Third year students in the N333 nursing class of Daphne Connolly and Marie Arnott in StFX’s Rankin School of Nursing were able to gain a new perspective on cutting edge and collaborative care following a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Jack Rasmussen, a burn care specialist at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, NS.
Dr. Rasmussen has unique training as both a plastic surgeon and an intensivist or critical care doctor, allowing him to follow major burn patients from the time they enter the hospital, through reconstructive surgeries, all the way to recovery, the organizers say. The QEII is the only adult health care centre in the Maritimes to house an inpatient burn care centre, and having this expertise is an important step in improving how the QEII delivers care to burn patients.
During his presentation at StFX, Dr. Rasmussen spoke about innovative treatments such as skin grafting using a synthetic called Integra. Dr. Rasmussen uses a new skin grafting machine called the Meek mesher, acquired through the efforts of previous burn unit director Dr. John Stein, and funded by the QEII Foundation and the Nova Scotia Firefighters Burn Treatment Society. Using the machine, he can take a relatively small amount of healthy skin from one part of a major burn patient’s body and spread it over a larger area of their body, helping the patient heal faster with fewer surgeries.
Prof. Arnott says the presentation was well received and several student nurses taking critical care nursing as an elective said the talk further reinforced the theory they’ve learned. Others commented on how Dr. Rasmussen’s work peaked their interest in becoming part of a burn unit team at some point.
Dr. Rasmussen is a StFX graduate. Interestingly, he was taught anatomy and physiology at StFX by his father, longtime human kinetics professor Dr. Roy Rasmussen.
The important role of research on campus was once again celebrated as faculty from across disciplines presented their work during the 2019 StFX Faculty Research Day held March 22 in Bloomfield Centre.
Throughout the day, visitors could take in a number of research poster and oral presentations that included topics such as “Politics of ocean planning in the Gulf of St. Lawrence” to “The reach and effectiveness of a diabetes prevention program: small steps for big changes;” from “The permafrost carbon cycle feedback to climate change & the Paris accord: Are we already committed to 1.5 C of warming?” to “Economic policy uncertainty and bank stability.”
Dr. Kevin Wamsley, Academic Vice President & Provost, speaking in opening remarks, noted today is a day to celebrate the outstanding research culture we have at StFX.
“Thank you for coming out to share your research and to hear about the research of others,” he said.
At StFX, he says, faculty are dedicated to teaching, which is so important, and also have outstanding research programs, where they get grants, publish in top-ranked journals and provide opinion and commentary in a number of outlets.Faculty research day Kevin Wamsley.jpg
Dr. Kevin Wamsley delivers welcoming remarks during StFX Faculty Research Day
“As a university, we value the opportunity to celebrate this.”
The day’s facilitator was Dr. Richard Isnor, Associate Vice President Research and Graduate Studies, whose office sponsored the event.
New this year, Faculty Research Day also included a Lunch with Arts, Health Research Panel with colleagues from four universities across Canada and an Arts/Health Research Workshop, both hosted by StFX sociology professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) Health Equity & Social Justice Dr. Katie Aubrecht.
StFX’s 17th annual Student Research Day was also held the night before, March 21, in Bloomfield Centre, and Dr. Isnor says holding the two events back-to-back over consecutive days in the same location is meant to encourage sharing across both groups.
The event concluded with a research reception in the McNeil Gallery, Schwartz School of Business to celebrate major research accomplishments from the past year.
From studying disadvantaged youth and academic success to investigating estuarine plant survival in pre-industrial boat harbour sediment, StFX’s 17th Annual Student Research Day presented a vast, varied and impressive array of student research.
Over 100 research posters and oral presentations highlighted the annual event held this year on March 21 at Bloomfield Centre.
Student Research Day gives students the opportunity to showcase their research or advanced studies, and the community the chance to learn about and discuss the work.
Research topics, representing a wide mix of disciplines, ranged this year from ‘twitter on trial: public and journalists’ perceptions of twitter generally and live-tweeting specifically from the courtroom’ to ‘taking personalized medicine into the clinic: a preliminary review.’
“It was tremendous to see the quality and diversity of oral and poster presentations at the 17th Annual Student Research Day, as well as the great turn-out and participation of the StFX community. Student research at StFX has a distinct impact on a wide range of issues and our student researchers participating in Student Research Day have again demonstrated a high level of confidence and quality for which they should be proud,” said Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies.
“It’s meant to share across both groups,” Dr. Isnor says.
A number of awards were handed out following the event These included:
Best Oral Presentation – Science (Co-Sponsored by the StFX Campus Store and the Research Services Group): Patrick O'Brien, PHYSICS, Invariant Centre of Mass of the Upsilon(2S) Meson
Best Oral Presentation - Social Sciences and Humanities (Co-Sponsored by the StFX Campus Store and the Research Services Group): Alejandra Torres, ENGLISH, "Recommended for You": Netflix's Basic Algorithm for Racism
Best Poster Awards (Co-Sponsored by the StFX Campus Store and the Research Services Group):
Gold: Jessie Doyle, PSYCHOLOGY, The Role of Anxiety Sensitivity and Influence of Anxious Attachment in Borderline Personality Disorder
Gold: Amy Rowe, ECONOMICS, Economic Benefits of English Medium Instruction: A Cross-Country Analysis of Linguistic Distance
Silver: Liam Elbourne, ECONOMICS, The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Yield and Volatility of Canadian Bank Stocks
Silver: Emma Hennessey, HUMAN KINETICS, The Impact of your next move: X Fans in Training on Waist Circumference, Body Weight, and BMI in Overweight and Obese Men
Silver: Evan Davison-Kotler, BIOLOGY, Development of a dermal protein scaffold for the treatment of full-thickness skin wounds
Silver: Kirsten Gallant, ECONOMICS, A Dynamic Model of People Who Inject Drugs and the Role of Different Interventions in Overdose Prevention
Silver: Sydney Silver, BIOLOGY, Salinity tolerance of Halocladius variabilis (Diptera:Chironomidae) larvae from the rocky intertidal zone of Nova Scotia, Canada
Outstanding Community Engaged Research Project, sponsored by StFX Service Learning Program: Sarah Comandante, HUMAN KINETICS, The Power of Play: A Qualitative Examination of Parent's/Guardian's Perceptions of the Fit 4 Tots Program
Angus L. Macdonald Bibliography Award, sponsored by the Angus L Macdonald Library: Kendra Barry and Brianna Gottschall, HEALTH, Taking Personalized Medicine into the Clinic: A Preliminary Review
Local Undergraduate Research Award in Physiology (LURAP), sponsored by The American Physiological Society: Evan Davison-Kotler, BIOLOGY, Development of a dermal protein scaffold for the treatment of full-thickness skin wounds
After weeks of preparatory research to apply insights from Northern history, Canadian studies, and international law to a simulated crisis in Canada-United States relations, five senior undergraduate students from Trent University travelled to Nova Scotia this past weekend. On March 16th, they faced off against student counterparts from StFX in an all-day mock re-negotiation of the response to the Polar Sea crisis of 1985-86—a tense round of bilateral discussions after a US Coast Guard icebreaker transited the Northwest Passage (which Canada considers its historic internal waters subject to its full sovereignty) without Canadian permission.
The Trent students, mentored by Canadian studies professor and Canada Research Chair in the Study of the Canadian North, Whitney Lackenbauer, played the role of the Canadian delegation, while nine undergrads from StFX represented the United States. The StFX students were mentored by Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Maritime Security Policy at StFX.
The two sides debated fine points of international law, maritime security, shipping and development opportunities, and Inuit historic sea ice use and occupancy in a back and forth exchange the spanned several hours of intense discussion.
Their deep and nuanced understanding of this complex problem impressed the “impartial” moderator Dr. Peter Kikkert, Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy at StFX.
“Students who had focused their preparatory readings on legal affairs carried on a spirited debate over applicability of Canada’s historic waters claim, its straight baselines, and an alleged international strait running through the Arctic Archipelago,” he noted.
Others “displayed a broad understanding of global security concerns, sought ways to sidestep sovereignty issues to meet Canadian environmental regulatory needs without denying American freedom of navigation, and debated questions of Inuit usage and human security that anticipated the debates leading to the creation of the Arctic Council in 1996.”
The organizers say the point of the exercise was to energize students and encourage them to explore scholarly literature and debates on Canadian sovereignty and the myriad issues surrounding it, including security, transportation, economic, environmental, and Indigenous dimensions. Then they applied their knowledge to a historical scenario, engaging in discussions and crafting proposals to simulate how negotiators might overcome competing priorities and interpretations of law in real-world deliberations.
“The students’ success in the exercise was best demonstrated by their organic development, over multiple break-out sessions with their peers, of a series of compromises and proposals which closely tracked what Canadian and American negotiators actually tried in the late 1980s,” Dr. Lajeunesse observed. “Both sides equally understood their respective nations’ ‘red lines’ and each of these proposals failed in light of those immovable national requirements.”
He says in the face of repeated and frustrating failures to arrive at a compromise, the American (StFX) delegation brashly threatened sanctions and aggressive naval challenges. The Canadians (Trent) dared the Americans to take them to the International Court of Justice. “Just when it looked like the negotiations were doomed to collapse,” Dr. Lackenbauer recounted, “the two parties abruptly changed course and decided to set aside irreconcilable differences so that they could pursue a more practical and pragmatic arrangement.” After a rapid series of back-and-forth concessions and offers, students produced a framework for Arctic cooperation which mirrored, in a surprising number of respects, the Arctic Cooperation Agreement that Canadian and American diplomats agreed upon in 1988, Dr. Lackenbauer said. That neither team had been given this document or had seen it going into the event highlighted just how thoroughly they had assimilated their respective national positions, needs, and requirements.
Drs. Lackenbauer and Lajeunesse hope that this will become an annual or biennial event, with students exploring different scenarios that encourage them to explore the complex interaction of political, environmental, socio-economic, legal, and cultural variables in international negotiations.
“As the US Coast Guard begins to rebuild its icebreaker fleet, the American security community is now speaking freely about new ‘freedom of navigation voyages’ through the Arctic waters,” Dr. Lajeunesse notes. “If this summer or next we do see a renewed challenge to Canadian sovereignty we can only hope our representatives show the same level-headedness as our students!”
To the StFX Community,
As Chair of the StFX Board of Governors, I write to inform you that after five years as President of StFX University, Dr. Kent MacDonald has decided to not renew his contract of employment which is scheduled to end on July 31, 2019.
Kent has dedicated himself tirelessly to leading StFX and has done a tremendous job in the role as President. His strengths are many, yet one that stands out for me has been his ability to personally connect and communicate with our students, a group that he cares deeply for. This was reflected in his decision to create and launch the Xaverian Fund – a $50 million endowment for student scholarships and bursaries which, in part, has increased access to higher education for those who could not afford such an opportunity. In addition to his commitment to students, Kent and his team have had many significant accomplishments during his tenure -- establishing the university’s 2017 – 2022 Strategic Plan; supporting the development and launching of new academic programs; launching the $110 million Xaverian Commons Project to improve academic and social spaces on campus; bringing the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government to fruition; and, most recently, balancing the university’s budget – just to name a few.
It is with this strong momentum that Kent expressed to me that it is the right time for someone new to step in to not only continue the good work that he has been leading, but to bring innovation and new ideas that will further advance StFX’s academic mission.
Kent will remain in his role until July 31st, 2019. A presidential search will begin in the weeks ahead. More details will be shared as they become available. The board is confident that the university’s executive team will continue their collective commitment to StFX during the transition period and beyond.
On behalf of the entire StFX community, I thank Kent for his leadership and unwavering dedication to this wonderful institution. He is a true Xaverian and I know he will continue to be a great friend and supporter of StFX in the future. At his request, I am providing a link to a letter from him to the campus community regarding his decision – letter from Dr. MacDonald.
Chair, StFX Board of Governors
A new centre that supports teaching, research and learning has opened on the StFX campus.
The Spatial Data Resource Centre is housed on the first floor of the Angus L. Macdonald Library, and offers the campus community a place to learn about and utilize spatial information with a geographic aspect to it—a resource that will help students and faculty on a wide range of projects.
“In this age of spatial information, it will be nice to have a space where researchers can access data and discuss ways to acquire the information they need,” says Matt Schumacher, StFX environmental science lab instructor and the driving force behind the centre, which houses data, both physical (such as maps and aerial photos) and digital (including pictures and satellite imagery) and has the capacity to print maps and posters.
Mr. Schumacher, who teaches a course on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) at StFX and is the informal, and go-to, GIS professional on campus, says he is excited that students, faculty and staff can become more informed and expert users in spatial information.
He says at least once a week he receives student and faculty requests for GIS-related help.
Not only will the centre be able to help students, faculty and staff on numerous projects, it will help students learn important skills that are useful in the job market, he says.
GIS, he says, is simply, mapping software. “But it can do so much more than that.” It takes layers of information and puts them together so that spatial information can be analyzed, stored and visualized.
Mr. Schumacher says the way spatial information is collected and analyzed has transformed the way relationships and patterns are understood. This information is increasingly utilized by a broad range of users.
As examples, the information can be useful on any project with a spatial element to it. From finding a certain species of plant that grows in specific locations to the public health field and planning for epidemics; from helping to understand the demographics of ridings and their voting trends, to the business field where it can be used to help retail outlets get a sense of their customer base to target those hot spots with ads or in locating a new store.
Mr. Schumacher says the centre will help educate the campus community about this new resource, the data tools available and how it can help them with their research. He’ll have set hours at a help desk in the centre.
He says the offices of StFX Associate Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies Dr. Richard Isnor and the former Dean of Science Dr. Petra Hauf have been very supportive of the initiative, including providing some funding to help with the set up.
From discussions around mental health in policing to the Dennis Oland trial, participants at the 11th annual Forensic Psychology Day @ X, held March 8 in StFX’s MacKay Room, Bloomfield Centre, had a terrific opportunity to participate in daylong discussions of all matters at the interface of psychology and law.
Now in its 11th year, this annual event is organized by StFX forensic psychology students and includes speakers from the criminal and correctional justice systems, forensic researchers and students. Speakers and guests came from across Atlantic Canada.
“The professionals, many being StFX alumni, who help out with the Special Concentration in Forensic Psychology in various ways, such as speaking in class, providing workshops, and facilitating placements for students, have been coined ‘friends of forensic psychology’ by (concentration coordinator and StFX psychology professor) Dr. Margo Watt, and this day is organized by students with the goal of recognizing and thanking them for all that they do,” says Claire Keenan, a StFX student and one of the day’s organizers, along with Jennifer Aftanas.
“The event also serves as an opportunity for students, both forensic students and otherwise, and community members to gain a better understanding of the program and of forensic psychology in general.”
Several highlights from the day included keynote speaker Dr. Mary Ann Campbell, a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick, whose address focused on 'Mental Health in Policing;’ Dr. Meg Ternes, a forensic psychologist from Saint Mary's University who spoke about deception detection; and an alumni panel who spoke about their careers since StFX, their research, and answered questions from current students.
Other highlights included talks from correctional psychologists Paul Murphy and Lesa Dawson – Mental Health in Correctional Service of Canada; Nicole Rovers – Legal Aid Law; and Dr. Veronica Stinson of Saint Mary’s University – Psychological science on juries in Canadian courts: Lessons and research implications from the Dennis Oland trials.
In addition, current StFX students presented posters on their practicum placements.
Ms. Keenan says each year students speak of the impact Forensic Psychology Day @ X has on them. “Not only is it an opportunity to show what they have been working on within their placements, it is a chance to see the variety of career options that can stem from forensic psychology, as well as hear about fascinating research and work being done,” she says.
“Not to mention, it gives students the ability to meet professionals and experts and make connections that could end up being beneficial to their future goals.”
The excellence of StFX English professor Dr. Maureen Moynagh’s scholarly work has been recognized with a prestigious international award for her essay published in the African American Review.
Her article, “Speculative Pasts and Afro-Futures: Nalo Hopkinson’s Trans-American Imaginary,” was singled out as the best of the year, receiving The Joe Weixlmann Prize for the Year’s Best Essay in 20th and 21st Century African American Literature in the African American Review.
The Review, published by John Hopkins University Press, is a scholarly aggregation of insightful essays on African American literature, theatre, film, the visual arts, and culture; interviews; poetry; fiction; and book reviews. It has featured renowned writers and cultural critics and fosters conversation among writers and scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
“It was a really pleasant surprise, and gratifying to be recognized in that way,” says Dr. Moynagh, who teaches English at StFX, specializing in postcolonial literature, particularly African-diaspora and African literatures.
She says as the journal itself selects the award winner, she didn’t know she was in the running until she received word that she had won.
Dr. Moynagh says her essay is on Nalo Hopkinson, an African-Canadian writer who works mostly in science fiction and fantasy.
Her essay, she says, situates Ms. Hopkinson’s fiction in relation to Afrofuturism—science fiction produced by African-diaspora writers that offers a critique of the present through counter-factual histories and alternative future worlds—and in relation to recent literary fiction in the Americas that incorporates elements of science fiction and fantasy in works that otherwise employ realist conventions. Instead of understanding the realist and the speculative as antinomies, Dr. Moynagh argues, Ms. Hopkinson’s fiction invites readers to see the speculative genres themselves as a means of addressing the social and political injustice that has conventionally been the province of realist fiction.
Dr. Moynagh’s essay appears in the Fall 2018 issue of African American Review, a special issue devoted to African-Canadian literature that was edited by Canadian and Nova Scotian poet, playwright and literary critic George Elliott Clarke.
Dr. Moynagh says her interest in African-diaspora literature dates back to her undergraduate student days at the University of Winnipeg when her professor invited the Trinidad-born author Samuel Selvon in to speak with the class. “I was really captivated by the stories he read. It spurred my interest to look further,” she says. It also drew her interest to the field of post-colonial studies.
Recently, StFX professors Adam Lajeunesse and Peter Kikkert travelled with students to Halifax, NS to join up with colleagues from Dalhousie University for a rare opportunity to tour the Royal Canadian Navy’s dockyard, put to sea aboard a patrol frigate, and learn about maritime security from the men and women of the Navy.
Canadian Forces Base Halifax is home to Canada’s Atlantic Fleet, a collection of 15 navy vessels, and students were given access to each class of ship. First, small groups were led through the cramped interior of HMCS Windsor, a diesel-electric attack submarine. “From the torpedo room to the tight sleeping quarters, it was an eye-opening look at where sailors have to work while underwater for weeks at a time,” Dr. Lajeunesse says.
Students were also walked through the coastal defence ship HMCS Glace Bay, commonly used for fisheries protection, search and rescue, surveillance, and law enforcement support along the coast. Aboard the Canadian patrol frigate HMCS Halifax StFX alumnus, Lieutenant (N) Peter Bigelow, from the Class of 2011, led the group through the operations centre, the bridge, and chatted with students about life at sea while standing next to the ship’s 57mm deck gun.
It’s excellence recognized. And good news, times two.
Emma Logan and Liam Elbourne, both StFX Gerald Schwartz School of Business students, have each been awarded $25,000 as recipients of the 2019 Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies.
They are among eight exceptional business students, studying at Atlantic Canadian universities, to receive the award this year. The award was started in 1989 to support the development of future business leaders and business programs in Atlantic Canadian universities. The award recipients were chosen by a Board of Directors, comprised of Atlantic Canadian business and academic leaders, from over 30 finalists based on entrepreneurial experience and interest, academic standing, extracurricular and community activities, and career aspirations.
“Since 1989, the Frank H. Sobey Awards have been awarded to 181 emerging business leaders from Atlantic Canada. Every year, our Board is overwhelmed by the talent, leadership and entrepreneurialism shining through students at Atlantic Canadian Business Schools. The talent that these young business minds bring to this region is inspiring to us all.” said Paul D. Sobey, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies.
It is the first time StFX has had two recipients of this prestigious award in the same year.
“My faculty colleagues and I could not be more pleased to have Emma and Liam selected as 2019 Sobeys Scholars,” says Schwartz School Dean of Business Dr. Tim Hynes.
“They are terrific ambassadors for the Schwartz School of Business; outstanding students who are socially engaged, giving back to their communities. They could not be more deserving of this recognition and we are proud to have them as students in our program.”
Both students say they are thrilled to receive the award, and credit StFX for its transformational impact.
“I am truly honoured to join the alumni of the Frank H. Sobey Award and proud to do so as a Schwartz School of Business student,” says Ms. Logan, a fourth year business student from Halifax, NS, taking an advanced major in finance.
“The opportunities I have had at StFX have been beyond what I imagined coming here four years ago. My experience and success at StFX would not have been possible without the incredible community of students and faculty that I am surrounded with. This award opens up so many doors for me and feels like the greatest launch in to my post-grad pursuits to being successful in business.”
Mr. Elbourne, also from Halifax, NS, is in the last year of a joint honours degree in business and economics. In November 2018, he was named as StFX’s newest Rhodes Scholar.
"I am absolutely thrilled to have won the Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies,” he says. “For starters, being recognized as one of the top business students in Atlantic Canada amongst so many other driven and talented individuals is a tremendous honour. Additionally, this award provides me with the financial freedom to get the most out of my next steps after graduating from StFX."
Both students have excelled during their time at StFX. Bios for each follow below:
Ms. Logan, a fourth year Schwartz School finance student from Halifax, NS, has had an impressive four years at StFX. Along with her studies, she has started an initiative that gives new purpose to old hearing aids. She launched Hearing for All and is collecting used hearing devices, having them refurbished, and donated to areas in the world that need them. Ms. Logan, who lost her own hearing while just 13 months old after contracting meningitis, wants to increase access and affordability. She has partnered with Calgary, AB-based audiology charity Gift of Hearing, and in April 2019, they will travel to Yamasá, an agricultural community in the Dominican Republic where Gift of Hearing has an audiology clinic with the aim of bringing 1,000 hearing devices. “This has been an invaluable experience for me as I am bridging my academic skills to connect with the community. As a self-initiated project, I have built relationships and created partnerships with individuals and organizations. I have learned to navigate the hearing health industry, connecting with hearing aid users, hearing health professionals, and top executives of Canada’s leading hearing aid manufacturers,” she says. Additionally, the StFX Enactus student society has selected her Hearing for All initiative as one of its student-run projects. She is the project manager and leads a team of 20 student volunteers.
Ms. Logan has also received a prestigious Wallace Family Internship at StFX in 2018, offered through the StFX Innovation and Enterprise Centre. The internship supports students who have an enterprise idea and are interested in starting a new venture. It provides funding to support full-time employment for 12 weeks.
She has furthered her learning, participating in a StFX international exchange to Bond University in Australia, and on campus, has used her leadership skills to help fellow students discover their ability to create and innovate early in their degrees through her work as VP Communications of the StFX Entrepreneurship Society, and co-facilitator of Sandbox Discover.
She has been actively involved with athletics as well. Ms. Logan is a member and has skipped the StFX curling team. She was part of the team that made StFX history, winning its first AUS Curling Championship and earning a spot at the USports National Championship where they placed sixth.
Ms. Logan is an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation, advocating for others with disabilities by promoting accessibility and inclusion in school communities.
She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Frank Algar Scholarship, awarded by the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association to a strong advocate for the hard of hearing community. She received ‘First in Class’ honours in 2017, presented to the student who achieved the highest mark in the international business class at Bond University, Australia; and is a 2017 Alexander Graham Bell Scholarship recipient, awarded for academic achievement and leadership.
Additionally, she is a recipient of the Benedict Mulroney Scholarship, awarded by StFX for academic excellence, leadership and service to others; the 2017 recipient of the Export Development Canada’s International Business Scholarship, awarded to a student furthering their studies in international business and in excellent academic standing; and the 2017 R.W. Pugh Fair Play and Sportsmanship Award, voted by peers and awarded to a female athlete at the USports Curling Championship. She’s received the Sister Catherine MacNeil Award for the outstanding female freshman student at StFX; the Angus Macgillivray Bursary awarded by StFX’s art department to a student with outstanding studio production and promise in the visual arts; and the Young Woman of the Year, 2015, awarded by the Deaf Youth Association of Nova Scotia.
Liam Elbourne, a Schwartz School of Business student from Halifax, NS taking joint honours in business and economics, has had an exceptional student career at StFX. In November 2018, he was named as StFX’s newest Rhodes Scholar. The scholarship is widely considered one of the world’s most prestigious awards, valued at over $100,000, and enabling recipients to study at the University of Oxford. Only 11 students from across Canada are annually selected.
Mr. Elbourne garnered international attention for his research. In June 2018, he presented his paper “Shocks to Military Support and Subsequent Assassinations in Ancient Rome,” co-authored with former StFX economics professor Cornelius Christian, at the 52nd annual conference of the Canadian Economics Association at McGill University. He was the only active undergraduate student to present in a regular session at this conference, which featured almost 1,000 presenters.
The paper was subsequently published in the international peer-reviewed journal Economics Letters, a highly-respected outlet that has published the work of many past Nobel Prize recipients. Full-length stories about this research appeared in some of the world’s leading outlets, including The Smithsonian magazine, The Economist and The Telegraph.
Mr. Elbourne is also captain of the X-Men soccer team, and volunteers extensively within the StFX and Antigonish communities.
He was the top ranked business student at StFX in the 2017-18 academic year with a 94.25 per cent average. He has been on the StFX Dean’s List, received annual in-house scholarships, and the StFX Athletic Director's Award for academic achievement in 2016-17. He is a four-time U SPORTS academic all-Canadian.
He has twice been a teaching assistant in the Department of Economics and has offered tutoring in courses across the business, economics, and mathematics departments. Now vice president of the StFX Economics Society, he aims to help build a mentorship program to be launched within the StFX Economics Department, connecting current students with StFX’s highly successful economics graduates.
Along with excelling in the classroom, he is an active StFX student leader. The AUS Student-Athlete Community Service Award recipient this past fall, he was also the 2018 StFX Male Community X-cellence award winner and was honoured as a Leader of Distinction with the StFX Leadership Academy.
In the StFX community, Mr. Elbourne has become an advocate for the prevention of sexualized violence. He served as the lone male panelist for the Contextualizing #MeToo panel discussion organized by the StFX Women's and Gender Studies department in November 2017. He also co-designed and co-facilitated a series of workshops in all StFX residences during the 2017-18 winter semester aimed at educating students on issues of consent and sexual assault. This past September, he was keynote speaker at the Antigonish March in Respect for Women and he was recently featured in the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre's initiative called ‘16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence.’
In addition, he has led the opening of two year-long Exhibitions of Indigenous Art at StFX. The first was created in honour of the permanent installation of the Mi'kmaq flag on the StFX campus in October 2017, and its success was such that a second exhibition was encouraged by the university.
In his three years as president of the StFX German Society, he has been able to contribute positively to the student experience outside of the classroom. He has also been engaged with youth in his community. He has volunteered his time at the grassroots soccer level since he was a teenager, and in 2017, he was a facilitator at a youth leadership conference called Spark the Change, organized by the Healthy Relationships for Youth program in Nova Scotia.
A midfielder on the soccer team, he has captained the X-Men for the past three seasons and was a key piece in leading StFX to consecutive second place finishes in the league standings. He is a former AUS all-star and was the 2014 AUS rookie of the year.
A full house—from the Hon. Tony Ince, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, to local school children—gathered at StFX’s Bloomfield Centre on Jan. 31 to celebrate the launch of African Heritage Month 2019 in Antigonish, under a theme of “Our History is YOUR History.”
“We gather to honour and celebrate the many achievements that African Nova Scotians have made to our society,” said co-emcee Kelsey Jones, StFX African Descent Student Affairs Coordinator, who hosted the ceremony with Lorraine Reddick, Student Support Worker with the Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE).
African Heritage Month marks a time of reflection, but more importantly, a time for education, she said.
The month gives attention to a history that’s far too often exploited by the mainstream narrative. “Our history is your history,” Ms. Jones said, repeating this year’s theme as she encouraged everyone to listen and to learn, to attend events, and to listen to voices, not just during this month, but throughout the entire year.
In a special part of the ceremony, and an historic first, she said today marks the first time the Pan African flag will be flown on campus for the entirety of African Heritage Month. The Pan African flag was raised at both the Antigonish Town Hall and in front of the President’s Office on the StFX campus.
Another special moment came in a tribute and a moment of silence for the late Dr. Agnes Calliste, retired StFX sociology professor, national and international celebrated academic, and community champion who tirelessly served the Xaverian and Nova Scotian communities, including as StFX’s Black Student Advisor. Dr. Calliste passed away in August 2018.
Minister Ince said this is an important time, a time to learn something different and unique.
“African Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and share the culture, history, and achievements of African Nova Scotians,” he said.
It’s a time to recognize the distinct story of African Nova Scotians and how this story is interwoven in our province’s past, present and future, he said.
“This theme recognizes that when we understand the diversity that exists in Nova Scotia, we will be able to facilitate positive change for our province.”
Kelsey Jones (left) and Brenda Gateva are seen singing "Lift Every Voice" during the ceremonyAHM 2019 2.jpg
Poet Naomi Ogbogbo presents her work entitled 'Royalty'
Understanding and celebrating this diversity was a message shared by a number of speakers.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting the ceremony at StFX, and the long overdue flying of the Pan African flag on campus,” said Andrew Beckett, StFX Vice-President Finance & Administration.
Mr. Beckett said it speaks to the importance of diversity, and the richness it adds. While he noted that StFX has much more to do, he said the university is pleased to be embracing and building on this diversity, in past efforts and in the recent opening of the Diversity Education Centre on campus, designed to help celebrate and create more of a focus.
Both Antigonish County Warden Owen McCarron and Antigonish town councilor Mary Farrell spoke of how the month celebrates the culture, legacy and achievements of African Nova Scotians, while sharing how this story is interwoven. “When we all acknowledge our shared history, we will be able to facilitate positive change,” Mr. McCarron said.
As part of the ceremony, SRCE teacher and StFX alumnus Morgan Gero led an African Drumming performance with students from St. Andrew Junior School and Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School. Minister Ince, an accomplished drummer himself, joined in the closing performance.
Several classes from St. Andrew’s Consolidated School and the Antigonish Education Centre attended the event.
Others speaking at the ceremony included Paul Landry, SRCE, and Rev. Peter Smith, who offered a prayer. Remarks were also read from the Hon. Randy Delorey, MLA, and Sean Fraser, MP, who were unable to be in attendance. Naomi Ogbogbo presented her poem entitled "Royalty."
The event is hosted by the Town of Antigonish, Zone #7 African Cultural Awareness Association, African Nova Scotia Affairs, Support 4 Culture, the County of Antigonish, Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia, SRCE, and StFX.
Brenna Wilson and Iris Magill are looking forward to a unique new international study opportunity in the Netherlands at StFX partner exchange university, HAN University of Technology—as scholarship recipients.
The two StFX human kinetics students have each received the HAN University of Technology Summer Program Scholarship, valued at €1,620 or $2,445 CAD, that offers StFX students the opportunity to study at the HAN Faculty of Health and Social Studies for their 2019 Summer School: Health, Social Work and Sport.
This program consists of three, one-week courses, starting May 20 and ending June 7. The scholarship pays the tuition fee and covers accommodations, local transportation, and a field trip associated with each course at HAN University of Technology, located in the city of Nijmegen, in eastern Netherlands, near the German border.
“It’s a unique opportunity and a good opportunity to take some other courses...I’m excited,” says Ms. Wilson, a third year student from Saint John, NB majoring in kinesiology in the BSc human kinetics program.
Ms. Wilson says she is looking forward to meeting new people, to seeing how classes are taught there, and to learning from professors in courses that range from sports event management to issues in health care.
She says she is looking forward to gaining new perspectives and new creative ways of thinking from the experience.
It’s a sentiment shared by Ms. Magill of Ottawa, ON, a second year BA in human kinetics student taking a minor in sport management.
“It’s such an interesting opportunity,” she says. “I’m so interested in the courses offered, they’re all so different, and to compare and contrast how things are done there and here.
“I’m really looking forward to it, to meeting new people and seeing how things happen in different cultures, and how our different cultures conduct different events.”
Ms. Magill says she’s had a travel bug lately to explore different cultures and at the same time she’s been trying to get involved in as much as she can and build her resume.
“I thought this was perfect to mix both, the travel and to see how other people, how the Dutch culture go about marketing and organizing events, and contrast how we do things here.”
She says she is also looking forward to building connections.
Both Ms. Wilson and Ms. Magill say they’re hoping the experience will help give them further focus on what they’d like to do after finishing their undergraduate degrees at StFX.
They both say they’re eager too to bring back different ideas and all they learn when they return to StFX.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students had to be in either the BA or BSc human kinetics program, or the BASc Health program at StFX, be in good academic standing, have a focused professional and academic interest in human health and well-being, and have a curious, independent, open-minded and adventurous attitude.