Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The ultimate techlifetoday top 10

Favourite stories from NAIT's award-winning brand newsroom

When techlifetoday launched in July 2016, NAIT became one of the first (if not the first) post-secondaries in Canada to jump full-bore into the world of brand journalism.

Since then, techlifetoday has told hundreds of stories that aren't just about NAIT but about people who are leaders, innovators, teachers and community builders. The site has also been a source of expert advice and how-tos, along with news about the institution itself.

In light of the website's recent award for its role as a storytelling platform, we are proud to present our five most popular stories, along with five favourites (as selected by editor Scott Messenger). They add up to our ultimate techlifetoday top 10.

Our favourites

1. 5 Cree words from the tip pole teachings

I was excited about the opportunity for us to use video to showcase First Nations language. And I loved the subject matter. The five words it shares capture the uniqueness of culture but also transcend it and point to shared experience.

2. Edward Gatzky, a.k.a. Gothic Knight, helps revive pro wrestling in Alberta

Ed Gatzky (Dietary Technology '88), a former pro wrester who goes by the name Gothic Knight, let techlife into his life for this story in a way that few subjects do. He pulled back the curtain not just on the theatrical nature of wrestling but on the man behind the effort to help revive it in Alberta.

3. Tom Shepansky looks back on retiring NAIT's "Flying N"

This was a fun trip down memory lane through the eyes of Tom Shepansky, a Marketing grad who was shaped in part by NAIT and returned the favour by changing the face of his alma mater. Shepansky was responsible for leading the charge to replace the old "Flying N" logo with the current shield.

4. The making of techlife's 3D metal printed cover

We commemorated the magazine's 10th anniversary by using cutting-edge NAIT technology to cast a techlife cover in stainless steel. This documentary captures the motivation behind this one-of-a-kind project.

5. How to say Happy Birthday Canada in 16 languages

Just like Canada prides itself on its diversity, so does NAIT. This video combines both in a celebration of Canada 150.

Most Popular

1. The dilemma of Dog Island

Albertans can't seem to get enough craft beer given the explosion of the industry in recent years. That spells success for NAIT alumni Ben Fiddler (Instrument Technician ’01, Electrician ’02) and Chad Paulson (Instrument Technician ’09), who switched careers when the oilpatch started slumping and launched craft beer startup Dog Island Brewing in Slave Lake. It's also spelled success for techlifetoday, ranking as our all-time most popular story.

2. How Marni Panas helped make history for gender identity and expression in Alberta

The cover story from our fall 2016 issue of techlife magazine, few stories published by NAIT have sparked as much discussion or felt more important that this profile of alumna and human rights advocate Marni Panas (Management ’91, Computer Systems Technology ’02). As much as it's a story about Panas's struggle for transgender rights, it raises questions about our values as a society and who we protect – or choose not to protect – under law.

3. A look inside life as an Alberta wildfire fighter

Extreme weather means extreme wildfires are becoming a fact of life not only for Alberta but across the continent. Harold Larson (Forest Technology ’13) has spent more than a decade on the front lines battling wildfires across Canada, the United States and even Australia. He's come back with some harrowing tales, many of them published in his memoir Fire in the Eucalypts.

4. How and why to wash your vehicle in the winter

This story doesn't have the emotion or life-changing moments like the first three in this series, but it's still one of our most sought after stories. That just shows there's an appetite among readers for useful expert advice, especially in a cold climate like Alberta's. Go ahead and click; your car will thank you!

5. NAIT launches 3 new programs

Techlifetoday is NAIT's brand newsroom and we're pleased to count alumni, staff and students among our biggest fans. Our community has a strong appetite for news about the institution, especially when we can share how the polytechnic is responding to the needs of Albertans and the economy.

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