2023-2024 Catamount Community Showcase


Thank you to everyone who attended out 5th Community Showcase on April 5th. It was wonderful to see so many members of our community show up to support the student fellows and engage with questions and words of encouragement during the presentations. Our heartfelt gratitude to you all.
To learn more about the Fellows, their creative works, and their research topics ahead of the showcase, check out our 2023 Catamount Deliverables Page.



 The Catamount Fellowship is a cohort-based learning experience for Mount Royal University students committed to building a more just and sustainable future for all. The program runs from late September through the end of April and meets weekly. 

The fellowship is one part community-partnered research and one part transformational learning. Diving into social innovation frameworks, experiential learning and deep listening with community, students explore the root causes of community-identified ecological, social, economic, and cultural issues. 

Students collaborate across sectors and boundaries to engage multiple stakeholders, accelerate their personal and professional development, and deepen their ability to make meaningful change in their communities.


Our Catamount Fellows are senior level undergraduate students studying across academic disciplines. Student fellows partner directly with community partners working to address a complex social and/or environmental issue affecting Calgarians and those living in and across Treaty 7 and with faculty mentors who support students with their research in a mentorship capacity.


Through the Catamount Fellowship, participants will:

Dig into real world challenges with community partners in Calgary and those living across Treaty 7.
Develop a changemaker mindset, combined with an ability to see complex issues through a systems lens.
Build meaningful connections with a broader community of changemakers including community leaders, public officials, activists, social entreprenuers, innovators and students.
Gain applied community engaged research experience working within complex social and/or environmental issues.

Fellows become part of a dedicated cohort engaged in peer-to-peer experiential learning while broadening their skills and personal competencies needed to understand and navigate complex 21st-century challenges, recognizing that no single individual changes the world alone. Fellows build relationships with mentors, entrepreneurs and innovators within the broader changemaking community in and around Calgary through community-engaged research.


2023-2024 Community Partners

The Fellowship would not be possible without the contributions of dedicated partners, and we are incredibly grateful to welcome 14 amazing organizations for our fifth Catamount cohort!Community-Partners-Banner_2.png

"Catamount is a transformative learning experience that provides future leaders with new skills and exposure to applied systems thinking. This offers new ways of conceptualizing problems and designing ways to address challenges. We can't address the same old problems with the same old thinking."

- Catamount Community Partner, 2022


Faculty Mentors


Each year, Faculty step forward to serve as mentors to our student fellows.  We are immensely grateful to the following faculty that will be mentoring this year's cohort of students:CP-Graphic.jpg
Brian Nichols, Humanities
Cherie Woolmer, Mokakiiks Centre for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Dan Devoe, Psychology
Holly Johnson, Nursing
Leda Stawnychko, General Management and Human Resources
Marty Clark, Health and Physical Education
Mauricio Latapi, General Management
Ranjan Datta, Humanities
Stasha Huntingford, Social Work
Tashi Tsering, General Education


Deliverables of the Fellow:


A comprehensive review of available literature, both academic and community facing, related to the issue being explored and including an initial systems map, due mid-program.
Fellows design and host a community conversation during the fellowship with the purpose of engaging broader audiences in their research area including other scholars, students, practitioners and communities.
The summation of the fellow's research in the form of scholarly output which could be a written research paper, photo essay, journal article, or any other academic equivalent.
A creative reflection of the fellowship journey that translates their experience into clear messages suitable across audiences and is shared publicly, such as a podcast, blog series, short film, data visualization or literary or dramatic work.

Fellows commit between 5-10 hours per week, in addition to their academic schedule, to conduct research, connect with community partners and faculty mentors and engage with the Catamount cohort. Fellows are required to join cohort meeting on Fridays from 10am - 1pm, and will also meet with their community partner and faculty mentor bi-weekly throughout the program.*


Fellows receive a $2,000 cash stipend upon completion of the program and residency in MRU's Trico Changemakers Studio for the duration of the program.


*We highly recommend taking no more than 4 courses through the winter term due to the demands of the final deliverables at the end of the program.


Are You Eligible to be a Catamount Fellow?



You’re passionate about the future well being of people and planet You have a willingness to wrestle with challenges and complex issues facing the 21st century You’re a thinker with ideas that have the potential to create change
You’re in Good Standing academically (note: there is no minimum GPA to qualify for the fellowship) You’re a student at MRU with a minimum of 60 credits completed towards your degree or 30 credits towards your diploma You’re able to commit between 5-10 hours per week to the fellowship

Curious to see more from the fellowship? Check out the amazing work from previous fellows and our Information Page for Student Applicants using the buttons below:






Did you know?! Catamount is a synonym for a cougar. Not only does ‘cat’ derive from catalyst but ‘mount’ references to both our name and evokes the challenge of climbing a summit. We chose Catamount because like all large cats, they are an example of a keystone species and their range extends through virtually all of southern Alberta. After watching so many unique lives flourish in the first cohort of this program, it only made sense to reimagine a name that suggests the unique and large journey the fellowship took them on. 






The Catamount Fellowship is made possible with the generous support of the Suncor Energy Foundation