One of the artifacts from Margaret Mackey’s childhood is a picture book about Santa Claus that’s part of her earliest memories. She describes it as a cheap little thing printed on flimsy paper with no discernible literary merit. But when she recently found a copy and flipped to a page depicting kids making Christmas cookies, Mackey says the image stirred an internal experience she could scarcely put into words.
It is my pleasure to share the fall issue of our faculty magazine with you, our community of Education alumni located all over the world.
With 2016 just around the corner, it is natural to look back at the past year—a year of successes and transitions—while also looking to the future.
Anike Bult was 10 years old when his parents were killed by soldiers in the Congo. He spent the next five years of his life homeless and fighting to survive. Some days, he was forced to get by on a single dollar. Others, he had to chop down trees by hand and burn them for charcoal to sell on the roadside, just so he could afford to eat.
In 2009, Bult was contacted by his uncle, who helped him escape his homeland. After three years in a Zimbabwean refugee camp, he journeyed across the Atlantic to reach safe harbour in Québec.
Whether you know it or not, you’ve seen the artwork of education alumnus Jason Blower (’03 BEd).
Well-known for his illustrations of Edmonton landmarks, Blower’s work has graced the pages of magazines such as Avenue, Alberta Venture, and Today’s Parent. He’s provided the visual flair for promotional campaigns for organizations such as the Alberta SPCA, and he is also the creative mind behind the new Lululemon storefront in Edmonton’s Southgate Centre mall.
Every weekday morning and afternoon, Randy Wimmer laces up his runners and does the 35-minute walk between downtown and the University of Alberta campus on the south side of the river.
Summer or winter, rain or shine, it is a ritual the thoughtful educator cherishes. “That’s my time—sometimes it’s my only time,” says Wimmer. Since taking on the role of interim Dean of Education on July 1, 2015, the former vice dean’s calendar has become increasingly busy—hence the importance of those daily walks to and from work.
Elementary education is one common experience we all share as Canadians—Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal—and even that is not so common as far as the experience goes.
Many students, most notably Aboriginal students, may disengage from that “mandatory” relationship with one another at school as early as junior high. For many Aboriginal students, the lack of information about, and value of, Aboriginal people in our education systems and curricula is too much, and they leave school very young.
My late mother, Vera Hampel, graduated with her bachelor of education degree from the University of Alberta and later obtained a master's degree from the University of Calgary. She taught in Alberta for 37 years and retired in 2010. She was proud to be a teacher and dedicated her life to her students. I had the privilege of being the daughter of Mrs. Vera Hampel, a passionate teacher in all aspects of her life.
Many Faculty of Education graduates come from families with generations of teachers. For this issue’s Class Notes, we asked: “Would you say that education is in your DNA?”
Here are some of our alumni’s stories:
How well do you know your Education Students' Association execs for 2015-16? We asked them all five questions to get to know them better.
In Part 1, we introduce you to Alysha Kazimirchuk, Vice President, Academic for the ESA and Waishing Lam, Vice President, Finance & Operations. Read Part 2 here.