Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill set

For Tom Ndekezi, university was a chance to gain practical skills not only for a variety of jobs but a variety of careers

Grad mixes science, journalism in quest for versatile skill setTom Ndekezi remembers hearing a statistic during his second year at university that would drive every decision about his academic future from then on: members of his generation can expect to have six to eight careers in their lifetime. “Not even just jobs, but careers,” said the graduating University of Alberta Faculty of Science student.…

Volunteer mentors prepare students for a world beyond university

The support of volunteer mentors helps students built their confidence

Volunteer mentors prepare students for a world beyond universityAbigail Brodhead considers herself a quiet person, shy about striking up conversations and asking questions. So when the COVID-19 pandemic shelved the University of Alberta student’s in-person practicum in the spring of 2020, she was concerned about making a go of it online. “I worried about how I would take control of my own learning,” said Brodhead,…

Nationwide citizen science program critical for bird conservation

Canadian Nightjar Survey recruits volunteer citizen scientists for the study of nocturnal birds

Nationwide citizen science program critical for bird conservationTen years ago, University of Alberta PhD candidate Elly Knight started a volunteer citizen science program. Since then, the Canadian Nightjar Survey has grown from a single volunteer in southern British Columbia to several hundred citizen scientists across the country – and more volunteers are needed. Their mission? To monitor the nightjars that breed in Canada. These fascinating,…

Making caring a key for business

Kevin Zentner turned his academic career around by getting involved, working with the less fortunate

Making caring a key for businessIn the weeks before his first University of Alberta classes in 2016, Kevin Zentner nervously paced the campus, trying to keep the acronyms straight. “I had no idea what everyone was saying when they said SUB or HUB or CAB or whatever else,” said Zentner. “It sounds funny but that anxiety was massive for me.”…

Short-term voluntourism one way to enrich your travel experience

Wherever you travel, you will have a more meaningful trip by connecting with locals

Short-term voluntourism one way to enrich your travel experienceVolunteer vacations are becoming so popular that the travel industry has coined a word for this kind of tourism. Now you can search the web for voluntourism and find hundreds of sites that provide travel with a heavy focus on volunteering. Many of those programs have you signing up for a week or two, or…

Confronting retirement with thought and planning

Give yourself some time to evaluate options. Be honest with your ego and let your imagination troll through deep waters

Confronting retirement with thought and planningA lot of my friends are retiring. And there are many retirement models being thought about, reviewed, argued and applied or avoided. But it doesn’t really appear to me that any of them were exhaustively analyzed before selection. In fact, many seem to be derived from previous family practice (i.e. what parents did), simply made…

Say yes to opportunity, change and challenge

As entrepreneurs, when we say yes to opportunities that make sense, we become invigorated – and that spurs growth

Say yes to opportunity, change and challengeIn 1988, Louis approached me one day and asked if I would join him in building a business. I knew I was taking a chance but I said yes. By saying yes, I had to turn down an offer from Tom that would have made me three times the income over the short term. There…

Championing the human spirit in dispiriting times

The human spirit has evolved over several hundred thousand years and will survive Trump's crude behaviour

Championing the human spirit in dispiriting timesMore and more, Newton’s third law makes sense in my volunteer life: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For many of us, these are dispiriting times. Trade wars, trashing of environmental regulations, insulting of long-term allies, and validation of racist and crude behaviours emanating from our American neighbours aren’t the norm…

Young people have as much to teach as they do to learn

Three ways to get youth involved in community building – for a better Canada

Young people have as much to teach as they do to learnBy Sen. Art Eggleton and Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain In recent years, Canada has seen a spike in youth engagement in the volunteer sector. That’s very good news. This has largely come about because of high school programs that require a minimum number of volunteer hours to graduate. The idea is that youth have plenty to…

Get your vitamin D and do good in the Caribbean

Travel tips: Nordic baths in the Alberta Rockies, music and craft beer festivals for ski enthusiasts, and portable speakers for your next getaway

Get your vitamin D and do good in the CaribbeanBeginning with this column, noted travel writer Lisa Monforton will provide insider tips on new and popular travel destinations, hotel deals, gadget reviews, and unique and affordable experiences for Canadian travellers. If you're wondering how you might afford that surf-and-sand holiday in the sunny Caribbean, here's an idea to consider. In the wake of the…