Our university is a kind of universe. It has such breadth of interests and activities.
2023 Capilano Universe free virtual lectures
Presentations will be held live via Zoom, thus maintaining spontaneous and interactive engagement and allowing the talks to easily integrate into the programming of our valued host libraries.
About the Series
Capilano Universe is presented by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Capilano University in partnership with North Vancouver District Public Library, North Vancouver City Library, West Vancouver Memorial Library and Gibsons & District Public Library.
The series was initiated by retired faculty member Leonard George over 10 years ago. The idea was that through volunteer faculty connecting with the community over topics of interest, the vast universe of knowledge housed by the University could be expanded beyond the boundaries of campus.
To that end, every spring, from January to April, a series of six or seven talks is put together in collaboration with nearby public libraries—this year includes branches from across North Vancouver District, North Vancouver City, West Vancouver and Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast.
Typically, these talks are held on Thursday evenings at the library branches, and draw attendees who come to hear talks on topics that pique their interests and connect them with faculty who have expertise in those topics.
For general inquiries, please contact the organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Lecture Schedule
We are fortunate to have outstanding members of the CapU community ready to share their knowledge in these thought-provoking discussions. Take a look at this season's lectures in the menus below.
North Vancouver District Public Library — Lynn Valley branch
7 — 8:45 p.m.
As far back as the Middle Ages, women have been writing and publishing their own compositions. Often left out of the traditional western canon, their works are now being rediscovered and performed by major classical music ensembles.
This lecture is an introduction to some of these women who, though famous in their own day, had been forgotten by history.
Dr. Kevin Zakresky, PhD, is Director of Choirs at Capilano University and works as a touring orchestral conductor who has recently directed the Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses, National Geographic Symphony, and Heroes Symphony, three shows that have seen him conduct orchestras throughout North America, South America, and Europe.
Previously, he was Music Director of the Prince George Symphony and conductor of the Pacifica Singers in Vancouver. Kevin received his doctorate in choral conducting from Yale University in 2012 and has been on the voice faculty of the VSO School of Music since 2013.
Wednesday, Feb. 8: Nazmi Kamal — Setting the Table: Fun, Farms & Food Waste, With a Side of Inflation
Gibsons & District Public Library
6:30 — 8:15 p.m.
Hybrid (Zoom & in-person)
The dilemma many families face today, including mine is to strike that balance between eating out, eating healthy. supporting local and saving money, all at the same time.
In this talk, I will explore practical tips for recreating our dinner options, diverting food from landfills, all while being proud supporters of our local champions, our farmers, ranchers, and food growers.
You can expect to leave this session with a few ideas that can help you save money, support farmers and even explore ethnic cuisines all while feeling good about it and the environment.
Nazmi Kamal, PIDP Educ., MSc, MBA, BBA, is an educator at the School of Tourism Management at Capilano University. He is an advocate of food and travel with academic interests in food sustainability, immigrant cuisine and food as a cultural identity. He is a food researcher, a home cook, a farm volunteer and a responsible consumer.
Thursday, Feb. 23 — Jessica Motherwell McFarlane: Get cape. Wear cape. Fly: The Psychology of Making One Change
North Vancouver District Public Library — Parkgate
7 — 8:45 p.m.
First we have to get our cape (i.e., skills and tools we need for change). Then we have to practice wearing our cape. And then — possibly after many failed attempts — we fly! Every time we try to change, we get a new cape, begin a new adventure — and repeat our hero's journey into the unknown.
The Get cape. Wear cape. Fly. metaphor was the perfect frame for our Introductory Psychology research projects. Our learners not only immediately understood the research task involved in trying to change one thing in their lives, they celebrated their triumphs and tribulations by creating their own 8-panel "graphic novel" of their experiment.
In this public lecture, Jessica Motherwell McFarlane, Ph.D. will begin by discussing some of the psychology involved when we want to make a change. Then she will showcase — comic-by-comic — some of our learners' personal journeys through their own research. Finally, YOU will be invited to change one thing in your life.
Please be sure to have a blank paper and a marker on hand and at the ready for this visually inspiring, engaging, and fun approach to the psychology of making one change.
Jessica Motherwell McFarlane, PhD, is an instructor and professional education consultant on gender, anti-oppression, indigenization, and other social justice issues, and won the Instructional Excellence award at the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
Jessica is currently an Instructor at Capilano and Kwantlen Polytechnic Universities. She is also the Teaching and Learning Associate for Decolonizing Pedagogy Initiatives at Capilano University. Jessica is the developer and director of the Life Outside the Box Learning Institute — a JIBC initiative — with curricula designed to use visual narratives (comics) and other expressive arts as a way to SEE personal and professional stories, conflicts and injustices from new perspectives.
She facilitates school and community groups needing to have complex — and sometimes emotionally painful — conversations. Jessica also offers innovative workshops, small groups, and one-to-one sessions for children, youth, and adults who need learning support and wish to be inspired by the expressive arts, and more.
Finally, Jessica is a counsellor in private practice specializing in supporting clients who are on their own adventure-filled, hero's journeys to becoming their true selves.
Thursday, March 9: Ramin Shadmehr — Social Media: A Functionally Dysfunctional Technological Advance
North Vancouver City Library
7 — 8:45 p.m.
Hybrid (Zoom & in-person)
This presentation will start with a review of the origin of, and the main idea behind, the creation of social media platforms, before looking at the very first versions of social media applications, and the currently popular social media platforms.
The different roles involved in creating and maintaining social media, especially that of content creators and how they benefit from social media platforms will be discussed.
We'll also explore the potential applications of different social media platforms, and how anyone can use these effectively and beneficially, in a way that is complementary, rather than detrimental, to their lifestyle).
The risk factors of using social media will also be reviewed along with what users and content creators need to be mindful of and careful around, social media crises, and how to establish healthy boundaries around social media platform usage.
Ramin Shadmehr, PhD Candidate and Dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at Capilano University is an experienced Technology Solution Designer and Developer, Technical Artist, and Educator. With more than 15 years of experience in education, media and technology, Shadmehr has delivered leadership expertise in educational learning and design, interdisciplinary teaching, work integrated learning and educational technology.
He is the co-founder of Techies of Tomorrow Digital Solutions, which provides technology solutions such as online and cross-platform applications, digital marketing tools and operational software for local businesses and creates a platform for new graduates and industry partners to collaborate.
He also serves as a subject matter expert for the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training in supporting the review process for degree and credential program applications.
Shadmehr holds a Master of Education in imaginative education from Simon Fraser University, where he is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in educational technology and learning design.
Thursday, March 23: Maggie Reagh — The Mind-Body Continuum: Underlying Experience, Learning and Healing
West Vancouver Memorial Library
7 — 8:45 p.m.
Western Philosophy, Psychology, Linguistics, and Religion have long considered the mind as separate from the body in terms of how it is experienced, controlled, researched, and measured. This disembodied dualistic perspective was most famously put forth by René Descartes in the 17th Century with I think; therefore, I am.
Embodied Cognition in the West has a relatively short history with 20th century philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and John Dewey. It has also been greatly influenced by one of the founders of Cognitive Linguistics, George Lakoff from the 1960s. Experiential and Place-Based Learning as contemporary pedagogies have also grown out of our culture’s embrace of the body as way of experiencing and learning about the world and ourselves.
Physicians like Dan Siegel and Gabor Maté have also recently shown us how we can even heal our deepest emotional wounding by developing a felt sense of body and attuning to the wisdom of both our hearts and guts. In this Universe Lecture, we will briefly examine how many contemporary thinkers now view the body as a continuum of the mind’s capacity to experience the world around us and even deeply connect to our most authentic selves.
Maggie will then guide us through an applied experience of Embodied Cognition. Be ready to experience your mind as not only located in your head, but also in your whole body.
Maggie Reagh, MA (TESOL/Applied Linguistics) and BA (Hons.) (Classics and Philosophy), has been teaching and coordinating English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs for over 30 years across Canada, including 25 years at Capilano University.
Throughout her career, Maggie has regularly presented on innovative programming ideas with colleagues around BC at conferences for BC TEAL, TESL Canada, BCCIE, and most recently BCCAT. Parallel to her career in Applied Linguistics, Maggie worked first as a performing dance artist in her 20s and later as a yoga therapist/trainer for over 20 years to present.
Her MA thesis in 1990s, in fact, focused on bringing the body back into whole person learning through a course she developed and taught in the federally funded Explore program for many summers across Canada including at Capilano University.
Maggie looks forward to sharing her passion for Experiential Learning through Embodied Cognition by you experiencing the Mind-Body Continuum for yourselves.
Thursday, April 20: Bhuvinder Vaid — What's so "Safe" about "Safe Spaces" in Education, Workplaces & Communities?
North Vancouver District Public Library — Capilano branch
7 — 8:45 p.m.
Educators have described their classes and institutions as "safe spaces" with increasing frequency and certainty since the 1990s. This certainty, a safe space somehow being better for learning outcomes, has been adopted by workplaces and the greater community with little to no critical consideration of what exactly is meant when we claim a place to be a safe space.
The purpose of this talk is for participants to consider what is meant:
- when they claim a specific place is a safe space (i.e., classroom, office, workplace, online forum, etc.), and conversely,
- when they hear this from others (i.e., teacher, employer, colleague, etc.).
By the end of this talk, participants will be better able to explain their obligations to others when they welcome them to a safe space, as well as the implicit promises others make when a place or situation is labeled a safe space.
Bhuvinder Vaid (he, him, his), PhD, also goes by his nickname "Beev" to friends, colleagues and students. He joined the Capilano University community in October 2021 as an Educational Developer with the Centre for Teaching Excellence. In this role, he has worked with fellow educators and staff to further develop inclusive and welcoming teaching environments throughout the learning communities served by CapU.
Bhuvinder received his PhD from Simon Fraser University in 2022, after successfully defending his dissertation titled, "What Do We Mean When We Talk about 'Safe Space'"? A Philosophical Exploration of a Contentious Metaphor in Education.
This research drew upon his own extensive experience, and subsequent challenges, as a university student and instructor, as well as his experience working in industry as a consultant aiding businesses facing challenges arising from increasingly diverse client and employee groups.
Having also published on learning spaces, technology adoption, and online training and learning, Bhuvinder's philosophy background has resulted in his focus upon an instructor's / employer's intended goal, versus the (mis)understanding of students / employees / clients in their practice. He seeks to better align these intensions to practices.
Thursday, May 4: Christina Neigel — Deviants & Loveless Frumps: Librarians Through the Lens of Popular Media
Sechelt Public Library
6 — 7:45 p.m.
Hybrid (Zoom & in-person)
This talk will explore modern images of librarians in popular media (with examples from YouTube, television, movies, books) as a way "in" to discovering how the historical development of librarianship is tied to broader ideas about service and caring work as "women's work" and how this perpetuates its devaluation.
Informed by her work as a librarian, a professor, and a white woman in a very white profession, Neigel uses contemporary examples to highlight how messages, embedded in media, informally educate us about race, masculinity, and femininity.
Particularly relevant in a time when professions like nursing and education are starved for personnel, Neigel considers how these messages inform the way certain professions, continue to endure lower pay and social recognition than other forms of work.
Christina Neigel (she/her), Ed.D., MLIS, has spent a large portion of her career as a professor, teaching information studies to undergraduates (namely library technicians). She now leads a team of librarians and technicians at Capilano University as the University Librarian.
Her work is informed by her scholarship around labour. In particular, she is interested in popular media and the ways it constructs messages about how the world works that often reinforces stereotypes about professions.
In particular, she considers the ways library workers appear in modern popular media and how these images contribute to the broader devaluation of service and caring work.