Student Leadership Conference

An opportunity to engage with industry professionals, faculty members and staff, the annual UCalgary Student Leadership Conference promises a day of self-awareness, developing relationships, and exploring ideas.

Begin your leadership journey

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, or a local high school student, you’re invited to the University of Calgary’s annual leadership conference. By the end of the day, you will be inspired to see yourself as catalysts for change in your community and in everyday life. Regardless of where you are in your journey, there are workshops and panels that will appeal to you.

Event Details

Who is invited? High school and post-secondary students from all Calgary institutions.

When is the event? February 29, 2020. The event takes place between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Is there a cost for the event? No; this event is free for all attendees.

Want to volunteer at the event? Learn more about volunteer opportunities for UCalgary students at this event by clicking on the link below.

Learn more about volunteering at UCSLC

Event Information

Here are some of the event highlights for the UCalgary Student Leadership Conference.

  • Participate in once in a lifetime leadership workshops
  • Choose panel sessions that are most relevant to you and meet experts in your fields on interest
  • Meet and network with other students passionate about changing their communities
  • Enjoy all of this, and a delicious lunch, for free!  

Rex Talks - Keynote Address: 9 – 9:40 a.m.

Kristan Nielson

What Makes Us Superhuman?

In this presentation, Kristan Nielson will briefly discuss what makes us uniquely human and the superhuman skills we need to develop and hone to transform ourselves, our relationships and our world. Join Kristan Nielson and explore what makes you deeply human and competitive in a world filled with machines.

Nisha John

Changing the world by going viral, but not that kind of viral.

Viruses are tiny particles that can enter human cells, replicate, and spread quickly creating large-scale impacts. In the same way, individual students can spread ideas and actions to have exponential effects. Join Nisha John at the UCalgary Student Leadership Conference for her Rex Talk's address on how individual students can make an impact, both individually and in their community.

Keeta Gladue

Becoming (dis)comfortable.

Are you ready to get up-close and cozy with being uncomfortable? True hardcore adulting is learning to embrace the suck that is discomfort. Discomfort like talking to someone new in a crowded room, getting vulnerable with your friends about what you need, saying no, or stretching beyond your current comfort zone. If you want to be extraordinary, you need to focus on the extra. You need to be the extra. That means getting (dis)comfortable. Presented by Keeta Gladue.

Learn more below about our leaders that are presenting at the 2020 Student Leadership Conference!

Leaders in Business and Innovation: 10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

Husam Al-rameeni

Husam Al-rameeni

Husam Al-rameeni is the CEO & Co-founder of a coworking space called Hotspace, and the managing partner of a digital media agency called Quadripple, Husam has a vision to build companies that will help millions of entrepreneurs just like him.

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Jacquie Moore

Jacquie Moore

Jacquie is the Vice President, Government Relations at Suncor. She leads the development, implementation and evaluation of Suncor’s government relations strategy.

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Mike Moore

Mike Moore

Mike Moore is the Vice President and Alternate Governor of the Calgary Hitmen and Vice President and Governor of the Calgary Roughnecks.

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Alecia Peters

Alecia Peters

Alecia leads Calgary Economic Development’s innovation strategy to advance Calgary in the New Economy. Her team collaborates with a diverse group of community leaders and game changers with the goal of inspiring an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship in our City.

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Leaders in Healthcare: 10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

Akash Asif

Akash Asif

Akash graduated from the University of Calgary in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and Bachelor of Commerce in petroleum land management.

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Sue Crawford

Sue Crawford

Sue Crawford holds baccalaureates in Zoology (2011) and Nursing (2013) from UCalgary. Sue is in the last semester of her Master of Nursing, completing research on the narrative experience of disability within families. She has a decade of experience in various roles in the disability community including as a support worker, programming lead, supportive roommate, and board director.

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Torey Erdman

Torey Erdman

Torey Erdman is a registered nurse at the Rockyview General Hospital in the Operating Room (OR). She completed her Bachelor of Nursing Degree at the University of Calgary in 2007 and completed her Perioperative Nursing Certification through the Calgary Health Region in 2008. Torey completed her specialty CPN C (Certificate in Perioperative Nursing) through the Canadian Nursing Association in 2016.

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Kome Odoko

Kome Odoko

Kome Odoko is a Registered Nurse and the Student Support Case Management Coordinator with the Student at Risk team at the University of Calgary.

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Leaders in Social Changemaking: 10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

Alan Chamberlain

Alan Chamberlain

Alan Chamberlain is a husband of an amazing woman, the father to 5 wonderful children, a proud member of the Metis Nation and has been a police officer for 10 years. In 2017, Alan was honoured and blessed to have a Blackfoot name transferred to him. The name he was given translates to BullHead.

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Sarah Damberger

Sarah Damberger

Sarah Damberger is a Consultant with Stack’d Consulting Inc., a boutique management consulting firm with offices in Calgary and Edmonton.

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Jordan Guildford

Jordan Guildford

Jordan Guildford started a small jewelry drive to give Christmas gifts to women in Calgary shelters and over the past four years has grown it into a multi-faceted charity that helps women build self-confidence and life skills to end the cycle of domestic abuse. 

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Tyler Warnock

Tyler Warnock

Tyler Warnock is a fourth-year Bachelor of Health Sciences student, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. He is driven by his desire to engage with communities and enact social change that is empowering, impactful, and justice-oriented.

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Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math): 10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

Claudia Bustos

Claudia Bustos

Claudia Bustos has built a career bringing communities together at the intersections of science, arts and culture through programs, dialogue, and public spectacles.

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Kirby Pentilla

Kirby Pentilla

Dr. Kirby Penttila was born and raised on a small farm in Chase, British Columbia. She graduated from veterinary school at a young age and having always had a love of horses, she entered into equine practice right out of vet school.

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Paul Pointen

Paul Pointen

Paul Pointen is the Southern Alberta General Manager for Convergint Technologies, a global, service-based systems integrator whose top priority is service in every way – service to customers, colleagues, and community.

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Leaders in Research: 12:50 – 2:05 p.m.

Deinera Exner-Cortens

Deinera Exner-Cortens

Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, and is jointly appointed to the Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine.

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Clare Hickie

Clare Hickie

Clare Hickie is a UCalgary alumna and staff member with Leadership and Student Engagement. Throughout her time at the UCalgary, Clare has been actively involved in promoting social justice on campus, with a particular focus on mental health and women’s rights.

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Dr. Daniel Pang

Daniel Pang

Daniel Pang is an Associate Professor of veterinary anesthesiology at the University of Calgary. He completed a residency in veterinary anaesthesia at the Université de Montréal and is a Diplomate of the European and American Colleges of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia.

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Leaders in Side Hustles: 12:50 – 2:05 p.m.

Juan Combariza

Juan Combariza

Juan got into entrepreneurship and building side hustles 2.5 years ago as an 18 year-old full-time student. Started with eCommerce by building and running various stores that generated consistent revenue.

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Dr. Frank Maurer

Frank Maurer

Dr. Frank Maurer is a Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, at the Faculty of Science.

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Jonathan Popowich

Jonathan Popowich

Jonathan Popowich, a born and raised Calgarian fulfilled his lifetime dream of becoming a professional firefighter at age 20.

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Tash Reynolds

Tash Reynolds

Tash Reynolds has spent over 15 years training, developing, and coaching professionals and students in areas of leadership and mental health.

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Women in Leadership: 12:50 – 2:05 p.m.

Shanika Abeysinghe

Shanika Abeysinghe

Shanika is a founder at Bessie Box, where she leads storytelling, marketing, and customer success. At the age of 23, Shanika was named the executive director of Marda Loop Justice Film Festival.

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Dallas Flexhaug

Dallas Flexhaug

Dallas Flexhaug is the news anchor of Global Calgary’s TV morning show that airs weekdays from 5-9am. She has interviewed countless politicians, Hollywood stars and other news makers. She also spends time in the community hosting a number of events.

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Kristan Nielson

Kristan Nielson

Kristan Nielson is a certified coach, consultant and human capital strategist. She is the owner and operator of Peoplelead and has worked with thousands of leaders across North America.

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Jessica Revington

Jessica Revington

Jessica Revington is the current President of the University of Calgary Students’ Union (SU) and the first woman to be elected into the role in over a decade. Previously, Jessica proudly served as both the Vice President Academic and as a two-term Faculty of Nursing Representative with the Students’ Union.

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Leaders in Arts and Entrepreneurialism: 12:50 – 2:05 p.m.

Isis Graham

Isis Graham

Graham is a co-founder, curator and production manager of the Alberta Electronic Music Conference, a growing boutique gathering of electronic music masterminds and up-and-comers which takes place at the National Music Centre in Calgary annually in November.

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Laurel Green

Laurel Green

Laurel Green is an adventurous arts leader and a nationally respected theatre maker. As Festival Producer for One Yellow Rabbit’s 2020 High Performance Rodeo, Calgary's International Festival of the Arts, she oversaw the planning and execution of 27 shows at a dozen venues across downtown Calgary for three wild weeks in January.

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Gavin John

Gavin John

“My name is Gavin John, and I am a 34-year-old Metis freelance journalist from Calgary. My passion for storytelling and the Middle East has led me to pursue a career of journalism in the region..."

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Jessica Yuen

Jessica Yuen

Being an experienced and dedicated business owner and music teacher to over 1800 students and a versatile and active concert performer of piano, guzheng, harp and violin, Jessica’s professional and music footprints are stretched both locally and internationally.

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Student Leadership Conference Workshops

Recognizing that each of you are at different stages of your leadership journey, workshops will be divided into three categories, and we’ve listed a brief description of each with a matching icon.

Building Leadership Capacity

Participants will learn about what drives their actions, improve their self-awareness, and develop confidence in their abilities to accomplish goals and navigate conflict.

Building Strong Communities

Participants will explore how to empower and mentor others, navigate change and create action plans for igniting change in their communities.

Building Personal Resiliency

Participants will deepen their Strengths interview stories, reflect on navigating transitions, and being inclusive within dialogue and diverse narratives.

Building Leadership Capacity Workshops


Conflict Management 101

Facilitator: Andrew Barry, Student Conduct Office, University of Calgary
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

Conflict resolution is a key competency for achieving success at school and work, and becoming a strong leader. Conflict Management 101 is an introductory conflict resolution workshop, where students learn about conflict styles, and how they can work together to meaningfully resolve disagreements and misunderstandings. It aims to help students strengthen their conflict management skills and become more comfortable with addressing conflicts.

Student Leadership: How to Approach Issues Important to You

Facilitators: Duomi Ding and Sarah Zuo, The Horizon Project
Time:
9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

This workshop is targeted towards helping students consider the ideas of how they want to take initiative when it comes to issues in the community that are important to them. It will also cover the processes of planning community activities and engaging audiences, and also how to encourage others with their initiative. The workshop will include a presentation sharing our experiences with leadership and how we developed our ideas and plans into accomplishments and progress.

A Mindful Look at Leading with Authenticity

Facilitator: Courtenay Smart, Enrolment Services, University of Calgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

Before one can lead successfully, one must first believe that leadership is learned, recognize the importance of a growth mindset, and understand that belief in one's self and permission to be authentic is a prerequisite to modelling the way for others. Participants will be asked to find connections between the leadership concepts introduced by prominent researchers and brainstorm what behaviours and cues they can take from the session to incorporate into their ongoing leadership journey.

Being the Point Person of Your Team: Role-Based Leadership from the Goalie's Perspective

Facilitator: Travis Greene, Residence Life, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

What is leadership? How can we use leadership while working within our groups? Sport psychologists in several North American universities have developed a theory of “role-based leadership” to better build team dynamics within a wide range of functions. Through the use of sport and group activities, this session will provide attendees the opportunity to engage in role-based leadership, and learn how to use it in whatever function they operate in. Game on!

Building Strong Communities Workshops


Igniting Change: Building Student Leaders in Sustainability

Facilitator: Tyler Warnock, Sustainable Development Goals Alliance/Office of Sustainability, University of Calgary
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

Are you suffering from eco-anxiety? Unsure of how you can lead the efforts to address the climate crisis? Join the Sustainable Development Goals Alliance for an interactive workshop tackling key sustainability issues using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through guided discussion, reflection, and brainstorming, participants will be able to self-reflect on their leadership capacity and build realistic action plans for igniting change in their communities, both locally and globally.

Igniting Potential: The BIG Impact of Mentoring

Facilitators: Jodi McKay and Leanne Burke, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

Join the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area team for an informative and interactive session about the impact of mentoring. The presentation will cover current data and outcomes from research done right here in our own city and how everyone can become part of the mentoring movement.  Participate in a fun and interactive game of BIG Jeopardy while learning more about how the simplest acts can make the biggest difference in a young person’s life! 

Avoiding Burnout

Facilitators: Kennedy Heaton and Stanton Thai, Leadership and Student Engagement Office, University of Calgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

Being overwhelmed with school, work, and stress is a common feeling during this busy time of year and can make us feel like our habits and activities are unsustainable in the long-term. In this interactive session participants will learn how to be a more effective leader by practicing self-care, harnessing their strengths, and being mindful of their values. We will be discussing practical, strategies to help participants develop long-term sustainability to their leadership styles.

The Lighthouse: Guiding Your Way to an Impactful Career

Facilitator: Laura Whitton, Innovation@UCalgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

Change is the only constant in life. This workshop will explore the cycle of change as an important opportunity for growth and forward momentum. We will work through defining individual purpose, whether it’s making a change in yourself or changing the world. Finally, with a stronger sense of purpose, we’ll look at seeing needs and gaps in the world and taking action to meet them.

Building Personal Resiliency Workshops


Getting Into Your Discomfort Zone

Facilitator: Jason Kingsley, Collectivity Consulting
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

Individuals are becoming more and more polarized and divided on issues. In this workshop, we focus on how participants engage with diverse narratives and discomfort, through self-reflective practice and storytelling, developing a greater sense of self-awareness. This helps participants understand the role of discomfort, its perceptions, and its impact, as it relates to leadership within organizations and society.

Navigating Diversity and Inclusion: Learning How to Thrive in Multicultural Settings

Facilitators: Lilliana Gonzalez and Sarah Jacknife, Career Services, University of Calgary
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

Universities in Canada are increasingly becoming multicultural!  Diversity is important, but learning how to be inclusive is even more critical. In this workshop, you will learn how to check your own biases and reflect on your cultural norms. You will leave the workshop with the ability to distinguish between diversity and inclusivity and be equipped with resources that will help you to develop the ability to understand, engage and communicate with people from diverse cultures

Telling Your Story Through Strengths-Based Storytelling

Facilitator: Matthew Geddes, Career Services, University of Calgary
Time: 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

In interview settings we have a finite amount of time to sell our brand and why we’re the best candidate. This session will focus on helping you draw from your strengths to build a diverse set of interview stories from different areas of your life that will help you deliver a strong interview.

Global Leadership 101

Facilitator: Heather Lee, Leadership and Student Engagement Office, University of Calgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

The world is becoming increasingly diverse and so are the people we interact with daily. This session will introduce what it means to be a global leader and how to effectively communicate across culturally different groups. The workshop has several interactive components, much like a conversation and offer meaningful strategies on how you can build intercultural awareness and communicate cross-culturally in Canada and aboard.

Recognizing Our Resiliency

Facilitator: TBA, Writing Symbols Lodge, University of Calgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

This workshop will include elements from the Ótáp ímisskaan Inidgenous Youth Leadership Program. This workshop will draw on the Seven Sacred Grandfather Teachings and the 7 Circles of Wellness (an Indigenous wellness model from Well for Culture). By reflecting on the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional aspects of being, participants will identify both current self-care practices and areas for improvement in self-care. By focussing on healthy values, participants will work to lay out personal models for self-care and wellness.

Resilience and Transition Between Chapters

Facilitator: Matthew Geddes, Career Services, University of Calgary
Time: 2:15 – 3:05 p.m.

Transitioning out of university is a daunting and intimidating task. The wealth of opportunities and potential paths to take can be overwhelming, much like how you might have felt coming into university. How can you develop the skills necessary to succeed in your future career and life?