News StFX News en Third annual Holly E. Bartlett Memorial Bursary presented to Angelina MacLellan <p>A StFX graduate, described as an inspiration to many, was remembered and honoured during an award presentation ceremony held on April 17, 2014.<br /> <br /> Family and friends of Holly Bartlett &rsquo;02 gathered in StFX&rsquo;s Alumni House to celebrate her memory and to present the third annual Holly E. Bartlett Memorial Bursary. Holly&rsquo;s mother, Marion Bartlett, presented the award to Angelina MacLellan, a third year honours psychology student from Cornwall, PEI.<br /> <br /> Holly&rsquo;s sister, Amanda Jenkins, and her grandmother, Mary Brushett, were also in attendance.</p> <p>The $500 bursary, started by the Bartlett family and friends, is awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate female student from Atlantic Canada who has a minimum 75 per cent average, demonstrates financial need, and a commitment to community service.</p> <p>Ms. MacLellan is a student in StFX&rsquo;s Special Concentration in Forensic Psychology. She is a member of StFX&rsquo;s Discipline Committee, a volunteer tutor, a member of the X-Women varsity rugby team, volunteers with the RCMP Antigonish Crime Prevention Association, and at the Nova Institution for Women. She&rsquo;s volunteered with campus societies and house councils, and&nbsp;has been elected Arts Councillor for the 2014-15 year.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Holly touched the lives of many, many people at StFX,&rdquo; Financial Aid Officer Rachel MacFarlane said during the presentation ceremony.</p> <p>Ms. Bartlett was born in Halifax, NS, with an eye condition called Microphtalmia characterized by small underdeveloped eyes. By the time she was 13 she rapidly lost what little sight she had. She graduated from Prince Andrew High in June 1997 with several awards and scholarships including The Walter &amp; Wayne Gretzky Scholarship. She and her guide dog Willow started classes at StFX that fall.</p> <p>In 2002, she graduated with an honours arts degree in psychology, earning a spot on the dean&rsquo;s list. She also attended Carleton University, received her human resources certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College, and at the time of her death on March 28, 2010, was working for the Department of Community Services and enrolled at Dalhousie University where she was working toward her master&rsquo;s in public administration. Her degree was awarded posthumously May 2011.<br /> <br /> Ms. Bartlett was an independent young woman who never wanted her disability to define who she was. She enjoyed horseback riding, was involved in Toastmasters, and CIBC Run for the Cure. She was always looking for her next adventure and experienced sky diving, rock climbing and swing dancing.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:59:19 NO Poised to retire, one of Canada’s longest serving university presidents receives praise from former prime minister and Canadian leaders <p>National leaders in education, business, and the private sector came together on April 15, 2014&nbsp;with one common interest -- the importance of leadership and the profound impact a post-secondary education makes to the future of a nation.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href=";list=UUFlvpU8etHkaAW2UxVOWw8A">CLICK HERE TO&nbsp;WATCH THE ENTIRE EVENT ONLINE!</a></li> </ul> <p><br /> &ldquo;Dr. Sean Riley (President of St. Francis Xavier University) provided brilliant leadership to Canada&rsquo;s institutions of higher learning,&rdquo; said the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney, a StFX alumnus, at the St. Francis Xavier University National Dinner at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Why do people choose to go to StFX, situated in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and not in Toronto or Montreal is because there are big opportunities, said Mr. Mulroney. &ldquo;I arrived and I knew it opened the door to a wide world.&rdquo; <br /> &nbsp;<br /> The tribute dinner that focused on the achievements of Dr. Riley to post-secondary education in Canada also focused on achievements of Canadian leaders from the past and present. &ldquo;Because of your commitment to education&hellip; and all your contributions we are in your debt my friend,&rdquo; added Mr. Mulroney regarding Dr. Riley, one of the longest serving university presidents in Canada.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am forever grateful to my family, my friends, and the university. It&rsquo;s the reason I&rsquo;m smiling after 18 years,&rdquo; added Dr. Riley, who stated students are the heart of the future of Canada. <br /> &nbsp;<br /> Other guest speakers included the Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, as well as Mr. Rob Prichard, Chairman of the Board of BMO.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Over 400 senior business, government and community leaders attended the event, which was hosted&nbsp;by Amanda Lang, senior business correspondent&nbsp;CBC News, and&nbsp;co-host of The Lang &amp;&nbsp;O'Leary Exchange.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:20:48 NO Human kinetics students honoured <p>Several StFX students were honoured at the recent Human Kinetics Awards Banquet. Among those picking up honours for 2014 were:</p> <p>&bull;&nbsp;<strong>Jessica Doiron,</strong> recipient of the PHE Canada Award to a second/third year undergraduate student who has displayed outstanding leadership through his/her contribution to the Human Kinetics Society.<br /> <br /> &bull;<strong>&nbsp;Alexandra Munroe</strong>, recipient of the Jeff Graham Memorial Award for Friendship to a Member of the Senior Class.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;<strong>Shannon Crezel</strong>, recipient of the C.S.E.P./S.C.P.E. AWARD (Canadian Society Exercise Physiology) to a graduating student who has achieved the highest academic standing in the Bachelor of Science, Human Kinetics.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;<strong>Vanessa Duffley</strong>, recipient of the H.K. Birks Award to a graduating student who has achieved the highest academic standing in the Bachelor of Arts, Human Kinetics.<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;<strong>Alison MacPherson</strong>, recipient of the Melissa Landry Memorial Award to a human kinetics graduating student who has displayed outstanding volunteer contributions throughout their undergraduate degree at StFX.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:04:58 NO FluxLab draws PhD research back to campus <p>PhD candidate Sara Klapstein is pleased to be back at StFX in earth sciences professor Dr. Dave Risk&rsquo;s FluxLab while working on her thesis about phototransformation of dissolved organic carbon and rate determination of methylmercury photodemethylation within mercury sensitive lakes in Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia.</p> <p>The 2010 StFX environmental sciences graduate credits experiences gained during her undergraduate degree with influencing her academic pursuits.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was offered substantial research opportunities within the lab, and was prompted to interact first hand with the international scientific community by attending events like the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting held in San Francisco as an exciting experience and highly stimulating.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ms. Klapstein says working with an effective team in the lab was also tremendously helpful. &ldquo;The skills I developed then while pursuing my individual work have transferred through my MSc and now PhD.&rdquo;</p> <p>She says student success in the FluxLab is highly prioritized by Dr. Risk, who she says encourages interdisciplinary ideas and original thinking. In fact, her PhD is co-supervised by professors at three different Atlantic schools, an uncommon scenario.</p> <p>Ms. Klapstein says being back at StFX this year has allowed her to re-enter a very supportive research community and to contribute to the experiences of other undergrads and masters students as a mentor. She helped supervise Hillary MacDonell, a joint honours earth science and biology student.</p> <p>Ms. MacDonell&rsquo;s project focused on the microbial pathway where microbes prefer to use shorter chain simpler carbon compounds, and Ms. Klapstein&rsquo;s ongoing research specializes in the ability of more complex carbon compounds to absorb solar radiation and ultimately decompose.</p> <p>These two reactions both affect carbon pools within the park&rsquo;s lake systems. Their collaboration is contributing to better understanding reactions involving dissolved organic carbon, and the dissolved methylmercury concentrations and the risk potential for further mercury contamination within the aquatic Kejimkujik food web.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really satisfying to see how the mutually beneficial cycle of learning continues to thrive here at StFX,&rdquo; Ms. Klapstein says.&nbsp;</p> <p>Later this spring, Ms. Klapstein will move to Acadia University, where one of her co-supervisors is based, and devote increased time to lab work and data processing.</p> <p>NSERC&rsquo;s CREATE training program in Climate Science is funding her degree. <br /> &nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:44:21 NO StFX Schwartz School students experience real-life business issues in J.D. Irving Case Competition <p>Students in Dr. Neil Foshay&rsquo;s senior business analytics course found out firsthand what it&rsquo;s like to handle real-life business issues thanks to a partnership between J.D. Irving (JDI) and StFX&rsquo;s Gerald Schwartz School of Business.<br /> <br /> The partnership began last fall when JDI approached Dr. Foshay to see if they could create a case for his new course and conduct a student case competition, including offering $2,500 in cash prizes.<br /> <br /> Dr. Foshay built the case into course curriculum as a required assignment. Students were given details of a previous real-life situation to analyze and make recommendations. The competition aspect was optional, though nine of 11 teams chose to participate. The top four teams presented to JDI on April 1.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> After the morning competition, JDI officials joined the afternoon class to talk about the case and what they actually did in the situation.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The J.D. Irving Case Competition added a great deal to our course, Introduction to Business Analytics,&rdquo; says Dr. Foshay.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Students were excited by the competition, and the case itself was very interesting and provided students with the opportunity to apply many of the concepts we discussed. In addition, students were able to interact with individuals who 'lived' the case, which was invaluable. I look forward to inviting JDI to back to my classes in the future.&rdquo;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Dr. Foshay says it is critical for students to be able to analyze issues and equally critical to apply the concepts in a real world setting. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;These cases are a terrific way to do that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It takes concepts and brings them alive through a real world scenario. It makes it easier for the students to grasp the important concepts because they see it in practice.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> First place and a $1,200 cash prize went to the team of Kerrin Duggan, Liam Kane, Craig Overmars, Vicente Solorzono, and Han Wa. <br /> <br /> Kevin Courtney, Mary Ellen Greenwood, Craig Landers, Charles Range, and Dylan Rogers teamed to take home second place and a $600 prize; while Jordan Banyon, Steve MacLeod, Sam Matthews, Bhila Ndomo, and Baining Sa claimed third prize and $400; and Sam Babcock, Spencer Cameron, Ryan Fortune, Pauline Gong, and Christina Li teamed to receive the $300 fourth place prize.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:45:40 NO StFX grad and former Home Depot Canada president Annette Verschuren delivers keynote at very successful 9th Annual Business Banquet <p>StFX&rsquo;s Schwartz Business Society held its annual Business Banquet on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 with an all-time record of 150 students and faculty in attendance.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Annual Business Banquet is a great way to wrap up the year for both faculty and students as it allows everyone to come together and celebrate a successful year,&rdquo; says outgoing Schwartz Business Society vice-president Stephen Allen.</p> <p>Students had high expectations for the banquet, and society president Colin McInnis said it was a great success. &ldquo;It exceeded not only the expectations of students who came to the event, but it surpassed the expectations of the planning committee, which starts to plan the Annual Banquet early in the year.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /><br /> <strong>Keynote speaker Annette Verschuren </strong></p> <p>The Schwartz Business Society was honoured to have Annette Verschuren as this year&rsquo;s keynote speaker. Mrs. Verschuren, former president of The Home Depot Canada and Asia, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from StFX, as well as an honorary doctoral degree from StFX.</p> <p>She spoke about what it takes to be successful in today&rsquo;s competitive workplace with key messages that businesses need to create sustainability, and in order to succeed they need to attract diversity.</p> <p>The Schwartz Business Society thanks all their corporate sponsors, members of the Gerald Schwartz School of Business, and all students who attended the evening and made it such an incredible success, Mr. McInnis says.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:39:26 NO Building a Hive for Feminist Research <p>An interdisciplinary research group formed to increase the visibility and understanding of feminist research at StFX in all its diversity has just concluded a very successful first year.</p> <p>On April 7, 2014, the Hive for Feminist Research completed activities for the 2013-14 academic year.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had an exciting and innovative year,&rdquo; says StFX women&rsquo;s and gender studies professor Dr. Rachel Hurst, who constructed the Hive in the summer of 2013 to offer a space for researchers at StFX to share and discuss feminist research.</p> <p>Membership swelled to 45 people and the Hive became the first interdisciplinary research group on campus to bring together members of all four faculties&mdash;arts,&nbsp; business, education, and science&mdash;as well as the Angus L. Macdonald Library, the Coady International Institute, Service Learning, and the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health.</p> <p>&ldquo;The Hive defines feminist research broadly as a type of inquiry concerned with understanding relations of power, particularly those based on gender as it intersects with race, sexuality, class, and ability,&rdquo; Dr. Hurst says.</p> <p>The Hive met eight times during the academic year, and featured presentations by 14 members representing 13 departments and interdisciplinary programs.</p> <p>Topics of study were diverse, and demonstrated the breadth of feminist research at StFX, she says, from policy issues in education and health; women&rsquo;s activism historically in mid-twentieth century Canada and in contemporary Ghana; to elder care in Peru; narratives of depression and anxiety; women in early Christianity; to settler photography of Indigenous women in The Beaver magazine.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Dr. Hurst says momentum and interest is strong.</p> <p>Eileen Alma of the Coady and history and women&rsquo;s and gender studies professor Dr. Nancy Forestell will take over organizing responsibilities, and are looking forward to an exciting year for 2014-2015, she says.</p> <p>Possible activities talked about for the coming year include featuring the work of participants in the Coady Global Change Leaders program, a workshop on regional Aboriginal issues, a PechaKucha event on feminist research for students, a feminist theory reading group, and the construction of a virtual Hive. <br /> <br /> Dr. Hurst says all are welcome to join. Announcements of future events will be sent in the fall, or interested people can email Dr. Hurst at <a href=""></a>. <br /> &nbsp;</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:24:53 NO StFX philosophy professor travels to China and India for invited lectures, research discussions <p>StFX philosophy professor Dr. William Sweet has just returned from Beijing, where he gave an invited paper on &ldquo;<em>The Human, Transhumanism, and Embodiment</em>&rdquo; at the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Institute, he says, was founded in 2010, as part of Peking University&rsquo;s efforts to expand the study of philosophical traditions, the humanities, religious studies, and ethics for scholars, postgraduates and postdoctoral students.</p> <p>While in China, Dr. Sweet also took part in meetings dedicated to organizing the World Congress of Philosophy, to be held in Beijing in 2018.</p> <p>He also had an opportunity to meet and discuss his current research with a number of Chinese scholars from Peking and Tsing-hua universities, two of the premier universities in the country, and to give a special lecture to an undergraduate honours humanities symposium.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>Dr. Sweet with students at Peking University.</strong></p> <p>Earlier in March, Dr. Sweet was invited to give an inaugural lecture to the newly-established Department of Women&rsquo;s Studies at the University of Madras, as well as lectures to the Anna Centre of Public Affairs. While in India, he also gave the LD Swamikannu Pillai Endowment Lectures at Madras, the Presidential Address at a conference on Indian Spirituality, and a plenary lecture in Bhopal, at a conference on Indian ethical traditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:42:21 NO Music professor Paul Tynan wins ECMA for jazz recording of the year <p>StFX music faculty member and acclaimed trumpet player Paul Tynan has won the East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for jazz recording of the year for BiCoastal Collective: Chapter Three, from the ensemble he co-leads with Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Aaron Lington.<br /> <br /> The awards were handed out in Charlottetown, PEI on April 6.<br /> <br /> &quot;Needless to say I am extremely excited about winning the 2014 ECMA jazz recording of the year award,&rdquo; says Prof. Tynan, who also played a showcase at the ECMAs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The ECMA jazz showcase was fantastic. Lots of creative, groove filled ear candy. The hang was tremendous: old friends, new friends, past and present students - StFX has had such a hand in shaping the Atlantic Canadian music scene. There were X-Rings everywhere.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Prof. Tynan gave thanks to all the bands, Jeri Brown, The Chronos Band, Teresa Doyle, Breagh MacKinnon, and Les Pa&iuml;ens, for creating such a good evening, and to Dan Rowswell and Doug Millington for keeping everything rolling.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Only thing that could have made it even sweeter would have been the presence of my co&ndash;conspirator, Aaron Lington. The ECMA jazz recording of the year award for BC3 is just as much his as it is mine. Needless to say I am honoured to be included among the long list of past winners of this award. I need to thank the band that made the music on the recording tick too, Ashley Summers (bs), Corey Christiansen (gtr), Jon Deitemyer (dr), and Dan Murphy (rhds).&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:58:15 NO Mobile technology and children's physical activity, subject of StFX human kinetics professor's talk at Herald University <p>&ldquo;Is Mobile Technology Making Our Kids Sick?&rdquo; That&rsquo;s the topic StFX human kinetics professor Dr. Angie Kolen will address when she presents at The Chronicle Herald&rsquo;s recently announced Herald University, a one-day event designed to connect the public with some of Atlantic Canada&rsquo;s top university professors, taking place in Halifax, NS on April 26.</p> <p>The event (<a href=""></a>) will cover a range of topics including health, literature, economics and security. <br /> Dr. Kolen will discuss the lack of children&rsquo;s physical activity and the competing distraction from screen-based sedentary behaviours.</p> <p>Also presenting at the event are Dr. Jeff Hennessy of Acadia University on &ldquo;What Was So Great About the Music of the 1960s?&rdquo;; David Charters of the University of New Brunswick on the topic of &ldquo;What Does Edward Snowden Mean for Canada and the &lsquo;Five Eyes&rsquo;?&rdquo;; Dr. Todd Hatchette of Dalhousie University on &ldquo;The War on Bugs: What Happens When Antibiotics Stop Working?&rdquo;; and Peter O&rsquo;Brien, also of Dalhousie, on &ldquo;Why Ancient Heroes Matter: Odysseus Reads The Ivany Report.&rdquo;</p> <p>Dr. Kolen has been actively promoting physical activity to children with her students since joining StFX&rsquo;s Department of Human Kinetics in 2001. She was recognized in 2005 with an Outstanding Teaching Award from StFX, in 2007 with the Atlantic Association of Universities Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2010 with the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. <br /> <br /> Although her primary teaching responsibilities are to students in their first and fourth years, she is heavily involved in the StFX and broader communities delivering presentations/workshops, organizing student research days, and contributing her expertise on a number of local, provincial and national committees. Dr. Kolen is also a co-facilitator of the StFX Leadership Academy, the only one of its kind in Canada. <br /> <br /> Dr. Kolen has been a co- or lead investigator in three provincial surveillances of physical activity and dietary intake of students in Grades 3, 7, and 11 in Nova Scotia. In addition to informing provincial policies, this research has led to the creation and implementation of Fit 4 Life, an after-school low-organized games program for students in Grades 2 to 5 and the Fit 4 Tots, movement exploration program for children under the age of five years and their parents/guardians. These 10-week programs are delivered each term by Dr. Kolen and about 60-70 StFX university student volunteers as part of their service learning.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:26:10 NO StFX Marine Ecology Lab starting new, large scale project; attracts three new European students <p>Canada Research Chair in Marine Ecology Dr. Ricardo Scrosati&rsquo;s Marine&nbsp;Ecology Lab has attracted three new European students to StFX for research projects. Willy Petzold from the University of Kassel in Germany is doing his master's thesis at StFX, while Maike Willers, also from the University of Kassel, and Camilla Bertolini, from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, are doing research internships.</p> <p>Their work is covered by funding from Dr. Scrosati&rsquo;s NSERC Discovery Grant.</p> <p>The students will gain much experience during their time here.</p> <p>&ldquo;This year, we're starting a large-scale project that will look at the environmental factors that drive species biodiversity along the entire coast of Nova Scotia, from northern Cape Breton to the southern tip of Shelburne County,&rdquo; Dr. Scrosati says.</p> <p>The research team will place a number of submersible sensors on rocky shores and will use satellite data to investigate how thermal stress and near shore pelagic productivity affect the recruitment of intertidal invertebrates and the consequent structure of biological communities.</p> <p>Dr. Scrosati says the ultimate goal to be achieved after years of field observations and experiments, which will involve more research students, is to understand climate influences on coastal resources.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:24:14 NO Promising research continues from StFX FluxLab <p>Promising research continues to flow from StFX earth sciences professor Dr. Dave Risk's FluxLab.<br /> <br /> Midway through a Natural Resources Canada funded project, valued at over $1.4 million, his five-member project team is developing and testing monitoring strategies for detecting gas leaks from the ground over large areas for use in monitoring unconventional energy developments.<br /> <br /> In the first phase of fieldwork, in a Saskatchewan oilfield, master&rsquo;s candidate Jacquelyn Hurry, and PhD candidate Jocelyn Egan gathered baseline soil gas emission data used to detect anomalies, and compared notes with site owner and project partner, Cenovus Energy. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It felt fantastic to be part of research that has practical, real world applications,&rdquo; Ms. Hurry says. &ldquo;Our drive around monitoring surveys showed us in real time, small but measurable spikes in emissions based on events we were witnessing, like contractors doing gas well maintenance. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our results allow the company greater ability to mitigate potential environmental and production concerns.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Members of the team have also worked at Aquistore, a new Canadian CO2 injection site, which intends to demonstrate that storing CO2 deep underground is a safe, workable solution to reduce greenhouse gases. <br /> <br /> Bringing the work closer to home, StFX undergraduate student Liz O&rsquo;Connell has begun the project's second phase of fieldwork in Nova Scotia, and has already detected some unusual and exciting anomalies on soil gases in the New Glasgow area, in part using a specially equipped truck.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> She will outline her findings at the upcoming Nova Scotia Energy Research and Development conference in Halifax.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really cool that my research is contributing to something that really matters in the big picture,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Our project is demonstrating that our improved monitoring tools and techniques can benefit environmental performance in the energy industry, and will directly translate to lower soil gas emissions.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> In the lab, Drs. Martin Lavoie, a post-doctoral fellow at StFX, and Bjorn Brooks, faculty member, have shaped the computational aspects of the project, and, StFX student Laura Graham&rsquo;s research has also contributed. <br /> <br /> Some of the techniques developed by the team are currently being patented, and plans for follow up projects are moving ahead.<br /> &nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 07:31:34 NO Human kinetics students place one, two at Atlantic Provinces Exercise Science Plus conference <p>Six StFX human kinetics honours students presented their research projects at the Atlantic Provinces Exercise Science Plus (APES+) conference held at the University de Moncton on&nbsp;March 21-22, 2014 with great success.</p> <p>Louise Chiasson received the top undergraduate award for her presentation entitled, &ldquo;<em>I am not a role model: Barkley is out, but what female athletes?&rdquo; </em></p> <p>Additionally, Gabriel Quenneville-Himbeault clinched the second spot for his presentation, &ldquo;<em>A therapeutic skating intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder.&rdquo;</em></p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 10:22:17 NO StFX Vocal Ensemble closes season opening for award-winning group Duwende <p>The StFX Vocal Ensemble&mdash;an auditioned student ensemble of about 20-25 StFX students under the direction of music professor Ryan Billington&mdash;will end their season opening for the award-winning New York-based a cappella group, Duwende, which features the talents of StFX music alumnus David Lane as bass singer.</p> <p>The show takes place Monday, April 7 at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Auditorium.</p> <p>Duwende is best known for fiercely original, bass-and-beatbox-driven funk/pop style of music and have headlined major a cappella festivals across the U.S. In 2011, the group released Remember: the Music of Michael Jackson, gaining widespread acclaim and leading to performances for the United Nations, Sundance Film Festival, Bill Clinton Global Initiative, and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Most recently, they were featured as an international artist for the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta Indonesia, sharing the bill with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock, and Erykah Badu.</p> <p>&ldquo;This will be the group's first trip to Canada, and I am very glad that it is happening,&rdquo; says Mr. Lane of Red Deer, AB who graduated from StFX in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in jazz vocal performance with piano as a secondary.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I'm thrilled that I get the chance to show my fellow group members where I cut my teeth, and to get the opportunity to share what is currently happening in my musical life with my remaining friends in the StFX community. I'm big on nostalgia, so even though it wasn't long ago that I left the 'Nish, it will be neat to be back. The group is looking forward to our time there, and the evening concert is sure to be great fun. I only wish I had some more time to show them around Nova Scotia!&rdquo;</p> <p>Members of the StFX Vocal Ensemble are also excited about the experience.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am looking forward to this opportunity to sing with a group in front of not only an audience, but with the singers of Duwende in the crowd, it is very exciting,&rdquo; says Emma Vickers, a first year student from Bathurst, NB, who is studying music at StFX, in the voice program.</p> <p>&ldquo;Hopefully, we will all be able to pick up something from their performance, and apply it to our own singing/performing abilities, and a group as a whole. Basically I am looking forward to watching a live, professional, a capella performance from Duwende, and hope to be able to learn from this experience.&rdquo; <br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;Being able to open for Duwende at X is something that I am definitely looking forward to,&rdquo; agrees Reisha Felix.</p> <p>Ms. Felix, from The Commonwealth of Dominica (&ldquo;which is a beautiful English-speaking island in the Caribbean, not to be mistaken for the Dominican Republic,&rdquo; she says) is a third year student pursuing a major in biology. This semester ends her first year at StFX.</p> <p>&ldquo;They are a small group of young people who obviously share our passion for singing and choral music. They have striven for excellence and that comes with hard work! But they did it and have made a name for themselves; to have an alumnus within the group is an honour. Back home, my choir's motto, which I try to live by, is 'anything worth doing, is worth doing well.' Duwende seems to support this and by doing so has set the pace for many other young people interested in having fun with their talent.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tickets for the performance are $20 regular, $15 for seniors, and $5 for students.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:14:44 NO Immersion Service Learning leaves lasting impression <p>Michael Thompson, a third year StFX honours math and chemistry student, remembers hiking along a mountain ridge in Rio Negro, hearing a Guatemalan native tell of his life experiences, the tragedy this small community experienced, and their journey to rebuild and commemorate the lives lost.<br /> &nbsp; <br /> &ldquo;Standing watching the 177 candles burn at the massacre site was truly touching. The feeling of walking down the mountain in such a peaceful and beautiful place touched by tragedy was overwhelming, yet inspiring,&rdquo; says the Truro, NS native who was in Guatemala over Reading Week on a StFX Immersion Service Learning experience strongly focused on human rights. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This experience has left a lasting impression on me.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /><br /> <strong>In Guatemala</strong></p> <p>There&rsquo;s much to be said about being a participant who learns through action, agrees StFX student Zachary MacNeil who spent the week volunteering at school placements in Grenada.</p> <p>&ldquo;I actually felt the experience - I saw, smelled, heard, and tasted the culture and lifestyle of Grenadians. When the experience becomes real and personal, it is unforgettable,&rdquo; says the second year human kinetics student from Sydney, NS. &ldquo;These opportunities are crucial for students. They are eye-opening, fantastic, and inspirational,&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a feeling Julie Beadle knows well. The third year honours psychology student from Roberts Creek, BC, travelled to L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa for an Immersion Service Learning experience, and says it&rsquo;s extremely important students have such opportunities. &ldquo;As a psychology student, this experience made sections of textbooks that I have read for class come to life. This hands-on experience allowed for a different and very enriching form of learning that complements the type of learning that typically occurs in university classrooms.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Adds Emily MacDonald, a third year human nutrition student&nbsp;who travelled to Cuba, &ldquo;I believe that Immersion Service Learning is an incredible opportunity for students to learn about culture and enhance their understanding of their own culture. ISL allows half of a year&rsquo;s worth of learning and experience to happen in one week.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The four were part of 38 students and four faculty leaders who participated in StFX&rsquo;s Service Learning Immersion experiences over Reading Week. Four groups travelled to experiences in Cuba, Grenada, Guatemala and L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa. Another 11 students and modern languages professor Dr. R&eacute;jeanne Leblanc will travel to Belize from April 24 to May 7.<br /> <br /> StFX, the first Canadian university to offer an Immersion Service Learning program, has since its inception in 1996, provided opportunity for over 800 students to travel to Belize, China, Cuba, Grenada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Montreal, Romania, and L'Arche Daybreak in Ottawa and Toronto.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s Reading Week immersion trips included human nutrition professor Dr. Jen Jamieson leading 11 students to Cuba; nursing professor Dr. Patti Hansen-Ketchum leading 12 students to Grenada; political science and development studies professor Dr. Jim Bickerton and 12 students to Guatemala; and fine arts professors Janette Fecteau and three students to L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>In Cuba <br /> </strong><br /> As part of the immersion experience, each group is introduced to community development issues through meetings with community leaders, visits to historic and cultural sites, service placements, and reflection sessions facilitated by the faculty member and a local partner agency.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Ms. Beadle says she wanted to take part in the L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa trip after doing a course-based service learning placement last year at L&rsquo;Arche Antigonish. &ldquo;I absolutely loved it,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I wanted to expand on this experience.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>L'Arche Ottawa</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;The L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa trip particularly interested me because I thought it would overlap well with my current studies in psychology as well as my interest in speech pathology as a future career.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Through the week the group participated in everyday activities associated with living in L&rsquo;Arche, volunteered at day programs for people with developmental disabilities, and helped make dinner at one of L&rsquo;Arche homes, sharing a meal with residents, and participating in after dinner activities. At week&rsquo;s end, they helped organize a fundraiser for L&rsquo;Arche Ottawa&rsquo;s sister community in Honduras. <br /> <br /> Mr. Thompson says he was interested in participating as a way to broaden his awareness of the global community, as well as learn something outside his academic program. He says the experience has already encouraged him to think critically on everyday decisions and their implications on an individual and societal level. &ldquo;The choices we make can influence so many people in the world. It has inspired me to continue to learn outside the classroom and to reflect on my values.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I would encourage anyone to push themselves to have a similar opportunity. The StFX Service Learning Immersion is an incredibly valuable opportunity to travel with students and faculty that often embrace a passion for learning inside and outside of the classroom.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Mr. MacNeil says he had the privilege of volunteering at the St. Andrews School for Special Education where he assisted teachers in basic math, reading, and writing lessons, and played games with the special needs children. &ldquo;Most importantly, I was an active listener and just being present at their school to observe and learn from the teachers and students was the most rewarding part.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>Scenes from the Grenada experience<br /> </strong><br /> StFX political science professor Dr. Jim Bickerton, faculty leader for the Guatemala trip, says the experience was very educational, with a strong focus on human rights, including genocidal massacres against the indigenous population during the 1980s civil war.</p> <p>He says the experience was extremely well organized by their in-country host, Breaking the Silence and Jackie McVicar.</p> <p>&ldquo;The experience was emotional and moving but also intellectually stimulating. There was also great exposure to the culture of the indigenous Mayan population. I learned a great deal on the trip about human rights and indigenous peoples' issues. Getting to know the students in this setting was also very rewarding and renewed my faith in the high quality of students we have at StFX.&rdquo;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" /><br /> <strong>The Guatemala group </strong></p> <p>Dr. Bickerton says students benefit enormously from this kind of experience from an educational perspective as well as in terms of personal growth as individuals. &ldquo;I would recommend this experience for any student no matter what program or discipline they are taking. Having this option available, thanks to the ongoing dedication of Professor Ann Bigelow, Marla Gaudet, Susan MacKay and others associated with Service Learning, is important for the university.&rdquo;</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:44:23 NO