Nerdiversity of Alberta

There's something about working in academia that goes hand-in-hand with being… well… a bit of a nerd. It's no secret: it's just a part of…

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There's something about working in academia that goes hand-in-hand with being… well… a bit of a nerd. It's no secret: it's just a part of university life. In fact, we embrace it - and it shows.

Walk across campus and you'll find passionate advocates for everything from math and history to Middle Earth and the Marvel Universe. It's like we searched for whatsoever things are true and found the sciences, the arts, and Star Wars.

In an effort to catalog this phenomenon of campus culture, we put out a call for the most delightfully nerdy clothing, collectibles, and paraphernalia around the university.

Here's what we found:

Image for PostImage for PostVanessa Cordery in the Bookstore shows off her Doctor Who and Ministry of Silly Walks watches.Image for PostImage for PostLeft: Bridget Stirling rocks a scarf with her Master's thesis printed on it. Right: Her glasses may be calculating, but she's not one to hex you - Vanessa keeps it subtle with her math whiz glasses and Deathly Hallows necklace.Image for PostImage for PostJordan Carson of Residence services sports a silk WWII British spy's escape map of Stalingrad as a pocket square.Image for PostImage for PostLeft: Donna Thompson, Bookstore, poses with her Star Wars phone case. Right: Amy Stafford of Conference Services goes retro with her NES controller phone case.

The empty desks, pin-able walls, and plethora of shelving and storage units seem to scream, 'Fill me with your nerdy paraphernalia!'

More than a few people on campus have graciously accepted the invitation that these blank-canvas surfaces extend:

Image for PostImage for PostLeft: If you hear the Rains of Castermere playing from Web Developer and Game of Thrones fan Kateryna Barnes' office, run. Right: the Simpsons version of James Brown adorns Robert Moyles's desk in the Office of Advancement.Image for PostImage for PostLeft: Niall McKenna keeps a miniature Doctor Who display in the Office of Advancement. Right: Undergrad Program Administrator Jennifer Eigeard may not be from Themyscira, but she's definitely the Department of Secondary Education's Wonder Woman.Image for PostImage for PostLeft: Sabrina Tharani, International Relations, keeps a replica Howling Commandos army patch pinned to her wall. Right: A scholar of the Force and a former pupil of Charles Xavier, is it any surprise that Jason Wallin, professor of Media and Youth Culture in Curriculum, has a couple figurines in his office?Image for PostImage for PostTwo figurine displays in Business. Left: Mike Kendrick's exhibit, affectionately titled the "pro-wrestling-flavoured parade of weirdness". Right: Trevor Mireau displays his retro Trekkie swag - repping both Kirk and Picard, obvs.Image for PostImage for PostImage for PostImage for PostImage for PostImage for PostFiona Gamble in Facilities & Operations maintains a serious display of (mostly) Disney figures above her desk.Image for PostEven Jacqui Tam, Vice President (University Relations) keeps a few collectibles in her office, most notably Optimus Prime and Yoda.

Sometimes, nerd culture and office culture blend together in a strange and beautiful medley. You need not look further than the Communications and Marketing team in Arts:

Image for PostImage for PostLeft: Erik Einseidel draws inspiration from the super hero posters surrounding his work space. His Star Wars lunch kits are a reminder that Erik, like all super heroes, need to feed the engine of creative expression. Right: Melissa Boisvert, a science nerd at heart, observes her Galileo thermometer.Image for PostMarcie Whitecotton, an eclectic collector of all things nerdy, has a definite flair for fashion - take a look at her "Crazy Cat ady" collection (notice the fetching pink robe), her Tim Burton-esque plush toy, Alf doll, and robot-themed lunch box.Image for PostImage for PostImage for PostLeft: TJ Jans works diligently under the glaring eye of his ever present ewok. Centre: Donna McKinnon sports her bedazzled fire warden chapeau alongside a Bender screen saver and mouse pad; Right: Erik Einseidel (again) rocks a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles watch.

Then again, maybe it's just a Marketing and Communications thing…

Image for PostSean Townsend and Andy Grabia have orchestrated UAlberta News and social media from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, conveniently reconstructed in GSB.

Candace Ramjohn may be the unofficial queen of campus when it comes to a certain astromech droid, Star Wars, and awesome nerdy campus culture in general.

Her dedication is nothing short of inspiring:

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A few fantastic nerdy finds that we missed the first time around:

Image for PostThe IST Security Team is kept safe by a few well-placed spaceships and a pet Tribble to scare off the Klingons.Image for PostImage for PostImage for PostVanessa Burke in Science shows off her inner nerd with a C-3PO USB key, a science tee from a Bill Nye crowdfunding campaign, and a Schrodinger's cat box.Image for PostIan Paine, Desktop Support Analyst with the Faculty of ALES, likes to power-up his day by checking out his desk side collection, which includes everything from Final Fantasy, to Super Mario Brothers, to Dragon Ball Z.

Did we miss your awesome nerdy apparel or accessories? Let us know in the comments - or better yet, send us a photo and we'll include it!