Candidates for AUSU 2020 By-Election

AUSU’s 2020 by-election to fill 4 vacant council seats is coming up on August 25, and we are happy to announce that we have 8 candidates! Scroll down to see more info about the candidates, as well as how and why to vote!

Check your inbox on August 25, 2020 and VOTE in the AUSU By-election.

Meet your Candidates!

The candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Click their name to see their biographies and any posters or videos submitted by the candidate.

Jennifer Bouley
Etobicoke, Ontario

Jennifer is a current student in the University Certificate in Career Development, and an AU Alumni of the Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations program in which she graduated from in 2012. She has experience sitting on a non-profit Board of Directors for a daycare centre locally which she served on from 2014 to 2018. Currently she works in career development in a post-secondary institution. Professionally she has worked in Human Resources and Recruitment in the education sector, telecommunications, and in various other sectors.

Since early 2019, she has also been serving on the AUSU Student Advisory Committee. Jennifer also is an advocate in Anti-Human Trafficking movement and aspires to fight for fair labour practices both locally and internationally.  As an AUSU Student Councillor she is looking forward to serving students and serving the needs of students in a variety of factors.  Jennifer is looking forward to serving the needs of the students through mental health advocacy, helping to make the Athabasca University experience better for all students, and assisting with anything else needed by the AUSU council.

Almigdad Eldoma
Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, meaning Beaver Hills House, also known as Edmonton, Alberta.

I am a currently a Bachelor of Commence student majoring in Finance. My background begins in Sudan, where both my parents were born and raised. I was born in Saudi Arabia my family moved to Canada in the summer of 1996, me at five years old. From then on, my whole life was in Calgary.

I graduated from high school in 2009 and started my post-secondary education. While in post-secondary I also competed in track and field teams, including the University of Calgary’s Track team in 2010. I graduated from SAIT in 2012 with a Land Administration Diploma and soon after. I joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2015, I spent the last four and a half years as a Communication Information specialist. I left the military as a veteran to pursue higher education. Soon after my studies, I wish to use my education and experience to work in the public sector. I currently live with my fiancés and our two cats. I can’t wait to get to know you all, so we can work together towards success.

Karen Fletcher
“The traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. Kanata, Ontario

In 2019 I returned to university to pursue my passion for math and science, I’ve loved Athabasca’s flexibility and have enjoyed getting to know the community in the AUSU app. Athabasca’s distance learning provides opportunities for people who don’t find traditional universities a good fit, but sometimes AU doesn’t fully live up to its potential. I want to be on AUSU council to advocate for Athabasca to be all that it can be. I have experience sitting on the board of a non-profit and have a commitment to administration done well.

I care deeply about learning and education, and I believe that students should be able to focus on their studies while being able to rely on the marking standards Athabasca has. It’s unacceptable for students to be unable to progress at their pace because tutors aren’t fulfilling the terms of their contract, and I want to be elected to AUSU so I can advocate for systems to be created to address this. I would be honoured to have the opportunity to represent you.



Natalia Iwanek
Mississauga, Ontario; the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples

Hi everyone!

I recently returned to school as a mature student after years spent working in Alberta and BC. I’m currently in my third year here at AU, completing my Bachelor of Arts in English. During my time here, I’ve tried to get as involved as is possible at an online institution.  I’m a monthly Meeting Reporter and weekly writer for our student newspaper, The Voice, covering topics such as online education, inclusivity, and digital accessibility.

Outside of AU, I work as an editor, writer, and volunteer. I love languages, speaking English, Ukrainian, and Spanish, with a bit of Polish. I’m also a member of the Student Relations Committee for Editors Canada.

I’m passionate about advocacy and removing barriers to education amidst rising tuition rates, as well as creating a welcoming environment for everyone. I would love to continue building our virtual student community, furthering Indigenization efforts, and creating safe and accessible spaces for all students, including ASD.

It would be an absolute privilege to be considered for a Council position.  I look forward to advocating on your behalf!

I would like to acknowledge that I am currently writing from the
lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples.


Amber McDuffe
Edmonton, Alberta of Treaty 6 territory, which is a traditional meeting ground for the Cree, Saulteaux, Niitsitapi (Blackfoot), Métis, and Nakota Sioux Peoples.

Currently a paramedic, I have worked in EMS for 6 years and saw a need for better medical care to those in remote areas. This led me to pursue my Bachelor of Science as a human science major and psychology minor at AU with the goal of attending medical school after.  Prior to my current career, I have worked in areas of management and law.  I was the president of the condo corporation where I live for 4 years and held a role with our governing body the college of paramedics for 2 years providing oversight to the profession.  Through these roles, I demonstrated accountability, tenacity to adhere to my promises to do what is right and stood up for the needs of everyone I was there to represent.  This is a time of many obstacles for all of us and I will make sure your voice is heard.  I will advocate for lower tuition costs, faster response times from AU and transparency as I feel these are major concerns.  Vote Amber McDuffe, thank you.

I wish to acknowledge the land I write from is that of Treaty 6 territory, which is a traditional meeting ground for the Cree, Saulteaux, Niitsitapi (Blackfoot), Métis, and Nakota Sioux Peoples.

Hannah Olsen
Edmonton, Alberta

Hi! I’m a 23-year-old student working on my Bachelor of Commerce through Athabasca University. I am a Lakeland College alumnus, where I was very involved in both student life and student leadership opportunities in and around the school. Some of my most proud accomplishments from college include being a Resident Assistant in the Vermilion Campus dorms, sitting in the student-elected position as President of the Vermilion Students’ Association, and being elected as the Student Executive Council Chairperson in the 2018/19 academic year. I am looking forward to furthering my student leadership and personal development while becoming more involved with Athabasca University by running in the AUSU By-Election. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for finance and agriculture to become an Agricultural Accountant. If I’m not studying you can usually find me milking cows at work, napping with my bulldog, or reading Stephen King. I look forward to connecting more with other students through this process and gaining more experience in leadership. Thank you for your support through this adventure!

Chris Sloboda
Edmonton, Alberta

I am currently a third year AU student working full-time towards completion of my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor Finance. Upon completion of this degree, I intend to pursue a law degree with a focus in corporate law. Previously, I completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing. I also work full-time as a Marketing Specialist for a Canadian grain and commodity trader where I have the opportunity to get involved in high-level decision-making processes. I have a passion for helping others and have been able to volunteer a couple of my previous summers teaching English to students in China.

AU is an amazing school that makes higher education accessible to students who are unable to attend a traditional university and I have experienced this firsthand since starting to study again. I completely believe in the value that higher education offers students. My goals as an AUSU council member would be to minimize barriers to education and increase professional networking opportunities.

Thank you for your consideration!

Mark Teeninga
Stoney Creek, Ontario which is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas.

Hello fellow AU Students,

Thank you for considering my nomination for AUSU councillor; Having served as an AUSU councillor from 2018-2020 my experience will help me to continue to advocate for your needs as students and support the amazing student services offered by AUSU.  I am a part-time student at AU, pursuing my B. Sc. in Computing and Information Systems, and I am also a single father to two boys. In addition to school, and family, I work full-time for a large Canadian Telecommunications company. I am responsible for interconnections with other Carriers/Service Providers, as well as representing and advocating for my company’s interests on technical committees undertaken by the CRTC.  I feel my experience as a student, paired with my professional competencies provide a solid foundation to advocate on your behalf to AU.

My home is in Stoney Creek, Ontario, which is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas.  This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Additionally, this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

How do you Vote in the AUSU By-Election?

The voting period is August 25 – 31, 2020.

All AU undergraduate students will receive an electronic ballot by email on August 25 to vote for up to four (4) candidates to fill the vacant seats on AUSU student council. The ballots will close on August 31 at 11:59pm MDT.

The successful candidates will join our team in September 2020.

Why Should you Vote in the AUSU By-Election?

AUSU impacts your experience as a distance education student at AU, no matter where you study from or how engaged you are. 

AUSU council guides and directs your students’ union in its mandate to provide services, support, and advocacy for AU students and is part of creating an online AU student community. 

There are a lot of important topics for AUSU to tackle in the upcoming two years, including:

  • Tuition increase of 7% for 20-21, with potential 7% increases for 2 more years
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on Athabasca University studies
  • New AU Virtual Learning Environment with major online infrastructure changes
  • Support and advocacy for marginalized and under-represented students
  • Service standards and timelines at Athabasca University
  • Relevance and competitiveness of distance education

The students you elect to council will sitting at the table with the AU administration and meeting with government officials, influencing the decisions being made regarding these important topics.

Your vote helps determine who sits on council and impacts YOUR AU experience.


To find out more about the 2020 AUSU By-Election, visit the AUSU website here.

For more information about AUSU elections and election procedures, please review section 3 of the AUSU policy manual, which can be found online here.

For more information about councillor roles, responsibilities, and honorarium, please review section 2 of the AUSU policy manual, found online here.

For any other questions about the 2020 By-Election, please contact the Chief Returning Officer, Bailey Daines, at [email protected].