News StFX News en StFX master's student receives prestigious Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship <p><span>Emmaline Atherton, a StFX master&rsquo;s student in earth sciences, has received the prestigious Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master&rsquo;s (CGS M) from NSERC. The 12-month, $17,500 award will help her carry out her research studying fugitive and vented emissions from natural gas developments in western Canada.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>The scholarship is awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated academic excellence during their undergraduate and/or early graduate studies. It&rsquo;s also allocated to students whose master&rsquo;s projects have high research potential, as well as students who have demonstrated extracurricular involvement and good interpersonal skills.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I am very grateful to receive this award for the second year of my master&rsquo;s degree,&rdquo; says Ms. Atherton of Rockwood, ON, who is supervised by StFX earth sciences professor Dr. Dave Risk.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Receiving this funding allows me to focus all of my attention on my project by relieving financial stresses that would exist if my project were not funded. Also, having my work recognized this way motivates me to complete my project to the best of my ability.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Atherton says her fieldwork has involved both winter and summer mobile gas surveying campaigns in northeastern British Columbia near Fort St John, and also in southeastern Alberta.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;My project is focused on identifying common sources of atmospheric gas emissions from infrastructure, equipment, and processes used to extract natural gas. I am also comparing these emission pathways between hydraulically fractured natural gas developments, conventional natural gas developments, and different ages and types of infrastructure,&rdquo; she explains.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This information will help locate areas, developments, and infrastructure types that might be more prone to fugitive natural gas emissions.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says these atmospheric natural gas emissions are mainly composed of methane, a greenhouse gas with at least 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over 100 years.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;So this information is essential for understanding the total environmental impact of Canadian energy developments. The results of my research could also be useful for helping with the recent Canada-U.S. joint target to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector 45 per cent by 2025.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 11:48:33 NO A true test of colour: StFX student publishes research on colour and marine fouling <p><span>Does the colour of an anti-fouling coating make a difference in the abundance or diversity of organisms that settle on that plate?</span></p> <div><span>That&rsquo;s the question Veronica Ells, a student research assistant in the StFX Centre for Biofouling Research and working in biology professor Dr. Russell Wyeth&rsquo;s lab, wanted to answer.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Now, Ms. Ells of Antigonish, NS, a 2016 StFX joint advanced major in biology and math graduate, is the lead author on a paper just published in the <em>Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology</em>.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Other authors include Natalia Filip and StFX Centre for Biofouling Research faculty members, Drs. Cory Bishop, Edwin DeMont, Truis Smith-Palmer, and Russell Wyeth.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I was pretty excited,&rdquo; Ms. Ells, who will begin studies at the Atlantic Veterinary College this fall, says when she learned the paper &ldquo;A true test of colour effects on marine invertebrate larval settlement,&rdquo; had been accepted for publication.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Ells says the project started as a control for an experiment a graduate student was completing in the lab. The graduate student was studying new anti-fouling coatings that might reduce invasive tunicate growth to help mussel farmers, but her coatings were all different colours.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We wanted to make sure the colour didn&rsquo;t make a difference, which led us to look into previous studies,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>They found no previous studies had properly tested how colour can affect animals that grow on surfaces underwater (a process known as biofouling). In particular, past tests of settlement by marine invertebrate larvae on different colours were not designed to distinguish between responses to the intensity (i.e. brightness) of the surface colour.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Using a design based on colour vision testing methods, Ms. Ells&rsquo; study examined the effect of colour on biofouling by including both coloured plates and plates with different shades of gray. &nbsp;Deploying the plates in local harbours (Cribbons and Port Hawkesbury), she then monitored the growth of animals on the different plates over time. The dominant biofouling invertebrate animals at her sites (tunicates and bryozoans), showed no differences in settlement between blue, red or green plates, suggesting they do not prefer surfaces with different colours. In contrast, the tunicates responded to the plate brightness, with less settlement on lighter plates, while the bryozoans showed no preference relative to brightness. &nbsp;Her results have important implications for the design of future studies testing potentially new antifouling coatings to use on boat hulls, aquaculture gear, and other marine infrastructure.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>For Ms. Ells, &ldquo;I learned a lot about research and what goes into it. I really enjoyed the field work and the planning process.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says her time at StFX and in the research lab was beneficial.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As a smaller school, she says students know their professors and are not as afraid to approach a professor to see if there is anything they can do to be involved.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Organizing, thinking about, and carrying out the project also proved beneficial to her.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I learned a lot of leadership skills,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 06:21:18 NO Dr. David Risk and Flux Lab Team receive $1.8 million for gas leak detection technology <p><span>Excitement filled the air as Dr. David Risk and his team of researchers received an investment of $1,853,447 for the development of StFX&rsquo;s vehicle-based ExACT gas leak detection technology for the oil &amp; gas industry.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>Dr. Risk, StFX Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Director at the FluxLab, and ExACT Project Lead,&nbsp;</span><span>was joined at the announcement by fellow StFX Dr. Kevin Wamsley, StFX Academic Vice President &amp; Provost, and event emcee, Dr. Richard Isnor, StFX Associate Vice-President Research &amp; Graduate Studies, among other distinguished guests.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The funding will support a four-year applied-research process to build on a patent-protected platform technology to develop a gas detection sensor used as an inspection tool for the oil and gas industry.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The ExACT sensor, short for &quot;Emissions Attribution via Computational Techniques,&quot; will be designed to be mounted on a vehicle which, while driving around a site, gathers near-ground geochemical readings, uploads these readings to a cloud-based database, and allows for real-time analysis. The detection of gas leaks in a comprehensive, cost effective and efficient manner is of paramount importance in regulatory compliance as well as in minimizing product loss and maximizing environmental protection.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In adding his congratulations to Dr. Risk and his research team, Dr. Wamsley shared a few words on behalf of StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald, who was unable to be in attendance at the ceremony.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Dr. Dave Risk and his team of student researchers have worked diligently in creating new tools to detect gas leaks in the oil and gas industry,&rdquo; says Dr. MacDonald. &ldquo;This ACOA funding will help StFX researchers continue to develop ground breaking technology to encourage environmental improvements, regulatory compliance, and minimize product loss in the energy sector in Canada.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Methane leaks and vents from energy developments are a worldwide problem. Over the past few years we've worked with progressive energy companies and developed tools to help them see what&rsquo;s being emitted&mdash;often 100 times faster than before,&rdquo; Dr. Risk said.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Since bold new reduction targets have been announced by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, demand for our expertise has soared. We're excited that with this project, ACOA is helping us improve our technology for the mass market so that we, in turn, can empower companies to hit reduction targets early and easily, and create benefits for all.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>ACOA&rsquo;s innovation programming, which includes the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program, responds to the evolving needs of Atlantic businesses and researchers. It is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Atlantic economy. The programs also support small and medium-sized enterprises across the region to acquire or adapt innovative technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness, while also enabling them to build the skills they need to innovate and compete in today&rsquo;s global economy.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 12:51:01 NO Fine art faculty member wins awards at Plein Air Art competitions <p><span>StFX fine art faculty member William Rogers recently returned from Maryland where he participated in three juried Plein Air Art competitions as one of a small group of selected artists.&nbsp;</span></p> <div><span>He won an award in two of these competitions, including second prize at Mountain Maryland Plein Air for &quot;Earle's Tractors,&quot; and a 'Best use of Light Award' for &quot;Annapolis Skyline&quot; in the Paint Annapolis Plein Air.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He was also one of 58 artists in 'Plein air Easton,' the largest U.S. Plein air Festival.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;Earle's Tractors&quot; has also been selected for the Oil Painters of America Salon Show to be held at Castle Gallery Fine Art in Fort Wayne, IN from Sept. 30-Oct. 29, 2016.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 02 Aug 2016 08:38:40 NO New Faculty of Arts courses offer a unique spin on the sciences and arts <p>Four Faculty of Arts professors are offering courses next year that examine how science and technology interact with the world.<br /> <br /> Anthropologist Dr. Christina Holmes says &ldquo;Science is a powerful and creative force in today&rsquo;s society and it&rsquo;s important to examine its historical roots and contemporary impacts.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> &quot;It&rsquo;s important to remember too, that science and arts should not be seen as always antagonistic, and that creativity is just as important in science as it is in the humanities,&rdquo; adds Professor of English Dr. Earla Wilputte. &ldquo;Literature has had a critical role in framing scientific debates and discussion and in satirizing science and scientists as a means of keeping them in check.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> History professor Dr. Donna Trembinski notes that &quot;Studying science through the traditional arts disciplines can provide new perspectives and a different critical lens that raises questions about the traditional notions of scientific objectivity and progress.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> All courses are being offered this year demonstrating the importance of understanding science and technology in their historical, literary and cultural contexts. Dr. Trembinski says she wishes she could take all of these courses. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of the real benefits of these classes is that they encourage the exploration of different perspectives. Science students talk to arts students and it is in that sharing that creative innovation happens,&rdquo; adds Dr. Wilputte. <br /> <br /> Overview of new Arts courses: <br /> Anthropology 492: Anthropology of Technology will be offered second term by Dr. Christina Holmes. Moving from techno-semen to cell phones in the Brazilian favela to vaccines in Africa, this course will look at who technology is designed for and who uses it. Dr. Holmes is looking forward to teaching a service learning component in the course involving The People&rsquo;s Place in town where students will study how the use of technology and the training necessary for using that technology impact both the novice users and the staff at The People&rsquo;s Place. <br /> <br /> English 254: 18th-Century Science and the Literary Imagination, offered in the first term by Dr. Wilputte, examines how technologies like the telescope and microscope, as well as Newton&rsquo;s discoveries in optics, led writers to look at the world in a new way and to develop new figures of speech to describe it. Science fictions of that period introduce the &ldquo;mad&rdquo; scientist figure, and explore how technology alienates humanity from nature; poetry celebrates the rainbow spectrum of light; and novels incorporate scientific methodologies to examine the nature of the self. <br /> <br /> Engineering 132: Dr. Donna Trembinski from the Department of History is team-teaching Engineering Design and Communication I with Dr. Frank Comeau from the Department of Engineering in the second term. The History of Engineering component of the course will explore the historical trajectory of engineering design ideas, demonstrating links between, for example, the modern iPad and the medieval astrolabe, modern robotics and premodern automatons, and modern bridges and ancient Roman construction techniques.</p> <p>Another new course will be taught by StFX Professor of Sociology Dr. Stephen Marmura. Technology and Society SOCI 242 is designed to introduce students to core sociological issues and debates pertaining to technology. Topics covered include the nature of technological artifacts and systems, technology and social change, the relationship between technological innovation and scientific knowledge, technology and inequality, the social shaping of technology and the role of digital media in relation to new forms of cultural identity and social control. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is important for students to take a critical look at what is meant by technology and to consider how technological development connects to other aspects of their lives,&rdquo; says Dr. Marmura. &ldquo;Technologies are as much manifestations of human culture and prevailing arrangements of power as they are determinants of social life. Clearly these realities need to be better appreciated in an age when the organisms we consume are patented, and the platforms in which we socialize are controlled by powerful third parties.&quot;</p> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 11:07:27 NO StFX releases 2017 - 2022 Strategic Plan <div>To the StFX Campus Community:</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Below please find a link to a copy of StFX&rsquo;s 2017 &ndash; 2022 Strategic Plan for your reference.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Created through the input of members of the StFX community and approved by the StFX Board of Governors, the primary purpose of the plan is to communicate our collective priorities for the years ahead and serve as a constant reminder of where our efforts, attention and resources need to be focused in order to meet our goals and objectives.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The StFX Strategic Plan provides realistic and achievable five-year outcomes. Recognizing that we cannot accomplish all goals at once, it is imperative that our next steps be thoughtful and measured. I have tasked the Leadership Council to begin the process of developing annual initiatives, including identifying milestones and measures that we will use to track our progress. With these indicators in place, we create the ability to understand where we are making headway in relation to our desired outcomes, and where adjustments must be made to meet our goals.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>While the plan will officially take effect on April 1st, 2017, it is currently being used to guide our discussions around operational planning and budgeting for the 2017-18 academic year.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Once again, I wish to thank the Strategic Planning Committee and the hundreds of contributors from across our campus community for their dedication and work in producing this historic document.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Kent MacDonald</div> <div>President, StFX University</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="">&lt;&lt; CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COPY OF StFX'S 2017 -- 2022 STRATEGIC PLAN &gt;&gt;</a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 13:12:59 YES StFX announces Elizabeth & Thomas Rankin School of Nursing <div>Tom &rsquo;60 and Elizabeth Rankin&rsquo;s long legacy of giving back to the community, particularly their support of health care, will be honoured on the StFX campus with the naming of the Elizabeth &amp; Thomas Rankin School of Nursing.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Rankin, CEO of Rankin Construction Inc. and a 1960 StFX engineering graduate, recently donated $2 million to his alma mater to support both the School of Nursing and the Xaverian Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Of the amount, $1.5 million will go towards renovations to historic Mount Saint Bernard, where the School of Nursing is housed, and specifically to create a state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Lab. The impressive 6,600 square-foot lab will provide valuable experiential learning opportunities for nursing students.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As well, $500,000 will support the Xaverian Fund, established by StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald with a goal of raising $50 million so that all academically focused and socially engaged students can attend StFX regardless of financial background. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Tom and Beth Rankin are community champions who truly exemplify StFX&rsquo;s tradition of service to society. We are so deeply grateful for their most generous gift,&rdquo; Dr. MacDonald says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Their donation will help in so many ways. With the addition of the new simulation lab, nursing students will have access to learning facilities that are second-to-none. Additionally, their support of the Xaverian Fund will also impact generations of students, helping academically and socially focused students access a university education,&rdquo; he said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We sincerely thank Tom and Beth Rankin for their contributions,&rdquo; says Dean of Science Dr. Petra Hauf. &ldquo;The renovations taking place at the School of Nursing at Mount Saint Bernard will result in an unparalleled teaching and learning environment for our students and faculty.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX&rsquo;s Nursing Program already has such an excellent reputation,&rdquo; adds Dr. Joanne Whitty Rogers, Interim Director and Chair for the Elizabeth and Thomas Rankin School of Nursing. &nbsp;&ldquo;The addition of state-of- the-art instructional equipment and facilities will only improve the teaching and research opportunities for our students.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>NOBLE PROFESSION</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In donating to the School of Nursing, Mr. Rankin, a native of Judique, NS who now lives in St. Catharines, ON, says he is pleased to recognize his wife Beth, a nurse and graduate of the Mack Training School for Nurses, as the cornerstone to his family and business success. &ldquo;She is the last person to ever look for the limelight,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It is nice to recognize her.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The nursing profession is a very noble profession, and it&rsquo;s close to my heart,&rdquo; says Mr. Rankin as he noted along with his wife, his oldest daughter holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Over the years, he and his company have supported numerous charities. Always, there&rsquo;s been a strong focus on health care. The Rankin Cancer Run, which he began 11 years ago, has raised over $6.5 million for local hospitals, and recently, he contributed significantly towards a new facility for Pathstone Mental Health, a facility which helps young people with mental health issues.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s face it, health is everything. It&rsquo;s very important. Health care is on everybody&rsquo;s mind. If you can help your fellow man in that way, I think it&rsquo;s a very worthy cause.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT XAVERIAN FUND</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He says it was also important to support the Xaverian Fund.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Rankin says he knows firsthand how pivotal a scholarship can be in a young person&rsquo;s life.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know if I would have went to university if I didn&rsquo;t receive a Knights of Columbus scholarship and a StFX bursary. It helped me go to university,&rdquo; says Mr. Rankin who recalls how during his early life his dad hurt his back and couldn&rsquo;t work for a year.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Without that, perhaps I wouldn&rsquo;t have become an engineer, or gone to university,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;&ldquo;There are probably a lot of future engineers, or medical professionals, or teachers, in the community who wouldn&rsquo;t be able to go to university.&quot;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I feel if a scholarship helps some person get an education in a profession they dearly like, then I am very happy about that.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A longtime community champion, Mr. Rankin says his values started early at home, in school, and in his religious upbringing. They were further fostered at StFX.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>HELP YOUR COMMUNITY</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re grounded at StFX to look at your fellow man, and how important it is to help your neighbor. You&rsquo;re grounded to help the community.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Rankin has enjoyed an incredible career highlighted by hard work and dedication. Graduating from StFX with a Diploma in Engineering, he went on to complete his Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Nova Scotia Technical College. He then moved to Ontario and founded Rankin Construction.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He led his family-run business and is a well-known pioneer in renewable energy projects in Ontario.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He&rsquo;s been recognized many times with industry and leadership awards. StFX has also honoured Mr. Rankin with both the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award and with an honorary degree in 2015.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:57:01 YES StFX librarian elected president of Atlantic Provinces Library Association <p><span>Suzanne van den Hoogen, a public services librarian at StFX&rsquo;s Angus L. Macdonald Library, has been elected to a three-year term as president of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA).</span></p> <div><span>The association is one of the most enduring library organizations in North America with a diverse membership representing all levels of interest and participation. It represents approximately 400 library workers and library supporters from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. van den Hoogen, who most recently served as ACLA&rsquo;s vice-president, says the association's mission is to promote the interests of libraries in the Atlantic provinces while fostering the development of librarians, library technicians and information professionals through cooperative efforts and the promotion of library interests.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I think this will be one of the best highlights of my professional career. You&rsquo;re representing the entire librarian profession for a region. It&rsquo;s an honour and a privilege and I&rsquo;m very humbled,&rdquo; Ms. van den Hoogen says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As president of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association, she also becomes part of the national organization, The Partnership. She says it&rsquo;s an honour to provide a regional voice at the national level and that she is looking forward to sharing with and learning from colleagues.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s helping put a voice out there. We play a huge role with advocacy. It feels very good to be part of that,&rdquo; she says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As an example, Ms. van den Hoogen noted how the Atlantic association supported its Newfoundland and Labrador colleagues with a recent letter writing campaign when that provincial government announced a plan to close 54 libraries. The government has since halted its plan until further consultation. Ms. van den Hoogen says it feel great to have played a part in this. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s part of what we do.&rdquo; &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 08:16:08 NO Steve and Kathy Smith donate family home to StFX University <p><span>Steve and Kathy Smith&rsquo;s exceptional generosity to his alma mater continued today with the news that the St. Francis Xavier University alumnus, businessman, philanthropist and president and CEO of The Central Group of Companies and his wife have donated their family home to the university.</span></p> <div><span>Located on Nicholson Court in Antigonish, the 1994-constructed home will be used as the official residence for StFX University presidents and their families. It will be known as The Smith House.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX has long played an integral role in our community of Antigonish. With our recent move to Doctor&rsquo;s Brook, we recognized an opportunity we thought may help the university,&rdquo; says Mr. Smith. &ldquo;Our hope is that the home will be used as an additional resource to further the academic mission, not only by providing living quarters, but by providing space to host guests and small university functions.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The gift is the latest in the Smiths' long legacy of support for StFX.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Steve and Kathy are true leaders who care deeply about building community,&rdquo; says StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald. &ldquo;They are among StFX&rsquo;s greatest friends and on behalf of the university community, I thank them for their ongoing support. The Smith House will honour their generosity and legacy for generations to come.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Over the years, Steve has both chaired and contributed a leadership gift to StFX&rsquo;s Expanding Futures local campaign, and co-chaired a community campaign to help provide a new home for the Coady International Institute. For this, he challenged the Antigonish community that he and Kathy would match $1 for every $2 raised, up to a $1 million personal gift. He also served two terms on the StFX Board of Governors.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Smith founded the Central Group not long after graduating from StFX in 1974. He began his business out of the back of a pick-up truck. Central is now one of the largest building supply companies east of Montreal.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Business is only one-half of the Steve and Kathy Smith story. Few Nova Scotians have contributed as generously to their community as they have. Whether supporting education, arts and culture, sports teams, or contributing to St. Martha&rsquo;s Regional Hospital, the Smiths have a long history of giving back. Steve has been recognized with philanthropic awards on numerous occasions as well as an honorary degree from StFX.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:42:01 NO Finding the Right Words: StFX faculty spark international academic interest with Gaelic headstone inscription research <p><span>The scarcity of Gaelic headstone inscriptions has long puzzled academics studying the Scottish diaspora. This dearth, however, is more apparent than real as proven in a recent paper, &ldquo;Finding the Right Words: Gaelic Headstones in the Cemeteries of Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia,&rdquo; given by StFX faculty members Drs. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell and Michael Linkletter at the 2016 <em>Rannaschadh na G&agrave;idhlig</em> conference at Sabhal M&ograve;r Ostaig in Skye, Scotland.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>Dr. Stanley-Blackwell of the Department of History and Dr. Linkletter of the Department of Celtic Studies are currently compiling an inventory of Gaelic headstone inscriptions, both old and modern, in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. The earliest example that they have identified in Maritime Canada dates from 1825. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Although it is said that &ldquo;dead men tell no tales,&rdquo; their headstone inscriptions certainly do. Drs. Stanley-Blackwell and Linkletter will be sharing their findings at the upcoming Harvard Celtic Colloquium in October. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Their research has sparked international academic interest, for it examines an overlooked facet of Scottish immigrant material culture and offers scholars the means to track through time via inscription samples the trajectories of Gaelic language maintenance, language loss, and language renewal.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>During a recent visit to Scotland, the two faculty members conducted research in approximately 30 cemeteries in the Western Highlands and Islands for their SSHRC-funded Insight Development Grant.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:02:30 NO StFX chosen to host Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games Athlete’s Village and Sports <p>St. Francis Xavier University has been chosen as a host for Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games&rsquo; athlete&rsquo;s village and several sports.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is truly an exciting day for StFX, our town and county,&rdquo; said StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald during the announcement. &ldquo;This is a very important announcement. It is a tremendous honour to host these games. I am absolutely certain we will leave a StFX thumbprint on the athletics and host the best Special Olympics ever,&rdquo; added Dr. MacDonald. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t wait until 2018. It&rsquo;s going to be a wonderful games.&rdquo;</p> <p>Special Olympics Canada also announced today the Town of Antigonish will also play host. This will be the second time the province has held a national summer games, having last hosted the event in 1994. StFX and Antigonish were chosen due to the tremendous experience the area has from hosting Special Olympics Nova Scotia.</p> <p>The announcement was made by StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald, Antigonish Mayor Carl Chisolm and Antigonish businessman Marc Champoux; representatives from the provincial chapter, and Sharon Bollenbach CEO of Special Olympics Canada.</p> <p>&ldquo;Special Olympics Canada is thrilled that Antigonish will be the home of the 2018 Summer Games,&rdquo; said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO, Special Olympics Canada. &ldquo;Antigonish has been a pillar of community and volunteer support for Special Olympics Nova Scotia, and we are excited to be welcoming the national games, Special Olympics Canada&rsquo;s signature sport competition, and all the excitement it brings to the area.&rdquo;</p> <p>Special Olympics announced Co-Chairs of the Games Organizing Committee: Carl Chisholm, Mayor of Town of Antigonish, and well-known businessman and StFX alumnus, Marc Champoux.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sport has played a large role in my life and that of my family. Being able to combine this passion with a great organization brings me tremendous pride and excitement as we seek to create the best national games experience for all the athletes,&rdquo; says Co-Chair Marc Champoux.</p> <p>&ldquo;Having personally witnessed the power of Special Olympics on both the local and national level, I couldn&rsquo;t be more proud to have the games hosted in Antigonish and play a role in making this great event happen,&rdquo; says Co-Chair Carl Chisholm.</p> <p>There are nine sports featured at the games: athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, softball and swimming. The games will attract over 900 athletes, close to 300 coaches, officials and mission staff, 600 volunteers, and over 3,000 spectators.</p> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:44:51 NO Family, faith and education. Children of Evelyn and Denis Morris set up $250,000 scholarship fund in their honour <p><span>Evelyn and Denis Morris have always believed in family, faith and education. And they&rsquo;ve always believed in StFX.</span></p> <div><span>Now, their eight children are honouring their love, legacy, and commitment to higher education by establishing a $250,000 scholarship fund in their name that will help young people realize their dreams.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Evelyn and Denis Morris Scholarship Fund is part of the Xaverian Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries established by StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald, and will provide $10,000 a year for students in financial need. The first scholarship will be presented to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Evelyn&rsquo;s StFX graduation.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. MacDonald established the Xaverian Fund with a goal of raising $50 million so that all academically focused and socially engaged students can attend StFX regardless of financial background.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We wanted to do this as a tribute to the investment they made in our education, to set up this fund in their name,&rdquo; says daughter Clare (Morris) Bilek, speaking on behalf of the family.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Without their investment, we wouldn&rsquo;t be in a position to contribute. It was always about education. Family, faith and education. That&rsquo;s the three pillars of our family.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The family made the scholarship fund announcement during a Morris family celebration dinner in Halifax in June. The family&rsquo;s strong connection with StFX stretches back for decades. Evelyn was a StFX graduate of 1957 and one of eight Mooney siblings who attended StFX from Saint John, NB. Out of eight Morris children, six attended StFX during the 1980s and &rsquo;90s. Today, a third generation is graduating with already four grandchildren wearing the X-Ring. Of three generations of the Mooney family, approximately 40 family members have attended StFX.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>DEEPLY TOUCHED</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX President Dr. MacDonald was deeply moved by the Morris family gift.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The Xaverian Fund is one of my key priorities as President and the generosity of the Morris family helps us get that much closer to the $50 million dollar goal, but also, the Morris gift, represents what StFX was built upon&mdash;core values of community, assisting others whoever they may be, strong faith and love of family, and finally, the pursuit of a quality education,&rdquo; he says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;On behalf of StFX, we are so very pleased for the gift and extend our collective thanks to the Morris family.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Iain Boyd, Chief Campaign Officer for the Xaverian Fund, said &ldquo;the Morris Scholarship honouring Evelyn and Denis establishes a lasting legacy to two special people.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This new scholarship will make it possible for academically focused students who lack the financial resources to be able to attend StFX. I hope other families follow suit and consider honouring their loved ones in a similar way,&rdquo; Mr. Boyd said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>PLEASED IT WAS A GIFT FOR OTHERS</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As for their parents&rsquo; reaction?</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;They were thrilled and very surprised that their children would do this,&rdquo; Ms. Bilek says. &ldquo;They were very pleased that it was a gift to others, that their children would come together to help other people in their name.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We really thought there was no better way to honour them than to help others who many not otherwise have the opportunity to attend StFX due to financial circumstances,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX has served us well in providing us an excellent education, and instilling in us the value of education.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Bilek says the idea for the scholarship fund originated with brother Kevin Morris, who is on the StFX Board of Governors. Kevin, she says, was inspired by the wonderful example of board chair Mark Wallace who recently donated $1 million to the Xaverian Fund.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Wallace is also a close family friend, who grew up across the street from the Morris family in Halifax. Ms. Bilek says it was remarkable and special to have him in attendance at the celebration dinner in June. StFX Chancellor Dr. Susan Crocker also attended and spoke at the celebration.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>NO BETTER WAY TO SAY THANKS</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Kevin took the idea for the fund to his siblings.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;There was no hesitation in agreeing to this. It was a wonderful idea and a very timely one. There is no better way to thank our parents for what they did for us.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;All eight of us did contribute, even the two non-StFX siblings,&rdquo; she says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Evelyn&rsquo;s sister Gertrude Mooney &rsquo;65 also generously contributed to the scholarship fund.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The family has strong ties with StFX. Evelyn will celebrate her diamond reunion in 2017. She graduated first in her class in home economics, and was very active during her student days at StFX. She was involved in the tutoring society, in theatre, with the Xaverian Annual Yearbook, and was part of the student council at Mount Saint Bernard. In her graduating yearbook, she was noted among the &ldquo;Who&rsquo;s Who.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She kept involved with alumni events and remained friends with a large circle from StFX.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It was always part of our lives, seeing those X-Rings together,&rdquo; Ms. Bilek says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Even today, the younger generation see the sense of community at StFX. &ldquo;They see the lifelong ties we have and they want to be a part of that.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says their dad, a Saint Mary&rsquo;s University graduate, has always been StFX&rsquo;s number one supporter. He&rsquo;s attended many an alumni event and sports events with their mother, driven children to StFX, and has been a proud father of many Xaverian alumni. &ldquo;He really is an honorary Xaverian,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>With student debt becoming a barrier to education, Ms. Bilek says she would encourage other families if they have the means to consider something similar.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This is a really worthwhile place to put an investment. Education is an investment in the future of our students.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Morris children include Patricia Bryson, Denis &rsquo;82, Barbara Morrison, Joseph &rsquo;85, Kevin &rsquo;87, Kathleen Bekkers &rsquo;89, Gertrude Kells &rsquo;92, and Clare Bilek &rsquo;99.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:28:48 NO Town hall meeting updates campus community on Presidential Task Force <p><span>Determining a path to a sustainable future was the topic of discussion at StFX during a recent town hall meeting.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>Dr. Kevin Wamsley, Academic Vice President &amp; Provost, and Bob Hale, Head of Student Services, hosted a town hall session on Friday, June 30 that updated the campus community on progress made over the past seven months in implementing the recommendations of the <em>Report of the Presidential Task Force: &nbsp;Sustaining the Academic Priorities of StFX 2013-2018.<br /> <br type="_moz" /> </em></div> <div>The meeting was the third campus update since the President&rsquo;s Council received the report about 18 months ago.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Town hall meetings, held approximately every six months, are designed to provide an update on where the implementation of the Presidential Task Force report stands and what it will look like in the future, Dr. Wamsley said.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Progress has been careful and deliberate and we are now able to rate 83 per cent of the programs as either showing &lsquo;significant progress&rsquo; or being &lsquo;complete/operationalized,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> In providing the update and speaking to the strategy to lead StFX towards a sustainable future in the coming years, both speakers provided examples of what has been done to date with programs that were placed in the &lsquo;priority to enhance,&rsquo; &lsquo;revise,&rsquo; and &lsquo;unsustainable&rsquo; categories.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> As examples, they spoke about enhancements that have happened in the Economics Department, with Course-Based Service Learning and with the Coady International Institute. These enhancements, which are not always financial, Dr. Wamsley noted, ranged from working to better intertwine Coady and StFX expertise, to securing more publicity and working to secure external funding sources for service learning.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a matter of looking at the whole picture for the department to see what the department needs,&rdquo; Dr. Wamsley explained.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> They also reported progress on programs that had been targeted as unsustainable, including StFX Football, the Music Department and Extension, and how these areas have worked over the past months to make concerted efforts to respond to the report recommendations, and how these efforts may help shape future direction. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;What we&rsquo;re talking about is sustaining the future of StFX,&rdquo; Dr. Wamsley said.</div> <div><br /> As the speakers provided specific examples of outcomes from the report, Dr. Wamsley noted how these recommendations are worked into the daily operation of the university&mdash;helping to guide investment and change that will help enhance the StFX experience.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Our purpose is to sustain the kind of university we want, the education that we provide.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;This is how the task force report is going to help us,&rdquo; he says, noting already how the committee&rsquo;s work is having a direct impact in influencing StFX&rsquo;s strategic plan and decision making across campus.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;This isn&rsquo;t something that sits on the shelf,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It is a road map to our future.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> Recommendations from the Presidential Task Force are also helping inform quality checks at StFX, to ensure the university is heading in a direction that we as a collective want.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Was it helpful? Yes,&rdquo; Mr. Hale says. &ldquo;It was certainly worthwhile,&rdquo; he said as he noted the amount of changes that have already been made, often simple things, like taking telephones that students seldom use out of residences, and reinvesting that money into more appropriate places.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> It&rsquo;s all contributing toward the long term sustainability of StFX, he said.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;What the Presidential Task Force set out to do is to make this a university that is sustainable into the future,&rdquo; Dr. Wamsley echoed.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> Both speakers say the findings of the report are continuing to have a strong influence on decision-making across campus, and that the university will continue working on recommendations over the next year. The university will also begin the transition to an Integrated Budgeting and Planning system. The Presidential Task Force will only disappear in name, it will not disappear in function, Dr. Wamsley noted.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> A final update from the implementations of the recommendations will be provided to the campus community in spring 2017, they said.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> Slides from the presentation and the progress reports are available at <a href=" "></a>. The reports contain both progress ratings for departments and a narrative description on what has been done in each area.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 06:44:58 NO X-Chem keeps in step with province and prioritizes Coding <p><span>Children heading off to St. Francis Xavier University&rsquo;s X-Chem camp this summer are getting a head start on something the provincial government says is becoming an educational priority.</span></p> <div>X-Chem is one of a few summer camps in the province that teaches computer coding. This year X-Chem is incorporating a Codemaker Day into all camps, as well as having two dedicated Codemaker camps. Next week will be the first Codemaker camp of the summer.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;All X-Chem participants will get a chance to experience coding,&rdquo; says StFX chemistry professor and X-Chem founder Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer. &ldquo;Students will experience, not only coding on the computer but take part in hands-on experiments that help children learn about coding.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Students will use &lsquo;Makey Makey&rsquo; kits with which they interface all sorts of everyday objects with a computer,&rdquo; added Dr. Smith-Palmer. Younger students will make things such as conductive play dough. These activities are in line with the province&rsquo;s Education Action Plan and ACTUA which supports X-Chem and inspires youth through digital literacy and computer science.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Last fall, the province stated that coding, an initiative in Nova Scotia's Action Plan for Education, is an essential skill which promotes problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking, and innovation.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>X-Chem is a multifaceted outreach program with over 20 years of experience engaging youth in science. The goal is to inspire curiosity in youth and stimulate an interest in science. X-Chem provides children with an opportunity to do hands-on science and to connect children to working scientists.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>For more info about the camps go to <a href=""></a>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 12:49:36 NO Canada Post Work Stoppage Contingency Planning <p><span>In light of the lockout notice issued by Canada Post, postal services could be suspended as early as Monday, July 11th. The following contingency plans have been established for the StFX Campus:</span></p> <p>1. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;To avoid the potential of items getting caught in the mail system in the event of a work stoppage, cheques for supplier/vendor invoice payments will be held for pickup in the Business Office starting today, Thursday, July 7th. &nbsp;Staff and suppliers are responsible to make their own arrangements by contacting the Business Office (902-867-2360). &nbsp;Any cheques not picked up will be mailed when Canada Post resumes full services. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>2. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;StFX has a contract with UPS for internal groups requiring courier services. Please use your university UPS account or contact Chris Wesley, Central Shipping/Receiving at Ext. 3997 for assistance.&nbsp;</p> <p>3. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Inter-office mail will not be affected.</p> <p>4. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Campus Post Office hours of operation will remain the same until further notice. However, external mail will not be delivered to Canada Post during the lockout.</p> <p>The following link provides additional general information on potential &nbsp;impacts of a Canada Post labour disruption:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>Thank you,&nbsp;</p> <p>Helen MacGregor CPA, CMA</p> <p>Director of Finance</p> <p>StFX University</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:26:49 YES