SJU Update 2018

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Campus Ministry is Opening New Doors Pantone Green: 343c The Fr. Bob Liddy SpiritualityGold: Centre 139copens its

doors, letting students engage, reflect, and grow.

CMYK Green: 98/0/72/61 Gold: 0/37/100/23

Pantone Green: 343c







CONTRIBUTORS Raeesa Ashique Beth Bohnert Suzanne Bowness Nancy Harper Martha Fauteux Heather Lambert

DESIGN Insignia Creative Group


ST. JEROME’S UNIVERSITY UPDATE MAGAZINE 2018 Vol. 36 Published annually and distributed electronically. Please direct content feedback and story suggestions to

ADDRESS St. Jerome’s University 290 Westmount Road North Waterloo ON N2L 3G3


STUDENT WELLNESS @ STUDENT AFFAIRS A reorganization in order to streamline services




FAITH AND FEELING Dr. Chris Burris explores how emotions shape our religious beliefs—and disbeliefs

The Fr. Bob Liddy Spirituality Centre opens its doors


TASTY TWEETS AND DESSERTS The effects social media has on menu items



4 STUDENT WELLNESS @ STUDENT AFFAIRS............ 6 MORE THAN WORDS.......................................... 12 COVER TO COVER............................................... 15 FAITH AND FEELING............................................ 16 TASTY TWEETS & DESSERTS................................ 20 “FUNCKEN-IZING” THE MENU............................ 21 RETIRED BUT STILL HARD AT WORK................... 22 2018 FINANCIALS............................................... 29 CAMPUS MINISTRY IS OPENING NEW DOORS... 30 ACADEMIC MENTORS LEAD TO PHDS................. 34 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE..........................................

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Find us on Facebook: St. Jerome’s University


Look for us on Instagram: @StJeromesUni

BOARD OF GOVERNORS John Arnou Steven Bednarski Jim Beingessner, Chancellor Katherine Bergman, President and Vice Chancellor Frank Boerboom Mary Ellen Cullen, Chair Ernest Doyle Tessa Femia-Sebben Cathy Horgan Anne Jamieson Ken Lavigne Tony MacKinnon Rev. Murray McDermott, C.R., Provincial Superior Ted McKechnie Christopher Roehrig Kathy Smidt Toni Serafini Laura Zilney Dan Weber Mark Wendland

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE St. Jerome’s University is more than a post-secondary institution; we are a diverse and vibrant community. Since our founding, community has been at the heart of our philosophy of educating the whole person. Not only do we provide engaging learning opportunities for our students, we strive to nurture them spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Faculty and staff guide and support students through transitions from their high school or home town communities, into the new place they will call home, and beyond, to the next phases of their life journey. Their peers can become family, and their wellbeing – as a whole – is foremost in our actions, mission, and vision. As in all communities, sometimes we have to say goodbye. This past year we had the privilege of seeing several members of our staff spread their wings seeking new ventures. We also saw two of our longest-serving faculty members retire. To those who have chosen to follow a new path on their life journey, we thank you for your contributions to the advancement of our mission and wish you every success in the next part of your journey. We are pleased to welcome new colleagues who bring different ideas and dreams; we will continue to foster existing relationships and develop new ones that will grow and build on our legacy of success. Within these pages, you will meet our new Student Affairs team. We will share with you the expertise and experience they bring to our institution, to continue providing the very best guidance and support to our students. You will read about the incredible professors who have inspired our students to grow and pursue their own academic careers. This year as part of our commitment to student wellness and a holistic education, we were pleased to open the Fr. Bob Liddy, C.R., Spirituality Centre. In closing, thank you for your commitment to our shared community. As always, it is with your support and generosity that we can continue to build the leaders of tomorrow.

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Dr. Katherine Bergman, President and Vice Chancellor


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Distinguish ourselves locally, nationally, and internationally as a liberal arts university

Our Future

Build dynamic and collaborative partnerships

Our Catholicity

Encourage the intellectual, spiritual, and social development of the whole person

Our Culture

Foster a respectful, inclusive community

Teaching and Learning Research

Nurture an environment that values excellence in scholarship, research, and creative activity

Our Story

Inspire a lifelong commitment to independent and discerning learning



Wellness @

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There is a renewed vibrancy in the Student Affairs team at St. Jerome’s University. Both returning and new students and staff alike can feel the heightened energy—a sense of anticipation and eagerness that naturally comes with the reinvigoration of a team.

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Student Affairs — previously known as Student Success and the Office of Student Experience—recently underwent an organizational change to simplify and improve the support we provide to meet the changing needs of our students. Now, a stroll down one hallway in Sweeney Hall is all a student needs to find ways to support their journey: everything from academics or

volunteer placements, to their university-driven social life, and ways to get involved on campus. In Student Affairs, students are able to reach out with ease to veteran advisors they have known for years, or to new staff members for a different perspective, including the new Wellness Coordinator, Advising Specialist, Residence Manager, and Student Engagement Coordinator.

With the addition of new team members and roles comes the need for introductions: who are these eager individuals, and how do they hope to support students in the coming year and beyond?



JESSICA VORSTEVELD, Director of Student Affairs Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, Jessica Vorsteveld is not new to St. Jerome’s University or the experiences we offer our students. While completing her BSc at the University of Waterloo, Vorsteveld’s Religious Studies minor often brought her to campus. She also participated in the Ukraine placement of the Beyond Borders program, so returning as a staff member feels to her as if she has come full circle.

Arnou recalls struggling a bit with his mental health during his time as a student, and wants to ensure that current students get the support they need when things get tough. “With mental health wellness, I hope to continue to breakdown stigma and normalize it with students,” he says. “We need to look at mental health similarly to how we look at physical health—both are immensely important for wellbeing.”

In her new role, Vorsteveld wants to get to know the current students of St. Jerome’s University. “I want students to work with us, and to thrive in their own ways,” she says. “I hope students feel a difference in our team, too—less confusion of who they can ask for help and more collaboration across the different areas of our department.”

A life-long learner, Arnou not only empathizes with students; this fall term, he will be one! Students may notice him in their Introduction to Social Work class at Renison University College as he explores and discovers new ways to assist students. “Discovering SJU and working here has been one of the best aspects of my professional career thus far.”

During her time as a student, Vorsteveld acknowledges the struggles that she, like many students, experienced. “I didn’t advocate for myself and seek out the resources and people who could help me through tough times,” she says. Her goal is to make the Student Affairs team as accessible as possible, so students may feel more confident to ask for help and feel part of a community.


JOHN ARNOU, Assessment Specialist A veteran in the hallways of St. Jerome’s University, John Arnou has been working with our students for eight years, and shows no signs of stopping. On the contrary—with the recent shifts in the Student Affairs department, Arnou is excited to see what new projects and milestones the team can accomplish. So what keeps Arnou passionate about his work at St. Jerome’s University? “The students are really what make our SJ community unique,” he says. “They are fierce community builders, compassionate and caring individuals, keen on social justice. They are committed and engaged students, and diverse in so many ways.” Arnou plans to channel his love for St. Jerome’s University’s students in his role as Assessment Specialist, where he will collect data and work with

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the Student Affairs team to ensure that their goals to beneficially impact and support the students, are being reached.


Service Learning Coordinator While Michelle Metzger calls Kitchener, Ontario home, she has enough travel experience to be truly considered a global citizen—an identity that makes her perfect for the role of Service Learning Coordinator. After completing her Bachelor of Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo in 2013, she pursued international development work by serving with the Mennonite Central Committee in N’Djaména, Chad. Upon returning to Canada, she completed a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia, while continuing to travel the world. Metzger’s many destinations have included London, England; Paris, France; Copenhagen, Denmark; Kigali, Rwanda; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; to name a few places she has had the opportunity to encounter. Metzger is excited to share her love of travel with students in her new role as Service Learning Coordinator. “Service Learning programming at St. Jerome’s University is a unique opportunity for students to reach outside their comfort zone and engage in outside-the-classroom learning,” she says. “I work with students throughout their whole Service Learning experience, providing support and

mentorship before, during, and post-placement.” To Metzger, Service Learning is an opportunity for educating the whole person, for developing global citizens, and for encouraging students to become better versions of themselves.

LUKE JEFFERY, Residence Manager As one of the newest members of the Student Affairs team, Luke Jeffery comes well prepared with a Master’s in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University. He brings experience from several post-secondary institutions including, Canadore, Seneca, and Conestoga College, working specifically in the field of residence life. These experiences position him well for the role of Residence Manager in the new Residence complex at the University. From his own experience as a student, Jeffery understands how overwhelming it can feel to have so many opportunities, and not know how to take advantage of them. “Like many, I struggled to take advantage of all the various experiences that were available to me,” he says. “Creating my own experience was both a powerful and daunting process during my undergraduate and graduate school experiences.” As Residence Manager, Jeffery hopes to help students navigate this intimidating phase of life. “I hope to encourage when I can, challenge where needed, and continuously support, to ensure every student receives an impactful and memorable experience, here at St. Jerome’s University.”

JOE VARAMO, Advising Specialist Joe Varamo joined the Student Affairs team with one major goal in mind: to deliver exceptional academic support and advice to the students of St. Jerome’s University. A glance at his resumé proves he is well equipped for the task, with 16 years of experience in communications, community relations, managing, and multiple advising positions. This university represents a new stage in his career where he feels he can really make a difference; he describes the campus as “a wonderful culture that is people-centric and student-focused.”

Varamo is excited to assist students in a full range of ways, from registration, class schedules, financial aid, graduation, personal academic goals, and everything in between. His dreams for the future of Student Affairs are lofty and admirable. “We will provide students with all the skills and experiences they need, not only to be successful at SJU, but in life,” he says. “We will develop graduates that are highly competent, morally aware, socially knowledgeable, solutions oriented, job ready professionals who will make a positive difference in our world.”

LINDSAY THOMPSON, Wellness Coordinator Student Affairs introduced a Wellness Coordinator this year, an exciting opportunity Lindsay Thompson is eager to define. In this newly developed position, Thompson has lots of room to grow and explore how she can best assist the students of St. Jerome’s University. “I hope to support students by listening to their concerns and informing them about where great supports available on campus are located,” she says, “and sharing some coping skills and laughs when appropriate!” Lindsey brings a wealth of knowledge to this new role. She began her educational journey in Social Development Studies and Social Work at Renison University College. From there she received her Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. Thompson recognizes how critical wellness is for student success at university. “Wellness is an important part of our daily lives, and more so when we’re working to achieve our dreams here in university,” she says. “We can often overlook aspects of our wellness as some pieces may feel easier or more normalized than others, such as exercising or cramming for a midterm.” More than anything, Thompson wants to remind students that it is okay, not to be okay, there is always help available, and they are never alone. Like many other students, Thompson asked herself many big questions as an undergrad: is this the right program? How can I stand out as a student? Why am I failing ANTH 101? Her advice: “Your value as a human being is not defined by your grades or the acronym for your degree.” UPDATE MAGAZINE, VOLUME 36 | 9


ERIKA TOFFELMIRE, Student Programs and Campus Ministry Coordinator Erika Toffelmire has a long history in the St. Jerome’s University community, with a love for the campus culture to match. Toffelmire has been involved in the community as a student graduating with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies, an alumnus, and a staff member. “I fell in love with the community from the first time I visited campus during March Break as a grade twelve student,” she says. With the change in Student Affairs, Toffelmire is excited for the team to be more unified for students. In her role, Toffelmire plans to channel this excitement towards assisting students in developing their whole selves. “One of the things I love about St. Jerome’s University is the focus on the whole person, including the spiritual life,” she says. “Not only are students getting a degree; they are learning about who they are as people and deciding how their values fit into their work, their relationships, and the way they exist in the world. Sometimes those questions of meaning and purpose can get lost amidst exams and assignments.” Toffelmire is working on grounding herself in Kitchener-Waterloo by learning more about the Grand River watershed, and the creatures and plants that reside here. A deeply spiritual person, Toffelmire loves exploring issues of justice, hospitality, peace, and the environment and how they connect to her understandings of faith.

JOEL MURPHY, Student Engagement Coordinator As a student himself, Joel Murphy has first-hand knowledge of the types of pressures students often encounter while navigating university. “I understand the struggle to balance the rigour required of academia coupled with the importance of self-care and thinking about life beyond school,” he says. Murphy’s ultimate goal in his role is to equip students with the skills to be successful in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. He does this by actively listening to and engaging with them in an actionable way.

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While completing his PhD in Educational Studies at Acadia University, Murphy is taking on the role of Student Engagement Coordinator. Engaging with young adults is not new to Murphy, as he held numerous positions in the field of youth and young adult development over the past 10 years, including his most recent position as the Senior Manager of the Youth Leadership Program at the Tim Horton’s Children Foundation. Murphy is delighted to bring his experience to St. Jerome’s University. “I am excited to work with the Student Affairs team as well as with the students to help make the University a place where students not only receive an amazing education but where they begin to learn more about their potential and capabilities,” he says. “I am passionate about helping people become their best selves, and think this role will allow me to do that.” While he is new to the area, Murphy brings experience from across Canada, having lived in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and now Ontario.

REBECCA RUCUREAN, Admissions and Recruitment Specialist “St. Jerome’s University isn’t really something you can explain, but more so something you feel,” Rebecca Rucurean says when asked what St. Jerome’s University means to her; Rucurean ’s relationship with the University began when she was nine years old, when she remembers helping her older sisters move into residence. Coming from a long line of St. Jerome’s University grads—including her parents, aunts, uncles, and all four sisters—it has always felt like home to her, even before she enrolled in English Literature on the campus herself. Now returning with a Master of Education, Rucurean is excited to give back to the community that nurtured her in her position as Admissions and Recruitment Specialist. Rucurean will be working both on-campus as an admissions advisor, and off-campus as the face of the University for the surrounding Ontario secondary schools. Even when she is not directly dealing with students, she always wants them to feel welcome at her office. “Although my student facing support stops once they become matriculated students, I always leave my office door open for students who want to come by for a chat,” she says.

Rucurean believes the recent changes to Student Affairs will leave room for new growth, especially for the students. “I think our cohesive approach to Student Affairs as well as the integration of new key roles will provide students with access to services and inclusive safe spaces, starting with our staff,” she says. “I would love to see Student Affairs grow with input from our students and learn alongside them.”

Kaczala believes that St. Jerome’s University has many opportunities for students to grow, which is part of the reason she finds herself returning to campus in her career. “I love our holistic approach to education,” she says. “We aim to educate the student as the whole person, supporting them through their academic journey and also helping them to develop skills that can be carried over into their lives after university.”

If you see Rucurean outside of Student Affairs and think you are seeing double, you are! Rucurean has a twin sister, along with two other identical twin sisters. You can often find her at a concert or in the Alberta Mountains, where she hopes to return soon for another trip.


KATRINA KACZALA, Administrative and Events Assistant How people feel about a place is largely based on their first impression of it, the minute they walk into the room. As the Administrative and Events Assistant, Kaczala is the friendly face at the front desk of the Student Affairs wing, ready to help you with whatever you may need. “I think that my role within Student Affairs is important because I may be one of the first people that students come in contact with at SJU,” she says. “So I feel that it is important that I make students feel welcome and make sure that I help students to the best of my ability, answer their questions as best I can, or point them in the right direction.” Kaczala graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies and English Literature, while taking many classes at St. Jerome’s University and could frequently be found in [what is now] the Funcken Café. She remembers how difficult student life can be, especially when you are prone to procrastination. “I really struggled with procrastination and stress when I was in school,” she says. “Learning time management, organization, and study skills really helped me to overcome some of my procrastination habits and lower some of my stress.” In her role, Kaczala hopes to direct students who are struggling with these problems to the different programs and staff that can assist them so that they have more time and energy to enjoy their university experience.

Administrative Assistant Returning students and staff will undoubtedly recognize Jess Huston—since graduating from St. Jerome’s University with a major in Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF), Huston has worked with the SMF department and Student Affairs as a Student Engagement Coordinator before assuming her new role. Her involvement with St. Jerome’s University spans about eight years, but since her favourite teacher in high school was also a graduate, she believes the influence of St. Jerome’s University began years prior. With the recent change in the Student Affairs team, Huston is excited to see where this new journey will take them. “I think this year will be a big one for the students to really let us know and show us everything that they are hoping to get from their time here!” she says. “With the transition and movement in the team and university, it is a really great time for new dreams to come alive.” Huston knows a thing or two about new journeys; she took part in international service learning experiences when she was a student, and has since lived in Uganda to work with Save the Mothers and FullSoul Canada—NGOs focused on maternal health. As Administrative Assistant, Huston hopes to channel her experiences and help students to have as rewarding a time as she did when she was an undergrad. “I assist in academic issues such as program modifications and scholarships, in addition to residence admissions, which is a first point of contact for many SJU students,” she says. “These are important in that they allow students to really make what they want to of their time at SJ.”


Dr. Veronica Austen uses visual poetry to spark conversations about belonging For many years, Canadian literature tended to be categorized in a predictable and limited way. Today, however, the field is undergoing a long overdue reckoning. Described as a “raging dumpster fire” and criticized for its “incredible whiteness,” Canadian literature is under fire for its lack of inclusivity and ethics. “Right now, CanLit is a maelstrom,” says Dr. Veronica Austen, a professor of English who specializes in the genre. “We’re in an environment where sharing your experiences is hard, but the need for conversation has never been greater.” To foster that conversation, Austen is launching research that will highlight the work of Canadian authors with diverse worldviews. And she’s focusing on how these writers incorporate not only words, but also visual art, to convey their experiences. Austen first explored the relationship between words and images while completing her undergraduate degree. An English major with a minor in Fine Art, she learned to read the narrative of paintings the way she’d been taught to interpret literature. She wrote an honours

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thesis on Morley Callaghan’s representation of women and found herself creating various Callaghaninspired art for her Fine Arts courses, including a huge blue and orange portrait that hung in her parents’ basement for years. Art and literature would intersect once again during her graduate work at the University of Waterloo, where she discovered visual poetry. “One of my courses in that first year was at St. Jerome’s University with Professor Charlene Diehl. It was the first time I’d really studied poetry, particularly Canadian poetry, in a sustained way,” she says. Diehl also encouraged her students to attend literary events and readings. Austen remembers the thrill of meeting two of the members of The Four Horsemen, who popularized sound poetry in the 1970s. “St. Jerome’s University was where we learned that art isn’t just the study of distant, dead people. We got to see that art is something that’s created.” Although she completed her master’s degree with a thesis in children’s literature, Austen knew that poetry would be the focus of her PhD. “I like the study of language. And poetry to me is a medium where you can really get into the nitty-gritty of language. What does that marking mean? Why does the writer use this word instead of that word?”

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That attention to meaning and representation led her to authors who use the English language in unexpectedly visual ways to reflect their experiences. She was particularly attentive to the ways that writers who tended to be seen as ‘outsiders’ in the mainstream of CanLit used visual elements in their works. Roy Kiyooka, a second-generation Japanese Canadian and one of the country’s first multimedia artists, is one such author. Born in Saskatchewan, Kiyooka and his family were forcibly relocated during World War II, along with thousands of other Japanese Canadians. The work of Claire Harris, a Caribbean Canadian writer whose ‘novel in verse’ She, about a Trinidadian woman struggling with both mental illness and culture shock, inspired Austen’s dissertation. Also a focus of her dissertation, Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite “morphs the English language to represent him, so he can find his voice,” Austen explains. “He uses the slash to divide a word, so that instead of just seeing the full word, you see the words within the word that often bring out more meaning.” What fascinated her was the way these writers used word placement, symbols, and punctuation to relay cultural experiences beyond the limits that English places on them.

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“You have writers who are saying, ‘English is my mother tongue. But how can I make it so that it speaks me, rather than speaking for me?’” In her next research project, Austen will explore how contemporary Canadian authors like Kiyooka incorporate the visual arts in their writing as a way to express racialization and feelings of belonging or ‘unbelonging’.

“You have situations where words fail. They fail in the face of trauma. They fail when English itself doesn’t hold experience for people. So, I started to think about what happens when you need an alternate mode of communication.”

“The aim of this project is to be artist-centred. To talk with writers about what their intentions were. The writers I’m working on are interested in what readers find in their work. So, one of the goals of the project will be to get that conversation going.” Beyond her research, Austen has found another way to include a wider audience in that discussion. As co-organizer of the Reading Series at St. Jerome’s University, she helps to introduce students to established Canadian authors, like Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes, as well as to emerging voices. The series has also featured Daphne Marlatt, Fred Wah, and Roy Miki, all influential poets who’ve been writing since the 60s and 70s, and who speak from an array of cultural experiences. “They’re a fount of Canadian history,” Austen says.

“That’s vastly important. By interpreting the models these writers give us, I hope to help other people find ways to express themselves,” she says.

And there’s something satisfying about coming full circle, about sharing the work of the poets who influenced her as a student with a new generation of learners.

Today, in a moment when principles of inclusivity are under threat, a crucial question arises: What are our responsibilities when interpreting the stories of people with different experiences than our own?

“Roy Kiyooka, Claire Harris, Dionne Brand were all foundational for me. It’s important that we have role models. We don’t get here alone.”

“I think there are ways to speak about issues like race as long as you are respectful and acknowledge that you are not attempting to speak for others,” Austen says.


Canadian Music and American Culture: Get Away From Me. Pop Music, Culture and Identity Series

Maureen Drysdale and Tracy Bowen, Eds.

Work-Integrated Learning in the 21st Century: Global Perspectives on the Future. International Perspectives on Education and Society Series, V32

P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Daniel Heidt, Eds.

Two Years Below the Horn: A Canadian’s Experiences in Antarctica, 1944-1946, by Andrew Taylor

P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Heather Nicol, Eds. Whole of Government through an Arctic Lens

P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Heather Nicol, and Wilfrid Greaves, Eds. One Arctic: The Arctic Council and Circumpolar Governance

P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ryan Dean, and Rob Huebert, Eds. (Re)Conceptualizing Arctic Security: Selected Articles from the Journal of Military and Security Studies

P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Adam Lajeunesse, Eds. Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Operations, 1941-2015: Lessons Learned, Lost, and Relearned

P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Heather Nicol, Eds.

The Networked North: Borders and Borderlands in the Canadian Arctic Region

P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Myra Rutherdale, and Kerry Abel Eds. Roots of Entanglement: Essays in Native-Newcomer Relations

Kerry Lappin-Fortin. La Traduction: Un Pont de DĂŠpart Jane Nicholas. Canadian Carnival Freaks and the Extraordinary Body, 1900-1970s

Danila Sokolov. Renaissance Texts, Medieval Subjectivities: Rethinking Petrarchan Desire from Wyatt to Shakespeare

Claire Tacon. In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo

Interested in more from our faculty members,

such as series, journals, book chapters, articles, and other contributions? See


FAITH AND FEELING Dr. Chris Burris explores how emotions shape our religious beliefs—and disbeliefs Nearly six billion of the world’s seven billion people identify with a religious group. And as lessons from history – and from today’s headlines – illustrate, religion inspires a range of emotions, from joy and compassion to fear and hatred. But what if the arrow can point the other way as well? Can emotions shape religious beliefs? For Dr. Chris Burris, a professor of Psychology at St. Jerome’s University, this line of questioning is worth pursuing.

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Burris’ work focuses on the self, motivation, and emotion. He teaches perennially popular undergraduate courses on the psychology of evil and criminal profiling. He’s just finished writing a book about evil that uses the Biblical story of the Mark of Cain as a metaphor for the power of social rejection. And his latest paper on hate, co-authored with fellow Psychology professor Dr. John Rempel, marks a career milestone — his fiftieth peer-reviewed article. It was while reviewing early data in a study about love that Burris noticed an interesting trend. “We routinely collect demographic information from participants, and as I began to analyze the data, I noticed that people who self-identified as atheist tended to report less intense positive emotions compared to those who were religiously affiliated when recalling a past ‘love’ experience.” After conducting two more studies that replicated this basic pattern, Burris and a co-author published their results in a 2011 article in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. But why atheists tended to report less intense emotions remained unanswered. As part of their commitment to the “rational”, perhaps atheists prioritize thinking or analysis over feeling? Burris recently tested this possibility in a study involving over 1,000 people who identified as either religious, agnostic/nonreligious, or atheist. As it turned out, none of these groups was more likely to report using thinking to manage their emotions, but atheists stood out as more likely to use “expressive suppression.” “That basically means trying to reduce the intensity of an emotional experience by ‘poker facing,’ or concealing it from other people,” Burris says.

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Although it might be tempting to conclude that atheism drives expressive suppression based on these results, Burris was interested in a provocative alternative: perhaps expressive suppression causes atheism.

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“There’s a small but consistent set of studies, including lab experiments, showing that positive emotions like joy and awe can boost spirituality,” Burris explains. “So I asked myself, ‘What if we flip that around? If positive emotions are suppressed, could this decrease interest in spirituality? At the extreme end, would that look like an atheistic worldview?” To explore this hypothesis, Burris asked study participants to recall past emotional experiences and, while doing so, either to let those emotions “leak out” through their facial expressions or to hide them behind a straight face.

“When they were asked to ‘poker face’,” Burris says, “people with suppressive tendencies were more likely to endorse the belief that there’s no such thing as an afterlife — so ‘When you’re dead, you’re dead.’ In other words, we showed experimentally that expressive suppression nudges people toward a more atheistic worldview.” And this isn’t his only line of research illustrating that how people deal with emotion-laden experiences has an impact on their religious beliefs. For example, in a 2016 article in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Burris showed that people who dissociated following the suicide of a close friend or family member were more likely to hold Eastern beliefs about what happens after death. “When people dissociate following a traumatic event, they often feel more disconnected from their usual sense of self, which includes their identity and their body,” Burris explains. “And when you ask these people what will happen when they die, they think that they’ll end up in a different body or be absorbed into ‘big’ Consciousness. In other words, they think they’ll be disconnected from their current identity and body. It’s a perfect match.”

Religious beliefs intersect with emotional responsiveness in other intriguing ways. Burris points to the results of another recent study suggesting that it affects how people respond to believers and unbelievers. Atheists and religiously affiliated individuals were video recorded while being interviewed about positive and negative emotional experiences. Other people were shown these videos — without sound — and asked to form impressions of those who were interviewed. Another critical detail of this experiment is that viewers weren’t told which of the interviewees was atheist or religious. Tellingly, viewers saw atheists as less emotionally expressive than religiously affiliated individuals, and atheists showed less positive emotion in particular. Atheists were also perceived as less trustworthy and less likable. “And those impressions were solely based on nonverbal cues. Basically, if people ‘poker face’ in oneon-one situations, they’re harder to read. If they’re harder to read, it’s harder to figure out what their intentions are. If it’s harder to figure out what their intentions are, you’re less likely to trust them,” Burris says. “That’s a big deal because prejudice against atheists has been well-documented and appears to be driven by distrust. Researchers have linked this to the idea that if a person has a concept of God, someone who’s all-seeing and all-knowing, people believe that person will play nicely, even without a human chaperone. But if someone rejects that idea, they’re unregulated and therefore unpredictable.”

make the building of trust a real uphill battle. And that’s sadly ironic, given my other research showing that expressive suppression isn’t the result of atheistic belief, but is actually a source of it.” If gut reactions to nonverbal cues prompt distrust, then it can be difficult for simple face-to-face contact to help bridge the gap between atheists and believers. And even among “believers,” disagreement on points of doctrine and practice can be forceful or violent. Nevertheless, Burris is hopeful.

“The big takeaway from this line of research is that, regardless of how passionately we do or don’t believe certain things about what we cannot see, the strength and flavor of those beliefs is influenced by shared psychological processes — like how we experience and deal with emotions. André Godin, a French psychologist of religion, put it this way: ‘It doesn’t fall down from heaven.’” “So the key to building bridges here is the same as elsewhere. It starts by focusing on what we have in common.”

We know that prejudice and distrust between groups can be alleviated by positive contact. “If I get to know you, I’m more likely to understand you. If I understand you, I’m more likely to trust you,” Burris explains. “But atheists’ greater use of expressive suppression may



“You could see the trend: 80-90% of the feedback I used to get was questions and concerns. After reading week it was just shout-outs saying how much they appreciated our efforts.”


— Dana Hospitality Social Media Marketing Manager, Jae Doncillo



DESSERTS SOCIAL MEDIA GIVES STUDENTS A SAY IN WHAT THEY EAT Food lovers at St. Jerome’s University have never had it so good. Not only has the “local, fresh, and tasty” philosophy taken food services to a new level, students are also getting more opportunity to weigh in on what they want thanks to the ubiquitous power and reach of social media. So when one student told the kitchen they needed to step up their ice-cream game, a poll on social media sought to find out exactly how to make it happen. Dozens of comments later, cookies and cream had emerged as the clear favourite. A local supplier was found (Chapmans in Markdale, Ontario), the kitchen fully stocked, and within 20 minutes of a tweet alerting students to the new addition, a huge line-up had formed.

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“A 20-minute response from when you blasted out is just surreal,” says Jae Doncillo, social media marketing manager for Dana Hospitality. “What you see traditionally in the food industry is a survey every few months to see how students are feeling. Dana is using the real-time feedback of social media to get students connected so when they have problems we can react immediately.”

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Students took to Instagram and Facebook to voice their concerns about things like runny pasta sauces and a lack of proteinrich vegan options, and it took about a month to build a following. “Previously, I was getting requests, questions, concerns — and the management team was eager to hear the feedback,” Doncillo says. “After Reading Week, we started seeing changes in the comments we were getting. We started getting shout-outs on Twitter, people taking pictures of their food and posting them on social media. You could see the trend: 80-90% of the feedback I used to get was questions and concerns. After Reading Week it was just shout-outs saying how much they appreciated our efforts.” So what does it say about St. Jerome’s University that so many good things are happening in the kitchen? “The University is absolutely committed to their students,” Doncillo says. “They won’t settle for second best. With Dana, they give you so much information about where your food comes from. As we move into this next generation where people are more aware of their diets, they want that information, and that’s pretty awesome.”

“ Funcken-izing” the menu CAFÉ PUTS ITS OWN TWIST ON FRESH, LOCAL, AND TASTY The Funcken Café is an important part of the culture at St. Jerome’s University, in large part because of the folks at Dana Hospitality and their focus on nurturing the whole person. The Funcken makes its mark as a boutique café on the campus, by offering specialty treats not available elsewhere on campus: mouth-watering pastries, unique lunch items, lattes, and even specialty drinks. The café appeals to the wider university community as staff and faculty take advantage of its healthy meals, Planet Bean coffee, and “funcken-ized” treats — like the apple cider sourced from nearby Wellesley and given a twist with caramel and cinnamon.

foot. They return, repeatedly; the word is out that the café at St. Jerome’s University is the place to be. “Before opening each day, we take our cart to the big kitchen and do our ‘grocery shopping,” Tory Mantle, the supervisor at the Funcken Café says. “It is really nice to be able to tell an inquiring customer exactly what is in our baked goods.” While the Funcken staff work with the ingredients on hand in the main kitchen they also focus on differentiating their menu items. The fresh, local ingredients for which the main Servery is known extends to the café, giving their food a unique homemade flavour missing at chain-based coffee shops. The fact that they are ready to tackle any recipe is a benefit. They make their own muffin batters, granola bars, homemade flavoured cream cheese, cinnamon rolls, cheesecake, even brownies. You name it; the Funcken has done it.

“It tastes like liquid apple pie,” Funcken Café customers say of the drink.

“Everyone can tell when Kim has been baking, because of all those lovely smells that waft through the hallways. It’s almost like being in your kitchen at home, when someone has been baking,” Mantle adds.

Things really are different at the Funcken; there is a freedom from Dana that allows for experimentation and customization. Loyal customers include not only residence students, but also members of the University of Waterloo campus community arriving on

The students can taste the difference. “They know if they’re getting something homemade as opposed to something pulled from a box and thrown in the oven.”



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PROFESSOR EMERITUS DR. MYROSLAW TATARYN MAINTAINS FOCUS ON HIS RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY Professor Emeritus Dr. Myroslaw Tataryn may have officially retired from St. Jerome’s University, but he’s still engaged in many of his usual activities, including the research and conferences that kept him busy through his academic life. His interests also continue to evolve. “With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the former subjugated states, particularly Ukraine because of my family’s background, I started doing a lot of lecturing in Ukraine, most commonly at the Ukrainian Catholic University. My research interests have broadened to consider the question of religious consciousness in Ukraine, as a result of the end of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union used to claim that religion was dead and it clearly wasn’t,” says Tataryn. After earning his MA and PhD from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, Tataryn started his career as a professor at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan. He arrived at St. Jerome’s University in 2005, where he held various administrative roles, including Vice President Academic

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and Dean, from 2005 to 2011, and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 2015 until his retirement.

A RESEARCH PROGRAM BEGINS Over the course of his career, Tataryn’s research interests expanded from his initial focus on the intersections between historical Western Christian thought and Orthodox theology, to the experience of Eastern Christians in North America (especially in Canada with the large Ukrainian Christian presence in the prairies). He’s also maintained a longstanding research interest in the intersection of religion and disability, inspired in part by his youngest daughter who has disabilities. Along with his wife, Maria Truchan-Tataryn, who has a doctorate in Canadian literature with a focus on disability studies, he authored a book titled Discovering Trinity in Disability: A Theology for Embracing Difference, which looks at disability in a Christian context. In part, he says, the book involves recognizing disability as yet another diversity in the human experience. “We now live in a society in which we, at least superficially, recognize the weight of patriarchy. The fact that over the centuries, women have been devalued because they’re not men. So, there you have an example where the homogeneity is the male and the somehow lesser form is the female. This appears throughout

history in different forms, and really one of the worst ways in which that is manifested is the treatment of people with disabilities. Even the term itself is a misnomer. It’s as if there is one thing called a disability,” says Tataryn. He adds that it’s important to see diversity as inherent to our human experience and to embrace it. “We need to recognize that our human task in a sense is to recognize the value of that diversity. To honour and cherish it, because it is in many ways a call to a deeper understanding of our human community, and therefore a deeper understanding of the divine community, of God.” If some may imagine theological study rooted only in books and history, to hear Tataryn speak, it’s clear that his work has also come from being an observer in the contemporary world. In his current research on the changing expressions of religion in the Ukraine, Tararyn says he learns primarily through interviews and observation. “It’s observing: how are people praying? Are they just praying in their own churches or are they going to other churches? How do they respond to the mufti, the senior Muslim cleric in Ukraine, when he speaks? Do they hear that voice as a voice of authority? Sociology, as we understand it here in the West, is a very new discipline in Ukraine, but there are a lot of surveys being done now, of public responses to things,” he says.

TEACHING ALSO FROM A REAL-WORLD PERSPECTIVE In his teaching, Tataryn focuses on keeping the topics accessible. One of his most frequently taught courses over the years has been the history of Christianity, and while he jokes that 2,000 years is a long period to cover, he says that he still loves teaching it because by engaging the students he gets to combat the notion that “history is boring”. “I try to remind students throughout the course that whatever the issue, whether it be something in the fourth century or something in the 13th century, there is a resonance today. I try to always point out that resonance. ‘Why is that question still alive?’ or ‘Why is that problem still ongoing?’ That this isn’t just what’s past. It really is about how we humans deal with each other. That’s the real fundamental question.” Tataryn says he’s also loved teaching the Beyond Borders course, which was started when he was Dean and which he took over after his term ended. The course, which culminates in students living in a marginalized community for ninety days (partner

countries include the Ukraine, Peru, and Uganda), aims to help students learn about themselves and the world, to recognize that they are part of a global community. Topics include income inequality, lack of education, and health issues. “What we try to build with this program is the sense in which there is actually something I can do. And that is, ‘I can be a participant in the lives of other people. I can learn from how they deal with their issues, and I can hopefully in some way help them deal with their issues as well.’ So, it’s moving from being simply a person who sees the problems of the world and pities the people in the midst of those problems, to a person who sees their role as one of being in solidarity. And the way you’re in solidarity with people is you live with them. You engage with them. You walk with them,” says Tataryn. The course captures Tataryn’s educational philosophy as a whole. “For me, higher education is not just about passing on information,” he says. “It’s about, ‘how do we learn? How does my learning transform itself into action?’”

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LEADERSHIP APPARENT That attitude is unsurprising to colleague Dr. Cristina Vanin, Acting Dean, Director of the Master of Catholic Thought program, and a professor in the Department of Religious Studies. “I think of him as a colleague of integrity. He’s always concerned with what’s best for the University and for the Department,” she says. “He’s done a lot of good, quiet, consistent leadership, both in the department and as VP Academic and Dean.” Now his leadership has extended into the community. In the past five years, Tataryn has become pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic church in Kitchener, which has been part of the community since 1926. There he does everything from preaching to officiating services to visiting people. He’s also been pleased to watch his children move into the world: his eldest daughter has built a career working for a non-governmental organization while his middle daughter has followed in her parents’ footsteps to complete her PhD and is now a professor at the University of Liverpool teaching legal theory. His youngest daughter, who has disabilities, lives at home. “We take care of her,” he says, before quickly correcting. “Or we live with her. She takes care of us a lot of the time, too.” Tataryn’s version of retirement sounds less like a break and more like a continuation into a new phase of life. “I’m just doing the stuff I keep doing, with less meetings at the University,” he says. UPDATE MAGAZINE, VOLUME 36 | 25


BETWEEN TWO NATIONS PROFESSOR EMERITUS DR. GABRIEL NICCOLI RETIRING FROM THE UNIVERSITY BUT NOT FROM CHAMPIONING ITALIAN CANADIAN CULTURE To say that Dr. Gabriel Niccoli’s life story and professional trajectory has been intertwined with Italy may be an understatement. Now Professor Emeritus but still as busy as ever as a researcher and active member of his cultural community, Niccoli has long embraced Canada while always keeping his home country of Italy in his heart. A current project exemplifies this connection: Niccoli is editing a special edition of the Italian Canadiana journal (published by the Italian Canadian Studies Centre at the University of Toronto) with a focus on nostos, a theme used in Greek literature that features an epic hero’s return home. It’s just the latest instance of his relatively recent foray into Italian-Canadian studies, a departure from his lifelong scholarly focus on sixteenth-century Italian literature, and a sign of his fascination with the contemporary intertwining of both countries.

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LANDING IN A NEW COUNTRY AND DEVELOPING A LOVE OF LITERATURE Niccoli came to Canada in the 1960s when he was 15 years old, emigrating with his mother and brother to join his father in Vancouver. “I did the classic Atlantic journey, so reading about other immigrant journeys has been like going back to my roots, something I’ve forsaken doing for so long,” muses Niccoli, adding that he often feels a kinship with the characters in immigrant narratives. Yet for a literature professor whose love of story might tempt him to embellish, Niccoli is frank about the relative ease of his passage: a nineday cruise ship across the Atlantic followed by a slightly less glamourous five-day train ride from Halifax to Vancouver. Niccoli’s Canadian journey continued as he applied himself to mastering English, his Italian and French already fluent from his home country. He also deepened his love of literature, choosing a double major in French and Italian at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to make the most of his language skills. “When I got my Honours bachelor’s degree, it was a natural thing to channel not into French but to take a comparative approach,” says Niccoli.

He continued his studies through a master’s degree and then to his PhD in comparative literature at UBC, where his dissertation focused on comparative pastoral drama in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, subsequently published as Cupid, Satyr, and the Golden Age: Pastoral Dramatic Scenes of the Late Renaissance. While he was finishing his doctorate, Niccoli also started teaching, as a sessional lecturer at UBC, the University of Victoria, and the University of Washington. “It was such a natural fit,” says Niccoli of his new occupation. “I’ve always loved the classroom and the connection with students.”

A NEW ACADEMIC HOME In December of 1983, Niccoli flew from Vancouver to Waterloo for the interview that would centre his career at St. Jerome’s University. In keeping with his life’s connection with his home country, instead of flying back to the west coast he continued on to Italy for a visit with his Italian girlfriend. So, it was in his home country that he got that life-altering call from the department chair to hire him at what would become his home university. He also married the girlfriend later that year, and the pair moved to Waterloo for the 1984 school year.



Niccoli says that St. Jerome’s University was a place he “loved from the beginning” and felt at home immediately. “I was struck so positively by people who eventually became my colleagues, including then-president Father Norm who made the phone call with the news that I was hired,” recalls Niccoli. That embrace for his new academic home is apparent to those around him. “He has a great love of St. Jerome’s University,” says Vanin, adding that she’s struck by how much her colleague has contributed on every front. “He has always been a person open to service, and he’s served in lots of ways, as program chair, as department chair for many years. He’s always been a strong advocate for the value of Italian studies.” As a literature specialist, Niccoli admits those courses were his first love. But he’s appreciated the opportunity to boost interest in Italian language courses too. Along the way, Niccoli’s teaching has been recognized with the prestigious University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teacher Award. Moreover, students have high praise. “I can attest that he is one of the most hardworking, intellectual and inspiring Professors that I have ever come across,” says Yessinia Guerrero, who took several Italian courses with Niccoli as an undergraduate and was also his teaching assistant.

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Now a master’s graduate, today Guerrero is sessional Director of Conversation Classes for the Department of Spanish and Latin


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American Studies at the University of Waterloo, a path that she says she owes in part to Niccoli. “Professor Niccoli truly did inspire me to continue my studies beyond my bachelor’s. It was his confidence in me and his encouragement that gave me the push to pursue academia.”

REAFFIRMING THE ITALIAN-CANADIAN CONNECTION Beyond teaching, Niccoli has been an active administrator whose roles have included chair of the Department of Italian and French Studies for 17 years, and academic and administrative coordinator of the University of Waterloo-St. Jerome’s-University of Calabria tripartite agreement that allows students from all disciplines to participate in exchanges. Niccoli laid the groundwork for the exchange program as well as a similar initiative at the University of Firenze’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Niccoli’s research has also continued with a book about Italian women writers of the 16th century. His interest in Italian Canadian studies, which emerged when he was asked by the Ministry of Canadian Affairs and Multiculturalism to write about the history of the Italian Canadian population in Waterloo, prompts him to write articles on Canadian literature (recently for The New Quarterly journal), and he also participates in various community initiatives, such as serving on the board of directors for the Italian Canadian Archives Project.

Niccoli’s volunteerism is longstanding. He’s been a long-time soccer coach for the teams at St. Jerome’s University, starting when his son and daughter - now 31 and 25 and starting careers of their own in the community - were part of the league. In Waterloo, Niccoli founded an Italian Cultural Artistic Week that ran for 16 years starting in the 1990s. He has served on various boards related to the Italian-Canadian community and taken on roles such as Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy for Southern Ontario. Now he’s been asked to found a chapter of the Dante society for the Waterloo and Wellington county region. He’s was also recently awarded a Dante Alighieri Society Cultural Award for promoting Italian culture and language around the world, just the latest of several awards that acknowledge his dedication to cultural promotion. Although Niccoli acknowledges that the shift to retirement finally hit him in the first couple of weeks of September when he found himself freed from the whirlwind of preparing new course outlines, things haven’t changed much otherwise. He had just returned from the house in Italy where he and his wife (a medical doctor who practices in Italy) spend every summer, as well as the academic conferences where he continues to contribute. He’s even returning this reading break to Rome to co-teach a course in art and literature. And so, the crossover continues even into Niccoli’s emeritus phase, from Italy to Canada and back again.








































TOTAL EXPENSES $20,540,947

TOTAL REVENUE $19,229,000 500,000 450,000 400,000 350,000











$10,246,959 $8,590,850







10,000,000 8,000,000




4,000,000 2,000,000 0 2012/13









CAMPUS MINISTRY IS OPENING NEW DOORS Campus Ministry continues to meet the spiritual and faith development of students, staff, faculty and alumni of our community at large. Students like Maddie Young, leave home hoping to find a welcoming spiritual community. She says about her first encounter in Campus Ministry: “I distinctly remember being greeted at the door with a smile and welcomed into Notre Dame Chapel,” she recalls. “All my worries were dissolved, as I immediately felt accepted by the friendly and welcoming spirit within the community.” Many students over the years have found participating in worship gives them a place to build friendships and feel connected. Erika Toffelmire, Student Programs and Campus Ministry Coordinator, highlights the key reason why the worshipping community is so important for new students: “Since for many students this is their first time on their own, coming to St. Jerome’s University for mass on Sunday and interacting with members of the worshipping community can feel like the environment they would have known in their home parishes,” she says. “Students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in liturgies and have the opportunity to interact with people from all generations, which is often something missing from university life.” The chapel has long provided a liturgical and prayerful space, and its renovation and relocation has given it a place of prominence at the University. Mary Jo Stewart, a long-time member of the community, says of the space: “the new chapel is both beautiful and serene and really makes it easy to meditate, pray, and be ‘re-created.’”

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“For many students coming to SJU for the first time, the worshipping community has an important role to play in making them feel welcome and included”



Martha Fauteux, Director of Campus Ministry at St. Jerome’s University, highlights the generosity and effort of many on this project. “Over many years, the community has held social events to both raise funds and to create a sense of belonging and community for all members,” she says. “Students have also been full participants in these events, which have included financial pledges, dances, games nights, guessing games, and other campaigns.” In addition, many benefactors, including the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Congregation of the Resurrection, and the Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region, have significantly contributed to the fundraising. The students at St. Jerome’s University are supported by a Worshipping Community which consists of alumni and others from the greater community who come to worship here. Once the chapel was finished Campus Ministry dreamt of having a spirituality centre to address the needs of all students regardless of faith tradition and practice. Rob Way and James Beingessner were the active chairs of this fundraising project and gathered funds from long-time friends of St. Jerome’s University, and in September 2018 the dream became a reality, when the Father Bob Liddy Spirituality Centre was completed; named after Fr. Robert (Bob) Liddy, C.R., who was a chaplain at St. Jerome’s University during the 1970s. Students knew Fr. Bob for his commitment as a spiritual mentor. This commitment continued well into his retirement years. The Spirituality Centre includes a quiet reflection room, a smaller meeting room with a library, and lounge with a kitchenette. These rooms provide space for prayer and reflection but also a place for spiritual development and programming: the quiet reflection room has been a place for morning meditation and personal prayer for multi faith students, staff, and faculty. As the new Spirituality Centre continues to grow, the hope is to offer space for future activities and social justice initiatives, including ongoing education and awareness around indigenization strategies.

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Many initiatives within Campus Ministry encourage students and community members to become more involved in the community beyond attending mass. Both abroad and locally, they have organized and supported a number of social justice initiatives. Students and members of the community have actively participated in action and service. One such project includes the annual education and fundraising campaigns from Development and Peace—the Canadian Catholic development agency—on topics such as climate change, food sovereignty, and forced migration. They served in the local community, by volunteering for dinners served at the YWCA shelter, as well as the Stirling Mennonite Church, and have most recently worked to help Supportive Housing of Waterloo furnish apartments for those in need. The community also prioritizes reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, most recently by supporting the All Nations Grand River Water Walk, an Indigenousled walk along the Grand River to honour and pray for the water. Community members and students have also participated in educational workshops, including the Kairos blanket exercise, which explores Canada’s historical and contemporary relations with Indigenous people. Campus Ministry is very excited to have a place where students of all faiths can engage with others, reflect on their lives and grow in their faith and spirituality. “I am inspired and heartened by the mutual respect and care between all members of our community,” says Toffelmire, “and feel honoured that I have the opportunity to support and witness the growing of these relationships.” The new chapel and Spirituality Centre represent a new phase in the growth of Campus Ministry at St. Jerome’s University, and will host new memories for incoming and returning students alike. Fauteux notes, “Students who hang out in our spirituality centre have appreciated the quiet space and presence of our Campus Ministry team when a friendly word of encouragement is needed.”

Fr. Norm Choate, C.R., Lifetime Achievement Award MICHAEL FARWELL

Fr. Bob Liddy

This year’s award recipient is no stranger to


The Fr. Bob Liddy Spirituality Centre was created in 2018 to support the spiritual and faith development of all our students. Named to honour the Congregation of the Resurrection and the important role they play at the University, and to recognize the life and ministry of Fr. Robert (Bob) Liddy, C.R. Born in 1933, Fr. Bob became a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection in 1957, and was ordained to the priesthood on March 14, 1964. After teaching at St. Jerome’s High School, he served as chaplain at St. Jerome’s University in the 1970s. Subsequently, he became Provincial of the Congregation. In his retirement, Fr. Bob offered his time to Campus Ministry, celebrating weekday liturgies and offering an ongoing supportive presence to students. Fr. Bob brought deep faith and love to his chaplaincy. St. Jerome’s University students were often told “you should talk to Father Bob,” when they wanted to discuss deeper philosophical and religious questions. Always a kind, thoughtful listener with a welcoming spirit, he was known for helping all students feel cared for. Fr. Bob brought laughter and joy to his role in ministry, but he also challenged those he met to be the best versions of themselves, while supporting them as they sought to know the deeper truths of life. We are grateful to our benefactors who helped make this centre possible. Fr. Bob’s spirit will help guide our efforts to meet the spiritual needs of students, staff, faculty, and the broader St. Jerome’s University community as we strive to be inclusive and welcoming to all!

the Kitchener-Waterloo community. Michael Farwell is a St. Jerome’s High School graduate, and a 1997 graduate from

St. Jerome’s University with a BA (English Language and

Literature). He also attended Conestoga College’s School of Media and Design, studying Radio and Television Broadcasting. In fact listeners can hear him every weekday on 570 News, where he

hosts the Mike Farwell Show, or may recognize his passion for hockey as the voice of the Kitchener Rangers. He also writes a weekly opinion column for local newspapers.

Farwell is known for his generosity: he volunteers, works, and

even acts as master of ceremony for multiple agencies and events across the Region of Waterloo every year, giving back to the community he says has given him so much.

Perhaps his most passionate project stems from personal

experience. Each May, he spearheads a campaign called Farwell for Hire — a campaign where Farwell completes odd jobs in

exchange for donations to the Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, a disease that took two of his sisters from him.

Farwell is the recipient of multiple awards and accolades in

recognition of his community work, including: WOWtheworld

– Waterloo Region, The City of Kitchener Mayor’s City Builder

Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and, most

recently, the Michael R. Follett Award for Community Service. He is currently on the board of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region, and is a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of

Cystic Fibrosis Canada. His past service includes co-chair of the

City of Kitchener’s Neighborhood Strategy Project Team, trustee with the Kitchener Public Library Board, involvement with the public relations committee of KW Oktoberfest, and the City of Kitchener’s Safe and Healthy Communities Committee.

“I am so grateful to this community,” he says. “It’s taken care of me all my life, and I can’t help but want to give back to it.”

For all his local fame, Farwell has never lost his “home-town boy” charm, constantly striving to make his cities brighter and stronger. He is a shining example of what it means to be a St. Jerome’s University graduate and a true illustration of the values our

graduates embody. Farwell’s life exemplifies the aspirations of the Fr. Norm Choate, C.R., Lifetime Achievement Award.



SHANNON NASH, PHD Honours Arts, History; 2007 PhD from University of Toronto, her postdoctoral research in the Centre of Foreign Policy and Federalism Shannon Nash has St. Jerome’s University written all over her life. Her parents met as students, so for Nash, it seemed like the obvious choice for undergraduate studies. Following in their footsteps, she also met her husband here. From her undergraduate education and experience in residence, to the book she was commissioned to write, to the connections she maintained during her graduate studies, and finally to her postdoctoral research, Nash notes, “all roads lead home.”

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Nash attained her BA in History, a subject that she has always been passionate about. As an undergraduate student at the University, she particularly enjoyed her courses related to foreign policy.

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As an MA student at the University of Waterloo, she focused on American history, and during her PhD studies at the University of Toronto she researched Al Qaeda sleeper threats, comparing the perception of these threats with their reality. In her postdoctoral work, Nash studied Canadian security and intelligence. She notes that her formative experiences with history at St. Jerome’s University had a significant influence on her subsequent academic journey. She speaks very highly of Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer, to whom she “owes a big debt of gratitude.” As her professor and mentor during undergrad, and now as a colleague and friend, he “changed the direction of my life quite significantly.” His unique ability to identify and then cultivate a student’s strengths was both admirable and valuable to students’ academic growth, often inspiring them to pursue higher education. Working at the University’s library during her time at St. Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo had its perks: Lackenbauer approached her one day at the circulation desk with a proposal: the University of Waterloo had asked Dr. Kenneth McLaughlin – the University’s historian, and a professor – to help find someone to work on a book

on late engineer and philanthropist Robbert Hartog. McLaughlin spoke with Lackenbauer, who recommended Nash. At that time she was a young historian finishing her MA, making this project a unique and exceptional opportunity. McLaughlin was a great support while she worked on this book, which took her to Thailand, France, Holland, and around Ontario conducting interviews with Hartog’s family and friends. From her undergrad class, five or so students went on to pursue doctoral work. She reflects that, while everyone had a different trajectory and field of study, they all experienced the same motivation. “There was something about those courses and professors which inspired their students, and pushed them to excellence.” These days, Nash is working alongside Lackenbauer on her postdoctoral research in the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at St. Jerome’s University, which is dedicated to research and outreach on foreign policy in a Canadian context. Specifically, she is seeking to highlight and elucidate the term “terrorism” in Canada, and to study the implications of using it. Over the years, she has felt very fortunate to be a part of these outstanding academic partnerships through the University.

be engaging and riveting, despite its sombre content, and he also enjoyed studying the German language. Before he knew it, he was diving into a new passion: Germanic history.

ANDREW KLOIBER, PHD Honours Arts, History; 2008 Implementation Consultant at Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Andrew Kloiber is a cultural and social historian who attended St. Jerome’s University as a history major. During his time at the University, his experiences in the classroom helped to guide his interests and define his future career path. His original plan was to teach high school history, and it wasn’t on his radar to attend graduate school or work in the government sector. As an undergraduate student, he appreciated the approachability of his professors. “They had an open door policy, whereby if the professor is on campus, they are there to teach and be available to students.” A few professors, including Drs. Gary Bruce, Steven Bednarski, and Lackenbauer, were particularly inspirational to Kloiber. It started off small: he found Bruce’s course on Nazi Germany to

Kloiber went on to complete a PhD at McMaster University, where his research focused on the role of coffee drinking in the post-Second World War period, and how this gave East Germany a return to normalcy. Coffee was democratized – everyone had access to it, not just the aristocracy - and the regime used this idea to contribute to their socialist vision, inadvertently tying their legitimacy to the availability of coffee, among other consumer goods. Kloiber connected this idea to international relations, as Germany developed coffee industries from scratch in Vietnam and several African countries. St. Jerome’s University provided him with some eye-opening opportunities. During his time as an undergraduate, he worked at the St. Jerome’s University library, which helped him to establish valuable connections with professors and staff. He called the Library the heart of the university: “it takes care of everything and everyone on campus. I benefitted from being part of that community.” It was in the library that he met Lackenbauer, who ended up hiring him as a research assistant,

investigating the Distant Early Warning Line in Northern Canada. This was Kloiber’s first exposure to another side of history; unlike his term papers, this work would actually be published, whether as a book or an article. Lackenbauer was an important influence, sparking Kloiber’s interest in research: “I very much appreciated the time he took to recognize potential, to recognize interest and then empower the student to take opportunities.” Beginning as a professional relationship with a mentor, Kloiber now considers him a friend. His passion manifested through the undergraduate history journal, The Waterloo Historical Review: An Undergraduate Annual, he founded with two classmates. Lackenbauer and Bednarski were both very supportive of the endeavor, agreeing to be advisers; the history department has maintained the journal. Kloiber is now an implementation consultant at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, in a branch responsible for implementing government policy. Currently, he is working on a palliative care file. Although this field is very different from academia, he finds the work just as fulfilling, as it is both rewarding and challenging. UPDATE MAGAZINE, VOLUME 36 | 35


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DENIS CLARK, PHD Honours Arts and Business, History; 2008 Assistant Professor of History, University of Calgary Denis Clark is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary, where he teaches four courses categorized roughly as modern British history. He has always been interested in history, and credits the strong professors in Waterloo’s history department for maintaining his interest in this field. Clark completed his PhD at Oxford University, where he used his vantage point as a historian to examine the role of emotion and cognitive processes in foreign policy decisions. He focused specifically on the rebirth of Poland post First World War. After the Allies won, there began the complicated process of developing land to create a new country, in which emotion played a surprisingly prominent role. His research is fascinating, as it takes human nature into account, rather than focusing solely on rational factors such as the balance of power between states, or a country’s economy. Clark acknowledges that full-time academic positions are hard to come by, saying that no one should start a

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PhD with the expectation of getting a job in academia. He recalls attending a career event after completing his Ph., when he was working at a newspaper: “Everyone there said: ‘I didn’t expect to be here when I started out.’ I would say that with an asterisk, because I had hoped to be a professor, but didn’t know if it would work out.” Clark has been fortunate enough to achieve his goal. As an undergraduate student, Clark studied history at St. Jerome’s University. The transferrable skills he gained and inspirational professors under whom he studied influenced his academic journey. He spoke highly of two professors in particular. He called Lackenbauer a very engaged and enthusiastic teacher who always encouraged his students. “He really pushed us to do research, and to take a position, make up your own mind and trust what you think. As students, there is often a tendency to say what the professor wants to hear, so I enjoyed the chance to give my own view.” Through his teaching methodology, Lackenbauer introduced his students to the type of research which is applicable outside the scope of undergraduate research papers. As a professor now himself, Clark similarly encourages his students to form their own opinions and expand their horizons. Bednarski was also an enthusiastic instructor, who clearly took a lot of time considering how to construct his course and lectures to enhance students’ understanding. Clark notes that he retained more information from Bednarski’s course “Medieval

Europe” than from any other course. Clark’s wife, Jennifer, was also a St. Jerome’s University student, and Bednarski was her MA adviser; “He had an influence on both of us,” Clark says appreciatively.

HUMPHREY NARTEY, PHD CANDIDATE Four Year General Psychology, 2008 PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa Humphrey Nartey completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, where he studied developmental psychology. Paired with his athletic experience as a football player, his major influenced him to pursue a master’s degree in kinesiology with a specialization in sports psychology. He is now working on his PhD at the University of Ottawa, investigating the transition experience out of university for black athletes. As a prior football player himself, he understands the experiences and struggles that black Canadian athletes often face. Student athletes must balance their time between sports and school, and are required to maintain a certain average to continue to play. Black athletes in particular may

encounter other challenges, such as stereotyping, immigrant status, and ‘acting white’ hypothesis – the idea that black students who do well in school may be negatively sanctioned by their peers - all of which can make the situation more difficult to navigate. While Nartey himself was able to transition out of university athletics and pursue other avenues with graduate school, he wanted to examine how the current landscape of the Canadian education system impacts minority groups, especially black students. His initial objective was to develop policies which could be implemented to help these individuals transition from university athletics to life after sports. However, through his research he discovered that athletes would be unlikely to take advantage of such resources, even if they were put into place. While enrolled at the University of Waterloo, Nartey lived at the St. Jerome’s University residence. He greatly enjoyed his residence experience, from the connections he made, to the responsibilities he undertook in third year as a residence don. He spoke very highly of both universities, saying, “My whole experience in undergrad has definitely impacted where I am and who I have become.” He also applauds UW for opening doors to other opportunities, rather than restricting its students into one niche. It allows students to build a foundation to be able to say, “I want to go further.”

Nartey recognized that the University was special, from the beginning. “Although I was not an SJU registered student, it was very encouraging to see that the professors at SJU made time for all students and saw each student as more than just a number.” He remembers Dr. Maureen Drysdale with fondness, saying she genuinely seemed to care about his success. “It only made me want to work harder to show [them] that their investment in me did not go unnoticed. A lot of credit goes to her class for helping me consider graduate studies as an academic path.”

TOMMY MAYBERRY, PHD CANDIDATE Joint Honours Arts, English Literature & Fine Arts; 2010 Educational Developer at University of Guelph Tommy Mayberry says he can trace back his academic journey to its starting point; everything “perfectly maps” from his beginnings at St. Jerome’s University. Mayberry highly enjoyed his experience at the University, initially deciding to attend because it had been a family tradition for

generations. Once there, he found the campus very comfortable and homey. He took advantage of the opportunity to become involved in the culture and student life, cohosting a morning talk show and taking the initiative to revamp the student literary journal Across the Creek. One of his English professors, Dr. Ted McGee, a “fabulous and charismatic instructor,” was also a faculty advisor with the journal. He completed a joint Honours, in English Literature and Fine Arts Studio, and Dr. Tristanne Connolly was his thesis advisor for the English portion, in which he reimagined William Blake’s Songs of Innocence as a collection of short stories. For his Fine Arts thesis, he modeled with costumes, hair, and makeup, which naturally merged with his English thesis to become one project with creative writing and creative photography. Mayberry’s graduate research followed organically from his undergraduate theses, examining these ideas of William Blake, gender, and his own personal identity. During his MFA at the University of Windsor, he began teaching and conferencing while in drag, “embodying this academic drag queen” and really embracing the niche in which he discovered himself. After his second Masters degree, it was the natural choice to return to the campus to work with Connolly for his PhD, as her research area is gender, sex, and literature; his dissertation was on 19th century



transgender visual culture, wherein he reimagined the work of William Blake as contemporary drag. Connolly was a profoundly influential figure throughout his academic journey; he appreciatively called her “the biggest champion of me and my work.” Mayberry says that his journey was largely the result of “opening the right doors, which at the time he did not know were the right doors.” Initially thought he wanted to be an elementary school teacher, then a high school teacher, and then a professor. Discussing his options with Connolly set him on the academic track; he planned to become a professor in transgender studies or visual studies. However, he landed in educational development. When he discovered the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the University of Waterloo, he says, “I should have known I would want to work with the teaching of teachers.” Mayberry is now working in the OpenEd (Open Learning and Education Support) department at the University of Guelph, whose mission is teaching excellence on university campuses. They work with those on campus with instructional capability, including TAs, sessional lecturers, and tenured professors. He calls it “a wonderfully inter-disciplinary field”, as every educational developer brings their unique background. The role ranges from curriculum development to course design to teaching EAL learners. It fosters his lifelong passion around education and instruction, which is “everything he ever wanted to do as a person.”

Sister Leon White, SSND, Distinguished Graduate Award NICOLE BAKES

Nicole Bakes graduated from St. Jerome’s

University in 2008, with an BA (Hons) (Legal Studies with Psychology minor). During

her time at the University, she was known

for her involvement, which included time as both an Orientation Leader and Residence Don, as well as a term as the Residence

Council President. Bakes was also recognized with a University

Life Award while at St. Jerome’s University, and was well known around campus.

Bakes’s interest in social justice is long-standing. After her

undergraduate degree was completed, she pursued graduate

studies at Simon Fraser University, working towards a Masters in International Development. During her time in British Columbia, while learning about developing nations abroad, Bakes began

to learn about Indigenous communities in Canada; their vibrant

cultures, their long, rich, histories, and the socio-economic issues

plaguing their communities. That was when her focus on working

internationally in community development shifted: Bakes realized there was much work to be done at home in Canada to ensure

everyone here was treated justly, and with equality. In working

for the Government of Canada at Canadian Heritage, she began to learn more about the historical and current day systemic

injustices faced by Indigenous Communities. She participated

in Truth and Reconciliation workshops, programming involving

Indigenous arts and culture, that supported Indigenous women’s grass-roots initiatives.

Bakes attended law school at the University of Ottawa, where she

specialized in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Legal Orders while pursuing her Juris Doctor in English Common Law. She sought

opportunities to continue learning and to support Indigenous rights campaigns by volunteering with Amnesty International as a Legal Intern, researching to support the implementation of the United

Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), volunteering with the Indigenous Law Students Association, and learning to be a better ally. Bakes worked briefly for the federal

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government at Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada. Bakes was

hired by Senator Kim Pate to work as a Legislative Development

Intern on the Senate’s Standing Committee for Aboriginal Peoples

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where she researched and drafted work advocating for more

just laws and policies affecting Indigenous peoples, especially

marginalized Indigenous women and Indigenous individuals who are incarcerated.


As a true embodiment of the St. Jerome’s University mission, 38 |


Nicole Bakes is a worthy recipient of the Sr. Leon White, SSND, Distinguished Graduate Award.




LECTURE DATES AND SPEAKERS In a 2015 audience with children of the Peace Factory, Pope Francis stated: “We are all equal — all of us — but this truth is not recognized, this equality is not recognized…When we do not see this, society is unjust. It does not follow the rule of justice, and where there is no justice, there cannot be peace.” These words echo the words of Pope Paul VI who, in his 1972 World Day of Peace Message, spoke of peace as rooted in justice — a sincere feeling for our fellow human beings and for the earth, especially the marginalized and oppressed. In the 2018-2019 lectures, our speakers invite us to explore the search for peace and justice as it is present in so many aspects of our world: along the path of reconciliation; among women in the church; and in the ongoing work to overcome the injustice of the death penalty. They will consider how The Saint John’s Bible illuminates justice, the intersection of social transformation, culture, and architecture, and the challenges faced by young people who are seeking meaning and peace outside the doors of our churches.

Cristina Vanin, PhD Lectures Coordinator

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To register, access live streaming on the night of a lecture, or see video footage of past lectures, please visit All lectures take place in the Vanstone Lecture Hall (1004), Academic Centre (SJ2). 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

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BRIDGES Lecture Series Arts



Arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy were at one time linked under the umbrella of the liberal arts. However, recent decades have seen the increasing separation of these fields. As university programs become more specialized, the gap widens and the respective approaches and lexicons of the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Mathematics grow increasingly distant. The Bridges Lecture Series aims to rediscover points of affinity among academic disciplines.


NOVEMBER 21, 2018



Chris Eliasmith (Philosophy, Engineering, Computer Science) and Paul Thagard (Philosophy/Cognitive Science)

Edward Burger (Mathematics) and Star Varner (Fine Arts)

To register, access live streaming on the night of a lecture, or see video footage of past lectures, please visit All lectures take place in the Vanstone Lecture Hall (1004), Academic Centre (SJ2). 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.



OUR MISSION St. Jerome’s University is a public Roman Catholic university federated with the University of Waterloo and historically associated with the educational vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection. We are committed to learning and academic excellence; the gospel values of love, truth, and justice; and the formation of leaders for the service of the community and the Church. In all of our activities and practices, St. Jerome’s University functions within the context of the Roman Catholic tradition and the principles of academic freedom.

OUR VISION At St. Jerome’s University we steward each student’s unique talents, nurture their ability to think critically, and inspire them to become life-long learners who seek knowledge and truth, act with compassion, and advocate for human dignity for all. We educate our students to become informed, courageous citizens who have the humility to work together for the common good and the courage to lead by example to build a more just society.

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