The University of Winnipeg



Looking back on 2021 in the news

From revitalizing Indigenous language to tackling climate change challenges to naming a new human species, UWinnipeggers made headlines locally and around the world. 

As 2021 comes to a close, we have an opportunity to look back and celebrate the many good news stories and accomplishments The University of Winnipeg community shared this year. The following is a snapshot of some of the stories we have featured in our news centre and seen in various media outlets over the past 12 months. 

January 2021

Toybox project receives provincial funding

The story with the highest readership in January 2021 celebrated the ToyBox project receiving Safe at Home Manitoba funding. At the time, Dr. Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk (Faculty of Education) was looking for 800 Manitoban families to test literacy, numeracy, and wellness strategies. Participants received a literacy tip each Monday, a wellness tip each Wednesday, and a numeracy tip each Friday as part of the program. (UWinnipeg News Site, January 15, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Kevin Walby (Department of Criminal Justice) called for bolder steps to protect people in correctional institutions as research showed increasing COVID-19 cases in Canadian prisons. (CTV News,  January 11, 2021)
  • Biology student Luke Roffey shared the story of Cosmo, the stowaway crab he adopted after it traveled from the Maritimes to Manitoba. (CBC Manitoba, January 27, 2021)

February 2021

Louis Riel Bursaries – meet the talented Métis students

The most-read story in February 2021 introduced some of UWinnipeg’s most talented Métis students when Cassidy Lamirande, Ben Roloff, Chloe McLeod, Morgan Rhea Wood, Josh Swain, and Gracie Grift received Louis Riel Bursaries. (UWinnipeg News Site, February 12, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Two alumni who met as students and made plans for their first date on the spiral staircase in the library shared their UWinnipeg love story just in time for Valentines Day. (UWinnipeg News Site, February 14, 2021) 
  •  A 2018 study by Dr. Jeremy Frimer (Department of Psychology) resurfaced as Gen-Zers debated whether side-parts are more attractive than centre-parts. (InStyle, February 12, 2021)

March 2021

Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism: The Case of Meghan Markle and the Royal Family, book cover

Meghan Markle’s modern day Grimm’s fairy-tale

Dr. Kimberley Ducey (Department of Sociology), co-author of Revealing Britain’s Systemic Racism, made international headlines sharing her expertise after Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex, sat down for an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey. (UWinnipeg News Site, March 11, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Fiona Green (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies) shares insight about the marginalization of mothers during the pandemic, along with details about Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19. (CBC Manitoba, March 4, 2021)
  • Canada Research Chair in Culture and Public Memory Dr. Angela Failler explained why people “shouldn’t be yearning for a return to ‘normal,’ but rather, imagining how this could be an opportunity to change everything for the better” in an article about how the pandemic has exacerbated many deep-rooted inequities afflicting marginalized communities. (Winnipeg Free Press, March 11, 2021)

April 2021

Biology student awarded competitive McCall McBain Scholarship

Josh Swain (BSc’21) was among 20 Canadians chosen as inaugural McCall MacBain Scholars. He credits his undergraduate education at UWinnipeg with preparing him for success. “One of the most important things I encountered at UWinnipeg was a strong group of Indigenous science students pursuing their dreams and taking on graduate programs.”  (UWinnipeg News Site, April 7, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Anna Stokke (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) received the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of her passion for improving the way students at all levels learn math. (Winnipeg Sun, April 25, 2021)
  • Dr. Laura Sokal (Faculty of Education) was highlighted in an article examining the importance of being able to physically pet therapy dogs in order to reduce stress.  (Psychology Today, April 27, 2021)

May 2021

Top row (left to right): Dr. Anna Stokke, Dr. Eliakim Sibanda, Dr. Chris Henry, and Dr. Chris Bidinosti.
Bottom row (left to right): Dr. John Lehr, Andrea McCluskey, Dr. Royden Loewen, and Dr. Judith Huebner.

Exceptional faculty and staff recognized during Spring Convocation

The most-read story on UWinnipeg’s news site in May recognized eight exceptional faculty and staff members who received awards during virtual Spring Convocation: Dr. Royden Loewen, Dr. John Lehr, Dr. Judith Huebner, Dr. Anna Stokke, Dr. Eliakim Sibanda, Dr. Christopher Bidinosti, Dr. Christopher Henry, and Andrea McCluskey. (UWinnipeg News Site, May 19, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • UWinnipeg celebrated the opening of Aabijijiwan New Media Lab and Kishadigeh Collaborative Research Centre, a space designed to provide new opportunities for learning, skills training, and development for Indigenous youth. (Academica Group, May 12, 2021)
  • UWinnipeg alum Katherine Barber (BA 86, Hons) is remembered for her work as a writer, editor, and leading authority on Canadian English. She was known as “Canada’s Word Lady” and served as founding editor-in-chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. (The Washington Post, May 21, 2021)

June 2021 

New Indigenous language program launches 

The University of Winnipeg announced the launch of a new Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Languages. The program is the first of its kind in Manitoba and will provide students with the tools and knowledge to communicate, research, and advocate for Indigenous languages, such as Cree and Ojibwe. (UWinnipeg News Site, June 21, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • As Indigenous leaders called for Canada Day reflection, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, History and Archives Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum shared insight into the transformative change needed for reconciliation. (The Globe and Mail, June 29, 2021)
  • Dr. Ian Mauro (Prairie Climate Centre) talked about the importance of paying attention to the social vulnerabilities that arise during heat waves in an article about protecting yourself in high temperatures. (CBC News, June 30, 2021)

July 2021

Research supports museums grappling with difficult histories 

The Thinking Through the Museum research network received a 7-year, $2.5 million dollar SSHRC Partnership Grant in a project that includes UWinnipeg faculty members Dr. Angela Failler and Dr. Heather Milne. (UWinnipeg News Site, July 20, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • As an increasing number of students pursue environmental science education, Dr. Nora Casson (Department of Geography) shares how their “energy and drive gives her hope as as she tackles the overwhelming challenge of climate change.” (Winnipeg Free Press, July 15, 2021)
  • Dr. Christine Fawcett (Department of English) shared her research into how game design engages players through emotional identification and physical participation in “‘Resident Evil: Village’ and first-person video game immersion: Why hands create intense connection” (The Conversation, July 7, 2021)

August 2021

UWinnipeg researchers are developing technologies that railway crews can integrate into their operations to monitor water levels along the rail line. Photo provided.

Researchers create early flood warning system 

The Hudson Bay Railway provides a critical lifeline to Northern Manitoba, one that is severely impacted by global warming. With this in mind, Dr. Christopher Henry, Dr. Christopher Storie, and Dr. Joni Storie are developing innovative monitoring software to mitigate hydrological impacts on the Hudson Bay Railroad. (UWinnipeg News Site, August 26, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Mavis Reimer (Dean of Graduate Studies) provided insights on the power of children’s literature as Babar the Elephant is criticized for its representation of French colonialism.   (The Telegraph, August 18, 2021)
  • Dr. Kristi Kenyon (Department of Human Rights) shed light on the barriers that make it so hard to end elephantiasis, a neglected and stigmatized mosquito-borne illness. (The Conversation, August 30, 2021)

September 2021

Vaccination required to be on UWinnipeg campus this fall

As we prepared for fall classes to begin, the most-read story was one published in mid-August that highlighted the many ways UWinnipeg’s administration was working to safeguard the health of students, faculty, and staff. In addition to the vaccination mandate, UWinnipeg’s robust return-to-campus safety plan included other key measures such as mandatory masking, enhanced cleaning, and an upgraded ventilation system. (UWinnipeg News Site, August 19, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • With the election approaching, Dr. Felix Mathieu (Department of Political Science) shared his insight into Canadian politics. (MSN News, September 19, 2021)
  • Dr. Shauna MacKinnon (Department of Urban and Inner City Studies) shared how UWinnipeg’s Merchant Corner campus creates a safe and supportive space for students and the importance of location in decolonizing the way education is approached. (The National Post, September 27, 2021)

October 2021

UWinnipeg establishes Annette Trimbee fund

UWinnipeg, in partnership with the Manitoba Métis Federation, announced the creation of the Annette Trimbee Indigenous Excellence Scholarships, which recognize outstanding continuing undergraduate students who identify as Red River Métis, First Nations, or Inuit. (UWinnipeg News Site, October 14, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Mirjana Roksandic (Department of Anthropology) led a research team announcing the naming of a newly discovered species of human ancestor, Homo bodoensis (The Guardian, October 28, 2021)
  • Dr. Chantal Fiola’s (Department of Urban and Inner City Studies) latest book, Returning to Ceremony: Spirituality in Manitoba Métis Communities, examines the community connection Métis have to ceremony and spirituality, hoping to “give folks the courage to live their faith out loud.” (Toronto Star, October 26, 2021)

November 2021

UWinnipeg’s incoming President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Todd Mondor.

Dr. Todd Mondor appointed 10th UWinnipeg president

The most-read story in November 2021 shared the good news of the appointment of alumnus Dr. Todd Mondor to the role of President and Vice-Chancellor beginning April 1, 2022. Dr. Mondor graduated from UWinnipeg in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in psychology before attaining both a master’s degree and doctorate in cognitive psychology from the University of Waterloo. (UWinnipeg News Site, November 23, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Beverly Fehr (Department of Psychology) shared insights into the health benefits of positive friendships and the impact of unhealthy relationships in an article about reevaluating friendships in the midst of a pandemic (The Sydney Morning Herald, November 30, 2021)
  • Dr. Erin Millions and Dr. Anne Lindsay (Department of History) shared how a new research tool being created as part of the Manitoba Tuberculosis History Project can help find missing Indigenous tuberculosis patients in Manitoba (APTN, November 18, 2021)

December 2021 

UWinnipeg students and alumni help bring MTC’s ‘Orlando’ to the stage

Nine UWinnipeg students and alumni worked off- and on-stage as the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre brought Orlando to the John Hirsch Mainstage; the first MTC show since the pandemic. (UWinnipeg News Site, December 8, 2021)

More UWinnipeggers in the news:

  • Dr. Melanie Gregg (Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health) shared her coaching expertise and passion for sport as youth from Winnipeg’s inner city gathered for fun and exercise (Winnipeg Free Press, December 6, 2021)
  • Cameron Adams celebrated the official launch of the Swampy Cree app, nēhinawēwin, which he was inspired to create after taking first-year language courses. He is one of the first students to register in UWinnipeg’s Indigenous Language program, which he is completing as part of an Integrated Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts (CBC Manitoba, December 20, 2021)

Visit our news archives to see more stories highlighting the many innovative ways The University of Winnipeg community made an impact locally and globally over the past year.

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