Alumni are taking over!

Grads return to instruct their most meaningful course


Alumni Tyler Massie and Chantal Padavattan, two of the more than 20 alumni who participated in the inaugural Alumni Classroom Takeover.

Expect to see Mount Royal alumni back on campus from March 9 to 13 as part of a brand-new initiative — the Alumni Classroom Takeover. Twenty-six graduates will have the unique opportunity to share the knowledge and expertise they have gained since leaving the MRU halls to help create a personalized classroom experience for current students.

“I’m excited to open our doors to the alumni who have defined our program in the past and to watch them ignite new ideas in our classrooms,” states Assistant Professor AnneMarie Dorland, who conceived the Alumni Takeover during a department-wide discussion around ways to meaningfully connect alumni with students. 

Tyler Massie, Bachelor of Business Administration — Marketing (2013), who is now the Owner of Mass Effect Marketing was one of the first to sign up for the takeover. 

“This is a special ‘full-circle’ moment for me. It was this course, and professor Jo-Anne Baillie, that ignited my imagination of what might be possible for me on this career path.”

Massie is not alone in his full-circle moment. Alumnus and Alumni Council member Geoff Hughes, President of Park Digital, shares why he was motivated to sign up as a guest instructor.

“My first class at Mount Royal College 17 years ago was Introduction to Marketing and was taught by Carolyn Sterenberg. In March, I’ll be returning to teach Carolyn’s class. Recently, I flipped her a note to initiate the planning. I started by saying ‘17 years ago…’. I’m not sure who felt older in reading that – but it made me look back on the last 17 years. It’s been a journey and I owe so much to this school.”

Discussions with participating alumni serve as a reminder of how impactful a class can be. Alumnus Jason Zeiler, Product Marketing Manager at CoolIT Systems, shares, “In 2008, I was originally planning to specialize in HR. I changed my mind after taking the class with Laurie Lancaster and realizing that marketing is one of the most important elements in shaping a business and its future.” 

Chantal Padavattan, Communications Manager with Lana Rogers PR + Media Consulting, had been looking for a way to reconnect with and give back to the MRU community since graduating in 2017.

“I hope that by sharing my experience, MRU students will feel excited about the possibilities that await them after graduation and less alone on their post-secondary journey. To be ok with a little uncertainty and know that sometimes, great opportunities emerge from unexpected places.” 

Dorland is eager to see her vision of the Alumni Classroom Takeover come to life.

“My hope is that each and every one of the alumni who participate will feel they are a vital part of the excellence in undergraduate education that we strive for here at MRU. Who better to bring the critical thinking we’re teaching in marketing to life for the students at MRU today?”

Stay tuned on MRU Alumni social media channels to watch the Alumni Classroom Takeover unfold, and for details on future involvement.


Mar. 6, 2020 ― Erika Holter


The Alumni Classroom Takeover is being piloted by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Department of Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Social Innovation. It will be held during Marketing Week between March 9 and 13. Thanks to AnneMarie Dorland and David Finch for leading this initiative.