Communications and Technology Research Symposium 2018
Friday 25 May 2018
2-520A Enterprise Square
10230 Jasper Avenue
Poster Session 2:00-3:00pm
Rock Grandfather and You: Musings on MACT Matters
Mary Pat Barry, MA, ABC
There’s a sculpture on U of A’s main campus by Indigenous artist Stewart Steinhauer. It has three pieces: The Hunter, Big Bear is Right and The Eaglechild. Collectively the trio is called the Rock Grandfather. When asked about his creation Steinhauer explained it this way:
“The Rock Grandfather’s role in this world is to help fragile humanity with the process of communication. Humans struggle with communication. The Rock Grandfather uses a non-linguistic approach to communication, speaking directly – consciousness to consciousness – bypassing language altogether.”
The idea that fragile humanity needs help with communication is particularly salient today. We’re connected, but polarized. Balanced and informed civil discourse is missing. Democracy is at risk and truth, hard to find.
As a fellow traveller on the MACT journey, I can attest to the value of your studies. Through the Internet and social media, global advancement has been replaced by a sense of global crisis. Communication is complex and always has been; but perhaps not to the intensity it is today. Your skills, knowledge and discipline are needed like never before. Now is the time. In life after MACT, you will likely see things differently.
Rock Grandfather may have a role – but so do you. MACT is a springboard to other possibilities and opportunities. The learning doesn’t stop… what will you make happen?
Mary Pat Barry, ’04 MA, ABC
Senior Business Communications Professional
Mary Pat has held a range of executive and senior communications positions through a +25-year career including: Vice-President, Communications, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures; Branch Manager, Corporate Communications, City of Edmonton; and Director, Communications TELUS Corporation. Skilled in team leadership and talent development, her focus is on high impact communication services that grow understanding, engagement and action. Mary Pat has been recognized throughout her career with international, national and local awards and distinctions for communications excellence.
Interested in social change and collective action, Mary Pat is an engaged volunteer contributing to a number of non-profit organizations and initiatives. Recent board involvements include The Mental Health Foundation where she serves as a trustee, Chrysalis – an Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities where she served as Chair of the Chrysalis Foundation Board for seven years, and the University of Alberta.
A University of Alberta grad with a Master of Arts in Communication and Technology, Mary Pat has been Involved with the University of Alberta Alumni Association since 2010. She currently serves the University of Alberta as: a member of the Board of Governors (2017/20), Chair of the Board University Relations Committee and member of the Board Learning and Discovery Committee; a member of Senate (2015/18) on Student Mental Health and Campus Inquiries and Initiatives Committees; Past-President of the Alumni Association (2017/18), member of Alumni Council Executive and Diversity and Inclusion Task Force; and a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research Professional Development Advisory Board. Mary Pat received the 2018 President’s Citation from the Graduate Students’ Association for outstanding and dedicated support of graduate students.
She completed her undergraduate degree and the Queen's Executive Program at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Mary Pat continues to provide high impact strategic communications and public speaking services to a range of clients in the business and non-profit sectors.