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It's April in Edmonton but you wouldn't know it by looking outside today.  Spring is a temperamental time in this city, but despite the possibility of snow, we can still detect change in the air.  Speaking of change in the air, I'm excited about our new faculty member Dr. Rob McMahon who will be joining us in July. 

Dr. McMahon's work falls into a broad field of study known as 'community informatics' which is concerned with developing capacity within communities to adopt and use information and communication technologies.  Dr. McMahon offers a unique combination of expertise that will help us to further link the MACT program with the Faculty of Extension's wider academic focus on the scholarship of engagement, and we are pleased to be bringing him to the University of Alberta.  Dr. McMahon was selected from a very competitive field of applicants for the position, and I would like to thank those MACT students and alumni who participated in the process through our webinars and lunch hour colloquia.    



From the desk of Gordon Gow, MACT Director


The 15th annual MACT Spring Institute will start on May 4 and we are looking forward to our distinguished lecturer Dr. Tharon Howard, who will be speaking about how to create thriving online communities.  (Our students who just completed COMM 506 are now experts on that subject!).

 I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Geo Takach and Megan Lefebvre, who will be joining us to teach COMM 504 and COMM 501 respectively. 

And, as always, I welcome and encourage alumni and friends of the MACT program to join us on May 22 for the poster session, lecture, and dinner.






Dr. Rob McMahon will join MACT in July 2015. 

Rob is a researcher and postdoctoral fellow with the First Nations Innovation Project at the University of New Brunswick. His work focuses on the appropriation of broadband and internet technologies by First Nations and Inuit communities. Rob’s award-winning research highlights the many innovations taking place at the so-called ‘peripheries’ of the emerging network society.


He's looking forward to exploring this focus in new areas and contexts with faculty at MACT, Extension, and elsewhere at the U of A. Rob has published several journal articles and book chapters, including collaborations with First Nations and Inuit community researchers. Through the First Mile Project, Rob facilitated the production of over 70 digital media stories showcasing Indigenous-led technology initiatives. He also has experience in regulatory and policy interventions.

Rob is excited about moving to Edmonton this summer. He grew up on a small island off the coast of Vancouver Island and has lived in Vancouver for the past decade, with time away in Philadelphia and Nagano, Japan. A big fan of live music, he covered the topic for Metro News for a few years while studying at Simon Fraser University. He loves hiking and camping and looks forward to exploring the river valley and the Rockies.  

We’re looking forward to having Rob join the MACT team!

Connect with Dr. McMahon on Twitter at @RobMcMn.


@uaxmact  /  @gagow  /  @TTBarker