Top Ten

June 27, 2017

Algoma, Shingwauk students vote not to participate in Canada 150 events

The Algoma University Students’ Union voted unanimously last week not to sanction or endorse any events related to the celebration of Canada 150. The campaign to refuse participation in Canada 150 events was led by Algoma student Quinn Meawasige, who argues that “those policies at the time of Confederation were designed to eliminate the Indigenous people. ... I just don’t feel like celebrating that.” Students at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, which has a formal relationship with Algoma, have also voted to oppose Canada 150 celebrations on Algoma’s campus. Algoma has issued a statement saying that it has planned a number of special events on campus for the country’s 150th birthday, but that it also recognizes the negative effects of colonialism and that it is important to acknowledge that Canada must continue to address historical issues. Waterloo Region Record | | Soo Today  | Algoma

Acadia receives over $915K for agri-food and beverage lab

Acadia University has received over $915K from the Nova Scotia government to support the Acadia Laboratory for Agri-food and Beverage. The funds will be used to help the lab become ISO certified, and will cover the purchase of a laboratory information management software system and additional lab equipment for comprehensive testing. An NS release states that these enhancements will mean that NS wine producers will no longer have to send their samples out of province for testing. “This investment is an important example of the ongoing commitment to support economic development in our region, particularly the growth and development of the wine/grape sector,” said Acadia President Ray Ivany. “Nova Scotia wines and winemakers continue to earn worldwide accolades and Acadia is proud to be part of this story.” NS

NBSA releases report on the State of Student Affairs in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Student Alliance has released a new report on the current state of student affairs in the province. Written in the form of a letter to NB’s lieutenant governor, the report praises recent efforts by the provincial government to provide tuition support to students from both low-income and middle-class families. The report also applauds the NB’s decision to extend medicare coverage to the more than 2,000 international students studying in New Brunswick. The report also calls for more public investment in PSE and in experiential learning. NBSA | Report

GPRC announces plans to expand national centre for bee diagnostics

Grande Prairie Regional College has unveiled plans for the expansion of their National Bee Diagnostic Centre - Technology Access Centre (NBDC-TAC), which has been in operation since 2013. Located in Beaverlodge, Alberta, the centre is reportedly the first comprehensive laboratory in Canada to provide a full array of diagnostic services for honeybee pests, pathogens, and parasites. At its current size, NBDC-TAC is unable to keep up with demand for its diagnostic services. Director of GPRC Research & Innovation, Bruce Rutley, unveiled the expansion plans and explained the ultimate objective is to establish the college’s NBDC-TAC as a National Centre of Excellence for Bees. According to Rutley, the expansion will increase capacity and help facilitate regional and international partnerships. GPRC

UAlberta adopts new policy to combat sexual violence

The University of Alberta has adopted a new policy and a procedure to better inform people on campus about what they should do if someone reports a sexual assault. The new policy lays out rules that apply to anyone on the school’s campus, and makes new provisions for those who report experiencing sexual violence to seek accommodations, such as a different place to live on campus, or a modified class schedule. “This policy is a statement of principles that the University of Alberta will not tolerate sexual violence and we have a duty to provide a safe, secure learning and working environment for our community,” said UAlberta Vice Provost and Dean of Students André Costopoulos in a statement. UAlberta says that it intends to release an update in August on its progress in adopting the remaining recommendations. Edmonton Journal

Shortage of QC aerospace workers complicated by lack of youth interest, international hiring

With an aging population, Quebec is seeing a concerning shortage of workers in the aerospace industry, reports Journal dé Montréal. The article explains that QC institutions such as École Polytechnique, the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), and the École nationale d'aérotechnique at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit currently offer programming that train staff for the field, but are not able to meet industry demand. UQÀM School of Management Sciences Professor Mehran Ebrahimi explains that the issue stems from a lack of interest from youth in these subjects, and from the fact that the best people in the industry are recruited by companies all over the world. Journal dé Montréal

Look to educate employers to help PhDs find non-academic careers

“The proposition that graduate programs should prepare students for the actual jobs that they’ll get—not just for professorships—no longer receives the fierce pushback that it did even five years ago,” writes Leonard Cassuto for the Chronicle of Higher Education. With this in mind, the author notes that the challenge of providing more non-academic career opportunities for PhD graduates has two sides: preparing students for diverse careers and prepare employers to recognize and develop these graduates’ talent and expertise. While much of the focus on PhD career preparation has focused on helping graduates transfer and market their skills, the author notes that the time has come to educate employers about the value of PhDs. The article highlights how several schools in the US are using career fairs and other networking opportunities to help educate employers about the value of PhD graduates. Chronicle of Higher Education

Holland receives $741K to enhance, expand trades training facilities

Holland College has received a combined investment of $741K from the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island to enhance and expand the trades training facilities at its center in Georgetown, PEI. A federal release notes that the Georgetown centre provides programs for 250 full- and part-time students. The funding will be specifically used to implement new electrical, mechanical and building envelope systems. “Holland College appreciates the continued support of our federal and provincial partners,” said Holland President Brian McMillan. “This funding will enable Holland College to perform much-needed upgrading to the Georgetown Center, which will enhance our teaching and learning environments significantly and improve the building’s long-term sustainability in the community.” Canada

NAIT joins pilot program to help students from the Philippines study in Canada

NAIT has joined a new nationwide pilot program designed to ensure faster processing times for Canadian visas for students from the Philippines. The Study Direct Stream pilot program is a partnership between Colleges and Institutes Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Annoucned last week in Manila, the program streamlines the Canadian visa application process for qualified international students from the Philippines, provided they meet the financial and English language proficiency requirements. Instead of the current wait of approximately six weeks or longer, the SDS program ensures processing within 30 day. “This program aligns with NAIT’s desire to help reduce barriers to international students who enrich the fabric of our campus and our entire city,” said NAIT Vice-President Academic Sue Fitzsimmons. NAIT

UOttawa, University of Lyon partner on neuromuscular disease research

The University of Ottawa has partnered with the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 to launch a joint international neuromuscular research partnership. The UOttawa Center for Neuromuscular Research and University of Lyon’s Institut NeuroMyoGène will fund four major scientific projects on neuromuscular diseases over the next five years, and will also see Ottawa residents complete medical training in France and Lyon interns to train in Ottawa. “Agreements like these send a strong signal to students and faculty that the University of Ottawa is open to the world,” said uOttawa President Jacques Frémont. “Scientific cooperation contributes to collegial relations between countries and we are very proud to celebrate the great relationship between France and Canada.” UOttawa | Journal dé Montréal