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UCalgary has strong Top 40 Under 40 presence

Avenue Calgary magazine celebrates lineup of outstanding up-and-comers — meet the Faculty of Arts' honorees


Left: Megan Kerluke, Top right: Melanie Thomas, Bottom Right: Adam Melynk Photos by Erin Brooke Burns

By Deb Cummings
October 31, 2016

For 18 years, Avenue Calgary magazine has celebrated a lineup of outstanding up-and-comers — young leaders who exemplify the talent and civic spirit that help drive our local economy. This year’s class of Top 40 Under 40 is no exception.

All the honorees are ambitious and talented professionals who represent a wide variety of industries in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. As individuals, they are the definition of overachievers — each already making a significant, positive impact on Calgary as a result of their professional involvement and community contributions. Read on to meet this year’s crop of disrupters, innovators, rebels and artists — and prepare to be inspired by Faculty of Arts award-winners with UCalgary connections.

  • Megan Kerluke, 36, BFA’02. Current job: Head of public engagement, Esker Foundation (a contemporary art gallery in Calgary). If you went back to school what would you take? I would study fine arts and try not to be in such a rush to graduate. Any advice for new students? Study what you enjoy and make it part of your daily life. 
  • Melanee Thomas, 35, MA’06. Current job? Assistant professor, UCalgary’s Department of Political Science. Thomas’ research focuses on gender inequality in politics, with a goal of discovering why women are less confident in their political abilities than men. If you went back to school, what would you take? Everything! I’d probably start with kinesiology, though. Every time I staff our booth for the Open House, I’m always distracted by the great work kinesiology students have to showcase. Any advice for students? Students often ask me what’s the best strategy for writing great papers that their professors will like, and I always tell them to work on something they’re genuinely interested in. When a student’s really into their project, the work they produce is typically their best. Outside of that ... go to class. Read. Explore. University is one of the safest places to fail; take advantage of that and learn all you can. A guilty pleasure? Full-fat dairy. Research says it’s pretty good for us, though.
  • Adam Melynk, 36, BA’04. Current job? Outreach and Housing Location Manager, Calgary Alpha House Society.

Those attending the Top 40 Under 40 awards on Nov. 1 might get the chance to meet these winners. However, those who aren’t going to the event can read about the rest. The entire class of 2016 Top 40 Under 40 winners with UCalgary connections, include:

  • Lindsey Kindrat, 39, BSc’01
  • Adam Jones, 33, BSc’07
  • Adam Melynk, 36, BA’04
  • Dr. Derek Roberts, 36, PhD?
  • Dr. Gabriel Fabreau, 36, BSc’03, MD’08
  • Jim Szautner, 38, Med’14
  • Catherine Lebel, 34, asst. professor, Department of Radiology at UCalgary
  • Melanee Thomas, 35, MA’06
  • Rahim Sajan, 39, BSc’01, BEd’03
  • Fabiola MacIntyre, 36, BSc (Eng)’03
  • Kurt Kinnear, 35, director, UCalgary’s Active Living & Outdoor Centre
  • Dr. Tony Truong, 37, BSc’96, MD’02
  • Jessie Li, 29, BComm’09
  • Kara Chomistek, 29, BSc (Eng)’10
  • Kristen Lien, 33, BA’06, MEDes’08
  • Kate Allen, 33, BFA’06, MEDes’09
  • Kelly Morrison, 38, MEDes’09
  • Breanne Sich, 25, BComm’15
  • Grant Gordon, 38, BKin’01
  • Dirk Chisholm, 21, a fourth-year kinesiology student at UCalgary
  • Nuvyn Peters, 37, vice-president of Development and Alumni Engagement at UCalgary
  • Megan Kerluke, 36, BFA’02 

Read UToday's stories: Top 40 Under 40: Meet tomorrow's leaders today and Meet more Top 40 Under 40: Disruptors, innovators, rebels and artists