MacEwan University alumni and faculty make Top 40 Under 40

November 3, 2014

Each year, Avenue Magazine recognizes individuals who are leaders in their field, and whose passions and professions have helped raise the city’s profile through growth and change.

Congratulations to the following alumni and faculty of MacEwan University who were honoured in the 2014 Top 40 Under 40:

TOP_40_ROBINRobin Mazumder, Faculty Member, Health and Community Studies

Occupational therapist, Community Outreach Assessment and Support Team (COAST) and MacEwan University faculty member

Best moment in your career, so far?

Becoming a faculty member at MacEwan University was pivotal for me. My dad’s a university professor and I grew up in an academic household. I’ve always really wanted to teach, and I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I think it’s my calling. It’s a huge privilege to be in a position of mentorship for people who are interested in mental health—it’s a part of the human experience and something we all need to be sensitive to, regardless of what field we work in. When we talk about mental health in an academic setting, it’s often an “us and them” type of thing, but I try to have people reflect on their own mental health experience and focus on self-discovery. It’s okay to have mental health issues—it’s part of developing as a person.

Best career advice?

The phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is true in many ways. Go out, network and meet people. Study hard, but do other things too—keep balanced and develop socially. To be successful today, you need to be able to have conversations with people, know things about what’s happening in the world and be well rounded.

Best thing about being recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40?

I moved to Edmonton in March 2012, so I haven’t been here long. While I don’t see myself as typical “top 40” material, I am extremely honoured to be part of such an amazing group of people. The Top 40 recognition demonstrates that Edmonton is a very supportive environment. This city celebrates its citizens for their contributions—which, among many reasons, makes it such a great place to start a project or explore an idea.

 

TOP_40_NARMINNarmin Hassam-Clark, Public Relations ‘05

Communications advisor, RCMP National Communication Services

Best moment in your career, so far?

Being part of the RCMP's Public Affairs Team for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and working alongside partner agencies was an absolute privilege. I was thrilled to be part of such a significant event, and it was amazing to witness and join the celebration of Canadian pride and identity. My heart still soars when I hear Nikki Yanofsky's “I Believe.”

Best idea you’ve ever had?

To make a concerted effort to express gratitude on a daily basis. This is something I have been doing for more than two years now. This small act has enabled me to more fully experience joy and contentment in my life.

Best career advice?

Participate in volunteer and educational opportunities that support the development of knowledge, skills and abilities. I first received this advice from a career counsellor around the time I finished university. It resonated because it reinforced the concepts of lifelong learning and community service, which my parents have always encouraged.

Best thing about being recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40?

The fact that it also honours all the people in my life who have helped me to become the person I am, especially my parents for their love and sacrifices.
 

TOP_40_DANDan Davidson, Music ’03, Bachelor of Commerce ‘13

Songwriter/performer, Tupelo Honey

Best moment in your career, so far?

I’m lucky to have had several, but I have to say that opening for Bon Jovi at Rexall Place and the Saddledome is close to the top of the list. There were 17,000 people each night and it was a pretty unbelievable feeling. Some other "best moments" include getting my first Top 40 single and seeing my songs in MuchMusic’s Top 10. Growing up, that always seemed like an untouchable dream.

Best idea you’ve ever had?

I would have to say proposing to my wife. I know that surrounding myself with the smartest, most driven and hardworking people is key. No one has taught me more about personal growth and becoming who I want to be more than she has. Without her love and support, I would be in a very different place.

Best career advice?

Never look at what anyone else is doing, only focus on what you are doing. It’s great advice that think it came from Ralph James, CEO of The Agency Group. In the music industry, there are so many ups and downs that you have to take everything with a grain of salt and believe that the cream rises to the top.

Best thing about being recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40?

Being associated with some of Edmonton's best and brightest. I have been watching the "top 40" issue for several years and have great respect for so many of those recipients. It’s an honour to be considered one of them. It’s also great to have a little bit of validation that my hard work isn't going unnoticed. I may not be a millionaire, but I feel that I'm doing some good things, and this kind of encouragement goes a long way.
 

IMAGE_STORY_Top_40_Ashley_3Ashley Anjlien Kumar, Management Studies ‘04

Artistic director of the South Asian Arts Movement Society

Best moment in your career, so far?

There are so many—performing on stage live with Bollywood actress Karisma Kapoor; teaching dance to the kids living in the slums of Nallosopara (a suburb of Mumbai); meeting my current and most influential dance teacher, Mrs. Joanna De Souza; opening my own studio in 2011; receiving my first artistic grant in 2013; performing with eight live Tabla players; and performing on stage for internationally renowned fashion design label, ParveshJai.

Best career advice?

Do your research. A lot of business owners, including myself, learn their lessons the hard way. Sometimes that's just the way it has to happen to really emboss those lessons deep into our skin. Otherwise, research, research, research—and don't rush. Too often we are so excited to fulfill an idea that we jump the gun.

Best thing about being recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40?

There is so much talent out there, so many creative people who are just contributing to their society like crazy, and they remain unrecognized or unappreciated for their efforts. Avenue Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 gives people a wonderful platform to receive recognition for their work and their efforts. I am glad platforms such as this exist.


TOP_40_ZOHREHZohreh Saher (Voluntary Sector Management ‘03)

Policy analyst at Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and president of interVivos

Best career move, so far?

It’s a volunteer commitment, but I think that joining interVivos and working to connect emerging leaders with seasoned leaders was my best career move, so far. At the time, I had no idea the doors it would open for me. I’ve met so many engaging and interesting people who want to give back, really care about where we live and want to make Edmonton a better place.

Best moment in your career, so far?

It feels strange to reflect on my career because I feel like I’m just getting started. There are so many things I still want to do and achieve. I think the best may be still to come.

Best advice?

I’ve had lots of great advice from career mentors and people in my personal life, but I draw the most strength from my contemporaries, including the interVivos board. Their energy is infectious, and when you’re around people who are driven and share your interests, it helps you get to that next level.

Best thing about being recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40?

This is a very big deal for me and completely unexpected. It’s great motivation to be among the many Edmontonians who are doing amazing things. I don’t do what I do for recognition—I do it to make my city better for my peers and for emerging leaders. I want them to stay here and make our city even more engaging and vibrant.


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