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NoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/aw-announcement.jpgsite://news/images/2017/aw-announcement.jpgnewsaw-announcement.jpgaw-announcement.jpgPresident Peter Stoicheff and Deans Doug Freeman (veterinary medicine) and Mary Buhr (agriculture and bioresources), alongside A&W representatives Susan Senecal (incoming president and CEO), Jefferson Mooney (chairman emeritus) and Trish Sahlstrom (senior vice-president and chief commercial officer).NoNoneNo/
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The LFCE will be a multisite, multi-disciplinary research centre that focuses on the livestock production chain including forage, cow-calf, beef cattle production and environmental research.

“A&W is deeply committed to the Canadian beef and forage industry,” said Jefferson Mooney, chairman emeritus, A&W. “Our investment is an investment in the future of Canadian food and best practices to make that food.”

The donation will be used to fund the construction of the Livestock and Food Building at the LFCE site near Clavet, Sask., create a community outreach and engagement program, and to establish a visiting fellowship in One Health research.

“A&W, the University of Saskatchewan and Canadian ranchers all believe in good food, farmed with care. Together, we are forging new tools and techniques for healthy, sustainable growth,” said Susan Senecal, chief operating officer, A&W. “We are united in a passion for great beef.”

The Livestock and Food Building will be a significant part of the heart of the livestock operations at the LFCE and a major location for research activities. The building will also act as a hub for the community outreach program, which will offer presentations and seminars for both industry representatives and consumers.

Mary Buhr, dean of the U of S College of Agriculture and Bioresources, said this strategic relationship will add another dimension to the university’s One Health initiative and research that focuses on the link between beef production practices, environmental wellbeing, and human health and nutrition.

“The LFCE will take a holistic approach to understanding the relationship between human health, animal health and our environment,” Buhr said. “A&W’s extraordinary support is a demonstration of the power of teamwork to significantly improve the impact of innovative research and outreach on the livestock and forage industries.”

Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, said the development of the LFCE wouldn’t be possible without the extraordinary partnership.

“Two areas of preeminence at the U of S converge with the LFCE: agriculture and One Health,” he said. “The centre also represents a unique partnership between the university, government and industry. The scale of partnership and collaboration are extraordinary. Working together we can accomplish so much more and have a major impact on health, production and food security. We’re excited to develop this new partnership with A&W and work together to achieve the promise and potential of the LFCE.”

Two new facilities for the LFCE are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018 and will complement current livestock and forage research sites. The LFCE, a partnership between the U of S, the livestock and forage industries, and the Saskatchewan and federal governments, will unite livestock and forage field laboratories and science labs in a collaborative centre with a total cost of $37.5 million.

Other funding contributions to date include $10 million from the federal and provincial government through the Growing Forward 2 program, $4.47 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada, $10 million from the U of S, and $1 million from the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association.

peopletruePeoplePeople Archives/articles/peoplenewssite://news/articles/peopleimj1291547618028241imj1291547618028241show-in-navNo2018true1547844036831imj1292018/articles/people/2018newssite://news/articles/people/2018imj1291547654946574imj1291547654946574show-in-navNousask-professor-is-an-award-winning-mentortrue1547844036831imj129USask professor is an award-winning mentorUniversity of Saskatchewan (USask) environmental scientist Dr. Colin Laroque (PhD) stresses hands-on learning in providing his undergraduate students with high-quality, innovative research experiences—an approach that has earned him wide recognition, including an international mentorship award.Sarath Peiris1544808180000/articles/people/2018/usask-professor-is-an-award-winning-mentornewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usask-professor-is-an-award-winning-mentorimj1291547654974166imj1291547654974166show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Colin Laroque-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Colin Laroque-OCN.jpgnewsColin Laroque-OCN.jpgDr. Colin Laroque (PhD) is the 2018 Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor.NoNoneNo/
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The U.S. Council on Undergraduate Research has selected Laroque as its 2018 Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor, an honour that recognizes an individual who is a role model for impactful and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships, and who maintains a sustained and innovative approach to undergraduate research.

The award was formally presented on Nov. 6 at the Geological Society of America meeting in Indianapolis. Laroque, a professor in the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources, and in the School of Environment and Sustainability, estimates he has mentored close to 100 students over his career.

“I believe that keeping students engaged in learning about the physical environment means that, as much as possible, one should take them out into a new environment for direct experience,” said Laroque.

For many first-year students in his introductory environmental science course, that means an opportunity to become adept at using the Canadian Light Source synchrotron to conduct their own research—a novel program Laroque began three years ago.

“Colin’s excellence in collaboration and interdisciplinary teaching and mentorship, particularly in the area of sustainability, provides an exceptional undergraduate student experience,” said Dr. Mary Buhr (PhD), dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “His students are empowered to make changes happen, and with his leadership they bring sustainability into action.”

The Saskatoon-born Laroque, whose family farm is near Duck Lake, said his teaching style emulates the practices of his extended Métis family, using experiential instruction to share their environmental knowledge gleaned over generations.

“I integrate students’ field experience into the classroom, so that they can work through their projects from field collection to lab work, data analysis, report writing and public presentations,” he said. “This approximates most closely what real research involves and prepares students well for graduate studies and many other job-related endeavours.”

Laroque received a bachelor’s degree from USask and his master’s and PhD at the University of Victoria. He taught for 10 years at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick before returning to teach at USask in 2014.

“I didn’t have post-doctoral fellows or PhD students at Mount Allison, so I developed a style to work with the undergrads there,” Laroque said. “In a certain sense, first-year students enjoy the research more. They think it’s a special thing for an instructor to take them under their wing at an early stage.”

In his nomination, students highlighted the substantial impact of his mentoring and the family-like atmosphere of the Mistik Askiwin Dendrochronology Laboratory which Laroque directs. That’s where Laroque introduces undergraduates from disciplines such as agriculture, fine arts, engineering, psychology and education to sound research. The students conduct tree ring-related research to understand past climates, past chemical environments, ecosystem dynamics, and past human activities.

A parent of a student who blossomed under Laroque’s guidance wrote: “Dr. Laroque doesn’t just make great students, he makes great men and women. He challenges them intellectually and academically. He makes them confident personally and socially by trusting and believing in them.”

from-the-u.s.-to-usask-the-road-to-citizenshiptrue1547844036831imj129From the U.S. to USask: the road to citizenshipFor Rosario Barba, being welcomed to Canada in 2016 was truly a life-changing experience for the University of Saskatchewan (USask) student.James Shewagainternational, 1544800260000/articles/people/2018/from-the-u.s.-to-usask-the-road-to-citizenshipnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/from-the-u.s.-to-usask-the-road-to-citizenshipimj1291547654973814imj1291547654973814show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Barba-1-BEST-indoor-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Barba-1-BEST-indoor-OCN.jpgnewsBarba-1-BEST-indoor-OCN.jpgBorn in Mexico and raised in the United States, University of Saskatchewan biochemistry student Rosario Barba immigrated to Canada in 2016. (Photo: James Shewaga)NoNoneNo/
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Born in Mexico and raised in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, Barba and her family came to Canada two years ago during the rise of President Donald Trump, after Barba’s family was approved for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program to start a new life in Saskatoon.

For someone who had never been able to cross a border before while living in the U.S., at the risk of being deported—as her sister was after returning from Mexico—arriving in Canada was a moment Barba will never forget.

“Borders were such a big part of my childhood and you knew that you couldn’t cross them or you couldn’t go back,” said Barba, now a 22-year-old fourth-year honours student at USask, majoring in biochemistry. “But crossing the Canada-U.S. border, they took our papers and I specifically remember the person saying, ‘Welcome to Canada!’ That may sound like a simple thing, but to us, we have always been afraid of immigration officers, so for someone to say ‘Welcome to Canada’ was just so amazing. We finally felt wanted in a country.”

Now two years later, the family has settled into a new life and new careers in Saskatoon, with Barba flourishing on campus and in the community. There were certainly adjustments at first, with climate, culture and cuisine in particular. But while Saskatoon’s Hispanic community may be small, Barba was pleasantly surprised by the diversity on campus, with students from more than 100 countries studying here.

“Those first few months of moving to a new country can be lonely, but coming to this university was great,” said Barba, whose family has permanent resident status and will be able to apply for full citizenship next year. “It was like, borders don’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you are from. When I came here to start university, the hallways were packed and you saw all these different faces. It was very diverse and that really surprised me. And that’s when I knew I was in the right place.”

TextPullquote“I want to reach out to young women and make it known to them that science is not intimidating, but rather grows and benefits from the creative minds of diverse women.”Rosario Barba/Align left

From afar, Barba continues to watch what has happened to her former country during the rise of Trump and his controversial anti-immigrant, anti-refugee policies.

“I actually got out of the country before he got elected but I remember the night he got elected so many friends called to ask, ‘How do we move to Canada?’” she said. “I talk to friends who are very anxious on a day-to-day basis and they just live under that cloud every day.”

Two years ago, Barba was also living with those same fears while studying at a university near Chicago through the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, but knew her chances of being accepted to pursue her passion for medical research were extremely limited south of the border. She started searching online for new opportunities in Canada, with the university and the province offering the right combination of education and immigration options for her and her family.

“To do high-level biosafety lab research in the States, you have to be government-cleared, but I couldn’t get government clearance as an undocumented person. And at that time, there was only one medical school in the entire United States that was known to me to openly accept undocumented people, so the chances were so limited,” she said. “So that’s why I came here with my family. Here the doors are open for us. Here you are supported and set up to succeed.”

Barba is also giving back to the community that supports her, helping out with the SCI-FI Science Camps and Girls Friday Night Robotics Club offered through the College of Engineering, serving as a mentor for girls considering studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs.

“She is an incredible role model for not just our girls who come through our camps and clubs, but for everyone she comes in contact with,” said Maureen Bourke, director of the SCI-FI Science Camps. “Her warmth and enthusiasm are infectious. We are so lucky to have her on staff.”

For her part, Barba is just happy to help.

“Working with young students, you realize the importance of planting an impression on them of how beautiful the world is with all that there is to discover and how we all play a role,” she said. “I want to reach out to young women and make it known to them that science is not intimidating, but rather grows and benefits from the creative minds of diverse women.”

In her own studies, Barba has also excelled in her honours program, under the supervision of Dr. Oleg Dmitriev (PhD) of the College of Medicine.

TextImage/images/2018/Barba-2-BEST-out-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Barba-2-BEST-out-OCN.jpgnewsBarba-2-BEST-out-OCN.jpgUniversity of Saskatchewan student Rosario Barba says being welcomed to Canada in 2016 was truly a life-changing experience. (Photo: James Shewaga)Align left

“She got the second highest mark in her (400-level biochemistry) class and I was very pleased when she expressed her interest in doing an honours research project in my lab,” Dmitriev said. “It is quite a demanding project, combining various biochemical and biophysical techniques, and Rosie has already made very good progress. I am quite excited about the prospects of her research.”

After completing her undergraduate degree, Barba wants to move on to medical school and hopes to eventually return to Mexico to make a difference with her research.

“Long-term, my goal is to go back to Mexico to help improve the health of the people,” she said. “I would like to do more in-depth research into what is happening that affects the health of individuals, especially in low-income and highly polluted areas that nobody looks into, like along the U.S.-Mexico border where they brought in all the industries. There is not enough research being done in those areas, so I want to go back and work with the people of Mexico.”

fighting-the-opioid-crisistrue1547844036831imj129Fighting the opioid crisisOne alumnus is on the front lines helping to battle the opioid epidemic. AMANDA WORONIUK1544541660000/articles/people/2018/fighting-the-opioid-crisisnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/fighting-the-opioid-crisisimj1291547654973467imj1291547654973467show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Charles-Pierce-1.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Charles-Pierce-1.jpgnewsCharles-Pierce-1.jpgDr. Charles H. Pierce (MD’68, PhD’74) treats patients with opioid dependency and other addictionsNoNoneNo/
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You can hear the passion in Dr. Charles H. Pierce’s (MD’68, PhD’74) voice when he talks about the opioid addiction epidemic, and for good reason. It’s been called one of the worst public health crises in Canadian history, devastating communities across the country, and putting a financial strain on the health-care system.

The opioid epidemic was the topic of the honorary alumni lecture delivered by Pierce at the 2018 Highlights in Medicine alumni reunion conference. Presently based in Cincinnati, Ohio, he has spent more than 48 years as a family physician, including more than 28 years in medical research with experience in drug development research and as an emergency room doctor.

“I was working in urgent care, and a friend of mine said ‘would you be interested ?’ I said ‘yes,’” explained Pierce, on how he started treating patients with an opioid dependency. “I can certainly see the big need. This is a real calling.”

Opioids are a classification of drugs used to treat pain and include morphine, oxycodone and codeine. Misuse can lead to problems, including addiction, overdose and even death. From January to March of this year 1,036 people across Canada died from causes related to using opioids, according to a September 2018 federal government report.

TextPullquote“This is an important issue. This is something we all need to get involved in.”Dr. Charles H. Pierce/Align left“I ask all patients questions when I first see them about how they started using the drug ,” said Pierce.“It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason that started people down the path toward dependency.”

He uses a points-based scorecard to help predict whether patients are at risk for dependency.He cited genetic, environmental and psychological components as factors that can influence opioid addiction.

“A personal or family history of substance abuse, psychiatric disease diagnosis or sexual abuse can led to an increased risk,” said Pierce. “Frequently, [being in an] accident or pain leads to first use, but not always. I’d estimate 50 to 60 per cent of the patients I see started with painkillers such as Percocet or Tylenol 3.”

He added that a high percentage of patients he sees come by opioids from someone other than their physician.

“It’s not always doctor-prescribed. Sometimes they get it through a friend or family member,” Pierce said. “They enjoy the high they get from it and they want something stronger.”

He also discussed the treatment and management of opioid addiction, and noted a combination of medication and therapy is effective in treating patients struggling with addiction.

“Medically-assisted treatment (known as MAT) is very important because it’s not just drugs, it’s a combination of meds and psychological therapy,” said Pierce. "Buprenorphine, the most effective treatment, is in fact an opioid. It works by blocking other opiates and prevents a physical craving for those opiates. Stopping the physical craving is just the beginning. You must change their thinking and you have to do counselling.”

In the United States, doctors who prescribe opioid medications (such as buprenorphine) are required by law to have “waiver” certification, which Pierce obtained four years ago. Once certified, physicians must abide by strict rules in writing prescriptions.

“In Ohio and in several states, we now have definite rules. Doctors may not write a prescription for longer than seven days,” he said. “On the prescription, I have to use the ICD-10 diagnostic code for opioid use and also the number of days.”

Pierce touched on how fentanyl has come into the market and has shown up in drugs including heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Fentanyl is inexpensive to manufacture and 50 times more potent than heroin. The potential for a drug to contain fentanyl has changed the way health-care professionals respond to an overdose.

“In the U.S., we now administer naloxone in all drug overdoses as the likelihood of fentanyl is high,” said Pierce, noting that naloxone that can temporarily stop or reverse the effects of an overdose. “Canada was the first area in North America where they made naloxone over-the-counter. In the U.S., in the majority of states you have to have a prescription for naloxone.”

In fact, Canada has taken the lead by being the first to have medically supervised injection facilities and anonymous drug testing services available, so those addicted will know what they really purchased. Both of these initiatives have been shown to be very helpful despite initial doubts. How can the opioid epidemic be reversed? Prevention and education will play a part, explained Pierce, noting that shorter prescription lengths and making naloxone widely available will help. Despite what seems like an uphill battle, Pierce remains a passionate advocate in the fight against the opioid crisis.

“This is an important issue. This is something we all need to get involved in.”
indigenous-youth-leader-steps-up-to-represent-usask-studentstrue1547844036831imj129Indigenous youth leader steps up to represent USask studentsJust a few years ago, teachers didn’t think much of Rollin Baldhead. He was cycling through schools in Saskatoon and Duck Lake, with little support or encouragement from anyone outside his family.NC RaineAboriginal, 1544043000000/articles/people/2018/indigenous-youth-leader-steps-up-to-represent-usask-studentsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/indigenous-youth-leader-steps-up-to-represent-usask-studentsimj1291547654973195imj1291547654973195show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/rollin-baldhead.jpgsite://news/images/2018/rollin-baldhead.jpgnewsrollin-baldhead.jpgIn his role as President of the USSU, Rollin Baldhead is responsible to represent students’ voice at USask. (Photo: Dave Stobbe)NoNoneNo/
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Now, at 25 years of age, Baldhead is currently an education student at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) in addition to his responsibilities as a youth leader with the FSIN and the (newly elected) USSU president.

According to a recent profile in Eagle Feather News, it was a change that few saw coming.

“I learned to believe in myself,” he said. “I’ve learned to be proud of who I am and where I come from.”

Baldhead carries himself an easy confidence, and is welcoming with his toothy, ear-to-ear smile. He’s thoughtful. Perhaps a little too young to be called ‘wise’, but will likely earn that distinction before he’s grey. He’s inordinately busy for his age - doing what he feels he needs to be doing.

“I think my heart is to speak for my people,” he said. “Kinship is really hardwired into my brain and my values. I think that’s one of the reasons I ran for (USSU President). The sense of community, and having supports here that represent all.”

Read more on this article at Eagle Feather News.

meet-usasks-first-phd-graduate-from-ecuadortrue1547844036831imj129Meet USask’s first PhD graduate from EcuadorThe University of Saskatchewan (USask) has over 3,000 international students from 130 different countries. Every USask student has a unique story, especially students who travel across the globe to study here. 1543346520000/articles/people/2018/meet-usasks-first-phd-graduate-from-ecuadornewssite://news/articles/people/2018/meet-usasks-first-phd-graduate-from-ecuadorimj1291547654972823imj1291547654972823show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/ecuador.v1.jpgsite://news/images/2018/ecuador.v1.jpgnewsecuador.v1.jpgPhoto caption: Dr. Edison Haro Albuja (PhD) is USask’s first PhD graduate from Ecuador. Photo provided by Dr. Edison Haro Albuja (PhD). NoNoneNo/
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Dr. Edison Haro Albuja (PhD) is one of these students. He is USask’s first PhD graduate from Ecuador. He graduated in fall 2018 with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Dr. Albuja came to Canada to study at USask.

Why did you want to study in Canada?

I wanted to learn a new language and culture. I think Canada is a beautiful country.

How did you learn about the University of Saskatchewan?

I had a contact in Ecuador who was familiar with USask. I contacted USask Student Recruitment and learned what steps I had to take to apply to USask.

How was your USask experience?

It was great! USask had the facilities and equipment I needed to conduct my research in biomedical engineering.

What did your biomedical engineering research focus on?

My thesis was Enhancing Ballistic Impact Resistance of Polymer Matrix Composite Armors by Dispersion of Micro and Nano-Fillers. My supervisors were Dr. Akindele Odeshi (PhD) and Dr. Jerzy Szpunar (PhD).   

Did you receive any scholarships to study at USask?

Yes, I received the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT) scholarship. This is a scholarship funded by the Government of Ecuador.

What advice would you give international students coming to USask?

Start learning English early. English is the most important tool for international students, especially if you’re conducting research.

How did you learn English?

I attended the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC) where I studied English for Academic Purposes. I studied at USLC for one year before beginning my PhD.

What are you doing now that you’ve graduated?

I’ve returned to Ecuador and accepted the position of Dean of the Department of Energy and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Armed Forces.

usask-jazz-professor-inspires-the-next-generation-through-musictrue1547844036831imj129USask jazz professor inspires the next generation through musicDean McNeill has helped train Saskatoon musicians for two decades — and it’s all about giving back music to the city he lives in.Matt Olson1543266840000/articles/people/2018/usask-jazz-professor-inspires-the-next-generation-through-musicnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usask-jazz-professor-inspires-the-next-generation-through-musicimj1291547654971887imj1291547654971887show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/dean-mcneill-bridges.jpgsite://news/images/2018/dean-mcneill-bridges.jpgnewsdean-mcneill-bridges.jpgJazz aficionado and 20-year University of Saskatchewan music professor Dean McNeill leads Jazz Band rehearsal at the Education Building on the U of S campus in Saskatoon, SK on Monday, November 5, 2018. (Photo: Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix)NoNoneNo/
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“I’ve worked very hard, but I’ve also been very, very lucky,” said the longtime University of Saskatchewan jazz instructor and trumpet player, who was featured recently in an article in The StarPhoenix.

McNeill has been teaching jazz theory and technique at the U of S for 20 years. He’s always instructed a cadre of individual students, and he’s still running the Jazz Ensemble for the school.

The 51-year-old hasn’t always been a teacher, and he isn’t only a teacher now. He still performs concerts at local jazz venues like The Bassment or during the annual Jazz Festival with other Saskatoon-based musicians, or any number of the travelling performers he’s met throughout his career.

But he also helps groom musicians outside the school, through workshops during the Jazz Festival and more professional groups like the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra (which he had a hand in founding). Almost every jazz musicians who got their start in Saskatoon in the last two decades will have worked with McNeill, either inside or outside the university.

Read more about McNeill is inspiring the next generation through music at

sensgiws-hydrologist-earns--distinguished-researcher-awardtrue1547844036831imj129SENS/GIWS hydrologist earns Distinguished Researcher AwardWorld-leading field hydrologist Jeff McDonnell received the University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Researcher Award at Fall Convocation on Oct. 27.SENS, GIWS,1541698980000/articles/people/2018/sensgiws-hydrologist-earns--distinguished-researcher-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/sensgiws-hydrologist-earns--distinguished-researcher-awardimj1291547654971455imj1291547654971455show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Jeff McDonnell-BEST-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Jeff McDonnell-BEST-OCN.jpgnewsJeff McDonnell-BEST-OCN.jpgUniversity of Saskatchewan Professor Jeff McDonnell receives the Distinguished Researcher Award from Karen Chad, Vice-President Research, at Fall Convocation on Oct. 27 at TCU Place. (Photo: Dave Stobbe)NoNoneNo/
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McDonnell arrived at the U of S in 2012 as a professor of hydrology in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) and is the associate director of the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS). Today, the U of S is the top-rated water research institute in Canada and one of the best in the world. Not only is McDonnell a renowned scholar, but a dedicated mentor to young researchers.

GIWS communications specialist Mark Ferguson asked McDonnell about his career, his award, and his continuing dedication to inspire.

TextMF: When did you realize that you wanted to dedicate your life to hydrologic research? None/Above content

JM: My “ta-da” moment came in June, 1981, when I was 40 feet up a tree, escaping a grizzly bear in the Yukon. At the time, I was studying geophysics at the University of Toronto. I was employed as a summer student stationed near Faro, in a three-man “fly-in camp.” After a summer of many such grizzly bear encounters, I returned to Toronto in the fall, changed my major to physical geography and focused on hydrology as a kinder, gentler and less remote subject matter. Growing up in Ontario doing canoe trips and camping adventures, I thought that I was an outdoorsman; working in the Yukon showed me I had a lot to learn. This too affected why I chose to do my PhD in New Zealand—a country where the only native mammal is a harmless bat!

TextMF: You are highly regarded for your efforts to motivate and educate young professionals and researchers. Why is this so important to you? None/Above content

JM: My greatest career joys come from mentoring young researchers and helping launch their careers. I appreciate how lucky I am to continually work with young, sharp minds. All of my students and post-docs have been willing to follow me on my long-term journey to answer three research questions: Where does water go when it rains? What flow path does water take to the stream? And how old is the water in the channel? As a thank you for their willingness to make my questions their own, I feel that I owe them my utmost help to launch their careers. I’m so darn proud of all of them—many of whom are now leaders in our field, in Canada and around the world.

TextMF: Does the university environment look/feel different to you now than when you began your career? None/Above content

JM: My first academic position was as a tenure-track assistant professorship at Utah State University. I remember my first several years as a frenetic ride of teaching, research, service to the university and to outside professional organizations. Everything was fun and exciting. I worked most nights and weekends. Luckily, as the years wore on, I found a way to work less and increase family time as kids came along. I think that my early experience is still common today among young faculty. Perhaps the thing that has changed is the competition to get onto the tenure track. The ratio of the number of PhDs awarded to number of tenure-track assistant professors continues to worsen. As a result, the number of papers needed to get a job and the number of post-doc years seem to increase along with it. Young scientists today need luck on their side and, what Beveridge (1950, The Art of Scientific Investigation) calls ‘a spirit of indomitable perseverance’. This latter quality is what has characterized nearly all successful scientists, then and now.

TextMF: Are there recent accomplishments you feel have led to you receiving this award? None/Above content

JM: All accomplishments related to this award are squarely linked to my students, post-docs and technicians in my lab. We’ve had a few good years since my arrival at U of S, learning new things about how water is stored, mixed and released in catchments.

TextMF: What were some of the significant milestones in your life (academically or personally)? None/Above content

JM: Returning to Canada and joining the Global Institute for Water Security and the School of Environment and Sustainability was the defining moment of my academic career. My kids had both gone off to university by then and my wife and I were free to travel. I’ve spent about six months a year since then away from Canada being a water ambassador for the U of S, striving to create linkages at universities around the world. Returning to the Canadian academic culture has increased my time to think, unlike the United States where professors are on nine-month contracts and expected to bring in summer salary with a multitude of grants. Canadian professors enjoy much more time for science. We’re lucky to be in Canada.

TextMF: Where are we at as a university/institute/program in terms of water research, and where do we need to go? None/Above content

JM: There is a very long history of excellence in water resources research at the U of S going back to people like Don Gray, Vit Klemes and others. Senior water leaders like Howard Wheater, John Pomeroy, Lee Barbour, Jim Hendry, Garth Vanderkamp, Al Pietroniro and others have helped push the university ahead and our dozen or so new water hires in the past 10 years have helped us achieve the No.1 ranking in Canada in Water Resources, No.9 in North America and No.18 worldwide. But, we have potential to be No.1 in the world within the next 10 years. To do this, we will need co-ordinated efforts led by our terrific new director of the Global Institute for Water Security, Jay Famiglietti (together with senior leadership at the U of S) to make several new, strategic appointments, forge new international partnerships and create research networks that can overcome our isolated geography. It is terrifically exciting to help play a small role in all this.

TextMF: Anyone you would like to thank? None/Above content

JM: Beyond my students, post-docs and technicians, all my thanks go to my family. I had the great good fortune of ridiculously supportive parents. While I was the first in my family to attend university, my dad valued poetry, was the world’s best speller and could complete a New York Times crossword puzzle in minutes flat. He finished school at age 12 and went to sea at 16 years old as a merchant seaman after the Second World War. He instilled in me the value of adventure and hard work. My mother grew up on a small farm in central Ontario. She pushed me in music and, despite my early interests in everything but scholastics, she was a never-ending font of support. She instilled in me the value of achievement. I have found this combination of values instilled by my parents to be an unending source of motivation. Of course, I must also thank my wife and children for their tolerance of my research passions and travel schedule. Luckily, family travel associated with my work has been a hallmark of my career, when the kids were young and now, as my wife and I work internationally to promote the Global Institute for Water Security abroad. She’s as much a cheerleader for U of S and Saskatoon as I am.

TextMF: Words of wisdom: a quote from an author or poet that you would like to share? None/Above content

JM: Jimmy Buffett has been my spiritual guide since the 1970s. His songs resonate with my sense of adventure, my love of sailing and generally the goal of sucking the marrow out of life. A key element of his music and my life philosophy is knowing the shortness of life and that life’s best moments are often small, unmarked and uncelebrated. These realizations help keep any science success (or awards!) in perspective, knowing that the real joys in life lie with family and friends. And together, wandering and following Jimmy Buffett’s La Vie Dansante.

TextMF: Anything you’d like to add? None/Above content

JM: Nothing, other than what a privilege it is to be a university professor and to have friends all around the world. The University of Saskatchewan is an incredible place where deans, vice-presidents and the president all “get” water and support us in ways unimaginable at other universities. Eau Canada! 

historian-honoured-with-new-researcher-awardtrue1547844036831imj129Historian honoured with New Researcher AwardOne of the most significant moments of Professor Kathryn Labelle’s life came in 2017, when she was given an honour name in recognition of the work she has done with the Wendat people. Shannon BoklaschukCollege of Arts and Science, 1541698800000/articles/people/2018/historian-honoured-with-new-researcher-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/historian-honoured-with-new-researcher-awardimj1291547654970871imj1291547654970871show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Kathryn Labelle-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Kathryn Labelle-OCN.jpgnewsKathryn Labelle-OCN.jpgNew Researcher Award recipient Kathryn Labelle is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan.NoNoneNo/
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The honour name—Yari:mema?/She Carries the Story Along—was approved by a body of faith keepers of the North American Wendat Confederacy before it was bestowed on Labelle during a private ceremony in Michigan.

“That was pretty incredible,” she said.

Another professional highlight for Labelle came even more recently—on Oct. 27, 2018—when she received the New Researcher Award at the University of Saskatchewan’s Fall Convocation ceremonies.

“It doesn’t seem real,” Labelle said of being chosen for the award.

“I actually Googled it a bunch of times on the university website when I first heard, because I was like, ‘This can’t be right,’ ” she said with a laugh. “All of the other people who have received this award before are like awesome rock stars, so it is exciting but also sort of overwhelming—because you feel like there’s a lot of responsibility with that.”

Since joining the Department of History in the College of Arts and Science in 2012, Labelle has earned an international reputation for her work in Indigenous history, with a focus on the Wendat (Wyandot) communities in Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Kansas and Oklahoma. The Wendat people, also referred to as the Huron by the French, are known in high school history books as having had contact with Samuel de Champlain when the French explorer came to Turtle Island (Canada).

Labelle’s acclaimed book Dispersed But Not Destroyed: A History of the Seventeenth-Century Wendat People received the 2014 John C. Ewers Award from the Western History Association. It was also shortlisted for the Canadian Historical Association’s Sir John A. Macdonald Prize (rebranded as the CHA Prize for Best Scholarly Book in Canadian History). In the book, Labelle demonstrated that the Wendat people did not disappear, as many historians had claimed, but were instead dispersed in the wake of attacks from the Iroquois.

As an undergraduate history student at the University of Ottawa, Labelle took classes from Professor Georges Sioui, a Wendat community member who introduced her to people from the Wendat nations. Sioui also encouraged Labelle to pursue her master’s degree, which she received in Ottawa before earning a PhD in history at Ohio State University.

Labelle continues to work alongside and build relationships with the Wendat people. Her next book will focus on seven Wendat women spanning a large timeframe from the 1650s to 2006, and she has sought input from a group of Wendat women chosen by their communities to serve as her advisory council.

“They want their stories to be told; they want them to be published,” said Labelle. “They want people to know that they exist, so that was sort of the impetus for the first book.”

The New Researcher Award recognizes the outstanding research achievements of a faculty member who is within 10 years of completing their PhD. Considered one of the leading ethnohistorians in Canada, Labelle already has an impressive publication history. It includes an award-winning single-authored monograph, a co-edited book, a dozen book chapters or peer-reviewed articles, and co-editing a special issue of a journal—all within seven years of earning her doctorate.  

big-on-beef,-passionate-for-poultrytrue1547844036831imj129Big on beef, passionate for poultryThey are both passionate about animal welfare and about research advancements to improve the agriculture industry. James ShewagaCollege of Agriculture and Bioresources, research1541696820000/articles/people/2018/big-on-beef,-passionate-for-poultrynewssite://news/articles/people/2018/big-on-beef,-passionate-for-poultryimj1291547654970609imj1291547654970609show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Karen and Bart-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Karen and Bart-OCN.jpgnewsKaren and Bart-OCN.jpgBart Lardner and Karen Schwean-Lardner stand beside the old elevator on the university farm. (Photo: Lisa Hippe)NoNoneNo/
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So, it should come as no surprise that being professors on campus and partners at home goes hand-in-hand for Karen Schwean-Lardner and Bart Lardner of the University of Saskatchewan.

“We both care about the welfare of the animals and birds and how important that is for producers,” said Karen Schwean-Lardner, an assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources who specializes in poultry production. “In this country, we have codes of practice for beef, for dairy, and for poultry, that are defined by science-informed groups. And we have a system in which every commercial farm in Canada is audited based on their welfare standards and based on their food safety standards, which is wonderful.”

“Animal care and animal welfare is front and centre for producers, and as researchers it is important in everything we do,” added Bart Lardner, a professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, whose specialty is the science of beef production. “If the animal is sick, then that animal is of no value to the producer. So, producers are extremely concerned about animal care and animal welfare and proper handling techniques and it’s in their best interest.”

Whether it is beef or poultry, both are big proponents of the power-packed protein provided by both products, delivering desirable nutrients to help feed an ever-growing population. For their work, both earned international awards this year, with Karen receiving the Poultry Science Association’s Early Achievement Award for Research on July 26 in San Antonio, Texas, while Bart was honoured with the American Society of Animal Science’s Western Section Extension Award on June 20 in Bend, Oregon.

TextPullquote"The work that I do is centred on managing healthy birds in a way that we can provide food for people, always with the welfare of the birds in mind.”Karen Schwean-Lardner/Align left

For Karen, her poultry research is firmly focused on ethical and safe practices in egg production and raising chickens and turkeys for consumers.

“I am not an animal rights person, I am an animal welfare person, and those are two very different things,” she said. “We find out what the animal needs to meet their biological requirements and their welfare requirements and those become the minimum standards for production across the country. So, the work that I do is centred on managing healthy birds in a way that we can provide food for people, always with the welfare of the birds in mind.”

Her work has had worldwide impact, with her research into effective barn lighting for birds helping to establish international industry lighting standards, a project she began as a U of S PhD student.

“What we found is birds do need to sleep,” she said. “Traditionally, producers would raise birds on 23 or 24 hours of light, thinking that if they can see all the time, they can eat whenever they want to eat. But our research found that they do actually need down time and they need it dark to sleep.”

For his part, Bart has beefed up university research into everything from cattle nutrition to forage and pasture management. Like Karen, he also earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD at the U of S before becoming a faculty member, first as a leading researcher centred at the Western Beef Development Centre and now splitting his time between the U of S main campus and the new Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence at Clavet.

“This kind of research centre is not found anywhere else in Canada, or any other country, for that matter,” he said. “We are bringing all these disciplines under one roof, from animal health to cow-calf and forage management, to feedlot and backgrounding management, as well as engineering and economics. So, I’m really looking forward to the future.”

TextPullquote"I have always felt that I am an intermediary between the research community and the stakeholders and producers. So, I am really passionate about the research that I do.”Bart Lardner/Align right

For the past 20 years, he has strived to bring new developments to the field, bridging the gap between researchers and ranchers, linking the lab to the land.

“Since I became a researcher, I’ve always set out to do work that the producer can integrate into their operation, which we call applied research,” he said. “My other objective has been to disseminate the scientific findings down to the producer, and that is extension, or tech transfer. I have always felt that I am an intermediary between the research community and the stakeholders and producers. So, I am really passionate about the research that I do.”

Over the past 50 years, that transfer of technology and institute-industry partnership has provided a proven track record of success in the beef industry, combining better food safety and animal welfare practices with improved productivity and sustainability standards, making better use of the same amount of land.

“Our efficiencies in the beef industry have improved four-fold since the 1950s,” Lardner said. “And why? Because we have better technology, we have proper grazing management and we know that producers are good stewards of their resources—the soil, the crops, the land. In fact, the majority of producers that I interact with, their objective is to leave those resources in better condition for their children and for the next generation.”

And whether it’s beef or poultry, the agriculture industry needs to produce more to feed a growing world population that is projected to double from four billion in 1974 to eight billion by 2023.

“We have two choices: plant protein or meat protein. But we need more of both, end of story,” he said.

So, after 16 years of marriage, is it steak or chicken on the barbecue on a Saturday night?

“I have a standing joke that my wife is a poultry scientist and I’m a beef scientist, so we don’t talk meat groups at home,” Bart said with a chuckle. “But I still love a good barbecued steak.”

“Everyone asks us the same question,” Karen adds. “But I can serve chicken, or turkey or eggs and all he can do is bring a steak, so I have him beat, no problem!”

u-of-s-father-of-agricultural-medicine-named-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-fame-true1547844036831imj129U of S ‘Father of Agricultural Medicine’ named to Canadian Medical Hall of Fame University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Distinguished Research Chair Dr. Jim Dosman—the ‘father of agricultural medicine in Canada’—is among six Canadians named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for contributions to medicine and the health sciences that have led to extraordinary improvements in human health.1539353640000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-father-of-agricultural-medicine-named-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-fame-newssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-father-of-agricultural-medicine-named-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-fame-imj1291547654970257imj1291547654970257show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/James-Dosman.jpgsite://news/images/James-Dosman.jpgnewsJames-Dosman.jpgDr. Jim Dosman was named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.NoNoneNo/
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“A pioneer in his field, Jim has been devoted throughout his career to improving and protecting the health of agricultural workers in Canada and the world,” said U of S Vice-President Research Karen Chad. 

“He has been an outstanding leader at the forefront of agricultural health and safety efforts, policy, and research. He is a visionary, a builder of teams and organizations, and a truly collaborative partner with farmers, industry and government to advance health and safety of rural Canadians.” 

Born in rural Saskatchewan, Dosman saw that farming can be a hazardous industry—for producers, workers, and their families. As a physician and specialist in respiratory medicine, he undertook foundational work on the effects of dust exposure among grain workers, which led to the establishment of a nationwide database supporting research and training. 

He spear headed international symposia that led to standards for dust exposure in the grain industry. He led the International Labour Organization’s effort to design an international code, Safety and Health in Agriculture (2011), bringing health care standards to millions of farmers and agricultural workers worldwide. 

Dosman is the founding director of the university’s Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture—a unique-in-Canada centre for research, education and health promotion, with particular focus on the health effects of agricultural exposures on rural populations. The centre includes more than a dozen Canadian universities and worldwide partners.

Founded in 1986, the centre conducts wide-ranging research such as farm injury, rural health, childhood asthma, dementia and chronic back pain studies, and partners with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities through the Agricultural Health and Safety Network to reduce injuries and illness on farms. Housed in the new Health Sciences Building E-Wing, the centre includes the national agricultural industrial hygiene laboratory for studying high-risk exposures and health issues. 

Dosman has held more than $18 million in research grants since 2000 and has authored more than 280 peer-reviewed publications. He is currently president and CEO of Agrivita Canada Inc., a non-profit company he helped form, promoting research, public health and safety in agriculture through the Canadian AgriSafety Applied Research Program.

Dosman has received many honours including an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame for his accomplishments. 

Dosman will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Montreal on May 2 2019. Previous U of S laureates include Harold Johns, Sylvia Fedoruk, and Emmett Hall.

u-of-s-prof-revisits-the-princess-sophia,-the-sunken-ship-of-sorrowtrue1547844036831imj129U of S prof revisits the Princess Sophia, the sunken 'Ship of Sorrow'The more than 350 people who died aboard the SS Princess Sophia were Canadians and Americans by nationality, but avocation had made them all Northerners.Richard Watts / Times Colonist1539700740000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-prof-revisits-the-princess-sophia,-the-sunken-ship-of-sorrownewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-prof-revisits-the-princess-sophia,-the-sunken-ship-of-sorrowimj1291547654970012imj1291547654970012show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/sophia-jacques.jpgsite://news/images/2018/sophia-jacques.jpgnewssophia-jacques.jpgJacques Marc swims over the stern winches on the wreck of the SS Princess Sophia. (Photo: Annette G.E. Smith)NoNoneNo/
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Ken Coates, co-author of The Sinking of the Princess Sophia, Taking the North Down With Her, said historical examination of the disaster, the worst in B.C. and West Coast history, offers an interesting insight into the behaviour of a people who were becoming integrated by the northern experience.

“People from Victoria would go up north to work in the Yukon, but also go to work in Alaska,” said Coates, a public policy professor with the at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the U of S and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation. “People from Alaska would come down in the winter to live in Vancouver or Washington, Oregon or California.

“The sinking of the Princess Sophia and the stories that weave in and around the 350 who died remind us of a time when what they called the North Lands was a very unique, cross-border society,” he said in a recent interview with the Times Colonist.

The SS Princess Sophia sank on Oct. 25, 1918, with estimates of the death toll ranging up to 367. Nobody on board survived, save one pet dog who swam to shore. The ship was one of four coastal liners operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, all named for princesses.

Coates said what is intriguing is how the disaster has slid from memory and has only begun to resurface in the past 20 years. Coates said the death toll alone, about 10 per cent of the non-Indigenous population of the North, should have made it more infamous.

Read more on this story via the Times Colonist.

u-of-s-appoints-new-director-for-its-livestock-and-forage-centre-of-excellencetrue1547844036831imj129U of S appoints new director for its Livestock and Forage Centre of ExcellenceThe University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has appointed Kris Ringwall as the new director of its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE), a powerhouse for innovative research, teaching and industry engagement in all aspects of livestock and forage production. 1538672760000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-appoints-new-director-for-its-livestock-and-forage-centre-of-excellencenewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-appoints-new-director-for-its-livestock-and-forage-centre-of-excellenceimj1291547654969770imj1291547654969770show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/Kris-LFCE.jpgsite://news/images/Kris-LFCE.jpgnewsKris-LFCE.jpgKris Ringwall is the new director of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence.NoNoneNo/
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The $38-million world-class complex of field and science laboratories will officially open next week. Two new research and teaching units are located south of Clavet, Sask., while a third is located southeast of Saskatoon. 

Ringwall, who will begin work at the centre on Nov. 1, is currently director of the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center. He is also an NDSU extension livestock specialist who is passionate about sharing the great story of agriculture and the people who produce food for the world.

“We all have roots in agriculture,” said Ringwall. “The excitement of helping to create, guide and ultimately implement research and education involving livestock and agricultural products of the soil will be a driving force within the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, ultimately impacting future generations.”

Ringwall is committed to listening to producers and researchers, recognizing that working together will result in positive outcomes for everyone – researchers, producers and consumers.

The Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence is a unique initiative, with the director reporting to the deans of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Ringwall will also work with the centre’s Strategic Advisory Board that includes representatives from the university, the provincial and federal governments, and the livestock and forage sectors.

“Kris is an exceptional match for the LFCE’s broad mission and its large family of partnerships. He has a long and productive career in research, extension and outreach targeting both the livestock and forage industries,” said Dr. Douglas Freeman, dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Through his work as the director of a research and extension centre in the northern prairie region in North Dakota, Kris has gained an international reputation for his innovative research work, his ability to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, and his skills as a thoughtful and collaborative partner. We’re thrilled to have someone of Kris’ calibre join us at the U of S.” 

Mary Buhr, dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, said Ringwall has a long list of responsibilities as the new centre is in its infancy.

“He will be working to iron out all the wrinkles of two brand-new facilities. He is in charge of pulling the entire centre together when it hasn’t existed before. He’ll be building a team and helping people from the three units work together when they haven’t before,” she said.

“Kris will also be in charge of helping researchers to get their research done. He will be overseeing the building and construction that still needs to happen and he will be overseeing all the management of the land. He will also be out and about, meeting with producers and industry leaders.”

Comprising 27 quarters of land in two locations, the LFCE operates three units:  

  • the Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit, south of Clavet,which includes a 1,500-head capacity feedlot and intensive environmental monitoring;
  • the Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit, also south of Clavet, which includes 300 breeding cows; and 
  • the Goodale Research Farm, southeast of Saskatoon near Floral, which includes 165 breeding cows as well as horses, bison and deer for research. The Goodale farm will be upgraded in 2019.

While Ringwall is new to Canada, he is not unknown in Canadian livestock circles. He has spoken at conferences in Canada and he writes a weekly column, BeefTalk, offering advice that’s applicable to producers on both sides of the border. The column has appeared in Canadian Cattlemen magazine and other Glacier FarmMedia publications. 

Ringwall completed his bachelor’s of science in agriculture from NDSU before studying at Oklahoma State University where he earned a master’s degree in animal science and a PhD in animal breeding. He enjoys working in the areas of genetics and reproductive physiology, as well as general management of beef, sheep and goats.

Ringwall and his wife Marian, who have six adult children, will live on an acreage near the Clavet facilities.

Ringwall succeeds Kathy Larson, who has served as the centre’s interim director since February.

u-of-s-start-up-shows-golden-touch-on-dragons-dentrue1547844036831imj129U of S start-up shows golden touch on Dragons’ DenA start-up company formed by University of Saskatchewan (U of S) researcher Stephen Foley, with two of his former students and a business partner, struck gold Thursday night on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. The panel on the reality TV show offered to chip in a total $1 million for a stake in the venture, Excir Works.Sarath Peiris1537545780000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-start-up-shows-golden-touch-on-dragons-dennewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-start-up-shows-golden-touch-on-dragons-denimj1291547654968409imj1291547654968409show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/May06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_9019.jpgsite://news/images/2018/May06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_9019.jpgnewsMay06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_9019.jpgGraham Fritz, two people in the lab coats are Loghman Moradi and Hiwa Salimi, Stephen FoleyNoNoneNo/
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“In the end, all six dragons bought in, which was pretty cool,” said Foley, an associate chemistry professor in the College of Arts and Science, whose team has developed an innovative method to extract gold from electronic waste. 

Foley was convinced until almost the very end that their pitch to the Dragons’ Denpanel had been “a train wreck,” especially when panelist Lane Merrifield got up to confer with others.

“I thought that was it. We were getting the boot quickly. Then they came back to say they all wanted in for three per cent each for 18 per cent of the company. It was overwhelming.” 

Dragons’ Den provides opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to the panel of Canadian business moguls who have the money and connections to bring the ideas to fruition.

Foley said he pursued the opportunity as “a lark” and applied online because Excir needed investors. By coincidence, some producers of the show came through Innovation Place the following week, and he pitched his concept successfully to the producers.

TextImage“In the end, all six dragons bought in, which was pretty cool,”/images/2018/May06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_16485.jpgsite://news/images/2018/May06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_16485.jpgnewsMay06 Gold Extraction LC_frame_16485.jpgAlign left

Excir, a U of S-incubated start-up, was founded in 2017 with Foley, former students Loghman Moradi and Hiwa Salimi, and investor Graham Fritz as partners. 

The company is based on an innovative, cheap, and environmentally benign solvent that Foley’s laboratory team developed in 2016 to rapidly and selectively extract thin layers of gold from circuit boards and other hardware components in electronic waste.

Based on scaling up lab results, it’s anticipated that 100 litres of the recyclable solvent can process up to five tonnes of e-waste at a cost of $200, yielding about a kilogram of gold worth $50,000, Foley said. The new technology is expected to replace standard recovery and recycling methods that use toxic chemicals and heat. 

Innovation Enterprise (IE), a U of S commercialization office, has been involved from the inception by handling the patenting, company formation, holding a board seat, and working with the scientific founders to connect them with high-profile investors.  

Foley describes Chris Bowman, IE’s engineering and physical sciences portfolio manager who has been working closely with Excir, as “the fifth Beatle in our group” for his role in showing them the ropes, talking to investors, travelling with them to locate a plant and providing support.

Financial details from the dragons’ offer are still to be worked out, Foley said, with due diligence required by all. Whether it’s the dragons or other investors, Excir needs money to hire an engineering company to design and build the reactors so that the processing facilities can be scaled up.

“When we get the money, we’ll put our heads down, focus on getting this technology off the ground and go silent for the rest of 2018,” said Foley. “Then we will explode with it in 2019.”

To watch the episode, visit

More on Foley’s research can be found here: Gold diggers

schulich-recipient-relished-time-on-campustrue1547844036831imj129Schulich recipient relished time on campusTeah Zielinski didn’t know quite what to expect when she first came to campus in 2014.James Shewaga1536941700000/articles/people/2018/schulich-recipient-relished-time-on-campusnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/schulich-recipient-relished-time-on-campusimj1291547654967527imj1291547654967527show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Teah Zielinski-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Teah Zielinski-OCN.jpgnewsTeah Zielinski-OCN.jpgTeah Zielinski said the Schulich Leader Scholarship was a huge help during her time at the U of S.NoNoneNo/
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But with the support of a Schulich Leader Scholarship, Zielinski thrived in her four years at the University of Saskatchewan, capped off by earning a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Civil) with Distinction at Spring Convocation in June.

“It was great to see all of my hard work pay off, and to have something tangible to represent it was really exciting,” said Zielinski, who was awarded an $80,000 Schulich scholarship in 2014 to study engineering. “I truly enjoyed my four years at the U of S and I am glad that I chose to study there. It’s a great university with a beautiful campus. As an engineering student, I spent a lot of time studying there, so having a beautiful campus definitely helped because it made it much more enjoyable to be on campus.”

Zielinski was one of 40 high school students from across the country—including fellow U of S student Tushita Patel—who earned a Schulich scholarship in 2014 (Schulich now gives out 50 scholarships per year), a prestigious award that covered all of her costs for tuition and books, and also provided a significant boost of confidence as she began post-secondary studies after graduating from Marion Graham Collegiate in Saskatoon.

“It relieved a ton of financial pressure, and receiving the scholarship provided a huge relief,” said Zielinski, an accomplished athlete, dancer and musician who also won the Saskatoon Public School Division Proficiency Award for the highest academic average in each of her four years at Marion Graham. “And by taking off that financial pressure, it allowed me to fully focus on my academics, without the distraction of working outside of school in order to support earning my degree.

“The scholarship also definitely increased my confidence in my ability to be a leader. I think that being a leader in your community is a big part of the scholarship. So, it provided a big boost of confidence for me in terms of my ability to lead.”

TextPullquote“Now that I am working in the field of engineering, I realize how useful a lot of my classes were."Teah Zielinski /Align left

Zielinski said a big part of her university experience was the camaraderie within engineering, as well as with other Schulich scholars across campus.

“What stood out for me was the Schulich community that we had on campus. There were 10 of us Schulich scholars during my time there and we went to events together and hung out together outside of school, so that was really great,” she said. “We got to meet other Schulich leaders from different campuses, which was really neat and it strengthened our group’s bond.”

After graduating, the 22-year-old Zielinski wasted no time in putting her degree to use, joining Graham Construction as a project co-ordinator.

“Now that I am working in the field of engineering, I realize how useful a lot of my classes were,” she said. “Especially some of my classes in third and fourth year. We did a lot of design work and design projects which have been very helpful. I am using a lot of what I learnt in those classes now, so I have developed an appreciation for those experiences.

“We also took RCM (Rhetorical Communication) classes which taught me how to make an effective cover letter and resume. These classes strengthened my ability to communicate effectively and that has helped me in the work that I am doing now. I still have a lot to learn now that I am in the work force, but university taught me not only how to learn, but how to work. It gave me a strong work ethic that will continue to benefit me now that I have graduated.”

As for potential future Schulich scholars, Zielinski’s message is simple.

“The advice I would pass on to high school students coming to the U of S is, if they are interested in the scholarship at all, go for it,” she said. “It has been an amazing experience being able to develop this community of leaders on campus and it has also taught me how important it is to be involved in your community. So, put yourself out there and get involved. I can’t imagine how my university experience would have gone otherwise, and I am very thankful that I was able to earn the scholarship.”

schulich-scholars-set-to-study-at-u-of-strue1547844036831imj129Schulich scholars set to study at U of SFor Vaidehee Lanke and Joel Pollak, their summers spent at the University of Saskatchewan were among their most memorable experiences during their high school years.James Shewaga1536941280000/articles/people/2018/schulich-scholars-set-to-study-at-u-of-snewssite://news/articles/people/2018/schulich-scholars-set-to-study-at-u-of-simj1291547654967230imj1291547654967230show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Schulich-kids.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Schulich-kids.jpgnewsSchulich-kids.jpgJoel Pollak (left) is beginning his first year of classes in the College of Engineering. Vaidehee Lanke of Saskatoon is studying science in her first semester.NoNoneNo/
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Being awarded Schulich Leader Scholarships has helped bring them back to campus this fall.

The two first-year U of S students are among 50 from across the country who were selected this year to receive the prestigious Schulich scholarships, awarded annually to graduating high school students enrolling in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs in university.

Lanke, a graduate of Saskatoon’s Aden Bowman Collegiate, has received $80,000 over four years to study science at the U of S.

“This is something that I am very grateful for,” said Lanke, who had an outstanding 97.7 per cent academic average in her final year of high school, earning the Governor General’s Academic Medal, an International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Award and the Grade 12 Proficiency Award for highest average. “A university education is something that I always wanted to pursue, but there is a huge financial cost to it and knowing that financial support is there is something that I am very grateful for. But in addition, Schulich also offers internships and support and guidance and opportunities and that is also something that I am very excited to explore.

“And coming to the U of S equally excites me because their combination of programs really interests me and I really like the interdisciplinary nature of the research programs.”

During her time in school, Lanke co-founded Saskatoon’s first Speakers Bureau, a youth group supported by Plan International Canada to create gender equality solutions, and was a regular participant in city and provincial science fairs. It was during a science fair that Lanke met professor Troy Harkness in the College of Medicine and was invited to take part in a U of S student research internship in the summer of 2015. Lanke worked with Harkness and his team on a Canadian Cancer Society-funded research project into multiple drug resistance in breast cancer chemotherapy.

“My experience was wonderful and not only did I get hands-on research experience and worked in the lab for two months, but I also was able to see how the scientific process works,” said Lanke, who turns 18 this month. “Every week we would analyse our results and then discuss where we are going to go from there. And one of the most insightful parts of this experience was I actually got to see cancer cells growing because I would culture them every week and it was fascinating how fast they would grow.

“What really drew me to his lab is also what intrigues me about science and its power to solve problems. If we ask questions, we can figure out not only the answers, but also have a greater understanding of our world. So, the idea of researching big problems is very intriguing to me.”

Like Lanke, Pollak’s positive experience on campus in the summer of 2016 proved to be a key factor in choosing to come back to the U of S, where he took part in the SHAD month-long program to sample science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning opportunities at Canadian universities.

“I wanted to come to the U of S because in 2016 I attended SHAD there, so I got to see the campus and I loved the campus and I loved the people I met and I was just really impressed with all the facilities,” said Pollak, a 19-year-old graduate of Blyth Academy in Waterloo, Ont., who has been awarded $100,000 over four years to study engineering at the U of S. “I walked away really happy from my experience at SHAD at the U of S. And the Schulich scholarship gave me the chance to go back there, so I’m very grateful.”

Pollak said the scholarship will also afford him the opportunity to dabble in courses outside of the College of Engineering curriculum, something he is anxious to take advantage of.

“It gives me the freedom to try courses that I otherwise wouldn’t, so I am able to take biology, for example, and explore other areas outside of engineering that interest me,” said Pollak, an accomplished student who was also a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Youth Council advisory board created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016. “So now I am able to take more risks academically, which is one of the great things about the Schulich scholarship.”  

making-a-difference-experiencing-life-on-the-streettrue1547844036831imj129Making a difference: Experiencing life on the streetWhen it came time to make the decision to go without basic necessities like food, water and shelter for 36 hours, Jacqueline Ottmann knew there was no way she could say no.Chris MorinAboriginal, 1531510620000/articles/people/2018/making-a-difference-experiencing-life-on-the-streetnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/making-a-difference-experiencing-life-on-the-streetimj1291547654966936imj1291547654966936show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/sanctum-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/sanctum-OCN.jpgnewssanctum-OCN.jpgJacqueline Ottmann, fifth from left, and the other members of the Sanctum Survivor Challenge. (Photo: Versa Films)NoNoneNo/
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Still, it was not a decision that the university’s first vice-provost, Indigenous engagement could make lightly. As one of the participants in the Sanctum Survivor Challenge, in which a dozen participants take to Saskatoon’s streets from June 1 to 2 as a way to support mothers and individuals in Saskatchewan living with HIV and AIDS, Ottmann knew this was an important cause to a community that she feels a personal connection to.

“Ultimately, this was something that is such an important cause, and I said yes to doing this because I wanted to help pregnant moms with HIV and AIDS,” said Ottmann, who is Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and a member of Saskatchewan’s Fishing Lake First Nation.

Ottmann, who recently returned to the U of S after earning her master’s in education (2002) and her PhD (2005) in the Department of Educational Administration in the College of Education, said participating in the fundraising event was something she knew would come with an emotional impact.

The Sanctum Survivor event is an annual city-wide fundraiser in which Ottmann participated along with other community leaders to gain first-hand understanding of the many challenges faced by people who experience poverty, homelessness and chronic illness in Saskatoon every day. The participants take part in a number of tasks that are framed around their survival, going without money and wearing donated clothing for the duration of the event.

“The day itself included a lot of walking. We walked over 17 kilometres to get from one agency to another, between Saskatoon AIDS to the Friendship Inn to Broadway to do laundry at the Lighthouse, where we asked the staff for garbage bags to protect our food and blankets. We did have our phones,” said Ottmann, noting that one amenity was used to tweet the 36-hour experience of homelessness.

And then there was the rain and cold.

“I wore five layers of shirts and jackets in order to keep warm,” she said. “You can’t prepare or speculate what this experience would be like. You have to be in the midst of the lived experience, which I think provides change in perspective, attitude and belief systems. I realized the weight of it all when I arrived at 6am and started picking out donor clothes to wear for the day and finding that there were very few in my size.”

“We soon realized how significant the Friendship Inn is, how warm, safe and welcoming the space is. But, more importantly, there was a sense of community there,” Ottmann continued.

“People were in conversation with one another, the service workers were kind, and it was a very safe atmosphere.”

After the event, Ottmann said it took her “awhile to process everything that I learned that day, and I think I’m still trying to understand what my role is as an advocate for those experiencing homelessness, and those mothers with HIV and AIDS.”

Ultimately, the fundraising event has left a positive impact. This September will mark the opening of Sanctum 1.5, a 10-bed care home that will support high-risk, HIV-positive, pregnant women in Saskatoon, which organizers said will be the first of its kind in Canada.

Throughout the group’s collective experiences, Ottmann, a former elementary and high school teacher and principal, said there was a lot of learning and sharing that went on throughout the 36 hours, and that this is only a start.

“We learned that there needs to be more counselling for mental health and addiction, and that homelessness, addiction and mental health are all so often connected. There needs to be an integrated approach in caring to support people who experience these challenges.”

Ottmann said that despite the negative aspects that are intrinsic to experiencing homelessness, “a lot of positive learning opportunities came from the experience. There was so much gratitude. Two of us spent the night at the Larson House detox centre. This experience was very deep; the centre became full and so they had to turn people away and there we were with two beds. It was hard to accept.

“At the same time, I feel so grateful for everything that these caregivers do for those in need on a daily basis.”

edwards-business-school-graduate-granted-cannabis-retail-licencetrue1547844036831imj129Edwards Business School graduate granted cannabis retail licenceCierra Sieben-Chuback was already busy preparing to open her first business before she even began writing her final exams this spring at the University of Saskatchewan.James Shewaga1531501200000/articles/people/2018/edwards-business-school-graduate-granted-cannabis-retail-licencenewssite://news/articles/people/2018/edwards-business-school-graduate-granted-cannabis-retail-licenceimj1291547654966667imj1291547654966667show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Cierra Sieben-Chuback-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Cierra Sieben-Chuback-OCN.jpgnewsCierra Sieben-Chuback-OCN.jpgCierra Sieben-Chuback graduated from the University of Saskatchewan's Edwards School of Business in June. (Photo: Tom Waldron)NoNoneNo/
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A week before graduating from the Edwards School of Business, the 23-year-old U of S student was awarded one of seven licences in Saskatoon—and one of only 51 permits granted in the province from 1,502 applications—to establish a retail cannabis store. For Sieben-Chuback, it was the culmination of a whirlwind week of completing her business plan and filing her request for proposal (RFP) before the province’s April 10 deadline, all while studying for her final exams.

“The application was due on April 10 right at the beginning of university finals, so I got the application in right before I was writing my first final two days after that,” said Sieben-Chuback. “I actually drove to Regina the day that the RFP was due, just to get it in on time. I don’t know how I got it all done before finals, but I did.”

Now just one month after celebrating convocation, Sieben-Chuback is preparing to put her commerce degree to use by establishing her first business, getting in on the ground floor of the potentially lucrative recreational cannabis market, once legalization goes into effect on October 17. For Sieben-Chuback, it’s not only business, but personal.

“The fact that I got my name selected, I was obviously extremely excited,” she said. “But I also did feel like this was meant to be, to a certain point. I actually began working on this long before the RFP came out. I knew this was an industry that I wanted to be involved in, due to the fact that I have rheumatoid arthritis. I just saw this as an opportunity to provide me with the best quality of life, and other people as well. So that was my inspiration moving forward in this industry.”

Sieben-Chuback said her Edwards business courses well prepared her for this opportunity, particularly the business plan outline that she studied in associate professor Lee Swanson’s class Commerce 447: Entrepreneurship and Venture Development.

“The business plan that I wrote in that class was originally for a medical marijuana dispensary, but once these RFPs came out, I pivoted my original business plan to suit the needs of the recreational dispensary in the application,” she said. “I actually used the financial template that Lee provided us in that class, and I used that to do my financial projections for the RFP, so that in itself was so helpful. So, taking that course and walking me through the steps of what it takes to open a business, really helped me.”

Swanson said it is satisfying to know that the course curriculum has proven real-world application.

“I am very proud of Cierra, and of the excellent business plan she wrote in our Comm 447 class,” Swanson said. “She is the latest in a long line of past students who have developed, or are developing, businesses based on the work they did in that class. I’m confident she too will use her entrepreneurial skills to benefit our society by creating jobs, providing a valued product, and helping make our community an even better place in which to live.”

Sieben-Chuback is now busy turning her plan into action. She has trademarked her business name, Living Skies Cannabis, drawing on the Saskatchewan licence plate slogan, and is now working on opening her store before the end of the year, backed by her father and local business owner Glenn Chuback.

“There are a number of steps, the same as for any new business, from finding a location to getting suppliers,” she said. “There is new information coming out every day and I am just taking it all in and going from there. Growing up with a dad who is an entrepreneur, I have always been like-minded, so I do feel prepared. But that being said, I don’t think anyone is really truly prepared to start their first business, especially in a brand-new industry where a lot of the things that I am doing have never been done before. But it is so exciting.”

u-of-s-graduate-lands-role-in-the-handmaids-taletrue1547844036831imj129U of S graduate lands role in The Handmaid’s TaleA University of Saskatchewan alumna who recently appeared in The Handmaid’s Tale describes working on the hit television show as “amazing.”Shannon BoklaschukCollege of Arts and Science, 1531171800000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-graduate-lands-role-in-the-handmaids-talenewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-graduate-lands-role-in-the-handmaids-taleimj1291547654966307imj1291547654966307show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Handmaids Tale.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Handmaids Tale.jpgnewsHandmaids Tale.jpgAlana Pancyr (left) plays Ofwyatt in The Handmaid's Tale. (Photo by George Kraychyk - ©2018 Hulu)NoNoneNo/
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Alana Pancyr, who studied in the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Drama, played the character Ofwyatt in the first episode of the show’s second season. It was originally released on April 25, 2018.

“She has a really rebellious back story,” said Pancyr (BFA’13) of the fictional character. “I don’t want to say too much to spoil anything, but she basically serves as an example of what happens if you rebel.”

The Handsmaid’s Tale is a highly acclaimed show based on the best-selling dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The plot depicts a totalitarian society of the future that forces the handmaids—fertile women—into servitude. In the episode in which Pancyr appeared, the pregnant handmaid Ofwyatt is imprisoned and shackled.

The Hulu show stars Elisabeth Moss, who received the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series at the 2017 Emmys. In total, The Handmaid’s Tale was nominated for 13 awards and received eight Emmys, including the award for outstanding drama series.

Other stars who have appeared in the show in recurring roles include Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel, Max Minghella and Samira Wiley, with guest appearances from Marisa Tomei, Clea DuVall and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

Pancyr said she was “over the moon” when she found out she would have a role in The Handmaid’s Tale.

“I was pinned by casting and my agent and I were waiting a week to hear back—this was the same week the show won so many Emmys. I wasn’t sure the role was mine until costuming sent me an email to set up a fitting,” she said.

TextPullquote“My professors were really excellent and taught dedication to your craft, which is what you need to sustain yourself."Alana Pancyr/Align left

Pancyr said working on the show was an amazing experience—“probably my best day on set to date.”

“When I was getting my makeup done, Elisabeth Moss swung by to introduce herself; I couldn’t help thinking how nice that was,” said Pancyr.

“It’s another world working on a show like that; they wanted rain outside the windows, so every time they called action the rain would pour down the glass. Everything becomes totally real; I got to work with a great costuming and prosthetics team. Also the director, Mike Barker, has been one of my favourites to work with yet. We got a quick rehearsal before shooting and it was thrilling to get introduced to the set, her (Ofwyatt’s) bed, her treadmill and the idea of her captivity.

“I was really locked into my chains, but they were so on the ball about unlocking me between takes. Despite the fact that the show looks very unforgiving, it was a very comfortable day on set. I also got to work with two talented, kind and generous Emmy Award-winning actresses, Elisabeth Moss and Ann Dowd, who are both incredible, so I was pretty thrilled when I went home that day. It also just made me love acting all the more. Every time I get to be on set and they call ‘action’ and I get to perform, there is no greater feeling for me.”

It certainly seems Moss believes the future is bright for Pancyr. Moss tweeted to Pancyr after The Handmaid’s Tale episode was shot, stating: “Your performance in the show was so brilliant and we all admire you very much for sharing that brilliance with us. Look forward to watching your career flourish!”

Pancyr’s acting career first started to bloom at the U of S. She looks back on her time at the U of S with fondness, noting her undergraduate training gave her the confidence to move to Toronto and “try taking acting on as a real job.”

TextImage/images/2018/Alana Pancyr.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Alana Pancyr.jpgnewsAlana Pancyr.jpgAlana Pancyr obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the U of S in 2013. Align left

“My professors were really excellent and taught dedication to your craft, which is what you need to sustain yourself. They also always went above and beyond, often taking time out of their regular hours to answer my questions as I prepared myself to go,” said Pancyr.

“The work I did in those (undergraduate) years really taught me to respect myself as an artist and take my work personally but also professionally. The work I did was mainly in theatre, but I found a pretty seamless transfer to film after my studies. I have had to shift more with time, since the film industry just works at a much faster pace.”

Pancyr said moving to Toronto was “a bit of a learning curve” for her and there was definitely an adjustment period. However, artistic communities “are much the same wherever you go—supportive and welcoming,” she said.

“I was lucky to fall in with a great group of actors and acting coaches who took me under their wing. It’s a lot of running around, and failing and getting back up,” she said. “The city is expensive, so keeping yourself afloat while staying open for 24-hour notice of auditions from your agent and casting can be a challenge. I’ve sort of found my way now and a balance, but it took a few years.”

Pancyr encourages other artists to “dream big” and find the strength to pursue what they love. She knew acting was her passion as a student at the U of S, where she appeared in Greystone Theatre productions such as The Love of the Nightingale.

“There was nothing better than spending my whole day studying acting, voice and movement and then putting it into practice every night in a show for a month,” she said. “I loved that lifestyle; that’s why I knew I could do this the rest of my life.”

sens-chief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-true1547844036831imj129Chief Mistawasis’s Descendant Reflects on Name for Saskatoon’s New BridgeSENS Indigenous Mentor, Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston, discusses his family’s legacyVictoria Schramm1529920620000/articles/people/2018/sens-chief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-newssite://news/articles/people/2018/sens-chief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-imj1291547654965985imj1291547654965985show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/anthony-johnston.jpgsite://news/images/2018/anthony-johnston.jpgnewsanthony-johnston.jpgPhotograph of Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston. Photo credit: Cole Burston for The New York Times.NoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/news-articles/2018/Anthony123.jpgsite://sens/news-articles/2018/Anthony123.jpgsensAnthony123.jpgAnthony123.jpgPhotograph of Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston. Photo credit: Cole Burston for The New York Times.NoNoneNo/
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Anthony is the great-great-great grandson of Chief Mistawasis, the historic leader who Saskatoon’s new bridge will be named after. He is also the Indigenous Mentor at the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS).

The bridge’s name was announced on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“Chief Mistawasis was like a bridge himself between people, communities, and nations,” said Anthony. “He brought people together.”

The chief spoke on behalf of the people involved in Treaty 6, both First Nations and Métis, and played a major role in its negotiation in 1876.

“Chief Mistawasis saw that the people’s way of life was changing and saw the treaty as a new way for the people to provide for themselves, such as through education. In that way, he was a bridge between generations and centuries,” added Anthony.

Now the name Chief Mistawasis will be immortalized through the new bridge in Saskatoon, which will continue to connect the people of Saskatoon.

“At one time, everyone in this land knew the name Mistawasis,” said Anthony. “I’m glad that people will remember his name again.”

Anthony added, “In the 21st century, we continue to look for new ways to provide for our people and that is largely through partnerships, alliances, and friendships.”

In 2017, Anthony joined SENS as an Indigenous Mentor, where he continues his family’s legacy of bringing people together.

“The Mistawasis Nêhiyawak’s partnership with SENS began with friendship,” he stated. “We shared stories and found ways to work together and now we have many friends at SENS and across the university.”

He likes bringing people from different cultures together so that they can learn from one another.  

“I especially enjoy working with the international students at SENS and bringing them to my community. The more I talk with people, and people from overseas who come to the School, the more I realize that we have a lot in common,” said Anthony.

“In very ancient times, all around the world, we all had similar beliefs. We had respect for place, respect for environment, and respect for the land. Today, we’ve lost a lot of that connection to the land, but by sharing stories from around the world, like we do at SENS, we can find a common respect for land and place,” he stated.

Anthony agrees that respect for diversity is key to both reconciliation and to addressing the world’s sustainability problems.

He said, “Each culture, each belief system may have its own way of looking at things, but when we put all those beliefs together, I think that’s where our solutions will come forward for a better future.”

/news-articles/2018/chief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://sens/news-articles/2018/chief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-senschief-mistawasiss-descendant-reflects-on-name-for-saskatoons-new-bridge-Article headlineChief Mistawasis’s Descendant Reflects on Name for Saskatoon’s New Bridge SENS Indigenous Mentor, Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston, discusses his family’s legacy2018, SchrammVictoria Schramm25-Jun-2018 9:57 AM
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u-of-s-researcher-ingrid-pickering-named-cfi-board-chairtrue1547844036831imj129U of S researcher Ingrid Pickering named CFI board chairUniversity of Saskatchewan (U of S) researcher Ingrid Pickering has been appointed chair of the board of directors at the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), an independent organization that invests in leading-edge infrastructure that researchers across Canada need to advance research and innovation.research, 1529514660000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-researcher-ingrid-pickering-named-cfi-board-chairnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-researcher-ingrid-pickering-named-cfi-board-chairimj1291547654965778imj1291547654965778show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Ingrid-Pickering.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Ingrid-Pickering.jpgnewsIngrid-Pickering.jpgIngrid Pickering has been appointed chair of the board of directors at the Canada Foundation for Innovation.NoNoneNo/
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Pickering, a professor in the U of S Department of Geological Sciences and Canada Research Chair in molecular environmental science, has served on the CFI board since 2013 and is the first woman to be appointed as chair. Pickering is also acting vice-dean of research, scholarly and artistic work, in the College of Arts and Science. She will hold the three-year CFI post concurrently with her U of S appointments.

“Ingrid Pickering’s appointment to the prestigious role attests to her fabulous qualities of leadership,” said U of S Vice-President Research Karen Chad. “Given her role as a Canada Research Chair, and her board experience with CFI and international advisory panels, she will provide strong leadership to CFI in delivering on the renewed federal commitment to supporting high quality research facilities across Canada."

CFI has a mandate to ensure researchers in universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations have the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment they need to push scientific boundaries and conduct world-class research.

“I am absolutely honoured by the appointment and for the opportunity to serve Canada,” said Pickering. “I have benefited greatly from being a researcher in Canada at USask and from CFI investments supporting my research. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back by helping shape the future of research in our country.”

In its 2018 budget, the federal government announced a commitment of $763 million over five years for CFI, and proposed it would establish permanent CFI funding of $462 million annually by 2023-24.

“Stable funding gives CFI an opportunity to really design for the future in terms of programs and direction,” said Pickering. “There is tremendous potential to connect people and build research strength in Canada, both across disciplines and between different organizations, by working collaboratively through shared infrastructure.”

Pickering’s research uses and develops synchrotron-based techniques to study the role heavier elements play in biological systems at the molecular level, and the impact these elements have on the environment and human health. 

She came to the U of S in 2003 bringing international experience, with degrees from Cambridge and London in the United Kingdom, and appointments in the United States in industry and at a national laboratory.

Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced Pickering’s appointment Wednesday in Ottawa. 

“By promoting women in science and in leadership, Canada will be better positioned to be a world leader in research and innovation. The Government of Canada believes that diversity is our strength and we all benefit from seeing that diversity reflected on boards and in our institutions,” said Duncan. 

engineering-successtrue1547844036831imj129Engineering successSuzanne Kresta, dean of the U of S College of Engineering, has been inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE).College of Engineering, 1529429400000/articles/people/2018/engineering-successnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/engineering-successimj1291547654965531imj1291547654965531show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/suzanne-kresta.jpgsite://news/images/2017/suzanne-kresta.jpgnewssuzanne-kresta.jpgsuzanne-kresta.jpgSuzanne Kresta has been elected a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.NoNoneNo/
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“I am very humbled to be a part of such a distinguished group of professionals,” said Kresta, who stepped into her role at the U of S on January 1, 2018. “Engineering is such an exciting profession, and it provides opportunities to young people to excel and make a change in the world. To be recognized for my contributions by this preeminent national organization is truly an honour.”

The CAE is the national institution through which Canada's most distinguished and experienced engineers provide strategic advice on matters of critical importance to Canada. Members of the CAE are nominated and elected by their peers to Fellowships, in view of their distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession. 

Kresta, one of 59 new fellows announced on June 18, is an accomplished researcher in the area of turbulent mixing, who has worked in sectors ranging from drinking water to cosmetics and from hydrometallurgy to oilsands extraction. She is perhaps even more regarded for her teaching excellence, having received the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education—the highest engineering education award in Canada—in 2014.

Read more about the CAE fellows here.


beyond-the-rainbowtrue1547844036831imj129Beyond the rainbowU of S alumni are planting new flags for LGBTQ advocacy. HenryTye GlazebrookAlumni1528753680000/articles/people/2018/beyond-the-rainbownewssite://news/articles/people/2018/beyond-the-rainbowimj1291547654965212imj1291547654965212show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Lenore and Kelly-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Lenore and Kelly-OCN.jpgnewsLenore and Kelly-OCN.jpgMoore and SwystunNoNoneNo/
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It all started with then-Minister of Justice Frank Quennell, his voice buzzing over CBC radio airwaves, declaring in 2004 that Saskatchewan had no plans to proactively pursue legalizing same-sex marriage.

The province would instead await the federal government’s ruling on the matter, he reported, but would not contest anyone who might challenge the law.

And for Kelley Moore (MA’13) and Lenore Swystun (MA’96), that statement may as well have come with a court summons.

“Lenore and I, being who we are, took that as a bit of a rally call to mobilize, to help them to change the law by giving them a reason to,” said Moore. “We had been together almost five years, and for us it was about equality and having the same rights as anyone else in a committed relationship.”

The resulting denial of a marriage license was the first step toward a courtroom, where Moore and Swystun would join four other couples in a landmark case that won same-sex partners across Saskatchewan their legal right to wed in November of that year.

It was hardly the first time either of them had stepped into the spotlight, forthcoming as they’d been in their relationship throughout their personal lives and even into Swystun’s time as Saskatoon’s first openly gay city council member, but the sheer magnitude of the decision to take action wouldn’t hit home until later.

“It was incredibly overwhelming to be in all these newspapers,” Moore said. “It’s one thing to be out within your own community and social circle, and then it’s another to be out across the entire country. It was probably the first time when I realized the importance of what we had done.”

The exposure proved good and bad, with friends and family coming forward in the days and months following. Sometimes they’d show support, sometimes they’d question their decisions. But the fallout was more than worth it to know Swystun and Moore had done something real to help others and to set the stage for those who would one day follow their tracks.

“We came on the shoulders and the backs of so many other couples before us,” Swystun said. “You’re always thankful that others had come before and opened a lot of gates and doors, and now we’re taking the next gate and door and hopefully opening it, too.”

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After their victory in court, Moore and Swystun waited two years as their lives returned to normalcy before tying the knot. They invited their closest friends and family members to a potluck in their backyard, hoping that a low-pressure affair would keep anyone from losing their invitation over politics.

“It was kind of funny because our one friend brought roses, my sister had a feeling something was up and she brought a gift, another friend brought a fruit cake and then we had a friend who was a United minister,” Moore said. “Between all of that we had the making of a wedding.

“It was a perfect, beautiful day.”

More than a decade later, both women see clearly that their win in court was only one step in the larger fight for equality. They see it when marginalized people of all kinds come to them for help finding work. They see it when clients Google their names and a look of shock spreads across their faces. They see it when they still have to plan trips abroad around which countries won’t turn them away at the border due to their sexual preferences.

But progress—large or small—is still progress, and they both know the best way to prevent slipping backward is to keep pushing forward.

“The work never stops,” Swystun said. “People think that once you get your driver's license or your marriage license that they’re there, but these are privileges. You have to continue to work on them to enshrine them as a privilege and as a right.”

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new-book-explores-queer-history-on-the-prairiestrue1547844036831imj129New book explores queer history on the PrairiesThe origins of a University of Saskatchewan professor’s new book can be traced back to a Post-it Note.Shannon BoklaschukCollege of Arts and Science, 1528304700000/articles/people/2018/new-book-explores-queer-history-on-the-prairiesnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/new-book-explores-queer-history-on-the-prairiesimj1291547654964883imj1291547654964883show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Valerie Korinek.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Valerie Korinek.jpgnewsValerie Korinek.jpgValerie Korinek, a professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Science, has written Prairie Fairies: A History of Queer Communities and People in Western Canada, 1930-1985. (Photo: Simmone Horwitz)NoNoneNo/
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Valerie Korinek, a professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Science, has written Prairie Fairies: A History of Queer Communities and People in Western Canada, 1930-1985. The book draws on oral, archival and cultural histories to explore the experiences of queer urban and rural people on the Prairies, with a particular focus on the cities of Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary.

Although the book has just been published, it got its start back in 1996, when Korinek first arrived at the U of S from the University of Toronto. It was then that she received a Post-it Note from one of her former colleagues in the history department, the now-retired professor Gary Hanson, which included two names and “the cryptic comment, ‘You should contact these people. You’d find them interesting,’ ” Korinek recalled.

Because Korinek was busy with her new academic post, it wasn’t until April 1997 that she called up U of S librarian Neil Richards, whose name was included on the note. Richards—an activist who posthumously received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in April 2018—had made it his life’s work to preserve, gather and document the heritage of LGBTQ communities. Between 1985 and 2015, Richards entrusted his enormous collection of LGBTQ archives to the U of S library. It was one of the earliest and largest collections of LGBTQ interest to be acquired by a Canadian public archive.

“I met Neil and I was completely blown away by the stuff he had donated to the Saskatchewan Archives Board, to the University Archives. Ten minutes into that maybe hour-long conversation, it was readily apparent to me that nobody had used the materials and this was a huge gift that he had given the province and the university,” Korinek said.

“Basically, he had kept every single piece of paper about gay and lesbian organizing in the Western region since those groups started in the early ’70s, and he had cut out articles from the newspaper from the moment he arrived in the city (from Ontario). Neil had also gone and volunteered at the Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto and so, as part of that arrangement, he photocopied a lot of materials that they had and brought them back to Saskatoon.

“So, when I saw how much material was here, (I knew) what a great social and regional and urban history it would be of queer people in the Prairies. I didn’t have very much familiarity with the Prairies before I moved here, and had assumed, stereotypically like everyone does, if you grow up gay or lesbian in the Prairies—which was how people referred to themselves then; queer now—you would just move. You would move to Vancouver, you’d move to Toronto, you’d move to Montreal. So I gradually began to realize as I went about my weekly life well, no, people hadn’t moved, and here was all of this documentation.”

Around the same time that she met with Richards, Korinek had been working on her book Roughing it in the Suburbs: Reading Chatelaine Magazine in the Fifties and Sixties. She was interested in feminism, sexuality and gender in Canada after the Second World War and was already quite familiar with literature in the U.S. about gay urban space. After viewing Richards’ materials, Korinek saw an opportunity to write what she thought of, at the time, as “a little book” about queer people and queer communities on the Prairies.

Korinek got started on the book following a successful Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant application. After she visited LGBTQ archives throughout Western Canada, conducted interviews and spent more than a decade writing the book, the 528-page Prairie Fairies was published by University of Toronto Press.

“It became both an academic and personal labour of love to try and utilize Neil’s archives, the oral interviews I collected myself, the ones I found in Winnipeg and cultural documents to write this history,” she said.

The book’s cover features a 1914 archival photo of U of S alumna Annie Maude (Nan) McKay sharing an embrace and a kiss with a woman named Hope outside of a university residence building. In 1915, McKay—who was born in 1892 at Fort à la Corne, Sask.—became the first Métis and Indigenous woman to graduate from the U of S when she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The book’s timeframe—1930-1985—encapsulates two parts of queer life on the Prairies. The 1930s through to 1969 is what Korinek describes as “pre-gay and lesbian community formation.” The 1970s, however, marked the beginning of what Korinek calls “gay and lesbian liberation,” which included the creation of gay and lesbian membership clubs, newsletters and magazines.

The 1980s brought a new challenge with the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. Korinek decided to end her book in 1985 as a result.

“I ended at ’85 not because political activity ends then, but that’s really the point at which most of these cities turn their resources—limited resources—towards AIDS awareness, AIDS education and AIDS activism and have to turn away from the community centres and the more general kind of membership clubs that they had run up until that point.”

Korinek said there’s several key messages in Prairie Fairies, and the first and most simple is that queer people have always lived on the Prairies—even if they haven’t always been welcomed or acknowledged by others. The new book is a “start at writing a history of a group that hasn’t had much historical attention,” she said.

Another facet of Prairie Fairies is that it looks at the ways in which Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton were interconnected, but also at the ways in which they were similar and different. For example, Saskatoon was very political, Winnipeg was quite invested in education and media production and Edmonton specialized in counselling programs, Korinek said.

“This world is interconnected. So Prairie activists were participants in the national Canadian activist scene. They were travelling to the United States and, in some ways, Prairie activists were leaders in the ’70s and early ’80s—and that is something that is just absolutely not known,” she said.

“There were a series of conferences between 1971 and 1982 or ’83 and, of those 10 conferences, three of them were held in the Prairie region—in Winnipeg, in Saskatoon, in Calgary. That’s really important to know, that Prairie activists were leaders nationally.”

Korinek has reflected on some of the progress that has been made on the Prairies since 1985 and has not ruled out another book examining more recent LGBTQ history. In 2017, for example, the Saskatoon Pride Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary with a record-breaking parade. Korinek said advances have been made as people have gotten to know their LGBTQ counterparts.

“Once they see people living right next door, it makes it a little bit harder to hate and a little bit harder to just have a knee-jerk reaction to difference,” she said.

“And that’s really good—it’s one of the reasons why activists in the ’70s said, ‘Encourage people to come out. Encourage people to tell other people that they are gay and lesbian,’ because they knew that that would break down barriers. It would demystify our world.”

mastering-the-art-of-teachingtrue1547844036831imj129Mastering the art of teachingThe university is paying tribute to Joe Garcea for three decades of dedication and exemplary service to students. But if you ask Garcea, he is the one who is truly grateful.James ShewagaCollege of Arts and Science, 1528229760000/articles/people/2018/mastering-the-art-of-teachingnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/mastering-the-art-of-teachingimj1291547654964554imj1291547654964554show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Garcea3-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Garcea3-OCN.jpgnewsGarcea3-OCN.jpgJoe Garcea has spent 31 years teaching political studies at the University of Saskatchewan.NoNoneNo/
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Honoured with the Master Teacher Award at Spring Convocation—the highest teaching honour at the U of S and presented to only two faculty members each year—Garcea is also celebrating 37 years of marriage with his wife Laurie (who holds a master’s in education psychology and special education from the U of S), as well as 31 years of educating and mentoring political studies students at the university, where he has proudly watched his own children Giustino, Michele and Maria excel in their courses.

For Garcea, who has battled health issues for years since being diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1991, there is plenty to be thankful for.

 “It puts things into perspective, that’s for sure,” said Garcea, a professor in the College of Arts and Science. “I had two related things, cancer and heart valve replacements, and in both cases leading-edge university research changed my life and I consider myself lucky to be alive because of medical science research. One innovative experimental procedure that kept me alive was used at the University of Alberta, at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, and the other was an innovative procedure involving nanospheres and nuclear isotopes used here at Royal University Hospital.”

Garcea said those life-saving procedures are daily reminders of the value of university research in medical science, as well as in other fields.

 “You realize that every day is precious and there are certain things that you can’t put off,” he said. “You realize how important it is to cherish your time with your family, but at the same time you also want to make a contribution to society and to the institution, because that’s all what makes life worth living.”

TextPullquoteBut for me, the most rewarding aspect of teaching today, as it was at the start, is engaging and enlightening students. The greatest thing about teaching is watching the lights go on for these students and there is suddenly complete silence, when you really know that you have them thinking.Joe Garcea/Align left

Garcea has spent more than half his life on campus, but still starts each semester with the same feelings he had in his first year at the U of S back in 1987.

 “I get just as excited, and just as nervous, especially at the start of a term when you are just getting to know the new student group and you don’t know quite what hand the gods have dealt you in that particular class,” he said, with a chuckle. “So, until you get a feel for the class, there is a bit of anxiety because in order to be effective, you have to know your student group and at the start you don’t, so you don’t know how to be effective.

 “But for me, the most rewarding aspect of teaching today, as it was at the start, is engaging and enlightening students. The greatest thing about teaching is watching the lights go on for these students and there is suddenly complete silence, when you really know that you have them thinking.”

Over his time here, Garcea has become a pillar of the political studies department on campus and a committed contributor to the community in civic governance issues, provincial task forces and federal studies, as well as being much in demand as a media commentator, particularly during election cycles.

“I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to contribute to those kinds of things, those initiatives aimed at advancing the public good and the public interest,” said Garcea, who was born in Italy and raised in Jasper, Alta. “We are here to educate, but we are also here to make a contribution to our communities. And that is why it is a privilege to be in a place like this university. We have to keep in mind that we are trying to produce mindful and productive citizens. And for me, that’s the mission of this job.”

Garcea has watched the campus and student body change significantly in the past three decades. While much progress has been made, he believes the university needs to continue to focus on doing more to support students.

“I think we have a much more diverse group that needs different things than they did 30 years ago, and that includes more students facing physical and mental health challenges today and more diversity in terms of learning styles,” he said. “It also includes an increasing number of international students and increasing number of Indigenous students, and students from all socio-economic strata. I think we have to continue to make the educational experience a positive one for all our students.”

Garcea’s body of work confirms that he has done precisely that. Former students have gone on to prominence as provincial and national public officials, urban planners and academic leaders, with many crediting Garcea’s guidance in playing a pivotal role in their career pursuits.

His efforts have earned him multiple distinctions, from the College of Arts and Science Teaching Excellence Award, the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, the U of S Award for Distinction in Outreach and Public Service, and the James Pooler Award for contributions to regional and urban planning. The Master Teacher Award is just the latest in his long list of accolades.

“It’s a great honour,” said Garcea, who earned a bachelor’s at the University of Victoria and master’s degrees in political science and public administration at the University of Manitoba as well as a PhD in political science at Carleton University, prior to coming to the

U of S. “I’m humbled because I know there are a lot of great teachers out there making great efforts, with a great commitment to the teaching profession. So, I feel like I have won, essentially, a lottery. And I just feel that others equally, and others even more worthy, are out there. So, it’s humbling.”

usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-natalie-yankotrue1547844036831imj129#UsaskConvo: Q & A with U of S graduating student Natalie YankoWhile close to 3,700 students are expected to cross the stage at TCU Place to receive their degrees at Spring Convocation from June 4-7, every U of S graduate has their own unique story.1528216080000/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-natalie-yankonewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-natalie-yankoimj1291547654964216imj1291547654964216show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/NatalieYanko.jpgsite://news/images/2018/NatalieYanko.jpgnewsNatalieYanko.jpgNatalie YankoNoNoneNo/
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Natalie Yanko, originally from Ituna, Sask, is graduating with a Master of Nursing. After she graduates, she plans to work as a nurse practitioner in a rural or remote Saskatchewan community. Yanko says she is passionate to strengthen rural health and promote access to care for all individuals and families. Yanko also plans to return to competitive curling with a team out of the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon.

Overall, how was your U of S experience?

I am grateful for my positive experiences in both undergraduate and graduate studies at the U of S. The U of S offered a challenging yet rewarding opportunity for study in a dynamic and positive learning environment. I would highly recommend the Nurse Practitioner Program at the College of Nursing because of the overall excellence of the program, encouraging faculty, and study options dependent on student needs and preferences.

If you had a million dollars to donate to the university, what would you want the money to be used for?

I would donate the money strictly for scholarships and bursaries for deserving students. I am very grateful for the awards I received throughout graduate studies because they enabled me to focus more time to achieve academically. I encourage students to apply for awards offered internally within their college and external to the university.  

What advice do have for new students just starting university?

I encourage students beginning studies at the U of S to connect and collaborate with fellow students and faculty within their college and academic courses. Becoming familiar with the campus environment and academic resources is another important tool as a new student. Knowing what resources are available and how to access them is essential for academic and personal growth.

TextNone/Above contentJoin us as we celebrate all those who receive their degrees during Spring Convocation. Share your moments using #UsaskConvo.
english-student-experiences-both-sides-of-publishing-academic-worktrue1547844036831imj129English student experiences ‘both sides’ of publishing academic workOne of the most influential experiences of Lizette Gerber’s undergraduate education was working with the University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal (USURJ).Shannon BoklaschukCollege of Arts and Science, 1528138080000/articles/people/2018/english-student-experiences-both-sides-of-publishing-academic-worknewssite://news/articles/people/2018/english-student-experiences-both-sides-of-publishing-academic-workimj1291547654963923imj1291547654963923show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Lizette-Gerber.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Lizette-Gerber.jpgnewsLizette-Gerber.jpgLizette Gerber will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in English (honours) during U of S Spring Convocation on June 5.NoNoneNo/
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USURJ is an online, peer-reviewed scholarly journal featuring original work by U of S undergraduate students. Gerber, an English major, became editor-in-chief of the journal alongside PhD student Tara Chambers.

Gerber also had one of her own essays published in volume 4 of USURJ. The essay, “Transgender Bodies in The Little Mermaid and Swim Thru Fire,” was nominated for one of the journal’s best paper prizes.

“Being able to experience the publication process from both sides like that was amazing, especially since I really want to continue studying and working in academia,” she said.

Gerber will receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in English (honours) during U of S Spring Convocation on June 5. The evening before she crosses the stage at TCU Place to receive her degree, she will be among the high-achieving students honoured at the annual College of Arts and Science Convocation Dinner and Awards Ceremony. At the college event, Gerber will receive the Copland Prize in Humanities and the Award for Excellence in English Studies.

Gerber said she was “so happy” to find out she would be recognized.

“I love studying literature and work hard to be successful at it, so it’s very gratifying for that to pay off,” she said.

Gerber is currently working as a research assistant for a project led by English professor Joanne Leow, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In September, Gerber will begin a master’s degree in the College of Arts and Science in English. She is aiming for a PhD after that.

“My broad research interests include transnational literature, Indigenous literature, speculative fiction and literary animal studies,” she said.

Although Gerber will no longer be an undergraduate student, she is planning to stay on with USURJ as a graduate advisor. She said she has learned a lot about publishing and editing through her time with the journal.

“I love getting articles through to publication. Even if I only played a small part in working with the paper, hearing about the success of the authors that submit to us makes me so happy. It’s definitely one of the reasons that I’m staying on as a graduate advisor for the upcoming year; I know how exciting it is to get undergraduate work out there and I want to keep being a part of that,” she said.

“By giving undergraduate students the opportunity to learn in a positive and constructive environment about the standards of research and the process of publishing in an academic journal, they gain an advantage when it comes to thinking about studying at the graduate level. Even if grad school is not part of their plan, I think it’s important for undergraduate students to have a venue for their work to be seen by more people than just their professor so that they know that their work can have significance in the world beyond the classroom.”

Gerber describes choosing English as her major as “the best decision I ever made.” She has advice for other undergraduate students: don’t compare yourself to others.

“It can be very easy to devalue your own accomplishments because someone else is ‘better than you’ in one way or another, but my advice would be to try your best to only compare yourself against your past self. Allow yourself to be proud of what you’ve achieved, and ignore that part of you that says it doesn’t matter because someone else seems to be higher than you on your scale of expectation. Be nice to yourself.”

usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-zachary-persontrue1547844036831imj129#UsaskConvo: Q & A with U of S graduating student Zachary PersonWhile close to 3,700 students are expected to cross the stage at TCU Place to receive their degrees at Spring Convocation from June 4-7, every U of S graduate has their own unique story.1527798060000/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-zachary-personnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-zachary-personimj1291547654963036imj1291547654963036show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Zack Person.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Zack Person.jpgnewsZack Person.jpgZachary PersonNoNoneNo/
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This Spring, Zachary Person, 24, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in environmental science. This fall he will begin a master’s degree at the U of S in environment and sustainability, under the supervision of Colin Laroque.

Why did you decide to continue your education and obtain a master’s degree?

After obtaining an Environmental Science Major with my Agriculture Degree, I was very intrigued in pushing my knowledge further, especially regarding sustainability issues locally and globally. These issues are very large and diverse, and trying to solve them involves unique research and advanced problem-solving skills.

Overall, how was your U of S experience?

My experience at the U of S was very educational, fulfilling and well-rounded. I transferred from Lakeland College after receiving a Diploma, hoping to finish my degree and get into the work-force. I ended up running into some great professors at the university that involved me in using some unique scientific tools to conduct research, mainly the Canadian Light Source. This research sparked the need to further my education past a bachelor’s degree.

What’s something you learned at the U of S that didn’t come from a textbook?

I learned a lot of people skills, especially in the later years. There was a certain capstone class, Environment and Sustainability 401: Sustainability in Action, that involved intensive networking, numerous meetings (including one with President Stoicheff) and people-management. These are skills that only come from experience which the professors pushed for, setting up their students for success when they enter the work-force after receiving their degree.

What’s something you learned at the U of S that did come from a textbook, a lecture/lab or research?

I learned a lot about the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s only Synchrotron. I used the synchrotron to do dendrochronologic research, or the study of tree rings through time. I focused, and will continue to focus, on how mining and other human activities effect trees in certain areas due to contamination, and how that could potentially become a vector to humans and animals in that same environment. Mainly, humans growing food in tainted soils, which the trees will show you on a timeline when contamination started and how bad the contamination is.

If you had a million dollars to donate to the university, what would you want the money to be used for?

The money would go in a few different directions. I would give some full-ride scholarships to some who could not afford to pursue a degree but want to. I would also want a large amount of the money to be used for research and innovation in the environmental and sustainability sectors. I would like to see research done on new energy production (clean energy), land reclamation and restoration, and more research on the Canadian Light Source involving plant, soil and water contamination. With money put into these areas, certain departments could grow in my educational interest areas. I think this is very important as most environmental problems are so large and they are not being dealt with due to a lack of research and knowledge.  

What did you learn about yourself during your time at the U of S?

I learned that hard work and dedication can go to great lengths and result in good marks. I achieved and succeeded in some things that I could have never imagined, including conducting research on the Canadian Light Source and leading a group of 28 people. When you find the areas you care about, it is not hard to dedicate time and effort into studying and finishing schoolwork, and enjoy the things learned from it.

What advice do have for new students just starting university?

To new students, show up to class, take notes, study a bit every day, but do not be afraid to give yourself time off. There is a very particular balance that is needed in university to excel. Also, never be afraid to question everything. Lastly, do not be afraid to change your educational pathway if you are not liking what you are doing, you are not the only one to feel that way.

University can be stressful, how did you look after your mental health while at university?

Spending time going out with or studying with friends is a great way to relax while in university. Taking walks, finding a good show to binge-watch, or taking electives you are passionate about are also some good tips to keep your head above water in school. It also helps to keep an organized schedule and finish work early, so that during midterms and finals your main focus can be the exams.

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Join us as we celebrate all those who receive their degrees during Spring Convocation. Share your moments using #UsaskConvo.

usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-monika-bzdeltrue1547844036831imj129#UsaskConvo: Q & A with U of S graduating student Monika BzdelWhile close to 3,700 students are expected to cross the stage at TCU Place to receive their degrees at Spring Convocation from June 4-7, every U of S graduate has their own unique story.1527797940000/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-monika-bzdelnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-monika-bzdelimj1291547654962680imj1291547654962680show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/monica-bzdel.jpgsite://news/images/2018/monica-bzdel.jpgnewsmonica-bzdel.jpgMonika BzdelNoNoneNo/
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This spring, Monika Bzdel, 27, is graduating with a Master of Nursing - Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. After graduation, Bzdel plans to work as a nurse practitioner in northern communities in Saskatchewan.

How was your U of S experience?

Overall, I enjoyed my experience. The course I took was considered a “distance” course, meaning that there was an option to attend the lectures online, or in person in the classroom. I appreciated that there was the option available to suit my schedule and learning needs.

What advice do you have for new students just starting university?

Prioritization and time management are very important skills to consolidate. Focus on your goals, and plan your days and study time accordingly. Also, have realistic expectations of yourself—do not get discouraged and always remind yourself why you have chosen to further your education and what your goals are.

University can be stressful, how did you look after your mental health while at university?

Finding out what self-care practices work best with you are important in managing stress. For myself, I found having a daily meditation practice, exercising, eating nutritious food, getting adequate sleep and spending time with people who were important to me was vital. During midterms or final exams, making time for these activities were a priority for me and I believe contributed to my success.

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Join us as we celebrate all those who receive their degrees during Spring Convocation. Share your moments using #UsaskConvo.

usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-lorelei-fordtrue1547844036831imj129#UsaskConvo: Q & A with U of S graduating student Lorelei FordWhile close to 3,700 students are expected to cross the stage at TCU Place to receive their degrees at Spring Convocation from June 4-7, every U of S graduate has their own unique story.1527797460000/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-lorelei-fordnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-lorelei-fordimj1291547654962400imj1291547654962400show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Lorelei Ford.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Lorelei Ford.jpgnewsLorelei Ford.jpgLorelei FordNoNoneNo/
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Lorelei Ford, 39, is graduating with a Master of Environment and Sustainability. After she graduates, she plans to work for the Water Security Agency. Ford is thankful to Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj and Dr. Cheryl Waldner for their support and mentorship. Ford said she “learned much from their strength, passion and perseverance”.  

Overall, how was your U of S experience?

My experience with the University of Saskatchewan was good. The School of Environment and Sustainability provided me the flexibility I needed to continue working while achieving my academic goals.

What’s something you learned at the U of S that didn’t come from a textbook?

I learned a lot about effective teamwork within a research team. My committee provided strong mentorship and good communication which kept me motivated and passionate.

What’s something you learned at the U of S that did come from a textbook, a lecture/lab or research?

I enjoyed all of my courses! It was great to have the opportunity to learn more about statistics (frequentist and probabilistic) and apply it to my research.

If you had a million dollars to donate to the university, what would you want the money to be used for?

I would want the money used for more community-based participatory research, where applicable, especially as it relates to providing support to communities to participate in the research.

What did you learn about yourself during your time at the U of S?

If it were a perfect world, I would never leave the university. I would literally try to get as many degrees as possible!

What advice do have for new students just starting university?

Create a schedule for your work. Treat it like a job and show up on a regular schedule. Take time off and do your best not to constantly think about what you are not doing. Achieving your degree and good life balance will serve you well in the future.

University can be stressful, how did you look after your mental health while at university?

I prioritized my family and work but made a schedule for schoolwork. Keeping up with my physical health and pacing myself through the tough and stressful times ensured I did not burnout.

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Join us as we celebrate all those who receive their degrees during Spring Convocation. Share your moments using #UsaskConvo.

usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-jaimie-peterstrue1547844036831imj129#UsaskConvo: Q & A with U of S graduating student Jaimie PetersWhile close to 3,700 students are expected to cross the stage at TCU Place to receive their degrees at Spring Convocation from June 4-7, every U of S graduate has their own unique story. 1527796980000/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-jaimie-petersnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/usaskconvo-q--a-with-u-of-s-graduating-student-jaimie-petersimj1291547654962109imj1291547654962109show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Jaimie-Peters.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Jaimie-Peters.jpgnewsJaimie-Peters.jpgJaimie Peters.NoNoneNo/
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Jaimie Peters, 38, is graduating with a Master of Nursing this spring. After graduation, she plans to spend more time with her daughters and husband, and will continue to work with The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. In Peters’ spare time, she will continue to work on the research project from her final practicum and teach lab and clinical with the College of Nursing.

Overall, how was your U of S experience?

I really enjoyed my experience.  As a mature student, I found school much more meaningful and applicable because of the experiences you can use to relate to content being learned. 

What’s something you learned at the U of S that came from a textbook, a lecture/lab or research? 

One of the most interesting discussions from the program was about challenges and solutions in multigenerational nursing environments. Each generation has strengths and we need to work together to create a patient first health care environment.  

If you had a million dollars to donate to the university, what would you want the money to be used for? 

A million dollars is a lot, but not quite enough!  I would direct these funds to four places: 

  1. Respiratory Research Centre of Canada—to support the great respiratory researchers we have.
  2. The College of Nursing—to develop a clinical skills lab dedicated specifically for nursing students.
  3. The College of Nursing—to enhance all levels of nursing students skills and understanding in the management of respiratory disease and illness.
  4. Scholarship—a scholarship to support part-time nursing students who have young children and continue to work.

What did you learn about yourself during your time at the U of S?

I learned I am very good at time management and that sometimes you have to let certain things go.  For me it was Netflix, laundry and housework!  This would be my advice for new students as well—use your nursing skills and prioritize the important things in life.​

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Join us as we celebrate all those who receive their degrees during Spring Convocation. Share your moments using #UsaskConvo.

the-right-footprintstrue1547844036831imj129The right footprintsWhen Gabrielle Scrimshaw held her nephew Ethan for the first time, hours after his birth in 2006, she was touched by an overwhelming feeling of love but also by a sudden resolve.Liz Mineo1527093900000/articles/people/2018/the-right-footprintsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/the-right-footprintsimj1291547654961782imj1291547654961782show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/gabrielle-scrimshaw.jpgsite://news/images/2018/gabrielle-scrimshaw.jpgnewsgabrielle-scrimshaw.jpgGabrielle Scrimshaw ’18 is a Gleitsman Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. The first in her family to attend college, she plans to start an investment firm for tribal businesses and indigenous entrepreneurs. (Photo: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer)NoNoneNo/
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Growing up a Dene in north central Canada, one of the 600 aboriginal groups of Canada’s First Nations, Scrimshaw, a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business, knew firsthand the challenges that mark the lives of Indigenous peoples.

“I realized that because Ethan was born First Nations, he’d have to face a potentially challenging life,” said Scrimshaw in a recent interview with The Harvard Gazette. “I also realized that he didn’t have a say in the world he was about to grow up in, and I decided that I was going to do everything I could to make his life better.”

Over the past decade, Scrimshaw has been doing that and more. A Gleitsman Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Scrimshaw is completing a Master in Public Administration. Last year, she earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

TextPullquoteMy goal is to help empower my community with the tools, assets, network, and capabilities that I now have to do right for my community.Gabrielle Scrimshaw /Align left

Scrimshaw grew up in a town of 800 people in Saskatchewan, home to the Hatchet Lake First Nation, of which Dene people are part. When her nephew was born, she had just been accepted to the U of S, becoming the first in her family to go to college. To celebrate, her father took her to the only diner in town, where she “had the best BLT sandwich” ever, she said. She and her two sisters were raised by her father.

And so Scrimshaw started down an unfamiliar path for Indigenous peoples in Canada, home to more than 1.5 million aboriginal people, divided among First Nations people, Métis, and Inuit. Together they represent 5 percent of Canada’s population, but a much greater percentage of the country’s poor and unemployed.

From the moment Scrimshaw went to college, she was determined to forge her own trajectory. She graduated with a bachelor’s in marketing and traveled to 18 countries in four years, meeting indigenous peoples around the world and discovering their common history of colonization, discrimination, and forced assimilation. She still feels outrage at the injustices committed against native peoples all over the world, but she prefers to focus on being inspired by their shared strength and resilience.

“As Indigenous peoples, we’ve faced similar circumstances of being colonized and having governments trying to forcefully remove us and erase our cultures, languages and existence, all of which has led Indigenous peoples to being at the bottom of every social and economic indicator,” said Scrimshaw. “And despite all of that, and the efforts of governments to exterminate Indigenous peoples, we’re still here. That’s where my inspiration and my sustaining force now come from.”

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This article was originally published in The Harvard Gazette.

acclaimed-author,-u-of-s-alumna-sharon-butala-publishes-first-mystery-noveltrue1547844036831imj129Acclaimed author, U of S alumna Sharon Butala publishes first mystery novelIn 1962, the body of 23-year-old Alexandra Wiwcharuk was discovered by a young boy who had wandered into some trees by the South Saskatchewan River.Shannon Boklaschuk1526585100000/articles/people/2018/acclaimed-author,-u-of-s-alumna-sharon-butala-publishes-first-mystery-novelnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/acclaimed-author,-u-of-s-alumna-sharon-butala-publishes-first-mystery-novelimj1291547654961433imj1291547654961433show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/sharon-butala.jpgsite://news/images/2018/sharon-butala.jpgnewssharon-butala.jpgBest-selling Canadian author and University of Saskatchewan alumna Sharon Butala.NoNoneNo/
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Wiwcharuk, a Saskatoon nurse, had left her City Park apartment on May 18, 1962, to mail two letters at a nearby drugstore and to go for a walk. She was scheduled to work at City Hospital a few hours later and told her roommates she would return.

Tragically, she never did.

Wiwcharuk’s body was discovered in a shallow grave nearly two weeks later, near the intersection of Spadina Crescent and 33rdStreet. Police considered a number of suspects in the case, but, more than five decades later, answers continue to elude investigators.

Best-selling Canadian author and University of Saskatchewan alumna Sharon Butala (BEd’62, BA’63, PGD’73, DLitt’04) has had a longtime interest in the unsolved case. Butala went to high school with Wiwcharuk and published a nonfiction work about her killing in 2008. That book, The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder, examined why the brutal slaying of Wiwcharuk continues to intrigue people to this day.

“I’ll try to put it in a nutshell: Because she was the descendant of a hard-working, never wealthy, quintessential Saskatchewan pioneer family, she stood for all of us and the hope our families had when they settled in Saskatchewan,” said Butala. 

“Because she was a beautiful, unspoiled, good-natured, intelligent and ambitious young woman who might have gone far had she lived, she also represented the death of all our dreams. She was youth, beauty and innocence destroyed by wanton evil—that which we all fear. Saskatoon was a small place in the middle of nowhere and this extraordinary girl rose up in it, only to be killed for no reason at all. There is an echo from mythology here.”

Butala said Wiwcharuk was “a decent, intelligent young woman” and her death was “appalling and heartbreaking” for many. Because Butala and Wiwcharuk knew a number of the same people, and because Butala was living in Saskatoon when Wiwcharuk’s body was discovered, Butala naturally became very interested in the case.

“I wanted to write about the Saskatoon I knew, too, from 1953—when its population was about 50,000—to her death in 1962, when it was already 100,000. I wanted to try to figure out why her murder mattered so much to everyone, even 50 years later,” she said.

TextImage/images/Zaras-Dead.jpgsite://news/images/Zaras-Dead.jpgnewsZaras-Dead.jpgButala's first mystery novel, Zara's DeadAlign left

This month, Butala is launching a new book, Zara’s Dead, that was inspired by her experiences trying to tell the story of Wiwcharuk’s murder. Zara’s Dead is not intended to be a companion piece or a follow up-book to The Girl in Saskatoon; rather, Butala wrote the new book to stand alone as her first mystery novel.

“But anyone reading Zara's Dead is inevitably going to know I would never have even tried to write it if I hadn’t spent all those years trying to put together a narrative about what happened to Alex Wiwcharuk—and, even while I was gathering a mountain of information, I was also being thwarted at every turn, or given apparently important clues that I couldn’t understand,” said Butala.

“That is where I learned everything I know about what a writer is up against in trying to tell such a story—not to mention one heck of a lot about human nature that maybe I would be better off not knowing. But then, I wouldn’t be a writer.”

Butala, who was born in Nipawin, Sask., in 1940, has found great success as a prairie writer. She is a three-time Governor General’s Award nominee and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her classic book, The Perfection of the Morning, was a No. 1 bestseller and a Governor General’s Award finalist, while her short story collection, Fever, won the 1992 Authors’ Award for Paperback Fiction and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best book (Canada and Caribbean region). 

“I am inspired by the great beauty of the prairies: the vast sky, the distances that reach all the way to the horizon, their relative emptiness so that a person feels free on them,” said Butala. “One’s soul has room to expand. How very precious this place is.”

Butala’s 2015 novel, Wild Rose, was shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, while Where I Live Now: A Journey Through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope was a 2017 Governor General’s Award nominee in nonfiction. Butala wrote the memoir Where I live Now when the life she had known for 33 years living on a southwest Saskatchewan ranch came to an end with the death of her beloved husband.

Butala also received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2009 and the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence in 2012. The University of Saskatchewan bestowed Butala with an honorary degree in 2004 and the College of Arts and Science named Butala as one of its first 100 Alumni of Influence in 2009.

Butala looks back on her time at the U of S with fondness.

“I will never forget my English lit classes and professors at U of S: Professor Smith, who taught Shakespeare, Professor Carlyle King and modern American literature and others who in brief moments, which they would never even remember, they gave me glimpses into the power and beauty of literature,” she said.

Butala now lives in Calgary, but she will be heading to Saskatoon soon for her book launch on May 24 at McNally Robinson Booksellers. During the event, which will start at 7 p.m., Butala will discuss Zara’s Dead and sign copies of her new work.

Fittingly, she is also returning to the home of Alexandra Wiwcharuk to talk about the new mystery novel almost exactly 56 years after Wiwcharuk died.

“I wouldn’t characterize Zara’s Dead as a fictional telling of the murder of Alexandra Wiwcharuk. It isn’t a re-telling of that murder at all. This is more a book inspired by my experiences in trying to tell the story of that murder, and, as you know, that murder has never been solved and I wanted to write a mystery where I actually got to solve a murder,” said Butala.

“I also wanted to write about the frustrations of the ‘sleuth’—which I’m not and never have been—and I wanted to talk about how people hug secrets to themselves in such cases, how a so-called ‘sleuth’ angers people and suffers from it without ever knowing where the anger is coming from or precisely why it even exists, and also about the secrets a ‘sleuth’ stumbles on and doesn’t know what to do with.

“I had a head full of situations and experiences and knowledge I couldn’t use that fascinated me and I wanted to put them into a book. So I created a whole new raft of characters and a different situation, and then I invented solutions to my murder and chose the one I would go with. I’m not sure now that I picked the right ending out of the ones I thought up, but I guess it’s too late now to fix that.”

For more information about Butala, go online to For more information about the May 24 event, go online to

Shannon Boklaschuk is a communications co-ordinator in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan.

from-convocation-to-dream-vacationtrue1547844036831imj129From convocation to dream vacationFrom the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare to the epic poem Beowulf, Emily Mooney has spent the past four years studying classic English literature that paints a picturesque tapestry of life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.James ShewagaCollege of Arts and Science, 1525987260000/articles/people/2018/from-convocation-to-dream-vacationnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/from-convocation-to-dream-vacationimj1291547654961091imj1291547654961091show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Emily Mooney-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Emily Mooney-OCN.jpgnewsEmily Mooney-OCN.jpgEmily Mooney. (Photo: James Shewaga)NoNoneNo/
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Now she is heading overseas to explore the culture and countryside, the history and mystery, of the British Isles.

The day after walking across the stage at TCU Place on June 5 to be awarded her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree at University of Saskatchewan Spring Convocation, Mooney will celebrate by boarding a flight to London to begin a three-week tour of England and Ireland, after earning the prestigious U of S Hannon Travel Scholarship.

“I am really looking forward to it,” said Mooney, who earned the $7,000 scholarship based on her academics (85.87 per cent average overall), her character, her involvement in university/community activities and her detailed travel proposal. “My application focused on English and classic literature, medieval courses, all the things that I have been studying. So, I am excited to go to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and I am also going to see the Book of Kells, which is a (thousand-year-old) manuscript that I am excited to see in Ireland.”

Mooney’s travels will also allow her to trace the roots of her family tree back to the Irish county of Monaghan, as well as a part of the history of the Saskatchewan town of Southey where she grew up.

“I am quite interested in genealogy and my aunt has sent me all sorts of things that I need to go find in Monaghan where a lot of my ancestors are from, so that will be great,” said Mooney. “And even just being from the town of Southey, it is named after the English poet Robert Southey, so hopefully I can learn a little bit more about him while I am in England.”

TextImage/images/2018/Emily Mooney-2-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Emily Mooney-2-OCN.jpgnewsEmily Mooney-2-OCN.jpgEmily Mooney with one of the Murray Library’s classic old volumes of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. (Photo: James Shewaga)Align left

The Hannon scholarship is one of a number of financial awards that Mooney has earned over her four years at the U of S, including the Roscoe Miller Scholarship for highest academic average in Honours English. She said the financial support allowed her to take full-time studies without needing to work part-time, while also having the time to do volunteer work with the likes of Global Gathering Place and take part in campus activities such as singing and dancing in the Newman Sounds Glee Club.

“I could really focus on my schoolwork and get involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, and I think volunteering is really important, too,” said Mooney, who is now looking for a writing position in the field of communications following graduation. “It was great to really become a part of the university and to get involved in the city of Saskatoon, too. I have really enjoyed that aspect of attending the U of S.”

And as a third-generation U of S student, coming to Saskatoon for university was an easy decision.

“My mom and dad and all four of my grandparents went here, plus my older sister was here, too, so I think it was all definitely a big part of my reason for coming here,” said Mooney, who quickly became a fan of the Huskies women’s basketball team, which her sister Alyssa (a 2016 kinesiology graduate) worked with as a student trainer.

“I grew up outside of Regina, so most of the people that I went to high school with went to the U of R. But when I was growing up, I kind of always wanted to go to the U of S because when my parents talked about university, they talked about the U of S. So, there was never really a doubt in my mind that I would come here. And I just think it is a great university. And it’s been great for me.”

alumni-building,-growing-and-givingtrue1547844036831imj129Building, growing and givingThrough his innovation, vision and generosity, alumnus Maurice Delage earned Saskatchewan’s highest distinction.Sean Conroy1525186560000/articles/people/2018/alumni-building,-growing-and-givingnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-building,-growing-and-givingimj1291547654960775imj1291547654960775show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/headshot crop final.jpgsite://alumni/images/headshot crop final.jpgalumniheadshot crop final.jpgMaurice Delage is a 2018 recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of MeritNoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/headshot crop final.jpgsite://alumni/images/headshot crop final.jpgalumniheadshot crop final.jpgMaurice Delage is a 2018 recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of MeritNoNoneNo/
TextImage“It is important to support the enhancement of our communities where we live, conduct business and raise our families. Sports, arts, culture, and charitable organizations provide a quality of life for us all,”-Maurice Delage/images/dji-0004.jpgsite://alumni/images/dji-0004.jpgalumnidji-0004.jpgDelage Farms, Indian Head, SK (photo: left

Maurice Delage (BSA’69, MSc’78) was enjoying his vacation when he got an unexpected phone call from the Province of Saskatchewan’s protocol office.

“They informed me that I would be a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit,” he said. “I was surprised and am deeply honoured to have been selected.” Delage joins this year’s class of six recipients, including fellow alumnus Robert Calder (BA’63, MA’65), in receiving Saskatchewan’s highest honour.

Delage is one of the preeminent leaders and innovators in agriculture in Saskatchewan. He started his agricultural career with Niagara Chemicals in 1972. He joined Hoechst Canada Inc. in 1973 when the company introduced the first samples of hoe grass herbicide for field testing. Maurice became the general manager of the agriculture business within the company. By the mid-80s, Hoechst was the largest agricultural chemical company in Canada.

 As president of Hoechst, he initiated and successfully brokered an agreement that resulted in the construction of what is now the largest herbicide facility in the Bayer Crop Science network in Regina. What started as a 20‐employee facility now employs more than 150 full‐time and part‐time staff.  He was also integral in creating the Bayer Global Centre of Excellence for Canola Development, located near Saskatoon.  The facility has gone on to create herbicide tolerance, hybrid vigor and trait development in canola, resulting in better tools and yields for Saskatchewan producers. 

Inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2012, Delage takes pride in the far-reaching impact his accomplishments have had on the industry beyond his own company. “The innovation in crop protection and development of InVigor Hybrids was specific to our company, but the implications for the agricultural industry were broad based with increased yields and enhanced profitability for farmers,” he said. “We set out to achieve this goal.”

Delage currently oversees operations at his 28,000 acre grain farm, growing canola, wheat, peas and lentils. Owned and operated by his family, Delage Farms is located just north of Indian Head, SK.

The seeds of Delage’s passion for agri-business were sewn during his time as a student at the U of S. “The College of AgBio was a small college. We forged lifelong relationships with our classmates which created a network of friends and colleagues across many agricultural disciplines,” he said. “Our professors had a sincere interest in our success. The college provided a combination of theoretical and practical learning. We experienced the application of science in a direct way.”

Throughout his career, giving back to the College of Agriculture and Bioresources has been an objective for Delage and his family. “We give back to the U of S to express gratitude for the educational foundation which has created opportunities for us throughout our lives,” he said.

Delage’s giving nature isn’t restricted to his alma mater. He has also supported the Globe Theatre, the Regina Downtown Dash, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and he helped raise $1.6 million to rebuild the Round Stone Bell Barn, a historical agricultural landmark in Indian Head. “It is important to support the enhancement of our communities where we live, conduct business and raise our families. Sports, arts, culture, and charitable organizations provide a quality of life for us all,” he said.

With a reputation as a visionary, Delage has his sights set on the future of crop science and agriculture and is optimistic about addressing its challenges. “The global demand for food over the next 30 years will double and this will occur on a land base that is static at best,” he said. “This will create tremendous opportunity for companies and farmers who are innovative and responsive to global needs.  Climate change could affect the global system of production in unknown ways. But I am confident that the demand for agricultural products in the future will be met by innovation and new discoveries.”

/news/2018/building,-growing-and-givingshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/building,-growing-and-givingalumnibuilding,-growing-and-givingArticle headlineBuilding, growing and givingThrough his innovation, vision and generosity, alumnus Maurice Delage earned Saskatchewan’s highest distinction.Order of Merit, AlumniSean Conroy1-May-2018 2:56 PM
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alumni-a-way-with-wordstrue1547844036831imj129A way with wordsThe University of Saskatchewan played a pivotal role in the life of Bob Calder (BA’63, MA’65), author, professor emeritus of English and one of Saskatchewan’s newest Order of Merit recipients.Lesley Porter1525099860000/articles/people/2018/alumni-a-way-with-wordsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-a-way-with-wordsimj1291547654960501imj1291547654960501show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/news-photos/bob-calder.jpgsite://alumni/images/news-photos/bob-calder.jpgalumnibob-calder.jpgbob-calder.jpgBob Calder, one of Saskatchewan’s newest Order of Merit recipientsNoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/news-photos/bob-calder.jpgsite://alumni/images/news-photos/bob-calder.jpgalumnibob-calder.jpgbob-calder.jpgBob Calder, one of Saskatchewan’s newest Order of Merit recipientsNoNoneNo/
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Born in Moose Jaw, Calder’s family moved to Saskatoon when he was seven years old. They lived in a house on College Drive, a literal stone’s throw away from campus.

“The university was in my face every single day, and I was fascinated by it,” Calder said.

Calder completed his undergraduate and master’s degree in English literature at the U of S. In the mid-60s, facing an enrollment boom and an influx of students, the English department hired him as a lecturer before he had taken the exam for his master’s degree. Calder enjoyed the classroom experience for two years but ultimately realized he’d have to complete a PhD to stay in a teaching environment.

With that, he moved to the U.K. in 1969 to attend the University of Leeds. Initially, he had doubts about continuing his education.

“It seemed kind of frightening, the idea that I could do a doctoral degree,” he recalled. “I was over there with a lot of very bright English students who spoke so articulately and knowledgeably and thought, ‘what am I doing here?’”

He stuck it out and, three years later, completed his dissertation ahead of his cohorts. He credits his prior education at the U of S (as well as “the virtue of Saskatchewan’s hard work ethos”) to this success. He returned to Saskatoon soon after, and was “very, very lucky” to get a tenured position in the English department.

TextPullquoteI’m a Saskatchewan person and I always have been. To be honoured by your own people in this province means a lot.Professor emeritus Robert (Bob) Calder/Align left

Calder speaks fondly of his 45 years spent as a professor, adding that in his academic career he was always encouraged to pursue the type of research he wanted to do.

“I was allowed to follow my own curiosity and my own passions and I really appreciated that,” he said.

This included a full-scale biography of W. Somerset Maugham, for which he was awarded a Governor General's literary award in 1989. He also co-wrote a book on the Saskatchewan Roughriders, which “astonished a lot of my colleagues that I even had an interest.”

With his work, he was also able to establish an international reputation as a writer and scholar while remaining in Saskatoon.

“My work travelled. My writing travelled. People read it in Australia, India, South Africa, Berlin and so on,” he said. “I was able to stay here, work here, teach students here. I didn’t want to go anywhere else; I wanted to stay here.”

For that reason, receiving the Order of Merit has added personal meaning for him.

“I’m a Saskatchewan person and I always have been,” he said. “To be honoured by your own people in this province means a lot.”

/news/2018/a-way-with-wordsshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/a-way-with-wordsalumnia-way-with-wordsArticle headlineA way with wordsThe University of Saskatchewan played a pivotal role in the life of Bob Calder (BA’63, MA’65), author, professor emeritus of English and one of Saskatchewan’s newest Order of Merit recipients.alumniLesley Porter30-Apr-2018 2:51 PM
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u-of-s-prof-named-canadian-physician-executive-leadertrue1547844036831imj129U of S prof named Canadian Physician Executive LeaderOn April 20, University of Saskatchewan professor Dr. Jay Kalra was named a Canadian Certified Physician Executive by the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL).1524860940000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-prof-named-canadian-physician-executive-leadernewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-prof-named-canadian-physician-executive-leaderimj1291547654960201imj1291547654960201show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jay-kalra.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jay-kalra.jpgnewsjay-kalra.jpgDr. Jay Kalra was named a Canadian Certified Physician Executive.NoNoneNo/
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Kalra is one of 175 Canadian physicians with this designation and one of 14 who earned it this year.

The CSPL, founded in 1998, is an organization that provides professional development for Canadian physicians through a peer network of support and education. Earning the designation is recognition for physicians who demonstrate exemplary leadership in their fields, particularly those who have demonstrated long-term influence in health care.

TextPullquoteBeing recognized as a leader by this group motivates me to continue to do what is best for patient care as well as the institutions I serve.Dr. Jay Kalra/Align left

“It is a privilege to be selected and recognized with this honour,” said Kalra a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and faculty representative on the U of S Board of Governors. “To earn this designation, and those that have it are high-calibre physicians, is meaningful to me and my career.”

A former head of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,Kalra’s diverse career has included many leadership roles, something the CSPL looks for in potential candidates. 

“Being recognized as a leader by this group motivates me to continue to do what is best for patient care as well as the institutions I serve,” said Kalra, an award-winning clinical researcher, educator, health-care provider, academic leader and community builder.

Kalra has served as national president of numerous medical associations, including Intersociety Council of Laboratory Medicine of Canada, the Canadian Association of Medical Biochemists, the Canadian Chairs of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and the Canadian Association of Pathologists, and is on the board of directors the Council of Canadian Academies and served on the board of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. 

Building communities, whether that be a professional community of physicians or the community in which he lives, has also been important to Kalra. 

Beyond his professional career, Kalra has dedicated time to serving many local, provincial and national organizations, including Saskatoon Folkfest, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, the Rotary Club of Saskatoon/Nutana, the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. In 2015, the City of Saskatoon honoured Kalra by naming a street after him. That same year, he was also the recipient of the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism in the Lifetime Achievement category and CTV 2015 Saskatoon Citizen of the Year. 

“Community always comes first,” said Kalra. “This is something I have always believed and something I have always tried to practice in life. The CSPL provides me another opportunity to serve community and to provide some mentorship and guidance to a new generation of physicians.”

Learn more about the appointment here.

u-of-s--student-finds-a-niche-with-sitting-volleyballtrue1547844036831imj129U of S student finds a niche with sitting volleyballJulie Kozun has built a nice little collection of legs. She’s eyeing up a few more with interest.1524845220000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s--student-finds-a-niche-with-sitting-volleyballnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s--student-finds-a-niche-with-sitting-volleyballimj1291547654959921imj1291547654959921show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/julie-kozun-web-jpg-1.jpgsite://news/images/2018/julie-kozun-web-jpg-1.jpgnewsjulie-kozun-web-jpg-1.jpgJulie Kozun competes internationally with the Canadian sitting volleyball team. SASWPNoNoneNo/
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Kozun, an 18-year-old agro-business student at the University of Saskatchewan, lost her left leg below the knee in a lawn-mower accident three years ago at age 15. The 2020 Paralympics hopeful — she’s a sitting volleyball player — has become a prosthetic-leg connoisseur, of sorts. 

“I want another one,” said Kozun in a recent interview with The StarPhoenix. “Either the Challenger foot, which has a really big spring thing, or I want one where the foot can extend, for swimming faster. I don’t know which one I want yet.

“You look at all the girls’ legs on my volleyball team, and on the men’s team — you’re looking at their legs, and you kind of pick what you want. My one teammate has a full-out running leg, and it’s pretty cool. I might think about it one day, maybe.”

Kozun’s four prosthetics include a volleyball leg, which she also uses for most day-to-day activities, along with an everyday walking leg, a leg that looks real — “my pretty leg,” she calls it — and a waterproof swimming leg she uses in showers and at the lake.

The volleyball leg gets a workout when she plays traditional standing volleyball. Sitting volleyball is played without prosthetics, and looks the way it sounds: Players sit on the floor, propelling themselves around, setting, bumping, spiking. The court is smaller, and the net is lower.

Now she is a carded national team member, eyeing that Paralympics berth two years from now. Kozun travels to Edmonton once a month and trains with the national squad for a week, then heads home again. She competed in China as a 16-year-old, and has been to Montreal and down into Oklahoma, among other places.

“The first time I tried it, it was almost faster, and harder. I liked that about it. It was more of a challenge.”

Read more at The Saskatoon StarPhoenix. 

alumni-remembering-neil-richardstrue1547844036831imj129Remembering Neil RichardsNeil Richards, community activist and U of S librarian, made it his life’s work to preserve and document the heritage of LGBTQ communities. On April 13, his legacy was remembered when it was announced he won a posthumous Saskatchewan Order of Merit.Leslie-Ann Schlosser1524752160000/articles/people/2018/alumni-remembering-neil-richardsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-remembering-neil-richardsimj1291547654958294imj1291547654958294show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/neil-richards.jpgsite://news/images/2018/neil-richards.jpgnewsneil-richards.jpgNeil RichardsNoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/neil-richards.jpgsite://alumni/images/neil-richards.jpgalumnineil-richards.jpgneil-richards.jpgNeil RichardsNoNoneNo/
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“Whether it’s been through their leadership, the arts, activism or philanthropy, these men and women have enhanced their communities and Saskatchewan as a whole,” said Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy on announcing the 2018 Order of Merit recipients. “I offer my sincere congratulations to each of them and thank them for their contributions to our province.”

Born in Ontario, Richards arrived in Saskatchewan in 1971 and almost immediately acquired a special place in his heart for the University of Saskatchewan Library. “I am not a U of S grad,” he said in a 2016 interview, “but the library is like my second home.”

Richards began his 29-year career at the University Library in the reference department and later transferred to the special collections department.

In 1995 he was awarded the first ever President’s Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the learning and working environment at the University of Saskatchewan.

Even after retirement, he continued to devote at least three hours a day to Special Collections, helping to discover and acquire research materials of interest.

Throughout his time as an employee, Richards entrusted his enormous collection of LGBTQ archives to the University of Saskatchewan library. It was one of the earliest and largest collections of LGBTQ interest to be acquired by a Canadian public archive. It was rightfully named the Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity.

“Among the collection's particular strengths are holdings of LGBT periodicals, books by Canadian authors and publishers, queer mystery and detective fiction, and titles of both nonfiction and fiction (including pulp novels) which predate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement,” reads the collection description.

To Richards, the collection was the culmination of his life’s work.

“I have done many things in my life, but this collection is one of the projects that I am happiest to have been a part of,” he said.

Outside of his work at the U of S, Richards played an extremely important role in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canadian gay communities.

In the 70s, he instigated marches and organized conferences around the country. In the 80s, Richards took part in Saskatchewan’s earliest AIDS awareness initiatives and aimed to provide an inclusive place for those in his community; not always an easy undertaking at a time when gay rights and the AIDS crisis were at the forefront of many political debates and oftentimes stigmatized.  

Sadly Richards passed away Jan. 12, 2018, but his legacy lives on through his dedicated community work and his lasting legacy at the U of S library.

/news/2018/remembering-neil-richardsshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/remembering-neil-richardsalumniremembering-neil-richardsArticle headlineRemembering Neil RichardsNeil Richards, community activist and U of S librarian, made it his life’s work to preserve and document the heritage of LGBTQ communities. On April 13, his legacy was remembered when it was announced he won a posthumous Saskatchewan Order of Merit. Leslie-Ann Schlosser26-Apr-2018 2:16 PM
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alumni-u-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalisttrue1547844036831imj129U of S alumnus named European Inventor Awards finalistWhen you take the time to look at the world a little differently, you may discover the next big thing.Leslie-Ann Schlosser1524578640000/articles/people/2018/alumni-u-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalistnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-u-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalistimj1291547654958071imj1291547654958071show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/stephen-dewar.jpgsite://alumni/images/stephen-dewar.jpgalumnistephen-dewar.jpgstephen-dewar.jpgStephen DewarNoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/stephen-dewar.jpgsite://alumni/images/stephen-dewar.jpgalumnistephen-dewar.jpgstephen-dewar.jpgStephen DewarNoNoneNo/
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That’s the case for U of S alumnus, entrepreneur and filmmaker Stephen W. Dewar (BA’64) who was recently nominated for the European Patent Office (EPO) prize.  

Inspired by the ridges on humpback whale flippers, Dewar is challenging the assumption that wind turbines have to be smooth and straight. Along with his colleagues, U.S./Canadian aeronautical engineer Philip Watts, and U.S. biologist Frank Fish, Dewar developed turbine blades with three-dimensional bumps on the edges, similar to the flippers on humpback whales.

After much research, the trio discovered this saw-like alteration can change the flow of air for improved aerodynamics and quieter operation. These bumps, referred to as tubercles, can increase speed for windmills, turbines, fans and even surfboards.

Dewar, Watts and Fish created their company, WhalePower, in 2005 to patent their idea and have since gone on to develop designs and prototypes for industries around the world.

"Dewar, Watts and Fish's invention has the potential to make an impact on worldwide energy consumption, particularly as we increasingly rely on green technology," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli announcing the European Inventor Award 2018 finalists.

The winners of this year's edition of the EPO's annual innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on June 7.

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A turbine designed based on a humpback whale flipper can help wind farms produce 20 per cent more power with less wind.

/news/2018/u-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalistshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/u-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalistalumniu-of-s-alumnus-named-european-inventor-awards-finalistArticle headlineU of S alumnus named European Inventor Awards finalistWhen you take the time to look at the world a little differently, you may discover the next big thing.alumniLeslie-Ann Schlosser24-Apr-2018 2:04 PM
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alumni-music-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoontrue1547844036831imj129Music festival founded by alumni marks a decade in SaskatoonA local chamber music festival created by two University of Saskatchewan alumni will celebrate its 10th anniversary in May.Shannon Boklaschuk1524497400000/articles/people/2018/alumni-music-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoonnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-music-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoonimj1291547654957834imj1291547654957834show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/carissa-jacqueline.jpgsite://alumni/images/carissa-jacqueline.jpgalumnicarissa-jacqueline.jpgcarissa-jacqueline.jpgCarissa Klopoushak (left) and Jacqueline Woods.NoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/carissa-jacqueline.jpgsite://alumni/images/carissa-jacqueline.jpgalumnicarissa-jacqueline.jpgcarissa-jacqueline.jpgCarissa Klopoushak (left) and Jacqueline Woods.NoNoneNo/
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Violinist Carissa Klopoushak (BMus’04) and pianist Jacqueline Woods (BMus’06) co-founded Saskatoon’s Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in 2008 to bring the chamber music concert experience into the 21st century. Each spring, the two artistic directors showcase Canadian musicians who are currently pursuing professional careers across the country and around the globe.

“We certainly are lucky to be part of such a vibrant arts community,” said Woods.

“The festival does offer something unique from what’s presented in our city over the year. The programs are fresh and exciting, infused with the sort of festival adrenaline that comes with putting together pieces in such a short time frame. That feeling just can’t be duplicated,” she added, noting Ritornello offers performances in various spaces in the city and collaborates with spoken word artists, pop musicians and other creative people.

“This means there’s something for everyone, and that there’s something in there that will speak to an audience’s heart or stretch a person’s mind,” she said.

The 2018 Ritornello Chamber Music Festival will be held from May 25-27, 2018. It will feature three shows, including a concert at Convocation Hall on the U of S campus on May 25 at 7:30 pm, a show at Village Guitar & Amp on May 26 at 8:30 pm and the 10th anniversary celebration performance, scheduled for May 27 at 2:30 pm at Remai Modern.

Although their musical careers have taken them around the world, both Woods and Klopoushak grew up in Saskatchewan and have never forgotten their roots. They look back on their days as undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Science with fondness.

“Being part of a smaller program meant opportunity, and a level of nurturing that built a great foundation for my future studies. The U of S music program is also academically challenging; I was more than well prepared for the research and writing of my next degrees, as well as for my work in communications,” said Woods.

“My experience at the U of S was unique, because I was possibly the only string player at the university at the time. It meant I got every opportunity to play, which I’m grateful for,” Klopoushak added.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Woods went to the University of Ottawa for a master’s degree in music before pursuing doctoral studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is currently engaged in PhD studies in aboriginal economic development at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy on the U of S campus.

Klopoushak earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in violin performance at McGill University, where her dissertation focused on the little-known violin repertoire by Ukrainian composers. She spent much of early 2014 performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra before moving to Ottawa, where she is a member of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Both Klopoushak and Woods have advice for current U of S students and fellow alumni.

“Create,” said Klopoushak. “Opportunity seldom comes knocking uninvited, so building something of your own makes you happy and, hopefully, pays the bills.”

“Do what you love,” Woods added. “And, if you don't see what you want out there, go out and make it happen. Be open to building relationships with other artists, and to trying new things. Immerse yourself in your home’s arts community, attend concerts of all genres, art openings, dance recitals—you never know what experience will open the door to something exciting and enriching.”

/news/2018/music-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoonshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/music-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoonalumnimusic-festival-founded-by-alumni-marks-a-decade-in-saskatoonArticle headlineMusic festival founded by alumni marks a decade in SaskatoonA local chamber music festival created by two University of Saskatchewan alumni will celebrate its 10th anniversary in May.alumniShannon Boklaschuk23-Apr-2018 3:30 PM
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one-of-canadas-first-tenured-inuit-professors-says-research,-opportunities-a-dream-worldtrue1547844036831imj129One of Canada's first tenured Inuit professors says research, opportunities 'a dream world'When she looks back at her childhood growing up in a small Greenland community, to her life now, as one of Canada's first tenured Inuit professors, Karla Jessen Williamson still feels a sense of disbelief.1524582720000/articles/people/2018/one-of-canadas-first-tenured-inuit-professors-says-research,-opportunities-a-dream-worldnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/one-of-canadas-first-tenured-inuit-professors-says-research,-opportunities-a-dream-worldimj1291547654957628imj1291547654957628show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/karla-jessen-williamson-1.jpgsite://news/images/2018/karla-jessen-williamson-1.jpgnewskarla-jessen-williamson-1.jpgKarla Jessen Williamson grew up in Greenland, but now lives in Canada. She is a member of distinction on the Greenland Reconciliation Commission that released a report in December, 2017. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)NoNoneNo/
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Growing up attending Danish schools, she said she and her fellow classmates were never inspired to believe they could achieve. Now, she is one of the very few Inuit professors working in academia, as an assistant professor in education at the University of Saskatchewan.

"It's still a dream world, of being able to make things happen," said Jessen Williamson in a recent interview with CBC Saskatchewan.

Bringing Inuit knowledge to the forefront is part of what she does now, with Jessen Williamson next slated to speak to Arctic sustainability, as one of the focuses of this year's G7 political summit.

Education and her work has personally enabled her to cross cultures and imaginations, Jessen Williamson said. She wants to see education be similarly transformative for northern communities facing a "dire" situation.

"When you know that a knowledge is captured by a language, you can go across the boundaries, and try to explain things from a totally different world," she said.

Read the full article at CBC Saskatchewan. 

u-of-s-researcher-explores-extreme-precipitation-eventstrue1547844036831imj129U of S researcher explores extreme precipitation eventsIn massive data downloads digested by state-of-the-art supercomputers, the mountain of evidence of the effects of climate change is making the scientific case for a troubling conclusion.James Shewagaresearch, 1523635980000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-researcher-explores-extreme-precipitation-eventsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-researcher-explores-extreme-precipitation-eventsimj1291547654957292imj1291547654957292show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Yanping Li-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Yanping Li-OCN.jpgnewsYanping Li-OCN.jpgUniversity of Saskatchewan climate change researcher Yanping Li.NoNoneNo/
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“We are at the tipping point, so it is a critical time,” said University of Saskatchewan climate change researcher Yanping Li. “What we are going to do now will have great significance.”

With greenhouse gases causing global temperatures to rise and polar ice caps, mountain glaciers and permafrost to melt, rapid climate change is resulting in more extreme weather events, including increasingly damaging floods and droughts, creating the tinderbox fuel for wildfires. Li is part of the large team of U of S researchers who are studying the effects of climate change on Canada’s water security in the Global Water Futures (GWF) project, the world’s largest university-led water research program.

“Water is life,” said Li, an assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability who is based out of the National Hydrology Research Centre on campus. “Clean freshwater is the most important, irreplaceable resource for the economy and environment. The apparent abundance of water and the water cycle often give the false impression that we have an unlimited source of water. However, the availability of freshwater for a semi-arid region such as the Prairies, in a changing climate, is highly variable and uncertain.”

Li’s latest study—Short-Term Extreme Precipitation in Future Climate—is one of the 21 new GWF research projects that were part of a $10-million funding announcement on Dec. 11.

“We are studying what has happened in the past 15 years and we use climate models to project what is going to happen until the end of the century in 2100 and we compare them to see the differences,” said Li. “We can’t tell you that a specific (weather) event is going to happen, but we can tell you the trend in general and what the possibilities are.”

Li said the data confirms how climate change is altering Prairie precipitation patterns, with storms becoming more severe as they are fueled by a warmer atmosphere that traps more water vapour. While supersized hurricanes and destructive tornados get most of the attention, violent downpours and flash floods are also causing costly damage to crops and infrastructure and threatening water security for farms, cities and communities.

“Recent studies have found that storms are becoming larger, moving slower and lasting longer,” said Li, who received a $298,000 federal grant for her three-year study. “All these factors combined together lead to more water volume (rain) falling to the ground per hour. This significantly increases the possibility of flash flooding affecting creeks and rivers, homes and streets … So, either it is going to rain a lot in a short period of time, or it’s not going to rain for a long time and we will have drought.”

That is already happening more frequently across the Prairies, with damages in the billions from recent flooding, particularly in 2013 in Calgary and across southern Alberta. At the other extreme, drought conditions have helped spark wildfires ranging from the 2016 devastation of the city of Fort McMurray to the 2015 mass evacuations of northern communities like La Ronge. In the south, drought conditions are affecting the agriculture economy, with parts of Saskatchewan classified in 2017 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as facing exceptional drought, which occurs only once every 50 years.

TextImage/images/2018/storm-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/storm-OCN.jpgnewsstorm-OCN.jpgWhile supersized hurricanes and destructive tornados get most of the attention, violent downpours and flash floods are also causing costly damage to crops and infrastructure and threatening water security for farms, cities and communities.Above content

Around the world, the drought in California—a significant source of fruits and vegetables for Canada—has dragged on for years, while Cape Town in South Africa is on the verge of becoming the planet’s first major city to run out of water. In light of the global picture, preserving and managing Canada’s precious water resources has taken on increased importance and urgency.

Li’s work analyzing rapidly changing precipitation patterns to predict future climate models will support other experts exploring water and land management strategies in research initiatives at the U of S, which was ranked first in the country for water resources research in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

“We know the future is going to be like this and we should be prepared and start to change our habits,” said Li, who is originally from China and came to the U of S to join the Global Institute for Water Security in 2013, after earning a PhD at Yale University and working for the United States National Centre for Atmospheric Research. “For example, we could start to grow crops which do not consume a lot of water. And other hydrologists in our institute are working on water management in dams, to better manage the water that we do have.”

TextPullquoteRecent studies have found that storms are becoming larger, moving slower and lasting longer. All these factors combined together lead to more water volume (rain) falling to the ground per hour. Yanping Li./Align left

And with or without the support of the United States—the only country to reject the Paris climate accord—Li said Canada and the rest of world can take concrete steps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to keep the planet from passing the tipping point of a two-degree Celsius rise in temperature by 2050, which climate change researchers believe could be catastrophic. Incorporating more renewable energy is one solution to reducing CO2 that also provides the promise of economic benefits.

“The price of wind and solar power is decreasing by the day, so as technology advances, renewable energy becomes more competitive and efficient,” said Li. “Switching to renewable energy makes great sense for the environment and for the economy. The renewable energy sector provides millions of new job opportunities.”

Li’s work is one of 33 projects underway across Canada supported by $170 million in funding for GWF, which is led by director John Pomeroy of the U of S and features a network of 388 Canadian researchers, 15 universities, and 172 partners around the world.
world-renowned-researcher-plants-roots-at-senstrue1547844036831imj129World-renowned researcher plants roots at SENSAlthough her work has taken her to multiple countries across four continents, Irena Creed has found a place to call home amongst like-minded researchers at the University of Saskatchewan.Chris Morinsens, research, 1523635200000/articles/people/2018/world-renowned-researcher-plants-roots-at-sensnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/world-renowned-researcher-plants-roots-at-sensimj1291547654956898imj1291547654956898show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Irena Creed-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Irena Creed-OCN.jpgnewsIrena Creed-OCN.jpgIrena Creed, executive director of the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS). (Photo: Mark Ferguson)NoNoneNo/
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Having worked extensively across the world, including a decade serving as a Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences at Western University, Creed joined the campus community in September 2017 as the new executive director of the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS).

While her experience working as director of the Africa Institute at Western helped prepare her for the move to SENS, it was an accumulation of knowledge in environmental issues that ultimately drew her to the province.

“My previous work was already transdisciplinary, but essentially done off the side of my desk,” said Creed, who began her term after taking over from Toddi Steelman, who completed a five-year term as executive director in 2017. “But my current position allows me to place the transdisciplinary work front and centre. That’s what attracted me to the U of S. Many of the people here look at problems in a multi-dimensional way."

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Creed’s transition into executive director comes at an exciting time for the school. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017 with a gala event, SENS now has 180 alumni who have graduated from its two professional master degree programs, two thesis-based programs, in addition to 34 students who have earned an undergraduate certificate in sustainability.

Creed, who was previously invited to campus as a guest speaker in the Global Institute for Water Security’s Distinguished Lecture Series in 2013, said she hopes to continue to build on the progress of a school that has become known for problem-oriented, use-inspired research and experience-based learning.

“All of us want to have a positive impact in society. And the transdisciplinary approach allows us a greater chance to make positive change because we are all working together in a participatory approach to identify solutions and implement them,” said Creed.

While SENS has proven to be a good fit for Creed, she hopes to continue the work she began overseas while also building on the progress of the school.

“My work in Africa started with a taxi cab driver who was driving a professor from one of my former institutions to the airport,” said Creed. “The driver was from Rwanda and he expressed a desire for academics from other countries to help improve the livelihoods and health and well-being of Africans. That one conversation in the taxi eventually snowballed into a government-funded project with the International Development Research Centre of Canada. And as this project progressed, when we talked to the people, they expressed great concern with access to clean water supplies. And this initiated the next 10 years of my work, where I looked at algal blooms and toxins in water, which is a defining part of my work in Africa and in Canada, and also a major concern for researchers here at the U of S.”

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While Creed hopes to draw on the strengths of her past work, she is already looking strategically at the next 10 years of SENS. And she has wasted little time in getting to work on bringing global initiatives to the school.

In her first month as executive director, she applied to and was ultimately successful in receiving funding with the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program to look at training in planetary health with a focus on Canadian and African Indigenous communities-at-risk. This scholarship program will enable Canadian and African students to participate in exchanges and internships, learning from one another.

She has also been working closely with the senior leaders of the School of Public Health and School of Public Policy, with the eventual goal of starting a planetary health initiative at the U of S that would have strong linkages to the developing world. 

“The work here and overseas will continue, wherever communities are at risk due to issues such as climate change and a lack of access to safe and reliable food, energy and water sources.

“At SENS we have creative minds open to change. Undisciplinary thinking—which embraces the fusion of different disciplines— can lead to transformative changes in society. At SENS, we’re embracing undisciplinary thinking and seeking to work closely with other units on campus to work on some of the most challenging problems facing society,” she said.  “To achieve positive change, this is something we need to work on. Together.” 

laycock-continues-curling-success-at-u-of-strue1547844036831imj129Laycock continues curling success at U of SSteve Laycock is back basking in the glow of the national sports spotlight, continuing the University of Saskatchewan’s rich history of championship curling connections.James Shewaga1520460180000/articles/people/2018/laycock-continues-curling-success-at-u-of-snewssite://news/articles/people/2018/laycock-continues-curling-success-at-u-of-simj1291547654956544imj1291547654956544show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Laycock-curling.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Laycock-curling.jpgnewsLaycock-curling.jpgYesNoneNo/
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The 35-year-old Laycock—a 2006 commerce graduate who now works in the People and Resources division at the U of S—won his fourth provincial men’s curling title in five years on Feb. 4 in Estevan to earn the right to represent Saskatchewan again at the Tim Hortons Brier national championship, March 3-11 in Regina.

“It is an honour to represent our province at the Brier and it is also in a way representing the University of Saskatchewan,” said Laycock, who is joined on his Saskatoon Nutana Curling Club team by another U of S alumnus Kirk Muyres, a 2013 graduate of the Edwards School of Business. “Without the university’s unwavering commitment to allowing me to continue to pursue this dream, it just wouldn’t be possible. It is pretty special to work at a place that is so committed to both my professional and personal goals.”

Competing in provincial and national championships and on the World Curling Tour makes for a hectic travel schedule requiring plenty of time off during the curling season for Laycock, who serves as manager of compensation at the U of S. Laycock said the university has been extremely supportive and flexible with his work schedule to allow him to compete at the highest level.

This year is Laycock’s seventh trip to the national men’s curling championship, a remarkable record of success that also includes winning a world junior title and capturing a Canadian university title for the U of S.

“From first being a student-athlete who represented the U of S in winning the 2006 Canadian university curling championship and later representing Canada at the World Universiade Games in 2007, to now being an employee of the U of S and representing Saskatchewan at the Brier competing against the top teams in the world, it has been quite a journey,” said Laycock.

“When I first started developing an interest in curling, I dreamed one day of playing in the Brier. In my wildest dreams, I wouldn’t have guessed that I would get that opportunity seven times by the age of 35.”

Laycock is the latest in the university’s long line of championship curling connections which include Rick Folk playing for the old Huskies curling team in the 1970s and going on to become a two-time Canadian and world champion. Alumna Sandra Schmirler, who lost her battle with cancer in 2000, was a three-time national and world champion and won the first Olympic gold medal in the sport, while former U of S Chancellor Vera Pezer earned four Canadian women’s titles. Meanwhile, former provincial lieutenant-governor and renowned U of S medical researcher Sylvia Fedoruk, who passed away in 2012, was a three-time national champion. 

global-grad-student-support-growstrue1547844036831imj129Global grad student support growsFrom sunny South America to the frosty Canadian prairies, Bruna Maria Remonato Franco’s academic journey was sparked by her dedication to animal welfare. Lesley Porter1520453220000/articles/people/2018/global-grad-student-support-growsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/global-grad-student-support-growsimj1291547654956311imj1291547654956311show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/bruna-franco.jpgsite://news/images/2018/bruna-franco.jpgnewsbruna-franco.jpgPhD student Bruna Franco came to the U of S from Brazil. (Photo credit: Lesley Porter)NoNoneNo/
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“I am passionate about animal welfare,” said Franco, originally from Curitiba, Brazil. “When I had the opportunity to do a PhD I was very interested because it seems like it’s my life goal, to feel like I’m doing something to help the animals to get a better life.”

Currently completing her PhD in animal and poultry science at the U of S, Franco is also a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship, awarded yearly since 2005 by the College of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies (CGPS) to graduate students with outstanding academic records and research potential.

Franco earned her veterinary medicine degree in Brazil. She worked as a veterinarian while completing a master’s degree in veterinary sciences specializing in farm animal welfare. Her husband received a scholarship to complete a portion of his graduate studies in Canada. While visiting him, she met with agriculture professor (and future graduate advisor) Karen Schwean-Lardner. After being accepted for her PhD program, Schwean-Lardner emailed her information about the Dean’s Scholarship.

“There were some requirements about grades and publications,” Franco recalled. “I thought, ‘OK, let’s give it a try.’”

Franco was already in Canada, so she worked with family and friends back in Brazil to arrange the necessary paperwork. Her efforts paid off when she was awarded the scholarship.

“I was so happy when I got it,” she said. “We have our daughter here, so we have to pay for daycare, which is not cheap, and other expenses we have.”

She added that without this funding, “it would be tight for us. So this helped us a lot. I have no words to say how grateful I am.”

Not long after, the college announced another half a million dollars would be committed to the scholarship fund to cover tuition costs of doctoral student recipients.

“This was amazing—another amazing gift for us,” said Franco. “I can concentrate on my studies and I know that at the end of the month I will have the money and what I need to pay for my family’s expenses, so I can be full-time here and focused on my PhD.”

On top of the Dean’s Scholarship, CGPS recently announced two new scholarships aimed at supporting top graduate and post-doctoral researchers.

The Indigenous Graduate Leadership Award is geared towards Indigenous students who have taken on an active role of leadership in their community. In addition to covering tuition costs, master’s and PhD students are eligible to receive $16,000 and $20,000 respectively—making it a unique award.

The Bringing the World to Saskatchewan scholarship is aimed at attracting top academic talent to the province. In total, $110,000 is available to international graduate students and post-doctoral fellows—making this the first U of S-backed funding package available to post-doctoral scholars.

“The college is thrilled to support our talented students and post-doctoral researchers,” said Trever Crowe, interim dean of CGPS. “Funding of this calibre will allow scholars to complete their studies and reach their research goals with minimal financial burden.” 

the-places-youll-gotrue1547844036831imj129The places you’ll goLike many university graduates, Kevin Dunn only had a vague notion of where his career path might lead him—he had no idea that his U of S degree in geography would help land him one of the most coveted travel jobs in the province: the Saskatchewanderer.Chris Morin1520443080000/articles/people/2018/the-places-youll-gonewssite://news/articles/people/2018/the-places-youll-goimj1291547654956074imj1291547654956074show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/saskatchewanderer.jpgsite://news/images/2018/saskatchewanderer.jpgnewssaskatchewanderer.jpgKevin DunnNoNoneNo/
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“I knew I was interested in dealing with environment and human interactions, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it when I was finished,” said Dunn, who graduated five years ago from the U of S.

“Many of the classes I took looked at the perspectives of urban and rural life, along with urban planning. There were ties with community development and Indigenous studies. And I knew this was something I wanted to explore, but wasn’t sure how.”

After working for the City of Saskatoon for several years, Dunn set his sights on becoming the next ambassador for the province. And, much to his own surprise, he was accepted as the newest Saskatchewanderer, a position supported by the Government of Saskatchewan and other partners since 2011, to bring profile to the province.

Now he gets paid to travel and meet people—a natural extension of his studies at the U of S.

TextPullquoteI’m hoping that this stint as the Saskatchewanderer will lead to more travel opportunities and another job where I get to showcase all the amazing things our province has to offer.Kevin Dunn/Align left

“When I’m out exploring the province, there are ways in which my education will help facilitate the ways in which I will be communicating with the people I meet,” said Dunn. “Something that really motivated me to take this was a result of the classes that I took. There were a lot of instances of community participation where I got to engage with the public, and I knew that this was a field that I wanted to explore further.”

Each year, a different Saskatchewanderer is hired to travel throughout the province and record their journey. The previous wanderer logged 46,000 kilometres, and Dunn said he is excited to hit that same mark, especially given that he admittedly didn’t get to travel much when he was a student.

“It took a year or two after convocation before I got to start exploring the province, and visit the destinations I had heard so much about,” said Dunn. “Diefenbaker Dam is so close to Saskatoon, and there is so much to see in-between here and there.”

While the Saskatchewanderer position is limited to a year-long contract, Dunn hopes that the experience will help him transition into his next dream job.

“I’m taking a leap of faith this year,” said Dunn. “Going from steady employment to a contract is a bit risky, but I’m hoping that this stint as the Saskatchewanderer will lead to more travel opportunities and another job where I get to showcase all the amazing things our province has to offer.” 

from-south-america-to-saskatoontrue1547844036831imj129From South America to SaskatoonShe hasn’t even officially started her own career yet, but Mayra Samaniego is already working on two different continents to inspire the next generation of young women in the field of computer science.James Shewaga1520441400000/articles/people/2018/from-south-america-to-saskatoonnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/from-south-america-to-saskatoonimj1291547654955810imj1291547654955810show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/Mayra-Samaniego.jpgsite://news/images/2018/Mayra-Samaniego.jpgnewsMayra-Samaniego.jpgYesNoneNo/
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The prodigious PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan volunteers her time teaching computer code to girls and young women in workshops in Saskatoon and also recently returned from a month-long visit to Ecuador—her first trip home in three years—where she spoke to girls at her former high school about the world of opportunities that are available to them, just a click away on the internet.

“I strongly believe that we can make our dreams come true, no matter your geographical location or economical position,” Samaniego said. “But it requires hard work and dedication and to be persistent. Even though I want to research here in Canada, I would like to keep linked to my country, especially to my province and city. I want to show those young girls over there that all of their dreams can become true.”

Samaniego herself has come a long way, literally and figuratively, to conduct research at the U of S. While studying in South America, she quickly found that the internet eliminated borders and barriers and brought the future right to her door.

“I like to search new things on the internet and I saw the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) was a trending topic,” said Samaniego, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Ecuador before coming to the U of S. “And what I liked from the University of Saskatchewan is I saw on the website that they offered research opportunities in the lab. So, I contacted Dr. (Ralph) Deters because his research area was more in my area, which is distributed and mobile programming and ‘cloud’ computing. And then he offered me to work in the area of Internet of Things. I applied and was accepted and here I am.”

Now working under the guidance of Deters in the computer science department, Samaniego is one of 55 individuals from Ecuador and one of 3,001 international students at the U of S. Here in Saskatoon, she is now closer to the North Pole (4,200 km away) than she is to her home town of Chone near the equator (5,800 km away), adding climate to the cultural adjustment that she faced. Despite the cooler temperatures, she has been warmly welcomed in the campus community and in the city.

“One of things that I felt here, and that I read on the internet when I was searching for universities, is the support that this university gives to international students,” she said. “I felt supported when I arrived here. I remember they were very interested in making me feel like home, so that made me feel very good and that made the process easy. I am very thankful to this city of Saskatoon because I have met many people, Canadians and international people, who are very supportive.”

Samaniego was also supported by a number of U of S graduate scholarships, including earning a prestigious Dean’s Scholarship while working on her Master of Science, and has served as a sessional lecturer for the university.

Samaniego completed her master’s thesis, Virtual Resources and Internet of Things, in 2017 while working in Deters’ computer lab—Multi-User Adaptive Distributed Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing (MADMUC)—a creative hub that has featured graduate students from 25 different countries since opening in May of 2000.

“She is a very, very strong (PhD) candidate,” Deters said. “She recently won the Dean’s Scholarship, based on her strong performance in the master’s program. She did extremely well, she published, and her work is very, very innovative. And she has high potential for the future.”

In her PhD work, Samaniego is exploring cutting-edge blockchain technology, which powers the new digital currencies like Bitcoin and is also the key to unlocking the unlimited potential that IoT brings by connecting billions of devices.

“For me, the Internet of Things, IoT, together with blockchain, that is dynamite, because IoT has countless possibilities,” said Samaniego, who is building new systems based on blockchain technologies to manage IoT networks. “With IoT, a sensor in your shirt could monitor your heart beat and blood pressure and send that data directly to your smart phone to remind you to take your medicine, monitor your blood sugar, or track the position of seniors (with Alzheimer’s) who need help. So, health care is one of the more interesting areas, but there are many others.

“For example, I am from Ecuador where we have high quality bananas. With IoT, plus the functionality of blockchain, you can follow the process from when it was harvested to shipping it here.”

And here is where Samaniego wants to stay. She and her husband Cristian—who is also in the field of computer science—received permanent resident status after she completed her master’s and will pursue Canadian citizenship after she lands a faculty research position.

“My immediate goal is finishing my PhD and after that I would like to apply for a post-doc position and then get a faculty position here in Canada,” she said. “And the main reason is, here in Canada, we have more research opportunities than back home. So that’s my goal.” 

we-can-write-it-better-theatre-has-role-to-play-in-reconciliation,-says-directortrue1547844036831imj129'We can write it better': Theatre has role to play in reconciliation, says directorTheatre is “the perfect place” to explore relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, says an internationally acclaimed playwright, dramaturge and director.Shannon Boklaschuk1519768620000/articles/people/2018/we-can-write-it-better-theatre-has-role-to-play-in-reconciliation,-says-directornewssite://news/articles/people/2018/we-can-write-it-better-theatre-has-role-to-play-in-reconciliation,-says-directorimj1291547654955599imj1291547654955599show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/yvette-nolan.jpgsite://news/images/2018/yvette-nolan.jpgnewsyvette-nolan.jpgNoNoneNo/
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“Theatre is all about relationships, and how we move from conflict to conciliation, so of course it is the perfect place to explore the relationships between Indigenous people and Canadians,” said Yvette Nolan.

“Theatre is about creating empathy—and, right now, the world could use more empathy to understand how we got to this moment, how we move forward from here,” she added.

Nolan has been teaching within the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Drama and the wîcêhtowin Aboriginal Theatre Program, as part of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity (ICCC) Aboriginal Fellowship in Creativity. The focus of the fellowship is reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people within the context of theatre art.

Nolan, who is also pursuing a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, said teaching playwriting to undergraduate students is gratifying “because to teach is to learn twice.”

“I tell my students that theatre is critical in this day and age, that we have a responsibility to the stories we tell,” she said.

“I tell them that theatre is a place where we can work it out—for ourselves, for our audiences. We can write it better.”

On March 7, from noon to 1 pm, Nolan will give a public talk at the John Mitchell Building called “The Secret of Joy: Re-claiming Rita Joe.” Nolan, an Anishinaabe woman, will reflect on her experience directing George Ryga’s play The Ecstasy of Rita Joe for the National Arts Centre (NAC), 40 years after the NAC opened in Ottawa in 1969 with a production of the show.

“There has been much discussion about how Rita Joe is the story of an Indigenous woman, but told by a white man. George Ryga was a Canadian of Ukrainian heritage. Bob Wallace, the theatre scholar, called it the first truly Canadian play, because it was commissioned for the centennial, because it looked at the problematic relationship between First Nations and Canadians,” Nolan said.

“My history with Rita Joe goes back to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production in 1971, which is when I saw my own experience, my mother’s experience, on stage for the first time,” she added.

“(Former NAC artistic director) Peter Hinton was quite careful when he approached me to direct the 40th anniversary production, precisely because of the play’s complicated genesis and the increasing awareness around appropriation of Indigenous stories. But I knew that Rita Joe’s story was the story of so many young Indigenous people who come to the city and try to make a better life, only to find the obstacles insurmountable.”

In the play, Rita Joe is a young Shuswap woman whose life comes to a tragic end after she leaves her reserve to find work in the city. Although The Ecstasy of Rita Joe first premiered decades ago, “nothing has changed for so many First Nations people,” said Nolan.

“We are still dealing with poverty, with communities that have little or no economy, with racism, with overrepresentation in the criminal justice system,” she said.

However, theatre offers a way for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to discuss and examine some of these issues, said Nolan.

“Having a mixed class of Canadian and Indigenous students also gives us the opportunity to talk about these things out loud, to learn things from each other, to ask awkward questions without embarrassment, to offer answers generously.”

chef-james-amazes-at-top-canadian-culinary-championshipstrue1547844036831imj129Chef James amazes at top Canadian culinary championshipsExecutive Chef James McFarland, Executive Sous Chef Ahmed Mohammed and Sous Chef Douglas Mark, competed in the country's top culinary competition this past weekend, Gold Medal Plates and Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, BC.University CommunicationsCulinary Services1518202980000/articles/people/2018/chef-james-amazes-at-top-canadian-culinary-championshipsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/chef-james-amazes-at-top-canadian-culinary-championshipsimj1291547654955301imj1291547654955301show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/james-mcfarland.jpgsite://news/images/2018/james-mcfarland.jpgnewsjames-mcfarland.jpgjames-mcfarland.jpgJames McFarland, back in the kitchen at the U of SNoNoneNo/
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Even though McFarland did not come home with the top prize, his team created some delicious and beautiful dishes that demonstrated why he is the first university chef to win the regional competition in order to move onto the national level.

“Overall it was in intense but great competition that we felt good about,” he said. "There were no missteps or mistakes and we really stood behind all of our dishes.”

TextImage/images/2018/james-mcfarland-mystery-wine.jpgsite://news/images/2018/james-mcfarland-mystery-wine.jpgnewsjames-mcfarland-mystery-wine.jpgjames-mcfarland-mystery-wine.jpgThe mystery wine eventAlign left

In the mystery wine event, the chefs used the 2006 pinot gris from Fort Berens, and McFarland created a textured chicken terrine dotted with apricot and tiny morsels of chicken leg that had been confited in duck fat. This was presented on crisp buttery crostini and was topped with morsels of the crisped chicken skin. A line of tangy red onion marmalade crossed the plate, flanked by thin discs of rainbow carrots that had been lightly pickled in champagne vinegar. A white mousse of pear and viognier and two cubes of peach coconut gelee were also included. Dots of green sauce had the herbal, garlicky tang of a green goddess dressing, and the dish was finished with a scattering of microgreens. 

TextImage/images/2018/james-mcfarland-black-box.jpgsite://news/images/2018/james-mcfarland-black-box.jpgnewsjames-mcfarland-black-box.jpgjames-mcfarland-black-box.jpgThe black box eventAlign left

The black box event had the chefs required to use: a whole skinned rabbit, a bag of frozen zweigelt icewine grapes, cripps pink apples, kohlrabi, Balkan-style feta, a bag of milled flaxseed, and 18 beau soleil oysters. There was also a generous communal pantry upon which the chefs can draw.

McFarland made splendid use of colour on his plate with a bold, bright yellow stripe of deliciously tangy purée made with apple, feta, and carrot, accented with dot of beet purée and a sabayon made with the icewine grapes, shallots and egg yolks. He made a mousse with the rabbit liver and used it to stuff the loin which he coated with flax and pan-fried. The oyster was also fried, delectably crusted in cornmeal. He then julienned the kohlrabi and lightly pickled it, its crunch added another lively texture to the dish.

TextImage/images/2018/james-mcfarland-grand-finale.jpgsite://news/images/2018/james-mcfarland-grand-finale.jpgnewsjames-mcfarland-grand-finale.jpgjames-mcfarland-grand-finale.jpgThe grand finaleAlign left

The grand finale saw the 11 chefs cooking their own signature dishes for the guests. McFarland used his featured spirit—the 2013 grand vin from Osoyoos LaRose—to create a tenderloin of bison, wet-cured in espresso coffee and smoked salt, air-dried, marinated in a spiced smokey espresso paste, cooked sous vide and finally flashed in a brown butter sear. On top of it was more bison—the flank, marinated in fish sauce and soy then shredded, was crisped and infused with birch syrup vinaigrette. The accompaniments were dots of French onion essence enriched with comté cheese and fish sauce, tangy petals of pickled pearl onion, a smoked corn purée and a dusting of smoked corn powder. Black currant appeared as a tart gastrique and an ethereal coral tuile. 

“The mystery wine was probably the hardest but also my favourite. The night before, we were given a mystery bottle of wine. After breaking down the notes and flavour profile of the wine—and brainstorming a dish until the wee hours of the morning—we had to set out on an hour and a half of sleep and start shopping Kelowna on a limited budget of $1.25 per person and preparing 400 plates of your dish that evening that paired with the wine.”


from-the-middle-east-to-medical-schooltrue1547844036831imj129From the Middle East to medical schoolGhassan Al-Yassin knows all about changing lives. Now he is learning all about saving them, too.James ShewagaCollege of Medicine, gradresearch, international1518190380000/articles/people/2018/from-the-middle-east-to-medical-schoolnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/from-the-middle-east-to-medical-schoolimj1291547654954959imj1291547654954959show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/ghassan-al-yassin.jpgsite://news/images/2018/ghassan-al-yassin.jpgnewsghassan-al-yassin.jpgghassan-al-yassin.jpgGhassan Al-YassinNoNoneNo/
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A decade after coming to Canada as a teenager on a student visa after his family made the lifechanging decision to leave war-torn Iraq, Al-Yassin is now an accomplished graduate student studying and teaching in the College of Medicine as he works towards an MD and a PhD at the University of Saskatchewan.

“I love it in Canada,” said Al-Yassin. “I always wonder about what I would be doing if I was still in Iraq. Back home, most of what you cared about was when the electricity was going to come back on and if you were going to get home safe, so it’s a very different life. Coming here changed my life.”

TextPullquoteI love it in Canada. I always wonder about what I would be doing if I was still in Iraq.Al-Yassin/Align left

Born in Baghdad in 1990, a year before the first Gulf War, Al-Yassin was just 13 when war came to Iraq again in 2003 as American-led coalition forces invaded the country, igniting years of sectarian violence, civil war and terrorist attacks. As with most conflicts, civilians bore the brunt of the battle in Iraq, as casualties mounted and homes and lives were destroyed.

“You knew when you heard the sirens, explosions were about to happen, so go hide under the bed with your family,” Al-Yassin recalled. “There were some close calls, a few (bombs) fell in the neighbourhood. Fortunately, no family members were killed, but then I started losing friends later in the aftermath.

“Around 2006, it just got really unbearable and we had to leave the country. I remember the day, actually. There was a bad explosion in our area and my mom said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore.’ So, we packed our bags and we left for Jordan.”

While his father worked for the United Nations in Jordan, Al-Yassin enrolled at an international high school, which was visited by recruiters from universities across North America.

“My mom and I chatted with a few representatives from the universities and one of them was the U of S,” he said. “I had my eye on medicine and the special thing about the U of S was it was in a smaller city and living expenses were more reasonable for an international student, compared to other places. It had a good study environment and smaller class sizes. They listed all the advantages. So, I applied and got accepted and I ended up coming here in September, 2008.”

While getting used to the Canadian climate, culture and cuisine took a little time, Al-Yassin said he was warmly welcomed by new friends at the U of S, who were interested in learning about his Iraqi heritage and his Muslim faith.

“I was a little nervous of course, because it was completely new, but I think one of the factors that contributed to the success of my transition here was I lived on campus in residence and I met

really nice people there and they would always ask me about my language and my traditions,” said Al-Yassin. “They asked me how to say their name in Arabic and to write it in Arabic. And one of my friends actually went through a day of fasting with me just to experience it, so that was nice. People were very friendly and that helped.”

Almost a decade after arriving on campus, the 27-year-old Al-Yassin now teaches a course in immunology to undergraduate medical and dental students, while doing his doctoral research on auto-immune diseases in addition to working on completing his MD.

“I hope to find a perfect balance between practising medicine, doing research and teaching,” said Al-Yassin, who has also been active in the community, serving as co-founder of the Arab Students Association that raised $1,300 for the Saskatoon Lighthouse Assisted Living facility last year.

He is also proud to call himself Canadian now, after taking his oath of citizenship on Canada Day in 2016, and sharing his story while speaking at the citizenship ceremony on campus last year as part of the U of S Canada 150 celebrations.

“That was a great day,” said Al-Yassin, whose parents and younger brother also have their citizenship now and live in Mississauga, Ont. “It was really hard to believe, to take out my passport and look at it and say, ‘Yes, it’s mine, I am Canadian.’ I am so happy that I am here. I grew up in a different country, but I am Canadian and I feel Canadian. This is my home now.”

health-care-students-put-teamwork-to-the-testtrue1547844036831imj129Health care students put teamwork to the testHallie MacLachlan learned first-hand the value of teamwork in the complex and challenging field of health care, when she competed in the Health Care Team Challenge back in 2016.James Shewagahealth sciences1518190200000/articles/people/2018/health-care-students-put-teamwork-to-the-testnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/health-care-students-put-teamwork-to-the-testimj1291547654952195imj1291547654952195show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/health-care-team-challenge.jpgsite://news/images/2018/health-care-team-challenge.jpgnewshealth-care-team-challenge.jpghealth-care-team-challenge.jpgFrom left, the winning team of Gabilan Sivapatham, Danielle Mitchell, Yin Man Anson Lam, Cassy Andrew and Janelle Anderson.NoNoneNo/
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This year, she was anxious to share that experience with a new crop of budding professionals as the Health Sciences Students’ Association hosted the 2018 competition at the University of Saskatchewan on Jan. 20.

TextImage/images/2018/hallie-maclachlan.jpgsite://news/images/2018/hallie-maclachlan.jpgnewshallie-maclachlan.jpghallie-maclachlan.jpgMacLachlanAlign left

“I may be a little biased, since I ran the challenge, however I believe this is incredibly valuable for participants,” said MacLachlan, a fourth-year U of S College of Nursing student and the organizer of this year’s event. “Each of our respective programs teaches us a lot about the pathophysiology and the physical skills needed to be health-care providers and many focus on how to effectively interact with patients and build those therapeutic relationships.

“However, it is very difficult to facilitate interprofessional collaboration from a classroom setting … That is what I hope participants take away from this challenge, is a sense of how to effectively work as a part of and feel they are a valued member of the interprofessional team.”

This year’s challenge featured U of S students in nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine and engineering, as well as nursing students from the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Participants were provided a case study a week in advance to prepare a care plan for a patient and a five-minute presentation before a panel of judges. The interdisciplinary teams were then tasked with working through a new development in their case, and had an hour to come up with a revised care plan to present to the judges.

“This year’s challenge was very competitive,” said MacLachlan. “All of our teams gave strong presentations and each team’s ranking changed dramatically after each round of presentations. Ultimately, the team that adapted the best to the judges’ questions, feedback, and redirected their plan of care the most, based on the case information, ended up as our winning team.”

This year’s top group featured U of S medical students Gabilan Sivapatham and Yin Man Anson Lam, veterinary medicine scholar Cassy Andrew and nursing student Danielle Mitchel, as well as Janelle Anderson of the U of R and Sask Polytechnic nursing program.

MacLachlan was a member of the U of S team that won the inaugural provincial competition in 2016 and went on to claim the national championship in Halifax as well that year. The Canadian competition was discontinued last year, but MacLachlan is determined to help revive the event. “I am currently part of a group of students from across Canada that are working to bring back this challenge in the near future,” MacLachlan said.

“I had an amazing experience when I was a competitor and made great connections with other students and staff at the university through my participation,” she added. “I also gained a better understanding of how an ideal interprofessional team should function and I strive to make that happen in my own practice.

mcdougall-working-for-student-successtrue1547844036831imj129McDougall working for student successIn January, Patti McDougall accepted a second five-year term to serve as vice-provost leading the Teaching, Learning and Student Experience portfolio at the U of S.Meghan SiredPatti McDougall, students1518187800000/articles/people/2018/mcdougall-working-for-student-successnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/mcdougall-working-for-student-successimj1291547654951889imj1291547654951889show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/patti-mcdougall.jpgsite://news/images/2018/patti-mcdougall.jpgnewspatti-mcdougall.jpgpatti-mcdougall.jpgMcDougallNoNoneNo/
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If that name doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because the new year brought a new name.

According to McDougall, the new name better reflects the work of the portfolio, which is made up of 19 units and about 280 staff members. Activities of the portfolio include a range of functions involving teaching, learning and students at all levels of study.

Work of the portfolio includes producing the course catalogue, co-ordinating the Graduation Powwow, marketing to prospective students, providing physical and mental health care to students, shaping innovative teaching practices, preparing international students for university, and supporting off-campus learning.

“When I first started in this role in 2013 what surprised me, in a very positive way, was how strong our staff are when it comes to understanding, identifying and meeting the needs of students across their entire learning and development cycle,” said McDougall. “I already knew how faculty members come together with the shared goal of wanting to do the best for students.

“What I don’t think you necessarily realize as a faculty member, which is where I come from, is how much strength there is in the people who do the day-to-day work to support students.”

McDougall said she is inspired by not only Teaching, Learning and Student Experience staff, but by the staff who do similar work in colleges and schools.

“Any opportunities to engage instructors or staff in colleges is a good opportunity, and for much of what we do, we simply couldn’t pull it off without those partnerships,” she said. “The University of Saskatchewan has a phenomenal workforce. Their passion and engagement fuels my desire to do more myself.”

Before becoming vice-provost, McDougall worked at St. Thomas More College for 14 years, first as a faculty member, then as associate dean for many years and then interim dean for a year. Her research expertise is in social development, including transitions to new academic environments in childhood and adolescence. McDougall said it’s been “helpful to have that lens on things” in her current role.

“My interests lie in how a social environment either makes it easier for you or more challenging,” explained McDougall. “As a scholar in developmental psychology, I can see that the academic and social adjustment

outcomes for our students vary as a consequence of a wide range of individual differences. For example, from a social angle it matters whether students have a social network and feel like they belong.

“Given our size and our role as one of Canada's leading research-intensive universities, I know our community is a very positive social environment and is providing the best quality of student experience. Now we’re working on how we can better showcase that.”

For more information about supporting students and the Teaching, Learning and Student Experience portfolio, visit

Meghan Sired is a communications co-ordinator with the Vice-Provost Teaching, Learning and Student Experience portfolio.

ag-prof-rescues-woman-from-rivertrue1547844036831imj129Ag prof rescues woman from riverA U of S professor is being lauded for pulling a woman out of the South Saskatchewan River over the weekend.University CommunicationsCollege of Agriculture and Bioresources1518017820000/articles/people/2018/ag-prof-rescues-woman-from-rivernewssite://news/articles/people/2018/ag-prof-rescues-woman-from-riverimj1291547654951621imj1291547654951621show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/hayley-hesseln.jpgsite://news/images/2018/hayley-hesseln.jpgnewshayley-hesseln.jpghayley-hesseln.jpgHesselnNoNoneNo/
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“You don’t expect it, and then everything happens so fast, and then when you’re going through it, you’re thinking, ‘Oh my god, I hope I can get to her,’” Hesseln told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this week.

The associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources was walking her dogs Sunday when she heard yelling; the woman had fallen through the ice trying to retrieve her dogs who had chased after Canada Geese.

Hesseln sprang into action quickly, crawling on her stomach on the remaining ice and reaching out to the woman with a tree branch. She ultimately pulled her out, swapped coats with her and ran to nearby Wanuskewin Road to flag down help.

“I’m so grateful I could be there," Hesseln said.

Read more at the StarPhoenix.

indigenous-achievement-week-jacob-genaille-dustyhorn-shares-what-hes-learned-with-other-college-of-education-studentstrue1547844036831imj129Jacob Genaille-Dustyhorn shares what he’s learned with other College of Education studentsThis week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty through Indigenous Achievement Week. John ShellingIndigenous Achievement Week, Aboriginal1517929200000/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-jacob-genaille-dustyhorn-shares-what-hes-learned-with-other-college-of-education-studentsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-jacob-genaille-dustyhorn-shares-what-hes-learned-with-other-college-of-education-studentsimj1291547654951354imj1291547654951354show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/jacob-genaille-dustyhorn.jpgsite://news/images/2018/jacob-genaille-dustyhorn.jpgnewsjacob-genaille-dustyhorn.jpgjacob-genaille-dustyhorn.jpgJacob Genaille-DustyhornNoNoneNo/
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The festivities include artistic performances, speakers’ panels and lectures in various locations across campus. 

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Jacob Genaille-Dustyhorn — a second-year student in the College of Education — who is receiving an award for his community involvement.

Genaille-Dustyhorn belongs to Cumberland House First Nation and graduated from Bedford Road Collegiate. He is an academically talented student who is a leader in Indian Teacher Education Program and a leader in the College of Education as a peer mentor. In his role he provides insight and support to students in the college as they train to become teachers.

We caught up with Genaille-Dustyhorn to ask him a few questions about what motivates him.

What drew you to the College of Education?
I came to the University of Saskatchewan to get ahead in life. When I was done high school in 2014, I did not do a whole lot, nor did I give any sort of thought for my future. I started working as an intern at CHEP Good Food Inc., along with a group of teachers. During the time I was working. I was told I would be a great teacher, and from then on being a teacher was the path I was to go down. Hearing my co-worker tell me I would be a great teacher sparked a goal that I wanted to achieve. It also gave me something to look forward to and something to work towards.

You received the award for your work in the community. Can you talk about one person in your community who has been a role model to you?
In my community, my GREATEST role model is my mother. My mother, a single mother, raised four boys on her own. My older brothers went down a life without education, and my mother always told me to go to school, so I can be successful on my own. Everything I do, I do to make my mother proud of me, and every time she says, ‘I am proud of you!’ I think of another way to make her say it once again because it is so good to hear it come from her!

You provide insight and support to students in the College of Education. Can you talk about why that work is important to you?
I am a peer mentor in the College of Education. I was offered the role by Jade Ryan. I was hesitant at first because I felt like I was not the man for the job. But after a short thought process, I knew I could do anything I put my mind to. Being a peer mentor has given me the chance to talk about what it is like to be an Indigenous male in a university setting. Also, being a role model to other students makes me feel like I am not just giving them information out of a textbook, like a teacher would do, I am giving them real advice from my personal experiences. An Elder once told me, “Stories and knowledge do not belong to our Elders, nor me, nor you, they belong to our future generations.” Hearing that Elder say that to me has given me strength to not be afraid to tell all people information about anything. I will pass my information to another person, and I will always tell them to do the same.

What advice would you give a young person from Cumberland House thinking of moving to Saskatoon to attend school at the U of S?
I would tell any young person to come to the city of Saskatoon for the beautiful scenery of the campus and the city. There are also a lot more opportunities throughout the university. But, the biggest thing I would tell them is to not be afraid to try something new, because it could lead to something greater! 

What are your plans for the future?
For my future, the first thing is to finish school, while working during the springs and summers. After I am done school, I am hoping to find a job in the city, but if not, there will always be something else available for me. During that time, maybe I will find myself someone to start a family with and become the greatest dad ever! But I believe everything happens for a reason. So, whatever will happen, will happen because it is shaping me into the man I am made to be.


This interview has been edited and condensed.

To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Indigenous Achievement Week website.

indigenous-achievement-week-t.j.-warrens-successes-are-firmly-planted-in-his-diné-rootstrue1547844036831imj129T.J. Warren’s successes are firmly planted in his Diné rootsThis week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty through Indigenous Achievement Week.John ShellingIndigenous Achievement Week, Aboriginal1517928960000/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-t.j.-warrens-successes-are-firmly-planted-in-his-diné-rootsnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-t.j.-warrens-successes-are-firmly-planted-in-his-diné-rootsimj1291547654951104imj1291547654951104show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/tj-warren.jpgsite://news/images/2018/tj-warren.jpgnewstj-warren.jpgtj-warren.jpgT.J. WarrenNoNoneNo/
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The festivities include artistic performances, speakers’ panels and lectures in various locations across campus.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is T.J. Warren—a student in the College of Education—who is receiving an award for his exemplary leadership.

Warren grew up in Red Mesa, Arizona, and is a proud member of the great Diné Nation. A natural leader and cultural advocate, he is often found volunteering with youth, sharing his gift of song and dance. Warren was instrumental in working with the university to rethink its position on charging international student fees for Native American students from the United States. He is an active participant in the Indian Teacher Education Program community.

We caught up with Warren to ask him a few questions about what motivates him.

When we took your photo, you said it was important for people to see you in your regalia. Why is that important to you?
Because this how I want the world to see me—a proud Diné. There is nothing more beautiful than a person who knows who they are and where they come from, and who they represent. When I walk in the outside world, I carry so much with me, my people have fought to have the right to be here. Education was never meant to be a place for an Indigenous person to be successful and continue to be who they are. I choose to retain a strong traditional foundation and identity in my educational endeavour in lieu of assimilating into the mainstream university culture. Because of every prayer that was said for me, every word of encouragement given, every sacrifice I made, I earned the right to be seen however I want. I will always be Diné first and foremost, and that is how I want to be seen.

You received the award for leadership. Can you talk about one person in your life you think is a good leader and what makes them so?
I can’t think of just one, so I would like to say my mother and father. Growing up, the work ethic and the guidance role modeled by my parents taught me how to be successful with the concept of T’àà hwí’ájítéego: "it is up to you". We were also guided by the moral and behavioural teachings of Hózhó, which is a state of well-being and balance. Every day we we’re encouraged to strive for Hózhó, to be a good leader, to be self-empowered through our thoughts, actions, behaviors, and words. I think a great leader needs all of these teachings and qualities, which I learned through my traditional upbringing as a Diné.

What are your plans for the future?
I will continue to do my part in the resurgence of language, culture and identity. I want to create an environment for all people to be successful. My children will also be a part of this new movement of great Indigenous leaders of the future. Ultimately, I want to create what I want to be available for my children. I will continue to use my traditional teachings as a foundation to my teaching philosophy and approach to education. I also hope to be a part of an Indigenous academy in the future one day that is guided by our elders and own principals and foundations as Indigenous people.

What advice would you give a young Indigenous person from Arizona thinking of moving to Saskatchewan to attend the school at the U of S?
I would say consider the Indian Teachers Education Program at the U of S. Come and be a part of a great program to help you understand the importance of Indigenous knowledge and its ability to change education for the better. ​


This interview has been edited and condensed.

To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Indigenous Achievement Week website.

indigenous-achievement-week-kate-elliott-paving-path-for-indigenous-students-in-medicinetrue1547844036831imj129Kate Elliott is paving a path for Indigenous students in medicineThis week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty through Indigenous Achievement Week. John ShellingIndigenous Achievement Week, Aboriginal1517928720000/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-kate-elliott-paving-path-for-indigenous-students-in-medicinenewssite://news/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-kate-elliott-paving-path-for-indigenous-students-in-medicineimj1291547654950868imj1291547654950868show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/kate-elliot.jpgsite://news/images/2018/kate-elliot.jpgnewskate-elliot.jpgkate-elliot.jpgKate ElliottNoNoneNo/
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The festivities include artistic performances, speakers’ panels and lectures in various locations across campus.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Kate Elliott—a third-year Métis student in the College of Medicine—who is receiving an award for her exemplary leadership.

Elliott holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Public Health and Social Policy specializing in Aboriginal Health. She has shown exceptional leadership mentoring Indigenous youth, working with the Métis Nation strategic governance and programming nationally, and is currently a leader with Indigenous student groups in Medicine. Elliott has a desire to be an urologist and to work with Indigenous families and communities. 

We caught up with Elliott to ask her a few questions about what motivates her. 

Why did you decide to pursue a career as a physician?
My biggest motivation to go to medical school was to further my education, to be able to understand the health-care system as well as being able to help my community and be a better advocate for Aboriginal health in the future. I did a lot of Aboriginal youth advocacy back in B.C. I thought it would be good to work my way up within the medical system and this way I could get a better understanding of how the system works. As well, I’ve always been really passionate about health care and I really enjoy my education through medical school.


You mentor indigenous youth. What have learned from this experience?
I think again, working within health care or working with Indigenous youth, especially within health care we have a really rigid hierarchy and I think that’s not a very Indigenous concept. I like to look at the notion that health care is about reciprocal learning. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many amazing youth over the years and have learnt that I might be a little older, I might have some education and some letters behind my name, but there is still a lot I can learn from them. It’s important to not speak from my voice but help speak from theirs. Being able to take some of our traditional teachings, especially humility, and learning from our patients is something I enjoy.


You received the award for leadership. Can you talk about one person you think is a good leader and what makes them so?
I have been really lucky to have a lot of amazing mentors in my life. I definitely wouldn’t be as far in my educational journey without them. When I look back and think about them I think a good leader has the respect of their community and that’s not reflected in titles or achievements. Respect is something that’s earned.


You are a third-year medical student, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Public Health and Social Policy specializing in Aboriginal Health. How do you make use of this mix of education in your practice?
I am a bit more of a mature medical student coming in and I think I definitely bring a lot of strengths from my previous education. I also worked as a long-term care aide. I’m able to bring that social determinate to health when working with patients and be able to look at the big picture. It’s really nice to tell patients that you have to get blood work once a week, but if there is no person in the community (able to take blood) that’s not something that’s feasible sometimes. So, I think that’s been really beneficial.


What advice would you give to a first-year indigenous student interested in going into med-school?

The best advice I can give is there’s lots of amazing people in pre-med and med-school, finding a mentor is really beneficial. It’s a really long hard road and it’s nice to have someone who’s walked the path before you. If an exam doesn’t go well, they can talk you through it and give you guidance and support. Having people in our lives that have walked that road and have helped pave that path is really inspiring and helps you through those harder days.


This interview has been edited and condensed.

To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Indigenous Achievement Week website.

indigenous-achievement-week-leigh-thomas-dances-his-way-to-success-in-the-regional-and-urban-planning-programtrue1547844036831imj129Leigh Thomas dances his way to success in the Regional and Urban Planning programThis week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty through Indigenous Achievement Week. John ShellingIndigenous Achievement Week, Aboriginal1517928540000/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-leigh-thomas-dances-his-way-to-success-in-the-regional-and-urban-planning-programnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/indigenous-achievement-week-leigh-thomas-dances-his-way-to-success-in-the-regional-and-urban-planning-programimj1291547654950617imj1291547654950617show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/leigh-thomas.jpgsite://news/images/2018/leigh-thomas.jpgnewsleigh-thomas.jpgleigh-thomas.jpgLeigh ThomasNoNoneNo/
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The festivities include artistic performances, speakers’ panels and lectures in various locations across campus.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Leigh Thomas—a third-year Regional and Urban Planning student from Chitek Lake—who is receiving an award for his academic excellence.

Thomas is particularly interested in Indigenous planning in the 21st century through community-led initiatives, traditional Indigenous governance systems and integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into planning practices.

We caught up with Thomas to ask him a few questions about what motivates him.

What drew you to the Regional and Urban Planning program?
Fate, I originally set out to complete a Bachelor of Science, in anatomy and cell biology. Life and change happened to me and my family, now I’m taking this amazing program that I love!  

You have an interest in Indigenous planning in the 21st century through community-led initiatives, specifically integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into planning practices. What would a city look like if we were to apply Indigenous ways of knowing into planning practices?
I would see the application of this knowledge, especially in Saskatchewan and Canada, as an amazing opportunity for decreasing the effects of racism on people of colour living here. Everything would be changed and better for all future generations. I will also add, we will see once I get there.  

What advice would you give to a first-year indigenous student?
Dance every day, love every day, and be thankful for the opportunity to be a student. It goes by quick, hang in there and keep going.  

What plans do you have for the future?

  1. Finish this degree
  2. Travel
  3. Write books and go further with my education.

Who  in your life inspired you to get to where you are today?
I inspire myself most days, but when I can’t, I call my sister Bern and she makes my day better. She has always been a stable person in my life. She has continuously helped throughout by advising and supporting me in every adventure I have ever experienced. Even through our tough times she has always gone above and beyond to help me. 


This interview has been edited and condensed.

To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Indigenous Achievement Week website.

a-leader-in-biotechnologytrue1547844036831imj129A leader in biotechnologyA U of S alumnus and major figure in Saskatchewan's agricultural biotechnology scene was featured in the Jan. 26 issue of Bridges.University CommunicationsCollege of Agriculture and Bioresources1517240580000/articles/people/2018/a-leader-in-biotechnologynewssite://news/articles/people/2018/a-leader-in-biotechnologyimj1291547654950295imj1291547654950295show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/wilf-keller.jpgsite://news/images/2018/wilf-keller.jpgnewswilf-keller.jpgwilf-keller.jpgWilf Keller (photo courtesy of Ag-West Bio)NoNoneNo/
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Keller completed his undergraduate and PhD degrees at the U of S, specializing in crop science. He has a storied research career, from post-doctoral work in Germany to decades spent with the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa and Saskatoon. 

Currently, Keller is the president and CEO of Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association and bioeconomy catalyst. Ag-West Bio is a founding partner of Protein Industries Canada, a not-for-profit consortium nvolved in plant protein and plant-based co-products which can potentially inject billions of dollars into the Canadian economy.

Keller is also a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2015) and an inductee of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame (2017). 

Read more at Bridges.

alumnus,-former-chancellor-named-lieutenant-governortrue1547844036831imj129Alumnus, former chancellor named as lieutenant governorFormer U of S chancellor Tom Molloy has been named as Saskatchewan's new lieutenant governor.University Communicationsalumni1516720560000/articles/people/2018/alumnus,-former-chancellor-named-lieutenant-governornewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumnus,-former-chancellor-named-lieutenant-governorimj1291547654950048imj1291547654950048show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/tom-molloy.jpgsite://news/images/2018/tom-molloy.jpgnewstom-molloy.jpgtom-molloy.jpgTom MolloyNoNoneNo/
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Aside from serving as chancellor from 2001-2007, Molloy is a negotiator, lawyer, strategic advisor and author. Molloy also received his BA and law degrees from the U of S. 

Molloy is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. He led the team that negotiated the Nisga'a Final Agreement, the first modern-day treaty in British Columbia, and was the chief negotiator for the Government of Canada in negotiations with the Inuit of Nunavut in the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, which led to the creation of the Territory of Nunavut in 1999.

The lieutenant governor is appointed by Governor General Julie Payette, on the recommendation of the prime minister, typically for a period of five years. 

Molloy will replace Vaughn Solomon Schofield, who was named to the role in 2012. 

Read more at CBC Saskatchewan.

long-time-advancement-professional-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamtrue1547844036831imj129Long-time advancement professional to join University Relations leadership teamGuy Larocque will join the University Relations leadership team at the University of Saskatchewan as associate vice-president, alumni relations, on March 5, 2018.University CommunicationsUniversity Relations1516395240000/articles/people/2018/long-time-advancement-professional-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/long-time-advancement-professional-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamimj1291547654949834imj1291547654949834show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/guy-larocque.jpgsite://news/images/2017/guy-larocque.jpgnewsguy-larocque.jpgguy-larocque.jpgLarocqueNoNoneNo/
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Larocque, an advancement professional with more than 25 years of experience in stakeholder engagement, program management and communications—acquired in the postsecondary, non-profit and government sectors—is currently executive director of alumni engagement at York University in Toronto. Prior to that, Larocque held leadership positions at the University of Ottawa, the Canadian Bureau for International Education and the Québec Office in Toronto.

“In his new role at the University of Saskatchewan, Guy will be responsible for intensifying alumni engagement, mobilizing the alumni and university communities in support of student success and institutional advancement, and enhancing the overall presence and involvement of alumni in university life,” said Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president university relations, who led the search.

“I am extremely excited to be joining one of Canada’s foremost research institutions of higher learning, with a prestigious history and strong entrepreneurial spirit,” said Larocque. “I feel particularly privileged to be given the opportunity to serve as a member of the solid leadership team Vice-President Pozega Osburn has been putting together over the past year.

“These are exciting times for the University of Saskatchewan,” said Larocque, who earned a bachelor’s in political science and history, and a master’s in international political economy, both from York University. “I look forward to working with talented colleagues and exceptional leaders across the community to build on past success and help bring alumni engagement to new heights.”

culinary-services-competing-with-canadas-besttrue1547844036831imj129Culinary Services competing with Canada’s bestU of S Executive Chef James McFarland and his team are getting ready for Canada’s premiere culinary competition.Kylie SladeCulinary Services1516287540000/articles/people/2018/culinary-services-competing-with-canadas-bestnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/culinary-services-competing-with-canadas-bestimj1291547654949579imj1291547654949579show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/James_McFarland-1080.jpgsite://news/images/2018/James_McFarland-1080.jpgnewsJames_McFarland-1080.jpgNoNoneNo/
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On February 2 and 3, the U of S team will show off its chops at the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna, B.C.

“So far it is a process of practice and refinement,” said McFarland. “Each day we’re practicing, planning, reviewing techniques and discussing all the potentials.”

The Gold Medal Plates competition, an invite-only event pitting Canada’s tops chefs against each other in a variety of culinary competitions, has raised $12 million for Canada’s Olympic athletes since 2004.

This year’s event, marking McFarland’s second time competing, will have the U of S cohort facing off against 11 other chefs who won gold in regional competitions across Canada. McFarland won’t be alone in his quest for gold, as Moksud Mohammed, executive sous chef, and Doug Mark, sous chef, will be there to lend their talents and support in this challenging three-part competition.

“I am confident in my team’s high level of combined skill and experience, as well as a strong connection in the kitchen, from not only competing together in the past but working together every day,” said McFarland. “It will be an intense couple of days!”

TextPullquoteWhen we are working as a team we have to work to each other’s strengths.James McFarland/Align left

The first event will be a Mystery Wine Pairing in which chefs will be given a bottle of wine and are challenged to shop for all of their ingredients throughout Kelowna’s grocery and specialty food stores via Taxi, create a dish with local ingredients that best complements the wine with a set limited budget ($1.25 per person) and time, and serve it to 400 guests that same evening. The second event is a Black Box Competition; chefs will be provided a box containing a small amount of diverse foods that they must use to produce a delicious dish in one hour. The third and final competition is the Grand Finale where anything goes as chefs are asked to create their best dish, paired with a Canadian wine, beer or spirit from their regional beverage partner.

“One thing I strongly recognize—whether or not it’s the Mystery Wine, a Black Box competition or Grand Finale—is that when we are working as a team we have to work to each other’s strengths. We need to be able to communicate effectively, know what the other is doing, and adapt to the situation immediately without looking back,” McFarland said.

While there are a lot of unknowns in the competition, one thing the U of S team does know is that they will be prepared.

McFarland and Mohammed have been practicing the black box competition by having their colleagues create boxes of random ingredients from which they have to prepare a dish in one hour. McFarland said it is an intense hour that requires speed, precision and finesse. Once the final dish is done, the team tastes and discusses the best parts of the dishes and determine any missteps and areas for improvement.

Beyond that preparation, McFarland said the black box is a mystery, but he hopes “there are products we have worked with and are familiar with.”

No matter what happens in Kelowna, McFarland and his team have wowed many with their talent, drive, and hours of hard work. 

improving-indigenous-healthtrue1547844036831imj129Improving Indigenous healthIt’s been a busy first few weeks on the job for Dr. Alexandra King. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.Lesley PorterCollege of Medicine, aboriginal, Alexandra King1515771240000/articles/people/2018/improving-indigenous-healthnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/improving-indigenous-healthimj1291547654949279imj1291547654949279show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/alexandra-king.jpgsite://news/images/2018/alexandra-king.jpgnewsalexandra-king.jpgalexandra-king.jpgAlexandra King (photo by David Stobbe)NoNoneNo/
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“To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve started a new job in a new city,” she said with a laugh. “Having to find a new house and all of those things is just a lot all at once.”

With the figurative and literal housekeeping in order, she hit the ground running as the university’s inaugural Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health for a five-year term beginning October 16, 2017.

The position, based in the U of S College of Medicine, was created in 2006 after mining organization Cameco donated $1.5-million for the chair. Those funds are part of a $3-million endowment established for the chair by the Royal University Hospital Foundation through its Royal Care Campaign.

TextPullquoteI look at this position and I think it’s quite visionary.Alexandra King/Align left

“I look at this position and I think it’s quite visionary,” King explained, adding that the chair has changed since its inception more than a decade ago. “At the same time, the university has also been on a growth path and now has Indigenous health in its strategic plan, and is quite committed to reconciliation.”

Another important piece, in addition to how the chair and university have evolved, is King’s own storied learning path—one that began with completing an undergraduate degree in finance and economics before ultimately shifting her focus to health care. She completed her medical degree at the University of Toronto in 2009, followed by an internal medicine residency at the University of Alberta. She is also currently working on a PhD in Aboriginal health through Simon Fraser University, where she served as an instructor and student mentor.

“I find it really interesting how those three paths have sort of converged together,” said King, who is originally from Nipissing First Nation in Ontario.

The fluidity of the position makes it unique from other research chairs, she explained, and was what attracted her to it.

“This is Indigenous health, and that gives me a lot of flexibility,” she said, adding that there has already been discussion about working with community partners to incorporate Indigenous wellness into the chair’s title. “I think it’s broader and more holistic, and brings in Indigenous ways of knowing rather than the Western definition of health.”

One of King’s top priorities in this role is to further incorporate Indigenous history and understandings of health and wellness into university curriculum. This has been ongoing for some time nationally, led by groups such as the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada.

“This covers the essential elements but allows each school to contextualize to its local needs,” she said, adding that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action also touch on this priority. 
What she hopes materializes at the institutional level, however, is a more co-ordinated approach to curriculum among the health science units on campus.

“We know the overall information is consistent, the development is shared, so it’s a more efficient way of approaching things,” she said.

Additionally, as a researcher specializing in HIV and hepatitis C—diseases with high prevalence in the province’s Indigenous communities—King is set on aligning her work with others to help find solutions.

“For me, research has to change health outcomes for the better,” she said. “So, I really want to see the action component of this.”

from-tennessee-to-canada-150true1547844036831imj129From Tennessee to Canada 150When Kassondra (Soni) Collins began her PhD in neuroscience at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), she had little idea that her academic path would lead to research in function after limb amputation, much less to becoming an international academic ambassador.Chris MorinCanada 150, gradresearch1515768780000/articles/people/2018/from-tennessee-to-canada-150newssite://news/articles/people/2018/from-tennessee-to-canada-150imj1291547654948997imj1291547654948997show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/kassondra-collins.jpgsite://news/images/2018/kassondra-collins.jpgnewskassondra-collins.jpgkassondra-collins.jpgCollins (left) and her supervisor Audrey Zucker-LevinNoNoneNo/
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Then again, it’s a journey that Collins readily admits is a surprising one. Her major has changed from law to science, with several turns in-between. After avoiding classes such as biology in high school, Collins said a cognitive neuroscience course taken during her undergrad days ultimately changed the trajectory of her career.

“We got to dissect a sheep’s brain and I was hooked,” she said. “I remember thinking that this was it for me. I wanted to jump headfirst into the medical field.”

Starting in criminal justice with a minor in chemistry and psychology before switching gears, Collins eventually began working on medical research in topics such as concussions and Parkinson’s disease, until a change in supervisors led her to phantom limb pain research. Under Audrey Zucker-Levin, then a professor at UTHSC, Collins had finally found her academic niche.

However, that all changed when Zucker-Levin announced her move to Canada—a situation that could have dealt a major setback to Collins’ own research.

“My whole project revolved around her work,” said Collins, now a health sciences graduate student in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

Rather than face the prospect of another academic upheaval, she jumped at the opportunity to finish her research at the U of S, a location where her work has since flourished. Since arriving in Saskatoon, the American-born Collins has been awarded a Canada 150 International Graduate Student Fellowship, an award that allows her to encourage other students to take advantage of study abroad experiences.

“There are a lot of opportunities that students may not know about, such as conferences or the advantages of experiencing other cultures and campuses,” said Collins.

Since Collins and Zucker-Levin have been reunited at the School of Physical Therapy, they have been working on a number of projects, including her dissertation, which compares the muscle activity used to move a phantom limb to the muscle activity used to control a prosthetic device. Collins believes there is a disconnect that contributes to the rejection of more than 30 per cent of upper-extremity prostheses.

“We think that if the same muscles used to control the phantom limb are targeted to control the prosthesis, there would be a higher acceptance rate,” she said. “We’ve also found that many of those who wear prosthetic limbs say they are heavy and difficult, and call them a burden rather than an asset.”

Zucker-Levin is dedicated to improving function and quality of life in all people affected by amputation, not just those who wear a prosthesis. She and Collins look forward to working with patients, family members and health-care providers to positively impact this population.

“We have been reaching out to health-care providers, patients and the community. Everyone has been receptive and welcoming,” said Zucker-Levin, a faculty member in the School of Physical Therapy.
The two have since established Who Needs Twenty, a website dedicated to those affected by limb amputation. It’s part of a project that Collins said will provide social support and outreach. Rather than being reflective, she said the group aims for positivity by setting up opportunities for travel and social events.

“Many people with amputations that I’ve met have had difficulty adjusting and many of them want to know about getting back out and being active or learning new skills,” said Collins. “They want to live their lives, and they are looking for guidance.”

While it’s been a long road from her undergrad days in the U.S. to amputee research at the U of S, Collins said she looks forward to giving back to the community in Saskatchewan.

“I want to help as many people as possible.”

u-of-s-students-video-tweet-wins-cfi-contesttrue1547844036831imj129U of S student’s video tweet wins CFI contestArinjay Banerjee, a PhD candidate in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, has been chosen as a winner in the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) #IAmInnovation Twitter contest.Sarath PeirisWestern College of Veterinary Medicine, gradresearch1515443160000/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-students-video-tweet-wins-cfi-contestnewssite://news/articles/people/2018/u-of-s-students-video-tweet-wins-cfi-contestimj1291547654947327imj1291547654947327show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/arinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgsite://news/images/2017/arinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgnewsarinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgarinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgArinjay Banerjee NoNoneNo/
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Banerjee, who is conducting research at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization — International Vaccine Centre on the potentially high impact of emerging viruses on humans, submitted a video tweet showing how VIDO-InterVac facilities with cutting-edge equipment funded by CFI is helping him.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase to a wide audience the great research being done at the U of S,” said Banerjee. “Thank you, CFI.”

TextTweet/<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">@InnovationCA</a> supports our studies <a href="">@VIDOInterVac</a> on high impact human viruses with no approved treatment/vaccines. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IAmInnovation</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#contest</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Arinjay Banerjee (@ARINJAYBANERJE1) <a href="">November 30, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> Align left

Banerjee and two other winners each get the opportunity to take over CFI’s Twitter account for up to four hours on a business day before March 2018. The account has more than 10,000 followers, including some of Canada’s leading researchers, innovative companies and science media.

They also will be CFI’s guests at a special event in Ottawa where they will have an opportunity to discuss their research with MPs, senators and senior government officials.

“As I start my PhD, this is a fabulous chance to network and build connections,” said Banerjee. 

Roseann O’Reilly Runte, CFI’s president and CEO, said her agency wanted young researchers to tell all Canadians just how important it is to equip this country’s bright minds with the tools they need to think big and innovate.

“The CFI knows that tomorrow’s research is being shaped by this new generation of great minds, and we want to highlight their contributions by celebrating and sharing their vision of a better future for Canada.”

The contest ran from Oct. 2 to Dec. 1 and drew 25 eligible submissions from across Canada. A panel of judges selected winners based on creativity, persuasiveness, and clarity of their submissions. 

alumni-golden-boytrue1547844036831imj129Golden boyKurt Oatway’s spinal cord accident did not limit him from pursuing his dreams. Today, he is a decorated Paralympian.Leslie-Ann Schlosser and Lindsay Royale1520862600000/articles/people/2018/alumni-golden-boynewssite://news/articles/people/2018/alumni-golden-boyimj1291547654946817imj1291547654946817show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/kurt-oatway.jpgsite://news/images/2018/kurt-oatway.jpgnewskurt-oatway.jpgkurt-oatway.jpgSit-skier and U of S alumni Kurt Oatway (photo via NoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/kurt-oatway2.jpgsite://alumni/images/kurt-oatway2.jpgalumnikurt-oatway2.jpgkurt-oatway2.jpgSit-skier and U of S alumni Kurt OatwayNoNoneNo/
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On Sunday March 11, Kurt Oatway (BSc'10) won a gold in men's sitting Super G at the Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea with a time of one minute 25.83 seconds, proving to himself and the world that hard work and perseverance pays off.

We caught up with Kurt before he left to South Korea to see how he gets ready for the world stage.

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Oatway started ski racing at the age of five. Born in Alberta, spending weekends on the mountain just seemed like a natural fit.

In 2007, during his time as a geology student at the U of S, Kurt Oatway fell from a 12 metre rock and suffered a spinal cord injury.

His accident put him on the sidelines as he tried to adapt to a new way of living. However, witnessing the hype and the Canadian pride associated with the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 sparked something inside of Oatway—something that made him want to start skiing again.

TextPullquoteHave big aspirations, put the effort in, take risks sometimes. Eventually things will pay off.Oatway/Align left

His initial goal was to just get back on the hill, to have the wind on his face and to spend time on the mountain like he did when he was a kid. The Paralympics were not even on his radar.

“[I wanted the] freedom of being able to go out on the mountains. To ski as well as I used to, if not better than I used to,” said Oatway.

So he started slow, but it didn’t take long for the naturally athletic Oatway to get used to the sit-ski configurations. He soon stared getting recognized as a competent, confident skier. He represented Saskatchewan in the 2011 Canada Winter games and then qualified for the Sochi Olympics in 2014, where he says he didn’t have lofty expectations, but rather reveled in the experience.

“I was going for the experience of the games and to take all in,” he said. “I wanted to have fun and to ski.”  

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Four years ago, Oatway found himself celebrating the moment when he was in Sochi. This time around he says he is more focused and determined.

The 34-year-old landed in South Korea on Feb. 27 where he continued his regiment of dry-land training, organizing equipment and doing last minute repairs.

As race day approaches, knowing his biggest fans, his mom and dad, are in the stands cheering him on. Being a part of the larger Team Canada also helps Oatway compete at the Paralympic level.

His advice for other’s pursing their dreams? Make a plan for success and you’ll be surprised with the outcome.

“A lot of people who get injured will have a period of hardship in their life, sometimes you get down in a rut where you can’t do something,” he said. “Take things one day at a time. Have big aspirations, put the effort in, take risks sometimes. Eventually things will pay off.”

/news/2018/golden-boyshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2018/golden-boyalumnigolden-boyArticle headlineGolden boyKurt Oatway’s spinal cord accident did not limit him from pursuing his dreams. Today, he is a decorated Paralympian.alumniLeslie-Ann Schlosser and Lindsay Royale12-Mar-2018 1:50 PM
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2019true1547842873102imj1292019/articles/people/2019newssite://news/articles/people/2019imj1291547654913294imj1291547654913294show-in-navYescanadas-first-female-astronaut-delivers-lecture-at-usasktrue1553708189604ccm046Canada's first female astronaut delivers lecture at USaskAcclaimed neurologist Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada's first female astronaut, spoke as part of the Whelen Lecture and Women in Science Speaker Series about the perspective she gained from her time in space.1553707260000/articles/people/2019/canadas-first-female-astronaut-delivers-lecture-at-usasknewssite://news/articles/people/2019/canadas-first-female-astronaut-delivers-lecture-at-usaskccm0461553708023311ccm0461553708023311show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/roberta-bondar.jpgsite://news/images/2019/roberta-bondar.jpgnewsroberta-bondar.jpgAcclaimed neurologist Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut, spoke at USask about her work and experiences. (Photo: @CSIP_JSGS)NoNoneNo/
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During her talk at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) on Tuesday, March 26, Bondar discussed her time as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery, when she orbited the Earth 129 times over about eight days in January 1992. She was Canada’s first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space.

“Looking at the Earth from space for me was cementing the reality that we’re on a planet,” she said, according to an article in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “There’s nobody out there that’s going to help us but ourselves.”


TextTweet/<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“Only when you ask great questions can you do great things,” <a href="">@RobertaBondar</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WhelenLecture</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WomenInScience</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#STEM</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sustainability</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ourplanet</a> <a href="">@usask</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CSIP (@CSIP_JSGS) <a href="">March 27, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> Above content

Bondar’s talk marks the second time USask students had an opportunity to speak with a Canadian astronaut this year.

David Saint-Jacques spoke to USask students through a live video feed while on board the International Space Station in January. The question and answer session launched the 2019 Cameco Spectrum, an interactive event that showcases innovations in science, technology and engineering.

Read more about Bondar’s discussion at USask.

usask-professor-honoured-for-river-rescuetrue1553707014600ccm046USask professor honoured for river rescueAn associate professor in the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Agriculture and Bioresources is being honoured in Ottawa for pulling a woman out of the South Saskatchewan River.College of Agriculture and Bioresources1553700600000/articles/people/2019/usask-professor-honoured-for-river-rescuenewssite://news/articles/people/2019/usask-professor-honoured-for-river-rescueccm0461553701497709ccm0461553701688087show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoYesYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2018/hayley-hesseln.jpgsite://news/images/2018/hayley-hesseln.jpgnewshayley-hesseln.jpghayley-hesseln.jpgAgricultural and Resource Economics Professor Hayley Hesseln.NoNoneNo/
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On Feb. 4, 2018, Hayley Hesseln helped to save a woman who had fallen into the icy waters of the South Saskatchewan River.

Her efforts were recognized on Tuesday, March 26 as Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette acknowledged the country’s bravest citizens during a ceremony in Ottawa.

Hesseln was walking her dogs in Saskatoon’s Silverwood dog park when she heard yelling; the woman had fallen through the ice trying to retrieve her dogs who had chased after geese. Hesseln grabbed two five-foot-long fallen branches, laid flat on her stomach and used the branches to pull the woman out of the water.

Paramedics treated the woman for hypothermia. She and her dogs survived.

According to an article on CTV News, Hesseln said they have formed a bond – even spending Christmas together.

“It’s humbling, really,” she said in an interview.

lost-concerto-by-german-music-master-and-mozart-editor-resurrected-in-saskatoontrue1552575484306ccm046‘Lost’ concerto by German music master and Mozart editor resurrected in SaskatoonA treasure trove of musical scores written by a pivotal figure in 20th century German music has been resurrected from a Saskatoon basement.USASK RESEARCH PROFILE AND IMPACTresearch, 1552573560000/articles/people/2019/lost-concerto-by-german-music-master-and-mozart-editor-resurrected-in-saskatoonnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/lost-concerto-by-german-music-master-and-mozart-editor-resurrected-in-saskatoonccm0461552573797951ccm0461552573797951show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Drying with metronome.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Drying with metronome.jpgnewsDrying with metronome.jpgJohannes Dyring (Photo: Daniel Hallen)NoNoneNo/
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Music written by Heinz Moehn (1902-1992), a German composer and leading editor of musical scores by Mozart and other towering figures in classical music, had been believed lost.

Saskatoon musicians were astonished to discover the German composer’s papers were right here in the city—stored by his grandson in a plastic bag in his basement, alongside his vinyl record collection.

For 30 years, Johannes Dyring, grandson of the German musician and editor, preserved Moehn’s archive hoping that one day his grandfather’s concerto, chamber music and choral works would again be performed.

But it was in Saskatoon—where Dyring moved to in 2015 from Sweden to take up a post at the University of Saskatchewan (USask)—that the right synergy existed between musicians and music scholars to resurrect his grandfather’s work.

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The re-emergence of the lost manuscripts has inspired the North American premiere of a “beautiful” Moehn concerto entitled Music for Violin and Orchestra, last performed 80 years ago in Germany.

It was a chance conversation at a business lunch between Dyring, managing director of USask Innovation Enterprise, and a Saskatoon musician that set in train the events which will culminate in the Canadian premiere by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) on March 23rd

The catalyst was Dean McNeill, USask professor of brass and jazz who plays the trumpet in the orchestra. He was fascinated to learn that Dyring had not only brought Moehn’s scores to Canada, but was keen for them to be performed here.

McNeill introduced the composer’s grandson to Eric Paetkau, conductor and music director, and Mark Turner, SSO executive director, and handed him a copy of the music, suggesting it could be an exciting artistic venture. 

McNeill recalled: “I thought from the beginning ‘This is great. It would be great if our own symphony could play this.’ There is a really compelling story behind it: the score had been sitting in a closet since 1938 and it deserves to see the light of day.”

Paetkau knew of Moehn’s work as a major music editor, and was intrigued to learn his manuscripts were in Saskatoon.

“When they said Heinz Moehn, I thought ‘I know this name!’,” Paetkau said.  “For years I had seen ‘edited by Heinz Moehn’ on musical scores. "His name is on a lot of musical scores on my shelves. It’s not just the rediscovery of Moehn’s work but his connection with Saskatoon—and the fact his grandson is here—that makes this so interesting.”

At the Finding Heinz Moehn evening concert, Moehn’s edition of Mozart’s Requiem will be performed by the SSO and USask’s Greystone Singers. As well, Moehn’s own concerto, edited by USask music lecturer and composer Paul Suchan, will be performed.

“It is beautiful music—very melodious and uniquely modern,” said Suchan. “He represents a sound you wouldn’t hear in other composers. There are elements that were very traditional but he was clearly influenced by modern music. He uses the kind of chords you would hear in jazz.”

TextForgotten manuscriptslead to a new USask research project.None/Above content

The initiative has also led to a USask research project, further enhancing the formal partnership between USask and the SSO.

Moehn was a leading editor of composers’ original scores for the major musical publishing houses Barenreiter, and Schott, and was one of the editors of the definitive complete works of Mozart, which is still used by concert halls around the world. He also edited scores by Handel and contemporary German composers including Ernst Krenek.

His archive of papers—which Dyring describes, with a wry smile, as “a pile of yellowing and tatty manuscripts”—is now being combed through by Canadian musicians and music scholars. Alongside dozens of Moehn’s compositions, there are letters from leading composers in pre- and post-war Germany.

Amanda Lalonde, an assistant professor in the USask music department who leads the research, says Moehn is not only interesting as a composer in his own right, but because of his links to some of the most important 20th century figures in European music.

Lalonde has recently been awarded $25,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to research Moehn’s work, and edit his scores, in a collaboration between the music department and the SSO.  The one-year joint project, involving students, will include a mini-documentary, recorded interviews with performers, a multi-media website, and live and recorded performances of a selection of Moehn’s musical works.

“This project is important, not only because we will learn more about Moehn's multifaceted career, but  because it might add another layer to our understanding of the impact of German cultural policy on music before and during the Second World War,” said Lalonde.

From the 1920s, Moehn wrote over 40 of his own original musical works including solo vocal compositions, choral works and chamber compositions.  They included a song dating from 1946—perhaps reflecting post-war German austerity—entitled On the Black Market. 

Moehn’s multi-faceted musical career was affected by the cultural policies of the Third Reich, and his work as a composer slowed down during the war years.

He was choral and operatta director of the Mainz Stadttheater during the Second World War and was initiator and director of the Wiesbaden Orchesterverein from 1952 to 1959. Yet the musical styles of composers he admired and with whom he was associated were denounced by the Nazis for being Jewish, or too modern and ‘degenerate.’ 

His collection of papers includes letters from Hans Werner Henze and Ernst Krenek, two modernist German composers whose work he edited.

Henze, who was conscripted into the German army during the Second World War, was left wing and gay, and after the war, published works influenced by jazz and Arab music. He embraced atonality in his work—which was condemned as modernist during the Third Reich—and later worked in Cuba.

Krenek was an acclaimed composer before Hitler’s rise to power and wrote a jazz opera in 1926 whose main character was a black jazz musician. Jonny spielt auf was a sensational hit throughout Europe.

But Krenek was condemned and persecuted by the Nazi regime. The poster from his jazz opera was the centrepiece of the Nazis’ 1938 Degenerate Music exhibition, which aimed to whip up condemnation of music deemed ‘un-German’, including compositions by Jewish composers. Krenek fled to America in 1938, and in the 1950s moved to Toronto where he taught at the The Royal Conservatory of Music .

Also preserved are letters from Wilhelm Rettich, a German-Jewish composer and conductor who fled Nazi Germany and survived the war in hiding in the Netherlands. 

Moehn also corresponded with Franz Schrecker, an acclaimed Austrian composer whose father was Jewish. Before the Nazi period, he was one of the pre-eminent figures in German opera. However, the Nazis marginalised Rettich because of his Jewish background, and his works and performances were disrupted by right-wing demonstrations or cancelled. He died a marginalized figure in 1934.

TextPullquoteIt’s incredible that all these jigsaw pieces have come together in Saskatoon.Johannes Dyring/Align left

Some of Moehn’s own works—including his concerto Music for Violin and Orchestra—demonstrate his own modernist leanings.  The title of the concerto is a homage to Rudi Stephan, an acclaimed young German modernist composer whose stellar career was tragically cut short when he was killed in the First World War. Moehn so admired Stephan that he named his own orchestral work after a work by Stephan and named his son (Johannes’ father), Rudi Stephan after him. Coincidentally, SSO Executive Director Mark Turner also happens to be a great admirer of Rudi Stephan’s work.

Moehn was also an authority on reducing orchestral scores into works for piano, including Mozart operas.  His piano ‘versions’ of major works have been performed in their own right and are still used internationally by singers, including opera singers rehearsing with piano accompaniment.   

Dyring, who himself has played cello, violin and Flamenco guitar, spent most of his childhood in Germany and recalls visiting his grandfather in Wiesbaden. He spent hours discussing classical music with him and listening to him play his compositions on his upright piano. He remembers him as a “perfectionist” with a “perfect ear for music” who would not be disturbed while he was working, only relaxing at 5 p.m. with a cigar. Dyring’s father once interrupted him when he was composing and found an ink pot flying past his head.

Dyring, who holds a PhD in nuclear particle physics and was founder and CEO of a number of high-tech companies in Sweden before moving to Saskatoon, said it was “astonishing to find so many people in Saskatoon who had a connection to the work of my grandfather and wanted to see his music performed again.”

“What are the odds…? It’s incredible that all these jigsaw pieces have come together in Saskatoon, which in a way speaks for the Canadian and Saskatchewan culture and mindset—and that so many people knew about my grandfather’s work,” said Dyring. 

“For the last 30 years I tried in Germany and Sweden to find an orchestra to play the music.  Here, the people from the symphony straight away knew about my grandfather and his significance.”

medical-hall-calls-on-dr.-dosmantrue1553708395590ccm046Medical hall calls on Dr. DosmanThough he’s known as the “father of agricultural medicine,” Dr. James Dosman (MD) didn’t have rural health care in mind when he started his career in medicine.Kristen McEwenCollege of Medicine1552056360000/articles/people/2019/medical-hall-calls-on-dr.-dosmannewssite://news/articles/people/2019/medical-hall-calls-on-dr.-dosmanccm0461552056692426ccm0461553708371053show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Dosman-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Dosman-OCN.jpgnewsDosman-OCN.jpgDr. James Dosman’s (MD) office is lined with awards and accolades from his remarkable career. (Photo: Kristen McEwen)NoNoneNo/
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The distinguished College of Medicine researcher at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) on May 2 for his contributions to respiratory, agricultural and rural medicine.

Initially, Dosman wanted to specialize in cardiology while attending the cardio-respiratory medicine program at McGill University in Montreal in 1969. He landed his specialty after a good friend and respiratory research fellow encouraged him to make the switch.

“I thought that going into respiratory might present certain opportunities,” Dosman said.

After finishing his studies and research in Montreal, he had a choice of where his career would take him next—from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, to Edmonton or Winnipeg.

But in 1975, he decided to come back to the University of Saskatchewan, where he started the path of medicine. More than 40 years later, he is still leading innovative research initiatives on campus, serving as a Distinguished Research Chair.

“I think (my wife) Sue would say one of my (traits) is loyalty,” Dosman said. “My parents lived here … We certainly had roots.”

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Dosman grew up on a farm in Annaheim, Sask., located 35 kilometres northeast of Humboldt.

In his final year of high school, a teacher encouraged Dosman to pursue medicine.

“He said, ‘Those doctors are no smarter than anybody else. They just work harder.’ I thought that fit me perfectly,” Dosman said.

He attended USask in 1959 to start studying medicine. Shortly after, he met his wife, Susan. They will be celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary in 2019. The pair have five grown children; four girls and one boy.

“Sue’s been very much a part of it all—ups-and-downs, and schemes and planning, triumphs and failures that go along with almost doing anything,” Dosman said.

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Dosman returned to Saskatchewan in 1975 after receiving an offer to lead a new partnership between the USask College of Medicine and the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis League, later known as the Lung Association of Saskatchewan.

Dosman’s first project with the league was the Grain Dust Study. His team studied breathing tests from 1,100 elevator agents, at the request of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, to determine the effect of grain dust on lungs. The team found the test results showed the grain dust was affecting the lungs of the participants. This discovery led to an international symposium, Grain Dust and the Lung, in 1977, as well as the publication of a book on the findings.

The national department of labour asked Dosman to lead a committee, resulting in the national Canadian Grain Dust Medical Surveillance program. The program mandated that companies had to reduce dust levels and offer a breathing test every three years.

“At 38 years old, I thought this is just what happens, I didn’t realize that to translate research into policy and program in such a short period of time was an unusual opportunity,” Dosman said.

Dosman collaborated on many studies that would lead to provincial, national and international impact, including developing an international code of safe practice in agriculture for the United Nations International Labour Office.

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Dosman is currently working within the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA), formerly known as the Centre for Agricultural Medicine, which he helped establish in 1986. The faculty, students and staff in the centre focus their research on various issues around health and safety in agriculture and rural life.

Recently, Dosman became a certified specialist in sleep medicine. His team has been working with First Nations communities for the past two years and studying the effects of housing and social conditions on sleep and breathing problems.

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Dosman was nominated as a 2018 CMHF inductee by CCHSA director Dr. Niels Koehncke (MD).

“It’s very moving to be recognized,” Dosman said. “You don’t do it for that reason. In the early years, we said we did it because we didn’t know we couldn’t do it.”

One key message that Dosman sticks to is “knowledge is universal.”

“Research is important. It affects health in the end—one way or another,” he said. “Whether it’s one grain of knowledge that fits into a larger piece, much of our research is practical in nature.”

people-of-the-plan-uplifting-indigenization-true1553541323896ccm046People of the Plan: Uplifting Indigenization The work of influential individuals like Dr. Marie Battiste (EdD) is helping make the University of Saskatchewan (USask) a national leader in Indigenization.James ShewagaAboriginal, 1552055760000/articles/people/2019/people-of-the-plan-uplifting-indigenization-newssite://news/articles/people/2019/people-of-the-plan-uplifting-indigenization-ccm0461552056110554ccm0461553541307586show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Marie Battiste-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Marie Battiste-OCN.jpgnewsMarie Battiste-OCN.jpgDr. Marie Battiste (EdD) is a Mi’kmaw scholar, knowledge keeper, educator and professor in the College of Education. (Photo: Submitted)NoNoneNo/
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The renowned Mi’kmaw scholar, knowledge keeper, and educator from Nova Scotia’s Potlotek First Nation has served as a professor in the College of Education for more than 25 years and is a supporter of the university’s commitment to Indigenization, reconciliation and decolonization. While the university has come a long way, Battiste said there is still plenty of work to be done.

“It’s with great pride that I go out and I tell about what kinds of things we are doing here and indeed we are, I would say, leaps and bounds ahead of most universities across Canada and we will continue to be because we have leadership who believe in this and are working very hard toward achieving these outcomes,” said Battiste, a Harvard and Stanford-educated leader in the Department of Educational Foundations at USask. “But I do think it still needs to grow and there is no end to it. And I think we need to build on the Indigenous languages that are a part of this province, because this is the kind of inheritance that this institution can draw upon.”

The commitment to uplift Indigenization is a key foundation of the new seven-year plan to strengthen the fabric of the university through respectful, meaningful, ethical weaving of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledges, lived experiences, worldviews, and stories into teaching, learning, and research across campus.

“Having Indigenous people at the table of developing the policies and the practices and the principles of this university, having them at the table is a very different kind of framework that we are looking at,” said Battiste, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and earned the university’s Distinguished Researcher Award in 2005 and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2008. “If you are going to do Indigenization, it has to be with Indigenous people, it has to be from our perspective, and it has to be within our goals and aspirations for our futures.”

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After hosting the first national forum—Building Reconciliation: Universities Answering the TRC’s Calls to Action—in 2015, Battiste said the university needs to continue to work on increasing Indigenous knowledges in courses across campus.

“Indigenous knowledges do not come from within a book and do not come from Euro-centric research. It comes from Indigenous peoples, from their continued living on the land and their continued relationships with each other,” she said. “The maintenance of those relationships is bound through ceremonies and those are the kinds of ways that Indigenous people maintain and keep their culture, language and heritage alive and well. And this institution has a role to play in making that possible for them to continue to build upon and grow.”

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The University of Saskatchewan’s new seven-year plan through to 2025 is titled The University the World Needs and has been gifted the Indigenous names nīkānītān manācihitowinihk (Cree) and ni manachīhitoonaan (Michif), which translate to “Let us lead with respect.” In each issue of On Campus News in 2019, we will take a look at the 12 major goals of the new plan by profiling individuals involved in the university’s commitment to Courageous Curiosity, Boundless Collaboration and Inspired Communities. 

alumni-engineering-excellencetrue1552407918604ccm046Engineering excellenceAngie Bugg (BE’85) has never let being a woman in a typically male-dominated field keep her from doing the things she wants to do, but she does recognize many women may feel those constraints and thinks International Women’s Day, March 8, is a great time to bring attention to the issue of gender inequality.Taryn Riemer1551283560000/articles/people/2019/alumni-engineering-excellencenewssite://news/articles/people/2019/alumni-engineering-excellencenews_ws1551366425658ccm0461552407905021show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Angie_Bugg2.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Angie_Bugg2.jpgnewsAngie_Bugg2.jpgAngie Bugg (BE'85)NoNoneYesYesYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/alumninews/2019/Angie_Bugg.JPGsite://alumni/images/alumninews/2019/Angie_Bugg.JPGalumniAngie_Bugg.JPGAngie Bugg (BE'85)NoNoneNo/
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On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day with the theme of “balance for better.” University of Saskatchewan (USask) engineering alumna, Angie Bugg, is the epitome of what it means to balance work, life, and passion, all while succeeding in a field traditionally dominated by her male colleagues.  

“We've moved forward so much, but engineering still isn't 50 per cent women. It lags way behind the other professional colleges. I think it's something we need to be paying attention to because so many people don't have the same privilege that I do,” said Bugg.

Bugg has always taken this can-do attitude into every aspect of her life. Two of Bugg’s passions are volunteering and energy conservation. And luckily she’s been able to do both during her career.

Bugg is the Energy Conservation Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. She works part time and is able to volunteer the other half of her time to four different organizations throughout Saskatoon, Sask.

“My parents have always done a lot of volunteering and viewed volunteerism as an important part of how they lived their lives,” said Bugg.

After completing her degree from USask in 1985, Bugg made her way to Alberta where she worked in the oil and gas industry for five years. Just before she left, she was part of creating an internal environmental auditing program for the company she was working for, a first for her and the company.

Bugg and her husband, who is also an engineering grad from USask, returned to Saskatoon in 1990.  She began to dive into an area she was always interested in – using her engineering training for environmental protection.

While Bugg consulted for various companies, she worked with waste management regions, which is where RMs and towns get together to manage their garbage and recycling.

In 2003, she started at the Environmental Society. Since then, Bugg has trained over 900 building operators in Saskatchewan, helping them make their buildings efficient and comfortable.

She’s also provided over 100 energy audits for non-profit organizations and small businesses in Saskatchewan. It is common for these organizations to go on to achieve energy and water savings of 10-30 per cent.

“When I started at the Environmental Society we kind of had to beg people to participate in environmental programs,” said Bugg. “But now we have lots of people interested in our programing because there's so much more recognition of the importance of the work we do.”

Bugg also does a lot of work with K-12 students and teachers, focusing on energy conservation for the next generation. And in doing so, has been able to show both young girls and boys how they can make a difference.

“Whenever we go into classrooms I make sure to point out I'm an engineer, partly to show the kids that women can be engineers. But also to let them know that this cool stuff we're about to be doing is something that relates to engineering and that if they find what we're doing fun, engineering might be for them,” said Bugg.

/news/2019/engineering-excellenceshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://alumni/news/2019/engineering-excellencealumniengineering-excellenceArticle headlineEngineering ExcellenceAngie Bugg (BE’85) has never let being a woman in a typically male-dominated field keep her from doing the things she wants to do, but she does recognize many women may feel those constraints and thinks International Women’s Day, March 8, is a great time to bring attention to the issue of gender inequality. alumniTaryn Riemer27-Feb-2019 4:06 PM
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mystery-nurse-a-deciding-factor-for-students-career-pathtrue1551126324654ccm046Mystery nurse a deciding factor for student’s career pathInspired by a negative experience and a positive caregiver, Susan Moosewaypayo is working hard and challenging her fears John ShellingAboriginal, 1551124380000/articles/people/2019/mystery-nurse-a-deciding-factor-for-students-career-pathnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/mystery-nurse-a-deciding-factor-for-students-career-pathccm0461551125616245ccm0461551125616245show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Susan Moosewaypayo.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Susan Moosewaypayo.jpgnewsSusan Moosewaypayo.jpgSusan Moosewaypayo received an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. NoNoneNo/
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Moosewaypayo, a College of Nursing student at the La Ronge campus, has excelled in both her academic and clinical classes. Along with two of her classmates, she produced an original video and song which promotes the lifesaving use of naloxone. It is currently being used by high school staff in northern Saskatchewan.

Moosewaypayo received an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA), held on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) were honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities included a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Moosewaypayo a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her. 

Why did you choose nursing?

I have three sons and started my family at a young age. I did not graduate high school, as family was the priority at the time. As my children aged, I debated on going to school, as I was working two jobs to support my family. I started in Adult Basic Education (ABE) 10 at Northlands College. I had a totally different career path in mind. When I entered ABE 12, I got terribly sick. It occurred suddenly and I ended up in the hospital on Christmas day. I was sent from La Ronge to Prince Albert for surgery. During this time, I received care from many nurses. Some were unhappy and not empathetic that I left my family, my youngest was only four months old, on Christmas. During recovery, I continued my classes but got sick again. I was sent back to have surgery yet again. This time I had a terrible experience with surgery. There were a few nurses that cared and actually remembered me. One especially was my motivation for choose nursing. I want to give that feeling to others. She took the time to get me back on my feet. I still need to find her and thank her for her time. I had a difficult time deciding what type of nurse I wanted to be, a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse (RN), but that one nurse that cared for me was an RN and that was the deciding factor.

You and two of your classmates produced a song and video that promotes the lifesaving use of naloxone. How did this project come about?

Our class in La Ronge consisted of three people. We became very close and worked through classes as a team. We had a group assignment in our 422-class that asked us to do research and find an area of improvement in our community. Currently, there has been many cases of opioid overdoses and our project involves engaging minority, marginalized and vulnerable populations in their own healthcare. We looked at how we can educate, motivate and empower drug users and their families and friends to use naloxone. We also attempt to reduce stigma around the need for and use of naloxone. We recognized the need and responded. I have to give the credit to Tina Shaw for having the heart to put so much effort into writing and composing the song.

Is the connection between health care and music something you are interested in exploring? 

This has not crossed my mind, but for this song we aimed for the younger population. We recognized that the younger population are easily inspired by music. Myself, I have a teen son who never takes his earphones off. This was our connection. It was exciting to have such great feedback from this song, and maybe I will explore it further in the future.

What plans do you have for the future?

My plan for the future is to work in an acute setting. I feel that my experiences have guided me to go this career route. I want to give my family the life they deserve. I worked so hard to be where I am and it was all for them. I am interested in beginning my career at the North Battleford hospital, BUH, where my husband and I can purchase a house and be a family again. It is sad to say that nursing school took over my life and my family have been patient.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

I am thankful for my husband who gave up time with me in order for me to reach my goals. He has been my support and I would never had made it through nursing without him. I am blessed with supporting parents. My mother planted the nursing school seed in my head and I thank her for it. I have learnt a lot about myself within this past few years. Lastly, I would like to thank the team of nurses that have cared for me in my past.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

As a child, I was terrified of hospitals and needles. As an adult, I was afraid of hospitals, needles, and nursing school. I was terrified the majority of the way through nursing school and grew from challenging these fears. I came to understand that fear is debilitating if you let it take over as it is a strong emotion. If I had one thing to use a powerful voice for it would be to encourage others. In order to grow, you must tackle your fears.

judge-morin-legacy-of-leadershiptrue1551367340375ccm046Judge Morin: Legacy of leadershipAfter an exceptional career in the Saskatchewan legal system, the characteristically humble Honourable Gerald M. Morin (JD’87) struggles when asked what he would consider his greatest accomplishment.LESLIE-ANN SCHLOSSERAboriginal, Alumni, 1549554780000/articles/people/2019/judge-morin-legacy-of-leadershipnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/judge-morin-legacy-of-leadershipccm0461549555398334ccm0461551367329553show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Alum-Gerald Morin-1-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Alum-Gerald Morin-1-OCN.jpgnewsAlum-Gerald Morin-1-OCN.jpgThe Honourable Gerald M. Morin went on to become a successful lawyer and a judge after graduating from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1987. (Photo: David Stobbe) NoNoneNo/
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After an exceptional career in the Saskatchewan legal system, the characteristically humble Honourable Gerald M. Morin (JD’87) struggles when asked what he would consider his greatest accomplishment.

“How do you measure accomplishments?” Morin asked. “Being a judge, you have to have integrity. You have to be fair. Every case is important for that person in front of you.”

The larger-than-life character who is affectionately called “Gerry” by his friends and colleagues, grew up in Cumberland House, Sask., and is a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. As a young boy, his father endorsed the importance of education, which influenced Morin’s lifelong passion for knowledge.

“Dad said ‘Go to high school and I’ll always make sure you get home whenever you can.’ The message that education is important was always clear to me,” said Morin.

Morin completed a one-year social work certificate in 1973, from Saskatchewan Polytechnic (then the Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences), and went on to work as a probation officer in Northern Saskatchewan. He received his certificate in social work from the University of Regina in 1978 and his bachelor of social work degree in 1979.

Law always fascinated him and it was his goal to apply to law school, but when he became a single father in the late ’70s, he put his dreams on hold to take care of his son.

The dream to become a lawyer was never far behind; his time as a probation officer and becoming a father only strengthened his desire to practice law. His tenacity eventually paid off and Morin enrolled into the University of Saskatchewan (USask) law program in 1984.

“Law school is not easy. I didn’t find it easy. It shaped me in many ways to work hard and try to accomplish [my best],” said Morin.

TextPullquote“It’s more than language. It’s a culture. It’s our history. It’s being able to discuss, in court, our way of life and use our language as a means of achievement.”The Honourable Gerald M. Morin /Align left

After graduating, he practiced law in Prince Albert at the Pandila-Morin Law Office, appearing in all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada.

As a speaker of three Cree dialects, Morin was often asked to be an interpreter to clients in the courtroom. When he was appointed to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan in 2001, he would eventually lead the introduction of the Cree language into the court process.

“It's important that if you’re going to introduce language within a particular delivery system that not only do you legitimize it, but that you make it part of [it],” said Morin. “It’s more than language. It’s a culture. It’s our history. It’s being able to discuss, in court, our way of life and use our language as a means of achievement.”

The Cree-speaking provincial court circuit, led by Morin’s insight and leadership, is a unique initiative and the first of its kind in Canada.

“Everyone needs to be heard. Cree allows that in much finer detail,” said Morin.

As a judge, Morin sat in many communities throughout his career, including Pelican Narrows, Sandy Bay, Whitefish First Nation and Ahtahkakoop First Nation. In 2008, he was appointed to the Northwest Territories and in 2016 he was appointed to Yukon.

Morin notes the importance of giving back to the next generation of lawmakers, acting as a mentor to many lawyers throughout his career. Despite his hectic travel schedule, he initiated the Wunusweh annual lecture series on Indigenous law at USask’s College of Law. Wunusweh is a Cree word that translated means ‘to make things right’ or ‘to make law.’

“I felt it was important that we have a discussion of Indigenous issues in law. I felt we as Indigenous people and alumni need to take a lead role with respect to that,” said Morin.

Plaques, degrees, news clippings and honours are plastered on the walls of Morin’s office, all highlighting a career that boasts 45 years of dedication to the legal profession. Pretty soon, these accolades will be taken off the walls as the influential legal change maker prepares to enter the next stage of his successful career: retirement.

“I think it will always be a part of me,” he said. “It was my dream and a dream never leaves you. You just learn to keep living it in a different way.”

absolutely-stellar-itep-student-acing-studiestrue1549404268241ccm046Absolutely stellar: ITEP student acing studiesReanne Gareau is making her mark while excelling in her classes. Aboriginal, 1549403820000/articles/people/2019/absolutely-stellar-itep-student-acing-studiesnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/absolutely-stellar-itep-student-acing-studiesccm0461549404251302ccm0461549404251302show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Reanne Gareau-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Reanne Gareau-OCN.jpgnewsReanne Gareau-OCN.jpgReanne Gareau will be receiving an award for her academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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This year, the fourth-year Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) student came close to perfection in her course Literacy Across the Elementary Curriculum. She received 99 per cent for her overall mark. Her professor, Beverly Brenna, says it’s the first time she’s given such a high mark in her long career. Brenna described Gareau’s academic work as “absolutely stellar.”

Gareau, who comes from Lac La Ronge Indian Band, will be receiving an award for her academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Gareau a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose ITEP?

I must admit that my first year of university was dedicated to my pursuit in the dentistry field. I soon discovered that this was not the field for me, and turned to education. I chose ITEP because of its family oriented system. I spent my childhood playing “teacher”, using my chalkboard, my school books, and my teacher voice; this is where my passion is rooted from. I have always been a caring, generous, honest, and responsible person and I definitely plan on using these values in the classroom. Why did I choose ITEP? Because ITEP was the only program that I could relate to, not only due to my Indigenous heritage, but also because of its caring, generous, honest, and responsible system. I am so thrilled that I chose ITEP to complete my Bachelor of Education. I cannot imagine it any other way, not only because of my culture, but because of the support that I have gained through the completion of this program. ITEP’s staff has always been strong and encouraging, and for me this was the key for my journey of becoming an educator. I appreciate the ITEP family and will always thank and honour them in all of my future endeavours.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

The very first piece of advice I would give to you is to have an open-mind. At many times on your journey, you will meet people with different opinions, different perspectives, and that come from many different cultures with many different traditions. The important thing to keep in mind is that not everyone has to be the same to get along. The great thing about ITEP for me, was that we could all share our own personal opinions without feeling as though we were being judged. That being said, before stating facts, make sure you’ve done your research and that you are not stating these facts to hurt others. This encompasses my second piece of advice: Respect. Having a sense of respect towards not only your classmates, your professors, and those around you; but also towards yourself. This will prove to be useful in any passion you choose.

What plans do you have for the future?

I am currently completing my extended practicum in my hometown. I am so grateful for the opportunity to return to my home to put my passion to the test. I cannot wait to plan my units, my lessons, and all of my activities for my classroom. After this fun and exciting chapter in my life, and after completing two more courses, I plan to teach in my hometown, hopefully with a full-time contract. I want to use a holistic teaching method in my future classroom, so that all of my students can learn and grow in a balanced and healthy environment. I cannot wait to put to work the many resources, activities, methods, tools, and more that have been taught to me by my wonderful professors. Thank you.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

Throughout my childhood and throughout my university journey, there have been many people who have inspired me on becoming who I am today. There are certainly some that have stuck out to me. Specifically, I would like to honour my parents who have always supported me in my challenges, and my successes. This type of encouragement and support is what has kept me going on this wonderful road to success. No matter how trying the times can get, they have reminded me that “everything will be okay” and everything does always work out. I would not be where I am today without them and I cannot thank them enough for their inspiration.  

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

I know how important it was for me to always have someone there to guide me and to help me through my ITEP journey. I want to honour and thank those who have been there for me, by being there for others. I want to use my voice as encouragement, support, and inspiration for all of those who may need it. 

political-and-indigenous-studies-student-finds-her-potentialtrue1549557027871ccm046Political and Indigenous studies student finds her potentialStrong women, loving children and a drive to succeed contribute to the success of Patricia Hall.John ShellingAboriginal, 1549403460000/articles/people/2019/political-and-indigenous-studies-student-finds-her-potentialnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/political-and-indigenous-studies-student-finds-her-potentialccm0461549403853270ccm0461549557008087show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Patricia Hall-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Patricia Hall-OCN.jpgnewsPatricia Hall-OCN.jpgPatricia Hall will receive an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Hall is following her dreams. Now in her fourth year, Hall is pursuing a double major in political and Indigenous studies. After graduation she plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Indigenous governance. Hall is a Dene/Métis woman from the Black Lake First Nation, is located on Treaty 8 Territory.

Hall will receive an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Hall a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose Political and Indigenous Studies?

I am choosing to pursue an education in the disciplines of political and Indigenous studies as a way to better understanding the differing worldviews between Indigenous nations and Canadians. In an effort to best help bring Canadians to understand their position as Settlers and to help find ways to eliminating the barriers imposed on Indigenous peoples as we work to thrive within the Canadian colonial discourse.  

What advice would you give other parent’s pursuing higher education?

To Indigenous parents working on or preparing to pursue their education I would say, never give up. Despite the implications of your past, the limits of your present and the unknowing of tomorrow, never give up. Your potential isn’t given to you; you must find it. It is through each day that we unveil what we are meant to do and who we are meant to be.  

What plans do you have for the future?

In the future, I plan to pursue a Master’s of Indigenous Governance, a Law degree, and possibly a PhD. I hope to work in the area of Sustainable Economic Development and to help strategize with Indigenous communities in an effort to better the lives of Indigenous peoples and their communities through decolonization as a way of life.  

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

My children are my main inspiration. They pay the ultimate sacrifice as their mother pursues her dreams and I am forever grateful to them and my hope is that they too will always work hard to fulfill their dreams. My late friend Lance Cutarm has also played a significant role in helping me to see my full potential, through life and through death he continues to guide me.  

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

Powerful Voices have raised me. Surrounded by strong women with equally as significant knowledge and teachings, I continue to learn and be empowered by the power of women. In this moment, I hope that other young Indigenous mothers continue to learn, grow and pursue their best life. 

from-wildlife-to-agriculture-usask-student-aims-to-make-impacttrue1549403475537ccm046From wildlife to agriculture: USask student aims to make impactSince taking the time to decide what she truly wants in life, Katie Harris has never looked back. John ShellingAboriginal, 1549403160000/articles/people/2019/from-wildlife-to-agriculture-usask-student-aims-to-make-impactnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/from-wildlife-to-agriculture-usask-student-aims-to-make-impactccm0461549403454903ccm0461549403454903show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Katie Harris-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Katie Harris-OCN.jpgnewsKatie Harris-OCN.jpgKatie Harris will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Harris grew up in The Pas, Manitoba, but has spent at least half of her life in Saskatoon. She received a dual diploma in Environmental Science from Lakeland College, majoring in both conservation and restoration ecology, and wildlife and fisheries conservation, before transferring to the University of Saskatchewan (USask). This spring, Harris will complete her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Environmental Science and plans to begin her master’s degree in wildlife science this fall.

Harris will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across USask will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Harris a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose Environmental Science?

I have always felt a deep connection to the environment, I believe it is our most precious resource and so, wish to dedicate my career to its preservation for the benefit of humans and wildlife alike.

You received a dual diploma in Environmental Science from Lakeland College, majoring in both Conservation and Restoration Ecology and Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, you will be completing your Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Science and you are planning to pursue a Master’s degree in Wildlife Science. Can you talk about your connection to the environment and where it began?

I cannot remember a time in my life where I did not feel a deep connection to the environment. Since I was young, respect for the environment and everything in it was instilled in me through my parents, who are both outdoor enthusiasts, and the ten years I spent as an active member of Girl Guides of Canada. Throughout my life I have spent as much time as possible exploring nature, going fishing, camping, hiking, boating and other activities that further fueled my respect and love for nature.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

The advice I would give to a first year indigenous student, and any first year student, is to decide what you want out of your education, and then not let anything stand in your way of attaining your ambitions. There is always a way to reach your goals, as impossible as they may seem, as long as you do not stop reaching for them.

What plans do you have for the future?

I plan on starting graduate school in the fall to work towards achieving my master’s degree. Following that, I am yet undecided as to whether I will pursue my PhD or enter the workforce. Career-wise I would like to work in the field of environmental research, focusing on wildlife distribution and population patterns in a fragmented agricultural landscape, and to help agriculture producers manage their land for biodiversity.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

To be honest, the person who has inspired me to get to the point I am at today is myself. I took time off after high school to decide what I wanted to do with my life, and I haven’t looked back since. Everything I have accomplished throughout the past four and a half years is due to the pressure I put on myself to achieve my goal of making an impact, no matter how big or small, on enhancing the protection and preservation of our environment.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

If I could use my voice for one thing in this moment in time it would be to call for individual self-reflection. The choices that we as students and members of society make directly impact the sustainability of our earth, and I would like everyone to look at the choices they make on a daily basis and reflect on how those choices are impacting the world around them.

indigenous-studies-student-is-passionate-her-culturetrue1549471188727ccm046Indigenous Studies student is passionate about her cultureBeing connected with her ancestors and land is all part of a balanced life for Darian Lonechild.John ShellingAboriginal, 1549402680000/articles/people/2019/indigenous-studies-student-is-passionate-her-culturenewssite://news/articles/people/2019/indigenous-studies-student-is-passionate-her-cultureccm0461549402813434ccm0461549471131303show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Darian Lonechild-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Darian Lonechild-OCN.jpgnewsDarian Lonechild-OCN.jpgDarian Lonechild will be receiving an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Lonechild believes a healthy life is about taking care of your physical well-being as well as your spiritual well-being. For her spiritual balance she consistently participates in Plains Cree and Dakota ceremonies.

Lonechild is a Cree and Saulteaux woman from the White Bear First Nation. She serves as the female Youth Representative of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nation, as well as the Co-Chair of the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council. She is currently studying Indigenous Studies with goals of obtaining a law degree and continually advocating for Indigenous peoples.

Lonechild will be receiving an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Lonechild a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose Indigenous Studies?

When I entered into my first year of my education here at the University of Saskatchewan, I entered into the introductory course of Indigenous Studies out of personal interest and curiosity. Over the course of that year, I developed a deep appreciation for Indigenous Studies, and the importance of it being offered within institutions that historically weren't welcoming spaces for Indigenous peoples. I chose Indigenous Studies as my major because of the encouraging and inspiring professors, the areas of research and potential that Indigenous Studies holds at USask. 

In your biography it says you are passionate about your culture, and physical well-being by consistently participating in Plains Cree and Dakota ceremonies. Can you talk about this passion and how you see the connection between body and spirit?

A major part of healing and leading a balanced life is ensuring that you are connected with your ancestors and land. Holistic approaches to leading a balanced life includes taking care of not only your spirit by praying and going to ceremony, but making sure you look after your body. Finding a healthy way to view your body as an important gift capable of many things is important as well. As Indigenous peoples, we have a history of colonization impacting us in ways that lead us down unhealthy paths. To connect with your ceremonies and be in tune with your body is an act of resistance to hundreds of years of colonization. 

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

The advice I would give to a first year student is to go to every class. I say this because starting good habits that follow you throughout your academic career is crucial to success. You will thank yourself. 

What plans do you have for the future?

I have plans of applying to law school and travelling as much as I can. I plan to spend a lot of time with my family, laughing as much as possible and continuing my learning of the world. 

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

My mother has been the biggest inspiration in my life. She gave me life and ensured I felt love and seen the world. Her hard work, generosity and intelligence has given me the inspiration to be the most giving and loving person I can. Anytime I am leaving somewhere her last words to me are “I love you, and show leadership." 

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

In this moment, if I could use my voice for something, I would use it to speak to Indigenous youth, and stress the importance of being an ally and listening ear for friends who are struggling with mental health issues. I understand that a stigma exists within our communities, and that has to change. You can be a part of that change by taking personal responsibility to let your friends know they can talk to you. 

edwards-student-attributes-success-to-his-communities-supporttrue1549402352703ccm046Edwards student attributes success to his communities’ supportDakota Norris feels like he belongs anywhere he goes.John Shelling Aboriginal, Edwards, 1549401960000/articles/people/2019/edwards-student-attributes-success-to-his-communities-supportnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/edwards-student-attributes-success-to-his-communities-supportccm0461549402342825ccm0461549402342825show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Dakota Norris-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Dakota Norris-OCN.jpgnewsDakota Norris-OCN.jpgDakota Norris will be receiving an award for community engagement at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Norris is a member in many communities. He was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories where his parents live, he attends the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and he is a combat engineer in the Canadian Forces. During his time at USask he credits the leaders and friends in these communities for helping him find a sense of belonging.

The fourth-year Edwards School of Business student is completing a Bachelor of Commerce, with honours research in northern Saskatchewan. Norris works as a JR Research Fellow exploring prospects between Asia and Canadian Indigenous people.     

Norris will be receiving an award for community engagement at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across USask will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Norris a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.

Why did you choose Edwards School of Business?

I chose Edwards because I was unsure what I wanted to do with my future, but I knew that the skills they teach are very practical and could support me with whatever decision I made. Whether you are going to work in the business world, government, non-profit, military or do your own thing, understanding how organizations work and what is required for projects to succeed will help you. As it turns out, I made the right choice because I am still unsure what my future holds but having a commerce degree certainly helped with everything I am involved in and all the jobs I am applying for.

What are you learning about the prospects between Asian and Canadian Indigenous people?

I am learning that it is an exciting time to be Indigenous, especially as a youth. Everything I am reading is showing that there is a high level of interest in building our relations and mutually supporting each other, particularly in business and trade. It’s inspiring to see that despite political differences or news headlines, Indigenous and most other people in these nations would happily cooperate and work hard to ensure we develop together. There is a lot of work to do, the students of today can make a large positive difference for Indigenous nations around the world with an entrepreneurial attitude and a global mindset.

How has your experience as a combat engineer in the Canadian Forces had an impact on your life and your education?

The impact on my life and education is hard to capture because it is so broad. I am a naturally quiet person and struggle being in the spotlight, but I feel my experience in the military allows me to speak up, take initiative, and lead despite that. The military puts you into mentally and physically uncomfortable situations, and it never gets easier, but you develop an ability to continue working and doing the things you’re supposed to do even when you’re uncomfortable. For example, studying even when you don’t want to. Uncertainty is a large and constant factor in university, like not knowing what material to study, what class to prioritize, or what direction to take a project. In the military, you live with uncertainty all the time and are forced to make decisions under uncertainty. This experience helps me not get overwhelmed and make decisions quickly when dealing with the uncertainty of university. The military reserve is designed for university students. Working evenings, weekends, and summers, in addition to tuition reimbursements, helped me financially get through university. They are very understanding, taking time off to focus on school is not looked down on and I would say it’s easier with the military than in any other job I have had. Lastly, the military is a small community. The close social connections that I have developed helped me get through university. My parents moved back up north when I was in Grade 12, I have no family in the city, and I see them very infrequently. Despite this I have never felt alone or unsupported, it is almost like having a second family.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

No matter who you are or what your background is, there is a good chance that you will struggle for the first little bit, or for the whole thing. Over time you will find what works for you, and it will get easier. Experiment with how many classes you can take, how many hours you can work, how much of a social life to have, etc. Try to be involved in at least one new thing each year. It will help you gain skills, experiences and friends that you won’t get in the classroom. Also, the less you feel like taking a break or exercising, the more likely it is you need to.

What plans do you have for the future?

I am planning on working in operations or research roles that support a better future for humanity. I don’t know exactly what path I will take, I am currently working in operations and research roles and enjoy them both. In the meantime, I will continue applying for jobs and master’s programs and will likely take whichever opportunity has the greatest potential for impact.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

There have been many people. My high school coaches, military leaders, my parents and professors, all showed me that I can be successful and live a good life no matter what my life situation is. Many of these leaders went out of their way to encourage me and give me opportunities, which helped me feel hopeful and set the bar high for myself. I think the biggest inspiration for me is just seeing so many people who continue to do what is right and strive to live a good life and work hard every day, no matter what difficulty or setbacks they have.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

I would like to reiterate, as the Indigenous Student Council (ISC) says, “You Belong Here”. I still remember the first day I had in school after I moved down south from my home in the Northwest Territories, and the last thing I felt was like I belonged. Ever since then, in school, in sports, in the military and in university, for the first few months every time I moved or started something new, I felt like I didn’t belong. I didn’t think about it much, but the feeling was always there. The president of the ISC recently shared a post on Facebook with the “You Belong Here” message, and I instantly felt like that was such an important message to share. It’s easy to feel alienated in a new environment, and I think that is a common feeling for Indigenous people that isn’t talked about a lot. What helped me get past this feeling, and today I would say I feel like I belong anywhere I go, is the great leaders and friends who I met in all these areas. If you’re willing to put yourself out there and stick it out, you will find that you actually do belong wherever you want to belong. Whether it is university, a new sport, a new job, or anything else, you belong there just as much as anybody else, and you can become a part of that environment if you choose to.

usask-student-and-educator-hopes-to-have-a-dramatic-career-true1549388982543ccm046USask student and educator hopes to have a dramatic career Exploring the importance of creativity and the role it can play in bringing meaning and value to students’ lives is a passion for Christopher Krug-Iron.John Shelling Aboriginal, 1549388700000/articles/people/2019/usask-student-and-educator-hopes-to-have-a-dramatic-career-newssite://news/articles/people/2019/usask-student-and-educator-hopes-to-have-a-dramatic-career-ccm0461549388957227ccm0461549388957227show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Chris KrugIron-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Chris KrugIron-OCN.jpgnewsChris KrugIron-OCN.jpgChristopher Krug-Iron will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Krug-Iron hopes to spend his future in the classroom as well as on the stage. Krug-Iron is pursuing a Bachelor of Education and Fine Arts with a concentration in acting. He will have performed in each of the Greystone Theatre productions this season ­— Arcadia and Shakespeare's Henry V this past fall and the upcoming productions of Cripple of Inishmaan and Machinal

Krug-Iron will receive an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Krug-Iron a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.

Why did you choose drama and education as your fields of study?

I chose drama and education because I've had a lifelong passion for theatre. With any luck I'll be able to guide my students to finding a passion of their own, drama-related or otherwise.

Is the connection between drama and education something you are interested in exploring?

The connection between drama and education is definitely worth exploring, as creativity is something often overlooked in professional and industrial settings when students leave school. Without the arts, I seriously doubt life would be as meaningful or enjoyable to many people.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

My advice to first-year Indigenous students is simple: go to class, do your homework and don't be afraid to meet new people! There are tons of on-campus resources offered for free and many faculty and staff that are looking out for you; reach out to them and you'll have an easier go of it. You aren't alone.

What plans do you have for the future?
My plans have changed since I started. I originally only intended to be a drama teacher but as time went on I did well enough to be accepted into the acting program here in the university.  Now I hope to spend time on stage as well as in the classroom, possibly overseas as well.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

I have had more people inspire me to continue forging forward than I can count. My mother and father have been encouraging and helping me to feel proud of what I've accomplished, teachers and instructors in my life have shown me different opportunities that I've explored.  I can credit the hardworking staff in both ITEP and the drama department with both inspiring and challenging me to be my best.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

If my voice counts for anything it's to take action environmentally.  Awareness isn't enough, and poisoning our lands and waters in order to make money is ultimately futile.  We have one home and I'd love for our future generations to be able to enjoy a better world than what we have right now.

educational-administration-student-balances-life,-work-and-school-welltrue1549388148181ccm046Educational Administration student balances life, work and school wellTime management is key Beau Gallernault. John ShellingAboriginal, 1549387080000/articles/people/2019/educational-administration-student-balances-life,-work-and-school-wellnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/educational-administration-student-balances-life,-work-and-school-wellccm0461549387934294ccm0461549387934294show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Beau Gallerneault-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Beau Gallerneault-OCN.jpgnewsBeau Gallerneault-OCN.jpgBeau Gallernault will receive an award for his academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Gallernault, originally from the Duck Lake area in Saskatchewan, is not only committed to his career and professional development, but also to be there for his family. He credits the support of his spouse and two children for his continued success.

Gallernault will receive an award for his academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The award ceremony is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW), which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus. 

We asked Gallernault a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.

Why did you choose the Educational Administration program?

I chose the Educational Administration program as I felt it would benefit me in my current position as Student Outreach Coordinator here at the University of Saskatchewan.  As someone with background in social work, I felt that this program would help compliment my undergraduate degree in learning how to best support students. I also had the opportunity to speak to a few people who have taken the program who had positive things to say about both the program and the faculty. 

What advice would you give to other parents pursuing higher education?

The best advice I could give other parents who are pursuing higher education, is to find a healthy balance of family and school life early on. I have personally found that utilizing time before work and during lunch breaks has helped to afford me time to be involved in my children’s extra-curricular activities in the evenings and spend quality time with my family on most weekends.

Are there any challenges/benefits to being a staff member of the university while also pursuing a degree?

I have found that being both a student and a staff member of the university has been useful as it provides a firsthand understanding the life cycles of the students I work with.  I feel it has also helped to motivate me in my program, as I have had the opportunity to witness the accomplishments of many students who have overcome huge amounts of adversity. 

What plans do you have for the future?

At the present time I am enjoying my current role as Student Outreach Coordinator as I have the opportunity to work with a number of other professionals on campus to support our students.  It is my hope that the Educational Administration program will assist me in better supporting the students and staff that I work with. 

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by a supportive family growing up who have always encouraged me to better myself.  Now that I am a parent myself, I draw inspiration from my children, as I want to set a positive example for them and hopefully influence them to pursue their own goals. 

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

I would use my voice to encourage people to get involved and invest in their communities as I feel that we have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being each other as community members. 

edwards-student-leads-with-passiontrue1549381385511ccm046Edwards student leads with passionAlyssia Landiak hopes her practical experience adds up to a bright future.John ShellingAboriginal, Edwards,1549380360000/articles/people/2019/edwards-student-leads-with-passionnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/edwards-student-leads-with-passionccm0461549381348706ccm0461549381348706show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Alyssia Landiak-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Alyssia Landiak-OCN.jpgnewsAlyssia Landiak-OCN.jpgAlyssia Landiak will be receiving an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Landiak has plans. Landiak, in her fourth-year of a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in accounting, comes from the small town of St. Paul, Alberta. Upon graduation, she will be returning to St. Paul to work at a local accounting firm, where she will begin to pursue her Chartered Professional Accounting designation.

 Landiak will be receiving an award for leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Landiak a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose the Edwards School of Business?

After attending the university’s open house when I was in high school, I knew that Edwards was the right fit for me. The small class sizes and services that the college offers to its students was a major contributing factor in my decision.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

Don’t stress over one bad grade; in the end, it’s your degree/diploma and practical experience that matter.

What plans do you have for the future?

Following graduation, I will begin employment at an accounting firm in my hometown where I will begin to pursue my Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

You received the award for leadership. Can you talk about one person you think is a good leader and what makes them so?

Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by outstanding leaders. One thing that they all have in common is their passion for the area in which they are a leader.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

As a young, female professional entering the workforce, I would use my voice to emphasize the importance of gender equality. Eliminating the gender gap is essential for society.

women,-gender-and-sexualities-studies-student-is-making-sense-of-the-world-through-her-educationtrue1549379948174ccm046Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies student is making sense of the world through her educationShaylyn White changed majors in her undergrad after she found herself drawn to the discussions she was having in a Women’s Studies class at Brandon University. John ShellingAboriginal, arts and science,1549379400000/articles/people/2019/women,-gender-and-sexualities-studies-student-is-making-sense-of-the-world-through-her-educationnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/women,-gender-and-sexualities-studies-student-is-making-sense-of-the-world-through-her-educationccm0461549379902046ccm0461549379902046show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Shaylyn White-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Shaylyn White-OCN.jpgnewsShaylyn White-OCN.jpgShaylyn White will be receiving an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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White is in her second year of a Master of Arts in Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies with an interest in queer narratives. She grew up in Thompson, Manitoba with roots to the Saulteaux Nation in Saskatchewan.

White will be receiving an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked White a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies?

I originally wanted to be an English major since I’ve always loved reading and writing, but then in my first year I took an Introduction to Women’s Studies class as an elective and something just clicked. It’s hard to say what exactly it was, but I think it’s that for the first time, I was in a class discussing something I could see in my day-to-day life, especially in my interactions with others, and they were making sense of it in a way nobody I knew had ever tried to make sense of it before. That fascinated me, and I wanted to learn more and more about it, until one day I found myself changing majors.

What advice would you give to a first-year indigenous student?

This feels like such a corny thing to say, but other people are always going to be trying to set your limits for you, and I think it’s important not to make it easy for them. By that, I mean you should always do your best to reject (or to at least avoid dwelling on) self-doubt, especially when others are trying to foster it in you. The world is going to be throwing enough obstacles in your path as it is; it doesn’t need help.

What plans do you have for the future?

Right now, my plan is to keep going for as long as I can, and at the moment that means taking graduate studies as far as possible. When I’ve finished my master’s, I’d like to try for a PhD in the same field. I know at some point I’ll probably have to settle down, but I’d like to stay in academia, so maybe teaching? Whatever else happens, I’d like to get a cat and a hedgehog someday.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

There are two people that come to mind. The first is Dr. Corinne Mason (PhD), a professor I had at Brandon University, the school where I did my undergraduate degree. She was the one who taught that Introduction to Women’s Studies class that inspired me to change majors, but she was also the one who urged me to consider graduate studies in the first place. I don’t know that I’d have even considered that as a possibility for me had she not suggested it, and I definitely couldn’t have made it through the application process without her guidance.

The second is my mother. She’s a very important person to me and has always been incredibly supportive in every way. She was as new to the idea of graduate studies as I was, but she made a point of learning about the process along with me so she could be there if I needed help. I know a lot of people don’t have parents who are as encouraging as mine and I want to do my best to prove that it was worth it.  

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

The world is honestly a mess right now and at any given moment it feels like there are a thousand and one issues demanding our attention. Because of that, it’s harder than ever to just be happy. I’d want to tell people to not forget others, but to not forget themselves, either. Seek joy in small moments and fulfillment in brief connections so that you have a reason to keep going even when the world seems like it may fall apart. Don’t let yourself be paralyzed. Keep moving forward no matter what.

indigenous-studies-student-research-aims-to-document-environmental-health-issues-in-indigenous-communitiestrue1549295425363ccm046Indigenous Studies student research aims to document environmental health issues in Indigenous communitiesMichelle Zinck has a community-minded approach to her studies. John ShellingCollege of Arts and Science, Aboriginal, 1549294860000/articles/people/2019/indigenous-studies-student-research-aims-to-document-environmental-health-issues-in-indigenous-communitiesnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/indigenous-studies-student-research-aims-to-document-environmental-health-issues-in-indigenous-communitiesccm0461549295380183ccm0461549295380183show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/MichelleZinck-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/MichelleZinck-OCN.jpgnewsMichelleZinck-OCN.jpgMichelle Zinck is receiving an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Zinck, a Dënë woman from Fond Du Lac Dënësułinë First Nation, is interested in Indigenous feminism, Indigenous food sovereignty and revitalizing traditional knowledge systems. She will be receiving an award for academic excellence at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA).

On Feb. 7, Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Zinck, a fourth-year student in the Indigenous Studies department, a few questions about her time at USask and what motivates her.

Why did you choose Indigenous Studies? 

I chose to study Indigenous Studies because I wanted to learn more about the history of Indigenous Peoples, and how the violent legacy of colonization continues to impact Indigenous Peoples. I also wanted to learn how to conduct meaningful research with Indigenous communities that is based on collaborative and community-based initiatives that can help address issues of health and well-being that are prevalent in our communities.

What advice would you give to a first-year indigenous student?

I would tell a first-year Indigenous student to get involved with the campus community, especially with other Indigenous students. School can be tough, so it is important to have a community that you can turn to for support.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

My mom, Rose. She keeps me grounded, and her hard work, strength and resiliency empowers me to pursue what I want in life.

You plan to pursue a Master’s degree to study how Dënë women are being disproportionately affected by environmental violence in northern Saskatchewan. Can you explain what environmental violence is and what how it is affecting Dënë women?

The report, Violence on the Land: Violence on our Bodies defines environmental violence  as " the disproportionate and often devastating impacts that the conscious and deliberate proliferation of environmental toxins and industrial development (including extraction, production, export, and release) have on Indigenous women, children and future generations, without regard from States or corporations for their severe and ongoing harm." For over seven decades uranium mining practices have developed in northern Saskatchewan, and I believe that Indigenous women, children and communities are experiencing the effects of environmental degradation that are manifesting in issues of health and well-being. For this reason, I want to conduct environmental health research to formally document how Indigenous women, children and communities are chronically and generationally experiencing problems with health and well-being.    

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

I want to let all the Indigenous students know that you belong here. Trust in what you want to do, and persevere; the resiliency of your ancestors will guide you and give you the strength you need along your academic journey.

suntep-student-aims-to-lead-through-positivity-true1549294681336ccm046SUNTEP student aims to lead through positivity For Kelly Camponi, it’s all about helping to shape young minds into becoming respectful, happy and loving citizens. John ShellingCollege of Education, Aboriginal, 1549294320000/articles/people/2019/suntep-student-aims-to-lead-through-positivity-newssite://news/articles/people/2019/suntep-student-aims-to-lead-through-positivity-ccm0461549294579866ccm0461549294579866show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Kelly Camponi-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Kelly Camponi-OCN.jpgnewsKelly Camponi-OCN.jpgCamponi, a third-year student in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Program (SUNTEP), will be receiving an award for community engagement. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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The first week in February the University of Saskatchewan (USask) celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty through Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW).

The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

On Feb. 7, Indigenous students will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

Camponi, a third-year student in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Program (SUNTEP), will be receiving an award for community engagement. Camponi, a proud Métis father, demonstrates professional and respectful leadership in his studies and within his community.

We asked Camponi a few questions about what motivates him.

Why did you choose SUNTEP?

I chose SUNTEP because I am a proud Métis person and it has such a great reputation for producing a diverse group of very qualified Métis teachers and citizens. I very much wanted to be a part of something that asks nothing more of its students than to be great teachers and leaders in the communities they serve. 

What advice would you give to other parents pursuing higher education?

I think I would tell them to remember why they are doing it. Who is it for? I know that for some it's for their children as well as for themselves, for others it may be because they just want something better and rewarding in life and for some it might be because they want to make a positive impact on someone's life. Whatever their reason is they should always try to remember why. This will help to get through some of the difficult times all students face.

What plans do you have for the future?

I hope that my future holds the opportunity to be in a classroom doing what I am really passionate about, but one can never be too sure what is in store for them. Whatever my future holds I hope it is helping to shape young minds into becoming respectful, happy and loving citizens.  

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

There have been so many people who have helped me to get to this point in my life. From friends and family, to the faculty and staff here at SUNTEP. I had a teacher in elementary school who really changed me and helped me to see the potential I had. He really made me want to become a teacher. I have to say that my fellow students in SUNTEP have really been an inspiration to me as well. To see people who "aren't supposed" to succeed fight through that stigma and be successful helps me to believe that I can also be successful. Of course a special thanks goes out to my sister who is also a SUNTEP student. She really pushed me to return to school and finish my education.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

I think I would say that it is never too late to make positive change, be it for yourself or for others. Be kind to one another and never stop striving to become a positive person in someone's life. Stop and see the world around you and do whatever you can to help others because we all need a little help once in a while.

huskie-volleyball-player-sets-example-for-leadershiptrue1549294179576ccm046Huskie volleyball player sets example for leadershipDaulton Sinoski is a strong leader in his community. John Shelling Huskie Athletics, Huskie Volleyball, aboriginal, 1549293720000/articles/people/2019/huskie-volleyball-player-sets-example-for-leadershipnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/huskie-volleyball-player-sets-example-for-leadershipccm0461549294131561ccm0461549294131561show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Daulton Sinoski-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Daulton Sinoski-OCN.jpgnewsDaulton Sinoski-OCN.jpgDaulton Sinoski will be receiving an award for his leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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Sinoski is a fourth-year Métis student in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education (SUNTEP) Program. Those around him note that he excels both in his academic studies and as a USask Huskie volleyball player. He does so while demonstrating consistent respect, humility and dignity.  

Sinoski will be receiving an award for his leadership at this year’s Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) on Feb. 7. Indigenous students from across the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will be honoured at a ceremony to recognize their academic excellence, leadership, research endeavours or community engagement.

The ISAA is part of Indigenous Achievement Week (IAW) which celebrates the successes and contributions of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students, staff and faculty. The festivities include a public art project, speakers and celebrations in various locations across campus.

We asked Sinoski a few questions about his time at USask and what motivates him.

Why did you choose SUNTEP?

I chose SUNTEP because I wanted my university experience and teacher education program to be rooted in Indigenous worldview and understandings. I am fortunate to have many role models in my family who graduated from SUNTEP, and I knew that through this program I would not only learn more about my Métis heritage, but join a community of learning teachers focused on making a difference for Indigenous students. Also, I believed at SUNTEP I would have the opportunity to develop close relationships with professors, advisors and fellow students, and this has happened.

What lessons are you learning from balancing your life as a student and your life as a Huskie athlete?

The lessons I have learned as a Huskie student-athlete span far beyond the classroom and the volleyball court. It is true that I have needed to develop strategies for time-management so I can meet my academic and athletic goals and responsibilities, but I have also learned it is important find time to spend with friends and family to recharge so I can work towards my goals. Another important lesson came out of a conversation with a teammate surrounding the Huskie men’s volleyball team when he said, “leave it better than you found it.”  My experiences at SUNTEP and Huskie volleyball have been profoundly life changing. I have travelled throughout Canada, the United States and Japan experiencing new languages, cultures, history and developing my volleyball skills. I am hopeful that when I leave this program, my legacy as a Huskie Athlete will be positive.  I also know that as an alumnus, I will continue to contribute to the programs.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

The best advice I can give a first-year Indigenous student is to reach out and ask for help. There are so many supports here on campus focused on helping you succeed in your studies. The Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre, and the Indigenous Students Council are places where you will find community and guides to support you. Never be afraid to ask for help, someone will always be able to guide you in the right direction! Finally, find a community of like-minded students who have the same interests that you have and look to surround yourself with those who “kindle your fire.”

What plans do you have for the future?

I am focusing on developing my skills as an elite volleyball player, so I am able to play professionally in Europe and earn the opportunity to try out for roster spot on the Canadian Men’s Team for the next Olympic cycle. When my playing career has ended, I will return to my home community of Prince Albert to teach in the public school system. I have been fortunate to work in the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School system as an Educational Associate while attending university and am hopeful that I can also teach in this system.

Has there been someone in your life who has inspired you to get to where you are today?

My parents have been the inspiration in my life, and the reason I have been fortunate enough to be successful as a student and athlete. Without their constant support and encouragement, I would not be here. Paige and Chris have sacrificed so much of their time to help me become the best student-athlete possible. I can only hope to become as strong, compassionate, and caring as both of them.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment what would it be for?

Teaching is such a unique and rewarding profession. SUNTEP affords me the opportunity to give back to my community, and to serve as a positive Métis role model for my students. In this moment, I will continue to advocate for education that is culturally responsive, and values Indigenous worldview. As an Indigenous student and future educator it is my responsibility to always challenge injustice and work towards educating toward reconciliation.  My hope is that my future students will grow to be respectful, empathetic and caring citizens as a result of being actively engaged in acts of reconciliation and culturally affirming learning opportunities. My voice must become part of the movement that builds a future where all citizens in Saskatchewan acknowledge we are all treaty people, and believe we must all benefit equally.

international-studies-student-honoured-for-academic-excellence-true1549642932134ccm046International studies student honoured for academic excellence Ashley Vols is taking a personal approach to her global impact.John ShellingAboriginal, 1548865860000/articles/people/2019/international-studies-student-honoured-for-academic-excellence-newssite://news/articles/people/2019/international-studies-student-honoured-for-academic-excellence-ccm0461548866652630ccm0461549642918803show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Ashley-Vols-IAW-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Ashley-Vols-IAW-OCN.jpgnewsAshley-Vols-IAW-OCN.jpgFourth-year International Studies student Ashley Vols. (Photo: Carey Shaw)NoNoneNo/
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The fourth-year International Studies student at the University of Saskatchewan says she has “experienced a considerable amount of personal growth” while working on her minor in Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good.

“Understanding that every action, even at a personal local level, has broad implications, has allowed me to evaluate myself and my surroundings,” Vols said.

This year, her actions in the classroom have garnered her an Indigenous Student Achievement Award for academic excellence. Her studies focus on Indigenous and migrant populations in the Canadian context.

The Indigenous Student Achievement Awards are one of the highlight events of Indigenous Achievement Week, from Feb. 4-8. Each year, the university honours Indigenous students to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

Vols was nominated by the College of Arts and Science for the award. We caught up with Vols to ask her a few questions about what motivates her.

Why did you choose International Studies?

I chose International Studies because it is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to tailor their education to their unique interests. For me, that meant being able to apply my education in topics at the international level to my local community. I have been able to study diverse subjects, from gendered economics to senior-level history and sociology courses. There are distinct educational advantages that come with a program such as international studies. The possibilities are endless. Being able to bring multiple perspectives to any given class is a great advantage.

What advice would you give to a first-year Indigenous student?

My identity as a Métis person did not play a large role in my academic life until recently. Since acknowledging my Indigeneity, I have been able to reflect on personal experiences through a unique lens and apply that new knowledge towards a more holistic learning experience. If I had to summarize that into a piece of advice, I would tell first-year Indigenous students to focus on making personal connections with the material instead of relying on memorization, and to not be afraid of showing some personality in class. Make it fun!

What plans do you have for the future?

I recently took a class called Topics in Ethnic Relations, and wrote a paper on Indigenous and newcomer relationships in a Canadian multicultural context. Writing the paper was a fascinating process and it sparked a great interest in me. I would like to continue studying the topic at the graduate level. I hope to foster real-life engagement and understanding between the two groups through volunteering and programming, as I think there is a lot of potential power in that relationship.

Has there been someone in your life that has inspired you to get to where you are today?

Two people stand out the most: my mother and my aunt. They are two of the strongest and independent women I could ever imagine knowing. They have always been role models for balance and composure in my life. I’ve learned a great deal about vulnerability, resilience, and thoughtfulness from them. I owe a tremendous thank you to them for being constant sources of light and direction.

This year’s theme of the Indigenous Achievement Week is Powerful Voices. If there is one thing you can use your voice for in this moment, what would it be for?

Embrace vulnerability! Say yes to challenges, despite being afraid of the potential outcomes. Believe that opportunities are presented to you because you deserve them. Use that momentum and become a force to be reckoned with.
sessional-lecturer-aims-to-support-students-with-mental-illnessestrue1549643082617ccm046Sessional lecturer aims to support students with mental illnessesGlorie Tebbutt knows what it is like to be a post-secondary student living with mental illness, so she created the Resilience Awards, a scholarship and bursary to help USask students who cope with mental health issues.SHANNON BOKLASCHUK / JESSICA ELFAR1548864480000/articles/people/2019/sessional-lecturer-aims-to-support-students-with-mental-illnessesnewssite://news/articles/people/2019/sessional-lecturer-aims-to-support-students-with-mental-illnessesccm0461548864829599ccm0461549643071629show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Glorie Tebbutt.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Glorie Tebbutt.jpgnewsGlorie Tebbutt.jpgUSask sessional lecturer Glorie Tebbutt.NoNoneNo/
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Tebbutt, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) sessional lecturer, remembers when bipolar disorder left her “unable to function” for nearly two years during her PhD studies. She was too ill to complete her doctorate.

Today, however, Tebbutt is healthy and is a thriving instructor in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Science, who speaks openly with her students about mental illness and the stereotypes associated with it.

“Becoming well has been both a long journey and is a daily choice,” said Tebbutt.

“The cliché ‘it takes a village’ applies to those living with a mental illness. I have had that village: excellent psychiatric care, a loving family, wonderful, supportive friends, lovely housing and meaningful employment.

“In 16 years of sessional teaching, I have never missed a class due to symptoms of my mood disorder. People can live with a serious mental illness and become well and excel.”

Now she hopes to give students the same hope and support she’s received, through the establishment of two new student awards.

As the recipient of the 2018 Sylvia Wallace Sessional Lecturer Award, Tebbutt received a $1,000 prize from the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning at USask. She has decided to use the money, along with a personal donation of $1,000, to establish a bursary and a scholarship for undergraduate students with mental illnesses. She also aims to contribute to the funds yearly, and encourages others to do the same.

“I wanted the award money to be generative, and what could be more generative than supporting the undergraduate education of students?” she said.

As Tebbutt researched various undergraduate student awards, she found ones that recognized students’ academic achievements, leadership, and physical illnesses or physical disabilities. However, there was no award acknowledging students coping with mental health challenges, she said.

Tebbutt wanted to change that, noting many students on campus are living with these diagnoses.

She named the awards the Resilience Bursary and the Resilience Scholarship. “I chose the name because people studying at the University of Saskatchewan have to be resilient. It’s about students and their courage, their dedication and their resilience, as they cope with a situation in addition to their studies.

“I want us, as a campus community, to begin to think differently about mental illness and functionality and acknowledge the strength and determination that some of our undergraduate students are living examples of.”

Tebbutt also noted that the current research and pharmacological advances in relation to the treatment of mental illnesses allow a number of students to pursue their academic goals.

“In fact, statistics from Access and Equity Services suggest that in the last few years, in particular, there has been an exponential shift in the number of students seeking some type of accommodation who self-identify as coping with at least one mental health diagnosis.

“Four years ago, AES reports that 28 per cent of students seeking accommodation identified as having a mental health diagnosis; in 2017, that number was 34 per cent and last year it was 47 per cent. These statistics do not account for the many students across campus who do not seek accommodation but are coping with a mental illness,” she stated.

Tebbutt received scholarships during her graduate studies and knows what a difference the financial boost can make to a student.


TextPullquote“While there is a positive shift in how we are talking about mental illness, the stigma remains so powerful."Glorie Tebbutt/Align left

She worked with University Relations to develop the terms of the new awards and is now actively fundraising to boost the support available for students to access through the funds, now that the funds are in place.  Students will be able to apply for the Resilience Bursary and Resilience Scholarship in the 2019-20 school year.

“I hope the awards will be a catalyst in the conversation about mental illness and functionality, on campus and beyond, about what is possible for students coping with and—in some cases—thriving despite their living with a diagnosis of a mental illness,” said Tebbutt.

“While there is a positive shift in how we are talking about mental illness, the stigma remains so powerful. I want the awards to acknowledge, support and celebrate students who are coping with a mental illness as they pursue their post-secondary education.”

Tebbutt said she is honest about her bipolar disorder diagnosis with her students, noting “I have a mood disorder and that is one part of my story, but it does not define me.” She said she enjoys learning with and from her students, and she is very grateful to be acknowledged for her work with them.

In fact, this past December she received a note from a student on his end-of-term exam that said how grateful he was for Tebbutt’s honesty and setting up the awards for students. “This student said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was encouraged by how healthy I was,” she noted.

It’s students like this that Tebbutt is hopeful the awards will help, by either rewarding academic achievements or helping those in financial need.

“People who are diagnosed with mental illnesses can’t necessarily do the punishing work of a part-time job because self care is an issue. Often they may take fewer classes through the year as a result, and then have to do summer classes. So that affects their ability to work to support their studies.”

Although Tebbutt said she has received a lot of recognition for starting this initiative, she remains humble. “I had so much love and care and support—if I can take part in that for other students, then that is the right thing to do.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Resilience awards to support students diagnosed with mental illness, please give at or call Bev Cooper at 1-306-966-2416.

autism-a-blessing-for-dedicated-sens-researchertrue1548867541751ccm046Autism a blessing for dedicated SENS researcherUniversity of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher Dr. Lori Bradford (PhD) wants to help update social psychology for water and health-related problems in today’s vastly different world.Victoria SchrammSENS,1547218320000/articles/people/2019/autism-a-blessing-for-dedicated-sens-researchernewssite://news/articles/people/2019/autism-a-blessing-for-dedicated-sens-researcherimj1291547654913688ccm0461548867526848show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2019/Bradford-OCN.jpgsite://news/images/2019/Bradford-OCN.jpgnewsBradford-OCN.jpgDr. Lori Bradford (PhD) is an assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability. (Photo: Victoria Schramm) NoNoneNo/
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For Bradford, that passion for change comes from a very personal place.

“The personal side of why I am passionate about my research is because I am autistic,” said Bradford. “I have a dramatically singular focus on my work. For example, I will sit sometimes for hours and hours re-reading interview transcripts or poring over a database for patterns.”

An assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) at USask, Bradford said her autism helps her to be an exceptionally dedicated researcher.

“I was happy to find both a profession and a workplace where my autism would be a blessing,” said Bradford. “There are not many other careers where my different sort of personality is embraced.”

She mentioned that although this ability to focus for long periods is a helpful symptom for her, all people with autism are unique and have their own symptoms and skills.

“In SENS, I hope that I can be a role model for neurodiverse students who need to figure out the right kind of support network to help them succeed,” she added.

Bradford is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on the intersection of water systems and social psychology. At SENS, she studies how individuals and groups interact with one another and the environment to identify ways to improve the well-being of people and the planet.

“Professionally, I am passionate about this research because much of the state of current knowledge on social psychology and well-being was derived decades ago using studies that did not reflect diversity or the full picture,” said Bradford.

“Many of the touchstone experiments in the field of psychology were conducted in labs with young, upper-class white men as subjects. The advances in technology have also changed the way that people think and behave, as has our need to consider climate change in everything we do,” she added.

Bradford has held appointments across USask since 2012, including with SENS, the School of Public Health, and the Department of Psychology, and was eager to set down roots on campus.

TextPullquote“I am filled with gratitude for the lessons Indigenous collaborators have taught and guided me to understand, and I hope I can facilitate this learning for others, including our political leaders in Canada and abroad."Dr. Lori Bradford (PhD) /Align left

“I’m personally drawn to SENS as a school and I would say as a lifestyle because I have always been attracted to complicated problems,” said Bradford. “I really believe in SENS’ interdisciplinary, problem-oriented and experiential approach to preparing students for today’s problems and those of the future.”

The friendly community at SENS was part of what won her over.

“Staff, students, and faculty here in SENS thrive because they have each other’s back,” she said. “It is a busy school, and it’s nice to know that there is someone to turn to when needed.”

Being a researcher is a natural extension of her lifelong thirst for knowledge.

“I have always been a collector of information,” she said. “My favourite shows growing up were Jeopardy and The Nature of Things.”

When she looks to the future, Bradford wants to be a leader in decolonizing, transdisciplinary research, to help scientists prioritize reconciliation as they carry out research with Indigenous people about water governance, health and well-being.

“I am filled with gratitude for the lessons Indigenous collaborators have taught and guided me to understand, and I hope I can facilitate this learning for others, including our political leaders in Canada and abroad,” she said.

2017true1547851354706imj1292017/articles/people/2017newssite://news/articles/people/2017imj1291547618026997imj1291547618026997show-in-navNodelainey-wastes-no-time-getting-down-to-businesstrue1547851354706imj129Delainey wastes no time getting down to businessBailey Delainey isn’t one to waffle over big decisions.HenryTye GlazebrookEdwards School of Business1494604140000/articles/people/2017/delainey-wastes-no-time-getting-down-to-businessnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/delainey-wastes-no-time-getting-down-to-businessimj1291547627092975imj1291547627092975show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/bailey-delainey.jpgsite://news/images/2017/bailey-delainey.jpgnewsbailey-delainey.jpgbailey-delainey.jpgBailey DelaineyNoNoneNo/
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When she first looked to the University of Saskatchewan, Delainey had faint plans of pursuing a law degree. But only a few short weeks of classes in Edwards School of Business left her confident that she’d found her home on campus—and she never looked back.

“Some of my best friends had those wander-around-and-find-yourself, decide-what-you-want-to-do years,” Delainey said. “I didn’t have those. I found my people and stuck to it.”

Today Delainey is a few months out of the Edwards accounting program, having finished classes in December of 2016, and will take part in U of S Spring Convocation in June at TCU Place. Her decision to dive headfirst into her study of choice is an attitude mirrored repeatedly in her academic career, a years-long portrait of a young woman who would rather chase success with bold strides than risk failure through inaction.

Delainey came to the U of S from the small town of Edam, Sask., where she said strong support from her family and community inspired her to stretch her abilities early and often.

“When I was applying to universities, I noticed that a lot of my female peers were choosing to pursue careers in education and nursing,” Delainey said. “My teachers knew me well enough to know that I wasn’t a nurse or a teacher. I had always excelled at numbers, and commerce seemed like a good fit.”

The jump into university was another jarring step, a leap out of her quaint prairie home and into a big city hours away from friends and family. Rather than ease into her new surroundings by settling into residences or finding comfortable roommates, Delainey doubled-down on her newfound independence.

“I decided to live off-campus first year in a basement suite, so I was living alone,” Delainey said. “It was really scary. Eighteen was hard. I knew it was going to be different, and just took that into consideration.”

The result was a continued push into her studies, which led Delainey to numerous successes. Delainey, who is Métis, has received four major awards and scholarships—including an Edwards Undergraduate Scholarship as well as an Aboriginal Leadership Award for tutoring students in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy (KA) program—each of which contributed to her sharp attention on school.

“One scholarship had a stipulation on it that I had to have an 80 per cent cumulative average to keep getting it,” she said. “I knew then that I wouldn’t get a part-time job, I won’t do any of those things. I’ll just focus on school.”

Delainey’s later years included a co-op term with EY—formerly Ernst and Young LLP—which she went on to leverage into full-time accountant work after completing her classes.

On May 3, Delainey returned to the U of S to begin a master’s accounting program in Edwards. She’s no longer the fresh-eyed undergraduate she was when she first left, and she has plenty of advice that new students could use to make their time on campus as successful, exciting and boundless as hers has been.

“Walking onto campus has always made me feel like anything is possible,” she said. “There’s an opportunity here for everyone—an opportunity to find yourself, to become whoever you want to be. New students should try and remember that, even though it’s scary not knowing where the next four years will take you, it’s also incredibly freeing.

“Embrace not knowing. Try new things. Talk to the person next to you in math class. Dive in and try to accept the unexpected turns your university career may take.”

planting-the-seeds-of-successtrue1547851354706imj129Planting the seeds of successFor Andrew Reddekopp, farming is more than a career. It’s a way of life. HenryTye GlazebrookCollege of Agriculture and Bioresources, students, convocation1494604020000/articles/people/2017/planting-the-seeds-of-successnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/planting-the-seeds-of-successimj1291547627091465imj1291547627091465show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/andrew-reddekopp.jpgsite://news/images/2017/andrew-reddekopp.jpgnewsandrew-reddekopp.jpgandrew-reddekopp.jpgAndrew ReddekoppNoNoneNo/
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Reddekopp was raised in Hepburn, Sask., a small community just a short drive north of Saskatoon. His childhood instilled in him a natural love of farming culture, but it wasn’t until he got his first job working in the field that he saw a true calling in the area.

“I started working at an independent retailer just after high school and really fell in love with farming,” he said. “I was doing manual labour and then started interacting with customers and different people in the industry. I saw there was a great opportunity there.”

Flash-forward to today and Reddekopp is graduating from the University of Saskatchewan at Spring Convocation with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in agronomy and with a minor in agribusiness, having completed four years in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

But Reddekopp didn’t always envision a full bachelor’s degree for himself. When he first came to the U of S, he enrolled in a two-year diploma program. He’d set his sights on getting in and out of school quickly, and finding work just as fast afterward. Instead, he was surprised to discover he wanted to stick around.

“I enjoyed school and had always done well at it, so I didn’t see it as a burden to come back for another two years,” he said.

Reddekopp treated his education as a full-time job from day one, an attitude that yielded results both academic and financial. By time of graduation, he’s received a combined total of 17 awards, scholarships and bursaries which he said greatly eased the cost of his schooling.

“My wife and I are both in school, so it’s not easy to make it through when neither of us have full-time jobs,” he said. “It was a huge blessing to see that other people are willing to donate to the university. It’s an honour to be a recipient of that money.”

In the third year of his program, Reddekopp joined with two business partners to form Westgreen Crop Inspections and Agriculture Advisory Services. Westgreen offers agronomy services for grain producers and crop inspection services for pedigreed seed growers. “I basically have my dream job,” said Reddekopp, who also assists closely on his wife’s family farm.

“I work with a lot of good farmers in the area, right where I grew up. I have a great job opportunity, with great people and good business partners and I’m also involved in the farm, which I’ve always wanted as well.”

Reddekopp has no plans to pursue a master’s for the time being, but he’s leaving that door open as a future possibility.

In the meanwhile, he credits the U of S for many of the successes he’s found in recent years, including the relationships he’s built, the opportunities that have come his way and his expansive, global perspective on agriculture.

“It’s given me a lot better sense of where we sit here in Saskatchewan, even Saskatoon, or the little town of Hepburn,” he said. “It gives you a better understanding of why things happen and how they affect things right down to the farm—why something in Russia or South America might be affecting what our grain prices are here.”

art-aficionado-to-be-celebrated-by-u-of-strue1547851354706imj129Art aficionado to be celebrated by U of SFrom small-town Saskatchewan to one of the world’s leading cosmopolitan centres for art and culture, Frederick Mulder has become a pillar of the art world, an internationally renowned expert on the printmaking of Pablo Picasso and a global philanthropist.University Communicationsconvocation, Frederick Mulder1494603360000/articles/people/2017/art-aficionado-to-be-celebrated-by-u-of-snewssite://news/articles/people/2017/art-aficionado-to-be-celebrated-by-u-of-simj1291547627088778imj1291547627088778show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/frederick-mulder.jpgsite://news/images/2017/frederick-mulder.jpgnewsfrederick-mulder.jpgfrederick-mulder.jpgMulderNoNoneNo/
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The University of Saskatchewan will recognize Mulder for his lifelong contributions in the art world and his passion for philanthropy when he is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws at the U of S Spring Convocation ceremonies at TCU Place on June 6.

The 73-year-old Mulder, who grew up in Eston, Sask., and has lived in London, England for more than 40 years, earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1964 at the U of S and is proud to join the distinguished list of recipients previously celebrated by his alma mater.

“I am very honoured,” Mulder said. “Because I live in London and often go to concerts, I am very aware that Gerald Finley, who regularly sings major roles at the Royal Opera House, and Angela Hewitt, the famous pianist, both have honorary degrees from the U of S and I feel humbled to be given the same honour. Angela Hewitt actually lives on the same street as me, which must be a first: two recipients of honorary degrees from the U of S on the same street in London!

“The U of S made a huge difference to me,” he added. “After having been brought up in a small town, it felt glamorous and exciting and intellectually challenging, and still does. I am sure it still fills that role for many young people of the province. Long may that last.”

Mulder, who went on to earn a master’s and a PhD studying at Brown University and Oxford, began a successful career as an art dealer in London in 1971. Widely considered a global expert in the field of 19th and 20th century European prints, his firm’s collection of Picasso linocuts is among the most extensive in the art world. In 2007, Mulder famously sold a Picasso etching for a record $3.5 million in New York and promptly donated 75 per cent of the proceeds to charity. Between 2012 and 2014, he also generously donated a collection of 23 Picasso ceramics to Saskatoon’s Remai Modern Art Gallery, as well as six original Picasso linocuts to the U of S art collection. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not only Frederick Mulder’s career in the art world, but his remarkable commitment to supporting charitable causes and social change initiatives,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “He is passionate about inspiring others to embrace the culture of philanthropy and has generously turned his success in the art world into a personal platform for giving back to the community. He provides an excellent example for all of us to follow.”

Among his charitable endeavors, Mulder is the chair of the Frederick Mulder Foundation, which supports projects to address climate change as well as the arts. He is also the founder of The Funding Network, which organizes live crowdfunding events for social change projects, and which he has helped spread to 15 other countries outside the U.K., including Canada. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to philanthropy by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.

Mulder will be one of six honorary degree recipients at this year’s U of S Spring Convocation, from June 5-8 at TCU Place. He will be honoured during the 2 p.m. ceremony on June 6. For the complete schedule, please visit:

ussu-president-determined-to-make-a-differencetrue1547851354706imj129USSU president determined to make a differenceDavid D’Eon may count himself lucky to have won the election for University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) president, but when he set out to run he had higher priorities on his mind.HenryTye GlazebrookUniversity of Saskatchewan Students’ Union, students1494603120000/articles/people/2017/ussu-president-determined-to-make-a-differencenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/ussu-president-determined-to-make-a-differenceimj1291547627086095imj1291547627086095show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/david-deon.jpgsite://news/images/2017/david-deon.jpgnewsdavid-deon.jpgdavid-deon.jpgDavid D'EonNoNoneNo/
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Win, lose or draw, D’Eon wanted to end the race boasting a proud, issues-focused campaign.

“I really wanted to run a campaign that I would be OK losing, and that I would feel like I got my ideas out there and presented myself well and started a conversation,” he said

D’Eon didn’t follow an ordinary academic path to where he is now. He struggled in several classes his first year in 2009, and seized that defeat as an opportunity to grow. What followed were four years away from Saskatoon, working at a bank in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and a stint travelling the country.

When the call to return to school reached his ear, D’Eon dove back into his degree program by rebooting the Political Studies Students’ Association (PSSA). The PSSA had devolved into a group that only came together to organize grad banquets and other events, but D’Eon, alongside a few other founders, wanted more.

“I noticed that there were a bunch of very talented and ambitious people who didn’t really have a sense of direction in terms of what they wanted to do, or things that they could do right now,” he said. “The opportunity for this organization to bring people together, get them working together and show them that our degree has application— that there are skills that you can learn through it—was very possible.”

Heading into his election campaign, D’Eon focused first and foremost on building trust with the campus community and introducing himself to those whose votes he wanted to earn. He established a platform founded on creating a soapbox for the student voice in important conversations, such as tuition and the provincial budget.

“What I really wanted to do was restart some conversation that students haven’t really talked about in a few years, particularly with regards to tuition,” he said. “It’s maybe not the best year to jump in and say we’re going to stop tuition hikes, but nonetheless I feel like there’s a lot that we can be doing and I want to have the opportunity to show the student body that we can act on this and we can ask for better.”

TextVideo/ D'Eon, a political studies major, won the USSU presidency this past April.Above content

D’Eon sees himself as somewhat of an outsider choice for USSU president, explaining that previous years have traditionally featured a vice-president of the outgoing executive stepping into the role. Coming from a position as arts and science representative on student council, D’Eon grappled with whether or not reaching for leadership would be seen by colleagues as an attempt to leapfrog his place in line.

“When I sat down and looked at the positions and thought about what I wanted to accomplish, I realized that what I wanted to do fell into the portfolio of the president,” he said. “The skills that I have also best apply to the role, and I think that those skills are being able to have and encourage ground-up leadership, being able to resolve conflict, being able to organize different port- folios and understand where they are crossing over and where we can work together and where we need to separate.”

D’Eon narrowly eked out his victory, besting fellow candidate and outgoing vice-president operations and finance Emmanuel Barker by a slim two per cent margin of votes. As the results were announced, D’Eon said he was humbled and appreciative, even amidst the immediate excitement of the moment.

“It raised the hair on the back of my neck,” he said. “I thought about every little thing I did in that campaign, and I could not take anything for granted. I’ve been sending a lot of ‘thank yous’ out to friends, to everyone who pitched in on my campaign and who went to bat for me.”

gsa-president-moves-forwardtrue1547851354706imj129GSA president moves forwardZiad Ghaith began his first term as University of Saskatchewan Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) president by helping the organization look inward.HenryTye GlazebrookGraduate Students’ Association, gradresearch, students1494603000000/articles/people/2017/gsa-president-moves-forwardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/gsa-president-moves-forwardimj1291547627084955imj1291547627084955show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/ziad-ghaith.jpgsite://news/images/2017/ziad-ghaith.jpgnewsziad-ghaith.jpgziad-ghaith.jpgZiad GhaithNoNoneNo/
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The goal, he said, was to strengthen the group from the inside out, building on its past successes. Now he’s looking to use those triumphs as building blocks to expand outward.

“We decided … that we would work internally to make the GSA stronger and then move forward now, go and advocate externally for what matters to graduate students,” he said.

Ghaith, a PhD candidate in agriculture and resource economics, was re-elected as GSA president April 6. His tenure in the position stems from a longstanding interest in student politics stretching back to his time as an undergraduate, which inspired him to seize the opportunity to lead his fellow graduate students using the tools and life experience he had developed during his time on campus.

“I wanted to give back to the students and to be engaged directly in student leadership,” Ghaith said. “I learned a lot about student politics, about how to improve the student experience by being engaged with graduate students across the country. This engagement kind of pushed me to try to bring the best ideas that I’d heard back to our graduate students.”

TextVideo/ is about to start his second term as GSA president.Above content

Ghaith’s platform focused on an overall push to advocate for graduate student interests, a goal he narrowed down to two key goals: to create a set of student-supervisor guide- lines, which would make specific what are frequently vague academic relationships; and to establish a seat for graduate students on the U of S Board of Governors.

This second goal, Ghaith said, is of vital importance not only to the GSA but also to the university as a whole. As the graduate student population has grown, Ghaith believes that their voice has become more important than ever in helping to guide the campus.

“We are a very unique group of students on campus,” he said. “Different from undergraduate students, graduate students not only do coursework, but contribute to a large fraction of the university’s research output and participation in instruction as well. Graduate students being on the Board of Governors and being engaged in the university’s strategic and financial planning is part of the change that research-intensive universities need.” Looking forward, Ghaith simply wants to continue walking the path he started down in his first term as president.

“It seems that the GSA students were happy with our initiatives, and the GSA executives have received many kind emails from graduate students highlighting how much they valued our accomplishments,” he said. “I would say that it’s a reflection of the external and internal success of the GSA executive team last year that led me to the position where I could be elected again.”

an-instrument-of-changetrue1547851354706imj129An instrument of changeGyula Csapó speaks expansively.HenryTye GlazebrookDepartment of Music1494602280000/articles/people/2017/an-instrument-of-changenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/an-instrument-of-changeimj1291547627082759imj1291547627082759show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/gyula-csapo.jpgsite://news/images/2017/gyula-csapo.jpgnewsgyula-csapo.jpggyula-csapo.jpgGyula CsapóNoNoneNo/
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Something as simple as sitting down to discuss the classes Csapó teaches as a renowned professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Music can quickly blossom into a spectrum of topics as wide ranging as geopolitics, world history and even the beat generation’s influence on culture.

“It’s about geopolitical issues through the lens of music, but also other arts,” Csapó said, referring to his winter semester advanced music course: Music Since 1950 (MUS 457.3). “I try to encourage students to read the poetry of Frank O’Hara or appetize them to Jack Kerouac. It’s all very connected.”

Csapó, who is originally from Hungary but has lived in Canada since accepting a position at the U of S in 1994, is himself an internationally recognized composer and educator.

Although his Music Since 1950 class primarily focuses on the theoretical writings of other leading composers working in its titular timeframe, Csapó heralds his class as an opportunity for students to explore the competing ideas of history viewed through the context of music.

“We just concluded the other day that music from 1968, in particular, is a good way to remind students just what happened that year worldwide—student revolutions everywhere, especially in the United States and Paris, and other ongoing issues,” he said.

Csapó points to composers such as French icon Pierre Boulez, influential and controversial German artist Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Greek virtuoso Iannis Xenakis, whose works presented an expansive auditory perspective of the post- Second World War society.

“There was an erratic, pulsating, nervous fastness that this music created that really reflected upon the era, and what many of us heard in it was cacophony,” he said. “This music is very strange and unpopular, by and large, but it had an enormous role in propelling music forward. These moments in history can provoke the composers to create works that were as complicated and as difficult as they saw the world, and their situation and mankind’s within it.”

Csapó said when viewed through a musical lens, in retrospect we get a much more precise picture of what was really happening at that time, than we do from history books.

“Music captures the existential feel of any era and hands it over to posterity fresh. Learning to decode these messages is a key to global citizenship today,” he said. “Globalization fails when regarded as an economic one-way street only. Rather, it demands mutual global acculturation as a multi-lane highway. For instance, music speaks thousands of different languages, and we need refined ears for it. Deafness is not an option.”

Csapó said the goal of this class and other music courses he teaches is to inspire students to look at the history of music and the history of the world as a whole through new eyes, and to perhaps bring a new understanding into their notions of modern contemporary culture as well as their own potential.

“It’s talking about the context of history, and how to get a younger generation connected to the processes that shape their today and their immediate future.”

from-the-university-scene-to-the-stage-and-screentrue1547851354706imj129From the university scene to the stage and screenIt would make for a classic heart-warming tale to tell the story of Kim Coates as a young boy growing up in Saskatchewan dreaming of Hollywood, determined to one day be a star of stage and screen.James Shewagaalumni, Kim Coates1494600300000/articles/people/2017/from-the-university-scene-to-the-stage-and-screennewssite://news/articles/people/2017/from-the-university-scene-to-the-stage-and-screenimj1291547627079772imj1291547627079772show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kim-coates-new.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kim-coates-new.jpgnewskim-coates-new.jpgkim-coates-new.jpgKim Coates will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters next month at Spring Convocation.NoNoneNo/
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It just wouldn’t be true.

In fact, there is more chance than romance to his story, and how it all started right here at the University of Saskatchewan where Coates randomly picked up a drama class while studying to be a history teacher. History has shown that decision forever changed his life.

“When I started at the University of Saskatchewan in 1977-78, I had an elective and someone said you can take whatever you want,” Coates recalled. “So I just flipped through the U of S catalogue and hit ‘D’ and went through some classes, dentistry and things, and stopped on drama. And I thought, ‘An acting class?’ I had won a couple of things in public school where you speak in front of the class, so I thought, ‘Sure, I’ll take a drama class.’ And I’ve never looked back.”

Indeed. Forty years after that fateful decision, the 59-year-old Coates is now a celebrated Hollywood actor, having appeared in more than 130 movies and television productions, including Academy Award-winning films Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor, as well as the wildly successful FX TV series Sons of Anarchy.

Next month, Coates will return home to Saskatoon where it all began to receive an honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater at this year’s U of S Spring Convocation at TCU Place on June 6. Coates, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1981 at the U of S, will be one of six honorary degree recipients this spring, along with Hayley Wickenheiser, Herb Pinder Jr., Frederick Mulder, Earl Cook and Xiaoping Xu.

TextPullquoteThis is something that I never could have imagined and I am excited to come home for this. What the U of S did for me was enter me into a whole new world of opportunity.Kim Coates/Align left

“This is something that I never could have imagined and I am excited to come home for this,” said Coates. “What the U of S did for me was enter me into a whole new world of opportunity. Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, I had never done any of that in high school.

“I was just such a big jock, you know? And then I did 24 plays over four years in university, including summer stock (theatre), and I was hungry for more.

“And that’s what (former U of S drama professor) Tom Kerr and all of those amazing teachers instilled in me: breath and movement and creating a character and stage and memorization and all these things. I had my mind opened up in university and from there it was all about hard work and following your bliss.”

Coates began his career like many actors, chasing parts while working as a waiter, supported by his wife Diana Chappell, a 1981 U of S education graduate.

“Thankfully she could get a credit card, because I couldn’t,” he said with a chuckle.

One of his first big breaks was landing the title role as the youngest lead ever in Macbeth at the legendary Stratford Theatre and then moving on to play Stanley Kowalski in the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire, two of the 50 plays he has appeared in.

Coates later comfortably transitioned to the big screen, working in movie roles alongside a who’s-who of Hollywood heavyweights such as Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Kevin Costner, Robert Duval, Jennifer Garner, Bruce Willis, and his life-long mates Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana and Bill Fichtner, from Black Hawk Down. He has also had success in television series like CSIEntouragePrison Break and most notably seven seasons in his celebrated role as biker Tig Trager in Sons of Anarchy.

“I always knew I would do film, but I needed more stage first,” he said. “So for me, there’s been stepping stones … and then Hollywood discovered me. Now here we are, 60 movies later and a massive hit television series.

“And when I did Sons of Anarchy, it was perfect timing, post-The Sopranos. I am so grateful that my gut said yes, do this, because Sons was a game-changer. I was always, ‘Oh, you’re that guy, you’re that guy.’ But now I am Kim Coates and people know who that is.”

Since Sons of Anarchy wrapped up in 2014, Coates has been busier than ever, appearing in seven movies, two mini-series and a sitcom stint with comedian Kevin James. Coates is in a six-part big-budget western mini-series entitled Godless coming out this fall on Netflix, as well as a Canadian mini-series entitled Bad Blood, based on the notorious Rizzuto crime family in Montreal, also slated to air this fall in Canada.

Along the way, Coates has remained committed to his charitable work off-screen, from Creative Kids Saskatoon—connecting youth to artistic and cultural experiences—to One Heart Source—providing education, homes and health programs in Africa. Coates has gone overseas to do USO tours in support of American and Canadian troops, and regularly returns home to volunteer his time to promote the provincial film industry and the U of S drama department where his story began.

“My charities mean the world to me,” said Coates, who was awarded a 2016 Actra Award of Excellence for his charitable commitments, his support of the Canadian film industry and for his remarkable body of work in acting and producing. “So now, being a bit of a celebrity, I love giving back and I have continued to fight for the arts and continued to fight for things that people in my situation should do.”

medicine-medicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-award Medicine student honoured with national Indspire AwardThird-year MD student Josh Butcher was recently recognized as one of three national Youth Indspire Award winnersMarg SheridanCollege of Medicine, students, aboriginal1493978520000/articles/people/2017/medicine-medicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/medicine-medicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-awardimj1291547627077903pey8491552678447335show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/news/2017/JButcher-award.jpgsite://medicine/images/news/2017/JButcher-award.jpgmedicineJButcher-award.jpgIn addition to his busy med school schedule, Butcher is also a lineman with the U of S Huskies.NoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/news/2017/JButcher-award.jpgsite://medicine/images/news/2017/JButcher-award.jpgmedicineJButcher-award.jpgThe three 2017 Youth Indspire Award winners (l-r) Thomas Dymond, Maatalii Okalik, and Josh ButcherNoNoneNo/
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It’s been a long process, but for College of Medicine student Josh Butcher, winning a national Youth Indspire Award was as much of an inspiration as it was an honour.

“We were given the opportunity to sit down at each table at the Suncor Luncheon and speak to the youth,” Butcher explained when asked about his trip to Ottawa for the award ceremony and several affiliated events. “(And) I think that’s where I can cause change, and create my biggest impact.

“The purpose of the award is to identify positive role models for Indigenous youth. In saying that, I get really excited to talk to kids because I feel like that’s where I can evoke change and create my biggest impact. I think it’s hard for kids to aspire to be something when they can’t always identify with or relate to anyone in the positions they’d like to be in.”

And a positive role model is exactly what Butcher, a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, is: a third-year medical student; a walk-on offensive lineman with the Huskies; a former Academic All-American football player; an avid volunteer, and founder of Athlete Allies - a program to support LGBTQ2-identified athletes.

It’s no wonder the Indspire Award committee saw him as the personification of their award honouring Métis youth who are outstanding role models for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike.

TextImage/images/news/2017/JButcher-family.jpgsite://medicine/images/news/2017/JButcher-family.jpgmedicineJButcher-family.jpgJosh Butcher and his parents had the opportunity to meet Governor General David Johnston (left).Align right

And a lot of what Butcher wants Indigenous youth to see is that not every route to success is the same, a message he was able share at the Suncor Luncheon in Ottawa, where he and the other Indspire award winners had the opportunity to talk with local Indigenous youth. It was an opportunity, Butcher stressed, that gave him the best chance to make a positive impact.

“I hope that by being in the CoM, I can help other Indigenous youth realize that it’s certainly something within reach,” Butcher continued. “By creating my own path, we start to show how there are more diverse paths to medicine, (that) it’s an achievable goal for Indigenous youth, and letting them know that there are resources there to support them to achieve those goals.”

It was Val Arnault-Pelletier, the CoM’s aboriginal coordinator, who nominated Butcher for the Indspire Awards this year, after seeing first-hand his dedication to being a leader.

“He’s someone who really stands-up, speaks-out, and speaks his mind in terms of who he is,” Arnault-Pelletier explained. “Not only as an athlete and medical student, but as an Indigenous student. And even as he’s learning on his own journey, he does it with such heart, grace, warmth and empathy.

“Hearing him talk about his journey to find his identity means a lot to him because it’s more than just a piece of paper, it’s who he is as an Indigenous medical student who is really, in a quiet humble way, being an incredible leader.”

Butcher will be taking part in the Canada 150 Indspire Youth Laureate Cross Canada Tour panel at the University of Saskatchewan on May 30. For more information, visit the event page.

/news/2017/medicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-awardshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://medicine/news/2017/medicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-awardmedicinemedicine-student-honoured-with-national-indspire-awardArticle headline Medicine student honoured with national Indspire AwardThird-year MD student Josh Butcher was recently recognized as one of three national Youth Indspire Award winnersstudents, award, aboriginalMarg Sheridan5-May-2017 10:02 AM
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pomeroy-proponent-of-national-flood-strategytrue1547851354706imj129Pomeroy proponent of national flood strategyProfessor John Pomeroy appeared on CTV's national morning show today to speak about the flooding in Eastern Canada and the need for a federal flood strategy.University CommunicationsJohn Pomeroy, Centre for Hydrology1494517920000/articles/people/2017/pomeroy-proponent-of-national-flood-strategynewssite://news/articles/people/2017/pomeroy-proponent-of-national-flood-strategyimj1291547627051091imj1291547627051091show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2016/john-pomeroy.jpgsite://news/images/2016/john-pomeroy.jpgnewsjohn-pomeroy.jpgjohn-pomeroy.jpgJohn PomeroyNoNoneNo/
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Pomeroy, a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning and director of the U of S Centre for Hydrology, recalled the Calgary floods of 2013. Though the city was among the hardest hit, the flood itself involved British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

"These are multi-provincial events," he told Your Morning, "much as the floods in Eastern Canada involve Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes and even aspects of the United States." 

And while the ability to calculate the risks associated with floods is improving, Canada stands out among the G7 countries as not having a strong national system for dealing with floods.

"What Canada needs is a stronger federal role in overseeing the prediction of floods, the management of floodwaters and the advice as to building on floodplains and how to mitigate the structures and homes that are already in the floodplain."

See the full video at CTV Your Morning or below.

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university-relations-announces-incoming-avptrue1547851354706imj129University Relations announces incoming AVPGordon Hunchak will join the University Relations leadership team at the University of Saskatchewan as associate vice president, strategic communications, and chief communications officer (AVP/CCO) on September 18, 2017.University CommunicationsUniversity Relations, Gordon Hunchak1503074340000/articles/people/2017/university-relations-announces-incoming-avpnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/university-relations-announces-incoming-avpimj1291547627043803imj1291547627043803show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/gordon-hunchak.jpgsite://news/images/2017/gordon-hunchak.jpgnewsgordon-hunchak.jpggordon-hunchak.jpgHunchakNoNoneNo/
TextPullquoteThe U of S is among the top universities in Canada, and I am looking forward to working with colleagues across campus to make sure everyone knows it.Gordon Hunchak/Align left

Hunchak, a U of S grad (BComm’87) with wide-ranging experience in goal-oriented communications and marketing, currently serves as associate vice-president, external relations at Brock University. Prior to that, Hunchak’s career included senior marketing, communications and planning positions at Canadian Tire Financial Services, Meridian Credit Union and Niagara College Canada.

“Gord rose to the top of an international search based on his diverse experience and demonstrated success at his previous organizations,” stated Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president, University Relations. “He has a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face today’s post-secondary sector as well as a deep connection with the U of S, its mission, and its vision.”

As AVP/CCO, Hunchak will provide campus-wide leadership and vision to support and advance institutional reputation. He will work with units across campus to develop and oversee an integrated, strategic, and contemporary institutional communications strategy and provide the necessary leadership to ensure both innovation and consistency in the university’s marketing and communications work.

“This is a homecoming for me and I am excited to be joining the U of S in this role,” said Hunchak. “The U of S is among the top universities in Canada, and I am looking forward to working with colleagues across campus to make sure everyone knows it.”

u-of-s-professors-offer-options-for-saving-health-care-dollarstrue1547851354706imj129U of S professors offer options for saving health care dollarsShifting some functions done by physicians to health care professionals such as pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners will improve access to care and patient satisfaction, says Kishor Wasan, professor and dean at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.Sarath PeirisCollege of Pharmacy and Nutrition1511550240000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-professors-offer-options-for-saving-health-care-dollarsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-professors-offer-options-for-saving-health-care-dollarsimj1291547626990858imj1291547626990858show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kishor-wasan.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kishor-wasan.jpgnewskishor-wasan.jpgkishor-wasan.jpgKishor Wasan, dean of the College of Pharmacy and NutritionNoNoneNo/
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In an opinion article published in the latest edition of the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, he notes that such a change in conjunction with new modes of organizing and paying for physicians’ practices could provide greater savings, especially if pharmacists are given a stronger prescribing role within health-care teams.

The journal contacted Kishor Wasan to review the book, Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians, by Toronto family doctor Danielle Martin, and also invited him to provide a perspective on health care in Canada. He, U of S pathology professor Jay Kalra and assistant pharmacy professor Ellen Wasan, co-authored The Lancet article.

“As Martin concludes, we need ‘less talk about whether medicare is good, more talk about how to make it better,’” they wrote.

Martin, who is a regular health issues commentator nationally on CBC, gained international attention in 2014 when Senator Bernie Sanders posted to YouTube her forthright defence of the Canadian single-payer medicare system in testimony given before a U.S. Senate committee.

Among those quoted on the dustjacket praising Martin’s book are Sanders, and Roy Romanow, U of S chancellor and former Royal Commissioner on the Future of Health Care in Canada.

Wasan said an opinion piece he co-wrote with Kalra and Lois Berry, U of S interim assistant vice-provost health, for the May 2017 issue of the UK-based Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, may have been part of the reason for The Lancet’s invitation. That op-ed questioned whether there should be a shift away from physician-centred health care toward a larger role for other medical professionals.

“Dr. Martin’s book is excellent, but it’s not perfect. It has some limitations,” Wasan said.

While she provides readers with a good understanding of Canada’s health care system and a high-level overview of some main challenges facing the system, such as the affordability of some prescription drugs and the tendency of patients to seek expensive and unnecessary tests and treatments, Martin doesn’t go far enough, he said.

Her treatment of the six big ideas, which include a national pharmacare program, reducing unnecessary tests and interventions, and providing a guaranteed annual income, falls short in the discussion of how to accomplish such objectives, Wasan said. 

studying-abroad-in-australia1true1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in AustraliaI learned that I am capable of more than I thought and that I can do virtually anything I set my mind to.Meghan Siredstudy abroad, students1485535620000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-australia1newssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-australia1imj1291547626913842imj1291547626913842show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/celia-harradence.jpgsite://news/images/2017/celia-harradence.jpgnewscelia-harradence.jpgcelia-harradence.jpgThe view from the top of Mount Batur in Bali, Indonesia.NoNoneNo/
TextImage/images/2017/celia-harradence-kangaroo.jpgsite://news/images/2017/celia-harradence-kangaroo.jpgnewscelia-harradence-kangaroo.jpgcelia-harradence-kangaroo.jpgHarradence plays with baby kangaroos at Greenough Wildlife Park.Align right

Celia Harradence, 21, grew up in Prince Albert, Sask. and is student at the Edwards School of Business. She recently studied abroad in Australia at Curtin University. While abroad she took three classes: Retail Marketing and Distribution; International Marketing; and International Management, and Entrepreneurship.

Harradence recently answered some questions about her time abroad and showed us a few photos, too.


Did you visit any other countries?
When I was studying abroad I visited Bali, Indonesia. Bali was very beautiful and there were tons of things to do and see. Some of the activities we did there included hiking a volcano at 2 am to see the sunrise, white-water rafting and horseback riding on the beach.

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
One of the best moments of my trip was when I went abseiling at Kalbarri National Park. Abseiling is where you basically climb down a cliff using a harness and rope to suspend and ease yourself down. I am very afraid of heights so this was very scary for me. This was a huge accomplishment for me and the second time around I was much more confident. 

TextImage/images/2017/celia-harradence-climbing.jpgsite://news/images/2017/celia-harradence-climbing.jpgnewscelia-harradence-climbing.jpgcelia-harradence-climbing.jpgRock climbing in Kalbarri National Park, Australia.Align left

Tell me about one person you met.
I met another exchange student close to the beginning of the semester named Celeste. Celeste is also in business and is from the Netherlands. After we met we began spending more time together and quickly became really close friends. Being from the Netherlands, English was not her first language. Through our time spent together I was able to help her with her English and also learned a bit of Dutch. Even though she lives very far away from Canada, I still consider her one of my best friends and wouldn’t have had the chance to meet her if I didn’t study abroad.

What did you learn about yourself?
As I travelled by myself and lived in Australia, my confidence grew. I became more open to new experiences. I learned that I am capable of more than I thought and that I can do virtually anything I set my mind to. Studying abroad in Australia was a very eye-opening experience and it definitely made me more willing to set out on new adventures and try new things. 

What was the best meal you had?
The best meal I had wasn’t anything out of the ordinary or crazy, in fact it was pizza. We had this pizza at a little hole in the wall restaurant in Perth called Alfred’s Pizzeria. From the outside, this place did not look like anything fancy; it actually didn’t look nice at all. But the pizza there was unreal. Besides the great pizza, I also tried crocodile and kangaroo, which were also good.


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the U of S, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

u-of-s-to-pay-tribute-to-icon-of-the-co-operative-movementtrue1547851354706imj129U of S to pay tribute to icon of the co-operative movementHarold Chapman has spent a lifetime committed to the co-operative movement as a builder and educator, widely regarded as a national leader in the field.University Communicationsalumni, convocation1506962160000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-pay-tribute-to-icon-of-the-co-operative-movementnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-pay-tribute-to-icon-of-the-co-operative-movementimj1291547626368459imj1291547626368459show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/harold-chapman.jpgsite://news/images/2017/harold-chapman.jpgnewsharold-chapman.jpgharold-chapman.jpgHarold ChapmanNoNoneNo/
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On Saturday, October 28, the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will celebrate his contributions and decades of dedication and development by awarding the U of S alumnus an Honorary Doctor of Laws during Fall Convocation at TCU Place. The honorary doctorate will be the latest in a long list of accolades for Chapman, who also celebrated his 100th birthday this year by being inducted into the Order of Canada—the country’s highest civilian honour.

Chapman, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the U of S and a Master of Science in Co-operative Extension Education at the University of Wisconsin, said he is proud to join the distinguished list of honorary degree recipients at the university that has been part of his life for more than 70 years.

“It’s a great honour for me,” said Chapman. “I graduated in agriculture in the spring of 1943 and I’ve been a member of the alumni (association) ever since and I’ve been associated with the U of S for all those years. So it’s a great honour and a great surprise to be receiving this. It has certainly been an amazing year, in a number of ways.”

Born in Saskatoon in 1917, Chapman grew up on a farm and studied agriculture and co-operatives in university, before training as an officer in the armed forces upon graduation in 1943. After being discharged in 1945, he was hired by the province to help develop farming, fishing, trapping and housing co-operatives. Among his early achievements was establishing co-op farms for Canadian veterans returning from the Second World War, as well as helping organize the Saskatoon Community Clinic in 1962 and being a founding member of the international organization, Association of Cooperative Educators, in 1965.

Named the first director of the Co-operative Institute in Saskatoon in 1955, Chapman spent two decades as an educator before joining Federated Co-operatives Limited. While he retired in 1982, he has remained involved with community organizations and with the co-operative movement, including the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, located at the U of S. The centre helped sponsor and co-publish his 2012 memoir Sharing my Life: Building the Co-operative Movement, his account of the history and legacy of co-operatives in Saskatchewan.

“Harold Chapman has been a leader in the development of co-operatives for more than 70 years and there are few Canadians who have played a more significant role in the field,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “His long involvement with the University of Saskatchewan began as a student in the 1940s and continues to this day, as a devoted participant in conferences and workshops organized by the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives. We are extremely proud to call this distinguished Order of Canada recipient one of our own.”

One of two honorary degree recipients at this year’s U of S Fall Convocation, Chapman will be recognized for his lifetime of achievement during the 2 pm ceremony on Oct. 28 at TCU Place. For the full convocation schedule, go to:

studying-abroad-in-finlandtrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in FinlandI enjoyed the learning style in all my classes—the focus was always on understanding rather than grades.Meghan Siredstudy abroad, students1485449160000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-finlandnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-finlandimj1291547626351001imj1291547626351001show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kimberlee-dube.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kimberlee-dube.jpgnewskimberlee-dube.jpgkimberlee-dube.jpgDubé (far left) with two members of her tutor group during a visit to the Finnish island of Suomenlinna.NoNoneNo/
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Kimberlee Dubé, 22, is a Saskatoon native in the College of Arts and Science. She recently studied abroad at the University of Helsinki in Finland. While abroad, she took five classes: Introduction to Modern Atmospheric Science, Aerosol Physics, Aerosol Measurement Techniques, Space Applications of Plasma Physics and Finnish for Exchange Students 

Dubé recently answered some questions about her time abroad and showed us a few photos, too.


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What did you enjoy most about the class?

I enjoyed the learning style in all my classes—the focus was always on understanding rather than grades. In some courses rather than submitting assignments we would have weekly sessions to discuss the solutions and the different techniques everyone tried. 

Did you visit any other countries?
I was able to visit Estonia, Latvia, Sweden and Iceland. My favorite was definitely Iceland. While the other places all had an interesting medieval feeling, Iceland just felt like another planet. The landscape was all snow covered volcanic rock—I definitely need to go back and explore further (on a day that is not the shortest of the year).

TextImage/images/2017/kimberlee-dube-overalls.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kimberlee-dube-overalls.jpgnewskimberlee-dube-overalls.jpgkimberlee-dube-overalls.jpgA big part of Finnish student culture is overalls, where each colour represents the field of study and badges are earned by attending events. There is navy for astronomy, pink for physics and yellow for meteorology.Align left

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
There is lots of delicious candy and chocolate produced in Finland—it is not all black licorice. Also, the language is very different from every other in the world (except for Estonian). It uses case endings instead of prepositions. 

What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?
Not being able to speak Finnish was frustrating. Nearly everyone I met also spoke English, but I felt bad asking people to switch for me all the time. It also made meeting Finnish people difficult as it is not possible to just join in on a conversation. And I bought the wrong food at the grocery store a few times since labels were Finnish and Swedish only. 

What was the best meal you had?
The best meal was just lunch in general. The University of Helsinki has subsidized school lunches so students only pay 2.60 euros for a large and nutritious meal. It is buffet style with one main course option each day and as much salad and bread as you want. I rarely had a bad meal there and always left feeling satisfied and ready for class.

Bringing your own food to campus is almost unheard of … I am not looking forward to preparing boring sandwiches every morning again.

TextImage/images/2017/kimberlee-dube-sauna.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kimberlee-dube-sauna.jpgnewskimberlee-dube-sauna.jpgkimberlee-dube-sauna.jpgEnjoying a popular Finnish pastime, the sauna.Above content


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the U of S, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

emmett-hall-inducted-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-fametrue1547851354706imj129Emmett Hall inducted to Canadian Medical Hall of FameA late Supreme Court justice and former University of Saskatchewan chancellor was honoured with an induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.University Communicationsalumni, College of Law, Chancellor1493928300000/articles/people/2017/emmett-hall-inducted-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-famenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/emmett-hall-inducted-to-canadian-medical-hall-of-fameimj1291547626287956imj1291547626287956show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/emmett-hall.jpgsite://news/images/2017/emmett-hall.jpgnewsemmett-hall.jpgemmett-hall.jpgEmmett HallNoNoneNo/
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Born in Montreal in 1898, Emmett Hall completed his law degree at the University of Saskatchewan and later served as Chief Justice of the province (appeal division) before his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1962. In 1961, at the request of the Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, Justice Hall led the Royal Commission on Health Services, interviewing hundreds of witnesses in public hearings, bringing attention to the challenges faced by ordinary men and women living with illness or injury. 

Hall was active and influential in many major issues including Indigenous rights, equal access to health care and the rights of the disabled. When challenged by opponents who believed expanded health care was too expensive, he responded, “The only thing more expensive than good health care is no health care.” 

Following his career in law, Hall served as chancellor of the U of S from 1979–1986. He passed away in 1995. 

Read more at the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame website.

going-global-in-search-of-answerstrue1547851354706imj129Going global in search of answersPeople often ask John Giesy why he spends so much time working in Hong Kong, China, considering he’s a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology.HenryTye GlazebrookToxicology Centre, John Giesy, international1502466900000/articles/people/2017/going-global-in-search-of-answersnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/going-global-in-search-of-answersimj1291547626274558imj1291547626274558show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/john-giesy.jpgsite://news/images/2017/john-giesy.jpgnewsjohn-giesy.jpgjohn-giesy.jpgJohn GiesyNoNoneNo/
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His answer is always simple.

“I can affect our environment more by the work I do in China than here,” said Giesy, who holds multiple professorships in China and was the second Canadian ever to be awarded the Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science. “What happens in China goes around and comes around. What they release in China ends up in polar bears in our Canadian Arctic, and our Northern people get exposed through their diet to these things even though they’re getting no economic benefit from the manufacture or use of them.”

Giesy is a man of many accomplishments. He has dual citizenship and high-level security clearances with both Canada and the United States, where his expertise has been sought on everything from the public safety of chemicals to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In the 1970s he worked in Vietnam to better understand the use of Agent Orange, which contains a highly toxic component known as dioxin, helping to broker negotiations between the Asia-Pacific nation and the United States.

His list of accredited citations sprawls vastly, as high as 55,000, making him one of the foremost experts in the combined fields of environment and environmental toxicology.

TextPullquoteThere are a lot of great scientists, but what makes the difference, I think, between just being a scientist and being what I inspire to be as a Canada Research Chair, is being able to translate into social welfare, being able to explain it to the public, to have it have implications.John Giesy/Align left

He’s also a professor in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and Toxicology Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, where he does research and instructs students.

It’s that last area where Giesy thinks his main duty lies, not just to U of S students but to fellow researchers, politicians and the everyday citizens of Canada.

“We’re in the education business,” he said. “There are a lot of great scientists, but what makes the difference, I think, between just being a scientist and being what I inspire to be as a Canada Research Chair, is being able to translate into social welfare, being able to explain it to the public, to have it have implications. It’s all about education.”

Giesy works in mass spectrometry, a very technical sounding term regarding chemical analysis that he likes to explain as “socially relevant research.” Some of his projects are thought up by himself and his colleagues while others are brought to him by governmental leaders, but all involve exploring the near-unnoticeable pieces that make up our world.

The key, he said, is identifying what may or may not be harmful to humans and helping others use that information to manage the risk in their lives.

He cited the common potato as an example of understanding risk. These everyday root vegetables are technically in the deadly nightshade family due to the natural toxins they contain, developed to deter insects from feasting on them, and yet remain a staple of meals across the globe.

“The bottom line is there are risks to everything you do,” Giesy said. “Talking to me is technically a risk—the office could be hit by lightning—but it’s a relatively small risk, based on our experience. My job is to put those risks in perspective for you. We don’t want you so afraid of everything that you can’t live your life.”

Today Giesy is working in the Athabasca and South Saskatchewan River Basin, where he wants to educate communities about the safety of the food located right in their backyard to help curb rising issues of obesity and diabetes due to poor nutrition.

The concern of the local populace is that oil sand developments and pesticide use have made fish and produce in the area unfit for consumption. The reality, said Giesy, is that much of what’s available is harmless.

“You have a risk of contaminants on the berries, but it’s pretty minor,” he said. “But the risk of not eating them, because of the loss of antioxidants and vitamin C, B, D, is huge. And that translates directly to what we see in the health of the population—obesity, diabetes, heart disease, the list just goes on and on and on. It’s not so much what they did eat, but what they didn’t eat.”

This experience falls closer to home than, say, his time in China, but the hope in any case is that he can change hearts and minds. For Giesy, it’s all about the long term, the big picture—how is today’s work going to reverberate and help make lasting, positive change?

“When I go to China, I teach short courses working with students and post-docs, but mostly with the professors to educate them in the newest technologies so they can apply it in their own research,” he said. “The idea is to multiply these things. It’s like throwing a pebble in a pond; it touches many shores.

“I can’t save the world one person at a time, but if I work with a third of the world’s population living in China I can have a big impact.”
history-in-the-makingtrue1547851354706imj129History in the makingWhen Bill Waiser first began his journey collecting the stories of Saskatchewan, he had no idea how far the road would take him.Chris MorinDepartment of History, Bill Waiser, alumni1502465280000/articles/people/2017/history-in-the-makingnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/history-in-the-makingimj1291547626264707imj1291547626264707show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/bill-waiser.jpgsite://news/images/2017/bill-waiser.jpgnewsbill-waiser.jpgbill-waiser.jpgBill WaiserNoNoneNo/
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A graduate of the U of S with a PhD in history, Waiser left his home province for a job in the Yukon. That’s when he got the call from his alma mater, and returned to Saskatchewan as a history professor—a position he said he enjoyed for over 30 years.

After a lifetime of working as a historian, including writing and co-writing over a dozen books and penning a wildly popular column called History Matters for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Waiser was named a Member of the Order of Canada—one of the country’s highest civilian honours. One of 99 individuals inducted during a ceremony on June 30, Waiser joins the nearly 7,000 members who have been named to the Order, which recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. It’s an achievement he does not take lightly.

“It was definitely not something that was on my mind when I started teaching at the university,” said Waiser. “Even so, three thousand students later, this induction comes as a pleasant surprise and I’m grateful for the honour.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have this opportunity at the U of S,” he added. “It’s one of the ways I’ve been able to interact with the public on a regular basis on Saskatchewan’s history. People will add to these stories, or even share their own, and it’s been very gratifying.”

In addition to receiving the Order of Canada, Waiser has racked up a number of prestigious accolades. The U of S professor emeritus was named to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, while his book Saskatchewan: A New History (2005) was named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail.

Although he has since retired from the U of S, Waiser promises his work is not yet done.

“Our history is not young. It’s thousands of years old. We need that understanding to be better informed citizens,” said Waiser. “Those who had read or participated in it know better. There’s always someone out there with a tough question and I try my hardest to find the answer.”

Waiser is not the only U of S alum joining the Order of Canada. Editorial cartoonist Brian Gable, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Time Magazine and numerous other publications, was also inducted this year. After graduating from the U of S in 1971, Gable began his career with The Sheaf before going on to work for the Regina Leader-Post and The Globe and Mail.

Waiser and Gable received the U of S College of Arts and Science’s Alumni of Influence Award in 2016.

u-of-s-student-to-lead-international-one-health-counciltrue1547851354706imj129U of S student to lead international One Health councilPhD student Arinjay Banerjee has been selected secretary general of the international Students for One Health leadership council.Federica Giannelligradresearch, international1506714420000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-student-to-lead-international-one-health-councilnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-student-to-lead-international-one-health-councilimj1291547626240803imj1291547626240803show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/arinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgsite://news/images/2017/arinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgnewsarinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgarinjay-banerjee-bat.jpgNoNoneNo/
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There were 100 applicants worldwide for the position on the first student body ever created by the One Health Commission, an international non-profit organization that aims to educate and improve the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment through a collaborative approach.

“When the commission put out a call for nominations for a new students’ body, I just could not say no. Representing the U of S at a global level is an absolute honour,” said Banerjee.

One Health is a signature area of the U of S. Banerjee has been promoting it at the institutional level but wanted to contribute toward global initiatives. He is the only Canadian university representative on the council.

“We need to integrate the health of people, animals and the environment to deal with emerging infectious diseases,” said Banerjee, who studies in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.  He credits his supervisor, Vikram Misra, for encouraging him to apply for the council post.

As a worldwide platform, the council will connect One Health student-run organizations across the globe, and encourage students to collaborate by organizing webinars and other initiatives.

In 2014, Banerjee received funding from NSERC to pursue an ITraP certificate from the U of S, an interdisciplinary program unique to Canada that allows students to receive international training in infectious diseases, food safety and public policy.

Read about Banerjee’s research in the 2017 Young Innovators series.

u-of-s-announces-new-provost-and-vp-academictrue1547851354706imj129U of S announces new provost and VP academicTony Vannelli is set to join the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) as its next provost and vice-president academic on August 1, 2017 for a five-year term.University CommunicationsTony Vannelli, pec1485188280000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-announces-new-provost-and-vp-academicnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-announces-new-provost-and-vp-academicimj1291547626226438imj1291547626226438show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/tony-vannelli.jpgsite://news/images/2017/tony-vannelli.jpgnewstony-vannelli.jpgtony-vannelli.jpgNoNoneNo/
TextPullquoteMy priority will be to continue aligning the strong academic mission of the university with our resources to assure success.Tony Vannelli/Align left

Tony Vannelli is set to join the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) as its next provost and vice-president academic on August 1, 2017 for a five-year term.

In this role, Vannelli will be the senior academic, planning and budget officer at the U of S, and will be responsible for developing an academic agenda that is connected to the financial decisions of the university and best supports the student experience in all colleges and schools. Vannelli most recently completed a second five-year term as dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science at the University of Guelph.

“It’s a privilege to step into this role. The U of S has always aspired to provide support to the development of individuals and the impact they can have in communities in the province, country and world,” said Vannelli, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from Concordia University, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. “I am really enthusiastic to start working with faculty, staff and students as well as senior leaders to continue this effort.”

Prior to joining the University of Guelph in 2007, Vannelli spent almost 20 years at the University of Waterloo as a professor of electrical and computer engineering, serving as chair of the department (1998 to 2006), and later as associate dean of research and external partnerships. An internationally renowned expert in electrical and computer engineering, Vannelli held the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellowship at the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto.

“My priority will be to continue aligning the strong academic mission of the university with our resources to assure success,” said Vannelli, who is an award-winning teacher and researcher with more than 100 publications to his credit. “This is a very collegial and collaborative university and that strength is very important to me. I look forward to working with members of the campus community to ensure strong continued success.

“I try to bring a lot of energy to decisions I make, but I am thorough and want to have everyone engaged in building this great university’s future,” the incoming provost explained. “I strongly believe in making planning transparent to increase participation and achievement and I am motivated to be an advocate for all of the innovative ideas at the U of S.”

“I am extremely excited to welcome Dr. Vannelli to the U of S leadership team,” said Peter Stoicheff, U of S president and vice-chancellor, who was head of the search committee. “Tony combines exceptional experience, an outstanding record of achievement and a deep knowledge of the post-secondary landscape in Canada—all of which will contribute to solidifying our place among the best universities in the country.”

Vannelli will replace Michael Atkinson who has been serving as interim provost since Oct. 1, 2016. Perrett Laver assisted in the global search.

university-of-saskatchewan-names-vice-provost-of-indigenous-engagementtrue1547851354706imj129University of Saskatchewan names vice-provost of Indigenous engagementThe University of Saskatchewan is bringing back a nationally recognized leader in providing educational opportunities for Indigenous students.University Communicationsaboriginal, Jacqueline Ottmann1498058100000/articles/people/2017/university-of-saskatchewan-names-vice-provost-of-indigenous-engagementnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/university-of-saskatchewan-names-vice-provost-of-indigenous-engagementimj1291547626221635imj1291547626221635show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jacqueline-ottmann.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jacqueline-ottmann.jpgnewsjacqueline-ottmann.jpgjacqueline-ottmann.jpgJacqueline OttmannNoNoneNo/
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U of S alumna Jacqueline Ottmann, who is Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and a member of Saskatchewan’s Fishing Lake First Nation, will serve as the university’s first vice-provost, Indigenous engagement beginning October 1. Ottmann is currently the Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives and an associate professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary (U of C) while also serving as co-chair of U of C Indigenous Strategy.

TextPullquoteI am very excited to be coming back to the University of Saskatchewan and to Saskatoon in general, to contribute to the Indigenous strategy at the U of S. It’s a great privilege.Jacqueline Ottmann/Align left

Ottmann said she is looking forward to returning to her home province and to the university where she earned her master’s in education (2002) and her PhD (2005) in the Department of Educational Administration in the U of S College of Education.

“I am very excited to be coming back to the University of Saskatchewan and to Saskatoon in general, to contribute to the Indigenous strategy at the U of S. It’s a great privilege,” said Ottmann, who is also a member of a number of national post-secondary organizations.

“Because I am an alumna, I have kept in touch with what was happening at the University of Saskatchewan in terms of their Indigenization and decolonization initiatives and processes and I have been encouraged by the leadership that they have taken in this over the years.”

Ottmann will lead the university’s ongoing commitment to respond to the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action for post-secondary institutions. 

“We are extremely excited to bring back Dr. Ottmann to take a senior leadership role in focusing on Indigenous scholarship and student success on campus while also helping us engage and connect with the community,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. 

“We are encouraged to be attracting and graduating more Aboriginal students than ever before, and that certainly is a good measure of success. However, there is much more work to be done and we look forward to Jacqueline’s leadership as we strive to be the best place we can possibly be for Indigenous students and communities in the province and across the country.”

There were 2,831 Indigenous students pursuing degrees at the U of S in the 2016-17 academic year, making up 12 per cent of the total student population of 24,227.

The university has actively been working on building Indigenous content and experiences grounded in Indigenous world views into degree programs, an initiative that will be a priority area for Ottmann to support moving forward.

“Definitely I think Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous content does have a primary place within university curricula and this kind of inclusion will only strengthen the overall fabric of the university,” she said.

coates-to-be-awarded-national-honour-for-aboriginal-relationstrue1547851354706imj129Coates awarded national honour for Aboriginal relationsKen Coates, a U of S public policy professor, has been recognized for his excellence in Aboriginal relations by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).University CommunicationsJohnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, Ken Coates, Aboriginal1502297400000/articles/people/2017/coates-to-be-awarded-national-honour-for-aboriginal-relationsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/coates-to-be-awarded-national-honour-for-aboriginal-relationsimj1291547626201784imj1291547626201784show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/ken-coates.jpgsite://news/images/2017/ken-coates.jpgnewsken-coates.jpgken-coates.jpgKen CoatesNoNoneNo/
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The CCAB Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations recognizes an individual—Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal—who has contributed, through professional and voluntary commitments, to building bridges between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society, making a substantial impact across all sectors, socially, culturally, and politically. The award highlights the efforts of people who have been ambassadors in working with Aboriginal peoples and communities.

TextTweet/<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Announcing <a href="">@kenscoates</a> as our recipient for the 2017 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations! Celebrate at the Vancouver Gala in Sept! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CCAB (@ccab_national) <a href="">August 9, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>Align right

"Ken Coates is truly an outstanding advocate for Indigenous peoples," said JP Gladu, president and CEO of CCAB. "His academic insights on Indigenous issues is helping shape industry and government approaches to building sustainable business relations with Indigenous peoples. His wealth of knowledge informs and enriches all Canadians. As an organization, we look forward to celebrating his life’s work and achievements."

Coates, a Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, has long-standing professional and personal interests in Aboriginal rights, northern development, northern Canadian history, science, technology and society, and Japan studies. He has written extensively on Aboriginal history, Indigenous-newcomer relations and post-secondary education and has worked with Aboriginal peoples and organizations and with government agencies responsible for Indigenous affairs across Canada and in New Zealand and Australia.

CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada’s economy. A national non-profit, non-partisan association, CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses across Canada.

Coates will be honoured at the CCAB Gala next month in Vancouver.

u-of-s-to-honour-canadian-hockey-icontrue1547851354706imj129U of S to honour Canadian hockey iconShe is widely regarded as the greatest female hockey player in the world and is the all-time leading scorer in the history of Canada’s national women’s team.University CommunicationsConvocation, Hayley Wickenheiser, alumni1493658780000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-honour-canadian-hockey-iconnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-honour-canadian-hockey-iconimj1291547626169613imj1291547626169613show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/hayley-wickenheiser.jpgsite://news/images/2017/hayley-wickenheiser.jpgnewshayley-wickenheiser.jpghayley-wickenheiser.jpgHayley WickenheiserNoNoneNo/
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On June 8, the University of Saskatchewan will proudly celebrate Hayley Wickenheiser’s career contributions, achievements and accolades, when she is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws during Spring Convocation ceremonies at Saskatoon’s TCU Place.

“It is really special, especially coming from the U of S,” said Wickenheiser. “My heart is, and always will be, in Saskatchewan. That is where my life was really shaped and I am grateful to be able to come there and receive an honorary degree and to be able to address the students. It’s also a way to say thanks to the community and to all the people who really supported me through my time in hockey and maybe leave a few words with future grads who will be moving on to great things after school. And certainly with this happening in Saskatchewan at the U of S, it is a great honour for sure.”

Wickenheiser grew up in Shaunavon, Sask., playing minor hockey on outdoor rinks with boys’ teams before moving to Calgary with her family. She made her international hockey debut at the age of 15 and went on to play 23 seasons with the national team, retiring in January as a five-time Olympic medallist (including four straight gold medals from 2002 to 2014) and the all-time scoring leader with 168 goals and 379 points in 276 career games for Canada.

Now 38, Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada when women’s hockey was introduced as a medal sport at her first Winter Olympics in 1998 and served as the country’s flag bearer at her final Olympic Games in 2014. Her impact as a mentor for female hockey players has helped develop the game dramatically across the country, with the number of female players in Canada growing from 16,000 in her first year on the national team in 1994 to close to 87,000 in 2017. 

“Hayley Wickenheiser has been the face of women’s hockey for decades and a remarkable role model for young players from coast to coast. We are honoured to have her take part in our Spring Convocation ceremonies,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “Off the ice, Hayley has been a passionate advocate for youth in all sports, working with a wide variety of charities and community programs as well as fundraising for girls who couldn’t otherwise afford to play hockey. She leaves a legacy unmatched in the game and has inspired a generation of future Olympians.”

Chosen Canada’s female athlete of the year in 2007, Wickenheiser was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2014. Wickenheiser, who played university hockey for the University of Calgary (U of C) and softball at the University of British Columbia, graduated from U of C with a kinesiology degree in 2013 and plans to begin medical school in the fall.

One of six honorary degree recipients at U of S Spring Convocation this year, Wickenheiser will be recognized during the 9 am ceremony on June 8 at TCU Place. For the full convocation schedule, please visit:

studying-abroad-in-englandtrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in EnglandI learned that I could be very independent, somehow become a five-star chef and live away from home just fine.Meghan Siredstudy abroad, students1484931840000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-englandnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-englandimj1291547626104179imj1291547626104179show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/courtney-caddy.jpgsite://news/images/2017/courtney-caddy.jpgnewscourtney-caddy.jpgcourtney-caddy.jpgCourtney Caddy at the Winterbourne Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.NoNoneNo/
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Courtney Caddy, 22, grew up in Warman, Sask. and is studying in the College of Arts and Science. She recently studied at the University of Birmingham in England. While abroad she took a number of classes including Ancient Worlds, Roman Art and Archaeology, Greek Art and Archaeology, Greek and Roman History, Imperial Rome, Artefacts and Material Culture, and the Cultures of Contemporary Africa.

Caddy recently answered some questions, while still in England, and sent us a few photos too.


TextImage/images/2017/courtney-caddy-birmingham.jpgsite://news/images/2017/courtney-caddy-birmingham.jpgnewscourtney-caddy-birmingham.jpgcourtney-caddy-birmingham.jpgA shot of the University of Birmingham campus.Align left

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
The best moment of my trip so far was going to Helston in Cornwall (southern coast of England). I was born just outside of London, but my dad and his family grew up in Helston. Meeting some family I have never met in person was incredible and seeing the place where my dad came from and even where my sister and I were baptized was very emotional and unreal. Cornwall is really beautiful, more of a countryside feel with rolling hills and quiet towns, it really felt, and reminded me of home.

Tell me about one person you met.
One of my roommates is from Singapore and her name is Waverly. Interestingly enough, we found that Singapore and Canada seemed to have a lot in common, more than compared to Britain at times. Her first language is English so there was no language barrier, we got on really well and did lots of exploring together around the city. It’s really amazing how fast you click with people when you live together and how cool it is to learn about other countries and their culture. 

What’s the first image that comes into your head when you think of where you travelled to?
Green. It may be odd, but there is so much green in trees, bushes and hedges, way more than I thought there would be. At home, we just have the prairies, but here there are trees and hills everywhere! A lot of places just have all these hedges everywhere instead of a fence and it’s really quite pretty!

What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?
Honestly, I think the hardest part was just doing the trip over to England. I felt so sick and nervous coming over by myself, it sort of felt like an out of body experience, sitting through different planes and taking a taxi over to my new accommodation. As soon as I walked in to my flat and bedroom, I wanted to go home. Once I unpacked everything and it felt a little more like home and I realized I could do it.

The most frustrating parts were adapting to live with people, the first year students are all very “party every day” and loud and we set down rules in my flat about cleaning and noise, so it all got sorted out and its way better now. Getting classes sorted for the year was actually extremely awful, I will never ever take the U of S for granted again. 

What did you learn about yourself?
I think I am stronger than I thought. Coming here was one of the scariest and most exciting things I have done—even after three months it still doesn’t really feel real at times. I learned that I could be very independent, somehow become a five-star chef and live away from home just fine. I’m not so scared to go out and explore or try new things. I really just don’t want to go home with any kind of regrets, wishing I had done something and didn’t so I’m doing everything I can out here! 

TextImage/images/2017/courtney-caddy-castle.jpgsite://news/images/2017/courtney-caddy-castle.jpgnewscourtney-caddy-castle.jpgcourtney-caddy-castle.jpgExploring a castle in Marazion, Cornwall.Above content

To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the U of S, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

studying-abroad-in-germanytrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in GermanyDuring my time abroad I took every opportunity to travel as I could.Kim FontaineStudy abroad, international1506373080000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-germanynewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-germanyimj1291547626090762imj1291547626090762show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/sydney-fortowsky.jpgsite://news/images/2017/sydney-fortowsky.jpgnewssydney-fortowsky.jpgsydney-fortowsky.jpgAt the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.NoNoneNo/
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Originally from Valemount, B.C., arts and science student Sydney Fortowsky found her way to Germany through the University of Saskatchewan’s Study Abroad program. While there, Sydney took German language classes at SDI.

Sydney has shared some wonderful photos with us. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

TextImage/images/2017/sydney-fortowsky-bremen-square.jpgsite://news/images/2017/sydney-fortowsky-bremen-square.jpgnewssydney-fortowsky-bremen-square.jpgsydney-fortowsky-bremen-square.jpgCentral square in Bremen, Germany.Align left

Did you visit any other countries? If yes, which ones? Which was your favorite and why?
During my time abroad I took every opportunity to travel as I could. I went a month earlier than my course so that I could travel more, and ended up seeing 14 other countries. I have many favourite countries, but I think my most-favourite would have to be Finland or Scotland. They both had such beautiful nature, great food, and very kind people. 

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
One of the best moments of my trip was getting to float/swim in the Aare river in Bern, Switzerland. The water was a beautiful turquoise, which flowed beside a path that led to an outdoor pool. The day I went was plus 30 and there were many people just floating down the river, then getting out to soak up the sun in the rest area. It was definitely a wonderful experience.

What was the best meal you had?
My best meal would have to be the pickled herring (called Sild) in Sweden. There are so many different types to choose from and each one better than the next. I had the pleasure of having a traditional Swedish meal with homemade Sild and potatoes. Nothing could compare to that dish!

What’s the first image that comes into your head when you think of where you travelled to?
The first image that pops in my head when I think of where I travelled to would have to be dirndls and lederhosen in Munich. Nearly every day you could see someone dressed in those outfits going to a wedding or another special occasion. It was a real pleasure to see them all around Bavaria. 

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
Even though we associate Germany with strict punctuality, their trains and buses are not the most punctual. Also, don’t be surprised to see a dog, big or small, next to you in a restaurant or a mall. They are able to go to most places, as most dogs are very well trained in Germany.


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the University of Saskatchewan, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre in lower Place Riel.

u-of-s-to-honour-world-renowned-neurologisttrue1547851354706imj129U of S to honour world renowned neurologistThe University of Saskatchewan will celebrate the lifelong contributions of one of the world’s leading authorities on Parkinson’s disease, during U of S Fall Convocation next month.University Communicationsconvocation1506355920000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-honour-world-renowned-neurologistnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-to-honour-world-renowned-neurologistimj1291547626079017imj1291547626079017show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/ali-rajput.jpgsite://news/images/2017/ali-rajput.jpgnewsali-rajput.jpgDr. Ali RajputNoNoneNo/
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Dr. Ali Rajput, who originally joined the medical faculty at the U of S back in 1967, will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science at Fall Convocation in TCU Place on Saturday, Oct. 28. Rajput, a distinguished professor emeritus who began researching Parkinson’s disease and treatments 50 years ago, served as the head of neurology at Royal University Hospital from 1985 to 2001. 

Rajput has led many major developments in Parkinson’s research and treatment, and is particularly proud of his work with the internationally renowned Saskatchewan Movement Disorders Program that he started in the late 1960s at the U of S. 

“I am indebted to the university and the health region for helping me achieve the academic goals that I set for myself,” Rajput said. “I have been doing this work for 50 years and there are many one-of-a-kind discoveries we have made, which I am proud of. If I were to choose one that is most important, it would be establishing the Saskatchewan Movement Disorders Program. That is the anchor to which all our research is tied. That would be my most important research contribution to this institution.”

The honorary doctorate is the latest in a long list of awards for Rajput, who received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1993 and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1997 (the first Canadian born in Pakistan and first Muslim Canadian to receive the distinction). Rajput’s research was chosen in 2005 by the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) as one of the four most significant advances in the field of medicine in the history of the province, and he was also named physician of the year by the SMA in 2006.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the career of Dr. Rajput, who was a pioneer in the field of Parkinson’s research and is respected around the world for the enormous impact he has made in the science of neurology,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “A pillar of the international research community, his passion and dedication continues to this day and we are extremely proud to honour him at our Fall Convocation ceremonies.” 

Rajput, who has served on major global committees including the World Health Organization’s Parkinson’s Disease Working Group, was also part of a 2012 international collaboration which identified an abnormal gene that leads to Parkinson’s. Rajput received the Morton Shulman Award from the Parkinson Society of Canada in 2001 and the U of S Distinguished Researcher Award in 2002, was named CTV Saskatoon’s Citizen of the Year in 2006, and was elected a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2013.

After graduating top of his class in medicine at the University of Sind in Pakistan, Rajput did his residency and obtained his master’s in neurology at the University of Michigan, before moving on to graduate work at Queen’s University prior to moving to Saskatoon to join the U of S in 1967. Rajput, who also spent a year on sabbatical at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in 1980-81, is an accomplished author with more than 200 scientific papers, articles and book chapters to his credit.

The first of two honorary degree recipients at this year’s U of S Fall Convocation, Rajput will be recognized for his lifetime of achievement during the 9 am ceremony on Oct. 28 at TCU Place. For the full convocation schedule, go to:

newkirk-sets-sights-on-paralympicstrue1547851354706imj129Newkirk sets sights on ParalympicsIt hasn’t taken long for Shelby Newkirk to make a splash on the national swimming scene.James Shewagastudents, College of Education1489160220000/articles/people/2017/newkirk-sets-sights-on-paralympicsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/newkirk-sets-sights-on-paralympicsimj1291547626074260imj1291547626074260show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/shelby-newkirk.jpgsite://news/images/2017/shelby-newkirk.jpgnewsshelby-newkirk.jpgshelby-newkirk.jpgEducation student Shelby Newkirk has already set five Canadian records in para-swimming, and is setting her sights on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.NoNoneNo/
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The 20-year-old College of Education student has already set five Canadian records in para-swimming, in only her fifth year of competition. Her rapid rise has caught the attention of national team coaches, who selected her for the NextGen Camp Program, designed to develop the next crop of Canadian swimmers for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“A lot of things are happening all of a sudden, so it’s really exciting,” said Newkirk, whose family (younger brother Cole, mother Kathy-Jo and father Rex, a professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources) recently moved back home to Saskatoon from LaSalle, Man. “After putting in the work and time and then getting the reward, it really feels good.

“It’s been a crazy year for sure. Moving back to Saskatchewan and changing schools, switching swim clubs and all of that kind of stuff, and then setting those Canadian records, it’s definitely a good feeling. And now that I’m on the NextGen team for Tokyo 2020, it feels that much more realistic of a goal.”

Newkirk, a member of the Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club, dived right into this season by setting Canadian para-swimming records in the 50-metre breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and the 100m backstroke, which is her best Paralympic event.

TextPullquoteWhen I started swimming five years ago, I never thought that I would be at this point where I would be making goals for being in the ParalympicsShelby Newkirk/Align left

The next stop on the road to Tokyo for Newkirk is at the Copenhagen Para-Swimming World Series in Denmark, where she is currently competing to secure international classification for the national team trials that begin March 30 in Windsor, Ont. A strong showing there will earn her a trip to the world championships that start Sept. 30 in Mexico City, one step away from the Paralympics in 2020.

“When I started swimming five years ago, I never thought that I would be at this point where I would be making goals for being in the Paralympics,” said Newkirk. “But my first coach sat down with me once and said, ‘It’s not if you are going to make the Paralympics, it’s when.’ So that’s when we started focusing on goals to work up to that. And being able to represent Canada on the biggest stage would be so cool.”

Plenty of work lies ahead for Newkirk, who balances swimming and studies, training five or six days a week while also taking a full course load in her first year of education. Simply getting around campus is also a challenge for Newkirk, who has no feeling in her right leg and has symptoms spreading throughout her body, after being diagnosed with early-onset generalized dystonia when she was 13.

“I use crutches most of the time, if I am just going somewhere fast for a couple of seconds. But if it’s anything longer, I use my wheel- chair, so at school I always use my chair,” she said. “It’s difficult, just because you do have to change some things and not everything is accessible … but there are so many people (on campus) who are willing to help and advocate on your behalf to get you to where you need to go, so that’s awesome.”

Newkirk has quickly become a role model for young para-swimmers and is passionate about working with children with disabilities. As a teacher, she wants to help make the classroom, the gymnasium and the pool more inclusive and accessible.

“I have always known that I wanted to help get kids more involved, especially kids with disabilities,” said Newkirk, who earned a two-year diploma in disability and community support at Winnipeg’s Red River College in 2016 before transferring to U of S. “I kind of relate to kids that way and I think whatever I can do to make somebody else’s time at school easier, then I want to try and do that. So I am going into education with the mindset of inclusive classrooms and getting all kids involved, no matter what their abilities.”

For her part, Newkirk’s abilities are helping her represent her country on the international stage, with the Paralympics in Tokyo only three years away.

wilson-wins-coveted-national-teaching-awardtrue1547851354706imj129Wilson wins coveted national teaching awardWhen he found out that he had won the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, University of Saskatchewan associate professor Jay Wilson was secretly thrilled that he could take a break from writing about teaching.HenryTye GlazebrookJay Wilson, College of Education1489156200000/articles/people/2017/wilson-wins-coveted-national-teaching-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/wilson-wins-coveted-national-teaching-awardimj1291547626061361imj1291547626061361show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jay-wilson.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jay-wilson.jpgnewsjay-wilson.jpgjay-wilson.jpgJay WilsonNoNoneNo/
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Now he’s looking forward to working with others who are similarly interested in bringing weighty recognition to their campus. “Knowing that I never have to write another application based on my teaching philosophy again—and I’ve written lots of those—is great,” Wilson said with a smile. “They’re good to do, but you can only reflect so much. I think it’s time for me to mentor other people and help them to accomplish their goals.”

Wilson was selected by 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education for his teaching, mentorship and research in the U of S College of Education, where he both instructs classes and is the department head of curriculum studies.

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is the highest teaching honour in Canada, awarded to only 10 recipients each year from coast- to-coast. It is also one of a plethora of prestigious prizes Wilson has received over the course of his career, including the Master Teacher Award in 2015—the highest teaching honour at the U of S—and the Provost’s Outstanding New Teacher Award in 2010.

“This is the pinnacle of recognition for teaching and learning in Canada. It doesn't get any better than this, so I’m very humbled and very honoured,” he said, adding that he’s adamant that no award is won individually.

“I try to keep things in perspective. Teaching is teamwork. There’s lots of people who have mentored me and lifted my ship, so to speak— and I’m really thankful for that support—so I don’t think about it solely as an individual honour, even though my name is on it.”

Wilson said he is hopeful his recognition will help keep the spotlight on the U of S as a whole, and credits the campus for being a pillar in his life as he has grown as a teacher over the years.

“This campus is already recognized across Canada as being very supportive of teaching and learning,” he said. “I think the award reinforces the fact that we have an environment that fosters positive growth in our teaching and learning leadership.”

What Wilson said he’s most excited about at this point is focusing on his classes, inspiring the next generation of young teachers to strive for the same level of success as he has achieved.

For the time being, he’s putting awards aside.

“The Nobel Prize is the only thing that’s bigger than the 3M,” he said, laughing. “And there’s not much chance that’s going to happen.”

studying-abroad-in-australiatrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in AustraliaThe most valuable thing I learned is how independent of a person I am.Meghan Siredstudents, study abroad1484776320000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-australianewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-australiaimj1291547626016797imj1291547626016797show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove.jpgsite://news/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove.jpgnewsdanielle-van-de-kerckhove.jpgdanielle-van-de-kerckhove.jpgDanielle Van De Kerckhove among the boats in Australia.NoNoneNo/
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Danielle Van De Kerckhove, 20, from Thompson, Man., is studying in the College of Kinesiology. She recently studied abroad in Australia and took three classes: Nutrition and Exercise, Health Psychology and Marine Biology.

Van De Kerckhove recently answered some questions about her time abroad and showed us a few photos, too.


TextImage/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove-kangaroo.jpgsite://news/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove-kangaroo.jpgnewsdanielle-van-de-kerckhove-kangaroo.jpgdanielle-van-de-kerckhove-kangaroo.jpgAn encounter with a local during her first week in Australia.Align right

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
Sky diving. I’ve always had this “unrealistic” dream of going sky diving in Australia. But I thought that by the time I would’ve been able to make it over there (after I finish my undergrad and masters, then I would have to save up money, etc.) I would be too old/lose my fearlessness. I’m proud to say that I achieved that goal WAY earlier than expected. Once I hit the ground I was ready to drop out [of university] and becoming a tandem skydiver as a career!

Tell me about one person you met.
My best friend I made in Australia was surprisingly not even Australian! She was South African. I was able to learn about an entire new culture and language I didn’t even know existed! She taught me so much about being a true friend and what it’s like to have someone that genuinely wants the best for you. She was the type of person that could light up a room, always a smile on her face no matter what and dealt with stress way better than me! I’m thankful to have met her and am lucky to have a place to stay at in either South Africa or Australia.

What did you learn about yourself?
I learned a lot about myself on this trip. The most valuable thing I learnt is how independent of a person I am! I had never really travelled due to never having a travel partner. While I was in Australia I had many trips with a bunch of different people, but also got to do a couple trips on my own. I appreciated being able to explore on my own time and do whatever I wanted without having to have a group discussion! This has fueled my passion for traveling and I can see many other trips in my future! 

What would you recommend to someone who is planning a trip to Australia?
I would recommend to travel the whole east coast, start at the top and back pack all the way down. Head to Uluru (central Australia) then to Perth (western Australia), then back home!

TextImage/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove-skydive.jpgsite://news/images/2017/danielle-van-de-kerckhove-skydive.jpgnewsdanielle-van-de-kerckhove-skydive.jpgdanielle-van-de-kerckhove-skydive.jpgSkydiving above Cairns.Above content

To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the U of S, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

studying-abroad-in-sweden-with-kaitlyn-mooretrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in SwedenOne of the best moments of my time in Europe was visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It was a life altering experience...Meghan Siredstudents, study abroad1484686440000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-sweden-with-kaitlyn-moorenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-sweden-with-kaitlyn-mooreimj1291547625985162imj1291547625985162show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore.jpgnewskaitlyn-moore.jpgkaitlyn-moore.jpgKaitlyn Moore took time out from her studies in Sweden to visit the canals of Amsterdam.NoNoneNo/
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Kaitlyn Moore, 23, is originally from Edmonton, Alta. and is studying in the College of Law. Moore recently studied abroad at Lund University in Sweden. While abroad she took two classes: Legal Analysis and Reasoning in a Common Law System, and Law and Literature.

Moore recently answered some questions about her time abroad and showed us a few photos, too.


TextImage/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore-flag.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore-flag.jpgnewskaitlyn-moore-flag.jpgkaitlyn-moore-flag.jpgMoore under a giant Swedish flag in LundAlign left

Did you visit any other countries while studying abroad?
While I was studying in Sweden (Lund) I had the opportunity to visit seven other European countries including Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

My favorite besides Sweden was Austria, I absolutely loved the architecture in Vienna.

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
One of the best moments of my time in Europe was visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. It was a life altering experience to physically be in the home where the Frank family and their friends hid during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands. 

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
An interesting fact that might not be known is that most Swedes speak English very well. Another interesting fact that might not be known is that the Swedes love their candy! I loved going to their large bulk candy stores for a treat.

What’s the first image that comes to mind when you think of where you travelled to?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Lund are the cobblestone roads and the quaint little shops throughout the city centre. Also, the famous Lund Cathedral, where I was lucky enough to see the Pope and the king and queen of Sweden while they were visiting the beautiful church.

What was the best meal you had?
You can’t go to Sweden without enjoying their famous mashed potatoes and meatballs with lingonberry sauce. That was for sure my favorite Swedish meal.

TextImage/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore-copenhagen.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kaitlyn-moore-copenhagen.jpgnewskaitlyn-moore-copenhagen.jpgkaitlyn-moore-copenhagen.jpgSeeing the sights in Copenhagen, Denmark.Above content


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the U of S, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre.

actor-kim-coates-to-receive-honorary-degree-from-the-university-of-saskatchewantrue1547851354706imj129Actor Kim Coates to receive honorary degree from the University of SaskatchewanFrom the University of Saskatchewan drama department to Hollywood blockbusters, Kim Coates has become one of the province’s most popular and most accomplished actors.James ShewagaConvocation, Kim Coates, alumni1493217960000/articles/people/2017/actor-kim-coates-to-receive-honorary-degree-from-the-university-of-saskatchewannewssite://news/articles/people/2017/actor-kim-coates-to-receive-honorary-degree-from-the-university-of-saskatchewanimj1291547625946069imj1291547625946069show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kim-coates.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kim-coates.jpgnewskim-coates.jpgkim-coates.jpgKim CoatesNoNoneNo/
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On June 6, Coates will return home to Saskatoon to take centre stage when he is awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by his alma mater at U of S Spring Convocation at TCU Place.

“I have great memories of my time at the U of S and I am so proud to be from Saskatoon and from our great province,” said the 59-year-old Coates, who earned a Bachelor of Arts at the U of S in 1981. “The time that I spent at the university opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me. I am always excited to come home—and to come home for this kind of an honour, from our beautiful university, is so exciting and I am so grateful.”

Since graduating from the U of S, Coates has gone on to acclaimed success in all genres of stage, television and film. He started his career by appearing in more than 50 plays across North America, from the title role in Macbeth at the legendary Stratford Theatre to playing Stanley Kowalski in the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. From there, Coates comfortably transitioned to the screen and has now appeared in more than 100 movies and television series, from Academy Award-winning films like Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor to the wildly successful FX hit TV series Sons of Anarchy.

Coates’ passion for acting is matched by his commitment to charitable and community work off screen. Coates supports multiple charities and non-profit organizations, from Creative Kids Saskatoon—connecting local youth to artistic and cultural experiences in the community—to One Heart Source—providing sustainable homes and health and education programs in Africa. Coates has gone overseas to do USO tours to help lift the spirits of American and Canadian troops and often returns home to volunteer his time to support the U of S drama department and to help promote the Saskatchewan film industry.

“We are extremely proud to honour Kim Coates, not only for his success on stage and screen, but also for his tireless work with a multitude of charities and his ongoing support for our university,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “While he has gone on to shine in the bright lights of Hollywood, he has never forgotten his Prairie roots and his love of community. Kim is a shining example of the breadth of the programming that we offer at the U of S , including the creative arts, and just how far you can go when you have a passion and a commitment to your craft. We are extremely proud to call him one of our own.”

Coates was recently awarded the 2016 Actra Award of Excellence for his extensive body of work in acting and producing, his charitable commitments, and his ongoing support of the Canadian film industry.

Coates will be the first of six honorary degree recipients at this year’s U of S Spring Convocation from June 5-8 at TCU Place. He will be honoured during the 9 am convocation ceremony on June 6.

For the full convocation schedule, please visit:


out-of-this-worldtrue1547851354706imj129Out of this worldA U of S alumni has advanced to the next phase of an astronaut recruitment campaign held by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).University Communicationsalumni, College of Engineering1493151720000/articles/people/2017/out-of-this-worldnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/out-of-this-worldimj1291547625916125imj1291547625916125show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jason-leuschen.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jason-leuschen.jpgnewsjason-leuschen.jpgjason-leuschen.jpgJason Leuschen is in the running to become Canada's next astronaut.NoNoneNo/
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Jason Leuschen, who is originally from B.C. and currently resides in Ottawa, is a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed an undergraduate degree in engineering at the U of S in 2000 and, after growing up on a farm near Bruno, Sask., cites the picturesque prairie sky as inspiration for his astral adventure.

"I fell in love with the sky growing up on a farm in The Land of The Living Skies," he told the (CSA). "Most days you were treated to an inspiring dawn, which would only be topped by the sunset that followed. Evenings in the field, without an artificial light in sight, I was held in rapture by the Milky Way, the northern lights and the moon."

Leuschen will find out this summer if he will join Canada’s astronaut corps. 

Read more about Jason on the CSA website.

committed-to-helping-otherstrue1547851354706imj129Committed to helping othersAs a pageant queen and lawyer-in-training, Siera Bearchell is using her voice to advocate for those who are not always heard.Cat BonnerCollege of Law, students1510331160000/articles/people/2017/committed-to-helping-othersnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/committed-to-helping-othersimj1291547625912933imj1291547625912933show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/siera-bearchell.jpgsite://news/images/2017/siera-bearchell.jpgnewssiera-bearchell.jpgsiera-bearchell.jpgSiera Bearchell is a law student and the first Métis woman to be crowned Miss Universe Canada.NoNoneNo/
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For the University of Saskatchewan law student, participating in beauty pageants has always been more about a platform for positive speech than the stereotypical glitz, glam and fake tan.

The first Métis woman to be crowned Miss Universe Canada in 2016, catapulting her onto the world stage, Bearchell has used her pageant success to champion the rights of women and Indigenous peoples through public speaking.

Losing her family home to fire at age 16, spurred a young Bearchell’s passion for advocacy.

“I could have gone down a path of self-pity,” she explained. “Instead, I used it as an opportunity to reach out to people.”

She began volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross, choosing to share her own devastating life experience to help others overcome theirs. Shortly after, and wishing to further spread her positive message, she came across the Miss Teen Saskatchewan pageant.

“I didn’t enter the pageant for the typical reasons. There was a glamorous side to it for sure, but for me, it was more a way to see if I could raise my voice a little bit,” she said.

Proudly Métis and Saskatchewanian, hailing from Moose Jaw, Bearchell has never let being from a small community stand in the way of chasing big dreams.

“I’ve always had that pride that you can be from somewhere small and still do great things,” she said.

And winning pageants, including her victory at the 2016 Miss Universe Canada, has given her a golden opportunity to reach out to vulnerable groups on a global scale. A passionate advocate for women and Indigenous youth, Bearchell has done a lot of public speaking to high school-aged women, and has been a keynote speaker at the youth-focused WE Day in Saskatoon.

En route to her crown, Bearchell dealt with her fair share of criticism. “I could have taken a ‘woe is me’ attitude, but I chose to take the view that I won’t let it hold me back,” she explained.

Answering her critics, she said, “There is beauty beyond size. There is beauty beyond looking a particular way. It’s time to realize that true beauty, self-worth and validation start from within.”

It is this type of message that Bearchell is keen to impart—for women to free themselves of the stigma that they can’t achieve the things they want to, because of what they are, or are not.

“Women need to empower women, and that is the greatest challenge we face,” she said. “As women, we can be hard on ourselves, and on others. We are consumed by criticism, and we need to overcome this, to be kinder to ourselves.”

For all the opportunity and world travel her Miss Universe Canada title has afforded her, Bearchell is ecstatic to be back home in Saskatchewan and returning to school full-time. When asked why she pursued law, Bearchell explained that it seemed like the natural next step in her advocacy journey.

“When you’re in law, whether you’re a practising lawyer or not, you’re an advocate for others,” Bearchell said.

Set to graduate from the College of Law in spring 2018, Bearchell’s commitment to reconciliation, and improving access to justice for Indigenous peoples, has focused her study on Indigenous law.

“I noticed in my travels across Canada, that there is still a sense of ignorance for Indigenous issues,” she said. “I would like to see more education, particularly in high schools, drawing attention to and understanding the First Peoples of Canada. The issues Indigenous peoples face should not be ignored.”

Bearchell was recently named a U of S Canada 150 Citizen in recognition of the significant impact her volunteer work and public speaking have had in promoting a culture of inclusivity and diversity on campus and across the country.

“It’s wonderful to think that my actions and messages have had a positive impact on people,” she said of the honour. “It shows that one person can make a difference in the lives of others, and it encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Cat Bonner is a communications and alumni relations officer in the College of Law.

sailing-and-studyingtrue1547851354706imj129Sailing and studyingWhile many students spend their time off from school looking to make extra money with a part-time job, Nicole Baldwin’s job search led her to something far more adventurous and extreme.Chris Moringradresearch, students, Toxicology Centre1510325400000/articles/people/2017/sailing-and-studyingnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/sailing-and-studyingimj1291547625907250imj1291547625907250show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/nicole-baldwin.jpgsite://news/images/2017/nicole-baldwin.jpgnewsnicole-baldwin.jpgnicole-baldwin.jpgNicole Baldwin aboard a Sea King helicopter over the Mediterranean Sea during her one-year deployment in 2016NoNoneNo/
TextPullquoteI love the lifestyle of being on board a ship, and I don’t feel like I am ready to be away from that part of my life.Nicole Baldwin/Align left

Instead of working in retail, in restaurants or in an office, she has chased drug smugglers off the coast of South America and encountered Russian ships in oceans around the world while serving in the Canadian naval reserves.

But while her escapades on the high seas may seem worlds apart from her research at the U of S, Baldwin has nevertheless managed to split her time between working on her Master of Science in Toxicology, while also serving in the reserves.

After completing her undergrad degree in toxicology, Baldwin had two paths in front of her. The first option was the opportunity to sail the world. The other would see her back on campus continuing her academic studies. After taking a year off from school to commit to the military full-time, Baldwin now sails the seven seas in addition to studying aquatic life.

“To come from my undergrad at the U of S and to go sailing in oceans around the world, or to be in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea during a refugee crisis, it was a completely different perspective that few people get to experience,” she said.

“Initially, I put in three months doing work-ups—pre-deployment checks that are done prior to sailing overseas—while off the west coast of Canada. From there we were deployed for nine months, which was spent entirely on ship at sea, with docking at ports for a day or two around the world. The whole experience was an adventure.”

The most exciting times at sea were also some of the worst times, and Baldwin admits that not everyone is cut out for naval life.

“We hit a very rough patch in the China Sea while we were heading back to the west coast, but we had a job to do and when you are in a spot like that you realize that you have a responsibility.”

While she maintains a separation between her military service and her academic life, Baldwin admits that there is plenty of overlap between the two worlds.

“In a lot of ways it feels like a double life. But my military experience is also relevant in that learning to multi-task and personal accountability comes into play all the time here,” she said. “My job on ship—to have the ability to listen to a hundred different voices in a stressful situation and still focus—helps with my academic career.”

In addition to finishing her master’s degree—studying aquatic exposures to chemicals and how they are affecting the immune systems of amphibians—Baldwin hopes to continue her career with a civilian position in the military, with thoughts of eventually finishing her PhD.

“I’ve always been interested in the physical and life sciences, and toxicology is a good balance between that,” she said. “That said, I love the lifestyle of being on board a ship, and I don’t feel like I am ready to be away from that part of my life.”

u-of-s-hydrologist-howard-wheater-to-advise-on-u.s.-national-water-futuretrue1547851354706imj129U of S hydrologist Howard Wheater to advise on U.S. national water futureRenowned U of S hydrologist Howard Wheater has been appointed to a distinguished U.S. National Academies panel looking into the future of water resources in the United States.Mark FergusonGlobal Institute for Water Security, Global Water Futures, Howard Wheater1506027780000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-hydrologist-howard-wheater-to-advise-on-u.s.-national-water-futurenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-hydrologist-howard-wheater-to-advise-on-u.s.-national-water-futureimj1291547625900812imj1291547625900812show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/howard-wheater.jpgsite://news/images/2017/howard-wheater.jpgnewshoward-wheater.jpghoward-wheater.jpgHoward WheaterNoNoneNo/
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The panel of leading water science experts is charged with identifying America’s highest-priority water science and resource challenges over the next 25 years, and making recommendations on the strategic water science and research opportunities to address those challenges. It will report its finding in 2018.

“The loss of life and $180-billion damage from Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call to the U.S. for the need to better manage water-related threats, including risks from climate change. And the hurricane’s effect on rising gas prices in Canada shows the far-reaching impacts of extreme events on the global economy,” said Wheater who attended the panel’s first meeting in Washington this week.

“The work of this U.S. panel reinforces the importance of the work we are doing with our U of S Global Institute for Water Security to address Canada’s challenges of coping with a rapidly warming climate and its impacts on our water environment.”

Wheater lends his expertise to several other international water-related issues. He serves as an independent international expert supporting the Republic of Chile in a dispute with Bolivia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. He is also working with the State of Nevada in a dispute with the U.S. Department of Energy over the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository. Wheater also gives keynote addresses to national and international water science meetings.

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To devote more time to international work, Wheater is stepping down from the Global Water Futures (GWF)—the world’s largest university-based water research initiative—directorship on Sept. 30. He will take a one-year administrative leave next year, but will continue to provide strategic support to John Pomeroy, who has served as GWF co-director over the past year. Wheater will also continue to provide support and advice to the GWF core team responsible for hydrological modelling and co-supervise graduate students. He will stay on as director of the Global Institute for Water Security, which he founded in 2010, until March, 2018.

“The $143-million Global Water Futures project is now well launched and is gathering momentum with the support of our three key university partners and scores of other partners across Canada and around the globe,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research.

“Howard Wheater has made an outstanding contribution over the past seven years, and I know that this nationally important Canada First Research Excellence Fund initiative is now going to be in very capable hands under the stellar leadership of Canada Research Chair John Pomeroy.” 

Wheater noted that a number of major projects that he has been leading at the U of S are drawing to a close. The research program of the seven-year Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Water Security concludes this month. Federal funding for Changing Cold Regions Network concludes in March of 2018.

Through the CERC research program, U of S researchers have developed new in-depth knowledge of water issues in the enormous Saskatchewan River Basin and the Mackenzie River Basin, ranging from drought and flooding, to competing societal water uses, to water quality issues. They have used new experimental modelling and remote sensing approaches to understand, diagnose and predict changing land, water and climate in these major river basins.

“Due to our CERC, the U of S has become one of the world-leading research-intensive institutions in the area of water security,” Wheater said.

One of the CERC accomplishments of which he is most proud has been the training of almost 800 graduate students, more than 140 post-doctoral fellows, and more than 250 research scientists, technicians and assistants.

Wheater, who is a Distinguished Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor in Hydrology at London’s Imperial College, served as chair of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Sustainable Management of Water in the Agricultural Landscapes of Canada, which reported in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the American Geophysical Union and winner of the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

Learn more about Global Water Futures

studying-abroad-in-swedentrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in SwedenIt was the best mix of learning and adventure.Kim Fontainestudy abroad, international1506026100000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-swedennewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-swedenimj1291547625899270imj1291547625899270show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/megan-lacelle.jpgsite://news/images/2017/megan-lacelle.jpgnewsmegan-lacelle.jpgmegan-lacelle.jpgPreparing for a hike on the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway.NoNoneNo/
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U of S College of Law student Megan Lacelle, 23, is originally from Cadillac, Sask. She recently embarked on an adventure to Sweden through the Study Abroad program. While there, she took two classes at Lund University: Maritime Law and Legal History of Minorities.

Megan told us a bit about her time abroad, and showed us a few pictures, too.

Did you visit any other countries? If yes, which ones? Which was your favorite and why?
I visited nine countries while I was abroad. I loved the Netherlands, Spain and England, but my favourite country was Norway. It was breathtaking! 

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
The best moments of my trip were going to my classes in the morning and catching flights to other countries in the afternoon. It was the best mix of learning and adventure.

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
The Swedish people I met were so relaxed, confident and naturally cool. They were really friendly and they bike everywhere! 

TextImage/images/2017/megan-lacelle-lund.jpgsite://news/images/2017/megan-lacelle-lund.jpgnewsmegan-lacelle-lund.jpgmegan-lacelle-lund.jpgLund, Sweden in spring is breathtaking.Above content

What little, ordinary thing did you miss from your usual routine?
I really missed salt and vinegar chips while I was away. They have chips in Sweden and the rest of Europe, but they aren’t as good as the ones in Canada.

Did you make any accidental cultural faux-pas?
Do NOT jaywalk in Denmark. I didn’t do it, but friends of mine did. It will get you a lot of dirty looks and may even land you a fine.


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the University of Saskatchewan, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre in lower Place Riel.

invictus-inspirationtrue1547851354706imj129Invictus inspiration“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”Sean Conroyalumni1505840700000/articles/people/2017/invictus-inspirationnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/invictus-inspirationimj1291547625780759imj1291547625780759show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/andy-mccreath-prince-harry.jpgsite://news/images/2017/andy-mccreath-prince-harry.jpgnewsandy-mccreath-prince-harry.jpgandy-mccreath-prince-harry.jpgAndy McCreath (far left) with Prince Harry at the launch announcement of the 2017 Invictus Games.NoNoneNo/
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This line from the poem Invictus by English poet William Ernest Henley is the ethos of the Invictus Games, the brainchild of Prince Harry of Wales.

The Invictus Games is an international athletics competition for active duty and veteran service members who have become ill or injured during, or resulting from, their service. Featuring 12 sports including powerlifting and wheelchair tennis, the Games are an Olympics-style event for adaptive sport athletes. Hosted in Toronto, the games will welcome more than 550 competitors from 17 countries, including Canada.

The indomitable spirit of these men and women has always been an inspiration for Andy McCreath (BA’99), co-chair of this year’s competition in Toronto. In his role, McCreath is leading fundraising efforts and sponsorship of the games.

McCreath’s devotion to servicemen and women is nothing new. For several years, he was involved with the True Patriot Love Foundation, a national charity which raises funds for veterans and their families. In 2014, McCreath and his business partner Christian Darbyshire spearheaded efforts to raise $1.2 million for the foundation through a charity dinner in Calgary.

McCreath is proud that it was ultimately the work done by the True Patriot Love Foundation which attracted interest from the Invictus Games organizers to host the event in Canada.

“The True Patriot Love Foundation is something very close to my heart, as my grandfather served our country,” he said. “The countless sacrifices made by our Canadian armed forces, be it physical or mental, should be highly recognized by Canadians everywhere.”

Sharing the common bond of supporting and celebrating the resilience of the Invictus Games competitors, McCreath met Prince Harry at the launch announcement of the 2017 games.

“He was very humble,” McCreath said of the prince. “It was great that he was able to make it out for the launch. He should be very proud of what he has created.”

The Invictus Games take place Sept. 23–30, beginning with the opening ceremonies. The closing ceremonies on Sept. 30 will feature performances by Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson and more.

Read more at Invictus Games.

law-grad-named-to-forbes-30-under-30-listtrue1547851354706imj129Law grad named to Forbes 30 under 30 listAndrew Arruda (JD’14) has made the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 law and policy list.Sean ConroyCollege of Law, alumni1484334900000/articles/people/2017/law-grad-named-to-forbes-30-under-30-listnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/law-grad-named-to-forbes-30-under-30-listimj1291547625769365imj1291547625769365show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/andrew-arruda.jpgsite://news/images/2017/andrew-arruda.jpgnewsandrew-arruda.jpgandrew-arruda.jpgNoNoneNo/
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A co-founder of ROSS Intelligence, Arruda has built a legal research engine that uses artificial intelligence to provide everything from citations to full legal briefs.

TextVideo/ has spoken extensively about his AI legal service, most recently in a TED talk about on the subject of technology and innovation.Align right

“Research itself takes up 20 per cent of a lawyer’s time, so we’re able to cut down that time from hours to minutes, if not seconds,” said Arruda. “A lot of times your everyday person is unable to really afford a lawyer so our goal really with our tool is to democratize the law.”

He credits his education at the U of S for shaping his career.

“The institution really allowed us to think outside the box and gave us the confidence that we could do anything.”

Read more on Arruda’s special recognition.

president-sets-priorities-for-2017true1547851354706imj129President sets priorities for 2017There will be memorable centennial celebrations as well as inevitable challenges and changes, but Peter Stoicheff is looking forward to seeing all that 2017 has in store for the University of Saskatchewan.James ShewagaPeter Stoicheff, pec1484325420000/articles/people/2017/president-sets-priorities-for-2017newssite://news/articles/people/2017/president-sets-priorities-for-2017imj1291547625765399imj1291547625765399show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/peter-stoicheff.jpgsite://news/images/2017/peter-stoicheff.jpgnewspeter-stoicheff.jpgpeter-stoicheff.jpgPresident Peter Stoicheff offers his thoughts on priorities for the new year (photo by David Stobbe).NoNoneNo/
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Now serving his second year as president of the U of S, Stoicheff is focused on both short-term priorities and long-term goals as the university commemorates the 100th anniversary of its alumni association with multiple events, while Canada celebrates the country’s 150th anniversary—its sesquicentennial.

“I am looking forward to us participating meaningfully in the country’s sesquicentennial and I am looking forward to the fact that this is the 100th anniversary of our alumni association as well,” said Stoicheff. “Building engagement with our alumni is something that is a very high priority for me . . .

“And I am also very excited that we have the mission, vision and values document in place now. I find it a very inspirational document and just what the university needs at this time in its history.”

For the first time in 24 years, the university has updated its mission, vision and values, reflecting the plethora of changes that have occurred on campus since 1993, while staying true to the tenets and traditions that have successfully guided the institution over its 110-year history. Stoicheff is determined to bring that newly revised mission, vision and values document to life.

“I am looking forward to the ways that the university will engage in making that document real,” he said. “In other words, strategic planning, in terms of the things that we do.”

Stoicheff said the university remains firmly focused on constantly improving the student experience as one of the country’s leading research-intensive institutions and continuing to build on the major funding initiatives and progressive programs and projects that have been started across campus.

From the ongoing construction of the Collaborative Science Research Building and the new hotel complex on campus to continuing the Home Ice Campaign to complete funding for Merlis Belsher Place as the new home for hockey and basketball, there are a variety of projects underway that will continue to enhance the look of the university. However, the foundation of the university remains built on research, teaching and outreach, and Stoicheff is looking forward to seeing tangible results from multiple major recent funding announcements.

“It’s exciting to start to see the outcomes of the many different high-level research initiatives that we have embarked upon,” said Stoicheff, noting that the U of S was the only university in the country to be awarded two Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) awards, totalling $115 million in federal funding. “Seeing what will happen with the two CFREF grants that we received and the wonderful addition of Canada Excellence Research Chair Leon Kochian, all of these things are really exciting. And I have to mention the transformational work that has been done in the College of Medicine that has really positioned that crucial college for success.”

Among the president’s priorities in 2017 is completing the search for the university’s first vice-provost of Indigenous engagement, as well as continuing to pursue the possibility of re-opening the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus.

“We are moving on the vice-provost Indigenous engagement position,” he said. “The committee was struck, I am chairing it and it is beginning to meet. So it is very much in the works.”

As for the Kenderdine project, fundraising will be a key component in the process to re-open the satellite campus that was temporarily closed in 2012.

“We have a professionally designed site plan that combines some of the buildings that are there and are good enough to remain there, with a whole new capacity for that campus,” he said. “So we are moving on Emma Lake. Giving you a date for its opening would require knowing where the funding is coming from and all that I can say there, and what people deserve to know, is that we are putting a strong push on a quiet phase of fundraising for that.”

Fundraising remains a crucial area of support for the university, which is also dealing with budgetary pressures at the provincial level. Despite a great deal of success receiving federal funding in support of specific research and infrastructure projects, the U of S experienced a mid-year adjustment that took back $5-million from the 2016 provincial operating grant, and anticipates the upcoming provincial budget this spring will create more financial challenges for the university.

“It was a mid-year adjustment and it was disappointing,” Stoicheff said. “(But) I do not read it as a signal that the province does not support the value of the University of Saskatchewan. And the province has stated the adjustment is one-time. “But it was disappointing. As (interim provost) Michael Atkinson stated, this does not yet mean that we are going to be diminishing our academic program offerings, diminishing our support for research, or cutting positions anywhere in the university.”

To accommodate the budget shortfall, the university dipped into its reserve fund for the second straight year, an unsustainable practice for any institution.

“We have been excellent stewards of our financial situation and as a result, we have had the appropriate percentage of our overall budget devoted to reserve funds. Not inappropriately large, entirely appropriate within the post-secondary education sector in the country,” Stoicheff said. “We’re glad that we did have that and we are now in a situation where we are using that. But as with any reserve funds, that situation isn’t eternally sustainable.

“The point we continually make to the provincial government is that investment in us is an investment in the future and in the province’s capacity for innovation, growth and solving the social challenges we face.”

new-board-chair-on-his-role-and-goalstrue1547851354706imj129New board chair on his role and goalsLee Ahenakew has settled into his new role as the chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Saskatchewan. James ShewagaBoard of Governors, Lee Ahenakew, aboriginal1484325180000/articles/people/2017/new-board-chair-on-his-role-and-goalsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/new-board-chair-on-his-role-and-goalsimj1291547625764293imj1291547625764293show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/lee-ahenakew.jpgsite://news/images/2017/lee-ahenakew.jpgnewslee-ahenakew.jpglee-ahenakew.jpgLee Ahenakew took over as board chair in July 2016.NoNoneNo/
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Ahenakew, who graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing in 1997, was appointed to the board in 2013 and took over as chair on July 1, 2016, replacing Greg Smith. Ahenakew recently spoke with On Campus News editor James Shewaga about his role and goals.


You have served on the board for three years and as the board chair since July 1. How comfortable are you now in the new role?
I’m quite comfortable. I had time to be well prepared, serving as vicechair for over a year. I’ve invested time in director training and attended the Canadian University Boards conference and served on boards since I was 23 and have chaired many meetings. Our board is a good size and we have the right skills, engaged board members, and a great leader in President Peter Stoicheff. That all helps me feel comfortable in my role. 

What do you see as your main role as board chair?
A big part of my role is to ensure that we get input from both university administration and our key stakeholders in a frank discussion in order to come to the best decision possible to meet our goals. Understanding where board members are at on a given issue is a crucial part of the process so that everyone feels good about the decisions that we make. And as always, we need to be guided by the values and principles of the university as we make these decisions. 

What would you consider to be the top priority for the board in the 2016-17 academic year?
The board is primarily responsible for property and revenues of the university, so the most important thing is always ensuring that we are making decisions that will ensure financial sustainability and provide the resources required to fulfil our strategic plan. We need to work even more closely with the province to find innovative financial solutions to ensure these tight economic times do not distract us from our academic and research mission. 

What are some of the other major areas that you are looking forward to dealing with?
Indigenization is very important and a subject matter that is of personal and professional interest. I am a proud member of the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation and have worked for more than 20 years in the field of corporate Aboriginal relations. I’m serving on the committee that will choose our first vice-provost Indigenous engagement, which is an important new position. The new mission, vision and values document, for which I served on the committee, makes bold statements for Indigenization which excites me. I’m also looking forward to facilitating the board’s input to the fourth integrated plan, which will be based on the vision document and determine how we will fulfil our future.

How important is it to continue to build on the university’s commitment to Indigenization and to Aboriginal achievement? Post-secondary has a key role to play in reconciliation as articulated by the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The university is a leader in this area, and given our important position among Canadian universities we have an opportunity to do what we need to do to have an impact on the country, and even the world. So our ability to work with Indigenous people for the benefit of Indigenous communities, provincially and globally, is vital. This will fuel social good and sustainable economic growth. 

Are there a couple of key agenda items coming up that people should know about?
There are many important agenda items, but none more in the public eye than the new ice facility, which has the potential to transform Huskie Athletics. We’re already leading the country with a unique Huskie Board of Trustees that provides the expertise needed to take our student-athletes and teams to the next level. With a new multi-purpose rink facility on the horizon, it is an exciting time for the Huskies. 

The board went through some difficult decisions a few years ago, with the change in president. How comforting is it to have stable leadership at the top now under President Stoicheff?
In President Stoicheff we have a leader who inspires. His upbringing and career provide him with a balance between arts and humanities and the sciences that we need in a leader right now. Collaboration across disciplines is the key to innovation that will serve Saskatchewan in the things that are needed most. Peter is the president that can lead us to those solutions.

What is the biggest challenge facing the university over the next few years?
There is no one thing. The environment for universities has intensified in the last couple of decades with larger faculty, bigger budgets, information technology, increased scrutiny for public dollars, greater expectations by stakeholders, and a bright light on ethics and values. Combine that with deferred maintenance on buildings and squeezed operating budgets and government transfers. We really need to work with all parties to ensure that we maintain our increasing leadership position. 

How excited are you about the direction the University of Saskatchewan is heading?
I burst green with pride when I think about it! We have the collaborative attitude, people, and research infrastructure to solve the world’s problems. We have a wide array of colleges and research infrastructure to do what no one else can do. That and we’re the most beautiful campus in Canada in the best city and province to live in. Really, what more could you ask for? 

from-syria-to-saskatoontrue1547851354706imj129From Syria to SaskatoonWhen a missile struck the oil refinery near her home in Syria, setting ablaze a raging fire only steps from her children’s bedrooms, Rana Mustafa left with her family and never looked back.HenryTye GlazebrookCollege of Agriculture and Bioresources, International1484324940000/articles/people/2017/from-syria-to-saskatoonnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/from-syria-to-saskatoonimj1291547625763396imj1291547625763396show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/rana-mustafa.jpgsite://news/images/2017/rana-mustafa.jpgnewsrana-mustafa.jpgrana-mustafa.jpgRana Mustafa is a visiting professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.NoNoneNo/
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The only possession she brought with her was her laptop. Six months later, air attacks destroyed the house and snatched away any hope of recovering her family’s remaining belongings.

“Everything was left inside—books, clothes, my kids’ paintings, everything you can imagine,” said Mustafa, a visiting professor in food science at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

“How do you leave your home every day? I left my home exactly like that. I moved, but I thought I could come back later when the fire was gone. I have never been there since.”

Until recently, Mustafa was an associate professor and leading researcher at Al-Baath University in Homs, Syria. Her life was upended when early into the ongoing Syrian Civil War, the building she worked in was attacked and the entire institution was forced to shut down for three months. Even after it reopened, life remained violently different.

“All the time there was bombardment, explosions, kidnapping,” she said. 

“You’d be as close to campus as Place Riel and you’d see and hear the guns and bombardment in the neighborhood. When I would go from one department to another, or to-and-from class, many times I would run because I was afraid. Many people were killed that way, or in explosions.”

TextPullquoteHow do you leave your home every day? I left my home exactly like that. I moved, but I thought I could come back later when the fire was gone. I have never been there since.Rana Mustafa/Align right

Mustafa has been working at the U of S since February of 2016, when she was able to leave her home through joint funding from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources and the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund.

She came to Canada with just her two children—a daughter, 17, and 10-year-old son—leaving behind all the rest of her family members.

The process of leaving her old life behind was no simple affair, and meant juggling her extraordinary circumstances with the hidden truth that she was actively searching for an exit. If anyone had discovered her plans, it would have likely meant prison.

“I risked my life just going to-and-from the university. At every checkpoint, I had to give my ID. I just wanted to go home,” Mustafa said.

While her current role primarily involves doing research, Mustafa said she chose the U of S over other possible options because it provided her with better future opportunities to do what she loves most about her job: educating.

Even in war-torn Homs, when safety measures meant classes that normally featured more than 100 students slowly dwindled to single digit numbers, Mustafa continued pushing her pupils to learn through online lessons via Facebook.

“If you can’t come to class, you have internet. You have to learn. It will help you,” she said. “All day I was working on the internet to reply to their questions and give them their lectures, to communicate with them and encourage them. I said to them all the time, ‘Education is the key.’”

Mustafa’s scholarship ends in February, though she is seeking, with no guarantees, to have it renewed for another year. In the meantime, she is trying to apply for jobs which match her skills and could help her to stay with her kids here in Canada.

She spends her spare time getting to know her colleagues, interacting with people from other cultures in the city and volunteering with community organizations such as the Saskatoon Open Door Society. On some days Mustafa will take her family to cultural gatherings, where her son will lift spirits by playing the oud—a large, guitar-like instrument with a body shaped like a chestnut cracked in two—while she sings along beside him, the two of them helping to build community in their new home.

“I had no choice. I want to work, and I want my kids to live. I see that there is no future in Syria for us,” she said. “I could have died there, but I’d rather die some other way.”

aboriginal-career-start-program-opens-doorstrue1547851354706imj129Aboriginal Career Start program opens doorsThe Aboriginal Career Start (ACS) program has received rave reviews from participants since being launched at the University of Saskatchewan in spring 2016.Zaheed BardaiHuman Resources Division, Aboriginal1484668140000/articles/people/2017/aboriginal-career-start-program-opens-doorsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/aboriginal-career-start-program-opens-doorsimj1291547625758601imj1291547625758601show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/deana-thunderchild.jpgsite://news/images/2017/deana-thunderchild.jpgnewsdeana-thunderchild.jpgdeana-thunderchild.jpgThe ACS program led to a position in the College of Medicine for Deana Thunderchild.NoNoneNo/
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The program, a partnership between the U of S and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) and the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC), placed 18 graduates of administration and business programs in term positions across the university. Of the 18 placements, 13 secured full or part-time employment on campus, while four individuals were accepted into full-time studies at the university.

ACS program chair Paul Sayers is pleased with the results.

“The ACS would have never been possible without the support of our external Aboriginal partner organizations,” he said. “However, we are most proud of the students of the program, as many have obtained permanent full-time employment here at the university in departments outside of their ACS placements. This speaks to the calibre of the institutions where these students have graduated from.”

Due to its success, the program will be offered again this spring and expanded across campus.

We caught up with four graduates and asked them what the ACS program afforded them, personally and professionally.

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Dwayne Kinniewess, Saulteaux, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation (SIIT), College of Medicine

What were your favourite things about the ACS program? 
Meeting new people, fellow ACS participants and leadership from different departments of the university. The training helped me understand the systems and programs and I felt very comfortable meeting with other Aboriginal people working here. For the ACS committee and the various levels of leadership to have confidence in me, it means everything to me.

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Vanessa Montgrand, Métis, La Loche (GDI), Student and Enrolment Services Division

How supportive were the people involved with the ACS program?
The support I receive from my co-workers, managers and ACS committee has been overwhelming. My co-workers and managers are supportive and are always positive and willing to lend a hand when I need it. The ACS committee has been enlightening, constructive and humble. Their life experience and personal interest with the Aboriginal initiatives at the University of Saskatchewan makes me proud to be a part of the team.

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Sharon Robinson, Métis, Green Lake (GDI), Connection Point

How has the ACS program opened doors for you?
The ACS program opened up a door to my new career as a service agent at ConnectionPoint. I love my job and all the people involved, and I can’t thank ACS enough for being able to have this opportunity. For anyone interested in taking the ACS program here at the U of S, I encourage them to do so. It will open up a bright future to a career, and it helps others know that anything is possible.

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Deana Thunderchild, Thunderchild First Nation (GDI), College of Medicine

What makes you proud to be a graduate from the ACS program? 
Knowing that I did it, I made the step of choosing a better path for my career. With the ACS program, there are so many opportunities to be involved in something great.

What do you like most about working at the U of S?
The environment would be what I like the most. It is enjoyable knowing you will never go through the same thing, two days in a row.


Zaheed Bardai is a communications specialist with Human Resources.

vanier-scholarships-supporting-studentstrue1547851354706imj129Vanier scholarships supporting studentsIf you ask University of Saskatchewan PhD student Kimberly MacKay, a genome’s three-dimensional structure is best explained by likening it to origami.HenryTye Glazebrookstudents, gradresearch1484320440000/articles/people/2017/vanier-scholarships-supporting-studentsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/vanier-scholarships-supporting-studentsimj1291547625747682imj1291547625747682show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kimberly-mackay.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kimberly-mackay.jpgnewskimberly-mackay.jpgkimberly-mackay.jpgPhD student and Vanier scholarship winner Kimberly MacKay is studying bioinformatics.NoNoneNo/
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A single piece of crisp paper can be folded into any number of shapes. Twist its edges one way and you’ll wind up hoisting a paper crane. A simple re-arranging of those creases, however, could yield a dove, a boat or seemingly boundless other possibilities. “You can think of the genome three-dimensional structure the same way,” MacKay said. “You have your strand of DNA. Fold it one way and it will do one thing, but fold it a different way and it will do another thing, and those will have different structures and functions associated with them.”

MacKay, who studies bioinformatics, is one of two U of S students—along with Jacques Desmarais—to win a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2016. The prize is one of Canada’s top honours for graduate students, and awards recipients with up to $150,000 over three years to support their doctoral studies.

For MacKay, that funding is supporting her work on predicting three-dimensional genome structures, as she builds a program that takes in biological data and uses it to create a model of what these structures could potentially look like.

MacKay explained that the project could reveal a new understanding of science at a fundamental level, with vast potential in fields as wide-ranging as agriculture, medicine and essentially anything involved with the study of biology. It could even be used as a starting point to develop new treatments for diseases such as cancer.

“One of the main areas that three-dimensional genome structure has been shown to have a big role in is cancer research,” she said. “With cancer, different folds can happen that cause different mutations or rearrangements to occur in the genome. If we can develop therapies to reverse these disease-related folds, we can potentially return cells back to a non-cancerous state.”

TextImage/images/2017/jacques-desmarais.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jacques-desmarais.jpgnewsjacques-desmarais.jpgjacques-desmarais.jpgJacques Desmarais is completing his PhD in geology.Align right

For his part, Desmarais, a PhD student in geology, earned his Vanier Scholarship in part due to his research into defining objects unseen to the human eye.

Desmarais is working on computer algorithms that calculate properties of materials. The project works entirely from a theoretical standpoint, based on the concepts of quantum mechanics and using little to no prior knowledge from experiments.

“Say we wanted to know how the inside of the Earth works, because the inside of the Earth is what drives volcanoes and plate tectonics and things like that,” he said. “Since we can’t get there, and since often it’s too difficult to simulate the high pressures and temperatures, sometimes the only thing we can do is theory.”

Among other applications, the algorithms are used to study crystals that make up geological formations on Earth and other planets.

“Using these types of theoretical approaches, one can calculate the properties of materials inside of planets and, from there, start to predict how exactly the inside of that planet works,” he said.

The Vanier Scholarship has allowed Desmarais to team up with researchers in Italy working on a project called Crystal, featuring collaborators from around the globe who have been developing these types of algorithms for more than 60 years. In 2016, he joined the group for three months, got a grasp of speaking Italian and relished the opportunity to learn from bright minds from around the world.

“They have a lot of collaborators from different countries and they all come to meet at this particular lab,” he said. “Maybe every week there would be a new professor or researcher from a different country and I’d get to meet them and learn something from them.”

After six decades of work already, there is no end in sight for the Crystal project. While some researchers may be uncomfortable working without a strict deadline, Desmarais is excited about the possibility of remaining involved in the project long-term.

"It’s an exciting project. We’ll see how things turn out, but I could see myself working on it or similar projects for some time.”

u-of-s-researchers-named-fellows-of-the-canadian-academy-of-health-sciencestrue1547851354706imj129U of S researchers named fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health SciencesThree University of Saskatchewan researchers have been appointed fellows of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), one of the highest honours in Canada’s health sciences community.Sarath PeirisCollege of Medicine, Western College of Veterinary Medicine1505771280000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-researchers-named-fellows-of-the-canadian-academy-of-health-sciencesnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-researchers-named-fellows-of-the-canadian-academy-of-health-sciencesimj1291547625737587imj1291547625737587show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/gregg-adams.jpgsite://news/images/2017/gregg-adams.jpgnewsgregg-adams.jpggregg-adams.jpgGregg Adams, professor in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, is one of three U of S researchers named to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.NoNoneNo/
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Reproductive biologist Gregg Adams (above) in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, structural biologist Miroslaw Cygler (left) in the College of Medicine, and respirologist Darcy Marciniuk (bottom right), also in the College of Medicine, were selected after being nominated by their peers and the U of S. Each of the researchers are nationally and internationally recognized contributions in the field of medical science.

The competitive selection process is based on the candidates’ internationally recognized research leadership, academic performance and scientific creativity. CAHS fellows evaluate Canada’s most complex health challenges and recommend strategic, actionable solutions in the form of assessments.

“Gregg, Miroslaw and Darcy embody the spirit of the academy,” said Kishor Wasan, secretary of the CAHS executive and dean of the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition.

“They have the expertise and the desire to volunteer to conduct independent and unbiased assessments on health-related topics important to Canadians. Their international reputation for research and their commitment to the health sciences made them ideal candidates.”

Adams is recognized internationally as a leader in researching aspects of reproduction. He has published foundational studies on the mechanisms by which mammals pass their genes from generation to generation. He has served in many leadership positions, including president of the International Embryo Technology Society.

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Adams was named Theriogenologist of the Year in 2014. Theriogenology is a branch of veterinary medicine dealing with animal obstetrics and diseases and physiology of animal reproductive systems.

”It’s really amazing to be in a group of such high calibre scholars,” Adams said of the recognition. “They are down to earth, but they make a tremendous contribution to decisions made by the academy.”

Marciniuk is a professor of medicine, respirology, critical care, and sleep medicine, and currently serves as associate vice-president for research (acting). An international leader in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he has spent his career translating research findings to optimize patient care and benefit population lung health. His work has been recognized for setting the standard of care in Canada and around the world. He is a past president of the American College of Chest Physicians and a recipient of the Founder’s Award from the Canadian Lung Association.

“I’m grateful to the university for providing such a supportive and fertile environment for research,” Marciniuk said. “I am appreciative of the many gifted colleagues I work with not only at the U of S but throughout Canada and beyond, whose common goal is to improve the lives of people with lung disease.”

Cygler is a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Medicine using the synchrotron at the U of S. He is one of the world’s most accomplished leaders in structural biology, which seeks to get a comprehensive picture of biological phenomena at the molecular and atomic level. His seminal discoveries have significantly shaped knowledge in the area of structural enzymology and the interactions of proteins and carbohydrates.

The U of S has 13 health scientists previously selected as CAHS fellows: Debra Morgan and Susan Whiting (2016); Jo-Anne Dillon, Ivar Mendez and Lawrence Brawley (2014); Ted Leighton and Ali Rajput (2013); Donald Cockroft (2012); Andrew Potter (2011); Kishor Wasan (2010); and James Dosman, Jay Kalra, Roger Pierson and William Albritton (2005).

meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-gabriel-lamarchetrue1547851354706imj129Meet the Aboriginal Student Achievement Award winners: Gabriel LamarcheFrom a young age Gabriel Lamarche was interested in archaeology. Now he works to teach others about this passion. Jordan Sherbinostudents, aboriginal, College of Arts and Science1488550500000/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-gabriel-lamarchenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-gabriel-lamarcheimj1291547625691826imj1291547625691826show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/gabriel-lamarche.jpgsite://news/images/2017/gabriel-lamarche.jpgnewsgabriel-lamarche.jpggabriel-lamarche.jpgGabriel LamarcheNoNoneNo/
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This week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating Aboriginal Achievement Week with a range of cultural events, discussion panels, artistic activities and celebrations.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Gabriel Lamarche, a third-year archeology major in the College of Arts and Science, who is getting an award for his academic achievements.

Not only is Gabriel a strong student academically, but he’s also shown tremendous leadership in archaeology with a strong willingness to be engaged in both the classroom and the community.

Gabriel is a highly accomplished—and largely self-taught—flintknapper, or maker of stone tools, who has actively shared his knowledge and expertise with other students and members of the public. He routinely gives flintknapping demonstrations in classes, leads weekly flintknapping workshops and produces replica tools for both instruction and display.

Gabriel serves on the executive of the Archaeology and Anthropology Students’ Association and has been recommended for a board position with the Saskatchewan Archeological Society.

We caught up with Gabriel to ask him a few questions about what got him interested in flintknapping and archaeology more generally. 

What got you interested in archaeology?
It wasn’t one isolated event which goaded me onto this path, but one of the most pivotal moments was probably when I was about 10 or 12 and witnessed—and participated a little bit in—an archaeological mitigation project at a Camp Kitchikewana, on Beausoleil Island, in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Here I oversaw an exchange of knowledge between a good archaeologist and a respected Midewewin elder. I recognized then that we are literally standing upon thousands of years of history, extending much farther back than written accounts, which can be carefully excavated and studied and understood, and that the elders and the archaeologists are both scholars of different aspects of the same reality: our heritage.

Archaeology can provide radiocarbon dates, chemical isotope ratios, precise measurements and many types of accurate details, while many of our elders carry very specific knowledge of cultural meanings and significance which colour and animate the ancient past. By meshing the knowledge of both realms, we can move towards a fuller understanding of our ancestors. I’m slowly coming to consider ‘good archaeologist’ as somewhat synonymous with Oshkaabewis [Ojibwe for a traditional helper or attendant of the elders], and hopefully, one day soon, vice versa will be openly recognized as well.

Why did you first get into flintknapping?
I first started trying when I was a boy. During that archaeological excavation, one of the archaeologists, a kind man from Italy, uncovered a ‘knapping work station’ where someone had sat several thousand years ago, and made some tools by fracturing stone, leaving behind some shards and chips. As he explained it to me, I realized I had no real idea what that really was, and that fascinated me. In the upper levels, wrought iron nails were found. I knew what a nail was, I knew what iron was, I could understand that. Bits of broken china and glass were found. That too, I could understand.But breaking stone to make beautiful tools? That captivated me, and I set myself to learn how.

It was very slow going. I asked some of my traditional elders to teach me, but they, having been through residential school and often born to parents who had been through residential school, just said “we don't need to do that anymore.” I was disheartened and realized that their response had more to do with their experiences of acculturation than what I needed. Though some of our ancestors may have put down a particular bundle, that doesn’t mean it should never be picked up again. I was lucky to live in an area that was fairly rich in good knappable stone so I was able to learn some of the fundamentals on my own by trial and error, but the nuances of it eluded me.

Puberty interrupted my quest to learn, (teenage girls didn't think stone tools were very ‘cool,’ so I had to become a musician for a while) but when I was about 20, I came across a book by an archaeologist and a flintknapper, D.C. Waldorf, on the topic of flintknapping. While reading it the lightbulb came on in my head and I realized the nuances I had missed as a boy, and this set me on a renewed course. Since then, I've spent most free hours practicing and refining my techniques, learning to use the tools, applying them to other crafts and researching related topics.

What is your favourite thing that you’ve ever made via flintknapping?
I don’t really have one favourite thing—each new project brings new challenges and new joys. I enjoy attempting the bold flint daggers from chalcolithic Northern Europe, and it’s meditative to practice carefully peeling little razors from paleolithic Siberian microblade cores. I guess my favourite would be attempting to replicate paleolithic spear points from this continent—many of those old ones are masterpieces of both artistry and function, elegant in form but rigorous in execution.

I’ve recently started experimenting with the styles of Mayan ceremonial pieces, but I practice the flaking techniques only, without imitating the physical motifs, because those obviously have significance which I haven’t received appropriate teachings on, so I’ll apply the techniques, for example, to make a broad knife form while hollowing out the inside, together forming a letter. I love exploring the landscapes of the craft, the peaks from the places and times when people truly dedicated themselves to stone, not merely for utility, but also for cultural and personal expression.


To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Aboriginal Achievement Week website

masters-degree-a-family-first-for-abshertrue1547851354706imj129Master’s degree a family first for AbsherBefore they came to Canada, Nafisa Absher’s family spent years moving through the Middle East in search of a home.HenryTye GlazebrookSchool of Public Health, international, gradresearch1497023220000/articles/people/2017/masters-degree-a-family-first-for-abshernewssite://news/articles/people/2017/masters-degree-a-family-first-for-absherimj1291547625660621imj1291547625660621show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/nafisa-absher.jpgsite://news/images/2017/nafisa-absher.jpgnewsnafisa-absher.jpgnafisa-absher.jpgNafisa AbsherNoNoneNo/
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Though her upbringing was steeped in Somali culture, Absher and her siblings have never set foot in the country in which their roots lay. Instead, their formative years were spread across Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Syria before they were able to secure a permanent home in Canada.

And through it all, the then-13 year-old Absher gained a profound appreciation for the single mother who strained and toiled ceaselessly to give her children opportunities that she never had.

“My mom worked really hard to make sure that, even though things were difficult, we never felt like we were living in poverty or being discriminated against,” said the University of Saskatchewan master’s student. “She always made sure that we were comfortable and felt like we were at home.

“Now that I’m older and have talked to her, I’m realizing that the stuff she’s been through is beyond my mind. I feel so grateful for my mom to have gone through all that for us to be here, and for me to sit here today and say I’m getting my master’s and I’m the first woman in my family to attain post-secondary education.”

Absher’s family found a home in Regina, where she attended high school and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Regina. From there, she looked to the U of S as the place where she could pursue her master’s in the School of Public Health, without straying too far from the family she holds so dear. “I’ve always had a passion to improve the health of marginalized communities with an integrative approach, and I wanted to pursue a career that would enable me to address health inequities from a population level,” said Absher, who completed the Master of Public Health program this year and received her degree at spring convocation.

Coming from the U of R was difficult at first for Absher, who says the U of S proved a larger and more daunting school at the outset. Feeling that graduate students are often isolated from campus activities, Absher became involved with the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) as a way of carving out a place on campus and helping to build community among fellow graduate students.

By her final year, Absher was helping lead the GSA as its vice-president operations and communications. This past year, Absher focused on the internal operations of the GSA, including the supervision of the staff, co-ordinating the GSA bursary selection process, overseeing the implementation of additional programs and services, and advocating for additional financial support for graduate students.

Absher recalls her final year of study fondly, when as the recipient of the Dr. James Rossiter MPH Practicum Award, she took on a 12-week placement with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health branch in Regina.

Absher said the experience was one of the highlights of her school year, as she conducted interviews to help build a framework for developing a comprehensive regional surveillance plan. The resulting data could then be used to empower Indigenous communities to improve and protect their own health and well-being.

“It really did reaffirm my passion for working with underserved communities and working in the area of health inequities, and doing it from the point of view of epidemiology and health policy,” she said.

These days, Absher is reflecting on the influence her mother’s experience has had on her upbringing, stretching from her beginnings a half a world away and through to her chosen career-path today.

“She makes me more passionate about the work that I’m in, and makes me want to work even harder to help people who are going through similar experiences and feel they don’t have a voice—to offer my support,” she said.

pakistan-to-the-prairiestrue1547851354706imj129Pakistan to the PrairiesUntil he came to Saskatoon, religious persecution was an everyday part of Rashid Ahmed’s life.HenryTye GlazebrookEdwards School of Business, alumni, international1497022860000/articles/people/2017/pakistan-to-the-prairiesnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/pakistan-to-the-prairiesimj1291547625658234imj1291547625658234show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/rashid-ahmed.jpgsite://news/images/2017/rashid-ahmed.jpgnewsrashid-ahmed.jpgrashid-ahmed.jpgRashid Ahmed completed his business degree while working close to full-time hours and maintaining an active volunteer schedule.NoNoneNo/
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Ahmed and his family were no strangers to violent, menacing treatment in their home country of Pakistan, where federal law excised their Ahmadiyya Muslim faith as illegitimate and lowered their status, legally and socially, in comparison to their fellow citizens.

“One day, some guys came and they told my family, ‘If you would not leave this house, we will kill your son or your husband,’” Ahmed said. “My brother at the time was not in the house and my father was at work, fortunately, but still they threatened my mom and my sister. When I heard that story, I asked them to leave that place right way. That’s not a good place to live.”

After earning a degree in finance but finding little in the way of work, Ahmed left Pakistan behind in 2012, immigrating to Canada as a land of new opportunities. Today he’s a proud alum of the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business, graduating this spring with a degree in human resources. This year, in addition to being a U of S grad, he’s happy to say he will also become a full Canadian citizen.

Ahmed fell to his lowest point in his second year of school, an ocean away from his family and nearly completely incapable of helping them. But instead of giving in to thoughts of dropping out, he sought out ways to give back, taking on volunteer opportunities with the likes of Feed the Homeless, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and 5 Days for the Homeless, to meet new people and raise his spirits.

“I don’t think there was a weekend when I missed doing volunteer work,” he said, adding that his volunteerism culminated in being given the U of S Students’ Union Vera Pezer Award. “I was involved with different activities in Saskatoon because I believe that if you help others, God will help you.”

Ahmed is perhaps most satisfied with his work as president of the U of S branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students’ Association (AMSA), a nationwide organization that aims to provide guidance and outreach opportunities for those of the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith.

During his two-year tenure as president, Ahmed was the proud recipient of the AMSA Excellence Award. The commendation came as a result of his leadership in projects like Stop the CrISIS—an event aimed at curbing the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s radicalization of youth—as well as hosting Meet a Muslim Family community-building opportunities and working toward reconciliation with Aboriginal student groups on campus.

Ahmed also used his connections within the Saskatoon Muslim community to arrange a warm reception for the first wave of Syrian refugees to their new home on the Prairies, and even learned some Arabic for the occasion.

“The first flight that came to Saskatoon for Syrian refugees, around 60 more people went to the airport to welcome them and tell them, ‘You are in a safe place,’” Ahmed said. “Myself and my cousins actually sang a song in Arabic for Syrian refugees, to show them they are in the safest and best place to live.”

In April 2014, Ahmed’s mother joined him in Saskatoon under refugee status. By December of the following year, his father and sister would follow suit.

After his family’s arrival, and with connections from his degree program, Ahmed added nearly 35 weekly hours of work with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways to his already-hectic academic and volunteering schedule, in order to keep everyone in house and home.

The hours were long, often involving Ahmed sneaking away from campus between classes to squeeze in a few hours of work, but he said having his family by his side in a country that actually appreciates them makes it all more than worthwhile.

“I spent my school and my university (in Pakistan) pushed down—by my colleagues, by my friends, by my professors even—because of my minority status,” he said. “In Canada, I have freedom to live. I always tell people, everywhere, that I’m proud to be Canadian.”

turning-the-page-with-new-dean-of-university-librarytrue1547851354706imj129Turning the page with new dean of university libraryMelissa Just doesn’t want to advance the stereotype of librarians as eternal readers, rarely spotted without glasses pushed up on their nose and their face buried in a book. HenryTye GlazebrookUniversity Library, Melissa Just1497022020000/articles/people/2017/turning-the-page-with-new-dean-of-university-librarynewssite://news/articles/people/2017/turning-the-page-with-new-dean-of-university-libraryimj1291547625653995imj1291547625653995show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/melissa-just.jpgsite://news/images/2017/melissa-just.jpgnewsmelissa-just.jpgmelissa-just.jpgMelissa JustNoNoneNo/
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The only problem is that Just, who recently joined the University of Saskatchewan as dean of the university library, is herself an insatiable reader.

“Being a reader and being a librarian, those things are not intrinsically connected,” she said. “My concern is that I love to read. I read voraciously. I feel like I learn so much from stories, whether they’re contemporary or historical fiction, narrative nonfiction or even mysteries, because the best ones take you to a place beyond what you live and know every day.”

Just’s hobby will likely help her feel right at home during her five-year term at the U of S. In the months since she began her new role on Feb. 1, she has developed a fond appreciation for the staff and faculty she’s worked with and all they’ve done to situate the library as it is today.

The result, she said, is an organization that’s already well-positioned to take confident strides forward.

TextPullquoteI read voraciously. I feel like I learn so much from stories, whether they’re contemporary or historical fiction, narrative nonfiction or even mysteries, because the best ones take you to a place beyond what you live and know every day.Melissa Just/Align left

“I feel fortunate to come to a place where the library is already doing good things, and I get to build on that instead of having to focus only on remedial work to get the library to the place where it is already,” said Just, who joined the U of S from Rutgers University where she was serving as the associate vice-president for information services and director of New Brunswick Libraries.

With the library currently in the final stages of completing a multi-year process of transformation inquiry—looking at available spaces and discussing how to adapt and improve them—Just is excited to help guide long-term developments and planning.

Just said the hope is to renew the library’s ability to encourage learning in current and future generations alike.

“A lot of great work and conversation has already happened,” she said. “A master space plan has been developed, and we are currently in the process of taking our findings back to the groups we consulted with earlier in the process to see if what we heard and what we’ve come up with resonates with what they said.”

When she first started exploring the U of S as a career option, well into the interview process, Just was encouraged by the overall attitude toward the library. Since accepting her position, she’s happily discovered that her expectations align with reality.

“The thing that was most appealing to me was—and continues to be—the way that the library is seen, valued and positioned on campus,” she said. “Everybody spoke very highly of the library. There’s clear engagement between the library and the library dean with other colleges, deans and administrators. Collegiality feels woven into the fabric at the U of S.”

Just looked to the university’s Mission, Vision and Values statement, a document recently updated to outline foundational driving concepts at the U of S, as one example of how she sees the library working in stride with the institution as a whole.

“One of the principles in the Mission, Vision and Values document is about different ways of knowing, learning and being,” she said. “I think this is exactly what libraries do. Libraries support the different ways that our students and our faculty build knowledge, satisfy their curiosity, and create community with each other in our spaces.”

Excited as she is to be in her new role, Just’s first day in Canada was a bit of an icier welcome than she was hoping for—literally.

Having left a home in New Jersey to relocate to Saskatoon, Just wasn’t expecting the drastic shift in weather that greeted her in her new home north of the border.

“The weather definitely takes some getting used to,” she said, laughing. “The day I moved here, there was a 105F difference between New Jersey and here. It was a lot for one day.”
meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-cheryl-mckaytrue1547851354706imj129Meet the Aboriginal Student Achievement Award winners: Cheryl McKayWhen Cheryl McKay saw that the school she was interning at didn’t have ways to support students learning Cree, she decided to change that.Jordan Sherbinostudents, aboriginal1488464400000/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-cheryl-mckaynewssite://news/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-cheryl-mckayimj1291547625631300imj1291547625631300show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/cheryl-mckay.jpgsite://news/images/2017/cheryl-mckay.jpgnewscheryl-mckay.jpgcheryl-mckay.jpgCheryl McKayNoNoneNo/
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This week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating Aboriginal Achievement Week with a range of cultural events, discussion panels, artistic activities and celebrations.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Cheryl McKay, a student in the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP), who is getting an award for her leadership inside and outside the classroom. 

Cheryl is a member of the Red Earth Cree Nation and is in her final year of ITEP. In fall of 2016, she completed an internship at W.P. Bate Community School in a grades 3 and 4 classroom.

As a fluent Cree speaker, she wanted to share her language with the students at the school. She incorporated Cree into her lessons, guest taught in other classrooms and even started the school’s first Cree language club.

We caught up with Cheryl to ask her a few questions about her internship experience and what has motivated her to want to become an educator. 

What made you interested in getting a degree in education?
My interest in getting an education degree began right out of high school. Sadly, I did not continue into the second year and I always wanted to go back. I finally decided to return to university when I heard about ITEP and how the support system was great. I applied in 2012 and when accepted I was motivated to complete what I had started. I knew that this was what I always wanted to do: become an educator.  

Did you enjoy your internship experience?  
My internship was the greatest experience any student could ask for. The staff was helpful all the way through. When I wanted to bring First Nations connections into the classroom through language and values my co-operating teacher was a great help. When I needed to make connections between First Nations’ content and the subject areas I taught she guided me through. This gave me an opportunity to share a part of my culture and language with the school.  

What made you want to start a Cree language club at W.P. Bate Community School?
When I began my internship I asked if there was a Cree language program in the school and found that there was not one. One of the teachers said I should start one as an extracurricular for the school. With a limited amount of time, I decided I would teach Cree to grades 1-4. The Cree club was to have students learn simple action words and a Cree song. The goal set out was to have the students learn the Cree song with six practices and perform in front of the school. This performance was successful and I am so grateful to the teachers and staff who helped make this possible. 


To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Aboriginal Achievement Week website.

a-prescription-for-successtrue1547851354706imj129A prescription for successDevoting his academic and professional career to improving people’s health and livelihood, Jaris Swidrovich was the recipient of last year's USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award.Sean Conroyalumni, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition1484082000000/articles/people/2017/a-prescription-for-successnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/a-prescription-for-successimj1291547625620248imj1291547625620248show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jaris-swidrovich.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jaris-swidrovich.jpgnewsjaris-swidrovich.jpgjaris-swidrovich.jpgJaris Swidrovich, recipient of the 2016 USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award (photo by David Stobbe).NoNoneNo/
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The honour was not only an affirmation for the work he has done, but also inspiration for what he wanted to accomplish next.

“I wanted to ensure I give back to the U of S community to inspire others in the way I was inspired by the university,” said Swidrovich, who completed his pharmacy degree in 2010. “Receiving a nomination for the USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award was deeply humbling. To be nominated and considered worthy of the award is an honour in itself.”

The USSU Engaged Young Alumni Award is given to a young alumnus or alumna (younger than 35 years of age and within five years since his/her graduation) who has maintained a strong connection to the U of S since graduation, is actively engaged in his or her community, and has shown characteristics that indicate future success. Nominations are currently open for the 2017 awards.

Swidrovich is currently a lecturer in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. After earning his degree at the U of S, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the University of Toronto, where he became the first self-identified First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy in Canada.

In addition to attaining that designation, Swidrovich has been active in helping those living with HIV/AIDS and addictions in his role as a clinical co-ordinator of pharmacy services. He is also on the board of directors for Sanctum–a transitional care home and hospice in Saskatoon for people living with HIV.

alumna-receives-prestigious-writing-awardtrue1547851354706imj129Alumna receives prestigious writing awardCassi Smith (BA’13), currently a student in the writing graduate program in the College of Arts and Science, is the recipient of the prestigious RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award for 2017.Chris PutnamCollege of Arts and Science, alumni1492636740000/articles/people/2017/alumna-receives-prestigious-writing-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/alumna-receives-prestigious-writing-awardimj1291547625605851imj1291547625605851show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/cassi-smith.jpgsite://news/images/2017/cassi-smith.jpgnewscassi-smith.jpgcassi-smith.jpgCassi Smith is completing her MFA in writing.NoNoneNo/
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Smith was chosen for the award by author Ross King, winner of this year’s RBC Taylor Prize. Along with receiving a $10,000 cash prize, Smith will have the opportunity to be mentored by King.

“It wasn't until this year that I really began to put my creative work out there, and to receive this kind of recognition so early—I’m absolutely thrilled and stunned,” said Smith, who previously earned an honours BA in English and political studies from the University of Saskatchewan.

Smith is currently working on a project titled Kasayak: The Wise Ones, a collection of nonfiction short stories based on her interviews with elders of Saskatchewan First Nations. The project grew out of her relationship with Cree-Métis culture, which she was introduced to through her Métis stepfather and extended family.

The RBC Taylor Prize commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction, and is awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception.

Read more at the College of Arts and Science.

meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-iloradanon-efimofftrue1547851354706imj129Meet the Aboriginal Student Achievement Award winners: Iloradanon EfimoffIloradanon Efimoff has only been in Saskatoon for five months, but she’s already making an impact at the University of Saskatchewan.Jordan Sherbinostudents, aboriginal1488374040000/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-iloradanon-efimoffnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-iloradanon-efimoffimj1291547625591134imj1291547625591134show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/iloradanon-efimoff.jpgsite://news/images/2017/iloradanon-efimoff.jpgnewsiloradanon-efimoff.jpgiloradanon-efimoff.jpgIloradanon EfimoffNoNoneNo/
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This week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating Aboriginal Achievement Week with a range of cultural events, discussion panels, artistic activities and celebrations.

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Iloradanon Efimoff—a graduate student in the College of Arts and Science—who is receiving an award for her exemplary leadership.

Iloradanon is Haida and is pursuing a master’s degree through the psychology department. Despite having only been at the U of S for a few short months, she’s made substantial impacts at the university. She is the co-chair of the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Council (IGSC) and is the Aboriginal liaison with the Graduate Students’ Association. Through these roles, she works to collaborate with other Indigenous student groups at the university and she represents the needs of Indigenous graduate students on several committees. She works collaboratively to ensure that the Indigenous student voice is heard throughout the university.

We caught up with Iloradanon to ask her a few questions about what motivates her to get involved and what she hopes to accomplish at the U of S.

What made you interested in coming to school at the U of S?
The U of S is one of the few places in Canada with a graduate-level program in applied social psychology. Having lived in British Columbia my whole life, I wanted to experience somewhere new in Canada.

One of my professors in my undergrad told me I should look into doing my master’s at the U of S—and when I did, one of the first things I noticed was the commitment to Indigenous students. I’m not going to say the U of S is perfect, but there definitely is a thriving Indigenous community on campus—with growing numbers of Indigenous students, staff and faculty—that really left all the other schools I looked at in the dust. I also received the dean’s scholarship, which was great, and my supervisor has experience with Indigenous research.

Why did you get involved in student leadership at the U of S?
I was really involved in student leadership at my undergraduate institution, and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to continue with it. Since my undergrad, and even in high school, I’ve been very interested in human rights and social justice, so my involvement in leadership at U of S is really an extension of that, especially in my roles within the Indigenous community.

What are your goals as co-chair of the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Council (IGSC)?
Through the IGSC we hope to support Indigenous graduate students. The way we do this varies: we hold events to engage students, we share opportunities for scholarships and awards, we connect with staff and administration to discuss the issues impacting Indigenous students, we collaborate with multiple groups on campus to increase Indigenous student representation, we share Indigenous ways of knowing with those who are interested and—quite importantly—we create community on campus to support Indigenous graduate students through peer support.

Something I think is important to mention is that the Indigenous community on campus is a community that is not restricted by year of study—first-year undergrad to final year graduate students use the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre and connect with each other. We are one large community.


To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Aboriginal Achievement Week website

u-of-s-alumni-make-future-40-listtrue1547851354706imj129U of S alumni make Future 40 listCBC Saskatchewan has announced the winners of its 2017 Future 40 campaign.Sean Conroyalumni1509730620000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-alumni-make-future-40-listnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-alumni-make-future-40-listimj1291547625570863imj1291547625570863show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2016/matt-dunn.pngsite://news/images/2016/matt-dunn.pngnewsmatt-dunn.pngMatthew Dunn, Indigenous peoples initiatives co-ordinator in the College of Engineering.NoNoneNo/
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CBC’s Future 40 celebrates Saskatchewan’s up-and-coming leaders, builders and change-makers under the age of 40.

Winners are nominated by members of the community and chosen by CBC Saskatchewan.

This year, 14 U of S alumni were recognized (including Matthew Dunn from the College of Engineering, pictured above, for his work within the science, technology and Indigenous communities).

Read more about the winners on the Alumni blog

wcvm-today-teamwork-important-for-radiologisttrue1547851354706imj129Teamwork important for WCVM radiologistPerseverance and dedication have led Dr. Lesley Zwicker to her role as the newest board-certified radiologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Jeanette NeufeldWestern College of Veterinary Medicine1509527760000/articles/people/2017/wcvm-today-teamwork-important-for-radiologistnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/wcvm-today-teamwork-important-for-radiologistimj1291547625569599imj1291547625569599show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/lesley-zwicker.jpgsite://news/images/2017/lesley-zwicker.jpgnewslesley-zwicker.jpglesley-zwicker.jpgDr. Lesley Zwicker joined the WCVM as a faculty member in May 2017. Photo by Christina Weese. NoNoneYesNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/ZWICKER CAS2.jpgsite://wcvm-today/images/2017/ZWICKER CAS2.jpgwcvm-todayZWICKER CAS2.jpgDr. Lesley Zwicker joined the WCVM as a faculty member in May 2017. Photo by Christina Weese. NoNoneNo/
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Zwicker has faced a long journey to get to this point – earning diplomate certification by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) is a three-year process, which requires intensive studying and testing to meet the exam requirements.

In addition to radiology, specialists in this field must have extensive knowledge of all types of medical imaging — including computed tomography (CT), ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  

“I’d say I pretty much studied every evening and every weekend for two years solid,” says Zwicker, who joined the WCVM’s faculty as an assistant professor of medical imaging in May 2017.

Earning her board certification in 2014 was one of the more recent accomplishments in her varied career path, which began with an honours degree in marine botany from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Zwicker worked as an editorial assistant at a scientific journal. She then made another big change and earned a pharmacy degree, becoming a pharmacist and working in the profession for three years

Despite enjoying the job, Zwicker felt like she wanted to be more involved with the medicine and investigative aspects of cases – working a case up from presentation to diagnostics.

 “At first I really wanted to be a physician, then I sat back and thought about what I really enjoy in life. I really was interested in medicine, but I loved animals, so I thought it made more sense to marry those two passions,” she says. Zwicker was accepted to the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island in 1999.

Just before beginning veterinary school, Zwicker lost her mother. Zwicker’s horse, a warmblood mare named Dream, helped her make it through the veterinary program.

“Riding was a real outlet for me. I owe her [Dream] a lot. She helped me bridge some hard times,” she says.

During veterinary school, Zwicker became interested in both radiology and veterinary pathology. After thinking it over, she realized radiology was the path for her and set off on the ambitious course of becoming a board-certified radiologist.

“Ultimately when I really thought about what made me the most excited, it was radiology,” she says.

In 2011, she came to the WCVM for a one-year rotating clinical internship in small animal medicine and surgery.

Then, it was back to the AVC for a four-year residency and master’s degree program in veterinary diagnostic imaging.

After completing her residency in 2015, Zwicker spent one year at the University of Montréal, before spending the following year working for herself – splitting her time between providing clinical services on a contract basis, academic teaching at AVC and locum services at the WCVM.

While at the WCVM, she was drawn to the sense of teamwork and tools available to the college’s medical imaging department.

“We actually have a sizeable number [of academic radiologists] compared to other schools …We have a critical mass, which makes it nice because we can bounce ideas off each other, support each other,” she says. “We have a real true team dynamic here, and that was really important to me at this stage of my career.”

Zwicker spends half her time delivering clinical imaging services for the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre, providing imaging services for all patients, large and small.

Her work in the clinic can run the gamut from “old fashioned X-rays and ultrasounds” to CT scans and MRIs, as well as nuclear medicine studies. She says she enjoys the sense of collaboration between radiology and the other services.

“Although I don’t see clients directly anymore, my clients are the other clinicians. It’s really nice to have discussions around the cases. I come away feeling like I’m a member of the team, and I feel really gratified,” she says.

“We’re a referral centre so we wind up with some more complex … cases that can have some more complicated diagnostics. When we’re able to sort out those more challenging cases together, I go home with a big smile on my face.”

When she’s not providing clinical services, 50 per cent of Zwicker’s time is spent on teaching, both in the classroom and as part of research. She hopes the WCVM will soon be able to offer radiology residencies. She also plans to develop her own research program.

The WCVM has recently purchased a 320-slice CT unit. This tool is not commonly available in veterinary medicine, so this will be one tool she hopes to use in her research work.

“We’re looking at different areas that we can utilize that machine for innovative research opportunities in vet medicine because nobody else really has one right now,” she says.

“I think, when I look around, we’ve got really amazing equipment here for an academic institution. We’re really fortunate to have the resources we have here at the school.”

With a chance to finally settle down in one place for a while, Zwicker has brought her horse Dream out to join her in the Prairies. Not one to stop learning, she’s embarked on cooking classes and is taking piano lessons for the first time in 20 years.

Dr. Lesley Zwicker is a featured presenter at the Veterinary Education Today conference in Toronto, Ont. on Nov. 2 and 3. Zwicker and Dr. Sally Sukut will present an interactive session exploring thoracic and abdominal radiography on Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, Zwicker will present a one-hour session exploring the use of CT scans in the assessment of abdominal disease. 

/articles/2017/teamwork-important-for-radiologistshow-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNosite://wcvm-today/articles/2017/teamwork-important-for-radiologistwcvm-todayteamwork-important-for-radiologistArticle headlineTeamwork important for WCVM radiologistPerseverance and dedication have led Dr. Lesley Zwicker to her role as the newest board-certified radiologist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). Headline News, Faculty and StaffJeanette Neufeld1-Nov-2017 9:16 AM
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meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-annette-peggtrue1547851354706imj129Meet the Aboriginal Student Achievement Award winners: Annette PeggAnnette Pegg is from the Kawacatoose First Nation and is in her first year of medicine with the hopes of becoming a rural physician. Jordan Sherbinostudents, Aboriginal, College of Medicine1488310260000/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-annette-peggnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/meet-the-aboriginal-student-achievement-award-winners-annette-peggimj1291547625561856imj1291547625561856show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/annette-pegg.jpgsite://news/images/2017/annette-pegg.jpgnewsannette-pegg.jpgannette-pegg.jpgAnnette PeggNoNoneNo/
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This week the University of Saskatchewan is celebrating Aboriginal Achievement Week with a range of cultural events, discussion panels, artistic activities and celebrations. 

Each year, there is an awards ceremony to honour Indigenous students and to recognize their academic accomplishments, leadership, research endeavours or community volunteerism.

One of the award winners this year is Annette Pegg, a first-year student in the medical doctor program in the College of Medicine, who is receiving an award for the leadership she has shown.

Annette is from the Kawacatoose First Nation and is the first in her family to attend university. She has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and has received many scholarships and awards for her academic accomplishments.

Annette developed a passion for volunteering and giving back to her community. She has worked on projects as diverse as helping to coordinate the North American Indigenous Games and organizing alley clean-ups in Regina. She currently serves as the local officer of Indigenous health for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and is a member of the Aboriginal, Rural and Remote Health Group.

We caught up with Annette to ask her a few questions about her experiences in university and what inspires her to pursue her career goals.

What does it mean to you to be the first university graduate in your family?
Being the first to attend university in my family has been quite daunting as there were no expectations for me to get very far. My family loves and supports me no matter what I choose to do, so I needed to have an intrinsic sense of motivation. I had no positive role models growing up and I had to make a lot of positive life changes over the years in order to ensure that I succeeded. 

My nieces and nephews have become my main motivation for getting up in the morning for class and studying into the wee hours of the morning. I want the younger generations to know someone who has acquired a post-secondary education against the odds and the negative influences we grow up with. I want them to know that their struggles growing up don’t have to break you down and that adversity can actually strengthen who you are.

What got you interested in becoming a rural physician?
As an Aboriginal person, I have experienced living on a reserve, growing up in poverty and being discriminated against based on my race. These experiences allow me to better connect and empathize with Aboriginal patients.

Today, the Aboriginal community faces many issues with access to quality and culturally-sensitive care. Being a physician will allow me to be an educator, a role model and a healer. Working in a rural setting is an exciting opportunity if you are the type of person who likes to learn about many different specialties instead of just focusing in on one.

What has your experience in the College of Medicine been like so far?
A: At first, I felt very isolated as I don't come from a ‘typical’ medical student background. Thankfully, I have very welcoming and diverse classmates. It no longer feels like the competitive atmosphere of my science undergrad as we are all very supportive in helping each other to succeed. It feels great to be in a position where I am able to make a positive impression of Aboriginal people that breaks away from the negative stereotypes perpetuated in our society. It is also a very exciting time to be an Aboriginal person in medicine as there are many strides being made towards reconciliation and decolonizing the university and the healthcare field.


To learn more about the events that are taking place this week, be sure to check out the Aboriginal Achievement Week website.

desjardins-and-king-to-lead-team-canadatrue1547851354706imj129Desjardins and King to lead Team CanadaThe Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team will be led by two U of S alumni at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Sean Conroyalumni, Dave King, Willie Desjardins1501014480000/articles/people/2017/desjardins-and-king-to-lead-team-canadanewssite://news/articles/people/2017/desjardins-and-king-to-lead-team-canadaimj1291547624012770imj1291547624012770show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/willie-desjardins.jpgsite://news/images/2017/willie-desjardins.jpgnewswillie-desjardins.jpgwillie-desjardins.jpgDesjardins (submitted photo)NoNoneNo/
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Willie Desjardins (BEd’85) will be the head coach of Team Canada and Dave King (BAPE’71, BEd’72) will join Desjardins behind the bench as an assistant coach.

Before coaching the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Vancouver Canucks from 2014-17, Desjardins led the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL) to a Calder Cup championship.

TextImage/images/2017/dave-king-headshot.jpgsite://news/images/2017/dave-king-headshot.jpgnewsdave-king-headshot.jpgdave-king-headshot.jpgKingAlign right

Prior to his AHL tenure, Desjardins spent two seasons as an associate coach with the Dallas Stars in the NHL from 2010-12.

Desjardins has represented Canada on coaching staffs at two world junior tournaments and one world championship. As a player, he was a part of the 1983 national champion Huskie men’s hockey team, winning the University Cup; a team coached by King.

King has coached at the Winter Olympics and the National Hockey League and the Russian Super League. As head coach of the Canadian national team, he won a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He was later hired by the Calgary Flames, and then moved to Montreal as the assistant coach of the Canadiens in 1997.

He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1992, and was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1997. King continues to be a champion for Huskie hockey as the chair of the Home Ice Campaign, an effort to build Merlis Belsher Place, a two-storey, twin-pad ice facility for minor hockey and Huskie hockey in Saskatoon.

Read more at Hockey Canada.

studying-abroad-in-icelandtrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in IcelandI learned that I am stronger than I think and that I can do anything I put my mind to after graduation.Kim Fontainestudy abroad, international1509471360000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-icelandnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-icelandimj1291547623859649imj1291547623859649show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/makenzie-correa.jpgsite://news/images/2017/makenzie-correa.jpgnewsmakenzie-correa.jpgmakenzie-correa.jpgMakenzie Correa at Glanni waterfalls, just a thirty-minute walk from Bifröst University.NoNoneNo/
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Originally from Coquitlam, B.C., Makenzie Correa, 21, is studying in the College of Arts and Science. She recently ventured to Iceland and took Creative Leadership in the 21st Century at Bifröst University through the Study Abroad program. 

Correa sent us some wonderful photos and shared some interesting anecdotes about her time abroad.


TextImage/images/2017/makenzie-correa-puffin.jpgsite://news/images/2017/makenzie-correa-puffin.jpgnewsmakenzie-correa-puffin.jpgmakenzie-correa-puffin.jpgOne of the many puffins Correa saw while in Iceland.Align left

What was one of the best moments of your trip?
One of the best moments of my trip was hiking up the volcano behind my university. Since I was in Iceland during the summer, it never got completely dark. So, one evening I hiked up the volcano to see the sunset at 11:30 pm. Being up there and watching the Icelandic sun set behind the glacier in the distance was once of the most picturesque and beautiful moments of my life. 

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
Fact number one: In the summer Iceland has the midnight sun. Which essentially means it is always bright as the sun sets late and rises early so it never gets completely dark.

Fact number two: Approximately 85 percent of Iceland’s energy is from renewable resources, most is geothermal.

Tell us about one person you met.
When I was in Iceland, I met amazing people from all over the world whom I hope I will be friends with for a very long time. But I also met two people from USASK whom I had never met before and have become super close friends with. Both girls are amazing and have inspired me in so many ways through their determination and kindness. 

What did you learn about yourself?
When I went to Iceland, I was confused as to the path that I should take after I graduate at the end of this year. Going to Iceland for Summer School and meeting people from all over the world and learning from their experiences reminded me about the importance of happiness and how to stay true to who I am. I learned that I am stronger than I think and that I can do anything I put my mind too after graduation.

What was the best meal you had?
The best meal that I had was a vegan burger at Prikid in Iceland’s oldest restaurant. Not only was it cool to be in the oldest restaurant in the country, but the burger was delicious!

TextImage/images/2017/makenzie-correa-reykjavik.jpgsite://news/images/2017/makenzie-correa-reykjavik.jpgnewsmakenzie-correa-reykjavik.jpgmakenzie-correa-reykjavik.jpgThe colourful rooftops of Reykjavik.Above content

To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the University of Saskatchewan, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre in lower Place Riel.

u-of-s-chef-wins-goldtrue1547851354706imj129U of S chef wins goldUniversity executive chef James McFarland proved his culinary prowess this weekend, taking the top award at Gold Medal Plates Saskatoon.University CommunicationsJames McFarland, Culinary Services1509376140000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-chef-wins-goldnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-chef-wins-goldimj1291547623812956imj1291547623812956show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/cooking-pan.jpgsite://news/images/2017/cooking-pan.jpgnewscooking-pan.jpgcooking-pan.jpgYesNoneNo/
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Chef McFarland went head-to-head with six of Saskatoon’s finest culinary masters at the prestigious culinary competition. He will go on to compete at the Canadian culinary championships, the Gold Medal Plates Finale, next February in Kelowna, B.C.

Inspired by his mother’s love of cooking and passion for hosting family gatherings, McFarland began professionally preparing cuisine for others at a young age. He has shared his talents in many areas of the food industry including restaurant, hotel, and resort kitchens throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

In 2001, James accepted his position of executive chef at the U of S where he has been integral in developing and leading one of the province's largest food service operations, transitioning it from a once very institutional cafeteria to one of the most innovative culinary operations in Canada. He has co-ordinated many large and high profile events that have included menu design, cuisine preparation and team mentorship. 

Read more at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix

women-of-distinction-true1547851354706imj129Women of distinction University of Saskatchewan faculty, alumni and senior leaders were among the honourees at this year’s Saskatoon YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.University Communicationsalumni1496338260000/articles/people/2017/women-of-distinction-newssite://news/articles/people/2017/women-of-distinction-imj1291547623608246imj1291547623608246show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/erika-dyck.jpgsite://news/images/2017/erika-dyck.jpgnewserika-dyck.jpgErika Dyck NoNoneNo/
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Over the past 35 years, hundreds of local leaders have been honoured for their contributions to the community at the PotashCorp YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, which also serves as the largest annual fundraiser for Saskatoon’s YWCA.

This year, 10 award winners were honoured on Wednesday, May 31 from the 50 final nominees, with five of the 10 winners part of the U of S family of alumni. 

The award winners from the U of S were:

  • Research and technology: Professor Erika Dyck (BA’98, MA’00), a current faculty member in the College of Arts and Science, and Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Kathryn Ford (BA’71), long-time local lawyer who was admitted to the Saskatchewan bar in 1977 and current member of the U of S Board of Governors since 2013.
  • Education: Cathy Mills (BEd’77), spent four decades as an educator before retiring in 2008 and serving as a consultant with the Saskatchewan Education Leadership Unit in the College of Education.
  • Health and Wellness: Dr. Vicki Holmes (MD’73), a family physician for four decades in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the creator of the Mid-Life Women’s Centre. 
  • Athletics: Darlene Danyliw (BSHEC’76, BEd’77), a long-time local volunteer and past president of Curl Saskatchewan and a finalist for the 2016 Curling Canada Volunteer of the Year Award.

For more coverage of the awards ceremony, see the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and

student-savours-summer-with-cheetahstrue1547851354706imj129Student savours summer with cheetahsThere are few things more mesmerizing in life than to see a cheetah take off at a dash, the drops of black dotting its golden fur blurring together as it races before your eyes. HenryTye Glazebrookstudy abroad, cats, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, international1504884480000/articles/people/2017/student-savours-summer-with-cheetahsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/student-savours-summer-with-cheetahsimj1291547623561114imj1291547623561114show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/raelyn-serhan.jpgsite://news/images/2017/raelyn-serhan.jpgnewsraelyn-serhan.jpgraelyn-serhan.jpgSerhan spent part of her summer working with cheetahs in South Africa.NoNoneNo/
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Or at least that’s what Raelyn Serhan remembers most about her time with the animals, which she spent two weeks helping to care for in South Africa as part of an educational volunteer program called Loop Abroad.

“They have what they call the FeraCare Raceway, and it’s a fenced-in track with a lure that the animals chase,” she said, noting that the creatures can reach nearly 100 km/h in under three seconds. “It doesn’t quite go up to the cheetah’s full speed, but you get to see them sprint around. It was really cool. It was a couple seconds and they were already around this big track and back again.”

Serhan is a second-year animal biosciences student in the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources. Despite the Loop program dovetailing nicely with her degree, she said she was initially drawn to it not because of academia but simply on account of her innate love of animals.

TextPullquoteBeing able to travel across the world and work with such majestic animals, and witness the care and effort that the staff puts into the wellbeing of each and every cheetah, is unexplainable. They take great pride and care in their work and are striving to save the cheetah species and genetics.Raelyn Serhan/Align left

She wasn’t even studying animal biosciences when she first heard of Loop, in fact, but was instead taking commerce courses at the Edwards School of Business.

“I grew up on a farm, and animals have always been a key part of my life,” she said. “I have always considered vet med as a potential career path. After my first term at the U of S in 2015, I decided to follow my heart and changed my educational journey for the following school year.”

Though her time in South Africa was not officially related to academia, Serhan said the program was modelled so as to provide instructional opportunities—including daily time in classrooms—as often as possible.

“The program I went with is a college veterinary program out of the United States,” Serhan said. “It makes it so much more interesting, because you learn about cheetahs’ anatomy and everything associated with their conservation and health in South Africa. It’s not just going there and volunteering; you’re also learning about the animals, too.”

The result, she said, was a clearer understanding of large cats she would otherwise have no hands-on training with, as well as a better appreciation for the technological and educational opportunities available at Canadian institutions like the U of S.

“It gives you a better understanding of how things work across the world, and how lucky we are and how advanced medical technology is here,” she said. “There you’re just working with the basics, whatever you have on-hand, if there is an emergency. Here there’s so much more. It’s a totally different game.”

Her time half a world away is one that Serhan will never forget, and one that she heartily recommends to anyone else considering new paths in their educational experience.

“Just do it,” she said. “You think it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime when you go, but it’s exceeded all expectation. This experience is one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

“Being able to travel across the world and work with such majestic animals, and witness the care and effort that the staff puts into the wellbeing of each and every cheetah, is unexplainable. They take great pride and care in their work and are striving to save the cheetah species and genetics.”

vannelli-shifts-into-gear-as-new-provosttrue1547851354706imj129Vannelli shifts into gear as new provostWhen Tony Vannelli first considered joining the University of Saskatchewan, he said it was like he’d watched a top-tier race car blazing past.HenryTye GlazebrookTony Vannelli, PEC1504882200000/articles/people/2017/vannelli-shifts-into-gear-as-new-provostnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/vannelli-shifts-into-gear-as-new-provostimj1291547623537625imj1291547623537625show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/tony-vannelli.jpgsite://news/images/2017/tony-vannelli.jpgnewstony-vannelli.jpgtony-vannelli.jpgTony Vannelli started as provost on Aug. 1.NoNoneNo/
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The thought of actually joining and being part of the team and community was very exciting.

The description is high praise, for sure, but that initial perception is nothing compared to how he feels now that he’s spent more than a month in his role as provost and vice-president academic.

“It’s something else entirely to help drive it, as we collectively move it into top gear,” he said of his new workplace, chuckling at the comparison. “This institution can go as far as it wants to achieve its aspirations, and has all the potential to do so, but it’s going to find the right speed.

“My responsibility as the provost, along with other leaders, is to let the institution achieve its mission and goals in the direction that they should, with guidance so that we stay on the road to success that will shape our future.”

TextPullquoteThis institution goes about its business—in a very modest way, I find—of training the best students and doing the best discovery and scholarship. I think they’re just starting to fully realize how good they are, and I think they can go even higher.Tony Vannelli/Align left

Vannelli, who is also a professor of in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, came to the U of S with a lengthy background in both academics and administration. While his most recent positions included a 10-year term as dean of the College of Physical Science at the University of Guelph and another two years as associate dean, research and external partnerships at the University of Waterloo, he said it’s his time on the front lines of academia that has most shaped his beliefs and leadership style into what they are today.

Despite initially pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics, Vannelli learned early on in his doctoral work—after shifting his interests to engineering—that a focus on interdisciplinary learning and research can grant the ability to see issues from a variety of shifting perspectives.

“With any kind of problem that you think you have, you may actually have an opportunity in front of you if you look deeper,” he said. “I always try to change the lens on problems. In life, sometimes if you can flip the lens and view the problem from a different angle or with a different light under it, you might see something you’d missed initially. Then the problem might be solved in a slightly different way, or even an easier way.”

Vannelli is excited about the balance between his roles as provost and VP academic, and said he looks forward to leveraging his time in each as a chance to forge robust resources and support for ongoing and new initiatives on campus.

“It’s very, very important to me that we maintain strong academic programs across the board, have the appropriate resources to support them and ensure stability across the institution for years to come—both to maintain that and to move into new directions and new opportunities.”

There’s a sense of encouragement in the way Vannelli discusses the U of S, speaking at length about its strengths as a U15 school and describing how, when he was offered the job by President Peter Stoicheff, it “just felt right” to accept and be part of this strong collegial university.

More than anything, it’s clear he knows the university has potential to do even greater things.

“People can realize their dreams here,” he said. “This institution goes about its business—in a very modest way, I find—of training the best students and doing the best discovery and scholarship. I think they’re just starting to fully realize how good they are, and I think they can go even higher.”

flynn-feeling-comfortable-in-his-new-chairtrue1547851354706imj129Flynn feeling comfortable in his new chairThe chair of University Council is typically seen as a position of some ceremony, yielding little in the way of surprise if they carry themselves with an appropriate level of formality.HenryTye GlazebrookUniversity Council1504881960000/articles/people/2017/flynn-feeling-comfortable-in-his-new-chairnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/flynn-feeling-comfortable-in-his-new-chairimj1291547623534773imj1291547623534773show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kevin-flynn.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kevin-flynn.jpgnewskevin-flynn.jpgkevin-flynn.jpgUniversity Council Chair Kevin FlynnNoNoneNo/
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But Kevin Flynn, who will be taking over the role at the University of Saskatchewan this fall, prefers to keep things casual.

“I’m a ballcap wearer, and after I was elected the big question was whether I’d be wearing my hat as council chair,” he said, with a laugh. “Here’s your big scoop: I’m going to be wearing the hat—on the advice of a former chair, who said, ‘You’ve gotta be you.’”

This loose, relaxed style is one that Flynn likes to carry throughout his life, from his new role in council to his regular position as assistant professor in the Department of English. It also cropped up before he first joined University Council, when he lent his distinct sense of humour to his letter of self-nomination.

“I had just got tenure and completed a sabbatical, and I didn’t really know anything about the governance of the institution,” Flynn said. “My actual nomination blurb was, ‘I’ve been here for four years, and I don’t know anything about how this place works. It seems to me that being on council would be a good way to learn.’”

TextPullquoteI’m a booster for council. Any chance I get, I’m saying to people, ‘You should run for council’ or ‘You should really think of sitting on a committee of council.’ This is where the real work of the university gets done.Kevin Flynn/Align left

He’s since spent five straight years serving as a member of council, sitting on and eventually chairing the Academic Programs Committee. All the while he became more and more appreciative of his small role in what he believes is a profoundly important part of university leadership.

“I’m a booster for council,” he said. “Any chance I get, I’m saying to people, ‘You should run for council’ or ‘You should really think of sitting on a committee of council.’ This is where the real work of the university gets done.”

Flynn credits former chairs Dr. Jay Kalra and Lisa Kalynchuk for forging an exemplary path, and said he hopes to follow their lead as he grows into the role.

“I will bring continuity, I think, as the first thing—in terms of maintaining decorum in the body, of trying to be as efficient as possible and of maintaining good relation- ships between council and senior administration on one hand and students on the other,” said Flynn, who is scheduled to chair University Council for the first time on Sept. 21. “There were days, I’m told, when council did not get along so well with senior administration.

That has not been the case in the past few years, particularly since President (Peter) Stoicheff has been in office. It’s really important to maintain those connections. We don’t want to be building factions here. We’re here to work together to conduct the university’s business.”

There are some areas in which Flynn has set his eyes on polishing the council experience for all members, especially in regard to the dissemination of information and materials.

“We tend to get very large packages of council materials a week or a week and a half before a council meeting,” he said. “The last one we got in June was 490 pages, single- spaced. It’s a lot to expect of council members to do all that reading in at most two weeks, and to do it thoroughly enough to be informed for voting. I want to see if there’s a better way of doing this.”

In all respects, Flynn is confident and excited about this new responsibility—even if his informality ruffles the occasional feather. “No doubt there will be times that I mess up. Perhaps I’ll mistakenly try to vote for a motion,” he said, which a chuckle.

After five years of speaking up as a critic and advocate of submissions to council, it will be big change for Flynn to play a quieter, more managerial role. But he is prepared for it.

“It was exceptionally flattering to be nominated, and it was exceptionally flattering to have my colleagues applaud when my acclamation was announced,” he said. “I felt proud and welcomed, and I am determined to do a good job. I wouldn’t have stood for nomination if I didn’t think that I could.

u-of-s-prof-named-to-cca-board-of-governorstrue1547851354706imj129U of S prof named to CCA Board of GovernorsThe Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has appointed University of Saskatchewan professor Dr. Jay Kalra to its Board of Governors. University CommunicationsCouncil of Canadian Academies, Jay Kalra1496252880000/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-prof-named-to-cca-board-of-governorsnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/u-of-s-prof-named-to-cca-board-of-governorsimj1291547623476990imj1291547623476990show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jay-kalra.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jay-kalra.jpgnewsjay-kalra.jpgNoNoneNo/
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The CCA, founded in 2005, is a leading not-for-profit organization that supports independent, authoritative and evidence-based expert assessments in support of Canadian public policy development. Its Board of Governors is responsible for operations oversight and setting the strategic direction of the CCA.

“In my life, I’ve received many awards, but this is the most prestigious one among them,” said Kalra, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and faculty representative on the U of S Board of Governors.

“It’s a high honour for me, but it’s also a recognition of our university. If you look at the work done by this organization, the people involved are of very high calibre. So for them to look at my output—my involvement with the university and across the country means something.”

Kalra is one of three new appointments to the CCA Board of Governors, including David Dodge, a senior advisor at Bennett Jones LLP, and Bartha Maria Knoppers, professor and Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University.

"We are delighted to welcome three distinguished new members to our Board," said Margaret Bloodworth, chair of the CCA Board. "Drs. Dodge, Kalra, and Knoppers are esteemed leaders in their respective fields. We look forward to drawing on their unique perspectives and expertise as members of the Board."

Kalra has served as national president of numerous medical associations, including Intersociety Council of Laboratory Medicine of Canada, the Canadian Chairs of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and the Canadian Association of Pathology. In addition, Kalra has dedicated time to serving many local, provincial and national organizations, including Saskatoon Folkfest, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, the Rotary Club of Saskatoon/Nutana, the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

In 2015, the City of Saskatoon honoured Kalra by naming a street after him. That same year, he was also the recipient of the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism in the Lifetime Achievement category and CTV 2015 Saskatoon Citizen of the Year.

"Community always comes first," said Kalra. "This is something I have always believed and something I have always tried to practice in life. I take this as another opportunity to serve the community, whether nationally, provincially or locally.”

For more on the appointment, visit the CCA website.

women-of-distinctiontrue1547851354706imj129Women of distinctionUniversity of Saskatchewan faculty, staff, students and alumni were once again recognized by the Saskatoon YWCA with the annual Women of Distinction Awards nominations.University Communicationsstudents, College of Arts and Science, College of Education, College of Law, alumni1491920760000/articles/people/2017/women-of-distinctionnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/women-of-distinctionimj1291547623465795imj1291547623465795show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/kathryn-ford.jpgsite://news/images/2017/kathryn-ford.jpgnewskathryn-ford.jpgkathryn-ford.jpgKathryn Ford has been named the 2017 Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.NoNoneNo/
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Since 1982, Saskatoon’s Women of Distinction Awards have honoured hundreds of women for their leadership and contributions to our community. The awards program is renowned nationally as one of the most prestigious awards for women. 

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Kathryn Ford, an alumna (BA'71) who later completed a law degree. Since her admission to the Saskatchewan bar in 1977, Ford has been a force in Saskatchewan’s legal community and has done pioneering work in collaborative law. Her work ensures that all voices are heard and that decisions are made collectively.

Ford is also has been responsible for building capacity for community organizations, including the YWCA and the Prairie Hospice Society, leading expansion and transformation that has strengthened our community and empowered individuals. In 2013, she joined the U of S Board of Governors. 

Other notable nominees include:

  • Arts, culture and heritage
    • Joan Halmo (former staff member)
  • Athletics
    • Darlene Danyliw (BSHEC’76, BEd’77)

  • Community building
    • Connie den Hollander (BA'85, LLB'91)
    • Judy Hannah (BSHEC'76)
    • Carin Holroyd (faculty member, College of Arts and Science)
    • Chantelle Johnson (BA'99, LLB'03)
    • Keisha Sharp (MPH'15)
  • Education
    • Claudette Degagne-Ellis (MEDUC'15)
    • Lana Elias (BEd'96 BSc'02; staff member, College of Arts and Science)
    • Janet Okoko (faculty member, College of Education)
    • Kelly Van Damme (MFA'04)
    • Chelsea Willness (BA'02; faculty member, Edwards School of Business)
  • Entrepreneurship
    • Mackenzie Firby (BComm'03)
  • Health and wellness
    • Noreen Agrey (BA'79; BEd'89)
    • Jana Danielson (BComm'95; MBA'00)
    • Dr. Vicki Holmes (MD'73)
    • Haylie Lashta (BSc 2009, MPT'11)
    • Amy Smith-Morris (BSP'10)
  • Leadership and professions
    • Joy Crawford (BComm'93)
    • Nancy Lautner (BComm'95)
  • Research and technology
    • Jacqueline Cook (BComm'13)
    • Erika Dyck (BA'98, MA'00; faculty member, College of Arts and Science)
  • 29 and under
    • Ashlyn George (BA'09; BEd'10)
    • Renata Huyghebaert (student; former USSU leader)  
    • Anna Tavares (student)

View the full list on the YWCA website.

from-down-under-to-the-brightest-light-in-canadatrue1547851354706imj129From down under to the brightest light in CanadaMark Boland begins a new dual role this week: machine director at the Canadian Light Source and associate professor in the U of S Department of Physics and Engineering Physics.University CommunicationsCanadian Light Source, Department of Physics and Engineering Physics1504716420000/articles/people/2017/from-down-under-to-the-brightest-light-in-canadanewssite://news/articles/people/2017/from-down-under-to-the-brightest-light-in-canadaimj1291547623397208imj1291547623397208show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/mark-boland.jpgsite://news/images/2017/mark-boland.jpgnewsmark-boland.jpgmark-boland.jpgNoNoneNo/
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“I’ve had the privilege of working with Mark for several years and I am confident that he will provide the vision, strategy and leadership needed to maintain the Canadian Light Source machine operating optimally, ensuring that we continue to be globally competitive through a range of new initiatives,” said Rob Lamb, CEO of the Canadian Light Source.

TextTweet/<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mark Boland - international <a href="">#synchrotron</a> expert - joins CLS as new machine director &amp; <a href="">@usask</a> as associate prof. <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CanadianLightSource (@CanLightSource) <a href="">September 6, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>Align left

As machine director, Boland will provide strategic leadership in the development and operation of the most complex scientific instrument in Canada.

“The recruitment of Mark Boland is another terrific example of how the U of S continues to attract outstanding scientists from around the world, many of whom are drawn by the tremendous research opportunities presented by having Canada’s only synchrotron—one of the best in the world—right on our doorstep,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research.

“Mark’s expertise gained from working at top synchrotrons around the world will inspire students and enhance research success at the Canadian Light Source.” 

Boland is the co-founder and a director of the Australian Collaboration for Accelerator Science, an organization linking all the top accelerator research facilities in Australia. As the recipient of a 2014 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Nuclear Science and Technology, he also conducted research at the Stanford University light source.

Boland completed his PhD in photonuclear studies from the University of Melbourne in 2001 before moving to Sweden to work for two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Swedish light source. He then returned to Melbourne as a lead accelerator physicist at the Australian Synchrotron, where he rose to become principal scientist in the Accelerator Physics Group and an honorary senior research fellow at the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne.

“The Canadian Light Source is one of the best light sources in the world. The team here is extremely talented and I’m eager to being working with them. I’m also looking forward to starting a new life in Saskatoon,” said Boland.

The Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan is a national research facility, producing the brightest light in Canada—millions of times brighter than even the sun. One of the largest science projects in our country’s history, more than 1,000 scientists from around the world use our light every year to conduct ground-breaking health, agricultural, environmental and advanced materials research.

st.-andrews-college-names-new-principaltrue1547851354706imj129St. Andrew’s College names new principalRichard Manley-Tannis will be the new principal of St. Andrew’s College.University CommunicationsSt. Andrew’s College1513005180000/articles/people/2017/st.-andrews-college-names-new-principalnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/st.-andrews-college-names-new-principalimj1291547621304439imj1291547621304439show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/richard-manley-tannis.jpgsite://news/images/2017/richard-manley-tannis.jpgnewsrichard-manley-tannis.jpgrichard-manley-tannis.jpgRichard Manley-Tannis (left), with board member Lea Pennock, signs a contract to become the new principal of St. Andrew’s College, effective July of 2018. Photo credit: ROD DRABBLENoNoneNo/
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Manley-Tannis will take over the role on July 1, 2018, replacing Lorne Calvert, who is completing his second term as principal of the historic college, which was founded in 1912 and is affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan.

Manley-Tannis, who was introduced on Dec. 7, stated that he is “truly honoured to be invited to join the community of St. Andrew’s College and to be able to return to Saskatchewan, where I answered my own call to ministry.”

Called and commissioned as a Diaconal Minister in Saskatchewan Conference in 2009, Manley-Tannis currently serves as Winnipeg Presbytery Minister for Evangelism, Mission and Church Development. He holds an undergraduate degree from Trent University, graduate degrees from Queen’s University and St. Stephen’s College, and a diploma from the Centre for Christian Studies, and is in the final stages of completing a PhD with the Taos Institute and Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

In addition to ministry experience in The United Church of Canada, Manley-Tannis has professional experience in conflict resolution, transformative mediation, restorative justice, leadership development and organizational development. He is also a poet, novelist, and enthusiastic blogger.

The search committee and the college’s board of regents were drawn to Manley-Tannis’ optimism and hopefulness about the future of the college and the church, and to his view of “stewardship that allows us to dream.”

Manley-Tannis will be joined in Saskatoon by his wife, Reverend Shelly Manley-Tannis.

Calvert, an ordained minister and U of S graduate who served seven years as premier of Saskatchewan from 2001-2007, is currently filling his second five-year term as principal of St. Andrew’s College.

sociology-professor-receives-national-equity-awardtrue1547851354706imj129Sociology professor receives national equity awardSociologist Elizabeth Quinlan has received a national award recognizing her work promoting equality and justice.Chris PutnamDepartment of Sociology1513004940000/articles/people/2017/sociology-professor-receives-national-equity-awardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/sociology-professor-receives-national-equity-awardimj1291547621302765imj1291547621302765show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/liz-quinlan.jpgsite://news/images/2017/liz-quinlan.jpgnewsliz-quinlan.jpgliz-quinlan.jpgQuinlanNoNoneNo/
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Quinlan, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and an associate member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, accepted the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Equity Award at a CAUT meeting in Ottawa on Nov. 25.

In her nomination, Quinlan was cited as a “fearless” researcher who combines academic scholarship with effective work for the betterment of society. She is active in promoting fair hiring practices and combating sexual violence.

Quinlan was a driving force behind the 2016 stage production With Glowing Hearts: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (and Did). Based on Quinlan’s research into the historical role of women in Canada’s labour movement, the play received the Best of Fest Award at the PotashCorp Fringe Festival and brought awareness of a little-known chapter in history to a large audience.

Quinlan is a founding member of the Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Among other roles, she has served in the Women’s Reference Group of Saskatchewan’s Labour Force Development Board and been a board member of the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre and the Saskatchewan chapter of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.

land-and-language-intertwined-for-sens-studenttrue1547851354706imj129Land and language intertwined for SENS studentExploring the woods surrounding her Yukon home, Jocelyn Joe-Strack had an epiphany about her Western and Indigenous worlds.HenryTye GlazebrookSchool of Environment and Sustainability, Aboriginal, gradresearch, Vanier Scholarship1500045240000/articles/people/2017/land-and-language-intertwined-for-sens-studentnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/land-and-language-intertwined-for-sens-studentimj1291547621231664imj1291547621231664show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/jocelyn-joe-strack.jpgsite://news/images/2017/jocelyn-joe-strack.jpgnewsjocelyn-joe-strack.jpgjocelyn-joe-strack.jpgJocelyn Joe-Strack is one of four students at the U of S awarded the Vanier Scholarship.NoNoneNo/
TextPullquoteI would like to try and do my best to tie (my research) back to the global Indigenous journey of overcoming oppression, because we are one of the most successful, progressive Indigenous nations in the world.Jocelyn Joe-Strack/Align left

She came to realize how her ancestors only spoke of, and viewed, the forest, animals and air as alive and with spirit, how they might greet a flame with a friendly “Oh fire, you’re hungry. Let me feed you.” It was the harmony of the way her language, Southern Tutchone, implies life, rather than objectification, that spoke to her.

“The only things objectified were those that were made—so a knife, a bag, shoes, clothing—and everything else is regarded as alive, honoured and acknowledged as with spirit,” Joe-Strack said.

“I had this kind of reckoning: I walked through the forest and I felt so much more love and support than I’d ever felt before. The forest is alive and it loves us and it’s there for us.”

Joe-Strack is a PhD candidate with the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability, and one of four U of S recipients of the 2017 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. The award, valued at $50,000 per year for three years, recognizes top-tier PhD students who demonstrate excellence in academia, research impact and leadership at Canadian universities.

But for students like Joe-Strack, the scholarship is about more than the money or the prestige that comes with winning one of the nation’s most-coveted prizes. Instead, she’s more excited about how it will help her research thrive.

“I’m a mother and I have a family, and if it wasn’t for this scholarship, I think I would have had to continue to work as a consultant throughout my PhD and it likely would have prolonged and suffered because of it,” she said.

“Now I’m provided the opportunity to just dedicate myself and I’m really excited for that.”

The Southern Tutchone language is intricately entwined with Joe-Strack’s thesis, a three- year project that has taken her to Saskatoon and home again, where she is working with her First Nation of Champagne and Aishihik to develop a land use plan.

Joe-Strack is hoping to forge new paths in academic storytelling with her work, weaving her experience growing up in the Yukon and with her time helping plan her First Nation’s future in a first-hand, scholarly account of the community’s journey toward self-determination and Indigenous-led reconciliation. The finished product, she hopes, will be a contribution to the emerging field of Indigenous research.

“I am keeping a journal of my time with my nation and the lessons that I’m learning and reflecting upon, and preparing my thesis is going to be more of an autoethnography,” Joe-Strack said. “It’s going to be a recount of my place in this collective journey and in fulfilling my role in contributing a land plan for my people and what that means in the significance of our extended journey.”

The First Nations of the Yukon are a unique case study among Indigenous communities in that they have implemented their own self-government that exists at the same level as the Yukon Government, under the Canadian Constitution. The result is a governing body by First Nations and for First Nations that holds a higher level of autonomy than Indian Act Nations—and one that, to Joe-Strack, is worth studying and shining a light on.

“I would like to try and do my best to tie (my research) back to the global Indigenous journey of overcoming oppression, because we are one of the most successful, progressive Indigenous nations in the world.”

A land plan may seem like a rather singular project to be pulling in larger topics like language, history and governance—all while acknowledging the ongoing legacy of residential schools and the pursuit of reconciliation—but Joe-Strack would disagree.

“Our land means our culture, it means healing, it’s our connection to our language and our community and to each other,” she said. “It’s so much more than this swamp or that bay. It’s our livelihood and our identity, and a land plan should reflect that and should strengthen our community and our individual citizens’ ability to identify and find strength in being a First Nations person.”


TextPelletier looks into leadership for First NationsImage/images/2017/terrance-pelletier-headshot.jpgsite://news/images/2017/terrance-pelletier-headshot.jpgnewsterrance-pelletier-headshot.jpgPelletierAlign left

As a former chief of the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, Terrance Pelletier is no stranger to the leadership of Indigenous communities. Now he’s hoping to build on the experience for his PhD. Pelletier, a U of S graduate student in educational administration who was recently awarded a 2017 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, is exploring how the leadership models within First Nations have been influenced by the effects of colonization.

“It’s looking at the historical influences of the residential school and Indian Affairs processes and the type of influences they had on our people as leaders,” said Pelletier, who himself is a residential school survivor.

“It’s more to understand why we are the way we are today, to understand how our leaders and institutions have become the way they are today.”

Pelletier hopes that his research will help to create new leadership models for First Nations communities, and is grateful that awards such as the Vanier scholarship have made it possible for people like himself to pursue their work with financial pressures eased.

“It’s difficult, not just for First Nations people but for all graduate students, when we come here to tackle the academic rigour of each of the colleges that we’re at—to meet deadlines and things like that, but also to meet the financial obligations that we have,” he said.

TextSupporting Indigenous women in urban centresImage/images/2017/tasha-spillett-headshot.jpgsite://news/images/2017/tasha-spillett-headshot.jpgnewstasha-spillett-headshot.jpgSpillettAlign right

When people think of Indigenous territories, a similar scene often springs to mind: paltry reservations or towns remotely located away from any city centre.

For U of S educational foundations graduate student Tasha Spillett, a Cree and Trinidadian woman from Manitoba, this idea presents a problem.

“We need to challenge the idea that urban environments and areas are not also Indigenous territories,” said Spillett, who was awarded a 2017 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to pursue her PhD research.

“It’s important to reconnect the people who have always been living in the city or who have been displaced from their communities, to reconnect those relationships between our land bases and our identities and for non-Indigenous people to be invited into the under- standing that these urban areas continue to be Indigenous territories, regardless of what infrastructure has been built overtop of them.” Spillett’s work is specifically focused around the well-being of Indigenous women in urban centres. Through a series of interviews with Aboriginal Elders and teenage girls in these areas, she’s hoping to curb the systemic violence against Indigenous people.

For Spillett, the Vanier scholarship is an honour that will lend greater support for her research while she supports those who she’s hoping to help most of all.

“While I did my undergraduate and my graduate degrees, I also worked full time,” she said. “This will be the first time that I can really focus on the work, the research and the study, and not also have to hold a full-time job. It means the freedom to do the work that my community has said it wants done.”

TextStudying steel safety in critical constructionImage/images/2017/ahmed-tiamiyu-headshot.jpgsite://news/images/2017/ahmed-tiamiyu-headshot.jpgnewsahmed-tiamiyu-headshot.jpgahmed-tiamiyu-headshot.jpgTiamiyuAlign left

In the event of an explosion, the protective steel that is used in the construction of chemical and nuclear plants can fracture in unpredictable ways and create critical safety issues.

Ahmed Tiamiyu, a University of Saskatchewan mechanical engineering PhD student from Nigeria, wants to revolutionize the way that steel reacts when under pressure.

His research, which recently led to him being awarded a 2017 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, is aimed at optimizing an existing grade of stainless steel which would better hold up to high temperature and load-bearing circumstances.

“The aim is to improve safety,” said Tiamiyu. “Even in Canada, we’ve had some chemical plant operation errors that lead to explosions.

“This research has a good promise of improving the performance and reliability of this material in the event of an unanticipated explosion. In the long run, lives can be saved.”

Winning the Vanier scholarship has been uplifting for Tiamiyu, giving him the security of knowing his research is seen as vital beyond his own lab.

“Students do get just a little encouragement in what they do most of the time. However, this Vanier scholarship is for me a morale booster,” he said.

“I am highly encouraged that my work is gaining recognition and that what I’m doing is very important to the scientific community, to society and to the nation at large.”

stoicheff-joins-prestigious-national-arts-boardtrue1547851354706imj129Stoicheff joins prestigious national arts boardA long-time champion of the arts, University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff has been appointed to the board of directors at the prestigious Confederation Centre of the Arts.University CommunicationsPeter Stoicheff1499958360000/articles/people/2017/stoicheff-joins-prestigious-national-arts-boardnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/stoicheff-joins-prestigious-national-arts-boardimj1291547620947707imj1291547620947707show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/peter-stoicheff.jpgsite://news/images/2017/peter-stoicheff.jpgnewspeter-stoicheff.jpgpeter-stoicheff.jpgPresident Peter Stoicheff has been appointed to the board of directors at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.NoNoneNo/
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Based in Prince Edward Island, where the 1864 Charlottetown Conference discussions set the table for the creation of Canada, the centre is one of the country’s premier cultural hubs, celebrating the best in visual and performing arts across the nation.

Stoicheff, who was named the 11th president of the U of S in 2015, joined the faculty of the English department in 1986 and served as vice-dean of humanities and fine arts from 2005-2010 prior to becoming dean of the College of Arts and Science in 2011. He said he is honoured to have been named to the board of the Confederation Centre.

TextPullquoteVisual and performing arts are an integral part of the fabric of our Canadian culture and important to many universities across the country, including the University of Saskatchewan.Peter Stoicheff/Align left

“Visual and performing arts are an integral part of the fabric of our Canadian culture and important to  many universities across the country, including the University of Saskatchewan,” said Stoicheff. “I am proud to represent our university and province on the board of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and it is an honour to contribute to such a prestigious organization.”

The centre’s stated mandate is to inspire Canadians through heritage and the arts to celebrate the origins and evolution of Canada as a nation, through creativity, collaboration and dialogue. The facility hosts major live theatre, music and dance performances and features one of the country’s leading collections of more than 15,000 historical, modern and contemporary works of art, as well as rare artifacts and archival records. The centre opened in 1964 and is a focal point of Canada 150 celebrations this year, of which the U of S is also a major supporter.

“The centre is a national treasure and it’s important to work to ensure that it remains as a vibrant celebration of Canadian culture and creativity for future generations,” said Stoicheff. “I have always been passionate about the arts and I look forward to working with dedicated individuals from across the country who share that commitment to seeing the centre thrive.”

In addition to being an active scholar, earning a Bachelor of Arts at Queen’s University (1978) and a Master of Arts (1980) and PhD (1983) from the University of Toronto, Stoicheff is also an accomplished author, composer and musician. He is highly regarded internationally for his work on modern literature and his studies of the history of the book and its future in the digital age. A classical guitarist, Stoicheff has also produced two acoustic CDs: Cantos I and Ethereal Steel.

Stoicheff has served in national and provincial leadership roles with respect to research, scholarly and artistic work, including serving on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) National Committee, the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Committee and as chair of the Education Committee of Universities Canada. Locally, he has served on the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of the Meewasin Valley Authority.

studying-abroad-in-francetrue1547851354706imj129Studying abroad in FrancePushing myself to move to another country really broadened my idea of what it means to be independent. Kim Fontainestudy abroad, international1508534400000/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-francenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/studying-abroad-in-franceimj1291547620941147imj1291547620941147show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/joshua-brand-nice.jpgsite://news/images/2017/joshua-brand-nice.jpgnewsjoshua-brand-nice.jpgjoshua-brand-nice.jpgLife's a beach in Nice, France.NoNoneNo/
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Joshua Brand of Saskatoon is majoring in philosophy and French through the College of Arts and Science. He has recently embarked on a journey to France through the Study Abroad program and while there, he took language classes (Phonetics, Syntax, Comparative Modern Languages—all in French) at Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Joshua sent us some photos of his adventure, and answered a few questions about his experience.


Did you visit any other countries? If yes, which ones? Which was your favorite and why?
It’s so accessible to travel when based in Paris, so I had to take advantage. I hopped the Channel a couple of times over to London, bussed to Amsterdam, flew for a weekend in Nice and Èze, and did day trips around the Île-de-France region. Each one was incredible, but Drubrovnik in Croatia was probably my favourite. It was the most different from Paris. It was filled with a tiny, but strong-walled old town and beautiful beaches in the city and nearby islands. Being able to swim in the Adriatic for a week is nothing to complain about!

What are two interesting things about the country that the average person may not know?
I think France is already pretty well known to Canadians, but I think the extents of its features aren’t.  Paris is an old city and full of history and it’s amazing to just walk around and see everything. Around the corner from my apartment is the Panthéon, where Marie Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, and many more are buried. Twenty steps away from the apartment is another where philosopher René Descartes lived. There are cafés in Saint-Germain where Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir would often frequent. Everywhere I would walk, I found places where extremely influential people lived their ordinary lives. That was truly incredible to experience. 

TextImage/images/2017/joshua-brand-paris.jpgsite://news/images/2017/joshua-brand-paris.jpgnewsjoshua-brand-paris.jpgjoshua-brand-paris.jpgA glimpse of the exquisite architecture in Paris.Above content

What did you learn about yourself?
While before the study abroad I did consider myself quite independent, pushing myself to move to another country really broadened my idea of what it means to be independent. I had to live without parental support in the same city, without the comfort of lifelong friends, and at a university which has an entirely different system in place. It of course is all very daunting in the beginning, but it pushed me to become more aware of who I am as an individual and I will always be grateful that I got to experience that. 

What was the best meal you had?
While I did enjoy amazing pieces of saint nectaire and comté, croque monsieur and tartare de bœuf are my two go-to memories. Croque monsieur (ham, cheese, and béchamel baked with pain de mie bread) is an inexpensive bistro classic that always warmed me up sitting outside in the early months of the year. Tartare de bœuf (raw beef with egg yolk and other toppings) is so delicious and coupled with the perfect fries and a pint of beer, nothing can go wrong. I recommend the bistro at the corner of Le Bon Marché. 

Did you make any accidental cultural faux-pas?
Being too friendly. I should clarify that the French are by no means rude people, they’re actually some of the best people that I have met, they are just very reserved in public. In Canada, smiling at a stranger on the metro would be considered friendly and socially acceptable, but it is a big no-no in Paris. Women especially refrain. If one pushes themselves enough to smile at a stranger on public transport, it usually signals that you desire something way beyond friendship.


To learn more about the study abroad opportunities offered at the University of Saskatchewan, visit or drop by the International Student and Study Abroad Centre in lower Place Riel.

leading-health-researchers-honouredtrue1547851354706imj129Leading health researchers honouredWorld-renowned vaccine researcher Andrew Potter was among those recognized by the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) for their outstanding contributions to creating a culture of innovation and health research in the province.Sarath PeirisCollege of Medicine, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Kinesiology1512769200000/articles/people/2017/leading-health-researchers-honourednewssite://news/articles/people/2017/leading-health-researchers-honouredimj1291547620872944imj1291547620872944show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/andy-potter.jpgsite://news/images/2017/andy-potter.jpgnewsandy-potter.jpgandy-potter.jpgPotterNoNoneNo/
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Potter, the director and CEO of the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization—International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), received SHRF’s Achievement Award for overall career achievements and leadership during 33 years of health research in Saskatchewan. He was chosen by a panel of local and national experts from a range of fields.

Potter is recognized worldwide for research on how bacteria cause disease and his “one health” focus at the interface of human and animal health. His innovative research projects have led to several unique achievements, including the world’s first genetically engineered animal vaccine and vaccines to protect against food- and water-borne pathogens.

“It is an honour and a pleasure to receive the foundation’s Achievement Award,” said Potter. “The credit goes to the people I have worked with over the years. I am proud of the scientific advancements we have been able to accomplish through teamwork.”

Potter, also a professor in the department of veterinary microbiology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the U of S, is working to apply genomics to animal health, forging links between researchers in human and animal infectious diseases to leverage the greatest benefit from technologies common to both fields.

Potter has mentored more than 40 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has contributed to more than 60 patents for animal and human vaccines and therapeutics.

Dr. Cory Neudorf, faculty member in the College of Medicine’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and a community health researcher, was also honoured with SHRF’s Impact Award for community health leadership that has provided health and social impacts in Saskatchewan.

He and his team led a study into health inequities within Saskatchewan and among regional health authorities regarding health behaviours, services and outcomes. The study will help define geographic areas in Saskatchewan with health inequities and determine health inequity trends over time for selected indicators. The results of his research will provide a better understanding of priorities in health care, and identify local, regional and national interventions that could help mitigate health inequalities in the future.

Five U of S health scientists were named top-ranking researchers in SHRF competitions and recognized with SHRF Excellence Awards:

  • Dr. Uladzimir Karniychuk: The VIDO-InterVac researcher established a fetal pig model for the Zika virus (ZIKV) infection that reproduces early infection in human fetuses.

    Karniychuk’s team has also created a model that reproduces the range of ZIKV-related pathology in newborns infected in the womb. The researchers will use these models to understand ZIKV biology, and help shape global and national surveillance and strategies to diagnose and prevent Zika.
  • Lloyd Balbuena: A member of the College of Medicine psychiatry faculty, Balbuena is evaluating lifestyle and pharmacological interventions in treating neuroticism and mood instability for suicide prevention.

    His team is examining lifestyle variables for preventing mood episodes, use of mood stabilizers in depression, and how differences in daily activities relate to mood.  The study involves using large health databases from Norway and Britain at the macro level, and working with a small group of Saskatchewan patients to contribute evidence for suicide prevention. 
  • Ayelen Blanco Imperiali: The marine biologist from Spain is at WCVM as part of a postdoctoral fellowship. She is using zebrafish to learn how two newly identified hormones, which regulate metabolism, affect growth.

    The research involves studying the effect of the hormones on the brain, pituitary, muscles and liver, tissues that are important in regulating growth. The study includes normal zebrafish, obese zebrafish, and fish that genetically lack the hormones. Diseases affecting metabolim—such as obesity—are related to growth defects in humans. Her research will provide new knowledge about these hormones and the impact they have on health and disease.
  • Jim Xiang: Xiang, professor in oncology and pathology, and senior research scientist at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, leads a team researching ways to stimulate the body’s immune response to optimize the impact of a new tumour-destroying technology known as the NanoKnife. 

    Saskatoon and Toronto are the only centres in Canada with a clinical NanoKnife program. Studies have shown that the use of the new technology has improved the overall outcomes for pancreatic cancer for the first time in 40 years.  Xiang’s team is researching ways to boost the immune system response and target cancer cells that survive the NanoKnife treatment.
  • Nancy Gyurcsik: A kinesiology professor who specializes in exercise psychology, Gyurcsik is developing a program to train exercise providers (instructors and personal trainers) on counselling people with chronic-non-cancer pain about the benefits of exercising while in pain.

    While medications are the usual treatment for pain, they are largely ineffective, Gyurcsik reports, while exercise helps with pain management. Her team identified exercise providers who are best suited to counsel patients about exercising with pain. The goal is to develop, test and refine workshops for exercise providers that give them confidence in counselling and allay their fears about harm to participants who attempt exercise.
dunbar-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamtrue1547851354706imj129Dunbar to join University Relations leadership teamDanielle Dunbar is set to take a leadership role in development in University Relations at the University of Saskatchewan.University CommunicationsUniversity Relations, Heather Dunbar1494972660000/articles/people/2017/dunbar-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamnewssite://news/articles/people/2017/dunbar-to-join-university-relations-leadership-teamimj1291547620859862imj1291547620859862show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoNoMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/danielle-dunbar.jpgsite://news/images/2017/danielle-dunbar.jpgnewsdanielle-dunbar.jpgdanielle-dunbar.jpgDunbarNoNoneNo/
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Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president, University Relations, announced May 16 that Dunbar will join the U of S as associate vice-president, development, and chief development officer, beginning July 4.

Dunbar currently serves as the executive director, alumni and advancement, at the University of Manitoba (U of M), where she has worked for the past 12 years. She served in a critical period in the U of M’s history, during the 2015 launch of the $500 million Front and Centre campaign.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience and a track record of success gained as she built deep, meaningful relationships with donors, alumni, and potential partners to advance the university’s mission,” Osburn stated. “A passionate, results-oriented leader, she is committed to building the culture of teamwork and collaboration so essential to our success.”

Originally from Northwestern Ontario, Dunbar is a graduate of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreational Studies at the U of M and holds her certified fundraising executive accreditation.

“I am very excited to bring my passion for post-secondary education to the U of S,” Dunbar said. “The excitement at the University of Saskatchewan is contagious. I marvel at how friendly and welcoming everyone is! My father was born and raised in Saskatchewan and as a child we spent a lot of time here visiting extended family. I am excited to bring my family to Saskatchewan.”

a-cooler-commutetrue1547851354706imj129A cooler commuteRare are the days when Leah Hildebrandt will drive to work. Instead, she prefers to knock back her kickstand and ride—year-round—on one of her two bicycles, swapping out one for the other, depending on the season.HenryTye GlazebrookDepartment of Chemistry1486737900000/articles/people/2017/a-cooler-commutenewssite://news/articles/people/2017/a-cooler-commuteimj1291547620729362imj1291547620729362show-in-navNoshow-navYesshow-prev-nextNoshow-feedbackNoNoNoYesMatching keywordsYesImage/images/2017/leah-hildebrandt.jpgsite://news/images/2017/leah-hildebrandt.jpgnewsleah-hildebrandt.jpgleah-hildebrandt.jpgLeah HildebrandtNoNoneNo/
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And she does so even as temperatures plummet in the coldest months of the year.

“There’s no cold point when I won’t bike,” she said. “When it gets to minus 40, that’s when I just have to make sure I’m prepared for the time I’m on the road.”

Hildebrandt is a graduate secretary in the Department of Chemistry. She has been biking to campus most days for five years now, pedalling through thunderous storms, beating heatwaves and wicked winter winds alike.

The only thing that stops her is the occasional heavy snowfall, which coats parts of her commute—such as the overpass where 108th Street connects with Preston Avenue—in too much powder to make riding a sensible option.

“The wind blows across that field there. If there’s a big snowfall, that section stops me from biking that day,” Hildebrandt said. “But even if there’s not a big snowfall and the wind starts to blow across that overpass, you’ll get these big drifts. And then you’re pushing and carrying instead of biking. It’s great exercise.”

Hildebrandt’s passion for biking to work supports the university’s commitment to sustainability, with a number of initiatives designed to make cycling to campus easier, from multiple paths and bike racks across campus to events like Bike to Work Day as well as Hike, Bike and Roll.

While keeping one more car off the road is a nice bonus, Hildebrandt said cost savings was the main factor that drove her to cycling. Rather than pouring money into parking fees, insurance, gas, and the cost of a vehicle, she would rather spend that money on bikes and quality gear.

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It certainly doesn’t hurt that she likes the ride, too.

“I think it’s fun,” she said. “I just think it’s an enjoyable way to get to work. And why not? If you can get your exercise in going to and from work, even that small amount is great.”

Most people assume the cold would be a big issue for Hildebrandt, but she said the act of cycling itself, coupled with the right gear, generates more than enough heat to keep her comfortable during her commute.

“I’m moving. I think sometimes people look at bikers and they pity them. ‘Oh, it’s freezing out there! Look at that person!’ But we’re actually quite warm,” Hildebrandt said. “Because we’re moving, we don’t need extremely warm clothing. I just layer up, and as long as I have a good wind layer and good gloves, I’m fine.”

In fact, Hildebrandt said she is less weighed down by the layers protecting her from the cold than she is by her backpack. Each day she stuffs her pack full of any and all equipment she might need, which ranges widely from common items like lunch, to a change of clothing for the office, to a small bike repair kit.

“Some days I feel like I bring everything but the kitchen sink with me to work,” she said, laughing.

Winter cycling is much harder on her bike than it is on her, Hildebrandt said, noting that she does regular maintenance to make sure everything’s in good shape throughout the season.

The key, though, is to install a good set of studded tires on your bike.

While more expensive than the rubber seen on summer rides, Hildebrandt said picking up a pair is an investment that will help keep you from getting up-close-and-personal with the road.

“Last year was my first time biking with good, studded tires,” she said. “The first few seasons I’d just had cheaper sets with studs only on the sides. The older I get, the less fun it is to have big bruises and to go through the adventure of trying to stay upright.”

Hildebrandt said when temperatures dip downwards of -30 C, stiff tires and frozen, creaky equipment makes getting your bike moving not unlike operating a cold car; it takes time to get everything going.

Still, she hopes such minor qualms won’t prevent more people from leaving their regular drivers at home and trying out a winter bike ride, even if sharing the road isn’t always easy.

“Cars are probably my biggest concern,” she said. “You can slip around a bit in a car, but there’s not another car right there beside you. When they drive so close as they’re going by you on a bike, it’s concerning. But I can’t stop cycling just because I’m worried someone will hit me. It’s just part of what you take with this, and you hope that everyone will respect you.”

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As a veteran winter cyclist, Leah Hildebrandt knows the vital equipment that you’ll need if you want to try pedalling through snow for yourself. Here are her top five items:

  1. Studded tires: A thick set of well-studded tires will keep your bike upright and keep you off the ground.
  2. Snowboard helmet: Unlike their biking counterparts, snowboard helmets allow you to secure goggles over your eyes while you ride, making facing the snow easier on your field of vision.
  3. Gloves and footwear: Extremities are the first body parts to cool down, especially when you’re moving quickly. Keep your digits and toes protected.
  4. Layered clothing: Staying warm is key to turning winter activities from a chore into a breeze. Invest in good outerwear and layer appropriately for best results.
  5. A second bike: This one isn’t a necessity, but Hildebrandt says that the wear-and-tear on your ride will vary greatly, depending on the season. If you can manage it, a second bike will simplify things greatly.
al-katib-honoured-with-international-peace-awardtrue1547851354706imj129Al-Katib honoured with international peace awardA U of S alumnus is the recipient of a prestigious honour for his work in helping to feed Syrian refugee families.Natasha KatchukEdwards School of