Mona Nashman (‘79 BEd) has spent much of her career as an educator working in international settings. But the native Edmontonian says her essential approach to teaching was formed as a University of Alberta education undergraduate four decades ago.
The Cree word wahkohtowin is often translated as “kinship,” and denotes the interconnected nature of relationships, communities and natural systems. Brian Wildcat (‘95 MEd) says this philosophy underpins the formation of the Maskwacis Education Schools Commission (MESC), the authority that oversees the 11 schools and 2,300 students in the central Alberta community that is home to four Cree First Nations.
Steacy Collyer (‘85 BEd) has some advice for new teachers embarking on careers in the age of ubiquitous digital devices.
“Please keep reading books,” said Collyer, whose dedication to promoting early literacy in Alberta has earned her a 2019 University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award.
Not all educators work in schools. For Charlene Bearhead (‘85 BEd), all of Canadian society is a classroom, and the subject she teaches is reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.
“The entire country is learning,” says Bearhead.
“Real education, true education, is about opening our minds and expanding our knowledge and understanding, and it’s the key to all positive change. That’s the way we shed light.”
Becoming a registered psychologist in a northern Canadian city wasn’t part of the plan when Lubna Zaeem (‘07 MEd) and her physician husband left her native Pakistan for the U.S. in the early 1990s. But over the past two decades, the 2019 Alumni Honour Award winner has not only made a home in Edmonton, but become a crucial support for newcomers to Alberta through the Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSAA).
Building relationships has always been key to Winnie Yeung’s approach to teaching. But the 2019 Alumni Award of Excellence recipient couldn’t have guessed her skill at creating bonds of trust with pupils in her English language learning (ELL) class at Edmonton’s Highlands School would lead to her becoming a published author whose work would be shortlisted for two national literary awards, championed on CBC’s Canada Reads, and entered into the Library of Parliament.
The history of Golden Bears football is full of great players, great team leaders and great coaches, but James Lazaruk is the rare instance of someone who managed to be all three. More remarkably, his time as a member of the Golden Bears coaching staff in the early 1980s coincided with a full-time career as a high school teacher and other coaching duties.
Lazaruk’s contributions to Golden Bears football and to athletics in Alberta will be recognized at the 2017 University of Alberta Alumni Awards on Monday, Sept. 25 when he is inducted into the Sports Wall of Fame.
UAlberta grad Brad Burns (94 BEd) has a simple approach to education: Practice what you TEACH. Practice understanding, practice kindness. Watch as his school and the University of Alberta join forces to tell Burns he’s getting an Alumni Honour Award.
See Burns and 20 other recipients get their awards on Monday, Sept. 25 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium by registering for free tickets to the 2017 Alumni Awards at uab.ca/AlumniAwards.
It’s surprising to find out Heike Juergens very nearly decided to forgo university altogether, given that her long involvement with the University of Alberta as an alumna will be recognized with a 2017 Alumni Service Award on Monday, Sept. 25.
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.