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Campus Community to Fill a Christmas Tree with Food Bank Donations

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The St. Thomas University Wellness Committee wants you to decorate its Christmas tree with cans of tuna, boxes of pasta, and granola bars.

The committee is launching its annual Christmas Tree of Compassion campaign, in collaboration with the STU/UNB Food Bank. It has built a Christmas tree in Sir James Dunn Hall with empty milk crates and hopes the campus community will help fill them with donations for the food bank.

“Imagine trying to focus on your studies while also worrying about where you are going to get your next meal,” said Vivien Zelazny, Interim Campus Minister. “By donating to the Food Bank, you’re alleviating so much worry and stress for those members of our community who struggle with food security. It’s a great way to celebrate the holidays – to know that you’ve made someone else’s day that much better.”

The campaign also acts as a friendly competition as buildings and residences on campus each have designated boxes and faculty, staff, and students can compete to see which box will be filled to the fullest. Off campus students can contribute to a box of their choice.

The Christmas Tree of Compassion will run from November 23 to December 4.
All donations will go directly to the STU/UNB Food Bank, located behind the Great Hall, on the second floor of George Martin Hall.

The food bank is a joint initiative between the Students' Union and STU Campus Ministry.

Here are some ideas of the items the food bank regularly needs:
Rice (boxed or bagged)
Pastas (various varieties, boxed or bagged)
Tomato sauce
Soya sauce
Dried beans
Flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and other basic cooking supplies
Soy milk (in tetra pack)
Canned tuna, salmon and other meats
Hearty soups
Canned fruit
Canned vegetables
Baby foods
Toiletries including:
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Feminine hygiene products
Laundry soap
The Wellness Committee organizes events and programs on campus to promote and encourage good health, as well as growth and development for faculty, staff and students.  For more information about the Wellness Committee, please visit its website at or email

Liberal Arts Entrepreneurship—STU Students Take First Place at Startup NB

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, November 25, 2015
STU students Oriana Cordido De Sola, Ali Ponte, and Adriana Rivas were part of the six-person winning team at Startup NB.
Critical thinking, creative problem solving, research, and communication—all skills associated with liberal arts helped three St. Thomas students earn first place at Startup NB.
Ali Ponte, Adriana Rivas and Oriana Cordido De Sola, from Venezuela, were part of a six-person team that earned first place for their product Glow App—an application to help individuals showcase their personality when applying for a job. 
The result of brainstorming and teamwork, Glow App began with Ponte, a third-year Economics major. His idea was to create a way to make internship and volunteer opportunities more accessible. After his pitch, Ponte attracted what would become the winning team. As members added experiences, perspectives and ideas, Ponte’s idea took on new forms. 
“We began thinking about how to improve the application process,” said Ponte. “The biggest thing employers miss in the process is something nearly impossible to demonstrate on paper—personality.”
Glow App allows applicants to submit short video clips, giving employers an idea of their personalities.
“Many times when you apply for jobs, you don’t really get to show them who you are,” said Rivas, third-year student majoring in Economics with Business and International Relations. She said many times, you are left feeling like saying, “If you could just meet me …” 
Rivas said Ponte’s idea, coupled with his willingness to hear the perspectives and ideas of others, took the concept to a higher level. 
“He brought in interesting people with his pitch. We all came from different areas, so when we got together, we knew our roles,” she said. “He allowed us to work together as a team.”
While the other members in the group were technically inclined, the St. Thomas students helped to strengthen the team’s skillset.
“One thing STU students share is the perspective that there’s always many ways to solve a problem,” said Rivas.
Cordido De Sola studies International Relations and Economics. She used her skills to conduct research and suggest adjustments to the product.
“I love talking to people and finding out how to improve an idea. With Ali, I did customer validation. We spoke to local employees and employers, and did marketing research,” said the first-year student.
She added that liberal arts skills contributed significantly to development of the concept.  “Having a liberal arts education opens your mind to what is happening around you in the world, which is what allowed us to have the idea for the project.”
The winning team earned financial credits for Clarity—a site connecting entrepreneurs with businesspeople—mentorship with Marcel LeBrun—Tech Entrepreneur, former CEO of Radian6, and Social Cause/Impact Entrepreneur—as well as access to facilities at Planet Hatch.  With these resources, they will continue to develop Glow App.  

Communication, Strategy and Democracy - STU Professors Weigh in on the Federal Election in UBC Publication

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, November 23, 2015
In Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy, and Democracy, a publication by the University of British Columbia Press, St. Thomas University professors Dr. Jamie Gillies and Dr. Tom Bateman examine two aspects of the election—constitutional issues and the presidentialization of leadership.
The recent federal election was barely over when scholars from across the country began to delve into the deeper issues that emerged during the campaign.
In Canadian Election Analysis: Communication, Strategy, and Democracy, a publication by the University of British Columbia Press, St. Thomas University professors Dr. Jamie Gillies and Dr. Tom Bateman examine two aspects of the election—constitutional issues and the presidentialization of leadership.
The book was published just days after the election and is targeted at journalists, researchers, pundits, students and engaged citizens. It was recently cited in The Toronto Star and has been making waves on social media.
Bateman believes the publication provides a deeper, more timely examination of the election than social media can provide, while remaining easily digestible for readers.
“One of its contributions is to take readers beneath the headlines to deeper themes and developments. Familiar partisan battles unfold in new circumstances, with new media, new campaigning techniques and new forces producing unexpected results,” he says.
As a political science professor, Bateman examines constitutional issues that arose during the campaign: minority government conventions, Quebec secession rules, Senate reform, and the “niqab issue.”
In his article, he says the discussion surrounding the niqab was one of the most controversial events of the campaign.
“It is safe to say that choice of attire during citizenship ceremonies was not on the public’s issue radar when the writ was dropped in August. However, the Conservative party’s tying of wearing a niqab during the citizenship oath swearing to an infraction of Canadian values nearly dominated the final weeks of the campaign,” he writes. 
“This debate swirled around the language of Charter values, including fundamental freedoms (section 2) and equality (section 15).”
For Gillies, who teaches communications and public policy, the publication presents an opportunity to make research accessible to the public.
“"It is important because scholars often provide commentary to local and national media during election time but rarely is our research showcased,” he says. “The editors of this collection matched research interests with election and political topics, and experts from around the country were able to weigh in with articles that were both academic and accessible.”
In “The Presidentialization of Executive Leadership in Canada,” Gillies discusses the public’s attention to the character, temperament, and electability of party leaders rather than the party’s platform.  With Canada shifting towards viewing executive leadership in presidential terms, he says the country is beginning to view the prime minster as a both head of government and de facto head of state.
“The changes in campaign style, advertising, credit-claiming and the personalized nature of executive leadership itself is sometimes an uncomfortable fit in a non-presidential system,” Gillies writes.
“Harper institutionalized this presidentialization with the official use of ‘Harper Government’ as a slogan in all Government of Canada communications. So he should not have been surprised then that in trying at the end of the very long 2015 campaign to frame the contest as not about him, it was indeed very much about him, and quite personally.”
The publication is at

“Being Pushed to Think in New Ways is Something We All Look For at University” - Dean’s List Dinner Recognizes Academic Success

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, November 20, 2015
Monica Grasse and Meghan MacEachern.
Making the Dean’s List is no easy feat. It requires an A- average and, according to two graduating students, it also requires being open to new ways of thinking and achieving a balance in life.
For Dean’s List students Meghan MacEachern and Monica Grasse, these factors have been key to their success. 
MacEachern, a native of Truro, Nova Scotia, will graduate next spring with a double major in criminology and psychology and a double minor in forensic anthropology and sociology. She has been on the Dean’s List since her first year and her perspective on her education has grown every year.
“A liberal arts degree from STU has allowed me to think more critically and opened my eyes to the many possibilities that come with that degree.”
MacEachern is also captain of the women’s rugby team and a game-day co-ordinator for the hockey teams. She also finds time to volunteer at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro.
For her, staying busy and involved in her community allows her to become a well-rounded person.
“It is so important for our community to be engaged with one another. We can’t have boundaries and walls separating each other. There needs to be connections because we are all citizens in the community and having a mixture allows people to relate to one another more.”
Grasse has also been on the Dean’s List during her three years of studies. After completing her final year, she will earn a Bachelor of Arts with honours in English and minors in psychology and French.
Looking back at the many different types of courses she took, one on sixteenth century poetry and prose was her favourite because it symbolizes what her education has meant.
“That course introduced me to a genre of literature I knew I liked, but really had no idea the extent of its works. I was pushed to think in new ways by adopting views of the 1500s, which is something we all look for in university courses,” she said.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts, the native of Fredericton, hopes to return to STU for a Bachelor of Education and become a high school English teacher to pass along her love of literature.
“I think literature is one of the universal means of evoking feeling in the reader, which is what I want to teach my students someday.”
“I want to show that there is value in almost anything if we are willing to look for it and be challenged by the familiar.”

Science and Technology Studies Professor Dr. Kelly Bronson Travels to Norway to Share Expertise on Responsible Innovation

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, November 20, 2015
Dr. Kelly Bronson has been invited by the government of Norway to share her expertise in engaging citizens to create sustainable governance practices related to new technology.
The Arctic Circle may not be the warmest place to visit in late fall but an invitation to share her expertise on the relationship between science and public policy was hard for Dr. Kelly Bronson to turn down.

The Science and Technology Studies professor has been invited by the government of Norway to share her expertise in engaging citizens to create  sustainable governance practices related to new technology.

Although Norway has a biotechnology act, it must roll out a regulatory program. The government has asked a group of experts in science-policy interface to gather and workshop ideas in Tromsø, Norway this month. 

“They found me through my published work on biotechnology regulation in North America,” Bronson explained. “I was selected because of my scholarly work on responsible innovation and risk assessment in agricultural biotechnology.”

Responsible innovation approaches decisions about innovations—such as regulations on the use of technology—by integrating social and technical concerns. This means policies must consider environmental risks that a particular innovation might pose as well as possible social, political and cultural consequences. Further, it looks for ways of incorporating ordinary citizens or end-users into the decision making.

“My work focusses on maximizing sustainable governance of technologies by engaging citizens in these decisions,” said Bronson.

“Historically, technical policies have been made by politicians and credential scientists and these power networks are hard to disrupt. Also, organizing ways of engagement takes a lot of care and knowledge.”

“I expect that this will be my main contribution to the workshop—I hope to make suggestions based on the Canadian experience about how to incorporate the concerns and knowledge of citizens into Norway’s biotechnology policy.”

Bronson noted that that the kind of socio-technical thinking at the heart of the effort in Norway is starting to be valued much more significantly in policy circles.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that the St. Thomas University graduates trained in Science and Technology Studies are taught, she added.

Just the Beginning: Major Scholarship Recipient Telina Debly on Her First 10 Weeks at STU

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Telina Debly, recipient of the Chancellor's Scholarship
In September, major scholarship recipient Telina Debly began her first year as a university student. A little more than two months into her degree, Debly’s more than made herself at home at St. Thomas.

“I was first drawn to St. Thomas's exclusive focus on liberal arts, and also the robust selection of courses offered. I like that it's a small university, but one that still has a lot of diversity among its students and faculty,” Debly said.

Debly, originally from Kingston, NB, earned the Chancellor's Scholarship—the university’s largest academic award. The prestigious scholarship recognizes just one first-year student annually for outstanding academic ability and achievement. The recipient is selected based on academic excellence, with attention given to qualities of leadership and versatility.

The significance of the award is meaningful to Debly, who hopes to participate in and contribute to her brand new surroundings in many ways, and has already begun to do so.

“This scholarship gives me the freedom to fully commit myself to academics, campus life, and extracurricular activities. It's an opportunity that I'm super grateful for!” she said.

“I hope to pursue a double major in Political Science and Human Rights, and to stay involved with the arts on campus and in the community. There are so many opportunities at St. Thomas and in Fredericton— to participate in theatre, music, politics, and more. I'm definitely excited to see what the next few years bring!”

Debly has already nestled into her new community. She’s performed at university coffee houses, is part of the STU Singers, and has been cast in the full season of Theatre St. Thomas.

Residence Life & Classroom Experience

Part of settling in has come naturally to Debly because she lives on campus in Holy Cross House (HCH), the smallest residence on campus, known for its tight-knit community.

“My residence is really welcoming, and because there are so few of us, we can really get to know one another. It's pretty rare that you can know almost everyone in your residence by name, but that's definitely the case in HCH.”

Debly attributes some of the warmth and friendliness to the size of the campus community, and the ways that students are able to get involved in that community.

“The university offers so many opportunities to get involved. I think because it's a small campus, it has a distinctly friendly feel to it, so you can walk around and see familiar faces no matter where you go.”

“My professors take an obvious interest in the success of their students. They're happy to refer us to the resources available, and frequently offer personalized help by reviewing drafts or meeting with us after class to talk. They even know your name and say hello to you outside of class!”

New Issue of Journal of New Brunswick Studies Now Available

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, November 9, 2015
An article about the high price of natural gas service in New Brunswick kicks off the latest issue of The Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick.
In his article, CBC Reporter Robert Jones explores why natural gas is so expensive in New Brunswick compared to the rest of the country.
“The origin of New Brunswick’s natural gas pricing problems—especially high prices to deliver gas to customers—is still the subject of some debate,” Jones writes. “But there are two main suspects. Some say the provincial government killed the chances for low prices with a decision it made before gas even arrived in New Brunswick. Others blame a series of lousy decisions and self-inflicted errors made by Enbridge after gas arrived—Enbridge being the company that owns the underground pipes that distribute gas in New Brunswick. Likely it is a combination of the two.”
The issue also includes an editorial by JNBS/RÉNB’s editor Dr. Tony Tremblay entitled, “The Shale Blackmail, and Other Worrisome Developments," and other essays, articles, and reviews. The full issue can be viewed online:
“We are very proud of the important work that JNBS/RÉNB has done in the province in the past five years, and we think the journal is a wonderful model of both inter-university partnering and of how university faculty actually work in broader provincial contexts,” Tremblay says.
The Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick is a multi-disciplinary journal that features original essays and peer-reviewed research about the province in English or French. The only bilingual journal of ideas in New Brunswick, it aims to publish thoughtful writing that engages a wide readership in ongoing conversations about the province.
Table of Contents - Issue 6.2

Editorial Introduction
Tony Tremblay, "The Shale Blackmail, and Other Worrisome Developments"
Invited Essays
Robert Jones, "Murder or Suicide: What Killed Low-Cost Natural Gas Service in New Brunswick?"
Don Dennison, "The Power to Change: A Letter to New Brunswickers"
Refereed Articles
Curtis Mainville, "'Our Isolation is Almost Unbearable': A Case Study in New Brunswick Out-Migration, 1901-1914"
Denis Bourque, "Le nationalisme acadien et l’émergence de la littérature acadienne (1875-1957)"
Brent White, "Progressive Era Financial Reform in New Brunswick: Abolishing the Auditor General"

Mark J. McLaughlin, "Telling the Irvings' Stories": A Review of Jacques Poitras' Irving vs. Irving: Canada's Feuding Billionaires and the Stories They Won't Tell
N.E.S. Griffiths, A Review of Gregory M.W. Kennedy's, Something of a Peasant Paradise? Comparing Rural Societies in Acadie and the Loudunais, 1604-1755 

Understanding Canada’s Relationship with War – New Books by History Professors Offer a Nuanced Perspective

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015
Worth Fighting For–Canada’s Tradition of War Resistance from 1812 to the War on Terror is a collection of work from scholars from across the country. It was edited by Gidney and Dawson along with Lara Campbell, professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University.
As Remembrance Day approaches, Canadians take the time to reflect on the sacrifices and honourable efforts made by our soldiers.

For Catherine Gidney and Michael Dawson, the time is also an opportunity for a more nuanced and complex reflection on Canada’s relationship with war.

Dawson is associate vice-president of research and a professor in the Department of History and Gidney is an adjunct research professor of history, both at St. Thomas University. Two of their recent publications, A Canadian Girl in South Africa and Worth Fighting For, provide distinct looks at war. 
“There isn’t much room for people that are on the outside looking in to ask … awkward questions. That is what historians do—try to poke and prod and ask awkward questions without being disrespectful of people that did sacrifice in the war or the people that did act as heroes,” Dawson said.
Worth Fighting For: Canada’s Tradition of War Resistance from 1812 to the War on Terror is a collection of work from scholars from across the country. It was edited by Gidney and Dawson along with Lara Campbell, a professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Canada has a long, rich and important historical tradition of resistance to both war and militarization, and the book brings together the work of sixteen scholars on the history of war resistance. It includes resistance to specific wars (including the South African War, the First and Second World Wars, and Vietnam), the ideology and nature of resistance (national, ethical, political, spiritual), and organized activism against militarization (cadet training, the Cold War, and nuclear arms).
Dawson described the book as “trying to showcase, [that] for every war that Canada has been involved in, there has been a part of the country that has been enthusiastic and a segment of the country that has been opposed to what is going on and opposed to what the government is asking people to do.”
The book has had a positive reception.  As the Vancouver Sun noted, “whether you are a lifelong peace activist or an enthusiast for a robust and muscular Canadian military, Worth Fighting For is worth your time. …The authors and editors of this fascinating book have done us all a favour by providing intelligent and well-written briefing papers on its historical background.”
While Worth Fighting For provides a general perspective on war resistance from scholars, another book by Gidney and Dawson provides a much more intimate perspective on war.
A Canadian Girl in South Africa looks at the South African War as it was ending in 1902. Colonial administrators at the highest levels of the British Empire had hand-picked teachers from across the Commonwealth to teach thousands of Boer children living in concentration camps. Among the 40 teachers chosen from Canada was E. Maud Graham.
“Given when Graham was writing, her memoir is a remarkable document, providing insight about aspects of the South African War from the perspective of a female teacher,” Gidney said.
Graham left behind first-hand observations on the South African War and South African society at the end of the Victorian era. It is a lively historical travel memoir that the editors have used and supplemented with a rich political and historical context to her narrative.
It was co-edited with Dr. Susanne Klausen, professor of history at Carleton University. 
As Gidney explained,“as a primary source, this memoir helps bring history to life and shows the complexities of war.”

As Remembrance Day approaches, these books enable Canadians to deeply reflect on what we are really remembering, and to recognize the complex situations Canadians faced while the country was at war. 

Artists in Residence: Dodson, Ross, and the coop company

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, October 26, 2015
Lesandra Dodson, Lisa Anne Ross, and the coop company members are artists in residence at St. Thomas
This fall, St. Thomas University’s Department of English is hosting Lesandra Dodson, Lisa Anne Ross, and the coop company members as artists in residence on campus.

The residency offers the company the opportunity to engage with the student body at St. Thomas. Lesandra Dodson, Lisa Anne Ross and members of the coop will be working with STU students who have been cast in the chorus of Theatre St. Thomas’s February 10-13, 2016 production of Eurpides’ The Bacchae and lead physical theatre workshops with the students twice a week this semester. This includes very challenging “contact improv” work.

It will also allow the company to continue the artistic development of their new work, entitled The Record of Us.

In the spring of 2015 Solo Chicken Productions proudly launched their new performance initiative, the coop, and engaged in a creative residency at Charlotte Street Arts Centre. There, they began the creation of the full length, physically based theatrical piece The Record of Us, which draws upon the text of celebrated, New Brunswick-born author David Adams Richards as the springboard for inspiration.

The Coop, so named to encompass a creative cocoon or incubator, is a performance collective for professional artists to research, develop, and perform original works of physical theatre. It aims to support artistic growth of emerging New Brunswick artists through training and performance opportunities. the coop was conceived out of a growing need to create, nurture and support the wealth of emerging NB performance artists through access to meaningful creative process and collaboration.

The company members, including former STU students Jean-Michel Cliche and Ian Goff, as well as Alex Donovan, Alexa Higgins, and current STU student Lexi McCrae, led by Dodson and Ross, are eager to begin their residency. The residency affords them not only the valuable time and space needed to hone their craft, but will facilitate the opportunity for them to share their artistic practice with students and emerging NB artists in the creatively supportive and stimulating atmosphere of the St. Thomas University campus.

Don't forget to follow Theatre St. Thomas on Facebook!

Identifying and Understanding Bullying – Alumna Works to Help Future Educators Prevent Bullying

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, October 19, 2015
Cassandra Dorgelo, BA’14, will be published in Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences for her research on bullying.
Cassandra Dorgelo, BA’14, will soon be a published author.

Her research, which focuses on the knowledge level pre-service teachers possess concerning what constitutes bullying, as well as their ability to recognize it, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

The STU grad, who’s currently studying in a Crime and Intelligence Analysis program, said it’s surreal knowing her work is going to be published.

“I just saw the proofs for the first time and I still can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s great to see all my hard work come together.”

A total of 228 education students took Dorgelo’s survey, which included a general and applied knowledge test, and the overall results indicated that pre-service teachers may not be able to identify the behavioural components that constitute bullying.

Dorgelo said the number of high-profile cyber-bullying cases, and their tragic endings for many of the young adults affected, inspired her research.

“It’s been suggested that one of the ways in which both traditional bullying and cyber-bullying can be prevented is by educating students through the school curriculum,” Dorgelo said.

“However, this form of prevention relies heavily on educators’ knowledge of various types of bullying, their ability to recognize bullying behaviour, and their understanding of when intervention is necessary.”

Many of the pre-service teachers who participated in the survey indicated they wanted to learn more about bullying in their education programs and the majority believes that information about traditional and cyber-bullying is just as important as the other topics covered in their program.

No matter what comes from her research, Dorgelo hopes to see progress.

“Ultimately, I hope to see efforts being made to prevent bullying situations from arising. I think whatever we can do to get that done is progress.”

Discovering a Love for Research – Psychology at STU

Dorgelo came to St. Thomas from Vancouver, BC, and fell in love with Psychology when she arrived.

“Taking part in the Psychology Honours program was one of the best decisions I made while attending STU. It’s opened up more opportunities for me than many of my other accomplishments during university,” she said.

“There was so much support for us in the program. I can’t say enough good things about STU or the professors that work there, especially Dr. Fraser, who still offers me his unwavering support.”

Being a part of the Psychology Honours program helped Dorgelo discover her love for research, which she plans to continue pursuing. After she completes the Crime and Intelligence Analysis program she hopes to work for the government.

Nurturing and Inspiring Students – Leigh Rivenbark Joins the St. Thomas University Musical Theatre Program in Fine Arts

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Leigh Rivenbark is joining the St. Thomas community as the newest faculty member in the Musical Theatre program in Fine Arts.
After working as an artist for several years, Leigh Rivenbark is joining the St. Thomas community as the newest faculty member in the Musical Theatre program in Fine Arts.

A native of Fredericton, Rivenbark’s always dreamed of teaching full-time in his hometown and giving back to the community—that dream is now a reality.

“I feel a sense of calling to do this now,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to work as a professional director for many years, but I feel a deeper level of satisfaction when I teach. You are changing students’ lives in a major way.”

His calling to teach was reinforced when he received a letter earlier this year from a former student, who cited a moment in his class as the “first time she felt real pride.”

The letter had a real effect on Rivenbark.

“I was very moved that my class inspired her to become an arts educator. Her letter reinforced my passion for teaching.”

Aside from the positive influence he hopes to have on his students, Rivenbark is looking forward to directing the Musical Theatre class production of Rent from March 2-5, 2016, and contributing to the growth of the Musical Theatre program.

Rent is a powerful and life-affirming musical. I think my students and audiences will connect with its edgy rock score and relevant themes,” he said.

“I also look forward to building on the foundation that Dawn Sadoway laid. Thanks to her exceptional work, the enrolment for Musical Theatre has doubled in only a year. And there's much opportunity for growth. There's a huge untapped market in the New Brunswick for students that crave professional musical theatre training in their home province."

In the classroom, Rivenbark sees himself as a mentor who focuses on nurturing and inspiring his students.

“In my teaching practice, I find that students thrive not only when they’re nurtured but when they're challenged,” he said. “I see myself as being a mentor rather than an authority figure. After all, my students are the future of musical theatre. I may be teaching them today and then working with them professionally down the road.”

Rivenbark is teaching four classes this year—Musical Theatre; Voice and Movement; Voice, Breath, and Body; and Music Theory—all of which he hopes will feed into the musical theatre component with an emphasis on creating a well-rounded performer.

He’s eager to get involved outside the classroom as well.

“I’m excited to get involved any way I can - whether that means mentoring students, sitting on committees, or supporting the work of my colleagues. I’m here to be used as a resource,” he said.

Rivenbark holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

Live & Learn Student Skills Workshops -- Fall Schedule 2015

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
All workshops take place on Friday at 2:30 pm unless otherwise noted.


Location: GMH 301
Facilitators: Students

September 11: How to Get Involved
[Kinsella Auditorium]
Megan Thompson – President, STUSU

On campus and in the greater Fredericton Community, there are amazing opportunities to enrich your university experience. If you’ve wanted to get involved in an initiative or organization but have held back, now is the time to step up. This presentation offers a mix of information and inspiration for new students who want to put themselves out there.

September 18: FSACC Consent Workshop
Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre

Learn what sexual consent is, and when and how to ask for it.

September 25: Confidence and Communication in 15 seconds or less
STU Improv

This is not your typical “How to Give a Presentation” workshop. Working with STU Improv, you’ll learn how to engage your audience, field the tough questions, and become more confident. Be prepared to participate, become a ninja, and give a speech on a topic with only 15 seconds of preparation.

October 9: VOTING: How to Exercise your Democratic Right
Shania Maguire – Vice President, Education, STUSU

After five years of attack ads, question periods, and political speeches, it’s time for us to pick a new government. The federal election is on October 19th, and your VP Education is here to help get you to the polls!

October 30: You Can Do It All: Time Management
Brianna Matchett – Vice President, Student Life, STUSU

Students often run the risk of taking on too much. Your Vice President Student Life will teach you the art (yes, the art!) of balancing priorities, scheduling, and self-care.

Location: GMH 304
Facilitator: Linnet Humble, Writing Centre Coordinator

September 18: Note-Taking Tips
You know you should be taking notes, but you may not know why or how to do it. In this session, students will learn tips for taking useful notes, along with strategies for organizing and revising notes for review.

September 25: Organizing an Essay
Whether you’re writing an essay for English or a research paper for psych, there are ways to ensure you’re communicating your thoughts clearly on the page. Learn how to group ideas into paragraphs and how to write introductions, conclusions, topic sentences, and thesis statements to match.

October 16: Finding Sources for Research Papers
Find quality sources for your paper from the comfort of your dorm room! This session will show you how to find books and peer reviewed journal articles using the library’s online search engines. Students will practice identifying search terms, choosing and using databases, accessing ebooks and other full-text sources, and requesting items that aren’t available at UNB Libraries.

October 23: Using Sources in Research Papers
Avoid plagiarism by learning how to properly use research in your papers and presentations. Students will practice quoting, paraphrasing, and citing—all the skills you need to incorporate other people’s words and ideas into your work.

November 20: Writing Personal Statements
A special session for fourth-year students applying to grad schools and professional programs. Learn what to include in your personal statement, statement of purpose, or letter of intent. Tips for BEd and BSW applications will also be provided.

November 27: Study Tips
Quick tips from Peer Tutors on what to do before, during, and after exams.

Location: GMH 304
Facilitator: Roxann
Morin, Student Counsellor

October 2: Speed Bumps (First Years)
The first year of university is trying for many students; new responsibilities and expectations can be overwhelming. Understanding these challenges early on can help you prepare for the speedbumps ahead. Join us as we discuss some typical transition issues and how to better cope with them in order to have a more successful first year.

October 30: Sleep 101
Did you know university students are one of the most sleep-deprived populations? Sleep deprivation in students has also been linked to lower GPAs because sleep affects concentration, memory and the ability to learn. Please join us in learning just how important sleep can be and get useful tips on how to make the most of the sleep you get.

December 4: Stress-Busting Tips
With exams approaching, some students feel like they’re locked inside a pressure cooker. Join us for a discussion on stress, how it impacts our lives, and what to do to curb it.

Location: GHM 304, unless otherwise noted
Facilitator: Trish Murray-Zelmer, Employment & Financial Aid Coordinator

Resumes, References and Cover Letters
(Single Session, Offered On Multiple Dates:) September 14, 21,
28; October 2, 5, 19, 26; November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9:00 am

FACT: most students can’t get part-time jobs because their résumés and cover letters fail to communicate their skills, experiences and abilities. Shave weeks off your job search by learning how to describe your skills and customize your résumé for each job you apply for.

October 2: What’s Next? Resources for Graduating Students [2:30, GMH 301]
Graduating in 2016? Attend this event to get a head start on managing your post-grad life. We’ll answer questions about repaying student loans, searching for jobs, and tapping into programs that can help you.

October 9: Your Career, Your Life: Starting Your Career Journey [2:30]
Not sure what you want to do after university? That’s okay! Career development is a journey, not a destination. In this session, we’ll talk about your values, interests, skills and personality, and use these as a starting point for discovering what occupations may suit you.

November 6: Networking and Self-Branding, Online and In-Person [2:30]
Finding a job is all about who you know. Learn how to locate and form a relationship with the person who may be your future boss.

November 16: CVs and Resumes for Post-Grad and Graduate Programs [9:00]
Do you know the difference between a CV and a resume?  What is your post-grad or master's-level program expecting you to communicate when you apply?  In this workshop, we'll review how you should structure and communicate your skills gained inside and outside the classroom for your post-grad and graduate school applications.

December 22-23: Operation: Job Hunt [9:00-3:00]
Didn’t have a chance to attend our employment workshops this term? Then this session is for you! This intensive two-day workshop will help you start your job search on the right foot.

Moot Court Gives Lindsay McLellan, BA’15, a Rare Advantage for Law School

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Lindsay McLellan (left) and Raissa Musoni (right) before heading to the Moot Court competition.
Lindsay McLellan, BA’15, will begin law school this fall with a significant advantage over her first-year peers—court room experience in front of real judges.

St. Thomas offers the only undergraduate moot court program in Canada, and McLellan represented the university in two international competitions—one in Fitchburg, MA, and the other in Chicago, IL.

“Being involved in the program enabled me to stand out among a sea of worthy candidates during the competitive law school application process,” McLellan said. “The opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience where I was able to use my education in a practical way was something I couldn’t pass up.”

In Chicago, McLellan and her partner, Raissa Musoni, BA’15, crafted arguments based on U.S Supreme Court cases that dealt with two constitutional infringements—a woman’s 14th amendment right to an abortion and the first amendment right to free speech. 

As the only Canadian undergraduate university competing at the Collegiate Moot Court Invitational Tournament, the STU duo turned heads when they cracked the top 16.

“Our arguments were as good as, and sometimes better than, students from the United States even though we’re from Canada,” McLellan said. “The highlight of my trip was when a judge, after he found out this was only our second competition ever, told my partner and I that he sincerely believed we had the potential to be a top-level team.”

A Liberal Arts Advantage

McLellan credits much of their success to Human Rights Director and Professor Dr. Amanda Diapolo, who coaches the moot court team. She also sees her liberal arts background as an advantage.

“At STU students are taught to think creatively and originally in order to recognize and critique structures that produce problems that we, individually or as a society, face. This is exactly what’s expected of a moot court competitor,” she said.

“My liberal arts education also allowed me to communicate my argument effectively to the judges, so it was incomparably helpful in preparing for, and competing in, moot court.”

This is a rare experience for an undergraduate student and one that McLellan said is irreplaceable as she pursues a career as a lawyer.

“This experience has been invaluable in my career journey, helping me enhance my written and oral advocacy skills and solidifying my choice to attend law school,” she said.

“When competing, a moot court advocate must deliver his or her argument while fielding questions from lawyers, law professors, and judges, and this experience really instilled a sense of confidence within me.”

It’s a confidence that McLellan will take with her to the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where she will further her passion for social justice—a passion she developed at STU.

Life Experience and a Bachelor of Arts - Raissa Musoni BA’15 Finds Her Place in the World

PUBLISHED DATE: Sunday, April 26, 2015
When it comes to choosing a major, it’s been said that if you pursue subjects that interest you, you’ll discover the work you were meant to do.

Raissa Musoni, BA’15, knew what she liked and what she was good at doing, but she didn’t know how to bring it all together until she discovered St. Thomas University. It was here where she coupled academic interests with personal experiences, and defined what she wanted to do.

Musoni studied Criminology, Math and Human Rights, an academic combination she couldn’t find elsewhere in Canada. Four years after making the decision to move from Edmonton, Alberta to Fredericton, she says she’s relieved she did.  

As part of her program, Musoni enrolled in a class called “Human Rights and NGOs,” which requires students to engage in hands-on work with a local non-governmental organization.  Musoni worked at Fredericton’s Multicultural Association, which helps foster relationships between the community, settled immigrants and newcomers to Canada.

Musoni has a connection to the organization’s cause. In 1997, when she was five years old, her family left Rwanda for a chance at a more stable life in Canada.

“It was about three years after the 1994 genocide. That year, like many survivors, we lost pretty much everything. Although the genocide ended, peace didn't come right away. We wanted a better, safer life,” she said. “We desperately needed to resettle.” 

As a child at the time, Musoni didn’t fully understand what had taken place until much later.

“We were introduced to a Canadian family and to Rwandan families who were now citizens. They all made sure that we were settling in. I remember meeting people and going to visit different families. I know now that it was their way of welcoming us to Canada and letting us know that they would be there to help us.”

At the Multicultural Association, Musoni had the chance to be on the other side of similar situations.

“I never thought I would be able to be that person for someone else. It feels like I’m actually helping the way that we were helped when we first got to Canada,” she said.

“The experience changed my view on what I could potentially base my life and my career on. I knew I wanted to help others, but I never knew who I was most fitted to help, and who I could use my background and my history to help the most.”

Musoni hopes to pursue a degree in law after she graduates. She said her academic and extra-curricular experiences at St. Thomas have helped give her direction.

“The courses I’ve taken have made things more clear. I know what I want to do and how I want to apply my skills. Before, I felt really all over the place. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how I was going to get it. Being free to make the path I wanted for myself helped a lot.”

She also credits professors for her success.

“Professors here are incredibly helpful and approachable. Based on your interests, they show you where to volunteer to see if you want to work in that field. They’re patient with you as you try to figure it out, and they give you your options and help you connect the dots.”

She said without this support, she may not have felt encouraged to find her own way.

“It’s about equipping you with what you need and empowering you to make things happen. A huge part of that is reflecting on what your goals are, what you feel you should be doing or what you are meant to do.”