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Primarily undergraduate category - Maclean's magazine university rankings, 2013
One of the world's leading authorities on social innovation and information technology, Don Tapscott is no stranger to controversy. The cyber-guru has raised eyebrows by asserting that our institutions, including education, are industrial-age models unsuited for the age of networked intelligence. But in Trent University he sees a key learning model that will help develop the world's future problem solvers.
"It's no longer just what you know," says Don. "It's your capacity to solve problems, to think, to research, and to reinvent your knowledge base. Trent's student-focused, customized, collaborative learning experience is the new model for developing knowledge workers who can build more effective social and economic institutions."
According to Don, students should focus on being educated, as opposed to acquiring facts and skills, because most jobs won't exist a decade from now. "In my parents' generation, you learned a trade or skill, and you were set for life. Today, young people are set for fifteen minutes. Employers will need thinkers and problem solvers, not heads stuffed with facts."
And, because most young people don't know what they want to do with their lives, he encourages undergrads to study a range of liberal arts and science topics that pique their interest. "They'll discover what they love and get a broad education."
Don considers himself fortunate to have attended Trent. "It was the perfect place for me. I learned through small group discussion and interaction with teachers. At Trent, I discovered my deep passions, largely through collaboration with other students. And I learned how to think better, how to write, and how to solve problems."
Named by Thinkers50 in 2011 as one of the top ten most important living business thinkers, Don has been an advisor to business and government leaders and has introduced many ground-breaking concepts that are part of contemporary understanding.
As executive director of We Day Global, Dalal Al-Waheidi '98 is using the skills and knowledge she gained as an international student at Trent to challenge the way we think about international development, youth advancement and youth engagement.
Ms. Al-Waheidi grew up in the Gaza Strip in Palestine, and came to Trent in 1998 as a student of International Development Studies (IDS) and Political Studies. During her third year, she took advantage of the Trent-in-Ecuador program to study abroad for a year. This "alternative educational experience" was significant for Ms. Al-Waheidi because "it provided a link between theory and practice."
After graduating from Trent, she was drawn to Free the Children, an organization she learned about through the IDS program at Trent, which works to support efforts to free children from poverty and exploitation through domestic empowerment programs and leadership training. Starting out as an intern, Ms. Al-Waheidi rapidly advanced through the growing organization and played an integral role in shaping its success as one of the world's largest networks of children helping children through education.
Excelling in her previous role as chief operations director, Ms. Al-Waheidi is currently executive director for We Day Global, an initiative of Free the Children which aims to empower a generation of young global citizens
through an inspirational annual event and year-round educational activities. In recognition of her leadership and dedication, Ms. Al-Waheidi was named one of Canada's Top 100 Women in the Future Leaders category by Women's Executive Network in 2006. In 2014, she was named one of RBC's Top 25 Canadian Immigrants by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. James Orbinski '80 has made a career out of challenging the way we think about global health. As the current CIGI chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, former International president of Doctors Without Borders, and co-founder of Dignitas International, Dr. Orbinski is a globally recognized humanitarian practitioner and advocate. A leading scholar and scientist, he believes in humanitarianism and citizenship, and in actively engaging and shaping the world in which we live so that it is more humane, fair and just.
Dr. Orbinski graduated from Trent in 1984 with a degree in Psychology. After extensive field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Dr. Orbinski was elected MSF's international president from 1998 to 2001. A veteran of many of the world's most disturbing and complex humanitarian emergencies, he was head of mission both in Zaire during the refugee crisis of 1996–97 and in Rwanda during the civil war and genocide in 1994. He was also medical coordinator in Somalia during the 1992–93 famine and civil war. Dr. Orbinski launched MSF's Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in 1999, and in that same year accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism.
His bestselling book, An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century, won the ninth annual Shaughnessy Cohen Prize in 2008, and his career is also chronicled in the documentary film, Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma.
In 2010, he was named one of the 25 top transformational Canadians of the Transformational Canadians program sponsored by The Globe and Mail, CTV, La Presse and Cisco. That same year he was also named to the Order of Ontario.
Currently, Dr. Orbinski is the co-founder and chair of Dignitas International, a medical humanitarian organization working to dramatically increase access to life-saving treatment and prevention in areas overwhelmed by HIV/AIDS.
An associate professor in the School of Education and Professional Learning, Dr. Bruce coordinates and instructs the mathematics program, helping teacher candidates better understand math, not only preparing them to teach the subject, but also to really enjoy it.
With a deep interest in the improvement of teaching and learning, Dr. Bruce is well known for incorporating learning technologies into her teaching—most notably, the use of interactive whiteboards and iPads. The role that technology can play in creating and mobilizing knowledge is further explored in Dr. Bruce's work leading the Trent Math Education Research Collaborative (TMERC), a team comprising research assistants, teachers and consultants from both public and Catholic school boards from across Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Bruce was recently named one of Ontario's most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.
One of TMERC's current research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) involves using digital video with and for teachers in mathematics classrooms to support professional learning about precise mathematics content and related teaching.
Throughout a career that has spanned more than three decades researching ecosystem development, habitat restructuring, and other issues related to ecological restoration at Trent, Dr. Tom Whillans continues to challenge the way we think about the importance of collaboration and community-based learning.
In 2007, he played a pivotal role in the visionary development of a new joint degree/diploma program in Ecological Restoration, a partnership with Fleming College. The unique program has been hailed as the ideal model for initiatives of its kind. In addition to his leadership in developing new curricula and programs, Dr. Whillans has been called Trent's foremost champion of incorporating community-based research into teaching and learning.
For over 25 years, Dr. Whillans has been creating opportunities for universities to connect and work with community organizations on solutions to environmental issues, notably, establishing and sustaining the Trent Centre for Community Based Education (TCCBE) and its partner organization, the U-Links Centre for Community Based Research in Haliburton County, both of which are internationally recognized. Today, TCCBE and U-Links have become ongoing mechanisms for students, faculty and local organizations to pool their resources and work together on community-inspired research projects that enhance the social, environmental, cultural or economic health of the community.
Dr. Guéguen, a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Aquatic Sciences and Biogeochemistry, joined the University as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in 2006 and quickly established herself as a leading expert in her field of aquatic science, exploring how growing concentrations of water-borne pollutants are affecting plants and animals in the Arctic.
As part of the 2007/08 International Polar Year, Dr. Guéguen brought an undergraduate student on a research expedition on board the CCGS icebreaker, Louis St. Laurent. The research trip was oriented around the collection, analysis, and tracing of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from various depths and locations in the Canadian Arctic Ocean.
Dr. Guéguen shares her expertise with both undergraduate and graduate students, providing them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences to collaborate on leading-edge research.
This past September, one Trent graduate student had the opportunity to work directly with Dr. Guéguen measuring the carbon content of waters from a research vessel in the Arctic Ocean. Serving as a baseline for future research, this study marked the first time these metals have been measured in the Arctic Ocean and will act as model for the Arctic Ocean to help predict the impact of climate change.
These two projects are part of a larger five-year project funded through a climate change and atmospheric research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada involving Dr. Guéguen and a team of 20 prestigious researchers from across the country. The research project is the Canadian component of the international GEOTRACES program, which studies biogeochemical cycles in major water basins around the world.
Historian, bestselling author, screenwriter and Trent alumnus, Dr. Robert Wright challenges the way we think about Canadian history, foreign policy and sovereignty issues.
Dr. Wright, a professor of History at Trent University Oshawa, is the award-winning author of seven books, including two national bestsellers, Three Nights in Havana: Pierre Trudeau, Fidel Castro and the Cold War World (2007), winner of the Lela Common Award for Canadian History, and Our Man in Tehran: Ken Taylor and the Iran Hostage Crisis (2010). The latter book was also turned into a full-length, critically-acclaimed documentary film, which Dr. Wright co-wrote.
Dr. Wright's newest book, The Night Canada Stood Still, an examination of the 1995 Quebec referendum, will be released June 2014.
Always keen to involve his students in his research, Dr. Wright led a team of graduate and undergraduate students of Cuban and North American Relations on a trip to Havana for the National Conference of Canadian Studies in 2008, the first of four consecutive annual trips. The first group found themselves there on the historic day Fidel Castro retired. During this exciting time, Dr. Wright provided his students with an opportunity to present their research and to participate in various activities organized by the Canadian Embassy and the University of Havana. Over the years, Dr. Wright also took his graduate students to Ottawa for tours of the National Archives with friend and senior archivist Paulette Dozois.
Duc Hien Nguyen is in awe at the way students are challenged to think in and outside of the classroom at Trent University. A fourth-year international student pursuing a degree in Economics with a minor in Philosophy, Mr. Nguyen, who is from Vietnam, studied in Singapore before deciding to come to Trent.
With offers from several other institutions, he chose Trent because of the supportive and welcoming correspondence he got from the Trent International Program, in additional to the generous international student scholarships. And since making the decision to attend Trent, he has never looked back. In his native country, Mr. Nguyen says challenging the status quo is frowned upon. He was taught to follow; not challenge. So it was a surprise to him to be encouraged by his Trent professors to ask questions, but it was a welcome surprise.
Being challenged by his professors and encouraged to challenge them back has given Mr. Nguyen "a passion" for challenge, as well as a keen appreciation for democracy and for Trent's close sense of community. The University's vibrant international student community is another reason why Mr. Nguyen has felt comfortable to take on new experiences. In addition to a full course load, he also holds many volunteer roles, including senior senator at Lady Eaton College, chair of Trent's Student Senate Caucus and a director with the Trent Central Student Association board. Looking ahead, Mr. Nguyen believes his experiences at Trent will open more doors in the future and will have prepared him well for the next steps in his academic career and life after graduation.
Victoria Silvera says Trent's beautiful campus drew her to the University, but it was the people that made her want to stay. Speaking of the professors who keep their students engaged academically, yet still reach out and get to know students personally, she says Trent has provided her "seemingly infinite opportunities" to challenge herself.
As a crossroads for people and ideas from many countries and all walks of life, there is no shortage of diverse perspectives at Trent. The University's inclusive environment has challenged Ms. Silvera to reach out and pursue new ways of thinking, seeing, and understanding the world, and it has helped her to understand that challenge can be a personal and internal practice.
Currently in her fourth year of English and Cultural Studies, Ms. Silvera has volunteered with the Seasoned Spoon, Otonabee College Office and Cabinet, the SPARK photo festival, and Public Energy, and she has been working with the Office of Student Affairs, the Rebound program and the Arthur Newspaper. At Trent, she made it a mission to improve the community she lives in by cultivating both skills and passions. In order to do this, she explored a variety of organizations, campaigns, and groups to find the things that she would love. She has found that even those who come to Trent with a concrete and specific plan for post-graduation leave with more curiosity, drive, and enthusiasm about the endless possibilities that await them in life. Ms. Silvera came to Trent wanting to teach English and Arts. She will leave as a photographer, mentor, graphic designer, athlete, journalist, and leader, due to the support and experiences she found here.
Trent University Honorary Doctor of Laws recipient Dr. Ian Affleck challenges the way we think about interactions between electrons in solids in the world around us. One of Canada's most distinguished scientists, Dr. Affleck graduated from Trent in 1975 with a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics, winning the Governor General's Silver Medal for the top undergraduate marks in his year. He went on to earn his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Today he is widely acknowledged as one of the top theoretical physicists in the world in the field of spin systems (especially quantum magnets and antiferromagnets, and quantum spin chains). His scientific contributions are cited in his recent award of the Lars Onager Prize, which acknowledges his pioneering role in developing and applying the ideas and methods of conformal field theory to important problems in statistical and condensed matter physics, including the quantum critical behaviour of spin chains and (with Andreas Ludwig) the universal behaviour of quantum impurity systems. He has been elected to all three of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society (London), and the American Physical Society. He lectures in a number of countries including France, Germany, Japan, Israel, and Argentina. He holds the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Physicists (2006).
With his significant and long-term service and dedication to Trent, Tony Storey challenges the way we think about alumni engagement. Recipient of Trent University’s prestigious Eminent Service Award, Tony Storey recently retired as the longest-serving director of Alumni Affairs at any university in Canada. Mr. Storey nurtured alumni engagement at Trent over three decades through over 400,000 kilometres of travel to visit alumni in every corner of the country. His accomplishments include: more than 125 meetings of the Trent University Alumni Association Council; 27 alumni homecomings and convocations; his regular column, Storeyline, in Trent Magazine for 25 years; the introduction of the Alumni in Residence, Alumni Awards and the Annual Alumni Lecture; and the establishment of many alumni prizes, awards, scholarships, and shows. “Tony's greatest legacy lies in the personal experience which he graces those he meets, visits and works with each day. Tony is not only a highly capable leader and administrator, but a deeply caring, empathetic, and sincere person.”
Throughout her 38 years in the teaching profession, Dr. Deborah Berrill challenged the way we think about training educators. Dr. Berrill’s multiple teaching awards are an indication of her dedication to and passion for education as well as a contagious enthusiasm for teaching and learning. The founding director of Trent’s School of Education and Professional Learning, Dr. Berrill taught in the program while pursuing her research interest in adolescent language development, which she studied when writing her doctoral thesis. Throughout her career, Dr. Berrill was recognized for her exemplary teaching. Dr. Berrill was the recipient of the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching for her commitment to teaching and students, the Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award for her ability to motivate and inspire and for her innovation in teaching, and the 3M Teaching Award for her commitment to enhance educational experiences.
An ambassador for culture and the arts, engaging audiences with her active style of storytelling, keynotes, emceeing and facilitation, Dakota Brant is challenging the way we think about the Indigenous experience in Canada. The Trent University Alumni Association's recipient of the Young Leader Award in 2011, Teyotsihstokwáthe Dakota Brant is of the Mohawk Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Among the first graduates of Trent's Indigenous Environmental Studies program, Dakota was the first to graduate with a specialization in the Mohawk Language program. She is the co-founder of Native Youth for Life, a group which addresses Indigenous youth issues in her community, and was a youth leader with the Spirit of the Youth Working Group. Dakota has represented Indigenous youth at the United Nations in New York. She was crowned Miss Indian World 2010, in which capacity she traveled the world as a goodwill and cultural ambassador for Indigenous people of the Americas. She was also awarded the Special Youth Award in the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards (NAAA) for having a profound impact on her community, across Canada and worldwide.
Working at the intersection of biogeochemistry, paleopathology, and archeology, Dr. Jocelyn Williams is challenging the way we think about human health, nutrition, mobility, and their relationship to culture, political change and the environment. Dr. Williams, an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent, is the 2012 recipient of the Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation. She is a bioarchaeologist whose research focuses on exploring the relationship between health and nutrition in past populations from North and South America and Mesoamerica. She is currently working on a variety of multidisciplinary projects investigating health, diet and population movement during periods of social and/or environmental upheaval (e.g., the ancient Maya ‘collapse’; the Spanish invasion of Peru). At the undergraduate level, Dr. Williams is attributed with revitalizing the first-year Biological Anthropology and Archaeology course through a complete revamping of the course content and the introduction and use of numerous innovative teaching strategies. Dr. Williams’ commitment to teaching is further reflected in the receipt of grants for teaching innovations, active participation in professional development opportunities, and the sharing of pedagogical strategies with faculty colleagues both within her department and within the broader instructional community.
Awarded with the CMHC Excellence in Education Award for Promotion of Sustainable Practices (2010–2011) and the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching (2010–11), assistant professor Dr. Stephen Hill challenges the way we think about policies and actions for preventing climate change. His research focuses on environmental and renewable energy management and policy in Canada. He is working to understand the nature of controversy and conflict surrounding renewable energy technologies (supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). He also works on processes of social learning and innovation around community-based environmental management and policy, particularly within the Peterborough area. Dr. Hill’s work attempts to cross boundaries of disciplines and institutions, and to connect ideas, theory and practice. He brings a unique background spanning policy, management, science, and engineering to his research. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Hill regularly supervises directed study courses, honours theses, and projects through the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education based in Peterborough, and U-Links based in Haliburton.
A crusader for students, Linda Cardwell challenges the way we think about the student experience at Trent. Trent University was pleased to announce Linda Cardwell as the recipient of the Nancy Simmons Smith Staff Award of Excellence for 2011/2012. The driving force behind the production of Trent’s popular lip dub video, Ms. Cardwell has contributed directly and indirectly to providing students with exceptional experiences, promoting leadership and personal growth, and fostering integrity, respect, service and commitment to Trent’s mission. Ms. Cardwell began at Trent University in 1996 as the assistant to the founding president, Professor Tom Symons, whom she said, “instilled in me the deepest respect for our students. The reason we are here is for the students. If we lose sight of what we are doing – in molding and shaping their futures – we lose the essence of what Trent is about. So that is where we start: with the students.”
The groundbreaking research undertaken by Dr. Aaron Slepkov at Trent’s state-of-the-art imaging facility is challenging the way we think about microscopy techniques and biomaterials. Dr. Slepkov is the Canada Research Chair in Physics of Biomaterials, natural or synthetic materials that are increasingly being used in medical devices or to supplement or replace living tissues. At Trent University, his development and use of state-of-the-art microscopy techniques allow for rapid, three-dimensional imaging of the structure and dynamics of biomaterials vital for biomedicine and advanced materials science, while opening up new, practical applications of the technology in other fields. Innovation has been the central theme of Doctor Slepkov’s post-graduate work during the past decade, from the cutting-edge photonics research he was engaged in during his postdoctoral work, to the applied work he did at the National Research Council (NRC) with state-of-the-art imaging technology. He studies closely the physical, chemical, and biological properties of biomaterials using ultrafast laser microscopy to “fingerprint” different chemicals, making it possible to simultaneously view the structure and chemical composition of biomaterials such as fats, starch, cellulose, bone, cells, and tissues.
Dr. Paul Wilson’s appreciation for “both sides” of the field – collecting evidence and investigating the crime scene, and the lab work involved in processing the data collected – is challenging the way we think about the field of forensic science. Founding chair of the Professional Forensic Science Program at Trent University, Dr. Wilson is the Canada Research Chair in DNA Profiling, Forensics and Functional Genomics. His work in applied molecular genetics and genomics in both forensic science and conservation genetics focuses on the impacts of human modifications to the landscape and of climate change on the biodiversity of sensitive species. During his term as Canada Research Chair, Dr. Wilson has developed essential toolkits for environmental assessments in collaboration with industry in hydro, forestry and mining sectors, government agencies and First Nations communities. As a leading Canadian forensic scientist and wildlife geneticist, Dr. Wilson has participated in hundreds of legal cases and testified in dozens of trials as an expert witness in DNA profiling and within his conservation mandate has served two terms on the Terrestrial Mammal Subcommittee of the Committee for the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
One of Canada’s outstanding historical scholars, Trent University’s Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies, Dr. Bryan Palmer is challenging the way we think about Canadian history, labour studies, radical movements, and social theory. Dr. Palmer holds both the prestigious Wallace K. Ferguson Prize and the Albert B. Corey Prize from the Canadian Historical Association. Doctor Palmer is one of Trent’s Distinguished Research Award recipients and is the chair of the Canadian Studies Department. His writing appears in Canadian and international journals, and has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Dr. Palmer is renowned as one of Canada’s leading figures, nationally and internationally, in the fields of labour and social history. His distinguished record of book publications compliments his editorship of Labour/Le Travail, recognized internationally as one of the leading journals in its field.
Nozhem, the performance space at Trent University’s First Peoples House of Learning is Marrie Mumford’s laboratory where, as the past Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts and Literature, she conducts what she refers to as “living research,” challenging the way we think about creative expression of Indigenous culture. Professor Mumford works with students, elders, and Indigenous artists in the community to renew and activate Indigenous teachings in creative expression across generations. Involving students in her critical inquiry into Indigenous performance traditions, Prof. Mumford helps to spread the prevalence of Indigenous ways of knowing to communities nearby and across the globe, while enhancing the cultural and social life of Canada. She continues to contribute to award-winning film and theatre, music organizations, projects, and committees including the Sundance Institute, the Dreamspeakers Festival, and the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Committee.
An inspired and innovative property developer, Justin Chiu is challenging the way we think about real estate development and dynamic, transformative real estate projects. In his native Hong Kong, Mr. Chiu is described as “The God of Property.” Mr. Chiu graduated from Trent as an international student in 1978. Since returning to Hong Kong, he has worked for three blue-chip companies in Asia and is currently an Executive Director of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited. In addition, he is the Chairman of ARA Asset Management Limited, the Fortune Real Estate Investment Trust and the Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust. Since 2003, Mr. Chiu has acted as an external advisor to the Chinese government through the Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Mr. Chiu has recently been awarded an honorary doctoral degree from HKBU and his company was named one of Asia’s 200 Best under a Billion by Forbes Asia in 2010 and 2011.
Dr. David Newhouse, professor and chair of Indigenous Studies at Trent, is challenging the way we think about Aboriginal traditional thought and western thought coming together and creating modern Aboriginal societies. More than fifty per cent of people of Aboriginal origin in Canada live in urban centres, but the realities of urban Aboriginal people remain much less understood than those of First Nations peoples and Inuit who live "on reserve." That's why Dr. David Newhouse is working with the National Association of Friendship Centres and various partners in the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network to explore how Aboriginal people who live in cities and towns are building good lives. Dr. Newhouse received a $2.5 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to lead this important research to better understand how Aboriginal peoples are coping and succeeding in urban environments – and ultimately help to improve policies, programs, and services for urban Aboriginal people.
Dr. Kate Norlock, a leading expert in the field of ethics, feminist philosophy, environmental philosophy and sociopolitical issues, is challenging the way we think about the most fundamental questions of our lives and our shared responsibilities. A brain gain from the US, she came to Trent University hold the prestigious inaugural Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics. As part of the associated lecture series, she presented on the ethics of forgiveness and the difficulty of moving on after human-caused environmental tragedy and has hosted leading academics in the field of ethics. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 after earning a B.A. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University. Prior to coming to Trent, she held a professorship at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
A research scientist for the Canadian Forest Service and a professor with the University of Toronto, Mr. Richard Fleming challenges the way we think about the interaction between forest insects and human impact on the climate. Mr. Fleming graduated from Trent with a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics and was honoured in 2008 with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his work in ecology and climate change. Mr. Fleming uses mathematical and statistical models to forecast the response of forest insect outbreak systems and their interactions with fire to changing climate and human intervention. A world leader in this area, Mr. Fleming has been a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for ten years. The IPCC was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2007.
One Trent student’s journey to pursue a degree in the field of study he loves most, despite the restrictions of a personal disability, is challenging the way we think about educational opportunities for future students at Trent, across the country, and around the world. Ryan Cole, who has been legally blind since birth, but has limited vision, came to Trent four years ago to study Chemical Physics. Challenging the status quo, he is only one of two legally blind students to study university-level physics in Canada in the last 12 years. Support, guidance and funding from Trent’s Student Accessibility Services Office has translated into the discovery, purchase and application of new technology that is making Mr. Cole’s dream of completing a degree in Chemical Physics a reality. The acquisition of a state-of-the-art, high-resolution camera that acts as a powerful electronic magnifier means that, for the first time, Mr. Cole is able to conduct lab work on his own and take his own notes. Throughout his time at Trent, Mr. Cole has excelled in his courses, winning most of the top academic prizes in his program. Most recently, he was awarded a prestigious Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), which allowed him to work alongside Trent’s Canada Research Chair in Physics of Biomaterials, Dr. Aaron Slepkov, setting up a new state-of-the-art laser lab at Trent which will be devoted to characterizing and imaging biomaterials. Mr. Cole along with his first-year physics professor Dr. Alan Slavin are now working to spread the word about what this enabling piece of technology can do for other potential students in Mr. Cole’s situation. This past summer, the pair published a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness on the camera and how it is being used in the university context for a student in sciences.
Recent Trent graduate Maryam Monsef '03 is challenging the way we think about community development and engagement. An immigrant from Afghanistan, Ms. Monsef has lived in Peterborough with her family for the past 17 years. In the short time since graduating from Trent with a B.Sc. in Psychology, she has been a tremendous force for good in the greater Peterborough community. Ms. Monsef has held positions with Fleming College, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, and the New Canadians Centre. She is also a board member with the YWCA and co-founder of the award-winning Red Pashmina Campaign, which aims to celebrate, empower, and connect women in the Peterborough area and in Afghanistan. Since its inception, the Red Pashmina Campaign has raised more than $135,000 to support women and girls in Afghanistan. For their work with the campaign, Ms. Monsef and Red Pashmina co-founder, Trent alumna Jess Melnik '03 were presented with the YMCA's Peace Medallion in 2013. In the same year, Ms. Monsef was honoured by the Trent University Alumni Association as the recipient of the Young Leader Award, which recognizes young alumni who have shown outstanding leadership in their professional career and/or through community, public, or humanitarian service. Most recently, Ms. Monsef ran a successful campaign for mayor of Peterborough, coming a close second behind a strong incumbent. Looking back on her time at Trent, Ms. Monsef says the nurturing conditions of the university, her academic program, and great friends and mentors encouraged her to experiment and discover that she has the power to make a difference.
An emerging leader in bloodstain pattern analysis, Ph.D. candidate Theresa Stotesbury is challenging the way we think about the forensic sciences. Working alongside some of Trent’s top faculty researchers and in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ms. Stotesbury's doctoral research project in the Materials Science Ph.D. program focuses on the creation of a synthetic blood substitute that could be used by forensic science professionals and researchers for crime scene reconstruction, DNA analysis, and bloodstain pattern analysis. Ms. Stotesbury's interest in bloodstain pattern analysis was piqued while completing her undergraduate degree in Forensic Science at Trent. In her fourth-year she created a unique project in collaboration with the Departments of Chemistry, Forensics, and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and had the opportunity to apply her theoretical knowledge in chemistry and forensic science to the practical application of bloodstain pattern analysis in the field. Now back at Trent for her Ph.D. studies after completing her M.Sc. in Forensic Science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Ms. Stotesbury is continuing her research in the spirit of ongoing collaboration. Conducting research with Dr. Andrew Vreugdenhil, director of the Trent Centre for Materials Research, Ms. Stotesbury is working in the lab to mimic the physical characteristics of whole blood using silicon colloid chemistry. Her research with Dr. Paul Wilson, Canada Research Chair in DNA Profiling, Forensics and Functional Genomics, involves adding synthetic DNA to the fluid to tackle its relevant biological components in forensics. Another aspect of the study involves working alongside Mike Illes at the local OPP headquarters with a high-speed video camera to look at how bloodstain patterns form, particularly to see what happens when the substance is struck by a weapon. In recognition of this important work, Ms. Stotesbury was recently awarded the $150,000 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canada’s most prestigious scholarship for doctoral students.