All Posts Tagged With: "university of alberta"
Eight universities’ departments among top 50 worldwide
The QS World University Subject Rankings 2013 are out now. The London-based company’s report offers a rare peek at how our school’s history, engineering and law programs—30 subjects in all—are viewed internationally.
Unsurprisingly, the top three universities from the Medical Doctoral category of the Maclean’s University Rankings—the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and McGill University—are also the top Canadian schools on the list. Those three are top five in Canada in 29 of 30 subjects and top 50 worldwide in many.
The highest ranked Canadian subject is geography at the University of British Columbia, which is tenth globally. There are also several subjects in the top 15: environmental science at UBC along with medicine, philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, sociology, geography, education, English and history at University of Toronto.
I thought there would be more maturity in university
When I got out of high school and enrolled at the University of Alberta, I was particularly excited for one thing: the end of the dreaded group project.
In high school a number of different things led me to hate working with others. We would prepare arbitrary presentations and our peers wouldn’t listen to them anyway. I thought that studying English and Comparative Literature in university would mean never having to collaborate for meaningless group assignments again.
Boy was I wrong. In fact, I seem to be doing more group projects than essays lately.
When I first saw all the group assignment descriptions on my syllabi at the beginning of the year, I decided to be as positive as possible. Perhaps the maturity level of my groups would be higher in university. Boy was I wrong again. Group work only seems to get worse in university, and I can safely say that the biggest source of my school stress has come from working with my peers.
But instead of letting it get me down any more, I’m going to relive the worst group project I have ever been a part of and hopefully my misfortune will at least brighten your day.
What students are talking about today (April 11th)
1. Legally Blonde, the film starring Reese Withersoon as a California girl who conquers Harvard Law School, is now officially a classic. Most of today’s undergraduates would have been too young to watch it back in 2001, but they’ve apparently downloaded it somewhere. This spring there have been successful stage productions on campuses from Trent University to Western University. The Neptune Theatre in Halifax is staging it from now until May 26th. Saint Mary’s University’s Journal gives it a good review.
2. This week may be the last chance students get to gather and protest recent provincial budget cuts to universities before they disperse for the summer. Approximately 300 people marched on the Alberta legislature on Wednesday to protest a 7.3 per cent cut there, reports The Edmonton Journal. Students also protested on the other side of the country in St. John’s, Newfoundland, reports The Telegram.
3. Dr. Donna Cave, Director of Wellness Services at the University of Alberta, has a weekly advice column for readers of The Gateway student newspaper. I suggest checking it out this week’s submission. She offers scientifically sound (and hilarious) advice for acing your exams. In case you don’t have time to read it, here’s a summary. As little as 20 minutes of exercise daily reduces anxiety and depression, so hit the gym. Sleep deprivation can cause as much impairment as being drunk, so avoid the all-nighters. Oh, and eat properly or your brain won’t work so good.
4. A new Mexican Barbie has offended some Latin American professors in the U.S. She’s “dressed for a fabulous fiesta in her vibrant pink dress with ruffles, lace and brightly coloured ribbon accent,” according to toymaker Mattel. The pet Chihuhua—and passport—are also raising eyebrows. Jason Ruiz, an American studies professor at Notre Dame University, told ABC that passports are a point of “great sensitivity for people of Mexican origin, especially Mexican immigrants.”
5. Medical students at the University of Alberta have released a Disney-themed musical video—not a Lip Dub but something original that they actually wrote and performed. With their notorious workload, it’s amazing they found the time. Then again, there’s a reason they got in. Check it out:
Researchers oppose closure of Experimental Lakes Area
There appear to be “remarkable similarities” between fish deformities found downstream from Alberta’s oilsands and those observed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and after Florida’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, says a renowned ecologist.
David Schindler of the University of Alberta has written an open letter to two federal cabinet ministers pointing out the recent research findings from scientists as far afield as the Gulf of Mexico.
“Given the parallels in the cases from various locations, it seems likely that some chemical or suite of chemicals in crude oil is causing the malformations,” Schindler wrote.
He’s proposing that Canada take the lead in researching the issue by isolating the various chemical compounds and introducing them to fish stocks in a controlled setting.
And Schindler says the federal Experimental Lakes Area — which has been shut down by Ottawa for a savings of about $2 million annually — is the ideal natural laboratory for the work.
Roughly 100 show up despite snowstorm
A massive blizzard made Edmonton’s road conditions miserable, but University of Alberta students still managed to make it to campus on Thursday afternoon to protest Alberta’s recently announced cuts to post-secondary education.
A flash mob of approximately 100 students formed in the main quad and marched against the 7.3 per cent provincial government funding cut. The protest was organized by the Coalition for Action on Post-Secondary Education (CAPSE), a student-run organization formed to retaliate.
Several students from CAPSE led the large protest in and out of high-traffic buildings. In the midst of students chanting, “no ifs, no buts, no education cuts,” and “they say cutbacks, we say fight back,” several students quietly made small talk about how these cuts may affect their futures.
Colleges create programs in response to industry demand
Amy Gordon was in the middle of completing her second university degree when she decided to go to college instead. Gordon already had a degree in biology from the University of Alberta, and was studying chemical engineering at the University of Calgary. “I was getting really tired of learning lecture-style theory. I had an itch to get more hands-on and learn more,” says the 29-year-old.
So she left U of C, and is now nearing the end of a two-year diploma program in instrumentation engineering at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton. Gordon has been getting the hands-on training she wanted in labs supported by—and named after—Spartan Controls Ltd. The company has poured about $8-million worth of equipment into the program since 2007, essentially creating labs that replicate what it’s like to work in a refinery, giving students access to training on new technology.
Many just pass by homelessness fundraiser at U. Alberta
Every night, around 33,000 homeless Canadians are forced to sleep on the streets, according to the non-profit Covenant House. For five days this week, students at the University of Alberta and other universities all over Canada are joining them to raise awareness of the issue.
A few years ago, a group of business students studying at the University of Alberta started 5 Days for the Homeless, a campaign whose name says it all. While sleeping outside on campus grounds with nothing more than sleeping bags on cardboard boxes, they accept charitable donations for non-profit organizations. Up to this year, they’ve raised nearly $100,000.
But what drives these volunteers to go without warm beds for almost a week, sleeping in temperatures that could dip as low as minus-20 in Edmonton?
What students are talking about today (March 13th)
1. First-year University of Waterloo student Celeste Anderson has won $100,000 and the title King of the Nerds on the eponymous American reality TV contest show. Contestants competed in events like Segway races, debates and Cosplay (costume play), according to Metro News. Before the show, Anderson traveled across North America competing in video game tournaments where she excelled at Halo. She’s considering a career in video game design. The show’s finale is tonight on Slice. Totally missed this sleeper hit? Don’t worry, it has been renewed for a second season.
2. Even supposedly conservative Alberta has spent so much that they are now forced to make drastic cuts to post-secondary education. An editorial writer for The Gateway student newspaper isn’t pleased, in part because programs at some schools could be eliminated if others offer them nearby. “The new plan for Alberta education doesn’t see the point in the same programs being offered between two nearby schools,” writes Andrew Jeffrey. “But this policy hurts post-secondary accessibility as fewer students will be able to qualify for these programs… with tougher competition.” Alberta has traditionally provided more funding than other provinces, which are now cutting too.
Kim Fordham Misfeldt earns 3M Teaching Fellowship
Kim Fordham Misfeldt, a professor of German and the Humanities Chair at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta, is a 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient for 2013. Maclean’s On Campus is profiling all 10 recipients.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Saskatchewan, Kim Fordham Misfeldt dabbled in French, German and Norwegian. But is wasn’t until she taught her first German class as a master’s student that she witnessed the transformative effect learning a foreign language could have on a student. She has not stopped teaching since.
“A new language can be an invaluable tool,” she says, “but language is also a physical experience, and an emotional experience, and I try to incorporate that into my classes.”
What students are talking about today (February 22nd)
1. Students at Brandon University were excited for some metal after KISS frontman Gene Simmons posted earlier this month on his website that the band would play July 18th in the Wheat City. Both The Quill and the Brandon Sun reported the news but now the date has now disappeared from Simmons’ website and it’s unclear whether they’re even coming. This may not seem like a big deal to most of us, but it shows how desperate students in small cities are for entertainment.
2. Here’s disturbing news. Daniel Younis, 24, was Recruiting Coordinator and Running Back coach for the York University Lions football team when he was arrested this month for luring a child under 18 and attempting to make child pornography following Internet chats with a 16-year-old boy.
Five things students are talking about today (February 21st)
1. It must be especially difficult to be gay and a Mormon right? Well it may have just become easier. Jimmy Hales, a student at Brigham Young University, decided to come out to his friends and family while recording their reactions. Most of them were surprisingly supportive—if a bit shocked. In a blog post he writes that he will never get married and plans stay celibate his whole life, but he’s happy with the acceptance he’s found. That may not be the ideal situation for most gay youth, but it seems to work fine for him.
2. It’s less than a month until the only holiday where students feel justified drinking before noon: St. Patrick’s Day. In anticipation of excessive drinking, one U.S. college, Penn State, has a daring plan. They’re going to pay 34 downtown bars, restaurants and shops $5,000 each to not sell alcohol that day, reports The Associated Press. It’s happening because of complaints from the community. The city hasn’t had a St. Paddy’s Day like that one last year in London, Ont.
Heather Zwicker earns a 3M National Teaching Fellowship
Heather Zwicker, a professor of English and Film Studies turned Vice-Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta, is a 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient for 2013. Maclean’s On Campus is profiling all 10 in the coming weeks.
It was 2003 and Zwicker had taken a six-month teaching position in Hawaii when it dawned on her that she knew more about the culture of Honolulu than that of her hometown Edmonton.
When she got back to the University of Alberta, she put together a senior-level course that focused on the city’s history and arts scene.
It was difficult at first, because there weren’t many published works about Edmonton.
“That’s when I realized that the other part of the course had to be getting students into the city,” she says. She had them tour the campus, taking in the history of the university, and go for walks and transit rides, recording everything they noticed. Based on their observations, they created unique maps of the city using soundscapes and video. “It was really fantastic. The students’ work was amazing,” she says, adding one project was submitted to a film festival.
University of Alberta researcher looked at distracted driving
A University of Alberta researcher wants to put the brakes on billboards with negative words.
Michelle Chan says her recently published study shows negative words on roadside ads lead to more distracted driving.
The PhD student put fellow students into a driving simulator and tested their skills behind the wheel as negative, positive and neutral words appeared in the background.
I save money, get support and avoid rotten roommates
My friends tell me: “If you don’t move out before you graduate, you’re a failure”
Acquaintances ask: “How do you have a social life?”
Complete strangers inquire: “What are you doing with your life?”
These are some of the reactions I get when I tell people that I’m a 19 year old university student living with my mom. And you know what? Despite the criticism, I have no plans to move out just yet.
My parents divorced when I was very young, so I’ve pretty much always lived with my mom. Since I’m her only child, the two of us are nearly inseparable. She also helps pay my tuition and is supportive of my hectic school and work schedule.
I have this excellent support system at home. Why would I leave?
Bank robbers? Embezzlement? A former executive reflects.
Two years ago, I was a second-year student considering running for Vice-President Academic of the University of Alberta Students’ Union. Though I expected to learn plenty if elected, it was impossible to predict just how much I did learn on the job. If you are a student considering running at your school, I encourage you to give it a try. It could totally alter your life’s trajectory. Here are eight of the most memorable lessons I learned.
1. Unpredictability is just part of the job.
Unforeseen events can often get in the way of platform goals. In June 2011, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry plagiarized his speech to the graduating class, which packed my days with television interviews. A few months later, our executive learned that a student from the business students’ association was accused of stealing $27,000, so I did more interviews. Media relations wasn’t how I’d planned to spend my time.
Campuses divided on best approach
Up to one in four female students is sexually assaulted during university, according to the University of Alberta Health Centre. While there’s wide support for fighting gender-based violence, campuses are divided over who should provide the support and who should pay for it.
Some university clinicians want help to come from professionals in campus clinics, while some students want universities to also pay for peer-based support networks run by students. Meanwhile, some student unions, funded by mandatory fees, have taken up the prevention and support role at some schools.
The debate is playing out at Concordia University where a group called the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy (named after their main location at 2110 de Maisonneuve Blvd.) argues the university should provide funding for a student-run sexual assault centre to complement its health and counseling services. Bianca Mugyenyi, the 2110′s campaign coordinator, says that peer-based support is a model that’s worked well across Canada.
Puppy parties, NHL lockout and the plot to kill Bieber
1. If you’ve fallen into an exam stress hole and your university doesn’t offer the burgeoning (and cute) service of dog therapy, watch this video – you can’t possibly be in a bad mood after watching a man high-five a Labradoodle. CBC Edmonton reports that the University of Alberta is the latest Canadian school jumping on the dog therapy wagon – and it’s wildly popular. Students lined up down the hallway for a chance to play with the pups, and a university official told CBC they hope to make the visits an ongoing program throughout the year.
2. In a bid to improve the college experience for LGBT students, the AP reports that the University of Iowa has become the first U.S. public university to pose options question about sexual orientation and gender on its application. The application asks students whether they “identify with the LGBTQ Community” among other optional questions, data the university hopes to use to gauge how well LGBT students feel supported. If a student answers yes to the question, Iowa’s admissions office will also e-mail them with information on housing options and campus resources.The AP reports that the only other U.S. college to track LGBT students is Elmhurst College, a private liberal-arts school in suburban Chicago.
Maple Batalia, 20 years of txts & another fraternity offends
1. Two men have been arrested in connection with last year’s shooting death of 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student and aspiring actress Maple Batalia. Gurjinder Dhaliwal, Batalia’s ex boyfriend, faces first degree murder charges. More here.
2. Iman Siwalem was in the basement of her house near the University of Windsor on Saturday when she heard the footsteps of an intruder above. She locked herself in her basement room, but the man barged in, lunged and chased her up the stairs. She fled in bare feet and got her neighbours’ attention. More here.
3. It was 20 years ago today that the world’s first text message—Merry Christmas—travelled from a computer to a phone. Its inventor, Neil Papworth, was a 22-year-old Montreal man working for British telecom company Vodafone. To read more about how texts changed the world, see Maclean’s.
Campus style near the University of Alberta
Just take a five-minute stroll down Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue and you’ll surely come to the same conclusion I did: this is the go-to hangout for the University of Alberta’s most fashionable students. Simple patterns—especially stripes—are thrown in with pops of colour and classic pieces.
SAIT’s two-drink limit, bedbugs & Transgender Day
1. In case you needed more evidence that binge drinking is a pervasive problem on Canadian campuses consider this: SAIT in Calgary is imposing a new rule on the student-owned pub that limits patrons to two drinks before 3 p.m. and outlaws mid-day shooters, reports CBC.
2. Ryerson is the latest school to deal with a bedbug epidemic in student residences. The university has eight confirmed cases so far this year, reports The Ryersonian. As Maclean’s discovered two years ago, the problem is fairly common across Canada. Here are five things you should know about these biting beasts.
3. Despite the fact that Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, celebrated the bombing of a city bus in Tel Aviv that injured 22 people, a cease-fire with Israel was announced Wednesday in Cairo.