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U n i v e r s i t y o f M a n i t o b a’ s G r a d ua t e S t u d e n t M a g a z i n e

November 2011

Master of physical therapy now offered at U of M New master’s program to replace bachelor of physical therapy A shely Ga boury


all 2012 will see the first-ever cohort of students begin their studies in the newly implemented master of physical therapy program at the University of Manitoba. The new master of physical therapy (MPT) program will replace the previous bachelor of physical therapy (BPT), which had its last intake of students in fall 2010. According to Moni Fricke, chair of admissions and selections for the department of physical therapy, the change from an undergraduate to graduate program isn’t unique to the U of M and has already occurred across Canada. There are 14 physiotherapy programs in Canada, including the U of M. All other programs are already at the master’s entry-level, Fricke said. “The primary reason [for the change] is that it is a reflection of the changing role of physiotherapy within healthcare in Canada,” she said. Until the 1970s, the U of M had a three-year diploma program in physiotherapy, which it then changed to a bachelor’s program. At that point in time, Fricke said individuals required a doctor’s referral to see a physiotherapist. Today, in most cases, people have direct access to physiotherapists and can see one without a doctor’s referral. “In terms of private practice, anybody can just go into a physiotherapy clinic and see a physiotherapist,” she said. According to Fricke, the MPT program will have more focus on critical decision-making and problem solving than the BPT. This would put students in a better position to be an independent practitioner upon graduation — a major benefit to the public, said Fricke. “At an undergrad [level] we didn’t feel like we could foster that sort of thinker compared to a master’s level,” she continued. While there will be no formal thesis component, Fricke said students will be required to complete a large research-based project. Fricke said the switch to a graduate program will allow students to apply their knowledge at a higher level. “With the master’s level, I think the ability to apply their knowledge will come sooner,” said Fricke, “because they are coming into the program with a



basic level of knowledge.” With the application deadline still a couple weeks away, Fricke is unsure what area of study the majority of applicants will come from. She stressed preference will not be given to one background over another. Historically, Fricke said the majority of students who entered the bachelor’s program were from a science background. But from the inquiries she has received, and applications already submitted, Fricke predicts there will be more kinesiology students applying to the MPT program. Fricke projects that because the U of M was the last to implement a MPT program, potential Manitoban applicants may have already left the province to study elsewhere. “There certainly were some Manitobans who chose to study elsewhere because they wanted to pursue a [MPT] program — because that was the way the whole profession was going,” said Fricke. “They didn’t want to be left behind.” Fricke is pleased that Manitobans now have to opportunity to remain in province and earn a master of physical therapy. “Except for Ontario, all other programs [in Canada] give first preference to residents of their own provinces. So the chances of getting in [for Manitoban students] are much better in Manitoba than going to the other provinces.” Fricke also mentioned that the U of M requires applicants have a three-year degree, whereas the other 13 programs require a four-year degree in order to apply. “Yet another advantage to staying at home,” said Fricke. Fricke mentioned that in order to practice physiotherapy, you must graduate from an accredited program. The former BPT program was accredited, and Fricke said the U of M has already begun the accreditation process for the MPT program. “We’re already starting the process of getting the new program accredited so that by the time the [first cohort] graduates, they will be graduating from a fully accredited program.” To be eligible for admission, students must have an accredited bachelor’s degree and 30 credit hours of prerequisite programs. For a full list of the perquisite courses, as well as other admission requirements for the master’s program, students can visit the admissions page on the department of physical therapy’s website. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2012 term is Nov. 15, 2011.

Illustration by Ben Clarkson

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Another NDP government in legislature What does it mean for graduate students? Ty l er Omichinsk i


hough the NDP has won another majority in the Manitoban legislature, things will not be quite the same for students. With a campaign that contained several promises aimed at students, the graduate student community may be better off than it has been of late. Some of promises are quite far reaching, including $250,000 for the Graduate Scholarship Fund and freezing university rates to that of inflation. The Canadian Federation of Students, however, says this does not go far enough. Marakary Bayo, Manitoba Chairperson for the CFS, said “the government needs to create a real tuition freeze — not limit tuition fee increases to inflation and call it a freeze.” The fortunate aspect for graduate students of the NDP victory is their relatively comprehensive approach to education compared to the other political parties. The Liberal’s main campaign promise was to improve tax rebates offered for education and make mass transit more accessible with a free transit pass. The Progressive Conservative platform focused on areas outside of education. Bayo said he felt that the NDP’s education platform definitely helped them with securing the student vote. A report card released by the CFS in September detailing the political parties was keen to point out the 1990 history of the Progressive Conservative party, particularly their failures, while limiting the examination of the NDP’s history. However, the complete elimination of student debt that CFS seeks appears to be a long time coming. None of the political parties supported any plan that does away with student debt entirely, should it even appear to be on their radar. The CFS position appears to be one where the NDP provided the least worst option available to graduate students, rather than an ideal position. For any individual undertaking a graduate program, the new state of affairs is definitely an improvement. The NDP’s past actions, and their recent campaign promises, indicate that they will continue to support graduate students in the most direct way over the next four years. According to the NDP’s website, “a good education also gives young people the opportunity to write their own ticket in life. That’s why Greg Selinger and your NDP have made education a priority.” If you are of a more Conservative stripe, however, you may be feeling left in the lurch with regards to your position after your graduate education is complete. The Tories position on education was to improve the entire economy, theoretically providing more and better opportunities for students after they graduate. Whether you are happy with the election results or not, there should be some interesting opportunities and changes for the savvy graduate student over the next few years of an NDP majority in the legislature. Hopefully, the secure funding the NDP has offered the university will help to create new and better opportunities on campus for graduate students.



University of Manitoba’s Graduate Student Magazine


c/o The Manitoban Newspaper Publications Corporation 105 University Centre University of Manitoba Winnipeg MB, R3T 2N2

General inquiries and advertising Phone: (204) 474.6535 Fax: (204) 474.7651 Email:

Editor: Sheldon Birnie Copy Editor: Ashley Gaboury Designer: Kevin Doole Contributors: Ashley Gaboury, Chuthan Ponnampalam, Sheldon Birnie, Beibei Lu, Ben Clarkson, Tyler Omichinski & Kara Passey. Cover: Ben Clarkson. The Gradzette is the official student newspaper of the University of Manitoba’s graduate student community and is published at the end of September, October, November, January February and March by The Manitoban Newspaper Publications Corporation. The Gradzette is a democratic student organization, open to participation from all students. It exists to serve its readers as students and citizens. The newspaper’s primary mandate is to report fairly and objectively on issues and events of importance and interest to the graduate students of the University of Manitoba, to provide an open forum for the free expression and exchange of opinions and ideas and to stimulate meaningful debate on issues that affect or would otherwise be of interest to the student body and/or society in general. The Gradzette serves as a training ground for students interested in any aspect of journalism. Students and other interested parties are invited to contribute. Please contact the Editor for submission guidelines. The Gradzette reserves the right to edit all submissions and will not publish any material deemed by its editorial board to be discriminatory, racist, sexist, homophobic or libelous. Opinions expressed in letters and articles are solely those of the authors. The Gradzette is a member of the Canadian University Press, a national student press cooperative with approximately 65 members from St. John’s to Victoria. All contents are ©2011 and may not be reprinted without the express written permission of the Manitoban Newspaper Publications Corporation. Yearly subscriptions to the Gradzette are available, please contact for more information.

Getting to know your graduate faculty council Food Science Graduate Students Association Chu t h a n Ponna mpa l a m


s a graduate student, the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) represents your interests to the university administration. But many of you may be asking, “What does that really mean?” In an effort to shed the spotlight on faculty councils and their activities, the Gradzette presents the first in a series of graduate faculty council profiles.

A faculty council serves as representation for each department, and together they form the Graduate Student’s Association (GSA). The GSA has over 3,000 members — all fee-paying graduate students hold membership. Filiz Köksel is the current president of the Food Science Graduate Students Association (FSGSA), which represents the food science department of the faculty of agricultural and food sciences. According to Köksel, there are currently three people in the FSGSA committee, and their offices are housed in the Ellis Building on the Fort Garry campus. Köksel said that before each departmental council meeting, the FSGSA has a meeting open to all graduate students. At this meeting graduate students are invited to express their concerns and problems to the committee, and together they brainstorm solutions. Köksel said that the main role of the FSGSA is to enable networking. “Our main aim is to help the graduate students to connect with each other, [the] faculty and department staff,” explained Köksel. To foster networking, the FSGSA holds many events throughout the year, such as their annual FSGSA Welcome BBQ, which was held in September. “This BBQ was for all academic and support staff, undergraduate and graduate food science students; it aimed to welcome the new students and the new semester,” explained Köksel. The BBQ was held in the Ellis Building’s garden, where around 30 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students were in attendance. In addition, about 15 professors and department staff attended. Köksel said the FSGSA’s next big event would be the Christmas party, to which Winnipeg’s experts and industry leaders in food sciences would be invited. In addition, professors from the faculty of agriculture and food sciences as well as professionals from Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals would be invited. Köksel is hoping to schedule the party sometime after the last day of classes, but before the final day of exams since most students head home for the holidays. For over 10 years now Gary Fulcher, the head of food sciences, has been hosting the party at his home, and Köksel thinks this will be the case for the 2011 party. Should students wish to get in touch with the FSGSA, Köksel said they should get in touch with the department’s secretary, or through the FSGSA bulletin board located in Ellis Building. FSGSA is also on Facebook.

Photo by Beibei Lu

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Researcher profile: Paul Cormier A shely Ga boury


aul Cormier is a University of Manitoba graduate student currently completing the third year of his PhD program in peace and conflict studies at the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice.

Cormier recently completed his thesis proposal, which he intends to title: “Kinoo’amaadawaad Megwaa Doodamawaad - They are Learning With Each Other While They Are Doing”: The Indigenous Living Peace Methodology. The Gradzette sat down with Cormier to discuss his current research, which he is conducting in his home community of Red Rock Indian Band, located in northern Ontario. Cormier said he is working with his community to develop a peace building methodology based on the concept that research — if it is done in the right way — can be used as a process for helping groups find peace. He believes each step in the research process, from conceptualizing to conducting, should take place in the community. “So the term ‘kinoo’amaadawaad megwaa doodamawaad’ — they are learning with each other while they are doing — the idea is that when I’m going into the community I am learning from them [and] they are learning from us. If we apply that concept to research, each step is going to be developed together.” “We’ll come to mutual agreements on whatever kinds of things we want to do.” Cormier said his current research is focused on the importance and meaning of land to aboriginal people. “What I assert is that land is such a profound part of our identity or part of our culture, that exploring issues around land with the community can help the community find peace.” Cormier spent three years in his community before beginning any research, and has just formed his research proposal. “I think there should be a big period of working in the community [before research begins]; [ . . . ] when we go into a community somewhere we should have an



understanding of who they are, what their issues are and all those things.” “That way when you start engaging with them you’re going to actually develop something that’s really, truly meaningful for them and that they’re going to have direct benefit from.” Cormier said he was originally asked to come in and do a consultation policy for his community — what he calls “a very technical thing the government requires in land-based issues that impact aboriginal people and their rights.” “[It is focused on] asserting the community’s rights to land and being involved in decision making,” he said. Cormier said he and the community are working together to develop what he called “a vision document for resource sharing,” which will identify how the community wants to engage with outside groups. “The vision document is what is called “Kinoo’amaadawaad Megwaa Doodamawaad,” and the idea is that what I want to do is build a practical tool with [the community] that would show industry or show potential partners that come to work with them what they’re desires are, what their hopes and their dreams are for resource-based issues.” “Because what I’m doing is theoretical, part of it is that I’m testing things as I’m going through — and this is the idea of learning while we’re doing,” said Cormier of his research. Cormier said he and community are holding sharing circles, one method he’ll use to collect information. “I’m testing that as a data gathering process and validating it,” said Cormier. He is also conducting individual interviews with elders, who will tell stories of the community. “They’re all being videotaped, and then we’re going to use that information to build a website that will help the community learn about their culture,” said Cormier. “I’ve learned a lot from them, [and] as I’ve been going through this I’ve been helping them learn things as well — how do you do research, I’m helping them understand that; how do you do consultation — so I’m

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doing capacity building in the community at the same time.” Cormier said information gathered can be used in various situations, such as court cases and consultation processes. “Whenever industry wants to do something in traditional lands, typically they have to go the community and find out where they live, where they hunt and fish and then you have this accommodation part where the extent of the impact on the aboriginal group has to be compensated for somehow.” But before a community can resolve conflict and come to peace with those around it, Cormier believes it must first come to peace with itself. “Things happen in communities that aren’t spoken about,” said Cormier. “For me and my personal journey [ . . . ] there has been violence and things like that in my family that I’ve had to deal with. I think those things leave a scar on me and I think that can happen in a community too.” “If there are things that happened in a community that people don’t want to talk about that are traumatic, how do you help them overcome it? For me, I think my personal journey is helping apply that in a community context.” So, how do you help a community overcome traumatic events in its past? You give them hope, said Cormier. “Doing these interviews, connecting young people with their elders, hearing what elders have to say about their hopes for the future. Planting that seed.” Cormier hopes his research will be useful to the community for many years to come. “Whatever happens with my thesis itself, I’m really hoping it’s going to be able create an awareness in the community of things they never knew about, some of their history. But also tying them closer to their traditions and their land.” “I think part of those stories and having them videotaped so the elders [ . . . ] speak those words, maybe it will help people not take what they have for granted.” Although Cormier’s current research is focused specifically on land-based conflicts between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, he believes it can

be applied in any context. “I think the research can be applied to all indigenous people around the world.” Reflecting on what sparked his interest conflict resolution and peace building, Cormier said it began as a child. “My aboriginal name, my spirit name is Maengun, which means wolf in Ojibway, and I’m part of the wolf clan,” said Cormier. “In a traditional way, our clan determines our role in life. When I was a youth I was always involved in helping people get along, and I think part of that is part of my clan and my responsibility to my culture and my people.” Cormier said he also took a few courses in his early thirties focused on community-based conflict resolution. “[My interest] in empowering communities to settle their own disputes originated way back then.” “I always thought as an aboriginal person, growing up where I did and facing some of the social issues that my family and community did, that this was a wonderful way to look at the issue and analyze the problem.” Cormier said his research is more of a personal journey of peace than a professional process of peace building. “It’s helped me to process traumatic events from my youth. [ . . .] I’m trying to conceptualize peace and I’m trying to localize it.” Cormier was recently awarded a SSHRC fellowship and is part of the University of Manitoba PhD Studies for Aboriginal Scholars cohort.

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Academic discussion, beer and appetizers Informal student group mixes it up weekly


Shel don Birnie

here’s something academic going down at the Toad in the Hole Thursday afternoons. “I like the term ‘intellectual jam session,’” says Jeff Masuda, professor of human geography at the University of Manitoba. Modeled on a student group Masuda cofounded at the University of Alberta a decade ago, the Human Geography Society (HuGS) is a great way for graduate students in the human geography field to unwind after a long week of research and school work. Masuda encouraged a few students working under him at the U of M to set up a similar society, as he found it gave “social scientists stuck in a science department” a way to get together informally to discuss not only their research, but also get to know one each other in a social setting. Cheryl Sobie, a master’s student at U of M, was involved in organizing the group. Since the group was formed, Sobie says there are anywhere from a handful to a dozen students — both from the U of M as well as the University of Winnipeg — who come out each week to enjoy a beer, appetizers and some lively discussion. Informal “meetings” begin each week at 5 p.m., and last anywhere from an hour or so to when the karaoke breaks out downstairs at the Cavern. “The discussions range from academic to not so academic,” laughs John Hu, another master’s student working with Masuda. Hu came to Winnipeg this summer after completing his undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Hu says it has been a great way to get to know his colleagues and make friends. Emily Skinner agrees. Skinner, who got her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, has been in Winnipeg since May 2011, and believes that HuGS has made her Winnipeg experience a better one. “It’s fun,” she says. “I really enjoy our meetings. It gives us something to look forward to every week.” While the meetings are informal, Sobie says there has been some discussion about taking on some serious activity to go along with the free flowing discussions. “We’d like to maybe organize some actions in the future,” she says, noting that while nothing has been decided upon at this time, the group in general seems to favour “doing something to make a difference in the community.” Just what the group will achieve will tell with time. For now one thing is for certain: if you’re a graduate student in Winnipeg interested in human geography, or even a student finishing up your undergraduate degree, you might want to pop by the Toad one Thursday afternoon.



Photo by Sheldon Birnie

November 2011 Gradzette  

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