“I want to do everything I can, to make sure that people have the opportunity to have a great experience at the university.” And that’s exactly what Alex Nilson does every day. Since Alex started at the University of Alberta in 2008 he has been involved with many events within the Engineering faculty and on campus. In his first year, Alex was involved with the Engineering Students’ Society (ESS) as a general volunteer for various events. From there his commitment has grown into much more and led him to coordinator and leadership roles. Alex has held the University of Alberta Engineering Competition Coordinator position where he planned junior and senior level design competitions and won Coordinator of the Year. As Associate Vice-President of Events he managed and directed ten coordinators who were responsible for planning all of the ESS events.
During his time at the University, Alex has coordinated GEER 101, a three-day event to involve first-year students in the ESS, the Engineering Handbook, National Engineering and Geoscience Week, a week of events to promote the Engineering profession, Spring Formal, and Engineering Head Shave, an event which raises money for cancer research. Last year Alex took the role of Vice-President Student Services where he supervised twenty-two of his peers in the portfolios of events and services and reformatted risk management of events. For the past four years, Alex has volunteered with the Student’s Union Orientation program both as a High School Orientation Leader and a Team Facilitator. Through Alex’s vast volunteer experience he has shown his ability to motivate and inspire a team as well as work within one.
The ESS represents all undergraduate engineering students at the University of Alberta, for which Alex is currently the President. As Alex’s most notable achievement, this role allows him to oversee all of the diverse aspects of the ESS which he has been a part of for the last five years as an Electrical Engineering student. He has worked passionately to reinstate the ESS corporate status as well as become a member of the APEGA Student Liaison Committee, allowing students to connect with professional organizations. Alex spends hours ensuring that students’ questions are fully answered, making sure events run smoothly, and giving students the opportunity to experience all that they can from university. Because of his dedication to the ESS, Alex has a great relationship with the Faculty of Engineering, which enables him to actively communicate on behalf the students he represents. Alex has travelled across Canada three times to represent the ESS at a national level for the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students’ Congress. His enthusiasm and commitment have served thousands of students. Alex loves being involved on campus and it shows. Alex’s gift to students at the University of Alberta is more than most people realize and his love for the university, Engineering, and volunteering deserves to be recognized with this award.