Inside MAY 2012
WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY
Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto
Congress 2012 kicks off May 26 Wilfrid Laurier University will co-host 8,000 delegates over eight days
The Laurier Congress 2012 team is busy putting the final touches on preparations. From left: Laura Davey, Dan Dawson, Chinye Osamusali, Sheldon Pereira, Michael Carroll and Elenor Ty.
By Nicholas Dinka Margaret Atwood, Thomas HomerDixon and Jane Urquhart will be giving “Big Thinking” lectures. A “Connectent” featuring local entertainment, food and breweries will highlight the charms of uptown Waterloo. Guided walking tours, medieval calligraphy workshops, an Aboriginal welcoming ceremony, and a festival of classical music quartets will add to the overall atmosphere of celebration. Taking place between May 26 and June 2, the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress 2012) is, first and foremost, a meeting of academics in the humanities and social sciences who gather each year to present lectures, hold meetings and catch up with researchers from across the country. But as the above selection of events indicates, it’s much more than a quiet meeting of minds in an isolated ivory tower. “For academics, Congress is an efficient way for scholars to gather together and share ideas, meet with old colleagues and acquain-
tances, and take the pulse of what’s happening in our fields,” said Eleanor Ty, a Laurier professor of English and Film Studies, and Laurier’s academic convener for Congress 2012. “But there’s also a strong social component, both for the academics involved and the local community.” Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and co-hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, this year’s Congress is organized around the theme of “Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World.” The event will host 8,000 visiting academics, practitioners and policy-makers from more than 70 different professional associations — from theatre, literature and education, to history, sociology, geography and international development. It has been years in the making, and has involved the efforts of more than 300 volunteers, dozens of community partners and 24 working committees made up of university members and representatives of local government.
Representatives of each of the participating associations have also participated. “I’ve heard people joke that this is a once-in-a-university’s-lifetime experience,” said Sheldon Pereira, Laurier’s project coordinator for Congress 2012. “It’s such a huge undertaking that it’s not something a university would be able to do often.” Among the numerous events scheduled for the week (see page 6 for an events listing), the 10 Big Thinking lectures are key, and not just because they feature some well-known speakers. “Through this series of public lectures and through Congress itself, researchers in the social sciences and humanities can take stock of the significant changes affecting Canada and the world, from new technologies and environmental and political changes to economic upheavals,” said Max Blouw, Laurier president and vice-chancellor. “Congress 2012’s theme of ‘Crossroads’ and an exceptional roster of Big Thinkers will facilitate discussion and
collaboration on these complex global issues across disciplines.” The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is organized as a multi-association event to facilitate cross-pollination between
disciplines. It also allows the numerous academics who belong to multiple associations or whose work is interdisciplinary to attend Congress see page 2
Laurier embraces humanities and social sciences By Nicholas Dinka In recent years, public interest in post-secondary education has focused on applied academic disciplines with an explicit focus on a specific careers, such as business, law, engineering or science. Given the still-fragile state of the global economic recovery, this isn’t entirely surprising. But the humanities and social sciences remain a rich, diverse and innovative area of scholarship, both in the academy at large and at Laurier in particular, where large and robust humanities and
Chancellor Michael-Lee Chin sits down for a conversation with the CBC’s Amanda Lang.
Meet Eleanor Ty, academic co-convenor for Congress 2012, and English and Film Studies professor.
social science faculties carry on the university’s long-standing liberal arts tradition, with an eye to innovation in both teaching and research. Laurier’s approach to this diverse collection of disciplines resists easy categorization, but conversations with senior faculty members and administration officials underscore an approach that is in keeping with the university’s community focused, outward-looking and integrative approach to education. Laurier embraces see page 3
7 Susan Cadell studies the positive outcomes of stress in caregiving.
Laurier takes an integrated and engaged approach to learning is through the disciplines represented at Congress that society explores relationships among the social structures, values and beliefs of yesterday in context of the incredible rapidity of new discoveries, applications and global realities. For this reason, we also believe there is great value in an integrated approach to teaching, research and learning. That is why we weave the humanities and social sciences across all our faculties, programs and campuses. At Laurier our overarching commitment is to inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. The social sciences and humanities are central to this commitment. As our Academic Plan states, the “acquisition of academic knowledge and critical thinking skills are balanced with opportunities for engaged and relevant application and reflective practice.” We pursue this strategy in a multitude of ways, from rigorous support of academic excellence to vigorous nurturing of our valued identity and sense of community. To link these pursuits purposefully we continually enhance an integrated and engaged approach to learning. In practical terms,
President’s Innovation Seed Fund accepting proposals By Sandra Muir The President’s Innovation Seed Fund (PISF) is accepting proposals for innovative programs that can help Laurier generate new revenue and/or reduce operating costs. Members of the Laurier community are invited to submit concept proposals for evaluation by the fund’s implementation committee by May 31. The committee is interested in concepts that support internationalization, environmental stewardship, student success and teaching innovation. Established in 2009 as a pilot project, the PISF provides seed money to initiate ideas and help
them become self-sustaining programs. It supports positive, forward-thinking initiatives that have the potential to produce new revenue and/or reduce the university’s operating costs. This is the sixth round of the PISF. Successful projects have ranged from an English as a Second Language program that generates revenue while attracting international students to Laurier, to a summer acceleration program that increases the number of college transfer students recruited by Laurier Brantford. For more information about the PISF and how to submit a proposal, visit www.wlu.ca/ innovationfund.
this involves a range of innovative programs associated with Laurier’s student experience — communityservice learning, co-op education, interdisciplinary curriculum such as Contemporary Studies, and a host of co-curricular activities designed to complement the academic knowledge acquired in the classroom and in labs. As Laurier enters its second
Volume 6, Number 10, May 2012 Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Kevin Crowley, Nicholas Dinka, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien, Lisa Sakulensky
I invite you to explore Laurier during your time with us and I wish you a most enjoyable and rewarding Congress experience.
Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor
Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin, left, and President Max Blouw, centre, greet attendees at the university’s inaugural Conversations with Leaders event in Toronto. For the full story, see page 5.
sessions from different associations. Laurier’s involvement in Congress 2012 originated in 2007, when Laurier and the University of Waterloo spearheaded a joint bid for the conference. Preparations have been going on ever since, with a major ramp-up of work beginning about one year ago. “The last 12 months have been intense,” said Pereira. “The best thing is when you start to see the eureka moments in our committee members. It’s an expedited process in which they go very rapidly from being strangers to colleagues to engaged partners in a project with very tangible outcomes.” Those outcomes will impact both Laurier and the larger
InsideLaurier is published by Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
century, we are proud of the foundational role that the humanities and social sciences have played in building our reputation as one of Canada’s finest universities. We will build on this proud legacy as we innovate how we educate and pursue scholarship in an increasingly complex and challenging world.
Photo: Lisa Sakulensky
Welcome to Congress 2012 and welcome to Wilfrid Laurier University! We are pleased and honoured to co-host this year’s event with our neighbour, the University of Waterloo, and with the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Congress is among the most vibrant and important academic gatherings in Canada. The liberal arts have long been a pillar of higher education, but as our world evolves in more complex and challenging ways we will depend increasingly on the knowledge and skills that flow from the study of the disciplines represented at Congress. These skills include critical thinking, reflective analysis, communication, the ability to synthesize a range of viewpoints, and the willingness to engage ambiguity and embrace diversity. It may seem in today’s technology-driven society that the disciplines that garner the most headlines are those associated with science, engineering and mathematics. These disciplines are indeed essential. At Laurier, we believe the humanities and social sciences are equally essential. It
community, say the organizers. “Hosting Congress 2012 has all kinds of benefits,” said Ty. “It’s a chance to enhance the links between Laurier and the University of Waterloo, to give back to the local community, and to raise the profile of our faculty members. Our graduate students will not only showcase their research, but also meet important scholars in their disciplines. This will put us on the map.”
There have been challenges along the way — particularly around molding all of the disparate groups involved into a coherent organizational unit. But in recent weeks the pieces of the puzzle have been coming together. “The countdown is on,” said Ty. “My hope is that everyone who comes will remember this as one of the best Congresses they’ve had.”
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Next issue of Inside June 2012
MAY 2012 Inside NEWS
What’s new and notable at Laurier
Laurier appoints new university librarian Laurier has appointed Gohar Ashoughian to the role of university librarian for a five-year term commencing Aug. 1, 2012. Reporting to Deborah MacLatchy, the university’s vice-president: academic and provost, Ashoughian will be responsible for the leadership, evaluation, development and day-to-day administration of the Laurier library system in Waterloo, Brantford and Kitchener. She is responsible for managing the Library’s 55 staff members, librarians and managers, and for ensuring that the Library’s resources are aligned with the priorities of the university as a whole. The university librarian also serves as library head archivist, responsible for Laurier’s historical archives and special collections. Ashoughian has held a number of leadership positions in the United States and Canada, most recently as university librarian at the University of Northern British Columbia. She was also previously associate university librarian, collection services and assessment, at the University of Regina. “I’m very excited to be joining this flagship Ontario university at a time when both the university and library are growing and evolving,” said Ashoughian. “I’m looking forward to helping the Library develop its strategy and organization as it continues to adapt to the 21st century.” Ashoughian will be taking
Laurier embraces continued
“Laurier integrates the humanities and social sciences across all of our campuses, disciplines and professional programs,” said Deborah MacLatchy, the university’s vice-president: academic and provost. “Our goal is to promote scholarship that grapples with the most important and challenging problems of our time, and graduate students who are globally aware, critical thinkers with the skills to resolve complex issues in their lives and careers.” Laurier’s Faculty of Arts, which encompasses both humanities and social sciences, is the university’s largest, with nearly 200 full-time members. When Laurier’s Brantford campus and the university’s faculties of Music, Social Work and Education are included, these fields account for over half of all faculty. “As academic convenor of Congress 2012, I’ve had the occasion to review the people here at Laurier and the work they do, and I’ve been amazed by the depth and breadth of scholarship being done,” said Eleanor Ty, a Laurier English and film studies professor. “There’s an excellent balance between traditional scholarship and newer disciplines.” Officially launched in 1924, Arts is Laurier’s oldest faculty. For decades it defined the university’s identity as a small school with a tightknit community and a focus on teaching undergraduates. Even as it retained its small-school identity, the university steadily expanded throughout the 20th century
over from Sharon Brown, who is completing her second five-year term as university librarian. Brown will take an administrative leave before returning to work as a librarian in the Laurier Library.
Laura Crocker named Outstanding Woman of Laurier Laura Crocker has been named the 2012 Outstanding Woman of Laurier. Crocker, the skip for Laurier’s varsity women’s curling team, received the award during a luncheon at the Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel. Crocker is a fourth-year Psychology major and a two-time Academic All-Canadian. “I want to thank Laurier for giving me the opportunity to excel as an athlete, as a student and as a community volunteer,” Crocker told the crowd after accepting her award. “As female athletes, we do face challenges, but we do have very big dreams. We all want to be at the Olympics one day, but we know we will never get there without a room full of people like you supporting women’s athletics.” Crocker accepted her award in front of more than 300 people attending the awards luncheon. Eleven women competed for the prestigious award this year, including two who joined Crocker as finalists: Hanna Burnett and Caitlin Muirhead. Crocker won back-to-back OUA championships this past year. She
Laurier has won six awards at the 27th annual Educational Advertising Awards. The university’s awards were for advertising and marketing materials created for the “100 years inspiring lives of leadership and purpose” campaign,
beyond its Lutheran roots and pure focus on the arts and theology, steadily adding new programs in the social sciences, science and business. The Faculty of Social Work opened its doors in 1966, while the prestigious music school became the Faculty of Music in 1975. The university’s Brantford campus opened its doors to students in 1999, and since that date Laurier has expanded rapidly into a mid-size university with over 17,000 students. The growth in the university’s student body has come with
and other co-curricular learning opportunities. “Professors at Laurier really do give to their students,” said Michael Carroll, the university’s dean of Arts. “It’s the culture here, despite the increase in student numbers, and our graduates all mention that sense of community.” Laurier’s Brantford campus is both exemplary of this approach and distinct within the university. The campus focuses on arts and social science programs with an applied, practical component, such as criminology, journalism and health studies.
Varsity curler Laura Crocker accepts her award at a luncheon at the Waterloo Inn.
won the 2011 CIS championship, followed by a 2012 CIS championship win in March. Crocker represented Laurier and Team Canada at the Kariuzawa International Curling Championships in Japan, where she captured a gold medal. Crocker also volunteers as a Little Rock instructor and assists in the elementary school program Rocks and Rings. Outside of sport, she is actively involved in a developmental education classroom where she works with seven students with developmental delays.
Laurier on YouTube Meet Laurier alum Mike Morrice, founder of Sustainable Waterloo Region and featured in a Laurier’s Inspiring Lives ad in The Globe and Mail newspaper. www.youtube.com/LaurierVideo
Laurier wins six advertising awards
“ Society needs people with the vision to make the world a better place ... ” an enhanced focus on research and graduate studies. “We have amazing researchers here,” said Abby Goodrum, Laurier’s vicepresident: research. “When you look at SSHRC funding for instance, more than one-third of our grant proposals are successful, which puts us comfortably above the national average.” Despite these changes, teaching remains central to Laurier’s identity. The university continues to emphasize this area in keeping with its integrated and engaged model of student learning, which emphasizes the integration of traditional classroom learning with co-op, community-service learning
which marked the university’s centennial in 2011. One of the university’s gold awards, presented in the Newspaper Advertisement/Single category, was for an advertisement featuring Ayiko Solomon, a war survivor and Laurier graduate who founded a non-profit agency to
promote peace and sustainable development in his native Uganda. The second gold, presented in the Newspaper Advertisement/ Insert category, was for a nine-page newspaper insert featuring profiles of eight inspiring Laurier students and graduates. Laurier also won a silver in the Imprinted Materials category for its LAURIER100 canvas bags. It received a bronze in the Newspaper Advertisement/Series category for the series of 12 full-page newspaper advertisements that included the Ayiko Solomon piece. The judges also presented Laurier with merit awards for a newspaper advertisement featuring Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin and an advertisement in Grand Magazine featuring a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier composed of maple leaves.
The Brantford curriculum is organized around a core program called Contemporary Studies, which examines contemporary issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, and is designed to provide transferable skills and instill the kind of awareness that marks engaged, informed citizens. “All of the students at our campus take this core program and then match it to a more specialized program, so they gain expertise in a particular field but have a broadbased approach to knowledge as well,” said Bruce Arai, dean of the Brantford campus. “It’s a holistic approach that recognizes the problems of the world are not going
to be solved by any one discipline.” The idea that individuals versed in the humanities and social sciences have a crucial societal role to play in the coming years is a key theme across the university as a whole. “Humanities and social sciences produce individuals with certain core skills — reflective thinking, taking the view of the other, communicating and writing effectively, for example,” said Carroll. “These are skills that society needs on a practical level, but it’s easy to lose sight of the deeper reason. Society needs people with the vision to make the world a better place, which is something this kind of education can impart. The truly thorny problems we face are going to be solved by people with this kind of education.” Laurier scholars will have a robust opportunity to share some of their ideas at Congress 2012, the annual meeting of more than 70 national associations of humanities and social sciences scholars, which runs from May 26 to June 2 at Laurier’s Waterloo campus and the University of Waterloo. Several Laurier academics will be speaking at the conference, and many more will be attending events and meeting with colleagues from across the country. “At Laurier we pride ourselves on community, and for students we place a lot of importance on participating in that community both in the classroom and beyond,” said Ty. “Congress 2012 is our opportunity to share that spirit with the wider academic world.”
Professor wins OUSA teaching award By Sandra Muir Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, a professor and associate dean of students in the Department of Languages and Literatures, is the recipient of a 2012 Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Award for Teaching Excellence. This award recognizes educators who go above and beyond the textbook to inspire their students to learn. It is awarded annually to professors from each of OUSA’s member campuses as selected by students as examples of teaching excellence. Rowinsky-Geurts, who specializes in contemporary Spanish and Spanish-American literature, has won numerous awards for her teaching. In her 18 years as a professor at Laurier, Rowinsky-Geurts has influenced the lives of hundreds of students. She is also well known for her memorable workshops and presentations, and her research is recognized worldwide. “This award was a complete surprise,” said Rowinsky-Geurts. “It is very special to me because it comes from the students, who are the main partners in the learning process,” said Rowinsky-Guerts. 3
Author Joseph Boyden joins Laurier reading group By Mallory O’Brien Members of the Laurier Reads Boyden reading group were joined by the author himself for the final discussion of his book Through Black Spruce. Boyden is an award-winning novelist whose work has been influenced by his Métis heritage. After a welcome from English Professor Tanis MacDonald, who organized the reading group with colleague Ute Lischke, the special evening on the university’s Waterloo campus began with a smudging ceremony led by Melissa Ireland, Laurier’s Aboriginal student support coordinator. Participants cleansed themselves with the smoke from burning sage to purify mind, body and spirit. Then a drumming group performed a traditional welcome song. Boyden spoke to the crowd about his experience writing his first novel, Three Day Road, which took him five years to write and an immense amount of research. He also spoke about the depression he felt after finishing it, saying it was like losing companions he spoke with for so long.
Boyden realized the characters in the book had more to say, so he continued the Bird family saga in his second novel, Through Black Spruce. He read two passages from the book. This was followed by a lengthy question and answer period, where a lively audience had the chance to ask questions about the books or share their own thoughts and interpretations. The topics in question varied from themes in the novel of balance, nature, the mythical windigo, family and alcoholism, to Aboriginal culture, contemporary Aboriginal issues and Boyden’s own life and writing techniques. “I try to write at least 1,000 words a day,” he told the crowd, joking that he may not keep all of them. He also spoke about his recent keynote address at Great Moon Gathering in Fort Albany, Ont., an annual conference that brings together teachers from all eight Omushkego Education Authorities and surrounding communities, as well as his friendship
with Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, his love of the CBC and teaching creative writing at the University of New Orleans. At the end of the event, Boyden signed books and shared some teasers from the last book he is planning to write in the trilogy. Nick Steinberg, a fourth-year
English student, had the chance to speak to Boyden with a handful of other students interested in creative writing earlier in the day. “It was a great experience,” he said. “[Boyden] is very self-deprecating, and it was humbling to realize how down-to-earth he is. It was encouraging to learn how
hard he works at writing, too.” Three Day Road won the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize in 2006, and was nominated for a 2005 Governor General’s Award. His follow-up novel, Through Black Spruce, won the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Boyden is working on his first young adult novel. In addition to writing, he is starting a not-for-profit organization to help teens at risk of suicide in Aboriginal communities. During his three-day visit to Laurier’s Waterloo campus, Boyden also met with Aboriginal students and delivered a public lecture. The well-attended lecture, titled “Write From Wrong: Giving Voice To A People,” focused on re-imagining the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Research award and special event mark World Parkinson’s Day at Laurier movements are planned, learned and controlled, with specific interest in dysfunctions originating in the brain’s basal ganglia. “It is the contributions of all those students and of our clients who participate in our research studies that made the work possible,” said Almeida. “This is really an award for the centre and for Laurier.” The award was announced
at the MDRC in an event to recognize World Parkinson’s Day, held annually on April 11. The event featured a “human tulip” made up of 150 Parkinson’s supporters carrying red and white balloons in the shape of the “Parkinson tulip,” a cultivar developed by a horticulturalist with Parkinson’s that has become an international symbol of the disease.
Supporters release red and white balloons to mark World Parkinson’s Day.
Teaching climate change with maple syrup By Mallory O’Brien Ontario teachers can sweeten their lessons on the impacts of climate change thanks to the Maple Syrup, Resilience and Climate Change research team at Laurier’s Brantford campus. Using information from their ongoing research, professor Brenda Murphy and concurrent education student Jennifer Angermann have teamed up to create interactive, technology-based lesson plans 4
Name: Heather Bouillon Job Title: Financial Operations Supervisor, Brantford campus Book Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Author: Rebecca Skloot Henrietta Lacks died in 1951, but her cells live on today and have been used extensively to advance medical research, all without the consent of Henrietta or her family. I don’t normally read biographies, but I like how the book moves fluidly between the history of the Lacks family and the author’s journey researching the book. It tackles issues of race, medical experimentation, property rights, research ethics and the business of human tissue – all while appealing to non-scientific audiences.
Photo: Sandra Muir
Quincy Almeida, director of Laurier’s Sun Life Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC), has been chosen as the 2012 Early Career Distinguished Scholar by the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. The annual award recognizes the outstanding achievement of researchers who are still in the early stages of their scientific careers. The awards committee noted that Almeida’s productivity, the quality of his work, the quality of the journals in which he has published were factors in its decision. A professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Almeida is an expert on movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. His research is focused on the neurocognitive and neuromotor mechanisms of how
for Ontario teachers about maple syrup and climate change. The lessons are designed for use with SmartBoards (interactive whiteboards), and include the history of maple syrup in Canada, how its production and uses have changed over time, and the effects of climate change on production. The lessons are designed to help students understand the impact individuals can have on the environment, and how they can help reduce their ecological
footprint. Each lesson contains expectations directly from the Ontario curriculum documents and can be altered to fit requirements for different grade levels. “Getting students interested in and passionate about climate change can be difficult,” said Murphy. “We developed these lessons as a fun, interactive approach for students using the tangible example of how it is affecting something as common as maple syrup.”
What are you listening to? Name: Angel Evans Job Title: Educational Supports Administrator, Brantford campus Title: Ever After Website: Marianas Trench
The 12 songs on this CD make up one continuous track, which tells a fairy tale written by lead singer Josh Ramsay. Typically, I listen to the CD when I run, since most of the songs are upbeat and keep me running at a good pace. Marianas Trench is definitely worth listening to for the band’s ability to integrate many modes of music into one album.
MAY 2012 Inside
Laurier chancellor talks with journalist Amanda Lang By Kevin Crowley Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin and CBC journalist Amanda Lang delighted a crowd of more than 100 people at the university’s inaugural Conversations with Leaders speaker event in April. Held at the Toronto Board of Trade, the event featured an interview-style conversation between Lee-Chin, one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, and Lang, a veteran business reporter and television personality. Lee-Chin recalled his childhood years growing up in Jamaica where his parents worked three jobs each to provide their nine children with the necessities of life. His parents’ work ethic and devotion to family forged in him a lifelong belief in the importance of role models. “The highest form of leadership is to lead by example,” he said. Of the 120 students in his elementary school, Lee-Chin was one of only two to go on to high school. From there he travelled to Hamilton, Ont., to study engineering at McMaster
University. To help pay his way, Lee-Chin wrote a letter to the prime minister of Jamaica asking him to make an “investment” in one of his fellow citizens by providing Lee-Chin with a scholarship. The prime minister obliged. “That’s hutzpah,” said Lang. To which Lee-Chin replied: “It was desperation,” explaining that without the scholarship he could not have completed university. Lee-Chin, who made his fortune in the mutual fund industry, said he became interested in investing while working as a bouncer shortly after graduation. A friend told him that he’d earned $100 in one day through investing. Lee-Chin calculated how many hours he’d have to work as a bouncer to earn that amount of money and decided that investing was something he ought to look into. He entered the mutual fund industry in 1977 and landed his first customers by introducing himself to people in his neighbourhood. He later drove from farm to farm in the Tillsonburg area of southwestern Ontario explaining the tax and investment benefits of mutual funds.
In 1983, Lee-Chin borrowed $500,000 to buy Mackenzie Financial, a small mutual fund manager. Within four years the stock he purchased for $1 per share had increased to $7 per share, and his initial investment grew to $3.5 million. He then bought an investment company, AIC Limited of Kitchener, which he grew into a much larger collection of diversified companies. In 1990 these businesses had $8 million under management; eight years later that figure had grown to $8 billion. Despite his skills and hard work, Lee-Chin said his life has been “blessed” by a number of circumstances beyond his control: being born in an era and country where he was free to pursue his fortunes; and having caring and supportive parents who encouraged him to succeed. Nonetheless, Lee-Chin is an astute student of investment legends such as Warren Buffett. He told the crowd at Tuesday’s event that he has distilled a number of key principles by studying wealthy people. These include: • Understand the businesses you invest in
Photo: Lisa Sakulensky
Michael Lee-Chin delights crowd at inaugural Conversations with Leaders event
Michael Lee Chin chats with reporter Amanda Lang at Laurier’s inaugural Conversations with Leaders event.
• • •
Own stable companies Invest in growth industries Hold your investments for the long term A self-described optimist, Lee-Chin also emphasized the importance of learning from your mistakes, saying “every experience is an education.” Asked why he continues to work hard despite his personal wealth, he offered one of his favorite maxims: “Success begets complacency begets failure.” As
well, he said, it is important to him as a father to continue to be a role model for his children. A generous philanthropist whose motto is “do well by doing good”, Lee-Chin has a passion for education, which he described as the great “equalizer” among people of all backgrounds. His many charitable gifts include educational support for students. Laurier’s next Conversations with Leaders event will take place in the fall in Calgary.
University names teaching award recipients Laurier joins Eduroam network Laurier faculty members Penelope Ironstone and Ronald A. Ross were recognized with 2012 Awards for Teaching Excellence. The awards recognize faculty who engage students, build community and foster classroom interaction. A full-time associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, Ironstone is passionate about her subject and says her teaching approach is one that allows her to both challenge and entertain her students. One technique she uses is mnemonics, which is a learning technique that aids memory. For example, Ironstone may tell jokes to help
make a concept more memorable or use gestures to link to a certain idea. “If delivery bores me, it will definitely bore the students,” said Ironstone. “So I like to bring the lecture more into the present moment.” Part-time instructor Ronald A. Ross teaches in the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies and in the Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies Program Ross has been at Laurier since 2000, and is known for his professionalism, engaging students inside and outside of the classroom, and his ability to create
a learning environment in any class size. “What it means to me is that what I’ve been doing has worked,” said Ross. “It validates the amount of effort I’ve put into my teaching, mentoring of students and community service.” Ironstone and Ross will receive their awards at Laurier’s spring convocation in June.
Visitors from participating institutions can securely access Internet on campus Wilfrid Laurier University has joined Eduroam, a service that provides secure access to wireless networks at cooperating educational institutions worldwide. Using Eduroam, Laurier staff and faculty can obtain Internet connectivity while visiting other participating institutions by simply logging into their computer or wireless device with their Laurier usernames and passwords. Visitors to Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses, and Kitchener location can also access the Internet
Laurier appoints new dean of School of Business & Economics Micheál Kelly, a professor of Strategic and International Management and former dean at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, has been named the dean of the Laurier School of Business & Economics (SBE). Kelly, who will join Laurier in July, is a respected academic who helped transform the Telfer School into a leading centre for management education and research. He is also a highly sought-after consultant in the technology sector, and has extensive experience in government. Kelly will be taking over from Professor William Banks, who has
served as acting dean since Feb. 1, 2011. “Laurier’s SBE has a great reputation among Canadian business schools for the quality of its students, faculty, programs, research and alumni,” said Kelly. “All of the ingredients are there to build an institution of global significance and prominence.” Kelly served as dean at Telfer from 2000 to 2010. Under his leadership the school earned three major international accreditations, known as the “Triple Crown”. The accreditations indicate that every aspect of a business school – from its activities and programs to its mission and corporate governance — has been thoroughly evaluated
and meets the highest standards of excellence. It was also during this time that Telfer received the largest naming endowment ever for a Canadian business school. Currently, Kelly is professor of Strategic and International Management at the Telfer School. His recent academic research focuses on the management of global innovation systems, research and development alliances, and the competitive strategies of technology-based firms. He advises technology companies around the world on foreign investment strategies, alliance management and financing international expansions. Prior to joining the University of
Ottawa in 1998, Kelly held senior positions with the Government of Canada in various departments including foreign affairs, international trade, industry, and science and technology. Kelly has a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs and Economics from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts; a Master of Science in Political Science-International Relations from the University of Ottawa; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from Carleton University.
using their home credentials if they are from a member institution. Eduroam is available to all Congress 2012 delegates who come from universities that are part of the network. A list of participating institutions is available at www. eduroam.org. For information on how to configure your computer or mobile device, visit www.wlu.ca/ its/eduroam. Delegates can also access the Internet using the service at the University of Waterloo, which is also an Eduroam member.
LALL celebrates 15 years The Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning (LALL) is celebrating its 15th anniversary on May 22. To celebrate, there will be an anniversary lecture and reception at 7 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chambers on the Waterloo campus. Dr. Andrew Thomson will be the keynote speaker, and will lecture about “Leadership and Purpose: A History of Wilfrid Laurier University.” Tickets are $5 and includes the lecture, hot and cold hors d’ouevres and refreshments. For more information, visit www.wlu.ca/lall.
coffee with a co-worker
Getting to know staff and faculty across campus
Name: Eleanor Ty Title: Congress 2012 Academic C0-convenor; Professor, Department of English and Film Studies Where you can find her: Dr. Alvin Woods Building, Room 3-154, Waterloo campus, Drink of choice: I drink mainly tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of chai tea lately. I also like to drink decaffeinated coffee with cream, which is nice to have with a piece of dark chocolate.
Eleanor Ty has a large role to play in Congress 2012, which will draw more than 7,000 participants.
How long have you been at Laurier?
Can you describe your role with Congress?
I started at Laurier in 1991 in the English Department. At first I focused on 18th-century British literature. I was attracted to this area because these women authors were talking about women having the right to education and to have more voice within the family. That was very appealing. Now I focus more on Asian North American literature, which didn’t exist when I was a student. These are authors who write about growing up Chinese or Japanese, experiencing pressures of assimilation and feeling issues of non-belonging, but at the same time wanting to be part of the mainstream culture. This is much closer to my own experience.
I’m an academic co-convenor along with James Skidmore of the University of Waterloo. Academic convenors help choose who will be on the list for the Big Thinking lecture series. We help to craft the theme for Congress, which has to do with crossroads — in terms of the interdisciplinary nature of Congress, as well as the notion of the city of Waterloo itself being at a crossroads in terms of technology and the old-world Mennonite culture. We also help promote our researchers and their work, and negotiate association partnerships and event locations between the two universities. We also want to make sure delegates have a good experience after hours and are helping to set up cultural events.
Heard on Twitter
The most enjoyable part is working with people who are very willing to help. Everyone has been very enthusiastic — from the Physical Resources Department, to residences, researchers and Food Services. You get so much positive energy from talking to people who are keen to lend a hand. How would you describe the experience of Congress? I’ve been going to Congress for 25 years, even before I was a professor. The best way to describe it is getting together with people who have the same research interests as you and work in your field. It’s also an opportunity to see old friends and
Jane Urquhart Intertextuality or Easter Egg Hunt: A Canadian Writer’s Adventures in the Library When: May 28, 7:45 a.m – 8:55 a.m. Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus
The University of Waterloo: @uwaterloo
Kim Thúy A Long Journey When: May 26, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus
Mary Eberts Professor As Citizen When: May 28, 12:15 p.m – 1:20 p.m. Where: Theatre for the Arts, University of Waterloo
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada: @aucc_ca
Kim Thúy fled Vietnam as a young refugee. Her tale is captured in her award-winning book, Ru.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada / Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada: @SSHRC_CRSH
David Johnston Democratizing Knowledge: The Key to Progress When: May 26, 12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Where: Maureen Forrester Hall, Waterloo campus
Mary Eberts is co-founder of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and Ariel F. Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan.
HASHTAGS #Congress2012 #BigThinking GENERAL Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences: @fedcan Wilfrid Laurier University: @LaurierNews
BIG THINKING SPEAKERS Margaret Atwood: @MargaretAtwood Thomas Homer-Dixon: @TadHomerDixon David Johnston @GGDavidJohnston GENERAL EVENT INFO Waterloo Region: @ExploreWaterloo City of Waterloo: @citywaterloo
make new friends. A lot of times people go to grad school together and then they get jobs in different parts of the country. The only time they meet again is at Congress. So, it’s a great mixture of professional and personal opportunities. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like swimming and cooking. I recently just came back from the Philippines. I was born there and took my children (ages 13 and 15) to Manila for the first time. It’s a very busy and crowded place. When I came to Canada at the age of 14, it felt like such a big space with fewer people. In comparison, there is a mall in Manila that will see 70,000 people walk through its doors on a single Sunday. By Sandra Muir
For a complete list of Congress 2012 events visit www.wlu.ca/lauriercongress
BIG THINKING LECTURE SERIES Laurier staff, faculty, students and community members are invited to attend the Congress 2012 Big Thinking Lecture Series. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information about lecture topics and presenters, visit www. congress2012.ca.
Follow the latest Congress news on Twitter!
David Johnston is Governor General of Canada and former president of the University of Waterloo. Sidonie Smith Toward a Sustainable Humanities: Reconceptualizing Doctoral Education for the 21st Century When: May 27, 12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Where: Theatre for the Arts, University of Waterloo Sidonie Smith is a professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan.
What do you love most about your Congress role?
Jane Urquhart is the author of seven internationally-acclaimed novels.
Margaret Atwood Title TBA When: May 29, 12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Where: Humanities Theatre, University of Waterloo Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 50 volumes of poetry, Margaret Atwood children’s literature, fiction and non-fiction. Don Tapscott, Chantal Hébert & Dan Gardner Panel Discussion: Imagining Canada’s Future When: May 29, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Where: Paul Martin Centre, Waterloo campus Don Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation,
media and the economic and social impact of technology; Chantal Hebert, national affairs writer with the Toronto Star, is a regular member of CBC’s weekly ‘At Issue’ panel; and Dan Gardner is a best-selling author and awardwinning columnist for the Ottawa Citizen. Janine Brodie Social Literacy and Social Justice in Times of Crisis When: May 30, 12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Where: Maureen Forester Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Janine Brodie is a Canada Research Chair in Polical Economy and Social Governance at the University of Alberta Chris Hedges Death of the Liberal Class When: May 31, 7:45 a.m – 8:55 a.m. Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist, author and war correspondant. Thomas Homer-Dixon New Tools for Understanding a Turbulent World: Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences When: May 31, 12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Where: Maureen Forester Recital Hall, Waterloo campus Thomas Homer-Dixon is chair of Global Systems at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and director of the Waterloo Institute for
Complexity and Innovation at the Unviersity of Waterloo. OTHER CONGRESS EVENTS Gathering at the Crossroads: Walking a Good Path When: May 27, 1:30 p.m. Where: Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus Cost: Free and open to the public Engage your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves in this participatory celebration featuring Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee traditions. Highlighting the region’s indigenous tastes, sights, and sounds, this gathering showcases dancing and drumming from the Red Tail Hawk Drummers from the Chippewa of the Thames, while offering a sampling of food prepared by Six Nations chef Dennis Robus. Experience Waterloo: An Uptown Celebration When: May 28, 29, 30 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Where: The Connectent at the corner of Father David Bauer Drive and Erb Street, Waterloo Cost: $10/day Visit the Connectent in Uptown Waterloo for a celebration of local foods, beverages and entertainment. Featured artists include Joni NehRita’s R&B Project (May 28), Canada’s polka king Walter Ostanek (May 29) and university favourite Blackwater Draw (May 30). To purchase tickets, please visit http://congress.catertrax.com.
MAY 2012 Inside research file
Researching the positive outcomes of stress Susan Cadell studies the emotional growth of bereaved parents and those with ill children really a practice degree and a lot of students want to get out in the Susan Cadell remembers her first field and work directly clinical interview with a parent with clients. whose child had died. She wasn’t “They don’t see sure what to expect because she themselves as researchers, had never talked to a bereaved yet one does not preclude parent about the experience. The the other,” she says. “You woman walked into the room can do both. I just try to and started talking right away. help students find their Cadell had to pause the converareas of passion.” sation to make sure the woman Cadell’s PhD research first filled out the necessary studied post-traumatic paperwork. growth in people who “She would rather not have had cared for someone an ill child and a child who died, with HIV. It was a but given that it happened, she subject close to her was just grateful to have someone heart — she lost several looking at the total perspective,” friends during the AIDS says Cadell. “I wasn’t just asking epidemic in the 1980s. for the negatives — I was asking She translated her PhD for the total view.” research into looking at Cadell, an associate professor caregivers with a child in Laurier’s Faculty of Social who had died. Work (FSW) and director of Instead of a specific the FSW’s Manulife Centre illness, Cadell’s current for Healthy Living, is close to research considers the completing a six-year study caregiver experience with looking at the positive outcomes a much broader lens. It of stress, with a focus on uses four categories of palliative care. Her research, illness as developed by funded by the Canadian Instithe British Royal College tutes of Health Research (CIHR), of Paediatrics and Child examines factors that allow Health. The categories parents to survive, and even grow, are: where there is a cure; while facing the stress of caring a cure but no treatment; for a child with a life-threatening no cure or treatment, just illness. management; and where Initially, Cadell was interested Photo: Sandra Muir a child has multiple in studying palliative care from conditions. the standpoint of the profesSusan Cadell says palliative care is about living and making the most out of any time that is left. Cadell uses a mixed sionals because it seemed to be methodology to conduct an interesting area of work, but her research. There is a questionof Waterloo, and her mother young boy as part of a volunteer one that was highly stressful. As naire that parents fill out at three worked in admissions at Laurier’s “friend” program at her school. she started to work in palliative points in time. Many of the Faculty of Social Work. Cadell The little boy attempted suicide. care, she realized there was parents take the opportunity to completed her master’s and PhD “There was a big meeting [of a need to understand the include pictures of their children, degrees in social work at Laurier. teachers and administrators] and experience of families with an ill as well as video. As the first FSW PhD graduate I wasn’t invited, even though child or one that had died. “Even when people are from Laurier to be hired as I worked with him every week “Most research in this area answering a tick-box questiona professor by the university, for months on end,” says Cadell. focuses on the negative aspects, naire, they feel like they are Cadell says her role is a perfect “That’s when I decided I should but there is very little about the fit. She loves conducting research, telling their story and commube a professional. I felt like I had positives — and there are both nicating with us,” says Cadell. and also enjoys teaching something to contribute, and it positives and negatives.” “These parents are really eager to Research Methods, a course that just really built on that.” Cadell’s research focus, and her participate and tell their stories strikes fear in many students’ Cadell always wanted to motivation to enter the social because they feel no one is really hearts. She says MSW students work field in the first place, stems work in the social work field. listening to them.” often don’t think of themselves Her father was a psychologist from a personal experience. As a In addition to questionnaires, as researchers because MSW is and professor at the University teenager, she was paired with a By Sandra Muir
Cadell and her team conduct personal interviews with a smaller number of parents. “There is something about actually listening to caregivers tell their stories that really brings it home,” she says. “It also facilitates analysis.” The research to date suggests many caregivers experience a strengthening of relationships. They often value their relationships with their ill child and other children much more strongly. Caregivers also find the resources within themselves to advocate for their children, and even other people’s children. “They often realize they are much stronger than they thought they were,” says Cadell. These results fly in the face of what Cadell originally believed — that palliative care is about dying. “In fact, palliative care is about living and making the most of however much time is left,” she says. “That’s a really nice lesson for all of us.” The research project is about to wrap up and Cadell has already applied for funding to make a documentary featuring some of the families. She is also planning to continue her research with a more focused look at pediatric oncology. “The experience of parenting a child through cancer seems like an experience that is a bit different from other illnesses,” says Cadell. “There is a possibility of a cure in many cases, but there can also be ongoing symptoms of the treatment once the cancer is gone. There just seems to be a great level of uncertainty.” For Cadell, who is the mother of three children — aged 18, 17 and 13 — the research has also had some positives for her. “I feel very fortunate that I’ve never had a child with a major illness, and at the same time, I know it can happen at any time,” she says. “Recognizing that it can happen therefore makes my children all that much more important.”
New Sustainability Action Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gases Wilfrid Laurier University has approved a new Sustainability Action Plan, which sets a 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a five-year period. “The Sustainability Action Plan will play a strategic role in keeping us focused and engaged as we continue to foster a culture of sustainability at Laurier,” said Max Blouw, president and vice-chancellor of Laurier. “I am confident that it will have a valuable and lasting influence on how this university upholds its responsibility to minimize its impact on the environment.”
Laurier’s Sustainability Action Plan was created to establish initiatives and related milestones for sustainability progress in multiple areas of the university, including education, operations and community partnerships. Examples include, but are not limited to: • Integrating sustainability programming into academics, training and awareness initiatives • Engaging faculty, staff and students and the wider community in sustainability initiatives on and off campus
Using sustainable design guidelines in new construction on campus • Reducing water, waste and energy consumption on campus • Encouraging and facilitating alternative transportation for faculty, staff and students • Increasing monitoring and reporting on sustainability initiatives The Sustainability Action Plan contains plans, reports, policies and assessments, such as an emissions summary from 2009 that acts as the university’s
baseline. From these assessments, key indicators were developed to measure the plan’s progress. With the plan, Laurier will be better equipped to respond to emerging trends and opportunities by effectively managing sustainability in the short, medium and long term. 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. Since then, the university has taken many steps forward. These include: imple-
menting an energy management plan; designing new buildings to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards; adaptive reuse of existing buildings; rolling out numerous projects such as a central recycling and composting system; supporting alternative forms of transportation, such as cycling; participating in an ongoing assessment program through the Sustainability, Tracking, and Rating System (STARS); providing annual reports on programs and progress; and many other initiatives. 7
Wealthy Barber author returns to Laurier for book signing David Chilton advises Canadians to focus on the positive things in life By Kevin Crowley If David Chilton could give people just one piece of advice it would be this: Cheer up. The personalfinance guru and bestselling author of The Wealthy Barber visited Wilfrid Laurier University recently to promote his new book, The Wealthy Barber Returns, and to talk about his new role as a member of the popular CBC television show, Dragon’s Den. In a delightful address that was both amusing and insightful, Chilton talked a lot about personal finance. But he also spoke about the Canadian penchant for dwelling on the negative and his own passionate belief that people should focus more on the positive things in life. “We’ve lost the ability to distinguish between a minor inconvenience and a major problem,” he said. “When I’m interviewed, people often say to me, ‘Dave, you’ve always said ‘save 10 per cent.’ But if I could say one thing to people, it would be: ‘Cheer up.’ “ “We’re so lucky and we don’t realize it,” he continued. “If you are living in Canada and you are healthy, you have nothing to complain about.” A Laurier graduate, Chilton attracted a crowd of more than 300 people for a talk and book-signing event organized by the university’s
Alumni Relations Department and the Laurier Bookstore. Chilton began studying economics at Laurier in 1979. After graduating, he became a stockbroker after earning the highest mark on the Canadian Securities Course. However, he soon discovered a love for public speaking and teaching people about personal finance. At 25, he got the idea for a book. The initial concept, he said, was a humorous book about all the things that Canadians do wrong with their money. That soon morphed into a different structure: a guide to personal finance told in the form of a story about a fictional barber named Roy in Sarnia, Ont., who dispenses simple but sound financial wisdom to three young adults. The Wealthy Barber was first published in 1989. Financial experts at the time didn’t think much of the book’s format, but Chilton’s buddies on his slow-pitch baseball team loved the plain language and engaging dialogue. After a sluggish start, sales took off and the rest, as they say, is history. The Wealthy Barber has sold more than 20 million copies and remains the all-time bestselling Canadian book. As the book took off, Chilton became a much sought-after public speaker. He later partnered with
authors Janet and Greta Podleski in publishing the bestselling cookbooks Looneyspoons, Crazy Plates and Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! His latest book, The Wealthy Barber Returns, diverges from the fictional format of its predecessor but uses the same plain language and common-sense approach to managing your finances. That reflects Chilton’s own approach to life. Despite his quick wit and standup-comedy style, he is a self-described “low-key guy” who says he hesitated when first asked to join the Dragon’s Den, a popular
Photo: Tomasz Adamski
television show in which aspiring entrepreneur’s pitch their business ideas to a panel of hard-nosed multimillionaires. But after taping his first five episodes in Toronto, Chilton said he is “thrilled” that he agreed to join the show. Despite the tough exterior of the panelists, they “are all very nice people.” Chilton, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by Laurier in 2006 and was named to the university’s list of 100 Alumni of Achievement in 2011, said he managed to mention Laurier a
couple of times during taping. “Laurier has been very positive and influential in my life,” he said. “I had a lot of really good professors.” As for his latest personal-finance advice, Chilton says he is concerned by the level of debt that many Canadians are taking on. People are driven too much by consumerism and the need to accumulate possessions. “We define ourselves so much by our possessions,” he said. “I call it the ‘granite countertop phenomenon’ — people feel they’re a failure if they don’t have granite countertops in their homes. “People are living beyond their means — it’s that simple.” Chilton, who says he doesn’t “care about stuff” and lives in a modest 1,300-square-foot home, is particularly worried about young people who have been taught to overspend. “We all struggle with parenting but, man, we spoil kids these days.” Chilton ended his talk on a positive note, urging people to live within their means and to focus on the many good things we all have in our lives. “The average Canadian lives a better life today than kings and queens lived 50 to 100 years ago,” he said. “Our lives are so much better now. There are lots of good things to focus on.”
in the classroom
Hands-on learning Instructor: Bonnie Glencross Class: AR461: Theory in Archaeology I
Assistant Professor of Archaeology Bonnie Glencross uses models of skeletons, weapons, pottery and other artifacts to represent the layout of a burial site. Using cues such as where the bodies were laid in the ground, what they were buried with and in what position they were buried, students analyze the cemetery and make deductions about the ancient society. “While we can’t always visit the field for instructional purposes, we can bring the field to the classroom with simulations like the cemetery exercise that promotes understanding of concepts and practices, while engaging the students in active learning,” she says. “Hopefully students will take away a better understanding of how current practices and theory in archaeology developed, refine their skills necessary for investigating, analyzing and interpreting archaeological remains, and gain a real sense of the value of archaeology in addressing current issues.”
Photo: Mallory O’Brien
Description: Introducing students to various theoretical paradigms from 1920-1970 that continue to be used in archaeology today.
Assistant Professor Bonnie Glencross uses simulaton exercises that allow students to think about and particpate in archaeology.