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Montreal Massacre remembered

12:41 pm - December 10, 2014

On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine entered a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal (an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal) and separated the female students from the male ones. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” he shot all nine women in the room killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting other women to shoot. In all, he killed fourteen women, injured ten others, and four men before he turned the gun on himself. The post below is part of a series of thoughts, remembrances, and calls to action by women in engineering and the sciences.

Professor Sylvain Rheault
Faculty of Arts, French Dept.
One night, after working late at the Université de Montréal, I was on my way to the subway station when I saw a police cruiser, all lights flashing, blocking the access to the higher part of the campus, where École Polytechnique is located. I thought that a student got into trouble. A suicide came to mind. This was December 6th, 1989. I quickly learned that fourteen young innocent women were shot because they were women. I did not know directly any of the young women who lost their lives. But I knew people who knew them and who started to share their stories. And their stories were about lives full of promise coming to an abrupt end. More stories were being told, and then more of them, because there were so many victims. Together, these stories were weaving an invisible fog of sadness around all of us and the sadness became inescapable. Every day, we would have to breathe the sadness and live with it. I remember that the sadness was thick and heavy. The sadness was shared by everyone in Montréal, because it was the only way to make the load bearable and carry on with life.

Women being killed or otherwise harmed because they are women is one of the great injustices on this Earth.

We should let our elected representatives at all levels of government know that an inquiry into the murdered and missing aboriginal women is more than ever a necessity.

To read more posts in this series about the École Polytechnique Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance visit:  http://www2.uregina.ca/yourblog/category/national-day-of-remembrance/

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Women in Engineering serve as catalyst for change

4:29 pm - December 3, 2014

On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine entered a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal (an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal) and separated the female students from the male ones. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” he shot all nine women in the room killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting other women to shoot. In all, he killed fourteen women, injured ten others, and four men before he turned the gun on himself. The post below is part of a series of thoughts, remembrances, and calls to action by women in engineering and the sciences.

Submitted by
Wayne Clifton, PEng, FEC
Senior Principal, Clifton Associates Ltd.

December 6, 1989 will be indelibly engraved in my memory. I was at a Canadian Council of Professional Engineers function in Ottawa when we learned that these talented women had been murdered; the shock was indescribable. Fortunately, the grief and anger was followed by the resolve to address the issue of inequality in engineering, science and technology. While progress has been made since then there still a lot that needs to be done.

I had always felt that the profession needed to be representative of society and we were foregoing a huge talent pool by not addressing the barriers and encouraging more women to enter the profession. APES Council was a small, supportive and pioneering group that included female practitioners such as Shawna Argue and Debra Anderson. This group started an informal “Women in Engineering” (WIE) committee in 1989 that was formalized shortly thereafter.

This made Saskatchewan the first engineering jurisdiction to focus on support and promotion of WIE, prior to the massacre in Montreal. After the Massacre, engineering Councils across the country mobilized to address the underlying issues with a view to making engineering a career of choice for more female high school graduates.

The Prairie Forum on Women in Engineering – which brought engineers together to discuss the status of women in the profession and how to improve it – was the most visible result, but the APEGS WIE committee had done a lot of ground-breaking work prior to that.

The result of that relatively small group of female leaders, with the support of the membership at large, was real change that has helped make the field of engineering become a more (but not yet fully) equitable profession.

To read more posts in this series about the École Polytechnique Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance visit:  http://www2.uregina.ca/yourblog/category/national-day-of-remembrance/

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Does gender still matter in the field of engineering?

5:13 pm - November 28, 2014

iStock_000032128604Small

On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine entered a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal (an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal) and separated the female students from the male ones. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” he shot all nine women in the room killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting other women to shoot. In all, he killed fourteen women, injured ten others, and four men before he turned the gun on himself. The post below is part of a series of thoughts, remembrances, and calls to action by women in engineering and the sciences.

Submitted by:
Margaret A. Ball, P.Eng., FEC

December 6, 1989 was just an ordinary work day for me in a career with its ups and downs.  When I heard the news of the shooting I was horrified.  These women were killed because they dared to believe that they could work in any career.  I knew I worked in a career with systemic gender challenges but I never felt it included a risk to the safety of my friends, colleagues or myself.

My thoughts turned to engineers dear to me and their reaction when I said I wanted to be an engineer. My uncle, a mechanical engineer, was happy and said I had the ability to do it.  My grandfather, an illumination engineer, was more hesitant.  He warned me it was not just about my ability but whether other people thought I should or could do it.  He wanted me to be sure engineering would make me happy because there would be roadblocks.

I remember thinking of women engineers younger than myself who had, in the months before the massacre, said they felt the challenges of being in a non-traditional career were a thing of the past.  I thought their young careers left them thinking the challenges were experience-based not gender-based and that their eyes would be opened at some point.

I also reflected on the situation where a woman (Marc Lépine’s mother), who had done the best she could with what life had given her, was left to bear the brunt of the questions of why or how her son could do such a thing.

After the massacre I focused my energy on two tracks: first, spending more time in schools.  Those children can carry new ideas forward into the future and change the working world; second, staying involved with my professional association.  We knew at the time men had to be part of the “women in engineering” discussions, but it was often a hard sell.  New campaigns like “He for She” will make it easier.

At that time, and as we remember, I rethink the challenges I have encountered in my career with fresh eyes.  The world is changing, this event is less likely to happen in Canada now.  This is good news.  It is important to continue to look back in order to inform our future.  As stated by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Margaret A. Ball, P.Eng., FEC

To read more posts in this series about the École Polytechnique Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance visit:  http://www2.uregina.ca/yourblog/category/national-day-of-remembrance/

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Faculty work abroad furthers international partnership

1:17 pm - November 26, 2014

Randy Linton discussing fiscal agreements between Canada-Mexico at Universidad Panamericana. Photo courtesy of Universidad Panamericana

Randy Linton discussing fiscal agreements between Canada-Mexico at Universidad Panamericana. Photo courtesy of Universidad Panamericana

Submitted by: Arturo Segura
International Relations and Partnerships Specialist, UR International

Randy Linton, Lecturer (Accounting) with the Faculty of Business Administration, delivered a set of seminars in Mexico City from November 8 – 11, 2014 at our partner university Universidad Panamericana. The Universidad Panamericana and University of Regina have a long-standing academic relationship that dates back 20 years.

During his time in Mexico, Linton presented to more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty members on multiple subjects including the “Canada-Mexico Income Tax Convention”, Assessment of the Tax Agreement between Canada-Mexico, and the Taxation System in Canada.  Linton also promoted the academic programs offer by the Faculty of Business Administration.

“With this year’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, it is imperative that our students further their understanding regarding the current taxation agreements between Mexico, Canada and USA”, said Maru Avila Arce, Head of the Academy of Control and Information Policy at the Universidad Panamericana. “Linton’s performance was outstanding during the seminars he presented at our School of Business and Economics. Our students and faculty gained knowledge that they will be able to implement during their careers as accountants or policy makers.”

If you are a professor at the University of Regina and would like to have an academic experience abroad please contact UR International via email at international.relations@uregina.ca

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Montreal Massacre highlights need for change

10:19 am - November 25, 2014

Talk

On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine entered a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal (an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal) and separated the female students from the male ones. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” he shot all nine women in the room killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting other women to shoot. In all, he killed fourteen women, injured ten others, and four men before he turned the gun on himself. The post below is part of a series of thoughts, remembrances, and calls to action by women in engineering and the sciences.

Submitted by:
Deb Anderson, P. Eng.

In December of 1989 I had been working as an engineer for more than 20 years. During that time I’d heard lots of sexist comments and some people even suggested I should stay home and ‘let the men do the work’.  But I never thought someone would try to kill me because they resented my choice to be an engineer.

I have spoken to women who were in the building when the shooting started at the École Polytechnique of the Université de Montréal, on December 6, 1989. In twenty short minutes Marc Lepine wreaked a path of destruction that would change countless lives forever – mine included.

After the massacre I was asked to join a committee in Regina to organize an event to bring people together to tell their stories related to the Montreal Massacre. That started a discussion about steps we could take to promote and retain women in engineering. We also needed to raise awareness across the country about the challenges that women face in a male-dominated fields and the magnitude of violence against women. We faced resistance and outright opposition from within our profession and even from our own friends and families.

Role models for women engineers are few and far between. The events surrounding the massacre impressed upon me the importance of stepping up into that role. I seek out young women and encourage them to network and participate in the engineering community to ensure they know that they have support. I am proud to support other women and to call myself a feminist.

The road has had many twists and turns. The acquaintances and friends that I’ve made along the way have made it all worthwhile.

Change happens slowly. Together we can take one step at a time.

 

To read more posts in this series about the École Polytechnique Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance visit:  http://www2.uregina.ca/yourblog/category/national-day-of-remembrance/

 

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Remembering the École Polytechnique Massacre

1:04 pm - November 20, 2014

Maundy Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane

On December 6, 1989 Marc Lépine entered a classroom at École Polytechnique in Montreal (an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal) and separated the female students from the male ones. After claiming that he was “fighting feminism” he shot all nine women in the room killing six of them. He then moved through the school targeting other women to shoot. In all, he killed fourteen women, injured ten others, and four men before he turned the gun on himself. The post below is part of a series of thoughts, remembrances, and calls to action by women in engineering and the sciences.

Submitted by: Dena McMartin
Associate Vice-President (Academic and Research)
Professor, Environmental Systems Engineering

What would I have done if I was the professor at the front of the room at the École Polytechnique of the Université de Montréal, on December 6, 1989? What would I do if I was confronted in a similar way today?

When I first started teaching at the U of R, I played out a potential scenario in my head to figure out what I would do, how I would react, what my options might be.

The Scenario: a gunman bursts into a lecture hall. He screams for all the men to leave, claims to be fighting against feminism and shoots all of the women in the room (9 shot; 6 killed). He then moves down the corridors and succeeds in shooting 28 people and killing a total of 14 before shooting himself.

I still don’t know what I would do. I like to think I’d respond bravely. I like to think I’d get all the students out of the room before a killer opened fire. I like to think the students, too, would stand up for each other. I like to think a lot of things, but none of us can really know how we would react in a situation like the one on December 6, 1989 without having been there.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre. For years, we’ve marked the day as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This year, the UofR and our partners at the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) and the SK Status of Women Office will commemorate the 25th anniversary with a series of events, including a vigil, an open house at APEGS, guest speakers in classes, and a blog series that will be populated with stories from engineers and engineering students.

Please join us in remembering the 14 young women gunned down in 1989 and all people who continue to live under violence today.

To learn more about what to do if an armed intruder is in your immediate area on campus watch the University of Regina Armed Intruder Preparedness video below. You can view this same video in Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean and Portugese here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzr1NzQJlU7KvxppR2VBB9sBaJxiOLDj9

 

 

To read more posts in this series about the École Polytechnique Massacre and the National Day of Remembrance visit:  http://www2.uregina.ca/yourblog/category/national-day-of-remembrance/

 

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Top 5 ways to be green and save green

1:36 pm - November 3, 2014

Eco-city.

Submitted by RPIRG, URSU and UR Sustainable Campus

Simply put, sustainability is wellbeing for all, forever. Problem is most people tend to shy away from sustainability because they think it requires “sacrifice” and “hard work”. But we want to tell you how you can easily maintain Mother Earth’s healthy glow while sustaining some serious scratch in the Ol’ Wallet.

So we’re giving you the ‘TOP 5 WAYS TO STAY GREEN AND SAVE GREEN’. We’re talking about little changes that can save you big money — yes, MONEY— that thing students don’t have a lot of. And we don’t mean ‘SARCAN TRIP = BOOZE MONEY’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we mean ways you can have a big impact down the road by making small alterations today! Speaking of alterations:

Read more

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Exploring the relationship between social anxiety and traumatic social experiences

11:28 am - October 14, 2014

Submitted by: Michelle Teale Sapach
Anxiety & Illness Behaviours Lab

We are looking for volunteers to partake in a study examining the relationship between social anxiety and traumatic social experiences being conducted through the University of Regina by graduate student, Michelle Teale Sapach (teale20m@uregina.ca), under the supervision of Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton.

As a participant in this study you would be asked to complete a set of anonymous web-based questionnaires. Your participation would involve one session, lasting between 30-60 minutes.

Participating in this research will help improve our understanding of how social anxiety disorder develops and the consequences of traumatic social experiences like peer victimization and cyberbullying.

Participants need to live in North America and be between the ages of 18-25.

To participate or find out more about the study, please follow the link below.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/negative_social_experiences

Participation is anonymous, but you can contact the researchers if you have questions (detailed contact information can be found by following the link).

This study has been reviewed and received approval through the Research Ethics Board, University of Regina.

Thank you for your support!

 

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An Unsung Hero(ine)

2:51 pm - October 6, 2014

Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock in 1964, the first woman to fly solo around the world. Photo: public domain

Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock in 1964, the first woman to fly solo around the world. Photo: public domain

Submitted by: Dena McMartin
Associate Vice-President (Academic and Research)
Professor, Environmental Systems Engineering

Last week the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in a solo flight died. Most of us didn’t know her story, much less her name. In 1964 – and remembering the times of that era – “the flying housewife”, aka Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock, successfully completed what Amelia Earhart did not – she flew around the world on her own. It took her 29 days to complete the 37,180 kilometre journey. And while she didn’t seek out fame and glory, her trailblazing actions would have, no doubt, inspired young pilots, engineers (Jerrie earned her degree in aeronautical engineering…”flying housewife” indeed), and adventurers to broaden their horizons.

Mock wrote about her experiences in a book, Three-Eight Charlie, which was republished in 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her groundbreaking flight. Her plane, the Spirit of Columbus, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Women like Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock may not be household names but, regardless, they have opened opportunities for everyone interested in following their dreams, even if it means taking the road less travelled…or, in this case, the skies less flown.

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Volunteers needed for Online Health Survey – WIN $50

2:23 pm - October 1, 2014

Submitted by: Jocelyne Leclerc
Department of Psychology

We are seeking volunteers (18 years old or older & residing in Canada) to take part in a study to aid with the development of a measure of health-related anxiety. As a participant, you would be asked to complete an anonymous 45-minute online questionnaire.

In appreciation for your time, you will have the option to enter a draw to win a $50 gift certificate (24 available) from a variety of retail/food stores (your choice) such as Best Buy, Sephora, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Tim Hortons, iTunes, Safeway, Amazon, etc.

To participate in this study click on the link below:

http://fluidsurveys.com/s/ureginastudy2/

This research is being supervised by Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, Department of Psychology, University of Regina, Regina, SK. This study has been approved by the University of Regina Research Ethics Board.

For more information contact Jocelyne, Department of Psychology at 306-585-5369 or email: leclercj@uregina.ca

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