Top Ten

October 25, 2022

Indigenous-led NWT climate research station damaged by late wildfire

The Scotty Creek Research Facility, which studies climate change in the Northwest Territories, has been partially destroyed by a late season wildfire. The station was founded in the 1990s by William Quinton of Wilfrid Laurier University, and was handed over to the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation (LKFN) in August. The station attracted researchers from across the world looking to study environmental factors and hosted camps, high school students, and community events and activities. LKFN has stated that five of the nine buildings have burned down, with total damages of over $1M. The station will not run for the next year as it rebuilds, which may damage the local economy. "It's in our best interest to get this thing going again," said Dieter Cazon, the director of lands and resources at LKFN.“This collaborative work we're doing together is going to be the only way we're going to figure a lot of these answers out.” Brandon Sun | Toronto Star | CBC (NWT)

New emergency services training structure opened at MESC

The Government of Manitoba has announced the opening of a new emergency services training structure at the Manitoba Emergency Services College. The structure replaces one that is over 20 years old and will provide a high-quality training environment that expands the college’s training capacity. It includes high-angle training capabilities, simulated smoke for non-live fire scenario training, and confined-space rescue training aids for improved safety. “The Manitoba Emergency Services College here in Brandon has long been recognized as a vital training site for first responders, so ensuring that it is in top form to offer the best teaching tools available will provide emergency response personnel with skills needed to meet the unique challenges of responding to fire and life-safety emergencies,” said Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. MB | QCountry FM | Brandon Sun (Sub. Req.) (MB)

ULaval launches research chair on vaccine hesitancy

Université Laval has announced a new research chair focused on vaccine hesitancy. The chaire en santé publique appliquée sur l’anthropologie des enjeux de la vaccination will be held by anthropology professor Ève Dubé and will receive $1.1M from CIHR over five years. In this role, Dubé will aim to identify individual, social, cultural, or structural factors that lead to vaccine hesitancy; examine disinformation shared on social networks and the algorithms that create “echo chambers;” and consider who stands to benefit from vaccine alternatives or false information. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Using Critical Race Theory to develop new curriculum addressing anti-Black racism: BHEC

Researchers from the Black Health Education Collaborative (BHEC) have published a new article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal discussing the importance and process of integrating Critical Race Theory into education and into medical and clinical settings. The authors write that since anti-Black racism affects all Black people in Canada, medical, public health, and health professional education should include Critical Race Theory to enhance the health of Black people and address systemic racism. They also discuss the establishment of the BHEC in response to Canada’s medical education system’s insufficient response to the health inequities that Black communities experience, as well as the consortium’s work on a curriculum on anti-Black racism and health that will disrupt anti-Black racism. CMAJ (Editorial)

UWaterloo Chancellor pledges $1M towards student-focused initiatives

The University of Waterloo has received a $1M pledge from its Chancellor, Dominic Barton, toward several initiatives that support UWaterloo’s strategic plan. These initiatives include new opportunities and awards for Indigenous undergraduate students, the expansion of the School of Accounting and Finance’s International Study Trip, and the construction of the Innovation Arena to give students interested in entrepreneurship a place to develop their research and business expertise. “Global forces, including rapid changes in technology, are redefining how we develop talent,” said Barton. “Waterloo excels at training the leaders of tomorrow. I’m proud to support this critical work as an ambassador of the University and as a donor.” UWaterloo (ON)

NSCAD U institute studying Canadian slavery closes doors after founding director resigns

NSCAD University’s Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery has reportedly closed its doors after founding director Charmaine Nelson resigned from her role, citing discrimination. Nelson told CBC about several issues she encountered while at the university, such as not receiving answers to her questions about the parameters of her authority as institute director, being blocked from giving her student employees raises through a federal grant, and being reprimanded for an error via an email that was additionally sent to students and colleague. NSCAD U President Peggy Shannon stated in an email to CBC that the university “takes racism and structural racism very seriously.” NSCAD U Chief of Staff Bruce DeBaie stated that funding for the institute remains with the university, and that the institute will “likely evolve and operate under a different name” upon the hiring of a new director. CBC | Halifax Examiner (NS)

Seneca, COTR launch Career HERizons program

Seneca College and the College of the Rockies have partnered to launch the Career HERizons program for women looking to advance their careers, start businesses, or return to the workforce. The program is supported by a $2M fund from the Government of Canada Women's Employment Readiness pilot program and will be offered through HELIX, Seneca's entrepreneurship incubator. The program includes online business English and business math courses, Virtual Reality simulation learning, career development sessions, and microgrants for female entrepreneurs. "We are #SenecaProud to offer free support and skill-development opportunities to women exploring a new career path," said Seneca Innovation Director of Entrepreneurship Chris Dudley. NewsWire (ON | BC)

Developing a hybrid interprofessional education initiative for graduate students: Study

Four researchers from Nathan Weiss Graduate College in the US have published a discussion of their recent exploratory case study on hybrid interprofessional education for graduate students in Higher Education Pedagogies. The authors explain that since interprofessional education is a form of learning that health-care graduate students often engage in once they are in their field, they developed a voluntary interprofessional training program for students in select fields. They discuss the successful aspects of the program, such as the use of in-person meetings and clear roles for faculty to establish and execute on a shared vision for the initiative, as well as the challenges they faced with issues such as conflicting schedules and timing or errant understandings of student preferences. Higher Education Pedagogies (Study)

MHC, ACC offer English-language classes for newcomers

Two colleges are offering language learning programs for newcomers to Canada to help them build their English skills. Medicine Hat College has introduced a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program that works alongside other local language-learning programs. The LINC program offers Canadian Language Benchmark Levels 5-8 instruction, giving students the opportunity to develop their professional skills and prepare for a career. Assiniboine Community College is offering free language classes in English to a group of 12 families who fled Ukraine. The program is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and ACC ESL program co-ordinator Jennalee Burch told the Brandon Sun that the college is asking for more federal funding to hold more classes in the upcoming months MHC | Brandon Sun (Sub. Req.) (AB | MB)

Importance of transferrable teaching skills: Opinion

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Lauren Easterling argues that graduate students should develop teaching and learning skills regardless of their career path. Teaching skills apply to a wide variety of roles in the academy, Easterling explains: Faculty train new student researchers, senior administrators train junior administrators, professionals at private corporations provide employees with continuing education, and more. To develop these skills further, she encourages graduate students to look for teaching and learning centres at their institutions, take part in related events or programs, and network with people engaged in teaching-skills related work to develop these teaching skills. Inside Higher Ed (Sub. Req.) (Editorial)