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Board of Governors Approves Budget for 2016-17

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, May 19, 2016
St. Thomas University’s 2016-17 budget, recently approved by its board of governors, features continued expenditure restraint and a tuition increase consistent with the five-year domestic tuition fee schedule that was established in 2013.
“With this budget we were able to restrict our spending and begin to make initial progress on addressing our structural deficit. We did this while maintaining our educational quality and a student tuition that is among the most accessible in the region,” said St. Thomas University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dawn Russell.  
“While we are facing these fiscal challenges, there is much cause for optimism. We saw an increase of 8% in new undergraduate students last year and we are projecting another increase this fall.  STU is the largest liberal arts faculty in the province and one of the largest in Maritime Canada.  As well, we received more national attention for our quality of teaching and skill development in our students.”
The budget forecasts $28.4 million in revenues and $29.3 million in expenditures. Revenues include the provincial government operating grant of $14.1 million, representing the second year of a freeze. An additional $13.1 million in revenues comes from tuition and fees which includes a tuition increase of $363 for domestic and international students.  The compulsory student fees will remain the same year-over-year.
The domestic student tuition increase, which is three percent plus $170, is consistent with the tuition fee agreement reached with the Province of New Brunswick in 2013.  The five-year agreement, now in year four, sees tuition gradually brought closer to the average provincial tuition. At $6,276, tuition for a bachelor of arts remains below the projected provincial average.
The 2016-17 operating budget has a deficit of $978,800 before the transfer of restricted funds to cover the deficit. 
“The budget presented a difficult challenge this year, and we will have more to do in the coming years to address our structural deficit,” said Russell.
The budget continues a restrained approach to academic and administrative staffing, academic expenditures were held at the same level year-over-year and cost reductions were realized from the cancellation of the men’s hockey program.
The budget was developed by an advisory committee with representation from faculty, staff, students and administration.  In addition, as part of this process, a university town hall was held in March.

History Honours Grads Receive Scholarships for Leading Post-Graduate Program: Denise Steeves and Adam Mahoney to Continue Research in Carleton’s Master’s in Public History

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, May 12, 2016
Two History honours students have been accepted into one of Canada’s leading master’s programs.

Denise Steeves, BA’16, and Adam Mahoney, BA’16, both received scholarships to join the Master’s in Public History program at Carleton University. The two-year program combines traditional study with specialized courses relating to history in the public sphere.

Mahoney, who hails from Fredericton, NB, is eager to expand on his research in the master’s program without the burden of other course work.

“Public history is so interesting because it combines academic research with how history is communicated and represented to the public,” he said. “I’m excited and nervous for the academic challenge that comes along with a master’s program.”

His research focuses on the history of slavery in early New Brunswick society, which he said is frequently forgotten when discussing the founding of the province.

“It’s often a forgotten component of the Loyalist narrative in the founding of New Brunswick,” he said. “Despite two judicial challenges to slavery in the province, it continued as late as the 1820s. My research aims to offer a social history of slavery in New Brunswick—who they were and what they experienced in a province where Loyalist elite sought to continue the practice.”

Steeves, of Dieppe, NB, is thrilled to have been accepted to the master’s program and continue her research on chocolate museums.

“Since my program involves public spaces and how history is interpreted and perceived to the public, I will be looking at how chocolate is viewed from a historical standpoint and presented in public spaces like museums and galleries,” she said. “Needless to say I’m pretty excited.”

During her two years of study, Steeves will have the opportunity to travel and study abroad—something she’s looking forward to.

“Initial plans for travel are to England for the Cadbury factory and to Hershey, Pennsylvania to visit Hershey World,” she said. “It will be fantastic to view these spaces in person.”

Both were drawn to St. Thomas in part because of the academic environment. Looking back, Steeves and Mahoney agree their time in the History program was diverse and enriching.

“I’d definitely say the highlight of my time in the program was the diversity of my courses each year,” Steeves said.

“The courses work really well together to not only teach students about the past but also help build skills associated with studying history, like writing, critical thinking, skepticism, and evidence based argumentation,” Mahoney added.

After completing her studies, Steeves hopes to pursue a career in archival or curatorial work in a museum. Mahoney plans to someday work in a museum or as a historian in the public sector.

“We Will Have a Question for Everything” – Clara Santacruz, BA’16, Emphasizes Thinking Critically, Challenging Yourself, and Being Well-Rounded in Valedictory Message

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Clara Santacruz, the 2016 grad class valedictorian, delivered a message that emphasized the importance of thinking critically, challenging yourself, and becoming a well-rounded member of society—all things the 395 graduates have worked to achieve during their degree.

A native of Quito, Ecuador, Santacruz spoke about the way St. Thomas encouraged the graduates to think differently, to ask questions, and combine knowledge with life skills.

“Our thoughts have been challenged and expanded here, slowly helping us become people who think critically rather than blindly accept whatever is presented to us,” she said.

“We should be proud that we’re a well-rounded graduating class that knows how to think and learn. As STU grads we won’t have the answer to everything, but we will have a question for everything.”

Santacruz admitted that people questioned her decision to study liberal arts, but she believes it’s those people—the ones who think it isn’t important to embrace lifelong learning or to develop the ability to connect with people—that are missing out.

“I’m confident the world is always going to need people who can think their way through problems, who have a genuine interest in doing what’s right, who are strong team players, or who can create a beautiful piece of art, and we are going to be those people,” she said.

“We wouldn’t have developed as much if we had not been a part of this community where our hearts were nourished by a deeper understanding of our world.”

For many, earning this degree was no easy feat. There were struggles—both personal and academic—which called for assistance from friends, family, and the university community. Santacruz encouraged the graduates to be grateful not only to those who helped them throughout their degree, but also to themselves.

“Be thankful to yourselves for the resiliency you’ve shown in order to be sitting here today, for the hard work accomplished, for being strong when you had to make difficult decisions, and for choosing to pursue a meaningful and wonderful education,” she said.

“Our reasons for deciding to engage in this education may all be different, but we are lucky to have grown in an educational environment that tries to harmonize life skills with knowledge.”

Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Research Honour Dr. Karen Robert and Dr. Michelle Lafrance

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Psychology professor Dr. Michelle Lafrance (left) and History professor Dr. Karen Robert (right).
Faculty members from History and Psychology were recognized for their excellence in teaching and research at Spring Convocation. Dr. Karen Robert received the John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award and Dr. Michelle Lafrance received the University Scholarship Award.

Robert, who has over 20 years of teaching experience, approaches teaching as a creative endeavor and brings a thorough and thoughtful approach to her work. She also routinely takes learning outside the university to provide unique hands-on educational opportunities for her students.

Robert considers herself a mentor—someone with professional expertise and life experience to help students reach their full potential. She aims to establish a rapport with her students, encouraging them to share their own ideas and personal experiences. She provides students with extensive guidance about assignments, directing them through the research and writing process, and often modifies class activities or assignments based on the needs and progress of each class.

“It is a real privilege to work so closely with young people as they make their transition to adulthood; their curiosity and passion energize my own intellectual work and sense of purpose. The warm response I've had from people across the STU community shows just how much people here share in these values,” said Robert.

Abigail Herrington, BA’16, a student nominator, said Robert’s classes require you to step out of your comfort zone and engage with the material, which creates a better learning environment.

“Karen incorporates different media in the classroom to ensure the needs of all types of learners are met,” she said. “It’s easier to simply show up, listen, and take notes, but learning requires meaningful engagement with the material—something Karen brings to every class.”

As she encourages students to engage with course material, Robert tries to instill in them a passion for History. Her courses introduce students to the complexities and unintended consequences of people’s actions in the past to demonstrate that even historical events were shaped by the cumulative actions of ordinary people like them.

Robert is constantly looking for new approaches that will make the classroom experience more meaningful for her and her students. For Herrington, this willingness to continue learning is what separates Robert from other professors.

“What makes Karen such a phenomenal teacher is that she’s constantly learning, never believes she has all the answers, and will uncover some new questions and new answers together.”

Robert teaches courses on World History, Colonial and Modern Latin America, Gender and Power in Latin America, and the Global History of the Automobile.
An International Reputation for Excellence in Research

Psychology professor Dr. Michelle Lafrance has developed an international reputation for excellence in research in the areas of women’s mental health, and feminist and critical psychology. Her doctoral dissertation, which explored women’s accounts of recovery from depression, led to the authoring of her book Women and depression: Recovery and resistance. The book was positively reviewed across disciplines—psychiatry, psychology, women’s studies—and internationally, and is an important resource that examines recurring themes in women’s accounts of depression.

“I am very grateful for the award, which will help to support my new program of research in the area of informal caregiving”, said Lafrance. 

“There is such a wealth of important research happening at STU. It is an honour to have my scholarship recognised in this way.”

Lafrance has been invited to present her research on a number of occasions and in several countries. This year, she was invited to be a part of the Psychology’s Feminist Voices Project, an initiative that highlights the scholarship of feminist psychologists from around the world.

She has published two books, nine articles in peer-reviewed journals, five book chapters, and three invited encyclopedia entries.

In recognition of her research, the Canadian Psychological Association awarded Lafrance the Certificate of Academic Excellence in 2004. This year she and her co-editor Dr. Sue McKenzie-Mohr were honoured with the Association for Women in Psychology’s Distinguished Publication Award for their book Women voicing resistance: Discursive and narrative explorations.

Lafrance has received a number of internal and external grants, and has served as an external reviewer of numerous graduate theses in Canada and internationally.

Eager to foster the development of her students as researchers, she is developing a new course in qualitative psychology.

Helping Youth Who Have No Voice: Dr. Susan Reid Recognized for Service to the Community

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Dr. Susan Reid received the University Service Award at Spring Convocation for her outstanding contribution to the university and wider community, but is quick to share the honour with the young people she’s helped through her work.
One of those people is Lisa Fairweather, a member of this year’s graduating class. Reid met Fairweather when she was in a residential program and told her someday she would be a student at St. Thomas. Now fifteen years later, Fairweather has completed her Bachelor of Arts and plans to pursue a degree in social work.
“Through her relentless research and advocacy Dr. Reid has impacted the lives of many,” Fairweather said.

“Her contribution to academics, research, the university, the community, and her students more than exceeds what is expected of faculty members and her contributions extend far beyond the classroom.”
Reid, a professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department, has devoted much of her career to the well-being of youth in New Brunswick. She is the Director of the Centre for Research on Youth at Risk and co-leads Youth Matters, which began as a high school-university partnership network of young people. Reid is a member of the New Brunswick Harm Prevention roundtable, a founding board member of Champions for New Brunswick Children, a member of the New Brunswick Crime Prevention Strategy’s Youth at Risk working group, a longstanding board member of the John Howard Society, and an inductee to the New Brunswick Crime Prevention Hall of Fame.
“My research and teaching would not be possible without my participation in the community with youth who have no voice,” Reid said. “This honour is also a testament to the amazing young people who have faced adversity and become resilient. Without them, I would not be receiving this award.”
Reid often provides opportunities for her students to conduct social action projects.
This year her students took part in the “Point in Time Survey,” an initiative to acquire qualitative feedback in servicing the homeless, the “Coldest Night of the Year,” a fundraiser in support of youth in transition and the John Howard Society, they collaborated with New Brunswick police for the “Push for Change” to raise funds to create prevention programs for school age youth, and Bell Let’s Talk Day, a program designed to break the silence surrounding mental health. Her students also collected books for at-risk youth at the New Brunswick Youth Centre in Miramichi and the Waterville Youth Centre in Nova Scotia.
“Watching young people become passionate about the rights and voices of youth is a rewarding part of my work,” Reid said.
In response to a request from a former student working at the New Brunswick Women’s Correctional Centre, Reid created a research opportunity for a senior student to study women’s correctional programs.  This winter, she launched a pilot program with students to create an educational partnership between St. Thomas University and the Fredericton Police Force.
“Dr. Reid always makes time for her students while taking an active interest in their success. In the years that I’ve known her, she’s been dedicated to her field and the youth she serves,” added Fairweather.
She’s written academic books and articles, as well as a number of technical reports and briefs on public policy issues related to her field.

Yellow Box Gallery Presents: Barbara Astman - "Dancing with Ché: Enter Through the Library" April 28 to June 30

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Dancing with Ché: Enter Through the Library is an exhibition that features five recent works by Barbara Astman from the permanent collection of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Three of the works in this exhibition are from Barbara Astman’s Dancing with Ché series, one of her most popular recent artistic endeavors. She began this series in the early 2000s after returning from Cuba, where she was struck by the proliferation of imagery depicting the 20th century revolutionary Ché Guavara. In Cuba and abroad, the emblematic portrait of Ché Guavara has often been appropriated by various people and groups as a symbol of extreme political identification and rebellion. In Dancing with Ché, Astman explores the multifaceted issue of the appropriation and commodification of political imagery.
This exhibition also includes two important works from 2006’s The Newspaper Series. Like many of us, Barbara Astman’s morning routine involves sitting down and reading the newspaper, a custom that is easily taken for granted.  But, with so much information being controlled, what influence do mass media and communications have on our everyday life, and society more generally? From afar, Barbara Astman’s photographs of newspaper sequences appear random and oddly resemble strains of human DNA.  Upon closer examination, however, it becomes clear that Astman has purposefully arranged the newspapers to reveal headlines of elation, tragedy, scandal, political instability, and local frenzy.
Born in Rochester, New York in 1950, Astman studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology and later moved to Toronto to study at the Ontario College of Art and Design, where she has taught since 1975. For more than 35 years Barbara Astman has been active as an artist in photo-based media, sculpture, and public art commissions and is considered to be one of the foremost leading artists in Canada. Astman’s work can be found in countless major public institutions worldwide including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Barbara Astman - Exhibition Description April 2016.pdf

Education Institute Summer 2016

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, April 22, 2016
The St. Thomas University Education Institute is pleased to announce that it will be providing four summer courses in Fredericton. Course descriptions, application information and forms for the institute, and details concerning admissions and accommodations will be available by mid-May on the university website For further course information, contact the Education Institute Coordinator
  • 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 one week of pre-class preparation 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 4th to Friday, July 8th, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Instructor: Dr. Ray Williams []
This Education Institute 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 how mental models of assessment impact decisions that drive classroom and school operations. 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 & Middle Level Science
Dates: Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Instructor: Dr. Grant Williams []

This Education Institute 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. 
EDUC 6253* - Introduction to Gifted Education
Dates: Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Instructor: Dr. Shaunda Wood []
This Education Institute course offers practical methods and strategies for challenging the most able students in the inclusive setting and beyond. Research-based standards for teacher preparation in gifted education will provide a framework as set out by the American National Association for Gifted Children and the Council for Exceptional Children. Drawing from historic, as well as current theory and practice, the academic and affective approaches taught in this course and designed, analyzed, and evaluated in assignments will enable educators to meet the diverse needs of their gifted and talented students.
EDUC 6903* - Teaching Internationally: Perspectives and Practice
Dates: Monday, July 18th to Friday, July 22nd, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Instructor: Dr. Marcea Ingersoll []
This Education Institute course is intended for anyone interested in international teaching. Historical and contemporary perspectives will contextualize student learning about the types of international education, the policies underpinning them, and the communities they serve. A range of issues will be covered, and provide individual inquiries into (a) opportunities for teaching internationally, (b) curriculum, pedagogy, and practice in the lives of international educators, and (c) theory and research relevant to the field of international education. 
Registration, Admissions & Accommodations
Tuition for each course is $618.00 and must be paid by the end of the day of the opening class. The admissions fee of $40.00 is waived for any student who has taken an Institute course in the past 5 years. If you have questions about applying, please contact the Admissions Office ( or (506) 452-0532 or 1-877-788-4443).  For payment for courses, please contact or (506) 452-0530.

2016 Education Institute Instructions.pdf
2016 Education Institute Supplementary Info Form.pdf

Summer Linguistic and Cultural Program for French Second Language Teachers

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, April 12, 2016
This French linguistic and cultural training course (July 3 to July 15, 2016 – 11 days) 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. 

It 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 beginner 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 course is offered during the first two weeks of July, from July 3 to July 15, 2016.  The cost per participant is $650 + taxes (CAN) and includes course and activities.  Participants are expected to make arrangements for their lodging and their meals. 

  • Registration - New Brunswick - Please complete the form provided by Department of Education and Early Childhood Development which is available on New-Brunswick Education Portal. 
  • Registration - Other Canadian provinces and other countries please contact Léo-James Lévesque, School of Education, St. Thomas University,

FSL Teacher Bursary 2016 St Thomas Application.pdf