March 5, 2003


Dalhousie University Press Release

February 13, 2003: Halifax – Dalhousie has placed number one in a survey of best universities for postdoctoral fellows, conducted by The Scientist magazine.

Dalhousie took first place for universities outside the United States “? and placed #4 overall “? in a worldwide survey answered by 2,800 postdocs in the United States, Canada and Europe. Respondents were asked to assess their postdoctoral experience.

The Scientist reports that postdoctoral fellows crave collaboration and thrive on one-to-one relationships with principal investigators.

“The Best Places for Postdocs” survey, published in the Feb. 10 issue of The Scientist, shows that the top institutions share a culture of collaboration and a commitment to teaching. The highest-ranked universities in the world, according to the survey, are: in the United States “? Rutgers, Miami, Princeton “? and outside of the U.S. “? Dalhousie.

The Scientist is a magazine focusing on news and information in the life sciences sector. It is published in the United States and its circulation includes 187,000 researchers, lab directors and scientific industry leaders.

“We are pleased to have placed number one in the survey for institutions outside the United States,” says Carl Breckenridge, Dalhousie’s Vice-President, Research Services. He points out that Dalhousie has many internationally-recognized researchers and is a relatively small university with strong collegial interactions and moderately-sized research groups. “These characteristics and the commitment of our faculty to the research community make for strong research interactions and mentorship,” says Dr. Breckenridge.

For further information, contact: Dr. Carl Breckenridge at (902) 494-6513

Visit http://www.dal.ca/~research/index.html to learn more about research at Dalhousie.



Mount Royal College News Release

February 24, 2003 “It really is a survey course,” says Social Work instructor Carolyn Anderson of her Web-based International Community Development course.

As such, she wants her students to learn how to find information and become familiar with the concepts and issues surrounding international community development. But, ideally, survey courses also draw interested students into deeper study of the field, and there seems to be no cause for concern on this score “? her students often find themselves so engrossed in the supplementary material that they spend hours online sifting through it.

Anderson began working on the site 18 months ago. After running a pilot program in the spring, the course was offered to students in the Social Work and Disabilities Studies program last fall, and is now offered in the Child and Youth Studies degree program.

Anderson conceived of the project when she realized that many of her students “had such a limited vision of what community is. I wanted to provide a course with a really wide range and big view of the world:so they could see themselves in context,” she says. “Then it mushroomed into this huge thing,” she adds, a little wryly.
Last semester, during a discussion on international human rights, a student told of spending 12 years in a Bosnian refugee camp. Another student revealed that she had been a victim of genital mutilation, and though she strongly disagreed with the practice, said she could understand why it happens. An “interesting” discussion about terrorism drew the account of a life in which terrorism threatened a student’s existence every day “? only the student was from Afghanistan and the terrorists were American.

“I could feel a chill running through the discussion board as the students digested that,” she recalls. “There’s a richness in that kind of thing in this online course that you don’t get in a classroom.”
Experience in leading group discussion is important for projects like this, says Anderson, who has worked as a group therapist and has facilitated other sensitive online discussions.


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