Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The best of techlife magazine, 2007-17

10 years of favourite stories from techlife and techlifetoday.ca

After 20 issues and 10 years of techlife – and just as long online – we ask ourselves, What have we accomplished?

“In many ways, we’ve captured the spirit and character of NAIT,” says Susan Cline, executive director of marketing and communications, which produces the magazine. “The polytechnic provides an exceptional hands-on education, but it’s also a place for new ideas and industry innovation. Techlife, and now techlifetoday.ca, was created to help us celebrate those stories and the impact NAIT has on this province.” 

Mike Meldrum, associate vice-president of advancement, which includes alumni relations, also sees the spirit of NAIT in the magazine and website. He does so through the lens of the accomplishments of our more than 200,000 alumni. Meldrum sees those as contributions: a grad builds a business that in turn helps build the city; another puts his passion for firefighting to work protecting the environment; another channels her quest to live an authentic life into improving human rights in Alberta. He believes these stories have a cumulative effect.

“As students read these stories, it’s encouraging,” says Meldrum. A standard is set, and they can begin to imagine how they might follow those grads who went before them. Alumni readers are no different, he suggests. “They see the impact they can have as a group.”

While techlife can’t take credit for that impact, we like to believe that the publication has served as a source of inspiration. That’s why we’ve created this list of our most popular stories – about the things alumni do, about the accomplishments of the polytechnic and how it’s growing so it can continue to build on its contribution to Alberta.

This list isn’t definitive nor final. If one thing is certain, stories born from the experiences of those connected to NAIT – and the good stuff that comes of that – will continue.

Categories:

Top 5 alumni stories
Top 3 how-to stories
Top 3 food stories
Top 3 news stories
6 award-winning stories
Illustration and photography awards

Top 5 Alumni Stories

marni panas

The Real Marni Panas
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1 (Fall 2016)

As a transgender woman, Marni Panas (Management ’91, Computer Systems Technology ’02) is driven to live as authentically as possible – and ensure that others are able to do the same.

jay downton

Downton Empire
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 9, Issue 1 (Fall 2015)

How Jay Downton (Finance ’02) the co-founder of oilersnation.com and president of Oodle Noodle became one of the leaders of Edmonton’s creative economy.

alberta wildfire fighters

A Look Inside Life as an Alberta Wildfire Fighter
First published at techlifetoday.ca, August 2017

Extreme heat, 6,000 calories daily and 12-hour shifts – it’s all in a day’s work for author and crew Harold Larson (Forest Technology ’13).

dion darling

Dion Darling Parts with the World of Pro Hockey
First published at techlifemag.ca, November 2011

A bittersweet goodbye to a game that defined Dion Darling (Power Engineering ’11) – once one of the toughest names in pro hockey – and how education eased the transition to a new career.

 
cecile bukmeier, nait auto body technician instructor

Cecile Bukmeier Makes History as Advocate for Women in Trades
First published at techlifetoday.ca, June 2017

After more than 50 years, the Auto Body Technician program hired its first female instructor. A profile of women-in-trades advocate Cecile Bukmeier (Auto Body Technician ’15).


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Top 3 How-to Stories

glenn feltham

A Case Study in Transformational Leadership: Glenn Feltham
First published at techlifemag.ca, May 2012

What makes a truly effective leader? Marketing instructor Teresa Sturgess (Marketing ’83) and a colleague examines the hallmarks in a study of NAIT’s own president.

food and restaurant guide featuring NAIT grads

The NAIT Guide to Food and Drink
First published at techlifemag.ca, November 2013; updated regularly

Never go hungry for ideas of where to eat again, thanks to this ever-evolving list of restaurateurs, chefs, and food and drink makers, each a NAIT grad.

email tips

Email Etiquette: 15 Tips for Better Workplace Email
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 4, Issue 1 (Fall 2010)

How to send the right message with your messages.


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Top 3 Food Stories

food trends

The Fine Art of Food
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 6, Issue 1 (Fall 2012)

For NAIT’s 50th anniversary issue, we look back on five decades of weird and wonderful food trends.

nevin fenske drift food truck edmonton

Moveable Feasts
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 5, Issue 2 (Spring 2012)

How Nevin Fenske (Cook ’05) helped rev up Edmonton’s food truck scene.

dog island brewing, slave lake, alberta

The Dilemma of Dog Island Brewing
First published at techlifetoday.ca, January 2017

Ben Fiddler (Electrician ’02, Instrument Technician ’03) and Chad Paulson (Instrument Technician ’09) put their trades training to work in craft beer brewing.


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Top 3 News Stories

productivity and innovation centre, construction, NAIT, edmonton

Productivity and Innovation Centre Construction Update
First published at techlifetoday.ca, July 2017; updated regularly

A time-lapse of progress on NAIT’s new front door for industry, where businesses will come for productivity enhancement, prototype development and more.

nait centre for applied technology

A Virtual Tour of NAIT’s Centre for Applied Technology
First published at techlifetoday.ca, September 2016

Take in the sights at the polytechnic’s largest capital project in history.

84-85 nait ooks mens hockey hall of famers

Men's Ooks Hockey Team Enters Hall of Fame
First published at techlifetoday.ca, February 2017

The 1984-85 men’s Ooks hockey team enters the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame for their legendary perfect – and championship – season.


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6 Award-winning Stories

jame ahnassay

Declaration of Independence
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 4, Issue 1 (Fall 2010)

Alberta Magazine Awards, Best Alberta Story
Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Silver

How James Ahnassay (Civil Engineering Technology ’88), former chief of the Dene Tha’ First Nation, re-envisioned education in his northern Alberta community.

glenn feltham presidet and ceo of NAIT, edmonton, alberta

Glenn Feltham’s New Assignment
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 4, Issue 2 (Spring 2011)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Gold

For Dr. Glenn Feltham, the only way to get to know NAIT upon his arrival in 2010 was to roll up his sleeves, put on some steel-toed shoes, and try every program.

stu chell

Strange Brews
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (Spring 2013)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Bronze

Before there was the Alberta craft beer boom, there was Stu Chell (Culinary Arts ’05), who once poured his creativity as a cook into brewing in St. Albert.

sylvancroft edmonton

City of Tomorrow

First published in techlife magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (Spring 2013)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Gold

Chris Dulaba (Urban and Regional Planning Technology ’99) tackles an overdue update of Edmonton architecture with Sylvancroft, a modern urban development.

 
jim barr, c100, 48 hours in the valley

California Dreamin’
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (Fall 2011)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Grand Gold

Former NAIT business incubator client Jim Barr gets the opportunity of a lifetime in San Francisco.

dr. scientist guitar effects pedals

Fraz Dazzler and the Sunny Day Delay
First published in techlife magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2 (Spring 2008)

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, Silver

Ryan (Electronics Engineering Technology '05) and Tanya Clarke (Graphic Sign Arts '02) win over players around the world with their creative take on guitar effects pedals.


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Illustration and Photography Awards

fall 2008 techlife cover

techlife fall 2008 cover (5.4 MB PDF)
Volume 2, Issue 1 (Fall 2008)

Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Runner-up

nait techlife sandvik centre

Heavy Metal Practice (6.2 MB PDF)
Volume 1, Issue 2 (Spring 2008)

Photo

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District VIII, Gold

nait techlife 2008

 

On the Brink of Big (2.6 MB PDF)
Volume 2, Issue 1 (Fall 2008)

Photo

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District VIII, Silver

 

rob feenie, nait, edmonton, hokanson chef in residence

Perfection is Impossible, Excellence is Not (2.5 MB PDF)
Volume 2, Issue 2 (Spring 2009)

Photo series

Council for the Support and Advancement of Education District VIII, Silver

techlife nait

Zero In (2.1 MB PDF)
Volume 2, Issue 2 (Spring 2009)

Illustration

Council for the Support and Advancement of Education District VIII, Silver

shooting star, techlife, nait, edmonton

Shooting Star (7.7 MB PDF)
Volume 3, Issue 1 (Fall 2009)

Photo

Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, Prix D’Excellence – Gold

hockey techlife nait edmonton

3 Questions with 6 Ooks Hockey Alumni (1.6 MB PDF)
Volume 4, Issue 2 (Fall 2010)

Photo illustration

Council for the Support and Advancement of Education District VIII, Silver

susur lee, nait edmonton

Profile of a Master (825 KB PDF)
Volume 4, Issue 2 (Fall 2010)

Photography and illustration

Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, Silver

nait techlife edmonton

Flushed with Success (2.3 MB PDF)
Volume 8, Issue 2 (Spring 2015)

Illustration

Alberta Magazine Publisher Association Achievement Awards, Silver

welder, cuba, techlife nait, edmonton

Cuba's Next Steps (4.4 MB PDF)
Volume 9, Issue 1 (Fall 2015)

Photography 

Council for the Support and Advancement of Education District VIII, Gold


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NAIT BRAND AMBASSADORS 2017