Top Ten

February 14, 2022

George Brown creates Black Futures Hub

George Brown College has created a Black Futures Hub at the Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts building at Waterfront Campus. The hub celebrates Black entrepreneurship, art, and design, and will give Black and racialized students a space where they can connect, collaborate, innovate, and access programming. “[The Hub’s location] underscores our commitment to celebrate excellence within the Black community and to provide a safe, accessible, and inclusive physical space where Black students and staff can plan, foster, and deliver a robust program of activity,” said Chair of George Brown’s School of Design Dr Ana Rita Morais. George Brown has also partnered with SDHtoronto to advance messages of empowerment, equality, and allyship as George Brown works to foster an inclusive community. GBC (1) | GBC (2) (ON)

Dal receives $6M from CIHR for projects focused on improving human health

Researchers from Dalhousie University have received almost $6M in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support projects on improving human health. The research topics include integrating Indigenous knowledge into medical practices, hearing and sight loss, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. “[This research] promises to touch the lives of Canadians in extremely meaningful ways,” said Dal VP Research and Innovation Alice Aiken. “It could eventually return sight and hearing to those who may have otherwise lived without them, it could help calm the tumult experienced by those with anxiety and bipolar disorders, and it will help us learn from the insights of our Indigenous peoples who can point us in innovative new directions.” Dal (NS)

RRU releases new climate action plan

Royal Roads University has released its Climate Action Plan 2022-2027, which focuses on both taking a stand on climate change and encouraging others to become involved. The plan outlines a variety of goals, such as achieving a net-zero campus by 2050, implementing a Living Lab program, creating a Climate Action Hub, and increasing RRU’s climate resilience. RRU plans to work with others to lead climate action, with a focus on connecting with Indigenous communities. “To get out of this crisis, we must listen and observe how Indigenous people have been doing this since time immemorial,” said director of Indigenous Engagement at RRU Asma-na-hi Antoine. “Their practices and way of being are that … we live for our families, our communities, and most importantly for Mother Earth.” RRU | CTV News (BC)

How to mobilize postsecondary institutions to speed climate action

Postsecondary institutions should take steps to move toward net zero emissions by mobilizing their intellectual and institutional capacities, writes John Madden of the University of British Columbia. Reflecting on UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030, Madden provides a number of strategies for mobilizing the university community – including students, staff, and faculty – on the issue. These include developing governance systems and structures that are able to support climate action, establishing interdisciplinary committees, and embracing engagement from across the university. Madden also says that institutions should consider using investments and carbon pricing to support accelerated climate action and become more resilient. Times Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

ON invests $73M into program to train PSW, nursing students

The Government of Ontario has invested $73M into a new program that will provide training and clinical placements for over 16,000 personal support worker (PSW) and nursing students. The Preceptor Resource and Education Program for Long-Term Care program was created to support the recruitment and retention of long-term care staff by providing hands-on career development opportunities for PSW and nursing students. Students will take part in positive placements where they will learn how to deliver high-quality care to long-term care residents, while existing long-term care staff will have the opportunity to supervise students. The initiative will also include the development of long-term care clinical training modules, reimbursement for time spent training students, and educational institution and long-term care home engagement to increase available placements. ON (ON)

Faculty strikes begin at Ontario Tech, ULethbridge

Faculty strikes have commenced at Ontario Tech University and the University of Lethbridge, reports CBC. Over 280 Ontario Tech faculty members went on strike on Thursday after negotiations broke down. “Our workload concerns predate the pandemic, COVID-19 only exacerbated them,” said acting Ontario Tech faculty association president Kimberly Nugent. Faculty at ULethbridge also went on strike Thursday morning after failing to forge an agreement. Faculty say that their salaries are 17% behind comparable universities, and also raised concerns about workload, equity, and respect issues. “We think this is just a sad day,” said ULethbridge’s Faculty Association president Dan O’Donnell. “[W]e’ve been trying for two years to reach an agreement.” CBC (Ontario Tech) | CBC (ULethbridge) | Lethbridge Herald (ULethbridge) (AB | ON)

Cégep de Granby, local zoo strike partnership for tourism students

Cégep de Granby and the Zoo de Granby Zoo have struck a partnership that will create new research and learning opportunities. Students studying in the cégep’s tourism techniques DEC program will be able to take part in the Zoo’s numerous research and nature conservation projects. The cégep and the zoo will integrate projects into existing courses in the fall, and will explore the creation of complementary courses and special educational projects. Cégep directeur des études Vincent Larose explained that the program integrates work-study, work-based learning, and on-the-job mentoring projects to create an immersive learning experience for students who wish to work in the tourism sector. La Voix Delest | Cégep de Granby (QC)

Holland College, Brock launch new degree pathway for early childhood care and education students

Holland College and Brock University have launched a new degree pathway for early childhood care and education students. The agreement will allow eligible graduates of Holland College’s Early Childhood Care and Education program to transition into and complete a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree at Brock with only 2.5 more years of study. “Degree pathways such as this enable our students to receive credit for their studies at Holland College when they pursue a university degree,” said Holland College President Dr Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald. “This has tremendous value, as their learning experience at Holland College prepares them for the rigours of university.” Holland College (PE | ON)

Recognizing and overcoming barriers to inclusive teaching: Opinion

Two recent articles discuss the challenges posted by inclusive teaching for faculty who are seen as having less authority. Chavella Pittman and Thomas J Tobin discuss how adjunct faculty, faculty members of colour, or faculty who are differently abled often face difficulties when attempting to implement inclusive teaching methods. Both Pittman – a Black, female professor – and Tobin – a white, male instructor – share their experiences introducing near-identical flexible deadlines and ungrading policies and receiving deeply different reactions. John Warner shares his response to this article in Inside Higher Ed, and adds a further suggestion that instructors consider inclusive teaching through the lenses of atmosphere and responsibility and request that students “put in the effort commensurate with their own desires” rather than giving up their own power. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription) | Inside Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

UNB makes cameo in Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift song

The University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus has made a cameo in a new music video from Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. A shot of the campus from a bird’s-eye view, looking toward the St John River, appears 32 seconds into the video as the characters in the music video travel to college. The video footage was recorded by a Fredericton local in 2018 and sold to a stock footage website. “Just having it out there is a good feeling and getting to share this beautiful city and the campus,” said videographer Kurtis Knappe. “It just really speaks to what a beautiful, special place we live in.” UNB Fredericton invited the singers to come for a “campus tour anytime.” Global News | CBC (NB)