What’s up, Doch?
From welcoming you to Mount Royal University (MRU) during New Student Orientation, to the day he leads the graduate recessional, piping you and your fellow graduates out of your Convocation ceremony — our president, David Docherty, makes being part of your #MRULife his priority.
Throughout your university career you will undoubtedly see President Docherty around campus — whether it’s in line at Starbucks, giving welcome at an on-campus event or supporting our Cougar athletes — he’s definitely no recluse.
You can find him cheering loudly alongside thousands of students at the annual Crowchild Classic Hockey tournament in mid-January, where MRU’s men and women’s Cougars hockey teams face off against the University of Calgary Dinos at the Saddledome.
You're not just a number
Docherty is committed to connecting and having open, and sometimes frank, conversations with MRU students. Take “No BS with D + S” for example, where he and Shifrah Gadamsetti, SAMRU president, create an open forum with students in Wyckham House students’ centre.
And, he’s always looking for ways new to connect to face-to-face with MRU students, like the time he set up his office in Wyckham House for the day.
Docherty is also the author of two books and numerous articles on Canadian politics, has been a frequent commentator on regional and national radio and his analyses of provincial and national politics are regularly cited in leading Canadian newspapers. He has had a vast career in academia and is committed to ensure each student has the best possible undergraduate experience, while making MRU a home away from home for the coming years.
You want hands-on learning?
When it came time for Jason Droboth to choose a university to pursue his Bachelor of Science degree he knew that getting a hands-on learning experience was important to him. Looking into Mount Royal, he realized that not only does the institution have advanced scientific equipment, the chances of him being able to use it while working alongside professors during his bachelor degree was more likely to happen than if he was at a large research university.
At Mount Royal University, there are many different educational pathways that can help to guide students towards their dream careers. The opportunities for students to get hands-on are abundant, whether through in-class labs, work placement experience, field schools, community service projects or, as in Droboth’s case, conducting research work with a professor.
Get your hands dirty
Under the guidance of associate professor Katherine Boggs, Droboth is working on a research project using small sensors to observe seismic activities. The project is part of the Quake Catcher Network (QCN), a multi-country collaborative effort in supplying low-cost seismic sensors across the planet and linking them to internet-connected computers that will share world seismic information.
Through his efforts, several area high schools have signed on to the project. Droboth has installed in-house sensors that will record and share data to the University of Southern California, Department of Earth Studies, which runs the master QCN program. In addition to this, he is also working with a local science teacher to help design geology classes for the first time for high school students.
Earn while you learn
Even as a fourth-year science student, Droboth has also been given the opportunity to be a guest lecturer, helped develop an earthquake model of Calgary and taken part in data collection from the city-wide sensors. All of these activities feed directly into his long-term goal of being an educator in this field.
“Education, in particular science education aimed at non-academics is one of my passions,” says Droboth.
Based on Droboth’s Mount Royal experience, it is clear that students are supported to engage in their studies so that when they are finished university they are more than prepared to take on their next passion, be it in academia or a prosperous career.
Score that job
When you ask MRU Bachelor of Communication — Journalism student, Melanie Walsh, why Mount Royal University’s (MRU) work experience programs are so important, she is quick to answer that they open doors to new and exciting opportunities while building your resume like no other course can.
Couple that with the unique opportunity in her work placement being with CBC North, and the wealth of knowledge that this experience has given her, and you will see first-hand how valuable and exciting the experience is.
“I never felt like just an ‘intern’, but rather a very valued employee who was given ample opportunity to utilize the skills I have learned as a student at Mount Royal University,” says Walsh.
Dream jobs, found here
The gig provided her with a killer portfolio, and experience working across various media platforms. From the start, she was given the opportunity to dabble with platforms like the newsroom, radio, web and television. What came from it, was the dreamlike opportunity to write scripts and take part in radio and TV production.
Walsh feels she couldn’t possibly have had a more solid support system at work, when unforeseen circumstances hit close to home during the Fort McMurray fires earlier this year. When news broke of the fires and evacuations, Walsh couldn’t help but feel concerned about her family’s well-being. Her supervisors’ support and flexibility made sure she was able to take all the time needed to be with her family, and took weight off of the stress she was feeling.
Her employer was not only flexible and compassionate, but provided her with opportunities she always dreamed of. One being to have more experience in front of the camera, which CBC North made happen.
You've got choices
When asked for insight Walsh would give students embarking on their first work experience journey, she said to “just go for it and give it your all”.
The beauty of the work experience element is that you not only get to test the skills you have grounded in a supportive environment, but you may also end up landing your future career.
These experiences enrich the education you work so hard for, and become all the more valuable when are able to hit the ground running in your chosen field after leaving MRU.
Fantastic photo of a great Mount Royal University tradition. #mru #studentlife #mrulife #mrunso #loveyyc #yyc I'm still finding the odd bit of blue dust in and on my gear. But what a fun shoot it was. This is one of my favorite images from the @mrurecreation "Colour-U-Blue" fun run back in September. Definitely a unique and fun way to kick off the semester. #colourublue #mrurec #colorun 📷: @mattfordphoto
🏀Double header @usportsca basketball🏀 Cougars Vs. Dinos tonight! Help turn Kenyon Court into a whiteout. Get your wrist bands at the Cougar Zone at 4:30 p.m. #Cougnation #BleedBlue #MRU #CrowchildClassic #BeatUofC #Loveyyc @mrucougars are battling against @ucalgarydinos on the hardwood! 🏀 We are turning the stands white so wear all white for this whiteout, and get ready for an awesome night! Grab your wristband from our table tomorrow or at the cougar zone at 4:30pm. 📷: @mruskiclub
Bolu wants you to get Rec’d
Like many, Bolutife Opeodu (Bolu for short) was apprehensive at first about checking out MRU Recreation (Rec).
Now, loud, motivated and eager are the words that Bolu uses when asked to describe himself thanks to finding MRU Rec.
Bolu, a fourth-year Criminal Justice student, has come into his own through becoming part of the Rec family, having taken on various gigs since his freshman year at Mount Royal.
But, before first coming to check out the fitness centre with a friend, he wasn’t sure it was for him.
“My plan was to walk with him to the front gates and then bail,” Bolu recalls. “I was intimidated, and on top of that, I didn’t have the cash to spare.”
That’s when a fellow Rec’er overheard Bolu anxiously trying ditch out and chimed in to let him know that as a student, he had already paid for his Rec pass through a fee in his tuition.
“That was a defining moment for me,” says Bolu.
That interjection was the beginning of an important relationship he would build with Rec over the next four years.
Bring Your "A" Game
Bolu has worked in intramurals as a referee, supervisor and sports coordinator, and was recently appointed as Rec’s first Student Engagement Coordinator — a peer-to-peer program focused on getting students Rec’d.
”Students get so caught up in academic life that physical, mental and social well-being gets put on the back burner,” says Bolu. “Being active at Rec is a great way of meeting those physical, mental and social needs.”
Rec has helped Bolu to find balance while attending MRU — he has met new friends, found new interests and learned how to take care of himself in a way that supports his well-being on and off campus.
“You’ve got to try it at least once,” urges Bolu. “You’ll be intimidated in so many areas of your life and giving in to the intimidation is like giving up. If you don’t go out on a limb and try something, you won’t even realize how much you are missing until it’s too late.”
When your university literally becomes your home away from home, we all become neighbours.
And, your next neighbour could just be Residence Advisor, Madeline McCracken, who can give the dish on Residence life and what it’s like to be the new kid on the block.
“There is nothing like living on campus to make you feel like you have truly gone through the whole university experience,” says McCracken. “You are exposed to so much more socially, and the convenience of living here makes it easier to focus on your education.”
Whether you’re a coming to MRU to study anything — from nursing to aviation, we’ve set it up to help you find your new unit or crew. Sometimes, people from your program can better relate. In many cases, the friends you meet at university will be the same ones that turn into lifelong besties, colleagues, and yes, sometimes even your better half.
Welcome to your new home
And, it’s this social side of things that makes McCracken love her job so much. She’s been in your shoes — nervous and excited on move in day, anxious and stressed out before exams and on top of the world celebrating the end of each semester with the Res fam.
McCracken is a people person. She loves that she gets to help guide you through your journey and be a trusted advisor and confidant, and this year she is part of the Residents Activity Council (RAC) where she will help with programming to keep you connected and on track.
Sometimes the lonelies can kick in when you find yourself in a new place and away from home, or you can feel overwhelmed, but this is normal. This is where the RAC program is there for you. They will help you get acclimatized to your new digs through events like resident potlucks, movie nights and, if need be, they can help you access Wellness Services programs on campus.
Whether it’s through volunteering on- or off-campus, joining an intramural sports team or exploring a new city with friends from Calgary and across the world, the hue of your MRU blue will only get brighter the more you get involved.
And, say goodbye to traffic, because at MRU our Residence buildings are within reach, even at 7:30 a.m. Hit the gym, sneak in a last minute cram session or enjoy a hearty breakfast while your classmates are still commuting in.
Whether you’re a coming to MRU to study anything — from nursing to aviation, we’ve set it up to help you find your new unit or crew. Sometimes, people from your program can better relate.
Add all of this to the community feel of MRU Residence, and you’ll quickly realize why you feel right at home.
You’ve got this
Energetic and purposeful are the best words to describe Steve Kootenay-Jobin, the Housing and Events Coordinator, for the Mount Royal University Iniskim Centre. He is a committed man who is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and has become a representative voice for Indigenous students on campus in various capacities. A strong part of what has made Steve so good at his job is that he has walked many of the same paths as the students he supports. He enrolled as a student at MRU in the Aboriginal Education Program after being in the work force for a few years because he realized that there was a general public misunderstanding of Canada’s First Nations people and what their collective experiences are. He knew that to truly achieve his goals and become a positive changemaker, he would need to further his education.
This was a terrifying experience in that his only knowledge with post-secondary education was of his mother attending MRU decades previously. As far as having a strong male mentor, there were none in his life that had gone into academia, so the experience was particularly daunting.
But through his own tenacity and with guidance from the Aboriginal Education Program through the Iniskim Centre, Steve accomplished his Bachelor of the Arts with a major in Sociology and also encouraged his older brother to pursue his dream of attaining his Bachelor of Business Administration.
He has become the leader he needed when he was younger and is now in a position to mentor many young Indigenous people through his role as the Iniskim Housing and Events Coordinator.
Through his work he is able to address many of the issues that the face Indigenous students on campus. While these issues are very similar to other non-Indigenous students that are way from home for the first time, there are a few more challenges based around their collective indigenous experience. The first time off the Reserve and the first time in a big city, coupled with general feelings of unworthiness, not belonging and wondering if they have what it takes to succeed.
This is where Steve steps in, one of the requirements in the Indigenous Housing Program in receiving help to attain post-secondary education is participation in monthly check-ins and events while being part of the training at Iniskim. . Steve has designed the programming to entail everything from learning city bus routes, to knowing where the grocery store is, and most importantly the social sense of belonging. He also ensures that students have access to all of the campus services and feel included. Part of his mandate is that they know that they, like every other student, belong here. Inclusivity is one of the main phrases used on campus and this is also where Steve is given the opportunity to educate non-indigenous students and staff alike to support this intention. Because of his openness and welcoming spirit when it comes to the student social events that he organizes, there is opportunity for dialogue. This also becomes a safe place for the indigenous student’s non-indigenous friends to ask questions that help them in the understanding of our country's First Nations history and stop the spread of misinformation.
Steve Kootenay-Jobin is a true advocate and representative of Mount Royal University’s spirit of belonging and inclusivity. People like him are what encompass the Mount Royal University community, a community that will ensure you know you belong.
Mount Royal University sits on the traditional lands of the Niitsitapi, the Blackfoot Peoples and Confederacy, as well as the Treaty 7 Nations, which include the Tsuut'ina, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Siksika and the Stoney Nakoda Nations of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley. Southern Alberta is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Zone 3.
Photo courtesy of James Dyck
DISTANCE FROM CAMPUS TO:
Doctor or dentist
4 min drive / 10 min bus / 20 min walk
8 min drive / 22 min bus
Chinook Centre (mall)
8 min drive / 22 min bus
15 min drive / 30 min bus
1.5 hr drive