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Photo: Tomasz Adamski

JUNE 2012

Laurier celebrated spring convocation in June with ceremonies on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses and more than 2,500 students graduating. For a full story, see page 3.

Congress 2012 a “true tour de force” The 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences wrapped up June 2 following eight days of stimulating talks, presentations and networking. More than 7,400 academics, students and policy-makers from across Canada and abroad participated in Congress 2012, which was co-hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. Congress is the largest interdisciplinary conference in Canada and the largest academic conference ever hosted in Waterloo. The eight-day event generated approximately $7 million for the local economy, according to the Waterloo Region Tourism Marketing Corp. “This year’s Congress was a true tour de force,” said Graham Carr, president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, organizers of Congress. “We couldn’t have done it without the phenomenal hospitality of Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of


Waterloo, and the people of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, who welcomed Congress delegates for the week.” In addition to hundreds of academic lectures and presentations, Congress included a number of “Big Thinking” public talks featuring the likes of writer Margaret Atwood, Governor General David Johnston and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges. Most of these talks are available for viewing at FedCanada. Nearly five years of planning went into Congress 2012, and hundreds of Laurier staff, faculty and students played a role in its success. “To everyone who contributed to Congress 2012, I extend my heartfelt appreciation,” said Laurier President Max Blouw. “This high-profile event was an opportunity to showcase Laurier to a national audience and together you did an outstanding job!”

New Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science puts Laurier research on a global stage.

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

University welcomed more than 7,400 delegates over eight days

Laurier played host to several President’s Receptions during Congress. For more photos, see page 8.


Meet Clare Hitchens, publicist for WLU Press, mom, volunteer and book lover.


Review the eight days of Congress 2012 in our photo gallery.


JUNE 2012

president’s message

As I conclude my first five-year term at Laurier and look forward to my second, I am filled with a deep admiration for this wonderful, vibrant and distinguished university. At my installation ceremony in October 2007, I said that I have never in my years at various universities enjoyed the ebullient good nature, the energy, the mutual support and the sheer engagement that characterizes Laurier. Five years on, I feel this more deeply than ever. Laurier is a community in the truest sense of the word. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff have an extraordinary attachment to this institution. It is an attachment forged by a shared experience that emphasizes collaboration, inclusiveness, a strong sense of purpose, and a firm belief in the value of combining high academic standards with an equally high degree of personal and social development. I could point to many activities from the past five years that exemplify this unique ethos, but one only has to look at two major events from the past year to see it writ large.

In 2011, this university marked its 100th anniversary. It was an enthusiastic yearlong celebration, the organization of which involved representatives from across the entire Laurier family — staff, faculty, students, alumni and our many friends from the broader community. Our centennial celebrations helped us to bond as a community. They also helped us to articulate and to promote Laurier’s culture, mission and vision to a national audience. Similarly, the lead role played by Laurier in co-hosting the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an excellent example of what we are capable of accomplishing as a university community. Some five years in the making, Congress 2012 was an enormous initiative that involved an extraordinary level of commitment and teamwork on the part of several hundred staff, faculty, students and alumni. More than 7,400 delegates from across Canada and abroad visited our campus and that of our co-host, the University of Waterloo. The feedback we received

from delegates and officials was overwhelmingly positive. Graham Carr, president of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, described Congress 2012 as “a true tour de force.” An event of this size and complexity could not be mounted without a highly motivated, professional and talented team behind it. In that sense, the success of Congress 2012 is an important reflection of the quality and health of Laurier as an organization. We certainly have challenges ahead of us. The global economy continues to struggle, the province is grappling with a significant deficit, and the very nature of post-secondary education continues to evolve at a rapid pace. However, it is important to note that Laurier has taken many steps in recent years to build a strong foundation that will enable us to embrace change and to position the university for success. And additional initiatives are underway, such as the collaborative Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM) process, which will

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

Laurier’s sense of community is a source of strength

From left: Laurier President Max Blouw, honorary degree recipient James Campbell and Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin have fun backstage at convocation.

identify institutional priorities and inform the best approach to managing university resources. As we move forward as a multi-campus institution, I am confident that Laurier will continue to strengthen its reputation as a university committed to teaching and research excellence, an exceptional student experience, and an integrated and engaged approach to learning. I am honoured and privileged

to be a member of the Laurier community, and I look forward to working with all of you to make this remarkable university even better.

Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor

Laurier pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions By Mallory O’Brien Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus and Kitchener location have become pledging partners for Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Carbon Initiative (RCI). As a bronze-level partner, Laurier has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent over the next 10 years. “We believe that our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our operations is the right thing to do, and we are confident that it will have a positive effect on the university and the larger community,” said Laurier President Max Blouw. Laurier is one of four former “observing organizations” of the RCI to convert its membership

to a pledging partner. To reach Laurier’s reduction target, the university recently created its Sustainability Action Plan. The plan outlines initiatives and related milestones for sustainability progress in multiple areas of the university, including education, operations and community partnerships. Emissions reductions will come from, in part: lighting retrofits and controls, improving the efficiency of existing buildings, water harvesting, outreach and awareness through student groups, recycling and organics programs, and real-time energy metering and management systems. “This announcement gets at the heart of what the Regional Carbon Initiative is all about: supporting organizations from all sectors in

our community to make ambitious and realistic greenhouse gas reduction commitments, and, in so doing, positioning them to be more profitable and successful in the low carbon economy,” said Mike Morrice, executive director at Sustainable Waterloo Region and a Laurier alumnus. In 2010, the university collaborated with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union to establish the Laurier Sustainability Office and to hire a full-time sustainability coordinator. The goal of the office is to integrate sustainability into Laurier’s daily operations and culture. The office coordinates sustainable practices within construction, conservation, energy, food, procurement, transportation, waste and water

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

InsideLaurier Volume 6, Number 11, June 2012 Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Kevin Crowley, Nicholas Dinka, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien


through education, operations and community partnerships. Visit for more information. Sustainable Waterloo Region advances the environmental sustainability of organizations across Waterloo Region through collaboration. Sustainable

Waterloo Region’s flagship program is the Regional Carbon Initiative, which facilitates voluntary target-setting and reductions of carbon emissions by organizations across Waterloo Region. More than 40 local organizations are part of the Regional Carbon Initiative.

Send us your news, events & stories Email: Deadline for submissions: August 16 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 September 2012

JUNE 2012 Inside NEWS

What’s new and notable at Laurier

Athletic Complex renovations set to begin in August The Fitness Centre in the Waterloo campus’ Athletic Complex is set to undergo a renovation beginning in August. The $5-million expansion will see the centre almost double in size and include more than $700,000 in new equipment, including fitness machines and lockers. Construction is expected to begin Aug.1, 2012 and is scheduled to be completed by August 2013. Staff, faculty and students will be able to access the facility and its programs for the duration of construction, except during a shut-down next summer that will last for about a month. The plans for the centre include a new second level that will house an expanded cardio area, two new dance studios and a separate area for group events, a larger freeweight area and a new entrance. A new glass facade and venti-

lation system will also improve the building’s environmental footprint.

Laurier wins CCAE awards Laurier has won six awards from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education’s (CCAE) annual Prix D’Excellence program. The Prix D’Excellence awards program recognizes outstanding achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, communications, marketing, development, advancement services, stewardship, student recruitment and overall institutional advancement. Laurier won two gold awards: one for the 100 Alumni of Achievement program in the category of Best Alumni Initiative, and one for the Inspiring Lives advertising campaign in the Best Print Ad or Poster category. Laurier also won one silver

A rendering of the new facade of the Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus.

award for the university’s centennial alumni celebration (Best Alumni Event), and three bronze awards: the centennial Sir Wilfrid Laurier statue campaign (Best Annual Fund Initiative), the 100 Hours for 100 years volunteer program (Best Community Outreach) and the GRADitude graduating class gift program (Best New Idea on a Shoestring). Additionally, Tania John, Laurier’s associate director, Annual Giving, received one of only two CCAE Rising Star Awards for demonstrating success in and commitment to the advancement field. John received a $2,000 Presidents’ Scholarship to support her professional development for the following year.

Toting home a piece of history The Laurier community had the opportunity to own a piece of history with the purchase of a vinyl tote bag created from the centennial banners that adorned the Waterloo and Brantford campuses during the year-long celebration. The banners were cleaned before being cut and stitched together. Each unique bag features white piping, purple handles and a special embroidered LAURIER100 tag. The bags were sold during convocation at both campuses on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $11.95.

Laurier celebrates convocation to the university. This year’s recipients were former MPP and mayor of Waterloo Herb Epp, and former chair of Laurier’s Board of Governors Beverly Harris. In total, 12 convocation ceremonies were held — nine at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and three at the university’s Brantford campus. Honorary degree recipients

Photos: Tomasz Adamski

Wilfrid Laurier University graduated more than 2,500 students and awarded eight honorary degrees during the university’s spring convocation ceremonies in June. As well, Laurier bestowed two Distinguished Governor Award to Joan Fisk and Mary D’Alton, and two Order of Wilfrid Laurier University awards for exemplary service

Students show their joy after graduating at a convocation ceremony on the Waterloo campus.

included author Joseph Boyden; plant biologist Margaret E. McCully; clarinetist James Campbell; poets and authors Dionne Brand and Louise Halfe; researcher Panos Pardalos; automotive executive Ray Tanguay; and former politician Sean Conway. In his opening remarks, Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin reminded students of the sacrifices their parents made to help them get through university. He spoke of his own parents, who worked for 29 years without a vacation to put their nine children through university. He also told the audience a story about three bricklayers, who continued to work during a snowstorm. When asked why they continued to work, the first bricklayer said to put his children through university. The second bricklayer replied that in addition to putting his children through university, he continued to work because he is a consummate professional. The third brick layer said he contnued to work because he is building his cathedral. Chin noted the third bricklayer will have the most fulfillment in life because he is building his own legacy. “Our history tomorrow is a function of our behaviour today,” said Lee-Chin. “What kind of history do you want to write? What kind of reputation do you want to build, because it’s in your hands.”

Laurier on YouTube An inspiring interview with Shohini Ghose, a physics professor and director of Laurier’s new Centre for Women in Science.

Laurier implementing Emergency Notification System Wilfrid Laurier University is in the process of implementing an Emergency Notification System (ENS) that will enable the University to issue a mass warning to individuals within the Laurier community in the event of a serious on-campus emergency. One key feature of the new system is the ability to send an emergency message that will appear on the screens of all computers at Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses and its Kitchener and Toronto locations. To enable this important function, staff from Information Technology Services must install an ENS “client” on all university computers. The ENS client will appear as a small icon in the bottom right hand corner of the desktop screen. Its only function

is to allow the Emergency Notification System to communicate with the computer in the event of a serious emergency. The ENS client will not affect the day-to-day performance of the computer. ITS staff began installing the ENS client on all university computers June 1 and will continue this work over the summer. The installation takes approximately 10 minutes per computer. All faculty and staff are asked to make their university computers available to ITS staff for the short time that it will take to install the client. Other aspects of the Emergency Notification System, including a text-messaging capability, will be introduced starting in September 2012.

Academic Council on the United Nations System stays at Laurier By Nicholas Dinka Wilfrid Laurier University has won its bid to remain home to the prestigious Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) for an unprecedented third five-year term. In conjunction with the start of its new term, ACUNS is in the process of relocating to larger offices at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. The Balsillie School is located at the CIGI campus, a hub of international scholarship located in Uptown Waterloo. “Laurier’s success with ACUNS proves that a relatively small university with strong international programs can have a global influence,” said Alistair Edgar, executive director of ACUNS. Previous hosts of ACUNS include Dartmouth, Brown and Yale universities in the United States. Laurier’s first term as the organization’s host began in 2003, when ACUNS relocated from Yale. It was the first time in 15 years that the council was hosted outside the U.S. “We’ve had quite an impact on the growth of international studies in Waterloo Region,” Edgar said. He also noted that the organization has also been a boon to Laurier, through its participation in the Global Studies program, for example, and in bringing influential

visiting scholars to the university. ACUNS publishes an awardwinning quarterly journal and newsletter, maintains a global network of liaison offices, and hosts international conferences and meetings on the UN and on international issues. The council works closely with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent think tank on global issues, which is also headquartered at the CIGI campus. “The CIGI campus is a hub for international studies, with superb scholars, several of whom are ACUNS members, and a steady flow of high-profile visitors,” said Edgar. “This puts us in front of them.” ACUNS’ membership of about 700 comes from some 50 countries and includes leading international institutions, scholars and diplomats. The organization’s mandate is to promote excellent in research, writing and teaching about the UN, international organizations, international law and the functioning of multilateralism. The announcement of Laurier’s third term coincided with ACUNS’ 25th anniversary. “The fact that we’ve existed for 25 years as a council says something,” said Edgar. “We have stronger momentum now than in the past, and over the course of our next five-year term we’ll be able to do even more.” 3


JUNE 2012

Senate approves new Centre for Women in Science

Special constable wins community award By Stacey Morrison

By Mallory O’Brien The Senate of Wilfrid Laurier University has approved the establishment of a Centre for Women in Science at the university. “The sciences aren’t attracting as many female students as they should, even after all this time, both in North America and around the world,” said Abby Goodrum, Laurier’s vice-president: research. “This new centre will help us to better understand the reasons for the gender disparity in the sciences and to promote and support the scientific careers of female researchers.” The centre’s mission is to build a strong community for women in science as well as the mathematical social sciences through research, action and communication. It will provide grants to female scientists and to scholars studying the

role of women in the sciences. In addition, it will organize seminars, workshops and conferences, develop partnerships with other educational institutions and with industry, facilitate networking and mentoring opportunities for female scientists, and support community outreach to female youth considering careers in science. “Laurier is a university that puts a premium on community, and on doing good work not just in the classroom but outside it as well,” said Shohini Ghose, a professor in the Physics & Computer Science Department, who is spearheading the centre. “The idea of a centre that can help to build the community of female scientists goes together very well with that. It’s a natural fit.” In 2008, female students in natural sciences and engineering made up less than 15 per cent of

undergraduates in Canada. A recent study published in the journal Science estimated that it could take another 100 years before women hold 50 per cent of university faculty positions in science and engineering in the United States. “It’s a complex problem that’s in part related to women’s perceptions of identity — which can be influenced by the community, the highschool classroom and many other factors,” said Ghose. “What we can do is work to create an environment that is supportive of real choices.” To date, about 17 female academics from Laurier and nearby institutions have signed on as members of the centre. Its first activities, including grants to researchers, are scheduled to begin in the early fall. “We have momentum, interest and an ideal location,” said Ghose. “Now it’s time to get to work.

University works to determine strategic priorities Laurier’s yearlong Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM) initiative — which will ultimately identify the future strategic priorities of the university and determine how to operationalize and fund these priorities — is progressing through the summer months. The initiative began with workshops in April where a crosssection of the Laurier community engaged in candid discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the institution. Workshops will continue in late June and September. Beginning in the fall, there will be opportunities for all Laurier staff, faculty, students and alumni to provide their thoughts on the priorities and future direction of the university. “The IPRM is a historic initiative that will position Laurier very strongly for future success,” said Max Blouw, Laurier president and vice-chancellor. “I strongly encourage everyone to make their

voices heard.” A Planning Task Force, which oversees a Resource Management Team, Academic Priorities Team and Administrative Priorities Team, will drive the IPRM’s prioritization and resource-management processes. All teams will be made up of members who represent a broad cross-section of the Laurier community, and each team will seek input from all members of the university community. Key academic and non-academic priorities will be determined to position Laurier for future success, and lead to identification and choices about activities that do not support the university’s priorities. A budget model and resourceallocation process will also be developed to directly support these priorities. “It is important to note that IPRM is not an across-the-board cost-cutting exercise, though it will likely result in resource realignment,” said Jim Butler, vice-

president: finance and administration. “If we had $50 million in surplus, we would still do this; it’s about asking ourselves, ‘What do we want to be when we grow up?’ and making sure we distribute resources accordingly.” The IPRM will build on the foundations developed through the Envisioning Laurier exercise, the Academic Plan and the Campus Master Plan. “It is important to us that the process is truly inclusive and involves all members of the Laurier community to create strategies and priorities from the bottom up, rather than imposed top-down,” said Blouw. “There is a collective responsibility for Laurier’s future success, and the outcome of the process will be directly dependent on input from the Laurier community.” An IPRM website with updates and information about how to provide input will be live by the end of June.

In the media “Some people thought (former International Olympic Committee boss) Juan Antonio Samaranch walked on water. His critics, and there are many, rail against the commercialism he introduced to the Games and because pro athletes are now included.” ~ Stephen Wenn, professor, Kinesiology and Physical Education From “Book by Laurier prof looks at Salt Lake Olympic bid scandel,” published in The Waterloo Region Record on May 27, 2012. The article, by Christine Rivet, discusses Wenn’s new book Tarnished Rings: The International Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City Bid Scandel. 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


Every year, several bicycles are abandoned on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Rather than taking them to the landfill, Sergeant Rick Cousineau of Laurier’s Special Constable Service saw an opportunity to help children in need. Three years ago Cousineau started a bicycle-recycling program at the university. In partnership with Elmira District High School and the Community Action Program for Children of Waterloo Region, discarded bicycles on campus are delivered to the high school where students repair them. The bicycles are then distributed to local children. Cousineau has been awarded a

Community Involvement Award for his initiative by the Optimist Clubs of Waterloo Region. He received his award at the Clubs’ annual Respect for Law dinner last month. “Not only is this program environmentally friendly, but it is a great way to assist children in the community,” said Rod Curran, director of Laurier’s Special Constable Service. “This is a great initiative and allows our service to reach out and work with other community organizations. Rick has done an amazing job developing this program.” To date, 70 bicycles have been donated to Elmira District High School. Students were able to repair 28, which have been distributed to children in the community.

Sergeant Rick Cousineau, right, with Elmira District High School teacher Jeff Martin, left, and students display some of the donated bicycles they are repairing.

Name: Barry Ries Job Title: Research Facilitator, Office of Research Services Book Title: The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-1945 Author: Ian Kershaw Ian Kershaw is a British historian best known for his definitive two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler. He has always been interested in the opinions and motivations of ordinary people living in extraordinary times, and that interest infuses his latest book. More than 400 pages, Kershaw looks at the Third Reich over its last 10 months (from the attempt on Hitler’s life in July 1944 to the end) with a clinician’s eye, examining the collapse of Germany’s industry, military and civil society.

What are you listening to? Name: Tara Velanoff Job Title: Manager, Retail, Printing and Distribution Services, Brantford campus App: BBM Music for BlackBerry My sister recently introduced me to this new app. The great thing about it is that you can share your music with your BBM contacts who have also downloaded the app. I love to listen to many different genres of music, both old and new. Currently I am enjoying songs by Adele, Gotye, Muse, Young the Giant, She & Him and Foster the People, plus and some great Canadian musicians.

JUNE 2012 Inside

New centre marks Laurier’s expertise in water science Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science will produce research with global implications Laurier is putting an exclamation point on its commitment to water science with the construction of a $6.2-million building on the university’s Waterloo campus. The new Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science facility, slated to open by early 2013, will house two key research groups within the university: the Cold Regions Research Centre (CRRC) and the Institute for Water Science (IWS). “Laurier has a longstanding reputation as a leader in water research,” said Abby Goodrum, Laurier’s vice-president: research. “Water is a critical challenge for the world in the coming decades, both in terms of quality and quantity. This new centre helps underscore the university’s status as a leader in this key area.” The new building is being constructed as a result of two major water-related projects at the university. The first is the Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research, or CALIBER, which has a significant component of water research across Canada’s north. The project, with roots in a 2008 proposal to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), is jointly funded

people at Laurier

by the CFI grant and the provincial government of the Northwest Territories. The second is the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC), which looks at the impact of urbanization on the water supply. It is a major collaboration between Laurier, six other universities, and

research right across Canada, and the Centre was born out of that need,” said Richard Petrone, director of the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science. The 14,000-square-foot, two-storey building will be mainly devoted to lab space, and will also have space for graduate students

The new Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science will house lab and meeting space for Laurier researchers studying water-related topics affecting Canada and the world.

various public and private sector partners. The project received $19.5 million in funding from FedDev Ontario and another $20 million from industry partner IBM. “We had to find a space to house these major projects and collaborations, which encompass water

and for meetings. Researchers from a range of disciplines, including hydrology, biology, climatology and others, will work and meet there to tackle a wide range of waterrelated research topics. Those topics include the way in which water cycles through various

For a complete list of appointments visit

New appointments: T.K. Azaglo, senior recuiter (international), Recruitment & Admissions (Waterloo campus). Lindsay Buckingham-Rivard, research assistant, Faculty of Science. Beth Dela Rosa, events and support specialist, Office of the Vice-President (Brantford campus). Karlee Demeester, senior recruiter, Recruitment and Admissions (Waterloo campus). Katherine Elliot, senior recruiter, Recruitment and Admissions (Waterloo campus). Carolyn Ferguson, donor relations assistant, Advancement Services (Waterloo campus). Miriam Fine, communication and programming coordinator, WLUGSA (Waterloo campus). Chrisy Kram, conference assistant, SBE (Waterloo campus). Matthew Mikitka, applications developer, Library (Waterloo campus). Roy Vinner, system analyst, Enterprise Solutions (Waterloo campus).

Changes in staff appointments: Sandra Castellanos, senior admin III, Sociology (Waterloo campus).

Yolanta DiFelice, area manager, custodial, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus).

Darren Thomas, Indiginous Studies liaison officer, Dean’s Office (Laurier Brantford).

Amanda Hansford, financial analyst, Business Office (Waterloo campus).

Maite Vega Trujillo, systems analyst III, Enterprise Solutions (Waterloo campus).

David Lavigne, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus).

Bonnie Voisine, academic program administrator, Registrar’s Office (Waterloo campus).

Dawn Matthew, academic program administrator II, Registrar’s Office (Waterloo campus).

Teresa Wendykier, senior admin assistant II, Mathematics (Waterloo campus).

Tina Macpherson, access services assistant, Access Services Office, Library (Waterloo campus).

Sarah Willey-Thomas, BA/BEd academic coordinator, (Brantford campus)

Ellen Menage, general manager, WLUGSA (Waterloo campus).


Laurie Minor, admin assistant, Aboriginal Initiatives (Brantford campus). Cherie Mongeron, academic advisor (Arts), Dean’s Office (Waterloo campus). Colleen Myronyk, career counsellor III, Career Services (Waterloo campus). Holly Patton, MBA recruitment and marketing coordinator, SBE (Waterloo campus). Katherine Sage, proposal and development project writer, Development (Waterloo campus). Katherine St. Louis, manager, career resources and operations, Career Services (Waterloo campus).

geographic regions, the stability of the water supply, and the implications of climate change and industrial land use on water. Another cluster of researchers will focus on aquatic sciences, including fish toxicology and the human health implications of water quality. Still others are studying waste-water issues. “When you look at Canada, we have a whole lot of fresh water, approximately 20 per cent of the global supply,” said Petrone. “To understand how to develop policy and manage our water we have to know the answers to all of these questions, and we have to understand how water works right across the country, from a native fishing community in the Far North to the suburbs of southern Ontario.” Laurier’s focus on water science was something of a happy accident, said Petrone, with roots that go back well before water became a prominent issue for global thinkers and politicians. The university’s Geography and Environmental Studies Department has a history of strength in hydrology and climatology, and the Cold Regions Research Centre, founded in 1988, is based in that department. With 10 researchers, the centre’s work

covers a number of areas related to the North, such as resource management and parks planning, but water remains a key focus. The Institute for Water Science, founded in 2008, includes many members of the CRRC. Its focus is on addressing water issues that affect Canada and the world, including climate change, the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems and the development of waterrelated policy. “There is a lot of overlap between IWS and CRRC,” said Petrone. “They will still exist independently, but because of the overlap it makes sense to house them together.” Ground was broken on the new building in May 2012, and much of the research that will take place there is already ramping up. Meanwhile, additional waterrelated projects, collaborations and proposals are in the works. “For a university of our size, relatively speaking, we’re poised to make some pretty significant contributions to water science in Canada,” said Petrone. “We’re doing some important work, and we’re in close contact with governments and policy-makers. You’re going to see Laurier water science making a positive impact on society.”

Hundreds participate in Staff Development Day

June Aleong, senior admin III, Mathematics (Waterloo campus). Michele Daviau, faculty, Archaeology (Waterloo campus) Joan Davidson, switchboard operator, ITS (Waterloo campus). C. Ruth Harris, faculty, SBE (Waterloo campus). Amanda Moreno, custodian, Physical Resources (Waterloo campus).

Photos: Sandra Muir

By Nicholas Dinka

Maureen Pinkett, nurse, Health Services (Brantford campus). Ramona Truscott, access services assistant II, Access Services Office, Library (Waterloo campus).

Laurier’s second annual Staff Development Day on May 17 kicked off with a keynote speech by Shevaun Voisin, owner and publisher of Motivated magazine, top. More than 300 staff members from the university’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses, and Kitchener and Toronto loctions, participated in workshops and panel discussions. Christina Neufeld, left, and Kim Miller, right, of Residential Services practice their skills at a photography workshop at Waterloo Park, above.



JUNE 2012

coffee with a co-worker

A look at staff and faculty across campus

Name: Clare Hitchens Title: Publicist, WLU Press Where you can find him: 255 King St., Fourth Floor

Photo: Sandra Muir

Drink of choice: I am a tea drinker — usually Tetley tea with milk and sugar - four or five cups a day. I’ve probably been drinking that since infancy. I have an English background.

Clare Hitchens fields emails from authors and professors, and promotes books published by WLU Press.

How long have you been at Laurier? I started at Laurier part-time in November 2001 with WLU Press. After being at home with my kids for nine years, I was looking to get back into the workforce. I helped ship books back when we still did our own distribution. About six months after I started, a part-time publicist position was created. I had a mentor here, the former managing editor, and she urged me to apply. She really pushed me to do it and I got it. We eventually ended up sending our distribution out and about four years ago the publicist role went full time. So it’s been an evolution. What is your typical work day like? Being in publicity, I field a lot of emails from authors and professors looking for books for their courses or media requests for copies

of books. I usually sit down and clear my inbox first and then update our Facebook page and check our Twitter stream. I also have a variety of other projects on the go. For example, if we have a new book, I have to send review copies. I may also send out a press release, but every book is different and is handled in a different way. What do you like to do in your spare time? I have a son with Down Syndrome, so I’m very involved in the Waterloo Regional Down Syndrome Society. I also help proofread and edit documents for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. Outside of that I’m involved in the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. I select the young adult authors and manage the young adult area on the day of the festival.

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.

@LaurierNews MT @WR_Record: New graduates reminded of sacrifice and support from family and fellow students. ( ) #Waterloo #Laurier June 13, 2012 @OntarioResearch Hey, @LaurierNews — nice profile of Philippa Gates and women-in-crime-films in your latest research@laurier mag. ( http://t. co/3GRR8ntf ) June 5, 2012 @downtownbrantfd RT @EXPHugo: RT @LaurierNews: Laurier invites Congress 2012 delegates to tour Brantford campus Lx6TCb ( ) #Laurier May 28, 2012 @fedcan Max Blouw: #Congress2012 is celebration of application of intellect and what is wonderful about our species: our intellectual capacity May 26, 2012


Would you ever write a book? My son with Down Syndrome is 18 now, and we’ve talked a little bit about writing stories about his life and self publishing them. I don’t know when we’re going to do it, but it’s something we’ve talked about. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Around Laurier, people are always surprised to hear that Sally Gray is my sister. She’s the director of the Office of Research Services. People always say, “You’re Sally’s sister? Oh, you look alike.” People might also be surprised that I have four sisters and one brother. I am third oldest. Sometimes we sing together — mainly at events for seniors through clubs our parents belong to. We’re not professionals. It’s just for fun.

What do you like most about Laurier? I like the community feel and size. It also feels like home. Sally works here, my mom used to work here, and my oldest daughter is in her third year. There is also a bit of friendly rivalry in our family because my younger sister works at the University of Waterloo. My dad used to work there, and two of my sisters went there. Sally attended both. What are your plans for the future? I’m really interested in digital publishing. We already sell our books as e-books, but we’re just getting into e-publishing. Publishing is changing and we’re all learning. We’re galloping into the future. By Sandra Muir

For a complete list of events visit

University Holidays: Laurier campuses will be closed. Canada Day: July 2. Civic Holiday: Aug. 6 Labour Day: Sept. 3 Brantford International Villages Cultural Festival When: July 4–7 Where: Various locations in Brantford Cost: Varies Experience the tastes of many cultures with international cuisine, dance, costume and displays. Cruising on King Street When: July 13 Where: King St., Kitchener Cost: Free

Go back in time with hundreds of antique and classic cars on parade and display. For more information, visit

7 p.m. (music), dusk (movies) Where: Waterloo Park Cost: Free with a non-perishable food item

Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival When: July 20–22 Where: Uptown Waterloo Cost: Free

Enjoy family-friendly movies under the stars on Canada’s largest outdoor screen. This summer’s lineup includes Rango, Gnomeo & Juliet and Rio. Visit www. for more information.

Enjoy three days of exceptional jazz featuring world-class musicians. Children will enjoy Jazz for Kids, a fun and interactive show in Waterloo Public Square. For a full schedule of events, visit Music & Movies in the Park When: July 21, Aug. 4, Aug. 18

Brantford Kinsmen Annual Ribfest When: Aug. 10–12 Where: Cockshutt Park, Brantford Cost: Free (admission) Bring your appetite for a wide array of mouthwatering ribs, chicken and other barbecue. Other features

include live music, midway and Kid Zone. Waterloo Busker Carnival When: Aug. 23–26 Where: King St., Uptown Waterloo Cost: Free Fun entertainment by international street performes, food and activities for the kids. See www. for more information. Homecoming When: Sept. 28–30 (Waterloo campus), Oct. 20 (Brantford campus) Visit for updates on all the events!

New award program recognizes employees’ achievements By Mallory O’Brien Laurier is introducing a new award program that recognizes employees for their contributions toward the achievement of Laurier’s mission and vision. The Employee Achievement Awards are based on Laurier’s Employee Success Factors introduced in September 2010, and will include 14 awards: • Two awards for each of the five success factors ( successfactors) • A multi-campus champion award, granted to two individuals who exhibit behaviours aligned with the

employee success factors effectively supporting multicampus operations • A president’s award for an individual who embodies all five of the success factors • An award for a team of employees who embody the success factors in their work together. (A team can be from within a department or crossdepartment.) “This is an exciting way to recognize the employees who embody the core attributes that make Laurier a unique and engaging place to work, teach and learn,” said Pam Cant, acting assistant vice-president, Human

Resources. Laurier’s Employee Success Factors outline five objectives for a successful employee: • Collaborate to promote team and organizational success • Seek opportunities for continuous improvement • Value relationships and community • Support a culture of service • Model leadership and accountability The Success Factors provide a foundation for many aspects of the Laurier employee experience. Together, they reflect an important set of criteria that are used for evaluation, training, recruitment

and, now, recognition. Students, staff and faculty can nominate colleagues who exemplify one or all of the Employee Success Factors. To nominate someone for an award, visit achievementawards. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Contact Jennifer Porritt, manager, organizational development and learning, at jporritt@ for more information. This year’s inaugural awards event will take place Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. In addition to the employee awards, Laurier will continue to recognize long-term service employees for 15, 25 and 35 years.

JUNE 2012 Inside research file

Young researchers are making their mark Laurie Barclay and Jennifer Baltzer’s award-winning research is garnering attention By Mallory O’Brien Improving the lives of Canadians and the landscape of the country are the goals of two young Laurier researchers who have been recognized for their work. The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation awarded Laurier associate professor of biology Jennifer Baltzer and associate professor of business Laurie Barclay each with a $100,000 Early Researcher Award (ERA). Laurier also provided each professor with a $50,000 matching award. In addition to the provincial funding awarded to the professors over a five-year term, the province provided Laurier with $40,000 for indirect research costs to support the projects.

Saving Canada’s boreal forest Jennifer Baltzer, Canada Research Chair in Forests and Global Change, is investigating the impact of climate change and, consequently, the thaw of the permafrost on Canada’s boreal forest. The ERA funding will help Baltzer set up a network of long-term research plots in the Northwest Territories’ MacKenzie River Basin region. The plots will be located across a broad climatic gradient that corresponds with a strong gradient in permafrost conditions. In the northern area of the region, the permafrost layer is continuous and global warming is causing the permafrost to shrink vertically — meaning the depth of ground that thaws in the summer (referred to as the “active” layer) is increasing. In the more southern areas of the region, where the permafrost is discontinuous, the permafrost is not only shrinking vertically but also horizontally, and the “pockets” of permafrost are getting smaller. Across this gradient, permafrost thaw is resulting in a range of stresses on the forests and other vegetation. Baltzer’s research

Laurie Barclay is exploring how people cope with workplace unfairness.

aims to capture these variable responses through a combination of monitoring and process-based studies. “There are many reasons why we could be seeing changing forest dynamics, one of which is changes in the hydrology of the region with permafrost thaw — either decreased water availability in more northern forests where air temperatures are rising quickly but active-layer thickening and precipitation are not keeping pace, or oversaturation of the roots in wetter areas where permafrost thaw and loss result in soil surface subsidence,” Baltzer said. She explains that as the permafrost degrades in the zone of discontinuous permafrost, the land sinks lower because the frozen land becomes greater in volume than unfrozen land. As a result, surrounding wetlands move in and saturate the roots. “Models of boreal forest change are not accurately predicting

these different sets of stresses on different areas of Canada’s boreal,” said Baltzer. She adds that studies need to include a wide array of areas to better understand the changes in the region. Laurier’s recent 10-year partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories to provide new infrastructure and expertise for environmental research and education has given Baltzer access to about 200 additional research plots across the territory. Her plots will also be part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Global Earth Observatory Program, which is tracking changes in forests across the world using identical methodology that facilitates large-scale comparative analyses. By establishing these numerous long-term research plots, Baltzer will be able track tree growth, death and other changes in response to environmental conditions. For example, Baltzer will be measuring the amount of

water trees are absorbing from the ground by inserting a special device into the trees that reads changes in temperature. This summer Baltzer and a team of students will map 21 hectares of the typical forest-wetland mosaic that occurs at Scotty Creek, NWT, marking the land in 20-metre grids and then mapping each tree’s location and its size — creating a “stem map.” Water use in these trees will be quantified using sap flux instrumentation and long-term growth dynamics in response to permafrost degradation will be measured using tree-ring analysis. “Using this new data with existing long-term data for these sites, we will develop tools for making better predictions about how these forests respond to climate change,” said Baltzer. “There are a wide range of potential consequences, and we need to make better predictions of these ramifications for the Northwest Territories and for Canada.”

Studying workplace unfairness

Jennifer Baltzer completes a snow survey in the Northwest Territories.

Laurie Barclay, associate professor in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, is researching the pervasive and costly problem of unfairness in the workplace. The ERA’s funding will help her set up a research team to explore the effectiveness of guided journal writing as a form of recovery for people experiencing workplace unfairness. “My previous research demonstrated that expressive writing can increase employees’ psychological health,” she said. “Now we’re investigating whether additional strategies can increase the effectiveness of expressive writing intervention, and we are working to create an effective process that can actually be used by corporations.” Barclay says that when

employees feel unfairly treated, it can have a wide range of consequences for the organization and the person involved. In addition to negatively impacting an employee’s psychological health, there is also a greater chance of an employee engaging in behaviours such as retaliation, which can result in a lawsuit or other negative consequences for the organization. Much research has already looked at preventing incidents of unfairness, but very little of it studies recovery after it has occurred. The coping system Barclay is developing was born out of clinical psychology. Initially guided writing was used to help victims who endured horrifying experiences such as genocide and rape. Barclay is tailoring it for use in the workplace. In Barclay’s lab on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, students and community members who have experienced workplace unfairness come in every day for a week to participate in 20-minute guided writing exercises. They then return for two follow-up appointments one month later and six months later. Barclay finds that people do experience a higher sense of resolution after completing the exercises, which include items such as considering forgiveness or imagining the apology that they would like to receive. “Knowing how to help people forgive is extremely beneficial,” she said. “It’s a process that takes a long time, but even considering forgiveness is psychologically helpful.” Barclay and her students are now beginning to delve into the qualitative data of participants’ essays to better understand the psychology behind workplace unfairness. Specifically, she would like to look closer at the “imagining an apology” exercise. “Similar to considering forgiveness, does imagining an apology have benefits? Can this help manage and reduce anger?” Barclay, whose interest in the topic developed after a part-time job at McDonald’s when she was younger, has been doing research on fairness in the workplace since her undergrad. “Research in this field has been about how people react, and when they decide to retaliate, but the one thing I came across every time is that workplace unfairness takes an enormous toll on people. I wanted to do something about it.” Barclay’s goal is to one day have an off-the-shelf program people can use when they need to, or a system that can be integrated into employee assistance programs at organizations — anything to help individuals recover better. “I want to do research that is theoretically important and also has practical benefits,” she said. 7


JUNE 2012

Photos: Tomasz Adamski, Mallory O’Brien

Photo: Sgt Ronald Duchesne, Rideau Hall Š 2012 Office of the Secretary to the Governor General of Canada

Congress 2012 in photographs

Clockwise from top left: A crowd gathers to kick-off Congress 2012 at the opening reception at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener; Governor General David Johnston, who delivered a Big Thinking lecture, chats with Laurier President Max Blouw; some of the more than 300 volunteers who helped make Congress 2012 a success; Margaret Atwood answers questions after her Big Thinking lecture; the book-publishers Expo in the Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus; an Aboriginal welcome ceremony greets delegates; behind the scenes with Food Services.


June 2012 - InsideLaurier