University of Calgary

The concept of community engagement is embedded throughout the University of Calgary (UCalgary), and is one of the three foundational commitments in its Eyes High strategic vision. It is a key element in the university’s Academic Plan 2018-23 and Research Plan 2018-23 and is a specific area of focus for its faculties, integrated into their teaching and learning and research programming. Community engagement is also at the heart of the University Relations Strategy 2018-22 and other supporting unit plans like the Community Engagement Plan 2018-22. Similarly, ii’ taa’ poh’ to’p, the university’s first ever Indigenous strategy, provides a road map for engaging our Indigenous community through teaching and learning and research, and improving academic and societal outcomes.

Participants and sponsors

Leslie Reid, Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary

Leslie Reid

Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning

Dr. Leslie Reid is the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, and a teaching professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. She served as associate dean teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science from 2012-2017, where she supported the creation of educational development programs that help enhance learning and teaching experiences for students and staff. 

Leslie’s scholarly work focuses on STEM teaching and learning, and educational development for academic staff. In 2011, Leslie was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, and in 2014, she received a University of Calgary Teaching Award for Educational Leadership.


Penny Pexman

Associate Vice-President, Research

Dr. Penny Pexman is Associate Vice-President (Research) and a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Pexman’s research expertise is in cognitive development, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience, and she has published more than 100 articles in some of the top journals in these fields.

Pexman was appointed the University of Calgary’s SSHRC Leader in 2017, and in that role serves as a point of contact between SSHRC and the University of Calgary. An award-winning mentor and researcher, Pexman is an elected Fellow of both the Canadian Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.


Penny Pexman, Associate Vice-President, Research, University of Calgary
Susan Mide Kiss, Senior Director, Community Engagement, University of Calgary

Susan Mide Kiss

Senior Director, Community Engagement

Susan Mide Kiss is the Senior Director, Community Engagement with the University Relations division at the University of Calgary (UCalgary). Prior to joining the University Relations team in 2011, Susan served a leadership role with a health research initiative in UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. 

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, a graduate certificate from the American University (Washington D.C.), and a Master of Arts degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University. 

 As a leader of a dynamic team of community engagement professionals, Susan actively seeks out institutional partnership opportunities with community organizations, not-for-profits, government, and other educational institutions. 


Erin Kaipainen

Senior Specialist, Experiential Learning

Erin Kaipainen is the Senior Specialist, Experiential Learning with the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. Prior to taking on this role to support the expansion of Experiential and Work-Integrated Learning, Erin spent 12 years in student affairs advancing community service-learning initiatives and supporting student engagement at UCalgary and Carleton University.

Erin is passionate about campus community partnerships, working with students as partners and fostering student thriving. Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in Social Justice and Equity Studies, both from Brock University.

Erin Kaipainen, Senior Specialist, Experiential Learning, University of Calgary