Winter 2014 Campus Magazine

Page 1





the glass ceiling Carolyn Wilkins makes history with high-profile post at the Bank of Canada Brad Katsuyama takes on Wall Street and becomes a hero to everyday investors

You’ve paid your dues. Start paying less with TD Insurance.

University graduates can save more.

Insurance program recommended by the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association

At TD Insurance, we recognize all the time and effort you put into getting where you are. That’s why, as a Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association member, you have access to our TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program which offers preferred group rates and various additional discounts. You’ll also benefit from our highly personalized service and great protection that suits your needs. Get a quote today and see how much you could save.


Request a quote at 1-888-589-5656 or visit The TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program is underwritten by SECURITY NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY. It is distributed by Meloche Monnex Insurance and Financial Services Inc. in Quebec, by Meloche Monnex Financial Services Inc. in Ontario, and by TD Insurance Direct Agency Inc. in the rest of Canada. Our address in Quebec: 50 Place Crémazie, Montreal (Quebec) H2P 1B6. Due to provincial legislation, our auto insurance program is not offered in British Columbia, Manitoba or Saskatchewan. ® The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

contents The economist Carolyn Wilkins’ interest in human behaviour led her to one of the top posts at the Bank of Canada.

12 Research file


How an algorithim can help divide “indivisible” items fairly. Plus, can public institutions also be food producers?


14 Is the stock market rigged?

How Brad Katsuyama went from being a humble trader to the public face of one of the most contentious fights on Wall Street.

24 High risk, high reward

From war to Ebola, humanitarian logistician Simon Hacker organizes aid in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

14 24

28 Homecoming highlights

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

3 Editor’s note

30 Keeping in touch

4 President’s message

38 Postcard to home

6 Campus news

39 People at Laurier

12 Research file

40 Flashback

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 1


We’re stronger together. Join a proud alumni tradition and make a donation today. Your gift will provide critical support to current Laurier students. Donations of all sizes combine to enhance and expand the Laurier student experience. We’re stronger together.




• $10 • $20

• $30 • OTHER:
















(made payable to Wilfrid Laurier University)

CARD NUMBER ____ ____ ____ ____ EXPIRY

NAME ON CARD (please print)


• • • •


_ _ /_ _ SIGNATURE

Please mail your gift to: Wilfrid Laurier University, Annual Giving, Alumni Hall, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5 CANADA Please note: Monthly donations continue until cancellled. Tax receipts are issued annually for the yearly total. To discuss your monthly gifts, please contact us at or 519.884.0710 x3180. This information is collected under the authority of the Wilfrid Laurier University Act for the purposes of processing your donation, keeping you informed of our programs and services, and for fundraising for Wilfrid Laurier University, located at 75 University Ave. W., Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5. Any information we receive from you will be kept private.

THANK YOU! Tax receipts will be issued for all gifts of $10 or more. Charitable BN/Reg: #108208786 RR0002




What was your Laurier experience? Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto Volume 54, Number 1, Winter 2014 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: Joel Peters, Assistant Vice-President: External Relations Editor: Stacey Morrison Writers: Justin Fauteux, Carol Jankowski, Chloe Stanois Design: Emily Lowther, Tara Olheiser Justin Ogilvie, Dawn Wharnsby Photography: Tomasz Adamski, Michael Falco, Mat McCarthy, Justin Van Leeuwen Send address changes to: Email: Tel: 519.884.0710 x3176 Publications Mail Registration No. 40020414 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 We welcome and encourage your feedback. Send letters to the editor to We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Laurier Campus (circ. 85,000) is published two times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in Campus do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Cover photography: Justin Van Leeuwen Visit us online at

Early in my career, I answered a newspaper ad for a publishing company seeking an editorial assistant. It was vague, but as a “green” journalist with a love for magazines, I figured I could gain some experience, regardless of what the mystery publication was. It turns out the position was for an automotive magazine. Cars? Oh dear, not really my thing — I didn’t know the difference between a Volvo and a Volkswagen. But I took the job, and eventually became managing editor — I wrote reviews for national newspapers and magazines, and travelled around the world test-driving vehicles in some of the world’s most stunning landscapes. I worked for a wonderful editor with an old-school newspaper background who broadened my horizons and gave me opportunities others wouldn’t have. In the end, the life experience I gained far exceeded anything I could have imagined. It’s these unexpected twists and turns that give credence to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s declaration that “life is a journey, not a destination.” Despite our best-laid plans, it is inevitable that we will hit a surprise bump or bend in the road that spins us in an unexpected direction.

In the pages ahead you’ll hear from alumni whose careers also had unexpected outcomes. When Brad Katsuyama graduated, he got a job as a trader in New York City, and expected to live a comfortable life working on Wall Street. But when he noticed anomalies in the trades he was making, he took a huge risk that caused his career to take a drastic turn. Simon Hacker wanted to help people in need and started down a path of humanitarian work. Today, he uses logistics training he learned in the field, and his considerable courage and wits, to work in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. And Carolyn Wilkins didn’t imagine that her interest in people and their behavior would see her making crucial decisions at the country’s top bank. As for me? Despite its hills and valleys, I never thought my path would lead me back to Laurier, being inspired daily by the accomplishments of my fellow alumni. Share your “travel stories” at

Stacey Morrison (BA ’97)

Prefer digital? View Campus online at

On the cover Here’s a fun fact about our feature on economist Carolyn Wilkins: it was produced by a trio of Justins! Meet (l-r) writer Justin Fauteux, photographer Justin Van Leeuwen and graphic designer Justin Ogilvie.

Questions, comments, rants or raves? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at ‘Like’ us at


LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 3


Many reasons to celebrate There are many challenges facing higher education these days; so many, in fact, that it’s all too easy to overlook the achievements and good work that we accomplish on a regular basis as a university community. At Laurier, we have a long tradition of coming together—faculty, staff, students and alumni—to fulfill our educational mission and provide each new generation with an exceptional, well-rounded university experience.

• Laurier graduates continue to find employment at a higher rate than the Ontario system. A recent survey conducted for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities found that 89.1 per cent of Laurier alumni who graduated in 2011 were employed six months after graduation, compared to 87.4 per cent across the system; 94.3 per cent of Laurier alumni who graduated in 2011 were employed two years after graduation, compared to 93.02 per cent across the system. • Laurier Psychology Professor Anne Wilson recently earned a prestigious honour—she was named an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. • The Faculty of Arts’ high-tech “active learning” classroom, along with History Professor Gavin Brockett, were featured in a story about innovative teaching practices in The Globe and Mail’s annual Canadian University Report.

Max Blouw, right, with Brantford Mayor Chris Friel, centre, and Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group Frank McKenna. A TD gift will help support a LaunchPad entrepreneurship program on the Brantford campus.

I found myself thinking about this recently as I stood on the stage at fall convocation looking out over the bright, smiling faces of our graduands. Convocation ceremonies at Laurier are truly celebratory events, filled with enthusiasm, optimism and promise. They serve as a vibrant reminder that education is indeed a force for good in the world, and that what we contribute to society through our work at Laurier is overwhelmingly positive. With this in mind, allow me to share a few examples that highlight just some of the many recent achievements that make me proud of the Laurier community: • Our campus in Brantford celebrated its 15th anniversary this fall. What started as an uncertain experiment with one building, 39 students and three faculty members has blossomed into an unqualified success that now boasts 19 buildings, 3,000 students and 70 full-time professors. • The university launched the first phase of a new website in October that features a fresh, contemporary look and state-of-the-art functionality. This initial phase was designed primarily for prospective students; subsequent phases will more directly serve current students, faculty, staff and other audiences. • In the 2013 survey by the Canadian University Survey Consortium, 95 per cent of Laurier students said they were satisfied with their decision to attend Laurier.

4 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

• The university publicly launched its Building Canada’s Best Business School campaign in October. Several major donations have already been received. The money raised will help support the new Global Innovation Exchange building on the Waterloo campus, which is scheduled to open in fall 2015, as well as innovative programming for the School of Business and Economics. • Milton Town Council approved the transfer of 150 acres of land valued at $50 million to the university as part of its endorsement of Laurier’s plan to build a new campus in this fast-growing community on the west side of the Greater Toronto Area. As well, Laurier submitted an official Milton campus proposal to the Ontario government as part of the province’s major capacity expansion process. I could go on—the list of positive news is long. But suffice to say that in the midst of sector-wide challenges, Laurier remains focused on what we do best—working together as an educational community to provide students with excellent academic foundations and an exceptional, well-rounded university experience. For all that you do to help us make this happen, thank you.

Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor


Meeting the needs of Laurier alumni First and foremost, I would like to extend a special greeting to our new alumni. With the addition of our newest graduates who convocated this fall, our Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) membership now sits at more than 89,000 alumni who live and work around the world, and share a common experience. Since my last column, we have completed a survey of all alumni—thank you to everyone who participated. The purpose of this survey is to make sure the services that we offer are relevant to you. Your responses will help us develop programs and services tailored to your needs. The feedback gathered through the survey will be essential as WLUAA and Laurier’s Alumni Relations team develop plans for the coming years. These plans will also be shaped by WLUAA’s new strategic plan, which was finalized this year. During the strategic planning process we revisited our mission, vision, values, and our key strategic priorities. The outcomes of the review were two main objectives: first, transition to be a more strategic and generative board and, second, engage current and future alumni. WLUAA directors will now sit on one of three committees: Governance, Finance and Outreach. This focus will help us to achieve our vision, which is an inspiring community of engaged alumni.

Our growing GradVantages partnerships with BMO MasterCard, Manulife Financial and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex continue to increase our revenues. By participating in these programs, you are enabling us to support student and alumni programming, and contribute philanthropically to the university. I am very proud of all of WLUAA’s achievements over the past year. What makes me most proud is that once again every member of our board of directors has donated financially to Laurier. I hope that our 100 per cent participation inspires other alumni to donate as well. I encourage you to make an effort to stay connected to Laurier, in whatever way is most meaningful to you. Thank you for being part of WLUAA. Together, we can continue to build the sense of community that is vital to our university.

Marc Henein ’04 President, WLUAA


Board of Directors

President Marc Henein ’04

Kate Applin ’09 Fiona Batte ’96 Marie-Helene Colaiezzi ’07, ’08 Ben Graham ’99, ’00 Chris Hiebert ’83 Craig Mellow ’97 Michelle Missere ’06 Andrew Ness ’86 Helga Recek ’00 Karen Rice ’87

Vice-President Operations Marc Richardson ’94 Secretary/Treasurer Shirley Schmidt ’86, ’09 Honorary President Dr. Max Blouw Past President Tom Berczi ’88, ’93

Board of Governors Representatives Scott Bebenek ’85 Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 John Trus ’90

Senate Representatives Ashley Cameron ’86 Benjamin Graham ’99 Megan Harris ’00

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 5


Large-scale Rubik’s cube work a highlight at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Laurier’s entry in the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche arts and culture celebration in downtown Toronto in October was a smash hit. Hundreds of spectators poured into Laurier’s Toronto office at King and York streets to see a large-scale, eye-popping Rubik’s cube installation and to be amazed by Laurier fourth-year business student and Canadian world-class cube competitor Eric Limeback as he built his massive display of Rubik’s art until 4 a.m. when the final piece was installed. Throughout the night, Limeback and a trio of Laurier students supporting him — Kevin McGaire, Lee Glendenning and Marley Little — dazzled crowds of spectators by rapidly and repeatedly solving the infamous cube puzzle, even while blindfolded. The crowds were also enthralled with a presentation by Professor Jeffery Jones, director of the Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, discussing Limeback’s brain activity while solving cubes, to explore concepts of brain mapping and how this impacts how humans think.

Entitled Cubed, the installation used algorithmic principles to create a large-scale work that speaks to the innovative spirit of Nuit Blanche. Comprised of nearly 3,500 Rubik’s cubes, the structure reflected the complexities and playfulness of the 3-D puzzle. Laurier’s Robert Langen Art Gallery curated the exhibition, and the Toronto chapter of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association sponsored it. Kroeger Toys, the Canadian supplier of Rubik’s cubes, loaned the cubes. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is an overnight arts initiative produced by the City of Toronto that has created a greater awareness and appreciation for contemporary art by making projects fun, engaging and accessible to the general public.


University submits Milton proposal to Ontario government The Town of Milton has agreed to transfer 150 acres of land valued at about $50 million to Wilfrid Laurier University as part of its endorsement of Laurier’s plan to build a new university campus in this fastgrowing community. Milton Town Council voted unanimously to endorse the Laurier proposal and transfer the land, subject to the university securing approval from the Ontario government to build a campus in Milton. The endorsement and land transfer represent a significant milestone in the ongoing Laurier-Milton partnership. “This is a donation worth $50 million to Ontario’s post-secondary education system, not just to Wilfrid Laurier

University,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw. “We greatly appreciate the vision and commitment shown by Milton’s civic leaders, who clearly value the transformational power of higher education.” Laurier has submitted a detailed campus proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities as part of the ministry’s Major Capacity Expansion Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP is a key part of the government’s plan to modernize Ontario’s infrastructure and provide improved access to post-secondary education. The Laurier plan proposes a purposebuilt, deep-green, leading-edge campus

to initially support 2,500 students on 150 acres adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment. Over time, the campus has capacity for 15,000 or more students. The Laurier campus will be centred within a 400-acre Milton Education Village (MEV). Developed as a public destination, the MEV will be a fully integrated neighborhood of multi-level education, research and commercialization, and complementary residential and commercial development. A velodrome for the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am and Parapan American Games is under construction within the MEV and will be available as a shared sports and recreation facility to the future Laurier campus.

This is a donation worth $50 million to Ontario’s post-secondary education system, not just to Wilfrid Laurier University Max Blouw, Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor

6 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

campus news


Space will help accommodate future growth Laurier has reached an agreement with the City of Brantford to acquire Market Square in downtown Brantford. The university’s Board of Governors approved the acquisition of the 360,000 squarefoot facility in September. Brantford city council also voted to finalize a transfer of the buildings and land. The acquisition fits with Laurier’s campus master plan, which was approved by the Board of Governors in February 2010. Market Square would provide the space required for academic, administrative and student needs to accommodate projected enrolment growth at the Brantford campus, as well as the expansion of Laurier’s partnership with Conestoga College. Laurier plans to undertake a full planning exercise to determine the most efficient and effective use of the space, but this acquisition provides opportunities to address campus needs including a library and food services.


Lindsay Duffield advises students to take chances Lindsay Duffield (BBA ’79), president of Jaguar Land Rover Canada, delivered a keynote address earlier this year as the School of Business and Economics’ fifth CEO-in-Residence. He shared lessons in leadership, as well as inside perspective on rebuilding the iconic automotive brands after the financial crisis of 2008. The global recovery of Jaguar Land Rover was one of many topics Duffield touched on during his talk, titled “The Rebirth of Two Automotive Icons.” He also offered leadership and life lessons, outlining the importance of taking risks and being flexible. “It’s important to be flexible and not get flustered,” he said. “What you are hired for is likely not what you are going to do. You have to realize that it’s not about ‘What am I going to do today?’, it’s ‘Where do I start?’.” Facing quality issues, an aging demographic and slumping sales when he

became president of Jaguar Land Rover Canada in 2010, Duffield said making the brand “cool” again through focused marketing and introducing new product was key. Today, Jaguar Land Rover is the fastest growing luxury automotive brand in Canada, with record sales in 2013. Duffield wrapped up his talk with 10 lessons of life for students, which included: never stop learning, take chances while you can, never burn bridges and stay true to your personal brand. He also advised against career planning. “I wasn’t looking to be in the car business, but it kept calling to me. Do what you love and feel passionate about, even if it doesn’t pay very well. Find those skills to develop and you will be of value to any company.”


Laurier and City of Brantford celebrate together In 1999 Laurier’s Brantford campus opened with 39 students, three faculty members and one building. Today, 15 years later, the campus is thriving with more than 3,000 students, 70 full-time faculty members and a campus comprised of 19 buildings. Over the summer of 2014, significant work was done to the landscaping outside of the Carnegie Building, which this year celebrates its 110th anniversary. In addition, work done in Victoria Park includes new site furnishings, concrete sidewalks and plantings throughout, resulting in a brighter, more expansive greenspace. On Oct. 2, the Brantford campus and the City of Brantford celebrated these revitalization projects and the campus’ 15th anniversary together with refreshments and entertainment in Victoria Park.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 7

campus news


Local families give a combined $2 million for the new Laurier Brantford YMCA Roger and Edith Davis, founders of Davis Fuels, a family-owned and operated fuel distributor serving Brant County for almost 60 years, have donated $1 million to support the aquatic centre at the new Laurier Brantford YMCA Athletics & Recreation Centre. The facility’s aquatic centre—to be named in honour of the Davis Family—will consist of two pools for teaching, fitness, competitions, therapy and leisure. The six-lane, 25-metre lap pool will accommodate up to 180 swimmers while a second, 60-person pool will have a movable floor so that it can transform from very shallow to 2.1 metres deep, making it ideal for everyone from young children to adults. The aquatic centre will also feature a 12-person therapy pool and all will be wheelchair accessible. Long-time Brantford residents Steve and Helen Kun, along with their family, have also donated $1 million to the new recreation centre. The Kuns have a long history in Brantford, and supporting the redevelopment of their city is an important personal cause. They feel strongly that downtown Brantford needs to include places to safely live, study and be healthy. To recognize their

donation, the main entrance off of Water Street will be named in honour of the Kun family. The new Laurier Brantford YMCA Athletics & Recreation Centre, to be located in Brantford’s downtown core, is a joint venture between Laurier and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/ Brantford. The complex will also include multi-purpose spaces for group fitness classes, social, educational and cultural programming, a health and wellness centre with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, weights and more, and a large gymnasium with retractable seating for 1,200 spectators for sport and recreation training, competitions and functions. Site development on the $58.4 million facility began this fall.


Space displays work by Laurier artists

Convocation 2014 The university graduated more than 2,800 students this past spring and more than 1,200 students at the fall convocation ceremonies.

8 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

The Waterloo campus Library has opened a new exhibition space featuring work by members of the Laurier community. The inaugural exhibit in the new space features work by Bharati Sethi, a PhD candidate in the university’s Faculty of Social Work. Sethi’s show, entitled, “Do you see what I see?” is a community-based research project that uses photography to explore the experience of women from Korea, Asia, Africa, Japan, the Arab World and Latin America who are part of an employment health association in Brantford. Sethi’s exhibit comes to the Library in collaboration with Laurier’s Graduate Students’ Association, which is co-sponsoring the space, and the Robert Langen Art Gallery. The space is open to work by all members of the Laurier community, with graduate student work regularly featured.

campus news

Help ‘build Canada’s best business school’ YOU CAN BE PART OF BUILDING CANADA’S BEST BUSINESS SCHOOL AT LAURIER This fall, the university publicly launched its Building Canada’s Best Business School Campaign. The campaign aims to raise $55 million for the School of Business and Economics (SBE). “Laurier’s School of Business and Economics is one of the nation’s most selective and innovative business programs. But our aim is to be the best,” explained Dean Micheál Kelly. Alumni and friends who donate can support student scholarships, help retain and recruit top faculty, build a new and innovative $103-million building, and strengthen Laurier’s unique, pioneering programming. “Laurier offers an unparalleled student experience—one that immerses students in the real challenges of successful business management,” said Peter Ansley (BA ’66) who is chairing the campaign’s volunteer cabinet. “The funds raised through this campaign will enhance our ability to prepare students to thrive in a global economy that is increasingly fueled by innovation and entrepreneurship.” Several major donations have already been announced from generous donors, including TD Bank Group, Michael and Hennie Stork, the McGrath family, the Marsland family, Bank of Montreal, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and the Class of ’66. Alumni and friends of Laurier are being asked to make their own donations to the campaign. Gifts can be designated to support construction of the Global Innovation Exchange building (GIE)—the new home for SBE and the Department of Mathematics—create new student scholarships and bursaries, fund cutting-edge research from Laurier professors, expand entrepreneurship, contribute to Laurier’s Start-up Fund, generate international opportunities for students and advance innovative teaching. People even have an opportunity to be immortalized in the GIE by making a donation towards a seat in the 1,000-seat auditorium. For a minimum donation of $2,500 (which can be paid over five years), donors will receive a nameplate on their chosen seat. They will not only be building their own legacy, they will also be helping to make an amazing space a reality for future students. “Every donation at any level makes a difference,” said Kelly. “With the support of our alumni and friends, we can immerse our students in more practical experiences, increase their entrepreneurial mindset and strengthen their international knowledge. Whatever people choose to support, the value of their gifts will be realized many times over.” For more information about the campaign, visit

We saved you a seat.

Now put your name on it. Find out how you can make your mark in Laurier’s new Global Innovation Exchange building.

A new home for SBE and math The most visible demonstration of how this campaign is transforming Laurier is the Global Innovation Exchange building, the new home of SBE and Laurier’s Department of Mathematics. This building is currently under construction on University Avenue. The technology in the GIE will surpass any other teaching facility in Canada. Students and researchers will be able to collaborate seamlessly within classrooms, labs, the auditorium, and with people around the world.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 9

campus news


Arno Kopecky wins prestigious book award Arno Kopecky has won the 2014 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway (Douglas & McIntyre). The $10,000 award is administered by Laurier, and recognizes a Canadian writer of a first or second published book with a Canadian locale or significance. In The Oil Man and the Sea, Kopecky, along with photographer Ilja Herb, spends 12 weeks sailing the treacherous coastal passages of the Great Bear Rainforest, slated to become a busy oil tanker route for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would transport bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to the British Columbia coast. Along the way, the novice sailors spend time with local residents, including many First Nations members, listening to their concerns about the pipeline and how it will affect their way of life, and the rainforest’s fragile ecosystem. “Few of us will probably ever have the chance to visit the Great Bear Rainforest, meet the people who live there and hear first-hand their concerns about the pipeline project,” said Bruce Gillespie, an award juror and professor in the Digital Media and Journalism program on Laurier’s Brantford campus. “Kopecky’s book takes us there and lets us hear the concerns of the people who will be most affected by the pipeline in a compelling way.”

Based in Squamish, B.C., Kopecky is a journalist and travel writer, whose stories have appeared in publications ranging from The Walrus and The Globe and Mail, to Reader’s Digest and Foreign Policy. He has reported from five continents, including civil uprisings in Mexico, cyclones in Burma, politics in Zimbabwe and election violence in Kenya. The Oil Man and the Sea is his second book. In his first book, The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge, Kopecky spends one year in South America chronicling how affluent Western corporations and lifestyles impact impoverished and indigenous communities in Peru and Columbia. In addition to The Oil Man and the Sea, the shortlist for the 2014 Edna Staebler Award also included: Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter by Alison Wearing (Knopf Canada) and The Memory of Water by Allen Smutylo (Wilfrid Laurier University Press).


Laurier strengthens commitment to student well-being In an effort to enhance support for students’ physical, emotional and mental health, Laurier has combined its existing Counselling Services and Health Services offices into a single Wellness Centre at its Waterloo campus. Following a similar model to the one used on Laurier’s Brantford campus, the new Wellness Centre at Laurier’s Waterloo campus will use a “circle of care” approach, offering comprehensive wellness support in a seamless and coordinated fashion. A multidisciplinary team will combine professionals offering medical care, counselling and mental health services. By integrating the wellness supports and services available on its Waterloo campus,

it will be easier for students to find the help they need, and for faculty and staff to know where to refer students when the need arises. “Our primary goal is to shape an enriching learning environment that is intentionally integrated and cohesively structured where students feel welcomed, valued and understood, particularly when they are faced with challenging personal conditions,” said David McMurray, vicepresident: Student Affairs at Laurier. Laurier continues to build stronger connections with community partners to ensure that if students can’t get the help they need on campus, they can still be connected with the right resources. Partnerships

include organizations like Grand River Hospital; Skills for Safer Living, which offers programming for students with suicidal behavior; and Bridges to Health, which provides programming for students who have identified concerns with substance use. An increased focus on students’ wellbeing has spurred education programs designed to better equip faculty and staff to assist students facing mental or physical health issues. Last spring, a group of faculty and staff participated in a “Mental Health First Aid” program, which enables them to deliver training to others to better recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and learn how to support someone experiencing a mental health issue.

Our primary goal is to shape an enriching learning environment that is intentionally integrated and cohesively structured where students feel welcomed, valued and understood... David McMurray, vice-president: Student Affairs at Laurier

10 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

campus news


Donation will support the School of Business and Economics The factory whistle defines Larry Marsland’s memories of Waterloo. These whistles regulated the work day in the rubber factories, furniture manufacturers, tanneries, meat packing plants, shirt makers and button makers across the city. Over his family’s long history in Waterloo, Marsland has witnessed the transformation of business from one of whistles and skilled manual jobs to one of knowledge and technology. To support the education of the next generation of workers, Marsland and his family have made a $1-million donation to Laurier’s School of Business and Economics. “When my family first started our businesses in Waterloo, no one could have foreseen how much universities were going to contribute to our community,” he said. “Laurier

is providing the level of education and practical experience necessary to survive in today’s new economy.” Marsland’s wife Margaret, son Brad and daughter Melanie are all sharing in the donation. The Marslands’ gift will support the Laurier Startup Fund and the university’s new Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building. Laurier’s Startup Fund exemplifies the university’s approach to education that immerses students in real business challenges. The fund provides business students with real money to invest in start-up businesses. The GIE will be the new home of Laurier’s School of Business and Economics and the Department of Mathematics. In recognition of the Marslands’ generosity, a 150-seat lecture hall on the first floor of the GIE will be named in their honour.

Laurier has updated the signage on its Waterloo campus to reflect the university’s visual identity, including signs on the corners of King Street and University Avenue, King Street and Bricker Avenue, and University Avenue and Albert Street, as well as the signs located on mid-campus drive.


Laurier launches new web site Have you visited Laurier’s website lately? On Oct. 27 the university launched Phase 1 of its brand-new site. With a modern design and functionality, the new website provides users with an intuitive and engaging browsing experience. The first phase of the site is geared towards prospective undergraduate and graduate students, who are used to eye-catching, easy-to-navigate and mobileoptimized sites. Future phases will include intranet and portal solutions for current students, staff and faculty. The website was designed by mStoner using Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server as the new content management system. User testing with prospective students was conducted to ensure usability of the site. “The concept and design of the new website appeals to a new generation of students and better reflects the premier university experience we offer at Laurier,” said Joel Peters, assistant vice-president, External Relations. “The website is often our first point of contact with our audience, and as such our new site will play a key role in our enrolment and reputational strategies.” Laurier’s new website looks and works best when viewed in Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 or higher.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 11

research file

John gets the dog and Jill gets the couch Marc Kilgour’s algorithm helps avoid envy when dividing ‘indivisible’ items by Justin Fauteux almost everyone has heard of a couple going through a rather messy divorce. Often, the cause of that unpleasantness is jealousy over who gets what when the couple’s property is divided. According to a recent paper authored by a team of researchers, including Marc Kilgour of Laurier’s Department of Mathematics, one way to avoid such disputes is to use a mathematical algorithm. In the paper, which was recently published in the prestigious Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Kilgour and his co-authors — Steven Brams of New York University and Christian Klamler of the University of Graz — outline a pair of algorithms that can be used to divide “indivisible” items between parties without causing envy, if it’s possible to do so. While things like land can be fairly divided by allocating each party shares they value equally (like saying “I cut, you choose” when cutting a cake), things like cars, furniture, art or personal keepsakes cannot simply be divided equally because the items cannot be split, in addition to having different perceived values to each person. The researchers’ algorithms address this situation by asking each party to rank the items from most preferred to least preferred, without giving additional information. Both algorithms proceed by assigning each party the items at the top of their preference rankings. If the same item is ranked highest by both parties, the first algorithm does not assign it, while the second algorithm dictates that each party’s list of ranked items be analyzed by an independent third party, or computer, to determine whether the item can be assigned in a way that avoids envy. “It’s part of our procedure to avoid envy, which means feeling like the other person got more than you,” said Kilgour. “There are two criteria of fairness: proportionality, which means you feel like you got at least your share of the total,

12 LAURIER CAMPUS Spring Winter2014 2014

and envy-freeness, which means that you’d rather have your items than the other person’s. If there are only two people, these criteria are exactly the same.” By ranking items, and using the second algorithm to resolve conflicts when both parties have the same preference for an item, the parties have a good chance of finding a way to allocate the items so that each prefers the items they receive to the ones given to the other party. For example: John and Jill are trying to fairly allocate four items: their car, their couch, their boat and their dog. Their preferences for the four items are as follows: John wants the car, boat, dog and couch, while Jill wants the boat, dog, couch and car. In the first step, John receives the car while Jill receives the boat. But then conflict arises, because the next item both parties desire is the dog. According to the second algorithm, John would receive the dog and Jill the couch. This is the only way to create an envy-free situation because both parties would prefer their items to the other party’s (John prefers the car to the boat and the dog to the couch, while Jill prefers the boat to the dog and the couch to the car). Although envy-free allocations are not always possible, the second algorithm will produce such a solution whenever one is available. And while dividing property after a divorce or for an inheritance are the most obvious uses for the algorithms, Kilgour believes their use could go far beyond those two scenarios. “Any distribution of resources is allocation. If you own a timeshare on a vacation property, you and the other owners have to divide up the vacation season,” he said. “Any time an organization has resources and lots of places to apply them, they’ll generally want to do it in a way that fairly reflects the sub-units’ goals, as well as the organization’s. But what is fair, and how do you achieve it? That kind of issue makes this an area of study that could have many uses.”

research file

Can public institutions also be food producers? Researcher Philip Mount explores the possibility through Project SOIL by Justin Fauteux

hospitals, schools and other public institutions already provide communities with vital services. But what if they could double as food producers? That’s the idea behind Project SOIL, a study being led by Laurier researcher Philip Mount that explores the potential for on-site food production at public institutions. Launched in September 2013, Project SOIL — Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands — is investigating the feasibility of using institutional land to grow organic produce by examining on-site food production systems already in place at Ontario institutions and supporting five pilot projects around the province. “The project grew out of three ideas,” said Mount. “Public institutions in Ontario are being encouraged to provide more local food; many of these institutions have land that could grow that food; and many new and young farmers have the skills to produce this

food, but no access to land.” In addition to Mount, the Project SOIL research team includes Irena Knezevic from Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and researchers from national non-profit My Sustainable Canada and from the University of Guelph, Carleton University and Lakehead University. The team is using the five pilot projects to study the economic and institutional viability of on-site food production models, as well as more specific benefits of the practice. At KW Habilitation’s micro-farm in Kitchener-Waterloo and the GreenWerks Garden at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital in Thunder Bay, the team will study what skills people can gain from participating in on-site food production, as well as the impact of channeling fresh local produce into institutional food supply. Meanwhile, at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, Ont. — located near the Quebec-Ontario border

— and Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, the team will study therapeutic benefits. The fifth pilot project is taking place at the Food School Farm, a participatory agro-ecological program at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus. The next step of the project will apply these lessons to a select group of institutions, with in-depth feasibility studies that will identify the resources required for a successful food production project. “The potential of on-site food production is largely untapped,” said Mount. “But one early lesson from these pilot projects would apply equally on the grounds of a daycare, seniors’ residence or hospice: the simple act of growing food for others has transformative power.”

For more information on Project SOIL, visit

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 13

14 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

campus feature


brad katsuyama has never been one to start a fight. In fact, he’s usually the one who tries to diffuse a tense a situation. But seemingly overnight, Katsuyama (BBA ’01) went from being a humble trader in New York City to being right in the thick of one of the most contentious and public fights Wall Street has ever seen. Katsuyama was thrust into the spotlight in late March after the release of Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, a book by Michael Lewis, author of previous bestsellers The Big Short and Moneyball. The book chronicles the use of computerized highfrequency trading and asserts the stock market is rigged for the benefit of insiders. Since its release, the mild-mannered Katsuyama, a central figure in the book, has become the face of its controversial argument. From being featured in a 60 Minutes segment, to getting in a heated exchange on live television that later went viral, to testifying in front of a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Katsuyama has found himself in some unfamiliar situations since he went from a “normal guy” to an unlikely public figure. And though he wasn’t looking for a fight, when one found him, he was ready to fight back.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 15

W while katsuyama’s rise to fame last spring seemed meteoric, his journey can be traced back over seven years. It was 2007 and Katsuyama was working as a trader for the Royal Bank of Canada in New York City. He had been with the company for six years when he noticed that something was off with the trades he was trying to execute — the orders would only be partially filled, and he would have to pay a higher price for the rest. Katsuyama would later realize his trades were falling victim to high-frequency trading (HFT). Such trading is done by automated computers that can execute trades in 1/1000th of the time it takes to blink an eye. These computerized traders can access and react to information on changing stock prices before a human trader’s order is even completed, all within a matter of microseconds. One of the main reasons HFT has become such a hotly debated topic is a process known as “electronic front running.” When a trader attempts to execute a large order — 100,000 shares for example — splitting the trade into several smaller orders and sending them through multiple stock exchanges is the only way the trade can be fulfilled. Predatory high-frequency traders can capitalize by seeing the order when it reaches the first exchange, and cancelling all remaining sell orders while buying stock on other exchanges. They can then sell it back to the original buyer at a higher price. Katsuyama is quick to point out that not all high-frequency trading is predatory.

16 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

“Not everyone who’s using a computerized trading strategy is harming the market, but there are traders out there who are [front running] and we found distinctive evidence of that happening,” he says from his office in Manhattan’s financial district. It is ironic that in today’s world of the global village and technology making geographical location irrelevant, that a large part of the advantage high-frequency traders enjoy comes from reducing distance. In a practice called co-location, HFT firms place their trading computers in the same data centres that house an exchange’s computer servers, meaning market information travels only a few feet by fibre-optic cable. “It’s pretty simple — the farther away from something you are, the longer it takes you to get there,” says Katsuyama. “So they said ‘Why not just be in the same room?’ Which is what they’ve done.” From his desk at RBC, Katsuyama could see there was a problem, but he wasn’t sure what was causing it. He didn’t even realize the issue went beyond RBC until he was offered a new position at the bank in 2009 and watched some of his mutual fund and hedge fund clients execute trades. “I was sitting next to a friend of mine who’s a trader for one of the biggest hedge funds in the world and he was using all of these different bank algorithms to trade, and he was having the exact same experience I was having sitting in my seat at RBC,” says Katsuyama. “That’s when it hit me that this is a system wide problem.’” Katsuyama and his team at RBC, which included people who had experience working for HFT firms, spent the next three years developing a product to prevent the front running of orders. What they came up with was the Tactical Hybrid Order Router (THOR), which staggers the sending of orders so the information arrives at all the exchanges as close to the same time as possible, preventing predatory highfrequency traders from hijacking the order. THOR effectively solved the frontrunning problem for RBC, but the response

Katsuyama and his team received was the problem was much bigger than just the trades executed through RBC. “We felt like we made this great discovery, but the feedback was ‘You’ve only solved a very small problem for the end client’,” Katsuyama says. At the same time, there was another issue at play: Katsuyama and his team were getting lucrative job offers from other firms. “It was like a team winning the Stanley Cup and then getting broken up the next year in free agency,” Katsuyama says, his Canadian heritage showing through. It was clear that if he wanted to keep his team together, and even the playing field on Wall Street, Katsuyama would have to leave RBC. As difficult as the decision was, taking the road less travelled seems to come naturally to Katsuyama. As a student at Laurier, he gave up playing on the Golden Hawks football team after his second year to focus on his studies. He even cut short a post-graduation trip to Europe and Australia to attend his convocation ceremony when he learned he would receive the Alumni Gold Medal. Even in his schoolwork, Katsuyama often went against the grain. He recalls working on a project for the School of Business and Economics’ Integrated Case Exercise competition, during which students are asked to analyze a company’s financial situation and make a recommendation for its future direction. The majority of groups recommended aggressive expansion, but Katsuyama’s group went in a different direction and ended up winning. “Our recommendation was ‘Don’t do anything other than get your own house in order,’” he says. “It was very sensible and I remember thinking we weren’t going to win because it wasn’t exciting at all.” katsuyama’s decision to leave rbc was perhaps best summed up by author Michael Lewis during an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show shortly after the release of Flash Boys. Lewis was asked why


since the release of flash boys and its contention that the stock markets are rigged, Katsuyama has become the target of heavy backlash and criticism from Wall Street. While he has received a lot support, he’s also been called a “fear monger” and has been accused of blowing the issue out of proportion. Many got a first-hand look at some of the pushback Katsuyama has received during a live segment on CNBC in early April. William O’Brien, then president of BATS Global Markets, pestered Katsuyama to answer the question: Is the stock market rigged? After much prodding, Katsuyama responded: “I believe the markets are rigged, and I also think that you’re part of the rigging, so if you want to do this, then let’s do this.” Katsuyama and O’Brien then got into a heated debate that lasted 23 minutes, an eternity in television terms, and brought the New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor to halt as traders gathered around TV screens to watch. They debated the basic nature of the stock market and if it was still possible for an average investor to compete with the giants of Wall Street, particularly with the prevalence of HFT. In a poll on CNBC’s website, 67 per cent of viewers thought Katsuyama won the debate (O’Brien received five per cent of the vote). O’Brien left BATS, a highfrequency trading exchange that fell under the eye of regulators for its trading practices, in July. While much of the criticism Katsuyama and Lewis have received has been inflammatory, Laurier Associate Professor of Finance Andriy Shkilko offers a more measured critique. Shkilko, who studies securities trading and financial markets, has devoted his recent research specifically to HFT. “Would I say that the markets are completely warm and fuzzy? Probably not,” Shkilko says. “But are they as bad and as

rigged as Lewis says? No. No one has been able to prove that high-frequency traders are systematically doing the nefarious kind of front running that Lewis’ book describes.” Shkilko concedes that some of the activity relating to HFT is “not good,” but he doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to conclude the markets are rigged. Shkilko explains that computerized high-frequency traders have taken the place of “specialists”, or intermediaries in the market ready to provide liquidity. In the old days, these specialists were humans in the middle of the trading floor. Today the role is filled by HFT computers. However, in Katsuyama’s experience, intermediaries have much more of an influence than simply providing liquidity. “Technology in many ways should have eliminated the need to have someone standing in the middle, but it hasn’t,” he says. “I think the shocking part to a lot of people is that Wall Street is saying it’s not a big deal because it’s been happening forever. The fact that it’s been happening for centuries—someone standing in the middle and scalping money off of someone else—is not a proper excuse to ignore the problem as it exists today.” Katsuyama believes a big reason why the argument over HFT has become so contentious is because the debate is still unfolding — Flash Boys was released right in the thick of the debate over the practice. Katsuyama says another reason it has gained

traction is because the general public sees this as another situation where the Wall Street suits are pulling one over on them. “I think the principle of it strikes at the heart of why society has such a big issue with Wall Street,” he says. “Who’s looking out for people when they’re not paying attention?” While Katsuyama does his best to avoid reading his own press, he has a straightforward response to his critics. “When your stance is grounded in the truth, it makes it very easy to have these discussions,” he says. “I’ve yet to see anything that says ‘Brad Katsuyama said this, and this is why it’s not true, and here’s the truth.’ If I was going out there with a bunch of skeletons in the closet and I didn’t want to be asked certain questions, I would be acting in a very different manner.” What Katsuyama is most proud of these days is staying true to himself. He’s still close with the friends he grew up with in Markham and he considers himself “a normal guy thrown into an abnormal situation.” “I still try to make it home in time to give my kids a bath and just try to keep things as normal as I possibly can,” he says. “I’m really, really lucky in so many different ways — with the friends and family that I have, that I’m married to the wife that I have, that I was at RBC and I was in the right situation. Luck had a huge role in me being in this position and I feel luckier now than I’ve ever felt in my career.” CAMPUS

Katsuyama appears on CNBC. Photo: Raoul Chopra.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 19

Thanks to a generous bequest from Margarete and John Woollatt, students who are struggling to find the financial resources to pursue post-secondary education will have the support they need to focus on their studies and inspire others to do the same.

Legacy donors give from the heart. THERE ARE FEW THINGS IN LIFE that could make Margarete, a shy, studious woman, lose her cool. But the memory of hearing someone suggest that a student from an underprivileged background shouldn’t attend university stuck with her. When it came time for Margarete and her husband John (both Laurier grads) to discuss their wills, the conversation sparked memories of the past and reignited Margarete’s convictions. They decided to leave a bequest to Laurier to help students in financial need. To learn how easy it is, contact Cec Joyal, Development Officer, Individual & Legacy Giving at or call 519.884.0710 x3864.


since the release of flash boys and its contention that the stock markets are rigged, Katsuyama has become the target of heavy backlash and criticism from Wall Street. While he has received a lot support, he’s also been called a “fear monger” and has been accused of blowing the issue out of proportion. Many got a first-hand look at some of the pushback Katsuyama has received during a live segment on CNBC in early April. William O’Brien, then president of BATS Global Markets, pestered Katsuyama to answer the question: Is the stock market rigged? After much prodding, Katsuyama responded: “I believe the markets are rigged, and I also think that you’re part of the rigging, so if you want to do this, then let’s do this.” Katsuyama and O’Brien then got into a heated debate that lasted 23 minutes, an eternity in television terms, and brought the New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor to halt as traders gathered around TV screens to watch. They debated the basic nature of the stock market and if it was still possible for an average investor to compete with the giants of Wall Street, particularly with the prevalence of HFT. In a poll on CNBC’s website, 67 per cent of viewers though Katsuyama won the debate (O’Brien received five per cent of the vote). O’Brien left BATS, a highfrequency trading exchange that fell under the eye of regulators for its trading practices, in July. While much of the criticism Katsuyama and Lewis have received has been inflammatory, Laurier Associate Professor of Finance Andriy Shkilko offers a more measured critique. Shkilko, who studies securities trading and financial markets, has devoted his recent research specifically to HFT. “Would I say that the markets are completely warm and fuzzy? Probably not,” Shkilko says. “But are they as bad and as

rigged as Lewis says? No. No one has been able to prove that high-frequency traders are systematically doing the nefarious kind of front running that Lewis’ book describes.” Shkilko concedes that some of the activity relating to HFT is “not good,” but he doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to conclude the markets are rigged. Shkilko explains that computerized high-frequency traders have taken the place of “specialists”, or intermediaries in the market ready to provide liquidity. In the old days, these specialists were humans in the middle of the trading floor. Today the role is filled by HFT computers. However, in Katsuyama’s experience, intermediaries have much more of an influence than simply providing liquidity. “Technology in many ways should have eliminated the need to have someone standing in the middle, but it hasn’t,” he says. “I think the shocking part to a lot of people is that Wall Street is saying it’s not a big deal because it’s been happening forever. The fact that it’s been happening for centuries—someone standing in the middle and scalping money off of someone else—is not a proper excuse to ignore the problem as it exists today.” Katsuyama believes a big reason why the argument over HFT has become so contentious is because the debate is still unfolding — Flash Boys was released right in the thick of the debate over the practice. Katsuyama says another reason it has gained

traction is because the general public sees this as another situation where the Wall Street suits are pulling one over on them. “I think the principle of it strikes at the heart of why society has such a big issue with Wall Street,” he says. “Who’s looking out for people when they’re not paying attention?” While Katsuyama does his best to avoid reading his own press, he has a straightforward response to his critics. “When your stance is grounded in the truth, it makes it very easy to have these discussions,” he says. “I’ve yet to see anything that says ‘Brad Katsuyama said this, and this is why it’s not true, and here’s the truth.’ If I was going out there with a bunch of skeletons in the closet and I didn’t want to be asked certain questions, I would be acting in a very different manner.” What Katsuyama is most proud of these days is staying true to himself. He’s still close with the friends he grew up with in Markham and he considers himself “a normal guy thrown into an abnormal situation.” “I still try to make it home in time to give my kids a bath and just try to keep things as normal as I possibly can,” he says. “I’m really, really lucky in so many different ways — with the friends and family that I have, that I’m married to the wife that I have, that I was at RBC and I was in the right situation. Luck had a huge role in me being in this position and I feel luckier now than I’ve ever felt in my career.” CAMPUS

Katsuyama appears on CNBC. Photo: Raoul Chopra.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 19


story by Justin Fauteux | photography by Justin Van Leeuwen

20 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

campus feature

looking beyond the numbers when most people think of economics, they think of numbers—mathematical models, interest rates and financial markets. But to Carolyn Wilkins (BA ’87), economics isn’t really about numbers at all. “I’m interested in people,” she says. “And while there’s a lot of math involved and a lot of numbers we look at, at the end of the day what we’re trying to do is understand how people behave and how they’re going to be affected by what’s happening in their community and around the globe.” In April, Wilkins was appointed the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, becoming the first woman to hold the high-profile position. In her role, Wilkins is the secondhighest ranking official at the bank, serving as the right-hand to Governor Stephen Poloz. “It’s a big honour,” says Wilkins, who has worked at the Bank for 13 years, holding a variety of senior positions. “The Bank has had female deputy governors for the last 20 years, so in my mind, it’s a natural progression.”

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 21

ven if they don’t realize it, the average Canadian interacts with the Bank of Canada on a daily basis. As the country’s central bank, it is responsible for issuing Canadian bank notes, but it also impacts Canadians on a much larger scale. By working with government to set economic and monetary policy, the Bank of Canada is responsible for the stability of Canada’s economy. And that’s where Wilkins comes in. Her job description is lofty: she oversees the Bank’s strategic planning and operations, and shares responsibility for monetary policy. “The everyday Canadian expects to be able to go the bank and get their money, and they expect to be able to pay for things and the value of their money is preserved,” says Wilkins. “And when everything goes well, they probably don’t notice too much what the Bank of Canada is doing.” As the No. 2 policymaker at the Bank, every day is different for Wilkins. She travels at least once a month, either to the Bank’s regional offices throughout Canada or around the world, representing Canada on multiple international committees. And when she is in her office in Ottawa, her days usually begin with a briefing on activity in the financial markets around the world, followed by meetings with government officials and policy researchers. While some eyes may glaze over at the word “policy”, Wilkins sees public policy as “the foundation of a country’s well-being.” To illustrate her point, she cites the 2008 financial crisis, when Canada’s sound banking and regulatory system, combined with emergency liquidity funds made available by the Bank of Canada and government actions, resulted in the nation experiencing less financial turbulence than other countries. The setting of monetary policy doesn’t happen overnight. Most policies require exhaustive research, countless hours of discussion with government and private-sector stakeholders, and mathematical modelling. “These kinds of policies, while they may seem abstract and technical, at the end of the day affect real people,” says Wilkins. “The mortgage rate they pay, whether

22 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

or not the chocolate bar you’re going to buy is more expensive now than it was last year, whether or not you have confidence in some of the financial institutions you use, like banks. The policies we design are going to have an effect on people’s everyday lives in one way or another.” It was that interest in people that drew Wilkins to economics — and Laurier — in the first place. She recalls being mentored by professors such as Pierre Siklos, Baldev Raj and Terrance Levesque, and developing a true understanding for both the financial and social impacts of economics. Raised in the small town of Selwyn, Ont., just north of Peterborough, Wilkins grew up in a neighbourhood where everyone knew everyone and friends were never far. The community atmosphere at Laurier played a big role in her decision to attend the university. She also recalls how that “small school” atmosphere helped her academically. “I remember the class sizes were so small and the amount of time we had with professors was really great,” she says. “I don’t know how much I realized it at the time, but we were very lucky to have that kind of time with our professors.”

“That’s one of the greatest things I think about being a professional economist— you never stop learning.” Wilkins recalls making great friends, working at Wilf’s pub and spending a lot of time at the library, since, she says with a laugh, “In those days that was still the relevant place to go for information.” She also worked for Siklos, who is still a professor in the School of Business and Economics, manually entering census data from microfiche into a computer, “A lesson in

patience and precision,” she says. Wilkins spent two co-op terms at the Ontario Ministry of Treasury and Economics, and another working in marketing at IBM, which both came with the added thrill of living in Toronto. “I guess it would have been fun for anybody, but it was especially fun for me coming from a small town,” says Wilkins. After graduating from Laurier, Wilkins completed her MA in economics at Western University and shortly after got a job working in the Federal Department of Finance. She later moved to Canada’s Privy Council Office at the end of former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s administration, and stayed on to work under two more prime ministers: Kim Campbell and Jean Chrétien. Wilkins says the early 1990s was an interesting time to break into the economic-policy field as Canada hit its debt wall and there was crisis after crisis in emerging markets. But it was a great opportunity to cut her teeth and constantly learn, something she’s still doing today. “I don’t think there’s ever been a job I’ve had where I haven’t had to open up a book or go on the web and learn something new,” she says. “That’s one of the greatest things I think about being a professional economist — you never stop learning.” This willingness led Wilkins to her start with the Bank of Canada in 2001 and helped her move up into increasingly senior positions. Leadership, she says, is something she’s learned along the way. “I think every role that I’ve had at the Bank has required a significant amount of leadership,” says Wilkins. “In one way or another, my job was to get a team together and align ourselves on a common vision, and then work together to figure out what the best way was to achieve that objective.” While Wilkins’ job certainly carries a lot of weight and responsibility, it’s important to her to find balance with her work and family life. She spends as much time as possible with her partner Victor and her 16-year-old son Samuel. She likes to unwind in the kitchen, cooking new dishes for friends and family. “It’s all about setting priorities,” she says. “We are very busy, but I find, except for when I’m travelling, that I can have a nice long dinner with my son almost every single day.” CAMPUS

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 23


story by Carol Jankowski

24 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

campus feature

COORDINATING THE DISTRIBUTION of emergency aid to countries torn by conflict or natural disasters isn’t rocket science, Simon Hacker says. For him, success in the field normally hinges as much on cultural sensitivity, patience and persistence as the availability of trucks, drivers and passable roads. Over the last seven years as a humanitarian logistician for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Hacker has worked in eight countries, including high-risk Pakistan and Syria. Through it all, he gained a breadth of experience that prepared him for his latest job: a secondment to the UN’s unprecedented and urgent Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. The goal is to stop Ebola and prevent further outbreaks, while maintaining essential services and preserving the stability of hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Hacker (BA’03) joins an operations team coordinating the efforts of multiple agencies fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone. The team must ensure there are no gaps in the process of getting more than 400 treatment centres up and running, and keep them supplied with medicine, protective gear and items required to bury victims safely. The team is based in Accra, Ghana, with members deployed to Sierra Leone as required. Hacker was trained to protect himself from Ebola, although he doesn’t expect to be in contact with patients. “Nevertheless,” he says, “There is a high level of risk in this mission.” Hacker’s initial deployment is for three months, but could be extended if Ebola is not contained as rapidly as hoped. He expects to return in early 2015 to the WFP job he started in July in Myanmar’s Rakhine State on the Bay of Bengal. Before Myanmar, he spent two years in Damascus where his fleet of delivery trucks loaded with food rations could be held up for hours at checkpoints or even hijacked, forcing Hacker to call on all his diplomatic skills to negotiate the vehicles’ return. “You run into logistical obstacles — broken bridges, washed-out roads, highly-charged local resistance — all

Photos: WFP/Dina El Kassaby, Eddie Gerald, Gaurab Tewari

the time,” he says. “You can’t let obstacles bring you down. You have to fight, and sometimes you have to dig deep to find the motivation to keep going. There is almost no such thing as a problem that is insurmountable — it just takes creativity to get around it.” In Pakistan, he narrowly avoided death because he was away from his desk when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the WFP office in Islamabad, killing five colleagues. The tragedy strengthened Hacker’s resolve to not allow ruthless rebels or sectarian violence disrupt relief work. WFP staff don’t receive self-defence training, but they are taught hostage survival skills. Hacker put those lessons to work when he and two colleagues were forced out of a truck and into a car at gunpoint. “Then, your best defence against aggression is your thought skills, how you negotiate, how much you can push,” he says.

“There is almost no such thing as a problem that is insurmountable – it just takes creativity to get around it.” –Simon Hacker

Aid workers are soft targets. “We don’t carry arms. You have to remain calm and talk yourself out of it, look for nuances. We could have run, but we wouldn’t have got five feet.” In addition to his Laurier degree, Hacker earned a master’s degree at the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica, followed by graduate studies at the London School of Economics. He learned logistics on the ground, but attributes the analytical skills he uses every day to his Laurier years. “It’s the approach to a problem that counts,” Hacker says. “If you learn good problem solving, you can take that same methodology and apply it to any program.”

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 25

“He had a maturity around human rights issues that you don’t often see in students.” –Peter Eglin, Laurier sociology professor

THERE WERE EARLY SIGNS of the career direction Hacker would take. Growing up in Waterloo, he absorbed his parents’ conviction that people with means have a responsibility to help the less fortunate. Andrew Lyons, Laurier professor emeritus of Anthropology, was a neighbour at the time. “Simon wasn’t an academic, he wasn’t a star student in high school. It was a case of his high school being too rigid to deal with someone exceptional,” he recalls. Or, as Laurier Sociology Professor Peter Eglin put it bluntly in a letter of recommendation for Hacker in 2004: “That he escaped disaster (in high school) is a tribute to his determination to turn his life around in his last year of school.” Hacker developed into an academic as he progressed through Laurier’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and International Studies, now known as Global Studies. As department chair at the time, Lyons watched Hacker “pull himself up by the bootstraps,” becoming engrossed in human rights and Third World issues. Hacker took three of Eglin’s courses, including a fourth-year directed readings course, later repackaged as Power, Law and Human Rights, which Eglin says he and Hacker “more or less designed together.” Out of class, he campaigned to raise the student levy, which helped to support refugee students who came to Laurier through World University Service of Canada, in which Hacker was active. He volunteered with the local food bank for three years and with Rotary International. He travelled to France to learn French, and Central America and Mexico to pick up Spanish.

26 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

Although in conversation Hacker laughs readily and sounds easygoing, Eglin remembers being struck by his seriousness in class: “He had a maturity around human rights issues that you don’t often see in students. Students get emotional and express horror at human rights abuses, but Simon went deeper in seeing the injustice, the intolerable character of it. He didn’t emote over abuse, he was appropriately analytical about it.” By graduation, Hacker had an “unswerving commitment” to social justice and the concept of global citizenship. Now, when Hacker visits Eglin and his wife Debra Chapman, who teaches Political Science and Global Studies at Laurier, their talk about his latest adventures invariably ends in a political discussion about the root causes of turmoil in the world. “He’s more centrist, my wife and I are on the left,” Eglin says, “but he articulates his position very well.” One time Hacker told them about a truck driver, contracted by WFP through a commercial transporter in Syria, who was stopped by Sunni militia and held hostage for 20 days. While in captivity, the driver was tortured, his fingers and toes cut off and his Achilles tendons severed. Permanently disabled, he is now a recipient of WFP food assistance. For Eglin, “That bravery of other folk who face more risks than he does helps explain what is at the heart of Simon doing that job.” While Eglin is impressed by the trajectory of Hacker’s studies, he also admires his disciplined lifestyle of getting up every day at 5 a.m., running six days a week, running a marathon somewhere each year, and faithfully keeping a diary. “I’m very proud of him,” Eglin says, yet he worries. “I think he may have a taste for danger.”

“I’M A RISK-TAKER, but I’m not reckless,” says Hacker. “The moment I think the risk is not manageable, I will leave.” WFP transfers field staff every two to four years, in theory so they share easier and more difficult assignments equally. And what were his lighter jobs? In fact, he says laughing, he has hasn’t had any yet. “But I like it that way,” he adds, conceding, “That might change some day.” Hacker’s job in Myanmar is “completely, completely different” than his previous posts. Whereas in previous hot spots, he was focused full-time on getting food aid to people displaced by war, the WFP presence in Myanmar is considered developmental despite the continuing potential for cyclones and tsunamis. For example, Hacker participates in Ministry of Education policy discussions.

Simon Hacker has worked in many countries for his role with the World Food Program.

“A program can give you a skill set, but it cannot predict a person’s organizational ability and physical courage.” –Andrew Lyons, Laurier professor emertius One WFP project distributes highenergy biscuits to 232,000 children in more than 1,800 schools in five “food insecure” regions. The fortified biscuits diversify the children’s diet and increase their intake of micronutrients, but there is a parallel strategy at work. Children who attend school regularly take home rice for their families; the rice rations help build a household safety net and serve as an incentive for parents to keep children in school. Hacker manages a staff of 74, and in accordance with WFP policy, at least 90 per cent of staff are citizens of the country in which the organization works — 73 of the people on Hacker’s staff are nationals, and one is Serbian. He gets six weeks of holiday a year and rarely takes all of it, although that’s by choice. “I tell my staff that no matter how hard it gets, there’s always time to have fun. Nothing can be built on one person. The place isn’t going to fall apart if I’m gone for a week.” In summer 2014, a new form of drugresistant malaria was discovered in the forests of Myanmar. Although Hacker

didn’t anticipate the threat would pose additional risk to his work, a summer dengue outbreak in Mangdaw did force the evacuation of three international workers. “Having had dengue before, I’ve become militant about dousing myself in bug spray,” he says. Reflecting on Hacker’s accomplishments, Lyons says, “I thought he’d have a decent career, but very, very few undergraduates get to do what university prepared them to do. A program can give you a skill set, but it cannot predict a person’s organizational ability and physical courage, which in Simon’s case is enormous.” Hacker has nothing resembling a normal home life, but rejects any suggestion he has given up a lot to work in emergency relief overseas. “Quite the opposite,” he says. “I look at people who made other choices and I think they gave up a lot. I’m very willing to make what might look like sacrifices, but I have a Canadian passport, I can go anywhere. If I get sick, I can go home to Canada. The people around me don’t have those options.” CAMPUS

Hacker has been based out of:

• Islamabad, Pakistan • Damascus, Syria • Rakhine State, Myanmar • Accra, Ghana



Alumni Relations



Read more about these exceptional individuals, or nominate someone who embodies the spirit of Laurier for the 2015 WLUAA Awards of Excellence by visiting LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 27










6 1, 2, 4, 12, 14: The football game at University Stadium. 3: The Legends of Laurier lecture in Waterloo. 5, 7, 8, 10: The hockey game in Brantford. 6, 11: The Laurier 28charity LAURIER CAMPUS Summer 2011 Loop run in Waterloo. 9, 13: Entertainment and fun on the Brantford campus. 15: Pancake breakfast in the quad on the Waterloo campus.



Homecoming highlights 13


This fall, thousands of alumni, students and friends returned to Laurier to celebrate Homecoming and reconnect with their alma matter. Waterloo’s Homecoming weekend was held Sept. 26-28. The weekend kicked off with the traditional free pancake breakfast Saturday morning in the Fred Nichol’s Campus Centre quad. This was followed by faculty open houses, campus tours and the annual Legends of Laurier lecture. This year’s lecture featured Jim McCutcheon, former professor of business. Leading up to the big football game, kids enjoyed crafts, face painting and story time at the Junior Hawks Children’s Program, while alumni got game ready at the Endzone Tailgate Party. University Stadium was filled with cheering fans adorned in purple and gold in support of the Golden Hawks football team, which crushed the Carleton Ravens 53-3. This year, the new Alumni Endzone tent allowed alumni to watch the game at field level, while enjoying a cash bar, barbecue and the chance to reconnect with old classmates. Later that evening, alumni met up with friends at Wilf’s Pub, the Turret and the Homecoming HawkTail Party in the Theatre Auditorium featuring Blackwater Trio & Friends. Sunday morning started with a Homecoming chapel service at Keffer Memorial Chapel featuring the Alumni Choir. The seventh-annual Laurier Loop got underway later that morning, with participants raising more than $12,000 for the Sun Life Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre! In addition, the alumni class reunions together donated more than $46,000 for initiatives at the university. Laurier Brantford celebrated its annual Homecoming Nov. 8. Hundreds of alumni, students and community members joined in the celebrations, which also included special events to recognize the campus’ 15th anniversary. Festivities in Brantford included a tailgate party and a varsity hockey game that saw the Golden Hawks losing to the Ryerson Rams 3-5. To view a photo gallery of events, visit

15 For more photos, visit laurieralumni.



keeping in touch

Education as a path to healing Mother and son graduate from Laurier together by Justin Fauteux

Convocation ceremonies are nothing new for Lila Bruyere and Shawn Johnston. The mother and son have four degrees and a college diploma between them, and they have proudly watched each other cross the stage to receive each one. But the convocation ceremony they both attended in October was different. For the first time, both mother and son donned graduation robes at the same time. Not only were Bruyere, 61, and Johnston, 37, members of Laurier’s class of 2014, they also graduated from the same program, the Faculty of Social Work’s Aboriginal Field of Study. By all accounts, it’s a first for the university. As rare as it is for a mother and son to graduate at the same time, from the same program, at the same university, the paths Bruyere and Johnston have taken to where they are today are even more remarkable. 30 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

IT WASN’T LONG AGO THAT JOHNSTON would stop in the middle of the bridge he crossed every day on the way to his call-centre job and contemplate jumping off. “I would ask myself, ‘Would anyone miss me?’” he says. At the time, he was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and crystal meth, and his life had hit a point where it didn’t look like things could get better. Johnston left his home on the Couchiching First Nation near Fort Frances, Ont., for Winnipeg at just 16 after dropping out of high school. “I faced a lot of bullying and, at the time, there were so few supports for Aboriginal youth,” he says. “But school was something I always enjoyed. I always knew education was something I wanted.” After moving to Winnipeg, Johnston tried completing his GED but fell a few marks short. He then began a decade-long decent into addiction.

keeping in touch

“I had given up on school for the time being, but I was working, I had friends, I had just come out of the closet, so I was making a life for myself,” says Johnston. “But then I just started making the wrong decisions and meeting the wrong people.” After spending 30 days in a rehab centre he kicked his addiction to crystal meth, but quickly returned to drinking and cocaine. “A few months later, I just came to a realization that I wanted something better for myself. I was serious this time.” That was when Bruyere’s phone rang back on the Couchiching reserve.

FOR BRUYERE, HER SON’S STRUGGLE was painfully familiar. Not only was she working as an addiction counsellor at the time, but she had also fought her own battle with alcoholism. A survivor of the residential school system, where she was physically abused by her instructors, Bruyere was an alcoholic by the time she entered adulthood. “I grew up with my parents drinking and they were residential school survivors themselves, so they had problems of their own,” she says of the vicious cycle that affected so many Aboriginal families. “They had 12 of us, and every time one child left for a residential school, there was another one being born.” A single mother, Bruyere struggled with addiction through the early parts of her three sons’ lives, but her children inspired her to get her life back on track. “I wanted the cycle of abandonment to stop,” she says. “Being a residential school survivor, I had no idea how to be a parent, but I knew I wanted to be there for my sons. I wanted them to know who I am as their mom. So I started my own healing and kept myself in treatment.” With her life back on track, a friend encouraged her to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work degree through Carleton University’s distance education program. The prospect of going back to school in her early 40s seemed preposterous to Bruyere, but her friend convinced her to register. Four years

later, she had earned her degree. “I never, ever thought I would be able to do that,” she says. “And the highlight was having my sons in the crowd.” The moment wasn’t lost on Johnston. “Watching her walk across the stage, I was just amazed,” he says. Although it would be nearly a decade before he went back to school himself, watching his mother get her degree after everything she had gone through stuck with Johnston and helped fuel his desire to eventually pursue his own education.

WHEN BRUYERE ANSWERED THE phone and her distraught son was on the other end, Bruyere’s response was simple. “I don’t lecture,” she says. “I just listened to him. I told him, ‘I’ll help you out, but you have to do the work.’” Johnston checked into the Native Horizons Treatment Centre in Six Nations First Nation. With his mother as a support and an inspiration, he started to recover. “I always had that message in the back of my mind that I could do this because I had seen my mom do it,” he says. And that mentality continued when Johnston decided to follow his mother’s example again and fulfill his goal of furthering his education. In 2009, Johnston completed a two-year Social Service Worker diploma at Lambton College in Sarnia, Ont., and then went on to complete a three-year Bachelor of Social Work from Western University in 2012. He then enrolled in Laurier’s Master of Social Work Aboriginal Field of Study program, the first program of its kind in Canada that is rooted in the Aboriginal worldview. At the same time, Bruyere was considering a master’s degree. Johnston’s response when his mom told him she would be joining him in class? “That’s pretty cool,” he recalls with a laugh. When they started at Laurier last fall, Bruyere and Johnston anticipated a bit of awkwardness. “We were worried people would think of us as a bickering mother and son, getting on each other’s nerves in class,” says Johnston. But with

only 15 people in the program, there’s a family atmosphere among classmates, which suited Bruyere and Johnston well. Through their year at Laurier, Bruyere and Johnston discussed assignments and called each other for help. They even worked together on a project studying the effects of a residential school system on two generations of a family.

SHORTLY BEFORE MOTHER’S DAY, Bruyere and Johnston’s story was picked up by media outlets in KitchenerWaterloo and eventually went national. Bruyere and Johnston are humbled when people—particularly Aboriginal youth—say they’re an inspiration. “It’s so important we acknowledge the success stories in the Aboriginal community,” says Johnston. “I think it’s really important that youth hear these stories and think ‘Hey, if they can go to school, so can I.’” Bruyere and Johnston both hope to continue giving back to the Aboriginal community. Johnston plans on working with Aboriginal youth for a few years and is considering a PhD, while Bruyere wants to work with residential school survivors. When asked if she might join her son in pursuing a doctorate, Bruyere simply laughs. “I’d be in a seniors’ home by the time I finished,” she says. “I could hang my diploma up and play bingo every Thursday night!” CAMPUS

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 31

keeping in touch


Carson Kolberg: How a haircut inspired Meal in a Jar When Carson Kolberg (BA ’13) saw a mason jar filled with layers of fresh ingredients sitting on his hairstylist’s workstation, the budding entrepreneur was inspired. He reached out to the jar’s creator, Waterloo resident Irene Divaris, who started making the jars for her family out of their dinner leftovers. The two quickly joined forces and launched Meal in a Jar. Now producing up to 1,000 jars a week in Waterloo Region, and lining the shelves of coffee shops, gyms and grocery stores, Meal in a Jar has quickly reached a high level of success with plans to keep growing.

What was it about your first encounter with the jar at your hairstylist’s that compelled you to get in touch with Irene? I was in the Laurier Launchpad program, and had the idea of building a food venture that provided healthy lunches at workplaces with the proceeds going to community lunch and breakfast programs at schools. After interviewing many people, I found there was a need for healthier workplace lunches, but it would be a very expensive business to start. When I saw Irene’s jar, I got her number and told her I had a business model that would work really well for her product. We met up and ended up making jars that Sunday. What makes your partnership work and how has your age difference played into this? We have specific roles — I’m the general manager, which means I am responsible for operations, distribution and product development, and Irene’s role is very PR

32 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

All Meal in a Jar varieties are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no preservatives. At right is the Midnight Chicken version.

and sales heavy. I think the age difference (Kolberg is 26 and Divaris is about twice his age) helps because we both have very different but strong networks in the region, and Irene has a high level of credibility with her audience. We both have big ideas and need to pay close attention to details, which helps us keep our focus. We are also both extremely enthusiastic about our product. In order for this company to grow, that enthusiasm needs to just radiate. Meal in a Jar is now on the shelves at a Whole Foods location. How are you managing this growth? I’ve found that you grow and shrink, grow and shrink. The Whole Foods Mississauga expansion taught us about the high cost of doing business outside Waterloo Region. Whole Foods has very strict regulations and procedures. The experience has taught us how to meet the highest standards of production and distribution of a cold-chain, short-shelf life product, and we learned it’s expensive to do it in a large geographic area. We

want to take what we have learned and do the best we can in Waterloo before we grow outwards again. Whole Foods Oakville and Yorkville are interested in carrying Meal in a Jar, and we are figuring out how to do it in a cost effective way. Meal in a Jar is very active on social media. How are you leveraging online platforms? It all started on social media. Since our jars are aesthetically pleasing and people want to eat them when they see them, posting pictures on Facebook and Twitter got us very quick shares, likes and comments right from the start. We have found the more you can share on social media, the more people really feel like they are following your story. Engaging our community in the process of creating meals from scratch always creates a buzz on Facebook and Instagram. What is the most popular recipe and which one is your favourite? Our most popular is any of our chicken salads — they are a complete meal,

keeping in touch

super tasty and they fly off the shelves. My favourite is the No-Butter Chicken. What happens to the jars afterwards? Currently we have a $1 deposit for every jar that we sell, which is refunded when it is returned. As we transition into our new 750 ml jar we will no longer offer a refunded deposit, but we still encourage our customers to return their jars. We have a weekly drop box at each of our retail locations, and we collect back jars to either be reused or recycled. How have the skills you acquired from Laurier helped you? During my time at Laurier I did a lot of public speaking, actively engaged with my professors and instructors, and learned extreme multi-tasking. I also did a lot of networking by taking advantage of the relationship that Laurier has with community groups and organizations. As a president of AIESEC (a student-run organization that promotes leadership development), Laurier’s funding and sup-

port enabled me to be an ambassador at over 20 conferences in 10 countries. This helped me generate a lot of support early on when starting the business.

distribution of the product — the Meal in a Jar brand has grown way beyond the ability to feasibly deliver the jars, so we’re hungry to grow.

What is your advice to other start-ups? The biggest one is your job is never done. I have found that you are always out there solving new challenges and reinforcing your position. I think 12 months ago our direction, vision and mission was different than it is now, and it constantly changes and adapts. We are still selling jars, but we are adapting to the market that finds the most value in this product. I ask myself: Does the path we’re taking have heart? If it does, then we follow it.

What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of this venture? The most exciting part has been the doors it has opened. We have met such cool people, from the students solving our business case to pitching our business on CBC’s Dragons Den. The ability to arouse enthusiasm in people has also been exciting. It’s rewarding to see people be more energized, and eating healthier because of our product — it motivates us to make it more accessible.

What are your goals for the company over the next year? We have two goals. First, is to absolutely position Meal in a Jar as a hyper-local product that the region is proud to eat, talk about and recommend. Our second big goal is to work out the physical

Jars cost less than $8 and can be ordered online. Visit or tweet @freshmealinajar. By Chloe Stanois

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 33

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS and enjoy exclusive intellectual opportunities as you travel around the

world with Laurier alumni. We work with carefully selected travel partners to take you on some of the most remarkable journeys the world has to offer. Join your fellow alumni, family and friends on one of our incredible trips, enhanced by a top-notch educational experience.



Travelling through life together.

keeping in touch


Julie Hamilton (BA ’71) was awarded Alberta’s Order of Excellence for her contributions to workplace safety. Dave Levac (BA ’76) was re-elected Speaker of the Ontario Legislature and will serve a second term in the position. He was also re-elected for a fifth term as Brant MPP. Debora Ritchie (BA ’78) was among the winners at the 2014 Women of Waterloo Region (WOW) Awards. Ritchie was recognized for her community engagement and volunteerism. In 2008, Ritchie created Random Act of Kindness Day, an initiative that encourages people to “pay it forward” through acts of kindness towards strangers. The idea has since spread to communities across Canada. Mark Hornick (BBA ’79) was appointed president and CEO at Jamieson Laboratories Ltd.


Richard Browne (BBA ’82) has been named a partner with Chief Outsiders, the leading North American provider of interim marketing executive services to mid-cap and family-owned businesses. Browne joined Chief Outsiders as chief marketing officer in 2013 following successful positions in Canada and the U.S. with Danaher, Black & Decker and Stanley Works. Sonya Lea (BA ’82) has signed with Tin House Books for the publication of her first book, Wondering Who You Are, and she wrote and directed her first short film, Every Beautiful Thing, in July. Jim Gabel (BBA ’85) has joined Wolverine Worldwide, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as president of the Performance Group, which includes brands such as Merrell, Saucony, Patagonia, Chaco and Cushe. Prior to this he was president of Adidas Canada. Steve Geist (BBA ’87) was appointed senior executive vice-president, Wealth Management at CIBC. Robert Scott (BBA ’88) launched Ember Advisory, a boutique advisory services

firm that offers strategic and technology planning, project oversight, e-commerce and online strategy and post-merger integration with clients in financial services and the technology industry. Alison Wearing (BA ’89) was shortlisted for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Writing, administered by Laurier. In her memoir, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, she reflects on how her world turned upside down at age 12 when her father came out of the closet, disrupting what had been a carefree, conventional family life. Donna Randall (BA ’89) has worked in the fields of fundraising, elder care, sexuality education and writing. She credits her English literature and rhetoric professors for helping her polish her skills and shape her future. Through her company Dfrent, she has written a book called Menopause or Lunacy … That is the Question, a humorous and helpful book to unite women during this time in their lives, and on the other end of the spectrum, The Essential Family Caregiving Agreement, to help families avoid pitfalls when it comes to elder care and end-of-life planning. The latter came about when her own mother descended into dementia and their roles reversed: “Not only did I learn a lot about empathy from my own mother and other residents of the care homes in which she lived, but I learned that I am good at relating to these folk who have so much history to share.” Randall lives in Victoria, B.C., and can be reached at


Bryan Bogensberger (BBA ’91) sold his company Inktank. Bryan is now CEO and co-founder of Another Startup. Joe Prodan (BA ’91) was appointed CFO at TeraGo. Michael Thompson (BBA ’91) was one of the final four competitors in Canada’s Handyman Challenge, which aired on HGTV in the spring. Sixteen handymen were selected from across Canada to test their skills and resourcefulness and win a $25,000 prize. Thompson, a real estate investor and owner of Tyraz Corporation, lives in Burlington, Ont. He is also the frontman for Blue Radio, a Blue Rodeo tribute band.

Michael Reed (BA ’93) was appointed partner with Covington & Burlington LLP. Rick Endrulat (BA ’94, MBA ’01) and Cynthia Sundberg (BA ’94) opened a School of Rock in Kitchener. The school offers music classes for children and adults. Anant Nambiar (MBA ’94) has joined FICO as global general manager, based in New York City. Nambiar and his wife, Hema, love living in Larchmont, NY, with their three children: Kumar, who is graduating from high school in 2015 and has committed to play baseball at Yale; Sachin, who is in Grade 9, and Simran, who is in Grade 8. He can be reached at and would love to catch up with old friends. Steve Beauchamp (BBA ’95) led his company, Paylocity Holding Corp., to a successful IPO on NASDAQ and was recently ranked third on the Most Loved CEOs of small and mid-size companies in America by Glassdoor. Steve rang the NASDAQ opening bell on March 31. Roly Webster (BA ’95) is the University of Waterloo’s new director of athletics and recreation. In this position, he will oversee the university’s Department of Athletics and Recreation, which is comprised of more than 600 student athletes, 80 coaches, 32 varsity teams and 200 recreational programs. Webster was a staff member at Laurier for more than 19 years, where he held many roles, including associate director of Alumni Relations, and most recently executive director and chief operating officer of the Students’ Union. Brian Kriter (BBA ’99) was named senior managing director of valuation and advisory for Canada at Cushman & Wakefield.


Liz Scott (MSc ’00) made Chatelaine magazine’s Top 100 female entrepreneurs and was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year awards. Scott’s firm, Organizational Solutions, Inc, was ranked 237th on the Profit 500 list. Mike Thompson (BA ’02) is the new assistant head coach of the Laurier varsity swimming team and the Region of Waterloo Swim Club. Prior to this he was the sprint coach with the Oakville Aquatic Club.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 35


graduation is only the beginning... The benefits of studying at Laurier don’t expire on graduation day. The GradVantages program is our gift to you – for life. Even better, while we’re helping you get preferred rates, you’ll be helping Laurier. A portion of revenues comes back to the university, helping to fund student and alumni programming. Learn about the unique discounts and offers our partners have for you.

You’ve earned it, use it!

keeping in touch

ALUMNI UPDATES Marty Halpin (MBA ’05) was appointed treasurer of HSBC Bank Canada. Debbie Stoewen (MSW ’05) is the care and empathy officer, and director of veterinary services, at Pets Plus Us, a pet insurance company based in Burlington, Ont. In her role, Stoewen has developed a Canada-wide counseling service for pet owners with difficult pet-related issues such as bereavement, and a fully accredited continuing education program for veterinarians called The Social Side of Practice. A licensed veterinarian and registered social worker, Stoewen’s research has recently been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She lives in Ayr, Ont., with her “crazy, happygo-lucky” senior dog Max, who is unaware of his real age. Ari Grossman (BA ’03, MA ’13) will serve as manager of communications for the Canadian team at the 2015 Universiade, which will take place next summer in Gwangju, South Korea. The Universiade is an international multi-sport competition that takes place every two years, and is open to

competitors between the ages of 17 and 28 who are full-time post-secondary students or graduated the year preceding the games. Jason Birken (BBA ’07) has been appointed vice-president, finance at H&R Real Estate Investment Trust. He previously served as the trust’s controller. In addition to his Laurier degree, he holds a chartered accountant designation. Bharati Sethi (BA ’07, MSW ’09, PhD ’14) received one of 15 provincial Newcomer Champion Awards in recognition of her significant contribution to fostering a more welcoming society. Sethi’s thesis investigated the link between employment and health for immigrant women of colour. She also devotes her time to developing programs and policies for immigrants in rural communities. Her research also led to a community-based research project that uses photography to explore the experience of immigrant women at an employment health association in Brantford. “Do you see what I see?,” is the inaugural exhibit in a new exhibition space at the Laurier library on the Waterloo campus, and was previously part of

the Yellow Brick Wall exhibition space at the Brantford Campus. Darren Griffith (MBA ’08) was named CFO at Adlib Software. Justin Phillips (BA ’08) has joined the defense lineup of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks. Phillips has been playing major league football since graduating from Laurier. He was a first-round draft pick for the Calgary Stampeders and was with the team for seven seasons before making the move to Ottawa. Phil Jacobson (BBA ’12) is co-founder and president of PumpUp, a photo-based health and fitness social network designed to inspire people and provide motivation to live a healthy and active lifestyle. The PumpUp app allows users to build custom workouts, track activities and monitor calories burned and time spent exercising. Visit for more information. Thomas Griffiths (BA ’14) has signed with the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts as a non-import offensive lineman.

IN MEMORIAM W. Paul Albright, professor emeritus in Laurier’s School of Business and Economics, died June 21, 2014 in his 93rd year. Paul taught at Laurier between 1964 and 1988. He was a long-time member of the university Senate and a past-president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association. Bill Ballard (BA ’69) died of cancer March 13 at the age of 67. Ballard, son of former Toronto Maple Leafs mogul, Harold, and founder of Concert Promotions International, played on the Waterloo Lutheran University football team, and was Student Union president. During his presidency, he convinced the school’s Board of Governors to build an athletic facility. Following his graduation, he remained an integral member of the Laurier community for more than 40 years. He supported the building of a new football field, the

renewal of the Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, and the establishment of a Varsity Football Scholarship. In 2009 he was inducted into Laurier’s Hall of Fame, and was recognized as one of 100 Alumni of Achievement. Within Canada, Ballard’s legacy is seen in the establishment of Canada’s Walk of Fame, a not-for-profit he co-founded in 1998. Andrew Berczi, professor emeritus, and former dean and vice-president at Laurier, died June 14 in his 80th year. Berczi joined Laurier in 1978 as a professor of business administration. In 1979 he was appointed dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and director of research, a position he held for eight years. In 1987 he became vice-president: planning, finance and information services, a position he held for two terms. He retired from Laurier in 2000. Berczi is survived by his wife of 55 years,

Susan, sons Tom (BBA ’88, MBA ’93) and Peter (MBA ’92), their spouses and three grandchildren. In memory of his father, Tom Berczi has established a student award called the Dr. Andrew Berczi Memorial Award. Robin Laura Clarke (MSW ’04) unexpectedly passed away peacefully at home in Kingston, on Sept. 9, 2014. A much loved counsellor for Pathways for Children and Youth, and an amazing aunt, she fulfilled her desire to provide stability and balance in the lives of many families, and will be dearly missed by family, clients and co-workers. Robert Fisher, professor emeritus in Laurier’s Reglion and Culture Department, passed away Aug. 2 in his 83rd year. Fisher joined the department in 1967. During his 30-year career, he influenced thousands of students through his teaching, including his overseas travel seminars to the Middle East and Asia. He retired from Laurier in 1997.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 37

postcard to home

Playing hockey in

By Liz Knox (BA ’10) I am very fortunate that my career in hockey has led me to some amazing places. During my time at Laurier (as goalie for the varsity women’s hockey team), I was able to see cities coast to coast in Canada, as well as travel abroad to places like Turkey, Finland, Slovakia, Germany and Switzerland. But I would have never imagined that it would lead me here to Australia. Needless to say the ice-hockey culture in Australia is a bit different from home. The arenas are fewer and much farther apart, but I can visit many different states during our regular season. On most game days, instead of hopping in the dreaded cold tub, the team and I will take a jog to the ocean and wade in the water to cool down. Some of the arenas are also enclosed by netting rather than glass, but the ice is cold and the puck is flat and that’s all that really matters! I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity to play for the Melbourne Ice in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey

League (AWIHL). Anyone who has played on a team knows the kind of comfort that each athlete finds in her teammates and this experience is no exception. These girls have to work hard for their dream to play hockey, in most cases, much harder than we do in North America. The funding is scarce, and the opportunity for growth is limited but the passion and dedication of those involved in the sport is second to none. I have met some of the most inspiring and driven athletes that I have ever known, and have built friendships that are irreplaceable. It really is the people who make this journey so unforgettable. The second most wonderful part about travelling is the chance to experience something for the first time. Whether it’s surfing the Gold Coast, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, living in a national rainforest, or winning an Australian Championship, these memories and the people whom I experienced them with have forever changed me, and I am eternally grateful.

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

38 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014

PEOPLE AT LAURIER Political Science Professor

Christopher Alcantara’s book, Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada was a finalist for the prestigious Donald Smiley Prize, which is awarded to the best book published in English or in French in the field relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.

Kathryn Carter has been appointed associate dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, on the Brantford campus. Previously she was the associate dean of academic coordination, and associate professor of English in Brantford. An international research project examining food security and inclusive growth in cities in the Global South, led by Laurier researcher Jonathan Crush, has been awarded $2.5 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the International Development Research Centre through an International Partnerships for Sustainable Societies (IPaSS) grant. Crush is a professor at Laurier’s School of International Policy and Governance and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Stephanie DeWitte-Orr, an assistant professor of biology and health sciences at Laurier, was recently named the winner of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) Young Scientist Award. She is the first researcher from a Canadian institution to receive the award.

Shohini Ghose, associate professor in the Physics and Computer Science Department, was one of 30 people from around the world to be awarded a Mahatma Gandhi Global Achievers Award. She received the award at the House of Lords at Westminster Palace in London, UK.

Mark Humphries, associate professor of history, has been named the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience. Laurier alumni Brad and Sarah Dunkley created the

Dunkley Chair to study the impact of war on Canadian history and society. Humphries is currently preparing a multi-volume study of shell shock in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Donna Kotsopoulos, associate professor in the Department of Education and Department of Mathematics, and Edmund Pries, assistant professor in the Department of Global Studies, were among six Ontario professors awarded a 2013–2014 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the quality of higher education.

Ken Maley, associate professor of chemistry, received a Laurier Award for Teaching Excellence in the full-time faculty category, and Terry Sturtevant, an instructor and lab coordinator in the Department of Physics & Computer Science, received a Laurier Award for Teaching Excellence in the part-time, contract academic staff category. Researcher Philip Marsh was recently named the winner of the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, presented by the Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU). The Wilson Medal has been awarded annually since 1978 to recognize a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the solid earth, bio-geosciences, geodesy or hydrology fields. Marsh, a professor of Geography and Environmental Studies and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science, is the first Laurier researcher to win the prestigious award.

Heidi Northwood has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts on the Brantford campus. She joins Laurier from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, where she was director of integrative programs and the core curriculum, as well as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Philosophy. Her research applies interdisciplinary knowledge to ancient philosophy, ultimately resulting in syntheses of a wide range of materials.

Joel Peters has been appointed Laurier’s assistant vice-president: external relations. Peters has a wealth of leadership experience in marketing, community relations, industry partnerships and innovative collaborations. For the past eight years he served as senior vice-president and chief marketing officer for Tourism Toronto, and previously worked as vice-president, marketing and commercial development at the Royal Ontario Museum. He has also held senior planning and marketing roles at the Toronto Zoo.

Andriy Shkilko, associate professor of finance, has been appointed to the position of Canada Research Chair in Financial Markets. Shkilko will be studying the recent structural shift in financial markets whereby high-speed computers have been replacing human traders. He will use the latest data and methods to investigate if high-frequency trading is a harmful practice.

Anne Wilson, professor of psychology, has been named an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Wilson, who currently holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology, will join researchers and academics from across Canada to make up the first cohort.

Zach Weston (MBA ’08), instructor in the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, is the inaugural Faculty of Science entrepreneur-in-residence. In this role, Weston acts as a sounding board for Faculty of Science students who want to start their own businesses. Mathematician Kaiming Zhao has been named Laurier’s 2014-15 University Research Professor. Zhao has spent his career working on and improving theoretical approaches to algebra, most notably in Lie algebraic theory. The award provides a $10,000 research grant and two course remissions for the year.

For more campus news, see page 6.

LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014 39


Students construct a snow sculpture named “Klondike Pete” for Waterloo Lutheran University’s 1969 Winter Carnival.

Winter Carnival, 1969 Winter Carnival is an annual event organized by Laurier students. The first Winter Carnival was held in 1961, and was designed to re-energize students and staff returning to campus after the winter break. The first winter carnival featured the Bonhomme Carnaval from Quebec City, a snow sculpture competition, a beauty pageant and a 70-mile bed race from London to Waterloo, which raised money for charity. By 1969, the beauty pageant was the main attraction, becoming a five-day, Canada-

wide contest and featuring Jeopardy host Alex Trabek as emcee and Diana Ross and the Supremes performing. Over its 53 years the event has featured many different activities, including cookouts, musical concerts, outdoor sporting events and the Powderpuff women’s football tournament.

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

40 LAURIER CAMPUS Winter 2014





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

Visit to learn more or call toll-free 1-888-913-6333

Underwritten by

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife).

Manulife and the Block Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.