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Waterloo | Brantford | Kitchener | Toronto

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

JUNE 2013

Laurier celebrated spring convocation on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses, graduating more than 2,800 students. For the story and more photos, see page 8.

Multi-campus governance taking shape Laurier aligns governance by academic discipline and administrative function

Only 15 years ago, Laurier was a small, single-campus university based in Waterloo. With the establishment of the Brantford campus in 1999, the university took an important step in its evolution by expanding to multiple campus locations. Now, with the Brantford campus at close to 3,000 students, and multiple locations, including Kitchener, Toronto and a possible future Milton campus, Laurier has evolved to become a mid-size, multi-campus university. To help set the course for Laurier’s future, the Presidential Task Force on Multi-Campus Governance, established in 2010, articulated 14 consensus points on governance. The consensus points reflect Laurier’s values, culture and history, and informed the development of the multi-campus governance model, approved by Senate and the Board of Governors in 2012. Key to the governance model is the principle that university gover-


nance be aligned by academic discipline or administrative function rather than geographic location. Functional leaders will be accountable for their activities across all campuses, and location-specific coordinating bodies will ensure that programs and services are delivered effectively at each campus. The work to put this principle into practice has begun.

created from among the programs currently offered at the Brantford campus. Effective July 1, the Brantford campus will be home to the Faculty of Human and

Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts. “It was an appreciable amount of work for the members of the Brantford working group to

evaluate different faculty structures for the Brantford campus, and to finally propose to create Multi-campus see page 4

Master of Music Therapy program marks 10 years

ACADEMIC ALIGNMENT Senate and the Board of Governors approved a report from the Brantford academic governance working group that outlines a new multi-faculty structure at the Brantford campus. The group’s mandate was to develop models for a one-faculty, two-faculty, and three-faculty structure and to recommend one of the models. Following extensive consultation and deliberation, the group recommended that two faculties be

Haudenosaunee Journey forges relationships between Laurier and Aboriginal educational leaders.

Manfred and Penny Conrad learn about the new Music Therapy Clinical Improvisational Lab from Professor Heidi Ahonen at the Master of Music Therapy program’s 10th anniversary reception.


Stephanie Burgoyne and Sybil Geldart are researching beauty labels in advertisements.


Photo: Tomasz Adamski

By Kevin Klein & Sandra Muir

Ute LIschke teaches in the student-centred Active Learning Classroom.


JUNE 2013

president’s message

Laurier must prepare for the change ahead is far more open, accessible and multi-directional than ever before. Entwined with these broad forces is a significant change in societal expectations: simply put, students, parents, government, business and taxpayers are demanding that universities do things differently and more efficiently. Let me take a moment to mention just some of the areas that face pressure to change: • Cost effectiveness. There is no doubt that universities are expensive: our talented labour force is our biggest expense; traditional campuses also have high capital and maintenance costs; our rate of inflation is typically higher than other sectors; and questions persist about faculty tenure and an academic calendar that was designed for an agrarian society which no longer dominates daily lives. • Education delivery. Traditional teaching has been delivered face-toface, with some blending of online instruction over the past 25 years. Pressure is mounting to increase the online component; there is a move toward massive open online courses (MOOCs), which encourage largescale, interactive participation and open access; and there is intense demand for new, flexible kinds of

learning modes — self-directed, peer-to-peer, not-for-credit, co-op, lifelong learning, community service, and workplace or workcentered, to name just a few. • Job training. There is a growing perception, despite much evidence to the contrary, that university programs do not adequately prepare students for employment, and that the return on investment for individual students and for society is not meeting expectations. • Who pays? As the cost of tuition rises alongside the cost of delivering quality education, questions are being asked about the appropriate balance between private and public contributions, and the role of private and public funders in university governance. My view, based on years of experience and substantial independent evidence, is that universities continue to offer great value to students and to society. For example, there are plenty of data to show that university graduates get jobs faster, are paid more, remain unemployed less long, are more upwardly mobile, pay more taxes and have better health than those with less education. My view is also that we must adapt to changes in funding, in technology, and in societal needs

multi-campus governance structure shows a collective understanding of the current economic climate and the ongoing need to be responsive, cost-effective and accountable. Change is upon us and the Max Blouw, left, with honorary degree recipient and pianist times ahead will Janina Fialkowska, and Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin. be challenging. We will be called upon to justify our structures and and perceptions if we are to stay our methods, and to propose ways relevant and effective. The truth is, to better meet society’s needs. we live in an era in which the onus But I am confident that Laurier’s is squarely on universities to ensure historical commitment to academic that public perceptions reflect excellence, our heritage of collaboaccurately our accomplishments and value, and to show a willingness ration, and our belief in the value of student-focused learning will to adapt and improve. enable this university to adapt and Fortunately, Laurier has always prosper. shown a willingness to confront I look forward to working with difficult challenges and work colleyou all as we embrace this transforgially to embrace change. mation together. Our ongoing efforts to be innovative in how we teach, to increase research capacity, and to improve our student experience will position us well for the times ahead. And our willingness to engage in Integrated Planning and Resource Max Blouw Management and to implement a President and Vice-Chancellor

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

Every year I look forward to convocation with a sense of joy and optimism. It is the pinnacle of the academic year, a time to step away from the day-to-day work of the university to celebrate our graduating students and, through them, the achievements of the entire Laurier community. This year, as I sat on stage looking out over so many bright young graduates, I also found myself thinking about the profound change that is rapidly reshaping higher education. The educational experience of our most recent graduates is quite different than the experience of those who graduated just 10 years ago; and the educational experience of their children will be even more distinct, perhaps to a degree we cannot currently imagine. It is no exaggeration to say that the traditional model of higher education is being fundamentally transformed, and at a faster rate than many of us realize. Much of this change stems from the economic challenges and financial constraints that grip Ontario and much of the world. Other changes are linked to advances in technology, where the sharing of knowledge and the dissemination of information

Professor connects Haitian and Canadian school principals By Sandra Muir When Laurier Professor Steve Sider first went to Haiti about 10 years ago, he remembers seeing street vendors walking around Portau-Prince with landline phones connected to a nearby store with a long cord. Today, smartphone vendors and cellphone towers are pervasive in Haiti — a change that helped Sider create a Digital Mentoring Project to support school principals in one of the world’s poorest countries. Sider, an assistant professor in Laurier’s Faculty of Education, provides donated smartphones to principals in Haiti, and also connects education leaders in Haiti with principals in Canada on issues such as resources,

curriculum development and communication strategies. A former school principal, Sider provides professional development to education leaders around the world. In 2003, he started providing workshops to education leaders in different regions of Haiti. But Sider soon realized it wasn’t enough. “I would go for one or two weeks, and then six months would pass and there was this huge time lag,” he said. “I started to think about what I could do in between those visits, and when I realized how much wireless connectivity there

is in Haiti, I had that ‘aha’ moment, and the Digital Mentoring Project was born.” Smartphones also provide a chance for school principals within Haiti to support and connect with one another. “What we’re hearing from principals in Haiti is that prior to their involvement with the Digital Mentoring Project, they were basically islands unto themselves,” said Sider. “We have principals in remote schools who would have to travel a few hours to meet faceto-face. This project gives them access to colleagues they would never have otherwise met, and also provides them with support from people outside of the country.” On a recent trip to Haiti, Sider toured schools and universities

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

InsideLaurier Volume 7, Number 8, June 2013 Editor: Stacey Morrison Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Kevin Crowley, Kevin Klein, Lori Chalmers Morrison, Sandra Muir, Mallory O’Brien Printed on recycled paper


with the director of the Ministry of Education in Cap-Haitian, Haiti’s second-largest city. In just a few hours, the director received 40 voice messages and well over 100 emails, which Sider said proves that smartphones are becoming an essential communication tool for educators. “No one knows what the future of

any country is, but it seems to me that the foundation of any country has got to be education,” said Sider. “A population that can read and write, and consider, debate and analyze, is probably going to be a stronger nation. Something as simple as a smartphone has the potential to be part of the transformation of a country.”

Send us your news, events & stories Email: Deadline for submissions: August 16 All submissions are appreciated, however not all submissions will be published. We reserve the right to edit all copy for accuracy, content and length.

InsideLaurier welcomes your comments and suggestions for stories. Tel: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3341 | Fax: (519) 884-8848 Email: InsideLaurier (circ. 2,100) is published eight times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in InsideLaurier do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Available online at


Next issue of Inside September 2013

JUNE 2013 Inside NEWS

What’s new and notable at Laurier

Brian Rosborough named senior executive officer of Brantford campus Laurier has appointed government relations director Brian Rosborough to the new position of senior executive officer of its Brantford campus. Rosborough’s five-year term starts July 1, 2013. The senior executive officer reports to the university president and represents his office at the Brantford campus. The role has two core functions: to create opportunities and strategies that advance Laurier’s academic mission, and to build strong relationships with the Brantford campus’ partners and stakeholders. Rosborough will be a bridge between the university and the City of Brantford, the communities of the surrounding region, and Aboriginal communities including Six Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit.

Laurier wins 12 marketing and communications awards Laurier has earned 12 top awards in the prestigious 2013 Hermes Creative Awards competition. Laurier won six platinum and six gold awards in the international competition, which recognizes outstanding achievements in the concept, writing and design of

marketing, communication and advertising materials. Laurier received platinum awards for both its Inspiring Lives brand and print campaign, as well as the 2013 Guidebook and Waterloo campus Welcome Book. In addition, the university won platinum for Laurier Campus magazine, and for a story about Hollywood writer and alumnus Chuck Tatham that appeared in a recent issue of the magazine. Laurier received gold awards for its ACUNS quarterly newsletter, the Executive Masters in Technology Management program guide, the MBA program guide, the Inspiring Lives video series, the Inspiring Lives logo, and for the university’s internal newspaper, InsideLaurier. Since its centennial in 2011, Laurier has won more than 60 awards for marketing and creative initiatives.

Common Reading Program creates shared reading experience Laurier’s new Common Reading Program has chosen the novel Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese, as its inaugural book. More than 50 books were nominated for the Common Reading Program, an initiative that will see Laurier’s 1,400 incoming first-year Faculty of Arts students on the Waterloo campus receive a free copy of the book this summer and participate in related online discussion groups and campus

events in September. Laurier’s Common Reading Program invites all students entering the Faculty of Arts in September 2013 to share a reading experience as they become members of the Laurier community.

Interior work begins on Athletic Complex Work on the Fitness Centre expansion is progressing. With glass now installed on both the north and south walls of the building and roofing complete, the focus is now shifting to the interior. Athletics and Recreation staff have been busy finalizing interior finishes, media and IT requirements, plus branding inside and out and furniture purchases. The general contractor took over the Fitness Centre on June 1 to work on the interior. As a result, the Fitness Centre will be closed until mid-August to accommodate this work. During the closure, equipment will be available in the AC Multipurpose room and one squash court, offering a balanced fitness experience in these alternative spaces. As well, the customer service desk has been moved to the lower level. A temporary access to the Athletic Complex might be required and the university community will be advised.

GIE officially breaks ground By Sandra Muir

demand for enrolment in these programs and expand the university’s ability to deliver integrated and engaged learning opportunities to students locally and globally. It will also enhance the synergies between Laurier’s Business and Applied and Financial Math programs, and represent Laurier’s leadership role in business and technology. The 215,000-square-foot building will boast four storeys, a 1,000-seat auditorium, a four-storey atrium, lecture halls including a 300-seat circular lecture hall, and a Finance Research Lab with real-time trading facilities and Bloomberg terminals. The GIE is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

Photo: Sandra Muir

With ceremonial shovels in the ground and sights set on the future, provincial government and Laurier officials marked the construction start of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building on University Avenue at Laurier’s Waterloo campus. The May 17 groundbreaking event celebrated the $103-million future home of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics and Department of Mathematics, which received a $72.6-million investment from the Ontario government in 2011. “The Global Innovation Exchange is an exciting step forward in Wilfrid Laurier University’s service

and contributions in the City of Waterloo,” said Laurier President Max Blouw. “As the name implies, it will connect Laurier and our region increasingly to the global community, and it will be a tangible expression of the commitment of Laurier faculty, staff and students to global outreach, innovation and excellence.” The provincial government’s investment in the GIE is the largest single capital investment in Laurier’s history and signals the province’s confidence in the calibre of teaching and research at Laurier. Housing the School of Business & Economics and the Department of Mathematics, the GIE will allow Laurier to meet the growing

(l-r): Jeff Henry, Waterloo councillor; Farouk Ahamed, Board of Governors chair; Max Blouw, Laurier president; John Milloy, minister, Government Services; Ken Seiling, Waterloo Region chair; Micheál Kelly, SBE dean; and Paul Jessop, Science dean.

When the newly renovated Fitness Centre reopens, there will be an enhanced customer service area, double the square footage in space, two new studios, TRX training station, more than $600,000 in new equipment and many more features.

Laurier Association of Lifelong Learning celebrates 16 years The Laurier Association of Lifelong Learning (LALL) celebrated its 16th anniversary with a lecture and reception at the end of May. Keynote speaker Neil Aitchison delivered a talk titled “The Power of Laughter” to an audience of more than 200 people. Aitchison has emceed for several charities, and has appeared on radio and television commercials, plus live theatre productions. LALL offers a unique learning option for adults with non-credited

courses intended for personal interest and self-education. To learn more about LALL and upcoming courses, visit www.wlu. ca/lall.

BMO Financial Group donates $1.25 million to Laurier Laurier’s School of Business & Economics received a $1.25-million gift from BMO Financial Group, which will support entrepreneurship and global education initiatives for students. The donation will fund a professorship in entrepreneurship that will support curriculum, program development and research in entrepreneurship across all faculties at Laurier, fostering entrepreneurial behaviour in all students. The gift will also support students involved in international exchange programs, as well as provide 210 academic scholarships and grants.

l-r: Micheál Kelly, SBE dean, Max Blouw, Laurier president, Susan Brown, BMO senior v-p, Steve Farlow, director of Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Rob Donelson, v-p Development and Alumni Affairs.

Laurier names outstanding teaching award recipients By Sandra Muir Laurier recently announced the recipients of the 2013 Awards for Teaching Excellence. The awards recognize a full-time faculty member and a part-time contract academic staff member who have a strong connection with their students, foster interaction in their classrooms, and innovate curriculum design. In the full-time faculty category, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies Rob Milne was recognized for his extensive teaching dossier — 17 different courses and more than 8,700 students between 2003 and 2012 — the remarkable quality of his online course development, outstanding teacher evaluations, and his strong knowledge of ecology and environmental studies. Milne said he tries to relate to students on an individual basis and consider how they both want and need to learn. “I try to simplify complex concepts by relating the course material to real-world examples that the student experiences in their daily life,” he said. “I also feel it’s important that they look beyond their degree, beginning in first year, to consider future career opportunities, whether it is grad school, teaching or in the environmental field.”

Rob Milne, left, and Duane Heide.

He also believes in using online systems to facilitate learning. In the part-time contract academic staff category, Duane Heide was recognized for his outstanding small-group teaching, curriculum development, and an integrated learning style. A part-time instructor in the Faculty of Education, Heide has been at Laurier since 2009 teaching primary/junior mathematics instruction methods. He is also an elementary school teacher. Heide says his teaching approach is very hands-on, getting students to use math manipulatives: blocks and volume containers to engage with the material. “Some of my students come to the Faculty of Education with a fear of teaching mathematics, so it is my job is to support and inspire them to enjoy teaching math,” he said. “I also teach them methods they can use immediately in their practicums. I’m always thrilled when a student tells me that a lesson went well.” 3


JUNE 2013

Multi-campus continued two academic faculties,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vicepresident: academic/provost. “An academic governance structure is now in place which recognizes the unique programs offered in Brantford within Laurier’s definition of discipline-based faculties.” The Faculty of Human and Social Sciences includes the Criminology, Health Studies, Psychology, and Leadership programs. Bruce Arai, former dean of the Brantford campus, will assume the role of faculty dean. The Faculty of Liberal Arts includes Contemporary Studies, Journalism, History, English, Youth and Children’s Studies, Human Rights and Human Diversity, Languages at Brantford, and Law and Society. John McCutcheon, currently acting dean of the Brantford campus, will serve as acting dean of the faculty while a full search is undertaken. Additionally, two new associate deans will be named; one will be responsible for program development within and among faculties and the other will be responsible for academic coordination (including academic

newly approved Bachelor of Social Work will be offered in Brantford by the Faculty of Social Work in Kitchener. Masters programs in Criminology and Social Justice & Community Engagement are available on the Brantford campus as part of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “With these significant changes to the academic structure in Brantford, Laurier has moved multi-campus governance forward a great deal,” said McCutcheon. “I’m pleased that the recommendations of the working group were accepted and we can continue to move forward as a leader among multi-campus institutions.” ADMINISTRATIVE ALIGNMENT To ensure administrative functional alignment across all locations, an administrative implementation team was created. Members include Pam Cant, assistant vice-president of Human Resources; Tony Araujo, director of Campus Operations at the Brantford campus; and Wayne Steffler, assistant vice-president of Administration, was created. The team developed a question-

“ The process really made functional units think about how they are structured. ” advising) of intersecting faculty activities. These two associate deans will report directly to the vice-president: academic (VPA) to reflect their university-wide mandate and to provide a day-today presence in Brantford for the VPA office. In addition to creating two new faculties, the Brantford campus will see three existing faculties operating on campus this fall. The Bachelor of Business Technology Management program is offered at Brantford and affiliated with the School of Business & Economics on the Waterloo campus, and the

naire and organizational chart template aimed at helping senior leaders and their departments consider three stages of multicampus growth: at current student levels, with Brantford at 5,000 students, and with Brantford — and possibly another future campus — at 15,000 students. “The purpose of this exercise was to have departments deliberately plan how they are going to deliver services to multiple campus locations now and in the future to support the principles outlined in the task force report,” said Cant. “And to do so in a consistent way

across the university.” Each department also considered three types of positions within its functional area: central institutional positions that service the entire university; campusspecific positions that deliver functions at a specific location only; and blended positions that have both a university-wide mandate and campus-specific duties. All positions would report to the functional leader, regardless of location. The administrative implementation team reviewed and compiled the templates into a summary report, which was approved by President’s Group in early 2013. “The process really made functional units think about how they are structured,” said Steffler. “This has brought clarity around accountabilities, responsibilities and role definitions between functions and at all locations, and provides a great road map for our future growth.” Currently, Human Resources is working with department leaders to ensure reporting relationships within and between campuses formally align with the multicampus plans. Multi-Campus Functional Groups (MFGs) will be established to foster cross-campus integration among departments with employees at various locations. This will give departments an opportunity to share best practices and expertise, and ensure consistent service is delivered across locations. One example is all members of a department, from all locations, participating in regular team meetings. At the local level, Campus Administrative Groups (CAG), made up of the most senior functional leaders at each location, will foster local integration, communication and collaboration at each campus. A CAG will initially be organized at Laurier’s Brantford campus. “As Laurier continues to grow and change, all of these structures we have put in place will need to be consistently reassessed to make sure they continue to meet the needs of our stakeholders,” said Tony Araujo.

Juanne Clarke named 2013-2014 University Research Professor Sociology Professor Juanne Clarke has been named Laurier’s 2013-2014 University Research Professor. Clarke has focused on three main areas throughout her research career: medicalization, gender, and media. Recently, she has been working on children’s mental health issues. Her University Research Professor project will continue this work with a cross-national scan of media representations of children’s mental health issues around the world. Clarke has published 16 books, including Health, Illness and Medicine in Canada, in its 6th edition, and has received 10


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research grants since 1985, in addition to other funding. Clarke came to Laurier as a full-time lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 1971. She is a full professor in Laurier’s Sociology department, an adjunct faculty member in the Community Psychology graduate program and the Doctor of Social Work program, and has served as coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies program. The University Research Professor award was created to recognize a continuous record of

outstanding scholarship by a full-time Laurier faculty member and to enable that scholar to complete a major piece of research. The award also emphasizes the importance of research at Laurier and promotes the achievements of the university’s outstanding scholars. The University Research Professor award provides a $10,000 research grant and two course remissions for the year. The award is given each year at fall convocation with a citation.

IPRM working groups appoint permanent co-chairs By Lori Chalmers Morrison After two meetings led by interim co-chairs, Laurier’s Integrated Planning and Resource Management (IPRM) working groups have each elected permanent co-chairs to lead the groups through the IPRM process. The Planning Task Force (PTF) members elected Kim Morouney, associate professor, Organizational Behaviour/Human Resource Management and associate dean of Business: academic programs, and Mary-Louise Byrne, associate professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, as permanent co-chairs. “We look forward to truly open discussions across the university— conversations that go beyond the traditional academic and administrative boundaries,” said Morouney. “We’ve been heartened by the collegial dialogue that has already begun to take place, even at this early stage in the process.” In addition to leading the working groups through IPRM, the PTF co-chairs will keep the Laurier community informed about IPRM developments. “Regular communication throughout the IPRM process is essential for a successful outcome,

and we welcome questions from all members of the Laurier community,” said Byrne. Permanent co-chairs for the additional IPRM working groups include: Academic Priorities Team: • Bob Sharpe, associate professor, Geography and Environmental Studies • Peter Tiidus, professor, Kinesiology and Physical Education Administrative Priorities Team: • Tony Araujo, director: Campus Operations, Brantford • Ray Darling, registrar Resource Management Team: • Joanne McKee, assistant vicepresident: Financial Resources • Ruth Cruikshank, associate professor, Policy, and associate MBA director Since they began their training and meetings in February, the PTF has worked to develop mandates and guiding documents for each of the working groups. The working groups have focused on finalizing decision protocols and developing program evaluation criteria. For background information and ongoing updates including meeting schedules and brief meeting summaries, visit the IPRM website

Name: Shawna Reibling Job Title: Knowledge Mobilization Officer, Research Services Book Title: Everyday Author: David Levithan I’ve just finished reading Everyday by David Levithan. In the book, the main character, A, wakes up every morning in a different body. Day to day, A can be male or female, any ethnicity, any size and in any type of household. But then A falls in love. The book asks: Can you truly love someone regardless of what they look like on the outside? I enjoyed the book because it forces the reader to think outside of themselves and ponder the nature of identity — who are we really?

What are you listening to? Name: Jenna Olender Job Title: Manager, Writing and Study Skills Services, Brantford campus Album: Heartthrob and Welcome Oblivion Artist: Tegan and Sara, and How to Destroy Angels I’m in a nostalgic mood these days, and I’m really enjoying two recent releases: Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob and How to Destroy Angels’ Welcome Oblivion. Tegan and Sara’s album is reminiscent of the wellcrafted pop songs of my youth, like Shakespears Sister. How to Destroy Angels is Trent Reznor’s (of Nine Inch Nails) new project and it has that distinct Reznor sound, though not as aggressive. Nine Inch Nails has been a staple in my record collection since the group’s first release in 1989.

JUNE 2013 Inside

Haudenosaunee Journey creates connections

Participants travel to three institutions to build Aboriginal and academic relationships By Kevin Crowley When the bus rolled out of Brantford on May 14, the 24 passengers were a little unsure of what lay ahead. After all, the participants came from several different communities, many didn’t know one another well, and some didn’t know each other at all. But three days, three campuses and 1,100 kilometres later, bonds were formed, ideas shared and insights gained. The trip was called the Haudenosaunee Journey — Haudenosaunee being the Aboriginal word for the Iroquois people. The aim of the journey was to develop stronger relationships between Laurier and educational leaders in the region’s Aboriginal communities, while learning more about the cultural, social and educational challenges of First Nations communities. The journey also provided a chance to learn more about Indigenous Studies programs and Aboriginal support

services at other universities. The participants included representatives from the Six Nations and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, along with Laurier faculty, staff and students from the Brantford and Waterloo campuses. The three-day itinerary included stops at the University of Toronto, Trent University in Peterborough, and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The idea for the journey came from Lesley Cooper, acting principal/vice-president of Laurier’s Brantford campus. Cooper believes Laurier can improve its programs and services by better understanding the cultural, spiritual and language backgrounds of students who come from the Six Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit, and by incorporating these learnings into student programming. “It is important for Laurier as an educational institution to reach out to our Aboriginal neighbours and try to understand their heritage, their needs and their issues,” she said. “There is much we can learn for the benefit of everyone.” Ava Hill, a member of the Six

Nations elected council who has been involved in Aboriginal affairs at the national and local levels, agreed. “Establishing relationships and networks — that’s what makes the world go around,” said Hill. “It is important that we take part in each other’s activities because that promotes understanding.” Andrea King-Dalton, acting director of education for the Mississaugas of the New Credit, also appreciated the opportunity to discuss issues related to Aboriginal education with staff and faculty from Laurier and from the host universities. “From the outside looking in, I think you need to be commended for engaging in dialogue,” she said. Laurier has been strengthening its Aboriginal support services over the past few years. In 2010, the university created the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and appointed Jean Becker as senior advisor. A member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador,

well, Laurier Brantford’s Strategic Plan includes a goal to deepen relationships with Aboriginal people and communities. In the past few years, Laurier has enhanced its Aboriginal support services for students, staff and faculty on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Each campus now has its own Aboriginal Student Centre and a range of services, from cultural and awareness activities to specialized counselling and academic support programs. The university has also invested in Aboriginal student recruitment and retention programs, and is reaching out to Aboriginal youth in the community through such programs as the ASPIRE activity days for those aged 13-16 and the annual High School Friendship Lacrosse Tournament, which draws students from the Six Nations and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. According to Kandice Baptiste, Aboriginal student recruitment

Becker had previously spent four years as the elder-inresidence with the Aboriginal Field of Study program at York. ca, New y in Itha Laurier’s Faculty it rs e iv n U t Cornell of Social Work. ssions a In discu At the time of and retention officer, Laurier had Becker’s appointment, Laurier 90 undergraduate applicants in President Max Blouw said: 2009 who identified their heritage “Aboriginal youth are underas Aboriginal. So far in 2013, the represented in post-secondary university has 220. education, and there is a recogDetermining how many nized need for universities to Aboriginal students are enrolled provide the necessary support at Laurier is a bit of a challenge so that Aboriginal students can because students are not required reach their goals as individuals to self-identify. Students have the and as members of the larger option of self-identifying when Canadian society.” they apply to university through Support for Aboriginal the Ontario Universities’ Appliprograms is highlighted in the cation Centre. Those numbers university’s Academic Plan, indicate that Laurier currently which “recognizes the unique has 122 self-identified underheritages of Aboriginal peoples graduate Aboriginal students, and supports the intentions of but Becker and Baptiste estimate First Nations, Inuit and Métis the total number to be about peoples to preserve and express twice that, or nearly 250. Of the their distinctive indigenous self-identified students, 59 are cultures, histories and knowledge enrolled at the Brantford campus through academic programming and 63 at the Waterloo campus. and co-curricular activities.” As Laurier currently has eight

self-identified Aboriginal faculty members and 16 staff members, Becker said. As for academic programming, Laurier offers an Indigenous Studies option at its Brantford campus as well as courses on various aspects of Aboriginal history, culture and politics at the Waterloo campus. Laurier also offers a Master of Social Work, Aboriginal Field of Study, through its Faculty of Social Work in Kitchener. The three-day Haudenosaunee Journey yielded many learnings and observations as the participants interacted with Aboriginal staff and faculty at the University of Toronto, Trent, and Cornell. Here are a just a few: • Representatives from the three host universities all emphasized the importance of providing specialized support services to attract and retain Aboriginal students. While the transition to university may not be a big challenge for some Aboriginal students raised in urban and suburban settings, it can be an enormous change for students raised on reserves. • Post-secondary education is an effective way to empower individuals and communities. But even though Canada’s Aboriginal youth population is growing at three times the national average, university participation rates lag those of other Canadians. According to 2006 Census data, eight per cent of Aboriginal people in Canada had attained a university degree compared to 23 per cent of non-Aboriginal Canadians. “We have a duty to look at education as a way to build and re-build our communities,” said Emerance Baker, director of Trent’s First Peoples House of Learning. • A number of participants on the Journey, as well as representatives from the host universities, emphasized the fundamental importance of encouraging young Aboriginal people to aspire to post-secondary education. • Representatives from all three universities said it was important to open Aboriginal social and cultural activities to non-Aboriginal students, staff and faculty as a way of building awareness and understanding of Native culture and issues. • At U of T and at Trent, the Indigenous Studies professors and related academic support offices are located in the same general area as the Aboriginal

support services, allowing for a convenient interaction between students, faculty and support providers. • Cornell has an impressive living-learning residence hall called Akwe:kon, meaning “all of us.” It houses 35 students and is the centre of Aboriginal cultural activities and social gatherings on the university’s sprawling Ivey League campus. A key architectural feature of the wood-constructed building is the light-filled, two-storey circle room. • Trent also has a First Peoples House of Learning, which includes a distinctive, lightfilled circle room with the word Ska’nikón:ra — “gathering our minds together” — inscribed on a plaque in the entranceway. Trent also has a First Peoples Performance Space theatre, an outdoor sweat lodge, and a large, functional teepee for informal uses, such as group discussions and cooking meals. During the Haudenosaunee Journey, many of the Aboriginal participants spoke their Indigenous languages when introducing themselves at each university. Sherri Vansickle, an Aboriginal support counsellor with the Grand Erie District School Board in Brantford, later spoke about the importance of practising and nurturing Native languages. She urged her non-Aboriginal colleagues to “honour us with our own language, again and again.” In the spirit of this request, Vansickle and Bonnie Whitlow, Laurier’s Aboriginal student support coordinator for the Brantford campus, were asked to sum up the Journey in Haudenosaunee terms. They offered the following three related words: Ka’nikonhrí:yo, which means “to keep the Good Mind”; Sken:nen, which means peace; and Ka’satsténhsera, which means power or the strength of the mind to make good decisions. As the Haudenosaunee Journey rolled to an end, Lesley Cooper said she was pleased with the outcome. “This has been a fantastic journey,” she said. “I think we achieved better relationships and we learned what other universities offer in terms of Indigenous Studies and Aboriginal support services, and we’ve also learned more about what we do at Laurier in these areas and the potential we have to do more.”

P.S. Many thanks to Janice Vilaca, executive assistant to the principal/ vice-president of the Brantford campus, who, with the help of student office assistant Cindy Cobos, organized the Haudenosaunee Journey! 5


JUNE 2013

coffee with a co-worker

A look at staff and faculty across campus

Name: Mallory O’Brien Title: Communications and Public Affairs Officer, CPAM Where you can find her: 255 King St., N., Third Floor, Waterloo Drink of choice: Irish Breakfast tea with milk and half a sugar

Mallory O’Brien enjoys rock climbing and recently travelled to Las Vegas to climb at Red Rock Canyon, above.

How long have you been at Laurier? I came to Laurier as a student in 2004, and in 2006 started working in Laurier’s Department of Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) as a part-time communications assistant. After graduating in 2008, I started working full-time in CPAM on a contract, and that turned into a permanent writing job that became a public affairs role. What is your typical workday like? I start my day by clearing smaller tasks, such as web administration help or photography requests. I also prefer to write in the morning, so if I need to work on a bigger story for Campus magazine or insideLaurier, I try to do that early in the day. I also write campus updates for the

Heard on Twitter

website and news releases, take photos or video at university events, and cover events for stories. I also handle media requests, which involves connecting reporters with professors or university officials. What do you like to do in your spare time? I love to climb. I go to an indoor rockclimbing gym in Kitchener and recently went to Las Vegas with some friends to climb at Red Rock Canyon. It’s a really beautiful area and the climbing is spectacular. I also volunteer at the gym, belaying beginners and helping them get started with climbing. I also like to run in the summer and snowboard in the winter. It’s great to have a sport for each season

because you can enjoy the outdoors all year long. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? I think people would be surprised at the amount of video games I play. My dad bought the original Nintendo for my brother and I, and we played a lot of Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. when we were little. I really fell in love with games when I played Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero? It was the first game to draw me in with its awesome storytelling. Today, I mostly play first-person shooter, action/ adventure, role-playing, horror and puzzle/ platformer games on the PC and Xbox 360. Some of my favourite games are The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Metroid Prime,

Resident Evil, Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R., Alan Wake, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, LIMBO, Portal, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Minecraft. That’s a big list, and I could keep going! What do you like most about working at Laurier? I just generally love academia. I love being able to promote higher education, and as an alumna, it is really special to convince people to try Laurier. Also, I get to meet some really cool students and alumni and learn about all the amazing research that goes on at the university. I’m working part-time toward my Master of Arts degree in English and Film Studies here at Laurier, and I’m really enjoying it. By Sandra Muir

Big turnout for Staff Development Day

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

@CIGIonline In new policy brief, Andrea Brown looks at Uganda’s National Urban Policy: lFgsX @africaportal @LaurierNews June 3 @RandomHouseCA Congratulations, @EricRWalters on your honorary degree from Wilfrid #Laurier University! cc @ LaurierNews June 3 @AQBlogGrill Dean of Biz & Econ Micheál Kelly @LaurierNews was a terrific guest. Big things coming for WLU. #entrepreneur #hawks mJwkuZn5Wu June 5

Photos: Stacey Morrison

@simmonssteve Its Graduation Day for our youngest son @mikesimmons27 at Wilfrid Laurier U. Heading to Waterloo this morning. Congrats Michael. #soproud June 6 Staff Development Day in May included a keynote talk about leadership by Ray Tanguay, chairman of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (bottom), a barbecue lunch (top left) and break-out sessions on a variety of topics led by staff members. Sandra Muir and Lori Chalmers Morrison (top right) from the Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing Department led a session called Ramping Up Your Social Media Strategy.


JUNE 2013 Inside research file

What does attractiveness mean to you? Sybil Geldart and Stephanie Burgoyne are researching how beauty labels influence our perceptions

Beautiful. Perfect. Fabulous. Lean. These are just some of the words that advertisers use in beauty ads, but are these the labels that adolescents actually use when describing beauty? That’s what Laurier researchers Sybil Geldart and Stephanie Burgoyne are exploring in a new study that goes beyond the biological response to beauty. Research on the adaptive response to beauty has long been documented with certain features known to be preferable from a fertility perspective, such as a smaller chin and larger lips for women, and bushier eyebrows and a dominant jaw line for men. But what part does culture play in how we define beauty? Is there a perceived difference between being labeled beautiful versus attractive? “I like this type of research because it moves our thinking beyond a biological basis of physical attractiveness, which has become increasingly popular in face perception research these days. It starts to explore experiential and cultural influences on our response to beauty,” says Geldart, an associate professor of psychology on Laurier’s Brantford campus. “This is really about subculture, and I think it gives a well-rounded picture of what perceptions of beauty are about.” The study follows Geldart’s previous experimental research, which measured how young women reacted to different labels of beauty. Participants were asked to rate faces based on attractiveness, prettiness or cuteness. The study found the women reacted differently to the images and spent more time looking at faces they thought should be rated attractive, compared to faces they considered pretty or cute. “This told me there was a difference between verbal codes of beauty,” says Geldart. “So we wanted to look at (social) media to see how these labels appear.” Geldart and Burgoyne, an assistant professor in Youth and

Photo: Sandra Muir

By Sandra Muir

Stephanie Burgoyne and Sybil Geldart are exploring cultural influences in our response to beauty. The first phase of their research involved analyzing print advertisements in women’s magazines, as well as television commercials, billboard ads and website ads, for key words referring to beauty.

Children’s Studies at Laurier’s Brantford campus, would often talk about their shared research interests at departmental events. Burgoyne, an active choir director and musician outside of work, wanted to differentiate labels of beauty in the modern lyrics that young people listen to today. In 2012 they decided to combine forces to research contemporary labels of beauty, starting with a content analysis. Over a six-month period they analyzed more than 160 print advertisements in a selection of Canadian and American women’s magazines for teens, adults and seniors. They also looked at television, billboard and website ads. Specifically, they looked for the words pretty, attractive, beautiful, hot, cute and gorgeous. Geldart and Burgoyne were surprised by the results. “We originally searched for the

attractive, cute, prettiness words or any derivatives of those,” says Burgoyne. “But what we discovered is that advertisers were using other words to sell their products.” The word beautiful did come up, but not in a significant percentage. Instead, Geldart and Burgoyne came across words like perfect and fabulous, or made-up words like “babe-licious.” In the magazines geared towards seniors, advertisers specifically used words like healthy and radiant. For teens, the most frequent words included cool, awesome, lean and picture-perfect. “We’re thinking that advertisers are using these words because they think these are the words that will make us want to buy these beauty products,” says Geldart. “And it seems they are adapting the words based on what they think beautiful means to those different age ranges.” In the television commercials, the researchers were surprised at

the minimal amount of text used in beauty ads. The words that were used mimicked the print ads. As a side project, Burgoyne also looked at the lyrics of Top 40 music to see how beauty was described. Again, there wasn’t much use of traditional words. “What we found more was that there was a demonstration of an appreciation for facial or bodily features, such as ‘I love your smile’ or ‘Love your eyes’,” says Burgoyne. With the content analysis now complete, Geldart and Burgoyne are preparing to interview adolescents about beauty labels to see if the words used by advertisers mirror adolescent labels of beauty. “Now we want to do qualitative work with young people — to sit with them down and ask them what attractiveness means to them,” says Geldart. The researchers say the study is important because it can help

us be more conscious of the labels that advertisers are using, and help adolescents and their parents become more aware of any pressures young adults might face. “Young people are bombarded with the visual image of beauty, which is thinness, but now we’re also bombarding them with verbal cultural expressions associated with perfection,” says Geldart. Today, both researchers say they pay more attention to wording in print ads. Burgoyne says that when she stands in the check-out line at the grocery store, she often wants to ask people what they are thinking when they look at the glossy images of women on magazines stacked by the cash register. “Are they thinking the people on the magazines are beautiful? Or pretty? We really want to know what’s going on in their heads.”

Jacqui Tam wins silver for memoir about her father By Lori Chalmers Morrison Jacqui Tam remembers the moment she realized the first book she needed to write had to be her father’s story. It was then that she put her dream of becoming a writer in motion, and began Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Gift, the moving and deeply personal story of her close relationship with her father, a relationship that defied the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. A decade after its original release, Tam, Laurier’s assistant

vice-president of Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, has been recognized by the international Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) with a silver medal for the tenth anniversary edition of A Daughter’s Gift. Tam, who never refers to A Daughter’s Gift as her book, but rather “her father’s story,” said it meant the world to her to receive the award in large part because her father would not have expected recognition. “My father never thought of

himself as a special person, but he was remarkable in many ways. He was exceedingly humble, and had an incredible impact on his children and so many others,” said Tam. Tam has always hoped that sharing her experience of losing her father to Alzheimer’s in 1994 could help other families struggling with the disease. “It wasn’t an easy story to write because I wanted to make sure it did my father justice, and because Alzheimer’s was a difficult and painful journey for all of us,” said

Tam. “It took quite a while to write and, since it’s such a personal story, it took even longer to let it go.” A Daughter’s Gift took silver in the Memoir category of the IPPY awards, with gold going to a title published by Michigan State University Press. Tam received the award at a ceremony in New York City on May 29. The IPPY awards accept submissions from independent and university publishers, and this year received more than 5,200 entries from 10 countries. Other winners

came from publishers such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House Historical Association, and Princeton University Press.

Jacqui Tam with her award-winning book in New York City.



JUNE 2013

Laurier celebrates spring convocation Wilfrid Laurier University graduated more than 2,800 students and awarded four honorary degrees during the university’s spring convocation ceremonies in June. As well, Laurier bestowed one Distinguished Governor Award to John Ormston and one Order of Wilfrid Laurier University to Mary D’Alton for exemplary service to the university. In total, eight convocation ceremonies were held — five in Waterloo and three in Brantford. Honorary degree recipients included distinguished pianist Janina Fialkowska, accomplished corporate leader John Thompson, award-winning novelist Eric Walters and acclaimed advocate for the rights of imprisoned women Kim Pate. In his opening remarks, Laurier Chancellor Michael Lee-Chin told students about a painting that hangs in his living room. It shows a scene in a sugarcane field, with the men busy in the heat of the day cutting down the cane, and the women carrying large baskets of the cut cane on their heads to load into a cart. It is a scene typical in the days of slavery. Lee-Chin said that when he has in the classroom

a bad day, he sits in front of the painting and ponders what the slaves must have went through every day with no opportunity to own belongings, no opportunity to dream and no opportunity for an education. It reminds him how fortunate he is to be living his dream, and the importance of persevering. “When things get hard, I tell myself to pull up my bootstraps and push on,” he told graduates. He reminded the audience of their own fortune, to be graduating and living their dreams. “We stand on the shoulders of our forebears,” he said. “We have the opportunity to have a voice in the system. We have the opportunity to have power in the marketplace. Don’t abuse this privilege.” In other convocation news, the first cohort of Laurier’s Health Sciences Bachelor of Science program graduated at a ceremony held at the Waterloo campus, preparing graduates for the next phase of their education toward becoming doctors, occupational therapists dentists, health administrators, and other heath-related professionals.

The first cohort joined Laurier in September 2009. Enrolment was originally expected to be 50 students in the first year, but it exceeded expectations with 78 students. The second cohort had 100 students, and the third and fourth had 120. Another 120 students are expected to enrol this fall. Following two years of required courses, including health sciences, biology, chemistry, psychology and mathematics, students begin to focus on long-term goals with their choice of elective courses in third and fourth year. Faculty members advise students on which courses to take for specific career fields and help them prepare for pre-professional entrance examinations. “The class is now almost split into people who want to go in the direction of a more science-based career, and those who want to go toward a more social science-based career such as public health or health administration,” said Rick Elliott, chair of the program, who is stepping down in June. Peter Tiidus, professor and former chair of the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, will fill the position of chair.

Photos: Tomasz Adamski

University graduates more than 2,800 students, including first Health Sciences cohort

A look inside the lecture hall

Instructor: Ute Lischke Class: EN692x – Indigenous Literature and Film: Activism, Resistance, Decolonization Description: Exploring the varied interpretations of indigenous writings, oral traditions and filmmaking through the critical analysis of historical experiences, definitions of cultures, and the meaning and implication of “Indian” identities and their representations.

By Mallory O’Brien 8

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

Laurier’s Active Learning classroom is designed to create a studentcentred learning environment. When the classroom opened in 2012, Ute Lischke, professor and chair of English and Film Studies, knew she wanted to use it for her graduate class in the 2013 spring term. “Sitting at a round table is ideal for promoting discussions during a seminar,” she says. “Advanced technologies in the room, all of which we continue to explore, allow us to collaborate and share our work.” The room also contains a portable video-conferencing unit, which Lischke hopes to use to have a discussion with one of the authors the class is studying. “Technology has become a significant component of our daily lives and learning, and this room allows students to explore ways in which to engage more creatively with the material at hand, and discover new ways in which to communicate ideas.” Professor Ute Lischke uses the student-centred learning environment in Laurier’s Active Learning Classroom for her graduate class.

June 2013 InsideLaurier  

The June 2013 edition of Wilfrid Laurier University's InsideLaurier newsletter.

June 2013 InsideLaurier  

The June 2013 edition of Wilfrid Laurier University's InsideLaurier newsletter.