News StFX News en StFX human nutrition students qualify nationally to showcase business idea, compete for $50,000 in cash and prizes at Hong Kong-Canada Business Association national conference <p><span>Fourth year StFX human nutrition students Phil T&rsquo;ien of Dartmouth, NS, and Raphaele Tetreault-Bergeron of Canmore, AB, have been chosen as one of six qualifying teams to showcase their business idea at the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) national conference in Calgary, AB on June 2-4, 2016.</span></p> <div>The StFX team will compete in the National Investment Pitch Competition for their shot at $50,000 in cash and prizes including seed money to put towards their business idea, consulting services to help get the business from concept to market, and a trip for two to Hong Kong to attend the 2016 Hong Kong Forum.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>HKCBA is a non-government, non-profit bilateral trade association. Its national conference highlights Canada's entrepreneurial spirit with the flagship pitch competition, providing students in post-secondary business programs across Canada the opportunity to showcase their business idea. Qualifying student teams win flights, accommodation and registration for two to attend the 2016 HKCBA National Conference and present their business idea, leveraging the &quot;Canada - Hong Kong Advantage&quot; to conduct business between Canada and Asia, in front of a panel of seasoned judges and live audience.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re beyond excited about this opportunity to showcase our idea and to create meaningful networking opportunities in Calgary, with the hope of commercializing our product. Sometimes we just have to stop ourselves and have a reality check to realize how we actually got to this point, and how thrilled we are to be here,&quot; says Ms. Tetreault-Bergeron.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The human nutrition team, with additional members Brittany Sampson, a second year student from St. Peter's, NS and Sarah Ngunangwa of Tanzania, has already achieved success with their &ldquo;Pulsica&rdquo; frozen dessert product using pulses &ndash; beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils &ndash; when they took home second prize in this year&rsquo;s provincial round of Pulse Canada&rsquo;s &lsquo;Mission: imPULSEible&rsquo; student product development competition held January 15, 2016 at Mount Saint Vincent University.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> The students&rsquo; mission was to create a delicious, healthy and innovative food product using pulses to celebrate the 2016 International Year of the Pulse, declared by the United Nations to celebrate pulses contribution to nutrition, health and environmental sustainability. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Pulse Canada was so impressed with the team&rsquo;s individual portion red bean frozen dessert product, packaging and marketing, and its potential appeal to the Asian market, that they invited the students to showcase their product in the Pulse booth at the LovePulses Product Showcase at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago, Illinois, June 16-19, 2016.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>This human nutrition team also participated in a product innovation event organized by the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and the StFX Innovation and Enterprise Centre, held on February 26, 2016. The purpose of this interdisciplinary approach to supporting innovation is to provide students with support in developing the product concept, target market, marketing options, and short-term direction.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX further supports student entrepreneurship and enterprise through summer internships funded from the Wallace Family Entrepreneurship Fund. Two team members, Raphaele Tetreault-Bergeron and Phil T&rsquo;ien have been awarded this $10,000 internship for the summer of 2016.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 25 May 2016 10:46:48 NO StFX geology, computer science programs listed among the best in the country <p><span>Two StFX academic departments are listed among the best in the country in a new Maclean&rsquo;s magazine survey that for the first time has ranked programs in 10 subject areas.</span></p> <div>Maclean&rsquo;s says <a href="">&lsquo;The Top 20&rsquo; rankings</a> comprise the magazine&rsquo;s largest-ever reputational survey and hard data on Canadian universities. StFX made the list twice, for geology and computer science.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The magazine surveyed more than 1,200 deans, chairs and professors at more than 80 schools and asked them to identify the schools they thought had the best programs and were doing the best research in their area of expertise.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On campus, faculty in both departments were gratified with the recognition of the strengths in their programs.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We provide courses that meet the needs of a broad range of students,&rdquo; says Dr. Wendy MacCaull, chair of the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Not only does the department offer all core courses recommended in the undergraduate curriculum of the Association for Computing Machinery, as well as specialty courses reflecting current &lsquo;hot topics,&rsquo; it also offers a master&rsquo;s program, an opportunity for undergraduate students to work with faculty in summer research projects, a co-op program option and a pre-education concentration for those interested in teaching. Almost every &nbsp;student graduating with a degree in computer science goes on to graduate studies or a good job &nbsp;in their chosen field, she says. &ldquo;Computer science is a growing area with a lot of opportunity which reflects a variety of interests.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Faculty spend a lot of time with the students. They are well prepared when they finish their degrees,&rdquo; adds computer science professor Dr. Iker Gondra.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The geological sciences do have a fantastic tradition of geology here at StFX. Virtually every one of our grads that we can count is employed in their field, and many have become industry leaders over the years,&rdquo; says Earth Sciences Department chair Dr. Dave Risk. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;There is a real longstanding commitment in the department to developing thinking students, and we have a great mix of instructional quality and research intensity,&rdquo; he said, noting the high number of university-wide awards in both research and teaching categories.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Risk says students receive a real mentorship experience, and that along with course work, the department has a wonderful natural laboratory outside that they tap for many courses, as students study along the beach cliff faces, and in the hills around Arisaig, which hold a diversity of rocks and fossils in a small geographic area. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 24 May 2016 08:04:58 NO Third year StFX student gains insight into research, career motivation at international conference <p><span>Connor Garagan, a third year StFX human kinetics student from Fredericton, NB, gained valuable insight and career motivation when she attended the International Congress on Obesity (ICO) in Vancouver in early May.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>The ICO is organized by the World Obesity Federation, which represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from more than 50 regional and national obesity associations.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The conference offered Ms. Garagan, a student-athlete with X-Women Hockey, the opportunity to learn about the latest research on all aspects of obesity, innovative treatment strategies as well as gain insight from many global experts on obesity. She was also able to present research alongside an associate professor from StFX&rsquo;s Department of Human Kinetics, Dr. Amanda Casey.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Attending the International Congress on Obesity provided me with the opportunity to network with prominent members of the international research community and World Health Organization. Everyone was so open to me as an undergraduate and willing to share their knowledge and expertise on obesity,&rdquo; Ms. Garagan says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The conference gave me really good insight into how research is translated into everyday practice and gave me great motivation as I look to pursue a career in the medical community. Overall I feel like I have learned key research, presentation and communication skills that will help me greatly moving forward. I am thankful to StFX and Amanda for giving me this opportunity to experience the conference together with her. &ldquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Garagan attended the conference as the president of StFX Chapter of the Canadian Obesity Network, which aims to address obesity by building multidisciplinary networks within the local community.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Any students interested in joining the chapter and getting involved in community initiatives related to obesity are encouraged to send an email to;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 20 May 2016 12:40:55 NO StFX welcomes hundreds of Nova Scotia high school student leaders for NSSSA provincial conference this weekend <p><span>Hundreds of high school students from across Nova Scotia arrive on the StFX campus today to hone and enhance their leadership skills and to &ldquo;Exceed Expectations&rdquo; during the 2016 Nova Scotia Secondary Schools Association (NSSSA) provincial conference taking place May 19-22.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN">It&rsquo;s a big year for the NSSSA&mdash;the only non-profit leadership organization in Canada completely run by students for students&mdash;as it hosts its 25th annual provincial conference, entitled &ldquo;Exceeding Expectations.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>It&rsquo;s a chance for students to meet others, learn about themselves and develop skills that will help them in school, their community, university and the work force.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;Our goals can be summed up by the NSSSA mission statement: to promote servant leadership in a safe heroic environment through motivation, inspiration, and demonstration by developing life skills,&rdquo; says NSSSA Conference Committee Co-Chair Tiffany MacLennan, a first year StFX student.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;I am looking forward to seeing the students at the conference break out of their shells. You can see the change in the students by how they open up and realize their potential,&rdquo; says Co-Chair Jenna MacEachern, who is a first year student at Dalhousie University.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;Exceeding Expectations is unique because this year we are focusing on going above and beyond. Student leaders go above and beyond what is expected of them every day, which is what makes this theme so important,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;We want to recognize the work students do, and inspire new student leaders to start &lsquo;Exceeding Expectations,&rsquo;&rdquo; adds NSSSA President Maggie MacNeil, who attends Rankin School of the Narrows in Iona, NS.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>Highlights of the four day conference include three keynote speakers, an opportunities fair and skill building sessions, a dance and talent show. Conference organizers say delegates can expect non-stop activities focused on leadership. Throughout the weekend, students will interact with student leaders from all over the province, creating a network of friends unlike any other.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>Guest speakers include Jeff Britton, a professional speaker, educator and humanitarian whose passion for inspiring positive change has taken him around the world; Tyler Hayden, an internationally respected team builder, author, and business speaker; and Jim Kyte who beat the odds to become the Winnipeg Jets&rsquo; first-round draft pick in 1982, as the NHL&rsquo;s first legally deaf player. Since his retirement as a hockey player, he was a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and is active in charitable causes, including co-founding the Canadian Hearing Impaired Hockey Association and starting the Jim Kyte Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>&ldquo;We are extremely excited to have the NSSSA, our partners in leadership back on campus,&rdquo; says StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald. &ldquo;The energy and enthusiasm of these student leaders is simply amazing.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN">&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 19 May 2016 07:40:51 NO Eight StFX graduate students awarded Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships for innovative research <p><span>Eight graduate students at StFX have been awarded provincially funded scholarships that will help them conduct research ranging from computer vision to greenhouse gas emissions.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>The students are all recipients of the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, each valued at $10,000.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The awards, open to research graduates at Nova Scotia universities, were created to help advance the economic and social well-being of Nova Scotians by investing in graduate thesis-based research in a number of priority sectors. They encourage exploration, discovery and innovation. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Recipients, with their supervisors listed in brackets, include Alex Young (Dr. Russell Wyeth); Amanda Vosman (Dr. Lisa Kellman); Katlyn MacKay (Dr. Dave Risk); Meredith Karcz (Dr. Ricardo Scrosati); Pritam Saha (Dr. Alan Anderson); Stephanie Macintyre (Dr. Lisa Kellman); Yousef Abu Baker (Dr. Iker Gondra); and Bry Crabbe (Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley).</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;The Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship will enable me to continue to carry out research in a field that has the potential to contribute towards the development of more environmentally friendly processes, at an institution that provides the opportunity to work side-by-side with some great researchers,&rdquo; says Bry Crabbe.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Woodstock, NB native graduated from StFX in May 2016 with a B.Sc. advanced major in chemistry and will begin his M.Sc. in chemistry in September. His research with Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley and Dr. Brian MacLean focuses on the reduction of carbon dioxide using new light-activated and electrochemical catalysts. The goal of the work advances Nova Scotia priorities by developing a potential clean fuel or energy source, deferring from the present coal dependence Nova Scotia possess, he says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Earth sciences master&rsquo;s student Amanda Vosman says this scholarship allows her to focus on her academic studies and research by easing the financial pressures as a full-time student. &ldquo;I am very grateful for this award and feel fortunate to be selected as a recipient this academic year,&rdquo; she says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship is a great initiative to assist graduate students to achieve research that helps advance Nova Scotia in key sectors. In a very general sense, my project aims to sustain Nova Scotia water resources and reduce air pollution under agricultural production,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Her research focuses on understanding the gaseous (N2O) and water (NO3) nitrogen losses associated with imperfectly drained agricultural soils under various drainage systems. Tile drain systems are commonly employed on farms across Nova Scotia due to high annual precipitation, she says. Without their use, many fields would not be feasible for crop production. By creating a pathway to efficiently remove excess water, there is potential of enhancing nitrogen losses, a negative impact to farmers and the environment. By better understanding these losses, they can establish best management practices to minimize nitrogen losses, conserving the farmer&rsquo;s original investment and reducing the environmental impact.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>ALLOWS FOCUS ON RESEARCH</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I was fortunate enough to receive a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship last year, and am honoured to receive this award again. It&rsquo;s encouraging to receive continued support for this research, and the scholarship allows you to really focus on your project,&rdquo; says fellow master&rsquo;s earth sciences student Stephanie Macintyre of Antigonish, NS who is investigating the links between clearcut harvesting and changes in carbon lost from soil profiles.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says from both economic and environmental perspectives, forest harvesting represents a major component of Nova Scotia&rsquo;s resource sector. &ldquo;The sustainability of this resource in the long term is very sensitive to current management practices, however, there is insufficient information regarding how soil fertility and land carbon budgets in temperate regions are affected by forest harvest cycle lengths.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. MacIntyre says the research will contribute to understanding the implications of forest harvesting practices on the stability of the mineral soil carbon pool under changing climate in temperate zone ecosystems. It will also contribute to developing solid land use management policies related to C accounting, bioenergy endeavors, water quality concerns, and adaptation and mitigation strategies regarding climate change.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Yousef Abu Baker&rsquo;s research is in the field of computer vision, a subfield of computer science/information technology. &ldquo;As we seek to build more intelligent computer systems, computer vision, i.e., the ability to extract useful descriptions of the world from images, is unequivocally useful,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The field of robotics itself has the potential to profoundly change our lives by, for example providing assistance or performing medical surgery. However, computer vision is now much broader. Applications, such as industrial automation and inspection, image search, gesture recognition for human-computer interaction, driver assistance, biological imaging and diagnosis, aids for the visually impaired, security and biometrics, just to name a few, keep arising. All of these applications have a huge impact on the economic and wellbeing of Nova Scotians,&rdquo; he says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>For Katlyn MacKay, a master&rsquo;s student in earth sciences from Antigonish, NS, her research is aimed at helping oil field operators understand their fugitive emissions to a highly detailed level, which she says can aid in emission reduction strategies with low overall cost.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;As greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector are a global issue, I believe my research and our technology can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the industry as a whole. This impact means a great deal to me as I am very passionate about the environment, and it would not be possible without funding to support my ongoing research. That being said, I am very thankful for this opportunity.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says the technique used in her research is not specific to one region or industry, and can be applied to a wide range of environments. In Nova Scotia, their mobile surveys have already been used to monitor releases of coal bed methane in New Glasgow, and it can be useful for other areas of the province as well.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 17 May 2016 12:23:04 NO THE EXTRAORDINARY: a newsletter from StFX President, Dr. Kent MacDonald <p>THE EXTRAORDINARY: a newsletter from StFX President, Dr. Kent MacDonald, celebrating success at StFX.&nbsp;To read the May 2016 issue, please see the newsletter&nbsp;here&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 17 May 2016 07:31:55 NO Iconic X-Ring to help support StFX students <p><span>Starting in September 2016, StFX&rsquo;s iconic X-Ring will give back to the students who hold it so dear.</span></p> <div>This fall, StFX will retail its world-renowned X-Ring with 100 per cent of net proceeds going directly into the Xaverian Fund, an initiative designed to provide student scholarships and bursaries to ensure a StFX education is accessible to all deserving students regardless of their financial background.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This is a terrific opportunity to invest in students,&rdquo; says Head of Student Services Bob Hale.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;With the recent creation of the Xaverian Fund, we knew the timing was right to look for ways to reinforce our commitment to students with all net proceeds going into scholarships and bursaries.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;X-Rings already carry so much meaning; it&rsquo;s nice to know that we, as students, have the option to give back to future Xavarians,&rdquo; says Taylor Chase, President of the StFX Students&rsquo; Union and member of the StFX X-Ring Committee. &quot;StFX has a long tradition of service, leadership and dedication to providing its students with one of the most unique undergraduate experiences in the world.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX students receive their X-Ring on December 3 &ndash; the feast of St. Francis Xavier, or StFX Day &ndash; each year. The ceremony is one of the most anticipated events in the StFX calendar. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Starting in September, students can order their X-Ring from StFX or Cameron&rsquo;s Jewellery.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 13 May 2016 12:57:45 NO StFX Fine Art faculty member has busy season of exhibitions, competitions and events <p><span>StFX Fine Art faculty member William Rogers has a big spring and summer coming up. His watercolour figure from the StFX figure drawing group has been selected as one of 175 works from all over the world for the International Watercolor Society Exhibition to be held July 5-25, 2016 in Vancouver BC.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>He has also been juried into a number of prominent U.S. Plein Air painting competitions and&nbsp;festivals from May- August. These include the July 7-17</span>th<span> Plein Air Easton as one of only 58 juried artists competing in the most well- known festival in the U.S. with the highest prizes and sales.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>Other prominent events include his selection as one of 30 juried&nbsp;artists for Paint Annapolis in Annapolis, MD from May30 to June 5; one of 30 juried artists in Mountain Maryland Plein Air in Cumberland, MD from June 7-12; and one of 25 Juried artists for Paint the Peninsula in Port Angeles, WA from August 21-28.</span></p> Wed, 11 May 2016 06:51:16 NO StFX human nutrition students receive Sir James Dunn Scholarships <p><span>Two StFX human nutrition students, Jane Stevenson of Pictou, NS and Carlee Shaw of Sointula, BC, were honoured with Sir James Dunn Scholarships at the department&lsquo;s Integrated Dietetic Internship Program&rsquo;s orientation session held during the week of April 25, 2016.</span></p> <div>The Sir James Dunn Foundation of St. Andrews, NB generously provides awards each year to interns in the StFX Integrated Dietetic Internship program. The award recognizes students who demonstrate the potential for leadership and a keen interest in dietetics as it relates to healthy aging and the nutritional care of the elderly.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;With the ever increasing aging population in our province, it is imperative that we continuously review and improve our practices and policies to ensure the highest possible quality of care is provided,&rdquo; Ms. Stevenson, a third year student, wrote in her application letter.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Shaw, a fourth year student who worked in a long term care facility for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, said &ldquo;the scholarship would greatly assist me in pursuing my dietetic internship, and provide me with the opportunity to further my experience with elderly populations in relation to nutrition and health.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>This $500 scholarship is renewable for each of the three 14 week internship practicum courses.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 09 May 2016 08:44:13 NO Human nutrition students receive industry awards <p><span>Morgan Hamilton, a second year human nutrition student from Orono, ON, has received the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP) Student Branch Gold Plate Award, sponsored by ARAMARK, for her commitment to the food service industry, the StFX CAFP student branch and the local community.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>Ms. Hamilton will compete with university CAFP branch winners from across Canada for the National Gold Plate Award.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>ARAMARK&rsquo;s commitment to the future leaders of the foodservice industry includes providing support to ensure that 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. &ldquo;I am thrilled to receive this award and look forward to networking with colleagues at the CAFP national conference this May in Kananaskis, AB,&rdquo; says Ms. Hamilton.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>CAFP also administers national bursaries to encourage students to develop themselves in the culinary, supervisory, hospitality, managerial, and dietetic programs. Applicants are scored on their scholastic ability, work experience within the industry, and their commitment to the foodservice industry.</div> <div><br /> <img src="" alt="" /></div> <div><strong>Sarah Ngunangwa</strong><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>This year a $1,000 bursary sponsored by Ecolab was awarded to fourth year student Sarah Ngunangwa of Tanzania.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 09 May 2016 08:36:08 NO CFI, NSRIT funds help StFX researchers establish cognitive neuroscience research lab <p>A new cognitive neuroscience research lab is being established at StFX thanks to nearly $80,000 in funding received from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT).</p> <div><span>The lab will be equipped with electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which records the electrical activity of the brain, and will enable faculty to research the biological systems that support how people think.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Establishing an EEG laboratory at StFX will undoubtedly increase our capacity to conduct cognitive neuroscience research,&rdquo; says StFX psychology professor Dr. Lindsay Berrigan, who along with co-applicants, Dean of Science and psychology professor Dr. Petra Hauf and human kinetics professor Dr. Mel Lam will create the Applied Neuro-Cognitive Research (ANChoR) Laboratory at StFX. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Funding in the amount of $39,791 comes from the CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund. NSRIT has approved matching funds.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Berrigan says she and her colleagues are keen to establish the ANCHoR Lab in J. Bruce Brown Hall.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The new equipment will allow the researchers to move beyond studying only behaviour to measuring associated brain function, as well. The lab will be invaluable in investigating the biological systems involved in a variety of activities such as processing information from the environment to looking at the cognitive processes that support movement and action.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We currently didn&rsquo;t have any of that technology available,&rdquo; Dr. Berrigan says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one thing to study how we&rsquo;re able to think through behavioral responses, but that&rsquo;s not always completely sensitive to the cognitive processes involved in how people complete a mental task,&rdquo; Dr. Berrigan says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>For instance, a person with a disease such as multiple sclerosis may achieve the same result on a task, but research has shown the brain is actually working very differently. These differences could have many implications if that person has to continue with that level of brain activity.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s something you&rsquo;d never be able to see by just recording accuracy on a task,&rdquo; she says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Our research will be able to link the behavioural manifestations of cognitive abilities with the neural networks underlying the abilities.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>DIVERSE RESEARCH</div> <div><br /> The research program will be diverse, reflecting the unique background of each of the team members.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We are capable of studying cognitive abilities across the lifespan, from infancy to old age, and in individuals affected by developmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases,&rdquo; Dr. Berrigan says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Berrigan investigates how cognitive abilities are influenced by diseases and disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The goals of her research are often applied in nature: to refine methods of identifying cognitive dysfunction, to improve cognitive health, and to, ultimately, improve patients&rsquo; quality of life.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Lam&rsquo;s research program seeks to answer the question &ldquo;how does the brain receive, organize, and understand sensory input for action?&rdquo; Her research explores the cognitive and neural processes that support action prediction and action planning when two or more people perform a task together. She is specifically interested in the process of task co-representation, the ability to form a mental representation of a co-actor&rsquo;s task.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The research conducted by Dr. Hauf focuses on the impact of motor experience on cognitive functions essential for movement perception, object exploration, and action understanding. While there is increasing evidence showing that the onset of self-locomotion in infants (crawling and walking) coincides with increased cognitive functioning, the involved neural processes are still unknown. Dr. Hauf&rsquo;s research will combine eyetracking, motion capturing, and EEG to shed light on the link of motor development and cognitive development in infants. Future research will also focus on similar relations in those with decreasing motor skills such as in stroke patients and the elderly.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 09 May 2016 07:49:44 NO StFX success and commitment celebrated at annual Employee Appreciation BBQ <p><span>StFX has wonderful employees who go beyond the call of duty every day, and to say thanks the university hosted its annual Employee Appreciation BBQ on Thursday, May 5.</span></p> <div><span>The BBQ is an opportunity for friends and colleagues to reflect and celebrate the hard work and successes from the 2015-16 academic year. It&rsquo;s also a time to express appreciation.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;On behalf of the Board of Governors, and the students, and members of President&rsquo;s Council, I deeply want to thank you for your dedication to this remarkable institution,&rdquo; StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald said to a packed house in the Keating Centre.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The commitment of our staff and our faculty has persisted for decades,&rdquo; he said. &quot;It's in our ethos.&quot;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. MacDonald also gave a shout-out of thanks to the leadership of the four union groups on campus, thanking them for their service.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He noted it&rsquo;s important to gather together like this to celebrate another successful academic year.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Emcees for the event were History Department Chair Donna Trembinski and Ted Holden, Manager Financial Systems &amp; Reporting. Matt Cameron, IT Media Services Specialist, provided music during the event.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Members of President&rsquo;s Council served the lunch.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Some of the exciting highlights from this past year included the record number of first year students who enrolled last September, renovations to the Campus Store, the addition of the Jonathan Deitcher Financial Trading Room in the Schwartz School of Business, and the current renovations taking place at Mount St. Bernard.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX continued to raise the bar in areas across campus from invigorated academic curriculum to national research and athletic success. The Angus L. Macdonald Library celebrated 50 years, and the Coady International Institute welcomed 354 participants from 50 countries last year.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As well, the StFX community joined with the local Antigonish community and rallied to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A video produced by StFX Marketing and Communications highlighted some of the successes of the past year, and featured a few lighter moments as well.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:20:59 NO StFX hosts prestigious Celtic Studies Association of North America conference <p><span>Scholars from throughout North America and Europe will be on campus this week as the StFX Celtic Studies Department hosts the prestigious annual conference of the <a href="">Celtic Studies Association of North America (CSANA)</a> from May 5-8.</span></p> <div><span>This is the second time the department has hosted the event. The first occasion was in 1992, the first time the conference was held in Canada.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We are certainly extremely pleased to host the conference,&rdquo; says StFX Celtic Studies Department Chair Dr. Michael Linkletter. &ldquo;Not only will there be an exciting and diverse slate of topics being presented, we have an entertaining social calendar as part of the weekend&rsquo;s events as well.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Talks are on a variety of topics including language, literature, art and archaeology, folklore and ethnology, gender studies, religious studies, music, law, history, and linguistics, from ancient to medieval to modern times, from Europe to the New World.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The conference has attracted about 50 participants, including a few of whom are former students StFX Celtic Studies, such as Dr. Natasha Sumner now a professor at Harvard University, Dr. Tiber Falzett, an associate of the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, and Megan Ferguson a graduate student in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Many people in the association have fond memories of the conference here in 1992, hosted by the late Dr. Ken Nilsen. I think also the fact that we have an existing Gaelic-language speaking community in Nova Scotia helps add to the resonance and relevance of the conference. Few other places in North America can say the same,&rdquo; Dr. Linkletter says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We have had a very good response to our call for papers, and this is one of the largest turnouts for the conference in several years. Many celticists would love to visit Nova Scotia, and this conference provides the right catalyst to help bring them along.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Linkletter says they have named the conference&rsquo;s featured talk the MacDonell/Nilsen Plenary Lecture in honour of the late Dr. Ken Nilsen, who died in 2012, and professor emerita Sister Margaret MacDonell, both former chairs of the Celtic Studies Department at StFX and highly respected in the field.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As part of Gaelic Awareness Month, the public at large is invited to attend the MacDonell/Nilsen Plenary Lecture taking place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6 with guest speaker Dr. Rob Dunbar, professor of Celtic languages, literature, history and antiquities, at the University of Edinburgh. His address is entitled &quot;Waulking Songs in the Scottish Gaelic Tradition: Continuity and Change.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The lecture will be followed by a c&egrave;ilidh with open mic (and music session with the Townhouse Players) in Piper&rsquo;s Pub at 8 p.m.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The conference takes place in the Hall of the Clans Reading Room in the Angus L. Macdonald Library.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A conference timetable and abstracts of talks are <a href="">available online</a>. CSANA is also announcing <a href="">a new journal and a request for submissions</a> as part of the event.</div> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:30:44 NO Mi'kmaw artist Alan Syliboy named 2016 Coady Chair in Social Justice at StFX University <p><em>Artist, filmmaker, musician and social justice advocate is first Indigenous person to hold the Coady Chair.&nbsp;Chair will engage StFX/Coady Institute students and faculty, along with the broader Antigonish community.</em></p> <div>Internationally renowned artist Alan Syliboy of Millbrook, Nova Scotia has been named the fifth Coady Chair in Social Justice at StFX University.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In his capacity as the Coady Chair, Mr. Syliboy will prompt important conversations, art and study related to Indigenous history, cultural revitalization, reconciliation, and the evolution of Mi&rsquo;kmaw art as forms of expression.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Syliboy&rsquo;s art has been critically acclaimed around the world. He has received many awards, including the 2002 Queen&rsquo;s Golden Jubilee Medal. His 2010 film &lsquo;Little Thunder&rsquo; has been screened at international film festivals and received the Best Animation Film award at the First People&rsquo;s Festival in Montreal. A giant mural he created is seen daily by thousands of travelers as they enter and leave the Robert Stanfield International Airport in Halifax.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The Coady Chair in Social Justice plays a unique role in the StFX and Antigonish communities, by stimulating conversation, debate and exchange about matters of social justice in our contemporary world. We are looking forward to working with Alan Syliboy, as the fifth Chair, given the unique contribution we know he will bring,&quot; says&nbsp;Dr. June Webber, Director of the Coady Institute.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;My plan is to initiate discussions on several issues currently affecting First Nation communities, such as education, housing and the environment. My art will be used as a vehicle to assist in expressing our ideas,&rdquo; says Mr.&nbsp;Syliboy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We are honoured to welcome Alan Syliboy to this important appointment,&quot; StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald says. &quot;As an internationally-renowned artist and cultural icon, his ideas and influence will be invaluable to further strengthen the connections between the StFX community and First Nation communities &nbsp;&ndash; a long-standing partnership that dates back decades.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>QUICK FACTS:</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>- The Coady Chair in Social Justice honours the spirit of Dr. Rev. Moses Coady and the leaders of the Antigonish Movement by bridging local and global concerns, involving the community, and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to issues.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>- Key elements of the Chair include public presentations, seminars and workshops that bring students, faculty, community members and citizen-leaders together for shared learning.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>- Mr. Syliboy will be on campus during October and November 2016. A schedule of his events will be shared at a later date.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 03 May 2016 08:31:59 NO Understanding the antifouling properties of a silicone compound in relation to marine invasive species subject of StFX research <p>Understanding the properties behind an antifouling compound which may help with the unwanted attachment of marine organisms on submerged surfaces&mdash;a problem for many industries including shipping and aquaculture&mdash;is the subject of StFX research recently published in the journal Marine Environmental Research.</p> <div><span>Natalia Filip, who recently completed a master&rsquo;s degree in biology at StFX, together with Dr. Amanda Pustam, a postdoctoral researcher in chemistry, led the project, which brought in personnel and expertise from both the biology and chemistry departments.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Filip says a considerable amount of work was put into this project by faculty and undergraduate students from both departments. Her co-authors include Dr. Pustam; four undergraduate students, Veronica Ells, Kathleen Grosicki, Jin Yang and Ikenna Oguejiofor; as well as four faculty members, Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer, Dr. Russell Wyeth, Dr. Cory Bishop, and Dr. Edwin DeMont. Steven Macdonald, StFX&acute;s Senior Machinist and Design Technician, was also an important resource, contributing to the design and construction of some of their experimental hardware.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Our work focused on a silicone compound widely used in dentistry, which preliminary field-testing by the StFX Centre for Biofouling Research had revealed greatly reduced accumulation of <em>Ciona intestinalis</em>, an invasive tunicate species,&rdquo; says Ms. Filip.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;<em>C. intestinalis</em> is a poster child of marine invasive species awareness campaigns, and it is particularly problematic for aquaculture operations in the Maritimes.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says their goals were to explore the antifouling properties of this compound, and to understand the mechanisms behind these properties. This required extensive testing in the field and in the lab.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We compared the effectiveness of this silicone compound relative to similar compounds that are sold as non-toxic antifouling coatings in the field. We also attempted to discern the chemical composition and mechanical properties of this compound, in addition to testing its toxicity towards larvae of <em>C. intestinalis</em>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Filip says the broad range of expertise of everyone involved allowed the team to test the physical, chemical and biological interactions between this silicone compound and tunicates.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says a great deal of testing went into this project because the mechanism behind the antifouling properties of this compound was more complex than originally thought, and additional experiments were required to describe it.<br /> <br /> <img src="" alt="" /><br /> <strong>Invasive tunicate species <em>Ciona intestinalis</em> growing on the silicone compound and other antifouling coating treatments that team tested</strong></div> &ldquo;We hypothesized that the silicone compound tested would lower the accumulation of <em>C. intestinalis</em> due to its fouling-release properties,&rdquo; she says. Compounds with fouling release properties create surfaces that weaken the biological adhesives of aquatic organisms, she explains. Unable to attach strongly, organisms can be easily removed, potentially becoming dislodged under their own weight. Thus, several silicone-based coatings with fouling release properties have and are currently being developed as non-toxic alternatives to traditional antifouling paints based on heavy metals.&nbsp; <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Our results showed that the silicone compound was more effective at decreasing accumulation of <em>C. intestinalis</em> in the field than the other coatings tested, and that it indeed possessed fouling release properties. However, an unexpected finding was that the antifouling properties of this compound were primarily chemically-based, due to the release of a surfactant that is toxic to <em>C. intestinalis.&nbsp;</em></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Thus, the silicone compound we tested is not a candidate for an environmental-safe antifoulant in its current formulation. However, our findings contribute to ongoing efforts of producing silicone coatings with both fouling-release and chemical activity properties.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> --&gt; Tue, 03 May 2016 06:14:00 NO