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• December 2011


Journalist Lisa LaFlamme speaks about media and world events on the Waterloo campus.

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Meet Claire Bennett, Laurier’s sustainability coordinator, outdoor enthusiast and animal lover.


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 Lucy Lee’s research could slow the lobster’s declining population.

Raising the curtain on Congress 2012 Margaret Atwood, Thomas Homer-Dixon announced as speakers for event co-hosted by Laurier | | | CAMPUS CONNECTIONS COMMUNITY

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itself, researchers in the social sciences and humanities can take stock of the significant Margaret Atwood, Thomas changes affecting Canada and the Homer-Dixon and Jane Urquhart world, from new technologies are among the people who will and environmental and political speak in Waterloo next spring changes to economic upheavals,” for the 2012 Congress of the said Laurier President Max Humanities and Social Sciences Blouw. “Congress 2012’s theme (Congress 2012). of ‘Crossroads’ and exceptional Organized by the Canadian roster of Big Thinkers will facilFederation for the Humanities itate discussion and collaboration and Social Sciences (CFHSS), on these complex global issues Congress 2012 is the largest across disciplines.” interdisciplinary conference in | CONNECTIONS | COMMUNITY CAMPUS The speakers were announced Canada. It will be co-hosted by at an after-work reception and Wilfrid Laurier University and presentation at the Communitech the University of Waterloo from May 26 to June 2, 2012. More than Hub in Kitchener that served as a “curtain raiser” for Congress 7,000 academics, practitioners 2012. Renowned social scienand policy-makers will assemble tists Darin Barney from McGill to discuss the conference’s theme University and Barbara Crow of “Crossroads: Scholarship for from York University were joined an Uncertain World.” by Kevin Tuer from the Canadian The Congress 2012 Big Digital Media Network. The Thinking lecture series is open to Congress delegates and the public. The series will highlight the importance of humanities and social sciences scholarship and the “Big Thinkers” will discuss issues of central importance to the community, society and the world at large. The speakers include: • Margaret Atwood, author of digital experts explored the topic more than 50 volumes of poetry, of “Canadians at the Crossroads: children’s literature, fiction and How technology challenges us to non-fiction. change.” • Thomas Homer-Dixon, chair “The [Congress 2012] conference of Global Systems at the Centre theme is Crossroads: Scholarship for International Governance for an Uncertain World, and Innovation and director of the tonight’s contemplation of where Waterloo Institute for Complexity Canada goes from here is an à and Innovation at the University propos taste of what is to come,” of Waterloo. Blouw said at the event. • Janine Brodie, Canada Research Several hundred volunteers Chair in Political Economy will be needed leading up to and and Social Governance at the during the eight-day event. If you University of Alberta. would like to help, contact Project • Chris Hedges, Pulitzer PrizeCoordinator Sheldon Pereira at winning American journalist, or ext. 4014. author and former war correCongress 2012 will bring spondent. together more than 70 scholarly • Jane Urquhart, author of seven associations in the humanities internationally acclaimed novels. and social sciences. Wilfrid • Mary Eberts, co-founder of the Laurier University and the Women’s Legal Education and University of Waterloo are Action Fund (LEAF), litigation co-hosting the 81st Congress counsel to the Native Women’s from May 26 to June 2, 2012. For Association of Canada and Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights more information, visit www. at the University of Saskatchewan. • Sidonie Smith, professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. “Through this series of public For an event video, visit www. lectures and through Congress

Photo: Simon Wilson

By Mallory O’Brien

York University social scientist Barbara Crow speaks at a presentation at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener. The event was a precursor to Congress 2012, the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, which will be co-hosted by Laurier beginning in May 2012.

Joseph Boyden visits Brantford campus Author announces third novel in award-winning series By Sandra Muir

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

Laurier’s writer-in-residence Joseph Boyden likes to tell a good story. But he also wants to start a discussion about the cultural divide in Canada and the concern he has about the alarming number of teen suicides in the Aboriginal community.

Boyden is the author of Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce, the winner of the 2008 Giller Prize. While in Brantford Nov. 17 for public readings and a lecture, he announced he is working on the third novel in the trilogy, which will likely be out in spring 2013. He is also writing his first young adult novel.

Author Joseph Boyden signs copies of his books at the Brantford Public Library.

“When I set out to write, my number one priority is to write a good story that people want to keep turning the pages on,” said Boyden. “The teen novel is helping to cleanse my pallet from the big novel I’m working on.” Fans of his work attended a public reading at the Brantford Public Library Nov. 17. Boyden, who has a mixed heritage of Irish, Scottish and Métis, gave a public lecture in the evening at Laurier’s Brantford campus about the issue of teen suicide. “I’ve become a bit of an advocate for taking away the stigma of suicide,” Boyden said earlier in the day. “I made a serious attempt at 16, and rather than be a shameful thing and a stigma I think we need to talk about it. Even if one youth hears about it and changes his or BOYDEN page 4


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December 2011

president’s message

Congress 2012 presents a great opportunity for Laurier As the fall term and our centennial year draw to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to look ahead to a major event that will take place at our university in 2012. Laurier and the University of Waterloo will co-host the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences from May 26 to June 2, 2012. This is a very large undertaking and an exciting opportunity. Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada, bringing together more than 70 scholarly associations and between 7,000 to 8,000 individual scholars, practitioners, policy makers and students. It is also expected to attract dozens of journalists from a wide range of national and international media outlets. For eight days, Laurier will be at the center of scholarly discussion in Canada, providing the stage on which many of the country’s brightest

minds will address some of society’s most important and compelling issues. Congress 2012, therefore, presents an enormous opportunity for Laurier to raise its profile and showcase its many strengths, abilities and areas of expertise. The timing couldn’t be better. First, our centennial celebrations generated a great deal of awareness about Laurier at the provincial and national levels. Congress will help us build on the momentum created over the past year and carry it forward into our next century. Second, with a strong Academic Plan in place and a growing capacity for research, Laurier will not only host Congress but will contribute significantly to the scholarship and intellectual discussion that is at the heart of this important academic gathering. Third, Laurier has evolved throughout its history, but never more rapidly than in recent years. There has been

significant growth in our undergraduate and graduate student populations, as well as an increasing emphasis on research and our professional programs in recent years. MacLean’s magazine has repositioned Laurier as a “comprehensive” university, so we will be seen increasingly by many as belonging in a more research-intensive tier of Canadian universities. Congress will help us to reinforce that we compete with the best. And it will enable us to demonstrate that our intimate campus environment and our strong sense of community enable the delivery of exceptional scholarship, as well as an exceptional student experience. In closing, I wish to recognize that much groundwork has been done by a dedicated group of Laurier staff and faculty to ensure that Congress 2012 is a great success. In the coming months, this group will need several

Laurier President Max Blouw at the reception introducing Congress 2012 at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener.

hundred additional volunteers to help with a wide range of activities. I urge you to get involved. Not only will your colleagues welcome the help, I am certain you will find the experience to be tremendously rewarding. I wish you all the best for a

safe and very enjoyable holiday season.

Dr. Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor

Laurier grads win entrepreneur awards for innovative ventures By Sandra Muir Entrepreneurs and Laurier grads Greg Overholt and Razor Suleman were both honoured in Toronto recently with Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards for their innovative and inspiring ventures. Overholt (BBA ’08) received a special citation in the category of Social Entrepreneur for his charitable organization Students Offering Support (SOS). The citation is given in recognition of an entrepreneur whose achievements have driven large-scale social change and improved people’s lives or quality of life. Overholt founded SOS in his second year at Laurier. The non-profit organization is dedicated to helping first- and second-year students with exam preparation. Students pay a small

fee for each help session, with all the proceeds going towards Overholt’s passion: funding educational development projects in developing countries. Since its launch, SOS has tutored 20,000 undergraduate students and raised more than $650,000 through 26 SOS chapters at universities across Canada. “This is also a wonderful and magical conversation that happened seven years ago at Wilfrid Laurier University,” Overholt said in his acceptance speech Nov. 2. “I was 19 talking to my peers. We wanted to find some way to help students locally in order to actually convert that into support in a bigger way in other parts of the world. And from that wonderful session came this idea.” To see Overholt’s full speech, visit

Suleman (BBA ‘98), CEO and founder of Toronto-based Achievers (formerly known as I Love Rewards), also received an award in the business-tobusiness products and services category. “I am truly honored to be this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Business-toBusiness category,” Suleman said in a press release. “Ernst & Young has a clear and powerful vision of the values that make companies great, and it is only with the help of our customers and staff that Achievers is able to embody them. I’m very proud of the whole Achievers community, and will continue to lead by these values as Achievers grows and develops in the coming year.” Achievers offers a social recognition software platform that provides performance-

InsideLaurier is published by Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

InsideLaurier Volume 5, Number 6, December 2011 Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Kevin Crowley, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien, Vanessa Parks, Melissa Stephens, Mike Whitehouse, Simon Wilson


based recognition and rewards in the form of points that can be redeemed for meaningful rewards, including Apple, Visa Reward Cards and Expedia travel. Clients pay when employee performance improves, which has led to a 99 per cent customer retention rate. The company has experi-

Send us your news, events & stories Email: Deadline for submissions: January 15 All submissions are appreciated, however not all submissions will be published. We reserve the right to edit all copy for accuracy, content and length.

InsideLaurier welcomes your comments and suggestions for stories. Tel: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3341 | Fax: (519) 884-8848 Email: InsideLaurier (circ. 2,100) is published eight times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in InsideLaurier do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Available online at Printed on recycled paper

enced tremendous growth over the last year. It secured $24.5 million in funding led by Silicon Valley giant Sequoia Capital and opened its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco. The organization also changed its name from I Love Rewards to Achievers to better reflect its value proposition.

Next issue of



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December 2011

Lea Caragata will scale Africa’s highest mountain for charity lone mothers, which showed that 70 per cent of the women had been abused. Laurier Social Work Professor Lea Caragata will soon be “Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro hiking to the top of Africa’s is one way to step outside of highest mountain to support a the usual academic box,” said program that helps empower Caragata. “I want to support abused women. these women in a different way — not by doing more research Caragata is among a group or more academic-type activof Canadians who have agreed ities but by putting on hiking to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to “When you think of this nice boots and trying to raise some raise funds for Outward Bound’s Canada that we imagine we money for programs that will Women of Courage Program. make a difference in their lives.” live in, we don’t tend to think Since it started in 1998, more there are women who feel they The abuse women reported than 1,000 women survivors of should stay in a relationship in Caragata’s study ranged violence have participated in this where they get hit every day, or from partner violence to eight-day wilderness program, demeaned or both, just in order childhood sexual abuse. Some which provides an opportunity to survive,’” said Caragata. of the mothers interviewed in to bond with others who share a “But abuse was such a signifCaragata’s study ended up common history and an opporicant finding in our research going back to their abusive tunity for rediscovery. that as a society we have to partner because they had no She was inspired to become other way to feed their children. acknowledge the effects of involved following her study on abuse in public policy.” Caragata leaves for Tanzania Jan. 8. Her hope is to raise $10,000. For more information about the campaign or to make a donation, visit asp?type=Pages&ID=86. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. It is the tallest freestanding mountain Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. in the world at 5,895 metres tall. By Sandra Muir

What’s new and notable at Laurier

Call for nominations for teaching excellence awards Is there an instructor or teaching assistant who you think should be recognized for excellence in the classroom? The office of Educational Development is inviting members of the Laurier community to submit nominations for the WLU Award for Teaching Excellence and the Teaching/ Instructional Assistants Award of Excellence. For information on the criterea of each award, visit the Educational Development section of the Teaching Support Services page on the Laurier website. The deadline for nominations are Jan. 16 for the WLU Award for Teaching Excellence and March 1 for the Teaching/Instructional Assistants Award of Excellence.

Laurier wins eight international marketing and communications awards Wilfrid Laurier University has earned three platinum and five gold awards for centennial initiatives in the 2011 MarCom Awards competition. Laurier earned a platinum award for the centennial building banners, which have been prominently displayed in Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener and Toronto, some for an entire year. Laurier also took home platinum for the 100 Years

Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose publication, which was inserted into The Globe and Mail, The Waterloo Region Record and The Brantford Expositor in May 2011. The third platinum award was earned for the package of centennial marketing materials. These included reusable tote bags, pens, lapel pins, pull-up banners, presentation folders, bookmarks and tattoos, which were enjoyed by thousands of people throughout the year-long celebration. Gold awards were earned for the spring Inspiring Lives advertising campaign; the centennial microsite; the full-page ad featuring Sir Wilfrid Laurier; the Centennial Alumni Celebration brochure, which featured all 100 Alumni of Achievement; and the Laurier100 reusable tote bag. There were more than 6,000 entries in the 2011 competition. Other universities recognized include Princeton University, Texas A&M, Johns Hopkins University, and Notre Dame.

Laurier library fines reduced for food donations For a sixth year, the Laurier Library is sponsoring the Food for Fines program on the university’s Waterloo and Kitchener campuses. Until Dec. 16, you can

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Soccer Lagonia named CIS soccer player of the year Alyssa Lagonia, a fourth-year varsity soccer midfielder, was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in women's soccer. The Kitchener, Ont., native became the second Golden Hawk player to claim the Chantal Navert Memorial Award for player of the year since the trophy’s inception in 1995. Golden Hawk soccer player Gigi Cignini was the inaugural recipient that year. Lagonia dominated in her fourth and final campaign with the Golden Hawks. The 22-year-old business major tallied five goals in 14 conference games while taking all corner kicks and all free kicks in the offensive zone for Laurier. Her offensive talent and ability to control the ball in the midfield was a factor in helping the Hawks set a school record for most goals scored in a season (36). After guiding Laurier to the CIS final last year, Lagonia sparked her team to a 12-2 first-place finish in the OUA West this fall. The Hawks were ranked in the top five all season in the national coaches poll, including five consecutive weeks at No.

1 from mid-September to mid-October. Her stellar play was recognized with a fourth straight selection as a first-team OUA West all-star and a spot on the first all-Canadian squad for the second year in a row. A former member of the national under-20 team, Lagonia wore the Canadian jersey last summer at the Universiade games in China, where the team matched its best result ever with a fifth-place finish. “Alyssa is one of the most professional players I have had the pleasure of coaching during my career,” said Laurier head coach Barry MacLean. “She is technically gifted and makes everyone around her a better player. Alyssa has raised the profile of our program during her time here with her ability to take over a game when we need her too.”


support the Laurier Student Food Bank, and reduce your Laurier Library fines, by donating non-perishable, non-expired food items at the library circulation desk. Fines will be reduced by $2 for each item, with a maximum of a $10 reduction. Since 2005, nearly 5,000 lb of food have been donated to the Student Food Bank through the program. The Laurier Student Food Bank helps students in need meet basic nutritional needs. The service is run by students and is part of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region network

Honouring volunteerism at Laurier In recognition of the inspiring spirit of volunteerism at Laurier, and in honour of our 100th anniversary, Laurier launched a challenge –– 100 Hours for 100 Years –– to help the university both quantify and celebrate the positive impact members of the Laurier family have on the communities around us. A total of 12,090 hours were logged by people who volunteered for 100 hours or more between Oct. 18, 2010 and Oct. 17, 2011. This represents one person working full-time (35 hours a week) for 345.4 weeks –– almost seven years of full-time work. “This is a remarkable figure,” said Tiffany Bradley, manager of centennial marketing and communications, and the person who came up with the 100 Hours program, “but we know it represents only a small portion

of the actual hours volunteered by Laurier community members.” Congratulations to all those who participated. A reception to honour all the successful participants will be held in the new year. In other centennial news, Laurier’s fundraising campaign for the Sir Wilfrid Laurier statue on the Waterloo campus is accepting donations until Dec. 31, 2011. To date more than $30,000 has been raised, including a significant donation from Laurier’s Alumni Association. A donor wall commemorating the names of everyone who donated $100 or more will be installed near the statue at the end of the month. For more information visit

Our Community, Our Laurier campaign update

Photo: Kevin Crowley


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Photo: Mike Whitehouse

Laurier prof to climb Mount Kilimanjaro


Veteran Patrick Dennis, a CAS professor and research associate with the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, watches the university’s Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 11.

Our Community, Our Laurier is Laurier’s annual internal community fundraising campaign, which encourages Laurier staff, faculty, retirees and members of the Board of Governors to donate to the university. Donors have the ability to specify which area of campus they are most passionate about supporting. This can be done through automatic payroll deductions or a variety of other methods. More information about the campaign can be found at



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December 2011

U-desk offers services for staff, faculty, students A one-stop shop for many campus services, technology rentals

BOYDEN continued

• Ink refills • General inquires • SPC Cards • ISIC Cards The U-Desk will also sell tickets for campus events, at no cost to the clubs or departments. For a complete list of services, visit the WLUSU website. “We wanted to get all WLUSU services under one roof to be as helpful as we can,” said Walker. “So far we’re getting huge traffic — we are nearing 5,000 transactions and that’s not even half of all the people who visit the U-Desk with inquiries.”

Photo: Sandra Muir

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) U-Desk is a new service for Laurier students, faculty and staff that began operating this fall in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre Hall of Fame on the Waterloo campus. The U-Desk — for Union Desk — is a one-stop shop for many campus services, and it also began offering free technology rentals this month. Almost 20 laptops, six iPads, three projectors and two cameras will be available to rent for a 48-hour period on a first-come, first-served basis. The U-Desk will also provide carrying cases, presentation cables, a tripod and chargers for common phones. “Teaching and learning is increasingly dependent on technology, and stuff happens, things break down,” said Kyle Walker, WLUSU member services manager. “The Students’ Union wants to support students, so their education isn’t affected if their laptop crashes.”

In addition to the new rental service, the U-Desk also offers many other services and products for students, staff and faculty, including: • Undergraduate Health and Dental Plan • Campus event tickets • Laurier varsity tickets • Chicopee lift tickets • Galaxy, Princess Cinema and Empire Theatre movie tickets • Yuk Yuks comedy tickets • Locker rentals • Inter-office mail drop off • Canada Post

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

By Mallory O’Brien

What are you reading

Nations Polytechnic, located in the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. her mind, I’ve done something Boyden, 45, currently splits his important.” time between Northern Ontario Boyden was inspired to start and New Orleans, where he lives a not-for-profit organization with his wife Amanda Boyden, in 2008 after hearing about who is also a writer. When dozens of attempted suicides in asked what took Boyden to New James Bay that occurred over a Orleans in his mid-20s, he quips, six-week period. Through his “My motorcycle.” organization, he aims to help This is around the same time Aboriginal teens by taking them that he decided he wanted to on hunting and fishing excurbe a writer and had dreams sions. of writing the great Canadian “A lot of these kids haven’t novel. He started writing a novel, been out in the bush. Kids want to get out and do this now. I think but it wasn’t working. His wife suggested he cut his teeth first it’s helping. We need to get kids on some short stories. He took back on the land, Aboriginal or her advice and the voices that otherwise.” kept calling to him were from his During his visit to the Ojibwe and Métis background. Brantford area, Boyden also gave After writing a collection of short a public reading Nov. 18 at Six

A cook-off for charity

stories, he decided he was ready to try something bigger. It took him almost five years to finish Three Day Road. When it was released it won numerous awards, including the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. “I felt very blessed as a young writer to have such success right off the bat. It was stunning to me,” Boyden said. He says his second novel, Through Black Spruce, was fun to write. Much of the research had already been done with his first book. His third novel — the last in the trilogy — will feature three protagonists. “It will tie the other two together and complete the circle,” he said. Boyden will visit Laurier’s Waterloo campus in early 2012.


What are you listening to?

GIE construction on track

What are you eating?

Laurier President Max Blouw serves up his dish of French bread, ham, spinach, onion and Fontina cheese during the United Way cook-off, which saw Blouw going spatula-tospatula with Student Union President Nick Gibson. Gibson took the title and a total of $1,026 was donated to the United Way.

What are you reading


Name: Pete Tallon Job Title: Development Officer: Donor Relations Book Title: Crossing Mandelbaum Gate Author: Kai Bird

What are you listening to?

My brother John, older and much smarter than me, recommends every other book I read. He’s only disappointed me twice, and not with this book – Crossing Mandelbaum Gate by Kai Bird. The gate of the title once stood between East Arab Jerusalem and West Israeli Jerusalem, between the Nakba and the Shoah. Mr. Bird passed through this gate daily as the child of an American diplomat. As an adult, he makes the same journey in his heart and mind as he struggles to find any hope at all in this hopeless part of the world.

What are you What are watching? you eating? Name: Matthew Park Job Title: Administrative Assistant, President’s Office Film: The Ides of March Director: George Clooney

The old St. Michael’s school is demolished to make way for the new Global Innovation Exchange at the Waterloo campus. The project is slated for completion in 2014.


It’s been in theatres for about a month now, but The Ides of March is worth the time if you haven’t seen it yet. George Clooney has made a compelling political drama that shows just how dirty politics can be. I wasn’t sure if it inspired me or jaded me, but it certainly captivated me. With an awesome cast, a solid script and intense drama, this is a must see.

December 2011

Lisa LaFlamme takes audience beyond headlines Honorary degree receipient speaks about world events, changing role of the media live from her hotel room in Cairo as protesters called for President Mubarak to step down. She has also reported extensively on the aftermath of 9-11, the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, as well as the humanitarian crisis facing the Afghan people. Other major events she has covered include the death of Pope John Paul II, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the earthquake in Haiti. “Lisa LaFlamme has been there for so many of the events that have shaped our world,” said Patricia Goff, the event organizer and an associate professor in Laurier’s Political Science department. “She can offer a unique perspective that goes beyond the headlines.” A graduate of the University of Ottawa, LaFlamme became known locally as a news anchor at Kitchener’s CFCA AM radio station and as the news anchor for CTV Southwestern Ontario (then CKCO TV) in the 1990s. She went on to make her mark in various high-profile roles, including a position as political correspondent for CTV News in Ottawa, and as co-host of Canada AM, before becoming the national affairs corre-

While covering the rescue efforts of 33 Chilean miners in August, journalist Lisa LaFlamme had trouble getting her cell phone and satelitte feed to work. “Guess what worked? My Twitter feed,” she recounted to an audience of Laurier staff, faculty and students. “I was sending out news in 140 characters. You would be shocked at how much news you can actually get out.” LaFlamme, chief anchor and senior editor for CTV National News, visited Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus Nov. 25 to discuss her life as a journalist, as well as the events that have shaped the world over the last 12 months. The uprising in the Arab world, Canada’s federal election and the Royal Wedding were just a few of the stories LaFlamme has covered over the last year and were among the topics discussed during “A Conversation With Lisa LaFlamme: The Year in Headlines.” LaFlamme is never far from the story. She was in Egypt during the uprising in February 2011, anchoring CTV’s National News

people at Laurier

spondent for CTV News with Lloyd Robertson. In September 2011, she assumed the role of chief anchor and senior editor for CTV National News, succeeding legendary news anchor Lloyd Robertson. LaFlamme said social media tools like Twitter are changing the way people receive the news. She believes it makes programs such as CTV National News more valuable. “If all day long you are absorbing 140 characters, don’t you want to know the context? At the end of the day, wouldn’t you like to know the whole story?”

Journalist Lisa LaFlamme speaks to staff, faculty and students on the Waterloo campus.

For a complete list of appointments visit

New appointments:

Changes in staff appointments:

Debra Allan, administrative assistant, ITS (Waterloo).

Jessica Bell, admissions specialist II, Recruitment and Admissions (Waterloo).

Jennifer Askey, coordinator, Academic Program Support (Brantford).

Joanne Carter, advisor, Service Laurier (Waterloo).

Lynn Farquhar, university transistion facilitator, LEAF (Brantford).

Robert Pupols, service desk analyst, ITS (Waterloo).

Samah Katerji, counselor, Counseling Services (Waterloo).

Heather Ferris, alumni relations officer, Alumni Relations (Waterloo).

Jenna Taylor, academic program admin I, Registrar’s Office (Waterloo).

Tammy Forlippa, advisor, Service Laurier (Waterloo).

Alicia Wilkinson, administrative assistant, LEAF (Brantford).

Matthew Park, administrative assistant, President’s Office (Waterloo).

Heidi Haley, office assistant, VP/Principal’s Office (Brantford).

What are you watching?

Peter Robertson, Food Services, (Waterloo).

Christine Hauck, administrative assistant, Recruitment and Admissions (Waterloo).

Jordan Schaus, customer service specialist, Bookstore (Waterloo).

Lori Zybala, advisor, Service Laurier (Waterloo).

Retirements: Nancy Dwyer, senior account administrator (Waterloo).

Photos: Sandra Muir

Ronan Thompson, Food Services (Waterloo).

The university community honoured excellence in teaching with a reception Dec. 2 featuring past winners of faculty and teaching awards. “The Heart of Teaching at Laurier: Celebrating Excellence” was organized by Teaching Support Services. It offered attendees an opportunity to reflect on what teaching means at an individual level. There were creative opportunities to explore this idea, as well as a video showcase of award winners. “I think it is a great opportunity for people to come together to recognize the importance of excellent teaching at Laurier, and celebrate those who have been acknowledged as outstanding teachers,” said Jeanette McDonald, a co-organizer of the event and manager of Educational Development at Laurier. Laurier has been recognizing excellence in teaching since 1978. In fall 2007, the university unveiled Laurier’s Teaching Hall of Fame to give teaching a greater presence on campus.

Got a question? Send it to

Bridget Parris, advisor, Service Laurier (Waterloo).

Mary Seeds, Food Services, (Waterloo). Melissa Stephens, manager, marketing and communications, Recruitment and Admissions (Brantford and Waterloo).

Celebrating teaching excellence

Andrew Parda, technical support specialist, ITS (Waterloo).

Sue Gallagher, MSW field practicum advisor, Faculty of Social Work (Waterloo).

Amy Gayman, research assistant, KPE (Waterloo).

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Colleen Myronyk, career consultant III, Career Development Centre (Waterloo).

Monica Duyvestyn, advisor, Service Laurier (Waterloo).

Anna Manuel, external co-op coordinator (Toronto).

campus decoder

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Valerie Kilgour, manager, LEAF (Brantford).

Betty Bax, associate director, development, SBE (Waterloo).

Leanne L’Heureux, custodial/ maintenance (Brantford).

LaFlamme received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2006. The same year she brought the nation to Laurier when she suggested CTV broadcast its federal election debate reaction coverage from the university campus — giving students and faculty the opportunity to respond to the national audience. In addition to her journalistic achievements, LaFlamme is an avid supporter of Plan International and travels to remote areas to highlight child poverty around the world.

Photo: Sandra Muir

By Sandra Muir


Sir Wilfrid Laurier pays his respect by wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day, above left, and celebrates his birthday on Nov. 20, above right.


: I heard the library used to be only two floors high. Is this true?


: Yes! Today, at seven stories, the library is one of Laurier’s tallest buildings, but that wasn’t always the case. You likely can’t tell by looking at it, but the building we know today was constructed in three phases, spanning nearly 20 years. From 1914 to 1965, the library was housed in “Old Main” or the original Willison Hall. In the early days of the university, this was one of only two buildings on campus and, by necessity, served a variety of functions. It contained classrooms, a dining hall and student accommodations, in addition to the institution’s library holdings. During the ’60s and ’70s, the campus grew rapidly. This expansion included the

construction of Conrad Hall, the Student Union building and the library. Erected in 1965, the original library building consisted of what we know today as the second and third floors. What would later become the first floor, at this point, was an open space used as an underground parking lot. As Laurier continued to grow, it became clear that more library space was needed. The fourth and fifth floors were added in 1971, and the sixth and seventh in 1984. In 2002, extensive interior renovations included a new circulation desk on the second floor, new elevators on the north side of the building, archives on the first floor and a café. The library has grown up over the years alongside the campus and its student population. By Vanessa Parks 5

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December 2011

coffee with a co-worker

A look at staff and faculty across campus

Name: Claire Bennett

Over the summer, Claire Bennett made use of the 25 new bike racks on the Waterloo campus that she helped implement.

Title: Sustainability Coordinator Where you can find her: 255 King St., 4th floor Drink of choice: I start every day with a green tea. Occasionally I drink coffee, but mostly just on those really hard days. How long have you been at Laurier: I joined Laurier in January 2011. I came in at an extremely exciting time. There was a lot of talk about the new campus master plan and new energy management plan.

What is your approach to sustainability at Laurier? We shouldn’t just work on sustainability projects, we need to work on making projects more sustainable, which also helps the bottom line. The projects I work on not only help the environment, as well as the student, staff, and faculty experience, but have a direct payback. Like most institutions, we have many opportunities to grow more sustainably and have made a great start. What are some of the projects you’ve been involved in so far? I oversaw the installation of 25 new bike racks on the Waterloo campus, three new cross-

walks, centralized recycling and compost centres in several buildings. I created sustainable design guidelines and published a green guide. This past fall I also introduced a new Sustainability Reps program in all of the Waterloo residence buildings, where they will run programming, including energy and waste competitions. I’m also in the process of finalizing a Sustainability Report and long-term Action Plan. What are your plans for the future? Along with a dedicated group of faculty and staff, I’m currently working toward creating a sustainability option at Laurier,

coming Events

Heard on Twitter Check out what the Laurier community has been tweeting about at Laurier also has official sites on Facebook at www.facebook. com/LaurierNow and YouTube at

@MBALaurier RT @fundraisermaeve: Great evening celebrating the achievements of MBA grads from my alma mater, @LaurierNews. I’m a proud #WLU alumna!! Nov. 23, 2011 @AboriginalHouse Today is the day you’ve been waiting for LB! It’s Soup and Fry Bread time <3 Everyone is welcome, so grab a friend... Nov. 23, 2011 @LaurierNews Laurier Olympics expert quoted on CNBC #Laurier Nov. 21, 2011 @LaurierTO RT @Dani__Russell: Excited to see a @Laurier Alum in the Speaker’s chair @ QP - Congrats @DaveLevac ! #ProudToBePurpleAndGold Nov. 21, 2011 @WLUAthletics Women’s Hockey moves up to No. 2 in rankings #OUA #CIS #Laurier Nov. 15, 2011

What do you like to do in your spare time? I am a huge animal and nature lover and spend a lot of my spare time hiking, camping and cottaging, always with my recently adopted blue heeler Panda in tow. I’m also a strong supporter of the local non-profits and arts scene and try to contribute and attend these events as much as possible. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I’ve had my horse, Oliver, for 11

Enjoy music by Cary Savage, guitar, in this edition of the weekly Thursday concert series.

Be dazzled by more than 100,000 lights and more than 100 displays at this familyfriendly winter festival. Other activities include free horsedrawn trolley rides and hot cider at the snack booth.

Laurier Brantford Brown Bag Faculty Research Talk: Professor Chris Alksnis When: Jan. 18, noon Where: CB 100, Brantford campus Cost: Free

Laurier Farm Market When: Dec. 14, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Where: Concourse

All are invited to attend this talk by Psychology Professor Chris Alksnis entitled “Perceptions of Parental Leave-takers: How do Mommies and Daddies Fare at Work?”

Stock up on local and organic produce for the holiday season! Building Champions, Building Traditions When: Until Dec. 10 Where: Robert Langen Art Gallery Cost: Free In collaboration with the WLU Archives, this collection of archival images, film footage and artifacts narrates the growth, development and achievemnts of WLU over the last 100 years. Seasonal Holidays — University Closed When: Dec. 23 – Jan. 3

years now. We used to show in Hunter Jumpers on the A circuit but have both become a bit lazy and spend much of our time out on the trails. We still get some jumps in once in a while though. What do you like most about working at Laurier: I’m so lucky because I feel like my daily job is actually helping to make a difference. I’m guiding

people to recognize how they can make a difference, and seeing them get excited in the process. In my experience so far, staff, faculty, and students see these initiatives as great opportunities to embrace, or even get involved in. They are not scared of change, which is rare and nice. Laurier is a great place to be. By Sandra Muir

For a complete list of events visit

Wonders of Winter When: Until Jan. 1, 2012, 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Where: Waterloo Park Cost: Free (donations appreciated)

Music at Noon When: Jan. 5, noon Where: Maureen Forrester 6

and a professional certificate in sustainability. Operationally, projects include increasing our sourcing of sustainably produced food on campus, implementing a natural landscaping and water harvesting project, and retrofitting water fountains with spouts. The to-do list includes projects such as bike share and secured bike parking, an alternative transportation map, student internship placements, a medicinal and community garden project, and a Laurier sustainable procurement policy. Photo: Sandra Muir


Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Cost: Free

MWM Distinguished Artist Concert When: Jan. 21, 8 p.m. Where: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Enjoy music by Marc-Andre Hamilton on piano. Laurier Brantford Brown Bag Faculty Research Talk: Professor Aaron Goodman When: Feb. 9, noon Where: CB 100, Brantford campus Cost: Free All are invited to attend a talk by Journalism Professor Aaron Goodman about “The Congo Stories Project.”

In the media “It is part of the risks one accepts in chasing the rings. Sometimes you get lucky, as did Calgary, when it benefitted from a massive explosion in the value of sports television properties in the early 1980s.” – Stephen Wenn, professor, kinesiology and physical education From “2012 Olympics, a Blessing or a Curse for the UK,” published on on Nov. 21, 2011. The article, by Antionia van de Velde, discusses how the world ecomony could affect the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“Faith has something to contribute to public life. People go to university to find a job and they come here to find life’s work.” – David Pfrimmer, principal dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary From “Lutheran seminary adds new Christian studies program,” published in The Record on Nov. 4, 2011. The article, by Liz Monteiro, discusses the Seminary’s new undergraduate course in Christian Studies and Global Leadership, which will be available in September 2012. Laurier community members are frequently featured in the local and national media. To see more coverage, visit thenews, and find out about our Experts at Laurier program, visit www.

December 2011


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Crustacean crusade: creating a sustainable fishery Lucy Lee’s research into lobster cell lines could save the species’ declining population

Biologist Lucy Lee is known worldwide for her ability to create fish-cell lines. She is currently working on a cell line for lobsters, which would allow them to be grown in captivity, alleviating the problem of overfishing. To date no one has been able to create a cell line for crustaceans.

temperature are right,” says Lee. “It takes knowledge, but it also takes care. They are my babies.” Lee has always loved fish. Living in post-war Korea, she remembers shunning the chocolate and other treats her father brought home from the U.S. Army base where he worked. Instead, she always craved the dry fish sold by roadside vendors. “Dried fish and shellfish were cheap meals. I really liked squid. I always had this thing for seafood.” When Lee was 7, the family moved to Lima, Peru, when her father got a job as a professor of languages at the National University of Trujillo. No one in

Photo: Sandra Muir

The next time you tie a lobster bib around your neck and get the melted butter and claw cracker ready, you may want to savour the experience. While there are still many lobsters in the sea, the population could soon be in peril — something that Laurier biologist Lucy Lee wants to help change. The Homarus americanus, otherwise known as the American lobster, is the No. 1 fishery in Canada. Not only do we eat it at home, lobster is Canada’s most valuable seafood export. In 2010, annual exports equaled $946 million, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “We eat a lot of lobsters, and we are going to get to a point where the lobster fishery will collapse like what happened with cod in 1992,” says Lee. Why not grow them in captivity like salmon or mussels? There are lobster hatcheries but no farms, since lobsters are carnivores and will either eat each other or fight over territory. “Even when they are babies they eat each other. Only the big ones survive,” says Lee. “Survival in captivity is a little bit better than in the wild, but it’s still not very good. This is because little is known about their basic biological functions.” Lee, who was recently named Laurier’s University Research Professor for 2011-2012 and is known worldwide for her ability to create fish-cell lines (cells that can be grown outside the organisms in test tubes), is now working on a cell line for lobsters. To date, no one has been able to create a cell line for any crustacean, and being able to do so would mean lobsters could be conveniently studied at their basic cellular level. Growing these cells requires both knowledge and patience. “You have to look at the cells, try to tell if they are starving for certain nutrients or if physical conditions like salinity and

Photo: Sandra Muir

By Sandra Muir

Lucy Lee accepts the 2011-2012 University Research Professor award from Laurier President Max Blouw at fall convocation in Waterloo.

the family knew Spanish when they arrived, but they learned quickly. It is a language that has served Lee well, since many of the countries that consume and export fish are Spanish-speaking, including Spain, Peru and Chile. This has led to many research collaborations with scientists in these countries. Lee lived in Peru until she was 20, and completed three years of university there. Then she decided to switch to the University of Waterloo where her brother was doing a master’s degree in computer science. None of her courses could be transferred, so she had to start her academic career all over again. For a while she thought she might enrol in optometry, but decided she didn’t have a passion for it. So, her plan was to go back into medicine — until she took a developmental biology course. “I remember doing experiments in this undergraduate course where we had minced up chicken embryos and you could see hearts beating,” says Lee. “We would come back to the lab every week and the heart was still beating. I thought, ‘This is neat. I want to do this’.” For her master’s and PhD, she found a professor she wanted to work with who happened to study fish cell cultures. From there her career was set. In 1983, she started a rainbow

trout liver cell line. That cell line is still being used in labs in Europe, North America and Asia. Her discovery has allowed researchers to study the effects of contaminants and changes at the cellular level without having to kill fish. The implementation of new testing guidelines in Europe for the safety of chemicals requires testing thousands of chemicals using animals, including fish. It is estimated that several millions of vertebrate animals, mostly fish, are needed every year for testing, which is leading to a movement to minimize the use of whole animal testing. This movement is being echoed in the U.S. with a plan to minimize animal testing and find alternatives, such as the use of cell lines. Lee is often invited to conferences around the world to share her expertise in this area. This has led to many partnerships, including a collaboration with the U.S. Army. Lee is helping to develop a way to test toxicants in drinking water using the gill cells of fish, which are much more portable and easier to work with than mammalian cells. The gill cells are grown on microchips, which are read on a hand-held device created by a consortia working with the army. “If you’re thirsty and you want to drink water you need to know immediately if it’s safe,” says Lee. “This device will tell you if there are toxicants in that water

within minutes.” Dressed in a pink lab coat, Lee looks at home in her laboratory in the Science building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. The distinction of being University Research Professor for 2011-2012 allows the Lee to devote more time

It takes knowledge,

but it also takes care. They are my babies.

to research for one year. It also provides funding to assist with her research expenses. “I haven’t spent as much time in the lab as I have wanted to, so now I can get back in there,” she says. Lee has several experiments on the go, and big plans for a variety of cell lines. After lobsters, she wants to develop lines for crabs, and then shrimp, which is also among her favourite seafood. “People don’t realize but to survive in the ocean is one in a million,” says Lee. “These species are all economically important and the more we know about these species, especially at their cellular and molecular levels, the better we could understand the whole organisms and their ecosystems.” 7


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December 2011

In the classroom

A look inside the lecture hall

Clues to learning Professor: Solange Gratton Class: Level 4 Reading & Vocabulary, Laurier Brantford

Students practice reading academic texts and learn strategies for dealing with the large amount of reading they will encounter in university. Such strategies include skimming and retrieving key information. Students also learn new academic vocabulary and how to guess the meanings of words they don’t know through the use of “context clues.” Instructor Solange Gratton says students read the sentences before and after the word in question to gather bits of information that place the word within a certain context. Identifying the word’s role in the sentence (noun, verb, etc.) provides additional information to assist in the process. “By combining these various tools and clues the learner is better armed to deal with new vocabulary they will encounter during their undergraduate studies at Laurier.” By Mallory O’Brien

Photo: Dean Palmer

Description: Laurier English and Academic Foundations (LEAF) is a preparatory program for international students who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree at the university.

Solange Gratton helps international students with their reading and vocabulary skills by helping them identify “context clues.”

Photos: Melissa Stephens, Mallory O’Brien, Sandra Muir

University hosts students and parents on Laurier Day

From top left: Laurier Brantford welcomes visitors to campus; Sir Wilfrid Laurier gets dressed up for the occasion; students show their school spirit on the Waterloo campus; a giant chalkboard on the Waterloo campus asks students to share what they want to accomplish before graduation; a reception and welcome banner on the Brantford campus.


Dec. 2011-InsideLaurier  
Dec. 2011-InsideLaurier  

The December 2011 edition of InsideLaurier