SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
To the campus community –
The weather forecasts point to a stormy weekend as Hurricane Dorian passes over our region on Saturday night, bringing heavy rain and potentially damaging winds that could cause extended power outages. According to recent reports, this storm presents a strong and serious threat to our entire community. A message sent by the Town of Antigonish Is posted below for your reference.
The safety of our students and employees is our top priority. StFX staff are monitoring the storm closely, and are preparing to implement emergency response procedures should the need arise. In the meanwhile, please take note of the following information:
• We encourage the community to be prepared to stay indoors for the duration of the storm. Click here for basic tips to assist you in preparing.
• All students and employees are strongly encouraged to sign up for StFX Alerts, our emergency alert notification system. In the event of any campus closure, StFX Alerts can send a message via text, phone call, or message to a personal e-mail account. Alert messages will also be sent to all students and employees via @stfx.ca email addresses.
To sign up, visit www.alerts.stfx.ca (please note: If you have already signed up, you do not need to sign up again.)
• Employees and students living in residence should ensure windows and doors are closed, and that all large electronics such as computers are turned off during the storm. Lab instructors and researchers should prepare their time-sensitive lab research in the event of a power outage.
• Essential services will remain operational throughout the storm, including Residential Services, Safety and Security and dining services in Morrison Hall. In the event of a power outage, these services will operate via generator.
For our off-campus students, an Emergency Relief Centre will be opened if the need arises.
• A number of events scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled or rescheduled, including StFX athletics games, Welcome Week activities, and the Mulroney Hall event planned for Sunday, among other events. If you are planning to attend an activity or event this weekend, please doublecheck to ensure the activity has not been cancelled. If you must attend an event, please plan ahead to do so as safely as possible.
Finally, in the event of an emergency during the storm, the campus community is reminded to call 911. In the event that StFX student services are needed (including off-campus students), please call StFX Safety and Security – 902.867.4444.
We commit to keeping you updated as new and relevant information arises.
Message from the Town of Antigonish:
The Town of Antigonish wishes to advise residents to prepare for the severe storm that is approaching Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia is currently under a Tropical Cyclone Warning from Hurricane Dorian and as a result, current weather predictions are showing that Antigonish will be impacted by significant rainfall and high winds from Saturday evening at 6 p.m. into early Sunday morning. Rainfall expected ranges from 50-150mm and will accumulate quickly and wind is expected reach up to 150 km/hr.
To prepare, residents should secure outdoor furniture, flower pots and garbage bins, as well as ensure windows are closed and basements and backdoors are properly secured.
In the event of an emergency related to power outages, residents are expected to be prepared to cope on your own for at least the first 72 hours. For more information on how to be properly prepared, please visit:https://www.townofantigonish.ca/protective-services.html.
For storm related issues that require immediate attention on Saturday or Sunday, please contact 902-863-2956.
The Town is expecting a high volume a high volume of calls during this weather event and we will be dealing with issues based on severity and we ask for your patience during this time.
For less severe issues or concerns, please fill out the following form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeiUaDtNI2bJlaDhWzlJxos21xFImvS...
The Town will post any updates in relation to storm warnings, power outages or flooding notices to our website at www.townofantiognish.ca and social media pages, as well as shared with local radio.
The Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series at StFX will hold its fourth annual lecture on Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m. in Schwartz 205. The annual lecture is an initiative of the Hive for Feminist Research, an interdisciplinary research group formed in 2013 to increase the visibility and understanding of feminist research at StFX in all its diversities. A reception will follow the lecture, and all are welcome.
This year’s presenter is Dr. Rachel Hurst of the Women and Gender Studies Program, whose talk is entitled: “Settler Fantasies and Colonial ‘Before and After’ Photography.” Drawing on her experience in her previous work on cosmetic surgery and other idealized representations of women, Dr. Hurst will discuss the connections between visual culture, embodiment, and power within the vast photographic archive of Indigenous peoples from the later nineteenth and early twentieth-century North America. These photographs were taken by colonial settlers and those of European descent rather than Indigenous peoples themselves. They therefore represent the fantasies that European settlers had about Indigenous peoples, yet they were presented as objective evidence of Indigenous life and peoples, Dr. Hurst says. She argues that this archive systematically imposed European norms of gender and sexuality on Indigenous peoples. She suggests: “While there are scholars who situate gender and sexuality as central to their analyses of photographs in specific places and times, what is missing is a broad understanding of how these photographs are connected to one another across time and place – and into the present – through gender and sexuality as they are framed within a settler ‘before and after’ logic of Indigenous transformation.”
Dr. Hurst is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at StFX. She founded the Hive for Feminist Research in summer 2013 to offer a space for StFX researchers to share and discuss work. The Hive defines feminist research broadly as a type of inquiry concerned with understanding relations of power, particularly those based on gender as it intersects with race, sexuality, class, and ability.
Dr. Christina Holmes, member of the lecture committee commented, “Dr. Hurst was chosen to give this year’s lecture both to honour her contributions to feminist research at St. Francis Xavier University, as well as the importance of her current topic of research to Canadian society and how we understand reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
The Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series serves as a connection between all four faculties, the Coady, and the library. The lecture series runs on a three-year cycle, with a speaker from the Arts/Science/Library in year one, a speaker from Business/Education in year two, and from the Coady International Institute in year three.
Members of the Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series committee include Christina Holmes (Arts), Ann Fox (Science), Laura Lee Kearns (Education), Lori McKee (Education) and Shelley Price (Business). Gratitude extended to Meghan Landry (Library) and Naima Chowdhury (Coady) who have supported the committee in the preparations of the lecture series.
To the StFX community –
This week, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas, bringing with it catastrophic flooding and destruction. The images of the storm and its aftermath are devastating, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this tragedy – especially our Bahamian students and alumni, many of whom have family and friends living in the most affected areas.
StFX’s Office of Internationalization and the Diversity Engagement Centre have organized a drop-in gathering for all students tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 5, at 5 p.m. in the Diversity Engagement Centre (Bloomfield Centre – 4th floor.) This gathering is an opportunity to talk, seek support, or simply be with other people who are also affected by this tragedy. Representatives from StFX’s Health and Counselling Centre, as well as the StFX Chaplaincy team, will attend. There will also be a discussion about how the StFX community can raise funds to respond to this disaster.
As a reminder, students needing support can contact the Health and Counselling Centre at any time by calling (902) 867-2263, or by visiting their office in 305 Bloomfield Centre. If you or someone you know has been affected by Hurricane Dorian and you need support, I strongly encourage you to reach out.
Dr. Kevin Wamsley
StFX President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim)
The smiles, and energy, were absolutely contagious as new students and their families stepped onto the StFX campus on Saturday, Aug. 31 for Welcome Day 2019. Music pumped, members of the student Orientation Crew—O-Crew for short—cheered and sang, and staff and faculty were out in full force to welcome the Class of 2023 to campus—including StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley, who personally greeted everyone who arrived onto campus.
The message? Welcome to the Xaverian community—it’s going to be a great year ahead!
“It’s so welcoming, it’s been great,” says Patricia O’Callaghan of Scarborough, ON, who was helping her daughter, first year student Clara O’Callaghan, register and get settled.
“It’s very good, very organized and very relaxing,” said Clara, a humanities colloquium student who decided to attend StFX because of its academic program and the vibrant community. “I liked how small it is and that you can get to know your professors. I think that will really improve my studies. I also really liked the humanities colloquium,” she says.
Pàdruig MacDonald of Miramichi, NB, a fluent Gaelic speaker who is starting in the computer science program, said he is very excited as he has always wanted to go to StFX. Both his parents, Ellen (Doyle) MacDonald and Goiridh Dòmhnullach, are alumni, and both had great things to say about their own experiences.
The values of the university also lined up with his own, including the camaraderie inherent in the community and the focus on helping one another.
Another first year student, Yuhao He Erwin of China, who will take sociology, says he had heard about StFX in high school and was drawn by the X community, and the coastline. He says his experience so far has been great. “Everybody’s been very kind. They’ve told me the must-dos at StFX and invited me to join the international society.”
“The people are so helpful, they’re so energetic,” agrees Yagmur Var, a first year engineering student from Turkey who spent the past year of high school in Nova Scotia on exchange. She says she decided to apply to StFX after coming for a campus visit. “I really liked the campus and the engineering program.”
New students and their families met StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley, who personally greeted each and everyone as they made their way into the Keating Centre, into a showcase designed to introduce first year students to StFX, make them feel welcome in their new home, and provide the information they need for their time at university.
Several ‘Family and Friends Information Sessions’ were held throughout the day at the Keating Centre, while the Auxiliary Arena served as a StFX Services Showcase with information booths on over 30 student services and activities with faculty and staff on hand to chat and answer questions.
Stationed all around campus, from forming a welcome tunnel at the Keating Centre to greeting outside residences, members of the O-Crew cheered as people drove into StFX, played ice breaker games with students waiting in line, answered questions, and helped people move in. The upper year students provide much support to first year students, who often arrive a bit nervous, not sure where they’re going, and perhaps a little scared. Seeing how comfortable and how much fun these students are having helps ease the transition.
Sodexo provided amazing food throughout the day, including Chef Mike Pollock’s famed seafood chowder, as students moved into residence, picked up their student IDs, and took part in a formal President’s Welcome.
COMMUNITY LIKE NO OTHER
“The day’s finally here. You’ve arrived. It’s a great pleasure to welcome you to StFX,” Dr. Wamsley told students during the President’s Welcome.
“We are so happy you chose StFX over all the other universities in the world,” he said.
“You chose us for our outstanding professors, our outstanding staff, our unique community residential atmosphere, our small class size because professors and staff will know your name, because you will have incredible leadership and service opportunities, because we will give you the tools to make a difference in this world – StFX is community like no other.”
Just as StFX is committing to helping each of its students, Dr. Wamsley also reminded the incoming class that part of the responsibility lies with them—to get involved in the community, to look out for each and to respect each other.
“We must care for each other,” he said to long applause.
He also told the students to not be afraid to speak out to their academic advisors, their professors and university staff if they need help. “That’s part of the deal…because we are here to help.
“We are thrilled that you are here.”
“We will be there to help you as you embark on this adventure. We have the same goal as you. We are committed to your academic success and providing the best undergraduate experience,” StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost Dr. Tim Hynes said as he added his warm welcome to all.
“We understand and take very seriously the onus of responsibility that we as faculty and staff have. You can be assured we are up for the task of providing you with that transformational opportunity, that transformation experience that we often describe as the StFX experience.”
“You should have no doubt about one thing: each and everyone of you has the ability to succeed at StFX,” Dr. Hynes said as he told students not to worry if they have butterflies in their stomach about starting a new experience. That’s normal.
“You have already proven you are the type of student we’re looking for at StFX,” he said.
Success, however, is not a given. It comes as a result of effort, sacrifice and commitment. It will be a challenge but very much doable, Dr. Hynes said.
Students’ Union president Cecil VanBuskirk also welcomed the incoming class to the “start of some of the best years of your life.”
He reiterated the Students’ Union and all StFX are here to make your StFX experience valuable and life changing. “We want your StFX experience to be as incredible for you as it is for us,” he said.
Like previous speakers, he also encouraged the freshmen class to contribute their opinions, their ideas, their whole self to their StFX experience. Together, we thrive, he said.
Emma Kuzmyk, StFX Students’ Union vice president academic, served as emcee.
A recent two-day gathering on the StFX campus explored questions of disability, access, equity and education from diverse perspectives in the interest of creating and sustaining welcoming and equitable communities.
On Aug. 26th and 27th over 100 people from universities, community, government and the general public gathered at StFX’s Keating Centre for a community-university bridging event, "Disability, Access, Equity and Education: Creating Welcoming Communities."
The aim of the event was connection—coming together to learn about what is happening, and not happening, explore shared assets and resources, nourish a sense of curiosity and collectively imagine the possibilities for collaboration across sectors within rural Atlantic Canada.
The event was co-hosted by the Spatializing Care: Intersectional Disability Studies Lab at StFX in partnership with the Centre for Employment Innovation, StFX Extension Department, and StFX Faculty Development Committee, with support from a Jules Leger Award for development in pedagogical and administrative leadership.
“This is a very important time in Nova Scotia,” says Dr. Katie Aubrecht, Canada Research Chair Health Equity & Social Justice at StFX and director of the Spatializing Care Lab.
“Nova Scotia is embarking on new accessibility legislation. There is evidence to suggest progress where such provincial legislation has been enacted, but there are also lessons learned about challenges. We are in the privileged position to reflect on those lessons and have them inform action. Provincial changes are happening in relation with the Accessible Canada Act and at the same time as there is increasing attention to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). There are also changes happening within institutions. In Canadian universities, the Dimensions Program and Charter is mobilizing culture change in research and knowledge production through new equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. All of this movement suggests a window may be open and an opportunity presented to participate in and shape discussions and directions, and define the issues.”
Dulcie McCallum, Special Advisor on the Official Canadian Delegation for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CROD), speaks at the gathering.
Event organizers noted exciting work is happening here in our communities, but it’s not always easy to find out what is happening. They say there are not well-known cross-community, cross-institutional and cross-sectoral platforms to share knowledge and engage accessibility issues.
The two days of the event were active and saw attendees engaged in conversations, presentations, workshops and panel discussions focused on disability, access, equity and inclusion.
Jess Popp of the Centre for Employment Innovation at StFX said highlights for her included the engaging discourse that happened over the two days. “People were leaning in to uncomfortable topics and questions, challenging their own practices and beliefs, and doing so with the utmost respect and passion. All aimed at exploring how we might create and sustain more equitable and accessible spaces across our communities,” she said.
“The gathering was an important reminder that we live in a complex world, and that intersections of identity preclude a single path forward but rather inspire many avenues of possibility. Unique approaches to supporting individuals is key through meaningful engagement, relationships and reciprocity.”
She says as system partners, the Centre for Employment Innovation has been collectively exploring questions similar to those that were proposed over the past two days, “in order to understand how best to support our communities amidst a changing world of work. This opportunity to come together to learn, discuss our successes and our challenges, and create deeper relationships will be of immense value as we work collectively and collaboratively across sectors towards Moses Coady’s vision of ‘a full and abundant life for all.’”
Organizers say discussions highlighted the need to include culture in conversations about accessibility, and to include changes in thinking, relationships and attitudes alongside of the need for changes to the built environment and technology. Graphic recording and facilitation was provided by Mo Drescher from BraveSpace, who captured conversations on a giant mural. Arts was also featured by local artist Anne Camozzi.
During the event, participants shared a meal prepared by the Canadian Association of Community Living (CACL) Antigonish, watched a performance of the Park Bench Players and heard from local accessibility champions Jeff Teasdale, Jim Mulcahy and Verna MacDonald.
Participants also heard about community-led and driven initiatives from representatives from Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!), Culture Alive Antigonish, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, X-Project, Delmore Buddy Day Learning Institute, African Descent Student Affairs at StFX., L’Arche, and Mawita’mk, We’koqma’q First Nation.
In the closing plenary, County Councillor Gary Mattie shared his personal journey and discussed the importance of understanding accessibility as an opportunity to support people and communities in growing and thriving. Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher shared actions and directions by the town. Special Advisor to Canada’s Delegation to the United Nations CRPD Dulcie McCallum talked about the importance of thinking about accessibility as a human rights issue. Senator Mary Coyle described the Accessible Canada Act and the value of a culture of inclusion where all people can enjoy the full rights of citizenship. Steve Estey, chair of the International Committee of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and a StFX graduate described the need to think about how accessibility looks different outside of city centres.
While the event was considered a success, organizers noted there are areas for improvement, saying even when we think things are accessible and inclusive, they may not be and we need to be ready and willing to recognize when something is not right and make necessary changes. It’s hoped this will be the first gathering among many to come, they say.
A full house filled the Keating Centre on the morning of Aug. 28 as StFX employees gathered in fellowship and community to start the 2019-20 academic year off right with the annual Employee Breakfast.
StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley welcomed all new and current employees to the event, where he provided a number of campus updates and spoke about priorities for the year ahead, including welcoming students back to StFX for classes starting on Tuesday.b3.jpg
Dr. Kevin Wamsley
“You are valued employees. That’s why we are here today,” Dr. Wamsley said.
“Thank you for all that you do. I hope we all have a fantastic year ahead.”
Several senior members of the leadership team shared their thoughts on the coming year in a video message, including mentioning several celebratory events planned around the opening of Mulroney Hall in September and the milestones and anniversaries that will be marked during Homecoming 2019.
Students’ Union president Cecil VanBuskirk spoke about the initiatives council is pursuing this year, including their work to create value for students, including creating an extensive marketing strategy, a peer support program, and the Get Out The Vote campaign.b2.jpg
StFX political science professor Dr. Glenn Graham and Kim MacDonald, assistant manager of procurement services, served as the morning’s co-hosts.
StFX welcomed a major investment in health on Aug. 26 as the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser were on campus to announce more than $7.7 million over eight years for the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH), hosted on the StFX campus.
This renewed funding is to support research and evidence-based knowledge exchange to improve health equity for Canadians, and will enable Canada's public health community to take action on the social determinants of health, helping to close the gap between those who are most and least healthy, they said.
"The work of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health is essential in helping tackle challenges, which not long ago were not thought of as health issues. The stable funding announced today will help find new ways to improve our health care systems and to address disparities in access to health services across the country," the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor said.
While all Canadians should enjoy the benefits of good health, she said persistent health inequalities exist for many, including those with lower socioeconomic status, Indigenous peoples, sexual and racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, and people living with physical or mental impairments, she said during a ceremony held in the foyer of StFX’s Physical Sciences building.
Investing in the NCCDH, recognized for its work on improving public health sector knowledge, skills, policy, structures and decision-making, will help advance health equity, reducing harm from social circumstances that diminish health in Canada.
Minister Petitpas Taylor said that when we talk about the social determinants of health, it’s about income, it’s about education, it’s about jobs. It’s about so, so much more.
“That’s exactly the focus being done here at StFX, at the National Collaborating Centre for the Determinants of Health.
“As Minister of Health, I see the role that the determinants of health play in people’s lives each and every day.”
As example, she said, we’ve always known that poverty is an issue, but we didn’t know how much it effected people’s health, how a number of inequalities that exist in society have a direct connection to the health of community members, from someone who can’t afford to take a day off work to visit a doctor when needed to those who must choose between buying fresh fruits and vegetables or paying rent.
The ongoing work at the NCCDH helps makes those links.
“We’ve done a lot, but there is so much more work that needs to be done so that are fewer either/or choices.”
Mr. Fraser says the work happening at the NCCDH has made a real, tangible difference in the lives of Canadians. “There’s great work that’s come out of here and it’s essential that this work continue.”
This investment, he says, will help establish some of the best practices and best research available.announcement 2019 2.jpg announcement 2019 3.jpg
Mr. Fraser also took time to thank NCCDH scientific director Dr. Claire Betker and scientific director emeritus Connie Clement for all the work they have done.
“We are so proud to host the National Collaborating Centre for the Determinants of Health at StFX,” said StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley as he noted the university’s own deep history of social justice and social responsibility.
"This important funding supports the critical research that plays a role in improving the health of all Canadians"
Nova Scotia Minister of Health, the Honourable Randy Delorey was also in attendance at the ceremony.
The current work of the NCCDH includes inter-sectoral partnerships on building health equity organizational capacity, interventions to integrate equity targets, opioid surveillance, housing, Indigenous reconciliation, anti-racism initiatives, healthy built environment, mental health, food security, community interventions, and early child development.
Zech Meunier, a PhD student from Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, OR, is currently visiting StFX's Marine Ecology Lab where he is collaborating with Dr. Ricardo Scrosati.
He is conducting detailed surveys along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia with the ultimate goal of explaining how coastal pelagic conditions affect the intertidal algae and invertebrates that live on our rocky shores.
These studies are, in fact, part of a larger project that will compare the coastal ocean's biological influences between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, Dr. Scrosati says.
Mr. Meunier is supervised at OSU by Drs. Bruce Menge and Sally Hacker.
StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business has signed on to become a member of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, starting a transformational journey toward a more sustainable and responsible business education.
PRME is a United Nations-supported initiative founded to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world, and to equip business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow. Working through six principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.
By becoming a PRME signatory, the Schwartz School joins a worldwide network (including 19 in Canada) of business schools that have declared a commitment to responsible management education, says Dr. Brad Long, Schwartz School professor and the John T. Sears Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility, who introduced the initiative to StFX.
“Ultimately, PRME implementation boils down to embedding the values of corporate sustainability and responsibility into the daily activities of the Schwartz School of Business through a wide range of potential projects, actions, policies, and structural changes,” Dr. Long says.
“PRME is a way of holding us accountable for developing the responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”
Dr. Long says by signing on to PRME, the Schwartz School is formally acknowledging its commitment to responsible education as it aligns its teaching, research and knowledge dissemination with those concepts so its graduates are able to enter the workforce concerned about and having a skill set in social responsibility and sustainability
“We’re also being true to ourselves, to our stated strategic objectives, in the Schwartz Strategic Plan,” he says.
Dr. Long says the PRME designation will be a process of incremental change. It doesn’t radically change the BBA curriculum; rather, it’s building on it. He says there will be some new course offerings and some other courses that will develop modules that connect their topics and materials to these ideas.
The process will be guided and developed through a PRME working group of Schwartz faculty, and Dr. Long says the learning will be in the classroom and also beyond it in terms of research opportunities, conferences, guest speakers and service learning. Faculty, too, will be looking to how their own research questions can contribute to advancing sustainable development goals.
“I’m proud of the school and the faculty for seeing the value in this initiative,” Dr. Long says.
“I think it’s an important milestone in the history of the Gerald Schwartz School of Business. I look forward to seeing what comes out of it. We’re on a journey, and I’m excited to see where that takes us.”
Innovative food chemistry research on the StFX campus received a big boost with the news that human nutrition professor Dr. Marcia English has received nearly $200,000 in research funds.
Dr. English has received a $88,626 John R. Evans Leaders Fund award from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to purchase research equipment for her project, “Food Chemistry Research Platform for Investigating Aroma-active Compound Interactions in Plant-based Proteins.” She has also received $88,626 in matching funds from Research Nova Scotia.
The funding is part of over $61 million that the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The investment supports 261 projects at 40 universities across Canada.
Dr. English says receiving the grant is important and exciting as it allows her to bring new equipment to the university to provide new research opportunities.
“The combined funding from CFI and Research Nova Scotia has provided a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer with olfactory detection (GC-MS/O) and a preparative chromatography system for protein purification to support food chemistry research at StFX,” she says.
The GC-MS/O will allow Dr. English and her research group to establish correlations between the chemical nature of specific aroma and off-flavour compounds from leguminous plant sources with the human perception of smell.
In addition, the protein purification system will enable the team to extract and purify key proteins from these plant sources, and study their biochemical interactions with aroma compounds.
“This equipment is very timely since there has been an increased interest to replace and/or reduce the levels of animal protein with plant-based proteins in traditional and novel food products,” Dr. English says.
“Moreover, this equipment has provided new opportunities to train undergraduate and graduate students at StFX with interdisciplinary skills in protein and flavour chemistry, which will be beneficial for various placements in the food industry.”
EDMONTON, A.B. — Researchers across the country need the best labs and tools to spark discoveries that lead to healthy communities, clean air and water, new job opportunities and a prosperous future. That’s why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, today announced more than $61 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). This investment will support 261 projects at 40 universities across Canada.
The Fund helps exceptional university scientists conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their field.
The University of Alberta is receiving more than $2.2 million for 10 research infrastructure projects that will, among other things, ensure food safety, improve end-of-life care for patients, reclaim mining sites and reduce air pollution.
This investment will also help support Dr. Sandra Davidge, a pioneer in cardiovascular health in women and children at the University of Alberta. She is receiving funding for specialized imaging equipment that will enable her and her team to understand the link between low oxygen flow to an unborn baby and the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. The team’s work will help create early interventions that will allow these babies to grow into heart-healthy adults. This is just one example of how new investments in research infrastructure trigger innovations that affect the lives of everyday Canadians.
While in Edmonton, Minister Duncan also signed the Dimensions Charter with the University of Alberta. Institutions that endorse the Charter commit to embedding the principles of equity, diversity and inclusiveness in their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
“Researchers in Canada know that cutting-edge tools and labs are necessary to make discoveries and innovate. That is why our government is announcing funding for the infrastructure needs of Canadian researchers. Their ground-breaking contributions to science and research have an enormous impact on the breakthroughs that help make our visions for a better future a reality.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport
“Canada’s leading researchers require cutting-edge infrastructure to solve global challenges. At the Canada Foundation for Innovation we are proud to invest in their work and in our nation’s future.”
– Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation
“To pursue ground-breaking research initiatives that will improve the lives of Canadians, our researchers require state-of-the-art resources, facilities, and technologies—I am pleased to see this continued support for the extraordinary work being done at the University of Alberta and throughout Canada. I congratulate all of the recipients of the John R. Evans Leaders Fund and thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for these critical investments.”
– David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Alberta
A full list of the funded projects and stories about the facilities are available online at Innovation.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter @InnovationCA and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos about the CFI and its many transformative research projects.
Media Relations and Social Media Specialist
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport
Innovation, Science, and Economic
About the Canada Foundation for Innovation
For more than 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. And a robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.
What do two gruesome murders in colonial Nova Scotia and descriptions of medical conditions in early Irish manuscripts have in common? Answer: The XVIth International Congress of Celtic Studies of 2019.
From July 22-26, StFX faculty, Drs. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, Senior Research Professor, Department of History, Michael Linkletter, Chair of the Celtic Studies Department, and Ranke de Vries, Celtic Studies Department, attended this conference at Bangor University in North Wales. Dr. de Vries presented a paper, titled “Medical Material in Early Irish Literary Sources,” and Drs. Stanley-Blackwell and Linkletter co-presented on “The Gavel, Gaelic, and the Grave: Murder in Nineteenth-century Nova Scotia.”
Dr. de Vries’s presentation was based on a broader research project, which explores medieval non-medical Irish manuscript sources for evidence about medical terminology, ailments, and disease patterns in medieval Ireland. Dr. Stanley-Blackwell and Dr. Linkletter’s presentation, which examines Gaelic language use in Nova Scotia’s early court system, stems from their SSHRC-funded research into the deathways of Nova Scotia’s early Gaels.
This conference, which consisted of 131 sessions, in addition to five plenary lectures, attracted scholars from around the world “to discuss all things Celtic.” For a Canadian historian, the experience was particularly impressive. Dr. Stanley-Blackwell says, “The breadth of scholarship was sweeping and inspiring. Topics ranged from Welsh headstone inscriptions to Conchobar birth tales, post-tonic vowels in Cornish, Marian devotion in 20th-century Southern Hebrides, changelings in Irish storytelling, and contemporary Welsh and Irish language laws.”
The conference also epitomized the vibrancy and reach of StFX’s Celtic Studies program. Five of the presentations were given by alumni. In addition to Dr. Linkletter, they included Dr. Natasha Sumner of Harvard University and Dr. Anna Pagé of the University of Vienna, as well as graduate students, Emmet Taylor and Kathleen Reddy, who are enrolled in PhD programs at the University of Cork and University of Glasgow respectively. Also in attendance were two former members of the StFX Celtic Studies Department, Dr. Kristen Mills and Darán Ó Dochartaigh, and undergraduate Celtic Studies student, Lelia Houbé.
Says Dr. Linkletter, “The conference meets every four years. It provides us with a welcome opportunity to reconnect with some of our former students who are making a mark internationally.” According to Dr. de Vries, member of the Congress’s International Committee, the next conference will be hosted by Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 2023.
The Canadian Catholic Historical Association (CCHA) recently awarded the 2019 James F. Kenney Prize to Kenzie MacNeil, a 2019 graduate of the departments of History and Sociology at St. Francis Xavier University. Named in honour of the historian, former Dominion Archivist of Canada and CCHA founder James F. Kenney (1884-1946), the prize is awarded for the best essay on any aspect of the history of Catholicism in Canada written in course by an undergraduate student. Ms. MacNeil’s paper, “Fishers of Women: The Congregation of Notre Dame’s Pioneering Efforts on Female Education in Nova Scotia,” examined the important role that religious congregations had in delivering education for Catholic women in communities like eastern Nova Scotia.
CCHA President, Dr. Peter Ludlow, was very pleased with Ms. MacNeil’s paper and notes that this kind of scholarship is important in understanding how faith shaped all aspects of Canadian society. This paper helps demonstrate that “Catholic history is not merely about priests and bishops,” Dr. Ludlow noted, "but encapsulates issues like gender and ethnicity that together construct a fascinating social history.”
StFX history and Catholic studies professor Dr. Barry MacKenzie, who nominated Ms. MacNeil for the prize, was delighted with the news. “The Church, through both men and women religious, and in the way it guided the actions of the laity, played an immensely important role in the foundation and expansion of StFX, and in the region more broadly,” he commented. “Generally, that history is not well known, and so I was especially pleased that Kenzie took the initiative in telling the story of the CND sisters at Mount St. Bernard. We need to fully understand these stories, and in a more nuanced way.”
On July 17th, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced over $285 million in funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to researchers and graduate students across Canada—including to a large number of StFX faculty and students.
Humanities and social sciences research plays a critical role in helping us understand some of the biggest challenges Canadians face, Minister Duncan said. Researchers provide the evidence needed to make informed decisions about our communities, economy, health and future prosperity.
At StFX, the research projects range from understanding youth mobility in Nova Scotia to coastal search and rescue in the western Arctic.
“SSHRC grants play a key role in supporting research across a broad range of social science and humanities disciplines at StFX and they provide many opportunities for our students to gain invaluable research experience,” says StFX Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies Dr. Richard Isnor.
Dr. Isnor says StFX researchers have been doing very well in SSHRC competitions, including in this latest round where over a dozen StFX faculty and two graduate students successfully received research grants.
“We had a 100 per cent success rate in our most Insight Grant applications for 2018-19. And we had a very good success rate for the most recent SSHRC Insight Development Grants competition, with four out of seven applications approved” Dr. Isnor says.
Additionally, he says religious studies professor Dr. Ken Penner’s application was the top-rated Insight application in his category and several career faculty members received their first SSHRC grants.
StFX faculty are also tapping into a larger variety of SSHRC grant programs. Psychology professor Dr. Tara Callaghan, for example, received close to $200,000 for a three-year SSHRC Partnership Development Grant project in partnership with the Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
StFX faculty and students receiving SSHRC awards in 2018-19 include:
SSHRC Insight Grants
• Dr. Ken Penner (Religious Studies), $66,759. Project: Digital Codex Marchalianus.
• Dr. Robert White (Education), $89,392. Project: Critical interdisciplinary scholarship: A digital application.
• Dr. Adam Lajeunesse (Irving Shipbuilding Research Chair, Mulroney Institute of Government, Public Policy and Governance), $63,686. Project: The Manhattan Voyage and the Creation of the Modern Canadian North, with Dr. Peter Kikkert (Irving Shipbuilding Research Chair, Mulroney Institute of Government, Public Policy and Governance), co-applicant.
• Dr. Jonathan Langdon (Development Studies), co-applicant on a $80,908 project led by Dr. Blane Harvey, McGill University. Project: T-Learn: Understanding how facilitated learning supports transdisciplinary action on climate change.
SSHRC Insight Development Grants
• Dr. Adam Perry (Adult Education), $42,327. Project: Learning to stay, learning to go: Understanding youth mobility aspirations in Nova Scotia.
• Dr. Peter Kikkert (Irving Shipbuilding Research Chair, Mulroney Institute of Government, Public Policy and Governance), $63,719. Project: Horizontal Capacity-Mapping to Support Capability-Based Planning and Capacity-Building for Community-Based Maritime and Coastal Search and Rescue and Emergency Response in the Western Arctic.
• Dr. Nathan Allen (Political Science), $54,648. Project: Restricting Non-resident Voting Rights: The Effect of British Institutional Legacy in India and Abroad.
• Dr. Kara Thompson (Psychology). $74,996. Project: How Sex and Gender Differences in Modes of Administration Alter the Effects of Cannabis.
• Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden (Co-Applicant), $65,000. Project led by Dr. Dawn Wiseman at Bishop’s University. Project: "What does it look like in the classroom?": Locally meaningful STEM teaching and learning in Indigenous K-12 contexts.
SSHRC Partnership Development Grants
• Rohingya refugee children and youth: Development and facilitation of prosocial behavior in mega-camp contexts. Dr. Tara Callaghan (Psychology), three-year, $199,600 project. Partners: Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
SSHRC Partnership Grants
• Canadian Defence and Security Network, Seven-year, $2,498,789 project led by Dr. Stephen Saideman, Carleton University. StFX participants: Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, Irving Shipbuilding Research Chair in Canadian Arctic Security Policy (co-applicant).
• Thinking Historically for Canada's Future, Seven-year, $2,500,000 project led by Dr. Carla Peck, University of Alberta. StFX participants: Dr. Ingrid Robinson and Dr. Jeff Orr, Education (co-applicants).
• Univenture: A Partnership to Address Heavy Drinking and Other Substance Misuse on Canadian University Campuses, five-year; $2,500,000 project led by Dr. Sherry Stewart, Dalhousie University. StFX participants: Dr. Margo Watt & Dr. Kara Thompson, Psychology (co-applicants)
SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship
• Wendy Mackey, $20,000, one-year. Transforming a School System through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy : An Instrumental Case Study.
SSHRC Armand Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters
• Meaghan Campbell, $17,500, one year. The Sacred Landscape of the Irish Cailleach.
Almost 60 StFX students have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in important research projects this summer, while being mentored by StFX’s talented faculty members, as recipients of StFX undergraduate student summer research awards.
The students, who are from a wide variety of disciplines, are recipients of a number of prestigious awards including: the Irving Research Mentorship Awards, with funding provided through the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership; RBC Foundation Research Awards, with funding provided through the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government; Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) Scotia Scholar Awards; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council USRA Awards; Alley Heaps Student Research Awards; University Council for Research Student Research Awards; Gatto Research Chair Student Research Awards; and newly created student research awards available in the Faculty of Business through funding from the Schwartz Foundation.
Each student has been awarded a minimum of $6,250 and will spend their summer developing valuable academic and leadership skills, conducting research in diverse areas from projects looking at Canadian multiculturalism as a deterrent for radical right-wing populism to the applications of visible-light photocatalysis for water decontamination.
“This year, on the advice of the Research Advisory Committee, we made a conscious effort to further increase the number of undergraduate student research awards, as well as increase the funding levels to an equivalent level,” says Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies. “We also moved to a common application process; students being involved in developing their research applications is an important part of the research process. It’s wonderful to see the growing demand by students interested in undertaking research as part of their educational experience and the diversity of topics and disciplines being addressed. The support of our donors, such as the Schwartz Foundation, the RBC Foundation and Irving has been instrumental in these efforts.”
The 2019 Undergraduate Student Research Awards, are listed below, and include the student recipient, department and supervisor.
Irving Research Mentorships (The Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership)
Megan Fraser; Biology; J. Williams
Justin Laforest; Human Kinetics; M. Lam
Chelsey MacPherson; Celtic Studies; M. Linkletter
Taliah Powers; Philosophy; D. Vossen
Denisse Molina Quiroga; Psychology; T. Callaghan
Caleb Scargall; Philosophy; D. Al-Maini
MacGillvray Smith; Psychology; C. Lomore
Lauren Sobot; Biology; K. Blair
Adelaide Strickland; Development Studies; M. Moynagh
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) Scotia Scholars
Samantha Bardwell; Math and Statistics; R. Lukeman
Allison Britten; Psychology; E. Koch
Kelsey Gill; Human Nutrition; J. Jamieson
Amanda Gormley; Biology; T. Rodela
Emma Manning; Psychology; L. Berrigan
Bernadette McCann; Computer Science; J. Levman
Therese McCurdy; Nursing; J. Whittey-Rogers
Alaa Salih; Psychology; L. Berrigan
Kayleigh Trenholm; Psychology; A. Weaver/K. Blair
Hang Yu; Computer Science; L. Yang
RBC Foundation Research Awards (The Mulroney Institute of Government)
Marcus Cuomo; Political Science; P. Kikkert
David Eliot; Sociology; R. Bantjes
Alistair Hill; Sociology; N. Verberg
Brenna Martell; Aquatic Resources; P. Kikkert
Sara Murrin; Engineering; D. Risk
Kaitlin Owens; Education; J. Mitton-Kukner
MacKenzie Thomas; Political Science; L. Stan
Susannah Wolfe; History/WGS; R. Hurst
Alison Barkhouse; Earth Sciences; J. Braid
Melanie Belong; Biology/MS; R. Lukeman
Catherine Boisvert; Physics; P. Poole
Brian Canam; Physics; P. Marzlin
Dean Eaton; Physics; P. Poole
Elvin Girineza; Chemistry; G. Hallett-Tapley
Thomas Hujon; Physics; P. Marzlin
Megan MacDonald; Biology; R. Wyeth
Courtney MacDonald; Math and Statistics; R. Lukeman
Lauren Macquarrie; Earth Sciences; B. Murphy
Ellen McCole; BSC Math + Engineering; D. Risk
Maddy McDonald; Biology; C. Bishop
Grace Moffatt; Human Kinetics; D. Kane
Carmen Ucciferri; Biology; R. Wyeth
Alley Heaps Student Research Awards
Mingyang Ge; Computer Science; M. Lin
Prahar Injer; Computer Science; J. Levman
Allistar May; Computer Science; M. Lin
Logan Murphy; Computer Science; W. MacCaull
UCR Student Awards
Lauren Berrington; Biology; T. Rodela
Megan Davies; Biology; R. Wyeth
Charlotte Elliott; Chemistry; S. Razul
Cassandra Fenlon; Human Nutrition; M. English
Daniel Winters; Physics; R. van den Hoogen
Gatto Research Chair – Summer Student Research Award
Shaughnessy Cudmore-Keating; Philosophy; S. Baldner
Schwartz Foundation in Business
Samuel Studnicka; Y. Nguyen
William Warren; M. Fuller
Rachel MacDonald; S. Price
Mairi McKinnon; B. Long
Cameron Chubb; H. Ghouma
Lauren Huntley; Y. Nguyen
Five recent StFX graduates are the recipients of $125,000 in scholarship funding and will complete an eight-month paid placement with the federal government in Ottawa, thanks to the recently launched McKenna Centre Leadership Fellows Program at St. Francis Xavier University.
Matthew Eliot of Kingston, ON; Elizabeth Wallace of Antigonish, NS; Mackenzie Sly of Ottawa, ON; Allyson Amodeo of Kingston, ON; and Alejandra Torres of Honduras; are the inaugural McKenna Fellows, each recipient of a $25,000 scholarship.
The program is open to recent StFX graduates interested in public policy, public service and leadership, and includes a one-year commitment to further education and training.
“With the McKenna Fellows Program, there are a lot of things to be excited about,” says program coordinator Larry Swatuk. “The most exciting thing is the fact we are creating a bridge into public service for youth who have passion and energy,” he says.
“They are ready, but they’re often not taken seriously, or don’t know a way in. We’re opening that pathway for them.”
Mr. Swatuk says StFX has such an emphasis on quality undergraduate education, that the university and the McKenna Centre for Leadership wanted to offer a bridging program for great students, to give them a leg up in the working world with a focus on public service.
Additionally, he says today’s youth are disengaged with politics, and that’s a problem.
“Young people are opting out of the system, they’re not opting in. We’re opening up that pathway so they can become part of the solution.
“Twenty-first century Canada needs these people to be able to thrive and survive, and that’s exciting.”
As part of the bridging program, Mr. Swatuk says they are working to provide the scholarship holders with two four-month paid government internships. He says the participants will go through interviews and a matching process, and the intent is for them to gain experience with government, including learning how they can work in government, and to have meaningful work as professionals.
Mr. Swatuk says the McKenna Fellows Program has connected with the StFX network on the Hill and has been working with, among others, StFX graduate and NSERC vice-president Alfred LeBlanc, who chairs an alumni caucus of StFX graduates working in a range of careers for and in government in Ottawa.
“This fellowship is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door to learn,” says Matthew Eliot, who graduated from StFX with a degree in math and aquatic resources, and who has always been interested in public policy. He says he is excited to see how government works from the inside and to see if this is a field he wants to work in.
“I’m excited about expanding my knowledge base. I’m excited to try something new, to get out of my comfort zone and gain confidence in new fields,” says Ms. Sly, who graduated with a BBA in international business and will complete her first internship with the Treasury Board Secretariat, Centre for Greening Government. She previously worked three student jobs with Transport Canada and was involved in the Deputy Minister University Champion Initiative associated with StFX. She says the fellowship particularly appealed as it allows her to keep working with government and maintain ties to StFX. “What I’m most excited about is to build a network and to have the support from StFX alumni,” she says.
Ms. Amodeo says while she has always been interested in effecting change, she was never one for politics, and wasn’t going to apply for the fellowship until her StFX history professor Dr. Rhonda Semple encouraged her, noting you don’t have to be an expert in politics to be involved and create change. Ms. Amodeo says she is excited for the opportunity, and seeing how everything she has learned as a history and English graduate can apply, and what doors this may open.
Ms. Wallace, who graduated from StFX with a human kinetics degree and is finishing a masters in global health, also didn’t see herself involved in policy or politics, but through her studies saw how tied the social determinants of health are to public policy and how policy really impacts health. “That kind of drew me to pursuing this opportunity,” she says. “I’m excited to be able to work and to put five years of university to work in some capacity.”
“Echoing a lot of what my fellow colleagues said, I never saw myself working in politics,” says Ms. Torres who graduated in May with an honours degree in English. “My research incorporated different fields such as critical race theory, ethics and production, and theoretical analyses of identity politics. Although I focused mainly on the media industry, my main interest lied on minority rights and cultural analysis. As a result, I became keenly interested in applying all of my research experience to an area that focuses on making tangible changes for society—governance,” she says.
As an international student, Ms. Torres says she feels honoured to have an opportunity to learn more about policy making and governance in Canada. “I hope I can also contribute a different perspective to this field for I am an immigrant in this country. This program will allow me to contribute to the country where I have been fortunate enough to receive my undergraduate education. And I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to enhance my skill set and gain new skills with the federal government in Ottawa.”
Currently, the McKenna Fellows are participating in a two-week course on campus. During this portion of the training, Mr. Swatuk says the Fellows are completing three certificate-based courses centred on key government issues such as climate change and environment; gender and social equity; and Indigenous rights and treaty law. They will also participate in a one-day training session on ‘how government works;’ take part in leadership skills seminars, as well as in a field trip integrating all of the above. Additionally, they will visit two First Nations communities to talk about issues and concerns, and they will complete a day of hands-on environmental training around the Bras d’Or Lakes.
The McKenna Fellows will then complete the two internships between September-December 2019 and January-April 2020. The internships will include direct experience working in federal government, such as a policy analyst, or assistant to a senior manager in a government department or agency.
The program concludes with a two-day capstone exercise at StFX in April 2020 that will include a debriefing exercise involving a presentation to other program Fellows, members of the university, the wider community, NGOs, and the private sector.
Dr. Kevin Wamsley, StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost, is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Belliveau ’88 has been appointed the Dean of Science at StFX, effective January 1, 2020.
Dr. Belliveau comes to the university from his current position as Director, School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Belliveau has served in multiple leadership positions during his tenure at Western, including as Undergraduate Chair, School of Health Studies; Director, School of Health Studies; and President, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. He is described by his colleagues as an innovator in the classroom, an unwavering voice of support for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and an engaging leader
A scholar of anatomy, Dr. Belliveau has focused recently on three-dimensional representations of anatomy and their enhancement of the learning environment and the influence of competition on learning. He is the successful recipient of numerous research grants, including from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; eCampus Ontario – Open Content Initiative; Western Teaching Fellow; Cancer Research Society; Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund; and Canada Foundation for Innovation. Additionally, he has been honoured as the 2019 recipient of the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching, Western University’s most distinguished teaching honour; as well as a number of other awards including the 2018 Faculty of Health Sciences Teaching Award of Excellence for Faculty; the 2016 CAUT Distinguished Service Award; and the Faculty of Health Sciences Recognition of Excellence in Teaching. He has supervised dozens of undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Belliveau has authored and co-authored numerous papers, book chapters and proceedings, and has presented invited papers. Among administrative and professional activities, he served as an external reviewer and consultant for StFX’s Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Health; as well as was a participant in Building Administrative Skills through Innovation, Collegiality and Strategy, a Western University program offered to emerging academic leaders.
He has given his time and expertise to extensive university committees, and in the community, including chairing the Emergency Department Patient & Family Advisory Council, and the school council at St. Paul’s Catholic Elementary School.
StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost Dr. Kevin Wamsley is pleased to announce that Sandy Iverson has been appointed University Librarian, effective August 1, 2019.
Ms. Iverson has a unique and varied career encompassing librarianship and leadership experience in a range of academic and educational settings including specialized academic libraries, university and college experience, and adult literacy and education organizations. The common thread and theme throughout her career has been in supporting students and faculty in research and educational endeavors through a wide range of supportive services and specialized programs.
Most recently, she has led health information and knowledge programs at St. Michael’s Hospital, one of the primary teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto, by supporting students with their research and educational pursuits, and staff with research appointments and clinical work. Reporting to the VP of Education, Ms. Iverson managed library services, archives, patient & family education, and eLearning and educational technology.
Ms. Iverson is the recipient of numerous awards and is involved in producing many publications and presentations about libraries services and education. She is currently the Vice-President/President-Elect with the Canadian Health Libraries Association, as well as a founding member of their leadership institute working group. She is former President and Past-President, Toronto Health Libraries Association.
She holds a Master’s of Library & Information Science, University of British Columbia; Master’s of Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; BA, Library Science, Concordia University; and RP/DipTIRP, Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy, registered with the Ontario College of Psychotherapists.
Dr. Karen Blair, a StFX psychology professor, is on her way to Europe to learn more about the Holocaust as one of 25 educators from across Canada selected to participate in the Leaders of Change Program.
The program is a new scholarship initiative from the Canadian Society of Yad Vashem (CSYV) intended to provide education and training to leaders in the field of Holocaust education in Canada.
Dr. Karen Blair
Dr. Blair has been active in Holocaust education at StFX for several years and is currently working with StFX Continuing Education to develop a Maple League of Universities course to be offered in May 2020 to students at all four Maple League institutions: StFX, Acadia, Bishop’s and Mount Allison. The course will focus on “The Holocaust and Today,” to bring to light the relevance of studying the Holocaust and applying its universal lessons to an understanding of current events and human behavior, she says.
“One of the reasons that I am participating in this trip is to help learn about how best to teach about the Holocaust to young adults and how best to design immersion learning experiences related to the Holocaust,” Dr. Blair says.
The trip began in Toronto with a two-day seminar that included learning about how to teach about the Holocaust in the classroom, the history of antisemitism, and a meeting with three Holocaust survivors. The group now travels to Berlin, where they will learn about Jewish history and life before, during and after WWII.
From there, they continue to Poland, where they will stop in Warsaw, Zamość, Krakow and Auschwitz. Along the way, they’ll visit museums and memorials related to concentration and death camps, including Treblinka, Belzec, and Majdanek. While away, Dr. Blair will share parts of the experience through the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StFXShoahEd/
Dr. Blair has been active in Holocaust education at StFX. Each year, she teaches Psych 441 - Advanced Social Psychology, and since 2016 she’s been teaching this as the Social Psychology of the Holocaust.
“It’s been a very impactful course for students and allows them to apply their academic learning to a historical event that has many current day applications and relevances,” she says.
In 2017, she designed StFX’s first Holocaust Service Learning trip and led the first trip in February 2018, taking 10 students and another instructor to Germany and Poland for an immersive learning experience focused on the Holocaust. “Many of the students had previously taken Psych 441 or another Holocaust-related course and the trip really helped them to better understand the concepts that they had been learning about in the classroom,” she says. “Experiential learning related to the Holocaust is really quite different than reading about what happened through a book. Immersive learning engages all of the senses and helps students to really connect with the personal narratives of the Holocaust.” The second trip went last year with faculty lead Dr. Rhonda Semple and the third is planned for February 2020.
Dr. Blair says along with her Psych 240 Social Psychology students, she has been conducting a study for the past two years on Holocaust education and knowledge at StFX.
“By and large, StFX students have similar levels of knowledge concerning the Holocaust as other millennials in Canada, however, this level of knowledge is not great, not specific, and appears to be going down over time,” she says.
“One of the goals of the Leaders of Change program is to help address the paradigm shift in Holocaust education as we move into an era where students will no longer be able to hear firsthand from Holocaust survivors.”
Dr. Blair says the new Maple League course will be targeted at third year students, but open to those in second, third and fourth year. It will involve an online reading and discussion course followed by a two-week immersion study trip to Europe where participants will visit sites of relevance to the Holocaust, including Berlin, Wannsee, Krakow and Auschwitz.Holocaust immersion photo a.jpg
Dr. Karen Blair and StFX students on StFX’s first Holocaust Service Learning trip
Finally, students will complete a capstone project related to the Holocaust upon their return from Europe that is tailored to their own particular field of study or academic interests.
Students will need to apply to be accepted into the course. She says they expect the application deadline falling in early fall 2019.
Dr. Blair’s participation in the current trip is sponsored by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem as well as additional funds from the Jules Leger Fund to support pedagogical training experiences for faculty members at StFX.
The research work led by Dr. Jacob Levman, Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics in StFX's Computer Science Department, is focused on developing tools that will address a key medical challenge—namely the early diagnosis of neurological disorders in children—using advanced computing techniques.
Dr. Levman and members of his lab are focused on the development of computational techniques and software tools that can be used in a variety of health applications. His work, “Novel pattern recognition technologies in medical imaging applications,” received funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust to help purchase a series of high-end secure computer workstations and advanced software to help with machine learning analysis of MRI data for the lab, located in newly-renovated research space with the Physical Sciences Building.
L-r, Lab members Derek Berger, Shekhar Dewan, Acting Senior Director Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education Greg Ells, Dr. Jacob Levman, Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education Duff Montgomery, Duncan Osmond, Marissa Campbell and Joshua Henderson
On June 25, 2019, the Levman lab welcomed Duff Montgomery, Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, and Greg Ells, Acting Senior Director. The two were on campus for a morning session and lunch meeting with the StFX President’s Council, and to learn more about Dr. Levman’s project, which involves computational research to support a wide variety of medical imaging applications such as neurodevelopmental imaging.
Dr. Levman maintains an affiliation with Harvard Medical School to provide ongoing access to high-quality clinical imaging data and to facilitate collaborations with physicians and neuroscientists.
The goals of this research, he says, include the development of new detection and diagnostic technologies, which can improve the standard of patient care for Nova Scotians and Canadians. This research is also intended to help the scientific community better understand the underlying physiological conditions associated with the development of a variety of medical disorders. It is hoped that, by providing a better understanding of medical conditions, this research can contribute to educating physicians and inspiring clinician researchers to develop novel therapeutic interventions for a variety of disorders.
Dr. Levman currently has a number of StFX students involved in his research.