Campus Digest: Staff invited to discover a new international opportunity

By Communications Staff
April 24, 2014

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Perhaps it’s time to share your expertise with the world.

Western recently joined the 2014-15 Leave for Change program, an initiative designed to engage university staff in international opportunities, offered through Western’s Staff Working Group on International Engagement.

Through this program, Western will select and sponsor two staff members, who will volunteer abroad in a developing country, sharing their knowledge and skills with others in an international community setting. 

All full-time staff with at least one year of full-time service time are eligible to apply. The cost of participating is free; all the staff member needs to contribute is their vacation time.

With postings ranging between three and four weeks, Leave for Change offers volunteer experiences in 11 different countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Where you go depends on the professional skills you can offer, priority areas, your interest and language skills.

Applications are due by May 20.

Visit for details.


Western recently joined 145 universities across the globe in the Undergraduate Awards, a program recognizing undergraduate students for innovative work.

The awards acknowledge excellence in undergraduate academia across all disciplines through an international call for top scholarly submissions. Students submit high-quality course work to compete against top undergraduate scholars from around the world.

Students in their final year, or second-last year, of an undergraduate degree program are eligible. Western will accept submissions from both Main Campus and affiliate university colleges. Part-time students who are studying an undergraduate degree may also take part, on the basis they have completed at least two-thirds of their program.

There are 25 categories ranging from the sciences to social science to arts and humanities to professional programs.

Students selected for these awards have the opportunity to have their work published and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Dublin, Ireland, in November to attend a three-day Global Summit with top scholars from around the world. 

Visit for details.

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Western President Amit Chakma, along with John Doerksen, vice-provost (academic programs), and Candace Brunette, coordinator of Indigenous Services, joined friends and family in celebrating the university’s annual Indigenous Graduation Ceremony.

Welcome and congratulatory speeches were given by Sean Hoogterp, learning resource coordinator at Indigenous Studies, who acted as emcee, with a traditional opening and closing by Bruce Elijah and Myrna Kicknosway, both Visiting Elders connected with the Indigenous Services at Western.

Graduates included Valerie Hopkins of Lenaapee First Nation; Bimadoshka Annya Pucan, Anishinaabe-kwe from Saugeen First Nation; Genevieve Fisher, Chippewa of the Thames First Nation; Sara Mai Chitty from the Ojibwe Otter Clan, Alderville; Angela Mitchell from Tyendinega Territory Reserve; Ursula Doxtator of Oneida Nation Bear Clan; Naomi Sayers of Garden River First Nation; Nancy Buchanan of M’Chigeeng First Nation; Quinn Smallboy from Moose Cree First Nation; Jasmine Fournier of Garden River First Nation; Adrean Angles of Oneida Nation and Chippewa of the Thames; Ashley Johnson of Mohawk Six Nations Reserve; Kylie Bressette who is Ojibway-Metis of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation; Jessica Hill from Mohawk Six Nations Reserve; Ashley Albert from Chippewa of the Thames; Erica Elijah from the Oneida Nation; Brad Reed, Metis Nation of Ontario; Matthew Dings from Mohawk Bay of Quinte; Stephanie McConkey from Six Nations of the Grand; and Renata Smoke, Cree from Lac Seul First Nation.

Each graduates received a handmade stole, similar to those used in convocation ceremonies later this spring, with an Indigenous motif created by Tammy Beauvais of Kahnawake. The stoles are a gift for grads to keep.

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Alumnus John Noubarian led a host of Western faculty and alumni honoured at the 2014 Jack Richardson Music Awards, an event celebrating its 10th anniversary of recognizing some of London’s most-talented musicians.

Noubarian, BMus’79 (Music), along with fellow keyboardist Garth Hudson, formerly of The Band, was inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame. The pianist is prominent in the jazz community and can be heard Friday nights at Windermere Manor – often with fellow Music grads Darryl Stacey and Jeff Christmas.

Early in his musical career, Noubarian was booked out of Cleveland and Chicago and toured much of the U.S. Midwest. During this time, he sat in with jazz notables such as Chet Baker, Herbie Mann and Scot LaFaro.

Following a few years of road gigs in the United States, Noubarian resettled in London, where he currently resides. He led house groups which alternated between two of the city’s most popular night spots – the Iroquois Hotel, and Campbells. Here, his trio backed some top instrumentalists and vocalists among which were jazz greats like Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Wingy Manone, Bobby Hackett, Jack Teagarden, Jack Brokensha, and vocalists Ernestine Anderson, Jean Turner, Carmen McRae and others.

In addition to nightly performances, John attended London Teachers College during the day. He taught with the London Catholic School Board and continued his academic studies at Western. He graduated from the Faculty of Music in 1979 and retired from his teaching duties in 1993.

Hudson studied piano at Western with Clifford von Kuster, first dean of Music, and theory with T.C. Chattoe.

Among the other Western community members honoured, faculty member Anita Krause was awarded the Classical (Voice) prize, and the Western University Symphonic Orchestra won the Classical (Group) category. Krause is known for her mezzo soprano voice and impeccable musicianship, both in the concert hall and on the opera stage. The orchestra, conducted by Alain Trudel, consists of music majors as well as non-music students.

The Folk/Roots category was won by The Marrieds – husband and wife alumni Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy. They officially formed in December 2010 when they posted three snow day songs on YouTube during London’s ‘Snowmageddon.’ The songs received more than 10,000 views in a couple of days and captured the attention of CBC Radio, making them The Sound of the Day across Canada.

Retired professor Fiona Wilkinson, alumni Rob Larose and Stephen Holowitz and the rest of The Antler River Project, took home the World Music prize. They describe their music as a fusion of influences.

The Amabile Youth Singers, directed by alumna Brenda Zadorsky, won their third Classical (Choral) award.

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Victoria Chok, a second-year Biomedical Sciences student at Western, was recently selected as an Underwriter Scholar to represent Pearson Education at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo., in June. With 3,000 attendees, 350 speakers and 200 sessions, the festival is a premier public gathering of leaders across business, the arts, politics, health and philanthropy to shape connections in advancing future developments.  Past speakers include Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Malala Yousafzai. Given an opportunity not usually available to students, Chock is looking forward to networking at the festival.


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