Celebrating our 1st 50 Years

As part of the University of Lethbridge’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 2017, the Faculty of Arts and Science launched a social media campaign called “50 Big Ideas” which was delivered via Twitter. Below, you will find a list of the exciting, interesting and maybe even unusual initiatives and activities that have helped shape the Faculty of Arts & Science for our first 50 years.

As one of the founding faculties at the University of Lethbridge, and the largest, our contributions have facilitated growth and aided in the evolution of the University of Lethbridge. Our impact is felt on campus and worldwide, through the many voices of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and academic partners.

The University of Lethbridge is poised to make increasingly significant contributions to society through research, innovation, and teaching over the next 50 years. We take pride in our collective achievements and feel exhilarated about the future of our University as well as the Faculty of Arts & Science’s role in that future.​

Week #50 - Friday, December 22, 2017
As the 50th anniversary of the University of Lethbridge draws to a close, there is still something to look forward to: the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association left its own legacy for the future in 1985 with the creation of a time capsule. The capsule, buried in the Aperture sculpture on campus, contained, among other items, an endowment certificate estimated to be worth more than $2 million by 2067, the centennial year of The University of Lethbridge. Letters from Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Premier Peter Lougheed, University President John Woods and Lethbridge Mayor A.C. “Andy” Anderson were also included, as well as copies of campus newspapers and an enrollment sheet. Only another 50 years to go!​

Week #49 - Friday, December 15, 2017
In celebration of uLethbridge’s 50th Anniversary, the Faculty of Arts & Science offered a total of $50,000 in awards to first-year university students (new high school graduates). There were five awards, worth $10,000 each, given to qualifying students enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) program. The students were selected based on high school academic performance, financial need and uniqueness of personal circumstances. We caught up with all five students to see how their first semester has been, and how they have settled into university life. Read more about the award recipients here.

Week #48 - Friday, December 8, 2017
The First Nations' Transition Program (FNTP) is a successful tertiary enabling program for Aboriginal students who wish to pursue a university education but who may not be fully admissible to the University of Lethbridge or who have been away from academics for some time. As a first year credit program it provides Aboriginal students, with a solid foundation of core courses and skills in a supportive cohort environment that attends to Aboriginal ways of knowing and learning (AWKL) and creates bridges to western education through a Two-Eyed Seeing way. In addition to foundational courses, the program provides cultural and peer support, advising, academic skills development and creates a community of learners and a positive first year experience and positions students for success in further undergraduate studies of their choice. Studies of the FNTP have proven that Aboriginal students who enter the U of L through the FNTP are retained to graduations at a significantly higher rate than any university student. Students in the FNTP have received many prestigious awards and have been highly recognized in their accomplishments. When space permits, those who qualify for general admission may also access the FNTP.

“If all Aboriginal students came to university through the FNTP, we would have more of our people getting degrees. I never thought I could go to university but succeeding in the FNTP with all the supports showed me I can. I know I will succeed at my dream now. I’m so excited.” (FNTP student, 2016).

Week #47 - Friday, December 1, 2017
The Department of Women & Gender Studies questions the meanings and significance of contemporary gender relations and their histories across class, race, nation, cultures and histories. It is the study of how societies understand and regulate gender. Answers to many questions are sought, such as: What are the contemporary debates about gender identities? What does it mean to be a gendered subject? How do the lives and opportunities of women and men differ? Why are changing expressions of gender and sexuality controversial? How do we understand social marginalization exclusion and inclusion?

The department offers the opportunity to explore these and other issues through a wide range of perspectives where students will develop critical thinking skills as well as learn theory as practice. In this environment students will explore gender dynamics in popular culture, daily lives, medical discoveries and political developments.

Week #46 - Friday, November 24, 2017
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary, an oral history project was launched, entitled the 50 Voices Project. Sponsored by the Centre for Oral History and Tradition, the project presents audio clips and photographs extracted from new interviews and from the 1st Generation Oral History Project of people from all walks of life that contributed to the success of the University. Through 50 voices — those of the founders, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, community and supporters — the project has created a kaleidoscope of 50 histories. Learn more about the 50 Voices project here.

Week #45 - Friday, November 17, 2017
Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition which challenges research higher degree students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. 3MT is an exercise forcing students to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries.

The first 3MT competition held at uLethbridge was in 2014 as part of the Graduate Students’ Association Meeting of the Minds conference. The 2017 3MT competition winner was neuroscience graduate student Mashal Fida, who presented on her work entitled Sex Differences in Spatial Navigation Using a Novel Tabletop Navigation Task.  

Week #44 - Friday, November 10, 2017
The Indigenous Students’ Union (ISU) is one of the oldest student clubs at the University of Lethbridge. The membership is composed primarily of FNMI students with a small contingent of non-Native members who are interested in promoting inter-cultural relations at the university, unity amongst club members and to provide members with a stronger voice at the University. The club hosts many social events throughout the year, including potlucks, dinner theatre, Native Awareness Week, the Native Career Fair, Native Graduation ceremonies and many more. ISU has a proud history and is intent on working towards a proud future.

Week #43 - Friday, November 3, 2017
Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE) researchers are analyzing water resources, including natural science analyses of watersheds, and water quantity and quality; and overlapping social science investigations related to aspects such as water policy and economics. The studies often investigate water resources and river systems of western North America, including the Saskatchewan River Basin and adjacent watersheds. The investigations consider fundamental aspects of water science, as well as applied science and management directed towards the simultaneous goals of environmental health and socioeconomic prosperity.

Some of the objectives of WISE include establishing uLethbridge as a nationally recognized centre for water research and training, cultivating a range of water experts who can engage in the communication and translation of research outcomes, encourage an increased blending of research and teaching activities related to water science and water management, and many more.

WISE researchers at the University were even able to collaborate with visiting Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair Dr. Bryan Brooks, a professor of environmental science and biomedical studies at Baylor University’s College of Arts & Science, who came to the university in January 2014.

Week #42 - Friday, October 27, 2017
Since the University of Lethbridge’s founding in 1967, students have worked alongside professors, engaging in research, discovery and creativity.

Today, the U of L is recognized as a research-intensive university with a focus on both undergraduate and graduate education. In less than half a century, the U of L has built an outstanding record of research performance, and is one of Canada’s top-three undergraduate research universities (RE$EARCH Infosource, 2013). 

In the 2012-2017 Research Plan, the U of L identified five research themes that confirm our unique identity within the Canadian university landscape, and set the stage to advance our national and international reputation of research excellence: creativity & performance, Earth & environment, healthy futures, organizations, culture & society and origins & explorations.

Researchers and students have access to exceptional research tools, facilities and infrastructure that support the breadth of scholarship that defines our University.

Week #41 - Friday, October 20, 2017
The Institute for Child & Youth Studies (I-CYS) is a multidisciplinary research institute committed to examining what children and youth mean as social, demographic, artistic, legal, and existential categories. I-CYS is also a community-building project. Through events, e-newsletter, and website, I-CYS foster conversations and collaborations that cross the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines, while creating links between scholars, practitioners, and community members. Their aim is to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research – both curiosity- and policy-driven – about young people. The Raising Spirit project by the Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society, and supported by I-CYS, has received a Canada 150 grant worth $10,000 that will allow it to undertake a series of workshops that culminated in a public exhibit at Casa in September.

Week #40 - Friday, October 13, 2017
The inaugural convocation of the University of Lethbridge was held on May 18, 1968 in Southminster United Church and conferred degrees on 32 students. It included the installation of both Chancellor L.S. Turcotte, and President and Vice-Chancellor W.A.S. Smith. During the next five years, convocation was held in various city churches and once in the Exhibition Pavilion. The ceremony was moved to the Physical Education Building in 1972 and has been held on campus ever since. Since 1968, the U of L has conferred degrees on over 40,000 students who are now proud members of the Alumni Association and who now make their homes in Lethbridge and else in the world.

Week #39 - Friday, October 6, 2017
Each year, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry hosts the Chinook Symposium, a conference showcasing the research being done by undergraduate, MSc and PhD students. Students present their original research at the conference, which includes a judged poster presentation. The symposium recognizes the undergraduate and graduate students who are performing leading-edge research in Chemistry and Biochemistry, as they compete for cash prizes at all levels. The winners in the PhD event move on and give oral presentations in a separate event. This year’s symposium, now in its 11th year, will be held Friday, Oct 20, 2017 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the uHall Atrium.

Week #38 - Friday, September 29, 2017
The University of Lethbridge is renowned for its contributions to research. This is especially true when it comes to Canada Research Chairs (CRC). Established in 2000 by the Government of Canada, the CRC program strives to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. There are two types of CRCs: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for 7 years and renewable, are earmarked for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for 5 years and renewable once, are for emerging scholars that have the potential to lead in their field. The Faculty of Arts & Science currently has 10 professors  Current chairholders are as follows:
-Dr. Andrew Iwaniuk (Neuroscience/Tier 2)
-Dr. Kristine Alexander (History/Tier 2)
-Dr. Louise Barrett (Psychology/Tier 1)
-Dr. Henning Bjornlund (Economics/Tier 2)
-Dr. Claudia Gonzalez (Kinesiology & Physical Education/Tier 2)
-Dr. Alice Hontela (Biological Sciences/Tier 1)
-Dr. Locke Spencer (Physics & Astronomy/Tier 2)
-Dr. Susan McDaniel (Sociology/Tier 1)
-Dr. Joseph Rasmussen (Biological Sciences/Tier 1)
-Dr. Stacey Wetmore (Chemistry & Biochemistry/Tier 2)

Week #37 - Friday, September 22, 2017
The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy is a world-class, University-wide, global research centre focussing on big-picture issues of global population and economic change. It is multidisciplinary in the development of new knowledge, in consideration of policy options, and in guiding global individuals as they navigate a rapidly changing world.

The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy was created by an endowment in December 2006 when John Prentice, a Calmar, Alberta based agri-business entrepreneur, award-winning agrologist, and industry leader, provided the University of Lethbridge with a gift of $8.25 million. This donation was the largest single monetary gift the University had ever received. The original donation has since been added to, with the endowment now standing at approximately $10 million.

The Institution became fully operational in mid-2009 with the hiring of Dr. Susan A. McDaniel. At the time of Dr. McDaniel’s appointment, Dr. Alexander Darku and Dr. Trevor Harrison, who was interim director 2006 to 2009, were appointed as Associate Directors. Together they and McDaniel began the strategic hiring of outstanding staff, recruitment of excellent graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and the building of collaborations with researchers across disciplines at the University of Lethbridge, throughout Canada, and around the world. The Prentice Seed Grant Program has been created to facilitate the Research Affiliates in the development of major external grant applications. Prentice Institute research has grown synergistically; many of the Prentice Research Affiliates have developed research teams together, received significant research funding from external funding agencies, and published their research in highly visible journals and with prestigious presses. Prentice researchers have published dozens of books, hundreds of research articles and book chapters as well as dozens of research reports and public outreach articles. For more information, visit their website.

Week #36 - Friday, September 15, 2017
Building on the successful Public Professor column in the Lethbridge Herald, which was co-edited by Dan Johnson and James Linville, the PUBlic Professor Lecture Series are built on the style of Café Scientifique to provide insight into issues of popular interest to the general public, and in turn provoke questions and encourage an open dialogue.

Now in its fourth season, the series’ popularity continues to grow each year and is a great way for the Faculty of Arts & Science to showcase the immense talent that is found throughout the various departments. Lecture topics range from the sciences, social sciences and humanities and embody the liberal education foundation of the U of L. To find out the talk dates and details, visit the website.

Week #35 - Friday, September 8, 2017
On September 11, 1967 more than 650 students attended the first day of classes at the new University of Lethbridge. The highly debated and much - anticipated University was the culmination of five years of effort by local citizens. After a government announcement in 1966 proclaiming Lethbridge as the site of Alberta's third University, the final steps were taken to turn a dream into reality.
In 2017, the University of Lethbridge has over 8,300 undergraduate students – a drastic difference since its opening 50 years ago.

Week #34 - Friday, September 1, 2017
The Shine on Summer Festival is taking place from September 1-3, 2017 at the
U of L Community Stadium in celebration of the university’s 50th anniversary. A three-day festival, it encompasses alumni activities, a community concert, and a free community fair highlighting arts, culture, food and beverage, song and dance and sporting events for all ages.

This one-time only celebration of music and culture embodies the community spirit of the university. For complete details, visit the website

Week #33 - Friday, August 25, 2017
The University of Lethbridge, in partnership with a group of local radiologists, has created a world-class research and diagnostic imaging facility. With the arrival of a new Siemens Skyra 3 Tesla MAGNETOM one of the best human clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners in the world, the facility housed in the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience can now provide state of the art imaging techniques for U of L research. This complete MRI system will enable our facility to perform a very wide range of non-invasive experiments. Some of the applications possible, to enumerate a few: functional MRI(fMRI) with an AVOTEC system for presentation protocols for brain activity and connectivity measurements, MR spectroscopy (single voxel, 2D and 3D with the afferent analysis tools) for specific brain metabolites tracing, non-contrast Diffusion weighted(DW) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging(DTI) with structural white matter fibres tracking capability, Susceptibility Weighted Imaging, T1 and T2 Relaxation time measurements and analysis, and last but not least particular imaging techniques for segmentation and parcellation of the entire brain volume. MRI is a wonderful tool for research as it provides high contrast anatomical images and detailed physiological and biochemical information from human subjects. It is greatly suited for the study of human brain, human disease evolution and processes in general, as well as obtaining a better understanding of human brain structure and function, connectivity and its behaviour in particular.

The presence of this new machine in our facility will greatly expand the research possibilities for faculty and students at the University of Lethbridge, as well as provide clinical scanning for Southern Alberta patients wishing to pay for a private MRI scan. It opens the door for new generations of researchers to grow and investigate new areas in Neuroscience, Psychology and Health Sciences, right here in our own university.

Week #32 - Friday, August 18, 2017
The Applied Statistics program at the University of Lethbridge came into existence in the 2015/16 academic year. In 2017, as the University of Lethbridge celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Applied Statistics program celebrates its first graduates.

Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Application of statistical techniques is an essential part of decision making and study in a wide range of disciplines such as astronomy, biology, education, economics, geography, engineering, genetics, marketing, medicine, psychology, public health, and sports. In a world that is increasingly data-driven, education in statistical methods is essential to the process of extracting critical knowledge from that data. The applied statistics program emphasizes this interaction of statistical theory and statistical application. Students in the program combine their study of statistical theory and statistical methods with applications in a discipline of interest. Possible areas of concentration include Economics, Geography, and Psychology.

In 2009, Google’s chief economist Hal Varian told the New York Times “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. And I’m not kidding.” As the Applied Statistics program enters its third year there is already considerable interest among students and significant opportunities for growth in the program. It is an exciting time for everyone involved.

Week #31 - Friday, August 11, 2017
Asian Studies is an emerging program at the University of Lethbridge. Interest in Asia, exchange programs with universities in Asia, and cultural influences from Asia have much deeper roots at the university and in the larger community. Professors contributing to Asian Studies span multiple departments with a range of disciplinary approaches as well as diverse research and teaching interests focused on various eras and areas in Asia. 

Students can learn more about Asian history, geography, literature, religion, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, politics, economics, global health, gender, and social issues both while studying abroad and right here at the U of L. The minor in Asian Studies at the university helps our students to discover the rich array of courses, speakers, exchange programs, and faculty research areas connected to Asia.

Week #30 - Friday, August 4, 2017
The Individualized Multidisciplinary Major is a unique addition to the School of Graduate Studies and the University of Lethbridge.

This graduate program allows students to do research and works to facilitate critical dialogues across academic disciplinary areas. The program provides students with a range of theories and methods specific to their research interests and is designed to provide an inimitable graduate experience in both the arts and the sciences.

Week #29 - Friday, July 28, 2017
uLethbridge has a dual admission initiative with College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, British Columbia. The purpose of this initiative is to provide a seamless transition for students to begin their academic career at college and then transfer to the U of L with assurance that courses will transfer for credit. Dually admitted COTR students are guaranteed a spot in one of the eligible degree programs at uLethbridge and after two years at COTR, finish their academic career with a BA, BSc or BASc from the university.

Week #28 - Friday, July 21, 2017
The U of L has enjoyed a reciprocal relationship with Hokkai-Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan for more than 30 years. Exchange students experience a broad range of Japanese traditional cultural activities during their stay. Hokkai-Gakuen University has faculties in the Humanities, Economics, Law, Business Administration and Engineering.

Since 1986, students from Hokkai-Gakuen and the U of L have visited in alternating years for a month each summer. This exchange is believed to be the longest running Japanese-Canadian exchange program of its kind. While in Lethbridge, Japanese students receive English language training and experience Canadian culture and heritage. In Japan, Canadian students spend the morning in Japanese language training and lectures on various topics of Japanese life. In the afternoon the students are exposed to Japanese cultural exploration activities including origami, calligraphy, pottery and judo & kendo demonstrations. To learn more, visit the International Centre for Students in SU047 or email them.

Week #27 - Friday, July 14, 2017
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science participates annually in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), the biggest computer science academic contest for university students in the world. Dr. Howard Cheng, a professor in the department, has coached the student teams since 2003. The department also participates annually at the regional contest and often rank top 5 in recent years. More recently, the team advanced to the World Finals in 2013 (St. Petersburg) and 2014 (Ekaterinburg) as one of a handful of Canadian universities at the world stage. In 2013, they were second in a separate artificial intelligence competition (the ICPC Challenge) at the World Finals.                                                    

Former MSc student Mohammad Akbari also competed in a separate competition with colleague Hossein Naseri. Under the mentorship of Dr. Cheng, the duo competed in the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation competition. Their project, called claVision, was a computer vision application that automatically transcribes music from a video of the piano performance.  The team was the 2014 National Winner in the Innovation Category, and was one of the top 11 teams chosen to participate in the 2014 World Finals in Seattle.

Week #26 - Friday, July 7, 2017
The U of L will soon be home to a new science and academic building – the Destination Project – a place for community engagement and outreach; a place with innovation laboratories where undergraduate and graduate research opportunities develop; where knowledge moves from the lab to industry; a place that fosters the next generation of researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.

The result will add 36,000 square metres to the campus footprint, but more importantly, the Destination Project will help define the University’s direction for the future. It will advance our region and province, providing incredible opportunities for generations to come.

Week #25 - Friday, June 30, 2017
The School of Graduate Studies was established in 2000 and the first graduate degree was awarded in the School of Health Sciences. The first doctoral degrees were granted in 2004. The recipients of these degrees were Drs. Robbin Gibb and Lisa Thomson in the field of neuroscience and Dr. Claudia Gonzalez in kinesiology. Dr. Gibb and Dr. Gonzalez currently teach and conduct research at the University of Lethbridge.

2004 is also when the U of L began awarding PhD degrees University of Lethbridge begins awarding PhD degrees in Bio-molecular Science, Biosystems and Biodiversity, Earth, Space and Physical Science, Evolution and Behaviour, and Computational Sciences. The opportunities for students in the Faculty of Arts and Science continue to grow!

Week #24 - Friday, June 23, 2017
The International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is something students from uLethbridge’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry are involved with every year. Through this competition, students are exposed to the interdisciplinary approach of combining the field of synthetic biology with other disciplines such as computational modelling, design, ethics, management (small business development) and new media. iGEM encourages students to solve real-world challenges by building genetically engineered biological systems with standard, interchangeable parts. Student teams design, build and test their projects over the summer and gather to present their work and compete at the annual Jamboree, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

At the most recent Jamboree in October 2016, the uLethbridge iGEM team won a gold medal for characterizing the microbial community within ambulances and then developing an intuitive antibody-based strip test for real-time monitoring of the vehicles’ cleanliness. This was the 4th consecutive year that the team received a gold medal.   

Week #23 - Friday, June 16, 2017
Nearly every year since 1987, faculty members in the Faculty of Arts & Science have been the recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award, an award that celebrates teaching excellence at uLethbridge. This award speaks to the caliber of faculty at the university, as well as their dedication to ensuring the students receive the best education possible. Recipients are awarded at the end of the Spring semester each year, reflecting on their success over the previous academic year.

Week #22 - Friday, June 9, 2017
The Centre for Oral History and Tradition (COHT) seeks to further excellence in the practice of oral history in our academic milieu and in the southern Alberta community at large, and provide a portal or link to the outer research world.

One of the main goals of COHT has been to connect university and southern Albertan oral historians. Partnerships, such as that with the Galt Museum & Archives, are a key part in the group’s commitment to community outreach. Ways in which COHT participates in community outreach include public events, conferences and workshops. For more information, visit the website.

Week #21 - Friday, June 2, 2017
The Speaker Medal for Distinguished Research, Scholarship or Performance (Speaker Research Award) was established at uLethbridge in December 1994 by Chancellor Ingrid Speaker under the auspices of the President. The medal is in recognition of the central importance of research, scholarship and performance to the philosophy and goals of the University. The first medal was awarded in May 1995.

Week #20 - Friday, May 26, 2017
ASPIRE (Arts & Science Programs Inspiring Research & Exploration) at the University of Lethbridge will target different disciplines and different age groups in year-round activities with the common aim of promoting ASPIRE and educating children and youth as the leaders of tomorrow. We aim to provide opportunities for experiences, learning, mentoring and enhancing the education experience of all students leading to life-long learning and careers in their chosen field. Through experiential, do-it-yourself science and other activities we will provide children and youth with opportunities which lead a natural progression towards research and innovation. Using inclusive, cross-cultural activities we will inspire, engage and spark the curiosity for lifelong learning in the people of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta.

Week #19 - Friday, May 19, 2017
Each year, the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union formally recognizes and honours teaching excellence at the University of Lethbridge. The Students’ Union aims to do this by offering students an avenue for nominating a professor, sessional staff or lab instructor who has shown outstanding efforts to increase the learning experience of their students.

The Teaching Excellence Award is based solely on teaching excellence and will be presented up to three instructors that meet the award criteria. All undergraduate students are eligible to nominate an instructor for the award. A student who wishes to nominate an instructor will be required to complete a letter of support outlining how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in teaching and the nomination form below. The annual nomination deadline is March 31st at 4:30 and must be dropped off at the Students' Union Office (SU180) or emailed to su.academic@uleth.ca.

Nearly every year, the winners of the Teaching Excellence Award have been members of the Faculty of Arts & Science. This in itself is an impressive feat and speaks to the quality of instructors found in the Faculty. In fact, one of the 2017 winners of the award was Dr. Gideon Fujiwara (Department of History).

Week #18 - Friday, May 12, 2017
Since 1967, the University of Lethbridge has had 7 Fellows elected into the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), which was established in 1883 as Canada's National Academy to recognize academic and artistic excellence. The objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities and the natural and social sciences. All of those elected have been from the Faculty of Arts & Science. To be nominated for membership into the Society is an honour in itself, and for the Faculty to have had 7 of its members elected is a clear indication of the calibre of professors and researchers here at the University.

Week #17 - Friday, May 5, 2017
Since September 2015, high school students at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) have been earning both high school and university credits through a dual credit initiative (DCI). This initiative allows students to take university courses as part of their usual high school schedule, earning credits at both the high school and post-secondary level. Two courses were offered at the outset of the program: Supply Chain Management 1850 and Liberal Education 1000, a version of the same one that has been offered at the U of L for years.

The students — most are in Grade 11— get together for two lectures and three labs each week. In addition, the students receive several workshops to develop their information literacy skills and introduce them to doing library research. The course explores knowledge across disciplines, including the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and fine arts. Now in its second year, the Dual Credits Initiative is an excellent opportunity to engage local high school students with the University and its outstanding faculty.

Week #16 - Friday, April 28, 2017
2017 will mark the 15th annual Research in Religious Studies conference, which attracts student presenters from across Western Canada and beyond. In past years presenters have attended from as far afield as Newfoundland, the southern US and Belgium. The conference typically accepts about 40 papers from within the social sciences and humanities, pertaining to any facet of the study of religion. This year's conference will be held on April 28-30, 2017. Find out more here.

Week #15 - Friday, April 21, 2017
University of Lethbridge students have been participating in archaeological field schools in Israel for over 30 years. Dr. Walter Aufrecht (U of L emeritus) and Dr. Bruce MacKay (Department of Liberal Education) took students to Tel Miqne, now identified as the ancient Philistine city of Ekron, between 1985 and 1996. Dr. Shawn Bubel (Department of Geography) was one of those students and is now the U of L instructor of the Tel Beth-Shemesh field school. Since 2003, she has taught more than 160 U of L students at the site. Plans are underway for this year's field school which is taking place from June 4 to July 14, 2017.

Students, faculty, staff, and volunteers from around the world come together to learn excavation methods and techniques, study the material culture unearthed, understand the cultural changes that took place at the site through time, and explore the region. This involves long days and hard work. A typical week day begins at 4:00 am and ends at 9:30 pm. On the weekends the students visit ancient and modern sites across Israel. They learn about the history of the region first hand, as well as the cultural and political issues. 

Though archaeology is the focus of the course, the students learn so much more. They return to Lethbridge with a better understanding of the world we live in – the past and the present. No matter their major or the career path they take once they graduate, this experience is one that they will draw from for the rest of their lives. Interested in participating? Contact Dr. Shawn Bubel.

Week #14 - Friday, April 14, 2017
First year Biology students at the University of Lethbridge are now developing characteristics such as creativity, integration, flexibility, critical thinking, team-work and effective communication by combining course work with research right from day one. Senior undergraduates have always been highly involved in research within the Department of Biological Sciences, but junior undergraduates were missing a valuable learning opportunity. Beginning in 2017 the Research Internship Concentration is being realized, to involve a cohort of our majors in research throughout their degree, starting in their first year.  

Students are recruited from high school, and begin research in their second semester. Teams of students choose 3 areas from a range of possible research options covering the breadth of Biology (Ecology, Evolution, Physiology, Development, Molecular and Cellular Biology). After reviewing published work, they suggest a hypothesis, design an experiment to test it and conduct the experiment. The example, within the first cohort of students, one group used the water flea Daphnia to test if the blood pressure medication diltiazem, a Calcium channel blocker, alters Daphnia’s sensitivity to Cadmium, a heavy metal that enters cells through Calcium channels. A second group tested if B-alanine, which is taken by body builders to improve muscle mass, allows faster movement of the fruit fly Drosophila.  Students in their second year will build on their experiences by designing a semester long research project to answer a question of their choosing, before doing an Independent study and an Undergraduate thesis in their third and fourth years. 

Week #13 - Friday, April 7, 2017
The Remote Sensing program at the University of Lethbridge is bringing students to higher altitudes. As the only post-secondary institution in Canada to offer a major in remote sensing, the program is designed to expose students to the broader context of imaging science and technology, with a focus on imaging spectroscopy and remote sensing. This multidisciplinary field where students study Geography, Environmental Studies and Physics enables students to learn to record and interpret images using highly-specialized instruments (some of which are unique to uLethbridge); offers field studies with organizations like Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada and the Canadian Space Agency; and provides graduates with a strong ability to summarize research findings, excellent fieldwork and risk assessment techniques, as well as an in-depth knowledge of environmental and social issues.

Students are also able to pursue a Master of Science (MSc) in Geography with a specialization in Remote Sensing or a PhD majoring in Earth, Space and Physical Science, with a concentration in Remote Sensing.

Read more about the hands-on approach students are taking with Remote Sensing in Dr. Craig Coburn’s RMTS 4650 class, as well as the creation of the first NSERC Create Grant in Remote Sensing (the AMETHYST program) and the establishment of the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC). 

Week #12 - Friday, March 31, 2017
To promote public awareness of brain health and brain research, the University of Lethbridge's Department of Neuroscience sponsors several outreach activities every year. Several of these activities happen during Brain Awareness Week, which is an internationally organized event sponsored each year in March by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, with this year’s being held March 13-18. Since 2007, the local chapter for the Society for Neuroscience, largely made up of Neuroscience department faculty and students, has hosted a departmental Open House and provided a free lecture by an eminent scientist to raise awareness about brain research. The open house attracts 100-200 members of the public and the talk another 300-400. This year’s speaker was Dr. Adrian Owen of Western University, famous for his research into the neural bases of consciousness. The students in our department also sponsor the “Brenda Milner Lecture” each spring, which features a public talk by another famous neuroscientist each year. Former speakers have included fellows from the Royal Society of Canada and a Nobel laureate.

Week #11 - Friday, March 24, 2017
Whetstone magazine has been around almost as long as the University of Lethbridge. It was founded in 1973 to publish fiction, prose, and artwork created by students but also those outside the university community in southern Alberta and beyond. It has published early works by notable writers, such as Thomas King and bpNichol. It stopped being published around 2000, but in 2010, a group of highly dedicated and engaged students revived the magazine and brought it back from silence.

To honour the 50th anniversary of the University of Lethbridge Whetstone will be publishing a special issue. Half of the issue will be a retrospective of past issues and the other half will be new writing for a competition generously funded by alumnus Terry Whitehead.

Week #10 - Friday, March 17, 2017
In celebration of National Co-op Week, Staff and Faculty in the Career Bridge office want you to know that we believe that education isn’t just about what you learn in the classroom — it’s also about bridging the experiences you have outside of it.

The University of Lethbridge is proud to offer a nationally accredited co-op program for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Ours is the only program in the province to offer Co-op for over 50 majors in Arts and Science, as well as the Faculties of Health Science, Fine Arts, and Management. Students pursuing an MA or MSc can also participate in Co-op at U of L!

Co-operative education allows students to explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement their degree. We help students create an academic experience that fits them like a tailored suit. Students engaged in the co-op program will have access to a private job board and professional development events and workshops in addition to various resources on our student interface, NING. For more information about Co-op, please visit the Career Bridge office in AH151 or visit our website.

Week #9 - Friday, March 10, 2017
In celebration of uLethbridge’s 50th Anniversary, the Faculty of Arts & Science will offer a total of $50,000 in awards to students who join us direct from high school, or without having attended another post-secondary before uLethbridge. There twill be five awards worth $10,000 each given to qualifying students enrolled in a bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or bachelor of arts & science program. The students will be selected based on high school academic performance, financial need and uniqueness of personal circumstances.  At least one award will be given to a First Nations, Métis or Inuit student.
Apply to uLethbridge and complete our award application form by March 15th to be eligible for one of five UL50 Golden Jubilee Awards for Fall 2017. Terms and conditions.

Week #8 - Friday, March 3, 2017
The Department of History is highly distinctive in its staffing, and probably unique within Canada. It’s possible that it is the only history department in Canada with a majority of women in permanent positions, both tenured and tenure-track. With regard to research and teaching, Gender, Women’s History, Histories of Childhood and Youth, and the History of Family are notable strengths of the department. The work of over half of the faculty members is situated in these domains of expertise and they are particularly strong in these areas thanks also to our close affiliation with the Institute of Childhood and Youth Studies and the Department of Women & Gender Studies. The Department of History also has considerable international reach. They operate in eleven foreign languages in terms of conducting research, presenting papers, and publishing. Collectively, faculty members have published in eight countries and presented papers in fourteen.

Week #7 - Friday, February 24, 2017
The newly formed Panoptic Religious Studies Club staged an event in October 2016 as a fundraiser in which they sold hijabs (head scarves worn by some Muslim women) to anyone who was interested in purchasing and wearing one. The idea was partly sparked in response to a wave of posters promoting religious intolerance that appeared in other Alberta universities. Panoptic wanted to make a statement that the University of Lethbridge is a tolerant and inclusive institution, supportive of and in solidarity with students and all faculty from all religious minorities. Contact Rosemary Baisson to learn more about the Panoptic Religious Studies Club.

Week #6 - Friday, February 17, 2017
In 2002, Destination Exploration (DE) ran its first summer science camp on campus! This year we celebrate 15 years of STEM outreach to young people across Southern Alberta. DE provides youth with positive, interactive, educational and social learning experiences that promote science, technology, teamwork and leadership. Destination Exploration delivers interactive classroom workshops, exciting summer camps, engaging Science Clubs, birthday parties and numerous other outreach programs and special events. For more information on Destination Exploration please visit the website and follow us on social media (Facebook or Twitter @ULethbridgeDE).

Week #5 - Friday, February 10, 2017
Piloted in Fall 2015, the Global Citizenship Cohort is an exciting new program that enhances students’ first year at U of L in several key ways. Cohort students take 5 of their 10 first-year courses together, so they have a built-in community of like-minded people to work and learn with. The Cohort courses they take are connected around a particular Global Citizenship theme each year, such as Water, Sustainability and Social Justice, so they get to see connections across a variety of disciplines. They also get lots of contact and mentoring with the Cohort professors, and early access to a number of resources on campus. In the second year the Global Citizenship Cohort reached capacity well before the deadline and there are no indications that this trend change in the coming year.

Cohort coordinator and professor in the Liberal Education program and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Dr. Shelly Wismath, recently received the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship, an award that recognizes exceptional teachers in post-secondary education. Dr. Wismath is the second U of L professor to have been awarded the fellowship, with the first recipient also being from the Faculty of Arts and Science. Find out more about the Global Citizenship Cohort by visiting their webpage.

Week #4 - Friday, February 3, 2017
It’s hard to consider the University of Lethbridge without also considering Dr. Dennis Connolly. A professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Dr. Connolly started teaching at uLethbridge in 1967 – 50 years ago! He has received the Senate Volunteer Award, co-chaired the Supporting Our Students Campaign in 2005, and he is an ardent supporter of Pronghorn Athletics and University theatre and opera. Dr. Connolly reflects on how he came to the University, as well as being the longest serving faculty member, in the 50 Voices oral history project and the Inspiring Lights news article.

Week #3 - Friday, January 27, 2017
In 2007, Professor Goldie Morgentaler of the Department of English established the Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities. It is open to full-time students entering their fourth year and majoring in one of the following fields: English, History, English, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Religious Studies. Awarded on the basis of the highest GPA, the award is intended to encourage more students to major in the Humanities and to acknowledge academic excellence in these fields.

Week #2 - Friday, January 20, 2017
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is contributing to space exploration in a big way. Space exploration missions are typically two decades long so a high school or undergraduate science student of today will be graduating at the time when mission scientists are in high demand. People often don’t realize that the path to participating in the next generation of space exploration missions lies beneath the feet of our students. Some examples of people using their skills in space exploration include:

  • Dr. Dan Sirbu, who worked with Dr. David Naylor as a high school student, is now a scientist at NASA Ames
  • Dr. Alexandra Pope, who did her undergrad at the University of Lethbridge, is now a professor in Department of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Dr. Richard Querel, who was a master’s student in Physics and Astronomy and completed his doctorate with Dr. David Naylor, is now a NIWA Atmospheric Scientist who recently received international recognition for his work on world-class climate and ozone research
  • Dr. Blaine Chronik, who did his undergrad in Physics and Astronomy, is now a CRC Tier 1 Research Chair at Western University
  • Dr. Locke Spencer, who did his master’s and PhD at the University of Lethbridge, is now a CRC Tier 2 Research Chair at the University of Lethbridge


Week #1 – Friday, January 13, 2017
In 1994, the Department of Psychology embarked on an experiment in which they involved every faculty member in the presentation of their introductory course. To support this endeavour, they published a textbook, Psychological Sketches, in which every faculty member contributed two chapters. None of the writers received any royalties on their work and consequently, the textbook sold for a small fraction of the price of commercially available introductory psychology textbooks. For over twenty years now, that course – with some modifications – has continued in a similar form and the textbook is now in its 12th revision.