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Wilfrid Laurier University • June 2010 VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008




History professor Dr. David Monod studies the musical origins of the blues.

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Sociology professor Dr. Nikolaos Liodakis adds elements of surprise and discovery to his class.

Laurier helps raise awareness for heart disease and stroke research.

Spring convocation a week-long celebration COMMUNITY Laurier graduates 2,533 students, CAMPUS awardsCONNECTIONS four honorary degrees VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 |



students graduating. In total, Laurier conferred 2,254 undergraduate degrees, For students, the excitement of 265 graduate degrees and 14 Laurier’s spring convocation diplomas. lasted a few hours. But for staff “Convocation is a moment and faculty at the university’s of great pride for our whole Waterloo campus, it lasted an community as we celebrate entire week. the academic success of our From June 7 to 11, 2,181 students,” said university students graduated during 10 registrar Ray Darling. “Many ceremonies. In a departure from of our| COMMUNITY students will treasure recent years, all the ceremonies | CONNECTIONS CAMPUS this milestone for years to were held in the university’s come.” Athletic Complex. Four honorary degrees were “Everyone involved thought it also bestowed. This year’s would have a more celebratory recipients included Vera Good, feel if all the ceremonies where groundbreaking educator and held on campus,” said Sondra first executive producer of the Schwartz, acting manager, children’s television program academic events. “It feels better Polka Dot Door; Wayson Choy, for the students too, since this novelist, memoirist and shortis where they spent all of their story writer; Francis Pang, time.” entrepreneur and philanThe arrangement was also thropist with a passion for convenient for staff, faculty and education and Canada-China volunteers, since they didn’t cultural relations; and Buffy have to drive to a different Sainte-Marie, award-winning location, she said. singer-songwriter and Two convocation ceremonies advocate for aboriginal rights were also held on the Brantford and education. campus June 23, with 352

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By Stacey Morrison

Honorary degree recipient Vera Good inspires graduates By Kevin Crowley Her 94-year-old body may have needed a chair, but Vera Good’s voice was clear and strong as she delivered an inspirational convocation address to Laurier’s spring graduating class of education and music students. Good remained seated on stage as she spoke into a microphone during the evening ceremony at the Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus. She advised the education graduates to tap into the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of children to engage them in learning. For the music grads, she urged them to educate society on the value of the arts in an era of financial cutbacks.

“It is equally true that you as performers need to be educators,” she said. Moments earlier Good was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree for her many contributions to education and her pioneering work in public television, including her role as the first executive producer of the Canadian children’s classic, Polka Dot Door. Good’s lifelong passion for education took her from a small farmhouse in Waterloo to the halls of academe, the streets of Calcutta, and studios of the fledgling TV Ontario. Raised in a Mennonite farm family not far from the Laurier campus, Good recalls walking past the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary on her way to school GOOD see page 4

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

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Graduate Michael Condotta gives the thumbs up after receiving his degree.

Olympic curler John Morris speaks about his journey to gold By Stacey Morrison After winning curling gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, alumnus John Morris found himself giving curling tips to another gold-medal winning athlete: hockey player Sydney Crosby. “He had gone curling with the

Penguins and said he gained a new respect for us,” said Morris. “So, we showed him a few tricks.” It’s one of the many Olympic stories Morris shared during a talk on campus in May. He gave the audience a behind the scenes look at the games, including comical stories about his team’s experience, and the lessons he’s

Photo: Dean Palmer

Alumnus John Morris returned to campus with his Olympic gold medal.

learned along the way such as the importance of teamwork. “One of my favourite sayings is ‘It’s amazing what a team can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit’,” he said. “That’s very true with our team.” Morris said he was surprised by his reaction to the gold medal win. “When you’ve put so much blood, sweat and tears to get there, you’d think you might shed a tear when you get up on the podium,” he said. “But we were just elated. Luckily, we kept our emotions in check.” Morris says he plans to defend Canada’s curling title at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Morris graduated in 2003 with a kinesiology and physical education degree. When he’s not on the ice training, he works as a firefighter in Chestermere, Alberta.


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June 2010

president’s message

The Ontario government has given clear signals that it understands the importance of postsecondary education to position the province for success in the knowledge economy. Not only did the government strengthen university funding in the spring budget, it has declared that meeting the growing demand for university access in Ontario is a high priority. Demographic projections suggest that an additional 80,000 students will seek to attend Ontario universities over the next decade, with most of the demand coming from the Greater Toronto Area. This is a dramatic increase — and the provincial government is focused on finding ways to address it. Growing demand for university access in the GTA, and the provincial response to it, will have a significant impact on universities in southwestern Ontario. It is clear that the province will give funding

priority to initiatives that help it meet growing demand. Pressure for access intersects with our efforts at Laurier to address governance issues associated with being a multicampus university. I recently held town hall meetings on the Waterloo, Brantford and Kitchener campuses to provide updates on the work of the President’s Task Force on Multi-Campus Governance and on the possibility of Laurier establishing a campus in Milton. Based on the questions and comments I heard at these meetings, I offer the following thoughts: • The current funding structure in Ontario puts a high premium on institutional growth. If we stop growing, we fall behind financially because the inflationary costs of running a university grow faster than do increases in government funding. • The experience of Laurier Brantford shows that we can increase enrolment and diversify

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

Province seeks to meet growing demand for university access

Dr. Art Szabo, founding dean of science at Laurier, left, and Dr. Max Blouw at the Celebrating Milestones in Science gala.

academic programming while maintaining the smaller campus size and the intimate sense of community that are so important to the values and success of Laurier. • The Brantford experience also shows that creating a campus in another city attracts new sources of funding and creates new partnerships that would not otherwise exist. These benefits accrue to the original campus in the form of expanded programs, research capabilities

and enhanced public awareness of the larger university. • There is no doubt that the Ontario government will invest to satisfy the growing demand for university education in the GTA. Does Laurier wish to participate in meeting the demand? • A Milton campus will not divert provincial funding away from the other Laurier priorities. Provincial resources directed to a Milton campus would come from capital funds designated specifically to address university access; such funds will not be available for other purposes. New staff and faculty will need to be hired to devote time, attention and effort to establishing a new campus, and we will seek support for this need. • If Laurier does not engage with the provincial priority of increasing access other universities will no doubt step in. Because students make choices among universities for a variety of reasons, including convenience to their home location, this could

have a significant influence on future enrolments at our Waterloo and Brantford campuses. These are just some of the considerations that Laurier will have to weigh before making a final decision about Milton. The Task Force on Multi-Campus Governance will continue working over the summer to examine these issues and develop recommendations on how to govern an institution that has already evolved into a multicampus university. The members of the task force and I are committed to providing updates on their work, as well as opportunities for the Laurier community to contribute to the discussion. I extend best wishes for a relaxing and fulfilling summer.

Dr. Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor

Laurier and Conestoga College offer joint science technology programs Laurier is teaming up with the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning to offer two new joint programs this fall, one in computer science and the other in biochemistry/biotechnology. Both programs are designed to enhance the educational experience of students and increase their job opportunities. The first program combines Conestoga’s software engineering technology diploma with Laurier’s honours Bachelor of Science (BSc) in computer science. The second combines Laurier’s honours BSc in biochemistry and biotechnology with Conestoga’s biotechnology technician diploma. “These joint programs will provide Canada’s growing technology and biotechnology industries with graduates who possess strong technical ability, as well as highly developed

quantitative, reflective, analytical, integrative and innovative qualities,” said Laurier president Dr. Max Blouw. “By working together, Conestoga and Laurier will advance Ontario’s competitive advantage.” In the computer science program, students will first complete the software engineering technology diploma at Conestoga, where they will acquire practical experience in software engineering and hardware applications. Students will then attend Laurier to complete part of second year, as well as third and fourth year of the computer science BSc degree, where they will gain a solid foundation in theoretical computer science, algorithms and networks. Students in the biotechnology/ biochemistry program will complete the first two years

of the honours biochemistry/ biotechnology BSc program at Laurier, where they will develop knowledge in cellular and molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry. Students will then complete one year of special study at Conestoga in the biotechnology technician diploma program to gain 180 laboratory hours in plant and animal cell biotechnology, immunology and fermentation biology. They will return to Laurier for the final two years of the BSc degree. With either program combination, students can continue in their chosen field as employees, entrepreneurs or graduate students. As employees, they will have increased opportunity for immediate employment with their technical skills, with the opportunity to advance to higher positions through their theorybased skills.

Conestoga College president Dr. John Tibbits, left, and Dr. Max Blouw, right, listen to Laurier science student Matthew Nichols in the university’s biochemistry lab.

Send us your news, events & stories

Email: Deadline for submissions: August 13

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

InsideLaurier Volume 3, Number 2, June 2010

Design: Erin Steed

InsideLaurier (circ. 2,100) is published nine times a year by CPAM . Opinions expressed in InsideLaurier do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration.

Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Kevin Crowley, Elin Edwards, Mallory O’Brien, Dean Palmer

Printed on recycled paper.

Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison


InsideLaurier welcomes your comments and suggestions for stories. Tel: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3341 | Fax: (519) 884-8848 Email:


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Laurier receives funding for development of Brantford campus Laurier and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford are moving ahead with design and consultation plans for a community athletics and recreation centre in downtown Brantford, thanks to an investment of $253,750 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The funding will support the development phase of a 115,000-square-foot athletics and recreational centre that would be used by students and the broader community. This unique community partnership involves the YMCA and Laurier Brantford, with support from Nipissing University and Mohawk College, and the anticipated involvement of Six Nations. The investment adds to an earlier donation of $1 million by SC Johnson Canada, which will support the development of a business program and the proposed athletics and recreation centre. The gift will be used to renovate the former CIBC building in Brantford and transform the building into a multi-use facility to house the anticipated business program and Laurier Brantford’s existing leadership program. The

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What’s new and notable at Laurier

building will be called the SC Johnson Building in recognition of the company’s support. The facility will also include a new Centre for Co-operative Education, Career Development and Experiential Learning, administrative offices and alumni relations.

Laurier creates Diversity & Equity Office Laurier is strengthening its commitment to diversity and equity at all levels of the institution through the creation of a Diversity & Equity Office. The office is a joint initiative of the university’s Student Services and Human Resources departments. It combines the former Office of Student Diversity with the diversity and equity programs offered through Human Resources to staff and faculty. The Diversity & Equity Office will provide comprehensive diversity and equity services, and make them available to

students, staff and faculty at all Laurier campuses.

New honour to recognize contributions to the university Laurier has created a new honour to recognize members of the Laurier community who make outstanding contributions to the university. The Order of Wilfrid Laurier University will recognize worthy individuals who have a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the university. Eligible recipients include current or former faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers and friends of the university. Nominations for the Order of Wilfrid Laurier University are now being accepted, and the first recipients will be honoured at fall convocation. For information or to submit a nomination, visit and click the link in the left-hand menu.

Special Constable Service wins international award The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has recognized the university’s Special Constable Service with an IACP-iXP Excellence in Technology Award. The award was presented at a ceremony in May in Atlanta, Georgia. Laurier’s Special Constable Service was identified as the best in the “Innovation in infor-

Laurier appoints new deans Faculties of Music, Arts and Science get new leaders Laurier has appointed new deans to the Faculties of Music, Arts and Science. Dr. Glen Carruthers, a renowned musicologist and former dean of music at Brandon University, begins his term as Laurier’s new dean of music on July 1. A pianist, teacher and administrator, Carruthers was dean of the School of Music at Brandon University from 1998 to 2008, and previously taught at Lakehead University, where he was chair of the Department of Music for seven years. Carruthers has served on the board of the Canadian Music Centre and was president of the Canadian University Music Society for three years. “The faculty members were a real draw for me — so many of them are well known in their fields and their commitment to Laurier is something on which I’m able to build as dean,” said Carruthers. Carruthers succeeds Dr. Charles Morrison, who became dean in 1999 after 12 years as a faculty member. Dr. Michael Carroll has been appointed the new dean of the Faculty of Arts. He was previously with the Department of Sociology at the University

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of Western Ontario, where he focused his research on the sociology of religion. He is well-known internationally for his historical studies of popular religion in Italy, Ireland and New Mexico. Carroll served as chair of sociology and has been vicepresident and president of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. He focused on first-year teaching and has also taught numerous upperlevel seminar courses. Carroll has authored seven books, 65 peer-reviewed articles and numerous reviews and solicited articles. New dean of science Dr. Paul Jessop comes to Laurier from the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University. His research expertise is in the area of optoelectronic materials and devices, specializing in silicon-based photonics.

Jessop, a Waterloo native, served as chair of engineering physics and associate dean of graduate studies at McMaster and taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has authored over 150 journal papers and conference presentations and holds leadership positions in the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations. Both Carroll and Jessop will also begin their terms July 1. Dr. Peter Tiidus, who served as acting dean of science, and Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, who served as acting dean of arts, will both be taking sabbatical for the 2010-2011 academic year. Upon their return, Tiidus will continue in his role as a professor of kinesiology and physical education, and Byrne will continue her role as associate professor of geography and environmental studies.

From left: Glen Carruthers, Michael Carroll and Paul Jessop.

mation technology, small agency” category. In 2005, the university undertook a review of its security system, which at the time had 10 cameras on the main campus in Waterloo. Today there are more than 300 cameras, which accommodate 640 video feeds and cover 90 per cent of the Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford campuses.

Laurier enters $2-million research project with NWT Laurier has entered a $2-million partnership agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories to support environmental science research that will provide important data for effective freshwater-resource management and the sustainability of northern ecosystems. Under the agreement, the Government of the Northwest Territories will provide $2 million over five years to support the Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research (CALIBER) program, which is based at Laurier and involves researchers from the Laurier Institute for Water Science and Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre.

The agreement will expand CALIBER’s research activities and enable it to build on its past and current research in the NWT. It also enables the Government of the Northwest Territories to participate as a member of the program’s science committee as it sets research agendas and associated studies for the NWT, and to develop mentor and training opportunities for NWT residents. The partnership includes scientific and technical training and mentorship components, professional development for government, industry and other organizations, and outreach to promote interest in water science and the boreal ecosystem in schools and communities.

Faculty participate in Physicians Talent Night The Kitchener-Waterloo Academy of Medicine hosted its fourthannual Physicians Talent Night in April in support of Laurier’s Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC). The charity event, which raised $5,000 for the MDRC, featured entertainment by local medical professionals and members of the community, including Laurier professors Dr. Mark Baetz and Dr. Detlev Nitsch who performed with their band Professional Misconduct.

$1-million gift supports music therapy research By Kevin Crowley

as Laurier researchers continue to better understand the therapeutic powers of music,” said Dr. Charles Morrison, dean of the Faculty of Music. The work conducted within the Manfred & Penny Conrad Institute for Music Therapy Research helps those suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, promotes healing for victims of trauma and abuse, assists those with developmental, behavioural, mental health and communication challenges, and helps patients requiring critical or palliative care. Sherry Bedirian, a student in Laurier’s Master of Music Therapy program, told the gathering that music therapy has been a “blessing” in her life that has rekindled her passion for music and helped her cope with paralysis in her right leg, arm and hand.

A $1-million donation from Manfred and Penny Conrad to support music therapy research at Laurier will help make a real difference in people’s lives. In recognition of the gift, the Laurier Centre for Music Therapy has been renamed the Manfred & Penny Conrad Institute for Music Therapy Research. “There is power in music and music can heal,” Dr. Heidi Ahonen, director of the institute, told a large group that gathered to celebrate the donation in April. “This donation allows us to launch research projects that we have only been able to dream of since (the centre opened in) 2003.” The Conrad gift is the largest individual donation ever given to Laurier’s Faculty of Music. It will support the important research and therapeutic work done within the faculty’s music therapy research centre. Additionally, the Conrads have created an annual scholarship to be awarded to a Laurier student who is studying music therapy at the graduate level. “This historic donation promises to Dr. Max Blouw, left, with Penny and Manfred Conrad, help so many people centre, and Dr. Charles Morrison.

Photo: Tomasz Adamski




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people at Laurier

Alumni relations officer Janina Ganton has been awarded the 2010 Rising Star Award by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE). The award is handed out annually to an advancement leader who has demonstrated early success, achievement and accomplishments within the field. Ganton, who graduated from Laurier in 2004, joined the university’s Alumni Relations department as a full-time employee in 2005 after completing a year-long fellowship in University Advancement.

New appointments: Ryan Chynces, acquisitions editor, WLU Press. Fleurette Puthran, career consultant (disability programs), Career Development Centre. Jonathan Rainey, technical assistant, SBE. Fazil Rasheed, director, enterprise projects, ICT. Philip Teskey, fire safety officer, EOHS.

Changes in staff appointments: Mary Ball
, custodian leadhand, Physical Resources. Tiffany Bradley, manager: communications and marketing, cenntenial celebrations, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing.

For a complete list of appointments visit

Lori Chalmers Morrison, associate director: communications and public affairs, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing.

GOOD continued

Heather Matlashewski, manager, grounds and custodial, Physical Resources. Louis Mastorakos, senior administrative assistant II, Mathematics. Brenton McRae, mechanic tradesperson.

Maureen Coulter, lab instructor hazardous materials II, KPE.

Christina Meredith, curriculum developer, Brantford.

Kevin Crowley, director: communications and public affairs, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing.

Joan Nickerson, FSA – leadhand/group leader operations, Food Services.

Yolanta Di Felice, leadhand custodian, Physical Resources. Sharline Doss, academic events assistant, Academic Events. Julie Ella Dubeau, office/ service administrator, WLUGSA. Helen Exley, 
associate director: marketing and creative services, Communications Public Affairs & Marketing. 
 Paul Falco, contractor, Athletics and Recreation.

Lesa Smith, receptionist/ administrative assistant, Accessible Learning. Kim Susanna, intermediate administrative assistant II, Psychology. Jacqui Tam, assistant vicepresident, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing. Cameron Terry, area manager, custodial services, Physical Resources. John Williams, production cook, Food Services.

Colleen Ginn, intermediate administrative assistant, KPE and Health Sciences. 


Rick Hertzberger, leadhand custodian, Physical Resources.

Margaret Barfoot, food services associate, Food Services, is retiring after more than 40 years of service.

Michele Kramer, special assistant, WLUFA. Adam Lawrence, manager, Diversity & Equity Office.

Ellen Manage, general manager, WLUGSA.

Linda Cracknell, librarian. Rosealine Johnson, custodian, Physical Resources, is retiring after 32 years of service. Ann Reid, intermediate administrative assistant II, Psychology. Do you have a personal or professional milestone to share? Email

David McMurray has been appointed to the new position of vice-president, Student Affairs. McMurray is an award-winning student-services leader who has served as Laurier’s assistant vice-president, Students Services and dean of students since 1997. The change in position is part of a larger strategic plan to enhance Laurier’s innovative approach to student-centred education at a time when enrolment is growing and the university continues to evolve as a multi-campus institution. The full multi-campus plan for Student Affairs includes, subject to budget approval, a dean of students position at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and a dean of students position at Laurier’s fast-growing Brantford campus.

Peter Baxter named chef de mission for Universiade Peter Baxter, director of Athletics and Recreation at Laurier, will head Team Canada at the 26th Summer Games in Shenzhen, China, in August 2011. This is Baxter’s second turn as chef de mission — he led Team Canada at the 2009 Winter Games in Harbin, China. “I’m excited to once again have the opportunity to represent Canada interna4

tionally,” said Baxter, who has been at Laurier since 1998. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with a strong team from across the nation to support and promote our Canadian athletes.” The Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years, and is second only to the Olympics in the number of participating athletes and countries.

At Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute (KCI). She had to drop out of school for a while to help support her family. But education was important to the Good family, and Vera — the fifth of eight children — completed her high school studies while working at the Kaufman Rubber Company in nearby Kitchener. She went on to earn a teaching certificate and began her first teaching job in the one-room Riverbank School near Breslau, Ont. Later, Good travelled to India with the Mennonite Central Committee in the late 1940s when India was pushing for independence. She heard political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi speak the day before his assassination in 1948. Good returned to North America and earned a BA from Goshen College in Indiana, an MA in Education from Northwestern University in Illinois, and a doctorate in education from Columbia University in New York. She went on to teach and serve as a school principal in Etobicoke, Ontario, where she developed an innovative

program for gifted children. She later became the first woman education inspector with the Ontario government. In 1966 she was tapped to help the province with the introduction of educational television. In 1971, Polka Dot Door launched with Good as the inaugural executive producer. She remained with TV Ontario until retiring in 1981. In retirement, she has travelled to Jamaica and Belize to consult on children’s educational programs.

Photo: Tomasz Adamski


Vera Good addresses the crowd at convocation.

What are you reading Name: Glennice Snyder Job Title: Manager: Student Recruitment Book Title: The Secret Life of Bees Author: Sue Monk Kidd


What are you reading


What are you listening to?

My 16-year-old daughter read this book for school and loved it, so I decided to read it as well. The Secret Life of Bees encourages parents to be people whom kids can go to for kindness, love, advice, guidance and forgiveness. This led my daughter and I to have some frank conversations about our relationship, and how we could make it even better.

What are you listening to? Name: Ilias Kotsireas Job Title: Associate Professor, Physics and Computer Science CD Title: Enrique Artist: Enrique Iglesias

Peter Baxter

This is a beautiful CD to listen to, and the website (www. has all the lyrics, in case you would like to practice your karaoke skills. The artist sings in both English and Spanish. As an added bonus, the CD features a duet with Whitney Houston. The music is lively and captivating — enjoy!

June 2010


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The early history of the blues Dr. David Monod’s research into the blues reveals the music’s true origins By Elin Edwards Dr. David Monod’s research into the origin of the blues debunks several popular assumptions. He says the musical genre was actually a creation of professional entertainers, and did not originate in rural Mississippi, as commonly believed. “The early history of the blues has been obscured by a narrative that was thrown up around it by collectors and folklorists in the late 1950s,” he said. Monod, who specializes in modern American cultural and social history, wanted to dig deeper. He used primary sources, many of them only recently available, to document the origins, performers and characteristics of the musical form we know as the blues from 1900-1950. “I wanted to know if there was a historical blues buried in unexplored records that might reveal something new about the history of this remarkable music.” The blues are one of 20th-century America’s most important and far-reaching Dr. David Monod says the blues were not born in rural Mississippi, but created by professional entertainers. cultural expressions, but they in the early 20th century. although it turned out that only have not attracted the attention of “country” forms of the blues were “The conclusion I came to, after 30 of the original 150 interviews fundamentally different. many professional historians. reviewing much of this material, made in the early 1940s had Four discoveries during his Monod started studying music was that, contrary to the popular survived,” he said. preliminary research convinced history in the mid-1990s. His mythology, the blues came to The second primary resource Monod there were sufficient research into blues history is his rural Mississippi and were not included newspaper advertiseprimary resources to undertake a second project in the field. born there,” he said. historical study. Perhaps the most ments for blues records, and next In his study, Monod looked Monod argues the trajectory of were the caches of untranscribed interesting were the papers of a closely at popular assumptions development was from the city to prominent folklorist, Alan Lomax, interviews with blues musicians about the history of the blues the country, from the commercial collected in several American which included interviews with that had not been the subject of to the folk. In terms of actual folklore archives, dating mostly musicians in the Mississippi scholarly investigation. These origin, Monod cites “Baby Seals’ to the 1960s, but some from the Delta from the 1940s, which were included the view that the blues Blues,” an African-American 1930s and 1940s. finally released to the Library of predated jazz and originated in vaudeville song first performed Finally, the recent enormous rural Mississippi, and they were a Congress. in 1911, as the first documented output of CD collections of “I was fortunate to be the purely African-American cultural blues. early blues recordings allowed first scholar to gain full access product largely performed “The point is that while the Monod to listen to a significant to these papers, which were by men. He also considered blues had deep roots in Africanproportion of the music recorded only rudimentarily catalogued, the theory that “classic” and

American musical and cultural traditions, the form itself, with its repeated first line, 4/4 time, 12-bar, three-line structure was a novel development,” said Monod. “While there has been much speculation and commentary on the antecedents of the blues in work songs and spirituals, the music only truly became ‘the blues’ when all these components came together. And from the evidence we have, it appears to have been professional entertainers who combined these elements.” Monod’s research into musical history doesn’t end there. He says his research into the blues has raised further questions that are drawing him into other musical genres. For example, he says if one accepts the idea that the blues were an urban entertainment before they became a rural folk music, the real question becomes: what was the entertainment culture that produced the blues? Were there popular musical as well as folk roots for the blues? Did the sexual subtext we associate with the blues have commercial antecedents? And did the blues vocal style develop in the theatre or on the plantation? These questions have pulled Monod away from the blues itself and into the popular music theatre of the late 19th century. “I am now working on vaudeville and focusing especially on issues of race and sex in the popular musical and theatrical culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I’m currently preparing a study of taste and sensibility, but I am planning on moving on in my next project to a study of vaudeville and the roots of modernist culture.”

Laurier creates Aboriginal programming council Aboriginal elder Jean Becker appointed senior advisor By Mallory O’Brien In an effort to enhance postsecondary educational opportunities for Aboriginal students, Laurier has established the Aboriginal Education Council and appointed a senior advisor. Co-chaired by university president Dr. Max Blouw and Brenda Davis of the Grand River Post-Secondary Education Office, the council will provide leadership to implement initiatives that will further engage aboriginal communities in support of post-secondary objectives.

The council — comprised of Aboriginal community members, students, staff and faculty, as well as individuals in Laurier’s senior management team — will meet throughout the year at Laurier’s Brantford, Kitchener and Waterloo campuses. “Aboriginal youth are underrepresented in post-secondary education, and there is a recognized need for universities to provide the necessary support so that Aboriginal students can reach their goals as individuals and as members of the larger Canadian society,” said Blouw. Laurier has also received just

under $150,000 a year for the next two years from the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities. The funding will support a number of initiatives focused on enhancing the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal students, including recruitment initiatives, extending the part-time MSW: Aboriginal Field of Study program, and undergraduate student support services. To oversee activities related to Aboriginal initiatives at the university, and to help develop future programming, Laurier has appointed Aboriginal elder Jean Becker as interim senior advisor:

Aboriginal initiatives. An elderin-residence for the Aboriginal Field of Study in Laurier’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, she will begin her term July 1. A member of the Métis Nation of Labrador, Becker has been very involved with the diverse Aboriginal community of Waterloo Region for 30 years. “This is an opportunity for Indigenous people to enrich the life of Laurier and for Laurier to provide critical leadership in providing education for the growing numbers of Indigenous people entering post-secondary institutions,” said Becker.

Jean Becker has been involved in Waterloo Region’s Aboriginal community for 30 years.



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Science at Laurier marks milestones University’s first science degree celebrates 45th anniversary

Teaching assistants honoured

Guests watch the awards presentations at the Celebrating Milestones in Science gala.

of Laurier students since the early 1960s, highlighted Laurier’s strengths in science research and education, and celebrated the next generation of scientists emerging from Laurier. The event commemorated the following milestones: • Introducing the third dean of the Faculty of Science • The 45th anniversary of Laurier’s first Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, which was also the 1,000th degree awarded by the university • The 15th anniversary of the Science Building on Laurier’s Waterloo campus • The 10th year since Laurier’s Faculty of Science became a standalone faculty at Laurier (separate from the former Faculty of Arts and Science) • The 5th year of science research in the Science Research building The university’s first Celebrating Milestones in Science Awards were also presented to an alumnus from each of the Faculty’s original six departments (Laurier introduced its seventh, health sciences, last year). The awards were established to recognize graduates who have

WLUAA announces Awards of Excellence

Sustainability study will identify Laurier’s environmental strengths, weaknesses

By Lori Chalmers Morrison

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

Laurier’s Faculty of Science has grown dramatically over the years, with student enrolment at an all-time high, modern new buildings and an intense focus on research. Laurier held its inaugural Celebrating Milestones in Science gala in May to honour the Faculty’s landmark achievements, present awards to outstanding science alumni and offer guests a glimpse into Laurier’s science research labs. The event also introduced the

university’s third dean of the Faculty of Science to the Laurier science community, physicist Dr. Paul Jessop. “It has been an amazing decade of growth for the Faculty of Science at Laurier,” said Dr. Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost. “This is a great opportunity to stop and reflect on our achievements while looking forward to an exciting future.” As the master of ceremonies, psychology professor emeritus Dr. Don Morgenson, who has taught psychology to thousands

The 2010 Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) Awards of Excellence recently honoured several members of the Laurier community. Cec Joyal, development officer for individual and legacy giving, received the Schaus Award for Staff. Over the years, Joyal has helped secure about $20 million for the university in realized and expected donations. She is known for fostering many strong and lasting relations with Laurier’s alumni and friends. Dr. Lucy Lee, a professor of biology since 1997, received the Hoffman-Little Award for Faculty. Lee is known for her innovative research and teaching quality. Since 2002, she has published 28 articles in peer-reviewed journals and her

research has been internationally acknowledged. Dr. Michael Pratt, a longtime faculty member in Laurier’s Psychology department, received the Faculty Mentoring Award. Pratt has inspired, motivated and educated countless undergraduate and graduate students. His research grant applications always include a request for funding the research involvement of graduate students and his guidance gives young academics the confidence to pursue their dreams. Other award winners included Student Alumna of the Year Rosemary Quinlan (‘10), Young Alumna of the Year Christine McKinlay (‘07), Honorary Alumnus Luke Fusco and Alumnus of the Year Ian McLean (‘98).

From left: Cec Joyal, Dr. Lucy Lee and Dr. Michael Pratt.


By Mallory O’Brien To help advance Laurier’s efforts to become a recognized leader in environmental sustainability, the university’s Sustainability Office is conducting an assessment of the Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford campuses. Laurier will be using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, an international organization that provides resources, professional development and a network of support for colleges and universities wanting to create a more sustainable future. “By identifying the university’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of sustainability, Laurier’s Sustainability Office will be able to better allocate its resources and minimize the university’s environmental footprint more efficiently,” said Sarah English, sustainability coordinator. “Additionally, the results will aid in developing the university’s Sustainability Action Plan, which will outline how we will promote each strength and tackle each weakness.”

made a significant contribution to society through the field of science and who serve as an inspiration to current science students. The award recipients were: • Biology: Dr. Jeffrey Richards (BSc ’95), associate professor, zoology, University of British Columbia. • Chemistry: Ms. Elizabeth Young (BSc ’06), environmental research analyst, Exova. • Kinesiology & Physical Education: Dr. Kevin Shoemaker (BA ’90), associate professor, kinesiology, University of Western Ontario. • Mathematics: Tracy (Walker) Lemieux (MA Mathematics & BA Music ’03), musician, piano instructor, former university mathematics instructor. • Physics & Computer Science: Mike Morrice, (BBA Honours Computing & Computer Electronics ‘08), co-founder, executive director, Sustainable Waterloo. • Psychology: Gail Czukar (BA ’73, MA ’75), executive vice-president: policy, education, health promotion, legal services, Canadian Association for Mental Health.

The STARS assessment will rate the university’s progress toward sustainability by using a number of weighted indicators based on four categories: • Education and research (e.g. sustainability courses, research) • Operations (e.g. energy consumption, transportation options, waste management) • Planning, administration and engagement (e.g. human resources, investment, diversity) • Innovation The final rating, based on a point system associated with the indicators, can be used to compare Laurier to other universities, or compare the university’s own progress from

Tammy Rowe and Kyle Crawford are this year’s recipients of the Teaching Assistant Award of Excellence. Rowe is a first-year masters student in the Communication Studies program. She has served as a tutorial leader for assistant communication studies professor Dr. Ian Roderick and associate communication studies professor and chair, Dr. Andrew Herman. Crawford is a fourth-year business student who began serving as a teaching and instructional assistant for the Business 111/121 course in fall 2008. Rowe and Crawford received their Teaching Assistant Awards of Excellence at Laurier’s spring convocation earlier this month.

Tammy Rowe and Kyle Crawford.

year to year. Laurier has recently partnered with Sustainable Waterloo, a local non-profit organization started by Laurier alumnus Mike Morrice, to help reduce carbon emissions in the region. The data collected for the STARS assessment will also feed the carbon emission inventory required for Sustainable Waterloo to measure the university’s emissions. To complete the STARS assessment, the Sustainability Office will be collecting data from all departments in Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford over the course of the summer.

June 2010 coffee with a co-worker


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

A look at staff and faculty across campus

The voice of Laurier people do have distinctive voices or accents that make them recognizable.

Name: Angie Kobbert Job: Swtichboard operator Where you can find her: By dialing “0” or behind an unmarked door in the basement of the Arts building. How she takes her coffee: I prefer herbal teas.

When did you start working at Laurier? I started July 2, 1996. How many switchboard operators are there? There are three of us. Two are part-time. What changes have you seen at your job? To look up numbers, we used a cardex system with quarterinch metal pages that you had to flip, so it was pretty loud in here. We typed the information on them, but the typewriters kept breaking. Now we have an online switchboard directory.

coming Events

Laurier Waterloo MBA Information Session When: June 17 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Where: Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Development Cost: Free Are you interested in an MBA degree? Learn about Laurier’s many flexible program formats and how to make your application as strong as possible. For more information, visit www. Canada Day Celebration 2010 When: July 1 Where: Steve Brown Sports Complex, Brantford Music, cultural celebrations and fireworks at dusk mark the biggest birthday celebration in Brantford. OWL Whitewater Rafting When: July 16-17 Where: Forrester Falls, Ontario Cost: $130-$165/person Laurier alumni are invited to ride the rapids of the Ottawa River with fellow alumni and friends. For details or to purchase tickets, visit www. and click on Events. Music & Movies in the Park When: July 23, Aug. 6 & Aug. 20 Where: Waterloo Park Cost: Free with a

It’s quieter and quicker. So, for someone like David Docherty, you’d type in… I know that one: 3690! How have callers changed? Cell phones are difficult to hear. I think people sometimes wonder if we’re hard of hearing, but often it’s a bad connection. There are a lot more people now, and a lot of younger callers. The language is more casual. Young people call in and say, “hey.” Do you recognize many people from their voices? We have call display, but some

What are some of the interesting calls you receive? It’s amazing that people will call and assume the person who answers the phone is the person they need to talk to. Some call and forget where they’ve called. And students call and ask about the nearest bank, grocery store, and of course, the beer store.

Bring the kids and enjoy Hotel for Dogs, Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens under the stars in Waterloo Park. Live musical performances begin at 7 p.m. and movies begin at dusk. For more information, visit www. Brantford’s Own Annual Ribfest When: Aug. 13-15 Where: Cockshutt Park, Brantford Cost: Free admission Enjoy the best ribs and chicken from teams across North America. Course (Re)Design Institute When: Aug. 18-20 & 23 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Where: Auditorium 101, Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work Cost: $25 A hands-on, four-day workshop for full- and part-time faculty members who are developing new courses or are interested in revitalizing existing couses. Space is limited. For more information or to register, visit Laurier’s Educational Development web page. Waterloo Busker Carnival When: Aug. 26-29 Where: Uptown Waterloo Cost: Free

Switchboard operator Angie Kobbert has talked to thousands of people.

open when there’s only a fleck of snow on the ground. Of course we’re open if I’m here working!

What is the most common question? Can I speak with the Registrar’s Office? It could be students or parents. Internally it’s people asking for phone extensions.

Do you ever answer your home phone with “Wilfrid Laurier University?” Oh yes – more so at the beginning.

What’s the most frustrating question? People calling to ask if we’re

What about life outside of Laurier? My husband Dieter and I have a

For a complete list of events visit

non-perishable food item.

Photo: Lori Chlamers Morrison

Are there people you know over the phone but haven’t met in person? I speak to a lot of administrative assistants who I have never met and may never meet. There’s a pastor who phones in and doesn’t need to identify himself. He asks us about our day and recognizes each of our operators and calls us by name.

Enjoy the entertainment and creativity of a host of street performers at the Busker Carnival. Visit for a full schedule of events. New Faculty Orientation When: Sept. 7 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Where: Senate & Board Chamber Cost: Free New full-time faculty and contract academic staff are invited to learn about Laurier’s teaching services and resources, meet colleagues and discuss teaching-related matters. A full agenda is available at id=333&p=16816.

10-month old Daschund puppy named Chai. When we picked her up, they called her “shy” but it evolved into “Chai.” Chai means “a spicy black tea with a little bit of honey.” She’s black with a little bit of gold. We have two grown sons and three young grandchildren. I also enjoy yoga, line dancing and walking.

By Lori Chalmers Morrison

Take care of your smile Did you know that poor oral health can affect other areas of your body? Studies show a connection between poor oral health and systemic diseases such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Here are some tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy. • Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss to remove plaque between the teeth.

• Check your teeth and gums regularly. Look for red or swollen gums, loose teeth, pain along the gums and bad breath. • See a dental professional on a regular basis for cleanings. Adopted from Health Canada. To learn more, visit

• Use water, toothpaste or rinses containing fluoride to strengthen your teeth and promote health tooth development in children. • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.

2010 Teaching Assistant Conference When: Sept. 9 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Where: Bricker Academic Buildng Cost: Free Educational Development will host this conference for new and returning teaching and instructional assistants. Research assistants and students involved in support of teaching and learning on campus are also invited. For a complete schedule visit id=333&p=16806.



VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

June 2010

In the classroom

A look inside the lecture hall

Engaging students Professor: Dr. Nikolaos Liodakis Class: SY382, Social Statistics Description: Students learn the basic techniques of statistical analysis, and the role, strengths and limitations of statistical methods used in social research.

Social Statistics is a compulsory course that presents many challenges for both students and professor. “Most sociology students dread statistics, they do not see any direction relation between numbers and the real world,” said Liodakis. “I emphasize the interpretation of numbers — what they mean is often more essential for aspiring social scientists.” To engage students, Liodakis uses real Canadian Census data, which “debunks many myths and stereotypes that permeate the ‘common-sense knowledge’ of Canadian society,” and adds elements of discovery and surprise to the class. “I find that my classroom enthusiasm is contagious,” he said. “Statistics can provide invaluable insights to real social relations, and by the end of the course students are making empirical and theoretical connections with their other sociology courses.” By Mallory O’Brien

Photo: Dean Palmer

Dr. Nikolaos Liodakis uses Canadian Census data in his Social Statistics course, and adds elements of discovery and surprise to keep students interested.

Laurier participates in Commuter Challenge

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

Week of activities kicks off with Heart and Stroke “Big Bike” fundraising event

A Laurier team pedalled the 30-seat “Big Bike” around a two-kilometre route in Waterloo to show support for heart disease and stroke research. The event kicked off the Commuter Challenge, which ran from May 30 to June 5.


June 2010 insideLaurier  

June 2010 issue of Wilfrid Laurier University's internal newsletter, insideLaurier

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