Life as you know it: A CEO graduate credits AU for his successful balancing act

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They say seven is a lucky number. Perhaps that’s why the recent Athabasca University Master of Health Studies graduate, Gregory Toffner, decided to finally finish his seven years of studies while working the C-Suite level of the Hamilton-based, Ontario Association of Medical Radiation Sciences. Toffner, 39, says getting his MHS while juggling two jobs, a growing family and … [Read more...]

Nurse of Steel: How one AU student tackled her degree during the Alberta Flood.

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Patricia Ripley understands working in the trenches. Juggling nursing jobs between two rural hospitals as a Registered Nurse (RN), she’s accustomed to doing what it takes to comfort patients in distress. But when her family's home in High River was hit by the Alberta Flood of 2013, the knack for caring became all-too personal. Ripley, 55, was smack-dab in the middle of her … [Read more...]

Degree of Confidence: How one AU grad found her authentic self.

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If Marni Panas of Edmonton had a looking glass four years out to the future, little would she know how poised, peaceful and proud she’d be on June 11, 2015. That’s the day Panas, 43, graduated from Athabasca University with her Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration. Now she will feel that much more confident in her job as consultant, engagement and patient experience with … [Read more...]

Three-Minute Thesis Winner Update

AU Faculty of Graduate Studies Master student Kathleen Kelava and Dr. Simon Nuttgens. [photo credit: Kathleen Kelava]

Last month, we told you about AU’s Master of Counselling Psychology student Kathleen Kelava who was selected to compete in the Western Regionals 3MT contest —otherwise known as the Three-Minute Thesis. Kelava had won competing against five of her AU peers to claim the winning 3MT title and prize of $1,000 (donated by the Research Centre) as well as the trip to B.C. to compete in … [Read more...]

GCAP Chair Wins Prestigious Teaching Award

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Several of Dr. Paul Jerry’s students can be credited for their associate professor’s win of this year’s Psychologists' Association of Alberta (PAA) Excellence in Teaching Psychology award. As chair and program director, as well as a registered psychologist and associate professor at AU’s Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology (Faculty of Health Disciplines), Paul will officially … [Read more...]

It’s time for a new approach to nutrition

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I believe governments need to implement a comprehensive new approach to nutritional education and nutrition policy, something I call “strategic nutrition”. In my new paper published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, I argue traditional approaches to nutrition have not worked in combating the epidemic of various nutrition-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, … [Read more...]

Dr. Virginia Vandall-Walker named lead of patient engagement for Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit

Athabasca University Dr. Virginia Vandall-Walker

Dr. Virginia Vandall-Walker, an associate professor in Athabasca University’s Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, has been named lead for the Patient Engagement platform of the Alberta SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) SUPPORT Unit. “I am extremely pleased to welcome Virginia into this critical leadership role and platform,” said Tim Murphy, executive director of … [Read more...]

Art: 5 facts about why it helps online learning

Images are just one kind of art that can be used as a teaching tool in online learning. Professor Dr. Beth Perry has also used poetry, music and even something she calls "conceptual quilting."

Dr. Beth Perry is a professor in health care studies at Athabasca University and an authority on using arts-based teaching strategies in online learning. On November 17, she added another credential to her CV: recipient of the 2014 Award for Excellence in Nursing Education (Tenured) from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). In honour of Beth receiving this award, … [Read more...]

The nightmare protection hypothesis: An AU tutor’s surprising research

The nightmare protection hypothesis suggests that combat video games can help some people cope with nightmares.

The “nightmare protection hypothesis” by Dr. Jayne Gackenbach and colleagues suggests the relationship between violent video games and nightmares — at least for some groups of people — is not what you might expect it to be. And for people like soldiers, combat video games might even be a source of empowerment and therapy for coping with traumatic events. How Gackenbach came to … [Read more...]

7 things you might not know about nurse practitioners (NPs)

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Debbie Fraser is the director of Athabasca University’s online nurse practitioner (NP) program, and on June 17, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) honoured her with the CNA Order of Merit for Nursing Education. In celebration of Debbie receiving this award, the AU blog tapped into her expertise and asked her to share seven things you might not know about nurse practitioners. 1. … [Read more...]