Top Ten

January 8, 2021

Campuses across Canada lower flags, hold ceremonies in remembrance of Flight 752

In recognition of the first anniversary of the tragedy of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, colleges, polytechnics, and universities across Canada are taking a moment to remember those lost. The University of Guelph, the University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University and the University of Toronto are among those that have launched scholarships in remembrance of students, lowered their flags, and planned memorials to honour the day. Global News reports that over 20 postsecondary institutions lost students and faculty when the plane crashed in Tehran in early 2020. Global News (UAlberta) | Kitchener Today (UoGuelph) | SFU | U of T (National)

RRC, SkipTheDishes partner on micro-credentials that train trainers

Red River College has partnered with SkipTheDishes to offer micro-credentials that will train SkipTheDishes trainers. The micro-credentials will provide a baseline of skills for training facilitators of operations teams. Upon completion, trainers will receive a digital badge with information on their skills and competencies. Graduates of the micro-credentials will also be able to take advantage of a pathway into RRC’s Certificate in Adult Education Program. “We’re excited to partner with RRC to ensure our trainers are set up for success,” says Eddie Garcia, VP, Global Care and Logistics, SkipTheDishes. “With a rapidly growing workforce right here in Winnipeg, the micro-credential courses have come at a perfect time.” RRC | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Hundreds of Ontario Police College recruits to arrive in Aylmer for training

Ontario Police College will start training for a new cohort of around 438 recruits from across Ontario at its Aylmer location next week. The Star says that lockdown restrictions do not apply to the college. Ontario Police College is following the health unit’s risk mitigation strategy and using safety measures such as mandatory screening and providing personal protective equipment. “Basic constable training is an essential training program to ensure that police services in Ontario continue to have the staffing resources necessary to keep our communities safe,” wrote Stephen Warner, press secretary and spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Training cannot be delayed as police officers are frontline essential workers.” The Star (ON)

UAlberta to open Hesje observatory

The University of Alberta has announced the opening the Hesje Observatory at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, which will offer students and community members the opportunity to view the night sky using professional equipment. The observatory, which is equipped with a rotating dome and two telescopes, will allow students to gain hands-on experience with measurements and analysis. An all-sky camera will enable the observatory to do livestreams and remote viewing for schools and postsecondary classes. “It’s a comfortable way to get people interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and careers,” said station research assistant Rae Metrunec. “I think almost everyone looks into the sky and wonders what’s out there—this will be a really exciting adventure for people.” UAlberta (AB)

U of T launches course in Additive Manufacturing in Engineering Applications

The University of Toronto’s department of mechanical and industrial engineering has launched a graduate-level Additive Manufacturing in Engineering Applications course. The course, which is available to all U of T students, is focused on the in-demand area of 3D printing. It will introduce students to 3D printing and computer-aided design, and will cover the “process of designing and building cost-effective and timely products using novel materials and hardware.” The course will prepare students for careers in additive manufacturing. U of T (ON)

UBC School of Population and Public Health director apologizes for holiday travel

CBC reports that Dr Peter Berman, director of University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health, has apologized in a letter to the academic community for travelling over the holidays. “I recognize now that I should not have travelled, and that many of you have made sacrifices over these past several weeks that I too should have made,” said Berman. “I truly regret this decision.” UBC director of university affairs Matthew Ramsey explained that the university has no jurisdiction over private decisions “but expects everyone in its community to follow health guidelines.” CBC (BC) Update (Jan 19): Berman has resigned from his position. CBC

UoGuelph, Mitacs partner to establish MCTI internships

The University of Guelph and Mitacs have signed a MOU to establish around 100 internships in the next five years for students in UoGuelph’s master of cybersecurity and threat intelligence (MCTI) program. The partnership will allow MCTI students to gain hands-on experience while working with industry and government partners. “These partnerships allow us to deepen connections across different areas of cybersecurity research and support advancements in our field, which will ensure safer digital and online activity,” said Dr Ali Dehghantanha, MCTI program director and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence. UoGuelph (ON)

Building a “third space” for graduate students: Opinion

Graduate students need a space other than a lab or classroom to engage with faculty members without the threat of being evaluated, write Rose Marie Ward, Amanda B Diekman, Ellen Yezierski, and Stacey Lowery Bretz. The authors describe their experience creating an interdisciplinary graduate student learning community where doctoral students could gain professional development experience and connect with people in other disciplines. Students in this “third space” came together to learn professional skills, share their struggles, and interact in an environment where they could be authentic. The authors explain how, during the pandemic, the third space gave students a community through which they could learn to navigate changes, build skills, and find new opportunities. Inside Higher Ed (International)

StFX begins winter semester with week of online classes

St Francis Xavier University has announced that its first week of the winter semester will be held online, with in-person classes starting a week later. The week of online classes will allow StFX students who have returned from outside of Atlantic Canada to complete a mandatory 14-day isolation before beginning classes in person. The week of online courses will also allow students from within Atlantic Canada to delay their return until all their housemates have completed quarantine. The Chronicle Herald (NS)

Balancing both a career and caring for relatives: Opinion

Many academics find themselves securing a tenure-track job at the same time that they begin to care for elderly or disabled relatives, which Denise K Magner explains can create challenges for balancing caregiving and academic duties. The author gives tips on how to find time for academic duties while caring for relatives who need help. The article encourages talking to colleagues about family obligations so that they are aware of the situation. The author also explains how ensuring that your contract is clear about your position’s expectations and duties can help you control your work schedule. Finally, Magner suggests keeping a writing schedule that is tailored to your writing needs and will enhance productivity. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)