Issue 22

Newsletter - Spring 2021

A word from the Director

The 2020-2021 academic year will be remembered as the year of the global pandemic, mandatory online learning, and socialization through Zoom. And now, we find ourselves, gradually, moving towards a return to "normal" thanks to the scientific feat of developing a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus in record time.

One of the central objectives of the university degree is to develop critical thinking and reflection about our role as citizens. We have been forced in this last year to reflect as scholars on our interdependence and the importance of our social programs. At SFU and OFFA, we hope that this new awareness will continue to inform students' academic journeys, and that it will contribute to further reflection on issues of equality, sharing, and "living together" in our society. Let us make sure that this period of forced distancing pushes us in the future to weave stronger and more solid social links.

We have turned toward the future and look forward to the possibility of (finally!) welcoming students in person next September!

Options in French now featured on SFU’s main webpage 

It's now easier to find information about programs and services offered in French at SFU. Last March, the "Options in French" section was launched on the institution's main website, allowing Francophones and Francophiles to discover all the possibilities available to them in just a few clicks. For more information:

OFFA participates in the Sommet sur le rapprochement des francophonies canadiennes

Jointly organized by the Government of Quebec and the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes (FCFA) of Canada, the Sommet sur le rapprochement des francophonies canadiennes (Summit on the rapprochement of Canadian Francophone communities), from June 12 to 17, will bring together hundreds of Francophone and Francophile leaders committed to advancing the French language and Francophonie in Canada. OFFA and SFU are proud to be associated with this national event in the following ways.

On May 26, a pre-Summit activity was held to encourage young British Columbians and Quebecers to get involved. Organized by OFFA, in collaboration with Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ), the event was divided into two parts: a public lecture on Quebec's policy on the Canadian Francophonie, followed by a workshop where student groups from both provinces were invited to comment on the topic and share their ideas and visions for the Canadian Francophonie of tomorrow. 

OFFA Director, Gino LeBlanc, will participate as a panelist on the opening day of the Summit, June 12, from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm (Pacific time). The interactive panel "Towards a New Francophone Solidarity - Inspirations for the Future" will bring together four panelists from various fields to share their stories of living in French in Canada and to share their vision of the challenges and concrete opportunities for creating a rapprochement between Quebec and the Canadian Francophone communities. This activity is open to the public. Registration required.

Finally, in conjunction with the Summit, the national finals of Ma thèse en 180 secondes will be held on June 15 at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern time). SFU will be represented for the very first time with the participation of Manon Picard, a PhD student in marine ecology at the Faculty of Science. Bravo et bonne chance Manon!

The Faculty of Health Sciences welcomes a new bilingual assistant professor

The Faculty of Health Sciences welcomes to its team a brand-new Assistant Professor in Health Ethics, Jean-Christophe Bélisle-Pipon. Originally from Quebec, Bélisle-Pipon seeks to engage citizens, patients and communities in the governance and ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) in health - in both official languages and across Canada.

He is also heavily involved in building bridges between linguistic communities and promoting the French language. In addition to his bilingual scientific communications, he works to promote the development of Francophone bioethics and transatlantic networking between Francophone communities. For example, he is the founder of the Réseau International Francophone en Bioéthique under the auspices of the International Association of Bioethics. 

Do not hesitate to contact him for projects related to the ethics of health technologies, the interface between public decision-makers and citizens, and Arts and Sciences initiatives.

To learn more about M.Bélisle-Pipon

Learning to teach in French can be a little intimidating, but for PDP student Sofie Van De Keere, the decision “est venue naturellement” (came naturally)

As a former French immersion student, Sofie understood the importance and opportunities that come from learning one of Canada’s official languages, so when she heard about the French module in the Professional Development Program (PDP), she was intrigued.

“I knew that I really wanted to pursue French teaching and SFU provided me the avenue to do just that,” says Sofie. “Yes, the PDP might be longer than some other programs at 16 months, but it also gave me different opportunities to explore different facets of education along with French culture and language I would not have learned nor experienced otherwise.”

Read the full article here

It pays to study in French!

Each year, with the help of our partners, we are pleased to offer bursaries and awards to students who choose to study primarily in French at SFU.

Congratulations to the following recipients who will begin their studies in the French Cohort Program in Public and International Affairs this September:

  • Justine Henriques, recipient of the FFCB-OFFA Bursary (Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique)
  • Emma Streng, recipient of the OFFA Award - French Immersion / Core French Category
  • Adria Diallo-Leconte, recipient of the OFFA Award – Francophone Category (Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique)

Are you planning to start or continue your studies at SFU next fall? Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, you may be eligible for several bursaries and awards. Don't miss out on this chance of receiving several thousand dollars!

Bursary Information