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Athabasca University

Lorna Stefanick, Ph.D.

Professor and Program Coordinator
BPA-Governance, Law and Management



  • Ph.D. (Queen's University ( Kingston))
  • M.A. (University of Calgary)
  • B.A. (University of British Columbia)


Born and raised in Edmonton, Lorna Stefanick registered in her first university course over 30 years ago - a distance course at AU which she completed while working fulltime. Lorna eventually completed a degree in international relations from UBC in Vancouver. Her master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Calgary was undertaken in much the same way - part-time, while having children. Lorna had her first “traditional” experience as a fulltime student at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, where she completed a Ph.D. in 1996. These early experiences that combined working, parenting, and learning shaped Lorna’s democratic approach to post-secondary education. She believes strongly that knowledge and skill development are not the preserve of society's elite; we all collectively benefit when barriers to higher education are removed.

Lorna has taught at all four of the Alberta's comprehensive research universities: Calgary, Lethbridge, Alberta, and Athabasca. At the University of Alberta, she was instrumental in developing national programs in Information Access and Protection of Privacy and Local Government Administration; the latter program won the 2003 CAUCE Award of Excellence Program Award. Aside from providing needed professional development for public administrators in two important areas of public administration, Lorna found this program work particularly rewarding as it allows adult learners who might otherwise be excluded to participate in an interactive instructional experience with students from across Canada.

Lorna’s research interests are as diverse as her teaching background: administrative accountability, information access and privacy, environmental politics, cyber communities, online learning and local government. The theme that connects these diverse interests is their connection with democratic practice. While Lorna’s research has been published in international journals and has been translated into multiple languages, she is particularly interested in the trajectory of democracy in her home province. Lorna’s most recent book with Meenal Shrivastava, Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada, examines the impact of Alberta oil on the relationship between citizens and their government.

Updated April 28 2020 by Student & Academic Services

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