Category Research spotlights

Dr. Anthony Di Mascio Wins the Canadian History of Education Association’s 2016 English-Language Book Award!

Book cover: The Idea of Popular Schooling in Upper CanadaDr. Anthony Di Mascio of the School of Education has been awarded the Canadian History of Education Association’s 2016 English-language Book Award for his monograph entitled The Idea of Popular Schooling in Upper Canada: Print Culture, Public Discourse, and the Demand for Education (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012). The Founders’ Prizes of the Canadian History of Education Association acknowledge the excellence of contributions to Canadian educational history.

In The Idea of Popular Schooling in Upper Canada, Anthony Di Mascio analyzes debates about education in the burgeoning print culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In it, he finds that a widespread movement for popular schooling in Upper Canada began in earnest from the time of the colony’s first Loyalist settlers. Reviving the voices of Upper Canada’s earliest school advocates, Di Mascio reveals the lively public discussion about the need for a common system of schooling for all the colony’s children. Despite different and often contentious opinions on the means and ends of schooling, there was widespread agreement about its need by the 1830s, when the debate was no longer about whether a popular system of schooling was desirable, but about what kinds of schools would be established. The making of educational legislation in Upper Canada was a process in which many inhabitants, both inside and outside of government, participated. The Idea of Popular Schooling in Upper Canada is the first full survey of schooling in Canada to focus on the pre-1840 period and how it framed policy debates that continue to the present day.

Dr. Di Mascio has now moved on to new projects, including his SSHRC-funded research on American influences on education in the Eastern Townships of Quebec during the 1784-1875 period.

The Shattered Mosaic: New Book by Mary Ellen Donnan

The Shattered Mosaic: New Book by Mary Ellen DonnanDr. Mary Ellen Donnan of the Sociology Department has recently published a new book, The Shattered Mosaic: How Canadian Social Structures Cause Homelessness (J. Charlton Publishing, 2016). This monograph sheds light on the ways that policies, forces and institutions contribute to the phenomenon of homelessness in our country. Dr. Donnan makes homelessness a public issue by positing that the structural causes of homelessness are a form of economic and social exclusion. She provides a historical context for the decline of social housing and examines the particular cases of women, indigenous peoples and immigrants, along with other populations impacted by public policies that make major segments of Canadian society vulnerable in terms of shelter.

More information about this exciting new publication can be found online.

Dr. Adrianna Mendrek Receives the Mérite Estrien!

Dr. Adrianna MendrekDr. Adrianna Mendrek, professor of Psychology, has been honoured by the Mérite Estrien, awarded jointly by La Tribune and Radio-Canada, in recognition of her contributions to health, education and the local community through her research, teaching and various outreach activities. The Mérite Estrien is awarded to individuals, groups or organizations who have provided exceptional services to the community and who have significantly contributed to the advancement of knowledge. Dr. Mendrek’s research on sex and gender differences in schizophrenic patients and in individuals suffering from addiction, as well as her research and interests in yoga, mindfulness, meditation and their effects on the human brain, are acknowledged and celebrated in this week’s Mérite Estrien capsule.

Dr. Mendrek’s research has received funding from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


The New England – St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL), a regional division of the American Association of Geographers, will be holding its annual conference at Bishop’s University on October 14-15, 2016. Some 200 scholars and students are expected to attend this event, which will include a Geography Bowl, field trips, paper sessions and a poster competition. Faculty members and students are invited to submit proposals for presentations on any topic broadly related to environment and geography. Dr. Konrad Gajewski, Professor of Geography at the University of Ottawa, will be delivering the keynote address. His talk, entitled “Evolution of the North American Ecosystem from the Full Glacier to the Anthropocene,” will address the different changes that regional climate has undergone from the glacial period to the present and the ways in which human activity have affected vegetation over the past 15 000 years.

The complete conference program is now available on the NESTVAL conference website.

Bishop’s University Research Funded by SSHRC

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has recently announced the winners of its 2015-2016 grant competitions. The following Bishop’s University researchers have received research grants:

Dr. Svetlana Davis (Williams School of Business), “Looking in the mirror: I am the brand. But when am I entitled to more?” SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($27,823)

Dr. Svetlana Davis and Dr. Joanna Pitek (Williams School of Business), “Rearview mirror or side mirror focused? The role of temporal and social comparisons in coworker perceptions of flexible work arrangements” SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($54,467)

Dr. Anthony Di Mascio, SSHRC Insight Grant, “American influences on education in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, 1784-1875” ($51,669)

Dr. Gilbert Gagné, SSHRC Insight Grant, “The trade and culture debate in preferential trade agreements” ($121,900)

Dr. Heather McKeen-Edwards (Politics and International Studies), co-applicant. “Politics in the Era of Globalized Finance — Reassessing the Role of Domestic Institutions, Networks and Ideas in Financial Regulation” SSHRC Insight Grant ($122,616)

Dr. Matthew Peros (ESG), co-applicant. “Understanding cultural diversity among the early inhabitants of Cuba” SSHRC Insight Grant ($250,800)

New Publication by Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé

Evaluating Peacekeeping Missions by Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-BrûléDr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé of the Department of Politics and International Studies has recently published a new book, Evaluating Peacekeeping Missions: A Typology of Success and Failure in International Interventions (Routledge, 2017). Based on comparative field research, the book proposes new ways of evaluating peace operations and of defining them as failures, partial failures, partial successes or successes. Case studies used to highlight how peace operations may succeed in spite of challenging contexts include the operations peace operations conducted in Somalia and Liberia. This book will be of great interest to students of peacekeeping, conflict resolution, civil wars, security studies and international relations in general. More information about this exciting new publication can be found on the Routledge website.

BU Researcher Exploring Adaptability to Environmental Conditions

Did You Know…?

What can Eastern chipmunks and pre-industrial humans living in Quebec, born between 1608 and 1750, tell us about living beings’ ability to adapt to their environment? Quite a bit, actually!

Living beings can adapt to environmental conditions experienced over a lifetime. However, in the context of rapid climate change, these adaptations may quickly become obsolete.

Dr. Patrick Bergeron of the Department of Biological Sciences has recently received a grant in the amount of $120,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada to study and understand the ecological causes and the evolutionary consequences of variations in living beings’ life-history strategies.

His study of Eastern chipmunks will allow him to verify if short-term environmental variations (for examples, whether beech trees will or will not mast, that is, produce seeds, in a given year) can affect certain essential traits, such as reproduction, dispersal, personality, metabolism, and survival. (Hint: the answer is yes!)

Studying pre-industrial human populations will allow him to see if environmental conditions experienced as an infant (ex. Solar irradiance reconstructed from the observation of sun spots at the time) can have carry-over effects later in life and leave a footprint on a population’s demography. (Again: yes!)

Why is this important? We live in a country that is currently facing exceptionally high rates of environmental variation. There are plenty of long-term studies that track evolutionary changes of a population over time but lack details on individuals, and still others, carried out in the short term, that track individuals over their life-time, but do not incorporate an evolutionary, multi-generational perspective. Dr. Bergeron’s innovative research program aims to combine both perspectives in order to generate a more complete picture of variations in life-history strategies.

Bishop’s University Research Funded by NSERC and FRQSC

Funding agencies have once again acknowledged the quality and importance of the research conducted by Bishop’s University faculty members. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, have awarded the following research grants:

Dr. Patrick Bergeron (Biological Sciences), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Discovery Grant, “The impact of environmental variability on life history tradeoffs: a multi-scale approach” ($120,000)

Dr. Jonathan Carriere (Psychology), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Discovery Grant, “Understanding and modifying mind wandering” ($120,000)

Dr. Valerio Faraoni (Physics), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Discovery Grant, “Challenging Einstein gravity at all scales” ($240,000)

Dr. Sunny Lau (School of Education), Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs, “Collaborations interdisciplinaires entre les professeurs de français et d’anglais : favoriser l’intégration scolaire et sociale des cégépiens allophones grâce à une approche plurilingue et aux littératies multiples” ($38,656)

Dr. Adrianna Mendrek (Psychology), co-applicant, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture, Soutien aux équipes de recherche, “Programme en neurosciences cognitives de l’éducation” ($57,200)

Dr. Christopher Stonebanks Leads SSHRC-Funded Research on Secularism in Education

In an increasingly multicultural Canada, what are teachers’ perspectives on the division between church and state inside of Canadian public schools? The purpose of the R.O.S.E. project, led by Dr. Christopher Stonebanks of the School of Education, is to examine the perceptions of teachers within the Canadian public schools that define themselves as “secularist” concerning the mandated secular nature of their province’s education system.

Click here to learn more about this research project and about the research team conducting it.

Dr. Osire Glacier Discusses Terrorism, Radicalization and Human Rights in Interview for

In February, 2016, Dr. Osire Glacier (History Department) took part in an interview with Dr. Maurice Demers (History, Université de Sherbrooke) and to Dr. Bernard Ducharme (Groupe de Recherche sur l’Islamophobie et le Fondamentalisme) in which she discussed her research on human rights in Morocco and on the roles that have been played by women in Moroccan politics. The interview, published on, outlines the profound effects of the Western discourse on terrorism as a civilizational conflict. It also underscores the important difference, detailed in Dr. Glacier’s book Universal Rights, Systemic Violations and Cultural Relativism in Morocco (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), between the discourse on human rights “in the streets” and the diplomacy of human rights as negotiated within the United Nations’ Fundamental Rights programs. Dr. Glacier sets the contemporary debate on the hijab in a historical perspective and, finally, showcases the many roles that Muslim women have played in Moroccan politics throughout the country’s long history.

The full interview is available here.