Have You Met... Jane Yardley?

Meet Jane, associate professor of physical education at Augustana Campus.


Have you met Jane, associate professor of physical education, researcher and member of the Alberta Diabetes Institute?

What is your first U of A memory?

I remember seeing the job posting for the position at Augustana and then looking up the campus online. When I realized it was a small campus (around 1,100 students), and most of the students live in residence, it reminded me right away of my undergraduate days at Mount Allison University (around 2,000 students) in Sackville, N.B. It seemed like a good fit for me, even before I came to the campus for an interview.

What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?

Very few of my coworkers know that my guilty pleasure is pedicures. My toenails are almost always painted. It’s my way of making up for the abuse that I give my feet when running the local trails in Camrose, Alta.

What’s your favourite distraction?

My favourite distraction is riding my bike. In the winter I usually do it on the trainer in my basement, and all other times of the year I’ll do it outdoors. I have five different bikes for whatever temperatures or terrains are calling me.

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?

I think I would probably take some more Spanish courses. I have the basics to get me by while traveling, but would really like to bring my Spanish up to a conversational level. Several of the countries that I want to visit in the near future are in Central or South America, and it would be great to be able to converse with locals!

What’s a weird pet peeve you have?

One of my biggest pet peeves is actually grammatical, which most people find weird. I constantly find myself wanting to correct people (but generally holding my tongue) on the use of “fewer than” and “less than.” It amazes me how few native English speakers use these terms correctly. It led to a friend of mine giving me a mug that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar.” It sits on my desk in my office.

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

It would probably be my godfather, George. I was 11-years-old the last time I saw him and was too young to really appreciate his life experiences of having fought in the Second World War and having lived in Kenya before emigrating from England to Canada. As a child, he was the friendly guy up the street who smelled like pipe smoke, gave me money on my birthday and had lots of interesting African sculptures in his living room. Years after his passing I learned that he was actually quite the character — that he had won a medal for bravery and had lots of stories with which to regale people. I would love to hear those stories now that I’m old enough to appreciate them!

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

The first one that comes to mind is Billy Joel. Growing up he was always one of my favourite artists, and I still haven’t had a chance to see him live. In a perfect world it would be a more low-key performance in an intimate venue.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would probably tell my 18-year-old self that no experience is ever wasted. Some of the things that cause us the most frustration in life are the ones from which we can learn the most. I have learned to value some of my biggest failures and frustrations for what they’ve taught me going forward.

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

I wouldn’t be able to live without my passport. I really love traveling. This past year of pandemic restrictions has been difficult! I’m looking forward to being able to get out there again.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Alberta Diabetes Institute. Even though I’m part of the Augustana Campus in Camrose, I’ve been very fortunate to be a member of the Alberta Diabetes Institute (ADI) in Edmonton. The University of Alberta is a world leader in diabetes research, with many of its researchers being members of the ADI. This affiliation and the many wonderful U of A colleagues who are also part of the institute have been essential for me to continue my research in exercise and diabetes.

About Jane Yardley

Jane Yardley is an associate professor of physical education at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alta. Her research focuses on the effects of different types and timings of exercise on blood glucose levels in people with Type 1 diabetes. Jane is an exercise enthusiast herself and does her best to get others up and moving!