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Inspiring curiosity in youth: StFX science and math outreach programs receive nearly $200,000 in PromoScience funding

Thu, 2018-09-20 13:56
2018 StFX NSERC PromoScience grant recipients include, seated, l-r, Dr. Robert van den Hoogen (Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities) and Dr. Geniece Tapley (X-Chem). Back row: Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden (Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities), Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer (X-Chem), Jennifer Fraser (X-Chem), and Dr. Tara Taylor (Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities.)

Two StFX-based outreach programs that inspire curiosity in youth and an interest in science and math have received very good news.

X-Chem Outreach and Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities—two separate programs, each facilitated by StFX faculty—have received a total of nearly $200,000 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience Program. 

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, made the announcement on Sept. 17, 2018, as part of $11.9 million in funding for 163 grants through the PromoScience Program, which supports hands-on learning experiences for young Canadians and teachers. The funding is used to encourage youth to make science part of their education, their careers, and their lives. 

The news was welcome on the StFX campus. 

“It means we can really increase our range, visit more students, improve our activities, buy more equipment, and reach more youth, more often,” says StFX chemistry professor Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer on the $75,000 in funding X-Chem will receive over the next three years. The program also received one-time grants of $5,000 for Science Odyssey and $9,500 for Science Literacy Week. She leads the program with Dr. Geniece Tapley and Jennifer Fraser. 

“It’s really helpful. It will allow us to bring more programming to the communities we serve,” says education faculty Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden, who with Drs. Tara Taylor and Robert van den Hoogen in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, facilitates Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities, an after school, in-community mathematics outreach program in several Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. The program has received $112,500 in funding over three years. 

“It will help keep programming going, pay for travel, and it also allows us to bring people together to see how we can grow the program,” she says. 

Both programs make a deep impact in the region. 

Offered through StFX’s Chemistry Department, X-Chem is a multifaceted outreach program with over 30 years experience engaging youth in science. They provide children, from about four years old through to Grade 12, with opportunities to do hands-on science and to connect with working scientists. For decades, they’ve been bringing science to children.

They visit schools, host Saturday afternoon science and coding camps, and run seven science and six coding summer camps on campus, including two all-female camps, as well as eight off-campus summer camps, including in Indigenous communities. 

Last year alone, the program impacted about 7,000 students, including about 5,500 in May and June alone, says Ms. Fraser. 

Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities, now in its fourth year, helps make mathematics meaningful to students while showing them the power of using math as a tool to address problems in the world. Ellen Carter, a doctoral student in StFX’s Faculty of Education, is the program coordinator.

Throughout the academic year, about 15-20 StFX undergraduate and B.Ed. students travel to communities to engage students in Grades 4-12 in hands-on investigations of mathematics related to their everyday lives. At year end, they host a gathering at StFX with workshops put on by community elders and knowledge keepers as well as faculty. In the afternoon they take part in an amazing math race around campus. Dr. Lunney Borden says the program is aimed at helping kids see that math is a really important part of STEM. “It’s increasing engagement and attitude, and helping to demystify mathematics.”

One of the program’s main benefits is it allows students to explore the math inherent in their own culture and to see it is an important part of their heritage. 

“That’s a big part of it, connecting to the community,” Dr. Lunney Borden says. “We’re looking at issues, problems and knowledge from the community to make the links.

“It’s helping kids to see how we can use math to read and write the world.” 

“We’re learning from them, and they’re learning from us,” Dr. van den Hoogen says.

Dr. Taylor notes it is great learning for the student leaders as well. “It’s outreach to them too, to help them learn about the community,” she says. 

The outreach has even extended to school teachers, several of whom have taken program ideas relating to Indigenous and African knowledge back into math classrooms to use with students.

Dr. Lunney Borden says the Mi’kmaw word, Mawikinutimatimk, which means coming together to learn together, can really sum up the program. “That’s the whole goal, to learn together.” 


StFX professor to deliver keynote address in Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series

Tue, 2018-09-18 09:43
Dr. Rachel Hurst, this year's Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series presenter.

The Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series will hold its fourth annual lecture on Tuesday, October 2 at 7 p.m. in Dennis Hall. The annual lecture is an initiative of the Hive for Feminist Research, an interdisciplinary research group formed in 2013 to increase the visibility and understanding of feminist research at StFX in all its diversity. A reception will follow the lecture and all are welcome. 

This year’s presenter is Dr. Rachel Hurst, faculty member with the StFX Women and Gender Studies Program, who will present a talk entitled, “Settler Fantasies and Colonial ‘Before and After’ Photography.” Drawing on her experience in her previous work on cosmetic surgery and other idealized representations of women. Dr. Hurst will discuss the connections between visual culture, embodiment, and power within the vast photographic archive of Indigenous people from the later 19th- and early 20th-century North America. 

These photographs, she says, were taken by colonial settlers and those of European descent, rather than Indigenous peoples themselves and therefore represent the fantasies that European settlers had about Indigenous peoples, even as they were presented as objective evidence of Indigenous life and peoples. Dr. Hurst argues that this archive systematically imposed European norms of gender and sexuality on Indigenous peoples. 

“While there are scholars who situate gender and sexuality as central to their analyses of photographs in specific places and times, what is missing is a broad understanding of how these photographs are connected to one another across time and place – and into the present – through gender and sexuality as they are framed within a settler ‘before and after’ logic of Indigenous transformation,” she says. 

Dr. Hurst founded the Hive for Feminist Research in the summer of 2013 to offer a space for StFX researchers to share and discuss work. The Hive defines feminist research broadly as a type of inquiry concerned with understanding relations of power, particularly those based on gender as it intersects with race, sexuality, class, and ability. 

Dr. Christina Holmes, a member of the lecture committee, said “Dr. Hurst was chosen to give this year’s lecture both to honour her contributions to feminist research at St Francis Xavier University, as well as the importance of her current topic of research to Canadian society and how we understand reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.” 

The Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series serves as a connection between all four StFX faculties, the Coady Institute, and the Angus L. Macdonald Library. The lecture series runs on a three-year cycle, with a speaker from the Arts/Science/Library in year one, a speaker from Business/Education in year two, and from the Coady International Institute in year three. 

Members of the Hive for Feminist Research Annual Lecture Series committee include Christina Holmes (Arts), Erin MacDonald (Coady), Opal Leung (Business), Rebecca Mesay (WMGS Student Society), Laura-Lee Kearns (Education), Melanie Warner (WMGS Student Society), and Ann Fox (Science), Library representative TBA.

StFX Rankin School of Nursing honours student in leadership role with College of Registered Nurses Council

Mon, 2018-09-17 11:26
L-r, Fourth year StFX Rankin School of Nursing honours student and College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) student representative Layla Green is pictured at the CRNNS AGM with Rankin School nurse educator Wendy Panagopoulos; StFX Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Cathy MacDonald; Yvonne Fraser, placement coordinator/nurse educator; nursing faculty Dr. Joanne Witty Rogers; and Rankin School Assistant Director Dr. Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine.

It’s been a terrific time of learning about and contributing to her chosen profession for Layla Green, a fourth year honours Rankin School of Nursing student from Falmouth, NS, who has taken on a leadership role with the College of Registered Nurses Council (CRNNS).

Ms. Green is the representative for all Nova Scotia nursing students on the CRNNS.

“Ever since my first year in the program I’ve been drawn to the public health aspect of nursing, and how the profession intersects with other departments in our government to keep the public safe,” Ms. Green says. 

“The CRNNS is our governing body, meaning that we not only get our licenses through them, but they are charged with monitoring our practice, keeping it up-to-date and ethical, and ultimately keeping the public safe by ensuring the highest quality of nursing and care. Being able to see behind the screen at how some of these decisions are made and even potentially add a student/upcoming nurse’s perspective on a few issues really intrigued me into pursuing this role.”

Rankin School Assistant Director Dr. Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine says the nursing school is very proud of Ms. Green for taking on this role. “Layla is making a significant contribution as the only Nova Scotia student on the CRNNS council. She is the student voice with our regulating body who grants licenses to all practicing nurses in Nova Scotia,” she says.

Ms. Green says at the end of her second year, several nursing professors brought her name up as a potential candidate and she subsequently applied and was appointed to the two-year student position on council, which rotates between Nova Scotia nursing schools.  

Ms. Green started the position last fall. Four times a year she attends council meetings where they discuss various items from policies that need to be examined to news of interest from across the world that they may want to look at incorporating into their own policy/practice, she says. 

“There is also discussion on how to best train and retain nurses in Nova Scotia, a topic which I’ve been able to contribute to being a student myself, and looking towards the future of being employed in Nova Scotia.” 

She says her main role is to offer insight that a current student might be able to provide and to consider the concerns her peers may have regarding various issues and bring those to the table. 

“I am likely to be the last student representative on the council for CRNNS as we are moving towards a One Nurse Regulator for the province, which will be a joining of the RN college and the LPN college. This has been the focus of much of the council’s work over the last year I’ve been on council and I must say it has been an amazing experience watching the dedication of the now-former president Ruth Whelan and current president Charmaine McPherson, as well as CEO Sue Smith and the rest of the council who have put so much of their time into this new and exciting direction for nursing in our province,” Ms. Green says.

She says the experience has made her more aware of the political side of the profession, and the hard work that goes on often behind the scenes to create a structured, fair, and supportive resource for nurses across the province. 

“While the main goal of the CRNNS is to ensure public safety, this must involve the just regulation of its nurses, and to do so with the proactive and inviting manner with which the council has shown me is truly something I aspire to,” she says. “After attending the Annual General Meeting and awards banquet last May as a council member, I feel I now fully appreciate the strong voice the nursing community carries throughout our province, and the wonderful work that we can achieve by exercising that power to create positive change. I don’t think I had ever been more proud of the profession I am entering into and it truly reinforced that I was on the right track at this point in my life.”

Ms. Green says the position is one of many opportunities she’s had at StFX. It is hard to pin down exactly how much StFX and the Rankin School Of Nursing have influenced her over the last three years, she says, as she’s had so many wonderful role models and opportunities simply by being here. 


“I feel that the university experience in general tends to make you grow as a person, but StFX has gone above and beyond for me in that regard. I have been able to push myself as a leader even in first year by being on the Lane Hall House Council and the Equity and Diversity Committee on campus, then as a member of the StFX Nursing Society, and now through the CRNNS. 

“Academically, I’ve been encouraged to pursue more than I thought I was capable, currently pursuing an honours degree that three years ago seemed a daunting task. Being at a smaller university in an even smaller program, I now recognize everyone in my classes and have made friends I know I will have for life, and without whom I don’t know I’d be able to do half of the things I do. 

“If StFX and the School Of Nursing has taught me anything it’s that if you surround yourself with people who support you and you make those crucial connections with profs and other role models, then you can do pretty much anything you set your mind to, corny as that sounds.”

Ms. Green is currently working on research with one of her professors, Dr. Donna Halperin, and she says she would love to continue working on that project in some regard post-graduation. This past summer she had the opportunity to do a co-operative learning placement in the Annapolis Valley working on a maternal/child unit with new moms, babies and children. “After working there for two months, I can easily say I would love to work with this population again. I know that while I plan on getting hands-on experience for a few years after graduation, I still plan on staying involved with our governing body in some fashion and will always be connected to that side of our profession as my practice progresses.”

International partnership: StFX building ties with University of Glasgow - Dumfries Campus

Fri, 2018-09-14 14:19
Pictured, top to bottom are, University of Glasgow – Dumfries Campus, School of Interdisciplinary Studies education students Erin Craighead and Jordan Rae, and health and social policy students Rebecca Stanley and Ruairi Turner, faculty Anne Ferguson, StFX Office of Internationalization Director Larissa Strong, Dr. Jeremy Law of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and StFX education professor Dr. Chris Gilham.

A special group of guests from Scotland was on the StFX campus this week to talk about strengthening international partnerships.

A delegation from the University of Glasgow – Dumfries Campus, School of Interdisciplinary Studies—including two faculty members and four students—was on campus to discuss potential activities for further partnerships, building on the relationship that exists with StFX’s Faculty of Education. StFX has an international practicum available to its B.Ed. students, who have been to Scotland twice.  

“Hopefully, we will set up an international student placement experience,” says Anne Ferguson of the University of Glasgow – Dumfries Campus, who says the two schools have had a good relationship since they first collaborated together through Skype in December 2015. 

“Student teacher placement, a student exchange program, staff and faculty mobility, we hope to try to build on that,” adds colleague Dr. Jeremy Law.

Dr. Law says during StFX’s last visit to Scotland he recalls speaking with StFX education professor Dr. Chris Gilham and becoming fascinated with his mental health literacy research, including a partnership Dr. Gilham is involved in with in Halifax, NS. Dr. Law says they are now working on preparing a grant for the Nuffield Foundation to introduce mental health curriculum to schools in Scotland. 

Dr. Law says their university received funds from its mobility internationalization to explore closer ties and how “we can bring our campus closer to StFX, for possible student exchanges and staff mobility.” 

As part of the visit, StFX placed the two visiting education students in local schools for two days and the two health and social policy students at the National Collaborating Centre for the Determinants of Health on campus for two days. As well, Dr. Gilham facilitated ‘Mental Health 101’ for the delegation. The group also spent a day in Halifax discussing mental health literary at

The students, who had to apply for the opportunity, say the experience has been terrific. 

“I’ve fallen in love with it, the scenery, the people who are so kind and friendly, they want us to have a good time,” says Mr. Turner, a student ambassador at his university. 

“It’s home away from home,” Ms. Craighead agrees. “It feels almost familiar even though I’ve never been before.”

Ms. Stanley says the opportunity really appealed to her, particularly the mental health side of things as well as the opportunity to visit Canada, a country she always wanted to see. 

All four students say their placements were a valuable experience. 

Ms. Craighead and Ms. Rae spent one day each at Antigonish Education Centre and St. Andrew Junior School shadowing teachers, helping out during lessons, even meeting with a Gaelic teacher, and getting a review of what school is like in Canada. 

“It’s really interesting to see how much they knew about Scotland,” Ms. Rae said.

Mr. Turner and Ms. Stanley enjoyed learning about the work the NCCDH does and seeing similarities and differences with Scotland. 

“As part of our internationalization efforts, we see this partnership as an important one that will benefit faculty, staff and students,” says Larissa Strong, StFX Director, Office of Internationalization.

“It’s been such a treat,” Dr. Gilham adds. “You don’t expect things to grow and evolve in this way. It’s very rewarding.”

Teach Mental Health: StFX involved in launching new mental health literacy course for pre-service and practicing teachers

Thu, 2018-09-13 16:28
Dr. Chris Gilham

A comprehensive, free, online course that helps educators—both teachers and B.Ed. students—understand and recognize mental illness while decreasing stigma in classrooms is now available—to great reviews.

The self-directed course,, was developed through a five-year partnership between education faculties at St. Francis Xavier University, Western University and the University of British Columbia, and TeenMentalHealth.Org, a non-profit organization led by mental health expert Dr. Stan Kutcher. It’s intended to help pre-service and practicing teachers develop and expand their mental health literacy.

Since its August 15th launch, the course has already attracted over 1,000 registrants, and some school boards have made it mandatory professional development for administration staff.

“It’s been well received,” says StFX education professor and team member Dr. Chris Gilham.

Dr. Gilham says it’s not just that a lot of people have signed up for the course, it’s the potential the course has to work for people and to make a difference that is exciting.

He says the course was developed to address two main needs.

After completing a national scan of over 30 educational institutions and organizations across Canada, the team found there was almost nothing available for teachers related to mental health literacy training.

There was also the felt sense of teachers that they don’t have the knowledge base to deal with the mental health issues they’re seeing in their students.

The teenage years are a critical time for mental health issues. The major onset of mental illness happens between the ages of 13 and 25, and one in five youth will have a mental illness before the age of 25, Dr. Gilham says.

This course reinforces for teachers that they are well positioned to notice signs and symptoms and be able to access school support teams to have early intervention, which helps with finding proper, effective treatment, he says.

The course, he adds, is meant to help educators and students maintain and optimize good mental health, to know when they need to ask for support, and how to identify resources and supports before things get difficult for people to take care of themselves or others.

Dr. Gilham says the team plans to collect data to see how the course is working, and will tweak and revise according to feedback.

Although originally designed for B.Ed. students and teachers, Dr. Gilham says the course would also be useful for anyone interested in mental health literacy.

It’s free. Interested people can register at any time, they can complete the course at the pace they want, and they can choose to receive a certificate of completion when finished.

Virtual global classrooms: StFX Rankin School of Nursing faculty win best paper award for their creative approach to shared global learning

Wed, 2018-09-12 15:08
Dr. Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine and Dr. Cathy MacDonald

StFX Rankin School of Nursing faculty Dr. Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine and Dr. Cathy MacDonald have been singled out for honours for a paper that details their creative approach to shared global learning. 

The two received the Session’s Best Paper Award (Health Care & Bio Medicine1), presented in Orlando, Florida at the 9th International Multi Conference on Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics/International Conference on Society and Information Technologies. 

Their paper, Virtual Global Classrooms Without Walls: Collaborative Opportunities for Higher Learning Engagement, has also been published in the Journal of Systematics, Cybernetics & Informatics. Vol. 16; Number 1.

“In this paper, we shared our creative pedagogical approaches using synchronous communication implementing video conferencing,” Dr. Sheppard-LeMoine says. 

“Our example focused on a shared teaching/learning experience that was facilitated for the undergraduate BScN nursing students in Doha, Qatar and StFX Rankin School of Nursing in Antigonish,” she says. 

The focus was on building understanding of community practices in both countries.

Opportunities were also offered at the graduate level for Middle Eastern students in the areas of palliative care and leadership. 

She says video technology that StFX supported in a large classroom brought together students in a shared learning experience. Both she and Dr. MacDonald say that this work provides not only an opportunity for future higher learning engagements, but also a foundation for future global collaborative research and practice partnerships.

“We were humbled that our paper was selected as the best in a session with researchers and academics from around the world,” Dr. Sheppard-LeMoine says. 

“We were connected with other faculty and researchers who held a passion for how we teach creatively in our global community of education. It was a way to share with others the impact we are having in our interprofessional nursing community through the use of technology from StFX that may not be considered.”

“I was honoured that our paper was selected for the best paper award in the Health Care and Bio Medicine category of this international conference,” Dr. MacDonald says. “It was exciting that our research and pedagogical approaches were shared and recognized internationally. Having our paper published in Journal of Systematics, Cybernetics & Informatics was another unanticipated acknowledgment and truly exhilarating experience.” 

Readiness for the field: StFX teachers publish new book on preparing pre-service teacher educators

Wed, 2018-09-12 14:19

The intricacies involved in preparing pre-service teacher educators for the field is the subject of a new book, Readiness for the field: Perspectives from within the triangle of teacher education, edited by two StFX teachers, Dr. David Young and Dr. Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier. 

Dr. Thomas Ryan of Nipissing University is also a co-editor of the book, a compilation of 18 peer-reviewed essays, published in September 2018 by Common Ground. 

Dr. Young and Dr. Kraglund-Gauthier say throughout the book the focus remains on the narrative as told by new teachers and those involved in teacher preparation and supervision. 

“Each chapter is a personal glimpse into the practice of teacher education, where the value rests in the perspectives of the authors as they recount their experiences and research in teacher preparation programs and schools across Canada,” they say. 

“This book is intended for academics, professionals, and researchers in education or education-related fields. We anticipate the contents herein will benefit all those involved in the education and preparation of teacher candidates from Canada and beyond.” 

In the book, submissions from authors across Canada have been categorized into four thematic sections: Multiple Voices and Experiences from the Academy and the School Setting; University Faculty and Practicum Supervisors: Bridging the Classroom and the Field; Cooperating Teachers: A Reciprocal Learning Story; and Pre-service Teachers: “When the Rubber Hits the Road.”

Both Dr. Young and Dr. Kraglund-Gauthier say the book is a natural outgrowth of their roles as teachers. 

As a member of StFX’s Faculty of Education and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Leadership, teacher preparation is the cornerstone of what Dr. Young does. 

Dr. Kraglund-Gauthier, a former sessional lecturer with StFX’s Faculty of Education and now a Core Faculty member with Yorkville University’s Faculty of Education, teaches MEd classes in adult education and in educational leadership. She is also the Manager of Networks and Ongoing Learning at the Coady International Institute

This is Dr. Young’s third book. His first book was Teaching online: Stories from within, which was published in 2014. His second book, published in 2017, was Education law in Canada: A guide for teachers and administrators. This is Dr. Kraglund-Gauthier’s first book.

Dr. Young’s research is focused on the broad topic of educational administration and policy. More particularly, his current writing deals with issues surrounding law and education. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications including Capsle Comments, the Education & Law Journal, the Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, and the Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations. 

Dr. Kraglund-Gauthier’s research focuses on accessible learning in face-to-face and digital spaces. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including articles in Transformative Dialogues, Journal of Educational Administration and Foundations, and the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and chapters in Emerald’s Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning series and Springer’s Handbook of mobile teaching and learning

Re-energizing scholarship: StFX English professor appointed CRRS Tudor and Stuart Book Series editor

Thu, 2018-09-06 14:43
StFX English professor Dr. Joseph Khoury

StFX English professor Dr. Joseph Khoury has an exciting challenge ahead. 

Dr. Khoury, a well-known Renaissance scholar, has been appointed editor of the Tudor and Stuart Book Series at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) at Victoria University at the University of Toronto. 

He’s been tasked with re-energizing the series at this world-class centre. 

“It’s an opportunity to try to make sure certain books that were very important for studying history and literature, and are currently out of commission, are available to today’s scholars.

“I thought it would be an interesting challenge,” he says. 

“They help us to understand our past, and they help us to understand many of the issues we still contend with today, and they make for fun reading.”

The CRRS approached Dr. Khoury to see if he would be interested in the task. He’s a Renaissance scholar, his well-received book Barnabe Riche, The Adventures of Brusanus, Prince of Hungaria (1592) was published at the University of Toronto, and he’s been active with the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies including previously serving as its president. 

The books—all from the Tudor and Stuart ages, basically from around 1485-1700—will need to be conservatively modernized for spelling, grammar and for archaic words, explaining the word’s meaning at the time. Each book will need a good introduction to place it in context so that it is easier to understand, and to help make it an important study tool for students and scholars. 

“It’s very important,” he says. “These books are fundamental. They allow other scholarship to happen.”

Dr. Khoury says he is looking forward to seeking scholars who want to take on these books, weighing proposals, learning about new scholarship and new ways of doing things, and working with other scholars to carry the projects through. 

“The learning opportunities are immense.”

The editorship will require steady, solitary work, the kind of scholarship that is sometimes not given the kind of regard it deserves because it’s often done in the background, slowly and steadily, he says. It can be thankless at the beginning, but it is so important, especially when seeing the work suddenly picked up by other scholars who are grateful the work is being done.

Applications open for fully funded ISL in Ghana student experience

Thu, 2018-09-06 13:41

Applications have now opened for the fully funded Immersion Service Learning (ISL) in Ghana student experience, a 12-week, in-country experience offered in conjunction with the six-credit course, IDS 398. 

This student experience is fully funded by The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program. Students only pay course tuition. 

Students must be entering third year or above in 2019-20 to apply. Application deadline is Oct. 12, 2018.

IDS 398 and Service Learning in Ghana bring together experiential learning in community-based contexts in Ghana with academic course work to deepen students' understanding of the dynamics of local change in contemporary Ghana as it relates to issues of global inequality and social justice. 

Through service learning experiences in community-based partner organizations and ongoing critical reflection, students blend theory with practice for a complex understanding of community development in rural Ghana today. 

This course is designed to complement learning in a wide variety of academic areas. Through community placements, students can focus on elements of the course that connect with their particular disciplinary interests.

QEScholars join a community of young global leaders across Canada and around the world to create lasting impacts both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences.

For more information and to apply, please visit here. To learn more about the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program, please see here.

StFX students involved in novel wind modelling research

Wed, 2018-09-05 14:08

Learning about wind on the highway took up a good part of the year for StFX engineering students Jenny Bowie and Connor McCabe, who hope to use the knowledge to help increase fuel efficiency.

The two, who graduated this spring, spent the last year as part of a group of four students in StFX earth sciences professor Dr. Dave Risk’s FluxLab involved with novel wind modelling. 

The work originated within a project helping advance truck-based gas detection technology, funded by ACOA Atlantic Innovation Fund. The goal was to improve wind measurement with better anemometer placement on the research trucks, and offset calibrations for speed and yaw. Tara Hanlon, who graduates from StFX with a MSc degree this fall, and Meghan Flood, a 2018 engineering graduate, laid the foundational research, and wind work steadily branched out in the research group.  

Ms. Bowie, recipient of a 2018 Wallace Family Internship, created a mathematical algorithm to aid in measurement of wind from vehicles and started testing her product on a real vehicle. She’s been working to find the frontal wind speed experienced by a car without the use of an anemometer. 

FWork-01-MyStFX.jpg Jenny Bowie 

Meanwhile Mr. McCabe of Greenwood, NS, recipient of a StFX Student Research Award and University Council for Research (UCR) Award, installed an anemometer on a Classic Freight transport truck that helped map highway winds over two weeks while it traveled 8,000 kilometres. 


Ms. Bowie says the opportunity to be involved in research at StFX has been amazing.

“This is my first time working in a field so directly related to my schooling and it’s a very different experience. It’s really great that the hours you put into working are also hours that make you a better student and give you valuable experience. It has also been very rewarding to see how far my project has come,” she says. 

Her project involved using data collected from the moving vehicle along with dynamic equations of vehicle motion and an algorithm she’s been working on. This is important because wind speed is the biggest factor that impacts fuel economy. She says the vision right now is to use this technology to help fleet companies to save fuel through a couple possible systems.

“The opportunity of getting involved in research is an amazing benefit to StFX students. Other than the obvious skills you learn with the material, mine being primarily programming and dynamics, you learn so many other practical skills that are required for self-directed studying, the new experiences and the challenges.” 

Ms. Bowie, who will start her third year in civil engineering at Dalhousie University this fall, says the opportunity to become involved in research at StFX started when her thermodynamics professor, Dr. Gurpreet Matharoo—her co-supervisor throughout this project—approached her, inviting her to chat about a project the Flux Lab needed someone for. “So, a big thank you to Dr. Matharoo!”

The biggest surprise of the experience? Learning about all the interesting research going on at StFX, she says. 

“Getting involved in a lab showed me so many different opportunities you can have with your program material.”   


Mr. McCabe’s research has been looking at ways to reduce emissions in the transportation sector by understanding how the wind affects fuel efficiency. 

“About two thirds of fuel consumption at highway speed is due to air drag, and high wind gusts increase this dramatically,” he says. 

“By measuring the wind from a vehicle, the winds that highway vehicles encounter can be better understood. With greater knowledge of the relationship between wind and fuel consumption, several methods to increase fuel efficiency can be developed. Some of these include mapping winds, adjusting routes based on wind patterns, and even developing an adjustable cruise control system that accounts for wind. Research in this area is important because it is highly applicable to the industry—decreasing emissions goes hand in hand with financial savings on fuel.”

A large part of his work included using a computational fluid dynamics software to model the air flow over a transport truck. 

Truck-01-MyStFX.jpg This helped in determining a good anemometer location and in ensuring proper wind measurements from that location. He also worked on creating a wind-based cruise control algorithm, which showed potential for fuel efficiency increases of up to 16 per cent. 

For his field work, he worked with Classic Freight, a freight company out of Dartmouth, NS, to attach an anemometer to measure winds from one of their trucks. The truck travelled around Atlantic Canada for over two weeks, collecting data on wind speed and direction. This data will be used to gain a better understanding of the winds experienced by highway vehicles and how they affect fuel efficiency.


“The opportunity to be involved in research as an undergraduate is one that is hard to beat,” he says. 

“The critical thinking, communication, project management and hands-on skills that I have gained from this experience are ones that I will carry with me throughout my academic career and onward. Research as an undergraduate not only helps you to develop your academic skillset, but it also allows you to better understand and appreciate the scientific method,” says Mr. McCabe who begins his first co-op term as he moves on to Dalhousie University to complete his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering over the next three years.

“The opportunity to get involved in research is one of the great benefits of being a student at StFX. Having faculty and supervisors that encourage you to explore your ideas and ask questions provides an exceptional academic experience.”

He says what he found most surprising about his research experience is just how impactful it can be. “You don’t necessarily expect what you do as an undergraduate to have a large impact on society. But when you’re given the opportunity to ask questions and the right tools to look for answers, the results can be quite surprising.”

“Time” to make connections: between ideas and across campuses

Thu, 2018-08-30 09:27

The Maple League universities are offering a new, groundbreaking and multidisciplinary course exploring the theme of “time” this Fall, demonstrating how this consortium of universities can collaborate to offer students a richer, more relevant learning experience across four campuses.

Four award-winning professors from different fields (Dr. David Hornidge, Physics, Mount Allison University; Dr. Michele Murray, Religion, Bishop’s University; Dr. Michael Cardinal-Aucoin, Biology, St. Francis Xavier University; and Dr. Jeff Hennesy, Music, Acadia University) have designed an innovative learning experience in a team-taught, distance learning environment.

“It’s an exciting multidisciplinary, team-teaching approach and a very interesting topic – Time,” says Dr. Michael Cardinal-Aucoin, StFX biology professor. This course is an opportunity for students to be introduced to different disciplines and the different approaches they take to asking and answering questions, to different ways of knowing. It will give students the chance to explore subject matter, ideas, and methodologies that might usually be beyond the scope of their chosen degree program.”

Using the latest technology, students enrolled in the course at all four Maple League universities will reflect on how time informs and shapes knowledge in four very different academic disciplines. They will attend classes via videoconference and in person throughout the Fall semester. Classes are divided into disciplinary blocks and one professor explores what time means in their field of expertise with the students and other instructors. This synchronous online learning experience provides students with both in class and virtual instruction in a small, intimate, seminar-style course.

As the professors write, "Time is a concept we encounter every day and yet one that we rarely, if ever, consider beyond checking it on our wall clock (or iPhone). However, our seemingly familiar relationship with time deceives us into believing that the concept of time is a simple one. This course will seek answers to questions such as: What is the meaning of time and how can it be defined? What is the space-time continuum and what does the theory of relativity imply about time? How do organisms perceive time and what is a biological clock? How have different religious traditions perceived time and given it meaning? How is time divided to create rhythms and how do we keep a beat?"

“This multidisciplinary learning experience encourages students to make connections between facts, concepts and ideas in various academic disciplines,” says Maple League Executive Director and Bishop’s University English Department Associate Professor Dr. Jessica Riddell. “Made possible by 21st-century technology, this course is a striking demonstration that the liberal arts approach to learning – at the core of all four of the Maple League universities – is more relevant than ever for students, as they seek to understand our increasingly complex and fast-paced world.”

Through their collaboration, the four universities of the Maple League help students prepare for rapidly evolving job market, with courses like these that challenge students to think critically and creatively about the world around them.

StFX hosts inaugural Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship Network Summer Institute

Wed, 2018-08-22 11:40

Creating a safe, healthy, and supportive space for Indigenous learning to occur within Atlantic post-secondary institutions was the intent, and organizers of the Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship Network (Atlantic-IMN)’s inaugural Summer Institute: Weja'tu'k kina'masutiminu maqamikewiktuk (We Get Our Education From the Land), hosted Aug. 7-11 on the StFX campus, say the five-day event did just that.

“With the guidance of our Elder Advisory Circle and the planning team led by Catherine Hart, and Dr. Debbie Martin of Dalhousie University, we designed an experiential, co-learning program to support Indigenous students and students involved in interdisciplinary Indigenous health research on their academic journey,” says StFX faculty member and organizing committee member Dr. L. Jane McMillan. 

“We took students out of the classroom and on to the land to consider the importance of Indigenous rights, food security and food sovereignty with community experts. The idea was to encourage students to engage with Indigenous knowledge on the land and to open their minds and hearts to new ways of learning and sharing. It was a tremendous immersive experience for faculty and students alike and a program that we will continue to nurture and grow.”

In all, 19 people participated in the institute, including nine undergraduate and graduate students from StFX, Dalhousie University and Mount St. Vincent University. 

"As a Mi'kmaq student, participating in the Summer Institute at StFX was very meaningful for me because I got to learn so much about Indigenous food sovereignty and food systems from some of our Mi'kmaq elders, knowledge keepers, and from each other,” says participant Devann Sylvester of Membertou First Nation who graduated from StFX with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2017 and is now in her second year of the Bachelor of Education program, for elementary. 

“I know these topics are important for our nation as Mi'kmaq people in moving forward together,” she says. “I loved how the five days of the institute involved ceremony, talking circles, field trips, traditional knowledge, discussions, feasts, and being outdoors. I became emotional at times throughout the week because I knew that I was a part of something special."

Likewise, participant Monica Ragan, a fifth year honours StFX student from Whycocomagh, NS, who is in the aquatics resource program with a focus on anthropology, said the institute was a great learning experience. 


“The Summer Institute taught me to see health and food in different ways from the western, scientific notion, which I have been educated in. Now I am critically assessing the information which is presented to me and trying to use this information to ensure I am looking at both perspectives of the issue. 

“As I learned, access to traditional foods is related to health outcomes of Indigenous groups. Therefore, one cannot assume what is ideal for someone who is European is appropriate for an Indigenous individual, especially when it comes to diet and this issue needs to be made more aware to those in the health and academic professions.”


She says the stories and people she met left a positive impact on her learning, particularly the presentation from Nadine Bernard, a graduate of the Indigenous Women Community Leadership Program at StFX, whose journey through life-changing circumstances led her to develop her own business to provide healthy and time-saving recipes for the slow cooker and to use these recipes as a tool to educate others. “It speaks volumes to her dedication and passion for helping others, but also for Indigenous food sovereignty,” she says. 

“I am doing my honours thesis about the different relationships with the Margaree-Lake Ainslie watershed in Cape Breton, and I believe the information I learned from the Summer Institute will be beneficial to add a Mi’kmaq perspective to my paper on their understanding of resource management called netukulimk.”

“Participating in the Atlantic-IMN provided me with an invaluable experience to learn from Mi’kmaq knowledge keepers, IMN mentors, and my fellow participants. It was richly rewarding to learn from people who have had very different life experiences from my own, and reassuring to encounter others who are similarly positioned or have had similar experiences,” says Keith Williams. 


“One of our mentors, Andrea Curry, shared teachings from her elders, one of which was that the ‘longest journey in life is from the head to the heart.’ I am currently enrolled as a PhD student in Educational Studies at St. Francis Xavier University. The focus of my program, and all of my previous post-secondary education to date, has been intellectual. The summer institute was, at once, profoundly personal and intellectual, which helped me to arrive at the insight that meaningful societal change is only possible when both the head and heart reciprocally inform our understandings of the world and our place in it.”

IMN is a regional network that offers mentorship, learning opportunities, and financial support, for graduate students interested in pursuing Indigenous health research. 


During the summer institute, participants gathered at StFX to talk and learn about themes that ranged from Indigenous food sovereignty to the inter-connectiveness between people and food. Over the course of the event, participants took part in ceremony, cultural learning, land-based learning, community events, and were engaged by presentations and activities delivered by academics, Elders and knowledge holders, and community members with experience participating in Indigenous health research. 

One of the outcomes from the institute will be the creation of an interdisciplinary and it’s hoped co-institutional Indigenous land-based learning course for credit, says Dr. McMillan. 

StFX Associate Dean Dr. Cathy MacDonald, and faculty members Dr. Joanne Whitty-Rogers and Dr. Ann Fox were also participants in the event. StFX also supported the institute through an in-kind contribution from the Office of StFX Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies, Dr. Richard Isnor. 

This project is funded by CIHR Indigenous Mentorship Grants. 

StFX names Dr. Donald Abelson as Director, Mulroney Institute of Government

Tue, 2018-08-21 16:37
Dr. Donald Abelson

St. Francis Xavier University is pleased to announce that Dr. Donald Abelson has been appointed the founding Director of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, and the inaugural ECN Capital Chair in Canada-U.S. Relations. 

A specialist in Canadian-American relations, U.S. politics and U.S. foreign policy, Dr. Abelson brings over two decades of extensive scholarly and research experience to the position, particularly around the role of think tanks and their efforts to influence public opinion and public policy. He comes to StFX from Western University where he spent the last 25 years of his career in various roles including professor and chair, Department of Political Science, Director of the Centre for American Studies and Director of the Canada-US Institute. 

He received his BA in political science from the University of Toronto, a MA in political studies from Queen’s University, a MA in journalism from Western University and a PhD in political studies from Queen’s University.  

He is the author of nine books, including Do Think Tanks Matter? Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002, 2009, 2018), which has been translated into several foreign languages, Northern Lights: Exploring Canada’s Think Tank Landscape (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016), and with Stephen Brooks and Xin Hua (eds), Think Tanks, Foreign Policy and Geo-politics (Routledge, 2017).  

He has also authored over four dozen articles and chapters that focus on think tanks, free trade, environmental cooperation, and foreign policy. In addition, he is a regular commentator on CBC, CTV, TV Ontario, and other major media outlets. 

“Dr. Donald Abelson is an inspired choice for the ECN Chair in Canada-U.S. Relations and founding Director of the Mulroney Institute of Government,” says Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice President, Research and Graduate Studies and interim director of the Mulroney Institute. “He is widely recognized as a leading Canadian and international scholar in the areas of think tanks and their influence on public policy, particularly in Canada and the United States. He has a proven track record in leading policy-oriented research centres at Western University and will be an incredible asset during the critical start-up phase in the development of the Mulroney Institute of Government at StFX,” Dr. Isnor says.   

Dr. Abelson says he is very much looking forward to the role. 

“It is an incredible opportunity to be able to come to StFX and be the founding director of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government. It speaks to my research and teaching interests in the field of public policy, which I have undertaken over the last 25 years, especially the work I’ve done on the role of think tanks in Canada and the U.S. I’m committed to putting many of the ideas I have analyzed into action, and to work with the other research chairs to produce timely, policy relevant and academically rigorous research,” he says. 

Not only is it exciting to step in as the Institute’s founding director and to occupy the only endowed research chair in the country devoted exclusively to studying the relationship between Canada and the U.S., but Dr. Abelson says he is also very keen to contribute to the new and innovative four-year undergraduate program in Public Policy and Governance at StFX. He says   this program, launched in 2017, “will continue to attract bright and energetic students interested in taking on leadership roles in government, the private sector and in the not-for-profit community.

“My vision is three-fold: to make the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government a national and international centre for expertise in public policy research and analysis, and to help policy makers at all levels of government, leaders in the private sector, and other individuals concerned with a range of public policy issues, to think more critically and methodically about how important economic, social and political developments in Canada and beyond our shores affect this country’s vital interests,” he says. 

But another part of this vision is to ensure students in the Public Policy and Governance Program are provided with the best possible training and opportunities to become leaders.

Dr. Abelson says one of the things that sets the Institute apart from other public policy centres and programs in Canada is the focus on leadership, and on the important skills students require to succeed both in their university studies and in their transition to the workforce. He says the commitment several donors have made to supporting student bursaries and scholarships is vital.

“A lot of the fundraising for the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government has focused on setting aside money for student bursaries and scholarships, and that really should be and continue to be a key focus so that qualified students are able to participate in this unique program.” 

While professionally this is an incredible opportunity, more importantly, the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and the undergraduate program it houses will further strengthen the reach and global impact of StFX, says Dr. Abelson. “This kind of investment which recognizes the importance of research, undergraduate training, and leadership will pay huge dividends for generations. It’s a transformative undertaking.”

Dr. Abelson says the creation of the Institute speaks volumes about Prime Minister Mulroney’s life-long commitment to StFX and his enduring belief in the value of education and public service. ‘The Institute bears Prime Minister Mulroney’s name,” but as Dr. Abelson says, “in so many ways, it also reveals his soul. Mr. Mulroney’s life changed forever when he came to this picturesque campus, and I suspect that nothing would make him happier than to know that future StFX students will graduate with the confidence and determination to leave a positive and lasting impact on Canada.”  

Dr. Abelson also took time to credit all those at StFX involved in drafting the blueprint for the program and the institute, noting the incredible job they did setting up courses, internships, and scholarships.

“The foundation they’ve established is truly amazing,” he says. “They really understand how public policy works and what kind of program is needed to train students. I am deeply honoured to come to campus to work with the people here.” 


Irving Shipbuilding Chair at StFX takes part in Operation Nanook ’18

Mon, 2018-08-20 13:45

Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, StFX’s Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security, took part in the Navy’s annual Operation NANOOK this past week. Dr. Lajeunesse joined several members of parliament aboard HMCS Charlottetown on its cruise from St. John’s to Iqaluit, as the frigate navigated around icebergs, conducted live fire exercises, and practiced combined operations with the ice-strengthened Danish frigate HDMS Vaedderen

Operations NANOOK is an annual Canadian Armed Forces exercise, which allows the military to rehearse ‘whole-of-government’ responses to potential safety and security threats in the North. From oil-spills and ship groundings to terrorism and crime, these threats are growing as the Arctic ice melts and human activity increases, he says. 

Dr.-Adam-Lejeunesse-01-MyStFX.jpg Dr. Adam Lajeunesse

Dr. Lajeunesse has studied these annual exercises, and Canada’s Arctic security more broadly, for over 10 years and was excited by the opportunity to view the operation up close. It was a hands-on experience in every sense, as Dr. Lajeunesse was given a chance to steer and control the 4,800 ton vessel and even integrated in Charlottetown’s boarding party as it captured Vaedderen during a mock take-over. 

In the future, the Navy’s Arctic patrol responsibilities will be taken over by the new DeWolf class Arctic Offshore and Patrol vessels; until then, he says, Canada continues to rely on thin-skinned ships like Charlottetown to pick delicately through the Arctic seas in defence of Canadian sovereignty and security. “Climbing aboard is an experience I will never forget” says Dr. Lajeunesse.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Navy for allowing me to participate in the Canadian Leaders at Sea program. Extending a more regular presence into the Arctic will be one of Canada’s great challenges in the 21st century and the progress that we’re already seeing is certainly heartening.” 


From the Xaverian Weekly to journal publication, StFX student is co-author on published piece

Mon, 2018-08-20 13:17
Katerina Hirschfeld

An article that had its start in the Xaverian Weekly student newspaper—and was co-written by a StFX student—has now been formally published in the journal Atlantis.

The piece “Beyond Aesthetics: A Femme Manifesto,” was co-authored by Katerina Hirschfeld, a recent StFX graduate, and Rhea Ashley Hoskin of the Student Success Centre, who is also a doctoral student in sociology at Queen’s University. 

Ms. Hirschfeld says the experience has been gratifying. 

“I still find it hard to believe that it’s published,” says Ms. Hirschfeld who graduated with an honours BA in 2017 and is currently completing a Master of Arts degree at Acadia University, where she is developing a thesis on on representations of time within queer narratives. 

“Having something published is such a big deal to me. I never thought that I would be able to create something that would receive that degree of recognition. I have to say, it feels pretty good! There is something so uniquely rewarding about contributing to the academic conversation in this way.”

Ms. Hirschfeld says before the Xaverian’s Pride Week issue, she and Ms. Hoskin had only talked about collaborating. Both share research interests in queer and femme identities. Ms. Hoskin is the author of “Femme Theory,” and has published extensively on femininities, femme identity and femmephobia. 

“We knew that we wanted to work on something together, but had not taken any concrete steps towards a publication. When we heard about the call for submission for the Xaverian’s Pride Week issue, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to finally collaborate on a piece,” Ms. Hirschfeld says. 

“We decided to write a manifesto about femme identities and the powerful possibilities of femininity. As femmes, this is a subject that is close to both of ours hearts.”

Ms. Hirschfeld says she has Ms. Hoskin to thank for the fact that their manifesto is published in Atlantis.

“As an undergraduate student, I have no experience in the publication process. Our submission to the Xaverian was really a preliminary piece, and we kept feeling the urge to add more—a good sign that Ashley and I will have many more collaborations in the future! After revising the piece and opening-up ‘femme’ in ways that we hope feel more inclusive of those who identify as femme, Ashley contacted Atlantis and submitted the manifesto for us.”

Ms. Hirschfeld says her time at StFX left an impact: “One of the most valuable aspects of the StFX English department, and of StFX as a whole, is that I had the opportunity to work closely with the faculty there. My English professors were always available to guide me, push me to come up with my own ideas and have the confidence to pursue them.”


Remarkable achievement: Schwartz School of Business student paper accepted for prestigious finance conference

Wed, 2018-08-01 10:49
Matt Hadfield

Once again, the quality of StFX student undergradatue research has been singled out. 

Matthew Hadfield, a StFX Gerald Schwartz School of Business honours student, now graduated, has learned the paper that resulted from his StFX honours thesis has been accepted for presentation at the Financial Management Association (FMA) Annual Meeting, a prestigious finance conference taking place this fall in California. 

To have an undergraduate student’s paper accepted at a conference such as this is very unusual. 

“This is a remarkable achievement,” says StFX Schwartz School faculty Dr. Bhavik Parikh, who supervised Mr. Hadfield and is a co-author on the paper, Algorithmic Trading. Market Liquidity and Flash Crash: Evidence from the Indian Market, with Mr. Hadfield and StFX professor Dr. Yen Nguyen and Ajay Kumar Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

The study examines the impact of algorithmic trading (AT) and non-algorithmic trading (non-AT) on market liquidity around the flash crash on October 5th, 2012 that occurred on the National Stock exchange (NSE) India. 

“Over the past four years, I have worked with several students on their undergraduate honours thesis. A lot of them have shown promises to excel in their area of research, but Matthew stands out as he continued working on this project after his graduation also,” Dr. Parikh says. “His perseverance and dedication and to work on a complex project like this is commendable. He immersed himself in this project by spending a lot of time learning about Indian Stock Markets and doing large data analysis. The skills he has acquired through this experience will be useful in both academic and professional endeavours,” he says. 

FMA executive director Michelle Liu had similar praise. 

“While we showcase some undergraduate research from the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Finance (JURF) in a special session at the conference, it is uncommon for undergraduate students to have research papers accepted for presentation at the conference through the regular submission process. The selection of your undergraduate student co-authored paper was even more notable this year, as we had a near-record number of submissions for the conference and therefore, the selection was very competitive,” she says.

“I was very surprised and excited when I heard that the paper had been accepted. I am humbled that my thesis is being recognized by a conference of this caliber. I am thankful for all the work of my supervisors, the paper would never have made it this far without them,” says Mr. Hadfield of North Vancouver, BC, who graduated from StFX in May 2017 with a first class honours degree in finance and minor in economics.

Mr. Hadfield moved to New Zealand at the beginning of this year to study and begin his working career. He is currently studying for a masters of finance at Victoria University of Wellington and was recently hired by FMZ, a fintech company. He is working part-time while he completes his degree. 

“My thesis is always a topic during job interviews,” he says. “I enjoy discussing the paper and the implications it has on today’s markets. Many employers highly value honours degrees, recognition of the thesis from the FMA’s international conference definitely increases the creditability and impact of the research.”

He says his time at StFX, particularly the friends he made, his involvement with the StFX rowing team and his close relationships with professors have influenced who he is today. 

The FMA annual meeting takes place in San Diego in October, where Dr. Parikh, co-author, will present the paper.  

With over 6,300 members, FMA is one of the largest international finance associations in the world. The annual meeting is the primary conference of the association and brings together over 1,500 academics and practitioners to present new research, discuss current issues in finance and financial education, and network. 

Dr. Parikh says their work compared AT and non-AT order submission behavior around the flash crash event day and normal days. “We observe the dominance of AT orders over non-AT orders across the study period. Our overall results show that AT Intensity and market liquidity decline during the flash crash. For AT, both quoted spread and depth have deteriorated while non-AT witnesses a decline in quoted spread together with an increase in depth,” he says. “These results highlight that AT traders take advantage of order submission speed, trading expertise and adjust their orders faster than non-AT traders. Our findings are consistent after controlling for the firm-specific effects, firm size, and firm beta.”


Leading Canadian expert on Indigenous research methodologies at StFX for Educational Research Forum

Wed, 2018-07-25 16:18
Dr. Margaret Kovach

Dr. Margaret Kovach was the Scholar in Residence at the Third Annual Educational Research Forum held in StFX’s Schwartz Auditorium on July 23.  

Dr. Kovach (Sakewew p'sim iskwew) is of Plains Cree and Saulteaux ancestry and a member of Pasqua First Nation. She is a leading expert in Indigenous research methodologies in Canada and recognized around the world for her contributions to this field. Her keynote address was entitled What Makes Indigenous Methodologies Different? Principles, Practices, and Possibilities. Organizers say it provided important insights what constitutes Indigenous research. 

StFX education faculty Dr. Joanne Tompkins says Dr. Kovach noted nine guiding principles: purpose, ethical research, community engagement, Indigenous Knowledges, oral dissemination, personal story, holistic preparation, social justice through Indigenous research, reciprocity and finally the fact that Indigenous research and researchers matter. “Through her passionate presentation, she kept her audience engaged for almost a full hour,” Dr. Tompkins says.  

In the audience were 150 StFX Master of Education and Master of Adult Education students who are beginning their program and a new cohort of PhD students beginning their doctoral work in education. 

Other graduate students came in from a distance through live streaming. Of particular interest were 16 Mi’kmaw and numerous non-Mi’kmaw educators and scholars currently engaging in decolonizing research. 

Dr. Kovach was welcomed to Mi’gma’gi by Christine Sylliboy, educator, community leader and graduate student from We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw community. Darlene Prosper, community leader, counsellor and advocate for education from Paq’tnkek Mi’kmaw Community gave words of a gift of tobacco as thanks to Dr. Kovach and offered a gift of quill and beaded earrings produced by local craftsperson and artists Mary Catherine Lafford. 

Dr. Kovach spent the afternoon attending the Educational Research Forum listening to masters and doctoral students presenting their research to new graduate students. The following day Dr. Kovach spent time in graduate research classes held on campus. StFX Faculty of Education was fortunate to have such a talented, passionate and inspiring action-oriented Indigenous scholar on campus and thanks the Office of Research, the AVP, Dean of Education, and Continuing and Distance Education for partnering to bring Dr. Kovach to campus. One sobering note that Dr. Kovach left the audience with is was the statistic that in 2006 Indigenous scholars represented one per cent of all academics in Canada. Twelve years later, in 2018, Indigenous scholars represent only 1.4 per cent of all academics in Canada (CAUT, 2018). Clearly there is much more work to be done to Indigenize the academy, says Dr. Tompkins. 

Research forum to showcase important work being undertaken by M.Ed. and PhD students in StFX’s Faculty of Education

Fri, 2018-07-13 09:17
L-r, StFX education faculty and committee members Dr. Dan Robinson, Dr. Jennifer Mitton-Kükner, Dr. Joanne Tompkins, and Dr. David Young. Missing from the photo is committee member Dr. Anne Murray Orr.

StFX Master of Education and Inter-University Doctoral Program in Educational Studies graduate students will have the unique opportunity to present and share their research on Monday, July 23 when the StFX Faculty of Education hosts the Educational Research Forum (ERF), beginning at noon in the auditorium of the Schwartz School of Business. 

Delivering the keynote address at the ERF will be Dr. Margaret Kovach of the University of Saskatchewan, this year’s Summer Institute Scholar in Residence. In addition to the keynote, Dr. Kovach will also be visiting M.Ed. and PhD classes following the ERF. 

In the audience will be 120 educators, who are attending their first two courses in StFX’s Master of Education program, 14 new students enrolled in the Inter-University Doctoral Program in Educational Studies, as well as educational partners from around the province. 

“The Educational Research Forum provides a venue to showcase the important work being undertaken at StFX. It is a wonderful opportunity for current and former graduate students to share their research with a wider audience,” says Dr. David Young, Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Leadership.

Dr. Jennifer Mitton-Kükner, Chair of the Inter-University Doctoral Degree Program, adds, “It is a unique event in that it brings into focus research that is relevant to Nova Scotia teachers and learners in a variety of educational contexts as well as the quality of graduate research happening in both the M.Ed. and PhD programs.” 

Following opening remarks from Dr. Young, as well as Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Kovach will deliver her keynote address entitled, “What Makes Indigenous Methodologies Different? Some Thoughts on Principles, Practices, and Possibilities.” 

Dr. Kovach is the well-known author of Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts, and is a leader in numerous areas, some of which include Indigenous research (epistemology and methods), leadership and governance in First Nations education, and Indigenous lifelong and adult learning.

Following the keynote address, graduate students will share the results of their research in a conference style format. 

A reception in the Schwartz School will allow for informal discussions about the research presentations.

The ERF organizing committee, comprised of Dr. Dan Robinson, Dr. Jennifer Mitton-Kükner, Dr. Anne Murray-Orr, Dr. Joanne Tompkins, and Dr. David Young, wishes to thank for their support the Office of the Academic Vice-President and Provost, the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, Continuing and Distance Education, and the Office of the Dean of Education. 

Two gold awards for StFX Advancement at national CCAE conference

Thu, 2018-07-12 14:04
L-r, Iain Boyd accepting the CCAE gold award in the “Best Fundraising Initiative’ category for the Xaverian Scholarship and Bursary Fund Campaign, and Alexa Zarins, Mike MacKenzie and Jessica MacLellan accepting the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ category gold for the StFX Day of Giving Campaign.

The StFX Advancement team has struck gold—twice—for its outstanding work. 

StFX Advancement was recently recognized nationally, winning two Prix d'excellence Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) gold medal awards at the 2018 CCAE national conference held this year in Halifax, NS.

The Prix d'excellence is the annual awards program of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, recognizing top achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, communications, marketing, development, advancement services, stewardship, student recruitment and overall institutional Advancement.

StFX took home two national first place awards, one in the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ category for its StFX Day of Giving Campaign, and the other in the “Best Fundraising Initiative’ category for the Xaverian Scholarship and Bursary Fund Campaign.

“I was very, very proud of the Advancement team, and of the university, that we were recognized for our work among our peers across the country,” says Murray Kyte, StFX Vice-President, Advancement. 

“First and foremost, it’s important to know that our work is recognized as being of high quality and relevant, which supports our team’s engagement and pride. It’s also important for the university to be recognized as a place where high quality work is happening, which supports the great work that is happening in all areas of the university,” he says. 

“Frank McKenna always says StFX punches above its weight, this is another instance where StFX knocks it out of the park, competing against large schools.” 

Mr. Kyte says a lot of people may not know what the Department of Advancement does. The department, he says, provides a broad variety of services to support the university’s vision. It primarily consists of three functions, alumni affairs; development, which is the fundraising apparatus; and all marketing and communications for the university.

Among the department’s work is producing marketing materials, digital platforms, public and media relations, the AlumniNews magazine, relationship building, major and planned gifts, fundraising campaigns, and the Annual Giving program, and playing a key role in planning and executing events such as Homecoming, Convocation and the X-Ring ceremony, as well as working with the StFX Alumni Association.   


On the leading edge–StFX psychology faculty and students celebrate success at national convention

Wed, 2018-07-11 14:56
Delegates at the pre-conference

Once again, StFX psychology faculty and students were well represented at the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) National Convention, which brings together almost 1,800 psychologists and psychology students. 

Of particular note, StFX psychology professor Dr. Karen Blair organized the largest ever LGBTQ psychology conference to take place in Canada as a pre-conference, and StFX psychology professor Dr. Margo Watt was honoured with the John C. Service Member of the Year Award from the Canadian Psychological Association, recognizing CPA members or fellows who have given exceptional service or made a distinguished contribution to the association during the year. 

The event was held this year in Montreal in late June. As host of the 2018 International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP), the CPA’s 79th annual meeting and convention was this year integrated in the ICAP 2018 program.

Dr. Blair organized the LGBTQ psychology conference as a pre-conference to ICAP. Some 115 delegates from over 20 countries participated in two full days of programming. Dr. Blair and Rhea Hoskin, an instructor at the StFX Student Success Centre and a PhD candidate at Queen's University, received a $25,000 SSHRC Connection Grant held at StFX to support the event and matching funds were provided by the International Psychology Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Issues (IPsyNet). Much of the funding went towards supporting travel bursaries for international delegates, including delegates coming from as far as Uganda, Chile, South Korea and New Zealand. 

Breanna O’Handley, StFX’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor and a recent StFX graduate, and Ms. Hoskin each presented their research at the pre-conference, as did Dr. Blair’s master’s student, Kay Jenson, from Acadia University. The students had the opportunity to meet and speak with some of the top researchers in the field, including Dr. Sari van Anders, a newly appointed Canada 150 Chair at Queen’s University, who was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. 

psychology conference 2018.jpg L-r, Breanna O’Handley, Daragh McDermott (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Dr. Karen Blair, Rhea Hoskin, and Kay Jenson (Acadia University) 

psychology conference 2018 1.jpg L-r, Dr. Margo Watt, Emma Truffyn and Alley Goodreau

Dr. Blair, the program chair, says participating in the conference was invaluable. “This coming winter 2019 semester, I’ll be teaching a 300 level psychology course on LGBTQ psychology (Psyc 386). It is the first time that the course, or anything similar to it, will be offered at StFX and the conference was a great opportunity to learn about the latest advances in the field, which I will be able to now incorporate into the course,” she says. 

“It was such a hit that we are now planning a second conference to take place in July 2020 in Prague.” Dr. Blair and Ms. Hoskin will also be editing a special issue Psychology and Sexuality based on the research presented at the 2018 pre-conference. 

In recognition of the challenges and risks that many LGBTQ researchers face in different parts of the world, conference delegates donated $660 to Rainbow Railroad to help support a fundraiser that StFX student Laura Sevigny started last fall after taking a course with Dr. Blair and learning about the Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization helping LGBTQ refugees seek asylum in Canada. 


A highlight from the conference included Dr. Margo Watt receiving the John C. Service Member of the Year Award, which was presented this year to members of the Task Force on Criminal Justice, of which Dr. Watt is a member.

Dr. Watt also delivered the section keynote for the Criminal Justice Psychology Section. Her talk was entitled, “Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility Assessments in Canada: Improving Access to Qualified Mental Health Professionals.”

Several of Dr. Watt’s students also presented their research during the convention. 

Emma Truffyn, a 2018 StFX graduate who is starting a graduate program in clinical psychology at Western University this fall, one of Canada’s top psychology graduate programs, presented her thesis research as a poster, “An Investigation of Anxiety in Dental Services.” 

Fourth year honours student Jessie Doyle presented a poster, “Anxiety, Sensitivity and Mindfulness As Mediators of Relations Between Attachment and Cluster B Personality Traits,” and Alley Goodreau presented a poster on research from Dr. Watt’s lab, “The Mental Health of University Student Athletes.”   

Dr. Blair also presented a section chair address during the main conference as chair of the CPA’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity section (When Everything is Your Topic: A Peek into a Program of Research Focused on LGBTQ2S+ Psychology) and Ms. Hoskin gave two more presentations during this part of the conference.