Program Coordinator, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine (AHHM)

Suicide, according to a New Yorker article, is now the leading cause of injury-related death in America. Sadly, this disease is also expanding from its traditional and tragic base of young people as 30 percent more Americans between 30 and 64 killed themselves in 2010 than in 1999. In Canada and America, suicide ranks 10th as a cause of death.

This is just one example of why the U of A’s demonstrated interest in encouraging undergraduates to look at the whole patient and the role the arts can play in healing is so important and appropriate for today.

The university’s interest in healing the physical by also looking at the psyche has inspired me to create this webpage in support of my application for this important position.

I address the duties and qualifications required in order.


Coordinating logistical details associated with ongoing events and program offerings.

Rocky Monster Show

When The British International School of Jeddah’s Rocky Monster Show needed to screen a video of its lead character motorcycling through Saudi Arabia’s desert and then riding into the school auditorium, I made  fantasy reality by scripting the ride, editing the video and adding the music. I still find the change in light as the motorcycle passes from back lit sunrise into daylight spectacularly beautiful.

Click on any still photo to enlarge it and enter the gallery of photos.

Contributes to preparing proposals, applications, budget requests, reconciliation of financials, and timelines for introducing new program events and projects

National Holocaust Monument Design Submission

When I discovered in Canadian Art Magazine that the government and the National Capital Commission were launching a national design competition to select a team to design Canada’s National Holocaust Monument, I sprang into action. Within a matter of weeks, I worked to meet the entry requirements, including advertising for, and finding, an architect to partner with me.

Realizing we’d be competing with architects and artist from around the world, I took the extra step of creating a preliminary design. While we didn’t get past the stage of being selected for the final six out of 74 submissions received, I learned a great deal about this process. Here are the photographs of my design.

…and if you’re curious, here’s how the final designs under consideration look.

Monitors implementation of program offerings, documents outcomes with a view to assessing successes and areas for improvement

Val-Pak Advertising

As owner/operator of Val-Pak Direct Mail Advertising, I worked with customers to develop coupon promotions. The huge strength of this form of advertising is that you have a measurable response to analyze. One of my more memorable promotions was working with Bill, the owner of a local car repair enterprise. It wasn’t a huge leap to come up with the “$10 Bill” a Val-Pak currency featuring Bill’s picture and a discount at face value on a minimum purchase. Bill, unfortunately, was like a lot of advertisers, he resented spending the money, even when my spreadsheets created from stacks of coupons and receipts showed him the promotions were generating new customers and making him money.

Contributes to strategic planning discussions with the Director, the AHHM advisory group and others as appropriate; recommends changes to ensure the ongoing success and integrity of the program

The University of Calgary

While a Communications Officer II at The University of Calgary, strategic planning was part of our mandate and I’m familiar with this process. I’d be pleased to contribute but would want to have a sense of how the program is (and has been) perceived before I feel I could offer some meaningful input. That’s why, if chosen for this position, one of the first places I’d like to begin would be by tackling the next duty on the list.

Conducts background research (environmental scans, needs assessments, identify opportunities, etc.) to support program planning and advisory group meeting agendas

T-MAR Industries and The University of Calgary

While Marketing Manager for T-MAR Industries, I designed, implemented and analyzed surveys to get more information about how customers felt about T-MAR and its products. My coursework in Communications Research Methods at The University of Calgary helped me know how to create an effective survey. Here’s a survey done on T-MAR’s Kawasaki loader owners.

Assists with development, implementation and evaluation of curricular, extra-curricular and other faculty development course offerings (including use of online tools and resources)

The U of A, GMCC, International Schools

Let me draw your attention to my considerable experience studying art at the U of A, teaching and developing art and other curricula internationally, and my personal practice of art, all qualities that I think could help me assist in this regard. I’ve developed, implemented and evaluated course offerings for students (from Adult to Grade 4) for many subject areas and curriculum models.

International schools regularly require involvement in extra-curricular activities. I’ve been involved in offerings as diverse as indoor cricket, billiards, art club and volleyball coaching.

Hopefully, this webpage is demonstration enough of my online abilities. I’d also encourage you to browse the rest of my website.

Here’s my curriculum development and teaching experience in chronological order:

2011-2012/Fukuoka International School, Japan/Middle School Mathematics & Elementary Science

2008-2011/Abu Dhabi Vocational and Educational Training Institute (ADVETI), Al Ain, UAE/Adult Vocational Mathematics for UAE Nationals/Curriculum specially developed for three Mathematics courses adapted from the German vocational model. Co-authored three workbooks and assessment materials.

2006-2008/Kongsberg International School, Norway/International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) Mathematics and Art.

2004-2006/British International School of Jeddah, KSA/High School International General Certificate in Secondary Education and International (IGCSE) and Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) Art. Keystage 3 (Middle School) Art, Mathematics, History.

2003-2004/International School of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia/IBDP, MYP and International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) Art.

2003-2004/ISM International School, Tripoli, Libya/High School Irish Leaving Certificate Art & Art History. Middle School Art.

1998-2002/Nanaimo District School System, Nanaimo/High School, Junior High BC Curriculum Mathematics, Computer Science, Earth Science, Communications (ESL English).

1987-1988/Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton/College Journalism Mass Media, Graphic Design, Press Photography, News Laboratory.

Assists in updating course materials, including course facilitator manuals and AHHM electives descriptions; maintains database of AHHM elective students

ADVETI & T-MAR Industries

As my CV demonstrates, I’ve created a wide range of materials for a many uses and this experience lends itself well to these tasks. As mentioned previously, I co-authored three Mathematics workbooks for UAE adult students at the Abu Dhabi Vocational and Educational Training Institute in Al Ain.


Assists in developing and updating educational program resources (e.g., publicly accessible AHHM-ED reference database, UAlberta medical humanities-related course listing, UAlberta Medical/ Health Humanities directory, AHHM library listing

T-MAR Industries

While Marketing Manager with T-MAR Industries, I assembled and managed the company’s potential customer database.

Administrates medical health/ humanities student and resident awards

Kongsberg International School

In my teaching positions in Norway, I was responsible administering student awards in Art and Mathematics. Here’s Siri’s tessellation that vaulted her into  the position of the year’s top student in art.


Implements a communications strategy directed to ensuring awareness and uptake of program events, educational opportunities, and program resources (including development of a communications database, populating AHHM, FoMD, and UAlberta event calendars, Facebook page, twitter communications, poster distribution, etc.)

I have a facebook page, which I reserve for family and a few close friends, and a twitter account and blog I use to communicate more widely. I have developed or helped develop communications strategies for numerous organizations. As mentioned previously I know my way around databases. I can update social media and make sure the “legwork” for things like poster distribution is accomplished.

Maintains program website, web-based educational repositories and resources), and AHHM Program listserve

Develops web-based Google sites to provide an organized repository of information in support of various team-based efforts (faculty development, research, etc.)


There’s always something new to learn, including a number of the items in the duties listed above, but I believe this page and my website demonstrate my ability in the information age.

My email platform is gmail  and I’m used google docs and somewhat familiar with google+. As an artist, one of the themes I explore is what it means to be alive and what it truly means to communicate and I rely heavily on my webpage, www.jamesmillercreative.com to showcase my creativity and express my opinions.

And where’s it all going? Here’s a New Yorker cartoon by Benjamin Schwartz that captures some of the amazement I think we all feel about the always changing world wide web. Click on the cartoon if you’d like to order a copy.


Assists in preparing and editing posters for professional conferences, brochures and other program promotional materials, in collaboration with academic technology and design consultant colleagues

National Universities Week; The University of Calgary; IABC’s Making Vision a Reality Newsletter, Vancouver, BC; T-MAR Industries

Creating posters, brochures, newsletters and other promotional materials, either by myself or with others, has been part of virtually all my communications endeavors. Here’s a gallery of some of the posters I created for National Universities Week and the U of C; a sample of the daily newsletter produced for IABC’s Making Vision a Reality Conference in Vancouver and brochures and a newsletter designed for T-MAR Industries.

Assists in preparing annual and other periodic program reports (including helping to prepare reports regarding the contributions of the AHHM program to MD program accreditation requirements)

Editorial Experience: U of A Gateway, U of C Gazette, Canadian Forest Industries Magazine, St. Paul’s Hospital, Burnaby Hospital (for K.J. Lee & Associates), BC Tel, BC Epilepsy Association, Weyerhaeuser Canada, ICBC

Similar to my curriculum experience, I have a wide range of writing experience. I believe I have the research and analytical skills needed to produce effective reports. You can see from the list that many of my clients have been in the health care field.

Responsible for recruitment/promotion of summer studentship opportunities

Teaching experience

I think over 10 years of teaching would help me greatly in this regard.

Accomplishes other duties as assigned

All of the above

I believe the depth and breadth of my experience and abilities, detailed so far, indicate to that I have the ability to approach whatever other duties might come my way.


If you’ve made it this far in my application, I think it’s time for a break. I know I need one. So, when you’ve enjoyed enough of Monty Python’s  Intermission organ music, please continue on to the next section: Qualifications.


Post-secondary education in the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, or health; Masters preferred; equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered

A Year of Living Artistically (AYOLA), Nanaimo, Sechelt, Prince George 2013

I decided to dedicate 2013 (and now into 2014) to making art and the results can be seen on my website, which continues to expand with creative content, this page being the latest creation.

Hearing Aid Practitioner Program, MacEwan University, Edmonton 2012

My interest in hearing impairment is personal. In the late 1990s a standard physical at the doctor’s surprised me by finding a marked hearing loss in my left ear. Soon after, I had to be driven home from a friend’s house as I was having problems with my balance. Things went from bad to worse and my left ear was never right again, with permanent hearing loss and non-stop tinnitus. While the hearing loss, classed as moderate, made hearing more challenging, what was truly terrifying were the 45 minute to an hour attacks of vertigo that left me spent gastronomically and physically. Thankfully, these attacks were experienced every few years and neither the hearing loss nor the vertigo have made me unable to meet the requirements of my employment.

The most recent specialist I visited declined to diagnose me with Classic Ménière’s Disease because I didn’t exhibit the four symptoms of  the disease (hearing loss in the low range, tinnitus, vertigo and a feeling of fullness in the ears) at the same time. Apparently, an autopsy is the definitive test but I’ll wait on that one.

A hearing aid has helped and, while being fitted, the profession appealed to me. I completed the first semester and, focusing on my studies as an adult student, I received excellent grades. While the online instruction (which MacEwan readily admitted could be lonely) and the “textbook” approach to the material delivery may have contributed, I think it was the “aha” moment I had when administering a hearing test that convinced me I wanted something that would engage my creativity and willingness to serve in a different way.

History and Communications Research Methods, The University of Calgary 1983 – 1988

After completing my degree, I joined the Public Affairs Office of The University of Calgary as a Communications Officer II. I spent the next four years writing feature articles and preparing reports, laying out newspaper pages, creating posters and reviewing gallery exhibitions and dramatic productions, in addition to the other duties associated with strategizing the university’s communications efforts. One perk I took advantage of was the opportunity to attend classes for free and I completed a memorable course with Grant MacEwan, writing a paper on the failure of Franklin’s expedition, and also completed an informative course in Communications Research Methods.

Bachelor of Education, The University of Alberta (Specialization in Art Education) 1969 – 1983

My education at the U of A began first in Fine Arts and then  moved to Education where I completed a degree in Art Education with a number of courses extra to my degree. At one point, I was considering Optometry, so I actually have direct experience of studying with would be medical students.

I completed several higher level courses in painting and art history. One of my favorites was a course learning techniques used by the Old Masters, egg tempera, for example. I also studied art in the Extension department where I had the privilege of studying with ManWoman.

I am pleased with the work I produced while at the U of A. In addition to many pieces of art that you can see in my collection, I also produced a body of writing while serving two years as a Production Editor for the students’ union Gateway.

Short Duration Training

Ongoing education has been a permanent fixture in my life. Here’s a sampling of some relevant, short courses taken.

Marketing for the Visual Artist, Powell River, BC, April 19-21, 2013

Workshop with Ruth Payne, Ruth Payne, Visual Arts Coordinator for the Ferry Building Gallery, West Vancouver, focused on how to sell your art in a digital age.

DIATRAIN Instructor Training, Al Ain, UAE 2008

I was hired by the German educational organization (then known as GTZ) which took on a contract to establish a number of vocational schools in the UAE and I received this training. DIATRAIN is short for Diagnosis and Training, in which I learned to observe and annotate the competencies of a number of individuals at the same time.

IB Middle Years Art Education, Basel, Switzerland, July 3-7, 2006

While teaching International Baccalaureate Middle School Mathematics and Art at Kongsberg International School they sent me off to Basel to the MYP Arts Programme Workshop for Teachers New to the programme.

Familiarity and interest in the arts and health and/ or medical/ health humanities as emerging fields will be an asset

I believe my recent time spent in a health education environment and my demonstrated continuing interest in art, enhances my qualifications in this area.

Ability to work independently and as a part of collaborative team

Various employers

Production of the University of Calgary Gazette, T-MAR Industries’ trade shows and working with other teachers in cooperative efforts like creating videos and stage sets, are examples of my working as part of a collaborative team, while my independent work is probably best illustrated by my creative abilities highlighted on my website.

Evidence of progressively responsible work or internship experience in an educational, research or health care environment

British International School of Jeddah to Kongsberg International School to ADVETI

From serving as a member of the art department at BISJ, I became Head of MYP Art & Mathematics at Kongsberg International School and from there went on to being a Curriculum Developer and Instructor in Vocational  Mathematics at the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute, demonstrating a progressively responsible work experience.

Committed to continual program enhancement; well-organized, self-directed, creative problem-solving abilities

Everything/All the time

The line from the Eagles’ Life in the Fast Lane has been freely adapted here to signify what I believe in: doing my best in everything and meeting challenges with positivity and creativity.

Project management skills; ability to effectively prioritize, while managing multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced environment

Editorial experience

I think I’ve learned these skills and used them throughout my working career but would point especially to my considerable experience as an editor and writer in demonstrating the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.

Thorough and detail oriented within a vision-oriented, big-picture, interdisciplinary framework

Practically perfect in every way?

I can, and do, focus on the details but if I had to describe myself among these attributes it would be the “big-picture” kind of person.

Excellent computer skills including proficiency with MS Office computer software (Word, Excel, PPT, etc.), Google (email, docs, sites, etc.), website management and editing (experience with Sitecore is desirable), social media platforms, etc.

Used many, believe I can learn the rest

I’ve worked a lot with Word (creating math tests, inserting tables and created other specialty documents); know my way around Excel and have used Strong interpersonal, and excellent communication skills (written and verbal)

Can I talk the talk?

This webpage demonstrates my writing skills as do many pages on my website. For a sense of my creative writing abilities, visit the webpage about my children’s novel, The Apple of Albert’s Eye. Hopefully, I have impressed enough to warrant an interview where I’ll have an opportunity to demonstrate my verbal skills and show that I can also meet the final qualification listed, the…

Ability to interact and communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization and to maintain confidentiality, tact

Who do you love?

As my CV demonstrates, I’ve worked in a large number of positions in a great variety of organizations and I believe I have the ability to communicate with anyone, to know when information needs to be confidential and to understand when tact is required.

And in conclusion…

I believe my experience and expertise in art, health sciences, communications and information age technologies, combined with my interest in people and the human condition, demonstrate I’m the kind of motivated and enthusiastic individual you are looking for to fulfill the role of Program Coordinator, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine.

I’d like to suggest, therefore, that we meet to discuss more fully the contribution I could make to the University of Alberta in this role.

James Miller