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A New EducationUSA Advisor for Fulbright Canada

My name is Jenika Heim. I joined the Fulbright Canada team as the Education USA Advisor at the beginning of September, just in time to attend the 2014 Fall Orientation for Fulbright Canada’s Fulbright scholars and Killam students. My predecessor, Michael O’Shea, has returned to graduate school and is pursuing a M.S.Ed in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. I will be working with both Fulbright Canada and the US Embassy in Canada to provide advising services to prospective US bound students and to identify and promote educational opportunities for Canadians in the United States. I look forward to connecting in person, at fairs, and through the various social media tools.

Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe, California

I was born and raised in beautiful northern California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. I completed my B.A. in History and Communications with a Minor in Social and Ethnic Relations at the University of California, Davis (go Ags!). At UC Davis, I made the Dean’s List, volunteered as a campus disc jockey, worked as a double-decker bus driver, and competed on both the rowing and rugby teams. I went on to earn a M.A. in Women’s Studies at San Diego State University. There, I was honoured with a Graduate Teaching Associate award for my role in teaching introductory level Women’s Studies courses, something that I truly enjoy. Fully embracing my Southern Californian environment, I took a surfing course which gave me one unit towards my degree and entrenched my love for the ocean.

Canal Biking
Rideau Canal, Ottawa

I have always gravitated towards the academic world, both as a student and as a manager. I embrace putting students first and helping them reach their academic goals. Between 2006 and 2014, I worked for Kaplan Test Prep, specializing in pre-college exams (SAT, ACT, PSAT) and instructor management.Through my work with Kaplan, I bring a unique knowledge set to Fulbright and the US Embassy, especially in the area of standardized testing and US college admissions. I look forward to advising students and helping them find their best academic fit, and I also look forward to working with all of you!

“Skill Should Be The Only Bottom Line”: Level the Ice Community Leadership Program

In early July, 20 young elite Canadian hockey players from disadvantaged backgrounds got a rare opportunity—a chance to receive elite hockey coaching and training thanks to Level the Ice.

Made possible by a Community Leadership Program Grant from the Embassy and Fulbright Canada, Level the Ice was a weeklong hockey training camp at the Sensplex in Kanata, Ontario. Open to deserving players with strong character who have overcome, or currently face, beyond average economic challenges in playing the game of hockey, the camp combined on- and off-ice instruction with mentorship that brought in community leaders from hockey, business, academic and other successful backgrounds.

The motto of Level the Ice is “Skill should be the only bottom line”. Coordinated by Fulbright alumni Ian McGrath, Robin McLay and Scott Delaney, the camp came from a shared vision that the best hockey players deserve an opportunity to compete at the highest levels irrespective of their financial ability. With the assistance of Andrew Stewart (Executive Director, Level The Ice) and Evan Brownrigg (Director of Player and Program Development, Level The Ice) the dream became reality for 20 deserving hockey players.

Skills Training in Action!
Skills Training in Action!

Next Generation Hockey, Ottawa’s elite-level hockey performance camp and clinic provider, developed an intensive conditioning and development program for the players.

Generous volunteers from Next Generation Hockey created an amazing program, the timing and focus of which will enable these elite young players to compete at the highest levels in the upcoming season.

A key component of the camp was showing the kids what it would take to realize their dreams. Guest speakers like Brad Shaw (Former captain of Ottawa Senators and Assistant Coach of the St Louis Blues) and Marc Dorion (Canadian gold medallist Paralympian sledge hockey player) spoke to the passion and hard work required to make the pros. Michael Hawes (CEO Fulbright Canada) spoke about college hockey and the importance of an education. Cody Ceci (Defenseman for the Ottawa Senators) inspired the players and spoke to the need for total dedication.

Encouraging the Kids off the Ice
“You play one of the greatest games around, make sure you find the passion.” – Brad Shaw

The support for the camp in the area was outstanding. July 7, 2014 was proclaimed as “Level The Ice Day” by Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches. The US Embassy took video of the on-ice action and interviews.

Ian McGrath and Andrew Stewart spoke about their vision for the hockey camp in an interview with the US Embassy available on YouTube. The photographs taken by Shattered Memories Photography brilliantly captured the on-ice energy and will be featured on the Level the Ice website, leveltheice.com.

Given the support and positive reactions of all involved, Level The Ice will seek to hold another camp next year. Many thanks to Fulbright’s Community Leadership program for the opportunity to give something back to those deserving young hockey players in our community. Follow us on twitter (@leveltheice) or on Facebook (Level The Ice).

 

Post by Fulbright Alumni Ian McGrath, co-coordinator of the Community Leadership Program “Level the Ice”

Ian McGrath_cropped

Ian McGrath is a former student-athlete. As an athlete, Ian brings his hockey playing and coaching experience to the program. Ian played his Junior hockey with his hometown Kemptville 73’s and played for Carleton University between 2000-2004. From 2010-12 he was a certified skating instructor with the City of Ottawa, running skating courses for underprivileged youth as part of the City’s “Love to Skate” program.

Community Leadership Logo

Ian’s academic background is in refugee settlement and integration issues. In addition to having published his own studies on these issues, he has also been named a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Georgetown University, a Transatlantic Fellow for Migration and Integration by The German Marshall Fund and most recently a member of the McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development ’ s Leadership Council. Ian currently works for the federal government in Ottawa.

Field Notes from a Fulbright Scholar: In Kahnawà:ke Territory

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Cam Terwilliger is a Fulbright Scholar at McGill University, working on a project titled Yet Wilderness Grew in My Heart, a historical novel set in New York and Québec during the Seven Years War. His fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, such as West Branch,Post Road, and Narrative, where he was selected as one of the magazine’s “15 Under 30.” He tweets at @CamTerwilliger.
This article first appeared on Electric Litand is reprinted here with permission.

Seeing into the Past at the SPIE 2014 Conference

My name is Patrick McGarey and I am a Fulbright Canada STEM Scholar (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) studying space robotics at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. It was my pleasure to be invited to present a poster/paper at the SPIE 2014 Conference  (International Society for Optics and Photonics) in Montreal this week. I presented a recent publication entitled  “A 16 Channel Flex Circuit for Cryogenic Microwave Signal Transmission”, which introduces a new and  improved method to transmit multiple high frequency signals from a telescope sensor array that is both flexible and small.

Fulbright Canada - STEM
Fulbright Canada – STEM

Essentially, using an instrument like this, we can get higher resolution images of interstellar gas clouds radiating in the radio frequency. These celestial remnants offer clues to the origin of matter in the universe moments after the big bang and prior to the star forming period. In a way, a telescope is a time machine that allows us to peer back in time billions of years. My circuit design improves upon prior methods of connecting camera components which were costly in both time and money.

Presenting my poster at SPIE 2014
Presenting my poster at SPIE 2014

Montreal was the perfect host city for the biennial event, and after talking about space all day it was relaxing to partake in the sights and sounds of the world famous Montreal Jazz Festival. Of course, I have to thank Fulbright Canada for the continuing opportunity to collaborate internationally with top researchers from Canada and around the world.

 

 

 

Post by Patrick McGarey, 2013-2016 Fulbright Canada Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholar

Patrick McGarey graduated summa cum laude from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. His focus concerned the development of interdisciplinary solutions to complex systems design problems, especially in robotics. Patrick has made significant contributions to many projects including the ASU Lunabotics Mining Rover, High Altitude Turbine Survey, Stereo Near-Infrared Camera, Exploration Geology & Geophysics Sensors, and the Kilopixel-Array Pathfinder Project.

 

Experience Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs – A Multimedia Production Workshop by Fulbrighter Quanda Johnson.

Culminating discoveries made exploring Eastern Canadian culture (i.e. Atlantic Canada and Quebec), and specifically, African-Nova Scotians as they define themselves, and are defined by the greater Nova Scotia community, it chronicles escaped slaves’ journeys to Eastern Canada via the Underground Railroad.

As a catalyst, this history stimulated community discussion on race and diversity challenges in Nova Scotia, during the past, and currently.  The entire event was dedicated to Aiden Cromwell, a young African Nova Scotian facing a ten year second degree murder sentence for defending himself against a racist onslaught while he, aged eighteen, and his girlfriend were on a date.

 Bound, by Quanda Johnson

The workshop occurred in two parts, over three weeks.  In the first week, the community took part in a series of panels, Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs: Symposium.  These panels were facilitated by local experts/scholars/talent: The Fugitive Slave Narrative – Dr. Afua Cooper (sociologist and African Diaspora expert), Dr. Isaac Saney (Historian), Dr. Chike Jeffers (expert in DuBoisian Philosophy); Dr. Afua Cooper ; The Lucky One Returns

Of the Sorrow Songs (an intimate look at the Negro Spiritual) — Delvina Bernard (Musical Artist, Composer, Singer), Dr. Linda Carvery (Gospel/Jazz Artist); My Ways Cloudy

Speaking Truth to Power – El Jones (Poet Laureate of Halifax), Dr. Phanuel Antwi, Juanita Peters, Dr. Afua Cooper; El Jones Swing Low

The Art of African Drumming – Dr. Henry V. Bishop (Master African Drummer), D’Arcy Gray (expert in African Diaspora Drumming, Toria Aidoo (Ghanaian Drummer); African Drumming

What is Fiddling? (an exploration of Scots/Irish Fiddling and its importance in the dominate European culture of Eastern Canada) – Shari Clarke (classically trained violinist and fiddler), Scott MacMillan (guitarist traditionally accompanying fiddlers), David Mac Isaac (Master Cape Breton Style Fiddler);  Dress Rehearsal 1

Dancing in the Spirit (examining dance in the African Diaspora tradition – as worship, expression, communication) – Liliona Quarmyne (choreographer/modern dancer), Jayla James (sixteen year old African-Nova Scotian dancer); I Paint My Soul  (focused on Media/Visual Arts in relation to the challenges of racism and dealing with diversity) – Dr. Sylvia Hamilton (documentary filmmaker/media artist), David Clark (Professor of Media Arts NSCAD/ head of Media team for Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs), Sobaz Benjamin (filmmaker/media artist exploring the African Diaspora), Craig Baltzer (Master Visual Artist and Painter – specialization architecture and genealogy); The Sum of It All (taking the lessons of the creative and performance arts into the broader community to address moving beyond tolerance to a place of compassion and a closer look at the travesty of Africville) – Kimberley Berry (expert Social Worker), Sunday Miller (curator of the Africville Museum/Activist), Eddie Carvery (warrior activist for Africville – as lived on the confiscated property in a trailer for forty-five years, since its demolition).

The following two weeks consisted of performance.  Our closing presentation at Alderney Landing Theatre was immediately followed by a reception to which the entire community was invited to break bread together and discuss the impact/content of the concert and symposium, with the visual artists placing the art they created, during the concert, on display.  These works were then given to whomever in the community first showed interest in owning them.

 My Lawd, What a Morning

Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs was successfully presented at both the Dalhousie Arts Centre, Murray Studio, May 12 – 24, 2014 and at the Alderney Landing Theatre, Friday, May 30, in Dartmouth.

The project was supported by the Fulbright Canada-U.S. Embassy in Ottawa Community Leadership Program. Project participants included Fulbrighters Quanda Johnson, James McNiven, and Cambria findley-Grubb.

Rural Studies and Fighting Littering: CLUB ERV Begins!

by

D. Stiles, T. Amero, N. Amin, B. Hodgson, C. Jackson, O. Moyles,

J. Nicholson, V. Oliver, S. Raithby, L. Ross,  E. Walker, A. Webster,

Y. Werner, J. Yool, and Z. Zhang

Introduction

CLUB ERV (Changing Littering’s Unkind Behaviour in the East River Valley) began as a way to protect the beauty of the East River Valley (ERV) of Pictou County, Nova Scotia.  CLUB ERV, organized by Fulbrighter and Eco-Leader Deborah Stiles, and supported by students in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, aims to find ways to address the problem of littering in this beautiful river valley.

Rural Studies and Fighting Littering – CLUB ERV Begins!

Littering has become a serious problem. Identifying littering as an “Unkind Behaviour” highlighted the act’s negative impact and raised several questions. How do we start thinking about how to change the behaviour that causes littering to happen?  Why do people litter?  How much of littering is accidental and how much is intentional?  What most often ends up as litter?  What types of anti-littering interventions work?  What research has been done on the issue of littering and behavioural change? How can we go beyond cleanup and focus on prevention?

As students from Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture, we wanted to find answers that could guide decision-making and prevent the continued defacement of the East River Valley. A Rural Studies course with a service learning project component provided the impetus to get involved in CLUB ERV. The project aimed to help the communities of the East River Valley with a litter pick up and analysis.  The Litter Pick Up Project (LPUP) Day, as it was dubbed, took place on May 10th, 2014.

Students and volunteers arrived by bus at Sunny Brae, in the East River Valley of Nova Scotia.  While the day may have been gray, the CLUB ERV group’s enthusiasm was infectious! Seen here, from left to right, are Victoria Oliver, Yvonne Werner, and Lindsey Ross.
Students and volunteers arrived by bus at Sunny Brae, in the East River Valley of Nova Scotia. While the day may have been gray, the CLUB ERV group’s enthusiasm was infectious! Seen here, from left to right, are Victoria Oliver, Yvonne Werner, and Lindsey Ross.

Two teams scoured the East River on the Litter Pick Up Project Day. One team took the East Side Road, and the other took the West Side Road. The two teams covered a distance of approximately 18 kilometers, from Sunny Brae to Springville.

ELP_Stiles_2
After a hearty locally-sourced breakfast that included blueberry muffins with blueberries produced right in this valley (prepared by Sunny Brae resident Carole Robinson and other volunteers), the whole crew suited up in safety vests for the litter pick up and analysis. Although it was May, the wind was chilly and the group had to wear gloves, mittens, and toques in order to stay warm! The students, an engaged and diverse group that hail from four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America), are in several different programs in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University.

At the same time, a third team began the litter sorting and composition analysis.  This rather painstaking process took place first on the gravel driveway at the Bridgeville Hall and later at the East River Valley Volunteer Fire Station, when the winds proved too fierce to sort the litter outside.  This group analyzed the contents of what was picked up that day and what had been picked up by Stiles in a sample section of the East River East Side Road during Pictou County’s annual Get Clean Go Green campaign on April 26th.

Kevin Stuart (right) is the chief of the East River Valley volunteer fire department.  He quickly sprang into action and cleared out one bay so that the litter analysis could continue when high winds forced the volunteers inside.  George Durning (pictured left) assisted the students by driving the 18 kilometer loop and picked up the bags of collected litter.
Kevin Stuart (right) is the chief of the East River Valley volunteer fire department. He quickly sprang into action and cleared out one bay so that the litter analysis could continue when high winds forced the volunteers inside. George Durning (pictured left) assisted the students by driving the 18 kilometer loop and picked up the bags of collected litter.

All the litter was taken to Pictou County Solid Waste Management, where it was weighed and disposed of.  Over 70 kilograms had been picked up by the group on May 10th. The most prevalent single item? Coffee cups from a certain iconic coffee shop. They have been contacted.  (A second article is currently being drafted that will report more comprehensively on the results of the litter pick up and analysis).

Although questions asked about how to stop littering have not yet been addressed, what can definitely be acknowledged is that the littering is unkind to ‘Mother Nature.’ Littering harms humans, animals, and the broader environment in numerous ways. It also poses a serious obstacle for tourism, for the area’s economy, for the declining rural population, and for facilitating the general enjoyment of all who work, relax, or live in the rural ERV communities.

The East River Valley (ERV) of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, is a picturesque farming and lumbering community made up of the communities of Bridgeville, Centredale, Churchville, Elgin, Eureka, Foxbrook, Glencoe, Hopewell, Irish Mountain, Iron Rock, Lorne, Marshdale, Mountville, Millstream, Plymouth, Island East River, Riverton, St. Paul’s, Springville, and Sunnybrae.  Here is the sign for Glencoe/Gleann Comhann (all signs in Pictou County are in both English and Gaelic).
The East River Valley (ERV) of Pictou County, Nova Scotia, is a picturesque farming and lumbering community made up of the communities of Bridgeville, Centredale, Churchville, Elgin, Eureka, Foxbrook, Glencoe, Hopewell, Irish Mountain, Iron Rock, Lorne, Marshdale, Mountville, Millstream, Plymouth, Island East River, Riverton, St. Paul’s, Springville, and Sunnybrae. Here is the sign for Glencoe/Gleann Comhann (all signs in Pictou County are in both English and Gaelic).

 

The East River in early spring.
The East River in early spring.

Project Followup

Roadside littering and illegal rural dumping have re-emerged as serious issues facing rural communities.  Kenneth Tunnell notes in an article in Southern Rural Sociology (2008:31-32) that, “600 miles of Kentucky’s roads showed…950 cans and bottles had been discarded per road mile” and that a “cruel irony is that a roadside cleaned up today will require cleaning up again tomorrow.” Despite the fact that there are robust waste management, bottle deposit, and recycling programs in Nova Scotia, roadside littering, as in other rural jurisdictions like Kentucky, continues to cause “social, economic, and environmental harm” (32).

This has to stop! An astonishing 70 kilograms of trash was picked up by the CLUB ERV volunteers. Student Jena Nicholson captured a particularly distressing sight of what goes beyond littering to illegal rural dumping. The group was surprised to note the amount of household waste comprising what they found.
This has to stop! An astonishing 70 kilograms of trash was picked up by the CLUB ERV volunteers. Student Jena Nicholson captured a particularly distressing sight of what goes beyond littering to illegal rural dumping. The group was surprised to note the amount of household waste comprising what they found.

On the CLUB ERV blog www.nomorelittering.wordpress.com, Brenda commented, “I thought this  was overcome in the seventies!!” Since that time, an environmental movement has raised awareness of the ecological limits humanity had hitherto been prone to ignore, and several problems such as pesticide mis-use and littering have begun to be addressed.  Many spaces—parks, forests, farmlands, beaches, and river banks have been cleaned up.  Yet, the issue of littering and its related menace, rural dumping, have remained.

The CLUB ERV’s rather unique education, research, and action effort is not quite complete. After the litter pick up day, we shared our experiences with members of the East River Valley Community Development Association (ERVCDA) at an ERVCDA sponsored evening forum.  While the hope is to eventually provide a model for future anti-littering campaigns, connect with Adopt-A-Highway and other key initiatives working to eliminate littering, the first step is a plan to engage the community further.

The students and organizations involved in the litter pick up day have been asked by a member of the government to make a presentation to the county council. The group will continue to post reflections and ideas via the CLUB ERV blog at www.nomorelittering.com, and the results of the litter pick up analysis conducted by the Dalhousie Rural Studies students will be shared via social media and other means over the coming months.

 

History of the Eco-Leadership Project:

CLUB ERV is the somewhat unusual acronym devised by Stiles for this initiative after consulting with a number of the youth organization leaders in the East River Valley. Donna Wilson, another leader of one of the youth organizations in the East River Valley, reflected that the challenge was to change adult behaviour – but starting with young people in order to do this.  An application was made for funds from the Fulbright Canada-RBC Eco-Leadership Program to launch the initiative, and the plan was put into motion to involve youth, of all ages, from both the East River Valley, and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture. Youth were being looked to and listened to, and the focus was on trying to have an impact on the behaviour of the group that was most likely littering:  adults.

Blog courtesy of D. Stiles, T. Amero, N. Amin, B. Hodgson, C. Jackson, O. Moyles, J. Nicholson, V. Oliver, S. Raithby, L. Ross,  E. Walker, A. Webster, and Y. Werner, J. Yool, and Z. Zhang

Works Cited

Tunnell, Kenneth D.  2008.  “Illegal Dumping: Large and Small Scale Littering in Rural Kentucky.  Southern Rural Sociology 23, no. 2: 29-42.  http://www.ag.auburn.edu/auxiliary/srsa/pages/TOCs/vol23-2.htm.