A message from Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor.

This spring has been a very special time for us as we welcomed our community back to campus with a burst of activity.  I am inspired by the enthusiasm and excitement of our staff, faculty and students to be back on campus. 

It was with great joy that we welcomed our community, and many friends of the university, to our 50th Anniversary celebrations. I loved hearing so many stories about how MacEwan has impacted their lives, relationships and careers. It was a reminder that we are truly community partners, connected to the vibrancy of the city around us. I offer a heartfelt thanks to all those involved in organizing the many events that were held over three amazing days.

50th anniversary opening ceremonies

This spring has been an affirmation of the wonder and energy of our community. We had great fun challenging our Calgary colleagues, at Mount Royal University, to a little friendly competition in the Battle of Alberta to raise money for our students’ association foodbanks.

Kihêw waciston set the stage for National Indigenous History Month with a beautiful music showcase. The university community has worked hard to plan events throughout June that highlight Indigenous cultures.

We painted crosswalks to display our support of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Painting vibrant and bright rainbow crosswalks to proudly display MacEwan’s support of LGBTQ2S+ communities was a unifying way to get ready for Pride month.

I’d like to thank all of you who joined us for MacEwan Connects. More than 200 participants engaged in conversation and asked questions, explored the meaning of the directions to their everyday work and discussed the implementation of the vision. Some key takeaways include how we are building measures, and resourcing our Teaching Greatness strategic vision, and how we build collaboration across the university on the five directions.

Participants were asked to share their key learnings from the day, represented in the word cloud below. A strong theme emerged from the day that builds on what we heard during the creation of the vision: a desire to build our community and retain our strengths as an institution. There has been amazing progress in implementing the vision just this spring with projects that reflect the desire to build on our strengths.

word cloud from MacEwan ConnectsWe are working closely with General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors to develop a dashboard to measure progress on each of the five directions of Teaching Greatness. I am proud of the steps we have taken to implement our new vision and directions this academic year and would like to share just some of our progress.

Teaching Greatness

We are celebrating close to 2,200 exceptional graduates at next week’s spring convocation ceremonies. We are delighted to welcome graduates, friends and family, and our community back to the Winspear Centre for six ceremonies from June 21 to 23.

The first day of convocation falls on National Indigenous Peoples Day and we’ll be celebrating with Indigenous performers and musicians throughout all ceremonies. It is exciting that 128 Indigenous grads cross the stage, nearly six per cent of the 2022 graduating class and an increase over last year.  Kihêw waciston held a lovely event celebrating MacEwan’s Indigenous grads on June 10 along with a market featuring Indigenous artisans.

Indigenous grad celebration

At this year’s convocation, we will also confer five honorary doctorates. Douglas Stollery, Susan Green, Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Mary Cameron, and Dr. Sarah Carter will each be awarded a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, and will speak to our graduating classes. These recipients are the perfect inspiration for our graduates as they leave MacEwan prepared to change the world in their own ways. I hope you join us and hear from these accomplished members of our community.

I offer my thanks to all those who are working hard to organize convocation as we celebrate our graduates and award recipients.  

Grand as a Griffin

We’ve announced memorandums of understanding that will build opportunities for our students and their future careers with community partners. Our partnership with the Edmonton Elks will create opportunities for students in media and youth leadership connecting them to professionals in mental health, cross-training and athletics. The recent partnership signed with the Edmonton International Airport will build work-integrated learning and internship opportunities and open up new possibilities for faculty and student research.

Edmonton Elks

Perpetual Motion

We had the opportunity to join the province in their funding announcement to expand enrolment across the post-secondary sector. The province has announced funding of over $4 million to our university to expand enrolment in high-demand programs by 164 seats for this year’s September intakes. We welcome this support as we work to grow our student body to 20,000 full-load equivalents by 2030.

Trendsetters and Trendbreakers

Congratulations to MacEwan Bachelor of Design students who worked with Edmonton Transit this past year to come up with digital solutions for rider safety and user experience. Dr. Isabelle Sperano’s design students looked into the safety of ETS riders, and developed an understanding of the issues of security, how riders use transit and their perception of safety. This type of community-engaged research provides experiences our students will carry with them into their careers.

I’m also excited to see the launch of the Life on the Edge video game created by an interdisciplinary group of MacEwan faculty and students from across our music, design and biology departments. I am particularly interested in how a video game will help students learn their biology basics. It’s fantastic to see the creativity and innovation of our faculty and speaks to the love of learning and exploration that our faculty have at the heart of what they do.  

I’d like to congratulate Dr. Margot Jackson on receiving MacEwan’s first Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant. Dr. Jackson’s research focuses on the effect of the pandemic on the experiences of children and youth waiting for mental health services.

And I’m so pleased to welcome new faculty who will work to prepare submissions for two new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs.

Dr. Leanne Hedberg joins the School of Business and will serve as director of the Social Innovation Institute. Her research aims to create a sustainable future by focusing on social innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr. Marielle Papin will join the Department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on the role of cities and other transnational actors in global climate governance.

It is a testament to the success of our research agenda that we are able to promote and recruit faculty who will continue to build our research environment. Their focus on community-engaged research and scholarship that focuses on solutions to benefit the community around us advances our strategic vision of being trendsetters and trendbreakers.

I hope you join me in welcoming our two new academic leaders.  Dr. Richard Perlow, our new dean of the School of Business, who has joined us from the University of Lethbridge, and Dr. David Danto, our new dean of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies, who came to us from the University of Guelph-Humber.  

As we grow closer to the end of this academic year, I am proud of all we have accomplished. We have many reasons to celebrate. I hope the summer brings you energy and renewal, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in the coming months.

Dr. Annette Trimbee
President and Vice-Chancellor

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