Alumni Council – 2013-2014 Annual Report

University of Alberta

University of Alberta

Just wrapped up my first year with the Alumni Council. A pretty great experience representing the Faculty of Extension and working with a very dynamic group. Each person brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and a commitment to represent the U of A alumni from around the world.

A couple of highlights from the Alumni Association’s 2013-2014 Annual Report that I thought would be worth sharing:

  • There are currently 255,296 living alumni, with 75% living in Alberta.
  • The number of U of A alumni volunteering grew substantially over the past year. There are a ton of ways for students and alumni to get involved either on campus or in their communities. Definitely check out the Alumni Association website for more information.
  • The study completed by Dr. Briggs and Dr. Jennings that showcased the impact U of A alumni have had on the global economy really stood out this year. If you’re interested, the entire report is available online.
  • The events hosted by the Alumni Association were well attended. There really is something for everyone, so definitely check out the events page.

I also want to point out that fundraising is definitely a goal, but it’s only a part of what the Alumni Association is about. Through various programs and events, this group is committed to keeping students and alumni engaged with the U of A and fostering a positive relationship with the greater community. Whether it’s through volunteering, attending a scotch tasting event on campus or taking a break from studying at ProcrastiNite, students and alumni can stay in touch with campus and be part of a very unique community.

Alumni Council Meeting – Volunteer Summit, Visit from Steve MacDonald

U of A Quad

U of A Quad

Below are a few notes from our final Alumni Council meeting of the year.

The Alumni Association will be hosting a Volunteer Summit in May. It’ll be a free event, open to the public, and will take place at the Alumni House on campus. Brief description:

Be a part of the U of A Alumni Association’s amazing 99-year history of volunteerism by participating in the first Alumni Volunteer Summit. The Volunteer Summit provides an opportunity to connect, enrich and educate the great U of A Alumni volunteers. Each session will feature an inspirational U of A alumnus to discuss community engagement, motivation and the ever changing role of social media.

Date and Time: Saturday, May 10, 2014 (8:30a.m. – 2 p.m)

Location: Alumni House (11515 Saskatchewan Dr.)

Cost: Free

Speakers include Fiona Cavanagh of the Centre for Public Involvement, Chris Tse of Blitz Conditioning and Joyce Yu from the U of A’s  Office of Advancement. More details, including the full program, can be found at the Alumni Association website.

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Hockey Analytics: The new wave of information and the online fan community that is driving the field

In case you missed it, the Communications and Technology graduate program at the University of Alberta hosted a public lecture on hockey analytics this afternoon in Edmonton.

        Link to full lecture on Livestream

        Event details including speaker bios

We had a great turnout in the classroom with people of various backgrounds in attendance. Along with hockey fans, there were members of the U of A faculty, students, bloggers and even employees of the Edmonton Oilers in the classroom.

I want to thank Michael Parkatti for his in-depth presentation of hockey analytics. Michael’s contributions to the field of hockey analytics have been extremely valuable and he continues to track game stats on his blog, Boys on the Bus. I really hope people left the session with not only a better understanding of hockey analytics, but also an appreciation for the work fans have done online.

My main motivation for putting this session together was to promote the field of hockey analytics and really showcase the kind of work hockey fans are doing online. Hockey analytics is still many years behind other sports in terms of tracking and collecting data. But there really is a lot of potential for continued growth and development of hockey information.

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Free Public Lecture on Hockey Analytics

Happy to announce that I’ve put together a short public lecture on hockey analytics, scheduled for  Wednesday March 26th at the University of Alberta.

Here’s the general description of the session:

The field of Hockey Analytics continues to gain importance as more stakeholders, including fans and teams, are examining data and developing new ideas regarding the game. With the advancement of communication technology and analytic tools, fans have taken a greater role in developing new methods of measuring team and player performance. New ideas are often communicated and developed amongst fans through blogs, message boards and other social media tools.

I’ll be joined by Michael Parkatti, a hockey analytics blogger at Boys on the Bus . Michael has extensive experience with hockey analytics and will be providing an overview of the field as well as the current concepts.

Alumni Council Meeting – Alumni Pride Chapter, Research at UAlberta, Volunteer Events

ECHAHere’s a quick recap of the topics discussed at the latest Alumni Council meeting.

We learned about a new Alumni Pride Chapter here at the University of Alberta. From the Alumni and Friends website:

We are proposing to develop the Pride Chapter to provide opportunities for sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) and allied alumni to meet, socialize, and support current students and LGBTQ programs on the U of A campuses. Collectively, we are committed to making the University of Alberta a more welcoming, inclusive and supportive place for all LGBTQ students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Lorne Babiuk, VP of Research at the U of A, provided the Council with some information on his department and answered questions about funding and priorities. To learn more, check out the UAlberta Research & Creative Activities website.

Dr. Babiuk noted that Alumni play a major role in the development of research. Not only can they tap into the many resources and programs available, but they also promote the U of A to those unfamiliar with the great research being done.

Worth noting that the Faculty of Extension continues making major contributions in the research world. For more information about the different institutes and centers, visit the Faculty of Extension website.

Council also discussed new ways to support and encourage volunteerism among Alumni. It’s been amazing to see the volunteer work done by Alumni as well as current students in the community. For more information about how you can get involved and make a difference, check out the Alumni & Friends Volunteer website.

Congrats to Council member, and MACT colleague, Glenn Kubish. His blog article, The Accidental Protester, which was published in New Trail Magazine, received a CASE award. More details can be found on the UAlberta Tumblr site.

Alumni Impact Report

impactreport-166The Alumni Impact Report was recently released to highlight the amazing work done by University of Alberta graduates around the world.

Highly recommend checking it out as it focuses on student success and the role the U of A has played in their lives.

You can read all of the content here at the New Trail website. Fantastic work by everyone involved!

MACT: “Harness the Power to Connect”

Nice little video put together by the Communications & Technology Master’s Program at the University of Alberta. To learn more about the program, including the research being done by faculty and staff, check out the MACT website.

Below are a few of the posts I’ve written about the program, including my experience and research interests.

You can also view my final research paper through the University of Alberta’s Education and Research Archive .

Alumni Council Meeting – U of A’s Economic Impact, Alumni Weekend, Venture Mentoring Service

ualberta-wallpaper05-fall-campus-640Attended my first Alumni Council meeting this morning. Thought I’d share some of the highlights here.

Alumni Weekend was a huge draw this past week with numerous events being held to celebrate past graduates. For a recap of the events, check out the Alumni Association’s Storify feed.

The study that examined the impact that University of Alberta alumni have had on the economy is well worth a read. Lots of numbers got published in the past few weeks in the papers, but there’s more to the research worth looking at. Dr. Anthony Briggs, one of the authors of the article, gave the group some additional insight into the alumni’s innovation and entrepreneurship, including what factors played a role during their time on campus. The full article is available via New Trail.

I also liked Dr. Briggs’ assertion that the U of A can’t be viewed as a “vessel” for research and innovation, but rather, more as a catalyst. For example, students may not start up new companies while on campus, but down the road, they may put together their ideas for launch.

The U of A is also embarking on a new program that will connect experienced entrepreneurs with fellow U of A alumni looking for guidance. The Venture Mentoring Service is set to launch later this year and aims to replicate a successful program offered by MIT.

Update (2013, November 20th): U of A alumni start up service to mentor young entrepreneurs – The Gateway

I also want to point out the fantastic work being done by the University Wellness Services. The group promotes healthy living and offers support to students and does a great job reaching out to students. To learn more about the great initiatives they have going on, including the Heroes for Health project, visit their website.

University of Alberta Alumni Council

bigmenulogoHappy to announce I’ll be joining the University of Alberta Alumni Council! I’ll be the representative for the Faculty of Extension which includes all the programs including the MACT Program.

You can read more about the Council and their mandates on the main website.  It’s been great getting to know all the members, who are all very proud alumni looking to make a difference.

If you’d like to get involved, the Alumni Association is looking to record 2,015 alumni volunteer experiences by the Alumni Association’s 100th birthday in 2015. If you’re looking to volunteer or would like to submit your volunteer experience, check out the Alumni Volunteer Challenge website.