Have You Met… Nora Johnston?

Have you met Nora, Director of the Alberta Centre for Active Living? Spend the next few minutes getting to know her a little better.

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Have you met Nora, Director of the Alberta Centre for Active Living? Spend the next few minutes getting to know her a little better.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

Hanson Fitness and Lifestyle Centre. I try to schedule my lunch so I can get there a little bit later so I’m not there with the big rush.

Tablet or paper?

I’m afraid I’ll have to say paper. I still have a book that I write things in. I find that if I’m proofreading something I can do a little bit on the screen, but I still need a hard copy to see some of the errors.

Name one thing you’ve brought to work from home.

Pictures of my family, although from the looks of it I need to update them.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Physical activity. It keeps me sane.

If you won airfare to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Australia. I have never been there before, but that would be the top of my list.

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

Maya Angelou. She was such a wise woman, and I think that anyone who would be at this dinner would learn from her. There was one clip of her I saw at a dinner party — someone was saying something negative and she stopped them and said “Not at my table. This is not what this is about.” It’s her whole philosophy — she’s an incredible lady.

If you could switch jobs with someone else on campus for a week, what would you do?

I’d love to do groundskeeping. One, you get to be outdoors and accomplishing specific tasks every day; and two, you’re outside seeing people all day. You may not interact with them, but at least you’re out and about instead of being in an office.

What does “uplifting the whole people” mean to you?

I think it means whether you’re part of the university or not — the work of the university should be for everyone. Whether it’s policy, programs, environment. It’s for everyone.

If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be?

Intolerance. It would change so much for people. Bullying, wars, general mood for the day, etc.

What 3 words best describe your U of A experience?

The Three F’s: Fulfilling. Flexible. Fun.

About Nora Johnston

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As director of the Alberta Centre for Active living, Nora is an “active voice” for the promotion of physical activity and a strong advocate for policy changes that support physical activity where we work, live and play. Nora is a cyclist and avid dog walker, and she also enjoys time being active with her family.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.