International

Saint Mary’s archaeological expedition to share the story of people enslaved at coffee plantation in Cuba

 Students unearthing artificacts at the Angerona Plantation archaeology site. 

Students unearthing artificacts at the Angerona Plantation archaeology site. 

A group of Canadian university students are about to depart on an archeological expedition to Cuba, spearheaded by Saint Mary’s University. The students will be excavating historical artifacts and investigating the cemetery at Angerona, a Cuban national historic site and former slave plantation, 80 kilometres east of Havana.

Interested in applying to join the expedition or looking for more information?

Email Professor Taylor at c.aarontaylor@gmail.com. The fee to join the expedition is $1600 (this includes accommodations, meals and transportation within Cuba) plus airfare and tuition (2 credits). The deadline to apply is May 4th.

“This expedition offers an opportunity to work with our partners in Cuba to uncover more of the lost history of the Angerona Coffee Plantation,” said Aaron Taylor, a Professor of Archaeology at Saint Mary’s and the program’s instructor.  “This plantation has a big historical significance in Cuba, and we want to help tell the stories of the people who were enslaved there.”

During the 19th century, Angerona was one of the largest slave plantations in the Americas—yet little is known about the day-to-day lives of the people who lived there.

 A collection of some of the artifacts found in the first year of the excavation.

A collection of some of the artifacts found in the first year of the excavation.

From June 10 to July 1, students from Canada and Cuba will be working together on excavating, identifying and interpreting the artifacts they find.

In addition to continued exploration of the site’s barracks, this expedition will include an investigation of the plantation's cemetery and the recovery of skeletal remains. This will provide a clearer story of life on the plantation. The team will be able to learn more about the people on the plantation, such as their general health, diet, age of death, and burial customs. This will include further research into the possibility that Nova Scotia supplied large quantities of codfish to Cuba during the period of the plantation system.

This trip marks the second year of what will be at least a five-year partnership between Saint Mary’s University, Havana’s Cabinet of Archeology and the College of San Geronimo.

 For more information about the expedition and to apply to join the team, visit http://www.smu.ca/academics/departments/cuba-archaeology.

Celebrating global connections

 Dr. Charles Beaupre, Canadian Co-Director; Maria Pan, Chinese Co-Director; Susan Summerby-Murray, Saint Mary's President Rob Summerby-Murray; Dr. Eric Henry, incoming Canadian Co-Director; Dr. Guo, Zhaoyang incoming Chinese Co-Director

Dr. Charles Beaupre, Canadian Co-Director; Maria Pan, Chinese Co-Director; Susan Summerby-Murray, Saint Mary's President Rob Summerby-Murray; Dr. Eric Henry, incoming Canadian Co-Director; Dr. Guo, Zhaoyang incoming Chinese Co-Director

Today was a celebration of global connections between Saint Mary's University and our partner institutions in China, notably Xiamen University. 

 Maria Pan receives a gift of appreciation from President Rob Summerby-Murray

Maria Pan receives a gift of appreciation from President Rob Summerby-Murray

The University hosted a fond farewell for outgoing Co-Director of the Confucius Institute at Saint Mary's University, Maria Pan.  It was also a time to welcome her successor, Dr. Guo, Zhaoyang,  who has arrived on campus.  At the luncheon today, hosted by President Rob Summerby-Murray and his wife Susan, members of the Confucius Institute gathered with colleagues from Saint Mary's University, the Chinese Society of Nova Scotia and local business leaders.

"The success of the Confucius Institute at Saint Mary's is a testament to the long-standing connection between Saint Mary's and Xiamen University in China," said Rob Summerby-Murray. "The support from Xiamen and from Hanban has been greatly appreciated. Under the direction of Maria Pan, the Chinese Co-Director, the cultural exchange and community engagement has grown by leaps and bounds. "

President Summerby-Murray went on to note that Maria Pan has been a Co-Director for six and a half years, a demonstration of her strong leadership and the considerable accomplishments under her tenure.

Today also marked another transition as outgoing Canadian Co-Director Dr. Charles Beaupre and the university community welcomed Dr. Eric Henry into the role of Canadian Co-Director.

Conflict resolution team heads to Northern Ireland

  Saint Mary's President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray (front-left),   SMUSA President   Ossama  Nasrallah (second-centre), with the Saint Mary's University Conflict Resolution Society, and their Senior Program Coordinators

Saint Mary's President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray (front-left), SMUSA President Ossama Nasrallah (second-centre),with the Saint Mary's University Conflict Resolution Society, and their Senior Program Coordinators

A record-setting team of 28 Saint Mary’s University students representing a cross-section of undergraduate and graduate students within the faculties of Arts, Science and Commerce are departing today for Northern Ireland to facilitate peace education workshops.

These students will begin working with elementary school children throughout Belfast, Northern Ireland, once they arrive.

This long-standing and unique experiential program is a remarkable collaborative effort, coordinated through Saint Mary’s University, Peaceful Schools International and the student-led Conflict Resolution Society.

Learn more about Saint Mary's role in conflict resolution in Northern Ireland: A conversation with Bridget Brownlow, President of Peaceful Schools International.

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts welcomes first cohort of students from Chinese university

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts Welcomes First Cohort of Students from Chinese university

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts is the first Arts faculty in Canada to welcome a cohort of students from China to its campus. For the next two years, Saint Mary’s University will be a home-away-from-home for 37 students from Beijing Normal University - Zhuhai (BNUZ), who will complete the final two years of their undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s.

 See also:  Between Two Worlds    The unique exchange between Saint Mary’s and Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai is creating extraordinary opportunities for students, and professors like Dr. Cecilia Qiu

See also:
Between Two Worlds

The unique exchange between Saint Mary’s and Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai is creating extraordinary opportunities for students, and professors like Dr. Cecilia Qiu

“Saint Mary’s is the first university in Canada, and maybe first in the world, to have implemented a 2+2 Program in Arts,” said Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Dean of Arts at Saint Mary’s.

The program is a result of a unique and longstanding partnership with BNUZ. The first partnerships date back to 2002, and since then, hundreds of students from BNUZ have attended Saint Mary’s. Saint Mary’s is now expanding its 2+2 agreements to all three campus faculties—Business, Science, and Arts faculties, enabling BNUZ students to complete the first two years of university study on campus at BNUZ, and transfer to Saint Mary’s to complete the final two years of their degrees in Halifax.

“The links between China and Canada are growing with each passing year, and the next generation of leaders from both our countries will benefit from the international exchanges we establish today,” said Dr. Eric Henry, an Assistant Professor in Saint Mary’s Department of Anthropology. “Having the BNUZ cohort integrated with our regular classes is definitely fostering those connections.”

Jonathan Shaw, an Educational Developer for Intercultural Learning at Saint Mary’s Studio for Teaching and Learning, is a part-time instructor with the Faculty of Education teaching a course entitled “English as an International Language”. Last semester, he had 11 Chinese students as part of the BNUZ 2+2 Arts cohort, majoring in disciplines such as International Development Studies, History, and Asian Studies.

“Although they are really excited and interested to learn about Canada, they really see their time at Saint Mary’s as part of a global experience,” said Shaw. “These students chose to come here to be part of a very outward-looking, international campus.”

Yajie Cao, a third-year Asian Studies and History major, says that her cohort feels that the variety of support they have received – from the university, individual faculty and staff, as well as Canadian and other international students – has greatly eased their transition to life on campus. “We got to know everyone really quickly. The university really made us feel welcome, and the other students from Canada and abroad are so friendly and helpful. But when we do need some extra help, I know we can always rely on our mentors and tutors!”

Beijing Normal University - Zhuhai is located in Guangdong province near Hong Kong and Macau. BNUZ has 35,000 to 40,000 students studying a number of courses including economics, management, law, and engineering. Its location in Zhuhai places it in a steadily growing business and financial region.

Stories from overseas

 Meghan Dratschmidt, a SMUworks program assistant with Global Learning and Intercultural Support, was the emcee for today’s Stories from Overseas and also presented on her experiences studying in Brazil

Meghan Dratschmidt, a SMUworks program assistant with Global Learning and Intercultural Support, was the emcee for today’s Stories from Overseas and also presented on her experiences studying in Brazil

The Studio for Teaching and Learning hosted the seventh annual Stories from Overseas on Friday afternoon, bringing to a close a very busy and engaging International Education Week at Saint Mary’s University.

This year’s Stories from Overseas included presentations from 21 Canadian and international students, who shared their experiences participating in study abroad programs coordinated by the office of Global Learning and Intercultural Support. Stories ranged from Nik Shymko’s internship in Uganda and Jiaming Wu’s culinary adventures in Halifax, to Claudia Méndez’s Dominican Republic exchange and Svetlana Negoda and Joanna Feniyanos’s laughter-filled summer in a tiny Irish village. Through these stories, the students engaged the audience with reflections on unique intercultural experiences that have profoundly enriched their learning at Saint Mary’s University.   

International Education Week is an annual celebration held in more than 100 nations around the world each November to highlight the important role that international education plays in fostering global citizenship.

For more information on international opportunities at Saint Mary’s University, contact the Global Learning and Intercultural Support office at gocentre@smu.ca.