Top Ten

December 3, 2019

UVic receives $1M to support business innovation

The University of Victoria has received a $1M donation from Coast Capital Savings to support students’ access to support, mentorship, and financial skills. The funds will support the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC), a hub where students can experience hands-on learning in a work-integrated environment. The five-year funding agreement will help innovators and entrepreneurs develop business concepts, which includes launching ventures, supporting business plan competitions, and creating co-op opportunities. “This initiative fully activates our commitment at the university for engaged learning, hands-on experience, knowledge mobilization and positive impacts for both students and ultimately for communities,” said UVic President Jamie Cassels. UVic | Times Colonist (BC)

YK passes bill to transform Yukon College to Canada’s first northern university

The Yukon Legislature has passed a bill to make Yukon College Canada’s first Arctic university. Once Yukon College has transitioned to Yukon University, it will become the first institution in the territories to grant a degree under its own name. Research at the new school will focus on northern issues, such as environmental conservation and sustainable resource development, with additional emphasis on Indigenous content. “Our vision is to be the first northern university that focuses on Indigenous governance, that focuses on sustainable natural resources, that focuses on northern climate, and everything that flows from that,” said Chairman of the Yukon College Board of Governors Tom Ullyett. Globe and Mail | CTV (YK)

UWindsor to offer 24/7 counselling services to all students

The University of Windsor, in partnership with the University of Windsor’s Students’ Alliance, has launched My Student Support Program (MySSP), an initiative that will offer 24/7 counselling services to the school’s entire student body. Previously only available to international students, MySSP will now enable all students to access round-the-clock phone support and a live text-chat function with licensed counsellors. “Access to services like these is in direct alignment with UWindsor’s Student Mental Health Strategy and a priority of the University of Windsor in response to the growing need for mental health supports across all campuses,” said UWindsor Executive Director of Student Health, Counselling, and Wellness services Mohsan Beg. UWindsor | Windsor Star (ON)

“Well-being cannot be neglected if productivity is the objective:” Opinion

“It is clear to me that I have been trained throughout my academic career to make productivity the metric of everything I do,” writes Stephanie Whitney. Following the death of her father, Whitney realized that she was filtering many important aspects of her life through a productivity-centred worldview that was causing her to neglect her physical and mental wellbeing. The author reflects on how she has since been learning to reframe her definition of success. “The process of healing from both physical and emotional trauma has taught me that well-being cannot be neglected if productivity is the objective,” concludes Whitney. University Affairs (National)

MtA launches interdisciplinary certificate in Biopsychology

Mount Allison University has launched a new Biopsychology certificate to help students prepare for health-focused, policy-related employment. Combining two of the university’s most popular programs, the certificate requires students to take courses in both biology and psychology, adding an interdisciplinary component to students’ degrees. “An additional certificate helps to formally demonstrate our students’ expertise and experience in this area,” said MtA Biology Professor and Department Head Diana Hamilton. “It also helps guide students with course selection and planning if this is a field in which they plan to pursue future studies or a career.” MtA (NB)

Georgian launches new pre-apprenticeship program, provides placements with regional employers

Georgian College has launched a new pre-apprenticeship program at its Owen Sound campus. Delivered in partnership with Bruce Power, the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW), Employment Ontario, and the Huronia Area Aboriginal Management Board, the 34-week program gives participants a hands-on introduction to the construction, welding, and maintenance electrician trades, as well as academic upgrading. With Georgian, CUSW is committing to providing placements for all participants with various regional employers. Georgian (ON)

Durham’s FastStartDC launches business start-up accelerator service for social entrepreneurs

Durham College’s FastStartDC program has launched SHIFT, a new business incubator that aims to support social enterprises and entrepreneurs as they work towards making a positive social, environmental, or economic impact on the world. “We have seen so many incredible student entrepreneurs working with the FastStartDC team to develop products, brands and businesses,” said Durham VP Academic Elaine Popp. “Now the next generation of students will be able to take advantage of all that FastStartDC has to offer but can do so while building a culture of social change through entrepreneurial thinking and action all thanks to SHIFT.” Durham (ON)

UNBC Faculty Association ends picketing, files Labour Board complaint

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Faculty Association announced Friday the removal of pickets but indicated that job action will continue in the form of a withdrawal of internal committee service. Classes resumed at UNBC yesterday, and a senate meeting was called to contemplate the removal of the exam period and to discuss alternate ways to evaluate students for the Fall semester. The Faculty Association is also filing a complaint with the BC Labour Relations board arguing that the university’s administration is bargaining in bad faith. UNBC | CBC (BC)

UBC professor develops interactive software that allows med students to practice on virtual patients

A University of British Columbia surgery professor has designed interactive software technology that will allow medical students to practice on patients without any of the traditional risks. Ready for use by medical schools and hospitals, Karim Qayumi’s interactive software, CyberPatient, allows students to test their skills on virtual patients, immediately corrects students on mistakes, and even suggests the most cost-effective measures and remedies for addressing a simulated medical problem. “It’s all about making safer environments for patients but it also has the ability to reduce the costs of health care,” said Qayumi. Vancouver Sun (BC)

IBM, UPenn, Linux Foundation partner to create open-source data science curriculum kit

Postsecondary providers are not capable of developing and teaching curricula in data science fast enough to keep pace with industry demand, reports Education Dive. In response to this challenge, IBM, University of Pennsylvania, and the Linux Foundation, are developing an open-source data science curriculum kit. The kit will be comprised of a set of open source building blocks based on Python that will facilitate teaching core concepts in data science for undergraduate or graduate programs. The building blocks can be adopted and adapted by anyone, or updated with approval from an oversight committee. Education Dive | IBM (International)