SAM Magazine - Spring 2014

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game changers stay informed

The last issue of SAM was about change; it was a look at campus changes (physical and seasonal), new institutional initiatives igniting fresh dialogue and the energy of students back for another year of studies. In this issue, we have taken the theme of change even further to introduce to you individuals and initiatives that we define as Game Changers. As the online definition articulates: “an event, idea or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.”

Your official U of L news source: Photos of your University: Join our Facebook group:

U of L alumni, faculty, staff and students are making significant changes in this game we call life. Whether it be shedding light on some of the darker issues we face, driving social change or stepping outside societal norms, our growing U of L community is shaping the world we live, work and play in. I am proud to be a part of the University of Lethbridge family and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to share these stories with you. I hope you enjoy.

Follow: @ulethbridgenews Check out all of our publications online:

Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock, Editor

ON THE COVER: DON FRACHE, CANADIAN, 1919-1994 UNTITLED (COUNTRY ROAD WITH GRAIN ELEVATORS), 1966 WATERCOLOUR, 19 X 27.5” (48.3 X 69.9CM) From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection Gift of William and Mary Skelton, 2001

S AM | So u t h e r n A l b e r t a M ag az i n e | U n i v e r s i t y o f Le t h b r i d g e



The Anatomy and Etiquette of Social Change – a project

2 HEALING WORDS Ricochets of Regrets raises awareness about the impact of bullying and brings healing for Patricia Poriz (BEd ’93, BHSc ’12).



developed by DodoLab with the U of L Art Gallery.



Leanne Elias (BFA ’95, MEd ’03) has developed a unique model for creating productive working relationships.

Peter Kellett wants to change the way we think about depression.

21 | SIGNIFICANT AND MENTIONABLE Catch up on what happened at the U of L this spring.

30 | SPOTLIGHT ON RESEARCH Researchers with the Institute for Child and Youth Studies discover hidden paths, tangled woods and interesting play spaces.


Alumni Association Chapters welcome new presidents.

40 | ALMA MATTERS U of L alumni are always up to amazing and exciting





Margaret Lamouche (BA ’02, BEd ’05) and her daughters, Sandra Lamouche (BA ’07) and Maria Livingston, comprise two generations of U of L students.

Thanks to Valerie Wilson, the land that has such a deep connection to the Wilson family’s past will create a bright future for the University of Lethbridge.

EDITOR: Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Alesha Farfus-Shukaliak ART DIRECTOR: Stephenie Karsten DESIGNER & PROJECT MANAGER: Three Legged Dog Design PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jason Jones Leslie Ohene-Adjei Rob Olson Debra Stringfellow Jaime Vedres

things. Alma Matters features news and notes from your


former classmates.

BIG THINKING ABOUT SMALL FARMS Lydia Ryall (BSc ‘06) thinks big about small farms – and she has a prestigious award to show for it.

CONTRIBUTORS: Sharon Aschaiek Kristine Carlsen Wall Natasha Evdokimoff Betsy Greenlees Lisa Hirmer Trevor Kenney David Kirby Kali McKay Josephine Mills Julia Mitchell Stephen Onyango Maureen Schwartz Alisha Sims Zyna Taylor Katherine Wasiak Dana Yates U of L Advancement

ILLUSTRATOR: Elena Ballam PRINTING: PrintWest SAM is published by University Advancement at the University of Lethbridge twice annually. 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.

SAM is distributed free of charge to a controlled circulation list. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address, please contact us. SAM – University Advancement University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive W. Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 Toll free: 1-866-552-2582 E-mail: To view SAM online, visit: www. or




Karen Marie Ritchie was pretty much a typical 13-year-old in 1977. She loved animals and little kids, and as the fifth of six children, Karen was thrilled to be an auntie at a young age. She was known to get the giggles, and would often end up rolling with uncontrollable laughter for no particular reason at all. She was a dedicated pen pal, a caring sister and a nurturing soul. On the outside, Karen appeared to be a regular teenage girl, but on the inside, things must have been quite different. Because on a Tuesday afternoon in May of that year, to the shock and utter devastation of her family, Karen Marie Ritchie ended her own life.

The fact that Karen was being bullied at school wasn’t exactly unknown, but no one seemed to realize just how bad the situation was, or how desperate Karen felt about it. Her suicide rocked the small Crowsnest Pass community where Karen lived, and threw her family into emotional shambles. Fast-forward 36 years. The date of what would have been Karen’s 50th birthday was approaching, and her sister, Patricia Poriz (BEd ’93, BHSc ’12), found her thoughts drifting toward her departed sibling more and more.

“She never really left my thoughts, but last spring, I was thinking about Karen all the time,” Poriz says. “I wanted to commemorate her somehow, so I started to write a poem in her memory.” What began as a simple dedication from one sister to another became an epic piece of writing entitled Ricochet of Regrets – a lengthy and intense work of prose that is effectively the voice of anyone who’s been the target of bullying and, by their own hand, is no longer around to speak for themself. Poriz says the piece took on a life of its own, spilling out from her onto paper after almost four decades of silent reflection, sadness and unanswered questions.

“Over the years, I thought a lot about the kids who bullied Karen,” says Poriz. “I wondered what became of them. What kind of lives did they have? Did they ever think about my sister? I didn’t feel any animosity or bitterness; I just wondered. The words in the piece come from those questions, and the voice in the poem became that of victims who’ve succumbed to their tormentors.” Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but in today’s world of instant communication and social media, kids who are bullied often can’t escape the onslaught. Cyberbullying is a

Karen Ritchie, Grade 7 yearbook photo (submitted)



The Ricochet of Regrets team: Ethan Calvin, Patricia Poriz and Trevor DeMaere



relatively new aspect to the issue, and it has made the problem more prominent than ever before. University of Lethbridge education professor Dr. Robin Bright (BA ’79, BEd ’82, MEd ’88) has a special interest in technology and communication patterns among students. Bright says that bullying was once seen as “kids just being kids,” but is now viewed as a social issue that cannot be tolerated. “Provinces are looking at passing anti-bullying legislation, and Alberta has already taken the initiative,” says Bright. “There is a great deal of research on bullying out there, much more than there was even 10 years ago, because most everyone now sees bullying as unacceptable. The approach in the education system today is to focus on developing healthy relationships. The zero-tolerance policies

of five years ago didn’t work – they didn’t eliminate the problem. Instead, we as educators are asking ourselves what we can do on a daily basis to ensure that all children feel valued and included, that every student has an understanding of what a positive environment is, and that every child has a safe and welcoming place in which to learn.” Once Ricochet of Regrets was written, Poriz felt compelled to take the work further. Her husband, who’d also known Karen, encouraged Poriz to bring her words to life on screen – perhaps in the form of a dramatic monologue. Together they began a search for a videographer, eventually connecting with U of L new media student Ethan Calvin. Calvin in turn brought in Trevor DeMaere, a U of L digital audio arts student, and the duo set about creating a video representation

S AM | So u t h e r n A l b e r t a M ag az i n e | U n i v e r s i t y o f Le t h b r i d g e


of the poem that would portray the sense of hopelessness and desperate isolation that Poriz’s words viscerally convey. “When I first read the piece it pierced me right through the heart,” says Calvin. “It was incredibly well written – impactful and artfully done. I took the project on and began writing a shot list. It kind of wrote itself, actually. I could picture exactly what I wanted each scene to look like. Everything came together really organically.” Calvin devised a series of scene shots that include a number of landscapes and landmarks unique to Lethbridge, and DeMaere orchestrated an original soundtrack that features an ethereal and haunting combination of piano and strings. Not sure what they’d do in terms of casting, Poriz suggested they

employ some of her young family members – a generation of relatives who never had the chance to meet her sister. The end result is a 10-minute video that pulls no punches. Ricochet of Regrets is a stark representation of bullying’s most devastating effects. Somewhat ironically, the upshot of the video is positive and hopeful.

be seen, and a number of therapists and suicideawareness organizations were quick to endorse the work. A special screening of the video took place at Lethbridge Public Library this past spring – an event that Poriz says was very healing for her and the rest of her siblings.

“I hope it’s a catalyst for discussion, for dialogue on all sides of the equation – from the victims to the tormentors, to the people who stand by and watch it happen,” says Poriz. “If we can help one person who feels alone because of bullying, then we’ve succeeded.”

“When Karen died, we didn’t know how to deal with it as a family,” says Poriz. “It finally felt like we were mourning Karen the way we should have, and celebrating who she was as a person, too. I think she’d be very pleased that we did this in her memory. She’d probably cry a little, and then burst into giggles the way she always used to.”

Ricochet of Regrets was released on YouTube on March 9, 2014. Poriz has an open Facebook page entitled Prose by Poriz where the video can

To view Ricochet of Regrets, visit:





Collaboration and innovation, it seems, go hand-in-hand. After all, as the saying goes, two heads are better than one. But if two (or more) people are more likely to create something new than a singleton working solo, a critical question must be asked: what’s the best way to bring multiple minds together? Researcher Leanne Elias (BFA ’95, MEd ’03) may have the answer. A designer, artist and associate professor of new media at the University of Lethbridge, Elias has developed a unique model for creating productive working relationships, particularly among those with disparate views. It’s all part of her passion for building strong communities, and ultimately, helping to drive social change. “I’m really interested in connecting people,” says Elias, the latest recipient of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union’s Teaching

Excellence Award. The honour recognizes outstanding efforts to increase students’ learning experiences. “Collaborative work doesn’t happen through cold calling. It happens when you provide opportunities for people to meet in person. Before anything else can happen, you have to build trust.” From there, she says, great ideas can take shape and exciting initiatives can take off. But Elias does more than just talk about trust; she demonstrates the importance of it in her multidisciplinary projects. One example is Ecotone, a three-year initiative that focused on environmental stress in southern Alberta. Well aware that environmentalism and climate change can be divisive topics in this oil-rich and agriculturally prolific province, Elias wanted to help build a collective of concerned citizens who were interested in sustainability, and protecting

Leanne Elias (L) with a group, including graduate student Christine Clark (R).


“IT’S EXCITING TO SEE IDEAS BEING SPARKED IN STUDENTS. I LEARN AS MUCH FROM THEM AS THEY LEARN FROM ME.” LEANNE ELIAS Alberta’s land and water resources. To build such a community, she and a local entomologist organized 140 people who, at first blush, had little in common – artists, scientists and ranchers. During the grassroots project, which was funded by the Alberta Rural Development Network, each group explained their work to the others. To start, the scientists presented their research on land use and the health of the Prairies. Next, 15 professional contemporary artists spent time on ranches across southern Alberta, learning about the realities of agricultural life. Finally, the artists translated their ranching experiences into creative works that were exhibited at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in downtown Lethbridge.

June. The Design Research Society Conference will enable Elias and Clark, a master of fine arts student in new media, to share the paper they co-authored on the success of Ecotone. Committed to the creative and professional growth of the next generation of researchers, artists and designers, Elias often collaborates with students on her research projects. “It’s exciting to see ideas being sparked in students,” she says. “I learn as much from them as they learn from me.” To that end, Elias regularly takes students to South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual music, film and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas. A dazzling showcase of digital creativity with presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, the SXSW interactive festival, in particular, is a wonderland for new media students. “You attend talks given by your heroes and network with like-minded people and innovators,” says Clark. “Through my work with Leanne, I’ve really been opened up to the idea of being more involved in communities of practice.”

Leanne Elias (left) during the Ecotone project (submitted)

All three groups reported new insights from their participation in Ecotone. The scientists, for instance, realized that artists conduct research, and in turn, the artists learned more about scientific investigations and food production. Meanwhile, the ranchers developed an appreciation for artistic endeavours. Ultimately, Ecotone’s model of collaboration eliminated communication barriers among people who had never before interacted. Equally important, the participants continue to meet and discuss environmental issues to this day. It’s an outcome that pleases Elias and will no doubt be mentioned during a presentation that she and her graduate student Christine Clark (BFA ’10) will deliver during a conference in Sweden this


In fact, Clark was part of a group of graduate students who, at the request of Elias, interviewed artists, educators and practitioners of new media at SXSW and in New York City about how they adapt to changes in the medium. The videos were then edited by undergraduate students and posted on a website that Clark designed. An evolving video catalogue that explores the collaboration and overlap between new media and other disciplines,, is funded by the U of L’s Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund. Elias serves as the project’s principle investigator and is aided by U of L professors Dr. Janice Rahn (Education), Denton Fredrickson (Art), Dana Cooley (BFA ’01) (New Media) and Dr. John Usher (Management). “The site shows how new media is impacting other disciplines and can work together with, for example, management and the sciences,” says Elias. “There are so many possibilities.”





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A registered nurse and nursing instructor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge, Peter Kellett, who is currently pursuing his PhD, is exploring a topic that has intrigued him since his days as a master’s student: the impact perceived masculinities have on the rates of depression in men. Kellett believes that many men who suffer from depression are misdiagnosed, and even more concerning, may never seek care in the first place. It’s more than just a hunch – there is plenty of research that supports Kellett’s theory, and he plans to supplement those findings with research of his own. “Studies suggest that the annual prevalence of depression in men is only three to four per cent, and that women get depression at twice the rate that men do,” explains Kellett. “But there’s an enigma in the numbers, because men commit suicide at a rate that is at least double that of women. So the question is, if only a small portion of men get depressed, why do so many men kill themselves?” Kellett’s PhD study will look into Canadian Community Health Survey data, specifically the 2012 mental health survey. His plan is to examine the intersection between masculinities and various

social hierarchies such as income level, employment status and social gradients associated with visible minority status. Kellett hopes to contribute to a growing body of evidence that suggests that when men feel subordinated, their physical and mental health can become compromised. “The challenge is that our perception of depression doesn’t always capture men’s presentation of it,” says Kellett. “Men’s depression is profoundly influenced by societal norms. Men aren’t supposed to show weakness. They don’t want to appear vulnerable, so often their depression will present through violence, hostility, irritability, aggressiveness and compulsive behaviours related to addiction and risk taking. Under current mental health measures these men are more likely to be diagnosed with an addictive disorder or anti-social personality disorder than depression.” Through his research, Kellett hopes to identify patterns of depression in different groups of men and present findings that may help to shape social policy. Perhaps most importantly, Kellett hopes his research will initiate social dialogue on an issue that is not so much swept under the carpet as completely overlooked.

“The issue of men’s depression is relatively hidden, but in another way it’s completely in our face,” says Kellett. “Men don’t want to talk about being depressed, but we see and feel the results of it. When left undiagnosed and untreated, men’s depression has a huge impact on the overall health of society. We need to be able to identify men’s depression and understand all the social contexts that are tied to it.”





Spring came late in southern Alberta this year. It’s a bitterly cold morning in March, but the sun is shining brightly through the windows of Markin Hall at the University of Lethbridge. The warmth in the room is palpable. It’s a spiritual sort of warmth – the kind you feel when you’re around good people who radiate a glow from deep within their soul. If the sun weren’t shining, you’d almost bet the three women could light up the room themselves.


S AM | So u t h e r n A l b e r t aMaria M agLivingston, az i n e | Margaret U n i v e rLamouche s i t y o f Le b r i d gLamouche e andt hSandra


Margaret Lamouche (BA ’02, BEd ’05) and her daughters, Sandra Lamouche (BA ’07) and Maria Livingston, comprise two generations of U of L students and alumni. It’s easy to see the admiration between them and their pride in where they come from is clear. Each woman is an accomplished scholar, is respected in visual and performing arts, and all three will tell you that getting in touch with their heritage has been key to their happiness and success. The road here hasn’t been easy though. Margaret was just 12 years old when her own mother was struck down and killed by a drunk driver in the small northern community of Wabasca, Alta. Four years later, she dropped out of school and left home in search of a job and a new life, away from the poverty she’d been contending with. Eventually she married, settled in Slave Lake, and became a dedicated stay-at-home mother of eight children. Reading the newspaper one day, Margaret came across something that would change the trajectory of her life forever, and the lives of her children and countless other children, too. She read a feature that listed the names of local high school students who would graduate that spring. What she saw in the article, or more accurately, what she didn’t see, put a trickle of a thought in Margaret’s mind that would precipitate a river of change for her whole family. “There were only a couple of native children’s names on the list, which made me very sad,” recalls Margaret. “I wanted my children to get a good education, so I helped them with their homework, read to them and got involved at their schools. It occurred to me that day that a lot of other First Nations children needed help, and I started thinking that maybe I should become a teacher.”


“I WANT THEM TO HAVE BALANCE IN THEIR LIVES, AND I WANT THEM TO HELP THEIR PEOPLE. WE HAVE A PROUD HERITAGE, AND ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR US WHEN WE CONNECT TO THE SOURCE OF IT.“ MARGARET LAMOUCHE Margaret waited until her youngest child started school and then went back to school herself, completing her diploma through an upgrading program and then applying to the U of L. Sandra and Maria remember their mother’s transformation as both surprising and inspirational. “I had always seen her as ‘mom’ and then suddenly she was studying, taking exams and working on assignments,” says Maria, reflecting on Margaret’s transition from mother to full-time student. “It was strange, but she was determined and focused, which made a big impression.” Margaret’s application to the U of L was accepted in 1999. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Native American studies in 2002 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Education in 2005. Sandra vividly remembers the first time her mother brought her to campus. “That was a real eye-opener,” Sandra recalls. “She brought me to an indigenous dance performance, and to see native people on campus was amazing.

Mom would often give me her textbooks to read or bring me along to native art exhibits. It made me realize that I could get an education in my own culture, and that was very exciting.” With her mother’s encouragement, Sandra began studying at the U of L in 2002. She is now in the finishing stages of a master’s degree through Trent University, is the mother of two young children and works as a youth mentor in Fort Macleod. Sandra also recently became a director with the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Alumni Chapter; is one of the only First Nations members on the International Dance Council (UNESCO); is a member of the United Nations of Dance; and has performed internationally as a hoop and contemporary dancer. “I followed my passion and interest, and through that I’ve built a career that is fulfilling and gives back to my community,” says Sandra. “I’ve created success on my terms.” Her younger sister Maria’s path to the U of L took a bit more time. Shy and self-reflective, Maria wasn’t sure a university education was possible for her. It took four years for Margaret and Sandra to convince her to apply, but since she began her studies, Maria has gone through with flying colours. Like her mother and sister before her, Maria will graduate from the NAS program. She is a member of the Native American Students’ Association, is involved with a working group under the Aboriginal Education Committee, as well as the on-campus FNMI mentorship program and has completed three applied studies and has been on the Dean’s Honour List four semesters. Maria says that her

S AM | So u t h e r n A l b e r t a M ag az i n e | U n i v e r s i t y o f Le t h b r i d g e

Artwork by Maria Livingston

experience at the U of L has allowed her to connect with herself and her culture in a profound way. “The past few years have been a path toward my true identity,” says Maria. “I’ve discovered where I fit in and what I’m supposed to do. I have a young son, so I work hard for him. I want to show him that it’s possible to make a living doing things you love to do.” Beyond academics, all three women celebrate their culture artistically as well. Sandra and Maria have achieved national acclaim with their hoop dancing. Margaret focuses her talent on beading, poetry and meditation. Maria also paints and practises native fish-scale art. “It’s about connecting to our people and finding positive ways to represent First Nations culture,” says Maria of her family’s artistic endeavours. “There are a lot of negative stereotypes and prejudices around native heritage. Finding ways to help break down those barriers and show the beauty of our culture is something all of us feel compelled to do.” Margaret’s initial goal of becoming a teacher has been achieved – she’s been teaching Cree at Ben Calf Robe School in Edmonton since 2012, and has the same hopes for her students that she has for her own children. “I want them to have balance in their lives, and I want them to help their people. We have a proud heritage, and anything is possible for us when we connect to the source of it,” says Margaret, who will return to the U of L campus this summer to begin the Master of Education program. “I want to do more. Life is about learning lessons, and finding and following the path that is meant for you. Without the Creator and my spiritual guides, I would not have the ability to complete the journey that I am on.”




A PROJECT BY DODOLAB THE STORY OF THE DODO The dodo was endemic to Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean. A distant genetic relative of pigeons, the dodo had adapted to this unique and isolated environment. A lack of predators and an abundance of low-lying food led to the dodos’ large size, fearless nature and inability to fly. It was a relatively easy existence. And, if nothing had changed, they would still exist. Dodos did not go extinct because they were slow or stupid, as is often thought. They went extinct because their environment changed and they could not adapt. When European sailors began to visit the island in the 16th century, they brought about many ecological changes including deforestation and, most perilously for the dodo, a host of new predators. The habits of the dodo that had made perfect sense within the isolated island ecosystem put them at great risk in the changing circumstances. In particular, their habit of nesting on the ground combined with a fearless nature, left the dodos, and especially their eggs, susceptible to the new predators. Unable to adapt to the changes, the number of dodos declined rapidly. The last recorded sighting of a dodo was in 1688, which means that in less than a hundred years since the sailors first visited Mauritius, the dodo bird was extinct.

EGGS ON THE GROUND We often think of the dodo as the archetypical extinct species. Its story of not adapting to change is similar to that of many other creatures. But it is also a story we can look at ourselves when trying to understand human-built ecologies. After sharing the story of the dodo’s extinction with students, faculty and staff, we asked where the university might be “laying its eggs on the ground” and leaving itself vulnerable to change. Through many conversations, we collected these eggs using them to map out common themes and ideas about the university and its future. Six were selected to share back with the university as a thought-provoking cross-section of responses.




Like the octopus, we have the great advantage of being able to learn from one another. However, unlike the shortlived octopus we have the additional gift of history. We can look back and learn from a past full of successful (and unsuccessful) strategies for change.

Six animal stories of successful adaptation strategies we may be able to learn from with parallel ideas, related questions and thoughts for further investigation collected from faculty, staff and students during DodoLab’s investigations at the University of Lethbridge.

We learn in a variety of ways not all of which fit into a university-credit-granting system. With increasing focus on credentials, what happens to these uncreditable experiences? Are we losing them in favour of what is predictable, uniform and measurable?

The octopus is motivated to watch its fellow because it is curious. Many students mentioned a goal-oriented approach to university, a focus on good grades and fast degrees as the means to jobs. Has something changed in our vision of learning? Is there still a role for curiosity for its own sake?

If unstructured exploration, experimentation and maybe even frivolity have value, then where is the space for these things to happen? How do different people and parts of the university “play” with each other?

As more questions about the purpose of universities emerge, the story of the rat presents an interesting question. Is it more important to learn specific practical skills? Or is there more value in expanding our capacity for complex thought?

What is envisioned as a critical function of the university and what is considered superfluous says a lot about what we value most and how we understand the roles of education and research. How the university is seen shapes what it will become.

As economic pressures force universities to cut back, it’s important to consider the role and purpose(s) of higher education. What role does it (or should it) play for students? And, in contemporary society?


It seems that the common octopus is able to learn by watching other octopuses. There are numerous cases where an octopus was allowed to observe another octopus that knew the solution to a puzzle; not only did the first octopus watch the puzzle-solver very intently but it was also able to then solve the same puzzle very quickly.

A common theory suggests that play helps animals, such as rats, develop skills like hunting and fighting. But, research reveals that this is not true. However, rats that play do have larger, more complex brains than those who don’t. Somehow, interactive, exploratory activities make rats smarter and better able to learn new things in the future.

Many people spoke about lacking a sense of community life at the university. Some mentioned overcoming this with gregariousness. Is a public social life an issue of personality? Or are there environmental and social tools that could facilitate more participation?

Because the tadpoles of the mimic poison frog grow up in small pools of water that don’t have enough resources in them for the tadpoles to survive, the parents carefully monitor the water and add nutrients when they drop too low. This ensures the tadpoles have what they need to thrive.

Like tadpoles, students often begin their studies without yet having the resources they need. The most common solution to this is a student loan. Many students feel heavily burdened by their loans, however. Could there be an alternative way to give students a good start?

What have current students inherited from the students who came before them? What could the next generation of students need from the one that came before it? University prestige, for example, is a legacy. What else gets passed on?


How do we plan for times of scarcity? The squirrel knows that the abundance of the summer won’t last. We, too, can be sure that at some point we will have to endure a scarcity of resources. Are we capable of anticipating and planning for this situation?

The grey squirrel has learned to save nuts during periods of abundance so that when food is no longer available it can retrieve the cached nuts and survive. Interestingly, a squirrel never goes back for all the food it hides. This allows the forgotten seeds to grow into new plants and trees — something that helps both squirrels and other animals.

The humpback whale has started to use a new hunting technique called lobtail feeding, in which they slap the water’s surface with their tail before diving down after fish. Data strongly suggests that this new behaviour is a response to the collapse of herring stocks, which have forced humpbacks to feed on different species of fish.

At what scale should we prepare for scarcity? There are many barriers that prevent institutions and governments from acting like squirrels. Does this mean it’s up to individuals to prepare themselves for lean times?

Change is often uncomfortable and so we avoid it unless something forces us to do things differently. But this can be limiting. Exposing ourselves to pressures that push us to change for the better are uncomfortable but help us learn and improve.

The whale is adapting to an environment it cannot change. We, on the other hand, can and do change the environment — often drastically. We can adapt to less-than-ideal circumstances but we can also try to change them.

Both the crow and the whale have learned new strategies through failure. Failing is one of the best ways for us to learn, too. It is how we begin to understand what we do not know and how we come up with new strategies.

Large-billed crows have learned that they can eat nuts if they drop them on the road and let cars crack the shells. However, retrieving the nuts proves quite dangerous. But, rather than giving up on this strategy, some crows figured out how to drop nuts at crosswalks so they could safely get the nuts when the lights change. Sometimes change happens quickly but in many cases it takes time. A university community is unique in that students are often only there for a few years. This means that student-focused change often requires collaboration across generations of students.

The university, like any large institution is a complex system that can be difficult to navigate. But barriers, like the shells the crows couldn’t crack, can often be overcome by roundabout solutions and/or persistence.

It is important to ask ourselves what we are adapting to and why. Adaptation can be a good strategy but there are some pressures to change we may want to resist.

Due to the current economic circumstances many students fear that failure will have drastic negative consequences. The common narrative says that it is only by doing everything “right” that one can hope to get a good job after school.

What does it mean for learning if we are increasingly unwilling or unable to risk failure? And does a lack of failing really make us more resilient in the job market? Could learning how to learn from failure be more useful?

As the economic and political landscape changes, how should the university respond? Should it, for example, focus on training good workers in response to corporate demand? And students? Should they conform to this vision of education or resist it?



ABOUT THE PROJECT The Anatomy and Etiquette of Social Change is a project developed by DodoLab in collaboration with the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and the Complex Social Change research team, which investigates perceptions and ideas about adaptation and change, particularly within the context of the university. The aim of this very unscientific research was not only to explore the idea of change at the university with the students, faculty and staff but also to look at how the university itself, as an organism, evolves and adapts (or not) in response to the changing social, economic and political landscape around it. The project began in the spring of 2013 with a graphic telling of the story of the dodo on the project wall outside the art gallery — a narrative prompt for those passing by with a moment to spare to begin a collaborative speculation about surviving within an environment that no longer supports the kind of existence it once did. The natural history of the dodo is a good example of the consequences of narrow adaptation strategies that leave no leeway for changing circumstances — a fable of relevance perhaps within our own human ecologies and to the university institution, as it wrestles with pressures to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Like the dodo, the university in many ways exists in an island-like state, a unique and specific environment that often operates by its own logic, somewhat buffered against the larger world beyond. And like the dodo, the university is facing new pressures to change that have arrived on its island, bringing with them questions about the premises on which the university operates. Many of the assumptions regarding the role of a university, which in earlier times may have be taken for granted, are now being questioned and even challenged by outside forces; the university’s island has become unstable. Unlike the dodo, however, the university may have the opportunity and capacity to considering “moving its eggs” and choose how best to adapt to a changing world. Though, of course, this possibility depends on the institution’s capacity to respond to change. And, it is this possibility that the project aims to explore: the prospect that this dodo may be able to learn how to launch itself into trees, as uncomfortable as that might be, and start building nests. Using the dodo’s story as a reference point, DodoLab then asked more than 125 people to think about how the university deals with change and specifically where it might be “laying its eggs on the ground” and leaving itself vulnerable to changing circumstances. This collaborative investigation with the university community used conversations exploring the parallels between the dodo and the university to map out the pressures facing the university as well as the barriers that prevent or limit responding to them. We wanted to know where the university was adapting to a changing world and where it wasn’t; and we wanted to know the factors influencing how and why this happened. The conversations revealed a deep sense of uncertainty about the role of the university, today and in the future, for the students and within society in general. The question of whether the purpose of the university was to prepare students for the job market was important for most students, as were questions of whether the university was in fact accomplishing this as well as it could be. Equally present, however, was the sense that there is a broader, more critical function for the university to play; but how exactly to articulate this belief seemed elusive to many students. Many wondered if this once worthy ambition had lost its potency amidst pressures to fit neatly with job markets and marketing campaigns to attract ever more students. It seemed that for many a clear sense of purpose within the university could act as a critical navigational tool in determining how and where the university should adapt, as well as how they as students fit into that educational narrative.

Overall, the conversations revealed that adaptation and change at the university are complex and multi-faceted issues, tied together on many levels with other issues at the university and in the world beyond. How the university adapts is a difficult thread to unravel. However, we found a few trends that came up over and over again and seemed particularly interesting and relevant. We imagined these issues as the university’s eggs, which were being left on the ground — moment of vulnerability but also opportunities for adaptation and growth. For the second phase of the project, DodoLab used these eggs as a point of departure and began to consider how one might come up with solutions for these complex issues. Again, the project turned to the animal kingdom and found six cases of animals with successful adaptation strategies, each one with parallels to stories we had heard at the university during the first round of the project. We wanted to look at what these animals were doing and question if it was possible to learn something from how they were responding to change. Like the story of the dodo, these stories acted as triggers, fables that offered a different way of looking at barriers that prevent adaptation; they also acted as suggestions, practical strategies for facing specific challenges, and occasionally as tokens of acknowledgement for unique strategies student, faculty and staff members had themselves developed in response to challenges they faced. Using these stories, with the same simple invitation for conversation as before, DodoLab collected more thoughts, comments and questions from the university community. We began to trace lines between individual struggles, institutional issues and larger social, economic and political phenomena. Though we uncovered new complexities and contradictions that made it clear that there are few simple solutions, it was also apparent that students are thinking seriously about the purpose of their time at university and how best to approach their education. Faculty and staff likewise are considering their role, how they can navigate change at the institution, effectively teach (or otherwise help students) and conduct research whilst ensuring their own survival. Many were deeply invested in figuring out how and where they could push for more beneficial changes at the university, something that most evidently saw as something that is, or soon will be, a necessity. We heard from numerous students who feel caught on a tight path that leads from student debt to a job market plagued by scarcity, with a narrow opportunity for success that depends on marketable job skills, top grades and no mistakes. Unlike popular narratives about a student’s time at university as a period of discovery and experimentation, it was apparent that many students were anxious about future prospects and how their actions now would help or hinder their chances at later success. At the same time, some students are questioning the value of following this allegedly safe route, realizing that sticking too closely to this scheme can mean missing out on the very experiences and discoveries that will make them most adaptable and resilient in a difficult world. Success is, of course, unpredictable and arrived at via different approaches for everyone. One wonders what success for our university-dodo might look like. After all, unlike its avian counterpart, for which extinction was clear and unmistakable, they are many different ways for the university to survive. It is a question of what kind of future the university is after; and then, if it is able to develop the defenses to protect the eggs that will hatch that future…

Office of VPR



This is just a sampling of all the extraordinary stories we have to share. Stay up-to-date with the official news source of the University of Lethbridge:

U OF L STUDENTS WIN CATEGORY TOP PRIZE AT MICROSOFT’S INNOVATION CUP CANADA U of L master’s students Mohammed Akbari (Computer Science) and Hossein Naseri (Physics), along with mentor Dr. Howard Cheng of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, won the top prize in the Innovation category at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Canada, a competition that invites students to use technology to do amazing things.

“The big difference between this work and existing products is that this program can be used on any standard piano or electronic keyboard,” says Cheng. The music is detected by ‘watching’ the pianist during the performance using video analysis algorithms. Other products require the use of a special electronic keyboard that transmits the keys pressed to a computer.”

The team, claVision, designed a software program that solves an age-old problem – how to transcribe piano music. The program (Visual Automatic Music Transcription of Piano) utilizes a video camera mounted on a piano that captures a person’s hands as he/she plays the instrument. It then converts the notes being played into sheet music.

The team will now go on to challenge the winners from the Games and World Citizen categories for the right to represent Canada at the 2014 Imagine Cup World Finals in Seattle, Washington, in July. “The team now has a chance to improve upon their software, as well as submit a project proposal and video presentation to further impress the judges,” says Cheng. “It’s almost like going into a Dragons’ Den presentation!”

THE ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD REDUX GAINS INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE Michael Campbell (Art) and Janice Rahn (Art Education) gained international exposure over recent months.

U OF L LAUNCHES C-CRAFT The newly launched Canadian Centre for Research in Advanced Fluorine Technologies (C-CRAFT) will help make the U of L Canada’s leading institution for the study and development of applications for the reactive element fluorine.

Their video project, The Elephant’s Graveyard Redux, was exhibited in the Rencontres Internationales at The Palais de Tokyo, one of the major exhibition sites in Paris. The project is also expected to travel to Madrid and Berlin. A previous piece, Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting, was exhibited at the 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival in 2012. They also did a short residency where they created a new work.

Mohammed Akbari, seated, and Hossein Naseri

The new C-CRAFT institute, led by this stellar group of faculty members, creates a hub for fluorine research at the U of L.

C-CRAFT will serve as a hub for fluorine researchers across the world, allowing them to come together and collaborate on fluorine, an element that has practical benefits for areas such as pharmaceuticals, oil production and medical imaging. “Fluorine chemistry is definitely a strength that is unique to the University of Lethbridge, so this Centre is a way to build on that strength by getting together scientists who are interested in this chemistry in order to share knowledge, conduct research together and provide services and expertise that are helpful to industry,” says chemistry and biochemistry professor Dr. Michel Gerken, C-CRAFT director.



UNIVERSITY CONTINUES TO GROW AS HUB FOR ADDICTION RESEARCH In January, the U of L appointed Dr. Darren R. Christensen as the Alberta Gambling Research Institute’s (AGRI) Chair in Gambling, adding to the University’s reputation as an internationally renowned centre for gambling and addictions research.

others. Studying gambling and other addictive behaviours from these different yet complementary perspectives creates the opportunity for some real insight,” he says.

Christensen’s five-year appointment began Jan. 10, and he is eager to tap into the U of L’s resources for his research ambitions. “What is exciting is that there are so many collaborative opportunities here, which provides me with the chance to work with behavioural neuroscientists, addictions counsellors and public health practitioners, among

Christensen has studied gambling and addiction in a number of countries and settings, including a two-year post-doctoral study in Arkansas where he worked at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Center for Addiction Research. He has recently studied contingency management treatment methods that use positive and/or negative outcomes to change the frequency of future behaviours as a treatment for substance abuse.

“Gambling is closer to substance abuse than people realize,” he says. “I look at gambling and substance abuse as a part of human decisionmaking. Where once it was thought of as an impulse-control disorder, it is now recognized as a behavioural addiction.”


STUDENTS SPEND 5 DAYS IN THE COLD TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUTH SHELTER A group of U of L students spent five nights sleeping in a “box bungalow” this past March as part of the annual 5 Days for the Homeless event, which took place from March 16 to 21 on the U of L campus. The students constructed their home for the week out of cardboard boxes and tape, and were not allowed to bring money, food or any technology with them. They were equipped with sleeping bags and basic clothing, and had to rely on strangers for food and additional items. The students (C.J. White Quills, Matt Gagne, Samantha Richardson, Kate Kovacs and Sara Unrau), along with organizers (Amie Hagstrom, Nicole Meurs and Heather Harty) raised $11,479.26 for the Wood’s Homes Emergency Youth Shelter, a local organization that supports youth at risk in the community. 22

An interdisciplinary group of U of L students showcased their problemsolving and presentation skills recently, earning first place at the 3rd Annual International Agribusiness Case Competition held at the University of Guelph. Monica Gorham (Management), Rebecca Joseph (Agriculture Studies), Phyllis MacCallum (Agriculture Studies) and Lara de Moissac (Agriculture Studies) were presented with a case

study that proposed using insects as a fourth protein source for both human consumption and livestock feed given the global issues of population increase combined with declining water and land resources. “These competitions give students the opportunity to apply their skills to realworld problems facing the agribusiness industry, which spans agricultural input industries to food retailing,” says Dr. Danny Le Roy, coordinator of

the University’s Agriculture Studies program and Chair of the Department of Economics. It was the first time a University of Lethbridge team had taken an interdisciplinary approach to the competition. The team now has the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, for another case competition sponsored by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE CLASS RAISES OVER $18,000 FOR LOCAL NON-PROFIT Students from the 2013-14 Integrated Management Experience (IME) class wrapped up their project this April, raising $18,209.51 for the Family Centre, a Lethbridge non-profit organization. Crystal Elliot, executive director of the Family Centre, is thrilled with the experience.

“We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to the program that will benefit the Family Centre in a huge way,” says Elliot. “We are so appreciative of the U of L management program, the Director of Theory into Practice Program Dan Kazakoff and the IME students. This has been an amazing opportunity!”

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RICK MERCER SPENDS TIME WITH PRONGHORN ATHLETES The CBC’s Rick Mercer might not be the most imposing figure to take his turn in the throwing circle, but there is no denying the size of his heart. The popular CBC television personality spent a day at the University of Lethbridge on March 10 as he learned the finer points of the art of throwing from the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns throwing team. Janet M. Brooke, provenance research specialist, with David Smith, U of L curatorial assistant

The Pronghorns were featured on the March 25 episode of the Rick Mercer Report. As of publication, the full episode is available at Get the behind-the-scenes report at

U OF L ART GALLERY WORKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND HISTORY OF HOLOCAUST-ERA ART The theft and displacement of artwork during the Second World War is an issue that affects collections around the world, and the U of L Art Gallery is working to help develop standards that will empower Canadian institutions to understand and embrace their stewardship responsibilities in Holocaust-era provenance research.

The Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO) is leading the project, with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage. The U of L is one of six participating museums, which include the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Dr. Josephine Mills, the U of L Art Gallery’s director/ curator, will direct the project, which will be led by Janet M. Brooke, provenance research specialist, and Nancy Karrels, research assistant. The project will investigate libraries and archives in Canada and across the world, and will develop best-practice guidelines.

“Canada’s art museums have long declared their will to pursue Holocaust-era provenance research,” says Mills. “But in the absence of resources and expertise on the ground, most have been unable to move forward. With this funding, CAMDO can now support its members in joining this crucial international research effort.”

DESTINATION PROJECT MOVES FORWARD The U of L Board of Governors approved two key elements of the Destination Project in the last few months.

joint venture, will lead the design process and will begin consultation with university and community stakeholders.

In February, the location for a new science and academic building was approved after consultation with internal and external stakeholders. The site will run parallel to the southern edge of Valley Road and extend east to University Hall.

“The Destination Project is one of the largest projects ever undertaken in southern Alberta. An integrated design process that engages key stakeholders is critical to the project’s success,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin.

Another milestone was achieved in April with the selection of the architecture firms responsible for designing the new science and academic building and the new energy/utility centre. Stantec Architecture and KPMB Architects, in

The Destination Project consists of the construction of a new academic building, the revitalization of University Hall and the construction of a new central plant for the University. In December 2013,

the project received a $200 million investment from the Government of Alberta, and the project will help enable the University’s strategic plan and continued future growth. For more information, visit:


Larry Steinke shares his approach with Pronghorn athletes, (Below, L-R) Kayla Gallagher, Aaron Hernadez and Peter Millman.




Larry Steinke (BA ‘94), the architect and head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns track and field team, has cultivated a program of excellence over the past 15-plus years, and while the team continues to pile up medals at Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships, his focus is squarely on maximizing the opportunities of his athletes well beyond their years in Pronghorn blue and gold. “From the very beginning, I wanted to establish a program that was sought after by athletes but not every athlete. I wanted to sift out those people who would make a good fit with the program,” says Steinke, who took over the track program in 1998. “I want athletes who have loftier goals than just CIS. A lot of schools are only worried about maximizing their athletes for the four years that they are in school. We’re a little different here because I look at each athlete from a long-term approach.” Those who buy into the philosophy understand the big picture mentality. They also have to look no further than a few lockers away – at Olympians Jim Steacy (BASc ’09) and Heather Steacy – to get a sense of the success it reaps. “I still have Jim’s autograph up on my wall at home,” says Peter Millman, who came to the U of L from Truro, N.S.

A second-year Pronghorn who won Canada West gold medals in both the weight throw and shot put, Millman saw the U of L as his only destination from the time he first started working with Steinke on a training trip to Lethbridge when he was in Grade 10. “Meeting Jim and having the opportunity to throw with an Olympian when I was in Grade 10 was one of the coolest things ever,” he says. “There were offers for me to go to different places but they were never entertained; it was always going to be Lethbridge.” Now recognized as a throwing power, the U of L is truly a destination school for the country’s elite throwers. Kayla Gallagher, another Truro product, just won her second consecutive CIS gold medal in weight throw and is one of 10 track athletes who have come to the U of L from outside of Alberta. All the while, Steinke is now beginning to see golden results outside of the throwing disciplines, noting that success really does breed success. “That is our challenge now, to try and move away from just the throws to create a culture of excellence across all of the event groups,” he says. Aaron Hernandez, from Coaldale, Alta., is one of those success stories after he won the CIS gold medal in triple jump and was named CIS Rookie

of the Year. He’s won early in his career but understands his ultimate goal is years away. “For any track and field athlete, their ultimate is to compete in the Olympics and that’s something I hope to see one day,” says Hernandez, who works with jump coach Jaime Thomas (BSc ’04).

“THEY ALL HAVE BRIGHT FUTURES INTERNATIONALLY AND THAT’S WHY I WANTED TO WORK WITH THEM.” LARRY STEINKE Hernandez, along with Gallagher, Millman and the rest of the Horns team get the Steinke program, knowing full well that the greatest rewards will come long after they have completed school. “They all have bright futures internationally and that’s why I wanted to work with them,” says Steinke. “We are about longer-term development. It’s whether the athlete has the wherewithal to stick it out for that long. I see that mentality in this group.” Something that bodes well for their futures, in any path they choose.




Just north of Cochrane, there is a piece of land nestled in the rolling hills, basking in Alberta’s big sky and offering a coveted view at every turn. The land holds history: decades of hard work, honesty and integrity are entrenched in every foot of its fertile soil. “When my father-in-law, George Wilson, came to Cochrane in 1905 from North Dakota, he settled on two quarters and broke the land,” says Valerie Wilson, who keeps the land and the three Wilson men who devoted their lives to working it close to her heart. “George passed his work ethic, dignity and commitment to community to his sons, my husband Murray and his brother Carl. They were gentle men who lived with the land.” Over the years, the Wilson family estate grew. Valerie and Murray spent 17 years together,


working hard, ranching and raising one of Alberta’s finest herds before Murray sadly passed away in 2006.

sentimentally explains. “The U of L of was one of my picks because so many of our rural children go there, many of them studying agriculture.”

“He worked 55 years without a day off,” Valerie says of Murray, who was one of the most respected cattlemen in the province.

An accomplished businesswoman and skillful investor, Valerie has high expectations for the 160 acres designated for the U of L.

Although all three Wilson men are gone now, their legacy lives on through Valerie and her vision for the property. The land that has such a deep connection to the family’s past will create a bright future for the University of Lethbridge. Valerie has donated a piece of this heritage property to the U of L, which will benefit the institution, its researchers and students for generations to come.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” she says. “My hope is that it will become part of the hamlet of Westbrook in the future, making it sub-dividable, which will truly increase the value of the land and bring a great bounty to the U of L.”

“The gift to the U of L is a reflection of my husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law, and their lives and work in agriculture,” Valerie

From a technical standpoint, Valerie and the U of L came to a unique agreement around this gift where the U of L would receive the property immediately,

Valerie’s donation to the University, however, is more than the land. She is sharing her time and her real-estate knowledge with the institution.

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but Valerie would lease the property for a term and would be able to advise the University on the best time to sell. Until then, Valerie continues to care for the land and graze cattle on it. “It’s such a valuable arrangement,” she says. “As a rancher or farmer, you get the best of both worlds. You can continue to enjoy the use of the land as well as see the potential benefits of your gift while you are alive.” And after a lifetime of work, being able to see the outcome of her donation is important to Valerie, whose life has been shaped by hard work and discipline.

“YOU CAN CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE USE OF THE LAND AS WELL AS SEE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF YOUR GIFT WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE.” VALERIE WILSON “I’ve always believed that people who are good and do good, live well,” says Valerie, who began working when she was eight years old. “I worked throughout my life and loved every day of it.” Although working hard is core to who Valerie

is, so are the people who surround her. A poet, gardener and someone who “feeds the world,” she has nurtured lifelong friendships, maintained a strong connection to her community and radiates a spitfire personality and kind, welcoming spirit. And for those who know Valerie, this generous gift is reflective of her character, morals and love of people. “I have had a sense of charity my entire life,” she says, “I want my donations to help others and I hope to inspire others to make a similar gift.” To view a video of Valerie’s story, visit:

(L-R) Carl Wilson (1923-2005) and Murray Wilson (1925-2006)



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For your support Students in the U of L call centre made more than 20,000 calls to alumni and donors this semester, with one common message, “Thank you.� Thank you for your support of our university. To learn more about the impact of giving at the U of L, visit:





concept for I-CYS emerged from an international conference on the state of child studies held at the U of L in May 2011. Childhoods Conference: Mapping the Landscapes of Childhood was a multidisciplinary three-day event that focused on new research results, policy approaches and theoretical paradigms in the field of child and childhood study. Scholars from the U of L and other institutions in disciplines such as education, sociology, English and neuroscience joined with child and youth practitioners to discuss themes such as gender, globalization, technology and adolescence.

The way we study young people is taking on a whole new meaning at the University of Lethbridge, where researchers are using a holistic approach to understand their experiences, development and challenges. The Institute for Child and Youth Studies, or I-CYS, is a research institute that is using a multidisciplinary lens to examine what children and youth mean as social, demographic, artistic, legal and existential categories. Launched in October 2012, and one of only a small handful of such initiatives worldwide, the institute involves U of L scholars from the humanities, social sciences and sciences collaborating to gain a greater understanding of child and youth matters. “Cross-disciplinary work is especially important for understanding young people,” says I-CYS codirector Dr. Kristine Alexander, a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Child and Youth Studies and an assistant professor of history. “The academic study of history, like many other fields, was initially based on the assumption that young people’s thoughts and experiences were less important than those of adults. Challenging this assumption by working collaboratively is at the heart of what I-CYS is all about.” Alexander began working at the U of L in July 2013, and says she has been impressed by the creativity and passion of her colleagues. The


“If you only talk to people who know the same thing as you, your knowledge never changes. Having people from different disciplines engage with each other was a way to build on and exchange what we know about the young,” says I-CYS co-director Dr. Jan Newberry, Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the U of L and one of the conference organizers. The diverse and provocative ideas that emerged from the conference prompted Newberry and her colleagues to explore developing a fullfledged multidisciplinary research initiative at the University focused on childhood studies. After a year and a half of planning, which included securing the Canada Research Chair, the idea came to fruition. Today, seven U of L faculty members from the disciplines of history,

anthropology, literary studies, psychology, neuroscience and education lead the institute. “I-CYS values curiosity and the exploration of ideas, just like the play of a child,” says Newberry. “As we talk from a variety of perspectives – the archives, the classroom, the field, the book, the laboratory – about what it means to try to study and understand the young, we discover hidden paths, tangled woods and interesting play spaces.”

“I-CYS VALUES CURIOSITY AND THE EXPLORATION OF IDEAS, JUST LIKE THE PLAY OF A CHILD.” DR. JAN NEWBERRY Further, Newberry explains, I-CYS aims to be an idea generator (just like any entrepreneurial enterprise) – only the payoff here is better questions, especially those that aren’t usually asked because researchers are trapped in disciplinary silos. To build on the momentum of the original conference, the institute is hosting an exchange of ideas with a selected group of national and international scholars and practitioners on campus this spring. The workshop, Risk and Resilience: Conjoined Categories with Multiple Mothers, will

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explore the dimensions of the potential dangers to youths and their responses to it, with the aim to encourage a more creative approach to research dissemination that will help research reach a wider, more general public. “We see the workshop as the beginning step to creating a truly interdisciplinary approach to understanding young people,” Alexander says. Through the playful exploration of new strategies for conducting research, and daring to think differently about how work is conducted within one’s own field, Alexander and Newberry hope participants will develop a whole new mindset to think about risk and resilience, fully embracing the advantages of a multidisciplinary perspective, and so pave the way for a truly interdisciplinary approach to the study of child and youth. U of L students are also helping to advance the institute’s objectives to better understand the lives of young people from a variety of perspectives. The institute holds “friendly feedback” sessions where students from different academic areas gain diverse input on their child- and youth-related research projects from the I-CYS directors. As well, the institute is recruiting a post-doctoral fellow for a one-year term starting this September. Over the longer term, I-CYS will introduce a minor option in child and youth studies at the University and, eventually, undergraduate and graduate degrees in the subject.

Back row (L-R): Dr. Louise Barrett, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour; Dr. Amy von Heyking; Dr. Jan Newberry, I-CYS co-director; Dr. Sergio Pellis, Board of Governors Research Chair Front row (L-R): Dr. Janay Nugent; Dr. Elizabeth Galway; Dr. Kristine Alexander, I-CYS co-director and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Child and Youth Studies

A key part of the institute’s work involves pursuing a broad mix of partnerships to explore specific issues of childhood. To that end, it is exploring ways to engage with different groups within the University, including Complex Social Change, an interdisciplinary research program exploring how social change takes place; and the Centre for Oral History and Tradition, which is focused on advancing the practice of oral history.

made important founding connections with the institute, and there is a lot of excitement about the potential of joint projects with both organizations.


An advisory committee of researchers, community agencies, First Nations, Métis and Inuit groups, and undergraduate and graduate students is helping to guide the institute’s activities, which will also include another international conference in 2015.


Outside of the University, the institute will work to connect with local organizations on child and youth research. Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, along with its executive director, Tanya Pace-Crosschild (BSc ’98), was the first partner in research developed by I-CYS. Along with Opokaa’sin, the Galt Museum & Archives also

“There is a sense that there is a need to pay attention to children and the young as an interesting crossroads in knowledge,” Newberry says. “The institute is creating exciting opportunities for us as researchers to think about how we can extend our work across disciplines and into the community.”




By asking questions from a variety of perspectives, I-CYS aims to be an idea generator.

What do photos and letters tell us about history? History professor Dr. Kristine Alexander investigates how young people are affected by imperialism, colonialism and war. By analyzing the many photos produced by the Girl Guide movement during the 20th century, she is seeking to understand the experiences of girls whose voices are largely absent from the movement’s textual records. With another research project, she is studying family letters written by Canadian children during the First World War to better understand their home lives and emotional well-being.

How does social life shape how we think and act in the world?

How does children’s literature impact adulthood and reflect adult concerns?

It’s a question psychology professor Dr. Louise Barrett is seeking to answer from an evolutionary perspective. She studies both humans and non-human primates, and has conducted long-term field studies of baboons in the Western Cape of South Africa and vervet monkeys in the Eastern Cape. She is shedding new light on a broad range of topics ranging from cooperation, sexual conflict, maternal investment and life history in the primates, to social development in human children, to parental investment and attitudes to HIV-AIDS in South African women.

English professor Dr. Elizabeth Galway says children’s literature is deeply influenced by adults, often revealing their desires and concerns. In turn, literature we read as children has a profound effect on the attitudes we carry as adults. She is studying First World War children’s literature to understand adult conceptions of childhood during that time. This literature has direct relevance to events taking place today. For example, how does the portrayal of child soldiers in WWI literature help us understand current debates about the use of underage fighters?



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I-CYS researchers Dr. Louise Barrett (far right) and Dr. Kristine Alexander (far left) in group discussion with students.

How do you define childhood?

What change can children bring?

What do children learn from play?

Can children think historically?

According to anthropology professor Dr. Jan Newberry, there’s more than one definition. And she probes further: “What constitutes a good childhood?” To find answers (and more questions), she explores community, state, gender, economy, urban anthropology and space. Her work takes her to Java, a small island of Indonesia, where she investigates the global politics of childhood. Her research investigates how the introduction of early childhood care and development programs in Indonesia is affecting local meanings of childhood and childrearing.

History professor Dr. Janay Nugent (BA ‘95) is examining the role that children, youth and parents played in converting the Scottish nation from Catholicism to Calvinism during the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformation. Her social historical research intersects with larger questions of child and youth studies, gender analysis, and theology and practice. She is also co-editing a research collection that uses the perspectives of archaeology, history, literature and art history to reflect what children reveal about the medieval and early modern past.

With more than 30 years of work on play, neuroscience professor Dr. Sergio Pellis investigates the role of rough-and-tumble play in the development of social skills. With his colleagues at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, he has shown in rats that the experience of play in the juvenile period alters the anatomy of the brain cells of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain involved in mediating social skills. The next big question involves identifying exactly what the experiences are during play that provides this training effect on social skills.

Education professor and historian Dr. Amy von Heyking’s research interests include the history of Canadian school curriculum, religion in schools and history teaching and learning. She is particularly interested in children’s historical thinking skills and recently completed a research project that examined the nature of elementary school students’ understandings and expressions of historical perspectives. By interviewing children as they examined archival photographs and by observing their classroom work, she was able to analyze the extent to which the children could recognize and articulate the differences between contemporary worldviews and those of people in the past.




In January, Lydia Ryall (BSc ’06) was named the 2014 British Columbia and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmer. The honour recognizes farmers aged 40 and under who derive at least two-thirds of their income from farming. Nominees are evaluated on, among many things, their conservation activities, financial and management practices, production history and contributions to the community. As a regional winner, Ryall, 29, will travel to Quebec City this fall to compete for the title of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer. Ryall’s passion for farming took root when she was just a child. A third-generation farmer whose parents owned a greenhouse operation, Ryall regularly heard about the agricultural industry during dinner-table conversations. Today, she owns and operates Cropthorne Farm, a fourhectare, certified organic farm on Westham Island, close to Ladner, B.C. Working alongside older sister Rachel, Ryall also employs two full-time, year-round employees and three full-time seasonal employees. Together, they grow more than 50 types of vegetables, everything from arugula to zucchini. In addition, eggs are provided by the farm’s 100 free-range hens. In the five years since Ryall started Cropthorne, she has become known for her commitment to conservation, farmland preservation and alternative pest-management practices. For example, to protect her plants and prevent insect damage, Ryall uses sprays that are organically approved and a lightweight fabric called a floating row cover. “I believe that we’re stewards of the land,” says Ryall. “I want my farm to work with nature as much as possible.”


Using the tagline “Real. Good. Honest. Food.” Cropthorne’s products are sold at local farmers’ markets, to nearby restaurants and through a seasonal farm stand. Cropthorne also runs its own 90-member Community Supported Agriculture Box program. But just because Ryall uses social media to connect with customers and directly sells to local buyers doesn’t mean her business concerns are any different from those who run larger, more conventional operations. “Small farms want to make money, too,” she says. “Growing food is the easy part. We also deal with debt, manage millions of dollars in cash flow, market our products and handle staffing issues.” Ryall credits the University of Lethbridge for teaching her about the complexities of modern farming. The only liberal arts university in Canada to offer an Agricultural Studies program, the U of L helps aspiring agriculturalists gain an in-depth understanding of contemporary farming and ranching activities through hands-on learning and courses in such diverse subject areas as biological sciences, economics and geography. “The U of L taught me to become a lifelong learner and how to network within my industry,” says Ryall, who frequently attends agricultural conferences to stay on top of new developments in her field. She is also director of the Delta Farmers’ Institute, is involved with the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association and serves on a local agricultural advisory committee. “I think about what I can do in my own corner of the world to make positive change,” says Ryall. “There’s a lot of stress involved in farming. Every year brings different challenges. But being a farmer is also very rewarding.”

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UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS Spring Alumni Celebration May 28, 2014 | 6:30 p.m. Markin Hall Atrium | University of Lethbridge Lethbridge, Alta.

John Gill Memorial Golf Tournament June 13, 2014 | 1:30 p.m. Shotgun Start Registration: $150 Henderson Lake Golf Club | Lethbridge, Alta.

University of Lethbridge Spring Convocation May 29-30, 2014 | 1st Choice Savings Centre

ULAA Calgary Chapter Golf Tournament August 21, 2014 | 2 p.m. Shotgun Start Registration $175 MacKenzie Meadows Golf Club | Calgary, Alta.

Vancouver Alumni & Friends Event June 5, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. The Vancouver Club 915 West Hastings Street | Vancouver, BC ULAA Annual General Meeting June 18, 2014 | 7 p.m. Dr. Foster James Penny Building | Lethbridge, Alta.

En Plein Air: An Afternoon of Art and Music August 24, 2014 | 12-5 p.m. Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage Nanton, Alta. For more information about these events or to RSVP, please e-mail or call 1-866-552-2582


Alumni Benefits & Services As a graduate of the University of Lethbridge, you are a lifelong member of the Alumni Association. Stay connected to make the most of your membership. Visit


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LIKE our Alumni page at Follow us: @ULethbridgeAlum Join our LinkedIn group: University of Lethbridge Alumni, Students, Faculty & Staff



U of L Alumni Association Council President Grant Adamson BSc ’03 Vice-President Randy Kobbert BMgt ’86

Alumni Association Chapters welcome new presidents (L-R) Mike Bruised Head and Jacob Christian

Both Mike Bruised Head (BASc (BA) ’80, BEd ’98) and Jacob Christian (BMgt ’03) are experiencing symptoms of déjà vu as they step into their new roles as president of the University of Lethbridge’s Alumni Association First Nations, Métis and Inuit Chapter and Edmonton Chapter, respectively. Active as students years ago, their new leadership roles have brought them back to familiar territory. “In an interesting way, it feels like my life has come full circle,” says Bruised Head, who completed a degree in Native American studies when the program was in its infancy. In addition to his program, he was actively involved with the Native American Students’ Association, serving as president in his final year of studies and helping establish many of the supports First Nations, Métis and Inuit students benefit from today. Christian was a student at the U of L’s Edmonton campus and worked hard to represent the interests of students on that campus.


“We really tried to create a positive experience for students in Edmonton,” says Christian, who was the Students’ Union representative for the Edmonton campus. “Because we didn’t have the same facilities and opportunities as students in Lethbridge, it was important to create a strong sense of community on that satellite campus.” With their recent appointments, both Bruised Head and Christian are returning to a university that’s experienced substantial growth since they were students. They too have changed and are coming back with resumes overflowing with achievements, both personal and professional, as well as a desire to serve the university that gave them their start. “I want to be a role model for today’s FNMI students,” says Bruised Head, who enjoyed a long career with the Kainai Board of Education before retiring in 2012. “I want to help showcase the work of other alumni so that current students see the opportunities and work hard to follow in our footsteps.” Christian, an entrepreneur with several businesses in the Edmonton area, echoes that sentiment, wanting to serve alumni and create stronger U of L connections in Edmonton. “I want to build a sense of community for alumni in Edmonton,” says Christian, who notes this isn’t always easy for professionals trying to balance the demands of work and family. “I think this means coming up with new and innovative ways to connect alumni to each other and the University. I want to engage alumni in ways that are meaningful to them.”

Treasurer Jason Baker BMgt ’02 Past President Kathy Lewis BN ’83, MEd ’99 Secretary Sharon Malec BEd ’73 Alumni Association Directors Neil Boyden BASc ‘73, BEd ‘85, MEd ‘94 Rachel Caldie BMgt ’07 Jeff DeJong BFA ‘98 Michael Gabriel BASc ‘04 Greg Imeson BA ’04 Ted Likuski BEd ’74 Jeff Milner BFA ’06, BEd ‘12 Jan Tanner BA ’04, MA ’06 Board of Governors Representative Richard Masson BMgt ‘87 Students’ Union Representative Chris Hollingsworth Graduate Students’ Association Representative Mark Carrell Calgary Chapter President Jeff Wilson BMgt ‘05 Edmonton Chapter President Jacob Christian BMgt ’03 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Chapter Chair Michael Bruised Head BASc (BA) ’80, BEd ’98 Alumni Relations Maureen Schwartz, Director, Alumni Relations Contact us: University of Lethbridge Alumni Association 4401 University Drive West Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 Phone: 403-317-2825 Toll-Free: 1-866-552-2582 E-mail:



2014 Alumni Honour Society Inductees

Denise Calderwood, MEd ’93 Denise Calderwood is an active documentary filmmaker and passionate supporter of the arts. Since founding her own film production company, Chinook Fire Productions, she has helped write, direct, film and produce 10 documentaries covering various topics of relevance to southern Alberta. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Calderwood has diligently served her community by volunteering her time with the Fort Museum, the Empress Theatre and the Fort Macleod International Festival, which brings classical musicians to venues across the area. Michael Dimnik, Q.C., BASc (BA) ’81 After graduating from the U of L, Michael Dimnik obtained a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Currently Dimnik is a highly respected lawyer and principal of his own firm and was recently named to Queen’s Council, an honour that recognizes his commitment to his profession and his community. In addition to his professional obligations, Dimnik has devoted considerable time to numerous community organizations, including St. Michael’s Health Centre, the Lethbridge Regional Police Commission, the Lethbridge Separate School Division as well as the U of L Alumni Association and Senate, and currently serves as a director on a number of boards including the Covenant Health of Alberta Board of Directors.


Craig Findlay, BEd ’93, MEd ’10 An educator in Lethbridge for more than 21 years, Craig Findlay is recognized for his innovative and engaging approach to social studies education. His willingness to embrace technology in the classroom combined with his support of multiple learning styles results in studentdriven projects that encourage exploration in a variety of subjects as they relate to current events. Findlay is committed to bringing his subject matter to life and has planned three European student tours that highlight points of interest in the social studies curriculum. Dedicated to his profession and respected by his peers, Findlay was one of only 60 teachers in Canada to receive a Certificate of Achievement in the Prime Minister’s 2013 Awards for Teaching Excellence. Wendy Cecilia Fox, BASc (BA) ’71 Born and raised in Lethbridge, Alta., Wendy C. Fox was one of the forward-thinking citizens who believed southern Alberta merited its own university. She began her studies at the U of L in 1968, only one year after the University’s inception, and was an engaged student, maintaining a high GPA, serving on several University committees and playing badminton. Her U of L experience fostered a commitment to lifelong learning that would eventually lead her to complete an MA in anthropology. Her passionate approach to life has led to her success in the field of career development, where her innovative approach to theoretical developments translates into a variety of effective practices.

Robbin Gibb, BASc (BSc) ’77, MSc ’01, PhD ’04 A three-time alumna, Dr. Robbin Gibb was the first student to complete a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree at the University of Lethbridge. Currently an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the U of L, her research focuses on parental influences on brain development and recovery from early brain injury. She has published more than 60 journal articles and presented her research findings to various community, government and judiciary organizations. Gibb’s passion for her subject matter serves as the inspiration for her teaching and she is well respected by students, colleagues and community members. She is a member of the Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee for Lethbridge College, the Alberta Learning and Child Care Curriculum Advisory Committee and the province’s Early Childhood Development Priority Initiative Research and Innovation Strategy Committee. Sheila McHugh, DPE ’84, MEd ’97 Trained as an educator, Sheila McHugh spent many years as a substitute teacher while trying to balance the demands of work and family. Her experiences led her to complete a master’s degree, investigating the status of substitute teachers in school districts across southern Alberta. Her work on this subject has been published in academic journals and she has presented her findings both locally and internationally. In addition, McHugh served as president of the U of L Alumni Association, playing a key role in advancing the association and strengthening communication with its alumni.

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Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 2014

U of L graduates are making amazing things happen in the world. Alumni success is an important part of the University’s story and we want to celebrate these achievements.

Lawrence Johnson, BASc (BSc) ’78 Lawrence Johnson’s clear and innovative approach to fuel waste technology has established his position as an international leader in the field. After graduating from the U of L in 1978, Johnson took advantage of the growing opportunities in the nuclear industry at that time and started his career at Atomic Energy of Canada. During his time with the company, he led the Canadian studies for the development of engineered barriers for nuclear waste disposal that played a central role in Canadian Environmental Assessment and Review Process conducted from 1994-97. Currently working for the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Switzerland, Johnson coordinates planning of research on repositories for radioactive waste, manages studies on spent nuclear fuel under disposal conditions and is responsible for developing design concepts for disposal canisters.


The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association is currently accepting applications for the 2015 Alumnus of the Year and the 2015 Alumni Honour Society awards. If you know an alumnus who deserves to be recognized, let us know by nominating them for one of our distinguished alumni awards. The nomination deadline is December 31, 2014. For nomination packages, please visit Above: Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Lawrence Johnson Top (L-R): Denise Calderwood, Michael Dimnik, Craig Findlay, Wendy Cecilia Fox, Robbin Gibb, Sheila McHugh

For more information, please contact Alumni Relations at 1-866-552-2582 or e-mail at All nominations are confidential.

He is the author of more than 120 journals, reports and conference papers, and acts as a consultant to numerous international waste disposal organizations. Lawrence Johnson will be recognized for his outstanding professional accomplishments at the fall 2014 convocation ceremony.


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As a graduate, we hope you display your success with pride. The University of Lethbridge Alumni Association offers a selection of professional frames to showcase your degree, each elegantly emblazoned with the U of L’s shield.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 HENDERSON LAKE GOLF CLUB For more information visit,



WHAT’S NEW? Let your classmates know what you are up to by sharing a note about your life. Share your news with us by e-mail, phone or mail.

Submissions chosen for publication may have been edited for length and clarity. The requested information is collected under the authority of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for the purpose of managing the alumni records for use in University of Lethbridge publications. Questions concerning the collection, use and disposal of this information can be directed to University Advancement.

1970 Elaine Unger-Pengilly BEd ’78 “I retired from teaching in 2011 and wrote my first junior novel (also an enjoyable read for adults, I’ve been told). The book will be available in Chapters later this year.”

ALUMNUS TAKES A STAND AGAINST BULLYING Manwar Khan (BSc ’07), a 37-year-old IT professional, saw his life change in an instant when he witnessed a brutal beating on an Edmonton LRT train. Powerless to stop the attack, he struggled coming to terms with the victim’s eventual death and decided to take action. In April 2013, Khan staged the first of three anti-bullying rallies he would hold across the province. His first, in Edmonton, attracted city officials, concerned citizens and multiple media outlets. “I want to encourage people to stand up against bullying, not just stand by,” said Khan. With support from the U of L, the proud alumnus went on to host rallies in both Calgary and Lethbridge, furthering the communityminded attributes he acquired during his time as a University of Lethbridge student. In recognition of his efforts, Khan has been announced as a finalist for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards, which recognizes people who have come to Canada and had a positive impact. Visit to vote. Winners will be announced in June.

Alumni Relations University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive West Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 Toll-Free: 1-866-552-2582 E-mail:

Michael McAndrews BEd ’79 “Although I retired as a physical education teacher, I am still substitute teaching and coaching cross-country running, volleyball and basketball at Holy Redeemer High School in Edson, Alta.”

1980 Beverly Lawton BMgt ’85 “Working with W.L. Dueck & Co. LLP at their magnificient location right on the shores of Steveston Village in Richmond, B.C., has been both a joy and a challenge. In addition, I’m happy our new office in downtown Calgary, Alta., has recruited top professional staff – many of whom are U of L graduates.” Anita Nicholas BASc (BA) ’87 “I have four lovely grandchildren who live in Alberta. Learning languages is my latest quest.”

1990 Terry Whitehead BASc ’94 Terry Whitehead initiated the Fiction at Fifty playwriting competition, which commissioned full-length plays to celebrate University of Lethbridge’s 50th

anniversary. The winning play will be produced in October 2017. Janelle Petersen BMus ’95 “I recently got married and my husband and I now have an amazing eight-monthold little boy named Thomas.”

2000 Casey Pelter BA ’00 “I have been with Royal Caribbean Cruises for the last 13 years since graduation. I have sailed around the world and am in charge of all the entertainment on board some of the world’s largest cruise ships.” Julie Trops BFA ’01 “I just published the book Art & Money in October 2013. It’s currently available on” Peter Jickling BA ’05 “I live in Whitehorse, Yukon, and work as a playwright and columnist/assistant editor of What’s Up Yukon, the territory’s weekly entertainment rag. In 2011 my first play, Syphilis: A Love Story, was given a full production in Whitehorse and was well received. We took it to the Edmonton Fringe Festival the following year, where it sold out three nights. We also took it to the 2013 Victoria Fringe Festival where it won the prize for best comedy.” Jesse Kramps BASc ’05 Jesse Kramps and his brother Shane completed a two-week trek through the Himalayas in Nepal, the highlight 43


of which was a stop at Kala Patthar, which is known as the top viewpoint for Mount Everest. Nikki Kennedy BMgt ’06 “Since graduating I have worked as the HR manager for Whisper Creek Log Homes (Cardston, Alta.), Duratech Contracting (Cardston/Lethbridge, Alta.), Home Depot (Lethbridge, Alta.) and IKEA Edmonton (Edmonton, Alta.). I was recognized with a Women in Leadership Award while with Home Depot for promoting diversity within the workplace.” Kyle Franz MA ’07 “I have accepted a new position with the Government of Saskatchewan as the new executive officer of the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, a Crown agency that oversees the disbursement of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year across the province in support of projects that promote Saskatchewan’s Built Heritage or Archeological assets.” Meaghan Kirkpatrick BA ’07 “As a trumpet player in the Rider Pep Band (one of the few pep bands in the CFL), I recently played at the Grey Cup. I am also now playing with the Prairie Winds Symphony.”

Kelly Suschinsky MSc ’07, PhD ’12 Kelly is the recipient of the following awards: International Academy of Sex Research Best Student Poster Award (July 2008), University of Lethbridge’s Medal of Merit (MSc) (May 2007), University of Saskatchewan’s Dean’s Honour Roll (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004), Golden Key Honours Society Member (inducted 11/01). She is currently employed at Queen’s University in the Department of Psychology. Minying Zhang BMgt ’07 “2013 was an important and very meaningful year for me: I was promoted to Chief Representative at Standard Chartered Securities (HK) Ltd’s Shanghai Representative Office and I got married at Christmas.” Kallie Desruisseaux BA ’08 Kallie Desruisseaux, accountant with KPMG and enthusiastic co-owner of Kapow Comics, Cards and Games in downtown Lethbridge, made the honour roll for the 2013 national CA qualifying exam. Darren Schmidt BMgt ’08 “I am currently finishing my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Calgary Faculty of Law (2014). I plan to complete my articles of clerkship in Calgary and hope to practise law in southern Alberta.”

U OF L ALUMNUS FEATURED BY SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Through his work in quantum gravity and cosmology, alumnus Ahmed Farag Ali (PhD ’12) has made a startling discovery – one with implications going back as far as the big bang.

at the time of the so-called big bang,” explains Ali. “Therefore, our universe, although expanding, may not have started at a single point; instead, it could have been there forever.”

Ali is one of a group of contributors who have developed the Rainbow Gravity Theory, which says our universe has no beginning.

If proved to be true, the prediction would have implications for how we view the beginning, the evolution and the ultimate fate of our universe.

“We use the idea that light of different colours (or frequencies) travel along slightly different paths in our gravity-filled cosmos, thus called gravity’s rainbow. Consequently, the varying frequencies do not meet at the same singular position in the far past, about 14 billion years ago,

The work has been featured in various publications, including on the Scientific American website in December 2013. To read the article, visit article/rainbow-gravity-universebeginning/.

SWEET GESTURE The annual University of Lethbridge Alumni Association cupcake giveaway took place in March with more than 1,600 cupcakes handed out to 419 residence students – a little reminder that a loved one was thinking of them as they enter the homestretch of the spring semester. “One of the key messages we give to parents when their sons and daughters begin their educational journey with the U of L is that we will provide a personal and supportive environment for them,” says Grant Adamson (BSc ’03),


University of Lethbridge Alumni Association (ULAA) president. “This is a fun way to deliver on that promise. It’s also a great opportunity for our association to engage with our students, who will be a part of the ULAA in the near future.” Initiated in 2012, the annual cupcake campaign provides parents or supporters of residence students the opportunity to purchase a box of four cupcakes for their loved one, within which they can include a personal message of encouragement.

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Earlier this year, the U of L announced the Fiction at Fifty playwriting competition, which will commission a new, full-length on-campus play to be produced in October 2017 in celebration of the U of L’s 50th anniversary.

Thanks to the generosity of founder and former CEO Dr. Ed McNally (LLD ’05), the University of Lethbridge has benefitted greatly from the support of Big Rock Brewery in Calgary, Alta.

Supported by lead donor Terry Whitehead (BA ’94), the competition received 75 applications from interested playwrights from across Canada.

Jan Boudreau BA ’09, BEd ’11 “I am in my second year of teaching and have moved back to my hometown to teach Grade 4 French immersion. I am so glad to be back in southern Alberta again and love to be teaching my passion!” Troy Hale BMgt ’09 “After spending the last seven years in Lethbridge, the wind finally blew my wife, daughter and I back home to Medicine Hat, Alta. I am currently a financial planner at BMO Bank of Montreal and my finance education is helping me guide others to meet their financial goals.”

2010 Dan Juhlin BSc ’10 “I have been selected and trained by Cenovus on their newly acquired UAV to collect high-resolution imagery. We are pleased that U of L alumni Steve Myshak (BSc ’10) and Owen Brown (BSc ’09) at Isis Geomatics are involved in our program.” Kristen Skura BSc/BMgt ’11 Kristen Skura made the honour roll for the 2013 national CA qualifying exam. Joe Porter BMus ’11, MMus ’13 Composer and vibraphonist Joe Porter won the Gold Medal Prize for Creativity

A jury will select three proposals from the 75 submitted and each playwright will be offered a $2,000 commissioning contract to write a full-length draft of their play within 18 months. The three finalists will be announced on June 2, 2014. At the end of the 18-month writing period, a second jury will evaluate the three completed drafts and select a winning play.

Two alums, Nick Kedoin (BMgt ’10) and Bryce Bowman (BMgt ’12), are part of the Big Rock team, putting their education to use and further enhancing the University’s connection to the company. “My main responsibility is to plan, coordinate, manage and execute events throughout Calgary and area,” says Kedoin, who initially worked as a customer service representative for the company before taking on his current role as Big Rock’s events coordinator in 2012. Bowman is the public relations and digital communications coordinator. “I work to enhance Big Rock’s internal and external communication initiatives and to improve how the company connects with its employees, the media, consumers and influencers,” explains Bowman, who has served the company in various roles since 2012.

and Originality at the Global Music Awards International for a piece written for and premiered at U of L Global Drums. Kim Siever BA ’13 “Shortly before graduation, I started my own communications company, specializing in writing, editing and social-media management. Because my education was liberal-arts based, I have been able to apply lots of what I learned (including researching, critical thinking, analysis and just general knowledge I had gained). Thanks, U of L.” Meryl McKinnon BA ’13, BEd ’13 “I was the founder of the U of L ringette club, a competitive team that is still active today. I’m currently coaching the team and we compete against other universities in the province, as well as other open ‘A’ teams.” John Vizza BA ’13 “In 2013 I got married and started a new job here in Lethbridge, working with youth from the seven Catholic schools in the city. I am very involved with the church and the community, serving as the Chancellor and Director of Formation for the Knights of Columbus, the Chair of both the Lethbridge Pastoral Zone and Diocesan Youth Ministry Board for the Diocese of Calgary, and as a member of the Alberta Health Advisory Council.”

SPENCER SEEKING A VIEW LIKE NO OTHER Dr. Locke Spencer (MSc ’05, PhD ’09) is developing a sophisticated instrument that’s meant to do what humans cannot: investigate the most far-flung and inaccessible areas of the final frontier. Spencer, a professor of physics and astronomy at the U of L, is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Experimental Astrophysics and received $500,000 in funding over five years. And while the chairholder position may have attracted Spencer to the U of L from Cardiff University in Wales, it’s definitely not the astrophysicist’s first time on campus. He completed his master’s degree at the U of L and was the first graduate of the Earth, Space and Physical Science PhD program. “Right now, we’re missing pieces of information and we’re hoping to fill in the gaps,” says Spencer, who is working to improve observations of our universe through the relatively unexplored far-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. “We want to see what’s really happening in space. We have to keep looking on the horizon and moving forward so we can advance Canada as an international player in the field of far-infrared space exploration.”



PRONGHORN PRIDE Pronghorn alumna Andrea Hlady (BEd ’93) hasn’t spent much time on the hard court since graduation, but no one would question her continued commitment to the Pronghorns women’s basketball program. “I truly realize the value that being part of a team has brought to my life,” says Hlady, who remains an ardent supporter of the program. “It isn’t often that you are involved in an environment where you have such a high and intense level of support. The synergy created is powerful and bonding, and I hope many other athletes have this experience.” Hlady wanted to ensure the continued success of the program and began considering how she and other athletes could give back. As a successful fundraiser, Hlady was in the process of completing

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a master of arts in philanthropy and development and was exploring the process of setting up an endowment. After discussing the idea with her former teammates, Hlady and other Pronghorn alumni established the Pronghorns Women’s Basketball Program Advancement Endowment. Not only did the research complement the work Hlady completed for her master’s degree, the resulting endowment will provide ongoing funds to advance and enhance the program that means so much to her. So far, 10 alumni have made contributions, demonstrating the loyalty and leadership we have come to expect from our Pronghorns. For more information or to contribute, visit:

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In Memoriam The U of L’s founding president Dr. W. A. Sam Smith (LLD ’90) always maintained “people matter ultimately.” This sentiment has remained at the heart of the U of L over the last 47 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 sincerest condolences to their family and friends. We take every effort to ensure the accuracy of this list. If you note an error or omission, please accept our sincere apologies and contact Alumni Relations at 403-317-2825 or List as of April 15, 2014. Glenn Lawrie BASc (BA) ’87 Passed away February 5, 2013 Dolores Reimer BASc (BA) ’79 Passed away April 21, 2013 Margaret Debra Phillips BA ’89 Passed away June 11, 2013 Patricia Frantz DPE ’84 Passed away July 13, 2013 David Newton BASc BA ’72 Passed away August 22, 2013 Barbara Karbashewski BEd ’82 Passed away September 4, 2013 Keith Knight BEd ’76 Passed away September 11, 2013 Gerald Grimes BEd ’74 Passed away September 17, 2013

Del Allen, Management Scholarship Dinner Honouree Passed away October 8, 2013 Maureen Peszat BMA ’80 Passed away October 8, 2013 Robert Twa, Professor Emeritus Passed away October 8, 2013 Andrea Crawshaw BA ’04 Passed away October 9, 2013 Sheilah Convery BEd ’77 Passed away October 11, 2013 Zyla Wentz BEd ’75 Passed away October 19, 2013 Carol Poynton BEd ’80 Passed away October 30, 2013 Matthew Smulski BMgt ’09 Passed away October 31, 2013

Peter Green, Former Senator Passed away November 3, 2013

Kwame Andrews BMgt ’08 Passed away January 10, 2014

Carol Williams BA ’88, BEd ’88 Passed away November 6, 2013

Willemke Plomp, Former Staff Passed away January 12, 2014

Jane McMullin BEd ’72 Passed away November 30, 2013

Taylor Moser BFA ’07 Passed away January 13, 2014

Richard Smith BMgt ’86 Passed away November 30, 2013

Gordon Waugh, Former Staff Passed away January 21, 2014

Dale Bartlett LLD ’84 Passed away December 20, 2013

Mildred Jacobs BEd ’76 Passed away January 26, 2014

Linda Nolin BEd ’87 Passed away December 23, 2013

Leonard Haney LLD ’05 Passed away January 31, 2014

James Coutts LLD ’12 Passed away December 31, 2013

Grant Miller BASc (BA) ’71 Passed away January 31, 2014

Lilliane Lastuka BEd ’70 Passed away January 1, 2014

Curtis John Stilling, Student Passed away February 10, 2014

Helen Manyfingers BEd ’78, LLD ’82 Passed away January 1, 2014

Joseph Belcourt, Former Staff Passed away April 15, 2014


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


from the president The late anthropologist Margaret Mead once wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” It’s a famous quote that is fitting for the University of Lethbridge and this issue of SAM in particular. Nearly five decades ago, a determined group of citizens set forth to establish a university in southern Alberta. Today, the University of Lethbridge is one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions. Approximately 8,300 students attend our campuses in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton each year, and nearly 37,000 students have crossed our stage at convocation and gone on to make incredible contributions in communities around the globe. As this issue of SAM demonstrates, we are a community of change catalysts. From boardrooms to classrooms, hospitals, laboratories, farms, galleries, small towns, big cities and beyond, we are – literally – changing the world by advancing knowledge through education, research and creative endeavours. And we continue to see remarkable change at our University. Momentum for the Destination Project – the construction of a new academic building, the revitalization of University Hall and the construction of a central energy centre for the University – is gaining speed. In December 2013, the Government of Alberta announced a $200-million commitment to the Destination Project. Previously, the Province invested $12.5 million towards the planning process of the project. To date, both the site and architect have been selected, and we are beginning a consultation process with university and community stakeholders. This project will not only change our campus, but southern Alberta. I extend a personal invitation to you to connect with us by attending some of the exciting alumni and friends events this spring and summer. We will be in Vancouver on June 5 for an Alumni and Friends reception, and will be hosting an afternoon of art and music, En Plein Air, at the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage in Nanton in August. As many of you know, we sadly lost good friend Dr. Jim Coutts (LLD ’12) early this year. We are very proud to continue his vision for the Centre with events such as this. As the U of L’s motto says, Fiat Lux – Let there be light. I hope you will help carry out our University’s greatest aim: to contribute to the greater public good by sharing the benefits of your knowledge, discoveries and ideas. Sincerely,

Mike Mahon, PhD, President and Vice-Chancellor


S AM | So u t h e r n A l b e r t a M ag az i n e | U n i v e r s i t y o f Le t h b r i d g e

Thursday, June 5, 2014 5:30 p.m. | The Vancouver Club 915 West Hastings Street | Vancouver, BC

For more information or to RSVP, please call University Advancement at 1-866-552-2582 or e-mail Business Attire

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Save the date Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage | Nanton, Alta.

Come explore the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage, take part in art activities and enjoy the music of the U of L Jazz Combo. For more information visit

Call for artists Visual artists are invited to spend the day painting or sketching, using the incredible Coutts property as inspiration. Artists interested in participating in the event can also take part in an exhibition of their work at the U of L’s Dr. Foster James Penny Building in Lethbridge, Alta. from October 4 - 9, 2014. For more information or to pre-register, please contact Alumni Relations at or call 1-866-552-2582.

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If you’ve moved, changed jobs, got married or done something amazing, we’d love to know!is celebrating its 45th anniversary The University of Lethbridge


this year and is inviting all alumni and friends back to campus for Please let us know: Homecoming 2012, a weekend of lectures and lunches, tours and • Your active e-mail address • Iftalks, you’ve dinners moved andand your dialogue. address has changed • If you’re a U of L family and you’d like to receive only one issue of SAM • If you’d like to receive SAM electronically

We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate all that is the U of L – E-Newsletter: When you For thinkmore backinformation to your U oforL days, what do remember? past, e-newsletter, present and future. to register, visityou with Aperture, the U of L’s official will keep you up-to-date with what’s happening your University throughout the year. LookingIt may for beexciting opportunities to connect and become involved? the friendships you made, the Share your experience. Help us inspire Sign up today. professors who helped you along the way, the next generation of U of L students the view of UHall nestled in the coulees, cheering on the Horns or the feeling you had when you crossed the stage at convocation.

Story ideas: There is nothing more exciting than receiving story ideas from alumni. Today, your university is one of Canada’s Have an idea for a future story, e-mail:leading universities, recognized as

Canada’s Research University of the Year (Undergraduate Category) and ranked as one of Canada’s top-three undergraduate universities in Maclean’s.

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Publications Mail Agreement No. 0040011662 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: University Advancement University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive W. Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4

and encourage someone you know to apply now.

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