Faculty of Arts

Mineral Resources Development Fund expansion announced at Saint Mary’s University

Dr. Jacob Hanley and Kevin Neyedley chat with Sean Kirby, left, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, and Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. (Photo: Kelly Clark/CNS)

Dr. Jacob Hanley and Kevin Neyedley chat with Sean Kirby, left, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, and Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. (Photo: Kelly Clark/CNS)

Businesses, prospectors and researchers now have more support for innovative projects in the mining sector as the result of a provincial government announcement at Saint Mary’s University.

As part of Budget 2019-20, the province is increasing the Mineral Resources Development Fund by $800,000 to a total of $1.5 million. Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette opened the fund to applications in an event at Saint Mary’s on April 9.

“Mining is a globally competitive sector that creates career opportunities for our young people, while generating revenue for programs and services that benefit all Nova Scotians,” said Minister Mombourquette. “These investments make connections and develop new ideas that help our companies stay at the forefront of technology and environmental protection.”

Saint Mary’s University Professor Dr. Jacob Hanley and PhD student Kevin Neyedley received $47,500 from the fund in 2018. They are working on research and gathering geological information about how strategic minerals formed. This will help identify where deposits may be located and then extracted with minimal environmental impact.

“It is vitally important for Nova Scotians to have access to the most current scientific knowledge, gathered using cutting edge research tools,” said Dr. Hanley.

“Our research can help attract companies by reducing exploration costs for industry and reduce the impact that grass-roots exploration has on the environment through narrowing the size of mineral deposit targets,” said Mr. Neyedley.

Last year, the province supported 28 projects including mineral exploration programs, professional development, innovation, university research and training opportunities for young people.

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

CODCO++photo+by+White.jpg

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.

Saint Mary's hosts public panel on international institutions

Saint Mary's University's recently hosted an engaging public panel discussion, that serviced as a precursor to the Halifax International Security Forum three-day annual conference.

The panel, entitled Discord, Disruptions, Disorder: A World Without International Institutions, took place on November 15th in the McNally Theatre Auditorium. The event is the result of a partnership between the Halifax International Security Forum, Dalhousie University and Saint Mary's.

“The goal of the Forum is to start conversations between decision-makers and opinion-leaders from around the world that help shape foreign policy,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax International Security Forum. “Our partnership with Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s ensures that tomorrow’s leaders have a voice in those discussions.”

Mercedes Stephenson, host of The West Block on Global News, moderated the discussion.

Panellists included:

  • Kenan Rahmani, an advisor to Syrian civil society organizations, most notably The White Helmets;

  • Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director of the Samir Kassir Foundation in Beruit;

  • Antonio Ramalho da Roche, Professor of International Relations at the University of Brasilia; and

  • Daouda Sembene, former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.

“As a city with a truly global outlook, Halifax is a fitting site for this esteemed gathering of thinkers and problem solvers,” said Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President and Vice-Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University. “We are extremely proud to host this year’s very timely public debate over the future of our global institutions.

The Halifax International Security Forum is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC.

We’re all in this together: Collaborating on social studies education

More than 300 social studies teachers took part in “Calling All Citizens”, their annual provincial conference hosted October 26 for a fourth year at Saint Mary’s University. 

“I think we would all agree that social studies education is more important now than ever,” said Maureen McNamara, a Cape Breton teacher and president of the Nova Scotia Social Studies Teachers Association (SSTA). “We must continue to help our students not just to understand our rapidly changing world but their role as citizens. In doing so, we must create safe spaces for discussion and debate, not argument and polarization.”

The event included a trade exhibition, 30 workshops – including 10 led by Saint Mary’s professors and staff – an AGM and several off-site sessions at locations such as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre. The day began with a spirited keynote on fostering ‘civic competence’ and community service in Canadian schools, by Dr. Alan Sears, Professor of Social Studies Education at the University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, welcomed the teachers to campus and highlighted the sessions led by Saint Mary’s professors and staff: “We're talking about Mi'kmaq music and art, human resilience in the face of mental health challenges, competencies related to intercultural learning, strategies for accommodating racial and religious differences, field schools in The Gambia, and even sessions off-campus such as the hands-on archaeology at Grand Pré National Historic Site,” she said.

Nova Scotia teachers, museums and educational organizations lead the other workshops.  

“Together, this roster offers teachers of all grades a rich professional learning day that can only benefit our students in the end,” said Wendy Driscoll, conference co-chair. “The SSTA is proud of our partnership with Saint Mary's University because it brings together teachers and professors for the common purpose of student achievement.”

These connections are a highlight of the annual event for Joe Bellefontaine. The Grade 9 teacher at Riverview High in Sydney has also taught with the Chignecto and Annapolis Valley school boards, and has a SMU Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and geology.

“People in universities are leaders in their field, so it's great to see their ideas and what they’re working on,” he said. “They have access to different resources, and they're really willing to talk to teachers and to make those connections with public school systems.”


For more highlights, see
@NSSSTA on Twitter and the conference agenda