Sue Carlson graduated from MacEwan with a Nursing Diploma in 1990. She furthered her education at the University of Alberta and received her master’s degree at Athabasca University.   

Carlson was proud to be back ‘home’ in 2010 when she returned to MacEwan University as an educator in the Faculty of Nursing, where she is currently an assistant professor. As a member of the Alumni Advisory Council, she looks forward to connecting with current alumni as well as future graduates.

We chatted with Carlson to discuss her most memorable moments and greatest achievements – and how her role as a faculty member will influence her. 

What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far?

I feel that obtaining my master's degree was my biggest achievement – not just the result, but the journey.  

I graduated from MacEwan in 1990 with a diploma in nursing. I am married and have three beautiful children. When they were school age, I decided I could go back to school too. While continuing to work full time and raise children, I returned to university to first complete my BScN and then continued to obtain my Master's in Nursing. The added achievement was the benefits I see in my children. I believe that seeing me work toward my degrees encouraged them: all three have either graduated from or are attending post-secondary institutions.  

What’s your most vivid MacEwan memory?

My memories of MacEwan focus on faculty.  When I graduated, I felt connected to my faculty. I was not just another face. I felt that faculty members took the time to get to know me, not just as a student, but also as a person. When I returned to teach, I worked alongside some of my previous instructors. I was thrilled to know that they remembered me, and we could talk about funny things that happened in class or clinical. This has guided my teaching. I believe I am able to help with student success by getting to know them as unique individuals.  

How do you think your perspective as both an alum and faculty member will inform your experience on the advisory council?  

I am proud to say I am a MacEwan alum, but my attending MacEwan as a student is not what brought me to the decision. As a faculty member, I realized I was among the few who have returned to MacEwan as faculty, which inspired me to join the Alumni Council. I believe I have an opportunity to give back to my alma mater through individual service as well as by working with other faculty to promote the Alumni Council. I will be able to reach out to other individuals in my faculty – and across the university—to communicate the council's activities, and receive their feedback about how those activities affect our student population.      

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the AAC?

About four years ago, I was asked to speak at a MacEwan Open House. Then, two years later, one of my students approached me after class and thanked me for speaking at that event. The stories I told there and the way I represented MacEwan University finalized her decision to enroll in our BScN program. This is what I hope to continue to do: representing MacEwan, attracting new students and encouraging our current students and graduates to hold our great school’s banner high! I have kept in touch with many students, and I know the great things they are bringing to their communities. I hope to be able to encourage them to share their achievements so that we can encourage future students.

What do you do in your spare time?

Although I love the atmosphere working in a downtown university, my spare time is spent getting away. I live on an acreage and I enjoy the quiet atmosphere for reading, walking or watching the newest movie on Netflix. During the summer, I enjoy spending time at my cabin with family and friends.

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