Advisory Council

The Alumni Advisory Council at MacEwan University is the representative body of the alumni association and offers guidance on alumni engagement activities in an effort to build and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships between alumni and their university.

Amy Beard

Bachelor of Commerce, 2017

Amy works at the Government of Alberta as a Research and Policy Analyst in the Office of the Corporate Chief Information Officer, Service Alberta. In this role she coordinates governance committees while also working with her team on information management and technology policy.

During her time at MacEwan, Amy served two terms as the Vice President of Operations and Finance with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) over the 2015/16 and 2016/17 years. Throughout her two terms she worked with her team on the design and development of the SAMU building, advocated to the City of Edmonton for consistent price increases to the U-Pass and served as the student representative on the Presidential Search Committee.

Kassie Burkholder

Bachelor of Arts, 2014

Kassie Burkholder is passionate about community engagement, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. She is the co-founder and principal of Loxy Creative Inc., a digital marketing and data-driven firm in Edmonton. Kassie also owns a café and retail shop in Edmonton, rated one of the “Best Edmonton Cafés,” Salgado Fenwick and The Barking Buffalo Café.

Kassie is an active volunteer within her community and a strong advocate for equitable participation of women in politics and government. She is a co-founder of Femme Cabal, an Edmonton-based community created to celebrate and support women in their endeavours and provide a platform for personal growth and story sharing. She has had the opportunity to sit on committees and boards within Alberta, worked on political campaigns, and has spoken at numerous events.

Kassidy Green

Bachelor of Social Work, 2019

Kassidy has experience working in provincial politics, and feel strongly about the necessity of civil discourse, even when it can feel uncomfortable. She has worked with Children’s Services for just under three years, and recently transitioned to Boyle Street Community Services as their Corporate and Donor Partnership Lead. In 2019 she participated in the first international exchange for the Bachelor of Social Work program. Kassidy had the privilege of spending four months completing a practicum in Dresden, Germany, where she participated in community-based programs for refugee and immigrant children and youth.

She is passionate about identifying systemic issues in society and finding innovative, collaborative solutions that empower individuals and create strong communities. Kassidy is currently the Co-Chair of the Social Justice/Social Action Committee with the Alberta College of Social Workers and is actively engaged in advocacy related to climate change, LGBTQ2S+ rights, and Truth and Reconciliation efforts. She looks forward to representing the Faculty of Health and Community Studies on the council and continuing to build a strong MacEwan University community.

Jed Johns

Bachelor of Arts, 2015

Jed is a nėhiyaw napew from Treaty 8 Territory in northern Alberta and is a citizen of Sucker Creek First Nation. He currently resides in amiskwaciwâskahikan where he works in government and Indigenous relations for EPCOR Utilities Inc.

Jed served as special advisor to Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde in Ottawa, Ontario from 2016 to 2018. He also worked in the Office of Mayor Don Iveson in Edmonton, Alberta and within the Government of Alberta’s Department of Indigenous Relations.

He is a former president of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (2011-2013). He spent his time in student public office negotiating a multi-million-dollar U-PASS contract for students, reforming the association’s committee structure, and helped lay the foundation for a new students' association building - which held its construction ground-breaking in Spring 2017.

Being politically active, Jed has managed campaigns in both the 2013 Edmonton Municipal Election and the 2015 Alberta Provincial Election. Most recently, he managed the successful 2018 AFN National Chief re-election campaign for Perry Bellegarde.

Kent Karaki

Microcomputer Specialist, 2003

Kent currently works in the MacEwan IT department as a Service Transition Analyst. He works with a variety of stakeholders throughout the university in requirement gathering, defining scope and delivering services. Kent is also in his fourth year of MacEwan’s Human Services Administration program.

Kent is very proud to be an alumni member in the MacEwan community.

Lori Kotuza

Occupational Health Nursing, 2016

Lori is a dedicated registered nurse with a wide range of experience in acute care, continuing care, research, occupational health and currently in public health. She is committed to providing excellence in her field to ensure quality outcomes in care and teaching nurses to become successful in their chosen profession. 

Lori is currently finishing her Master of Nursing in Leadership with Trinity Western University.

Sarah Kowalevsky

Music, 2001

Sarah Kowalevsky is a proud graduate of the MacEwan University Music program, where she focused on vocal performance. Her experience was transformational, with new knowledge and applied skills that she was able to utilize right away during her first musical appearance on Holland America Cruise Line. The band members that she sailed with were all MacEwan alumni, including her husband on drums.

Sarah settled in Edmonton and found herself working at the University of Alberta in 2007, where she now has a rewarding career in development at the Alberta School of Business. Sarah and her husband, Justin, have two great kids and have continued their musical passion with their successful cover band, Five on the Side. Sarah looks forward to re-connecting with MacEwan and representing the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.

Danika McConnell

Bachelor of Communication Studies, 2019

In 2012, Danika moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta to pursue MacEwan's newest degree program—Bachelor of Communication Studies. She recently graduated with a major in professional communication with a secondary focus in journalism. For the last two years she has been part of the marketing team at ATB Financial. In her spare time, she is also a freelance writer and frequently works with local non-profits to improve their content marketing strategies.

Throughout her time at MacEwan, she was the news editor at MacEwan's student-run publication, The Griff, and soon after became the inaugural Vice President External at the Students' Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) for the 2015/16 term, followed by President in 2016/17. Danika’s core focuses alongside her team revolved around the beginning development and construction of the association’s first students’ building. She also dedicated much of her time toward consent education and elimination of violence on campus and advocating to all levels of government on behalf of students not only at MacEwan, but across the country.

Josh Morris

Bachelor of Commerce, 2015

Josh began his career in human resources by recruiting post-secondary students for a marketing company and is now a HR Advisor with Alberta Investment Management Corporation. He manages the post-secondary engagement program at AIMCo among his regular duties.

As a MacEwan student, Josh served as president of the MacEwan Human Resources Club (MHRC) of the 2014/15 academic year. During his time and with the support of others he grew the club from 2 to 22 members. Josh is the Chair of the Scholarship Committee of the AIMCo Foundation and is a member of the Civics Committee in the Forest Terrace Heights Community League. He also serves as a mentor through the MHRC Mentorship Program. Josh participates in the MacEwan convocation ceremonies and occasionally presents to SAMU Clubs alongside his wife, who is also a MacEwan graduate.

Matthew Peddie

Bachelor of Commerce, 2014

Matthew is a former MacEwan Griffins Hockey player and business graduate who went on to complete a master’s in professional accounting at the University of Saskatchewan and CPA designation.

With over five years of accounting and finance experience, Matthew now works for Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance as part of the Mergers & Acquisitions team, advising corporate and private equity clients on a range of transactions. Matthew continues to be involved with the MacEwan men's hockey program as the president of the Griffins Men's Hockey Alumni.

Elliot Rose

Bachelor of Commerce, 2019

Ellliot grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and moved to Edmonton with his family in 2007. For the past 12 years he’s enjoyed graduating from MacEwan, working with the Kidney Foundation, University Hospital Foundation, marketing industry and currently is a wealth associate with ScotiaMcLeod where he helps business owners, executives and professionals shape their future.

A kidney transplant recipient in 2014, Elliot is passionate about giving back and for the past six years has been a top fundraiser with the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Elliot strives to live a healthier lifestyle and understands that the joy is in the journey not the destination. He looks forward to growing alongside his counterparts on the alumni council.

Justin Yaassoub

Bachelor of Arts, 2011

Justin is a lifelong student of leadership who is fascinated with the notion of what makes people respond and react to other human ideas, suggestions, and commands. He is the director of All Around Consulting, where he provides leadership and team development guidance to emerging leaders and corporate clients.

After graduating from MacEwan with a B.A in Political Science, Justin worked as a Public Affairs Officer writing communication strategies and speeches for the Government of Alberta. He always had the urge to serve abroad as a Canadian Forces Operator and in 2012, after a grueling 10-month course, Justin joined the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) as a Special Forces Operator. He deployed to multiple regions including North Africa, the Middle East and Caribbean.

Justin was recently awarded the Bravery Medal by the Governor General for his actions during an international operation. He was also awarded a Commanders and two Task Force Commanders Citations for his teamwork and leadership during his operations.

In October of 2018 Justin was recognized by MacEwan University as a Distinguished Alumni award recipient and is currently working with MacEwan’s School of Continuing Education on their Leadership Certificate.

Justin believes that through hardship the strongest of bonds are realized and the greatest of leaders shine.