These were a few of your favourite things in 2018

December 21, 2018 | Campus Life
The most-read stories of 2018 featured new faces, groundbreaking research and your favourite time of year

(Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things”:)

Town halls with Trudeau
And cannabis on campus
Congratulations to our graduating classes
April Fool’s jokes all about Stranger Things
These were a few of your favourite things
— to read in 2018!

Okay, so we can’t all be Julie Andrews swirling across the pedway with a gaggle of singing children. Instead we’re taking a look back at some of our top stories of 2018. Whether you were saying hello to new faces in the halls or trying to wrap your head around cannabis on campus, these were the stories that mattered most to you.

Your most-read news stories


From the announcement about rules surrounding cannabis on campus to news of a town hall event with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we had a lot to share with you in 2018. One of those big stories was about the launch of Changing Minds: Creating a healthy campus, a mental health resources that aims to connect students with things like counselling, tutoring, career services, wellness animals, fitness opportunities, financial support and more.

And you were also engaged with messages from President Deborah Saucier, who shared her perspective on the importance of having difficult conversations, our institutional strategic plan, planning for the future and changes to the Post-secondary Learning Act.

Our silliest story of the year always gets your attention. Our 2018 April Fool’s Day story (an annual favourite) was inspired by Stranger Things. We’re still trying to figure out what’s REALLY going on in the underground tunnel between Buildings 5 and 6.

New faces at MacEwan

Many of our top stories this year featured new faces on campus. The people in this photo gallery are just a few who joined MacEwan in 2018, and their stories received a lot of attention from readers like you.

“Universities are there to challenge misconceptions, raise awareness and make us feel uncomfortable. You’re not going to get everyone to agree on everything, but we’re called to come together on common ground for the greater good. That’s where we can focus our energy.” — Irfan Chaudhry, Director, Office of Human Rights, Diversity and Equity
“The next generation will not only have multiple jobs throughout their lifetime, but many different careers. We want our students to be prepared for that.” — Wanda Costen, Dean, School of Business“The next generation will not only have multiple jobs throughout their lifetime, but many different careers. We want our students to be prepared for that.” — Wanda Costen, Dean, School of Business
“When you go to university you’re not just learning the ‘what,’ you’re learning about how to be in the world – that’s an experience unique to post-secondary.” — Myrna Khan, Vice-President, University Relations
“I make an effort to get to know people. When I ask someone how they are, or how we could do or make things better in our business, I really listen to what they have to say. I want people to know that I hear them, that they’re important and valued.” — Teresa Spinelli, President/Owner, Italian Centre Shop Ltd. and Allard Chair in Business 2018
“Embracing diversity isn't just one policy or one practice. It’s thousands of tiny practices that collectively make a difference. This important work has to happen inside and outside of classrooms, and it requires the support of everyone, from leadership to students.” — Kristopher Wells, Associate Professor, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care program
“You need to know someone's story, at some level, to work well with them. As an English professor, I’m always focused on how people's narratives are constructed, what perspective it’s being told from, and which voices are being left out.” — Lynn Wells, Associate Vice-President, Students


Your favourite research stories


One faculty member was part of a research team that believes the members of the ill-fated Franklin expedition may not have died from lead poisoning, as has long been thought.


At MacEwan, we love research. This past spring, faculty members Dr. Sandy Jung and Dr. Samuel Mugo became MacEwan’s first-ever research chairs, and faculty members and students from across the university have participated in all kinds of scholarly work and creative activity.

Because of this collective curiosity about each other’s work, a few of your favourite reads were about research at MacEwan.

Centuries-old caribou coats inspire conversations about the impact of graphic design

What began with an appreciation for the work of the women who designed caribou coats grew into a five-year research project for Dr. Carole Charette, an assistant professor in design studies. She studied Indigenous iconography and the graphic design principles they used — repetition, colour, rhythm, space and contrast — and how those principles evolved during the 200 years since the first coats were produced.

“There are many things the design elements in these coats, and the partnerships that come from studying them, can teach us,” says Carole. “I hope this work illustrates how we can reinvent and reimagine using very basic elements — dots, circles, squares and lines. How these things can come together in completely different and very powerful ways.” But as Carole discovered, the scope of the project was a lot bigger than it initially seemed. Read the full story.

amiskwaciy Academy students name local conservation land

Through a partnership between amiskwaciy Academy and MacEwan, 11 high school students had an opportunity to earn both high school and university credits through one course, taught by Dr. Emily Milne, assistant professor of sociology. Part of that class required them to explore the outdoors and rename a conservation land in the nehiyaw (Cree) language. At the end of the course, the students gave a presentation at Student Research Day.

“It was an opportunity for my classmates and I to learn more about our culture, and what makes us, us,” explained Trey Willier, one of the students. “It feels like we’re taking back land and creating a voice that will help us in the future.” Read the full story.

Business professor studies gender bias and stereotypes affecting women

As part of a project team with the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT Centre), Assistant Professor Dr. Dianna Dempsey, School of Business, consulted participating companies to help identify the barriers women face in the science, engineering and technology sectors, and develop a strategy to address them. In 2017, the project received a $354,128 grant from the Government of Canada.

“We have decades of research showing us that women are underrepresented in science, trades and technology, but not a lot has actually changed in workplaces,” says Dianna. “This grant was created to bridge that gap between research and practice. We’ve partnered with three major oil and gas companies here in Alberta to assess where they’re at with respect to gender equity, and we’ll use all of that research to help them develop a real strategy for making their workplaces more inclusive to women.” Read the full story.

New research sheds light on fate of the Franklin Expedition

Dr. Treena Swanston, an assistant professor in biological sciences and anthropology at MacEwan, is part of a research team that set out to unravel the historical mystery of the Franklin Expedition and the crew’s ill-fated search for the Northwest Passage. When Treena and the team published their findings in August, they cast doubt on the long-held theory that lead poisoning caused the crew’s demise. Now a whole new set of questions surrounds the expedition. Read the full story.


Your favourite time of year: Convocation


We love Convocation — and so do you. Stories about graduating students are always at the top of our most-read lists, and 2018 was no exception. What better way to celebrate the culmination of our students’ hard work and dedication? In 2018, we honoured 3,093 students who became alumni at the spring and fall convocation ceremonies, and there was even more reason to celebrate as a few students received awards for their academic excellence and willingness to go above and beyond.

Meet the Class of 2018 – Spring 2018

Meet the Class of 2018 – Fall 2018

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