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Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

Photo: Mallory O’Brien


Therapy dogs helped alleviate stress on the Waterloo campus and Seminary during exams in December. They will be back in Waterloo for Disability Awareness Week on Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Concourse.

University approves fall study break Pilot project provides students a full week off in fall semester starting in 2014 By Justin Fauteux Starting this fall, Laurier students will get a full week off in two semesters. On Jan. 13, the Wilfrid Laurier University Senate approved the addition of a weeklong break to the fall semester — on top of the existing February reading week — as a three-year pilot project starting in the 2014-15 academic year. The fall reading week will occur over the four days following the Thanksgiving holiday in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The break will apply to all undergraduate and graduate programs unless a program requests an alternate schedule, which would need Senate approval. “Laurier Senate’s decision to pilot a fall reading week indicates a willingness by the university community to rethink our traditional academic schedule in an effort to improve student success,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier vice-president: academic and provost . “To test the effect of the pilot, we will be putting in place mechanisms to assess whether there are positive impacts on student retention and wellness

with the schedule change.” To accommodate a break during the fall semester, classes will start the Thursday after Labour Day, beginning in September 2014. While this means there will be classes during Orientation Week, a compacted orientationprogramming schedule has the support of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and the Student Affairs department. “In my view, this will prove to be a decision that will enhance academic achievement, personal wellness and student success,” said Vice-President: Student Affairs David McMurray. “I think many are looking forward to a more balanced and enriching Orientation Week that will for the first time in Laurier’s history include formal class time.” McMurray believes “an intentionally scheduled study period will complement the right kind of time management skills students need to master to balance academic responsibilities with meaningful extracurricular endeavours.” In 2014, the break will have no impact on the fall semester exam

schedule. The university will schedule exams on Sundays in 2015 and 2016 to accommodate Labour Day falling later in the month in those years. A proposal to create a fall reading week at Laurier was first brought forth in the fall of 2011. The idea was raised again by students in 2013 and a proposal to add a break to the fall semester was approved in principle at the Nov. 26 Senate meeting. The university then considered three options for implementing the new break: two that would have added a two-day break and the weeklong option that was approved last month. “This decision signifies a huge step forward in Laurier’s commitment to addressing the mental health and academic challenges facing students today,” said Chris Walker, one of eight students on Senate. “The pressure of academic and social stress significantly inhibits student success. Students are really looking forward to the fall study break to catch up on readings, work on assignments,

or simply get some much needed rest and relaxation with family and friends.” Laurier joins a growing list of 11 other Ontario universities with a study break in the both the fall

and winter semesters. A Senate sub-committee will evaluate the success of this three-year pilot project to investigate whether or not Laurier will adopt a fall reading week on a long-term basis.

ParticipACTION president to speak at OWL awards By Jamie Howieson Kelly Murumets, a Laurier alumna and president and CEO of ParticipACTION, will deliver the keynote address at the Outstanding Women of Laurier (OWL) event March 26 at 11 a.m. at the Waterloo Inn and Conference Centre. Murumets (MSW ’96) was instrumental in the relaunch of ParticipACTION, Canada’s voice of physical activity and sport participation, in 2007 thanks to her dynamic leadership. She was honoured in 2011 as one of Laurier’s 100 Alumni of Achievement and currently serves

on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Laurier School of Business & Economics. “Kelly is an influential role model for young women today and has been a strong representative of Laurier since she graduated from the institution,” said Peter Baxter, director of athletics and recreation at Laurier. “We could not think of a better keynote speaker to share their message of success with today’s exceptional female student leaders currently attending the university.” OWL awards see page 2




Popular RinkWatch project collects climate-change data for second season.

Meet Nicholas Dinka, Library communications officer, author and outdoor enthusiast.

Laurier’s LaunchPad program helps students create successful startups.



president’s message

Universities face demanding times These are busy and demanding times for Laurier, as they are for universities across Ontario. Our institution is currently engaged in a number of significant initiatives: Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM), the Strategic Management Agreement (SMA) process, a potential new campus in Milton, and several major building projects, including the new business and mathematics building in Waterloo, and the Laurier-YMCA athletic and recreation facility in Brantford. In addition, we are wrestling

with a number of complex financial issues, including pension challenges and provincially regulated funding constraints. This high level of activity at Laurier and within the university sector is undoubtedly disconcerting to many; but it is also important to see the opportunities that come with change. We can take heart knowing that for the past few years Laurier has been strategically preparing for many of the changes now before us. On the financial front, Laurier has always taken a prudent

Laurier President Max Blouw with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, centre, and Council of Ontario Universities president Bonnie Patterson at a reception following University Day, which brings together university leaders and decisionmakers at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

OWL awards continued Murumets is a passionate leader who has a history of effecting change in organizations. Prior to joining ParticipACTION, she was president of a publicly traded U.S. telecommunications company that she turned around from losing $1 million a month to a thriving business ranked seventh in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program. Murumets is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and has advised leaders from Canada, the United States, South America and Europe on how to develop focused strategies and realize results within their organizations. Murumets has been named to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity’s Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity list four times, named an Amazing Advocate

by More magazine in its Top 40 Over 40 list, and one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by Women’s Executive Network. In 2013, Murumets received the

approach to managing its budgets while doing all we can to strengthen the quality of the education we provide. Financial forecasts suggest a need to trim spending in each of the next three years. Rather than implement severe measures this year, the university has chosen a moderate approach to cost reduction, allowing time for the collegial IPRM process to do its work — that is, to identify the institution’s academic and administrative priorities, and determine how to operationalize and fund these priorities in order to position Laurier for future success. We expect recommendations to emerge from IPRM later this year that will set Laurier on a strong footing going forward. With regard to pensions, the Laurier community has been a leader in working collegially to find ways to address these challenges. This goodwill remains evident as the university and its employee groups continue to work together and with the broader PSE sector to discuss issues and explore strategies for sustainability. On the SMA front, this provincially initiated process is intended to encourage universities to bring more focus and rigour (i.e. to

prioritize) how they wish to develop within Ontario’s university system. Laurier has been aided in this process by a number of strategic initiatives such as the Envisioning Laurier process, the Academic Plan, the Campus Master Plans, MultiCampus Governance, Integrated and Engaged Learning, and the new Strategic Research Plan, as well as the quality of our initial SMA submission in the fall of 2012. Finally, let me address Laurier’s proposal for a campus in Milton. In December, the province issued its long-awaited Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework, which invites universities and colleges to submit expressions of interest in projects that would expand PSE capacity in communities that are currently underserved. As you know, Laurier has been working with the Town of Milton and a number of partners since early 2008 to bring post-secondary education to this fast-growing community. As our Brantford experience has shown, the multicampus model enables Laurier to increase enrolment and add new programs while preserving the intimate sense of community that has been a key part of our success

for more than a century. Our Brantford experience also shows that opening a campus in another community attracts new sources of funding and new partnerships. These benefit the whole university in the form of new programs, more choice for students, more partnership opportunities, expanded research capabilities and related synergies. It is important to stress that any provincial funding for a campus in Milton would be targeted specifically at access issues in the GTA, and therefore would not be available for other purposes, including Laurier’s other campuses. Yes, these are demanding times. But if there is one theme that runs through Laurier’s long history it is the wonderful capacity and willingness of our community to come together in difficult times to find opportunities within challenges and to emerge a stronger and more innovative university. My thanks to all who make this so.

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Murumets brings her passion for sport and physical activity to her personal pursuits. In her

down time, she enjoys skiing and scuba diving, and has summited Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Rainier. The OWL luncheon will be hosted again by Laurier alumna Daiene Vernile (BA ’85), anchor and producer of Provincewide, the CTV current affairs program. Since 2006, the OWL event has raised more than $240,000

for women’s athletic programs, scholarships and mentoring programs. For more information about the OWL luncheon, or to purchase tickets online, please visit owl. To read a full story on Kelly Murumets in Laurier’s alumni magazine, Campus, visit

Send us your news, events & stories Email: Deadline for submissions: Feb. 14, 2014

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

InsideLaurier Volume 8, Number 5, February 2014 Editor: Stacey Morrison Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Lori Chalmers Morrison, Kevin Crowley, Nicholas Dinka, Justin Fauteux, Alex Hayter, Jamie Howieson, Kevin Klein, Lisa Malleck, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien


Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor

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. Printed on recycled paper Available online at


Next issue of Inside March 2014


What’s new and notable at Laurier

Nominations open for Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence Teaching Support Services is accepting nominations from the Laurier community for the Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence. The award recognizes the outstanding achievement of one undergraduate and one graduate teaching/instructional assistant at Laurier. Recipients will receive a $500 scholarship, a spot in the university’s Teaching Hall of Fame and a framed certificate at convocation, at which time a citation will be read. Nominations are due March 1, 2014. For eligibility requirements and further information visit www.wlu. ca/edev/awards and choose Institutional Awards from the left-hand menu.

Jane Newland receives Residence Academic Partnership Award Jane Newland, assistant professor of French, has received Laurier’s Residence Academic Partnership award. The award recognizes faculty members who support academic initiatives within the university’s residences, and is bestowed to one faculty member each term. This is the first year Newland has been involved with the new Maison Française Residence Learning Community (RLC), one of Laurier’s themed residence environments designed to extend

Jane Newland, centre, receives her award from Residence Academic Initiatives Coordinator Megan Lott, left, and student Ashna Haji.

opportunities for learning and development into residence buildings. Newland often spends evenings with students in La Maison Française, organizing academic activities such as exam review sessions and a reading club, as well as cultural events such as making a traditional Galette des Rois, and game and cinema nights (in French, of course). “It was a truly lovely surprise to be awarded,” said Newland. “I’m glad the students have enjoyed the activities we’ve been doing with them. I think anything we can do to ease the transition between high school and university is a positive thing.”

Laurier earns silver rating for sustainability efforts Laurier’s efforts to create green, environmentally friendly campuses have earned the university a silver rating from the internationally recog-

nized Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Laurier first completed a STARS assessment three years ago, receiving a bronze rating. To earn a silver rating, Laurier made large improvements in the areas of “Air & Climate,” “Buildings” and “Coordination, Planning & Governance.” Laurier improved energy conservation by tracking greenhouse gas emissions through recently installed submeters and an energy management system. Residence buildings on Laurier’s Waterloo campus held energy-conservation competitions using the submeters and an online dashboard. Laurier also has two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver-certified buildings on its Brantford campus, and the university’s building standards state all newly constructed buildings must follow LEED silver guidelines.

Laurier welcomes Visiting Writer Elizabeth Hay Laurier will welcome Visiting Writer Elizabeth Hay to its Waterloo and Brantford campuses March 17 to 21. Hay is an award-winning Canadian author. Her book Late Nights on Air, set in and around a small radio station in Yellowknife in the Canadian north of the 1970s, won the 2007 Scotiabank

Giller Prize, among other awards. She also won Laurier’s 1993 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, for her book The Only Snow in Havana. In 2002 the Writers’ Trust of Canada presented her with the Marian Engel Award for her body of work, which includes novels, short stories and creative non-fiction. During her time at Laurier, Hay will lead a workshop in creative writing for students and members of the Laurier community, and give lectures at the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. She will also join a panel discussion with 2014 Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence Colleen Murphy and meet with members of the Laurier Reads Elizabeth Hay group, which is meeting three times during the winter term to discuss Late Nights on Air. A complete schedule of Hay’s appearances is available at www.

SBE students win competition for fifth consecutive year For the fifth year in a row, Laurier’s School of Business & Economics students took home the coveted Jeux du Commerce Central (JDCC) School of the Year title and the prized Academic

Cup. The competition was held in January at the University of Guelph. JDCC includes more than 600 delegates from 15 universities in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. Students compete in academic and social competitions, debate and sports. The academic competition includes eight cases: accounting, business strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, international business, marketing, and management of information systems. A team of three delegates are given three hours to solve each business case and build a presentation of their recommendations with limited resources and no connection to the Internet or outside world. Industry experts judge the competitors on the feasibility and value of their proposal.

Curling and swimming wins for Laurier The women’s varsity curling team finished in first place at the Brock Invitational in St. Catharines last month. In total, the team outscored their opponents 39-9 over the two-day tournament. Next up for the team is the OUA Championship later this month. In swimming, Laurier hosted its annual invitational meet in January, with the Golden Hawks winning five gold medals, among others. The team will compete at the OUA Championship at Brock University in early February.

RinkWatch collects climate-change data for second year More than 250 participants are recording skating conditions on backyard rinks Now in its second season, RinkWatch, a popular project started by Laurier researchers, is expanding its 1,000-member roster of backyard-rink-making citizen scientists and continuing to gather valuable climate-change data. Launched in January 2013 by Associate Professor Robert McLeman, Assistant Professor Colin Robertson and graduate student Haydn Lawrence from Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, asks people to help track winter climate trends by recording skating conditions on their backyard or neighbourhood rinks. By the end of last winter’s short, unpredictable skating season, more than 1,000 people from across Canada and the U.S. were sharing their skating conditions, as well as their photos, stories and rink-making tips. The project also garnered media attention from across North America. The researchers were overwhelmed by the success of RinkWatch’s first season. “When we launched, we thought it would be great if we got 50, maybe 100 rinks registered by the end of winter,” said McLeman. “We had that many users in the first week. We even heard from a rink

maker in Norway.” The team compared skating rink data from the first season of RinkWatch to meteorological data from Environment Canada and were encouraged by the results. “We found that data from skating rinks corresponds well with data from nearby weather stations,” said McLeman. “This is important, because it shows that rinks are useful indicators of fluctuations in winter temperatures, and there are a lot more skating rinks than there are weather stations.” Now in the project’s second winter, the researchers hope to establish an international network of “RinkWatchers” sharing data year after year to monitor the effects of climate change on northern winters. In addition to gathering data, RinkWatch has made climate change a more relatable topic. “Outdoor skating is part of the cultural fabric of northern peoples. It’s our history; it’s who we are,” said McLeman. “When we asked for the public’s help in tracking how climate trends are affecting skating rinks, it was clear from the response how passionately people felt about it.” That passion has continued to show through. Although the first official day of winter was Dec. 21, reports from RinkWatchers were coming in as early as November.

Anyone who skates on an promoting RinkWatch this The first rink to report skating outdoor rink can become winter. The new sport marketing data for 2013-14 was in Kempta RinkWatcher by visiting initiative encourages families to be ville, Ont., (about 60 km south, pinning the active together through play and of Ottawa) on Nov. 25; a few location of their rink on an online participate in outdoor activities days later, a rink in Marquette, map and returning to the website like skating. The team at Canadian Michigan, became the first regularly to record skating condiTire’s digital development lab American rink to start reporting. tions on their rink. The results are is helping RinkWatch add new This winter, more than 250 pooled with reports from other interactive features to its website, participants are actively recording RinkWatchers to track winter as well as develop a mobile app. their rinks’ conditions. weather conditions, which users Meanwhile, Esri Canada, a leader The project has also once again can explore via the online map. in web-based mapping technology generated considerable media RinkWatchers can also share and Geographic Information attention, being featured on CBC photos of their rinks, exchange Systems, is helping to implement radio affiliates across the country, an improved online map. The team rink-making tips and chat in user and XM satellite radio, as well forums. hopes to make RinkWatch the as on news programs, including For more information on go-to destination for the backyardGlobal TV Lethbridge and CTV’s rink-making community. Provincewide. The project has also RinkWatch visit been featured in print media, including the Calgary Herald, the Ottawa Citizen and the Waterloo Region Record. The project even made the front page of the Montreal Gazette on Dec. 19. RinkWatch has also been highlighted by French media, including La Presse, Le Soleil and CBC Radio-Canada programs Les Annees Lumiere and Culture Physiqu avec Robert Frosi. As part of its “We All Play for Canada” campaign, Canadian (l-r) Robert McLeman, Colin Robertson and Haydn Lawrence are expanding their popular RinkWatch project, now in its second season. Tire is actively

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

By Justin Fauteux




Laurier selects creative strategy firm mStoner to develop new website Building process will consist of three stages, led by core web team By Mallory O’Brien Following a request for proposal review process, Wilfrid Laurier University has selected mStoner to design the public face of the university’s new website. mStoner is a web strategy and design firm that works exclusively in the postsecondary sector. The firm will complete a full website redesign using Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server as the content management system (CMS), to be rolled out in stages beginning in mid-to-late fall 2014. mStoner assisted Laurier with the first phase of the university’s website renewal process, which began in late 2012. This research phase, during which widespread consultation occurred with members of the Laurier community, informed the development of a web strategy. Laurier then established CMS

requirements based on the web strategy document. After reviewing proposals from a number of companies, Laurier selected Hannon Hill Cascade Server as the CMS of choice. The CMS is the framework of the website and the system that administrators will use to upload content. Laurier’s Department of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing (CPAM) has also hired a new web manager, Heidi Maissan, to oversee the design, implementation and management of the new website. Prior to her role at Laurier, Maissan was the manager for digital strategy at Manulife Financial, where she worked collaboratively with marketing and IT to manage a number of complex consumer and advisor websites. Maissan has also worked in a variety of roles with a digital communications focus, and

has experience with responsive mobile websites and apps. “The website is an integral part of telling the Laurier story, and it’s how the university makes its first impression,” said Maissan. “We are very excited to develop a new website that not only features the latest in design and functionality, but that also reflects the university’s visual identity and culture.” Maissan joins a core website team that includes Andres Diaz, senior project lead; Nela Petkovic, director, ICT projects and process management; Tom Buckley, assistant vice-president: academic services; Helen Exley, associate director: marketing and creative services; and Kevin Crowley, acting assistant vice-president: CPAM. Three additional web-focused positions in CPAM have been approved and will be filled in the coming months. Information

Technology Services (ITS) will be hiring a web developer, as well as CMS and portal administrators. The core web team will work with mStoner and team members from ITS and CPAM to build Laurier’s new website. The building process consists of three phases: 1. Strategy Phase (Winter-Spring 2014): Components of this phase include planning the site’s navigation, marketing and communications strategy, and governance structure. 2. Creative Phase (WinterSummer 2014): Components of the creative phase include designing web page concepts and prototypes, creating a suite of web page templates, auditing the current website’s content and developing new content. 3. Implementation Phase (Summer-Fall 2014): Compo-

nents of this phase include building and implementing the design of the new CMS using Cascade Server, creating and uploading content, and usability testing. Working with the core web team, departments and faculties will be asked to create an inventory and evaluate existing content as well as determine what additional content needs to be generated for the implementation phase. Due to the immense amount of data that will need to be created and added to the new CMS, the implementation phase will occur in stages. The web steering committee, which has been involved in each phase of the project to date, will continue to liaise with and represent each faculty and department as the project proceeds. Stay tuned to webreview for news and updates.

IPRM researches budgeting processes By Lori Chalmers Morrison While the Academic and Administrative Priorities teams evaluate the first group of IPRM program templates, the Resource Management Team (RMT) is busy interviewing key internal stakeholders to gain input about resource management at Laurier. “We want to understand how people across the university interact with our current budget system, how it supports their decisionmaking, and what they feel are the advantages and disadvantages of the system,” said Joanne McKee, assistant vice-president: financial resources and RMT co-chair. “Beyond that, we want to get a sense of what features people feel are essential to include in a future Laurier budget model — ­ from the outcomes it should encourage to how it should align institutional priorities with funding.” The interviews are part of the resource management

process — one of the two main components of IPRM — which will ultimately identify potential resource management models and recommend the most appropriate model for the university. “Laurier uses the historicalbased budgeting model, which was developed when we were a much smaller institution, and it was right for the time,” said Ruth Cruickshank, associate MBA director, associate professor and RMT co-chair. “But we’ve evolved in significant ways, and our budget model needs to evolve along with us. We’re working to recommend and develop a model that incorporates what is unique about Laurier, while freeing us from our past constraints.” As part of their research, RMT committee members reviewed six other universities from across Canada and into the United States to gain a detailed understanding of their process as they moved from historical-based budgeting models

to resource-centred or activitycentred models modified to suit their institutions. The RMT process is being completed in tandem with IPRM’s prioritization process. The resource management team is committed to communicating and inviting input throughout the process. “We recognize that not everyone is directly involved in budgeting or even familiar with the university’s process, but it is something that has a direct impact on everyone at Laurier,” says Cruikshank. “We’ve added information to the IPRM website to make the budgeting terms and models and the RMT process understandable, and we encourage all members of the Laurier community to provide their input and ask questions.” For further information about the RMT process or to provide feedback on Laurier’s budgeting model, please visit IPRM or email

Laurier’s Teaching Award winners recognized

Name: Rhiannon Myers Job Title: Writing and Learning Consultant, Brantford campus Book Title: The Snow Child Author: Eowyn Ivey This modern retelling of the Russian folk tale follows homesteaders Jack and Mabel, a childless couple who have retreated to 1920s Alaska to establish a new life. They build a child out of snow one evening, absorbed in the season’s first snowfall. In the morning, they discover the snow child has vanished, but encounter a mysterious girl living alone in the woods. Ivey shares the beauty, isolation and savageness of the snowbound Alaskan wilderness, and the story is beautifully told, evoking the timeless quality of fairy tales.

What are you listening to?

Photo: Lisa Malleck

Name: Justin Ogilvie Job Title: Designer, CPAM Album: Waking Season Artist: Caspian

A reception to honour the recipients of the 2013 Laurier Teaching Awards was held in January on the Waterloo campus. A full list of award winners can be found at


Caspian is a post-rock instrumental band from Massachusetts with a sound similar to bands like Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós. Waking Season (2012) is a melodic odyssey from beginning to end. It keeps things moving with buildups, quiet bridges and heavy crashes, while blending in overtones, feedback and other sounds that seem almost beyond what a guitar could produce. Every track rolls seamlessly into the next and it’s a record that’s difficult to grow tired of.

FEBRUARY 2014 Inside

Laurier alumni expand climate change initiative Climate change may be a global issue, but local solutions can offer hope. That was the idea that drove Laurier grads Mike Morrice (BBA/BSc ’08) and Chris DePaul (BBA/BSc ’08) to form Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR), a non-profit organization that converts sustainability interest into action, in 2008. Morrice is now taking that idea to the next level with a new non-profit called Sustainability CoLab, which launched in January. The organization aims to share a local model of climate change action with communities across Ontario. “We’re really excited about the potential for this network to enable large-scale greenhouse gas reductions across Ontario, particularly given how much more support our first cohort of members has than SWR did when it launched the Regional Carbon Initiative five years ago,” said Morrice. “By creating a network of communities all working with businesses to set and achieve carbon reduction goals, we hope to have a significant influence on the way businesses participate in the solution to climate change.” In addition to Morrice, the people at Laurier

CoLab team also includes Laurier alumna Priyanka Lloyd (MBA ’11), who will be the organization’s director of operations. CoLab follows the success of SWR, which was borne out of research projects Morrice and DePaul worked on at Laurier under the guidance of associate professor Barry Colbert. Morrice has served as Sustainable Waterloo Region’s executive director since its inception, while Colbert, who is also the director of Laurier’s P&G Centre for Business and Sustainability, chairs its board of directors. Having committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 per cent per square foot, Laurier is also a Bronze Pledging Partner in the organization’s flagship program, the Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI), which launched in 2009. RCI works with a growing number of organizations across Waterloo Region who have collectively committed to reducing their carbon emissions by 45,000 tonnes over the next 10 years — the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road annually. The more than 60 RCI members represent over 13 per cent of Waterloo Region’s workforce and cover 16 million square feet of commercial, institutional and manufacturing space.

At the CoLab launch event Jan. 16, Durham Sustain Ability, EnviroCentre (Ottawa), Niagara Sustainability Initiative, Sustainable Kingston and Sustainable Waterloo Region were revealed as the first members and communities selected to join the CoLab network. The organization also announced that it has received $385,000 in seed funding from the Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Sun Life Financial and TD Bank Group.

“Since launching the RCI, we’ve been approached by communities across North America and as far away as the Ukraine to share the model. After more than two years of development, we’re thrilled to finally be able to give this the focus it deserves through Sustainability CoLab,” said Morrice. “Our goal is to have eight Ontario communities in the CoLab Network by 2015. We’re incredibly excited by the potential benefit of larger-scale climate change action.”

Mike Morrice introduces Sustainability CoLab at its official launch in Toronto last month. More than 200 people attended the event, which introduced the organization’s staff, board of governors and funding partners.

For a complete list of appointments visit

New appointments:

Research Services (Waterloo campus).

Justin Fauteux, communications and media relations officer, CPAM (Waterloo campus).

Rory O’Toole, bookstore sales assistant, Stedman Community Booktore (Brantford campus).

Victoria Ford, proposal writer and special projects, Development & Alumni Relations (Waterloo campus).

June Perry, manager, stewardship and donor relations, Development (Waterloo campus).

Cindy Gruhl, health and disability management specialist, Human Resources (Waterloo campus). Barbara Habegger, payroll administrator, Human Resources (Waterloo campus). Jenna Hampshire, residence assistant, Residence (Waterloo campus). Srdjan Kokotovic, junior systems analyst-web, ITS (Waterloo campus). Derek Lemieux, international partner relations coordinator, International Recruitment & Admissions (Brantford campus). Heidi Maissan, web manager, CPAM (Waterloo campus).

Julie Mitic, development assistant, Development & Alumni Relations (Waterloo campus). Evelyn Nimmo,
research facilitator (Social Sciences),

In response to interest from over a dozen communities in Ontario alone in replicating the early success seen in Waterloo Region, CoLab will provide the key support services for communities to launch, grow and accelerate their own business-focused, greenhouse gas (GHG) target-setting programs. Rather than franchising the RCI, CoLab will share the core approaches of the model and help each community to locally adapt and innovate around them.

Photo: Alex Hayter

By Justin Fauteux

Scott Pires, senior recruiter, Recruitment & Admissions (Waterloo campus). Adam Rooke,
residence life area coordinator, Residential Services 
(Waterloo campus). Chris Saveria, special constable, Special Constable Services (Brantford campus). David Weber, environmental/ occupational health and safety advisor (Brantford campus).

Katie Johnson,
business process analyst, Recruitment & Admissions 
(Waterloo campus). Dan Robert, associate director, development, Student Affairs and Library, Development (Waterloo campus). Yi Ruan, team lead, ICT infrastructure, ITS (Waterloo campus). Jennifer Schill, filing clerkrecruitment and admissions, Recruitment & Admissions (Waterloo campus). Ian Schwarz, access and transition officer (Building Bridges), Learning Services (Waterloo campus). Roy Vinner,
systems analyst III, ITS 
(Waterloo campus).

Changes in staff appointments:


Richard Brown, information specialist, data entry, Registrar’s Office (Waterloo campus).

Donald Hamilton,
library information technology manager, Library (Waterloo campus). 

Yolanta DiFelice, area manager, custodial services, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus). Larissa Dunstall, faculty relations administrator, Faculty Relations (Waterloo campus). Lisa Favero, manager, employer relations and recruitment, Career Services (Waterloo campus). Jaime Hignel, instructor, LEAF (Brantford campus).

Timothy Hegedus,
associate professor, Seminary (Waterloo campus). Gary Lambert,
treasurer, Financial Resources (Waterloo campus). 
 Bonnie Newsome,
food services associate, Food Services (Waterloo campus). 

Laurier appoints internationalization expert as director of global engagement Laurier has appointed Ben Yang, one of Canada’s premier experts on internationalization and inter-cultural competency development in higher education, to the position of director of global engagement. In this position, Yang will lead the implementation of Laurier’s global engagement strategy, including international student support, Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) programs, academic mobility, international@home and inter-cultural competency development programs. Most recently, Yang served as the executive director of international recruitment and partnerships at Georgian College, where total international student

enrolment nearly doubled under his tenure. He also served as the director of the International Student Centre (ISC) at the University of Toronto. Yang has been an instructor at the International Educator Training Program Summer Institute at Queen’s University for the past decade. Yang has served on the board of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and also served as the chair of the bureau’s Immigration Advisory Committee. He received CBIE’s Internationalization Leadership Award in 2010.

Faculty and staff invited to have “Breakfast with Blouw” Laurier President Max Blouw is again inviting you to have breakfast with him during a final winter event on the Waterloo campus. The informal breakfasts, which proved extremely popular when they were first introduced in 2008, provide an opportunity for you to meet the president and share your thoughts about the university. A light breakfast of muffins, coffee and other refreshments will be served from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Attendance is limited to 8-12 people per breakfast and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The final date for the winter series is for Waterloo, Kitchener and Toronto staff, and will be held March 24 in the Equitable Life Anteroom on the third floor of the Schlegel Centre. To register, fill out the appropriate form at http://bit. ly/1dwsCdd. 5



coffee with a co-worker

A look at staff and faculty across campus

Name: Nicholas Dinka Title: Library Communications Officer Where you can find him: Library, 2nd Floor

Photo: Erin Almeida

Drink of choice: London Fog Tea Latte from the Second Cup

Library communications officer and author Nick Dinka has a passion for writing and enjoying the outdoors.

How long have you been at Laurier? I joined Laurier in November 2010 on contract as the news and editorial officer at CPAM. In the fall of 2012, a new permanent communications position was created in the Library, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to jump on board and help build the Library of the 21st century. What is your typical workday like? After getting my morning tea from Peggy at the Library Second Cup, I check the various communications channels we use, such as Twitter, Facebook and the website to ensure we are providing the most up to date information on the Library. During the day, I meet regularly

with other staff and especially with Gohar Ashoughian, Laurier’s university librarian, to work on the many special projects that come my way. We just launched a new Digital Library and Learning Commons on the Brantford campus, and we’re also beginning a master space planning process for the Waterloo campus Library. Getting the word out about these initiatives has been keeping me quite busy. What do you like to do in your spare time? Currently, I’m enrolled in Laurier’s part-time MBA program, which is taking up a lot of my spare time. I started in the fall of 2012 and hope to be completed by 2015 or so. I’ve always been more of

coming Events

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.

@craignorriscbc – Jan 17 Erratum Addendum: art you can hear. Installed at Robert Langen Art Gallery @LaurierNews. HEAR more at 6:10 on @CBCKW891. #kw @brantunitedway – Jan 16 Looking forward to the @ LaurierNews #Brantford volunteer fair today! @brantunitedway & @GenNextBrant will be there! @CBCKW891 – Jan. 13 If you have a backyard rink -or want to become a RinkWatcher, check out rinkwatch. org ( ) @rmcleman @RinkWatchOrg @LaurierNews @CFifeKW – Jan. 11 Looking forward to pre-budget cmte in #kitwat Monday ( http://t. co/2Fon6o4gYC ) @GKWCC @LaurierNews @CityKitchener @RegionWaterloo #onpoli @MiltonThisWayUp – Jan. 8 TED Fellow Shohini Ghose presents at tonight’s Laurier #MiltonON Lecture Series, 7 p.m. @MiltonArts Centre. @LaurierNews


a bookish, artsy type so I’m a bit of an unlikely MBA candidate, but I’m enjoying pushing myself and learning about business and management — although the math-based courses are a challenge. When I’m not in school, I can often be found spending time outdoors with my wife, Tina, and our cockapoo, Finnigan. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I recently published my first novel, The Silver Age. It’s inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing, and I like to say that it’s the other, admittedly lower budget, Great Gatsby remake to hit the scene in recent months. My version of the story is set in the early 2000s in Toronto, and focuses

on an on-again, off-again relationship between a somewhat awkward magazine photographer and a glamorous lifestyle columnist. It’s fair to say that writing has always been my No. 1 passion. What do you like most about working at the Library? Libraries aren’t just buildings full of books any more — they’re evolving into community hubs that provide all kinds of services: great study and event spaces, access to digital resources, unique archival materials, information consulting, and on and on. There’s a lot happening and it’s an exciting place to be. By Erin Almeida

For a complete list of events visit

Current Repertoire of the Laurier Singers When: Feb. 12, 2014 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where: Milton Centre for the Arts, Milton Cost: Free Re-established in 2006, the Laurier Singers, directed by Lee Willingham from Laurier’s Faculty of Music, is a 24-voice auditioned choir from the Faculty of Music that specializes in repertoire suitable for smaller ensembles. This lecture-demonstration will present the choir singing current repertoire that they are presenting during this academic season. Music at Noon When: Feb. 27, 2014 Noon – 1 p.m. Where: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Enjoy the music of Kathryn Ladano on bass clarinet. Land of Oil and Water/Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change (the Movie) When: Feb. 28 7 p.m. Where: BA201, Bricker Academic Building, Waterloo campus Cost: Free Part of the Laurier free film series, “Tracking Shots: Aboriginal Cinema,” this documentary follows the journey of Warren Cariou, a writer from northern Saskatchewan who learns that

oil companies from Alberta are expanding into his homeland. Waking the Frog: Breaking Our Paralysis on Climate Change When: March 6 6 p.m. Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus Cost: Free This lecture and book signing by author and environmental activist Tom Rand will look at the underlying reasons that keep us from acting with effort and on a scale relevant to the problem of climate change. 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition When: March 7 9 a.m. – noon Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus Cost: Free The 3MT is a research communication competition where Laurier graduate students have only three minutes to explain the significance of their research to a panel of judges. Winners will receive up to $1,000 and represent Laurier at the provincial competition. The Incidence of Screens: An Extension of Human Abilities or a Historic Distraction? When: March 12, 2014 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where: Milton Centre for the Arts, Milton Cost: Free

This lecture by Anthony Cristiano from Laurier’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, aims to provide critical answers to the conundrums posed by contemporary digital media. Does the use of Internet and digital mobile devices enhance or hinder our human abilities and how so? Are the new trends connecting or fragmenting our society? Outstanding Women of Laurier Award Luncheon When: March 26 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel, Waterloo Cost: Varies Join emcee Daiene Vernile, host of CTV’s Provincewide, and keynote speaker, Kelly Murumets, president and CEO of ParticipACTION, as Laurier celebrates its exceptional female studentathletes. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.

FEBRUARY 2014 Inside

Innovative teaching takes many forms at Laurier Faculty across disciplines are implementing new teaching methods to engage students By Justin Fauteux When students come to Stephen MacNeil’s second-year Organic Chemistry class, they have already completed the day’s homework assignment — before MacNeil even delivers the lecture. “If I see the pre-class homework has been done reasonably well, I know that I don’t have to spend as much time on it in class,” said MacNeil. “But if there’s something they’ve struggled with, I’ll give a two- or three-slide introduction, spend five minutes on that concept and then we move into solving problems.” MacNeil, an associate professor in the Faculty of Science, has been using the “flipped classroom” method of teaching since 2011. It’s just one of many ways that Laurier professors are looking beyond traditional teaching methods to better engage students. “[In a traditional lecture] by the time you get to the mid-term and you find out what they’ve learned it’s too late,” said Chris Alcantara, associate professor in the Faculty of Arts. “I think students like the engagement and I think they get a lot more out of it.” Alcantara has flipped his firstyear political science seminar and used aspects of the method in his second-year Canadian politics class. Both Alcantara and MacNeil have received mostly positive

feedback from students, and both report more success engaging students, particularly in larger classes. “The key with flipping the classroom, as with other forms of active learning, is to get students to prepare on their own time so that precious classroom time can be used to develop students’ higher-order thinking skills,” said Pat Rogers, associate vicepresident: teaching and learning. “Steve and Chris are fine examples of how this can be done successfully in different disciplines, and in classes of different sizes with or without the use of technology.” Engaged learning has taken physical form at Laurier through the Active Learning Classroom (ALC). Launched in the fall of 2012, the ALC changed a standard classroom in the Dr. Alvin Woods Building into a space designed to promote innovative teaching. The classroom features five round tables that seat eight students each, and features a dedicated laptop, six projectors and walls lined with projector screens and portable white boards. “Students are not empty vessels, and we as academics are not the sole owners of the truth,” said Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, associate dean of student affairs and special projects in the Faculty of Arts, and associate professor of Spanish. “In the active

learning classroom, instructors and students join in a journey of discovery.” While professors ultimately drive the use of innovative teaching methods, technology is often what enables them. Although projectors and Wi-Fi in classrooms and online course management systems have become commonplace, many professors are using technology in new, exciting ways. In the Faculty of Music, Associate Professor Kimberly Barber uses e-portfolios that allow students to record themselves over the course of their four years of study, offering opportunities for reflection. Meanwhile, mathematics students can brush up on core skills with the help of online modules. Laurier’s recent investment in videoconferencing technology has made it possible for professors to teach students in different cities or even around the world. In the fall of 2012, Robert Ame, an associate professor of Human Rights and Criminology on Laurier’s Brantford campus, taught a course in connection with Ashesi University in Ghana. Ame lectured from the Brantford campus, connecting with students in Ghana and co-teaching with a professor from Ashesi University via videoconference. This winter, Associate Professor

Gavin Brockett is taking on a similar project, simultaneously teaching his second-year Introduction to Muslim Studies course to students at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and at Istanbul Sehir University in Turkey. “With the emphasis on internationalization of our student body, and the costs and obstacles of students going abroad, an alternative is to bring them into direct contact with their peers in another country,” said Brockett. The Turkish students will join Brockett’s class via videoconferencing on Feb. 19, as Laurier’s term started five weeks before Istanbul Sehir’s term. “Laurier’s faculty, across all disciplines, are using an extraordinary suite of best practice teaching and learning pedagogies,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vicepresident: academic and provost. “It is exciting to realize the level of commitment and exceptional quality of innovative teaching that occur across the university.” To further explore the concept of innovative teaching and learning methods, Laurier will host a conference on integrated and engaged learning May 7-9 on the Waterloo campus. Proposals for workshops, information sessions and panel discussions are being accepted until Feb. 23. For more information, visit teachingandlearning/ielc.

Other innovative programs at Laurier Residence Learning Communities First-year students with common academic interests or shared majors or coursework live together in residence. They support each other and have opportunities to network with peers, faculty and staff. Supplementary Instruction Voluntary weekly sessions integrate academic skills instruction and application into course curriculum, while reviewing course concepts in an informal manner. Since its implementation in 2006, the program has supported 159 courses and received 42,005 visits from students. Peer Assisted Skills Sessions (PASS) Used in the Global Studies department, peer mentors facilitate mandatory weekly sessions designed to assist first-year students in their transition to university education. The mentors provide academic advising, career and financial literacy development, and help students develop learning strategies to support their academic success. Brantford Foundations Courses All students at Laurier’s Brantford campus are required to take four courses geared towards developing research and critical thinking skills. These courses, taken in first or second year, are designed to develop academic skills applicable to any discipline. Community Service-Learning Meaningful community service placements, projects and co-curricular opportunities are integrated with classroom instruction and critical reflection. Since 2007, students from 23 different academic departments have added a community service element to their academic pursuits.

Associate Professor Chris Alcantara, left, has started using a flipped classroom. The Active Learning Classroom helps to promote discussion and debate.

research file

Impact of abuse spreads beyond targeted workers Manuela Priesemuth finds abusive supervision jeopardizes team morale and productivity Bosses who bully employees jeopardize the morale and productivity of entire teams, a researcher at Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business and Economics says. “It crushes the motivation to work together,” said Manuela Priesemuth, assistant professor in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management in Laurier’s School of Business & Economics. Working with University of Central Florida colleagues Marshall Schminke, Maureen L. Ambrose and Robert Folger,

Priesemuth spent nearly four years studying the toxic effects of abusive supervision. The research involved almost 900 responses from workers surveyed anonymously among 222 work units, or groups, in Florida. “When I started, I thought that groups would do something to stick together — the commonenemy effect,’’ said Priesemuth. “I didn’t find that.” Instead, the research indicates abusive supervision in the workplace tends to weaken “collective efficacy” — the bonds

teams build for collaboration, motivation and the readiness to help each other. “People are affected by observing (abusive) behaviour,” said Priesemuth. “It happens in front of others and creates whole climates of toxicity. It doesn’t happen in isolation. People share their experiences with co-workers.” Abusive supervision is an important workplace and societal topic, she adds. While some corporate cultures place faith in tough-love supervision, believing it encourages

employees to work harder, “our research shows that it actually destroys entire departments, Manuela Priesemuth work groups, people, and even peoples’ families,” said Priesemuth. A member of the Laurier faculty since July 2012, Priesemuth began the study while working on her doctorate at The University of Central Florida.

Companies need to have trustworthy steps in place to address reports of abusive supervision, she said. Workplace teams with strong collective efficacy, the study points out, do a better job of managing resources because they are better at analytical thinking and problem solving. “Human capital is your greatest asset,” said Priesemuth. “So it’s important to treat employees in a fair manner and try to eliminate any bullying in organizations.” The Academy of Management Journal recently published the study. 7



in the classroom

Launching a successful startup Instructor: Various Class: BU498/610 – Laurier LaunchPad Description: An experiential learning opportunity for students to launch a new venture. Students learn the latest methods in entrepreneurial management to eliminate risk and increase the chances of creating a successful startup.

~By Mallory O’Brien

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

Using a “flipped classroom,” students watch a video lecture and perform a customer discovery experiment ahead of class, and then come prepared to present and discuss their findings. “The pedagogical underpinning of the course is achieved through video lectures, but the learning is done outside the classroom as students interact with their customers,” said Dave Inglis, who is part of a team of instructors and mentors (all Laurier alumni and entrepreneurial experts) who offer feedback to the students. Aside from building their businesses, students act as formal advisors for others in the program. “One of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it — students learn by teaching others the tactics they’ve used,” said Inglis. “Whether they create this business, or another business, or launch a new product at an existing business, they have a proven methodology to systemically eliminate the risk of failing and increase the chance for success, which is something they can use for the rest of their lives.” Laurier’s LaunchPad program promotes collaboration and interaction with other students and potential customers for the course’s budding entrepreneurs.

Brantford campus opens Digital Library New art exhibition space and Learning Commons opens on Brantford campus By Nicholas Dinka Laurier’s Brantford campus moved a step closer to having its own dedicated library with the grand opening of the new Digital Library and Learning Commons (DLLC) in January. The DLLC space hosts library services that improve the student experience and facilitate academic success. It features individual and group study areas, computer work stations, access to a wide range of electronic resources, easy access to academic librarians trained to help students and faculty members with their research, and a service desk. The space is located on the lower level of Grand River Hall at 171 Colborne Street. “We actually have a place to call our own,” said Pavan Preet, a thirdyear Laurier Brantford student who was at the opening. “It’s a quiet place to study and the location is very convenient.” The opening included a ribboncutting ceremony, as well as remarks from Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s vice-president: academic and provost; Brian Rosborough, 8

senior executive officer at the Brantford campus; and Gohar Ashoughian, Laurier’s university librarian. Guests explored the new space, which features a colourful stained glass wall, as well as framed photographs of the Aboriginal artwork that had been painted on the pillars in the space. “This is not the end of the journey, but it’s a very positive step towards a full library commons space on the Brantford campus,” said Ashoughian. “This attractive, modern DLLC space will have a major positive impact on our ability to support teaching and learning and the research endeavours of Laurier students and

faculty on the Brantford campus.” The new DLLC does not contain physical collections, and the Laurier book and other physical materials collection will continue to be housed in their current location at the Brantford Public Library, which Ashoughian thanked for its continued support and partnership. MacLatchy noted the care that went into creating a space suited to a contemporary, integrative approach to academics. “Given that so much of our learning is collaborative now, this is a fantastic space that provides so many different areas and options for students to interact and engage,” she said.

University Librarian Gohar Ashoughian addresses the crowd at the Digital Library and Learning Commons grand opening on the Brantford campus.

By Kevin Klein Art enthusiasts have a new exhibition space to visit with the opening earlier this month of the Yellow Brick Wall (YBW) at Laurier’s Brantford campus at 97 Dalhousie Street. The art advisory committee at Laurier will curate the exhibition space annually. Designed to foster appreciation and enjoyment of Canadian art, the new venue celebrates visual creativity in a space that encourages dialogue, and reflects the diversity and culture in the community. The YBW adds to a growing list of venues in Brantford, including Glenhyrst, The Station and the Brantford Arts Block, which feature the work of visual artists. “We are so incredibly pleased to be able to have an exhibition space like the Yellow Brick Wall right on campus for our students, staff, faculty and the community to enjoy,” said Kathryn Carter, interfaculty associate dean: academic coordination and chair of the art advisory committee. “We have been able to work with local artists and have some terrific pieces all

over campus, and this gives us a dedicated space to showcase art and engage the cultural community on campus.” The first exhibition features local artist Elizabeth Gosse, and her It’s Your City project. The project stemmed from Gosse’s desire to collaborate with the Brantford community in a creative process where individuals of all ages could express something about the city in which they live. It was completed in 2010 during the Find Your Spirit Festival in Harmony Square. “In the world of art, it is imperative for the artist to embody the art with their message, feelings and thoughts,” said Gosse. “Each piece from It’s Your City has been created by citizens expressing their connections to community and to their city.” Gosse uses paint and multimedia to create engaging pieces of work, and believes that art is an extension of who people are and what they are thinking. She is a member and publicity coordinator for the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton. She currently lives in Brantford.

February 2014 InsideLaurier  

The February 2014 issue of Wilfrid Laurier University's InsideLaurier newspaper.

February 2014 InsideLaurier  

The February 2014 issue of Wilfrid Laurier University's InsideLaurier newspaper.