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New Student Art Gallery Exhibit "Lost in the Flow" Showcases Watercolour Paintings

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, June 22, 2018
The St. Thomas University Student Art Gallery is showcasing a new watercolour exhibit entitled “Lost in the Flow.”

The exhibit, by the FNAR 2173 Intercession class, opened Thursday, June 21 and will be open for viewing until August 30.

The exhibit features a series of watercolour paintings exploring a broad range of personal and creative approaches developed by students during the term. The diversity of style in the students’ creative explorations is reflected in the exhibit.

The St. Thomas Student Art Gallery is located on the second floor of James Dunn Hall. It was first established in 2012 and has exhibited the works of over 400 students in solo and group exhibits.

STU to Award Honorary Degree to Elizabeth Weir at Summer Convocation on July 6

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, June 22, 2018
St. Thomas University will be recognizing Elizabeth Weir with an honorary degree at its Summer Convocation on Friday, July 6 at 1 pm at St. Dunstan’s Catholic  Church.
 
“Elizabeth Weir’s exemplary career of public service, both as a respected parliamentarian and international development expert, will be inspiring to our graduates as she has selflessly worked to strengthen democratic institutions both here in New Brunswick and in developed and developing countries,” said Dawn Russell, St. Thomas University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
 
Weir earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario. Before coming to New Brunswick, she worked at York University, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Entering public life, she served as provincial New Democratic Party leader from 1988 to 2005. She was the party's only member in the Legislative Assembly from 1992 until 2005 and the first female party leader elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. Weir had an outstanding legislative career, particularly in the areas of budgetary and legislative parliamentary oversight, and introduced more Private Members’ Bills than any other legislator in the country. She chaired the Select Committee on Public Automobile Insurance and served on Standing Committees for Legislative Administration, Law Amendments, Crown Corporations, Public Accounts, and Privileges and Procedure. In 2005, she was appointed the first president of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency, a provincial Crown Corporation.
 
Her later career focus has been on international development. She is accredited by the United Nations and is a member of its Democratic Governance Roster of Experts in Parliamentary Strengthening. She has also worked extensively with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a non-partisan and non-profit organization that works in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions. Championing the issue of gender equality in parliaments and political parties she has worked on programs in North and West Africa, Central and South Asia, the South Pacific, Eastern Europe and Northern Ireland with the National Democratic Institute, the United Nations Development Program, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the World Bank Institute. She has also served as a member of international election observation missions in Tunisia, Morocco, Georgia and Jordan.
 

St. Thomas University Celebrates Indigenous Graduates with Eagle Feather Ceremony

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, June 21, 2018
Indigenous graduates at St. Thomas University were recognized for their resilience, discipline, and dedication in an Eagle Feather Ceremony prior to Spring Convocation.

The ceremony—the first of its kind at St. Thomas and one of few in the Atlantic provinces—gifted each Indigenous graduate with an eagle feather, which they carried with them as they received their degree at Spring Convocation. The Hon. Graydon Nicholas, Endowed Chair in Native Studies, Miigam’agan, Elder in Residence, and Trenton Augustine, Indigenous Student Services Coordinator, facilitated the presentation.

“For many Indigenous students, graduating from university is one of the greatest accomplishments of their life,” Augustine said.

“For us to be able to acknowledge and honour them by presenting them with an eagle feather is an incredible feeling for both us and them.”

The Story of the Eagle Feather

In Indigenous communities, there’s a sacred connection between the Eagle and the Creator, as the Eagle flies highest to the Creator and carries prayers from humans. In “The Story of the Eagle Feather,” the Eagle offered one of its feathers to a human family as a sign of continued love and healing, and a reminder of the importance of the “Sacred Teachings.”

“In our culture, receiving an eagle feather is a special and humbling experience,” Augustine said. “It’s not often you receive an eagle feather as it’s one of the most honourable gifts you can receive.”

The idea for the ceremony was put forth by Indigenous students on campus and supported by the Ad-Hoc Senate Committee on Indigenization. The Eagle Feather Ceremony will now be an annual part of Spring Convocation events at St. Thomas.

A special thanks to the family of the late Dr. Brian Carty for providing the eagle feathers for this ceremony.

New Major in Law, Politics, and Society

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, June 15, 2018
Students interested in the relationship between law, political life, and Canadian society will now have the opportunity to combine the fields of study in the form of a systematic but flexible interdisciplinary major at St. Thomas University.

Students who pursue a major or minor in Law, Politics, and Society will gain a conceptual, institutional, social, and historical foundation in the way law works in advanced democracies. 

Graduates from the program will be well-versed in the major types of law in Canada, the judicial system, the legal profession, and the interaction of law and social forces and structures, and the interaction of law and politics. They will be well-suited for work in law enforcement, the justice system, border services, social work, interest groups, government, and many other areas.

Coordinated by Dr. Tom Bateman, the program is designed to allow students to examine the nature of law and its influence on Canadian politics, as well as how laws are made and changed.

“When I was an undergraduate, the news was dominated by debates about re-patriating the Constitution and entrenching a Charter of Rights,” Bateman said.

“Since that time, law and judicial process have become central features of public life. Issues ranging from free speech and assisted suicide to Indigenous rights and provincial control over economic development all directly implicate the courts. This is a program whose time has come.”

The interdisciplinary major in Law, Politics, and Society draws on courses in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Political Science, Native Studies, and Sociology, as well as its own introductory courses.

Learn more about the interdisciplinary major in Law, Politics, and Society.
 

“A Community Away From My Community” -- Shelley Augustine, BA’18, finds a part of home at STU

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
For Shelley Augustine, St. Thomas University became a community away from her community.

A Criminology major from Elsipogtog First Nation, Shelley had never moved away from her community until she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at STU.  She discovered a welcoming environment within the tight-knit campus.

“I appreciated the Wabanaki Student Centre and really took advantage of that space,” she said. “It’s a bit like walking into a different world coming from a really close-knit family and community, but it felt like a part of home.”

The Wabanaki Student Centre also gave Shelley the opportunity to meet students from different First Nation communities.

“Having those relationships and building those connections was the highlight of my time here,” she said. “I cherish them now.”

Shelley completed her degree in two years—dedicating the spring and summer of 2017 to her studies. Although it was a sacrifice, she recognized the value of her education.

“It was challenging, but in a good way. It challenged my intellect, how I should go about things, and showed me how to be more analytical,” she said.

“I have a broader way of processing things now.  I’m able to start with the big picture and slowly develop my own thoughts and theories. I developed that here.”

Shelley graduated with a major in Criminology and a double minor in Sociology and Native Studies in May.

While she’s looking forward to her next challenge, she isn’t ready to say goodbye to St. Thomas yet.

“This little world of STU became my world, so I’m having a hard time detaching from it,” she said. “It’s like my community away from my community.”

Shelley won’t be completely detached from STU. This fall, she’ll begin her studies in STU’s School of Social Work. With previous experience in corrections, she’s eager to get a new perspective on important societal issues.

“I worked at one end of dealing with First Nations people going into the corrections system, but now I want to catch them before that,” she said. “Whatever I can do to help them, I want to do it. That’s my goal.”

“A Fantastic Hands-on Learning Experience” -- Criminology students experience the Chinese approach to criminal justice and policing during a two-week travel-study

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
The Chinese take a different approach to criminal justice and policing—something four Criminology students were able to experience first-hand.

Josée Thomas, Tamika Allison, Mike Duffy, and Shaune Rodney took part in a two-week travel-study that brought them to a Chinese police college, justice buildings, and police departments.

Thomas, of Fredericton, NB, said the time spent in China with her classmates offered an authentic learning experience.

“It was really awakening to see how many differences there are between the two countries. There are similarities too, but how China approaches a lot of things is vastly different.”

The study group, which was a result of the collaboration between the Endowed Chair in Criminology Dr. John Winterdyk, Mount Royal University, and STU, spent a portion of their time at the Zhejiang Police College. They stayed on campus there, took part in some classes, and gave a presentation about the Canadian criminal justice system.

“We got to meet a lot of police officers, and although there were language barriers at times, there were some that were quite fluent in English. It was neat to talk to them and ask them questions,” Thomas said.

The biggest difference Thomas noted between the Chinese and Canadian approaches to policing and criminal justice is the reliance on technology.

“They don’t patrol in China. They don’t need to because of their technology,” she said. “They rely highly on video. We went to one of the cities that had about 7 million people in it and they have 20,000 cameras throughout the city that are high definition.”

The group also visited three different police departments, one of the Chinese justice buildings, and sat in on a trial. They were able to stop at a number of notable landmarks as well, including the Terracotta Army.

For Thomas, the highlight of the trip was the opportunity to get a closer look at the cameras at a local police department.

“I feel like in movies you see how high-tech cameras can be, but then you see security footage in Canada and it’s blurry,” she said. “In China you can see all of the facial features and can zoom in manually.”

Although she missed Spring Convocation to take part in the travel-study, Thomas said the opportunity was “not something you can do on your own.”

“Getting to go there and experience it yourself makes it more genuine,” she said. “It was a fantastic hands-on learning experience.”

Yellow Box Gallery Presents Book-Borrowing Community Art Project “The Library”

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Borrow a book. Leave a book. Return the book. Borrow a book. Repeat.
The Yellow Box Gallery is hosting a freewill community art project entitled "The Library."

This is an honour system book-borrowing space open for the summer months. Community members are welcome to borrow a book, from the growing collection, as well as leave a book for check out. 

You are welcome to create your own library card for the book using the recycled library cards provided in the gallery.  You may borrow it for as long as you like.
Contact Kim Vose Jones via email at yellowbox@stu.ca for more information. 

The Yellow Box Gallery is located on the 3rd floor of McCain Hall, St. Thomas University, Fredericton. Please see our Facebook site for gallery hours.

Visit the Yellow Box Gallery Facebook Page to follow this and other exhibits. 

Coding, Learning, and Constructing Digital STEM Literacies: Dr. Shaunda Wood Receives Funding to Bring Coding to Elementary School-Aged Children and their Families

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, June 11, 2018
Dr. Shaunda Wood wants to bring coding to elementary school-aged children — especially students who do not often have this opportunity.

The School of Education professor was recently awarded a National Science and Research Council’s  [NSERC] PromoScience Grant, valued at $54,630 over three years for her coding program research,  “Wasisək kisihtohtit (Children Made It). Coding, learning, and constructing digital STEM literacies: Families and communities becoming creators." 

This is the first national grant of its kind at STU.

Additionally the coding program received a STU research grant as well as Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of NB funding, and a New Brunswick Innovation Foundation-Research Assistantships Initiative grant for the first two years during the pilot-testing phase.

“Over the last two years, our program arose in an organic fashion, meeting the needs of underrepresented elementary-aged students, as well as providing extracurricular professional development for new teachers,” Wood says. “Through consultation and community partnerships with First Nations communities, public and higher education, and the Fredericton Public library, a network of STEM literacy supporters have pooled their resources to provide an on-going extracurricular, multifaceted program, at no cost to the elementary-aged participants.”

Through engaging, hands-on activities and workshops that closely reflect provincial math outcomes and international standards, the project aims to provide opportunities to inspire children – to develop an interest in coding and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in their public schooling and beyond.

“An integral part of this program is the hiring of a part-time research assistant and intermediary who is a local community member, Wəlastəkwiyik/Maliseet/French language specialist, and adult immersion teacher—Joleen Paul,” Wood adds. “This role is essential to community support and involvement. Additionally, the program involves BEd students and STU BEd graduates who are highly qualified, multi-lingual workshop leaders.”

Although many start-ups and non-profit organizations are offering coding and STEM programs, no province has integrated coding into its elementary-level curricula, forcing students to find these skills elsewhere. Wood adds that many students lack effective access to these programs — especially many non-traditional populations and students living in rural areas.

Wood’s program teaches coding and STEM literacies to students from New Brunswick schools. These workshops are made available to students in grades 3-5 and their families who have limited access to early technology resources and support around technology.

“The program attempts to create an inclusive science approach, one that invites and values the cultural and educational experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and families who choose to participate in the workshops. Designing and improving these workshops for students who do not have this opportunity is the main goal,” she says.

“A student who learns to code in elementary school will have a whole new language and design/ICT pathway opened to them,” she says. “Waiting until secondary school to teach computer coding is like teaching the alphabet and reading to a fourteen-year-old hoping for a novel but getting a sentence. Providing the language of coding early allows students to be creative and innovate during their secondary and post-secondary years.”

She adds that coding is one important aspect of 21st Century learning. As such, it should be complementary to, and integrated with, other important STEM learning outcomes to promote understanding and application. In this way, students will ultimately be fluent in the language of design allowing for new types of digital literacies to emerge.

 “The goal of developing a scientifically literate citizenry is increasingly important for successful participation in the technology-based global economy that is emerging,” Wood says.

“With the need to address such challenges as global water management, infectious disease control, agricultural engineering, and non-fossil fuel-based energy production, it will be critical that the next generation of workers in industry and the professions be prepared to tackle these problems with logical thinking and problem-solving skills in innovative and creative ways.”

Planning Welcome Week 2018: Welcome Week Chair Rebecca Kingston and Welcome Week Coordinator Chloé Saulnier are preparing for the incoming class of first-year students

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Rebecca Kingston and Chloé Saulnier are already looking forward to September.

Kingston, Welcome Week Chair, and Saulnier, Welcome Week Coordinator, are spending the summer preparing activities and programming that will serve as an introduction to the STU community and ease the transition of first-year students arriving on campus this fall.

“Welcome Week really sets the tone for the year,” Saulnier said. “It’s a great reflection of who we are as a school—there’s excitement, people are involved in activities, and it’s an introduction to student services and academics.”

Haven't confirmed you're coming to STU in September? Confirm now!


Saulnier, of Bathurst, NB, and Kingston, of Miramichi, NB, hold fond memories of their own Welcome Week: STUfari 2015. The highlight for both was the annual Cheer Off, an event that brings all first-year students—including students living off campus—together in the lower courtyard to compete for the title of loudest and proudest group on campus.

“I was a bit overwhelmed at first, but when we did the cheer off I realized this was something I’d never experienced before and that everyone was in the same boat,” Kingston said.

For Saulnier, the event offered an opportunity to make friends.

“Before the Cheer Off, I didn’t have many friends on campus. I didn’t know anyone when I came to STU except one person and they didn’t live in my residence, so to meet the people in my residence and then bring all those new friends to the cheer off made me realize I had a place at STU.”

This year’s Welcome Week will include the classic events, like Cheer Off, Casino Night, and Shine Day, but Kingston and Saulnier are also planning to include more campus-wide activities.

“We’re working to really integrate the off-campus students and include more Indigenous events so we can support all aspects of our community,” Kingston said.

Making the move from High School to University

While the week is a fun introduction to life on campus, the Welcome Week team is also aware the transition from high school to university comes with a lot of new territory. With this in mind, they’re incorporating activities that will help make students more comfortable.

“It’s a big transition and our goal is to make it as smooth as possible. We make a point to showcase all the services that STU has to offer. Whether you need mental health resources or academic resources, it’s important you know they are there,” Kingston said.

The Academic Transition Day and Scavenger Hunt around campus are two activities that put Saulnier and Kingston at ease during their first week at STU.

“The Scavenger Hunt is like a fun campus tour where you see the buildings, where your classes are, and where the different services are located,” Saulnier said. “It’s a short portion of the week, but it assured me I wouldn’t get lost and if I needed certain services I knew where to go and who to talk to.”

Kingston said Academic Transition Day, which takes place the day before classes begin, was the most useful event of her Welcome Week experience.

“The professors involved really broke things down—what class is like, how often you have class, what the expectations are—and I found that really helpful. It relieved my stress and I appreciated that.”

Campus life plays a large role in the university experience and Kingston and Saulnier want this year’s first-year class to get off on the right foot. Their advice: know what you need and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. The people who work at the university are here to help and want to help,” Kingston said.

“Get to know yourself and get to know what your priorities are,” Saulnier added. “Find what you like and find what you need—that will help you have a positive university experience.”

Heading Back to Geneva: STU’s International Law Society Qualifies for Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition for the second straight year

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, June 4, 2018
Emily and Camille following American Moot Court regionals in Fitchburg, MA, November 2016.
For the second year in a row, the St. Thomas University International Law Society has qualified for the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Geneva, Switzerland.
 
This year the 10-person group of Emily Williams, Camille Xavier, Kelly Brennan, Abbie LeBlanc, Jarrod Ryan, Elizabeth Tuck, Olivia Ricketts, Noah Turner, Sarah Morin, and Dominique Goguen submitted two legal briefs to the competition that were selected among the top ten in the Western European and Others region to earn a spot at the international event.

Last year, STU’s team—represented by LeBlanc and Navy Vezina—won first place at the competition and were the first Canadian team to do so.

Williams and Xavier, who were a part of the International Law Society last year and compete as partners in the American Moot Court Association, will represent St. Thomas this summer in Geneva. Fellow student and American Moot Court participant Emma Walsh will be their coach.

“The STU International Law Society has been a group effort since it started, so I’m extremely proud of what we have managed to accomplish,” Xavier said. “It just goes to show that STU really teaches its students how to think critically about issues from multiple perspectives, which is invaluable when it comes to building innovative and well-structured arguments.”

The group received its case in late 2017, but couldn’t begin working on the file until after the American Moot Court Association National Championship in January 2018. After much research, and a first and second draft, the team established its arguments and submitted the briefs with high hopes of returning to Geneva.
 
“Brief writing is very technical, and I’m glad we get to do it because we learn legal citation skills that normally you don’t learn until law school,” Williams said. “It’s especially interesting for students who do American Moot Court and International Moot Court because they’re two different styles of brief writing.”

The 2018 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition takes place July 15-20 at the United Nations and will have competitors arguing cases involving the right to life, the use of torture, and the right to found a family and related rights.

The ability to think on their feet and form persuasive and creative arguments, while communicating effectively will be essential for Williams and Xavier during the event.

“Our liberal arts education will really help with analyzing information and creative thinking,” Williams said. “The Human Rights background we have from STU will also be very helpful.”

Aside from delivering their arguments on these issues, the STU duo is looking forward to being at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

“I’m excited to learn,” Xavier said. “The competition includes a day-long event focused on the mandate and activities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, which is a great opportunity to learn more about international law.”

As the defending champions of this event, the International Law Society has high hopes heading into the event.

“We want to go as far as we can in the competition,” Williams said. “They also have a brief competition, so we’re hoping to place in that as well.”

The STU moot court experience has been made possible, in large part, thanks to a generous donation from Frank and Julie McKenna to create an endowment fund in the name of McKenna's longtime assistant Ruth McCrea.

STU Grads Selected as Venture for Canada Fellows: Andrea Lopez and Jimy Beltran earn spots in the highly competitive program

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Critical thinking, creative problem solving, and the ability to work as part of a team earned two graduates from St. Thomas University fellowships with Venture for Canada.

Andrea Lopez, of El Salvador, and Jimy Beltran, of Venezuela, were selected from hundreds of applicants to join Venture for Canada—a not-for-profit that recruits and trains top graduates to work with startups across the country.

As part of the application process, a select group of fellowship-hopefuls were invited to Toronto for a Fellow Selection Day. Invitees took part in two group challenge sessions and a one-on-one interview.

Skills developed at STU helped Beltran and Lopez stand out.

“You instantly start thinking critically.’ Lopez said. “It’s amazing how it just comes naturally now.” 

At the end of the one-on-one interview, applicants were asked to speak to a world issue they’re passionate about. Having a background in International Relations and Human Rights, Lopez was able to differentiate herself from the others.

“I noticed everyone had very domestic issues, but I was able to bring a global perspective to the table,” she said. “That’s when I realized business isn’t just about numbers. They need people from different backgrounds to bring different perspectives, and STU gave me that.”

Beltran, who completed honours in History and Political Economy, a major in Catholic Studies, and a minor in Business agreed.

“My liberal arts education allowed me to answer questions persuasively and insightfully during the whole process,” he said. “Critical thinking and communication skills were crucial in my selection to the program.”

Lopez and Beltran will attend a month-long training camp at Queen’s University before being paired with a startup. Lopez is hoping to match with a software service that measures, manages, and monitors cyber risk.

“I worked part-time in Information Technology Services at STU for four years and my thesis was related to cyber security, so I feel like there’s a connection here,” she said. “That’s what I’m aiming for, but I’m open to other options as well.”

After the two-year fellowship Lopez is hoping to pursue work in project management, while Beltran will pursue graduate studies.

Regardless of where the experience takes her, Lopez is confident she’ll have options.

“What I like about STU is that they don’t put you in a box. You’re able to choose what you want to study,” she said. “That, plus what I’m going to learn through Venture for Canada, is going to give me a broader knowledge that will allow me to go into whatever I field I want.”

STU Summer Convocation Events - July 6

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, May 29, 2018
A list of graduation candidates who have been approved by the Registrar’s Office will be posted on www.stu.ca by 12:00 pm, Tuesday, July 3rd.  If your name is not posted or if your name or hometown is incorrectly listed please contact Karen Preston, Registrar (preston@stu.ca) immediately.

July 6, 2018

8:45 am – 9:45 am
Distribution of gowns, hoods and transcripts
Black Box Theatre, Sir James Dunn Hall

10:00 am – 10:30 am
Practice for Graduates
St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church, 120 Regent Street

10:45 am – 12 noon
Distribution of gowns, hoods and transcripts
Black Box Theatre, Sir James Dunn Hall

12:15 pm 
Graduates Assemble
Monsignor Boyd Family Centre (adjoined to St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church)
 
1:00 pm 
Convocation
St. Dunstan’s Roman Catholic Church, 120 Regent Street
 
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Reception: Sir James Dunn Hall 

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm 
Return gowns and hoods: Black Box Theatre, Sir James Dunn Hall
STU Diploma Framing Services Available 

Special Notes 

Family and friends of graduating students are welcome to attend Convocation.  Although we are not limiting attendance there is limited seating, therefore for the comfort and safety of your guests, we are recommending that you invite no more than five guests.  Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted at either location.
 
Parking is available in the Fredericton Convention Centre parking garage at $1.00 per hour.  You may also park in meter parking spots on adjoining streets.  Due to limited parking in the downtown area, carpooling is recommended.
 
Your gown and hood must be returned to the Green Room in JDH immediately following Convocation and no later than 4:30 pm. Failure to do so may result in a late return charge. Your diploma will be available (provided your account has been paid in full) in the Black Box Theatre after you have returned your gown and hood.
 
The STU Alumni Association will be offering a diploma framing service after Convocation in the JDH Cafeteria. If you wish to have your diploma framed at this time, we recommend ordering in advance.  We are going to try to cut down on the congestion in Sir James Dunn this year, and so those graduates who order their frames in advance will receive their framed diploma upon the return of their grad gown.  Frames will still be available for purchase on graduation day; however, there may be a wait time based on demand. Featuring a Tommies-green mat designed exclusively for STU with the official crest of the University, these frames have been created to fit your diploma, certificate, or grad photo.  Frames come in a variety of sizes and finishes (wood and metal.)  If you would like to see the different styles of frames, or to purchase a frame in advance of Convocation, please go to the Alumni Affairs Office (Room 413, MMH) during regular business hours.  You can also view samples on-line, and access ordering information here.
 
You are required to pay a graduation application fee of $50 whether or not you choose to attend Convocation. 
 
Karen Preston
Registrar

Resilience and Determination in Pursuit of Education: Mandy Richard Reflects on Finding Support and Community at STU

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 23, 2018
For Mandy Richard, crossing the stage at Spring Convocation and receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree is the result of four years of resilience and determination.

Richard, originally from Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory in Ontario, said coming to STU changed her life. 

“Coming to St. Thomas was one of the best decisions I could have made,” Richard said. “The reason I say that is not just due to my educational experience, but also my lived experience—how much I dealt with and how much I’ve grown as a person here.”

At the beginning of her second year, Richard was facing personal challenges and realized she was struggling to concentrate on her studies—something she always enjoyed and took pride in—so she reached out for help. After meeting with a university counsellor, she decided to step away from her studies to take care of herself and focus on her sobriety.

 “The university was really supportive. They told me to take care of me and to come back when I was ready,” Richard said. “I came back the next September and I definitely needed that time off.”

Richard, who completed a double major in Communications and Public Policy and Political Science, found a support system in the Indigenous community at STU. Having a group of friends and cultural resources allowed her to reconnect with her roots.

“A big part of finding myself and a big part of my sobriety has been reconnecting with my culture. I got introduced to different elements of my culture like smudging and taking part in different ceremonies that may not be from my specific nation but are similar enough that I felt a sense of connectedness,” she said.

Once that connection was established, Richard became increasingly involved in the campus community. She was part of the university’s Ad Hoc Senate Committee on Indigenization and played an important role in the three-day Conference Toward Reconciliation, the elders gathering, and other cultural celebrations.

She helped bring the Red Dress Project—an aesthetic response to the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada—to campus and was able to connect with Mi’kmaw lawyer, author, and social justice activist Pam Palmater, who delivered the annual Vigod Lecture in Human Rights.

“Having those components with my education has been important. Any of the events on campus I would encourage students here to attend. Those experiences are worth it,” Richard said.

Looking back on her time at STU—both the struggles and the accomplishments—Richard said the sense of community is what she will miss most about the university. 

“My time here has been incredible and I’m going to miss being here,” she said.
“Things I’m going to think back on will be conversations I’ve had with professors in their offices. It was a safe space for me where we could talk about things that were outside of a specific assignment. Those are memories, I’ll cherish.”

Richard hopes to pursue a degree in Indigenous Law in the future.

Award-winning Graduates: Hannah Zamora receives the Governor General’s Medal, Kayla Preston earns the University Medal for Arts

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, May 18, 2018
Hannah Zamora and Kayla Preston capped off their time at St. Thomas University with two of the most prominent awards offered to graduating students.

Zamora, of Niagara, ON, earned the Governor General’s Medal, while Preston, of New Maryland, NB, was the recipient of the University Medal for Arts.

“Family in the classroom and community around every corner”

The Governor General’s Medal is presented to the student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class and is the most prestigious award a student in Canada can receive.

Zamora said earning the award was an unexpected honour that she shares with her family, friends, and professors.

“Not only does it feel good to see my work pay off in this way, but it has made me reflect on the people—my steadfast family, brilliant professors, and wonderful friends—who have all played a part in getting me to where I am,” she said. “I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded with such kind, loving, supportive people and this award is as much theirs as it is mine.”

Zamora, who earned a double honours in English and Great Books, found a supportive and shared learning environment at St. Thomas—something that provided not only knowledge in the classroom, but personal growth.

“I’ve learned so much about the books I’ve read and written about here, but especially about myself and others,” she said. “It’s one thing to study fascinating subjects, but it’s another to do it alongside students, professors, and staff who have let me find family in the classroom and community around every corner.”

“Great closure to a wonderful four years”

The University Medal for Arts is the highest award offered by St. Thomas University.  Preston said earning recognition of this kind “means the world” to her.

“St. Thomas University has become a second home to me and to be given this award makes me feel even closer to STU,” she said. “Receiving this medal is great closure to a wonderful four years.”

Preston, who completed honours in Sociology, worked closely with her professors, especially Dr. Gul Çaliskan, throughout her Bachelor of Arts degree. The pair published a paper in the Postcolonial Studies Journal earlier this year and is currently working on second article.

The opportunity to get to know and work collaboratively with professors has been a highlight of Preston’s time at St. Thomas.

 “STU’s small class sizes allowed me to get to know my professors and have opportunities to further my education as a research assistant,” Preston said. “STU has opened my eyes to different ways of thinking which I was not exposed to before coming to university. It has made me a critical thinker and writer and has given me the confidence to pursue an academic career.”

Preston earned a large national scholarship and will be pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology at Dalhousie University this fall.  

Applying Your Degree in the Community: Troy Glover Earns STU’s Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, May 4, 2018
Troy Glover will graduate from St. Thomas University with tangible evidence of the hands-on learning and volunteer work he completed during his Bachelor of Arts degree.

Glover, of Burton, NB, will be the first recipient of the university’s Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement—a certificate earned concurrently with the Bachelor of Arts that requires course based or community service learning.

“I think it will be able to show anywhere that I’m applying to work that I’m able to balance a full-time school schedule with volunteering,” Glover said of the certificate. “It will also show that I’ve gone out and tried to apply aspects of my degree in the community.”

The fourth-year Journalism student completed the volunteer hours required for the certificate at Rogers Television in Fredericton. He hosted a number of shows for the Voice of the Province—a political talk show that covers issues within New Brunswick.

For Glover, the interviewing techniques learned in class were essential to his work. His favourite interviews to date have been with Kris Austin, leader of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick.

“I try to incorporate a lot of different interview styles when I’m working at Rogers because it’s a talk show, so it should feel more like a conversation,” he said. “Being able to interview effectively makes the guests on the show feel more comfortable.”

For more information about the Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, click here.

“As long as I have a camera and I’m in front of an editing suite, I’m happy.”

Glover came to St. Thomas as a President’s Scholarship recipient and said his four years at the university have been “very positive.”

“It’s been really enjoyable,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met a lot of people I enjoy being around.”

Through his studies in Journalism, Glover became involved with the Aquinian, the student news publication, as the video editor. He hopes his future career will involve work with cameras and video.

“I like working with video,” he said. “As long as I have a camera and I’m in front of an editing suite, I’m happy.”
 

Thinking of becoming a teacher? Applications are still being accepted for September 2018

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, April 19, 2018
Although teaching can be a challenging profession, there are a number of potential reasons to consider a career in teaching. 

Teachers feel a calling to impact the lives of students and are drawn to teaching for the ability to make a difference in the education system. Studying education at St. Thomas University will provide you with the skills to become an effective teacher in today’s public school system.

If you ask most teacher candidates “why do you want to become a teacher,” they’ll mention the ability to make a real difference in students’ lives. Unlike other professions where you may work behind the scenes, as a teacher you will see the difference you can make every day. There’s nothing quite like seeing the spark of understanding on a child’s face as a lesson “clicks” for them.

Why teach? So you can impact students from all walks of life, imparting lessons that will help shape the next generation.

“As advertised in the media, there is a growing demand for teachers in New Brunswick’s Anglophone School Districts and across Canada. At the School of Education, we offer teacher candidates various opportunities to develop their teaching skills, while working collaboratively with other candidates and strong teacher mentors in the public school system,” said Léo-James Lévesque, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Field Placements.

“Our practice is to place teacher candidates in two different schools during the 15-week internship.This provides teacher candidates with a greater variety of public school experiences and also increases their employability.”

Students interested in the B.Ed. Program are welcome to visit the School of Education throughout any point in their degree to discuss components of the program and the application process.  They can also review the list of requirements to be accepted to the School of Education here.

The School of Education at St. Thomas University is still accepting applications for the Fall of 2018—apply today!

STU Students Nationally Recognized for Dedication to Shinerama Campaign for Cystic Fibrosis Research and Care

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Thanks in large part to the work of recent campaign leaders Emily DesRoches and Victoria Da Silva, St. Thomas has been recognized as one of Shinerama Canada’s most improved campaigns. 

A much anticipated Welcome Week event, Shine Day takes place days after first-year students arrive on campus for the first time. New and returning students hit the streets of Fredericton to flip burgers, sing, and wash cars in effort to raise awareness and money for Shinerama, Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

DesRoches and Da Silva have devoted much of their four years at STU to the campaign.

DesRoches, originally from Hampton, NB, led STU’s campaign in 2016, before passing the baton to Da Silva, from Dartmouth, NS, in 2017. Both have been involved since their own Welcome Week.

Together, they attended the 2017 National Shinerama Conference, where they learned more about cystic fibrosis and were trained on running a successful campaign.

“We learned so much at the conference,” DesRoches said. “We wanted to do anything we could to help.”

This year, STU’s campaign raised more funds for the cause than ever before, surpassing the team’s goal of $8,000 to reach $9,514.58.

DesRoches and Da Silva have since both earned new titles with Shinerama Canada.

DesRoches, who recently completed her double major in English and Communications and Public Policy, was named one of two Atlantic regional directors for Shinerama.

She said hearing personal stories from individuals living with cystic fibrosis motivates her to keep working with the organization.

“My job is to support the campaign advisors in the region and maintain a close relationship with the Cystic Fibrosis Canada staff,” DesRoches said. “We all met in Toronto recently to talk about how we can grow the campaigns in our regions and support our campaign advisors to build successful campaigns in the coming year.”

Da Silva, who has finished her degree with a double major in Gerontology and Psychology, became one of five campaign advisors for the Atlantic provinces. She said education is key to a successful campaign.

“We spent a lot of time informing the students so they are knowledgeable when they’re asked about cystic fibrosis. We also talk to Welcome Week leaders about it, and share stories of the people we met at the national conference who live with cystic fibrosis. It makes it more personal. You could tell a lot of people were really touched and it helped their first-years understand the importance of the campaign.”

Learning more about the disease and talking with individuals who live with it has been life-changing for both DesRoches and Da Silva.

“We take breathing for granted,” Da Silva said. “I try to put myself in the shoes of someone living with this and try to imagine what life would be like. The amount of time they spend in physical therapy is equivalent to a part-time job. The fact that they can’t be in the same room as anyone who actually understands what it’s like to live with the same challenges is heartbreaking.”

Although both DesRoches and Da Silva graduate in May 2018, they know the STU campaign is in good shape to maintain momentum.

“We’re really excited to see where the campaign goes next,” DesRoches said.
 
About Shinerama Canada
Since 1964, Shinerama has raised approximately $27 million dollars for life-saving cystic fibrosis research and care. Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults, and there is no cure. It mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of cystic fibrosis involvement differs from person to person. However, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, eventually causes death in the majority of people who have cystic fibrosis. 

It is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis. Over 4,200 Canadian children, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialized clinics. 

Summer Linguistic and Cultural Program for French Second Language Teachers

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
This 10-day French linguistic and cultural training non-credit course (July 2 to July 13, 2018) is offered in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the School of Education at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
 
The program is coordinated by Léo-James Lévesque, French Second Language Methodology Instructor with the School of Education at St. Thomas University, and is designed for French Second Language teachers who wish to take part in hands-on, interactive French language training.
 
Classes are held in the morning while afternoons and evenings 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 training session is 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 skills. Prior to starting the program, participants will be required to take a linguistic needs assessment to determine their specific linguistic needs.

Date and Cost
This non-credit course is offered during the first two weeks of July, from July 2 to July 13, 2018.

The cost per participant is $725 + taxes (CAN) and includes course and activities. Participants are expected to make arrangements for their lodging and their meals. 

Registration
Registration - New-Brunswick
Please complete the form provided by Department of Education and Early Childhood Development which is available on New-Brunswick Education Portal or from the School District FSL Learning Specialists.

Registration - Other Canadian provinces and other countries please contact Léo-James Lévesque, School of Education, St. Thomas University, lleves@stu.ca
 

Education Institute Summer 2018 - Courses on Assessment as an Instructional Practice and Teaching Elementary and Middle Level Science

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, March 26, 2018

The St. Thomas University Education Institute is pleased to announce that it will be offering two summer courses in Fredericton.

For further information, contact the Education Institute Coordinator Dr. Grant Williams  at grantw@stu.ca.

Please note that courses are offered only if the minimum student enrolment is reached. 

Students wishing to use these courses for teacher certification or as part of a master’s degree program should contact the appropriate individuals to receive permission to do so.

* All 6000 Level Courses consist of pre-class preparation (course readings) followed by one week of classes. Also, additional time beyond the week of classes may be required in order to complete the final capstone assignment. For further information please contact the course instructors.

EDUC 6153* - Assessment as an Instructional Practice 
Dates: Monday, July 9th to Friday, July 13th, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Instructor: Dr. Grant Williams  - grantw@stu.ca  
 
This course examines assessment in a broad context with a focus on the role that assessment plays in improving instructional strategies and student motivation. Students will review current research on assessment practices and examine the ways assessment impacts decisions that drive classroom and school operations. A primary focus of the course will be to explore the transition of assessment as a post-instructional system of sorting and ranking students to one that incorporates strategies before, during, and after instruction to maximize student learning.  The major assignment will focus on transforming the traditional assessment approach to a system that improves student achievement by addressing readiness, intervention and motivation for learning. This course qualifies as an Assessment & Evaluation credit for the NB Principal’s Certificate.
 
EDUC 6733* - Teaching Elementary and Middle Level Science 
Dates: Monday, July 16th to Friday, July 20th, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm 

Instructor: Dr. Grant Williams - grantw@stu.ca

This course is intended for practicing elementary and middle school teachers and focuses on the science-related instructional units of the K-2 You and Your World Curriculum as well as the instructional units from the Atlantic Canada Science Curriculum for grades 3 to 8.  The intent of the course is for participants to develop the content mastery, and pedagogical skills necessary to foster engaging, inquiry-based science lessons for their students.  
 
Registration, Admissions & Accommodations
 
Tuition for each course is $669.00 and must be paid by the end of the day of the opening class. The application fee of $40.00 is waived for any student who has taken an Institute course in the past 5 years. New Brunswick teachers who have mentored a STU teacher candidate in their classrooms during the 2016-17 or 2017-18 school years are eligible for a $300 tuition rebate. 

If you have questions about the Education Institute (course information, how to apply, registration, etc.) please contact the Dr. Grant Williams (506) 452-7701 or grantw@stu.ca


2018 Education Institute Instructions.pdf
2018 Education Institute Supplementary Info Form.pdf