2017 program

The 2017 Fresh Minds Symposium included the following presentations and workshops.


Tales of UVic Students

Tales of UVic Students

A group of UVic international and domestic students will share their experiences of leaving their homelands, family and familiarity to embark on international academic adventures!

Presenters: Anne Cirillo and students from the UVic Global Community

Anne Cirillo is UVic's Coordinator of International Student Programs, which includes the UVic Global Community. She enjoys collaborating with students, staff and faculty to build initiatives that cultivate an inclusive and globally mindful living and learning community. Anne is an applied drama practitioner, puppeteer and actor who is passionate about embodied learning, using our bodies to explore knowledge, narrative and relationship.

That Chemistry Show!

That Chemistry Show!

That Chemistry Show illustrates modern chemistry research with cool tricks to delight students of all ages. The show features lights, colours, smoke and explosions to demonstrate the power and beauty of chemistry.

Presenters: Dr. Alexandre Brolo and Corrina Ewan

Dr. Alexandre Brolo obtained his Master's degree at the Brazil University of Sao Paulo, moved to Canada in 1993, and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo. He joined UVic as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry in 2001, and is now a full professor. Dr. Brolo's current research is geared towards the development of metallic nanostructures for applications in plasmonics and SERS. He is also interested in the study of electrochemical interfaces by laser spectroscopic methods.

Corrina Ewan is a chemical demonstrator, lab instructor and scientific assistant, and has worked with UVic's Department of Chemistry for over 20 years.


Session A: The Illuminating World of Music Videos

The Illuminating World of Music Videos

Learn about the history of music videos and what they tell us about our society. We'll look at what makes a video go viral, and think about what the future holds for music videos in a social media world. Are you a Belieber, or are you in the Beyhive?

Presenter: Dr. Melissa Avdeeff

Dr. Melissa Avdeeff is a scholar of all things popular. She is a lecturer in the School of Music, and teaches a popular course on Beyoncé. Her research looks at the relationships between music, music technology, and society.

Session B: Understanding the Balance Between Delivery Value and Profitability Within a Business Operation

Understanding the Balance Between Delivery Value and Profitability Within a Business Operation

Every day, entrepreneurs busily go about delivering goods and services to their respective customers without fully understanding or appreciating how their internal processes or actions impact profitability. On the surface, the connection seems obvious, yet many business owners struggle to prevent profit being eroded by sloppy operational practices especially when faced with a growing demand. This session is aimed at you building an appreciation of the key factors illustrated using a simple and interactive production model. Be ready to problem solve and keep an open mind.

Presenter: Reg Beniac, BA, CPA, MBA

Reg Beniac is a faculty member in UVic's Gustavson School of Business and Continuing Studies, and is a principal consultant with ProfitEdge Consulting. Prior to ProfitEdge, Reg was a Senior Consulting Manager at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) for many years. The position was responsible for reviewing client operational and financial performance seeking out improvement opportunities to companies in a variety of industries. Before the BDC, Reg was a senior manager responsible for building an FX capital markets regulatory reporting program for the US, UK, Singapore and Australian markets. His experience also includes creating and releasing new services nationally.

Session C: Garbology: Not Just Goopy, Gross or Grimy

Garbology: Not Just Goopy, Gross or Grimy

Garbology is the study of modern garbage. The first garbology project began in Arizona in 1973, but more and more garbology projects continue to develop around North America. It's a primary way to study consumption patterns, waste management, and other aspects of society. Garbology helps to develop important archaeological skills, including excavation techniques and interpretation. Indeed, the remains of garbage piles may sometimes be all that we have left of an ancient archaeological site.

In this workshop, students will explore bags of clean rubbish (don't worry - no dirty tissues or coffee grounds!), to tackle questions of identity and interpretation. This is a chance to explore the assumptions that we make about people, on the basis of what they consume.

Presenter: Dr. Erin Halstad McGuire

Dr. Erin Halstad McGuire has been teaching in UVic's Department of Anthropology since 2010. She teaches ANTH 100 (Introduction to Anthropology), as well as courses on Viking archaeology, the archaeology of death and special topics such as medieval archaeology and gender archaeology. She has on-going interests in topics connected with gender identities, migration, funerary ritual and material culture. In her teaching, she aims to help students develop transferable skills relating to research, project design, group work, and technologies relevant to anthropology and archaeology. She is interested in how students learn, and so strives to consistently further her knowledge in learner-centred theories and strategies for teaching. In 2016, she became the first recipient of UVic's Excellence in Teaching for Experiential Learning Award.

Session D: Elucidating Eulerian Graphs

Elucidating Eulerian Graphs

In the 18th century, Euler (one of the most prolific mathematicians of all time) pondered the question of the Seven Bridges of Koenigsberg. This was a puzzle that had been bothering tourists: is it possible to take a scenic walk through the sitting, crossing every bridge exactly once? Euler answered the question, and then generalized it. His now-famous theorem has applications to all sorts of planning problems. In this hands-on session, we'll learn how to use Euler's theorem to plan trick-or-treat routes, patrol buildings, and design Elizabethan embroidery patterns.

Presenter: Dr. Jane Butterfield

Dr. Jane Butterfield is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics and the Learning and Teaching Centre. She studied mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound and earned a masters in the teaching of mathematics and Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois. Her mathematics research is in the area of graph theory, and her educational research is in mathematics assessment. She really loves talking about graph theory, and has taught it to 3rd-graders, 14-year-old math campers, high schoolers, and anyone else who will listen. Jane is also interested in the intersection of art and mathematics, and has most recently become interested in mathematical fiber art.

Session E: Spaghetti Tower Challenge

Spaghetti Tower Challenge

In the Spaghetti Tower Challenge, groups of students will work together to build the tallest and most stable tower with edible supplies that will be provided to each group in equal quantities. Towers are then tested and the winner is determined based on the overall performance in areas such as height, load-carrying capacity and the minimal amount of materials used. The exercise is a fun and entertaining way to introduce high-school students to the basics of structural design, including knowledge of trusses and support designs, load distribution and the importance of stability parameters.

Presenters: Adham El Newihy and Kristina Frolova

The UVic student chapter of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) facilitates the acquisition and exchange of professional knowledge among its members, organizing activities and events that foster connections within the community of civil engineers at UVic. The group promotes civil engineering to the larger world while maintaining a lighter side to the profession. The UVic student chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), is a student organization dedicated to promoting concrete construction and design through educational, industrial, and community involvement.

  • Adham is a graduate engineering student, Secretary of the CSCE – UVic Student Chapter and a member of the ACI – UVic Student Chapter. His current research involves material health monitoring of concrete structures using new technology sensors.
  • Kristina is an undergraduate engineering student, Co-Treasurer of the CSCE – UVic Student Chapter and a member of the ACI – UVic Student Chapter. She plans to specialize in construction engineering with a minor in business and in psychology.

Session F: Heroines and Heroes in Greek Myth

Heroines and Heroes in Greek Myth

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of ancient Greek myth by learning to recognize the names of ancient Greek heroines and heroes in the original ancient Greek, by learning a few of the most important Greek myths, and by interacting with visual representations of various myths connected with the heroes and heroines. In this session, we will discover the ancient Greek alphabet; handle some replicas of ancient Greek vases; and read the myths themselves (in English) from the original ancient contexts.

Presenter: Dr. Ingrid Holmberg with Arnold van Roessel

Dr. Ingrid Holmberg is an Associate Professor and the Acting Chair of the Department of Greek and Roman Studies. She has been teaching in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria since 1991. Her research focus is ancient Greek epic (the Iliad and the Odyssey) and early Greek poetry in general. Dr. Holmberg also enjoys teaching ancient Greek and Roman mythology to students at the University of Victoria and beyond.

Arnold van Roessel is a graduate student in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies, working on Latin literature.

Session G: Medieval Manuscripts at UVic

Medieval Manuscripts at UVic

The University of Victoria’s Special Collections is home to a growing number of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that are used for the purposes of teaching and research. In this session, you’ll have the chance to interact with some of these rare books and documents while learning about how they were made and who might have used them.

Please note that due to the extremely sensitive nature of these materials, all participants will be asked to leave their personal belongings in cubbies provided in the adjacent reading room. Students and teachers may not bring food, drinks, gum, pens or other potentially damaging items into the classroom. Pencils and note paper will be provided by the instructor. 

Presenters: Dr. Hélène Cazes with Alanna Blackall

Dr. Hélène Cazes is a professor with the Department of French and the director of UVic's Medieval Studies program, as well as a recipient of the Award of Excellence in Research (2013) and the University of Victoria Leadership Award (2014) for her work on humanism and its dissemination. Her research asks such questions such as “What is a legacy?" and "How do legacies make communities?” She is engaged in research and events with the UVic libraries, building programs (Digital Humanities Summer Institute), small exhibitions, and open access publications.

In 2013, Dr. Cazes published The Seghers Collection: Old Books in New Libraries, the first booklet in the open access series on the library collections.

Session H: From the Roof: Asteroids, Planets and Stars

From the Roof: Asteroids, Planets and Stars

Have you ever looked at the stars and wondered where they came from? Do you know what happens when you fall into a black hole? In this workshop, students will have the opportunity to visit the largest telescope on any Canadian university campus, learn about deep space objects, and have their hands on this impressive technology!

Professional astronomers will host a question/answer session about anything space-related and if the sun is out, we will look for sun spots using our solar telescope.

Presenters: Dr. Karun Thanjavur and Chelsea Spengler, with Gina Nasseri and Nat Comeau

Karun is a senior lab instructor in the Physics & Astronomy department, and is in charge of the astro labs plus the UVic observatory. Along with teaching duties, he also coordinates astronomy outreach for the department.

Chelsea is a fifth-year PhD student studying the very innermost regions of galaxies, home to supermassive black holes and nuclear star clusters. Using the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, she is identifying what types of stars live in these regions, where they came from, and what that can tell us about the origin of supermassive black holes and how galaxies grow.

Gina Nasseri and Nat Comeau are senior undergraduate students in astronomy.