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All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Faculty And Staff Share Racial Justice Statement

Black Lives MatterThank you to all faculty and staff who read and shared the Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and Racial Justice from the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University. A number of Faculty of Science colleagues are members of the Association and put their names to the statement, including Juliet Daniel, Abeer Siddiqui and Alemu Gonsamo.

Dean Maureen MacDonald emailed a link to the Daily News story about the statement on June 4 to 947 faculty and staff. The email has been opened nearly 2,800 times with 200 clicks on the link to the Daily News story.

"Racism – whether overt, subtle or silent – has absolutely no place in our Faculty of Science," wrote Maureen in introducing the statement.

"Racism cannot take root if we stand united in advancing, championing and defending equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility for all. Diversity leads to better science and diversity flourishes when everyone’s fundamental human rights, integrity and dignity are respected. Thank you for your continuing efforts to make our Faculty of Science an inclusive community for all learners, educators and researchers.

Here is the statement from the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University:

Dear McMaster community,

We write this statement to express our sadness, frustration and anger in solidarity with those who stand against hatred, bigotry and anti-Black racism. The killing of George Floyd by Minnesota Police is a terrible injustice. So too are the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The needless death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto as well as the 2003 wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Black trade-show exhibit assembler Michael Dixon by Hamilton police and the 2016 carding of Matthew Green remind us that anti-Blackness continues to be a local, pervasive threat to life in Canada as well. There have been so many lives lost to anti-Blackness.

Black Lives Matter.

We wish to express our respect, appreciation and support of Black students, staff and faculty at McMaster University and acknowledge your pain. As an association of staff and faculty with connections to Africa and the Caribbean, many of us are Black and are in pain and mourning ourselves. We acknowledge that this pain is intergenerational, perpetuated and repeatedly ignored.

While we recognize the current protest and calls for justice, we also recognize that these struggles of resistance have a long history. It is not the struggles that appear intermittent to some, it is our attention to systemic, structural, and historical racism, anti-Black racism, and colonialism that is intermittent. This is what must change.

If these moments evoke a renewed clarity for people, to appreciate and respond to the complexities of racism, we must do so by acknowledging our complicities and silences.

This cannot be approached by recognizing the values, contributions and worth of Black people only at times and in places and spaces deemed sufficient by non-Black people. It must be in every facet of what we do. It must be in our teaching, research, hiring, supporting, granting, chairing, leadership, resourcing, policies, and outcomes.

To do this, we must name white supremacy as a contemporary reality that perpetually obscures our aims for justice. This is beyond individual acts of hate and bigotry; this is insidious and systemic and we are all complicit. If the outcomes of our efforts are not experienced and lived as just, we need to do more. We must also recognize and support those who struggle, resist, and do this work everyday. This recognition and support must include valuing the contributions and leadership of those with lived experience.

Despite the dark times we find ourselves in, we are hopeful. Our world can be a better one, one where we treat each other with respect and that respect is institutionalized throughout our systems and structures as well. In the times ahead, if you would like to find meaningful ways to connect to and support this work or are in need of support, please reach out to the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University.

Sincerely,

The African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University (ACFAM)
  • Bonny Ibhawoh, Ph.D. – Professor, History/Peace Studies
  • Juliet Daniel, Ph.D. – Professor, Biology
  • Gary Warner, PhD. – Retired Associate Professor, French
  • Alpha Abebe, Ph.D – Assistant Professor, Humanities
  • Ameil J. Joseph, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, School of Social Work
  • Daniel Coleman, Ph.D – Professor, English and Cultural Studies
  • Lydia Kapiriri, PhD – Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
  • Rodrigo Narro Perez – R3 Co-Convener, Instructional Designer
  • Abeer Siddiqui – Science Librarian, University Library/Faculty of Science
  • Sashaina Singh, MPH – Knowledge Broker, Office of Community Engagement
  • Nayelli Perez – Career Development & Relationship Manager, Engineering Co-op & Career Services
  • Selina Mudavanhu, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Communication Studies & Multimedia
  • Janice Vital. Program Administrator, Communication and Multimedia
  • Bianca James. Administrative Coordinator, Faculty of Humanities
  • Eugenia Zuroski, PhD. – Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies
  • Kojo Damptey. R3, PACBIC
  • Celeste Licorish, Access Program Manager, Office of Community Engagement
  • Omolajipe Sanwoolu, Immigration & Mobility Advisor, Student Success Centre
  • Alemu Gonsamo, Ph.D. Assistant professor, School of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Faith Ogunkoya – Team Lead – Student Services, Office of the Registrar
  • Adeola Ojo – Communications Coordinator, Office of the Registrar

New Webinar Explores How To Make Accessible Content

Jessica BlackwoodAn accessible documents webinar to meet the growing need for inclusive design training and creating accessible content has been launched by the Faculty of Science and the Equity and Inclusion Office.

Supported by the MacPherson Institute, the webinar covers topics including Accessibility in Online Learning Environments (Introduction), Accessible Microsoft Word, Accessible Microsoft Outlook, Accessible Microsoft PowerPoint, Accessible Microsoft Excel, Accessible Presentation Techniques, and Teaching in Microsoft Teams.

Webinar attendees also get a take-home package of video tutorials for future reference and to help deepen their understanding of accessibility.

"With the shift to remote learning and working due to COVID-19, implementing integrated accessibility has never been more important for McMaster," says course developer Jessica Blackwood.

Jessica worked with Kate Brown from the Equity and Inclusion Office, together with Christa Morrison, Kunal Tandan and Katrina Espanol-Miller from MacPherson to create this webinar which already has 50 video tutorials.

Name Change Reflects Schools Core Strengths

McMaster School of Geography and Earth Sciences logoThe School of Geography & Earth Sciences will be renamed the School of Earth, Environment & Society on July 1.

"The School's new name captures our major identities as researchers and reflects our strengths in the classroom, lab and out in the field," says Director Bruce Newbold. "The new name also uses disciplinary titles that prospective undergraduate students more closely identify with and better understand.

"The addition of 'society' to the School's name reflects the complex interactions and linkages between human societies and the built, human and natural environments that we live in and recognizes the role of geographers in placing this human context within the environment."

The School's name change was first proposed by faculty during a 2018 retreat. A committee chaired by Mike Waddington then consulted with students and alumni and reviewed similar Schools at other universities across North America. The School of Earth, Environment & Society was unanimously supported by faculty, and approved by the Senate and Board of Governors.

The School currently has approximately 320 BSc and BA students, 90 graduate students and 29 faculty.

Three Students Receive Top Co-op Awards

Kyle Faiczak (from left), Traky Dean and Jessica MoKyle Faiczak (from left), Traky Dean and Jessica Mo earned high praise from employers and the Faculty of Science’s top award for co-op students.

The annual Co-op Student of the Year award recognizes three students who display exceptional job and academic achievements, and contribute in a meaningful way to cooperative education and extracurricular activities at McMaster and in the community. Kyle, Traky and Jessica were among the 383 students who were registered in co-op programs and completed 507 work terms with employers across North America in 2019.

Kyle worked in the lab of Michael Brook, Chair in Sustainable Silicone Polymers with the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology in the Faculty of Science. Traky completed her summer and fall co-op work terms with Toronto Dominion Bank while Jessica completed co-op work terms in the lab of Gang Zheng, Canada Research Chair in Cancer Nanomedicine and a professor of Medical Biophysics with University Health Network.

Cooperative Education is an integrated approach to higher education that enables highly motivated students to alternate academic terms with paid, relevant work experience. Science co-op students complete a standard academic degree program, as well as three or four co-op work terms in jobs related to their studies.

Congratulations to the other 21 students who were nominated by employers for Co-op Student of the Year honours: Gabby Noble, Andrea Acosta, Allysia Chin, Meghan Pepler, Genevieve Perono, Marsella Bishop, Maria Denk, Valerie Tomassetti, Julie Earle, Jeff Zabel, Yordan Stoyanov, Usman Jamshed, Zhouhang Feng, Arshdeep Bal, Danielle Pazdzior, Sharjana Nirmalathasan, Gianluca Situm, Emma Bohn, Skuhmandeep Sidu, Allesia Calvo and Alyssa Burrows.
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