Disha Bisto
Disha Bisto
In 2014, Disha travelled many miles from Mauritius island to pursue her studies at UNB. Going in her last year of Chemical Engineering, she is passionate about projects related to energy efficiency and waste elimination. As a reporter she wants to bring out diverse stories to empower individuals. She loves super spicy food and is always open to try different cuisines. When she is not working, you’ll find Disha ‘painting/drawing’, editing videos, watching movies and planning to do yoga on a less busy day.
November 5, 2018

October news in brief

Dr. Chris Diduch presents Denise LaForge with the award | Photo by Cameron Fitch/UNB

Online portal created to share Wabanaki Nations culture

The Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick has launched a website to provide teachers with resources about Wabanaki Nations.

The Wabanaki Collection website is designed as a resources that provides teachers and the public a variety of resources about the Indigenous peoples of Eastern Canada and Northeastern United States.  

The online portal includes video, music, documents and other resources. The goal of the website is to provide more people with Wabanaki history, culture, language and worldviews.

The project is named for the first peoples of this region – Wabanaki, or People of the Dawn – which include the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Abenaki, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy.  

“We invite you to walk in our moccasins of Wabanakiyik, as we follow the tracks of our ancestors to the sacred circle of understanding; for this generation and generations yet to be born,” said Opolahsomuwehs (Imelda Perley), UNB’s Elder-in-Residence.

First Sustainability week at UNBF

The Sustainability Department at UNBF collaborated with the UNB Student Union to host the first sustainability week from 15-19 Oct. Early in 2018, UNB submitted a detailed application to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) which analysed the performance of the Fredericton campus in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Through AASHE, UNBF was certified with a STARS (Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System) silver medal. The sustainability week was a recommendation based on the STARS results which indicated that sustainability education can be improved on the campus.

This week involved creative partnerships with clubs, societies and businesses on and off-campus. One of the most popular events was the ‘Paint and Plant’ which allowed students to paint a pot with ArtZone and plant with the assistance from the Biology Society. ArtZone and UNB Sustainability participated by providing painting materials and pots; the Biology Society provided soil and easy-to-grow and nutritious herbs like thyme, basil, cilantro and parsley seeds.

The ‘Lights Out Coffee House’ held at Renaissance College was equally well attended. The event promoted fair trade and offered students a space to destress and take a break from academic work. Conversely, the campus sustainability tour, which included a tour of sustainable areas of UNB such as wildlife-friendly gardens, the free food planters, the tree trails, the community garden and the Kinesiology Building, had to be cancelled due to low attendance.

“We learned a lot throughout this pilot year,” said Jill Pelkey, climate change officer at UNB. “We plan on altering some of these events and also brainstorm on new ideas for next year.”

Moving forward, the organising team is looking to get feedback from the UNB community to understand diverse interests and possibly integrate suggestions for next year.

First Female Engineer on the Wall of Fame in Head Hall

Denise LaForge, chairman and CEO of Denco Financial Holdings, was inducted into the Engineering Wall of Fame on Oct. 1. LaForge is the first female graduate to share this honour with 13 other distinguished engineering alumni. The wall of fame is located in the lobby of the engineering building on the Fredericton campus.

LaForge is originally from Edmundston, New Brunswick and graduated from mechanical engineering in 1988. LaForge chose mechanical engineering as she always enjoyed studying math and physics over any other subject; Edmunston’s pulp and paper mill also depicted engineering as a promising career path to her younger self.

When LaForge found out about the award in summer, she was overwhelmed and did not share the news with her family until a month later. This recognition is a symbolic achievement for LaForge, as her focus on her work and philanthropy has often prevented her from contemplating her own success.

“Women who are going to enter head hall will see that it is possible to be successful in this career,” said LaForge.

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