Saint Mary’s honours back-to-back national football championship teams with Hall of Fame induction

Back-to-back national championships are being honored this year as two Saint Mary’s University football teams will be inducted into the Saint Mary’s University Sport Hall of Fame.

The year was 2001 and the Saint Mary’s Huskies knew they had a special football team. The team went on a blistering 11-0 run that season, outscoring their regular league opposition 480-35 and post- season opponents 128-31. During this dominant season, the team did not give up a single rushing touchdown.

Then assistant coach Steve Sumarah said that he considered the 2001 Huskies “the most dominant team in the history of Canadian university football.” The team went on to defeat the Laval Rouge et Or 48-8 in the Atlantic Bowl and then the Manitoba Bisons 42-16 in the Vanier Cup game where they became national champions.

The 2002 season proved more challenging for the defending Vanier Cup Champions.  Losing to both Acadia Axemen and St. Francis Xavier X-Men, the team went on to post a 6-2 regular season record, tying St. Francis Xavier for top spot in the conference but claiming the conference’s top spot due to a greater point spread. The Huskies went on to defeat St. Francis Xavier 63-14 for the Atlantic Championship.

Led by quarterback Steve Panella, who would be named the Vanier Cup’s Most Valuable Player, Saint Mary’s would go to defeat their dogged rivals the Saskatchewan Huskies 33-21 in the national championships to become the first repeat winner of the Vanier Cup in 25 years.

The 2001 and 2002 Saint Mary’s Huskies championship football teams will be inducted into the Saint Mary’s University Sport Hall of Fame this October.

Saint Mary’s and partners recognized for efficient shared services program

Perry Sisk, Senior Director of Information Technology Systems & Support (second from left) represented Saint Mary's at the annual CAUBO awards ceremony in Ottawa.

Perry Sisk, Senior Director of Information Technology Systems & Support (second from left) represented Saint Mary's at the annual CAUBO awards ceremony in Ottawa.

The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO), has awarded Saint Mary’s University and its partner institutions first prize in the category of Cloud Enabled Collaboration & Productivity at its annual conference in Ottawa.

Nova Scotia’s 11 post-secondary institutions make up the Nova Scotia Higher Ed IT Shared Services Program. Members are using the Office365 communication and collaboration platform to provide each institution with industry-leading cloud-based technology at lower costs.

A single procurement contract with Microsoft and a shared services project management office allows schools to share implementation plans, policies and best practices, change management and support services, as well as technical migrations and collaborative training. Vice-Presidents Finance and Administration, along with IT leaders from each institution, collaboratively manage the shared IT services.

The Office365 platform has enhanced both mobility and security, while reducing costs. Moving internal email systems and file storage to the cloud resulted in annual savings of $20,000 to $200,000 per institution for maintenance, and $100,000 system-wide in software licensing fees.

Divested of servers and responsibility for upgrading applications and storage, IT organizations can focus on more value-added activities...

In 2015/16, eight shared service projects were completed at a combined saving of nearly $350,000.

Divested of servers and responsibility for upgrading applications and storage, IT organizations can focus on more value-added activities, including ongoing transformation of service delivery, technology, and collaboration. In the future, the standardized platform could also facilitate sharing networks across multiple institutions.

Having leveraged the transferability of core infrastructure and IT systems among its institutions, Nova Scotia has created a model for adoption in other jurisdictions.

PhD candidate wins prestigious Vanier Scholarship

Amy Heim

Amy Heim

Saint Mary’s University is proud to announce that Amy Heim, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Science, is the recipient of a three-year Vanier scholarship worth $50,000 per year.

Heim’s work is in the area of Evolution and Ecology, and she was honoured for her research proposal titled “Using traits to enhance plant co-existence and maximize ecosystem services in the green roof environment.”

“I am very excited that Amy won this scholarship. It’s a great endorsement of her innovative research,” said supervisor Jeremy Lundholm.

A plant community ecologist who specializes in understanding the co-existence mechanisms between plant species in harsh environments, she is currently working in two distinct environments: the coastal barrens of Nova Scotia and on extensive green roofs.

Heim explains that both habitats are exposed to drought, high wind, and extreme temperatures, making them useful habitats to compare co-existence patterns in a natural and artificial environment.

“For my green roof research I am looking at how specific combinations of species with specific plant traits can improve the ecosystem services provided by green roofs,” says Heim.

Her work also focuses on better understanding how urbanism impacts humans and the environment as more people move to cities. “Our research will develop a practical approach for selecting high-performance plant combinations that will make green roofs more efficient, reducing several issues related to urbanism,” she explained.

When asked what this scholarship means to her, Heim said that it will let her fully concentrate on her research, and also make it easier for her to create collaborations with researchers across the globe. She has plans to complete an internship with a green roof researcher in Japan during the fall of 2018.

“As an international student, Amy is not eligible for regular NSERC scholarships, so we are grateful for this level of support for her PhD studies. This frees up grant funding and as a consequence I can now fund Amy’s travel to a conference in Italy in the fall,” said Lundholm.

“Research is a collaborative effort so I believe these opportunities will enhance my own studies,” says Heim.

About Vanier Scholarships

Vanier Scholarships are awarded to students in the areas of health research, natural sciences and/or engineering, and social sciences and/or humanities research.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health sciences.

Three equally weighted evaluation criteria are considered: academic excellence, research potential, and leadership.

Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier CGS. Vanier CGSs are valued at $50,000 per year, for up to three years. For more info, visit the Government of Canada site.