Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at PLLC

five students pose together with matching facepaint outside of peter lougheed hall

The Peter Lougheed Leadership College is empowering our diverse audiences, students and staff to become leaders in the community. Through utilizing interdisciplinary approaches, PLLC endeavors to remove barriers faced by historically marginalized and racialized communities by developing leaders who understand wide-ranging approaches, take risks, and act on values firmly anchored in ethical and social responsibility. By incorporating the voices and perspectives of a spectrum of genders, ages, sexual orientations, abilities, cultures, and ethnicities into all our practices, PLLC works towards creating an inclusive, representative, responsible and innovative future. At PLLC diversity is our strength.

This page provides information on the diversity initiatives taken by the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and highlights the diversity-focused work of our scholars and staff.

Our Founding Values

Peter Lougheed Leadership College is centered on inclusive values. PLLC is guided by principles of interdisciplinarity, inclusiveness, and collaboration. These principles are reflected in our Mission, Vision and Values.

Why Does Diversity Matter?

"Leadership is the work of getting things done in collaboration with others. When multiple perspectives and experiences are part of the conversation, we see in new ways. We are empowered to develop solutions, collectively, that are responsive, transparent and equitable.

The excellence of PLLC programming relies on the rich contributions of people with distinct backgrounds, identities and social locations, enabling the College to provide cutting-edge leadership development to current and future leaders."

- Lois Harder, PhD, Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College from 2018-2021

“Leadership means working joyfully across perceived differences--of discipline, of identity, of background--to reach the most creative and effective solutions to the pressing problems we collectively face. Without the benefit of listening to, and learning from, those different than us, we compromise innovation and problem-solving.”

- Cristina Stasia, PhD, Director of Leadership Training and Development at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College

"Diversity matters because it's important to move from simply tolerating and accepting differences to embracing them. That transition can only happen when diverse lived experiences are widely shared and respected"

- Kelly Hobson, Mentorship Coordinator

"Our world is facing today one of the most complex challenges of the century. We need to come up with innovative solutions and I am convinced that diversity is key for that objective. The inclusion of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and disciplines in the decision-making process ensures the consideration of different perspectives about the problem and potential solutions and facilitates the design of effective context-sensitive solutions."

- Maria Ortiz, Teaching Fellow, 2019-2021

Diversity Initiatives

College-wide initiatives ensure that students, staff and the community understand the importance of championing diversity and inclusion.
Professional Development Opportunities
  • The Lougheed College Lectures offer all U of A students and members of the public the opportunity to hear from some of today's most inspirational, influential, and innovative leadership scholars and practitioners. Speakers are selected to address a variety of topics and bring diverse perspectives from Alberta and beyond. This series exposes audiences to cutting edge thinking and offers opportunities for questions and discussion at each event.
View recordings of the Lougheed College Lectures
  • The Leadership and Diversity Speaker Series offered monthly, lunchtime talks, jointly sponsored by the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and the Intersections of Gender Signature Area. The speaker series broadened our thinking about who leads and what leadership looks like.
PLLC's Mentor Team
Scholars in PLLC's certificate program have access to a diverse Mentor Team that aims to help young people realize their potential. PLLC's Mentorship Coordinator, Kelly Hobson, annually selects Mentor Team members who represent different roles, industries and paths to success, in addition to factors such as age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, culture, and ethnicity. Mentees have role models with whom they identify, as well as mentors who can offer viewpoints very different from their own. In 2019, Kelly was awarded an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion award from the University of Alberta for their commitment to EDI in the mentorship program.
Graduate Student Teaching Fellows

Lougheed Adjunct Professors teach in collaboration with Teaching Fellows (TF), graduate or law students who serve as TAs for PLLC courses and receive intensive teacher training. The TF Team is carefully assembled by Dr. Cristina Stasia, PLLC's Director of Instruction, who hires talented applicants who represent a spectrum of genders, ages, sexual orientations, cultures, and ethnicities. As leaders in their own fields, TFs are also role models to scholars, who especially appreciate seeing how a diverse team maximizes creativity and success.

See our roster of current and previous Teaching Fellows

Truth & Reconciliation in Practice
Attending to Indigenous knowledge and leadership is an important part of reconciliation and one PLLC tries to honour throughout our undergraduate courses, starting with the prerequisite class, INT D: 301 Foundations of Leadership. The course engages with critical Indigenous and decolonial modes of leadership through resources compiled in 2019 by Molly Swain, a Native Studies PhD Student and Indigenous Content Researcher. She offers this advice to Foundations of Leadership students:
"As students work through these texts, they should be thinking about how the people and ideas they encounter embody and enact relationality, how colonialism has disrupted and continues to disrupt Indigenous relational networks, how Indigenous leaders are re-establishing those relationships, how to establish and maintain responsible and reciprocal relationships with Indigenous people and communities, the importance of moving away from narratives that focus on the perceived deficiencies of Indigenous people and communities, and the importance of decentering their own perspective and trusting Indigenous people and communities to know and do what is best for them."
Experiential, Forum-Based Learning
Innovative and experiential instruction ensures that scholars interact meaningfully with their professor, Teaching Fellows and peers in every class. The use of small group forums allows scholars to engage in focused discussion and activities. These groups are purposefully engineered to maximize student diversity based on identity and discipline, ensuring that scholars learn from classmates whom they would not otherwise encounter in their university classroom experience. See what our forums can achieve together, like vodcasts that advocate for solutions to UAlberta issues.

Our Scholars

64% female scholars, 36% Male, 12 languages are spoken by our scholars Incorporating and understanding diverse perspectives is an important feature of adaptive and interdisciplinary leadership. We are proud of our undergraduate and graduate students who offer and share a range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives to classrooms, allowing emerging leaders to understand the importance of intersectional communication first-hand.


Stretch Experience

Scholars at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College practice intercultural communication and inclusive leadership first-hand through an intensive 200 hour leadership activity called a Stretch Experience. Our scholars have supported diversity and inclusion locally, nationally, and abroad.

Keep up to date with the latest experiences on the PLLC Stretch Blog.

Dr. Stasia poses with students and teaching fellows in front of a slide on stage that reads From Macau to the World: Leadership Workshop.