Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The Curious President Podcast

Stay tuned for new episodes every month!

Ever since we launched the polytechnic's strategic plan, The NAIT Effect, in October 2021, I have been curious about the people at NAIT who are making an impact. Ultimately, that’s what our plan is all about – impact. 

So, I put on my reporter hat – I graduated from journalism school before finding my passion for administration – met with staff, students and instructors from different programs, asked them questions about what they’ve been working on, and listened to their stories.

The result is a new project, The Curious President, a six-episode podcast series that I co-host with Matt Rea, from NAIT's communications department. Each episode relates to an aspect of The NAIT Effect.

Thank you to the staff and instructors at the NAIT Campus Radio studios, including Patrick Galenza, Dave Albright and Dave Sawchuk, for all their help. You can listen to the first episode on the YouTube link above or on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

We hope you enjoy it and continue to join us on our exploration of NAIT's impact on communities here in Alberta and beyond.

- Laura Jo Gunter, NAIT President and CEO

Episode 1, Education and Electricity: How NAIT helped bring light and power to a school high in the Peruvian Andes 

In spring 2022, Alternative Energy Technology students and instructors travelled to a Peruvian village called Ccollpapata to install off-grid solar energy with the help of Light Up the World, an Alberta-based charity. The project gave local students electricity that would improve their educational experience.

This first episode is about the intersection between work and learning. Work integrated learning is essential to polytechnic education – it lets students develop critical skills they’ll need to be successful in their careers from day one. In this case, it gave NAIT students unique insight into working in a different country, with limited resources, under a tight deadline, at an extreme elevation. Here's how it happened.

Episode 2, Scouring the Sask: One NAIT research team’s quest to measure microplastic waste in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River

nait president and ceo laura jo gunter helps with measuring microplastics in Edmonton's north saskatchewan river

Plastic waste is everywhere – it's a serious issue that affects us all and we need to learn more about it. That is why NAIT researcher Paolo Mussone and his team are scouring the North Saskatchewan River for microplastics, particles less than 5 millimetres long. They hope to find a way to measure microplastic levels in freshwater that could also be used in other places.

The project is part of Plastic Research In Action, a $10-million applied research agreement with Inter Pipeline. Learn all about it in Ep. 2 of The Curious President.

Episode 3, From India to NAIT: An international student’s pandemic journey to Canada

laura jo gunter, nait president and ceo, speaking with international students

This episode of the Curious President podcast focuses on the NAIT experience from the perspective of international students. The polytechnic wants that experience to be as smooth and positive as possible – and the story of how staff innovated to help Bhadresh Chaudhari make the journey from India to Canada, despite the challenges of travel during the pandemic, is a perfect example of that.

You can listen to the episode below, on YouTube, Spotify or wherever you get podcasts.

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