Health and Safety Management: Applications

Hello again, its Steve here!

   I decided to call this entry ‘Applications’ because the various uses of the word seem to fit best with what I will be discussing this time around. Along those lines, the deadline for applications to the OHSM program has now passed and I’d like to congratulate those of you who submitted your application for the Health and Safety Management Program for the 2013/14 year! I look forward to potentially meeting some of you at fall orientation.

    Anyway’s I have some explaining to do – I know I took a bit of break on here but you guys were always on my mind. During my 2 month hiatus from blogging I was a fortunate recipient of an opportunity to do a bit of my own ‘application’. I recently had a chance to create, co-ordinate and train workers on a Silica control program with a masonry company in the Greater Toronto Area. Now that the project is all wrapped up, I can say that it was a very rewarding experience hearing back a month after implementation that the changes I had made have stuck and are well accepted by workers. As with any change you hope to create, when implementation goes well and you can see the behaviour change working for employee’s, it’s a great feeling. 

    Now I have to give thanks where its due because I don’t know how I would have managed to get the knowledge and skills necessary to develop, train and implement my silica control program in such a sort period of time, if it weren’t for the experiences I’d had last semester with Danielle Curts & Jennifer Stanley. Danielle Curts & Jennifer Stanley are both past students of the program that have now returned to contribute their experience and knowledge in Accident Investigation and Toxicology respectively.

    Danielle ran an interesting semester of accident investigation centred around two main projects which included a mock accident investigation scenario and a chance to develop and implement a worker training program. I found the mock accident investigation scenario to be a vary valuable experience as it trained me which valuable questions should be asked in an investigation, how to avoid the idea of a ‘Blame-game’ during an accident investigation and how to prepare a detailed accident investigation with recommendations targeted towards upper management. These are soft skills I feel I could have only learned from the hands on experience Danielle provided. Danielle’s second project was equally as challenging as my team attempted to make our GHS Training seminar as interesting and interactive as possible. We ended up using an online quiz platform which I highly recommend  as a tool for getting feedback from your workers. The platform we used can be found at, its free and very easy to work with and implement as workers can access it through their phones or computers and it provided me with a full report at the click of a button. I found this website a very valuable tool and it saved me a chunk of work on my assignment.

     Jennifer Stanley’s, toxicology class was a valuable asset as we learned how to use principles of toxicology and fundamental chemistry properties to extrapolate the effects chemicals will have in on the worker. We learned how to interpret these fundamental properties from chemical database’s. The second half of the course taught about biological agents in the workplace which could be transmitted from plant, animal, moulds, bacteria, virus’s and other humans. This was a vary valuable course as it provided a lot of reference material and practice knowledge in working with chemical hazards in the our workplaces. I look forward to drawing upon this material as we move into the practicum phase of our program.

     Speaking of which, I need to finish submitted my practicum applications this week so I should get back to working on those. You See? I told you this entry would be all about applications. I will cut myself off here and save the rest for the end of the month where I will get into the managerial lessons we are learning about and the practicum application process.




Arts Management – Management for all: events and volunteers!

Hi all,

Kay here once again, the 2012-2013 Student Ambassador of the Arts Management post-degree diploma program offered by Continuing Studies at Western. 

With reading week having come and gone, it is now time to dive into the courses of second semester.  I have had a number of weeks to become fully immersed into what the semester has to offer and as a result will hopefully be revealing juicy details that will no doubt have you salivating at the mouth over what is the Arts Management program.  Let’s go!

To begin, second semester brings about a new group dynamic by pairing together the streams of Arts Management and Not-for-Profit Management (NFPM) for several courses.  This joining of the two cohorts creates a larger class size that provides the opportunity to collaborate on projects with new teammates, as well as expand our networks for after graduation.  Having gone from a class size of ten for all of last semester’s courses, the change to twenty-three students is an exciting switch-up and has infused some real energy into the shared courses of this semester.  Lucky for you, the courses discussed in this particular blog entry just happen to be two of those shared courses: Event Management and Volunteer Management

As the first course of second semester, Event Management examines the various aspects of event implementation, ranging from inception, to management, to realization, to evaluation.  Best practices in key knowledge areas such as proposal writing, budgeting, sponsorship agreements, contract negotiations, and more are explored through a combination of in-class theory and real-world practical learning

This course is instructed by Holly Doty, who is the President and CEO of Connect Dot Management Inc.  Informed by years of success in the fields of event management, project management, corporate relations, marketing, and communications, Holly eagerly shares her knowledge to give students the perspective of a down-to-earth industry expert.

Overall, Event Management provides an excellent introduction into the realm of event planning, which may in some cases be a bit overwhelming, particularly for students coming into it with little to no experience.  During the first day of class, students dive in headfirst by dividing into groups and choosing a local organization for which they will design, manage, and implement a fundraising event.  As this is one of the courses shared with the NFPM cohort, there are four groups currently in the thick of planning widely diverse events.  My group, for example, is working with McIntosh Gallery to host an exciting live-painting showdown called “Clash of the Canvases“.  If you are in the London area on March 20th and looking to see some of this year’s Arts Management students in action, I highly recommend that you come out to APK  *plug, plug*!  Aside from planning our own events, this course also offers other first-hand learning opportunities, such field trips (to Budweiser Gardens and Student2Business Networking Conference for examples), and many in-class guest speakers (from CTV/Bell Media, London Health Sciences Foundation, Twelfth Night Events, and more).

The next course of second semester to discuss is Volunteer Management.  Overall, this course introduces the many elements involved in the role of a volunteer manager.  In addition to examining specific areas of the volunteer management life cycle such as recruitment, retention, and recognition,  this course provides the theoretical framework of volunteer management best practices, along with real-world examples

This course is instructed by Christina Fox, who is the Director of Resource Development at United Way of London & Middlesex.  Christina is a lively and experienced industry expert who teaches by combining her knowledge of volunteer management with her passions for networking, resource sharing, and professional development. 

In summary, Volunteer Management offers students a strong foundation of knowledge for the management side of the volunteer sector.  The concept of volunteer management is of particular note since the majority of the class’ volunteer-related experiences were as a volunteer being managed by staff, not the inverse.  By leveraging the course content with our personal insights from past volunteer experiences (whether exceptional, satisfactory or altogether forgettable), students are able to gain a better understanding of how to become the best volunteer manager possible.  Once again, this course appropriately combines the streams of Arts Management and NFMP since each group is likely to work with volunteers in some capacity during our future careers.  The Volunteer Management course also offers a unique spin on the guest speaker learning opportunity . In this course, students are divided into groups and tasked with selecting a local expert from the field of volunteer management to bring in as a guest speaker.  Through this exercise, students are able to build their networks and knowledge bases by introducing their fellow classmates to volunteer managers from a variety of local organizations (such as The ARTS Project, WOTCH Community Mental Health Services, Forest City Gallery, and more). 

If you have any questions about the Arts Management post-degree program, or suggestions about what you would like to read from me, please email me at with ‘Arts Management’ in the subject line.

Just a reminder, applications for the 2013-2014 program are due March 1st aka THIS FRIDAY! Go to to view the application process.

Next post: Here, there, everywhere with ‘Foundational Planning for the Arts’ and practicum prep…

Arts Management – What Everyone (Hopefully) Wants to Know!

Hello all,

Kay here, the 2012-2013 Student Ambassador for the Arts Management post-degree diploma program offered by Continuing Studies at Western, coming at you once again! 

We are already into February, and you know what that means?  It’s that thing circled numerous times on your calendar. It’s that thing causing a slight knot in your stomach every night as you drift off to sleep.  It’s that same thing that has you nervously second guessing whether or not you mixed up the location of the stamp and the return address on the envelope.  Yes, it’s that fast-approaching March 1st deadline for your Arts Management post-degree diploma application!  (I’m just kidding around, you are not stressed, right? You’ll be fine!) 

In the spirit of inching a little closer to that application deadline, I have included some answers to a few of the questions that I know I was pondering as a prospective student. As always, if there are any additional questions that you would like answered, please email them to me!:

Details, Details, Details!

Program Size
The Arts Management program is small.  To give a bit of a picture, there are ten of us in the 2012-2013 class, including myself.  In comparison to a lot of undergrad programs (or even individual undergrad classes), ten people may sound unbelievably tiny.  Having recently completed first semester however, I can say that my peers have mentioned numerous times of how pleased we are with the program size.  The intimate atmosphere of a small class affords instructors the opportunity to engage with students and cater the coursework to the individual interests of the students whenever possible. Having a small cohort also offers students the chance to develop close relationships and build a supportive network with each other. 

Student Background
Students bring a varying range of skills, interests, and academic backgrounds to the program.  For example, the 2012-2013 class boasts undergrads in Art History, Fine Art, English, Theatre, Film, Music, as well as Social Sciences and Environmental Studies. Students have a connection to the arts through their schooling, recreational activities, or are simply interested in the field of arts management.  Each student also has a different direction in mind (or otherwise an open mind) as to the path that they wish to pursue in the sector upon completing the program.  Needless to say, the Arts Management program is both flexible and accommodating to diverse backgrounds, individual interests, and varying needs of the students.

The workload of the program is what I would describe as manageable.  If students are diligent in doing their work on whatever schedule they set out for themselves, they can absolutely (taken with a grain of salt as this is my personal opinion) maintain a part-time job, volunteer commitments, a social life, or any combination of the three.  That is not to say that things do not get a little crazy and occasionally fewer hours of sleep are slept than would be desired, but busy times throughout the semester are to be expected in any type of post-undergrad program.  The workload of the Arts Management program has enough variety between readings, individual projects, group work, and written assignments to keep things fresh. 

Support and Services
Students in the Arts Management program receive support from each other, the instructors, and the Continuing Studies at Western staff, who are very approachable and always willing to help.  As classes take place at Continuing Studies as opposed to main campus Western University, the Continuing Studies staff members are the go-to contacts.

As full-time Western students, Arts Management students also have access to all the same perks as main campus Western students, such as a year-long London Transit pass and use of the Western gym

London Calling
I will begin my endorsement by saying that I really like London.  For those of you who have not previously visited or lived in London, I will describe it as a decent sized city comprised of individual neighbourhoods each with their own personality.  The student population has a large presence (comprised mostly of Western University and Fanshawe College students), and London lives up to its stereotype of getting a good amount of snow in the winter.  The downtown is always busy with people enjoying the shops in the day and the nightlife in the evening.  London has a robust not-for-profit sector and a strong appreciation for stewardship of the arts.  For emerging professionals and students like those in the Arts Management program, there are numerous resources and opportunities available in London that I would advise potential students to look into.  To name simply the most recent three from my browser history (though there are MANY more!):

  • GenNext –
  • Emerging Leaders –
  • Pillar Nonprofit Network –

As previously mentioned, the Arts Management program takes place at Continuing Studies at Western, which is located on the second floor of Citi Plaza in downtown London.  As a result, students in the program are at an advantage since rental opportunities and living arrangements near Continuing Studies do not have the same inflated prices as would rentals near the main Western campus (once again, take another grain of salt as this is solely based on my own experiences in housing research). 

If you have any questions about the Arts Management post-degree program, or suggestions about what you would like to read from me, please email me at with ‘Arts Management’ in the subject line.

Applications for the 2013-2014 program are due March 1st! Go to to start the application process.

Next post: Jumping in headfirst to ‘Event Management’ and ‘Volunteer Management’…

Arts Management – The Last of First Before the First of Second

Hi all,

It is Kay here once again, the 2012-2013 Student Ambassador for the Arts Management post-degree diploma program offered by Continuing Studies at Western. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying the New Year!

I am very much looking forward to getting back into my bi-weekly blogs about the Arts Management program.  Over the next few months, I will be writing about some general details pertinent to prospective students regarding the program and London itself, as well as my experiences with the practicum decision-making process and the courses of second semester

But first things first!  As promised, here is the scoop on the final two courses of first semester: Boards and Governance and Marketing and Promotion for the Arts.

To begin, Boards and Governance offers insight into the multifaceted domain of a board of directors.  The roles and responsibilities of boards of directors are discussed, as well as the relationships a board has with the organization’s staff and its stakeholders.  A particular emphasis is placed on understanding governance best practices as they relate to arts organizations

This course is instructed by Nathan Garber, who is the founder and principal consultant of Nathan Garber & Associates.  Supported by numerous years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Nathan’s passion for promoting good governance is boundless.  In fact, applause will be in order for anyone who can find me someone more enthusiastic about governance.

What I found most interesting about Boards and Governance is its hands-on approach to a (somewhat intimidating) subject that might be considered very theory-based.  Students are able to see the theory come to life in a number of ways, such as conducting weekly mock board of directors meetings for a fictitious performing arts organization.  In addition to this in-class exercise, students also gain real-life perspective by venturing out into the community and attending one board of directors meeting for two not-for-profit organizations over the duration of the semester. 

The final course of first semester is Marketing and Promotion for the Arts, which examines the various aspects of marketing and promotion as they relate to arts organizations.  Discussion of real-life examples emphasizes the course content, as well as provides an opportunity to consider how trends from other sectors could be applied to the arts

This course is instructed by Matt Quin, who is the Director at Ivey Publishing.  Matt’s career as a communication professional includes time at Kings University College, TechAlliance, Western University, The Grand Theatre, and more.  Typical classes with Matt are filled with marketing examples from every sector imaginable, dry wit, and ZZ Top references.

Overall, this course does a great job of familiarizing students with the diverse facets of successful marketing practices.  Culminating with the creation of a promotion campaign for an arts organization, program, or event, students are able to create a final product showcasing the semester’s teachings in a manner comparable to what would be expected in the workforce.  Similar to many of the other courses in this program, Marketing and Promotion for the Arts offers first-hand learning opportunities by bringing in guest speakers (such as graphic designer Jason Recker of Carve Design and photographer Claus Anderson of Claus Anderson Photography) to discuss specific areas of expertise in the realm of marketing and promotion.

If you have any questions about the Arts Management post-degree program, or suggestions about what you would like to read from me, please email me at with ‘Arts Management’ in the subject line.

Applications for the 2013-2014 program are due March 1st! Go to to start the application process.

Next post: Back to basics: The FIY, FAQ, and all you have ever wanted to know about the Arts Management program and London (Ontario, not England)…

Using your Student Status for Networking

Hey everyone! It’s Sarah again, the Ambassador for the PR program. Sorry I haven’t wrote in a while. The end of November and early December were very busy for us PR people, with projects and meetings galore! Now I am into the second week of my Christmas break, and really enjoying it!

As promised, I wanted to touch on a really important benefit of the Continuing Studies program. It is so important to take every opportunity during this program to expand your professional network. I wish I would have started doing this when I was completing my undergrad, but I did not decide I wanted to get into public relations until my final year at Western so I was not sure which contacts I should be connecting with.

When I say, “use your student status for networking”, I mean exactly that. During my first semester, I began reaching out to top communicators in the London and Sarnia area. I sent a simple email, stating that I am a student in the PR program at Continuing Studies, Western, and am interested in learning more about the industry and would love to meet with an experienced communications professional. I would also comment on the organization that the person works for, stating my interest in learning more about it. Every time I sent out one of these emails, I got a very positive response and ended up meeting with several different individuals from a variety of organizations. I learned that any good professional understands that they were once in your shoes, starting out and trying to succeed in the business world. People like to tell their story and highlight their past accomplishments, and I love hearing all about them. Through these conversations, I started to get a better grasp on what aspects of PR and communications I could see myself doing and loving, as well as those areas I am not so keen on.

Throughout this program, we have learned the importance of effective communication in all forms. After each of the meetings I had with the wonderful individuals who gave me their time, I would follow up with an e-mail to thank them. A simple “thank-you” goes a long way. And, this email gives you the opportunity to connect with the individual through the wonderful social media tool, LinkedIn. I highly suggest that everyone needs a LinkedIn account. In my case, there may be a time in the future where a job posting comes up, or another opportunity arises, and it may be these very LinkedIn connections that get me an interview that may turn into a job! So if you don’t remember anything after reading this, remember one thing: Get a LinkedIn account!

This program has certainly showed me how important networking truly is, and I will continue to expand my professional network in as many ways as I can.

Next time: Saying goodbye to my wonderful classmates, and hello to my practicum.

Not-for-profit Management – An Exciting Journey

Dear All,

This is April again, the Student Ambassador of the Not-for-profit Management Program in Western Continuing Study. As all my courses for this term have perfectly ended, I’m able to gather some thoughts and introduce two of my favorite courses I’ve had in this semester. Public Policy in Nonprofit Context and Boards & Governance.

Public Policy in Nonprofit Context

Before taking this course, I had no idea of what is public policy and how does it relate to nonprofits. Now, I’ve learned a lot from the course about the theories and terminologies, and I’m proud to say that I can actually do some work in researching and influencing public policy.

Public policy has diverse impacts on nonprofits’ funding resources, service delivery and their constituents. As a public policy usually affects a group of people served by certain nonprofits, it also affects these nonprofits’ approaches to implementing their services in order to achieve their mission. So it is critical to learn public policy and understand how it was developed, and how it can be influenced by nonprofit sector.

This course is taught by Jennifer Kirkham who has plenty of experience in working with the government and nonprofits to plan and analyze public policy. Every week, we held a Policy Round Table in class. Everyone brought their interested policy pieces, and we shared and discussed their potential impacts. We learned how to classified different policies and how to analysis their development process in order to identify the roles of nonprofits during each developmental stages. We also learned how to analyze the potential impact of public policy on nonprofit organizations and apply certain strategies to maximize the influence. Overall, this course provided a thorough introduction to public policy and I really enjoyed the learning process.

Boards & Governance

Again, I was a blank page in boards and governance. This course has provided me with a deep understanding of what is a board of directors and its role in governing an organization. The course is highly structured and well designed. In the first class, everyone received a CD containing all the course materials. We were all cleared about our tasks in each of the following week and our learning outcomes. Also, the course provided us with flexibility. We were able to choose from the assignments according to our own interests and opt-out of certain amount of the assignments.

In term of the course content, we were exposed to a range of views in the literature on nonprofit governance and participated in solving cases of common governance problems. Every week, we held a simulation of board meeting in class. Each student played the role as a board of director, a chair, or a secretary. We were able to handle different tasks and issues just like a real board. Also, we were given excellent case studies to practice our skills and we actually got a chance to go out and observe different board meetings in real organizations. I believe all these real-life experiences have provided me with confidence and knowledge to be a qualified board member in the future.

In summary, these are the two courses I found really interesting. In my next blog, I’ll talk about other courses in this semester and my preparation for the practicum.

If you have any questions about the Not-for-profit Management Program, or suggestions about what you would like to read from me, please email me at

Health and Safety Management: Your Orientation Starts Now

Hi everyone,
Steve here again, with an update from the health and safety management program. My class has now finished our hand in assignments and it is now time to strap down for exams. Before I start studying I’d like to take a moment with you and reflect on what we have accomplished in some of our courses over the past 3 months.

Occupational Health and Safety Legislation / Industrial Hygiene
These were two courses I found most interesting. They build upon one another and are a natural progression out of the occupational health and safety undergraduate courses offered by the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. During the first few months we learned how to interpret legislation from the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (OHSA), as well examined the role organizations such as the ACGIH and CSA play in our legislation.

In the Industrial Hygiene half of our semester, we learned how to go beyond the legislation. What I mean by going beyond the legislation is knowing what a company has to do to be in compliance in Ontario, and then taking that knowledge a step further by measuring and sampling to make sure your solution is compliant with legislated minimum’s such as TWAEV’s. In this class we are taught about the tools that are available to health and safety specialists to measure how effective our solutions are. This course will open your eyes to the immense role the ACGIH and AIHA among other organizations will play in your future career.

Environmental Issues for Health and Safety
I must admit, before our environmental issues class I did not have any exposure to environmental legislation. Also – if you were to ask me what an ISO standard was a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an accurate description. Since September, I am happy to report Sasha Finley has substantially expanded my knowledge about what is required of companies to comply with environmental legislation in Ontario.

I also realize how important this area of compliance is for a health and safety manager to be cognizant of. As a health and safety manager you will be intimately involved with the processing of chemicals and how they flow through your facility. Your responsibilities will not stop after the processing is finished though, you will also be responsible for these chemicals once your process is finished. You will have to understand what needs to happen when these chemicals are of no further use to your facility. This class has given us to the tools we need to properly manage our waste streams as well as work towards helping company’s conform with ISO 14001 / 18001 standards.

One of my favorite group projects in this class was investigating the safety of cellphones. During our investigation we uncovered disconnects between the OHSA and Industry Canada guidelines. Cellphone companies are quite aware of the disconnects in our legislation and have already responded to protect themselves. For example owners IPhone 4 / 4s contains a sub menu in their legal menu called RF exposure. You will read that you need to maintain 10mm of distance between you and your cellphone to keep your exposure levels below or at tested levels. Meanwhile it is stated in the OHSA that no worker should be exposed to levels higher than 1.6W/Kg. This introduces a case of possible non-compliance.

These are just 3 of the courses we’ve covered in our first semester. I’ll cover the remaining two classes, which were equally as valuable to my experience at continuing studies in my next blog post. I have thoroughly enjoyed the job skills I feel I will take away from this first semester, and I am already confident we will feel competent in our various roles when we start our practicums in May.