Marlene speaking in front of classroom

Speaker Series

Spring 2021 Program Dean's Speaker Series

We are excited to invite our community to the Spring 2021 Dean's Speaker Series. We look forward to engaging around new ideas, concepts, and research. All sessions will occur online and registration is required. All are welcome!

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February 26, 2021 at 11am (Zoom) - Dr. Brenda Hartman

Dr. Brenda Hartman, Assistant Professor, Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia University College, presents:

Choline: A Nutrient to Know

When we think of nutrients of importance during pregnancy, we think about iron and folate. However, emerging evidence suggests we should also include choline in that list. Choline is an essential vitamin-like nutrient important for: neurotransmitter synthesis, lipid metabolism and transport, cell integrity, methylation and other functions. While the human body can produce choline in the liver, the amount is not enough for human needs.

Choline is needed across the entire lifespan; however, it is critical for optimal brain development in utero. It is still underrecognized by the general population and health care professionals.

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March 19, 2021 at 11am (Zoom) - Ann Gordon

Ann Gordon, BSc 1978 (Brescia, Western University), Canadian Nuffield Scholar 2004, MSc 2007 (University of Guelph), Emerging Artist, Leadership & International Development Consultant, presents:

Women’s Economic Empowerment – Focus on Developing Economies and Agriculture

Women’s economic empowerment (WEE) occurs when a woman has the ability (skills, resources, access) to succeed and advance economically and the power and agency to make and act on economic decisions (including control of resources and profits). Published in 2019, “Women’s Economic Empowerment Transforming Systems Through Development Practice” is an edited collection of proven expertise in sustainable and equitable market-based approaches for women in developing economies.  As a contributing author, Ann will provide a brief overview of the publication and then concentrate on her experiences facilitating change to increase gender equality and women’s economic inclusion in agricultural market systems.  This will include descriptions of the market systems approach, challenges for women and possible solutions to be used.  The project, Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) in Ghana will be highlighted as the case study.

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April 23, 2021 at 11am (Zoom) - Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber

Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber, Associate Professor and Chair, School of Leadership & Social Change at Brescia University College, and Recipient of the Brescia Award for Excellence in Research, presents:

Leadership amidst a Pandemic: Gender and Leader Character

Profiles of women leaders during the current pandemic have been popularized in the media and promoted as more effective in handling the COVID crisis than their male counterparts. Indeed, several published statistical analyses confirm that countries led by women have been better able to control the spread of COVID 19 than men-led countries. Crisis leadership requires not only decisive action but also relational connection. The women and leadership literature finds that women leaders face the double bind of being both agentic as well as communal. Thus, women who are recognized and accepted as the most senior leaders will have learned to walk that tightrope well; precisely the requirements of leading during a crisis. We build on this theoretical understanding to focus on how these women are leading through a leader character lens. A mixed method research design will quantify the frequencies of the qualitative content analysis of the both women and male heads of state’s media releases and press conferences for evidence of leader character. Video analysis will assist in not only what is being said but also how it is being said. Leader character will then be used to predict both population health and economic outcomes.    

Acknowledgements: Funding provided by Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership; Co-Investigators Drs. Lucas Monzani and Mary Crossan


Past Programs

Fall 2020

October 30, 2020, 11am - Dr. Jamie Seabrook

Dr. Jamie Seabrook, Associate Professor, Food and Nutritional Sciences and Recipient of the Brescia Award for Excellence in Research, presented:

Social Determinants of Birth Outcomes: Are We Victims of Circumstance?

Many health disparities in adulthood (e.g., coronary heart disease, hypertension) are linked to early life exposures. According to theory of fundamental social causes, socioeconomic status shapes exposure to individually-based risk factors. During pregnancy, for example, women of lower socioeconomic status tend to experience more kinds and greater exposures to stress, and usually engage in more risky health behaviors (e.g., substance use) than women of higher socioeconomic status, which increases the likelihood of adverse birth outcomes. Unfortunately, Canadian public discourse continues to focus its attention on lifestyle behaviour modification during pregnancy, which puts the blame on mothers by treating them as causal agents in the reproduction of adult disease. Rather than focusing primarily on lifestyle approaches as solutions to improving health, my research examines the broader social structure operating in women’s lives during pregnancy.

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November 27, 2020, 11am - Dr. Heather Kirk

Dr. Heather Kirk, Assistant Professor, French and Faculty Scholar, presented:

"Scholaris": Building a Journal from the Ground Up

So, you want to create and launch a scholarly journal? How does that work? What does it take to start a journal from scratch?
In this talk, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating a scholarly journal using the Open Source Journal platform hosted by Western Libraries. While the technical creation of a journal is relatively straightforward, many researchers are unaware of the “behind the scenes” work that goes into launching a journal, using Scholaris as a case study. 
Scholaris is a double-blind peer reviewed, open access, transdisciplinary journal that addresses Teaching and Learning in higher education in the process of being founded.
Currently, the Canadian field of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is limited, with a small number of active journals. None of these journals address small-class/small-campus teaching and learning. Ultimately, the aim of Scholaris is to fill a lacuna in the field of SoTL, which drawing international attention to Brescia, its faculty, staff, and students.

Fall 2019

November 22, 2019 - Dr. Dominick Grace

Dr. Dominick Grace, Professor, English, School of Humanities, presented:

Contingent Storyworlds in Seth’s Graphic Novel "Clyde Fans"

Seth’s Clyde Fans explores how its protagonists, Abe and Simon Matchcard, construct their own storyworlds. Seth depicts Simon’s world, especially, as one in which reality, dream, and hallucination blur together, creating a contingent, subjective, and uncanny world. The subjective nature of Simon’s experiences mean much of what happens to him creates a contingent reality: readers are suspended between possibilities as to whether Simon’s experiences are objectively real or hallucinatory. Consequently, Clyde Fans becomes a work of the fantastic uncanny, in which the nature of the storyworld is contingent on the perception not only of the characters, but also of readers.