Advisory Committee

The Ronning Centre operates with the support of an active Advisory Committee. The Committee's members are invited by the Dean of the Faculty based on recommendations by the Director of the Centre. The Committee's mandate is to support the work of the Centre and its Director, provide advice and community feedback, and assist in fundraising. Appointments are for a three-year term, renewable.

Current Advisory Committee Members:

 Brandon Alakas, Ph.D. - Augustana Faculty (English)

Dr. Alakas teaches courses on classical and medieval literature. His long-standing interest in Latin literature in particular is fueled by his research on monastic culture. He has published on Latin historiography but his current work examines devotional literature written immediately before the English Reformation. When not reading or writing about monks, Brandon tries to make time for his excessive number of hobbies, which include language learning, cooking, and running.

Geoffrey Dipple Geoffrey Dipple, Ph.D. - Augustana Faculty (History)

Dr. Dipple teaches a broad range of courses covering European and world history.  His research focuses on the history of the Protestant Reformation, especially in the German-speaking lands of central Europe.  Most recently his work has concentrated on the history of the so-called Reformation Radicals, including Anabaptists and Spiritualists.  His publications include: Antifraternalism and Anticlericalism in the German Reformation: Johann Eberlin von Günzburg and the Campaign against the Friars (1996), “Just as in the time of the apostles”: Uses of History in the Radical Reformation (2005), and The Fifteen Confederates of Johann Eberlin von Günzburg (2014).  He is currently completing a volume, co-edited with Kat Hill of the University of London, highlighting new research into the Radical Reformation: Thinking Outside the Cages: New Directions in the Radical Reformation. Serving a one-year term through June 2023.

 Paul L. Gareau, Ph.D. - Faculy of Native Studies

Dr. Gareau is Métis and French-Canadian from Bellevue near Batoche Saskatchewan, Canada. He is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Native Studies and past Research Fellow for the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research at the University of Alberta. His research is grounded in critical theory and methodology relating to the social, political, and cultural impacts of religion on identity formation. His academic publications and community research projects explore the Métis experiences of religion and Métis peoplehood, the influence of Catholicism on early and late modern identity, the legacy of colonial discourses on Indigenous and ethnocultural minorities, and the experiences of rural spaces. His research focuses on the Métis, Indigenous religiosity, youth, gender, la francophonie, and rural Canada. On sabbatical through June 2023.

no profile Hany Shaltout - Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Shaltout, an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, is a second-generation psychiatrist who tries to follow in the footsteps of his father Dr. Taher Shaltout, a world-renowned psychiatrist, educator and advocate for mental health in Egypt and the Middle East. Dr. Shaltout's care for the community has continued in his new home here in Camrose, Alberta where he has worked together with key community members that include St. Mary's Hospital, AHS Addictions and Mental Health Clinic, the PCN, Camrose City police and Augustana to expand the mental health services at home and provide world class holistic care to our community.  

Gail Stolee

Gail is a graduate of the University of Alberta in Arts, Education and Library Science. She worked for the Edmonton Public School Board, Camrose Lutheran College where she was also a member of the Board of Regents, and Augustana University College. Her community involvements include Rotary, Sahakarini (a local international development NGO), the Nordlys Film and Arts Festival, and Messiah Lutheran Church. Gail has been an active participant in the programs of the Chester Ronning Centre since its inception. She has a strong commitment to lifelong learning and service, and to making the best research and thinking accessible to the general public. She also especially loves being a grandma, travelling, and reading.

  Nakita Valerio

Nakita is an award-winning writer, researcher, and Muslim community organizer based on Treaty 6 territory, Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, Canada). Nakita is honoured to be the Research Director for the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies (I-RSS), serving both Muslim and research communities across Canada. She is a graduate in history and Islamic-Jewish studies from the University of Alberta and has been a research fellow with the Tessellate Institute, I-RSS, the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC) and Mercy Mission Canada (MMC).  Nakita also acts as an academic strategist/mentor for graduate students in the disciplines of history, religious studies, sociology, and social work. She has worked as an academic copy-editor in the social sciences and humanities since 2014. Nakita serves as an advisor to the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life at the University of Alberta Augustana Campus.

 Rev. Markus Wilhelm - Glory Lutheran Church, Sherwood Park

Rev. Wilhelm attended Camrose Lutheran College, has studied in Germany and served Lutheran congregations in British Columbia and in Calgary, Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alberta.