Instructor Bios

Funeral Service Instructor Bios

Janet Arnold | Patrick Church  | Shannon Geoffrey | Keith Jungwirth | David Root  | Brett Watson|

Janet Arnold   M.Sc., RSW
bio_CFSE_JArnoldJanet Arnold teaches the Psychology of Death and Dying course for Mount Royal's Funeral Service programs. She is a Registered Social Worker and graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology (Counselling). Janet is a member of the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW), the Alberta Hospice and Palliative Care Association (AHPCA) and the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She has over 20 years' experience as a counsellor, educator and public speaker. Janet works at Mount Royal University (MRU) as an access advisor with Accessibility Services and as a counsellor with Student Counselling Services. She has also taught the Psychology of Death and Dying course for the Department of Psychology at MRU. She was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction True Compassion Award in 2012.

Janet has a passion for working and volunteering in the areas of death, dying and bereavement; loss, trauma and crisis management, and suicide intervention and prevention. She currently volunteers with the Calgary Fire Department Critical Incident Stress Management Team as a mental health professional. Her previous experience working with the Canadian Mental Health Association Suicide Services program, the Calgary Police Service Crisis Unit and the Calgary Health Region Care at the End of Life team have provided her with experience and knowledge she is eager to share with others. Janet enjoys engaging students in a collaborative learning process by integrating theory with life experience and current events. She believes it is important for people to develop their own personal understanding of death and dying as this awareness is essential to the creation of a caring and compassionate community.



Patrick Church  BA, MTS
Patrick ChurchPatrick Church was born and raised on a farm in the Drumheller area. Patrick completed a Bachelor of Arts in History (University of Alberta) and a Master’s degree in Theology and Philosophy (College of Emmanuel and St. Chad at the University of Saskatchewan). In 2000, Patrick began his studies with the Funeral Director and Embalmer Certificate with Mount Royal University. Patrick has been licensed in Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba, serving as a funeral director, embalmer and manager. He also has had the opportunity to work as an embalmer in Japan. He is a firm believer in the Mount Royal University programs and has taught Business Practices, Embalming Theory, Funeral Directing, and the Laws and Regulations course.





Shannon Geoffrey, B. Admin.

Over the past 10 years, Shannon’s primary focus has been in the field of conflict resolution. She served as a mediator and mentor for the Civil Claims Mediation Program with Alberta Justice and has been actively instructing both classroom and online courses within the Conflict Resolution Certificate program at Mount Royal University. In addition, she spent a couple of years working as the Program Director for Community Mediation Calgary Society and was instrumental in creating their workshop series.

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Athabasca (Organizational Behavior), a diploma in Business Administration (Human Resources), Extension Certificate in Conflict Resolution and a Certificate in the Adult Educator Seminar Series. She is currently completing her Master's of Distance Education and plans to finish the program in the spring of 2015.

Currently, Shannon is working at Mount Royal as a Program Coordinator within Business and Professional Education. She uses her conflict resolution skills constantly to improve communication and processes with colleagues, instructors and stakeholders. A large part of her role focuses on program development and administration.


Keith Jungwirth

ce_bio_funeral_keithKeith Jungwirth grew up in rural Saskatchewan eventually moving to Calgary for work and school.  He graduated from the Mount Royal Funeral Director and Embalmer program in 2005 and started working at Pierson's Funeral Service.  After gaining his Alberta licenses, Keith moved primarily into the embalming aspect of Pierson's.  He started instructing lab groups for Mount Royal University in 2008 and is also one of the embalming licensing examiners.    






MRU Continuing Education - Instructor Photo - Funeral - David RootDavid Root 
David Root was born and raised in Calgary. He was born into the Pierson family that runs Pierson's Funeral Service, so has been around the funeral profession his whole life. After serving a mission for his church in California, he started his Bachelor of Science Degree at Mount Royal and worked part time at the funeral home. After about six months, he decided to transfer to the Funeral Director program and licensed as a Funeral Director. He currently manages Pierson's Funeral Service and teaches the Introduction to Funeral Service, Embalming Theory and Funeral Directing courses. He is a member of the Alberta Funeral Service Association and is involved in selected independent funeral homes. He has also served on the advisory board for Mount Royal since his graduation.




Brett Watson
Brett WatsonBrett Watson has instructed at Mount Royal in various capacities since 2000. His primary focus has been instruction in Embalming Theory, Restorative Art and Embalming Practicum (labs). 

He started his career in funeral service in 1991 by graduating from the Alberta School of Mortuary Science (precursor to Mount Royal's Funeral Service Education) under the instruction of the Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science. Brett's career began in his home town of Nipawin, Saskatchewan but much of his professional experience has been spent in Southern Alberta, managing various funeral homes including his current position at South Calgary Funeral Centre.

He has served on various committees with the Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC), participated on the board of directors with the Alberta Funeral Service Association (AFSA) and was President of AFSA from 2003 - 2005. Brett is also accredited with the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practitioners (APFSP).