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Women’s Hockey Bolsters 2017-2018 Lineup with Addition of Three Talented Recruits

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The women’s hockey team at St. Thomas University is bolstering the 2017-2018 lineup with the addition of two talented forwards and a skilled blue liner.

Olivia Reid, of Aurora, ON, Leah Galati, of Mississauga, ON, and Margarita Dorofeeva, of Moscow, Russia, have committed to join the Tommies on the ice this fall.

Dorofeeva, a forward coming out of King’s Edgehill Prep School in Nova Scotia, was a member of the Russian U18 National Team that competed at the 2016 and 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships. A quick and skilled athlete, Dorofeeva will add to the Tommies’ already established offensive unit.

“Rita will put pressure on defenders,” Tommies head coach Peter Murphy said. “Her ability to read the play and make appropriate decisions makes her a scoring threat. She’s going to add to our depth on offense and will be a key contributor going forward.”

Dorofeeva is looking forward to joining the Tommies and becoming part of the campus community, which she said suits her goals.

“The athletics as well as the academic programs at St. Thomas suit my objectives and will allow me to excel not only as a hockey player, but as a person as well.”

Joining Dorofeeva up front for the Tommies is Reid, a forward from the Leaside Wildcats of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. In 37 games this season, the future Tommie netted seven goals and set up 13 more. Although there’s an offensive flair to her game, Murphy is most interested in her skills on the penalty kill.

“She is a very strong penalty killer. After losing two of our key penalty killers from last year, she will help to fill that role but will definitely make any line she is on better offensively,” he said. “She is a great two-way player and is tenacious on the puck.”

On top of continuing her athletic career, Reid decided on St. Thomas because of the small campus and the environment it creates for learning.

“I feel St. Thomas is the best school for me to develop as a person, both on and off the ice,” she said. “It has strong academics, a great hockey program, and I love that it’s a small school.”

Rounding out the new recruits is Galati, a defensive specialist from the bronze-medal winning Mississauga Chiefs of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. Her size and skill give her the potential to become a great defender at the U SPORTS level.

“In watching her while recruiting you could just see she has all the tools,” Murphy said. “She has a big shot and makes a solid first pass, which helps kick start every teams’ offense. We expect her to transition very well to the Atlantic University Sport conference.”

Galati said there a many reasons she chose St. Thomas, but the most important factors were the academic programs and the opportunity to play for the Tommies.

“I know I’ve chosen the university that will invest in me as a player and as a student,” she said. “In return, that will inspire me to invest all my efforts into the university.”

The Tommies are coming off a difficult season that saw them finish second in the league standings, but fall in the best-of-three conference semi-final series against the St. Francis Xavier X-Women.

Dorofeeva, Reid, and Galati are the first new additions to be announced by the STU squad. 

To see who else will be joining the Green and Gold this fall check out the women's basketball, men's soccer, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, and women's soccer pages.

Third-Year Student Kira Chisholm Receives IPAC Fredericton Student Paper Award

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, May 15, 2017
Kira Chisholm, a third-year student from Fredericton, was recognized for her recent paper on NB Electoral Reform as the 2017 winner of the IPAC Fredericton Student Paper Award.

Once every academic year, the IPAC Fredericton Regional Group will solicit and judge entries for the best paper written by a registered (at time of application) full or part-time student of a post-secondary institution located in New Brunswick who is from or is living within the regional group’s geographical region. The award for best paper is open to students enrolled in any field of undergraduate and graduate studies.

The goal of the award is to encourage students with an interest in public service to make a contribution to the field of public administration by providing their critical and analytical work in any area related to public policy, administration and management of government.

Chisholm was nominated for the award by Political Science professor Dr. Tom Bateman.

“I wrote the essay for Dr. Bateman’s Contemporary Issues in Canadian Politics class, and he had us read the NB Commission on Electoral Reform Discussion Paper, and encouraged us to make a recommendation to the commission,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm is currently completing double honours in English and Political Science and an active member of the St. Thomas University theatre community.

Understanding Electoral Reform

“I find that with this particular issue there are a lot of assumptions about the implications of electoral reform, and I wanted to try and understand the mentality behind each proposed system and why there seems to be such discontent with the current system,” said Chisholm.

“Kira’s paper is a model undergraduate paper. Kira questions the consensus in favor of electoral reform, and fills out her argument with pointed evidence, sharp, direct writing, and admirable balance. The best arguments consider contrary evidence and respond. Her paper does that. It was a pleasure to read,” added Bateman.

“I never would have submitted the paper to the commission or to the IPAC competition without Dr. Bateman’s encouragement. It felt really good to win the award, this is something I never would have expected and something I’m really very proud of,” said Chisholm.

"St. Thomas University has instilled a tremendous fire in all of us” - STU Celebrates Class of 2017 at Spring Convocation

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The university bestowed honorary degrees to philanthropist and higher education champion Sandra Irving and Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada Alex Neve.
Valedictorian Shania Maguire still remembers her first day of class. 

“I had never felt so lost and overwhelmed before that moment,” she told her fellow graduates at spring convocation. “I am back in that moment again. We have no guidelines as to what we must do anymore. Right now, you might be feeling overwhelmed at what is to come, but try to take a step back and realize that the freedom to write your own chapters in your own book will be the best thing to happen to you.”

Maguire, who hails from Saint John, NB, spoke to the 350 graduates who received their Bachelors of Applied Arts, Arts, and Social Work.

She told them their future was theirs to write, and she knew they would all accomplish great things.

“No matter what your choice, I know you are all going to succeed as St. Thomas has prepared you for anything that comes your way. St. Thomas University has instilled a tremendous fire in all of us, we have a new passion for life and a desire to make the world we live in a better place for everyone. You are some of the most amazing critical thinkers that this world will ever encounter, and tomorrow is the day that you are free to decide how your new chapter begins.”

The university also bestowed honorary degrees to Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada Alex Neve and philanthropist and higher education champion Sandra Irving.

Neve delivered the convocational address. He challenged the class of 2017 to use their voices to make a difference in the world.

“Our human family needs you. It needs you to march from this hall and this time of achievement, ready and determined to be a voice and a force for respecting, safeguarding and promoting dignity, respect and tolerance in our communities, in our nation, and around the world,” Neve said.
“Your dreams, your example, and your efforts to fashion a more just world will truly matter in the years to come.”

Medal Winners

Governor General’s Medal: Kailey DeLucry, (Honours in Psychology) 
University Medal for Arts: Hannah Anstey, (Honours in Psychology)
University Medal for Social Work: Andrea Moody (Bachelor of Social Work)

Encouraging the Learning Experience Beyond Classroom Lectures: Dr. Deborah van den Hoonaard Named Professor Emerita

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Dr. Deborah van den Hoonaard spent much of her career at St. Thomas University encouraging the learning experience beyond classroom lectures.
Through the organization of workshops, public lectures, and conferences, she inspired many of her colleagues to share their research with each other and to connect with other researchers in the region.
Generous with her time, van den Hoonaard mentored many faculty and students and was the impetus behind many enriching gatherings on campus, from informal morning coffees to academic get-togethers to interfaith activities.

To recognize her contribution to the STU community, the university recently named her Professor Emerita, a rank awarded to retired professors who have served the university with great distinction.
van den Hoonaard began teaching in the department of Gerontology in 1991. She was then appointed a Canada Research Chair in Qualitative Research and Analysis in 2006 and her research has explored the life experiences of members of marginalized groups in Atlantic Canada, specifically older widows and widowers and immigrants of non-European descent.

“I was fortunate to be STU’s first Canada Research Chair. I saw the position as an opportunity to share the wealth that the CRC brought. I hope that I have provided encouragement and resources to other researchers,” she said. “I think the monthly qualitative lunches, where researchers from STU and UNB would make very brief presentations on things they were working on, and the annual workshops that brought in top researchers from North America to give public talks and lead workshops, had the most impact.”
Over her career, she presented 25 invited papers and keynote lectures and wrote 67 conference papers and 41 peer-reviewed articles in professional journals. Her book, Qualitative Research in Action: A Canadian Primer, written at the request of Oxford University Press, is considered one of the top Canadian sociology methods textbooks and is going into its third edition. A prolific author, her other books include By Himself: The Older Man’s Experience of Widowhood, The Widowed Self: The Older Woman’s Journey Through Widowhood, and Essentials of Thinking Ethically in Qualitative Research  and The Equality of Women and Men: The Experience of the Baha’i Community of Canada (with Will C. van den Hoonaard).
Her dedication to her research and teaching can only stem from her passion and love of learning. After retiring in 2016, van den Hoonaard continues researching and writing.
“I’m currently working on the third edition of my textbook and have data from a new study on women’s experiences as widows to write up—hopefully, as a new book. I’m also working with Alexandra Maren on a textbook on research methods for Oxford University Press,” she said. “I hope that I continue to be invited to speak to groups about ageism and widowhood. And, of course, I love being with my husband, wonderful adult children, and beloved grandchildren.”

Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service: Dr. Amanda DiPaolo, Dr. Matte Robinson and Dr. Erin Fredericks Receive Faculty Awards

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Three faculty members who were recognized for their excellence at spring convocation share one thing in common – they are all STU alumni.

Human Rights professor Dr. Amanda DiPaolo (BA’01), received the John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award, English professor Dr. Matte Robinson (BA’98) received the University Scholarship Award, and Sociology professor Dr. Erin Fredericks (BA’06) received the University Service Award.

John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award

Since coming to St. Thomas three years ago, Dr. Amanda DiPaolo has become known for her innovation and commitment to the highest standards of teaching, and has received outstanding evaluations from her students.

In the classroom, she is able to engage even the most reticent students and uses her knowledge of international legal systems, politics, and human rights to create a broad and versatile learning environment.

She credits her passion for teaching to some of the professors who taught her during her undergrad.

“When I was a student at St. Thomas University, I decided in my second year of study that I wanted to be just like my professors,” she said. “I think I learnt most of everything I know from the people who are still here around me at STU today.”

DiPaolo has expanded the Human Rights Program by adding numerous new courses and an honours component. She teaches courses on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights, and conducts independent studies on issues ranging from constitutional law to the Holocaust.

DiPaolo developed the Moot Court Program at STU, which is the only Canadian university to be a member of the US Collegiate Moot Court Association. The rigorous program sees students meet the challenge of becoming experts in American constitutional law as they argue cases in front of jurists. Many of her students have earned recognition during competition by finishing among the top 22 teams (out of 350), qualifying for the National Championships, or earning speaking awards.

With an intensive program that runs from May to January and includes case briefs and legal arguments, individual practice sessions, dress rehearsals, and four weekends of travel in the US, DiPaolo has dedicated countless hours to help students excel and learn practical skills in analysis, writing, and public speaking, as well as self-confidence and leadership skills.

“It's so humbling to be recognized in this way. I'm surrounded by incredible colleagues who inspired me both inside and outside of the classroom. It means the world to me to join an incredible group of scholars in accepting this award.”

University Scholarship Award

Dr. Matte Robinson’s research and writing on American modernist writer H.D. has contributed significantly to scholarship in North America, the United Kingdom, and France, and has appealed to wider discussions about modernist female authors and spirituality.

Though H.D. is recognized as a major figure within literary modernism, students rarely encounter her more substantial work before graduate school because little work has been done to help readers approach its complexities. Much like the important role critical scholarly guides play for the works of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound—peers of H.D.—Robinson’s goal has been to make the work of H.D. available to wider audiences.

Robinson has been involved in the publication of five previously unpublished late works of H.D. He has co-edited H.D.’s Hirslanden Notebooks and authored a book on H.D., religion and the occult, The Astral H.D. He has written six articles and chapters, including contributing to the Cambridge Companion to H.D. and Presse Universitaire de Paris Ouest’s Intercalaires: agrégation d’anglais series.

“St. Thomas University shaped me into a young scholar, and I think it did so chiefly by providing a scholarly community,” he said. “That an undergraduate student could be able to work so closely with faculty in the discipline—and to get to know students and faculty from other disciplines—was really a fine thing, too easily taken for granted. Being in a tight-knit and collaborative community didn't just expose me to good researchers in my (new) discipline, it also modeled how such scholars interact, collaborate, and bring new members into the fold.”

“Returning to STU as a faculty member has allowed me a much deeper understanding of the wide variety and world-class quality of research being done here. It’s an honour to have my work recognized. The award inspires me to keep working and to reach out to collaborate with others in this community of scholars.”

University Service Award

Dr. Erin Fredericks is being honoured for her advocacy and support for the LGBTQIA+ community on campus and in Fredericton. Inspired by the notion to “be who you needed when you were younger,” she has worked to make STU a safer place for queer and trans students.

“We often think about graduate degrees as the preparatory degrees for academics. But, in many ways our undergraduate education teaches us what it means to work in a university and what the roles of universities are in our communities. STU prepared me for academic service work by teaching me that academic knowledge can be used for social justice, and that professors have the privilege to work as activists in our communities.”

As facilitator of the Safer Spaces program, Fredericks developed an LGBTQIA+ inclusion training workshop for staff and faculty. She has offered the workshop many times on campus and to community organizations, as well as the New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety. As STU’s LGBTQIA+ Resource Advisor, she meets with students, supports queer and trans equity initiatives, and advises staff and faculty. She has also promoted queer and trans visibility by supporting the development and work of the Q&A Student Society, facilitating the raising of the Trans Flag at STU, advocating for queer and trans students facing issues on campus, and helping establish all-gender washrooms on campus.

Off-campus, Fredericks is the co-founder and co-chair of the trans advocacy organization TransActionNB.

Health Research Chair on Cannabis to Be Established During 2017-18

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, May 8, 2017
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant joined St. Thomas University President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell, Shoppers Drug Mart Executive Vice-President Jeff Leger, and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation President Dr. Bruno Battistini to announce the establishment of a health research chair on cannabis at St. Thomas University.
The health research chair is the first of its kind in Canada, and will examine the social determinants of health relative to the use of recreational and medical cannabis. The chair will provide evidence-based data and scholarly interpretation to guide the development of public policy as new regulations are implemented.
Shoppers Drug Mart and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation on behalf of the provincial government, are funding the position by contributing $1 million over five years.
“We all want to get cannabis out of the hands of youth and get the proceeds of selling cannabis out of the hands of criminals,” said Gallant. “We will first focus on keeping New Brunswickers safe by having strong regulations for production, distribution, and sale of cannabis coupled with the necessary awareness programs and enforcement. While we put all of this in place, we will also pursue the economic opportunities that cannabis can represent for the New Brunswick economy.”
Requirements for Scholarly Research
“We are about to go through a socially complex change, and we expect greater requirements for scholarly research and input on how issues related to cannabis are addressed,” said Dawn Russell, President and Vice-Chancellor.
“We will need to make decisions based on the best available knowledge. Given St. Thomas University’s commitment to scholarly research that addresses the most pressing issues confronting society, this initiative aligns well with our strengths.”
Potential areas for research include comparative analysis between medical and recreational usage of cannabis; age-related issues; substance abuse prevention strategies; and legalization and public health strategies. The new chair is also expected to help the university educate undergraduate students about social responsibilities and social determinants of health.
“Pharmacists are trusted as medication experts, and we believe there is an important role for them to play in dispensing medical cannabis to patients as part of their drug therapy,” said Jeff Leger, Executive Vice-President of Pharmacy and Health Care for Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart.
“We recognize that research in the area of medical cannabis is needed, and Shoppers Drug Mart is pleased to partner with the Government of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation to further knowledge in this area.”
“The incoming legalization of cannabis is shifting the paradigm of use, whether for medical or recreational use, and we need to prepare for and understand what is coming, clearly learn what others have researched, and further study the remaining challenges,” said Dr. Bruno Battistini, the Foundation’s President, CEO and Scientific Director. “There is currently very little to no research like this being done.”
St. Thomas will allocate a tenured faculty position for the chair, who will also teach courses related to his or her area of expertise. A portion of the external funding may be earmarked for postgraduate students and research assistants.
The funding will begin in 2017-18 and the chair is expected to be in place this coming academic year following a national search.
The federal government has announced it intends to enact legislation to regulate the recreational use, cultivation and sale of cannabis by July 1, 2018. The provincial government has a working group examining retail-model options, a minimum purchasing age and other issues ranging from health and safety considerations to economic opportunities.

Find Your Path: Kailey DeLucry’s Acceptance to Speech Language Pathology Provides Next Step toward Career Goal

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Kailey DeLucry has wanted to work with individuals with intellectual disabilities ever since her younger brother was diagnosed with Down syndrome, but she wasn’t sure how to make that happen.

Now, the soon to be St. Thomas graduate is one step closer to her goal.

DeLucry, of Saint John, NB, has been accepted into the Dalhousie University Speech Language Pathology program and is one of a limited number of students who will take a research-based approach to the post-graduate program.

“I’m doing things a little bit differently,” DeLucry said. “I’m doing a thesis, so I’ll be working with Dr. Janet Ingles. She said I can study Down syndrome and dementia, which is exactly what I wanted to do.”

DeLucry came to St. Thomas unsure of what she wanted to study. After taking a few Psychology courses, she was able to narrow it down.

“My little brother’s development really sparked my interest and after taking some Psychology classes I really liked it. It all just came together,” she said. “I didn’t know how to do it, but I knew I wanted to study some sort of intellectual disability. It turned out that speech pathology was a good fit.”

Once she decided on her path, she was able to take a Developmental Psycholinguistic course that solidified her decision. The other classes she took and the professors she connected with were also helpful in preparing her for the next step.

“The classes really prepare you. Before, I could never do public speaking but now I can do it just fine. Things like that, I don’t know if I would have gotten at a bigger school,” she said. “STU’s size also allows you to match almost one-on-one with professors, so that’s really helpful.”

One of those influential professors was Dr. Michelle LaFrance, who was DeLucry’s thesis supervisor. After witnessing her growth throughout her degree, Lafrance has no doubt DeLucry will thrive as a speech pathologist.

“It was a pleasure to work with Kailey over the past several years. She is an intelligent woman who thinks deeply and critically and has a strong sense of curiosity about the world,” LaFrance said. “She has everything it takes to be an extraordinary health care professional and I think she’ll thrive in graduate school and later as a speech pathologist.”

Throughout her degree, DeLucry has also gained a better understanding of how different social factors can influence development. She believes this will be an added advantage as she continues her education.

“I think I have a better understanding of the clients I’ll be working with, their background and where they came from, not just their speech problem but what’s perpetuating it, what caused it, or why it’s not getting better,” she said.

Early on in her degree, DeLucry pictured herself as having a solely intellectual or research-based career. Now, she’s looking to do more.

“I always imagined I’d be doing academic stuff, but it’s interesting to think now I’ll be more hands-on,” she said. “At first I didn’t think I would like to do that, but I’m excited to see actually change. To think I can make a difference is kind of cool.”

Best in Creative Writing: English Department Acknowledges Student Work with Creative Writing Prizes

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Alexis McCormack received the Robert Clayton Casto Prize in Poetry.
Luke Beirne, Alexis McCormack, and Monica Furness earned this year’s top prizes in creative writing at St. Thomas University.

David Adams Richards Prize in Prose

Beirne, a third-year student studying English and History, received the David Adam Richards Prize in Prose for his short story Models.

“I’m very grateful for the prize, especially because it’s named after such a great author,” Beirne said. “I’m also really glad STU supports creative writing as much as it does.”

Beirne said the setting for his story was an ode to Fredericton—his hometown—and the rest he credits to his dad.

“My dad is probably the reason I ever tried to write anything, so I suppose he inspires it all in some way.”

Robert Clayton Casto Prize in Poetry

McCormack, a third-year English with a Concentration in Creative Writing honours student, earned the Robert Clayton Casto Prize in Poetry for the submission of three pieces titled Ease, Documentary: Sperm, Blue Bowhead, and By Far.

McCormack, Woodstock, NB, believes writing can provide comfort—something she hopes her winning poems accomplish.

“There are some experiences we don’t ever find the words for, but I hope one day I might, or that I will grow with these experiences and learn to leave them comfortably unresolved in the same way a poem is never quite finished,” she said. “Through reading and writing we may search for those little comforts, and I hope to offer my own.”

Velenski Prize for All Genres

Rounding out this year’s award winners is Furness, who received the Velenski Prize for All Genres for her short story Sea Glass Haven.

The fourth-year student from Vernon Bridge, PEI, wrote the story to showcase the disconnect between how tourists view Prince Edward Island compared to Islanders.

“The story is about a young island girl who shows her cousin from away her favourite beach, and her cousin hates every second of it because there’s jellyfish everywhere and the water is cold,” she said. “It doesn’t meet her expectation of what a beach should be like.”

Furness is completing an honours in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing, as well as a minor in History.

The winner of each prize receives $500.

Creative Writing at St. Thomas

At St. Thomas, students are able to pursue a major in English Language and Literature with a Concentrating in Creative Writing. Those who are serious about creative writing also have the opportunity to pursue Honours in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. 

Studying creative writing at St. Thomas sharpens skills in style and strategy and offers several prizes and publication opportunities.

The Department of English publicizes the annual call for Creative Writing Prize submissions in the winter term. All current St. Thomas students are eligible to submit work, with a deadline normally in March.

“A Peaceful Place” - Quyen Truong, Vietnam, Says St. Thomas is Worth the Trip

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Quyen Truong, of Vietnam, is pursuing her interest in Psychology and passion for art through a liberal arts education at St. Thomas University.

The first-year student intends to major in Psychology, but is taking advantage of the ability to combine multiple fields of study in her degree.

“I’m not sure what I want to do yet, so I want to study in different areas,” she said. “At St. Thomas, I can learn Psychology, take Art, and take Philosophy at the same time.”

Finding St. Thomas

Truong chose St. Thomas after visiting the university’s booth at a school fair. Although she’d never heard of the tight-knit school before, it felt like the right fit.

“Somehow everything really matched,” Truong said. “STU is really strong in social sciences and humanities, and I liked the idea of a small university because I was coming from so far away with a different language.”

The university’s size didn’t disappoint—Truong adapted quickly to studying in English, made connections with professors, and found a great group of friends.

Worth the trip

She said the long trip was worth it.

“I adapted quite fast,” she said. “Everyone is friendly and help me a lot. My professors even remember my name.”

Truong is looking forward to what her second year at St. Thomas has in store.

“I hope I will get even better at using English and I want to have good marks,” she said. “I think I’ll also join a club or society next year. This is a peaceful place. I like it.”

Register Now: Summer Linguistic and Cultural Program for French Second Language Teachers

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, February 9, 2017
The School of Education at St. Thomas University in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be offering a French linguistic and cultural training course from July 3 to July 14, 2017. This two-week program is coordinated by Léo-James Lévesque, assistant professor and French Second Language Methodology Specialist with the School of Education at St. Thomas.

The program is designed for French Second Language teachers who wish to take part in hands-on, interactive activities to improve and/or maintain their level of proficiency in French. Classes are held in the morning while afternoons are reserved for cultural and leisure activities conducted in French. 
Participants will be required to take part in an educational project designed to improve their French oral and written proficiency, enhance their cultural awareness for professional needs, and refine their teaching practices. Participants will use the Language Portfolio to maintain records of initiatives in which they have taken part to improve their French Language Skills. 

Target Audience and Eligibility

This linguistic and cultural training session is designed for French language teachers in the English school systems, whether they teach Intensive French, Core French or French immersion. Participants will be expected to have Intermediate to Advanced French proficiency skills. Prior to starting the program, participants will be contacted and asked to take part in a linguistic needs assessment to determine their specific linguistic needs and identify types of activities that would be most effective at improving their proficiency level in French.

Date and Cost

This session will be offered from July 3 to July 14, 2017. Further details will be provided to participants at a later date. 
The cost per participant is $650 + taxes (CAN) and includes course and activities. However, participants are expected to make their own arrangements for their lodging and their meals. 

  • Registration - New Brunswick teachers - Please contact Sylvie Arseneau, at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development:
  • Registration - Other Canadian provinces and other countries please contact Léo-James Lévesque, School of Education: St. Thomas University

Letter from a First-Year Student - Bibi Wasiimah JOOMUN

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, January 9, 2017
My name is Wasiimah, and I’m a first-year student at St. Thomas from Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean.

It’s with great pleasure I’m writing to you, because I know choosing the best university for you can be challenging. I hope by sharing my experiences with you, I help you figure out whether St. Thomas is the best place for you.

Making the decision to join the STU family

I was looking for a university that suited my personality and character, but also that fit my financial position. I was interested in studying Psychology and Criminology, and when I discovered the many scholarship and bursary opportunities at St. Thomas, I decided to apply.

One day, I received a phone call that changed my life. I was offered a renewable scholarship and bursary from St. Thomas. The university had my heart that very day.

The happiness and pride I could see in my parents’ eyes was all because of St. Thomas. This was the day I decided I would come to Canada and to St. Thomas. Being able to fulfill my mother’s dream of sending her children abroad for university studies is a feeling beyond words.

My first weeks

Amazing! Fantastic! Awesome!

My first impression of St. Thomas was the very warm welcome I received at the airport. Arriving to find someone from the university holding up a sign with my name on it with a big smile on their face at 11 pm was a great feeling after two days of travel.
When I arrived to my residence room, my roommate was there to welcome me. There were no awkward moments. My roommate and I ended up talking for hours.

The culture of acceptance here made my transition easy and wonderful, and living in residence is the best thing I can recommend. I cannot imagine my experience without the wonderful moments I share with students who live in my residence. Everyone is so ready to listen and help you with anything.

Most importantly, they accept you the way you are. Being with people from St. Thomas, I don’t think about that I am not from Canada or that I belong to a different cultural and religious background.

I remember being in your shoes, worrying about how the first weeks would go. Believe me, this is a normal feeling. However, at this university, if you are sitting alone at the dining hall, someone will join you. You make friends just by opening your door. A simple “hi” and a smile is usually the start of a new friendship at St. Thomas.

First week of class

One reason I chose St. Thomas was for the small classes—maximum 60 students, but more often less—which allows for interaction between professors and students. It makes me love going to class.

If you’re looking to have a lot of interaction and discussion with classmates and professors, St. Thomas is a fit for you. Professors remember your name and they’re willing to meet you outside of class.

What St. Thomas has done for me

Coming to St. Thomas has given me happiness, wonderful experiences, and amazing people in my life. Belonging to the St. Thomas family has been the best thing I could have imagined for myself.

This experience has not only given me these things, but it has also given my parents happiness and pride. St. Thomas has definitely changed my life.

I hope my personal experiences helps you decide whether St. Thomas is right for you.

Sincerely and best regards,

Bibi Wasiimah JOOMUN

Apply to St. Thomas University for September 2017