Community Profile: Christine Ma

Get to know Christine MA (she/her), the College of Health Sciences’ College General Manager (CGM). Christine has worked at the University of Alberta for more than two decades. Her previous role was as Faculty General Manager for the Faculty of Pharmacy.

1 February 2024

How do you describe your work to those who don’t work in your field?

Much of what I do involves communication and advocacy. As CGM, one of my roles is to advocate for the fantastic work the faculties and the College are doing. I also create administrative systems in the College that support and move this work forward. I find and connect with people for collaboration within the College and in other Colleges. I also work very closely with senior partners across all portfolios.

What’s something your co-workers don’t know about you?

I love March Madness! I always join office pools even though my basketball knowledge and fandom are limited to the March Madness season. I have even won a few times, proving that all your March Madness research is for nought! March Madness has now become a family tradition, with my husband and children joining too.

What’s your favourite thing about working with your colleagues in the College of Health Sciences?

I have had such a positive first month with my new colleagues. They have been very welcoming. They are passionate about the work they are doing, great communicators, engaged and open with one another and with faculties, whether it’s to promote research, connect researchers or support the academic programs in faculties. We have some new people who have just joined the College and some who will join shortly, and I think they have cultivated a great environment to influence plans and goals as we move forward. 

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Coffee! I go to bed at night looking forward to having a hot cup of coffee in the morning.

How do you navigate challenges?

One of the first things I try to do is make sure I’ve identified the actual root issue or correct challenge. If you don’t have a firm idea of what the challenge is, you can’t navigate it, or you might create more challenges or get frustrated when the solutions you try don’t work. I’ve found a few things help keep perspective when facing a challenge — having an open mind to the fact there may be different ways to navigate a challenge and considering which one to try first; and considering the people, the culture and challenge itself. It is essential to engage those whom you work with and those you serve in solving a challenge. 

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree within the College of Health Sciences right now, what would it be?

It is difficult to pinpoint one course, but the programs in the School of Public Health are an area I have always been interested in, particularly health promotion and disease prevention.