Year In Review: Some Artsci Highlights from 2018
With the New Year on the horizon, we thought it would be fun to reflect on 2018 and recall some highlights from the year that was. From fantastic events and prestigious honours to alumni in the news and changes to our faculty and staff, there’s no denying that it was an action-packed year for the Arts & Science Program. So, in no particular order and without further ado, we present to you a dozen great memories from 2018. Enjoy!
|New Cohort & New Alumni
Just because it happens every year doesn’t make it any less special. In fact, welcoming 70 first-year students to the Artsci family and sending just as many Artsci grads out into the world is easily the most rewarding thing on this list.
In November, Artsci students were visited by ophthalmologist and playwright Arun Lakra. Lakra’s three-day visit, which also included playreading workshops and a career talk, was highlighted by a student-led reading of his play, Sequence. First-year Artsci students Elias Elaneh, Elle Klassen, Gillian Maltz, Rachel Murgel, and Ariella Ruby were outstanding in their respective performances. Lakra’s visit was part of the annual Common Reading Program.
|Changes in Staffing
For the first time in several years, we added a new member to the Artsci team. Blake Dillon joined us in late-August as our Communications & Outreach Coordinator. His role largely revolves around strengthening the outward-facing profile of the Program. This includes developing a new website, enhancing our social media presence, creating traditional media and advertising, and writing about the many great things that happen in Artsci. In July, Dr. Jean Wilson returned from research leave to resume her role as Program Director, and the Program also welcomed faculty members Dr. Travis Kroeker, Dr. Megumi Harada, Dr. James Sikkema, Dr. Nadine Ijaz, Dr. Stephen Jones, and Dr. Lynda Lukasik.
|New Artsci Courses
In 2018, Arts & Science offered an Environmental Policy Inquiry course for the first time. Taught by new Artsci instructor Dr. Lynda Lukasik, the course provides a critical analysis of the relationship between public policy making and environmental issues. The Program also offered a new exchange-focused course this year. Movement and Integration brought together Arts & Science students and exchange students to critically assess the experience of movement away from familiar terrain and reflect on how they can integrate that experiential learning into their lives. Also new in 2018 was the highly anticipated ARTSSCI 1CC3 course, which explores Indigenous ways of knowing as they relate to Indigenous cosmologies and worldviews.
|The First-Ever Artsci Art Show
On 16 November 2018, Artsci students gathered at the Redchurch Café & Gallery in Hamilton to take in the wonderful works of art created by their peers. The show’s theme was about letting suppressed creative energy out into the world, so artists focused on subjects such as barriers to creative expression, art as a way to deepen learning, and art as a creative and emotional outlet. By all accounts, the show was a total success — don’t be surprised if it becomes an annual event!
|Sarah Henstra Wins Governor General’s Award
On 30 October 2018, Sarah Henstra, a 1996 graduate of the Program, won a Governor General’s Literary Award for her book The Red Word. One of the greatest honours in Canadian literature, the prize is bestowed annually to Canadian authors who display literary excellence in a series of categories ranging from fiction and non-fiction to poetry and young people’s literature. Henstra won in the category of English-Language Fiction.
|Dr. Louis Greenspan Memorial
On 26 November 2018, Artsci faculty, staff, students, and alumni were out in full force to memorialize the late, great Dr. Louis Greenspan. Artsci alumni Mia Kibel, Varun Puri, and Lauren Gorfinkel spoke in memoriam on behalf of the entire Program, and did a wonderful job recalling the outstanding contributions of this iconic Artsci prof.
|The Weed Deck
Identifying the void in cannabis education upon its legalization, 2014 Arts & Science grad Ben Barrett-Forrest took it upon himself to help Canadians make informed decisions about cannabis use via his unique creation, “The Weed Deck.” Designed to teach both new and experienced users the essentials of cannabis, Barrett-Forrest’s educational deck of playing cards contains information relating to several different aspects of cannabis and features unique illustrations that help people visualize what it is they’re learning about.
|Two Artscis named Renaissance Winners
Alexia Olaizola and Emily Siskos (2018 grads) made the Program proud when they were named the 2018 winners of the Drs. Jolie Ringash & Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. The award challenges students to think outside the box and create a learning experience that explores a subject not covered in their degree program. The award enabled Alexia and Emily to cross Canada from east to west and back again, in an exploration of how Indigenous visual art is being used as a form of cultural reclamation and resistance.
|The Inaugural New World of Work Forum
Enabled by a generous donation from Artsci alum Bruce Miyashita, students of the Program worked together to host the inaugural New World of Work Forum. This marquee event, which took place on 4 March 2018, was held to inspire Artsci students to learn more about the varying opportunities available to them post-Artsci. The Second Annual New World of Work Forum is set to take place in March 2019.
|Artsci Grad Inspires Current Students
Melissa Yuan-Innes, a graduate of the Program (1996), an award-winning writer (she also writes as Melissa Yi), and an emergency physician, spoke to current students last February. The morning of her inspiring talk, Dr. Yuan-Innes had already taken part in a panel discussion on CBC Radio’s The Current, and was due back in the ER in Eastern Ontario the following morning, but still made time to interact with the Artsci community, while enjoying a signature Artsci “Milk & Cookies” time of socializing and refreshment.
|Artsci Grad Awarded Vanier Scholarship
On 19 July 2018, the Government of Canada revealed its list of recipients for the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and among them was 2016 Artsci grad Saad Syed. Named after former Governor General Georges Vanier, the scholarship is one of the most esteemed honours for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. Syed is now the third Artsci grad to receive a Vanier, joining an exclusive group previously only occupied by Kate Mulligan (2001 grad), who was part of the first Vanier cohort back in 2009, and Michael Skinnider (2015 grad), who won in 2017.
Alumni, Education, Experiential Learning, Faculty, Staff, Students