11:40 – 12:15 – Session 7

Supporting Families on Campus During a Disaster Evacuation

Presenter: Michelle Briegel

Location: Palliser Room (main floor by convention lobby)

Twice, Mount Royal has served as an evacuation site for Alberta families following a natural disaster in the last seven years. It is reasonable to think that we could be called to action again after a disaster or emergency event. The Centre for Child Well-Being and the Centre for Community Disaster Research supported researchers, devised of faculty and students, to examine and evaluate Mount Royal University’s preparedness to house and support families while they were evacuated. The research team discovered that Mount Royal University was ill-prepared to support the psychological well-being of children and families. This session will review the white paper that was devised by the Centre for Child Well-Being research team including what they have identified as best practices for trauma-informed evacuation programming; policy and procedure recommendations; and a volunteer support guide for those who are acting as helpers.

How a Mini-Conference Assignment Energized Students and Facilitated Skill Development in an Undergraduate Studies Course

Presenter: Deb Bennett and Kumar Chandrasekhar

Location: Walker Room (second floor)

Our presentation will share how a Mini-Conference Model assignment in an undergraduate studies course, UGST 1001: Effective Learning in the Undergraduate Context, energized student learning. We will describe how the assignment affected learning and teaching, how it helped establish connections with campus resources and the future learning and research opportunities it has presented. We will begin with a description of the UGST 1001 course and the conference assignment. This group assignment offered students the opportunity to explore a chosen topic related to education and learning. Poster presentations by each group were held at the Immersion Studio, Riddell Library and Learning Centre. The studio offered a conference setting for students and audience members, which included MRU faculty, staff and poster judges. Student learning experiences and skills developed through the conference group assignment will be shared through the identification of broad themes that were described within anonymous student surveys. Feedback from poster judges and the impact of this assignment beyond the class room will also be shared. The presentation will conclude with description of how the assignment energized teaching and scholarship.

The Politicization of Faculty Associations: What are the Implications for Open Inquiry?

Presenter: Frances Widdowson

Location: Champion Room (second floor)

Over the last few years, a number of faculty associations have made statements opposing the expression of certain ideas at their universities. This opposition is often justified because the ideas are believed to justify the marginalization of oppressed groups, with some faculty associations even arguing that talks should be cancelled because of their perceived negative impact on society. This presentation will provide an overview of these incidents at the University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia, and University of Regina. It will argue that although these actions can be justified on the basis that it has been demanded by the membership, this deference to popularity should be resisted. Faculty associations represent a community of scholars, and this requires creating a climate that respects intellectual autonomy and a diversity of ideas. If faculty associations take a particular political position, it will encourage groupthink and undermine the cultivation of the independent judgement needed to determine if support for a particular political position is warranted.

Dwelling in the Liminal Spaces of Performance and Performativity in Higher Education: An Experiential Journey of Two GINs

Presenters: Joanna Szabo and Stephanie Zettel

Location: Dawson/Stewart Room (main floor by convention lobby)

As two Associate Professors from the department of Nursing who have 20 + years of various teaching experiences between us, we came together around shared stories of our struggles within our teaching practice. Our journey has been one that evolved from shaky foundations and messy imperfections to evoke the pedagogical question: How do I/we facilitate a robust learning environment when I/we struggle with presencing in the classroom?

We will highlight some of Jessamyn Neuhaus’s work in Geek Pedagogy, where she describes how the academic “geek”, “nerd”, and “introvert” (GIN) lens offers unique possibilities and challenging complexities when attending to the dynamics in the classroom. We also grapple with facilitating a learning space of nomadic subjectivity (Rosi Braidotti), as a counter to the construct of the ‘individualized learner,’ we consider how one is enmeshed in power relations external to and within the classroom. Such a subjectivity is necessarily sentient, in flux, and albeit awkwardly so, relational. These highlights will focus on the following reflective narrative themes: 1) the trickiness of using humor and embodied experiences in the classroom; 2) performativity meets authenticity; 3) awareness of the identity markers of individuals amidst group dynamics that shape the classroom context; and 4) improvised planning (or what Ted Aoki describes as the gap between curriculum as planned and curriculum as lived).

This session offers: performative inquiry (Lynn Fels) as a means of sharing tragically laughable stories and unsettling conversations, with openings that aspire to engage the audience and cultivate collective strategies. We will provide a few teaching resources ‘to go’.