Top Ten

October 13, 2021

UPEI announces new nursing program, faculty of medicine, health centre expansion

The University of Prince Edward Island has announced that it is expanding its Faculty of Nursing, expanding the UPEI Health and Wellness Centre, and creating a new Faculty of Medicine. The expansion of the nursing faculty aims to meet the need for entry-level nurses to work in PEI’s health care system by expanding seat capacity by 23%. The new Faculty of Medicine, which has been created through partnership with Memorial University, will offer students a Doctor of Medicine “co-degree.” UPEI will gain immediate access to MUN’s medical curriculum through the partnership, and the program will be funded through $129M from the province and UPEI. The program is reportedly the first co-degree in medicine of its kind in Canada. MUN | CBC | UPEI (PEI)

RRU completes renovation of pool building into Dogwood Auditorium

Royal Roads University has announced that it has transformed an old swimming pool building into the Dogwood Auditorium. The building, which had housed a swimming pool used by the former Royal Roads Military College, has been transformed through a $15.2M renovation into an auditorium that seats 500 people. The renovation took two and a half years to complete, and was created with environmental sustainability in mind while also prioritizing the preservation of the building’s heritage façade. The building now includes an auditorium, a multi-purpose room, a media services room, and a meeting room. It will be used for convocations and will also be available for public event bookings. Times Colonist | BC (BC )

RQRAD agricultural research network created through $2.5M grant

The Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ) have announced the creation of the Réseau québécois de recherche en agriculture durable (RQRAD). The network is coordinated Paul Thomassin of McGill University, Jacques Brodeur of the Université de Montréal, Jean Caron of Université Laval, and Alain N Rousseau of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique and is funded through $2.5M from the Government of Quebec. The RQRAD will focus on sustainable and environmentally responsible agriculture that will produce high quality food. Programming is focused on a variety of areas, including accelerating knowledge about soil health, conservation, and pesticide reduction. McGill (QC)

UAlberta researchers receive $481K grant for “Armchair rancher” app

University of Alberta researchers have received a $481K grant for the development of the “Armchair rancher” app that could help ranchers manage their herds. The tool will predict trends in a wide variety of areas, such as weather and beef prices, and ranchers can use this information to make the best business choices for their situation. The app uses historical data gathered from a variety of sources, including ranchers, to predict future trends using artificial intelligence. “As everyone contributes their information, the data deepens,” said UAlberta researcher Graham Plastow. “The more data they contribute, the more valuable the overall armchair app becomes. They’ll have the benefit of both visualizing their information and melding it with general information to come up with a solution that works for their scenario.” UAlberta (AB)

Reversing defeatist habits through reframing writing as a gift: Opinion

Academics can reverse “defeatist” habits through imagining their writing as a gift they will give the world, writes Robin Bernstein. Bernstein argues that using this technique can reorient writers’ understanding of themselves, their readers, and their writing process. The author describes three benefits of reframing writing as a gift to the world: reframing emphasizes the value the author has to contribute to the field, highlights the humanity of the readers, and ensures that the writing is generous. It also provides a way to deal with rejection, as writing can be “repackaged” and “regifted” to someone else, and the original recipient can be gifted a different present. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

UMFA requests strike vote as collective negotiations stall

Members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) have requested that UMFA conduct a strike vote, which will be happening from October 16-18 reports CTV News. Collective negotiations have reportedly stalled, with UMFA members calling for salaries comparable to other similar Canadian institutions. The current wage offer has reportedly been mandated by the Government of Manitoba. “We want the University of Manitoba to continue being a great university,” said UMFA president Orvie Dingwall. “That means attracting great instructors, professors and librarians, and keeping the talent we have. It’s hard to attract new staff and keep existing staff when they can work elsewhere for fewer hours and more money.” Winnipeg Free Press (Paywall) | CTV News (MB)

MtA to introduce Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Interdisciplinary Health Studies

Mount Allison University has announced that it is introducing a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Interdisciplinary Health Studies. Students in the program will learn to use multiple critical lenses to examine health as they prepare for careers in health care, policy work, advocacy, and government. “Individuals … need to understand the social, cultural, economic, and political contexts in which our conception of health is formed,” said MtA President Dr Jean-Paul Boudreau. “The new Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health Studies will use an interdisciplinary approach, one Mount Allison is already well-known for, to respond to important needs in a rapidly changing area.” The program is anticipated to start in Fall 2022 with space for 40-50 students. MtA (NB)

USask students rally against sexual violence after woman assaulted

Students at the University of Saskatchewan are rallying against sexual violence after a woman was sexually assaulted on campus and threatened with a weapon. Students, faculty, staff, and supporters rallied to support survivors and call for changes that will ensure that students are safe on campus. Speakers at the rally addressed Indigenous student and international student concerns about safety, discussing how Indigenous students feel additional fears about their safety and how international students may experience barriers to navigating the systems to get help after a sexual assault. “Everyone’s safety on this campus is a right, not a privilege,” said USask student Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias. USask has temporarily increased safety measures, and administrators are considering how they can best ensure student safety on campus. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (SK)

ON postsecondary institutions honour Indigenous contributions, traditions through initiatives

Postsecondary institutions across Ontario are honouring Indigenous traditions, contributions, and identity through a variety of initiatives. Nipissing University’s Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) has announced that it has named its boardroom after Dr Muriel Sawyer, Nipissing First Nation Deputy Chief, who had assisted with translating the Student Centre’s signage into Nishnaabemwin. Canadore College has installed a tipi on its West Parry Sound Campus in an effort to create a culturally relevant space. King’s University College held a ceremony to dedicate the Reflection Centre, which provides a location for Indigenous ceremonies and sacred gatherings. The University of Guelph has launched an Indigenous-created “sound-walk,” a recording that guides participants in reflecting on the land they are on. Nation Talk (Nipissing) | Nation Talk (Canadore) | King’s | UoGuelph (ON)

UQAT launches MOOC on mining and climate change

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Les mines et les changements climatiques. The MOOC, which is available on the plateforme du Service de la formation continue, is comprised of an introduction and five courses which have been made in partnership with Polytechnique Montreal. The courses will integrate basic knowledge on climate change to teach students about the mining sector, mine waste storage area management, and surface management. Students will be able to learn about the mining sector and the environment at their own pace and can choose to take one or all of the five courses. UQuebec (QC)