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.