Campus Life

Highlights of 2022

The University of Lethbridge took some major steps forward in the past year, everything from cutting-edge research breakthroughs to athletic prowess and national and international student awards.

There were major gains in the continuing quest to make our campuses beacons of inclusivity and diversity, and as students returned to full-time, in-person classes, the energy, vibrancy and fun that has so long been a hallmark of a ULethbridge experience was back as well.

Our stories captured these moments throughout the year and this compilation of some of our favourites highlights just how impactful our students, faculty and staff are on society each and every day. This list will grow to 10 stories but it by no means encapsulates all that took place in 2022. We encourage you to use it as a starting point to jog your memory of all the positive ways ULethbridge affected our communities in the past year. Take a tour through UNews and find your own favourites — we bet you'll find some gems of your own.

Board of Governors pledges $10 million in match funds to support student scholarships

Everything we do is about students and this commitment by the ULethbridge Board of Governors is an investment in our students and in the university as a whole. The pledge is massive and the announcement was both impactful and heartfelt and one of the most positive events we hosted this year. As this campaign continues, this pledge serves as a touchstone that will be used to attract and inspire philanthropic support from the community in support of student awards and scholarships, and it will significantly increase the sustainability of the ULethbridge awards program and lay the foundation for future generations of students.

University of Lethbridge officially opens Iikaisskini Gathering Centre

In late September, the University was thrilled to open a permanent space in the heart of campus for the Iikaisskini Gathering Centre. Named after one of ULethbridge’s most iconic figures, Dr. Leroy Little Bear (BASc ’72, DASc ’04), the gathering centre is designed as a welcoming home away from home, a space appropriate for ceremony, smudging and celebration, where students and other members of the University community can gather and collaboratively support one another in their educational aspirations. Check out the story, or better yet, visit the gathering centre!

Could rice be the next crop in southern Alberta?

This story created quite a buzz in the agricultural community. Dr. Michele Konschuh, a research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with Galaxy Ag Ventures and Farming Smarter Association, is examining the potential for rice to be a value-added crop in this region. While Alberta’s climate tends to be cold and dry with a short growing season, rice is grown in some mountainous regions, with some varieties adapted to lower temperatures and shorter seasons. It will be exciting to follow this research as it plays out over the next few growing seasons.

Graduate student Alicia Anderson earns world renowned Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at Trinity College

Student success stories are always the most fun to tell, and Alicia Anderson's rise as one of the top young astronomy students in the world has it all. A student-athlete who came to the U of L with a blank slate in terms of where she wanted her academic career to go, she found her passion as an undergraduate student with one of the world's top astrophysicists, Dr. David Naylor. He helped open the door for Anderson and she burst through, earning one of the most prestigious graduate scholarship opportunities in the world and setting her up for — stardom.

Horns take advantage of home pool at historic Canada West championships

Pronghorns swimmers set the pool on fire in 2022, beginning with an historic performance in the spring when they sprinted to five national medals, including a men's relay gold that shocked the national swimming community. They then followed up that performance by acting as host to the Canada West Swimming Championships in the fall. This time, they knew they wouldn't be able to surprise anyone but had no problem living up to the advanced billing and again posted historic results. For the first time in program history, the Horns came away with a medal haul in the double digits, hitting the conference podium 10 times over the three-day event. They also managed to win some major individual honours, further positioning the program as a national sprint powerhouse. Go Horns!

University of Lethbridge students shine a light on rarely seen local toad

Some stories are just plain fun to tell and couple that with student enthusiasm and you've got yourselves a winner. The summer students working in Dr. Julie Lee-Yaw’s biology lab are so keen about studying amphibians, they embarked on a project well outside of class time just because it was so cool. Their white whale, it seems, was the Plains Spadefoot Toad, which spends most of its time underground. While they pop up occasionally to find food, they only emerge in large numbers to breed and only in certain weather conditions. This past spring provided those conditions and the students spent multiple evenings finding and then documenting their activities when they finally emerged. The passion of these students is evident in this story and something that reminds us daily of how amazing a ULethbridge education experience is for our students.

Pronghorns women's basketball team a welcome haven for Ukrainian nationals

Simply put, a ULethbridge experience can change peoples' lives, and for Ukrainian student-athletes Viktoriia Kovalevska and Vlada Hozalova, this could not be more true. The pair have made Alberta their new home, having fled from Ukraine to escape the ongoing conflict in their homeland. Their story is one that reaffirms just how impactful the University can be on students' lives. Both young women have been welcomed with open arms by the school, their teammates and the southern Alberta community, and it will be exciting to follow their progression as they continue to prosper in their new home. Check out a Pronghorns game in the new year and if you run into one of them on campus, don't hesitate to say hello and let them know how much support they truly have from their ULethbridge community.

Male experimenters make female rats uneasy

Here's a story that garnered a lot of attention because of its uniqueness. Drs. Gerlinde Metz, Mirela Ambeskovic, Jamshid Faraji and others, compared the effects of male and female experimenters on male and female rats and surprisingly found that female rats displayed enhanced stress responses to being handled by male experimenters. Other than being extremely interesting, the results of their study will be used by labs throughout the world as they struggle with the replication crisis, which occurs when the same experiments done at different labs produce different results. The work done here is yet another example of the world-class research being conducted throughout the University on a daily basis.

ULethbridge student earns national work-integrated learning award

To say our students make us proud would be a massive understatement. So many ULethbridge students do so many amazing things, it really validates what the ULethbridge experience is all about. This story on Lionel Migrino is one such example of a student making the most of their opportunity to make a tangible difference in the community. In this case, Migrino used a co-operative education work placement as a platform to make real change at a major Alberta employer. His work to advance equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace earned the recognition of Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) and he was honoured with the Student of the Year Award. Migrino is a great representation of the many students who are bettering their communities in impactful ways.

Record number of Indigenous students graduate throughout Spring 2022 Convocation celebrations

Nestled in the heart of Blackfoot Territory, ULethbridge has long nurtured its relationship with the Indigenous communities of southern Alberta. More than just a talking point, ULethbridge values this relationship and sees it as a key priority, which includes creating and maintaining pathways for Indigenous students to access the University and achieve academic success. This is an ongoing commitment for ULethbridge and one that continues to positively impact Indigenous communities, as evidenced by the record number of graduates this past spring who will no doubt contribute to the betterment of their home communities for generations to come.