Spring 2014 Campus Magazine
The Spring 2014 edition of Campus, Wilfrid Laurier University's alumni and friends magazine.
LAURIER For Alumni & Friends | SPRING 2014 wilfrid laurier university CAMPUS Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa performs a balancing act syncing brands and bands Gabe McDonough sources music for the worldâ€™s biggest ad campaigns You’ve paid your dues. Start paying less with TD Insurance. You could WIN $60,000 cash to build your dream kitchen!* Insurance program recommended by the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association University graduates can save more. At TD Insurance, we recognize all the time and effort you put into getting where you are. That’s why, as a Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association member, you have access to our TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program which offers preferred group rates and various additional discounts. You’ll also benefit from our highly personalized service and great protection that suits your needs. Get a quote today and see how much you could save. Request a quote today 1-888-589-5656 melochemonnex.com/wlu HOME | AUTO | TRAVEL The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex home and auto insurance program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. The program is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc. in Quebec and by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in the rest of Canada. For Quebec residents: We are located at 50 Place Crémazie, Montreal (Quebec) H2P 1B6. Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. *No purchase is required. There is one (1) prize to be won. The winner may choose between an amount of $60,000 CAD to build a dream kitchen of his/her choosing or $60,000 CAD cash. The winner will be responsible for choosing a supplier and for coordinating all of the required work. The contest is organized by Security National Insurance Company and Primmum Insurance Company and is open to members, employees and other eligible persons who reside in Canada and belong to an employer, professional or alumni group which has entered into an agreement with the organizers and is entitled to receive group rates from the organizers. The contest ends on October 31, 2014. The draw will be held on November 21, 2014. A skill-testing question is required. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. The complete contest rules are available at melochemonnex.com/contest. ® The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. contents Big-brand ad man Gabe McDonough pitches music for the world’s largest ad campaigns. 14 12 Research file The power of putting a human face on a social cause. Plus, effectively using mobile tablets in elementary school classrooms. 12 20 The right conduct At 34, conductor Evan Mitchell is breaking down barriers and making the symphony more accessible for all ages. 26 A balancing act Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa looks after the province’s budget while maintaining an active family and community life. 20 30 30 Art and design Interior designer and art gallery owner Alison Milne shares her love of art, and her personal design principles. 3 Editor’s note 30 Keeping in touch 4 President’s message 38 Postcard to home 6 Campus news 39 Calendar of events 12 Research file 40 Flashback LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 1 Weâ€™re stronger together. Thank you to the 228 alumni who made their first donation to Laurier in 2013. You have joined a proud tradition of alumni giving back to todayâ€™s students. Your Alumni Association was proud to match gifts up to $20,000 in 2013. To give to Laurier this year, visit: wlu.ca/strongertogether EDITOR’S NOTE Changes ahead for Campus Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto Volume 53, Number 3, Spring 2014 ISSN 0700-5105 Laurier Campus is published by the Department of Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 Publisher: Kevin Crowley, Acting Assistant Vice-President: CPAM Editor: Stacey Morrison Writers: Elin Edwards, Justin Fauteux, Mallory O’Brien Design: Emily Lowther, Justin Ogilvie, Erin Steed, Dawn Wharnsby Photography: Angus Fergusson, Callie Lipkin Send address changes to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 519.884.0710 x3176 While looking for inspiration for this editor’s note, I stumbled across this quote by life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins: “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” For more than 50 years, university and alumni news has been delivered to members of the Laurier community around the world via the pages of this magazine, and although the format, frequency and content has changed many times over the years, the magazine’s progress is undeniable. More change is on the horizon for Campus. This year, the magazine will be published two times instead of three — this spring issue and again in the fall. The reality is the financial costs of producing an award-winning publication continue to rise: Campus is mailed to more than 65,000 alumni worldwide, and with each graduating class, thousands of names are added to the mailing list. Much of the costs of producing and distributing the magazine — paper, printing and postage — are also on the rise. What does this mean for the future of Campus? Progress is still on the agenda. Later this year the university will launch a new, state-of-the-art website. It will allow us to publish an outstanding online version of Campus formatted specifically for the web. Producing an online issue, in addition to the print issues, means more content, more ways to read the magazine and, hopefully, more reader engagement. In the meantime, the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association will be conducting a survey of alumni. Included are questions to gauge the readership of Campus — it’s your opportunity to tell us what you like best about the magazine, what could use improvement, and what stories interest you the most. Our readers are key to the future of the magazine. Change is inevitable. It’s what we do with that change — how we harness it — that matters. We are excited about the possibilities on the horizon for Campus, and we will continue to work hard to deliver a top-notch publication. Thank you for your support of the magazine over the years! Stacey Morrison Publications Mail Registration No. 40020414 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 We welcome and encourage your feedback. Send letters to the editor to email@example.com. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Laurier Campus (circ. 65,000) is published three times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in Campus do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Cover photography: Callie Lipkin Visit us online at wlu.ca/cpam On the cover Ad man and musician Gabe McDonough shares his favourite live music venues in Chicago for the next time you plan a trip to the Windy City. To see his picks, turn to page 17. Questions, comments, rants or raves? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to “Like” us on facebook. www.facebook.com/LaurierNow youtube.com/LaurierVideo twitter.com/LaurierNews LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 3 campus corner PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Laurier rises to the challenge These are challenging times for the broader public sector. Financial resources are constrained; government and the public are seeking more accountability; many students and employers are demanding increased employment relevance in the education that is delivered; and technology is dramatically transforming the way we teach, learn, and access information. It is gratifying in this context that Laurier has a long history of adapting successfully to change. Even more gratifying, we have an enviable record of embracing challenges and finding opportunities within them. While we are actively engaged in a number of (l-r) Council of Ontario Universities President Bonnie processes to address all Patterson, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Laurier the challenges mentioned President Max Blouw at Queen’s Park in Toronto. above, I am especially proud of the innovations being made to how we teach and learn at Laurier. In recent years, professors and staff have collaborated to introduce a range of high-impact teaching and learning practices. Here are just a few examples: • The “flipped classroom,” in which students view online lecture material at their convenience and then spend class time reviewing, analyzing, challenging and further expanding the most important concepts with the professor. • The “active classroom” — a room outfitted with the latest media technology and used for teaching courses that incorporate this technology into the material and the learning process, which thereby becomes active, engaging, and immediate. • First-year seminar courses, which give inexperienced students opportunity to actively learn and engage in small groups and thereby receive a taste of, and anticipation of, the small-class discussion-style courses that are usually reserved for upper-year students. • A range of applied experiential learning opportunities such as internships, co-op, field practica, community service learning, and courses taught primarily offcampus through a new “Community Engagement Option.” • Laurier Launchpad, a hands-on program that allows students from any faculty to earn academic credit while starting their own business with the guidance 4 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 and support of experienced mentors, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs and volunteers who are passionate about the program. • Undergraduate research opportunities that allow students to learn research methods, to work at the forefront of existing knowledge, and participate in the excitement of discovering new knowledge by working closely with professors and graduate students on suitably scaled research projects. Laurier has been recognized for its leadership in teaching and learning innovation, which we have organized around the term “integrated and engaged learning.” In fact, the university will be hosting an inaugural integrated and engaged learning conference this May, which will bring together leading innovators and practitioners from post-secondary institutions and the external community partners with whom they work. Laurier’s emphasis on teaching, learning and the student experience has deep and long-standing foundations and it is a point of pride and distinction. Our emphasis on the highest levels of integrated and engaged teaching and learning has resulted in significant positive outcomes. Survey results produced by the Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) show that Laurier students report above-average satisfaction with their education. And last fall, the Ontario government released the results of a survey that showed that new Laurier graduates continue to find employment faster than the provincial average for university graduates. Such success is wonderful but we cannot rest on our laurels. While the above data reflect the enduring value of a Laurier education, we — along with the entire university sector — continue to face considerable challenges and a period of profound transformation. I assure you that in the best Laurier tradition we are working hard to find new and more effective ways to sustain the high-quality education that students, alumni and the public have come to expect of this institution. I look forward to reporting further initiatives and results in the coming years. Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor campus corner MESSAGE FROM THE WLUAA PRESIDENT Welcoming new alumni into the WLUAA As you read this issue of Campus, more than 3,000 students are preparing to conclude their studies at Laurier and join the Alumni Association. It will bring our rapidly growing alumni body to more than 88,000 strong. Numerous initiatives are planned to introduce them to our alumni family, from a champagne toast and a video about what it means to be alumni to, of course, convocation later this spring. I hope you will join me in welcoming these students to the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA). Social media is a powerful tool to keep us all connected no matter where we go after our time at Laurier. Tweet a “Good luck on exams” message on Twitter (@LaurierAlumni) using the hashtags #Laurier or #LaurierAlumni. Post a message of “Congratulations on your graduation” on Facebook (facebook.com/LaurierAlumni). Pass on some advice about starting out in your career on the Laurier Alumni group on LinkedIn. With your help, we can extend the close community that we experience as students to our alumni network. The Board of Directors of WLUAA is beginning to discuss some big themes coming to Canadian universities: technology, transfer credits and online learning. It is not inconceivable that 10 years from now we will have alumni who have never set foot on Laurier’s campuses. How will the Alumni Association be relevant to them? I encourage you to put some thought to this question. Feel free to share your ideas with me using the contact information below. Over the coming months, WLUAA will be surveying all of our alumni. The purpose of the survey is to ensure the services that we offer are relevant to you, our alumni. We truly value your input. Please go to www.laurieralumni.ca/alumni/ memberaccounts and update your email address so the survey gets to you. And please take the time to complete the survey and share your insights. Your responses will help us to develop programs and services tailored to your needs. As always, I also welcome you to share your feedback, comments and questions with me directly. Marc Henein ’04 President, WLUAA LaurierAlumni.ca facebook.com/LaurierAlumni twitter.com/LaurierAlumni email@example.com WLUAA 2013–14 EXECUTIVE Board of Directors President Marc Henein ’04 Kate Applin ’09 Fiona Batte ’96 Thomas Cadman ’87 Sarah Cameron ’87 Marie-Helene Colaiezzi ’07, ’08 Chris Hiebert ’83 Hrag Kakousian ’01, ’09 Paul Maxwell ’07 Craig Mellow ’97 Michelle Missere ’06 Andrew Ness ’86 Patricia Polischuk ’90 Vice-President Marc Richardson ’94 Vice-President Cynthia Sundberg ’94 Secretary/Treasurer Shirley Schmidt ’86, ’09 Honorary President Dr. Max Blouw Past President Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 Helga Recek ’00 Karen Rice ’87 Board of Governors Representatives Scott Bebenek ’85 Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 John Trus ’90 Senate Representatives Ashley Cameron ’86 Megan Harris ’00 David Oates ’70 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 5 campus news New art exhibition space opens on Brantford campus Yellow Brick Wall supports Canadian art Art enthusiasts have a new exhibition space to visit with the opening of the Yellow Brick Wall (YBW) at Laurier’s Brantford campus at 97 Dalhousie Street. The art advisory committee at Laurier will curate the exhibition space annually. Designed to foster appreciation and enjoyment of Canadian art, the new venue celebrates visual creativity in a space that encourages dialogue, and reflects the diversity and culture in the community. The YBW adds to a growing list of venues in Brantford, including Glenhyrst, The Station and the Brantford Arts Block, which feature the work of visual artists. “We are so incredibly pleased to be able to have an exhibition space like the Yellow Brick Wall right on campus for our students, staff, faculty and the community to enjoy,” said Kathryn Carter, inter-faculty associate dean: academic coordination and chair of the art advisory committee. “We have been able to work with local artists and have some terrific pieces all over campus, and this gives us a dedicated space to showcase art and engage the cultural community on campus.” The first exhibition features local artist Elizabeth Gosse and her It’s Your City project. The project stemmed from Gosse’s desire to collaborate with the Brantford community in a creative process where individuals of all ages could express something about the city in which they live. It was completed in 2010 during the Find Your Spirit Festival in Harmony Square. “In the world of art, it is imperative for the artist to embody the art with their message, feelings and thoughts,” said Gosse. “Each piece from It’s Your City has been created by citizens expressing their connections to community and to their city.” Gosse uses paint and multimedia to create engaging pieces of work, and believes that art is an extension of who people are and what they are thinking. CEO in residence offers lessons in leadership Lynn Oldfield dispenses career advice on campus Lynn Oldfield (BBA ’84), president and CEO of the AIG Insurance Company of Canada, delivered the School of Business and Economics’ fourth CEO-in-Residence keynote address, providing lessons in leadership, as well as an inside perspective on the financial crisis of 2008. In her speech in the Senate and Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, Oldfield outlined the importance of such simple skills as listening, having a positive attitude, acting with integrity and being able to “reset as required” or adapting to change. She told the audience of students, staff and faculty that she learned many of the skills that got her to where she is today while working on her degree at Laurier. Oldfield concluded her keynote address by leaving the audience with three “secret weapons” she has used as the foundation for a leadership training program at AIG: education, experience and exposure. “Take those opportunities and find those organizations that are going to feed your learning and your development,” she said. “But take ownership of it yourself, because your career belongs to you. Nobody hands you the road map.” CEO in Residence Lynn Oldfield with Laurier School of Business & Economics Dean Micheál Kelly. Take those opportunities and find those organizations that are going to feed your learning and your development. Lynn Oldfield, CEO in Residence 6 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 campus news Laurier selects firm to Laurier researchers witness MAVEN launch develop new website Spacecraft will study Mars’ atmosphere mStoner will bring public face of website to life Laurier has selected mStoner to design the public face of the university’s new website. mStoner is a web strategy and design firm that works exclusively in the post-secondary sector. The firm will complete a full website redesign using Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server as the content management system (CMS), to be rolled out in stages beginning in fall 2014. mStoner assisted Laurier with the first phase of the university’s website renewal process, which began in late 2012. This research phase, which included widespread consultation with members of the Laurier community, informed the development of a web strategy. Laurier then established CMS requirements based on the web strategy document. After reviewing proposals from a number of companies, Laurier selected Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server as the CMS of choice. The CMS is the framework of the website and the system that administrators will use to upload content. The building process consists of three phases: 1) Strategy Phase (Winter-Spring 2014): Components of this phase include planning the site’s navigation, marketing and communications strategy, and governance structure. 2) Creative Phase (Winter-Summer 2014): Components of the creative phase include designing web-page concepts and prototypes, creating a suite of web page templates, auditing the current website’s content and developing new content. 3) Implementation Phase (Summer-Fall 2014): Components of this phase include building and implementing the design of the new CMS using Cascade Server, creating and uploading content, and usability testing. Future updates will be available at wlu.ca/webreview. Shohini Ghose, associate professor of physics and director of Laurier’s Centre for Women in Science (WinS), and Charlotte Armstrong, WinS outreach coordinator, were VIP guests for the launch of the MAVEN Mars orbiter in November at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Their VIP group, including Bill Nye (“the science guy”), CEO of the Planetary Society (of which Armstrong is a regional coordinator), began their two-day experience Nov. 17 at the Kennedy Space Center. They attended the MAVEN mission briefing and Nye’s public talk, followed by a private tour of the Vertical Assembly Building and the launch pad. On Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m., they witnessed the successful launch. “Watching the launch live was much more amazing than any Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster!” said Ghose. When MAVEN reaches Mars, there will be a record number of spacecraft studying the red planet, gathering information for a possible human spaceflight to Mars in the 2030s. MAVEN will be studying Mars’ atmosphere, with the goal of determining the history of atmospheric gases lost to space and how its current atmosphere evolved. While Ghose and Armstrong were at Cape Canaveral, Laurier students and faculty gathered in the Faculty of Science boardroom to watch the launch live on NASA TV. “My goal for becoming involved in big events like this is to help build interest in science in the community,” said Ghose. “The simultaneous event at Laurier was planned by WinS to get people excited about science.” Status updates on the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) mission are available on the NASA website. Watching the launch live was much more amazing than any Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster! Shohini Ghose, associate professor of physics, on witnessing the launch of the MAVEN mars orbiter. Animal therapy Therapy dogs helped alleviate stress on the Waterloo campus and at the Seminary during exams in December and for Disability Awareness Week in February. LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 7 campus news Laurier approves fall study break Fall reading week will take place in October starting in 2014 Starting this fall, Laurier students will get a full week off in two semesters. The Wilfrid Laurier University Senate approved the addition of a weeklong break to the fall semester — on top of the existing February reading week — as a three-year pilot project starting in the 2014-15 academic year. The fall reading week will occur over the four days following the Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The break will apply to all undergraduate and graduate programs unless a program requests an alternate schedule, which would need Senate approval. To accommodate a break during the fall semester, classes will start the Thursday after Labour Day beginning in September 2014. While this means there will be classes during Orientation Week, a compacted orientationprogramming schedule has the support of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and the Student Affairs department. “In my view, this will prove to be a decision that will enhance academic achievement, personal wellness and student success,” said Vice-President: Student Affairs David McMurray. “I think many are looking forward to a more balanced and enriching Orientation Week that will for the first time in Laurier’s history include formal class time.” McMurray believes “an intentionally scheduled study period will complement the right kind of time management skills students need to master to balance academic responsibilities with meaningful extracurricular endeavours.” In 2014, the break will have no impact on the fall semester exam schedule. The university will schedule exams on Sundays in 2015 and 2016 to accommodate Labour Day falling later in the month in those years. A proposal to create a fall reading week at Laurier was first brought forward in the fall of 2011. The idea was raised again by students in 2013 and a proposal to add a break to the fall semester was approved in principle at the Nov. 26 Senate meeting. The university then considered three options for implementing the new break: two that would have added a two-day break and the weeklong option that was approved last month. “This decision signifies a huge step forward in Laurier’s commitment to addressing the mental health and academic challenges facing students today,” said Chris Walker, one of eight students on Senate. “The pressure of academic and social stress significantly inhibits student success. Students are really looking forward to the fall study break to catch up on readings, work on assignments, or simply get some much needed rest and relaxation with family and friends.” Laurier joins a growing list of 11 other Ontario universities with a study break in the both the fall and winter semesters. A Senate sub-committee will evaluate the success of this three-year pilot project to help determine if Laurier will adopt a fall reading week on a long-term basis. People at Laurier Rob Donelson, Laurier’s vice-president of Development and Alumni Relations, was named Outstanding Fundraising Professional for 2013 by the Golden Horseshoe chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2013 Donelson was reappointed to his position for a second five-year term beginning in July. Carol B. Duncan, associate professor and chair of Laurier’s Department of Religion and Culture, is the recipient of a prestigious 2014 3M National Teaching Fellowship. The award, widely regarded as the top teaching honour in Canada, recognizes excellence in the classroom and educational leadership. Duncan started at Laurier 17 years ago and has developed 25 courses for the classroom. She focuses on a storytelling methodology for designing and teaching courses, which involves including 8 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 multiple voices and perspectives. This is the fourth time that a Laurier professor has been awarded a 3M Fellowship. Shohini Ghose, associate physics professor, has been named a 2014 TED Fellow, one of only two Canadians chosen for the prestigious program. Ghose was chosen as an expert and innovator in her field, and joins 20 other international, interdisciplinary TED Fellows, including scientists, conservationists, educators, artists and musicians. Among her duties as a TED Fellow, Ghose delivered a Ted Talk on her work at the Vancouver TED conference, which took place in March. Laurier researcher Diane Gregory’s investigation into low-back pain has been recognized with a 2013 John Charles Polanyi Prize, one of the most prestigious academic awards in Canada. Gregory, an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and Health Sciences, is the fourth researcher at Laurier to win the $20,000 award. Her research focuses on intervertebral discs as a source of low-back pain, and sets out to determine the relationship between the mechanical and physiological environment of the spine, and their relationship to injury. Philip Marsh has been named Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Cold Regions Water Science at Laurier. Marsh joins the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies after 30 years as a research scientist with Environment Canada at the National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatchewan. Marsh’s research has been carried out in Canada’s Far North with the goal of understanding water cycle processes and campus news Fitness Centre celebrates grand reopening Renovations include expanded space and new equipment Laurier’s revamped Fitness Centre recently celebrated its grand reopening. The $5.3-million renovation upgraded the existing space and added an additional floor that doubles the size of the centre. Laurier students were major supporters of the renovation, contributing $5 million through the Student Life Levy. “Not only have students been involved in the money side of it, but students have also been involved intimately in the design — what it looks like and how it functions — and delivering the instructional and training programs that happen here,” said David McMurray, vicepresident: Student Affairs. The Fitness Centre is now more than 20,000 square feet, houses two additional fitness studios, and contains nearly $1 million of additional equipment. Included in the equipment additions are improved cardio machines, two full sets of circuit training machines, free weights, stretching and core training equipment and a TRX training station. The expanded entrance allows easier access to the facility while also providing a social space for students. In addition, the updated facility features a divisible exercise area that allows for circuit training, the environmental impacts of climate change and northern energy development. He joins two other CRCs in cold regions and water research: Bill Quinton, Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Hydrology, and Jennifer Baltzer, Canada Research Chair in Forests and Global Change. Marsh becomes Laurier’s 10th Canada Research Chair. Stephen MacNeil, associate professor of chemistry and undergraduate advisor, and Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, associate professor of Spanish and associate dean: student affairs and special projects in the Faculty of Arts, are Laurier’s inaugural Teaching Fellows. The new program provides faculty members and librarians with opportunities to pursue teaching and learning initiatives through one-year, $10,000 fellowships in support (l-r): David McMurray, vice-president: Student Affairs, Annie Constantinescu, WLUSU president, Peter Baxter, director of Athletics and Recreation, and Rob Donelson, vice-president: Development and Alumni Relations, cut the ribbon to officially open the new Fitness Centre on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. personal and group training, and women’s-only workout times. The centre’s new design will support student health and wellness by allowing students to accomplish their lifestyle goals. For Laurier’s high-performance student athletes, the fitness centre represents one of the best training and conditioning facilities in Canada. Laurier’s excellence in sport is captured in the large, historic mural that decorates the new entrance. of their proposed program of activities. Recipients are individuals who have demonstrated exceptional contributions to teaching and learning, and have established an exemplary record of achievement in educational leadership. Jane Newland, assistant professor of French, has received Laurier’s Residence Academic Partnership award. The award recognizes faculty members who support academic initiatives within the university’s residences. This is the first year Newland has been involved with the new Maison Française Residence Learning Community (RLC), one of Laurier’s themed residence environments designed to extend opportunities for learning and development into residence buildings. Newland often spends evenings with students in La Maison Française, organizing academic activities such as exam review sessions and a reading club, as well as cultural events such as making a traditional Galette des Rois and game and cinema nights (in French, of course). Laurier has appointed Ben Yang, one of Canada’s premier experts on internationalization and inter-cultural competency development in higher education, to the position of director of global engagement. In this position, Yang will lead the implementation of Laurier’s global engagement strategy, including international student support, Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) programs, academic mobility, international@home and inter-cultural competency development programs. LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 9 campus news Banner season for laurier athletics Women’s curling, hockey win championship titles The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s curling team won its seventh Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship in February after defeating the Carleton Ravens 4-3 in the gold-medal match. “It feels very nice,” said skip Carly Howard. “Last year we had a struggle at the beginning [of the year] so we wanted to come back strong. Having a lot of people who came before us that did so well, we really wanted to live up to that and have that moment as well and we did.” “It feels really incredible,” added lead Cheryl Kreviazuk, who captured her third OUA Championship as a member of the Golden Hawks. “I’m just so proud of my team. We worked really hard all season so it was definitely worth it and to go undefeated all week, absolutely incredible.” In what was a very competitive gold-medal match, the game came down to both skips’ final shots. After leaving Carleton skip Jamie Sinclair a tough shot for the win, Sinclair was unable to navigate Laurier’s high guard, giving the Hawks a steal of one and the championship. For Howard, vice Kerilynn Mathers, second Evangeline Fortier, Kreviazuk and alternate Chelsea Brandwood, the win puts the finishing touches on a perfect 13-0 season in OUA competition. In hockey, the women Golden Hawks defeated the Queen’s Gaels (l-r) Carly Howard, Kerilynn Mathers, Evangeline Fortier, Coach Maurice Wilson, Cheryl Kreviazuk and Chelsea Brandwood. 2-0 in the final game of the best-of-three series to take the OUA Championship title. “It feels really, really good,” said Rick Osborne, the team’s head coach. “We’ve got such quality veteran players on this team, and no one knows how hard they work and what we put them through to get to this point in the season. There’s nothing that makes my heart warmer than two shutouts to finish off the playoff series.” The win marks the 11th OUA Championship banner for Laurier’s women’s hockey team. sustainability cOlab Launches Alumni take local climate change initiative provincewide Climate change may be a global issue, but local solutions can offer hope. That was the idea that drove Laurier grads Mike Morrice (BBA/BSc ’08) and Chris DePaul (BBA/BSc ’08) to form Sustainable Waterloo Region, a non-profit organization that converts sustainability interest into action, in 2008. Morrice is now taking that idea to the next level with a new non-profit called Sustainability CoLab, which launched earlier this year. The organization aims to share a local model of climate change action with communities across Ontario. CoLab is launching following the success of Sustainable Waterloo Region, which was borne out of research projects Morrice and DePaul worked on at Laurier under the guidance of Associate Professor Barry Colbert. In addition to Morrice, the CoLab 10 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 team will also feature Laurier alumna Priyanka Lloyd (MBA ’11), who will be the organization’s director of operations. Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI) works with organizations to set and achieve targets to reduce their carbon impact. RCI works with a growing number of organizations across Waterloo Region who have collectively committed to reducing their carbon emissions by 45,000 tonnes over the next 10 years — the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road annually. The more than 60 RCI members represent over 13 per cent of Waterloo Region’s workforce and cover 16 million square feet of commercial, institutional and manufacturing space. In response to interest from over a dozen communities in Ontario alone in replicating the early success seen in Waterloo Region, CoLab will provide the key support services for communities to launch, grow and accelerate their own business-focused, greenhouse gas (GHG) target-setting programs. Rather than franchising the RCI, CoLab will share the core approaches of the model and help each community to locally adapt and innovate around them. “Since launching the RCI, we’ve been approached by communities across North America and as far away as the Ukraine to share the model. After more than two years of development, we’re thrilled to finally be able to give this the focus it deserves through Sustainability CoLab,” said Morrice. “Our goal is to have eight Ontario communities in the CoLab Network by 2015. We’re incredibly excited by the potential benefit of larger-scale climate change action.” campus news improved sustainability recognized Laurier’s green efforts earn silver rating Laurier’s efforts to create green, environmentally friendly campuses have earned the university a silver rating from the internationally recognized Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Laurier first completed a STARS assessment three years ago, receiving a bronze rating. To earn a silver rating, Laurier made large improvements in the areas of “Air & Climate,” “Buildings” and “Coordination, Planning & Governance.” Laurier improved energy conservation by tracking greenhouse gas emissions through recently installed submeters and an energy management system. Residence buildings on Laurier’s Waterloo campus held energy-conservation competitions using the submeters and an online dashboard. Laurier also has two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silvercertified buildings on its Brantford campus, and the university’s building standards state all newly constructed buildings must follow LEED silver guidelines. visiting writer Library services expand in Brantford Laurier Reads welcomes author Elizabeth Hay Digital Library and Learning Commons opens Award-winning Canadian author Elizabeth Hay met with students, staff, faculty and community members on Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses for one week in March. Her book Late Nights on Air, set in and around a small radio station in Yellowknife in the Canadian north of the 1970s, won the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize, among other awards. She also won Laurier’s 1993 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, for her book The Only Snow in Havana. In 2002 the Writers’ Trust of Canada presented her with the Marian Engel Award for her body of work, which includes novels, short stories and creative non-fiction. During her time at Laurier, Hay led a workshop in creative writing for students and members of the Laurier community. She also met with members of the Laurier Reads Elizabeth Hay group, which convened three times during the winter term to discuss Late Nights on Air. For more information about Laurier’s Visiting Writer program or Laurier Reads, visit wlu.ca/visitingwriter. Laurier’s Brantford campus moved a step closer to having its own dedicated library with the grand opening of the new Digital Library and Learning Commons (DLLC) earlier this year. The DLLC space hosts library services that improve the student experience and facilitate academic success. It features individual and group study areas, computer work stations, access to a wide range of electronic resources, easy access to academic librarians trained to help students and faculty members with their research, and a service desk. The space is located on the lower level of Grand River Hall at 171 Colborne Street. “We actually have a place to call our own,” said Pavan Preet, a third-year Laurier Brantford student who was at the opening. “It’s a quiet place to study and the location is very convenient.” The opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and guests explored the new area, which features a colourful stained glass wall and framed photographs of the Aboriginal artwork that had been painted on the pillars in the space. “This is not the end of the journey, but it’s a very positive step towards a full library commons space on the Brantford campus,” said Gohar Ashoughian, Laurier’s university librarian. “This attractive, modern DLLC space will have a major positive impact on our ability to support teaching and learning, and the research endeavours of Laurier students and faculty on the Brantford campus.” The new DLLC does not contain physical collections, and the Laurier book and other physical materials collections will continue to be housed in their current location at the Brantford Public Library, which Ashoughian thanked for its continued support and partnership. This attractive, modern DLLC space will have a major positive impact on our ability to support teaching and learning, and the research endeavours of Laurier students and faculty on the Brantford campus. Gohar Ashoughian, Laurier’s university librarian LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 11 research file research file Please feed me: the power of putting a human face on a social cause Hae Joo Kim shows that anthropomorphizing creates a deeper connection by Mallory O’Brien Companies often put a personal face on products in an attempt to reach a deeper connection with consumers. New research published in Psychological Science shows the same idea can be applied to social causes. Putting a human face on the campaign for a social cause increases support for it, according to the study from a team of researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Toronto Scarborough and Hanyang University. Hae Joo Kim, assistant professor of marketing at Laurier, Pankaj Aggarwal, a professor in the Department of Management at UTSC and the Rotman School of Management, and Hee-Kyung Ahn, assistant professor of marketing at Hanyang University, South Korea, found that anthropomorphizing social causes is effective because it appeals to people’s sense of guilt. People are not motivated to support social causes because it involves a personal sacrifice of time, money and effort. It’s only when they stop to consider the consequences of not participating — and feel guilty as a result — that they begin to comply. Using energy conservation, recycling and the environment as social causes, the researchers found that by drawing a human face showing emotions on the poster increased support for each cause. In one experiment the researchers put eyes and a mouth with a caption that read, “Please feed me food waste” on a bin for organic waste. The face on the bin looks sad because of an apparent lack of participation in recycling food waste. They found participants were more likely to place food waste in the bin with a human face compared to the ordinary, non-anthropomorphized bin. “Not only did we find participants felt guilty about not complying with the social cause, but they also felt guilty about harming another being, in the form of an anthropomorphized light bulb, waste basket or tree,” said Kim. Government agencies and charities use a variety of expensive and often ineffective financial instruments, such as fines, to encourage participation in social causes, says Aggarwal. “It’s hard to induce pro-social behaviour,” said Kim. “Because the pro-social duties such as recycling are spread across society, people feel less individually responsible and often slack off.” Putting a human face on a social cause may offer an inexpensive yet highly effective means of gaining more support for the cause. 12 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 research file Effectively using iPads in the classroom Julie Mueller studies how mobile tablets benefit elementary students by Elin Edwards Mobile computing devices like the iPad are finding their way into elementary school classrooms in growing numbers. In her research on technology and learning, Julie Mueller (BA ’87, MA ’03, PhD ’09), assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education, started with two simple questions: How are teachers using iPads to teach, and how are students using them to learn? Working with psychology graduate students Karin Archer and Domenica De Pasquale, and part-time Master of Education student Raegan White, Mueller set out to look at the difference between using mobile tablets as individual devices and using them as tools for self-directed learning, which allows students to take control of their learning with a knowledgeable teacher supporting them. Right from the beginning, the investigation occurred in actual classrooms. Within the Waterloo Region District School Board’s Computers Across the Curriculum program, Mueller and her team were involved in a pilot project that brought iPads into a handful of schools. Since then, the school board has rolled out iPads in every school in the district. The tension between iPads as personal devices and classroom tools became obvious. Students don’t need to be taught how to use the technology, but they do need guidance in using the technology responsibly. “This is another reason we need to teach digital citizenship in our classrooms,” said White. The researchers concluded the main contribution of mobile technology to learning is its potential to support the development of self-regulation, which is a key component of student assessment in Ontario elementary schools. As a classroom tool, students found searching for information easier and broader, and they valued the ease of access and portability of the devices. Students also enjoyed using the iPads, resulting in more engaged and motivated learners. Building on evidence that effective teachers have differing levels of experience, knowledge and comfort with technology integration, the researchers concluded the teacher’s role was to understand all three: the technology, the pedagogy (what kind of learning is happening) and the content that is available. From their experience with local teachers integrating iPads into their classrooms, the researchers realized the need for a practical guide, which Mueller and her team recently completed and shared with the school board. “There are so many apps out there. Teachers are gung-ho and have often done a lot with iPads on their own, but it’s hard to know where to start in the schoolroom setting,” said Archer. The guide helps teachers through the process of incorporating iPads into the classroom, from evaluating their own knowledge and comfort with the technology, to recommendations for applications that have proven to be useful in the classroom. LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 13 brands and bands story by Mallory Oâ€™Brien | photography by Callie Lipkin 14 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 campus feature He eventually pitched a song called Royals by up-and-coming artist Lorde, a teenage singer from New Zealand. It took some convincing. Back in mid-2013 the song was getting a bit of buzz, but it wasn’t a breakthrough hit. The commercial was released in October, the same week Royals hit No. 1 on the charts. “It was perfect,” says McDonough (BA ’96) from his Chicago office. “That’s what I’m always trying to do — launch the spot at the same time the song has got a lot of heat, and the publicity from both just goes …” He points to the ceiling and smiles. “I’m really proud of that one.” McDonough’s job is to find and pitch music to companies for their ad campaigns, and he has a knack for matching bands with brands. His client list features some of the world’s most recognized companies, including McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola and Sprint, to name a few. It wasn’t that long ago that musicians were unwilling to license a song. But with the rise of digital sound files and music sharing in the late ’90s, which cost the music industry billions of dollars in losses, the tide began to turn. Today, many bands are eager to land a song in a commercial. What was once seen as “selling out” is now known as a “sync,” and it’s one of the best ways for musicians to make money and get exposure. “Occasionally bands still say ‘no,’ but it’s pretty rare now,” says McDonough, 38. He cites Canada’s indie darlings Arcade Fire as an example of a band that refuses to license its songs (the band did once, to donate the profits to a charity benefiting Haiti). “It’s getting to the point that even artists that said ‘no’ before, if an opportunity comes up, I always bring it to their people just in case they’ve changed their minds.” McDonough — hair tousled and wearing a casual dress shirt — isn’t your stereotypical ad man. Named one of Billboard magazines “40 Under 40 Power Players on the Rise” and a musician himself (he is the bassist in the Chicago Stone Lightning Band), he understands the needs of both the brands and the bands. “When I was coming up as a musician, I was huge into that indie-rock attitude and ‘no selling out!’” he says. “But I also always viewed music as legit work, and people get paid for their work. “It’s up to each individual artist whether they want to sell the music they make, and it’s kind of pointless for the rest of us to weigh in. All I do now is present an opportunity and musicians can opt in or not. There are no hard feelings either way.” How exactly did an indie-rocker get into the world of big-brand advertising? The Cleveland, Ohio-born McDonough grew up in Kitchener, Ont., and after moving to British Columbia for a period, came back to the area and attended Laurier. He earned a general BA and majored in English, but he would have preferred not to specialize. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; I was interested in a lot of stuff,” he says. “I liked writing and reading, and had to pick a major so I picked English, but I was also very interested in biology and cultural anthropology.” In addition to enjoying Thursdays at Phil’s nightclub, McDonough started his first “real” band, Choke to Start, while at Laurier. Today he plays bass, sings, DJs and plays a few different instruments, but he started out playing guitar and still has his guitar case from Kitchener’s Sherwood Music store. After graduating, he started a record label in Toronto and produced a seven-inch record for Choke to Start. “It was my first experience being a part of the music business, even though it was a tiny, tiny little piece,” he says. “The indie-music community in Canada wasn’t big at the time, so it took a do-it-yourself approach. I had this weird, super-heavy, loud band and I knew there wasn’t a label that would want to put this record out, so I just figured it out by asking people what the next step was. “I ended up with this seven-inch at the end of it, which I still have 300 copies of in my basement,” he says with a laugh. When Choke to Start broke up, McDonough headed to London, U.K., after a friend offered his floor to sleep on. McDonough, who was just 20 when he graduated, wasn’t ready to commit to a “straight job” — “I still felt like I had some ya-yas to get out, you know?” He found a job at a record store in Kensington, a ritzy London neighbourhood. “It wasn’t a cool-guy record store at all. It was called Our Price. It was the kind of place where you would go to buy the new Spice Girls record.” LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 15 “You just have to keep moving forward and have faith that you’ll figure out the next step.” McDonough stayed in London for two years until his visa ran out, learning bass guitar and touring with a band. He was back in Toronto for only a couple of months before a friend in Chicago told him to head south of the border. “He said, ‘Hey, come down, I’ll get you a job as a bouncer at this bar,’” says McDonough, and chuckling at his smaller physique, adds: “I told him, ‘I’m not really a door-man kind of build,’ and my friend was like, ‘Nah, it’s just art school kids, you’ll be fine.’” So McDonough found himself packing his bags once more. His do-it-yourself approach served him well, and it’s an attitude he puts into everything he does today. “Even though I’m in pretty much as ‘corporate America’ a job as you can get, I still try to look at the world in that way. Most things you can do yourself if you just start doing it, rather than waiting to have the training or have the perfect degree or whatever,” he says. “I think it also applies to the music industry as it is now, because there is no model to go by at this point — you just have to keep moving forward and have faith that you’ll figure out the next step.” The Rainbo Club is a legendary bar for musicians in Chicago that offers a supportive community and a place to work while giving musicians the freedom to pursue their goals in the music industry, including going on tour. When musicians return from months on the road, their shifts are waiting for them. McDonough, who arrived there in his mid-20s, worked as a bartender, janitor and doorman. Eventually, a fellow bartender offered him a job at her record label, Thrill Jockey. There, McDonough got a taste of music licensing. He also started a band called The Boas, which became big in Chicago and toured with Wilco. “That was a great, incredible time of my life,” says McDonough. “Touring is not at all — at all — what people think it is. It’s really, really hard work, and a tour is considered successful if you come home and break even. Meanwhile, you haven’t worked for two weeks. More often than not it was a money-losing endeavour, but you do it for the love of the game. “At its best, it’s like being at summer camp on wheels. At its worst, you’re almost crashing in a snowstorm.” McDonough also met his wife — for the second time. His first encounter with Rebecca happened years 16 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 earlier in Toronto. She was a bassist doing a sound check for a concert at the El Mocambo Club, and McDonough, who was at the club for an online magazine launch, bought her a drink. Fast-forward to New Year’s Eve 2001: McDonough is working at the Rainbo Club and Rebecca walks in. “I was like, ‘That’s that girl from Toronto!’ I ran over to her and just started talking,” he says. They have been together ever since, and now have two daughters, Fiona, 3, and Evelyn, 6. After a couple of years of playing music, and working at the Rainbo and other music spots around town, McDonough was about to marry Rebecca and “needed a job with health insurance.” “I knew that people who worked in offices had health insurance,” he jokes. McDonough’s only friend who worked in an office happened to work at the advertising firm DDB. “I had zero experience, but my friend got me in the door and put in a good word. To the woman who hired me, I said I was an organized guy, I can handle this.” McDonough started as a print project manager, a “very low on the totem pole” job that had him running around getting people to sign off on proofs. On the side, McDonough continued with his musical interests, writing for magazines, performing and creating podcasts. When a new boss arrived who was a music fan, McDonough pitched the idea of a becoming a music producer for the company — most New York-based agencies had a similar position but DDB didn’t. In 2006, after encouraging his new boss to Google his music credentials, McDonough started his career as a music producer. “It was a job that hadn’t existed, so I kind of had to feel it out, and I made the position what it was.” At DDB, McDonough was focused on the creative side of the business, and worked with the creative teams to make music suggestions or with external music houses when they had to compose new music for an ad. McDonough made a name for himself with the launch of the Bud Light Lime ad campaign in 2007. He pitched singer Santigold before she even had a record out and is often credited with kick-starting her career, although he insists she already had a great career going. He also placed a song by Brazilian band Os Mutantes in a McDonald’s commercial, which AdWeek and Billboard called one of the best uses of music in a commercial of all time. campus feature VISITING CHICAGO • The Rainbo Club • The Empty Bottle • The Metro • The Hideout • Schubas Tavern Photo credit: Joel Mann Chicago is a hub for musical talent and there are lots of bars and clubs where you can check out great musicians. McDonough, who currently plays in The Chicago Stone Lightning Band, offers some recommendations for the next time you’re in the city. Who knows, you may even see McDonough rocking the stage: LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 17 Sometimes all we need is a little help to reach higher Remember when you were a student and someone helped you reach new heights? Their encouragement, connection and support set you up for success. Now you can help students by including Laurier in your will. Waterloo Lutheran Cheerleaders c. 1967; Wilfrid Laurier University Archives Making a gift now is easy. Cec Joyal, our Legacy Development Officer, will be happy to help you through the steps. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519.884.0710 x3864. wlu.ca/giving campus feature McDonough is a governor of the Chicago chapter of The Recording Academy, the organization behind The Grammys. In 2010, McDonough’s successes were noticed by Leo Burnett, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, which hired him away from DDB. In addition to finding and handling the music they use, he now works with the company’s legal teams on the business side of music licensing. “I had a co-worker at DDB who would negotiate the contracts and dot all the i’s”, says McDonough. “She used to say, ‘You have the fun, I get it done.’ You can have the best music in the world but if you can’t negotiate how to get it done, and get the money where you need it, and get the proper approvals, it doesn’t matter because you can’t use it.” McDonough enjoys the business side of his work as much as the creative because it’s a different way of thinking. “I’ll be pitching songs and it’s just people’s opinions — there’s no right or wrong answer,” he says. “But the other side is black and white, and there is a right or wrong answer. I am a Libra, so it’s a nice break to go back and forth.” It takes a bit of detective work to find the perfect song for an ad. McDonough needs to keep up with the music industry, which involves following trusted blogs and social media accounts, speaking with publishers, and of course, listening to a lot of music. He gets sent almost every big record that comes out, and most indie records, too. He also gets sent “a gazillion emails a day.” “It’s tough out there and I remember what it was like trying to get started in music, so I try to listen to and talk to everybody,” says McDonough, who is also a governor of the Chicago chapter of The Recording Academy, the organization behind The Grammys. “And I have found some unknown bands that I’ve used in campaigns that way, so it never hurts.” Because he listens to so many songs, McDonough has to remind himself how the general population hears music. “People who are super into music are able to listen to a song once and say, ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it and here’s why.’ But for most people, familiarity is 99 per cent of what makes music good.” This makes it more difficult for McDonough to assess whether or not a song will be good for an ad — people may not like it simply because they haven’t heard it before. “It doesn’t feel like work to me. It’s still what I do to relax.” Despite the volume of music he listens to, McDonough never gets tired of it. The first thing he does when he gets home is put on a record. “It doesn’t feel like work to me. It’s still what I do to relax. Someone said to me once, ‘You don’t have good taste in music you just have a lot of taste in music.’” He laughs. “But that’s part of my job. It’s not about me picking something I love, but something that’s going to be right for the ad. I’m constantly educating myself in all genres.” McDonough offers what he sees for the future of the music industry. First, he predicts brands getting more deeply involved in music creation. “Music has been valuable to human beings for thousands of years. Everybody knows it affects people emotionally, which is something that is invaluable to marketers. The amount of money marketers spend on music is proof they understand the value of music. Music is going to have a role, and brands are going to want to be in the music space in a number of different ways in the future.” McDonough sees the relationships between bands and brands working well as long as the partnerships are authentic and natural. A recent example is a commercial by Delta Faucets featuring Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, who uses a collection of faucets as a “drum kit” to play the ’60s hit Reach Out, I’ll Be There. Kotche generates sound from unconventional objects for his solo artistic endeavours. “For him to be playing on household objects is something he does anyway,” says McDonough. “Those are the best kinds of partnerships.” He also predicts a resurgence of the old indie-rock attitude. “I think we’re going to see some young bands making a big deal out of the fact they won’t do ads. That’s the cycle of music, and that’s the great thing about music — it’s tied to rebellion and that will be the thing people start rebelling against again.” And for all aspiring musicians out there, McDonough says to keep at it. “If an opportunity pops up, just go for it. And if some money-making opportunity never pops up, it’s still time well spent because you love music. You can’t lose.” CAMPUS Follow Gabe McDonough on Twitter: @gabemcdonough LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 19 Evan Mitchellâ€™s modern approach to the symphony makes it accessible for everyone 20 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 campus feature story by Justin Fauteux On a snowy afternoon in mid-January, conductor Evan Mitchell arrives at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square concert hall two hours before showtime, pulling a rolling suitcase with a garment bag slung over his shoulder. He has brought along the tools of his trade — a baton, a suit and sheet music — and some unorthodox items that will play a starring role in the day’s performance: pink flannel pajamas, a pair of bunny slippers and a stuffed toy. laurier CAMPUS Spring 2014 21 campus feature later that afternoon mitchell performs serge prokofiev’s classic tALE PETER AND THE WOLF to a packed audience of kids and parents. He cracks jokes, makes himself the butt of a few gags, and although he sheds the pink pajamas for a more traditional black suit after the first piece, the fluffy white bunny slippers peek out from under his pressed slacks for the entire show. It’s a far cry from the stuffy symphony performance that usually comes to mind. For Mitchell, the assistant conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS), debunking common misconceptions of the symphony hasn’t just become part of his job; it’s become a personal mission. “We often have to fight the conception that it’s elitist or snobby, which it’s really not,” says Mitchell (BMus ’03). “I’m on stage in pink pajamas and bunny slippers — that’s about as far from elitist as I think you can get!” A large part of Mitchell’s job involves education and outreach, particularly for children. He conducts the symphony’s series of family-centric concerts and regularly speaks and performs at elementary schools. He is also in charge of the KWS Youth Orchestra. Mitchell is passionate about making the symphony less intimidating and more accessible. He produces a video series called The Dress Rehearsal, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the symphony’s rehearsals and provides practical insight into each performance. He also produces a weekly podcast, Insights with Evan Mitchell, which gives listeners fun facts and additional information about orchestra music. To Mitchell, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know a violin from a flute, or whether you shop at thrift stores or Tiffany’s, he believes the symphony is for everyone. “There’s no wrong way to go to a symphony,” he says. “I’ve seen a Mozart requiem performance where a guy came in wearing a studded jean jacket, tight leather pants and had bright green hair. The symphony is really not stuck up and nobody’s going to give you a hard time.” 22 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Mitchell’s humble, yet passionate attitude towards his art form may be a result of his own modest beginnings in music. Although he was interested in music throughout his childhood, Mitchell didn’t take a private lesson until he was 16. And that lesson was on the drum kit. “I got the drum set for my 16th birthday and my parents said ‘If you’re going to play it, you’re going to learn to play it right,’” Mitchell says. Mitchell was the drummer in bands with high school friends and was a fan of Canadian rock bands such as the Barenaked Ladies, Our Lady Peace and Treble Charger. Growing up, classical music was also always on his playlist, and he sung in a choir as a child and even tried playing the cello. The idea of being a professional musician was appealing, so after graduating high school he enrolled in Laurier’s music program, focusing on percussion in the performance stream. “It just seemed like a very natural thing to do. I was enjoying music more and more as I learned more and more, and it became evident that music was my calling above anything else.” At Laurier Mitchell was introduced to classical percussion instruments like the marimba and timpani. It was also during his undergrad days that he experienced his first taste of conducting. Paul Pulford, an internationally acclaimed conductor and professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Music, remembers being struck by just how hard Mitchell worked and the energy the young percussionist brought to every performance. “He was always a pro, even when he was a secondor third-year student,” Pulford recalls. “He pushed himself. There were even times when he pushed himself over the edge and he would get injuries from practising too much. That just tells you what kind of dedication a kid has.” Mitchell, who was practising up to five hours a day, says injuries were a price he was willing to pay for his craft. “The symphony is really not stuck up and nobody’s going to give you a hard time.” “At first you might get a blister and it would bleed and scab over,” he says nonchalantly as he shows off the scars between his middle and ring fingers, where he held the second set of mallets used to play the marimba, a percussion instrument that looks like a massive xylophone but produces a greater depth of sound. “Eventually you get these calluses, but even then, calluses would break and bleed, and things would be really raw and you couldn’t play for a few days. It’s disgusting, but that’s just what musicians do.” In his second year, at the urging of some of his professors, Mitchell began dabbling in conducting. At first, Mitchell conducted student compositions, and later he assisted Pulford, who was then the conductor of the KWS Youth Orchestra. “He always had a performer’s personality — he’s great on stage,” says Pulford. “It’s like watching an athlete, he can just flip a switch and the performance is electric.” Mitchell went back and forth between conducting and percussion but had to make a choice when he decided to pursue a master’s degree. After applying to several prestigious programs, the University of Toronto offered him a full scholarship in either percussion or conducting. He had 48 hours to decide. “It wasn’t an easy choice — I was doing very well performance-wise as a percussionist,” Mitchell says. “But I felt I had more to say as a conductor. As a conductor, you get to be at the epicentre of musical creation. I don’t foresee myself ever getting tired of that.” Raffi Armenian, a longtime conductor of the KWS and one of Canada’s most prominent conductors, was an instructor at U of T and became Mitchell’s mentor. The two spent four hours together every week, meticulously analyzing every note of different pieces of music. “Raffi is the most incredible musical mind I’ve ever encountered,” says Mitchell. “He pushes you all the time to the very limits of your ability, and I certainly took a lot away from our time together.” After graduating, Mitchell auditioned for an assistant conductor position with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), considered to be one of the best in the country. It was the first time Mitchell had ever been in front of a professional orchestra. “I went in thinking I had zero hope, I just wasn’t experienced enough,” Mitchell says. “I think that freed me up to not be nervous or overly stiff. I just got up there and had the time of my life.” He landed the high-profile position at just 27. Pulford admits he was surprised to receive a phone call from VSO conductor Bramwell Tovey, who was checking Mitchell’s references. LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 23 campus feature Mitchell conducted 120 concerts during his three-year residency with the VSO. He also acted as a Canadian ambassador during an historic two-week tour of China, Korea and Macau. As well, he served as an official consultant to the Vancouver Olympic Committee and assistant producer for the recording of the medal ceremony national anthems for the 2010 Winter Games. mitchell wraps up his family performance of PETER AND THE WOLF to a standing ovation. He packs his bunny slippers away and hangs up his fuzzy pink pajamas before heading to his dressing room to record a podcast. He will then squeeze in a quick dinner before giving a pre-concert audience speech at award-winning pianist Haochen Zheng’s performance later that evening. The following weeks are spent rehearsing for his next concert series, Pixar in Concert, which features memorable scores from the movie studio’s biggest hits, including Toy Story and UP — a first for KWS. He will also lead rehearsals for the Youth Orchestra, and he must always be prepared to step in for any of the symphony’s shows at a moment’s notice if another conductor is unable to perform. Mitchell, who says he generally works seven days a week, has no trouble sacrificing days off and his hobbies, which include solving a Rubik’s Cube in 70 seconds, for his work, especially if it impacts someone’s life. He experienced this first-hand during his stint with the VSO. After a series of school concerts featuring Beethoven, a teacher sent the VSO a journal entry from a student who was in the audience. The student, who had bounced between foster families, had a learning disability and struggled in school, had written more than he ever had before. The entry read: “It was the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in. It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. It was the best day of my life.” “You’re not going to get to every kid that way, but that was transformative for me,” says Mitchell. According to Mitchell’s estimates, he has performed for about 200,000 kids in his six years as an assistant conductor. And while there are many concerts in his career that he’s proud of, bringing the symphony to children might be his biggest accomplishment. “For many kids, it’s the first time they’ve heard this kind of music, or at the very least it’s the first time they’ve heard it live, and that’s a formative thing,” he says. “Family and school shows are some of the most important that we do, for that reason. I’m very proud to have been a part of that.” With his three years with the KWS almost over — with the assistant conductor position, “it’s three years, then out the door you go, regardless of how much they like you or hate you” — Mitchell hopes to land a music director position to “see what it’s like to be the person in charge.” Wherever his path may lead next, Mitchell can’t imagine doing anything else. “As conductors, we get to be submerged in the world’s greatest art day in and day out, and that’s really remarkable. What we do is a very temporary and transient thing because while we have these immortal works, when we perform them it is the only time the performance will happen in that exact vein,” he says, adding with a laugh: “I don’t think I’m qualified to do anything else, so I certainly hope I can continue to do this.” CAMPUS “As conductors, we get to be submerged in the world’s greatest art day in and day out.” 24 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 TAP INTO THE TOOLS THAT WILL HELP YOU SUCCEED Career Seminars | Networking | Resumés | Job Postings | And More YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS TO US. When you’re students, yes. But also when you’re alumni. The Career Centre has services tailored for you including our Alumni Employment Service and the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK). Contact the Career Centre to learn about these and other free services: 519.884.0710 x4495 and email@example.com. wlu.ca/career As the man responsible for balancing the provinceâ€™s budget, being in the news is something Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa (BBA â€™82) is used to. But even before his life in politics, Sousa was making the front page. Balancing the Books story by Justin Fauteux 26 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 campus feature “As important as academic education is, I find that being engaged with the community and social interaction are just as important.” Photo: Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency left: Charles Sousa visits a Portuguese bakery in the Kensington Market area of Toronto where he lived as a child. In the fall of 1981, Charles Sousa and five of his Laurier classmates were living in Calgary for a co-op term. Disappointed to be missing out on the Oktoberfest celebrations happening back in Kitchener-Waterloo, the group decided to throw an Oktoberfest party at their rented downtown house. “I don’t know how it happened, but somehow it got out that we were having a party,” Sousa reminisces more than 30 years later, a playful smile on his face. “All kinds of people showed up.” Among the attendees was a photographer for The Calgary Sun. The following day, Sousa and his housemates found themselves on the front page of the newspaper, the subjects of a feature story on one of the biggest Oktoberfest parties Calgary had ever seen. Sousa, 55, chuckles as he recalls receiving a stern phone call from Max Stewart, then dean of Laurier’s School of Business and Economics. “We were just so proud of our roots and proud of our school, and I think in the end he appreciated that we were just celebrating Oktoberfest,” Sousa says. Sitting in his corner office at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Sousa reflects not only on the friendships and memories that came out of his four years at Laurier, but also on how his university experience helped him get to where he is today. Sousa was born in the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood in 1958. His father, Antonio, a Portuguese immigrant, was a focal point in the community, well known for helping other recent immigrants get settled. Antonio Sousa left fascist Portugal in 1953, arriving in Goose Bay, Labrador, to work as a dishwasher in a logging camp. A businessman back home, the elder Sousa’s entrepreneurial spirit quickly resurfaced, and he spent much of his time buying and selling everything from winter clothes to chocolate around the camp. When he saved up enough money, he moved to Kensington Market, a vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, where he established a wholesale operation that supplied items such as canned goods, bread and fish to local restaurants, markets and bakeries. He even went on to provide financing for immigrant shops and restaurants. “His whole purpose then was to try to support people, to find them jobs and enable them to succeed because their success meant his success,” Sousa says of his father, who is now 88. Sousa was six when the family moved to south Mississauga, the riding he now represents. He grew up in the suburb (he still lives there today), but makes frequent trips back to Kensington Market where his father is still a leader in the Portuguese community. Along with community involvement and a relentless work ethic, Sousa’s father also instilled in his children the importance of education — there was no question Sousa would attend university. As a student, Sousa was attracted to Laurier’s small size and the reputation of its business and co-op programs. As an aspiring football player, he was hopeful for a chance to play for legendary coach David “Tuffy” Knight and the Golden Hawks football team. Sousa played football throughout high school and was named athlete of the year at his middle school. He was encouraged to try out for the team when he arrived at Laurier, but an injury forced him to miss tryouts his first year, and by the time the opportunity to play rolled around again in his second year, Sousa had been accepted into the co-op program. While a football career at Laurier wasn’t in the cards, Sousa wasn’t shy about getting involved elsewhere on campus. He was a vice-president in AIESEC, he wrote for The Cord, and he was heavily involved in different clubs within the School of Business and Economics. Though his focus was business, Sousa also took classes in sociology, philosophy and astronomy, and credits Laurier with encouraging students to develop a wide range of skills. “The school encouraged us to have a broad look at life, not just business,” he says. “As important as academic education is, I find that being engaged with the community and social interaction are just as important.” LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 27 Hawk for life. With over 80,000 members and growing, the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) is painting the world purple and gold. Your Alumni Card is your key to events, programs, services and connections to Laurier and the world. Stay connected, for life. laurieralumni.ca campus feature LEFT: Sousa, centre, at work with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, right. “I was never discouraged, I was invigorated by the experience.” Sousa spent all three of his co-op terms in Calgary’s oil industry, working in accounting. Each time he made the trip, he brought along more of his Laurier classmates, and eventually rented the house that would go on to host the infamous Oktoberfest party. With Laurier students, and even a few professors, coming and going so often, Sousa and his friends started calling the house “The Co-op Hotel.” After graduating, Sousa started his own financial services company. The inspiration, he says, came from his time at Laurier. “Laurier really encourages entrepreneurialism,” he says. “The professors really give you a sense of how to think outside the box in certain respects.” Sousa ran his company for five years, eventually taking a position with Royal Bank of Canada in 1987. That kicked off a very successful 20-year career in the banking industry that saw him earn a professional designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers and several prominent roles in the company, including director of government and community affairs. Sousa began meeting politicians on a regular basis, including longtime federal finance minister and former prime minister Paul Martin. In the early 2000s, with his children in their teen years and the support of many backers, including Martin, Sousa decided the timing was right to enter the political arena. He first ran for a federal Liberal nomination in 2004 and lost by just over 100 votes. In 2006, he put his name forward for the Liberal candidacy in a federal by-election in his home riding of Mississauga South. Once again, he came up just short. “I was never discouraged, I was invigorated by the experience,” Sousa says of his unsuccessful runs. “I wanted to do more than what I was doing. I really appreciated the work I was doing at the bank, but I felt there was more that I could do.” The next year, Sousa ran for the first time on the provincial level in Mississauga South, taking on incumbent Tim Peterson, who was elected as a Liberal — the first Liberal MPP in the riding’s history — but crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservatives. Sousa won by more than 5,000 votes. He was re-elected by an even greater margin in 2011. Sousa served as Ontario’s Minister of Labour and then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration before taking over as Minister of Finance in February 2013, shortly after running for the Liberal provincial leadership (he lost to Kathleen Wynne). These days Sousa spends most of his time in briefings, doing public engagements and going over pre-budgetary submissions as he prepares to present his second budget later this spring. At 6 p.m. on a Friday, an interview with his alma mater’s alumni magazine is not his last appointment of the day. While being in charge of the province’s finances comes with its share of stress, Sousa relishes the constant learning opportunities his job provides. “My grandmother always said, ‘You can never stop learning’ and she never did,” he says. “As much as I appreciate the opportunity to give back, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to keep learning, too.” When he’s not CRUNCHING numbers, Sousa spends as much time as he can with his wife, Zenaida, and their grown children Cristine, Justin and Jessica. He also plays the piano, or as he puts it: “When nobody’s listening, I sort of bang on the keys a bit.” It’s something he’s done since childhood and continued to do at Laurier, sneaking into the Theatre Auditorium to play. “I’m not that good, but it’s an escape for me and I really enjoy it,” he says modestly, neglecting to mention that he’s recorded a few CDs. “There were a couple pianos in the auditorium at Laurier and my friend Eric Ziezold and I would try and get dueling pianos going.” Sousa has kept in touch with many of his friends and professors from his Laurier days, and given his current position, none of them are shy to offer him “advice.” Four years ago, he found himself back on campus when his son Justin, “with no coaxing on my part,” Sousa insists, enrolled in Laurier’s business and co-op programs. “I’m very thankful for the experiences Laurier has given me and continues to give my son,” he says. “The school’s got a legacy. It’s got a great reputation.” CAMPUS LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 29 keeping in touch Art design and by Mallory O’Brien As a little girl, Alison Milne constantly rearranged her bedroom. In university, it was her dorm room. And when she was a don for Clara Conrad residence, her rearranging tendencies spread to her floor’s lounge. 30 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 Photo: Angus Fergusson “For me, it’s less about decor and more about space and functioning in a space,” says Milne. “Your mood can be completely altered by your surroundings. It’s the functionality of the room that’s the focus for me.” Milne (BA ’02) is the owner of Alison Milne Design, a design studio and art gallery in the heart of downtown Toronto. The art gallery is her firm’s niche, connecting clients with artists and showcasing potential artwork for their spaces. With six to eight shows a year, the gallery has proven to be a very successful aspect of her business. Photo: Angus Fergusson keeping in touch The Alison Milne Gallery hosts up to eight art exhibitions a year. “It’s the functionality of the room that’s the focus for me.” Although Milne has loved interior design since she was a child, she took a wayward journey to reach her destination. As a high school student in her hometown of Etobicoke, Ont., Milne decided she didn’t want to limit her future, so she attended Laurier to study economics. She spent a lot of time participating in extracurricular activities, such as being an icebreaker during Orientation Week and being a part of the Activities Team (A-Team). As a don she shared her love of art and design with her first-year students by taking them on trips to Toronto to see musicals and exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario. After graduating, Milne went straight into a corporate sales job at Bell Canada. It took two years at Bell for Milne to realize she really wanted to be doing something creative. She stayed with the company for another three years, but took design classes at George Brown College in the evenings. She got a job at a prominent Toronto design firm and eventually branched out on her own. Armed with her economics education and sales experience, she opened her first business in September 2008. “I would never have my own business without that degree,” she says. The idea for the art gallery came about when Milne was planning the opening party for her new office, and she realized she had no art on the walls. She called one of her friends and asked if he wanted to display his art — they could even put price tags on the pieces if he wanted. “He had never sold anything before, and we spent the night making labels and coming up with prices based on how much effort went into each piece,” she says. “He ended up selling everything! It turned out the interior designers at the opening were interested in buying for their own clients. I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I should be doing this all the time.’” Today, clients who have art collections often hire Milne to design spaces around their collection. But whether or not Milne’s clients have a passion for art, she has a passion for ensuring the design feels like the client. “The last thing I would want is for people to look at a room and say, ‘This is so Alison Milne.’ We want it to feel like the client. We want their family and friends to walk into the room and say, ‘This is so you!’ Milne focuses on functionality in her designs, top and left. “It’s important for us to have pushed the client a little bit, to do something they wouldn’t do or think of, but at the end of the job, if it feels like it’s them, it’s a success.” Milne’s work has been featured in magazines such as House & Home and Design Lines, and she has appeared on design shows such as Steven + Chris and Restaurant Takeover. As for her own style, she says it changes constantly, although — not surprisingly — it’s very “art-based.” “I feel like I’m inspired by art and art forms I see throughout the city. In my home there’s art everywhere. There’s no spare wall.” CAMPUS LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 31 keeping in touch Q&A Alanna Wallace: turning volunteer work into a career in Africa Alanna Wallace (BA ’10) got her first taste of working in Africa as a student volunteer through Laurier’s Global Studies Experience program. She returned as a volunteer for two more summers before being hired for a full-time position with African Impact, the largest on-the-ground facilitator of volunteers in Africa. Today, Wallace lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and works in marketing for the organization and its registered charity, The Happy Africa Foundation, all while completing her master’s degree in Global Development Challenges online through the University of Edinburgh. What first inspired you to volunteer in Africa? I’ve always loved studying Africa. My mom will tell you that even when I was in primary school and we were asked to study a country in geography, all the other kids would want to study France and Spain, and I would want to study Ethiopia. In university I leaned towards learning about Africa and African politics, and I had some great professors who always encouraged me to follow what I was passionate about and study what I was passionate about. What kind of work did you do during your stints as a volunteer? Mostly I did things like HIV education and empowerment of vulnerable groups, mainly because of my studies. At Laurier I tried to focus a lot on health and development, so I helped teach HIV education to adults at seminars and to primary school students, as well as running youth groups and helping facilitate HIV support groups with adults. 32 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 (l-r) Wallace high fives a boy she gave first aid to; sorting through donations for the mother’s support group; caring for a small patient; hiking in South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains. Now that your volunteer work has become a career, what is a typical day like for you? One of the things I’m in charge of is running an ambassador program with our former volunteers. We’ve got a group of former volunteers all over the world who are promoting African Impact in their home countries. A typical day can be anything from writing blogs or Facebook posts for marketing, to meeting with interns, to going over budgets for buildings and renovations. Right now I’m working on a new HIV curriculum for all of our projects. Can you imagine yourself doing anything else? No, but I guess when you get older you may not want to be in the field as much, and there are some disadvantages to living in Africa, even in South Africa, which is one of the most developed countries on the continent. There are challenges with water, electricity, breakins and crime. As I get older, I probably won’t want to deal with that as much. But for now, it’s a great way to live and it’s so exciting. How difficult was adjusting to life in Africa? Through my volunteer projects, I started to learn the languages in South Africa and get comfortable with the customs and how I was supposed to dress or conduct myself. I think people underestimate how difficult it is to work in a completely different culture, especially as a young woman in one that can be very patriarchal and male-dominated. I had to learn how to conduct myself in that way and that’s something you don’t learn in the classroom. keeping in touch What’s the most challenging part of your job? Making sure that I’m making a long-term impact, and everything that I do and that the company does on the ground is taking into account everyone’s best interest. It can be difficult explaining to volunteers that the best thing we can possibly do is educate people. A lot of volunteers want to give things — they want to give out candy or clothes, but a lot of times that’s not the best way to help internationally. We always say we want to give a hand up, not a hand out. But that’s how the industry is changing. It needs to be sustainable and have ways that you can maximize the positive impact on communities. What’s the most rewarding part of your job? There are two things because there are two sides to the job. One is the empowerment of individuals and communities. The difference that I’ve seen since I touched down in Africa to now has been exponential — I could talk about that for days. But also, it’s being able to give volunteers the opportunity to have an amazing experience like I’ve had, and to pair them with projects that are really going to influence their lives. What’s been your biggest accomplishment in your volunteer work or your job? I helped start a support group for mothers in 2012. It started with just a couple of moms and it grew to a group of about 20, from teen moms to grandmothers who were caring for their grandchildren. We spent one afternoon each week sharing information about simple things like baby massage and how to interact with a baby, to learning about how to recover from a Caesarean section. All the mothers also passed our HIV education course and they all started to come to one of our adult English classes. In the course of a year, it just took on a life of its own and the mothers started supporting each other. They all ended up so much more educated, empowered and confident in their skills as moms and as members of the community. What advice do you have for people who are looking to get into this field? Take risks. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do, to step out outside your comfort zone, but life begins at the end of that comfort zone. So, be willing to push yourself and really go after what you love to do, which is exactly what I did and it wasn’t always the most popular decision. But if you stay true to what you believe in, you’ll go a lot further. For more information on African Impact, visit africanimpact.com. By Justin Fauteux LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 33 keeping in touch ALUMNI UPDATES 1960s 1980s John Varley (BA ’69) retired in 2011 after a 34-year career in law. Although he was volunteering for Law Help Ontario and several charitable boards, he wasn’t ready to stop working. He joined First Principles Communication, a public relations firm, as a consultant, where he advises on business enterprises and corporate restructurings. Tom Oldfield (BBA ’84) was recently named president of Advanced Office Solutions Group. 1970s Jack Edwards (MSW ’72) retired in January as executive director of the Oxford Self Help Network. His wife Patricia (MSW ’72) retired last year as director of mental health services at Woodstock Hospital. John Kastner (BA ’79) has been appointed commissioner of the Intercounty Baseball League. Kastner has a long history with the IBL, having covered the league when he was managing editor at Stratford’s Beacon Herald newspaper. Scott Chandler (BA ’87) was appointed president and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield. Mark Moses (BBA ’87) travelled to China last spring with his son and father to compete in the Great Wall marathon, a quarter of which takes place on the Great Wall. Moses completed the marathon, while his 12-year-old son, Mason, completed the 7.5-km run. Moses says, “It was an amazing feeling to have been there, run the race with my son and have my dad in the wings cheering us on.” 1990s Ross Pearo (BBA ’91) joined Harvard Business School as the product director for its new HBX online programs. He will be commuting to Boston from his home in Carmel, Indiana, where his family – wife Lisa, Alex, 11, and Sophie, 9 – are living. He invites his former classmates to connect with him at linkedin.com/in/pearo. Chirag Shah (BusDip ’91, MBA ’99) has been appointed chair of Western University’s Board of Governors. He works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. James Dutkiewicz (BA ’92) was promoted to chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at Sentry Investments. Jason Anderson (BBA ’95) has been appointed senior vice-president of marketing at Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, an operator and developer of commercial real estate. Thinking inside the box Some assembly required: Ami Shah uses crowd-funding to kickstart her business By Justin Fauteux Ami Shah (BBA ’04) is looking to get kids thinking creatively. In 2013, Shah and her business partner Angie Chan launched Peekapak, a service that provides hands-on activities connected to a story in an effort to help children “get more out of playtime.” Each month Peekapak sends subscribers a new pack filled with a book featuring recurring characters — known as the Peekapak pals — and eco-friendly materials children use to create crafts that go along with the story. Shah and Chan sent out the first pack, which was space themed, in December and are planning a wider-scale launch in the spring. “We use storytelling that weaves in hands-on activities and crafts, so kids can develop a sense of curiosity and be creative thinkers,” said Shah. “There’s also a sense of accomplishment. The children build things, they can experiment and see how things work.” 34 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 After just over a year of developing the idea, Shah and Chan launched a Kickstarter campaign last year to get the business off the ground. More than 100 people donated to help fund Peekapak, and within just five days of launching the campaign the company had surpassed its fundraising goal. Just two days after finishing the crowd-funding campaign, Shah and Chan sent out the first pack. “What’s notorious about Kickstarter campaigns is they can take months and months,” said Shah. “A lot of people actually received their kits in hand the same week they donated.” Shah says the Kickstarter campaign not only raised initial funding, but it also provided valuable feedback from potential customers. Shah’s entrepreneurial spirit took shape during her time at Laurier, where she helped form The Link, an organization that looks Peekapak to connect past, present and future students within the School of Business and Economics. After developing a passion for marketing through her co-op experience, Shah was constantly thinking of and pitching ideas for new businesses. Once she graduated, Shah started working with Proctor and Gamble. She also did volunteer work, including a stint in Vietnam working with children’s charity Blue Dragon, and a year volunteering with Everyday Child, which develops learning centres for children. With Peekapak, Shah is combining her experience promoting child education with her passion for entrepreneurship. ATTENTION CLASSES OF 2009 2004 1999 1994 1989 1984 1974 1964 5th 10th 15th 20th 25th 30th 40th 50th Waterloo | September 26–28 Brantford | November 8 Want to make an impact on this year’s Homecoming? WE NEED REUNION VOLUNTEERS to choose events, plan celebrations and contact classmates! For more information visit laurieralumni.ca/reunions or contact Heather Ferris at firstname.lastname@example.org. laurieralumni.ca/homecoming Don’t wait until homecoming to connect with classmates! LaurierAlumni | #LaurierHomecoming GRADVANTAGES Travelling the road of life together The benefits of studying at Laurier don’t expire on graduation day. The GradVantages program is our gift to you – for life. Learn about the unique discounts and offers our partners have for you. GradVantages: You’ve earned it, use it! laurieralumni.ca/gradvantages keeping in touch ALUMNI UPDATES Jennifer Steele’s business degree takes her around the world Leanne Hall (BA ’95) was recognized on the 2013 list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network. Hall received the Glencore Trailblazers & Trendsetters Award in recognition of her work as vice-president of human resources at Noront Resources Ltd. Laurier honorary degree recipient Heather Reisman and Board of Governors member Sue Reibel were also among the 100 women recognized for their leadership and contributions. Kelly Cole (MBA ’96) has been promoted to vice-president (external) at Western University. Previously, she held the position of executive director of advancement for the Ivey Business School. Kelly Murumets (MSW ’96) has been named president and chief executive officer of Tennis Canada. Murumets is a member of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics Dean’s Advisory Council. Daniel Charlebois (BA ’97) is commanding officer of HMCS Regina, a Halifax-class warship in the Royal Canadian Navy. The Regina and her crew of about 250 personnel, including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment from 443 Squadron, based in Patricia Bay, B.C., left Canada for the Arabian Sea in January. They join Operation Artemis, Canada’s contribution to the multinational effort in support of maritime security and counter-terrorism efforts in the region. Scott Maw (BA ’97), Mark Mathies (BA ’98) and Paul Webster (BA ’98), travelled to Sochi, Russia, in February for the 2014 Olympic Games. Maw was involved with strength and conditioning for the speed skating team, Mathies was team leader for speed skating and Webster was team leader for curling. Carly Kuntz (MBA ’99) recently received Kitchener-Waterloo’s Women of Merit recognition. Kuntz is the owner and “chief relaxation officer” at The Waters spa in Waterloo. (l-r) Paul Webster (BA ’98), Scott Maw (BA ’97), and Mark Mathies (BA ’98) in Sochi, Russia. 2000s Simon Hacker (BA ’03) is a humanitarian logistician for the United Nations World Food Programme. Hacker directs the distribution of emergency food supplies throughout Syria. Pianist Ann Rose (nee Park) (BMus ’03) performed a special Christmas concert with her husband David and two sons in St. John’s, Nfld. Her sons Billy (in Grade 4) and Manny (in Grade 1) are following family tradition, as Rose started the piano at age five. She has appeared with the Canadian Chamber ensemble and has been seen and heard on CBC television. Rose is presently organist at St. John’s UCC in Dunkirk, Nfld. Adam Luther (BMus ‘04, MusDip ’05) returned to his home province of Newfoundland in December for a special performance of Händel’s Messiah in St. John’s. Luther, who now lives in Toronto, recently completed his tenure as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Studio Ensemble. Aimee Berends (BMus ’11, MMT ’13) is a freelance musician and sits as principal oboe with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 Berends helped to create a music therapy program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph, and is now the music therapist in the child and adolescent mental health unit at Grand River hospital in Kitchener. Alyssa Trudeau (BA ’13) was promoted to senior interpreter of public programs at TheMuseum in Kitchener. Trudeau thanks Laurier staff and faculty Gerry Schaus, Lisa Trenton, Alexis Young, Judith Fletcher and Abby Goodrum for encouraging her to stay true to her love for classics, art and architecture. Jennifer Steele (BBA ’06) has always had a passion for fashion and charity. While at Laurier, she organized several fashion events, including a fashion show fundraiser benefitting her family’s charitable foundation, The Steele Family Foundation, which aids those in the community who struggle with the basic necessities of life. Realizing her love of event planning, she started her own business, jSTEELE events, while still a student. Photo: Thomas Kolodziej Chris Arnold (BMus ’95) is the new director of the Waterloo-based Grand Harmony Chorus, a group of female barbershop performers. Arnold has been involved with barbershop groups and activities since the age of 16. Jennifer Steele on the cover of Air Canada’s magazine. After graduating, Steele accompanied her father on a business trip to Beijing, China, where she was recruited as a fashion model while visiting the Great Wall. She stayed the summer, working for high-end fashion brands as an editorial model, and when she returned to Toronto, Steele started modelling full time. Since then she has worked around the world, including Milan, London, Singapore, Toronto and Montreal. “People ask me all the time if having a business degree matters to me in my current position, and the answer is always yes,” said Steele. “Laurier’s business program taught me how to live my dream. It was at Laurier that I gained the skills to take risks, manage my own business effectively and network with others, while selling my brand. Laurier gave me the discipline and ability to be self-employed, while making strategic decisions, and managing my own goals and benchmarks. My four years at Laurier were truly invaluable to me.” “Laurier’s business program taught me how to live my dream.” –Jennifer Steele LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 37 postcard to home By Andrea Dalimonte (BA ’08) After graduating in 2008 from Laurier’s Brantford campus as a mature student and going on to receive my teaching degree the following year, I made the biggest decision of my life: I moved abroad to work as a teacher in inner city London schools. Before this, I had never made a choice to do something just for me, so my two very good friends and I packed our bags and landed in what I can only describe as the most chaotic and beautiful city I have ever seen! The first two weeks were extremely difficult: living in hostels, learning the underground system, searching for a flat to live in and generally adjusting to the fast-paced life that consumes London. We eventually found an amazing flat in a cute, cobblestoned gated muse, and thus began my life as a Londoner. I was a supply teacher through a teaching agency for three months before securing a long-term contract teaching in a primary school. Learning the curriculum and all the various teaching strategies used here were exciting challenges. I have become even more open minded and accepting of all cultures through my experiences teaching here in London. I have also been so fortunate to travel all over the U.K., Europe and Africa on our many term breaks. I began my journey as a single woman determined to travel, enjoy the London nightlife and make new friends. Now, five years later, I’m with the man of my dreams and we have an amazing and beautiful 15-month-old daughter. Experiencing London as a mother and family is like experiencing a totally different place all over again. If I could take anything away from my experience living here, it’s to really cherish and appreciate the wonderful family and friends I have back home in Brantford, Ont. They have supported my every decision no matter how crazy or absurd. My advice is to take your dream, goal or gut feeling and turn it into reality. You never know how your life will change for the better! Are you a Laurier alumna/us living abroad and interested in sharing your story? Email email@example.com. 38 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 calendar of events MARK YOUR CALENDAR For a complete list of events, tickets or more information, visit laurieralumni.ca/events Friends of Golden Hawk Football Dinner April 24, 2014 Join fellow alumni at the Waterloo Inn & Conference Centre in support of the Golden Hawk football program. For tickets visit laurierathletics.com/footballdinner. Niagara Wine Tours Homecoming 2014 May 24, 2014 (Chateau des Charmes Winery, Joseph’s Estate Winery, Diamond Estates) June 21, 2014 (Foreign Affair Winery, Joseph’s Estate Winery, Diamond Estates) Sept. 26-28 (Waterloo) & Nov. 8 (Brantford) Join Laurier alumni for a tour of select wineries throughout the Niagara region. Organized by the KW & GTA West Chapters, both tours feature some of Canada’s most unique and award-winning wineries. Stay tuned for more details on these tours. Convocation June 9-13 & Oct. 31, 2014 Here we grow again! The Laurier alumni family welcomes its newest members. For more Extraordinary Progress and Glaring Gaps: Women’s International Human Rights Since 1970 information, visit www.wlu.ca/convocation. May 14, 2014 Milton Centre for the Arts, Milton, Ont. Rhoda Howard-Hassmann from Laurier’s Department of Global Studies and Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights will discuss the progress and problems in universal women’s rights since 1970, focusing on the international law of women’s rights and developments in Canada. For details on this free lecture, visit www.mpl.on.ca/lectures. Laurier Golf Classic June 23, 2014 Golf one of the top 15 courses in Canada, the Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener, Ont., while raising money for the Student Horizon Fund and the Golden Hawk Scholarship Fund. For details, visit laurierathletics.com/golfclassic. Reunions, athletics, food and music — Homecoming is Laurier’s biggest party! Mark your calendar and watch laurieralumni.ca/homecoming for all of the details on this annual celebration. Oktoberfest Oct. 17, 2014 Join fellow alumni for dinner at the Hubertushaus followed by fun and festivities at the Concordia Club in Kitchener. Get your tickets early for this popular event. Hotel Laurier If you are attending an event on Laurier’s Waterloo campus or the surrounding area, or if you want to meet up with fellow alumni for a fun weekend of reminiscing, why not book overnight accommodation right on campus? From May through August, Laurier offers affordable accommodations, including private rooms and apartments, in several of its residence buildings for individuals, families and groups. Laurier alumni, faculty and staff receive a discount on their stay in the King Street Residence— experience campus and all it has to offer! For more information, visit laurierconferences.ca/index-Summer.htm. HOMECOMING Retro Photo Contest Submit photos from past Homecomings for your chance to WIN a $500 VIP Homecoming 2014 package. Visit facebook.com/LaurierAlumni for contest details. LaurierAlumni LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 39 flashback A student sits next to a snow sculpture celebrating the late singer and activist Pete Seeger during the 1963 Winter Carnival. Winter Carnival, 1963 American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger died in January 2014 at the age of 94. Well-known in the 1960s for his music in support of international disarmament, civil rights and environmental causes, he was also a prolific songwriter, penning such hits as Where Have All the Flowers Gone (recorded by the Kingston Trio in 1962) and Turn, Turn, Turn (sung by the Byrds in 1965). Did you know he also performed at Laurier? Seeger came to the university (then Waterloo Lutheran University) in 1963 as part of Winter Carnival. Gary Slimmon (BA ’63) was vice-president of Student Council and one of the organizers that booked Seeger for the concert at a charge of $600 plus expenses. “He very politely said how great it was to be there [at Laurier] and warmly shook my hand,” Slimmon recalls of meeting the musician. After the concert Seeger spent some time at 40 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2014 “Club Select,” a house that four students rented and where they often held monthly or weekly parties for friends. When Seeger arrived, “All he asked for was a bowl of soup.” In those days Laurier was well known for welcoming performers such as a young Daniel Barenboim (noted Israeli pianist and conductor), Gordon Lightfoot, and Diana Ross and the Supremes, who played for Homecoming at the Kitchener Auditorium in 1969. Other performers on campus have included KISS, Rush, Neil Young and Stevie Wonder. Do you have a photo of your a high-resolution image to Laurier days? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it could appear in Flashback. Rest assured. ALUMNI INSURANCE PLANS Knowing you’re protected, especially when you have people who depend on you, can be very reassuring. Whatever the future brings, you and your family can count on these Alumni Insurance Plans: • Term Life Insurance • Health & Dental Insurance • Major Accident Protection • Income Protection Disability Insurance Visit www.manulife.com/lauriermag to learn more or call toll-free 1-888-913-6333 Underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife Financial). Manulife, Manulife Financial, the Manulife Financial For Your Future logo and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. Exclusions and limitations apply. Inspiring Lives. WHAT’S IN A LEAF? At the heart of it this national symbol honours our namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, seventh Prime Minister of Canada. That alone is a unique claim among Canadian universities. But look closely. Laurier’s maple leaf is a microcosm of connectivity and support – every vein contributing to the health of the whole. The beauty and simplicity of the maple leaf can only be realized through this common purpose of nature. And so it is at Laurier – faculty, staff, students and alumni committed to a common vision: To Inspire Lives of Leadership and Purpose. wlu.ca WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto