Peer Review - The University of Calgary Alumni Podcast

This week on Peer Review, we’re joined by YMCA Calgary CEO and President Shannon Doram, and Vice-President of Marketing & Communications, Ken Lima-Coelho. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology and, as a student athlete, captained the very first Dinos ringette team. Ken earned a Bachelor of Arts at UCalgary and during his time here was active with CJSW, The Gauntlet, NUTV and the Jazz Choir.

In this episode, Shannon and Ken have a candid conversation about what motivates them to build their careers in the non-profit sector. While the two have very different backgrounds – Shannon a long-time athlete with a background in health promotions and Ken a former journalist and proud father – they each share their journey from opposite ends of the UCalgary campus to senior leadership roles in a major community organization. Their dedication to health, wellness and community-building has brought them together as champions of the YMCA. Fair warning… if you haven’t finalized your New Year’s resolutions, you’re about to be inspired!

Direct download: Peer_Review_111_-_YMCA_Locked_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am MDT

Jim Gray holds an Honourary Doctorate from UCalgary, but his list of achievements is much longer than that. He is an Energy Person of the Year Award recipient from the Energy Council of Canada, was inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame, the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. He is a Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, is an Officer of the Order of Canada and this fall was named Lifetime Achievement Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Calgary.  Most recently, he also founded  the Top 7 over 70 in Calgary.


In this episode, Jim joins us to talk about his career in energy and business, his thoughts on the past and future of our city, and the importance of community and getting involved. He also inspires us all to seek the right balance between career, community and most importantly, family.

Direct download: UC_Peer_Review_110_Jim_Gray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

We caught up with three different Calgary brewery owners to talk specifically about cooperation and collaboration in the craft beer scene. Legislative changes have made starting a brewery accessible for home brewers, and the popularity of craft beer has made opening a brewery more relevant than ever. We dive-in and discuss this current trend with three proud UCalgary alumni who are running some of the most successful breweries in the city:

Stefan Horsky of Village Brewery, MBA'03
Ben Leon of Dandy Brewing, BEd
Dan Allard of Cold Garden, BComm

Direct download: 109_A_three_part_discussion_on_Calgarys_Craft_Beer_Boom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:33pm MDT

Calgary Arts Development President & CEO, Patti Pon, discusses the new creative economy. She makes arguments for the current Calgary arts scene as well as the facts and figures that stand behind the economical impacts of a thriving creative sector.

We discuss the Alberta Ballet, Calgary Folk Fest, the Calgary Stampede, One Yellow Rabbit and many other cultural institutions that define Calgary.

Patti holds a BFA in Drama and an MBA in Arts Administration and was recently represented the Alumni Association at the Fall 2017 Convocation as a Distinguished Graduate

Direct download: 108__Patti_Pon_sheds_light_on_the_new_creative_economy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am MDT

Dr. Niven received his MD, his Master of Science and his PhD from the University of Calgary.

He is an intensive care physician but is also a health researcher, who focuses on helping doctors ditch outdated technologies, tests and treatments for cutting-edge patient care.

In 2016, Dr. Niven was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Rising Star Award for a study that ultimately aims to lessen the time between scientific research and its implementation in the health-care system. Just last month, he was named one of Avenue Magazine’s 2017 Top 40 Under 40, and this week, he’s one of our Distinguished Graduates at fall convocation, which is why we wanted to catch up with him today.

We discuss his research, results, best practices, career highlights and balancing his career with three young children.

Natalie Panek is a rocket scientist, explorer and speaker. She has completed internships with NASA, helped engineer and drive a solar powered car across the continent, and has been featured on popular TED Talks. Natalie is an advocate for women in leadership roles in science. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently featured Natalie on his Instagram page.

In this episode, Natalie discusses her work with the Mars Rover program, space debris and cleaning up satellite waste, her origins in Calgary, science fiction and her current projects and interests.

Natalie’s website offers further info on all her projects and a level of transparency and communication unique to her field. Please check out

Natalie holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary.

Direct download: 106_106__Natalie_Panek_rocket_scientist_explorer_and_speaker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am MDT

The Idea Exchange series has been happening in regions across North America, bringing alumni, donors and UCalgary supporters together to connect and talk big ideas… and now it’s coming to Calgary. The first event in Calgary is November 22 and we’re going to be talking energy innovations for today and tomorrow.

One of panelists for this is alumnus Ian Gates, who is the associate dean of innovation with UCalgary’s Schulich School of Engineering as well as the university’s Global Research Initiative Lead with the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Seeing as it’s Thursday, this week’s podcast episode is a throwback to the first time we had Ian on our show. In this episode Ian Gates, BSc’89, and Jackie Forrest, BSc’96 explore the current state of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, and discuss the future of oil sands, originally posted February 1st, 2016

Direct download: 105__The_Future_of_Oil_Sands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm MDT

Melanee Thomas joined the department of political science at Ucalgary in 2012. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of gender-based political inequality in Canada and other post-industrial democracies, with a particular focus on political attitudes and behaviour, and policy feedback. Her current projects include an edited collection titled Mothers and Others: Understanding the Impact of Family Life on Politics (funded by a SSHRC Aid to Workshops Grant), an exploration of the effects of gender, stereotype threat, and psychological orientations to politics (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant), and project examining the role electoral districts play in voter turnout, party competition, and representational diversity.

Dr. Thomas is willing to supervise graduate students studying gender and politics, Canadian politics, political behaviour, public opinion, and political psychology.

Russell Reimer, President of Manifesto Sport Management, discusses humble beginnings in Steinbach Manitoba, Miriam Toews, and community minded Mennonite roots.

He tells stories about his beach volleyball days and covering multiple olympics for NBC and learning the value of story along the way. Russell talks about pioneering his business, his connection to Calgary, and of course....the most iconic sports agent of all time, Jerry Maguire.

Russell holds a Masters of Communications from the University of Calgary.

Direct download: 103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am MDT

Peer Review Live: Going for Gold is a live recording of a special edition of our podcast that took place during Alumni Weekend on Sept. 23, 2017. It features Olympic wrestler Erica Wiebe, BKin’12, BA’16, who won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, four-time Olympic speed skating medallist Kristina Groves, BSc’04, MSc’15, and Kyle Shewfelt, who won the first Canadian gold medal in artistic gymnastics at the 2004 Summer Olympics at Athens.

The panel is moderated by guest host Russell Reimer, MCS’07, sports agent and founder of Manifesto Sports.

Direct download: Going_for_Gold.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm MDT

Andrew Mosker (President and CEO of the National Music Centre and 2017 Arch Award recipient) talks about musical epiphanies, transformative winters as a ski bum in Jasper, his favourite UCalgary professor, and he drops enough rock ’n’ roll references to satisfy even the most devout audiophile — the Rolling Stones, Daniel Lanois, Feist, Jim Cuddy, U2 and Kid Koala, to name a few.


Andrew holds a Master of Arts in musicology from the University of Calgary.




Direct download: 101_Andrew_Mosker_talks_about_the_National_Music_Centre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm MDT