Senate Election 2017 - Biographies

Member-at-large candidates

DAVIDA BENTHAM

Serving on senate the past three years has given me an understanding of issues our university is facing, a desire to see through the work I have begun, and a deeper connection to University of Saskatchewan alumni. It’s for those reasons that I am seeking a second term. 

The University of Saskatchewan has been a second home for me since beginning my studies in 2010.  Throughout my undergraduate, graduate and current Juris Doctor degree I have been involved in campus life, organizations & community initiatives that taught me the importance of working together, and building partnerships.

I’ve also worked various roles on campus, including at the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.  Through these roles I have seen what works and doesn’t work for students, faculty, staff, and our alumni community.

I’m excited about the direction our university is heading. We’re showing the country that we can build partnerships with Indigenous communities, while maintaining world-class research facilities. We can continue to serve rural Saskatchewan well, and expand study abroad offerings.

We have a lot of opportunity before us, and I’m eager to contribute. It’s my hope you’ll support my candidacy.


MARK CONGRAM

Mark Congram P.Eng. retired from a 37-year career in the oil and gas industry in 2015. At his retirement he was employed as Vice President – Finance for the Oil Sands Division of Nexen Energy, a position within the management team responsible for the development and operation of a multi-billion dollar oil sands asset.

Mr. Congram worked 18 years of his career in Saskatchewan, the remainder in Alberta, with short-term assignments in Scotland, the Middle East and the United States. He held positions in Engineering, Corporate Planning, Marketing, Operations, Information Technology and finally Finance and Accounting.

Mr. Congram was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan (1978) and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix (2001). He is a lifetime member (non-practicing) of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mark is currently a director on the board of the Honens International Piano Competition, an organization devoted to discovering, nurturing and presenting young classical pianists.

Mark lives with his wife Lorie, also a U of S grad (B.Sc. Home Economics 1978), and their two Dachshunds, Max and Samantha, near Calgary.


DAN DANIELSON

Dan Danielson has a BA in economics, a B.Ed. in teaching, a PGD in educational administration and a Masters in educational administration.  Dan and his wife Sharon farm in the Eston area and also live in Saskatoon, where he has served as Trustee and Chair of the Saskatoon Public School Board.  He has also served as a provincial director of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency.  Currently he is a farmer elected Vice-Chair of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission.

Dan has had off-farm employment with Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development and has taught in the Meadow Lake School Division.  He has also recently written two books – “Memories of a Suitcase Farmer” (published in 2015) and “Local Leadership and Great Governance” (coming out this May 2017).

Dan Danielson is prepared to offer his education and experience to assist the work of the University of Saskatchewan Senate. He often says; “education is the greatest equalizer in our society”. Dan knows how important the University is to rural, urban and northern areas of our province. He has much to offer if you give him your vote.


WAYNE EVANISKY

Wayne was born in Biggar, Saskatchewan and grew up nearby on a farm.  He attended elementary school in a one room schoolhouse until grade 8 and then finished school at Biggar Composite High School.  Wayne later pursued a BComm at the U of S, and a professional CPA CMA designation.

Wayne is recently retired after a career of over 35 years with a Canadian financial institution.  Twenty of those years were spent in Agriculture Lending, which allowed him to meet many people from around Saskatchewan and Alberta. 

Wayne has been involved with many volunteer activities over the past decades.  Most recently, he served on the Board of Directors of the U of S Alumni Association and is a past President. Wayne also served as Secretary Treasurer for his church.  Previously, his interest in sports led him to become a coach for hockey, baseball, and soccer. While coaching baseball, he participated in both the Saskatchewan and Alberta Summer Games, and was a Zone Governor for the Saskatchewan Baseball Association. 

Wayne currently lives in Saskatoon with his wife Marilyn, whom he met while attending the U of S.  Their three adult children are also alumni, having each received multiple degrees.


STEVE FRASER

I am from a small community of northern Saskatchewan called Debden.  I am a registered member of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan #00172.   I believe as an Indigenous person sitting on the senate this will strengthen the voice of Indigenous representation for the community. 

I have completed a number of degrees through my academic career some from the University of Regina and most recently my BED from the U of S and currently working on my MSc.

I would be a pleasure and an honour to become a member of this very important committee with the U of S.  I am currently a committee member with the SPTRB and I feel as a teacher we need to ensure that we are transparent and accountable to the community for the work that we do.  This holds true for the work and dedication that we strive for to ensure students succeed at the U of S.


VICTORIA JURGENS

A leader, businesswoman and a social and sciences based professional, Victoria has experience in the health care field, strategic planning and implementation, government relations, building alliances and partnerships, board governance and policy development.  Prior to joining Integral Strategy Network she was co-owner of several small businesses in the Forestry and Agroforestry sectors.

Victoria served as a Saskatchewan Government Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 2011 to 2016.  As MLA, she served on several committees and was appointed Legislative Secretary

(Northern Saskatchewan).  During her health profession career, Victoria brought knowledge and direction to a variety of areas within several health departments.  She is active on provincial and local boards building internal and external coalitions while providing input and direction to expand capacity.

Victoria’s education includes an MBA from Athabasca University and both a B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics and a BA Honours in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan.  She is co-author of a research paper titled Long-term follow-up study of head-injury: Improvement in tests of attention but not of memory. 

She has been highlighted as a Vision 2020 Leader.  The University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy and Nutrition awarded her with a Centennial Alumni Award of Influence.


DAVID L. KELLY

David is a two-time graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (UofS) holding Bachelor of Arts (1983) and Masters of Arts (1986) degrees. He has worked as a sessional lecturer (at the UofS), and a senior information technology specialist in the province. Professionally, David serves the Government of Saskatchewan as a Senior Analyst. He has spent the last 18 years with the Public Employees Benefits Agency, and over 27 years within the Government.

His vocational focus is information technology security, including educational awareness lectures and program development for government and institutional employees. David maintains an interest in the ongoing governance and direction of the University of Saskatchewan. He is familiar with current projects and is sympathetic to the needs of students, faculty and administrators in maintaining and developing the legacy of the institution.  He is committed to insuring fair and transparent process in the administration, governance (elected and appointed) and interactions between students, volunteers, alumni and the province at large.

He is active in his community, volunteering with provincial NGO’s and associations. In his personal life, David enjoys music & video, guitar building, and intellectual property advocacy. He maintains an active membership and governing interest in the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

ROBERT KRISMER

Robert Garth Krismer graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts and PGD. (Ed Admin).  

Robert has been a teacher in Saskatchewan since 1970, teaching in Primate, Leader and North Battleford. He retired in June of 2002. His community involvement and volunteer activities include: Treasurer for Knights of Columbus, course rater with Saskatchewan Golf Association, and recently a volunteer for the Pinty’s GSOC held in North Battleford.  

Most recently, Mr. Krismer has served for 6 years on the U of S Senate. In that capacity, he has been a representative on the University Council from 2012-2014, appointed to the Membership Committee from 2012 -2104, chairing that committee for the last 2 years, an executive committee member for 2014 and 2015, and has served as the Chair of the local Regional Advisory Council for three years.

Previously, he was the representative to the University of Regina Senate for six years from 2002 - 2008 for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF), a member of the STF executive for three years, a member of the board of Saskatchewan Golf Association for three years, and a councilor for the local STF. He has also served as the elected representative for District 9 from 2010-2016 to the U of R Senate

Mr. Krismer is married with three children.


JESSE LEONTOWICZ

Jesse Leontowicz is a M.D. Candidate at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan and has served in numerous governance roles. He received his Bachelor of Science Honours in Physiology & Pharmacology from the U of S as well. Born in Regina, Mr. Leontowicz attended the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan and is currently continuing his training at the Regina General Hospital.

Mr. Leontowicz developed his passion for governance in multiple roles including: the Board of Directors for the University of Regina Students’ Union, Vice-President of the Campion College Students’ Union, Class Representative for the College of Medicine, College of Medicine Faculty Council, and acting-Chairman of the Graduate Students Association.

Keen to “pay it forward,” Mr. Leontowicz lectured Physiology at both the U of R and the U of S. Avid in the community, Mr. Leontowicz has organized charity events for Kids Help Phone, Carmichael Outreach Center, and Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health (SWITCH). He particularly is proud of his teaching and mentoring of children while training them in the martial art of Hapkido, of which he holds a Black Belt 1st Dan in.

Committed to making this University shine, he would be honoured to be elected and collaborate to ensure this University continues to be a provincial pride.


BRYAN PUK

B. Bryan Puk was born in Manchester, England before coming to Canada. He lived in various communities throughout the province of Saskatchewan before enrolling at the University of Saskatchewan in 1973 where he earned a B.A. (1977), B.Ed. (1979), M.A. (1993), and a P.G.D. (1989). He is currently teaching Sociology classes at the University of Saskatchewan and previously taught Sociology for the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, and St. Thomas More College. In the past, he was also affiliated with the University Transition Program, and at present, some of his classes are affiliated with the Distance Education Unit.

Bryan’s academic interests are in the areas of criminology, education, and gender and race relations. He received long service certificates from the University of Saskatchewan, St. Thomas More College, and First Nations University of Canada as well as was recognized by the Saskatoon Preschool Foundation, Saskatoon’s Race Relations Committee and Hands On Outreach and Development Centre for his service to the community. He has also been nominated several times for the U. of S. Excellence In Teaching Award.

Bryan has served on various University committees and maintains his passion for performing volunteer work for a myriad of social institutions.


TAMI SCOTT

Tami Scott graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1983 with a Bachelor of Commerce. Immediately following she began her career with the Royal Bank of Canada for two years as an Administrative Officer, followed by six years with Employment and Immigration Canada as a Labour Market Analyst. The bulk of Scott's career was spent as VP of Human Resources and Marketing for 24 years with Spectra Credit Union and then Affinity Credit Union. Currently semi-retired, she holds the position of Community Development Officer with the Town of Oxbow.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Scott has maintained a special interest in human resources, communications and governance. Professionally, she has participated in several conferences as speaker and moderator, and was invited to facilitate a workshop in Zimbabwe in 2015 with the Canadian Co-operative Association. She has been actively involved in several boards at the local and provincial levels, and is currently Chairperson of Envision Counselling and Support Centre based in Estevan. Scott holds a renewed interest in the University of Saskatchewan with one daughter currently enrolled in the College of Commerce, and one son who will be enrolled in the College of Agriculture in the fall of 2017.


CRAIG STEHR

Craig was raised in Saskatchewan, living both in Yorkton and Saskatoon. He attended the University of Saskatchewan in 1998, completing a Bachelor of Commerce in 2003.  He later studied law.

As an undergraduate student, Craig actively contributed to the university community.  During his studies, he served on the University Students' Council, and was elected President of the U of S Students' Union (USSU) for 2002/03. He also served a term as a member of the Board of Governors, and acted as Co-Chair for the university's Campus Community Campaign.

Now living in Ottawa, Craig practices labour and employment law at an international law firm.  As a lawyer, Craig has continued to support his community through involvement with Pro Bono Ontario legal services, and as a Councilor of the Ontario Bar Association.  Craig has also taught as a sessional lecturer at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law.  He has two children, Elliot (8) and Astrid (6), currently being raised as committed Huskies fans.

Craig maintains a deep commitment and enthusiasm toward the U of S.  Craig looks forward to contributing to the work of the Senate and to further supporting the university's tremendous contributions to our local, national and international community.


NATALIA TEREKHOVA

Natalia Terekhova’s personal and professional mission is to build collaboration and make connections between organizations and people with various backgrounds, leading to their mutual benefit. From participating in local festivals organization to joining professional association board, Natalia is grateful to play an active role in several communities. Her MA Linguistics research at the University of Saskatchewan was focused on immigrant language maintenance. To give back to her community, Natalia organized a dance class for children, because activities in minority languages have a positive effect on language retention. During this time Natalia also served as a student leader at the Graduate Students’ Association, initiating its collaboration with organizations on and off campus.

Upon graduation from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016, Natalia and her partner moved to the Greater Vancouver Area. Her continued interest to be involved in the local community led to her appointment as a member of the Cultural Communities Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver.​

Natalia hopes to become a part of the University of Saskatchewan Senate because, just like its members, she desires to “commit to participating in university governance to provide a connection between the university and their community”.


MICHELLE THOMPSON

Michelle is seeking re-election for a second term on the University of Saskatchewan Senate. Over the past three years she has been a passionate and active member of senate: asking critical questions, attending events, and sitting for two years on the Membership Committee. She has previously worked on campus in the University Language Centre, the International Student and Study Abroad Centre and through the Languages and Linguistics department as a tutorial leader for German and Spanish. She graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Modern Languages and again in 2014 with B.A. Honours in Women and Gender Studies (awarded Most Distinguished Graduate). She is currently working on a Masters in Anthropology through the University of Freiburg in Germany, to be completed in the fall of 2017. Her research brought her back to Saskatchewan to explore the powerful roll of storytelling.

Born and raised on the prairies, Michelle has been an active member of the Saskatoon and Saskatchewan communities. She brings with her a deep connection with the province, but also an international perspective. Before moving to Germany, she was engaged in community projects that supported women’s rights, local food projects, and whenever possible was an ally to Indigenous organizing.


JOHN THRONBERG

John Thronberg is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A (with Distinction) in English and Political Studies.

Born and raised on a small pet farm south of Moose Jaw, John has resided in Saskatoon for the past 25 years with the exception of a year spent teaching in Korea and several months spent working with the National Film Board in Montreal. 

A passionate advocate of the arts, he has appeared on stage or behind the scenes with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, the Fringe Festival, Troupe du Jour, and Newman Players at St. Thomas More College.  John also helped organize the first Canadian Theatre Conference in Saskatoon back in 1998.  His film credits include Crisis, the first feature film shot in Saskatoon and Wapos Bay, a Gemini-award-winning animated television series.

After spending almost a decade working with CBC Saskatoon, John is currently a producer on CTV Morning Live in Saskatoon where he has the pleasure of booking guests as diverse as Big Sugar, Justin Trudeau, and David Suzuki.

He continues to promote education, social issues and the arts in the province.  He is married and has two dogs who take up way too much of the bed.


DEREK VAN NES

Derek van Nes was born in Saskatoon and grew up in Hepburn and Prince Albert. Derek attended the University of Saskatchewan, graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2003.

Derek’s engineering career began with Manitoba Hydro where he was responsible for the Northern Civil Section, a group which handled surveying, dam safety field operations, and civil engineering maintenance for the Lower Nelson River hydroelectric system (~3700 MW) and the company Town of Gillam. This role reinforced Derek’s love of northern wilderness and gave him a hands-on appreciation of the logistical, political, and socio-economic challenges of living and working in the north.

In 2011 Derek returned to Saskatchewan to work for the Mosaic Company. Derek is now Senior Capital Engineering Manager at the Belle Plaine mine where his team is responsible for engineering, project and construction management for all sustaining capital work on site.

In 2014 Derek completed a Master of Science in International Construction Management through the University of Bath in the UK. Prior to children, Derek was treasurer and board member for the Manitoba chapter of Mennonite Disaster Service.

Derek and Michelle (U of S BScN 2002) reside in Regina with their three young children.


LARRY WAGNER

Larry Wagner is a graduate of Eaton High School in Eatonia, Sask. And completed his B.A., B.Ed., and M.Ed. degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. Larry has been an active member in several professional, provincial and community organizations.   Larry retired from Education (30 plus years) to a second Career in sales and post-secondary education. Larry fully retired in June 2016.

Presently Larry is a volunteer at: Calgary Youth Justice Board; Alberta School Attendance Board panel member; PLAN Calgary; Calgary Philharmonic Symphony; Calgary Stampede Ag-Tivity Guest Services.

Larry looks forward to serving the University of Saskatchewan as a Senate member.  I contribute my knowledge of Saskatchewan education, my experience in Post-secondary and my commitment to our youth to the Senate.


FREDERICK (FRED) N. WESOLOWSKI

Fred is proud to have been born and raised in Saskatoon. Fred, his wife and their son are all proud Alumni of the University of Saskatchewan and share his passion for education. Their son is currently in grad school completing a Masters degree in Geology.

Fred is a retired police officer, and has been very active in his community of Saskatoon. Fred has served on the Board of Directors of various organizations including but not limited to an elected Board member on a Saskatoon Board of Education for over 25 years; Leisure Services Advisory Board; and Saskatchewan Highway Traffic Board.

Education: Graduate of Saskatchewan Policy College; Bachelor degree Sociology/Psychology (University of Saskatchewan); Bachelor degree Human Justice (University of Regina); additional educational training includes Criminal Investigations: Organized Crime and Gangs; Effective Problem-Solving; Senior Operational Management; Safety; Security; Communications; Statement Analysis; Risk Assessment and Analysis.

Fred is committed to academic excellence, and will continue to support, promote and advocate for the success of our University; the inherent potential and dignity of all individuals; Natural Justice; Collegiality; Efficacy; and values the dedication and contributions of our Administration, Faculty, Professional, Service and Support Staff, Students, and Alumni.