Thursday, May 25, 2017

Consider This: Truth First

New Trail Spring 2017 - Truth First
The truth is hard to hear. Even if you know about Canada’s residential school legacy, the scope of what happened is difficult to grasp.

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Have You Met…Bobbi Schiestel and Sheila Stosky?

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Have You Met…Bobbie Schiestel and Sheila Stosky?

Tucked in the office of the President, Bobbi and Sheila share a space and a comradery that made it way more fun to interview the two of them together. Spend the next two minutes getting to know them a little better.
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Corporate Challenge: Week 1

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U of A Corporate Challenge
The 26th Edmonton Corporate Challenge is underway! For the next two weeks, staff and faculty from the U of A will compete in 22 different events across the city.

Here's what's happening this week - and when/where you can cheer on your colleagues:
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Celebrating the 2017 University of Alberta Awards for Teaching Excellence

In just a few weeks’ time, our community will be commemorating the achievements of our graduating class as they accept their degrees and move on to the next chapter in their lives. And as we prepare to celebrate this achievement, I would like to honour some of those who have made this chapter possible. Today I’m pleased to announce and congratulate the recipients of the 2017 Awards for Teaching Excellence. Through their dedication and innovation, each has helped to sustain and raise the quality of a University of Alberta education.

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You’ll Want to Sit Here

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Now that it’s warm outside – real warm, not “winter warm” – we can finally head outdoors. From lunch breaks to fresh air meetings, there are plenty of opportunities to leave your office, and just as many places to go…. But which spot should be your spot? This short guide will help you find the perfect place to lunch.
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Friday, May 19, 2017

20 Stories From The World of Higher Ed

Diversity, diversity, diversity! Also, why do your students like you? These topics and more are included in this latest collection of PSE stories from around the web.
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Report released on Residence Life at the University of Alberta

In For the Public Good, experience is a verb—an action rather than an outcome.  As a university community, we have a shared goal to create opportunities, spaces and programs that ensure students fully experience personal and intellectual growth while at the University of Alberta, and for those living in residence, while they make their homes on our campuses.  As part of our efforts meet this goal, we invited members of the Students’ Union, Graduate Students’ Association, Provost’s Office, Dean of Students, and Ancillary Services to form the Residence Life Task Force.  The purpose of the task force was to share, hear, and discuss the perspectives of all those involved in residence.  Today, I am able to share the findings of this group in the form of the Residence Life at the University of Alberta: Report and Recommendations of the Residence Life Task Force.

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Have You Met…Chris-Anne Felzien?

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Have You Met…Chris-Anne?
Have you met Chris-Anne, the Information & Initiatives Coordinator in University Relations? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.
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How well do you know Corporate Challenge? (QUIZ)

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With Edmonton Corporate Challenge 2017 kicking off next week (*hint: that might be one the test), it's time to ask a pressing question: how well do you actually know Corporate Challenge? We're about to find out.


Want to learn more? 

Check out the U of A's Corporate Challenge page.
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Things to Keep In Mind: Copyright and Academic Publishing

Copyright and Academic Publishing
Writing and publishing articles is central to an academic’s life, and, given that articles are copyright-protected works, there are a few points that authors should keep in mind.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Community Congrats! May 17, 2017

2017 Community Connections Awards Recipients
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating two Alberta Order of Excellence inductees, the recipients of the U of A Community Connections Awards, and more! So, congrats to the following:
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Consider This: Ottawa's new rules won't close the diversity gap in research chairs

Voluntary efforts by universities to improve the diversity of the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) have proven to be inadequate. That’s why new rules issued by the federal government last week in an attempt to boost representation are welcome news.

But they don’t go far enough.

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Calls For... Participants Needed for Urinary Incontinence Study

Do you suffer from bladder control problems? Thinking about using pads to help?

Researchers in the Department of Medicine are investigating how pad use affects quality of life.
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Calls For... Healthy Volunteers for Meditation Study

The GI clinic is studying the effects of meditation on the gut microbiome. We are looking for healthy volunteers 45 -65 years of age to provide blood and saliva samples. Compensation will be provided.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Report released on Peter Lougheed Leadership College

The Peter Lougheed Leadership College
In 2015, the Peter Lougheed Leadership College accepted its first cohort of 45 students. At this year’s spring convocation, they will graduate with their degrees and certificate. Their aspirations for the future vary widely—some are heading to medical school, others are running in the upcoming municipal elections, and several are working on various start-up ventures. Yasmin Rafiei, the University of Alberta’s latest Rhodes Scholar, will soon take her place at Oxford University.

The variety of these students’ aspirations underscores the purpose and vison of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, a vision that Peter MacKinnon, former president of the University of Saskatchewan, highlights as a core strength of the college in a report we release today. In his report on the PLLC, Dr. MacKinnon also stresses that there is a tangible "esprit de corps” among the students, teaching fellows, mentors, and staff of the college which comes out of a shared passion and commitment to the program.
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Appointment of Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Heather Zwicker has been appointed vice-provost and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, effective July 1, 2017. The Board of Governors approved her appointment on May 12, 2017. 

A member of the Department of English and Film Studies, Dr. Zwicker joined the University of Alberta in 1993, becoming a full professor in 2012. In addition to her dedication to excellence in research and public intellectualism, Dr. Zwicker is deeply committed to teaching at all levels, and has received several awards including a Vargo Chair and the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. The focus of her Vargo Chair was on professional development for graduate students. Her record as graduate supervisor is exemplary; through her mentorship, several students have achieved major scholarships and honours for their work.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Honouring the University Health Centre Nursing Team

The University Health Centre Nursing Team - The University of Alberta's 2017 Community Leader Honourees
On May 5, 2016, 1200 people moved into Lister – they arrived after spending 1 to 3 days on cots in the open areas of the Expo Centre at Northlands. People were traumatized by having just lost their homes (or not knowing if they had or not), losing their employment, having families separated, leaving pets behind, and in many cases having experienced the ordeal of being stuck in slow moving traffic as they fled the fires and agonized as they watched their community burn.

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Elaine Hyshka: Approaching Substance Use through a Public Health Lens

Elaine Hyshka - the University of Alberta's 2017 Community Scholar Honouree
Elaine Hyshka’s community engagement activities do not fall into the regular duties of most academics, yet she rarely misses an opportunity to increase understanding regarding harm reduction and supervised injection services, even if that means rearranging her schedule and/or catching up on her other responsibilities long after the work day has ended. This extra effort has paid off through tangible benefits and value to the community.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Community Congrats! May 10, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating the J. Gordin Kaplan Award recipients, new accreditation for the Faculty of Arts, and… the world’s smallest Oilers' logo? Well, alright—like goaltender interference, we’ll allow it. Congrats to the following:
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shirley Ross: The 2017 UAlberta Advocate


Since 2011, one person has been instrumental to the success of the University of Alberta’s Green & Gold Community Garden - that person is Dr. Shirley Ross, a retired researcher from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES). During her research career Shirley spent several years working on research projects for non-profit organizations in Africa. Now retired, she volunteers much of her time to manage the Green & Gold Community Garden -  a University community garden that raises funds for a women’s organization in Africa.
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Have You Met…Charter Day?

The University of Alberta's Ceremonial Mace

Okay, so you can’t really “meet” a day – but you can “greet” it. You can also know it and can even celebrate it… so spend the next two minutes getting to know the University of Alberta’s Charter Day.
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Monday, May 8, 2017

In Memoriam: Brian J. Sproule

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The University of Alberta banner flies at half-mast in remembrance of Brian J. Sproule, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
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Friday, May 5, 2017

In Memoriam: Lech Jan Ozimek

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In Memoriam: Lech Jan Ozimek
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Professor Lech Ozimek, from the department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Call for... Research Participants to Help with Novel Fiber and Gut Bacteria Study

Our FYBER research group at the U of A is looking for research participants to help with our new and innovative gut bacteria and fibre study.
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Have You Met... David Reiter?

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Have You Met... David Reiter?
Have you met David, Contractor Safety/Fire Prevention Coordinator? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know him a little better.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Community Congrats! May 3, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a Lifetime Achievement Award, major grant and funding recipients, several leadership awards, and more! So, congrats to the following:
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Ah, April: A Look Back in Photos

April 2017 in Photos
The month of April brought us spring, the second (?), third, and by my count, fourth refrains of winter, the end of term, and a whole lot of photos. Here's a look back at April 2017:

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13 Safety Lessons I Learned from Modern Times

Safety, Schmafety
In honour of NAOSH Week, the U of A’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety is planning to host a free screening of the Charlie Chaplin comedy Modern Times. But really, in these modern times can we learn about safety from a 1936 slapstick film? Here are my 13 offerings:
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How good are you at safety?




If you're someone who has to deal with matters of safety, then you likely already know that the university is transitioning to "WHMIS 2015." But how much do you really know about WHMIS 2015? Test your safety knowledge to see if you know what's what or if you might need to spend a little time reading through the WHMIS 2015 rules.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Announcement Regarding the Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian

I am writing to advise that Gerald has resigned his position as Vice-Provost (Learning Services) and Chief Librarian, effective July 31, 2017, to become the Carl A Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University.

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University of Alberta Archives - Notice of Temporary Closure

The University of Alberta's New Research Collections and Resource Facility (RCRF)
After 20 years of the University of Alberta Archives operating out of the Book and Record Depository (BARD), I am very pleased to announce that we will be relocating to the University of Alberta Libraries’ new Research Collections and Resource Facility (RCRF) on the University’s South Campus. The RCRF will be located just south of the Saville Community Sports Centre and across from the South Campus LRT station.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Consider This: Mourning Those Lost On the Job

Recognizing the National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed and Injured at Work at the University of Alberta
There are four times of the year that remind me about the importance of what I do here at the university - March 23rd, April 28, 1st full week in May and August 18th.

In a previous life I was the Manager of Occupational Health and Safety at the City of London, in Southwestern Ontario.  On March 23, 1996 at 11:25 a.m. I received a call from a colleague, David Howard.  It was a Saturday and I was just heading out the door to visit some friends.  David’s call was important.  He said, “Andrew, there’s been an explosion at the Silverwoods Arena and one of our staff has been seriously hurt….”

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In Memoriam: John W. Bilsand

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In Memoriam: John W. Bilsand
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Professor Emeritus John W. Bilsand, from the department of English and Film Studies in the Faculty of Arts.
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

From the President’s Desk — April 27, 2016

This coming weekend marks the end of winter term classes and exams. My thanks to everyone for your efforts teaching and supporting our students over the last four months. Helping them to achieve their best is a collective effort of faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate teaching and lab assistants across our campuses. Whether your role is in the classroom, lab, library, student services, facilities, or administrative supports, your contributions matter and I’d like to take a moment now at the end of this term to thank you for all that you do for the University of Alberta.

The end of term has also coincided with the completion of an important piece of work. Last Friday, at a special meeting of the General Faculties Council, the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Governance Including Delegated Authority presented its report and recommendations.

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Have You Met... Karen Kutyn?

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Have You Met... Karen Kutyn?

Have you met Karen, Receptionist and Administrative Secretary in Education Policy Studies? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.
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Keeping the U of A Green: The 2017 Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards

The University of Alberta's 2017 Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards
On April 20, 2017, the U of A celebrated Earth Day (April 22) a little early by recognizing and thanking the individuals and groups who have members of our community who have exemplified the university’s continuing efforts to build a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable institution. Here’s a look at the honours and their achievements:
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Towards Diversity

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Lady and Gentlemen...” The words resounded throughout the meeting room. It was one of Margaret-Ann Armour’s first department meetings as a new faculty member, and yes, she was the only “lady” in the room—and the department.
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Upcoming Town Hall: Exploring the Visibility of Scholarly Writing Supports Online

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Council Chambers (2-100),  University Hall

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In Memoriam: Maridel Ritchie

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In Memoriam: Maridel Ritchie
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Professor Maridel Ritchie, from the Faculty of Nursing.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Have You Met... Stephanie Grant?

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Have you met... Stephanie Grant?
Have you met Stephanie, Acting Coordinator and Community Social Worker with the U of A’s Community Social Work Team? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.
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Consider This: How to Nurture Student Leaders

The relationship between university administrators and student leaders, whether they are activists or elected by their peers, is complicated. These students are partners in governance, and they are astute and sometimes vocal critics — but they are also learners. In some ways, we are their mentors. Certainly, it’s challenging to maintain all those dimensions of the relationship and keep it a productive partnership that works for the institution and its community.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Community Congrats! April 19, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating the launch of Alberta’s first satellite, a Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal, research fellowships and awards, and more! So, congrats to the following:
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5 things that went into space in April

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Ex-Alta #1 Cube Satellite
The Ex-Alta #1 Cube Satellite, designed and built by U of A students
It’s been a big month for the U of A in space. On April 18, Alberta’s first satellite—designed and built by U of A students—launched into space aboard an Atlas V rocket. The Ex-Alta #1 (short for Experimental Albertan) was built by AlbertaSat, an interdisciplinary, student-led group at the U of A. The Ex-Alta #1 joined roughly 50 other cube satellites on board the Atlas V rocket to journey from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station.

To celebrate the momentous occasion, we’ve assembled a list of 5 things that went into space this month—because it isn’t every day that the U of A makes that list.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Calls For... Blood Pressure Study Research Participants

We are looking for volunteers for a large-scale clinical research study. It is a collaboration project between Computing Science and Medicine for measuring Blood Pressure continuously without a cuff.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Entitlement and Me: Problems in Canadian Medical Education

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A "Consider This" Piece

When I was admitted to medical school in Canada, I was commended by my new professors as one of the country’s brightest students. The first months inculcated and cultivated the idea that I was exceptional and set apart from other students who did not make it to medical school. Sometimes the praise was explicit, sometimes not; few probably noticed. Yet there was a subtle message: I was special and deserved all my success because of it.
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The Aga Khan Garden: A Preview of Things to Come


Last week’s public unveiling of the Aga Khan Garden Alberta, to be located at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, was an eye-opener for many. I, like many others, envisioned an oasis garden with fruit trees and palms around a desert oasis. We are all, however, challenged to re-imagine a contemporary garden drawing from the Mughal, Ottoman and Islamic cultures of history. This enlightenment comes with the new garden made possible by a gift of over $25 million from His Highness the Aga Khan.

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Have You Met... Lepus Townsendii?

The not so elusive University of Alberta Jackrabbit
Have you met Lepus Townsendii, outdoor enthusiast and eggceptional observer of campus life? Spend the next two minutes getting to know him a little better.

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Consider This: Reasoning with Student Resistance

Reasoning with Student Resistance
After spending hours designing an engaging and thought provoking group activity, you are finally able to reveal it to your class. As you finish your explanation you are met with blank stares, unimpressed faces, and rolling eyes. Questions like “Do we really have to participate?” and “Aren’t you supposed to be teaching me?” appear scrawled on students’ foreheads. After coaxing students to finally interact, you finish the class and students pour out of the room. Disheartened, you are left to reflect on why they resisted what you thought was an excellent activity.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Community Congrats! April 12, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating the Images of Research winning entries, athletics and faculty award recipients, and more! So, congrats to the following:
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In Memoriam: Neil Madsen

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UAlberta In Memoriam
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Neil Madsen, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry.
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Images of Research 2017

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The winners of the second annual Images of Research competition were announced on April 6. The competition challenges U of A graduate students to capture the essence of their research in a single image.

Here are the top entries from 2017:

I Am Not Alone - Camelia Vokey, Master’s Occupational Therapy
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Ice Core Freezer Malfunction

A malfunction of a freezer unit at the University of Alberta’s Canadian Ice Core Archive has resulted in warming and damage to part of the collection.
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Have you met... Emily Gregory?

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Have you met... Emily Gregory?
Have you met Emily, Project Specialist at the Career Centre? Spend the next 2 minutes getting to know her a little better.

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A Consider This Opinion Piece: The Tyranny of Student Evaluations

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UAlberta Course Evaluations
Faculty members are generally rather dubious about the effectiveness of student evaluations of teaching and I believe such skepticism to be well founded. Even when a chair’s letter accompanies the USRIs, the dependence on student evaluations of teaching can lead to all sorts of problems, some of them quite unexpected.
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Community Congrats! April 5, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a lifetime achievement award, a Humboldt Fellowship, 3MT finalists, and more! So, congrats to the following:
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Friday, March 31, 2017

A Gallery of Gandalfs, and Other Photos from March 2017

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The Title of this post says it all, so without further ado, bring on the wizards!

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In Memoriam: Geoffrey Kulak

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UAlberta In Memoriam
The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast in remembrance of Geoffrey Kulak, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Calls For... 2017 WISEST Summer Research Program Supervisors

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If you're a University of Alberta researcher, graduate student, or lab assistant, consider becoming a WISEST Summer Research Program Supervisor from July 5 to August 16, 2017! Share your passion for research with a Grade 11 student while giving them the opportunity to contribute to a research project.

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If the TOBY Doesn't Fit... Make a New One?

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David Whalen and Sascha Jansz of the University of Alberta
It’s a problem that almost any academic can sympathize with: David Whalen couldn’t get his project to fit the awards application.

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Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Janice Miller-Young

Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Janice Miller-Young
How do you know that your research is good, a theory holds up, or an idea is worth pursuing? In the world of academia, your peers will let you know. Academic work is constantly being reviewed and tested – after all, the academy is a place of learning and discovery.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Community Congrats! March 29, 2017

UAlberta Congrats
This week, the University of Alberta is celebrating a first-place finish for a student geoscience team, a ‘Leaders in Diversity’ award, and a silver-medallist powerlifter! So, congrats to the following:
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The U of A’s Non-Playing, Totally Rad, Corporate Challenge Basketball Captain

Members of the University of Alberta's Corporate Challenge Basketball Team
Image courtesy of Andrew Leitch (i.e. the one in the tie)
I’ve been the university’s non-playing Corporate Challenge basketball captain for a decade and it’s an important job: I have to make sure everyone has the correct size of T-shirt and that they remember to bring their ONEcard on game night. Also, sometimes I bring water.
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Pay to Play: Recorded Music at Public Events

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Image courtesy of DeviantArt
Holding a dance party can be a great idea for a fundraiser.  However, if you’re planning to play recorded music at your public event, you may have to consider some copyright issues first.

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