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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The Laurier Milton Lecture Series provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in a public dialogue with citizens of Milton on a broad array of important topics. Presentations represent the current research and analysis of members of different faculties, departments and programs at Laurier.

Lectures take place the second Wednesday of each month from October 2021 to May 2022.

Upcoming Lectures 

African Canadian girls and Activism in Ontario

  • Esther Hayford, PhD Candidate, Social Work
  • Feb. 9, 2022

There are extensive studies on Black student resistance in Ontario’s high schools, however research that focuses on how oppositional behaviour can provide opportunities for change is understudied. To expand the scholarship on Black student resistance, Esther Hayford explores the advocacy and organization related experiences of 20 African high school girls in Ontario through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. This Narrative Inquiry will also explore issues of race with a specific focus on anti-Black racism.

From Stigmatized Stoners to Enlightened Explorers: How Product Design is Revolutionizing the Cannabis Market

Once a substance associated with lazy young men living in their parents' basements, the legalization of recreational marijuana has shifted its narrative in the marketplace. Once only seen as something illicit and unwanted – literally a "weed" driving drug wars – marijuana is now primarily known by its botanical name, cannabis, has achieved regulatory approval, and is celebrated by mainstream celebrities such as Martha Stewart for its wellness properties. What changed? Drawing the findings from a six-year study recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research, this presentation will examine the role of product design in transforming cannabis' legitimacy from underground to mainstream and from sketchy to stylish.

Partnering for Planetary Health: All Roads Lead to Milton

  • Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Biology
  • April 13, 2022

Building a transformative university campus in Milton focused on planetary health is a once-in-a-generation chance for the community and for Wilfrid Laurier University. It also has deep meaning for Deb MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor and professor of biology at Laurier. As a researcher and academic administrator, she has spent three decades working with industry, government and communities to address interdisciplinary challenges related to aquatic health and climate change. In this Milton Lecture, she will bring together some of her own work in the field of aquatic toxicology to demonstrate how pressing challenges can become partnership opportunities to build a better future for humans and the environment through a focus on planetary health.

Dene health and wellness research: Dehcho First Nations in the driver's seat

  • Melody Morton Ninomiya, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences; Kristen Tanche, Regional Health and Wellness Coordinator, Dehcho First Nations
  • May 11, 2022

Kristen Tanche and Melody Morton Ninomiya will share how three connected research projects were developed to inform health and wellness visioning and planning for Dehcho First Nations in the Northwest Territories. Kristen will share how the research was important to her work as the Dehcho First Nations Health and Wellness Coordinator and Melody will share how the research model is uncommon in academic contexts.

Past Lectures

Ethics in Design

  • Heidi Northwood, Senior Executive Officer, Brantford Campus and Professor of Philosophy
  • Jan. 12, 2022

Just about everything around us is the result of design: our built environments, virtual environments, the physical products and services we use every day, policies, programs and so on. What are the ethical responsibilities of designers? This lecture will explore this question by looking at some examples of really bad design to see what went wrong.

The Education and Labour Market Transitions of African Youth with Refugee Backgrounds in Canada

On average, immigrants tend to be better educated than non-immigrant Canadians, an outcome that is at least partly due to Canada’s immigrant selection rules in the economic stream, which favour education. Yet, Canadian studies show that a lack of supports before, during and after the formal educational process leads to limited job opportunities, with persons of colour and Blacks (many of whom are immigrants) comprising an estimated 50% of those who are precariously employed (Block & Galabuzi, 2018). Over the past six years our research has shown that while many students face academic challenges in transitioning to high school and university, including those related to course selection, a lack of guidance both at school and home when making decisions is particularly pronounced for Black African youth with refugee backgrounds. Beyond mentorship and tailored information about educational choices and career possibilities, African youth also need the tools, training, and confidence to make their own educational and career decisions. This Milton Public Lecture will provide an overview of our research with African youth, highlighting projects designed with our community partners to build the skills and confidence among the youth and their parents to make decisions that affect their education and lives.

Fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Curating Resources to Support Educators

  • Avis Beek, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education; BEd research students, Renny Talianchich and Kalysta Mejia-Torres 
  • Nov. 10, 2021

In 2020, Wilfrid Laurier's Faculty of Education launched the 'Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Indigenization Coalition' to actively support personal and professional growth in their teaching and learning community. One of the initiatives led by the Coalition has involved the collection and curation of resources to support educators' self-growth as well as classroom practices in terms of EDI and Indigenization. Through the voices of the team that spearheaded the project, this lecture will shed light on how individuals can locate tools to help incorporate principles of EDI and Indigenization into their own work and lives.

It’s getting hot up here! Impacts of a warming climate on Arctic water

  • Branden Walker, Research Associate
  • Oct. 13, 2021

The Western Canadian Arctic is one of the fastest-warming places on the planet due to man-made climate change. Continued warming is expected to alter many aspects of the physical environment at scales extending well below the Arctic Circle. My research looks long-term trends in snow, water, and ice to understand how these Arctic systems are changing, and how they may interact with other parts of the physical and human environments. To do this we utilize long-term monitoring stations as “Living Laboratories” combined with drones and satellites to study relationships between water and local and global climate systems.

Looking for more of the Milton Lecture Series?

Check out the Milton Public Library's series playlist on YouTube, including recordings from current and past years.


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