MINERVA 2019 E-NEWSLETTER
|In this issue:||
Vol. 19/No. 1 Fall 2019
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Two good words to describe this past year for Minerva Canada might be honed and focused. In order to continue delivering on our core mandate which is to be a globally recognized leader that influences post-secondary education to ensure healthier and safer workplaces, we have focused on a big project – our Online Post-Secondary Student Certification Program. I firmly believe it delivers practical and useful Health & Safety (H&S) information to those who need it most: students. Not only that, it boosts our communication efforts with both Associations and academia, which will ultimately benefit industry and its workers.
In addition, we have focused on ourselves. If an organization wants to remain robust and relevant, it needs to continually ensure it keeps its “eyes on the prize” while, at the same time, grow in new directions in order to serve its various audiences in the best ways possible. To this end, every five years, Minerva takes its own pulse by gathering together its board members and other stakeholders to take a good, hard look at where we are as an organization, what we have succeeded (or not succeeded) at delivering, and where best to go from here. See Minerva Plans for the Future story.
But even though it has been a year of concentrating our efforts in specific areas, our Board and stakeholders have been, as always, very active in getting the Minerva message out. These included:
Minerva Canada’s accomplishments are a reflection of the hard work, endless assistance and support from our volunteers from industry, government, academia and H&S professional associations.
I am also very grateful to our many sponsors whose continued support and financial assistance make our initiatives at Minerva Canada possible. Without this support, Minerva would not exist as an organization.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important initiative that provides students with not only a strong base of knowledge of H&S concepts, but a certificate from Minerva, is up and running and in the hands of our future business and industrial leaders. Course 100 of Minerva’s online H&S certificate program is available to any university and college that signs a Minerva licensing agreement. Students of post-secondary teaching institutions that choose to use the Minerva Learning Management System (LMS) will each be given a password to access the online course through Minerva’s website. For schools without an agreement, students can still access the Minerva courses by paying a user fee. Details are on Minerva’s website.
The University of Toronto’s Jeffrey Castrucci, a sessional lecturer and curriculum developer, along with Minerva President Tony Pasteris and Vice President Peter Sturm, developed the content for Course 100, the first of four courses. It comprises six modules, containing slide content, scripts, assignments and quizzes.
Minerva contracted the University of Fredericton with its e-learning expertise to design the courses and LMS. Following the online program design, the University underwent rigorous beta testing with students, professors, and Minerva board and working group members before being officially available. “As I worked through course 100, I was impressed by the depth of learning that I got from the materials and case studies,” says Dr. Iain McNab, Chair, School of Engineering Technologies & Architectural Studies, George Brown College. “I consider myself to have expert knowledge of safety, but there were still case studies that I was unaware of and some of the points raised through the course were very interesting and led me to have detailed conversations with other industry professionals.”
Content is comprehensive
This ambitious program, when completed, will comprise four modules of six hours each, complete with assignments and quizzes – or 24 hours of online training, excluding time to complete assignments. Content will include core material for all students as well as discipline specific content in eight domains:
Specific content for these eight domains will be drawn from Minerva’s 23 Teaching Modules developed over the past three years.
Course 100, covering domains 1, 2 and 3, has been added to Minerva’s LMS by the University of Fredericton. Assessments for each module provide instant results when completed by the learner. Reports, available upon completion, include a grader report along with activity reports to see where the learner excels and where he/she needs more attention. The modules are also available on multiple devices and are cross-browser compatible to allow access anywhere, anytime. The site is accessible for students with disabilities, incorporating such features as closed captions, roll overs, audio on every page, and can be used by screen readers. The University of Fredericton On-line Campus framework is built to withstand high levels of bandwidth and usage between faculty and students, making it an extremely stable environment structured to enable large groups.
Course 200 development, with its seven modules, is well underway with content all completed by Jan Chappel. It will continue to address topics in domains 1, 2, and 3 and begin introducing material in domains 4 and 6. We expect course 200 to be added to Minerva’s LMS by year end. According to Pasteris, “Jan has considerable expertise in writing e-learning courses and has done a great job for Minerva.”
Designed for interactivity
“The design of both Minerva courses to date has been focused on bringing as many opportunities for interactivity and engagement as possible out of the content, with the ultimate goal of transferring the learning to students and other learners that may enroll in the courses,” explains Alicia Johnston, Manager of Development, University of Fredericton. “This has been accomplished through a combination of well-thought-out template/course design, and through applying instructional design principles to the content to ensure that all content is flowing to learners in the right order and testing is having maximum impact. We (UFred) have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Minerva which has been helpful in facilitating this.”
“We’re right on track,” says Pasteris. “We’ve met the timelines we set out for ourselves, while keeping an eye on the quality of content that people have come to expect from Minerva Canada. I applaud all those involved, from the content developer contributors through to the team at Fredericton who built such a robust site experience.”
Participating universities and colleges have the option of choosing whether the certificate program is mandatory, treated as an elective course or included as modules as part of existing courses. They will also decide whether to host it themselves or via Minerva’s branded LMS, both designed and hosted by the University of Fredericton. The Minerva LMS will allow student grades to be transferred to specific courses. Licensing fees will depend on what option they choose and the number of enrolled students within the Faculty.
Seeking more sponsors
Minerva Canada will be responsible for updating any needed program content and providing new content and modules. The licensing fees will be used for this purpose and to cover hosting fees. In addition, Minerva has initiated a sponsorship campaign with industry and government organizations to raise the needed $450,000 of development costs for the program.
Minerva is grateful to the 12 universities that provided one-time seed funding of $5,000 each to cover initial development costs:
Minerva is also grateful to its financial sponsors from industry and professional associations who helped finance development of Course 200:
Silver and Bronze
“Minerva is ‘on a journey’ to the next level of building on its history and experience of bringing leading-edge health and safety education to every post-secondary student in engineering, business and other academic disciplines,” says Peter Sturm, Vice President, Minerva Canada. “The program allows students to access content at their own pace to ensure effective uptake and retention of health and safety principles. It assists professors and instructors to easily integrate health and safety into their curricula and meet the specific educational attributes for health and safety that are part of professional educational accreditation standards. There is significant interest in other countries and educational institutions to access and integrate the unique and student-centred Minerva content into other programs around the globe.”
Although it has been first launched in Engineering Schools, the program will be offered to other post-secondary institutions like Business Schools and Schools of Technology in Colleges next year as well as to organizations from industry, government and professional associations. Interested sponsors and organizations wishing to access the online courses are invited to contact Tony Pasteris at email@example.com.
Minerva Canada knows that college and university instructors have a full plate. We also know that they constantly strive to keep up the incredible pace of change within their disciplines, whether it be exciting new technologies and discoveries or the ever-changing demands of industry. In order to reach as many of these hard-working academics as possible, in a way that provides them with practical, quality information in as little time as possible, Minerva held its first in a series of instructional webinars late last year.
Our one-hour session, Leading a Culture of Safety: From Learning to Practice, held in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, met with such a positive response that a series is now in the works.
Some 95 participants from academia and business tuned in, a significant majority of whom reported that they were either “highly satisfied” or “satisfied” with the presentation, and would attend another webinar in the future.
Presentations were made by Graeme Norval, Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, and Erin Oliver, Vice President Employee H&S, Modern Niagara Group Inc., along with Dr. Monica Slovinec D’Angelo, Director Health, Conference Board of Canada.
Minerva held another well-received webinar this year on November 20, focused on Excellence in Health and Safety Leadership. Speakers included Dan Lemoing, SSHE Manager Imperial Oil Limited, and Minerva Board member Graeme Norval.
“Based on the quality of the webinar and the feedback we received, we plan to continue the series,” explains Minerva President Tony Pasteris. “We have identified about five H&S topics that should interest a wide population, with some of them focusing on content from our Teaching Modules.”
Stay tuned for more topics and dates. If you have topic suggestions, please share them with Minerva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June, Minerva Canada Board and Working Group members gathered to review where things stand today and, more importantly, to map a strategic plan and priorities for the next five years. As a follow-up to a similar session held in 2014, the group had an ambitious agenda that resulted in numerous action plans to achieve goals.
“This was an extremely productive exercise,” says Tony Pasteris, President, Minerva Canada, “and it gave us a chance to not only look at Minerva as an organization, but at issues like the demographics of our current and future audiences, and how best to reach them given Minerva’s limited resources. More importantly, it identified what Minerva needs to do and its focus areas for the next three years in becoming a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization. This included recommendations in addressing Minerva’s structure and succession planning.”
Other forward-looking discussions covered topics like the immigration challenge and how to address multiculturalism through the Minerva lens, how Minerva can expand its accomplishments in engineering programs into business and other programs, and in what ways can the organization help secondary school institutions by moving Minerva into a facilitation role and promoting its online Health and Safety courses.
“In 2014, we did a survey on various programs and where Minerva fits in,” explains Board member Marcel Pouliot, VP, Trimac Transportation Services Inc., and facilitator of this and the 2014 meeting. “We are now entering the most transitional project for Minerva with the online certificate program for engineering students, so this session couldn’t be more timely.” Committees of the Board were established following the strategy workshop to address what needs to be done and which will become the focus of future quarterly Board meeting discussions.
Minerva thanks all those who participated for their time, expertise, contributions to the discussions and, most importantly, for ensuring that the Minerva organization will remain the practical yet dynamic entity it has come to be.
There’s nothing like being rewarded for your efforts to instil a passion in a topic. That’s why Minerva Canada sponsors student awards programs that recognize student achievement through healthy competition.
A New Twist on an Old Plier Design Saves Users from Repetitive Strain
(left to right) Sandra Miller, VP, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, Minerva Canada President and CEO Tony Pasteris, first place finishers Adnan Lokhandwala, Alexander Barros, and Ali Maqbool from McMaster University, Vince Sowa, Professor, McMaster University and WSPS President and CEO Lynn Brownell
Congratulations go to students at McMaster University for clinching this year’s $3,500 top prize in the James Ham Safe Design Engineering Student Award competition for their design of BarLok Pliers that aim to assist ironworkers in the repetitive, wrist-straining task of fastening tie-wire. The annual award challenges Canadian university engineering students and college students in technology programs to make an original contribution toward integrating safety into engineering design. The award honours former University of Toronto President and Dean James Milton Ham whose Royal Commission Report on Health and Safety led to the creation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in 1979.
Ironworkers tend to put significant stress on their wrists while fastening tie-wire around reinforcing bars – tying upwards of a thousand a day – making repetitive stress injuries a major health concern. The McMaster Mechanical Engineering and Management program team of Alexander Barros, Adnan Lokhandwala, Ali Maqbool, Kevin Najdienow and Dylan Porco addressed this problem by designing BarLok pliers that look and feel like conventional pliers, but allow the user to twist tie-wire without having to rotate their wrist.
Sandra Miller, VP, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, and Minerva Canada President and CEO Tony Pasteris presented the awards at the WSPS Partners in Prevention Conference in Mississauga, Ontario on April 30.
“The team had a great time meeting Tony and all the folks he introduced us to,” said Lokhandwala following the ceremony. “We also appreciate all the advice we received and have gathered some great insight into the next steps we need to take to develop BarLok pliers further.”
During the award ceremonies, honorable mentions went to student teams from the University of Toronto, Waterloo University and McMaster University for their high quality entries. “We received very good solutions and creative problem-solving in this year’s submissions,” comments Dave Meston, H & S Consultants Inc., one of the judges. Other judges were Lynn Smith, GM Canadian Regional Engineering Centre, Manuel Marta, retired Nova Chemicals engineer, Syed Ahmed, retired Imperial Oil engineer, and Larry Masotti, Workplace Safety Prevention Services (WSPS)
Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) 2019
Congratulations go to teams from Concordia University, McGill University, and the University of Calgary for landing the top three spots in the Minerva-sponsored Health and Safety Human Resources event at this year’s Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) held at Queen’s University in January. ICBC is Canada’s oldest and longest-running undergraduate business case competition, featuring eight different competitive events in which students can participate annually. It attracts close to 250 attendees, including competitors from around the world as well as judges, faculty advisors, student organizers and volunteers from over 40 universities and 10 countries.
The highly popular Human Resources Venue presentations were judged by Minerva Board Members Wendy Tobin, Lynn Smith, Larry Masotti, and Tony Pasteris. Brock University’s Deborah McPhee, a Minerva Board member, as well as Stephanie Brydges, from Windsor, Ontario, prepared the case studies for both the Preliminaries and Finals of this competition. Following the competition, the Minerva group, along with board member Robert Schulz of the University of Calgary, met with ICBC business professors to discuss Minerva’s online certificate program.
The 2019 ICBC case studies sponsored by Minerva Canada are available on our website.
How to Enhance Minerva’s Brand? Ask the [Student] Experts
A Fanshawe team of seven business students tackled this assignment and made their final presentation to Sturm and Pasteris.
“The recommendations made to us were excellent – so good, in fact, that we shared them at our strategy session in June,” explains Sturm. “The team even went as far as to interview 25 students and professors and shared the survey results with us on a wide range of topics.”
“The team gave us a lot to chew on from the standpoint of marketing strategies as Minerva advances its online certificate program,” said Pasteris.
“Working with Minerva was an enriching experience for our team. All of the skills we learned in class were applied to market research, strategizing, and reporting,” adds Kate Coleman, Fanshawe team leader. “It was a challenging yet rewarding project and working with Tony and Peter was truly a pleasure.”
Queen’s Annual Multi-discipline Engineering Students’ Project
Minerva’s Tony Pasteris and Vic Pakalnis facilitated the project and worked with teams by providing ongoing feedback. “We received very good reports,” says Pasteris, “and the teams came up with excellent solutions. I’m also pleased that this year marked the highest level of student participation since the initiative began.”
Minerva plans to sponsor the project again in 2020 with another case study.
Minerva is pleased that the next World Safety Congress will be held in Toronto October 4-7, 2020 and hosted by the Institute for Work and Health and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. As the only organization of its kind promoting the advancement of Health and Safety education in post-secondary schools, Minerva Canada sees the World Safety Congress as a great venue to showcase its educational programs and activities to the world.
Plans are in the works to make a Minerva presentation at the Congress, involving some of its partners.
Minerva in the News
President & Chair: A.E. (TONY) PASTERIS
Vice President: PETER STURM
Secretary/Treasurer: LARRY MASOTTI
Meeting Coordinator: SIMONA MAZAT
DR. SUE BRUNING
DR. ANIS HAQUE
DR. WILLIAM HOLMES
DR. DEBORAH MCPHEE
DR. GRAEME NORVAL
DR. RON PELOT
DR. DON PETKAU
MARCEL E. POULIOT
DR. MARC ROSEN
DR. ROBERT SCHULZ
Minerva welcomes to our Board Robin Angel, BCRSP Board rep and Regional Director, Nova Scotia Government – OHS Labour & Advanced Education, as well as Dr. William Holmes, Dean – Faculty of Management at Royal Road University, Victoria, BC. We look forward to their contributions that will further strengthen Minerva Canada’s activities in Eastern and Western Canada.
Congratulations go out to Vic Pakalnis who recently retired from MIRARCO Mining Innovation as its CEO and President. We are pleased that Vic – one of Minerva’s greatest ambassadors since the early nineties – has agreed to continue as a Minerva Board member and as a Minerva representative at the 2020 World Safety Congress.
Minerva Canada’s sponsors from industry, academia, government and health and safety associations include a growing list of organizations committed to principles that combine efficiency and productivity within an effective Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) management culture.
Minerva Canada was initiated in the mid ‘80’s from Project Minerva, first started in the USA by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). We extend a special note of appreciation to the five founding sponsor organizations of Minerva Canada, with which we continue to enjoy a very strong and fruitful relationship.
It is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge all our sponsors and close-working partners:
University and college financial and/or in-kind supporters of Learning Forums:
Minerva Canada Safety Management Education Inc.
Chairman & President: A.E (Tony) Pasteris