Canadian Institutes of Health Research and JDRF Canada have announced a $33M investment into 12 research projects focused on preventing, detecting, managing, and treating diabetes. Eight of the project teams are led by researchers from Canadian postsecondary institutions: Dr Shazhan Amed (University of British Columbia), Dr Elizabeth Rideout (UBC), Dr Peter Thompson (University of Manitoba), Dr Sonia Butalia (University of Calgary), Dr Jonathan McGavock (UManitoba), Dr Holly Witteman (Université Laval), Dr Doug Klein (University of Alberta), and Dr Michelle Mottola (Western University). “Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in Canada,” stated Canada Minister of Health Mark Holland. “This investment in research will improve our understanding of diabetes and will ultimately result in better supports for Canadians currently living with the condition.”
The Government of British Columbia is supporting Indigenous-led postsecondary education programs, training, and supports with a $23.4M investment over the next three years. $20.1M of the funding will go toward First Nations-mandated institutes, $3M will go toward First Nations language-fluency degrees, and $340K will go toward the Chief Joe Mathias British Columbia Aboriginal Scholarship Fund. First Nations Education Steering Committee President Tyrone McNeil commented that the funding recognizes the importance of First Nations-mandated institutes and the language fluency degrees they offer.
The Government of Manitoba recently announced the Manitoba Critical Minerals Strategy, which includes several initiatives to enhance the mining workforce. The University College of the North will play a critical role in the strategy by providing workforce training. UCN will provide workers from the north with flexible, in-demand training pathways to gain the skills needed to work in mining and minerals. The strategy also suggested that MB will support partnerships with postsecondary institutions to develop new training opportunities such as certificates and micro-credentials, establish a fund to support geoscience work at postsecondary institutions, and create dedicated scholarships.
British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation will be establishing an advanced 3D printing prototyping hub, thanks to a $1.9M investment from the Government of Canada through PacifiCan. The Advanced Additive Manufacturing Technology Hub (AAMTECH) will provide student training opportunities and support industry needs across multiple manufacturing sectors in the province. The hub will offer access to specialized additive manufacturing systems, professional design, and engineering services in one centralized location. “Businesses, organizations, and BCIT researchers and students now have a truly state-of-the-art space to build innovation in the 3D-printing arena,” said BCIT President Dr Jeff Zabudsky.
In a recent editorial for Inside Higher Ed, Philip J Rosenbaum (Haverford College) and Richard E Webb (formerly of Haverford) discuss the challenges that postsecondary mental health counsellors are facing in the workplace. They note that many counsellors are experiencing “moral injury,” which can be defined as feeling disconnected or alienated from personal ethics or beliefs. The authors write that due to the combination of moral injury, understaffing, and insufficient funding, institutions may set arbitrary session limits, use a less impactful therapy model, or have third party providers provide care. This results in feelings of moral injury among counsellors who feel obliged to be there for students but are unable to fulfil these expectations. To address this situation Rosenbaum and Webb acknowledge the importance of increased funding and other resources and additionally encourage postsecondary mental health counsellors to be strong advocates for their patients and their centres.
Assiniboine Community College, Red River College Polytechnic, and the University of Manitoba have recently announced expanded health care programs, thanks to a $3.6M investment from the Government of Manitoba. ACC will be using a $2M investment to introduce 70 new seats in its Practical Nursing program. RRC Polytech will use $320K to expand three programs: the medical radiologic technologist program, the magnetic resonance imaging technologist program, and the advanced care paramedic program. UManitoba will use $1.2M to increase its respiratory therapy program by 20 seats. “These new training seats will ensure there is an ongoing stream of highly skilled and dedicated health-care providers who can work in our system for years to come,” said MB Health Minister Audrey Gordon.
The University of Waterloo community recently organized a Student Solidarity Festival to express solidarity with the queer community after last month’s violent attack on campus. The day after the attack, UWaterloo Professor Sarah Currie held a discussion in her English class and decided that students would organize a “transformative justice, healing justice” festival as part of the course’s final project. The event took place last week and included food, poetry readings, and an empathy and information table where participants wrote about their thoughts. “We are here to show support for the queer community and that they are loved,” said UWaterloo third-year student Jenna Rafferty. “There is a place for them at UW and everywhere.”
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has announced two new programs that combine technology with business acumen or design expertise. KPU’s Melville School of Business will offer the Cloud Architecture and Security citation program, which will prepare graduates for careers in cloud computing and security, while the Wilson School of Design will offer the End Development for Interactive Applications diploma program. The programs have received over $800K for the programs from the Government of British Columbia.
Canadian Mennonite University’s Graduate School of Theology and Ministry (GSTM) has launched a Master of Arts in Spiritual Care program. Students in the program will learn about a variety of topics, including sacred texts, community tradition, and Indigenous studies as they prepare to provide spiritual care in settings such as hospitals, schools, care homes, and prisons. The program will include Supervised Psychospiritual Education courses, which will be offered in collaboration with St Boniface Hospital and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre. “We’re increasingly thinking about the interfaith dimensions of this,” said GSTM Director Dr Karl Koop. Koop added that many people who are learning about spiritual care “are really interested in seeing how to do ministry in a practical way or outside of a church structure.”
Mount Allison University’s Harold Crabtree Aqualab: Centre for Aquatic Sciences recently transformed some of its space into a brook trout hatchery. MtA Technician Shelley LeBlanc spawned two batches of brook trout eggs to provide fish for research and had a better success and survival rate than expected. “We quickly realized that we were going to have more fish than we needed in the Aqualab,” said LeBlanc. After realizing that the lab would need to find homes for all of the fish, LeBlanc obtained the necessary permits and health testing for the release of the fish, before releasing them into Silver Lake. In future years, the lab may release excess fish into rivers that would benefit from a population resurgence.