Category BU news


Next week, between August 13 and 18, Bishop’s University will host 50 young leaders at the inaugural Bishop’s Forum – a week-long conference where young English-speaking Quebecers will engage in discussions about Quebec society.

“The Bishop’s Forum aims to give young English-speaking Quebecers an enhanced understanding of how Quebec society functions and greater insight into some of the key challenges we face,” said Bishop’s Principal Michael Goldbloom.
“Our hope is that this conference will help equip the participants to be engaged citizens who will choose to make their lives here in Quebec.”

Throughout the week the participants (18-24 years old) will gain a better understanding of how fundamental institutions of Quebec and Canadian society function.

They will discuss politics with former Premier Jean Charest, Quebec Youth Secretary Karine Vallières, and one of the two spokespersons’ of Québec Solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

They will talk about residential schools and reconciliation with Cree MP Romeo Saganash; about the environment with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair; about change through advocacy with human rights lawyer Pearl Eliadis; and about the role of the English-language media in Quebec with Senator Joan Fraser, a former editor of The Montreal Gazette. The week will conclude with presentations by the participants to a mock parliamentary commission on legislative changes they would hope to see.

“Through an exciting, enriching and interactive program, the Forum seeks to empower the next generation of young English-speaking leaders to build a smarter, richer, greener and more inclusive Quebec,” said Bishop’s Forum Director James Hughes, noting that youth will be better equipped to lead lasting change if they have the chance to interact with current Quebec leaders and thinkers who are shaping the province today.

Monday afternoon’s program will focus on Quebec’s English-speaking community as a series of English-speaking leaders will help participants gain a better understanding of the history, contributions and promise of the English-speaking community of Quebec.

“Our community has changed dramatically over the last 40 years and faces both new challenges and opportunities,” said Hughes, noting the Forum will explore what it is to be a member of the English-speaking community today and where and how emerging leadership can be exercised to strengthen both the community and the province.

“We must foster a sense of belonging to the English-speaking community and ensure they feel they are full and equal participants in the evolution of Quebec society,” commented Sylvia Martin-Laforge, Director General of the Quebec Community Groups Network, one of the forum’s partners. “Our youth are our future so we must do everything in our power to create opportunities for them to integrate economically and socially in Quebec. And the Bishop’s Forum is one way to do just that”.

The week-long civic leadership institute is funded by the Government of Quebec as part of its Stratégie d’action jeunesse 2016-2021. More information on the Bishop’s Forum can be found at

Denise Lauzière, Bishop’s Forum | | Tel.: 819-822-9600, ext. 2201.

For further information:
Rita Legault, Quebec Community Groups Network | | Tel.: 514-868-9044, ext. 223 Mobile: 514-912-6555.


Bishop’s University is pleased to highlight the end of the second year of the Estrie-Preneur program, which enjoys the partnership of Desjardins, the Williams School of Business of Bishop’s University and the Dobson-Lagassé Entrepreneurship Centre.

Estrie-Preneur was created in 2015 thanks to the $200,000 gift from Desjardins, which contributed an additional $50,000 for bursaries, to the “Leading the Way” capital campaign. Every year, and until 2020, four businesses located in the Eastern Townships benefit, free of charge, from the work of two entrepreneurship students who work, during an 8-week internship, on a project submitted by the entrepreneurs.

“This program gives our students the opportunity to witness first hand the challenges that businesses face”, says Francine Turmel, Dean of the Williams School of Business. “It gives them hands-on experience in a local business, and in turn the company receives innovative solutions. We’re delighted to see that the program is having a positive impact for both the businesses and the students, and that our partnership with Desjardins and the Dobson-Lagassé Centre is bearing fruit.”

Mr. Jessy Melançon, Manager, Commercial and Industrial Market Business Development of Desjardins Entreprises, emphasized that this was yet another example of the organization’s commitment to education and entrepreneurship. “Desjardins is very proud to be linked to Estrie-Preneur. Innovation and audacity are two qualities that entrepreneurs must show when creating a business, and those qualities are surely beneficial for the economic and social development of a society. We recognize that building the next generation of entrepreneurs is critical to the health of the economy.”

The eight students who participated in the program were helped and coached by Vincent Cloutier, a lecturer at the Williams School of Business and instructor and supervisor for the second year of the Estrie-Preneur program. “The students who participated in the program impressed me a great deal throughout their internship. They deserve much credit for the exemplary seriousness and rigour they showed. They also applied the knowledge they gained during their time in class,” said Vincent Cloutier.


For additional information:

Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, ext. 2840

Vincent Cloutier
Instructor Supervisor
Estrie-Preneur 2017 Program


Failed Star Orbits a Dead Star Every 71 Minutes

An international team of astronomers, including Dr. Lorne Nelson of the Physics & Astronomy Department at Bishop’s University, have discovered a rare gem: A binary system consisting of a failed star, also known as a brown dwarf, and the remnant of a dead star known as a white dwarf.

What makes this binary so remarkable is that the orbital period of the two objects is only 71.2 minutes. This means that the speeds of the stars as they orbit each other are about 100 km/sec (a speed that would allow you to travel across the Atlantic in less than a minute).

It was Dr. Nelson, a member of the research team at the Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec, who made the announcement during a press conference at the semi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas this month. Matthew Lundy, a Bishop’s student, and Jonathan St-Antoine, a recent alumnus, are two of the co-authors of the paper that has been submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team made extensive use of the Observatoire astronomique du Mont-Mégantic to obtain the data.

“Using five different ground-based telescopes across three continents, we were able to deduce that this binary system consists of a failed star with a mass of about 6.7% that of the Sun (equivalent to 67 Jupiter masses) and a white dwarf that has a mass of about 40% of the sun’s mass,” explained Dr. Nelson. “We have also determined that the white dwarf will begin cannibalizing the brown dwarf in less than 250 million years making this binary the shortest-period pre-cataclysmic variable ever to have been discovered.”

The hot white dwarf star had originally been identified as WD1202-024 and was thought to be an isolated star. Dr. Saul Rappaport at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Andrew Vanderburg at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics were analyzing the brightness of more than 28,000 targets from the K2 (Kepler) space telescope when one observation caught their attention. Unlike the transits of exoplanets that pass in front of their host stars and cause a small decrease in the brightness of the star, this light curve showed reasonably deep and broad eclipses.

The team quickly devised a model for the binary showing that it was consistent with a hot white dwarf being eclipsed by a much cooler and lower-mass brown dwarf companion that is seen nearly edge-on. A 3-D animation of the orbit and its lightcurve can be found online. Particular attention should be given to how the hemisphere facing the hot white dwarf is highly irradiated while the other is quite ‘dark’.

Even with this success, some big questions remained. As Dr. Nelson said, “We had constructed a robust model but we still had to address the ‘big-picture’ issues such as how this system formed and what would be its ultimate fate.” In order to answer these questions the team used sophisticated computer models to simulate the formation and evolution of WD1202. According to their calculations, the primordial binary formed from giant clouds of hydrogen-rich gas about 3 billion years ago, and the star that ultimately produced the hot white dwarf in its core was initially not much different from our sun,.

So what will happen in the future? The team believes that the emission of gravitational waves will deplete the orbital energy of the binary so that in less than 250 million years, the separation between the white dwarf and brown dwarf will be so small that the brown dwarf will start to be cannibalized by its white dwarf neighbor. When this happens, the binary will exhibit all of the characteristics of a cataclysmic variable (CV). For this reason, the team believes that the WD1202 system can rightly be referred to as the shortest-period pre-CV that has ever been discovered.

More information on this discovery can be found at


For additional information:

Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, ext. 2840


Sherbrooke, June 8, 2017

Bishop’s University is proud to announce that Dr. Matthew Peros has renewed his Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Climate and Environmental Change.

Dr. Peros is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environment and Geography.

“We are very proud to see that Dr. Peros’s important work will continue thanks to this $500,000 grant from the Government of Canada,” said Dr. Miles Turnbull, Vice-Principal Academic. “This Chair will help us continue to foster a thriving research culture at Bishop’s.”

“The renewal of my Canada Research Chair will allow me to continue research in the areas of long-term climate change and human impacts on the environment. Specifically, my students and I are focused on understanding how hurricane activity and sea level rise will change with ongoing global warming, and we are also working to identify the extent to which human activities have altered natural systems at sites in southern Quebec, eastern Canada, and the Caribbean,” explained Dr. Peros. “Such work is critical as it helps us better predict what can be expected in the future, and also how our impacts on the environment can be mitigated or even reversed.”

To learn more about Dr. Peros’s Climate and Environmental Change Research Laboratory, please visit:


Contact: Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2840


Sherbrooke, June 5, 2017 – Bishop’s University announced last week the creation of the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, with a gift of $1 million from the Jarislowsky Foundation, which will be matched by the Bishop’s University Foundation.

Central to this Chair is the recognition that excellence in one’s academic field does not necessarily translate into excellence in teaching.  For some professors effective teaching skills come naturally, however, most academics benefit from support in learning how to excel as teachers.

The first Chairholder will be Dr. Jessica Riddell, Associate Professor of the English Department.  She was a founding member of the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre in 2012 and has acted as Chair on a voluntary basis since 2015.  The Jarislowsky Foundation’s gift will enable her to focus on research into effective practices in teaching undergraduate students, student academic success, and mentoring faculty and students. She will also disseminate key research findings about teaching and learning nationally.

“I believe that a liberal education builds a strong foundation of critical thinking, effective communication, knowledge synthesis and leadership development,” said Stephen Jarislowsky, C.C., G.O.Q.  “Bishop’s focus on an interdisciplinary undergraduate education and its deep commitment to excellence in this area make it a strategic choice for this position.”

“We are very grateful to the Jarislowsky Foundation for this generous gift,” said Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.  “Most of Canada’s undergraduate students do not go on to graduate school. Their undergraduate degree is their final degree. Consequently, the ability to concentrate on how best to teach at the undergraduate level is a critical priority for Bishop’s and undergraduate programs across the country.”

“The Jarislowsky Foundation’s donation will enable us to focus on our core mission – excellence in teaching and research at the level where the greatest number of students stand to benefit.”

“I am honoured to be the first holder of a Chair that not only celebrates undergraduate teaching excellence but that is also imbued with the Jarislowsky Foundation’s fundamental values of integrity, loyalty, mentorship, and ethical and moral reasoning,” says Dr. Jessica Riddell.

“I am passionate about designing and implementing programs that will support, mentor, and guide a future generation of ethical and responsible citizens. The Jarislowsky Foundation has created the support necessary for us to strive for excellence.”

The Jarislowsky Chair is part of the University’s $36 million Leading the Way capital campaign, the largest in the University’s history.  Gifts and pledges to date total $34 million.  The Campaign is scheduled to conclude in September 2017.

Founded in 1843, Bishop’s University is a predominantly residential, undergraduate university in Sherbrooke, Quebec. It provides a high quality education in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, business, and education. Its small size (2,400 full time students) allows students to develop close relationships with their professors and each other.

Established in 1991, the Jarislowsky Foundation was founded by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Stephen A. Jarislowsky, C.C., G.O.Q. The mission of the Foundation is the promotion, support and advancement of excellence in education, medicine and the arts.  It has established 32 endowed chairs in Canada in a variety of fields including governance, democracy, public sector management, the arts, the humanities, business, environment and medicine.

Mr. Jarislowsky is Founder, Director and Chairman Emeritus of the investment management firm Jarislowsky Fraser Limited. Mr. Jarislowsky is also the co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (IGOPP) in Quebec.  He holds the Orders of Canada (Companion) and Quebec (Grand Officier).

Dr. Jessica Riddell is an Associate Professor in English Literature, and a recipient of several teaching awards at Bishop’s University.  In 2015, she became the youngest ever recipient of a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada’s highest teaching honour for university professors.   Dr. Riddell has a particular interest in fostering innovation and excellence in teaching the humanities.




For additional information:

Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, ext. 2840


Eve Beauchamp
Executive Director
The Jarislowsky Foundation


Sherbrooke, May 29, 2017 – On Saturday June 3, Chancellor Brian Levitt, O.C. will preside over Convocation ceremonies at Bishop’s University.  The institution announced today that, in addition to conferring some 672 degrees on members of the class of 2017, four notable individuals will be recognized for their outstanding professional achievements and their service to society.

Honorary doctorates in Civil Law will be conferred on:

  • William Mitchell, B.A. ’68, D.Ed. ’70, educator and former principal of Selwyn House School and Bishop’s College School;
  • Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist, academic, bestselling author and a producer of the television series Bones;
  • Reginald Allatt, B.A. ’90, CEO of Global Excel Management; and
  • Lynn Pasquerella, President of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and 18th President of Mount Holyoke College.

Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘‘We are very pleased to recognize the remarkable achievements of these four exceptional individuals. We very much look forward to having them address our graduating students at Convocation.’’

A Convocation ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 3 at 10:30 a.m. for graduates earning degrees in Business, Natural Sciences and Education (Mr. Mitchell and Dr. Reichs will receive their honorary degrees at this ceremony).

A ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m. the same day for graduates earning degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Mr. Allatt and Dr. Pasquerella will receive their honorary degrees at this ceremony).

Graduating students Dominique Lavoie and Kate Halliday have been selected as valedictorians for Convocation 2017. They will each speak at one of the ceremonies.

A detailed schedule of events can be found on the University’s website at:




Contact : Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2840


Bishop’s University Biology professor Dr. Jade Savage has launched, a website dedicated to image-based tick identification and population surveillance.

Dr. Jade Savage has launched

The University is collaborating with the Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec (LSPQ) of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and the Public Health Agency of Canada on a 2017 pilot project which mostly targets ticks found on animals in the province of Québec. An expansion of the project to other Canadian provinces is planned for 2018.

The website was created in response to rapid changes in the Canadian distribution of various tick species as well as the emergence of Lyme disease in recent years, both  important issues for public health authorities and the public in general.

“It’s logistically challenging and expensive to track tick populations on large territories such as Québec and Canada,” explains Dr. Savage. “ is a citizen science project where we invite the public to participate in the monitoring of tick populations by submitting their tick photos on the website so that they can be identified by a professional.’’

“This pilot project highly complements the current passive surveillance program for ticks which has been in place in Québec since 1990”, explained Karine Thivierge, parasitologist at the INSPQ. “Among other things, outdoor enthusiasts will be able to identify the black-legged tick, the only Lyme-carrying tick, within a dozen of tick species found in Québec, and to be aware of risk environments. This citizen-involvement project will definitely enhance our knowledge and help us prevent this emerging disease.”

To encourage participation and engage citizens in the initiative, all data from submissions such as where and when ticks are found are publically available for consultation on interactive maps which are updated daily.

The website is the first of its kind for ticks in Quebec.


Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2840


Talk on the progressive voices of the Arab-Muslim World

Bishop’s University invites community members interested by the topic of harmonious community life to attend a French-language talk entitled “The Progressive Voices of the Arab-Muslim World,” which will take place on Wednesday April 5th in Room 3 of the Bibliothèque municipale Éva-Sénécal in Sherbrooke.

Dr. Osire Glacier, professor of History, Religion and Politics and International Studies, will present, from a historical point of view, the common elements that unite the Muslim community and the Quebec host community. She will address and challenge the myths and prejudices with regards to the Muslim community that are omnipresent in the media. Among other topics, Dr. Glacier will provide an overview of the contribution of Arab-Muslim countries to the establishment of Universal Human Rights and of the presence of progressive voices that exist both in the Western world as well as in the Arab-Muslim world.

Dr. Osire Glacier holds a Ph.D. from McGill University. Her research interests bear on human rights and women’s history in Morocco. She has published several works on these themes and is the author of a blog that aims to share her research with a general audience (

This event, organized by the Bishop’s University Research Office, will be held in French, but comments and questions in English will be welcome.

This talk will take place during the Semaine d’actions contre le racisme. The event is free and all are welcome.


Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2840


As part of its yearly Research Week activities, Bishop’s University invites members of the community to learn more about some of the research that is being undertaken by both students and professors at Bishop’s.

Hosted by the University’s Research Office, the event promises to be entertaining, informative and easily accessible to a broad audience. Five students and three faculty members in the fields of Biology, Modern Languages, Physics, Psychology and Sports Studies will summarize their research programs in five minutes each. Audience members are invited to complete the accompanying Pub Quiz and enter a draw to win a small prize.

How can research inform policies on sexual assault and sexual harrassment on university campuses? Do perfectionism and aggressiveness play a role in athletes’ success? What are the most important psychological and biological factors that come into the development of Multiple Sclerosis? These topics and several others will be featured in these short talks and Pub Quiz.

Anyone who is eager to learn new things and is invited to come enjoy a beer and interact with the researchers in what will surely be lively and enlightening presentations.

Please check out other Research Week events taking place March 27 – April 1 at Bishop’s University.

Event details

Monday March 27, 7 p.m.
Golden Lion Pub and Brewery, 2896 College St., Lennoxville
Pub Quiz: BU Faculty/Student Research Flash Talks


Contact: Chantal Sneath
Communications Officer
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, extension 2840


From August 13 through August 18, 2017, fifty 18-24 year old English-speaking Quebecers will meet at Bishop’s University for a week-long immersion into Quebec’s society.

“Quebec benefits when its younger citizens are informed and knowledgeable about how its major institutions and systems function”, said Principal Michael Goldbloom, C.M. “Our goal is to enhance young English-speaking Quebecers capacity for and interest in civic engagement.”

“The goal of the Bishop’s Forum is to provide participants an “Inside Look” at some of the fundamental institutions of Quebec”, he went on to say. “Participants will get insight into how the National Assembly, political parties, business, community and not-for-profit organizations and the media influence public discourse and public policy. The Forum will give participants not only a sense of what it is like to work in these major sectors but also how to influence change.”

Bishop’s Forum Director James Hughes added that “We’re designing the Forum in an engaging and innovative way to help young people put their talents, including their leadership skills, to work to further their own careers and the quality of life in the province. The Bishop’s Forum wants to make Quebec better by equipping young English-speaking Quebecers with the ideas, networks and tools to lead change.”

Participants will work in small groups throughout the week to identify a key change they want to effect to Quebec society and craft both the case for support and the road map to transformation. These efforts will culminate in a presentation by each group to a mock Parliamentary Commission made up of a blue ribbon panel of Quebec changemakers.

This initiative is being supported by the Quebec Government as part of its Stratégie d’action jeunesse 2016-2021. This opportunity for participants will be at no cost to the participants. A cross section of Quebec’s institutional and organizational leaders will be involved in the program.

Contact: Denise Lauzière
Director of Logistics
819-822-9600, extension 2201