st. mary’s l e a d e r s h i p f a i t h v i s i o n our vision st. mary’s university will be a leader in post-secondary education, open to all, and focused on developing the whole person: mind, body and spirit. founded on the catholic intellectual tradition, st. mary’s will prepare its students to live with integrity, compassion and confidence. our mission st. mary’s is an innovative teaching and research university that provides affordable, accredited and highly valued degrees in the liberal arts, sciences and education. through the pursuit of knowledge and service to the community, we prepare our students to become lifelong learners, engaged citizens and compassionate members of society. table of contents president’s welcome ...................................................................1 campus ministry ..................................................................30-35 board of governors ....................................................................2 advancement .......................................................................36-41 message from the chair .............................................................3 business & finance ...............................................................42-47 stmu leadership team ...............................................................4 in memoriam.............................................................................45 academics ...............................................................................5-19 st. mary’s ..............................................................................48-49 student services ...................................................................20-29 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
l e a d e r s h i p f a i t h v i s i o n st. mary’s president’s welcome welcome to st. mary’s university and our 2017 report to community. with every turn of the page you will discover that st. mary’s is a university with much to offer. we are a dynamic and contemporary university that is open to all who seek a smaller liberal arts and sciences university. our commitment to affordability, social justice and the highest standard of education focusing on developing the whole person — mind, body, and spirit — continues to grow and thrive. built on the catholic intellectual tradition and values on which we were founded, st. mary’s has taken its place as a vibrant catholic university of the 21st century. this past year, st. mary’s celebrated its 30th anniversary as an educational institution. it has been an opportunity to remember the many people and events that have shaped the history of our university, to celebrate the individuals and activities that are making history today, and to look to the opportunities that will inspire new developments at st. mary’s in the future. in these pages you will learn of the many ways st. mary’s is working to create an environment of excellence and opportunity for students with increased awards and bursaries, dynamic and engaging programs, and an enhanced campus environment — to name a few. you will also read about students, faculty and staff who are making great achievements that further knowledge in their area of study and build a more compassionate world at st. mary’s and far beyond. st. mary’s has fostered a strong commitment to first nations, métis and inuit peoples. we have worked diligently to develop an active indigenous initiatives program and continue to strengthen our unique and inclusive campus environment — which fuses catholic tradition with indigenous heritage, culture, and spiritual beliefs. through a shared commitment to truth and community relationships we have begun a journey towards reconciliation at st. mary’s. in january, we were honoured to host the truth and reconciliation national education roundtable. representatives from every province and territory in canada gathered at st. mary’s to discuss the truth and reconciliation commission’s calls to action in education. these and many of the other initiatives you will read about in this report are made possible through the generous support of individuals and organizations who share a commitment to the vision of our university. st. mary’s is truly blessed to receive these gifts — of time, of wisdom, of financial support — that have made it possible for st. mary’s to achieve more than we ever dreamed possible. through our catholic faith that we are called to serve others and volunteerism and social justice have always been a dynamic and active component of a st. mary’s education. the majority of st. mary’s students are already changing the world — on campus, in the community, and beyond — by giving of their time, knowledge and funds to make a difference. this year, i will be launching the president’s volunteer team — a new initiative to increase and mobilize major volunteer initiatives at st. mary’s. there will be opportunities for everyone to give back — students, staff, faculty and me. when we work together, inspiring things happen. if you are just starting to discover st. mary’s — welcome! the opportunity to engage in an exceptional educational experience that will impact your future — mind, body and spirit — awaits. if you are already part of the family, thank you for your unwavering faith, generosity and commitment. together, we will shape the future at st. mary’s university. gerry turcotte, phd president and vice chancellor 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 1
st. mary’s st. mary’s university board of governors most reverend william t. mcgrattan chancellor mr. jack marshall mr. don verdonck ms. georgine ulmer tba dr. gerry turcotte dr. luke bresky mr. benjamin wild mr. rafael de la peña mr. michael d. rooney reverend glen johnson tba chair & treasurer mr. larry day vice-chair mr. roberto geremia chancellor’s designate mr. paul valentine president & vice chancellor ms. rosanne hill blasdell faculty representative mr. stephen buffalo president, student legislative council ms. mary comeau administrative staff representative dr. michelle gagnon alumni representative ms. debra mauro ecumenical representative ms. cindy provost community advisory council rep member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large member-at-large 2 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
l e a d e r s h i p f a i t h v i s i o n message from the chair st. mary’s university is committed to providing the highest quality post-secondary education in an environment that focuses on students and supporting them to achieve their goals. in response to our tremendous growth in recent years, our campus has been a focus of strategic renovation and redevelopment to ensure our physical spaces are functional and designed to meet the needs of our learners — while also preserving the history and community atmosphere that defines st. mary’s. in november 2016, the university opened its newest building on campus — the heritage centre. this new facility welcomes students and visitors to participate in innovative new ways as they learn, engage and celebrate at the heart of st. mary’s. the heritage centre is the first step in a campus master plan that addresses st. mary’s growing capital needs and future development — ensuring we continue to honour the traditions and qualities on which we were founded as we build for the future. st. mary’s also surrounds its students with people and opportunities that help them to grow in mind, body and spirit. in february our university welcomed a new chancellor when the most reverend william t. mcgrattan became bishop of calgary. at the same time, we bid farewell to the most reverend fredrick henry upon his retirement. always gracious with his time, bishop henry often stayed after mass and at other university events to socialize and interact with students, faculty, staff and our supporters. we are grateful for the many years of service and spiritual leadership bishop henry provided as our chancellor and bishop, and for his guidance and support in the growth and development of st. mary’s, our students, and our catholic community. we are also excited about the engagement and input from our new chancellor, bishop mcgrattan. our chancellor and president are at the helm of a dynamic leadership team at st. mary’s — committed to our students, staff and faculty and the growth and development of a university that advances the rich catholic intellectual tradition on which it was founded. giving back through community engagement and volunteerism defines one of st. mary’s core beliefs. to all who serve on the board of governors and other university committees, thank you for living these values through your commitment and service to st. mary’s and its students. i would especially like to acknowledge and thank terry mccoy for his service as chair and treasurer for the past 13 years. it is also my privilege to recognize a dedicated member of st. mary’s administrative team, dr. helen kominek, who is retiring from her position as university secretary and executive assistant to the president after six years with st. mary’s university. helen was an invaluable member of the st. mary’s community. her historical knowledge of the university and campus is truly remarkable. an enthusiastic champion of st. mary’s and its students, her presence, dedication and commitment have left an indelible mark. it is with gratitude that all of us at st. mary’s wish her a joyful retirement. it is people with a common vision — to support students to learn and grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically in the tradition of catholic scholarship — in a dedicated environment that will enable them to meet these goals and realize their dreams — that is at the heart of st. mary’s university. st. mary’s don verdonck chair & treasurer, board of governors 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 3
st. mary’s debra osiowy vice-president business and finance dr. tara hyland-russell vice-president academic and dean thérèse takacs vice-president advancement bob hann vice-president student services leadership update st. mary’s university is privileged to have a leadership team of experienced and dedicated vice-presidents who serve with commitment, integrity and vision in their portfolios of academics, student services, business and finance, and advancement. through their combined leadership, st. mary’s is able to embrace exciting new opportunities while honouring the founding values and traditions that define our university. over the past year st. mary’s has realized tremendous growth and made investments that enhance our core mandate — the delivery of world-class academic content in the liberal arts, sciences and education. our university continues to be distinguished by its small class sizes, affordable tuition and innovative programs that provide not only rigorous academic content, but also a wide range of programs that support non-traditional and marginalized learners. at st. mary’s we believe we learn better when we form partnerships and engage in experiences that enrich the learning process for students, faculty, staff and the broader community. this includes st. mary’s ongoing commitment to indigenous initiatives and our work with truth and reconciliation. we are engaged in a flourishing, multi-generational collaboration with our campus neighbor, united active living. we are celebrating a new joint educational initiative with the hitmen hockey team and st. mary’s hosted its first darwin day event at the calgary zoo in conjunction with our biology program. st. mary’s students and faculty have travelled to belize for the first offering of a tropical ecology course, studied mediterranean cultures in france and morocco, and engaged in education practicum placements at local schools and as far away as taiwan and the ukraine. nurturing and strengthening st. mary’s programs and activities is visible in the advancements made in building faculty research mentorships, research writing workshops and mechanisms to further support faculty in the development of their research and teaching. our athletics teams continue to reach new heights and we welcome the addition of indoor track to our growing program. the humanities 101 program continues 4 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y to be vital and active part of our st. mary’s community of learners. we continue to enhance st. mary’s presence and build awareness about programs, events and activities through the media, via our website, using social media, and through publications like the attic, illuminate and our marian update newsletter. over the past year, st. mary’s has welcomed countless visitors to campus to participate in continuing education programs and special events and activities. our university hosted grad retreats as well as presenting seminars and programs that help high school students in their transition to post-secondary studies. st. mary’s students have had the opportunity to meet and hear from luminary visitors like alberta’s lieutenant governor, order of canada recipient john currie, truth and reconciliation commissioner chief dr. wilton littlechild, and famed writer-in-residence eugene strickland. we have restored, renovated and created new functional and dynamic spaces to engage and welcome more students while also preserving the history and integrity of our campus. this includes state-of-the-art technology and enhanced security to ensure our entire campus is a vibrant, connected and safe environment that supports and enhances the student experience. these projects were possible with funding support from the federal government and the generosity of our donors. provincial funding also made new initiatives possible such as a program supporting the development of entrepreneurship in st. mary’s students, and travel to the human rights museum and national centre for truth and reconciliation in support of teacher preparedness for indigenous education. there is much to celebrate at st. mary’s and this report highlights the many ways we honour the past, celebrate the present, and look to future opportunities to collectively shape our university. together with our president, faculty and staff we are proud to have the opportunity to engage with our students to create an exceptional educational experience to best prepare them for the future.
i n s p i r a t i o n i m p a c t a c a d e m i c f r e e d o m academics st. mary’s university announces interim dean of education st. mary’s university is pleased to announce that dr. tara hyland-russell has assumed the role of interim dean of education for the 2017-18 academic year in conjunction with her duties as vice-president academic and dean. dr. hyland-russell has been a member of the faculty at st. mary’s university since 1999, having served as vp academic and dean since september 2015. prior to this dr. hyland-russell served as interim dean, arts and sciences and has also served as associate dean of students, coordinator of the liberal studies degree program and director of the humanities 101 program at st. mary’s. a groundbreaker in the exploration of how the lives of non-traditional adult learners can be transformed by studying the humanities at the university level, dr. hyland-russell has proven to be an exceptional academic leader and a dynamic administrator during her tenure at st. mary’s. “the appointment of dr. tara hyland-russell as interim dean of education will ensure that current plans and initiatives are continued and that there will be a smooth transition,” said dr. gerry turcotte, president of st. mary’s university. “it is a tremendous responsibility to add this position to an already full portfolio but we know that dr. hyland-russell is the right person to lead our bachelor of education program during this time of great growth and innovation.” for dr. hyland-russell the upcoming year as dean of education will provide her an opportunity to work closely with the staff and faculty of the bachelor of education (elementary) degree program to ensure that st. mary’s students continue to receive the best possible education and opportunities for intellectual growth. “during this transitional period we will continue to offer the same exceptional programming students have come to know and expect from our bachelor of education program,” said dr. hyland-russell. “assuming the role of interim dean of education will afford me the opportunity to work closely with the faculty of the education program and determine how we can continue to make this program better for our students.” 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 5
academics author! author! st. mary’s faculty add to the growing body of global knowledge through articles published in leading academic and discipline- specific journals, editing and reviewing the work of colleagues beyond the university, and book writing and editing. over the past year, those books include the following. teaching for democracy in an age of economic disparity dr. corey wright-maley and dr. trent davis addressing the intersections between democratic education and economic inequality in american society, drawing upon well-established theoretical constructs in the literature on democratic citizenship. the oxford history of the novel in english volume 12: the novel in australia, canada, new zealand, and the south pacific since 1950 dr. gerry turcotte, co-editor and chapter author dr. tara hyland-russell, chapter author the 12-volume oxford history of the novel in english, written by a large, international team of scholars, presents a comprehensive, global and up-to-date history of english-language prose fiction. this volume explores the implications of radical change through accelerating change in schools: leading rapid, successful, and complex change initiatives dr. linda dudar, co-author major findings exploring the leadership needed to enact rapid change in various school contexts, challenging many of the assumptions in current scholarly literature about how fast, complex change can or should be wrought within educational environments. challenging communion: the eucharist in middle english literature dr. jennifer garrison examining literary its focus on the novel and the short story, which model the representations of the central crises in evolving narratives of nationhood and the reinvention of symbol of later medieval postcolonial identities. religious culture: the eucharist, identifying a pervasive middle english literary tradition that rejects basic notions of eucharistic promise. 6 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
i n s p i r a t i o n i m p a c t a c a d e m i c f r e e d o m academics excellent teachers are researchers and scholars st. mary’s university faculty are passionate about what they do. whether delivering lectures, meeting students one-to-one, conducting research, developing challenging recognizing outstanding teachers when people love what they do, they do it extraordinarily well. st. mary’s celebrates instructors whose commitment and dedication enhances students’ learning experience. 2017 award for teaching excellence: dr. mary ann mclean the inaugural st. mary’s university award for teaching excellence focuses on connecting students to their environment, community, peers and their own learning, as well as ideas and disciplines. dr. mary ann mclean, associate professor of biology, has developed case studies, real-world experiments in collaboration with staff at fish creek provincial park and assignments to enable st. mary’s students to engage grade 9 students course content, supporting myriad in learning about biological concepts. activities across the campus community, or publishing and presenting, instructors are the university’s lifeblood. committed to academic rigour, teaching excellence, social justice, ethical citizenship and freedom of thought — tenets of catholic intellectual tradition — faculty share knowledge that inspires students to realize their full potential. 2017 dr. david lawless award for scholarly achievement: dr. corey wright-maley the dr. david lawless award for scholarly achievement recognizes major scholarly achievements, and dr. corey wright-maley, assistant professor of education, earned this year’s honour for his outstanding program of research and the continued development and expansion of his research portfolio. one of st. mary’s most prolific scholars, dr. wright-maley’s activities place him on the cutting edge of education research, and he is deeply committed to bringing the best scholarship to his students. dr. mary ann mclean dr. corey wright-maley 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 7
academics illuminating the world through scholarly activity launched in 2016, illuminate: teaching and research newsletter continues to showcase the diverse interests and scholarly activities of st. mary’s faculty. through these efforts, faculty contribute to the growing body of global knowledge in their disciplines specifically, and advance best practices in teaching more widely. exploring eucharistic promise in medieval religious culture on march 22, 2017, faculty, students and staff gathered to celebrate the publication of dr. jennifer dr. jennifer garrison garrison’s new book, challenging communion: the eucharist in middle english literature. through new readings of texts such as piers plowman, a revelation of love, the book of margery kempe and john lydgate’s religious poetry, dr. garrison, associate professor of english, shows how writers of middle english often took advantage of the ways in which eucharistic theology itself contests the boundaries between the material and the spiritual, and how these writers challenged the eucharistic ideal of union between christ and the community of believers. by troubling the definitions of literal and figurative, middle english writers responded to and reformulated eucharistic theology in politically challenging and poetically complex ways. honing educators’ craft in hawaii dr. laurie hill and dr. paolina seitz drs. laurie hill and paolina seitz, assistant professors of education, presented a paper, “interdisciplinary approaches to creating authenticity in a bachelor of education program,” at the hawaii international conference on education in honolulu in january 2017. using the st. mary’s bachelor of education (elementary) program as a case study, the two explored the connections between an instructor’s use of integrative learning and interdisciplinary studies, and the implications for student learning and the outcomes achieved. on multinationals and social responsibility dr. michael macleod, associate professor of political science, seeks to understand the evolution of the power of multinational corporations and explain the emerging trend toward corporate social responsibility. his research has been presented at more than 25 conferences and published in numerous articles in leading academic journals, and as book chapters. in 2012, dr. macleod received a $10,000 research studies grant from the government of canada to undertake a comprehensive assessment of shareholder activism in canada and the u.s., and its impact on environmental degradation. he was invited to be part of the un’s academic network for principles on responsible investment and to share his research with fellow scholars dr. michael macleod and the international business community. 8 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
r e s p o n s i v e r e a l - w o r l d r e l e v a n t academics biodiversity abounds in beautiful belize every two years, biology students in st. mary’s tropical ecology and biodiversity course take their field studies to forest, savannah and marine sites in belize to learn firsthand about the ecology of animals and plants, animal behaviour, field techniques for observing and censusing information, and community-based conservation efforts. from feb. 18–25, 2017, students observed 89 species of birds, 10 species of animals, 14 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 120 species of marine life. students snorkeled along a coral reef and in a mangrove forest, carefully caught birds, sampled a stream to assess its health, and most importantly, immersed themselves in the diversity of a tropical area of the planet, an experience they could then compare to calgary’s temperate zone. teaching innovation expands horizons students bring their own individual learning styles and needs to st. mary’s. recognizing this, faculty offer a variety of avenues to acquire knowledge and skills, creating an environment in which each student can cultivate the deep and profound learning that will be the foundation of success throughout their lives. innovation in teaching builds on st. mary’s catholic intellectual tradition to expand the horizons of teacher and learner alike. emphasizing experiential learning to establish leading practices actively engages students in new and different ways. theory, practical skills and the ability to apply them in real-world situations, as well as critical-thinking, reading and writing, and relevant experience all come together to prepare global citizens. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 9
academics l i g h t s c a m e r a a c t i o n member of our board of govenors, and president of pyramid productions larry day with actress carly weasel child. pyramid productions student team on set at st. mary’s university. 10 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y media studies goes ‘on location’ an exciting new partnership with pyramid productions premiered in august 2017: a condensed media studies course designed to enable more students to blend their academic, work and personal schedules through year-round studies. working in- studio with pyramid’s professionals, students learned about and produced a docudrama for broadcast on pyramid’s online streaming channel. st. mary’s will continue to expand its summer schedule to respond to the growing need for more 12-month learning.
learning in a living lab st. mary’s is richly blessed to be located on the doorstep of one of north america’s natural jewels: fish creek provincial park. biology students frequently go “out the door and down the hill” to conduct research for assignments, and several students are hired each year work in the park as research assistants on faculty-led projects. from catching insects and observing migrating birds and hibernating small animals, to foraging for fungi and identifying and quantifying invasive plant species, to monitoring cesium levels in the soil, fish creek is an immediately accessible outdoor lab like no other in calgary. in addition to their direct, project-focused learning, students learn how to conduct research in a natural space, and to be ethical and humane as they interact with diverse living organisms. “i was drawn to the st. mary’s biology program for the direct access to doing hands-on research and field work in fish creek,” says student bethany topping. “the program has helped me to understand the environment in a whole new way, and being able to understand it helps me to become more conscious of my environmental impact and how i can help.” academics preserving history for the capstone project in her history course, student kristine lehew researched historical preservation in calgary, referencing newspaper records throughout the 20th century and interviewing current preservation experts. her paper, rooted in their foundations: an examination of historical preservation and calgary heritage homes, explores how calgary has shifted between saving and destroying historical homes in different eras. the paper focuses on case studies of six heritage structures which highlight these trends. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 11 hitmen students score big being a high-level athlete is no easy feat. balancing workout schedules, practice, diet, game time and travel is a full-time job in itself. adding academic pursuits can push things into overtime. but as 13 calgary hitmen students discovered last year, it is possible to stickhandle a busy athletic schedule and a challenging academic course. for the fifth consecutive season, st. mary’s university and the calgary hitmen hockey club collaborated to offer players a unique opportunity to receive post- secondary credits in a hitmen-only first-year university course. the academic partnership provided the flexibility required to accommodate the team’s busy schedule by holding lectures at both the scotiabank saddledome and on the st. mary’s university campus.
academics s h a r e g r o w a c h i e v e learning to serve buddy wickramasinghe is deploying the many lessons learned at st. mary’s university overseas — serving with the canadian armed forces on a six-month nato mission in poland. a member of the reserve force of the canadian armed forces, buddy completed his liberal arts degree (with a focus in psychology) in 2017, blending these two disparate learning opportunities to great benefit for both military and civilian life. “school and military experience almost complemented each other,” he says. “i applied the skills i learned in the military to my classes, and the practical skills i learned in my courses, such as psychology, sociology and management, were all able to feed into my military experience.” “[these] were the most practical classes i’ve ever taken, especially the way they were taught at st. mary’s. they were applied to real-life scenarios and i was able to apply them. even to this day, i’m able to apply those perspectives and see the bigger picture.” “this is important in the military, where people share various opinions. it helps me understand them more and get along with them easier.” 12 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
academics dr. norman knowles interim acting dean of arts and sciences i n s p i r a t i o n s u c c e s s i m p a c t accolades for students’ academic achievements the many successes of st. mary’s university students reflect a passion for learning, and for embracing the liberal arts. students make their mark individually and in collaboration with peers and professors, in classrooms, on projects and through campus clubs, growing in mind, body and spirit as they prepare to become citizens of the world — ready to lead and to make a difference. the exemplary academic work of students and recent alumni was showcased in the attic: the st. mary’s university journal of undergraduate papers. a broad range of essays, lab assignments, field notes, briefs, reviews and explications across disciplines reflects superb and diverse student scholarship at st. mary’s, and provides a public forum for expressing students’ intellectual pursuits. by offering compelling and timely material in the ideas themselves and in the manner in which they are presented, st. mary’s fulfills its mission to prepare students to move into the future with confidence, intellect, morality and passion. taking part in research expands and enriches undergraduate learning at st. mary’s, and students develop and complete a senior seminar or senior research project as part of their degree requirements. in final-term or year- long projects, students investigate topics within their field of study, growing the knowledge, skills and experience typically needed for success in graduate programs and in future careers. graduating students share their findings with professors and peers at annual student conferences, which casts the spotlight on students’ projects and reflects the quality of undergraduate work and the diversity of academic interests at the university. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 13
academics world premiere of first and last for the 2017 winter drama production, st. mary’s university commissioned and debuted first and last by award-winning playwright and novelist eugene stickland. having previously served as writer-in- residence at st. mary’s, stickland’s production marked the world premiere in the new heritage centre. a barrier-free yyc: jade coultman third year psychology major and business management minor, jade coultman, is a leading voice for accessibility both on and off st. mary’s campus. though she may not have envisioned herself as a role model or champion for accessibility, jade has become just that. suffering from hearing loss, jade understands first-hand the challenges associated with navigating the world with a disability. a former president of the calgary chapter of the canadian hard of hearing association, jade has served on the accessibility committee for yyc calgary international airport’s new terminal for the past seven years. jade says, “we started with the new terminal and we are now expanding to the rest of the airport to hopefully have everything be barrier-free.” at st. mary’s, jade’s knowledge and passion led her to form an accessibility committee to help address the needs of students with disabilities and to work toward creating a barrier-free campus that she hopes will set a precedent for other institutions. jade wants her advocacy for greater accessibility to pave the way for people with disabilities to have an easier journey. “the biggest thing is to make a difference in people’s lives.” jade coultman 14 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
family matters when it comes to st. mary’s university, the himsl family are singing from the same song sheet! daughter haley is currently working towards a bachelor of education degree at st. mary’s university after just completing her bachelor of arts degree with us. a scholarship-winning student, haley has been one of the university’s most active participants, singing at the weekly mass, joining the student legislative council and volunteering at countless st. mary’s events, clubs and committees. her younger brother reed attends a variety of st. mary’s events and celebrations and is part of the ever-growing st. mary’s community. haley’s parents, chris and dianne, are regular members of the st. mary’s university choir, with father chris performing a solo at the recent president’s dinner fundraiser. at st. mary’s university 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 15
b.ed. academics d i s c o v e r s h a r e k n o w st. mary’s bachelor of education program earns provincial honour julie blank joined an elite group of first-year teachers in fall 2016, receiving one of six edwin parr teacher awards presented annually by the alberta school boards association to celebrate teaching excellence. julie graduated from the st. mary’s bachelor of education (elementary) program in 2015 and had no trouble finding work. “i got a job right after graduating and i absolutely love the school,” says the dedicated teacher at st. thomas more school in the calgary catholic school district. “i have the most amazing students with the kindest hearts! working with them daily has been a wonderful start to my career.” julie credits her st. mary’s experience with enabling her to transform a childhood dream into the reality of a rewarding career. “i had some amazing teachers in elementary who were pretty influential in pursuing my career in education,” she says. julie isn’t the first st. mary’s b.ed. student to be recognized for her outstanding contributions within the calgary school system. in fact, graduates from st. mary’s have won three out of the last four edwin parr awards and in 2017 seven out of the fifteen nominees were st. mary’s grads! julie blank (centre) with judy mackay (left), superintendent, area c schools, and gary strother, chief superintendent, calgary catholic school district 16 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y a bittersweet good-bye dr. linda dudar, tireless champion of the bachelor of education (elementary) program and dean of education, stepped away from the front of the class, retiring from st. mary’s. a celebration of her passion for the program and for her tireless commitment to students was held on june 5, 2017. her leadership was instrumental in creating the well-respected program whose graduates are in high demand.
family matters for the strother family, catholic education and st. mary’s university run in the family! brothers ricky and joey are both part of the st. mary’s student community. ricky is currently in his second year of a general studies degree while joey graduated with a history degree from st. mary’s and is currently working as a teacher in the calgary catholic school district. their father gary is chief superintendent of the ccsd where many st. mary’s bachelor of education graduates begin teaching full-time time after they complete their degrees. kathie, an award-winning retired teacher for ccsd, and the family dog cujo, volunteer regularly with the pet access league society, and are frequently on campus helping st. mary’s students de-stress before exams. at st. mary’s university 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 17
academics reaching new heights since peter schreiber graduated from st. mary’s, first with a ba in english, followed by a bed degree in 2012, he has been advancing his career with christ the redeemer catholic schools. this fall he steps away from being a full-time grade 6 classroom teacher to become vice-principal of holy spirit academy. peter is honored to receive this opportunity and grateful to st. mary’s for helping him feel confident and prepared for his future following graduation. “st. mary’s gave a real life approach to teaching to prepare me for the education field. the coaching and mentoring i received in my practicum experiences were vital in my growth and development as a teacher.” peter schreiber a life long learner, peter continues to be a student as he pursues his studies toward a master’s degree in religious education in his spare time. the student becomes the teacher natalie robinson graduated from st. mary’s bachelor of arts (english) program 2009 — and has returned as a sessional professor teaching one of her favourite courses, folk and fairytales. after graduating, natalie earned a master’s degree and is now working on her phd. “it’s really interesting for me to combine what i learned from the course years ago with all the work i have done since graduating, and then bring that knowledge back to st. mary’s and share it natalie robinson with the next group of students,” natalie says. “it’s ideal to have small classes where you can have deep discussions and a lot of interaction among students.” 18 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y topping off a degree in taiwan tom kanaroski had the opportunity of a lifetime to complete a three-week practicum teaching in taiwan and immediately seized the opportunity to wrap up his degree overseas. “there’s nothing like it; you can’t compare asia to canada or to europe,” says tom, who graduated from the bachelor of education (elementary) program in june 2017. “everything they do is just so different, but it was extremely interesting the whole time, and i learned so much every single day.” bachelor of education student tom kanaroski and dr. tara hyland- russell posing with a gift presented to st. mary’s on behalf of his practicum school in taiwan. the ability to put into practice the skills and teaching methodology he developed at st. mary’s with students whose first language isn’t english presented a unique set of challenges. no less a challenge was teaching junior high students, as opposed to elementary students, which were the focus of his program. through it all, tom felt at ease and says his personal style of teaching translated well. “as for my teaching style, it didn’t really change much. once you know what you’re doing, once you have a plan, it’s easy to put it in motion and just go with it.”
family matters two presidents, one heart — attending st. mary’s university turned out to be the start of an amazing love story for former student legislative council presidents, ram boyer and camille sehn. the two met and had an instant connection after both served as members of the slc. following graduation in 2013, camille carried on to law school and is currently an articling student with an interest in family law. ram completed his general studies degree in 2016 and has become an entrepreneur by opening his own business, immaculate exteriors. the couple is pictured above in the students association building on the st. mary’s campus – the spot where ram proposed and camille said “yes!” the two were married in march 2017 and even had some former st. mary’s professors there to help celebrate their love. at st. mary’s university 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 19
student services vp student services bob hann levia quequezana humanities 101 student d r i v e p a s s i o n a c h i e v e m e n t fostering a vibrant community of learners a rich and varied learning environment — how, where, when and with whom students engage in learning in all its forms — is integral to the st. mary’s university experience, and a key contributor to students’ lifelong success. from lectures to labs, presentations to projects, independent initiatives to cafe conversations, students are challenged to learn complex theory and hone practical skills. the entire campus encourages dialogue, expands perspectives and fosters academic and personal growth. st. mary’s student services academic enhancing model is centred on student success and the heart of a vibrant community of learners. supporting high school students in their successful transition to university, and st. mary’s students through their studies and in career preparation, the centre for learning, access and student success (class) grows students’ academic, career and life skills through accessible online and in- person resources. courses focus on academic readiness, university pathways, university transition, enhancing learning, strategies for success, community of learning and career readiness. professors, staff, alumni and student peers all play important roles in ensuring the learning environment enables all students to make the most of their time at st. mary’s. lighting the path to life’s purpose perhaps no program reflects st. mary’s commitment to social justice, ethical citizenship, respect and freedom of thought — the foundations of the catholic education tradition — than humanities 101. part of the fabric of the university since 2003, this uniquely inspiring initiative casts aside barriers to education faced by people from low-income circumstances to create a safe, welcoming place where strength, courage and determination enables people to reach academic goals they may not have thought possible. levia quequezana, a mother of six children who worked as an accountant in peru, has experienced firsthand the profoundly personal impact of humanities 101. “for the first time, i fit in somewhere,” she says of the challenges of moving to canada. “my peers and i shared similar backgrounds, struggles and issues. i found myself part of a group where i could belong.” the experience proved life-changing, inspiring levia to achieve a dream that she now lives as a psychology student at st. mary’s. “humanities 101 empowered me and enabled me to find my purpose in life, what i was called to be in this world,” levia says. “for other people, it was the way to achieve their own dreams, a way to find a new light in their path we all had struggles, but we on wednesday, october 4, 2017 the st. mary’s university found a light in humanities 101.” humanities 101 program won its second major accolade — the award of excellence at the developmental disabilities research centre (ddrc). 20 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
student services st. mary’s community unites to support cibc run for the cure st. mary’s university wins the post-secondary challenge a brisk fall morning provided the perfect community was out to support this cause and this backdrop for a rather monumental occasion as event and it was something really special to see members of the stmu lightning cibc run for and to be a part of.” the cure team gathered, ready to run or walk, in support of putting an end to breast cancer. forty-seven members of the st. mary’s team raised a total of $5093, a total that was announced later in the day as the highest total in the post-secondary challenge, making st. mary’s the victors. marsha kuchelema, registrar with st. mary’s university, has been involved in the run for the cure since 2008, but the 2017 race held a deeper personal significance. “as a recent breast cancer survivor the personal support i have received from st. mary’s is incredible,” said kuchelema. “breast cancer while the fundraising competition was all for a impacts the lives of so many and the simple act good cause, the fact that st. mary’s was victorious of raising money or walking to show support to spoke volumes about the university’s commitment raise awareness was demonstrated by st. mary’s to social justice, the dedication and character this year.” of the members of the st. mary’s community according to nathan ruff, athletics manager and the lightning men’s basketball head coach at st. mary’s university. “even though it’s not about winning or losing, for us to win the post-secondary challenge as the team that raised the most money is pretty cool,” said ruff. “to be part of something bigger than ourselves is wonderful.” “being a tight-knit community, the events that we do resonate with our community whether that be students, staff or faculty. all of our “we are like a family at st. mary’s – we come together and support each other when we need it most.” kuchelema and her team co-captains ruff and nancy quan decided to register the st. mary’s team in the post-secondary challenge as a way to raise awareness for st. mary’s, but the response from the community left a profound impact. “to see so many people from the st. mary’s community come together, so early on a cold fall morning to run and or walk for a cause i believe in so deeply was heartwarming.” 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 21 vp business and finance debbie osiowy and registrar marsha kuchelema.
student services lightning athletes prove their mettle st. mary’s student athletes score big throughout the year, enriching mind, body and spirit by competing at high levels, turning in solid academic performances and demonstrating their character. not only do they hone their athletic abilities, they excel at self-motivation, time management, collaboration, problem-solving and more — all valuable skills for future success in personal and professional life. lightning athletes were adept at putting those skills into play in 2016–17, firmly establishing their place among alberta’s — and canada’s — best. st. mary’s teams might be relatively new to the alberta colleges athletic conference (acac) and canadian collegiate athletic association (ccaa) ranks, but you’d never know it from the score sheet. the pace quickened in the running program. two runners from the cross-country team, matt mundy and karan matusin, advanced to the nationals, and the program will take a major stride forward next year when the indoor track team joins the acac. alberta silver shines again winning at the provincial level is becoming a habit for the women’s basketball team, which claimed its second acac silver medal in as many years on march 5, 2017. 2017 athletes of the year women’s basketball cemented its record as one of the most winning post-secondary programs in the calgary area in recent years, claiming the acac silver for the second year in a row — and setting a couple st. mary’s salutes two outstanding student athletes who are ambassadors for their sport and role models in the community at the annual lightning awards banquet held april 6, 2017. of acac records along the way. the team converted on 17 three- point attempts during one game, while mj ritchie’s 921 rebounds during the season broke the all-time acac rebounding record. on the men’s basketball front, it was a rebuilding year. talented new players have joined the squad, and the scoreboard during the season reflected the team’s growing success at building on-court chemistry. brad hassall received the lightning of the year award, presented annually to the student athlete who best demonstrates community service, volunteering, academics and athletics. mj ritchie’s 921 rebounds broke the all-time acac rebounding record! 22 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y karan matusin general studies student men’s cross-country mj ritchie bachelor of education student women’s basketball
d r i v e p a s s i o n a c h i e v e m e n t student services going global st. mary’s welcomed international student athletes to the roster in 2016–17. eleni steriopoulou from athens, greece, and donovan miller, from atlanta, ga., joined the women’s and men’s basketball teams, respectively, bolstering the university’s reputation beyond the local arena. making a great noise for mental health lightning athletes marched throughout the campus on feb. 2, 2017, taking part in the acac’s make some noise for mental health initiative. team members shed light on the importance of breaking down the stigma associated with mental illness, and on feb. 4, 2017, welcomed kaj korvela, executive director of the organization for bipolar affective disorders, to speak about why efforts to reduce stigma are so important. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 23
student services basketball connection on april 4, 2017 the st. mary’s lightning basketball program lightning men’s basketball head coach, nathan ruff, and women’s partnered with the tsuut’ina junior and senior high school to host head coach, steven shoults, led students through some fundamental a basketball clinic. “we’ve been building our relationship with drills, but it was men’s basketball team members isaac amsing and tsuut’ina in many ways and when i reached out about a basketball jordan britton who played a game with students and forged a clinic, everyone agreed right away. activities like this are a great way connection. “the kids were so energized and exited. to watch these to build community,” says michelle scott, director of indigenous two players be great citizens and ambassadors speaks volumes about initiatives. the program and what we’re trying to do at st. mary’s, not just in basketball,” says coach ruff. “it’s all about inclusion.” michelle scott director of indigenous initiatives igniting the fire for learning in march 2017, five st. mary’s students celebrated the completion of igniting the fire: storying the urban warrior. this non- protocols and ceremony, creative writing and storytelling. the major project in the course was the creation of a traditional drum complete credit course focuses on indigenous literacies through engagement with a song gifted by casey eaglespeaker, an elder on campus at with liberal arts. modelled after st. mary’s award winning humanities st. mary’s. director of indigenous initiatives, michelle scott, believes 101 program, participants are indigenous learners who have this course is important because if offers participants the opportunity experienced barriers to education. to explore their own story in ways that are positive and uplifting in a safe place—the st. mary’s community. the course highlights the interplay between culture and identity from an indigenous perspective and cultural ways of knowing, while exploring the value of both oral and written traditions through contemporary and historical examples of indigenous art, cultural 24 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
e n g a g e m e n t r e c o n c i l i a t i o n p a r t n e r s h i p student services indigenous initiatives launched at st. mary’s in 2015, the indigenous initiatives partnership today offers a diverse, active and expanding collection of initiatives that continue to honor the legacy of the treaty 7 people of southern alberta, and contribute to building new opportunities for increased understanding, learning and sharing to build a stronger, more collaborative future at st. mary’s university and beyond. in addition to the projects highlighted on the following pages, the indigenous initiatives partnership continues to engage st. mary’s students through its elders on campus program, to connect through our own truth and reconciliation working group, to participate locally in aboriginal awareness week, and to celebrate convocation each year with our additional indigenous initiatives graduation ceremony. new to our program is the indigenous voices series, a three-morning learning opportunity offered through continuing education, and the launch of a new teaching assistant certificate. it is through the generous support of donors and funders that the indigenous initiatives program at st. mary’s is able to take each positive step forward. st. mary’s is committed to strengthening a unique and inclusive campus environment which fuses the catholic tradition with indigenous heritage, culture and spiritual beliefs. through a shared commitment to truth and community relationships, the journey towards reconciliation at st. mary’s university continues to grow. métis sash ceremony honouring of graduates with elder edmee comstock 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 25
student services chief dr. wilton littlechild inspiring conversations with chief dr. wilton littlechild st. mary’s university was honoured to welcome truth and reconciliation commissioner chief dr. wilton littlechild to campus on january 23, 2017 as part of the inspiring conversations series. his presentation sparked engaged dialogue and set the stage for the start of the truth and reconciliation roundtable which began following day. chief dr. littlechild spoke about the complex history of residential schools in canada and what education and reconciliation means going forward. “having chief dr. wilton littlechild speak at st. mary’s is a great honour,” said dr. tara hyland-russell, vice-president academic and dean at st. mary’s university. “having him share his story went a long way to showing that education and reconciliation is possible if we all walk in a good way, as he said, ‘lifting each other up’”. truth and reconciliation national educational roundtable chosen from all universities and colleges in canada, st. mary’s regarding canada’s history of nation building, colonialism, hosted the truth and reconciliation national educational and residential schools and fostering a greater nationwide roundtable in january 2017. this three-day event marked the acknowledgement and understanding of our shared second annual gathering of representatives from every province history. and territory. together they addressed the areas of teacher education, quality standards and curriculum updates including sharing the work done in their region to address the truth and reconciliation commission’s calls to action in education. “when i saw all the people here,” says casey eagle speaker (elder on campus at st. mary’s and member of the blood tribe in southern alberta), “i thought, we are coming together as people who have a vested interest in changing the goal of this event is to support, through education, the our country’s history into something stronger, vibrant, creation of a societal shift toward increasing public awareness colourful and acknowledging that there was a dark history, but we can overcome that.” 26 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
e n g a g e m e n t r e c o n c i l i a t i o n p a r t n e r s h i p student services to carry a tipi director of indigenous initiatives, michelle scott, dreamed of one day raising a tipi in the traditional way on st. mary’s campus. on june 19, 2017, this dream came true with a grant from the calgary foundation, the guidance and teachings of blackfoot elder randy bottle, and the blessings of the indigenous advisory council. “it’s a big responsibility. i feel the weight and honour of it,” says michelle, “that we’ve been entrusted on this land, this university, to carry a tipi in the traditional way is very significant.” the journey to the tipi raising was also important. following proper protocols and teachings, the 22 tipi poles were harvested over two days in may with the participation of st. mary’s staff and students, the calgary board of education learning centre, and ghost river rediscovery. pruned and de-barked, the poles were then dried out and sanded in preparation for the tipi raising. the june 19 tipi raising ceremony at st. mary’s included a blessing from elder charlie crow, chief from the kainai nation. he also presented a gift of buttons and pegs he and his wife, betty, had hand crafted. frank turning robe from the siksika nation presented st. mary’s with an honour song that can also be used at celebrations in the future. the tipi was raised with a blank canvas. “the painting of the canvas will be an important future step in the story of this tipi,” says michelle. in the traditional way, people stayed in the tipi each night. while the tipi was raised during aboriginal awareness week — and each time it is raised in the future — it is a place of spiritual and cultural learning for all who call st. mary’s university home. with her dream realized, michelle scott says, “the tipi is ours, it’s not mine. it belongs to the land. the more people who feel welcomed here and honour it makes it richer as we go forward.” 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 27
family matters for the shaw/parker family, being involved with st. mary’s has become part of their nature. kara shaw and her aunt cara parker, are current liberal studies students and are set to graduate together in spring 2017. kara spends a lot of time on campus with her studies, working part-time at the library and as a member of the cross country team. cara sings in the choir, volunteers frequently and takes part in many initiatives around campus; she has a special interest in those surrounding the indigenous culture as the family honours their métis heritage. jacqueline shaw, kara’s mother and cara’s sister, is a recent alumnus of st. mary’s and graduated as a gold medalist with a bachelor of arts degree majoring in english. with three members of the family already so engaged in the university, it wasn’t long before jim shaw began volunteering at a variety of st. mary’s events including being the photographer at the annual golf tournament. at st. mary’s university 28 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
u n d e r s t a n d i n q u i r e b e l i e v e i l l u m i n a t e campus ministry celebrating the catholic intellectual tradition st. mary’s university is grounded in the 2,000-year-old catholic intellectual tradition that celebrates academic freedom and inquiry, diversity of programs and approaches, and breadth and depth of understanding and knowledge. we teach our students to be knowledgeable about the ethical and moral dimensions of their disciplines by examining faith as part of the education process, and inspiring them to take responsibility for their learning. we challenge them to be engaged citizens and compassionate members of society. central to our celebration of faith, st. mary’s campus ministry — led by nancy quan — embraces the vision of christ, whose love reaches out to all people. on and off campus, there are opportunities throughout the year for students to engage in activities that nurture nancy quan director of campus ministry spiritual development and well-being. campus ministry’s sacred space is open to all on campus for daily prayer, reflection and meditation. it is also a space for special events. for example, in october (one of two marian months at st. mary’s), students, faculty and staff met to pray the rosary in celebration of a month of community with a social justice focus. students also participate in events such as the ignation spirituality retreat that was held in october with father charles pottie-pate. campus ministry is at the heart of many volunteer initiatives that engage st. mary’s students in social justice. this includes a monthly good food box delivery program and ongoing volunteer activities with the neighboring father lacombe care centre. two pet therapy sessions over the past year drew over 100 students to spend some quiet canine time in the midst of a busy school term. from the opening term liturgy in september and the patron day liturgy in december with our chancellor and bishop, to eucharistic celebration held weekly in mcgivney hall, these and other special masses bring our entire university community together in worship throughout the year. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 29
“the students at st. mary’s university are remarkable men and women,” says nancy quan, director of campus ministry. “they are peacemakers driven to create change.” “our vision at st. mary’s speaks of developing the whole person; mind, body and spirit. our roots in the catholic intellectual tradition call us to justice and peace-building. we are called to reach out to those on the margins and walk with them in solidarity. our students answer the call to make our world a more just and equitable place.” campus ministry bridging the gap between students and seniors over the past year, bachelor of science student bryanne kennedy has had a remarkable learning-and-living opportunity. thanks to a partnership between st. mary’s and united active living, a seniors housing provider and campus neighbour, bryanne received a free suite and food in exchange for 30 hours of interaction with residents each month. educating the heart bachelor of education (elementary) student vanessa bitonti demonstrates her passion for catholic education as a volunteer bryanne kennedy member of the board of directors of the calgary catholic education foundation. as a future educator, vanessa felt the foundation’s focus on supporting schools in need in the community was a great fit for her, and she was able to capitalize on previous work experience in the not-for-profit sector to assist with fundraising. building on vanessa’s involvement, st. mary’s hopes to partner with the ccef in the future in order to give other students an opportunity to give back to the catholic education community. shoes for social justice st. mary’s students for social justice (s4sj) committee held a shoe- cutting party on march 28, 2017, preparing 700 shoes — cut from old denim jeans — to send children in uganda, through sole hope. the organization offers hope, healthier lives and freedom from foot- related diseases through education, jobs and medical relief. “we are so privileged to live in canada, and i think a lot of the time we forget about the tragedies happening around the globe,” says sanna khan, s4sj chair. “this project is important as it reminds us to be thankful, because we are extremely lucky.” vanessa bitonti, second from the right 30 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
u n d e r s t a n d i n q u i r e b e l i e v e i l l u m i n a t e campus ministry president’s volunteer team the st. mary’s university president’s volunteer team’s mission is to connect and increase volunteer opportunities that address community needs and develop a lifetime commitment to service. st. mary’s features a dynamic and active student body whose commitment to social justice and dedication to the community is second to none. the president’s volunteer team is a way for us to signal that from students to the president, we believe that giving back is a key part of the university’s mission. through the president’s volunteer team we will be able to use the full support of the university to organize major volunteering initiatives. from habitat for humanity, to feed the hungry, coldest night of the year, we day, the mustard seed, and many more causes. our hope is that this new initiative will become a movement that will energize not just the st. mary’s university body, but the wider community as well. dr. turcotte’s column, figure of speech, appears monthly in the prairie messenger and the carillon. his book small things: essays on faith & hope, was launched last year by novalis. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 31
campus ministry 32 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y heritage centre blessing on april 5, 2017, bishop william mcgrattan — the new bishop of the calgary diocese and st. mary’s new chancellor — made his first official visit to campus to preside over the end of term liturgy of thanksgiving and to bless the new heritage centre. a procession to the heritage centre culminated in a blessing with holy water and pine bough by the bishop inside the new centre. at the conclusion of his official duties, students and members of st. mary’s community enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with st. mary’s new chancellor.
a new vision – st. mary’s welcomes bishop william mcgrattan as university chancellor campus ministry bishop william mcgrattan is quickly getting to know his new surroundings as he settles into his role as the eighth bishop of calgary after his installation on february 27, 2017. in conjunction with his duties as bishop, mcgrattan also assumes the role of chancellor of st. mary’s university and is ready to get to work. photo bishop blessing heritage centre in this rapidly changing world, bishop mcgrattan believes that the catholic intellectual tradition is one of the most important things that st. mary’s can do to prepare students for the future. “the catholic intellectual tradition, the catholic ethos and the catholic identity of higher education are important perspectives and i believe that’s what st. mary’s can offer,” said mcgrattan. “it becomes evident in specific courses, interdisciplinary research, the development of a sense of community and being connected to the one of shared leadership in the governance direction of the school which guides its educational programming. st. mary’s is a place where all people belong, where diversity is welcomed and supported — including indigenous initiatives and participation in the reconciliation processes, and while he is encouraged by the efforts and initiatives undertaken so far, bishop mcgrattan believes that st. mary’s can also play a pivotal role as part of the education ministry for the church. “i believe truth and reconciliation can be furthered if st. mary’s takes on the role of educating from all perspectives, making students aware of history and bias through courses and allowing them to have experiences of true first nations’ stories, traditions and insights and not just the colonialized view on issues.” ecclesial community where young people feel they can mature and in the tradition of catholic social teaching, st. mary’s encourages its receive pastoral guidance and support.” “st. mary’s is able to show that religion, religious belief and intercultural dialogue is necessary for society and for our culture. st. mary’s needs to become that living witness of a catholic community that embraces an intellectual tradition that promotes students to volunteer and participate in social activism initiatives on campus and in the community, and bishop mcgrattan believes that the recognition of the complexity of the social issues can provide one of the biggest benefits to our students helping them to become critical, reflective and discerning thinkers. the dialogue between faith and reason while supporting students in “activism, involvement, is key but our catholic social teaching is their pursuit of knowledge. st. mary’s is there to embrace all students also about integral human development and working towards allowing them to have an appreciation of the richness of this catholic intellectual tradition.” this will be bishop mcgrattan’s second time in the position of chancellor at a post-secondary institution, having previously served as the chancellor and interim principal of sacred heart college of peterborough. a just society. such experiences invite the student to personal transformation and to critically reflect on social issues through the gospel, the teaching of jesus and our social justice tradition. this dialogue, prayer, and study in a catholic academic environment will ultimately prepare students for leadership and service that can change the world, to improve the world, and to be part of bringing god’s reign on earth. that is an exciting vision for st. mary’s and i am pleased to lead it as chancellor.” bishop mcgrattan’s vision for his role as chancellor of st. mary’s is 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 33
campus ministry a soup-kah for social justice a prestigious posting for our cwl chair for catholic studies each fall, st. mary’s university marks sukkot, the jewish festival of booths (the feast of the tabernacles) by creating a sukkah — a temporary shelter — on campus that commemorates the 40 years the people of israel wandered the desert. on october 17, 2016, st. mary’s sukkah was dedicated in a special ceremony by rabbi shaul osadchey of the beth tzedec synagogue. the sukkah invites everyone on campus to contemplate the exodus of the israelites and to connect this experience with people who suffer marginalization today. “the festival of sukkot expresses our solidarity with the homeless and our commitment to work for social justice today,” says dr. michael duggan, professor of religious studies and the cwl chair for catholic studies at st. mary’s. in a play on words, st. mary’s sukkah is also known as a “soup- kah”. it invites students, faculty and staff to help those in need by making a contribution to the calgary food bank. the circular cut-outs in the “soup-kah’s” walls serve as visual encouragement to fill each space with a non-perishable food item — perhaps a can of soup — to remember the past and change the present with compassionate action that supports social justice in today’s world. 34 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y dr.michael duggan and his wife at the university of cambridge, where dr. duggan was elected as a beaufort visiting scholar at st. john’s college.
campus ministry the saint john’s bible on the move the saint john’s bible was commissioned in 1998 by the benedictine monks of st. john’s abbey and university in minnesota. over the course of 16 years it was created in the tradition of medieval manuscripts and is the first handwritten and illuminated bible produced by a benedictine monastery in over 500 years. st. mary’s is one of three universities in canada to own a limited copy of the seven volume heritage edition. since our university acquired this sacred gift in 2012 — made possible through the generosity of donors — it has spread the word of god both on and off campus. for the past five years the saint john’s bible at st. mary’s has been shared with thousands of people and has been the centerpiece of talks, lectures, workshops, and a certificate program in the sacred arts. students and visitors to campus have the opportunity to view a different page of the bible each day in its specially designed case located in st. mary’s library. over the past year, selected volumes of the heritage edition have also been displayed at such diverse locations as the spiritual journaling continuing education course on campus and at the fcj centre and st. mary’s cathedral in calgary. it has also been exhibited at the art gallery of alberta in edmonton, the blessed john paul ii academy in okotoks, and at the holy spirit school district in lethbridge. accompanied by a member of st. mary’s faculty or staff, these experiences include opportunities to share the special stories behind the creation of this unique bible and to present lectures regarding new research and perspectives about its text — words that continue to teach us and illuminate our lives today. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 35
advancement e n g a g e e n r i c h e n j o y a year in the life of st. mary’s university st. mary’s is a vibrant campus year round, energized by students, professors, staff and people from diverse communities. whether coming together to learn, teach, conduct research, grow faith, celebrate, take part in a special event, cheer or be entertained, every opportunity to gather is an opportunity to deepen knowledge, gain insights and create a better world. a hauntingly good time on sept. 28, 2017, more than 400 people visited st. mary’s campus for the sixth annual ghost tour. the sold-out event took audiences throughout the “haunted” halls and grounds of the university to hear chilling ghost stories and see spooky performances from st. mary’s drama students, alumni and community members. stmu in the media 36 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
singing sunrise mass flapjacks, friends and fun advancement on july 13, 2017 st. mary’s got into the stampede spirit, welcom- ing friends and neighbours for free flapjacks, music, and campus tours on what was a gloriously bright, blue-sky morning. there was no shortage of special guests in attendance as calgary-shaw mla graham sucha was joined by the minister of indigenous relations richard feehan as well as the mayor of calgary, naheed nenshi. on april 9, 2017, a stellar choral celebration featuring performances by the st. mary’s university choir, the calgary men’s chorus, cum vino cantus and the university of calgary chamber choir was held at bella concert hall under the direction of malcolm edwards. the choirs combined with a chamber string orchestra to perform sunrise mass, a shimmering wave of music that enveloped the audience and captivated listeners throughout the traditional latin passages of the mass. graham sucha, mla for calgary-shaw; richard feehan, minister of indigenous relations; cindy provost, stmu board member; mayor nenshi; gerry turcotte, st. mary’s president. stmu in the media 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 37
st. mary’s golf tournament – fun on the links st. mary’s university was thrilled to return to the picturesque silvertip resort for our sixth annual golf tournament, as we strive to continually improve the academic experience for our students. highlights of the event included a clinic with lisa longball who is ranked top five in the world in ladies long drive, as well as the first presentation of a championship trophy in celebration of the life of leo bunz, one of st. mary’s university’s most dedicated supporters. advancement passion for pictures members of st. mary’s university’s photography club stepped out from behind their lenses to put on a wonderful show of their art on april, 4, 2017, in the new heritage centre. open to all, the event highlighted students’ talent — and extended an invitation to others to join the club. darwin day debuts st. mary’s celebrated the birth of charles darwin, one of the most influential naturalists in human history, on feb. 12, 2017, with a special edition of the inspiring conversations series at the calgary zoo. captivating discussions were led by renowned naturalist brian keating and st. mary’s own dr. scott lovell, who treated the more than 150 guests with insights gleaned through his research on evolutionary ecology, examining the speciation in birds. cbc star brian keating and st. mary’s star dr. scott lovell at the calgary zoo. 38 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
c o n n e c t e n g a g e i n s p i r e advancement a presidential feast the 22nd annual president’s dinner was celebrated in style with media entrepreneur george brookman at the helm as over 230 supporters, donors and community members gathered at heritage park’s gasoline alley on march 9, 2017. brookman’s keynote address of ‘what is next?’ was met with roaring applause as the celebrated philanthropist called on attendees to reflect on past successes and to embrace the digital era as it continues to change the future. other highlights included student speaker justin fry who spoke passionately about the important role st. mary’s has played in his personal and academic success, touching on many areas of his student experience at st. mary’s such as small class sizes, strong relationships with professors, and intense academic programming and how all of these tied into his feeling prepared for future endeavors. vp advancement thérèse takacs 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 39 business titan wows st. mary’s “george brookman was everything we could have asked for as keynote speaker,” said thérèse takacs, vice-president advancement at st. mary’s university. “his riveting keynote address on what’s next for calgarians sparked some extremely thoughtful dialogue and really encouraged guests to be engaged in change for the future.”
advancement dr. turcotte with scholarship winners and the honourable willis o’leary, qc 40 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y champion it is through the generosity of members of the community such as the o’leary family that we are able to grow and champion the enduring value of a liberal arts and science education, and celebrate the importance of cultivating thoughtful, ethical and engaged students. $123,000 in total disbursements up to 2016-17 7 renewable scholarships awarded 43 undergraduate degree program scholarships awarded
advancement c o n n e c t e n g a g e i n s p i r e helping to make dreams come true st. mary’s university is truly blessed to have friends and supporters “it is that sense of community and togetherness that is at the whose generosity and commitment to the institution continues to heart of the o’leary family’s contributions to st. mary’s,” explains have an extraordinary impact on the students who dream to study at vp advancement, thérèse takacs. our university. since 1987 the o’leary family have helped to turn these dreams into university environment of strong moral and social values,” reality through their generosity and inspiring contributions that have said o’leary. “st. mary’s university is special in offering its students an excellent helped open the doors to higher education for selected students at st. mary’s. mackenzie hejdu was the second recipient of the o’leary family renewable scholarship and is one step closer to achieving her vp advancement thérèse takacs “we believe the quality of students who attend and graduate is, educational and career dreams thanks to the o’leary family’s kindness. ultimately, the measure of a university,” said willis o’leary. “we believed that the scholarships would aid in attracting and retaining students with exceptional academic ability and personal qualities.” “we are impressed by the outstanding leadership of dr. turcotte, the quality, dedication of the administrative and academic staff and by the caliber of the students at st. mary’s” as of 2016-2017, seven students have received the o’leary family renewable scholarship while another 43 willis & betty o’leary undergraduate degree program scholarships have been awarded to st. mary’s students. first-year bachelor of sciences student emily wagner was one two recipients of the renewable scholarships in 2016-17 and credited her academic success to the generosity of the o’leary family. “i cannot reiterate how grateful i am for this award,” explained wagner. “the o’leary’s generosity and kindness makes me “i was honoured to receive this funding and am grateful for the opportunity to apply the funds towards my tuition at st. mary’s university where i am enrolled in the four-year bachelor of arts degree program with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology,” said hejdu. “the o’leary’s generosity has reduced the financial burden placed on myself and my family in order to pursue a higher level of education.” emily wagner extremely proud to be part of this community.” mackenzie hejdu and shannon lalonde 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 41
business & finance heritage centre “our heritage centre has become an integral part of the campus very quickly. we don’t know how we managed without it,” says st. mary’s president and vice-chancellor, dr. gerry turcotte. 42 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
r e v i t a l i z e t r a n s f o r m w e l c o m e growing to meet our needs matching st. mary’s exponential student growth is the commitment better meet the needs of all students. “each project preserves the to ensure the university continues to provide an environment rich unique qualities of st. mary’s — with its welcoming presence and for educational experience. this includes transforming the campus close-knit community of buildings — while enhancing opportunities with functional new spaces, renovating and revitalizing existing for learning that will nurture and inspire the development of spaces, and updating and preserving our heritage buildings, to students,” says vp finance, debbie osiowy. heritage centre opening welcomes all st. mary’s would not have this extraordinary new facility today without the generous support of donors. through the spirit of giving — and a belief in innovation and the future of st. mary’s — the heritage centre has become a vibrant and transformative space on campus. three milestone gifts from stan and marge owerko, frank and jeanne vetsch, and ed and agnes rewucki are at the heart of the creation of this new building. all long- time friends and supporters of st. mary’s, their commitment and generosity over many years have collectively impacted st. mary’s in immeasurable ways. in november 2016, a much anticipated, exciting new facility at the heart of campus officially opened its doors. st. mary’s new heritage centre is a dynamic building of integrated areas offering the flexibility and adaptability to create exceptional learning and teaching environments and inspire new educational experiences. nestled in the close community of buildings that define st. mary’s campus, the heritage centre provides new accessible, multi- purpose spaces where students can study, share and collaborate. the main lobby, side gallery and new link to the le forte centre has become a hub of activity that is a place for student gatherings as well as reception space to accommodate pre-, post- and intermission needs during events and performances in the main gallery. the new main gallery meets the teaching and rehearsal needs of st. mary’s drama and choral programs, is utilized by the bachelor of education degree program to configure multiple teaching scenarios, by indigenous initiatives as a gathering and ceremonial space, and is the perfect environment on campus for community events, performances and exhibitions. business & finance vp finance debbie osiowy mayor naheed nenshi with st. mary’s vice-president student services bob hahn celebrate the opening of the heritage centre. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 43
business & finance revitalizing campus as student numbers grow, st. mary’s needs to revitalize and renovate existing campus spaces to ensure they continue to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff today and in the future. the classroom and fitness centre building was enhanced with a new hvac system, the chemistry and biology labs received new windows, and the administration building completed major improvements including flood mitigation work and remodeled flooring. st. mary’s library will benefit from a new reading room that will house the saint john’s bible as well as other special collections, funded by a major gift from gerry and anna maier. in addition, new flooring, functional workspaces, and a new hvac system will ensure the library continues to be a welcoming, safe and functional space for the benefit of all users. these recent renovations were made possible with grant support from the federal government through the post-secondary strategic investment fund and funding from the canada 150 infrastructure program. 44 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
in memoriam living their legacy the passion, determination and vision of countless individuals is reflected in every facet of life at st. mary’s university, growing on the strong roots of catholic education tradition to become an exceptional teaching and learning community. that community was saddened by the loss of three remarkable individuals who passed away over the past year. their legacy lives on through the mission of st. mary’s and the achievements of future generations of students. dr. david bershad inspiring instructor dr. david bershad was a world-renowned scholar of the italian high renaissance and baroque and, in his later years, an international authority on the work of leonardo da vinci. he dedicated the latter half of his career to st. mary’s university, which he lauded for its scholarly approach and support of the humanities, and whose focus on the liberal arts was dear to his heart. dr. bershad served as an adjunct professor in art history, and previously as member of the advisory council. his extraordinary life was guided by a sense of purpose that never wavered, inspiring thousands of students to see the best in themselves and in others, and earning him countless teaching awards. dr. bershad passed away on january 21, 2017. leo bunz supporter, champion leo bunz overcame childhood adversity to become a successful businessman, and dedicated his life to service. a long-time active member of the knights of columbus, fourth degree, he lent his time and many talents to improve lives and communities. he actively supported his church, st. cecilia’s, and one of his favourite activities was volunteering and fundraising for st. mary’s university. mr. bunz passed away suddenly on june 17, 2017, in medjugorje, one of the holiest catholic sites in the world, while in europe on a pilgrimage. emelia craig bright light st. mary’s student emelia craig was a kind, compassionate and caring young woman whose hope and courage shone through everything she did. her determination and strength enabled her to conquer and persevere over any obstacle, and her intelligence fuelled a desire to learn, especially about culture and history. she brought together her passion for knowledge and compassion for others to follow her dream, attending st. mary’s university to pursue a degree in psychology. ms. craig passed away on december 26, 2016, at the age of 22. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 45 in memoriam
business & finance st. mary’s university at a glance the liberal arts and sciences advantage emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences prepares graduates to be knowledgeable, nimble, adaptable and ready to make a difference in a rapidly changing world. our brand icon the icon is a star, based on the letter m for the virgin mary. four qualities of mary (simplicity, clarity, purity and confidence) are represented by the four ms that comprise the image. the ms frame a source of light, representing the enlightenment within each student. mascot zeus colours gold 123c blue 2746c 46 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y critical and strategic thinkers effective communicators compassionate collaborators citizens creative innovators consider moral and ethical implications logo the emphasis of the logo is on the name mary. the letter t is a pedestal raising the icon’s profile. the light encircled by the ms becomes a flame, with the t as the candle. the t forms a simple cross with mary, with the star standing in witness above. snapshot 2016–17 920 students, full- and part-time operating revenues government grants $3,644,932 operating expenses salaries & benefits $7,753,009 supplies & services $1,913,599 tuition & fees $5,479,724 fundraising $1,321,721 other $1,826,601 student awards $357,171 maintenance $431,726 other $1,422,389
rigorous academic programs vibrant student life business & finance start at st. mary’s and succeed anywhere! st. mary’s offers high-quality, accredited undergraduate degrees valued by employers and recognized nationally and internationally for graduate-level study. bachelor of arts 3 or 4 years degrees in english, general studies (3-year only), history, liberal studies (4-year only), psychology minors in canadian studies, catholic studies, drama, english, family studies, management, philosophy, political studies, psychology, science studies, sociology bachelor of education (elementary) 2 years after-degree bachelor of science 4 years major in biology university transfer up to 2 years business, catholic studies, classics, drama, economics, family studies, philosophy, political science, sociology and more pre-professional prepare for professional programs including law, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, social work, veterinary graduate certificate of catholic educational leadership (gccel) equips teachers and administrations in religious education 1in5students volunteer on campus or in the community involved drama production choral program travel study campus ministry student government community volunteering field research student clubs academic journal social justice campus recreation student athletics experiential learning student success 216 students have taken part in the groundbreaking humanities 101 program, which removes barriers to higher education 7 out of 15 nominees for the edwin parr award for outstanding first-year teachers were st. mary’s graduates 200 student awards valued at $300,000 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 47
st. mary’s j o y a c h i e v e s u c c e e d celebrating st. mary’s honorary fellows this year, st. mary’s celebrates three members from the marilyn potts, ma university community with the distinction of honorary fellow, the university’s highest honour. at convocation these visionaries were honoured for their tireless work to establish and animate the liberal and performing arts at st. dr. david bershad mary’s — playing critical roles in helping to build the strong liberal arts tradition the university is known for today. dr. david bershad, phd the late dr. david bershad was invested posthumously in recognition of his support and contributions to st. mary’s — from helping to lay the foundations for the university in its earliest days, to his long term commitment to creating a place where art history could flourish afresh within a university dedicated to the liberal arts and sciences. a brilliant prodigy, dr. bershad was a student of stanford university at the age of fourteen, served in the vietnam war, completed his doctorate and became a marilyn potts is celebrated for her seminal role in establishing and nurturing the flourishing drama program at st. mary’s university. after a 32-year career at the calgary catholic school district, she became the inaugural drama instructor at st. mary’s — involved in every aspect of theatrical production for over a decade. one of her most famous productions at st. mary’s was the midnapore cycle for which she was the director. in june 2010, ms. potts was named a professor emeritus of st. mary’s university in recognition of her many contributions to the university. for her significant and sustained contribution to theatre in calgary, she is the recipient of the harry and martha cohen award, the city of calgary arts award, and women of distinction and women of vision awards. ms. potts currently sits on the board of directors for alberta theatre projects and the making treaty 7 cultural society as well as doing contract work in acting and directing. st. mary’s recognizes ms. potts’s commitment and service to the arts not only at st. mary’s, but also in the city of calgary. patrick francis walsh, phd marilyn potts dr. patrick walsh world-renowned scholar of the italian high renaissance dr. patrick walsh is honoured for his crucial role in building the english and baroque. in later years, he was recognized as an program at st. mary’s and helping to make it the robust liberal arts international authority on the work of leonardo da vinci. institution it is today. after earning his doctoral degree in anglo-irish his extraordinary life was guided by a sense of purpose literature at university college dublin of the national university of ireland, and he inspired legions of students to seek the best in dr. walsh taught at his alma mater, st. francis xavier university, for 36 themselves and others. at st. mary’s he gave immense credibility to a fledgling university and continued to serve the university as an internationally distinguished scholar and years as an award winning professor of english and anglo-irish literature and drama. a prolific playwright, dr. walsh has also written over ten full- length plays and 20 one-act plays that have garnered him national and art historian until his death. international awards. 48 s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y
j o y a c h i e v e s u c c e e d st. mary’s lieutenant governor honours our grads convocation 2017 walking across the stage to receive their parchment is a well-earned rite of passage for students, symbolizing both hope for the future and the hard work necessary to obtain it. convocation on june 9, 2017 — attended by the honourable lois mitchell, lieutenant governor of alberta — was a moving day for 140 graduating students, and their friends and families. it was also a day of immense pride across the university, as professors and staff shared in the joy and celebration at st. mary’s cathedral. three students were singled out for their extraordinary achievements. the lieutenant governor presented the inaugural lieutenant governor of alberta social studies education student award to bachelor of education (elementary) student brooklyn hamper. anna archibald received the 2017 gold medal, awarded to the graduand with the highest cumulative grade point average in a bachelor of science or arts program. former president of the student legislative council, bachelor of education (elementary) student siarra weisensel, received the inaugural st. mary’s university star award. her honour, the honourable lois mitchell, lieutenant governor of alberta siarra weisensel, recipient of the inaugural st. mary’s star award for outstanding service to the university and the community. 2 0 1 7 r e p o r t t o c o m m u n i t y s t . m a r y ’s u n i v e r s i t y 49
contact us 14500 bannister road se, calgary, ab t2x 1z4 st. mary’s university t: 403.531.9130 f: 403.531.9136 stmu.ca st. mary’s university stmarysuniversity stmarysuc