__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

J U N E 2 012

|

V O L U M E 11

|

ISSUE TEN

An eye to the future

the UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Taking a look back at the 1968 Convocation

Alumnus Scott Mackinnon and his brothers Biking for Baha

An Open Letter from President Mike Mahon

Kothe garners award for turning young minds to science The U of L Legend is published monthly during the academic year by the communications unit within University Advancement. Submissions, comments and story ideas are always welcome. The Legend reserves the right to refuse any submitted advertisement. The Legend can be found online at issuu.com/ulethbridge. A DV E R T I S I N G For ad rates or other information, contact: legend@uleth.ca CREDITS Editor: Trevor Kenney Designer: Angelsea Saby CO N T R I B U TO R S: Amanda Berg, Bob Cooney, Christina Cuthbertson, Jane Edmundson, Abby Groenenboom, Heidi MacDonald, Jesse Malinsky, Suzanne McIntosh, Kali McKay, Leslie Ohene-Adjei, Rob Olson, Stacy Seguin, Jaime Vedres, Katherine Wasiak and Jamie Woodford

University of Lethbridge 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 www.ulethbridge.ca

Erin Smith (BSc ‘12), pictured here with an owl from the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre, turned an applied study opportunity into a possible career path.

S

BY TREVOR KENNEY ome students begin their university careers with a blank slate before them, while others have a clear direction in mind. Count Erin Smith (BSc ’12) among the latter. She had determined well before she even stepped on campus that biology was her future, even if the University of Lethbridge was originally not her first choice university. “I’m not going to lie, the decision to come here had a lot to do with convenience,” says Smith. “My family was here and it was a chance to save some money and live at home. When we were living in Red Deer I had planned to go to Guelph University and do biology there but we moved to Lethbridge in my Grade 12 year and the U of L had a biology program too.” That decision would not only prove to be financially responsible, but opened Smith to an opportunity she might never have seen elsewhere — the chance to conduct undergraduate research with a full faculty member and leader in her field. “Dr. Theresa Burg is amazing,” says Smith. “I took a couple courses with her and specifically the evolution and conservation courses she taught were awesome. I then did an applied study with her last summer, which turned out to be a great experience.” Burg works primarily with birds, using molecular markers to study various evolutionary and ecological aspects of natural populations and how they relate to physical (e.g. glaciers) and non-physical (e.g. foraging patterns) barriers. Much of her research focuses on vertebrates, examining a range of topics from

mating systems, hybrization, population structure and systematics. For Smith, the applied study work opened her up to a new world and a job at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale.

“I’ve loved how I’ve been able to learn here. A lot of it was structured but you had the opportunity to go off on your own and do things at your own pace and in your own way.”

ERIN SMITH

“I was building a genetic tree using owl DNA, so I had the opportunity to gather feathers from the Birds of Prey Centre and extract DNA from them in the lab,” she says, clearly enthused. “I then did genetic sequencing with them, which was really cool.” For someone who admits she never even had a budgie as a child, working with birds of prey could be intimidating but Smith has never been shy about diving in to new challenges. “It was a huge learning curve,

but Colin Weir (co-founder) and Marianne DeRocher (senior staff member) are so good with the training they help you feel comfortable with everything,” says Smith. She now handles most every bird on site, assists with the flight shows and tours, feeds the birds, breeds mice for their diets and basically does “all the gross jobs”. It’s that same intrepid spirit that led her to pursue international volunteer opportunities, combining her love for wildlife conservation with the chance to help underprivileged children. Two years ago she joined the Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA) organization on a trip to Ecuador where she assisted in the construction of school buildings, literacy initiatives and conservation activities. This past week she jetted to Africa for a similar tour of duty with VESA. Needless to say, she has thrived in the U of L environment. “I’ve loved how I’ve been able to learn here,” she says. “There’s a lot of expectation that you could go at it on your own but at the same time, everyone was always right there if you needed any questions answered. I found that especially in the labs, a lot of it was structured but you had the opportunity to go off on your own and do things at your own pace and in your own way.” Upon returning from Africa, Smith will spend another summer at the Birds of Prey Centre and after that, she’s undecided, only that a career in wildlife conservation is her desired path. “It’s up in the air right now,” she says. “I really enjoy what I’m doing out here and we’ll see where I go from there.”


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

OPENMike University of Lethbridge President Dr. Mike Mahon chats about what’s happening in the University community

It is hard to believe that another year has passed and this is the final Open Mike column until September. In this issue of the Legend, you’ll notice several pieces speaking to our strategic planning process at the University, including my Open Letter to the community on pages 8 and 9. I want to put great emphasis on the wording chosen for the name of this document. I specifically used the term ‘open’ to represent the intention of the letter, that it is both an opening of a process and a process that is open to your input and feedback. This letter is a starting point and by no means an end point or

declaration of what we are planning to do as we enter the strategic planning process. Rather the items raised in the letter are touchstones of issues raised in various discussions both on and off campus over the past year. I urge you to not only consider the points brought forth in the letter but to look at other things you feel would help position the University of Lethbridge as we move forward into the strategic planning process for our next five years. This letter opens that conversation and it is my intention to continue with an open mind as we form our next strategic plan.

One of the more important projects I will be undertaking this summer is the creation of a process of engagement for faculty and staff that does not overburden people with more work. I understand that planning can be very time consuming and we are all very busy with the day-to-day tasks that define our roles and power this institution. At the same time, I am mindful of the fact that it is essential we engage our community in the strategic planning process. It is my goal to define a process by which the community can engage in the planning exercises without being overwhelmed with additional duties.

CAMPUS Jay Whitehead (drama) was recently awarded the prestigious Michael Mac Lammoir Award for best male performance at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in Dublin, Ireland for his production of My Funny Valentine by Dave Deveau. Jay and his team were the only Canadian company selected to participate in the festival. Members of Jay’s team included: Geneviève Paré (BFA ’11), David Barrus (BFA ’09) and MFA candidate, Kelly Roberts (BFA ’91). Paré was also nominated for the Hilton Edwards award for directing. Dr. Gordon Hunter (management) was awarded a Lloyd Houlden Research Fellowship by the Canadian Insolvency Foundation. Hunter’s research paper will identify issues surrounding the insolvency process related to small businesses. Aaron Taylor (new media/ drama) had several essays published this spring. Playing to the Balcony: Screen Acting, Distance and Cavellian Theatricality appeared in Stages of Reality: Theatricality in Cinema; Uncelebrated Lives: Reflections on the Supporting Player appeared in Quarterly Review of Film and Video; Angels, Stones, Hunters:

breadth of communities we connect with locally and internationally, while our convocating students included those who grew up minutes away from the U of L to those from the Republic of Congo and Ukraine. The entire week was a celebration of the U of L as a destination university and I look forward to growing that reputation as we move into the next phase of our strategic planning process. I want to thank everyone for their dedication to the University over the past year and the exceptional work you have put in for our students. Have a wonderful summer.

kudos

Murder, Celebrity and Direct Cinema appeared in Studies in Documentary Film 5.1; Thinking Through Acting: Performative Indices and Philosophical Assertions appeared in Acting and Performance in Moving Image Culture: Bodies, Screens, Renderings.

Nicole Lalonde and Derrick Hoekstra (fourth-year art students) were chosen to represent Lethbridge at the Visual Arts Gallery exhibition Coming of Age: The Graduates. The exhibition is a group show featuring 10 graduating art students from five Alberta communities.

Jim Steacy (BSc ’09) was named to the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s Alberta High School Sports Hall of Fame. Steacy, the Canadian record holder in hammer throw, will represent Canada at the 2012 London Olympics. His sister Heather Steacy (fourth-year student) will also throw hammer for Canada at the Olympics. Zack McAllister (first-year student) will represent Canada as a swimmer at the Paralympic Games, also in London.

Dr. Robin Bright (education) and Dr. Mary Dyck (kinesiology) presented Cyberbullying and Cybercitizens: Building People and Policy for Better Schools at the recent Alberta School Boards Association Spring General Meeting in Red Deer. Bright has also been named to an advisory committee with the Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities to develop a comprehensive guidebook on what schools can do to create and maintain safe, caring and respectful learning environments, free from bullying.

Michael Campbell (art) and Dr. Janice Rahn (art/education) have been chosen to exhibit their artwork Field Recordings of Icebergs Melting at the 2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival (www.artmandu.org) from Nov. 25 to Dec. 21, 2012. This invitation also includes a short residency during which they will create a new work.

As we head into summer, I want to look back on the recent Spring Convocation ceremonies, Chancellor’s Dinner and related alumni festivities. What really struck me about these events was how much they reflect the progress we have made as Alberta’s Destination University. From our honourary degree recipients to our gold medalwinning students to the many alumni I had the pleasure of speaking with, I met people from all walks of life and all areas of the globe who had chosen to receive their education from the University of Lethbridge. Our honourary degree recipients alone represented the

Ron Chambers (drama) has two plays being produced. In June, Verb Theatre’s production of Chambers’ Marg Szkaluba (Pissy’s Wife), starring Sharon Pollock, was remounted for a third time as a Magnetic Encounter during Magnetic North, Canada’s National Festival

2

of Contemporary Theatre, in Calgary. In addition, Chambers’ newest play, The Stage That Made Us, premieres this summer at Fort Macleod’s Empress Theatre. Commissioned by the Empress Theatre in celebration of its centennial year, the play opens on the evening of June 29, exactly 100 years to the day from when the Empress first opened its doors in 1912. Mary Kavanagh (art) recently received a $15,000 Assistance to Visual Artists: Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to support further development of her project Atomic Suite, which investigates atomic and nuclear history, industry and culture with an emphasis on activity in the American Midwest. She has also been invited to participate in the Canadian Artists Forces Program (CFAP) in 2012-2014, supported and organized by the Department of National Defence. Mark Richards (music) has an article in the latest issue of the journal Theory and Practice. The article, Viennese Classicism and the Sentential Idea: Broadening the Sentence Paradigm, expands on recent work on the classical theme type of the sentence, common in the works of Haydn,

Mozart, and Beethoven. Dr. Cynthia Chambers (education) received the Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service in Canadian Curriculum Studies. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions over an extended period of time to scholarship, teaching and/or professional service in Canadian curriculum studies. Natascha Hainsworth (BFA ’05) has been appointed general manager for New West Theatre, replacing Jeremy Mason (BFA ’05) who is transitioning to the role of artistic director position, replacing Nicholas Hanson (drama). Dr. Marc Roussel’s textbook, A Life Scientist’s Guide to Physical Chemistry, was recently published by Cambridge University Press. The book is based on Roussel’s experience teaching second-year physical chemistry at the University of Lethbridge over the last decade and a half. It contains a large number of exercises (350+), many based on biological applications, with the answers included later in the book.


J U N E 2 012

|

the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

First graduates proud to be a part of history BY STACY SEGUIN

I

t was a much smaller class that crossed the stage, but when the University of Lethbridge held its first convocation ceremony, 45 years ago, a tradition of pride was born. On May 18, 1968, the U of L celebrated its first graduating class with a special ceremony at Southminster United Church. Alums John Pearson (BASc ’68) and Sharon Swihart (BEd ’68) are two of the 32 graduates who received their degrees that day, an accomplishment that is a source of pride and honour for both. “What struck me about that day was when I put the graduation mortarboard on my head; I knew I was graduating then,” says Pearson, who now lives in St. Albert, Alta. “The most significant part of that day for me, however, was when they put that degree in my hands. That was definitely the highlight; that was what we had worked so hard for. It is not very often that a person gets to take part in history and that is what that day was, a groundbreaking and history making moment. I am very happy to have been a part of that.” Both Swihart and Pearson graduated from high school in 1965 and began their post-secondary degrees at the Lethbridge Junior College university section on the college campus with the understanding that an independent University of Lethbridge was well on its way to becoming a reality. Swihart worked toward an education degree but later

G E T T H E FA C T S • Swihart taught school

in Red Deer for a few years before moving with her husband back to Lethbridge. She has spent many years as a stay-athome mom, with their five children

• Pearson is a senior

investigator - Air Operations for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. He has worked for many years in various capacities in aviation as a pilot, engineer, aviation safety officer and an accident investigator

• In 45 years the University has grown from a graduating class of 32 to the May 2012 convocation of 1,514 students and is now 34,854 alumni strong The entire 1968 graduating class was able to fit in one photograph. It’s a much different story today.

transferred to the University of Calgary to complete her student teaching, which was not yet available at the U of L. Despite being in the early stages of development, things progressed quickly at the University and with the courses she needed coming to fruition, Swihart transferred back to complete her final year of education at the U of L. “I really loved attending the University of Lethbridge. It was enjoyable every day. We

had classes in trailers out in the middle of what was essentially farmland, so the wind was a big factor. It was interesting getting in and out of those trailers every day,” laughs Swihart. “I liked all my professors; it was nice that they knew who we were; both staff and classmates were lovely.” For Pearson, the decision to study biological sciences at the University was an easy one. “Science was always an interest of mine and one of my best subjects in school. The Universi-

ty of Lethbridge offered the right program for me. I was interested in wildlife biology at that time and was able to do part-time work for Alberta Fish and Wildlife while I was a student. We did game checks and surveys for them through our connections at the University. I also worked in the biology department in my graduating year and I remember we pulled a prank and let out some of the baby chicks who were there as part of a study. We let somebody else try to scramble

around to pick them up,” recalls an amused Pearson. “I have nothing but good memories of the University.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

SOUTHERN ALBERTA ECONOMY GETS JOLT FROM U OF L CONSTRUCTION BOOM BY JAMIE WOODFORD In parts of Asia, the crane represents good fortune and longevity. The same could be said for the pair of 165-foot tall mechanical cranes that grace the coulee horizon. For the University of Lethbridge, the cranes symbolize a hefty infusion for the local economy. About $14.8 million of the $27.5 million construction cost for the Aperture Park Phase 3 residence project is going directly to southern Alberta companies, says Brian Sullivan, director of the Project Management Office (PMO) in facilities. He adds that the economic spinoffs from the housing project are significant. “There are at least a dozen major local contractors working

here; from all the surveying to the mechanical, electrical, drywall and excavation work.” There are also numerous out-of-town workers temporarily living in the city that further augment the local economy. Sullivan says that most contractors look to hire local workers if there are enough skilled laborers available. “Whenever out-of-town contractors can, they hire locally, but they’re probably mostly from Calgary and area.” Meanwhile, the construction activity at the U of L marks our campus as the busiest building site south of Calgary. “The University, in terms of major construction, is leading the way by quite a bit. This summer alone we’re involved in about $30 million worth of

construction,” says Sullivan. “That figure pro-rates the housing job, and all the projects that are going on right now. We’re actually creating a sort of mini construction boom right on this campus.” Another noteworthy aspect of campus construction is the sustainable construction practices being employed, such as metal recycling. “We require the recycling of waste products – the separation of recyclable materials and construction waste. Not all of it goes to the landfill, a big chunk of it goes to recycling,” says Sullivan. The 259-bed Aperture Park Phase 3 housing development is on schedule to open in the spring of 2013.

3

The cranes assisting with the construction of the Aperture Park Phase 3 residence structures dominate the Lethbridge landscape.


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

HEADER

(From l to r): Cheryl Meheden, Leanne Elias, Dr. John Usher, Dr. Janice Rahn and Michael Campbell are exploring the world of new media. Pictured (l to r) are Rahim Kanjiyani, Jamie Chinn and Darin McGee, the IT team that created the new online deduction form for the Supporting Our Students campaign.

Online payment comes to SOS BY KALI MCKAY Other than the birds, there is not much activity on campus at 5 a.m., and yet one University of Lethbridge faculty or staff member was already making a difference by contributing to Supporting Our Students (SOS). This early morning act of generosity was made possible by the new online payroll deduction form launched last month. “This is exactly the type of support we wanted to enable,” says Jamie Chinn (BSc ’03), business systems analyst in information technology services enterprise systems, who was the driving force behind the new form. “We needed to capture the people who are motivated to make a gift but want the process to be simple and immediate.” As an SOS volunteer, Chinn actively promotes the campaign. In talking to faculty and staff across campus, it became clear that the paper form was a problem. “We wanted to remove that barrier and make it as easy as

possible for faculty and staff to make their gift through payroll deduction,” says Chinn. While developing an online form may seem simple, there was a lot of activity behind the scenes. Chinn worked with people in departments across campus, such as Anna Linville in advancement, Joel Makin in financial services and Deb Robb in human resources to make sure that the final product would meet everyone’s needs. “Everyone really came together over this project,” says Chinn. “I think that shows the commitment of U of L faculty and staff to our students. We are not only contributing money to a scholarship campaign, we’re giving of our time and our expertise to make sure that campaign is successful. It’s a strong statement about the community here.” Once a plan was in place, Chinn passed the project off to Darin McGee (BSc ’09) and Rahim Kanjiyani to build. The two programmer analysts donated their time on evenings

and weekends to complete the project. “I’m still paying for my own education, so this was a different way for me to get involved and give back,” says McGee, who is happy to be able to contribute in a meaningful way. It is difficult to calculate the total number of hours spent on this project but the trio of volunteers agrees it was more than originally estimated. Despite the challenges, they all see it as time well spent. “I was happy to pay it forward,” says Chinn. “I donate to SOS but one person can only do so much. By making giving that much easier, this tool will hopefully help enhance the culture of support at the U of L and perpetuate faculty and staff giving across campus.” To make your gift through payroll deduction, simply log in to the Bridge (www.uleth. ca/bridge/sos), click the Employee tab, click Supporting Our Students and follow the instructions.

Get your SOS 2012 sticker Have you seen the SOS 2012 stickers on your colleagues’ windows? Make your gift today and get one of your own! Visit www.uleth.ca/giving for more information.

Did you know? 99 of your colleagues donate to SOS each month through payroll deduction. Join them today by signing up at www.uleth.ca/bridge/sos!

4

IRDF PROJECT INVESTIGATES WORLD OF NEW MEDIA BY TREVOR KENNEY The very aspect of new media that makes it so engaging is also what makes the discipline challenging. While change is both exciting and invigorating, the pace at which new media practices and software evolve is almost too quick to fully explore the medium. “I’ve been really fortunate in my career that I’ve been working at a time that has seen enormous changes in the way I work,” says Leanne Elias, assistant professor in the department of New Media. “At the same time, it just changes so rapidly that as an artist, it can be very frustrating because we never have the chance to fully exploit the tools and options that we have available to us in software before something new comes along and we then move on to that.” In an attempt to capture how artists, educators and practitioners of new media approach and adapt to continual change in the medium, Elias and four other U of L researchers will produce the E-book of New Media Research Methods and Practice as one of three funded projects through the new Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund (IRDF). “I see this as a perfect opportunity to examine how others are working in our world,” says Elias, the principal investigator. The project also includes Dr. Janice Rahn (education), Dr. John Usher (management), Michael Campbell (art) and Cheryl Meheden (management). Elias says the group plans to conduct upwards of 50 video interviews with new media artists from around the world who are driving innovations in software and communication design, or

exploring unexpected ways of working with technology. The goal is to discover how these people are using new media tools and how they, as educators, can work together to expand research and teaching practices. “We have already learned that we all approach new media practice differently,” says Elias. “There are some big unanswered questions about how we all teach, such as why does the way we teach change between disciplines, what are the crossovers between disciplines, and are we delivering the right curriculum?” Data collection (interviews) will begin this summer and continue through to spring 2013, at which time a host of essays will be written interpreting the interview results. Both graduate and undergraduate students will assist in the process. “The team members will analyze the results collaboratively through different research methodologies and I think that’s where it really becomes interdisciplinary. The exciting aspect about the e-book is that it will use current technology and be produced as an interactive book meant for tablet devices. This allows its creators to produce a living entity, dynamically changing over time. Although the book is expected to be released in 2014, updates to the book could be released as new interviews are created. Users of the book will be able to view the full video interviews, see art and design projects, read the interpretive essays or even hone in on one particular interview question and see the results from each respondent. In the end, both students and educators will benefit from the project, as long as they are willing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape it explores.


athletics AT T H E U

Mackinnon and brothers honouring Baha BY TREVOR KENNEY

S

cott Mackinnon (BA ’07) understands that the world is so much greater than the space within which he exists. It’s a point he undoubtedly learned while watching his once vibrant grandfather slowly lose his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and one that was driven home while maturing as a young man at the University of Lethbridge. Now, as he cycles with his three brothers (Sean, Ross and Ryan) across Canada in memory of his late grandfather Neville ‘Baha’ Munro, he’s reminded of that lesson every day.

“Coming through Lethbridge was the best thing that could happen to us.”

SCOTT MACKINNON

“I always told my brothers what a supportive, passionate, loyal and aware community Lethbridge was,” says the former Pronghorns men’s basketball player and native of Comox, B.C. “It’s just pretty cool that they are able to experience that first hand now. My experience here at the U of L definitely led me towards doing something like this – to be more socially aware and more conscious of something way beyond myself and something more important than myself.” Biking for Baha was an idea hatched between the brothers years ago. Their grandfather had wanted to cycle across Canada after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 60. A special bike was built for him by his eldest son (their uncle) but his declining motor skills never allowed for the trip to take place. In

G E T T H E FA C T S • The Biking for Baha team was greeted by a group of local cyclists as they made their way into Lethbridge. The Lethbridge Lodge provided them with two nights accommodation, while Backstreat Pub and Coco Pazzo’s chipped in meals

• Mackinnon played

for the Horns over two different stretches, from 2000-2002 and again from 2004-2007, scoring 862 points in 85 career Canada West games

• A true blue Pronghorn,

Mackinnon and his brothers were given Horns basketball shirts by head coach Dave Adams. “I’ll always be a part of Horns nation,” says Mackinnon. “I love this place. If I could get a teaching job in southern Alberta I’d come back in a second.”

• Mackinnon will return

to Canada to look for a teaching job after one more year in the Philippines

• To donate to Biking

for Baha, visit www. michaeljfox.org or www. bikingforbaha.weebly.com

2003, Baha passed away but his dream lived on. “The last few years, riding across Canada became a big interest of mine and it became a huge conversation piece between us,” says Mackinnon. “We started talking about it but things always seemed to get in the way. This year, all of a sudden, all four brothers fell into a place where there was time to do

The Mackinnon brothers, left to right, include Ryan, Ross, Scott and Sean. Here they are in Dr. Jon Doan’s kinesiology lab after a brief tour of the facilities.

it and so here we are.” The quest to cross Canada and raise funds for Parkinson’s research began May 19 on the B.C. coast and passed through Lethbridge May 30-31. The goal is to dip their tires in the Atlantic Ocean sometime in July, all the while raising one dollar for every kilometre they cycle, as well as an additional dollar for the distance Baha would have covered for a total of $40,075. The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is the recipient charity. Coming through Lethbridge was a homecoming for Mackinnon and an opportunity to show off the University community he grew so close to during his time as a Pronghorn. “Coming through Lethbridge was the best thing that could happen to us,” he says. “We’re pretty inexperienced touring cyclists so once we got through the mountains, Lethbridge was a key morale boost for us. It’s been so good to see Travis Grindle and Eoin

Colquhoun, coach Dave Adams and a lot of the people I really respect and look up to. The effort they put in to helping us, we’re all taken aback by it.” The group spent two nights in Lethbridge, participated in an evening fundraiser, met kinesiology professor Dr. Jon Doan, toured his lab and learned about his work with local Parkinson’s patients. The generosity and open arms that greeted the group was exactly what he expected. “I absolutely loved the U of L because of the small community,” says Mackinnon, who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education at Queen’s University and just completed his first year of teaching at an international school in Manila. “I loved how you would be walking through the halls here and everyone would say hi. You have the small class sizes, everyone was friendly, and on the court, the crowds and the community support that you get here is amazing. You just

couldn’t ask for a better place to go to school and I would recommend to anyone to go here.” The group has now made its way through Saskatchewan and into Manitoba, and can be tracked via their blog (bikingforbaha.weebly.com). For Mackinnon, as much as the ride is personal, it continues to drive home the universal lesson he learned long ago. “I’ve thought about my grandfather on this ride more than I have in a long time and it’s one of the best things about this,” he says. “It’s really refreshing what an influence he had on our lives and what an inspiring man he was. It’s also allowed me to learn so much. Ignorantly, I didn’t realize how many people were affected by Parkinson’s and it’s really cool to be able to know there’s that support network out there and that we can help towards finding a cure, towards something that can help these people cope with this terrible disease. It’s been very eye opening.”

First convocation set the stage for today’s celebrations FROM PAGE 3 For the first graduating class, the convocation ceremony was the perfect culmination of their hard work and dedication, a moment in time that is forever immortalized in their hearts and in the history books of the University. “It was one of those beautiful days that we get here, sunny and warm with no wind,” remembers

Swihart. “I thought going to convocation was quite a big deal. I wouldn’t have thought of missing it. We had worked hard toward getting our degrees and going to convocation was a real milestone. It was the fulfillment of a dream. The ceremony was very individual for us because there were so few of us. It was a very special day and an honour to stand together. I have good friends from that class and I really value

the relationships that we made. I am very proud of my classmates, especially those who have made such a difference in education in our community.” She continues to connect to the U of L through various avenues. “Through the years, I have attended different performances at the University and had the opportunity to watch the University’s growth and impact on

5

our community,” says Swihart. “Having the University here in Lethbridge is definitely something for us to be proud of.” Pearson agrees, and adds that the University has brought a lot of prestige and brainpower to the city. “I have really enjoyed reading about the alumni and what is going on at the University as the years have gone on. There have been some real success stories,”

beams Pearson, who remembers watching his daughter, Kimberly Pearson, receive her master’s in biology from the U of L in 2005. “It felt great, and I was very proud, like a circle had been completed.”


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

2012 Alumni Honour Society Inductees Introduced in celebration of the University’s 35th Anniversary in 2002, the Alumni Honour Society recognizes the achievement of successful alumni within the global community. The alumni inducted into this prestigious group have served as role models to our students and the broader University community through success in their vocation, outstanding community service or superior accomplishment in their avocation.

René Barendregt (BASc ’71)

René Barendregt has been a faculty member of the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Lethbridge since 1982 and took on the role of associate dean in 2001. Dedicated to his profession and respected by his peers, Barendregt’s work in the field of physical geography is currently funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. In addition to his research, Barendregt has served the U of L community as a member of the Board of Governors, the Senate and the General Faculties Council.

Viola Cassis (BA ’97)

Viola Cassis started her career in international humanitarian work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where she was instrumental in revising the organization’s guidelines on the prevention and response to sexual- and gender-based violence, and helped to develop policies to ensure gender-equitable access to UN refugee interventions. Cassis currently works with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and has been involved in various CIDA programs in Afghanistan. She has made field visits to Kabul and Kandahar to liaise with Canadian Forces, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and other government agencies.

Marilyn Smith (BFA ’96) (Multidisciplinary)

Gayle Strikes With A Gun (BEd ’88)

Raised on the Piikani Nation in southern Alberta, Gayle Strikes With A Gun has been a leader in education for 25 years. After completing her bachelor of education, she worked as the project co-ordinator for the Four Worlds development project, an initiative aimed at helping Blood and Peigan women develop the skills and training necessary to prepare them for post-secondary education at the University of Lethbridge. Over the course of her career, she worked as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and acting superintendent in schools across Alberta and in the Northwest Territories. In 2011, Strikes With A Gun was elected the first female chief of the Piikani Nation where she remains committed to helping her people’s youth.

Marilyn Smith has more than 30 years of experience in the arts and culture sector and is currently the executive director of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG). Since Smith took on this role in 1999, SAAG has increased revenue over 200 per cent, while membership, programming and sponsorship have also increased. Recently Smith oversaw renovations of SAAG and implemented a three-year strategic plan designed to capitalize on the new facilities. Last fall Smith was honoured with the 2011 Rosza Award for Excellence in Arts Management from the Rosza Foundation.

Bruce Thurston (BASc ’78)

With close to 35 years of experience in business, Bruce Thurston brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his teaching role in the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Management. He is also currently the CEO and president at Management Resource Services, a company that provides management consulting and training in leadership development, organizational change, workforce diversity and staff development. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Thurston has generously served the community by volunteering his time with local organizations including the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, the Society of Management Accountants of Alberta and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

Keith Walker (BASc ’79)

As the director of Library Services at Medicine Hat College, Keith Walker is respected for the innovation and passion he brings to his profession. As the first college librarian to serve as president of the Canadian Library Association in the organization’s history, Walker successfully led a major review and restructuring that saw the organization’s first balanced budget in over a decade and a doubling of memberships. In 2003, Walker received the Community and Technical College Libraries Outstanding Academic Librarian Award and the Industry Canada Award. The following year, he was honoured with the College and Technical Libraries Innovation Achievement Award.

President’s Award for Service Excellence The President’s Award for Service Excellence recognizes exceptional service to the University of Lethbridge and members of the University community. The Award is given to two individuals annually: one AUPE staff member and one APO/Exempt Support Staff member. This year, Linda Sebastian and Kathy Schrage receive the award for AUPE employees and APO employees, respectively.

APO Award Recipient – Kathy Schrage

Starting her U of L career in the President’s office, Kathy Schrage is presently manager in the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Schrage’s involvement in graduate education began in 1992 prior to the establishment of SGS.

She has been key to the rising prosperity of graduate education on campus. A widely respected resource person, Schrage assists administrators and Faculty members with complex issues in graduate education. She provides crucial guidance to graduate students throughout their time at the U of L and has provided support for the development of seven of the University’s eight graduate programs. As the University continues on its journey as a comprehensive university, Schrage is an agent of change, assisting several initiatives that will improve the experience of graduate

education at the University of Lethbridge. Schrage is also an active member of the U of L community. Her ongoing participation in Team Fiat Lux raises donations for the Canadian Cancer Society. In 2008, Schrage and her siblings established the Gordon and Elizabeth Merrick Award, a scholarship given to students who demonstrate an interest in improving the lives of those living with cancer. The U of L is proud to recognize Schrage for her enthusiasm, dependability, and positive, student-centred attitude.

AUPE Award Recipient – Linda Sebastian

Linda Sebastian, timetable and convocation officer in the Registrar’s Office, provides exceptional service across all three University of Lethbridge campuses. Sebastian worked her first Convocation in spring

6

1984, and as timetable and convocation officer, she handles several duties related to Convocation. She is responsible for producing and distributing parchments, and provides post-graduation parchment and document services. Very meticulous, Sebastian scrutinizes every parchment for accuracy, and vets the graduand lists and ensures this information is correctly reflected in the Convocation program. She oversees graduand assemblies and on those days can be found in the Atrium by 6:30 a.m. to ensure that everything is ready. She expertly handles

the delicate situations that may arise during this special day. Sebastian is also responsible for the addition, deletion and changes to course information in the Banner catalog system and assists in the production of the academic schedule. She works with the Documents Unit, Student Records Unit and the Supervisor, Information Centre to produce the course timetables for the Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton campuses. Sebastian is dedicated to going the extra mile for faculty, staff, and students across the University of Lethbridge.


J U N E 2 012

|

the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Destination 2019 - the strategic planning process The planning process for the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan is already underway and the President’s Executive Committee is seeking to ensure that all members of the University community are fully engaged in the activity. Following is a brief look at the makeup of the bodies entrusted with drafting the Strategic Plan as well as an overview of the engagement process.

President’s Executive Committee

The executive committee (President, Provost, Vice-Presidents, and Vice-Provost) has an important role in sponsor-

ing and approving the strategic planning process. The President is Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Senior Leadership Team

The extended team of Associate Vice-Presidents, Deans/ University Librarian, Associate Deans/Librarians, and Executive Directors will provide input into the President’s open letter to the community and proposed process.

Strategic Planning Committee

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) will be responsible for stewarding the

process and gathering information from the internal and external community. They will summarize this information and propose the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan for approval.

General Faculties Council

The proposed 2014-2019 Strategic Plan will be approved by General Faculties Council. Board of Governors The proposed 2014-2019 Strategic Plan will be approved the Board of Governors. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) will steward consultation with the internal and external community. The consultation process will engage

discussion on the strategic directions and actions required to achieve our vision for the University of Lethbridge, informed by the present Strategic Plan (2009-2013) and the President’s June 2012 open letter to the community. The SPC will conduct a thorough consultation process. The committee will compile and summarize the information it gathers through this process. The President will appoint a Steering Committee of the SPC to steer the strategic plan consultation and development process. The Steering Committee will establish the details of the consultation process, which will

be approved by the President’s Executive Committee and the SPC. All members of the SPC will be involved in consulting with our community. The Steering Committee will help summarize information from the consultations, present this back to the larger SPC, and propose draft strategies. The SPC will then draft the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan for approval from the University’s governing bodies. For a full look at the Strategic Planning process, visit the News section of the Notice Board.

Spoulos keeps finding his way back to the U of L BY TREVOR KENNEY If it wasn’t inevitable that Doug Spoulos (BMgt ’87) would eventually return to the University of Lethbridge, at the very least it wasn’t surprising. The University’s associate vice-president (finance) has a deeply rooted history with the U of L, so it seemed only right that circumstance aligned to bring him into the fold once again in spring 2011. He graduated from the University in 1987, previously worked for the U of L, met his wife on campus and has a stepson who chose to come to the U of L from their home in Calgary. So when it was time to get away from the busy Calgary lifestyle and apply the experience he’d gained in private sector positions, the U of L was there once again. “We were looking to Lethbridge and this was the perfect job,” says Spoulos. “It was a good experience for us in Calgary. I had the chance to work in a couple different industries and when I left I was the vice-president of finance, so I was getting the experience I wanted. But our kids were at an age where we wanted something a little slower and a little more relaxed – this opportunity was too good to pass up.” A chartered accountant by trade, Spoulos had worked the last several years acquiring the broad business experience he’d need for his new role at the U of L. “In my last position, I had the chance to work beyond the accounting side of things and look at the business aspect as well, how businesses run and how they operate. That’s the more interesting part, because you can sit there and just work on the numbers or you can take those numbers and figure out

how to apply them and determine what the business should be doing.” His first order of business at the U of L was to play a key role on the President’s Task Force on Budget Process, the mandate of which was to review the University’s budget process and make recommendations to the executive team supporting both short and long term planning. Consisting of President Mike Mahon, executive director representatives Carrie Takeyasu and Chris Eagan, dean representatives Chris Hosgood and Rob Wood, Spoulos and the group sought input from throughout the U of L community on the budget process.

“People want to tie budget priorities to the Strategic Plan.”

DOUG SPOULOS

“The number one thing that came out of those meetings was a consensus that people wanted to tie budget priorities to the Strategic Plan,” says Spoulos. “They wanted to see a rationale as to why money was going where it was going.” Another emergent theme came from the existing budget committee, its members expressing that the three-year sitting term was not long enough to gain a full understanding of the process to make their contributions effective. “The basic conclusion we came to was that we already have a group of people who have a good understanding of the budget process,” says Spoulos. “Those on the committee should be the people who are responsible for the budgets in their units, the

Doug Spoulos is instrumental in bringing people to the table to discuss priorities in the new budget process.

deans and executive directors.” In not wanting to exclude the rest of the University community from the process, the task force recommended that business units and faculty members have input through priority presentations, within their units and faculty councils, that speak to their specific areas. “It’s a build-from-theground-up approach when it comes to setting priorities,” says Spoulos. “Priority presentations are not about dollars, they’re about what priorities you’ve established in your area. We look at them, the themes, and prioritize them in relation to the University’s Strategic Plan and decide whether they should be funded. These presentations are open to the entire University community. It gives everybody the opportunity to see what is being funded and why. You might not agree with every decision but at least the process is transparent and you can see the rationale behind the decision.” A third key theme of discovery centred on the timing of the

7

budget process. Having always worked on a September to March cycle, Faculties indicated that to hire the most desirable candidates, they needed to start looking for people in November and December, far before they had any idea of what budget dollars were available to them. The cycle has now been adjusted to work from April to October. “This first year will be a pretty difficult transition year because by the time this recommendation was made, we’d already put ourselves a month behind in the new system,” says Spoulos. As a result, the priority presentation process has been pushed back from June 25 to September. “At the end of the day, our goal is to make the entire budget process transparent and accessible, so that everybody understands what goes into the creation of the budget,” says Spoulos. “We want to make it equitable, so that not only do people have input into the process, but the right people have input.”

G E T T H E FA C T S • The final report from

the President’s Task Force on Budget Process can be viewed at www.uleth.ca/ president

• Spoulos met his wife,

Bev, when they both worked at the University previously. She just started a new position at the U of L as an administrative assistant in the Department of Native American Studies

• Spoulos and his wife

have three children, two daughters aged 12 and 13, and a son who is entering his second year of psychology at the U of L

• Prior to his first term

at the University, Spoulos worked at KPMG as a chartered accountant, auditor and manager


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE – ALBERTA’S DESTINATION UNIVERSITY

An Open Letter to our University Communities Michael J. Mahon, President & Vice-Chancellor | May 29, 2012 As I approach the end of my second year as President, I am reflecting on what I have learned about the University of Lethbridge and I am energized by our potential. I have had many opportunities to listen and talk to members of the U of L community about the future of our University. We have discussed the importance of being intentional, the significance of being bold. As we approach the beginning of our next strategic planning process, I am writing this letter to outline some of my thoughts on a way forward for our University and how we might put this shared vision into action. Forty-five years of creativity, discipline, and commitment have given us many reasons to be proud of who we are in 2012. We have reached the largest student enrolment in our history across our campuses in Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton; we have substantially increased our research income; and we have over 33,000 alumni who live and work throughout Alberta, across our country, and in 66 countries around the world. While we should certainly celebrate our accomplishments, we also need to recognize we remain at an early stage in our development as a university. Several key factors will shape our path and decisions as we chart a course for our future. We face an increasingly competitive post-secondary environment,

with a projected decline in the 18-24 year old population. Postsecondary institutions across the province and country are redefining themselves to capture a larger share of the population, in the face of limited funding. While we continue to receive modest government funding increases today, the future is uncertain. Yet, this is not the first time we have endured challenging times. I am confident we will once again navigate our way successfully. In my Fall 2011 Fiat Lux Address, I indicated that we are poised strategically to make the tough, complex decisions that will be required of us in the foreseeable future. Significant consultation led to our 2009-2013 Strategic Plan. This foundational plan captures the aspirations of our University and details the values we continue to build upon. Under this plan we can boast many accomplishments, far too many to list in this letter. What is evident is that we are making thoughtful and deliberate choices that align with our Strategic Plan. Recent examples of this include our decisions to partner with Concordia University and our move to downtown Calgary with our partners Athabasca University, Olds College, and Bow Valley College. This type of collaborative, purposeful action will improve access to post-secondary education in this province. Our decision to construct a new student

residence complex and increase our on-campus housing capacity to 1,000 beds directly ties to our commitment to enhance the student experience. These are two significant outcomes that were achieved cooperatively through intention. We have become a strategically-focused, research-rich university that enhances undergraduate and graduate student experiences. We do this within the framework of liberal education and discipline-based and interdisciplinary inquiry and creative activities. Together our accomplishments provide a solid foundation as we enter the next strategic planning process, our 2014 – 2019 Strategic Plan.

ALBERTA’S DESTINATION UNIVERSITY

We are Alberta’s destination university – an institution sought out by students and faculty across the province and beyond. My comfort in making this assertion comes from our high quality academic programming, faculty strength, supportive staff, and unique location. We are a destination university because over 70% of our students enroll in our multicampus structure from outside of Lethbridge and we have succeeded in attracting scholars from across Canada and all over the world. The founders of the

University of Lethbridge boldly envisaged a liberal educationbased university in southern Alberta on the banks of the Old Man River, which would provide a unique student experience. Their foresight included the importance of being different than the other universities in the province. This vision, arrived at more than 45 years ago, provides the foundation for our destination university, and I am committed to honoring this. The U of L has many enduring and exceptional attributes. Our commitment to liberal education is prominent. Our rigorous standards in academic programming will not be compromised, and our commitment to research and creative excellence will never waiver. Our campus locations are unique and attractive — each providing a smaller, welcoming, and sustainable environment. The members of our faculty are renowned within their respective fields; our employees are committed to the student experience; and our students enroll from areas throughout Alberta, Canada, and the world. In selecting the University of Lethbridge, our students are choosing to attend a university that has the attributes and experiences we offer. This is who we are today. It is time to reinforce our position as Alberta’s destination university. We need to ensure that everyone understands who we are and how we provide a

unique academic experience. Let me outline how we might add some of the attributes that will enable the defining characteristics of a destination university to better emerge.

Enrolment: Undergraduate, Graduate, International, and First Nations

Our current enrolment sits at about 8,500 students. This represents significant growth over the course of our history and more than 50% growth over the last 15 years. However, destination universities do not grow for the sake of more growth. They grow strategically, with programs that enhance their integrity. And they may not grow at all. I firmly believe our future is rooted in the medium size of approximately 10,000 students and our future growth will be carefully planned and strategic. Undergraduate and graduate growth comes from a significant investment, and so we will expand only when we have the resources to do so. Given the changing demographics and post-secondary landscape, it is possible we may see limited growth opportunities in the foreseeable future. This will allow us to further invest in the quality of the student experience that is characteristic of a destination university. Growth will not come at the expense of excellence. So how does this affect


J U N E 2 012

|

the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE – ALBERTA’S DESTINATION UNIVERSITY

recruitment and retention? Recruitment and retention will remain top priorities, but we must rethink how we recruit, including targeting high achievers with enhanced scholarships and developing innovative programs for those who require additional support. Boosting student retention is also critical, and efforts in this area will include ongoing projects such as a student portal and increased residence space. We have the ability to define a new way to provide access to an outstanding education, and this definition should embrace highquality academic programs and exceptional student experiences. We will place greater focus on recruiting and retaining Blackfoot and other First Nations, Metis and Inuit students, the fastest growing young adult population in Canada. However, enrolment is not the only reason to focus on this population. Creating opportunity and an inclusive campus environment for all students is simply the right thing to do. We must ensure that gender, race, ethnicity, ability/disability, sexual orientation, and other historic factors of discrimination are not impediments to students, faculty, or staff on our campus. Such effort requires the involvement of our entire community. Increased acceptance and support for all is another hallmark of a destination university. Internationalization presents important opportunities for our University. Integrating an international or intercultural aspect into the delivery of education and research is a multifaceted exercise. We will develop an international strategy that builds on our present activities in research, student and faculty recruitment and exchange, and study-abroad opportunities while advancing new directions.

Academic and Research Structure

To a large degree, students enroll in a destination university because of the academic and research opportunities. A critical part of our success in research has been in building strength-focused areas. Going forward, facilitating the development of Research Centres and Institutes will be an important part of attracting students and

faculty. The task will be to find ways to support those areas that are on this path, and to identify and encourage emerging areas of research and graduate education potential. We will also continue to think about new programs, keeping in mind the current funding climate. I have given much thought to the present constitution and structure of our academic units and whether our current profile positions us to meet the vision of a destination university. Planning is now underway for a new academic building. This project will create modern science teaching and research laboratories, environments that facilitate collaboration and interdisciplinary activities, and revitalize University Hall. This will be a catalyst for considering how best to align academic programs, support disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, and empower the arts, humanities, and social sciences. There has been much discussion about the need to separate the Faculty of Arts and Science into two Faculties: one of Arts and another of Science. This discussion must be formalized within the academic community and conducted in a timely manner. But it should not be limited to considering the two traditional entities of Arts and Science, nor should it solely reflect structures within academic units. It is also critical that the discussion allow the entire university community to be involved. We will create a forum for this dialogue, ensuring thorough consultation, and a willingness to be decisive. Our newest Faculty on campus, the Faculty of Health Sciences has made tremendous progress. Health care, and in particular the streams of public health, preventative health, and health services for older adults, will continue to challenge our society. The Faculty of Health Sciences can respond to these challenges by introducing new and innovative academic initiatives and expanding existing programs. The move of the Department of Kinesiology into the Faculty of Health Sciences is something we will consider. Collectively, elements of Health Sciences, Nursing, and Addictions Counseling could provide

the scientific and evidence-based foundation for a strong academic program focused on prevention and primary health care. New programs could then be considered to add to the breadth and depth of such an endeavor. This discussion will be initiated. Our Strategic Plan 2009 – 2013 commits to maintaining our focus on liberal education. Today, more than ever, there is a great need for liberal education to assist society to grapple with a world that has become increasingly complex. Creative thinkers and leaders are required to address complex problems and arrive at innovative solutions. There are numerous competencies that will be required by our future graduating classes. We must carefully consider how best to re-define liberal education within our rapidly evolving society. I believe the best approach is to house liberal education in an inter-faculty School of Liberal Education. The current general liberal education requirements of our programs are overly complicated. The value of this complexity does not appear to be understood by our students and many of our faculty. The repositioning of liberal education within a standalone School dedicated to liberal education in an interdisciplinary context could be a hallmark of our destination university. There is an opportunity for this School to give rise to innovative programming. As an example, our approach to internationalization and community engagement could fit within a School of Liberal Education. Faculty and staff who are engaged in study abroad, experiential learning, integrated experience programs, cooperative and applied studies, or service learning are already ahead in this regard. Implementing a new framework for liberal education at the University of Lethbridge will be at the core of how we define our future.

Integrating and Collaborating

Given the current and predicted fiscal conditions, it will be important for us to look at ways to integrate and collaborate. We have grown so significantly that, in our rush to keep pace, we have potentially lost important connections in some of the areas

key to moving forward with our vision. We will need to become more integrated and unified in our finance, marketing and communications efforts. Working together across the academy will be important as we move to reach our potential. Indeed, our budget review initiated this past year is a significant step towards achieving collaboration across units and Faculties. Discussions regarding the elements of structure that I have identified will require cooperation across both academic and non-academic units. Information Technology is critical to our future and thus, in an ever-changing context, we must develop a service-focused integrated model of IT management. We must ensure the student experience is not hampered by a lack of collaboration across units and campuses. Only by working together will we achieve our preferred future. Collaboration must be a defining characteristic of U of L business. Not only is it important that we build our internal community, we must also maintain and grow the strong connections that we have developed with the external communities that we serve. We have been committed to building a university culture that promotes social responsibility and community engagement. Just as liberal education is at the core of Alberta’s destination university, community engagement will be developed as a way to enhance the quality of our academic experience. Faculty and staff who are engaged in integrated experience programs, cooperative and applied studies, or service learning are helping build this vision. This is important work that must be continued and expanded throughout the curriculum to inspire all students to understand their role as citizens. Though we are already actively engaged with our communities, a more intentional strategy and investment will make this a critical component of our reputation as a destination university. Students will graduate from the University of Lethbridge having had a uniquely personal community experience. Community engagement will be another defining attribute of the University.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

I firmly believe that the time has come for us to differentiate ourselves within the post-secondary landscape. The attributes I have outlined are the beginnings of a path forward to embody our vision as Alberta’s destination university. This open letter marks the beginning of what I hope will be a valued dialogue. Beginning in Fall 2012, the University of Lethbridge Strategic Planning Committee will consult the University and broader community on achieving our vision, summarize its findings, and craft the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan for recommendation to our governing bodies. I am looking forward to both formal and informal opportunities for discussion and encourage all members of our community to participate. We will continue to address and implement the priorities that move our institution forward. Our University has made tremendous gains over the past 45 years. We have earned the right to be proud of who we are and what we have achieved. We are Alberta’s Destination University.

Michael J. Mahon President & Vice-Chancellor


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

Dr. Zen Faulkes with one of his Amazon Crayfish.

DR. ZEN MAKES HIS PITCH

H

BY TREVOR KENNEY e’s got a cool name, a quirky video, is plugged into social media and is looking for your support. It might not sound like a pitch for a scientific study but Dr. Zen Faulkes (BSc ’89) is like any other researcher – he’s just found a new way to grab your attention. Faulkes, an associate professor of biology at The University of Texas-Pan American, has just concluded his second SciFund Challenge fundraising project through the crowd-funding site rockethub.com. On each occasion, Faulkes earned enough donated cash to fund his projects, which involve the behavioural characteristics of crayfish and sand crabs. “It’s a concept that every charity has been using for years,” says Faulkes, whose interest in aquatic species was cultivated at the U of L by Dr. Jennifer Mather (psychology). “It’s pretty simple, get everybody to kick in a small amount of cash and then pool the money for a common aid.” It’s a model that has been adopted with great success by artists, and one that science is just beginning to test. “It is an ideological change in that there has been some resistance to self promotion to people outside of your professional community,” says Faulkes of the public pitch concept. “It’s not a change in that pretty much every scientist is going to tell you the importance of self promotion, networking and getting your work out there. The only difference is a slight shift in target.” Faulkes uses an Indiana Jones-themed video in one of his pitches (Doctor Zen and the Amazon Crayfish Civilization) and admits it is offbeat. “It’s goofy, quite intentionally so, but that’s just me and I’m not pretending that my approach is going to be the right approach for everyone,” he says, adding that people don’t necessarily have to understand your science to

fund it, rather they might just follow it because it’s cool. “That’s something I think we have undervalued in the past. People will support stuff just because they think it’s cool,” he says. “I think that has been highly underestimated, the willingness of people to support things just because.” Originally from Lethbridge, Faulkes moved around a lot as a kid before eventually returning to take his undergraduate studies at the U of L. He credits Mather for setting him on his career path, when he simply expressed an interest in the pending arrival of some octopuses for one of her studies. “I was just talking to her about class and she mentioned she was getting some octopuses in and I made the mistake of saying, “That sounds interesting”, and suddenly the door closed behind me and before I knew what was going on, she had recruited me,” he laughs. She later nominated Faulkes for a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant and he was on his way. That opportunity to participate in research as an undergraduate student would shape his studies years later. “I’m in a university that has, in some ways, a similar kind of mindset to the U of L,” says Faulkes. “It has graduate studies but is still mostly an undergraduate institution, and people wondered how I could conduct studies without doctoral students at my disposal. I told them I came from a place where you can work with undergraduate students and have a research career and you can do research that’s the equal of any place in the world. That’s one of the things I learned from the University of Lethbridge.” Faulkes will head to Florida in November to conduct his research funded by the SciFund Challenge. His website at doctorzen.net details his studies, while his SciFund projects can be viewed at www.rockethub.com.

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Shelley Scott (BA ’86) is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dramatic Arts. She served as the department Chair from 2008-2011 and was the president of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) from 2008-2012. Shelley teaches courses in theatre history, Canadian theatre, theatre theory and dramatic literature. Scott has published two books: The Violent Woman as a New Theatrical Character Type: Cases from Canadian Drama (2007, The Edwin Mellen Press) and Nightwood Theatre: A Woman’s Work is Always Done (2010, Athabasca University Press).

What first piqued your interest in your research discipline?

When I was an undergrad here at the U of L (1982-86), I acted in many of the department’s productions and thought of myself as a theatre practitioner. I spent some time after university working for the Alberta Status of Women Action Committee (ASWAC), which, at that time, was the provincial feminist lobbying organization, and thought of myself as a feminist activist. But when I started graduate work at the Drama Centre in Toronto, I found the right combination: as a theatre scholar, I could study and write about plays by women and make my contribution to both feminism and Canadian theatre within the academy, the place I feel most at home. I now occasionally direct plays for the department, which in turn feeds my thinking about theatre and sparks ideas for publications. For example, after directing Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), I delivered a conference paper about my analysis of that play; that paper was published in an academic journal, which was later included in an anthology of articles about Canadian productions of Shakespeare, and then finally formed a portion of one of the chapters in my book about Nightwood Theatre, where the play first premiered.

How is your research applicable in “the real world”?

In terms of the publication, a lot of the value is simply in recording and preserving theatre activity, which is, by its very nature easily lost. A company

10

Dr. Shelley Scott investigates the realm of women’s theatre.

such as Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre, which has been around since 1979, serves as an incredible reflection, not only of all the plays that have been produced and of the artists that have worked on them, but also of the changes in feminist thought and the social realities that shape a women’s theatre company.

What is the greatest honour you have received in your career?

Serving as the president of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research for four years has been a great honour. CATR is the national organization for theatre scholars and practitioners: it’s a veritable “who’s who” of Canadian theatre academics, and it’s a great privilege to consider these people my friends and colleagues. Our annual conferences are packed with the very best scholarship, and I always leave inspired and energized about the state of our discipline.

How important are students to your research endeavours?

I love the opportunities I have to direct because they allow me to interact with students in a different way, outside of the classroom and in an arena where they are contributing their creativity and ideas to a collaborative effort in a really interactive environment. Because I teach the history and theory courses for the department, I get to know the students in an intellectual and

academic way, which is very exciting and rewarding. But the chance to work on a play together helps me to see other sides of them (and they see other sides of me!) and that in turn informs both my teaching and my perspective on writing about theatre. I think that, in the Fine Arts in particular, the interrelationship between teaching and research is fundamental.

If you had unlimited funds, which areas of research would you invest? On a personal level, I would love to travel and see more theatre and learn about women’s theatre companies all around the world. I am going to a women playwright’s conference in Stockholm this summer, and that’s the kind of international event I’d like to be able to explore more often. In terms of creative activity, I would build a new Fine Arts building here on campus, one with all the fabulous theatre facilities and studio space we could imagine – plus accessible parking! Each month, the Legend presents 5 Questions With . . . one of our researchers. For a look at the entire catalog of 5 Questions With . . . features, check out the Office of Research Services website at www.uleth.ca/research/ research_profiles. If you’d like to be profiled, contact Penny Pickles at pickpj@uleth.ca


J U N E 2 012

|

the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Govier recognized with CAFA academic award

W

hile some kids brag that their dad is a firefighter or their mom is a radio host, Dr. Trudy Govier’s daughter used to proudly tell her friends that her mom was a freelance philosopher – certainly not a job description you hear every day. Govier’s career as a philosopher spans more than 40 years. She has published seven editions of a textbook on practical logic and has written or edited 11 books on philosophical issues ranging from trust and forgiveness to transitional justice and conflict resolution. “I’ve done a lot of things because I’ve had a long career, but I also have broad interests,” says Govier. Those broad interests have clearly paid off. Govier was recently chosen to receive the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Association’s (CAFA) 2012 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award. The annual CAFA Awards are specifically designed to honour excellence and raise awareness of the many ways in which the scholarly or creative work of university academic staff members serves the wider community outside the university. In 2005, Govier shifted her focus from freelancing to academia and accepted a role as a professor at the University of Lethbridge, giving philosophy students the opportunity to liter-

ally learn first-hand from the author of their textbook. “Professors should also be researchers because knowledge is constantly changing, different problems come in and new solutions are proposed,” says Govier, explaining the crucial connection between teaching and research. “If people are teaching at a university level but they’re not doing research, they might become completely out of touch with new developments.”

“Professors should also be researchers because knowledge is constantly changing.”

DR. TRUDY GOVIER

While Govier has been a part of the local academic community for a mere six years, she has made many contributions including organizing free lectures at the Lethbridge Public Library, as well as starting weekly Philosophy Cafes at the Penny Coffee House and later the Round Street Cafe. “People appreciated the

opportunity to just get out there and have a serious conversation,” says Govier. Although Govier will retire from the U of L in December, she has no plans to slow down just yet. She plans on returning to her freelance roots, with a book contract already in place with Broadview Press. The book, due to be completed by fall 2013, will look at various ethical issues related to victims. Govier explains the word “victim” has become somewhat of a catch-all term, being used widely to describe everything from victims of cancer to tsunamis to robberies. What’s more, its use often puts such victims in passive roles. From Govier’s point of view, our culture has moved from a state where we generally ignored victims to one where we now give them an elevated status that merits an almost heroic position in society. “My suspicion is that in our recent efforts to not neglect victims, we sometimes have gone to the other extreme and sort of made inferences that victims are completely innocent of everything in all contexts and that they have a level of authority based on their suffering and should receive extra attention. I think this is problematic,” explains Govier. While the research may sound, well, philosophical, it has a wide range of practical

Dr. Trudy Govier’s latest book will be released in fall 2013.

implications. “It is a topic that people run into all the time. It’s related to how we, as a society, manage a number of ethical issues,” says Govier. “You often see implications of this aspect of victimization in the closure of legal proceedings, in peace processes such as those in South Africa, or in public issues like those related to residential schools or sexual abuse cases.” While there is a lot of research on victims, there is little to none from a philosophi-

ENGAGING YOUTH IN SCIENCE EARNS KOTHE CIHR HONOUR BY BOB COONEY Dr. Ute Kothe (chemistry and biochemistry) has taken her infectious enthusiasm for science and research to a whole new level as the recipient of a national award recognizing her efforts to expose young people to science education and career possibilities. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) recently announced Kothe as the winner of its 2012 Synapse Mentorship Award – Individual Researcher. The award, which is worth $5,000, is one of three handed out nationally – and the U of L’s first. It recognizes the efforts of a health researcher who has made exceptional efforts to promote health research among Canada’s students. In addition to teaching

and operating a busy lab, Kothe created the Bridges to Science program as a way to promote science literacy among Canadian high school students, provide hands-on science workshops and complement established school curriculum. She then linked that with Let’s Talk Science, a national science outreach organization, so that Bridges to Science could reach all Canadian youth. In 2010-11 alone, the program reached 20 high schools and more than 550 students. “It is important for today’s researchers to take some time to pass along their knowledge to Canadian youth,” says Dr. Jane Aubin, CIHR’s chief scientific officer and vice president of Research and Knowledge Translation Portfolio. “Dr. Kothe deserves this

Dr. Ute Kothe has been instrumental in driving the University’s youth science outreach efforts.

Synapse mentorship award for her dedication to helping Canadian students both understand and appreciate the value of science. This may ultimately help them choose career paths that will make them scientific leaders of tomorrow.” Kothe has also worked with Operation Minerva, judged numerous science fairs, and is the

11

science advisor to the local Girl Guides of Canada unit. Kothe is also a key oranizer for the annual RiboWest conference (June 10-13) aimed at RNA (ribonucleic acid) researchers who are gathering in Lethbridge to learn about the latest research in this discipline. Not only has the work of Kothe and her student team been

cal standpoint. Govier admits that it is somewhat of a difficult topic, but she has never been one to shy away from the challenge of doing her own thing. “I don’t think I’m going to win friends by doing this research, but I’m interested in it,” says Govier. “I tend to like topics where you can see there are a lot of problems, but there’s not a lot of attention given to it. You can make more of a contribution to society then.” Govier will receive her CAFA award in September.

recognized through repeated requests from schools, their efforts have also been the subject of a masters thesis research project on student learning and engagement. Kim Orr, a veteran high school teacher who also serves as an instructor to teacher candidates at the U of L, says she has observed first-hand how Kothe shares her passion for education through her involvement in youth programs. “My research showed that student learning improved at all academic levels, but a greater impact was seen in low-achieving students,” says Orr. “The learning gains included scientific skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and lab skills. Regardless of their academic ability, students were engaged by the hands-on activities and expressed their excitement about the program.”


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

Student success at the heart of RRIP project BY HEIDI MACDONALD Providing students with the tools and resources for success is at the heart of the Student Success Subject Matter Team (SMT), which was formed as part of the Recruitment Retention Integrated Planning (RRIP) project. Focus groups with students, faculty and student service resource departments identified a wide variety of needs and created a number of recommendations for increasing academic support for students. Tutoring was the most common recommendation, and not just within a discipline but also for developing students’ academic skills, including effective studying, note taking and time management. The team recommended three related items: a pilot tutoring program, expanded learning strategist services and a revitalized writing centre. The Academic Writing Program and the Department of Biological Sciences participated in the spring 2012 pilot tutoring project and designed programs they felt would best serve their students. About 240 students from WRIT 1000 were offered weekly, apprentice-style workshops that encouraged student initiative, while the Department of Biological Sciences offered the 200 students enrolled in BIOL 1010 a combination of study skills and review sessions. In both instances, students whom instructors considered at risk of failing or withdrawing were

offered one-on-one sessions with peer tutors. Once completed, students were asked to evaluate the two pilot tutoring programs. Eighty percent of biology students who participated found the sessions useful, and data showed that these students also achieved higher mid-term grades than those who did not attend. As well, a higher percentage of students successfully completed BIOL 1010 in the spring semester compared to the previous spring when no formal review sessions were offered. The study skills sessions were also well received by BIOL 1010 students. Attendance at these sessions was 85 per cent of the class enrollment, with 98 per cent of those rating the sessions as useful. Feedback from academic writing students was also overwhelmingly positive. “Students seemed to enjoy the opportunity to meet informally, outside of the classroom, to discuss concepts from Writing 1000 with instructors, tutors, and their peers and to put their rhetorical skills into practice in a workshop format,” says Dr. Cliff Lobe, co-ordinator of the Academic Writing Program. “The workshops gave students another forum in which to develop as academic readers, writers and thinkers.” Based on such positive student feedback, the tutoring programs will return for the fall 2012 semester. “It’s important that we connect with our students early in the term and make them aware

of these sessions before anyone becomes discouraged or disengaged,” says Dr. Roy Golsteyn, associate professor of biological sciences. “Most students will benefit from review sessions, because they offer a new way of hearing lecture material and an engaging environment in which to ask questions.” The pilot tutoring program will be expanded in the fall with the addition of courses from management, health sciences and possibly fine arts. It should be noted that some departments, including mathematics and computer science have been running effective tutoring programs for several years, and much can also be learned from their success. In addition to the need for discipline specific tutoring, the Student Success team identified a need for supporting students to become more effective learners. As a result, a full-time learning strategist, Jennifer McArthur, was hired to assist students in both individual and group settings to learn skills such as time management, reading a textbook effectively and preparing for exams. The third prong of the SMT recommendations was to revitalize the writing centre. A full-time writing centre director, aligned with the Academic Writing Program, will be hired over the summer to address this need. Heidi MacDonald is the Leader of the Student Success SMT

The Relay For Life team “Fiat Lux” recently spent a sleep deprived and chilly 24 hours raising funds for cancer research. Pictured, first row from left are: Helen Wolfe, Deirdre Coburn, Anne Baxter, Leslie Gatner and Joanne Des Roche. Second row from left: Marilyn Lamb, Katharine Winter, Joyce Eves and Kathy Schrage. Third row from left: Yale Belanger and Wim Chalmet. Missing is Tammy Belanger. The group has raised more than $60,000 over the past seven years and hopes to meet its $12,000 goal this year. You can donate online, anytime at www.convio.cancer.ca and click on the Relay for Life headline.

12

|

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

LIBRARY TAKES GOYA’S WORDS TO HEART WITH TFDL TOUR BY JESSE MALINSKY I Am Still Learning is the title of a sketch by Francisco de Goya (1746–1828). These words adorn a plaque near the west entrance to the Library Information Network Centre (LINC). Goya’s words serve as both inspiration and a reminder that after more than 45 years, the library still has lessons to learn – striving to be a dynamic environment that adapts to meet the needs of the University community. Library staff members are continually looking for ideas and inspiration that can be purposed to suit our own user’s needs. Recently, the staff ventured to the University of Calgary to tour the new Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL). The TFDL was formally opened in October 2011 to much fanfare in the library community and stands as a model for libraries to come. Design aesthetics aside, the TFDL is committed to improvement as they continue to modify and redesign space to serve users. The library is already adding study carrels and changing group workroom furniture in response to the needs and demands of its clientele. The U of L staff was treated to three distinct tours geared at highlighting the various aspects of the TFDL’s environment and services. These included general, services and technologies tours, all of which were tailored to meet the interests of our staff. “The tour really gave our staff a glimpse of what a true 21st century learning space can be,” says Brenda Mathenia, associate University librarian. “The entire concept revolves around flexibility (demountable walls and multi-use spaces) and ubiquitous access to technologies.

The focus is on students and the technologies and tools they need, and expect to use, as they learn, share and ultimately create new knowledge and expertise. It’s an exciting place to be!” The new library concept offers a veritable playground of advanced and accessible technologies. Media equipped workrooms and interactive touch panels offer just a glimpse of the technological advances. A unique “visualization room” features a floor-to-ceiling/wallto-wall high definition screen that can be utilized by astronomers, geologists and statisticians to visualize and analyze data in new ways. “It’s a great example of technology being incorporated into a building right from the design phase to meet the changing needs of users,” says Allan Gergel, the library’s information systems supervisor. “We were also provided a behindthe-scenes look at the building’s infrastructure, which is key to delivering relevant technologies and future expansion.” One of the highlights on the services tour included an overview of the Learning Commons Service Desk, where patrons can borrow resources and get research assistance in one location, meaning no more wandering between desks looking for help. Taking advantage of an opportunity to view a technology-rich educational facility such as the TFDL can only help U of L library staffers as they continue to search for ways to improve the client experience at the University of Lethbridge Library. Taking a lead from Goya, the library continues to evolve because regardless of how old we get, we are still learning. Jesse Malinsky is the supervisor, Access Services, for the University of Lethbridge Library

Five members of the Fox family all crossed the stage at Spring 2012 Convocation. Two sisters, Jenny and Jacinta Fox, along with two of Jenny’s daughters (Jessica and Amanda) and niece Samantha, made the Thursday, May 31 Convocation celebrations very special. The “Fox Five” graduated with MEd degrees in the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Curriculum Leadership Program. Pictured (L to R) are: Jessica Fox, Amanda Fox, Jacinta Fox, Jenny Fox and Samantha Fox.


H E A LT H

& wellness

Heart Smart Challenge establishes record BY SUZANNE MCINTOSH

T

he 8th Annual Heart Smart Physical activity Challenge concluded on June 10 and once again has superseded the year before. A ton of credit must be heaped on the exceptional IT Web Team members who brainstormed and worked so hard to develop a new web application for the challenge. Special thanks to Josh Schroeder, Trevor Flexhaug, Dan Koehler, Brian Lutchmeesingh, Jay Macdonald, Tanya Plonka and Michael Warf for your dedication and creativity! Walk, Run, Swim, Cycle, Be Active was our call to action, with the goal of promoting physical activity and improved health the result. We set a new record for participation with a total of 205 people registered on 20 teams. It was also great to see the University’s Calgary Campus (Calgary Fitness Felines) join in this year as well.

The prizewinners to date included:

Early Bird - Sandy Wiest of the Library Lollygaggers Week 1 - Joanne Williams of the Health Science Heelers 2.0 Week 2 - Ed de Bruin of the Facilities Fitnatics Week 3 - Donna Butterwick of the Rezzors on Edge, Doris Kostiuk of the Library lollygaggers

The Week 3 Top Performers were:

Walking: Doris Kostiuk with 268,241 Beat Points Running: Richard Perlow with 101,950 Beat Points Rowing: Lynette Harty and Renae Hougen each with 7,500 Beat Points Swimming: Daniel Sudo with 109,375 Beat Points Cycling: Kevin McFadzen with 83,250 Beat Points Team Sport: Trish Jackson with 84,750 Beat Points Yoga: Christine Picken with 15,750 Beat Points Weight Training: Deirdre

Coburn with 36,000 Beat Points Other Physical Activity: Sharon Kanashiro with 108,000 Beat Points

The Week 4 Top Performers were: Trevor Flexhaug of the FitBits

The Week 5 Top Performers were: Miranda Abild of the Holy Walkamolies

The Weekly Challenges, after which participants were awarded badges for participation, proved to be very successful. This has personally encouraged me to ride my bike to work – something I have wanted to do for years but finally this pushed me over the edge to get my butt in gear (literally)! Let me know what you thought of this year’s challenge and if you have any suggestions for next year.

Workshop: Better Choices, Better Health

Do you have a chronic condition like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, chronic pain, obesity or other? Better Choices, Better Health is a unique six-week workshop that will help you to take control of your health. This workshop is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed at Stanford University, which has been successfully implemented throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. Peer support and the opportunity for self-education on practical skills to manage chronic health problems are key components within the Better Choices, Better Health workshop. Empowerment of participants is encouraged to build self-confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Alberta Health Services staff and/or trained peer volunteers,

many of whom also live with a chronic disease, lead the Better Choices, Better Health Workshop. This approach ensures an understanding of the challenges participants face and provides a supportive and welcoming environment. The program is delivered free of charge and courses run throughout the year. For more information or to register, call Building Healthy Lifestyles at 403-388-6654 or 1-866-5066654. Our June Wellness Lunch and Learn (Tuesday, June 19 in AH100, 12:05 to 1 p.m.) is titled Gardening in Southern Alberta. The session features a presentation by Erich Dyck of the Country Blooms Garden Centre and is co-sponsored by the Campus Roots Co-operative Garden Association. As always, I look forward to any comments, suggestions or questions! Suzanne McIntosh is the University’s wellness co-ordinator

WHIFFEN LOOKS TO BRING STANDARDIZATION TO FIRST AID PROGRAM BY TREVOR KENNEY The University of Lethbridge is, in effect, its own bustling city. As such, it has all the infrastructure of what’s expected in a small metropolis. The ability to not only deal with but also manage first aid situations is an essential service that has been entrusted to First Aid Co-ordinator Jacquie Whiffen RN (BA ‘10). The nursing program alumnus has been in her role for just over a year now and during that time has been working to understand the current first aid landscape with the goal of establishing a program that will standardize and further publicize a co-ordinated program. People have been dealing with first aid situations in their own areas for years but overall co-ordination of all aspects has not been emphasized. “Departments on campus each have their own way of recording incidents and it makes tracking of first aid issues less cohesive,” says Whiffen. “Streamlining the process will aid in communication of key problems and aid in ensuring our overall safety.” Much of her work in the first year has been in terms of an audit, including the creation of a grid that details how many employees are on campus at any given time, day or night. She’s also been trying to determine just who on campus has been trained in first aid and whether they need to be

Jacquie Whiffen sorts through a campus first aid kit, auditing its contents so that it will be stocked and ready for a possible first aid situation.

recertified. Much of her summer work will consist of finding and charting where all the first aid kits exist on campus, then going through them to see if they are properly stocked. “One of the main things we’d like to try and do in the fall is to present a first aid aware-

ness campaign to the University community so everyone is aware of how to respond to and report first aid situations or issues,” says Whiffen. “The idea isn’t to come in and change everything. If it’s working, why fix it? Occupational Health and Safety Code has strict requirements for first aid in any

13

workplace and we strive to both meet and exceed requirements to ensure everyone’s well-being.” Whiffen is originally from Tumbler Ridge, B.C. and worked in a variety of administrative support roles, always telling the people around her that one day she would become a nurse. After giving birth to her first daughter, she decided it was time to finally make that dream a reality and she enrolled at Lethbridge College, putting her on the path to completing her nursing degree at the U of L. When she saw the opportunity to return to the University after working for two years as a nurse in a variety of roles, she jumped at the chance. “I loved being here as a student, and for a nurse building a first-aid program presents a great challenge,” she says. “I like to be challenged and this as an opportunity to grow professionally. It is great to be part of a place that people look out for each other and provide support when an individual faces a health concern.” As for first aid crises she faces at the U of L, Whiffen, who is based out of the Health Centre, says she sees everything. “Nurses at the Health Centre see everything from cuts and bee stings to chronic disease related issues such as seizures or low blood sugar, as well as sports related injuries and slips and

falls,” she says. “In this position, I am looking forward to working with the University community to ensure people’s first aid needs are met.”

G E T T H E FA C T S • Whiffen is expecting her

second child and will go on maternity leave in the fall

• Her parents moved from

Tumbler Ridge to Elkford, B.C. some years ago, leading her to look at southern Alberta as a possible location to eventually go to school

• Whiffen appreciated

the learning model in the nursing program. “I felt a lot of autonomy being here at the University, there was a lot of freedom to shape my own education. You’re given direction but you are also treated and respected as an adult and as an equal. I really think students appreciate that.”

• For all questions related

to first aid training or policies, contact Whiffen at jacquie.whiffen@uleth.ca


the Legend

J U N E 2 012

|

Lapadat breaks ground on student role BY TREVOR KENNEY

B

eing in on the ground floor is a comfortable position for Dr. Judith Lapadat, the University’s first associate vice-president (students). It should serve her well as the University carves new ground with a position dedicated to student success and enhancing the student experience.

“The University is going through a renewal process when it comes to our view of students.”

DR. JUDITH LAPADAT

“I had an opportunity to start with the University of Northern British Columbia when it was just a hole in the ground in 1993,” says Lapadat, a native of Smithers, B.C. “I did a lot of program development and building during those first 11 years in Prince George and that’s one of the things that really intrigues me about this position, the opportunity to be involved in building and developing something new.” Reporting to the vicepresident (academic), Lapadat will oversee the Registrar’s Office and Student Services. By creating the role, the U of L is making a major step forward as it continues to devote resources

to better serving its students. “There’s a big gap between talking about it and actually doing it,” says Lapadat of the pledge to continually enhance the student experience. “There is a long history of very good services for students here but the University is going through a renewal process when it comes to our view of students and how to serve them better. At present, student services are somewhat fractured and spread all over the place.” Lapadat sees a great opportunity to better co-ordinate these services, to consolidate them so that students have a one-stop shopping experience and to build communication bridges between Faculties and departments responsible for student services. “I think it needs some renewal, probably because it was designed for a much smaller student body. It’s almost as if it has grown organically and now it’s time to take another look at how we best meet the needs of students 20 or 30 years after that original conception.” Lapadat’s experience at UNBC had her involved in developing the School of Education, masters’ degree programming, and the Bachelor of Education program. When she later took on the role of Chair of UNBC’s Northwest Region, her emphasis was placed on student service needs, blended learning and developing a broad array of communitybased programs. She worked closely with marginalized student groups and had the opportunity to develop relationships

Dr. Judith Lapadat is the University’s first associate vice-president (students).

between multiple campuses. “I’m really interested in the development of the University’s northern campuses,” says Lapadat. “Having come from a regionalized university, I have a good sense of how that can work and be effective. I also want to reach out to students who haven’t been as large a component of the student body, such as international students, aboriginal students, and mature learners, and to help expand graduate student enrollment.” She has been charged with a broad portfolio, and it’s one she’s excited to tackle. She’s also enthused about living in Lethbridge and the possibilities it holds. An accomplished

James Graham, left, and Dr. Dan O’Donnell work on scaffolding to document the intricacies of a 7th century cross.

Cross to make it more accessible to researchers worldwide. When the process is completed the artifact will be visible in three dimensions and with enhanced details. The cross is an important Anglo-Saxon artifact, and

COOKBOOK TO BENEFIT SU FOOD BANK BY ABBY GROENENBOOM

O’DONNELL, GRAHAM BRING 3D IMAGING TO ANCIENT CROSS A unique 7th century cross with some of the earliest examples of the English language engraved on it will soon be more visible than ever, thanks to University of Lethbridge researchers and an international team of 3D imaging experts. Dr. Dan O’Donnell (English) James Graham (new media) and graduate student Heather Hobma, accompanied by a team of Italian technicians with 3D imaging equipment, recently visited the small village of Ruthwell, Dumfriesshire, located just north of the England/Scotland border, to photograph and digitally render the 18-foot-tall Ruthwell

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

contains numerous symbols, biblical scenes, quotations and images on all sides of its surfaces. Germanic runes and some of the earliest known examples of the English language are also inscribed. Some sculptural elements

14

painter and poet, Lapadat sees inspiration in the landscape. “It does intrigue me,” she says. “The years that I lived in Regina I was quite actively painting and this area offers a lot of opportunities.” She and her husband have a blended family of five children, the youngest of which is their 18-year-old son who is in Lethbridge for the summer and entering his second year of studies in the fall. “I’m happy to join the University of Lethbridge,” says Lapadat. “I’ve been impressed with the people. They have a huge commitment to this university and it’s an exciting environment to come into.”

were added to the cross in the 10th century, while the timeline for other engravings is unknown. Over the centuries, the cross has been destroyed and rebuilt, and now rests in a specially constructed space in the Ruthwell church. To get their equipment in place, the group had to erect scaffolding, use a lot of bubble wrap, and have the co-operation of numerous groups and heritage preservation organizations to gain access to the church and the cross. While there, the team presented its research to the community, and was the subject of numerous media queries. Catherine Karkov, the head of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds (UK) worked with the group on the project. Karkov is a widely published and respected researcher who specializes in early medieval and Anglo-Saxon art.

The University of Lethbridge Bookstore has embarked on a fundraiser for the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Food Bank. The bookstore is putting together a cookbook, which will feature a collection of U of L staff and faculty recipes. The cookbook will be published on campus and all proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the Students’ Union Food Bank. The SU Food Bank helps hundreds of students each year deal with food insecurity issues, allowing them to focus on their academic priorities. The Students’ Union understands the financial constraints involved with earning a university education and has implemented this service so that students do not go hungry. Food hampers are available in both single and family sizes, and are designed to last about a week. Students, staff and faculty are all eligible to receive food hampers. An individual is able to obtain a food hamper once every two weeks, limited to a total of 10 hampers throughout their entire academic career. The food bank is a limited resource because it is a not-forprofit, volunteer run organization that depends entirely on donations to operate. “The food bank has proven to be an essential service to U of L Students and we are always so grateful for the continued support from the University community, as well as the Lethbridge community, in order to continue to meet students’ needs,” says Armin Escher, ULSU president. Any staff or faculty member who would like to contribute to the cookbook can submit their favourite recipes to the bookstore via e-mail (bookstore@uleth.ca) by June 20. “We, at the University Bookstore, are very excited about the launch of our new fundraising initiative for our Students’ Union Food Bank,” says Rebecca Colbeck, U of L Bookstore. “This campus is a community, and it is important that we all work together and support one another. The cookbook will give faculty, staff and students the opportunity to share some great family recipes and really make a different to those in our community.” The cookbook will be available to faculty, staff, students and the general public to purchase in the Fall 2012 at the U of L Bookstore.


J U N E 2 012

|

the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Alumni earn spots in Oh Canada exhibition BY CHRISTINA CUTHBERTSON (BFA ’05)

O

h, Canada is the largest exhibition of contemporary Canadian art to ever take place in the United States. Among the 62 artists included are three graduates of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Artists David Hoffos (BFA ’94), Mary-Anne McTrowe (BFA ’98) and Daniel Wong (BFA ’03) travelled to North Adams, Mass. at the end of May for the opening of the exhibition. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is known globally for showing the very best art of our time. Occupying a vast network of 19th century factory buildings, MASS MoCA’s galleries boast more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space. With a strong focus on new art, the museum has become a destination for those seeking unique, fresh and challenging encounters with contemporary art. “We think it is an honour to be included in this exhibition, considering Denise Markonish (the curator of Oh, Canada) did more than 400 studio visits in

David Hoffos will show works from his Scenes from the House Dream at Oh Canada this fall.

determining the lineup,” says Wong. Known together as the ‘art-ernative’ folk-rock band The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonoréalistes, McTrowe and Wong have worked collabora-

tively since 2006. They are among the artists who created new works specifically for the exhibition. In addition to performing at the opening of Oh, Canada, the duo released a new album of songs relating to the museum.

“The album features four songs about and related to MASS MoCA: ‘Oh Canada, Oh Canada’ is our interpretation of what a theme song for the Oh, Canada exhibition might be; ‘MASS MoCA’ is about the history of the site that MASS MoCA inhabits; and ‘Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With’ and ‘Truisms’ are about Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and Jenny Holzer, respectively – two artists who have had exhibitions at MASS MoCA. The album cover itself is a riff on Bachman-Turner Overdrive,” explains McTrowe. Though it may come as a surprise to some, Lethbridge is a hotbed for contemporary art production in Canada. “For as long as I’ve lived here, Lethbridge has had strong contemporary artists – people who contend on the national and international stage, so I’m not surprised Lethbridge artists are included in Oh, Canada. In fact, I’m honoured to have been chosen, especially considering there are so many great artists here,” says Hoffos. Hoffos has received widespread national acclaim for his large-scale, multimedia installations. From 2008 to 2011 his exhibition, Scenes from the

House Dream, toured Canada debuting at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) and showing at major institutions across the country, including the National Gallery of Canada. For Oh, Canada, Hoffos presents works from Scenes from the House Dream; a snapshot of his practice representative of his larger body of work. “Oh, Canada is a celebration for the whole country. It’s the first time an exhibition like this has happened south of the border and it’s never happened in Canada either, so it’s a special moment not just for the artists in the exhibition, but also for contemporary art in Canada,” he says. “My hope is that this exhibition demonstrates that cutting-edge contemporary art production can happen anywhere, including Lethbridge.” Oh, Canada opened May 27 at MASS MoCA and is on view until Apr. 1, 2013. For more info: www.massmoca.org Christina Cuthbertson (BFA ’05) is the manager of communications/assistant curator at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery

ROLOFF BENY AWARD WINNERS HAVE BIG PLANS

Play Right prizewinners (l to r): Chelsea Woolley, Makambe Simamba and Cole Olson.

SUCCESS FOLLOWS PLAYWRIGHTS When the 2012 University of Lethbridge Play Right Prize jury dubbed this year’s submissions as some of the best yet, they weren’t exaggerating. All three winners continue to be recognized for their prize-winning entries. “Playwriting is thriving on the U of L campus, and the Play Right Prize is surely a key contributor to this vibrant environment,” says Nicholas Hanson, associate professor of dramatic arts. In February, Makambe Simamba (dramatic arts major) won first prize for her play MUD, which speaks to contemporary Canadian issues in a powerful and poetic way. Second prize went to Chelsea Woolley (history/education) for her script 1000 Names, with rich and vivid characters and timeless, potent themes. Third place went to Cole Olson (dramatic arts/education)

for his play Patriarch, which takes a personal and intimate approach to classic family drama. Recognition of all three plays continues. Recently, the Alberta Playwrights’ Network announced the results of the 46th Annual Playwriting Competition where Simamba’s MUD received the Discovery Prize for emerging playwrights. Woolley also earned a honourable mention in the same category for 1000 Names. These budding playwrights are also finding opportunities to show off their work. Woolley’s play is being produced by TheatreXtra in the 2012-2013 season, while Olson’s Patriarch received a public reading during the 2012 Pretty, Witty & Gay Festival in Lethbridge. For more information on the Alberta Playwright awards visit: www.albertaplaywrights.com

Nicole Lalonde and Arianna Richardson were recently named the winners of the 2012 Roloff Beny Awards. The duo was selected from a group of high quality and competitive applications, earning scholarships of $5,000 each. Lalonde is in her fifth year of an art degree program and is excited about the opportunity the scholarship affords. “Although I typically work with video, both photography and video/film share similar histories and technologies; thus, the distinction between the two is often blurred,” she says. “Additionally, while the moving image offers a medium for my explorations, it builds upon slow transitions – durational in nature – of a fixed image. As I am already working within the realm of photography, I would like to explore this medium further.” Her project will take place in a Red Deer swimming pool, where she will practice different methods used to save a drowning victim. “These maneuvers can appear both serene and hostile. Consequently, the interaction can be seen as both an act of violence and a rescue. This scenario is how I envision a video and photographic work of my twin sister

15

Arianna Richardson and Nicole Lalonde are the 2012 Roloff Beny Awards recipients.

and me,” says Lalonde. Richardson, in her fifth year of an art degree program, has an interest in national, provincial and regional identities. With these interests in mind she is in the process of constructing a personal archive entitled The Hobbyist. “I want to travel to and document nine of the 14 annual fairs occurring in Alberta and Saskatchewan. As an inhabitant of the region, I feel it is necessary to discover how The Hobbyist relates to such goings on,” she says. “To ensure a variety of representation, the locations range from small townships to capital cities. In each location I will attend the opening day parade or the closing day fireworks as well as explore the fairgrounds. The final product is the creation of a travel-guide type document

where all my findings will be recorded and published alongside the release of a photo collection. This will make a significant addition to the archive, adding greatly to the expertise and dynamism of The Hobbyist.” In 2005, the Roloff Beny Foundation endowed $860,000 to the Department of Art to generate ongoing funding for student scholarships and infrastructure costs in traditional and digital photo-arts. In recognition of excellence in art instruction and research, the University of Lethbridge was one of five institutions across Canada selected for such an endowment. Since then, more than $70,000 in scholarships have been awarded to fine arts students, providing research based travel opportunities in conjunction with their studies in photo-arts. The Roloff Beny Foundation Photographic Awards in the Fine Arts provides outstanding fine arts students who have a concentrated interest in photo-arts with a travel opportunity in relation to their photographic activity. Any new or continuing students enrolled full-time in any BFA degree program who have a focused interest in photo-arts are eligible to apply for this competitive award.


images L ASTING

(TOP) Dennis Burton, Monarch, 1958. From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Purchased in 1986 with funds provided by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Endowment Fund (LEFT) Dennis Burton, Banshees, 1992. From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Gift of I. Zucker, 1994 (BOTTOM) Dennis Burton, Coming Out of It, 1972. From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Gift of I. Zucker, 1994

Dennis Burton was born in Lethbridge, Alta. in 1933, and first explored painterly abstraction during his studies at the Ontario College of Art during the 1950s. After practicing painting at both the University of Southern California and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, Burton returned to Canada to work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a senior graphic designer from 1957 to 1960. Throughout his career, Burton taught at art institutions in Toronto, Banff, Vancouver, and at the University of Lethbridge. Though initially recognized for his abstract canvases, Burton rose to artistic fame in the mid-1960s with a controversial series of paintings of the female nude and undergarments. He continued to produce both figurative and abstract works into the 1990s. Burton’s work has been exhibited extensively across Canada and is housed in numerous public and private collections. The artist currently lives in Vancouver.

Profile for University of Lethbridge

The Legend June 2012  

The official newspaper of the University of Lethbridge

The Legend June 2012  

The official newspaper of the University of Lethbridge

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded