College Associate Deans Announcement

Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell - 7 July 2022

Dear College of Natural and Applied Sciences community,

I’m writing today to share an update on some important activities in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

I’ve had recent meetings with our new provost, Dr. Verna Yiu, about the importance of the colleges in the University of Alberta for Tomorrow structure. I look forward to working with Dr. Yiu in her role as Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) to support and advance the vision of the U of A for Tomorrow and the strategic goals of CNAS and its faculties. Learn more about Dr. Yiu.

Associate Dean Hiring Announcement

I am pleased to announce the appointment of two new associate deans in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences: David Bressler as Associate Dean (STEM Research) and Tracy Ravio, Associate Dean (Education), effective July 1, 2022.

The Associate Dean (Education) and the Associate Dean (STEM Research) are important members of the college leadership team. In addition to their contributions to the college, they will remain active members of their home faculties in both teaching and research. These positions report to the College Dean and will serve a three-year term.

David Bressler, Associate Dean (STEM Research)

David Bressler joins the college from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, where he has been a faculty member for 20 years. David has also served as the Associate Dean (Research) for the faculty. His research centres on bioresource technology and fermentation. David is an alumnus of the Department of Biological Sciences and served in a teaching position in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, providing a unique college-wide research perspective and awareness. He is the founder of Forge Hydrocarbons, a spinoff company based on his research. David is passionate about fostering a culture of innovative, collaborative, and multidisciplinary research.

In his role as Associate Dean (STEM Research), David will lead the College of Natural and Applied Sciences research strategy. David can be reached via email at

Tracy Ravio, Associate Dean (Education)

Tracy Raivio joins the college from the Faculty of Science. Tracy has been a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences for 22 years. She has served as Acting Chair and Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) in the department, as well as Associate Dean (Awards and Scholarships) in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Tracy’s research lies at the intersection of microbiology and molecular genetics. Tracy is a champion of Indigenous initiatives and the creation of a culture of equity, diversity and inclusivity on campus. She is also an advocate for experiential learning and academic innovation.

In her role as Associate Dean (Education), Tracy will lead the College of Natural and Applied Sciences in cross-faculty multidisciplinary initiatives for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Tracy can be reached via email at

There were exceptional applicants for these two positions and I want to thank everyone who stepped forward to serve in these leadership roles. I also want to thank the members from each of the faculties that served as thoughtful advisors on the appointment committee for these positions. Thank you to Stan Blade (ALES), Kelly Maher (CNAS), Julie Naylor (CNAS), Betty Peavey (Science) and Ying Tsui (Engineering) for sitting on the research appointment committee. Thank you to Jim Bohun (CNAS), Leluo Guan (ALES), Sherri Kuss (Engineering), Julie Naylor (CNAS) and Fred West (Science) for sitting on the education appointment committee.

For more information about activities within the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, please visit our news and notices page. Contacts for development, communications and marketing, finance, human resources, IT, research, and student services can be found on the partnership network webpage.

Please continue to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas with me via my college dean email,


Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell
Interim Dean, College of Natural and Applied Sciences