Dean’s 2022 Letter to the Community

Dean Demetres Tryphonopoulos shares updates and highlights from the past year to the Augustana community.

Demetres Tryphonopoulos - 30 June 2022

Photo of Dean Demetres Tryphonopoulos.

To the members of our communities,

It is my distinct pleasure to share with you this 2022 Report to the Community. 

I have now served as Augustana’s dean & executive officer for three years. During this period, the University of Alberta — including Augustana Campus — has faced numerous challenges and has transformed in meaningful and lasting ways as a result. However, I am pleased to share with you what remains the same: our lasting commitment to offering a high-quality academic and community-based experience for our students, staff, faculty and many stakeholders.

At Augustana, we support the ambitions of young people who are looking for educational experiences and careers where they can make a difference, contribute to society and enjoy fruitful, responsible lives. Augustana offers its students work-integrated learning opportunities that include (but are not limited to) experiential learning programs, Community Service-Learning, social entrepreneurial opportunities and international experiences. Our newly revised, interdisciplinary, experiential programs are poised to attract a larger number of our traditional rural-based students, but also increasingly urban and international students. Of course, the effort to introduce visionary and progressive curricula and programming does not stop with a plan and its implementation but continues with innovative offerings. Our story on how we are preparing for the future details just some of the ways our students, staff and faculty have been working towards these goals (often alongside community partners).

Our efforts for faculty renewal continue to be underway. On July 1, 2021, we welcomed Lucas Crawford, an associate professor of English and an exceptional researcher acknowledged across Canada as a leader in his field. And on Sept. 1, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022, respectively, two promising scholars arrived: Justin Tetrault, an assistant professor of sociology and a citizen of the Manitoba Métis Federation, and Willow White, an assistant professor of English and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. On this July 1, we will welcome four additional faculty members: Ana Klahr (psychology and mental health); Thibaud Lutellier (computing science); Michael Omoge (philosophy/Black studies); and Ivana Schoepf (biology). You will get to know Lucas and his research in this report, and I encourage you to look forward to future features about these other faculty members who are new to our community.

At the same time, we have an ever-increasing number of professors who are not only award winners in teaching but also quite successful in their research. This year, we have been very successful in obtaining increasingly large amounts of federal funding, as well as funding from other external and internal sources. While we continue to be the university’s “living laboratory for teaching and learning innovation,” we are also making great reputational strides in terms of being a research-intensive campus.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that our three research centres (the Chester Ronning Centre, the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities and the Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station) have been punching above their weight in holding stimulating and inspirational public events that attract funding and create interest in the university. In this report, you’ll read about some of these activities that have helped share the exciting things we do at Augustana across Alberta and beyond.

Augustana is poised to continue to develop, transform and grow in ways that can better meet student, staff, faculty and community needs. In many ways, we could not do this work without you. (You will find an example of this kind of collaboration in the story about our Indigenous Speaker Series). As you read through this report, I hope that you will come to see how our campus and community stakeholders work together to meet our shared goals. Perhaps most importantly, I hope that in reading this report, you can feel a sense of pride in this institution that benefits from our community’s involvement — and that you will find new ways in which you can get involved.



Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos
Dean & Executive Officer
Augustana Campus, University of Alberta