Students Governing Board Bios

Name: Josh Benner


Name: Shayla Breen (REC President)


Name: Amber Clark (Speaker)
Program: Child and Youth Care Counselling
Year of service as a governor: 2nd
Year of study: 4th

Bio: Amber is a member of Berens River First Nation in Manitoba and is proud of her Scottish and Indigenous heritage and intends to advocate for Indigenous rights after she completes her education. Amber keeps herself busy working at the Cougars Campus Store, volunteering with OTAHPIAAKI Indigenous Fashion Week and as a student representative of the Bachelor of Child Studies Advisory Committee. In her free time Amber enjoys cycling, snowboarding and taking in the views offered in Rocky Mountains.

Why did you choose to become a governor? As a mature, opinionated and outspoken student I felt the position of Speaker would be an excellent role for me. I identify myself as a leader who is not afraid to call it like it is, challenge norms and encourage critical thinking. When I saw the job description I knew this would be a place for me to put my skills to use for a greater cause, serving students much like myself.


Name: Gracia Di N’zau Mbudi
Program: Business Administration
Year of service as a governor: 1st
Year of study: 4th 

Bio: Gracia Di N’zau Mbudi is a 4th year Marketing Student at Mount Royal University. As a 1 term governor, Gracia is passionate about building relationships and serving the interests of the Mount Royal Student body. Gracia’s interests include reading, drawing and dancing. He is an active member of the collective, Empirical Freedom, which specializes in a street style called KRUMP ( Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise). Gracia is excited to work with his counterparts to ensure that the needs of his fellow students are met. 


Name: Lucas Hardardt
Program: Bachelor of Arts – Policy Studies
Year of service as a governor: 1st
Year of study: 4th

Bio: I was elected as a SAMRU governor in November 2018 and I have a rich work history in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Through working to complete a bachelor’s degree in Policy Studies and minors in Economics and French, I have developed passions for public policy, efficiency, and language. Specifically, my skills include analytical abilities, client service, effective decision making and problem solving, and strong interpersonal effectiveness. Currently, I am completing a 12-month co-op with Global Affairs Canada as a Trade Commissioner Assistant and am slated to be transferred to Ottawa in January where I will finish my term. I plan on returning to full-time studies in Fall 2020. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering with campus clubs (such as the Policy Studies Students’ Society), sharing my knowledge of economics and language with others (as a Learning Peer), and eating eggs benedict with friends.

Why did you choose to become a governor? I chose to become a governor because I am grateful for the work that SAMRU does and I was interested in expanding my knowledge of governance. It not only was a gateway for me to obtain board experience (which is complementary to my degree), but it was also an effective way to become involved on campus and build relationships with my peers.


Name: Dustin Hertel


Name: Ian lees
Program: BBA Concentrating in Entrepreneurship
Year of service as a governor: 1st
Year of study: 4th

Bio: As with many of my peers on the governing board I am very busy. I remain a full-time student at Mount Royal pursing my BBA with a concentration on Entrepreneurship. I work a full-time job with a Calgary Based Startup looking to provide Calgary offices with healthy food options.

I have spent my whole life in Calgary, I went to Elementary, Junior high, High school, and University, all within 10 minutes of each other. Suffice it to say, I saved a lot on commuting costs. I spend my free time hiking in the mountains and trying out the fantastic beer offerings in Calgary’s newfound barley belt. You can usually find me running along the elbow river near Stanley park or catching up on a stack of books that is every increasing in size.

Why did you choose to become a governor? I wanted the experience of being a part of a governing body, to see what it is like, and to represent the students in the best way that I can.


Name: Matt Mickelson
Program: Bachelor of Arts: Criminal Justice
Year of service as a governor: 1st
Year of study: 3rd

Bio: Hi I’m Matt Mickelson. When I’m not busy with school or volunteering, you can find me binge-watching the latest season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I am also the president of “Cougars Unsolved” a social club that focuses on mysteries of all shapes and sizes, in my spare time I can be found volunteering on the legal and corporate committee of “The Canadian Association of Criminology and Legal Studies” a federal non-profit organization as well!

Why did you choose to become a governor? I chose to become a governor because I wanted to help make every student’s experience better here at MRU, and it just happened that someone told me about the Governor position so I applied and was appointed, and it’s been a rewarding experience that I am glad I applied for.


Name: Justin Nicholson


Name: Maggie Thaxter
Program: Criminal Justice
Year of service as a governor: 1st
Year of study: 4th

Bio: Maggie Thaxter is a driven young professional currently volunteering at the Calgary Youth Justice Society. In her free time, she enjoys road trips to the mountains, snowboarding, and taking her French Bulldog named Fernie to the dog park. She is very passionate about restorative justice especially as it pertains to youth. She is in her 4th year of criminal justice at MRU, some of her favourite courses that she took are: Forensic Science, Forensic Interviewing, and Aberrant Behaviour. Maggie sees herself potentially working in probation after graduation, and then continuing her studies further at law school. She is very excited to begin working with the student governing board, and to gain crucial experience.

Why did you choose to become a governor? Maggie became a governor because she wanted to get involved with her school. She wanted to find an opportunity that helped her build skills in the areas of policy-making, governance, and leadership.