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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
July 2, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Alumni Newsletter: Spring 2013

Education professor wins Teaching Award

Professor Duane Heide has been honoured with the Wilfrid Laurier University Teaching Award in the part-time category. Only one full-time and one part-time professor each year are chosen for this honour. More>

Creating an impact in less than 3 Minutes

Masters of Education student wins 3-Minutes Thesis Competition

By Tracy Bachellier, Masters of Education (M.Ed.) student

Thinking and talking about thesis work is something graduate research students spend a lot of time doing, certainly in preparation for an often lengthy, final defense. But can graduate students communicate their research to a panel of non-specialist judges in an engaging and compelling way, using only one slide? Sure, it sounds easy enough. That is, until you’re challenged to do so in less than three minutes!

Without a doubt, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition was a challenging experience. It pushed me beyond my comfort zone. But it also forced me to focus upon and narrow down the exact essence of my research; what I am doing and why it is important. Participating in the 3MT gave my research clarity and gave me confidence in talking about and promoting my research. But the most rewarding part of all was having the honour of representing Laurier’s Faculty of Education at the inaugural 3MT Provincial competition. It was absolutely thrilling and a privilege.

Ontario 3 Minute Thesis Competition

Haiti service-learning trip update

Four Teacher Education Candidates, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) student, and a retired secondary school teacher will join Dr. Steve Sider on a 10 day service-learning trip to Haiti in May. The group will spend three days in central Haiti in a rural community and then spend a week leading English as a Foreign Language classes at a university and school in Cap-Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. The work of the group will build on partnerships Dr. Sider has established in Haiti over the 10 years he has been working with school principals there. More>

Education minor launches

The new minor for undergraduate students will begin this spring with an online course entitled Images of Education in Media, to be taught by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Anna Rumin. This three-credit minor consists of three core half-credit courses offered through the Faculty of Education, plus three elective half-credit courses from a list of over 30 courses across campus that relate broadly to education, children and youth. The other two core courses are The Educational Divide and Learning in 140 Characters or Less. The minor is intended in part to give students insights into education as a career in order to help them make the decision of whether to apply to a Bachelor of Education program. Courses in the minor do not count toward the B.Ed. Images of Education in Media, with 80 seats, filled very quickly, so the minor may prove to be quite popular.

Laurier Faculty of Education co-hosts Peace and Justice Studies Conference – October 18 and 19

We are excited to host a special teacher professional development component of a conference focused on peace and social justice. The teacher PD event will feature keynote speakers, including Deborah Ellis who is the author of the popular children’s book The Breadwinner, as well as workshops by educators from across North America. More>

Kotsopoulos awarded two prestigious grants

Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos (Aka: Dr. K.) has recently received research funding from the Actuarial Association of Ontario for LittleCounters™, and from NSERC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It is quite rare for an Education professor to receive funding from NSERC, but Dr. K.’s research centres around neurobiology and its relationship to the early learning of mathematics. We’re very, very proud of Dr. K. and her research accomplishments!


Professors Judy Halpern and Steve Sider coordinated a new focus to Glocal in 2012-2013. They developed a 12 hour certificate program which engaged Teacher Education Candidates (TECs) in activities with an outdoor, environmental and global focus. More than 40 TECs participated in one or more of the workshops and 17 completed the full program. Activities included workshops by the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, Natural Curiosity (OISE/UT), the Laurier Aboriginal Student Centre and Laurel Creek Nature Centre as well as activities led by TECs and Profs Halpern and Sider. More>

Dr. Steve Sider’s TEDx talk on the Haiti Digital Mentoring Project

This past winter, Dr. Steve Sider gave a TEDx Talk in Oakville which focused on the Digital Mentoring Project which partners school leaders in Haiti and Canada. More>

Leadership changes for 2013-14

Due to sabbaticals for Associate Dean Donna Kotsopoulos and Dean Colleen Willard-Holt, there will be new leadership for the coming academic year. Dr. Dawn Buzza will be Acting Dean, Dr. Julie Mueller will be Acting Associate Dean and Dr. Kristiina Montero will take the position of Graduate Coordinator. We wish all the best for this team!

Kristiina Montero’s art exhibit gains prominence

The seeds of Songide'ewin: Aboriginal Narratives were planted during a conversation between Dr. Montero and Ojibwe artist and Elder, Rene Meshake. Rene wanted to teach young people about the connections between Aboriginal art and storytelling and Kristiina wanted to connect educators with Aboriginal students in order to authentically respond to many teachers' lack of awareness about Aboriginal worldviews, teachings, cultures and languages. Through connecting students and staff in the Native Arts and Culture program at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Hamilton with preservice teachers at Laurier's Faculty of Education, the seeds that were planted several years ago have begun to bear fruit. A collection of over 50 visual and literary pieces of art that speak to Aboriginal identities have been exhibited at three art galleries in Ontario: Robert Langen Gallery at Laurier, the Homer Watson Gallery in Kitchener a nd most recently at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. More>

Masters of Education (M.Ed.) admissions suspended

After two successful years of admissions to our Master of Education program, we received some very unfortunate news that further admissions to the program have been suspended until further notice, due to changes in the funding process at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). While the program was approved by Laurier’s Senate and the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies in 2011, it has not received MTCU funding to date. The Ministry is holding up approvals for several graduate education programs. The suspension of our program has no relationship to either the popularity or the quality of the program. Students who are currently enrolled in the program will be allowed to finish their degrees.