Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Pink Shirt Day at the U of A

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Pink Shirt Day, University of Alberta
Today is one of those days when you likely walked into work and saw that you and your colleagues all (or mostly) matched. Pink shirts, pink tights, and pink ties of various shades have abounded, and that is exactly how it should be for Pink Shirt Day. Although Pink Shirt Day has come to the U of A’s campuses before, this year marks a first for one group—our protective services peace officers—who are participating in their own way.

Call for... Ankle Flexibility Research Participants

I am looking for research participants for my research study that is examining new potential methods for improving ankle flexibility.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Creating a Culture of Environmental Sustainability: Augustana Chaplaincy

Campus Sustainability Leadership Award Winners 2016 - Augustana Chaplaincy
Last year, when I saw that nominations were open for the Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards, I knew I had to put in a good word for the members of the Augustana Chaplaincy, who make our campus more sustainable in so many ways.

Friday, February 17, 2017

12 Stories The World of Higher Ed is Talking About

Bafflegab (yes, bafflegab!), the lessons of Canada’s dark age of science, and THE global teaching survey results, are among the topics covered in this collection of PSE stories.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Women in Academic Leadership: Learning from each other

Celebrating women in academic leadership
Image courtesy of SWAAC 2016. Photo credit: Roger Aziz
Some of us respond to a tap on the shoulder, and others plan and learn explicitly to become leaders at some point in their careers. Sometimes it is difficult to see where your choices are leading, although (as a committed narrativist) I know it is illuminating to understand your choices backwards – “oh, yes, this led to this, and then that led to that…and so now here I am.”  Part of this journey depends on opportunity and timing, but I think more depends on curiosity, openness to change, and acceptance of personal agency. This is where I find myself now.

Have You Met... Cris Ryder?

Have You Met... Cris Ryder?
Have you met Cris, Student Programs Assistant and Special Projects Administrator at Elementary and Secondary Education? Spend the next two minutes getting to know him a little better.


Call for Speakers: Dangerous Research Symposium

As researchers, we are well versed about the risks of our research to our participants, and it is these concerns that dominate ethics board considerations. This symposium aims to shift the conversation, and illuminate the plethora of risks (physical, mental, political, legal, etc.,) facing researchers who engage in many different kinds of research.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Community Congrats! February 15, 2017

Golden Bears Wrestling
Golden Bears Wrestling, Canada West Conference Champions
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating conference championships and records in athletics, NSERC grant recipients, Top 30 under 30 students, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Un-bearably Punny Campus Valentines

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Valentine's Day at UAlberta
In an effort to help bring a little warmth to your February, we’ve created a few co-worker friendly valentines for you to share with the office mates and campus friends who brighten your work day. Are they cheesy? Absolutely. Are they covered in bad bear puns? Paw-sitively! Should you send us your own (family friendly) captions? Do it! (We might add them to the post.)


Monday, February 13, 2017

The Importance of Fair Dealing

Fair use is for everybody
Image courtesy of Fair Use Week
Fair dealing, particularly for the purposes of education and research, has a major impact on universities and on how faculty members, staff, and students can use and provide access to materials. The risk of infringing copyright through an over-broad interpretation of fair dealing has led many universities to be cautious in how fair dealing is applied, only rarely venturing beyond their conservative fair dealing guidelines.  However, when practices remain more conservative than recent court decisions suggest the law might allow, those practices risk establishing norms that might lead to an effective redrawing of boundaries at more restrictive levels. Fair dealing rights could easily become a victim of “use them or lose them.”

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Have You Met... Shana Dion?

Shana Dion
Have you met Shana, Director of the Aboriginal Student Services Centre? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.

The Facts on NSSE

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What is NSSE?

NSSE—pronounced “Nessie”—is the National Survey of Student Engagement.

Created, administered, and disseminated by the NSSE Institute at the Centre for Postsecondary Research in Indiana University School of Education, the survey is reaches hundreds of 4-year postsecondary institutions across North America every year.  This year, the survey will run from February 9 to March 31, 2017.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Community Congrats! February 8, 2017

Pandas Curling
Pandas Curling brings home the gold medal on behalf of Canada at the 2017 Universiade Games (photo: U SPORTS)
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a gold medal for Pandas Curling, a Steacie Memorial Fellowship, the launch of a new MOOC, and more! So, congrats to the following:

The Academic Governance Review

University of Alberta Council Chambers
As many of you will know, the General Faculties Council embarked on review of academic governance last spring. This is the first review of the University of Alberta’s academic governance structure in about 40 years. As President Turpin, chair of GFC, noted on the January 30th meeting of GFC, this review will have a substantial impact on the future governance of the university. Today we would like to provide an update on progress to date.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I-Week Tackles “Trumpism”

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Mojtaba Mahdavi at International Week 2017
Image courtesy of Sarah Bowes, Communications Coordinator , Global Education Program  
“I wish you were all here for a better reason,” Mojtaba Mahdavi said, addressing a full crowd at his International Week presentation on February 3. Mahdavi’s lecture, Muslims and the Middle East in a Post-Trump Era, didn’t require any further introduction. His audience was keenly aware of the timely subject.

Friday, February 3, 2017

14 of the Latest Articles in Higher Ed: January 30 - February 3, 2017

Incivility, talk of boycotts, and a proposal to close the Indigenous education gap are among the topics covered in this collection of higher ed stories.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Andrew Sharman: The Path to Alberta

Andrew Sharman
Photo: Richard Siemens
Andrew Sharman, our new vice-president (facilities and operations), came to the University of Alberta following several years with the Government of Alberta, and a 22-year career in the British Army. At first glance, these positions seem disparate—until Sharman explains how his career landed him and his wife, Yvonne, in Alberta, how skillsets like disaster response have spanned his professional transitions, and how an MSc in logistics management ties together his diverse experiences.

I sat down with Andrew Sharman to talk about his winding career path, the move to Alberta, his new role at the U of A, and… bomb disposal? Yes, that fits in, too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In Photos: The First 31 Days of 2017

Kicking off 2017
Although 2017 is still in its infancy, it is proving to be an eventful year (which is likely a huge understatement). Sit back, scroll, and reflect on the month of January through this collection of images submitted by members of the U of A community.

Community Congrats! February 1, 2017

Brett Walsh, Golden Bears Volleyball
Brett Walsh of Golden Bears Volleyball  broke the Canada West conference record for assists 
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating public speaking champions, a UN Youth Representative appointment, a new Multi-faith Prayer and Meditation Space in HUB Mall, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On the Ground: the Women’s March on Washington

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Women's March on Washington
Image courtesy of Teddy Carter
Organizers reported that 1 million people participated in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21. Estimated to be the largest one-day protest in U.S. history, it inspired 673 Sister Marches around the globe, attracting nearly 5 million participants worldwide. Surrounded by controversy on social media, and highly politicized debates over event turnout, the march took on a huge political scope.

What would it have been like to join a protest of such historic proportions? Just ask the University of Alberta’s Teddy Carter – she was there.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The World of Higher Ed Reacts to the U.S. Travel Ban

The World of Higher Ed Reacts to the U.S. Travel Ban
As governments and everyday citizens around the globe work to understand the true implications of the U.S. travel ban issued by President Trump’s executive order, so too does the world of academia. See how the discussion is unfolding with this collection of the latest articles related to the ban.

Lowering the Flags for the Victims of the Quebec Attack

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Lowering the flags to half-mast
In recognition of the tragic shooting in Quebec City, the University of Alberta has lowered the university, provincial, and Canadian flags. The University of Alberta community extends our condolences to the family and friends of the victims of yesterday's attack. Our thoughts are also with our academic colleagues, community partners, and university volunteers from Muslim communities here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the world.

Public Vigil

The  Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council is organizing a public candlelight vigil & prayer in remembrance of the victims at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. This vigil is being held tonight (Monday, January 30) on the Alberta Legislative Grounds.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

President Turpin stresses UAlberta commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity

University of Alberta
Today, as president of the University of Alberta—but also as a citizen of Alberta and Canada—I want to voice our university’s firm commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the face of rising isolationism and division. These values guide our actions every day in a myriad of small ways, but sometimes, we are called to stand up for them in visible and vocal ways.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Have you met... Cynthia Munro?

Cynthia Munro
Have you met Cynthia, Learning and Development Consultant in Human Resource Services? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Community Congrats! January 25, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating major research discoveries and accomplishments, the School of Dentistry’s centenary, and more! So, congrats to the following:

A Consider This Opinion Piece: Why I-Week Matters to Me in 2017

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Preparing for the world of 2017 with International Week
The world appears to have changed for the worse, and while so many seem incapacitated, there are many others who have risen to the challenge. Front line workers and volunteers work to comfort, feed and shelter those in need; scientists refuse to be silenced about the environmental catastrophes we face; educators prepare the next generation to be creative, courageous and committed to changing a broken system; and grassroots organizers work tirelessly to ensure that equity and human rights are enshrined in our laws, policies and procedures.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Take Note: a primer on the Notice and Notice regime

A "Consider This" piece.

Notice the Notice About Noticing
Image courtesy of Toronto Realty Blog

A rude awakening

You are checking your email first thing one morning, as you do every morning, and you find in your inbox a message with a subject line that says something like “Notice of Copyright Infringement.” How did such a message find its way into your inbox, and what does it mean?  You may have just felt the reach of Canada’s “Notice and Notice regime”!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Sign-Up for the 2nd University of Alberta Indigenous Networking Forum

Since July of 2015, I have had the privilege of working on Aboriginal Initiatives, now known as Indigenous Initiatives, for the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).  This includes co-chairing the Council on Aboriginal Initiatives with Chancellor Doug Stollery and supporting the University’s work in Indigenous research and scholarship, teaching and learning environments, student-centered supports, and responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.


12 Articles From the World of Higher Ed: January 13 - 20, 2017

(Spotting) “crappy science”, populism on Canadian campuses, and the words that make PSE communicators cringe are all included in this latest round up of higher ed articles.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Have You Met......Amber Nicholson?

Have you met Amber, Career Development Officer in the Faculty of Arts? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Community Congrats! January 18, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, the inaugural winner of the Stephanie Chipeur Accessibility Research Fund award, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Yes, You Can Round Dance and Other Facts

When the community comes together for the University of Alberta Annual Round Dance there are a few things to keep in mind.

Monday, January 16, 2017

In Memoriam: Frederick Wong

In memoriam
The University of Alberta mourns the loss of Mr. Frederick Wong, Research Technician, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The New Year in Higher Ed: 16 Articles to Consider

Yes, it’s okay to say “I’d rather not,” tips to avoid getting scammed by fraudulent journals, and the idea of a united “Canadian science” are just a few of the higher ed topics circulating the web in this collection of articles from the start of 2017.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

From the President's Desk: Jan 12, 2017

President David Turpin

Welcome to the 2017 winter term! With the return to classes this week comes the launch of The Quad’s weekly newsletter. A part of the university’s digital landscape for more than a year, The Quad has become a virtual gathering place, thanks to the many contributions of faculty and staff writers who have shared stories, ideas, and opinions of interest to the internal community.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Community Congrats! January 11, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating an Order of Canada appointee, an award-winning faculty blog, School of Business Research Awards recipients, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bye Bye Birdies, and Hello Sunlight: The ALES Atrium in Photos

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ALES Atrium
Once known for its indoor tropics and resident budgies, the ALES atrium has reopened to reveal what will no doubt become one of North Campus' most sought after lunch and study spots. Here's a look inside:

VP (Research) Advisory Search Committee: Input from the Community

The search Vice-President (Research) is currently underway. In consultation with the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mr. Michael Phair, President Turpin has established an Advisory Search Committee for the Vice-President (Research).

Monday, January 9, 2017

Where to next? The Evolution

Updates: when it comes to phones, we speculate about them—when it comes to Facebook, we bemoan them—and when it comes to our software, we accept them.  Evolution is a constant reality of our digital lives and our digital work environment.  


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In Memoriam: Rachael Longridge

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In Memoriam
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast to acknowledge the tragic and untimely death of Rachael Longridge. Her obituary can be found here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

10 Things to Look Forward To Now That 2017 Has Arrived at the U of A

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Hello, 2017
Was 2016 really the horrible, no good, very bad, year that social media characterized as the #worstyearever, or that 46% of Albertans described as “an annus horribilis” year? Maybe. But, it’s 2017 now, and there are plenty of things that we can look forward to here at the U of A. So grab a half full glass of your favourite beverage (coffee, tea, etc. – your choice), and spend the next 2 – 5 minutes being hopeful about what’s already here and what’s still to come.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays from the University of Alberta

Happy Holidays, U of A!
As the semester and the calendar year come to an end, I reflect on the many milestones and accomplishments that marked 2016 at the University of Alberta:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

U of A's Favourite Christmas Movies

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Christmas movies, you say? (Courtesy of
Christmas movies: often nostalgic, relentlessly heartwarming, and for many of us, deeply entrenched in holiday traditions. Like carols in department stores and the Eggnog Latte, these films are harbingers of the holiday season. They rekindle the festive spirit, and signal that Christmas has come again.

Many Christmas movies spark annual family rituals, or recall memories of childhood Christmases. Is it any wonder that we hold passionate favourites in this genre?

Monday, December 19, 2016

From the President's Desk: Dec 19, 2016

As we move into the final week of exams and start to look forward to the holidays, I would like to thank all of you for your efforts over the last term. The University of Alberta depends on the energy and dedication of its people to consistently provide excellence in teaching, research, support, and service—it is a collective effort and I want to thank each of you for your contributions.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Shaping the Future of the Faculty of Science with Jonathan Schaeffer

Jonathan Schaeffer, Dean of Science

I am pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer as dean of the Faculty of Science, approved today by the Board of Governors. Jonathan’s second five-year appointment will be effective on July 1, 2017. My thanks to the members of the Dean Review Committee for their commitment and hard work, and to all of you who took the time to participate in the review process.


18 Articles to Consider From the World of Higher Ed: December 10 - December 16, 2016

What are the chances you’ll get tenure? Are relationships between instructors and university students taboo? Should researchers really be picking their own peer reviewers? These topics and more are all tackled in our final 2016 collection of higher ed articles from across the web.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Solving Everyday Problems Together

New Trail - December 2016
In 1901, 75 per cent of Alberta’s population lived in rural areas. A hundred years later, the rural-urban split was reversed, and then some, with only 17 per cent of Albertans living in rural communities in 2011.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Community Congrats! December 8 – December 14, 2016

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating several Governor General’s award recipients, a MacCormick Fellowship, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Consider This: Moral Rights, Wrapped in a Holiday Ribbon

Winter ready Tory
Copyright, moral rights, and holiday decorations -  what could go wrong?
Festive holiday decorations and displays on storefronts and in shopping malls make the dreary winter days and nights brighter and more appealing.  In 1982, Toronto’s Eaton Centre had an idea for part of their decorations.  A few years before, they had purchased and installed a large hanging sculpture in the atrium of the mall, “Flight Stop”, which is made up of the figures of sixty soaring Canada Geese. That year, Eaton Centre festooned the neck of each goose with a bright red ribbon.  The consequences of that action helped define an important provision in Canadian copyright law.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Update on Writing Supports Consultations

In August 2016, Vice-Provost and Dean of Students André Costopoulos and I began a conversation with faculty, staff, and students to learn more about the various efforts taking place across our campuses to support writers and writing at the University of Alberta.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Why Mountains Matter

Mountains Matter
Mountains - we may not be able to see them from the U of A's campuses, but they still have a tremendous impact on us. In honour of the first annual Canadian Mountain Network Mountain Festival, which is being held on North campus, and in recognition of International Mountains Day 2016 (December 11), we've pulled together a few members of the community who've each shared a(n inspirational!) quote about why mountains and International Mountains Day matter. Enjoy!


Friday, December 9, 2016

25 Articles to Consider From the World of Higher Ed: November 19 - December 9, 2016

Are libraries donning invisibility cloaks? Hey – what’s up post-docs? Exam stress – you can experience it too. These topics and more are all a part of this latest round up of higher ed articles from across the web.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Community Congrats! December 1 – December 8, 2016

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a new Rhodes Scholar, 13 new Canada Research Chairs, a lifetime achievement award in northern research, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Update from the Residence Life Task Force

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In spring 2016, Provost Steven Dew announced the establishment of the Residence Life Task Force to conduct a comprehensive examination of residence life at the U of A. The Residence Life Task Force is a close collaboration of student leaders and University administrators, exemplifying the importance of hearing and considering the perspectives of everyone affected by a particular aspect of the University of Alberta experience.

Thriving in a Collaborative Atmosphere: The Health Sciences Council's Strategic Plan and Annual Report

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The Health Sciences Council's Strategic Plan and Annual Report
I am pleased to present the Health Sciences Council’s Annual Report for 2015-2016 and our 5-year Strategic Plan. The plan was developed between 2012 and 2015 and aligns with the University's new institutional strategic plan, For the Public Good.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Consider This: Make This a Model Community of Respect for All

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Image courtesy of @uasupresident
I still have a vivid memory of December 6th [twenty-seven] years ago when we heard of the deaths of 14 women undergraduate students at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.  We were in shock and the University of Alberta community came together to mourn and share our thoughts at a gathering a few days later.

Monday, December 5, 2016

How Not to Freak Out: 6 Simple Tips to Help Your Students Beat Exam Anxiety and Stress

How to prevent student exam stress
Mebbie Bell remembers her exam horror story.

“I’d stayed up studying all night for an anthropology exam. When I woke up, I couldn’t believe it. The exam was just starting! I ran across the campus in my pajamas and managed to get there just before the 30-minute cut-off.”


National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

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National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
Join us to remember the 14 women killed in 1989 at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal, and pledge to take action on violence against women:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Students’ Union Building Stage 


Participants Needed for Research Study: Fibre Intervention in Ulcerative Colitis

Study: Double Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial for the Prevention of Ulcerative Colitis Relapses by the Prebiotic Combination Synergy-1.


Consider This: "Home" is not a simple concept

Dr. Megan Strickfaden accepts the Alberta Premier’s Council 2016 Award of Excellence in Education
More than ever we live in a time where home is not a simple concept. This era of gender/ability/race diversity and fluidity, immigration, migration, and multiculturalism means that home is no longer simply a place or space where someone comes from. When most people are asked to think of their home they seem to imagine a physical “designed” space: a room, house or flat that contains things, yet home is a mercurial concept.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Call for Expressions of Interest and Info Session: Blended Learning Proposals 2017

The Provost’s Digital Learning Committee (PDLC) is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the Blended Learning Awards. This award provides faculty members with an opportunity to redevelop a current undergraduate course into a blended learning format.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Call for Consultation:Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Vice-Provost and Dean Selection Committee 2016 - 17

It is my pleasure to announce to you the members of the 2016-2017 Vice-Provost and Dean Selection Committee, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

As its first action, the Selection Committee asks for your advice and opinion on the leadership needs of the Faculty in the years ahead and any other key issues. You are urged to express your views on the priorities, current issues, and the future direction of the Faculty. All feedback will be collected on a consultation form, and may be shared with the Selection Committee. To facilitate the Committee’s work, please submit your comments by noon on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.


Calls for the 2017 Community Connection Award Nominees

Let the University celebrate you or someone you know for an outstanding commitment to community!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In Memoriam: Elsie Yanik

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The University of Alberta mourns the loss of Elsie Yanik, Honorary Degree Recipient (2014) and Métis Elder.

Can a little turkey help unite families and bridge cultures?

Starting a family means tough choices when it comes to which Christmas traditions to carry on with; UAlberta staffer Niall McKenna discovers that sharing a meal with strangers is a great place to start
Image courtesy of Niall McKenna
My future wife and I had only lived together a couple of months when she faced an utterly terrifying test: a private chat with my mom. “You know,” my mother leaned in close to Megan, “Niall has never missed a Christmas with us.”


Community Congrats! November 24 – November 30, 2016

Nick Kostiuk
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating bronze medals for Bears and Pandas Swimming, a first-rate team of undergraduate programmers, and more! So, congrats to the following:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Festival of Teaching and Learning: Call For Presentations

Save the Date for the University of Alberta's 2017 Festival of Teaching and Learning
Excellence in teaching deserves to be celebrated. Innovation in teaching needs to be shared. That’s why the 2017 Festival of Teaching and Learning is now accepting proposals for presentations, workshops, and posters from U of A community members who want to share their experiences, best practices, and research results related to teaching and learning. The festival will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2017.


It’s Crunch Time: Embracing Student Supports

Campus Cares - Giving Day 2016 at the University of Alberta
The Fall semester is coming to a close, and that means finals: final projects, final papers, final exams. It’s crunch time for us as we prepare to grade and prep for next term, but it’s also crunch time for our students. In fact, we know that it’s one of the most stressful periods of the year for them.

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