Nursing Story Slam

April 27, 2023 | Aloft Calgary University Hotel

UCalgary Nursing: Nursing Story Slam

All stories matter. We want to hear yours.

Nurses have stories. Stories about people, love, pain, suffering, grief, relief, depression, appreciation, regret, health, illness, death, research that changes practice, teaching that changes practice, practice that changes practice, teaching, and research…All of these stories matter but often go untold.

The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary is hosting a Nursing Story Slam to share these stories. A story slam offers presenters a short period of time to share a powerful short memory, reflection, or experience in front of a live audience.

Nurses are invited to submit a summary or description of a 5-minute story. Ten stories will be selected for the live presentation. Participants will be offered a workshop to shape and rehearse their story and craft it into a quality performance for an audience. Of all stories presented at the “Slam,” three will be selected for first, second, and third prizes.

Please write a 250-word summary or description of your story for submission, along with a 100-word biography. Check your UCalgary Nursing email for submission details and link to form.

NOTE: This year's Story Slam is open to UCalgary Nursing faculty, graduate students, adjuncts and staff.


Key Dates

Feb. 10

Submission deadline

March 2

Successful participants will be notified

March 25

Performance Workshop and Coaching Session with Dr. Mike Lang (PhD), Dr. Nancy Moules (PhD) and Dr. John Williamson (PhD)

April 27

UCalgary Nursing Story Slam, 7pm, Aloft Calgary University Hotel

Dr. Mike Lang on how to craft your story

If you are unsure about having a story to share, please watch this short video from filmmaker and UCalgary Nursing alumni, Dr. Mike Lang (PhD). In it, he provides ideas of how to pull moments from routine clinical practice, research, and/or personal experience, and craft them into stories that deepen our understanding of the human health experience.

Meet your Nursing Story Slam co-leads and coaches

Marc Hall

Marc Hall

Co-lead and organizer, Nursing Story Slam

Research Specialist, Nursing Research Office

Marc Hall is one of our co-leads organizing this Nursing Story Slam event. He is a Research Specialist in the Nursing Research Office and has been with the Faculty of Nursing for 10 years. Although he has never been a practicing nurse, he has experience in telling stories from his involvement in the creation of a documentary, made-for-tv-movie, and musical about events from his high-school years. Since he has worked closely with nurses while being in the faculty, he has gained a deep appreciation for what they do and is really excited to be involved in this event to showcase their stories.

Nancy Moules

Dr. Nancy Moules (PhD)

Co-lead, organizer and coach, Nursing Story Slam

Associate Dean, Research and Professor, UCalgary Nursing

Dr. Nancy Moules, RN, PhD is a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Associate Dean, Research. She is Editor of the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics and the co-founder and Chair of the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute. Her clinical background in family and individual therapy and her research using hermeneutics has always had a focus on people’s stories. “Remember this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” – Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel.

Mike Lang

Dr. Mike Lang (PhD)

Coach, Nursing Story Slam

Digital Storytelling Facilitator, Filmmaker/Producer, Mike Lang Stories

Dr. Mike Lang is a health researcher, filmmaker, and Level 3 Common Language Digital Storytelling facilitator. He has directed and produced five feature-length documentaries and three web series about the human health experience in addition to publishing academic research articles and facilitating the creation of over 850 short films with patients, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Connect with him on all socials @mikelangstories or @commonlanguagedst.

"Each of us is an artist of our days; the greater our integrity and awareness, the more original and creative our time will become." - John O’Donahue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Dr. John Williamson

Dr. John Williamson (PhD)

Coach, Nursing Story Slam

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Werklund School of Education

Dr. John Williamson, PhD, is a K – 12 Coordinating Teacher of Diverse Learning Services, adjunct assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education, and spoken word and “page” poet. His award-winning PhD Dissertation, The Case of the Appearing / Disappearing Slow Learner was republished in the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, and, in 2019, he published his first chap book of poetry, Broken and Strong: Family Fragments through Calgary’s Loft 112. He continues to publish academically and creatively. John is a three-time winner of Calgary’s individual monthly poetry slam and a member of the Calgary 2018 poetry slam team that competed for the national title. He is also an executive member of Can You Hear Me Now? Provincial youth slam. Known for using humor and pathos to make the usual unusual and vice versa, John tries to live creatively by Emily Dickinson’s advice to “tell the truth but tell it slant”.

Meet the Judges

Karen Cook, Senior Manager - Communications, UCalgary Nursing

Karen Cook

Senior Manager - Communications, UCalgary Nursing

Karen Cook has been telling stories for over 40 years as a communications practitioner. Her experience includes roles with the University of Manitoba, the Canadian Red Cross, Western Canada Lottery Corporation and Calgary Public Library. But her passion is post secondary education and the stories of all the students she has met along the way. Working in UCalgary's Faculty of Nursing  for 22 years, she calls herself a nurse through osmosis and, as a Story Slam judge, she will be paying close attention to recollections that make her laugh or cry since she enjoys doing both. 

Dr. Andrew Estefan

Dr. Andrew Estefan

Associate Dean, Curriculum Development & Program Evaluation and Associate Professor, UCalgary Nursing

Dr. Andrew Estefan is an internationally recognized and awarded narrative scholar. His scholarship is focused in narrative inquiry philosophy and methodology. He has particular interest the intersections of story and identity as well as the ontological commitments embedded within narrative inquiry methodology .

Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Aoife Mac Namara

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Arts

Dr. Mac Namara is a Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, UCalgary. Originally trained as an artist herself, she holds a doctorate in art, design, and the built environment from the University of Ulster in Belfast. She pursued a doctorate in art education at Concordia University, holds a master’s degree in the social history of art from the University of Leeds, and a master’s in fine art from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. There is an art in the performance of good stories and Dr. Mac Namara offers her discerning artist eye to our Nursing Story Slam.

Associate Professor (Teaching), UCalgary Nursing

Dr. Cydnee Seneviratne

Associate Professor (Teaching), UCalgary Nursing

Cydnee has been at the University of Calgary since 2001 and is currently a tenured Associate Professor (Teaching). After completing a Master of Nursing in 1995, she continued her academic education and completed PhD in 2008 and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in January 2010. Cydnee’ s 20-year education career has focused on nursing fundamentals, interprofessional practice and collaboration, and advocating for optimal student learning environments in both classroom and simulation environments. She uses stories from her personal life and clinical experience as a neuroscience nurse in her classroom to create safe spaces for student learning. Cydnee has seen and lived stories of nursing and has learned the value of hearing her student stories as well as sharing her own.