Oscar Wilde’s Prison Readings - Celebrating 50 Years since the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Canada

Almost 120 years ago, Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for the crime of homosexuality. As little as 50 years ago, members of the LGBTQ+ community would have faced similar persecution, even in Canada.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada in 1969.

These two events — the 50 year anniversary of decriminalization and the “round number” of 120 years since Oscar Wilde’s death — prompted Dr. Goran Stanivukovic, Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature, to approach Collections Librarian Sally Wood with an idea: to collect and display in the Patrick Power Library the books that Oscar Wilde requested while in prison.

From Dante and Dickens, to Tennyson and Wordsworth, to German Grammar, Wilde was a prolific reader and writer even during his two-year sentence. Librarian Sally Wood and Dr. Stanivukovic teamed up to plan the display last year, and have been tracking down the books ever since.

Dr. Stanivukovic launched the display on September 12 with opening remarks about Wilde, the significance of the collection, and the context within which Wilde was tried and convicted.

Anthropology Student Jared Blois performed excerpts from Wilde’s prison writings, reading aloud from De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

You can get a copy of the list and see the collection on display in the library until the end of September.

— Submitted by Shawna Murphy, Patrick Power Library

Recent phishing emails - be alert!

ITSS is advising the Saint Mary’s community to be alert in the wake of recent phishing emails going around the campus.

As recently as this morning, a phishing email with the subject line “Investment document” was received by many across campus.

ITSS continues to protect Saint Mary’s against incoming malicious emails containing spam, malware, and phishing emails.

Currently, no existing email protection can block 100% of these emails and, as a result, some will get through the University’s internet security.

For this reason, ITSS advises users to be cautious of the messages that are delivered to their inboxes.

Recently, there have been phishing emails which appear to be from the University’s President, Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, with the subject lines “Professional Programs and Ethical Conduct Program for Saint Mary’s University” and “Saint Mary’s University Re-Evaluated and Up to Date Responsible Use of Technology for Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray.” (See samples below)

These phishing emails have PDF attachments containing malware and phishing links that redirect users to a replica of our web single sign-on page with the intent of harvesting the user’s credentials.

Capturing of these credentials enable criminals to take over the user’s accounts, using them to phish other users within the University as well as over the internet.

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To learn about similar phishing emails, how to identify them and how to protect yourself, please visit the ITSS security awareness education webpage.


Supporting student mental health: workshops for faculty and staff

Did you know that The Counselling Centre offers free mental health training to all faculty and non-student staff?

According to Statistics Canada , youth aged 15-24 are the most likely group to live with the effects of a mental illness. With most university students in this age range, it is essential that those working on university campuses are comfortable recognizing and responding to students in distress.

 The Mental Health Series provides practical tools to help you respond to and support these students. Please see below for details about each session, including images highlighting key content and learning.

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Mental Health 101: Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress 

This session is part of the Stay Connected Mental Health Project (SCMHP). Attendees will learn the signs that a student may be in distress, along with how to approach those students and have a supportive conversation. Information about on and off campus resources will also be presented. MH101 is delivered jointly by a representative of the SCMHP, The Counselling Centre and a student Peer Supporter.

Mental Health 101 will be offered on 
Tuesday, Sep 24th 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Thursday, Oct 17, 9:30- 11:30 am
Private Dining Room in Loyola (L298)
Register now!  

mental health 2.jpg

Mental Health 202: Practical Approaches for Supporting Students who are Stressed, Anxious and/or Depressed

MH202 presents more detailed information about three of the top five concerns that students report impede their academic performance: stress, anxiety and depression. The signs that a student may be living with those concerns will be discussed while practical strategies to help them during difficult moments (i.e. writing an exam) will be taught. Self-care practices, including boundary setting, for faculty and staff will also be explored. MH202 will be delivered jointly by a Saint Mary’s University student and a representative from The Counselling Centre.

Mental Health 202 will be offered on 
Wed Nov 13th 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Private Dining Room in Loyola (L298) Register now! 

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Mental Health 303: Risk of Suicide and Facilitating Referrals for Students 

MH303 is a session dedicated to the discussion of suicide. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people age 10-24, which encompasses a large potion of students on our campus. Attendees will become knowledgeable of the warnings signs of suicide in student populations while gaining an understanding of risk in order to select the most appropriate referral source. Some time will be devoted to skill practice to increase confidence talking about suicide with students. MH303 will be delivered jointly by a Saint Mary’s University student and a representative from The Counselling Centre.

Mental Health 303 will be offered on:
Thu Dec 5th 2:00pm
Private Dining Room in Loyola (L298) Register now!  

Please note, it is mandatory to take the sessions in sequence, as each session presents information and skills in a progressive manner. Individuals that complete all three sessions will be provided with a completion certificate.

Registration is required. Please visit https://smu.ca/campus-life/faculty-and-staff-workshop.html to do so. If you have any questions about the sessions please do not hesitate to contact The Counselling Centre at counselling@smu.ca or (902) 420-5615.

Student team promote entrepreneurial thinking across faculties

Meet the new ENbassador team! Back row, l-r: Aaron Graham, Commerce; Jake Chambers, Science; Emaaz Amjid, Science; Guillermo Villerreal De Lara, Arts. In front, l-r: Solana Purdy, Commerce; Amina Khan, Arts; Sambridhi Trikhatri, Commerce.

Meet the new ENbassador team! Back row, l-r: Aaron Graham, Commerce; Jake Chambers, Science; Emaaz Amjid, Science; Guillermo Villerreal De Lara, Arts. In front, l-r: Solana Purdy, Commerce; Amina Khan, Arts; Sambridhi Trikhatri, Commerce.

Last week, the Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre welcomed a brand new team of Student Entrepreneurship Ambassadors to their ENbassador Program.

These undergraduate students come from all academic faculties. The goal of the ENbassador program is to ignite an entrepreneurial mindset in all students at Saint Mary's and help them to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and resilience.

The team of students ENbassadors will work alongside the SMUEC to help plan, promote, and execute entrepreneurship events on campus throughout the year. These students are excited to share their passion for entrepreneurship and help other students understand the value that entrepreneurial thinking can have, not only for those eager to one day start their own business, but also for those who wish to work for an organization beyond graduation.

The ENbassador Program is a CASE (Community and Student Engagement) funded initiative that uses a multidisciplinary approach to create an entrepreneurial mindset.

A warm welcome to new group of students from Zhuhai, China

On September 17, Saint Mary’s welcomed a new group of Arts and Science students from Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai (BNUZ) in China. Forty-eight students arrived recently on campus to begin the second half of their degrees, in the unique 2+2 programs available through a partnership between the two universities.

“It’s great for me to be able to say that this is the third cohort of students with the Arts 2+2 program, representing majors ranging from Asian Studies to International Development Studies to Linguistics,” Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Dean of Arts, said in her remarks at the welcome reception in Unilever Lounge. “One of the best parts for me of greeting this group is that really now we can speak of a very successful evolution from the first now to the third, and we’re looking ahead to the students in China who are preparing to come next year.”

She and Dr. Lori Francis, Acting Dean of Science, encouraged the new students to reach out and make the most of the supports available to them including academic advisors, peer mentors, and the many student services at Saint Mary’s.  
“There are lots of people here at the university who really want to be partners with you during your time here at the university,” said Dr. Francis. “The advisors in Arts and Sciences are excellent resources, and they are people who can really help you as you’re navigating a new experience.”

In May, 28 students became the first group to graduate from the 2+2 Arts program. Through the program, Chinese students complete the first two years of their undergraduate degrees at BNUZ, and the remaining two years at Saint Mary’s. A similar program began recently in the Faculty of Science. The Sobey School of Business offers a dual degree program with BNUZ – this past June at their convocation in Zhuhai, 68 Chinese students became the second cohort to receive a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s and a Bachelor of Economics from BNUZ.  

The SMU-BNUZ partnership first began in 2001 and also includes a study abroad program, transfer credit agreements, and a satellite SMU campus established at BNUZ in 2014. The satellite campus offers Saint Mary’s students an annual five-week summer study abroad program on Chinese history and culture, as well as a three-week program for Chinese students, focused on North American culture and English language. SMU and BNUZ also collaborate in offering four professional development institutes for academic faculty and administrative staff from the two universities.

—Submitted by Marla Cranston, Faculty of Arts

Smartphone smarts: Tips to avoid 'texting thumb' and repetitive injuries


They are the signs and symptoms of our texting times.

Text neck, cellphone elbow and texting thumb are all modern ailments brought about by everyday use of mobile devices. Although texting and tapping in front of a screen is not particularly hazardous for an employee or student who does it occasionally, the situation becomes more critical when done for long periods each day.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority reports that nearly 3 out of every 4 Canadians spend at least 3-4 hours online each day. Almost half use a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device to access the internet, and that number continues to climb as desktop computer usage steadily declines.

The resulting injuries from these mobile devices rarely originate from a single event or cause, but rather are the result of a combination of factors including fixed postures which are awkward, uncomfortable, and maintained for too long a time.

Add in repetitive, deliberate movements and a high or constant pace of work, and the resulting stress can cause body muscles to tense up. Tense muscles increase the risk for these ergonomic injuries.

Text neck and texting thumb

According to Statistics Canada, 76% of Canadians owned a smartphone in 2016. Text neck results from positioning our necks in an unnatural position - usually downward - to view mobile devices. Over time, the pressure placed on your neck can lead to pain, pinched nerves, herniated discs and other issues.

Constant texting and sending emails over long periods using smartphones can also lead to texting thumb, an overuse injury that affects that tendons running along the thumb side of the wrist. Symptoms include swelling, pain and reduced function.

Employee/students can be mindful of maintaining a healthy position by holding their phones in front of their faces, or near eye level, with their elbows relaxed below their shoulders, when working. Regular breaks away from your devices can promote blood flow and recovery, and even short micro-breaks of a few seconds can be beneficial. Stretches and exercises to improve posture can also provide relief. If you do experience pain, report your concerns to your employer and doctor.

Cellphone elbow

Employees and students who hold their elbow flexed for a long period when speaking on the phone may compress their ulnar nerve, which runs along the inside of the elbow. Known also as cubital tunnel syndrome, cellphone elbow's symptoms include numbness, tingling, burning and pain in the forearm and hand.

Over time, it can lead to issues with using that hand, including fatigue, weakness, and an inability to grasp and perform various motor tasks. In most cases, changing body positions, switching hands, or using a hands-free kit are effective at treating the symptoms. As with other injuries, early identification and treatment increases the chances of a full recovery.

Digital eye strain

Working on a computer for twenty hours per week or more is common. Over time, the need to focus on a screen that is held too close can be very physically demanding on the eyes. Compound that with ever-smaller screens, dimly-lit locales, and glare from various light sources while using a mobile device, and employee/students could experience vision problems known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome.

Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Employees and students should have their eyes regularly examined, especially if they are experiencing any of these symptoms, are having difficulties reading, or have a family history of eye or vision problems.

Reprinted with permission of CCOHS. 

For more information on office ergonomics, see:  https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/ and also the University OHS website:  https://smu.ca/webfiles/SMUErgonomics101.pdf.  



Saint Mary's gears up for Homecoming


The new fall term is well underway, the leaves are turning…and that means Homecoming is just around the corner!

Homecoming is an annual fall tradition at Saint Mary’s. This year features a full schedule of events for the entire Saint Mary’s community from October 2 - 6. Mark your calendars, don your Saint Mary’s swag and stop in to one or more of these great events!

For a full calendar listing, visit https://news.smu.ca/homecoming

SMU After Hours presented by TD: Time, Talent, Treasure - Women in Philanthropy
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Unilever Lounge, 4th Floor of Sobey Building, Saint Mary's Campus

Women continue to play a vital role in shaping the economy and have changed the way people view philanthropy. In Nova Scotia and across the country, women are major contributors to the philanthropic sector by offering time, talent, and treasure, and are improving society every day through their contributions. Please join SMU Alumni as we celebrate Women in Philanthropy with a panel discussion featuring some of the region's most notable women. Panelists to be announced shortly.

This event is free. Register Here


Back to the Classroom: Climate Change Crisis - A SMU Perspective with Dr. Cathy Conrad
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Unilever Lounge, 4th Floor of Sobey Building, Saint Mary's Campus

Each year at Homecoming, we invite alumni to return to the classroom to hear from one of our professors.

This year, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the School of Environment, we are presenting a lecture by Dr. Cathy Conrad, Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Environmental Studies.

The Lecture:
Climate change research is very active at SMU. Across all disciplines and faculties, we have researchers and students undertaking critical research in this field. Dr. Conrad will bring her research from the front lines of climate change in rural West Africa home to SMU with the stories of how people's lives are being gravely impacted by the climate crisis. The lecture will be followed by a short Q&A.

Please note that this event is $10 and includes a full breakfast.
Get Tickets


Chris Flynn Jersey Retirement Ceremony
Friday, October 4, 2019
Courtside Lounge, Homburg Centre

For the first time in the 217 year history of Saint Mary’s University, a jersey will be retired for all-time to celebrate and honour a Saint Mary’s Huskies and Canadian university football legend, Chris Flynn. Learn more about Chris’ incredible career and impact he’s had at Saint Mary’s here.

This event is free but space is limited. To confirm your attendance, please register in advance. 
Register here.

Huskies Game Day BBQ
Friday, October 4, 2019
Outside the Student Centre, Saint Mary's Campus

Everyone is invited to this free family-friendly BBQ happening just before the Huskies Homecoming football game! Wear your Maroon & White and pick up a noisemaker for the game while enjoying some games and tasty BBQ!

Flashback Friday at the Gorsebrook
Friday, October 4, 2019
Gorsebrook Lounge, Saint Mary's Campus

No matter what year you were hanging out at the Gorsebrook, Evolution Sound’s DJ Lindelle Williams CertHRM’07 BComm’07 will play the hits from your era! Bring a group of friends and your dancing shoes for another exciting Flashback Friday party during Homecoming!
Register Here


SMU Community Open Skate
Sunday, October 6, 2019
Dauphinee Centre, Saint Mary's Campus

We invite everyone to join us for a skate at the new Dauphinee Centre to end Homecoming 2019! This is a great chance to see the new facilities and take advantage of some free ice skating time.

Please note that guests must bring their own skates and helmets. Helmets are mandatory while skating.

Criminology talk draws attention to human exploitation

More than 100 people turned out on a Saturday morning for the Department of Criminology’s 2019 Speakers Series. Mayor Michael Savage brought greetings to start the half-day session on September 14, titled “BUYER BEWARE: Exposing the culture of tolerance surrounding the marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation”.

The first speaker was investigative journalist Victor Malarek, whose talk generated a spirited Q&A session afterwards. Malarek, who worked for years on CBC’s The Fifth Estate and CTV’s W5, is also the author of six non-fiction books including The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade, and The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It.

Cheyenne Jones told a heart-wrenching personal story of her own brief experience in the business, and shared her mission to ensure the criminal justice system does more to target the buyers of sex. Shauna Davidson shared a family member’s perspective on how things can quickly go awry for vulnerable young women, and Dr. Heather Thompson spoke of the health impacts on women who work in the sex trade.  

The event’s emcee was Saint Mary’s graduate Will Njoku (BA‘94), a former Huskie who went on to be a pro basketball player and is currently a motivational speaker and leadership facilitator through his organization, Will2Win.

Read more in these media reports:

·        Panel discusses sex trafficking in Nova Scotia, CTV Atlantic, Sept. 14, 2019

·        Panel to explore demand fuelling human trafficking in N.S., CBC Nova Scotia, Sept. 14, 2019

·        Sexual exploitation conference calls for more attention to the “root” of the problem, The Coast, Sept. 12, 2019 

Criminology professor testifies in Inter-American human rights case

Dr. María Gómez

Dr. María Gómez

A Saint Mary’s professor provided expert testimony in a high-profile human rights case heard last week in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights held a public hearing on August 27 for the case Rojas Marin y Otra Vs. Perú. It is the first case relating to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity to reach the highest regional human rights court.

Dr. María Gómez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology, served as an expert witness on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), which has a mandate to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere.

The case relates to Azul Rojas Marín, who was detained by members of the National Police of Peru in Casa Grande on Feb. 25, 2008, allegedly for purposes of identification. Marín claimed three guards exercised physical and sexual violence against her, and that she endured verbal attacks based on her sexual orientation. A transgender woman, Marín identified as a gay man at the time of the detention. A criminal complaint was pursued but 11 years later, no one has been held accountable. Azul took the case to the IACHR, with legal assistance from several human rights advocacy groups.


Dr. Gómez delivered her evidence before a panel of seven judges at the human rights court, as well as legal representatives of both Marín and the State. As part of the requested testimony, she presented her account of the category of "violence based on prejudice" as a tool to identify the context and operations of structural discrimination.

"I think this was a privileged platform to impact the understanding of violence based on sexual and gender prejudice in the Inter-American system of human rights, as well as the role of the State when its agents are the perpetrators,” Dr. Gomez said of the experience, upon returning to Halifax last week.

“But overall, it was a way of supporting the victims of this type of violence and the regional civil society organizations that, under considerable risk, have dedicated their efforts to bring the attention of the human rights system to cases like this. "

The Court reserved judgment and is expected to deliver a decision in the coming months. The hearing was live-streamed in Spanish; the webcast is available at https://vimeo.com/347339620 (Dr. Gomez’s testimony begins at 2:56).

For more background on the case, see:

· Azul Rojas Marín: the historical denunciation of the transgender woman who accuses the Peruvian police of rape and torture, BBC Mundo, August 28, 2019

· IACHR Takes Case Involving Peru to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, OAS news release, August 27, 2018

Dr. Gómez is a Canadian-Colombian academic and human rights activist. Prior to joining Saint Mary’s, she taught at the University de los Andes in Colombia, Eugene Lang College in New York City, and Dalhousie University. She is a co-founder and former general coordinator (2012-2014) of the Red Latinoamericana de académicas/os del derecho (RED ALAS), which seeks to increase the legal academy’s role in advancing sexual and gender equality, and was Regional Program Coordinator at OutRight Action International (2013-2016), for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Her current research focuses on State’s responses to prejudice and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. She is interested in the politics of hate crime, gender and sexuality; political and criminological theories; socio-legal studies; and the intersection between criminology and cultural studies. She is also cross-appointed to the Graduate Program on Women and Gender Studies.

- Submitted by Marla Cranston, Faculty of Art

Welcome Weeks kick off a new academic term

Campus is alive with activity as students begin the fall term at Saint Mary’s.

This Tuesday was a busy day with Academic Sessions, hosted in the morning by each faculty to welcome the new cohort of scholars, as well as the traditional Santamarian Ceremony where students are officially welcomed into the Saint Mary’s community.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in Welcome Weeks events and to help make our new students feel welcome!

For a full Welcome Weeks calendar, visit:


Supporting those impacted by Hurricane Dorian


The Saint Mary’s community is deeply saddened by devastation caused in the Bahamas.

Saint Mary’s has a strong connection to the island nation, with approximately 170 Bahamian students currently enrolled.

Faculty have been asked to provide support and flexibility to Bahamian students at this difficult time, some of whom are delayed as a result of the hurricane, and others who are on campus but anxious about the safety of family and friends.

The university issued a statement on smu.ca expressing concern and offering support to affected students: https://news.smu.ca/news/2019/9/4/supports-for-those-impacted-by-hurricane-dorian

SMUSA also issued a statement about the disaster, and others on campus are mobilizing to try to help with relief efforts.

If you or someone you know requires assistance, please contact one of the campus resources below.

  • International Student Services
    The International Student Centre
    3rd Floor- O’Donnell Hennessy Student Centre
    (902) 420-5525

  • Saint Mary’s Counselling Centre
    Free & Confidential Personal Counselling
    4th Floor- O’Donnell Hennessy Student Centre
    902-420-5615  / counselling@smu.ca 
    Drop-ins welcome 

  • Student Health Centre
    4th Floor- O’Donnell Hennessy Student Centre

  • Good2Talk
    24/7 free and confidential phone counselling

  • SMUSA offers programming through I.M. Well (24/7, 365 days per year) 
    Download (I.M. Well) Counselling App, and/or resources and live chat available for ALL students: 

  • Financial Support
    Students who are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the hurricane are encouraged to reach out to Financial Aid & Awards (financial.aid@smu.ca).

Saint Mary's looks to expand peace and conflict studies

Saint Mary’s could be launching a new summer field school in Northern Ireland with potential connections to Yale and Lebanese American University as soon as July 2020.

A multidisciplinary delegation of students, faculty and staff from Saint Mary’s and Yale visited Belfast in July, in hopes of creating a field course that would expand on Saint Mary’s existing expertise in peace and conflict studies and peace education.

Delegation members included criminology professor Dr. Ashley Carver; Bridget Brownlow, Conflict Resolution Advisor and President, Peaceful Schools International; Emily Anderson, BA Advisor and Vice-President, Peaceful Schools International,  undergraduate student Michaela Peters from Saint Mary’s, and Dr. Peter Twohig, Associate Dean of Arts.

They were joined by Yale counterparts Dr. Bonnie Weir (Political Science); Hira Jafri, Assistant Director, Global Programs (The MacMillan Center) and graduate student Dermot Byrne.

The timing of the trip was significant. Each year around July 12th, thousands of people attend Unionist / Loyalist / Protestant parades and participate in events which include massive bonfires held across Northern Ireland to mark the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. While mostly peaceful, the celebrations are frequently contentious, underscoring old tensions and stoking unrest.

The group met with a wide range of community members and partners, including Republican and Loyalist ex-combatants and ex-prisoners; visited community outreach centres and witnessed the bonfires and parades first-hand in order to assess the feasibility of creating this particular type of experiential academic study.

Twohig and his fellow delegates feel the setting would provide a “different kind of opportunity for students to have a field school experience that is robust, that is linked to faculty expertise and that will give students a profound experience on the ground.”

 Building on success

The idea builds on the leadership of Dr. Hetty van Gurp founding Director of Peaceful Schools International (2001) and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education at Saint Mary’s sine 2005. Open to students from all faculties, peace education courses offer experiential learning for SMU students. They combine academic study of peace with teaching school children in Halifax and Belfast.

The long-standing initiative has received continuing support from the university and SMUSA; with significant multidisciplinary contributions from the Irish Studies Programme, the Faculty of Education, and the Department of Political Science. In addition, moving forward, the program will continue to benefit from the long term involvement and extensive level of support and expertise provided by Dr. David Bourgeois, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Dr. Bourgeois is the program’s Faculty Advisor for Science and he is also conducting relevant research concerning youth in Northern Ireland.

“The program has touched the lives of thousands of children,” says Twohig. “We want to expand on relationships that have been built by hundreds of students as well as dedicated faculty and staff and link it to research, curriculum and academic partnerships.”

The project team for peace and conflict studies has proposed that two alternating courses be developed: one centred on the Unionist / Loyalist / Protestant celebrations and one on the Féile an Phobail [Festival of the People] in West Belfast, which reflects the Nationalist / Republican / Catholic celebrations.

The courses would be part of a proposed Northern Ireland “suite” that would include the annual peace education trip in February, academic conferences and research opportunities, and compliment current activities such as the minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Potential for partnerships

“Yale is very interested in this project and additional partnerships,” says Brownlow. “They are committed to working with us in several capacities… joint courses, shared grant applications, conferences, continuing participate in the Northern Ireland trip on the ground in Belfast and also connecting virtually with our students at Saint Mary’s. We are currently finalizing the terms for an MOU between Yale and Saint Mary’s directly linked to the work in the North of Ireland and we have invited Dr. Bonnie Weir to join the Advisory Board for Peaceful Schools International which is very exciting”.

Another potential partner is the Lebanese American University (LAU). Saint Mary’s signed an MOU with the institution last year with President (and former Saint Mary's VPAR) Dr Joseph G. Jabbra.

The Beiruit-based LAU has strong programs and expertise in social justice and conflict resolution, presenting an opportunity for knowledge exchange and collaboration.

“LAU doesn’t do the type of local outreach work we do in Halifax. And we could have access to their faculty expertise to build up our potential in the area of peace and conflict studies as an academic program,” says Twohig.

Though the proposed field school is still being developed, hopes are high that the courses will be approved by the university Senate.

"Saint Mary’s has along-standing track record in the area of peace and conflict – it is an area of strength for us,” says Twohig.  “We are uniquely positioned to provide students with an incredibly relevant opportunity in an increasingly unstable world.”

Author / journalist Victor Malarek to headline SMU Criminology panel

The Department of Criminology is diving into the fall season with its 2019 Speakers Series, titled
“BUYER BEWARE: Exposing the culture of tolerance surrounding the marketplace of commercial sexual exploitation”.

Headlining the September 14 panel discussion at Saint Mary’s is Victor Malarek, an acclaimed investigative journalist who worked on CBC’s The Fifth Estate and CTV’s current affairs show W5. Malarek is also the author of six non-fiction books including The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade, which has been published in a dozen countries, and The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It.

Joining Malarek on the panel are Cheyenne Jones, survivor and abolitionist; Shauna Davidson, anti-human trafficking advocate; and Dr. Heather Thompson, MD FRCSC.

Serving as the event’s emcee and moderator is SMU graduate Will Njoku (BA‘94), a former Huskie who went on to be a pro basketball player. Now living in Moncton with his wife and their two sons, Njoku currently works as a motivational speaker, coach and leadership facilitator through his organization, Will2Win.

The half-day panel discussion is free and open to the public. It will be of interest to front‐line professionals in the social service sector, as well as anyone concerned about the human impact of commercial sexual exploitation. Among other topics, the group will discuss the growing success of post-court diversion programs aimed at sex buyers who are convicted of criminal offences, and whether such a program could be established in Nova Scotia.

BUYER BEWARE takes place in the McNally Theatre Auditorium from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 14. Doors open at 8:30 am. It was organized in collaboration with JONES RENAUD Strategic Consulting.

Kurt Stevenson takes over as Head Athletic Therapist

Chad Newhook (l) with Kurt Stevenson

Chad Newhook (l) with Kurt Stevenson

The Saint Mary's University Sport Medicine Clinic will undergo a changing of the guard, but the transition will be an easy one for the new Head Athletic Therapist.  After 26 years, as clinic boss, Chad Newhook is leaving his current position as Head Athletic Therapist and his clinic side kick Kurt Stevenson will take over. The pair have worked together for 12 years, providing treatment for the many student-athletes who have walked through the clinic doors.

 Kurt Stevenson, graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology (1991) and Kinesiology (1994).  He started at SMU as a student trainer in 1993 and returned in 2007 to be a full-time assistant Athletic Therapist in the Saint Mary's clinic.

 Certified in 1997, Kurt has spent time working in a number of settings across the country.  He was the Head Athletic Therapist at Mount Royal College (MRC) (Calgary, AB), and Assistant Athletic Therapist at both Acadia and St. FX Universities.  He has teaching experience in the Athletic Therapy/Human Kinetics programs at MRC, Acadia University and Dalhousie University. He has been a member of the Sports Medicine Teams for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Circuit (1998/99), the World Junior Men's Hockey Championships (2003), the Canada Winter Games (2011), FISU World University Games (Core Medical Team, Kazan, Russia. 2013), CIS Men's Hockey Championships (Chief Therapist, 2016), and the North American Indigenous Games 2020 (Chief Therapist).  He is currently on the Board of Directors of the APATA.

For Newhook, he will move his career and expertise to LifeMark Physiotherapy, where he'll be the new SMU LifeMark Athletic Therapist / Kinesiologist. 

Chad started as a student therapist in 1993 and has been full-time in the clinic since 1996. He says "he'll miss his role with Athletics but looks forward to his new career with SMU LifeMark and its amazing staff.   A big consolation is that the Athletic Therapy Clinic has been left in great hands with my friend and colleague Kurt Stevenson assuming the role of Head Athletic Therapist."

Joining Kurt this season is Brad Hughes, who will be joining SMU after working as Athletic Therapist for the Calgary Roughnecks (NLL) and Calgary Stampeders (CFL). The SMU clinic will also be hiring an additional Athletic Therapist to assist with the very busy varsity season that kicks off this weekend, with the Football team travelling up to Sackville to take on the Mounties.

Password Managers: What are they?


With so many tech devices in our daily lives, remembering our many passwords and keeping them safe is getting harder.  

Password managers can help. Like a virtual vault, these software applications store and protect all of your passwords in one secure place on our devices (e.g. mobile devices or computers).

Why use a password manager?

  • It helps you to create complex, distinct, secure passwords for each of your accounts e.g. for websites, applications etc., and stores them.

  • It can enter passwords for you.

  • You don’t have to memorize or write down your passwords.

  • It removes the temptation to re-use same password for multiple accounts.

  • You only need to know and remember one master password to access all of your passwords stored in a password manager.

Note of warning: The downside of using a password manager is that you must never forget your “master password”, otherwise you will lose access to all of your other passwords. It should be noted that once your master password is forgotten no one can retrieve them for you , not even the product owner/vendor and you will have to reset the passwords on all sites/areas you used the password.

List of Password Managers

ITSS does not endorse or provide any support for a particular product. Below is a list of widely used password managers.

-        Keepass and KeePassXC (open source)
-        LastPass
-        Dashlane
-        RoboForm
-        1Password
-        Keeper
-        Enpass
-        StickyPassword
-        Zoho
-        True Key

Things to consider when choosing a good password manager

-        Is it user friendly? (ease of use)

-        Is it actively updated and patched? (always use the latest version)

-        Does it create strong passwords?

-        Where is the data stored and how is it encrypted?

-        Does it have multifactor authentication?

-        Can you use it across many devices?

-        Does it offer you a way to securely share passwords in a team?

Remember, there is never a perfect solution in information security, this also applies to password managers. As you use password managers, you still have to maintain good cybersecurity habits such as keeping your software up-to-date, not leaving your password manager running when you are not actively using it, and ensure that you use two-factor authentication for extra protection.

— Submitted by Dele Ogundele, IT Security Specialist (ITSS)

Faculties of Business and Science host visitors from China

It was a busy week for Saint Mary’s with visits from academic partners from China.


The Sobey School of Business received two important guests from the International Business Faculty of Beijing Normal University Zhuhai, China.

At a reception, Dr Summerby-Murray delivered official remarks to Prof. Xin Zhong, Dean of the Faculty, and Ms Hongdan Li, Director of BNUZ-SMU Joint Bcomm Programme, while many faculty and staff from the University community joined Dr Harjeet Bhabra, Dean, Sobey School of Business, in giving a warm welcome to Dean Zhong and Ms Li.


Also this week,biology researcher Dr. Genlou Sun (second from left) met with colleagues from Anhui Academy of Agricultural Science, Hefei City, Anhui Province, China.

The Chinese scientists working on wheat genetics, breeding and physiology, and are exploring the possibility of a collaboration with Dr. Sun on these topics. They are pictured here with Dr. Lori Francis, acting Dean of Science.

Still time to nominate for President’s Awards!


It’s time to submit your nominations for the 2019/20 President’s Awards for Exemplary Service!

As you know, the awards are open to all full-time employees of Saint Mary’s University who have served a minimum of five (5) years of continuous service prior to nomination and who have not previously received the award. An individual may be nominated multiple years providing the individual hasn’t received an award.

Please note that in addition to the $1,500 awards, the Review Committee can make recommendations for an Honorable Mention for Support and Administrative colleagues.

The Nomination Form is available on the Human Resources website: (https://smu.ca/webfiles/PresidentsAwardsforExemplaryServiceNominationForm2019(2).pdf).

Should you wish to re-nominate an individual, simply submit a memo to that effect to Gabrielle Morrison, Vice-President, Finance & Administration.

Please note that all nominations should be forwarded to the Office of the Vice-President, Finance & Administration, by Friday, August 30, 2019.

Saint Mary’s launches new Athletics ticketing system


As part of the launch of The Dauphinee Centre – Saint Mary’s University’s new on-campus arena – the Department of Athletics & Recreation is pleased to announce a new ticketing system for varsity sports.

Partnering with Vendini, we will provide our fans with an online ticketing system to purchase in advance or at the Homburg Centre.

Opening to the public on Thursday, September 5, The Dauphinee Centre is expected to be a highlight for the fall term. With this in mind, the university is revisiting our ticketing options, providing both assigned seating and advanced purchasing options.

Huskies fans can access the online ticketing options by visiting the Fan Zone section found at smuhuskies.ca. This link will give users the option to purchase single game tickets, season passes for football, hockey or basketball. The Huskies are also introducing an All-Sport pass, which allows entrance into ALL varsity games for football, soccer, rugby, basketball, hockey and volleyball. Early pricing on these passes is available from August 26 until September 2 when single game tickets for all sports (with the exception of regular season hockey) will go on sale.

When purchasing online, fans will have the ability to print their tickets at home or send to their mobile device. To enter a game, fans will use their printed ticket or mobile ticket at the venue scan station.

The Dauphinee Centre is an assigned seating venue. Fans who purchase the All-Sport or hockey season pass will have the ability to pick their own seat. On game day, hockey fans who have purchased their tickets/passes in advance can enter through the main doors of The Dauphinee Centre and have their ticket scanned. All game day purchases will take place at the Homburg Centre Box office and fans will enter The Dauphinee Centre via the pedway between the two buildings.

We encourage all fans and supporters to take advantage of the new online ticketing system by purchasing passes and tickets in advance. Complete ticket prices for individual games and season passes are available at smuhuskies.ca.