mature, confident and connected, Horns Rugby is deeply rooted in the southern Alberta community.

PRINTING: Mitchell Press SAM is published by University Advancement at the University of Lethbridge. The opinions expressed or implied in the publication do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors. Submissions in the form of letters, articles, story ideas or notices of events are welcome.

37 WHAT’S NEXT Take a look at what’s ahead for the future of alumni programming.

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From Founders’ Day Weekend to Homecoming and the Shine On Summer Festival, 2017 was a year of historic celebrations and legacy initiatives that will live on in the heart of the University of Lethbridge for generations. Founders’ Day Weekend

The community came together to kick off the U of L’s 50th anniversary for Founders’ Day Weekend. From indoor tailgate parties and Pronghorns games, a BBQ (complete with a legendary UHall cake), retirees brunch, Frost Fest and True North Cabaret, it was a weekend of festivities and fun.



Let It Shine On

Since the song debuted at Founders’ Day Weekend in January, Let It Shine On has captured our hearts and left us all singing along. Written and composed by alumnus John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96), Let It Shine On reflects both individual transformation and the University’s transformation. Terry Whitehead (BA ’94) co-funded the commissioning of the song; Chris Morris (BFA ’07) recorded the song on campus in Studio One; and Leslie Ohene-Adjei (BFA ’16) created the music video. Paul Walker (BMus ’82) arranged the song’s instrumental version which the U of L Wind Orchestra, led by Dr. Chee Meng Low, performed at the 2017 Spring Convocation, and Cottonwood Records’ Clayton Varjassy (BMgt ’13) and Joel Varjassy (BMus ’14) produced and recorded.

Tartan Unveiling

The U of L proudly unveiled the University tartan as part of Founders’ Day Weekend in January 2017. A symbol of enlightenment and overcoming adversity, tartan represents a connection to history and an ethos of looking forward. Steve Firth (BA ’14, MA ’16) initiated the tartan creation as a 50th

(Above) The southern Alberta community gathered to launch the U of L’s 50th anniversary at Founders’ Day Weekend in January 2017. The legendary birthday cake was certainly a highlight.

anniversary legacy project. Alumna and staff member Sarah Hilliard (BA ’10) created the design, which is inspired by convocation and the grand accomplishment it signifies. The U of L tartan was registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority on January 18, 2017. A kilt, handwoven by world-renowned kilt maker Paul Henry (UK), is now worn by the piper at Convocation.

50 Voices (

The 50 Voices Project captured our iconic stories, as well as those yet to be told, with the help of the University’s history-makers throughout the last five decades. Conducted by the Centre for Oral History and Tradition, full audio interviews, digital transcripts and photographs will be available in the University Archives and online for future research and as valuable records of University history.

Fiction at Fifty

New Canadian content debuted to soldout shows on the U of L’s mainstage in November 2017 with the world premiere of When There’s Nothing Left to Burn, by Sean Devine. This was the winning play commissioned through the Fiction at Fifty playwright competition, a three-year project initiated and funded by alumnus Terry Whitehead (BA ’94). When There’s Nothing Left to Burn pushed the boundaries of theatre, from its inception to its final production, while providing an amazing opportunity to both playwright and students.


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Concert

While 1967 is the birth year of the U of L, it is also the year the Beatles released their iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Their eighth studio album, it is widely considered the first concept album in music history and changed the sound and face of popular music forever. At a special alumni event in 2017, alumni Bente Hansen (BMus ’86) and Jesse Plessis (BMus ’10) collaborated to present a twopiano arrangement of the complete album that Plessis crafted.

Photo credit: Jaime Vedres (BFA ’09)

Fine Arts Celebrates


The Faculty of Fine Arts celebrated the 50th anniversary with many exciting events that brought back alumni and former faculty while engaging students and the community. The Department of New Media celebrated with the Digital Vertigo New Media Symposium in the spring. The Department of Art hosted two 50th anniversary exhibitions last fall, the Roloff Beny Photography

Award Retrospective and FIFTY, an exhibition by current and former faculty members. The Department of Music welcomed 200 students, alumni, faculty and friends to their 50th anniversary symposium. The two-day celebration included performances, presentations, master classes and workshops, and wrapped up with a Faculty Artists & Friends concert featuring alumni, faculty, students and the U of L Singers Reunion Choir.

Blackfoot Naming Ceremony

As part of Homecoming Weekend, five members of the U of L community were honoured with Blackfoot names, pictured above with U of L President Dr. Mike Mahon (far right), who was previously honoured by the Blackfoot Nation as Iipisowahsi – Morning Star. (L-R) Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Van Christou (LLD ’84), Iinniowdoomoowa – Buffalo Leader; Professor Dr. Dennis Connolly (LLD ’17), Itiiomaahkaa – Long Journey; Provost & VicePresident (Academic) Dr. Andrew Hakin, Iinniowmoowakima – Herding the Buffalo; Board of Governors Chair Kurt Schlachter (BSc ’00), Stamiksiiitoohkitapoyii – Bull Buffalo Standing on the Hill; Chancellor Janice Varzari (BN ’90, MEd ’02), Oohskwiikkitstakaakii – Blue Offering Woman.

Homecoming Weekend

The most extensive alumni celebration in the U of L’s 50-year history, alumni from as far away as Turks and Caicos came home to the U of L for this three-day event in September. Whether exploring campus, attending the AlumX Speaker series or catching up at the Blue & Gold Reunion Rally and Ignite the Weekend, hundreds of alumni returned to the U of L to reconnect and reminisce.

Campus Tours

From sharing the inspiration behind Arthur Erickson’s iconic University Hall to providing a virtual sneak peek inside the future science and academic building, U of L Senate members hosted historic campus tours throughout 2017.

Shine On Summer Festival

More than 3,000 people gathered on September 2 for the first concert ever hosted in the Community Sports Stadium. Canadian artists Dallas Smith, Corb Lund, Mother Mother, Virginia to Vegas, The Washboard Union, Trevor Panczak, Double Jack and the U of L’s own Millz Skillz, provided concert-goers an unforgettable summer music festival right here at home.


John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament

Proudly hosted by the U of L Alumni Association (ULAA), the 10th and final John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament kicked off Homecoming Weekend in September. Alumni, community members and friends hit the links in remembrance of the former ULAA president and to raise funds for student scholarships. Thanks to a decade of continued support, the fund has been endowed to continue student awards in perpetuity, leaving a lasting legacy for John and creating a bright future for generations of students to come.

Community Fair and Market

With kite-flying, an inflatable obstacle course, cultural performances and demonstrations, food trucks, local artisans and a battle of the bands, the Community Fair and Market was a whole lot of family fun.

Let’s Raise A Glass to the Dreams of the Past

In celebration of the U of L’s 50th anniversary, Coulee Brew Co., a local brewery with strong alumni connections, partnered with the U of L to provide custom labels. Both 50 Gold and Aperture Ale beers are available for purchase at Andrew Hilton and Coulee Brew Co. and a portion of sales support student scholarships.


In late 2017, we unveiled a commemorative 25-year aged single malt scotch whisky from one of Scotland’s most renowned bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail. Complete with a wooden collector’s case, only 400 bottles with the U of L 50th Anniversary label have been produced.

Thank you

Thank you for celebrating with us

The support of our community, volunteers and sponsors made the Shine On Summer Festival a glowing success. Thank you for helping us get our shine on at one of Lethbridge’s most memorable community festivals.



Lethbridge Auto Dealer Association

The 50th anniversary was a time to pay tribute to our founders and the five decades of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners who have helped establish the U of L on the international stage over the last five decades. It was also a year of looking ahead as we plan for our next 50 years. Thank you to everyone who came home to the U of L to celebrate 50 years and who helped make this anniversary such a historic milestone.

For a recap of 2017, visit:

EST. 1968

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A MESSAGE FROM DR. MIKE MAHON PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR 2017 was a historic year as we celebrated the University of Lethbridge’s 50th anniversary and all we have accomplished together. Over the last 50 years the U of L has evolved into one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and research institutions, far exceeding our founders’ most ambitious expectations. Each year, more than 8,700 undergraduate and graduate students attend our Lethbridge and Calgary campuses, and 1,800 students graduate and join the more than 42,000 U of L alumni who are making important contributions in communities around the world.

Our past clearly illustrates the magnitude of what can be accomplished when individuals work together. 2018 will be a year filled with monumental developments for our university. This is the beginning of our next 50 years — a defining time in our history as we shape our future and excel as a comprehensive academic and research institution, recognized nationally and internationally as a destination university.

As a university founded by citizens, our connection to community and serving the community are core to who we are. Beyond shining new light and imparting knowledge, we unlock human potential. Whether through arts and culture, health, access and opportunities, or sustainability, we make communities stronger and ultimately build a stronger society. The outstanding vision, tenacity and dedication of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners working together have brought us to where we are today and will take us to where we need to be tomorrow. Thank you for your connection and commitment to the University of Lethbridge. On the pages that follow, I’m excited to share some priority initiatives on the path forward.



THE PATH FOR • As a destination university, we will expand our reach and widen the breadth from where our students come, both from in Canada and internationally, growing undergraduate and particularly graduate enrolment and continuing to diversify our campuses.

students’ needs. On the horizon, you will see the University grow our professional programs, specifically programs unique in design that set us apart from our competitors and serve the needs of our region and the industries that are vital to southern Alberta.

• Liberal education ignites minds and is the foundation of our university. The U of L’s unwavering commitment to the ideals of liberal education and the betterment of society was confirmed in 2017 with the establishment of the School of Liberal Education. We are working to ensure our unique four-pillar approach to liberal education is embedded throughout the entire undergraduate and graduate experience.

• We will continue to enhance experiential learning opportunities and career pathways, expand our Theory into Practice programs and enhance our student-focused mentalhealth initiatives as well as other student supports. Accessibility and opportunity will remain priorities, as will equity, diversity and inclusivity.

• We are continuously reviewing and evolving our programming to reflect the evolution of our disciplines and ensure we best meet our


• Our Calgary campus has served management students for more than 20 years by uniquely catering to mature working students and offering classes in the evenings and on the weekends. Our programming on this campus

has evolved to include fine arts and health sciences offerings, and will continue to evolve, providing innovative ways for students to progress through their academic programs in a true multi-campus university. • Superior teaching is informed by superior research. This is a fundamental belief at the U of L. Creativity, inquiry and discovery are core to who we are. We will continue to prepare the next generation by ensuring our students are exposed to innovative thinking, creating an exciting intellectual community and expanding the breadth of research in all disciplines. • The Destination Project is central to our advancement. On the north-end of campus, the new science and academic building is transforming campus and the future of science education and research. Construction of this 37,000 square metre environmentally sustainable

What’s ahead as we excel as a comprehensive academic and research institution, recognized nationally and internationally as a destination university?

RWARD: facility is the most significant project to take place since the original building of University Hall. Opening in 2019, it will be one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in Canada. • The transdisciplinary learning environment in the new science and academic building will foster engagement and provide our researchers and students with the facilities they need to make the discoveries of the future. It will also inspire the next generation of scientists through community programming. The second phase of the Destination Project will provide enhanced research and creative production space for the social sciences, humanities and fine arts. • On the south end of campus, we are analyzing development possibilities for the land near the community sports stadium. We are also actively exploring concepts for different

delivery methods of health services for the University and the people of Lethbridge. This is a unique opportunity to enhance health services for our students and increase our connection to the community by providing professional health services in one location. • Honouring our connection to the Indigenous population remains of significant importance. Proudly located on the traditional territory of the Blackfoot people, Indigenous culture is woven into the fabric of our university, and has long enriched our programming, teaching and research. The U of L has been incorporating Indigenous culture into programs and services since the 1970s, creating an environment where students find community, support and success. The calls to action driven by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report confirm the importance of this work and highlight the need for a renewed commitment to the Indigenous community.

• Strengthening our relationship with alumni is a key priority. A lot of exciting work has taken place over the past year. In addition to hosting the largest alumni gathering in our history — Homecoming 2017 — we conducted our firstever full-scale alumni needs assessment. New opportunities for alumni connection, services and programming are in development.

This year sets the stage for our next 50 years and a future that will be brighter for generations because of the work we do together today. To learn more about what’s ahead for the U of L, visit:




The new science and academic building is taking shape on the north end of campus and is positioned to be one of the most advanced facilities for science and research in Canada.

BY MEAGAN WILLIAMS The look and scope of scientific discovery are set to transform in the fall of 2019 as the University of Lethbridge opens the new science and academic building. One of the most advanced facilities for teaching and researching the sciences in the country, the new addition to the Lethbridge campus is the largest construction project to take place since University Hall was completed in 1971. Sustainably designed with local climate in mind, students, faculty and community will come together under one roof to create, inquire and discover. Now more than 50 per cent complete, the science and academic building has been under construction for nearly two action-packed years. The buzz of excitement in the campus community is building with every construction milestone achieved. “Every time I have an opportunity to take a tour on the site, I’m astounded with the progress being made,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin. “We can now see some of the large design elements starting to take shape. From the atrium staircase to the glass curtain wall on the exterior of the building, it’s exciting to see our

project come to life. This building will be of enormous benefit to so many aspects of our University life and to the extended community.” A home for innovation and discovery, one of the major design principles was to encourage and foster research between the sciences. The open and flexible laboratory environments allow this to become a reality. Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Dan Furgason says with this new way of working and learning, the opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations and ideas will flourish and give students and faculty innovative ways to problem solve with more resources available than ever before. “During my 30-plus years with the University, I have witnessed several changes and improvements in teaching and research,” says Furgason. “Students have always played an integral role in scientific research at the U of L and that role has been an important facet in student education. Over the years, the students have changed, the research environment has changed and now the facilities are about to change. It is truly exciting to contemplate the possibilities moving forward into the new building. As

we build the culture to complement the new environment, I am certain students, researchers and the community at large will experience new and engaging modes of learning and investigation.” It’s not just U of L students who will benefit from this leading centre for science and academics; students of all ages will join them in discovery. Elementary and high school students from around southern Alberta will have a home for innovation. Science outreach programs are expanding in a dedicated learning facility aimed at igniting the spark of science in the researchers of tomorrow. Community outreach programs like Destination Exploration and Let’s Talk Science enable southern Alberta to develop individuals who are creative and innovative discoverers, leaders and independent learners, who are well prepared to contribute significantly to their local, national and global communities, right here at home. “When children experience science in a new way, you open the door for a whole new world of discovery and excitement for them,” says Director of Youth Outreach Valerie Archibald. “With the dedicated outreach space in the new science and academic 11

building, we can run more programming throughout the year that enables more children to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.â€? As the new science and academic building grows, so too do the economic benefits to southern Alberta. With more than 350 workers currently on-site and that number expected to climb between 450 and 500 during peak construction periods, the project has not only brought jobs to the area but a welcome economic injection for local businesses. Additionally, the building, once operational, will contribute significantly to the overall impact the University of Lethbridge has on the city and region.Â

More than 20 Lethbridgebased companies have been contracted to work on the project to date.

Approximately $30 million in local trades and contractors have signed on to complete work.

More than $10 million have been paid in wages, benefiting southern Alberta’s housing market, rental market and established Lethbridge businesses.

For more information on the new science and academic building and to support this project, visit


Sneak a peek inside the new science and academic building and follow the exciting construction progress:

At the University of Lethbridge, we are working together to shine new light and create a brighter future for communities around the world.




Over the last five decades, the University of Lethbridge has evolved from a primarily undergraduate university to a comprehensive academic and research university. We pride ourselves on our commitment to research that aims to better the lives of our neighbours throughout our province, our country and, indeed, our world. This research focus has been of tremendous benefit to our students and has influenced the way we teach them because we believe that quality teaching is informed through research. This critical link ensures our students are exposed to innovative thinking through individualized research and creative activity with renowned scholars. It allows us to explore what is known, challenge how it is known and, thus, influence the nature of teaching. Indeed, we have created an exciting intellectual community for our 8,700 students on our campuses in Lethbridge and Calgary. We have achieved many of our ambitions: the recruitment of leading researchers and scholars, the development of research centres and institutes, and the construction of dedicated research buildings and facilities complete with leading-edge infrastructure. As we look forward to our next 50 years, we reaffirm our vision as a comprehensive university: a strong independent knowledge institution that seeks to understand the human and natural world and the universe beyond, with an aim to bring knowledge and wisdom to bear on sustaining and improving our quality of life, our society and the natural environment. We are committed to elevating research, scholarly inquiry and creative activity.


We will expand research capacity by recruiting and retaining outstanding scholars, fostering the scholarly development of our researchers, and providing our students and post-doctoral fellows with an educational experience that is enhanced by the research activity at our institution. We are committed to preparing the next generation. Our goal is to be a leader in the training and development of highly qualified researchers and practitioners who will contribute to a knowledgedriven future. We are unwavering in our commitment that students have the opportunity to gain competencies in the four principles of liberal education. These principles mean that we introduce students to ways of looking at and studying the world beyond their own disciplinary boundaries, we foster their ability to connect and integrate knowledge across disciplines, we emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and we encourage our students to be contributing community members on all levels. We are committed to enhancing community outreach and engagement. There is a vibrancy to the University’s research culture and we are proud to showcase the breadth and diversity of our work to the community. We will broaden the culture of community engagement by connecting researchers, scholars and artists and their world-class

research and creative outputs with end users, be they community organizations, governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations, industry or the public. We are committed to supporting industry engagement, knowledge mobilization and translation. Curiositydriven research is the fuel that ignites discovery, development and innovation. We support the translation of knowledge into new creative ventures, new applications and informed public discourse to bolster Alberta’s social, cultural and economic prosperity and its civic integrity. We will build mutually supportive relationships and partnerships with all sectors to ensure translation through the pipeline from ideas, to creative and artistic expression, to innovation or commercialization. The University’s future is bright. We have made significant strides and will continue to do so. We are committed to achieving international research prominence in diverse fields of scholarly inquiry, creative pursuit and innovation, providing solutions and knowledge that inform policies, foster sustainable prosperity and inspire experiential learning opportunities that mould our students into the leaders of tomorrow.


In the pages that follow, learn more about a few of the U of L’s bright minds and the questions they are seeking to answer.



What can we learn from different approaches to gender diversity? Dr. Paul Vasey garners a lot of attention for his work and he’s not the least bit surprised as to why. “Not to make a pun but, the stories are sexy,” says the University of Lethbridge psychology professor and Board of Governors Research Chair who heads the University’s Laboratory of Comparative Sexology. “You can’t study sex and monkeys and evolution and third-gender individuals in other cultures perceived as being exotic without getting attention,” says Vasey, who was recently recognized by the the Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF) for his significant input to the field of sex research with the CSRF Outstanding Contribution Award. Vasey’s research programs have literally taken him around the world. He first gained notoriety in 2000 for his work studying the female homosexual behaviour of Japanese macaque monkeys. The study, which formed the foundation for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Montréal, challenged decades of received wisdom about how animals should behave sexually. After short post-doctoral positions at Concordia University and York University, Vasey was initially hired by the U of L to


teach a class on sex and gender. Not wanting to talk about men and women because he felt others were already covering that territory, he turned his attention to cultures with more than two genders. “It took me a long time to wrap my head around the third gender phenomenon, but I became completely fascinated with it,” he says. “I thought it’d be really interesting to have that as an anchor for a class on sex and gender, that idea of gender and sexual diversity.” Working to write a paper with a colleague on distress and gender atypicality, they sought a field site where they could collect data that would speak to the issue. They settled on Samoa, where the fa’afafine community resided – feminine, biological males who are recognized as a third gender.

In 2015, Vasey initiated another field site in Juchitán, Mexico, where the local Zapotec people identify feminine males as a third gender, known locally as muxe. Over the years, National Geographic, The New York Times, The Nature of Things, Oprah, Discovery Channel and more have worked with Vasey, highlighting his research. He has carved out a reputation as the go-to voice for cross-cultural issues related to sex and gender. All the while, he brings his experiences back to the U of L, teaching one of the most popular courses on campus and working with an impressive group of award-winning graduate students as they continue to push the research envelope.

“There’s no question that, in Canada, we have probably the most important group of sex researchers working in the world today,” he “In 2003, we headed off to Samoa to do that work and, to make a long story short, 15 years says. “When I read about the situation in the U.S., things appear to be very politically touchy later I’m still working there,” says Vasey. “I’ve on campuses, so I feel extremely lucky to be moved on from that initial work and have studied issues related to the evolution of male in an environment where I can get my work same-sex sexuality, basically using the fa’afafine done.” as a model for testing hypotheses about how genes related to male same-sex sexual attraction persist in the population over time.”

What’s the connection between non-profit organizations and business? Sometimes the corporate-charity link is as obvious as a signpost, as in the CIBC Run for the Cure or the HBC Summer Brain Gain program. Not so obvious are the ways in which partnerships between corporations and the non-profit sector are formed in the first place and how the two entities relate to each other. University in Boston, have been awarded an Insight Grant through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada worth almost $95,000 over four years to investigate the impact of corporatecharity connections in Canada.

“Corporations are the economic engine Tian, together with Dr. Ebenezer Asem, a U of L finance professor, and Dr. Olubunmi of a country but non-profit organizations Faleye, a finance professor at Northeastern also make important contributions to

the overall economy,” says Tian. “If we don’t understand how the sectors relate to each other, we are missing important information as to how the relations could be enhanced.” The research team proposes three related studies. One study will look at the relation between corporate-charity connections in Canada, measured through corporate directors’ affiliations with registered charities, corporations’ philanthropic activities and the effect of corporate governance. The second study will examine whether companies that regularly give are less likely to engage in financial misconduct and, if they are sued by investors, how they modify their corporate policies in response. The third study will look at the non-profit sector to determine whether corporate connections help improve the operational efficiency and growth prospects of local charities. “These studies will address important questions of interest to businesses, charities, policy makers and other public and private stakeholders,” says Tian. “Canadian corporations and registered charities face unprecedented challenges in today’s global context. Strengthening the collaboration between these two sectors will help improve corporate decision making and benefit society at large.”


Dr. Gloria Tian, an associate professor of finance at the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary campus, wants to know more about the relationship between the two sectors and how it enhances economic and social welfare in a country.



How can we better understand the world and each other? Dr. Hillary Rodrigues, professor and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Lethbridge, is interested in how people answer the big questions — why are we here, what is our purpose and how do we lead meaningful lives? 18

To find the answers, humans have long turned to religion. But more recently, Rodrigues says, a growing number of people in Western society are looking to a modern form of non-dual spirituality to provide meaning and direction in their lives. “Increasingly, people aren't raised with religion. They still have big questions, though. They want to go on a deep spiritual quest, but don't want to be involved in a particular religion,” says Rodrigues. Whereas dualism-based religions, such as Christianity and Islam, believe the world consists of two opposing forces — for instance, good versus evil — non-dual spirituality questions such distinctions. This concept, which has roots in the ancient Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, posits that everything in the universe is connected. From this perspective, people can free themselves of worry and disillusionment in two ways. First, by discovering the causes of individual desires and suffering, and second,

by recognizing spiritual connections to other people, the planet and a higher power. While some researchers have studied the teachers of non-dual spirituality — one example is author Eckhart Tolle — Rodrigues is especially curious about the movement's seekers. With seed funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, he and his team of student research assistants have begun exploring why people are drawn to non-dual spirituality. The research, Rodrigues says, is enriching his knowledge of religion and its purpose. In turn, he's sharing those ideas with students in his classes and seminars. “It is not easy to conveniently pigeon-hole the human religious response,” Rodrigues says. “These are complex issues. My goal in examining religion is to explain it to others so we can better understand the world and each other.”

How does where you live affect your health? When researcher Dr. Julia Brassolotto accompanied her partner, an elementary school teacher, to a small northern Alberta community in 2010, she didn't know the decision would profoundly impact her own career.

Today, Brassolotto is applying the knowledge she gained in rural Alberta, and her doctoral work in rural British Columbia, to her current role as the Alberta Innovates Research Chair in Healthy Futures and Well-being in Rural

It’s important, though, to recognize differences among rural communities, says Brassolotto. “Each area has unique strengths, politics, local resources and employers.”

Settings. Brassolotto, who joined the University of Lethbridge in 2016, is also an assistant To that end, older adults in rural communities professor in the Public Health program in the aren't the only people who will benefit from Faculty of Health Sciences. Brassolotto's research. She shares her insight through her Rural Health Issues course and by Focusing on care for older adults in enabling undergraduate and graduate students rural Alberta, Brassolotto is using her to work alongside her as research assistants. interdisciplinary expertise as a social scientist and health-services researcher to “High-quality, person-centred care is important examine how living in a rural area affects health to me,” Brassolotto says. “By improving our and health care. Although other researchers understanding of rural health, we can inform have found that rurality exacerbates the policy decisions and ultimately improve care effects of other health-related factors, such as for older adults.” low social-economic status, Brassolotto says


At the time, Brassolotto had just begun her PhD studies in Health Policy and Equity at York University in her native Ontario. Soon after moving to the hamlet of Cleardale, Alta., though, Brassolotto saw an opportunity to investigate health equity issues from a rural viewpoint — a topic that up until then she had not explored.

rural life also has positive, health-promoting aspects. They include high levels of community engagement, the flexibility of small care teams, and informal support networks that enable people to connect and share their experiences.



How can Canada use science to feed the world? Dr. Dmytro Yevtushenko is passionate about his work with potatoes. “I love them,” the University of Lethbridge researcher says. “They contain lots of nutrients and are key to global food security.” 20

Of course, Yevtushenko’s positive sentiment toward spuds isn’t all that surprising. The Ukraine-born plant biologist has spent most of his 25-year career in academia and private industry studying how to improve the yield and quality of potato crops. That work has culminated in his current role as the U of L’s Research Chair in Potato Science, which is funded by a $1 million investment from the Potato Growers of Alberta, McCain Foods, Lamb Weston and Cavendish Farms. When Yevtushenko arrived at the U of L in 2016, he found an ideal location to conduct his research. With its thriving potatogrowing industry, worth $1 billion annually, Alberta is home to nearly 200 varieties of potatoes. Their hardiness and high quality is attributed to the province’s altitude, abundant supply of water and climate (warm summers and cold, disease-killing winters). Despite the importance of potatoes to Alberta’s economy, however, there are few researchers in Western Canada who are

dedicated to further enhancing the success of the potato industry. In fact, many of the region’s experts hail from the United States and Europe. Yevtushenko is building local knowledge and capacity in potato agriculture in two ways. First, he teaches a course on advancements in plant breeding and directs special attention to potatoes. Second, in his state-of-the-art lab, undergraduate and graduate students alike are working on a number of potatofocused research projects. “By 2050, we will need to double food production worldwide or we'll face shortages,” says Yevtushenko. “Biotechnology will make a critical contribution, so we need to make sure the next generation is able to lead the way in this type of research.”

How can play help all students be successful? During the nine years Dr. Jeffrey MacCormack was an elementary school teacher in Ontario, he came to a hard realization. “Some kids were falling through the cracks,” he says. “School wasn't a rich or meaningful experience for them; it felt like an obstacle.”

Among MacCormack’s research projects, he has looked at social play, autism spectrum disorder, emotional well-being and youth development. Currently, he's working with neuroscience professor Dr. Robbin Gibb (BASc (BSc) ’77, MSc ’01, PhD ’04) on a playbased intervention for children and youth with difficulty socializing and regulating emotions. MacCormack has previously found that playbased programs that incorporate interesting play activities, such as Lego™ and Minecraft™, can be structured to help youth with autism become competent in social interactions. The type of child-centric, interest-based programs MacCormack studies have helped those youngsters develop community,

practice important social skills, and feel comfortable trying new things in safe spaces. He discussed his work in October during an on-campus speakers’ event that also featured anthropology professor Dr. Janice Newberry. Although MacCormack’s projects may seem disparate, they are part of an overarching theme in his research: to ensure the success of all children, whether they require special assistance or are academic “high flyers.” The problem is, MacCormack says, the education system focuses on standardization and efficiency. He likens current models of education to a mother duck ushering ducklings across a road; everyone must travel at roughly the same pace.

But for children to do their best, they must have individualized plans for their education, says MacCormack. As proof, he points to his own family. His youngest daughter Ella is advanced for her age and she does not always feel sufficiently challenged in a traditional classroom setting. The solution, MacCormack says, is to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to education. “In our efforts to build efficient systems of education, we have deprioritized components such as interest-based tasks, lifelong play and individualized programs, which are crucial to building places where all students can thrive.”


Eventually, MacCormack left teaching to pursue a PhD in education at Queen's University. In 2016, he joined the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education as an assistant professor and became a member of the University’s Institute for Child and Youth Studies.


You worked hard for your degree. Frame it in an official U of L degree frame. The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association offers five frame options, which include a distinctive matte in our university colours elegantly emblazoned with the U of L’s shield.

Executive Frame

Infused Black Frame

Verona Frame

Studio Frame

Linear Frame

BE PART OF THE TRADITION Order your official University of Lethbridge alumni ring today. Available only to University of Lethbridge graduates, the Fiat Lux Ring is an enduring symbol of your achievement and an emblem of pride that ties you to the University and your fellow alumni.

Cast in sterling silver, the ring is available in a wide or narrow band and features a number unique to each owner engraved on the inside. For more information or to order, visit:

Significant & Mentionable TOP 5 IN MACLEAN’S The University of Lethbridge continues to make students its top priority and is continually expanding its national research imprint, as reflected in the annual Maclean’s University Rankings 2017 report. The U of L maintained its top-five ranking in the Primarily Undergraduate category, a position it has held in each of the past six years, ranking fourth overall in a group of 19 universities from across the country. Of the 14 individual ranking markers, the University maintained or improved in 10 classifications, including a first-place ranking in the percentage of the total operating budget devoted to student services.

FOUNDING PROFESSOR HONOURED FOR 50 YEARS OF SERVICE AND SUPPORT Dr. Dennis Connolly (LLD ’17) was presented with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 2017 Spring Convocation. Connolly is one of the original professors hired by the fledgling University of Lethbridge in 1967 and he is the last of that group still to be teaching here 50 years later. You can hear him talk about the snowstorm that changed his life and landed him in Lethbridge as part of the 50 Voices Project (

ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANADA INDUCTIONS The Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists recently welcomed two U of L scholars. Political science professor Dr. Yale Belanger (BA ’98) is a leading scholar of Indigenous Studies whose research breaks new ground in the understanding of First Nations’ gambling enterprises, urban Aboriginal policy and the role of federal housing policy in addressing homelessness among Indigenous peoples.

Chemistry and biochemistry professor Dr. Ute Kothe has made pioneering discoveries regarding the role of RiboNucleic Acids (RNA) and proteins in gene expression with relevance for several diseases. RNA is a critical biomolecule derived from DNA, the well-known genetic material in all cells. Kothe’s leadership in the international RNA community and in science outreach has gained her numerous awards.

RECORD-BREAKING ENROLMENT The fall 2017 semester saw record enrolment at the U of L with 8,724 undergraduate and graduate students attending our Lethbridge and Calgary campuses, an overall 1.1 per cent increase from the previous fall. The number of undergraduate students increased by nearly one per cent to 8,128, while the number of graduate students increased to 596, a boost of 3.7 per cent, and the number of new PhD students doubled from last fall. As well, nearly 500 Indigenous students enrolled at the U of L for the fall 2017 term, an increase of 2.5 per cent.

Stay up to date on what’s happening at the U of L:


STUDENTS VOTE TO SUPPORT REFUGEES When the Syrian refugee crisis erupted last year, a group of U of L students joined efforts to form a World University Service Canada committee. In just four months, they elected an executive and raised $26,000 to bring a refugee student to the U of L for one year. Since then, these students went on to make this charitable endeavour a permanent program at the U of L. With support from the student body, a small fee was added to tuition each semester which brings a refugee student to the U of L each year beginning in 2018/2019 — what an incredible legacy!

CALGARY CAMPUS OPENS STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY Faculty of Management students at the U of L’s Calgary campus at Bow Valley College now have access to the latest in hands-on training technology with the recent opening of the Calgary Campus Centre for Financial Market Research and Teaching (CFMRT). The Centre is a state-of-the-art facility, complete with a 42-foot, full-colour LED stock ticker that focuses on the integration of theory and research with practice. Research databases, trading simulation software and access to global financial resources allow students to link classroom lessons to reallife securities and markets.

THE GROUP OF SEVEN Seven U of L researchers secured research funding worth more than $907,000 through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). “We are extremely pleased that seven U of L research projects were successful in this competition,” says Dr. Claudia Malacrida, associate vice-president (research). “It demonstrates the strength of our researchers in the social sciences and humanities and we congratulate each one of them.” The research projects are diverse, spanning the fields of visual arts, anthropology, psychology, digital humanities, finance, history and gender studies. Dr. Dan O’Donnell (English)


Significant & Mentionable

is examining ways to further enhance Future Commons, a network where research is freely shared and publicly available. Atomic tourism at the site of the world’s first atomic bomb detonation in New Mexico led to Mary Kavanagh’s (art) research in nuclear anxiety. Dr. Catherine Kingfisher (anthropology) is exploring urban collective housing communities in Vancouver and Tokyo, and Dr. Fangfang Li (psychology) is examining factors that may influence speech errors in second-language learners. At the Calgary campus, Dr. Yutao Li (management) is exploring the costs and benefits of banks’ involvement in lending networks. The research projects of Dr. Paul Vasey (psychology) take him to Samoa and Mexico, two cultures that recognize third genders. His SSHRC project will look at mate competition in these cultures. Closer to home, Dr. Carol Williams (women and gender studies) and her collaborators are assembling diverse and new historical accounts of Kainai women’s social reform work.

HONOURING BLACKFOOT WAYS OF KNOWING Developed in partnership with Red Crow Community College, the Faculty of Education Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program will officially launch in 2018. After-degree students may complete the degree as a four-semester program, while undergraduate students can complete the program as a five-year combined degrees program. The first courses students complete

ROYALTY CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY Royal Japanese Princess Ayako visited campus as part of the University of Lethbridge’s 50th anniversary celebrations in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Her Royal Highness toured campus with U of L Chancellor Janice Varzari (BN ’90, MEd ’02). The visit to campus was special on many fronts, one being that Her Royal Highness’s mother had visited campus 25 years earlier.

are Kipatapisanooni I and II, which are designed to address Blackfoot language, values and ways of knowing, all of which form the foundations of the program.


SHINE ON! As the U of L wrapped up its year of 50th anniversary celebrations, the recipients of the Shine On 50th Anniversary Fund scholarship were awarded. Established to celebrate the U of L’s golden anniversary, the scholarship exemplifies alumni, staff, faculty and community coming together to help students shine brighter. More than 650 donors raised $65,000. The Shine On Scholarships fund will “shine on” into the future with the hope that it will become endowed and awarded to students for generations to come. Thank you to everyone who supported this initiative.

SYMBOL OF GRATITUDE George Gemer (LLD ’11) was an educator and coach of track and field and fencing at the U of L for 47 years. Out of gratitude for the opportunity, he and his late wife Carole Gemer conceived, designed and donated a statue that was installed and commemorated near the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness in late 2017.

Last fall, Dr. Shelly Wismath was appointed the first dean of the U of L’s new School of Liberal Education. “This is a great honour. I’m very excited about the many opportunities ahead to promote and further implement our unique model of liberal education to our students, faculty and wider community,” says Wismath, who also received a 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2017. The School of Liberal Education was formally established in early 2017 bringing three years of work by the Liberal Education Revitalization Team to fruition. “The School of Liberal Education will create a solid organizational structure to ensure our students and communities benefit the most from our teaching, learning and research,” says Dr. Andy Hakin, provost and vice-president (academic). “The development of a School celebrates our University’s founding philosophy for teaching and learning adopted 50 years ago.”


Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash



Liberal education ignites minds and fosters lifelong curiosity. Recognizing the value of the liberal education he received at the U of L, alumnus Terry Whitehead (BA ’94) established the Liberal Education prize in celebration of the U of L’s 50th anniversary. The Liberal Education Prize prompted students to explore liberal education in an essay contest. First prize was awarded to Dalys Fletcher, a pre-Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education student, majoring in mathematics and mathematics education, and minoring in modern languages. We are excited to share Dalys’s outstanding essay in this issue of SAM.

FALL 2015

“TO PUT EVERYTHING IN BALANCE IS GOOD; TO PUT EVERYTHING IN HARMONY IS BETTER.” Hugo, V. (1874). Quatrevingt-treize. Hugo, V., & John Davis Batchelder Collection (Library of Congress). (1877). Quatrevingt-treize. Paris: Impr. J. Claye.

“WELCOME TO DRAMA 1000!” Michael cringed. Reluctantly placing his calculus homework back into his neatly arranged backpack, he resigned himself to the fact that this disaster was actually happening to him. Graduating at the end of the semester, and having carelessly ignored his fine arts requirements for the first three-and-a-half years of his Bachelor of Science degree, Michael’s education was now confined in the dungeons of the theatre. Drama. Of all things, drama.

“CLASS, PLEASE SETTLE DOWN!” The professor’s voice was far too bubbly. Groaning within, Michael’s eyes ventured off his lined scribbler and scanned the diverse crowd before him. The amount of energy in the room reminded him of a group of pre-schoolers on Halloween night: sugar frenzied, excitement ridden and concerned only by who among them had the best costume. Michael reflected on his recently completed Mathematics 3500 course and how calm, reasonable and focused it had been. Thespians, he concluded, were not his kind of people.

“Now because this is the first day of classes, and I know you are all dying to get started with the course, I’m not going to bore you with any introduction, but rather, I’ve decided to simply start you all off on your first group project!” Perfect. A group project. No course outline, no grading rubric, no structure, just a project Michael knew he’d have to do most of the work for. What a great way to start off his semester. Clicking the end of his pristine mechanical pencil, he neatly took note of what he was certain would be the contract of his death. “This project will be worth the majority of your grade for this class. I have already assigned you to groups based on last name, so you will have the opportunity to meet new people and work with different viewpoints. Each group has been assigned a scene from a well-known theatrical piece that they are to study. At the end of the semester, your groups will present an analysis on three characters from your piece who play an integral part in the scene, determine which characters are the heroes, which characters are the villains, why some characters are successful, and why others fail. After which, the group will present a modern practical application of the lessons learned by these characters. The project will also require you to determine some connecting link between all the characters aside from the setting they are in. If that is all clear, I’d like to get you started right away! As I read off your names, please get together in your groups, and I will give you your assigned shows!” Michael waited in fear as he listened for his name to be called. The names which accompanied his were completely foreign to him, as were the faces that came with them; however, the two boys who made up his group did not look any more pleased than Michael felt. They definitely weren’t theatre people. Perhaps this wasn’t going to be quite as bad as Michael had thought. ... 27

“I JUST DON’T SEE WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM WITH THIS!” Ryan’s face was beet red with passionate anger. It had been two months since he had been assigned this group project, and his “group” had made next to no progress at all. When Dr. Leavitt had assigned them the battle at the barricades scene from Les Misérables, Ryan had the impression that their task was to be an easy one. He, being a social science major, believed that the hero of this scene was obviously the acclaimed character Enjolras, for Enjolras asked crucial questions about how society worked at the time, and what it would be like if it were set up differently. To Ryan, this was indeed the mark of a true hero; however, Michael, the science major, had insisted that Javert — whom Ryan saw to be a cruel, heartless and blind character — was indeed the hero. As if that conflict wasn’t enough, John, majoring in history, took the popular viewpoint that the character Jean Val Jean was indeed the hero of the scene. How these two came up with such wrong perspectives was past Ryan’s comprehension, for the answers seemed so logical and obvious to him. At the moment the three were in the middle of the heated argument about the results of the battle scene. Michael had been preaching his character’s defence for a good half hour, and Ryan’s annoyance burgeoned into indignation. “Just because Enjolras died in the barricade scene does not mean he was a failure! He was a hero! He died for change!” “That’s just it! He died for change. Change was rebellion. The law at the time was clear, and your Enjolras did not follow the law at all. He rebelled. Javert on the other hand fought for what he knew to be right: order. He fought an uncomfortable fight because it was the right thing to do! The law is the law. That makes HIM the hero!” Ryan could not believe his ears. His mind flashed to a lecture he’d once had in his beloved philosophy class on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Michael reminded him of the prisoners in said allegory, for the boy was only seeing what he’d been told all his life. Simply relying on science and law and never questioning the way society worked seemed like a primitive way of thinking to Ryan. Feeling the fury broil within him, Ryan 28

snatched his drawstring bag from the floor and stormed out of the classroom. Leaving like this would only exacerbate the situation, but Ryan could not bear one more moment. Drama was supposed to be his easy class. This was anything but easy. ... John felt a refreshing bead of sweat roll down his face. Thirty minutes complete. A run on the treadmill was to him the only antidote for endof-semester anxiety, for all the stress facing him in his last two weeks of school seemed suspended for just a moment. As he calmly steadied his breath and wiped the side bars with the cleaning cloth, his mind wandered to the most daunting of all his classes. Drama 1000 was not going well at all. No lab assignment, no research paper and no final exam could be as formidable to him at this point as his dreaded group project. Their group had spent more hours arguing over menial details than most groups had spent reading their material. John could quote the scene over a month ago just from hearing Michael and Ryan bicker about calculus versus sociology and how they related to the barricade building. John had remained relatively quiet during most of the meetings; he believed that the best way to keep the peace in this situation was simply to refrain from talking at all. After almost three months of silent submission, John decided he would just start the analysis on his own. He had it nearly complete now, but he faced one major problem: John needed his group members to consent to presenting his work in class; thus, they needed to at least pretend to agree with what his perspectives were. Feeling a wave of stress wash over him, John slowly sunk to the ground beside the water fountain.

“I’M SORRY, BUT COULD I GET SOME WATER?” The voice was polite. John sheepishly slid aside so as to not barricade the fountain. After about thirty seconds, John glanced up at the man filling his water bottle. Taylor Wilson, the head of the Department of Drama, looked much less intimidating in sweats. The calmness in those happy eyes seemed to poke

John’s pride until he was too ashamed of himself to keep watching the esteemed professor. As soon as he left, John would again be able to forget his terrible predicament, yet, while he remained, the project was all he could think of. A bottle of water could not possibly take burdensome amounts of time to fill.

Once the water stopped flowing, however, the shoes did not move. Feeling Taylor’s eyes peering into his very soul, John slowly looked up. With all the seriousness of a supreme judge, Dr. Wilson held out his hand, helped John to his feet, and began walking towards the door, gesturing him to follow. Once in the professor’s office, Dr. Wilson finally spoke.

“I SAW EMPTINESS IN YOUR EYES TODAY, YOUNG MAN. I WANT TO HELP YOU GET RID OF IT.” ... Dr. Leavitt smiled as she looked over her class final project evaluations. Of all the groups, this had to be her favourite. The final paragraphs of their analysis spoke true to her heart: In the end, our group concluded that there was not one hero in our scene, nor was there one villain. There were in fact people, all working towards one common goal: the “good” life. To Enjolras, the best life could only be achieved by defying the current way of government and socially moving the people to new levels. Javert saw the world in a linear sense; to him, the laws were correct, and living a life of law abiding was living the “good” life. Contrastingly, Jean Val Jean felt the better life could only be found in living a religious life of forgiveness and learning from the history of the past. For a long while, our group debated which was right and which was wrong. We found, however, that due to their common goal and their ways of obtaining answers, they were in fact all right and all wrong. All three students in our group all came from completely different fields of study. Michael has a deep affinity for science. Science uses logic, reasoning, experiments and critical thinking to come up with concrete explanations for the natural world. The purpose behind this process is to find the “good” life through scientific development.

Comparatively, Ryan studies the social sciences. Social sciences search for the “good” life by questioning the way society works today and how it could be bettered in the future. Lastly, John is a history major. The humanities look for the “good” life by searching through works of the past. By studying these works, the humanities come up with an ideal formula for how the present could be. Each of us were very different in our perspectives, but it was not until we realized the importance of all branches of our knowledge that we could truly progress. Dr. Taylor Wilson describes this perfectly: “The main lesson of the fine arts is that knowledge and the “good” life cannot be found by looking at life from one perspective alone. In order for a piece of theatre to be entertaining and moving, it must evoke emotions from a wide range of perspectives. Actors must work together to not only balance their differing opinions and lifestyles, but also to mash them into beautiful harmonies that tell a story virtually everyone can relate to. If all three disciplines of theatre (dance, music and acting) come together perfectly, the result is a magnificent masterpiece capable of changing hearts. If only one or two of these disciplines are used, the result is not as complete.” The same can be said for knowledge. Gaining knowledge only from a specific discipline is a hindrance to the potential masterpiece of knowledge one’s brain could produce; therefore, it is vital that one receive breadth in their education. Once one obtains that breadth, it is then one’s duty to become an engaged citizen and act, just as these three characters did. We feel each character succeeded when it came to being engaged in events around them, and each was very educated in their specific field, yet we feel their failures came by wings of ignorance in regards to others’ perspectives. All in all, education is the driving force of society today. Ultimately, whether one’s education is one-sided or liberal determines how magnificent one’s magnum opus of knowledge is. Educated people can change their circumstances, but well-educated people can change the world. Smiling, Dr. Leavitt looked out her office door. As she contemplated the ideas explored in the paper, she noticed one single beam of light sneak in just through the corner of her door’s window and reflect off of a small plaque on her desk. Knowing her task to be complete, she packed her evaluations into her handwoven bag and whispered the words the beam had kissed. “Fiat lux.” References: Schönberg, Claude-Michel, Herbert Kretzmer, Charles Hart, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. (1986). Les Miserables. New York, NY: MMO Music Group, CD. graduate-studies

Create Experience Thrive Pursue your Master's or Doctoral degree at the University of Lethbridge


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A curator, a monkey scientist and a designer walk into a lab … … that’s how the University of Lethbridge’s Level 2: Lichen Lab starts their posts on social media. The research team really does consist of this mix: Dr. Josephine Mills, director/curator of the U of L Art Gallery and professor in the Department of Art; Dr. Louise Barrett, Canada Research Chair in Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour and professor of psychology; Christine Clark (BFA – New Media ’10, MFA ’14), designer and assistant professor of new media; as well as graduate students Leila Armstrong, Miranda Lucas (MSc ’14) and Maria Madacky (BFA – Art ’04) and undergraduate students including Marvic Adecer and Katelyn Yee. Inspired by how lichen is formed by two completely different kinds of organisms (algae and fungi) working together to create another form of life, the members of Level 2: Lichen Lab recognize the benefits of cooperation and exchange.

vervet monkeys in South Africa, but her interests include human primates as well. Mills states, “The key to understanding our connection is that Louise’s approach allows one to understand that art galleries are social spaces. Gallery visitors don’t see the art in isolation; their experience is as much about being in the gallery with other people as it is about the art that they see.” Lichen Lab recognizes that the common ways to report on gallery audiences, such as exit surveys or counting the number of people who attend, do not account for the social aspect of art galleries and cannot capture the complex factors involved with effective public engagement.

GRAIN BIN The “Nanton Camera Obscura” exemplifies art as research. Mills commissioned Donald Lawrence, an artist and professor at Thompson Rivers University, to create a work for the University’s art collection that would be permanently located at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage. He chose to convert a 1920s metal grain bin on the property into a walk-in pavilion camera obscura. The final work is well worth a visit to the Coutts Centre. The transformed grain bin is both an intriguing sculptural object and a deceptively simple form of technology that produces amazing imagery. The Nanton Camera Obscura also provides a way to understand the physics of light. Camera obscura is Latin for ‘dark room’ and is the basic idea of having light enter through a pinhole into a dark space, thereby creating a projected image. It is the forerunner of the camera and the source for the name of this technology.

Lichen Lab is working together to better understand people’s experiences when they visit art galleries. Barrett usually studies 31

You Are Here Workshop Lichen Lab’s research is closely connected with exhibitions and programs at the U of L Art Gallery. The collaboration supports artists in developing their work and the Art Gallery in expanding their connections with audiences. The team received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant to host a workshop that brought together artists, activists, grad students and scholars working on how art galleries can better engage diverse members of the public. The workshop was held at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage in Nanton, Alta., and on campus, and included the artists leading the group in hands-on projects related to their ideas. The artists were preparing for You Are Here, the U of L’s Art Gallery’s series of exhibitions and performances designed to invite a diversity of people in southern Alberta to find new ways to think about the future of their environment.

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Podcast program Level 2: Lichen Lab has just launched the first season of their podcast program, titled Lichen Lab Radio. The SSHRC grant funded this innovative project that builds from the You Are Here workshop. Lichen Lab team members are all avid listeners of podcasts and thought that this accessible format would be perfect for discussing research about public engagement, but none had ever created one before. Expanding on her design and communication skills, Christine Clark (BFA – New Media ’10, MFA ’14) is managing the podcast program and Marvic Adecer, an undergraduate student, is the producer.

end. As Clark explains, “the act of creating representations of ourselves forces us to reflect on who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. This process creates space to make new connections and clarify our ideas, which then feeds back into the research.” Clark also worked with new media student Katelyn Yee to design a website,, that integrates all the people, materials and activities involved in Lichen Lab, including the podcast, literature, artist residency, workshop and social media feeds.

The podcast program aims to connect the people and ideas in the Lab while also extending the conversation to a broader public audience. Part of Lichen Lab’s philosophy is that design and communication should be involved at the beginning of the project, rather than as a dissemination tool at the

If you want to find out more about what happens when a curator, a monkey scientist and a designer (as well as a bunch of artists and students) walk into a lab … the Art Gallery and Level 2: Lichen Lab have extensive information available through their websites and social media.

To find out more about the exhibitions visit: And to listen to the podcasts or find out more about the research visit:



Nearly 20 years after the program was founded, University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Rugby knows what it is, having confidently carved out a recognizable identity. Reflected in the championship banners that hang in the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness, on the Pronghorns Hall of Fame wall that celebrates its three successive national titles, in the eight Academic All-Canadians on the current roster, with the five players elected to the 50 Greatest Pronghorns list and throughout southern Alberta as coaches, managers and stewards of the game in virtually every high school program — the identity is rooted in fundamental values that breed success.


“We did not foresee this, no, truly not,” says Neil Langevin (BA/BEd ’91, MEd ’10), who along with Toby Boulet (BEd ’89, MEd ’04), are credited as the principal architects of the program. “We thought we were creating an opportunity for local girls to play rugby and, to be honest, we didn’t see too much beyond that.” Their philosophy was simple enough. With a mantra that preached process before results, they implored everyone in the program, from players to coaches to athletic therapists, to simply try and make Pronghorns rugby better today than it was yesterday — and then do it again tomorrow. “At the end of the day, we are judged by results but you can’t get those results unless you

are focused on the day-to-day process,” says Langevin, who recently returned to the program in the wake of the tragic death of head coach Ric (Sluggo) Suggitt in June 2017. “That mantra has persisted since the beginning and I’m proud to say I now work with girls who have come through the program and continue to use that approach in everything they do today.” Success came relatively early for the program. After debuting in 1999, the Horns captured Canada West bronze in 2001 and two years later had a first appearance at nationals. A run of five successive Canada West titles would follow and from 2007 through 2009, the Horns reeled off three straight national titles. In a short 10 years, Horns Rugby became the national measuring stick.

EMENT Even more significant than what was taking place on the field was the ripple effect of Pronghorns Rugby throughout southern Alberta. Initially a fringe sport, it took time to move into the mainstream and begin attracting the region’s best athletes. Even southern Alberta’s greatest rugby product, Olympian Ashley (Patzer) Steacy (BSc ’15), had to be coaxed into taking up the game in her high school years. “When I was in high school you weren’t getting any of the best athletes playing rugby,” says Steacy, who has returned to the program as a coach. “You were getting those who’d heard about it from a friend, or were maybe curious and wanted something new to play, but the best athletes played the more traditional sports.”

(Above) Coaches Ashley Steacy and Neil Langevin Steacy was dragged to the pitch by a close friend and implored by coaches to be more than just a practice player on her first exposure to the sport. Once she hit the field in a competitive setting, the game hooked her. She enjoyed the contact, its empowering nature and the sport’s welcoming culture. “The camaraderie between your teammates, between you and the opposition, between you and your staff, I feel like there’s so much respect

within the sport,” she says. “It’s an aggressive, fast-paced, crazy game but you’re still friends with your opposition and at the end of the day, you shake their hands and you respect them.” Langevin says a major factor in the growth of the game, aside from the success of the Pronghorns, was the simple fact that its varsity sport status at the U of L gave it legitimacy in the southern Alberta sporting community.


“The camaraderie between your teammates, between you and the opposition, between you and your staff, I feel like there’s so much respect within the sport.” Ashley Steacy (BSc ’15)

Steacy says this philosophy created the platform for the national powerhouse teams of which she was a part. As much as she is wont to admit, she was the lone star of her recruiting class, but rugby success in particular isn’t predicated on individual talent.

“Just the initial move of having the University recognize rugby as a varsity sport and giving scholarships was huge,” he says. “There’s a competitive nature with southern Alberta athletes and this gave them another legitimate avenue for athletes to play at a high level. What’s also happening now is we’re not just seeing our athletes recognized at the university or provincial level, they’re being recognized nationally, so it’s much easier for girls today to see themselves in the sport and say, yes, that’s the sport I choose.” In 2008, the Pronghorns hosted the national championship tournament and parlayed it into a showcase of the women’s game. Perfect weather, coupled with a championship performance by the home side pushed the game to the forefront and local area high schools jumped on board. “If you look at the number of high school programs that now have both a junior and senior varsity team, even the small schools, it’s impressive. Look at the complete dominance of our high schools at the provincial level, I think that’s evidence of what was achieved through that 2008 tournament,” Langevin says of the exposure it gave the game. When the Horns played host to the 2017 USPORTS National Championship tournament, the focus was less on educating the public about women’s rugby and more on celebrating 36

its strengths. Both Langevin and Steacy see a completely different rugby landscape now than 10 years ago. “It used to be where we would have maybe one or two players from the provincial team come to the program and now, the vast majority of our players have been playing for five or six years, and they’ve played at the provincial level or national junior level,” says Langevin. The challenge now is mining the depth of talent found throughout western Canada and the centralization of national programs on the west coast. With the National Sevens program based in B.C. and talk of the 15s also centralizing on the coast, much of the country’s elite-level players are gravitating to B.C. schools. For the Pronghorns, it translates into an even sharper focus on growing the game in southern Alberta and strengthening the home base. “Even in the last two years, the way that Sluggo recruited, that was our philosophy,” says Langevin. “We don’t ever sell our soul looking for the high-profile recruit, we don’t promise extra stuff. We really believe that once we get players here, something magical happens in the community and at the University. We try to pick people with good character and those people find each other and we grow from there.”

“I think back to 2005 when our group of eight came in, there weren’t a lot of big names in that group, and through developing together and having that bond throughout the years, we found you don’t necessarily need all those big names to be successful,” she says. “It’s about establishing a culture, a trust, and a belief that you can do something special. “There’d been about five years building the culture and defining what Pronghorns Rugby was all about before we came in. Those women really built the program and helped transfer the values of what the program stood for and set the tone for what Horns Rugby was all about from the very beginning.” It’s a culture that is alive and well today and an identity that Steacy and Langevin are proud to nurture, not just internally but throughout southern Alberta. “If you look at every high school program in the community, maybe with the exception of one, there is a Pronghorns rugby alumnus associated with them, and to see that legacy is very satisfying,” says Langevin. “To see the profile of our program at the University, throughout the city and southern Alberta, to be able to come into the gym and look up at those banners and what they represent, it absolutely feels awesome and is a testament to everyone who has been a part of Pronghorns Rugby over the years.”

WHAT’S AHEAD? A look at the future of alumni programming at the University of Lethbridge.


The last year brought the most extensive alumni celebration in our institution’s history and a widespread appeal for your thoughts on our future. We sat down with University of Lethbridge Alumni Association (ULAA) President Michael Gabriel (BA ’04) to discuss what’s ahead for U of L alumni.

What is the benefit of being a University of Lethbridge alum? MG: It can look different for everyone. Even for those who don’t feel an emotional connection, the University can serve a functional need. There is an incredible range of benefits and services available to our students and alumni that a lot of people don’t even know about. And the information we gathered through the survey is going to help enhance that programming. If you’re looking for something more, there are opportunities to get involved at every level. It can be as simple as coming out to support our teams or see a performance. There are also opportunities to be on council, which is more focused on governance; to volunteer at events, which is often a few hours here and there; or get involved at the committee level and support a project that’s meaningful for you. What is the ULAA’s biggest challenge? MG: I am constantly running into people who graduated from the U of L but don’t think of themselves as alumni. That’s a challenge. For the most part, they’re enthusiastic about their time on campus and lots of them are still having great experiences with the U of L, whether through sports games or plays


or events, but for whatever reason they aren’t considering themselves part of the bigger picture. So, what is the bigger picture? MG: We’re working hard to figure that out. The U of L is still quite young and the alumni voice is still emerging. We’re working on defining what that voice sounds like and what it has to say. Alumni have always played an important role and the ULAA has been key in that process. We sit at the table — whether at ULAA executive meetings, or board and senate meetings — representing U of L alumni around the world. We take that responsibility very seriously. We’ve been working hard to ensure the voices at the table are representative of our broader alumni community, both demographically and geographically. I’m looking forward to new members helping to broaden our view. How does that sense of responsibility impact the ULAA? MG: For me, it’s about understanding the needs of our alumni so that we can work to meet those needs. The last year has really been about committing to that process. As a council,

we’ve been looking at our operations and programming with a critical eye and going through a rigorous evaluation process. That included the addition of some new positions on council, the formalization of subcommittees and, most importantly, a comprehensive survey to all alumni about what they want from us. And, what did you learn? MG: We’ve come out with a better understanding of what alumni want from their university. While we had more than 2,000 responses, there were some common threads: career services, professional development opportunities, mentorship programs and lifelong learning initiatives all topped the list.

To learn more or to get involved, email Results from the 2017 Alumni Survey will be available midFebruary. Check back at alumni for the full report.


Michael Gabriel ROLE ON THE ULAA:

President HOMETOWN:

Fort McMurray DEGREE:

Bachelor of Arts MAJOR:


Philosophy Club CURRENT JOB:

Partner at Fee Simple Law LLP FAVOURITE U OF L MEMORY:

“Basketball games in the old gym – it was so small. The crowd would get so rowdy and everyone was packed in so tight.” ANY ADVICE FOR NEW ALUMNI?

“Don’t be in such a rush. Take your time. This is a major accomplishment but it isn’t the end. People expect that life starts after university but most people are still figuring it out years later. There isn’t a right way to do things so enjoy the journey. And keep us posted.”



“Be proud of who you are and be proud of where you come from.”

An expression of self For Jamie Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane (BEd ’05) the University of Lethbridge is as much a part of the southern Alberta landscape as the fescue grasses that blanket the coulees. “This is traditional Blackfoot territory and I’m very proud to say that I am Blackfoot. Growing up I always told myself I want to graduate from the University of Lethbridge,” says Medicine Crane, who planned to follow in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. “And I said I want to graduate from the University of Lethbridge before it falls into the Old Man River.” And she did. And we’re all still here. “It’s such a beautiful campus and it’s grown so much since I left,” says Medicine Crane, joking aside. While campus has flourished in the years since she was a U of L student, so has Medicine Crane. Currently, a curriculum consultant for the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Division for Alberta Education, Medicine Crane is a wellrespected specialist in Indigenous education, working to build the capacity of educators, developing curriculum and helping improve the relationships between Indigenous and nonIndigenous communities.


“As a student, I had the opportunity to express myself, especially as an Indigenous woman,” she explains. “It gave me the self-confidence to go out into the world and share the experiences and

teachings I benefitted from with the people I’ve encountered in my journey since.” Deeply engaged in her community, Medicine Crane leads by example and encourages others to live in harmony and respect one another. “Be proud of who you are and be proud of where you come from,” she says, repeating the advice she was given growing up. “Be proud of all those people who helped you get where you wanted to go.” That includes her family and friends, as well as the alumni community who honoured Medicine Crane as the 2017 Alumna of the Year. “Being surrounded by other people who went to university here feels like an extended family,” says Medicine Crane on the award. She admits the experience is humbling and was quick to recognize that her own journey wouldn’t have been possible without those who went before her. “They’ve contributed so much to our university and I want to thank them. Thank you so much for believing in Iniskim,” says Medicine Crane, referencing the U of L’s official Blackfoot name, Sacred Buffalo Stone.

The name, gifted to the University in 2002 by Elder Bruce Wolf Child, is significant for Medicine Crane. Since we opened our doors 50 years ago, Indigenous culture has been woven into the fabric of our university, enriching programming, teaching and research, and creating an environment where students like her find community, support and success. “Growing up, it was hard not seeing myself represented but that changed when I got here. Indigenous voices are respected at the U of L and an important part of the education system,” she explains. “As a student, I felt surrounded by the teachings of my grandmother and my ancestors, and I can still feel them all around us. They’re proud of all the people who have gone through this university and made it their own.” Medicine Crane was honoured in October at Let There Be Light Night alongside other 2017 Alumni Recognition Award winners. She performed a traditional honour song for the University as part of her acceptance speech. To hear it for yourself, visit


Opportunities beckon Janelle Pritchard (BN ’12), the 2017 Young Alumna of the Year, wants to reassure new alumni not to worry if they don’t have everything in their lives planned out.

chalkboard but they couldn’t afford chalk. They had nothing. Seeing that was eye-opening. At the end of our trip, we all just pitched in a bit of money and we were able to buy tons of school supplies and then paid for a couple of men to carry it all on their backs up to this village. I saw how easy it was to make change and make a difference in somebody else’s life. We were told the headmaster cried when the stuff arrived. Seeing that impact just kind of sparked things.”

“For me, the biggest thing I’ve come to appreciate is that you don’t need to have it all figured out. Just trust in the journey,” she says. That approach led Pritchard to establish Uphill Both Ways Education and Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization that has helped people in Nepal by funding the building of new schools and a hydroelectric plant, and providing school supplies for hundreds of children. Plans are underway to build another school and, during her last visit in October 2015, Uphill Both Ways also set up health camps in conjunction with a hospital in Bhaktapur. Pritchard hopes to continue this work by bringing Canadian doctors and nurses to Nepal one day. “Uphill Both Ways has taken on a life of its own. It all happened very naturally. A lot of the time I just feel like I’m along for the ride,” she says. “All this work in Nepal has happened just because I’ve been open to opportunity.” Her dedication and leadership in founding and sustaining Uphill Both Ways has inspired others and has made a difference in the world. Her passion for helping the people of Nepal is infectious. For these reasons and more, the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association (ULAA) honoured Pritchard with the Young Alumna Achievement Award for 2017. Pritchard, who works as an operating-room nurse at Rockyview Hospital in Calgary, was born and raised in Lethbridge. After graduating from high school, she wanted to spend a

Pritchard has made four more trips to Nepal, one of them a few months after the earthquake in April 2015. Uphill Both Ways remains a small organization of five people, consisting of family members, friend Drew Andreachuk (BSc/ BEd ’12), and a contact in Nepal.

year backpacking in Australia. When she was preparing for the trip, her father told her about a hiking trip to Nepal being organized by a friend. “He suggested doing some father-daughter bonding in the Himalayas and starting my trip off with a little bit of hiking in Nepal before I went to Australia,” she says. “The Nepal trip was kind of a fluke chance.” The trip proved to be life changing and Nepal and its people captured a place in her heart. A teacher in their hiking group expressed interest in seeing the school in a village and their trekking guide, who knew someone involved with the school, arranged a visit. “They took us to this little shack. There were a couple of benches that the older kids could sit on, but the younger kids were sitting on the floor,” says Pritchard. “They had an old

“Our contact on the ground was my original trekking guide, and it’s because of him that all this is possible,” says Pritchard. “Getting to be a part of their world for a little bit is pretty magical. I think my relationship with Nepal is going to be a lifelong one. It’s become my home away from home.” To determine where the greatest need exists, the guide holds community meetings to figure out what’s most needed and if the community is willing to help by providing labour. Little by little, Uphill Both Ways has built trust within the Nepalese communities. The skills and knowledge Pritchard gained during her time at the U of L have given her a foundation and proven their value halfway around the world. “University isn’t a place where you come to get all the answers; it’s where you come to learn how to ask the big questions and to understand why they matter,” says Pritchard.


2017 Alumni Honour Society Inductees


Kristin Ailsby (BA ’96)

Scott Crighton Rajko Dodic René Huel (BMgt ’90) (BASc (BA) ’78) (BSc ’98)

As a successful entrepreneur, engaged volunteer, respected advocate and effective educator, Kristin Ailsby is an inspiration to alumni and future alumni. Ailsby is an accredited mediator, collaborative lawyer and experienced litigator, having advocated for clients at the Provincial Court, the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal. She founded her own firm, Clarity Law, in March 2016 and currently serves as Chair of the Lethbridge College Board of Governors.

With a flair for business, sharp attention to detail and keen ability to spot an opportunity, Scott Crighton has evolved the service industry landscape in Lethbridge. Crighton is the entrepreneur and CEO behind Pop’s Taphouse North, Mojo’s Pub and Grill, Pop’s Taphouse South, Pop’s Taphouse West, Pop’s Taphouse and Grill Calgary, Kingsmen Ale House and Coulee Brew Co. In 2017, Coulee Brew collaborated with the U of L to launch two special beer labels in celebration of the 50th anniversary.

Sipioohkitopii (Night Rider)

Committed to community service
and family, Rajko Dodic is a shining example of a distinguished alumnus. He has received numerous awards, including the Queen’s Counsel designation, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal and the Law Society of Alberta: 35-year member. He served two terms as an alderman on Lethbridge City Council and served as the 25th mayor of Lethbridge from 2010-2013.

René Huel’s work takes him around
the world as he and his team help to bring closure to families who lost loved ones under tragic circumstances. He joined the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in 2004 as a DNA scientist. In 2006, he became the Head of the DNA Laboratories Division, Department of Science and Technology, where he continues to oversee the largest and most successful laboratory system in the world dedicated to identifying missing persons.

Pat Tanaka Julie Taylor (BA ’05) (BASc (BA) ’81) and Lowell Taylor (BFA ’04) Passionate about helping youth, Pat Tanaka served U of L students and alumni for nearly three decades as they explored career options and planned for their futures. In 1989, she launched the first permanent office on campus dedicated to engaging students in the career development process and, as such, laid the foundation for
the evolution of those services. She advised thousands of students individually and in groups throughout her career, while gaining the respect of the business community.

Julie (Greidanus) Taylor and Lowell Taylor became a national sensation in 2016 when they competed on the Amazing Race Canada. Lowell, who has a degenerative eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, was the TV program’s first blind contestant. A para-triathlete and paracyclist, Lowell (with pilot Mark MacDonald on the tandem bike) recently earned two bronze medals at the Canadian Track Championships, a silver medal in road cycling for Team Alberta and is aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in road and track cycling.

alma matters 1970s Dr. Glen Giduk (BEd ’70) “I was there in 1967, and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 1970. I have fond recollections of my involvement in student affairs and governance of the young university. Most importantly, I’m so thankful to have been mentored and taught by some wonderful faculty members, including Drs. Martin Oordt, Gordon Russell, Ted Orchard, Aubrey Earl, Doug Petherbridge and Dorothy Lampard.”

Gail Cummings (BEd ’79), Wes Cummings (BEd ’79) “Gail and Wes Cummings met at the U of L in 1976. They graduated with Bachelor of Education degrees in May of 1979 and got married a week later. They moved to Water Valley, Alta., where they still reside. Wes spent all of his teaching career at the Sundre High School and Learning Center, Sundre, Alta., and retired in June 2016. He still enjoys playing in his family band of 42 years, TC & Company. Wes has been a rodeo announcer since 1982 and this continues to be going even stronger since retirement. Gail started her teaching career in 1979 at Cremona School, Cremona, Alta. Presently, she is the learning-support teacher and is completing her 39th year at the same school. Gail spent many summers carrying flags at the Calgary Stampede (CS) Rodeo. Now she is the

Don Blaquiere (BEd ’76, BASc (BA) ’77) “My uncle, Dr. Ernest Mardon, was an English professor at the U of L. He recently passed away, but through him I have kept up on Lethbridge and U of L news. I am retired now after nearly 30 years working in corrections and justicerelated fields in the NWT, the Yukon and, for the last 12 years, Thunder Bay, Ont. My wife Ann and I have seven children ranging in age from 11 to 30, and eight grandchildren (so far!). We homeschool so my Bachelor of Education comes in rather handy.”


On a cold, snowy Monday morning back in January 1984, the University of Lethbridge awoke to a perplexing situation that would become a 30-plus year mystery. Perched on the roof of University Hall sat the shell of a Volkswagen Beetle, any evidence of the journey to its resting place erased by an early morning snow. For the last three decades, we have wondered who did it, why and how? And in the U of L’s 50th anniversary year, Keith McDonald (BMgt ’87), one of the masterminds behind this legendary prank, finally came forward to share his story. Read the full story:

‘den mother’ watching over the ranch girls during the CS Rodeo. They have two children: Luke, who is an RV technician in Nanton, and Shelby, who is a hairstylist, professional trick rider and stunt woman.”

Do you have an update or story to share? We’d love to hear from you.


1980s Christine (Hudecek) Rogers (BMus ’84) Christine Rogers has been teaching with the University of Lethbridge Conservatory of Music since 1982 as a piano and theory instructor. She has been involved with the Lethbridge Branch of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association since her graduation from the U of L in 1984 and is currently the president of the Lethbridge branch. She enjoys seeing her students grow and learn and is committed to helping organize events for music students and teachers in the community of Lethbridge and area. Erin Graham (BASc (BA) ’86) “I graduated in 2014 with a PhD in educational studies at UBC. I am now a sessional lecturer teaching teachers at UBC. I also received my certification as a personal fitness trainer and focus on women ‘of a certain age’. We need to be strong, and strong together.” Austin Mardon (BASc (BA) ’85, LLD ’14), 2002 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year “In December, Archbishop Richard Smith invested my wife and I with the order of St. Sylvester, which is the second highest decoration the Catholic Church can confer on laity who are living.”

1990s Raeleen-Mae (Rossi) Manjak (BA/BEd ’92) “I am a ’92 grad — the year of the U of L’s

25th anniversary. Since then, I have worked hard, graduating with a Master of Continuing Education (MCE) in 2003 and achieving my Doctor of Management (DM/OL) with a specialization in organizational leadership in 2016. In 2017, I was named one of the Top 30 human resource directors in Canada. I currently hold the position of director, human resources, with the City of Vernon. I live in the amazing Okanagan with my amazing husband, Scott.”

of Alberta. I hope to continue to pursue my love of learning and complete my Applied Land Use Planning Certificate, also from the University of Alberta. Once this is done, my goal is to complete an MBA shortly after that.”

Tim Takahashi (BA ’94) Tim Takahashi received special recognition for contributions to sport as part of Nikka Yuko’s 50th anniversary.

Christopher Friesen (BFA ’99) Christopher Friesen exhibited a collection in Vancouver’s Elissa Cristall Gallery based on the nature of Langley, BC’s Brookswood neighbourhood.

Steven Vucurevich (BMgt ’94) Steven Vucurevich has been named chief financial officer of Tanager Energy. He recently served as that company’s vice-president of finance. Wayne Deis (BA/BEd ’96) Wayne Deis is currently teaching in Medicine Hat at Notre Dame Academy School and is the lead instructor for the soccer academy. Thomas Clarke (BSc ’97) Thomas Clarke was recently appointed to the advisory board of Volt Energy in Vancouver. Charmain Snell (BMgt ’97) “Since graduating, I got married and now have five children from the ages of five to 20. I am currently the chief administrative officer of the Town of Oyen and recently completed the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration with the University

YEARS AND MILES What began as a simple sharing of accommodations turned into a lifelong friendship that has withstood time and distance. While sharing a townhouse with two other friends during their time as students at the U of L, Michael Persinger (BA ’10) (photo, left) was matched with Ronald Ostermeier (photo, right), an international management major on exchange from the Netherlands, for a spring semester. The semester was an adventure of learning about each other’s cultures. 44

Dayton Foster (BMgt ’99) Dayton Foster has recently been appointed vice-president of operations with Renoworks in Calgary.

Kristene Coller (BA ’99, MSc ’04) Kristene Coller was named the 2017 U of L Calgary Campus Instructor of the Year. She teaches Managing Responsibly in a Global Environment.

2000s Mark Holthe (BA/BEd ’00) After running his own immigration law office for many years, Mark Holthe recently joined Stringam LLP to expand his legal services in the community. Bradley Onofrychuk (BMgt ’00) Bradley Onofrychuk was appointed dean for the School of Business and Continuing Education at Lakeland College.

After graduation, Michael visited Ronald while on a three-month backpacking tour of Europe. Ronald was able to return the favour two years later, visiting Canada with his fiancée. Last summer, Michael attended the couple’s wedding in Ostermeier’s hometown of Nijkerk. “Ronald has been a wonderful friend. He instilled a desire for travel in me and shifted my thinking from a local to global perspective,” says Michael.

Charlton Weasel Head (BEd ’03, MEd ’14) Charlton Weasel Head is the recipient of Lethbridge College’s 2017 Community Leader Award. He is now in his 14th year at Kainai High School on the Blood Reserve, where he currently serves as associate principal, athletic director and head coach of the Kainai Lady Warriors basketball team. Robin Willey (BA ’07) Robin Willey earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Alberta. He will begin teaching as an assistant professor at Concordia University in Edmonton next summer. Dana Wells (BMgt ’08) “Since my graduation, I started my career in the human services field in 2009. I worked my way up from a receptionist role to file clerk, fostercare support worker, to an assessor. I have held the role as an assessor (investigator) for five years working with families amongst our Treaty 7 territory (Blood First Nation, Tsuu T’ina First Nation and Siksika First Nation communities). I’ve recently started a new role as a supervisor where I focus on supervising case managers and after-hours assessors in child intervention.”

2010s Jesse Plessis (BMus ’10) Jesse Plessis, a doctoral candidate at the University of Montréal, is working on performing and recording all 32 of Beethoven’s

Photo credit: Jon Chase/Harvard University

U of L alumnus makes history at Harvard Julian SpearChief-Morris (BA ’13), a member of the Blood Tribe and now a law student at Harvard University, was appointed the first Indigenous student to head the Legal Aid Bureau at Harvard Law School. “It’s an incredible honour. I think it’s great whenever you see Indigenous people in higher education and in positions like this,” says SpearChief-Morris. “Being

at Harvard is an incredible experience. It’s a big school and the campus is very impressive but overwhelmingly it’s a humbling experience. I think that’s what I’ll take away most from this, being surrounded by the most brilliant people in the world, and constantly having to hold yourself up next to those people gives you some great perspective.” 45

piano sonatas in time for the composer’s 250th birthday in 2020. Jesse also crafted a two-piano arrangement of the complete Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album which he and fellow alumnus and music instructor Bente Hansen (BMus ’86) performed at a special U of L alumni event in May 2017. Angela (Thompson) Sotiropoulos (BMgt ’12) Angela (Thompson) Sotiropoulos is currently the director of environmental services at ClearStream Environmental Consulting Service LP. In 2016, she was recognized by Oilweek as one of 2016’s rising stars.

The 50 Greatest Pronghorns Throughout the 50-year history of the University of Lethbridge, athletics has played a significant role in helping define the identity of the institution, in connecting the community to the U of L and in shaping the southern Alberta athletic landscape. Over the course of those 50 years, of the thousands of athletes who have worn Pronghorns blue and gold, a select group has separated itself from the herd as the best of the best. In celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary, a committee was struck to identify these student-athletes – The 50 Greatest Pronghorns. Read the entire listing here:

Chelsea Woolley (BA/BEd ’14) “In May 2017, I graduated from the National Theatre School in their distinguished Playwriting Program. A play I have written for

Sailing Away Ahmed Saffar (BMgt ’15) couldn’t believe his luck when he was chosen to participate in the Canada C3 initiative, a 150-day sailing expedition around Canada’s three coasts in celebration of Canada’s 150th

young audiences called The Mountain will be touring Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes this coming school year as a part of Geordie Productions’ 2Play Tour.” Samuel Woodman (BSc ’15) Samuel Woodman was recently awarded the William and Margaret Brown Scholarship to help him complete his PhD at Cambridge University in England. Janine Jackson (BA ’16) Janine Jackson, now a master’s student, is working with the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta researching the loss of Cree culture. Kaylie Graham (BSc ’17) “I have been accepted to the veterinary medicine program at the University of Calgary.”

anniversary. The journey began in Toronto and finished in Victoria with a route that took participants through the Northwest Passage. Saffar joined the MV Polar Prince in Campbell River on Oct. 19 for the last leg of the journey. They met with coastal Indigenous communities, stopped at artist and musician havens and visited fishing towns, all with the goal of sparking ideas on how to build a better Canada. “I’m a new Canadian and I want to learn about the aspects of the coastal communities from coast to coast to coast in Canada and learn about the Indigenous people and their culture.”

CPA RECOGNIZES MANAGEMENT ALUMNI U of L alumni were honoured by CPA Alberta for their commitments to their profession and their community. Tammie-Jai Belanger (BA ’98), Tyler Brack (BMgt ’09) and Matt Calnan (BMgt ’12) were each honoured with the Early Achievement Award, recognizing the work of young and new professionals. Everett Duerksen (BMgt ’03) was recognized for his years of community service with the Distinguished Service Award. U of L accounting instructor and CPA Bridging Program Director Sonya von Heyking (BMgt ’03) was elected to the CPA Alberta Board.


3D-printed prosthetic brings hope to young man in Africa Dr. Mary Dyck (BASc (BA) ’82), a retired University of Lethbridge kinesiology professor, Brittany Mercier (photo: left), a graduate student and athletic therapist at the U of L’s Rebound Health Centre, and Colin Pischke (BMgt ’13), founder of Print Your Mind 3D, have made a big difference in the life of a young Nigerian man named Sunday (photo: right). He lost both arms above the elbow and suffered burns to his legs following an electric shock. The trio teamed up with Medical Makers to create a prototype prosthetic with a 3D-printed gripper thumb. Dyck and Mercier travelled to Nigeria last February to try out the prototype and work with Sunday. The prosthetic allowed Sunday to perform daily living tasks like holding a toothbrush or pen.

Mercier also worked to mobilize the scar tissue on Sunday’s ankle. Since then, two prosthetic arms have been designed and Mercier has created a comprehensive therapy program, complete with videos, that will allow Sunday, through practice and experimentation, to regain his independence.

Introducing... The AlumX Speaker Series The AlumX Speaker Series was introduced as part of Homecoming Weekend’s programming in September. A special thank you to Diane Turner (BEd ’81), Ashley Steacy (BSc ’15), Sarah Lajeunesse (BMgt ’12), Derek Schmaltz (BA ’12), John Wort Hannam (BA/BEd ’96) and Kevin McGeough (BA ’96) for their outstanding presentations. You can still watch Sarah’s and Derek’s presentations online at

An internationally certified life coach, Sarah will help show you how to redefine success on your own terms and start living with more meaning, power, passion and purpose. Having suffered a traumatic event just weeks before he started classes at the U of L, Derek shared his experiences of lows and highs and the perspectives his trauma and healing have given him. If you have an idea for a future AlumX presentation, please contact:

Order of Canada — for one of our own, presented by one of our own


Dr. Bryan Kolb (DSc ’15), one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and longtime University of Lethbridge professor, was recognized for his work to increase understanding of the brain and brain development. Kolb was appointed to the Order of Canada and named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his outstanding achievement, community dedication and service to the nation. In late 2017, he attended Rideau Hall in Ottawa, where Dr. Julie Payette (DSc ’05) presented Kolb with his medal and he was officially named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Canada’s 29th Governor General, Payette received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the U of L in 2005. She is the second Canadian woman to travel to space and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.


The Soup Reunites In honour of the University’s 50th anniversary, former U of L band The Soup reunited for a night of rock ’n’ roll and reminiscing at Let There Be Light Night in October. Made up of alumni Robert Morrison (BASc (BA) ’83), Randy Paskuski (BASc (BA) ’85) and Neil Sheets (BASc (BA) ’87, BSc ’00), and Lyndon Bray, the band first played together in 1981 and generously donated their talents again this fall, with proceeds going to support the U of L’s Shine On 50th Anniversary Fund.

(Above) Tanya Gill is photographed above with her sons, Alexander and Isaac, and of course, Luxie, during Homecoming.

Thank you for a decade of support “Raising funds for scholarships and building friendships along the way were very close to

Thank you to everyone who completed our alumni survey or took part in one of our focus groups. A full report on what we learned will be available mid-February. Congratulations to Don Iwanicka (BSc ’07), the lucky winner of the Apple Watch, and many thanks to Sherry Davis (BMgt ’01), ATB Investor Services, for donating the watch.


John’s heart. We are incredibly grateful for the support we received over the years in putting the John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament together and raising funds in support of student scholarships. Thank you to everyone who has helped us celebrate John’s legacy at this final tournament by reaching our funding goal and endowing this scholarship fund in perpetuity.” TANYA GILL (BA/BED ’00)

In Memoriam

The University of Lethbridge’s founding president Dr. W. A. Sam Smith (LLD ’90) always maintained that “people matter ultimately.” This sentiment has remained at the heart of the U of L over the last 50-plus years. We are deeply saddened by the loss of the following members of our community. We thank them for letting the U of L be part of their story, and we extend our sincere condolences to their family and friends. Barry Hunt (BASc (BA) ’71) Passed away October 29, 2016

Violet Perkins (BASc (BA) ’72) Passed away January 29, 2017

David Hardy (BEd ’74) Passed away November 13, 2016

Sylvia Faoro (BEd ’70) Passed away February 10, 2017

Thelma Milne Former Senate member Passed away November 15, 2016

Valerie Papworth Former Senate member Passed away February 12, 2017

Patricia Geldreich (BEd ’73) Passed away November 16, 2016

Linda Fletcher (BASc (BA) ’75) Passed away April 9, 2017

Tammy Barber (BA/BEd ’06) Passed away November 20, 2016

Doug Petherbridge Professor Emeritus Passed away April 13, 2017

Lynne Carlson (BASc (BA) ’73) Passed away November 23, 2016

Dennis Thompson Retired Staff member Passed away April 20, 2017

D. Logan Tait Mgt. Scholarship Dinner Honouree Passed away November 28, 2016

James Sowers (BA ’07) Passed away April 29, 2017

Henry Vandenberg (BMgt ’05) Passed away November 28, 2016 Elaine Mulholland (BEd ’73) Passed away December 10, 2016 Ervin Peters (BFA ’85) Passed away December 19, 2016 Iris Wasilenko (BEd ’77) Passed away December 22, 2016 James Layng Former Senate member Passed away December 24, 2016 Eric Martens (BASc (BA) ’75, BFA ’78) Passed away December 31, 2016 Nathan McCowan (BMgt ’11) Passed away January 8, 2017 Wendy Watson (BA ’89) Passed away January 12, 2017 Craig Pellerin (BSc ’11) Passed away January 20, 2017 José Quiroga (BA ’07) Passed away January 25, 2017 Bonnie Dick (BEd ’86) Passed away January 26, 2017

Gordon Campbell Professor Emeritus Passed away on May 1, 2017

Cornelia Meliefste (BEd ’69, BASc (BA) ’73) Passed away on August 13, 2017 Guy Pomahac (BEd ‘81, MEd ‘03) Passed away August 18, 2017 Scott Hinman (BASc (BSc) ’80) Passed away August 27, 2017 Iris Chipman (BEd ’84) Passed away August 30, 2017 Phil Boon Retired Staff member Passed away August 31, 2017 Marty Gadd Retired Staff member Passed away September 7, 2017 Steve Caswell (BMgt ’11) Passed away September 24, 2017 Dr. Van Christou (LLD ’84) Passed away September 27, 2017

Lillian Steele (BFA ’15) Passed away May 2, 2017

Beatrice Hales (BEd ’71) Passed away September 29, 2017

Tom Samuel (MEd ’07) Passed away May 4, 2017

Sharon Jonsson (BEd ’72) Passed away September 30, 2017

Karen Mikado (BN ’00) Passed away May 5, 2017

Avis Hunt (BEd ’71) Passed away October 19, 2017

Gerry Haagsma (BEd ’76) Passed away May 8, 2017

Duane Barrus (BASc (BA) ’70) Passed away October 30, 2017

George Waldermann Retired Staff member Passed away May 13, 2017

Patricia Brosz (BEd ’77) Passed away November 2, 2017

Chris Johnson (BFA ’98, BEd ’98) Passed away May 21, 2017 Richard Suggitt Pronghorns Rugby coach Passed away June 26, 2017 Lisa Peterson (BA ’17) Passed away July 1, 2017 Sandra Smyth (BEd ’94) Passed away July 19, 2017 Mara Bennett (BMus ’95) Passed away on July 25, 2017 Kent Evanson (BEd ’79) Passed away on August 2, 2017

Johanna Vander Beek (Dip. Ed ’76) Passed away November 17, 2017 Alice Peta (BEd ’73) Passed away November 24, 2017 William Oleksy (BEd ’72) Passed away December 1, 2017 Lottie Austin (BEd ’87) Passed away December 11, 2017 Gerald Lind (BASc (BA) ’72) Passed away December 14, 2017 Joseph Szalavary (BMgt ’88) Passed away December 21, 2017 Anita Grant (BEd ’72, Dip. Ed ’89) Passed away December 30, 2017 As of December 31, 2017.

Dr. Van Christou (1926 – 2017) An ever-present member of the University of Lethbridge community over the last 50-plus years, Dr. Van Christou (LLD ’84) died on Sept. 27, 2017, at the age of 91. He was a founding member of the first Board of Governors and was the institution’s third Chancellor. “My major interest in having a university in Lethbridge stemmed from my belief that having an educated public is a very important part of having a democracy,” Christou said in 2007. “I believed then, and still do today, that education is the most important thing in our society. It is the hope for humanity.” Without doubt, the U of L wouldn’t be the university it is today without Christou’s vision, tenacity and leadership. Christou and his late wife Helen are revered as pioneers of the University’s world-renowned art collection. The university community was honoured by his presence throughout the 50th anniversary celebrations. “It has been a remarkable experience in my life to see things go from the dreaming stage to reality, with more than 8,000 students now benefiting from the institution each year,” he said. “The University of Lethbridge has had a profound effect on southern Alberta and the city of Lethbridge in terms of our education process, culture and economics. I would never have dreamt that the University of Lethbridge would have reached these proportions within my own lifetime. It has far exceeded my expectations, and there are still great possibilities for it in the future.” Read more about Dr. Christou’s legacy:

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