Alumni Podcast: The Line


Join host Matt Rea, ’13 PhD, as he talks with guests about their lived experiences on the frontlines of some of our world’s most pressing issues. Hear how UAlberta alumni, faculty, staff and students are applying their knowledge and research findings to solving real-world problems in our communities.


April 1, 2020 19 minute listen

Episode 1: In the ICU with Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, ’00 BSc, ’05 MD

A hospital’s intensive care unit is never more important than during a global pandemic. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, ’00 BSc, ’05 MD. Hear from the critical and palliative care doctor with the Ottawa Hospital about what it’s like to be in the ICU during the COVID-19 crisis.

April 15, 2020 17 minute listen

Episode 2: Homelessness in the Pandemic With Jordan Reiniger, ’06 BA

Health officials have been clear: to stop the spread of COVID-19, stay home. But for Canadians experiencing homelessness, there is no home in which to stay. Where can they turn for shelter during an outbreak? What if they have symptoms? Hear from Jordan Reiniger, director of Boyle Street Community Services, on how the organization is helping their clients weather this health crisis.



April 17, 2020 19 minute listen

Episode 3: Prepping the ER With Dr. Jeffrey Franc

From housekeeping staff to nurses, from respirologists to doctors, the hospital’s emergency room is ready for COVID-19. Listen as Dr. Jeffrey Franc, clinical professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta Hospital, tells us how this pandemic is different from SARS and H1N1, and shares insights from his colleagues in Italy.

April 23, 2020 21 minute listen

Episode 4: Covering COVID-19 in NYC With Pat Kiernan

News anchor Pat Kiernan, ’90 BComm, has been on the frontlines of some of the biggest news stories to impact New York City, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. But he says nothing compares to the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked Kiernan how the news media covers an ever-evolving health crisis; how physical distancing has changed his job; and how he copes with the emotional toll of reporting sickness and death day after day.



May 2, 2020 21 minute listen

Episode 5: Caring for the Most Vulnerable With Andrea Daye, ’91 BScN

Intensive care unit nurses care for a hospital’s most vulnerable patients — some with conditions made worse by the novel coronavirus. In this episode, nurse Andrea Daye talks about how she prepares for her shifts in the ICU. Hear about her experiences, from extubating her first COVID-19 patient to her fears about bringing the virus home to her family.

May 10, 2020 21 minute listen

Episode 6: Communicating Coronavirus and Other Scientific Problems With Dan Riskin, ’97 BSc

Dan Riskin wears many professional hats: evolutionary biologist, professor of biology, TV personality and author. In this episode, Riskin helps us understand the origins of COVID-19, and the challenges facing the scientific community in delivering up-to-date information about a situation that changes on an hourly basis.



May 13, 2020 21 minute listen

Episode 7: COVID and Cavities With Dr. Paul Major

Many healthcare practitioners are preparing to treat patients again after months of pandemic closures. On this episode, brace yourself for a frank discussion with Paul Major, ’88 DDS, who’s returning to work at his orthodontic practice. Hear his thoughts on the risks and benefits of lifting restrictions and what practitioners should ask themselves before treating patients.

May 19, 2020 19 minute listen

Episode 8: Virtual Medicine With Dr. Stephanie Liu

What happens to the doctor-patient connection when the world shuts down and people are told to stay home? Can thorough, conscientious care be delivered effectively online? Physician and Life of Dr. Mom blogger Stephanie Liu, ’13 MD, shares how she’s pivoted her medical practice online, what she misses most about seeing patients in her office, and under what circumstances she recommends an in-person visit with Dr. Mom.



May 25, 2020 20 minute listen

Episode 9: Feeding the Community With Morgan Allen

Fresh Routes mobile grocery provides healthy, affordable food to those who need it most. It becomes a community hub wherever it goes, bringing together community-based volunteers and the people they serve. While COVID-19 has parked the grocery truck temporarily, it hasn’t stopped Morgan Allen, ’19 BSc(Nutr/Food), and her team of dedicated volunteers from getting fresh food to individuals in need. Hear how Fresh Routes is overcoming the pandemic roadblock.

June 4, 2020 20 minute listen

Episode 10: Student Support in a Pandemic With André Costopoulos

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of the essential support services UAlberta students rely on, from career support to mental health counselling to the sexual assault centre, are physically inaccessible. So how has the university pivoted to help? In this episode we talk to Dean of Students, André Costopoulos, about how students are coping with change, delivering student services virtually, and what long term impact the health crisis could have on the educational experience.



June 11, 2020 21 minute listen

Episode 11: Wâhkôhtowin With Shana Dion

Shana Dion, ’05 BA(NativeStu), ’19 Cert(AboriginalSpo/Rec), never imagined she’d be teaching Elders how to Zoom, or conducting a virtual Round Dance. But as UAlberta’s assistant dean of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students, she’s willing to do whatever it takes during the pandemic to maintain a sense of connectedness among Indigenous communities. In this episode, learn about Shana’s innovative approach to online ceremony, her concerns for her students and the importance of relationships during hard times.

June 18, 2020 23 minute listen

Episode 12: Economic Health Check-in With Andrew Leach

What is the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic? With recent Canadian job losses in the millions, when might we see a gradual market recovery? In this episode we ask renowned economist and UAlberta School of Business professor Andrew Leach, ’20 LLM, about the future of Alberta’s economy, the efficacy of government emergency relief programs, and the feasibility of a Green New Deal.



June 25, 2020 24 minute listen

Episode 13: Pandemic and Paranoia With Timothy Caulfield

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an “infodemic” which threatens our ability to find trustworthy guidance on pandemic precautions. It's something that Timothy Caulfield, ’87 BSc(Spec), ’90 LLB, fights against as a UAlberta professor of law, research director of its Health Law Institute, author and documentary TV host. Listen as Tim helps us unravel conspiracy theories surrounding the pandemic and separate fact from pseudoscience.

July 6, 2020 23 minute listen

Episode 14: Antivirals, Vaccines and Hope With Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell, ‘68 MD

In our season finale of The Line, we talked to a man who has taken on some of humankind’s worst diseases, and won. Dr. D. Lorne Tyrrell, ’68 MD, is the founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology and the renowned researcher who developed an effective treatment for Hepatitis B. Now, as he and other researchers race against time to battle COVID-19, Dr. Tyrrell shares a message of hope. Hear about the unprecedented global collaboration that may soon lead to the development of an antiviral that could change the course of the disease.

This episode was recorded on June 23, 2020. At the time, Alberta had had 7,781 cases of Covid-19.