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LAURIER For Alumni & Friends | SPRING 2013

wilfrid laurier university


Inspiring entrepreneurship How Laurier is helping students start their own businesses Violinist Melissa Schaak puts a modern twist on classical music with The Exclusive Strings

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The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex home and auto insurance program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. The program is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc. in Quebec and by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in the rest of Canada. Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. *No purchase required. Contest organized jointly with Primmum Insurance Company and open to members, employees and other eligible persons belonging to employer, professional and alumni groups which have an agreement with and are entitled to group rates from the organizers. Contest ends on October 31, 2013. Draw on November 22, 2013. One (1) prize to be won. The winner may choose between a Lexus ES 300h hybrid (approximate MSRP of $58,902 which includes freight, pre-delivery inspection, fees and applicable taxes) or $60,000 in Canadian funds. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at melochemonnex.com/contest. ÂŽ/ The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.

contents Entrepreneurship at Laurier Leading-edge entrepreneurship programs and opportunities help students build businesses around their passions.



Research file

Using backyard rinks to study climate change. Plus, do parenting magazines really give good advice?



Sizzling string quartet


A stage for opera graduates


Climb for a cure

Violinist Melissa Schaak travels Europe and the Middle East playing pop/classical fusion to thousands with The Exclusive Strings.

As an opera singer fresh out of school, Kate Applin struggled to find performance opportunities. So, she created her own.

24 30

Erik Kroman and Hardik Patel will climb Mount McKinley in support of leukemia research. Learn how they are preparing for the task.

3 Editor’s note

30 Keeping in touch

4 President’s message

38 Postcard to home

6 Campus news

39 Calendar of events

12 Research file

40 Flashback LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2013



Celebrate & participate. Every Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association board member is now a Laurier donor – investors in a proud tradition of Laurier graduates giving back to enhance the Laurier experience for today’s students. Your alumni association is extremely proud to have reached 100% participation. To celebrate, they are encouraging you to support Laurier:

New donations made to Laurier will be matched by WLUAA, dollar for dollar.



campus corner EDITOR’S NOTE

Alumni entrepreneurs common in Campus

Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

Volume 52, Number 3, Spring 2013 ISSN 0700-5105

Laurier Campus is published by the Department of Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 Publisher: Jacqui Tam Assistant Vice-President: CPAM Editor: Stacey Morrison Writers: Elin Edwards, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien, Jessica Natale Woollard Design: Janice Maarhuis, Justin Ogilvie, Emily Lowther, Dawn Wharnsby Photography: Tomasz Adamski, Mat McCarthy Send address changes to: Email: alumaddress@wlu.ca Tel: 519.884.0710 x3176 Publications Mail Registration No. 40020414

Earlier this year, a small group of students gathered at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ont., for the first class of Laurier’s LaunchPad program, an accredited “incubator” to help entrepreneurial-minded students get their ideas off the ground. It is just one of the many ways the university fosters entrepreneurship on its campuses. Although it may not be front of mind, the entrepreneurial spirit among Laurier students and alumni runs strong. There really are an astonishing number of Laurier alumni who have gone on to start their own businesses. In Campus magazine alone, nine entrepreneurs were featured over just three issues in 2012, with businesses ranging from art, baked goods, paper furniture, stroller design, mental health assistance and well-being, and wine consulting. In this issue of Campus, we take a closer look at Laurier’s history of cultivating entrepreneurship and the innovative programs, degrees and opportunities that are available today to students in all faculties, an aspect of the university’s

We photographed music student and budding entrepreneur Yesung Cho with Dean of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics Micheál Kelly in Laurier’s space at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ont. Cho has launched the country’s first Canadian-Asian record label. To read about how the university is encouraging entrepreneurship among its students, turn to page 16.

We welcome and encourage your feedback. Send letters to the editor to campusmagazine@wlu.ca. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Laurier Campus (circ. 60,000) is published three times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in Campus do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration.

Visit us online at wlu.ca/cpam

Stacey Morrison, Editor

On the cover

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

Cover photography: Mat McCarthy

program that makes it unique. We also profile six alumni from various backgrounds and stages of entrepreneurship, from startup to multimillion dollar success. This is only a tiny snapshot of the volume and breadth of Laurier alumni who have gone on to start their own businesses. We also cross the pond to catch up with music graduate Melissa Schaak who tours Europe and the Middle East as a member of the pop/classical fusion string quartet The Exclusive Strings. And we touch base with Kate Applin, yet another entrepreneur, who founded the Metro Youth Opera, to help young opera singers get started in their professional careers. If you have gone on to be your own boss, we would love to hear your story! Feel free to share your experience on Facebook, Twitter or email.

Questions, comments, rants or raves? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at campusmagazine@wlu.ca. Be sure to “Like” us on facebook. www.facebook.com/LaurierNow youtube.com/LaurierVideo





The enduring value of a university education

There has been a lot of public discussion lately about the value of a university education. Much of the discourse has involved a provocative question: What is the best route to a well-paying job — university or college? It is certainly a subject worthy of debate, but the question contains a bias about what constitutes “value”. It also paints a flawed picture of the university-college relationship, suggesting that one is better than the other and that students have only an either-or choice. Paid employment is important for the vast majority of Laurier President Max Blouw receives the us, but what is wonderful Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal about a university degree is from Kitchener MPP John Milloy. that its value goes well beyond the ability to earn a healthy income. A university education involves the acquisition of knowledge and the discipline to think critically and rigorously; it encourages students to examine beliefs, challenge assumptions and explore new perspectives; it sharpens intellectual and interpersonal skills; and it opens new horizons and new possibilities for the individual. In other words, education enriches graduates in all aspects of life — including the ability to earn a living. There is strong evidence that in today’s knowledge-based economy, employers seek wellrounded employees who can evaluate information, problem-solve, innovate, and draw connections between seemingly disparate ideas and data. Universities produce them. In an article last fall, the president of the Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada, Paul Davidson, noted that there were 700,000 jobs for university graduates created in Canada between July 2008 and July 2012, compared to 320,000 for college graduates, and a net loss of 640,000 jobs for those without post-secondary education. A recent survey of people who graduated from university in 2009, conducted on behalf of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, found that six months after graduation, the average employment rate for undergraduate degree graduates was 87.5 per cent. For Laurier graduates, it was 89.2 per cent. Two years after graduation, the Ontario average was 93.1 per cent; the Laurier average was 94.8 per cent.



Looking to the future, the 2012 Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services forecast that two thirds of all new jobs in Ontario will require post-secondary education. It seems clear, then, that a university education equips students with the skills and experience needed to find employment. Other studies suggest that a university degree also yields an income premium. Davidson cites Statistics Canada data showing that university graduates will on average earn $1.3 million more during their careers than a high school graduate, and $1 million more than a college graduate. But what about the university-versus-college question? Does one really offer a better value proposition than the other? This is a question best answered by individual students. But universities and colleges are working to give students more choice so that they don’t face an either-or dilemma and so their overall education combines the best of both systems. I am encouraged by the number of university graduates who go on to take a college program, and by the number of college graduates who come to university for further education. Universities across Ontario have long-recognized the benefit to students of partnering with colleges on program delivery and credit-transfer agreements. There are currently more than 500 credit-transfer agreements in this province, and more are being developed through the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer. At Laurier, we have numerous partnership and transfer agreements with other institutions, including Conestoga College, Mohawk College, Nipissing University and the universities of Waterloo and Guelph. The intent is to combine strengths, share resources and make the pathways between institutions smoother for students. There is no doubt that higher education enriches individuals and their communities in many ways. At Laurier, we are committed to maintaining the highest quality while remaining sensitive to the needs of today’s students and the merits of continued partnerships with other universities and colleges in multiple communities.

Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor


Wanted: big ideas, inspired minds In 2010, StatsCan reported 13.3 million Canadians contributed 2.1 billion hours of volunteer time. Canadians aged 15 to 24 volunteered more than any other age group, with 58 per cent participation. What’s even more incredible is that 80 per cent of Laurier students volunteer in school and within the community — nearly double the national average. Giving back is something that comes naturally to us Laurier grads. We are generous in our time and thoughtful in our approach to give back to society in meaningful ways. But, after graduation, Laurier might not be the first place you think of when you are looking for ways to contribute your time. And why is that? Why do so many of us volunteer as students and then stop being involved after we leave? If you’re like me, I had a great time at Laurier and have benefited from the excellent education I received. I have a successful career, and I owe much of my confidence, career success, foundational learnings, social skills, team-building abilities, problem-solving skills and networking ease to Laurier. Don’t you? It’s time to give back to the place where it all began. We are looking for innovative, interested, inspired minds like yours to join our Alumni Association board of directors. See page 37 for details. But there are a few expectations and responsibilities that you must agree to before you join:

1. Pay it forward. You learned a lot from your time at Laurier, why not give something back? If 80 per cent of students volunteer with the university, let’s match this figure for alumni. 2. Bring your ideas. We want your opinion and your voice to help shape the future of the university. 3. Meet new people. This is the chance of a lifetime, so make it count. What will you say? Will you pitch your big idea? You never know who you might meet. 4. Boost your career options. This is Networking 101. You join a group, you take on a leadership position, you make a difference, you meet people of influence. I’ll leave you with one last comment: 100 per cent of the board is also giving back to Laurier financially. In giving so many of our hours, we have learned of the tremendous benefits of giving back financially. I am extremely proud of the volunteer members of our board for showing their support. I am also proud to announce the Alumni Association will match your donations to Laurier — dollar for dollar — until we reach a total of $40,000 together. (See our ad on page 2).

Marc Henein, ’04 President, WLUAA LaurierAlumni.ca | facebook.com/LaurierAlumni twitter.com/LaurierAlumni | mhenein@wlu.ca

WLUAA 2012–13 Executive

Board of Directors

President Marc Henein ’04 Vice-President Scott Bebenek ’85 Vice-President Cynthia Sundberg ’94 Secretary/Treasurer Marc Richardson ’94 Honorary President Dr. Max Blouw Past President Tom Berczi ’88, ’93

Bruce Armstrong ’72 Thomas Cadman ’87 Sarah Cameron ’86 Marie-Helene Colaiezzi ’07, ’08 Sourov De ’05 Paul Dickson ’03 Hrag Kakousian ’01, ’09 Paul Maxwell ’07 Craig Mellow ’97 Michelle Missere ’06 Kiran Nagra ’02 Patricia Polischuck ’90 Helga Recek ’00

Karen Rice ’87 Chris Rushforth ’80 Shirley Schmidt ’86, ’09 Maeve Strathy ’10

Board of Governors Representatives Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 Tim Martin ’92 Steve Wilkie ’82 ’89

Senate Representatives Susan Lockett ’99 David Oates ’70 Priya Persaud ’98



campus news Centre for Women in Science opens

Facility will provide grants, support and networking for female scientists Laurier’s Centre for Women in Science (WinS) celebrated its official launch with a visit from Melissa Franklin, Mallinckrodt professor of physics and chair of the Physics Department at Harvard University. Guests also met the centre’s advisory board and faculty, and participated in hands-on science demonstrations conducted by Laurier students. The WinS mission is to build a strong community for women in science and the mathematical social sciences through research, action and communication. Franklin is a fitting example of the centre’s goals. Born and raised in Canada, Franklin is a pioneer as a scientist and a woman: she was the co-discoverer of the top quark, a fundamental particle of nature, and the first woman to achieve tenure in Harvard’s Physics Department. In 2008, only 30 per cent of mathematics, computer science and information science graduates in Canada were female, which represents a decrease from 35 per cent in 1990. “Although women make up more than a third of full-time faculty in Canada, fewer than 20 per cent of Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are held by women,” said Abby Goodrum, Laurier’s vice-president: research. “It’s been suggested that the lack of female representation

in prestigious research positions is not due to active choices made during the selection process alone, but the result of many factors that contribute to the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining women in science, from the earliest stages of their training all the way through their careers.” WinS will provide grants and support to female scientists and to scholars studying the role of women in the sciences. In addition, it will organize seminars, workshops and conferences, develop partnerships with other educational institutions and with industry, facilitate networking and mentoring opportunities for female scientists, and support community outreach to female youth considering careers in science.

Although women make up more than a third of full-time faculty in Canada, fewer than 20 per cent of Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs are held by women. Abby Goodrum, vice-president: research

EMPTY BOWLS Fundraiser returns to Laurier

Actor Colm Feore’s bowl up for auction

Actor Colm Feore puts the finishing touches on his celebrity bowl.



Laurier’s Robert Langen Art Gallery will host its third Empty Bowls charity event, featuring a silent auction for a celebrity bowl created by actor and Laurier honorary degree recipient Colm Feore. The event takes place on Laurier’s Waterloo campus May 16. Empty Bowls is a long-running annual fundraiser for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, organized by the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. Laurier’s involvement began three years ago when it hosted a special parallel event to celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary. This year, members of the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop will again create 100 bowls for the Laurier event. Participants will have the chance to pick their bowls and enjoy a lunch of five gourmet soups. Earlier this year Feore spent an afternoon at the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop making his bowl for the auction, which begins online April 3 at wlu.ca/emptybowls. The bowls will be on exhibition in the Robert Langen Art Gallery May 8 to 15, from noon to 5 p.m. (except Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12). Tickets for the event are $40 and go on sale April 3. Tickets must be purchased at the gallery. For more information, contact Suzanne Luke at sluke@wlu.ca.

campus news

Laurier wins 16 communication awards

Campus wins three platinum, one gold Laurier earned eight platinum and eight gold awards for marketing and communication materials in the 2012 MarCom Awards competition. Laurier earned three platinum awards for the Inspiring Lives advertising campaign and branding. The university also earned two platinum awards for centennial initiatives, including the Drabble contest book, and Leadership and Purpose: A History of Wilfrid Laurier University by Andrew Thomson. Laurier took home three platinums for its alumni magazine, Laurier Campus, including awards for design and writing. Gold awards were earned for the “What’s in a Leaf?” magazine and newspaper advertisements, as well as the Inspiring Lives logo and newspaper advertisement, which appeared in The Globe and Mail and other prominent publications. Laurier was also recognized with gold awards for the Faculty of Education Welcome Book, the InsideLaurier internal newspaper and for the Spring 2012 cover of Laurier Campus magazine.

Let’s talk

Laurier receives mental health grant Laurier is the recipient of a $40,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The grant will support a mental health and awareness-training program for faculty, staff and students to help identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness. The grant will also help expand the resource library. Laurier will also join a U.S.-based research study aimed at gaining a better understanding of mental health on university campuses. The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is a multi-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada through the Bell Let’s Talk anti-stigma campaign. To learn more, visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Michael Faulds new football coach

CIS record holder to lead Golden Hawks football Michael Faulds, who has one of the finest playing careers in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history, is the new manager of football operations and head coach of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks varsity football team. Faulds, who served as offensive coordinator for the York Lions for the past three seasons, is the sixth head coach in the 52-year history of the Golden Hawks football program. “I am very excited about the opportunity that has been given to me,” said Faulds. “Wilfrid Laurier University has a football program with a rich history and tradition and I am honoured to lead the team heading into the future.” An offensive-minded coach, Faulds masterminded the rapid succession of the York football program, which went from 26th in the country in yardage per game to seventh in just three seasons. Last year in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference, York ranked third overall in both passing and total yards per game using a no-huddle pro-style offence. A graduate of Western University with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Kinesiology specializing in coaching, Faulds is the owner of two of the most prestigious records in CIS history, including the all-time passing record of 10,811 yards, as well as the singleseason passing record of 3,033 yards, which he set in 2009. That same season he was also named the OUA Most Outstanding Player while guiding the Mustangs to the Yates Cup. He also earned Yates Cup MVP honours in both 2007 and 2008 after leading Western to the OUA championship. Faulds was selected coach of the Golden Hawks after a thorough search conducted by a committee consisting of prominent Golden Hawks alumni, including Dr. Rich Agro, Tom Allen, Randy McGlynn, Peter Izzio, Edward Lynch, John Glassford, as well as former dean of Social Work Luke Fusco.

Photo: ©2013 Tomasz Adamski

The Laurier Library recently celebrated the addition of the 10,000th image to its digital collection. The image, above, features a group of Laurier Ambassadors with the Sir Wilfrid Laurier statue on the Waterloo campus.



campus news

Bequest brings science labs to Brantford campus Gift also establishes scholarships at Waterloo campus Thanks to a $2-million bequest from the estate of a local chemist, Laurier’s Brantford campus can now offer courses in biology and chemistry, as well as lab space for faculty and student research. The William Nikolaus Martin labs officially opened last fall. “This generous gift has allowed us to broaden our program offerings into traditional science courses, and launch our new Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health Studies,” said John McCutcheon, acting dean at Laurier’s Brantford campus. “The labs allow for enhanced teaching and learning opportunities for our students, as well as research space for our faculty.” Martin, who passed away in 2010, believed strongly in his community. Science was his passion throughout his education and career. In addition to the science labs on the Brantford campus, $1 million of the total gift was directed to establish the William Nikolaus Martin Science Scholarships for science graduate students at the university’s Waterloo campus.

Martin immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1956 with $146. He worked for almost 30 years at the Shawinigan Water and Power Company, and later at Consolidated Bathurst at Grande Mere before moving to Brantford in 1984 and working at TwinPak until his retirement in 1991.

People at Laurier Laura Bolton is the new career consultant for alumni at Laurier’s Career Development Centre. Alumni are invited to attend workshops, book an individual career advising appointment, and visit the Career Centre to explore the numerous resources. Bolton can be reached at lbolton@wlu.ca or by calling 519.884.0710 ext. 4495.

Jennifer Esmail, assistant professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, has been awarded the 2012 John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature, one of the most prestigious academic awards in Canada with a value of $20,000. Esmail’s expertise is Victorian literature, with research interests in deaf and disability studies, animal studies, and the history of media and technology. Her book, Reading Victorian Deafness: Signs and Sounds in Victorian Literature and Culture, is scheduled for publication by Ohio University Press this spring. It examines Victorian understandings of deafness and sign language, including the



influential “Oralist” movement that forced deaf people to speak and lipread in English instead of sign.

Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost, has been named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women for 2012 in a Top 100 list compiled by the Women’s Executive Network. In addition to her administrative role at Laurier, which involves overseeing the strategic and operational management of the academic functions of the university, MacLatchy dedicates a large portion of her time to teaching and conducting her own research, which primarily focuses on the effects of contaminants on acquatic ecosystems. William J. McNally, Andriy Shkilko

and Brian F. Smith of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics won the 2012 Canadian Investment Research Award for their paper “Do Brokers of Insiders Tip Other Clients?” The researchers used a unique subset of TSX data obtained

with the permission of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Insiders are required to disclose their status to their brokers who, in turn, are required to flag insider orders on the TSX trading system. The unique TSX dataset has orders and trades for the period from October 2004 to December 2006 with the insider flag. Since the data also includes a broker ID for each order, Laurier researchers were able to track broker activity around insider trades. To read the paper, visit cfatoronto.ca.

Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, associate professor in the Languages and Literatures Department, received Laurier’s Residence Academic Partnership award for her support of academic initiatives within the university’s residences. Rowinsky-Geurts spends two hours a week with first-year students living in the Languages and Literature Residence Learning Community, one of Laurier’s themed residence environments designed to bring together like-minded students who share common goals and interests.

campus news

AIDS expert joins Laurier

Alan Whiteside is new CIGI Chair in Global Health Laurier has appointed the internationally recognized academic and AIDS researcher Alan Whiteside to the position of CIGI Chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His term began earlier in 2013. Prior to joining Laurier, Whiteside was the founder and director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has written numerous articles and several books on HIV/AIDS, including AIDS: The Challenge for South Africa (2000) and HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction (2008). Whiteside is well known for his work in this field and lectures on the international stage. He developed a successful training workshop, “Planning for HIV/AIDS,” and mentors students, academics and researchers in the field. In his new role, Whiteside will be affiliated with Laurier’s School of International

Policy and Governance, the Department of Economics, and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. The latter is a partnership involving Laurier, The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and the University of Waterloo. “The position is really exciting because it is not a narrow, discipline-based appointment,” said Whiteside. “It is a chance to work with excellent, imaginative academics.” Whiteside holds a BA in Development Studies (1978) and an MA in Development Economics (1980) from University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, as well as a D.Econ (2003) from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Whiteside was a journalist and teacher in Mbabane, Swaziland, before becoming a planning officer and economist for the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning of the Government of Botswana. From

1983-1997, he held a number of positions at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, including associate professor of the Economic Research Unit. In 1987, he began his work on HIV/AIDS, presenting his first paper on AIDS and migration at a conference in London. In 2003 he was appointed by Kofi Annan as one of the Commissioners for the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.

Laurier institute launches new data portal

Public opinion data from Ipsos Reid available to public The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) has launched a new data portal that makes the university’s data collection publicly available. The public opinion data, donated by research firm Ipsos Reid, was previously restricted to people from Ontario’s post-secondary institutions. “Ipsos Reid is thrilled that this important archive of public opinion data is being made available to as wide an audience as possible,” said Darrell Bricker (BA ’83 MA ’84), CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs and a Laurier alumnus. “The LISPOP portal is an ideal way to do this.” The datasets represent a variety of topics, including surveys from federal elections, Ontario elections, housing and Canada’s youth, as well as a series of “Canada Day” studies commissioned by the Dominion Institute that measure various levels of knowledge Canadians have about their country. The polling data is also significant because it is among the most detailed research available, representing the social and political opinions of specific groups such as gays and lesbians, and supporters of the green movement. Ipsos Reid first donated the opinion-poll data to Laurier in 2007, and has been providing regular donations since then.

“Once the data has outlived its commercial purpose, it’s still very useful for academics,” said Andrea Perrella, director of LISPOP. “And this is a growing data collection — we’re looking forward to holding an increasingly diverse collection, including datasets from other countries. What started as opinion-poll data has grown to appeal to a much broader audience.” The data collection, which includes more than 100 datasets, can now be accessed for free at www.lispop.ca/data. Users of the Laurier Library can also access the data through ODESI (http:// odesi2.scholarsportal.info/webview), from which the datasets can be downloaded in a variety of formats or viewed right on the web page. “New and novice users appreciate this feature because it helps them use survey data without requiring expert statistical knowledge,” said Michael Steeleworthy, government information librarian at Laurier. “We can help make the data available in a variety of formats to the Laurier community and to users at other Ontario university libraries. We are also in the process of making the LISPOP data on ODESI available to the public.”



campus news Laurier grad earns accounting gold medals

Joshua Huff is fifth Laurier grad to mark achievement Laurier graduate Joshua Huff (BBA ’11) captured the Canadian and Ontario gold medals for achieving the highest standing in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants 2012 Uniform Evaluation (UFE), considered one of the world’s most challenging professional entry examinations. Since 1993, Laurier accounting graduates have won more Canadian and Ontario gold medals than any other university in Canada. Huff, an accountant at KPMG in Waterloo, Ont., is the fifth Laurier graduate to earn both medals. The UFE is a national three-day evaluation and is an important component of the Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification program. Held every September, students write three papers in three days to assess essential knowledge, professional judgment, ethics and ability to communicate. More than 3,000 students across Canada passed the 2012 UFE exam. Huff says Laurier helps prepare students for success in the UFE. The business program integrates accounting courses with other subject areas, such as marketing and human resources. It also exposes students to case writing, which is a big component of the exam.

Joshua Huff (BBA ’11)

“There is obviously a strong accounting component to the UFE, but they also want you to see the bigger business issues,” he said. “Now that the UFE is done, I look forward to continuing to work at KPMG and getting practical experience.” Two other Laurier graduates achieved standing on the 2012 national UFE honour roll: Michael Black (BBA ’11) of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Toronto, and Thomas Callaghan (BBA ’11) of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in London.

Government funding supports sexual assault research

Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work will participate in community-wide project The Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) within Laurier’s Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work is playing a lead role in studying violence against female students. SIRG is partnering with the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region on a research project that received $191,030 as part of a $4-million Status of Women Canada program. Laurier’s Social Innovation Research Group, led by director Ginette Lafrenière, has an established working relationship with the Sexual Assault Support Centre. SIRG recently completed a two-year project with the centre, putting in place a sexual assault protocol for the Region of Waterloo. When the funding for the current project became available from Status of Women Canada, the Sexual Assault Support Centre approached the Laurier group for research assistance. “This project is etched in what SIRG values: university-community collaboration,” said Lafrenière.



SIRG is a group of faculty, MSW students, and community partners that work collaboratively on a range of community-based research, training, and action projects. The Social Innovation Research Group will be taking a leadership role in the research activities of the project, with an emphasis on assisting project partners to make evidenceinformed decisions about the prevention and response to gendered violence on campus. Their tasks will include coordinating and implementing a research plan for gathering data and working with participants from both Laurier and Waterloo, as well as the Sexual Assault Support Centre staff. Students will be active partners. As the project rolls out, the SIRG will involve undergraduate, MSW, and PhD students in leading, advising, and implementing research activities. Evaluating and arriving at effective responses to gendered campus violence will, the SIRG anticipates, be an opportunity to

have a research evidence based effect on drafting policy and procedures that can help the community best ensure student safety. “This is an ambitious project,” Lafrenière said. “It is our sincerest hope that the outcome of our capacity building efforts, research, knowledge production and mobilization will make this project one which will be an innovative and creative model we can share with universities across North America.” Other Laurier groups that will be involved in this project include the Campus/ Community Coalition for the Prevention of Gendered Violence and the Laurier Centre for Women and Trans people.

campus news

Laurier grads awarded Medal of Bravery

Efforts to save fellow student recognized by Governor General

Photos: Cpl. Roxanne Shewchuk, Rideau Hall

Two Laurier alumni have been awarded one of Canada’s highest honours, the Medal of Bravery, by Governor General David Johnston for their efforts to save a fellow resident during a fire at Waterloo College Hall in April, 2009. The medals were awarded to Kyle Walker (pictured left) and Matthew Crombeen (pictured right) during a recent ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Walker and Crombeen were both student dons at Waterloo College Hall. On April 14, 2009, they were on their way to check on a fellow student who was reportedly in distress. The citation for their Medals of Bravery states: “As they approached the student’s room, they saw smoke coming out from beneath his door. Messrs. Walker and Crombeen went through an adjoining bathroom to reach the victim, who was covered in flames. They put out the fire and led the severely burnt young man outside to wait for the ambulance. Despite their efforts, the victim did not survive.” Walker (BA ‘11) recently accepted a position with Proctor & Gamble. Crombeen (BSc ‘11) is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia.

The following is an excerpt from the remarks given by Governor General David Johnston to those receiving an award at the Decorations for Bravery ceremony: “Each of you faced some form of danger head on — from others, from the environment, from a circumstance in which you found yourselves. Yet each of you rose to the occasion, showing that even the smallest act of good can overcome the most desperate of situations. “It is that innate goodness that has bound together the many and varied recipients of this award throughout its more than 40-year history. “And although we mourn the loss of those who could not be saved and those who lost their own lives in the act of saving others, we can take comfort in the knowledge that in the end, they were caring for someone or being cared for. No matter what, they were not alone. “In other words, from goodness flowed compassion — a willingness and a need to help others, to think solely of another’s life and how precious that life is to us all.”

National survey underway

2007 graduates encouraged to participate Laurier is currently participating in a five-year out National Baccalaureate Graduate Outcomes Survey (NBGOS). Alumni who received a Laurier undergraduate degree in 2007 have been contacted and invited to complete this survey. Approximately 35 other Canadian universities are also administering the NBGOS. Assessing and evaluating a student’s post-graduation experience provides useful insight into the value of a university education. The NBGOS will provide Laurier with valuable information on the postgraduation experience of university graduates in areas such as employment experience and career development, subsequent education activity, and social engagement and contributions. This information will be useful in assessing the learning outcomes and educational benefits achieved by graduates, and will serve as a basis for improving the quality of the teaching and learning experience at Laurier. Alumni who have been invited to complete the NGBOS are encouraged to participate in this web-based survey. The survey will be open until the end of April 2013. Further information on the NBGOS can be requested from Wally Pirker of Laurier’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning at wpirker@wlu.ca.

It is that innate goodness that has bound together the many and varied recipients of this award throughout its more than 40-year history. Governor General David Johnston



research file

(l-r) Haydn Lawrence, Robert McLeman and Colin Robertson are inviting Canadians with a backyard rink to report skating conditions to provide data about the impact of climate change.

Using the backyard rink to track climate change Laurier researchers study the impact of climate change on Canada’s winters by Sandra Muir



Generations of Canadians have grown up on backyard skating rinks, dreaming of becoming the next Wayne Gretzky or Joannie Rochette. But climate change appears to be threatening this timehonoured Canadian tradition, and three Laurier researchers want to document what’s happening to our outdoor skating season. Associate Professor Robert McLeman, Assistant Professor Colin Robertson and Master of Science student Haydn Lawrence from Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, launched RinkWatch.org, a website where “backyard skating meets environmental science.” More than 950 outdoor skating rinks from across North America have been registered since the website launched Jan. 7. The website invites Canadians who maintain a backyard or neighbourhood rink to report skating conditions over the winter to provide valuable data about the impact of climate change. It is also seen as a way to help families connect with environmental research through an activity they enjoy.

We’re amazed at the response we’ve had so far. It shows just how passionate people are about their rinks.

“We’re amazed at the response we’ve had so far,” says McLeman. “It shows just how passionate people are about their rinks. The more participants we have, the better the data we are able to gather.” The research project has also garnered widespread English- and French-language media attention, including mentions on many CBC and CTV shows, and newspapers across Canada. U.S. Public Radio has also covered RinkWatch, and the U.S. National Science Teachers Association even featured it as its science project of the week. “The backyard rink is a tradition — one that future generations may not get to experience because of the damaging effects of climate change,” says McLeman, who has fond memories of past winters skating on backyard rinks and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. “If we want to skate on backyard rinks in the future, we have to find out what is going on today.” Increasing temperatures have made the headlines over the last few years. Environment Canada chose unusually warm temperatures from coast to coast in 2012 as Canada’s top weather story of the year. Senior climatologist David Philips said the period between January and November 2012 was the fourth warmest on record since 1948. The 2011-2012 winter was the third warmest on record, with national average temperatures 3.6 degrees Celsius above normal, according to an Environment Canada 2011 report. The warmest winter on record since nationwide records began in 1948 was in 2009-2010, with a national average temperature 4.1 degrees Celsius above normal. The Laurier researchers hope that the backyard-rink concept will not only generate valuable data about climate change, but also raise awareness about its impact.

The RinkWatch.org website invites people with backyard rinks to record the skating conditions on their rink each day. Since launching in January, more than 950 people have registered their rinks on the site. The above image shows the rinks’ locations in North America.

“Our hope is that Canadians from coast to coast will help us track changes in skating conditions, not just this year, but for many years to come,” says McLeman. “This data will help us determine the impact of climate change on winter in terms of length of season and average temperatures. We want to see what is actually happening.” To become part of the ongoing study, people with a backyard or neighbourhood rink can visit RinkWatch.org to create a profile and add the location and name of their rink, which will show up on a Google map. Registered users, whose identities remain private, are asked to return to the site once a week to check off which days they were able to skate. The website will track the results and compare conditions across North America. The website also has a user forum, where rink enthusiasts can share rink-making tips, favourite stories and photos of their rinks.



Do parenting magazines provide good advice? Linda Quirke studies how articles guide decisions about kids’ leisure and nutrition by Sandra Muir Linda Quirke is like many parents. She spends Saturday mornings in a hockey arena watching her six-year-old son learn to stickhandle. One night a week she watches her four-year-old son tap dance. But she’s also different from many parents because she studies kids’ leisure time and physical activity as an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Sociology, and knows there are pitfalls to having too many activities. “My kids are still so young. I feel like there is a lot of time for this, but I also know they love it,” she says. Quirke’s new research project focuses on how parents make decisions about their kids’ leisure time, and what role, if any, physical education can play in schools. Quirke is reviewing magazine articles in Today’s Parent from its first issue in 1984 up to current day. She is specifically looking at what kind of advice it gives to parents about how kids spend their leisure time, as well as issues such as weight and nutrition. In an initial smaller-scale study, she looked at articles published in the mid-to-late 1990s, and again in the last three years, that included the word “obese” or “obesity.” The results were surprising. In the articles published in the 1990s, the message to parents with a child who might be considered obese or overweight was they had a responsibility to protect their kids’ self esteem. “The underlying message to parents seemed to be that your child is going to be teased and suffer these negative outcomes, so you should make them feel better,” says Quirke. “There were also great quotes that said ‘Every body is a good body,’ and general references



to eating a balanced diet and getting exercise.” Fast-forward a few years and the message is very different. There is a heightened sense of panic over obesity for all children, even those of a typical body weight. The more recent articles are often written in journal style, with parents submitting diaries of what their children eat over the course of a day. A pediatrician or dietician then weighs in and delivers the news that the parent is subjecting his or her children to a very unhealthy diet. “One big culprit that was mentioned over and over again was chocolate milk. And it’s framed like, ‘Aha! You thought that was safe. Well, it’s not, because of the sugar,’” says Quirke. “It almost seems as if the tone of these articles — when you take them together — is that you need to be very, very concerned because even foods you thought were safe are harmful.” She says that what follows is a confusing attempt at advice. One article talks about limiting trans fat, another about limiting sodium. A few months later, articles refer to the dangers of sugar. Add to that the need for parents to check labels and measure milligrams, and it all becomes confusing. “It seems like a public health message that is directed at all children. So even if your kids don’t have a weight issue, you need to get on that,” she says. “It is a bit scary.” Ultimately, this research will inform a larger study in which Quirke will talk to parents about how they make decisions about nutrition and leisure time, and what role physical activity in schools can play.

research file

How horses help healing by Mallory O’Brien The idyllic setting of a countryside horse barn and the barren, isolated interior of a prison are two spaces that are worlds apart. But Shoshana Pollack, a clinical social worker and a professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work since 2000, is all about breaking down barriers. Pollack’s recent research involves studying the effects of equine therapy, which uses the natural sensitivities of horses to mirror back emotions, on formerly incarcerated women. Pollack partnered with Stonehenge Therapeutic Community in Guelph, Ont., which sees a number of women from the federal system on parole for in-patient treatment. Six women came to the barn for a 12-session therapy program, designed to address a

number of issues common to women working through addiction, including trust, boundaries, grief, trauma, relationship building and communication. Pollack studied the impact of the therapy by observing the sessions and conducting post-session interviews. Sessions would consist of an activity that would require connecting with a horse to complete a goal, such as an obstacle course. Objects in the course represented different aspects of each woman’s addiction, which they would need to bring the horses to. “It might sound easy, but horses don’t move unless they want to — they are thousands of pounds,” says Pollack. “They will only move if you’re centred and clear on where you’re going, and if you’re communicating in a very direct and conscious way, and often we’re not. For example, if a participant was feeling agitated but trying to cover it up, or was unable to acknowledge her feelings, the horse would mirror that agitation by walking away. However, if she directly acknowledged her feelings or found a way to calm herself down, the horse would sense the authenticity and the congruency of the mindbody connection and would return to be connected with her. “People perceive horses as coming to them without judgment, without an agenda,” says Pollack. “This made it a lot easier for the women to accept the feedback from the horses than it might be from a counsellor, probation officer or psychologist. Learning about what they bring to relationships is one thing the horses offered them, and in a really powerful way.”



Laurier’s Steve Farlow addresses students at the first class of the LaunchPad program at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener.



Photo: ©2013 Tomasz Adamski

campus feature

Fostering the

entrepreneurial spirit Laurier programs help students build businesses around their passions By Sandra Muir

Yesung Cho

never thought he would be an entrepreneur. A student in Laurier’s Faculty of Music,

Cho was planning a career in music education, and had never stepped foot into the university’s School of Business & Economics. But in early 2012, he realized there might be a way to create a business that combines his music background with an emerging trend. Over the past few years, Cho, who is from South Korea, started to notice the growing popularity of TV shows in his home country featuring singers and other performers in an audition-style format similar to The Voice and American Idol in North America. At the same time, there has been a mini-explosion of Korean pop, also known as K-pop, in North America. This is due in large part to singer PSY and the video of his breakout hit Gangnam Style, which has more than 1 billion views

on YouTube. The song has won music awards and been imitated by everyone from kids at parties to Madonna.



“I believe in order to succeed you need education, persistence and passion.” Bob Schlegel “Because I stand between two cultures, I’m able to see what’s going on in North America and in Asia,” says Cho. “Gangnam Style is a great example that proves you can build a bridge between these two cultures. And I figured there might be a business idea there.” Cho officially launched Canada’s first Canadian-Asian record label in October 2012, and he’s hoping to gain traction and learn as much as he can about entrepreneurship through Laurier’s LaunchPad program — a collaborative environment where students and business experts partner to help get ideas off the ground. It is one of the first programs of its kind in North America to offer course credit for entrepreneurship. It is also pan-university, allowing students from all faculties to participate, not just business students. The LaunchPad program is just one of many ways that Laurier encourages entrepreneurship and helps students successfully navigate a world where they are their own bosses.

“There is a lot of opportunity for people to build a viable business around their passions,” says Micheál Kelly, dean of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics (SBE). “Laurier has done a lot in the area of entrepreneurship, and there is a lot more we want to do.”

The first time Cho ventured into SBE, located in the Frank C. Peters Building and the adjacent Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, it felt a bit strange. There was no music playing, and he didn’t know anyone. “I really like to push my boundaries, and even though I didn’t know the business faculty, I just said, ‘Hey, I want to do this and if you want to help, great,’” says Cho. While Cho is new to SBE, there have been many successful entrepreneurs ahead of him who know these buildings and faculty well, including Mike Morrice (BBA/BSc ’08), co-founder and executive director of

Bob Schlegel and family | Pavestone Company, peopleCare

Anyone who has been to Laurier’s Waterloo campus is likely familiar with the School of Business & Economics’ Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. But what many people may not know is the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit behind the Schlegel name.

Bob Schlegel

(BA ’72) grew up on a Mennonite farm outside of Waterloo, Ont., where his industrious father instilled the entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic in him at an early age. The elder Schlegel went on to open a gas station and, later, a nursing home. After graduating from Laurier, Bob Schlegel opened an accounting firm with fellow alumnus Charlie Moore. In 1979, along with his wife Myrna, the couple started to build a successful nursing and retirement home business in Texas, eventually comprising 13 deluxe facilities, which they sold in 1994 for $62 million. In 1980, Schlegel saw potential in landscaping bricks that could withstand freeze-and-thaw cycles and the couple founded Pavestone Co., which became the largest dry-concrete paver manufacturer in the U.S., employing close to 2,000 people. It was sold last year for an undisclosed amount (it’s rumored to be in excess of $300 million).



All four of their children are also entrepreneurs. Daughter Kim is the author of four books on entertaining and runs an online calendar of charitable events. Son Kirby (MBA ’03) is founder and chairman of Strategic Sports, a company specializing in team ownership and management. He started the Texas Tornado Junior A hockey club in Dallas, and along with his father he owned the Iowa Stars American Hockey League franchise and the Tacoma Rainiers AAA baseball team. Daughter Kari is a real estate agent, and daughter Krystal is a fashion blogger and event host. Both Bob and Myrna Schlegel received honorary degrees from Laurier. He believes his time at the university played a part in his success. “Education certainly changed my life,” says Schlegel. “I believe in order to succeed you need education, persistence and passion.” He also stays true to his roots, and lives by a mantra passed on from his father: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” The Schlegels are also philanthropists, donating to a wide variety of charities and causes. In 1998 the family donated $2 million to help build Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Sustainable Waterloo Region, Razor Suleman (BBA ’98), founder and chairman of Achievers, and Greg Overholt (BBA/BSc ’08), founder of Students Offering Support, to name just a few. Another well-known entrepreneur and alumnus is Bob Schlegel (BA ’72), who, with his wife, Myrna, helped establish the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship with a generous $2-million gift in 1998. The couple started a nursing home business in Texas, and later a dry-concrete paver manufacturing company that grew to become the largest in the United States. Their four children are also all successful entrepreneurs. “Laurier gave me the education that helped me succeed,” says Schlegel. “And I think you need to combine education and entrepreneurship.”

Jenny Bird’s

journey to entrepreneurship began because she couldn’t find a well-made, reasonably-priced evening bag. Rather than pay for an expensive version that wasn’t exactly what she wanted, Bird, a passionate designer and stylist, decided to create her own. Self-taught in accessories design, her collection of upscale handbags was a two-year labour of love. When it launched in 2008 from a New York City Garment District factory, the line captured a coveted Trunk Show at New York City’s prestigious Henri Bendel on Fifth Ave. When the economic downturn hit in 2009, buyers for Bird’s handbags dried up. Rather than give up, she went into “survival mode” and shifted focus to a jewellery line, finding a niche with her chic, versatile pieces. Married to Adam Kohn (BA ’99), the couple started working together in 2011 when he left his corporate job to head the Jenny Bird enterprise as president, bringing financial rigour and organization to the company. Although she had an artistic upbringing and comes from a family of seamstresses, Bird’s path was far different when she graduated from Laurier’s business program in 1999. She pursued a career in marketing consulting but her first love was fashion and she yearned to create. Her first attempt at entrepreneurship actually came in 2004, but “I didn’t approach it with enough vision or funding,” says Bird, 36. She went back to the corporate world and saved enough money to try again. Today, Bird’s accessories can be seen in the pages of magazines such as W, Fashion, Vogue and Flare, and are often spotted on celebrities and television shows.

Jenny Bird | jewellery and accessories designer | jenny-bird.com Now carried at more than 100 boutiques and retailers around the world, she splits her time between Toronto and New York City. Ninety per cent of Jenny Bird sales are international, and the company has showrooms in New York and Los Angeles. Bird says she works hard in her studio and on the road, but the freedom of working for herself and her limitless earning potential are huge benefits of being an entrepreneur. “When I need a day off I take one on a whim, and I can spend days in cafés to strategize, or days wandering New York in search of design inspiration,” she says. But her success didn’t come without hardships.

“ Each step, even with big mistakes, you learn something and those lessons are diff icult but invaluable.” “There is no guidebook to the fashion industry. Although, one of my first purchases was an online book called How to Start a Handbag Business … I was so naïve but not afraid to try. I just trusted that I was smart enough to figure it out as I went. I could write that book much better now.”



One of the ways Laurier does this is with the New Venture Competition, created in 2002 in partnership with the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and sponsored by BDO Canada. All first-year undergraduate business students (more than 700) take a course in the fall where they generate new venture ideas. In the winter term, they develop a business plan, which they present to their peers. The top teams present to external business community members, who select a winning team. The competition serves as a foundation for students who want to continue in the entrepreneurial stream during their business education. In 2005, the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship went a step further and launched a pilot program called the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Centre. The pilot started with just three students, but today students from all undergraduate faculties and the MBA program interview to take part in the program. Renamed the Laurier LaunchPad in 2012, it is headquartered at the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener, Ont. The Hub is an innovation

Matt Schnarr & Adam Deremo AWAKE chocolate | awakechocolate.ca

Matt Schnarr Adam Deremo

Entrepreneurship for (BA ’97, BusDip ’98) and (BBA ’01) has been a hoot. After 10 years in the packaged goods industry working for companies like Kraft and PepsiCo., the Laurier grads noticed a hole in the marketplace. While energy drinks and similar products produced a functional benefit, they didn’t taste great. And what tastes better than chocolate? After more than a year of research, focus groups, networking and raising close to $1 million through investors, the duo launched AWAKE chocolate in August 2012. One chocolate bar contains 101 mg of added caffeine, the same amount as a cup of coffee. Eight months later, the product is sold in more than 6,000 stores across Canada, including Loblaws and Shopper’s Drug Mart. The company completed a promotional tour of university campuses across the country last fall, and Schnarr and Deremo (and third partner Dan Tzotzis) recently appeared on an episode of the CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Laurier alumnus and dragon David Chilton (BA ’95) is now a prominent investor in the company, along with Tony Chapman, CEO of Capital C and a judge on the television show Recipe to Riches.



Deremo chalks up their quick success to careful planning and enlisting a network of professional advisors. “We agreed we wouldn’t launch until we had enough money to do it properly, so we were working hard and hustling behind the scenes for a year prior,” says Deremo. “We have a specific plan that focuses on distribution, awareness and repeatable sales. And to our credit, we are smart enough to know what we don’t know.” One of these things is branding. A network connection put them in contact with Seattle-based agency Tether Inc. (headed by the former global head of design at Starbucks Coffee Corp.), which created the company’s quirky and playful visual identity, including “spokesowl” Nevil. Next up for AWAKE is continued growth in Canada (with a goal this year of 12,000 stores), expansion into the U.S. market and new products, including the release of a new caramel-filled chocolate bar. One of the perks of entrepreneurship, aside from the taste testing, is working in a field they feel passionate about. “We were told the process would take twice as long and take twice as much work as we expected, and it is true,” says Deremo.

“Without the passion to get you through and drive you, the odds of success are low. I can’t imagine working so hard at something that I didn’t feel so strongly about.”

“ Laurier has done a lot in the area of entrepreneurship, and there is a lot more we want to do.” SBE Dean Micheál Kelly centre that brings together entrepreneurs, academic institutions and multinational companies to build global digital media companies. Laurier is a founding partner. Steve Farlow, the executive director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, heads the LaunchPad program. Farlow was an entrepreneur for 12 years, running his company Superior Safety, which distributed occupational health and safety products. He sold the company in 2002 just prior to joining Laurier. Farlow has made it his mission — and the university’s mission — to provide every Laurier student with the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship. “Being an entrepreneur is a viable career option, and we want students to know that,” says Farlow. “More than that, we want students to know about the opportunities here at Laurier, where they can get the resources and mentorship they need to succeed.”

Earlier this year, dozens of Laurier students from the faculties of music, science, arts and business gathered

for the first class of the LaunchPad program (the program is one semester long for undergrads, two for MBA students). The class includes a short introduction to the course and networking with the accountants, lawyers and alumni who will accompany the students on the LaunchPad journey as mentors and advisors. Students also have access to online mentoring and an entrepreneur-in-residence. But Farlow warns students not to expect lectures. The course is taught as a “flipped classroom” — students do their readings and preparation ahead of time, and every week they must come to class prepared to present on a topic as it relates to their business. They must also start connecting with potential customers. Laurier LaunchPad alumnus Dave Inglis (BA ’12) says the program tested his desire to be an entrepreneur. He launched his company, The Concussion Toolbox, during the 2012 LaunchPad session. Much like Cho, Inglis wasn’t a business student when he came up with his idea for a mobile app to help manage concussions. As a kinesiology student and hockey player, he saw a need for a concussion management tool after

Dave Inglis | The Concussion Toolbox | theconcussiontoolbox.com

Dave Inglis

(BA ’12) remembers the day he felt like his business, The Concussion Toolbox, was on its way. It was in fall 2012 — just a few months after graduating from Laurier — and his idea for a concussion management mobile app had grown into a full-service consulting business. “After putting in a lot of early mornings and late nights, starting a business can be a very rewarding and humbling experience,” says Inglis. “When you reflect on the team you’ve created to fulfill your vision you realize it has all been worth it.” As a teenager, Inglis was an avid hockey player, but a hit on the ice left him with an undiagnosed concussion. A premature return to the ice and another head injury ended his playing career. Inglis, 22, came up with the idea for a concussion management tool while studying kinesiology at Laurier. There is an open-source Sport Concussion Assessment Tool Version 2 (SCAT2) online test for evaluating concussions in athletes age 10 and older, but it can be onerous to fill out. So, Inglis decided to create an app that makes it easier for health-care providers and team trainers to manage concussions. The app allows users to create player profiles to evaluate, compare and share individual athlete assessments. His entrepreneurial drive led him to the Laurier LaunchPad program in winter 2012. After graduating, Inglis took his app to the Ontario Centres of Excellence start-up competition and won the $25,000 prize. Today, Inglis is a coordinator for the LaunchPad program while also running his business, which has evolved into a full-service company helping sport organizations implement concussion management programs, baseline testing and annual education.

“It’s been such a rollercoaster ride, but I love being an entrepreneur, and I love doing something I really believe in.” LAURIER CAMPUS Spring 2013


“It is a badge of honour to fail because then you will know what you need to do to succeed.” Steve Farlow suffering from concussions himself. Going through the LaunchPad program helped him realize that his original idea of just offering an app wasn’t a sustainable funding model. Today, Inglis’ business also includes concussion management consulting. The LaunchPad program not only helped clarify his business idea, it also gave him a taste of life as an entrepreneur. “I was going to school full time, working part time and trying to launch a business — it was pure hell,” says Inglis. “But by the time you are finished LaunchPad you know whether or not you are cut out for this.” The program is structured so students can build their business idea, measure it, learn and change course if necessary. Central to this concept is failure.

Jeff Rushton | coasttocoastagainstcancer.org Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation

Jeff Rushton’s

life has Like many Canadians, been touched by cancer — his father battled and beat colon cancer. In 2002, Rushton and a friend, whose mother passed away from breast cancer, cycled across the United States to raise awareness and funding for cancer research. Rushton was a novice cyclist before embarking on the 230-kilometre-a-day ride across the continent. He was so inspired by the dedications to loved ones they received during the trek that he biked across Canada the following year, and the idea for his non-profit, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, was born.



“It is a badge of honour to fail because then you will know what you need to do to succeed,” says Farlow. “At this point you’ve only invested a small amount of money. You haven’t refinanced your house or taken out a loan. So the LaunchPad is a safe place to fail and learn.” Tony Agbonkhese, a part-time MBA student in Laurier’s Toronto program, applied to the LaunchPad program with the goal of starting a company that will provide exclusive technology distribution rights in Africa, starting with his home country Nigeria. After the first class, he was impressed with the structure of the course. “Most programs like this only assist you once you have a viable product,” says Agbonkhese. “But here you get to have all that assistance starting from scratch, which is wonderful because it gives you the opportunity to test the viability of your idea. This is why I wanted to be in the program.” SBE Dean Micheál Kelly is also impressed with the LaunchPad program. In the future, he hopes to expand

“Seeing my father go through his cancer treatments, I learned that cancer strikes everyone, even children,” Rushton says. “I wanted to do something about it.” Since the mid-2000s, the foundation has raised more than $25 million for childhood cancer charities and research in all provinces. “I am very passionate about the difference this incredible community is making to the lives of kids and their families,” says Rushton (BBA ’85), the foundation’s chairman and an avid volunteer. “I love the feeling you get when you see people united in a common purpose that is bigger than any one person.” When he’s not running his charity, Rushton is an owner, president and CEO of Media Resources, one of Canada’s largest integrated products and services companies for the sign industry (the company made the Laurier100 banners that appeared on campus during the university’s centennial year). “I don’t look at things as difficult, just different levels of fun challenges,” he says. “There’s no real difference starting a charity or a company. What it boils down to are the people you’re working with and the belief in the cause.” Rushton’s son, Skylar, is following in his father’s footsteps and is in his second year of Laurier’s business program. “I absolutely loved Laurier,” says Rushton. “The BBA with co-op option helped shape who I am today. The incredible professors, the case work and the team-based environment really helped me in my personal and business life. I went on to other programs, but Laurier stands out as my No. 1 educational experience.”


it to increase the number of advisors and faculty who can provide expertise through teaching and mentorship. Kelly also thinks there is potential to expose students to the venture capital side of entrepreneurship with the creation of a student-advised venture capital fund. “Having students run a venture capital fund will take them through the other side of entrepreneurship so they understand the key elements of fundraising,” says Kelly. “So, we’re looking at other ways we can reinforce what we do in the entrepreneurship program by adding new attributes to it.” As for Cho, he has big plans for the future. After the LaunchPad program he wants to take his company international. But for now he is just excited to learn. “I’m just trying to be a sponge and make wise decisions for myself and my company.” CAMPUS

The Laurier LaunchPad program • Open to all undergraduate students and MBA students • Alumni are also welcome to use Laurier’s space at the Communitech Hub for entrepreneurial activities BDO New Venture Competition • Part of the curriculum for all first-year undergraduate business students MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship • Available as a one-year, full-time course or as a concentration in the part-time MBA program in Waterloo and Toronto Laurier Entrepreneurship Competition • Laurier’s official business plan competition PepsiCo Pitch Competition • Students come up with a business idea and pitch it to a group of business leaders from PepsiCo Student Clubs • Enactus Laurier (formerly SIFE) • Laurier Innovation & Technology (LiTC)

Are you an entrepreneur? We are looking for Laurier alumni entrepreneurs to be mentors, volunteers, speakers, investors, board members and more. Contact us for more info: alumni@wlu.ca | facebook.com/LaurierAlumni twitter.com/LaurierAlumni | laurieralumni.ca

Meghan Kirwin always wanted her own

business because she wanted to do what she loved every day: create positive employee experiences for small businesses. “I really think running my own business is in my blood. My family owned a small retail gift store and through the years I experienced the ups and downs inherent with entrepreneurship. I saw firsthand the value of human resources and how much a business’ employees contribute to the success of the business.” To achieve her goal, Kirwin was one of three students who took part in a small pilot program at Laurier called the Entrepreneurship Accelerator, which eventually became the university’s LaunchPad program. Kirwin (MBA ’05) received a credit for launching her human resources consultancy business, which primarily services small businesses that don’t have in-house human resources personnel. “I love the work,” she says. “I love working with entrepreneurs and helping them grow their own businesses.” The Kirwin Group offers services such as recruitment, development and employee engagement. In a given month, the company works with about 30 companies.

Meghan Kirwin | The Kirwin Group | kirwingroup.ca “Laurier had an amazing effect on my career,” says Kirwin, who received mentorship, legal assistance and marketing guidance through Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. She has returned to campus several times to provide human resources mentoring to current students with entrepreneurial goals. “When you’re an entrepreneur you care about your business a lot — it’s like your child,” she says. “I have two children and my business is my third. It’s wonderful, but you also have to learn balance.”



strings of power



campus feature

Violinist Melissa Schaak brings a pop twist to classical string quartet story by Jessica Natale Woollard



When violinist Melissa Schaak takes the stage with her string quartet, audiences are often stunned into silence.


courtesy of The Exclusive Strings INSIDE PHOTOS

courtesy of David Plas


Instead of the traditional black uniform of classical players, the members of the all-female Exclusive Strings emerge dressed in custom-made designer outfits and 10-inch heels. They hold electric instruments, which, like the performers, are contemporary versions of the traditional variety. There are no music stands, no chairs and no classical niceties; in their place are large video screens and roaming spotlights. With battery packs strapped to their mini skirts, the musicians on stage are as hypnotic as Sirens. No wonder audiences are silent — they are spellbound. “Then we start to play and the audience warms up,” Schaak says. “They see we have great training.” From the tone of her voice, it’s clear she loves the element of surprise. Schaak (BMus, Dip ’06) has led the Belgiumbased Exclusive Strings as first violinist and master of ceremonies since 2009. The group’s pop/classical sound is a perfect fit for the 30-year-old Sudbury, Ont., native who spent years of musical study as a dual agent: toning down her titillating stage presence when playing Bach and Beethoven, and swapping her 18th-century Klotz violin for a five-string Zeta electric when plugging in for rock, folk, country and pop performances. Her classical education began at age four with violin lessons. At 12 she joined Zabava, a local Ukrainian folk band that performed across Ontario. Her teacher


recommended continuing her education at Laurier where Jeremy Bell, another violinist from Sudbury, was teaching and playing with the world renowned Penderecki String Quartet, in residence at the university since 1991. Laurier’s emphasis on performance and the option for a post-graduate diploma in chamber music convinced Schaak that it was the best choice to lay the foundation for a career as a professional musician. She began her studies in 2001 with Jerzy Kaplanek, associate professor of violin, strings and chamber music, and violinist in the Penderecki String Quartet. While studying with Kaplanek, Schaak also continued to hone her contemporary musicianship: she toured with Zabava on weekends and joined another Ukrainian band, Zirka, in addition to spending time in recording studios playing rock, pop and country music. “I could clearly see that Melissa wanted to be a performer and have the lifestyle of a musician who is touring, playing for big audiences and working with the others,” says Kaplanek. He also saw she was born to be a performer. “In the performance world, we can quickly identify players with a special gift, those who are able to communicate and capture the audience,” he says. “When this happens, we, as an audience, know instantly that we are listening and watching someone who has something more to offer then just a technically perfect delivery of the piece.

Melissa definitely was one of those types of people. She had a lot to learn about the instrument and Western music, but when she was on stage people got quiet and really listened.” After graduating, Schaak enrolled at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where she earned a second Bachelor of Music. The conservatory offered violin instruction in jazz and pop, but she opted for the classical department “knowing that it would give me the proper training to be able to explore various kinds of music.” In 2009, with her education complete, Schaak was ready to start a music career in Europe. She received a text message from a friend telling her to send her resumé to an email address he had seen on a poster. “He said, ‘Mel, just trust me, it’s perfect for you!’ And that was it. I had no idea what it was.” Always up for adventure, Schaak applied without requesting further details. The job was for The Exclusive Strings. Schaak only discovered the nature of the group when the manager asked to meet her and directed her to the group’s website. “When I saw what the group was, I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “I trusted my friend to know me well enough — he hit the nail on the head.” After an audition and a consultation with a stylist, Schaak was offered the position of first violinist, and became the MC and front woman. While the idea of “show strings” is new to most Canadians, The Exclusive Strings is one of dozens of similar groups in Europe. They share a few key characteristics — beautiful women playing pop/ classical fusion — but each has its own cachet. The Exclusive Strings is unique because it features four players from four different countries: Canada, Russia, Serbia and the Netherlands. Each member is classically trained from conservatories around the world. The players all speak English to varying degrees, but language and cultural barriers — not to mention four strong personalities — made for a challenging work environment early on. “It was pretty difficult in the beginning to avoid big miscommunications,” says Schaak. “Once we got to know each other’s personalities and cultures, it became quite friendly. We maintain a good professional working relationship, while some of us are naturally closer than others. I think we’ve learned a lot of patience from each other.” The group also distinguishes itself by its couture costumes, designed exclusively for the players by Belgian designer Nicky Vankets. “Fashion is a really big part of The Exclusive Strings,” Schaak says. “We have to arrive at concerts in fashionable things… dressed to the nines upon arrival. [The group] is geared toward clients who are going to think of us as superstars.”

“The Middle East is still very exotic for me. I love to play there and witness the beautiful culture.”



While the costumes are visually striking, they pose challenges when put to work on stage. The women perform their shows in hazardously high heels, and they don’t just play instruments — they run across the stage, weave around each other and perform choreographed numbers. The group only rehearses when they are learning new choreography; otherwise, they rely on their good training and showmanship. “The most difficult thing about performing isn’t the playing, it’s keeping everything in check: dancing, emceeing, doing choreography, figuring out how to use the stage and making sure your costume doesn’t fall off,” Schaak says. “This is something they don’t teach you in a classical program!” Schaak, who says she is the “klutziest of the four girls,” confesses she has fallen on stage during a concert and suffered a significant wardrobe malfunction. A few times, her violin bow has become caught in her feather headdress. “Then I have the task of eloquently making the audience laugh and enjoy the concert, even though I’m trying to think of how to get out of this one.” The Exclusive Strings often plays to audiences of several thousand people, who respond as positively to Mozart as they do to Maroon 5 and Michael Jackson. “We always start quite classical, a little Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, but by the end it’s like a dance club, and we’re jumping around the stage and the audience is on their feet screaming and dancing,” says Schaak. The group plays about 150 shows per year, mostly in Western Europe, but also in the Middle East. “My favourite performances are when we get to play in Qatar or Dubai or Oman,” says Schaak. “The Middle East is still very exotic for me. I love to play there and witness the beautiful culture. I really like going anywhere I’ve never been, especially as an artist because there is a sense of sharing music and cultures. These are definitely the most educational and rewarding experiences.”



Happily single, Schaak enjoys living out of a suitcase. When she needs a break from touring, she hops on a plane to visit family and friends in Sudbury. Some day, she hopes The Exclusive Strings will cross the Atlantic and play to North American audiences. So what do purists think of her atypical, classical quartet? Schaak laughs. “Most of my teachers haven’t said anything about the style of music, but I think they are happy that I found something that suits me,” says Schaak. Others are less forgiving. “I have personally gotten some ridicule from the ‘classical’ elite, as well as other music graduates over the last years. Many orchestras throughout the world are folding, so classical musicians are forced to become creative and compromise in order to make a living at it. I’d much prefer to play for the ‘mass market’ and have 3,000 screaming fans having an amazing time, rather than a quarter or an eighth of that number sitting quietly, looking like they want to run for the door.” Nevertheless, Schaak doesn’t discount the possibility of returning to classical music full time in the future, or even delving into music management. “There’s a timestamp on this career. I can’t play with The Exclusive Strings and dance up on stage in sexy costumes when I’m older.” She approaches the future with the same sense of adventure as the day she blindly applied for The Exclusive Strings. With her versatile playing and performing, and the experience she has gained managing herself as a professional musician, she trusts the right thing will come her way at the right time. And while she hopes one day to return to Canada, for the moment, Schaak is perfectly happy right where she is: performing classical music like a rock star, and doing it in heels. CAMPUS exclusivestrings.com



The early Alumni years bring milestones: arranging credit, buying a car, choosing a home, negotiating a mortgage and protecting people you love. GradVantages partners have a lot to offer.

keeping in touch

Kate Applin and Conrad Siebert as Adina and Nemorino in MYOpera’s production of The Elixir of Love (March 2012). Photo credit: Rene Stackenborg



keeping in touch

Setting the stage for young opera singers by Mallory O’Brien

As a young soprano fresh out of school, Laurier alumna Kate Applin discovered that breaking into the professional opera world is no easy task. “There are simply not enough professional opportunities for young, talented opera singers in Toronto,” she says. “I realized there must be other singers in the same situation as I was.” Applin decided to take matters into her own hands and started the Toronto-based Metro Youth Opera (MYOpera), an opera company dedicated to bridging the gap between school and professional work. MYOpera also creates opportunities for young artists in all fields related to the world of opera, including stagehands and music directors. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance in 2009 and earning a diploma in Operatic Studies in 2010, Applin attended a training program with Edmonton-based Opera NUOVA, a non-profit training organization for operatic vocalists and musicians. While there, she performed in an opera and took a variety of classes, from stage combat to the creative process. But what struck her the most was hearing an instructor talk about the importance of creating opportunities. “The teacher mentioned how actively seeking or creating opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you is a crucial step in the process of becoming a professional,” says Applin. When she returned to Toronto in the fall of 2010, Applin set to work starting MYOpera. “The hardest thing is to get a company to take a chance on you,” says Applin. So, that is what she does — takes a chance on young singers. She also pays her performers through ticket sales and donations. “Singers spend a lot of money on training programs, workshops and coaches — all of which are incredibly expensive — and it’s hard to earn the money back, especially before you’re fully professional. The transition is challenging, and that’s part of the bridge I’d like to help build.” MYOpera produces one opera a year. For the first performance, Applin admits she was figuring it out as she went along. “It was like scrambling in the dark. I had never done anything with production before.” Thankfully, she says, the opera program at Laurier requires students to complete several volunteer hours in the department, which usually involves helping with a production. Applin volunteered as a stagehand, which gave her a “small idea of what it takes to put on a show.”

“My opportunities at Laurier took me to where I am now,” she says. “The faculty is very intimate and a singer at Laurier gets significantly more opportunities than a singer at a bigger school, especially at the undergraduate level. To have those opportunities kept me interested in performing when I was still in my undergrad.” The first year, Applin recruited six singers she knew, including herself, to perform Così fan tutte, a two-act opera by Mozart. Since then, Applin has employed 19 unique emerging artists across MYOpera’s three seasons. Because of the success of the first show, MYOpera has started to audition singers. “As an emerging singer myself, I know the work, care and stress that goes into an audition, and how heartbreaking it can be to hear a ‘no’ at the end of the process,” says Applin. “It has reminded me that, in my own experiences, if I don’t get a part or a position I was vying for, it’s not about me, but really about who the casting panel needed to balance out the rest of the cast.” Applin and MYOpera have been featured on the CBC multiple times and other radio stations. She says the audience at a MYOpera show is usually a mix of people: opera lovers and patrons who care about fostering young singers, as well as youth and community members who have never seen opera before. “The audience for opera is larger than some might think,” says Applin. “So many companies are trying to find new, interesting and current ways to engage younger, wider audiences. There is a lot of future for opera and an incredible number of artists. Every year it gets more competitive because there are always talented singers who are impeccably trained. “When you speak to performers in almost any field, whether dance, instrumental or acting, they all say the best way to get better is to perform. It’s hands down the best way. I’m lucky to be able to offer that opportunity to singers.”  YOpera performs twice every April at the Crescent School M in Toronto. For more information, and to buy tickets, visit metroyouthopera.ca.



Thanks to a generous bequest from the estate of a Brantford chemist, Brantford students like Abdikarim Osman will benefit from the newly opened William Nikolaus Martin labs.

Q: Why give? A: To help build our future. LEGACY DONORS MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE. Their lifelong commitment and generosity provide vital building blocks for future generations of Laurier students. Through a planned gift, such as a charitable bequest in your will or a gift of life insurance, you can help cement Laurier’s continued success for years to come. To learn how easy it is, contact Cec Joyal, Development Officer, Individual & Legacy Giving at cjoyal@wlu.ca or call 519.884.0710 x3864.


keeping in touch


Erik Kroman & Hardik Patel: climbing to a cure

In their graduating year, Erik Kroman (BBA ’12) and Hardik Patel (BBA, BMath ’12) commemorated their time at Laurier with a charity campaign. Both strong believers in active, healthy living, they challenged themselves to climb five B.C. mountains in three weeks to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. In May 2012, they summited three mountains (two were impossible due to weather conditions), raised $2,750 and garnered more than 10,000 unique visitors to their website, climbtoacure.ca. Next up, the pair is planning to climb Mount McKinley in support of leukemia research. Also known as Denali, Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America and experiences some of the harshest weather in the world.

for us and one we had to work towards to achieve. We wanted to show how determination can prevail over even the most difficult obstacles.

Why climb mountains to raise awareness?

What is motivating you to climb Mount McKinley?

HP: Climbing a mountain is one of the biggest mental and physical challenges to complete. While both of us had some of the skills necessary to take on such a challenge, it was a new experience

EK: Our next climb will be in support of leukemia research, a cancer that has affected our immediate friends and family. Mount McKinley is higher, harder and more dangerous than anything we have

What was the most difficult challenge you faced while climbing? EK: Mountains can create unexpected challenges in many different ways. A sudden and unexpected weather change on Mount Athabasca left us in whiteout conditions at 10,000 feet. We could only see five feet in front of us. A misstep left or right would have led to a devastating fall of several hundred feet. After summiting, we learned we both had terrible snow blindness, a condition that stranded us without vision for 24 hours. We both made a full recovery.

ever done. Our efforts to complete this challenge will pale in comparison to the daily struggles of those with leukemia. How are you preparing for this bigger climb? HP: We plan to complete a full mountaineering course on Mount Rainier before setting off for bigger climbs. Erik has begun competing in Ironman and Ultra-Marathon Races to prepare for the demanding conditions of the mountains. EK: Hardik has taken up marathon running, having successfully completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. What did you learn from your first climbs that you will apply to climbing Mount McKinley? EK: 1: It’s always further than it looks, 2: It’s always taller than it looks, and 3: It’s always harder than it looks! If you would like to support the Mount McKinley climb for cancer research, email Erik at rkroman@rogers.com.



DEVELOPMENT DAY2013 Fea t u r i n g

N E I L PA S R I C H A Aut ho r 1000 Awesome Things, The Book of Awesome and The Book of (Even More) Awesome Neil Pasricha is a self-described “average guy” who works a cubicle job in the suburbs, eats frozen burritos for dinner, and needs to go to the gym more. But Neil has also started something a lot more average... after he graduated from Queen’s University and Harvard Business School, Neil came back to Toronto and started a blog called 1000awesomethings.com during a tough time in his life. The blog took off and has now reached over 50 million people and won Webby awards for “Best Blog in the World” over the past two years.

F R I D AY, M AY 3 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $135 per person Special early bird price - only $95 until April 12 BRICKER ACADEMIC BUILDING WATERLOO CAMPUS, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

WINNER The 14th Annual

Other topics for the day include: Leadership • Communication skills • Career planning

Sponsored by: To purchase tickets and for complete event information, visit:


keeping in touch


Publishing). It traces the lives of five of the greatest mixed-martial arts fighters: Georges St-Pierre, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko. To write the book, D’Souza immersed himself in the sport, and conducted interviews with the fighters, attended events and trained in mixed-martial arts. As a journalist, D’Souza has written for many outlets, including CBC.ca, ESPN.com, FoxSports.com and Sharp magazine, among others. For more about the book, visit briandsouza.com.

Ron Haycock (BA ’68) spent 33 years as a faculty member at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) holding various positions, including professor, head of the History Department and dean of arts. After retiring in 2008, Haycock was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Military Science for his contributions to the advancement of military education at the RMCC and in the Canadian Forces. He lives with his wife, Rita, on a farm north of Kingston, Ont., and enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren and travelling. Haycock says he looks back on his Laurier years with fondness, especially since the couple’s daughter, Laura, is also a Laurier graduate. Mark Moses (BBA ’87)

1980s Wayne Caston (MBA ’87) retired from Golder Associates Ltd. as a senior specialist in aggregate resources. Prior to joining Golder, Caston was the natural resource manager – Canada for Nestlé Waters North America. He is maintaining a part-time consulting practice in resources planning and management, and as a dealer of antique maps. Caston is active in the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario, and is a member of Waterloo Region’s Ecological and Environmental Advisory Committee, as well as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Bruce Trail Conservancy. After 34 years, he has also returned to flying sailplanes and is working his way back to being a pilot/instructor. Mark Moses (BBA ’87) completed the Hawaii Ironman World Championship on October 13, 2012. This was Moses’ 11th Ironman, including his fourth Hawaii Ironman. In addition to his athletic pursuits, Moses coaches 30 of the world’s top entrepreneurs and CEOs on the strategies to scale their businesses and increase profits. He also speaks all over the world on a variety of topics, including “Building The Life That You Want” and “What It Takes To Be A Top Performer.” Mark lives in Newport Beach, California, with his wife of 17 years

and two children ages 14 and 12. To learn more, visit markmoses.net.

2000s Trevor Haldenby (BA ’04) is completing a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University in Toronto, exploring the social and economic implications of emerging design technologies. In 2012 he founded a startup called The Mission Business, which brings live-action theatre and online digital communities together in story experiences that challenge our assumptions about the future. ZED.TO, his first large project with The Mission Business, won awards for Best in Cross-Platform Fiction at the Digi Awards, Best in Show at the annual World Future Society congress, Best in Biological Design at Autodesk University and Most Innovative Performance at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Haldenby lives in Toronto with his wife Ekaterina, a veritable warehouse of computers and cameras, and a posse of raccoons. He can be contacted at trevor@themission.biz. Brian J. D’Souza (BA ’06) recently published a book titled Pound for Pound: The Modern Gladiators of Mixed Martial Arts (Thracian

Matthew Donnelly (BMus ’10) received the 2013 Canadian Band Association award for best original score by a new Canadian composer for his composition, River Valley Sketches. The piece will be performed and recorded by bands across Canada and is available at matthewdonnellymusic.com/ recordings. Andrew Mellanby (BMus ’10) is working as the artistic and orchestra operations manager for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Aimee Maggiacomo (BA ’11) is one of nine Canadians working on an international assignment for the Commonwealth Games Canada’s SportWORKS initiative. During her yearlong placement on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, which began in January, she will be assisting with building sport capacity though programming, fundraising, communications and team management. The kinesiology and physical education graduate is the only full-time worker at the Anguilla Commonwealth Games Association, which is staffed mostly by volunteers. A key job will be learning athlete-management software and implementing it in the Anguilla office. “My degree taught me to not only understand the physical aspect of sport, but also the value of sport and recreation and what they offer individuals and communities,” says Maggiacomo, who recently completed a graduate program in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa. “I have been able to



GET IN THE GAME Alumni for life means exclusive access to • Networking events • Golden Hawk sports games • Homecoming • Volunteering (e.g. WLUAA, etc.) • Career help • Donating • Lectures • Fun family events • Connecting with friends • GradVantages facebook.com/LaurierAlumni twitter.com/LaurierAlumni linkedin.com search for Laurier Alumni (Official Group)


keeping in touch

grasp the universal language of sport and I am excited to see the influence and role it has in a new culture.” While completing her degree at Laurier and working at the Hawk Desk in her fourth year, Maggiacomo developed an interest in sport administration. She says her internship combines that interest with her love of travel and international development. “This opportunity came up and it was a perfect fit,” she says. “This experience will be invaluable. I hope to have a career in international development through sport capacity and the end goal is to work for the Commonwealth Games.” Cam Wheelan (BA ’12) is a member of Canada’s developmental beach volleyball team and is an assistant coach with the York University Lions volleyball team. An Olympic hopeful, Wheelan competed in several international events last year, including the International University Sports Federation world championships in Brazil.

Email your updates to alumaddress@wlu.ca

In memoriam Herb Epp (BA ’61), an active member of the Laurier community who was awarded the Order of Laurier in 2012 and was honoured as one of Laurier’s 100 Alumni of Achievement during the university’s centennial in 2011, passed away Feb. 25, 2013 at the age of 78. Epp had a distinguished career in public service, serving as a councillor and mayor of the City of Waterloo and as an MPP in the Ontario Legislature. He also served as president of the WLU Alumni Association from 1966 to 1967, and was a member of the university’s Board of Governors from 1973 to 1974, and again from 2003 to 2006. Epp also served as a councillor for the City of Waterloo from 1968 to 1974, and as mayor from 1974 to 1977, and again from 2003 to 2006. He also served four terms in the Ontario Legislature, from 1977 to 1990. Epp was active in his community and served on many boards, including the Catholic Family Counselling Centre, Family and Children’s Services, and the Kitchener-Westmount Rotary Club.

Phil LePan (BA ’71) passed away Dec. 19, 2012 at the age of 65. While at Laurier, he played varsity hockey for the Golden Hawks. LePan worked as a Formula 1 racing team manager and paddock member with Team Lotus of Norwich, England, and later managed the Player’s/ Forsythe Racing Team of Indianapolis winning a championship in 2003 with driver Paul Tracy at the wheel. He most recently managed Dale Coyne Racing out of Plainfield, Illinois, helping driver Justin Wilson to victory in June 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway. LePan is survived by his wife Donna (BA ’70) and two sons. Darleen Clay (BA ’75) passed away Dec. 25, 2012 of cancer. A retired teacher, Clay was an accomplished artist, specializing in Japanese Sumi-E (black ink) and teaching the art form in several Kitchener locations. She was also an avid traveller, and joined several cycling trips to Cuba with a Waterloo group, with members donating their bicyles to locals. Clay is survived by her three children.

A pplication for

Board of Directors The Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) plays a vital role within the university community. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 22 to 25 elected directors. The directors hold office for a period of two years and take office on September 1, 2013. The Board of Directors comprises volunteers from various years of graduation and faculties that demographically represent WLU’s over 80,000 alumni. The Alumni Association looks for people who are willing to donate their time, energy and talent to directing the affairs of the organization at WLU. If you would like to get involved with the Alumni Association, please apply at the link below. Deadline for application is Friday, April 26, 2013.

Submit your application online at:




postcard to home

By Leah Buckley (MIPP ’12) I graduated from Laurier’s Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) program in August 2012 and have been living in Quito, Ecuador, since October. I am completing an internship with the International Potato Centre (CIP), an agricultural institute that engages in innovative research to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the rural Andes. My project is to create guidelines to promote socially-inclusive business models in highland farm systems and value chains. For such a geographically small country, Ecuador possesses an incredible range of cultures, landscapes, food and traditions. Working for CIP has also provided me the opportunity to travel to remote communities in the high Andes that would otherwise be inaccessible. I have interacted with farmers and gained insight into their livelihood strategies. This has had a significant impact on my conceptualization of sustainable development. Other noteworthy events include seeing Café Tacuba and Inti Illimani, two popular Spanish-language bands, during Fiestas de Quito in December.

Having lived in Ecuador for nine months (2007/2008) as part of my undergraduate degree, it has been fascinating to observe the changes the country has undergone and how quickly it is developing. The new highway system is very much welcomed! I believe that when you go abroad, you really begin to appreciate the diversity that exists in Canada. As a food lover, I miss the international gastronomic experience that is commonplace in most Canadian cities nowadays. Nonetheless, the strong expat community in Quito, including the new Quebec-run poutine restaurant, helps to alleviate feelings of homesickness. Living abroad is ultimately an exercise in patience, communication and adaptability, as your cultural norms and understandings will inevitably come into conflict with those in your country of residence. However, Ecuadorians are so hospitable that there is always someone willing to help you out. My experience has been so positive, and I’m building contacts with the hope of staying here for the forseeable future.

Are you a Laurier alumna/us living abroad and interested in sharing your story? Email campusmagazine@wlu.ca. 38


calendar of events


For a complete list of events, tickets or more information, visit laurieralumni.ca/events

Friends of Golden Hawk Football Dinner April 25, 2013 Join fellow alumni and four-time Grey Cup champion Damon Allen at the Waterloo Inn and Conference Centre in support of the Golden Hawk football program. For tickets visit laurierathletics.com/footballdinner.

Development Day 2013

Laurier Golf Classic

May 3, 2013

May 28, 2013

Featuring Neil Pasricha,

Join fellow alumni and golf the fourth-oldest

author of 1000 Awesome Things,

golf course in North America, the Brantford

The Book of Awesome and The

Golf and Country Club. In its 16th year, proceeds

Book of (Even More) Awesome. For

from the event support the Student Horizon

details visit laurieralumni.ca/developmentday.

Fund and the Golden Hawk Scholarship Fund. For details visit laurieralumni.ca/golfclassic.

The BLK Barbie Project by Rose-Anne M. Bailey

Niagara Wine Tour

Until April 13, 2013

Join the KW Chapter for the 9th annual

June 8, 2013

Visit the Robert Langen Art Gallery on

Niagara-on-the-Lake wine tour. The tour

Join fellow alumni to cheer on the

the Waterloo campus to experience this

features visits to Peninsula Ridge Estates

photography exhibit, which explores the

Winery, Bistro Six-One Restaurant,

the Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre. Don’t

conceptual development in pop culture

Riverview Cellars Winery and Stoney

miss your chance to register for this Toronto

and the mainstream media of the

Ridge Estate Winery. Note: On June 22

Chapter afternoon, as it will quickly sell out.

representation of beauty and body

the new tour will take place. For details

Visit laurieralumni.ca/events for more

image of Black women.

visit laurieralumni.ca/niagarawinetour.

information or to register.

May 25, 2013

Toronto Blue Jays Game Toronto Blue Jays as they battle

Celebrate your 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th reunion! Calling all members from Laurier’s Waterloo campus Class of 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1973, 1963, and calling interested alumni from Laurier’s Brantford campus. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to choose your events, plan the celebration and contact your classmates! To volunteer or for more information about getting involved, visit laurieralumni.ca/reunions.

Interested in planning a reunion not mentioned? We can help! Please email Heather Ferris at hferris@wlu.ca for more information. Homecoming | Waterloo Campus | September 27-29, 2013 Homecoming | Brantford Campus | October 19, 2013




Terry Hawkins (BA ’60), back row fourth from right, enjoys a night out with friends in the late 1950s, including student nurses from Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital who received academic training at Waterloo College. The venue, Rosslynn Grove, was a popular entertainment spot for students.

An evening out at Rosslynn Grove, 1956-57 “All the ladies are student nurses from the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital, and all the gentlemen are first- or second-year Waterloo College students,” says Terry Hawkins (BA ’60), back row and fourth from the right, of the submitted image, above. Dressed to impress, the group is enjoying a night out at Rosslynn Grove, one of the most popular entertainment spots in the area at the time. The venue, built in 1931 and located just east of Kitchener on Hwy. 8, burned to the ground in 1964. In the 1940s and 1950s, student nurses from Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital, now Grand River Hospital, were a common sight on campus, as they received academic training at Waterloo College.

Hawkins, along with more than 1,000 Waterloo graduates, received a degree from the University of Western Ontario, due to Waterloo College’s affiliation with Western that began in 1925. That agreement ended in 1960 when Waterloo Lutheran University began its first year as a degree-granting institution.

Do you have a photo of your a high-resolution image to Laurier days? Email campusmagazine@wlu.ca and it could appear in Flashback.






INSURANCE PLANS Knowing you’re protected, especially when you have people who depend on you, can be very reassuring. Whatever the future brings, you and your family can count on these Alumni Insurance Plans: Term Life Insurance • Health & Dental Insurance Major Accident Protection • Income Protection Disability Insurance

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Inspiring Lives.

wHat’s in a leaf? At the heart of it this national symbol honours our namesake, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, seventh Prime Minister of Canada. That alone is a unique claim among Canadian universities. But look closely. Laurier’s maple leaf is a microcosm of connectivity and support – every vein contributing to the health of the whole. The beauty and simplicity of the maple leaf can only be realized through this common purpose of nature. And so it is at Laurier – faculty, staff, students and alumni committed to a common vision: To Inspire Lives of Leadership and Purpose.


wilfrid laurier university

Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

Profile for Wilfrid Laurier University

Spring 2013 Laurier Campus  

The Spring 2013 issue of Laurier's alumni magazine.

Spring 2013 Laurier Campus  

The Spring 2013 issue of Laurier's alumni magazine.