Top Ten

May 22, 2019

Ottawa invests nearly $600M in science

The federal government has announced that it will distribute $588M through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Discovery Research program. An NSREC release states that the funds will support 4,850 researchers and students. $426M has been allotted to 2,295 researchers across the full range of science and engineering disciplines, from biology and chemistry to advanced materials engineering and astrophysics. 499 early-career researchers will receive $6.2M in Discovery Launch Supplements, and $83M in Scholarship and Fellowships will be available to graduate students and fellows in the early stages of their careers. NSERC

Mobile classroom offers free trades training at Mohawk

Mobile classroom offers free trades training at Mohawk
Mohawk College has received $4M in federal funding for a mobile classroom that will provide free trades training for people facing barriers to education, reports the Hamilton Spectator. The Spectator adds that students may earn two college credits at no charge, and students may complete their training at Mohawk. “It can train individuals in welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, it can be deployed to train individuals in the apprenticeship trades across the spectrum of those trades,” said Jim Vanderveken, Dean of Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning. Although tuition for trades training costs about $5K per year, Vanderveken stated that the college offers financial assistance. Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Canada pressured to stop deportation of international student

Canada has seen growing calls to stop the deportation of an international student who worked for more hours than were permitted by his study permit. Global News reports that the story has also prompted demands for changes to the policy that led to Sandhu’s pending deportation—a policy that advocates have called both “arbitrary” and “unethical.” “It’s ridiculous that we’re treating international students as criminals for working too hard,” said Sofia Descalzi, incoming chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “The federation is opposed to any sort of deportation of international students based on financial needs or based on the fact that a student was working too hard just to make ends meet,” she said. Global News (National)

Western’s wind lab declared a historic site

The Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, a lab at Western University, has been declared a national and international historic site by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and the American Society of Civil Engineers, respectively. Natalie Samson reports that the lab, which opened in 1965, initially consisted of a 30-metre testing tunnel that could mimic dynamic wind conditions up to 88 km/h. Western later built a second wind tunnel—with a top speed of 160 km/h—and a water tank. The lab has been involved in testing for structures such as the CN Tower, Confederation Bridge, Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), Emirates Tower in Dubai, and the Golden Gate Bridge. University Affairs (ON)


Many Saudi students still in Canada despite pulling of scholarships

Many university students from Saudi Arabia are still studying in Canada despite being ordered to leave by their government last August, and planning is already underway to soften the impact on Canadian schools when those students graduate and are not replaced, writes Kayla Hounsell. Data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada shows that as of December 2018, there were still 5,100 Saudi students studying at Canadian universities compared to 7,620 in December 2017. However, Universities Canada President Paul Davidson notes that the situation has been a "wake up call" for Canadian universities that need to further diversify their international enrolments. CBC (National)

Okanagan launches program that combines marketing, big data

Okanagan College will launch the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Marketing and Data Analytics this fall. According to a release, the program will enable students to apply mathematical, statistical, and machine-learning techniques to support organizational decisions while pointing to new data-driven opportunities; manage and manipulate data and create data visualizations; understand digital marketing and the business application of marketing analytics; and perform primary and secondary marketing research. "Companies, organizations, and governments all recognize the value of the insights that are possible. This program is an example of our institution again responding to employer needs and career opportunities for students," said Okanagan President Jim Hamilton. Okanagan (BC)

McGill med students launch campaign for free menstrual products

Carolanne Gagnon, Alicia Lessard and Ariane Litalien—three medical students at McGill University—are lobbying the provincial government to provide free menstrual products in Quebec schools. Litalien told CBC that girls and young women who cannot afford the products are at risk of missing school or work during their period. "Tampons are definitely expensive. It's something you have to buy every month," she added. "Certainly a segment of the population can't afford it." CBC reports that British Columbia schools must provide free menstrual products, and the federal government is currently considering legislation that requires federally-regulated workplaces to provide them as well. CBC QC

Camosun Innovates partners with Clemson to bring affordable housing technology to BC

Camosun Innovates at Camosun College has partnered with Clemson University and Anomura Housing Society to deploy a new affordable housing model in the capital region of British Columbia. A Camosun release states that the college is already in the first stage of the plan, building a proof-of-concept housing structure at its Interurban campus. The structure is based on Clemson-designed sim(PLY) technology, which takes a DIY approach to construction through patented 3D building technology. "Clemson University designed this amazing, sustainable, affordable, and durable ‘DIY’ technology for housing," says Jamie VanDenbossche, Associate Director of Camosun Innovates. "And right here at Camosun, we have the advanced manufacturing capabilities at Camosun Innovates to bring those designs to life—for the very first time in Canada." Camosun (BC)

UBC project to help build positive sexual relationships for LGBTQ2S+ teens

The University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing has received a grant worth almost $1M for a program that supports LGBTQ2S+ youth. The Georgia Straight reports that the grant, which will be disbursed over five years, will support initiatives such as a series of proposed modules that focus on positive relationship skills and behaviour. "Most healthy relationship programs were developed for heterosexual, cisgender teens, and that leaves LGBTQ2S+ youth struggling to find advice that fits their lives and their relationships," said Elizabeth Saewyc, Executive Director of the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre. "By designing the program with LGBTQ2S+ youth, for LGBTQ2S+ youth, we can ensure it is relevant, because it reflects their reality." Georgia Straight (BC)

Nostalgia for "Peak English" erases marginalized voices: Chronicle contributors

When lamenting the decline of budgets, tenure-track positions, and programs in the humanities, it is essential not to succumb to the fantasies of "Peak English" that some might use to speak of the field’s glory days, write Devin M Garofalo, Anna Hinton, Kari Nixon, and Jessie Reeder. The authors critique a recent essay that they believe conflates the decline of English studies with the erosion of the authority among white male professors. While the authors agree that there is a disturbing correlation between growing diversity among humanities professors and the decline of the field, they insist that one must carefully observe and critique the ways in which this trend might inspire some to long for the "good old days" when white male professors spoke loudly and were listened to closely. Chronicle(International)