Friday, April 28, 2017

Consider This: Mourning Those Lost On the Job

Recognizing the National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed and Injured at Work at the University of Alberta
There are four times of the year that remind me about the importance of what I do here at the university - March 23rd, April 28, 1st full week in May and August 18th.

In a previous life I was the Manager of Occupational Health and Safety at the City of London, in Southwestern Ontario.  On March 23, 1996 at 11:25 a.m. I received a call from a colleague, David Howard.  It was a Saturday and I was just heading out the door to visit some friends.  David’s call was important.  He said, “Andrew, there’s been an explosion at the Silverwoods Arena and one of our staff has been seriously hurt….”

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Keeping the U of A Green: The 2017 Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards

The University of Alberta's 2017 Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards
On April 20, 2017, the U of A celebrated Earth Day (April 22) a little early by recognizing and thanking the individuals and groups who have members of our community who have exemplified the university’s continuing efforts to build a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable institution. Here’s a look at the honours and their achievements:
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Towards Diversity

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Lady and Gentlemen...” The words resounded throughout the meeting room. It was one of Margaret-Ann Armour’s first department meetings as a new faculty member, and yes, she was the only “lady” in the room—and the department.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Consider This: How to Nurture Student Leaders

The relationship between university administrators and student leaders, whether they are activists or elected by their peers, is complicated. These students are partners in governance, and they are astute and sometimes vocal critics — but they are also learners. In some ways, we are their mentors. Certainly, it’s challenging to maintain all those dimensions of the relationship and keep it a productive partnership that works for the institution and its community.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

5 things that went into space in April

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Ex-Alta #1 Cube Satellite
The Ex-Alta #1 Cube Satellite, designed and built by U of A students
It’s been a big month for the U of A in space. On April 18, Alberta’s first satellite—designed and built by U of A students—launched into space aboard an Atlas V rocket. The Ex-Alta #1 (short for Experimental Albertan) was built by AlbertaSat, an interdisciplinary, student-led group at the U of A. The Ex-Alta #1 joined roughly 50 other cube satellites on board the Atlas V rocket to journey from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station.

To celebrate the momentous occasion, we’ve assembled a list of 5 things that went into space this month—because it isn’t every day that the U of A makes that list.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Aga Khan Garden: A Preview of Things to Come


Last week’s public unveiling of the Aga Khan Garden Alberta, to be located at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, was an eye-opener for many. I, like many others, envisioned an oasis garden with fruit trees and palms around a desert oasis. We are all, however, challenged to re-imagine a contemporary garden drawing from the Mughal, Ottoman and Islamic cultures of history. This enlightenment comes with the new garden made possible by a gift of over $25 million from His Highness the Aga Khan.

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Consider This: Reasoning with Student Resistance

Reasoning with Student Resistance
After spending hours designing an engaging and thought provoking group activity, you are finally able to reveal it to your class. As you finish your explanation you are met with blank stares, unimpressed faces, and rolling eyes. Questions like “Do we really have to participate?” and “Aren’t you supposed to be teaching me?” appear scrawled on students’ foreheads. After coaxing students to finally interact, you finish the class and students pour out of the room. Disheartened, you are left to reflect on why they resisted what you thought was an excellent activity.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Images of Research 2017

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The winners of the second annual Images of Research competition were announced on April 6. The competition challenges U of A graduate students to capture the essence of their research in a single image.

Here are the top entries from 2017:

I Am Not Alone - Camelia Vokey, Master’s Occupational Therapy
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Friday, March 31, 2017

A Gallery of Gandalfs, and Other Photos from March 2017

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The Title of this post says it all, so without further ado, bring on the wizards!

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

If the TOBY Doesn't Fit... Make a New One?

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David Whalen and Sascha Jansz of the University of Alberta
It’s a problem that almost any academic can sympathize with: David Whalen couldn’t get his project to fit the awards application.

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Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Janice Miller-Young

Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Janice Miller-Young
How do you know that your research is good, a theory holds up, or an idea is worth pursuing? In the world of academia, your peers will let you know. Academic work is constantly being reviewed and tested – after all, the academy is a place of learning and discovery.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The U of A’s Non-Playing, Totally Rad, Corporate Challenge Basketball Captain

Members of the University of Alberta's Corporate Challenge Basketball Team
Image courtesy of Andrew Leitch (i.e. the one in the tie)
I’ve been the university’s non-playing Corporate Challenge basketball captain for a decade and it’s an important job: I have to make sure everyone has the correct size of T-shirt and that they remember to bring their ONEcard on game night. Also, sometimes I bring water.
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Signature Areas Campus Forum Livestream

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Missed the March 23rd campus forum on Signature Areas? Watch it here.
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All-In With Gitta Kulczycki

Gitta Kuczycki, Vice-President (Finance and Administration), University of Alberta
Gitta Kulczycki likes to lay her cards on the table, which is a strategy that has served her well in a career that’s included stops in health-care, tech, and higher education. As our new Vice-President (Finance and Administration), she’s set to go all-in when it comes to knowing her team and addressing the goals laid out in For the Public Good.

We sat down with her to learn about her U of A experience so far, the shift from Ontario’s PSE sector to Alberta’s, and her thoughts on leadership.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Consider This: Let's Make Decisions Together


I never really intended to get involved in university governance. Like a lot of faculty, I kind of fell into administrative work early in my career; I served on a few committees in my department because they dealt with things that mattered to me. Then I got involved in some faculty-level committees in my field of expertise. When my term expired, I was ready for something new, and when the call came out for faculty members to serve on General Faculties Council (GFC), I decided I would throw my hat in the ring and see what happened. I had never been to GFC, and I didn't even know anybody who had been on it - it was a black box to me.

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Announcement: Dean of Nursing

Greta Cummings
I am pleased to announce the next Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, effective July 1, 2017. On Friday, March 17, the Board of Governors approved the appointment of Dr. Greta Cummings for a five year term. Dr. Cummings joined the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta 13 years ago, becoming a full professor in 2010. She currently holds a Centennial Professorship (2013-2020), one of our university’s highest honours.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Announcement: Dean of Education

Image courtesy of the University of Regina
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Tupper as Dean of the Faculty of Education, for a five year term, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Tupper is currently the Dean of Education at the University of Regina.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Danielle Peers: At the Intersections of Inclusion

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Danielle Peers
Danielle Peers (courtesy of CRIPSiE)  
As a former Paralympian, a scholar and professor, artist, speaker, filmmaker, performer, and activist, Danielle Peers is actually the strongest embodiment of her own work. She not only studies diversity and inclusion in sport and movement, and non-normative intersections in art and culture – she is herself a participant, a site of intersection, an intertwined reality. Her personal connection helps her draw together otherwise disparate fields and practices, and it results in something—in the best sense of the word—remarkable.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Consider This: What It's Like to Be A Book at the Human Library

The Human Library at the University of Alberta
Image courtesy of the Human Library
To be read as a human book is an extraordinary feeling. Every conversation you have with a reader is different and their reasons for choosing to read you are so diverse that it is often hard to plan your whole conversation/”reading” in advance. What is a guarantee, at least for me, is that whether you are a book or a reader, the Human Library is a place that creates moments of understanding and connection.

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