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LAURIER For Alumni & Friends | winter 2012

wilfrid laurier university


Uncorking success

 ine agent Alex Patinios W starts a Fuzion frenzy

Kimberly Moffit: from pop star to psychotherapist Jim Moss creates a Smile Epidemic

“I never thought my alumni group rates could save me so much” – Kitty Huang Satisfied client since 2009

See how good your quote can be. At TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, we know how important it is to save wherever you can. As a member of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, you can enjoy preferred group rates on your home and auto insurance and other exclusive privileges, thanks to our partnership with your association. You’ll also benefit from great coverage and outstanding service. We believe in making insurance easy to understand so you can choose your coverage with confidence.

Get an online quote at or call 1-888-589-5656 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Insurance program recommended by the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association

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 January 31, 2013. 1 prize to be won. The winner may choose the prize between a Lexus RX 450h with all basic standard features including freight and pre-delivery inspection for a total value of $60,000 or $60,000 in Canadian funds. The winner will be responsible to pay for the sale taxes applicable to the vehicle. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at ®/ 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 Uncorking the secret to success Wine agent Alex Patinios enjoys a full-bodied career bringing major labels to the Canadian market.


Research file


Coping with workplace unfairness through journaling. Plus, helping paramedics stay healthy on the job.



Feel good, do good


From music to the mind


Homecoming highlights

How Jim Moss’ Smile Epidemic is becoming a global phenomenon. Plus, Debb Ritchie pays it forward with Random Act of Kindness Day.

After finding success as a pop singer, Kimberly Moffit hits the right note with a career in psychotherapy.

22 26

Thousands return to the Waterloo and Brantford campuses to celebrate with family and friends.

3 Editor’s note

32 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 Winter 2012


deve-76-OcT 12

Stronger Together. Anthropology grad Patricia Rae ’83 has donated to Laurier every year for nearly 30 years. Why? “My annual donation is my simple way of saying ‘thank you’ to an institution that played such an important role in my life. The four years I spent at Laurier were special ones and helped shape the person I am today. In fact, my career was founded on the research skills I learned while studying at Laurier.”

EvEry donation – no matter how big or

small – helps to fund Laurier’s exceptional programs and helps to support Laurier’s exceptional students. Together, we are building an exceptional Laurier. Make your gift today.

campus corner EDITOR’S NOTE

A time for reflection and looking forward

Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

Volume 52, Number 2, Winter 2012 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: Nicholas Dinka, Elin Edwards, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien, Katherine Sage, Kate Tippin Design: Janice Maarhuis, Justin Ogilvie, Emily Lowther, Dawn Wharnsby

As the holiday season approaches, it’s a fitting time of year to reflect on what we are grateful for. Laurier student and founder of The Smile Epidemic, Jim Moss, believes this is an exercise that should be practised every day, all year long. A debilitating illness left Moss re-evaluating his life, and thinking about what truly makes him smile. Less than a year later, his “online gratitude journal” is transforming lives around the world, one smile at a time. To learn more, turn to page 22. And, while you’re at it, why not take up his 30 Days of Happiness challenge? We would love to see your “smile” photos — please share them via email, twitter or Facebook! In the same vein, alumna Debb Ritchie is turning a random act of kindness into a national phenomenon. Read how a gesture from a stranger ignited Ritchie’s desire to pay it forward on page 24. With friends and family filling the days ahead, there’s no one better suited to

recommend a wine for your gathering than Laurier alumnus Alex Patinios. A wine agent with his own company, he has a reputation for discovering the next big Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Gris. Read about the man who brought the popular Fuzion label to Canada on page 16. The end of the year is also a time to look forward. Psychotherapist and music therapy graduate Kimberly Moffit suggests writing down your goals for the next year, so you have something visual to work towards. She shares her tips for leading a healthy and successful life, along with her journey from pop star to mental health entrepreneur, in our story on page 26. Enjoy the holiday season and all the best for the New Year,

Stacey Morrison, Editor

Photography: Tomasz Adamski, Dean Palmer Send address changes to: Email: Tel: 519.884.0710 x3176

Letters to the editor

Publications Mail Registration No. 40020414

Our Flashback story about Forwell’s Variety (Summer 2012) received lots of feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s what you said:

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

RT @leilakoritko: @LaurierNews my residence floor was the last to participate in Shine day at Forwell’s! #memories

We welcome and encourage your feedback. Send letters to the editor to 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. Cover photography: Dean Palmer Visit us online at

I lived just up the street from Forwell’s when I was a kid. Used to go there for candy and popsicles a lot. Could get a nice bag of candy for 25 cents and popsicles were less than a quarter. I’m not old, am I? Another part of Waterloo’s history gone but not forgotten.

I remember buying red lei’s for Frosh Week there, my first “grocery” shop and countless Pro Line tickets.

Dawn Haussler ’88

Paul Gray

Questions, comments, rants or raves? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at Be sure to “Like” us on facebook.




The transformation of higher education

In his centennial history of Wilfrid Laurier University, author Andrew Thomson documents the evolution of an institution that, time and again over the past 100 years, found it necessary to adapt to external forces in order to survive and prosper. Laurier’s history is characterized by a pragmatic and innovative ability to embrace change while finding ways to retain its distinct sense of community, and its unbending commitment to academic excellence. “Throughout its history, Wilfrid Laurier University found ways to not simply survive but to thrive,” Thomson writes. “As it goes forward to face challenging attitudes toward higher education, Laurier can take comfort in the knowledge that it has always found the path to success.” I find myself thinking of Thomson’s encouraging words as the post-secondary sector prepares for a period of significant transformation.

and vision, our Top 3 priorities, and plans for improving productivity through innovation. The province has made it clear that these Strategic Mandate Agreements will shape resourceallocation decisions and program approvals. At Laurier, we identified our institutional strengths and aligned them with the evolving needs of society. Our SMA submission includes these Top 3 priorities: 1. Laurier will be preeminent in achieving the combined intellectual, personal and cultural development of students. 2. Laurier’s research endeavours and partnerships will be distinguished by generating complementary outcomes of knowledge creation, community development, improvements in the modern economy and learning enrichment. 3. Laurier will be a leader in innovating highly effective multi-campus delivery of relevant, responsive and efficient education, research and services.

(l-r): Laurier President Max Blouw, honorary degree recipient Darrell Bricker (BA ’83, MA ’84) and Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin at Laurier’s fall convocation.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government issued a discussion paper that urges universities and colleges to do more to adapt to a rapidly changing world. In this new social and economic environment, prosperity depends on increasing the number of well-educated workers in society; students are demanding increased opportunities and relevance in the education they receive; funding resources are increasingly constrained; and technology is dramatically reshaping the way we teach and learn. As a result, the province has challenged universities and colleges to improve productivity and efficiency through innovation. As part of this process, each university and college was asked to submit a Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) earlier this fall. We were directed to include a statement of the institution’s mandate



The Laurier community has done a great deal of strategic planning over the past five years, all of which positions us for success in this new operating environment. However, it is important that we continue to plan our future in a clear and strategic way. For this reason, Laurier has launched an Integrated Planning and Resource Management initiative (IPRM). At the heart of this collegial process is the question, “How will we continue to make Laurier a better institution?” To answer this, the IPRM process will identify principles and priorities that are critically important for Laurier’s future. We will then support these priorities with adequate resources. The year ahead is a critical one for Laurier and for higher education in Ontario. I am confident that the strategic planning that Laurier has done, and continues to do, will build on our historical willingness to embrace change and ensure an even brighter future for this remarkable university.

Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor


A new beginning

A new century, a new ‘leaf’, a new look, a new Executive Board of the Alumni Association, a new beginning. I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead your Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) for the next three years. As the university embarks on its second century of its storied existence, I hope you share my pride in our alma mater for all that it has accomplished and for its vision moving forward. Campus magazine is a great way to learn and read about how the university is moving forward and making an impact in society, but nothing truly compares to coming back to campus — our physical campus. If you didn’t have the opportunity to come home to the Waterloo or Brantford campus for Homecoming this year, we celebrated a “New Century, Same Pride” as the overall theme for the weekend. As part of the festivities on the Waterloo campus, Fred “Deano” Nichols was honoured at a Golden Celebration on Saturday night for his astonishing and unwavering 50 years of service to Laurier. In tribute to Deano, a number of alumni donated $1.3 million to Laurier in Fred’s honour. You can read more about Deano’s career and achievements on page 33. Homecoming is one of hundreds of ways in which you can “come home” to Laurier. The Alumni Relations Office plans a number of events to help us reconnect with one another and to engage with the university — a place we so loved while we were here, but so quickly and easily

lose track of when we leave. If you haven’t had the chance to come back to campus lately, have a look at the event page, where you can view a timeline of upcoming events. Or, consider nominating your favourite professor, staff member, or a former classmate or friend whom you feel merits recognition for one of our Awards of Excellence (for more information have a look at our ad on page 11 or online at Plan a trip to campus to attend the reception to honour these tremendous individuals. Regardless of your engagement with Laurier right now, I want to commit to you that our Alumni Association Board of Directors is here to represent you. We are your eyes and ears on campus. We can’t do this without your support and without your input. I would like to personally encourage you to get involved, to reach out and to connect with us. My email is and I want to hear from you. Until then, all of us on the Board of Directors of your Alumni Association wish you a happy and safe holiday and a prosperous 2013! Sincerely,

Marc Henein, ’04 President, WLUAA P.S. A huge thanks to Tom Berczi for his six years as president of the Alumni Association. Read more about Tom’s leadership on page 32.

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 International Conference

Experts discuss academic freedom

Engaging in difficult conversations on academic freedom and academic integrity is essential for the future of post-secondary education, and is exactly the type of debate the Perspectives on Academic Freedom conference, co-hosted by Laurier and the University of Waterloo, was intended to foster. Held in September in partnership with the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (AUCC), its aim was to have informed discussion around issues of academic freedom and integrity in the

context of partnership agreements. The conference brought together a number of international experts, including Gary Rhoades, a professor and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. In his keynote address, Rhoades lauded the hosts for choosing to have this discussion in a public forum. “What you are doing is really important,” Rhoades said. “My hope is that, given your ability to work through difficult conversations better than we do in the U.S., you will help map some distinctive ways to co-operate, to innovate, to energize the best possible relationships between universities and civil society and the corporate world.” In addition to general discussions on the nature of such relationships, a key objective of the conference was to allow debate specifically on governance arrangements relating to the Basillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). The BSIA is a partnership between Laurier, Waterloo and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), which is a private think tank founded by former

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie. Last April, the CAUT announced its intention to censure Laurier and Waterloo if they did not amend the governance structure. CAUT President Jim Turk clarified his stance during the conference. “This talk is not about academic freedom,” Turk told the audience. “It is about academic integrity — namely what strings may universities appropriately allow over the operation of a donor-funded university entity, whether it be a school, an institute, a centre, program or chair.” Turk mentioned the CAUT’s concerns with the wording outlined in two documents: the BSIA donor agreement and the BSIA governance document. Blouw thanked the CAUT for making sure the universities considered whether they had the right wording, the right elements and the right degrees of separation in the BSIA governance documents in order to confidently move forward. “Have our Senates got it right? I think we do. I hope we do,” said Blouw. “We need clearly to elaborate further on some of the detail of the interaction and partnerships.”

We need to have the the tools to respond to students in a supportive way. Adrienne Luft, mental health/student support team leader Student success

Laurier creates critical new mental health role to support students In an effort to provide greater support to students dealing with mental health challenges, Laurier has named Adrienne Luft to the new role of mental health/ student support team leader, making Laurier one of only three Canadian universities to create such a role. In this new position, Luft will lead Laurier’s institutional mental health strategy. She will also act as a conduit for students seeking help for mental health or academic challenges by connecting them to services inside and outside of the university. Dean of Students Leanne Holland Brown



says this new role is critical. “Given what we know about the prevalence of mental health struggles and the distinct needs of our university students, this role further evidences Laurier’s commitment to students’ personal and academic success,” says Holland Brown. Luft will also lead the implementation of a new $40,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The funds will support a mental health and awareness-training program for faculty, staff and students to help them identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

“We need to have the tools to respond to students in a supportive way,” said Luft. “This program will help us do that, and make people more aware of services on campus and in the community.” The grant will also go toward developing a peer-based program, expanding the resource library, and creating an anti-stigma video featuring Laurier students that can be shown during orientation events and training. As well, Laurier will join a U.S.based research study aimed at gaining a better understanding of mental health on campuses.

campus news

National survey for 2007 graduates

Your input will shape the learning experience at Laurier In early 2013, Laurier is participating in a five-year-out National Baccalaureate Graduate Outcomes Survey (NBGOS). Alumni who received a Laurier undergraduate degree in 2007 will be contacted and invited to complete this survey. Approximately 30 other Canadian universities are also planning to administer the NBGOS. Assessing and evaluating a student’s post-graduation experience provides useful insight into the value of a university education. The NBGOS will collect 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. As the NBGOS will provide Laurier with valuable information, we encourage invited graduates to participate in this survey. Laurier alumni will be contacted and invited by email to participate in this web-based survey. Accordingly, alumni who have not provided Alumni Relations with a current email address are encouraged to contact the university and update their current address prior to administration of the NBGOS (email The expected survey administration period is March and April of 2013. Further information on the NBGOS can be requested from Wally Pirker in Laurier’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning, at

Edna Staebler Award winner

Author Joshua Knelman wins presitigious book award Joshua Knelman has won the 2012 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives through the Secret World of Stolen Art (Douglas & McIntyre, 2011). In Hot Art, Knelman takes what seems like a rarefied topic — art theft — and produces an engrossing narrative that is as riveting as any best-selling mystery novel. Knelman spent four years immersed in the world of international art theft, travelling around the globe to Cairo, New York, London, Montreal and Los Angeles. He befriended a master thief, a lawyer and expert on crimes against art, and a hard-working detective. Even readers who aren’t mourning the loss of the family Monet will be drawn into Knelman’s portrait of calculating art thieves and the handful of dedicated investigators who track them around the globe, often for years at a time. Knelman is a writer and editor based in Toronto. He was a founding editorial member of The Walrus magazine, and his writing has appeared in Toronto Life, Saturday Night, The National Post and The Globe and Mail. Knelman’s feature article “Artful Crimes” in The Walrus won a gold National Magazine Award. Hot Art has also won the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Nonfiction. In addition to Hot Art, the shortlist for the 2012 Edna Staebler Award also included: The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery (Harper Collins, 2011) by Andrew Westoll, and Most of Me: Surviving My Medical Meltdown (Greystone Books, 2012) by Robyn Michele Levy.

(l-r) Marc Henein, president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, and Rob Donelson, vice-president: Development and Alumni Relations, unveil a donor recognition plaque for the Sir Wilfrid Laurier statue.



campus news

Humanitarian and health expert joins Laurier

James Orbinski is the new CIGI Chair in Global Health Laurier has appointed distinguished humanitarian and medical doctor James Orbinski to the position of CIGI Chair in Global Health. His role started Sept. 1. Dr. Orbinski is a former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) who has front-line experience in complex humanitarian emergencies, from Rwanda to Somalia, Zaire and Afghanistan. As head of Médecins Sans Frontières, he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in 1999. In his new role, Dr. Orbinski will be affiliated with Laurier’s School of International Policy and Governance, the Health Sciences Program in the Faculty of Science, and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. In addition, Dr. Orbinski will serve as director of the Africa Initiative at CIGI and as senior advisor to CIGI’s vice-president of programs. Most recently, he was a professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine where he served as chair of Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He was also a fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and practiced medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Among his many achievements, Dr. Orbinski is co-founder and board chair of Dignitas International, a non-governmental organization that performs health systems research and community-based care for people living with HIV in the developing world. He is also a founding board member of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Canadian Doctors for Medicare. He has written a best-selling book, An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarianism in the 21st Century, and is the subject of an awardwinning documentary film, Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma.

People at Laurier Chris Alcantara, associate professor of political science, is a co-recipient of the 2011 J.E. Hodgetts Award for best English article published in the Canadian Public Administration Journal. Alcantara won the award with co-author Jen Nelles of Hunter College, for their article “Strengthening the Ties that Bind: An Analysis of AboriginalMunicipal Inter-Governmental Agreements in British Columbia.”

Dawn Buzza, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, has been named co-president elect of the Canadian Association for Educational Psychology, which facilitates the exchange of ideas and research across a wide array of educational psychology focus areas.

Tamas Dobozy, associate professor of English and Film Studies, has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust of Canada Fiction Prize for his latest book Siege 13, a collection



of 13 linked stories about one of the bloodiest sieges of the Second World War. The book is also shortlisted in the fiction category for the prestigious Governor General Literary Awards.

Frédérique Guinel, a professor in the Department of Biology, assumed the presidency of the Canadian Botanical Association/Association Canadienne de la Botanique.

Jorge Heine, a professor of political science, is the Pablo Neruda Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Paris III, La Sorbonne Nouvelle, for the fall of 2012. Heine will be based at the Institute D’Hautes Etudes D’ Amerique Latine (IHEAL), and will teach a course on relations between Latin America and Asia.

Stephen MacNeil, associate professor of chemistry, and Eileen Wood, a psychology professor, have both earned a 2011-2012 Ontario Confederation of

University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching award for their innovative efforts to engage and mentor students.

David Monod, professor of history, received a prestigious Fulbright Visiting Research Chair award. Monod will serve as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the History Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. During his four-month term — beginning in January 2013 — Monod will teach a course on “The Rise of Mass Entertainment in America.” Colleen Willard-Holt, dean of the Faculty of Education, has been named chair of the Ontario Association of Deans of Education, which represents the interests of the faculties and schools of education in Ontario’s universities. Anne Wilson, associate professor of psychology, has been appointed the Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology for a second five-year term.

campus news

Laurier approves multi-campus GOVERNANCE model

Task force recommends new governance guidelines The Wilfrid Laurier University Senate and its Board of Governors have approved a report from the Presidential Task Force on Multi-Campus Governance that outlines a new multi-campus governance model for the university. Key among the report’s recommendations is the principle that university governance will be aligned by academic discipline or administrative function. Functional leaders will be accountable for their activities across all campuses, and location-specific coordinating bodies will ensure that programs and services are delivered effectively at each campus. “In practice, this means that the Faculty from which an academic program originally developed will be responsible for that program in all locations in which it is offered,” said Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost. A new Faculty or Faculties will be created at Laurier Brantford from the programs that originated at that campus. “Full-time faculty members in Brantford who are part of Waterloooriginating programs will be able to choose — as a sub-unit — whether they affiliate with the originating Faculty in Waterloo or a newly created Brantford Faculty,” said MacLatchy. On the administrative side, leaders will be responsible for their functional area across all Laurier campuses. For example, the functional leadership for IT support is situated in Brantford, but is responsible for IT support at all Laurier locations. As another example, Human Resources leadership is based in Waterloo, but is responsible for HR administration across all Laurier locations. “The goal of this model is to ensure

accountability follows function so that each unit is tied into the subject matter expertise that it needs,” said Jim Butler, vice-president: Finance and Administration. “But it’s equally crucial that coordinating bodies and processes are in place to meet local needs and coordinate local services. This combination will best serve stakeholders across the university.” Throughout the winter months, work will take place to create disciplinary Faculties from among current programs at Brantford as well as the other organizational changes associated with the academic model. President’s Group, in conjunction with functional leaders, will develop the integrated administrative model. The Multi-Campus Governance Task force recommendations will also serve as context for the Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM) process. The Presidential Task Force on MultiCampus Governance was established in 2010 to meet the need for an overarching model of multi-campus governance, in response to fundamental shifts in the university’s identity over the past 20 years. When the Brantford campus opened in 1999, Laurier became a multi-campus and multi-community university. Over the next several years, the Brantford and Waterloo campuses grew significantly, the Faculty of Social Work moved to Kitchener, and Laurier established an office in Toronto. To read the Presidential Task Force on Multi-Campus Governance reports and for detailed information, please visit the multi-campus governance website at

David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin bring Eco Tour to Laurier

Making do with less is key to sustainability Environmental activist David Suzuki and economist Jeff Rubin stopped at Laurier in October to talk about the importance of learning to live within nature’s boundaries and what sustainability means for our economy. “End of Growth: How to Achieve a Truly Sustainable Future” was hosted by CTV Provincewide’s Daiene Vernile. The limited-engagement tour came about after Suzuki and Rubin, former CIBC chief economist, met in early 2012 and realized they shared a belief that a sustainable future can only be found at the intersection of ecology and economics. “The challenge with climate change is not how can we afford to reduce emissions, but how can we construct an economy that lives within the confines of nature’s boundaries,” Suzuki said. “The only thing we can change is what we create ourselves and the only thing we can manage is our own species.”

In practice, this means that the Faculty from which an academic program originally developed will be responsible for that program in all locations in which it is offered. Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2012


campus news

Scholars Commons @ Laurier continues to grow

Digital repository contains more than 1,500 theses Have you ever wanted to really dig into an esoteric topic — pilgrimages to Graceland, the intricacies of Facebook privacy settings, or the social history of quilts? The team behind the Scholars Commons @ Laurier has uploaded all available Laurier graduate theses and dissertations to its online database, opening up a treasure trove of scholarship on these and hundreds of other topics to the university community and general public. A total of 1,588 theses are now available on the Scholars Commons, dating as far back as 1967 and drawn from all graduate departments at the university. As of late summer, the Scholars Commons thesis collection had logged 16,036 downloads. The most viewed document was “War and state collapse: The case of Sierra Leone,” with 263 downloads. Studies of novelist Toni Morrison and family wellness rounded out the top three, with 233 and 183 downloads respectively. Prior to the Scholars Commons project, Laurier graduate theses and dissertations were only electronically available through a specialized database that was sometimes difficult to access, particularly for non-academics. “We’ve had great feedback from members of the public so far,”

said Caitlin Bakker, digital projects coordinator. “One gentleman who contacted us used the repository to find the only information he’d been able to locate on the World War Two regiment his father served in. It’s information he might not have otherwise been able to track down.” The new system provides a showcase for Laurier graduate students, making their work easy to access and link to. It could also help to cut down on the need for printed or microfiche copies of the theses, potentially conserving funds and space. Library and Archives Canada will require electronic submission of all theses by 2014, and the digital copies produced for Scholars Commons @ Laurier will facilitate those submissions as well. Each thesis in the collection receives a permanent URL that can be included on a resumé, for example, or in a professor’s funding application, as an example of past students’ success. Individual theses can also be embargoed, or kept off-line, for a period of three months to three years, in cases where the thesis is being externally published. In addition to the graduate theses, Scholars Commons will also feature archival issues of The Cord dating back to 1926, as well as research from faculty members. The Scholars Commons can be accessed at

Funding supports Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Laurier will continue to offer groundbreaking program Laurier and its partners will continue to expand the successful Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, thanks to a generous donation from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation.



Since 2011, Laurier’s Inside-Out program has brought “outside” Laurier students to the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal correctional facility located in Kitchener, to complete one of their required courses together with incarcerated “inside” students. Last semester, 17 social work students from Laurier took part in the program alongside 17 “inside” students. “The Inside-Out Program is transformational for the incarcerated students,” said Peter Stuart, education counsellor, Correctional Service of Canada Grand Valley Institution for Women. “By working toward university credits alongside students from the community, they see that they are capable of being successful at the post-secondary level. I am confident that they will be much more likely to continue post-secondary studies upon their release as a result of this program.”

The donation from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation will help support a new Inside-Out course this fall for 20 students (10 “inside” and 10 “outside”). It will also help Laurier and the Grand Valley Institution for Women launch the first Canadian Inside-Out Instructor Training Institute next summer. The training institute will host a customized, rigorous weeklong course for faculty interested in launching Inside-Out programs at their own institutions. In fall of 2011, Laurier was one of two universities nationwide to launch Inside-Out in Canada, and it is currently the only institution in the country to host multiple courses. Founded at Temple University in 1997, the program is well established in the United States. One hundred and twenty-five colleges and universities across 25 states have sponsored Inside-Out classes and 100 correctional institutions have housed the programs.

campus news

Fall convocation

Laurier graduates more than 1,200 students The university graduated more than 1,200 students and awarded two honorary degrees during the university’s fall convocation ceremonies in October. Two ceremonies were held at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex for graduates of the School of Business & Economics and the faculties of Arts, Music, Science, Social Work, Education, the School of International Policy and Governance, the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and Laurier’s Brantford campus. Laurier also awarded honorary degrees to alumnus Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, and actor Colm Feore.

Actor Colm Feore addresses the audience at one of Laurier’s fall convocation ceremonies.

You are all now poised to take over the world. Indeed, you must. We are counting on you. Colm Feore, honorary degree recipient

wilfrid laurier university alumni association

2013 AwArds of ExcEllEncE The Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) Awards of Excellence were established to honour alumni, faculty and staff who, through their actions and accomplishments, make a difference in the Laurier community and the community at large. If you know someone who embodies the spirit of Laurier,

our awards alumnus/alumna of the year Recognizes outstanding achievement by a Laurier graduate.

hoffmann-little award for faculty Recognizes teaching excellence by a Laurier faculty member.

honorary alumnus/alumna Recognizes friends of Laurier whose contributions enhance both the university and outside communities.

faculty mentoring award Recognizes a Laurier faculty member for outstanding mentorship and support to students.

schaus award for staff Recognizes outstanding contribution by a member of Laurier’s administrative staff.

young alumnus/alumna of the year Recognizes outstanding achievement by a Laurier alumnus/alumna who is 30 years of age or younger.

nomination deadline: The closing date for the 2013 Awards submissions is february 8, 2013

nominate him or her for the

for more information about the awards or to download a nomination form visit

WLUAA Awards of Excellence.

You can also call Alumni relations at 519.884.0710 ext. 3178 to learn more about the program.



research file

Recovering from workplace unfairness Laurie Barclay researches guided writing as a tool for coping by Mallory O’Brien When Laurie Barclay worked at a fast food restaurant as a student, she was shocked at the amount of workplace unfairness she witnessed. It sparked her interest in the topic, and she has been researching fairness in the workplace ever since. “Research in this field has been about how people react, and when they decide to retaliate,” says Barclay, an associate professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. “But the one thing I came across every time is that workplace unfairness takes an enormous toll on people. I wanted to do something about it.” The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation recently recognized Barclay’s research with a $100,000 Early Researcher Award. The funding will help her set up a research team to explore the effectiveness of guided journal writing as a form of recovery for people experiencing workplace unfairness.



“My previous research demonstrated that expressive writing can increase employees’ psychological health,” she says. “Now we’re investigating whether additional strategies can increase the effectiveness of expressive writing intervention, and we are working to create an effective process that can actually be used by corporations.” Barclay says that when employees feel unfairly treated, it can have a wide range of consequences for the organization and the person involved. In addition to negatively impacting an employee’s psychological health, there is also a greater chance of an employee engaging in behaviours such as retaliation, which can result in a lawsuit or other negative consequences for the organization. Much research has already looked at preventing incidents of unfairness, but very little of it studies recovery after it has occurred. The coping system Barclay is developing was born out of clinical psychology. Initially guided writing was used to help victims who endured horrifying experiences such as genocide and rape. Barclay is tailoring it for use in the workplace. In Barclay’s lab on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, students and community members who have experienced workplace unfairness come in every day for a week to participate in 20-minute guided writing exercises. They then return for two follow-up appointments one month later and six months later. Barclay finds that people do experience a higher sense of resolution after completing the exercises, which include items

Digging up new insights about the War of 1812 by Nicholas Dinka

such as considering forgiveness or imagining the apology that they would like to receive. Barclay and her students are now beginning to delve into the qualitative data of participants’ essays to better understand the psychology behind workplace unfairness. Specifically, she would like to look closer at the “imagining an apology” exercise. “Similar to considering forgiveness, does imagining an apology have benefits? Can this help manage and reduce anger?” Barclay’s goal is to one day have an off-the-shelf program people can use when they need to, or a system that can be integrated into employee assistance programs at organizations — anything to help individuals recover better.

…workplace unfairness takes an enormous toll on people. I wanted to do something about it.

This summer, a team of 20 Laurier student-archaeologists working under the direction of Laurier Archeology Professor John Triggs helped to bring the War of 1812 into sharper focus, carrying out the first-ever archeological dig at Fort Erie in commemoration of the battle’s 200th anniversary. Focusing on the American defensive positions during a six-week siege in August and September 1814, the team uncovered a rich selection of artefacts, including lead musket balls, pieces of ceramic tableware (helpful for dating various parts of the site), buttons from American soldiers’ uniforms bearing regimental insignias, and food bones (providing a sense of the soldiers’ diet). “It’s a battlefield, and not well documented, so you never know what the next scrape of the soil will bring up,” said Duncan Williams, a second-year student on the team. “It’s an amazing hands-on experience.” The Laurier dig, which was carried out with the support of the Niagara Parks Commission, was located in a grassy area just south of the fort, where American soldiers, too numerous to fit in the fort itself, had dug themselves in after being pushed back from deeper in the Niagara peninsula earlier in 1814. Any finds were taken to the project’s field lab in Bertie Hall, a historic building just up the road, which also housed the student archaeologists during the dig. There, the team washed and sorted the artefacts, completed a daily inventory of newly discovered items, and began compiling the official catalogue of the dig’s findings. The analysis, interpretation and writing up of such findings was the primary task for the post-dig phase of the project. Triggs has been carrying out such work since the conclusion of the dig in late June. This fall, he presented his interpretations at a conference in Ohio on the War of 1812, organized by the Eastern States Archeological Federation. Slated for early 2013 is a full report, as well as academic articles on the findings. Triggs is planning to return to the site for a summer 2013 dig with another group of Laurier students. “Archaeologically, Fort Erie was a pristine site before we came along,” said Triggs. “There’s still so much to learn.”



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Helping paramedics stay healthy on the job Renée MacPhee investigates injuries among EMS workers in Ontario by Elin Edwards As a graduate student, Renée MacPhee worked as a part-time clerk in the Emergency Department of St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, Ont. In her role, she came to know many of the Waterloo Region Emergency Medical Service (EMS) paramedics as they transported patients to the hospital by ambulance. Many years later, the Association of Municipal Emergency Medical Services of Ontario (AMEMSO) assembled a working group to look at injury among paramedics. It was seeing young, healthy paramedics sustain career-ending back injuries, and on the other end of the spectrum, experienced medics with 15 or 20 years service, suddenly becoming injured. MacPhee, now an assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, wanted to investigate further. In 2010 she received a seed grant from the UW Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders to mount an “Investigation of injury rates and causes of injury among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Paramedics.”

The project is a longitudinal study. In the first phase, a literature review revealed there are no clear numbers on how many paramedics have been hurt on the job. The second phase involves a survey of 7,800 paramedics, the largest study of EMS personnel in the province. Earlier this year, a questionnaire was sent to every paramedic in Ontario to provide insight into measures of comprehensive health status, lifestyle factors and injuries both on and off the job. MacPhee’s co-investigator, Queen’s University’s Joan Stevenson, will lead the final phase of the study. Based in part on results of Phase 2 data, this stage will look at what physical tests need to be devised to measure the ability to perform as an EMS. Paramedics have told MacPhee the research is long overdue. “This is landmark research — no one in Ontario has done such a comprehensive study,” says MacPhee. The goal is “to get a comprehensive picture of paramedics and how we can help them stay healthy and do their job.”

It was seeing young, healthy paramedics sustain career-ending back injuries, and on the other end of the spectrum, experienced medics with 15 or 20 years of service, suddenly becoming injured. LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2012




campus feature

A lex Patinios’

22-year career as a wine agent has taken him to the most beautiful corners of France, Argentina, Italy, South America and beyond, and it’s given his palate quite a ride along the way. He’s dined on haute cuisine at a Bordeaux chateau, and tasted Shiraz with his family under a 400-year-old tree on a wine estate in South Africa. But for Patinios, a signature moment occurred three years ago while he was on a trip with his sales team to Napa Valley, California, to catch up with a local producer and client.



since. But Patinios represents some 75 winemakers, encompassing almost every major market in the world, and Fuzion is just one of his many successes. Freixenet, from Spain, is the best-selling sparkling wine in Ontario. Castillo de Almansa is the No. 1 Spanish red wine in the province, and Beachhouse is the No. 2 South African brand. “I’ve known Alex close to 20 years, and he just doesn’t give up if he wants to have something addressed,” says Shari Mogk-Edwards, vice-president of merchandising at the LCBO. “Sometimes it can be irritating,” she added with a chuckle, “but he’s a good sport, and even after Fuzion took off, he worked just as hard.”

“In the late 1990s, Sharon sat me down and said, ‘Listen, if you can’t turn it around soon, I really think you should move on.’”

Fittingly, given his line of work, Patinios bears a slight resemblance “At the end of the trip the export manager asked everyone what their favourite wine of the trip was,” Patinios recalls. “The others would say this single-vineyard Zinfandel, or that special-selection Cabernet Sauvignon. Then it was my turn, last, and I said, ‘The one-litre Pinot Grigio that comes in a Tetra Pak because we sell the most of that in Ontario.’ I do hugely enjoy this industry, but for me it’s a business first and foremost.” There is no denying that as a business, wine has been good to Patinios, whose job is to help wine producers, many of them foreign, navigate the Ontario market — from food-safety guidelines, to the intricacies of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) rulebook, to projecting how much wine consumers are going to buy in three years, and consequently how many vines the growers should plant. His company, Dionysus Wines & Spirits Limited, is best known for Fuzion, a sub-$8 wine from Argentina that was a runaway hit when Patinios launched it in Ontario in 2008 and it has been selling steadily ever



to actor Paul Giamatti (minus the hangdog expression) in the role of wine-aficionado Miles Raymond in the film Sideways. Born in Toronto to Greek Cypriot parents, Patinios graduated from Laurier in 1991 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He initially planned on a career in finance at one of the big banks. But while at Laurier — where he also met his wife of 18 years, Sharon (BBA ’91) — he nurtured an early taste for small business when he went in on an Albert Street rental house with two friends in the summer after his first year. They lived there for three years and rented it out for another seven after they graduated. “I paid rent my first year at Laurier, and I hated the fact that at the end of the year there was nothing to show for that money,” Patinios says. “As a business owner, I’ve never rented office space and I own our current building, which is a little house that’s been converted.” Patinios got his start in the wine business in 1990 while in his final year at Laurier when he and fellow student Rob Antoniades started importing wine from Cyprus and Greece. They noticed wine from those regions were underserved in Ontario, and not reflective of a new trend in premium winemaking in the eastern

Mediterranean. They hoped to reap the rewards by bringing some of what they learned at Laurier — modern management practices and business discipline — to a traditional industry. But the venture was not an immediate success. “The market was just too small,” says Patinios. “We realized we could have 100 per cent of the Greek category and still not have enough revenue to keep us going.” Antoniades moved on after a couple of years to focus on his full-time job in investment banking, but Patinios found that he could not let go, despite the ready possibility of a banking job thanks to co-op placements at Royal Bank and Scotiabank. Sharon had a good job at a major stock brokerage, so they had financial security, but it was looking like the wine business might never take off. “In the late 1990s, Sharon sat me down and said, ‘Listen, if you can’t turn it around soon, I really think you should move on.’”

On a warm, sunny day this past September, it is apparent that Patinios has come a long way from those lean early years. Despite his reputation as a force to be reckoned with at the negotiating table, he seems laid back and affable, a man who enjoys kicking back and shooting the breeze. Sitting on the lower patio at the Miller Tavern in north Toronto, Patinios is wearing a white cotton dress shirt, casual but neatly pressed. A chunky watch flashes at his wrist as he orders a couple of his favourite appetizers — crab cakes and lobster quesadillas. Asked to pair them with a wine, he selects a sparkling New Zealand rosé. “It’s rare to find a sparkling rosé on a wine list, and it’s one I haven’t tasted before. It matches well with the richer lobster flavour and the creamy dip for the crab cake.” Was that the reason he chose it? “Well, it’s a producer I like.” Personally? “Yes, that plays a big role. I don’t see any of our clients on the list today, or I probably would have gone with that.” He tells a few war stories. There was the time he took his family to the Zuccardi estate in Mendoza, Argentina, where Fuzion is made, and the head winemaker balked at giving Patinios’ young kids a taste of one of their finest vintages — such excellence would be wasted on childish palates. But Jose Zuccardi intervened, to the winemaker’s chagrin. Wine is a business of families,

wine trends — try one of these wines at your next gathering For more than a decade, the California-style reds favoured by powerful wine critic Robert Parker — sometimes referred to as “fruit bombs” — reigned supreme over global palates. But in recent years Patinios has seen a shift to more placid flavours, a trend that he endorses. “I find at the end of a long day I really don’t want a big, high-alcohol red,” he says. “I want something crisp and refreshing.” rosé-coloured glasses “Rosé — we’re talking dry rosé — is a light, refreshing style of wine that’s gaining a better reputation,” says Patinios. “This June we are organizing a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes called Men in Pink, a guys’ lunch where only pink wines will be served. It’s a fun way to raise funds for charity while also introducing people to the new generation of dry rosé wines.” white nights “White has definitely bounced back in the last couple of years,” Patinios says. “Twenty years ago, the industry here was about 60 per cent white and 40 per cent red, but about 15 years ago it began to shift to 60 per cent red and 40 per cent white. Today, it’s closer to 50-50.” sparkling repartee “The popularity of sparkling wine is growing in Ontario, although off a historically small base,” Patinios says. “It’s been only about three per cent of the market here, whereas in most developed wine markets it’s closer to 10 per cent. Maybe it’s our long winters, or maybe we’re just not as festive as people in Belgium, which has the highest percapita consumption of champagne.”



after all, and it is possible that one day Zuccardi’s and Patinios’ children will work together. Then there was the 2007 dinner Patinios attended at a chateau in Bordeaux, France, where the cuisine was in the vein of the avant-garde molecular gastronomy movement: test-tubes of some sort of vichyssoise and strange morsels of coloured paste on little spoons. At the end of the evening some guests were so hungry, including Patinios, that a carload of Canadian wine professionals drove around the French countryside in desperate search of sustenance, finally settling for a latenight McDonald’s drive through. One of the passengers, a foodie who had not eaten McDonald’s in over two decades, was practically in tears as he devoured his Le Filet-o-Fish.

The year before Patinios started representing Fuzion, Zuccardi had sold only 800 cases in Ontario through its previous agent. When Patinios took

mould.’ He was young, dynamic, energetic — this was not your typical old-style agent.” The lean times continued for a few more years, but Patinios was on the right track. In 1995, he landed his first non-Greek supplier, Corbans Wines in New Zealand. Yvon Mau, a prominent Bordeaux producer, took him on in 1999. But Patinios’ big coup, the product that made his name and career, did not begin until late 2007, when he took over the representation of a little known Argentinean winery, with a shiraz-malbec blend with a diminutive price tag. Fuzion had no profile in Ontario, but something was going on in 2007. The social Internet was reaching a critical mass, and producers, wine critics and consumers were beginning to use it to share wine picks via blogs, chat rooms and social media websites. The result was a far more educated, and curious, wine-consuming public primed for the next big thing. Argentinean wines were becoming trendy, as was Malbec, and at the same time the gathering troubles in the global economy were placing a premium on quality budget picks. And so, with a strong 2007 vintage, a little deft marketing, and an amuse-bouche of good luck, Fuzion went viral. The year before Patinios started representing Fuzion, Zuccardi had sold only 800 cases in Ontario through its previous agent. When Patinios took over in 2008, the winery sold more than 400,000.

over in 2008, the winery sold more than 400,000.

Patinios’ journey from his early importing business to dinners so refined they require topping up with emergency fast-food runs began with a few key changes to his business model. First, he decided to focus only on Ontario. Next, he expanded from Greek wines to wines from any country where he could find a great supplier with a unique product. Finally, he focused his sales efforts on the LCBO, since over 90 per cent of the wine in Ontario is sold out of retail stores as opposed to restaurants. “At the time Alex came on the scene, there wasn’t a lot of diversity in the business,” says the LCBO’s MogkEdwards. “He really was a young buck, and I remember meeting him and thinking, ‘Wow, he does not fit the



C e r ta i n ly



element — right grape, right price, right moment — is part of the Fuzion story, but it’s clearly far from the whole tale. “Alex is just a sharp blade,” says Ian Campbell, executive director of Drinks Ontario, the province’s wine industry association, of which Patinios is an active member. “Diligent is the word. He’s methodical and procedural, and he just doesn’t quit. He’s very dogged.” Mogk-Edwards agrees, mentioning how Patinios tried to get the LCBO to offer a magnum-sized version of Fuzion. The LCBO declined, for various technical and strategic reasons, but Patinios still asks about it, years later, trying to find some previously unseen loophole to squeeze the product through. At an industry awards event this summer, the LCBO announced that Patinios was the first-ever recipient of its Pitbull Award, presented in honour of his feistiness and tenacity.

That tenacity is surely a part of his temperament, but it’s also a function of his values. He talks frequently of wanting to provide a comfortable life for his family and a reliable income to his employees. (Sharon now works at the company, and Alex once enlisted their kids to pack 40,000 mini bottles of olive oil into little green boxes as part of a value-add promotion.) “In 2001 we had our first company Christmas party. Everyone brought their kids, and I remember telling Sharon, jeez, the business now has to do well for six families,” he says. “If there’s not enough cash in the operating account to comfortably guarantee we make payroll, I’m not sleeping that well.” His kids — two sons and a daughter — are moving into their teens, and when he’s not working, Patinios spends a lot of his time on the sidelines of their hockey and soccer teams. Patinios is team manager on a couple of those teams, cheering from the sidelines as his BlackBerry beeps in his pocket. He receives emails from wineries in Europe in the mornings, California and Argentina in the afternoons, and Australia and New Zealand in the evenings. “I’m often at the side of a soccer field on a Saturday replying to emails,” he admits. “Trying to find that balance is not always easy, but a lot of people struggle with that. It’s not unique to me.”

In November, Patinios was back at Laurier, giving a presentation to business students on how to incorporate wine while entertaining clients. (He was following up on a successful presentation last summer at Laurier’s Toronto Office.) “It’s always great to get back to Laurier and see where it is,” says Patinios. “What I see today is a continued

evolution of the progress and forward thinking Laurier has always had. The campus has changed but I still feel the same energy from when I was a student 20 years ago.” His presentations are billed in practical terms, with wine as a means to an end: the care and feeding of important customers. But they include a strong undercurrent of fun and pleasure, and conclude with a wine tasting that seems to be as much about savouring and appreciating the good things in life as it is about landing a gravy-train account. It’s said that Fuzion, despite its iPhone-like popularity, did not make Patinios a zillionaire, because its low price meant modest per-bottle commissions. But he’s now inarguably an established player in his industry. Despite occasional hiccups, such as the recent bankruptcy of a mid-size Italian client, Patinios could surely afford to take it easy, but instead he’s been doing the opposite. With clients in most of the world’s leading wine regions, he’s moving into other categories, including beers, ciders, spirits and coolers. He also recently worked with Strewn Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake to launch Cottage Block, a new brand with a distinctive cottage image on the label. (One of the tricks of wine marketing is to put a signature image on the label recognizable from several aisles away. “Critter labels” like the Fat Bastard hippo, are a familiar example, as is the swooping letter z on the Fuzion label.) Meanwhile, Patinios and Sharon are preparing to break ground on their latest real-estate project: a new fourstorey office building in north Toronto that will house an expanded Dionysus team. “I think I’m the kind of personality who will probably never retire, who will always be active in one way or another,” he says. “I like to be useful — I am happiest when I have lots to do and have the people I care about around me.” ❖

A familiar face in LCBO stores across Ontario, Patinios is happy to give wine advice to patrons.



A smile a day keeps the blues away


LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2012 Photo: Tomasz Adamski

campus feature

Jim Moss’ personal struggle turns into a global Smile Epidemic story by Sandra Muir

In January 2012, Jim Moss was at home studying, trying to forget about his latest bout with a debilitating autoimmune disease, when he heard his two children, Wyatt, 5, and Olivia, 2, laughing in the bathtub. He smiled, wrote down why he was grateful, and posted it to his blog. “I thought, ‘I’m not in the hospital — when I was in the hospital I couldn’t hear them. At least I’m at home and I can hear them, and there is reason to be grateful for that.’” Moss didn’t know it at the time, but that blog post was the start of The Smile Epidemic, a “shared digital gratitude journal.” The growing social phenomenon encourages people to think about what makes them grateful and then post a photo of themselves with an image of a smile in front of their faces, along with a description of why they are happy. For Moss, 35, it was an evolution that began two years earlier. In September 2009, Moss was a star lacrosse player with 10 years of professional experience with the Albany Attack, San Jose Stealth and Colorado Mammoth. He was living in California with his wife Jennifer, who was eight months pregnant with their second child. One day he stood up from the couch and felt his legs buckle underneath him. Moss was rushed to hospital and underwent a series of tests that determined he had a movement disorder brought on by recent bouts of H1N1 and the West Nile virus. It causes him to have balance and coordination problems that make it difficult to walk and use his hands. He was facing the prospect of spending weeks in rehab to relearn how to walk. He also knew he would likely never play lacrosse again. But a chance meeting with two nurses set his perspective. He remembers the nurse on the morning shift saying to him, “You better get used to this because it’s going to be like this for a long time.” Eight hours later, the night nurse, who Moss describes as a big, happy woman said, “Don’t worry sweetheart, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.” “And I thought, well, both of those things are probably true, but which one is going to serve me better in the process?” says Moss. “And then I realized how hard it was going to be for everyone else to see me struggling like this and I thought, I can control that.” He started blogging and writing a gratitude journal about his

experience. Moss continued to post updates as the family moved back to Waterloo to be closer to supportive friends and family, and he became a stay-at-home dad. But on that day in January when he heard his kids laughing in the bathtub, he didn’t have time to write a full blog post — he was studying for a mid-term at Laurier, where he is in his final year of a bachelor degree program in pyschology. “It was simple, and it was fast and there was a lot of richness to it,” says Moss, who started photographing himself with paper smiles for his blog posts to accentuate the positive. “And all of a sudden people started to send their own pictures back.” Today, The Smile Epidemic blog ( has been viewed by people in more than 450 cities and 120 countries, and has been featured on Provincewide and CTV’s National News. In January, Moss will appear on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s The Truth Project, where he will talk about the truth of gratitude. Moss encourages people to participate in The Smile Epidemic for at least one month or “30 Days of Happiness.” He believes that taking note of what makes you smile for 30 days can change the way you look at the world. In early 2013, he hopes to launch the first-ever Happiness on Campus Campaign at Laurier, which will encourage students to participate in the 30 Days of Happiness. It targets a segment of the population that Moss knows is particularly vulnerable to mental illness. As a teenager, he experienced the pain of losing a young family member to suicide. “There is so much stress and so much expectation on young people. We know that it’s a massive problem,” says Moss. “That’s why I want to do it here at Laurier.” After completing his bachelor’s degree, Moss plans to pursue his master’s degree and PhD in psychology at Laurier. He is working with Associate Psychology Professor Anne Wilson to research the effectiveness of The Smile Epidemic through the Happiness on Campus Campaign and other directed research projects. The Moss family practices gratitude online and around the dinner table every night. His wife, Jen, says they all have a lot to be thankful for. “When Jim was playing lacrosse, he travelled a lot. And even though he lost the ability to play at that level, he instead thinks about how happy he is to be with me and the kids,” she says. “That was a really wonderful, special piece that has come out of his illness.” That illness still strikes Moss every six to 10 weeks, and lasts for about 15 days. But he knows he can control how it affects him. “A smile is such an easy way to express to other people how you feel and it has a huge positive impact,” says Moss. “Even if you’re cynical about it, you can’t deny the fact that it’s simple and it’s positive.”



A random act sparks a countrywide initiative of goodwill Inspired by a stranger’s generosity, Debora Ritchie creates a day dedicated to kindness story by Sandra Muir

10 everyday random acts of kindness — try one today! 1. Send a handwritten note of thanks 2. Give up your seat on the bus 3. Hold the door open for someone 4. Give another driver your parking spot 5. Pick up a piece of trash from your neighbour’s lawn 6. Say hello to a stranger 7. Drop off a donation of food or clothing to your local food bank or shelter 8. Tell a co-worker he or she did a good job 9. Pay the tab for the person behind you in the drive-through 10. Donate blood For more random act of kindness ideas, visit 24


There is one day a year, in communities across the country, when drivers are a little more courteous, coffee drinkers in the drive-through are a bit more generous, and residents are quicker to offer up a smile and words of thanks or encouragement. It’s called Random Act of Kindness Day (RAK Day), a unique initiative that is spreading across Canada and around the world. Started in 2008, RAK Day encourages citizens to “pay it forward.” It is the brainchild of Debora Ritchie (BA ’78). The idea came to Ritchie four years ago after a chance meeting in downtown Kitchener, Ont. She was parked in one of the city lots digging for change to feed the meter when a man offered her his paid parking stub. His meeting had been cancelled. Ritchie took the stub and when her meeting finished early, she passed it on to someone else. “I thought it was kind of cool, but I didn’t think too much of it at the time,” says Ritchie. “Two weeks later I was up at my cottage watching the movie Pay it Forward and I thought, how can I take what happened that Friday when I got the parking stub and pay it forward?” Ritchie — who is also founder of the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre’s Inspiring Women Conference — is not one to think small. She knew she needed the backing of an organization to take the initiative region wide, and she didn’t want to make it a fundraiser. “I don’t think an act of kindness should have a dollar amount attached to it,” she says. “It should come from the head and the heart and not the pocketbook.” Ritchie had volunteered for The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) in the past and thought her idea would be a perfect fit with the organization’s mandate of improving the lives of community members. Upon receiving the go-ahead, she jumped into action, organizing a strong working committee and collaborating with local companies for gifts-in-kind, such as venues for the launch. One of the largest expenses was printing thousands of RAK Day cards, which people pass along when they do a good deed. “We really had no idea how well this would work,” says Ritchie. “The first year, we had 100,000 cards printed and donated. We used every one of them.” To those who know Ritchie, it’s not surprising that she could get an entire community to support her idea.

campus feature

Photo: Dean Palmer

“She takes a look at a community and what it takes to get people engaged,” says KWCF CEO Rosemary Smith. “What a gift Debb has been to this community and to RAK Day in particular.” Ritchie has volunteered for dozens of local organizations and events in Waterloo Region, including the Outstanding Women of Laurier event, which provides scholarships, program enhancements, and mentoring and coaching for the university’s athletes. Ritchie says her spirit for volunteering is “genetic.” “My mother was the same way. If there was somebody doing a March of Dimes campaign, it was my mother. If someone passed away in the neighbourhood, it would be my mother collecting for flowers or arranging for food to be taken in.” Her mother passed away of cancer when Ritchie was just

20 years old. Her father died three weeks later of a heart attack. “It was a terrible period in my life,” says Ritchie. “But I think that makes me more sensitive to people in need. That is probably part of my make-up, too, as to why I do what I do.” This year, RAK Day was celebrated on Nov. 9 in 26 communities across Canada, including towns in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A total of 150,000 cards were distributed in Waterloo Region alone, partly due to increasing involvement by local school boards, which use the day as part of anti-bullying programming. Ritchie sees potential for the program on a much bigger scale. “It really is my dream and my vision to see this from coast to coast,” says Ritchie. “Canadians are known as being nice and kind, and I think this just reinforces that.”





campus feature

from music to therapy Kimberly Moffit’s music background set the tone for her success as a mental health expert story by Mallory O’Brien | photography by Dean Palmer

like many university students

, Kimberly Moffit balanced a job while attending classes and completing assignments. Moffit’s job just happened to be in venues like Toronto’s Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome), singing hit songs in front of thousands of screaming fans. It’s a dream for many, but one very few get to experience. As part of the pop trio Untamed, Kimberly Moffit (MMT ’08) began her career with a recording contract and North American tour. It was the age of Britney Spears and Spice Girls, and Untamed’s hit single You’re Not Gonna Score earned the band a loyal following of young teens. “It’s an incredible feeling — the sound literally makes you fall over because your legs get so weak from it,” says Moffit of the cheering fans. “It also puts a lot pressure on you, all those young girls looking up to you. You want to be a good role model for them.” Moffit is not shy about discussing her time as a pop performer, complete with platform shoes and tube tops. Although Untamed

“fizzled out” after three years on the music scene, Moffit was inspired by her experience to pursue her Master of Music Therapy degree at Laurier. Now a psychotherapist with her own practice, the talented 29-year-old is finding herself in a different kind of spotlight: television. Moffit has made more than 100 appearances as a psychology expert on all of Canada’s major news stations, including Global TV, City TV, CTV and CBC. She has also appeared on Slice, The History Channel and the E Network. She has a weekly column, The Dating Insider, with Sun Media, and has appeared in countless other print publications, including the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Elle magazine and Flare magazine. “I ultimately credit music for my success,” she says. “The many years of learning diligence, endless practice, and performing skills in front of a large audience have most certainly helped me in all my professional endeavours.”

native of Guelph, Ont., Moffit is classically trained in piano and voice. She finished high school a semester early and began performing in professional musical theatre with the Drayton Festival. She was just 17 when she landed a part in the comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore. In 2001, she auditioned for Untamed and became the group’s third member. While touring with the band, she pursued part-time undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph. Performing on stage and interacting with fans made Moffit curious about how music impacts people’s lives. “While performing, you might be making someone happy, but you’re not directly impacting their life. There was something kind of hollow about it,” she says. “I realized there was something about writing music that had an impact for me, and I wanted to study how music interacts with the brain, and what that could do for people.” Moffit says Laurier’s Music Therapy program was just the right combination of psychology and music, and allowed her to explore her specific interests. She used her pop group experience for her master’s thesis, focusing on using the process of creating a song to help high school adolescents who were having trouble fitting in. Moffit also completed an internship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, where she helped patients deal with issues such as addiction and schizophrenia. “Although it was a great learning experience, I knew instantly that I could not work in a hospital for the rest



of my life,” she says. “It wasn’t what I thought it would be. I didn’t believe that structure was enabling clients to get the help they really needed. I thought there had to be a better way.” Moffit decided to seek out that better way, and opened her own practice. “Not only does it give me the lifestyle that I want to have, and the freedom to work with the people and the clients that I want to work with, but it also gives the clients a place where they can get care and treatment in a way that they want — a relaxed environment where everyone and everything is calm.”

starting a private practice on

her own was not an easy task, but Moffit was up to the challenge. After graduating from Laurier, she applied for a Government of Ontario grant and received $3,000 and mentoring to help start her business. Her first office was in the attic of the Toronto Healing Arts Centre, where she worked one day a week. “It was a beautiful centre, but the location was borderline scary,” she says with a laugh. “It was definitely a humble start.” Moffit started out offering music therapy to her clients, but as her interest in psychotherapy grew, she decided to pursue it full time — it meant going back to school for her Doctor of Counselling Psychology degree in psychotherapy. She gave up an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to pursue her degree at Middlesex University

in the United Kingdom where she studied with her idol, existential psychotherapist Emmy Van Deurzen. Moffit has made more than 20 trips to the United Kingdom in fours years, all while running her own business, and is completing her dissertation on the psychology of entrepreneurship. “It’s an intense schedule, but definitely worth it.” Moffit’s big break came when Cosmo TV called — the media outlet was looking for a young psychotherapist who could talk about relationships on its show Oh So Cosmo with radio and television personality Josie Dye. “I think the first topic was office romances,” Moffit recalls. “It was very simple but something I had already seen in practice.” She put a lot of effort into preparing for the interview and had no problem fitting into the ultra-feminine program. To date, she has done more than 50 episodes, and she credits her early appearances with jump-starting her business and building her client base. It wasn’t long until she thought about moving her practice to a new location. She immediately thought of the Yonge and Eglinton area of Toronto, where her target demographic lived: young professionals who were proactive about their health. “That’s when things really took off. Within the year I was full, I had no more room,” she says. “There’s a crucial point in entrepreneurship between being self-employed and being an actual entrepreneur. Up until then, it was like I was self-employed.” Moffit started hiring other professionals to see clients in the off-hours when she wasn’t there. It was a big risk. “But that’s one of those things about entrepreneurship, you have to be able to stomach the risk,” she says. “You have to be willing to fail.” With the help of a strong support system, including her husband, Nathan, Moffit overcame many obstacles while growing her practice, including a difficult audit and hiring (and firing) the wrong people. “Mistakes are a part of business and it doesn’t mean you have to stop everything. If you get knocked down, you just keep going.”

today, kimberly moffit and

Associates employs 13 people, including five psychological professionals, a chiropractor, naturopath, two registered massage therapists and an acupuncturist. Her holistic approach to mental health emphasizes the mind-body connection, and Moffit’s personal brand of psychotherapy — existentialist psychotherapy — helps people understand concepts like death, freedom and meaninglessness. The décor in Moffit’s office — damask wallpaper, glittering chandeliers and a stiletto heel sitting on

her bookshelf — suggests she hasn’t abandoned her theatrical side. In fact, she credits her involvement with dance, musical theatre and yoga for maintaining her own mental health and work-life balance. Making the time for her own self-care gives her perspective in a field many would find difficult. “A lot of people say, ‘I could never do your job, because I would be so sad to hear people’s sad stories,’ but I find it exactly the opposite of that,” she says. “it’s very empowering to watch people change their lives and to be in the place where they are ready to make changes. for me, it’s inspiring.” “The whole concept of existential psychotherapy is that we create our own meaning in life, so depending on our world view and how we interpret things, we actually have control and empowerment over how we live our lives.” In short, Moffit helps people create a better life — in their relationships, family or career — through their own positive mental efforts. And she practices what she preaches. While at Laurier, Moffit earned a silver medal in synchronized swimming at the national level, despite having no previous experience in the sport. She joined the team as a fun diversion, but after a surprise fourthplace finish at the regional level, Moffit began practising five days a week, realizing that if she worked hard, she could do well. It’s the same determination and hard work that turned a pop starlet into a flourishing entrepreneur. “One of the things I learned really early is that if you put your mind to something, you can do it,” she says. “Never define yourself by other people’s standards. Always, always, try to set a new bar for yourself. You always set the bar high because you’ll always pass it.” ❖

kimberly’s tips for leading a healthy, successful life 1. Write down your goals for the year. If you don’t get to them, don’t fret; just keep them on the list for next year. 2. Never let somebody else tell you that you’re not good enough. Believe in yourself. 3. Do what you love. “Students in university don’t always know what career path they want,” she says. “My best advice is: don’t worry about it. Don’t define yourself by a certain field. Create a new field if you have to.”









6 1: Free pancake breakfast in the quad. 2, 3, 4, 7, 10: The festivities and football game at University Stadium. 5: Generations come together. 6: The Laurier Loop charity

30runLAURIER CAMPUS8,Summer 2011 on the varsity hockey team on the Brantford campus. 12: The alumni choir performs at the Sunday morning service in Waterloo. gets underway. 9, 11: Cheering





Homecoming highlights In late September, Laurier’s Waterloo campus was filled with thousands of alumni, students and friends who were here to celebrate Homecoming and reconnect with their alma mater. The weekend kicked off with the traditional free pancake breakfast Saturday morning in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre quad. This was followed by faculty open houses, campus tours and the annual Legends of Laurier lecture. This year’s lecture featured Terry Copp, professor emeritus and highly acclaimed Canadian historian, who presented a multimedia discussion of the War of 1812. University Stadium was filled to capacity with cheering fans wearing purple and gold in support of the Golden Hawks football team. Despite a great effort, the Laurier team was defeated 22-19 by the Guelph Gryphons. Later that evening, alumni met up with friends at Wilfs Pub and the Turret. A special event this year, held Saturday evening, was a tribute to former dean of students Fred Nichols to celebrate his golden anniversary at Laurier. Friends, family and alumni shared memories and lots of laughs at the dinner and reception at the Waterloo Inn & Conference Centre to mark his 50 years at Laurier. Also on Saturday evening, Laurier’s Alumni Choir hosted a Homecoming Cabaret with musical selections performed by present and former students, and faculty members. Accompaniment was provided on a new baby grand piano, purchased by the choir for Laurier and dedicated the following day at the Founders’ Luncheon. Sunday morning started with a Homecoming worship service featuring the Alumni Choir and guest preacher Alan Lai, the incoming director of the newly established Christian Studies and Global Citizenship undergraduate program at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. The annual Laurier Loop got underway later that morning, with more than 600 people lacing up for the charity run. Participants raised $3,500 for the Sun Life Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre. Generous alumni matched the amount, raising the total to $7,000.  Laurier’s Brantford campus celebrated its annual Homecoming Oct. 20. The festivities included a celebrity children’s book reading at the Stedman Community Bookstore, a barbecue lunch and tailgate party, and a varsity hockey game against the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

12 For more photos, visit



keeping in touch

A tribute to WLUAA past-president Tom Berczi by Kate Tippin When Tom Berczi (BBA ’88 MBA ’93) started the first of his two three-year terms as president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA), he had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted the association to give back to Laurier as a donor; he wanted the association to become recognized as an important stakeholder on campus; and he wanted to introduce succession planning. Six years and about 20 hours per week later (or 6,240 hours in total), Berczi sums up his presidency with two words: significant progress. “What I enjoyed most was seeing the evolution of the WLUAA over the six years, in relation to my initial goals,” said Berczi. “The other thing I also enjoyed very much, and still do, is the people I worked with, both volunteers and staff. They are all very committed, hard-working and easy to get along with.” The WLUAA has become one of Laurier’s largest donors, giving more than $1.5 million back to the university, with $1.2 million received in the past six years. This generosity was recognized with the Laurier Philanthropy Award in 2012. “I would say Tom’s biggest achievement as president was his unwavering dedication to giving back to Laurier in so many different ways,” said Megan Harris (BA ’00) who served as vicepresident with Berczi for most of his tenure. “Not only did he contribute his time — enough to be considered a full-time job — and his personal money as a donor, but he made it a priority for the WLUAA to give back financially to the school as well.”



Berczi worked hard to increase the profile of the WLUAA across campus by introducing printed annual reports, informative president’s columns in Campus magazine, and by participating in key university committees, such as the Envisioning Laurier exercise. “Under Tom’s leadership, the WLUAA has shown a very strong commitment to Laurier,” said Rob Donelson, vice-president: Development and Alumni Relations at Laurier. “The association continues to do an exceptional job fostering alumni interaction, promoting alumni participation, and helping to maintain and promote Laurier’s reputation while contributing significantly to our university’s ongoing development.” As president of the WLUAA, Berczi introduced two new board positions and ensured the Brantford campus was always top of mind at the executive table. As part of the succession planning Berczi so carefully executed during his term, he continues to join executive meetings as past president and is currently serving the university as an alumni representative on the Board of Governors. In honour of Berczi’s dedication, his hours of service and his contributions to the university, the WLUAA has renamed its undergraduate and graduate citizenship scholarships The Tom Berczi Citizenship Scholarships. When he wasn’t devoting 20 hours per week as the WLUAA president, Berczi was at his full-time job as a staff sergeant for the Waterloo Regional Police Service. He recently won an award from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police for leading the 2011 Oktoberfest Policing Unit.

keeping in touch

Fred Nichols: celebrating 50 years at Laurier by Katherine Sage

For half a century, former dean of students Fred Nichols has walked the halls of Laurier, lifting the spirit of the university with every step. With his cheerful greetings, endless supply of hugs and readiness to lend a hand to anyone in need, Nichols has touched the lives of thousands of Laurier students. He has also made hundreds of lifelong friends. During Homecoming weekend in September, more than 300 of those friends gathered at the Waterloo Inn to pay tribute to Nichols and celebrate his 50th anniversary at the university. Over the course of his career at Laurier, Nichols has been an unfailing champion of student leadership. He has had a major role in building the university’s successful framework of student engagement, and he has tirelessly supported Laurier’s commitment to provide personal care and attention to its students. “Laurier is well-known for our culture of student leadership, which creates such strong confidence in our graduates,” says Rob Donelson, vice-president: Development and Alumni Relations. “Fred has been our biggest champion in encouraging Laurier students to set their goals high and to believe in their ability to succeed.” In 1963, Nichols came to Ontario from West Virginia with his wife Marlene and three young boys to become the university’s activities director. Five years later he was named dean of students. For the next 30 years, he kept a watchful eye on the activities of student organizations, the athletics programs and the student residences, as well as managing student employment opportunities, student discipline, and access to health services, counselling services, financial aid and student awards. Nichols also created the Dean’s Advisory Council, allowing students the opportunity to oversee student discipline, and founded BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness

Concerning the Health of University Students) at Laurier, which was the first university in Canada to implement the program. He also served on 30 university committees, and oversaw the financing and architectural plans for the new Student Union Building. He did it all while involving students in every possible aspect. In 1995, Maclean’s magazine dubbed Nichols the “surrogate grandfather to thousands” in its annual University Rankings edition. In 1996, he was honoured with the Student Affairs Recognition Award from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services. In 1997, after intense student lobbying, the Student Union Building was renamed The Fred Nichols Campus Centre in his honour. Nichols calls it one of the proudest moments of his life. Although he officially retired 15 years ago, Nichols has stayed on at Laurier to work in the department of Development and Alumni Relations. In his new fundraising role, he has helped to raise millions of dollars for the university. At the age of 80, Nichols still shows up for work each morning with a cheerful outlook, encouraging words, and a love of Laurier that inspires everyone around him. “To me, retiring is another word for quitting and that is something I cannot do,” says Nichols. “Whatever I can do for the university is more or less pay back for all the good things my family has enjoyed over the years, provided by the university. If ever I get the feeling that I am not useful, helpful or appreciated by those in charge then I might feel differently. So for now, health permitting, I think I will just stick around as long as I feel needed — and eventually expire instead of deciding to retire.”



keeping in touch

blaze a trail in laurier’s second century.

KARA CHIKI, CLASS OF 2012 received a Garfield Weston Scholarship which includes travel to see places and people whose futures are being improved by philanthropy. This photo was taken on a visit to South Africa. Kara says such experiences “reminded me how Wilfrid Laurier University values innovative thinking, passion and commitment from its students, and that the university strives to help its students become influential global citizens.”

LEGACY DONORS GIVE FUTURE GENERATIONS A BOOST. University students are fuelled with hope for a bright future. Lead the way with a legacy of generosity through a charitable bequest in your will or life insurance policy. Your encouragement will help carve a path of success for decades to come. To learn how easy it is, contact Cec Joyal, Development Officer, Individual & Legacy Giving at or call 519.884.0710 x3864.



keeping in touch


Paul Webster: leading Canadian Olympic curlers

With the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London now in the history books, many Canadians are looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia — perhaps none more than Paul Webster (BA ’98) who will be Olympic team leader for Canada’s curling contingent. Webster is a national coach with the Canadian Curling Association and attended the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games as an assistant coach and team manager. Campus caught up with the him to learn about his role and how he is preparing for the Olympics. How do you feel about your new role as Olympic team leader? I’m beyond excited and honoured to take on this role. It’s more responsibility and I look forward to what I can do to

help make sure everything is organized on the ground for athletes and their families and friends. What will you be doing for the 2014 Winter Games? I’ll be helping to organize accommodation for Canada’s curling teams, as well as their friends and family members. One of the biggest concerns athletes have is ensuring their fans are taken care of. How will you prepare? I will travel to Sochi in March 2013 for the World Junior Curling Championships, which will be held at the same venue that will be used for the 2014 Winter Games. Many of the same volunteers there will also be at the upcoming Olympics, so I’ll be making connections that I can carry forward to the 2014 Games.

What do you like most about what you do? It’s pretty cool working with athletes at the top of their game or trying to get there. You’re working with people who are doing exactly what they should be, and making sacrifices to get to the top. As a student at Laurier, Webster (far right in photo) curled for the university and won two provincial championships in 1995 and 1997. He graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology, and then went on to earn his Bachelor of Education. He taught high school students in Peterborough, Ontario, before moving to Calgary to pursue coaching full-time. To follow Webster and the Canadian curling team as they head to Sochi, visit



keeping in touch

ALUMNI UPDATES 1970s Bill VanGorder (BA ’70) is the Nordixx Nordic Pole walking poles and services distributor for Nova Scotia. Along with his wife, Esther, he is also a nationally-certified Nordic pole walking instructor. He says Nordic pole walking is the fastest growing adult exercise in Canada.

Ont., and was again recognized with a Circle of Excellence certificate at a Friends of Fairvern luncheon. Henry is in his 14th year as a member of the Board of Regents at Huntington University, federated with Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ont., and has spent six years a a board member of the Huntsville Library.

graduating from Laurier, Macfarlane has held various positions managing corporate finance for multibillion-dollar companies. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1990s Tom Laube (BA ’91) has opened Thomas Laube Wealth Advisory in the Niagara area after 15 years as regional vice-president at AGF Investments. He provides busy professionals, business owners and individuals with personalized financial advice. Laube also serves as a member of the Burlington Community Foundation’s Investment Committee. Visit him at

James T. Harris (BBA ’72) has written a book titled The Third Craft-A Trilogy. The three books (bound as one volume) Brian Breckles (BA ’89, MBA tell the adventures of two youths after they ’02) has been appointed director discover an intact spaceship partially buried of athletics and recreation near Elliot Lake, Ont. The tale is simple on at Bishop’s University in one level and yet also explores science and Lennoxville, Quebec. Breckles religious beliefs. The book is available through was formerly vice-president of business Amazon and Kobobooks. For more information development at National Group Mortgages on the author, visit and director of alumni relations at Wilfrid Laurier University. Lloyd A. Henry (BA ’72, MDiv ’78) received an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 30 Greg Macfarlane (BBA ’89) is working in a years at Fairvern Nursing Home in Huntsville, new role as CFO at H&R Block Inc. Since


Capt. Steven Dieter (BA ’93, BA ’98) was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which was presented by the Air Force Association of Canada in October. A 12-year member of the Canadian Forces, currently serving as a public affairs officer, Dieter

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keeping in touch

has performed extensive volunteer work, especially in the preservation of Canadian aviation history. He also received the Minister of Veteran Affairs Commendation for his work on Operation Jaguar, which was tasked with helping the Jamaica Defence Force with search and rescue capabilities. While deployed, Dieter independently researched 10 Canadian soliders buried in Jamaica’s Up Park Camp military cemetary during The Second World War. His efforts resulted in the CBC recording a story on fallen Canadian soliders in Jamaica. Brad Morris (’93) was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his achievements and contributions. Morris recently joined the Markham Stouffville Hospital board of directors and was appointed a strategic advisor to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. He is also a board member of the Ladies First Hockey Association of Canada. Morris works as general manager at Grote Industries, a manufacturer of vehicle lighting and safety systems. Donna Forbes (BA ’99) coached the Canadian women’s inline hockey team to a gold medal at the 2012 World Inline Hockey Championships in Columbia, beating rival USA 4-2. Forbes played on the OUA championship Laurier women’s varsity hockey team for the 1998/99 season, winning Rookie of the Year.

2000s Johanne Forfait (Jo ‘Nachos’ Vlachos) (BA ’00) and her husband, Fred Forfait, welcomed their first child, Lennon Joseph Nicholas Forfait, on May 7, 2012. She is enjoying maternity leave while working towards teaching certifications, blogging and discovering the family’s new hometown of Cobourg, Ont. Jennifer Gralec (BA ’00) operates her own retail bakery, Tiny Cakes Inc. (, in Cambridge, Ont. After working for 10 years in the corporate world, Gralec and her husband quit their jobs and opened their store in 2010. With a team of six, she says it is becoming the place to go for delicious cupcakes, cakes or pasteries.

Chandor Gauthier (BA ’03) was recently admitted to the partnership at Crowe Soberman, a mid-size chartered accounting firm based in Toronto. As a member of the firm’s audit and advisory Group, Chandor is responsible for a diverse client portfolio, specializing in ownermanaged companies, commercial real estate partnerships, not-for-profit organizations and manufacturers. Chandor is excited by the opportunities her new role presents, and looks forward to meeting new people and improving her golf game. Chandor lives in Toronto with her dog Broker. Chandor can be contacted at Barbara Cooke (BA ’11) is working as a consultant in the information technology field. She shares: “I returned to Laurier in 2010 at age 44 after a long absence from post-secondary education. My profession was that of IT consultant and the return to school came at a logical break in my assignments. I graduated in October 2011 with a BA. I have asked myself several times what this degree has actually done for me. Quite honestly, it has hindered me in my IT career as an employee because prospective employers ask ‘Why did you go back to school if it wasn’t to become a manager?’ If I make it to the interview stage, I am asked this question and talk about self-actualization etc., but interviewers don’t seem to buy that. And I am glad they don’t. I have decided not to return to the workforce as an employee but to continue to work as a consultant in my field — it might be a more difficult path, but the rewards are far greater. I recently realized that going back to school taught me that I am capable of learning new things outside of my comfort zone. That skill is critical in my field. I had forgotten how good it felt to take on a new project, and learn the technology and implement it. My courses at Laurier renewed my confidence in my ability to learn and my belief in myself. When one looks at the value of post-secondary education, I don’t think that is usually a top consideration. Perhaps it should be.”


Donate to Laurier by December 31 to receive a 2012 charitable tax receipt.

Contact Laurier for more info or questions 519.884.0710 x2752

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postcard to home

By Maya Dattani (BBA ’08) In Grade 5, my teacher asked the class to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote down “pirate”. I have always wanted to live a life full of adventure. But, as many people do, I became the passenger of my own destiny instead of the driver. After graduating from Laurier, I found a corporate job in Toronto and settled into a life that was … comfortable. I had everything a young grad could want: disposable income, my own living space and independence! But there was something missing, and I soon realized it was that insatiable quest for adventure. I started looking into teaching jobs in Thailand and quickly found myself boarding a plane destined for a new journey. I was looking for a radical change from Toronto, so I accepted a position as an English teacher in a small village. I originally signed a four-month contract, but here I am, a year and half later, still living my dream. My favourite moment so far actually made me stop and say to

myself, “Wow, this is awesome.” I befriended a Thai woman who lived in my village and eventually met all her friends. One day we all went fishing and just ate what we caught, right there on the riverbank. It got dark, and there were no lights. Fireflies were everywhere — we were in the middle of miles and miles of farmland and there was no one there except for us. When it was time to go, I insisted on navigating the bike in the dark. Of course, I drove us into a swamp. It was the most fun I’ve ever had, and I found myself stopping to appreciate every moment. Living in a village also makes me appreciate many things about the West. I have a greater appreciation for education and I am thankful that I was educated where I was, since it provides so many opportunities to see the world. When I return to Canada, I hope to combine my business skills with my experiences from travelling, and work in a field that motivates me to always stop and say, “Wow”.

Are you a Laurier alumna/us living abroad and interested in sharing your story? Email 38

CAMPUS Winter 2012

calendar of events


For a complete list of events, tickets or more information, visit

Maleta Stories by Marissa Largo

Slippage by Lynne Heller

Oct. 31 – Dec. 8, 2012

Jan. 9 – Feb. 16, 2013

Visit the Robert Langen Art gallery on

This site-specific installation at Laurier’s

the Waterloo campus to experience this

Robert Langen Art Gallery subverts the

interactive installation that explores the

traditional space of the gallery with work that

growing hybridity of communities that is

can be walked on. The artist’s sculptural floor

Osler Ski Day

formed through global migration.

cloths incorporate digital photo manipulation,

Jan. 25, 2013

superimposed images and painterly markings.

Bundle up and hit the slopes with alumni

Golden Hawks Women’s Hockey Jan. 11, 2013

and friends at the Osler Bluff Ski Club in Blue Mountains, Ont.

they take on the Toronto Varsity Blues

K-W Alumni Chapter Family Skate Day

at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation

Jan. 26, 2013

Complex. For tickets and a full schedule,

Hit the ice with your family for our annual


family skate day! Admission includes entry

Cheer on the women’s hockey team as

to the Laurier men’s varsity hockey game following the skate.

Annie at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

A Perfect Pairing Feb. 8, 2013 Watch, learn, eat, drink and be merry as

Dec. 8, 2012

Laurier’s star chef “Hutch” shares some of his

We bet your bottom dollar your whole family

trade secrets during a cooking demonstration.

will love Drayton Entertainment’s production

A complimentary recipe book will help to

of Annie.

ensure that you remember every little detail.

E YOUR PROF DAT I UP for a chance to LE

LET’s KEEP in TOUCH! New address, phone or email?


Update your alumni info and stay conncected: CAMPUS Winter 2012



Left: Back row (l-r): Preston Archibald, Rod Dean, Mike Moffat, Herb Stan, Larry Danby, Chris Coulthard, Chuck Classen, Don Smith Front row (l-r): Jim Fletcher, Mike Cleary, Leigh Goldie, Pat Woodburn, Vince Mendicino, Gary Southworth.

Golden Hawks Men’s Basketball Team This 1970 photo (large at top) shows a Waterloo Lutheran University basketball game against the University of Western Ontario. Until 1973, athletics had no building of its own, and had to share space in the theatre auditorium with other campus groups, but the university made a name for itself in several sports, including basketball. The late 1960s and early 1970s were banner years for the university’s men’s basketball teams. In the 1960s, the men’s basketball team held the Ontario provincial title for five years in a row, before capturing the national title in 1968. In 1969, a rebuilding year for the team, the squad competed again for the national title, losing in the final to the Windsor Lancers. The men’s team came back to win the provincial championship in 1970, taking the OUA winning streak to seven years.


CAMPUS Winter 2012

reader submission (INSET PHOTO) This is a photo of the 1971 Golden Hawks men’s basketball team, which won the provincial championship and competed at the national championship held at Acadia University. The team also had two all-Canadian players: Rod Dean and Chris Coulthard. I was a co-manager, along with Chuck Classen, who was equipment manager for the Laurier fooball team for many years. — Preston Archibald ’71

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

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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

Laurier Campus - Winter 2012