Campus Life

Best of the best: Our selections for the top stories of 2020

You've likely heard every adjective possible used to try and describe just what 2020 was all about. So, let's simply state that it has been different than anything we've ever experienced. And while or day-to-day took on a new look, we went on and continued to accomplish amazing things at the University of Lethbridge. Our world-class researchers still pumped out new knowledge; our students rose to the challenge in so many positive ways; philanthropic activities took on a new look but our donors were with us every step of the way; and the University was in our community like never before — eager to accept its role of leadership through even the toughest of times.

We told many stories over the past year, and want to revisit some that stood out for us.

In no particular order of preference, we present some of our most impactful stories of 2020. Some are research focussed, others show our presence in the communities we serve, and others are just fun reads. Feel free to browse the rest of the website for your favourites as well — as this is hardly a definitive list.

U of L scientists develop new medical cannabis cultivars that show promise in combatting COVID-19 virus

I know we said there was no order of preference for these stories, but there is no denying that this was by far our most impactful of the year, garnering worldwide attention. Drs. Igor and Olga Kovalchuk were either quoted, interviewed or shouted out on multiple international platforms. In fact, the story is still alive today in social media and is regularly repurposed. Two of our top researchers, Igor and Olga represent a research culture at the U of L that sees our faculty and students make immeasurable contributions to bettering our society on a daily basis.

Speaker lineup confirmed for TEDxULeth event

A new venture for the University garnered a lot of attention in January — the first ever ULeth TEDx presentation. The limited-ticket event was sold out almost immediately and the competition for speaker spots was just as robust. With a broad range of topics and personalities represented, TEDxULeth proved to be a rousing success.

University of Lethbridge sending Spring Convocation to students, offering future in-person attendance opportunities

Nothing rivals our annual Convocation events in the spring and fall as the University community comes together to celebrate the achievements of our students. Having to announce the elimination of an in-person spring convocation was difficult, but it opened the doors to a different kind of celebration that was still touching and heartfelt. Here's to hoping we will all be able to gather in celebration again very soon.

Interactive website shows Albertans how the climate is changing in their backyard

This research story garnered a lot of attention and showed us that readers are interested in how our climate is changing and the work our researchers are conducting on the subject. Dr. Stefan Kienzle is at the forefront of mapping this data and really bringing into focus how much our world is changing around us.

Campus Care Parcel program, part of Nourish, goes ahead thanks to innovative distribution solution

COVID-19 upended every facet of life but it could not hide the food security needs for our students. Knowing full well they needed the support now more than ever, Campus Chaplain Erin Phillips was determined to make sure the annual Spring Campus Care Parcel giveaway happened. The community rallied, volunteers jumped on board and the event took place, reaching our students in a time of need.

Power Corporation of Canada, Canada Life gift to support scientific discovery at University of Lethbridge

Donor support is essential for the University and its students and one of the more influential gifts of the year was that made by Power Corporation of Canada, Canada Life. Their multi-faceted gift will make a lasting impact on scientific discovery at the University, and specifically in Science Commons, for years to come.

U of L researcher to launch model proven to improve person-centred care practices in residential care homes

Stories related to public health always seem to resonate with our readers and this research piece with Dr. Sienna 
Caspar really hit home. Her approach to improving conditions for our aging population in residential care homes promises to make a lasting impact on the delivery of health care in society.

The answer is “Who is Sharon Lawson?”

This story was so much fun as we followed the exploits of one of our own staff members and their time on the Jeopardy. Sharon not only made it to Jeopardy, a lifelong goal, she won her first show and got some quality time with the incomparable Alex Trebek, who sadly passed away later in the year.

Exhaust stacks removed from University Hall

We witnessed history when the sleek lines of University Hall were finally restored as the exhaust stacks were removed. One of the first questions people asked when the new Science Commons building was established was when the stacks would come down. In July, we got our answer.

University achieves highest-ever second place position in Maclean’s University Rankings

It all adds up to the U of L being ranked second in its category in the annual Maclean's University national rankings. Not that we needed Maclean's to tell us, but it was still nice to hear.