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SEPTEMBER 2010

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VOLUME 10

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ISSUE ONE

Campus is bustling again

the UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

President Mike Mahon’s first impressions

Need to find the Nicol family? Check the pool

Helping our international grad students

The annual Welcome Back BBQ, hosted by new University of Lethbridge President Dr. Michael Mahon and his wife Maureen, was busier than ever this year. With record enrolment at the U of L, the campus promises to be a busy place this fall.

Building blocks construct future

Jason Suriano uses gaming to engage kids

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 www.uleth.ca/unews/ legend. Next content deadline is Oct. 1, 2010. 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: Stephenie Karsten CO N T R I B U TO R S: Amanda Berg, Diane Britton, Bob Cooney, Jane Edmundson, Nicole Eva, Abby Groenenboom, Suzanne McIntosh, Kali McKay, Michael Perry, Brent Peterson, Katherine Wasiak and Richard Westlund

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

BY TREVOR KENNEY

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hen Brad Kempster moved to Lethbridge this past summer and started constructing Lego models under the guidance of Dr. Claudia Gonzalez, he was also piecing together his future studies at the University of Lethbridge. Kempster, currently an undergraduate student at Kamloops’ Thompson Rivers University, was alerted by his brother (Cody, BSc ’08, already a U of L student) to a research opening in Dr. Claudia Gonzalez’s kinesiology lab. The ongoing project was the study of right and left hemispheric differences when processing information within the vision for action system in the brain. “As an undergrad, this is a really nice consolidation of what I have learned over the past three years,” says Kempster, a fourth-year BA student with a major in psychol-

Dr. Claudia Gonzalez, standing, observes undergraduate student assistant Brad Kempster as he participates in a Lego building exercise that tests a subject’s visuomotor control.

ogy. “Having taken a number of statistics classes and experimental design classes, to now have the opportunity to come to a university and work with someone who gives you the freedom to design an experiment and implement the knowledge you’ve gained from class has been great.” The research focuses around handedness and the contributions of each cerebral hemisphere to visuomotor integration. It may get at the core of why 90 per cent of the population is right-handed, and just may serve as a future tool to aid rehabilitation techniques for those who suffer right or left hemisphere brain damage. The Lego tests that Kempster and Gonzalez administer are simple in design but offer deep insight into

the workings of the brain. They present subjects with a Lego model, then time the participants as they attempt to reconstruct it from pieces scattered on a table divided into four quadrants. “This is an effective and simple test to assess what hand people prefer to use when reaching out and grasping an object,” says Gonzalez. “What we have found, not surprisingly, is that right-handers use their right hand much more than their left hand, even though some of the objects are on the left side of the table,” she says. “It’s a less efficient movement but we still prefer to reach across rather than to use our left hand to perform the task. CONTINUED ON PG. 2


the Legend

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

OPENMike

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

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elcome to the Fall 2010 Semester and welcome to my first opportunity to address you in the Legend. The name we came up with for this column, Open Mike, represents exactly what I want to accomplish with this space. I see this as a forum where I can open the doors to the Office of the President and speak candidly to you, the faculty, staff and students of the University of Lethbridge. It has been a whirlwind two months since I officially began my role as President of the U of L, and in that time I have learned a great deal about this exceptional institution.

I have talked previously about my initial perceptions of the University, how I was comfortable in the knowledge that it was a strong academic institution with a firm commitment to undergraduate education. I soon learned much more about the innovative research activities and outstanding and emerging graduate opportunities, but there is only so much you can glean from afar. Now that I have had the opportunity to walk the campus and to meet those who make the University engine run, I have gained a whole new appreciation for the U of L and have begun to understand what is the essence of this place – its people.

CAMPUS Emily Warlow, a fourth-year BFA (Dramatic Arts) student majoring in Tech/Design, received the Ray Jolliffe Memorial Scholarship presented by the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge. Established by the Jolliffe Family, the scholarship recognizes the contribution of Mr. Jolliffe in the field of theatre production in Lethbridge. Chai Duncan (Art Technician) and Leila Armstrong’s collaboration, 12 Point Buck, has an exhibition entitled Wild, Wild Life at the Harcourt House Gallery in Edmonton from Sept. 9 to Oct. 9. They are also presenting the Wild Life Sketch Club at the Gallery on Sept. 11. Dr. Rolf Boon’s (Music) System 2.3/7 was presented in Berlin as part of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Elektroakustische Musik at the KlangWelten HörZeit-SpielRaum (July 1) and at the Kulturhaus Mitte (Aug. 21) as part of their international electronic music series. The computer-assisted composition was also presented by the Edmonton ensemble, Mujirushi, with video and dance, on their Smash the Mainstream European tour. Karen Mahar (Dean’s office) has had her paper, To Make Words Sing, Dance, Kiss, and Copulate: Walt Whitman and

Getting the chance to meet the people of the U of L through the Coffee with Mike sessions, as well as the formal and informal meetings I have taken part in, has been illuminating. Talking with you, listening to you and seeing you in your roles as stewards of the institution is truly inspiring. As I’ve come to meet with people throughout the University, I’ve begun to understand the commitment that individuals have to the U of L. Whether it’s professors, researchers, people working in an administrative capacity, those in physical plant, building maintenance or grounds, I am struck by how fundamentally committed every-

kudos

Censorship, accepted for presentation at the Literary Eclectic Graduate Conference at the University of Regina at the end of September. Nicholas Hanson (Theatre & Dramatic Arts) presented a paper on new trends in Canadian improvisation at the Canadian Association of Theatre Research conference in Montreal in July. Dr. Arlan Schultz (Music) has been appointed an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC). As an Associate of the CMC, Schultz’s works will be made available worldwide for loans, sales and/or rentals and promoted through CMC’s website (www.musiccentre.ca), special projects and regional newsletters. Roger Schultz (Theatre & Dramatic Arts), a new fine arts faculty member and U of L alumnus (BFA ’89), has been nominated for a Betty Mitchell Award (Calgary) for Outstanding Costume Design on the production of Toad of Toad Hall at Alberta Theatre Projects. Dr. David Renter (Music) was commissioned to compose a piece for 6-trombones and Jazz rhythm section. The internationally acclaimed JazzBonez, premiered his new piece, Balance of Things, at the 2010 Interna-

tional Trombone Festival in Austin, Tex. in July. The song will also be included in the group’s upcoming CD. One of Renter’s big band compositions was recently included on the University of Saskatchewan Jazz Ensemble’s latest CD entitled “Bumper Crop V/Watercolors.” Dr. Ed Jurkowski (Music) presented his paper, Issues of Harmonic and Formal Coherence in Morton Feldman’s Late Music, at the international music analysis conference entitled Beyond the Centres: Musical Avant Gardes since 1950, hosted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in July. James Graham’s (New Media) research team has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant of $62,400 for the next stage of a collaborative project, The Visionary Cross Project, started in 2006. The project, involves developing a digitally based research system to enable digital humanities researchers from around the world to interact collectively with complex 3D virtual models and databases online and in real-time. The team includes researchers from the U of L, University of Leeds, and Università degli studi di Torino.

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one is to the success of the University and to the experiences of our graduate and undergraduate students. Testament to that success has come in some amazing e-mails I have received from parents who have recently brought their sons or daughters to the U of L. They speak to the supportive and personal approach they’ve encountered progressing through the registration process. These testimonials speak to the level of professionalism and pride that exists throughout the various departments on campus. This is a student-centred University and it is my commitment to maintain that focus as we move forward.

The last two months have also been busy for me in terms of getting to know the southern Alberta community. The U of L connects with its community on so many fronts and maintaining positive working relationships with the City of Lethbridge, local school divisions, media outlets, the Chamber of Commerce, health-care providers and our many other stakeholders is essential. The vibrancy that is the University of Lethbridge is real, and with our students now back, I look forward to an exciting semester of learning and discovery on campus.

COLLABORATION A WIN-WIN CONTINUED FROM PG. 1

“Interestingly, left-handers are not the mirror image of right-handers. Many people who say they are left-handed either use both hands or even their right hand more often than their left to reach and grasp the objects. By doing this task, you get a more accurate idea of their handedness, at least with respect to visuomotor control.” For Kempster, the hands-on research opportunity is invaluable, and upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he expects to come to the U of L and work on a master’s degree under Gonzalez. For Gonzalez and the U of L, the collaboration promises to yield another valuable graduate researcher. “Working with undergraduates is one of the most satisfying experiences a professor can have,” she says. “I’ve been very fortunate to add Brad to my team. Undergrads bring to the lab incredible amounts of energy and enthusiasm and his contributions have been quite significant to my research. “He took a chance to come here and work with me this summer, even

though he has a year of work to do before he finishes his degree. His plans are to come back here next year as a graduate student which is great for me, the department and the University.”

G E T T H E FA C T S • Gonzalez is an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in kinesiology, earning her bachelor’s degree in Mexico before completing both her master’s and PhD at the U of L. • There is no definitive answer as to why people are right- or left-handed. The theory that Gonzalez investigates is that the left hemisphere might be more specialized in visuomotor control, and that’s part of the reason why right-handed use is more prevalent. • Gonzalez says the evolution of a predominant righthanded society could be a chicken-and-egg scenario, asking, “Do we use our right hand more because the left hemisphere is more specialized in integrating visual and motor information, or did the left hemisphere become more specialized for visuomotor control because we are predominantly right-handed?”


SEPTEMBER 2010

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the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Career Fair opening doors

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BY BRENT PETERSON

t has proven to be one of the most important days of the year for some University of Lethbridge students. By the number of corporate clients that choose to participate every fall, it’s obviously a key date on the calendar for them. The University of Lethbridge’s annual Career Fair is the epitome of a win-win situation. Presented by the Career Resources Centre and specifically the Career and Employment Services office, Career Fair runs Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the indoor track of the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness. More than 90 organizations will once again take part in the event, providing U of L students with access to information on careers in government, agriculture, the oil and gas industry, banking, health, human and social services, criminal justice, education, retail fitness and more. A volunteer contingent of up to 70 students helps co-ordinate the one-day career blitz and with ample evidence of past success stories, organizers are confident in saying it’s a must to

attend for students beginning to plan their career path.

CALENDARS SIGNAL START TO UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN

payroll deductions. The Lethbridge United Way started in 1941 under the name “Community Chest” to support a variety of different charitable organizations within the Lethbridge area. That structure is still in place today with the United Way supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge, the Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Family Services and a host of other worthwhile charities. This is the seventh consecutive year the U of L has organized an annual United Way campaign. Since 2006 over $40,000 has been raised from payroll deductions with an additional $15,000 raised through the cash calendar initiative. The Cash Calendar is a fun way to raise money for this worthy cause. Two draws for cash will be made daily

BY RICHARD WESTLUND If I told you there was an opportunity to win money for 30 consecutive days in November, while supporting a worthy community organization in the process – for only $25 – you probably wouldn’t believe it. Cheesy sales pitch aside; the popular United Way Cash Calendars are now on sale. The Cash Calendar initiative is half of a two-part campaign at the University of Lethbridge to raise money for the United Way. Many faculty and staff also choose to donate to the United Way through

FIRST CPTPN CONFERENCE SETS BAR

“In my experience, this is the best fair offered in terms of how well prepared the students are and how well the employers are treated.” WENDY PETERS

“The feedback we get from both students and employers is wonderful,” says Pat Tanaka, director of Career & Employment Services. “So many of our students have started their careers with this fair, and even for those who have no idea what they are planning on doing in the future, it’s a valuable information resource for them to start getting ideas.” Wendy Peters, manager, internships at Alberta Munici-

pal Affairs, has used the Career Fair setting to benefit her organization. “In my experience, this is the best fair offered in terms of how well prepared the students are and how well the employers are treated when they come to campus,” says Peters. Alberta Municipal Affairs has an already established relationship with the U of L’s Geography Department and, combined with their Career Fair presence, received great interest in their internship program for new graduates this past year. A total of 19 students applied, four of whom were hired as interns in the Administrator Program and two others who were accepted to the Land Use Planner program, giving the U of L six interns in total. This year, it’s expected a number of alumni will be back on campus, this time representing employers looking to bring more U of L students on board. Tanaka says they will welcome 18 alumni, with the promise of more to come. “Simply put, it works for both students and employers,” she says.

of those who buy a calendar. The total prize money for the month of November will be $3,500, with an additional $4,000 going to the United Way. Calendars are available for $25 each and can be purchased from the volunteers listed below. Annette Bright, Bookstore; Diane Boyle, Information Technology; Naomi Cramer, CCBN; Shauna Haag, Facilities; Cathy Kanashiro, Faculty of Arts & Science; Doris Kostiuk, Library; Patrick Mack, Human Resources; Karen Mahar, Faculty of Fine Arts; Greg Martin, Printing; Carol Van Dyk, Faculty of Management; Kristine Wall, University Advancement. Along with my co-chair, Barb Erler, I hope that you will support the U of L’s 2010 United Way Campaign.

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The Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) of the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Physics and Astronomy recently hosted the first ever Canadian Prairie Theoretical Physics Network (CPTPN) Conference (Aug. 25-26). The majority of the 40 participants came from different universities across the Canadian prairies, while a few came from much farther away, including Montreal and Taiwan. A total of 28 presentations were made over the course of the two-day event, with four U of L speakers taking the stage. Covering topics that included astrophysics, classical and quantum gravity, mathematical physics and quantum information, presentation titles ranged from “The second known HMXB Black Hole in the Milky Way Galaxy” to “Dynamical Riemannian Geometry and Plant Growth”. The conference proved to be extremely beneficial to all those who took part, providing excellent exposure for the U of L and its physics researchers. It also led to a number of collaborative agreements and promise of future joint efforts. The unique aspect of the conference was that it very much involved students. The format of the event allowed students to meet professors from throughout the prairie universities and learn first-hand about their current areas of research. This is particularly beneficial as it gives students exposure to a variety of programs where they

may continue future research. The majority of the presentations were given by students, allowing for valuable opportunities to showcase research and practice presentations in an informal setting. The CPTPN is a unique network of theoretical physicists and other researchers with interests in theoretical physics. It spans the prairies and looks to remove the logistical restraints its members face from being separated by large distances. The goal is to create a free atmosphere of information exchange without formal institutional constraints. The other primary goal of the network is to enhance the education and experience of research students of theoretical physics on the prairies. Specifically, the possibility of distance learning for graduate classes was discussed, opening the door for students to gain better access to topics not taught at their current institution. The CPTPN was initiated by the efforts of Dr. Dinesh Singh (University of Regina) in collaboration with the TPG at the University of Lethbridge. Considering the benefits of joining the CPTPN, the price is right: free. In the spirit of its formation, it was decided that the only requirement for membership for a non-student is an endorsement from a current member, and for students, endorsement by their supervisor. Brent Peterson is an undergraduate student working with the U of L’s Department of Physics and Astronomy

Lukas Neamtu, left, Lindsey Meredith, centre, and Eric Hawthorne display the bright colours of New Student Orientation. The trio played a big role in running NSO activities this fall, helping new students get off to a positive start at the U of L.


the Legend

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

SOS looking for your support SECURITY SERVICES BEEFS UP ITS WEB PRESENCE

The new website unveiled by Security Services allows users to access everything from the campus emergency plan to the Safe Walk and Working Alone programs.

With the advent of a new semester, University of Lethbridge Security Services is launching a new and improved website to better serve the University community. The site, at www.uleth.ca/security, is designed with the user in mind, meaning it is much more interactive and informative than its previous version. “Our previous website just did not provide the depth of information we need it to provide,” says Director of Security and Parking Services, John O’Keeffe. “This is a much more interactive site that allows you to register for programs such as Safe Walk and Working Alone, while also giving you much more information about the services we offer.” The website is much easier to find than its predecessor and, for the first time, spells out just what people should do in the event of emergency situations that may arise on campus. “We felt this was one of the most important aspects of the website,” says O’Keeffe. “We’ve provided what amounts to a reference guide for a variety of emergencies, something that is easily accessible and allows people to turn to in a time of need. It’s not always easy to think straight during times of crisis, and this is the first time people on campus have had something to refer to if an incident takes place.” The website also highlights two new partnerships entered into by Security Services, with Crime Stoppers and CarPool.ca, respectively. The Crime Stoppers initiative actually debuted in the spring and provides two-way communication concerning crimes and crime information that may affect the University and its community. It has proven to be very successful in enhancing the partnership the U of L has with the Lethbridge Regional Police Service and provides another layer of security on campus. CarPool.ca is a green initiative that supports local carpooling, allowing students the opportunity to find carpool partners in their community. “Many universities across the country have already partnered with CarPool.ca and it is a positive program on many fronts,” says O’Keeffe. “It promotes the idea of less cars on the road, which helps the environment, and also lessens the stress and the costs for those who have to commute to campus.”

Wendy Herbers (top left) is one of many SOS volunteers who helped promote this year’s campaign at the Welcome Back BBQ.

BY KALI MCKAY

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he students are back, and they bring an important reminder: the Supporting Our Students (SOS) campaign is ongoing and is looking for faculty and staff support. “They’re back and they still need our help,” says Wendy Herbers with a smile. “People on campus shouldn’t be surprised that we’re asking them for money.” Herbers, who works in the Faculty of Health Sciences and is a long-time SOS volunteer, has a tongue-in-cheek attitude that makes it easy for her to gain support from her colleagues. That’s not to say it’s easy work to get everyone on board. Herbers, along with the rest of the SOS

volunteers, donned blue t-shirts and moved through a crowded Atrium at last week’s Welcome Back BBQ, promoting the campaign and encouraging faculty and staff to donate. SOS has a strong history of support at the U of L. Since its inception in 2005, this internal annual fundraising campaign has raised close to $1.5 million for student awards, demonstrating that U of L faculty, staff and retirees are the first to stand behind our students. Herbers explains that, for her, supporting student scholarships is also a way to personally support the institution that has given her so much. “I’ve worked at the U of L for over 20 years, and I think that speaks for how happy I am to be here. I give back because, to me, that’s part of

being in a community.” When it comes to encouraging others to contribute, Herbers offers straightforward advice, “If you can afford it, support it. Students are the reason the rest of us are here and we have a responsibility to keep them here.” A total of 243 faculty and staff have already made a gift this year. The goal for the 2010 campaign is to reach 300 contributions, and volunteers are committed to reaching their target. In fact, Herbers is challenging all faculty and staff to take ownership and make a contribution. “SOS is really about participation,” she says. “Contributing to the campaign helps students, but it also creates a sense of community on this campus that we all benefit from.”

“There’s a strong sense of community on this campus, and I’m lucky to be a part of it. I give back to show my thanks.” As the manager of caretaking, Judy Jaeger is responsible for ensuring a clean, safe and attractive campus for students, faculty, staff and our community.

www.uleth.ca/giving/ SupportingOurStudents

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SEPTEMBER 2010

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athletics AT T H E U

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

the Legend

Swimming at the heart of Nicol family

BY TREVOR KENNEY

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arely a day goes by when Dr. Chris Nicol does not have a busy schedule. And yet, in between the phone calls, meetings and deadlines, Nicol makes a point to keep one window of time open for just himself – call it pool maintenance. You’ll find Nicol in the U of L’s Max Bell Aquatic Centre pool nearly every lunch hour, swimming his customary two kilometres before getting back to his duties as dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. Go a little earlier in the day and you’ll likely catch his son, third-year history major, Jeffrey, training with the Pronghorns swim team. It wasn’t too long ago that Nicol’s wife Lorraine, a research associate in the Economics Department and PhD student in water management, was also a pool regular. Swimming has been at the heart of everything the Nicol family has done for the better part of the last 15 years, and with Jeffrey (20) just hitting his prime and younger sister Rachel (17) blowing up on the international scene this past summer, it promises to be a central focus moving forward. “There wasn’t really any grand design to turn them all into competitive swimmers,” Chris says of his children. Don’t forget 19-year-old Alastair, who also swam competitively before turning his focus to music. “At

an early age though, because Lorraine and I were quite often at the pool, it was an obvious family activity to do.” It runs in the genes, as Chris was a highly competitive swimmer in his native Scotland before coming to Canada to compete for Queen’s University while achieving his master’s and PhD degrees. A breaststroker, Chris placed third in the Ontario university championships in the 100m breast and would later win both the 100m and 200m breast events in the inaugural World Masters Games in Toronto in 1985. By the time he met and married Lorraine, they were working at the University of Regina and swimming had become a big part of both of their lives. The kids naturally took to the water and when competitive swimming called, the parents, just as naturally, worked it into their routine. When the couple moved to Lethbridge 10 years ago, Lorraine set aside certain career aspirations and made swimming the focus. She was president of the L.A. Swim Club for four years and a member of the board for a total of six. “For parents who are so connected to their kids through a sport like this, the act of parenting, I think, becomes exceptionally easy,” says Lorraine. “I can’t remember when I’ve ever had an argument with my kids.

G E T T H E FA C T S • Jeffrey made huge strides with the Horns program last season. “From my perspective, he made a major transition and ramped things up to a whole new level,” says Chris, as Jeffrey jumped from top-20 status to top-10 in the national 200m breaststroke rankings. “In terms of where he was last year to this year, he’s gone to another tier on the national scene.” • Rachel exploded as an international star this past summer, winning three medals (gold, two bronze) at the Youth Olympics in Singapore. • Both Jeffrey and Rachel benefit from work with sports psychologists, while Chris and Lorraine have provided the pair with tutors, many of which are Education students at the U of L, to help with schooling. • Chris has been dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science for 10 years. Lorraine, who has two master’s degrees, is currently in her second year of a PhD studying biosystems and biodiversity.

“You spend so much time with them that they know how much we’ve supported their sport. I wouldn’t call them sacri-

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Lorraine Nicol, left, Jeffrey Nicol, centre, and Chris Nicol, right, have been able to balance the demands of both athletics and academics.

fices but if I’d made other career choices, I would not have had that flexibility to spend 30 to 40 hours a week with them and their swimming.” The sport has literally taken them around the globe. Switzerland, Luxembourg, England, Spain, Costa Rica, and just this past summer, Singapore and Hawaii, have all been visited to attend various meets and training camps. “I don’t think we’ve ever taken a holiday that hasn’t been connected to a swim meet,” says Lorraine. All the while, the couple has had to balance their own academic careers and instill a work ethic in their children that speaks to both athletics and studies. “You get efficient at using your time,” says Chris. “These guys have picked up on that, having seen how we operate, in terms of if we have work to do, you get down to it.” Jeffrey, who achieved personal best times in each of his long course swims in Victoria this past spring, says the student-athlete balance isn’t always easy. “I’d say the hardest year was Grade 12 when I really had to bear down and focus on my academics,” he says. “My swimming suffered that year, I didn’t post any best times, but it paid

off in that it got me the marks I needed to get into a good university.” The discipline of elite competitive swimming transfers well into the world of academia. “You don’t always see immediate results in the work you put in,” says Chris. “Sometimes you have to put in a bit more time than you thought but you have to stick at it and not give up. They’ve obviously learned that with swimming. When it comes to the academic side, maybe we have to do a bit more convincing, but I think they’re getting the message.” Whether Rachel keeps tradition alive and comes to the U of L next fall remains to be seen, but with Jeffrey still going strong with the Horns and both Chris and Lorraine busy with their roles at the U of L, expect to see the Nicol family as regulars in the pool area for the foreseeable future. “I can’t even describe how incredible a journey this has been, and it has helped both Chris and I grow as individuals and as parents as well,” says Lorraine. “And to hear them still say, after so many ups and downs and injuries and highs and lows, that they are still excited to swim – I love hearing that, because then we know the journey is just beginning.”


the Legend

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

GLOBAL connections

GRAD STUDENTS GET A LEG UP WITH NEW ENGLISH CLASS BY ERICA LIND

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ndertaking a master’s degree can be daunting for anyone. Not only does it involve extensive research, it requires a great deal of writing – something that’s a challenge for many students. Now try doing it in another language. For international students studying at the University of Lethbridge, working on a master’s thesis can be especially difficult. This summer, a group of 10 international graduate students at the U of L received a little assistance by learning to organize, present and write about their ideas in new and effective ways. All the while, they gained additional insight on everything from finance and statistics to evaluating shards of ancient pottery. Academic English for International Graduate Students ran for the first time this summer as a pilot project. This new class is designed to prepare international students for the challenge of writing literature reviews, theses and other materials throughout their graduate studies. “The purpose of the class is to make the transition to graduate studies as easy as possible for international students,” explains

Eric Low, instructor of the course and consultant at the U of L’s Writing Centre. “The idea is to orient them to the expectations of academic writing in a Canadian university and specifically at the U of L.” Students learn techniques for creating outlines, writing literature reviews, organizing and structuring their ideas and engaging in reader-based writing. They gain an understanding of writing styles and citation styles as well as techniques for thinking critically about their research topics. As much as possible, the class incorporates each student’s individual needs while remaining broad enough to be relevant for all of the students.

“Sometimes international graduate students can lose their way, and this class provides guidance.” MONTSERRAT VILLANUEVO BARBOLLA

“Eric asks us for feedback on our expectations and what we want to learn, and in turn he gives us feedback on what we need to work on,” says Shengchen Huang, one of Low’s students.

With diplomas in hand, this group of international students is better prepared to deal with the rigours of their graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge.

“The personalized approach is extremely helpful,” adds Ghaderpour Ebrahim. “We can go to him anytime for one-onone meetings.” The course’s mandate stays true to the liberal education philosophy of the U of L by allowing students to broaden their minds into different fields of study. “We have students in this class from a wide variety of disciplines – from math to archaeology to health sciences,” says Low. “By discussing their research in class, they not only learn about different areas of research but also help each other see their

research from different perspectives. They can also help each other challenge the constructs surrounding their research questions and hypotheses.” Indeed, the students learn much more than writing. “We’ve gained skills in presentation and discussion, exchanged ideas and gained confidence,” says Thabit Alomari. “We’ve also gained crosscultural communication skills.” The students have formed a close group of friends, reveling in the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures as well as Canadian culture.

“This should be a central course for international graduate students,” says Montserrat Villanuevo Barbolla. “Sometimes international graduate students can lose their way, and this class provides guidance.” Low agrees that the course is an important way to help international graduate students stay on track. “This class is a first step in demonstrating to international graduate students that we care about their well-being, want them to succeed, and that they have access to resources here when they need them.”

OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN ARABIC

SUSPENDED ILLUMINATION

Maintenance worker, Jon Sheppard, scales the interior walls of Markin Hall, working on the office windows for the Faculties of Management and Health Sciences. Sheppard and his team operate from a base of climbing safety and have adapted Occupational Health & Safety standards to their procedures. The men and their spider-like manoeuvres have provided a fascinating diversion for staff throughout Markin Hall.

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A unique opportunity to learn the Arabic language is being offered this fall by the U of L’s International Centre for Students. Spoken Arabic, a free, noncredit course, is open to all students, staff and faculty and will be offered on Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 22 and running through Nov. 17. The course is designed for individuals who have little or no knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic and who are eager to learn Arabic. A graduate student volunteer who has experience teaching the subject will administer the course. There are a limited number of seats available. Those interested in registering for this course can do so by visiting the International Centre for Students located in the Students’ Union Building, Room SU040, or by contacting Jacqueline St. Aubin at 403-329-2053.


SEPTEMBER 2010

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the Legend

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Suriano looks to engage an online generation

Alumnus Jason Suriano is using gaming as a means to enlighten a new generation of kids about science, history and technology.

BY TREVOR KENNEY

G E T T H E FA C T S • Suriano now lives in Edmonton with his wife Jen and their children Ethan (4) and Malcolm (1). • The debut field mission of the game involved facts around the King Tut exhibit at Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York. Officials estimate handing out more than 500 worksheets per week to visiting kids. • Seek Your Own Proof is available for play or purchase at www.seekyourownproof.com • CIE and Seek Your Own Proof have been recognized with several awards including: Grand Prize Winner at the TEC VenturePrize competition in Alberta; Best in Show at the Fusion Digital Media Venture Forum in Vancouver; PitchIt! Winner at KidScreen Summit in New York; and Most Promising Company at the Canadian New Media Awards • Favourite U of L professors of Suriano’s included Dr. Paul Viminitz and Dr. Goldie Morgentaler. “Paul’s Problem of Evil course was very memorable,” he says.

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oming out of high school, Jason Suriano (BA ’01) was focused on the fast track to a law degree. Now, 14 years later, he’s navigating a museum gallery with a group of 10 year-old kids as they banter about video games – and he couldn’t be happier. Recently, Suriano launched Seek Your Own Proof, a new online game at Discoverykids.com. The game targets 6-12 year-olds and follows the story of three investigative siblings – Aidan, Milanie and Heiko Munro – who discover a secret underground agency known as the Central Institute for Exploration (CIE). The teens are quickly drawn into a chase through time and history against enemy agents who are plotting to rewrite the past, change the present and alter the future. Online users can play the game in traditional form but also have the option of taking field missions to real museums and landmarks. After debuting at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York, Suriano brought his game home to the Galt Museum. “To start with, we’re trying to make the history in your backyard the most relevant,” says Suriano.

“It’s neat if kids get a little bit enlightened about their own surroundings. We’re also trying to make it available in as many cities as possible, so that if I take my kids to Calgary or Edmonton on the weekend, a place like the Edmonton Art Gallery is a part of it.”

“Before you work in the technology field, it’s essential to have a grounding in the arts.” JASON SURIANO

Considering Suriano laughs about being one of the last of his generation to begin using a computer, there is no lack of irony in the fact he now designs computer games for a living. “In Grade 12 I was still submitting hand-written essays,” says Suriano, a Catholic Central High School graduate. “I always had a real interest in technology, it was always one of the things that I liked, I just didn’t know how to get into it.” He began his post-secondary career at the University of Alberta but decided to come home to the U of L after one year. It was in Lethbridge that he laid the foundation for his future.

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“I’m a firm believer in the “things-happen for-a-reason” train of thought,” he says of abandoning his legal aspirations. Embracing the liberal arts philosophy at the U of L, Suriano discovered his passion. His humanities focus would then serve him well as he transitioned back to the U of A for a second degree, an MA in Humanities Computing with specialization in comparative literature. “Before you work in the technology field, it’s essential to have a grounding in the arts. Research and writing are keys, particularly with what I’m doing right now,” he explains. “The work I do involves a lot of fact gathering, making sense of blocks of content from museums and distilling it all into worksheets and then online forms.” Once out of school, Suriano began working in the non-profit sector. With both a writing and technical background, he was hard to pigeon hole and found himself working for the Heritage Community Foundation as head of the Educational Learning Objects division. After a stint where he did consulting work for his company, Hotrocket Studios, he and business partners Ken Bautista and Norman Mendoza struck off on their own and the seeds for Seek Your Own Proof were born. Their big break came when they secured Telefilm Canada and Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Telus Funding, one of only two

projects in Canada. It allowed them to flush out the idea and enter it in the Kidscreen PitchIt! Competition in New York, where they won the top prize. “That was the first sign that we were on to something pretty cool,” says Suriano. “The neat thing is that seed idea we came up with in 2005 is still novel now, there’s really not a lot of this going on, especially within our demographic.” Galt Museum executive director Susan Burrows-Johnson says the game is a wonderful way to connect with today’s generation of technologically savvy kids. “Almost no one who works in museums plays games, and everybody under 18 does, so there’s this huge generation gap that we’ve been worried about,” she says. “It’s not that history isn’t interesting to them, because it is, it’s the generation gap around the technology that we need to pay attention to. Kids use different tools in their learning process and that’s the gap we’re trying to bridge.” To come full circle and stimulate learning in his hometown is especially gratifying for Suriano, now a father of two. “I approached the Galt a couple years ago when we were starting this portion of the project, and Susan was very open to it and supportive of the concept,” says Suriano. “It’s great we are now ready to bring it back here in this form.”


the Legend

OUR

alumni

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Flohr uses U of L foundation as springboard BY ROBERT COONEY

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niversity of Lethbridge alumnus Lee Flohr (BSc ’07) took what he called the trip of a lifetime recently to Shanghai, China, rubbing elbows with world-class science journalists and high-profile, Nobel prize winning scientists from Britain and China. Flohr is a former Lethbridge resident who recently graduated from Humber College’s postgraduate broadcast journalism program. He now lives and works in Toronto as a freelance journalist. His work has appeared on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, where he contributed to the Science News and Weird Planet program segments. Flohr was one of two North American science writers to attend a conference on climate change and environmental issues supported by the British Council, a not-for profit organization that promotes the United Kingdom’s cultural relations and educational opportunities to a worldwide audience. Through a competition promoted by the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, Flohr and University of Calgary PhD alumnus Alyson Kenward, were able to meet colleagues from more than 20 countries, spend time at the British pavilion in Shanghai and take a number of trips to nearby cities to see examples of green urban planning. Flohr says the one theme that cut across the groups in attendance was perception. “We all have a really bad perception of what other countries are doing. China, for example, is generally painted by North American media as

thwarting climate change,” he says. “But when you speak to the researchers and see what they are concerned about and working on, they are doing a lot.” Flohr comes by his curiosity honestly, and refined it in Hepler Hall as a student researcher.

“My time at the U of L really helped set the stage for working in the science journalism field.” LEE FLOHR

“I did three independent studies projects with Dr. Olga Kovalchuk – and learned from Dr. Igor Kovalcuk too – and because they are doing such current research, the work I did with them is directly applicable to what I am doing now,” says Flohr. “It was a fantastic opportunity, and really helped set the stage for working in the science journalism field.” Among the projects Flohr worked on in Kovalchuk’s lab was the testing of a common weed, plantago major, for its reputed medicinal properties.

Alumnus Lee Flohr in Shanghai, China, while attending a climate change conference.

UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE IN PRESERVING INSTITUTIONAL HISTORY BY MICHAEL PERRY Every year, the University of Lethbridge produces vast quantities of official records on paper, in video, photographs and, increasingly, in electronic format. Much of the material is retained in the various departments across campus until it reaches the end of its ongoing usefulness. What happens to it then, and who preserves the history of our institution? Records that are scheduled for retention, destruction or archival selection are sent to the University Library’s Records Management office (403-3292750). Records management is a broad term that is used extensively in the day-to-day operations of institutions and businesses, while

the role of archives is less understood. Where records managers are concerned with the administration of the current records of an organization, archivists deal with those records that have been selected to be kept for their continuing value. Interestingly, only 10 per cent of official records are usually selected for permanent preservation. The office responsible for controlling, preserving, protecting and making available this “institutional memory” is the University Archives. Established in 1968 and under the stewardship of numerous people (Donald Wick, Owen Holmes, Jane Freeman, Winston Jones and Michael Perry), University Archives is a comprehensive collection of material relating to the University’s

history – and it is continually developing. Although the office was closed for a few years in the late 1980s and was most recently suspended for three years, the Archives is once again accepting official records through Records Management, as well as unofficial historical artifacts, photographs, etc. directly from departments across campus and the larger academic community. As an example, we have just received a number of documents and items essential to the institution from Dorothy and William Beckel (William Beckel was the U of L president from 1972-79). The core functions of archivists include the acquisition, selection and appraisal of official and non-official records, their arrangement and descrip-

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tion, storage and maintenance, conservation and preservation, access and reference. Materials selected for inclusion include meeting minutes, correspondence, announcements, university publications, reports, building plans, photographs, posters, drama productions, videos, audio tapes, personal papers, artifacts, theses and dissertations. Any other material that assists in providing documentation of the University’s fulfillment of its teaching, research and public service, thus rendering the University’s long-range accountability to the society that sustains it, are also maintained. Currently, the work of the archives includes acting on a preservation assessment completed by a conservator working for the Archives Society of Alberta;

working through a huge backlog of official records currently being held in Records Management; migrating our analog collection of video and audio to digital media; and providing much needed advocacy and outreach to the University community. In the past, students have assisted with projects in the archives through completing independent and applied studies courses. Re-integrating the archival program into the academic sphere will assist to keep it relevant and indispensable. If you have any questions about this process, or any material you think belongs in the archives, please do not hesitate to contact the Records Management office. Michael Perry, University Archivist


SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

H E A LT H

& wellness

health goals A perfect time to assess

BY SUZANNE MCINTOSH

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t’s all about U! With the start of another new academic year, it is a great time to take stock of your own health and wellness. Over the next few months, there are many opportunities and resources available on campus to help you assess your well-being. Get Fit at Work Stretching and Strengthening Do you find your back is sore after sitting at your desk for long periods of time? Maybe you have sore knees or shoulders because you are constantly reaching, squatting or lifting in your job. Or maybe you are like me and feel stiff and sore just getting out of bed in the mornings. Kinesiology student, Jeanine Baxter, will be leading group sessions for our brand new stretching program. It

involves exercises that can be done while you are at work. Bring your lunch, but be ready to try out some of these simple but effective stretches. Sept. 20 – 12:15 to 1 p.m., Andy’s Place Sept. 23 – 12:15 to 1 p.m., Markin Hall Atrium Sept. 28 – 12:15 to 1 p.m., Andy’s Place Take Charge of Your Heart Find out your general health status, or if you are at risk for heart or other related diseases by taking part in the Vascular Risk Screening program. There are still limited spots available in this very popular program. New this fall, vascular risk screening participants will have the opportunity to attend three Eating for Heart Health education sessions. They will also receive a free one-on-one lifestyle session with a fitness consultant.

Health and Wellness Resources U of L Fitness Centre Arrange a personal fitness consultation or, better yet, bring a friend and get a better deal. Contact the Fitness centre by calling 403-329-2706. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The Employee Assistance Program is a great resource for those who may already be feeling stressed. Contact the EAP at 403-329-2494 or e-mail eap@uleth.ca. Healthy Eating If you want to know more about healthy eating, contact registered dietitian Diane Britton through the Health Centre at 403-329-2484. She has excellent nutritional plans for busy, working families. Blue Cross Health and Wellness Companion Your Blue Cross com-

the Legend

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apple

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FOODS THAT MAKE YOU SMART - ER

panion includes a health risk assessment, comprehensive health library, personal health record and monthly health news updates. It is available at www.ab.bluecross.ca/group_ hwc.html

BY DIANE BRITTON

Upcoming events

AVOCADOS Avocados have healthy monounsaturated fats, the kind of fat that’s good for both your heart and your brain. Monounsaturated fats are also found in nuts, olive and canola oil, fish and flax. As with any fat, you still have to watch your portions.

Oct. 14 | Wellness Café, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Markin Hall Atrium Oct. 27 | Life Balance Fair, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness track. President Mike Mahon will be ‘virtually’ available to provide his vision of wellness at the U of L. As usual, please send your comments, suggestions or feedback to suzanne.mcintosh@uleth.ca or wellness@ uleth.ca Suzanne McIntosh is the co-ordinator of wellness programs at the University

THE MAGIC OF MARKIN

The new trading room in Markin Hall offers eye-popping graphics on its stock ticker.

Diets high in B vitamins, vitamin C, monounsaturated and omega 3 fats may help boost your brainpower. Enjoy these smart foods and reap the benefits later!

BROCCOLI Always on the top of the nutrition charts, broccoli is a source of vitamin C that helps us manage stress, and it is also a source of antioxidants. Other foods packed in vitamin C include citrus fruit, spinach and tomatoes. CANTALOUPE A high source of folate, which helps make red blood cells carry oxygen to your brain, cantaloupe can improve your ability to concentrate. Other foods high in folate are strawberries, grapefruit and dark green, leafy vegetables. LEGUMES Legumes, as well as bananas, pork and chicken, are high in vitamin B6, which helps your body convert glycogen (stored carbohydrate) into glucose – energy your brain can use. If your glucose levels are low you may have difficulty concentrating and feel tired or hungry. MILK Milk is a naturally good source of zinc and vitamin B12, both of which are important ingredients in cognitive function. SALMON Omega-3 fat sources such as salmon, flax, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are good for our heart, and new research indicates they may boost our brains as well. New products on the market are available to increase omega-3 fats, such as omega-3 fortified eggs, yogurt and milk.

HAYES EARNS CAFA HONOUR The Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA), the provincial organization representing academic staff associations at the University of Alberta, the

University of Lethbridge, and Athabasca University, recently announced the recipients of the CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards for 2010. Among the recipients is Dr. Paul Hayes an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who will receive the 2010 CAFA Distinguished

Academic Early Career Award at an event in mid-September. The CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award recognizes academic staff members who, at an early stage of their careers, through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities, have made an outstanding contribution to

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the wider community beyond the university. Hayes is being recognized for, among other projects, his research to find a costeffective, environmentally sustainable ‘green’ alternative to conventional plastics.

For an individual nutrition appointment, call the Health Centre (SU 020) at 403329-2484. Initial sessions are $40 for U of L students, staff and faculty. Diane Britton is the University of Lethbridge’s registered dietitian


the Legend

Pronghorn Athletics Sept. 25 | Canada West Soccer Women – Regina vs. Horns, noon Men – Trinity Western vs. Horns, 2 p.m. Community Sports Stadium Sept. 26 | Canada West Soccer Women – Manitoba vs. Horns, noon Men – UBC vs. Horns, 2 p.m. Community Sports Stadium Oct. 2 | Canada West Soccer Calgary vs. Horns | Women at noon, men at 2 p.m. | Community Sports Stadium

Lectures Sept. 15 | Art Now: Sculptor, Faye HeavyShield | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 17 | Art Now: Jamelie Hassan Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 20 | Art Now: Caitlin Jones (Western Front executive director) Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 20 | Architecture & Design Now: John Savil and Dan Westwood Discussing the Southern Alberta Art Gallery renovation and addition 6 p.m., C610

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

events C A L E N D A R Sept. 22 | Art Now: Artist, writer and curator, Jeffrey Spalding | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 23 | Owen G. Holmes Lectures: Michael Shermer | Why People Believe Weird Things | 7 p.m., PE250 Sept. 24 | Prentice Institute Brown Bag Series: Dr. Raphael Lencucha International Trade and Chronic Disease: Making the Link | Noon, Prentice Boardroom (L1102) Sept. 27 | Art Now: Catherine Crowston (Art Gallery of Alberta) Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 27 | Architecture & Design Now: Catherine Crowston (Art Gallery of Alberta) | 6 p.m., C610 Sept. 27 | Georgina Beyer, New Zealand Member of Parliament Overcoming Barrier: A Discussion with the World’s First Trans MP | 7 to 9 p.m., Ballroom B, Students’ Union Sept. 29, Oct. 1 | Art Now: Michael Morris & Vincent Trasov | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Sept. 30 | Discovery Lecture Series: You Can’t Spin Mother Nature James Hoggan discusses the energy sector and the scientific debate on

Sept. 28 | Music at Noon: Margaret Mezei (clarinet); Thomas Staples (horn); Glen Montgomery (piano) 12:15 p.m., University Recital Hall (W570)

Miscellaneous

Oct. 4 | Architecture & Design Now: Robert Steven | 6 p.m., C610

Oct. 5 | Music at Noon: Piotr GrellaMozejko (ensemble) | 12:15 p.m., University Recital Hall (W570)

Sept. 16 to Oct. 29 | Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words | U of L Main Gallery

Oct. 6 | Art Now: Animator & Illustrator, James Brathwaite Noon, University Recital Hall (W570)

Oct. 12 | Music at Noon: Glen Montgomery (piano) | 12:15 p.m., University Recital Hall (W570)

Oct. 6 | CRDC Presents: Doug Phillips | An Introduction to WestGrid 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., CRDC L1126

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 | TheatreXtra presents Muse Control | A struggling writer’s life begins to fall apart when he takes in a muse | 8 p.m. nightly, David Spinks Theatre. Matinee, 2 p.m., Oct. 2

Sept. 18 | Lethbridge Mandala Project (ArtWalk) | Create a section of a large-scale mandala | Culture Vulture Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., U of L Atrium

climate change | 7 p.m., PE 250 Free admission Oct. 4 | Dutch installation artist, Susanne Bruynzeel | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570)

Oct. 8 | Art Now: Painter, Alexander Irving | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570) Oct. 8 | Women Scholars Speaker Series: Helen Kelly | The Clinical Impact of eHealth on the SelfManagement of Diabetes | 3 to 5 p.m., AH100 Oct. 13 | Art Now: Writer, Simon Houpt | Noon, University Recital Hall (W570)

Performances Sept. 21 | Music at Noon: Dale Ketcheson (guitar) | 12:15 p.m., University Recital Hall (W570)

Oct. 5 | Ensemble Extravaganza! U of L Singers, Wind Orchestra, Global Drums, Opera Workshop, Jazz Ensemble, Vox Musica, Collaborative Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble and Women’s Chorus | 8 p.m., University Theatre Oct. 8 | Homecoming Musaeus String Quartet premiere’s Passacaglia for Oboe and String Quartet | 8 p.m., Southminster United Church

Sept. 12 to Oct. 24 | Shifting Myths Helen Christou Gallery

Sept. 23 | Women Scholars Speaker Series: Fall Reception | Wine and cheese reception to introduce speaker series lineup | 3 to 5 p.m., AH100 Sept. 23-24 | Auditions for Spring Awakening | Open call auditions for play to be presented Nov. 24-28, 6 to 10 p.m. each day, W425 Sept. 25 | Get to Know You 5K Fun Run/Walk | Meet President Mike Mahon and benefit KidSport Alberta Registration at www.uleth.ca/ sportrec | 10 a.m., 1st Choice Savings Centre Sept. 29 | Career Fair Employers visit the U of L campus All day, 1st Choice Savings Centre track

Students’ Union contributes to greater community BY ABBY GROENENBOOM University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Executive Council enhanced its painting skills last month, all the while working on team building, learning a bit about each other and even themselves – through volunteering for Project Paintbrush. Working with Volunteer Lethbridge and Project Paintbrush, the ULSU Executive Council laboured to fix up homes for those who are not able. Specifically, the four council members grabbed brushes and aided in painting the exterior of a local home. “Lethbridge supports its students and it is important for students to support Lethbridge too,” says Taz Kassam, ULSU president. “Making positive changes through volunteering in the community provides for greater experiences and opportunities for all.” The dedicated group looks to shed some much-needed light on the great work these two organizations undertake.

“Lethbridge supports its students and it is important for students to support Lethbridge too.” TAZ KASSAM, SU PRESIDENT

Members of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Executive Council chipped in with Project Paintbrush to help spruce up this local home.

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“By taking part in this project, we hope to not only spark knowledge of Project Paintbrush and Volunteer Lethbridge, but also showcase the impact volunteering has on individuals and the community,” says Kassam. Project Paintbrush focuses on assisting seniors and individuals with special needs who are physically and/or financially unable to maintain the exterior of their property. There is no cost to the homeowner and the

program operation is based solely on volunteers. Kassam wants to encourage youth to engage philanthropic pursuits that unquestionably impact so many people. “Seeing the faces of those who you’ve helped is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had,” says Kassam. “At the end of the day, we can look back and realize that we made a difference, and the families are more than grateful for the help from Volunteer Lethbridge and Project Paintbrush.” The project also benefited the SU team. “It was not only a lot of fun and helped out a family in need, but it was a great way to strengthen our relationship with one another,” says Kassam. The ULSU Executive Council extends its thanks to all those who have been involved throughout the summer on these volunteer projects. Abby Groenenboom is the communications co-ordinator for the Students’ Union


SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

FINE ARTS

in focus

the Legend

Gallery hosts Hassan’s unique view

PLAY RIGHT WINNER DEBUTS WORK

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BY AMANDA BERG

our decades of artwork by London, Ont. artist Jamelie Hassan is featured in the installation, At the Far Edge of Words, at the U of L Main Gallery from Sept. 16 to Oct. 29. The exhibition, which is comprised of key pieces that intertwine her work as an artist with an enduring interest in text, language, memory, personal history and identity, is on a national tour circulated by Museum London. “As soon as I saw the tour proposal from Museum London, I jumped at the chance to bring this survey of Jamelie Hassan’s career to the Gallery,” says Dr. Josephine Mills, director/curator. “I have seen Hassan’s work in different exhibitions over many years and have always been impressed with how she works with a range of artistic approaches to open up a dialogue about the ideas she addresses in her work. Hassan manages to explore both the specifics of her

ENSEMBLES COME TOGETHER For the first time on the University Theatre stage, each individual student music ensemble comes together in one performance – to celebrate the installation of President Michael Mahon. Ensemble Extravaganza, on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre, includes

U OF L GALLERY PLAYS ITS PART IN ARTWALK Culture, community and creativity abound at the annual Artwalk event, to be held throughout the city, Sept. 17 to 18. And, no art festival in southern Alberta is complete without the participation of the University of Lethbridge. “The U of L Art Gallery is one of the few venues outside the downtown core during Artwalk,” says Jane Edmundson, curatorial assistant. “We participate to encourage visitors to come enjoy our exhibitions and activities, and to provide yet another good reason to cross the river and see what the University has to offer.” A map of all the venues participating in Artwalk is available at the U of L Art Gal-

By Jamelie Hassan, 2009

own locale and personal history, and yet also address bigger issues around hybridity and interactions between cultures.”

Melanie Townsend, head of Exhibitions and Collections at Museum London, curates the exhibition.

performances by the U of L Singers, Vox Musica Choir, Women’s Chorus, Wind Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Global Drums, Trumpet Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and a staged operatic excerpt by the Opera Workshop. “Last year, we had some concerts where various ensembles shared the stage, and it was evident these concerts were great experiences for both the audiences and the ensembles,” says Dr. Janet Youngdahl, co-ordinator of the Ensemble

Extravaganza. The ensemble directors share her sentiments, and the presidential installation provides the perfect opportunity to bring all the ensembles together on a grand scale. With the concert only a month into the semester, getting repertoire together in such a short time span is a challenge. “Without question, the timing of this event pushes our ensembles to reach their best potential in a limited time-

lery, which joins in the festivities on Sept. 18 with an exhibition entitled, Jamelie Hassan’s At The Far Edge of Words, and a hands-on Culture Vulture activity for the whole family. The Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to viewing the exhibition, art enthusiasts of all ages are invited to participate in creating a project of epic proportions that allows visitors to respond to the larger ideas that Hassan explores in her work. “We are creating a mandala, to cover the entire floor of the University Hall Atrium in the Centre for the Arts,” says Rosalind Jeffrey, Culture Vulture program co-ordinator. Using archival photos from Lethbridge’s past, text and other materials, Jeffrey anticipates the mandala’s colour and size will be awe-inspiring. “Mandalas are used in multiple cultures and may be familiar to people in Lethbridge

because the Buddhist monks made a sand mandala a few years ago at the Lethbridge Centre,” she says. The U of L Art Gallery project is inspired by the work of Hassan, who uses cultural symbolism to speak about place. “Helping to create the mandala is a creative way for everyone to engage with the overlap of different cultures and explore a time honoured, non-permanent art practice,” she says. Instead of creating an individual artwork to take home and keep, participants help make a collective project that will be swept up and then disappear at the end of the day. “What stays with people is their memory and experience of having helped create a piece of art that reflects Lethbridge’s past and its significance in our world, rather than a physical object,” says Jeffrey.

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“Hassan’s practice has been distinguished by her use of a wide range of media – ceramics, watercolours, bookworks, photographs, video, and installations – from which she selects an approach best suited to the task at hand,” says Townsend. “For example, watercolours, which are swift and portable, occupy much of her work made on the road, while robust installations are often employed to confront the complexity of cultural politics and personal history.” Hassan’s work is in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); Glenbow Museum (Calgary); Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Vancouver); Museum London (London). In 2001, she was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts. The opening reception for At the Far Edge of Words is Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.

frame,” Youngdahl says. “However, the concert also showcases the wealth of musical talent that shines in our ensembles. It is an evening not to be missed.” Tickets for Ensemble Extravaganza are available at the U of L Box Office (403-3292616) and are priced at $15 for regular admission and $10 for student/senior. Box Office hours are 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

SEASON PASS SAVES MONEY Choose your own seat and save 25 per cent when you get a season ticket for the mainstage theatre season or the Faculty Artists and Friends Series. Season tickets are currently on sale and are available until the first show of each series. Be sure to reserve your season ticket early and guarantee your choice of seats all season long. Season tickets for each series are $45 for regular admission and $30 for a senior/ student ticket. Individual performance tickets are $15 regular and $10 senior/student. Orders can be made at the U of L Box Office (W510), Monday through Friday (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.) or by calling 403-329-2616.

Wildly entertaining and delightfully quirky, TheatreXtra’s season opens with the debut performance of Muse Control, by University of Lethbridge student James Wade. Muse Control won the 2010 U of L Play Right Prize, and is the first play from the competition to be produced. In the David Spinks Theatre from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. nightly and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2, this premier production plunges audiences into the fantastic life of a struggling author, desperate to break his writer’s block. Reality is suspended and twisted as his muse encourages and exposes his creative truths. Wade, who is working on a BFA (multidisciplinary) degree, was inspired by the writing of Woody Allen and a summer lecture he attended two years ago. “The lecture revolved around the idea of the muse and its role in society. That lecture inspired me to think of the muse as a literal character,” says Wade. “I started writing Muse Control and finished it to enter the Play Right Prize competition.” The U of L Play Right Prize and U of L Striking Prose competitions are made possible by the generous support of Terry Whitehead, a U of L alumnus. In addition to earning the first place prize for play writing, Muse Control also received a public reading in March. “This show is exciting because the playwright is one of our students and also because it’s a great show,” says Derek Stevenson, fellow student and TheatreXtra artistic director. “It was really well received by the audience at the reading in March.” “TheatreXtra provides opportunity and experience to students with a passion and commitment to theatre,” explains Stevenson. “Our shows this semester, Muse Control and The Good Egg by Michael Lewis MacLennan, are both light-hearted and comedic in nature. TheatreXtra, for the most part, is student-run and these shows showcase and challenge drama students’ abilities.” Tickets for Muse Control and The Good Egg are on sale at the U of L Box Office (403-329-2616), priced at $11 for regular admission and $7 for senior/student. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in W510.


(Above) Nicholas De Grandmaison, Frank McMahon, Oilman from Vancouver, 1970 From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Gift of the De Grandmaison Family, 1990. This image shows the examination technique of a pastel drawing.

For the last two years, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery has been working on a conservation project to inventory and assess the 9,000-plus works on paper in the collection. In addition, over 100 works from the collection have received specialized conservation treatment. Recent funding from a Museums Assistance Program grant will allow the gallery to continue this project. To provide further information about the conservation project and give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the process, a Gallery Open House will be held Oct. 13-16, in conjunction with the installation of new University of Lethbridge President Dr. Michael Mahon.

(Top Left) Gathie Falk, Hanging Cabbages From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Gift of Jim Coutts, 2010.

images L ASTING

This image illustrates the effect of a cleaning treatment. The centre object has been cleaned; the other two have not yet been treated.

(Bottom Left) A.C. Leighton, Threshing, Alberta, 1928 From the University of Lethbridge Art Collection; Acquired in 1989. A mat window covered the adhesive damage on this watercolour painting. This image shows the process of removing the adhesive.

TheLegend_1001_September2010  

The paper version of the Legend is mailed to all U of L faculty and staff in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge and distributed across the Let...