Category

Community

Stantec says thanks with gift to University of Lethbridge

By | Community, Construction | No Comments

The University of Lethbridge was given a glimpse into the near future recently thanks to Stantec Architecture.

Dr. Mike Mahon with Stantec’s Mark Bellamy, Michael Moxam and Justin Saly with Dr. Andrew Hakin .

University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon accepted a framed rendering of the new science and academic building from Stantec Architecture on the University’s behalf, along with Vice-Provost and VP Academic, Dr. Andrew Hakin and VP Finance and Administration, Nancy Walker (BMgt ’82). The rendering of the Destination Project will hang in the University’s offices and is an exciting reminder of the world-class facility that is currently under construction on campus.

The future hub of science in southern Alberta has already created buzz near and far with its sustainable design and focus on fostering collaboration between faculties, regardless of discipline. The Destination Project is scheduled to open for classes in the fall of 2019.

Eye-popping donation epitomizes science on display

By | Community, Science on Display | No Comments

In celebration of National Periodic Table day, the University of Lethbridge is pleased to announce a donation of a special kind for the Destination Project. A group of former staff and faculty members and current faculty members has generously donated a periodic table to be displayed in the new science and academic building.

Dr. Peter Dibble, Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, says the addition of a periodic table of the calibre that is being donated will really put science on display for southern Alberta.

The new periodic table will be an interactive focal point of the science and academic building.

“I know of other institutions that have these tables and they are magnets to members of the public because they are so interesting and beautiful to look at,” says Dibble. “I think this display will become a regular stop for elementary and high school classes and I intend to develop programs, such as element days, that will feed into such visits and offer members of the public and students to learn about specific elements, how they are used and why they are so important.”

For retired faculty member, Dr. Douglas Dolman, seeing the progress of the new science and academic building has been quite thrilling. Dolman and his wife Theresa met at the University and both worked for a number of years in the sciences. Dolman says they’re looking forward to seeing how their donation and the new building will inspire the future scientists in the area.

“The new science and academic building will be such a wonderful investment for the future of science in southern Alberta. I hope that by seeing the many extraordinary elements on display in the periodic table, it sparks something special in the young minds of those who visit the building,” says Douglas Dolman.

The periodic table is quite a unique piece of science within itself. Some elements can be made to be interactive and while it’s sized at three meters (10 feet) across and 1.8 meters (6 feet) in height, they make an impressive feature in any science building.

The periodic table contains museum-grade samples of the elements themselves that are individually illuminated in cubes. The elements in the periodic table are shown with examples of how it is used in everyday life as well as some cubes having the ability to be interactive too.

For Dibble, he believes that there is something special in the moment when you first lay your eyes on exactly what an element looks and feels like. Dibble says the feeling ignited by seeing this piece of science is perhaps best summarized by British neurologist, naturalist and author Oliver Sacks.

“In this first, sensuous glance, I saw the table as a gorgeous banquet, a huge table set with eighty-odd different dishes.” (Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sachs, Alfred A Knopf, Toronto, 2001)

*

The donations to date will go towards the purchase of the periodic table. If you’re interested in supporting this project, please contact University Advancement at 403-329-2582.

Building hope; Destination Project gives big this holiday season

By | Community, Economic Impact | No Comments

Between the holiday parties, gift giving and joy of the season, it can be hard to remember there are people who struggle just to put dinner on the table each night. With food bank supply levels down across the province and demand sky-rocketing, the staff and contractors working on the Destination Project have done their part to ensure those in need will have a full tummy and pantry this Christmas.

PCL Construction Management Ltd.’s field office manager, Anna Slater, led a campaign to collect donations for both the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) food bank and three local families.

“We adopted three local families who needed a little extra help this Christmas along with making a cash and food donation to the ULSU,” says Slater. “We were so overwhelmed with the response that not only U of L Destination Project staff and PCL staff made, but our trade contractors too.”

Just a portion of what was received as donations for the ULSU and the Christmas Hope program.

Just a portion of what was received as donations for the ULSU and the Christmas Hope program.

Working with the local giving initiative, Christmas Hope, which is a program developed between the Interfaith Food Bank, the Lethbridge Food Bank and the Salvation Army, is something that has brought the Destination Project team closer together this holiday season says Project Director, Brian Sullivan.

“I feel so fortunate to have a great job and sadly there are many who aren’t in the same position right now,” says Sullivan. “That’s a sentiment that is clearly shared on this project as our trades, contractors and staff gave so generously. It’s a wonderful way to come together as group and give back to the community and U of L students.”

Interfaith Food Bank executive director, Danielle McIntyre says it’s the efforts of people like those on the Destination Project who are giving a little joy to those in need this holiday season.

“We love it when local businesses and organizations step-up because it inspires not only their employees, but their customers and general community too,” says McIntyre. “Local businesses do so much to bring in resources for us, especially this time of year.”

As for the bounty that was delivered to the ULSU, Students’ Union president, Cameron Howey, was blown away by the showing of generosity.

Donations came from U of L Destination Project staff, PCL Construction Ltd. staff and trades working on the new science and academic building.

Donations came from U of L Destination Project staff, PCL Construction Ltd. staff and trades working on the new science and academic building.

“What an amazing contribution to helping students in need,” says Howey. “This donation shows that the people involved with the Destination Project are not only invested in the building, but also invested in bettering the student experience. On behalf of University of Lethbridge students, thank you. You’ve made this holiday season that much brighter for those in need.”

BMO donates $1 million to fund construction of new state-of-the-art science building

By | Community, Construction, Economic Impact | No Comments

The University of Lethbridge (U of L) today announced that BMO Financial Group has joined the University’s Destination Project through a $1 million philanthropic donation for construction of a new Science and Academic Building at its Lethbridge campus.

The Destination Project is the boldest and most significant development for the University since the construction of the original University Hall. The new facilities will bring together faculty and students from across science disciplines, promote and enable curricular innovation, help students achieve their academic goals and foster a community of science at the U of L and across southern Alberta.

The new Academic and Science Building’s showcase theatre will carry a BMO Financial name.

The new Academic and Science Building’s showcase theatre will carry a BMO Financial name.

The theatre, which will carry the name of BMO Financial Group, will serve as a key space for housing science outreach activities.

“We are very appreciative of BMO Financial Group for joining us in the creation of this transformational project and helping us shape the future of the University of Lethbridge,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “Our relationship with BMO encompasses a number of initiatives and this gift extends their history of supporting both the University and the southern Alberta community.”

“We are very pleased to partner with U of L on the Destination Project, one that will undoubtedly enhance the University and experience of students in the community for years to come,” says Susan Brown, Senior Vice-President, Alberta and North West Territories Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We have a longstanding relationship with the school and remain committed to investing in programs that will help the advancement of future leaders in the field of science.”

Knowledge sharing is a key component of the Destination Project, between professors and students as well as to the broader southern Alberta community. The BMO Financial Group sponsored theatre will serve as a key space for housing science outreach activities.

“The Destination Project is designed to engage the community. Science shouldn’t exist behind closed doors,” says Dr. Ute Kothe, supervisor of the University’s Let’s Talk science program and a researcher in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “It’s our obligation to enable a hands-on approach to learning that will ignite a greater curiosity for science in adults and children.”

img_0987

U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon (Right) pictured with BMO Financial Group representatives including Susan Brown, Senior Vice-President, Alberta and North West Territories Division (Left).

In under 50 years, the U of L has evolved from an idea to one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions. Building on these past accomplishments, the Destination Project is the next step forward – helping shape the future of science and teaching for the next 50 years.

“These facilities will give us the research capacity for the future of this institution,” says Dr. Craig Cooper, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “We are thrilled that BMO Financial Group has recognized the potential of this development and what it will mean to the University, our region, province and country for years to come.”

The Destination Project; Building careers from cooperative education placements

By | Community | No Comments

Building the cutting-edge home for future generations of scientists isn’t the only thing the Destination Project is helping to develop. Nicole Meurs (BMgt ’16) and student Nick Gabbin are two budding project managers who say their cooperative education placement with the Destination Project has helped build confidence and given them a glimpse into their future career paths with real-world experience.

Destination Project Program Director Brian Sullivan overlooks plans with Project Coordinator Nicole Meurs and cooperative education placement student, Nick Gabbin.

 

“Getting to see how your skills from the classroom transition into the workplace is something I am so thankful I had the opportunity to experience. My placement allowed me to take on real responsibilities for the project, but I also felt supported by the entire project team because I was working and learning in a teaching environment too,” says Meurs.

When Meurs’ cooperative education placement came to an end in December, Destination Program Manager, Brian Sullivan hired her as a full-time project coordinator for the term of the build, something Sullivan says was a great thrill for him and the rest of the project team.

“When you see students grow and develop their skills throughout their placement, it brings a real sense of pride and joy because you’ve helped them along on their career path and it’s always nice when you can offer them their first job too,” smiles Sullivan.

For Gabbin, his placement will finish up in December and he is hopeful to also earn a spot on the Destination Project team. Gabbin says the experience he’s gained working in a cooperative education placement is invaluable and something he’d never expected to get as a 23-year-old student.

“Being able to experience responsibility on a job as big as this is just incredible and not just in terms of the work. Learning how to manage relationships and communicate with a team under the leadership of folks like Brian who have been at this for years is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Gabbin.

Sullivan believes the students he’s hired over his 30 years at the U of L have all showed a dedication to their placement positions and attributes their success to how their ability to think independently and have the responsibility to get the job done.

“A co-op placement teaches you how to be part of a team and how to transition from student to worker. It’s a unique opportunity that we’re able to offer and for those that get to work on this job in particular, it’s especially unique,” says Sullivan.

With construction ramping up as the Fall semester approaches, both Meurs and Gabbin are excited to see how their peers will engage with the rapidly changing landscape on campus and the possibilities it will allow for future co-op students.

“Markin Hall was my home while I was a management student and I can’t imagine what my education would have looked like without it so by working on this project, I am just giving back to future students who are going to make amazing discoveries in the building I helped to construct,” said Meurs.

You can watch the construction of the Destination Project come together before your eyes thanks in part to the efforts of Gabbin. His first task working on the Destination Project was to set up live web cameras that continuously stream. Be sure to check out the progression of the build at destinationproject.ca.