With Fall Reading Week and Fall Convocation happening this month and the holidays just around the corner, it is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the significant events and accomplishments of the past few months.
When local Cree and Métis artist Aaron Paquette was a young, rebellious teenager in Edmonton, he learned the impact words can have on someone.
“Your words create worlds,” said Paquette, 42, as he recounted how he started to believe a then-abusive family member when they would tell a teenaged Aaron, “You’ll never be anything”. Later in life, Paquette learned that this family member was so horrifically abused as a child that they had never learned to read.
Before students descended on the University of Alberta for the hectic start of fall term, a small group of 10 to 16-year-old girls from the Edmonton area were on campus for a summer camp with a difference.
When Linda Cook (‘74 BA, ‘75 BLS, ‘87 MLS) started as the Edmonton Public Library’s CEO in 1997, no new libraries had been built in 14 years. Libraries were considered old and tired—full of outdated, dusty books that were quickly being replaced by digital technology.
But Cook saw an opportunity. She saw EPL’s branches as community meeting places that could benefit from new technology rather than be threatened by it. That vision led to five new libraries, three rebuilt branches, countless new programs, and a complete overhaul of the EPL brand.
Retired teacher Margaret Epoch (‘77 BPE, ‘97 BEd, ‘02 MEd) picks up a binder and leafs through it, stopping several times to point to news articles that detail global projects her former students took part in. They did everything from random acts of kindness—driving into a town and sweeping the walk or handing out flowers—to fundraising for students in other parts of the world.
University of Alberta alumna Carla Cuglietta (’01 BEd, ’01 BPE) says helping people has been woven into her sense of purpose from early on, which informed her childhood notions about what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” Cuglietta says. “The reach, the platform a teacher has to encourage others to get involved in serving others is pretty big. That was quite appealing to me at a young age.”
In a province like Alberta, where major universities are relatively few and far between, it can be tough to pursue your chosen career path while staying in your community. Enter the off-campus collaborative program.
When we first planned this issue of illuminate celebrating “enterprising educators”, we could not have imagined that we would be publishing a week after the worst natural disaster in Canadian history hit the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
We know that many of our students, alumni and colleagues, both past and present, have ties to Fort McMurray and our thoughts are with all who have been affected by the wildfires.
When Dan (BEd ‘87) and Carla Cavanagh (BEd ‘94) purchased Delmar College of Hair and Esthetics in Calgary in 2010, the numbers were promising.
It was a thriving business, and the husband and wife team were excited about the prospect of owning a company that required many of the skills they’d honed over several years as educators.
If you’ve had the pleasure of working with Farha Shariff (BEd ’99, PhD ‘12) or being a student in one of her classes in the Faculty of Education, you know that this dynamic educator isn’t one to slow down.
Raised by educators— her mom is a University of Alberta Education grad—Shariff sees education as less of a career path and more of a way of life. With a philosophy built on elevating the people around her, Shariff is nothing short of motivational, in and out of the classroom.