Articles Faculty Profiles

Faculty: In Their Own Words – Dr. Tim Rogalsky

Dr. Tim Rogalsky, Associate Professor of Mathematics, has taught at CMU since 2000.

What do you love about your work here?

There are so many things. One is that my students are really, really fun to work with. I just taught a chaos theory course, and student papers at the end of the semester included a paper on spirituality and environmentalism, a paper on Shakespearean literature, and a paper on God’s omniscience. I love the way they think deeply about so many different but interconnected things, and the way they come up with some really profound insights derived from the mathematical theory of chaos and its applications.

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What did you teach this past year that most excited you?

My favourite course is Intro to Calculus, because it’s easy to apply. That’s what makes math really exciting for me: To think about how the way the real world operates can be understood through mathematics.

What are you researching and writing right now?

I just finished a project on Salvador Dali that I would like to continue. Salvador Dali is fairly well known as a surrealist painter, as someone who was rather crass, someone who you certainly wouldn’t think of as a religious person, but there are a lot of depths to him that I’ve found, and some of those depths involved using mathematics and science as a conduit to spirituality. I call it mathematical mysticism.

What do you most long for in your work?

I love the a-ha moments. Sometimes it’s in the classroom and I watch the light bulb come on in a student’s eyes. Sometimes it’s in my own mind or in my heart; I’m teaching a concept and I suddenly get these intense shivers, and I think about how amazing all of this is in the way that it works together. Sometimes it’s in my own research. I can be in the shower or wake up in the middle of the night, and suddenly there’s this idea that just kind of pops forth in full glory that the day before, the hour before, the minute before I didn’t know, but in that moment I suddenly know and understand.

Do you have any interesting projects underway in the broader community or church?

I have given a handful of noon-hour talks at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In April I presented, “Why Beauty Matters: The Art of Nature,” on some of the really beautiful mathematical patterns we find in the world. I’ll be sharing a version of that at a CMU Face2Face event in November. Explaining mathematics in ways that are understandable to people who don’t have a mathematics degree is something that I love to do. Watching an audience of non-mathematicians says, “Wow!” about mathematics is so, so cool.

What saying or motto inspires you?

The Franciscan friar and author Richard Rohr has been known to say that mystery is not that which is unknowable, but that which is endlessly knowable. That is so often true in both mathematics and theology. We’re always learning, always striving to know better, and that journey is always thrilling.

Articles Faculty Profiles

Faculty: In Their Own Words – Dr. Candice Viddal

Dr. Candice Viddal, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics, has taught at CMU since 2010.

What did you teach this past year that most excited you?

I began teaching a sequence of courses in biochemistry. Biochemistry is essentially a course about the chemical reactions that underlie the way that biological organisms work. I find it very fascinating. In particular, I really enjoy learning about proteins. Proteins are essentially the workhorses of the cell. They do all kinds of different things and each protein has its own task. In the last 50 years, there have been so many advances in our knowledge of what specific proteins look like in terms of their three dimensional structure. I can often find in the literature new stories, new contemporary findings, and new discoveries to share with students in the class.

04 - Candice Viddal (May 2016)What are you researching and writing right now?

I study protein dynamics with computer modeling. This means that I track the motions of the tens of thousands of atoms that compose a protein as a way of trying to understand how it performs its function. When proteins do their job, they have to jiggle around. They’re generally very, very dynamic. One of my particular interests is in tracking the energy flow. That is, if an event happens in a protein, I’m interested in knowing how the information of that event, like the binding of a chemical, transmits throughout the protein so that the rest of the protein responds to it.

What are you reading for enjoyment?

I’m reading Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears. It’s a historical mystery novel about the rise and fall of a wealthy man named John Stone around World War I. The story has a very interesting structure: three different people in three different locations at three different times tell it. What I find particularly interesting about the book is that Iain Pears understands the human condition very well. He gets into the characters’ minds and plumbs the depths of their experience, which makes for an engaging narrative.

What do you most long for in your work?

One dream I have is for CMU to eventually offer a Bachelor of Science degree program. Another dream I have is to teach a “Big Ideas” course in science. Right now, I teach very rigorous scientific courses, and I enjoy that. But I would also love to be able to teach courses that engage with students that are not necessarily interested in the real heavy duty mechanics of the subject, but maybe are intrigued by the concepts. I’d love to teach “Science for Poets,” or something like that. It always fascinates me to think about how I would approach a course like that.

What saying or motto inspires you?

I don’t know who said it, but “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” I often think about that. It inspires me to grow daily and to live courageously. It also serves as a reminder that we can do a lot more than we imagine sometimes.


Interplay workshop offers opportunity for composers to hear scores come to life

Three CMU students and one alumnus recently had a unique opportunity to receive professional feedback on their scores from the Vancouver Chamber Choir and conductor Jon Washburn.

03-09-2016 Interplay workshop 1At the Interplay workshop on February 20, CMU students Mark Holmes a Court, Dominique Lemoine, Tirzah Lyons, and alumnus Jesse Krause (CMU ’10), heard their scores come alive as they were sight read by the choir. Their scores were chosen from among those submitted in response to an open call for compositions.

Interplay is an opportunity for Canadian composers who write for chorus to workshop their in-progress or recently completed choral works with Jon Washburn and the twenty-member Vancouver Chamber Choir.

“It was an amazing opportunity to receive such valuable feedback and to hear my piece being performed by a professional, talented choir. I was able to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t,” says Lemoine. “Being immersed in the choral workshop environment gave me a better understanding of choral music. In addition, all of the gorgeous tones coming from the choir as they performed the various pieces in the workshop inspired me to want to produce more music for choirs.”

Each composer was allotted individual rehearsal time of approximately half an hour and the composers received comments and suggestions from Washburn and choir members. CMU music instructors Neil Weisensel and Randolph Peters were in attendance at the workshop.

“CMU is a place where choral music and singing is taken seriously. It’s nice to get a professional perspective as well—a professional critique will both appreciate beautiful things and good things the student has written and can also provide critique on page, notation, and stylistic elements,” says Peters.

Feedback provided in these workshops may focus on the score’s musical and technical features, pitch selection, strengths, flaws, textures, colours, presentation on the page, and notations, among other aspects of choral writing.

“It was great to hear my piece sung by a professional choir and to work with Jon Washburn, who has a lot of experience in conducting new music. Some of my compositional choices were confirmed and others were challenged, both of which will help me improve future compositions,” says Lyons. “I wish more people had attended, as I feel there was something for everyone to learn. I hope I have the opportunity to be a part of something like this again.”

Student Profiles

It is God who makes the music

Anneli Loepp Thiessen

A lifelong love of music and a fascination with worship led Anneli Loepp Thiessen to pursue a Bachelor of Music at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU).

Loepp Thiessen says her studies offer opportunities to explore questions such as: why do we worship? And what does it mean when we worship? Answers to questions such as these are complex, yet Loepp Thiessen suggests the root of the answer lies in viewing worship as a conversation.

“We are very used to worshipping and making music as a community, but it’s more than congregations often realize,” she says. “It’s about gathering as a community and what we’re saying to each other—what does it mean to us and what does it mean to God?”

As a worship director at Doon Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, Ontario for two summers, Loepp Thiessen explored this theory in a practical setting, drawing on her classroom learning, including theories and techniques learned in the course Leading Music and Worship. The position was a foundational one for her.

“I know that I’m going to be involved with church music for a long time,” she says. “Having this foundation from CMU has given me a really realistic expectation for worship and guidelines of how we approach worship.”

A quote by Johann Sebastian Bach encapsulates the connections Loepp Thiessen sees in the two concentrations she’s studying: music ministry and piano performance.

I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music. – Johann Sebastian Bach

“If as a solo pianist I am being true to what Bach intended, then it’s going to be an act of worship—I need to think of it as a conversation with God, which takes it to another level,” she says.

Bach is a favourite composer of Loepp Thiessen’s and at CMU she’s had the opportunity to perform his pieces as a solo performer, with the Mennonite Community Orchestra, with the CMU Singers, and with a solo singer, all of which she has greatly enjoyed. She’s appreciated the opportunities to learn how to provide accompaniment in different performance contexts.

Loepp Thiessen has also experienced the collaborative nature of CMU through faculty mentorships in each department of the music program. Witnessing the care and interest of faculty members has impressed upon her the importance of sharing music with others.

“When I graduate from CMU, one of the things that will stick with me is the idea that as musicians one of the most valuable things we can do is be mentors,” says Loepp Thiessen. She’s already sharing her passion for and knowledge of music with others by teaching piano at CMU’s Community School of Music and the Arts.

Loepp Thiessen says studying music at CMU has surpassed her expectations.

“There is no school that offers such a wide range of disciplines within the music program, does them so well, and within the context of Christian community.”

Learn more about CMU’s Bachelor of Music degree:

Alumni Profiles Articles Faculty Profiles

CMU prof completes unfinished book by mentor, friend

Paul Doerksen’s latest book is one he hoped he would never have to work on.

Doerksen, Associate Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), is the editor of Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society. Published this past October by Wipf and Stock, the book is a collection of essays by the late theologian A. James Reimer.

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Paul Doerksen (right), Associate Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies at CMU, is the editor of Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society, a collection of essays by the late theologian James Reimer (left).

Reimer, who was diagnosed with cancer while working on the book, called Doerksen in 2010 and asked if Doerksen would finish the book and find a publisher for it if he were to die before completing it.

“I agreed in a heartbeat out of respect for him and his work,” says Doerksen, who developed a deep friendship with Reimer after Reimer served as the advisor for his Master’s thesis. “I recall hoping that I wouldn’t have to keep good on the promise – that he would survive long enough to finish it himself. That would have been great.”

Six weeks after that phone call, Reimer died.

Doerksen and Reimer had collaborated in the past, and Doerksen approached his work preparing Reimer’s essays for publication with sadness, respect, and a sense of privilege.

“His voice comes through so clearly in his writing that it just felt like the work was continuing, only more slowly than if he had been there,” Doerksen says.

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Reimer graduated from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, one of CMU’s predecessor colleges, in 1963.

More slowly, and not as fun. Reimer was a humorous, engaging man who enjoyed cooking for friends and family.

“I missed all those things,” Doerksen says. “Nonetheless, the voice and the development of an argument – and the passion for what he was trying to do – was sort of a constant companion when I was working with his material.”

Political theology is a burgeoning field. In the book, Reimer argues for a more positive embrace of law, order, and civil society than Anabaptists have historically offered.

“He was trying to do Anabaptist work in the field, but in a way that was far more open to classical Christianity, especially the kind that was developed in the first four centuries,” says Doerksen, adding that he appreciates the comprehensiveness of Reimer’s project. “I think it’s a fresh voice.”

Reimer was Professor of Religious Studies and Christian Theology at Conrad Grebel University College and at the Toronto School of Theology, and was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2008.

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Doerksen with Reimer’s wife, Margaret Loewen Reimer, at the Waterloo launch for the book.

He was an alumnus of Canadian Mennonite Bible College, one of CMU’s predecessor colleges. In 2010, CMU presented him with a Blazer Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his contribution of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society.

Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology is the third book by Reimer published posthumously.

Christians and War: A Brief History of the Church’s Teachings and Practices was published the month after his death, and La dynamique de la foi chrétienne: Quand les dogmes libérent l’imagination – a French translation of his 2003 book, The Dogmatic Imagination – was published last year.

Reimer’s wife, Margaret Loewen Reimer, says she is happy Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology is available.

“Paul did a really good job of presenting the essays,” Loewen Reimer says. “Jim would have been delighted.”

Articles Student Profiles

Applying business principles in the non-profit sector

Katie DamanKatie Daman had the opportunity to apply business skills in a non-profit setting during her practicum with Canadian Mennonite University (CMU).

Daman, who graduated from CMU’s Redekop School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration in April 2015, completed her practicum at WestEnd Commons (WEC), a social enterprise in Winnipeg’s West End community.

Social enterprises are “not-for-profits that use business means to fulfill their mission,” explains Daman. WEC is home to the Neighbourhood Resource Centre, a social enterprise that “provides safe and affordable programming as well as meeting and office space for neighbourhood families and organizations in West Central Winnipeg.”

The social enterprise model adopted by WEC includes renting out spaces in the building including a commercial kitchen, assembly hall, and meeting and office space. The income generated from the rentals is invested in community programming.

Daman utilized her business education to help WEC further their transition into a social enterprise. Her main role was social media coordinator. She maintained WEC’s social media presence by posting articles that featured WEC, sharing content relevant to WEC’s mission, and connecting with organizations that support WEC.

“Social media is really important to not only create awareness of your organization’s existence, but also to help people remain aware about what your organization does on a day-to-day basis,” says Daman.

Additionally, Daman provided input into marketing plans and strategies, which she says is one way her practicum connected directly with her studies. The courses she’s taken have equipped her with the skills to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, which centres on an organization’s mission and vision.

“Mission and vision are crucial to an organization internally and externally,” says Daman. “Internally you want to rally around a common purpose and goal. You need a common understanding so you can achieve it. Externally, you want people to buy into your purpose as well.”

Daman believes a social enterprise model can benefit non-profits and sees potential for non-profits to apply business principles in a way that helps them achieve their goals.

“A lot of non-profits are moving toward a social enterprise model,” she says. “It’s important to have people working in non-profits who understand core business principles and can apply them to the greater good—understanding how the two can work together, instead of as opposites.”

After graduating, Daman would like to pursue work in the social enterprise or community economic development sector. She feels the BBA degree has equipped her well for work in those areas.

“For me, CMU played an important part in allowing me to explore some of my alternative passions and desires, while also giving me the necessary business acumen to go out and work in the real world. If business is something that you’re interested in, whether it be traditional business or an alternative form, CMU should definitely be on your radar.”

Ellen Paulley is a Writer and Social Media Coordinator at Canadian Mennonite University

Click here to learn more about the Redekop School of Business

Student Profiles

Practicum an interface between education and experience

Marc RegierCMU student Marc Regier encourages his fellow students to make the  most of their practicum experiences.

“Give it your all, give it your best,” he says. “You’ll learn about your own capacity in doing so.”

A Biblical and Theological Studies major and an International Development Studies (IDS) minor, Regier is completing his practicum at the Public Interest Law Centre (PILC) in Winnipeg, which takes on test cases for public interest groups and low-income individuals.

In his role at PILC, Regier says he has been “exposed to a whole range of responsibilities that a non-practicing lawyer could be exposed to at a law centre.” This includes compiling evidence, creating research reports and memos, meeting with clients, attending and documenting hearings, and “reading thousands of pages of material.”

As a child, Regier had a vision of being a lawyer, an interest his practicum reignited. He explains that through his longstanding focus on the legal implications of the Bible, he’s developed an idea of what legal practice is—something he’d like to “push into the secular world and test out.

Regier came to CMU seeking a rigorous approach to biblical studies and says he’s “honed an understanding of the historical, scientific merits of the Bible,” which has served to bring him closer to the Bible.

His practicum has been going “phenomenally well” and Regier has seen some of the IDS theories he’s learned being put into practice.

“The Public Interest Law Centre basically starts with the same worldview as IDS,” he says. “You measure what those who are marginalized need or want, bring that into the legal realm, and represent that among the big actors.”

Regier’s been inspired by the ways the lawyers at PILC work, saying there’s no end to the research they undertake and that they try to expose themselves to everything that’s been written on a topic. “It reflects competence and the desire to produce good work,” he says.

For those who are beginning a practicum, Regier offers this advice: “Respect and be a blessing to the people who have agreed to train you. Regularly and peaceably recognize when they are there and thank them.”

CMU believes experience-based education has great learning potential and as such, requires all Bachelor of Arts students to complete a practicum. The practicum complements classroom education by having students spend a significant amount of time in an off-campus placement.

Regier, who plans to attend law school after graduation, encourages students to complete their practicum near the end of their degree.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to end my education,” he says. “It’s the interface between education and experience.”

Ellen Paulley, Writer & Social Media Coordinator at Canadian Mennonite University

Learn more about CMU’s practicum program

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CMU instructor, MSC alumni named as CBC Manitoba Future 40 finalists

Canadian Mennonite University congratulates one of its faculty and two of its alumni on being part of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40, a list of Manitobans under the age of 40 who are making a big impact on their community.

James Magnus-Johnston, Instructor of Political Studies and Economics, was named one of the finalists late last month after CBC Manitoba and Metro called on Manitobans to nominate people. More than 195 nominations came in.

Jamil Mahmood and Abdikheir Ahmed, two alumni of Menno Simons College – a college of CMU – were also finalists.

About the recipients:

James Magnus-Johnston, Instructor of Political Studies and Economics

Magnus-Johnston has a background in green economics, finance, and public policy. He has an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University and is the Canadian Director of the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

In addition to his work at CMU, Magnus-Johnston is one of five co-founders of Fools and Horses Coffee Company in Winnipeg. On-tap wine, compostable packaging and local products are all part of the coffee shop’s goal to be completely waste-free.

A portion of the money that Fools and Horses makes will be invested into RISE Urban incubator, a social enterprise he co-founded with his friend, Benjamin Gillies. Magnus-Johnston and Gilles were among the lead authors for Transition Winnipeg’s Energy Descent Initiative, entitled Winnipeg’s Great Transition: Ideas and Actions for a Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient City. RISE Urban, a non-profit, was set up to initiate some of the demonstration projects that aim to reduce our ecological footprint found throughout the publication.

Magnus-Johnston, who triple-majored in Political Studies, Rhetoric and Communications, and Theatre as an undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg, is also heavily involved in Winnipeg’s arts scene. He sings regularly with Antiphony, a seven-member acapella ensemble, and he has also performed with the Winnipeg Singers and Camerata Nova.

Jamil Mahmood (MSC, BA ’10, International Development Studies)

Jamil Mahmood is the executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, an organization that works with the people of Spence to revitalize and renew their community in the areas of holistic healing, community, connecting, community economic development, environment and open spaces, and youth and families.

Mahmood works to address gaps or enhance the strengths within Winnipeg through a variety of different initiatives. He established Youth Programming at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, which now sees over 100 children a day and includes a full meal and transportation.

At SNA, Mahmood implemented a basketball program, providing an opportunity for inner city youth to play basketball in an organized league. The True Sport Foundation has recognized this basketball program as a model program.

Ten years ago, Mahmood began with SNA by setting up community gardens. He continuously works to make the West End a healthy, safe, and welcoming environment for all.

Abdikheir Ahmed (MSC, BA ’07, International Development Studies)

Abdikheir Ahmed is a longtime advocate for newcomers to Manitoba. He is involved with the Social Planning Council’s Local Immigration Partnership, which brings together different levels of government to plan and research the best strategies to help newcomers.

Previously, Ahmed served as the executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba where he helped support and advocate for newcomers. Ten years ago, Ahmed came to Canada as a refugee, and now regularly opens his home to newcomer youth who need extra support or mentorship.

He helped found Humankind International, a non-governmental organization that seeks to improve the lives of children in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya by supporting their education.

Ahmed was awarded the United Nations Fellowship as a People of African Descent Fellow at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He is the recipient of a Citizen’s Appreciation Award from the Winnipeg Police Service for his efforts to build relationships between the newcomer community and police.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over about 900 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2

Student Profiles

Play Therapy in Practice

Becky LonghurstCanadian Mennonite University (CMU) psychology student Becky Longhurst wants to work “all day, every day” in the field of play therapy.

The fourth year student had an opportunity to gain practical experience with play therapy during her nine-month practicum placement with Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago.

Play therapy involves watching the interactions children create between toys, which can be reflective of a child’s emotions and relationships, says Longhurst. Play therapy can be especially useful for children who aren’t yet able to express themselves verbally.

“We step back and observe and imagine what the interactions might mean for where children are at,” says Longhurst. “It’s a cool thing to see how they interact with other children before and after. It was rewarding to be a part of it.”

Erie Neighbourhood House’s mission is “to promote a just and inclusive society by strengthening low-income, primarily Latino families through skill-building, access to critical resources, advocacy and collaborative action.” One of the ways they do this is by partnering with graduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago to offer a play therapy program for preschool children ages 2-5. Longhurst assisted teachers as needed and observed the play therapy process. She also spent part of her practicum as an assistant teacher.

Longhurst says she was able to see the theories she’s studied in the classroom be put into practice at Erie Neighbourhood House.

“As a student, the practicum instilled in me this was important work and it does make a difference,” she says. “I have more energy behind my education now because I’ve seen what it can do. It makes me want to develop more because I’ve seen that it really works.”

At the same time, Longhurst says the placement wasn’t without its struggle. “Kids are my happy place,” she says. “Can I get into a profession that might open me up to their suffering and pain?”

It was hard to see children experiencing some of what she’s studied but seeing the progress children made as a result of therapy helped Longhurst stay motivated in her work.

The challenge was one aspect of what made the practicum so valuable for Longhurst. By having the opportunity to experience and practice what is studied in the classroom, she says the practicum is a way for students to know what they may experience in their career.

“I’m a full enthusiast in putting academic and experiential learning together,” she says. “One of the most important things a student can do is to get out there, to go and see for themselves instead of people just telling them what it is.”

Each of CMU’s Bachelor of Arts programs has a practicum component, allowing students to gain hands on experience in their program.

Longhurst says the practicum experience made her feel more confident in her choice of a psychology major and that she feels “more comfortable in graduating with it.”

As for what’s next, Longhurst expects she’ll pursue a master’s degree with the ultimate goal of working in play therapy.

“Anything that lets me work with kids until I get there is fine—whatever leads me there is going to be great,” she says.

Ellen Paulley, Writer and Social Media Coordinator at CMU

Learn more about CMU’s practicum program

Student Profiles

CMU student recognized with Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

NickCzehrynEditedMost children haven’t even heard the word hemophilia, let alone know what it means. But at a young age, Nick Czehryn became familiar with the hereditary genetic disorder—which impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting—because his father has it.

As a result, Czehryn and his family have been long-time volunteers with the Hemophilia Society’s Manitoba chapter. He can recall being nine or 10 years old, helping the society set up charity races.

His work with the Hemophilia Society is one of the reasons Czehryn was recognized earlier this year with a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, which aims to encourage Canadian youth who strive to emulate Terry Fox’s courage and determination by providing their communities and those in need with humanitarian service.

Czehryn’s volunteer work doesn’t end with the Hemophilia Society. He is involved with the worship band at his church, Windsor Park United, where he is also a Sunday School teacher. He has also given his time volunteering for SOAR Heartland, a drop in centre for children, and as a camp counselor and lifeguard at Luther Village.

As a student at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI), Czehryn participated in mission trips to Winnipeg’s inner city areas, was a member of Youth in Philanthropy, and was the co-president of the student council. Athletically, Czehryn is an avid soccer player, badminton player, and swimmer.

“I’m really thankful that I ended up getting the Terry Fox award,” says Czehryn, who is currently in his second year of a Psychology degree at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU).

“It’s been a great opportunity, and it’s also made it possible for me to do things like play soccer and get involved in other things because it takes a lot of the financial pressure off. It makes more room for doing more volunteer stuff and athletics, and getting involved in that kind of way.”

After graduating from MBCI in 2012, Czehryn was accepted to a different university, but ultimately chose to come to CMU because it would allow him to play soccer, a sport he’s played since he was five years old.

“It’s been a ton of fun playing on the team. It’s been the best soccer team experience I’ve had in my life.”

Czehryn also enjoys CMU’s community life and small class sizes.

“I really enjoy being in a class where there isn’t 200 people and you’re not a number to the prof—especially in the first and second year courses, it’s been nice to have relationships with the profs, be able to ask questions, and get useful feedback from the get-go,” he says.

“I also like the community aspect of CMU. It’s not come to school, go to class, go home—you can come, you can hang out, you know the people here, and it’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to his school and athletic commitments, Czehryn still makes time to volunteer with the Hemophilia Society. After he graduates from CMU, he plans to go to medical school and become a doctor—a plan that was inspired at least in part by his father’s hemophilia.

When he was young, Czehryn always asked his parents about his father’s blood disorder, wondering things like, “Why is dad different? Why can’t he do certain things?”

That inquisitive nature has stayed with him.

“Through all that learning I did when I was younger, it got me really interested in how the body works … why things don’t work, that kind of stuff,” Czehryn says. “And from there, it just kept building as I’ve grown up.”

“Hopefully after med school I’ll be able to make a difference in some way.”