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From the House

A weekly peek into Trent University/Trent Alumni life, featuring guest bloggers from throughout the community. Alumni, faculty, staff will all bring their own unique views - and tell their own unique stories. We'll bring the buzz of Alumni House to alumni around the world.

Want to contribute? We'd love to hear - and share - your thoughts!

Recent Entries:

For more stories, please see the From the House Blog Archives page.

 



Prof. Emeritus Harry Kitchen Garners National Media Attention for Paper on Supplemental Urban Taxation

IMFG paper cover pageNovember 25, 2016

As large cities like Toronto face complex decisions about how to fund the growing demands on local government, a newly released paper co-written by Trent University Professor Emeritus Harry Kitchen suggests that additional taxes are entirely necessary for Canada’s major cities to continue to succeed. The paper -- and the ideas contained within -- have attracted national attention, including an op-ed in the Toronto Star.  It was also referenced by several media sources including the Globe and Mail.

The IMFG Perspectives Paper (No. 15) from the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs is entitled New Tax Sources for Canada’s Largest Cities: What Are the Options?  In it, Prof. Kitchen and Enid Slack (Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, and an Adjunct Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto) examine the potential impact of taxation changes in areas that could income, sales, fuel, parking, road toll, and more.

You can read the full paper here.

This excerpt from the Toronto Star article gives examples of Prof. Kitchen and Prof. Slack's creative approach to taxation and user fees:

Although the property tax is a good tax for local governments and could be increased in many Canadian cities, additional taxes would give cities more flexibility to respond to local conditions. For example, an employee-based personal income tax (often referred to as a payroll tax) would tax commuters who work in the city and use city services but live outside the city and might not otherwise contribute to the cost of those services.

Similarly, a sales tax where it is feasible would tax commuters and visitors. Additional taxes mean that large property tax increases could be avoided, an important benefit for taxpayers who are asset rich but income poor and who would otherwise have difficulty meeting their property tax obligations.

User fees are another important source of revenue and equally as important, they play an important role in altering economic behaviour. Properly designed fees enable citizens to make efficient decisions about how much of a service to consume and governments to make efficient decisions about how much of the service to provide. Underpricing (or failing to charge for) services can lead to overconsumption and an ensuing demand to spend more than is necessary on very costly infrastructure.

Harry Kitchen is Professor Emeritus in the Economics Department at Trent University. Over the past thirty years, he has completed more than 100 articles, reports, studies, and books on a range of issues relating to local government expenditures, finance and governance in Canada and abroad.  In addition, he has served as a commissioner, advisor, and consultant for a number of municipal and provincial governments in Canada, the federal government in Canada, and has worked on projects in Russia and China. In February of 2013, he was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. For a partial list of his publications, please visit his Trent University bio.

 



TRENT Magazine Editorial: The Changes Remain the Same

Dr. Suresh Narine on the cover of Trent MagazineNovember 23, 2016

The latest edition of TRENT Magazine is currently making its way to mailboxes (and email boxes) across the country and around the world.  This edition features a fascinating piece on the conflicts between ethic minorities and LGBT movements by Trent Professor Momin Rahman. Prof. Rahman's research is in the area of LGBT citizenship with a particular focus on Muslim LGBT politics and identity, including a four year SSHRC funded project on Queer Muslim Visibility in Canada and the United States.

We also feature a story on challenging age-related norms through arts-based health interventions, an update on Traill's renewed status as an undergraduate residential college, and an entertaining look back at the 1979 PSB Wilson-led Trent Rugby trip to England.

The cover story? Alumni, award-winning faculty member, and champion of Trent/Caribbean relations, Dr. Suresh Narine '91 and his efforts to help promote sustainable indigenous business in his native country of Guyana.

In his editorial, Donald Fraser looks back on his relationship with Dr. Narine and points out how decades-long Trent conversations are so easily re-kindled.  We hope you enjoy it.

The Changes Remain the Same

Suresh Narine and I had a lot in common in the early ’90s. Sure, he was new to Canada, having moved from Guyana to attend Trent, but we were both skinny, scruffy kids with dual majors in academics and partying. We hung out in the same Traill/Peter Robinson College circles and got into roughly the same amount of mischief.  And, had you asked, neither of us would have dreamed that we’d be working for Trent University some 25 years later.

Today, Dr. Narine is a decorated professor with a penchant for pulling in major research monies. Compare this to the day in third year when I popped by his house to find him cooking a huge pot of rice with a single carrot sliced into it for “nutritional balance and a bit of colour.” He was a carrot ahead of me when it came to my late-semester OSAP diet.

Times are a lot less lean for both Suresh and me. Come to think of it, there’s quite a bit less lean about the both of us … and the less said about our collective hairlines, the better.

Getting together with Suresh is a lot tougher than it used to be. He’s in constant demand, flying all over the place to lead collaborative research agreements at Mahatma Ghandi University in Kerala, India; The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; University of the West Indies in Cave Hill, Barbados; and the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Botucatu, Brazil. And then there is the work he does around the world introducing practical applications of biomaterials.

Nonetheless, when we last sat down for a beer (a year or so ago) at our historic favourite watering hole, the Only Café, it was like time had stood still. We talked about classmates (though now about how many children they had rather than their Friday night antics) and about politics (both Trent and global). And then we trundled off to our respective Peterborough homes to get some sleep before heading up to campus in the morning.

Here’s where things differ:  I spend my days telling wonderful Trent success stories.  Suresh spends his days being a wonderful Trent success story. It’s an honour and a privilege to share a bit about one of the projects he’s working on today.  Please see page 11 for a story about his involvement in sustainable indigenous business.

Suresh and I have made another date for the Only Café—and this time you’re invited too. We have plans for a podcast interview to take place on the patio of the fabled Hunter St. bar.  While the details are yet to be sorted out—I mentioned he’s a busy guy, right? —the commitment is there on both fronts. We’ll be sure to let you know when it airs. Because, like so many of you, our university stories continue to this very day. And while waistlines and hairlines continue to change, our passion for Trent remains the same.

Cheers, my friends!

Want to receive every edition of TRENT Magazine via home delivery? Simply email alumni@trentu.ca for your free subscription. Be sure to check out our full archives at trentu.ca/alumni.

 

 

Dr. Paul Wilson Develops New Form of Synthetic Blood

synthetic blood splatterNovember 14, 2016

Trent University geneticist Dr. Paul Wilson is garnering headlines by working on a product that will have huge impacts one forensic science: a new form of synthetic blood.

The product that Prof. Wilson and his team have developed represents a huge leap from existing technology – which is usually a simple blend of cornstarch, water and dye.  While the makeup of the product remains a trade secret, their forensic blood substitute feels, looks, dries, and (wait for it).. spatters like the real thing.

For the full story, please visit the CBC New Brunswick website.

 

 

 

Trent Voices Literary Series: Our Interview with Linwood Barclay '73

Linwood BarclayNovember 14, 2016

After a short hiatus, we are extremely excited to stream another episode of our #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the chilly days of autumn.  Pull Up a chair, a cozy blanket, and a comforting beverage.

We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

This week:

From linwoodbarclay.com: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, was released this fall.

Our discussion hits on Linwood's early experiences with Margaret Laurence, the difficulty of writing humour, getting shout-outs from Stephen King, the (not-so) secret Peterborough origins of his crime-story setting of Promise Falls, and the huge achievement of his new Promise Falls Trilogy.

Click here to listen.

Be sure to check out earlier interviews with Yann Martel '81 and Leah McLaren '95.

 

 

 

Dr. Robert Wright Sets the Record Straight on Trudeaumania

October 20, 2016

Trent Alumnus, bestselling author, and Durham Campus History professor, Dr. Robert Wright, has launched his newest book, Trudeaumania: The Rise to Power of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Trudeaumania examines the rise of Pierre Trudeau by dispelling three core myths surrounding his rise to power and the excitement generated by his entrance into the political landscape in the late 60’s. Wright’s novel frames Trudeau’s politics as those of a “strong Intellectual who formulated his beliefs after years of careful study and never wavered in his commitment to them.” (Quill & Quire, 2016)

The book itself has been cdescribed by Maclean’s as “a fascinating and well-constructed narrative.”

Trudeaumania was published in September and can be found at bookstores everywhere. Excerpts have been published by The Toronto Star and can be found here.

Watch a Global Television interview with Wright on Trudeaumania here.

Wright is the author of the national bestsellers Three Nights in Havana and The Night Canada Stood Still, both of which won the Canadian Authors Association’s Lela Common Award for Canadian History, and Our Man in Tehran, which was made into an award-winning documentary film. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

The following feature on Robert Wright appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Trent Magazine (PDF link).

Story by Tyler Dore, Student Communications Assistant, Alumni Affairs.

 

 

 

 

Trent Alumni and Staff Slo-Pitch League Wrap-Up

RoadKill team - alumni staff and faculty slo-pitch tournament

August 29, 2016

RoadKill End Drought; PLUS a Look Back at the League by Jack Roe.

Over 120 participants, along with family and friends, gathered at the old Trent University baseball diamond for the annual Trent Alumni and Staff Slo-Pitch League tournament this past Saturday. The age-old tournament is a culmination of the 15-week regular season and acts as the league playoffs.  

This year saw RoadKill break a decades-long slump by beating the BG’s in the final 9-3. It was proud moment for the truly dedicated RoadKill team – a group that features a few multi-generational family players and no shortage of League volunteers. It was indeed a special day for Jacques Béland, a particularly passionate player who helped spearhead the rebuild of the old alumni field backstop that was destroyed in a storm a few years ago. 

The 2016 Road Kill: (left to right)
Front row:  in a crouch Mike Johnston and Kevin Whitehorn.
Middle row: Wendy Nelson, Carissa Shank, Madison Shank, Lindsay Unterlander, Scott Murphy (just above trophy), Jacques Béland, Rob Dack, Andy Dack, Andrew Grace.
Back row: Josh Hansen (the REALLY TALL dude).

Missing: Jessie Wollacott (teaching in China for a year), Chiristine Slevan,and Eric Hansen (injured). 

Alumni: Wendy, Lindsay, Scott, Jacques and Jessie.
Employees: Rob Dack.

Both teams fought hard, shedding a combination of blood (including a grisly cut to the finger of Eric Hansen, who injured himself on a one-hop grounder and still managed the out), sweat (it was a hot day on the diamond), and tears (sorry BG’s!). 

Both teams vow to be back in the finals again next year.

The 2016 season/tournament was the first for a brand new team: The Field of Dreamers.  Made up mostly of students, newly minted alumni, and friends, the Dreamers quickly made a name for themselves through a mixture of pluck and enthusiasm. With no shortage of first-time baseball players, The Dreamers struggled in the standings but became among the league favorites with their singing, laughing, just-happy-to-be-there attitude.  Joining en masse to replace the Hugo Bongers (who folded just before the playoffs last year), The Dreamers represent a wonderful infusion of new alumni blood to the league.

Alumni Affairs reached out to Road Kill’s Jacques Béland for a brief history of the team.  He was most happy to share.

RoadKill started out as the BLT (Bata Library Team) when I joined in '88. We had several players who were library-based, including the DelMastros (Dean's mom used to work in finance at Trent). Later, after their dad passed away, the DelMastros retired from ball and some security staff stepped in to fill in the void (Georgette, Dan Lemon...) so we became "Trent 5.0" (notice the period to represent a possible alcohol level – though blood tests never revealed anything). Later on we hit a pretty rough patch where we didn't win a single game in over three years. Hence, the name change to RoadKill. Lots of fun and perseverance paid off this year. I'm happy to have played with such a diverse group of fun people from all sorts of backgrounds. Perfect for building a strong team.

Béland also notes:  "Somewhere between 1995 and 2003 we won the league but the tag never made it to the trophy. I don't remember if we were BLT or Trent 5.0 at the time. I'm the only member of the team left from those days."

He vows that he is going to fill in the few gaps on the trophy in order to ensure that all winning teams are represented.

“I might have to hit up (league teams) the Classics and the Black Plague,” he notes.  “They are the OLD guys in the league and have at least 10 more years playing over me.”

Like any gracious winner, Béland had a few thank you’s:

“Also thanks to our cheering section: Lindsay's dad shows up to a tonne of games to support us. Scott's two wee ones Andres and Maddie. and Wendy's three were there all day as well: Leah, Kara and Ryan. Andrew's girlfriend Sara also showed up for the day. Sara used to be on the team however summer jobs forced to go back to Toronto for the summer.”

Long-time league player, Jack Roe, produced a wonderful piece on the league in the Winter 2014 edition of Trent Magazine. We’re re-printing it in its entirety just for this occasion.

Trent Slo-Pitch League: A Hidden Gem

By Jack Roe ‘73

It’s probably one of Trent’s best-kept secrets: the softball diamond located on Pioneer Road, an outfielder’s throw from the entrance to Peter Gzowski College. It’s home to the Trent Alumni and Staff Slo-Pitch League. It has been there, nestled up against the Wildlife Sanctuary, for 40 years or so, not long after Champlain College first opened its doors to undergrads. If you were to close your eyes and think of a sandlot where kids gather on a summer’s night to play workups until the sun drops below the trees, you’d have a pretty good image of what our beloved little homeaway-from-home looks like—more importantly, what it feels like.

The backstop is a wooden-framed structure. Until a couple of years ago when a major summer storm broke its decades-old back, the entire edifice was covered in ivy. What did survive that mid-summer blast was the root of the ivy plant itself. Last summer, a volunteer crew made up of members from various teams spent a weekend building a new wooden backstop in keeping with our dearly-departed old friend. This summer the ivy boldly crept up the first-base side of the backstop, as if to announce to the world it had, indeed, weathered the storm.

Each summer from mid-May until late in August, more than 150 alumni, staff, and faculty show up on a weekly basis in their brightly coloured, and sometimes cleverly silk-screened, team jerseys. The eight squads have some wonderful, whimsical names: The Misfits, The Bio-Hazards, The Ground Zeros … and everybody’s favourite, The Black Plague. I happen to play for the Alumni Classics. I know, it’s not a very creative handle, but we, too, have an illustrious past (and present). But I’m getting ahead of myself.

There are some age-old rivalries, perhaps the most entrenched of which is the Plague vs. the Classics. Members of both teams look forward to the twiceyearly encounters, much like you would a class reunion: you’re happy to see old friends, but you secretly hope you’ll come out on top once the party’s over.

That brings me to the crux of this story ... Ron Wilson ’64, a retired elementary school teacher. Mr. Wilson, as he is respectfully known by friend and foe alike, just celebrated his 75th birthday last season, though to look at him and to watch him play (he’s still one of the most revered batters in the league —and a damn fine pitcher to boot), you’d never guess his age. Over the 40 years Mr. Wilson has played for the Classics, he has broken several bones and shed not a small amount of blood on the field of battle. He once separated his collarbone in a diving catch in the outfield, but refused to sit on the bench, choosing instead to finish the game, much to his wife’s chagrin.

In mid-July last year, as we were preparing for our second tilt of the season with our arch enemies (read: favourite foes) The Black Plague, I got a call from their majordomo, Leigh “Moose” Mellow ’80, wanting to ensure that when we met the following week, Mr. Wilson was going to be present on the diamond. The Plague had a special presentation to make, he said. And so, in the heat of a glorious mid-summer’s Tuesday evening ahead of the contest to come, The Black Plague and The Classics gathered on the mound where a light-hearted, but heart-felt ceremony was held, and a hand-hewn trophy was presented to Ron Wilson for his 40 years of continuous, gentlemanly play in the league we have all come to love.

As with most leagues, ours reaches an autumnal climax: Tournament Day—the Saturday before Labour Day weekend. Chalked lines to define the foul lines and out-of-play territory plus an official slow-pitch umpire magically appear. It’s a festive atmosphere where teams, their families, and fans claim territory around the field, setting up tents, banners, barbeques, and lawn chairs.

Game on! Each team has two chances that day to make the semi-finals and the eventual championship game. And as quickly as it begins, it’s over, and one lucky squad leaves that evening with the coveted trophy, and the right to boast of their achievement until the following May.

I was always taught to win with grace and lose with dignity. Somehow, this summer sanctuary embodies that sentiment, where balls and strikes are forgotten amidst the laughter of decades-old jokes shared amongst friends and friendly rivals. How lucky we are to be part of these glorious, comfortable gatherings on our diamond every summer. Pass the Advil, Mr. Wilson! Another storied season is just around the corner.

 

 

 

Remarkable Discovery by Trent Alumnus Reveals Clues into Ancient Mayan Civilization

Maya tomb in BelizeAugust 26, 2016

Belizean archaeologist Dr. Jaime Awe ‘78 discovers royal Maya burial tomb; hieroglyphics that fill in gaps in Mayan dynastic history.

Trent University alum Dr. Jaime Awe’s unprecedented discovery at an excavation site in Xunantunich, Belize, is exciting researchers across the archaeological field, and curious onlookers from around the world. Dr. Awe, who led a team of archaeologists from Northern Arizona University and the Belize Institute of Archaeology, uncovered one of the largest tombs to ever be discovered in Belize – one that offers unique insight into ancient Mayan civilization. 

An Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University, Dr. Awe received his B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from Trent University in 1981 and 1985.

The tomb – a large burial chamber up to 8 meters beneath the surface -- contained several unique objects, including hieroglyphic panels that provide clues to a “snake dynasty” that conquered many of its neighbors some 1,300 years ago.  The panels fill in significant historical gaps in the story of Mayan dynasties and rule.

“It’s an exceptional find relating to one of the world’s most advanced civilizations of antiquity,” says Trent professor Dr. Paul Healey, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Dr. Awe’s graduate supervisor at Trent. “The hieroglyphic texts from the tomb at Xunantunich, Belize, when fully translated, likely will reveal a great deal of detail about the dynastic history and inter-city politics of the Late Classic Period (600-900 C.E.).”

In his youth, Dr. Awe revealed an appetite for archaeological discovery. Born and raised in a home minutes from ancient Maya ruins, in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize, his childhood interest in digging up ancient artifacts evolved into an oversees education in anthropology at Trent University, and a lifelong archaeology career.

And now, a massively important and historically significant find.

“What’s amazing about the discovery of this tomb is that, we know that archaeologists have been working at Xunantunich since the 1890s," says Awe. "That’s more than a century of continuous archaeological work at the site. And, never before have we found a tomb. Well, this tomb is also remarkable in other ways, it is one of the largest burial chambers we have ever found.”

The tomb also contained a body – described as muscular/athletic – as well as jade beads, jaguar and deer bones, ceramic pots, obsidian blades and other personal possessions. (Photo courtesy of The Guardian).


Dr. Awe will be a guest on the #TrentVoices podcast this fall.  For more information on Dr. Awe’s discovery please visit:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/06/maya-snake-dynasty-tomb-belize-ruins

http://www.archaeology.org/news/4687-160729-belize-xuanantunich-tomb

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smart-news/rare-maya-burial-temple-discovered-belize-180960054/

 

 

 

2016-2017 Trent Excalibur Varsity Home Games

August 25, 2016

Don't miss the opportunity to show your Trent pride and cheer on Excalibur varsity athletes in the upcoming seasons. Check out the home game schedule below.  We hope to see you there!

Varsity Home Games schedule

 

 

 

Trent Alumna Elizabeth Straszynski ’88 Coaches Winning Envirothon Team to Success

University of Toronto Schools (UTS) accepting top prize at 2016 North American Envirothon

August 24, 2016

University of Toronto Schools (UTS) team places first of 53 teams from across North America and China.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology graduate, Elizabeth Straszynski ’88, returned to her alma mater earlier this summer, coaching the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) team to a first place finish at the 2016 Envirothon competition. Envirothon, a team-based natural resource and environmental competition that brings together high school students across Canada, the United States, and China, was held at Symons Campus from July 24-29.

As a science instructor at the University of Toronto, Elizabeth translates a passion for the outdoors and environmental education to teaching, inspiring a care for the environment in her students. For Elizabeth, escaping to the outdoors is an integral part of who she is.

“The way I recharge is spending time outside, and I like showing that to kids,” she shares, adding that her love for Envirothon stems from the authentic, holistic experience it offers to students.

“Youth in general have a very strong sense of justice. Environmental topics allow them to find a career, make decisions, be a mover and shaker, and affect change in a way that will further that justice,” says Elizabeth.

Drawn to the natural landscapes and outdoorsy feel that Trent University offers to students, Elizabeth loved her time spent at the university. As both an Envirothon coach and university instructor, the intimate, one on one approach to learning that she received at Trent has followed her into her working career. “That experience working one on one with professors, the small class sizes and the small lab sizes, that really helped, because that’s the way I work with Envirothon.”

During her Trent University education, Elizabeth was able to connect and form strong relationships with her professors, in particular Dr. Mike Berrill, Professor Emeritus of Biology. She also formed strong bonds with other students in her program. “It was a critical mass to discuss scientific philosophy, scientific topics,” she recalls. “The type of people that come here had similar mindsets in terms of what they valued.” 

Elizabeth hopes to continue her involvement with Envirothon for years to come -- teaching young students to be knowledgeable in environmental issues, and how human activity has a negative impact on the world.

The 2016 North American Envirothon was a huge success for the UTS team.  Representing Ontario, UTS took home the top prize of $15,000. 

Envirothon was hosted by Forests Ontario and Trent University. (Photo courtesy of https://www.envirothon.org/).

 

 

 

Trent Voices Literary Series Part 2: Yann Martel '81

July 12, 2016

LISTEN NOW: #TrentVoices Podcast Interview with Yann Martel

We are extremely excited to stream our summer #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the dog days of summer. Tune in from your dock, deck, patio, or summer sanctuary. We hope that you’re as excited as we are. Click here to listen.

This Week:

Yann Martel

From Penguin Random House Canada: "Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children."
His most recent work Is this year’s New York Times Bestseller The High Mountains of Portugal.

Also in the series:

Leah McLaren: August 5th

 

Click here for the the full interview.

 

From the Globe and Mail: “Leah McLaren is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She’s published two novels, The Continuity Girl (2007) and A Better Man (2015) both with Harper Collins Canada and Hachette in the USA. The first was a Canadian bestseller, though the second is actually much better. Leah is the Europe correspondent for Maclean’s and is a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine (UK) as well as Toronto Life for which she won a gold National Magazine Award in 2012. She’s been writing a column in the Globe since1999. She lives in Ontario and London, England where she shares a home with her husband and two boys.” 

Linwood Barclay: September 2nd

From linwoodbarclay.com: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall.

Janette Platana: September 9th

From Tightrope Books: Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.

Richard B. Wright: TBA

From Simon and Schuster: Richard B. Wright is the author of thirteennovels and has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the TrilliumBook Award, and the CBA Libris Awards for Author and Book of the Year. His mostrecent novel is 2016’s Nightfall. He lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Phyllis.

 

 

 

 

Trent Voices Literary Series Part 1: Leah McLaren '95

August 5, 2016

LISTEN NOW: #TrentVoices Podcast Interview with Leah McLaren

We are extremely excited to stream our summer #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the dog days of summer. Tune on in from your dock, deck, patio, or summer sanctuary. We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

On our first show:

Leah McLaren is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She’s published two novels, The Continuity Girl (2007) and A Better Man (2015) both with HarperCollins Canada and Hachette in the USA. The first was a Canadian bestseller, though the second is actually much better. Leah is the Europe correspondent for Maclean’s and is a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine (UK) as well as Toronto Life for which she won a gold National Magazine Award in 2012. She’s been writing a column in the Globe since 1999. She lives in Ontario and London, England where she shares a home with her husband and two boys. (Bio courtesy of the Globe and Mail).

Our conversation was plagued with some technical issues when Skype repeatedly crashed, but was pulled together just in time for release. We apologize for some rough edges.

Coming up in the series:

Yann Martel: August 12th

From Penguin Random House Canada: Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.

His most recent work Is this year’s New York Times Bestseller The High Mountains of Portugal

Linwood Barclay: September 2nd

From linwoodbarclay.com: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall.

Janette Platana: September 9th

From Tightrope Books: Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.

Richard B. Wright: TBA

From Simon and Schuster: Richard B. Wright is the author of thirteennovels and has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the TrilliumBook Award, and the CBA Libris Awards for Author and Book of the Year. His mostrecent novel is 2016’s Nightfall. He lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Phyllis.

 

 

 

Chartwells Food Services Supports Student Academic Excellence at Trent University

Leo Groarke and students gathering in gardensJuly 29, 2016

Students enrolled in Trent University's Indigenous Studies and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems programs will benefit from two new scholarships being funded by Chartwells, the school's operator of campus dining halls and food kiosks.

The Chartwells Scholarship in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems will be awarded to a full-time undergraduate student of the new Trent School of the Environment while the Chartwells Scholarship in Indigenous Studies will be awarded to a full-time undergraduate student in the Indigenous Studies Program.

"This is indicative of Chartwells' commitment to promoting student success at Trent, as well as their recognition of two programs that are important to the University," said Mark Murdoch, the director of Trent University Food Services. "It builds upon the strong relationship that Chartwells has developed with the Trent community, which includes their support of the Sustainable Agriculture Experimental Farm and the student Meal Exchange program."

Both scholarships will be based upon academic achievement and are valued at $1,500 per year. They will be awarded in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. Chartwells' contribution is part of Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign - Unleash the Potential.

"The campaign encourages philanthropic investments in students that help them reach their highest potential," said Sherry Booth, campaign director, External Relations and Advancement at Trent. "By supporting these scholarships, Chartwells will help reward academic excellence amongst some of the best and brightest students in two of Trent's signature areas - the environment and Indigenous studies."

 

 

 

Broadcast Dates for #TrentVoices Literary Series, Featuring Leah McLaren, Yann Martel, Linwood Barclay, Janette Platana, and Richard B. Wright

July 28, 2016

We are extremely excited to announce podcast stream dates for our summer #TrentVoices Literary Series! The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the dog days of summer. Tune on in from your dock, deck, patio, or summer sanctuary.

We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

Podcast Air Dates:

Leah McLaren: August 5th

From the Globe and Mail: Leah McLaren is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She’s published two novels, The Continuity Girl (2007) and A Better Man (2015) both with HarperCollins Canada and Hachette in the USA. The first was a Canadian bestseller, though the second is actually much better. Leah is the Europe correspondent for Maclean’s and is a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine (UK) as well as Toronto Life for which she won a gold National Magazine Award in 2012. She’s been writing a column for this newspaper since 1999. She lives in Ontario and London, England where she shares a home with her husband and two boys.

 

Yann Martel: August 12th

From Penguin Random House Canada: Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children.

His most recent work Is this year’s New York Times Bestseller The High Mountains of Portugal

Linwood Barclay: September 2nd

From linwoodbarclay.com: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall.

Janette Platana: September 9th

From Tightrope Books: Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.

A Token of My Affection was a finalist for the 2016 Trillium Book Award.

Richard B. Wright: TBA

From Simon and Schuster: Richard B. Wright is the author of thirteen novels and has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the CBA Libris Awards for Author and Book of the Year. His most recent novel is 2016’s Nightfall. He lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Phyllis.

 

 

Be sure to check out some of our other great interviews from last season, including:

Christopher Ward

LISTEN NOW: With tales that take us through an awkward Much Music debut with Bon Jovi to a strange encounter with Diana Ross' hair to a Robert Plant dinner that takes a turn to the strange, Christopher Ward offers an hour of entertaining talk.

Ward has written songs for Diana Ross, Hilary Duff, Wynonna Judd, The Backstreet Boys, Meredith Brooks, Tina Arena, Amanda Marshall, Roch Voisine and many others. His best-known song is the worldwide # 1 hit for Alannah Myles, ‘Black Velvet’.

Previously, Ward was a member of the ‘Second City Touring Company’, based in Toronto. In 1984, as Canada’s first ‘VJ’, he helped launch MuchMusic, where he interviewed artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Tina Turner.

During his time at Trent, Christopher helped launch Trent Radio.


Ian Tamblyn

LISTEN NOW: Ian Tamblyn, has recorded 38 albums, written 13 plays, and been honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic. He's also a wonderful conversationalist and storyteller. We caught up with Ian while he was in town playing a show at Folk Under the Clock. This is part one of the interview with a true Canadian Treasure.

LISTEN NOW, Part 2 of Ian Tamblyn


Jack Roe

LISTEN NOW: Jack Roe has been an on air presence for CBC Radio, 680 NEWS, CKPT (now Energy 99.7) and (back in 1973-5) Trent Radio, where this interview took place. The conversation ranges across his 40+ year career in radio and captures memories from the magical to the manic: from interviews with Chris Hadfield to interviews with a guy who traveled North America blowing himself up at county fairs, from carving out community radio to almost getting arrested in pre-unification Germany. Roe also gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the one of the most demanding radio studios in Canada, and then offers views on the state of modern radio -- as well as advice for media studies/journalism students on how they can find their own way in the shifting media landscape.

It's an honest, intimate, and often humorous conversation that shines the light on an individual who is much more used to shining the light on others.


Maryam Monsef

LISTEN NOW: TRENT Magazine sat down for a one-on-one with the newly minted Minister of Democratic Institutions, Maryam Monsef. We discuss her first days on Parliament Hill, the life-altering experience of becoming a cabinet member, and how the position of Minister of Democratic Institutions will help shape future governments of Canada. Here is an excerpt from that discussion. Look for the full story in the February edition of TRENT Magazine.

 

 

 

 

Trent Alumnus Mark Quattrocchi ’08 Cycles Around the World for Charity

July 19, 2016

Mark QuattrocchiLISTEN NOW: #TrentVoices Podcast Interview with Mark Quattrochi

On July 7th, 2014, Trent alumnus Mark Quattrocchi ‘08 departed on a two-year cycling journey around the globe, travelling across 40 countries, 5 continents, and 35,000km, all while raising money for Free the Children’s Adopt-A-Village program. The impressive trip has raised over $48,000 in support of education in underprivileged communities around the world.

Beginning in Sanya, China, where he spent time as an international teacher at a Canadian school, Mark cycled home to his small town of Rideau Ferry, Ontario, turning his dream of biking across the world into a reality. Mark experienced vast cultures, unique food, beautiful off-the-beaten-path landscapes, and friendly hospitality along the way.  It’s a journey he’ll never forget.

Cycling anywhere from 70 to 130km each day, then camping out in a tent by night, the trip was both physically and emotionally strenuous for the 28 year old. Yet, despite facing difficulty along the way, Mark’s passion for education and the success of his fundraising efforts for Free the Children continued to motivate him. 

In June 2016 Mark’s spectacular journey came to an end when he cycled across the border into Canada and arrived at home. Raising money for Free the Children’s Adopt-A-Village program along the way, Mark’s ride has helped to build schools in Rural China, India, Kenya, and Ecuador. With each school costing $10,000 to build, Mark is still working towards his ultimate goal of raising $50,000 for the charity, which will support the completion of a fifth and final school in Nicaragua. To support Mark and Free the Children, click here.

Mark completed his Bachelor of Education at Trent University in 2012, having already completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Greek & Roman Studies at the university.

Having accomplished his goal of biking around the world, Mark is currently focusing on writing a book about his experiences. He is also speaking about his ride in locations around Eastern Ontario. He calls his talk, “Finding Your Bicycle Ride.”

Visit Mark’s website, www.oneadventureplease.com, to read about his experience.

Listen to the full podcast to hear about Mark’s cycling trip across the world. (Photo Courtesy of SCOTT WISHART/The Stratford Beacon Herald).

 

 

 

New Sociology Prize Supports Undergraduate Research at Trent

Roy T. Bowles Sociology Lecture

July 15, 2016

Roy T. Bowles Sociology Research Prize advances undergraduate study of mental health & wellness

“The support offered by the Sociology department has enabled me to succeed both academically and in research,” explains fourth year Sociology student, Adam Grearson. In recognition of his academic achievements, Mr. Grearson was recently awarded the new Roy T. Bowles Sociology Research Prize. The prize also helps support undergraduate research for fourth-year Sociology students completing a thesis.

The award’s namesake, Dr. Roy T. Bowles, joined the department of Sociology at Trent University in 1968. During his 29-year career with Trent University, Professor Bowles taught many courses in both Sociology and Canadian Studies. From 1989 to 1995, Prof. Bowles chaired the department of Sociology. The prize was donated by Roy and Devona Bowles and is part of Trent's $50 million fundraising campaign, Unleash the Potential.

Mr. Grearson’s research, completed through the Trent Community Research Centre, is centered on the study he conducted during his third year as a part of a full-year community-based research course. The study, titled Mental Health and Wellness at Trent University, investigated the knowledge undergraduate students at Trent University have about the mental health and wellness services available on the Peterborough campus.  It also looked into student needs whether students felt that those needs were being met.

Mr. Grearson will use the Roy T. Bowles Sociology Research Prize towards the purchase of a one-year lease of an advanced statistical software program that will help him further the analysis of the results from his study. He hopes to co-author and publish a journal article based on his research with his project supervisor and Trent University professor, Professor Kristy Buccieri.

“Dr. Kristy Buccieri and other faculty in the Sociology Department, especially Dr. Barb Marshall and Dr. Gillian Balfour, have stood as incredible supports who have helped me become a better researcher, and encouraged me to apply for graduate school.”

In addition to the Roy T. Bowles Sociology Research Prize, Mr. Grearson has been accepted into a Master’s degree program for Sociology, and has been awarded a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) scholarship.

Trent University is currently ranked number one in scholarships and bursaries in Canada. Learn more about the many bursaries and awards available at Trent.

 

 

 

Stephen Wallace ‘75: A Twenty Five Dollar Tradition

July 13, 2016

It’s not everyday that you realize you’ve donated nearly $16,000 toward your Alma Matter.  And yet that’s precisely what happened to alumnus Stephen Wallace, who was pleasantly surprised that his 36-year legacy of small annual gifts had blossomed into a very noteworthy sum.

Receiving a phone call from the Trent Annual Fund a few years following his graduation from Trent, Wallace felt motivated to give a small donation toward the university, a donation of $25, and an amount that would later become significant in his long-standing relationship with the university. 

As a recent graduate, Wallace had left his Trent years behind him, embarking on a career and a life beyond his small room in the north wing of Lady Eaton College. When he took a phone call during a donation drive, he was persuaded by a volunteer to donate $25. One year following, the same volunteer called again, and the two joked about adding $25 each year, beginning a lasting tradition that would span three and a half decades and counting. 

 “I still remember my first donation to Trent in 1979 or 1980. I actually got a call during a donation drive and the volunteer persuaded me to donate $25. At that point of my working life that was a big deal. The next year the exact same volunteer called me again and we joked about adding $25 each year. And sure enough every year it has gone up by $25. I had no idea that the sum total was over $15k.”

Wallace’s annual donation now far exceeds $25, as his commitment to Trent continues to grow. Settling into a career at Bell Canada, Wallace wanted to give back and hold onto his strong relationship with the university, inspiring his annual gift to Trent. A gift that allowed him to say thank you, and connect to an important part of his past. 

“Trent seemed to reappear in my life as I reviewed my experiences since the 70s and I realized that those few years in university had set me up for so many experiences both exciting and mundane all of which I believe I successfully handled.”

A reflection of how a small, annual effort truly adds up, Stephen Wallace’s donation tradition has provided funds to areas of greatest need throughout the university, for 36 years. 

“If you keep doing it someone, somewhere at Trent will benefit and that just feels good."

To learn more about Giving to Trent, visit trentu.ca/give

 

 

 

#TrentVoices Summer Literary Series

July 13, 2016

Stay tuned! ‪#‎TrentVoices‬ -- the Trent Alumni interview podcast -- is starting production on our summer season. We'll be offering up some great listening for the dog days of summer with a Trent Literary Series with several notable and award-winning alumni authors/writers, including:

*Leah McLaren (novelist and columnist for Globe and Mail, Maclean's, Toronto Life)

*Richard B. Wright (Governor General Award and Giller Prize winning author)

*Linwood Barclay (a regular atop the bestseller lists around the world)

*Janette Platana (2016 Trillium shortlist)

*Yann Martel (Mann Booker Prize winner and bestselling author)

PLUS, interviews with fascinating alumni making waves in fields ranging from science to business to politics and more! We're still getting all of the logistics down for these interviews (which will include conversations from across Canada and around the world), but look for our first author, Janette Platana, in the next couple of weeks.

While you're waiting, why not check out previous episodes on the Trent Voices Podcast page!

 

 

 

Trent University Student Wellness Centre Benefits from GivingTuesday Campaign

July 10, 2016

In November of 2014, Trent made a special effort to celebrate Giving Tuesday – the shared worldwide philanthropic event.  With this dedicated participation, two traditions were born: First, by raising over $90,000 in 50 hours in honor of the Trent University 50th Anniversary celebration, a new annual fundraising initiative was launched.  Second, it has created greater annual recognition of the Student Support Services fund.

The 2014 fundraising, aimed to support Trent students, received overwhelming support in the areas of athletics, student services, and financial aid for undergraduate, graduate, and international students. But it was the Student Services fund that received a surprising outpouring of donations.

Established to support various student services at Trent University, the Student Support Services fund is used to provide extra funding for the Trent University Student Wellness Centre. Offering student health, counselling, and accessibility services, the Centre was faced with increasing demand, the result of rising enrollment, mental health awareness, and the deaths of two Trent students.

Increased donations to the fund couldn’t have come at a better time.

With a 37% increase in student appointments from September to November alone, the 2015/2016 academic year brought new challenges to the Counselling Centre at Trent. Contributions during the GivingTuesday campaign have assisted in funding an additional part-time counsellor, increasing the number of sessions available to students, and helping to shorten wait-times.

To learn more about the Trent Student Wellness Centre, including services available at the Counselling Centre, visit https://www.trentu.ca/wellness/swc

About GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday is a global day of giving. After the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday is a time to celebrate and encourage activities that support charities and non-profits. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time, helping a neighbour or spreading the word, GivingTuesday is a movement for everyone who wants to give something back. Visit www.givingtuesday.ca for more information.

 

 

 

John K. Muir Prize Inaugural Recipients

Members of TCSA Safe Space Initiative and the Society for Ecological Restoration – Trent UniversityJuly 5, 2016

John Muir is many things: a broadcaster, a sound engineer extraordinaire, a patient and effective administrator, and one of the most creative educators that Trent has ever produced.

As an educator, Muir eschews the classroom, preferring to proffer his unique brand of guidance behind a soundboard or in a recording studio.  In his longstanding role of General Manager of Trent Radio, he has had hundreds of eager learners pass through this hands-on learning environment.

Muir’s two-pronged approach to education is as simple as it is inclusive: everyone has creative potential, and the best way to learn is by doing. When guiding Trent Radio novices, he believes in giving just enough technical training to get them onto air.  And then turning them loose. He refers to it as “deep-ending.”

And while Muir is there to rescue anyone who flounders, more often than not his pupils succeed admirably.  Creativity reigns.

“My job,” he says, “is, essentially, making sure that other people can do weird and wonderful things.”

According to benefactor Dr. Tom Miller, one of the reasons that Muir is so successful as an educator is because he has an absolute love of learning.

“John is the quintessential lifelong student,” he explains.  “He cherishes learning for himself and for those who are fortunate enough to know him.  His passion for Trent Radio and what it represents to the University and the community makes John the creative, intellectual and artistic nexus for creative life at Trent and in Peterborough.”  

Miller also recognizes Muir as a person who fosters development at both the personal and community levels.

“John helped create and orchestrate the exciting and creative incubator of ideas and talent that embodied Peter Robinson College, and that embodies Trent Radio today.”

Which makes the particulars of the John K. Muir Prize so appropriate.  

Established by Miller and Barbara Chisholm, the prize gathers together groups of promising but academically at-risk students for a focused discussion about their impact upon the university community.  The idea is to engage these students and actualize untapped potential.

Guided by a faculty member, the students meet to unanimously decide on one or more Trent-affiliated organizations, students, or student groups to receive funding.  They are asked to consider which Trent-affiliated organizations, student services, or students have been most influential in their own development.  

In it’s inaugural 2015-2016 academic year, the John K. Muir prize was awarded to two on campus student associations:  the Trent-TCSA Safe Space Initiative, and the Society for Ecological Restoration.

The Trent-TCSA Safe Space Initiative is a new effort to improve the well-being of students at Trent University by offering an accessible relaxation space. A creative approach to providing students with an open space to de-stress, rest, and feel safe, the money received from the John K. Muir Prize will assist to kick-start the initiative, and develop the space.

The Society for Ecological Restoration – Trent University (SERTU) was established in 2015, and aims to encourage the development of ecological restoration as a scientific and technical discipline within the Trent University campus. Promoting ecological restoration, SERTU has hosted resume workshops, a one-day conference, and professional certification courses for the benefit of Trent undergraduate and graduate students. As a recipient of the John K. Muir Prize, the group hopes to offer more services to students and the community, including additional training and certification courses, restoration projects, educational opportunities, and practical experience for students. 

John Muir '75 is the General Manager of Trent Radio. With more than 40 years of experience as a broadcaster, administrator and technician, John has been a creative force for the community and culture in Peterborough. His experiences have been varied and far-reaching, with roles that have included: a chorister in Ottawa, an apprentice at an electronic music studio, general manager of a summer festival led by R. Murray Schafer, and a concert engineer for live performance—from jazz through folk and rock to traditional gatherings.

John is a founding member of the Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production and the P. R. Community and Student Association (Sadleir House Facility). In 2001, John was admitted to the Peterborough Pathway of Fame for his work in local broadcasting and the arts. He continues to be passionately devoted to the oral/aural tradition and endeavours to make sure that people can do weird and wonderful things.

 

 

 

Ph.D. Student Collaborates with Trent Alumni to Project Human Face of Local Poverty onto Big Screen

Matthew Hayes photographJuly 5, 2016

“There is something special about showing what poverty looks like on screen instead of just compiling statistics,” reveals Matthew Hayes, film director and Ph.D. student in Trent University’s Canadian Studies program. “They do not have the same emotional impact as watching and listening to someone.”

Mr. Hayes’s current work, Pushback, is an unflinching feature-length documentary studying the hardships faced by guests of the Warming Room, a Peterborough homeless shelter that offers overnight refuge in the cold-weather months. Throughout the film Mr. Hayes follows individuals as they work through legal battles and struggle to find adequate housing before the onset of winter.

His love for filmmaking began while studying abroad at Oxford Brookes University in England during the third year of his Anthropology undergraduate studies at Trent University. His current Ph.D. work, which focusses on UFO’s in Canada at the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, combines history of science and technology. However, Mr. Hayes has frequently woven filmmaking and social, justice-based academics throughout much of his scholastic career. Pushback is the newest culmination of his interests.

“I came back to Trent to do my Ph.D. and everything fell into place,” says Mr. Hayes. “Trent University and the Frost Centre are super-connected to the community. It’s amazing how many people associated with this film have graduated from Trent or have worked with the University in some aspect.”

As production relies on donations through the film’s INdiegogo site, Mr. Hayes is buoyed by members of the Trent community who have taken to social media to bring awareness to the film. Meanwhile, the Trent Central Student Association has become a contributing supporter of the Warming Room.
Mr. Hayes is working on the film with fellow Trent graduates and producers, Jon Hedderwick ‘07, a counsellor with Employment Planning & Counselling-Peterborough and Diane Therrien ‘10, a councillor with the City of Peterborough and a facilitator with the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network. The trio bring strong community ties and first-hand knowledge to the set.


“We are hoping the city will take note, and fund the Warming Room more,” said Mr. Hayes. “This is an intensely local issue but one that takes place across North America.”
As plans are underway for the film to be shown at festivals across Canada, the team is hoping for a premiere at the ReFrame Film Festival in Peterborough. It will also be offered as a learning tool for local organizations.
“We made the decision from the beginning, if we maintain ethical commitments to the subject and it gets play in Peterborough, that’s good,” stated Mr. Hayes. “Hopefully, it gets the attention it could really use, and makes a wider impact.”

 

 



US President Obama Gives Shoutout to Trent Alumna Maryam Monsef in the House of Commons

June 29, 2016

It's not every day that The POTUS gives a shout-out to a Trent University alumna.  From Huffington Post:

"In what he called a "cathedral of freedom," U.S. President Barack Obama pointed to a Canadian cabinet minister as an example of what's possible when refugees are embraced in this land of immigrants and strangers.

The acknowledgement of Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef — who came to Canada from Afghanistan the age of 11 without knowing much English and without her father — was perhaps the most emotional moment in Obama's historic address to the House of Commons Wednesday."

You can read more and watch video of the moment at the Huffington Post.

We reached out to Minister Monsef for a response:

"I am honoured that President Obama referenced me and my family`s story in his address to Parliament. I think what he kindly recognized reflects what many Canadians,  Americans, and so many around the world have known for some time now. Our nations can be a beacon for the universal value of people caring for one another regardless of where they come from, how they worship and what they look like.

In our context, Canada is a welcoming place full of opportunity and acceptance. I am honoured and fortunate to occupy the role of Minister in this government, but my story is only one of many, and certainly not the only story of pursuing new opportunities.

Refugees in Canada and around the world seek to have a new beginning, find safe haven and create opportunities for themselves and their children. Like the thousands of Syrian refugees we welcomed over the past months, our Government will continue its legacy of demonstrating that Canada is a welcoming and accepting place for all."

 

 

 

 

New Heritage Minute Honours Story of Wenjack Theatre Namesake

Wenjack theatreJune 23, 2016

A new Heritage Minute released by Historica Canada follows the story of Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who passed away escaping from a residential school in Northern Ontario, and the namesake of Trent University’s Wenjack Theatre. 

The premiere of the Heritage Minute coincides with National Aboriginal Day, and shines a light on Canada’s dark history of residential schools.

“Yesterday was a day of celebration for Indigenous communities across Canada. It also presents an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to reflect on the historical relationship between First Peoples and Canada,” said Adam Hopkins, director of the First People’s House of Learning at Trent University. “Stories like Chanie’s, were all too common. But by acknowledging and honouring Chanie, and stories like his, we can make meaningful strides towards reconciliation."

In 1973, when construction began on Otonabee College at Trent, a group of student leaders from the now Indigenous Studies department lobbied for the college to be named in Chanie’s honour. The students saw this dedication as an opportunity for Trent to strengthen its Indigenous Studies program, and establish itself as a force for change, hope, and a positive educational experience. The campaign spearheaded by student leaders led to the memorialization of Charlie through the naming of Trent’s largest lecture hall as the Chanie Wenjack Theatre.

Watch the new Heritage Minute here.

 

 

 

Trent Sustainable Agriculture Experimental Farm

Girl gardeningJune 22, 2016

Providing a multitude of research, educational, and collaborative opportunities for Trent students, faculty, staff and the community, the new Trent Sustainable Agriculture experimental farm, sits on a 33-acre agricultural plot on the Symons Campus. Established in 2014, the farm aims to: provide interactive learning opportunities for students; provide research opportunities for advancing knowledge and understanding of sustainable agricultural practices; increase on-campus food production; develop partnerships with sustainable food group; and become a demonstration site for growers.    

Interactive Learning

The new Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems B.A./B.Sc. program is just one of the many beneficiaries of the new farm. Already, students have had the opportunity to compare the diversity and types of insects found in a genetically modified corn crop to those found in a crop of organically grown corn. Students have also observed ongoing undergraduate and graduate research projects and learned about current research interests in sustainable agriculture. This, in turn, provides a benefit to the experimental farm in the form of a constant supply of eager young researchers looking to apply the agricultural knowledge that they have gained in the classroom.                

Sustainable Agriculture

Knowledge The experimental farm also provides research opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to students and faculty at Trent. There have been several undergraduate honours projects and graduate research projects since the experimental farm began only two years ago.  

  • Intercropping Cover Crops

Cover crops can help to protect soil from erosion, manage soil nutrients, and promote overall healthier soil. One of the innovative projects taking place on the farm involves planting legume and grass cover crops between corn rows. Cover crops for corn are often planted after the corn is harvested, but intercropping allows for the benefits of cover crops to be realized more fully by maximizing the amount of time the cover crops are growing. This is a multi-year project funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Agriculture Adaptation Council.  

  • Soil Nitrogen  

Nitrogen is often a limiting nutrient in crop growth. Understanding nitrogen availability to plants over a growing season is important to growers who are trying to be economically and environmentally conservative about fertilizer application. Many different soil tests have been developed to estimate the total amount of nitrogen that will become available. Research to understand how to improve soil nitrogen testing is ongoing.      

  • Quinoa

There is interest in Canada about growing quinoa, an economically valuable crop. However, it is usually grown in warmer climates, so we need to learn how best to grow quinoa in a cooler climate. Research has been conducted that looks at herbicide alternatives and measures the response of quinoa to different nitrogen fertilizer applications.

Many other research projects are to come. With a permanent, close-proximity study site, it will be possible to conduct long term experiments that require constant upkeep and monitoring. A permanent research plot has the advantage of detailed records of site history and experimentation, and this can ensure appropriate site allocation in order to avoid confounding effects of previous research. The permanent site also allows for additional investment to broaden research opportunities, such as a tile drain system, which could support a large range of new research experiments.

On-Campus Food Production

The Trent Market Garden grew into existence only a year after the experimental farm was started. A partnership between Chartwells, Trent’s on-campus food provider since 2014, and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program resulted in 1.5 acres for organic food production.

The student-run garden grew a variety of crops in their first year, including lettuce tomatoes, spinach, squash, eggplant, watermelon, beets and sweet potatoes. Chartwells has agreed to buy much of the produce grown by the garden and also generously provided the up front funding for the necessary infrastructure.  

The Market Garden has also recently had a makeover and added over 1,800 meters of “hoop housing,” which acts as a greenhouse. This upgrade will give the garden several extra weeks in the growing season and help to improve the project’s food production.  

This innovative project has many advantages: it brings fresh organically grown produce to students on campus; it provides an employment opportunity for students that gives them a direct, hands-on experience running a market garden; and it gives Chartwells a supply of the freshest vegetables possible. Some food is served the day it is picked and cut.    

Trent Apiary Club

The Trent Apiary club was established in 2014, and its beehives are located at the experimental farm. It held several beekeeping workshops during the year for undergraduate students. This year they received funding to establish a pollinator garden.

Why Care about Trent’s Experimental Farm?  

The experimental farm at Trent has provided many benefits to the Trent community in the last two years, and things are only getting more exciting. The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program is growing and finding more ways to take advantage of the experimental farm. More professors are becoming interested in doing research and collaborating on research projects using the experimental farm. And the Trent Market Garden is extending their growing season, looking to improve upon their successful 2015 harvest. From gaining a deep understanding of soil nutrients to growing food to be consumed on campus, the experimental farm has something to offer for everyone.

 

 

 

Transforming the Craft of Teaching

June 21, 2016transformative, collaborative, personal, purposeful

The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a new Trent-wide centre aimed at: elevating the importance of teaching; operating as a hub for collaboration and networking; and celebrating teaching excellence. Now passed its first year mark, the CTL has supported over 100 teaching award nominations, 90 hours of professional learning sessions, and 15 special projects.

One of these special projects is a comprehensive research study on capturing the first year experience from the perspectives of instructors, students and support staff. Another project called The Open Chair program involves Trent instructors sitting in (hence the open chair) on one another’s classes to observe and then reflect on their own practice. Staff of the CTL have also completed many one-to-one and departmental consultations on a range of curriculum, programming and teaching matters since opening their doors on the main floor of Bata Library.

The Trent community believes that learning should be purposeful, personal, collaborative and transformative, and the efforts of the CTL team are focused on enabling this vision.

With inspiration from Chancellor Don Tapscott, the CTL designed a graphic to portray how we put this vision into action.  This spring, the CTL hosted Trent’s annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence and it was a special day indeed, with four new and deserving teaching award recipients. At the ceremony and with the help of President Leo Groarke and Professor Cathy Bruce who is the Director of the CTL, Vice President of Advancement Julie Davis announced two exceptional donations that will enhance the work of the CTL.

The first is a new teaching excellence by design studio. The studio will provide a state-of-the-art space for instructors to develop and test out interactive teaching techniques that can ultimately enrich students’ learning experiences at Trent. The design studio will include collaborative spaces for viewing and refining teaching practices, for encouraging teaching scholarship and collaboration, and for incubating and experimenting with powerful pedagogies. The studio will be named after an inspirational award winning Trent professor emeritus, Dr. Deborah Berrill.

The second announcement is for four brand new teaching fellowships. Each teaching fellow will be awarded a $6,000 dollar prize for three years. Two fellowships will be awarded for the fall of 2016 and two more will be awarded in 2017. Each fellow will be able to take advantage of the Deborah Berrill Design Studio to engage in leading-edge teaching innovations, and to share their learning with colleagues.  

On the horizon is a new Teaching Spa planned for future summer terms, where faculty can receive collegial support while refreshing their syllabi, teaching practices and bringing some new elements to their teaching. We hope to be able to offer a massage service too! And perhaps a jump in the river... This is, without a doubt, a special time for teaching at Trent!

Learn more about the Centre for Teaching and Learning at: www.trentu.ca/teaching

 

 

 

Back to the Future: The Bata Library Transformation Project

June 20, 2016

Bata Library SpringWhen you think back to your days at Trent, what are your memories of using the library? Is it of the rows and rows of drawers holding the card catalogue? Is it sitting in the beanbag chairs, looking down into the atrium? Or searching TOPCAT on those huge monochrome computer terminals? Maybe of roaming the stacks in search of books and journal articles to use for your assignments?  

To quote from a well-known TV and magazine advertisement from the 1970s, “  We’ve come a long way, baby.”   Today’s Trent students are more likely to read or do their assignments using their mobile devices, all the while sprawled out in an easy chair, sipping a beverage, at a local, Wi-Fi-equipped coffee shop. Or they may still find themselves hunkered down at one of the familiar wood grain-and-green study desks in the Bata Library, accessing their course notes and other readings on their iPads or laptops.

Numbers really tell the story. There are more mobile devices on the planet today than there are people. Nearly two billion personal computers are in use worldwide. The amount of information that is available on the Internet is staggering. In 2013, there were almost as many bits in the digital universe as there were stars in the physical universe. By 2020, there will be four times as many.

What does all of this mean for libraries? You might be inclined to think that libraries—particularly university libraries—are pretty much irrelevant in the 21stcentury. After all, everything is on the Internet, right? So there’s really no need to go to the physical library any more, eh?

In 2014, the Library and Archives did an extensive survey of students, faculty and alumni in order to gather information to help shape the current strategic plan. Surprisingly, we found that Trent students, not unlike students at most other universities, feel that the library as a place is still very significant. Survey respondents told us that Trent’s two library branches (Bata and Durham) are important places for socialization and for academic work; for access to expert help with their research or with their information technology; for access to traditional print books and journals as well as digital collections.

As part of Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign: Unleash the Potential, Trent will reinvigorate the Bata Library, preserve our digital and physical collections so that they remain accessible into the future, improve student access to the world of knowledge, and ensure that our library services respond to the rapidly changing needs of students and faculty. 

The planning tempo picked up rapidly last fall when Trent governor David Moore and his wife, Joan, donated $1 million to Trent to catalyze the transformation of the Bata Library. In February 2016, the Library and Archives hired the international architectural firm Perkins + Will to undertake a space planning study to help the university plan for its library of the future. The project, which wrapped up in May, has produced an exciting plan that will serve as the foundation for a future architectural redesign of the Bata Library space. We  want  to  transform  the  existing  Bata  Library  into  a  people-centred, hi-tech, integrated learning support facility. To achieve that goal, the space plan suggests a variety of spaces, such as:

  • Collaborative space: a mix of semi-private (or “commons”) spaces; private small group study spaces; individual study spaces; casual seating; and dedicated space for faculty and graduate students.

  • Interactive spaces for instruction and discovery: state-of-the-art spaces for shared use by the Library, the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Information Technology department. These include a teaching design/professional learning space; collaborative learning spaces; and an innovation incubator.

  • Improved facilities for the University Archives and the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre;

  • A “one-stop” service point that integrates expert help from the Library, IT, and other learning support services in one place;

  • Consolidation of the Library’s print book and journal collections; and

  • Improvements to the Bata Library building infrastructure.

The founders of Trent University  envisioned the library as the intellectual hub of campus, a focal point, and a welcoming  space. The  Bata Library remains at the heart of the Symons campus and is acknowledged around the world as an iconic example  of  Ronald  Thom’s  modernist architecture—a  stunning building that  juts out over the west bank of the river. The redesign and renovation of the library will pay  particular  attention  to  this  significant  architectural  treasure,  notably  the textured, exposed aggregate rubble walls, the wooden and concrete trellises that shade the windows, and the soaring, light-filled atrium.

When this transformation is complete, the Bata Library will not only fully support the many innovations in Trent University’s teaching and research, but will also complement the new spaces for students that will be available in the Trent University Student Centre (scheduled for completion in summer 2017).

For more information about the Bata Library Transformation Project, please consultant the Library and Archives website at: trentu.ca/libraryor contact me at robertclarke@trentu.ca. (Photo courtesy of Trent Arthur). 

 

 

 

School of the Environment Seminar Series Part 2: Poisoning a Lake, with Dr. Chris Metcalfe and Dr. Stephen Bocking

June 15, 2016

LISTEN NOW: The four-part series showcased the breadth of research undertaken by scholars and scientists associated with the School of the Environment, which launched in September 2015 and brings together experts from a variety of disciplines who are teaching or studying environmental topics.

"Each meeting features two short presentations, one by a scientist and one by an arts or policy person, so that every session captures a bit of the diversity of scholarship that goes on here," explains Professor Bocking, who is also chair of the Environmental and Resources Studies Program.  "It's a way for researchers at the School to gain a better understanding of what everyone else is doing and to encourage collaboration and sharing."

This is the second of two Trent Talks installments. For the first seminar (the loss of trust from green energy prospecting in Ontario, presented by Stephen Hill; approaches to improving sustainability of crop production systems in Ontario, presented by Mehdi Sharif), please see: http://trenttalks.podbean.com/e/trent-university-school-of-the-environment-seminar-series-part-1/.

In this episode:

Poisoning a lake: The fate and effects of nanosilver added to a natural lake ecosystem, presented by Chris Metcalfe. Sketching a global history of ecology and environmental conservation, presented by Stephen Bocking.

Click here for the entire seminar.

For Part One in this series (the loss of trust from green energy prospecting in Ontario, presented by Stephen Hill; approaches to improving sustainability of crop production systems in Ontario, presented by Mehdi Sharif), please see this post.

Don't forget to check out all of our lecture and interview podcasts at our podcast page.

 

 

 

The Blockchain Revolution, Music, and the Music Industry: Artists Can Finally Be Fairly Compensated

June 13, 2016

Trent Chancellor Don Tapscott and his son, Alex Tapscott, have written an important new book. Blockchain Technology: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money Business and the World discusses the second generation of the Internet, and its impact on civilization. In this TRENT Magazine exclusive, Chancellor Tapscott discusses how this technology will help musicians to create a fair industry, enabling us all to feel good about how we consume music.

One of my best memories of Trent was that of playing in a band.  Along with Trent students Paul Butler ’68, John Beach ’65, and Terry Burrell ’67, I created the rock group Boys in the Band and we played gigs at the university and in the surrounding area. We were mainly doing covers of bands like Hendrix, Clapton, the Doors, Zeppelin, the Stones, and of course, the Beatles. The university gave us a room in the basement of Champlain College where we kept our gear and practiced. We loved the creativity, friendship, and of course the music! Ah, yes, and then there was the adulation…

My love of music caused me to reflect on the economics music industry throughout the years, and I wrote a lot about how technology might make the industry more fair. Prior to the Internet, most composers and musicians received a tiny percentage of the value they created. The big labels signed deals with young artists, and ensured that they would receive a tiny percent of the revenue. Sadly, the Internet made things worse. 

We are now seeing the emergence of a technological revolution that holds huge potential to fix the situation, though. It’s called the blockchain. Allow me to explain.

Under the first generation of the Internet, many creators of intellectual property did not receive proper compensation for their work.

Initially, the music “labels” were small, radio was king, and the record store was queen. Back then, artist and repertoire personnel not only scouted for new talent, but also oversaw artistic development. In the last 25 years, however, the industry has changed. They’ve consolidated from thousands of labels down to three global superpowers—Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi’s Universal Music, and Warner Music Group—along with a few hundred indie labels.

Control of music copyright is currently concentrated in the few. The labels and the tour promotion companies have started asking for 360-degree deals from artists. This essentially means getting a cut of all the revenues that an artist generates—publishing rights to the underlying composition, usage rights to the sound recording, performance rights when the artist goes on tour, potentially even merchandise and sponsorship rights. All of this is executed regardless of whether or not the company invested in the cultivation of those rights.

I had hopes that the Internet would help democratize music and enable artists to disintermediate the big labels. Indeed, it’s been helpful to some (think Justin Bieber’s rise to fame for example) to reach a mass audience. But for most, it has made things worse.

Enter Apple Music and Spotify—technology companies that add to the taxation on artists’ revenue. This entirely new new layer of intermediaries has inserted itself into the supply chain between artists and labels, slicing the artists’ piece of the pie even thinner.

Take streaming music as an example. According to recent reports, Spotify pays, on average, between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream to rights holders, and usually directly to the labels. The calculation of this initial payment may seem transparent at first—Spotify’s site states that it pays 70% of its advertising and subscription revenues to rights holders—but we reviewed its 41-page “Digital Audio/Video Distribution Agreement” with Sony USA Inc., and the payout of some $42.5 million in non-recoupable advances to Sony artists is anything but clear. In fact, the first paragraph of the agreement calls for confidentiality. It appears that neither Spotify nor Sony can inform Sony’s artists of the impact of this agreement on artists’ revenues.

Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, has gone on record (in Micah Singleton’s May 2015 article in The Verve) to state that the labels don’t usually share money not directly tied to usage. Meanwhile, industry analyst Mark Mulligan predicted (in Stuart Dredge’s article in The Guardian from August 29, 2014) that “artists are going to feel pain for at least another four to five years, just as they did in the first four to five years after iTunes launched.”

Further, these three majors have a combined 15% stake in Spotify, the most popular and lucrative streaming music service. So they will get an extra cash infusion—if (and when) Spotify goes public. Apple has become the world’s largest music retailer, and Live Nation the world’s largest live entertainment company.

This is all about to change. The Internet is entering a second era based on blockchain technology—the underlying technology of digital currencies such as bitcoin.

At its most basic, the blockchain is global database—an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but virtually everything of value and importance to humankind: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, financial accounts, medical procedures, insurance claims, votes, transactions between smart objects, and anything else that can be expressed in code.

This ledger represents the truth because mass collaboration constantly reconciles it. We will not need to trust each other in the traditional sense, because the new platform ensures integrity. It is trust achieved through clever code and mass collaboration.

As Alex and I explain in Blockchain Revolution, we’re currently witnessing the rise of a new music ecosystem emerging on the blockchain. This is being led by British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, cellist Zoë Keating, and blockchain developers and entrepreneurs. Through this evolution, cultural industry is up for disruption, and there exists the promise that creators will get fully compensated for the value that they create.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just decide how I’d like my music to be shared or experienced?” Heap asked during one of our book interviews with her. “To simply upload a piece of music, for example, and all its related content to one place online, for all to tap into and derive from. Usage rights, ownership, the equivalent of today’s liner notes, latest biography…”

And all other parties—not just record labels, music publishers, and tour promoters but also corporations looking for jingles, TV producers looking for soundtracks, mobile service providers looking for ringtones, and the many fans looking to do fan videos—could decide whether to agree to Heap’s terms of use.

During a live panel for The Guardian, Heap expanded upon her vision: “Wouldn’t it be amazing to feel the presence of the artist—that if they make that decision about their music, it’s really felt in a real physical sense, even from one day to the next?” she asked. “I may decide, hey, it’s my birthday today, all my music is for free or ... if you’re under 16 or over 60, it’s on me! Or to divert all payments due to me to a relief fund, with just a few alterations of wording in the smart contract.”

That’s the goal of designing an artist-centric model on the blockchain, rather than one centered on music labels or tech distributors. Artists could produce music and be paid fairly for the value they create, and lovers of music could consume, share, remix, and otherwise enjoy what they love while paying a fair value. This model wouldn’t exclude labels or digital distributors, but they would be equal rather than dominant members of the ecosystem.

The new music industry is not a pipedream. In October 2015, Heap launched her first experiment by releasing her song “Tiny Human,” and all related data—the instrumental version, seven stereo stems, front cover image, music video, liner notes on musicians, gear, credits, lyrics, acknowledgments, and useful links, and the story behind the song—on the Internet.  These details would increase her discoverability on the Internet with the goal of allowing potential collaborators to find her.

Heap invited fans, developers, and services to upload her song to their various platforms and to share their work as well. She granted them nonexclusive rights to create an Imogen Heap artist profile, provided that they gave her the login details and permissions after uploading her files to their systems. If they expected revenue streams, then she asked them to provide payment models, percentages, and amounts so that she could factor those details into her analysis of the experiment. Finally, she welcomed donations to her bitcoin address and promised to direct half the proceeds to her charitable foundation, Mycelia, her name for this new ecosystem. Usage data and participant behaviour would inform the next stage of development on the blockchain.

Various companies are working on its design and collaborating with Heap and other forward-thinking musicians. This new ecosystem can ensure that artists are fed first, not last. And for patrons, it can enable us to enjoy music knowing that our favourite artists are being fairly compensated. 

For the whole story on the blockchain reinvention of music, as well as the blockchain reinvention of just about everything else, see Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott’s Blockchain Revolution, published May 7 in Canada.

 

 

 

Alumni Conversational Shorthand

June 12, 2016

The following is the editorial from the Spring 2016 edition of TRENT Magazine by managing editor Donald Fraser.  To subscribe to either the print or online edition, please contact alumni@trentu.ca.

Packing up the gear from my podcast interview with Trent chancellor Dr. Don Tapscott '66, I took a moment to enjoy view from the top floor boardroom of the Rotman School of Management.  The University of Toronto was spread out below me in Romanesque and Gothic Revival splendour, Lake Ontario a wink of sunlight on the horizon, and the room itself was a sleek image of modern prestige.

I then took a moment to remind myself of how fortunate I was.  No, not for being able to visit such stately digs—although that, too, was a highlight—but rather, for the number of insightful conversations that I’m treated to on a regular basis. And the one that I had just had with Don was indeed a fascinating one.

Now, the nature of my work with Alumni Affairs does mean that I seek out discussions with Trent grads who are leaders in their fields or are pursuing some kind of noteworthy employment or undertaking.  It is my job to interview interesting people doing interesting things, and turn them into interesting dialogues. And I am always excited when these conversations take a turn for the enthusiastic—which, inevitably, they do.

Here’s the thing, though: while the enthusiasm shines through when we dig into the pursuits of these individuals, it also shines when the talk turns to their years at Trent.  Often more so.  As alumni, there is a commonality of experience that we all share—one that leads to an excited shorthand of language, where, when talking about Trent, it becomes easy to finish each others sentences. The buzz becomes palpable.

The same thing happens on a regular basis at Alumni House. Alumni will come in to update their mailing address, find out about benefits, or merely to say hello, and will leave a good while later having had a great chat about their thoughts and memories of Trent. A surprising number of these individuals end up re-engaging with the community as a result.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve recorded warm and wonderful talks with two of the feature writers in this edition: Don (who is wearing his financial innovation/tech guru hat by providing a piece on the blockchain economy), and Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, a business leader and global economic advisor who has written an article on inclusive economic growth. Hardly surprising: we also delved into our common university experiences. I invite you to check out those discussions as a means of plugging into this Trent conversational energy.

What’s more, I urge you to plug back in yourself. If there is an alumni chapter near you, contact them and see what they have on the horizon. Check out our website and see if there are activities or events that interest you. Or, simply pick up the phone or hop online and make plans to catch up with some of your old classmates.

Take the time to welcome yourself back to Trent.

 

 

 

 

2016 Convocation Wrap-Up

June 10, 2016

In a week that went from glorious sunshine to torrential downpour to frigid temperatures and then back to sunshine, over 1,200 graduates made their way across the Bata library podium -- the years-long journey from student to alumni ending in a final few steps.  They were among over 1,600 people convocating from both the Peterborough and Durham campuses.

Judging by the smiles, the weather didn't dampen anyone's spirits.

Trent University Alumni Affairs and The Alumni Association are proud to welcome all of these new grads into the alumni family.  Now begins a lifelong relationship with over 45,000 fellow graduates -- and a continued relationship with Trent.  Congratulations!

For those who missed out on convocation this year, there are few ways you can experience some of the highlights: 

To whet your appetite, here are a few slice of life convocation moments from the TrentAlumni Twitter, Trent_Alumni Instagram, and the Trent University Alumni Association Facebook page feeds:

Graduation day can go from the somber and serious...

To the downright silly.

We made away across campus and across Peterborough -- including a stop at the Pig's Ear, where Trent President Leo Groarke and Chancellor Don Tapscott earned their Piggy Diplomas (a time-honoured tradition)...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And made it back to campus in time to brave the weather.

(OK..  OK...  it didn't actually snow).

Of course none of this would be possible without the dedication and help of countless volunteers and staff.  Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and battled the temperatures.  You helped make this week truly special.

Now, with that party out of the way, we'll see you all at Homecoming!

 

 

 

The Spring Edition of TRENT Magazine is Now Online

June 9, 2016

The newest copy of TRENT Magazine is currently hitting mailboxes across Canada and around the world.  It's also now available on our magazine page.  This edition is a humdinger!  Yuwa Hedrick-Wong '71, Chair of the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, presents a piece on sustainable economic development; Trent Chancellor and tech guru, Don Tapscott, explores how blockchain currency could positively impact the music business; Trent English Literature professor Dr. Margaret Steffler offers a comprehensive review of Yann Martel's '81 High Mountains of Portugal; and that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

Don't forget that you can browse our entire archive of TRENT Magazine online.

Also, remember to check back here for exclusive content, such as interviews with both Yuwa and Don:

#TrentVoices Podcast/TRENT Magazine Exclusive: Dr. Don Tapscott and Blockchain Revolution

Podcast: #TrentVoices Interview with Revolutionary Economic Development Strategist, Yuwa Hedrick-Wong

 

 

 



Trent University and Samuel de Champlain

A special feature by Professors Alan Brunger & Peter Adams

From its earliest days, Trent University has looked beyond its immediate setting in order to embrace the cultural diversity of Ontario, and Canada in general. Founding President Tom Symons invited the premiers of Québec and Ontario, Jean Lesage and John Robarts, to officiate at the cornerstone laying of Champlain College, the first building erected at the Nassau (now Symons) Campus in October 1965.

His timing was auspicious because Champlain had, in all likelihood, travelled, with hundreds of First Nations warriors, down the Otonabee River, which flows past the site of this College, some 350 years before in the fall of 1615. In his address to the large crowd, President Symons welcomed Premier Lesage as “the leader of the French Canadian nation with whom we in English Canada joined long ago in a creative union.” He continued by observing, “We hope that this college, built on the soil of Ontario and bearing the name of Samuel de Champlain, will serve as a symbol of affirmation of this union for generations and centuries to come.”

Within a short time, the students of the new college adopted the mid-winter carnival “L’Ordre de Bon Temps” (“The Order of Good Cheer”), which Champlain had started in 1607 at his fledgling Bay of Fundy colony in order to lift the spirits of his men during the coldest season. The three-day event continues at Trent to this day for the same reason.

The two cornerstones at Champlain College are in both official languages and testify the role of Champlain in exploring and mapping present-day Ontario and his vision for the future of a unified Canada. The college boasts further evidence of Champlain’s role in the form of a portrait—a sketch in oils (photo) —completed in 1965 by the noted artist Charles Comfort in preparing his large mural of the “Fathers of Confederation” completed in Confederation Year, 1967, in the foyer of the Library and Archives of Canada.

In addition, a bronze bust of Champlain (photo) on the staircase leading to the college’s Great Hall is the work of the prominent sculptor Jerémie Giles, whose two-metre-high statue of Champlain was completed in Ottawa in 2004.

The spirit of Champlain College emerges as well through its comtemporary slogan, “DARE,”  the acronym for four sterling life goals attributed to its forbear—discover, adventure, reflect and engage. In passing, it is noteworthy that of the three different Champlain Colleges known to exist, two are relatively close to the French-Canadian “heartland” alongside the St. Lawrence River, at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Québec, and in Burlington, Vermont. Significantly, by contrast, Trent’s Champlain College is situated far to the west, well within the Great Lakes region of Anglophone southern Ontario. Its situation symbolizes both the westward-seeking vision of Champlain and a bridge between the two cultures of French and English Canada.

Apart from the most prominent connection to Champlain in the form of the college in his name, Trent University established other links of this nature from its earliest days, mainly through the work of its archaeologists. The Anthropology and Native Studies departments were undertaking archaeological research in Huronia, home of the Huron Nation in Champlain’s time, beside Georgian Bay, Ontario. For example, Ken Kidd, founding chair of both Native Studies and Anthropology, formerly with the Royal Ontario Museum, is best remembered for his work on the Jesuit base of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and the Huron ossuary. He and his wife Martha co-published on aspects of First Nations culture. Martha was a long-time member and patron of Trent Valley Archives.

During the period 1971-77, Trent faculty and students participated in a series of Archaeological Field Schools at the Le Caron site, in Tiny Township, southeast of Penetanguishene.

Peter Adams and Doug Barr from the Department of Geography accompanied the archaeologists as experts in aerial photograph interpretation. Adams recalls:

“Huronia was located on large sandy areas, which were the floors of ancient glacial lakes. The Huron lived in elaborate stockaded villages, surrounded by large fields for their crops. The population of the region was in the tens of thousands.

The large number of former village sites, each with its own midden, gives the impression of an even larger population. This is because the sandy glacial soil became depleted every decade or so. The entire village and its cropped area had to be moved at fairly regular intervals and consequently, each village site detected today represents only five to ten years of occupation.

I attended a couple of these camps under the supervision of Paul Rexe, who was a teaching assistant at Trent in those days, later a city alderman in Peterborough. My family and I lived in tents and I taught basic air photo interpretation. It was remarkable how much detail could be picked up from quite ordinary vertical air photos. For example, in this way, we detected a new village site not far from the one we were investigating.”

Many other Trent archaeologists have undertaken work in Huronia and other nearby regions of southern Ontario since the 1970s. The Trent Valley Archives holds the Paul Rexe fonds and Trent University Archives has extensive collections devoted to the Kidds.

Archaeological investigations in the whole Trent Valley have been ongoing for over fifty years. Some areas, such as Rice Lake, have long been renowned for the rich assemblage of artifacts encompassing thousands of years, such as those at Serpent, and Cameron’s Point, Mounds and the McIntyre site. More evidence has gradually emerged in sites throughout the valley, including the Bark, Wilson, Quackenbush, Clarke’s Bay, Coulter, Jacob’s Island and Kirche sites. Significantly, in 1990, Richard E. Sutton noted that “in the vast area—over 1,200 square km—the low density of sites reflects the lack of systematic archaeological survey in the inland areas of the Middle Trent Valley.”

Two Trent University Anthropology Department faculty members, Marit Munson and Susan Jamieson, have recently edited a collection of fifteen essays entitled Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province. The volume sheds light on the evolution of the discipline of provincial archaeology and assesses the state of knowledge to the present day. Of particular interest is the concluding chapter by Kris Nahrgang entitled “An Aboriginal Perspective,” reflecting his “dual” position as a First Nation person and a professional archaeologist.

Trent University has developed, largely at the urging of Professor Symons, the first Native (now Indigenous) Studies Program in a Canadian university, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. More recently, in 2013, Professor Symons, in his role as chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust, presided at the reburial of members of Huron-Wendat Nations at the Thonnakona Ossuary near Kleinburg, Ontario. In his remarks Professor Symons observed that “a greater knowledge, understanding and respect for Aboriginal heritage is an essential condition for a better knowledge and understanding of Canada,” a sentiment which Samuel de Champlain would have surely echoed.

A clear message derived from archaeological and historical research to date is that the Peterborough region had seen relatively rapid change in the period following European contact. From the early sixteenth century, when French and other maritime traders first initiated contact in the St. Lawrence River valley, the increase in desire for trade triggered movement and migration through the region, as well as its depopulation, which led to it becoming a “buffer zone” between the Huron and the Iroquois to the south. Thus, the influence of the French may be said to have preceded, by many decades, the first penetration in person of the Peterborough region in the form of Champlain and his French compatriots in the fall of 1615.

Results of research by Ontario universities, such as Trent, provides background data for research cited in articles published in the Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley in recognition of the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s visits to Peterborough. Other publications relating to the career of Samuel de Champlain, as well as the early development of Ontario as part of New France (cited below), will be discussed in upcoming articles in the Heritage Gazette.

Sources

Butcher, L., and Johnston, R.B., comps. Field Report of the Trent University Archaeological Field

School at the Le Caron (Santimo) Site, North Simcoe County. Peterborough, ON: Dept. of Anthropology, Trent University, 1973-1977.

Damkjar, E.R. The Coulter Site and Late Iroquoian Coalescence in the Upper Trent River Valley. Dundas, ON: Copetown Press, 1990.

Heidenreich, Conrad. Huronia: A History and Geography of the Huron Indians, 1600-1650. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971.

Harris, R.C., ed. Atlas historique du Canada, vol. 1. Montréal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1987.

Harris, R.C., ed. Historical Atlas of Canada, volume 1: From the Beginning to 1800.       Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987.

Hoskins, P. “The Settlement Patterns of the Bark Site (BbGp-12) and the Surrounding Trent      Valley.” MA thesis, Trent University, 2011.

Johnston, R.B. The Archaeology of the Serpent Mounds Site. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1968.

——. Archaeology of Rice Lake, Ontario. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1968.

——, ed. The McIntyre Site: Archaeology, Subsistence and Environment. Ottawa: Natural

Museums of Canada, 1984.

Miles, K.M. “Organisation of Technology and Chert Raw Material Utilisation at the Bark Site, Southern Ontario. MA thesis, Trent University, 2005.

Munson, M.K., and S. M. Jamieson, eds. Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province.

Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

Ramsden, C.N. The Kirche Site: A 16th Century Huron Village in the Upper Trent Valley.             Dundas, ON: Copetown Press, 1989.

Rexe, J.P., ed. Preliminary Report on the Le Caron Site, Northern Simcoe County. Peterborough, ON: Trent University Archaeological Field School, 1972.

Sine, K.L.. “Finding Answers in Chaos: A Lithic and Post-depositional Analysis of the Clark's Bay         Site, Ontario.” MA thesis, Trent University, 2013.

Sutton, R.E. Hidden Amidst the Hills: Middle and Late Iroquoian Occupations in the Middle        Trent Valley. Dundas, ON: Copetown Press, 1990.

Trudel, Marcel. Atlas de la Nouvelle-France: An Atlas of New France. Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Yann Martel’s The High Mountains of Portugal

May 11, 2016

Philosophy grad Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize (among numerous others). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. His newest novel, The High Mountains of Portugal, has just been released to positive reviews. 

Trent English Literature professor Margaret Steffler has recently reviewed The High Mountains of Portugal.  As a From the House exclusive, please enjoy this excerpt from the interview.

For a full archive of TRENT Magazine, please visit our magazine page.

Teaching Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in Canadian literature courses at Trent University has been nothing short of extraordinary. The first time I taught the novel, I placed it at the end of a course on modernism and postmodernism, not quite knowing what the student response would be. Fortuitously, it invited rich connections and expansions of the ideas that had developed throughout the course. As we talked about Life of Pi during the final week, questions and tantalizing threads that had been left hanging at the end of discussions of Adele Wiseman’s The Sacrifice, Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook, and Miriam Toews’s A Complicated Kindness were gathered up into a passionate but measured conversation about faith, which became more animated and less cautious as the discussion developed. Effortlessly, it seemed, this novel provided one of the most successful and profound course conclusions I have ever experienced. Life of Pi achieved what even the most carefully organized syllabus could never deliver—a sense of what is possible in a globalized world after postmodernism.  

Now I am looking forward to placing Yann Martel’s new novel at the end of next year’s course. The High Mountains of Portugal (2016) is a story of remarkable and diverse movements—physical, emotional, and spiritual—which invites a delightful suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. It is not surprising to learn that Mr. Martel wrote the entire book while on the move, walking at his treadmill desk (see “A Writer’s Room,” which appeared in a March 2016 edition of T Magazine). In Part One we meet Tomás, a museum curator, walking backwards through the streets of 1904 Lisbon in order to “object” to the deaths of his wife, son, and father. From the first, this narrative speaks of and to a world of diasporic scatterings and intimate losses, which are accompanied by swelling grief and a yearning for faith. 

Divided into three parts, “Homeless,” “Homeward,” and “Home,” the novel devotes only a few pages to a Canadian setting—Ottawa in the 1980s—the home of Canadian senator, Peter Tovy, the protagonist of Part Three. Peter, with his newly acquired pet chimpanzee, Odo, ends up in Tuizelo, Portugal, a location that also attracts and holds Tomás in Part One. Peter, like Tomás, is mourning the death of his wife and is drawn to Tuizelo because it is his birthplace—the village his parents left for Canada when he was two years old. Tomás travels to this northeastern corner of his home country in a quest to find an artifact carved by Father Ulisses, a priest who lived in Angola and São Tomé in the 1630s. While his difficult journey is undertaken in an early motorcar on roads that dwindle into tracks and rocks, Peter travels by land and air from Oklahoma with all of the complications that come with having a chimpanzee as a travelling companion. These bereaved husbands carefully search significant texts in order to find clues that will help them live into a future that, for them, gapes with aching loneliness and absence.

 

 

 

#Trent Voices: Athena Reich Subverts Lady Gaga

May 11, 2016

 

LISTEN NOW TO THE #TRENTVOICES PODCAST.

 

Chatelaine Magazine recently named Athena Reich the “World’s Top Lady Gaga Impersonator.”  But to label her an impersonator would tell only a fraction of the story.  Reich, a talented artist in her own right, subverts Gaga with her own unique brand of feminist and queer music and drama – going so far as to incorporate her own pregnancy into a show called #ARTBIRTH, where Gaga delivers a baby live on stage.

How Gaga is Reich?

Billboard Magazine once printed a photo of her, mistakenly thinking it was Gaga.  Then there’s the fact that Gaga herself tweeted in support of Reich’s work.

In 2015 she starred as Lady Gaga in #ARTBIRTH at the Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC, which received multiple run extensions and a Time Out Critic's pick.

Reich is hardly limited to her impersonator role.  As a singer/songwriter, she has released 5 full-length albums and numerous singles. Her music videos have charted #1 on MTV LOGO and her song "Love is Love" won Best Pop Song at the Outmusic Awards.

As an actress, her credits include While Collar, The Perfect Murder, "An Evening with Donald Kempinski" (Little Fella Films), "Hush: Inside the Waiting Womb" (LA / NY).

Her music can be bought on iTunes or streamed on Spotify.

 

 

 

#TrentTalks Lecture: Trent School of the Environment Seminar Series Part 1

Seminar Series

May 11, 2016 

LISTEN NOW:Trent School of the Environment Seminar Series, Part 1. Power brokers: The loss of trust from green energy prospecting in Ontario, presented by Stephen Hill. Approaches to improving sustainability of crop production systems in Ontario, presented by Mehdi Sharifi.  The full seminar can be heard here. 

"There is a lot of amazing environmental research going on at Trent University that people may not be aware of," says Dr. Stephen Bocking, director of the Trent School of the Environment.

The School's inaugural seminar series kicked off on March 28, 2016. The four-part series showcased the breadth of research undertaken by scholars and scientists associated with the School of the Environment, which launched in September 2015 and brings together experts from a variety of disciplines who are teaching or studying environmental topics.

"Each meeting features two short presentations, one by a scientist and one by an arts or policy person, so that every session captures a bit of the diversity of scholarship that goes on here," explains Professor Bocking, who is also chair of the Environmental and Resources Studies Program.  "It's a way for researchers at the School to gain a better understanding of what everyone else is doing and to encourage collaboration and sharing."

The Trent Talks will be presenting a second seminar from this series in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

#TrentVoices Podcast/TRENT Magazine Exclusive: Dr. Don Tapscott and Blockchain Revolution

An interview with the Trent University Chancellor on the launch of his ground-breaking new book and how technology will affect the global social/economic future; PLUS an exclusive TRENT Magazine article by Dr. Tapscott on Blockchain and the music industry

 

May 10, 2016

LISTEN NOW TO THE #TRENTVOICES PODCAST.  Trent University Chancellor Dr. Don Tapscott’s latest book has just been published by Penguin Random House.  BLOCKCHAIN REVOLUTION: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World is co-authored by his son Alex Tapscott.

It is the first book to explain why blockchain technology – a truly open, distributed, global platform – will fundamentally change what we can achieve online, how we do it, and who can participate.

It is a fascinating follow-up to several groundbreaking works in which Dr. Tapscott explores the economic and social impact of technology, including Macrowikinomics; New Solutions for a Connected Planet (2010); the bestseller Paradigm Shift (1992); and Radical Openness: Four Unexpected Principles for Success (2013). His book Wikinomics was the best selling management book in the United States in 2007. In 2014, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Dr. Tapscott’s hit The Digital Economy was released with a new foreword by Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, and 12 new essays addressing the original topics of the book.

Dr. Tapscott is currently on tour with his book and will be hitting a city near you.  Please see his tour schedule in order to take part.

#TrentVoices sat down with Tapscott at the Rotman Centre School of Management at University of Toronto for a special interview that focused on Blockchain Revolution, the bisecting futures of technology and the global economy, as well as on his ongoing relationship with Trent University.  Listen to the full interview here.  Tapscott also supplied a feature article on blockchain and the music industry for the upcoming June edition of TRENT Magazine.  See below for that exclusive sneak peek.

Dr. Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology and advises business and government leaders around the world.  He is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and the inaugural Fellow at the Martin Prosperity Institute. In 2013, he was appointed Chancellor of Trent University.  This month, his position of Chancellor was renewed for a further 3 years.

An excerpt from The Blockchain Revolution, Music, and the Music Industry: Artists Can Finally Be Fairly Compensated by Don Tapscott (coming to TRENT Magazine next month):

Initially, the music “labels” were small, radio was king, and the record store was queen. Back then, artist and repertoire personnel not only scouted for new talent, but also oversaw artistic development. In the last 25 years, however, the industry has changed. They’ve consolidated from thousands of labels down to three global superpowers—Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi’s Universal Music, and Warner Music Group—along with a few hundred indie labels.

Control of music copyright is currently concentrated in the few. The labels and the tour promotion companies have started asking for 360-degree deals from artists. This essentially means getting a cut of all the revenues that an artist generates—publishing rights to the underlying composition, usage rights to the sound recording, performance rights when the artist goes on tour, potentially even merchandise and sponsorship rights. All of this is executed regardless of whether or not the company invested in the cultivation of those rights.

I had hopes that the Internet would help democratize music and enable artists to disintermediate the big labels. Indeed, it’s been helpful to some (think Justin Bieber’s rise to fame for example) to reach a mass audience. But for most, it has made things worse.

Enter Apple Music and Spotify—technology companies that add to the taxation on artists’ revenue. This entirely new new layer of intermediaries has inserted itself into the supply chain between artists and labels, slicing the artists’ piece of the pie even thinner.

Take streaming music as an example. According to recent reports, Spotify pays, on average, between $0.006 and $0.0084 per stream to rights holders, and usually directly to the labels. The calculation of this initial payment may seem transparent at first—Spotify’s site states that it pays 70% of its advertising and subscription revenues to rights holders—but we reviewed its 41-page “Digital Audio/Video Distribution Agreement” with Sony USA Inc., and the payout of some $42.5 million in non-recoupable advances to Sony artists is anything but clear. In fact, the first paragraph of the agreement calls for confidentiality. It appears that neither Spotify nor Sony can inform Sony’s artists of the impact of this agreement on artists’ revenues.

Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, has gone on record (in Micah Singleton’s May 2015 article in The Verve) to state that the labels don’t usually share money not directly tied to usage. Meanwhile, industry analyst Mark Mulligan predicted (in Stuart Dredge’s article in The Guardian from August 29, 2014) that “artists are going to feel pain for at least another four to five years, just as they did in the first four to five years after iTunes launched.”

Further, these three majors have a combined 15% stake in Spotify, the most popular and lucrative streaming music service. So they will get an extra cash infusion—if (and when) Spotify goes public. Apple has become the world’s largest music retailer, and Live Nation the world’s largest live entertainment company.

This is all about to change. The Internet is entering a second era based on blockchain technology—the underlying technology of digital currencies such as bitcoin. 

At its most basic, the blockchain is global database—an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but virtually everything of value and importance to humankind: birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and titles of ownership, educational degrees, financial accounts, medical procedures, insurance claims, votes, transactions between smart objects, and anything else that can be expressed in code.

This ledger represents the truth because mass collaboration constantly reconciles it. We will not need to trust each other in the traditional sense, because the new platform ensures integrity. It is trust achieved through clever code and mass collaboration.

As Alex and I explain in Blockchain Revolution, we’re currently witnessing the rise of a new music ecosystem emerging on the blockchain. This is being led by British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, cellist Zoë Keating, and blockchain developers and entrepreneurs. Through this evolution, cultural industry is up for disruption, and there exists the promise that creators will get fully compensated for the value that they create.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just decide how I’d like my music to be shared or experienced?” Heap asked during one of our book interviews with her. “To simply upload a piece of music, for example, and all its related content to one place online, for all to tap into and derive from. Usage rights, ownership, the equivalent of today’s liner notes, latest biography…”

And all other parties—not just record labels, music publishers, and tour promoters but also corporations looking for jingles, TV producers looking for soundtracks, mobile service providers looking for ringtones, and the many fans looking to do fan videos—could decide whether to agree to Heap’s terms of use.  

 

 

 

Traill College Dinner Celebrates Graduates and Springtime

The Trent way is about knowing in part, rather than being a “know-it-all,” says principal

Traill College Dinner

May 3, 2016 

Traill College’s Bagnani Hall was filled to capacity on April 22, with a diverse crowd of undergraduates, graduates, alumni, staff and faculty members, who all gathered for the annual Traill College Spring dinner.

The evening started off in the classically-appointed Bagnani Room around the College’s rare Bechstein piano played by Trent’s own Sako Khederlarian, orientation coordinator, Office of Student Affairs at Trent University. After hors d’oeuvres and music, the crowd took their places to dine on a special menu provided by BE Catering.

Many special guests were in attendance including City councilor and CUPE president Diane Therrien, Champlain College Head, Melanie Sedge, and former Traill College Principal Dr. Michael Peterman.  Among the group of current fellows and staff, retiring English professors Lorraine Clark and Elizabeth Popham were singled out for their inspiring service to the University.

Dr. Michael Eamon, the current Traill principal, spoke about the importance of collegiality and why it is better to “know in part” (following both Trent and Traill’s motto), than to be someone who “knows it all.” He wished the graduates success and not to forget that their job now is to continue to better themselves and the lives of those around them. He also thanked the Traill community for their support and participation in the Traill review process.

After dinner, Prof. Eamon offered a round of toasts including one to University founding president Tom Symons, the college namesake Catharine Parr Traill, as well as the graduates for whom this would be their last college event.  A final toast had everyone enthusiastically shouting: “All hail Traill, the College on the Hill.”

Ph.D. Candidate David Hollands then premiered an abbreviated, 15-minute version of his full-length Traill documentary to a rapt audience.  Partly narrated by Traill’s first principal Dr. Marion Fry, the documentary featured interviews with the current principal, professors and students. It was a poignant and, at times, humorous look at Trent’s oldest college. The evening was capped off with a special acoustic guitar and vocal performance by Trent alumnus, Dr. David Tough.

Traill holds two formal dinners a year that embrace the collegiate tradition, foster interdisciplinary spirit, and showcase student achievement. The dinners are generous sponsored by the graduate departments at Trent University and CUPE 3908.

 

 

 

 

Remembering Alumnus William “Bill” Turner

Alumnus William Turner

April 28, 2016

10 years ago, a Trent University Alumni, Lieutenant William (Bill) Turner B.Sc ’82 was killed in by a roadside improvised explosive device along with three other Canadian Soldiers, Bombardier Myles Mansell, Corporal Matthew Dinning and Corporal Randy Payne, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Bill was deployed as Civil-Military Cooperation Officer. A position that is responsible for connecting the civilian population, developing trust and identifying how the military and other civilian aid agencies can assist in the reconstruction or deliver services for those effected by war.

Lieutenant Turner and his sister, Toyo Turner ’78 were both Trent University alumni.  Bill was born in Toronto in 1961 and grew up in the small town of Elmvale, Ontario. He came to Trent to pursue a degree after completing two years at Seneca College in the Resource Environmental Engineering Technology program.

Upon graduating from Trent, William worked as a research assistant with the University of Guelph. He also holds a Medical Laboratory Assistant certificate and a B.Ed. in biology and physical education.

His military career began in 1991, while he was in Guelph. He was promoted to lieutenant in October 1993. In 1996, he transferred to the 20th Field Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery in Edmonton.

At the time of his death, Lieutenant Turner was stationed in Edmonton with Land Force Western Headquarters.

 

 

 

Professor Emeritus Peter Adams Turns 80, is Honoured in the House of Commons

April 22, 2016

Professor Emeritus, author, politician, and all around good guy Peter Adams (centre, at right) turned 80 years old this week.  He was honoured in the House of Commons with a speech by MP Lloyd Longfield.  You can watch the full video here.

Adams played a key role in establishing a strong northern studies and research program at Trent. In addition to his teaching and research, Peter has been heavily involved in politics. He was MPP for Peterborough from 1987 to 1990 and then, after a return to Trent, was MP from 1993 until his retirement in 2006. He is beloved as both an educator and local politician. 

Happy birthday, Peter! 

For a full bio of Peter Adams, please visit The Trent Northern Studies website.

 

 

 

Alumni Profile: Archaeologist Gina Proctor '97

April 15, 2016

The following is an alumni profile by communications student assistant, Alison Landry. 

Gina Proctor, née Turff, was one of those people that really benefitted from her time at Trent.

Gina’s journey to her education was much different than the average student, as it did not begin until she was 40.

She and her husband owned and operated an antique store in Lindsay for four years -- her passion for antiques sparked after she had purchased an antique dresser at an auction for herself, re-finished it, and had a friend interested in purchasing it for $300 more than she had originally paid for it.

She loved how quickly and easy she was able to start a career that was also financially beneficial, particularly one that was a passion of hers, and that she enjoyed doing. 

Her life as an antique store owner was quickly taken after a car accident. The injuries sustained restricted her from going to auctions, purchasing and carrying heavy antiques to re-finish.  It all became too difficult to need constant assistance.

The accident happened just before her 40th birthday. And worry set in.  "What should I do?" she thought.  "I’m turning 40, I don’t want to do nothing and have my brain turn to oatmeal.”

Gina had heard about history courses at Trent and decided to sign up.  She did not let not knowing how to write an essay -- or the fact that she hadn't been in school for years -- stop her.

After handing in her first essay and receiving a much higher mark than she expected, she thought: "Wow I can do this!"  And continued to pursue her passion for history.

Although archaeology was her first love, right from when she was a little girl exploring the ROM’s natural artifacts, Gina had not considered the possibility of archaeological courses until she overheard other students talking about them. Not knowing that archeology was offered, she jumped at the chance to study it -- a move that eventually led to a local job and a career that continued to flourish.

Although she always did research for and about her antiques, she felt that university work was where she belonged. She completed her undergraduate degree and continued on to complete her Masters of Art in Anthropology.

“I loved my years at Trent," she recalls.  "I had excellent, excellent professors! As I was an adult student, some professors were younger, which opened my eyes and mind, and it challenged me.”

Her current work and research focuses on Hopewell Panpipes, musical instruments that were only made between 300 BC – 500 AD, all thanks to a fourth year archaeology course she took at Trent.

She had heard about a site close to Campbellford, ON, where both women and children had been buried with pipes -- which went against convential beliefs that panpipes had traditionally only been buried with the bodies of men. She became determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.

“My nationalism and feminism went crazy when I heard this.”

Then there was the fact that Hopewell pipes were not supposed to be found in Canada -- but were apparently found just up the road from Peterborough.  This drove her urge to research.

Through her connections with various different museums (New York, Alabama, Florida) Gina was able to get photos and research.  She completed her thesis and proved that prevailing theory was incorrect.

Since completing her thesis, she has been invited to Alabama University, as well as back to Trent, to give lectures about her findings.

Gina has also produced work for a chapter about panpipes, published in Gathering Hopewell: Society, Ritual, and Ritual Interaction.

Currently, Gina is considering re-working her presentation on the Hopewell Panpipes, to include pipes of other areas, and submitting it to other archeological publications. 

“I have not lost my love or interest for them over the years,” she says.

 

 

 

Inclusive Growth as Democratizing Productivity

April 16, 2016

2016 Alumnus in Residence and Harry Kitchen Lecturer, Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is the Chief Economist and Chair of the Academic Advisory Council at MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth.  He’s also the Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide. Prior to his global role, he was Economic Advisor to MasterCard in Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. He has served as economic strategist and advisor to over fifty leading multinational companies, advised executives and boards of directors for over 100 leading international businesses, and has delivered key note addresses at various prestigious business conferences around the world.  He is a regular commentator interviewed on CNBC, BBC World, CNN, CCTV (China), CBN (Shanghai), BTV (Beijing), Channel News Asia, Bloomberg Forum and many others.

He has written a feature article on the global importance of inclusive economic growth for the Spring TRENT Magazine.  This is a preview portion of it.  He was also a guest on the #TrentVoices podcast and radio show, where he discussed shared prosperity, the need for an expanded middle class—in both developing and developed nations —and projects that drive sustainable economic growth.  Listen to that podcast here.

The global challenge of income inequality has captured the public imagination. Depending on how this challenge is understood, however, the solutions could vary dramatically. While most people are convinced that more inclusive growth is needed, there are deeply divergent views on what exactly constitute inclusive growth. Unfortunately, many such views also come with a lot of ideological baggage, which in their extremes are both misguided and misleading. To a large extent, a more prosperous and equitable global economic future will depend on getting inclusive growth right.  

I think this requires a deep re-evaluation of many conventional theories and approaches, and in so doing, a rethinking of the fundamental constructs of economic growth itself. Expert advice over the last half a century on accelerating economic growth has run the gamut from macro policy prescriptions like the IMF’s structural adjustment programs and the so called Washington consensus, to industrial policy for nurturing infant industries, to more grassroots oriented microfinance and direct assistance to the poor, and to emphasis on investment in education and health, etc.  The poor results of this half-a-century efforts have been aptly described by William Easterly as “the elusive quest for growth." However, through a new paradigm of understanding how knowledge and knowhow drive productivity, Ricardo Hausmann’s more recent path-breaking work on economic complexity offers a promising alternative to the standard models and policy prescriptions, which in turn provides a new foundation for evolving innovative approaches for tackling inclusive growth.

The research on economic complexity highlights a key feature in today’s economic process; the need for economic agents, be they individuals, firms, and even countries, to collaborate in order to be productive. Such collaboration typically takes the form of being connected to a range of vital networks that are powerful enablers for raising productivity.  The fact is that modern economic production requires a very large set of complementary inputs. At the most basic level, we need to be connected to networks that supply us with clean water and power, and affordable transportation networks that move us efficiently and affordably, before we can even participate meaningfully in the economy. Then there are the critical networks for accessing information, and for obtaining important services like health, education, banking and finance.  Many such service networks are also interdependent: if there is no road, then it is very difficult if not impossible to connect to electricity supply, which then means all sorts of appliances, including computers, would not work. There are also the more intangible but no less critical social and professional networks for accessing skills and knowhow that reside in people’s heads. How well an economic agent is connected to these vital networks determines fundamentally how productive it can be.   

Please visit our TRENT Magazine page for more great reading!

 

 

 

"Whither Truth and Reconcilation?" A Feature Article by Waubageshig (Harvey McCue)

April 15, 2016

From the winter edition of TRENT Magazine: a piece on the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the final report that was issued at the end of last year.  Written by Waubageshig (Harvey McCue), co-founder of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Department (and Trent alumnus), the article is stark in its description of residential schools.  It also captures the cautious feeling that many First Nations people regarding the success of the Commission.

With the establishment of a residential Indian Manual Training School at Alderville (Alnwick) on the north-east shore of Rice Lake in 1839, the joint effort of the Methodist Church and the Indian Department of Upper Canada marked the beginning of the era of Indian residential schools throughout the country.  Within a decade, the Alderville school featured conditions that were to set a precedent for those that followed. Parents and leaders complained to authorities of the school’s harsh treatment of their children by the missionaries and the inadequacy of their shelter and clothing.  Despite an abiding interest to educate their children in the ways of newcomers, so many parents removed their children that by Confederation, the school was abandoned.  After Confederation, renewed interest in residential schools by both federal and church authorities (but for different reasons) kick-started an aggressive policy that led to the presence of over 80 schools across Canada 100 years later, and ultimately, more than 130.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) led by Justice Murray Sinclair, an Anishinabe judge from Manitoba, has revealed to Canadians the awful truths of these schools and the depths of the suffering, humiliation, and fear they inflicted on the seven generations of children that were, in most cases, forced to attend them.  From the first initiative in Alderville, the churches’ primary interest in the schools was economic—principally in the fees (that is, tuition) for each student that came from either the colonial or federal governments, and secondarily, the income from produce and farm goods that the schools’ student labour produced.

The willingness of the federal government following Confederation to offer annual tuition to the appropriate church and/or school per student contributed to an uncoordinated and unsupervised expansion of schools.  Residential schools were, for a period, popping up like autumnal puff balls driven by the promise of federal monies for every student that could be hauled into the school by whatever means.  Of course, the government was happy—any increase in the number of Indian youths in these schools increased the potential for “civilized,” that is, God-fearing and culturally disenfranchised, youth.  As long as the federal tuition dollars continued unabated and the students continued to serve as unpaid labour for the schools’ agriculture and livestock, the participating churches were happy too. 

While cursory attention was paid to literacy and numeracy, the schools’ education program focused more on meeting the federal government’s intention to kill the Indian in the child.  Consequently, corporal punishments were wide-spread techniques employed to prevent the use of tribal languages and to coerce children to adapt to western ways.  Additionally, most children were prevented from any family contact throughout their residency.   As we now know, the measures to kill the Indian in the child too-often killed children, too.

Between the middle of the 20th century and the creation of the TRC, the few Canadians who may have learned a little of the sorry history of residential schools and their impacts on the several generations of students forced to attend them often drew parallels between the Canadian experience and residential or boarding schools in England.  References to corporal or physical punishments, the separation of youths from families, and the apparent cruelty of masters and tutors were raised as evidence to argue that Indian residential schools were really not that different.  What was seldom, if ever, pointed out during these references was the fact that English families chose to send their children to these schools, however physically demanding they might have been; students were not treated as indentured labourers, and they were not forced to surrender  their cultural values nor their language as a condition of their attendance.  Furthermore, there is little, if any, evidence that English boarding schools poorly-clothed and partially starved students, as did so many (if not all) Indian residential schools.

The work of the TRC over its six-year mandate, and its well-publicized Final Report and 94 recommendations or Calls to Action, catalogue the abuses and horrors of this wretched public policy inflicted on defenceless children, and revealed them to a nation in detail too specific to be either ignored or challenged (an online copy of the Final Report is available here http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=890).  For many Canadians the details are gut-wrenching, with reactions ranging from incredulity to shock.  But what of the survivors?  Did the TRC provided any respite for them?  During seven four-day national events convened at Winnipeg, Inuvik, Halifax, Saskatoon, Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton, two regional events at Victoria and Whitehorse, and 77 local hearings across Canada, thousands of survivors and others connected to a school in one way or another presented their stories, either publicly or privately.  For the survivors that appeared before the Commission, the TRC has informed the public about what they endured in ways that neither they nor their families never could have.  For the almost 7,000 people who made formal representations to the TRC, the mere act of being heard was cathartic.  For them—finally—someone in authority not only listened to their often-painful stories, but they also heard them.  No longer were their stories treated as unsubstantiated recollections, or worse, as figments of damaged imaginations.  For many survivors, the TRC became the vehicle that enabled many of them to disclose their hitherto hidden pain, suffering, sorrow, and in too many cases, shame.

And what of the rest of Canada?  Will the work and 94 Calls to Action of the TRC make a difference with Canadians?  In the short term the answer, unfortunately, is no.  Apart from discovering the shameful truth about the terrible effects of residential schools, including the deaths of several thousand Indigenous youth, the majority of Canadians will be hard-pressed to know what to do about its recommendations.  Will they pressure governments and institutions to act on some or all of the TRC’s recommendations?  Not likely.  Prior to the recent federal election, Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair made pre-election promises to implement these recommendations if they became the next federal government.  Stephen Harper’s silence during the TRC’s closing ceremonies spoke volumes about what he intended to do if he won re-election.  Of the numerous campaign promises offered by Justin Trudeau, he committed his government, if elected, to respond to all 94 recommendations!

For Canada, facing up to and taking concrete action on the realities and contributing factors of Aboriginal life today remains an elusive objective.  Despite the reports of the TRC and the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, both of which outline in painful, laborious details much of those realities and contributing factors, as a country we remain either sufficiently unconcerned (thereby enabling authorities to ignore or gloss over the accumulated recommendations), or we shake our collective heads, somewhat in disbelief over what has befallen the Aboriginal population, but always in puzzlement over how to remedy the issues.  It seems that no amount of information Canadians have about the Aboriginal population will be enough to rouse the country to demand its political, economic and institutional leaders sit with the appropriate Aboriginal representatives to discuss and jointly identify how best to resolve the many ills that continue to afflict a steadily growing segment of the national population.

One can only conclude that there remains a persistent attitude among too many Canadians that the Aboriginal population, in its desire to retain the fundamental elements of aboriginality—including treaty rights and their continued residence on 639 reserves—is not only misguided, but it is the principal reason so many of them continue to live in sub-standard conditions.  In effect, we believe they are still the authors of their own sad, sorry situation.  And in that regard, not much has changed since John A. Macdonald and Duncan Campbell Scott sought to kill the Indian in the child.

For the long term, the answer may be less pessimistic.  If Prime Minister Trudeau’s government is able to implement even a third of the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action during his first term of office, incremental positive changes in attitudes and policies towards the challenges that many First Nations communities continue to encounter will take shape.  In time, as he and other prime ministers continue to respond to the remaining Calls to Action, the hoped-for changes will contribute to a political and social understanding that the much-needed reforms to Aboriginal conditions can and will only be achieved through economic, social and political partnerships.  And in time the realization among all Canadians that Aboriginal people are not the authors of their misfortunes will emerge and the country will recognize the value of according its Aboriginal population both the respect it deserves and the appropriate means by which it can enjoy its fair share of Canada’s prosperity and social conditions.  And all without having to kill the Indian in the child.

The winter edition of TRENT Magazine also featured an examination of the current and future landscape of Canadian TV/film by several alumni who have carved out successful careers in television and film: Stephen Stohn ’66, President of Epitome Pictures, multi-award winning executive producer of Degrassi, and top entertainment lawyer; Bill Corcoran ’70, who has been in the television and motion picture industry for forty years as director/producer and has directed over 300 hours of television and 30 movies; and Bay Weyman ’76, an award winning Canadian filmmaker with over 25 years’ experience  writing, producing, and directing documentary films through his company Close Up Films.

Current Trent faculty have come together to help produce an article on the post-Paris Accord state of climate change policy.  Stephen Hill and Robert Paehlke offer their unique takes on what the future holds.

Our cover story stems from a one-on-one interview with alumna Maryam Monsef and explores her first days on Parliament Hill, the life-altering experience of becoming a cabinet member, and how the position of Minister of Democratic Institutions will help shape the future governments of Canada.

For the full edition -- and an archive of back issues -- please visit our TRENT Magazine page.

 

 

 

 

The Last Lecture of 2016: Listen Now

April 13, 2016

LISTEN NOW:  The Last Lecture offers graduating students an opportunity to come together and reflect upon their experiences at Trent University, bring closure to the time that they have spent here, and celebrate their many accomplishments both inside and outside of the classroom.

This annual event features an address by a graduating student, a distinguished alumna/us and a faculty member who will offer their words of inspiration to the Convocation Class. Each lecturer speaks under one theme, offering their personal reflections, stories and words of wisdom to the graduating class. The Last Lecture helps to signify the beginning of the next step on your journey.

Unlike convocation where you sit by program and alphabetical order, at the Last Lecture you may choose to sit next to the person you sat beside in your first year lecture, and that same person might be your best friend today. Gather together a group of close friends and celebrate your last Trent lecture together. 

2016 Speakers:
Opening Remarks delivered by the Dean of Arts and Science (Humanities), Dr. Moira Howes
Graduating Class – Lexie Houghton, Otonabee College
Alumni – Stephen Brown ‘86
Faculty – Dr. David Beresford, Biology and Environmental Resource Studies
 
For full bios and more information, please visit http://trentu.ca/colleges/events.php#TheLastLecture

 

 

 

Engineering Marvel: The Amazing Story Of The Hunter Street Bridge

April 12, 2016

Trent community members cross the Hunter St. bridge countless times without stopping to consider its beauty or its incredible feats of engineering. Here's a great piece from PtboCanada by local historian and Trent Professor Emeritus Elwood Jones (with photos by Scott Arnold and others from the Trent Valley Archives).

After some cuts initiated by the politicians, Frank Barber’s bridge still had eleven arches. It would use 14,000 cubic feet of concrete, and 170 tons of reinforcing steel; the original plans had called for 17,000 cubic feet of concrete and 250 tons of steel. The central arch over the river stretched 234 feet from springer to springer, which at the time was the longest span on an open-spandrel concrete arch bridge built in Canada. Worldwide, thirteen such bridges had longer spans.

The most impressive Canadian concrete bridge of the period was the bridge in Saskatoon, now known as the University Bridge but long known as the 25th Street Bridge. The new name is appropriate because that bridge was designed by engineering professors at the adjacent University of Saskatchewan. The Saskatoon bridge was seven spans of similar length, but the longest span was 150 feet. Peterborough’s longest concrete bridge was the 1910 Inverlea bridge with three spans each about 100 feet; the total bridge length was 385 feet.

Technically, the Hunter Street river arch was remarkable for its time and reflected lessons Barber had learned over a career that was already 20 years long. The first reinforced concrete bridge in Ontario was built in 1897, only 12 years before Inverlea and 22 years before the Hunter Street Bridge. Between 1909 and 1918, Frank Barber had built twenty concrete bridges with open-spandrel arches, nearly all in Peel, York and Ontario counties, and one in Haliburton. Barber’s earlier bridges had clear spans ranging between 40 and 91 feet.


For the full story, please visit the PtboCanada website.

 



 

 

 

Podcast: #TrentVoices Interview with Hollywood Matte Painter Jim Maxwell

April 11, 2016

LISTEN NOW: Jim Maxwell has been making waves in the field of Hollywood matte painting – the painted background that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is nonexistent in real life or would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. And he has made some very prominent ones in his career: from recreating the Vatican in The Borgias to sweeping panoramas of floating armadas in Vikings.

Maxwell has received no shortage of recognition from the entertainment industry for his work, with a nod from the Emmy Awards for The Borgias in 2012, then two more nominations for his work on Vikings in 2013 and 2014. He won Canadian Screen Awards in 2014 and 2015, also for his work on Vikings.

During his time at Trent, Maxwell was a member of The Spleen Bishops – whose Celtic music stylings made them household and “pubhold” names around these parts.

In this episode, we talk about his experience creating movie effects magic, the changing technology behind the new Star Wars movie, as well as what it’s like to attend black-tie Hollywood award shows.  We then go back in time and remember The Spleen Bishops, how Celtic music became a phenomenon in Peterborough, and the gig that broke beer sales at the legendary Underdog pub (underneath the Red Dog).

Listen to the entire episode here.

For a full list of our podcasts interviews -- 25 and counting -- please visit our #TrentVoices page.