Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities

Executive Council

Stanford Blade (Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences)
Stanford Blade joined the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences as dean on Aug. 1, 2014. Prior to becoming dean he was the executive director of the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute, and then the CEO. Blade participated in the creation of Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions, an agency of the Alberta government focused on research and innovation to support the profitability of the agriculture, food and forestry sectors. Blade, who is an adjunct professor in the faculty, says his vision for building on its success is focused on three key areas: strengthening engagement with the Government of Alberta, forging deeper partnerships with non-government agencies, and creating and executing a thoughtful and intentional communications strategy.

Allen Berger (Dean, Augustana Campus)
The former provost and vice-president, academic, of the University of Maine at Farmington joined the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus as Dean on August 1, 2011. An ardent advocate for the liberal arts, Dean Berger desires that the education of the whole person be accessible to those wanting to pursue it. He prizes Augustana’s focus on undergraduate teaching and believes that a residence-based campus is the best place for this focus. Berger began his career as a cultural anthropologist. As a full-time administrator since the mid-‘90s, he has served in the cabinets of five presidents at three post-secondary institutions. He is driven by the opportunity to galvanize a faculty and a staff around a vision, to enhance quality and excellence, and to be an agent of change for the good of all. Berger looks forward to maintaining the close relationships between Augustana Campus, the University of Alberta, the City of Camrose and our surrounding communities. He remains committed to the strong ethic of community service that informs so many of Augustana’s programs.

Karsten Mündel (Associate Dean Academic, Associate Professor and Director, Learning and Beyond, Augustana Campus)
Dr. Karsten Mündel directs the Learning and Beyond office that supports off-campus experiential learning at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. His research areas include place-based learning, the social economy in rural communities, and rural sustainability.

Debra Davidson (Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences)
Dr. Debra Davidson specializes in climate change impacts and adaptation, transitions in energy and food systems and natural resource politics and governance.

Rebecca Purc-Stephenson (Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology)
Dr. Rebecca Purc-Stephenson is an applied social psychologist. Her research involves examining the work sustainability strategies of individuals with a chronic illness, exploring issues related to healthcare access, and evaluating alternative models of healthcare delivery.

Brent Swallow (Professor, Faculty of Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences) 
Dr. Brent Swallow specializes in the economics of international agricultural development and land use economics. He is a trustee of Rome-based Bioversity International, a member of the Independent Advisory Council of the international program on water, land and ecosystems, and a past member of the Edmonton Food Council.