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May 7, 2009 | Vol. 4, No. 15 | cjournal.concordia.ca 





w'Concordia 





Another masterpiece recovered 


KAREN HERLAND 


For the second time in as many weeks, 
the university beneficiaries of the Max 
Stern Estate (including Concordia) 
can announce the recovery of a paint- 
ing that the German-Jewish gallery 
owner had been forced to sell by the 
Nazis in 1937. 

St. Jerome, by Italian Baroque artist 
Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619), is an 
ENCS DEAN DREW 4 important canvas that has been in the 

collections of European nobility and 
Faculty builds its reputation | was once copied by famed British 
painter Sir Joshua Reynolds. The 400- 
year-old painting Was among several 
hundred works that Lempertz auction 
house sold in an effort to liquidate the 
business Stern's family had built since 
the early 1900s. 

The American government's enforce- 
ment of a recent Court of Appeals deci- 
sion, in favour of the universities, con- 
firmed that such forced sales of property 
were equivalent to looting and anything 
sold under those terms should be con- 
sidered stolen. 

New York art dealer Richard L. Feigen 
returned the Carracci he had in his 
possession after hearing the U.S. 
Department of Immigration Customs 
Enforcement (ICE) had returned the 

Dutch Old Master work, Portrait of a 
BETWEEN THE LINES 6 | Musician Playing a Bagpipe, on 
Communication Studies explores all media | Holocaust Remembrance Day at New 
York's Museum of Jewish Heritage. 

Feigen, who acquired St. Jerome when 
it was re-offered by Lempertz in 2000, 
like the dealer in possession of the bag- 
piper portrait, had been unaware of the 
painting’s provenance. “It was as a 
result of the media coverage on the bag- 
piper painting that I made the connec- 
tion between the Carracci and its 
forced sale in 1937. There was no ques- 
tion in my mind as to how to proceed, 
Feigen said. 

“The various federal and state agen- 
cies involved in these recoveries should 
be commended for their exemplary 
efforts. So too should the efforts of art 
dealers like Mr Feigen. Wrongful acts 

| committed during the Nazi period 

| should not go unchallenged.” said 

GEARING UP 12 _ Clarence Epstein, Concordia’s Director 

Allégo tours local bike co-ops | of Special Projects and Cultural Affairs - - 

' who heads the Max Stern Art The first canvas was returned on April 20. From left, Director of the Max Stern Art 

Restitution Project. “That government Restitution Project Clarence Epstein, Director of the Holocaust Claims Processing Office 

Anna B. Rubin, special agent-in-charge of ICE Office of Investigations in New York Peter 
J. Smith and acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Lev L. Dassin. 


3OT¥SSI13 NOLWYH 





1 VIOIW¥IINI ASTL¥AOD 





UVIST NZIS INL ASILNNOD 


one 


This painting of St. Jerome by Lodovico Carracci was returned to the Stern estate after 
art dealer Richard L. Feigen realized its provenance. 





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ALINODIS QNYTSWOH JO INSHI¥¥dI0 “SN ASIL¥AOD 


agencies and dealers are implicated in 

these recent recoveries is far-reaching. 

| We are confident that it will have a many of those paintings still scattered  University/Jerusalem. Concordia has 

” Printed with vegetable-dye-based inks | trickle-down effect”. across the world. He left his estate to played a leading role in pursuing the 
on 100% recycled-content paper | Stern died in Montreal in 1987, with Concordia, McGill and Hebrew paintings that remain unaccounted for. 


2 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


Lust in translation 


Etudes francaises gets fresh with rewording erotic text 


Russ COOPER 


Love is a universal language. 
But, does its meaning change 
depending on the language we 
speak? 

On April 24, the Département 
d'études francaises hosted the 
Translating Erotica conference, 
bringing together academics 
and the public to consider the 
intricacies of converting the 
erotic text from one language to 
another. 

"There are specificities of text 
that travel successfully across 
language and some that don't,” 
said Etudes frangaises professor 
and conference organizer Pier- 
Pascale Boulanger. "You could 
ask the same questions about 
humour; it's a cultural, historical 
and generational thing. We want- 
ed to explore how erotic litera- 
ture works in translation.” 

For example, she explains the 
word for ‘hairy’ in English may 
often have off-putting connota- 
tions, but the German term 
behaart merely means 'the pres- 
ence of follicles on a man’s skin’ 
- in directly translating the 
word, the effect on the reader 
may be counterproductive. 








Etudes francaises professor Pier-Pascale Boulanger takes notes during the 
Translating Erotica conference on April 24. 


"The point of erotica is to, 
well, turn on the reader or at 
least catch their attention. If 
there's any text that isn't clear 
and slows the reader down, it 
needs to be taken out,” 
Boulanger said. "It's like the 
instructions for Ikea furniture; 


you read them, build, and you 
have a result at the end.” 

However disparate the com- 
parison erotica and Swedish fur- 
niture, the conference's guest 
speakers travelled from just as 
far away as that Flarke book- 
shelf in your office. 


The phones were ringing off the hook as organizer Christine Kalil (left), Athena Fotiou, Heather Gore and Rebecca 
Cohen Palacios accepted pledges during the Caring for Kids Radiothon at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. 


WVISSINEYS WARY 


Coming from Brazil, Israel, 
Morocco and all points in 
between, 10 experts attended the 
one-day conference to present 
their translation research of erot- 
ica in English, French, Finnish, 
German, Portuguese and Polish. 
Included on the docket was 
Yannick Pierrisnard from the 
Université Paris-Sorbonne in 
France, Andrew Branch from 
Reed College in New Jersey and 
Philippe DiFolco, the renowned 
author of dictionnaire de la 
pornographie. 

Boulanger was also pleased to 
welcome her colleague, Etudes 
francgaises professor Jean-Marc 
Gouanvic to deliver his presenta- 
tion, “L'érotique en série noire; 
sexualité masculine et non-vio- 
lence” which explored traditional 
male roles in detective and police 
drama literature. 

The conference also attracted 
attention from Radio-Canada's 
Christiane Charette, who wel- 
comed Boulanger on April 23 as a 
guest on her show to speak of 
the conference. (Listen to the 
interview online at tinyurl.com/ 
dd9qll). 

For Montreal-native Boulanger, 
who has been at Concordia since 


2005, the idea for the conference 
stemmed from teaching literary 
translation here at Concordia - a 
class she's taught for four sessions. 

"Generally, students translate 
the classics, such as Shakespeare, 
but we don't really get to work on 
anything that's not considered 
literary.” In an attempt to shake 
things up, she began her stu- 
dents translating dialogue from 
authors such as Dan Brown or 
Nick Hornby to gain practical 
experience. "But it got me think- 
ing, how would you translate 
erotica? What would be the 
problems? Especially regarding 
with the masculine-feminine 
designation of objects in French." 

This marked the first time 
Boulanger had coordinated a 
conference of this magnitude. 
While many topics remained 
unaddressed, she feels the day- 
long event was a complete suc- 
cess. She thanks Associate Dean 
Graham Carr and Lori Dupuis of 
the Research and Graduate 
Studies office of the Faculty of 
Arts and Science, as well the 
Centre de recherche sur le texte 
et l'imaginaire Figura for all 
their help in funding and carry- 
ing out the event. 


Bear hugs for kids 


Engineering students donate 
$20 000 to Children’s Hospital 


ANNA SARKISSIAN 


The cafeteria at the Montreal 
Children’s Hospital was hum- 
ming with activity on April 30 as 
eight members’ of the 
Engineering and Computer 
Science Association accepted 
pledges during their sponsored 
miracle hour at Astral Media's 
Caring for Kids Radiothon. 

After reaching their goal of 
231 callers, ECA matched the 
$10 000 that its charitable wing, 
ECAid, had raised at various 
events since 2007. The funds 
will be donated towards the 
purchase of a machine to detect 
asthma in children. 

“Engineers sometimes get a 
bad rap, said ECAid founder 
James Goggans. “For once, I 
wanted us to be doing good and 
motivating the rest of the com- 
munity to contribute as well” 


Between calls, the volunteers 
snacked on ice cream sandwich- 
es and mini cupcakes. “It’s pret- 
ty exciting when the phone 
rings, said ECA’ VP Finance, 
Athena Fotiou, who had the 
honour of signing the big 
cheque for the Children’s. 

Reading from a script, the stu- 
dents greet callers and invite 
them to join the Circle of Hugs, 
which involves a monthly con- 
tribution of $18. Incoming ECA 
president Mare Lindstrom 
recounted how one of his col- 
leagues upgraded a particularly 
generous caller: “He said, ‘that’s 
not a hug, that’s a bear hug!” 

The event was part of a 
fundraising campaign in 28 
cities across the country and 
raised over $7 million. It was 
broadcast in Montreal on 
Virgin Radio 96, CHOM 97.7 
and CJAD 800. 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


3 





Romancing hydrogen 





Hoi Dick Ng earned a Petro-Canada Young Researcher Award for his work in alternative fuel development. 


MICHAEL KEEGAN 


Hoi Dick Ng has an infectious 
enthusiasm and _ sense of 
humour about his research into 
alternative fuels. 

“Thave a good idea how to burn 
things,’ he chuckles. “Now I want 
to learn how to store things” 

Ng, an assistant professor in 
the Department of Mechanical 
and Industrial Engineering, is 
one of two Concordia recipients 
of a 2008-09 Petro-Canada Young 
Innovator Award. The other is 
Andrew Ryder of the Department 
of Psychology (see Journal April 5 
and Nov. 8, 2007). 

The prize, which includes a 
$10 000 grant, is designed to 
encourage outstanding emerg- 
ing faculty researchers whose 
work is innovative, has a posi- 
tive impact on their academic 
environment and potentially on 
society as a whole. 


Ng, wholl turn 32 in June, . 


wants to focus his career on the 
study of alternatives to fossil fuels 
and their commercialization for 
use in automobiles, an area he 
feels fits in well with Concordia’s 
commitment to sustainable 
development. His fuel of choice, 
thus far, has been hydrogen. 

Ng received the award for his 
work on the design and analysis 
of novel materials for reversible 
hydrogen storage. 

“The study of hydrogen as an 
alternative fuel is not new, says 
Ng. “It began almost 30 years ago. 
The problem is that hydrogen is 
very light and highly flammable, 
and people have the general 


impression that it’s dangerous. 
The main challenge is to find a 
way to store it safely and efficient- 
ly so that it can be used in cars” 

Ng explains three ways this can 
be done. Cryogenics — lowering 
the temperature of hydrogen to 
the extreme point where it con- 
denses into a liquid — is not very 
practical. High-pressure storage 
is practical, but more dangerous. 

“Even without ignition; says 
Ng, “if there were an explosion of 
the fuel tank, the pressure alone 
would be like having a bomb in 
your car’ 

The third way is to use materi- 
als that can store and release 
hydrogen through absorption 
and de-absorption. This method 
is far safer, as hydrogen is less 
flammable within the absorbing 
material; and by adjusting the 
pressure and temperature of the 
storage environment, the uptake 
and release of hydrogen can be 
effectively controlled. 

Historically, creating such 
materials has been mostly a mat- 
ter of trial and error. Ng's innova- 
tion is to use experimentation to 
establish the thermodynamic 
properties of candidate materi- 
als, create a database from which 
to identify the most promising 
ones, and then use computer 
models and further experimenta- 
tion in a kind of feedback loop to 
design and refine the composi- 
tion of new and better hydrogen- 
absorbing materials. 

Ng has had a long and evolving 
relationship with hydrogen, each 
a crucial step in the lead-up to his 
current work. 


Prior to doing his Ph D, Ng had 
studied the dangers related to the 
high-pressure storage of hydro- 
gen. For his doctorate at McGill, 
Ng specialized in hydrogen com- 
bustion in its most violent form: 
detonation. 

His post-doctoral work in 
2005-06 took Ng to Princeton's 
Combustion Laboratory where 
he focused on the study of hydro- 
gen’s properties. 

“That helped broaden my 
knowledge of how to burn 
things,’ says Ng. “Until then I only 
knew how to blow things up’ 

The following year, Ng went to 
the Department of Applied 


_Mathematics and Theoretical 


Physics at Cambridge to learn 
how to use computer modelling 
to better understand the com- 
plex interaction between com- 
bustion and the flow of the very 
fluids —- whether gases or liquids — 
consumed and produced in the 
chemical reaction. 

“Simulating fire is not as easy 
as you think; says Ng. 

In 2007, Ng was drawn back to 
Montreal by Concordia's “strong 
research groups in materials and 
thermo-fluids’ 

Three months ago, Ng and his 
colleague Mamoun Medraj 
began designing and building 
the experimental apparatus that 
will enable them to test candi- 
date materials and establish a 
database. 

Ng’s next flirtation with 
hydrogen will involve a collabo- 
ration with three other 
researchers to generate hydro- 
gen using solar energy. 


JOTWSSITI NOTH 








ACCOLADES 


Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors Jonathan Wener has been 
accepted into the Club des entrepreneurs of the Conseil du patronat 
du Québec (CPQ) for his exceptional contribution to the economic 
development of Quebec. Chairman and CEO of real estate and asset 
management company Canderel Management Inc., Wener is now 
one of 66 in this category recognized by the CPQ since its inception 
in 1986. 


 NQoo 


Concordia alumna Sheryl King has become the second female 
chief economist at major bank on Bay St. King, who served as senior 
US. economist at Merrill Lynch since 2004, becomes new chief 
Canadian economist for Banc of America Securities Merrill Lynch. 


N@Qo 


On April 19, Legal Counsel for Student and Administration Melodie 
Sullivan competed in the 113th Boston Marathon, finishing the 42.2 
km course in 4:14:17. 


NQO 


Theological Studies alumnus Gandar Chakravarty has published 
Kolkata Dreams, his book of poems and photos inspired by his 
recent travels to India, with 8th House Publishing. The book has 
received critical acclaim from literary icons including Pulitzer Prize 
winner Yusef Komunyakaa and bestselling author Sunil 
Gangopadhyay. 


Qo 


CHSE Professor Prabir Bhattacharya and PhD Candidate in 
Computer Science and Software Engineering Kaushik Roy have 
published their book Jris Recognition: A Machine Learning Approach 
with VDM Verlag Germany. Based on biometrics security. The 
research detailed in the book will help advance various security 
applications at airports, borders, in banking, etc. The book is avail- 
able on Amazon.com. 





2 
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3 
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The film RiP: A remix manifesto, written and directed by Brett 
Gaylor (BFA 01, above) and produced by Professor Dan Cross was 
awarded the Edward Jones Audience Choice Award at the 47th Ann 
Arbor Film Festival in March. 


At the Quebec film industry awards /es Prix Jutra in March, André 
Turpin (BFA 89) won the award for best cinematography for the 
film Cest pas moi, je le jure. Benoit Pilon (BFA 87), won best film, 
best screenplay and best actor for the movie Ce quil faut pour vivre 
(The Necessities of Life). At the Genie Awards in April, the film won 
best director, best actor and best screenplay. 


Also at the Genie Awards, Up the Yangtze, directed by Yung Chang 
(BFA 99), won the award for best documentary. Former film produc- 
tion students were honoured with Genie nominations for achieve- 
ment in cinematography: Nicholas Bolduc for Le Banquet, Pierre 
Gill for La Piége américain and Sara Mishara for Tout est parfait. 


4 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


ENCS Faculty building its 


KAREN HERLAND 


When Engineering and 
Computer Science Dean Robin 
Drew took up his position last 
August, he did not think there 
would be much to adapt to. 

After all, the trip from McGill 
(where he was a professor in the 
Department of Mining and 
Materials Engineering) to 
Concordia didn't require a major 
move. In addition, the student 
body at the two institutions is 
about the same size. 

Two things struck him almost 
immediately. Paradoxically, 
Concordia has one of the largest 
engineering Faculties in the 
country, but, with only four 
Faculties, “there is a much more 
compact feel, because there are 
fewer Faculties. [At McGill] you 
didn’t get to meet anyone in law 
or medicine as an Engineering 
faculty member” 

Drew recently presented his 
Faculty’s achievements to the 
Board of Governors. It was an 
opportunity for him to take stock 
of the last several months. 

In his first academic year, 
Drew has gotten to know as 
many of the nearly 300 profes- 
sors and staff in the Faculty as 
he could. He is also supportive 
of the research focus of the 
Faculty. 

Nearly one third of the 
Faculty's students are studying 





at the graduate level. That’s 
almost double the proportion 
of graduate students in the fac- 
ulty of Arts and Sciences, and 
presents a unique set of chal- 
lenges. Drew is looking into 
how to best allocate funds 
available for graduate students 
in a sustainable way. He also 
supports advancement’s efforts 
to increase funding for gradu- 
ate students. 

“Im a strong believer in 
advancement. The provincial 
government is not going to 


increase funds, and endowments 
have been hammered by the 
economy. To that end, he has 
also met with a variety of local 
stakeholders in industry, both 
individually and through the 
Faculty’s Industrial Advisory 
Council. The Faculty has benefit- 
ed from a number of funders’ pri- 
vate scholarship gifts from 
Salvatore Randaccio, Norman D. 
Hébert and Hydro-Québec 
among others. 

Drew is concerned with reten- 
tion across the board for all stu- 


’s impressive recreation of the Eiffel Tower using K’nex construction toys. 


dents. He is exploring ways to 
improve the experience of stu- 
dents starting out in the pro- 
gram. “We're looking at methods 
to improve tutoring in the first 
year and to ensure that new stu- 
dents can access the services 
they need? 

Another major project has 
been securing Chantier funds 
from the provincial ministry of 
education. This funding will 
support hiring and infrastruc- 
ture in civil engineering. 

Drew has also renewed the 


reputation 


team of Associate-Deans and 
shifted their designations. “I’ve 
been working hard to establish 
open governance in the Faculty. 
I believe in having chairs and 
Associate-Deans participate in 
decision-making” 

This summer, a retreat is 
planned for Deans and Chairs 
of the Faculty. Drew hopes to 
establish a five-year plan that 
integrates ENCS into the 
strategic planning process and 
establishes actions based on 
priorities. 


Report on Teaching and Learning outlines direction for the future 


KAREN HERLAND 





Senators discussed the report of 
the Provost's Working Group on 
Teaching and Learning at their 
last meeting on April 17. The 20- 
page document was prepared as 
a roadmap to “improve all 
aspects of teaching and learn- 
ing” at the university. 

Vice-Provost Teaching and 
Learning Ollivier Dyens was 
deputy chair of the working 
group. His office will be respon- 
sible for implementing the 
approved plan. 

“Essentially, we want to 
improve the whole teaching 
and learning environment and 
improve the student experience 
and the faculty experience. | 
think we're already doing well, 
but we could be doing better; 
says Dyens. 

The working group was ini- 
tially slated for the 2006-07 aca- 
demic year but was postponed 
pending the appointment of a 


new Provost. Provost David 
Graham chaired the working 
group after assuming the role. 
The working group included 
representatives of full and part- 
time faculty, the Board, 
Libraries, the Centre for 
Teaching and Learning Services 
and students. 

Senators discussed the report, 
which had already been reviewed 
by the Senate Committee on 
Academic Planning and 
Priorities, at length. One of their 
first suggestions was to develop 
priorities for the 46 recommen- 
dations in the report. 

“What we need to look at first 
and foremost is our pedagogical 
mission,’ says Dyens, who has 
begun to prioritize the recom- 
mendations for a second pres- 
entation to Senate. “Everything 
else flows from there” 

Dyens sees this exercise as 
one that needs to happen at a 
departmental level. Although 
there are general points that 


can apply across disciplines, 
“departments should define 
their outcomes and ways to 
assess them, instead of impos- 
ing them from the top down’ 

He adds that among the 
issues to address is how to 
combine the university's twin 
goals of accessibility and excel- 
lence, along with the needs of 
undergraduate and graduate 
students, full and part-time 
schedules and the needs of 
young people and those with 
families. 

The report will also need to 
address how to measure teach- 
ing success. “Student evalua- 
tions are essential, but they are 
the only external measure we 
have. We need additional ways 
to help instructors develop an 
even stronger pedagogy” Dyens 
would like to see teaching hav- 
ing more weight in tenure and 
promotion discussions. Doing 
so means developing consistent, 
objective assessment tools. 


Another challenge is the 
recently emerging discussion 
on core competencies. The sus- 
pension of the university writ- 
ing test (Journal, Dec. 4, 2008) 
has raised the question of 
whether writing is the single 
common skill all students 
should possess upon gradua- 
tion. The definition of core 
competencies, and tools to 
transmit and measure them 
will also require a pan-univer- 
sity discussion. “Among other 
things, we need to consider the 
scientific research on learning 
and cognition.” 

The report's conclusion 
points out that with information 
now so readily available, teach- 
ing has moved beyond knowl- 
edge transfer. “Teaching is about 
exploring how to connect and 
engage with information, about 
interpreting data critically, 
about drawing and articulating 
conclusions.” Supporting that 
process will be a critical ele- 


ment of teaching and learning 
across all programs. 


ournal 


The Concordia Journal is 
published |7 times during the 
academic year on a biweekly basis 
by the Internal and Web 
Communications Department 

of Concordia University. 


Tel: 514-848-2424 ext. 4183 
Fax: 514-848-3383 
E-mail: cjournal@alcor.concordia.ca 


ISSN | 185-3689 
Publications Mail Agreement No.: 
40042804 


Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to 
Concordia Journal, GM-606, 

1455 De Maisonneuve Bivd. W., Montreal 
Qc, H3G IMB. 


Editor: Karen Herland 


Senior Writer: Russ Cooper 


Concept | Layout: Caroline Grainger, 
Marketing Communications 





JOWSSNI NOWYH 


5 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 





Friendship and support can go very far 


KAREN HERLAND 


Rose Wangechi had just arrived 
from Kenya and was trying to 
find her way around downtown 
Montreal in January 2002 with 
only a fall jacket and a map she 
couldn't read. 

“It took me three hours to get 
from René-Lévesque to 
Concordia; she recalled. “I sat 
down on Pat’s couch in the 
International Students Office 
(ISO) and burst into tears? 

Pat Hardt was used to meet- 
ing students from all over the 
world who were ill-equipped, 
overwhelmed or homesick. She 
helped Wangechi get on track 
and, although now retired, she is 
still doing so for others. On May 
2, she hosted a dinner to raise 
money for the International 
Student Support Fund. 

The idea emerged nearly a 
year ago when Hardt, Wangechi 
and Uche Aghaulor (another 
student who arrived from 
Kenya, although her family is 
originally from Nigeria) dis- 
cussed the importance of a little 
extra cash for a student from far 






a 


away. Budgets can be extremely 
tight and loneliness is inevitable. 
Having the means to attend a 
departmental function, or see a 
movie with new friends, can 
make a huge difference. The 
idea to establish a fund that 
could offer a $500 bursary to a 
full-time international student 
in need was born. 


The fundraising organizers (from left) Uche Aghaulor, Rose Wangechi and 
Pat Hardt at Hardt’s home on May 2. 


“Pat immediately contributed 
to the fund without any hesita- 
tion, Wangechi said, at the din- 
ner. Wangechi graduated from 
Concordia in 2005 (as did 
Aghaulor) and now serves as 
alumni officer for student pro- 
grams in the Office of 
Advancement and Alumni 
Relations. She became emotional 


ONVIWIH NIV 


recalling the support she 
received from Hardt as a student. 
“Pat was the first person I met at 
Concordia. I want to honour her 
for how much she has done for 
me, and so many others’ 

The dinner was~yet another 
example of the dedication Hardt 
has shown to supporting stu- 
dents who, like herself, emigrat- 
ed from far away. She came to 
Canada from Barbados and 
began as a nurse at Concordia’s 
health services before working 
in the ISO until 2006. People 
from all parts of her life (stu- 
dents she had helped, former 
co-workers, friends, and col- 
leagues) were invited to attend 
the dinner. In exchange for a 
delicious spread of curry, dahl, 
salads and some impressive 
desserts, guests were invited to 
donate to the fund. 

Among those present was 
Nicole Saltiel, director of opera- 
tions for Advancement and 
Alumni Relations. She praised 
the special initiative, an unusual 
hybrid of support from people 
within and outside of the uni- 
versity community. “When I tell 


my peers at other universities 
that 30 to 35% of our staff and 
faculty donate to annual cam- 
paigns and to funds raised to 
support students, they're envi- 
ous. Concordia is a community 
with heart!” 

Also present were Dean of 
Students Elizabeth Morey, for- 
mer Ombudsman Suzanne 
Belson and former Journal edi- 
tor Barbara Black. Hardt 
acknowledged donors who 
could not be present, such as 
Ali Mohammadi, who is cur- 
rently in Iran. Mohammadi 
graduated in 2002, winning the 
Malone Medal that year. He, 
like many of those present, 
owes a debt to Hardt. He helped 
by hosting United in Comedy 
last month. Efforts like his and 
gifts from individual donors 
raised $8 000 for the fund. 
Hardt’s dinner ensured the 
minimum $10 000 needed for 
the fund to offer the $500 bur- 
sary. “It was wonderful seeing 
so many familiar faces. 
Concordia has certainly been a 
meaningful part of my life, 
reflected Hardt after the event. 





Ricci and fellow alumni get ‘up close 


Award-winning author Nino Ricci 
was invited by Advancement and 
Alumni Relations to join fellow 
Concordia alumni for a discus- 
sion of his new novel, The Origin 
of Species, at the J. A. De Séve 
Cinema during the city’s Blue 
Metropolis Festival last week. 
The event was moderated by 
Terence Byrnes, associate 
Professor in the Department of 
English and Ricci’s adviser 
when he defended his master’s 
thesis in creative writing here 
in 1987. That project become 
Ricci’s acclaimed first novel, 
Lives of the Saints. 

Byrnes began the evening by 
engaging Ricci in a discussion 
that touched on such issues as 
the nature of the relationship 
between the author's life and 
those of his characters and 
whether an adherence to liter- 
ary theory or a focus on experi- 
ence and narrative is more 
valuable to a novelist striving to 
create meaning. 

After an open question-and- 
answer session, Ricci met those 
in attendance and signed copies 
of his latest. novel as well as his 
contribution to a new series of 
biographies from Penguin 
Books, Extraordinary Canadians: 
Pierre Elliott Trudeau. 





and personal’ 


ANAVEDOIOHd 18d AVN OYWMOH 


6 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 





CLASSACTION 





Every year Intermedia | brings new media to light 


Russ COOPER 


When a class's output is as 
intriguing as COMS = 274 
Intermedia I, it's not a tough deci- 
sion to check back and see what's 
been created. 

Last year, the Journal profiled 
the introductory intermedia class 
(see Journal May 8, 2008) and 
their flair for pushing creativity. 
This year, Communication 
Studies Professor Matt Soar's 
bunch has ventured into all sorts 
of undiscovered corners. 

"It's the class that really sets 
the students up to ask them- 
selves if intermedia is some- 
thing for them," he says. 
"Following completion of the 
first year, students will choose a 
particular stream best suited for 
them; video, sound or film. So, 
the opportunities to get wildly 
creative exist in a unique way in 
this class.” 

One of the noteworthy products 
of this winter semester's session 


was their third assignment. 
Students were given the task to 
reflect their world through edito- 
rial and design principals. They 
were to write the content, design 
the pages and combine them 
under the guise of the online mag- 
azine, 514. 

"What I wanted students to 
think about was how to work with 
the relationship between type and 
images, and a very obvious way to 
do that with 51 students was to 
create an e-zine,’ says Soar, who 
has taught the class 12 times over 
six years. 

Broken down into five sections 
~ art, eat, break, life and unwind - 
the class chose to muse on their 
city, digging deep to discover 
something new. A casual guide 
to Montreal's slightly lesser- 
known nooks, each chapter 
demonstrates the course's inher- 
ent mandate to find cultural 
gaps and investigate. 

Which is quite fitting as, 
"..intermedia is all about 


working the spaces between 
existing media.” He states the 
term has been around since the 
‘60s, coined in relation to the 
fluxus art movement (the 
Dada-ish concept of anti-art). 
Key figures in the discipline 
include Marcel Duchamp, John 
Cage and Yoko Ono. 

"We're not turning out people 
like that, but what we are doing is 
allowing students the space to 
reflect on the media around 
them and how we can intervene,” 
he says. (See 514 at intermediat- 
ed.org/collaborative-zines.) 

Further rooting about in the 
rifts between intervention and 
collaborative creation, the class 
is building upon the success of 
last year's class’ rotoscoped Girl 
Talk video, which was promi- 
nently featured in the acclaimed 
documentary RiP: A Remix 
Manifesto. This semester's final 
project, The Poem of the 
Transparent Girl, used a video 
shot by RiP director and 


Concordia alum Brett Gaylor 
filmed while in Rio recently of a 
little Brazilian girl reciting the 
Elisa Lucinda poem A Menina 
Transparente (a few moments of 
the original footage can be seen 
in RiP). 

After stripping the film of 
everything but traced outlines 
(aka. rotoscoping), each student 
invented personalized back- 
grounds for two- or three-sec- 
ond segments, having to link the 
beginning and end of their con- 
tribution with their preceding 
and proceeding classmates’ 
work. All segments are pieced 
together into a three minute- 
plus amalgam. 

Seeing how the Girl Talk video 
went viral, gathering 600 000 
hits on YouTube and mentions 
on the BBC and Gawker.com, 
Soar was enthusiastic about the 
possibilities of the yet-to-be- 
released movie. ‘ 

"[have high hopes it'll catch fire 
and get back into the open-source 


cinema project. Brett is currently 
on the RiP festival circuit and he's 
keen on taking it on the road with 
him and showing it as an another 
example of remix media.” 

After six years of "good 
behaviour,” Soar is about to go 
on his first sabbatical. In July, 
Soar will be replaced by his 
new colleague Tagny Duff. Duff 
holds an MFA from Concordia 
and is currently finishing her 
PhD in interdisciplinary stud- 
ies here as well. A gifted bio- 
artist, her recent projects also 
include a amalgamation of her 
work building robotic insects 
and bookbinding. "To me, that's 
really intermedia,” Soar laughs. 

He'll be venturing to rural 
Ontario to take a 16mm film 
course called the Film Farm 
with experimental filmmaker 
Philip Hoffman at his farm 
north of Guelph. "Formally, it's a 
chance to reshape my own pro- 
file, to reinvent myself and 
retool,” he says. 





Getting productive and getting down at Prodfest 


Object by Saulo Madrid 





¥3d00) S50¥ 


Russ COOPER 


From the moment he gets talking 
about Prodfest, it's obvious Matt 
Soar doesn't only instruct and 
guide his students — he's a pas- 
sionate observer and a huge fan 
as well. 

"My expectations go up every 
year, but hand on heart, for my 
money, it gets better every year,’ 
says Soar. 

Prodfest is an umbrella term 
for all the events that showcase 
the work produced for the sec- 
ond and third year comm studies 
production courses. 

Among the shows was the 
Intermedia 3 vernissage on 
April 25 at a loft in industrial 
Mile End. Featuring the new 
media, photography and film of 
the class’ students, the night 
also saw the launch of the stu- 
dent produced music video for 
local rock and roll outfit 
Mackenzie Ist to accompany 
the upcoming release of their 
album, J Shot The Monkey. 

On April 28, the Sound 2 and 
Intermedia 2 classes wrapped 
up the year with a combined 
vernissage. Entitled L/M/N/\L, 


the night's theme surrounded 
‘liminality’; the occupying of a 
position at, or on both sides of, 
a boundary or threshold. Held 
at one of Montreal's newest 
venues II Motore, 46 students 
proudly exhibited everything 
from stage performances, 
installation art, graphic design, 
interactive database documen- 
taries to sound projects. 

To set the night into motion, 
Communication Studies 
Professor Owen Chapman and 
Soar took the stage for a short 
moment to salute the support 
staff and congratulate students. 
"A night like-this is a great way to 
have closure on a hectic year,” 
said Chapman. 

Only steps from the entrance, 
the table displaying / / scape 
magazine (the product of 
Intermedia 2 students Guillaume 
Dubois, Gabrielle Savoie and 
Myriam Des Cormiers) attracted 
those coming through the door. 
The beautiful print interpreta- 
tion of Montreal through photog- 
raphy and graphic design 
(tinyurl.com/coo94m) introduced 
people to the class’ output. 

Moving only two or three 


steps forward, Saulo Madrid’s 
project, simply named ‘Object’, 
was a stunning installation 
using light and plexiglass. 
Originally developed as a print 
project, he asked contributors 
to supply pieces reflecting 
their relationship with objécts 
and identities. Realizing print 
wasn't the ideal medium, he 
stumbled upon plexiglass and 
began engraving upon it, turn- 
ing it into a multi-layer instal- 
lation piece. 

"The text on the first plexiglass 
sheet is the letter from a neurolo- 
gist describing how he chose his 
profession,” said Madrid. "His 
story of identity is reflected 
through a mirror, and the lights 
are reflective of the idea that we're 
always in different spaces.’ 

With the academic year now 
wrapping up, it was Soar's encap- 
sulation of the year from the stage 
that perhaps summed it up best. 

"We had some shouting, some 
tears, some sadness and laughs, 
some joy and some fun. And 
youve made it to the end in one 
piece,” said Soar. "I'm amazed at 
what youve done. Let's have some 
fun tonight. Youve earned it.” 


Stu 


KAREN HERLAND 


Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim 
School of Cinema is the largest 
film production house in the 
entire country, according to 
Francois Laurent, president of 
the Cinema Students 
Association (CSA). 

“We produced the equivalent 
of 15 feature films this year? he 
said while finalizing the 
arrangements for Exposed, the 
end-of-year film festival. 

“It's a lot of work,” said 
Laurent. “School's over, but not 
for everyone. The festival is run- 
ning for the first week of May, 
long after most students have 
finished their last exam or 
assignment. This year, he heads 
a team of eight students who are 
coordinating the programs, 
publicity and parties that make 
up the festival. For full details, 
go to exposed.csaconcordia.com. 

While the cinema students 
planned a showcase for student 
work, the department was coor- 
dinating the annual awards 
night. The May 1 event hon- 


oured nearly 70 students who 
had excelled over the past year 
and was timed to kick off the 
student film festival. The 
Cinema Awards ceremony 
packed the De Seve Cinema was 
packed with winners, family 
members, faculty and donors 
celebrating the cream of a pro- 
duction crop. 

The big winner of the evening 
was Stéphane Calce, who 
received the prestigious Mel 
Hoppenheim award. All winners 
received funding, tuition 
waivers or in-kind donations of 
editing time or rental equip- 
ment. Some awards, including 
the Concordia University Stop- 
Motion Animation Award and 
the Emru Townsend Award, are 
funded by full- and part-time 
staff. Several donors from pri- 
vate industry attended the event 
including Michel Golitzinsky 
from Kodak, Francois Garcia 
from Technicolor, Paul Bellerose 
from Vision Globale, Sharon 
Chepil from Fuji, Brian Peterson 
from Autodesk and Peter Morton 
from GBC Asset Management. 





7 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


dent filmmakers Exposed 


Grand prize winner Stéphane Calce poses with Mel Hoppenheim, his award’s benefactor. 


Meanwhile, nine of the 
evening's award winners had 
works among the nearly two- 
dozen selections in the final 
program of the student film 
festival on May 7. The best 
films of this year’s crop of work 
were determined by an inde- 
pendent jury who screened all 


the contenders in two full days 
of viewing just before the festi- 
val began. 

That set of films is the 13th 
full-length program curated by 
festival organizers. Although 
this is the second year students 
have organized a full week of 
programming, it’s the first year 


they have opened the event 
beyond cinema students. In 
addition to traditional anima- 
tion and film production works 
from beginning to advanced stu- 
dents, programs featuring the 
work of Intermedia/Cyberarts 
students were also presented. 
(For more, see p. 11.) 


Cinema Politica celebrates five years 


Russ COOPER 


Every day for the past five years, 
‘Lights... Camera... Action!’ has 
meant something a little bit dif- 
ferent for Cinema Politica. 

On April 23, the non-profit, 
volunteer-run project celebrat- 
ed its fifth anniversary of deliv- 
ering independent cinema pro- 
moting diversity, vigorous 
debate and plurality in culture, 
media and the arts. Over 100 
people gathered in EV 1.605 for 





a rough-cut screening of 
HotDocs-nominated H20il 
(provided and attended by pro- 
ducer Sarah Spring), a master- 
fully filmed documentary 
examining the toxic implica- 
tions of the Alberta tar sands 
project, followed by a casual 
and intimate reception on the 
EV's 11" floor. 

"We wouldn't exist without 
the enthusiasm of people who 
want to know more,” said co- 
founder, director and program- 


Cinema Politica founder Ezra Winton (left) and Svetla Turnin share a laugh 
at the Cinema Politica anniversary on the EV Building I Ith floor terrace. 


43400) SSA 


mer Ezra Winton in his address 
to the crowd. 

What began as a weekly group 
of 20 or 30 people has grown 
into something almost larger 
than life. While Winton essen- 
tially started the project in 2001 
while a student at Langara 
College in Vancouver as his 
response to a lack of diversity in 
cinemas, his arrival to 
Concordia in January 2003 is 
when he considers its true 
beginning. Under the auspices 
of Amnesty International and in 
conjunction with QPIRG, he 
began showing documentary 
films once a week, in turn har- 
nessing the heightened political 
and cultural awareness of 
Concordia's student body at the 
time. "Eventually, it just became 
its own thing,” he says. 

In sharing its model of sharing 
films with interested organiza- 
tions and locals around the 
world, Cinema Politica has 
incorporated 40 Canadian and 
1] international different screen- 
ing venues; including eight in 
Europe, two in Indonesia and 
one in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The net- 
work reaches an estimated 750 
000 people each year (12 000 
annually at Concordia alone). 

As one can imagine, the jour- 
ney hasn't come without its ups 


and down. While Winton doesn't 
take the opportunity to detail in- 
depth the hardships (save for 
recounting one lighthearted fra- 
cas of a projectionist accidentally 
hitting, "the big, red cancel but- 
ton on our Soviet-era projector" 
during one screening that took 45 
minutes to reset), he is noticeably 
satisfied when reflecting ori the 
brightest moments. 

In 2003, Cinema Politica 
screened a rough cut of the 
since hugely-successful film The 
Corporation, the film's producer 
and co-director Mark Achbar 
attended to gain feedback from 
the electrified audience of 700+ 
in H-110, well above the room's 
capacity of 680 (more than 100 
were turned away due to lack of 
space). Volunteers and organiz- 
ers even donned three-piece 
suits to add to the atmosphere. 

"l know it sounds cheesy, but 
you could feel the love in the 
crowd,’ he says. "That kind of thing 
is part of what's made Cinema 
Politica a very special and mean- 
ingful experience for political film- 
makers. Our audiences are very 
lively, very generous, very respon- 
sive and very open.’ 

It's no doubt Winton and his 
partner Svetla Turnin (with 
whom he's co-organized CP since 
2004) have made significant leaps 


in helping to inform the general 
population about many over- 
looked issues—a contribution, he 
explains, that often lead many to 
believe there's an office full of 
staff ensuring events are well- 
organized, well-attended and 
pushing for expansion. 

"But what nobody really 
knows,” says Winton, "is that it's 
just myself and Svetla who're 
doing this in our shared office in 
our apartment, fueled by yerba 
maté and a lack of sleep in 
between writing essays for my 
PhD in media studies at Carleton 
and her masters in media studies 
here at Concordia.” 

Operational limitations aside, 
the pair have borne a new sense 
of consciousness not only limit- 
ed to students. During the April 
23 celebration, film professors 
and long-time supporters Tom 
Waugh and Liz Miller (see 
Journal, March 9, 2006) perhaps 
put it best, proudly toasting its 
unarguable contribution to the 
richness of discourse here and 
abroad. 

"Congrats to you from all us 
old fogeys,” said Waugh. "You've 
really transformed film here." 

"My life would be a lot less 
interesting if it weren't for 
Cinema Politica,” said Miller. 
"Here's to the next five years.” 


¥IAN10 NYHIVN 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


Six years of good conversation 


Russ COOPER 


After six years of spirited con- 
versation, the innovative public 
education forum University of 
the Streets Café must have some 
good stories to share. 

Appropriate, then, that the 
Storytelling Café was its May 1 
anniversary party (and 272nd 
conversation). Hosted by Lynne 
Cooper, a Chilean-Trinidadian- 
Honduran-British immigrant, 
performing artist and communi- 
ty activist, about 50 people gath- 
ered at the Rada Yoga Studio on 
Rue Gilford to sip chai and wine, 
share tales and lively anecdotes, 
to laugh, or to sit back and simply 
enjoy the company. 

What was being celebrated has 
now flourished into a presence in 
the Montreal community that's 





essentially become its own story. 
Originally conceived and initi- 
ated by Institute in Community 
Development's Eric Abitbol, the 
first public conversation was held 
May 5, 2003. Inspired by similar 
projects (including SFU's 
Philosopher's Café), Abitbol want- 
ed to use the established concept 
of public conversation, but take it 
in a slightly different direction. 
"Back then, I was coordinat- 
ing-another program and help- 
ing Eric, my office mate, search 
things like ‘Café Revolution’, 
‘Learning Café’ just to see what 
would come up. From what we 
found, he developed a method- 
ology surrounding public con- 
versation,” says Elizabeth Hunt, 
the current University of the 
Streets Coordinator. "We fig- 
ured, instead of just looking at 


philosophy, we could actually 
look at any topic at all.” 

Conversations have welcomed 
experts — both academic and 
non-academic — to contribute to 
subjects ranging from politics to 
environmental issues to fashion 
to happiness to sports and 
everything in between. 

"If you look up the definition 
of'conversation’, it implies infor- 
maiity. It's different from a dis- 
cussion, dialogue or delibera- 
tion. We create a space to start a 
conversation, but there's no 
attempt to try to control an out- 
come," she says. 

Hunt, who's currently starting 
her masters in adult education 
after a baccalaureate in sociology 
and time at the School of 
Community and Public Affairs, 
has attended every conversa- 


tion, but one, since becoming 
coordinator two years ago. 

"I've learned that when you 
create a space for something 
like this, people will fill it. The 
level of analysis, sophistication 
and thinking just blows my 
mind every single time." she 
says. "Speaking for myself, it's 
really the community and their 
connection to the program that 
has the most impact for me.” 

Hunt is now appraising the 
organically-grown success of the 
Café to develop suggestions for 
other institutions who have 
recently contacted her, interest- 
ed in creating similar programs. 

"I call it community-based edu- 
cation, but there's not really a for- 
mal name for it. And maybe it's 
better that we dont. It's its own 
thing and if we try to formalize it, 


it could lose its zip,’ Hunt says. 
The University of the Streets 
Café and the Institute in 
Community Development are 
now part of the School of 
Extended Learning and are 
regarded as one of the ways that 
Concordia fulfills its community 
engagement mandate. Organizers 
are currently considering ways to 
incorporate a public conversation 
or two into the 2010 Congress of 
the Humanities and _ Social 
Sciences, the gathering here of 


‘more than 9 000 delegates from 


learned societies from Canada 
and around the world. Hunt 
hopes to hold a public conversa- 
tion surrounding one of the con- 
ference’s main themes, open 
access to information and the 
permeable boundary between 
community and university. 


Volunteer Initiative coordinates local and international projects 


JANE SHULMAN 


Members of the Concordia com- 
munity are known for offering 
their skills and experience to 
projects as volunteers, whether 
on campus, locally, nationally or 
abroad. Concordia University’s 
Volunteer Initiative (CUVI) is a 
new portal where students, facul- 
ty and staff may look for volun- 
teer opportunities, share stories 
of their experiences, and be rec- 
ognized for their achievements. 
CUVI’s website, —_volun- 
teer.concordia.ca was recently 
launched with the intention of 
being a hub for people who want 





to get involved but may not be 
sure where to start. It is also a 
place for long-time volunteers 
to talk about their involvement 
and inspire others. 

The website's launch coincid- 
ed with National Volunteer 
Week at the end of April. 

CUVI recognized _ several 
exceptional volunteers at this 
years Concordia Council for 
Student Life awards. Their con- 
tributions ranged from helping 
kids with homework after school 
to providing aid after natural dis- 
asters and supporting education 
in developing countries. 

The idea came from the Dean 


of Students office about a year 
ago, and several departments 
were eager to jump on board, 
explained Valerie Millette, career 
advisor at Career and Placement 
Services, and one of the founding 
members of CUVI. The commit- 
tee includes representatives 
from the School of Extended 
Learning, Counselling and 
Development, the Concordia 
Alumni Association, among sev- 
eral others. 

CUVI's website provides sug- 
gestions for choosing a place to 
volunteer, and questions to ask 
oneself before getting started. 

“Get involved in a cause you 


believe in, and choose the activ- 
ity strategically, said Millette, 
who also works as a Trainer for 
the Volunteer Bureau — of 
Montreal. Whether it’s to gain 
work experience, network, learn 
new skills, or meet people in a 
new city, volunteering tends to 
benefits everyone involved. 
Strategic volunteering is key 
for students entering the job 
market, Millette explained. 
Employers look for “soft skills,” 
which are transferable or per- 
sonal skills, and students who 
volunteer are able to pull exam- 
ples from their experiences. 
Volunteering in fields different 


from students’ area of study may 
also allow them to step outside 
their comfort zone. 

As the website grows, Millette 
noted that the links to volun- 
teering opportunities in Canada 
and abroad will continue to be 
added. It is a work in progress. 
Millette has spent the past sev- 
eral months gathering volunteer 
listings from all over the univer- 
sity, and combing the city for 
resources too, making the site a 
real centre for potential and cur- 
rent volunteers. Jo share your 
volunteer story with CUVI, or for 
any inquiry, you can email volun- 
teer@concordia.ca. 


W3d00) S508 


KAREN HERLAND 


The hum of traffic dulls the 
whine of a refrigerator and the 
slap of a flapping tarp. Soon, 
those sounds are replaced by the 
rush of wind and slap of water 
against rock. The city is a very dif- 
ferent place when you take the 
time to listen to it. Carefully. 

Nearly two-dozen people expe- 
rienced an aural walk along the 
Lachine Canal on April 27, led by 
practiced soundmapper Andra 
McCartney (Journal, Oct. 11, 
2007). The group trailed behind 
her in total silence, listening to 
the different environments her 
path guided them through. 

McCartney, a Communication 
Studies Professor, was invited by 
electroacoustic music student 
Max Stein to lead the walk. 
Although the two are in different 
Faculties, they share an apprecia- 
tion for what can be heard. 

“I want people to listen more 
to the environment around 
them,’ says Stein. 

Stein began developing a way 
to encourage active listening 
around the city after his first 
year here. Using Google maps as 
a starting point, he, with the 
help of his brother Julian, creat- 


ed Montreal Sound Map 
cessa.music.concordia.ca/sound 
map/en/. “Planning was the 
hardest part,’ says Stein. 

By November 2008, he had 
completed the web site with a 
user-friendly interface. Anyone 
can upload recordings of ambi- 
ent sound embedded at the 
location they were recorded. 
With the help of some initial 
publicity the project caught on. 
The site currently contains 
about 100 recordings uploaded 
by 40 people. 

This marks the first group 
walk linked to the project. When 
participants gathered outside of 
Lionel-Groulx Metro, one of the 
first points of discussion was 
who could hear the mosquito 
tone in the metro station. The 


- devices emit a high-frequency 


sound audible only to those 
under 25. The premise is that 
those younger (and more likely 
to loiter, grafitti or otherwise 
disturb other commuters) will 
be compelled to move through 
the space quickly. 

McCartney pointed out that 
this is one example of an ecolog- 
ical analysis of sound — how it is 
used to control space. The mos- 
quito system is particularly dis- 


criminatory, while other situa- 
tions may be inviting. Many 
commercial . enterprises use 
music to encourage their pre- 
ferred clientele to come in and 
stay awhile. She said 
soundmaps could also be 
explored as a type of communi- 
cation “as if a friend with a mes- 
sage is trying to tell you some- 
thing” A third framework con- 
siders, “how sounds relate musi- 
cally. You can listen for har- 
monies, rhythms and pitch? 
With basic instructions to fol- 
low McCartney while listening 
silently, the group set out on a 
40-minute path through urban 
streets, the (dusk-quiet) Atwater 
market, along the Lachine Canal 
and back through some residen- 
tial streets. The walk was 
recorded. Afterwards, walkers 
shared their impressions. 
McCartney and Stein had 
taken the same route 10 days 
earlier on a Friday afternoon. 
The differences between day 
and evening, and the impact of 
the considerably warmer weath- 
er all were audible. “When the 
market is closed, you become 
aware of the massive refrigera- 
tion system that keeps it going, 
said McCartney. Sounds of the 


9 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


Hear and now: Sound map 








QNYTYIH NINE 


Julian and Max Stein (from left) helped record their first participatory 
sound walk, led by Communication studies professor Andra McCartney. 


bustle of commerce were 
replaced by “the noise made by 
the mix of permanent and tem- 
porary materials.” 

The considerably warmer 
weather brought more athletes 
outside, playing ball or whizzing 
by on bicycles. It also allowed 
indoor sounds to drift outside 
through opened windows. 

Many walkers noted the 
impact the group had on the 


soundscape. Some people quiet- 
ed themselves in reaction to the 
sight of a determined, silent 
crowd marching by. 

Other walkers commented on 
the role of the built environment 
on the sounds they heard. “When 
you walk by a really massive 
structure, it blocks the sound you 
hear; said McCartney. 

More walks are planned for 
the coming year. 





Language Exchange unites students for one-on-one learning 


ANNA SARKISSIAN 
During a typical elevator ride at 
Concordia, you're likely to be 
sandwiched in between stu- 
dents and teachers who speak a 
myriad of different languages. 

“We see people from all over 
the world, but we can't neces- 
sarily approach them,’ says Luis 
Ochoa, a lecturer from Classics, 
Modern Languages and 
Linguistics. Ochoa and Etudes 
frangaises teacher Fabien Olivry 
have created the Concordia 
Language Exchange to pair up 
students who want to improve 
their language skills. 

Through the Student Services 
link on the MyConcordia Portal, 
users can post messages in an 
online forum to find someone 
who speaks the language they 
want to learn and who wants to 
learn their language. Once they 
have a match, known as a “tan- 
dem,’ the students decide where 
to meet, what to discuss, and so 
on. The goal is for them to spend 
half the time speaking one lan- 
guage and then switch. They can 





The Concordia Language Exchange, initiated by Luis Ochoa (left) and Fabien 
Olivry, helps students find partners to practice languages ranging from 


Russian to Hindi. 


correct each other's mistakes, 
practice their pronunciation and 
learn about each others’ cultures. 

“Students are spread out all 
over campus so it’s easy to miss 
the ads on the bulletin boards 
from students seeking language 


partners, Olivry says. They 
launched the site in mid-March 
to respond to the demand from 
their students. Using a central- 
ized forum, students can create 
profiles, exchange emails, and 
find a partner with whom to 


practice their spoken Greek, 
Arabic, or Chinese. Currently, 
there are folders set up for stu- 
dents who want to practice one 
of 13 languages instructed at 
Concordia, but they can also 
seek out other languages. 
Language exchanges are 
prevalent at universities 
throughout Europe, Olivry says, 
citing the European 
Commission's eTandem Europa 
as a good example. eTandem 
has operated at more than 30 
educational institutions since 
1994, but focuses mostly on 
learning via electronic media. 
“This is an ideal way to com- 
plement class instruction, 
Olivry says. While language 
courses can teach students the 
fundamentals, teachers are 
often pressed for time when it 
comes to oral communication. 
One-on-one interactions help 
students improve their fluency 
quickly. According to Ochoa, cre- 
ating a tandem can help them 
overcome some of the anxiety 
associated with learning a new 
language. Often times, students 


are intimidated to speak up in 
class, so meeting with a peer can 
help them build confidence. 

Language is not the only 
aspect of the exchange. “We 
consider that students are a 
source of culture’ Ochoa 
explains. While language cours- 
es are somewhat restricted in 
terms of subject matter, stu- 
dents set the agenda for their 
own meetings. They can easily 
become immersed in the other's 
culture by learning about their 
food, music, or religion. 

Olivry and Ochoa stress that 
the students are not “teaching” 
one another. In Olivry’s words, 
they are working together in a 
collaborative way. 

Ochoa likens the exchange to 
riding a bicycle built for two. 
“After all, that’s what they're 
doing, he says. “The students 
are pedalling at the same time” 

To access the Concordia 
Language Exchange, students 
can log into the MyConcordia 
Portal, select Student Services 
and click the link for Lang 
BBoard. 


10 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


It takes a village to manage exams 





KAREN HERLAND 


If you've ever been frustrated 
scheduling a dinner for six 
friends, or coordinating vacation 
dates for a big family, you can 
appreciate what Linda Hull faces 
every exam period. 

“We have 1 100 to 1 200 exams 
on both campuses to schedule 
each December and April? says 
the supervisor of registration and 
examinations. “And one course 
may have many different sections. 

Hull, with a team of three oth- 
ers (two of whom are part-time), 
coordinates the logistical puzzle 
that slots the bodies into three 
time slots per day over 16 days 
in multiple classrooms on two 
campuses. 

This exam period required 
235 invigilators. Of those about 
a fifth were brand new. Hull 
says the trend over the last five 
or six years has been to hire 
graduate students. 

“It's good that they are asso- 
ciated with the university, but 
there's a high turnover. If they 
only come to us in their second 
year, they're gone shortly after,’ 
says Hull. 

John Donovan represents a 
different kind of invigilator. He 
got involved through a friend 
who worked at Concordia near- 
ly twenty years ago, while 
between jobs. “He's been here 
longer than I have? says Hull, 





whos been coordinating exams 
since 1995. 

Donovan now works else- 
where, but he continues to 
invigilate evening and weekend 
exams. “It keeps you abreast of 
things, I like it” 

Lois Jaworski agrees. She got 
involved six years ago, also 
through a friend working here. “I 
like working with young people” 

Donovan says that his role 
has changed over the years. “It 
is much more strict. Now we 
keep track of unused question- 
naires and we distribute num- 
bers for seating” 

Hull introduced numbered 
cards a few years ago, after a 
successful test run during the 
quieter summer cycle. The 
assigned seating ensures that 
friends won't sit near each 





other. The cards are printed 
with relevant university policy 
so students can no longer 
claim they were not made 
aware of the rules. 

When Hull spoke to the Journal 
a few days before the end of the 
winter exam period, she said 
there had fewer than 20 viola- 
tions of the academic code filed 
through her office, a fraction of 
the number of people writing 
exams. And violations don't auto- 
matically mean that students 
were caught cheating. 

Students can be charged 
because they have a cell phone 
with them. The potential for 
communicating via text mes- 
sages makes cell phones entirely 
prohibited. Donovan says stu- 
dents have become so attached 
to their cell phones in the last 


couple of years, that they com- 
pletely forget they have them. 
“They may not remember the 
pencil they need to write the 
exam, but they have a phone? 

Hull adds that students for- 
get to shut them off and ring- 
ing phones can disrupt an 
exam from the jumble of bags 
and belongings at the side of 
the class. 

For Hull, exam period is the 
home stretch. She starts deter- 
mining the number of exams in 
January for the April exam 
period. She sends a tentative 
schedule by the end of January 
and integrates changes over 
the next two weeks. Once the 
schedule is finalized, room 
booking begins. Multiple 
exams can be held simultane- 
ously in Loyola’s Gaudagni 


Invigilators are equipped for one of dozens of exam schedules held at end of term. 


lounge and gym and other 
assorted buildings. 

When room bookings are 
finalized, it’s time to think about 
personnel. Ideally, professors 
should be one of the two invigi- 
lators at an exam. But that does 
not always work with multiple 
sections of a course. New invigi- 
lators are interviewed individu- 
ally, hired and trained. Then 
they are scheduled. Supervisors 
travel from room to room, offer- 
ing support if students fall ill or 
help tracking down a professor 
when questions about exam 
instructions arise. 

By the time exams are being 
administered, the tough part is 
over but Hull says she has very 
little down time before she 
starts the process all over again 
for the next term. 


Expanding classroom dialogue 


KAREN HERLAND 


At some point, most professors 
look out into the classroom only 
to be confronted by a sea of 
blank faces. 

“You just aren't sure whether 
the material is going over their 
heads, or if the concept has 
already been covered at length 
in another course, said Tim 
Stelzer at a recent workshop 
coordinated by the Centre for 
Teaching and Learning Services 
(CTLS). 

Stelzer was presenting one 
possible tool to help professors 
determine how well their con- 
tent is being understood by stu- 
dents, the iClicker. 

Stelzer distributed iClickers 
to the nearly four-dozen profes- 
sors who attended his workshop 
on April 17 and invited them to 
use the devices before offering 
an explanation. Those present 
easily understood that the gadg- 


et, resembling a remote control, 
could be used to select an 
answer to a multiple-choice 
question. 

In turn, that answer (along 
with everyone else's) is immedi- 
ately plotted onto a graph on the 
class computer screen, and, if 
desired, displayed back to the 
group. Students see _ their 
answer as an unidentifiable one 
among many, that alone, may 
get some students to participate 
more than in a regular lecture 
environment. 

Some of those who attended 
Stelzer's workshop are already 
using similar technology in the 
classroom, and were interested in 
his technology. Others were just 
curious about what the technolo- 
gy could do. Janette Barrington, a 
Teaching Consultant with CTLS, 
said 19 of those who attended 
were interested in implement- 
ing the technology themselves. 
She adds that the technology is 


not necessarily a tool for all dis- 
ciplines, but in pilot tests this 
year has shown to be useful in 
science instruction. 

“When I give a traditional lec- 
ture, I might try to engage stu- 
dents with questions. But it’s dif- 
ficult to get more than a few stu- 
dents to respond;’ said Robert 
Cassidy, a part-time professor in 
the psychology department. 
He's tried iClicker technology in 
two classes. 

“You can get students 
involved without relying on 
their level of confidence or abil- 
ity to speak in front of a class, 
he notes. The anonymity of the 
process allows them to test 
their understanding of the 
material and get immediate 
feedback. In some cases, “they 
might have been wrong, but so 
was 40% of the class,” says 
Cassidy, adding that the 
strength of numbers makes 
them more comfortable talking 


about the reason for their mis- 
understanding. 

As a professor, he finds that 
kind of immediate information 
precious. He can determine, 
almost in real time, what con- 
cepts need more elaboration, 
and when he can move swiftly 
through material. “It allows me 
to have a finger on the pulse of 
what the class is thinking” 

The technology itself is easy 
to integrate. Instructors receive 
a box through CTLS that they 
can plug into the classroom 
computer's USB port. With that 
hardware student responses can 
be tabulated and displayed. 

Each student is expected to 
purchase an iClicker in the same 
way they would purchase a text- 
book for a course. The devices 
(currently priced at about $37) 
can then be sold back to the 
bookstore (at half their current 
value) for resale in the same 
ways texts are now. 


The technology affords other 
possibilities as well, “it allows 
me to have the class work with 
information at a more sophisti- 
cated level? says Cassidy. 

For instance, instead of sim- 
ply lecturing on the differences 
between two or three theories, 
he can present a scenario and 
ask students which theory sup- 
ports the example. Students can 
also debate the different 
responses. 

Cassidy acknowledges that 
determining what questions to 
ask and how to respond to 
information in a classroom set- 
ting does take some initial 
practice. “But it allows you to 
get at the root of misconcep- 
tions.” He says the more he uses 
the technology, the easier it is 
to develop ways to integrate it. 
“That process makes you a 
much better teacher. He is also 
convinced that the students 
find class time more valuable. 


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CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 


WHAT’SON 


MAY 7 - MAY 20 | C/OURNAL@ALCOR.CONCORDIA.CA 


Transience 


Sandeep Baghwati's musical composition, Transience, is based on medieval poetry from the 
earliest extant Japanese poetry collection, Wakan r ei sh .The performance on Fri., May 8 
will be held at Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, 100 Sherbrooke St. E. The performance 
begins at 8 p.m. and includes works from Chantale Laplante, Michel Frigon, Denis Dion et 
Cléo Palacio-Quintin. 


Social research workshop 


The Department of Political Science is holding a workshop series on social research from 
May 12 to 16. The workshop offers three topics: Qualitative Research - Focus groups in 
Theory and Practice; Basics of Multivariate Analysis - OLS and Logistic Regression; and 
Multivariate Modeling - Discrete Choice, Multi-level Analysis & Structural Equations. For 
more, see their site: politicalscience.concordia.ca/research/seminarsandconferences. 


Lakeshore Concert Band 


The Lakeshore Concert Band will present its Gala Concert” Broadway to Hollywood!” at the 
Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Sat., May 16 at 8 p.m. The concert highlights music from 
Broadway shows and movies. Tickets: $15 for adults; $10 for students and seniors. For more 
information: 514-428-0636, www.lakeshoreconcertband.ca. 


WebWork, improving academic performance 


On Tues., May 19, the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance is hosting a work- 
shop by Michael Gage and Vicki Roth from the University of Rochester. Gage will discuss 
WebWork, an online homework delivery and grading system, and Roth will discuss the use 
of student-led cooperative learning groups that are course-specific. For more information, 
contact Linda Chow at 1_chow@education.concordia.ca. 


The Orange Order in Canada 


On Tues., May 19, David A. Wilson of the University of Toronto will give a lecture on the 
Orange Order in Canada, the subject of his latest book. The lecture, the second annual Irish 
Protestant Benevolent Society Lecture in Canadian Irish Studies, begins at 8 p.m. at the 
University Club of Montreal, 2047 Mansfield St. Admission is free. For more, see 
www.cdnirish.concordia.ca or call 514-848-8711. 


Eight years of service recognized 





Although the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema Awards Evening is dedicated to student recog- 
nition, Graduate Program Director Thomas Waugh took time out at the beginning of the evening 
to honour his colleague Peter Rist (above). 

Rist is completing his third term as Chair of the department. “We’re all a little vague on 
when he began his first term. But he has served as Chair for eight of the last fifteen years,” 
said Waugh, who acknowledged Rist’s evident passion for cinema. 

“He started out as an engineer, but he saw the light and switched to film studies,” 
recalled Waugh. “He retains that interdisciplinary perspective.” Rist has published on Asian 
cinema, but is also knowledgeable about Latin American and Canadian film. He has led 
students on film study trips to Cuba and Burkina Faso. 


WIAI10 NYHLVN 


Community-based teaching 


The Centre for Teaching and Learning Services invites those interested in Community-based 
teaching and research to a workshop on Wed., May 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in H-767. Edward 
Jackson of Carleton University is guest speaker and a wine and cheese reception will follow. 
See teaching.concordia.ca/workshops or call ext. 2499 for details. 


Undergraduate Show 


The FOFA Gallery is presenting the Undergraduate Student Exhibition until May 22. 
Typically the exhibition, a 25-year tradition which showcases the work of Visual Arts stu- 
dents, includes a variety of media including photography, sculpture, drawing, video, and 
installation. The works assembled demonstrate a broad spectrum of aesthetic and technical 
concerns, and reveal current interests in contemporary art. fofagallery.concordia.ca. 


Learn to be a personal coach 


On May 30 and 31, Jim Gavin and Madeleine Mcbrearty will facilitate a two-day experiential 
seminar on professional and personal coaching. Offered through the Centre for Human 
Relations and Community Studies, the seminar costs $295 plus tax and will be held at Loyola. 
To register and for more infomation, see coaching.concordia.ca. 


Homeopathy Open House 


The Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy is holding an open house and orientation 
event on-campus on Sun., May 31 in Hingston Hall at 1:30 p.m. Information will be offered on 
bringing a deeper sense of meaning into your life and career, as well as the professionally 
accredited MICH program starting in September 2009, Call 514-486-2716 to reserve your 
place or see www.homeopathymontreal.com for more info. 


The Wrong Corpse 


The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery is holding two concurrent exhibits until June 13. The 
Wrong Corpse brings together three artists who consider the coming apart of identity 
through video, performance, and installation. Making It Work explores the process of collec- 
tive art practice. For more, see ellengallery.concordia.ca/2006/en/expositions_meo_fe.php. 


CONVO:C AT1ON 


This year's convocation ceremonies will held in the 
Salle Wilfrid Pelletier concert hall at Place des Arts. 


Sunday, June 7 
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCE 
Three ceremonies: 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 


Monday, June 8 
JOHN MOLSON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 
Two ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 


Tuesday, June 9 
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE 
10 a.m. 


FACULTY OF FINE ARTS 
2:30 p.m. 


For details, including the division of departments for 
Arts & Science and JMSB ceremonies, 
see registrar.concordia.ca/convo/ 








12 


CONCORDIA JOURNAL | May 7, 2009 





Concordia recruits new talent 


DANIEL RODRIGUES 


In today’s competitive student 
recruiting environment, the 
Department of Recreation and 
Athletics has succeeded in 
attracting three very accom- 
plished student athletes to join 
the Concordia Stingers family 
this September. 

Get used to hearing these 
names: Hockey's Erin Lally, 
rugby's David Biddle and foot- 
ball's Kris Robertson. 

Lally, a JMSB entrant, comes 
to Concordia following three 


years with the Calgary Flyers of 


the Alberta Major Midget 
Female Hockey League. Last 
season, 18-year-old Lally 
amassed 41 points (24 goals, 17 
assists) as captain of her team, 
ranking her fifth in league scor- 
ing. She helped guide Calgary to 
a first place record of 24-6-2. 

“Erin will be a big asset to our 
team,” says Stingers head coach 
Les Lawton. “She'll fit right in 
and contribute right away.’ 

On April 25, Lally and the 
Flyers clinched the bronze 
medal at the inaugural Esso Cup 
in Calgary, a five-team tourna- 
ment to determining the nation- 


Local bike co-ops gear up for 


Cycling aficionados assembled 
on campus last Saturday for 
Allégo Concordia’s drive by 
tour of Montreal community 


bike shops. 
Facilitated by Bettina 
Grassman, a volunteer at 


Concordia's Right to Move 
RTM, the ride included stops at 
seven co-operatives where 
members can learn to fix their 


bikes for a nominal fee. 


"It's really exciting what is 
happening in Montreal right 
now,” Grassman said, allud- 
ing to the recent crop of 
which have 
opened in the last two years. 
RTM, which has been around 
for 12 years, is jokingly 
referred to as the "mother- 
ship" of bike co-operatives. 
They offer grants and assis- 
tance to emerging shops as 


workshops, 


they establish themselves. 


During the tour, a dozen 
cyclists rode together from co- 
op to co-op, including Leila El- 
Murr, a McGill chemistry stu- 
dent who recently moved here 


from Texas. 





VOVNY) ADEN 


New fine arts student David Biddle (centre) comes to Concordia with extensive experience in international rugby. . 


al female midget champion. She 
also earned game MVP in two 
tournament matches, as well as 
being named the tournament's 
most sportsmanlike player. 
When David Biddle arrives at 
Concordia this fall, he will be 
considered a rookie, but he 
brings with him a wealth of 
experience. Biddle has repre- 
sented Canada onthe world 
stage numerous times. He was a 


"Where I'm from, there are 
no co-ops, only shops,” she 
said. "Shops are more interest- 
ed in keeping my money. I 
would definitely learn more 
skills from a workshop.” 

At the Mile End Bike Garage 
on Van Horne, volunteer Hana 
MacDonald echoed that senti- 
ment, telling the group, "We're 
not here to make money, we're 
here to empower people.” 

After a picnic lunch by the 
water at Jarry Park, the group 
traveled onwards “to Park 
Extension and Université de 
Montréal. 

Lise Herrmann from Les 
Dérailleuses/Women in Gear, 
a women's bike collective, 
explained their mission before 
the group set off from RTM. 

"We just want to create a 
safe and welcoming place for 
people to learn about bikes," 
she said. 

For a list of community bike 
workshops in Montreal, visit 
www.rtm-lvLorg/schedule.php 


~ ANNA SARKISSIAN 


member of the national teams 
that competed in the 2004 
under-19 World Cup in South 
Africa and the 2005 under-21 
World Cup in Argentina. 

In 2006, he earned his first full 
international ‘cap’ (the distinc- 
tion given to a player competing 
in an international contest) in a 
World Cup qualifying match 
against Barbados. In 2006, 
Biddle was selected to Canada’s 


senior men’s team to compete in 
World Cup in France, starting in 
games against Wales, Fiji and 
Australia. 

The 23-year-old was also 
named British Columbia's male 
rugby Player of the Year in 2008. 

“Im not too sure what to 
expect with regards to rugby at 
Concordia,’ said Biddle. “But I'm 
sure I'll enjoy my time with the 
team. There seems to be great 


we 








camaraderie amongst the group: 

An accomplished artist who 
loves drawing and painting, he 
has taken a step back from the 
national team to focus more on 
his studies. He comes to 
Concordia to study fine arts. 

Defensive back Kris Robertson's 
football career only dates back 
four years, but the 18-year-old has 
been exceptional in that time. He 
has garnered a lot respect for his 
speed, having been clocked at 4.4 
seconds in the 40-yard dash, 

Robertson played for Team 
Ontario twice, as a member of 
both the under-17 squad - 
where he named all- 
Canadian — and under-19 team. 
This June, he hopes to represent 
Team Canada at the Junior 
World Championships — in 
Canton, Ohio. 

An exceptional student, 
Robertson will graduate from 
high school with an average 
above 80 per cent and will pur- 
sue his studies in psychology at 
Concordia. 

“Kris is a tremendous football 
player as well as a great student; 
said football head coach Gerry 
McGrath. “He will be a good 
ambassador for our program. 


was 


summer 


Daniel Grenon, a bike mechanic from the CRABE co-op at the Ecole de technologie supérieure, rides along _ 


Clark during Allégo Concordia's tour of community bike workshops last Saturday.