Top Ten

October 17, 2022

$85M in grants announced through CCI program for colleges, partner organizations

Over $85M in grants have been awarded through the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program to colleges and partner organizations as they develop solutions to community challenges. 50 recipients have received Mobilize grants, which focus on supporting student training and community innovation with flexible, long-term funding, and 26 recipients have received funds from the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), which focuses on fostering community innovation. The projects being undertaken include Northwestern Polytechnic’s research on regenerative agriculture systems, College of the North Atlantic’s provision of digital support for partner companies, and Collège de Rosemont’s project on the needs of vulnerable people in decisions about Montreal’s park spaces. NSERC (1) | NSERC (2) | NSERC (3) | NWP (National)

Professor’s claims to Indigenous ancestry questioned, UBC, Indigenous groups stand by professor

In an article for CBC, senior investigative journalist Geoff Leo has raised questions about University of British Columbia professor Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's claims to Indigenous ancestry. Some Indigenous scholars have additionally called on Turpel-Lafond to present proof of her ancestry since she has publicly said she is of Cree descent. UBC’s director of university affairs Matthew Ramsey said that “Indigenous identity was not a criterion” for positions held by Turpel-Lafond at UBC, and that her “identity is her own and the university is not going to comment on it.” Some Indigenous organizations in Saskatchewan and BC have expressed support for Turpel-Lafond, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) issued a statement saying that “[w]e understand that Chief Kelly Wolfe of Muskeg Lake First Nation, and her kinship family, all confirm that Dr Turpel-Lafond is part of their community under their Indigenous laws.” CBC reports that Turpel-Lafond has said she will not share private records. CBC (1) | Globe and Mail (Acct. Req.) | Vancouver Sun | CBC (2) (BC)

$5M gift toward cancer research creates research chair at UCalgary, expands CCC’s reach

A new $5M gift to the OWN.CANCER campaign run by the University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, and the Alberta Cancer Foundation will be used to create a new Chair in Psychosocial Oncology. The research chair will be housed at UCalgary’s Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. “The opportunities afforded by this chair will significantly expand the scope of the new cancer centre’s reach to address the diverse needs of pediatric, young adult and adult cancer populations, and encourage new and collaborative partnerships with underserved communities," said UCalgary Department of Oncology head Dr Don Morris. The funds will also be used to recruit the next generation of psychosocial oncology researchers and clinicians and to create the Daniel Family Foundation Psychosocial Oncology Hub at the Calgary Cancer Centre (CCC). UCalgary | CBC (AB)

SIIT launches Pawâcikêwikamik Mobile MakerLodge

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies has launched the Pawâcikêwikamik Mobile MakerLodge, which aims to foster innovation, emphasize culture, and support economic opportunities. Pawâcikêwikamik is a Plains Cree word that means “a lodge supporting those who dream.” The MakerLodge contains a variety of cutting-edge technology including a Tesla Model 3, 3D printers, drones, sewing machines, hydroponics towers, and virtual reality equipment. It provides training alongside the technology kits so that communities can explore these technologies more thoroughly. “The intention is to foster creativity and innovation, while emphasizing culture, language, kinship and connection,” said SIIT President Riel Bellegarde. The MakerLodge was funded by Crown Investments Corporation, Prairies Economic Development Canada, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, and SaskTel. Nation Talk (SK)

StFX, Acadia, partners offer on-campus, official homecoming events for students

St Francis Xavier University and Acadia University, their respective students’ unions, and the towns of Antigonish and Wolfville recently partnered to offer homecoming events for students to enjoy on campus. The official events were developed to provide students with engaging, safe, and memorable ways to celebrate Homecoming, without significant risk to participants’ health and safety. “Working with our Students’ Unions, we have created a schedule of engaging on-campus events to create memorable and safe Homecoming celebrations,” said StFX President Dr Andy Hakin. “We have seen what can happen when unsanctioned events occur off campus and how they impact communities.” StFX (NS)

Using blockchain for micro-credentials: Opinion

In an article for The Conversation, Athabasca University professor Dr Rory McGreal discusses some of the benefits of using blockchain for micro-credential implementation. McGreal writes that blockchain helps maintain the security of credentials, facilitates their dissemination, and ensures data privacy while giving students ownership over their achievements. McGreal outlines how micro-credential certificates and transcripts can be stored in blockchain and given to students by institutions to facilitate the use of blockchain for micro-credentialing. The author also points out potential concerns, such as the fact that mistakes cannot be erased from a blockchain, and that losing a password key could mean students are locked out of their own micro-credentials. AU | The Conversation (Editorial)

ÉTS, Concordia, Polytech MTL partner with Ericsson to improve 5G sustainability

École de technologie supérieure is leading a research program in partnership with Ericsson Canada, Concordia University, Polytechnique Montréal, and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on the use of Artificial Intelligence to minimize 5G network energy consumption. Faculty members and researchers from ÉTS, Concordia, and Polytech MTL will be supported by Ericsson data scientists and ECCC experts as they embark on a three-year research project to help communications service providers reduce their carbon footprint and operational costs while lowering costs for consumers. The research also aims to improve ECCC's Greenhouse Gas modeling solutions and help move towards global standardization. News Wire (QC)

Canadian colleges share new career, wellness supports for students

Several colleges have shared new and upcoming career and life supports for students on campus. Okanagan College partnered with Real Adulting 101 to provide all students with access to courses, resources, and guidance in topics such as finance, careers, life-skills, inner growth, and health & wellness. Loyalist College launched a wellness discovery series for students that included workshops in First Aid/CPR and Bystander Intervention, as well as sessions on topics like finding purpose. Humber College has launched several resources for international students, including a CareerConnect job portal, special workshops through the international centre, and forthcoming access to the Devant career platform. Okanagan | Humber | Loyalist (ON | BC)

ACC receives $2.2M to create creative media centre, remarks on shifting needs of industry

Assiniboine Community College has received $2.2M from PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program for the establishment of a Centre for Creative Media at its Brandon campus. The centre will be used to support the digital industries in rural Manitoba. Remarking on rapidly changing needs of industry, ACC Director of Advancement and External Relations Derrick Turner told the Brandon Sun that the college has had to modernize its services and program offerings in response to demand from local industry. “More companies were coming to us to ask about what they could change to train more students,” said Turner, “so administration created new programs and expanded space to accommodate them.” Brandon Sun (Acct. Req.) | Newswire (MB)

US undergraduates are increasingly seeking online education: Editorial

The numbers of traditional-age students at online institutions has surged in the United States, writes Susan D’Agostino. D’Agostino writes that the US has seen tens of thousands of traditional-age students enrolling in national online institutions, rather than pursuing degrees at in-person institutions. Students are attracted to the idea of gaining a certification in less time, saving money, and having the flexibility to balance their studies with their work and family obligations, writes D’Agostino. A recent US survey also found that the numbers of students planning to attend online classes has more than doubled since the pandemic. The author discusses the impact that this influx of students into online institutions may have on smaller institutions that are facing declining enrolment, and how the change in student behaviour could lead to larger enrolments at online institutions if students enjoy their online classes. Inside Higher Ed (Sub. Req.) (Editorial)