In the News

A New Poem by Dr. Anne Compton (1986)

anne-compton2bMay 19th, 2013

Encore Literary Magazine is very proud to be hosting a reading tomorrow featuring Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, critic, editor and anthologist Anne Compton. On Monday May 20, 7pm at Kaza- Maza in Montreal, Anne will be joined by fellow poet, critic, editor, translator and anthologist Evan Jones. “Onion” is previously unpublished.


Weighs more than it looks: Should do, my father says, bent among
October rows. I’ve come the yellow corridors to be with him.

Like a star compacted by gravity – that dense.
Nebula of particles, fused and lit. Unus, its Latin name.

Best dug at first frost: Hard, though, to be rid of the soil specks
in the outer sheath. Iron flavour in the winter sandwich.

Graded by flesh colour and as to keeping – storage or straightaway.

The Vidalia, in pale-coloured skin, similar to all things fresh –
sweetest forthwith. Thick-skinned storage, a deeper flavour.

Decades gone, he could be starlight, could be what’s
encrypted in cells. My cells. Information’s never lost.

Heaven from earth, according to him. Readable parchment –
in layers – had we the cipher to decode it. Circle by circle.

At the root-end, there are tear-producing compounds,
where it gripped earth. This is true of all temporary things.

About this part, turn aside at the last.

Gaston Lacombe (1995)

gaston-lacombeAs a photographer, and filmmaker, Gaston specializes in social documentary work, as well as in travel photography. He has worked on 6 continents, including Antarctica, and has received a number of international awards. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, in museums and galleries in the United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, Latvia, Canada and the USA, as well as on National Geographic's website.  He has been published on five continents, in publications such as the Washington Post, the Toronto Star, Die Welt (Germany), Der Standart (Austria), the Sri Lanka Guardian, and he says, most importantly, in "Le Madawaska", New Brunswick.

Just recently, Gaston embarked on a large New Brunswick adventure. In April 2013, he toured French-speaking schools in New Brunswick, lecturing about Antarctica. He received a grant to be an artist-in-residence in Antarctica from January to March 2012. During that time he resided on the southern continent at an Argentine base, along with 250,000 penguins. From this expedition, he created a film which has already been shown in various locations in North and South America and Europe, including in Edmundston, New Brunswick.  He also developed a pedagogical program for children of all ages. Assisted by his old high-school friends from Edmundston's Cité des Jeunes class of 1989, he put together a tour of New Brunswick schools. He visited francophone schools all over the North-West, from Clair to Grand-Falls to Kedgwick, all around the Acadian Peninsula, and in the Saint John area. There were 16 schools on the itinerary.  He thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of bringing his Antarctica experience, and his penguin pictures, to the children of New Brunswick!

Read more: Gaston Lacombe (1995)

O’Brien Fellow Published Author

james-mark-shieldsDr. James Mark Shields (1992)

The O’Brien Foundation recognizes the scholarly achievement of Fellows as they address a wide variety of issues both here at home and around the world.  One such scholarly work is that of Dr. James Mark Shields who received an O’Brien Fellowship in 1992 and is currently Associate Professor of Comparative Humanities and Asian Thought at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

He has become a recognized authority of Buddhist and comparative ethics.  James Mark is the author of the first book-length treatment designed to provide a critical and constructive analysis of Critical Buddhism, particularly as it relates to modern Japanese and Buddhist thought.

This work titled Critical Buddhism: Engaging with Modern Japanese Buddhist Thought was Published by Ashgate Press (UK) in 2011.  It is interesting to note that this book is a heavily revised version of his doctoral dissertation for McGill University.

When James Mark received his O’Brien Fellowship he was accepted into the graduate program of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  In addition to a Master of Philosophy, he has a Master of Arts and a PhD; the latter two degrees are from McGill.  He spent five years in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan studying Japanese and conducting research.

James Mark is currently in the process of writing a second book which is a “genealogy” of progressive and radical Buddhism in modern Japan.

His first book has a link on his biography cited in Where are they now? on the O’Brien Fellows website.

Academic Addresses Region’s Challenges


Former UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan   O’Brien Fellow (1982)

Anne of Green Gables, a former premier and China have been keeping Wade MacLauchlan busy since he stepped down as University of Prince Edward Island president.

The longtime academic spent eight years each as a law professor at Dalhousie University and the University of New Brunswick before heading up UPEI from 1999 to 2011.

He and some business partners recently transcribed the classic Lucy Maud Montgomery story Anne of Green Gables into Mandarin for the Chinese market. Red Haired Anne, as it is known there, has been shortlisted as one of the 50 most influential books published in China in 2012 by state news agency Xinhua.

MacLauchlan is also working on a biography of longtime P.E.I. premier Alexander Campbell. This week, MacLauchlan is being honoured at a dinner thrown by Canada’s Public Policy Forum as one of three influential Atlantic Canadians.

The other honourees are Clearwater Fine Foods president John Risley and former New Brunswick lieutenant-governor Margaret McCain.

MacLauchlan spoke to The Chronicle Herald about the challenges, and their solutions, facing the Maritimes. His responses have been edited for length.

Read more: Academic Addresses Region’s Challenges

Felicia Pickard (2010) - In the News

Since receiving her Fellowship, Felicia began medical school at Memorial University in St. Johns,   Newfoundland.  She is currently in her second year of studies and close to completing her thesis for her Master’s degree.
Felicia has just been selected to receive a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the National Board of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for her work as a volunteer.

Read more: Felicia Pickard (2010) - In the News

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Experts Meet to Plan Regional Area Network: “A new kind of country”

Fredericton, November 22, 2012 -- A meeting between networking leaders from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Sackville on November 28th will help decide on methods to interlink high-speed networks, within and between the provinces.

“We are envisioning a new national dream,” said Gary Stairs, President of Fredericton-based Stellar Learning Strategies and Vice President, i-CANADA. “Our region is leading the development of a new Canada - one suited to the 21st Century. We are going to sketch out a plan to create an equitable high-bandwidth regional community, bringing ultra-high-speed service to homes and businesses throughout the twin provinces.”

Read more: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Experts Meet to Plan Regional Area Network: “A new kind of country”

Telegraph Journal Tuesday, October 30, 2012 COMMENTARY

A COMMENTARY appeared in the Telegraph Journal on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 titled Foundation Funds Best and Brightest.  Introductory paragraphs were as follows:

The Best and the Brightest

What would Measha Brueggergosman (World Renowned Soprano), Sheree Fitch (Canadian Children’s Author and Roger Lord (World Renowned Pianist) have in common? What would the CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, a Research Astronomer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. and a distinguished lawyer in Saint John, New Brunswick have in common?

They are all proud New Brunswickers and all are Fellows of the O’Brien Foundation. 

The O’Brien Foundation may be one of New Brunswick’s best kept secrets.  It is one of the very few sources of financial support for New Brunswick graduate students.  Each one of the personalities identified above was successful in applying for funding to assist in achieving their distinguished careers.

Between 1975 and 2012, the Foundation has granted 280 Fellowships.  The total value of the awards granted in these years was $1,382,000.00.

O’Brien Fellow Earns Banting Fellowship

lynne-gouliquerDr. Lynne Gouliquer is a first for St. Thomas University and for New Brunswick with her recent award of a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship, one of 23 in Canada, is a professional triumph for Gouliquer and recognition of the work taking place on aging at St. Thomas University.

Gouliquer is studying the resiliency of the aging population, particularly people over the age of 90, a group she refers to as the ‘elder elders.’  “I think there are many things we can learn from them. I will be doing a qualitative study, and I believe St. Thomas is a great fit for this research.”

Read more: O’Brien Fellow Earns Banting Fellowship

O’Brien Foundation Applications 2013

The deadline for applications was November 1, 2012.  This year there are 52 applications. There are 24 at the Doctoral level, 25 working toward a Masters Degree and 3 Post-Doctoral Candidates.  The competition is extremely keen.

Selection Committee Members are in the process of receiving copies of the applications.