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...]

No Half Measures: Getting an MBA is hard work—with a rewarding pay-off.

Jason Halfyard, MBA, poses grad-clad, with his children, June 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Stacy Swanson, Excel Photography.

His name might indicate otherwise, but today Jason Halfyard has come full-circle. He just received his MBA from Athabasca University. Halfyard's roots start in small-town central Alberta — Didsbury, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, within the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. In between receiving business administration and communications diplomas from Lethbridge … [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...]

Introducing your AU graduates of 2015

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Since 1973, students from all walks of life have been enrolling with Athabasca University. They come from regions far and wide—across Canada and beyond. They bring different life situations and personal circumstances, varying employment situations and family statuses. Moreover, they decide to pursue that Athabasca University degree for many reasons. But the one constant … [Read more...]

What cancer patient Louann Poirier learned from studying with AU

Describing her studies with Athabasca University, Louann Poirier (BPA: Human Services, 2014) says, “I was the butterfly gleaning the knowledge in my courses.” Now, as she copes with terminal cancer, she continues to draw inspiration from butterflies, as you’ll see in her poem at the end of this article.

When Louann Poirier’s cancer came back in 2014, she was told she had only a few months to live. She had been diligently working away at a human services degree from Athabasca University for over a decade, but now she feared she might not have time to finish it. And it was a dream she very much wanted to see through to the end. Louann explained her situation to Dr. Jane … [Read more...]

Nominations for honorary degrees and Order of AU due Jan. 5

Athabasca University William J. (Bill) Byrne

Do you know someone in the Athabasca University community — or a group of people, for that matter — who have made a resounding difference in their field? If so, AU invites you to nominate them for an honorary doctorate or the Order of Athabasca University. These awards will be presented at AU’s 2015 convocation ceremonies to be held in Athabasca June 11, 12 and 13. Honorary … [Read more...]

Grad tales: AU grads share what made their graduation journeys special

Athabasca University Convocation

Athabasca University has a unique convocation tradition. As the grads cross the stage, a professor reads a 30-second story about each grad, giving the audience a feel for who the grads are along with the highlights — and lowlights — of their educational journeys. To recap this year’s convocation, we’re sharing some of our favourite nuggets from the tales told about our class of … [Read more...]