Community

Saint Mary’s Viola Desmond Bursary celebrated at the Nova Scotia Legislature

From left to right: Tom Brophy, Dr. Malcolm Butler, The Honorable Tony Ince, The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey, Sylvia Parris-Drummond, Deborah Brothers-Scott, Erin Sargeant Greenwood, and Tony Colaiacovo.

From left to right: Tom Brophy, Dr. Malcolm Butler, The Honorable Tony Ince, The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey, Sylvia Parris-Drummond, Deborah Brothers-Scott, Erin Sargeant Greenwood, and Tony Colaiacovo.

On April 9th, 2019, the Honorable Tony Ince, Minister of the Public Service Commission and Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, recognized the generosity of the donors behind the creation of the new Viola Desmond Bursary.

The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., and Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey were recognized with a Notice of Motion read by Minister Ince before the legislature, receiving a round of applause from its members.

“The most important part of today is the recognition of Viola Desmond and the bursary available to African-Nova Scotian students at Saint Mary’s,” said the Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D. “This recognition was a very nice gesture that my wife and I appreciate very much.”

The Viola Desmond Bursary was announced on November 8, the date of Viola’s heroic anti-discrimination action in 1946. The bursary is fully-endowed and will be given out every year to full-time African-Nova Scotian students at Saint Mary’s. The bursary was established with the permission of the Desmond Family.

The initial award amount will mark the year of Viola Desmond’s anti-segregation action, 1946, with students receiving $1,946. While this award is not renewable, it may be awarded to the same student more than once.

While preference for the bursary will be given to students in the Sobey School of Business, the bursary may also be awarded to students in programs featuring entrepreneurship. Preference will also be given to female students from Halifax County. Students must also have a financial need.

 More about the Viola Desmond Bursary at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary's research projects with big industry impact

The Office of Innovation and Community Engagement at Saint Mary’s is a small office that delivers a big impact.

A recently-released progress report highlights a few projects that Saint Mary’s faculty members have been working on in collaboration with industry partners, including:

  • Dr. Jason Rhinelander’s partnership with LED Roadway Lighting has allowed him to lend his expertise in artificial intelligence and object recognition to evaluate the accuracy of an adaptive radar-based sensor platform for pedestrian and vehicle recognition at streetlight intersections.

  • RetailDeep uses innovative facial recognition software to enhance the shopping experience in stores, collect data from clients, and pinpoint opportunities to innovate within the retail space.

  • A partnership between Coloursmith Labs and Saint Mary’s researcher Dr. Danielle Tokarz has led to a breakthrough in treatment for colour blindness. Along with her team, Dr. Tokarz helped the startup company refine the focus of their research efforts and identify the appropriate nanoparticles and gels for the lenses. 

“Our office also takes pride in pairing faculty members with industry, helping to facilitate solutions to local companies’ problems using academic expertise, said Kevin Buchan, Director of the Office of Innovation and Community Engagement. “It’s also a great opportunity for students, the next generation of researchers, to work on applied projects in their fields.”

“We’re encouraged by the success we’ve had so far, and we look forward to doing more of these innovative projects,” said Buchan.  

 Click here to read the progress report, featuring researchers from all faculties at Saint Mary’s, and their partners, click here.

 ABOUT OICE:

The Office of Innovation and Community Engagement (OICE) facilitates research relationships between Saint Mary’s University and companies, government departments, and community organizations. OICE is the initial point of contact for faculty members and external partners wishing to collaborate. The office assists with finding suitable expertise, contract development, and advises on funding opportunities.

Together again: CODCO is back, for one night only at SMU

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Thirty years ago, the legendary cast of CODCO paved the way for a renaissance in Canadian comedy writing and performance. Often controversial, occasionally furious, but always hilarious, CODCO took gleeful pleasure in lampooning the hypocrisies of the powerful.

Saint Mary’s University will host an unforgettable evening on Friday, March 15th as Andy Jones, Cathy Jones, Greg Malone and Mary Walsh come together again to revisit their best work in a panel discussion on the art and politics of satire. They are the featured guest speakers for the 2019 Cyril J. Byrne Memorial Lecture, in the McNally Theatre Auditorium.

The public event begins at 6:30 pm with a live performance by the Evan Mahaney Jazz Trio. Starting at 7:00 pm, the four comedians will review their favourite sketches from CODCO’s television run, and reflect on the lasting significance of their work. The panel discussion is followed by an audience Q&A and a reception.

CODCO’s writing and many of its audacious performances continue to be studied today. Originally founded in St. John’s as a theatre company, CODCO aired nationally on CBC from 1988-1993 as a weekly sketch comedy television program. Far ahead of their time, Walsh, Jones, Jones and Malone – along with their beloved co-performer Tommy Sexton – were masters of social satire. With The Kids in the Hall, they pushed Canadian comedy, and Canadian culture as a whole, into new territory by tackling many previously taboo subjects relating to gender, sexuality, religion, economic development, colonialism and corporate / political power.

The annual Cyril J. Byrne Memorial Lecture celebrates the life and the fun-loving spirit of literature professor Cyril Byrne, who passed away in 2006. Throughout his 35-year career at Saint Mary’s, Dr. Byrne played a major role in establishing our Atlantic Canada Studies Program and the D’Arcy McGee Chair in Irish Studies. The lecture has welcomed many of the world’s best writers to Halifax, such as Yann Martel, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Alistair MacLeod, Anne Carson, Colm Tóibín, Dionne Brand, David Adams Richards and Wayne Johnston.

As always, the lecture is free and all are welcome, but seating is limited. Online registrations are now closed and early arrival is recommended for all who submitted RSVPs online. An overflow seating area with a video link has been arranged in Scotiabank Auditorium.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2019

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Please join the Saint Mary’s University community in celebrating International Women’s Day. There are a variety of events taking place across Halifax and here on campus for you to take part in.

This year's theme for International Women’s Day, #InnovateForChange, is a call to action, asking everyone to harness the power of technology to create a more equal world. By removing the barriers facing women in STEM, we can unleash new ideas and solutions that will transform our society and strengthen our economy.

This morning Saint Mary’s professor Dr. Clarissa Sit is one of five “remarkable women researchers’’ participating in a special panel discussion at the IWF International Women’s Day breakfast on Friday, March 8.

Between 300-350 people are expected to attend the event at the Westin Hotel in Halifax to celebrate the occasion.

Moderated by Dr. Alice Aiken, VP Research at Dalhousie University, panelists will speak about how their work addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and how they are having impact locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Dr. Sit completed her PhD at the University of Alberta before moving to Boston to work as an NSERC Banting and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She is now an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s; her lab investigates microbial warfare and other interactions between environmental fungi and bacteria. The team uses an applied science approach to tackle human health challenges, such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and ecological pests, such as White Nose Syndrome in bats and American Foulbrood Disease in honey bees.

The event was organized by the International Women’s Forum - Atlantic Chapter (IWF Atlantic). The IWF is a global non-profit, non-partisan membership organization created in 1982 to exchange ideas, to learn and inspire and to build better leadership. The Atlantic Chapter of IWF Canada annually hosts a breakfast on International Women’s Day.

This evening, the Saint Mary’s University Women’s Centre is holding an event that will feature performances, speakers and a student panel. The Celebration of Women event will feature prominent alumna Candace Thomas, Q.C., a partner with Stewart McKelvey, who was named one of the top 100 accomplished Black Canadian Women.

The Celebration of Women event takes places from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 5th floor of the Student Centre. While the event is free, they will also be accepting donations that will go to Adsum house. Visit the SMU Women’s Centre Facebook page for more information.

More information on events taking place across Halifax.  

More information on International Women’s Day.

Michael Durland named Chancellor of Saint Mary's University

Dr. Michael Durland

Dr. Michael Durland

Saint Mary’s University’s Board of Governors is proud to announce that alumnus Michael Durland BComm’87 DComm’10 (SMU), PhD (Queen’s) has accepted the role Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University.

“As an institution, we are incredibly honoured and proud that Michael Durland is taking on the role of Chancellor of the University,” said Saint Mary’s President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray.  “His long and successful career in corporate Canada and as an entrepreneur and investor positions him as an excellent role model and inspiration for our students and our community. This appointment builds upon his loyal and generous support of our students as a mentor, university champion and through the Durland Innovation Fund. Today is a great day to be a Santamarian.”

Durland is the former Group Head and CEO, Global Banking and Markets, for Scotiabank. He retired from Scotiabank in 2016 to pursue a variety of business, philanthropic, and academic interests. Today, he is the CEO of Melancthon Capital.  

“Every time I walk through the front door of Saint Mary’s, I see a group of passionate students and professors thinking beyond the problems of today to what is on the horizon,” said Durland. “The university’s innovative, interdisciplinary approach to learning, teaching and research places them on the forefront of educating the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. To serve as Chancellor at this special university that has played such a critical role in my life and for my family is an honour.”

In addition to his role as CEO of Melancthon Capital, Durland is:

  • a founding principal in Cabot Links;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Price Street Inc.;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Dessa;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Receptiviti;

  • a member of the Board of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation;

  • a member of the Board of the True Patriot Love Foundation;

  • a professor of global practice, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

In accepting the role of Chancellor, Durland takes over from Paul D. Sobey, DComm’11, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited, who served in this role since 2014.

“While his time as chancellor has come to a close, Dr. Paul Sobey continues as an active and engaged leader in the Saint Mary’s community,” said Summerby-Murray. “We are incredibly grateful for his continued commitment to Saint Mary’s and his exemplary leadership during his tenure.”

Durland will be installed as University Chancellor at a convocation ceremony on May 15, 2019.