Tag Archives: Conference

2019 PLENARY SPEAKER BIO – Cathryn M. Heslep (B.A., M.A., Ed.D. (candidate)

Cathryn M. Heslep – Ombudsperson – MacEwan University – Edmonton

Cathryn M. Heslep (B.A., M.A., Ed.D. (candidate) is currently the Student Ombudsperson at MacEwan University. She retired from the position of the Vice President, Student Services in April 2015, a position she held since 2002. In that position, Cathryn provided overall leadership and strategic direction for a team of Student Services professionals who delivered a range of services and activities for students from prospective/inquiring to alumni. Included within the Student Services portfolio was the Office of the University Registrar, Student Life, MacEwan Athletics, Student Residence, Alumni Relations and Services, MacEwan Centre for Sport and Wellness, on campus medical clinic, and administrative liaison with the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU).

Cathryn has worked in higher education at several postsecondary institutions totalling over thirty years. She was appointed Registrar at MacEwan (then Community College) in 1989, and Vice-President in 2002. Her research interests include the impact of multiple generations in the classroom, student success, and legal issues in higher education.

She completed a Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2003 and pursued doctoral studies in Higher Education Administration at the University of Calgary.  Providing leadership external to MacEwan University, Cathryn chaired the provincial Senior Student Services Officers committee for several years, participated on the Pan-Canadian Student Engagement Survey Advisory team (ACCC) and was a member of the initial management committee for two provincial initiatives – eCampusAlberta, and ApplyAlberta.

Cathryn initiated and developed MacEwan University’s first Office of the Student Ombudsperson in May 2016. The Student Ombudsperson is an independent, impartial, confidential and accessible resource for students who will, in a fair and impartial manner, assist students in understanding and clarifying policies, processes and decisions that affect their enrolment. It is a student-friendly resource to resolve conflict informally. She holds membership in the International Ombudsman Association, Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons and the Alberta Network of Ombuds in Higher Education.

Personally, she has served the community as board member of an after-school care program, and  The Alberta Baroque Music Society. Currently, she is on the board of Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg), her church (Lendrum Mennonite Church) and Te Deum Singers. Cathryn enjoys watching the MacEwan Griffins compete, reading, travel, classical, choral and jazz music, and golf.

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2019 Pre-Conference and CONFERENCE Speaker Bio – Dr. Vern Peters

Dr. Vern Peters – Adjunct Professor of Biology The King’s University – Edmonton

Vern graduated with a BSc from the University of Manitoba in 1995 and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in 2003. His main research interests include fire ecology, tree reproduction, interactions between seed predators, and conifers. Currently, he is studying prescribed fire as a management tool for restoring populations of the endangered limber and whitebark pine in parks. He also uses community-based restoration approaches to engage the public in conservation practice; this work is supported by greenhouse and field-based germination and survivorship experiments he conducts with students. Additionally, Vern serves as a faculty member at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Michigan, USA, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta.

2019 Plenary Speaker Bio – Dr. Melanie Humphreys

Dr. Melanie Humphreys – President – The King’s University – Edmonton 

Dr. Melanie Humphreys is in her sixth year as President and CEO of The King’s University.  Dr. Humphreys has been a catalyst for change. Under her leadership, the University has achieved the founding of the Leder School of Business, an institutional name change, and the creation of Shared Vision 2020, a strategic plan with the vision of becoming widely known as a Christian university serving to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

A Canadian, Dr. Humphreys spent much of her professional career prior to her current role outside of Canada. Dr. Humphreys began her career in higher education as a Residence Director at Trinity Western University. She served ten years as Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at LCC International University, a liberal arts university in Lithuania, Eastern Europe. She served four years as Dean of Student Care & Services and adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College in Illinois. Dr. Humphreys holds a PhD in higher education from Azusa Pacific University in California and her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Trinity Western University in British Columbia. While completing her doctorate, she taught in Azusa Pacific’s Masters of Global Leadership program teaching in Brazil, Chile, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Humphreys is a member of the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta, serves on the Education Committee and Women’s Leadership Advisory Committee to Universities Canada, and is a Trustee for Los Angeles Pacific University.

The King’s University is a Christian liberal arts and sciences university providing top-quality learning experiences for students. King’s receives top rankings and national recognition for student-faculty engagement, our supportive campus, and the quality of teaching. Excellence in teaching and research are core to who King’s is as an institution. All programs are fully accredited by the government of Alberta.

2019 Conference Information

2019 CACSD Conference – Rooted In

Think of a tree with a well-developed root system, planted in good soil. Student Life Departments are like trees, complex and alive. We are rooted in the soil of theories and theology as well as history and humanity. At our conference this spring, we will consider the roots that nourish us while we also share about the winds and weather that challenge our health.

During the conference this year, we are focusing on the health of the systems (the soil) that we exist in at our institutions.  We hope to provide opportunities to learn about student development theories and experiences that support professional programs and personnel in our pursuit to build strong foundations for our programs and students.

We are excited to offer 3 fantastic plenary speakers from the Canadian higher education scene this year to help us think through the Rooted In theme.  

Dr. Melanie Humphreys – President, The King’s University, Edmonton, AB

Cathryn Heslep – Ombudsperson, McEwan University, Edmonton, AB

Dr. Vern Peters – Biology Professor, The King’s University, Edmonton, AB

Early bird registration is open until April 19, 2019. 

Link to Registration form https://goo.gl/forms/yh26q8OdiN6dFSyo2

Pre-Conference Workshops – Monday, June 3 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

More information regarding these workshops will be located on the CACSD website.  Registration is available in the form for the conference.

  1. Join Dr. Vern Peters on a walking lecture through the beautiful sanctuary of Elk Island National Park as he teaches us more about how trees are “rooted in” to their ecosystems so we can consider how we are rooted in to ours. More info on Elk Island National Park: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/elkisland
  1. Senior Administrators Roundtable – facilitated by Dr. Michael Ferber, VP Student Life, Dean of Students, The King’s University.  All Senior Administrations are invited to come to a roundtable discussion.  This is a valuable time to discuss the challenges and joys of Senior Administration, best practices for departments, and creating vision for your team.