Prof named influential Albertan

University of Calgary professor Karim-Aly Kassam was recently named one of the most influential people in Alberta by Alberta Venture. Last spring, the Communication and Culture professor made headlines when he became the first Canadian to receive the prestigious Fulbright-Organization of American States grant, given to promising individuals in diverse fields of study.

Kassam, who has begun pursuing a h.. at Cornell University as a result of the grant, says that he is humbled by the Alberta Venture recognition.

"One gets a great sense of responsibility," stated Kassam "Now I represent more then just myself."

Well known around campus as the founder and director of the U of C Theme School in Northern Planning and Development Studies, Kassam has researched and written extensively on a broad range of topics, especially human ecology, northern aboriginal culture, and women’s issues.

"I hope, to become mindful, in my writing and teaching, of the idea of diversity," remarked Kassam. "Diversity in all things, from the biodiversity of microorganisms to cultural diversity. "

Kassam will be returning to Calgary after his studies at Cornell.

"I want to write consistently and to relate biology and culture," explained Kassam. "I also hope to continue with my teaching and research. Without sounding idealistic, I believe that changing the world for the better is within our grasp."

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