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Painting by StFX fine art faculty member wins award, juried into exhibition, and will tour the U.S.

Wed, 2019-04-03 15:54
William (Bill) Rogers at work

William Rogers, a StFX fine art faculty member, had his painting “IN THOUGHT” juried into the 152nd Annual Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society from April 1-21, 2019, and it has been awarded the DI DI DEGLIN AWARD with $1,000. The presentation will be made at the society’s annual dinner to be held Friday evening, April 12, 2019 at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. 

In Thought (004).jpg

“In Thought” watercolour from life, 21x16, 2016

The painting was also selected by the Jury of Awards to be a part of the Travel Show. It will be leaving New York after April 21, and will visit galleries and museums all over the United States until April 2020.

This painting also won the Dorothy J Corson Award from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour in 2016. The painting was done during the Sunday figure drawing sessions at StFX, and is a portrait of StFX student, and now graduate, Shuchang (Emily) Dai from China.

 

StFX student artists recognized, encouraged with Angus F. Macgillivray Art Bursaries

Wed, 2019-04-03 11:57
L-r, Angus F. Macgillivray Art Bursary recipients are Hannah Kennedy and Paytan Robinson. Missing is Chelsey MacPherson.

Gratitude. Encouragement. Delight. 

These are just some of the words that StFX students Hannah Kennedy, Chelsey MacPherson and Paytan Robinson use to describe the feeling of being named 2019 recipients of StFX’s Angus F. Macgillivray Art Bursaries.

The $750 bursaries recognize outstanding studio production and encourage young artists showing promise in the visual arts, and are named in honour of the late Angus F. Macgillivray, an exceptional artist, teacher and StFX fine arts department faculty member. 

To be considered, applicants submit a sketchbook and six finished artworks. Judges look for a mastery of skill in a variety of art mediums as well as a giving a sense of cohesive artistic vision.

“I was thrilled and very surprised! There is incredible talent and creativity throughout the art department at StFX, so it means a lot for my work to be recognized,” says Ms. Kennedy, a fourth year accounting student from Sackville, NS, who is taking a studio art minor. 

Over her four years at StFX, she has taken courses in batik, art history, printmaking, botanical drawing, painting, and drawing. 

She says receiving the bursary has given her the encouragement and motivation to continue to create and share more art.

“I had the best time studying the history of art and architecture, experimenting with different mediums and learning from my professors and classmates. I feel like I have gained so many valuable skills and knowledge through my art minor. This award and my experience with the art department has given me a great feeling of gratitude. Receiving the bursary will help fund my plans to travel and relocate after my degree is complete,” she says. 

Ms. MacPherson of Glengarry, ON, who is working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Celtic studies and has a background in fashion design, says receiving the bursary makes her feel supported and inspired to continue as an artist. 

She took oil painting classes with Andy MacLean, who she says eschews stress and is a wonderfully encouraging instructor. “I think art is important because it is one of the most effective mediums at reminding us of our humanity, replete with all its flaws,” she says. 

“I was thrilled when I learned that I had received the 2019 Macgillvray art bursary,” says Ms. Robinson, a second year chemistry student from L’Ardoise, NS and graduate of Richmond Academy in Louisdale, NS. 

“This means a lot to me; it is always great to be recognized for something you really care about and enjoy doing. Receiving this bursary will motivate me to continue making art for myself and others. Painting and sketching are really great ways to balance out your workload, especially when you have a lot of math or science.”

She is currently taking ‘intro to painting’ and last year took ‘intro to drawing.’

Full Starbucks café, new Bloomfield Centre café offerings part of exciting changes coming to campus dining

Tue, 2019-04-02 15:56
As part of upcoming changes in campus dining, Mini Moe's pictured here, will become a full-service Starbucks location.

A number of exciting changes are coming to campus dining, including the addition of a full-service Starbucks Café at Morrison Hall and extensive renovations and new offerings at the Bloomfield Centre café . 

Bob Hale, StFX Director, Ancillary Services, says as part of the recent tendering process for food services on campus, Sodexo regained the contract, and as part of the deal, will open a full-fledged Starbucks location in the space now occupied by Mini Moe’s in Morrison Hall. 

Renovations will start on May 6th with the new, fully-functioning Starbucks location to open for September, with new seating and Starbucks-brand décor. While renovations are ongoing over the summer months, Sodexo will operate a temporary location in the Yellow Room in Morrison Hall.  

With the addition of a full Starbucks café on campus, Mr. Hale says the “We Proudly Brew” Starbucks offerings currently available at the Keating Centre and Bloomfield Centre cafés will no longer be offered at those locations. 

Exciting changes are also planned for Bloomfield Centre café, including the addition of a build-your-own salad bar, Just Us! coffee, a taco bar, and a homemade milkshake station. 

“We’ll still be serving Rita Wraps,” Mr. Hale assures. “That’s the number one question we receive.”

Bloomfield café will close on April 12 and reopen for September. The renovations will include a new flow to the servery, new furniture and new offerings. 

When it reopens this fall, offerings on tap at Bloomfield Centre café will include: 

• Noodle House – Noodle bowls served with a choice of crisp vegetables, noodles, protein and toppings. 

• Farmer’s Field – Made-to-order salads where customers can choose a selection from the chef’s creations or customers create their own salad with fresh and local feature ingredients, topped off with homemade dressings.

• B’Rito Taqueria - B’Rito and Taqueria takes the custom burrito concept to a new level with daily protein, rice and bean features. Custom burritos, bowls, tacos and salads topped your way. 

• Bloomfield Grill – Hand-formed burgers, fresh-cut fries and loads of fresh toppings to make every creation unique.

• Just Us Coffee and Espresso – Just Us! is a worker co-operative exclusively roasting specialty-grade certified fair trade organic coffee in Nova Scotia. 

• Old Fashion Milkshakes – Classic vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshakes topped off with all the trimmings. Or, try one of the featured shake creations, strawberry cheesecake or triple chocolate. 

• Rita Wrap – The StFX essential served hot off the press. 

Lara Westhaver awarded 2019 Holly E. Bartlett Memorial Bursary

Tue, 2019-04-02 14:52
Members of the StFX community gathered April 2 for the presentation of the 2019 Holly E. Bartlett Memorial Bursary. Pictured, l-r, Marion Bartlett, Holly’s mother, and Amanda Jenkins, Holly’s sister, present the bursary to this year’s recipient, Lara Westhaver

Family members, friends, and members of the StFX community gathered on April 2 to celebrate the memory of StFX graduate Holly Bartlett ’02 and to present the annual Holly E. Bartlett Memorial Bursary. This year, the award was presented to Lara Westhaver, a fourth year science student from Sydney Mines, NS. 

Holly’s mother, Marion Bartlett, and her sister, Amanda Jenkins, presented the award to Ms. Westhaver during a ceremony held in the President’s Reading Room in the Physical Sciences Centre.

The award, started by the Bartlett family and friends, is available to a full-time undergraduate female student from Atlantic Canada. The student must demonstrate a commitment to community service and student activities. 

Ms. Westhaver has certainly demonstrated commitment to community service and student activities. 

She is the president and founder of WISE StFX, a student society that supports women in science and engineering. She is also a student representative on the Outstanding Teaching Award Committee and for the StFX Pre-Medical Society. She volunteers at Brigadoon Village and is a student ambassador with Cam's Kids, a mental health promotion and outreach organization. She works part-time through the Nova Scotia Health Authority doing research with physicians at St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish, and she has been a teaching assistant, a biology student researcher, and a volunteer tutor for international students. She is also a member of the X Dance Society.  

Ms. Westhaver will attend Dalhousie Medical School in September and hopes to become a family physician and work in Nova Scotia with marginalized populations. 

“StFX has allowed me to become the best version of myself. I have had a lot of unique opportunities to flourish and discover things I am most passionate about,” she says.  

The annual bursary honours Ms. Bartlett. She was born in Halifax, NS, with an eye condition called Microphtalmia characterized by small underdeveloped eyes. By the time she was 13 she rapidly lost what little sight she had. She graduated from Prince Andrew High in June 1997 with several awards and scholarships including The Walter & Wayne Gretzky Scholarship. She and her guide dog Willow started classes at StFX that fall. 

In 2002, she graduated from StFX with an honours arts degree in psychology, earning a spot on the dean’s list. She also attended Carleton University, received her human resources certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College, and at the time of her death in 2010, was working for the Department of Community Services and enrolled at Dalhousie University where she was working toward her master’s in public administration. Her degree was awarded posthumously May 2011.

Ms. Bartlett is remembered as an independent young woman, with a great sense of humour, who never wanted her disability to define who she was. She was always looking for her next adventure and experienced sky diving, rock climbing and swing dancing.

Refugee justice activism: StFX students, faculty and alumni share their experience at national conference

Mon, 2019-04-01 11:33
L-r, Dr. Norine Verberg, Sam Kreuger, Suzanne van den Hoogen, Kristen Stephens, Dr. Maria Paz, Jordan MacDonald, Mallory Legere, Evan Davison Kotler, and Alistair Hill

A group of StFX students, faculty and alumni shared the breadth and success of their experience in refugee justice activism at StFX during a March 23 roundtable panel at the largest annual gathering of researchers, policy makers, and representatives from community and settlement organizations working in the field of immigration and settlement in Canada.

The StFX delegation participated in the “Student Led Refugee Sponsorship and Resettlement: Building Capacity through Partnerships” panel at the National Metropolis Conference in Halifax, NS.

The roundtable explored the work of StFX students engaged in refugee sponsorship and resettlement through two programs, StFX WUSC and StFX for SAFE, and included discussion focused on how the students in these StFX organizations strategize to establish and achieve goals, and on the capacity building generated by collaborating with university staff and faculty and community members

“The conference was wonderful,” says StFX student and StFX for SAFE president Evan Davison-Kotler.

“The refugee resettlement efforts that have occurred in Antigonish are truly unique, and the conference provided us with the opportunity to share our experience with other people involved in resettlement throughout the country. The roundtable allowed us to analyze the factors that have contributed to StFX and Antigonish's success in supporting refugees; it also provided us with a platform to collaborate and strategize for the future. Overall, the conference was a great learning experience for everyone involved.

The National Metropolis Conference connects up to 1,000 people every March to discuss emerging issues, identify and set research priorities and inform policy regarding immigration, refugees, settlement and integration in Canada.

The StFX participants in the roundtable included:

• StFX sociology professor Dr. Norine Verberg, StFX for SAFE faculty advisor; 

• Jordan MacDonald, StFX Class of 2018 and former StFX WUSC vice president; 

• StFX student and WUSC president Kristen Stephens; 

• StFX student and StFX for SAFE president Evan Davison-Kotler; 

• Sam Krueger, WUSC Regional Liaison Officer - Campus Engagement: Quebec and the Atlantic, who has worked with StFX WUSC on campaigns including the StFX Day of Refugee Awareness;

• StFX modern languages professor and WUSC faculty advisor Dr. Maria Paz; 

• Mallory Legere, StFX Class of 2017 and former StFX WUSC president; 

• Suzanne van den Hoogen, Saint Mary’s University and formerly StFX WUSC faculty advisor;

• StFX sociology student Alistair Hill who is doing his thesis on the educational integration of older Syrian students who started school in Canada as a teenage learner.

Leadership Exemplified and Celebrated at StFX's 2019 National Dinner EAST

Fri, 2019-03-29 22:56
Discussion moderator Kim West ’86 is joined by panelists Bernadette Jordan ’84, Lisa Raitt ’89, Sean Fraser ’06 and Rodger Cuzner ’07.

St. Francis Xavier University’s National Dinner EAST, held Friday, March 29, at the Cunard Centre in Halifax, was a fitting celebration of StFX’s legacy of leadership, and the role the university has played in shaping so many leaders from political, business and community spheres.

Attendees featured members of the StFX family both old and new, including alumni, students and friends of the university – many who are leaders in their own right.

A highlight of the evening was a panel discussion featuring four members of parliament – all StFX graduates – who spoke about how they were impacted by their time at the university.

Panelists included the Honourable Bernadette Jordan ‘84, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s; the Honourable Lisa Raitt ’89, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Milton, Ontario; Mr. Sean Fraser ‘06, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Central Nova; and Mr. Rodger Cuzner ’07, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso.

The panel was moderated by Kim West ’86, president of Royer Thompson and former member of the StFX Board of Governors.

The panelists offered a number of reflections on how studying at StFX impacted their life’s trajectory and approaches to leadership.

“You don’t graduate from StFX without a social conscious,” said Minister Jordan. “It is a place that teaches you to give back.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I am today if not for the friendships and connections I have to StFX,” she added.

Mr. Fraser recalled his time as president of the StFX students’ union as an experience that helped awaken his drive and commitment to public service. He also credits the university for helping to broaden his worldview.

“At StFX I learned there were things more important than my own life experience,” he said.

Ms. Raitt spoke about how, even more than her many positive memories from StFX, what she appreciates is how the university taught her to manage when things don’t go according to plan.

“StFX taught me resilience,” she said. “I learned how to deal when plans weren’t going like I thought they would.”

Finally, Mr. Cuzner recalled some of the many faculty members who made an impact on his time at StFX, including Peggy Gallant, Packy McFarland and Roy Rasmussen.

The panelists were also joined in the audience by colleague Mr. Sean Casey ‘84, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown.

CELEBRATING REMARKABLE STUDENTS

The evening also provided an opportunity to celebrate the recent achievements of two very impressive StFX students.

Liam Elbourne, a fourth-year student pursuing a joint honours degree in business and economics, was named as StFX’s newest Rhodes Scholar in November 2018. Liam, from Halifax, N.S., has garnered international attention for his research, which he presented in June 2018 to the Canadian Economics Association. He was the only undergraduate student to present at the association’s annual conference, which featured almost 1,000 presenters.

Emma Logan, a fourth-year finance student who is also from Halifax, N.S., received accolades this year for her initiative called Hearing for All, which collects and refurbishes used hearing devices and donates them to areas of the world where they’re needed. She was unable to attend the event as she was in the Dominican Republic, helping to distribute some of the many hearing aids and devices she has collected.

Both Liam and Emma were also recipients of the prestigious 2019 Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies, valued at $25,000 each. They are among just eight students from Atlantic Canadian universities to win the award this year.

A LEADER OF StFX’S OWN

The 2019 National Dinner EAST was the last as president for StFX’s own leader, Dr. Kent MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald, who serves as the university’s president and vice-chancellor, recently announced his decision to not serve a second term when his contract expires in July 2019.

In introducing Dr. MacDonald, Dr. Dave Risk, Professor of Earth Sciences at StFX, recalled his unwavering passion for StFX and the personal touch that has characterized his tenure as president.

“Kent’s leadership style is deeply personal,” said Dr. Risk. “He buys Timbits and coffee for those who clear our walkways after a snowstorm, in the wee hours of the morning when no one else is there to see his kindness.

“I hope that you all see what I see: a passionate man who has borne the weight of the institution about which we all care – deeply – with the utmost integrity, and with honour.”

Dr. MacDonald received a standing ovation from the crowd as he stood to offer his remarks.

“I’ve often referred to the presidency of StFX as my dream job – and I’ve meant it,” reflected Dr. MacDonald.

“Evenings like this are special, because they remind me of the extraordinary things our students, faculty, staff, and alumni achieve. The Emmas and the Liams and the Dave Risks are part of a large group that steps onto campus, every day, thinking about how to make a meaningful impact to our community and to the wider world.

“This is StFX: a place, a university, and a community that propels people forward, urging them to be their best.”

The evening included remarks from Mr. Marc Rodrique ’08, who recently became president of the StFX Alumni Association. It also featured a video celebrating a $3 million gift made by StFX University Chancellor John Peacock’ 63 and his wife Adrienne ’63, in honour of retired StFX faculty Dr. Johnny Sears. The gift established the John T. Sears Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility, a position which will help shape the next generation of socially-conscious business leaders.

The 2019 National Dinner EAST was made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors, including presenting sponsors TD Insurance and the StFX University Alumni Association, reception sponsor Bird Construction, post-dinner reception sponsor Sodexo, young alumni sponsor Agnico Eagle, and supporting sponsors O’Regan’s Automotive Group.

Annik Martin

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Annik Martinamartin@stfx.caHuman Nutrition

Adela N'jie

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Part Time InstructorAdela N'jieanjie@stfx.caFaculty Of EducationXavier Hall Rm 203

Christine Johnson

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Christine Johnsoncjohnson@stfx.ca

Neal Smithwick

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Neal Smithwicknsmithwi@stfx.caSociology

Stanley Macdonald

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Stanley Macdonaldsmacdonal@stfx.ca(902) 867-5247Clergy In ResidenceMockler 406

Mickey Daye

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Mickey Dayemdaye@stfx.caContinuing And Distance Education

Terri Connolly

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
InstructorTerri Connollytconnoll@stfx.caMasters Of Education

Francis Gallant

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
InstructorFrancis Gallantfxgallan@stfx.caHuman Kinetics

Vera Grayson

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Vera Graysonvgray@stfx.caHuman Nutrition

Kevin Redmond

Thu, 2019-03-28 17:34
Kevin Redmondkredmond@stfx.caEducation

Rankin School of Nursing students learn about cutting edge and collaborative care

Tue, 2019-03-26 09:43
Third year Rankin School of Nursing students with guest speaker Dr. Jack Rasmussen

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. 

Research, scholarship celebrated during StFX’s Faculty Research Day

Fri, 2019-03-22 10:45
StFX sociology professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) Health Equity & Social Justice Dr. Katie Aubrecht gave an oral presentation on her research during StFX's Faculty Research Day

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.

Quality, diversity of presentations highlight 17th annual Student Research Day

Fri, 2019-03-22 09:22

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. 

student research day 2019 a.jpg A new dimension this year included holding the annual Student Research Day and the annual Faculty Research Day back-to-back over consecutive days in the same location in Bloomfield Centre to encourage students to come see and talk to faculty and staff about their research and for faculty and staff to do the same, talking to students about their research projects. 

“It’s meant to share across both groups,” Dr. Isnor says. 

AWARD PRESENTATIONS 

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

Negotiating Arctic sovereignty: Trent students travel to StFX for model negotiation on the status of the Northwest Passage

Wed, 2019-03-20 10:12

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. 

Arctic-sovereignty-01-MyStFX.jpg

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!”

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