Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who come from many different disciplines. The Board for the 2020-2021 academic year is representative of each faculty at MacEwan. This coming spring, the GMUFA will have positions open.

We will be holding nominations beginning in March 2021 and we encourage all interested parties that believe they possess the right skills to put their name forward.



Rafat Alam, President

Rafat Alam is an economist and associate professor in the department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science. Rafat loves to serve the university community and has been involved with the Faculty Association, department, faculty and university level committees and AGC for many years.

Rafat is a member of the current FANC. He also served on three different FANC committees after joining MacEwan University in 2006. The negotiated contracts of his three terms with FANC contributed to the transition of MacEwan as a university and improved faculty work conditions. Rafat has also contributed in the transition to the bicameral academic governance at MacEwan.

He was elected member of AGC for 2 three-year terms and vice chair of AGC for a year. In 2011-12, Rafat co-chaired the AGC review task team on faculty school council that led to the expansion of academic governance to the department and faculty level. He also served as a member of the ‘AGC ad-hoc committee on faculty standards for the interim titling of assistant professor’ in 2009-10 that developed and introduced the first ever MacEwan University Titling in 2009.

Rafat looks forward to contributing to the full transition of the University and GMUFA under the new PSLA.  

Rickard Enstroem, Vice President

Bio Coming Soon!






Michelle Malin, Secretary Treasurer

Michelle Malin is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and an Associate Professor with MacEwan University’s School of Business.

Prior to joining MacEwan in 2011, Michelle worked as an auditor with Deloitte, a large, international accounting firm where she worked on audits for a variety of public and private corporations in Alberta. Later in her accounting career, Michelle specialized in income tax where she provided tax and estate planning services to individual and corporate clients.

At MacEwan, Michelle teaches taxation and financial accounting courses. Michelle also teaches post-graduate courses for the accounting profession in the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP).

Jacqueline Devlin, School of Business Representative

Jacqueline Devlin received her law degree from the University of Calgary in 1992. She was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1993 and continues to be an active member (pro bono) of the bar.

Jacqueline has been an instructor at MacEwan University in the Paralegal Studies Program, School of Business since 1999. She has always had a keen interest in Employment Law and teaches both Employment Law and Legal Issues in the Workplace courses. She is also very interested in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and has taken mediation and negotiation training with the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society.

Jacqueline has experience working with a variety of boards and tribunals. She has worked with the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal, the Fort Chipewyan Youth Justice Committee and is a Panel Member on the Community and Social Services Appeals Panels. She has been a board member of the Edmonton Social Planning Council and has been the President and Chair of two other non-profit organizations.

Richard Pereschitz, School of Continuing Education Representative

Richard is an instructor in the University Preparation program from the School of Continuing Education at MacEwan University. He has been teaching biology and chemistry courses at several MacEwan campuses since 2003.

Richard has served as the University Prep Member-at-Large on the Faculty Association Board in 2010, as the Faculty Association VP Finance from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the University Prep member on the FA Board.





Ross Shaw, Faculty of Arts and Science Representative

Ross developed an early interest in fish and fish disease as an undergraduate at the University of Alberta. From there he moved to the East Coast to complete a degree in Marine Biological Resources.  During this time he worked with the salmonid aquaculture industry and the School of Aquatic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Maine.  As a doctorate researcher Ross moved to the West coast, again working with the salmonid aquaculture industry and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C.  Most recently, Ross has focused his research projects towards captive growth of corals from natural reef systems.

Ross joined MacEwan in early 2000 and has served in various service rolls.  A few pertinent examples include: Academic Governance Council, Academic Staff Appointment Committees, Adjudicator, Biological Sciences Chair, Dean of Continuing Education Recommendation Committee, Faculty of Arts and Science Executive Committee, Faculty Development Committee, Faculty Standards Committee, Research Ethics Review Committee,  Sabbatical Leave Committee (Division & University), Senior Faculty Advisor, and Research and Faculty Development Committees (Division & University Level).  External service examples include work with the Solar Energy Society of Alberta (Board Member) and Alberta Aquarium (Board Member).

Teaching is at the heart of Ross’s work here at MacEwan University.  Ross was recognized recently for these endeavours by receiving a MacEwan University Distinguished Teaching Award (2016).

Timothy Anderson, Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications Representative

Timothy Anderson has taught in Communication Studies since 2005, bringing his field experience in publishing and journalism/professional writing. He has served as sessional rep on FFAC Faculty Council. He has also taught at U of A (Extension), U of Ottawa (Music), and Metro and edited courses for Athabasca. Timothy has presented and/or been a panelist at conferences in USA, Greece, Canada, UK, and coordinates academic paper presentations for Music Conference Alberta. He has written books, plays, screenplays, and operas and received many awards for his work. 

Interested in non-traditional research dissemination, he worked with CRC Dr. Wendy Austin (U of A) on a national interdisciplinary CIHR-funded research project on moral distress in paediatric intensive care teams, leading to both a play and a film (Just Keep Breathing – 2014). 

Timothy was CAEA union rep for Livent's Far East Phantom Tour and has been a member of OPSEU. He has a certificate in voluntary sector management from the Schulich School of Business at York U, in addition to degrees in journalism/political science, music and creative writing.

Board experience: Alberta Music Education Foundation (current past chair) Prior board service: Alberta Playwrights Network (vp), Pro Coro Canada, Boyle Street Community League (secretary).


Leanne Topola, Faculty of Nursing Representative

Leanne Topola graduated with a BA and BScN from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996. She spent many years as a community health nurse working with diverse populations in different contexts in Saskatchewan and Alberta. She achieved a career goal of being granted a Master of Nursing degree from Athabasca University in 2012.

Leanne has been teaching in the MacEwan Bachelor of Science in Nursing program since 2009. In those years she has taught clinical, lab and theory in years one, three and four. Collaboratively working with students is her passion while her teaching practices embody learning-centered approaches.


Alison Foster, Professional Resource Faculty Representative

Alison Foster has served as a librarian at MacEwan University since 2016. In this time, she has served on numerous committees within both the MacEwan Community and beyond.

Currently, she is a PRF Representative on the Student Services Committee and a member of the GMUFA Research Committee on University Expenditures and Governance. Externally, Alison has served as Membership Committee Chair with the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL), as well as a member of the executive committees for the Greater Edmonton Library Association and the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries.

Alison earned her BEd in Secondary Education, Biology and English, in 2010 from Queen’s University. She went on to receive her Master of Library and Information Science from Western University in 2013.

Paul Chahal, Health and Community Studies Representative

Paul started at MacEwan in 1990, Department of Physical Education. He received B.PE and B.ED from University of Calgary and M.Sc and Ph.D from University of Alberta. His research has been in cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and occupational task related fitness standards & exercise training programs. He has taught variety of courses in anatomy, physiology, exercise physiology, health and fitness, sports, and coaching. Paul advocates active life-style, use it or lose it.

For many years at MacEwan Paul was a term (sessional) instructor. On a part-time bases he taught for Edmonton schools, Alberta Sport Connection (National Coaching Certificate Program) and worked at U of A as a Research Associate.

Paul is a member of HCS “ARPC” (Appointment Review and Promotion Committee), and HCS “Curriculum Committee” (starts in September 2017). He also serves as a board director for an Edmonton Private School. 

Leslie Dawson, Sessional Representative

Dr. Leslie Dawson has a sessional-extended appointment and has taught a variety of face-to-face, online, and blended anthropology courses at MacEwan since 2000. In 2007, she was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award. Leslie has helped to develop a variety of collaborative teaching and learning initiatives, including MacEwan’s Interdisciplinary Dialogue, involving students and faculty from all faculties and schools. She completed her PhD in 2018 in anthropology at the University of Alberta. Informed by her research in medical anthropology, and her collaborative work with the Tlicho Government (Treaty 11) since 2011, her recent teaching innovations focus on implementing the TRC Calls to Action, as well as other areas of social justice, through digital pedagogy and storytelling. Leslie is a member of MacEwan’s new Open Text Book Fellowship (2019-2021) and is developing an interactive open text book based in Indigenous oracy.

At MacEwan, Leslie has served on the GMUFA Constitution and Bylaws Committee and as a sessional representative on the AEPS Departmental Council. She has given a variety of presentations on her teaching innovations at Teaching and Learning Services as well as at MacEwan’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning. Because Leslie’s initiatives and projects have enabled her to work with faculty from different departments across MacEwan University, she is excited about her new role as Sessional Representative on the GMUFA Board.


Daniela Gatto, Sessional Representative

Daniela taught German at MacEwan University for 14 years (2006 – 2020) until the German program was unexpectedly eliminated. She also taught German at the University of Alberta (Faculty of Extension) for 10 years as well as English in Italy and Germany. Her teaching experience spans over 20 years.

Daniela earned her MA at the University of Alberta in Applied German Linguistics (2000), and has worked as a Translator, Radio Host, and Travel Consultant. About three years ago, she joined MUSSC (MacEwan University Sessional Steering Collaborative), a group of sessional instructors committed to providing a voice for all sessional faculty at MacEwan University. Her main focus is to advocate for job security for sessional faculty.

In addition, Daniela believes sessional faculty need to be treated as equal teaching colleagues in every department, and to have full representation and a voice in all faculty decisions and voting events, including on Department Councils and Faculty Councils. 

Daniela was the sessional faculty representative on the Humanities Department Council for one year, and a sessional faculty representative on the Arts and Science Faculty Council for two years.