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Inside FEBRUARY 2012


Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto


Laurier’s varsity men’s basketball team and women’s hockey team are both having stellar seasons. Laurier’s Kale Harrison, right, evades an opposing Lakehead player. To read more, see page 4.

Photo: Adam Gagnon

Laurier conducts emergency exercise University, emergency personnel rehearse lockdown procedures and updated emergency plan Laurier staged a critical-incident simulation on Jan. 18 so police and university personnel could test Laurier’s emergency procedures. The exercise involved a police officer playing the role of an armed intruder in the administration building at 202 Regina St. on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. The exercise was a collaborative effort involving the university, Laurier’s Special Constable Service and the Waterloo Regional Police. “This kind of collaborative exercise is an effective way for university and police officials to

test their emergency response plans and find ways to improve their systems and procedures,” said Laurier President Max Blouw. “Today’s activities will help us provide a safer environment for our students, staff, faculty and visitors.” The exercise was confined to the administration building at 202 Regina St. and did not affect other buildings or areas of campus. There was a visible and well-marked police presence involving teams of tactical officers in full gear. The exercise required the university’s Special Constable Service and

the Waterloo Regional Police to respond. Meanwhile, the unviersity’s Emergency Operations Group (EOG) convened as they would in a real emergency. As the exercise progressed, the EOG was provided with updates about the scenario that required them to make decisions based on the evolving events. The university last staged a critical-incident exercise in November 2008. Conducted in the middle of the Waterloo campus, that scenerio involved a student being held hostage in Willison Hall. At that time, Laurier was only the second university in Ontario to carry out a lockdown exercise and the event attracted observers from several collages and police services. Laurier recently updated its emergency response plans. Staff and faculty at the Waterloo campus and Kitchener location can find details at Laurier Brantford staff and faculty can review the emergency plan for that campus at

Laurier is also in the process of implementing an Emergency Notification System (ENS) that will send text messages to computer screens and cellphones that are

registered with the university. More information about the ENS and how to register your cellphone number will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visits Laurier The Ontario government ushered in the New Year by making clear the details of a new annual tuition grant rebate program, with Premier Dalton McGuinty choosing Wilfrid Laurier University as the official launching ground. McGuinty discussed the details of the 30-per-cent tuition reduction program — which officially came into effect Jan. 5 — during a visit to a first-year business class at Laurier’s School of Business & Economics. “This is the single most expensive commitment we’ve made as a government and it’s



The Inside-Out Prison Exchange program brings inmates and students together to learn.

Meet Ross Fraser, student affairs coordinator at Laurier Brantford, skiier and avid cottager.

for you,” McGuinty told the packed classroom. “The bottom line is if you do well, we do well. The equation is as simple as that.” Over 300,000 university and college students will benefit from the program, which provides tuition rebates to post-secondary students who are residents of Ontario, and whose parents have a combined income of less than $160,000 a year. Students must be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program and within four years of graduating high school. McGuinty see page 3

7 Sean Doherty’s research links location and blood glucose.


February 2012

president’s message

Positive results reflect innovative programming, teaching educators and administrators were completely free of funding worries, resource concerns and enrolment issues. But the current situation in Ontario stands out as more challenging than most periods in our past. How institutions respond to such challenges will differentiate universities from one another, and will be important to the quality of contribution we can make to an educated, informed, engaged, innovative and entrepreneurial society in the future. Laurier has always valued and supported teaching excellence. In recent years the university has also done more to support research in an effort to broaden the learning opportunities of students as well as to contribute to society’s need for new knowledge and for solutions to our most perplexing problems. As well, Laurier has a wellearned reputation for fostering an exceptional Ontairo Premier Dalton McGuinty, left, meets with Laurier President Max Blouw. student experience,

Academic quality has been in the news recently, and some of the published views have cast universities collectively in a less than flattering light. Academic quality is a broad and complex topic that includes considerations of the relevance of education, its timeliness, its cost relative to return, and issues of faculty and student engagement. Maintaining the quality of postsecondary education is an ongoing challenge in an environment where student numbers and wage/ benefit costs are ever higher, and where funding is constrained. Unfortunately, there has never been a period in which university

something we are currently enhancing by further integrating our academic programming and experiential learning. Innovative teaching methods are helping Laurier to adjust to the demands of a new era. Recently, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) highlighted two Laurier programs on the undergraduate education section of its website ( The first is chemistry Professor Stephen MacNeil’s efforts to enhance the traditional classroom lecture by creating pre-class, in-class and post-class components that blend online and lecture-style learning. The pre-class online assignments help MacNeil identify areas in which his students are struggling, enabling him to spend more time addressing such areas in class and tailoring post-class assignments to provide students with extra practice with these more challenging concepts. The second Laurier innovation highlighted on the AUCC website is a math support program for firstyear calculus students. Mathematics Professor David Vaughan noticed that many first-year calculus students were entering

the program with a varied math background. He created a number of online modules that help firstyear students review key learning prerequisites and strengthen their understanding of these fundamental concepts. As a result, students experience less anxiety, feel better prepared for class and achieve greater success. There are many more examples of this kind of innovative teaching at Laurier. The overall results are reflected in such studies as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). In the recent 2011 NSSE results, Laurier met or exceeded the Ontario average in each of the five categories covered by the survey. Eighty-eight per cent of our first-year respondents and 85 per cent of final-year students rated their overall educational experience at Laurier as good or excellent — higher than the provincial average of 82 per cent for first-year and 77 per cent for final-year students. As well, 79 per cent of first-year students and 68 per cent of seniors said Laurier provides substantial support for academic success, compared to provincial averages of 71 and 58 per cent. In another interesting study,

Dr. Bill McTeer of Laurier’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education found that Laurier has had terrific success in encouraging student athletes to succeed academically by providing focused assistance to them. After analyzing three decades of data on the academic performance of Laurier student athletes, McTeer found a tangible improvement. In fact, student athletes in the 2000s are on average doing as well or better academically than the student body as a whole, despite the time committed by them to compete at the varsity level. Such findings reflect the passion that Laurier faculty and staff have for academic excellence. Challenges remain, and new challenges will arise. But we can take heart that Laurier has a vibrant tradition of innovation that will help us continue to provide the highest quality education in the years ahead.

Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor

NSSE results affirm Laurier’s excellence at student engagement By Nick Dinka Laurier continues to excel at providing students with a positive university experience, according to results from the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The results support Laurier’s “integrated and engaged” learning model, which provides students with an effective mix of in-class and experiential learning opportunities, Laurier officials said. The university met or exceeded the provincial average in each of the five categories covered by the

survey, achieving particularly high scores on questions related to integrated learning. In addition, 88 per cent of first-year respondents and 85 per cent of final-year students rated their overall educational experience at Laurier as good or excellent. This was significantly better than the provincial average of 82 per cent for first-year and 77 per cent for final-year students. Laurier’s integrated and engaged learning model is an educational philosophy that combines classroom learning with applied experiential learning opportunities, whether in the form of co-op, internships, collaborative research, communityservice learning or other opportunities. Responses to a number of individual questions on the survey

underscored the university’s emphasis on this approach: • Seventy per cent of Laurier’s senior students reported participating in community service or volunteer work, against a provincial average of 54 per cent. • Twenty-eight per cent of firstyear students and 34 per cent of seniors at the university spent more than five hours per week participating in co-curricular activities, against provincial averages of 19 and 23 per cent. • Seventy-nine per cent of firstyear students and 68 per cent of seniors said the university provides substantial support for academic success, against provincial averages of 71 and 58 per cent.

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

InsideLaurier Volume 6, Number 7, February 2012 Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Contributors: Kevin Crowley, Nick Dinka, Jamie Howieson, Lynne Jordan, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien, Vanessa Parks, Dean Palmer


“Creating learning conditions that motivate and inspire students to engage is key because it makes them ready to hit the ground running when they graduate,” said David McMurray, the university’s vice-president: Student Affairs. Laurier’s results in this year’s study were consistent with the positive scores the university

received when it participated in the survey in 2006 and 2008, noted Orna Duggan, Laurier’s director of Institutional Research and Planning. Duggan’s team is currently analyzing the results of the study and will prepare a report to be released in 2012 designed to support continuous improvements in the university’s performance.

Send us your news, events & stories Email: Deadline for submissions: February 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

Next issue of Inside March 2012

FEBRUARY 2012 Inside What’s new and notable at Laurier

New program helps employees with sustainable commuting

tional Development section of the Teaching Support Services page on the Laurier website. The deadline for nominations is March 1.

Laurier has become a member of TravelWise, a Transportation Management Association launched by the Region of Waterloo, which encourages employees to try sustainable commuting options, and helps make the transition to walking, cycling, carpooling or taking transit easier. As a member of TravelWise, Laurier employees have access to several services, including a stateof-the-art ride-matching service to make it easier to find a carpool; discounted transit passes; and an emergency ride home service for those who don’t have immediate access to a vehicle. For more information, visit travelwise.asp.

Laurier establishes Dobson Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Laurier’s School of Business & Economics (SBE) has established the Dobson Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship through a generous donation by the Dobson Foundation. Prescott Ensign, the inaugural holder of the professorship, served on the faculties of several universities in Canada, as well as state universities in California and Ohio, before joining Laurier. A recipient of a Fullbright Scholarship, Ensign has been honoured for both his teaching and research, which focuses on innovation and technology development. Ensign is currently focusing his expertise on mentoring students and young entrepreneurs with their upcoming ventures. His present research is aimed at entrepreneurship in the periphery, in particular, Canada’s far North and among Aboriginal communities.

call for nominations for teaching excellence awards Is there a 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 Teaching/Instructional Assistants Awards of Excellence. For information on the criteria of each award, visit the Educa-

McGuinty continued

“Marc-André Hamelin is a pianistic icon like no other and his recitals are in a class of their own,” said Glen Carruthers, dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music. Hamelin’s repetoire included Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, and five of his own works. Hamelin was born in Montreal, Quebec. He began to play the piano at the age of five, studying at École Vincent d’Indy in Montreal and then at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1985 he won the Carnegie Hall International Competition for American Music. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the National Order of Quebec, and he won the 2008 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble. Hamelin is also featured in the book The Composer-Pianists: Hamelin and the Eight (Amadeus Press).

Athletics and Recreation, and the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. The day began with a keynote talk by Laurier alumna and Olympian Cheryl Pounder. A former captain of the Laurier womens’ hockey team, Pounder won two Olympic gold medals with Canada’s national team in 2002 and 2006. She was named Laurier’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1997, and was inducted into Laurier’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. The rest of the day included

a wide variety of workshops on everything from leadership styles to teamwork, initiative, and Aboriginal perspectives on leadership. The concluding keynote address was given by Dave Meslin, a Toronto musician and community activist with a passion for civic engagement. Meslin has started or been involved with numerous civic initiatives, including the Toronto Public Space Committee, which strives to keep public spaces free of commercialization, such as advertising.

Laurier on YouTube Learn how Laurier alumnus Ryan Smolkin has turned his love of food and business into a growing poutine dynasty.

Laurier hosts student leadership conference

Renowned pianist plays free concert at Laurier Celebrated Canadian pianist and composer Marc-André Hamelin performed a free concert at the

Laurier held a successful one-day student leadership conference, attracting more than 400 students and involving dozens of university alumni, staff and faculty. The event was organized by Laurier’s Student Leadership Centre in partnership with Laurier Student Alumni, the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, Residence Life, the Diversity and Equity Office,

that the Ontario government under McGuinty’s leadership has made significant investments in not only operating funds but also in the infrastructure required to offer educational opportunities. This includes the Ontario government’s $72.6-million commitment in Laurier’s new Global Innovation Exchange building, announced in 2011. “People are transformed through education. When they are transformed, those around them are transformed — their communities, the entire province,” said Blouw. “Mr. Premier, I’m delighted that you’ve made this commitment to increase access to make it so more individuals are

transformed through education.” Many students also see the program as positive news, including first-year Laurier business student Gracjan Oleksinki. “This is a great opportunity,” said Oleksinki. “This means a lot less stress for my family. And it’s their loss if students don’t apply. This government program benefits us, but it’s also on us to use it.” The annual tuition grants will cost the province $423 million a year and were part of the Liberal election platform. The Oct. 6 vote saw McGuinty’s Liberals re-elected for a third straight mandate.

Photo: Nick Dinka

Grants of $800 for university students and $365 for college students are available to eligible students beginning this semester. Starting in September 2012, grant amounts will rise to $1,600 and $730 for university and college students respectively. “This is kind of a sweet spot for us. It helps young people. It helps families. It helps our economy,” McGuinty told a packed press conference later that morning. “Over 300,000 students will be entitled to a program which last year didn’t exist.” Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor of Laurier, noted

Maureen Forrester Recital Hall in January.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks to a first-year business calss at Laurier’s School of Business & Economics.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty accepts a centennial T-shirt from WLUSU President Nick Gibson.

Photo: Dean Palmer


Laurier recognized for sustainability initiatives By Sandra Muir Laurier’s sustainability initiatives, including an innovative energy management plan, received kudos in a recent report by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) on “green” practices at 19 Ontario universities. The Ontario Universities: Going Greener Report 2011 outlines nine areas where universities have taken steps to advance sustainability. Among the 19 universities included in the report, Laurier’s programs and practices are specifically mentioned in five of those areas, including emissions and energy use, water management, waste management, teaching and learning, and partnerships. In the category of emissions and energy use, the COU report details Laurier’s new energy management plan, which uses submeters to capture data about electricity use in buildings. The university will be able to benchmark the data through an energy management system that will track greenhouse gas emissions and allow for programs to reduce energy use. “The energy management plan will not only reduce emissions but also provide a direct financial savings to the university,” said Claire Bennett, coordinator of Laurier’s Sustainability Office. “It’s

a program that makes sense on many levels.” Bennett also noted that Laurier’s central recycling centres have had an enormous impact in a short period of time, with a 40 per cent increase in recycling since Laurier began introducing new centralized waste disposal and recycling bin systems two years ago. These improvements were noted in the waste management category of the COU report. In the water management category, the report mentions Laurier’s use of water harvesting to capture ground water for future grounds maintenance, which will save over 16,000 gallons of water each year for the university. Laurier’s Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action is one of the examples of new sustainability-focused research projects outlined in the category of Teaching and Learning. The centre is compiling information about local environmental organizations and initiatives as a resource to those at Laurier and in the community. The university was also mentioned in the partnership category for its membership in Sustainable Waterloo, a local not-for-profit that helps organizations set and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 3



ITS partnership offers improved customer service By Lori Chalmers Morrison To enhance customer service across all Laurier locations, Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Laurier Bookstore/TechShop have partnered with Dell Canada Inc. to offer all faculty and staff standard computer hardware options. Beginning January 2012, all new orders for faculty or staff computers will be directed to the Laurier Bookstore/TechShop on the Waterloo campus or the TechShop on the Brantford campus. This partnership will allow the Laurier community to purchase computer hardware at a discounted price, and experience quicker turnaround times, the convenience of a campus location and ITS support for the standard models. “Implementing university hardware standards is part of our service management strategic direction to improve service,” said Julie Topic, director, ICT support. “We look forward to improved computer deployment turnaround times, and ongoing support.” The Laurier Bookstore/ TechShop will carry an inventory

of each of the standard computer models, which will be on display at both locations to allow staff and faculty to determine which model best suits their needs. Single computers will be available for same-day purchase and bulk orders (over five computers) will be available within 10 business days. To purchase add-ons or for specific requirements outside of the standard configurations, please contact one of the following Laurier Bookstore contacts for more information or to receive a quote: Laurier TechShop (Brantford): Lynsay Wellhauser, lwellhauser@ or ext. 5521. Laurier Bookstore/ Techshop (Waterloo): Kerry Martin, kmartin@ or ext. 3629. To view the standard Dell models available for purchase at the Laurier Bookstore/ TechShop, visit www. techshop/fac_staffcomputers.htm. Specifica-

tions and ordering instructions are also available via the above link. To configure new computers, faculty and staff on the Waterloo campus can make a request through the ITS Employee Service Desk by contacting or ext. 4357. Faculty and staff on the Brantford campus can visit www. or ext. 5725. The next step for this initiative is the university-wide Employee Computer Hardware Evergreen program. This computer renewal program will incorporate these hardware standards for future deployment. More information about the program will be provided later this year.

congress preparations continue to ramp up With less than four months to go, preparations for Congress 2012 are ramping up as Laurier and the University of Waterloo get ready to host the largest interdisciplinary academic conference in North America from May 26 to June 2. More than 7,000 academics, practitioners and policy-makers from the humanities and social sciences are expected to gather in Waterloo to discuss a wide range of subjects, all revolving around the conference theme of “Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World.” Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress is a “meeting of meetings” involving more than 70 academic associations whose members come together each year to share ideas, discuss today’s complex issues and enrich their research. Registration is now open. Details can be found at the main Congress website: Laurier is playing a lead role in organizing and hosting Congress 2012. Logistical planning has been under way for nearly two years but things have moved into high gear

in recent weeks. Some recent news: • Laurier has created its own Congress webpage at www.wlu. ca/lauriercongress to highlight Congress information specific to Laurier • Volunteers are needed for a wide range of tasks, from campus ambassadors to parking and transportation assistants. Visit the volunteer section of www. or contact Congress 2012 planning coordinator Sheldon Pereira at congress. • The universities are working with the City of Waterloo to create an exciting festival for delegates and community members that will be held May 28, 29 and 30 in the train station parking lot adjacent to the Perimeter Institute and the Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo. The festival will feature live music and local fare. Congress 2012 will also feature a number of prominent writers and scholars who will deliver free public talks as part of the Big Thinking lecture series. Speakers include writers Margaret Atwood and Jane Urquhart, and Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Chris Hedges.

Author Joseph Boyden to visit Waterloo campus Joseph Boyden, the award-winning author of Through Black Spruce and Three Day Road, will host a public lecture and meet with faculty, staff and students when he visits Laurier’s Waterloo campus March 6 to 8 as Laurier’s writer-in-residence. During the three-day visit, Boyden will meet with Aboriginal students, as well as faculty, staff and students within the Laurier community who are part of reading groups being organized ahead of his visit. Boyden’s public lecture, titled “Write From Wrong: Giving Voice To A People,” will be held March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, and will focus on reimagining the relationship between

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. “We are thrilled that Joseph Boyden has shown such enthusiasm for engaging with Laurier and our external communities,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s vice-president: academic and provost. “His interest in taking part in meetings with reading groups, writing groups, Aboriginal students, and the public speaks to his reputation as an exceptional teacher and mentor.” The “Laurier Reads Boyden” reading group is open to all faculty, staff and students in the Laurier community. The group is reading Through Black Spruce and started meeting last month. Additional

meetings are scheduled for Feb. 13 and Feb. 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Paul Martin Centre to discuss a variety of topics related to Aboriginal culture and the novel itself. A second reading group has been organized for first-year students through Residence Life. Boyden will meet with members of both reading groups during his visit.

Men’s basketball, women’s hockey excel By Jamie Howieson With its best start in over four decades, the Laurier men’s basketball team is on its way to shooting for the university’s first championship in 41 years. The team posted the university’s best start in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) history after winning the first seven games in conference play this season. With their record of 12-2 at the time of this writing, the basketball Hawks have grabbed a share of first place in the OUA West Division, which is widely regarded as the toughest division in Canada. The team is currently ranked sixth in the country. To put it all into perspective, until now the best season by a


Laurier men’s basketball team was last year (2010-11), when the Golden Hawks won 13 games. Since 1971, the Hawks have only won more games than they’ve lost twice. With 12 wins already this season, the team will accomplish that feat for a third time. The Hawks also rank in the top-three in several key statistical categories, including points per game, assists per game, blocks per game, turnovers per game and three point percentage. The team is being led by fifthyear forward Kale Harrison, who continues to rewrite not only the Laurier record books, but the OUA record books as well — his 1,758 career points is fourth all-time in OUA history. But Harrison is not the only player

producing this season. Four other Hawks, including thirdyear guard Maxwell Allin, are averaging more than 10 points per game. Also having a strong season is the women’s varsity hockey team, which is ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time since 2006. The Hawks are the only team in the country undefeated in regulation play, with a 19-0-1 record at the time of this writing. The Laurier women also rank first in the OUA in the goals for (96) and goals against (33) categories, and have five players in the top 15 in league scoring led by left-winger Laura Brooker. For upcoming games, statistics and results, visit

Name: Eleanor Ty Job Title: English professor Book Title: Soucouyant Author: David Chariandy

Soucouyant is a tender and evocative novel about a young man who returns to his childhood home in the Scarborough Bluffs to care for his mother, an immigrant from Trinidad who suffers from dementia. The book depicts the fragility of memory, the daily trials and unexpected moments of illumination when caring for the elderly, and the social darkness beneath friendly Canadian neighbourhoods. I found myself anticipating with dread the emergence of the “soucouyant,” a female vampire, as I read. When it finally appeared, it was stranger and more traumatic than the way I had imagined it would be.

What are you listening to? Name: Katherine Sage Job Title: Donor Communications & Events Specialist Title: Rdio Website:

I’m into a website called Rdio that lets you download all the music you want for a small monthly fee. There is an amazing amount of music available — you can download to your phone, and the artists get paid. I’ve been sampling different music. Recently it’s Lucinda Williams and Florence and the Machine. On Saturday, I pulled up the soundtrack to Les Misérables while I cleaned closets. Lots of fun!

February 2012 Inside

Laurier transcends boundaries with Inside-Out program By Lynne Jordan At first glance there was nothing unusual about the Diversity, Marginalization and Oppression course that Social Work Professor Shoshana Pollack taught last fall. Each week 17 students sat in a circle, sharing ideas, taking notes and preparing for papers. The difference? Their classroom was inside Kitchener’s Grand Valley Institution for Women (GVI) and only 10 of the students were working toward their Master of Social Work degree. The other seven students were incarcerated in the prison. The course was part of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange program, a partnership between institutions of higher learning and correctional systems. Students and prisoners come together to further their education. Founded in 1997, the program has grown to more than 300 classes and 9,000 participants across the United States. Pollack’s class at GVI was one of the first in Canada (the other, which also took place last fall, was at a federal men’s prison in British Columbia). Being involved in this program far exceeded any expectations Pollack had at the outset. Much of her career as a social worker and an academic has focused

people at Laurier

on women in the criminal justice system, so when she was approached by Inside-Out about expanding the program into Canada she didn’t hesitate. The planning process took more than a year and included support from both Laurier and GVI. All Inside-Out instructors participate in a seven-day, 60-hour intensive training program that teaches the program’s transformative educational method. For two of the days the instructors are prisoners inside Graterford Prison, a maximum security facility for men near Philadelphia. First-year MSW student Kayla Follet says it’s difficult to articulate what it was like to be part of the Inside-Out program. “I love talking about it, but explaining the experience is really difficult because it was so powerful,” she said. “It was so much more than a course.” Follet says the atmosphere was a bit tense in the beginning. “We were all worried about being judged — the inside and the outside students. You could feel that and it was a little bit awkward. We were crossing profound barriers. Society tells us that we shouldn’t be doing

(Waterloo campus).

Katie Baker, development officer, Alumni Relations/ Annual Giving (Waterloo campus).

Kate Vandevenne, external co-op coordinator, Co-operative Education (Waterloo campus).

Anna Bogdanowicz, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus).

Daniel Yang, Dining Hall, Food Services (Waterloo campus.)

Joe Braccio, manager, Printing & Distribution (Waterloo campus).

Changes in staff appointments:

Susan Chilton, finance assistant, Bookstore (Waterloo campus).

Michelle Adams, student abroad advisor, Laurier International (Waterloo campus).

Chelsea Clarke, laboratory technician, Biology (Waterloo campus).

Caitlin Baker, digital projects coordinator, Library and WLU Press (Waterloo campus).

Connie Davison, administrative assistant to AVP, Teaching & Learning Services (Waterloo campus).

Jessica Bell, intermediate administrative assistant, Co-operative Education (Waterloo campus).

Ashley Higman, Dining Hall, Food Services (Waterloo campus).

Debbie Brittain, development reporting assistant, Advancement Services (Waterloo campus).

Helen Kaluzny, intermediate administrative assistant, Co-operative Education (Waterloo campus). Denoja Kankesan, coordinatorgeneral, books and academic relations, Bookstore (Waterloo campus). Jon Kursikowski, coordinator: sponsorship and events, Athletics & Recreation (Waterloo campus).

Malgorzata Smiarowski, custodian, Physical Resources

hours helped me get through the rest of the week.” Once a week, Pollack and her students would in a circle so they were connected and equal. Students were encouraged to direct their comments and

For a complete list of appointments visit

New appointments:

Mary Ellen Ruddell, field practicum advisor, FSW (Kitchener location).

this so it took some time for us to warm up to each other.” It wasn’t long before the invisible walls separating the two groups of students disappeared. “It was sheer excitement to go to each class,” said Follett. “Those three

discussions to their peers, rather than the professor. While Pollack structured the class and framed the discussion topics, students engaged with each other’s ideas, personal experiences and the assigned readings. Inside and outside students shared their experiences and learned together through dialogue. “A really remarkable thing happens when you bring people together in this collective space and everyone is responsible for what’s happening,” said Pollack. “The result is that you have a really authentic communication in which everyone learns from everyone else. We learn that we can transcend the walls that separate us.” As the course wrapped up at the end of November, students participated in a graduation ceremony — a first for some of the inside students. “I thought that I would be sad and disappointed that it’s over, and I am,” said Follett. “It wasn’t long enough. We were just starting to get to know each other.” This isn’t the end of the program, however. Laurier Social

campus decoder

Work Professor Deena Mandell is currently instructing a second Inside-Out course at GVI for winter term, and there are hopes the program will continue in the future. And this isn’t the end for this group of inaugural Canadian Inside-Out students. After graduation, many groups go on to form “think tanks”, collaborations between inside and outside alumni that meet regularly to work on projects focusing on criminal justice or provide guidance in the development of the Inside-Out program. The first think tank, developed at the Graterford prison, has met inside the prison every Wednesday since 2002. Pollack’s class is excited about what lies ahead. Not only have they formed the first Canadian InsideOut think tank, but it is also the first women’s think tank. While the group hasn’t decided on their first project, Pollack says their goal is to become the think tank centre that will provide training to other Inside-Out prisons in Canada. “I can talk about it now and say how incredible it was, but I don’t think any of us completely understand yet how truly amazing all this is and where it could lead to,” said Follet. “I think we’ll look back years from now and be proud of what we were part of.”

Got a question? Send it to

Marilyn Cooper, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus). Francis Doyle, alumni relations officer, Alumni Relations (Waterloo campus). Lori Kapshey, administrative manager, Residence Services (Waterloo campus). Lori Lougheed, access and transition officer & building bridges coordinator, Learning Services (Waterloo campus). Rui Soares, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus). Mayra Telelz, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus). James Weber, project coordinator, Advancement Services (Waterloo campus).


: How long has the university owned the property where St. Michael’s school used to be (the future site of the GIE), and what has it been used for?

A In her new role as sernior advisor in the newly-established Office of Dispute Resolution & Support, Parkes Burpee will provide advice and support to students, faculty and staff seeking dispute resolution on matters including harassment and discrimination. She will also work closely with departments and services at Laurier to provide proactive education and awareness about these issues as well as conflict resolution. “I look forward to working with Laurier’s students, staff and faculty and continuing to build an equitable, inclusive environment,” said Parkes Burpee.

: In the fall of 2011, purple boards went up across University Avenue and St. Michael’s school came down to make way for the new Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building, scheduled to open in 2014. But when the land was purchased more than 10 years ago, it was not with this project in mind. St. Michael became Laurier’s property in July 2001 after nearly eight years of pursuing the purchase. When St. Michael’s was closed by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, it was offered to the French Catholic School Board, which passed

it over in favour of another property. Laurier was then given the option to buy the land. In 2001, Laurier was already struggling to find room for its growing undergraduate population. St. Michael’s provided much needed classroom space and, starting in May 2003, it also housed a daycare service. The new GIE building will help address Laurier’s continuing space issues. It will house the School of Business & Economics and the Department of Mathematics, providing room for classes as well as faculty offices, and encouraging collaboration among the faculties. The GIE building will transform the St. Michael’s school property into a new and more visible gateway to Laurier’s Waterloo campus. By Vanessa Parks 5




A look at staff and faculty across campus

Name: Ross Fraser Title: Student Affairs Coordinator, Laurier Brantford Where you can find him: Student Centre, Room 219, Brantford campus

Photo: Sandra Muir

Drink of choice: I drink coffee with milk and sugar. I started drinking coffee when I was working a summer job in first year at Ryder trucks. Shifts started at 5 a.m. and went until 4 p.m. At that point I was on tripl-triples and that did not work for me. I’ve scaled back since then.

Ross Fraser can often be found on the ski slopes during the winter, when he’s not managing Brantford’s Student Life Office.

How long have you been at Laurier? I started at Laurier in 2003 as a business student. I took a fifth year and came back in 2007 to be vice-president of marketing for WLUSU. I’ve worked at Laurier since graduation. What made you want to work at Laurier? I can pinpoint it, actually. As part of the student executive for WLUSU, I attended an annual dean’s trip, where we visited a group of universities to do some information gathering, look at best practices and see how to improve our services. That trip was a really fulfilling and interesting experience. Even though we were students, our opinions really mattered. It reaffirmed to me that Laurier is doing an exceptional job when it comes to the student experience, and it opened my

eyes to what was available for me in the area of student affairs. What is your role at Laurier? I manage the Student Life Office at the Brantford campus. We provide student leadership programming and skill development, as well as student diversity education and awareness programs. We also evaluate the student experience. Right now we’re involved in a space review of campus, and planning what student space needs to look like and what needs to change over the next three years. What is your typical workday like? I’m not sure I have a typical workday. Two days ago I was in meetings all day. Yesterday I was connecting with student volunteers. Today I’m driving a delegation of students


heard on Twitter check out what the Laurier community has been tweeting about at Laurier also has official sites on Facebook at and YouTube at www.

@CTVSWO RT @LaurierNews: Laurier and police collaborate on successful emergency exercise #Laurier Jan. 18, 2012 @LaurierNews Renowned pianist plays free concert at #Laurier (via @ WR_Record): yWvo4y Jan. 18, 2012 @CRC_CRC Register now for Congress 2012! May 26 - June 2 @ uwaterloo @LaurierNews @ Jan. 17, 2012 @SustainableWat Congrats to RCI Member @ LaurierNews, recognized for sustainability initiatives by Council of Ontario Universities! Jan. 16, 2012 @downtownbrantfd RT @LaurierNews: Laurier Inspires: Read about Robert Feagan and how he is helping to create community-minded ... Jan. 9, 2012


to the Toronto airport, and tonight we’re making sundaes and building forts in the Student Centre to help give students an exam stress break. It really varies. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to downhill ski. My dad taught me to ski when I was two or three years old, and my family and I go up to Collingwood every weekend in the winter. I’ve also taught skiing to children for the last 13 years. This is the first winter I won’t be teaching. Now I work two or three weekends a month, so teaching would be too difficult to manage. We are also big cottagers. My grandparents built a cottage in the 1960s near Parry Sound and it’s been a nice family retreat.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I played jazz saxophone for a long time. I picked it up as a band instrument in Grade 7, and got into a jazz music stream in high school. By the end of grade 13, we were playing two gigs a week. So it was pretty extensive involvement. I haven’t played in a while, but it is something I want to get back into. I’m also going through a bit of a country music kick right now. What do you like most about your job? From the day I took my tour at the Waterloo campus, the people were the main factor that made me think Laurier would be a good fit. That has remained true since I started working here. By Sandra Muir

For a complete list of events visit

Laurier Continuing Studies: Applications for Part-Time Studies When: Until March 13 Cost: Varies New or non-Laurier students have until March 13 to apply for part-time studies for the spring term. For more information, visit “Reclaiming Indigenous Identity” with Taiaiake Alfred When: Feb. 13 7 p.m. Where: Odeon Theatre, Laurier Brantford Cost: Free Join University of Victoria Professor and Bear Clan Mohawk Taiaiake Alfred for this lecture sponsored by Laurier’s Office of Aboriginal Initiatives. Summer Camp Fair When: Feb. 23 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Where: Science Building Courtyard, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Come out and learn about all the summer camp options available for your children. For more information, contact Rebecca Kieswetter at Pagoda Pads: Opium Den, by Karen Tam When: Feb. 23 – April 2 Where: Robert Langen Art Gallery, Waterloo campus Cost: Free

This exhibition takes viewers on a voyage to examine how cultural stereotypes such as Dragon Ladies, geisha girls, and drug-addicted Asian men continue to be perpetuated in Western society. Using a combination of fake and authentic borrowed objects, the artist challenges views to understand and re-evaluate personal preconceptions. The Business of Film When: Feb. 28 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Where: Empire Theatres, 135 Gateway Park Drive, Kitchener Cost: Free Join alumnus Larry O’Reilly, president, worldwide sales IMAX, alumnus Bruce Morrison, Disney’s senior vice-president of retail sales and marketing, and filmmaker and producer Toni Myers for this special presentation. To register, visit Music at Noon When: March 1 Noon – 1 p.m. Where: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Bring your lunch and enjoy music by Barton Woomert on trumpet and Beth Ann de Sousa on piano. Laurier Brantford Brown Bag Faculty Research Talk When: March 6 Noon – 1 p.m. Where: Laurier Brantford, CB100 Cost: Free Join Stacey Hannem, Debra Langan

and Catherine Stewart from the Criminology Department to discuss “An Interdiciplinary Team Approach to Qualitative Analysis.” Laurier Open House, Waterloo Campus When: March 16 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Where: Waterloo campus Cost: Free Teaching Larger Classes: A Community at Large When: March 16 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Where: Hawk’s Nest, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Join this forum where faculty and educators from multiple diciplines come together to share experi-

ences and lessons learned about how to engage and interact with students in a large class.

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. Visit ocol for more information.

In the media ““There’s a way to blend the objectives of capitalism with spirituality. You can have it all, you can be rich, beautiful, wear high heels and be an authentic person with a meaningful life.” – Siobhan chandler, professor, Religion and culture Department From “Feeling lost? Maybe you need a soul coach,” published in The Globe and Mail on Dec. 1, 2011. The article, by Wendy Leung, discusses the growing approach to spirituality that doesn’t follow any particular dogma or religious tradition and is rather a blend of self-help and holistic wellness. 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

February 2012 Inside research file

Mapping the link between blood sugar and location By Mallory O’Brien Sean Doherty holds up his BlackBerry for display. “Everyone has one of these nowadays,” he says, referring to the proliferation of smartphones in the wireless market. The professor of Geography and Environmental Studies is interested in harnessing the power and ubiquity of smartphones to make the lives of diabetes patients a little easier. Currently, he’s using the technology to research the relationship between a patient’s location and his or her blood glucose level. Diabetes, a group of diseases that cause dangerously high levels of blood glucose (sugar), affects nearly 200 million people around the world. Type 2 Diabetes, especially prevalent in North America, is often associated with lifestyle factors such as sedentary behaviour and poor nutrition. Therefore, management of the disease relies heavily on dietary and lifestyle management in addition to blood glucose monitoring. “However, the day-to-day human–environment interactions and real-life activities that cause an individual’s blood glucose to fluctuate remain relatively unexplored because of data collection challenges,” says Doherty. Traditionally, blood-glucose variation is monitored over time. Glucose levels go up and down depending on the time of day and the daily activities that coincide with it, such as when a patient eats or exercises. Rehab doctors will discuss with patients how to manage their glucose levels by recommending when they eat, exercise and prick their finger to ensure their levels are within a safe range. They also use this

information to make general recommendations for broader populations of diabetes patients. “One of the biggest complaints from the medical field that I read about is getting individual information from people about their daily lifestyle and what they’re doing,” says Doherty. “It’s expensive to get. And it’s difficult for patients to tell rehab doctors ‘this is how much exercise I’m getting.’ It’s difficult for someone to reveal that he or she isn’t walking enough or is eating too much.” Doherty, whose previous research involved using Global Positioning System (GPS) software to analyze the flow of urban traffic, discovered he could explore glucose variation over space in addition to time. But he had to overcome a few obstacles first. Asking patients to record or recall their own data is inconvenient and inaccurate. Asking them to prick their finger every hour or more is not only problematic, but also painful. To overcome those challenges, Doherty designed a collection system using the GPS software on BlackBerries and a blood-glucose monitor that takes readings every five minutes — without the need to prick fingers. During a pilot study of 40 diabetes patients, Doherty, who partnered with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute for the study, used the devices to monitor patients for a 72-hour period. The GPS continually gathered information about a patient’s daily travels while the blood glucose monitor measured the patient’s glucose levels. Doherty also monitored a number of other health-related factors through food diaries and interviews. “Sometimes you have to fill in the gaps when the GPS goes out,” he says. “If I see a patient

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

Sean Doherty uses modern technology to help diabetes patients better manage the disease

Sean Doherty uses BlackBerries and a blood-glucose monitor to study how location affects the blood-sugar level of patients.

go into a building and then see him leave, it’s a safe assumption he stayed in the building, but there’s still a chance he left the GPS in the building and went for a run — and people will do that. Human subjects do funny things sometimes.” Doherty was able to use the information he gathered to provide comprehensive data collection that was largely non-invasive for patients and required little input. He used tailored software to generate blood-glucose maps that could be read by health-care practitioners to better detect lifestyle risks in diabetes patients.

This map shows a patient’s blood glucose levels every five minutes, mapped out over a three-day period. The larger pies show the varying distribution of values at different destinations, especially at the upper left location. The changing values along trips is also noticeable. The data has been carefully modified to protect patient identity.

Analysis of the data revealed that location and distance from home were significantly correlated with blood-glucose variation in patients, although the effect differed greatly. Some patients experienced higherthan-normal levels away from home, while others experienced lowerthan-normal levels. Most subjects had at least two major anchor locations in their lives, combined with a variety of other activity locations at varying distances from home, many associated with distinct low or high blood glucose values. Doherty speculates that a number of factors could cause these effects, including: • Breaks in routine • The kinds of foods patients are eating at specific locations • An increased or decreased level of physical activity at specific locations • Stress from being in or out of the home • Long trips “We know that it is all those factors and we know that food and exercise are still related to bloodglucose levels,” he says. “But the takeaway message is that location matters to your health, as does your distance from home, and we can use this new perspective to improve patient health and care.” In the future, Doherty believes patients and caregivers will benefit from highly individualized monitoring and visualization tools that identify problematic locations in patients’ lives. Health-care practitioners will be able to recommend important times or areas for patients to pay special attention to their blood glucose levels.

He also believes this will ease the strain on Canada’s health-care system. According to the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, the disease cost Canada $11.7 billion in 2010. Eighty per cent of the cost was due to complications, and the number of complications and emergencies that arise from diabetes can be lessened with better monitoring and care. Doherty speculates that drug companies and manufacturers might be interested in new recommendations concerning when patients should check their glucose levels. He is excited about conducting additional studies and providing new recommendations.” “It could be as simple as telling a patient: you’ve taken a long trip so you should consider pricking your finger, or you’re at a location far from home or you’ve broken your routine significantly,” says Doherty. “Maybe one day we can even develop an automated earlywarning system, like your BlackBerry buzzes if it notices you’ve been travelling for a number of hours.” Doherty has also applied his research and technology to other health-care initiatives, including monitoring the elderly so they can live in their homes longer, and monitoring children with disabilities to improve their quality of life. “Diabetes, obesity and our growing elderly population are three of the biggest urban lifestylerelated issues the Canadian health care industry is currently facing,” he says. “They all contribute significantly to costs and wait times in hospitals — the more we can people out of hospitals, the better for everyone.” 7


February 2012

in the classroom

Leveraging social media Instructor: Akbar Saeed Class: MB105 Business in a Networked Society, Laurier Brantford Description: Exploring how traditional operations of business have been affected by the abundance of information. This introductory course to the Business Technology Management program at Laurier Brantford gives students a sense of how business is changing in an increasingly networked society. “Successful organizations understand how to leverage information systems and social media to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace,” says Assistant Professor Akbar Saeed. “Students learn that technology alone is not enough to sustain competitive advantage as it can be easily imitated.” The class explores what business models helped make companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple successful. Most students have daily interactions with these sites, which encourages classroom discussions based on their personal experiences. Saeed also uses a print-ondemand publisher for the class’s textbook, which is kept up-to-date with contemporary examples and materials. By Mallory O’Brien

Assistant Professor Akbar Saeed’s class studies business models such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, which students have daily interactions with.

Photo: Yoong Siang Lee

Laurier hosts renowned calligrapher

Laurier’s Toronto Office hosted a reception and calligraphy demonstration by acclaimed Chinese artist Hongliang Wang, left. Wang presented several pieces of his work to the university and community members.


February 2012 - InsideLaurier  

The February 2012 edition of InsideLaurier

February 2012 - InsideLaurier  

The February 2012 edition of InsideLaurier