Western News https://news.westernu.ca Western University's newspaper of record since 1972 Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:18:49 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://news.westernu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/back_issues/2018/06/WN_June_21-web.pdf https://news.westernu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/back_issues/2018/06/WN_June_21-web-114x150.jpg 5.74MB Alumnae named among Canada’s Most Powerful https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/alumnae-named-among-canadas-most-powerful/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:06:57 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35288 Eleven Western alumnae have been named recipients of the 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, the Women’s Executive Network recently announced.

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Ten Western alumnae have been named recipients of the 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, the Women’s Executive Network recently announced.

The list, launched in 2003, is intended to shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of professional women across Canada, recognize talented leaders and inspire others to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Since then, the Women’s Executive Network has celebrated the accomplishments of more than 1,000 women through the awards. Each year, four Top 100 Celebrations take place across the country in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.

Western alumnae winners this year include:

INTACT PROFESSIONAL AWARDS

Jan Hux, MSc’87, BSc’79
President and Chief Executive Officer
Diabetes Canada

BIO: Dr. Jan Hux is an accomplished strategic leader who brings exceptional insight into the Canadian diabetes epidemic. Trained as a general internist and health services researcher, she is recognized as a leader in diabetes epidemiology. In her role at Diabetes Canada, she provides strong executive leadership as the organization sharpens its focus on delivering population impact through investments in prevention, diabetes management and research.

SUCCESS IS: About ‘how’ rather than ‘what.’ Did I do my best with the opportunities before me? Did I operate with integrity and generosity?

ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MY YOUNGER SELF: Be selective about the voices you allow to define you. Listening to the nay-sayers will prevent you from accomplishing your best.

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CIBC TRAILBLAZERS AND TRENDSETTERS AWARDS

Gillian Riley, BA’89 (Political Science)
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tangerine Bank

BIO: Gillian Riley has been a force in the Canadian banking industry for over two decades. She is currently at the leading edge of digital banking in Canada as the President and CEO of Tangerine, where she drives the bank’s strategic direction to provide Canadians with simple and innovative banking. Gillian has held several senior leadership positions across Scotiabank and pioneered the Scotiabank Women Initiative (SWI), which helps advance women-led businesses through access to capital.

EARLY, LASTING ADVICE: Being involved in competitive sport from a young age shaped my competitive nature while instilling teamwork and the ability to lose gracefully.

ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MY YOUNGER SELF: Be more open to feedback and have the confidence to receive it well.

POWER SONG: Stronger by Kelly Clarkson.

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2019 HALL OF FAME

Sarah Richardson, BA’93 (Visual Arts)
Designer, TV Host, Author, entrepreneur
Sarah Richardson Designs

BIO: A sought-after designer of residential and commercial spaces, textiles, wallpaper, rugs and furniture, Sarah Richardson is the award-winning founder of Sarah Richardson Design. She has hosted, co-produced and co-created eight hit HGTV series seen in more than 100 countries and can also be found on her rapidly growing YouTube channel. Her first two books, Sarah Style and At Home Sarah Style achieved bestseller status and she is currently working on two more.

EARLY, LASTING LESSON: When I worked alone, I was solely responsible for every decision and idea. Despite not always being 100 per cent certain that my idea was the right idea, I had no choice. I was forced to trust my gut, follow my instincts and see how it turned out. I quickly learned this was a gift.

*   *   *

KPMG FUTURE LEADERS AWARD

Melissa Kargiannakis, MHIS’15, BHSc’12
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
SKRITSWAP

BIO: Melissa Kargiannakis has won awards from the Queen of England and leads one of the Top 20 Most Innovative Companies in Canada. She has raised venture capital funding from Silicon Valley for her AI startup that takes complex jargon and replaces it with clear, everyday language. Melissa exemplifies tenacity, grit and impressive intellectual horsepower with just the right combination of zest and charm. Her life mission is to rebalance power in society. Her impactful purpose is inspired by her mom, Carolyn, who single-handedly raised Melissa and her siblings.

ON BEING DESCRIBED AS POWERFUL: It feels accurate; validation for everything I’ve overcome to get here and foreshadowing all that’s next.

SUCCESS IS: Being happy. Having the freedom to live the life I’ve designed and created for myself.

POWER SONG: Soulmate by Lizzo.

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CP INDUSTRY SECTOR AND TRADES AWARDS

Melanie Debassige, BA’00
Executive Director
Ontario First Nations Technical Service Corporation

BIO: Melanie Debassige is the first woman appointed to Executive Director in the 25-year history of her organization. She has been appointed to a number of boards and is a certified corporate director, which complements her Master’s in Business Administration. Melanie has been recognized by the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) in the Diversity 50 and recently became Strategic Advisor, Indigenous, to the Energy Board of Canada.

EARLY, LASTING LESSON: When I was a teenager, my father told me a story about being the 26th person. In his story he faced many obstacles and the 25 people in front of him chose not to stand up to the racism facing Indigenous people. When it was his turn, he took a stand and reported the incident as an infringement on his human rights. The moral of the story to me was to be that 26th person. Take a stand with integrity and stand by your beliefs.

*   *   *

MERCEDES-BENZ EMERGING LEADERS AWARD

Justine Janssen, BA’09 (Business Administration)
Senior Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives
Ceridian

BIO: Justine Janssen leads Ceridian’s most critical growth and strategic programs. She helped scale Ceridian’s flagship software, Dayforce, from a tech startup, through a merger with Ceridian, into a leading global human capital management platform. Her efforts have included product and program launches, and leading culture change and business simplification to turn Ceridian into a high-growth tech company. Justine recently managed Ceridian’s 2018 IPO, which marked the largest technology IPO ever in Canada. She was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2019.

EARLY, LASTING LESSON: You alone decide how you show up and experience life. You choose whether each challenge before you is adversity or opportunity.

ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MY YOUNGER SELF: Fear is a huge roadblock for people, but confidence can be built like a muscle. Practise doing little things that are uncomfortable so that you can build confidence to take on bigger, scarier risks.

Hélène Timpano, BESc’05
Senior Vice-President, Operations
Kinross Gold Corporation

BIO: Hélène Timpano is a high-energy mining executive with a track record of advancing complex projects. Hélène oversees the following global functions: maintenance, supply chain, HR operations, continuous improvement & innovation and strategic planning. Known for her ability to win over anyone and everyone, she has played a central role in many company-wide transformations. Hélène holds three degrees including an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

EARLY, LASTING LESSON: On a class trip to a mini-putt course, I accidentally clubbed my classmate in the head when it was time for me to take my shot (thankfully she was OK). Lesson learned: Don’t get so mired in the details that you lose the big picture.

SUCCESS IS: Needs to be lasting. It means changing things for the better and seeing that change stick, even once you turn your attention to other things.

*   *   *

RBC CHAMPIONS AWARD

Jodi Kovitz, BA’00 (Business Administartion)
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
#MOVETHEDIAL

BIO: Jodi Kovitz leads a global movement and organization founded to advance the participation and leadership of all women in tech. Featured in ForbesWomen, Jodi was recognized as an Adweek Brand Star in Toronto in 2018, a 2017 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winner and one of Canada’s 25 Women of Influence in 2018. Jodi sits on several tech company advisory boards, the board of directors of Toronto Global and the SickKids’ Hospital Capital Campaign Cabinet raising $1.3 billion to transform paediatric health.

ADVICE I WOULD GIVE MY YOUNGER SELF: Dream it. Plan it. Go get it. Passion is Queen. Fear is a feeling that emanates from thoughts. You can change those thoughts. There are no failures, only lessons. Perfect is the enemy of good. This is a line I live by. It is what has given me the confidence to ‘try’ things. To put ideas out that I am not sure are right, unapologetically. And then to improve and execute like mad.

*   *   *

HSBC CORPORATE EXECUTIVE AWARD

Melanie Teed Murch, BA’95 (English)
Chief Executive Officer, ONroute
Nominated as President, Toys R Us Canada

BIO: Melanie Teed-Murch has more than 23 years’ experience in Canadian mass specialty retail. She was recently best known for her journey leading Toys R Us Canada to steady ground as a new Canadian owned company. As ONroute’s new CEO, Melanie has been tasked with building a team focused on infrastructure, customer needs and commercial initiatives to accelerate growth. She sits on the board of the Retail Council of Canada and the Jays Care Foundation and believes in the power of giving back.

EARLY, LASTING LESSON: Walk your own path and stay true to yourself. Make every moment count and leave your mark on people you meet.

ON BEING DESCRIBED AS POWERFUL: I strive every day to be someone who cares about others and sets an agenda to be an agent of change. I want to inspire my team to act and make a difference in people’s lives, to see more, be more, do more and achieve more.

Leagh Turner, BA’95 (English)
President
Ceridian

BIO: Leagh Turner is an established global technology executive with a proven ability to drive growth by building high-performing teams focused on delivering meaningful value to customers. As President of Ceridian, Leagh is responsible for increasing revenue worldwide while overseeing the company’s go-to-market strategy and field efforts. Previously, Leagh was Global COO at SAP. She is a motivating public speaker and mentor to emerging leaders and a board member of Plan International Canada. She is passionate about volunteering both at home and abroad.

ON BEING DESCRIBED AS POWERFUL: ‘Powerful’ is an interesting word. I’ve always placed more stock in roles than titles, because what you do within the role matters far more than the titles. I’m choosing to see it as a sign of what I can do for others and less about what I’ve accomplished.

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Celebrating two decades of new Horizons https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/celebrating-two-decades-of-new-horizons/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:29:47 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35284 Barbara Belbeck was looking to take a singing course when she came across an ad in Western’s Continuing Education brochure announcing the start of the New Horizons Band.

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Barbara Belbeck was looking to take a singing course when she came across an ad in Western’s Continuing Education brochure announcing the start of the New Horizons Band.

When she called to inquire in January 1999, she was told all the spots were full but to come the first day in case someone didn’t show. Belbeck was in line to register when the person ahead of her was handed the final instrument available.

Fortunately, he refused because he already had one that belonged to his granddaughter.

“They handed me the remaining clarinet,” she recalled with a smile. “The New Horizons Band experience has been a life highlight in the past 20 years.”

Belbeck is one of nine original members who are still playing in the band as it gets ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a concert on Dec. 1 at Western’s Paul Davenport Theatre. Roy Ernst, New Horizons founder, will be on hand to conduct Beyond The Horizon, a piece by London composer Jeff Smallman commissioned for this anniversary year.

Special to Western NewsPictured are nine original members of the New Horizons Band, from left, Annick Deakin, Barbara Belbeck and Trudy Rose; standin, from left Merrill Edmonds, Dale Inder, Stan Deakin, Gerry Fenwick and Raymond Chan. New Horizons celebrates its 20th anniversary with a concert on Dec. 1 at Western’s Paul Davenport Theatre.

“The program has allowed us to develop skills and craft while learning how to make music meaningfully in small and large groups,” said Betty Anne Younker, Dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music. “The added bonus, which was not envisioned in 1999, was the contributions that have evolved from the NHB program. The band members’ contributions, which continue to enrich lives within the various communities in the greater London area, are remarkable.”

The New Horizons Band is open to adult musicians of any skill level, including beginners. The December concert will have performances from the two beginner bands right through to the two advanced bands. From that day in early 1999, the London program, the first of its kind in Canada, has evolved into one of the largest in North America.

The London band program allows adults to learn music and play in a concert band with other like-minded people. The New Horizons concept was the result of a groundbreaking course in the early 1990s by Ernst, a professor at the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, who wanted to research the cognitive impact on older adults learning to play an instrument. The program has since spread across North America and to other countries overseas, and Ernst received an honorary degree from Western in 2009.

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IF YOU GO

New Horizons Band – 20th Anniversary Concert

Dr. Roy Ernst will be guest conducting the Advanced II Band as they perform the world premiere of Beyond The Horizon, a celebratory commission by composer Jeff Smallman.

1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College, Western
Free admission.

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Lending a ‘Voice’ – and far more https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/lending-a-voice-and-far-more/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 14:42:43 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35280 From an amazing reading list “guided by Hags,” to the direct beautiful storytelling of American country music legends, Education professor Barb MacQuarrie has a selection for everyone when she takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Education professor Barb MacQuarrie is Director of Western’s Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children.

Today, she takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read.

Some of my reading is guided by Hags – a book club of feminists who have been leaders and trail-blazers in academia, although we also count Joan Barfoot, a legendary local author, amongst our ranks.

In addition to impressive careers in their own areas of specialization, the members of Hags have dedicated their working lives to opening spaces for women and for feminism in the academy. I have tremendous respect for all of them. I was a bit surprised and intimidated when they asked me to join some 10 or 12 years ago, but I feel quite at home with them now.

They are a circle of friends whose accomplishments and insights and company I am happy to return to each month. Or at least those months when I’m not travelling for my own work.

Even when I travel, I try to read along with them. Last month’s selection was The Bear Came Over the Mountain, a short story by Alice Munro. Sarah Polley adapted the story in her directorial debut in the movie, Away From Her. Both pieces are Canadian art at its finest, in my opinion.

In The Bear Came Over the Mountain, originally published in The New Yorker in 1999, Munro manages to foreshadow the #MeToo Movement. Without a whiff of judgement, she presents us with a deeply flawed character, a sort of anti-hero, nevertheless capable of tenderness and maybe even something approaching heroism. Through this imperfect protagonist, she explores how we can lose someone we love deeply, while they are still with us. She explores the challenge of accommodating the stranger that inhabits the body of the person we love, out of a sense of responsibility, but also out of a hope, however slight, that our loved one may still return. More with absence than with an explanation, she shows how this stops us from grieving.

I love Alice Munro for the way she reflects us back to ourselves with an unflinching commitment to the prosaic yet deeply complex moments and series of events that end up being our lives. I would love her writing even if I didn’t recognize the settings and landscapes of her stories, but the fact that I can easily situation myself in the place of her stories feels like a special privilege.

Watch.

My television viewing is limited, but I follow one Netflix series at a time. The last series I finished was Rake, which focused on the improbable but hilarious adventures of the incorrigible Cleaver Greene, attorney at law.

I just started watching Shameless, a story about a family of six siblings with an absent mother and an alcoholic father. The show deals with poverty and addiction and family dysfunction with a lot of humour, but also with an underlying respect for the resiliency of the characters and the seriousness of the challenges they face.

The last movie I saw was Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice at the Hyland Cinema. I love the Hyland. Although I don’t go as often as I would like to, it is one of London’s cultural gems. The movie reflects back on Linda Ronstadt’s career and we learn lots about her political views and who she is as a person. Like most people my age, I knew her music, or her rock music at least, but I really didn’t know much about her as a person. She was adventurous, fearless really, and so well rounded as a musician. I loved learning about her connections to Mexico and the last scene of the movie where she sings along to a Mexican ballad with her nephew was really moving for me. Parkinson’s disease ended her singing career and has severely limited her activities. I hope that whatever drove her to success will sustain her challenges with the disease.

Listen

Until I saw the movie, I didn’t realize that Linda and Emmy Lou Harris were good friends. I’ve listened to Trio, an album they made with Dolly Parton many times. Emmy Lou Harris is one of my favourite singers. I was a country music fan long before country music was cool.

I don’t follow new country much; I prefer the traditionalists. Johnny Cash. Merle Haggard. Kris Kristofferson. Townes Van Zandt. It’s such a male dominated genre, sometimes people are surprised I like it so much. It’s the simplicity and the directness of the storytelling that draws me in.

There are some amazing women, too. Patsy Cline. Loretta Lynn. Lucinda Williams. They all come to mind.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.

 

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Western mourns death of Social Science student https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/western-mourns-death-of-social-science-student-3/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 14:08:14 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35276 The Western community is mourning the death of Jeffrey Courage, 21, a Social Science student, who died Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.

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The Western community is mourning the death of Jeffrey Courage, 21, a Social Science student, who died Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.

COURAGE

Friends may call on the family from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28, at Brian E. Wood Funeral Home, 250 14th St. W., Owen Sound. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, in the Funeral Home Chapel. Interment follows in Greenwood Cemetery, 190 1st St. SW, Owen Sound.

Jeff is survived by his parents, Greg and Tawnia Courage, Owen Sound; brother, Justin Courage, London; grandparent, Beulah Brown, London; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by grandparents, Clifford Brown, Cyril and Vera Courage.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association of Grey-Bruce or the Kids Help Phone.

On Friday, Western will lower the flag on University College in Jeff’s honour.

Western reminds its campus community that counselling services are always available to assist faculty, students and staff. Walk-in Crisis Support is available on-campus 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at Student Health Services, University Community Centre (UCC), Room 11.

Visit the Health and Wellness website for more areas of help today.

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Hickey named among Rhodes Scholars https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/hickey-named-among-rhodes-scholars/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:56:50 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35271 Patrick Hickey, HBA’19, has been named a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of only 11 Canadian students to earn the esteemed award this year, Rhodes Trust officials announced today. Hickey becomes the 24th Rhodes Scholar in Western history.

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One of only 11 Canadian students honoured this year, Patrick Hickey, HBA’19, becomes the 24th Rhodes Scholar in Western history.

Patrick Hickey, HBA’19, has been named a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of only 11 Canadian students to earn the esteemed award this year, Rhodes Trust officials announced this week.

Hickey becomes the 24th Rhodes Scholar in Western history.

Hickey joins a class of 100 from more than 60 countries to receive this distinguished scholarship to study at the University of Oxford next year. Since the scholarship was established in 1903, nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars, including more than 1,000 Canadians, have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, commerce, the arts, education, research and other domains.

“The scholarships call for and recognize a set of timeless virtues – intellectual excellence, strength of character, energy to strive, commitment to serve and instinct to lead,” said Richard Pan, Canadian Secretary of the Rhodes Trust and Chair for the Rhodes Scholarships in Canada. “We are proud of the opportunities the scholarships provide to our most talented, passionate and charismatic university graduates.”

The scholars were selected in a highly competitive process administered by six regional committees composed of Rhodes Scholars and eminent members of the community. The committees worked independently and made their decisions on the basis of applications, university endorsements, letters of reference and in-person interviews held across the country.

Hickey was nominated by the Newfoundland region.

“The eleven scholarship winners show the world the best of Canada,” Pan continued. “The selection committees were moved by the impressive intellect, incredible passion and dynamism with which each is applying their remarkable talents to making the world a better place. We look forward to going on this exciting journey with them as their actions and accomplishments will be making all of us proud for many years to come.”

Currently, Hickey is a Global Investment Banking Analyst with RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

With an interest in economic resilience and the fishing industry, the St. John’s, N.L., native plans to pursue a career that embraces culture and uses business to generate returns for the economy, for people, and for the environment.

After Oxford, he plans to return to Newfoundland to help redefine the province’s economy for the future.

The accomplishment is quite an academic career bookend for Hickey, 22, who entered university with a Loran Foundation Scholarship, Canada’s largest undergraduate merit award, and now exits with the world’s most prestigious postgraduate scholarship.

At Western, he started in the Bachelor in Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) program, where he “enjoyed studying a wide array of social science courses during these two years from philosophy to anthropology to personal finance.”

Once at Ivey Business School, he pursued a business education “as an interdisciplinary tool to use to better understand and empower individuals and communities to make positive change,” he said.

There, he found himself “surrounded by remarkable individuals. Section mates, professors, faculty, facilities and hospitality staff, and special guests at Ivey all bring a wealth of knowledge and experience with them to the school. It was constantly humbling to learn from them all.”

Throughout his education, Hickey has been a tireless advocate for mental wellness.

At Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s, Hickey contributed provincially and nationally to address youth mental health. He founded the Metro Youth Mental Health Committee, a student group with representatives from all 13 high schools in the St. John’s area.

Hickey became intrigued by mental-health issues among youth in Canada’s North. He joined the youth-led organization North in Focus and organized workshops for Inuit youth to discuss topics including substance abuse and suicide, as well as helped identify ways they could better access mental-health resources.

“It’s really just about being compassionate to others,” Hickey said in a 2017 Western News interview. “You’ll never be able to solve the crisis around mental-health issues, but all of it – a national mental-health strategy, a campus-wide mental-health campaign, a conversation you have with a friend – is just to be compassionate.

“We need to take care of each other. What if we’re not meant to take care of ourselves, but what if we’re meant to care for each other? If you bring yourself to the highest level of integrity and generosity, and be as compassionate as you know how, we can get pretty far. The whole idea of wanting to care for each other – that should be everyone’s responsibility and interest. It’s what everybody owes each other.”

In 2017, the Canadian Red Cross honoured Hickey with the Young Humanitarian Award for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Among many outreach efforts, he has volunteered with the Mental Health & Addictions Advisory Council to the Minister of Health & Community Services for Newfoundland and Labrador; Kids Help Phone Advisory Council; Mental Health Commission of Canada Youth Council; and Western Residence.

Established by British mining magnate and South African politician of Cecil John Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship offers two years of all-expenses-paid postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, valued at more than $60,000. Rhodes Scholars have included Nobel Prize laureates, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, with names such as former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Four criteria govern and guide the selection of Rhodes Scholars: Literary and scholastic attainments; energy to use one’s talents to the full; truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship; and moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.

According to the Rhodes Trust, the overall global acceptance rate stands at 0.7 per cent, making it one of the most competitive scholarships in the world.

*   *   *

PROUD LEGACY

Patrick Hickey, HBA’19, has been named a recipient of the esteemed Rhodes Scholarship, an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford, Rhodes Trust officials announced today.

One of only 11 Canadian students honoured this year, Hickey becomes the 24th Rhodes Scholar in Western history.

Patrick Hickey, HBA 2019

Levi Hord, BA 2018

Saumya Krishna, BHSc 2013

Brian Coulter, BESc, HBA 2009

Joelle Faulkner, BESc, MBA 2004

Maureen Hogan, BSc 2001

Samir Sinha, MD 2000

Dilip Ninan, BA 1998

Richard Pan, BA 1997

Javed Siddiqi, BSc 1984

Andrew Sean Nevin, BSc, MA 1980, 1981

Stephen Kevin Burley, BSc 1980

John Alexander Stilborn, PhD 1979

Jonathan Michael Borwein, BA 1971

Colin Gordon Andrew Brezicki, BA 1970

David Michael Grace, MD 1964

James Montague Farley, BA 1962

John Hugh MacLennan, DLitt 1952 (honorary degree)

Benson Andrus Wilson, BSc 1948

Ramsay Willis Gunton, MD 1945

James Frederick Grandy, BA 1941

Rev. Kenneth Elder Taylor, BD 1933

Angus Duncan McLachlin, MD, MSc 1932-1933

Dalton Gilbert Dean, BA 1931

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Work begins on Biomed Building site https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/work-begins-on-biomed-building-site/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 17:21:31 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35269 Early work on the new Biomedical Research Facility has begun with construction fence going up in the Medical Science Parking Lot and a section between the Siebens Drake Research Institute and the Medical Science Building already excavated.

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Early work on the new Biomedical Research Facility has begun with construction fence going up in the Medical Science Parking Lot and a section between the Siebens Drake Research Institute and the Medical Science Building already excavated.

“The campus community will be seeing what we call ‘early works,’” said Amanda Bettridge, Project Manager. “Basically, we are in the process of preparing the site for the main construction phase by relocating and accessing services, grading the landscape, and – in this case – installing new generators.”

According to Bettridge, early work will continue into February. During this phase of the project the campus community can expect changes in the area, including:

  • Sidewalk restrictions will occur between the Siebens Drake and Medical Science parking lots. A popular cut-through for pedestrians entering campus from the northwest end of campus, the passage will be closed until the completion of the project. A detour will guide pedestrians around to the south side of the building along Elgin Road;
  • A small patch of growth that leads down the hill towards the hospital will be removed to accommodate building’s foundation and construction activities. Many of the trees will be replenished during the landscaping phase of the project, while the balance will be incorporated into Facilities Management’s annual planting of 150 trees in other areas of campus; and
  • Parking customers in Medical Science and adjacent parking lots will feel the impact of the new facility. During early works and construction, several spots in Medical Science and Siebens Drake lots will be disrupted, causing a cascade of changes to the surrounding lots. For example, several visitor spaces in the Social Science lot will be reserved for clinic guest parking. Springett Lot has added Pay N’ Display and Honk Mobile spaces to accommodate guests displaced by the reassigned spaces in the Social Science lot.

“The site is tucked up in the northwest side of the Medical Science parking lot and construction will have little impact on nearby roadways,” Bettridge said. “However, we appreciate the patience of those who may have to make some minor adjustments to their route or preferred parking spot.”

The main phase of construction will begin in February 2020 and complete in Summer 2022. The three-story facility will appear to be just a single level from Elgin Road. However, the remaining two floors are being developed below grade with a connection to the West Valley Building. The 46,000-square-foot building will be added research space for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

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Board names upcoming Chair, Vice-Chair https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/board-names-upcoming-chair-vice-chair/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 15:00:52 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35267 Board unanimously elected its upcoming leadership team at its regular meeting Thursday.

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Board unanimously elected its upcoming leadership team at its regular meeting Thursday.

Rick Konrad, BA’75, was named incoming Chair for a two-year term, from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021. Konrad has been a Board member since April 24, 2014, serving on various committees including the Governance & By-Laws Committee, Property & Finance Committee, Audit Committee, Investment Committee, and the Senior Policy and Operations Committee.

Keith Gibbons, BA’76, was named to a two-year term as incoming Vice-Chair from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021. A member of the Board since Jan. 1, 2016, Gibbons has served on a number of committees, including Audit Committee, Governance & By-Laws Committee, Senate Committee on University Planning, and the Senior Policy and Operations Committee.

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Board approves AVP (Indigenous Initiatives) https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/board-approves-avp-indigenous-initiatives/ Tue, 26 Nov 2019 14:57:19 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35266 Western Board of Governors approved a plan to create the position of Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives), in action at its regular meeting Thursday.

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Western Board of Governors approved a plan to create the position of Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives), in action at its regular meeting Thursday.

The new senior role will be the university’s champion driving the implementation of Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan – responsible for helping move Western from an Indigenous student services model to an institution-wide approach that encompasses governance, policy and practice, teaching and learning and curriculum, research and physical space planning.

The report to Board stated: “(The approach) provides an administrative structure that elevates Indigenous voices to the executive level and maximizes potential for advocacy, consultation and persuasion. With this change, it is important to understand how Indigenous peoples and ways of knowing (e.g. languages, theories, epistemologies, and methodologies) are systemically marginalized in academic disciplines and organizational hierarchies. This Office will help redress structural inequities and proactively create space for Indigenous peoples and ways of knowing to grow and thrive in our university.”

About half of Ontario’s universities and 70 per cent of U15 schools have such an Indigenous senior position in place, the report stated.

A nine-member team composed of faculty, students, administration and Indigenous community representatives will be on the selection committee.

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Study: Teen first case of life-threatening vaping injury https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/study-teen-first-case-of-life-threatening-vaping-injury/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 21:32:04 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35262 By publishing this Canadian case, researchers hope to raise awareness of the varying types of vaping-related lung injuries and the acute and chronic effects of vaping - even calling for further research into toxicity of e-liquid ingredients and tighter regulation of the industry.

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Special to Western NewsVaping has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years. A study of Canadian youth aged 16 to 19 found that e-cigarette use among this group increased to 37 per cent in 2018.

E-cigarettes first emerged in North America in 2004 – as a supposedly safer alternative to smoking traditional, carcinogenic, tobacco cigarettes, and as a potential means to help smokers quit smoking altogether.

However, with heavy marketing, an enticing array of flavours and the potential to inhale drugs other than nicotine, vaping has become increasingly popular, particularly among youth, attracting those who have never smoked before.

We recently published a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal describing a case of severe, life-threatening airway injury related to vaping that occurred in a Canadian youth.

The 17-year-old, who had been vaping daily using a variety of flavoured cartridges and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis), was hospitalized and required life support in the intensive care unit, including mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – oxygenation of blood outside of the body.

First case of vaping ‘popcorn lung?’

After ruling out other potential causes, we suspected the patient had bronchiolitis obliterans. This condition is also known as ‘popcorn lung’ based on its initial description among microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to chemical flavourants.

He narrowly avoided the need for a double-lung transplant, spent a total of 47 days in hospital and may have suffered long-term damage to his airways.

He is currently recovering from his lengthy intensive care unit stay and is abstaining from e-cigarettes, marijuana and tobacco.

One in four Grade 12 students

Vaping has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years. A study of Canadian youth aged 16 to 19 found that e-cigarette use among this group increased to 37 per cent in 2018.

In 2019, current data estimates that one in four Grade 12 students in the United States have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. The recent outbreak of cases of “e-cigarette, or vaping product use associated lung injury” (EVALI) has called into question the safety of vaping, and the risks that e-cigarettes pose, particularly to youth.

As of Nov. 20, 2,290 cases of EVALI have been reported in the United States, with 77 per cent occurring in patients under 35 years of age. To date, there have been 47 deaths confirmed in the EVALI outbreak.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have worked diligently to identify the causative agent(s) responsible, and suspect that vitamin E acetate may play a role. They have not yet ruled out other chemicals of concern and acknowledge that there may be more than one cause of the outbreak.

Despite being branded as a safer alternative, e-cigarettes are known to contain harmful substances including nicotine, vitamin E acetate, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, ultra-fine particles and carbonyl compounds.

Safe to swallow, not to inhale?

For instance, formaldehyde (group 1 human carcinogen) and acetaldehyde (possible human carcinogen) have been found in e-cigarette aerosols, and their concentrations vary between brands and within samples of the same product.

Of particular concern is the use of flavouring agents in e-cigarettes. There are over 7,700 e-cigarette flavours across 460 brands, with newer marketing practices emphasizing consumer choice and customization of flavours and nicotine content.

While many of these flavours are listed as “generally recognized as safe” under the U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is important to recognize that this applies to ingestion of these ingredients; aerosolization of flavours safe for swallowing may produce adverse health effects when inhaled into the lungs.

Chemical diacetyl exceeds safety limits

Diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) is one example of such a compound that may be safe for ingestion but toxic when inhaled.

Diacetyl belongs to a class of organic compounds referred to as diketones, α-diketones or α-dicarbonyls, and is known for its characteristic buttery flavour. It is found naturally in some foods and also used as a synthetic flavouring agent in butter, cocoa, caramel, coffee, dairy products and alcoholic beverages.

Occupational diacetyl inhalation is associated with decline in respiratory function and manifested as obstructive lung disease.

Importantly, it is a recognized cause of bronchiolitis obliterans, an irreversible pulmonary disorder of small airways resulting in obstructive physiology not reversible with bronchodilators.

Bronchiolitis obliterans is also known as “popcorn lung” based on its initial description in patient clusters of microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to diacetyl-based flavourants.

Vaping industry needs tighter regulation

Diacetyl has been found in e-cigarette fluid at levels higher than recommended safety limits, including in some products where packaging clearly stated diacetyl was not an ingredient.

By publishing this Canadian case, we hope to raise awareness of the varying types of vaping-related lung injuries and the acute and chronic effects of vaping.

Further research into the safety and toxicity of e-liquid ingredients is essential. We must also push for tighter regulation of the vaping industry.

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry professor Karen Bosma is an associate scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. Simon Landman is a clinical fellow in the Department of Respirology and Sleep Medicine at Schulich. This article first appeared in The Conversation.

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Emergency closing policy gets update https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/emergency-closing-policy-gets-update/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:40:18 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35259 A new-and-improved policy for deciding how to close campus in cases of emergencies, including severe weather, will provide the campus community with clearer directions on what to do and where to look for the information.

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A new-and-improved policy for deciding how to close campus in cases of emergencies, including severe weather, will provide the campus community with clearer directions on what to do and where to look for the information.

“It’s about keeping the community safe,” said Lynn Logan, Vice-President (Operations and Finance). The policy and procedures were last updated in 2011 and “we found we needed to update it and provide additional guidance.”

Although the policy applies to all possible reasons for closing, weather closures tend to dominate campus conversations. Last February, the university shut down twice six days apart because of weather.

Under the revised procedures, university officials will ordinarily decide by 6 a.m. if inclement weather requires daytime closings and before 2:30 p.m. on any changes to evening operations.

Western will use a variety of ways to communicate changes to scheduled operations.

Members of Western’s community should double-check that the Alert WesternU app is downloaded on their phones – it appears as ‘Everbridge’ on mobile devices – and set their personal account preferences on the app to allow push notifications.

The community can also check official Western social media channels, including the Western Facebook page, Instagram @westernu, and Twitter @WesternU for the latest weather information. The Western Weather Page will also be updated, as needed.

If the university remains open during inclement weather, Western will strive to ensure campus is safe and accessible, by clearing snow from sidewalks and roads on a priority basis, for example.

In those circumstances, anyone deciding it may be unsafe to come to campus should make alternative work and study arrangements with their supervisor or instructor.

The policy says closing the university under any condition would mean suspending classes, tests and exams (including online exams); deadlines for student assignments would be postponed to the same hour on the next academic day the university is open; and deadlines for job applications would be postponed to the next open business day.

Even during a closing, essential operations such as critical research and facilities heating would continue to take place.

If a change to operating hours is required at some point during a workday, the community would be told whether the closing is immediate or at a specified time.

In most cases, any class or exam already under way could continue until the specified closing time.

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Research bridges big data, infrastructure needs https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/research-bridges-big-data-infrastructure-needs/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 19:49:34 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35256 Engineering professor Ayan Sadhu's work uses big data to gather better information into the nation's critical infrastructure, all in an effort to signal problems sooner, potentially saving millions of dollars and reducing the threat to those living in harm’s way.

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Paul Mayne//Western NewsWestern Engineering professor Ayan Sadhu is using a sensor monitoring technique to remotely collect big data in order to identify inherent structure damage in everything from vehicle/pedestrian bridges  and dams to other large-scale structures, including new construction.

As Canada’s rapidly aging infrastructure continues to erode, often out of sight of those charged with overseeing it, maintenance budgets and residents from coast to coast to coast face a significant threat from the evitable fallout.

“Most of Canada’s infrastructure, like bridges and dams, were built around the time of the Second World War. They’re near the end of their life cycle,” Engineering professor Ayan Sadhu explained. “Our infrastructure is like a D-plus – which is bad.”

Sadhu’s work, however, looks to gather better data into this critical infrastructure, all in an effort to signal problems sooner, potentially saving millions of dollars and reducing the threat to those living in harm’s way.

Take bridges, for example.

According to a Statistics Canada and Infrastructure Canada report in 2018, only 56 per cent of Canada’s roads, bridges and tunnels were rated in good or very good condition.

Given the fact a vast majority of the country’s 47,000-plus publicly owned bridges are well into middle age, a major infusion of resources will be required in order keep our national transportation system in good health.

Existing bridge-monitoring methods are outdated, relying on prescheduled visual inspections that are highly subjective, vary between maintenance teams and are error-prone in damage detection.  Recent advances in sensing technology, however, have provided opportunities for engineers to recognize defects in bridges remotely thanks to sensors.

The problem is those sensors are costly and occasionally inefficient.

“Consider the structure as a human being. Like a patient, we monitor infrastructure using different sensors and use this data to identify the damage,” Sadhu said.

“When we say ‘inspection,’ most things are happening with visual inspection. But some places are not accessible. It’s hard to do inspection. Most of the bridges are pretty busy and, if instrumentation needs to be done, you need closures. No one is happy with that. You need something that is remote and autonomous, where it supplies you with data remotely.

“Usually, sensors are placed in different locations. One of my research focuses is how can we get the information we need using fewer number of sensors.”

Sadhu is looking to improve this method by getting better data with fewer sensors at a lower cost for governments.

For example, close to 70 per cent of the costs of monitoring a structure is in the cables connecting the sensors. Fewer sensors means fewer cables which means lower costs.

All this can be done without a loss in data – in fact, the data might even been stronger.

“It’s not about the data; it’s about the information. That’s the challenge,” he continued. “We use artificial intelligence to extract information. If the information is the same, and we did it with limited sensors, we are actually solving the problem.

“It’s not just the number of sensors but rather the information we get from those sensors.”

Sensors location depends on a number of factors, like temperature, location, traffic volume and environmental conditions. These factors then determine the location and sensitivity needed in the sensors.

Using big data in combination with artificial intelligence, Sadhu has developed signal and imaging processing algorithms to compress the data generated from the sensors to isolate only needed evidence.

“With the image data we get from surface damage, such as cracks, corrosion or fatigue, we can actually train our algorithms on those images to tell us if a crack is due to fatigue, allowing us to determine what, and where, maintenance is needed,” he said.

Sadhu added with the popularity of hybrid construction – the combination of different materials such as wood, concrete and steel – it provides more reason to ensure structure safety going forward.

“You need to see if they’re structurally doing well. This is all about public safety,” he said.

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Off-site book storage on temporary hold https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/off-site-book-storage-on-temporary-hold/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 18:01:41 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35255 The move of some materials at The D.B. Weldon Library to a storage and retrieval facility is on hold, following concerns from faculty members, President Alan Shepard told members of the Board of Governors Thursday.

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The long-term relocation of some materials at The D.B. Weldon Library to a storage and retrieval facility is on hold, following concerns from faculty members, President Alan Shepard told members of the Board of Governors Thursday.

About 45,000 Weldon materials at a preservation facility located at the University of Toronto’s Downsview Campus in North Toronto will not be processed until the title list is reviewed to ensure nothing rare or valuable is among them.

The library pushed the ‘pause’ button after concerns were raised at a Senate meeting that some materials were selected for moving that shouldn’t have been, the president said in his update to the Board.

Now, the Special Collections Librarian will work with faculty to identify whether some materials made their way to the list in error.

A $15-million upgrade is taking place at Weldon that will include more work-and-study spaces and a move of staff offices.

At the same time, the library identified materials that had not circulated in at least 10 years, moving about 175,000 items to a local storage facility and 45,000 to a print preservation facility shared among university libraries at Western, Toronto, Ottawa, McMaster and Queen’s.

But some faculty pushed back when they learned of the move.

English and Writing Studies professor Jane Toswell, who sits on both the Senate and Board, said faculty approach her daily with books they fear would otherwise be sent off campus. They include, she said, books donated as part of The John Davis Barnett Collection.

Law and Information and Media Studies professor Sam Trosow, also a member of both Senate and Board, said books rarely checked out shouldn’t necessarily be considered low-use materials, because, in his opinion, researchers often use them in the library.

Trosow said the library does need more usable spaces, but that shouldn’t take place at the expense of its holdings. He said the university wouldn’t enter science labs to remove materials and, “for people who work in the humanities, the library is their laboratory.”

Shepard said the matter has been the subject of “passionately held views” and added, “Weldon library is an incredible point of pride for Western and is considered one of the premier academic libraries in Canada.”

The Western Libraries Space Master Plan is a long-term roadmap to transform library spaces and facilities “for future needs, to adapt old spaces and create new ones where people can learn, research and collaborate.”

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Study explores new tracer in prostate cancer hunt https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/study-explores-new-tracer-in-prostate-cancer-hunt/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:30:04 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35249 A new study looks to move doctors and patients closer to earlier and more precise detection of recurrent prostate cancer that would clarify treatment decisions and lead to more confident courses of action and better health outcomes.

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A new study looks to move doctors and patients closer to earlier and more precise detection of recurrent prostate cancer that would clarify treatment decisions and lead to more confident courses of action and better health outcomes.

A multi-centre trial registry testing the use of a new imaging tracer – prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) – is targeting men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, have had treatment, and are now concerned the cancer may have returned.

“PSA (prostate specific antigen) is highly sensitive test at telling us if the cancer might be returning. But the challenge has been that the cancer is usually most treatable when levels are still quite low,” explained Glenn Bauman, Oncology professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Standard PSA blood tests often indicate a cancer is returning even before the location of the tumour is detected by a bone scan or computed tomography (CT) scan.

“You do regular imaging and it’s a frustrating situation. We know there’s a problem; we don’t know where it is, so you’re not sure what treatment should be offered,” Bauman said.

“In the past, we had to go on the balance of probability. We think it’s still localized to this area, so more treatment to this area, or we’re not sure, so we’ll put you on hormone therapy which will treat it wherever it is, but it has its own side effects.

“Being able to better understand where the cancer is helps you choose between those options and offer a given treatment with a bit more confidence.”

Prostate cancer cells express a protein on their surface called PSMA. By injecting a chemical into the bloodstream specially designed to bind to PMSA, the prostate cancer cells are made visible to a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.

“This will help us determine if the cancer could be at site where we need to offer radiation, whereas if it’s seen in multiple locations, the patient probably needs hormone therapy or drug treatment,” Bauman said.

Special to Western NewsGlenn Bauman, left, Oncology professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, is leading a multi-centre trial registry testing the use of a new imaging tracer for more precise detection and treatment of recurrent prostate cancer in patients such as 71-year-old Wayne Smith.

The trial is providing valuable insights to research participants like 71-year-old Wayne Smith who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and made the decision to have his prostate removed. After some time, his PSA levels began to rise and doctors were concerned the cancer was coming back.

“I was told a PET scan was available through research and that it could help locate the disease,” said Smith, who went for the scan earlier this year at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Nothing showed up on the scan, but that was good news; it meant the cancer was microscopically small.”

Smith and his doctors decided on hormone therapy and radiation therapy to eradicate any cancerous cells.

“Early evidence suggests a clear PET scan, despite rising PSA levels, is likely associated with persistent cancer at the original site,” said Bauman, a Lawson Health Research Institute scientist. “Based on the scan, Wayne was able to do a much shorter round of hormone therapy – six months rather than being on hormone therapy indefinitely.”

Led by Bauman, along with Drs. Ur Metser and Tony Finelli at University Health Network, the ongoing trial is testing the use of the new tracer at five sites in Ontario, including London, Hamilton, Toronto and Thunder Bay, with testing to begin soon in Ottawa.

Special to Western NewsGlenn Bauman, Oncology professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, leads a multi-centre trial registry testing the use of a new imaging tracer for more precise detection and treatment of recurrent prostate cancer.

Considered an ‘investigational agent’ in Canada, the PSMA tracer is currently only available through clinical trials. After studying the accuracy of the tracer, Bauman hopes to have enough data to recommend when it could be used in the clinic.

“Every new test has its limitations. We have to have a formal registry study and allow us to track the results,” said Bauman, noting Australia and Germany already use a variation of this test.

Looking to recruit up to 1,500 men for the study, researchers “want to know how to better incorporate this as part of our routine care – to reassure ourselves and Health Canada that this is a test to be approved.”

Ontario men with recurrent prostate cancer interested in participating in the PSMA-PET Registry Trial may contact one of the participating sites.

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Ambassadors network looks to connect alumni https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/ambassadors-network-looks-to-connect-alumni/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 15:13:52 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35247 Organizers hope a new global “purple-and-white network” will lead to deeper connections between Western alumni and the wider university community.

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Organizers hope a new global “purple-and-white network” will lead to deeper connections between Western alumni and the wider university community.

The Alumni Ambassador Program has started with ambassadors in four regions in four countries, with the aim of supporting and strengthening alumni, said Huiwen Chen, International Alumni Engagement Officer.

“It’s building a network – a purple-and-white network,” she said.

Under development for two years, the pilot program is now active in Singapore, London (UK), Los Angeles and Vancouver.

The volunteer ambassadors not only operate alumni activities and events in the region where they live, they’re a source of information about local resources for Western-connected people. The program is also a way to continue to link alumni to each other and their alma mater, and to promote the Western experience in Canada and abroad, Chen said.

The Ambassador Program is a key deliverable in the Alumni Association Strategic Plan.

“We have worked hard to collaborate and coordinate with the Engagement Committee of the Alumni Association to make sure this program fits in the big picture,” Chen said. “Also, a variety of staff members were involved in this program during the past 24 months to incorporate different perspectives and ideas.”

The Ambassador program takes place in addition to regional groups and activities, which operate to inform and involve alumni, students, parents and friends of Western in a number of social, educational and networking activities.

Alumni ambassadors were approached by Western and chosen for their passion, level of connection and geographical location. Alumni in the four regions can connect with their ambassadors by contacting Chen at huiwen.chen@uwo.ca.

The program organizers aren’t accepting applications for other ambassadors at this time but, once the pilot is evaluated, the hope is to roll it out to more regions. Western alumni number more than 300,000 and live in more than 150 countries.

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Enjoy ‘Note’-worthy selections – and more https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/enjoy-note-worthy-selections-and-more/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 14:58:09 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35206 Discover a handful of ideas that will make you ‘Take Note,’ and more, when Cathy Benedict of the Don Wright Faculty of Music takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Cathy Benedict is a professor in the Don Wright Faculty of Music.

Today, she takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read.

Alex Robbins for The Chronicle

I just recently read a piece in the The Chronicle of Higher Education titled, Stop Trying to Cultivate Student Leaders.

The author, Shampa Biswas, makes this incredibly powerful and nuanced point that we need to step back and interrogate the assumed good of what Biswas refers to as the “student-leadership industrial complex.” And that while this “training” can create the space for empowerment, in too many cases, the agenda of these programs reproduces systems of power and privilege.

As a teacher educator, I was drawn to this article because I am always asking students to see and enact leadership in all moments – large and small – in which one simply finds oneself with another. In other words, yes, any ‘good’ leader needs to listen, but for what purpose, and to what end. Hopefully for something beyond use value and gain.

Watch.

The Peanut Butter Falcon. The Music Education students and I have a transnational research project in place that is focused on watching movies that frame teaching and learning in ways that provoke dialogue as to what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ teaching.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a beautiful film that, while not ‘about’ teaching, presents a relationship between a young man with Down Syndrome and a man finding his way in the world in which who and what is taught to whom necessitates a rethinking of what it means to teach and learn.

So far, we have watched Dead Poets Society and will be soon watching History Boys, Half Nelson and Whiplash. Of course, we have to watch Whiplash, we are music educators! But I suspect I will add The Peanut Butter Falcon to our next year’s list.

Take Note podcast // Special to Western NewsSecond-year Don Wright Faculty of Music student Roisin Miland, Take Note podcast host

Listen.

I am a huge supporter of student-based initiatives, particularly those that create the space for meaningful listening and dialogue. Roisin Miland and Orko Oyon (both second-year Music Education students) have created just such a space through their Take Note podcast. It really is worth listening to simply to hear how masterful Roisin is at listening and responding in the moment to what is being discussed. I find that even with seasoned journalists there often seems to be an unspoken agenda as to how they want the conversation to run, but Ro really facilitates a space of thinking and I love that!

 *   *   *

If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.

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Merchant, Marshall take top honours in nation https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/merchant-wins-hec-crighton-marshall-top-coach/ Fri, 22 Nov 2019 14:18:39 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35241 Western gridiron stars took top honours for their work on the field and on the sidelines, as Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant and Head Coach Greg Marshall were named the nation's best at their positions.

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Western gridiron stars took top honours for their work on the field and on the sidelines, as Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant and Head Coach Greg Marshall were named the nation’s best at their positions.

Merchant wrapped up his collegiate career being named the 2019 winner of the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canada’s most outstanding player in U SPORTS football while Marshall was recognized with the Frank Tindall Trophy as Coach of the Year, at the annual year-end Vanier Cup awards gala in Laval, Quebec.

“Chris has had an outstanding season and career as our quarterback at Western,” Marshall said. “He really is the ideal of what we want in our U SPORTS student-athletes. His work ethic and competitive spirit has been an inspiration to our team. His record as our starting quarterback is an incredible 39-3. He is truly deserving of this award and will go down as one of the best student-athletes to ever play at Western.”

Paul Mayne//Western NewsWestern Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant was honoured with the Hec Crighton Award Thursday night at the Vanier Cup gala in Laval as the top player in U SPORTS.

Merchant was a constant presence throughout Western’s undefeated regular season, the third consecutive year the Mustangs have accomplished that feat. He was the very definition of a dual threat with his ability to beat defences both through the air or with his legs. Merchant completed 159 of 232 pass attempts this season (68.5 per cent) for 2,378 yards and 14 touchdowns. But he was just as dangerous when he called his own number, rushing the ball a career-high 77 times for another 438 yards and six majors.

Merchant adds Hec Crighton Trophy winner to a list of accomplishments that includes OUA MVP (2019), second team OUA all-star in 2018, the Dalt White Trophy as Yates Cup MVP and Mitchell Bowl MVP (both in 2018), and winning the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy as Vanier Cup MVP (2017).

Only the sixth Mustang to win the most prestigious award in Canadian university football, Merchant joins Jamie Bone (1978), Greg Marshall (1980), Blake Marshall (1986), Tim Tindale (1991,1993) and Andy Fantuz (2005).

Paul Mayne//Western NewsWestern Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall was recognized with the Frank Tindall Trophy as Coach of the Year. It is the third time he has won the award, and the first coach to ever win it back-to-back.

Meanwhile, Marshall picks up Coach of the Year for the second straight season, and the third time in his career. It is the first time, since the award was first handed out, that a coach has won in back-to-back years.

“Despite an offseason with multiple coaching changes, several graduating starters, and a largely rookie offensive line, coach Marshall led the Mustangs to another undefeated season,” said Christine Stapleton, Director (Sports and Recreation Services). “His ability to motivate and inspire his teams is a testament to the hours of hard work and dedication he puts in to not just winning games but seeing his student-athletes succeed both on and off the field.

“Coach Marshall is not one to want the spotlight centered on him but he deserves the recognition for the incredible work that he does representing our football program, athletics department and the university as a whole.”

The Mustangs were also well represented in the 1st and 2nd Team All-Canadians classes. On top of Merchant being named a 1st Team All-Canadian, Bleska Kambamba was also recognized as a 1st Team All-Star at Corner and Marc Liegghio was recognized as a 1st Team All-Star as a punter and place kicker.

On the 2nd Team All-Canadians were offensive lineman Zack Fry receiver Brett Ellerman.

 

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Survey eyes costs of partner violence in workplace https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/survey-eyes-costs-of-partner-violence-in-workplace/ Fri, 22 Nov 2019 01:31:09 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35205 Starting Nov. 25, Western community members will be able to participate in a university-led academic survey, 'Intimate partner violence and its financial costs,' that hopes to determine the extent to which intimate-partner violence impacts survivors, perpetrators and witnesses at the university workplace.

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Western researchers looking into the effects of intimate-partner violence on employers are turning to the university community for help.

Next week, faculty, staff, post-doctoral scholars and graduate teaching assistants will be able to participate in a Western-led academic survey, Intimate partner violence and its financial costs, that hopes to determine the extent to which intimate-partner violence impacts survivors, perpetrators and witnesses at the university workplace.

“We will translate those effects into a total cost measure and ultimately a measure of the impact of intimate-partner violence on the total productivity of workers at Western,” explained Economics professor Audra Bowlus, who leads the survey with Education professor Barb MacQuarrie.

“The results will help Western recognize that these impacts and costs exist. By providing support, training and services, Western can mitigate the costs by helping its employees and by creating a better workplace for all. In addition, the findings will help Western to know better where to direct resources and how best to help their employees.”

Western is the first institutional survey in North America to participate.

Western community members may access the survey via links sent to Western email accounts on Monday, Nov. 25, or by a direct link to the survey site. A private space/computer is also available in Room M16 located on the mezzanine in The D.B. Weldon Library.

The anonymous survey responses will be kept confidential. While respondents are asked to indicate their faculty or unit, the results will not be attributed to individuals.

Approved through Western’s Ethics Committee, the survey runs through Dec. 13 and coincides with an international campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

“It is important all employees at Western take the survey, whether they have been directly affected by intimate-partner violence or not,” said MacQuarrie, Director of Western’s Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children. “The only way we will be able to isolate the patterns related to intimate-partner violence is for both those affected by it in some way and those who have not been affected to take the survey.”

When it comes to intimate-partner violence, more than 1-in-3 women, and just under 1-in-6 men, have experienced it during their lifetime. Not confined to the home, many have reported its effect on their ability to get to and perform well at work.

Presently, limited data exists into its financial costs to employers in Canada – making it difficult for employers to relate to the problem or even see it as a problem that directly impacts them.

MacQuarrie and others have shown how workplaces can be affected by intimate-partner violence, including the victims, perpetrators and even co-workers. There have been some high-profile cases, including Chatham resident Theresa Vince, killed in 1996 by her boss after years of relentless sexual harassment, and Lori Dupont, a nurse who was stabbed to death in 2005 by her boyfriend who worked at the same Windsor hospital.

Such outcomes are likely what people associate most when asked about how intimate-partner violence affects the workplace, Bowlus said. However, there are many other ways that intimate-partner violence can affect people at work.

“This may come in the form of being stressed about their home situation, being injured and unable to perform their job well, being distracted by incoming messages, texts and phone calls from their (ex)-partner or worried about their (ex)-partner showing up at work or contacting a co-worker,” Bowlus said.

“There is also evidence that intimate-partner violence affects the work ability of perpetrators as they deal with what has happened at home. Perpetrators are most likely to cause or almost cause accidents in their workplaces.”

Co-workers may also be affected by being stressed about what is happening to their friend/co-worker or taking on extra work if their co-worker is absent.

“Our limited experience has demonstrated when employers take an interest in this issue and begin to provide support, it increases employee engagement,” Bowlus said.

Following the Western-focused survey, researchers plan to extend the work across Canada and internationally.

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University revises policy on sexual, gender violence https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/university-revises-policy-on-sexual-gender-violence/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 20:26:29 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35217 A newly revised Policy on Gender-based and Sexual Violence improves the process for disclosure and support at the university, while also shining a brighter spotlight on education and prevention, according to Western officials.

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A newly revised Policy on Gender-based and Sexual Violence improves the process for disclosure and support at the university, while also shining a brighter spotlight on education and prevention, according to Western officials.

Approved on Thursday by the Board of Governors, the policy will take effect May 2020. The intervening six months will be spent putting into place the strategies and mechanisms for implementation.

“Western has been a leader in the field of gender-based and sexual violence education and prevention in Canada for some time,” said Jennifer Massey, Associate Vice-President (Student Experience). “We’re an institution that believes in deep, holistic, enriched educational experiences. Helping people understand the breadth of gender-based violence, and their role in addressing and eliminating it, is an important part of that.”

This revision – with significant input from undergraduate and graduate students, as well as others across campus – makes education, prevention, disclosure process and support even stronger, she said.

“There have been significant improvements,” added Cat Dunne, Vice-President of Western’s University Students’ Council (USC) and a member of the Policy Review Committee. That includes, she said, inclusion of the term ‘rape culture’ in the document, and improved transparency and process for disclosures, especially in residences.

In March, in response to the Ontario Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey, Western committed to revising its 2017 policy.

“At that time, we promised more would be done. We also said that involves really listening to our students,” Massey said. “What is important to the policy change is that it involves some deep listening with our student community and also with our staff and faculty.”

Key differences from the 2017 policy include:

  • A more streamlined process that provides more consistency, clarity and accessibility in how students can make disclosures of sexual violence, how those disclosures will be handled and how students can be connected with supports;
  • Better education about sexual violence on campus and an improved culture about sexual violence;
  • Improved communications about the policy and procedures; and
  • More opportunities for ongoing feedback from students, staff and faculty.

“We got a lot of really thoughtful and helpful and constructive critiques of the current policy that we were able to use to make a new policy that is even more survivor-centric and easier to use,” Massey said.

The revisions integrate a complaints process into the policy (instead of its inclusion only in the Code of Student Conduct). Sanctions against offenders can range from a written reprimand to expulsion from campus.

“In the past, if a respondent was unhappy with the outcome of an investigation, in certain circumstances they would have the right to appeal. We’ve now extended that right to appeal to the complainant, as well. That’s a really important change,” Massey said.

The upstander program developed here, and now used at university campuses across Ontario and elsewhere, will also be expanded beyond consent and into treating gender-based violence prevention as a public health concern.

Dunne said it is important students continue to provide input into what works, or what doesn’t, about this policy as it rolls out across campus.

Consultation on the policy this year included two campus-wide surveys to students, staff, and faculty, two phases of open focus groups and collaboration with the USC and the Society of Graduate Students.

Massey said the revisions make this “an incredibly strong” policy that balances survivors’ needs and respondents’ rights to due process; and offers leadership that provides the campus community with “all of the education and training that it needs in order to help us to reduce, with a goal of eliminating, gender-based violence.”

In a related but separate report to Board of Governors, the number of disclosures to the gender-based violence and survivor case support manager totalled 122 between May 2018 and May 2019. That’s an increase from 90 disclosures the previous year.

Massey said the increase suggests improved campus supports, and greater student confidence in those supports, and that the process for disclosure is clea, compassionate and effective. comes with an expectation of more disclosures.

Also in the past year, there were 24 formal complaints and investigations of sexual assault, five of sexual harassment and one of indecent exposure. (National statistics show one in five female students will experience sexual violence before they leave university or college and that  more than 80 per cent of sexual assaults go unreported to police.)

The board was told that similar summaries of disclosure numbers will come forward each June.

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IF YOU NEED SUPPORT

If you have experienced sexual violence and would like support from the university, please contact our Gender-Based Violence & Survivor Support Case Manager

at (519) 661-3568 or support@uwo.ca

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Researchers recognized for high citations https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/researchers-recognized-for-high-citations/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:24:25 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35216 Four Western professors have been lauded for their multiple highly cited research papers, according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science Group, released this week.

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Four Western professors have been lauded for their multiple highly cited research papers, according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science Group, released this week.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics professor Brian Feagan (Clinical Medicine category), Ivey Business School professor Klaus Meyer (Economics and Business category) and Mechanical and Materials Engineering lab manager Ruying Li and professor Andy Sun (Cross-Field category – two or more categories) have each been recognized for their work.

The list identifies scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1 per cent by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.

The data is taken from 21 broad research fields defined by sets of journals and exceptionally, in the case of multidisciplinary journals such as Nature and Science, by a paper-by-paper assignment to a field based on an analysis of the cited references in the papers.

Some key findings:

  • The list includes 6,217 Highly Cited Researchers in various fields from nearly 60 nations;
  • The United States is home to the highest number of Highly Cited Researchers, with 2,737 authors, representing 44 per cent of the researchers on the list. Canada was sixth on the list, after China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia;
  • The list includes 23 Nobel laureates and 57 Citation Laureate (individuals recognized by the Web of Science Group through citation analysis, who are ‘of Nobel class’ and potential Nobel Prize recipients);
  • A total of 3,517 researchers are celebrated for their performance in the 21 fields, and 2,492 for cross-field performance, for a total of 6,009 unique researchers, as some Highly Cited Researchers appear in more than one field. This is the second year that researchers with cross-field impact – those with exceptional broad performance based on high-impact papers across several fields – have been identified.

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Western, RBC team up on data analytics, AI https://news.westernu.ca/2019/11/western-rbc-team-up-on-data-analytics-ai/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:06:07 +0000 https://news.westernu.ca/?p=35202 The next generation of leaders will be better armed against unprecedented technical transformation thanks to a new partnership between Western and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that will establish a program focused on the ethical and social aspects of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), university officials announced today.

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The next generation of leaders will be better armed against unprecedented technical transformation thanks to a new partnership between Western and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that will establish a program focused on the ethical and social aspects of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), university officials announced today.

A $3-million investment by RBC has established The RBC Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Project at Western, an expansion of the university’s ongoing cross-disciplinary work in data analytics and AI focused on answering big questions for the good of society.

RBC’s backing helps take that work to the next level, while training the next generation of experts, explained Western President Alan Shepard.

“This investment is a catalyst to help Western provide tomorrow’s leaders with the skillset they’ll need to navigate a world full of data and find solutions to the challenges they will inevitably face during their careers,” Shepard said Thursday. “We’re excited to be partnering with RBC to help provide and promote training of 21st-century talent that’s not only technically proficient, but also ethically and socially aware.”

The partnership also builds on RBC’s commitment to invest in Canada’s tech-talent ecosystem, creating opportunities for RBC experts to share cutting-edge, real-life cases and help prepare future leaders for the jobs of tomorrow.

It brings together two prominent Canadian institutions that are leading the way in preparing students with the skills needed to succeed in today’s increasingly complex digital economy, said Bruce Ross, BESc’85, Group Head, Technology and Operations at RBC.

“Collaboration between industry, government and academia will help to drive the future success of Canada,” Ross continued. “Artificial intelligence and big data are some of the most transformative technologies impacting the world today, and we saw a huge opportunity to partner with Western, a leading university, to prepare the next generation of talent with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to drive that success.”

The project consists of a series of integrated components, including:

  • Two new courses focusing on the ethical and social aspects of data analytics and AI. In collaboration with RBC leaders and technology experts, courses will be developed in Science and Engineering faculties and work to address the social impact and ethical use of big data and AI on individuals, organizations and society;
  • Establishment of two scholarship funds in Data Science and Software Engineering. The RBC Scholarship in Data Scienceand RBC Scholarship in Software Engineering are available to third-year Science and Engineering students and valued at $25,000 each – these will be available beginning in 2020. Scholarships will help support students as they build a solid base of knowledge and technical training required for careers in big data.
  • A Design Thinking Program open to all Western students. The program will build skillsets in design thinking and coding, and provides a solutions-based approach to solving problems. Successful applicants will receive a $3,500 stipend and have the potential for an internship opportunity at RBC.

The courses, scholarships and design-thinking program will create meaningful opportunities to help students establish the skills, experience, and networks they need to successfully start their careers after graduation, including potential work-integrated learning and internships, Western officials said.

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