COVID Crushers

COVID Crushers

Recognizing those in our community of nursing students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners who are individually and collectively "crushing" COVID-19 

In recognition of all those in our community of nursing students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners who are individually and collectively "crushing" COVID-19 with their efforts, we celebrate you as a COVID Crusher! 

As a COVID Crusher, you'll get a public shout-out on this page as well as a small gift including a wonderful natural mini deodorant donated by routine, a local company co-founded in 2011, by Pippa Blair (BN'14, BComm'07).

COVID Crushers Swag

What you'll get in your COVID Crushers wellness kit

N389 students (Groups 3&4)

"Learning has been hard this winter. Despite the uncertainty and fear, these students have responded professionally and appropriately to COVID events through their diligence to monitor symptoms and/or close contacts, showed up wholeheartedly and prepared to learn for every class and clinical, and extended themselves to meet client needs and preferences. Their compassion, expertise, and care has been heartwarming and inspiring." (Nominated by Shannon Parker, Kristen Toporowsky, Melissa Eastveld)

N389 Group 3 UCalgary Nursing students

Group 3: Erin Berland, Kathleen Halliday, Abdullah Ismail, Rachel Johnston, Sukhraj Kang, Lavina Palsky, Promit Roy, Jenna Wells

N389 Group 4 UCalgary Nursing students

Group 4: Dorcas Akimana, Olajumoke Awolaru, Alaina Balogh, Daijah Bretherick, Kysha Doroteo, Marina Neal, Adrian Ramos

Keelin Fenske

Keelin Fenske

"Keelin was our 2021/22 UNS President and she did an incredible job during the difficult circumstances of online learning. The role of UNS President has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic but Keelin's devotion to the Faculty of Nursing enabled her to achieve great success and always found ways to bring students and the faculty together. I'm so proud of Keelin!" (Nominated by Reagan Pomponio)

Reagan Pomponio

Reagan Pomponio

"Reagan is the epitome of a dedicated, hardworking student. Throughout the year as the UNS VP Communications, she has worked extremely hard to connect students while learning remotely due to COVID-19. While working full-time for her final preceptorship, Reagan launched Tip Tuesdays and NCLEX Question Thursdays as ways to engage students academically and support their learning. Reagan is a rockstar!" (Nominated by Keelin Fenske)

Tyler Smith, BN'07

Tyler Smith

"Tyler shared his personal experience with us during the early onset of the pandemic. At the time he was preparing the rural hospital he managed for its first case of COVID, and readying his staff in the best way he could, for the inevitable. Tyler would have to adapt yet again when he was redeployed out of town more than a year later to fill an ICU role. He is a committed RN and a caring manager and mentor." (Nominated by Aimee Mains)

Megan Keszler and UCalgary Nursing students

Megan Keszler, nursing instructor and ICU nurse

She's a registered nurse and sessional instructor who at the beginning of the pandemic was an ICU nurse who transferred to internal medicine and cardiology. During the fourth wave, she was redeployed to the PLC ICU as a primary ICU nurse to assist short staffing, working six to seven days a week. Through all this, she says her nursing students are the real COVID Crushers. 

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Tyler Burley, MN'14

Tyler Burley MN'14

"As a Provincial Senior Practice Lead - Nursing Professional Practice, Associate Chief Nursing Office at Alberta Health Services, Tyler has been the main southern Alberta contact point for the Hybrid UNE project. This is in addition to his regular work as a Practice Lead, a husband, and a father. During COVID, Tyler has also been re-deployed to the hospital floors to help staff." (Nominated by Dave Patterson)

Emma Lockyer, Admissions Officer Program Specialist

Emma Lockyer

"A key contact for undergraduate students, Emma has consistently shown up in person in the office throughout the pandemic to help navigate the journeys of our nursing students. There were likely times when she had no choice, but to be in the physical office and that shows true dedication to our students. Way to crush it Emma!" (Nominated by Karen Cook)

Stacey Oke

Stacey Oke

"Stacy was instrumental when we had to find clinical placement during outbreaks! She was very diligent and worked collaboratively with AHS to ensure our students had quality clinical placements." (Nominated by Zahra Shajani)

Tammy Hnatyshyn BN'92

Tammy Hnatyshyn BN'92

"Tammy is a member of the CSLC and one of our resident perinatal nurse experts. Towards the end of the Winter 2021 semester, students going into Term 7 were feeling uneasy about being placed in a perinatal setting and expressed interest in sim as a way to review their skills. Tammy was quick to say yes to offer students an introduction to Lucina which was above and beyond the sims we normally offered." (Nominated by Carla Ferreira)

Georgina Bagstad BN'87, MN'19

Georgina Bagstad BN'87, MN'19

"Georgina is another member of the CSLC and one of our resident perinatal nurse experts. Georgina was also instrumental in offering apprehensive Term 6 students going into the perinatal course a sim experience to help them review their skills. Georgina is always quick to say yes to these opportunities and goes above and beyond to support students in their learning." (Nominated by Carla Ferriera)

Jessica Mulli, MN'22

Jessica Mulli MN'22

"Jessica is a member of the CSLC and in the fall of 2020, when students were getting displaced from their clinical placements, Jessica stepped up to come up with a plan on how we can support their learning and minimize interruptions to their learning. Jessica was especially helpful in facilitating sims and lab activities that fit the students' learning needs in clinical." (Nominated by Carla Ferreira)

Clinical Simulation Learning Centre (CSLC) Team

Clinical Simulation Learning Centre (CSLC) Team

"The CSLC team - Carla Ferreira, Erin Smith, Peggy Gorrie, Nancy Histed and Jeff Dawes - have done an amazing job keeping the nursing students safe while on campus in labs. They adapted the way they do labs and simulations to accommodate smaller groups; set up masking and goggle stations; and when necessary, adjusted processes to meet the changing restrictions." (Nominated by Brenda Bode)

Masira Baloch BN'10

Masira Baloch BN'10

"Masira (pictured far left) deserves huge honours for her incredible work with Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF). On a six-month mission in South Sudan that began in November 2020, Masira helped build a COVID unit from the ground up inside a United Nations refugee camp. She took control, with very minimal resources, as a nurse educator and charge nurse of a 164-bed tented hospital." (Nominated by Aimee Mains)

Laura McKenna BN'11

Laura McKenna BN'11

"Laura's a devoted RN who has worked in an ICU and a hospice during the pandemic. She's been tested during this time but pulled through and will soon add Master's degree to her impressive portfolio; a nurse for over a decade, she's been a mentor for years as well! Laura credits her health-care team ("an incredible group of humans") and resists being called a hero - but I'm happy to call her one!" (Nominated by Aimee Mains)

Joan Smith, Brenda Bode and Kim Halliday

From left, Joan Smith (Faculty of Nursing Coordinator), Brenda Bode (Senior Administrative Assistant) and Kim Halliday (Faculty Administrator)

Joan Smith, Brenda Bode and Kim Halliday

"Joan and Brenda took a pivotal role at the beginning of the pandemic, packing up offices of faculty and staff who did not want to come into the office. Joan organized a move to Craigie Hall and then a move back to the new building, working with campus colleagues to get all our offices set up.

"Brenda continually came in the office during the past two years and has been a reliable on-site staffer throughout this stressful time.

"Kim joined our staff at a very challenging time and still has not had the chance to meet everyone in person yet. Still, she has taken up her role as a great front officer staffer, accepting deliveries, greeting people who wander in and, some may argue, putting her personal safety second to doing her job. She definitely is crushing COVID!"

Nominated by Karen Cook

Jessica Jenkins MN'14/NP'16

Jessica Jenkins MN'14/NP'16

During the COVID pandemic, she offered to be redeployed to Peter Lougheed Centre ICU when the demand of critically ill patients exceeded the systems resources. She also held a newly developed NP role at the PLC CCU. During severe waves, she was part of a team that created a CCU on the ward as ICU patients took up usual bed space.

Jenny Langille

Jenny Langille BN'00, MN'19

"Jenny has been instrumental in dealing with the challenges of the pandemic as it relates to our student placements in long-term care. She consistently comes up with innovative and creative ways to deal with student and instructor absences and prioritizes student learning at every step. She handles each challenge with her steadfast calmness, and she is an absolute pleasure to work with!" (Nominated by Catherine Laing)

Randip Dhaliwal

Randip Dhaliwal

She's a second-year MN student and frontline nurse who paints to cope with strain of pandemic. Dhaliwal was keen to capture the essence of the November 2020 photograph of Dr. Simon Demers-Marcil, head in hand, relaying sad news to a patient's family because it spoke to her and her experience. (See painting below)

With a Heavy Heart by Randip Dhaliwal

With a heavy heart, painting by Randip Dhaliwal

"I was inspired by the resilience and strength of frontline healthcare workers when I came accross a photograph showcasing an ICU physician calling a family member to inform them that their loved one had died from COVID-19. The image resonated deeply with many healthcare providers as it offered a small glimpse into the unfortunate reality of the battle we face every day to protect Albertans and keep them safe. I have recreated it with oil paint and hope it provides a glance into the uncertainty and sadness that the image conveyed. To all my fellow healthcare providers on the frontline, thank you for your bravery, courage, and unwavering selflessness.’This one is for each and every one of you."

(Text and photo was originally featured in the 2021 Longview Journal)

Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson BN'08, MN'19

He was the faculty advisor who was integral in the process of working with Alberta Health Services to get UCalgary Nursing fourth-year students hired into UNE positions

Mia Torres Groves BN'15

Mia Torres Groves BN'15

She's a critical care nurse on the intensive care unit at the Peter Lougheed Centre and takes care of patients who are at their most fragile

Courtney Jewell BN'06

Courtney Jewell BN'06

She's been dealing with sick patients at Foothills Medical Centre's ICU during the COVID-19 pandemic

About Pippa Blair BN'14, BComm'07

Pippa Blair is co-founder, and “left brain” of Routine. Working alongside her sister-in-law Neige, the duo has grown Routine into Canada’s premier natural deodorant company, winning multiple awards and accolades, including being named in Avenue Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 class of 2015 and ATB Small Business of the Year in 2019. Routine has since partnered with Canada’s largest wellness distributor and have distribution contracts in the U.A.E., U.S.A. and Europe. This past summer, Routine launched a full line of natural, personal care products with both the products and bottles made right here in Calgary.

Pippa graduated from the Bachelor of Nursing Accelerated Track in 2014, after which she worked as a labour and delivery nurse at FMC. Although Routine’s  success quickly pulled her away from her nursing career, Pippa has fond memories of the life-long connections she made to both students and faculty at the University of Calgary, as well as the incredible team of inspiring nurses and doctors on Unit 51 at FMC.