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Pattie Phillips

Pattie Phillips 912 WALNUT ST. WHITBY, ON L1N2X3 TEL: (905) 668-4342 CEL: (289) 385-4535


HUMBER COLLEGE, TORONTO, ON 2008 - PRESENT Postgraduate diploma, journalism, entering graduating year QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, KINGSTON, ON 2005-2006 Bachelor of Arts, geography QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, KINGSTON, ON 2001-2005 Bachelor of Science, Honours, subject of specialization: environmental studies and life sciences

Journalism Experience

PHOTO EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTING WRITER, FINE CUT MAGAZINE, HUMBER COLLEGE WINTER 2009 An active member of the magazine’s creative team, was responsible for the collection, organization, selection and digital correction of photos for use in the 2009 edition of Humber College’s Fine Cut Magazine. Worked closely with art directors, online art staff, photographers and staff writers to establish a cohesive aesthetic vision. While primary role was photo editor, also wrote an article, worked on page layout, and contributed photography and photo illustrations to the magazine. IN FOCUS REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER, HUMBER ET CETERA, HUMBER COLLEGE WINTER 2009 Wrote and took accompanying photographs for weekly articles published in Humber College’s, Et Cetera newspaper. As an In Focus reporter, had the opportunity to write a variety of articles on a wide range of issues. Responsible for pitching story ideas, doing background research, conducing interviews and writing for deadlines. SCRIPT WRITER AND BROADCASTER, RADIO HUMBER NEWS, HUMBER COLLEGE APRIL 2009 Wrote news scripts for Radio Humber News’ (96.6 FM) Wednesday broadcasts during last month of winter term. Required to write for tight deadlines. Also have experience with story lineup and on-air news, sports and weather broadcast. FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER, WHITBY, ONTARIO 2007-PRESENT What started as a passionate hobby has led to photographs being featured in a number of online sources including the Schampp Online Guide to Montreal, the David Suzuki Foundation blog, B(oot) log music blog, and on the CBC Radio 3 website, and most recently, in print, in the Toronto Star. Most current project is a daily photo blog entitled Gnome of the Roam.

Work and Volunteer Experience

CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSOCIATE, HOME DEPOT, BROOKLIN, ON 2007-PRESENT Work closely with customers to assess their needs and provide direction within the store. Liaise with department staff and management to ensure customers’ requirements are being met efficiently and with a high standard of service. Responsible for completing daily tasks and reports, while working the phone lines and assisting customers in-store. Have gained valuable skills in public relations, active listening, verbal communication, initiative-taking, multitasking, problem-solving and time management. ACTIVITY LEADER, KINGSTON JUNIOR FIELD NATURALISTS, KINGSTON, ON 2005-2006 Helped plan, organize and run meetings for young children. Led and instructed games, discussions, and group activities. Worked with other adult volunteers in team setting. Gained important experience in creative thinking, brainstorming and public relations. PRESIDENT, STUDENTS OF SPECULATIVE REALMS, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, KINGSTON, ON 2003-2005 Oversaw the administration and operation of student extracurricular club. Responsible for the planning and organization of club events and functions. Gained experience with logistical planning, advertising and bookkeeping.

STUDENT LABOURER, SMURFIT-MBI, WHITBY, ON SUMMERS 2002-2005 Worked on production line manufacturing corrugated shipping cartons. Fast-paced environment. Required great attention to detail and quality assurance. Job assignments and duties changed often, fostering attitude of flexibility and willingness to learn. Work in machine-crews promoted effective teamwork and communication. ADULT LEADER AND LINK MEMBER, GIRL GUIDES OF CANADA, WHITBY, ON 2000-2005 Helped plan, organize and lead meetings and trips. Led both indoor and outdoor activities and games. Assisted at camps and in instructional program and badge work. Gained leadership experience, organizational and interpersonal skills.


Both Windows and Mac compatible Sound knowledge of Microsoft Office software including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Strong photography skills and experience shooting with Canon Digital SLR cameras under a wide variety of conditions Proficient with Adobe CS3 and CS4, including Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and InDesign Very comfortable writing, recording, editing, and broadcasting radio scripts in Burli Have experience writing scripts, shooting film, recording voiceovers, and editing reports for TV news in Final Cut Pro Well-versed in CP style Excel under pressure and tight deadlines Possess excellent oral and written communication skills Detail oriented and highly organized Versatile and eager to learn Easily adaptable to both changing and challenging situations


KEN BECKER Instructor - News Reporting Humber College 905-823-2284 JUDY CHARLES Instructor - Radio Broadcasting Humber College 416-675-6622 x4666 TERRI ARNOTT Instructor - Magazine Humber College 416-675-6622 x4518

Newspaper clippings As featured in: Winter 2009


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inauguration 2009

Five journalism students travel to Washington to witness history Et Cetera reporters (seen below left to right) Graeme Steel, Josh Kerr, Michael Sutherland-Shaw, Stephanie Skenderis and Pattie Phillips travelled to Washington for the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States. Here is their journal. Sunday, January 18 2:30 a.m. – We pile into Michael’s SUV. Before leaving, Pattie traces “Obama or bust” on the snow-covered back window. 5:10 a.m. – At Buffalo, we declare: “We’re on our way to the Obama inauguration.” The U.S. border guard waves us through with a smile. 2:30 p.m. - After nearly 12 hours of non-stop snow, the sun comes out in Maryland. We pass a convoy of U.S. army vehicles. With all the security promised, guess they’re going to the same place we are. 3:30 p.m. – Drive into Washington, pick up our press credentials for the inauguration and get our bearings before the big day. 7:30 p.m. – Check into the Super 8 in Indian Head, Md. (Pop. 3,422), about 50 kilometres from D.C. -$200 a night for a $75 room, including a view of two discarded crack pipes at a side entrance. Monday, January 19 11 a.m. – Meet Joel Westbrook, from Richmond, Va., who’s charg-

ing a buck apiece for people to pose for pictures with a life-sized, cardboard cutout of Obama. “Barack is putting a lot of people to work,” says Westbrook. “He’s putting me to work.” The ersatz presidentelect is wearing a blue suit and smiling.“Why is he taller than me?” Michael grumbles. 1 p.m. – Arrive at the National Mall where we’ll join up to two million people tomorrow. It’s the holiday for Martin Luther King’s birthday and we’re facing the Lincoln Memorial, where he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963. Roderick Beechum, a black man from Baltimore, is euphoric. “They brought us here in chains,” he says. “But look at us now. We rise. We rise.”

9 a.m. – Find a spot beneath the Washington Monument. Meet Obama enthusiasts from all over the world: Miles and Giles from London, Alex from West Virginia, Ida Boto, 72, originally from Italy, now living in Virginia. “A little cold, but great,” she says. “Warm inside.” Noon – Obama is somewhere in the distance at the Capitol. We’re watching the Jumbotrons wait-

ing for the swearing-in ceremony. It’s accompanied by the sound of a Champagne cork popping, the scent of marijuana, tears of joy. 12:30 p.m. – Words of hope and change hang in the cold air as the new president concludes his inaugural address. A Canadian nearby provides a hockey analogy. “Imagine the U.S. being an NHL team – now they’ve got their Gretzky and they’re going to kick some ass,” says Lubomir Dzamba, an architect from Mississauga. 12:45 p.m. – As the now-former president’s helicopter flies above, leaving the city, Jeremy Taylor, a college-aged student in Washington, is holding a sign that reads: Arrest Bush. “Arrest his policies and his issues, put them all in a bag and throw them in a river that flows to

Tuesday, January 20: Inauguration Day 7:30 a.m. – Leave the motel, giving us four and a half hours until Obama takes the oath. Twentyminute drive – listening to a radio station calling itself Obama FM – 20 minutes in a packed subway car and 45 minutes flowing with the crowd to the mall.

nowhere,” he says. 3 p.m. – Near the Obamas’ parade route, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Bergman is helping direct traffic. “No problems today at all,” he says. He’s backed up by news that the 40,000-plus security forces report no arrests or serious incidents. 8:30 p.m. – After four hours of research at The Sign of the Whale pub, we get our only glimpse of the evening’s formal festivities, when an SUV with two partygoers aboard crashes into a shuttle-bus carrying about a dozen women in gowns and men in tuxedos. They have to walk to the inaugural balls. Wednesday, January 21 9 p.m. – Cross the border – home – leaving the land of hope and change.

Pattie Phillips

The D.C. five get as close as they can to Barack Obama.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inauguration 2009

Josh Kerr

Obama memorablia was seen throught the crowd.

Pattie Phillips

The message of change was even expressed on shoes.

Pattie Phillips

Obama’s inauguration had the crowds roaring with enthusiam and new hopes for change.

Josh Kerr

Music was one of the many parts of the celebrations.

Pattie Phillips

The new generation smiles with support for Obama’s presidency.

Pattie Phillips


Thursday, February 5, 2009

in focus

Simon Fraser University history professor Afua Cooper is the curator for a new photo exhibit celebrating black history in B.C. –

Curator says site was huge for early education Prof says school gave people good sense of dignity Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Black Canadian settlers left a legacy for future generations through embracing new educational opportunities, says a liberal arts instructor. “There was clearly an effort, a significant drive to remove the shackles of oppression, and to maintain a sense of dignity,” says William Walcott, an instructor in sociology and humanities at Humber. “These people were all oppressed and they did whatever was necessary to make educational progress.” Walcott says he believes “excluded groups have an important obligation to educate themselves, to embrace the importance of education in all of its forms for the process of improving themselves.” But educational attainment also includes studying one’s own past, he explains. “It is difficult for anyone regardless of shade, hue, or culture to go


North Buxton School students from the class of 1909-10 gather for a photo beside the historic site.

forward without knowing his or her history and to have a deep-rooted interest in the significance of that history,” he says. The Buxton settlement, located near Chatham, Ont. and settled in 1849 by blacks (many of whom were former American slaves that

had come to Canada via the Underground Railroad), flourished in its early years because it emphasized education, says Shannon Prince, curator of the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum. “Education was such an important factor, not only here, but for blacks

themselves,” she says. “They were always told: you can’t achieve anything.” The Buxton School’s success attracted more white students than the local common school, and Prince says its first class graduated six students including Dr. Anderson Ab-

bott, the first black man to graduate from medical school in Canada. The school created educational opportunities for early black settlers and the museum continues to educate thousands of people yearly while commemorating the settlement’s role in Black Canadian history. Prince says it’s important for black youths to connect with their past. “They need to know their roots, their past, to pay for their future,” she adds. Liberal Arts and Sciences history teacher Gary Begg believes places like Buxton play an important role in our country’s collective memory. “It’s important to have visual and physical evidence of the steps towards equality and inclusion in Canadian society,” he says. “Each time we reflect upon the history of groups, we understand them a little better.” Michelle Abankwa, first-year business management student, says black youths don’t face the same challenges they once did, but believes students are missing out. “Now that education is free and equal to everybody, they’re not taking advantage of the opportunity,” she says.


in focus

Thursday, February 12, 2009

valentine’s day

Evidence of chocolate has been found in New Mexico, which would make the find the earliest indication of the tasty substance in the US - The Associated Press

Romantic holiday E TH AL shunned by some C T O F IN cultures, profs say PO This week the In Focus section looks at various aspects of Valentine’s Day and romance.

Some women prefer sweets over sex, survey says Erin DeCoste News Reporter

A culinary professor says he’s not surprised by the results of a survey that found one-third of women prefer to indulge in rich foods such as sticky buns instead of having sex with their partners. “When you think of a sticky bun you think of a fresh baked oven,” said Humber chef Douglas Smith. “It’s warm, soft, tasty and gooey. It’s a sensation that affects the body senses. It can overpower your desire to have sex.” The Harris/Decima poll surveyed 1,030 Canadian women through the Doubleday Canada affiliated website The survey looked at women’s indulgence habits for items including food, sex and beauty products. Results showed women prefer to treat themselves to products that make them feel better, including sweets and baked goods, rather than engage in sex with a partner. Landscape technician student Alex Mascarin, 19, finds the results “weird, sad and disturbing.” “From a guy’s perspective,” said Mascarin, “guys would obviously choose sex over anything. Maybe it’s different for women.” But Mascarin’s friend, 31-year-old landscape technician student Jenn Weaver, said she thinks choosing food over sex must be from boredom. “They must’ve been with their boyfriends a long time,” she said. “It’s kind of unusual, but I guess food can be a good substitute for some women.” The poll focused on the guilty pleasures and indulgences women want and found 52 per cent of women like to pamper themselves at least once a week. Though Doubleday Canada was surprised by the results of women preferring food to sex, Smith said he calls food sexy all the time and to him it is easy to see the connection. “As an example, chocolate is an aphrodisiac,” he said. “It gives you that extra ‘oomph.’ It reacts on people.”

Pattie Phillips Graeme Steel In Focus Reporters

Protests against the observance of Valentine’s Day are a means to reject the spread of western culture in parts of the world, teachers say. Resistance comes from fundamentalist organizations by way of raids on hotels and restaurants, thefts and public burnings of Valentine’s cards, threats of violence and physical damage to people and establishments celebrating the holiday in India, Kashmir and Pakistan. World religion professor Caleb Yong says the history between cultures affects people’s views of the holiday. “We think of it as this very innocuous celebration,” he says. “But if you transport it and put it within another cultural context, where there’s a really long and sordid history between these two cultures, then this innocuous celebration suddenly becomes symbolic of quite a lot more.” Yong says some countries perceive western holidays as reminders of a colonial legacy and an attitude they oppose and wish to resist. “When the colonized person rebels, the rebellion is not to say, ’we want to be like you,’ but it’s to say, ‘we want to reject you’,” he says. “In

order for us to affirm who we are, we have to reject everything that is you, ‘your culture, your way of life’.” Valentine’s Day is often viewed as frivolous and contentious for some, according to Yong. “There are people all around the world barely making it and we’re dropping hundreds and hundreds of dollars to celebrate our love for each other,” he adds. Angela Aujla, professor of sociology of cultural differences, says Valentine’s Day opposition might arise because it’s a holiday based on cultural and not universal concepts. She says love has little bearing on choosing a partner for some groups, so refusing to give in to the preoccupation and idealization of romantic love is inherently exclusionary. “There is an assumption that buying into romance and romantic love is amazing and a human right and if another group is not crazy about that – if they’re not as in love with love as we are – they’re judged in a really negative way in that they’re somehow backwards or behind the times or mired in tradition,” Aujla says. Sociology of the emotions professor Joey Noble says cultures opposed to Valentine’s Day see it as symbolic representation of romantic freedom.

Photo illustration by Graeme Steel

Some fundamentalist organizations around the world hold public burnings of Valentine’s Day cards to protest western cultures.

“They’re lining it up as a total value system,” she says. “To them it’s not a small or frivolous thing. They’ve taken that symbol as representing a whole cultural mindset that they’re against, that is evil.” Seann Kehoe, 24, a first-year occu-

pational therapist assistant student, says he understands western culture is pervasive, but questions why some groups oppose Valentine’s Day. “It’s a holiday meant for people to express their love, their emotions, their feelings,” he says.

Experts struggle to trace Valentine’s roots

Reverend says nearly 20 different historical accounts of St.Valentine exist Teri Pecoskie In Focus Reporter

A lack of written documentation and several competing theories have scholars stumped about the true origins of Valentine’s Day. Rev. Edward Jackman of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association says the only thing about Valentine’s Day he’s certain of is that its origins are controversial. The Kelly Library at St. Michael’s College in Toronto has “nearly 20 different accounts of the history of St. Valentine,” Jackman says. The most common variation traces the holiday’s roots to a Roman priest named Valentine who was persecuted by Claudius II for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Valentine was executed by the emperor on Feb. 14, AD 269, which is why the holiday became associated with this date, Jackman says. Catholic literature counts as many as 11 St. Valentines have a place within the Church’s history, he says, so it will never be clear which Valentine, if any, might have initiated an association between the holiday and the idea

of romantic love. The holiday’s connection to romance could have something to do with traditional Roman festivals such as Fornicalia, which was celebrated between Feb. 13 and 17, and Lupercalia, which was on Feb. 15, Jackman adds.

Jonathan Edmondson, a York University professor who studies Roman history, says both festivals were intended to promote pastoral fertility and a plentiful harvest. “These festivals certainly made up a part of the general background of what became a Christian holiday,”

Teri Pecoskie

First United Church in Port Credit houses this saint’s mural. Rev. Edward Jackman says Valentine was executed by an emperor in AD 269 because the saint refused to give up his Christian faith.

Edmondson says. It’s possible that over time a link was made between crop fertility and romantic love, he adds. David Klausner, professor of Arthurian literature at the University of Toronto, disagrees. “Fertility isn’t the same as romantic love,” he says. “The reason for a fertility festival is to celebrate the harvest to come – there’s no clear connection to human romantic love.” Klausner says the association with romance probably began sometime in the Middle Ages. By the time Geoffery Chaucer, the father of English literature, recorded the first romantic reference to Valentine’s Day in his 1380 poem, The Parliament of Fowls, the holiday was probably widely known as a romantic celebration already, he adds. One Humber student has an idea as to why we celebrate Valentine’s Day while scholars will undoubtedly continue to disagree on its history. “I think it was just created as a cheap Hallmark holiday,” says Mark White, a first-year media foundations student. “They just want our money.”


Thursday, February 26, 2009


in focus

A community college in Penygraig, Rhondda Valley UK with 1,200 students was closed for a period of time after a late-night blaze broke out in the gym. –

Fashion expert says candidates should dress for success Cathleen Yoo In Focus Reporter

The 2008 U.S. presidential election brought politics and fashion into the forefront. “I just think when you look at the U.S. elections, fashion played a large role because there were some very central females,” said Ellen Sparling, Humber marketing and fashion program co-ordinator. Sparling said fashion and politics is not a new phenomenon. “It’s always been important for somebody to look good,” she said, referring to the Nixon-Kennedy debate. “Kennedy won the debate not so much on how he presented the facts, but the fact he was young and good looking, dressed properly and was able to get that across on TV certainly helped him.” Fashion is important in politics because, according to Sparling, people make a judgment about a person within seven seconds of meeting them. “You want to show that you are serious about the responsibility that you are hoping to take on, and you can do that through appropriate dress,” Sparling said. Former HSF president Nick Farnell said, “You have to be conscious of your image and understand what you are projecting on to people who may not necessary have the time to hear what you have to say, but just get that glimpse of you or see a photograph of you.” Farnell said he ran a successful campaign to win the HSF presidency without changing his appearance much and he wanted to share this important message. “Don’t change what you have to say or what you look like,” he said, “but use it as an opportunity to say this is who I am and this is what I have to say and project that with what you are wearing.” First-year fashion arts student Samantha Nadalin agrees that clothing choice is vital. “You don’t trust someone if they don’t look the part,” she said, suggesting blacks, greys, blues and neutral colours work best for politicians. “They shouldn’t wear any pinks or bright colours that sort of deter from what they are saying,” she added. Farnell offered some additional advice that HSF candidates may find beneficial. He said think about what you might wear “if you are going to do a presentation in class. That’s what I would wear while campaigning.”

Joana Draghici

HSF president Mike Berg, right, stands on Parliament Hill with Natasha Mablick, second from right, and her Nunavut Sivuniksavut classmates. They were joined by nearly 2,500 people hoping to catch a glimpse of Barack Obama during his first foreign presidential visit.

Canada welcomes Obama Joana Draghici News Reporter

OTTAWA – Humber’s Mike Berg and Barack Obama made their first presidential visits to Parliament Hill last week. The president of the United States arrived aboard Air Force One with the airspace cleared for landing and roads along his motorcade’s route closed to traffic. The president of the Humber Students’ Federation travelled from Toronto in a 2002 Honda Civic to join the estimated crowd of 2,500 standing in frigid temperatures hoping to greet Obama. Berg attempted to make a connection with his fellow president by wearing a baseball cap of the Chicagoan’s hometown team. “I brought my White Sox hat be-

cause I know he’s a big fan,”  said Berg, 22, a fourth-year public relations student at the University of Guelph-Humber. “If he supports my team, then I support him.” Approaching police helicopters seemed to signal heavily armed security forces just before noon, including the rooftops of the Parliament Buildings. “This is crazy, there’s a sniper in the bell tower,” Berg said, pointing to the Peace Tower. “I can’t believe I’m here,” he added, while preparing to capture digital memories of the motorcade as it arrived. “This is going to be a part of history.” The crowd chanted “O-ba-ma” when the president emerged from his armoured Cadillac limousine, known as the Beast, and stepped be-

hind a bulletproof glass barrier. “I got to see him wave,” said Nunavut’s Natasha Mablick, 19, who came to the Hill with Inuit classmates. “Having Obama here in our nation is very meaningful to us because he proves we all can do it.” But Berg, who’s not running in next month’s HSF election for a second term in the $34,000-a-year job, said he’s curious to see how Obama puts his policies into action. “Right now, yeah, he’s awesome, but it all depends on whether he does what he says he’s going to do,” he said. While the U.S. president ate lunch in the Senate speaker’s dining room – the menu included Pacific tuna, Arctic char and bison – the HSF president dined on a ham sandwich and fries at a nearby pub while watching Obama’s news conference with

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After lunch, Berg joined the barricaded crowd to wave goodbye to the president. “It made me wonder,” he said later. “Are the people here because of a cultural iconic thing or are they really here because they think he can bring about change?” Before ending his first foreign trip as president, Obama had a 15-minute chat with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Berg met with Ignatieff at Lakeshore Campus the next day during a congratulatory presentation for the four Humber students who contacted the International Space Station earlier this month. Ignatieff asked Berg if he got to see Obama. “Not as close as you did,” he replied.

Voter turnout is product of environment, prof says Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Low voter turnout for college student government elections is due to the small scale, said a Humber liberal arts and sciences professor. “It doesn’t seem as important as a federal or a provincial election,” said humanities teacher Gary Begg. “But give HSF credit, they did increase their turnout over the last few years. “They’ve taken a lot of steps to make it easier for people to vote,” he said. “Now it’s just getting people to take those steps to the polling stations.” Voter apathy is often cited for low turnout, but Begg said it’s a funny term to use for explaining why people don’t vote. “It’s really that people feel engaged in all sorts of other things and they don’t bother voting,” he said, adding elections today are commonplace and overlooked by a distracted public.

Pattie Phillips

Signs posted around the college remind students when to vote.

“It’s fairly hard to keep people totally engaged for a long time,” said Begg. “But whenever the issues are big, more people turn out.” “I think often of the Quebec referendums - they got 90 per cent turnout,” he said. “It was a very important question, so it was a big thing.” HSF president Mike Berg said low voter turnout is the result of a unique set of factors.

“What’s particularly challenging for our campus is that we have so many unique programs, all the way from apprenticeships up to postgraduate degrees,” Berg said. “Some students may not feel they need to vote for something when they’re leaving the school right away.” “Our campuses are also commuter campuses, a lot of students drive here, take their classes and then they

subsequently leave,” he said, noting it’s always challenging to find ways for these students to get involved in school politics. HSF plans several initiatives leading up to the elections to get students to the polls and remind them of the importance of voting, said Berg. “Voting only takes less than a minute and you really have an opportunity to shape the future of this organization and the school,” he said. Former HSF president Nick Farnell, who now works as a new media communications specialist at Humber, said his administration wanted to encourage participation in the electoral process. “Every student has a voice and every student is paying to be here,” he said. “So we want to make sure they come out and know who’s representing them and make an informed decision about that.”


in focus

Thursday, March 5, 2009

commuter life

City council in Abbotsford, BC is asking residents for feedback on Greyhound’s proposed cancellation of a connecting commuter route to Vancouver transit. –

Athletics building at least five years away Graeme Steel In Focus Reporter

Graeme Steel

First-year justice studies student Chris Montesano, 21, makes a save while practicing with his intramural team. Intramural participants would have more space with the addition of a new building.

Proposed construction of an athletic facility dedicated to recreation on North Campus would solve the growing demand for space, said Humber’s athletic director. “The idea is to build a field house that accommodates a lot of different things, so then you’ve got 16 to 18 hours a day for recreation sports,” said director Doug Fox, noting ultimate frisbee and cricket among the games that could be played under one roof. “Right now, we’re really limited as to what we can offer.” With intramural, recreational activities and varsity sports all competing for gym time, Jennifer Maclam, campus recreation co-ordinator, said she can’t plan extracurricular events without conflicts. She said a new building would help the department in several ways. “Scheduling would be a lot easier because you don’t have to schedule around equipment rentals,” Maclam said. “You’re not scheduling around set-ups for games, you’re not setting up around weekend tournaments, it would be wide open.” A formal request for desired development projects including the field house was tabled a year ago by Humber’s athletic department. Fox said things happen quickly when funding is there but with a lack of space and $4.5 million already

committed to athletic centre renovations, his proposal has obstacles to overcome. “We’ve given suggestions to build on stilts over a parking lot so it doesn’t take away from parking, or using a hill and building something on an angle on the hill so it’s not useable land for something else,” Fox said. Humber vice-president John Mason took the request to the planning committee, but doesn’t foresee anything happening soon. “It would be about a five-year window before such a structure would be considered,” Mason said. A new facility would provide additional flexibility to the seven varsity sports teams that now practice from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. when the gym is available. “If our basketball team plays on Wednesday and our volleyball team plays on Thursday, well, the volleyball team would like to practice on Wednesday night, but there’s no gym space,” Fox said, noting the field house request is based on the success of Lakehead University’s $5.6-million hanger. Mike Gonder, a 21-year-old business administration student from Orillia, said the facility would suit all students who use athletic facilities. “I think it would benefit both varsity and campus rec because it would create two separate worlds,” he said.

Prof says North Campus not perfect stage for performing arts students Teri Pecoskie In Focus Reporter

While Humber’s student federation hosts several events to entertain commuters between classes, it’s unlikely students at North Campus will see any performances from the talented musicians, comedians and actors studying at Lakeshore. HSF programming director Aaron Miller said the federation’s efforts to bring the School of Creative and Performing Arts students to North Campus are met with resistance.

“One of the biggest shames of the operation of the HSF in terms of our entertainment programming is that we don’t get a lot of support from the schools in general,” he said. “Program co-ordinators might not necessarily see the HSF activities as a good use of their students’ time, so they don’t help us.” Vice-president of Campus Life North Aynur Duzgeren agreed. “We encourage them to get involved,” she said. “But it’s the same answer every time. We do our part.

They have to step up.” Duzgeren said it’s unfortunate creative arts and music students don’t play a bigger role at North Campus since getting involved in campus life is a way to develop social networks important for post-college success. Denny Christianson, director of Humber’s music program, said the HSF’s claims are untrue. He said the School of Creative and Performing Arts has offered to put on performances, but the events rarely get past the planning stages.

“I tried to put together a Christmas concert and nobody could find a space or time where we could connect with enough students, so it fell through,” Christianson said. Organizing performances for North Campus isn’t a priority for creative and performing arts instructors because past events have often been poorly attended, he said. “We brought bands up to North Campus and nobody came,” he said. “It takes a lot of co-ordination to do that. Your kids miss class to go up

and do a concert and nobody goes. It was basically totally ignored.” Christianson agreed student networking is important at a commuter college, but said fostering relationships by performing at North Campus wouldn’t be useful for his students. “How would that benefit my students?” he added. “As a college, our mandate is not to make a good time for everyone between classes. Our mandate is to deliver a solid educational experience.”

Fare hikes expected, but nothing set Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Humber students who rely on the TTC can expect fares to remain static this year despite recent calls for a price increase by a city councillor. “To be honest, I’m not really expecting anything to come from this,” said Etobicoke Centre councillor Doug Holyday. “But I think the logic needs to be presented.” Holyday proposed a 20-cent fare hike last month to generate extra revenue for the TTC – money that would otherwise come from city reserves. The TTC has set a recommended base-budget of more than $292 million for 2009 – $92 million of which comes from additional city subsidies to replace old provincial funding. Holyday said he doesn’t disagree with subsidizing the TTC, but he questioned the city’s funding plan.

“To what level do you do it?” Holyday said about Mayor David Miller’s plan to use more tax money for subsidies than in the past. Holyday said provincial funds from last year’s budget surplus afforded this year’s subsidies, but this year’s expected deficit could eliminate funds. A TTC fare hike is inevitable with rising operating costs, but “it’s better to have two smaller increases than one big one,” he added. Councillor Suzan Hall (Etobicoke North, Ward 1) said she believes 20 cents is a large increase for any rider. “This year, when things are as depressed as they are, isn’t the time to increase fares,” Hall said. Councillor Rob Ford (Etobicoke North, Ward 2) said he doesn’t see a need for an increase, adding it would harm riders with no alternatives.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


in focus

High school students in North Carolina won the superstition category of a competition by acting out how to cure a toothache by using a splinter. –

Students press luck on exams using trinkets Teri Pecoskie In Focus Reporter

Whether it’s a Celtic ring, a broken watch or a six-pack, preparing for an exam is as much about superstition as it is studying for some students. “I believe in good luck charms,” said second-year paramedic student Mike Stass. ”I have a silver Celtic ring that I wear for all of my exams. My brother gave it to me 15 years ago and it’s the only thing I’ve had for that long and haven’t lost.” Daniel Gutierrez, a first-year business administration student, said he’s certain possessing a good luck charm improves his exam performance. “I always wear my watch,” he said. “It’s broken, but I still wear it because it brings me luck.” Humber’s policy prevents students from bringing larger trinkets such as stuffed animals into exam rooms, but that doesn’t dampen everyone’s spirits. “I just drink a lot of beer the night before,” said John Morley, a firstyear landscape technician student.

“That’s my ritual. It settles my nerves and helps me sleep better.” Pam Handt, associate vice president academic, said it’s possible superstitious students will do better on tests because rituals and good luck charms can make them calmer and more confident in terms of learning and retaining information. Some teachers, however, think students will have better luck on exams if they leave their superstitious behaviour behind. “One day you’re going to go to the test without the lucky hat and your chances of success are going to be diminished for no good reason because you follow a superstition,” said Ian Gerrie, a liberal arts and sciences professor. Students are better off recognizing there’s no causal connection between the superstition and their success, he said. “I wouldn’t recommend that students think in those terms,” Gerrie added. “It would be detrimental to them.”

Teri Pecoskie

Mike Stass flips through a book while the lucky Celtic ring he wears for all his exams is in plain view.

Friday the 13th only a day away Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Clickphoto Co. photo

Brides in India wear colourful clothes and jewelry for the big day.

Modern day brides mix it up with new practices and old traditions Jackie Paduano In Focus Reporter

White bridal dresses symbolize purity and a fresh start in western cultures, while some Asian brides wear red and gold to signify good luck and blooming love between the couple, said Susan Roberton, an instructor in the business school of fashion. “The white gown is sacred and symbolic of all a bride’s hopes and dreams as she begins this new phase in her life,” she said. “Michelle Obama chose to wear an off-white gown to the inaugural ball, signifying a new beginning, new hope for the American people.” White, however, has a different meaning in some other cultures, said Melissa Samborski, instructor of Humber’s wedding planning course and owner of One Fine Day Event Planning and Design Inc. “White in Asia symbolizes death or a funeral, so most Asian brides don’t wear it,” she said. Instead, Chinese brides usually opt for red while Indian brides adorn themselves in gold, as each colour is a symbol of happiness, wealth and good fortune, Samborski said, add-

ing that wearing a white gown became the norm in western culture after Queen Victoria donned a white dress for her wedding in 1840. She said a lot of brides aren’t feeling bound by tradition these days and are choosing to wear ivory with hints of colour at their weddings. And anything goes when it comes to dressing a wedding party, she said. “You see girls in North American weddings wearing black bridesmaid’s dresses, but that seems to be more of a fashion statement than anything,” Samborski said. “If the bride walked down the aisle in a black dress, someone might have issue with it since black is associated with death in the west.” Colour strikes a chord and resonates with people around the world, while meanings are deeply rooted in cultures and their influences, added fashion instructor Roberton. “Everyone has an emotional reaction to colour,” she said. “Red elevates your body temperature, green cools it, we get excited by primary colours, feel safe and calm around blues and greens, whereas black and white are more striking.”

Superstitious Humber students might want to cross their fingers tomorrow because it’s decision-day as HSF elections close, mid-term marks are due and the women’s varsity volleyball team hits the court at the CCAA national championships. A little extra luck could come in handy, especially given the date. “I’m actually nervous because everyone’s like ‘Mel, do you know that it’s Friday the 13th? Aren’t you going to be a bit worried?’,” said Melissa Mendes, candidate for vice-president of administration North. Mendes said her observance of superstitious practices is based more on trendiness than on belief now that she’s older, but just to be safe, she has a plan for Friday to try to

avoid any bad luck. “I’m going to wake up early and I’m probably going to pray for myself and then wish myself good luck – cross one finger not two because they say it’s bad luck if you cross two,” Mendes explained. “I’m going to make sure that my friends do the same,” she said. “We feel if one person does something that is bad luck it has a domino effect.” Mendes won’t be the only Humber student trying to ward off misfortune tomorrow. “I kind of get scared when it comes around,” said first-year accounting student Avneet Toor about the unlucky date. “Somehow, something always happens.” Toor said she isn’t spooked that mid-term marks are due tomorrow even though she’s superstitious.

“It’s OK because it’s not like you’re doing your exams on the 13th,” she said. “It’s already pre-determined.” Meanwhile, the women’s varsity volleyball team hopes luck will be on their side when they play at the nationals in North Bay, Ont. Coach Chris Wilkins, admittedly superstitious, said he had no idea the team could play on Friday the 13th. “I’ll make sure we’ve got every one of our superstitions covered,” he said. “We’ll pull out all the stops.” Game-day traditions aside, Wilkins said he wasn’t really concerned with the ominous date. “We’ve got to win on Thursday before we can worry about playing on Friday,” he said. “I believe everything happens for a reason. Talent and preparation beat out superstitions every time.”


Thursday, March 19, 2009

in focus

Ontario’s corporate tax revenues have dropped about 25 per cent to date, pressuring Premier Dalton McGuinty to come up with a plan for the future. –

Compost hard to track Pattie Phillips In Focus reporter

Graeme Steel

At Lakeshore Campus, contractors face the challenge to dispose of waste in a way that’s cost-efficient and environmentally safe.

Recycling no easy order in hard times Graeme Steel In Focus reporter

Hard times hamper environmental initiatives on school campuses, said director of facilities management. “It’s the hard choices that we’re making between being green and being able to afford to be green,” Carol Anderson said. With seven major construction projects planned for Humber this year, construction waste has grown. Contractors must dispose of waste from two renovation projects at Lakeshore campus, as well as phase two of the HSF renovations at North Campus.

“We could insist that they recycle, but it will drive the costs into the the project. So at this point, we don’t,” said David Griffin, Humber’s maintenance and operations manager. “As long as they’re not doing something illegal, what more do we need?” David Zurawel, vice-president of policy and government relations for the Council of Ontario Construction Associations, said recycling isn’t only good for the environment – it can help lower project costs. “Anything that’s going into a landfill is going to be a cost,” said Zurawel. “If you can recycle it, at least you’re going to be able to get some money

back for that commodity.” Micaiah Scharfenberg, a Compass Construction site supervisor, has been working for a year and a half on Humber projects such as the construction of C building and the new culinary institute. “If you talk to people in the industry, it doesn’t save any money,” he said, noting that recycling is a cost. “It has to appeal to people who aren’t just concerned with the bottom dollar, but also concerned with the environment.” Another issue is lack of facilities. Zurawel said it’s difficult to find recycling plants that can accommodate

Going green in the dark

School turns out the lights to save power for Earth Hour Adrienne Coling In Focus reporter

In an effort to ‘go green’ on campus, Humber is powering down for Earth Hour next week, said the school’s energy manager. “We’re going to focus on our parking lot lights that will be completely shut off during this time and the rest of the lights will be on motion sensors,” said Spencer Wood. “Shutting down some lights on the campuses is a relatively easy way to help out the ‘green’ cause and save some energy.” This event is not the only thing the college does to conserve electric energy, Wood added. “We’ve been at this a while, and a lot of simple things are already done but no one really notices,” said

Wood. “We have no incandescent light bulbs left on any Humber campus. Even the tubes in the classrooms are the most efficient you can buy.” In January, North Campus used 53,000 kilowatt hours per day on average, costing about $5,500 while Lakeshore paid $1,800 for 17,500 kilowatt hours. “We have reduced our energy usage by about 15 per cent over the past three years by changing the kinds of light bulbs we install and using new energy efficient technologies,” he said. “We have more projects that we will be starting to lower our usage even more in the future.” Troy Dettwiler, the president of the Environmental Action and Awareness club on the North Campus, said he encourages students to take part

in Earth Hour. “We would love for students to sign up online and commit that they are going to flick off their light switches, computers and televisions for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on March 28,” said Dettwiler. “It’s definitely about the environment but at the same time it’s about relating to the community around you.” Junni Enriquez, a first year 3D multimedia and animation student said he is looking forward to spending Earth Hour with friends. “Last year we just hung out and had fun, so hopefully I’ll do something like that again,” said Enriquez. “Even though one hour without power seems like nothing, it makes big a difference when lots of people participate.”

the volume and type of materials removed from construction sites. “Most of the recycling facilities that exist deal with household waste,” he said. “There’s a real bottleneck for construction waste and trying to find a place that can recycle it at a workable cost.” Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director for the Recycling Council of Ontario, said the best method for reducing construction, renovation and demolition waste is to plan ahead. “That will help them think about logistics on site and how to find markets for recyclable materials,” she said.

A composting project reduces waste at the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation, but no one knows by how much. “We know we’re getting rid of less,” said campus services director Terry Kyritsis. “But how much less? If you asked me today I couldn’t tell you.” The project started last fall to divert organic materials from the trash. Food producs are collected in bins and and picked up by outside contractors. But, “the container doesn’t tell you whether it’s full, half-full, threequarters full,” said maintenance manager David Griffin. “I’m just taking a container and putting it on a truck. How full are they? No idea.” Gourmet Express and the Humber Room, both managed by the school, use the system to turn their food waste into compost, said the hospitality school. Savio Colaco said, “it’s a step in the right direction because it shows our students that we are thinking ahead.” There was a problem. “We were only filling up a quarter of a bin in each lab,” he said. “That meant money was just flowing out of our doors because they would charge us per bin, not by the amount of content.” It costs the college $15 per bin to dispose of compost. It’s only nine cents per kilogram of garbage, said Humber. But this semester, there are fewer bins around, said Colaco. The food services kitchens compost leftover food too, but Kyritsis said there’s room to do more. The school is using more compostable materials, he said, including cups and plastic cutlery. Kyritsis said it’s a start, but there’s more food services can do to go green.


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

International Students

in focus

The title for the smartest city in Ontario goes to Kingston, where residents hold the most PhDs according to Statistics Canada and Sun Media. –

Indian students juggle life, classes Graeme Steel In Focus Reporter

For four students from India, all in their 20s and all from the Punjab region, there is a sense their time away from home has helped make them more independent. “In India, I was totally dependent on my parents. It was like I was feeding off them,” said Karanbir Singh, 21, in his second year in Humber’s business management program. These students from Punjab faced a number of novel and challenging responsibilities. Gurinder Singh, a post-grad wireless telecommunications student and one of 639 international students from India, wore two winter coats when shovelling snow.

“I was totally dependent on my parents. It was like I was feeding off them.” - Karanbir Singh, 21, Second-year business management.

“Everything we do for the first time is crazy for us,” said Gurinder, 22. Navdeep Singh, also 22 and studying in the same program, said money and cultural differences have changed how he prepares food. “Getting groceries from a shopping centre is a new experience for us. In our hometown, we go to the market.” Navdeep said he and his friend usually eat at home because it’s less expensive and they can’t afford to spend money every day. “Our monthly expenses were 5,000 rupees and now in Canada it’s 20,000 rupees,” he said. Responsibilities of paying bills are

Graeme Steel

(From left) Gurinder Singh, Navdeep Singh, Jagjeet Singh and Karanbir Singh, see Canada as a chance to develop some independence.

part of a maturing process said electro-mechanical engineering student Tanveer Kaur, 20, who overcame early language problems by listening to taped lectures at home.

She now balances jobs at a call centre and the international student centre with full-time studies. “Once you start earning some yourself, you start to realize the value

of money so you don’t spend it everywhere you go. You think before you spend it,” she said. Kaur credits her success in Canada to a positive attitude and taking ad-

vantage of new opportunities. “Getting involved is the best thing you can do here,” she said.“What’s the fun in coming to a new country if you don’t meet anyone?”

Daily life presents challenging experiences LSAT MCAT Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Three Humber students from Asia have had different experiences adjusting to life in Canada. Chris Ang, from the Philippines, has learned to do laundry. Shilian Wang, from China, has had to make new friends.

Pattie Phillips

“If I were in Japan, I could do everything by myself, but here I have to ask about everything.” - Yuko Itakura, Multimedia design and production technician student

Yuko Itakura, from Japan, has re-learned what it’s like to have to depend on other people. “In Canada, everyone inside a house can survive on their own,” said Ang, 23, a student in the multimedia design and production technician program from Manila. “Everyone is so independent.” He said his family in the Philippines has a stay-in housekeeper to do all the chores and since moving to Canada he’s had to take care of himself. “I’ve learned how to do laundry on my own, iron my clothes on my own – those things I never, ever used to do back home,” he said. While the majority of international students come from India, the percentage of visiting students from other Asian countries, including the Middle East, sits at 22 per cent. For Shilian Wang, 21, the transition since coming to Humber from Guangzhou has been sometimes difficult. “At the very beginning you don’t know anybody,” she said, “and when you need to do something you don’t know how to do it, who to ask.” The first year tourism and


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Over 20 per cent of Humber college students are visitors from Asia. hospitality management student said Yuko Itakura, a classmate of she’s had to strike out on her own. Ang’s in the multimedia design and “When I was in China I was with production technician program, left my family,” she said. “Here I am her home and career with a computer totally alone and I’ve had to meet company in Tokyo two years ago to new people, make new friends, start come to Toronto. my own life.” “If I were in Japan, I could do Moving to another country, everything by myself,” she said, “but however, doesn’t always guarantee a here, I have to ask about everything. sense of increased independence. I feel like I’m a child.”

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in focus

Thursday, April 2, 2009


In a bid to divert electronic waste from landfills, Ontario residents can soon drop off unwanted electronics at more than 100 new sites. –

Mailroom staff keep it old school

E H T AL C T O F IN PO This week the In Focus section profiles Humber individuals whose efforts for the most part go unrecognized.

Graeme Steel In-Focus Reporter

Cathleen Yoo

Hopeton Lyle says he sees himself working in residence until retirement.

Rez caretaker leads by example Cathleen Yoo In-Focus Reporter

Hopeton Lyle has been cleaning up students’ messes at North Campus residences for over a decade. But he does his work with a smile and a positive attitude. “Some people are like, ‘you’re a glorified cleaner, but I don’t think of it like that,’” Lyle said. Lyle, who is in his late 30s and lives in Brampton with his wife and two young children, has been working in residence for over 16 years. His official title is housekeeping coordintor and he is responsible for all cleaning issues at the residences on North Campus. He also manages a group of 14 student staff for daily cleaning. “He’s honestly one of the best employers that I have ever had,” said Adam Corrigan, a second-year 3-D animation student who has been working for Lyle for more than a year.

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Last summer, when beds were delivered to the residence, Lyle joined the assembly line and passed the beds with everyone else into the storage room . “It’s not like he got us to do it and walk away type of thing,” Lyle said. “If I show the students I will work alongside them, I’ll gain their trust.” Lynn Newhouse, associate director of campus services, said Lyle’s personality is sincere. “This is someone that is genuine, someone who cares, and you can talk to him and he’s not going to talk on a Humber persona,” she said. Residence life coordinator Jennifer Skinner said Lyle, “gets a lot of the dirty parts of cleaning up and all that stuff. He cares to make sure it’s done and done well.” Lyle said he takes ownership when on the job. “If I walk around and I see something and I don’t pick it up,

the next person might do the same thing,” he said. Ashley Hylands, 18-year-old media studies student living in residence, said she thinks people purposely create a mess because they think someone else will clean it up. “Students are always causing messes, there are messes every day,” said Lyle. “So you have keep on top of it.” Lyle said it was the atmosphere and the people that have kept him coming back to his job at Humber. He said he can see himself working in residence for a very long time, possibly until retirement because he’s constantly being challenged. “I look at it like every day and every month I’m learning something new,” said Lyle. “There is always something I don’t know and I must build on my knowledge.”

While things move electronically through the school, three men continuely sort through the mountains of boxes and letters accumulating on the well-trodden floor of North Campus’ mailroom every morning. Ian Jones, Phil Panteleit and Simon Ibbotson are responsible for receiving, sorting and distributing Humber’s mail and on some days huge volumes of mail drive through their basement work space. In early February the college releases about 20,000 enrolment offers that have to go through the mailroom, said Humber vice-president John Mason. Jones, a 36-year veteran shipping co-ordinator, said serving such a large campus is a tall order for a small staff.

“To me, it’s like an automatic thing, it just happens. I think we take it for granted.”

– Debbie Falconi Humber associate registrar

“We have 1.5-million sq. ft. of school, 14,000 students, about 2,000 faculty, admin and support staff,” he said. “Man-power-wise, this operation is actually quite small.” While they don’t have a lot of time to relax and lunches are usually spent working, the mailroom is rarely without humour or sports talk. “After rupturing my Achilles tendon while playing for the Dallas

Cowboys, my mom helped me get the job,” joked Panteleit, at 28 the newest and youngest member of the team. His mother, Cindy Panteleit, is an enrolment adviser in the registrar’s office. In his 23 years of working at North and Lakeshore Campuses, Ibbotson, 52, said the deliveries never stop. “It’s not like we do one run. We’re doing them constantly,” he said. In addition to mail and packages, the team funnels $617,000 in paper and stationary into the school. Humber’s associate registrar of ad-

“The deliveries never stop. It’s not like we do one run. We’re doing them constantly.”

– Simon Ibbotson shipping employee

missions and service initiatives Debbie Falconi said mail is an undervalued service. “To me, it’s like an automatic thing, it just happens,” she said. “I think we take it for granted.” Jones, who plans to retire this August - the same month as his sixtieth birthday - said the mailroom is used to going unnoticed and unappreciated. “I would say 80 to 90 per cent of the people don’t even know where we are,” he said. “Doing a good job around here is like pissing yourself in a dark suit,” he said. “It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling but no one seems to notice.

Plastic Pat has all the right parts Pattie Phillips In-Focus Reporter

Heart attacks, angina, allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, asthma attacks – it’s all in a day’s work for some of the School of Health Sciences’ most under-recognized personnel. They never complain, even when they die. “They do a very good job and they don’t get a lot of credit,” said Matt Stanfield, a second-year paramedic student. “They have to stay in the lab overnight. They don’t have a lot of company. They get poked with needles, cut with scalpels. They get prodded all the time. You’ve got to respect them for that.” Stanfield is referring to the dozen or so simulation mannequins used in the school. One in particular is a favourite with the paramedic students who practice on it after class. “We weren’t sure if it was supposed to be a boy or a girl,” Stanfield said of the mannequin with boyish good looks and a very girlish chest. “So we just called it Pat. It’s kind of an

Pattie Phillips

Dummy Pat takes a break after teaching students how to save a life. androgynous name.” surgical airways. Pat, whose wardrobe consists Even though the school owns of one ill-fitting more sophisticated “They get poked with mannequins, paramedic’s uniform, has Stanfield said needles, cut with measurable vital having Pat around scalpels. They get signs (pulse, blood is advantageous to prodded all the time. pressure, breath, students. bowel and heart You’ve got to respect “It’s nice because sounds) that are we always have a them for that.” controlled by a patient to practice – Matt Stanfield small computer. Second-tear paramedic student on,” he said. The mannequin Erin Gray, a can also be intubated, given drug professor in the paramedic program, injections, needle compressions, and said many of the mannequins came

on board about four years ago with grants from the provincial government. The goal was to create the best possible simulated environment in which students could practice. “The best thing about it is that you can follow the steps that you would with a real person and basically do all of the procedures that you would on a real person without the risk,” she said. “This is the opportunity for the students to make mistakes and learn from them, or, to do it right and to know and feel comfortable that they can do it properly.” Matt Rollwagen, 29, a Peel Regional Paramedic Services employee and a 2007 graduate of Humber’s Advanced Care program, said the mannequins become more than just learning tools. “Everyone starts talking about them,” he said, “as if they were a real person because you get used to interacting with them so much.” At the end of the day, however, Pat still just ends up stowed on a gurney, in a dark closet – but then, that’s the life of a mannequin.


in focus

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Religion On campus

Alberta expects to post a $4.7-billion deficit this year, the largest in provincial history, as it sinks into the red over four consecutive years. –

College eyes new prayer room for campus Erin DeCoste In Focus Reporter

Erin DeCoste

Mohamed Ibrahim, 20, an electronics student at Humber seen here praying in the prayer room on North Campus, says most teachers at the college are accommodating to the needs of Muslim students.

Students put faith in music Adrienne Coling In Focus Reporter

Religion has influenced the creation of music from the first melodies and recorded lyrics to the latest contemporary pieces, the college’s music instructors say. “The music we know today originated in Gregorian chants that were prayers in religious ceremonies by monks,” said Denny Christianson. “In the sixth century, Pope Gregory was the first person to make a handwritten record of these chants and through the Dark Ages that followed this crude notation was the only thing that survived musically, being maintained by the Catholic Church.” Religion is widely thought of as

the catalyst for classical masters such as Bach, who composed for four churches every Sunday for over 30 years, said Christianson. “During the Renaissance, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris started the world’s first music school and this sparked a wave of employment for many musicians around Europe,” he said. “Until the end of the Baroque period, composers would create strictly for religious ceremonies, accumulating literally thousands of pieces in their lifetime.” Brad Klomp, a teacher in the faculty of music at Lakeshore Campus, said he feels religion and music is tied together for all cultures. “In the Middle East, Arabic countries of Islamic faith have all kinds of

music in relationship to their religious services but they don’t use the word music,” said Klomp. “Music to them is secular and there are no instruments allowed in mosques, but their type of ‘non music’ is still created from prayers and spirituality.” Though some music and religious songs in places of worship have changed over time, it has a singular purpose, Klomp added. “There have been major trends over the past 10 years or so where churches are trying to incorporate contemporary worship music and we hear God or Jesus pop up in R&B, country, and rap music,” he said. “So even though music is always redeveloped and rethought to meet the needs of the audience, the intentions of sacred references remain the same, to help connect people to their God.” Recent Humber music graduate Caitlin Smith, a professional jazz musician and composer, said growing up in a secular household created an interest in sacred music. “Because I had only the foggiest concept of religion and religious doctrine in music, I found all of the pieces deliciously mysterious,” said Smith. “You can feel the weight of the concepts behind the music and I love the formalism and rituals surrounding the performances of sacred music. I think the biggest impact that exposure to religion has had on me as a musician is the air of respect the act of making music is given in a sacred context.”

Humber is considering building a larger and permanent prayer room on North Campus to accommodate a growing number of Muslim students who need to pray throughout the day, the college’s chaplain said. “Basically the concept of a prayer room started in the late ’80s,” Rev. Len Thomas said. “The idea was to have a prayer room to meet a need and service students, to allow students to remain on campus so they don’t have to go off campus to fulfil religious obligations.” But, he said a dramatic increase in the number of Muslim students since then means there is a new need to address such issues as the current space not having foot-washing stations. Now, students use low-set basins in both the men’s and women’s washrooms closest to the prayer room. “One of the reasons I came to Humber is that I knew they had a prayer room,” said Najamuddin Mohammed, who graduated with a systems analyst diploma. Mohammed now works in media services at the college and is a member of the body that makes policy for

the school. “The first Board of Governors meeting was during the month of Ramadan, and the board knew that I’d break away to pray,” he said. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from daybreak to sundown and pray five times daily, an obligation throughout the year.

“One of the reasons I came to Humber is that I knew they had a prayer room.”

– Najamuddin Mohammed

Humber graduate The room at North Campus can accommodate up to 40 people and has a Qu’ran, as well as prayer mats. It has separate entrances for men and women and is reserved for Muslim students from 20 minutes to an hour during times they need to pray. The room at Lakeshore is much smaller, but the campus has fewer Muslim students, Thomas said. Mohamed Ibrahim, a 20-year-old electronics student said most teachers accommodate Muslim students who need to pray. “If I tell them, they have no problem with it,” he said.

Togetherness base of design for new church Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Joanna Gresik, a student who’s designing a church for her finalyear thesis, said sacred places should inspire worship in personal and meaningful ways. “I’ve grown up in a religious home all of my life and it was something that was close to my heart, but I wanted to do something that was different,” the 22-year-old Humber bachelor of applied arts student said. “I don’t want to push the idea of religion – it’s very personal and it should be a choice.”

“For me, church is really about relationship and not about ritual.”

– Joanna Gresik Bachelor of applied arts student

Gresik said her design is inspired by a new church-movement called Cafe Church. The interactive space is meant to promote community outreach and would include a cafe for parishoners, lounge furniture instead of pews and a games area. “Instead of being really formalized and really structured it’s more of an open kind of place where you can just come and hang out,” said Gresik. “I want it to be a place where people can feel they can come anytime.” “For me, church is really about relationship and not about ritual and I think that’s what I’m really

trying to get across here,” she said. William Kervin, a United Church Minister and professor of liturgy and worship at U of T’s Emmanuel College, said places of worship are both houses of God and houses of gathering and must constantly negotiate the tension between the two roles. “The space is made sacred not only by the god to which it’s directed, but also by the investment of the people,” he said. “Their highest values get embodied in the place,” he said. “The things that are most important to them, including the ethos of their community.” Nilesh Mehta, a part-time Humber student and volunteer at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir near North Campus, said the Hindu temple is both a divine and communal space. Completed in 2007, the Mandir was constructed with methods found in ancient Hindu scriptures. The design is meant to evoke strength and peace in its worshippers and the activities held there are meant to bring people, families and communities together, said Mehta. “The Mandir is for all Canadians,” he said, adding everyone is welcome to worship and express their faith in their own way. “This whole creation is a combination of devotion and spirituality,” he said, adding “you don’t just come to bow down.”


in focus

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life after Humber

David Shannon, 46, who was paralyzed after a spinal-cord injury, is a lawyer from Thunder Bay is the first known quadriplegic to reach the North Pole.–

E H T AL C T O F IN PO This week’s In Focus section profiles Humber graduates exceling in their respective fields.

Hard work pays off for motivated grad Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Humber business grad Paul Crowe said earning three promotions and more than doubling his starting salary of $30,000 in three years is just the start of his career in Toronto’s competitive advertising industry. “My focus right now is on growing my accounts and helping the company win new business with the goal of being promoted again before the end of 2009,” said Crowe, 28, an account supervisor at the Publicis Modem ad agency. After working on ad campaigns

for such clients as the Toronto Blue Jays and LG electronics, he’s now in charge of the interactive (online and mobile) accounts for some of Canada’s biggest companies, including CIBC and Grand & Toy. Crowe attributes his quick rise in the industry to motivation, curiosity and hard work – 50 to 60 hours a week. He’s quick to point out nobody gave him a leg up. “I’ve achieved all of this by being the person I am – not through connections I have. I’ve never had anything handed to me. I’ve had to prove myself.”

Knowing at a young age that he wanted to be in advertising, Crowe moved to Toronto from his hometown of Kelowna, B.C., in 2002. Two years later he graduated from Humber’s business administration program. “Paul exemplifies the ability of a graduate to work hard to get what they want, to have a really focused goal, and to work towards being successful,” said program co-ordinator Mike Planche. “He’s up for any challenge – that’s an important trait because the world is full of people who have great ideas and don’t follow through on them.

But Paul’s very persistent.” “He’s a go-getter,” agreed Crowe’s boss, Todd Hummel. “He learns everything there is to learn. He deserves every promotion he gets. Crowe said while he is moving forward, he is also looking back to Humber to help those who follow him into the business world. “I like the fact that what I’m doing could serve as motivation for others,” said Crowe, a member of Humber’s Business Administration Advisory Committee. “It seems like a lot of work, but in the end it’s worth it.”

Advanced care program prepares medics for real-life scenarios Teri Pecoskie In Focus Reporter

Whether he’s reviving drowning children, treating burn victims, or backing up a SWAT team in hostage situations, Humber grad Jamie Pietrobon says paramedics expect the unexpected. “I look forward to the surprise,” he said. “That’s why I do this job.” The 30-year-old from Sudbury makes $92,000 a year with the Peel Regional Paramedic Service. A graduate of Humber’s advanced care paramedic program, Pietrobon has worked for the region for five years and has been a member of the service’s tactical team for two – responding to high-risk emergencies alongside heavily armed police. “We communicate with the tactical police officers,” he said. “When they respond to a call – barricaded patients, suicidal patients, or dangerous situations that can’t be handled by regular police – we show up and back them up.”

Teri Pecoskie

Humber paramedic grad, Jamie Pietrobon, pushing a stretcher he uses at work for Peel region. Pietrobon said the tough scenarios situations than the tactical calls. program at Humber, called Pietrobon he faced in Humber’s advanced care There are weapons involved and “a consummate professional,” both in school and on the job. program prepared him for the real- peoples’ lives are at stake.” “He’s a shining example of a life risks he faces on the job. Rob Schembri, lead instructor “There won’t be more stressful of the advanced care paramedic paramedic striving to be the best

in his field and succeeding,” said Schembri. “He’s a great example for paramedics coming out of Humber and going out onto the road right now.” Pietrobon’s success can be attributed to his positive attitude and the wide range of knowledge and skills he brings to the job, said Schembri. In addition to his paramedic diplomas from Humber and Cambrian College, Pietrobon earned a bachelor of science degree from Laurentian University and a pre-service firefighting diploma from Durham College. Jason Farrow, a paramedic instructor at Humber and an acting supervisor for Peel Region, said Pietrobon’s intense drive is exceptional. “Jamie set some serious goals for himself and he went after them and achieved them. His case is atypical, because so many people are content to do the bare minimum and don’t make an effort to advance themselves. That’s not Jamie.”

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When she was 28-years-old, Debra DiGiovanni quit her job, graduated from Humber’s inaugural year of the Comedy Writing and Performance program in 2000 and is now living her dream of making a living as a comedian. “I was always thinking about doing it and a friend of mine told me, now’s your chance,” said DiGiovanni, 37, who won Best Female Comedian at the 2007 Canadian Comedy Awards two years after graduating and won Best New Stand Up in 2002. “Even if it sounds corny, I spent

“Britney is too easy – pardon the pun – to make fun of, everyone does her,.”

– Debra DiGiovanni Comedian

my year at Humber learning and laughing – yeah, that it is corny.” Living with her cat in Toronto and touring as one of the top acts in Canada, DiGiovanni cites events from

her everyday life into her act. “She translates her own experience into her work with a great deal of charm on stage.” said School of Creative and Performing Arts faculty member, Allan Guttman. “She was very determined, had sacrificed a lot by quitting her regular job in order to do her dream.” One of the main commentators on Muchmusic’s Video On Trial, DiGiovanni said the lessons she learned at Humber gave her an edge over other comedians. “Humber was wonderful, I learned lots of secrets of the trade—from mic techniques to the blueprint of the business,” said DiGiovanni, who kept a day job until 2005 working as a receptionist by day and doing her comedy shows at night. “I would come into work the next morning after a show and my coworkers would tell me how tired I looked because I was basically dead.” Humber professors recall how she stood out as a promising comedian. “It was pretty clear she was a natural-born comic,” said Larry

Horowitz, her stand-up instructor. “I remember telling her ‘you’re going to be a stand-up comedian,’ and whether she believed me or not, she’s done pretty good.” DiGiovanni’s major breaks include opening for and touring with fellow comic and Brampton-native Russell Peters in 2005 and making the top ten of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2007.

Her veteran role on Video On Trial – a show on MuchMusic that analyzes and pokes fun at music videos – means no musical act is safe. “Britney is too easy – pardon the pun – to make fun of, everyone does her,” said DiGiovanni. She added she also enjoys taking on rappers like Lil’ Wayne. “Just looking at his face, the teeth, the facial tattoos, I’ve had enough.”

File photo

Debra DiGiovanni (left) with famous comedian Margeret Cho


in focus

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cheap Summer Travel

As of Earth Day (April 22), Ontario has banned the sale and use of about 250 pesticides and ingredients, the toughest cosmetic pesticide ban in North America. –

Baseball on a dime

Baseball Stadium Tour: All distances relative to Rogers Centre as starting point

Pattie Phillips In Focus Reporter

Baseball may be the great American pastime, but for Humber students looking for cheap summertime fun, a road trip to catch a few away games just might be the ticket. If you want variety, there’s lots – 13 major league baseball teams play within a ten-hour drive of Toronto. “You can do the baseball tour on the cheap,” said Jim Bialek, assistant director of Humber Athletics. “It’s an opportunity, at a reasonable cost, to get an experience that will last a lifetime.” Bialek speaks from experience. As a lifelong fan, he’s done his own tour and said this summer is a great time for a trip. “Now you have the opportunity to see a lot stadiums in their infancy,” Bialek said, referring to the newly opened Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York City. “Plus, you may be able to see some that might not be there a few years from now.” But for students keeping an eye on their wallet, it’s the price that’s right. Cheap seats at major league games average $10 a ticket. Some stadiums, like Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards, offer seats that include all-you-can-eat concession food in the $40 ticket price. Accommodations don’t have to set you back either. “You don’t need the Hilton,” Bialek said. “Take the camping experience, stay out of the hotels.” That’s what 23-year-old Shaylan Spurway, a Humber creative photography grad, plans on doing when she and her fiancé head to Boston this July. A Red Sox fanatic (her Boston terrier is named Fenway Parker) she’s hitting the road to catch her team at home in the historic stadium. “I can’t wait to step foot in it and to see the Green Monster,” she said. “Regardless of being a fan, it’s some-

Rogers Centre – home of the Toronto Blue Jays Opened: 1989 Distance: 0km Tickets start at: $9 Tour: $13.75

Orioles Park at Camden Yards – home of the Baltimore Orioles Opened: 1992 Distance: 760km (8h20) Tickets start at: $8 Tour: $9 Pattie Phillips

Spectators can watch a baseball game at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, for $24, while also getting a tour of the 97-year-old stadium. The trip is less than nine hours away from Toronto.

Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox Opened: 1912 Distance: 880km (8h50) Tickets start at: $12 Tour: $12

U.S. Cellular Park – home of the Chicago White Sox Opened: 1991 Distance: 830km (8h05) Tickets start at: $9.50

Photo illustration by Pattie Phillips

where I’ve always wanted to go.” Tickets at Fenway start as low as $12 a seat, while another $12 will get you a tour of the 97-year-old stadium. Matt Angle, owner and operator of the website Ballparks of Baseball, said tours are a great way to add value to your trip, and are offered at most parks.

“Just to be able to go out on to the field, or to sit in the dugout for a few moments - that’s what makes a tour attractive,” he said. However, Bialek, Spurway, and Angle all agree that the greatest value of any baseball road trip is the unique atmosphere at the each park. Bialek said his best-loved ballpark is still Tigers Stadium in Detroit, which

was closed in 1999, while Angle’s favourite is Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals. “They all have their own nuances and they all have different experiences,” Bialek said, adding that a road trip isn’t just for the die-hard fans. “You don’t know who you’re going to meet or what you’re going to do but the experience is something else.”

Jim Bialek gives advice for getting the most out of your game-day experience - Get to the park before the gates open. - Watch batting practice. - Walk around the stadium before the game starts. You’ll have access to parts of the park you won’t get to see once the game is started. - Talk with the ushers, they’re always in the know. - Get to know the people sitting around you. The locals will usually treat you well and most importantly, they’ll let you know where

to go after the game. - Spice it up! Cheap tickets are great, but treat yourself to at least one decent seat on your trip. - Enjoy the ballpark cuisine. There’s always your standard hotdog fare, but most parks now feature local specialties (i.e. cheesesteaks in Philadelphia) - Finally, don’t use the trip as an excuse for a frat party. You want to remember all those great parks.

Wrigley Field – home of the Chicago Cubs Opened: 1914 Distance: 845km (8h25) Tickets start at: $9 Tour: $25

Yankee Stadium – home of the New York Yankees Opened: 2009 Distance: 765km (8h00) Tickets start at: $14 Tour: $20

Citizens Bank Park – home of the Philadelphia Phillies Opened: 2004 Distance: 775km (8h05) Tickets start at: $16 Tour: $9

Comerica Park – home of the Detroit Tigers Opened: 2000 Distance: 370km (4h00) Tickets start at: $5 Tour: $6 (no game-day tours)

Cooperstown, NY – home of the Baseball Hall of Fame Distance: 530km (5h35) Admission: $16.50

Magazine clippings As featured in:


No. 11

Canada’s Film and Television Magazine


opening eyes across the industry

Flashpoint flies to the top of the ratings | TV hits the Web 3-D is back with a vengeance | Brent Butt talks life after Corner Gas

Winter 2009



a holy union Film and music - it’s a marriage for the new millenium. FineCut finds out how these two crafts are coming together at film festivals across the continent.


by pattie phillips

n the cool night air of Montreal in autumn, people drift from one club to another, moving down city sidewalks, searching. Music spills into the streets – loud, pounding. Bodies spill out of doors – warm, sweaty. On the air, the sudden, unmistakable reek of stale beer. Some stumble home and some crowd into tiny, cramped spaces. Others make their way from the noise in search of music, but music in another form, another venue. They find their way to the quiet, plush seats of an art-house theatre where music is coupled with the familiar whirl of film wound on reels, spinning counter-clockwise, at twenty-four frames per second. This is where music and film are married. Music on film, film on music. A music festival is not complete without its mate. Patricia Boushel, a producer with Pop Montreal’s Film Pop festival, describes the development of that festival as, “organic.” In its first year, “it was just showing Gimme Shelter in a loft space,” she says. The film component may have begun as a diversion from the hustle of Pop, but it’s grown into a venue for showing both older, seminal films as well as new, innovative ones. The focus is on music films, Boushel explains, “but we’re also very sensitive to art that’s essential. I think that’s what we try to do with the festival as a whole – to show what’s being made right now that really had no choice but to be made. “We’re not just about showing any type of film that’s kind of cool

and going around the festival circuit,” she says. Instead, the festival takes cues from what’s relevant to the music and what’s happening in the city – for example, Montreal’s vibrant community of analog film collectives. “It’s really specific and very one-time. It’s spontaneous,” explains Boushel, “that’s the type of thing we like getting involved with – unique experiences.” It’s also the type of thing audiences and artists enjoy the most.


ix hundred kilometers west of Montreal, Ambrose Roche feeds his caffeine habit in a Toronto coffee shop. It’s a brisk Monday morning in early March and Roche – the one-man programming dynamo for the film component of the North by Northeast music festival – explains over a steaming cup of coffee why organizers decided to start showing films at the festival in 2002. “It’s just something they always wanted to do,” he says simply. Nearly eight years in, the film portion of NXNE still chugs along – finding its identity in a city saturated with festivals for the most obscure niche-markets. “The film side of NXNE is still a work in progress,” Roche admits. “The quality of programming, I believe, is high-end, but we haven’t quite figured out who the demographic is. “It seems to be people more leaning towards the music side,” but he acknowledges the festival attracts a range of viewers. “You see people

> Photos: Pattie Phillips.


> Photo: Pattie Phillips.

you won’t see at any of the clubs or any of the other screenings, but they find those films that they have a particular interest in and they dig them out.” Roche hopes to expand the moviegoing experience by offering diverse and surprising films. For the most part, the focal point of those movies is music, but Roche concedes music films aren’t the only ones he’s willing to screen. “I want to see quality filmmaking. It’s not enough to see familiar people. There are too many home-movie style music films that just get really monotonous. “One thing I’ve done in the past – and I want to do more of this – is show films that represent the same independent spirit that NXNE represents in terms of music,” he explains. “How do we create new paradigms for creation, distribution and financial success?” At the heart of the NXNE film festival, however, is a desire to cultivate relationships among artists across different genres. “Our goal is to get the film people and the music people interacting and talking and working together.” This is exactly what makes the film festival popular with artists, says Roche of the relaxed, collaborative atmosphere. “Film people aren’t behaving the way filmmakers often do at film festivals,” he says. “They love it and they get more out of it...the types of dialogues that happen are often radically different from what happens at any film festival.”


he festival does more than inspire collaboration between musicians and filmmakers, says Roche. Sometimes it inspires filmmakers to create their own festivals. Case in point: Ilko Davidov, a filmmaker Roche invited to NXNE a few years ago who went on to create his own venture in Chicago. It’s a Thursday in early March. Ilko Davidov, producer and director of Unauthorized and Proud of it: Todd Loren’s Rock’n’Roll Comics, and co-founder of the Chicago International Movies and Music festival, is on the phone. In its inaugural year, his festival is opening that night in the Windy City. Davidov’s on the move – car horns blaring in the background, cell phone reception crackling, the ambient hum of rush-hour noise bleeding into the spaces between his words. A native of Bulgaria, his accent is softened by two decades in the United States. He’s invigo-



rated by the thrill of launching a new festival. He contrasts NXNE to his nascent CIMM. “NXNE is primarily a music festival and a smaller part is the film festival,” he begins. “Here, the larger part is the film festival and then we have some music.” Davidov says what makes his festival different is the close relationship between the films and live music performances. “We’re trying to keep it tied together,” he adds, “to show the parallels and the connections between films and music. That’s the goal of our programming.”


hen Davidov and CIMM co-founder, musician Josh Chicoine, first had the idea to start CIMM, they surveyed what other festivals were doing. “It’s a growing trend in the film festival scene,” Davidov says of music-film festivals. “People are becoming more aware of them. “We didn’t know how people would react,” he explains. “It turned out a lot of people wanted to see this happen. “Music is an inspiration for a lot of artists and that doesn’t exclude filmmakers,” says Davidov – they recognize the value in festivals like NXNE and CIMM. “There’s a lot of good films out there that only have their audience in a venue like this,” he says. “It’s not about movie stars. It’s not about Hollywood. It’s a celebration of film and music and it’s a party in a way. It’s a different feeling. You have musicians, you have filmmakers, you have a very different atmosphere than a straight industry festival.” Back in the Toronto coffee shop, Ambrose Roche peers into his coffee mug and sighs in resignation at the vision of the future he sees. “I like it where it is,” he says in earnest of NXNE, but his voice, trailing off, betrays the reality. The inevitable qualifying statement dangles from his tongue as he pauses briefly. “But…” – there it is, loaded with implication – “I recognize we need to give more bang for the buck and we have to get bigger.” Getting bigger comes at a price, however. “There’s kind of a mental dilemma,” says Roche. “How much do you expand? “Clearly, I want more people to see the films because the films are always great,” he says. But growing the festival is a delicate balancing act, and more than anything Roche is determined to maintain its sense of intimacy. “It’s a small room, we really get to hang out,” he explains. “A lot of the guys respond to that intimacy.”



As seen online at:

Image of the Day: August 23rd, 2007 Posted by John Paolozzi on Aug 23, 2007

Today’s image, One Way, is by Pattie Phillips aka Weekend Vagabond.

Image of the Day: July 15, 2008 Posted by John Paolozzi on Jul 15, 2008

Today’s image, submitted by Pattie Phillips.

Image of the Day: August 06, 2008 Posted by John Paolozzi on Aug 06, 2008

Today’s image, submitted by Pattie Phillips.

Image of the Day: October 27, 2008 Posted by John Paolozzi on Oct 27, 2008

Today’s image, submitted by Pattie Phillips.

Image of the Day: November 03, 2008 Posted by John Paolozzi on Nov 03, 2008

Today’s image, submitted by Pattie Phillips.

Searchlight Profile: The Grad Club Posted by John Paolozzi on Feb 19, 2009.

Photo by Pattie Phillips.

Schmap: Montreal Guide Downtown: Phillips Square

Photo by Pattie Phillips.

David Suzuki Foundation Blog

Posted Agust 7, 2007 1:00 AM

Photo by Pattie Phillips.

Portfolio: Pattie Phillips  

Portfolio of work 2009.