Category BU announcements

Black Lives Matter

Dear Bishop’s Community,

It has been deeply shocking and devastating to watch the acts of racism that have occurred in the United States in recent days.

The pain and anger of the Black community calls us to stand in solidarity with them and to combat racism in all its forms.

We know all too well that the brutality and injustice that caused the murder of George Floyd are systemic.

It is heartbreaking to know that any person has reason to be afraid when they interact with public authorities or that parents must have conversations with their sons and daughters about how to stay safe when interacting with the police.

The protests across Canada are eloquent testimony to the fact that many of our fellow citizens face discrimination, intolerance and racism in our own country.

At Bishop’s we aspire to be an open, respectful and inclusive community.

But we have a lot of listening and learning to do.

We have made progress as a University but we are not yet the truly diverse community we aspire to be.

We must learn to be allies of everyone who faces discrimination and each of us must rededicate ourselves to building a truly diverse and inclusive community at Bishop’s.

Our Counselling Services are prepared to provide assistance to anyone who requires support in the face of these traumatic events, and can be reached at

Michael Goldbloom C.M.
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Maxim Jacques awarded 2020 3M National Student Fellowship

Bishop’s University is delighted to announce that Maxim Jacques, a fourth-year Williams School of Business student majoring in Global Management & Leadership has been awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Fellowship.

Maxim Jacques

The 3M National Student Fellowship recognizes up to ten full-time students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their lives, at their post-secondary institution, and in their communities. These students embrace a vision of education that enhances their academic experience through leadership and community engagement. Four Bishop’s students have been awarded the 3M prize in the last five years: Jason Earl (2015), Chloé Soucy (2018), Ethan Pohl (2019) and Maxim Jacques (2020).

Maxim chose to attend Bishop’s to have a meaningful impact on campus. During his first year, Maxim joined the Bishop’s University Commerce Society (BUCS). He launched a merchandising line for the business school, implemented recruitment and training tools for BUCS, and was involved on many business case competitions. Maxim developed an interest in sustainability and climate change while on exchange in the UK. Through the Bishop’s Exceptional Student Talent Project Fund (B.E.S.T.), he spent 10 days in Peru in the summer of 2019 (TGP) learning about water resource management and sustainable development. In his final year at Bishop’s, he increased environmental awareness on campus by organizing an information session for TGP, joined the Bishop’s sustainability task force to advise the school on how to position itself as a sustainable institution, and worked as a research assistant to determine how environmental sustainability could be integrated in business curriculums. Maxim will later pursue his education with a Master’s degree in sustainable development to become an environmental leader. Professor Denise Fortier was instrumental in nominating and supporting Maxim during the qualification process and remains one of his biggest fans.

Professor Reena Atanasiadis, Dean of the Williams School of Business, was thrilled about Maxim’s journey being celebrated on a national level: “What a wonderful achievement for Maxim Jacques and the Williams School of Business. Maxim is a great example of how dedication and hard work leads to outstanding accomplishments and recognition.”

Dr. Jessica Riddell, 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015) and Associate Professor of the Department of English at Bishop’s, has also been mentoring Maxim throughout the 3M qualification process: “Maxim embodies the values that drive the vision, mission, and values of our institution. This is truly one of the feel good stories of the year for the power of education and values of empathy and ethics Max models in every aspect of his life. He is a true leader.”

Bishop’s University is a member of the Maple League of universities, a consortium of four universities that also includes Acadia, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier. Together, this alliance of small, primarily undergraduate institutions collaborate to deliver an extraordinary 21st century liberal education. The Maple League created a mentoring network for student leaders in 2019: this year four out of the ten 3M Fellows were from Maple League institutions. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the focus on extraordinary student experience across these four universities as they deliver a 21st century education.

REMINDER: Malicious/misleading domain name

It has been brought to our attention that emails purporting to be from Bishop’s University’s procurement department have been circulating, requesting quotes from potential vendors for goods and services. These emails can be recognized fairly easily as they do not emanate from Bishop’s University’s own official domain name, which is: “” Bishop’s University does not issue official communications from other domain names, and has notified the competent authorities of this situation. We wish to encourage safe Information Technology practices and recommend vigilance.

The four Maple League Universities sign historic agreement that encourages inter-institutional student mobility

The Maple League of Universities is pleased to announce that the four universities in the consortium – Acadia, Mount Allison, St. Francis Xavier, and Bishop’s – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that encourages students to take courses, with a focus on online learning and virtual learning communities, from across the four institutions without the often burdensome administrative processes associated with transfer credits from other universities.

At the core of our inter-institutional collaboration is a shared commitment to an extraordinary undergraduate education. In the past two years the Maple League has shared academic programming on a small scale in order to identify challenges and dismantle structural barriers that might impede inter-institutional student exchanges for both in-person and online course offerings. Under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed on April 20, 2020, by the four university presidents, a number of logistical barriers have been resolved for students.

  1. Students can transfer their grade and course code to their home institution
  2. Students do not need a Letter of Permission (LOP) to take a shared course
  3. Students do not need to pay additional fees or costs related to course registration
  4. Students will not need to pay extra tuition for the Fall and Winter terms
Conference call of the signing of the agreement
The four universities presidents sign the MOU virtually on April 20, 2020. From top left (clockwise), Michael Goldbloom (Bishop’s), Kevin Wamsley (St. Francis Xavier), Jean-Paul Boudreau (Mount Allison), Peter Ricketts (Acadia). Jessica Riddell, Executive Director, appears in the bottom right corner.

Dr. Peter Ricketts, Chair of the Maple League of Universities and President of Acadia University, has championed quality undergraduate education on a national level in collaboration with the other presidents, Jean-Paul Boudreau (Mount Allison), Michael Goldbloom (Bishop’s), and Kevin Wamsley (St. Francis Xavier):

“We are excited to see how this MOU can help us with capacity building and resource sharing across our four institutions. This agreement provides our students with increased access to diverse courses and programs, mentors and research supervisors, and the expertise of exceptional faculty across the four universities. Enhanced access to academic diversity, paired with relationship-rich, in-person student experiences, provides our students with an extraordinary experience while also helping them stand out to future employers.”

Shawna Garrett, Registrar at Mount Allison University, has worked closely with the other three registrars to operationalize this inter-institutional collaboration:

“In the face of turmoil and tragedy, I am heartened by the Maple League’s collective response to our current COVID-19 related post-secondary educational challenges. The jointly created online spring and summer course calendar and the way our registrars have worked together to find compassionate solutions for students are excellent examples of the main Maple League guiding principle, ‘what can we do together that we cannot do on our own?’ These collective initiatives exemplify how we are better together.”

Georges-Philippe Gadoury-Sansfaçon, Second-year undergraduate student at Bishop’s University, believes that the Maple League is a key lever in fostering resilience and creating social change for students and society more generally:

“We know that interdisciplinarity and personal growth play a key role in fostering not only resilience but also perspective, critical thinking and creative problem-solving. These are the abilities that allow us to aim for the truth instead of polarization, and our four institutions have been committed to delivering this kind of education for ~175 years. This MOU creates smooth pathways for students across the four universities to ‘build their own adventure’ in their undergraduate careers and shape a 21st century education that takes us into the next millennium.”

While this MOU has been under development for the past 18 months, the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the need for this type of agreement. Dr. Jessica Riddell, Executive Director of the Maple League of Universities, points out that “we have already laid the groundwork for harnessing technology to create relationship-rich environments where Maple League students can connect in meaningful ways with faculty and peers to enhance engagement and learning consistent with the in-person student experiences we all value. Our collaborations enable us to create unique ways of engaging and interacting with students in remote teaching and learning environments that complement the in-person, immersive, and high-quality learning environments for which we are known.”

About the Maple League

The Maple League is made up of four universities – Acadia, Bishop’s, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier – who together form an alliance of small, rural, undergraduate liberal education institutions with Francophone heritage and a commitment to honouring indigenous communities. By fostering reciprocal relationships across institutional boundaries, we provide extraordinary opportunities to transform as leaders, scholars, and institutions. The Maple League creates distinctive learning environments that ensure our graduates are capable of navigating an increasingly complex world as citizens and leaders dedicated to the values of a just and civil society. For more information, visit our website:


For more information:

Dr. Jessica Riddell
Executive Director, The Maple League of Universities
Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Full Professor, Department of English, Bishop’s University
3M National Teaching Fellow (2015)

Memo From The Vice-Principal Academic & Research Re: Research and Creative Activities During The Covid-19 Situation

Dear Senators,

I move that Senate approve the following document that provides parameters for Research and Creative activities during the COVID-19 situation. This would be effective immediately until further notice.

Motion seconded by Dr. Claire Grogan, Interim Dean of Arts & Science.

The creation of this document was led by Dr. Amy Svotelis, Director of Research & Graduate Studies. It was approved by Andrea Drumheller, a majority of members from the Senate Research Committee and the Academic Officers.

Research and Creative activities during the COVID-19 situation

In these uncertain times, Bishop’s University would like to provide some guidelines in terms of research and creative activities being performed by our community (faculty and students). These recommendations are applicable at the moment, but please recognize the fluidity of the current climate and that they may change over time.

On ethical and security grounds, we recommend that all data collection involving personal interaction with human participants be suspended or postponed until further notice. No new experiments or projects involving interaction with human participants should be undertaken at this time. For ongoing research that is occurring within the community (e.g. community and home-based interventions, interviews, focus groups, etc.) that can be modified or delayed to limit personal contact, we are requesting that you seek approval for the continuity of this project with the REB or ERCSR, as the case may be. In general, any form of contact with research participants, unless done virtually, should be suspended. For researchers who have recently had in-person contact with research participants, we recommend that you contact your participants to ensure that they are not showing any clinical symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please consult info-santé by phone at 1 877 644-4545 before visiting the Bishop’s University Health Services clinic and please refer to the Government of Canada’s website for safety information.

For research that does not involve in-person contact with human participants, for example on-line collection of data, research and creative activities can be maintained, as long as social distancing protocols are respected and access to the campus is not required. For researchers who require access to the campus for essential research activity purposes (such as maintenance of specialized equipment), a request for access must be submitted to of the Director of Research & Graduate Studies and the Vice-Principal Academic and Research before March 18th, 2020. Specific names, dates and times, location and the rationale must be provided. The number of people per lab (and university building) at any time will be controlled. SPECIAL NOTE: Research activities aimed at responding to, or analyzing the effects of, the COVID-19 threat are encouraged and will be evaluated by the REB and Research office as required, but must respect the guidelines for social distancing.

Travelling for University business has been curtailed; this includes all travel related to research and creative activities. Federal granting agencies (Tri-council) have announced flexibility in terms of reimbursement of non-refundable travel fees due to the COVID-19 situation (both principal investigators and research personnel).

The Research Ethics Board (REB) and the Ethics Review Committee for Student Research (ERCSR) will continue evaluation and approval activities for the foreseeable future. Note that this may change with time, and we will do our best to inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is closely monitoring decisions made by external funding agencies in terms of deadlines. It is crucial at this time to inform us of any intention to submit a grant to an external funding competition in a timely manner, and to clearly communicate these intentions to both the Director of Research and Graduate Studies, Amy Svotelis (, and the Grants officer, Samia Mihoub (, to ensure a coordinated effort. We are in communication with agencies about deadlines and if we learn that any are extended, we will advise you by email.

Stay strong, stay safe, and don’t fret, research will slay the dragon. And don’t forget, before sharing information on COVID-19 on social media, we invite you to consult reliable, fact-checked sources!

Miles Turnbull
Vice-Principal Academic & Research

Please refer to, institutional social media channels and/or SafeGaiter for further updates as they become available.

Bishop’s Library Learning Commons partners in resource-sharing project with universities across Quebec

The Bureau de Coopération Interuniversitaire has announced the creation of a new resource-sharing partnership between Bishop’s and 17 other university libraries across Quebec to give users a wider access to academic resources.

Officially announced on October 11, 2019, the partnership provides access to a unified catalogue of more than 20 million documents for the university communities. The initiative was financed with 10.4 million dollars from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur and presents a greater level of collaboration that will benefit all users of the Library Learning Commons.

“The idea for this new partnership for the network was born some five years ago. There are already shared resources, like electronic journals and databases, between the institutions but we are now working to achieve a higher level of collaboration for the benefit of all our users,” explains Catherine Lavallée-Welch, Bishop’s university librarian.

The partnership has put forth three novel platforms that will allow university libraries to share their vast resources, each platform holding a specific purpose. The Shared Services Platform (SSP), set to be released in June, is at the core of the project and presents a huge advancement for the libraries and their users. This interface and database will allow the university community to search through 18 collections of English and French documents more quickly and efficiently, from both on and off campus.

“While there are ways to search the material you need, the new system and new search interface will make it much easier and faster. It will also be easier to request items from other libraries in Quebec to be sent to you here at Bishop’s.”

The other two platforms, Géoindex and Dataverse, allow the collection of geospatial datasets and a free repository software for dissemination and preservation of small to medium-size data sets, respectively. More information on these platforms will be shared later this year.

“While we’ll have to adjust some of our workflows and policies, it will be really beneficial for Bishop’s and our users,” Lavallée-Welch notes. “We will have access to new resources and tools that we wouldn’t have been able to organize otherwise. We’ll be able to share our unique materials and content to a wider audience.”

Creating an invaluable knowledge hub for both students and the wider university community, the project only reinforces Bishop’s mission to support students in their pursuit for academic excellence. By collaborating and leveraging these cutting-edge platforms, Lavallée-Welch concludes that “we’re embracing digital culture and our academic library partners in the province.”


Dear Members of the Bishop’s community,

As you know, there has been a coronavirus outbreak which originated in the Wuhan region of China.  Whereas the vast majority of diagnosed cases have been in China, there have been a small number of cases diagnosed in other countries. Currently we are aware of two confirmed cases in Toronto and one confirmed case in Vancouver.

Bishop’s University is monitoring the situation closely. You can find up-to-date information about the coronavirus by clicking on the websites of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Quebec Health Services.

If you have travelled to China in the past 21 days and are presenting symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing please go directly to the hospital rather than to our campus clinic.

I encourage all of us to remain courteous and respectful of one another.

Michael Goldbloom, C.M.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

BU Singers Share 2019 Prix Opus for Concert of the Year – Regions

BU Singers Director Fannie Gaudette and singer/conductor Melinda Enns were in Montreal this past week to accept the Opus prize for Concert of the Year in the category of Regions on behalf of the Bishop’s choir. The Gala Prix Opus took place at the Salle Bourgie of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on January 19th.

In collaboration with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville, under the baton of Julien Proulx, and Le Choeur Bella Voce, under the direction of James Copland, the BU Singers performed Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky on April 18, 2019 to a sold-out audience at Maison des arts Desjardins Drummondville. The concert marked the second project in the last three years with conductor Julien Proulx. He was at the helm for two performances of Bach’s magisterial Mass in B Minor in 2017. It was the first collaboration between the BU Singers and Le Choeur Bella Voce – an excellent ensemble of more than 50 voices based in Drummondville.

Gaudette described the win as “a huge accomplishment for our group’”. Long time chorister Jamie Crooks added: “We’re all tremendously proud of how Fannie has built our choir over 20 years – and particularly grateful, in this project, to Melinda. She prepared the group for Julien, conducting all rehearsals and shaping the performance that has now been recognized. Bishop’s is lucky indeed to have such talented people in these leadership roles.”

The Prix Opus highlights the excellence and diversity of concert music in Quebec.

Dr. Amy Svotelis, Director of Research and Graduate Studies

Dear Bishop’s Community,

It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Amy Svotelis in her new role as Director of Research and Graduate Studies.

Dr. Amy Svotelis

Dr. Svotelis is a proud ’01 graduate of Bishop’s University, having earned a Bachelor of Science – Honours in Biology. She went on to earn her M. Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Ph. D. in Molecular Biology from Université de Sherbrooke.

Since 2016, she had been Assistant Scientific Director of the Centre for Research at the CHUS (CRCHUS), part of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS and affiliated with the Faculté de Médecine et sciences de la santé of the Université de Sherbrooke. She was previously Research Coordinator in Orthopaedic Surgery at the CRCHUS, and she taught as a contract faculty in the Biology Department at Bishop’s.

Amy is known for her team approach to leadership in research management. She has played key roles in coalescing groups with whom she has worked and in leading strategic visioning and planning to bring the CRCHUS to new levels of excellence.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Svotelis to Bishop’s,

Miles Turnbull
Vice-Principal Academic & Research