“Bounce” at McMaster
The creation of a series of videos to tell the stories of 5 Faculty and/or Alumni members who faced challenges and obstacles finding direction, meaning and success as university students. The intention is to engage and inspire students to build resilience to disappointment, failure and rejection and to build connections between Faculty and students through understanding of our shared humanity.
Closing The Loop
McMaster Hospitality Services is looking to begin a small scale on-site composting project to expand our efforts towards decreasing waste volume and increasing diversion rates. The project would consist of an on-site composter located within the Centro @ the Commons dining location within Hospitality Services. The goal for on-site composting is to decrease the volume of compostable waste and use the finished compost product on McMaster campus landscapes to promote a sustainable closed-loop process.
Creating an on-site space to compost organic waste will contribute to a decrease in the amount of emissions brought on by the hauling of compost off-site and minimize total volume of waste. The finished output of the compost material will be a nutrient rich product which will be utilized on campus to further improve the quality of green spaces on campus.
The composter will be run by Hospitality Services staff who have been provided training and direction. Hospitality Services will coordinate with Facilities Services’ team to ensure that the soil output material is properly received and distributed when finished. We estimate that compost pickup by Facilities would happen on a weekly basis.
Waste management on campus is a key service within our community, increasing its strength on campus has the potential to support a sustainable culture within McMaster. With an increased hands-on approach to waste reduction on campus, the positive and educational impact will take steps towards sustainability on campus, increase the community’s engagement, and promote future innovation with waste reduction on campus.
Community Music Therapy: A Proactive Approach to Well-being
Studies over the last several years indicate that undergraduate students experience high stress levels and a high propensity of mental health concerns (Abrams, 2010). Additional stressors are now being experienced by many students as a result of COVID-19. The stigma associated with engaging in “therapy” may deter students from reaching out for support highlighting a need to explore alternative services for wellbeing opposed to students experiencing a crisis situation before obtaining help. Online Community Music Therapy (CMT) is a group music therapy approach that values the community in which the intervention is taking place and acknowledges the social and cultural factors impacting the health of the participants. Group community music therapy can be applied in a proactive way to help students manage stress before it reaches a crisis stage. The MOSPF will financially support of the costs of facilitating 25 online music therapy groups.
Psychological, physiological and biomarker data will be collected from participants of the online (CMT) groups as part of PhD student Rachael Finnerty’s research, supervised by Dr. Laurel Trainor, Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. The goal of the research is to determine if CMT is a viable proactive approach to managing undergraduate student stress and anxiety. This research was motivated by Rachael’s experience as a music therapist, as an instructor of music therapy at McMaster University and mentorship/student project supervision through the Music Therapy Academy of which Rachael is the Founder. Want to learn more about research related to music and health? Twitter: @musicandthemind & @Onmusictherapyacademy Instagram: @live.lab & @musictherapyacademy FB: @LIVELabMIMM/ & @musictherapyacademy
Financial Reality Expo
Taking care of your financial wellness is essential, especially in times of instability or uncertainty. With COVID-19 impacting the number of jobs available to students, it’s now more important than ever to take control of your finances and understand the importance of budgeting and financial planning.
The Student Success Centre and Mac’s Money Centre are inviting you to develop your financial skills this November with Financial Literacy Month. This month-long program will provide you with a financial wellness check-up, including a series of webinars on budgeting, credit, identity theft, investing, saving, student loans, financial aid, awards and more.
Start Financial Literacy Month strong with the Online Financial Reality Expo, taking place November 3, 11:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m. Participate in one-on-one chats with campus financial services, Mac’s Money Centre coaches and community financial groups. The expo format gives you access to valuable resources to increase your financial literacy, with the ability to connect with money experts through interactive, chat-based conversations. Some of the participating partners include Mac’s Money Centre, Student Accounts, the Office of the Registrar/Student Services, PennyDrops and more.
Grad-Visory-Participatory Action Team for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Graduate School
The goal of this project is to organize a stakeholder advisory group with/of/and for graduate students with disabilities and other diverse, intersecting identities. The ‘Grad-Visory’ will build community and mobilize change by informing equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies and student experience programming. The team will mobilize to develop resources in support of graduate student well-being, equity, and success. Relevant, evidence-informed literature, as well as graduate student lived experiences will be centred in the creation of resources and training materials. The design, content, and format of outputs will be determined through the group itself, however possible topics could include: grad student-supervisory relationships, disability and graduate school, racism in the academy, grad self-efficacy skills, 2SLGBTQ+ mentorship in the academy, Indigeneity and decolonization, parenting in graduate school, mental health etc. etc. Topics and formats will depend on the combined and complementary interest, skill-sets, prioritization, and potential impact determined by the group. Okanagan Special Project funding will support the formation and capacity building for this group. It is intended that the work of the Grad-Visory project will contribute to a broader conversation across the campus (and campuses) – faculty, staff, and students – in acknowledging, understanding, and effectively responding to equity, diversity, and inclusion practices in graduate education, thus leading to a healthier campus community broadly understood.
Health Walks and Talks for the McMaster Community
Just Walk: Hamilton-Burlington and the McMaster Athletics and Recreation Department will be using the McMaster Okanagan Special Project Funding (MOSPF) to create an official McMaster website to increase the awareness of a series of free, fun and educational outdoor walk events. Each walk event will consist of an educational talk by a healthcare professional on a health- related topic, followed by a guided walk for participants in one of McMaster’s nearby green spaces. Just Walk has three main goals for the website. Firstly, we want to create a cohesive and supportive community that promotes healthy living and education for students, staff, and faculty. Secondly, we hope to improve accessibility by reducing financial barriers to engaging in physical activity for students. Lastly, by introducing the McMaster community to the natural environments in the surrounding area, we hope to promote the more frequent use of these green spaces for physical and mental well-being.
The McMaster Class resource is a series of online cooking lessons provided by McMaster Executive Chef Paul Hoag. The lessons will be accessible on the McMaster Healthy Workplace website, and are available to any and all McMaster employees, making learning about nutrition and cooking with local ingredients accessible regardless of shift time, campus location, or employee status. This is particularly timely given the importance of digital engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic, and gives employees and their families the opportunity to participate in wellness initiatives regardless if they are onsite or working remotely. With McMaster Classes, The Healthy Workplace committee and Hospitality Services are creating nutrition programming that does not rely on in person participation. From the comfort of your own home, you can learn how to cook incredible dishes from the best McMaster University has to offer.
McMaster Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program
The McMaster Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program (SSAP) is a student experiential leadership program to support collective action, personal and professional development, and collaboration focused on sustainability.
There are many sustainability-focused groups, clubs, and courses at McMaster, but they operate in silos. The SSAP will provide a student-led sustainability presence across campus and the broader community. Through administrative support, the SSAP will provide continuity of projects and share resources so that student-led clubs and groups can collaborate on projects and events to further enhance their collective impact and reach. The SSAP will focus on three key objectives related to sustainability: generate student awareness and engagement in academic sustainability, foster student leadership through collaborative and active learning, and support students in coordinated and collective action.
The SSAP will be supported by two staff Advisors and one Coordinator. The Core Team of six students will provide strategic direction and recommendations for planning, communication, and implementation of SSAP initiatives. Alongside the Core Team, the SSAP will have a student Ambassador Team, which will together form a large network of students who are passionate about sustainability, want to grow their knowledge and skills, and be a part of sustainable change. The Core Team will report to the McMaster Sustainability Action Group on SSAP achievements and requests for connections, support, and advice.
Through skill development and peer, group learning, the program will support students to develop new engagement opportunities, create and support campus projects and events, and act as sustainable leaders on campus.
McMaster University Library Sustainability Committee
- Support McMaster’s Food Collective Centre
The Food Collective Centre’s (FCC) regular office space may not be open, but they will still be running as strong as ever for McMaster students experiencing food insecurity. The McMaster University Library Sustainability Committee’s goal for the coming academic year is to help support the FCC during these unprecedented times. The library’s curbside pick-up service will be expanded to support FCC food packages as well as Student Health Education Centre items for those in need. This initiative supports the Okanagan Charter principles of sustainability, food insecurity, and financial support.
- Virtual Sustainability Events
During the ‘20-’21 academic year, McMaster University Library’s Sustainability Committee will be hosting monthly events with the goal of involving our campus community in learning about and taking action to live more sustainably. These virtual events will be great way to meet new people and connect with the McMaster community, even when we cannot physically be on campus. Join us in learning about the problem at hand with climate change, exploring solutions for sustainable living, and you might even win some fantastic sustainable prizes along the way! This initiative supports the Okanagan Charter principles of sustainability as well as “spirituality, society & culture.”
Music- The Neglected and Forgotten Pillar of Mental Health
McMaster’s Resident Doctors’ program will work with Concerts in Care Ontario to present a program of music and science addressing mental health, to front line resident medical learners.
Now more than ever, physicians and physician learners are all experiencing enormous disruptions in almost every aspect of their lives. We have a timely opportunity to introduce and promote insight into the science of music and medicine, and to see critically how music can help us address personal and community mental health concerns. Music can have important therapeutic impact on stress, pain, mental health, and dementia.
It is our aim to show how music may help all of us manage better, especially in these challenging times by engaging expert leaders in the field to discuss their clinical programs in which music has been integrated into patient care programs.
SPEAKERS, TOPICS, and MUSICIANS
- Dr. Laurel Trainor and Rachael Finnerty, McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind “Music and the Mind,” Aubrey Wilson Trio
- Dr. Kate Mulligan of Alliance for Healthier Communities, “Social Prescription,” Duo Azuline
- Aimee Berends, Music Therapist and Counsellor, “(Music and Mood/Behaviour,” Margaret Bardos, mezzo-soprano with pianist
- Dr. Lee Bartel, Music and Health Research Collaboratory, “Pain Management,” Stephen Sitarski, violin, and colleagues
From a totally different perspective, live music and musicians have a unclear future. Traditional venues packed with interested observers will not be the penultimate music experience of the past. Exploring new ways for musicians to present live music is an exciting field ripe with new ideas and opportunity.
Supporting Active Transportation at McMaster University
This Okanagan Special Project Fund is helping to support more healthy, sustainable, and active transportation options within the McMaster community. Engaging a wide range of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff and community partners McMaster’s Multi-Modal Transportation for Healthy Communities Committee is working to encourage mobility strategies that address users’ diverse transportation needs. Aligned with the Charter’s healthy active living goals, the funding will help the committee support cycling transportation for university members of all ages and abilities. With a focus on offering virtual and online resources this fall, the team is creating cycling maps and sharing educational content online. Planning for future in-person programming will also occur in the fall. When possible based on public health guidelines, in-person Bike Buddies programming will include monthly group rides to student important locations and a mentorship program between new and experienced cyclists at McMaster. The Bike Buddies programming will also eventually include bike safety and bike repair workshops to participating students. Lastly, together with our interdisciplinary team, the development of a University Strategy on Transportation for Healthy Communities will help guide McMaster’s policies and programming to support healthy, sustainable, and active transportation options within campus design.
Supporting Transition in Health Care at McMaster
When a student arrives at McMaster University, they usually face a transition into adulthood that is accompanied by a shift in social demands and cultural values/expectations. Importantly, how youth adapt to these various challenges has the potential to influence their health and well-being.
While all young people have to manage their own health, for some this may be harder than for others. For example, when young people with chronic conditions or special healthcare needs transition to adult services without preparation or good support, students may face 1) an increased incidence of adverse experiences of care and poor health outcomes, 2) costly hospitalizations, 3) inequity of healthcare services, and 4) “other” costs, i.e. missed post-secondary education/work opportunities (Tuchman et al 2015). We believe that the bulk of these adverse outcomes are preventable.
MyTransition App, a transition toolkit designed to support youth/young adults as they move from pediatric to adult healthcare, was developed at McMaster University in consultation with various stakeholders and informed by research evidence. Testing amongst youth/young adults with chronic health conditions indicates that improvements to the app, including reminders, calendars and goal setting, could enhance its usability. Funding from the McMaster Okanagan Special Project will allow us to add features and support healthcare self-management amongst all McMaster students with or without special healthcare needs.