Have You Met … Tracy Raivio?

Meet Tracy Raivio, vice-provost and dean, Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and professor, Department of Biological Sciences.

Tracy Raivio in the woods with a deer in the background.

What is your first U of A memory?

My first memory of the U of A is from grade school. I grew up in Red Deer, and my little brother and I used to take the dayliner train from Red Deer to Edmonton to spend weekends with my aunt and uncle. On one of those trips my uncle took us on a tour of the U of A campus. The impression I took away from that visit, of attending the U of A as an aspirational goal, stayed with me. I think about that visit often in the context of how many students from Alberta attend and want to attend U of A.

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

My last name is of Finnish origin, not Italian.

What’s your favourite distraction?

Being outside in nature and reading. I'm happiest anywhere in nature with family and friends, whether it’s on a mountain, in a lake, or a forest. I’ve loved reading since I knew how to. I’ve read fiction throughout my life, but increasingly I gravitate towards non-fiction and books that describe other peoples’ lived experiences.

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

Something in archaeology. I’ve always been captivated by human history and the puzzle of trying to understand it from the pieces left behind.

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

Tough question! Hard to pick just one, but I’d love to spend time talking to Jacinda Ardern, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand. I admire that she was able to lead a country through very challenging times, while balancing a new family - and then leave on her own terms.

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

I'm always going to pick Blue Rodeo in a small venue, preferably outside. 

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

Be curious about the people, experiences and opportunities around you - the destination is just one part of the journey..

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

Fettuccine alfredo.

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Lifelong. Transformative. Challenging.

Do you have any upcoming projects or initiatives you are looking forward to at work?

I am super excited about working with partners across our campus to expand graduate programming at U of A. I believe that universities have a critical role to play in society and solving the big global problems of our time. I want to help spread the impact of all of the incredible research and education happening on our campuses to more and new groups of diverse learners and researchers.

Kathryn Dong is the Alberta Health Services Chair in Emergency Medicine Research and the Social Accountability Lead for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta

About Tracy

Tracy Raivio is vice-provost and dean, Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) (formerly Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research) and professor, Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. She is an expert in microbiology and molecular genetics.