Rethinking Waste in Red Deer, Alberta

By Starr Brainard, 2015-2016 Independent Researcher in Canada

I am currently about three months into my Fulbright experience. Come spring, I will be happily getting my hands dirty collecting production data from various alternative farms in Central Alberta. In the mean time, my research consists mostly of of emails, literature reviews, and online surveys. While necessary and informative, these steps of my research aren’t pushing me out into the ecosystem of plants, animals, and most importantly people in my host community. I am fortunate to be interning with my community host organization ReThink Red Deer and be a Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leader. Through ReThink Red Deer and The Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program I have been able to engage my local community in meaningful and rewarding ways over the past few weeks.

To quick bring you up to speed: The Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program provides small grants to current grantees and alumni of the Fulbright Canada program to partner with local organizations in order to make a significant positive environmental impact in their community. The mission of the non-profit ReThink Red Deer is to promote citizen-driven leadership by providing learning and practical opportunities for sustainable living in Red Deer and District.

The weekend of March 12 & 13 was the Fifth EcoLiving Fair hosted by ReThink Red Deer at Red Deer College. Since before arriving in Canada at the new year, I have been involved in the planning process for this event. It was amazing to see our efforts come to fruition in a fun and informative two days. Exhibitors sold organic local produce, worm composting towers, and heirloom seeds; and informed attendees of local initiatives and organizations. Workshops trained people how to build pollinator hotels, collect seeds, and keep bees and chickens in the city. Electric cars and art about sustainable food were on display; recycled urban lumber was being milled in the courtyard, and a Repair Cafe was hosted to teach participants to fix their things rather than throw them in the landfill. The energy and enthusiasm of all vendors, participants, and volunteers was tangible and infectious.

The EcoLiving Fair also marked the arrival of three Joracan composers to Red Deer College (RDC). My Eco-Leadership project is to install three community sized composers at RDC to pilot a food waste recycling program with the campus vendors. Composted food waste can then be used for landscaping onsite rather than shipping the waste landfills. This grant also seeks to engage the community, so delivery of the composting systems was accompanied by a workshop about how to compost, delivered by the Jordan director himself.

But the fun didn’t stop there. The very next week I was back at RDC to host another event that pushed students to rethink what they do with their waste. I collaborated with the RDC Makerspace, a place for informal and self-directed learning filled with 3D printers and robot parts, to host “Junk to Funk: a Design Challenge in the Makerspace.” At the event students were informed about the ongoing EcoLeadership Program and encouraged to challenge the Throw-Away Culture in which we all live. Teams of pizza-fueled students were given 45 minutes to make a creation from waste and construction tools provided for them. The creations were scored on their “recycle-ability,” encouraging students to consider the next stage of life for their creations after the competition; “structural integrity,” encouraging students to channel their inner engineers; and finally “funkiness,” encouraging students to get their creativity on.

While all the creations were wonderful, the winners were a modeled aquaponic growing system, an aluminum can camping stove, and a cardboard biplane. Winners walked away with gift-cards of their choosing from the campus store.

All in all, I feel honored to be able to work with Rethink Red Deer, Red Deer College, and be a Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leader. Sharing my passions with community members and receiving such an enthusiastic response invigorates me and inspired me to go above and beyond in my research steps to come.

If you are interested in following my research or getting in touch my blog is and my email is [email protected]

Introduction to ‘Francophonies’ in Minority Communities

By Bruce Dupeyron, 2015 Community Leadership Project, 2013-2014 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Policy Studies, University of Texas at Austin

By focusing on Francophone minority communities, the main goal of this project has been to support educational institutions, in facilitating the integration of francophone newcomers. Although this project has involved several categories of actors, management and teaching staff, children, parents and community members, we have quickly recognized that allowing children to be key players was a central aspect to this project. In this context, children have been the main actors of this initiative, which has supported their discovery and practice of various ‘francophonies’, thanks to teachers who also reflect this diversity from Canada, Africa, and Europe.
These young children are registered in the daycare Gard’Amis, in Regina, Saskatchewan, in groups of children aged 1 to 5, and in the only francophone summer camp in Regina, Camp Troubadou, for children aged 6 to 12. The needs of children in the daycare vary substantially with age, but similarities between the groups exist, namely storytelling, music listening, dancing, directed and free play, indoor and outdoor activities allow children to learn and speak French in different contexts. The project has supported those activities by fostering learning with a more diverse repertoire of francophone educational material. After two rounds of consultation with the teaching staff of the daycare, we have been able to identify a range of complementary material that can be used mostly indoors, for example books, audio books, and toys that reflect the cultural diversity in the daycare, so that children can be more fluent in French and socialize with their friends. For instance, music discs featuring francophone songs for memorizing vocabulary and dancing, or lullabies from different francophone countries before going to nap, have been worthwhile. Anecdotally, one of the teachers has brought our attention to the fact that, during naptime, one or two children might wake up earlier than the others, and need to have a quiet activity: it has been suggested that having a book light might help in reading a story to them, which has complemented nicely the books that have been selected. In addition, since books written by Robert Munsch are a favorite of older children in this age group, some of them have been chosen for reading times, which often lead to questions, further exchanges and games.

IMG_6412-2Moreover, Camp Troubadou has been welcoming children coming from different socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They may go to Regina’s francophone school or to French immersion schools.  In other words, they may speak French, English or another language at home, but have spoken French throughout the summer, thanks to the variety of activities proposed by Camp Troubadou’s teachers, which have contributed to reinforce their linguistic skills and allow them to socialize with a diversity of friends. The goal of the project for this age group has been to stimulate children with a variety of historic, cultural and linguistic realities through visits, games, creation and presentation of plays… Specifically, some of the activities of the project have been materialized in the support of outdoor events, for instance a visit of CBC / Radio Canada Saskatchewan in French, outdoor games, and indoor activities, such as the discovery of culture and gastronomy of several countries, live games inspired by TV games, socialization and fun with board games, collective creation a show presented to families during the final week, involving a potluck.

IMG_2363When school resumes, Camp Troubadou’s teachers take care of the Club Enfant, a before and after school program, managed by Gard’Amis. One of the concerns we had was that the equipment purchased for the summer would be used during the school year, when indoor activities are prevalent. Children in the Club Enfant have a broader repertoire of activities they can choose from: beyond sports in the gym and existing games, they have now other options, such as music listening, multiple board games – from easy and fun ones to intellectually more challenging ones.

“Comme parents, rien de mieux que de voir nos enfants être créatifs et indépendants. La fierté et le sens d’accomplissement étaient palpables sur scène.” – Denise Seguin Horth, parent d’un enfant du Camp Troubadou qui a notamment participé au spectacle de fin de camp.

We have been pleased to see that this project has provided additional tools to teaching teams, in order to inspire and motivate children in being integrated in rich and diverse Francophone communities.

NB: Since some parents did not give use the authorization to use the image of their children, some faces have been blurred.

The video attached is one of the interludes from the show that was produced at the end of the summer of 2015. It was structured with little plays, in which children played different roles, with interludes played by Cédric Delavaud (teacher) and Kael Séguin Horth (child). Kael’s parents gave us a written consent for a public use his image.

Fulbright Lecture: Understanding the Varying Impacts of Cross-Border Wind Development

Presentation by Dr. Martin D. Heintzelman, Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Environment and Economy at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment

Wind power is among the fastest growing energy sources in the world today, and is widely viewed as a substantial part of a clean energy future. However, implementation of wind energy is often controversial in areas where it is proposed, and concerns are often raised regarding potential negative impacts on local communities, including impacts on health and on property values. Some of these negative impacts may be offset by compensatory payments made by wind developers to both individual landowners who let out their land for the development and to communities. Additionally, host communities often have a say in approving the development or setting parameters. However, if the development is near borders between municipalities, states, or even countries, it is often the case that one or more jurisdictions will not have an opportunity to set such rules or demand compensation, but will, nonetheless, face some costs or impacts from the development. In such a situation, we would expect the property value impacts of a wind facility development to vary across these borders. We explore exactly this situation at the border between Canada and the United States in the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River.

For the presentation slides, click here.
For the research paper, click here .
Martin D. Heintzelman is the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Environment and Economy at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment. He is on partial leave until April from his post as Associate Professor and Fredric C. Menz Scholar of Environmental Economics at Clarkson University, as well as Director of the Clarkson University Center for Canadian Studies. At Clarkson, he is jointly appointed in the School of Business and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Martin has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics and an M.S. in Natural Resource Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan as well as a B.S. in Economics from Duke University.

The University of Manitoba – An Absolutely Amazing Experience

By Dr. Eileen Angelini, Professor of French at Canisus College, Fulbright Canada Specialist 2016

I had the incredible honor to accept the award for a Fulbright Specialist project in Canada at the University of Manitoba from January 3-16, 2016. I worked with faculty and graduate students in the Department of French, Spanish, and Italian in the Faculty of Arts, and education students and faculty in the Faculty of Education from the University of Manitoba and the Université de St. Boniface, on the project “Francophone Culture: Literature, Pedagogy, and Additional Language Acquisition.” I also gave public lectures and participated in community outreach at l’École St. Avilia, a French-immersion school. Moreover, I was able to meet with faculty in the Department of History, the Department of English, Film and Theatre, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.IMAG0775

It was the people with whom I met and worked that truly made this experience absolutely amazing. Even before I arrived in Winnipeg, Greg Smith, Associate Dean in the University of Manitoba Faculty of the Arts, made sure that everything was in place to ensure that I had a successful visit. He even met me at the airport upon arrival and after making sure I was properly settled in my B&B apartment, took me to the grocery store and bought me my first week’s bus pass.

When I went to l’École St. Avilia on Wednesday, January 6th, I was accompanied by David Watt, Director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Manitoba. As David’s two children attend St. Avilia, he was the perfect person to accompany me. He and I enjoyed seeing the children in action in an immersion environment.  I also liked hearing directly from the children how they like attending an immersion school (Grades 5 and 6) and learned that the hardest thing for them in attending an immersion school is that their Anglophone parents could not help them with their homework.  For the group activity on Maurice Richard/Roch Carrier’s Le Chandail, approximately 45 minutes was the perfect amount of time to work with the younger children (Grades 3 and 4). This group surprised me when they said that Bobby Orr was their favorite hockey player (although a few admitted to liking Wayne Gretzky, not a single one mentioned Sidney Crosby).  CKSB interview Genevieve Murchison

I had another highly meaningful encounter with graduate student Patti Germann on Friday, January 8th. We met to discuss her research on Marguerite Duras and Alain Resnais and how my background with the French New Novel and film, specifically how Duras’ work is representative of autofiction, could be of assistance to her. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into three hours that included lunch at Degrees, the entirely student-run restaurant at the University of Manitoba. Patti’s stories of her native Saskatchewan provided an unexpected bonus to my day. She and I also attempted to go to the Museum of Human Rights on Sunday, January 10th. We braved the cold weather (Patti has been quoted as saying that I am “fearless” with the cold but as a native New Englander, I grew up layering myself against it) with frozen eyelashes along the Assiniboine River only to learn when we arrived at the museum that it was closed until January 12th. Not to be deterred from having fun, we warmed up at the Forks and then connected with Constance Cartmill, Head of the Department of French, Spanish, and Italian at the University of Manitoba, along the river and proceeded to the Manitoba Legislative Building and then to Stella’s, a restaurant known for their omelets and jams.

EDUB 3426 Classe et Dr. Eileen Angelini 002On Tuesday, January 12th, I visited Krystyna Baranowski’s EDUB 3426 L’enseignement du Français aux niveaux intermédiaire et de la jeune enfance. These graduate students in education shared with me their goals of becoming teachers in immersion programs and how their student-teaching placements were going. Each semester over the course of four semesters, each student has to do afive-week placement. After having just visited l’École St. Avilia, which some of these graduate students had attended as children, it was highly informative for me to hear their reasons why they wanted to teach in immersion programs. Their fields ranged from physical education to biology to art. It was fun to share with them some of my research on Pawpaw French and Cajun French.

On Thursday, January 14th, I was extremely fortunate to meet with Brenda Austin-Smith, Associate Professor and Head of Department of English, Film, and Theatre. Our lively discussion centered on potential collaborations with Andrew Woolford, Adam Muller, and Struan Sinclair who share a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant. Their grant research on genocide, genocide writing, and the impact of images parallels my research on the WWII Occupation of France and the KKK in New England. Suffice it to say that I left Brenda’s office with an extra bounce in my step.

Friday, January 15th was filled with more class visits: Dominiuqe Laporte’s FREN 1190 (Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Maupassant’s La Parure); Drominique Laporte’s FREN 3850 (a special request after my successful Public Research Talk at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Manitoba, “A Little Known History of Discrimination in New England:  The Ku Klux Klan Attacks on Franco-Americans in the first half of the 20th century,” on Thursday, January 7th); and, Louise Renée’s FREN 2680 where we had a highly insightful discussion of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Accompanied by Greg Smith, my Fulbright Specialist experience finished with a tour of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba with Ry Moran, Director. I highly recommend visiting At this site, one will find a vast collection of documents, oral history and other records that detail the systematic and intentional attempt to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. The site is a clear demonstration of all the hard work and dedication that is taking place at the centre.

Greg Smith and his colleagues were fabulous hosts and I cannot thank them enough for all that they did for me.


To learn more about the Fulbright Specialist program, visit


You can contact Dr. Angelini at [email protected]

Norwich University Welcomes Dr. David Last

Originally posted on Norwich University’s Peace & War Center

Last, DavidNORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University welcomes David Last, PhD, as a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Peace and War Center this semester.

The program between Norwich Universityand the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the US establishes a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Norwich University to focus on research pertaining to military and diplomatic affairs.

Last brings vast experience from having served in the Canadian army for 30 years, and teaching political science and war studies at the Royal Military College of Canada since 1999. He is an accomplished scholar with a focus on understanding what our future officers and security professionals will need if they are to be successful in an uncertain future.
While at Norwich, Last plans to support two international initiatives that will involve bothNorwich students and cadets from Canada’s Royal Military College: an international seminar on non-violent conflict in Toronto, February 27-28, and an international field study of conflict perspectives in the Middle East in May. He will also be finishing a book for mid-career security professionals.

Claire Gjertsen’s Killam Cultural Awareness Trip

By Claire Gjertsen, 2015-2016 Killam Fellow from University of Calgary to American University

Over my trip, I visited the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. I visited Duke University and met with one of my favourite historians, Laura Edwards. I explored the cities of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, meeting locals, visiting the universities, and meeting up with fellow Killam Fellow Andrew Royce Bauer.
Charleston-1In South Carolina, I spent time in Charleston where I befriended locals and visited plantations, ate barbecue, and visited more university campuses. I ended up skipping Savannah because I loved Charleston so much.

In Atlanta, I spent Thanksgiving with locals and enjoyed a hearty Thanksgiving feast.

In Nashville, I enjoyed the local culture, ate amazing food, and visited museums and local classic shops. I sang karaoke and made friends at the hostel from all over the world.

Throughout the trip, I unfortunately had to work on assignments and papers and didn’t have the energy to do as many activities as I planned. However, that means that I have lots of things to see when I go back!

As a future historian of the American South, I learned much more about the culture of the South than I would have ever learned in a book. I learned about the real people, who are living in the States now, and what they think about their country’s history and how they interact with it, some on a daily basis.

Charleston-2This trip was possibly the pinnacle of my Killam experience. Since I was so focused academically during my semester, I did not spend a lot of time with the locals or traveling. I didn’t make many friends. Over this trip, I made more friends and met more people than I did during my entire exchange. I was able to separate myself (most of the time) from my academic pursuits and just submerse myself in American culture.

I recommend future Killams travel somewhere on their own. While traveling with friends can be great, taking a solo trip is when you really are able to venture out of your comfort zone and interact with your surroundings.