Department News

Subscribe to Department News feed
Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

Human nutrition student honoured with industry award, national bursary

Tue, 2018-05-08 15:16
StFX Human Nutrition Department part-time faculty Fran Haley (left) presents the CAFP-StFX student branch Aramark Gold Plate award to Shelby Kennedy-Goncalves

It’s been a great month for fourth year StFX human nutrition student Shelby Kennedy-Goncalves of Calgary, AB, who has been honoured with both an industry award and a $1,000 national bursary from her profession. 

Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves is the Aramark Gold Plate winner for the student branch of the StFX Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP), awarded for her commitment to the food service industry, the StFX CAFP student branch and the local community, the Northumberland Professional Branch of CAFP has announced. 

Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves is also this year’s winner of the Don McPhie $1,000 bursary, awarded to a CAFP student member who best represents the qualities that Don McPhie brought to the association and industry.

As the Gold Plate winner, Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves will compete with university CAFP branch winners from across Canada for the National Gold Plate Award, which will be announced at the student awards luncheon at the National CAFP Conference this May in Vancouver, BC. As part of its commitment to future leaders, Aramark provides financial support to ensure that student branch award winners are able to participate in the annual CAFP national conference, as well as a $400 cash award to be used by the student to further his/her education. 

“I am thrilled to receive this award and look forward to networking with colleagues at the CAFP national conference,” says Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves.

As a Gold Plate branch recipient, Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves also qualifies to apply for the Aramark Accelerate to Leadership Program (A2L). The A2L program equips university graduates with the tools to navigate the many diverse areas of business at Aramark. Students are given the opportunity to enrich and nourish lives in the communities that Aramark serves through hands-on meaningful management experiences. The one-year, paid position affords robust learning and career readiness training.

NATIONAL BURSARY

CAFP also administers several national bursaries to encourage students to develop themselves in the culinary, supervisory, hospitality, managerial, and dietetic programs.  

Ms. Kennedy-Goncalves is this year’s winner of the Don McPhie bursary, awarded to a CAFP student member who best represents the qualities that Don McPhie brought to the association and industry. The recipient must be a well-rounded student, who demonstrates a strong commitment to the association and to their chosen field and have demonstrated effort to strengthen their student branch, show progressive experience and growth within the industry as well as community involvement.

Music professor Paul Tynan wins ECMA for Jazz Recording of the Year

Tue, 2018-05-08 14:04
Music professor Paul Tynan

An East Coast Music Award (ECMA) has come home to StFX. Music professor Paul Tynan, together with longtime collaborator California saxophonist Aaron Lington, has won the 2018 Jazz Recording of the Year award for 'Bicoastal Collective: Chapter 5,’ at the ECMAs held May 2-6, 2018 in Halifax, NS.

“Humbled and honoured are the two words I can use to describe this feeling,” says Prof. Tynan, who teaches jazz trumpet, jazz history and arranging at StFX, and is currently playing in Europe. 

“I received word of winning the ECMA from a good friend on PEI via text after just finishing my last night performing at The Hat Bar in Berlin. We had an impromptu party to celebrate there. When you pour your heart and soul in a project you always wonder if it effected people; maybe made them feel something. The recognition from the ECMAs is maybe a small nod to say that yes we did.” 

StFX music alumni also fared well at the ECMAs. 

Alumnus Christien Raymakers, who graduated with a BA in music in 2015, won the Dance Recording of the Year award (as ‘CRaymak’) for his ‘Play With Fire.’

Alumnus Jason Roach, who graduated with an honours music degree in 2006, as part of the group Còig, won the Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year for ‘Rove.’

StFX graduates over 900, Dr. Teresa MacNeil and Lino A. Saputo, Jr. receive honorary degrees

Sun, 2018-05-06 17:05
2018 StFX Spring Convocation was a day of achievement, celebration and accomplishment

On Sunday, May 6, StFX celebrated the Class of 2018 as it welcomed over 900 newly minted graduates into the Xaverian alumni family on a day marked by cheers, tears, and advice for graduates to make a difference in the world, and to maybe make the world a little different.

Graduates came from every province in Canada and 17 countries around the world.

StFX also presented the degree Doctor of Laws honoris causa to Dr. Teresa MacNeil of Johnstown, Cape Breton, a StFX graduate and passionate leader in community development and life-long learning, and to Montreal-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Lino A. Saputo, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Saputo Inc., one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world, during Spring Convocation 2018 held at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

COURAGE AND LIFELONG LEARNING

“Do the things you are afraid of,” Dr. MacNeil told graduates during the morning ceremony in an address that focused on two themes—courage and lifelong learning.

2018 Spring Convocation Dr. Teresa MacNeil.jpg

Dr. Teresa MacNeil (centre) pictured with StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald (left) and Chancellor Dr. Susan Crocker

Courage is the fundamental trait that allows us to develop as human beings, and it takes courage to plunge into your endeavours, she said.

“The greatest mistake you can make in your life is to be afraid you’ll make a mistake,” Dr. MacNeil said. “So be daring.”

Be active learners, Dr. MacNeil encouraged. Take a deliberate approach to continuous learning. We are living through a time of enormous explosion of knowledge, she said.

“The most valuable asset you have learned is how to learn whatever you need, wherever you are, for the rest of your life.”

This university has given you, and continues to give the world, deliberate attention to adult education, she said, where the goal is to foster individual, social and economic change, to enable learners to see what they are up against and be able to do something about it.

Dr. MacNeil also made time to say thank you. “An honorary degree from my alma master, employment for 37 years, and then to address you, it is indeed a privilege. Thank you for this definite honour,” she said as she congratulated all the graduates.

COMMUNITY STFX BUILDS

2018 Convocation Dr. Lino Saputo Jr..jpg

Dr. Lino A. Saputo, Jr. (centre) with StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald (left) and Chancellor Dr. Susan Crocker 

“Thank you for awarding me this honorary degree,” Dr. Saputo said during his address in the afternoon ceremony. “I feel privileged to share this special day with you,” he told graduates. And he said he is ecstatic to receive the honour during the same ceremony in which son Giordano graduates. We really do feel part of the StFX family, he said.

Today is an important milestone, Dr. Saputo told graduates. Wherever your experience began and wherever you go, you all share something in common, he said—the sense of community that StFX builds.

Dr. Saputo told the Class of 2018 about how he wanted to be an X-Men nearly 30 years ago. But when considering universities he met a girl—who later became his wife Amelia—and decided to go to university at Concordia.

It was a good decision, he told graduates, as finding the right partner is one of the most critical decisions you make in life. The other is what we do in our career.

“It should be something you feel passionate about, and more importantly, something that taps into your curiosity,” he advised. “When you find the career that’s right for you, you’ll know it. When it’s time to change careers, you’ll know it.”

Dr. Saputo says when you find these two things, the right partner and the right career, it makes it easier to fulfill a third key part of a truly balanced life, helping your community.

We all want to make our community better, and there are many ways to do this, he said. And not all are financial. Volunteer a few hours, coach a sport team and follow your passion to right an injustice, he told graduates. “My conviction is we don’t live on this earth alone. It means so much to us to be able to give back.”

Over the past four years, he says he and his family have come to feel part of StFX and the Antigonish community and are proud of their son Giordano for the way he’s become a part of this community. “This is a wonderful part of Canada, made even better by the contributions of everyone associated with StFX.”

After 30 years, he says he’s finally and proudly now able to wear an X-Ring.

INCREDIBLE STUDENTS

StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald welcomed all to convocation and thanked family, friends, faculty and staff for their many contributions leading to this day.

“We are here for one reason and that is acknowledge some incredible students,” he said as he feted the Class of 2018.

“Think about contributing positively to the world,” he advised graduates, telling them they have many choices as they enter the world: the choice to be kind, to be optimistic, to forgive, to be humble, to respect everyone around them, to serve others, to be generous and to show gratitude.

“You have a great future ahead of you.”

Dr. MacDonald also took time to recognize StFX Chancellor Dr. Susan Crocker, the university’s first lay chancellor and the first female chancellor, who soon concludes her term, noting she served this institution with dignity, grace and generosity.

In her remarks, Dr. Crocker said she is honoured to open and preside over Spring Convocation 2018. “This day of recognition and celebration is the day you've worked to reach,” she told graduates.

“While we all came to StFX for different reasons and have incredibly unique journeys, we leave this beautiful campus with a shared gift,” said 2018 grad and senior class speaker Cameron Sehl.

Your StFX experience is like a lighthouse, he said, your ethos, your internal set of values that will steer you through the rocky waters of life. “It’s the sense of community you developed being part of something bigger than yourself…Count on the lights of our StFX experiences to guide us on the next steps of the journey.”

Senior class speaker Alex Corrigan, who spoke during the morning convocation, told classmates that today, with parchment in hand, they begin an entirely new journey. That transition is scary and uncertain, but also liberating and incredibly exciting. Pursue your dreams and keep believing in yourself, he encouraged classmates. “No matter where you are, you can always reach out to classmates and fellow StFX alumni. We may be leaving StFX, but StFX is not leaving us.”

StFX Alumni Association president Glenn Horne asked graduates to remember the Alumni Association is always there to support them. He also left graduates with three suggestions: push your boundaries, give back, work hard and have fun. Life is to be enjoyed, not enduring.

“This is a special day, celebrating significant accomplishment. On behalf of all alumni, congratulations,” he said.

MAJOR HONOURS

Major honours presented during the ceremony included the designation of professor emeritus upon retired StFX history professor Dr. Paul Phillips. Philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet received the University Research Award, and the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Awards were awarded to psychology professor Dr. Erin Austen and to development studies professor and Canada Research Chair Dr. Jonathan Langdon. Patricia Budicky, senior lab instructor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Outstanding Staff Teaching Award.

Class of 2018 university medallists:

UNIVERSITY GOLD MEDALS

These medals are awarded to the student with the highest average in the final three years of an honours, advanced major or major degree program or the final two years of a diploma or education degree program.

Bachelor of Science to: Matthew Thomas Martell, Bedford, NS

Bachelor of Science in Nursing to: Alyssa Mariah Guitard, Riverview, NB

Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition to: Aiyu Liu, Beijing, China

Bachelor of Arts/Science in Human Kinetics to: Amy Elaine Bobyn, Calgary, AB

Diploma in Engineering to: Megan Elizabeth Hawkins Fudge, St. George, NB

Bachelor of Education to: Renelle Ariel John, Trinidad and Tobago

Bachelor of Arts to: Jamie Julia Forsyth, Truro, NS

Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Arts in Music to: Cassandra Lynn Mann, New Glasgow, NS

THE GERALD SCHWARTZ SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The following medals are awarded to the students with the highest average in the final three years of a Bachelor of Business Administration or Bachelor of Information Systems program.

The ONEX Corporation Gold Medal Bachelor of Business Administration John Michael Jordan MacDonald, O’Leary, PE

GOVERNOR GENERAL MEDALS

The Governor General Undergraduate Medal for the highest average in the final three years of study to: Matthew Thomas Martell, Bedford, NS

The Governor General Graduate Medal for the highest overall average in a thesis-based graduate program to: Stephanie Elaine MacIntyre, Antigonish, NS

2018 BIOS:

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS

Dr. Teresa MacNeil


A passionate advocate and leader in community development, life-long learning and adult education, StFX graduate and Johnstown, Cape Breton native Dr. Teresa MacNeil spent a distinguished 37-year career at StFX. She is also noted for her contributions to numerous regional and national organizations, always with a view to making lives richer. Following early work in Newfoundland, Dr. MacNeil then moved to Cape Breton as a StFX Extension fieldworker. She completed a MSc and PhD in educational policy studies from the University of Wisconsin. From 1970-1982, she chaired StFX’s newly established Department of Adult Education, the flagship program that led to the Masters Degree in Adult Education. In 1975, she became a full professor, and in 1982 accepted the position of Director of Extension, which she held until 1993. While with Extension, Dr. MacNeil maintained a variety of positions that strengthened her work with the department including chairing the Board of Directors for Cape Breton Development Corporation; the Board of Directors for Enterprise Cape Breton; and the Provincial Task Force on the Economy of Cape Breton. From 1994-96, she served as StFX Director of Special Projects and in 1996 as StFX Advancement Director before her August 1996 retirement. Since then she has taken on numerous part-time assignments with boards, consultancies, and commissions. Professional and community highlights throughout her career span from chairing the board of directors of the Canadian Association for Adult Education to the National Advisory Group for Canada’s Adult Learning Knowledge Centre. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, the recipient of three honorary degrees and diplomas, and an inductee into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She is also an Honorary Life Member, Canadian Association for Continuing University Education; Member of the Royal College of Fellows, Canadian Geographical Society; and Progress Women of Excellence of Nova Scotia.

Lino A. Saputo, Jr.

Montreal-based entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Lino A. Saputo, Jr. is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Saputo Inc., one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world. Involved in the third-generation, family-run business since age 13, when he wrapped specialty cheeses, he now oversees the Quebec-based company comprised of 12,800 employees with 50 plants worldwide. Mr. Saputo, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Concordia University, officially joined Saputo in 1988 as an administrative assistant. Through the years he has held several positions including Vice President, Operations and Engineering; Executive Vice President Operations; and President, Cheese Division (USA). Since March 2004, he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Vice Chairman of the Board, and since August 2017, he serves as Chairman of the Board. Giving back to the community is a priority for Mr. Saputo and his family, known for their social responsibility and support of multiple organizations. Their commitment to sports, specifically soccer, is noteworthy. He is also committed to Centraide of Greater Montreal. He has co-presided over their annual fundraising campaign, and presides over the major donor campaign. He and his family have also gifted $10 million to the Montreal Heart Institute, an historic commitment dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In 2011, he and his wife Amelia founded the Amelia and Lino A. Saputo Jr. Foundation dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations. They have particular interest in promoting healthy living initiatives and helping Montreal’s most vulnerable populations. Mr. Saputo serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Canada, the Board of Directors of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the Conference Board of Canada. In April 2018, he and Amelia gifted $10 million to StFX to revitalize the Oland Centre, which will become the Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living, ensuring StFX and communities in northeastern Nova Scotia enjoy health and wellness opportunities for generations to come.

PROFESSOR EMERITUS

Dr. Paul Phillips, Department of History


Dr. Paul Phillips is a world-class scholar of British intellectual and religious history. He taught in the StFX Department of History from 1969 until his retirement in 2007. During his 38 years at StFX, he taught and mentored several generations of students, supervising 40 theses. In addition to his busy teaching schedule, he demonstrated leadership ability, serving three terms as chair of the History Department and one term as chair of Graduate Studies. Other notable examples of his service to StFX include two terms on Senate, one term on the Board of Governors, and service on multiple committees. A first class scholar, he crafted an enduring legacy, the author of five books, editor of one volume of collected essays and co-editor of one sourcebook of documents. His illustrious career has been marked by numerous academic honours. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has been a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Cornell University’s Institute for European Studies, and Victoria College, University of Toronto where he enjoyed the title of Northrop Frye Visiting Fellow. More recently he occupied the prestigious Gatto Chair in Christian Studies at StFX for two terms. In 2002, he was recognized with the University Research Award, and since 2007, he has held the honour of Senior Research Professor at StFX.

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AWARD

Dr. William Sweet, Department of Philosophy


Philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet joined the StFX faculty in 1990. He is one of the foremost Canadian academics on the history of 19th- and early 20th-century British philosophy, and one of the world’s leading scholars of British idealism. His careful, historically-grounded and innovative scholarship on this movement has led to a re-evaluation of the work of some of its key figures and of its bearing on contemporary political philosophy as a whole. He has also contributed significantly to the philosophy of culture, discussions of dignity and human rights, and the philosophy of religion. His research has led to new insights into the impact of idealism in East Asia, India, and southern Africa, and the promotion of intercultural philosophy. In addition to his many publications, Dr. Sweet has contributed to scholarship by organizing international conferences and editing collections of scholarly essays. These have stimulated many, particularly junior scholars, to expand and deepen the study of these fields. Also significant are his many publications and translations of the work of the 20th-century French philosopher, Jacques Maritain. Dr. Sweet’s work has been recognized by his election to the presidency of a number of learned societies, such as the Canadian Philosophical Association, and to the executive committees of international organizations. The recipient of numerous awards and honours, he has been invited to present his work across the globe. In 2017, he was elected by his peers as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), a national recognition as one of the best in the field of philosophy.

OUTSTANDING FACULTY TEACHING AWARD

Dr. Jonathan Langdon, Development Studies Program


Dr. Jonathan Langdon, StFX development studies professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Social Change Leadership, is described as a mentor and educator who brings important concepts to the surface and puts his heart and passion into teaching. An excellent professor willing to go the extra mile, students say his teaching ensures everyone is on the same level—including himself. He encourages students to work hard and explore outside their comfort zone, leading to personal and academic growth, and he works to provide student opportunities, including service learning opportunities and local and international research work. For over 15 years, Dr. Langdon has worked with social movements in Ghana, and in particular in the Ada region defending communal access to a salt yielding lagoon since 2008. More recent work has branched out to connect with other resource disputed hot spots in Ghana and Guatemala. He also works closely with renewable energy movements in Nova Scotia. His work has been published in prominent international and Canadian journals, and he is the editor of Indigenous Knowledges, Development and Education. His forthcoming book on social movement learning in Africa will be released later this year.

Dr. Erin Austen, Department of Psychology

Psychology professor Dr. Erin Austen, a passionate and knowledgeable educator and committed researcher, knows how to get the best from her students. She wants students to succeed and this desire encourages students to pursue academic excellence.  Students say she uses a teaching style that is interactive, engaging and fun, and that she is committed to providing current empirical evidence and opportunities for students to engage with the material in various ways. The student learning experience is at the centre of her work. Among her efforts, she builds in service learning experiences in her course work and ignites a passion for research in her students. She also pushes students to think critically, engage in their learning and be proud of what they have accomplished. Her unique classroom environment and varied assignments allow different learning styles to thrive, students say. Her support and guidance helps students to flourish and realize what they are capable of accomplishing. Says one former student: “She helped me find my voice, passion and ultimately helped me believe in my abilities.” 

OUTSTANDING STAFF TEACHING AWARD

Patricia Budicky, Senior Lab Instructor, Chemistry


Patricia Budicky, a senior lab instructor in the Department of Chemistry, has for well over a decade poured her heart and soul into helping students at StFX learn as much as possible in a supportive environment. She has worked as a lab instructor at StFX since 2005, and consistently goes above and beyond expectations in everything she does. Colleagues say she cares deeply about the students. She expects a lot from students and they tend to live up to expectations. Many cite her as an important contributor to their success in the course. She does much work to make the labs and instruments run smoothly, is a champion for students, for technology and for chemistry, keeping up with all things in the field, and is involved in supporting the X-Chem Outreach Program in regional schools. She holds an honours BSc from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

SENIOR CLASS SPEAKERS

Cameron Sehl


Cameron Sehl of Ottawa, ON, graduates from StFX with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in economics. The proud Lane Hall Pitbull was actively involved at StFX. The current captain of the StFX Men’s Rowing team, he spent four years with the program and competed twice at Canadian nationals. On campus, he’s been a teaching assistant, a mentor to the Entrepreneurship Club, and head coach of the Eastern Highlands Special Olympics soccer and hockey teams. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, a 2017 recipient of the StFX MacBain/Riley Global Engagement Award, and a 2016 Cansbridge Fellow. After graduation, he will be returning to India as an OceanPath Fellow to work on Symbi Medical, a health education and patient monitoring platform that he started in 2017 to improve global healthcare access. 

Alex Corrigan

Alex Corrigan of Calgary, AB, is a Dean’s List student who graduates from StFX with a Bachelor of Science degree with an advanced major in chemistry. He has been highly involved in extracurricular activities, most notably Best Buddies, a student representative on the StFX Board of Governors, spending three years on O-Crew, coaching the Lane Hall hockey team, and sharing the role of 2018 Senior Class co-president. Additionally, through an internship this past summer, he helped the University of Calgary conduct research on finding alternative ways to diagnose concussion symptoms without using a CT scan. This research was published and he presented at a medical conference in Edmonton. A proud Xaverian, he has spoken on several occasions throughout the year, including at the X-Ring ceremony and at numerous fundraisers for the Class of 2018 Student Refugee Bursary, a bursary he helped establish. Alex hopes to study medicine after StFX and pursue his dream of becoming a pediatrician. 

 

2018 Spring Convocation Grad Lists are out!

Thu, 2018-05-03 21:12

The Spring 2018 Graduation and medal and award lists are below!! Congratulations to all our newest Xaverians!!

MORNING (9: 00 AM) CEREMONY LIST >>

Degrees: Ph.D. in Educational Studies; Masters of Science, Education and Adult
 Education; Bachelors of Education, Science, Nursing, Human Nutrition,
 Human Kinetics; Diplomas in Engineering and Integrated Dietetic Internship. 

 

AFTERNOON (3:00 PM) CEREMONY LIST >> 

Degrees: Bachelors of Arts, Business Administration, Information Systems, Music and Diplomas in Jazz Studies.

 

2018 AWARD AND MEDAL WINNERS >>

 

StFX to honour community development and education advocate Dr. Teresa MacNeil and entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Lino A. Saputo, Jr. during Spring Convocation 2018

Wed, 2018-05-02 10:47
Excitement and achievement will mark Spring Convocation taking place on Sunday, May 6. Pictured is a scene from the 2017 Spring Convocation.

St. Francis Xavier University will bestow honorary degrees upon Dr. Teresa MacNeil of Johnstown, Cape Breton, a passionate advocate and leader in community development, life-long learning and adult education, and upon Lino A. Saputo, Jr. a Montreal-based entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist, and Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Saputo Inc., one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world, during Spring Convocation 2018 taking place Sunday, May 6 at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

StFX will graduate over 900 students in morning and afternoon ceremonies.

Degrees, including the PhD in educational studies; Masters of Science, education and adult education; Bachelors of education, science, nursing, human nutrition, and human kinetics; and diplomas in engineering and integrated dietetic internship, will be conferred during the morning ceremony, and degrees in arts, business administration, information systems, music and diplomas in jazz studies during the afternoon program.

Dr. MacNeil will address the morning ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m.  Mr. Saputo, Jr. will deliver the address to the afternoon convocation, which starts at 3 p.m.

Other major honours presented during Spring Convocation will include the designation of professor emeritus bestowed upon retired StFX history professor Dr. Paul Phillips, a world-class scholar of British intellectual and religious history.

The University Research Award will be presented to philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet.

The Outstanding Faculty Teaching Awards will be awarded to psychology professor Dr. Erin Austen and to development studies professor and Canada Research Chair Dr. Jonathan Langdon. The Outstanding Staff Teaching Award will be presented to Patricia Budicky, senior lab instructor in the Department of Chemistry.

Senior class speakers and 2018 graduates Cameron Sehl and Alex Corrigan will deliver remarks on behalf of the Class of 2018.

2018 BIOS:

HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS

Teresa-MacNeil.jpg Dr. Teresa MacNeil

A passionate advocate and leader in community development, life-long learning and adult education, StFX graduate and Johnstown, Cape Breton native Dr. Teresa MacNeil spent a distinguished 37-year career at StFX. She is also noted for her contributions to numerous regional and national organizations, always with a view to making lives richer. Following early work in Newfoundland, Dr. MacNeil then moved to Cape Breton as a StFX Extension fieldworker. She completed a MSc and PhD in educational policy studies from the University of Wisconsin. From 1970-1982, she chaired StFX’s newly established Department of Adult Education, the flagship program that led to the Masters Degree in Adult Education. In 1975, she became a full professor, and in 1982 accepted the position of Director of Extension, which she held until 1993. While with Extension, Dr. MacNeil maintained a variety of positions that strengthened her work with the department including chairing the Board of Directors for Cape Breton Development Corporation; the Board of Directors for Enterprise Cape Breton; and the Provincial Task Force on the Economy of Cape Breton. From 1994-96, she served as StFX Director of Special Projects and in 1996 as StFX Advancement Director before her August 1996 retirement. Since then she has taken on numerous part-time assignments with boards, consultancies, and commissions. Professional and community highlights throughout her career span from chairing the board of directors of the Canadian Association for Adult Education to the National Advisory Group for Canada’s Adult Learning Knowledge Centre. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, the recipient of three honorary degrees and diplomas, and an inductee into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She is also an Honorary Life Member, Canadian Association for Continuing University Education; Member of the Royal College of Fellows, Canadian Geographical Society; and Progress Women of Excellence of Nova Scotia.

Lino-Saputo.jpg Lino A. Saputo, Jr.

Montreal-based entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Lino A. Saputo, Jr. is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Saputo Inc., one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world. Involved in the third-generation, family-run business since age 13, when he wrapped specialty cheeses, he now oversees the Quebec-based company comprised of 12,800 employees with 50 plants worldwide. Mr. Saputo, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Concordia University, officially joined Saputo in 1988 as an administrative assistant. Through the years he has held several positions including Vice President, Operations and Engineering; Executive Vice President Operations; and President, Cheese Division (USA). Since March 2004, he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. In 2011, he was appointed to the position of Vice Chairman of the Board, and since August 2017, he serves as Chairman of the Board. Giving back to the community is a priority for Mr. Saputo and his family, known for their social responsibility and support of multiple organizations. Their commitment to sports, specifically soccer, is noteworthy. He is also committed to Centraide of Greater Montreal. He has co-presided over their annual fundraising campaign, and presides over the major donor campaign. He and his family have also gifted $10 million to the Montreal Heart Institute, an historic commitment dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. In 2011, he and his wife Amelia founded the Amelia and Lino A. Saputo Jr. Foundation dedicated to supporting a variety of organizations. They have particular interest in promoting healthy living initiatives and helping Montreal’s most vulnerable populations. Mr. Saputo serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Canada, the Board of Directors of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the Conference Board of Canada. In April 2018, he and Amelia gifted $10 million to StFX to revitalize the Oland Centre, which will become the Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living, ensuring StFX and communities in northeastern Nova Scotia enjoy health and wellness opportunities for generations to come.

PROFESSOR EMERITUS

Paul-Phillips.jpg

Dr. Paul Phillips, Department of History 


Dr. Paul Phillips is a world-class scholar of British intellectual and religious history. He taught in the StFX Department of History from 1969 until his retirement in 2007. During his 38 years at StFX, he taught and mentored several generations of students, supervising 40 theses. In addition to his busy teaching schedule, he demonstrated leadership ability, serving three terms as chair of the History Department and one term as chair of Graduate Studies. Other notable examples of his service to StFX include two terms on Senate, one term on the Board of Governors, and service on multiple committees. A first class scholar, he crafted an enduring legacy, the author of five books, editor of one volume of collected essays and co-editor of one sourcebook of documents. His illustrious career has been marked by numerous academic honours. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has been a visiting scholar at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Cornell University’s Institute for European Studies, and Victoria College, University of Toronto where he enjoyed the title of Northrop Frye Visiting Fellow. More recently he occupied the prestigious Gatto Chair in Christian Studies at StFX for two terms. In 2002, he was recognized with the University Research Award, and since 2007, he has held the honour of Senior Research Professor at StFX.

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AWARD

William-Sweet.jpg Dr. William Sweet, Department of Philosophy


Philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet joined the StFX faculty in 1990. He is one of the foremost Canadian academics on the history of 19th- and early 20th-century British philosophy, and one of the world’s leading scholars of British idealism. His careful, historically-grounded and innovative scholarship on this movement has led to a re-evaluation of the work of some of its key figures and of its bearing on contemporary political philosophy as a whole. He has also contributed significantly to the philosophy of culture, discussions of dignity and human rights, and the philosophy of religion. His research has led to new insights into the impact of idealism in East Asia, India, and southern Africa, and the promotion of intercultural philosophy. In addition to his many publications, Dr. Sweet has contributed to scholarship by organizing international conferences and editing collections of scholarly essays. These have stimulated many, particularly junior scholars, to expand and deepen the study of these fields. Also significant are his many publications and translations of the work of the 20th-century French philosopher, Jacques Maritain. Dr. Sweet’s work has been recognized by his election to the presidency of a number of learned societies, such as the Canadian Philosophical Association, and to the executive committees of international organizations. The recipient of numerous awards and honours, he has been invited to present his work across the globe. In 2017, he was elected by his peers as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), a national recognition as one of the best in the field of philosophy.

OUTSTANDING FACULTY TEACHING AWARD

Jonathan-Langdon.jpg Dr. Jonathan Langdon, Development Studies Program


Dr. Jonathan Langdon, StFX development studies professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Social Change Leadership, is described as a mentor and educator who brings important concepts to the surface and puts his heart and passion into teaching. An excellent professor willing to go the extra mile, students say his teaching ensures everyone is on the same level—including himself. He encourages students to work hard and explore outside their comfort zone, leading to personal and academic growth, and he works to provide student opportunities, including service learning opportunities and local and international research work. For over 15 years, Dr. Langdon has worked with social movements in Ghana, and in particular in the Ada region defending communal access to a salt yielding lagoon since 2008. More recent work has branched out to connect with other resource disputed hot spots in Ghana and Guatemala. He also works closely with renewable energy movements in Nova Scotia. His work has been published in prominent international and Canadian journals, and he is the editor of Indigenous Knowledges, Development and Education. His forthcoming book on social movement learning in Africa will be released later this year.

Erin-Austen.jpg Dr. Erin Austen, Department of Psychology

Psychology professor Dr. Erin Austen, a passionate and knowledgeable educator and committed researcher, knows how to get the best from her students. She wants students to succeed and this desire encourages students to pursue academic excellence.  Students say she uses a teaching style that is interactive, engaging and fun, and that she is committed to providing current empirical evidence and opportunities for students to engage with the material in various ways. The student learning experience is at the centre of her work. Among her efforts, she builds in service learning experiences in her course work and ignites a passion for research in her students. She also pushes students to think critically, engage in their learning and be proud of what they have accomplished. Her unique classroom environment and varied assignments allow different learning styles to thrive, students say. Her support and guidance helps students to flourish and realize what they are capable of accomplishing. Says one former student: “She helped me find my voice, passion and ultimately helped me believe in my abilities.” 

OUTSTANDING STAFF TEACHING AWARD

Patricia-Budicky.jpg Patricia Budicky, Senior Lab Instructor, Chemistry


Patricia Budicky, a senior lab instructor in the Department of Chemistry, has for well over a decade poured her heart and soul into helping students at StFX learn as much as possible in a supportive environment. She has worked as a lab instructor at StFX since 2005, and consistently goes above and beyond expectations in everything she does. Colleagues say she cares deeply about the students. She expects a lot from students and they tend to live up to expectations. Many cite her as an important contributor to their success in the course. She does much work to make the labs and instruments run smoothly, is a champion for students, for technology and for chemistry, keeping up with all things in the field, and is involved in supporting the X-Chem Outreach Program in regional schools. She holds an honours BSc from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

SENIOR CLASS SPEAKERS

Cameron-Sehl.jpg Cameron Sehl


Cameron Sehl of Ottawa, ON, graduates from StFX with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in economics. The proud Lane Hall Pitbull was actively involved at StFX. The current captain of the StFX Men’s Rowing team, he spent four years with the program and competed twice at Canadian nationals. On campus, he’s been a teaching assistant, a mentor to the Entrepreneurship Club, and head coach of the Eastern Highlands Special Olympics soccer and hockey teams. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, a 2017 recipient of the StFX MacBain/Riley Global Engagement Award, and a 2016 Cansbridge Fellow. After graduation, he will be returning to India as an OceanPath Fellow to work on Symbi Medical, a health education and patient monitoring platform that he started in 2017 to improve global healthcare access. 

Alex-Corrigan.jpg Alex Corrigan

Alex Corrigan of Calgary, AB, is a Dean’s List student who graduates from StFX with a Bachelor of Science degree with an advanced major in chemistry. He has been highly involved in extracurricular activities, most notably Best Buddies, a student representative on the StFX Board of Governors, spending three years on O-Crew, coaching the Lane Hall hockey team, and sharing the role of 2018 Senior Class co-president. Additionally, through an internship this past summer, he helped the University of Calgary conduct research on finding alternative ways to diagnose concussion symptoms without using a CT scan. This research was published and he presented at a medical conference in Edmonton. A proud Xaverian, he has spoken on several occasions throughout the year, including at the X-Ring ceremony and at numerous fundraisers for the Class of 2018 Student Refugee Bursary, a bursary he helped establish. Alex hopes to study medicine after StFX and pursue his dream of becoming a pediatrician. 

Examined Life Lab launches at StFX

Fri, 2018-04-20 13:11
Pictured, standing, l-r, are Keegan Currie, Kaleigh Weickert, Rebekah Wood, Erin MacKinnon, Hanna Bergman, Renee Proctor, and Tyler Wilson. Seated, l-r, are Alejandra Torres, Alexandrea Guye and Emma Hofland-Burry

The Examined Life Lab, a unique new online lab research project led by English professor Dr. Mathias Nilges, just launched at StFX and will offer an ongoing student-led analysis and critique of daily life to better understand pressing problems of our time. 

Through research projects, StFX students will look at how problems, from society to politics, are connected to culture and everyday life. 

“Indeed, our research clusters are designed as one-stop-shops for people who are interested in complex topics such as the alt-right but find it difficult to know where to start researching such a vast issue. What we do is gather all information in one place—from a variety of perspectives, academic research and mainstream commentary, cultural objects, and so on,” Dr. Nilges says. 

“Our hope is that we can therefore also serve the public: we gather and produce information and analysis that allows us all to better understand a set of complex, pressing topics of our time.”

Dr. Nilges says the idea for the humanities lab emerged as a result of wondering how he might be able to provide students with additional research opportunities. 

“In the humanities, this is not always easy. Research in literary and cultural analysis and critique is often solitary work. One reads, thinks, and writes. This means in turn that it is not always easy to imagine how students may be able to assist in the research process,” Dr. Nilges says. 

“But, I thought, if students cannot help me with my work, then could I not still find ways to offer them research experience?”

He says his thoughts turned to the sciences where the model of running experiments is a very effective way of integrating students into research. One has a lab with running experiments and can then plug new generations of students into such running experiments, which help with skill training and knowledge acquisition. 

“What would a humanities version of such a lab look like, I wondered? Our lab tries to provide an answer to that question.”

OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES

“What excites me about the project is that it offers students opportunities to develop research projects that they consider timely and important, it helps them practice key skills that they will need after graduation, information analysis, various forms of content creation, strategic writing for a variety of audiences and projects, a variety of research and analytical skills, and so on,” he says. 

“Most importantly, maybe, the lab allows students to create projects about which they can be excited, about which they care, and into which they put a lot of work, but it advertises these projects. These projects don’t end up on a pile of graded papers at the end of the year. Instead, they are added to a growing set of work that together helps us understand complex research clusters better.”

Dr. Nilges says the projects can be read and consulted by future generations of students, by students at other universities, and by the general public. 

The work continues to live on in the lab, he says, and it is wonderful to see how excited students get when they are able to put their energy into projects that matter to them and that contribute to an ongoing, collective effort. 

Additionally, Dr. Nilges says students build professional portfolios of work that they can use for future applications, a portfolio or professionally produced work that showcases a variety of skills that are in demand and that displays their abilities.

The April 19th launch rolled out the initial version of the lab. A first set of students used it and produced content for it as part of Dr. Nilges’ ENGL 318 “Cultural Theory” course. 

Dr. Nilges built the lab and website with the help of two student assistants over the past two semesters. 

“My wonderful assistants, Emma Hofland-Burry and Keegan Currie, were really my co-workers. We taught ourselves web design, we discussed how to present and archive information in a user-friendly way, we worked out the design together, and so on,” he says. 

In addition, each assistant worked on one research cluster, so that students who would use the lab would have a beginning set of information ready to study, analyze, and expand. Mr. Currie researched and gathered information on a cluster called “The New Culture Wars: Neo-Masculinity, Populism, and the New Right-Wing Movements,” while Ms. Hofland-Burry’s research cluster is called “Nature's Futures: The Cultures of Climate, Environment, and Conservation.” 

“Both students gathered an immense amount of information that future generations of students can use as their starting point for projects, projects that will further add to each cluster, making for a growing set of resources and analyses that together help us better understand complex topics of our time,” he says. 

Dr. Nigles says they were funded $2,000 as a pilot project for the year by Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice-President Research. He also just received a UCR grant for the lab so will be able to hire student assistants again and continue to grow the project. 

“I am immensely proud of the great set of initial projects that my students put together this semester. We are very fortunate at StFX to get to teach and work with students like this,” he says.

“We have lots of ideas, and we’re excited for the next steps.”



This research is, in part, made possible by the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

Human kinetics students honoured at annual awards banquet

Thu, 2018-04-19 15:28
L-r, award winners include Amy Bobyn, Hilary Brousseau, Hannah Burrows, Kelsey Fahie, and Sarah Johnson.

A number of StFX students were recognized for their achievement recently, receiving awards during the annual Human Kinetics banquet held on Saturday, April 7.

Among those receiving awards were:

Amy Bobyn, recipient of the C.S.E.P./S.C.P.E. Award (Canadian Society Exercise Physiology) presented to a graduating student who has achieved the highest academic standing in the BSc human kinetics program.

Hilary Brousseau, recipient of the H.K. Birks Award to a graduating student who has achieved the highest academic standing in the BA human kinetics program.

Hannah Burrows, recipient of the PHE Canada Award to a second/third year undergraduate student who has displayed outstanding leadership through his/her contribution to the HK Society.

Kelsey Fahie, recipient of the Melissa Landry Memorial Award, presented to a HK graduating student who has displayed outstanding volunteer contributions throughout their undergraduate degree at StFX.

Sarah Johnson, recipient of the Jeff Graham Memorial Award for friendship presented to a member of the senior class.

StFX team stars at National Model UN conference in New York City

Thu, 2018-04-12 11:42
The StFX Model UN team pictured at the closing ceremony in the UN General Assembly Hall in New York City.

StFX came back from the National Model UN (NMUN) conference held March 25-29 in New York City with a very impressive finish including two awards—an outstanding delegates award for two students, and an honourable mention delegation award for the entire team, which includes 19 students and faculty advisor, political science professor Dr. Youngwon Cho.

It was the first time StFX students attended this conference. The team received accolades for its collective performance, as well as individual distinction with Mathew Trnkus, a third year student from Montreal, QC, double majoring in political science and development studies, and Hannah Peters, a first year Bachelor of Arts in public policy and governance student from Halifax, NS, receiving the Outstanding Delegates Award for their individual performance in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Model UN conferences simulate the activities of the United Nations in proposing, debating, and voting on resolutions on major global issues, with the simulation taking place under various organs and committees of the UN, Dr. Cho says. StFX has a long history of participating in MUN conferences, with the Harvard National Model UN (HNMUN) Conference being the primary conference to attend. Three years ago, StFX students won two individual delegate awards at the HNMUN conference.

The NMUN-NY Conference is the largest intercollegiate MUN conference in the world, drawing over 5,000 students from over 400 universities and 130 countries. Formally recognized by the UN Department of Public Information as a registered NGO, NMUN it is also a registered Academic Impact Member of the UN.

Dr. Cho says StFX represented Argentina in 13 committees across numerous bodies and departments of the UN, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Department of Peace and Security, and the Department of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Among the topics addressed were illicit trade in small arms, sustainable development, equitable access to education, accountability and transparency at the UN, climate change, marine pollution, sustainable agricultural practices, post-conflict reconstruction, global drug policies, peacebuilding, eradication of chemical weapons, hunger alleviation, cross-border disaster displacement, and many more. 

Model-UN-Society-03-MyStFX.jpg

“I feel super lucky to have gotten to represent StFX at the National Model UN conference in New York City. It was one of the best moments of my first year so far,” Ms. Peters says.

“Matt and I won the outstanding delegates award for our work in our committee. I was thrilled and a little shocked to have received this award because there were around 140 groups in our committee each representing a different country.”

“MUN is a great opportunity for young leaders and students of all backgrounds and from universities all around the world to come together to discuss solutions to the world’s most challenging issues,” says Mr. Trnkus on the annual mock debating tournament.

“This year our society went to the largest MUN gathering in the world, NMUN-NY, where over 5,000 students competed over a two-week span. Hannah and I were lucky enough to be voted as outstanding delegates for representing Argentina and it truly is a dream come true. We are very much looking forward to seeing the MUN team grow and expand into an annual high quality delegation for years to come.”

“Model UN is a great opportunity for students to learn about international relations and diplomacy while also making close friends, not just from their own university, but from around the world. I'm excited to see Model UN grow at StFX in the years to come,” says Maili MacKenzie, StFX Model UN Society president and a fourth year political science honours student from Perth, ON.  

Model-UN-Society-01-MyStFX.jpg

Model-UN-Society-02-MyStFX.jpg

In addition to the conference, the students visited Argentina’s Permanent Mission to the UN and meet with one of its diplomats, Minister José Luis Fernández Valoni, who briefed them on Argentina’s role and position in the UN. They also got a chance to visit the UN Headquarters, with the plenary session and the closing ceremony taking place within the walls of the UN General Assembly Hall.

Attending this year’s conference was made possible in part by the generous funding provided by the Jules Leger Endowment, the Mulroney Institute of Government, the Department of Political Science, the Dean of Arts, and the McKenna Centre for Leadership.

Next year, StFX will field two delegations: a course-based delegation, and a delegation fielded by the StFXMUN Society as an extracurricular activity. Students interested in the course, PSCI 357 Model UN, should contact Dr. Cho at ycho@stfx.ca; students interested in the society-based delegation should contact Matthew Trknus at x2015jhc@stfx.ca.   

Participating students this year included:

Anne-Marie Mizzi

Brenda Gatera

Celia Chambelland

Clementine Loinard

Hannah Peters

Iffat Sohi 

Maili MacKenzie (President)

Marcus Wilmott (Fundraising Chair)

Matthew Trnkus 

Megan Langhorne

Nic Latulippe 

Patrick Andersen 

Rachel MacQueen

Rosalind Keyes (Vice-President) 

Rose Mergy

Stephen Keyes

Taylor Shaw (Secretary/Treasurer) 

Victoria Morley 

Zachary Vogel 

 

 

 

M.Ed. student wins cost of her X-Ring in Student Satisfaction Survey

Wed, 2018-04-11 13:45
M.Ed. student Erin Lepage, who won the cost of her X-Ring, by participating in the annual Student Satisfaction Survey, celebrates her X-Ring story with member of the M.Ed. Mental Health 4 cohort

Erin Lepage of Ottawa, ON, who is graduating from StFX with a M.Ed. degree in Administration and Leadership, Mental Health Cohort 4, has won the cost of her X-Ring by participating in an annual survey for senior students that gauges student satisfaction and experience. All those who participate are eligible for a prize draw to win the cost of their X-Ring.

The survey is administered by the Academic Vice-President and Provost’s office and the Office of Institutional Analysis. It collects data on all aspects of the student experience from academics to extracurricular from a senior student perspective.

Ms. Lepage says she has had a unique experience at StFX due to the fact she completed her program off campus, out of province. The program has been delivered online, using collaborate, with a few face-to-face meetings.

“Therefore, for myself, although our cohort became extremely close, I was not completely aware of the community that St. Francis Xavier is comprised of…that is, until the ring ceremony! Our ring ceremony was the first ceremony to be celebrated off campus in StFX history,” she says. “It was momentous for everyone involved. It was at that ceremony when everything became clear, understanding what it meant to have a degree from StFX and what the X-Ring truly signifies.

“The alumni and staff who came to celebrate with us, including StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald, made us feel connected and very proud. There has not been a day go by since I received the ring where someone has not commented on it.”

She says the X-Ring represents a connection to an east coast community and an immediate relationship with a friend, family or fond memory.

“I am so proud and honoured to be a part of this astonishing community,” she says.

“Another exciting fact about my ring is that in conversation with my mother, I discovered that my grandfather went to StFX. He would have graduated exactly 100 years ago. To add, my very supportive partner has a ring from exactly 20 years ago. Everyone has a connection!”

"An Announcement That Will Impact Generations:" StFX receives $10 million gift from Amelia and Lino Saputo

Fri, 2018-04-06 23:04
StFX President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kent MacDonald is joined by Manny, Lino, Amelia and Gio Saputo to unveil the new Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living at StFX.

An announcement that will impact communities in northeastern Nova Scotia for many generations.

On Friday, April 6, at StFX’s inaugural National Dinner EAST in Halifax, President and Vice-Chancellor Kent MacDonald announced a gift to StFX from Amelia and Lino Saputo in the amount of $10 million.

It’s the largest single gift to St. Francis Xavier University in its 165-year history.

The gift will be used to revitalize StFX’s Oland Centre, which will become the Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living. This revitalization will breathe new life into the aging facility, ensuring that communities throughout northeastern Nova Scotia continue to enjoy health and wellness opportunities for generations to come.

“I JUST CAN’T WAIT!”

The National Dinner EAST started with great excitement as President Kent MacDonald burst onto the stage during opening marks made by the evening’s master of ceremonies – and StFX Director of Alumni Affairs – Mary Jessie MacLellan.

“I’m sorry Mary Jessie, but I just can’t wait until after dinner to make this announcement!” he exclaimed to the over 400 business, community and political leaders in attendance.

He first shared the context for his excitement.

“In northeastern Nova Scotia, StFX’s Oland Centre has been critical for maintaining community health and wellness since it opened in 1967,” he explained.  “In fact, of all the buildings we have on our campus the Oland Centre sees the highest use, which directly reflects its importance to our region and our communities.

“But the reality is much of the Oland Centre is past its best before date. That’s why we recently began a Healthy Living renewal project to update the centre, so it can remain a hub for community health and wellness for future generations.”

The crowd leapt to its feet when Dr. MacDonald announced the Saputo’s $10 million gift, and the energy stayed high as Amelia and Lino addressed those in attendance.

“My family was always extremely thankful to the country that welcomed them,” said Lino Saputo, in explaining that his own grandfather first immigrated to Canada in 1950 through Pier 21 – the venue for the evening’s special announcement.

“Our parents impressed upon us to never forget our roots and always be appreciative of the community around us. And that’s why we’re here tonight!”

Amelia Saputo also explained why the family, who live in Montreal, chose to support StFX.

“From our very first visit to Nova Scotia, we knew this place was special. Our son felt welcomed at StFX from the very beginning, and we couldn’t think of a better way to support the university and wider community than a health and wellness venue that will be used by the entire region.

“StFX, Antigonish and Nova Scotia will forever be in our hearts!” she added.

Amelia and Lino were then joined by their sons Manny and Gio – a 4th-year business student at StFX – to unveil a rendering of the new Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living.

A HUB FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS

The revitalized Amelia and Lino Saputo Centre for Healthy Living is expected to cost $30 million, almost all of which will come from private donors.

Some of the work has already been completed, including the renovation of the Coack K basketball court, named in honour of long-time StFX men’s basketball coach Steve Konchalski. Replacement of the centre’s exterior bleachers is currently underway, in time for StFX to host the Canadian Special Olympics 2018 National Summer Games this summer. Future work will include an overhaul of the varsity locker rooms and public change areas, a new recreation fitness centre, new physical therapy spaces, a double-sized auxiliary gym, as well as new academic spaces to support student learning.

Many StFX alumni have already given generously to the project, and StFX students voted this January to show their support via a $5 million contribution over the next ten years.

CELEBRATE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Following the announcement, the evening continued with remarks from Scott Grant, Market Lead for the Affinity Market Group of TD Insurance, the event’s presenting sponsor. He spoke about the dinner’s theme, Celebrate Making a Difference, and the importance of building relationships.

“Successful relationships are not just a result of numbers but rather a sense of working together, and in so doing, making the communities we share a better place,” he said.

“In this same way, it’s clear to me that the alumni and friends in this room are committed to StFX, and are indeed the foundation upon which the present and future successes of this institution are built.”

He also had the honour of introducing the evening’s keynote speaker, Dave Carroll.

Mr. Carroll rose to international fame in 2009 with his viral video hit United Breaks Guitars, taking a frustrating travelling experience and turning it into a message about customer service in the era of social media. Since then Dave has become a sought-after speaker, using his platform to talk about how our stories can be used to make a positive impact within own communities.

“Your story is the most important thing you’ve got,” he said. “And through our stories, we realize we’re fundamentally connected with each other in ways that aren’t always apparent.”

Chair of the StFX Board of Governors, Michael G. Boyd, thanked Dave for his remarks. He also commented on the power of the StFX community to come together to support important causes, like scholarships and bursaries for student athletes – which proceeds from the National Dinner EAST went to support.

“At StFX we proudly proclaim that we have the most engaged alumni in all of Canada, and it’s true!” he said. “But I would also go so far to say that we are fortunate to have the most engaged community, alumni or not. Indeed, the ability to pull together for such a terrific cause as we’ve seen tonight is truly heartwarming.”

He also introduced a special surprise for the Saputo family, as a jazz ensemble of StFX students reunited for a special performance of an original song performed at StFX’s X-Ring ceremony on December 3rd, 2017. It was the very same ceremony where the Saputo’s youngest son Gio received his X-Ring. The jazz ensemble - Rebecca Charnock on vocals, Yaxin Yang on electric guitar, Cassandra Mann on bass and Sebastian Deveau on drums – also entertained guests during dinner.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL DINNER EAST

StFX’s National Dinner has pulled together business, political, academic and community leaders since 2006, all for the ultimate cause – supporting StFX and its students. The concept launched in Toronto and over the years expanded to include events in western Canada. Friday’s event marked the first time the National Dinner was held in eastern Canada.

Following the dinner, attendees enjoyed a lively ceilidh featuring Dave Carroll and his brother Don, who together make up the singing duo Sons of Maxwell.

The inaugural National Dinner EAST was made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors, including presenting sponsor TD Insurance, reception sponsor Benjamin Bridge, dinner sponsor Bird Construction, young alumni sponsor Agnico Eagle, media sponsor The Chronicle Herald, print sponsor Bounty Print, and supporting sponsors O’Regan’s Automotive Group, Mac, Mac & Mac Law Offices, BMO, and Deloitte.

 

Basketball court.jpg

Bleachers.jpg

Interior Looking in-24X300.jpg

Locker Towards Entrance.jpg

LockerCloseUp.jpg

Rendering 02 Student and Public Locker 08Dec2017.jpg

STFX DESK 01-r1.jpg

Therapy.jpg

Pages