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Congratulations to Siera Vercillo

Siera Vercillo, a PhD student in Western’s Department of Geography was awarded a MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) inaugural 20 Under 35 Award. This award honours young professionals who are changing the world and embody the qualities MEDA values – service and an entrepreneurial spirit. Siera is completing her PhD in Geography, focused on gender, food security and smallholder agriculture development. She recently returned from working in Sierra Leone in agriculture cooperative development and has lived in northern Ghana for a year working with Engineers Without Borders Canada to develop the Ministry's extension services for smallholder farmers. She has a Masters in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex (in the UK) and a Bachelors of Arts (Hons.) in Political Science from University of Toronto where she led the responsible investment changes made to the university's multi-billion dollar investment fund. Congratulations Siera!

Western Geographers giving back to the community in their own unique way!

The Department of Geography showed its unique United Way fundraising skills with their 20th Annual Talent Show on November 28th. This long standing tradition brings faculty, staff and students together in support of a very worthy cause. United Way is a charitable organization that looks at the root causes of community issues in order to build long-term solutions. Through various activities the department raised $1460. Thank you to Desmond Moser, Martin Horak, Amanda Stubley, Paul Pare, Emmanuel Songsore and our talent first year graduate students for entertaining the masses this year!

Workshop on Community Engagement in Research

Hannah Neufeld Banting Post-doctoral Fellow, and Cindy Anne Smithers, PhD Candidate recently spoke to a workshop on Community Engagement in Research that was sponsored by the Student Success Centre and facilitated by Joel R. Burton (Public Humanities at Western).  Both Hannah and Cindy are based in the Indigenous Health Lab that is led by Professor Chantelle Richmond.

 Hannah gave a summary of the on-going research relationship with Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) that began with the Food Choice Study in 2008. She went on to describe the life history methodology that is currently being utilized to illuminate potential historical and environmental changes impacting traditional food knowledge across generations both on and off-reserve. Cindy discussed the collaborative process with SOAHAC in the context of her own research question which seeks to explore the relationship between thriving health, living in the city, and cultural and gender identity among young First Nations men. Adopting a community-based participatory approach, she described her efforts to included methods congruent with Indigenous research paradigms including conversational method and autoethnography. 

Geography of Change course testing out the new Western Active Learning Space

Graham Smith teaching in Western Active Learning SpaceStudents and Dr. L. Graham Smith use the new WALS classroom (Western Active Learning Space) or the Geography of Change (Geography 4100) course. The new space promotes student-centric learning and interactive engagement, which greatly facilitates the pedagogy of Geography 4100. All of the course materials for Geography 4100 are hosted on a Prezi, a software feature which was a focal point for a Lunch and Learn session on Thursday November 20 2014. The session, entitled Beyond the Powerpoint and hosted by Western's Teaching Support Centre (TSC), included a feature presentation by Dr. Smith on the varied uses of Prezi. Both the use of WALS and of a Prezi as a course host reflect the continued innovation in teaching practice by the Department of Geography and its instructors.

Community Work by Gilliland and Students praised in Ontario Legislative Assembly

At the Ontario Legislative Assembly on November 24, 2014, London West MPP Peggy Sattler highlighted the quality work experience being gained by students in Dr Jason Gilliland’s HEALab in the Department o f Geography at Western Ontario.  She spoke in particular about attending the launch of a new smartphone app (SmartAPPetite) that was developed by Gilliland, in collaboration with a team of students, researchers and community partners, to help improve community well-being and boost Ontario’s local food economy. [WATCH]

New smartphone app helps users ‘Buy Local, Eat Smart, Get Healthy'

Western University researchers and partners released the SmartAPPetite app Nov 21st, providing Southwestern Ontarians customized tips about local food, healthy eating, recipes, and information about local farmers and food providers.  [More]

SmartApp group shot Back row from left to right: Michael Clark (MA Candidate, Western Geography); David Corke (Executive Director, London Training Centre); Peggy Sattler (MPP for London West); Dr Jason Gilliland (Associate Professor, Western Geography); Matt Brown (Mayor elect, City of London); Dr Colleen O’Connor (Associate Professor, Brescia Food & Nutritional Sciences); Ahsan Syed (HBA/BSc candidate, Ivey Business School); Malgorzata Milczarek (SmartAPPetite Project Manager, HEAL/London Training Centre).  Front row: Katherine Wilson (BA student, Kinesiology and Geography, Western); Alicia Sippola (BSc student, Brescia Food & Nutritional Sciences)

Scientists have a heart-to-heart for Children’s Health

Over the past 12 years, Western Geography Professor Jason Gilliland has conducted interdisciplinary research on how the physical environment influences children's health and well-being.  The collaborative work of Dr Gilliland and colleagues from the Lawson Health Research Institute and Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI) was recently the focus of an article in the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) Inside magazine.  The article also announced Canadian Pacific’s generous donation of over $1.3 million to the CHRI and LHSC, which will help build their capabilities to improve kids’ heart health by bettering the understanding of the causation and outcomes of heart diseases in children. [MORE]

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for accessibility-related resources available in the Department of Geography.