Top Ten

February 10, 2019

“Groundbreaking” concussion course from UCalgary aims to educate public and experts

CBC reports that the University of Calgary has developed a free online course to educate the public on sports concussions. “We know concussion has a significant health impact and is one of the most common injuries in sport and recreation,” said Kathryn Schneider, an Assistant Professor at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre. “It's a groundbreaking course in that there's no other open online courses that have been run in this area at the University of Calgary. It's the first one of its kind.” A UCalgary release adds that the course was developed in consultation with Pierre Frémont from Université Laval’s Department of Medicine. CBC |UCalgary (AB)

Staff at StFX Coady Institute brace for layoffs

CBC has learned that staff at St Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute are bracing for layoffs. StFX VP of Finance Andrew Beckett told CBC that Coady is currently operating with a $700K annual deficit, while Mary Oxner, President of the StFX Faculty Association, said the institute’s employees were also told that the pending layoffs are due to a $7M shortfall, $4M of which consists of receivables that have not been collected. CBC reports that news of the layoffs is the latest of the 60-year-old Institute’s recent troubles. A former Finance Director was found guilty of fraud in 2018, while staff have reportedly complained of an environment of “intimidation” and “fear” over the last two years. CBC (NS)

Smart Farms signal the new wave of digital agriculture: Olds research director

“The shift to digital ag and these new technologies has been a long time coming, but really over the last five years, there’s been an exponential increase in the number of technologies and the interest in them,” says Joy Agnew, Director of Applied Research at Olds College. In an interview with Alberta Farm Express, Agnew speaks to how Smart Farms, multispectral imaging, and AI have heralded cutting-edge innovations in agricultural education amidst shifting employer expectations. “It’s really been over the past three years where I’ve been seeing the industry wanting that more broadly skilled individual,” Agnew adds. “It’s not good enough to have somebody who is really skilled at one tiny thing.” Alberta Farm Express (AB)

Victoria University students’ council seeks to remove Ryerson’s name from residence, program

The student council for Victoria University in the University of Toronto wants to rename the school's Ryerson House residence and Ryerson Vic One programming stream in an effort toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. According to The Varsity, both institutions are named after Egerton Ryerson, who is thought to have been a lynchpin for the nationalization of Canada’s residential schools system. In response to potential accusations that the decision is tantamount to political correctness run amok, VUSAC Vice-President External Affairs Devon Wilton said that “the irreparable harms caused by residential schools can never be explained away by changing ‘moral standards.’ We know that what Ryerson did in support of the residential school system was wrong, and we know that honouring his name at Vic is wrong too.” The Varsity (ON)

Reed: In the classroom, mental illness is no longer private

“Student mental health is often treated as a private issue,” writes Matt Reed. “But when it spills over into the classroom, it becomes more than that.” The author describes a moment in which a student experienced acute mental distress in the classroom, and adds that few to no professors are trained to deal with such an incident effectively. “In the moment, most professors improvise as best they can,” says Reed, but the reality is that schools should either provide instructors with better training for such scenarios, or make emergency mental health personnel available on an on-call basis. The author then returns to the question of how institutions can best prepare faculty to effectively handle mental health crises in the classroom. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Okanagan seeking “the right blend” for tech careers with new blockchain certificate

Okanagan College will offer a new certificate in blockchain technologies through its Continuing Studies program. A release from the college states that the program will emphasize how blockchain can potentially improve peoples’ quality of life, as it has a variety of potential applications in banking insurance, charity, voting and other government systems, health care and real estate, and other areas. “It’s knowledge that will benefit small business owners too, who are increasingly needing to serve as their own IT department and look after their own security and e-commerce solutions,” said Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. Okanagan (BC)

USask launches Certificate in the Study of Indigenous Storytelling

The University of Saskatchewan will provide a space for Indigenous storytelling from multiple disciplinary and culturally-specific perspectives through a new Certificate in Indigenous Storytelling. A USask release explains that courses will focus on how methods of telling and recording Indigenous stories impact their dissemination and reception. “We hope that learning through the lens of Indigenous storytelling will help to provide an understanding of the past, the present and the future,” said Wendy Roy, Head of USask’s Department of English. USask adds that the departments of Indigenous studies, English, and Drama collaboratively developed the program, and that registration is open to all USask students. USask (SK)

Alternative Energy Lab reflects RDC’s commitment to renewable resources

Red Deer College has officially opened the Alternative Energy Lab, a dynamic research space that supports innovations in alternative energy. According to an RDC release, the Lab features mirrored technology, which replicates and simulates RDC’s on-campus alternative energy units. “We are providing opportunities for our students to get applied learning experiences with alternative energy systems, and we’re also a hub for learning, demonstration, and research with our business and industry partners,” said RDC President Joel Ward. RDC adds that a grant from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Strategic Investment Fund supported helped the Lab come to fruition. RDC (AB)

Dal partners with the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation for East Coast hub

The East Coast Hub of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has been launched at Dalhousie University. A Dal release states that the partnership with the NCTR will ensure that archives are accessible in the Atlantic region, and that the partners plan to introduce additional holdings to the Hub. Additionally, the Hub will facilitate oral history and community narratives, research and reports; support a broad scope of public education, research, cultural, and reconciliation activities; assist the NCTR in serving the public in a variety of Indigenous languages, English, and French; and fulfill regional or community needs and desires related to residential school research, education, and reconciliation. Dal (NS)

New RRU doctoral program serves students looking to “deep dive” into today’s burning business problems

Royal Roads University has announced that it will offer a Doctor of Business Administration degree in 2020. The blended program will synthesize academic rigour with the applied focus of professional doctorates, an RRU release states. “Businesses are grappling with increasingly complex challenges,” said RRU President Philip Steenkamp. “Leaders are looking toward applied research to inform innovative business practices and strong management decisions in today’s global economy.” Program Head Hassan Wafai added that the DBA’s unique advantage lies in the way it responds to changing Canadian labour market demands by preparing students to support industry. RRU (BC)