18 incredible student moments in 2015

January 4, 2016

A look back on some of the most memorable student stories of the past year

When they weren’t studying for exams or buried under textbooks, MacEwan University students were making us proud. They scored epic internships, pursued astounding opportunities and were all-around caring and generous citizens. Here we look back on their fantastic year.

Fine Arts and Communications

IMAGE-holidaywrap-flyingcanoe1. Fine Art students light up the night

Students returned to Mill Creek Ravine in February for another year of the Flying Canoe Festival.

“Taking part in this high-profile festival is a great opportunity for students to learn about the growing trend of temporary installations, working together in teams and collaborating with outside communities and agencies,” said Leslie Sharpe, Fine Art chair.

2. Journalism grad wins national award for story about Canada's "death revolution"

“It’s really nice to see all of my efforts over four years at MacEwan University come together—and that I was able to create something that I’m really proud of, and that other people enjoy as well,” said Nikki Wiart (Bachelor of Communication Studies, ’15).

3. Music grad earns internship with legendary film composer

Oliver Westall (Music, ’15) has an epic future ahead. In June, he went to Santa Monica for a five-week course with legendary composer Hans Zimmer.

“In 10 years’ time, if I play my cards right, I’d love to be writing music for film—to be able to make people feel the same magic I did as a little boy growing up listening to Titanic,” said Oliver. “This is the first step, and every step is progress. I’m excited to see where this takes me.”

School of Business

IMAGE-holidaywrap-EricL4. Bodybuilding business grad stresses the importance of giving back and helping out

“I believe that to develop and become a great leader, you have to develop and help others too,” said Eric Lajczak, (Bachelor of Commerce, ’15). “People have helped me down the road and sometimes you have to pay it forward.”


5. Business and computer science students team up to extend energy savings beyond Earth Hour

“Motivating people to reduce their energy use is a marketing issue—one that we’re now turning to technology to address,” said Leo Wong, assistant professor in the School of Business.

6. Business students promote Habitat for Humanity Restore

As part of their Non-Profit Management course, a team of students spent three months brainstorming ways to increase MacEwan’s staff, faculty and student awareness of the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Faculty of Health and Community Studies

IMAGE-holidaywrap-psychnurse7. Psych nursing student volunteers in mental health care in Tanzania

Sanam Amiri journeyed to Africa to volunteer in the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Tanzania.

“I knew I wanted to volunteer and experience health care in different countries, but at first it was shocking to see how patients were treated,” said Sanam, a student in the Psychiatric Nursing program.

8. Massage for a cause/ student helps first responders

“These are the people who rush to help us on our very worst days—not only because it’s their job, but also because they are dedicated to making a difference and saving lives,” said Massage Therapy student Katherine Perka. “I took a quick tally of anything I had at my disposal and thought that offering first responders a free hour of self-care for their overworked bodies would be a good start.”

9. Early Learning and Child Care grad risks it all to pursue her dream

Ngan (Emy) Nguyen left everything—her home in Vietnam, her well-paying career, and her young family—to pursue her passion for child care and become an early learning educator.

Faculty of Arts and Science

IMAGE-holidaywrap-modelUN10. Student club tackles human trafficking at Model UN conference

“These are very hardworking students who are building skills that they take with them when they graduate from MacEwan University—in graduate school and beyond,” says political science Associate Professor Chaldeans Mensah.

11. English students pen micro stories for local coffee sleeve project

“I was elated beyond belief to discover my story had been chosen,” said Theresa Poirier, whose story, “The Crack,” was published as part of the Winter in Edmonton project. “I danced down the halls at City Centre Campus all week.”

12. Research internship takes science student to Germany

Jenna Rae-Patry pursued her love of chemistry by contributing to a research project in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Muenster.

“I really love chemistry and I’m excited about the opportunity to spend so much time working in a lab—it’s one thing to be a student doing a weekly experiment, but another to be there every day contributing to a research project,” said Jenna.


IMAGE-story-summer-dreann13. Biological sciences student studies parasite mind control

Over the summer, Biological Sciences research assistant Dreann Fedor and Associate Professor Michael Stock studied parasite mind control in beetles.

14. Psychology grad continues research into intimate partner violence

Carissa Toop explores the dark side of the human mind as part of her psychology honours research.

“Even in junior high, my day-to-day problems seemed so boring,” said Carissa. “I wanted to understand people—especially people that had different stories to tell than my own.”

15. Nursing grad pursues research in self-disclosure

Though she graduated in June, Paige Steuber (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, '15) continued her research into self-disclosure (how much one reveals about their personal experience with a patient) over the summer.

Community engagement

IMAGE-holidaywrap-JasonG16. Student recognized for creating safe spaces on campus

Jason Garcia received the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee’s Student Achievement Award for his inspiring work with student club InQueeries and the Students’ Association of MacEwan University.

“The award recognizes what I consider to be very small, day-to-day things we can all do to be better human beings,” said Jason. “But to be recognized was amazing.”

17. Residence students give back over Reading Week

Students gave up their staycation plans to spend four days helping out local charities.

18. Saying goodbye and good luck to the Class of 2015

MacEwan University celebrates the Spring and Fall Class of 2015.

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