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Peter Mills - Metamorphosis Book Release

April 7th, 2016

Peter Mills, Trent alumnus is “a naturalist, always, and an artist where and when it fits,” and he just released a new book called Metamorphosis.

"Metamorphosis is a thorough and illuminating account of both halves of the double life of amphibians, who live in water and on land. The authors dual focus on both larval and adult amphibians opens a new realm of information, and new keys to species identification. It will bring a deeper level of understanding to the many naturalists who know the adults well enough, but have limited knowledge of that critical developmental first half of the lives of frogs, toads and salamanders.” (From the foreword by David M. Carroll.

The title is "METAMORPHOSIS: Ontario's Amphibians at all Stages of Development", and offers completely new perspectives on these creatures and tools for identifying them.  There is more information to be found here.





Rafael Ramirez: Strategic Reframing Book Release

April 7th, 2016

Trent alumnus Rafael Ramirez has co-written/released a new book. Strategic Reframing: The Oxford Scenario Planning Approach, co-written with Angela Wilkinson, is an in-depth guide on scenario planning to support strategy and public policy.

“Ramirez is Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme and Senior Fellow in Strategy at Saїd Business School and Green Templeton College, Oxford University. He is one of the world’s leading experts on scenario planning, having developed the Oxford Scenarios Planning Approach with colleagues Angela Wilkinson and Kees can der Heijden. He has also been one of the first scholars to develop theories on the aesthetics of business and organisation; theories that help to clarify how scenario planning can be rendered more effective.” ~University of Oxford~

Rafael holds a general Bachelor of Science degree from Trent University, a PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and from the Environmental Studies Faculty at York University in Toronto. He was Tenured Professor of Management in HEC-Paris until 2009. He also has held positions in the Wharton School, and the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations.

For more information about Rafael and his book, please visit here.




Robert Alvo - Being a Bird in North America Book Release

April 7th, 2016

We’ve just received a copy of alumnus Robert Alvo’s new book, Being a Bird in North America, hot off the press!

Alvo is a conservation biologist, bird expert, and author of Being a Bird in North America.  He first discovered his passion for the natural world at age ten, when his family moved from Montreal to Greece, and his walk to school took him through the hills of Thessaloniki. His fascination with the birds and other wildlife in the countryside ignited his lifelong study of the natural world.

After high school, Alvo returned to Canada to study biology at Queen’s University in Kingston. While working on his Master’s degree at Trent University, Alvo examined the effects of acid rain on the Common Loon, and has continued that research for over thirty years. The latest results from this project were published in 2009, reporting on 25 years of research. (From

For more about Alvo please see here. 

Alvo was recently featured on CBC Ottawa, you can view the full interview here.





Burning Hell Release New Album

April 6, 2016

Those of you who attended the Trent University 50th Anniversary concert (with Blue Rodeo) will remember opening act The Burning Hell.  Plenty of others will recall "The Hell" from their days playing on the Trent/Peterborough scene -- which happens less and less frequently as their world touring ways keep them busy.  This week, the band (featuring alumnus Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharratt, and Nick Ferrio) dropped their seventh album, Public Library.

The work continues The Burning Hell's tradition of crafting catchy, quirky tunes that carry the baritone dark humour lyrics of lyricist, Kom.

You can stream the entire album here.

Be sure to check out their brand new video for "Men Without Hats," a piece that conjures (and even quotes) some of the bands early influences while poking fun at the promotional process that goes into "selling" a musical identity.

The group in their own words:

The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of Canadian songwriter Mathias Kom, and the band has been on the road in one form or another since 2007, playing everywhere from festivals like Glastonbury and Dawson City to bars, living rooms, abandoned bunkers, and a mental asylum in rural France. Musically, The Burning Hell runs the gamut from introspective folk to hyperactive rock and roll, and so the band can adapt to its surroundings like a karma of anthropomorphic chameleons, taking the audience on a supermarket-cart ride through hooky, upbeat pop songs, dark ballads about pet euthanasia, and anthems for barbarians, economic conferences, and love. 

On occasion, Mathias goes on the road as a duo with clarinetist Ariel Sharratt, and their debut album “Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom: Don’t Believe The Hyperreal” came out in November 2015. More often, Mathias and Ariel are joined by bassist Nick Ferrio, drummer Jake Nicoll and guitarist Darren Browne. The Burning Hell will release Public Library, a new album of distorted story-songs, in April 2016, and they’ll spend the better part of the spring and summer in their natural habitat: the tour van.

You can visit the Burning Hell's website here.




Fulltime Employment Opportunities in the Peterborough Area

April 1st, 2016

Trent University Peterborough campus is currently seeking to fill two full time positions.

Job ID: 10619 – Manager, Residence Life and Education, their responsible for the development and delivery of the residence life and education program in all College Residences.  Using a developmental and student centred approach the Manager leads the residence life and education team in developing residential communities that are safe and provide support for students to learn, develop, and grow.   The incumbent is part of an on call rotation with the Director, Housing. 
DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 15th, 2016

Job ID: 10616 – Clinical Learning Centre Demonstrator with two positions available, the demonstrator organizes, prepares, oversees and evaluates learning experiences in the Clinical Learning Centre.  The facilitator collaborates with Clinical Learning Centre Coordinator, Clinical Learning Centre Senior Demonstrator and the faculty teaching theory and clinical courses to develop and modify experiential learning activities to meet the curricular requirements.  To achieve a pedagogically sound environment for complex learning to occur, this Registered Nurse, who is an expert in both nursing practice and education, participates as a team member with other CLC staff in providing an effective learning environment, and supervises and debriefs students in complex clinical scenarios. 
DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 8th, 2016

A local engineering and technology company are also currently seeking to fill a variety of different positions (fulltime, part-time, co-op, internships). The company is Belair Mechatronics Inc, located in Omemee of the Kawartha Lakes. 
The responsibilities of these candidates include, 
      • Computer Programing (.net, PHP, Java, C, Python, SLQ)
      • CAD/CAM, Robotics, Automation, Mechatronics and Hydraulics Design / Programing
      • G-code, CNC Machining and entry level machine building
DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 22nd, 2016.

For full job descriptions and qualifications, please visit the student and alumni job board on your portal!





Visit the Percy Portage at the Warkworth Exhibition

April 1st, 2016

The story of one of the area's first highways, the Percy Portage, will be told in two-and three-dimensional form in a Warkworth exhibition whose opening reception is Saturday night.

Miikaans: The Percy Portage runs through May 22 at the Arts and Heritage Centre at 35 Church St., complete with a curator thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

"It's a recognition of what we consider a very important regional heritage feature," according to Stewart Richardson, one of the show's organizers.

"It started because we were able to pull together two municipal heritage plaques. We will be putting them up June 5 at each end of the portage."

One will be set up in Meyersburg, just south of Campbellford. The other will go at County Road 45 and Richardson Road.

"To the best of my knowledge, this is only the second or maybe third plaque designating an actual First Peoples portage," Richardson said.

The Miikaans exhibition includes a canoe from the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, as well as an assortment of artifacts and carving tools that give a picture of the early history of the area along a route that became the first road used by the early European settlers in the early 1700s.

Richardson has researched and written about the portage himself, but the exhibition will include information on the group of history and geography students from Trent University who wrote the definitive study back in 1973.

"They found some old, old, old maps that showed clearly where the portage was. They did a research paper that was turned into a book," he said.

In the end, their work re-established for modern times the exact route of the Percy Portage that, before, was more a matter of anecdote and speculation. Richardson is proud to say that the exhibition has been put together with the full co-operation of Alderville First Nation, and very excited to see the exhibition come to fruition.

The April 2 opening reception begins at 7:30 p.m., with cash bar. Thereafter, the Arts and Heritage Centre is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exhibition running through May 22. 

From Northumberland Today. The article orginally appeared here.





Meet A Student - Andrew MacKinnon

April 1st, 2016

“It’s so amazing to live on the other side of the world where there are amazing friends to make, places to see and experiences to be had,” says Andrew MacKinnon, a second year Environmental Science student, who is currently completing a year studying abroad at the University of Plymouth in the UK. 

During his time in the UK, Mr. MacKinnon has met new friends from around the world, and has had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling outside of school with trips to France and Germany. He also is taking classes in Marine Biology, a program which the University of Plymouth is known for.

Trent University prides itself on providing an outstanding personal and interactive learning environment. This story is part of the #MeetaTrentStudent series, which highlights our many student success stories and the numerous dynamic programs offered at Trent.




Chatelaine Magazine Names Trent Alumna Athena Reich "World's Top Lady Gaga Impersonator"

March 31, 2016

Athena Reich is an award winning singer/songwriter and actress whose work as a Lady Gaga Impersonator has acquired recent critical acclaim.   She’s also a Trent University alumna.

Reich has been getting no shortage of attention for her work of late.

This month, Chatelaine Magazine did a profile on her, naming her “the world’s top Lady Gaga impersonator.”   Just this week, she was featured on City TV (catch the full video here).

Meanwhile, New York Magazine lists her as a “Best Bet” and she remains in high demand for live appearances to New York’s elite.

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.

Reich notes that it was “the critical thinking nurtured at Trent that helped [her] to become a socially conscious artist.”  It has definitely led her to become a person breaks barriers and challenges the status quo.

Look for a full length #TrentVoices podcast interview with Reich in the very near future.

Athena Reich:
Lady Gaga International:

Photo, Malinda Goldberger.




You Are Invited to the Last Lecture - April 1, 2016

March 24, 2016Last Lecture 2016 Promotional/Informational Poster

Friday April 1, 2016 at 3:00pm
Wenjack Theatre, Otonabee College
Open to the Trent Community and Public, refreshments to follow the amazing talks!

What is The Last Lecture?

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





4th Annual Trent Mudder Taking Place April 2nd 2016

Do you have what it takes to rise to the challenge? Trent Mudder requires you to complete a series of challenges/obstacles to test your endurance, get a little dirty, and have a great time with friends as you race to complete the Trent-wide obstacle course.  The event is based on the popular "Tough Mudder" series of races.

There are competitive and non-competitive events for both individuals and teams.

Last years event drew in more than 400 participants. 200 individuals have already signed up for the 2016 races, with a large interest on their Facebook page.

This year is said to be bigger and better, with extra obstacles being added.

Registration has been extended until Wednesday, March 23rd at 3pm.  For more information – or to register – please visit the Trent Mudder Facebook Page.




Trent Students Getting Ready to Take the Plunge

March 18, 2016

A group of Trent University students will be partaking in a Polar Plunge for charity tomorrow.

All the proceeds of the plunge will go to, a charity dedicated to building a world where every child has equal opportunity.

The plunge was organized by third year exchange student, Vikki Teasdale of Andover, England, as part of the Charity Apprentice program.  She hopes to be one of the students chosen for a four-week field placement in Kenya. The course has a $3,000 per-student fundraising goal.

“Everyone at Trent is so approachable,” she says of her motivation to get fellow students onboard.  “I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from everyone here – which has made me a lot more comfortable in putting on an event like this.”

Teasdale chose to host a Polar Dip because its simplicity and easy one-time commitment by participants.

The event has been picked up by several local media sources and has been gaining traction on Facebook.

While she doesn’t know how many plungers to expect, she does know that her fellow students from B House in Otonabee College will be joining in.

“They have no choice!” she laughs.  “No, really, they’re really quite supportive.  And it will be great to have them be a part of it.”

For more information, please visit the Fundraising Polar Dip Facebook event page.




Rowers Pull Together: A Summary of Charitable Acts Shows How Much Trent Athletes Care

Trent Rowing Program Donates Over $6,500 and 1,300 lbs of Food to Local Causes During the 2015-16 Season

March 18, 2016 

Rowing, which requires long hours in the gym and on the water, is seen as one of the most gruelling outdoor sports. Done in rain, shine, snow, and wind, rowers are taught to be resilient to the elements and disciplined in their training efforts. Training year-round, it is amazing that they find time for their studies on top of this – much less any sort of charity effort. This year showed an unprecedented year for fundraising, with the introduction of several new initiatives as well as the continuance of some annual favourites.

Around Thanksgiving, the rowers banded together in a battle-of-the-crews Thanksgiving Food Drive. Each crew member aimed to donate 50 lbs of non-perishable food, with the winning crew awarded a special prize. Overall, the team donated 1,300lbs to the Kawartha Food Share – who were thrilled to receive it right before one of their busiest days of the year.

Moving to more of a shock factor, a new fundraiser this year was the “Gentlemen of the Otonabee” Men’s Rowing Calendar – aiming to raise awareness for Homophobia in Competitive Sport. Selling over 350 Calendars to people from as far away as Florida, California, Germany, and Sweden, this was definitely the most publicity-driven endeavour. Overall the Calendar raised $1,813 for Egale Canada, an organization dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding LGBTQ youth in competitive sport. The team also received accolades from the likes of CBC Ontario Morning and Buzzfeed for their work on such a potentially controversial project.

Upon conclusion of the season, the Trent Rowers banded together with the Trent Rugby Teams to host the annual Athlete Auction, “selling themselves” to their classmates in the name of Prostate Cancer. In a catwalk-style live auction, over 60 athletes stepped up to sell themselves to a rowdy crowd of onlookers. With some people going for as much as $90, this event brought out over 200 excitable spectators. Overall, this event raised $1,574 for Movember Canada.

The Annual “Row4Heart” event took place just a few weeks ago at Lansdowne Place Mall, with all proceeds going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Organized by long-time Trent Rower and coordinator extraordinaire Abigail Adair, the event challenges relay and individual teams to complete a gruelling 100km row over the course of one day. The team collectively rowed 1,000km in under 8 hours, pushing their bodies to the limit in the name of the H&S Foundation. Focused on raising awareness for Heart Health, the Row4Heart provided an opportunity to educate the community about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Last year’s event raised $2,900 (organized by alum Dylan Wing), and this year’s event raised $3,191.

“It just shows that student-athletes are capable of acting far beyond themselves,” says Rowing Club Philanthropy Executive Jenna Pilgrim. “The team’s efforts in charity this year show that

Trent Rowers possess the triple threat of being athletes, activists, and aware students.” Pilgrim is extremely proud of the team’s efforts this year, and credits their large alumni and community base for their charitable success. She is looking forward to seeing each initiative grow in subsequent years moving forward, with whomever is elected to spearhead the Philanthropy portfolio in the coming year.

Collectively this year’s team raised $6,583 for local and national charities, and 1,300 lbs of food for the local food bank. That’s nearly enough to pay one student’s tuition at Trent for an entire year. Fielding a team of 90 competitive athletes, this year’s Trent Rowing Program also showed a tremendous amount of athletic success on the water – in each of Development, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Levels. Head Coach Jack Lapum was awarded the OUA Men’s Varsity Coach of the Year, and Novice Women’s Coaches Terry Kelly and Rory Lepage received awards for Novice Women’s Coaches of the Year. The Men’s Rowing Program placed 3rd Overall at the OUA Championships, and Joshua King and Graham Peeters both medalled at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in Antigonish, NS this fall.

To find out more about the Trent University Rowing Club, ‘friend’ them on Facebook or follow @TrentRowing or @TrentExcalibur on Twitter.






Weeks End Job Round Up - Peterborough Opportunities

March 18, 2016

The YES Shelter for Youth and Families are hiring for four seasonal jobs this summer.

The YES Shelter is a local community organization that provides emergency shelter to youth and families in crisis, as well as providing emergency food cupboards, assistance with housing, employment searches and life skills training.

The four positions currently seeking employment include:

  1. Shelter Assistant: JOB ID 10505
  2. Resource Development Assistant: JOB ID 10506
  3. Recreational Programmer: JOB ID 10507
  4. Maintenance Assistant: JOB ID 10512

For full job descriptions and required qualifications, please visit the alumni job board.
The deadline to apply for these positions is April 21st 2016.

Are you an alumni that misses being at Trent? If so, check out these possible fulltime job opportunities on the Peterborough campus!

One of the positions seeking employment is for an Accessibility Advisor/Learning Strategist. The Accessibility Advisor/Learning Strategist is responsible for implementation, coordination and delivery of academic accommodations and supports, as mandated by the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Human Rights Code for students with disabilities, ensuring equal access to Trent’s academic programs and facilities.
JOB ID: 10514, DEADLINE TO APPLY: April 1st, 2016 4:00pm

The second job position seeking employment at the Peterborough campus is for an Enrolment Service Associate. The Enrolment Services Associate is the first point of contact for Enrolment Services and provides effective, efficient, friendly, and reliable service to all clients.
JOB ID: 10528, DEADLINE TO APPLY: March 30th 2016 4:00pm




TED Talk: Learning Via Your Style by Alumnus and Education Expert DJ Cunningham

March 15, 2016

Trent alumnus and education expert DJ Cunningham's Toronto TED Talk details his struggles with dyslexia growing up, and demonstrates the value of viewing learning disabilities as learning differences.  View the YouTUBE video here.

Cunningham is CEO of LEARNstyle, a company that helps empower individuals through the use of Assistive Technology.

"Our vision for Assistive Technology has grown and we now see it as truly, necessary for some but beneficial for all. Assistive Technologies are powerful computer tools that enable individuals with learning barriers and enhance the productivity and efficiency of all others."

Cunningham has a significant learning disability. In school he faced all the issues of those with hidden disabilities: "feelings of inadequacy and stupidity, concealment, embarrassment, ridicule, teasing, being viewed as lazy or defiant." He used common coping mechanisms such as becoming invisible; acting out; and at times and with growing sophistication, “playing the LD card.” At Trent University, he discovered assistive technologies and a door to independence and academic success opened. DJ has been a user of Assistive Technologies for the past 10 years and has trained hundreds of students and led numerous training workshops.




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

March 15, 2016

LISTEN NOW: Our #TrentVoices podcast with Yuwa Hedrick-Wong.

Yuwa Hedrick-Wong is the Chief Economist and Chair of the Academic Advisory Council at MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth – a group that just might make you doubt what you think you know about multinational financial organizations.  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.

Hedrick-Wong believes that economic growth drives shared prosperity – that it is not just limited to a single class or group of individuals. The Center for Inclusive Growth works to expand the middle class—in both developing and developed nations —in order for a better sharing of the benefits of economic development. According to Hedrick Wong, “in this situation, there is large-scale betterment—a boost to the common good—and growth for MasterCard’s business as well: a win-win process.”

He stresses the importance of taking this a step further. “We work with governments to create a deeper understanding of the importance of inclusive growth—and of equity,” he explains. “The impact of this can lead to being a win-win-win situation.”

It’s a revolutionary approach to economic development.  And one we delve into during this extended interview.

For our full archive of interviews, please visit our #TrentVoices page.





Job Opportunity from the Office of Student Transitions and Careers

March 11, 2016

The University Secretariat at Trent University has a short term contract position for Coordinator, Board and Senate Support, replacing an existing leave of absence in that office.

This position is full-time and the successful candidate must be prepared to commit to a full-time (35 hours/week) work commitment, effective immediately, and continuing through to September 30, 2016.

The successful applicant will:

· provide administrative support to the Board of Governors, Senate and certain of their respective committees, subcommittees and task forces, as assigned;
·liaise with administrative offices to ensure timely and coordinated reporting to governing bodies;
·coordinate select projects or special events as required;
·provide a high level of technical support for Secretariat operations.

Are you about to graduate or have recently graduated and can commit to full-time work hours effective immediately until September 30?

Are you mature and exhibit a professional demeanour, always communicating with discretion and tact?
Are you comfortable dealing with highly confidential and sensitive documents?

If you answered yes to the above questions, see the attached job posting for a full position description and application instructions.

The Coordinator, Board and Senate Support job posting can also be found via the Student Experience Portal ( on the Student Job Board by searching JOB ID 10453. Deadline to apply: Monday March, 14 at 4:00pm.

For more job opportunities, please vist the alumni job board.





Jenn A. Reed Leadership Scholarship

March 11, 2016

Jennifer Reed exhibited a rare combination of care, compassion, and leadership, and the world is a much better place as a result. While her leadership skills offered her great personal success in the realm of finance, ultimately it was her profound belief in human resilience that marked her greatest achievements.   

Reed passed away last summer at the young age of 45, but not before creating a legacy that touched countless lives. 

After gaining a BA in psychology and political science from Trent University and a degree in public relations from Humber College, she began work with Mastercard Canada.  Quickly establishing herself as an effective communicator, she took on progressively senior communications and marketing roles, achieving the position of vice-president, Communications and Government Relations after only nine years of employment. 

At the age of 40, however, Reed decided that her skills would better serve the charitable sector, and so she began work with Right to Play Canada.  Her care for those in need led to her position as vice-president of communications for Prostate Cancer Canada.  She had accepted a new and exciting role at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation in Toronto in the days before falling victim to accidental drowning. 

Reed’s leadership abilities were recognized by her peers. While at MasterCard Canada, Jenn was chosen for the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, which gives young leaders from all sectors a chance to step away from their usual roles and, together, examine the relationship between industry and community.  Her impact as a facilitator inspired her colleagues from that conference to establish a scholarship for student leaders in her memory at Trent. 

It is hoped that Reed’s legacy of leadership will be passed on to a new generation of Trent students. 

About the scholarship:
Established in memory of Jennifer Reed (Alumna ’83) by family, friends and colleagues 
to honour her enormous love of life and country and her involvement with the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conferences. To be awarded to a full-time undergraduate student in second year and above and in any program with a minimum average of 80%. The student must have demonstrated leadership qualities that contribute to Trent’s mission, the community or the country as a whole. 




John K. Muir Prize

March 11, 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 will gather together a group 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 will meet to unanimously decide on one or more Trent-affiliated organizations, students, or student groups to receive funding.  They will be asked to consider which Trent-affiliated organizations, student services, or students have been most influential in their own development.   

The fist John K. Muir prize is to be delivered this year. 

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 performancefrom 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. 





#TBT: The (Often Hilarious) 2012 Trent University Lip Dub

March 10, 2016

VIEW THE VIDEO HERE.  Back in December of 2012, students, faculty and staff in the Trent University Environmental and Life Sciences (ELS) Graduate Program celebrated the successful launch of their new Wild Thing lip dub video at Bagnani Hall, Traill College.

"This lip dub video captures the essence of our graduate program, emphasizing the amazing research we do in the field and in the laboratory. We also wanted to convey the enthusiasm that Trent faculty, staff, and students have for learning and that we can also have fun," Dr. Craig Brunetti, director of the ELS Graduate Program said.

The video has been viewed more than 28,000 times on YouTube.

For every hit on YouTube that the video received, 0.1 cent was donated to a scholarship to help a future ELS grad student, thanks to support from Trent University Alumni, Advancement, Dr. Chris Metcalfe, the Graduate Student Association, Havelock Truck and Auto, and many more.

The Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program (ELS) is an interdisciplinary program offering both masters and doctoral degrees.  Students are supervised by faculty members from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Resource Sciences, Forensic Sciences, Geography, and Psychology, as well as by scientists at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Health Canada, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations.  There are typically 160-190 students enrolled and the program annually accepts an average of 50 students out of approximately 300 applications.





#TrentTalks Lecture: Dalal Al Waheidi — The Future of Canada: My (Our) Journey to Global Citizenship

March 10, 2016

LISTEN NOW: Dalal Al Waheidi discusses what it means to be a global citizen -- including the “why” behind global citizenship and its significance especially in the current political climate.  The full lecture can be heard here.

Al Waheidi was the 2016 Jack Matthews Fellow at Trent. She is the executive director of We Day Global, where she is responsible for leading the team that brings the power of We Day to cities in Canada, the US and the UK. Ms. Al-Waheidi joined Free the Children in 2002 after graduating from Trent with a degree in International Development Studies, and has held a variety of roles including international project director, chief operations director and executive director.

“Dalal truly embodies the uniquely Canadian values of global citizenship that Jack Matthews embedded in the institutions he established,” said Dr. Michael Allcott, director of TIP. “An immigrant to Canada, her extraordinary leadership and commitment to others is an example of the strength of the Canadian mosaic—her work so far has empowered thousands of young Canadians to engage civic discourse and service, and to begin changing the world for the better.”





Gendered Voices Panel Tackles Issues of Oppression

Panel Featured Alumni and Current Students and Drew Attention to Gender/Race Barriers in Politics and Academia

March 10, 2016

Examining the issues and barriers women and minorities face in the world of politics in Canada, Gendered Voices in a Changing World packed Bagnani Hall (Traill College) to the point of overflow last week.  Organized by two Trent alumnae, Sara Ostrowska ‘10 and Zara Syed ‘11, the panel featured a diverse mixture of alumni and current students.

Peterborough/Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, Town Councillor Diane Therrien, and Politics Professor Nadine Changfoot joined four politically active students, Betelhem Wondimu, Shanese Steele, D Dmuchowski, and Erin McLaughlin in drawing attention to issues and voices that have traditionally been missing in common political discourse.

Gendered Voices showcased a diverse mix of perspectives, from elected government politics to university politics to academia.  It also delved into student views that examined trans erasure, healthcare, Indigenous issues, and black representation.  The panellists delved into current issues of gender and race alienation, the importance of including these voices, and the role of education and social structures in removing these barriers.

Yumna Leghari (co-editor of Arthur Newspaper) performed a piece of slam poetry and discussed her relationship with politics and intersectional feminism.

As a local comedian and “that-person-who-knows-everyone,” Syed was a vibrant MC and host. Ostrowska, meanwhile, took on the role of moderator, analyzing and tying themes together to provide a comprehensive look at the issues. Both women have a long history of advocating on gender issues. 

The event fostered critical discussion on intersectional feminism, the gender gap in politics (and its far-reaching societal effects), gender equality (including non-binary gender roles), and the empowerment of minority voices. Context ranged from the political to the social to the academic and exposed myriad levels of oppression.

Organizers were careful not to classify it as a “women’s event.”

“This was not a panel of women,” explained Syed.  “It was a panel of individuals – some that did not identify as women. We felt it important that a feminist panel included as many voices as possible.  We also believe that International Women's Day should expand its outreach to other non-binary genders.  And that these discussions should include everyone facing similar barriers. We hope to inspire more movements like this, and more conversations.”

The organizers were thankful, not only to the alumnae that offered their voices, but those who offered support.

“Although we had a wealth of sponsors, we'd like to thank the brand new Community for Trent Women group led by Lee Hayes at Alumni Affairs,” noted Ostrowska. “She saw two Trent alumni trying to make a difference and gave her unconditional support. We're very thankful for the opportunities given to us and hope to give back to the community in any way we can.”

Gendered Voices in a Changing World took place on March 4 from 6-8pm at Bagnani Hall, Traill College.




New Equipment Seals Reputation of Trent’s Water Quality Centre as a World-Class Facility

March 8, 2016

Looking closely, you'll see a stainless steel Trent logo at the base of the Trent Water Quality Centre's Nu-1700 high-resolution mass spectrometer.  What you won't have to search for is the effect that this new piece of equipment will have on our reputation.

"This will definitely put Trent University on the map and cement our position as one of the leading environmental isotope facilities in the world," said Dr. R. Bastian Georg, senior research scientist at Trent's Water Quality Centre.

The Nu-1700 is the only instrument of its kind, whose large size and powerful magnet make it capable of precisely analyzing the chemical composition of liquids, gases and solid materials that cannot be resolved with smaller spectrometers. Trent is only the eighth institution in the world to install a Nu-1700.

"This equipment will open up research in the field of isotope science that is considered cutting-edge and will allow us to tackle issues that other labs simply cannot do," Dr. Georg said, indicating research on selenium as a potential application.

"Selenium is very important in the environment because the biosphere needs the right amount of selenium to function properly," he said. "With this instrument, we can look at selenium isotopes and trace the biological pathways and the metabolic rate, which you can't do easily on a smaller instrument."

Dr. Georg noted that the Trent Water Quality Centre is already the most comprehensive mass spectrometry facility in Canada and has an international reputation. As an example, he cited the lab of Prof. Holger Hintelmann's mercury research group, which is considered one of the leading groups in the world.

"With the addition of this new piece of equipment, Trent now has one of the best-equipped isotope analytical facilities in the world," Dr. Georg said. "The Nu-1700 will attract post-docs and scientists who want to do cutting-edge isotopic research, and provide high-quality research opportunities for Trent students."

"The Nu-1700 is a fantastic addition to an already fantastic lab," said Dr. Karla Newman, research scientist. "We have a unique combination of inorganic and organic mass spectrometer facilities and you won't find that anywhere else in North America. It opens up really exciting science looking at the relationship between organic and inorganic components in the environment and that is where environmental science is heading."

"This really puts the cherry on the cake," added Dr. Georg.

This new aquisition is one of three that have boosted the lab this year.  Also new:

The Prodigy-7 (Teledyne LeemanLabs, US) is a state-of-the-art dual-view ICP optical emission spectrometer (ICP-OES). It offers fast and simultaneous analysis of most elements, with detection limits as low as a few parts-per-billion. The robustness of the ICP and the high dynamic range make this instrument ideally suited for samples with high matrix and element concentrations. In the WQC, this instrumentis used to carry out elemental analyses of drinking and waste-waters, soil extracts and dissolved rock samples.

The Nu-Plasma-2 (Nu Instruments, UK) is a state-of-the-art MC-ICP-MS instrument, specifically designed for the analysis of isotopic ratios of metal and metalloid elements. The instrument has 16 Faraday collectors and 3 ion-counters, making it the most versatile instrument on the market. It also provides high mass-resolution capabilities to resolve potential interferences in the mass-spectrum.

Trent University’s Water Quality Centre is a state-of the art analytical facility, training facility, and research facility that attracts graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and scientists from institutions around the world, including Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and China.




ONLINE NOW: The Latest Edition of TRENT Magazine

March 7, 2016

The brand new TRENT Magazine is landing in mailboxes across Canada and around the world.  Please visit our magazine page here.

This edition is being sent to each alumni address that we have on record. If you don’t receive yours this week, please email and we will update your address.

Also, we plan on sending hard copies of the magazine out once per year.  While it is always available online, you can also receive hard copies of all three annual editions (Winter, Summer, Fall) in the mail.  Again, simply email to get on our subscription list.

This edition features some fascinating current events pieces, viewed through the unique prism of Trent alumni and faculty.

Waubageshig (Harvey McCue ’66), co-founder of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Department, has prepared a piece on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the final report that they released in December. The article is stark in its description of residential schools. It also captures the cautious feelings that many First Nations people are experiencing regarding the outcomes of the Commission.

We present an examination of the current and future landscape of Canadian TV/film by several alumni who have carved out successful careers in the industry: 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 40 years as director/producer, and who has directed over 300 hours of television and 30 movies; and Bay Weyman ’76, an award-winning Canadian filmmaker with over 25 years of experience in 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. Professors Stephen Hill and Robert Paehlke offer their predictions on what the future may hold.

Our cover story stems from a one-on-one interview with alumna (and Privy Council member) Maryam Monsef ’03 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.

We hope you enjoy the latest edition.  Keep an eye here for bonus features and breaking stories.  Check out our entire archive of TRENT Magazine here.  Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIN.





Ph.D Graduate Andressa Lacerda Podcast Interview

March 4, 2016

2015 Ph.D. grad Andressa Lacerda is in mid-career stride, despite being only 26.  She’s a founding partner and the CFO in Noble Inc., a company that will manufacture and distribute filtration systems to remove nanosilvers from wastewater.  Also on the Noble Inc. agenda?  The introduction of pharmaceuticals that will cure cancer and diseases  caused by virus’.  Her partner in this is Adam Noble, a science prodigy who has set both the Trent community and academic world on fire with research that he accomplished while still a high school student.  

Andressa helped mentor Adam into becoming one of Canada’s “20 Under 20” in 2014.  Together they have just signed on as cornerstone tenants of Trent University’s new Research and Innovation Park, with a $20 million, 50,000-square-foot production facility to be built soon.

Andressa’s own research has shed new light onto neurological disorders – in particular how mutations of LITAF protein cause the genetic Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.  

It’s a fascinating discussion – and one where another of Andressa’s talents shine: the ability to take complex ideas and make them relatable to students and laypeople.

Check out her full interview here.

And check out our full list of interviews and lectures on our podcast pages.  





Weekly Job Round Up with an Extra Bonus Opportunity

March 3, 2016

Looking to go speak with employers one on one to get a feel for possible job opportunities? Look no further and attend the Watton Employment job fair on Wednesday March 9th, from 4:00 – 7:00pm at the Cobourg Lions Centre.

Be sure to go prepared with your cover letter and resumes!

Visit Watton Employment Services to pre-register
9 Elgin Street East, Cobourg ON K9A 0A1
Please call for more information 905-372-1901 or Toll Free 1-888-348-8854

Job ID: 10342 – and can also be found on the Alumni Job Board!

Or maybe you’re into business and are trying to start a career?

Job ID: 10356 - BMO is currently seeking a Mortgage Specialist to originate, build and relationship manage third-party networks of referral sources to build a pipeline of mortgage business with a focus on external/new to BMO customers. (Other Ontario)

Job ID: 10354 – Investors Group is currently seeking a Financial consultant to join their team! Find out why Investors Group was rated the #1 Full Service Dealer in the financial planning industry for six consecutive years, and how we can help bring your personal and professional rewards far beyond those associated with a traditional job. (Toronto and GTA)

For full job descriptions and other job postings, please visit the Alumni Job Board! 

Job Bonus this week - As an added bonus for this week’s job round up, here is a list of job postings that are not posted on the job board! 

The Globe and Mail are currently seeking individuals to fill positions in Toronto, with one in Edmonton.

Scrum Master – Toronto
Reporter – Edmonton
Foreign Editor – Toronto
Content Editor – Toronto
Senior Web Developer – Toronto

For full job descriptions and inquiries, please visit:





More Job Opportunities from the Alumni Job Board - Seasonal and Full-time

February 26, 2016

Whether you’re looking for a summer job or trying to land fulltime employment, check out the job board for great opportunities! 

One company seeking a number of individuals for full time employment is Can Am Road Shows, a company that provides “dynamic promotional services for the modern marketplace. They apply an interactive approach to marketing that forges a personal connection between companies and their ideal customers.”

Currently, the company is seeking:
A retail sales associate/assistant manager trainee: Job ID 10306
Entry level marketing assistant manager/full training: Job ID 10307
Assistant events manager trainee – full training: Job ID 10308
Communications coordinator – entry level: Job ID 10309
For these full job descriptions and more please visit the student/alumni job board!

Or maybe your looking for a temporary summer job, two organizations currently hiring for the up and coming summer months are Community Care – Durham Region, as well as CISS (Canadian International Student Services) around Ontario.

Community Care Durham is a multi-service, registered charitable organization that provides Home Support, Respite and COPE Mental Health services for adults and their caregivers who have needs related to aging, physical, and/or mental health. Currently the company is seeking individuals for seasonal employment of all the various services they offer, such as:

Adult Day Program Assistants in Oshawa, Uxbridge, and Clarington. Job ID’s 10326-10328
Respite Program Assistant in Ajax/Pickering: Job ID 10329
COPE Mental Health Services Assistant in Oshawa/Whitby: Job ID 10330
Home Support Office and Program Assistants (various positions in various cities)
For more descriptions, please visit the student/alumni job board.

CISS is committed to providing a stimulating, challenging, and safe learning environment for students of all nationalities. They offer the highest quality student products available, and take pride in presenting them with a distinctly Canadian flavour. CISS Canadian International Student Services (CISS) is currently looking for enthusiastic and hard-working individuals with a passion for camp positions.  Candidates should be energetic, organized, creative, and team oriented.  They must be willing to embrace the diverse cultural environment we offer at our programmes.

Currently the organization is seeking:
Waterfront Staff: job ID 10243
Lifeguard: job ID 10241
ESL Teachers: job ID 10242
Outdoor Ed Instructors: job ID 10244
Counsellor: job ID 10245
Programme coordinator: job ID 10246
Social media lead: job ID 10247
Activity instructor: job ID 10248
Office manager: job ID 1025




Bonus Audio Material from TRENT Magazine

Feb 25, 2016

TRENT Magazine is currently hurtling across time and space and making its way to mailboxes across the globe.  That's right, we're sending out our flagship publication to every alumni address we have -- and we hope we have yours!

We're in the process of a content/layout redesign.  Next edition will feature and all-new look.  This one features a new editorial approach that sees us tackling current affair-related stories provided by Trent faculty and experienced alumni.

The From the House blog will often feature bonus material related to the magazine -- this time around we have audio that will expand upon two of our features.  Our cover story delves into MP Maryam Monsef's first days as Minister of Democratic Reform.  Please follow the link to a exclusive interview between TRENT Magazine editor Donald Fraser and Minister Monsef.  It's a relaxed and candid peek at a very public figure:    

As well, we have the full panel discussion of "Through a Canadian Lens: The Current and Future Landscape of Canadian TV and Film."  TRENT Magazine delves into the media thoughts/ideas of panelists Bay Weyman, Bill Corcoran, and Stephen Stohn, but the full talk can be found here:

We hope you enjoy this edition of TRENT Magazine.  And if you don't recieve your copy by mail, be sure to email to get your copy -- and future editions.





Trent Magazine Editorial

February 24, 2016

The editorial from the upcoming TRENT Magazine, which will be mailed out this week.

The folks behind TRENT Magazine are getting pretty darned excited. Over the past few months, we’ve been meeting with alumni, staff, and faculty and making plans for a new editorial direction.

We’ll call what you are looking at today the Beta version.

Over the next few editions, we’ll be rolling out both visual and content redesigns. Responding to several rounds of surveying, and conversations held with both readers and stakeholders, we’ll be changing the look and feel of our flagship publication. While there will still be emphasis on noteworthy alumni—and how they are impacting our ever-changing world—there will be a shift to a more current affairs/academic format, with feature articles provided by both faculty and alumni that are leaders in their fields.

To celebrate, we’re sending a copy out to all of the alumni that we can find. Like what you see? Simply subscribe. We’ll make sure every edition makes it to your door.

The difference that will jump out at you this time around is in the content. We feature some diverse, in-depth stories with contributions from both distinguished alumni and faculty.

Waubageshig (Harvey McCue ’66), co-founder of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Department, has prepared a piece on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the final report that they released in December. The article is stark in its description of residential schools. It also captures the cautious feelings that many First Nations people are experiencing regarding the success of the Commission.

We are also presenting 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 inthe television and motion picture industry for 40 years as director/producer, and who has directed over 300 hours of television and 30 movies; and Bay Weyman ’76, an award-winning Canadian filmmaker with over 25 years of experience in 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. Professors 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 The Honourable Maryam Monsef ’03 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. Be sure to check out for exclusive audio clips from that interview.

Actually, while you’re at it, why not take time to look around our new website? With a brand new blog, news feed, and podcasted lectures and interviews (over 30 episodes and growing each week!), there is plenty available to help you plug back into Trent University life.

We hope you enjoy this new and improved TRENT Magazine—if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe by emailing We want to share the Trent alumni experience with you.





Employment Opportunities From the Alumni Job Board

February 18, 2016

Hey alumni, would you like access to our job board but are having trouble finding it? Look no further and follow these step by step instructions!

Steps to access the Alumni Job Board:
1. Go to
2. Click on the Trent Portal tab on the right hand side. 
3. Log on to your My Community Portal.
4. Once logged onto your portal click on the Support tab on the upper right hand corner.
5. Once in the Support tab, look under the Campus Support section, and there you will find the Student Alumni Job Board!

Don't know your login or haven't made an account yet, follow these instructions to update or make your account to receive access to your 'My Community' portal!

1. Go to
2. Click on the Benefits tab in the banner.
3. Once in the Benefits tab, click on the Keep in Touch section, and it will then take you to the page where you can update or submit your information.

If you are having any problems, please don't hesitate to e-mail:

“Cuso International is a development organization that works to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of highly skilled volunteers, collaborative partnerships and compassionate donors. 
OUR VISION: A world where all people are able to realize their potential, develop their skills and participate fully in society” (Taken from the company website) 

This organization is hiring for a variety of different full time career positions. For full job descriptions, please visit the Student and Alumni Job Board. 

1. Environmental Policy Advisor - ID:10129, 
2. Environmental Public Policy Advisor - ID:10123, 
3. Organic Production Advisor - ID:10124, 
4. Agricultural Entrepreneurship Advisor - ID:10126, 
5. Environmental Advisor - ID: 10127, 
6. Inclusive Sustainable Economic Growth Advisors - ID:10128, 
7. Green Economy Advisor - ID:10120, 
8. Horticulture and Marketing Advisor -ID: 10130

Reynolds and Reynolds (Canada Ltd) is a company that helps dealers generate more sales, profit, and help their companies run more smoothly, as well as helping to provide positive customer experience for every customer. The company grants much of their success to their wonderfully talented employees that are offered a strong, positive and encouraging work environment. The associates have the various opportunities such as; energizing projects, high-powered teaming, and constant learning and professional growth. If this excites you, please visit the Student and Alumni Job Board for full job descriptions of the various positions open: 

1. Customer Training Associate – ID:10099
2. Account Manager Trainee – ID:10100
3. Customer Support Associate – ID:10101
4. Customer Demonstration Representative – ID:10102





February TRENT Magazine Teaser: The Post-Paris Climate Future; The Fate of Film/TV in Canada

February 12, 2016

NOTE: The February edition of TRENT Magazine will be mailed out to all of our alumni.  To continue to recieve the print edition, please contact Similarly, if you do not recieve the February edition in the mail, please email.

Over the next few editions of TRENT Magazine, we’ll be rolling out both visual and content re-designs.  Responding to several rounds of surveying – and conversations held with both readers and stakeholders – we’ll be changing the look and feel of our flagship publication.  While there will still be emphasis on noteworthy alumni -- and how they are impacting our ever-changing world -- there will be a shift to a more current affairs/academic format, with features being provided by both faculty and by alumni who are leaders in their fields.

This month, we’re featuring a piece by Waubageshig (Harvey McCue), co-founder of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Department, on the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the final report that was issued at the end of last year.  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.

In the wake of the Paris Agreement, TRENT Magazine managing editor Donald Fraser talks to Trent University Environmental and Resource Studies professors Dr. Stephen Hill and Dr. Robert Paehlke about our climate future.  Here is an excerpt from that piece:

  • Will Canada meet its Paris targets?

RP: This question is especially challenging because Canada, and all nations, will need to stay, or deepen, the policy course they set for forty or more years. This is hard to do because some nations will falter on their commitments and everywhere governments of varying views will come and go. The prospect of success is unforeseeable because along the way some will assert that we have ‘done enough’ or we’ve done ‘all we can.’

The greatest temptation to falter will come as some nations move toward post-carbon economies. Those with limited renewable energy potential will, at that point, be lured by cheaper oil and gas. Hopefully, Canadians will be comfortable enough that we don’t fire up the old propane BBQs for old time’s sake. How tempting it will be to backslide in personal or policy terms is unpredictable. 

SH: No. Not with the current level of activity. Unless we put in place strong policies soon, we’ll miss our 2020 and 2030 targets by quite a bit. And Canada’s current targets, as hard as they will be to meet, don’t yet contribute our global share to meeting the 2 degree target, and certainly nowhere near the 1.5 degree aspirational target that came out of Paris. We’ve got a lot of work to catch up on!

  • Is Paris enough?

RP: Getting a widely agreed-to framework is a huge step forward. Paris provides an overarching target and ongoing reporting mechanisms within which national plans can evolve. Will it be enough? Beyond the treaty, a successful transition will require much more, perhaps even: 1) as improbable as it may seem, international peace as a new normal; 2) wide acceptance that fossil energy use must end almost entirely, not just be slowed; 3) improved opportunities for poor nations to grow economically; 4) climate action champions remaining in power in key places (no climate deniers in the White House, for example); and 5) enforcement mechanisms for egregious failure to meet targets. Little wonder it is hard to answer this question.

Can one say if Paris is enough? It was agreed to at one point in time by one set of governments. It is a remarkable achievement, but the long term outcome is up to us: all nations and communities—and individuals, as citizens and as economic actors (investors, employees, regulators, managers and consumers).

SH: No. Climate Action Tracker ( has done a good job of compiling the pledges and targets from countries around the world. I’d encourage people to check it out. If—and that’s a big if—every pledge that came out of Paris materialized, they estimate that we will still see 2.7 degrees warming by 2100, and more after that.


This edition will also feature 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.

An excerpt:

In discussing the current state of the industry in Canada, Corcoran said, “The story of Canadian film (is that) you can have the best product, the purest product in the world, but if the gates are suddenly shut to you for delivery, you will not have a business.”

“Canada is rich with stories and storytellers old and new,” he added. “The difficulty has been to get the stories to market.”

He pointed out that cinema and television has never been more alive, vibrant, or democratic than today, but how stories are distributed is at a crossroads. While there are many new and easy avenues to get product to market, such as Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix, very few people are able to monetize this form of distribution.

This broadening of distribution platforms has resulted in what Corcoran refers to as the “narrowcasting” of the industry. “We now have so many outlets competing for eyes on the tube that we look to create product that focuses more on viewer-specific interests, and sometimes those things are based on gender, age, heritage, nationality, and many other kinds of things,” he said.

Noting that there is already a move to dismantle the CBC, reduce and eliminate tax credits, and privatize the National Film Board, he criticized the demand that the industry compete on an equal footing based on the American model.

“We live beside a population ten times the size of our country, who have a cultural mandate to proselytize and popularize their culture and their way of life,” he said. “Most of the theatres in Canada are owned by the US, and if they’re not owned directly, they’re controlled by access to product by the large studios, the distribution and exhibition companies.”

Pointing out that he is not anti-American, Corcoran said “I'm anti ‘Canadian movies and television aren’t as good as American shows.’ If there's no appetite generated for our stories we may never have an identity.”

Corcoran emphasized the importance of storytelling as part of the Canadian identity, suggesting that we all need to share the blame for a failure to champion Canadian storytelling. “We are extremely poor promoters of our art and show embarrassing lack of knowledge of our storytelling history.”





An Update on the Traill College Review

February 11, 2016

A reminder that input into the Catharine Parr Traill College review is still very much being sought.  This is an opportunity for alumni to have their voices heard on the subject of the future of the college.  The review is being undertaken Dr. Christopher Tindale -- a former Senior Tutor at Traill.  Ashley Horne, the Executive Assistant to Trent’s Vice-President of Finance and Administration, is supporting Dr. Tindale in the review.

Anyone interested in contacting Dr. Tindale can do so via Ms. Horne at <>.  Community members have until April first to submit.

Traill Principal Michael Eamon calls this a "meaningful and necessary time to discuss Traill's past and present and to help build towards a dynamic future."

Eamon notes that open discourse is both a Trent and Traill tradition and encourages alumni to join the discussion. 

"As Trent's oldest college, it has had huge impact on both students and the Peterborough community."

Dr. Tindale has stated that he does not hold "invested interest" in the results of the project and that his role is to "hand in the report and walk away."

Meeting with members of the Graduate Students Association he said that "Traill is a college I feel deeply about" and that he, personally, would "never suggest a closure."

Trent President Leo Groarke recently published this update in the Peterborough Examiner:

Traill Review is Necessary

Why is Trent reviewing Traill College? The answer to this question is rooted in our history. One of the things that makes this history fascinating is a continuing debate over our downtown colleges.

Peter Robinson College and Catharine Parr Traill College opened their doors in 1964. In a press release, President T.H.B. Symons described them as “the central academic units of the University, in which students will receive many of their tutorials and lectures, and around which the whole life of the University will be focused.”

The ideal behind Trent’s original two colleges is a powerful one which aims to place students in a small teaching and learning community that supports them during—and after—their time at university. Today, many still see colleges as a way to provide students with a close-knit community during a time when university education is increasingly impersonal.

Over time, colleges have played a diminishing role in university education in Canada and elsewhere, although “collegiate” universities continue to adapt and evolve. Some of the world’s most successful universities are, in one way or another, wedded to the college model.

In Peterborough, Peter Robinson College was closed for fiscal reasons in 2001. In the midst of widespread opposition and much controversy, Traill College remained open, but was converted into a college for graduate rather than undergraduate students.

At Trent, attitudes to the traditional college ideal differ but debates about the significance and history of Trent’s downtown colleges remain a key element of our identity.

When I meet with alumni across the country, many of them lament the loss of a college ideal that played a central role in their undergraduate education. They hope that the current review of Traill can become an opportunity to recapture the college ideal and reclaim, in one college, what was a key component of Trent education.

Current members of Traill College who are committed to the education it provides are anxious about a review that brings back memories (or, if they were not at Trent, stories) of what happened as a result of past discussions of the colleges.

Other members of the Trent community are indifferent or more critical. They highlight budget issues; physical challenges with some of Traill’s aging buildings; what they see as a weak and marginal connection to the downtown; and a preference for a focus on the Symons campus that to a great extent replaced Trent’s original colleges.

I think that the members of all these groups should welcome the current review. The suggestion that the university should not “open this can of worms” because it is divisive is out of place in a university which claims to teach critical thinking that invites students to “challenge the way you think.”

More importantly, there are issues that Trent and Traill need to recognize and address. If one wanted to make Traill fail, the best way to do so is by ignoring real issues that will catch up to it. One does not help a community—in a college or elsewhere—by turning a blind eye to challenges it faces.

I have outlined the issues for Traill elsewhere. I leave them for our external reviewer, Dr. Tindale, and others to address.

I do not know what recommendations will make their way back to the University, but I will say that my own vision of Trent includes Traill College. Though it must be a Traill which is organized (and possibly reorganized) in a way that will ensure its future success.

If the issues are taken seriously, the review of Traill could be a creative catalyst which could revive, in one of our component parts, the educational ideals that characterized our inception at the same time that it invigorates a connection to the downtown that would make Trent and Peterborough both better. 

Traill photo by Samantha Moss.
Dr. Tindale quotes courtesy of Arthur.




Trent Alumni Affairs #TrentVoices Show Helps Celebrate/Showcase Trent Radio Pioneers

February 10, 2016

The Trent University Alumni Association has been welcomed by the fine folks at Trent Radio to produce a radio show/podcast featuring a wide variety of Trent alumni.  These #TrentVoices one-on-one interviews have featured artists, politicians, academics, political activists, social media experts…  really, notable alumni of all backgrounds and careers.

Because many of these interviews have taken place at Trent Radio, host Donald Fraser has gone out his way to showcase some of the pioneers of that station.  Over the past months, he has interviewed many of the players that helped shape the fledgling organization.  We’ve included some of those here.

What is incredible to note is the success that each of these pioneers achieved after their time at Trent Radio (and Trent University) – proof that this community station is truly a training ground for media success.

And the successes continue to come. A future guest will be Ayesha Barmania (left) – who went from Trent Radio to the coveted CBC Gzowski Internship to a producer on CBC’s Cross Country Checkup – all in the span of the past year.  Special recognition goes to Jill Staveley, James Kerr, and (of course) the legendary John Muir (pictured above in his very earliest days at Trent Radio) for continuing to mentor young talent.

The station was founded in 1968 by Stephen Stohn, Christopher Ward, and Peter Northrop.  We managed to catch up with Stephen and Christopher last year.  Jack Roe was – we think – the 3rd Station Manager for Trent Radio.  We caught up with him earlier this week.

All three share memories of their time at Trent Radio, Trent University, and of their career evolution since then.  All three also give advice to students and alumni who are trying to break into the field.

We hope that you enjoy these candid, informative, entertaining, and often very humorous conversations.  Special thanks to everyone at Trent Radio for making this show/podcast happen.  Also to Michael Hurcomb for audio assistance in the Stohn/Ward interviews.

Be sure to check out all of our podcast interviews at our #TrentVoices page.

Stephen Stohn

Stephen Stohn is an 11 time Gemini Award winner and executive producer of Degrassi: The Next Generation -- as well as a nearly 20-year executive producer of The Juno Awards.  He's also one of Canada's most respected entertainment lawyers.

We discuss his career, but also roll back the clock and talk about his involvement in launching both Arthur Newspaper and Trent Radio.  It's a glimpse into the world of Canadian entertainment by a true giant in the music/television sectors.

Listen now!

Christopher Ward

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.

Listen now!

Jack Roe

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.

Listen now!




Podcast: #TrentVoices Interview with Journalist/News Anchor, Jack Roe

February 9, 2016

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.

Listen to the full interview here.  And check out our full list of interviews and lectures on our podcast pages.




Yann Martel's Brand New Novel 'The High Mountains of Portugal'; PLUS Video Comments on his Time at Trent University

February 5, 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.

From Penguin Random House Canada:

The High Mountains of Portugal is a suspenseful, mesmerizing story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives touching the lives of three different people and their families, and taking us on an extraordinary journey through the last century. We begin in the early 1900s, when Tomás discovers an ancient journal and sets out from Lisbon in one of the very first motor cars in Portugal in search of the strange treasure the journal describes. Thirty-five years later, a pathologist devoted to the novels of Agatha Christie, whose wife has possibly been murdered, finds himself drawn into the consequences of Tomás's quest. Fifty years later, Senator Peter Tovy of Ottawa, grieving the death of his own beloved wife, rescues a chimpanzee from an Oklahoma research facility and takes it to live with him in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, where the strands of all three stories miraculously mesh together.

Beautiful, witty and engaging, Yann Martel's new novel offers us the same tender exploration of the impact and significance of great love and great loss, belief and unbelief, that has marked all his brilliant, unexpected novels.

NPR recently talked to Martel about the process and ideas that fed The High Mountains of Portugal.  Check out that interview here.

"On why he uses animals in his stories:

I find animals interesting in many ways. I use them in my writing more for technical reasons. They're marvelous vehicles, I find, for stories, because animals are what they are — a gnu, a wildebeest, a tiger, a chimpanzee — but they're also something we project a lot onto. We tend to project a lot onto wild animals. You know, tigers are beautiful; hyenas are cowardly; chimpanzees are clever — we project all of these human qualities onto them. So the animal is both itself and something else, a kind of canvas. And that's very useful for a writer to have a character that can be so mutable, so I just find them wonderful vehicles for telling my stories.

And I also happen to be interested in animals. You know, we share the planet with them and they have, some of them, very curious habits, some of which mirror us in some ways and some of which radically don't."

As for the book itself, The Globe and Mail calls it a "gleefully bizarre, genuinely thrilling and entirely heartbreaking novel," noting that its unique format helps deliver its literary success.  For the full review, visit the Globe website.

"It sounds a bit silly, but it’s not. The sections are essentially novellas stacked on top of each other, and while the action within them is related in loose but satisfying ways, they work more like a palimpsest, with the shape of the first still faintly visible through the third. When thought of that way, the metaphysical connections they share become much fuller than the thin tethers that link their plots. For while The High Mountains of Portugal is an exuberantly narrative novel, it is even more so a contemplative, philosophical one."

Martel's life has, at times, been almost as quirky as his writing.  Before hitting success as an author, he worked at a variety of 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.

He was recently named a "luminary" of Trent University, and offered some thoughts, via video, here.

Last year, he presented a video address to the Trent Student Philosophy Symposium.  You can view that here.

Check back soon for our review of The High Mountains of Portugal with Trent English Literature professor, Dr. Margaret Steffler.




Arthur Newspaper Interviews Alumna and Jack Matthews Fellow, Dalal Al-Waheidi, Executive Director of Global We Day at Free The Children


February 5, 2016

Our friends at Arthur spoke with Dalal Al-Waheidi, one of Canada’s 100 most influential women, the Executive Director of Global We Day at Free The Children, a Trent and United World College alumnus, and this year’s Jack Matthews Fellow.  This is an excerpt.  For the full story, please visit the Arthur Newspaper website.

As a woman of color, what challenges have you faced through your journey and how have you overcome these?

I think in Trent in 1998, the number of international students was not as large as it is now, so I am really excited to see how the percentage of international students has increased because I fundamentally believe that international students are such an important value to the university and to the programs. It is not just a PR thing. We contribute to the discussions, we contribute to the mission statement of the university. It is about creating global perspectives and having experiential learning. We need to have international students and internationalization programs.

That was a challenge in the beginning because there were not a lot of Arab women at the time when I was in university.  There were few of us, I am an Arab women and a Muslim and a Palestinian. I felt at times that there was a lack of understanding, in the Peterborough community at times, and within the Trent Community beyond international students and beyond international development and other courses where people might not understand your background and attach a stigma to you because of who you are.

I was also at Trent when 9/11 happened. So we really experienced some backlash, not as much in Trent but in the community, but we also found some very welcoming homes. That was a challenge; feeling that you need to defend yourself all the time, defend your people. So I am a Muslim, but I am empowered, I am Palestinian, but I do not hate Jews. I had to say these things at times. That was a challenge, but as years went by and the TIP expanded, that helped.

Generally, women from minority groups are hard on themselves. We have this feeling that we are not good enough, or not worth these opportunities, and we hesitate to apply to jobs. I overcame that by the sense of empowerment that I received here at Trent University. You always question ‘am I good enough? Am I getting this because I am a woman of color or because of my skillset?’ So I reached a point in my life where I decided to stop asking myself this question. I am getting it because I am a woman that is capable, not because I am a woman of color.

What advice can you give to Trent University students who want to make a change in the world?

Continue to raise awareness on issues that you think are important. One of the things that I noticed on this visit is that there is more diversity in the Peterborough community, but I think there needs to be even more diversity. So raising awareness about this issue, especially now that we are welcoming so many refugees from other countries, volunteer to make their lives easier.

I think that as a Trent University student, volunteering in the local community is key because you live in this community; you owe this community something back. Really take on a cause that you are passionate about and do something about it, really be the critical student that Trent encourages you to be.

Another key thing is the purchases that you make and where you buy things. Be a consumer with a perspective. Make the right choices that speak to you and what you are passionate about because we do have a purchasing power as a consumer, and we can make a dent. Look at where things are being made and how people are being treated, and how we can support local cooperatives.

After you graduate, there are a couple of ways you can continue. Very similarly, your volunteer experiences should not stop just because you are now in the workforce in a 9-to-5 job. Continue to create these opportunities for yourself. I believe that you can make a difference whether you are working in a foundation, a corporation, or in an NGO. It is a matter of how you bring in the values that you learned [at] Trent into your work.

I am always surprised to see how so many people who are so passionate and active in Trent University enter the workforce and it becomes a chapter that they close. I wish that was not the case and they continued to be active in their community.

For the full interview, please visit Arthur Newspaper.






Weekend Job Round Up from the Career Centre

February 5th, 2016

Jobs!  We've got 'em!

Job ID: 9970 Registered Nurse, RN, We Care Health Service
We Care Health Services is hiring Registered Nurse's to service clients in Peterborough and surrnounding areas. We Care Home Health Services LP is Canada's largest home health care provider of professional nursing and support staff, with over 50 locations across Canada.
Deadline to Apply: February 7, 2016

Job ID: 9965 Account Manager - Peterborough and Kawarthas, Xerox
The Account Manager will market the full line of Xerox products and services in a defined territory of current Xerox customers and non-customers alike. This position will be concerned with short term sales activity within an account as well as developing and implementing a longer term strategy to ensure Xerox will retain customer accounts and continue to obtain future business.
Deadline to Apply: February 8, 2016

Job ID: 9860 North East Ontario Relocation Financial Service Representative Trainee, TD Bank
The Financial Services Representative understands customers' banking needs and provides appropriate financial solutions. This includes new accounts, credit products, basic investment advice, and promoting all banking products and services to create a legendary customer experience. This role will contribute to the growth of the business by developiong and deepening the new and existing customer relationships and will be responsible for meeting and exceeding specific, individual and team based business goals. The Financial Services Representative reports to the Branch Manager, Manager Financial Services or Manager Customer Service and Sales.
Deadline to Apply: February 12, 2016

Job ID: 10163 Food Operations Specialist, Peterborough EATS
Peterborough EATS' mission is to deliver hands-on training. We use our facilities and food services as a vehicle to help the under-employed gain industry standard skills and confidence to find meaningful employment within our community. The ideal candidate for thie position will be required to maintain a top-level of consistency and quality control within food operations, as well as manage staff and oversee hands-on training. The ability to manage staff in a firm but compassionate manner is an asset. The ability to cost and create seasonal, innovative and nutritional menu items will be a prerequisite. Having an eye for detail and maintaining a clean and orderly operation will be a major part of this role.
Deadline to Apply: February 18, 2016

Job ID: 9955 Sales Coordinator, Free the Children
We are seeking a Sales Coordinator (Internally know as Youth Engagement Coordinator) to grow our Open Trips and Take Action Camp Programs. As a natural driver, the Youth Engagement Coordinator works to build relationships with youth and their parents through outreach on the phone, finding new clients and growing our sales pipeline of new prospects. We are looking for someone that has an engaging personality, is self-motivated, possesses strong phone communication skills and thrives in a stronly goal-priented environment.
Deadline to Apply: March 6, 2016

For more information, visit the Trent University Portal:





Podcast: #TrentVoices Interview with Canada's Ambassador to Iceland Stewart Wheeler

February 2nd, 2016

Our interview with Canada's Ambassador to Iceland, Stewart Wheeler, takes us on a journey from Trent to Bogotá to Afghanistan to Iceland and speaks to the ability to evolve, learn, and communicate.

Stewart began his career in the public service in 1993, working in the Public Information Office at the House of Commons. In 1994, he joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada.

He has served abroad in Washington, D.C., as second secretary, covering congressional relations and energy trade policy; Bogotá, as political counsellor; London, as head of the public affairs team at Canada House; and Kabul, as political program manager at the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan (2010 to 2011).

Stewart has also had a variety of assignments on Parliament Hill, serving as parliamentary relations officer, departmental spokesperson in the Press Office, deputy director of Mexico Relations, deputy director of corporate and internal communications, and, most recently, director of Cabinet relations.

He earned the Minister’s Award for Foreign Policy Excellence as a member of the Kosovo Task Force in 1999.

From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Wheeler served as press secretary to the governor general and in that capacity accompanied the governor general on her State Visit to Iceland in 2003.

He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Listen to the full interview here.  And be sure to browse our full archive of podcasts on our podcast page.




Podcast: #TrentVoices Interview with Arts/Dance Pioneer Bill Kimball

January 28th, 2016

Anyone interested in the town meets gown history of art and dance in Peterborough and Trent University want to check out our latest #TrentVoices podcast. We sat down with arts/theatre/dance pioneer Bill Kimball to discuss the modern history of arts in Peterborough, and the origins of Artspace, Peterborough New Dance, Electric City Culture Council and more.

Bill's stories recount the early successes of a fledgling art community and the impressive growth that continues to occur.  You can listen to the entire thing here.  Also, be sure to check out our archive of one on one interviews and fascinating Trent lectures on our Trent Talks Podcast page.  There are hours of Trent-based listening to enjoy.

Bill Kimball is the Artistic Producer for Public Energy, a non-profit organization that helps produce, promote, and host dance, theatre and other forms of performance.  He’s a former General Manager of Market Hall, and since 2008, the Manager of Odemin Giizis, the Strawberry Moon Festival.  Back in the 80’s Bill was instrumental in helping form  Artspace – an artist run Centre that helped shape the future of both the Peterborough and Trent University arts scene.  He was also instrumental in helping turn Market Hall into a vital multi-disciplanay arts venue.  He’s the founder of Peterborough New Dance and was a production manager for both the Magic Circus and 4th Line theatre companies.

If that weren’t enough, Bill has served on various boards of directors over the years and acts regularly as an assessor and jury member for both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. He is a member of the City of Peterborough’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee and served on the City's Community Grants Committee.

When you talk about the past present and future of arts and culture in Peterborough, his name is usually one of the very first mentioned.

It all makes for a wonderful listen.






#WorkingWednesday: The Trent Centre for Aging and Society is Hiring

January 20, 2016

The Trent Centre for Aging & Society is seeking a bright and dedicated Administrative and Communications Assistant to join their team in February. The contract is part-time (21 hours/week) for six months, with the potential for renewal.

Here is the Summary of Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society (the Centre), the Administrative and Communications Assistant is responsible for providing support for management of the Centre’s office space and for the coordination of the Centre’s communication strategy, membership development, and research, education and community engagement activities. In line with the mandate and reputation of the Centre, this position acts as the first point of contact and is responsible for general administrative duties in accordance with Trent University policies and procedures. As a communications specialist, the successful candidate will contribute media expertise (both traditional and new media) to all activities and events, also overseeing various aspects of publications, marketing materials and e-communications.

You can find the full listing, available for download, here:

The turn around is pretty quick (deadline is next Wednesday January 27).  The Trent Centre for Aging & Society would appreciate if you could share this posting within your network. Please direct any inquiries to





Reviewing Traill: A Special Article by Trent University President, Dr. Leo Groarke

January 19, 2016

Trent is famous (and, in some quarters, infamous) for the history of its colleges. One of them – (Catharine Parr) Traill College – will be externally reviewed this winter. This introduction to that review is an invitation – to Trent students, staff, faculty, alumni, Board Members, retirees, and members of the Peterborough community – to participate.

The Traill review will examine issues that need to be addressed to ensure it is a successful and sustainable part of Trent. Some of the issues are financial, but the heart of the review is a set of questions about the Trent experience and how it should be organized and delivered there. The review will be an opportunity to renew Trail and its importance in transformational ways.

I probably do not need to say that the history of our downtown colleges is especially controversial. I watched from elsewhere when issues were raised in the 1990s. The Board’s decision to close Peter Robinson College for fiscal reasons remains controversial, as does the decision to turn Traill into a college for graduate students.

I have listened with interest as many alumni, faculty, staff, Board members, students and residents of Peterborough have shared different (sometimes radically different) views of Trent’s colleges. The debate over the changes made downtown will continue in the history books. Inevitably, the current review of Traill will be informed by it, but the review’s aim is conclusions about the future rather than the past.

The external reviewer of Traill will be Professor Christopher Tindale.  He will be known to many, having worked at Trent for many years. He was senior tutor at Traill before his subsequent appointment as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor. I have asked Dr. Tindale to do the review because he has an insider’s knowledge of Traill and is sympathetic to its past, but does not have a vested interest in the outcome of the review. Ashley Horne, the Executive Assistant to Trent’s Vice-President of Finance and Administration will support Dr. Tindale in the review.

The aim of the review will be a set of recommendations on how we can best ensure that Traill becomes a financially and academically successful component of Trent. The recommendations will be taken seriously, but they will be only recommendations. Decisions about the future of Traill will have to be made via the university’s normal decision-making processes.

The following are four issues I am asking Dr. Tindale to consider.

1.     What kind of college should Traill be? Shortly before I began my term as President, Trent changed the way its colleges operate. The new model, common at many universities, emphasizes the role of professional managers and student services in running colleges and the residences attached to them.

This model has been successful, but it is a step away from the traditional model of a college. The latter envisions a college as a small residential community with a Principal who oversees professors, tutorial leaders, assistants, and (undergraduate and graduate) students. The life of a college is defined by its academic and cultural traditions, and its strong ties to its alumni.

The central question that motivates the Traill Review is whether Traill should be managed and organized in the way that colleges on the Symons campus are, or should retain (or even recover) the college tradition at Trent and elsewhere? This basic question raises many others. What should the primary mandate and goals of Traill be? Should Traill continue to be a graduate college? Should some aspects of the Symons campus colleges be instituted at Traill? Should Traill have a particular mandate (e.g. community outreach, off-campus students, experiential education)?

2.     If Traill were to be a more traditional college how should it operate? Should the position of Principal at Traill be a position which assumes academic credentials and highlights academic programming and pursuits? Should the mandate of the college be broadened to include programming and services it does not currently include? How could Traill promote college-focused interdisciplinary learning and teaching? How could faculty be integrated into college teaching, both formally and informally?  Should some component of the teaching be done, as it is in many colleges, by individuals whose prime responsibility is the college (rather than academic departments defined by scholarly disciplines)? How could residential life be integrated into the Traill experience?

3.     How can Traill’s budget issues be resolved? A viable Traill must be financially and academically sustainable. A review of Traill needs, therefore, to consider whether its budget is operating the way it should. In Trent’s current situation, this raises two issues that warrant note.

A. College Ancillary Fees. The undergraduate colleges at Trent are well funded, largely because of college fees that support their operations. One consequence of the decision to remove undergraduate students from Traill was the removal of this source of revenue from the college (it was replaced by fees from graduate students, but graduate students pay $15 a year in college fees; undergraduate students pay $241). In order to manage the operations of Traill the university annually transfers college fees that are paid by students at the undergraduate colleges. This is not a fair or viable funding model. It raises the question how Traill’s budget can be organized so that it has sustainable long-term funding. 

B. Deferred Maintenance. Another major budget issue at Traill is deferred maintenance. Some of the older buildings at Traill need significant upgrades if they are to be maintained as viable university buildings (even more so, if they are to embrace the environmental and accessibility standards that Trent embraces). In a time of limited resources, how can this be managed?

4.     Is Traill a successful Trent connection to downtown Peterborough? Trent’s success in Peterborough is founded on its connection to the community. This needs to be established with a vibrant community in the North end, but also with connections to the downtown. Some have told me that Traill and its activities as a key contribution to downtown, but that the community, and especially the downtown community, sees the matter differently. They locate the centre of downtown at the intersection of George and Simcoe, and see Traill’s operations as of marginal relevance. What they want from Trent is a presence that places Trent students and faculty much closer to the heart of the downtown. Are there ways to use Traill to better integrate Trent into downtown Peterborough, making it more plausibly seen as a “downtown” college?

There are many other questions which might usefully be discussed in the course of the Traill review. If you believe there are some, I invite you to bring them up with Dr. Tindale. Everyone is welcome to make written submissions to the review. He will also try to accommodate, time willing, individuals and groups who wish to meet with him. Anyone interested in contacting him can do so through Ashley Horne at <>.




TRENT Magazine Teaser

Including Exclusive Audio from Our Interview with Maryam Monsef; An Excerpt of Harvey McCue’s Article on Truth and Reconciliation

January 18, 2016

The folks behind TRENT Magazine are getting pretty darned excited.  Over the past few months, we’ve been meeting with alumni, staff, and faculty and making plans for a new editorial direction. .

Over the next few editions, we’ll be rolling out both visual and content re-designs.  Responding to several rounds of surveying – and conversations held with both readers and stakeholders – we’ll be changing the look and feel of our flagship publication.  While there will still be emphasis on noteworthy alumni -- and how they are impacting our ever-changing world -- there will be a shift to a more current affairs/academic format, with features being provided by both faculty and by alumni who are leaders in their fields.

This month, we’re featuring 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, 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.

An excerpt from “Whither the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?”

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 widespread techniques to prevent the use of tribal languages and to coerce children to adapt to western ways.  Furthermore, 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 as well.

Between 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 and 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 either their cultural values or their language as a condition of their attendance. What’s more, 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 – catalogued the abuses and horrors of this wretched public policy inflicted on defenseless children and revealed to a nation in detail too specific to be either ignored or challenged.

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 seventy-seven 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 – in ways that neither they nor their families ever could – of what they endured.  For the almost seven thousand 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 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… 

This edition will also feature 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.

Trent Magazine editor – and Trent Voices podcast host – Donald Fraser has a long history with Minister Monsef.  As a From the House exclusive, we’re offering several snippets of audio from their conversation. Their chat is relaxed, candid, and wide-ranging. Click here to listen.

The next edition of TRENT Magazine will be published during the last week of February.  But continue to visit the alumni media pages for bonus content.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIN.




Telling Our Stories - We want to share your news and images.  We also want to help you reach a new alumni audience.

January 15, 2016

A recent snowy Champlain College photograph was seen by an estimated 100,000 people on social media (including over 20,000 on the Trent Alumni Association Facebook page alone, where it racked up 300 likes and 86 shares).  It started out as a simple @trent_alumni Instagram post.

A short news piece announcing that four alumni had been elected as MP’s went a little RT crazy on Twitter and pulled in another 10,000 views on Facebook.

Our Tweets have been picked up by media giants such as The Weather Network and CBC, as well as by alumni social media heavy hitters such as Don Tapscott, Stephen Stohn, and Linwood Barclay.

TRENT Magazine is sent out to 20,000 readers.  Alma Matters, our brand new monthly electronic newsletter, goes out to another 20K.

In other words, we’re reaching more people than ever before.

And we want you to be a part of it!

Want to get your news and images out to a larger alumni audience?  Interested in helping share alumni news from an ever-growing communications platform?  Here’s a few ways that you can get involved:

Follow your Alumni Association on social media: the Trent University Alumni Association on Facebook, @TrentAlumni on Twitter, @Trent_Alumni on Instagram, and the Official Trent University Alumni Association on LinkedIN.  Get active!  Share Alumni Association posts with your Trent friends and on your feeds – and tag us on your news, pictures, and events.  We love to RT and share!

Message or email us your photos, news items, and suggestions.  Bump into an old alumni friend?  Find yourself in an interesting part of the world or doing something fun or noteworthy?  Pass it along for us to share on social media or on our new Alumni News page.  It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking:  from the serious to the silly – your fellow alum want to know what you’re up to.

But, hey, if you do something groundbreaking, we definitely want to know about it. Publish a book? Take a cool career twist? Save a kid from a burning building?  The world needs to know about it. Same with getting married or having a baby.  Both our Alumni Accomplishments and Sunshine Sketches are now online.

 Have an idea for a news brief, website feature, podcast interview, or magazine story?  While our antennae are always searching for alumni news, we definitely depend on tips and suggestions for content to share.  If you hear about something or someone deserving of attention, be sure to let us know.

Finally, be part of the team!  Want to try your hand at writing a news brief or feature?  Looking to build your social media skills or network?  Hoping to pad your portfolio?  Volunteering with Alumni Affairs is a great place to gain skills, experiences, exposure, and references.  It’s also a great way to catch up with friends and faculty from the Trent community.  Established writers and communicators are also welcome – we know that you know how to get the word out.  And we’d love your help telling our stories.  Contact:

Over the coming months, we will be continuing to roll out new programs and build on our existing platforms.  We’re going to continue to reach more people and tell more stories.  We’re really hoping that some of those stories will be yours.





#Flashback Friday: Our Interview with Peterborough City Councillor, Diane Therrien

January 15, 2015

This week's podcast calls for a flashback Friday! Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties with our good friends at Trent Radio, our interview with Richard Johnston was cut short. Luckily for you, here at Alumni House we don't believe in leaving our audiences hanging.  In its stead, we're going to offer a look back to this this past summer and our most listened to podcast ever.  As a young, vibrant twenty-something woman, Diane Therrien is skewing the traditional demographics of Peterborough's City Hall.  City Councillor, Trent Alumni Councillor, all 'round good person, Diane chats about politics, activism, and local beer.   Listen to the whole interview here.

As for that interview with Richard Johnston, it started off great...  Check out the cut off version here.




Happy Holidays from Trent University AND Alumni Affairs

 December 22, 2015

President Leo Groarke offers his best wishes in this new video:  "On behalf of all of us at Trent Peterborough and Trent Durham, I’m pleased to wish everyone a happy holiday. We hope your new year will be a special one, inspired by the joy of learning."

And from all of us at Alumni House, we wish you a happy and joyous holiday season. 


Donald, Sue, Sylvia, Joanne, and Lee.




Student Perspective: A Lifetime of Trent and I'm Only Twenty-One


‘There’s an African Proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” In my case, I can’t thank the village enough.’

22 years of memories, books, profound moments, and endless life lessons have brought me to this point, again changing my relationship with the quaint school on the Otonabee. From slumming around the Bata Library as a precocious four-year-old-to, well, still slumming around Bata library dressed like a precocious four-year-old – Trent, its been a slice.

Moving into my final semester at Trent, I’m filled with both nostalgia and pride. I never thought I would end up a student here – or worse, loving it as much as I do. My mother has worked at Trent for my entire life, only breaking a couple times to have me and my brother. Trent was the perfect place to grow up: infinite grass + trees, friendly people, wood-burning fireplaces (in my first chunk of life), and lots of books.  

I could never understand why Bata had so many children’s books. My seven-year-old-self would campout in the stacks, reading whichever book happened to have a colourful enough cover to spark my curiosity. Even now, I still prefer to read physical books rather than online ones. I’ve even conducted a significant amount of my thesis research using paper and ink. The chase for information is thrilling, and all the more fulfilling when you discover answers in the pages of a book you happened to find on a shelf.

Growing up a “Trent Brat” as we like to call ourselves, I experienced many parts of Trent that were very helpful when I became a student. For Grade 9 take-your-kid-to-work day, I went on a tour of the science complex; seeing the sleep lab, the animal care research facility, meeting several other “Trent Brats” along the way. I took swimming lessons at the old Trent AC, and attended Trent Summer Sports Camp. Even retired Windows-95 computers helped to outfit my elementary school’s library typing class, when Trent traded up for some shiny new Windows-98’s.

By far the craziest correlation, however, is when I attended Trent as a mock student for “Mini-Enrichment” in grade 8.  My soon-to-be favourite Accounting Professor, Peggy Wallace; and Accounting TA, Anne Sloggett; introduced my Biology-minded self to the ins and outs of the Business World, in a classroom I would someday study in. Little did I know at the time that I was meant to leave the Biology to the nurses, and pursue a degree track in Business. More on that later.

We all cherish Trent even if we don’t admit it. It was our playground, our hide-and-seek haven, the site of some of our greatest memories. Some of us also became students, and were able to rediscover the Trent we grew up at through a whole new lens.

Every Trent Brat has a collection of stories like mine – from running up and down the staircases at Peter Robinson College, to scampering across the street from Trent Daycare to swimming lessons in the original Trent AC.

When it came time to choose a university, I fought tooth-and-nail against Trent. I wanted out of Peterborough, out of anything remotely-related to a high school life. I remember crying in arguments with my mom at least once a week for several months of grade 12, wailing that I wanted to “be my own person” and “start new” etc. etc. [insert pseudo-independent teenage whine here].We settled that I would try Trent for a year, and if I didn’t like it, we could consider somewhere else. I started at Trent in 2012, and thought “hey, this place ain’t so bad.” The dependent-of-employee free tuition didn’t hurt much either.

The transition from Trent brat to Trent student was a tricky one, as the doors that were always open before suddenly closed as I was no longer under my mother’s wing. The Peterborough I grew up in was eons apart from the Peterborough that I experienced as a Trent student – but for this I have no explanation. This environment led me to discover how to reopen the doors on my own, to gain groundwithin my own abilities. In its own way, Trent was both a great landing pad and a great launching block to bigger things. 

I entered Trent as a BSc. Biology, and needed one more credit. I enrolled in Ray Dart’s “Contemporary Issues in Management” class, thinking that business could, maybe, be a little bit useful. I went to the first lecture, went back to my res room, and changed my major to Business Administration. I was staying, and that was that. There I discovered my love of Marketing and PR, and flourished in the incubator-like environment of Trent Business. I interviewed for JDCC on a whim – almost cancelling my interview with Rob Gatchell + Billy Scott 5 minutes before – and made the team as 1 of only 3 first year students. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and I would have missed out on meeting hundreds of lifelong friends from across the country (you know who you are).

As students, we create elevated memories of all our childhood haunts, blending the new vision with the old, muddled one. Though I move forward, I never cease to remember my days in the B.Ed. curriculum section of Bata – always wondering and ever celebrating: “why on earth would a university have the need for a generous set of children’s books?”

Jenna Pilgrim is a fourth-year business administration student and the former communications assistant for Alumni Affairs. She recently completed a Heritage Preservation Project focusing on Trent University, Ron Thom, and the Ron Thom collection.




Meeting You — and Your Stories — Online

New Web Platforms Include: News Feeds, Blogs, Events Page, and Interview/Lecture Podcasts


We’ve come a long way…  And we’re not done yet!

With the launch of the brand new Trent University Alumni Affairs website, we’ve made it a lot easier for alumni to access all of the benefits and services that we have to offer – from Trent discounts to financial management and insurance programs to lifelong learning.  We’ve also made it easier for alum to get involved with Trent, the Alumni Association, and fellow members of the university community.

But what will probably stand out most as you explore the site are the pages and pages of exciting new content.  While we are still rolling out our expanded communications and media platforms, there are hours of lecture and interview podcasts to listen to as well as a brand new blog and news feed to explore.

Our interviews have ranged from Canadian media icons, such as Much Music VJ and #1 Billboard songwriter Christopher Ward and singer/songwriter/playwright Ian Tamblyn to local musicians like Dave Tough and Nick Ferrio.  We've talked to activists, such as Partnership Africa's Alan Martin, and politicians, including Peterborough Councillor Diane Therrien.  Lectures and media panels have included a talk by Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde, explorations of the online world by social media guru Don Tapscott, and an inspiring panel of women alumni discussing leadership concepts.  Our first blogs include a feature on Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame member Stephen Stohn as well as glimpses of Trent life from a student perspective.  And, really, we’re just warming up.

Dave Tough in a Fire place Look for the brand new TRENT Magazine site to launch early in the new year.  Not only will it house the digital edition of our flagship publication, but it will be the new home for our expanded blogs and news feeds.  With plenty of audio and video links, regular columns from faculty, alumni, students, and College Heads, and exclusive in-depth stories, the online TRENT Magazine will be your passport to all things Trent University.

Speaking of the Magazine, look for big changes in that publication as well.  Over the next few editions, we’ll be rolling out both visual and content re-designs.  Responding to several rounds of surveying – and conversations held with both readers and stakeholders – we’ll be making some exciting changes. While there will still be emphasis on noteworthy alumni -- and how they are impacting our ever-changing world -- there will be a shift to a more current affairs/academic format, with features being provided by both faculty and by alumni who are leaders in their fields.

Our next TRENT Magazine, for instance, will feature an article on the Truth and Reconciliation process by Harvey McCue, co-founder of Trent’s Aboriginal Affairs department, a post-Paris Accord take on climate change by sustainability/policy experts Dr. Stephen Hill and Dr. Robert Paehlke, and a feature on MP Maryam Monsef’s first days as Minister of Democratic Institutions.  It promises to be a great read.

As for the personal stories of our alumni – the Accomplishments and Pursuits and Sunshine Sketches columns – they’ve been moved online where they will reach even great numbers than they did in the magazine.  Those stories will also be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Be sure to send us your news and photos.  We’d love to shout them out.

While many of the highlights of our increased content will be emailed out in the new monthly Alma Matters newsletter, our social media feeds remain the best way to get daily updates.  Want to know what is happening at Trent and with your fellow alumni?  Follow us Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Instagram.  And invite your fellow alumni to join you online.

City Councillor Diane TherrienWe’re enhancing these platforms to meet the wants and needs of our alumni base – which is where you come in.  We want your story ideas.  We also want to know the types of features that will keep you coming back. Have news to break, an interview request, or bit of feedback?  Let us know by contacting TRENT Magazine Managing Editor, Donald Fraser, at, 705-748-1011 x7573.  Or give us a shout on any of our social media feeds.

So take your time, friends.  Get yourself comfortable – perhaps with a beverage or snack – and enjoy the stories, interviews, and lectures we have to offer.

We’ll see you online!




Podcast: The Big Picture (and other leadership concepts for the advancement of women).


A panel discussion featuring: Dalal Al-Waheidi ’98, Anne Larcade '81, Nancy Austin '76 and Rann Sharma '97.

Alumni, friends, and distinguished guests gathered in Toronto on November 24 to participate in an Ideas That Change the World panel discussion called, The Big Picture (and other leadership concepts for the advancement of women). With a significant focus on action and tangible change, each speaker put their unique spin on women’s issues, drawing from their own personal experiences.

The panel, moderated by former Trent president, Bonnie Patterson, consisted of women from the private and public sectors, not-for-profit organizations, male-dominated professions, female-dominated professions, and governmental representation. The panel included Dalal Al-Waheidi '98, executive director of Global We Day at Free the Children; Anne Larcade '81, president and CEO of SequelHotels and Resorts; Nancy Austin '76, executive lead on the Ontario Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee, and Rann Sharma '97, global head people operations and culture at Free the Children. Admissions from this sold-out event went to support Trent’s chapter of the World University Service of Canada, a program that is raising money to fund refugees to study at Trent.

Upon completion of the panel discussion, Lee Hays, director of Alumni Affairs, announced the formation of the Community for Trent Women (CTW), a life-long learning and leadership community providing opportunities for collaboration, mentorship and support to empower women and support each other to achieve professional goals. 

“This will be an inclusive community representing diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures, helping to expand global awareness,” said Ms. Hays. “The CTW intends to identify and celebrate remarkable Trent women who are advancing communities around the world through their local or global efforts.” 

Anyone interested in getting involved, as a founding board member or as a community member can contact or for more information.

The Ideas That Change the World Fund was established in 2011 upon the retirement of Alumni Affairs director Tony Storey, in support of an annual event designated to celebrate the exploration of learning and innovation.





Throwback Thursday: Our Podcast Interview with Billboard #1 Hit Songwriter Christopher Ward


Music Journalist and Songwriter Christopher WardWe're pleased to offer another great interview from our Trent Voices podcast.  Click through to tune in -- or to check out other great conversations.  We also feature lectures from Trent faculty and visiting scholars on our Trent Talks podcast.  There are hours of great listening waiting for you!

One of the most fun interviews we've ever conducted Christopher Ward weaves tales of the early days of Much Music, bizarre encounters with celebrities, such as Robert Plant and Diana Ross, and the career twists and turns of being an award-winning songwriter, journalist, and author. 

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.

Click here to listen.  Visit our archive of interviews here.

This interview originally aired in the summer of 2015.




Student Perspective: Innovation and Hammerhead Sharks

 Jenna Pilgrim - 12/9/2015

“The architect, in proposing a building, makes a choice – an imaginative choice which outstrips the facts. The creativity of architecture lies here, it imagines more than there is grounds for and creates relations which, at bottom, can never be verified.” – Ron Thom, 1962 Canadian Architect

I compare the way many students fly through their undergraduate degrees similar to the way a Hammerhead shark must swim. The large protrusion on the nose of a Hammerhead shark is so heavy that if the shark stops swimming, it drowns and dies. Students who study in the mass of the cultural multiversity cram their heads so full of facts and figures that they must keep moving forward, for fear of drowning or being overrun by the rest of the Hammerhead population. Upon graduation, these students receive their degree, release the pressure on their brains, and start searching for a way to apply all of the facts they no longer remember, in a suit they likely cannot afford.

It seems now, we have come full circle in “challenging the way you think.” In the 1960’s, architects were designing buildings that usually represented the industry in which they were to function. This style of design, later dubbed Brutalism, created buildings where “what you see is what you get.” The Scarborough Town Centre Mall and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus are examples. When Ron Thom first designed Massey College at the University of Toronto, it did not show up in any architecture magazines, and was met with a mixed response from the architectural community. It was a design before its time.

Again and again, geniuses of the past were criticized because they were different. Ron Thom knew he was different, and that is what made him so successful. Thomas H.B. Symons was the youngest university president in Canada, a record he still holds today. PSB Wilson came straight out of a University of Toronto Blues rugby jersey to become the inaugural director of Trent Athletics, (though we’re not sure if he ever really took the jersey off). Trent succeeded against all odds, and is one of the only universities to be founded with the support of unionized funding. If you tried to ask the unions of today to donate $1 from their paychecks every week (that was a lot in those days) you would be met by a full-fledged uproar. Trent is a 50-year-old example of how crowdfunding can bring a community together.

In the Peterborough Examiner’s Trent inauguration edition, dated October 12th, 1964, the headline reads More Thorough Education Now Needed, to Face Automation. We are facing the same challenge today, as the argument for retention of humanity in education only grows stronger. As Lisa Rochon states, “[Modernist architecture] argues for place, it argues for us to slow down and breathe.” Trent is not training hammerhead sharks. They are training individual beings, who care about their impact on the environment they live in, and truly locating and nurturing their sense of place. They are activists, mentors, speakers, leaders, and critical thinkers.

Ron Thom is a prime example of an unabashed innovator. Perhaps it was the fact that he possessed no formal training in architecture. Perhaps it was because he believed that “An architect, no less than an artist, should be willing to fly in the face of what is established, and to create not what is acceptable but what will become accepted” (Canadian Architect, 1962). Isn’t this what is expected from students today? To innovate, I must not do what everyone else is doing. I must create what the people need, before they know they need it.

Do you remember the first time you came to Trent (perhaps from a larger city) and breathed in the smell of pine trees and freshly cut grass? Or stopped in the middle of the bridge to admire the picturesque scene of Champlain College in the winter? Like many others before me, I revel in the adventure of finding secret nooks and intimate study spaces in the depths of the Bata Library and the furthest corners of Champlain College. It is almost like the buildings are begging you to see them for more than just limestone and concrete, more than just lines and walls. They are begging for you to see them for more than they are, to discern motion and progression. It is this kind of discovery and sense of adventure that many of us have lost in our hustle-and-bustle lives. We move back and forth like pawns, afraid to go against the grain or split the mould, for fear of societal retribution.

So really, I think Trent has been “Challenging the Way You Think” all along; in creating an environment where innovation is the norm and critical discussion is invited at every opportunity.  We are not a bathtub for hammerhead sharks, but utopian aquarium of diverse wildlife.

Jenna Pilgrim is a fourth-year business administration student and the former communications assistant for Alumni Affairs. She recently completed a Heritage Preservation Project focusing on Trent University, Ron Thom, and the Ron Thom collection.





Magazine Editorial: Brave Beginnings


The latest edition of TRENT Magazine is available on our magazine page.  Please take time to enjoy it.  You can also find an archive of the past 15 years of the publication.  The following is the introductory editorial by Trent Magazine Managing Editor (and Trent Voicespodcast host), Donald Fraser.

Not knowing how to do something shouldn’t get in the way of trying.

OK, there are probably some exceptions to this rule: such as bomb disposal. Or brain surgery.  In those cases, practice definitely makes perfect.

But when it comes to pioneering new projects, we should be encouraged to follow our intuition and gut.  The skills needed for the task will either be learned or provided by partners, colleagues, or fellow stakeholders.

Take media creation as an example.  In the late 1960’s, when alumnus Stephen Stohn 66’ teamed up with some fellow students to create a new radio station, they did not allow their lack of technical knowledge get in the way.

“We had absolutely no idea of what a real station was or how we were supposed to do things.” he recalls.  “We didn’t know how to be announcers and we had no clue how to use the equipment.  But we went for it anyways.”

This new project soon became Trent Radio and is still operating to this day.  Stephen went on to become the Executive Producer for projects such as Degrassi and The Juno Awards.  He’s become a giant in both entertainment production and entertainment law.

Not bad for a guy who had never seen a studio before.

There are times working with Alumni Affairs when I feel a little like Stephen Stohn in those early Trent days.  Here at Alumni House, we’ve been creating podcasts, building new social media streams, and slowly dragging our communications into the 21st Century.  We’re doing things that have never been done before at Trent – and sometimes breaking new ground for alumni organizations in Canada.

“Do you actually know how to produce a podcast?” I was asked during the communications planning process.

“Sure!” I replied.  The “in theory” part was left silent.

A season later, I can comfortably say that we now know how to produce professional sounding broadcasts – and that most people probably didn’t know that we were making things up as we went.  Special thanks to my student assistants, Katrina Gormley and Jenna Pilgrim for all of their help in the process.  I invite you all to check out the shows on our podcast page.

The reason we launched our podcast – two podcasts, really, the Trent Talks and Trent Voices – was to showcase alumni who were leaders in creating positive change in their communities.  Coincidentally, that is the theme of this issue – Community Builders.

Within these pages, we’ve shone the light on people who are helping to shape our world in their own unique ways.  We’ve featured political leaders, religious leaders, financial leaders, and social innovators – as well as new members of Trent’s Board of Governors.  We’ve also featured Stephen, who is a leader in so many ways to the Trent Community.  Please see page ____ for these profiles.

All of these esteemed alumni have one thing in common.  At some point or another, they’ve all done things that they didn’t know how to do beforehand – such as being a City Councillor, starting an urban farm, or becoming an aboriginal diplomat.  And they have all succeeded as a result.

Leadership, it seems, is all about stretching your comfort zone.

As for those brain surgeons and bomb disposal experts, they can stay exactly where they are, starting off as comfortably as humanly possible.

Enjoy your autumn edition of TRENT Magazine.





Podcast:Through a Canadian Lens: The Current and Future Landscape of Television and Film


We're pleased to offer another great panel discussion on our Trent Talks podcast.  Click through to tune in -- or to check out other great lectures and talks.  We also feature one-on-one interviews with inspiring Trent alumni on ourTrent Voices podcast.  There are hours of great listening waiting for you!

Some of Trent University’s brightest alumni came together October 15 to give a critical appraisal of the state of Canadian media.  A full house at Bagnani House were treated to “Through A Canadian Lens, The Current and Future Landscape of Television and Film.” This insightful event drew Peterborough community members, as well as Trent faculty, staff, and students to hear about the changing nature of television broadcasting and film.

The talk featured four notable Trent alumni as part of the Life After Trent program: 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, and an assistant director and producer who 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.  Molly Blyth ’01, who has been a professor at Trent since 1986, moderated the event.

The panelists were each cautiously optimistic about the future of TV/film in Canada.

Mr. Weyman cited fewer funding options and documentary’s “mutant younger brother,” reality TV, for a tougher Canadian documentary landscape.  He tempered this by noting an increase in the number – and success – of documentary film festivals as well as the success of new creative approaches to documentaries.

Mr. Corcoran stressed the need for Canadian filmmakers to be strong storytellers.  He also pointed out that, rather than “broadcasting” – getting content out to huge numbers all at once – film and television is now “narrowcasting” – being extremely viewer specific in targeting age, gender, nationality, interest, and more.  Due to streaming and video-sharing sites, getting content out has never been easier.  “The ability to monetize it,” he notes, “is another matter altogether.”

Mr. Stohn addressed the need for a stronger government role when it comes to operating procedures for streaming channels, such as Netflix – that the financial gulf between American content providers and the rest of the world is too great. 

“Politicians have a role to provide structure to an industry that ranks only behind mining and oil and gas in Canada,” explain Mr. Stohn.  For Stohn, this issue has not been adequately addressed by the government or the CRTC. 

At the same time, he says that TV is currently enjoying a creative Renaissance – that the over 450 new series’ being created this year alone speak to the ability for quality content to be shared.

The panelist all agreed, if there is one thing that is certain about Canadian television and film, it is that nothing is certain.