Student support essential

Jan Newberry started teaching at the University of Lethbridge with one simple goal – to change the world through education. Staying true to this goal, Newberry supports students in every way she can.

With a background that includes a small private college and large state-funded universities in the United States, Newberry describes the U of L as both fun and different. An anthropology professor at the U of L for the past 10 years, her research focuses primarily on Indonesia but covers a wide variety of areas ranging from theories of exchange and economy to the politics of childrearing, allowing her to share with students a multi-faceted anthropological experience.

Newberry is not interested in the "ivory tower" of academia. For her, it's much more fun to have students involved in her research.

"We often talk about how our research supports our teaching, but I find that my teaching also supports my research," she says. "Student responses to my ideas help me go back to my research in a different way."

Dr. Jan Newberry SOS
Anthropology professor Dr. Jan Newberry sees supporting the SOS campaign as a natural choice.

Because of this interchange of ideas, supporting students is a priority for Newberry. More fundamentally, Newberry sees student support as essential because of their roles after graduation.

"I want to support students because they're going to go out and build the next world," she says. "The Supporting Our Students campaign helps me do that."

Supporting Our Students (SOS) is an annual fundraising campaign aimed towards faculty and staff on campus. Its purpose is to raise money for student awards. Since it launched in 2005, faculty and staff have generously donated more than $1 million to the campaign, sending a strong message to students that the University community stands behind them.

Newberry emphasizes not only the importance of the campaign, but also how easy it is to show support.

"What most people don't realize is that you can do this in such a painless way," she says. "By having a small amount of money taken off my paycheque each month, I'm improving the lives of students. It couldn't be a more clear contribution to the institution, and one that is so very easy to do."

Supporting this campaign was a natural choice for Newberry.

"Money makes a difference," she says. "Sometimes the best thing we can do is give money to support something we think is important."

For more information on the Supporting Our Students campaign, please visit or call University Advancement at 403-329-2582.

This story first appeared in the November issue of the Legend. For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.