MENTOR PROFILES                  2016/2017 Academic Year



Hi! My name is Aalia, I’m born and raised in Kenya, East Africa but I currently live in Calgary. I graduated with my BScN from UofA in 2008 and decided to pursue my masters degree 6 years later. I graduated from the MN program in the Spring of this year (2016) with my primary research interests in end of life care. My capstone research explored nurses’ experience providing bereavement care to families who experience sudden death of a loved one in ICU. I believe this is a very relevant and much needed area of research and intervention in nursing today, and I’m very interested in participating in the restructuring of the end of life care that is currently underworks within the region.  I have been a registered nurse for 8 years in Calgary, with prior experience in acute medicine-medical teaching, hematology and currently work in the ICU. Outside of my school and work life, my interests lie in traveling, fitness, dancing (dancehall and salsa), music, golf and soccer. I also enjoy participating in volunteer initiatives, and recently had the opportunity to travel to Port au Prince, Haiti for a week at time to work in their ED and ICU.



Amanda recently graduated from the MN-Adult NP (Capstone) Project. Her clinical background is in transplant surgery, and she completed NP clinicals in Home care, Internal Medicine, and Nephrology. As a student, Amanda was actively involved in the NGSA and Mentor US, and held research assistant and teaching assistant positions.




I started graduate school in the Fall of 2012 after working as an RN in pediatrics for about four years. I entered as an MN student in the leadership stream and decided to pursue an MN-bypass after my first year of coursework. I am now well into my Ph.D. program! For my dissertation, I am examining the concept of choice in contemporary continuing care policy in Alberta. Outside of my studies I still work casually at the Stollery Children's Hospital and am a member of several committees at CARNA. I've been married for a couple of years and have two fur babies-my cats Oscar and Sophie.



Derek is entering his second year of the thesis-based, MN-Adult Nurse Practitioner program. His clinical background is mostly in oncology where he works in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Navigating graduate studies can be difficult and he is happy to be a part of MENTOR US to help those coming into the MN program through sharing his experiences. Apart from school and work he lives an active life. He spends the rest of his time with his wife, and two cats, Noodle and Meowsie, and playing guitar.



My name is Hope Rabel. Currently I work in a Rural Emergency department and have been working there since I graduated from my BScN in December of 2012. I decided to pursue my Masters degree to become a Nurse Practitioner because I enjoy working with patients. I have a passion for health and believe that services to promote health should be accessible to all. Currently I am completing my thesis on the role of the Nurse Practitioner in Palliative Radiation Oncology.




I am a Registered Nurse and my background is in Community Care - Home Care. I am currently in the Leadership stream of the MN program, full time, beginning my second year this Fall 2016. I am passionate about caregiver burden and in particular, researching caregiver burden of persons with dementia. I am focusing my Thesis in this area and plan to apply my research and skills to bring about positive change for caregivers. On a personal note, I am a married mother of 2 wonderful children, ages 13 and 12. With a busy lifestyle, balancing work, school and family, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to pursue and achieve a Master Degree in Nursing.



 I am Karima Aziz part time MN student at leadership stream. I moved to Canada 8 years ago and am originally from Pakistan. Studied from Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan.




I am an incoming PhD student at the faculty of nursing. I completed my Bachelors degree in Nigeria (BNSc). I am completing my Masters of Nursing at U of A. My Masters thesis is a critical discourse analysis of obstetric fistula policy in Nigeria. I am a winner of the U of A 3 MT Thesis competition 2016 and made second place at the Western Canadian finals. I am starting my PhD September 2016. I have a clinical background in rural nursing and maternal nursing. I am interested in research related to social justice and advocacy for health of women and children. My PhD focus will be in immigrant child health. I enjoy meeting new people and love adventure. I also enjoy public speaking.



Hi! My name is Kenchera, better known as Kay. I am a second-year MN, course-based, teaching and learning stream student. I consider myself to be a very happy, outgoing person, with a personal interest in social gatherings and being involved with various organizations. I am a proud member of the NGSA, with positions on various committees. I am also a member of the teaching circle at the university and active member of the teaching and learning program through graduate services. I am so excited for this opportunity as a past mentee. Let's make nursing great together!


Hello! My name is Leanne Johnson and I am currently in the process of writing my dissertation proposal for my PhD. I have a clinical background in labour and birth, NICU and community health and have focused my nursing career in the area of maternal/newborn/ family health. I also worked as Director, Global Health in the Global Nursing Office for five years and have an interest in global health. I am currently a sessional faculty member at the University of Alberta and I teach in the undergraduate nursing program. I am also a busy mom of two little boys- my oldest is starting Kindergarten this year! I understand the joys and challenges of trying to balance work, school, and parenthood. I look forward to meeting you.



My name is Lisa Marie Trahan. I have been an RN since 2003, graduating from the diploma program at Grant MacEwan. I went back to finish my nursing degree in 2005 at UBC and entered the Masters in Nursing Program, Family All Ages stream at the University of Alberta in fall of 2013. I have been an active member of the student body while in this Masters Program, serving as secretary of the Nursing Graduate Student Association for two years, as a mentor for masters students entering the program in fall 2015, and now for senior students in fall 2016. I completed my capstone project under the supervision of Dr. Greta Cummings, entitled Decision to Transfer Nursing Home Residents to Emergency Departments: A Scoping Review of Contributing Factors and Staff Perspectives, and was recently published in JAMDA in June 2016. I have primarily worked in the Emergency Department at the University of Alberta Hospital as a staff nurse and also recently, working towards quality improvement initiatives with nursing and allied staff, physicians, EMS and consulting services aiming to increase quality of care and efficiency of care. I have also worked in provincial corrections, undergraduate and post RN nursing clinical education, and research in the Spondylitis program, as a member of the hospital IV team and in a private IV infusion clinic and oral maxillofacial surgery office. I have served as a clinical champion in the Emergency Department as part of the venous access team. In my personal life, I am married with two children, ages 6 and 10. We live within Edmonton with Gus, our blonde cocker spaniel. I have interests in outdoor recreational activities with my family, including hiking, kayaking, fishing, dirt biking and quadding. In the winter I love to snowboard in the mountains. I also enjoy keeping fit and active through yoga, boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am now a GNP and will be working in a vibrant family medical practice in Spruce Grove with 4 physician partners, and also casually with ECURT in Edmonton.




I was born and raised in Edmonton! I went to MacEwan university for my undergrad, and have worked in ER since then. I am very passionate about nursing education, and I hope to focus my PHD dissertation in this area. Other interests of mine include cooking, baking, hula-hooping, running, and biking.




My name is Michael Lee and I'm a 2nd year MN NP Adult student and my area of interest is addictions and mental health. My past clinical experience has been working at Henwood Residential Treatment Centre, Adult Recovery Centre (Detox), and the Opioid Dependency Program. I'm very interested in inner city health and helping this vulnerable population increase access to health services and navigate our complicated system. Other groups I'm involved with include Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Edmonton, the SHINE clinic, and the MCLC Refugee clinic.



I chose nursing as a career because I was curious about human beings and how their bodies worked. As I moved through my masters program, it became clear that my interests had begun to change; instead of being curious about people from a micro scale, I became more and more curious about learning about human beings on a macro scale. I am interested in how we organize ourselves and society, how we make decisions, how we rationalize those decisions, and how we move towards, embrace, and sustain change. And so, moving from academia to my future career, I have found an exciting fit with program planning and evaluation, and policy work. So much about both of these areas is reliant on the role of leaders and how they make decisions to bring people together, inspire innovation, and embrace change. Furthermore, the more I learn, the more I see the importance of teaching and learning principles to everyday life. This change in how I see the world has been inspired largely by the educational philosopher Paulo Friere. He teaches that only by genuine involvement of participants in decision making, dialogue, and reflection and action can there be meaningful and sustainable change. Congruent to his teaching on adult learning principles, I believe that dialogue is the first step in the change process and that the principles of adult learning are dependent on opportunities to dialogue and reflect. I hope that I am always able to remember how humbled I was when I first heard these concepts, and am able to keep them relevant in my work going forward in life.



My name is Nurin Dhanji and I am a second year Adult NP Student. My background is Cardiac and Intensive Care. I am involved in research and teaching through the faculty of nursing as well as have been part of numerous student groups at the U of A. I love the outdoors, staying active, and listening to/ playing music! Look forward to meeting you!




Hi my name is Rachel, I am Irish, I am a nurse I am a PhD Candidate and I have been living in Canada since 2012. My career focus is healthcare improvement. My research interests are the sustainability of micro and macro level healthcare improvements and understanding how, why, for whom and in what contexts improvements sustain or not. My aim is to translate this evidence to practice in an effort to bring about sustainable changes that improve patient care, healthcare systems and processes. Dr. Shannon Scott is my doctoral supervisor. For the past 4 years I have worked as a research assistant for Dr. Scott, gaining rich research experience in the field of Knowledge Translation. I love to travel and embark on new experiences. I am outgoing and sociable. I am really enjoying the PHD program and engaging in every learning opportunity that it brings. I look forward to being a mentor.



My name is Robin and I am in my second year of the online PhD program. I live in Ontario with my Mom, husband and two daughters, Robbie-Lynn (16) and Rae-Anna (12). My daughters skate both singles and synchro and we are usually in an arena after school. I also have two Boxers (Sophie and Sydney) and my Mom's pug (Deacon) that keep me very busy. I am a geriatric mental health nurse and began my career in mental health nursing after graduating from Fanshawe College. One year later, I began my academic career at the University of Western Ontario, earning my BScN and then MScN. Presently, I teach in the first year of the BScN program at Lambton College in Sarnia. My research will focus on the effect of multiple health care transitions on the perceptions of and levels of caregiver stress, strain, and burden of caregivers of older adults in rural and urban settings.



I am a PhD candidate in my 4th year of the PhD program at the Faculty of Nursing; my supervisor is Dr. Greta Cummings. I have a BSc. in Food, Nutrition and Health and a Master of Health Administration, both from the University of British Columbia. My research interests are health human resources, workforce planning and predictors of job retention among health professionals. I live in Edmonton with my husband, children and pets (1 dog, 2 cats). I love reading for pleasure, listening to podcasts and traveling.


I am Shela Hirani from Karachi, Pakistan. I am a full time PhD student at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing. My area of focus is "Lactation" and "Early Child Development". I have more than 25 publications in the refereed journals, and have received various international awards on the basis of my academic excellence, strong leadership, voluntary services and research potentials. I have vast experience of teaching Pediatric Health Nursing and Research course at the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan. I am also an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and on voluntary basis I have been involved in promoting, supporting and protecting breastfeeding practices of lactating mothers. In my professional career, I have served as President of Rho Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International: An Honor Society of Nursing, and have represented at various national and international academic committees. I am friendly, hardworking and detail oriented person




Hi, I am starting my second year MN of Nursing in NP -Family all age stream. My background is Emergency and acute care. Welcome to the program, please feel free to ask me questions. I am happy to share my experiences with you.






Hi there! I started the Online Phd program in May of 2015 and am now in my second year of coursework. My focus is on nursing education, specifically games based learning and the role of the narrative. While I love distance education and online learning, I have experienced the challenges of balancing work and school in this past year. I look forward to sharing and listening to the 'ah-ha' moments and providing mentorship as requested.





Hello! And welcome to graduate studies! My name is Vanessa, and I am currently in my second and (hopefully) final year of my MN - NP Family/All Ages program. I am a full-time student, working part time on the side, and writing a thesis on Moral Distress in NPs in the LTC setting. Why you may ask? Well that's a long story, and I'm happy to share it with you in person! My nursing background is in Emergency, more specifically at the Grey Nuns Emergency, where I have made my home since graduating with my undergraduate degree from Grant MacEwan University in 2012. When I'm not living under my pile of books - which you will do - I enjoy participating in other activities, such as playing volleyball and badminton, spending time at my farm in Grande Prairie, or hanging out with my friends and family playing board games!



 I am working on preparing my proposal and plan to defend it near the end of Fall term. I am planning on a narrative inquiry regarding the experiences of new pre-tenured faculty. I am passionate about the profession of nursing and higher education. I was honoured to be nominated for and to receive one of the CARNA 100 centennial awards. I am working full time as a research nurse coordinator for the Fetal and Neonatal Cardiology program and have extensive background in NICU. I have 2 daughters, both just graduated with a BEd this spring. My oldest daughter was married last year and my youngest daughter has decided to move out, so I will be an empty-nester in the fall. I have a white boxer (dog) and 2 cats:) I look forward to the opportunity to support a colleague as they embark on higher learning.