News StFX News en 14th President of StFX passes away Reverend Malcolm MacDonell died at St. Martha’s Hospital, Antigonish, July 25, 2015. An exemplary priest and academic of the Diocese of Antigonish, Father MacDonell was born January 15, 1919 in Hillsdale, Inverness County, son of the late William and Sarah (MacEachern) MacDonell. He received his early education at St. Ninian School and Port Hood Academy before enrolling at St. Francis Xavier University from which he graduated with honors in 1938. Father MacDonell received his theological training at St. Basil Seminary, Toronto, and was ordained there on May 26, 1945, by Most Reverend Ildebrando Antoniutti, Apostolic Delegate to Canada. Father MacDonell was awarded a Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1945 and later did further studies at Queen’s University and the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. In 1959 he combined post-graduate work with an appointment as rector of St. Pius X Seminary in Ottawa. His tenure as a teacher and administrator at StFX, however, was where his ministry as a priest was exercised to the fullest. He joined the faculty of the university after his ordination as a member of the history department and taught until 1964 when he was appointed dean of arts. Over the years he had combined his teaching with assignments as alumni director, dean of men, and spiritual director. As dean of arts he was instrumental in bringing about curriculum changes in the faculty of arts, making the program a more flexible and adaptable curriculum. In 1970, Father MacDonell was appointed president of St. Francis Xavier University and remained in that position for eight years. He led the university through some of the most difficult years in its history when student dissent disrupted the campus, and when government economics made grants to universities more difficult to acquire. His personal relationship with students, parents, staff and visitors helped to maintain and enhance the university’s reputation for warm hospitality and personal interest in staff and students. He was the essence of what StFX stands for and a staunch advocate of whatsoever things are true. He received much recognition from both the secular world and the academic community. He was one of only two churchmen appointed by the federal government to the Canadian Centennial Conference; was chairman of the Association of Atlantic Universities; and was a founding member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He was a recipient of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, was awarded Doctor of Laws Degrees from St. Thomas, StFX, and Memorial Universities, and a Doctor of Letters Degree from University College of Cape Breton. Throughout his life Father MacDonell maintained a love for and interest in the Gaelic language, the medium of some of his finest and most humorous oratory. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Alex; sister, Annie Gillis, and two brothers in infancy. He is survived by four sisters: Sister Margaret, CND Sydney, Mary Boyd, Jessie Murphy, Elizabeth, all of Michigan; sister-in-law, Theresa, Judique, and numerous dearly loved nieces and nephews. Visitation at Morrison Hall, StFX, Wednesday, July 29, from 1- 4 pm. Visitation at St. Andrew’s Church, Judique, Wednesday, July 29, from 7- 9 pm. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Andrew's Church, Judique, at 11 am Thursday, July 30, with Bishop Brian Dunn presiding with diocesan clergy concelebrating. Burial in the parish cemetery. Faculty are invited to form an academic procession at 10:40 am on Thursday in Judique. Academic regalia, for those who require it, will be available for pick-up from the StFX Bookstore during their regular hours prior to Thursday. Donations to St. Andrerw’s Cemetery Fund or the Judique Volunteer Fire Department. <a href="" title=""></a> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:00:25 NO Students looking to finance their education, can look to StFX for part-time job, bursary opportunities <p>StFX students looking to make a few extra dollars while they go to school have much opportunity at StFX. Last year, the university employed nearly 1,200 students with an average income of $2,445 per student, records from StFX&rsquo;s Human Resources Office show.</p> <div><span>A full 30 per cent of students find employment in various departments across campus ranging from the fitness centre to security to the Angus L. Macdonald Library to the Marketing and Communications Office. Interested students are encouraged to contact the StFX Student Career Centre at <a href=""></a>&nbsp;to inquire about opportunities, or to contact the numerous departments on campus that need students.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>A part-time job can be a welcome answer for many looking to help pay for their education or for some extra spending money.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>It is also a way to help improve skills.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Student Career Centre manager Jane MacDonald says working part-time on or off campus assists students with building their employability skills that will transfer to any future job.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Some examples of skills include interpersonal, decision making, problem solving, leadership, critical thinking, and communication, she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Working part-time while going to school also allows students to &lsquo;try on&rsquo; different occupations to discover likes, dislikes, strengths and passions, which can all help with future career decisions,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX offers various types of jobs from working with people, to working with data/things, to working with technology.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. MacDonald says Student Career Services has heard comments from employers who come to StFX to recruit students for summer or new graduate opportunities, saying that they seek students who worked part-time and/or were active within their community while in school.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The employers mention that students are able to provide better examples during interviews that highlight their organization, prioritization, and time management skills as they draw their answers from work-related situations.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The local businesses in Antigonish also hire many students in various roles,&rdquo; she notes. &ldquo;Most of these positions are hired on an as needed basis.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>International students are also able to work on campus, as outlined by the Government of Canada information at the following website, <a href=""></a></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As well, StFX offers a bursary program for full-time students. More than $350,000 is available each year, with awards values up to $6,000. More information on what is available and how to apply can be found at <a href=""></a></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:20:10 NO Joy of learning highlights 7th annual Classics for Classics at StFX <p>For 63 StFX alumni and friends, the joy of learning took centre stage at the 7th annual Classics for Classics, a popular week of painless study, held on campus this year from July 6-10.</p> <div>&ldquo;We invite alumni and others to come back to campus for a week of study, with no exams,&rdquo; says StFX philosophy professor Dr. Steve Baldner who leads the weeklong learning experience offered by StFX Alumni Affairs. The program is offered at no charge for StFX alumni.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Participants come from points across North America, ranging from early career to retirees. Each year it&rsquo;s grown, from 30 participants in the inaugural year in 2009 to 63 this year.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite an exciting week for them,&rdquo; says Dr. Baldner, who this year focused readings and lectures on Nicoll&ograve; Machiavelli&rsquo;s <em>The</em> <em>Prince</em>, and Thomas More&rsquo;s <em>Utopia</em>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He led morning lectures, while each afternoon guest lecturers, member of StFX faculty, provided talks on related topics.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re two very important works in political thought, both written around the same time in the early 1500s,&rdquo; Dr. Baldner says on this year&rsquo;s texts. &ldquo;They were revolutionary works that changed the way people looked at politics.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He says the texts invited lively discussion in class, including lots of comparison and comments on contemporary politics.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;They really are interested in ideas. They want a week of intellectual stimulation. They want to learn,&rdquo; Dr. Baldner says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s about the joy of learning.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As well as lectures, participants attended special events including a performance at Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and a Thursday evening banquet, which included an open discussion on relevant themes.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>This year&rsquo;s guest lecturers included Dr. Joseph Khoury, &ldquo;Machiavelli: &nbsp;A Teacher of Evil?&rdquo;; Dr. Guy Lalande, &ldquo;Girolamo Savonarola: &nbsp;Christian Humanist or God&rsquo;s Avenging Wrath?&rdquo;; Dr. Sharon Gregory, &ldquo;Princes and Power in Renaissance Art&rdquo;; Dr. Paul Marquis, &ldquo;Thomas More&rsquo;s influence on the English literary Renaissance&rdquo;; and a Friday afternoon debate between Dr. Louis Groarke and Dr. Joseph Khoury: &nbsp;&ldquo;Is Machiavelli a Christian Thinker?&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Past authors studied in Classics for Classics have included: Plato, <em>Republic</em>; Aristotle, <em>Nicomachean Ethics</em>; Lucretius, <em>On the Nature of Things</em>; Boethius, <em>The Consolation of Philosophy</em>; Thomas Aquinas, <em>Summa theologiae</em> (on human nature); and Ren&eacute; Descartes, <em>Meditations on First Philosophy</em>.</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Baldner gave thanks to StFX Alumni Affairs for their impeccable job of organizing and all faculty over the years who have taken part.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Next year, Classics for Classics will be held on campus July 4-8, 2016.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 08:21:24 NO Forum to showcase research conducted by StFX education graduate students <div>StFX&rsquo;s Faculty of Education is excited about a new initiative it is piloting this summer.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The first Educational Research Forum takes place Monday, July 27 in the Schwartz School of Business when 16 educators in the Masters of Education and the Interuniversity Doctoral Program present their educational research. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audience will be 140 educators, who are attending their first two courses in StFX&rsquo;s Masters of Education program; 15 new students enrolled in the Educational PhD program; as well as school board partners from around the province.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a showcase to talk about the work our masters and graduate students are doing, and to share that with other,&rdquo; says Dr. Joanne Tompkins, a member of the ERF organizing committee.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Committee members include chair, Dr. Dan Robinson, and Dr. Jennifer Mitton Kukner, Dr. Chris Gilham, Dr. Robert White and Dr. Tompkins.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This forum will both showcase Nova Scotian research, which is important to share with other educators provincially and nationally,&rdquo; says Dr. Robinson.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The context in which schooling happens is really important and it is often hard to translate research findings from one site to another. Sometimes research that is based on work done in large American or Canadian high schools in urban settings might not apply so neatly to a small community high school in Canso. The context of the research matters.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Also, we hope this forum will inspire educators to use research as part of their educational practices. Too often teachers see research as being something far removed from what they do as teachers. We want to inspire educators to use research as a way to inquire into their own practice and we hope that some students, particularly in the M Ed program, will consider choosing the thesis or project option.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Following opening remarks from StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald and Director of Recruitment and Admissions Justin Fox starting at 12:30 p.m., education professor Dr. Robert White will deliver a keynote entitled, &ldquo;What is research?&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>For the next two hours, research findings will be shared in a conference style format.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX VP Research Dr. Richard Isenor will provide closing remarks to the forum. A reception in the Schwartz auditorium from 4:30 -5:30 p.m. will allow for informal discussions about the research presentations.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The ERF committee wish to thank the Office of the VP Research, Continuing and Distance Education and the Office of Recruitment and Admissions for their support of this initiative. &nbsp;The committee hopes the forum will become a regular addition to the Masters of Education Summer School experience.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:22:18 NO Human nutrition graduate honoured nationally for undergraduate research excellence <p><span>Hannah Mawhinney, a 2015 StFX honours human nutrition graduate, has just received national recognition for undergraduate research excellence in the fields of nutrition and exercise science.</span></p> <div>Her honours research work investigating if vitamin B6 is sub-optimal for male endurance athletes earned her a 2015 Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism Undergraduate Research Excellence Award, presented by Canadian Science Publishing in partnership with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Canadian Nutrition Society.</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div>The awards recognize excellence in up-and-coming Canadian researchers.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;It is an honour to have received this award. I am very passionate about research so to be recognized in this field is both humbling and exciting,&rdquo; says Ms. Mawhinney of Truro, NS, who plans to begin a masters in nutritional science in the fall.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> She worked with her supervisors, human nutrition professor Dr. Jen Jamieson and human kinetics professor Dr. Dan Kane, to incorporate her interest in both sport metabolism and nutrition.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;We worked with the StFX male varsity cross country team to determine the effects of vitamin B6 status on endurance athletes&rsquo; performance,&rdquo; she says.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;B-vitamins play an important role in energy-producing pathways during exercise, however, whether or not athletes require increased levels of these vitamins is unclear. The aim of this project was to determine the athlete&rsquo;s performance response to increased vitamin B6 status.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> Ms. Mawhinney says StFX has a huge impact on her life.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;StFX has given me so many valuable experiences. The support I have received from the faculty and my supervisors over the past number of years is unparalleled. They have impacted my future goals and they continue to help me work to achieve them.&rdquo; &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 06:31:56 NO StFX Me to We Leadership Camp builds community, gives students tools for the future, participants say <p><span>After spending nearly a week on the StFX campus learning about leadership, social justice and community, 76 students, some of the best youth leaders from across North America, are leaving with new skills, a new network of like-minded people, and renewed motivation to positively impact the world around them.<br /> <br /> </span><span>The high school students, from across Canada and the U.S. were on campus July 3-9 participating in the StFX Me to We Leadership Camp, an in-depth week of programming focused on two main themes of leadership skill development and social justice and community.</span></p> <div>&ldquo;This camp gave us the tools to go back to our communities and effect change,&rdquo; says Kameel Khan of Montreal.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Participants learned from experts in the field of leadership, faculty, staff and Me to We facilitators. Every day they looked at a different theme, which led into different global issues, he said.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Not only did we learn, we shared the same passion, and that really helped us connect.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>While there are naysayers in the world, he says, the camp really opened his eyes to the fact that there are also so many people who support you. &ldquo;It helps motivate you.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;My favorite thing was the overall sense of community,&rdquo; says Olivia Parsons of St. John&rsquo;s, NL. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s so refreshing to be around people who have a similar mindset, to be immersed in everyone&rsquo;s passion.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;These people all have so much potential. I feel like I have 75 allies from all across Canada and the U.S.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s exactly how I&rsquo;d describe it, a family,&rdquo; agrees Payton Stites of Minnesota.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>She says as president of her school&rsquo;s student council, she wanted to attend the camp to broaden her leadership skills, to make herself a better leader, and to bring these skills back to help make her community better.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Esm&eacute; Lee Archer-Roussell of Halifax, NS says she&rsquo;s never attended a camp like this before. She says she held back from attending things like this as she wondered at what level people would connect. She says as someone who is more of an introvert, she hasn&rsquo;t always felt the need to become involved. &ldquo;I was tired of isolating myself and not accepting new opportunities. I wanted to branch out and expand.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This camp did that, I wasn&rsquo;t expecting it. It successfully created a safe environment. It helped people connect with other people and show more of themselves, to be allowed to see that part of someone is really significant.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This one was special,&rdquo; Ms. Parson agrees. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never been part of a program where everyone was able to be so vulnerable.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m always amazed at how much more I keep learning,&rdquo; says Addy Strickland of Ottawa, who says being surrounded by like-minded people and adding new learning tools is an enriching experience and a confidence builder.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Describing their experience on the StFX campus as &ldquo;amazing,&rdquo; the students said it was helpful to tour the campus, to meet with faculty and students, to see what kind of school they may like to attend, and learn about directions they could take after finishing high school.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:30:30 NO StFX welcomes PhD education cohort to campus <p><span>A cohort of education doctoral students are at StFX for the month of July for an intensive, residential summer institute that is part of a uniquely Nova Scotian program offering PhD studies with Atlantic Canada&rsquo;s finest educational scholars and researchers.</span></p> <div><span>Three Nova Scotia universities&mdash;StFX, Mount Saint Vincent University and Acadia University&ndash;jointly offer the PhD in Educational Studies doctoral program that draws upon the collective resources of this scholarly community.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This year we have 12 new students enrolled in the program,&rdquo; says StFX education faculty member Dr. David Young, who serves as the doctoral coordinator at StFX, as well as the chair of the Inter-University Doctoral Administrative Committee (IDAC), which oversees the entire program.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;They are spending the month of July on the StFX campus where they will complete two courses: Foundations of Educational Inquiry with Dr. Margaret Olson, and Methodological Perspectives on Educational Research with Dr. Robert White. These summer courses are offered on-site each July, and rotate among the three universities.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Young says the PhD in Educational Studies, which was launched in 2010, is a great example of inter-university cooperation.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Besides these summer courses, students will also complete additional courses via an e-learning platform, a portfolio and a dissertation, he says. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The program is a unique opportunity for students to learn and study with professors from three Nova Scotia universities,&rdquo; he says.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;In the end, the joint PhD program does a great job of exposing students to many of the relevant issues involved in education, but besides that, contributes to students becoming educational researchers in their own right.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> International student Liad Neem of Israel says he is thrilled to attend the PhD program for many reasons.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;One of them is that the program is constructed in a manner that facilitates a meaningful opportunity to prepare ourselves to the study we wish to pursue. As far as I know, the concept of guiding students to assemble a portfolio through which they would deepen their philosophical, methodological and ethical understanding concerning the field they wish to study is rather unique in PhD programs, and I find as very constructive for me.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Doctoral student Gary Leyte says the program offers students the best that three of Nova Scotia's great universities can offer. &ldquo;I feel absolutely honoured to have been given this opportunity to learn from very experienced and distinguished professors from StFX, Acadia and Mount St. Vincent universities.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I know that I could have completed a PhD program in my home province, Newfoundland, but when this opportunity was presented to me, I applied and was very excited when I was chosen.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Fellow doctoral student Sandra Pickrell Baker says staying on site and having an intense time with the cohort is facilitating forming relationships that will continue to be helpful as the students return to their home universities and stay connected through course work.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:19:06 NO Teachers are back in school at StFX <p><span>Less than a week after public schools closed across the country, StFX welcomed 120 teachers into the Masters of Education program on campus on July 6 for the first course in their graduate degree. &nbsp;</span></p> <div>These educators are from all parts of Canada and are here for the month of July completing their first two courses in their 36 credit program.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Dr. Joanne Tompkins, chair of the Department of Leadership and Curriculum, talked about the excitement that surrounds the first day. &ldquo;We are so impressed with these educators who come back to school to engage in professional learning. While they do it for themselves, they also do it so they can better serve the learners they teach.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> She says some students are enrolled in cohorts in Early Elementary Pedagogy, Mental Health Education and Teaching Indigenous students while others are enrolled in open courses.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a great deal of wonderful conversations as teachers from different boards, communities and teaching locations talk to each other about the work they do. In one small group you might have a conversation about student motivation among teachers working in China, in a Mi&rsquo;kmaw community in Nova Scotia, and a large high school in Calgary. It is incredibly rich learning.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;In our program we are committed to the principles of adult learning which recognize that our learners bring a great deal of prior knowledge and experience to the learning and we make sure to make the time/space for them to bring that into the learning.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> In addition to the 120 new master&rsquo;s students, there are approximately 200 continuing M.Ed. students who are taking combinations of face-to-face and online courses. This summer education faculty member Dr. Dan Robinson is leading a group of M.Ed. and B.Ed. students enrolled in a service learning course in Belize during July. These educators are working in a leadership development project in a Mayan community. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 08 Jul 2015 06:06:38 NO NCCDH participates in 10th national Community Health Nurses of Canada conference <p>Members of the National Collaborating Centre for Social Determinants of Health (NCCDH) at StFX were pleased to participate in the 10th Community Health Nurses of Canada national conference in Winnipeg, MB from June 22&ndash;24, 2015.&nbsp;</p> <div>The conference brought together individuals with an interest in community health nursing, from practice, research, administration, policy and education, to explore issues of mutual concern, exchange knowledge, and generate solutions with the goal of advancing community and public health nursing.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;This year the conference had a strong focus on equity,&rdquo; said NCCDH Knowledge Translation Specialist, Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh, who was joined at the conference by Connie Clement, NCCDH director, and Pemma Muzumdar, an NCCDH staff member working from Montreal, who managed promotion for all NCCs.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The opening keynote by Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, on violence experienced by indigenous women and the call for a national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women was a powerful demonstration of this emphasis.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Building off this year&rsquo;s conference theme <em>Blueprint for Action &ndash; Challenge the Status Quo!</em> the NCCDH facilitated workshops and delivered presentations. The NCCDH presented the soon-to-be-released case study about Ontario&rsquo;s use of specialized public health nurses to address social conditions that influence health. StFX nursing faculty Dr. Charmaine MacPherson was the principle investigator on this in partnership with the NCCDH and engagement of the Ontario Ministry of Health.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Workshops delivered with partners were about leadership and health equity, and evidence-informed decision making from a health equity perspective. Additional presentations addressed community nurses roles in advocacy for social change and engaging the public to reduce poverty.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The NCCDH, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and hosted by StFX, focuses on the social and economic factors that influence the health of Canadians. The Centre translates and shares information and evidence with public health organizations and practitioners to influence interrelated social determinants of health and advance health equity through public health practice.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:19:50 NO Minister of State Holder announces significant NSERC research investment; highlights research of StFX’s Daniel Kane into physical exercise, aging and disease <p>Seven researchers at St. Francis Xavier University received a significant long-term investment from the federal government today. The announcement was made by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants (DG) program.&nbsp;</p> <div>Funding of $867,500 will go to researchers and students at StFX, Minister Holder said at the announcement where he highlighted the work of human kinetics professor Dr. Daniel Kane, who is receiving $120,000 over five years to determine the effects of increased energy demand associated with physical exercise on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function, which has been linked to human health and disease, and the aging process.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Specifically, Dr. Kane&rsquo;s research will examine how muscle mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are affected by things known to alter metabolism, such as exercise, hormones and drugs.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;A key pillar of our government&rsquo;s updated science, technology and innovation strategy is ensuring that Canada develops, attracts and retains the world&rsquo;s most talented researchers. Our investment in researchers like StFX&rsquo;s Dr. Daniel Kane will increase our understanding of the relationship between exercise, disease and age-related health risks,&rdquo; Minister Holder said at a news conference.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Dr. Kane is one of the many talented men and women at StFX whose research continues to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians.&quot;</div> <div><br /> StFX faculty receiving Discovery Grant awards, all funding for over a five-year period, include Dr. &nbsp;Russell Wyeth, Biology $120,000; Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley, Chemistry, $100,000; Dr. Daniel Kane, Human Kinetics, $120,000; Dr. David Garbary, Biology, $105,000; Dr. Cory Bishop, Biology, $130,000; Dr. Brendan Murphy, Earth Sciences, $165,000; and Dr. Lisa Kellman, Earth Sciences, $110,000.</div> <div><br /> COMMENDS NSERC</div> <div><br /> StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald commended NSERC for its key support of faculty research at small, primarily undergraduate institutions like StFX.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I want to underline just how important these research awards are,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They provide critical funding needed to support a diverse base of research.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>The research awards are critical for faculty as they explore important new work, and they are important to help train the next generation of critical thinkers in StFX students, he said. &ldquo;Our undergraduate students work with full-time faculty on challenging research questions. It provides an unparalleled learning experience.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s so important. The research program is the key that unlocks the future for students and allows them to work hand-in-hand with our amazing faculty,&rdquo; Dr. MacDonald said.</div> <div><br /> Dr. Kane, speaking on behalf of all Discovery Grant recipients, said the NSERC program is a mainstay for research and is absolutely critical to institutions like StFX. The NSERC funds, he said, helps him to train undergraduate students and nurture exceptional talent.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Involving undergraduate students in nearly every aspect of NSERC-supported research at StFX not only benefits the research itself but also helps nurture the exceptional talent and innate scientific curiosity of students at a critical stage of their development,&rdquo; he said.</div> <div><br /> Dr. MacDonald said Dr. Kane&rsquo;s vision and insight perfectly represent StFX&rsquo;s approach to producing world-class research&mdash;research that directly benefits society.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;His work is also a wonderful example of our commitment to providing hands-on research opportunities for our students&mdash;opportunities not commonly found until graduate school. I wish to personally congratulate Dr. Kane and his impressive team of students on their great work to date, and I&rsquo;m looking forward to the next update from this talented team.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> Dr. Kane said through the research they aim to better understand the mechanisms by which increased energy demand associated with physical exercise acts to alter mitochondrial function in muscle, exposing key regulators of mitochondrial bioenergetics that have been missing from fundamental models of cellular physiology and account for many of the benefits of exercise to human health.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> This federal investment supports academic researchers, post-doctoral fellows and students at StFX as they make new discoveries in science and engineering that push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> The NSERC Discovery Grants Program is a foundation of the Government&rsquo;s efforts to develop and support talented researchers at Canadian universities. The program funds discovery in chemistry, physics, life sciences, mathematics, computer science, geoscience and the many branches of engineering.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> The awards highlighted at StFX are part of the results of the 2015 competition for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada&rsquo;s Discovery Grants, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Postgraduate Scholarships, Postdoctoral Fellowships and Research Tools and Instruments Grants.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>StFX VP Research Dr. Richard Isnor emceed the afternoon news conference. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:19:55 NO Experience at UN Intensive Summer Study Program truly impactful, StFX student says <p><span>StFX student Isaac Turner is back on campus after participating in the United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program, hosted by Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in New York in June. He says the experience impacted him on a number of levels.</span></p> <div>&ldquo;First and foremost, it opened my eyes to what opportunities there are to work with an organization like the UN and how to best go about pursuing those jobs,&rdquo; says the BA honours politial science student with subsidiary in aquatic resources from Kentville, NS, who was one of this year&rsquo;s MacBain/Riley International Fund Award recipients. He used the award to fund the experience.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Secondly, it gave me the chance to meet people who come from a wide range of backgrounds and to build connections that will extend far past the culmination of the program. In both cases, I think that my experience in New York has put me in a good position moving forward once I am finished at StFX.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;Overall, the program was a wonderful experience, and I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am to have received financial support from the MacBain/Riley International Fund to help me do it.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program is designed for graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and mid-career professionals, and teaches participants about the political dynamics of the UN. The week-long program familiarizes students with the inner workings of the UN by bringing them together with distinguished practitioners working in the field of multilateral diplomacy. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Students are selected to attend based on past academic achievement, demonstrated interest in the subject matter, and reference letters. The program attracts a diverse mix of participants from around the world.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;As a young person interested in working in the field of international relations, having the opportunity to participate in the UN Intensive Summer Study program offered a unique opportunity to meet other young people with similar interests, and to learn from individuals working directly with the UN,&rdquo; Mr. Turner says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;I arrived in New York with a working knowledge of the purpose of the UN and its functions, but left with both a better understanding of its political dynamics, and a greater appreciation of the complexity of the field of multilateral diplomacy.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>What was the experience like?&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;In one word, intensive,&rdquo; he says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The days were very full, and Dr. Courtney Smith, who led the course, even lectured during the hour long bus rides in and out of New York from New Jersey. Each day, participants met with officials and practitioners specializing in everything from peacekeeping and disarmament to such topics as UN reform, and the environment and development.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>He says participants heard from four to five speakers daily, with each speaking for about 30 minutes before opening the floor for discussion and questions.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;One of my personal favorites was Simon Adams from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), who spoke about both his own experiences working in the field and about the work that he now does advocating for the use of R2P in order to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity from occurring.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Turner is now working on campus with political science professor Dr. Peter Clancy for his second summer as a research assistant. He&rsquo;s working on two projects related to environmental policy - one on a small Nova Scotia watershed, Malignant Brook, and one on environmental politics in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The first of these projects is funded by the Centre for Regional Studies at StFX, and the second by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:40:35 NO StFX welcomes North America's best young leaders to StFX Me to We Leadership Camp <p>StFX is welcoming 76 of the best youth leaders from across North America to campus this week as participants in the StFX Me to We Leadership Camp.</p> <div>The high school students, who come from across Canada and the U.S. are on campus July 3-9 to learn how to positively impact the world around them. They will participate in an in-depth week of programming focused on two main themes of leadership skill development and social justice and community.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Over the course of the camp, participants will develop new leadership skills and take their existing skills to the next level. They&rsquo;ll learn from experts in the field of leadership, faculty, students and Me to We facilitators.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>They&rsquo;ll also immerse themselves in a university community dedicated to supporting student leadership and global citizenship.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX is where leaders come to learn,&rdquo; says StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re thrilled to welcome these brilliant young leaders and to help empower young people to act as leaders in their local and global community.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Sarah Cuddie, Me to We Coordinator of School Engagement, says one of the things they&rsquo;re really excited for is that young people are coming in from such a wide variety of places across Canada and the U.S., with such different experiences. &ldquo;It gives them an opportunity to really learn from each other, and to have great conversations,&rdquo; she says.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;A lot of these students are involved in leadership opportunities in their schools and communities, and are very socially conscious.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;To bring a very diverse, very socially minded, group of passionate young people together, it&rsquo;s a very rare occasion to share ideas and network and to meet young people who are also passionate about similar issues,&rdquo; says Me to We facilitator Chris Tse.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Tse says Me to We is really excited to partner with StFX and to offer the camp on the university campus.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;StFX has a reputation in the Canadian post-secondary community as a school which really places priority and high value on its students,&rdquo; he says, in both academic achievement as well as achievement in volunteering and leadership.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a perfect pairing in that sense. We feel strongly the school stands for the same values we try to offer through our programs.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:33:44 YES Going green: StFX, in student-led initiative, installs solar panels on Bloomfield Centre roof <p><span>People passing by Bloomfield Centre may not notice something is different about StFX&rsquo;s Students&rsquo; Union building. But indeed, 40 new solar panels have just been installed on the roof in a student-led initiative this is ever moving the university in a green direction.&nbsp;</span></p> <div>&ldquo;We are all really excited about this project for the initial environmental impacts, but also for the future benefits,&rdquo; says Mikaela Henderson, internal sustainability officer with the StFX Students&rsquo; Union.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Henderson is part of a student group, working with Facilities Management, on the project. Earlier this year, they submitted a proposal to StFX Vice-President Finance and Administration Andrew Beckett, successfully requesting that two per cent of the facilities renewal fee go towards this project.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;The purpose of the solar panel project is to not only to reduce the carbon footprint of the university, but also to start bringing more green initiatives to campus,&rdquo; the student team write in their report. &ldquo;To many perspective students, this is a very important factor in selecting a post-secondary institution as the climate change threat looms more and more over the younger population.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Henderson says the project started at the beginning of last year. The Sustainability Office, with Ms. Henderson as internal officer and external officer Victoria Cullen, have been working with Facilities Management Energy Supervisor, Kevin Latimer, to kick start a student-led solar panel project.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>After many Students&rsquo; Union discussions, the Sustainability Office decided to approach a group of engineering students to help with the project. Patrick LeClair, Jenn Samson, Jasmine DeZeeuw, Joe Deering and Erica MacIsaac, students in Dr. Emeka Oguejiofor&rsquo;s Design and Communications II class, agreed to come on board with the project as part of their final design project for the class.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As a team they worked on developing this proposal to help implement this initiative with the help of the Students&rsquo; Union and the university administration.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <span><img src="" alt="" /><br /> </span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><img src="" alt="" /></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ms. Henderson says that by having a student-run initiative, in conjunction with Facilities Management&rsquo;s efforts, there will be more awareness brought to students about sustainability on campus and what is being done to help this institution.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&ldquo;We brought it to Mr. Beckett and he loved the idea,&rdquo; Ms. Henderson says. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The project involved the installation of 40 solar panels, taking up a space of approximately 1,315 square feet on the roof of Bloomfield Center, facing south towards MacIsaac Hall. The power produced from these panels will go directly into Bloomfield and be used in that building.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span>Solar energy is not only sustainable, it is renewable meaning that energy will never run out. The fundamental advantage of solar energy is that it does not emit any greenhouse gases.&nbsp;</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Photovoltaics (PV) is the name of a method of converting solar energy into direct current electricity using semiconducting materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect, a phenomenon commonly studied in physics, photochemistry and electrochemistry.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><img src="" alt="" /></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>The student team from left are Jenn Samson, Victoria Cullen, Mikaela Henderson, Erica MacIsaac, Jasmine DeZeeuw, Patrick LeClair, and Joe Deering.&nbsp;</strong></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Mr. Latimer says for the calendar year 2014, Bloomfield Centre consumed 738,265kWh of electrical energy.&nbsp;This solar installation will produce around 13,000kWh of electrical energy (about 1.8 per cent of the building usage), which will be used internally in the building.&nbsp;The equivalent CO2 emission reduction would be approximately 9.4Metric Tonnes.&nbsp;Below are some equivalency results for the above green house gas (GHG) emissions:</div> <div>-<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Equal to removing 1.9 passenger vehicles from service</div> <div>-<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Equal to driving 34,350 kms per year in a passenger vehicle</div> <div>-<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Equal to burning 3,820 litres of gasoline</div> <div>-<span class="Apple-tab-span"> </span>Equal to burning 4,367 kg of coal</div> <div>- &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Equal to the average amount of energy used by 1.2 homes</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:36:20 NO StFX Celtic graduate joins faculty at Harvard University <p>A StFX Celtic Studies graduate has joined the faculty at Harvard University.</p> <div>Natasha Sumner, who graduated from StFX in 2008 with a BA honours degree in Celtic Studies and the Governor General of Canada Silver Academic Medal, recently graduated in May 2015 from Harvard with her PhD in Celtic Languages and Literature.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> This fall, she'll return to the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures as an assistant professor, where she will teach courses in post-medieval Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature, folklore, and culture.</div> <div><br /> It&rsquo;s a field she calls rife with possibility.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Even just within my own area, post-medieval Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature, folklore, and culture, there is a veritable cornucopia of material yet to explored&mdash;easily enough to fuel my passion for learning for a lifetime. For me, there was little question of not seeking to continue my studies beyond the undergraduate degree. When Harvard offered me a place in its Celtic PhD program, I was overjoyed.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> Though the field is one that has caught her attention, it&rsquo;s not one she grew up immersed in.</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Like many people, I came to Celtic Studies via modern popular culture&mdash;specifically, the music. I had heard Gaelic songs performed by groups like the Rankin Family and I wanted to understand them. I chose StFX for its Celtic Studies program, which is one of the best in North America,&rdquo; says Dr. Sumner who grew up on a farm near Evesham, Saskatchewan.</div> <div><br /> What prompted her to carry on studies in the field after her undergraduate degree?</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;I continued on to do the PhD in part because I strongly believe in the practical value of a humanities education, wherever it may lead. In the humanities, we explore not only how we think and have thought for millennia, but also how to think; that is, we hone critical thinking skills that enable us to evaluate not only the ways people have historically grappled with the big questions of their day in the various media through which they have expressed themselves, but also the big questions of our own day and the modes through which we and others engage with them.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Advanced learning&mdash;advanced thinking&mdash;is an admirable thing to pursue; whether or not it results in job security, it contributes to personal fulfillment and, en masse, a more engaged and conscientious populace.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> Beyond that, there is also the extreme &ldquo;coolness&rdquo; of the field itself, she says.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;Celtic Studies is an immense and immensely fascinating field. It encompasses multiple languages and cultures from antiquity to the present day.&rdquo;</div> <div><br /> Dr. Sumner had high praise for her time in StFX Celtic Studies Department.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;In my opinion, it&rsquo;s one of the university's greatest assets. Not only does it present a unique opportunity for students, given that only a few universities in North America offer either BA or MA degrees in Celtic, but the quality of instruction is excellent. This is hardly surprising, given the credentials of the Celtic faculty, which since the 1970s have always included at least one professor with a Harvard PhD.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> Indeed, she says StFX can rival Harvard for the length of time Celtic subjects have been taught.&nbsp;</div> <div><br /> &ldquo;The first Celtic course at Harvard&mdash;and in the U.S.&mdash;was offered in 1896 by Prof. Fred Norris Robinson, while Fr. D. A. MacAdam began teaching Gaelic at StFX in 1891. Today, StFX is the only university in North America where students can study four years of Gaelic language, and many alumni of the department have gone on to higher education and employment within the field. It is a gem of the highest brilliance.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:36:29 NO StFX philosophy professor publishes new books, invited to present lectures at international conferences <p><span>Dr. William Sweet of StFX's Department of Philosophy and the Program in Catholic Studies, recently gave the keynote lecture on &ldquo;<em>Antipolitics and Culture</em>&rdquo; at the annual meeting of the American Maritain Association in San Francisco, California.&nbsp;</span><span class="Apple-tab-span"> <br /> <br /> </span>In the past six months, Dr. Sweet's two most recent books have appeared: &quot;<em>What is Intercultural Philosophy</em>?&quot; in November 2014, and &quot;<em>Cultural Clash and Religion</em>,&quot; in March 2015. The former book, published in collaboration with the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, brings together perspectives from Africa, south and east Asia, central and eastern Europe, and the United States. As one of the few comprehensive studies of the field in the past decade, it led to Dr. Sweet being asked to address the topic at international conferences to take place in Wuhan and Tianjin, China, this summer.&nbsp;</p> <p>While in Asia/Oceania, Dr. Sweet says he will make a short sidetrip to Melbourne, Australia, where he has been asked to give a keynote address at a conference on '<em>Civil Society and Human Formation: Philosophy's Role in a Renewed Understanding of the Meaning of Education</em>,' to be held at the Australian Catholic University.<span class="Apple-tab-span"> <br /> <br /> </span>His most recent book, &quot;<em>Before and After Democracy: Religion, Politics, and Philosophy</em>,&quot; has just been accepted for publication by Peeters Publishers of Leuven, Belgium.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:43:41 NO