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Journal of New Brunswick Studies Releases Issue Examining Challenges for Small Communities in the Province

PUBLISHED DATE: Thursday, October 20, 2016
The second of two special issues of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies examining the issues, prospects and risks faced by small communities in New Brunswick has been released at
Professor Tony Tremblay, Canada Research Chair in New Brunswick Studies at St. Thomas University, worked with the research office at Mount Allison University to coordinate publication of these two issues on the fate and sustainability of small communities in the province.
“The collection of articles in this special issue demonstrate past, present, and future challenges for communities in New Brunswick,” write guest editors Fabrizio Antonelli and Michael Fox of Mount Allison University.

“The multidisciplinary approach allows the reader to view community from many different perspectives. The articles demonstrate the efforts made by faculty, students, and communities to address some of these challenges with an aim to making communities more vibrant and livable. Finally, the articles demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of research conducted in small communities as part of the necessary practices that foster community engagement and growth,” they write.
Essays and Articles 
  • Paul Bogaard, “The First Frame House in Sackville Parish”
  • Lauren Beck, “Early-Modern European and Indigenous Linguistic Influences on New Brunswick Place Names”
  • Geoffrey R. Martin, “The Extraordinary Employment Tenure of New Brunswick Municipal Officers: A Case of the Entrenched Civil Servant?”
  • Fabrizio Antonelli, “Building Futures: Career and Community Development in Small New Brunswick Towns”
  • Odette Gould, Heather Webster, Elizabeth Daniels, and Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, “Transportation for Seniors in a Rural Community:  Can the Nursing Home Play a Role?”
  • Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard, Odette Gould, and Ilisha French, « L’importance de planifier en vue du vieillissement de la population: Notre ville est-elle amie des aînés? »
  • Erik W. Fraser, “Place-Conscious Pedagogy and Sackville, New Brunswick, as a Learning Community”
  • Natalie Y. Gillis, “Implementing a Made-in-New Brunswick Outdoor Environmental Education Program: A Case Study of Salem Elementary School”
The articles result from research projects attached to the grant, “Small Communities in the Twenty-First Century: Understanding the Role of Identity and Representation in Reflecting and Shaping the Livability of Maritime Communities,” awarded to Mount Allison University by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 
The Journal of New Brunswick Studies/Revue d’études sur le Nouveau-Brunswick is a multi-disciplinary journal that features original essays and research about the province in English and French. The only bilingual journal of ideas in New Brunswick, it publishes thoughtful writing about ongoing conversations and debates in the province -

Criminology: The impact of the criminal justice system—on victims, offenders, and the public

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, October 14, 2016
Understanding criminal behavior and deconstructing the criminal justice system 

By studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Thomas, you will consider political, social, and personal implications related to Criminology and Criminal Justice, and discover how people behave in difficult, confusing, stressful, and tragic situations.

You will analyze theories of criminal behaviour, as you develop the knowledge and skills to fairly and accurately evaluate criminal justice systems and policies.

Course streams
  • Cultural Studies
  • Criminal Justice Studies
  • Youth Studies
  • Police and Security Studies
  • Theoretical and Methodological Studies
Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology
You may complete a Major (36 credit hours) or a Minor (18 credit hours) in Criminology and Criminal Justice. If you are exceptionally dedicated to Criminology and Criminal Justice, you may apply to complete your Honours.

Honours in Criminology and Criminal Justice

If you wish to pursue advanced studies in Criminology and Criminal Justice, you may apply to the Honours program in your upper years. If accepted, you will complete a total of 57 credit hours in the field, and work on a specialized research topic.

After Graduation

The knowledge and skill set gained from studying Criminology and Criminal Justice is analytical and practical. You may choose to pursue a career in law, police and RCMP, government, social policy, corrections, social work, or education. You may choose to pursue further studies at the graduate level, and will be especially prepared if you have completed your Honours.

Experience Criminology for Yourself! 

Come for a campus tour, and take a sample class, meet a professor, and talk to current students. Book your tour today! 

Tommies’ Apperson to Represent Canada at 2017 FISU Winter Universiade

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
St. Thomas University Tommies women’s hockey captain Kelty Apperson was one of two players from the Atlantic University Sport conference selected to represent Canada at the 2017 FISU Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan.

Apperson, a fifth-year forward from New Hamburg, ON, has had much success throughout her career—including being named AUS MVP last season—but said this opportunity will top off her university hockey experience. 

“It means a lot to me and it’s very humbling to be doing something like this,” she said. “This is something that any one of my teammates would love the opportunity to do, so I definitely want to work hard for them and have success while doing so.”

The Tommies captain was relieved when she got the call confirming her selection to the FISU team and is looking forward to representing her country and the Tommies in international competition.

“What I’m most looking forward to is probably competing for Canada and wearing that logo for the first time,” she said. “Also, just being over there, because it’s like a mini Olympics for university athletes. Just taking that all in will be exciting.”

Apperson has been around the game a long time—she started playing hockey when she was five and has four siblings who share her love for the sport. With her fifth and final AUS season beginning October 15, she plans to build on last year’s success, which she said has been the highlight of her time as a Tommie.

“To set the team records we did in beating McGill at nationals, beating Moncton to qualify for nationals, and beating Dalhousie for our first-ever playoff series win meant so much. Just to see the results of all the hard work has been a highlight.”

Apperson will miss a small stretch of the regular season while she competes with team Canada from January 29 to February 8, but she has no doubt in her team’s ability to close out the season and make a strong playoff push.

“When I come back it will be the very end of our season, so I hope to carry this experience into playoffs,” she said.

“I have no doubt our team is going to be good when I’m gone. This year, I expect nothing less than the AUS banner. I know we can accomplish that.”

STU Joins Global Brigades as Student Group Prepares to Head to Panama in May 2017

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, October 7, 2016
The STU Chapter of Global Brigades will go to Panama May 2017
St. Thomas is now part of Global Brigades, an international, non-profit organization and the largest student-led social responsibility movement in the world.

STU students will travel to Panama in May 2017 to participate in a Human Rights Brigade. Student-volunteers will assist foreign lawyers with pro-bono cases and hold workshops on human rights in rural communities.

The STU chapter of Global Brigades is the result of the efforts of the group’s president, Jimy Beltran, and the university’s Manager of the Office of Experiential Learning and Community Based Learning, Jessica Hughes.

Beltran and Hughes worked to get the program off the ground on campus and offer students an opportunity to make positive impact in an international community.

New friends and new perspective inspire participation: Angela Bosse on joining Global Brigades, STU Chapter

Angela Bosse is a third-year student from the United States. Part of why she decided to join Global Brigades is that being part of the international student community at STU has opened her eyes to more personal aspects of international challenges.

“Many of my friends are from South and Central America. When situations arise in their home countries, you realize they still have family and people they care about there, and they worry about them. To do something—to help in some way—is something I wanted to do.”

Global Brigades offers nine programs. Bosse said the human rights brigade seemed to be most suited to the knowledge and skills of a STU student.

“It seemed like a natural fit for what we could offer,” said Bosse.

“Across all programs at STU, there tends to be an emphasis on using your education to better humanity and improve situations humans find themselves in. This makes our group a good one to do this type of brigade.”

While in Panama, students will work to help community members understand what their human rights are and how to foster them within their own community.

“What we’ll be doing will impact people’s lives permanently. They’ll know what they have a right to access,” said Bosse. “The cases we get will be solved. The lawyers will continue to work on them, and we’ll be getting updates on how the cases are progressing and how they are resolved.”

Bosse said this is the kind of experience STU students benefit from because it allows them to experience what they learn in class and gives them the opportunity to put their skills to use.   

“I’m happy we’re starting something like this at STU. It’s another opportunity for us to channel what we learn, and help us realize what we can bring to the table.”

Watch for fundraising efforts that support Global Brigades throughout the year and help our students get to Panama to contribute to human rights initiatives in rural communities.

Interested in joining?

If you're interested in joining Global Brigades as a STU student, applications are due Wednesday, October 12. Email for an application. 

Fundamental Questions About Crime and Society: Getting to Know Dr. Joshua Price, Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Dr. Joshua Price is the Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice
What is your area of academic interest?
I conduct ethnographic research on the experiences of men and women in jails and prisons, as well as how they try to integrate back into the society once they get out.  My research grew out of a collaborative project in New York with the NAACP, a civil rights organization. (I am from New York). We started by looking into complaints of abuse and neglect of health care needs by people incarcerated in a local jail. I involved my students in conducting the research and the project developed from there.

Why is the study of criminology important through a liberal arts lens?
At its best, a liberal arts education gives a student an expansive understanding of the human condition. As long as we as a society have decided that we will force people in cages for long periods of time, we need to ask ourselves fundamental questions about the communal lives we intend to live. Is the modern penitentiary compatible with living in a free society? In other words, is it a manifestation of our democracy? Or is it simply an institution that engenders social destruction? And in Canada, given the extraordinarily high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people, Canadians might ask themselves if the penitentiary is a relic of a legacy of a colonial past that has outlived its usefulness. These are essential areas for humanistic inquiry.

What is the most pressing public policy issue in crime this year?
Hard question. In Canada, in my opinion it’s the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. In the United States it may be police violence against black and indigenous people. But of course there are many other important issues in both countries, such as the related issue of high rates of incarceration of people of colour in both our countries.

You've been a visiting chair in North America, Latin America, and Europe. Is there a national difference in crime?
The whole concept of what counts as a crime and how people should be punished varies a great deal. For example, some progressive people in the United States and Canada speak openly about abolishing prisons and jails as an obsolete and counter-productive form of punishment. I remember discussing this with colleagues in Colombia, and they worried that in Colombia this would mean impunity for those who have committed atrocities in the long-running conflict. This made me reflect on how not only solutions, but also what are perceived to be problems, vary deeply. And behind these differences is the wide sweep of history.

Tell us something your students would be surprised to learn about you.
Let’s see. I play ultimate Frisbee, dance salsa, and practice capoeira every chance I get. The first poem I ever translated was Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to a Tomato.” I worked on an oil field in the Arctic Circle when I was in high school. 

Transnational Peoples, Transnational Practices: Dr. Arielle Dylan Receives SSHRC Insight Development Grant to Research the Roma in Canada

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, October 3, 2016
Many Romani have fled to Canada to escape ethnic hatred, systemic discrimination, and persecution in Europe. But how are they adjusting to their new land?

That’s one of the questions STU Social Work professor Dr. Arielle Dylan and Queen’s University Sociology professor Dr. Cynthia Levine-Rasky will be asking during their research on Roma who have settled in Canada.
They recently received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant for their research “Roma in Canada: Transnational peoples, transnational practices.”
“Why the Roma are coming to Canada is quite clear. They’re escaping the anti-Gypsyism occurring in Europe,” Dylan explained.
“What we’re looking at in our research is when the Roma come to Canada, ‘what are their transnational practices outside of the European context?’, tracing what has been strengthened, restored, lost, applied or modified in the land of resettlement,” she said.

These types of practices may include keeping in touch with family members who still live in their country of origin, sending their family remittances, maintaining familiar social bonds, or maintaining cultural practices.
The research will be of interest to Romani peoples, academic audiences, social workers, policy makers in immigration and social welfare, as well as community workers and organizations serving Romani peoples and other newcomer and marginalized groups.

“There is a strong social justice aspect to this research because the Roma in Europe are the most marginalized people in the European context so we’re trying to get a sense of what Roma realities are in the Canadian context, ultimately to benefit Romani communities and help them achieve self-determinative aims. The research will also provide opportunities for service providers to better serve Roma in Canada and to better understand their realities.”
Dylan is a Macedonian Roma woman and scholar and has been active with both the Roma Community Centre and the Canadian Romani Alliance.
“I have been interested for some time in understanding the experiences of Romani peoples in Canada, as most of the literature regarding Roma examines the European context, less so the US context, with very little scholarly literature focusing on Canada. I am particularly interested in understanding daily social, cultural, and political realities as they relate to transnational practices.”
Dylan and Levine-Rasky will interview Romani persons who are living in three major areas of resettlement – Toronto-Hamilton, Vancouver, and Montreal – to gain an understanding of the realities of Romani newcomers in the Canadian context.
“I anticipate that this research will contribute to Romani peoples and communities in ways that are socially, politically, culturally, and academically useful, while simultaneously adding to social work theory and practice.”

Diversity Unites Us: STU Recognized for Inclusive Community

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Dr. Christina Szurlej, Felomena Deogratsias, BA ’18, and Dr. Erin Fredericks, BA '06 presented at Anglophone School District East's Respect and Diversity Conference
STU student Felomena Deogratsias, BA ’18, is no stranger to racism and discrimination.
There was the time she was told to leave the swimming pool during a school field trip because they thought her dark skin would “dirty the water.” Or the time a stranger yelled at her because she didn’t look “Canadian” enough. Or the time she was told that it was a “historical fact” that black people were more dangerous than white people.
Today, Deogratsias chooses to use her voice to raise awareness and help others understand the danger of discrimination.
Deogratsias and STU Human Rights professor Dr. Christina Szurlej recently presented at Anglophone School District East’s Respect and Diversity Conference. They spoke about recognizing stereotypes, prejudices, and racism in the context of preventing and addressing intercultural conflict.
She shared her personal experiences with more than 200 middle school and high school students, their educators, school administrators and community members at the event, which was organized by the school district in partnership with St.
Thomas University.
“Being part of this conference was a healing process for me,” Deogratsias said. “It was therapeutic because I got to tell people about how they can do things differently so tomorrow isn’t a repeat of the past.”
Szurlej told the participants that they shouldn’t be afraid of differences. Instead, she said, we should acknowledge that the commonalities linking us through our humanity far outweigh subtle differences.
“We all want to be understood, maintain a sense of belonging, and contribute to a greater purpose. Judging others based on perceived group membership, rather than individual merit, replaces facts and knowledge with unsubstantiated, inaccurate assumptions harmful to the targeted group,” Szurlej said.
“I think about what an awful place our world would be if we were all the same. Diversity should be embraced and celebrated as a source of enrichment and beauty in our everyday lives.”
Deogratsias, Szurlej, and other members of the STU community presented on issues ranging from mental health, the importance of safer spaces in schools for the LGBTQ community, and intercultural conflict resolution.
“St. Thomas is a close-knit community,” Deogratsias said. “It’s a very liberal environment. And so we are the best people to really engage in this type of thing and also give a perspective on how things can be different. It’s a school that embraces diversity, embraces differences.”
John Tingley, BA ’88, the subject coordinator for positive learning and working environment for Anglophone School District East, organized the Respect and Diversity Conference. He said the conference opened up an important dialogue between the presenters, students, and educators.
“Our communities are always changing and social conversations are evolving. Our schools reflect that change,” he explained.
“High school students in 2016 are experiencing the world differently than high school students five years ago. The easy access to 24-hour live streaming of the world and all that it offers places us – as educators – in a unique position. Our students are leaders and have a 21st century perspective on these topics. This conference recognized that perspective and gave voice to topics that need to be discussed in the wider community context.”
He said the school district invited St. Thomas to participate because the university has a reputation for being an inclusive community that embraces diversity.
“When we scanned professional literature and researched best practices, many times faculty members at STU were cited or referenced. Especially Dr. Erin Fredericks with regards to safer spaces and LGBTQ issues and Dr. Christina Szurlej with human rights. So, we did not have to seek out expertise beyond our country or province; we found that expertise at STU.”
To create safe spaces in schools, allies need to understand and empathize with what LGBTQ youth are facing – and usually that means having to come to terms with your own privilege, said Dr. Erin Fredericks, BA ’06.
The Sociology professor and the university’s LGBTQIA+ Resource Advisor spoke to the conference participants about how to become an ally and how to create a safe space in their schools.
“Sometimes when we talk about diversity, we talk about loving each other. But when we talk about being an ally it’s not just about love. It’s about power,” she explained.
“The most important thing you can do as an ally is not spend a ton of time memorizing facts about the queer community but recognize who you are and what your privileges are in society.
“Maybe you don’t have to worry about whether there will be a bathroom you can use when you are in a public space. Maybe you don’t need to worry that someone will misuse your pronoun. Maybe you don’t need to go through life worried that someone will ask you about your partner and you’ll have to make the decision about whether it’s safe to come out.”
But these are the sorts of issues that some members of the LGBTQ community face every day.
Statistics show that a lot of LGBTQ youth are experiencing marginalization in high school, Fredericks added. So what she spoke about at the conference wasn’t new or surprising information for the students in the room, but she said it’s important that the students hear their experiences told and validated by someone with privilege to their educators.
Fredericks invited student Al Cusack, BA’18, to present with her. Cusack is a non-binary trans student at STU and knows firsthand the importance of having a support system that includes well-informed allies on campus. That’s why Cusack spearheaded the Queer and Allied People’s Society at STU, which has quickly become one of the most active groups on campus.
“Even if people don’t participate in Q&A, they know that they are welcome,” they said. “They know they are accepted. They know there is a place to go if they need to be advocated for and if they need a community that understands where they are coming from.”
Cusack said giving high school students advice on how to create safe spaces in their schools is important.
“They are the ones who have the power to advocate for themselves and for people in their community. Especially with high school students, they have a collective power. They are not as used to conformity yet. They can collaborate. They are a force for good if you teach them how to build safer spaces.”
Renée Comeau, BA ’15, BEd ’16, used to spend two hours every day working out at the gym without a break.
“That’s not healthy,” the education student told the conference participants. “In my case, I later found out I had an anxiety problem that fueled this energy to work out. I felt like my sense of control was gone and this was a way of taking control of my life.”
Comeau had been dealing with occasional depression and anxiety since she was in high school, but she didn’t know it was a problem until she had a severe panic attack one day. She made an appointment with a psychologist who diagnosed her with an anxiety disorder and helped her recover with the help of natural coping methods and medication.
“There is a stigma around medication. ‘You’re not strong enough to do this on your own.’ Well no, I’m not. I need the help of something. And that’s ok… with the medication and self-care every day, I feel mentally balanced and mentally well.”
Today, Comeau speaks about her struggles and her eventual recovery to help others recognize warning signs in their own lives and to normalize mental illness.
She started a blog ( so others struggling with mental illness know that they’re not alone. She also became a mental health advocate and speaks at conferences and events to help educate others.
She said she’s not surprised members of the STU community were invited to speak about mental health support, adding that the Student Services department does a great job supporting mental health on campus.
The university provides counselling services. It also regularly hosts self-care events, workshops and engages students through social media around mental health topics. It plans de-stress events during hectic times of the academic year, and supports students in managing the stress they may be facing as a result of pressures in their lives (whether those are academic, personal, financial or otherwise).
It also equips student leaders (like peer mentors and residence advisors), faculty and staff with resources on how to support students in distress or in crisis.
Comeau hopes that talking about mental illness and removing stigma surrounding it will help students she spoke to understand when they need help.
If the participants will remember one message from her talk, it’s that it’s OK to not be OK. But that there are resources available to help them recover.
“Be a glow stick,” she told them. “Sometimes you need to break before you glow.”

This story appeared in the spring/summer issue of Connections, STU's alumni magazine. To see the full issue, please click HERE.