Category BU news
 

$1.1 million towards a new Canadian space telescope – Western University and Bishop’s University research team

Dr. Jason RoweDr. Jason Rowe, Canada Research Chair in Exoplanetary Astrophysics at Bishop’s University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and, Dr. Stanimir Metchev, Canada Research Chair in Extrasolar Planets at Western University’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration are the recipients of a $1.1 million (tax included) contract from the Canadian Space Agency to develop the prototype of what could become Canada’s next space telescope mission.

If the project’s development goes as planned, the Photometric Observations of Extrasolar Transits mission (POET as it is provisionally titled) could be in orbit, characterizing known extrasolar planets, or perhaps even discovering Earth-like exoplanets, by 2026. Unlike the Hubble Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, which are collaborations between different space agencies, POET would be entirely Canadian-funded and Canadian-built.

“The Canadian Astronomical Society recently-published decadal report includes an endorsement for a new Canadian space telescope mission,” points out Dr. Metchev, Co-Principal Investigator of the project. “The proposed mission to detect and study extrasolar planets received high ranking in the small-mission category, and could be Canada’s next space telescope.”

The two main goals of the POET mission are to measure the extent and composition of the atmosphere of extrasolar planets closely orbiting their stars, and to detect Earth-like, potentially-habitable planets around the nearest, dimmest and coolest stars, which offer the best chance of detecting signs of possible life on other planets.

“We are very pleased to see the Canadian Space Agency support this project through their Space Technology Development Program, along with ABB and the University of Toronto Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS-SFL),” indicates Dr. Rowe, who is the Principal Investigator. “A new Canadian space telescope would be an invaluable tool to discover even more about the many planetary systems that have been discovered beyond our own solar system in recent years.”

UTIAS-SFL would provide the spacecraft, and ABB the telescope and control systems. Unlike the other space telescopes referenced above, which are collaborative efforts designed to support many different scientific missions, POET would be dedicated to its two very specific missions, making the project nimble and cost-effective.

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Jeffrey Renaud
Senior Media Relations Officer
Western University
519-661-2111 ext. 85165
Jrenaud9@uwo.ca

Olivier Bouffard
Communications Director
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Bishop’s breaks ground for new residence construction – $16M project for new building on campus by Fall 2022

Bishop’s University is breaking ground on a new residence. The new building will include 93 rooms. The building will replace Mackinnon Hall which was built in 1959.

New residence construction

For the first time since Paterson Hall student residence was built in 2003, a new building will appear on Bishop’s University’s campus. The $16 million residence building will be constructed with a target project completion date of Fall 2022.

This project is almost entirely self-funded through Bishop’s University’s operating budget, though some funding has been provided by donors, notably to take great care in ensuring this new residence will become the most accessible building on campus for persons with disabilities.

This new residence building is necessary to replace the capacity of the aging Mackinnon residence building. The new building will stand across from Dewhurst Dining Hall and the John H. Price Sports and Recreation Complex.

“Although the buildings themselves and living arrangements have undergone significant changes throughout the ages, living in residence has always been a key part of the Bishop’s experience,” explains Bishop’s University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Michael Goldbloom, C.M. “This latest project follows the renovations of the Abbott, Kuehner and Munster residences in recent years.”

A consultation process to select the name of the yet-unnamed new building is underway, with the Chair of the Bishop’s Council Yolande James soliciting suggestions from the community.

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Women in Governance: delivering results on gender parity – Year-long certification process illustrates commitment to EDI

Bishop’s University is proud of having achieved a Silver-level Women in Governance Parity Certification.

Research has shown that a diverse pool of talent at all levels of an organization, especially in decision-making bodies, supports better performance and improves the potential for innovation and adaptation in the face of changing circumstances.

“Bishop’s University more than ever is committed, and continues along the path to become the truly inclusive community it desires and deserves to be,” indicates Principal and Vice-Chancellor Michael Goldbloom, C.M.

The Women in Governance Certification was achieved through the leadership of the Dean of Bishop’s University’s Williams School of Business, Reena Atanasiadis, who concludes that “achievements such as this one need to be celebrated and their positive story to be told far and wide, if we want to keep the momentum going forward and showing that with good will and hard work, we can ensure everyone feels and are treated as equals within our institutions.”

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of Communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Georges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfaçon awarded 3M Fellowship – Fifth Bishop’s recipient in six years

Georges-Philippe Gadoury-SansfaçonGeorges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfaçon, a graduating student in Mathematics and Applied Psychology at Bishop’s University from Bedford, Quebec, has been awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Fellowship.

The 3M National Student Fellowship recognizes up to ten full-time students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their lives, at their post-secondary institution, and in their communities. These students embrace a vision of education that enhances their academic experience through leadership and community engagement. Five Bishop’s students have been awarded the 3M prize in the last six years, including alumni Jason Earl (2015), Chloé Soucy (2018), Ethan Pohl (2019) and Maxim Jacques (2020).

Georges-Philippe has had a profound impact on campus as a student at Bishop’s University. As a Jarislowsky Student Leadership Fellow (2019 – present), his contribution as a Maple League Student Fellow (2020 – present), and through his role as an elected representative as Students’ Representative Council Vice-President of Academic Affairs (2020 – 2021), he has contributed significantly to student leadership and advocacy on campus and beyond. His work has been recognized internationally: he was selected to attend the 8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum as one of the top 100 young researchers in mathematics worldwide. Georges-Philippe was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship at Bishop’s in 2018, renewed every year since. He was also recently awarded the Joseph E. Cassar award which is given to the student who has contributed the most to the Students’ Representative Council during the past year.

Georges-Philippe’s achievements are impressive, but his leadership is best exemplified through his role in designing an innovative response to COVID-19 called Online Learning and Technology Consultants (OLTC). Georges-Philippe, alongside Dr. Jessica Riddell (Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence) and Scott Stoddard (Director of Information Technology), hired and trained 23 undergraduate students in pedagogy and technology to work with faculty on building COVID-19 classrooms for this academic year.

“Georges-Phillipe’s collaboration this year in the development of our OLTC program has been invaluable to me personally, but will also shape techno-pedagogical support at Bishop’s for years to come. His insistence that the student voice become a first-class consideration in the development and running of classes brings us closer to the student-centred goals of modern education,” noted Mr. Stoddard.

Dr. Jessica Riddell, 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015) and Full Professor of the Department of English at Bishop’s, nominated Georges-Philippe for the 3M National Student Fellowship. “He builds communities of learners and leaders who more fully grasp the ambiguity of advocacy and complexity through his guidance and facilitation, so that students, colleagues and collaborators take a leap of faith with him in order to exercise empathy. This act of opening themselves up to see and think differently is difficult – even scary – and it is a testament to his leadership that he builds the trust and safety so that these are positive transformative experiences for all. In doing so, he has transformed not just our university but also higher education in Canada through his national and international engagement.”

Bishop’s University is a member of the Maple League of universities, a consortium of four universities that also includes Acadia, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier. Together, this alliance of small, primarily undergraduate institutions collaborate to deliver an extraordinary 21st century liberal education. In 2020 four of ten 3M NSFs were from Maple League institutions and in 2021 three out of the ten 3M Student Fellows were from these four, primarily undergraduate institutions. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the focus on extraordinary student experience at Bishop’s and across these four universities.

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé: 3M National Teaching Fellow – Among top ten changemakers in higher education

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-BrûléDr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé, of Bishop’s University’s Department of Politics and International Studies, has been selected as one of this year’s ten 3M National Teaching Fellows.

Dr. Martin-Brûlé is one of ten professors who have been recognized for their contribution to higher education in Canada.

Dr. Martin-Brûlé’s works closely with students in concrete research and experiential learning opportunities, notably through initiating the annual Quebec Undergraduate Security Conference (QUSC).

“What an honour to receive the 3M National teaching fellowship and to join this community of inspiring professors! I am most grateful for the support of the Jarislowsky Chair and Maple League in stewarding this process,” notes Dr. Martin-Brûlé.

“Bishop’s University creates a very rich environment for a nexus between teaching and research. The institutional culture is an incubator for innovative pedagogical techniques based on rigorous and emerging research.

“Since I arrived at Bishop’s in 2012, I have had the opportunity to discover – with my students – new ways of connecting with course material and adapting our learning journeys to fit a rapidly changing geo-political landscape, especially as it relates to security issues.

“In my class we have used simulations, mixed media, and other interactive techniques that harness new technologies to reach students with different learning styles and individual differences. The relatively small class sizes, coupled with the enthusiasm of my students and the collaborative support of colleagues, have been exciting and along with my 3M colleagues, I look forward to developing new projects that generate rigorous and stimulating learning opportunities.”

Dr. Martin-Brûlé’s contributions at Bishop’s have frequently been recognized: she is a recipient of the William and Nancy Turner Teaching Award, the Robert Gordon Educational Leadership Fund, the Student Representative Council (SRC) Social Sciences Division Teaching Award as well as of the Emerging Scholar Award. She currently holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Grant and is co-researcher in a Fonds de recherche du Québec, Société et culture (FRQSC) Team Grant. Dr. Martin-Brûlé is a Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Peace and War Studies, and she is Research Leader in the Network for Strategic Analysis, Deputy Director of the Réseau de recherche sur les opérations de la paix and Non-Resident Fellow at the International Peace Institute.

“Dr. Martin-Brûlé has an exceptional ability to share her work experience in international conflict resolution and peace processes with her students. Her students and colleagues are fortunate to have her as a member of our University,” remarks Bishop’s University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Michael Goldbloom, C.M.

Dr. Jessica Riddell, also a 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015) and Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Excellence at Bishop’s University commented that Dr. Martin-Brûlé’s: “classrooms come alive with the use of gaming, role-play, and simulations. And yet conversations don’t stop when her classes end. She extends learning beyond the classroom and into the world with student-led collaborations and initiatives that empower students as valued contributors and producers of meaning via conferences, summits, research projects, panels, plenaries – where her undergraduate students are authentically engaged as her partners and colleagues.”

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Looking for the right atmosphere – Bishop’s Dr. Jason Rowe Co-Investigator of NASA’s Pandora

Dr. Jason Rowe of Bishop’s University with the help of Dr. Kelsey Hoffman, Visiting Scholar at Bishop’s, and their students, in conjunction with collaborators from NASA and a dozen universities and research institutes, are hopeful a new spaceflight mission named Pandora would help them learn more about exoplanets’ atmosphere, which could mean crossing another significant step in the quest to find life beyond planet Earth.

Focusing on about 20 exoplanets, the Pandora mission would determine the composition of their atmosphere through the proven technique of transit spectroscopy.

Dr. Rowe, Canada Research Chair in Exoplanet Astrophysics at Bishop’s University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, is the Co-Investigator of the proposed mission as well as a member of its primary science team. The Pandora mission would consist of a small satellite mission, one of two SmallSat missions greenlighted by NASA to move to the next development phase of the Pioneers program. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland are co-leads of the Pandora mission.

“My role will be to study atmospheres of planets and the dynamics of planetary orbits,” Dr. Rowe says. “We will study atmospheres by measuring the effect of Rayleigh scattering of the optical transit depth. We will study dynamics through transit timing variations that will reveal changes in the orbital period of a planet’s orbit from gravitational perturbations from other planets in the system.” Different chemical elements present in an atmosphere leave a telltale signature in the light that shines through them, allowing observers using spectroscopy to detect the presence of different molecular species by analyzing the light that has gone through the atmosphere of exoplanets. Rayleigh scattering, in effect, explains why our sky is blue. Moreover, the gravity of the different planets orbiting a star will influence each other’s orbits, either slowing them down or speeding them up slightly, which allows masses to be measured.

“Optical broadband photometry will enable the measurement of precision transit depths and stellar activity,” Dr. Rowe explains. “Infrared spectroscopy will allow researchers to determine the chemical properties of a planetary atmosphere, including the presence of water.”

As the planets cross in front of their parent star – their transit – the light of the star that passes through their atmosphere can be analyzed by spectroscopy to determine the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

One difficulty in accomplishing this is the variability in the parent star’s brightness due to stellar spots, as well as the star’s own atmosphere.

To overcome these difficulties, the Pandora mission would observe the exoplanets over long periods simultaneously in both the visible and the infrared light spectra. Additionally, the Pandora satellite would be set in a Sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit which would ensure it always had our Sun at its back, to reduce lighting changes and enabling long measurements.

-30-

MEDIA REQUESTS:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
819-822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Credits: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

COVID-19: keeping a routine and “normal” activities for children’s well-being

A new study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health puts forward concrete recommendations to promote their well-being.

The study, entitled Favoriser la santé mentale des enfants de 5-12 ans durant la COVID-19 and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is based on a review of the scientific literature on children’s mental health and well-being in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as interviews with parents, aiming to keep recommendations well-grounded in the real-life context of families in Québec.

Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-HurtubiseThe research by Dr Chantal Camden and Dr Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, respectively of the École de réadaptation de la Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé de l’Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University’s Department of Psychology, and also both researchers at the Centre de recherche du CHUS du CIUSSS de l’Estrie — CHUS, favours maintaining a regular contact between children, their families and the education system, along with maintaining a daily routine and regular activities, as much as possible to promote youth mental health.

Another recommendation is to ensure those likely to interact with children on a daily basis such as teachers and mental health professionals, for instance, are well-equipped to know how to recognize signs of psychological distress. It is important for these persons to be able to identify vulnerable children and to react quickly, notably through the use of resources already offered online to support those children and their families. Specialized services must also be accessible if they are needed.

“The study also aimed to identify specific issues affecting children with neurodevelopmental disorders, living with a disability or a chronic health condition, which are at higher risk in the current context,” indicates Dr Camden. “It is crucial to ensure a continuum between the health and education systems, the community level and families in order to coordinate their respective actions to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on children.”

“Even with encouraging developments emerging on the horizon, the fact remains that we will have to manage the social consequences of a pandemic context for some time,” points out Dr Malboeuf-Hurtubise. “Now that specific useful actions have been validated, there remains the pressing need to implement them in real, everyday life for children’s well-being.”

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Olivier Bouffard
Director of communications
Bishop’s University
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca
819-822-9600 ext. 2840

Giant planet survives the death of its parent star – A publication in Nature reveals an unusual orbital story

Dr. Lorne Nelson of Bishop’s University in conjunction with collaborators from around the world have discovered the first planet to orbit the burned out core of a dead star. The observations and analysis were just published in Nature, which is considered to be the world’s premier science journal.

Dr. Nelson, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is among the authors of an article describing the discovery of a giant planet roughly the size of Jupiter, although likely to be several times more massive, that is in a very close orbit with its white dwarf companion known as WD 1856+534. The system is located only 80 light years away from the Earth in the constellation of Draco, and the existence of the planet was inferred thanks to observations using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in addition to other telescopes during the Summer and Fall of 2019. The white dwarf star is so small that it is not much larger than the Earth and is about seven times smaller than the planet that eclipses it. But more amazingly, the giant planet’s “year” – the time it takes for it to complete a full revolution around the white dwarf star – lasts for a little less than a day and a half (34 hours).

“This is a truly remarkable discovery because the giant planet that we found somehow survived the fiery death of its parent star and subsequently experienced gravitational interactions with other planets that placed it in a very close orbit with the original star’s now ‘dead’ core”, what astronomers refer to as a white dwarf. “These observations may help us understand the future of our own Solar System,” Dr. Nelson explains. “We know that one day as our own parent star (the Sun) starts to die, it too will expand to become a red giant and will likely gobble up Mercury, Venus, and then the Earth. One of the intriguing questions relates to what will happen to the outer gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn after this process. The discovery of WD 1856b, and hopefully many more like it, will go a long way in helping us address this issue.”

Dr. Nelson’s primary contributions to the research were based on calculations that showed that the object orbiting the white dwarf star was most likely to be a giant planet and not another type of celestial object such as a cool, low-mass star (red dwarf) or an even smaller and colder type of object known as a brown dwarf (brown dwarfs are the ‘missing link’ between stars and giant gas planets and typically have masses between about 14 and 75 times the mass of Jupiter). This contribution by Dr. Nelson further demonstrates the level of academic excellence and commitment to research associated with Bishop’s University and its Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of Communications
819 822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Daniel Fournier named 20th Chancellor of Bishop’s University

Robert Hall, ’79, Chair of the Board of Governors, is pleased to announce that the Board has endorsed the unanimous recommendation of the Bishop’s Council to appoint Daniel Fournier as Chancellor of Bishop’s University for a five-year term beginning on August 29, 2020.

In accepting this appointment, Mr. Fournier commented: “I am a firm believer in Bishop’s liberal education model which ensures that students develop key skills and competencies that will stand the test of time. I am looking forward to this new challenge, and am pleased to be of service to Bishop’s University and the Bishop’s community.”

Expressing the appreciation of the Board of Governors, Mr. Hall said: “We are honoured to have as our new Chancellor such a highly accomplished and respected member of the Quebec and Canadian business community”.

Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the appointment. “Daniel Fournier has already had multiple involvements with Bishop’s as a parent of three graduates, as a member of the initial Bishop’s Council and as a co-chair of the most successful capital campaign in Bishop’s history. We are looking forward to continue working with him over the coming years.”

Daniel Fournier grew up in Montreal. He studied History at Princeton University and Jurisprudence at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. He took a term off to play for the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders.

He has 40 years of business experience primarily in the real estate industry. From 2010 to 2019, he was Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Ivanhoé Cambridge, a real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Prior to joining Ivanhoé Cambridge, he was Chair of the Board of Genivar, now WSP Global, and a member of Canadian Tire’s Board of Directors. He was also a director of the Summit Industrial Income REIT and of Standard Life (Canada), now part of Manulife.

In recent years, Mr. Fournier has chaired fundraising campaigns for La Maison du Père, The Lighthouse Children and Families, and the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). Until February 2020, he was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the McCord Museum Foundation in Montreal.

Mr. Hall expressed his profound thanks to Brian Levitt, O.C., who has served in the role as Chancellor since 2013. “Brian’s wisdom, judgement and practical experience have been invaluable as we navigated through some challenging times for Bishop’s. As Chair of the Board, I have appreciated his consistent ability to discern the essence of an issue and to propose a constructive way to address it. We are pleased that Brian will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Governors”.

-30-

MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Olivier Bouffard
Director of Communications
819 822-9600 ext. 2840
olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca

Call for proposals to the research community – 88th Congrès de l’Acfas in 2021

As announced on April 20th, the 88th Congrès annuel de l’Acfas, originally scheduled in 2020, will take place from May 3–7, 2021 at the Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University.

The research community is invited to present its most recent results by submitting proposals for thematic conferences or free communications in all scientific domains: health sciences, natural sciences, engineering and mathematics, humanities, social sciences and education. This call for proposal notably aims to enrich the program with new proposals and to take into account the most recent developments since the initial invitation in Fall 2019. Signaling a strong mobilization of the university community, most of those who had a scientific activity planned in the program chose to reschedule it for 2021.

Under the theme Du jamais su, this event unfolding over five days offers the scientific community a unique opportunity to take the pulse of the latest developments and breakthroughs in research and debate current events. The event is also a marquee venue for the next generation of researchers to network and share results.

The current crisis period highlights the fact that research is more important now than ever as it plays a key role in decision making which affects our community. There is no doubt that the next event will be a key moment for the research community to ponder the myriad consequences of the current pandemic and the state of research in the 21st century.

One event, two scientific venues

Faculty, researchers, graduate students and research support staff are invited to submit their proposals for thematic conferences and free communications by October 12.

In addition to strengthening bonds and forging new ones, scientific conferences are the ideal setting to share research results, and for discussions and debates among decision makers and actors of the science world. Free communications are an opportunity to present research results orally or through posters.

About Acfas

Acfas disseminates knowledge as an engine of our society’s development by gathering research actors throughout the Francophonie. Deliberately forward-looking, Acfas is a powerful force of democratization of scientific communications. It values researchers of all disciplines as well as research excellence.

About the Université de Sherbrooke

The Université de Sherbrooke lies at the center of one of Quebec’s three major research hubs. Recognized for its sense of innovation, the university is a key partner of senior and regional governments in promoting social, cultural, and economic development. Moreover, the university stands out because of the significant growth in its research activities in recent years, its technology-transfer successes, and its entrepreneurial and open-innovation initiatives in collaboration with industry and social communities.

About Bishop’s University

Bishop’s University is a predominantly residential, undergraduate university. Our primary concern is offering students a quality education in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business and education. The residential aspect of our small size (2,800 full-time students) encourages students to immerse themselves in the complete Bishop’s experience.

Additional information:

Submit a proposal
Congrès de l’Acfas
Research at Université de Sherbrooke
Research at Bishop’s University

– 30 –

Media inquiries:

Gabriel Vignola, Community Manager and Communications
Acfas
514-849-0045, ext. 261 | gabriel.vignola@acfas.ca

Isabelle Huard, Media Relations Advisor
Service des communications | Université de Sherbrooke
819-821-8000, ext. 63395 | medias@USherbrooke.ca

Olivier Bouffard, Director of Communications
Bishop’s University
819-822-9600, ext. 2840 | olivier.bouffard@ubishops.ca