Over the past year, the team at University Affairs read and reported, edited and produced hundreds of stories. Here are six who stayed with us.
Finding the images for this first-person essay about a student who sought help at her university after being sexually assaulted was one of the most challenging tasks for this year's art team. The challenge with this type of personal narrative is to tell the story visually in a respectful and empathetic way, while capturing the reader's attention and reflecting the central message of the story, its theme, its feeling. We opted for a provocative title combined with a collage illustration of Najeebah Al-Ghadban. The composition evokes the sense of struggle and betrayal between the male and female subjects, while the threads connect the portraits, acting as paths that cross and reflect the disorientation and confusion experienced by the survivor. In our printed magazine (October, 2018 issue), the headline is treated with large capital letters to emphasize the statement, and I punched some of the letters with a needle to illustrate the idea of being hit and pricked, of being hurt.
– Judith Lacerte, Graphic Designer
Nobody likes to be judged, and that is no less the case of teachers when students they evaluate the quality of their teaching. Student evaluations of teaching have always been a sensitive issue for faculty, so when University Affairs reported on the arbitration decision stating that Ryerson University could no longer use these assessments in Tenure decisions and promotion, our readers noticed: Article quickly became our most read of the year. We will also follow up on this with a main article in the March-April 2019 issue that explores what impact this decision could have on all of Canada.
– Léo Charbonneau, Editor
I admit that I had never heard of Vivek Shraya before my colleague Natalie mentioned her at a meeting of story in December 2017. The more I described it, the more intrigued I became. A photo session was organized and, when the photos came in, I was surprised by the air of sophistication that surrounded Miss Shraya. Then I read the article that Soraya Roberts wrote and I was even more inspired by her list of achievements. How does a person look so glamorous and have time to write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, teach, research and act in a band? By coincidence, another colleague handed me the last book by Miss Shraya, I am afraid of men a couple of months ago. "You should read this," he said. "It's so good". I took the book home and read it all in one night. My opinion solidified from Miss Shraya: she is a power. I admire his spirit and his willingness to come out.
– Tara Siebarth, Web Editor
Many universities function basically as small cities and a large team of trained people is needed so that all the Moving parts work without problems. I was so pleased that we could expand the scope of our usual coverage and highlight only a small sample of some of the people who work in all kinds of trades and jobs in these institutions. And I admit, I have a small personal interest in singing the praises of these employees: my partner spent a couple of years as a production chef in a large university, so I've always heard stories of how much he does. Prepare the dining room, the tortilla station, the Tim Hortons store or the gala dinner, especially during the moving of residence, the exams and the conference season. Did you know that a residential dining room can go through more than 1,000 liters of milk with chocolate in a day? Those are the amounts that people like Vijay Nair, executive chef in hospitality services at the University of Guelph, are dealing with. Remember that the next time you're waiting in line at the cafeteria on your campus.
– Natalie Samson, Deputy Editor
Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the Olympic Games. It started when I was young, since my family and I always watched the competitions together. As I grew older, my fascination went from the Olympic Games to admire the dedication athletes show in their sport. In 2010, I even had the opportunity to see the athletes perform in person in Vancouver, and that definitely did not stop my enthusiasm. This article, which looks closely at how student athletes combine study with intensive training and competition, surprised me even more by the way they can stay so focused. It helps to illuminate your academic and athletic achievements.
– Pascale Castonguay, writer / reviewer
Teaching is the cornerstone of what universities offer to students and society, even if it is sometimes taken for granted. For many university professors, there is no formal training in this area. All the more reason to share what people are trying and seeing in a university classroom. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of collecting some teaching tips, techniques and routines from our readers. From a simple index card to a polling software, we were pleased to share some clever answers. Stay tuned for more information on teaching at University Affairs and, in the meantime, feel free to look for a follow-up on our history of "teaching tips."
– Anqi Shen, Digital Journalist
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