Category Research spotlights

Sociology Department Team Awarded a SSHRC Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative Grant for the Unearthing Justices Partnership Project

Dr. Vicki Chartrand Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz Dr. Alex Miltsov

Bishop’s University is proud to announce that Dr. Vicki Chartrand, Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz and Dr. Alex Miltsov of the Sociology Department received a Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative grant for the Unearthing Justices Partnership (UJP): Digital Mapping of Indigenous Grassroots Resources and Supports for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit+ (MMIWG2S+) People project. This research project will be done in collaboration with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers Gladys Radek (Tears4Justice) and Viola Thomas (Protect Our Indigenous Sisters Society), along with many Indigenous partners involved in addressing MMIW2S+ people. The goal of UJP is to partner with Indigenous-based collectivities to collaboratively organize and mobilize Indigenous-led and Indigenous-based resources and supports to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit + People.

Having concluded that the long-term and ongoing murders and disappearances of Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit (MMIWG2S+) people is genocide, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019) made 231 Calls to Justice in relation to culture, health, security, and criminal justice to address the ongoing colonial dispossession and systemic, racialized, and gendered violence against MMIWG2S+ people. While the violence against MMIWG2S+ people is well documented, there has been less consideration of how Indigenous families and communities have actively navigated the terrain where justice continues to be absent, elusive, or invasive, if not violent. To address this challenge and heed the Calls to Justice, the UJP partnership seeks to digitally map, showcase, and share Indigenous-led and Indigenous-based models and resources of support for the MMIWG2S+ people through the development of a national website and other digital media platforms.

This research partnership seeks to: 1) to center and build on Indigenous families and communities’ existing capacities, strengths, and self-determination to address the murders, disappearances, and violence; 2) to make visible the important work that already exists in Indigenous communities for public education, policy and program innovations, and potential funding; 3) to facilitate connections and networks and the sharing of resources between Indigenous groups and individuals involved in the MMIWG2S+ people work; and 4) to analyze and establish a digital based infrastructure and other media of resources and supports to address violence against MMIWG2S+ people.

The goal of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Race, Gender and Diversity Initiative is to support community-based and community-led research partnerships with postsecondary institutions that are grounded in the lived experience of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups and that analyze the causes and persistence of systemic racism and discrimination. Leadership by people from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups in research projects about race, gender and diversity is important to help ensure the research is grounded in the complexities of the lived experiences and histories of diverse groups and individuals, and to inform more rigorous and relevant policy and program design. On May 9th 2022, the results of the 2021 competition were made available to the research community. With the high rate of applications, this success rate of this competition was under 30%, and we are more than impressed that the application by Dr. Vicki Chartrand, Dr. Genner Llanes-Ortiz and Dr. Alex Miltsov ranked in the top of the second sextile. Congratulations on this exciting result!

To learn about Indigenous initiatives for MMIWG2S+, support and grow community resources and creative justices, consult the Unearthing Justices Resource Collection.

Creative Activities at BU: Dr. Andrew MacDonald releases new album

Dr. Andrew MacDonald, who retired last year after 34 years in the Department of Music at Bishop’s University, is known for his contributions to contemporary Canadian classical, jazz, and electronic music, as an educator, composer, and performer. In December 2021, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his extraordinary contributions to the Canadian nation. Moreover, his compositions have won many prestigious prizes, including the Best Classical Composition JUNO Award in 1995.

In March 2022, Centrediscs and Naxos released his 20th album, Music of the City and the Stars, in which he performs the electric archtop guitar alongside the Quatuor Saguenay, composed of violinists Marie Bégin and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin, and cellist David Ellis. While the album is currently available on digital platforms, the physical copy will be released at the launch concert in Bandeen Hall at 8 p.m. on June 9th, 2022. Free tickets can be reserved at the Centennial Theatre box office and donations for humanitarian relief in Ukraine will be accepted at the door.

Music of the City and the Stars CD Cover

Music of the City and the Stars features two new compositions by Dr. MacDonald. The opening work, Lyra, is a musical examination of the constellation Lyra set in seven movements. The piece opens with Hermes’ invention of the lyre as his gift to Apollo, and follows it through the magical hands of Orpheus as he encounters the Argonauts, Eurydice, Hades, and finally the Bacchants. The work closes with Zeus placing the lyre in the heavens in memory of the great musical wizard. Exotic string writing and electronic effects applied to the guitar create an eerie and timeless atmosphere. The album’s companion work, Restless City, features both concerto-like exchanges and intimate expressive passages. Set in three substantial movements, this jazz-inspired composition pays homage to bebop legends Charlie Parker, Tadd Dameron and Thelonious Monk.

This work was made possible in part thanks to a Bishop’s Research and Creative Activity grant, which are funds awarded for clearly-defined research projects or creative activities likely to result in peer-reviewed dissemination.  Although the electric guitar and the string quartet are well represented in their respective repertoire fields, there is only a handful of compositions where they are heard together as one ensemble, explains Dr. MacDonald. One of the artistic questions I wished to investigate was how to successfully combine acoustic and electronic sonorities in a meaningful way. These two disparate sound worlds come together when the string quartet engages in extended bowing and pitch manipulation techniques while the guitar takes on electronic extensions of its sonority.

We hope to see you at Bandeen on June 9th!

Research Week 2022: Winners of the Student Competitions

At Bishop’s University, one way to showcase research is through the annual Research Week. Among other activities, from March 28 to April 1, the Office of Research and Graduates studies organized a showcase for our research activities, including a Research Poster and a Research Snapshot competition to highlight our talented student researchers. For both competitions, undergraduate and graduate students had to present a research project for which they made an active and significant contribution.

While posters were up all week in Centennial Lobby, the official public presentation of posters on March 31st was an opportunity for students participating in the Research Posters competition to practice presenting their research project in a conference or a meeting. Two prizes were awarded by the jury, and submissions were evaluated based on the content and layout of the posters.

In the category Undergraduate Students – Natural Sciences, the winner was Victoria Benny of the Department of Biological Sciences for the project Scent discrimination of antibiotic-treated and intact male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) by conspecifics. Thanks to an Undergraduate Research Assistantship – Plan Réussite award, Victoria was a research assistant of Dr. Marylène Boulet of the Department of Biological Sciences during the Winter 2022 semester. Victoria examined the effect of antibiotic treatment on the scent of healthy ring-tailed lemurs, highly social primates that communicate via scent secretion, by measuring the response their odorant generates in other lemurs. Such research allowed them to better understand scent perception in primates, which includes humans.

In the category Undergraduate Students – Social Sciences, Education and Business, the winner was Kyra Simons of the Department of Psychology for the project Gender differences in climate worry and parental role. Under the supervision of Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, Kyra examined gender differences in climate change worry and perceived parental role in Quebec parents. Intriguing considerations regarding future research were prompted through parent’s responses.

After the official public presentation of the posters, the Bishop’s community was invited to attend the Research Snapshots competition, during which participants had only three minutes to present their research project in a language accessible for the general public. Three prizes were awarded by the jury, and submissions were evaluated based on participants’ presentation and scientific communication skills, as well as the structure and content of their presentation.

In the category Undergraduate Students – Natural Sciences, the winner was Virginia Rufina Marquez-Pacheco of the Department of Physics & Astronomy for the project Understanding Accretion in Quasars. Quasars are extremely bright supermassive black holes in centers of galaxies that consume hot gas from their environment. Recently, some quasars were observed to dim very suddenly. Since the summer of 2021, under the supervision of Dr. John Ruan of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, Virginia has been working on understanding this newly found behavior using Ultraviolet and X-ray images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

In the category Undergraduate Students – Social Sciences, Education and Business, the winner was Audrey Richard of the Department of Psychology for the project Are you still watching? The antecedents and outcomes of binge-watching. Under the supervision of Dr. Courtney Plante of the Department of Psychology, Audrey examined the potential affective outcomes of binge-watching in terms of well-being whilst taking into consideration the viewer’s motivations to binge-watch and the differing phenomenology of the activity. Her findings highlight the importance to adopt a nuanced approach to understanding binge-watching, and the potential of an extended immersion into fictious universes in providing support to individuals.

In the category Graduate Students, the winner was Samuel Gagnon-Hartman of the Department of Physics & Astronomy for the project How fast is the Universe expanding, Really? Supervised by Dr. John Ruan of the Department of Physics & Astronomy and thanks to a Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M), Samuel is enabling a measurement of the expansion rate of the Universe using gravitational waves. This method suffers from biases which Samuel is working to correct using advanced methods in statistics and machine learning.

Research is a fundamental part of Bishop’s University’s mandate. Our student and faculty researchers contribute, and must continue to contribute to the generation of new knowledge, to mobilizing this knowledge to relevant community partners and research users and, in doing so, contribute to innovation and economic development of the region, province and country. Congratulations to our winners, and to all the participants. Thank you for showcasing the amazing research taking place at Bishop’s. You can read more about Research Week in the April edition of The Campus.

From left to right, Victoria Benny and Kyra Simons won the Research Poster competition.
Richard Marquez Pacheco Gagnon Hartman
From left to right, Audrey Richard, Virginia Rufina Marquez-Pacheco and Samuel Gagnon-Hartman won the Research Snapshot competition.

Mobilizing Bishop’s University Knowledge in Partnership with The Conversation Thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund (RSF) of the Government of Canada is a program that provides funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research Support Fund grants are based on the funding received by researchers from the three federal agencies in the three most recent years for which data are available. One major objective of the RSF is to help promote knowledge mobilization, the act of transforming knowledge into action. Bishop’s University is committed to knowledge mobilization, which is reflected in our Research Strategic Plan. Bishop’s student and faculty researchers contribute and must continue to contribute to the generation of new knowledge, to mobilizing this knowledge to relevant community partners and users of the research and, in doing so, contribute to innovation and economic development of the region, province and country.

The Conversation logo

Funds from the RSF are helping Bishop’s University increase the impact of our research through a membership in The Conversation Canada. Launched in 2017, The Conversation Canada/La Conversation Canada is a daily independent online source of news and views, from the academic and research community, delivering analysis and explanatory journalism directly to the public. To be published by The Conversation, you must be currently employed as a researcher or academic with a university or university-affiliated research institution. Professional editors work with academics and researchers to make their knowledge accessible and free to a wider public. In 2021, more than 500 media outlets around the world republished The Conversation Canada articles in Canada and beyond. Publishing in The Conversation often leads to further outreach, such as providing research expertise to media outlets to comment on current events.

Since 2018, Bishop’s University researchers have published 42 articles with The Conversation. The reach of these articles extended to more than 800,000 views – an average of more than 19,000 views per article. All authors have access to an analytics dashboard that illustrates the impact of their articles, an invaluable tool to demonstrate knowledge mobilization activities, an increasingly important element in grant applications. On his experience publishing with The Conversation, Dr. David Webster of the Department of History and Global Studies has this to say: I have had thousands of reads and lots of engagement with my research through The Conversation. It offers a splendid chance to reach the public and excellent editing help. In the age of paywalls, The Conversation is a terrific example of opening access to research findings.

Interested in publishing with The Conversation? On April 6, 2022, at noon, come and meet Editor-in-Chief Scott White who will explain the mission of The Conversation Canada, offer some background on how it helps academics with knowledge mobilization and give some tips on how to pitch a really great story idea. This is an interactive workshop where participants are encouraged to bring story ideas to discuss. No registration required: Click here to join the meeting

Undergraduate Student Accepted in Prestigious International Summer Training Program

Jaeden Bardati is a Physics Honours student with double minors in Mathematics and Computer Science, and is the co-founder and co-lead of Bishop’s Astronomy, Mathematics, & Physics Society (AMPS). For the summer 2022, Jaeden has been accepted into the very selective PSI START program at the prestigious Perimeter Institute.

Jaeden Bardati

The Perimeter Institute is a leading center for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics. Located in Ontario, its mission is to advance our understanding of the universe at the most fundamental level, stimulating the breakthroughs that could transform our future. Perimeter also trains the next generation of physicists through innovative programs.

For their international PSI START program (Perimeter Scholars International – Students’ Training Accelerator for Research in Theory), they invite 50 students to a part-time 10-week online school in theoretical physics. During this training, Jaeden will learn research tools and collaboration skills while immersed in the multi-disciplinary environment of the world’s largest independent theoretical physics research centre.

Jaeden was also one of ten students worldwide to be offered a paid internship at the Perimeter Institute next summer, a chance to be fully immersed in Perimeter’s renowned research environment and work on projects alongside Perimeter researchers. However, Jaeden decided to decline this internship offer to continue working with Dr. John Ruan of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.

Jaeden started doing research on supermassive black holes with Dr. Ruan during the summer of 2021, thanks to an Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). In his research, Jaeden is using cosmological simulations of galaxy formation to develop new approaches to identifying the host galaxy counterparts of supermassive black hole mergers detected in low-frequency gravitational waves.

This summer, thanks to a second NSERC USRA award, Jaeden, under the supervision of Dr. Ruan, will complete this project and plans to write his first scientific paper on the topic. He will also be provided the opportunity to present the results of this project at scientific meetings. I am very grateful and excited to be a part of these great opportunities. I look forward to learning more about theoretical topics in physics while continuing to be a part of Dr. Ruan’s amazing research team, says Jaeden. In the fall of 2023, after completing his undergraduate degree at Bishop’s University, Jaeden plans on attending graduate school in Physics. Due to Bishops’ great physics faculty and all the research opportunities that a smaller university brings, I am confident that my undergraduate degree is preparing me with the tools and knowledge to be successful in graduate school.

Dr. Sunny Lau is Appointed Canada Research Chair in Integrated Plurilingual Teaching and Learning

On Saturday, February 19, 10:30 a.m., Bishop’s University officially announced the appointment of Dr. Sunny Lau, Associate Professor at the School of Education, as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Plurilingual Teaching and Learning. To begin the event, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau et The Honourable Geneviève Hébert said a few words. Then, Dr. Lau and her colleague Dr. Geneviève Brisson from the Département de pédagogie de l’Université de Sherbrooke, offered a workshop for parents who are interested in supporting their children’s second language learning at home. The bilingual workshop (mostly English and French) aims to introduce and demonstrate strategies to use stories as means to promote children’s love for reading and their critical literacy and thinking across languages. This activity has been recorded and is available on the Canada Research Chair in Integrated Plurilingual Teaching and Learning web page.

Not everyone learns the same way. When it comes to learning a new language, being able to compare it to and make connections with a language you already know can enhance understanding and promote effective learning. Thus, having a teacher who might not speak all the languages but knows how to support students to make cross-language connections can facilitate the learning. This is what we call plurilingual education: the use of students’ plurilingual and pluricultural resources in the classroom to promote the use of transferable language strategies and knowledge for more in-depth learning.

In the Eastern Townships and elsewhere in Canada, the number of students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French is rapidly increasing. When learning English or French as a second (or even third) language, those students can benefit from plurilingual teaching which allows them to see the relevance of their languages and cultures in the learning of the target language(s) and subject content.

As Canada Research Chairholder in Integrated Plurilingual Teaching and Learning, Dr. Sunny Lau aims to bring plurilingual teaching and learning to Canada’s classroom. Dr. Lau’s research highlights how language strategies used in one language can be applied in another language for more in-depth learning, and how this helps lessen the fear of acquiring a second or even third language.  “Many immigrant learners have competence in more than one language and culture, but these resources are often not being fully recognized and mobilized by teachers in language and content area classrooms,” explains Dr. Lau. “Most of these students are already plurilingual in the sense that they have competence in more than one language, and students are constantly making links to languages they know and use language strategies and learning strategies that they have to help themselves learn a new language.” 

In collaboration with her research team and with English and French teachers, Dr. Lau develops plurilingual teaching methods that embrace the use of different languages in the classroom and answer the needs of diverse learners. Dr. Lau’s research will also contribute to the training of teachers and help reconfigure schools’ curriculum in Quebec, Canada and beyond.

Please visit Dr. Sunny Lau Canada Research Chair web page for more information on her research.

Fannie Gaudette: First Solo Album

Bishop’s contract faculty also widely contributes to incredible creative activities. Classically-trained pianist, Fannie Gaudette has been teaching courses in the Department of Music since 2004, and took over the direction of the Bishop’s University Singers in 2014. She worked as co-musical director for numerous Bishop’s Musical productions and directs the music program at Champlain Regional College.

On February 16, 2022, she will launch her first solo album L’invention humaine, as a composer, pianist and performer and will debut it at Bishop’s Centennial Theatre on February 19, accompanied by two percussionists and a string section including Philippe Dunnigan on violin (Céline Dion’s concert master) and BU faculty Dr. Mathieu Désy on double bass. Her original compositions have been inspired by the words of Townships poet Normand Achim.

Fannie’s creative project has been made possible through various grants. She received an Explore and Create -Research and Creation grant ($14,000) and an Explore and Create – Research and Creation – Concept to Realization grant ($50,900) from the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s public arts funder. The Research and Creation grant supported the initial stages of her creative process, while the Concept to Realization grant supported the full creative cycle, from the initial idea through to presentation, at any stage of the creative continuum. Fannie also received a Creation grant ($40,000) from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, which funds those who shape Québec’s cultural identity and make it shine. This grant provides assistance for the creation of works and projects, to help develop an artistic practice. My whole experience at Bishop’s prepared me for this new creative adventure, says Fannie Gaudette. I am thrilled to perform my launch concert at home in Centennial Theatre.

You can check out Fannie Gaudette’s first music video from that album La faiblesse on Youtube.

You can buy tickets for Fannie Gaudette’s show L’invention humaine at Centennial Theatre on February 19, 2022, 8:00 p.m. on this link.

Follow Fannie on Facebook – Fanniemusique.


Graduate Research at Bishop’s: Fondation Arbour Master’s Scholarship Awardee

Established in 2005 by the late Pierre Arbour, La Fondation Arbour supports Master’s and Doctoral students in the academic disciplines of Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Administration, which the Foundation considers fundamental to the health and vibrancy of the economy of Quebec.

La Fondation Arbour is partnered with nine universities in Quebec, including Bishop’s. To be considered, students must complete an application which is first vetted by their university. Selected applications are then forwarded to the Foundation which interviews candidates in person and scholarship recipients are selected via a merit-based competitive process. The Foundation looks for academic excellence in ambitious and deserving students who have had to overcome personal and professional difficulties on their educational path.

Anthony Sanogo was awarded a $13,000 scholarship by the Fondation Arbour to pursue a MSc. in Computer Science at BU. Anthony Sanogo was an ideal candidate, and he becomes the first Bishop’s student to be awarded a prestigious Fondation Arbour scholarship. A Montreal native, Sanogo has overcome several obstacles on his path toward graduate education. His persistence led him to Bishop’s where he triumphed both academically and socially, playing for the Gaiters basketball team and embodying the Bishop’s experience. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he enrolled in the MSc. in Computer Science program here at Bishop’s. Sanogo ultimately wants to work in the cloud computing sector of IT before starting his own IT consulting firm. The support from the Fondation Arbour and Bishop’s University are instrumental in helping him to achieve these goals.

Improving Research Data Management at Bishop’s, thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund (RSF) of the Government of Canada is a program that provides funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research Support Fund grants are based on the funding received by researchers from the three federal agencies in the three most recent years for which data are available. The RSF contributes to the salaries and benefits of employees who support the federally funded research enterprise, including the staff working in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS), the Library Learning Commons (LLC) and the Information and Technology Services (ITS). It also contributes to the tools and informational resources necessary to carry out Bishop’s research programs, for example library resources, software and other digital tools, computing and network infrastructure, and research data sets.

Thanks to the RSF, the ORGS can work collaboratively with the LLC and ITS to develop Bishop’s new policy on Research Data Management (RDM), in compliance with the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. RDM involves the active organization and maintenance of data throughout the research process, and suitable archiving of the data at the project’s completion. It is an on-going activity throughout the data lifecycle.

The three federal granting agencies that promote and support research in Canada believe that research data collected through the use of public funds should be responsibly and securely managed and be, where ethical, legal and commercial obligations allow, available for reuse by others. To this end, each postsecondary institution and research hospital eligible to administer funds from those agencies is required to create an institutional RDM strategy by March 1, 2023. The LLC recently hired a new resource, Mathieu Cloutier, to support the development of this RDM strategy and help researchers with their data management plans. This working group will set the stage for a digital data deposit where grant recipients will be able to share relevant research data and code. In the implementation of this policy, the RSF will also support improved information resources and professional development training in the coming months.

Yaffle: Discover Bishop’s New Knowledge Brokering Tool

YaffleIn Spring 2021, thanks to Research Impact Canada, Bishop’s University was selected to become the first expansion of Yaffle, a powerful knowledge mobilization platform. Developed at Memorial University and launched in 2009, Yaffle is a cloud-based online public engagement tool that serves as a searchable repository of expertise and research projects. It is also a tool for brokering research collaboration opportunities between research institutions, other sectors and the public, as it acts as a window for the public to and from our institution. Any new instances of Yaffle that will be created will be searchable and able to communicate with each other, allowing for inter-university collaboration.

It is thus with great pleasure that the Office of Research and Graduate Studies can now announce the launch of our own instance of Yaffle. Starting December 8, 2021, members of the Bishop’s Community will be able to start exploring Yaffle. Members of the Bishop’s University research community will be invited by internal communications to complete their information for BU Yaffle.

The type of content that you will find in Yaffle includes:

Profiles are where a user’s information resides in the system. Customizable to your liking, it can include research interests, contact information, affiliations, expertise, projects, opportunities, and collaboration. The profiles will be searchable within the platform and can be filtered, making it easy for users to find individuals with expertise in a specific area of interest.

Projects are the activities of the users. Projects may include research, engagement, programs or publications- the sky’s the limit! Projects make the complex work of universities and research institutes available and usable to the public.

Opportunities are where it is open to collaboration. This includes research collaborations, searches for partnerships (academic or community), or ideas for engagement. It is through opportunities that Yaffle connects people and facilitates the co-creation of knowledge.

Networks can be created to form clusters of individuals working around specific topics or areas of interest. It is a way for groups to demonstrate their reach through the people with whom they collaborate and the work that they do.  Users can create content at any time, which will then need to be approved by the admins before it is published to the website.

To help you navigate this new platform, our knowledge brokering intern Salma Amazit is preparing a series of video tutorials that will be available here. We invite you to start exploring the platform, and join Salma on January 19, 12:00 p.m. (link on MyBU – Research Office) for an information and Q&A session on all things Yaffle!