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LaunchPad2015 MRU Tile

Launching dreams

April 11, 2016 — Pitch competition launches new, born at MRU, business ventures

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Student Leadership Conference

Student leaders paving the way

Student returns from MRU Student Leadership Conference (SLC) with invigorated sense of direction

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MRU online evaluationst Tile

Taking student evaluation to new heights

For the first time, MRU asked students to evaluate their instructors online for all classes

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Bleed blue! Awards and Milestones

Director selected as finalist for national award

Ray DePaul, director, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is one of six people selected as a finalist for the national BDC Mentorship Award, presented by Futurepreneur Canada. The recognition honours a Canadian business mentor credited by their mentees and peers for having provided valuable advice and support, and for contributing to the creation and growth of Canadian companies by building their mentees' professional skills. Winner will be announced at the end of May.

SoTL book launch

MRU celebrates the publication of a Critical Reading in Higher Education, a book about a landmark scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) study undertaken at Mount Royal. The collaborative project was conducted by four instructors (Karen Manarin, PhD, lead author, English and General Education; Miriam Carey, PhD (General Education and Policy Studies); Melanie Rathburn, PhD (General Education and Biology); and Glen Ryland (General Education). Each contributor teaches in General Education at Mount Royal University, and all trained in SoTL research through the Institute's Nexen Scholars Program. These instructors were curious about students’ reading abilities across the curriculum. They collected and analyzed ten written reflections along with other research and reflective papers from 72 consenting students across four foundation GNED courses. As a result of their findings, they make recommendations for more intentional teaching and assessment of students' critical reading in higher education. They offer both good news (students can comprehend difficult texts) and bad news (many students learn early that they often don't have to read in order to succeed in higher education). They argue that improving critical reading for academic goals and social engagement requires that faculty across the curriculum work together. This was the first collaborative project designed under the auspices of the Institute for SoTL and also the first SoTL book publication for Mount Royal University. Its success demonstrates not only the dedication of the research associates, but the possibilities of cross-course or cross-disciplinary research in SoTL.

2016 CPA Board Governance Case Competition

On March 17, MRU Accounting students, Ross Graham, Melissa Kinzner, Shaelynn (Shae) Prefontaine, Corey Reinhardt and Peter Serafini finished first in the 2016 CPA Board Governance Case Competition. This competition is an annual event, organized and hosted by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta, originally initiated by CMA Alberta. In this competition, students are given a case to analyze. The case covers issues in accounting, board governance, and ethics. The case is kept secret until it is handed to the teams at the competition, when then are given six hours to analyze the case and present their analysis, recommending solutions to a judging panel of business leaders. Only four teams are selected to advance to the final round and prizes are awarded to the top three teams. A total of thirteen teams representing universities and post-secondary institutions in Alberta participated in this year’s competition. Placing first is a tremendous accomplishment as the participants work under extreme pressure to come up with their solution to the case, displaying strong technical knowledge and presentation skills.  

Best Paper Award

Angela Tucker, a winner of the MRU Community Prosperity Student Research Award (CPSRA), recently won the Best Paper award at a conference at MacEwan University, Transformations: an Undergraduate Conference about Change. This conference, specifically for anthropology and sociology students, is aimed at exploring the ideas of transformation and change from disciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives. Tucker, in her fourth year studying Anthropology, presented on her paper, Indigenous Portrayals: A Comparative Analysis of Media Involving Canada’s Murdered and Missing Women. Tucker chose to write on this subject because of her interest in the creation of identity and the perpetuation of stereotypes in our society. With a strong belief in Indigenous feminism and post-colonial theory, Tucker is highly critical of media representations and compares and contrasts the depictions of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women in print media in cases of murdered and missing women in Canada.

Smithsonian scholarship awarded to MRU student

MRU student, Kitty Deng (Bachelor of Communications - Information Design) has been awarded an Alberta-Smithsonian scholarship 2016. Deng is one of ten recipients from Alberta, out of 24 applicants.  This is a first for MRU and quite prestigious. Kitty will work as an intern at one of the Smithsonian institutes in Washington this summer.

Ace the case

MRU students' Lauren Andrews, Amy Dyment and Amanda Anderson recently won the opportunity to represent Calgary with their team at the KPMG National Ace the Case Competition. On March 4, Lauren, Amy, Amanda and their team will represent the KPMG Calgary office at the 2016 National Ace the Case competition, via video conference. The winners of the National Competition will go on to represent Canada at the International level in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in April. KPMG is an audit, tax and advisory firm.

Summit magazine garners Grand Gold award at CASE 2016

The 2015 CASE District VIII Communication Awards recognized the 2015 Spring edition of Summit magazine in three categories. The spring edition received a Grand Gold award for Series of Related Photographs for She Wants You! Join the Chic Geek Revolution; The Grande Gold is . For Print General Interest Magazines, circulation 30,000-74,999, Summit received a Gold, and another Gold was awarded in the Series of Related Photographs category for the "She wants you!" spread. The issue's cover received a Bronze in that category. Summit's creators will be on-hand to receive the awards at the CASE District VIII conference on Feb. 5, 2016.

Faculty member receives Vigor Award

Timothy J. Haney, PhD, associate professor of Sociology and director, Centre for Community Disaster Research at Mount Royal University received a Humanitarian Award at the Vigor Awards gala in Calgary (Fall 2015), for his work on disaster recovery — specifically for work in post-Katrina New Orleans. Every two years, Haney takes a class of students to New Orleans to learn about disaster recovery and to build houses with local organizations in flood-devastated neighbourhoods. The award was presented on-stage at the awards ceremony by Caroline McDonald-Harker, PhD, Department of Sociology & Anthropology MRU, who is Haney's collaborator on an ongoing project about the effects of the 2013 flood in High River on parents and families. The Vigor Awards International is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading light on the world's greatest people and recognizing those who show acts of selflessness apparent through hard work and dedication to others.

Faculty member Natalie Meisner pens another play

On Jan. 22 the first reading of Professor Natalie Meisner's newest play 69: Legislating Love & The Everett Klippert Story took place at Loft 112 in the East Village. The play takes a look at the life of Klippert, a popular Calgary bus driver in the 60s who was charged with gross indecency for having relationships with men. Meisner teaches creative writing at Mount Royal and is also known for her biographical novel Double Pregnant, which was adapted for stage as Speed Dating for Sperm Donors. Second readings will be held on Feb. 19 and March 18. Discover more about Meisner and her work.

CARNA Awards

Seven individuals connected to MRU’s Nursing programs have been nominated to receive a College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) award of Nursing Excellence for their work in the field of nursing. Established in 1999, the CARNA awards recognize several registered nurses and nursing practitioners for their contributions to nursing practice ranging from recent graduates, to those who have inspired through decades of dedication. MRU would like to congratulate the following nominees and award recipients of the CARNA AWARDS — Nursing Excellence in Clinical Practice Award Nominee: Karen Lasby, former faculty member with the Maternal Infant Child Health Program; Nursing Excellence in Education Award Nominee: Haley Shepard, Bachelor of Nursing Advisory Committee; Rising Star Award Recipient: Mia-Bernadine Torres, student in the ACCN Critical Care stream. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of CARNA, 100 registered nurses will be recognized for the contributions within their specializations at the 2016 CARNA Awards Gala. MRU is pleased to congratulate the following Centennial award recipients in the area of CARNA 100 AWARDS — Centennial Award Recipient: Jennifer Evangelista, chair of the Nursing advisory committee; Frankie Wong, alumnus, PT instructor and past recipient of the CARNA Education Award; Linda McCracken, former student in the Forensics Program; Lorna Estabrooks, previous ACCN faculty member; Karen Lasby: former faculty member with the Maternal Infant Child Health Program.

Alberta Construction Magazine names Taylor Centre for Performing Arts top project of the year

The $90.5 million construction project triumphed in two categories, Top Project of the Year and Top Institutional Project over $50 million. According to Joseph Caouette, who penned the article in the magazine, “Skill and careful planning are undoubtedly crucial to building a top project, but patience may be the defining virtue of the 2015 Project of the Year, the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts at Mount Royal University. First conceived back in 1999, the project broke ground in 2011, and construction continued until it was completed — on schedule and on budget, it should be noted — earlier this year.”  The award was presented to CANA Management Ltd, the overall construction manager, who acknowledged the contribution from its partners. These included the University, Pfeiffer and Partners Architects, Sahuri and Partners, Architecture, the design consultants, and the entire construction team. Read the complete article in Alberta Construction Magazine.

Top prize goes to English student with passion for African Studies

Brittany Hopkin, a fourth year English Honours student at Mount Royal University, was awarded first prize for her paper at the first Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Conference at Carleton University (October 2015). The IAS event was an interdisciplinary research conference that aimed to provide a platform for future researchers in African Studies. Participants included students from Canada, the US, France, and Ghana. Hopkin gave a twenty-minute presentation on her research project entitled, The Genocidal Consequences of Imperialism: How Predatory Capitalism and International Complicity Incubated the Rwandan Genocide, which was supervised by Yaw Asante, PhD, faculty member in the department of English. Hopkin’s paper examines how colonialism acts as an incubator of genocidal violence due to factors such as severe human rights violations and political oppression marked by Western capitalism.

Research thesis nominated for Gov. General's Gold Academic Medal

Laura Ell, part time faculty in the Department of Health and Physical Education was nominated for the Governor General's Gold Academic Medal for her research thesis entitled "Code of Conduct for Indigenous-inspired Spa Tourism". While the leisure travel industry provides best practices for ecotourism, green spas, and indigenous tourism, in large part to reduce ethical conflicts, there is an absence of a code of conduct for spas that aim to sustainably integrate culture. The need for guidelines unique to the spa sector is critical. Although products such as handcrafts or cultural dance relate, there are  stronger interpersonal and spiritual elements to the offering of healing ceremony experiences. This paper reports on study of international spa experts and indigenous healers who incorporate ancient practices into spa tourism experiences. The result is a suggested code of conduct for indigenous-inspired spas under several themes including risks; honouring culture; product development and training; client experience; as well as local empowerment. The benefits to indigenous communities include meaningful employment and preserving ancient practices that are at risk of erosion. Benefits to clients include cross-cultural learning through storytelling, and vacation options that remedy stress or other health imbalances.

Faculty member Lynn Moorman, PhD, appointed Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society 

Congratulations to Lynn Moorman, PhD, who has been elected Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society at their Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on Nov. 18. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is dedicated to promoting and enhancing public awareness for Canadian geography, and to strengthening the bond between Canadians and their diverse and vast geographical heritage. As one of Canada's oldest and largest educational, non-profit organizations, the RCGS, and its iconic publication, Canadian Geographic, has been Canada's most recognized voice for connecting Canadians with the land, culture and environment in which they live.  The Society's Board of Governors is comprised of 5 officers and up to 24 governors from across Canada.

New Changemaker in Residence

The Institute for Community Prosperity has appointed a new Changemaker in Residence: Walter Hossli will join the Institute's existing Changemakers in Residence - Jill Andres and Pat Letizia - in providing a bridge between academia and the community.  This position is supported by Momentum, an organization that uses a Community Economic Development (CED) approach that offers hope and opportunity to people living in poverty in Calgary.

Calgary Journal nominated in American Collegiate Press competition

Nomination categories include: Multimedia - multimedia feature category finalist: Vanishing Point: The Jessie Foster story (producers: Hannah Kost and Danielle Semrau; faculty supervisor: Erin Isings); Story of the year - diversity finalist: Jamaican Food Stall Gives Necole Hines Freedom to Dream (producers: Madison Farkas and Cameron Perrier, faculty Supervisor: Sally Haney); Cyber Bullying Issue - February 2015 (lead editors: Olivia Condon and Caitlin Clow, faculty supervisors: Terry Field and Janice Paskey). The Calgary Journal nominations are for the fall 2014 edition, edited by Max Shiletto. J-student (now alumna) Caitlin Clow is also a finalist in the Photography Excellence category for a photograph she took for the Reflector.

MRU's Victoria Calvert appointed to the Board of Directors of AltaGas Ltd.

Victoria A. Calvert, professor of Entrepreneurship and International Business at the Bissett School of Business, and Phillip R. Knoll, professional engineer and the president of Knoll Energy Inc., have been appointed to AltaGas' Board of Directors effective Nov. 1, 2015. Calvert is also the Community Service Learning Facilitator for MRU. She has served as a director of the Heritage Park Society Board and as an advisor for the Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning (CACSL). She is the current Chair of the CACSL National Conference, has consulted for more than 30 years, and published extensively regarding community engagement.