Top Ten

August 27, 2018

Twitter Canada releases statistics, trends related to Canadian universities

Twitter Canada has released a series of statistics and trends related to Canadian universities that are using the platform. Overall, the platform stated that the five universities with the highest number of Twitter followers are McGill University, University of Waterloo, Western University, University of Alberta, and Concordia University. The most frequently mentioned Canadian universities on Twitter so far in 2018 are the University of Toronto, York University, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, and McGill University. Western University reportedly had the most single-day mentions of any Canadian university in 2018 when Justin Trudeau visited campus. The top three hashtags used in tweets about Canadian universities this year are #cdnpoli, #yorkustrike, and #AI. Edmonton Journal | Twitter Canada

GBC offers first-of-its-kind certificate program in Blockchain Development

George Brown College has announced that it will become the first college in Canada to offer a full-time certificate program in Blockchain Development. A college release states that the new blockchain program was developed in response to growing interest and demand for professionals with an understanding of this technology. “This program was developed with input from leading industry professionals in response to skyrocketing demand for advanced blockchain skills and expertise,” says Albert Danison, Chair of GBC’s School of Computer Technology. “With this new program, we are helping build the workforce that Canada needs to harness and ensure mainstream adoption of the technology.” GBC

Women from Lethbridge Pronghorns hockey team launch $1M suit against university

Four players from the University of Lethbridge’s women’s hockey team have launched a $1M lawsuit against the university, ULethbridge Sports Executive Director Ken McInnes, and team coach Michelle Janus for harassment and intimidation. The players allege that Janus made abusive remarks to players and allowed bullying, and that the university and McInnes did not do enough when the concerns were raised as early as 2015. The players are seeking $1M in general damages, $120K in punitive damages, aggravated damages of $50K, unspecified damages due to loss of scholarships and other expenses, and compensation for all legal costs. ULethbridge issued a statement saying that it would not comment on the lawsuit, but notes that it underwent a comprehensive investigation upon receiving the prior complaints and undertook a series of actions to ensure an appropriate environment for student athletes. CBC | Lethbridge Herald

Durham launches RISE to ensure equal opportunity

Durham College has announced the launch of a new service, called the RISE program, that aims to ensure equal opportunity for all Ontario residents to pursue postsecondary education. RISE stands for reach, include, support, and elevate, and the program is part of the Ontario Post-Secondary Access & Inclusion Program. RISE will support any current or potential students who need assistance in overcoming barriers through one-on-one coaching, dynamic programming, and making referrals to additional services when needed. Durham

Accessibility must be at the heart of online pedagogy: Jones

“As online learning becomes the norm across Canada, faculty conversations about making online learning accessible are cropping up in higher education conferences,” writes Chelsea Jones. But conversations are not enough when they fail to uphold standards of inclusivity that are at the heart of basic, proactive Universal Design for Learning strategies, adds the author. Jones writes that higher ed stakeholders must think beyond inspiring stories of individuals who are able to “overcome” their disabilities through grit and determination, and instead focus on what institutions are doing to better support accessibility. University Affairs

UQAM receives $500K to investigate sexual violence in higher ed

The Government of Quebec has provided the Université du Québec à Montréal with $500K for the establishment of an interdisciplinary, intersectoral research chair focused on sexual violence in higher ed. QC Minister of Advanced Education and the Status of Women Hélène David stated that sexual violence is unacceptable, and that its impact will not be tolerated in the higher education community. The chair aims to improve living, working, and studying conditions in all postsecondary institutions. UQAM

Western University gets $2.5M boost for ALS research

Western University has received a $2.5M donation from the Temerty Foundation for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis research. The funds will be used to develop treatment models and therapeutic trials for patients who suffer from devastating and deadly disease. Western states that the donation will establish the Temerty Foundation RGNEF Research Fund for ALS. “We have made major advances in our understanding of ALS and reached a point in our research that heralds a new era in the development of a specific treatment,” said Michael J Strong, Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “The future of this type of work is dependent on support and generosity like that of the Temerty Foundation. This gift enables us to continue moving forward, hopefully to the great benefit of society.” Western | London Free Press

USask veterinary college to operate Canada’s first PET-CT for animals

The University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine will host Canada’s first PET-CT unit dedicated to animals, reports Veterinary Practice News. The scanner was funded by a $2.5M donation and will be used for teaching and research. “The PET-CT scanner will really increase our capabilities, not only to diagnose cancers and determine the extent of the cancers, but also to follow therapy,” said USask WCVM Associate Dean of Research Elisabeth Snead. “And if we discover therapy A is more effective than therapy B, that has the potential to benefit other veterinary patients—and potentially humans.” WCVM expects construction of the PET-CT suite to be completed by the end of the year with the scanner operating in 2019. Veterinary Practice News

SaskPolytech, SCSA partner on safety training

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association have announced that they are partnering to provide training to students of SaskPolytech’s School of Construction. The Safety Construction Orientation Training, an interactive, online training course that includes WHMIS 2015, will be provided to the students at no cost. “Sask Polytech takes our commitment to safety seriously,” says School of Construction Dean Paul Carter. “We are excited for students to participate in a provincially-recognized safety training course, which benefits not only students, but also employers.” SaskPolytech

Dal launches Bicentennial Botanical Garden

Dalhousie University has launched its Bicentennial Botanical Garden, which was named in honour of Dal’s 200th anniversary this year. The university describes the garden as the Faculty of Agriculture’s “largest classroom,” which provides hands-on learning opportunities for students and researchers.  “Our Plant Science, horticulture and Landscape architecture students are all provided hands-on learning and research opportunities in the Garden as well as our Engineering students who provide hardscapes and other features that enhance our gardens and community spaces,” said Dal Agricultural Campus Principal David Gray. “Our entire campus environment becomes a classroom of learning, conserving, sharing, growing and socializing.” Dal