VIU News & Experts: April 4, 2024

Picture of the moon passing in front of the sun

April 4, 2024 - 10:00am

Experts on solar eclipse, oral health and leadership 🗣️

In this issue of VIU news & experts: 

  • How to take in the solar eclipse
  • The importance of VIU's Dental Clinic to oral health in the community
  • Decolonizing sexual education
  • Happening Saturday: Trades & Tech Showcase and Vancouver Island Leadership Conference

Featured experts

Solar eclipse

Interested in viewing the solar eclipse? Dr. Greg Arkos, a VIU Astronomy Professor, has some tips to view the solar eclipse safely. He’ll be travelling to Mexico to view the event in the path of totality, as the next time a notable solar eclipse is expected to be viewable from the Island is in 2044. He can also share details about the “Devil’s Comet” which is scheduled to make an appearance around the same time.

National Dental Hygienists Week: experts available

There are more than 31,000 registered dental hygienists working in a variety of settings across Canada. Vancouver Island University’s Dental Hygiene program is a key training ground for some of these workers, who play a vital role in the health-care system. Research shows a direct link between oral health and overall health and well-being.

Did you know the VIU program operates a clinic on campus that is an affordable and accessible way for individuals and families to access dental care? April 4 to 10 is National Dental Hygienists Week. In honour of the week, the Bastion will be lit up with the colour purple – the colour of dental hygiene. Dental Hygiene Program Chair Linda McKay as well as second-year Dental Hygiene student Danielle Stepp are available to speak about the importance of good oral hygiene and how the VIU Dental Clinic can support the community.  

Looking for an expert for another story? Connect with VIU Experts.

VIU news

Headshot of Dr. Sara Vogel.

Decolonizing sexual education

Dr. Sara Vogel is Vancouver Island University’s 2024 Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair in Indigenous Studies. During her residency at VIU, she will focus on sexual education that highlights Indigenous values embedded into the curriculum. Vogel, a Native Hawaiian, is the Title IX Coordinator at Hawai’i Community College and Lead Educator and host of the podcast Ladybits and Leadership. Learn more. 

Student research conference

More than 350 students will be showing off their research and creative activity projects during the annual CREATE conference next week (April 8 to 12). Highlights include: 

  • Research and infographic poster sessions in the Upper Cafeteria (Building 300) from April 8 to 11, 9 am to 5 pm. 
  • Opening ceremony and keynote address on April 8 at 1 pm, featuring Hayden Lansdell, Assistant Deputy Minister of the BC Data Service and Government’s Director of Statistics.
  • CREATE Short Films event on April 8, from 5 to 6:30 pm, at the Malaspina Theatre (Building 310). The event features 10 short films produced by VIU students. At 7 pm, the Inclusive Theatre Collective (Hooray!) – ITCH, presents an original play by student Ceridwen Nord. Medieval Madness is a farcical murder mystery starring a diverse group of VIU students as cast and crew. 
  • Project Pitch is April 9 from 2 to 4 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room (Building 300). Students will pitch their ideas for a chance to receive a $3,000 grant for their project.
  • Graduate students will compete during the 3 Minute Thesis on April 10 from 5 to 7 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room (Building 300). The winner will represent VIU at Western regionals.
  • Creative Writing students read their poetry during Spoken Work on April 11 in the Madrona Room in the VIU Library (Building 305). 

Learn more about CREATE.

Trades & Tech Showcase

Are you considering a career in trades? Come to the Trades & Tech Showcase on April 6 to learn more about the 20 different trades and technology programs on offer at Vancouver Island University. You can also try out an activity related to each one. Learn more.

VIU in the news

Students in the carpentry program at VIU's Cowichan campus are gaining real-world experience by building a tiny home at the Cowichan Trades Centre. Program instructor Andrew McLeod and student Emily Behm spoke with CBC Radio about the project. You can also read more from My Cowichan Valley Now and Academica.

VIU researchers are investigating the origins of a tire chemical that is acutely toxic to salmon. Dr. Erik Krogh, Co-Director of VIU’s Applied Environmental Research Laboratories, and graduate students and alum Joseph Monaghan and Angelina Jaeger talked to CHEK News about the issue.

The Times Colonist talks to Hannah Frank of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. Hannah portrays Mary Robins in Scenes from the Nanaimo Hospital. The play was written by Ḵ̓ix̱t̕łala, Dr. Laura Cranmer a Vancouver Island University (VIU) Honorary Research Associate and retired VIU Professor for Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies. Read the article.

VIU's Trades and Tech Showcase takes place this Saturday, April 6 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Trades Discovery Centre on the Nanaimo campus. Read more from My Coast Now.

Happening at VIU

Vancouver Island Leadership Conference

Post-secondary students from across BC will gather at Vancouver Island University and other locations across Nanaimo for the Vancouver Island Leadership Conference. This annual event features keynote talks, skill building workshops and networking opportunities to inspire future leaders. Highlights: 

  • Keynote talk on Beyond Boundaries and leadership by Brodie Guy, CEO, Island Economic Trust, Nanaimo Museum.
  • Cultural intelligence workshop with Karima Ramji, Ramji Consulting.
  • Workshop on cultivating safe spaces by Robyn Ward, Certified Cultivating Safe Space Trainer, CEO, and Founder, Rewarding Relationships.
  • Keynote on the power of networking by Jatinder Dhir, Director, BC-India Business Network (BCIBN).
  • Keynote on diversity and leadership by Nneka Otogbolu, Director, Strategic Initiatives and Equity Advancement at Edmonton Community Foundation.
  • Career expo.

Learn more. To attend as a member of the media, email 

Engaged Citizens Speaker Series

Join us for a chat about bad leaders and bad followers on April 15. For this edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series, VIU's Jarislowski Chair in Trust and Political Leadership, Dr. Michael MacKenzie, is joined by CKNW's Jas Johal, Shachi Kurl, President of the Angus Reid Institute, and Lisa Helps, former mayor of Victoria. Register

Tags: Community Engagement | Research | Announcements

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