Welcome Holly!

The Canadian Studies Center would like to introduce you to Holly Simon, a student employee who will help write pieces for the Center and manage the website and social media. She is double-majoring in Public Policy and English and has been to Canada on numerous occasions, so she knows a little bit more than just the latest hockey scores! Holly is a junior and a member of MSU’s Honors College, and has consistently been on the Dean’s List throughout her time at MSU.

Not only is Holly a dedicated writer who works on everything from poetry to satire, but she is part of the Roial Improv Players, MSU’s resident improv troupe. This experience has helped her learn how to generate original content at the drop of a hat and explain things in both an imaginative and understandable way.

We look forward to seeing how Holly brings her writing talents, dedication, and creativity to the Center. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Top Canadian News in 2014

Freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau made history at the Sochi Olympics by repeating as Olympic mogul skiing champion.

The 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia brought success and triumph to some of Canada’s top athletes. After making history as being the first to win gold at the Olympics held on Canadian soil in the 2010 games in Vancouver, Alex Bilodeau went on to win his second gold medal in freestyle skiing this year. Bilodeau finished his last winning run and celebrated with his brother, Frederic. Bilodeau has been notable in the disabled community for raising awareness for cerebral palsy, with which his brother fights. “He lives his dreams through me,” quotes Alex, “(Two gold medals) is the least I can do, he’s my every day inspiration,”(x).

Canadian Women’s Hockey Team beat the USA team 3-2 in overtime in the women’s hockey final at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

In hopes of achieving their fourth Olympic gold medal in a row, the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team swept the competition in overtime. Canada led 2-0 until the USA came back bringing up the score 2-2.  Marie-Philip Poulin of Team Canada scored in overtime awarding Canada the gold medal.

Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team repeated a gold medal performance in Sochi with a 3-0 win over Sweden

Team Canada achieved back to back gold medals when the beat Sweden 3-0 in the Sochi games. Stand-out forewards Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby scored the first two goals with Chris Kunitz bringing in the third in the final period.


Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2014

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada appointed Chris Hadfield an officer of the Order of Canada this year. Hadfield is an acclaimed engineer and a former of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Most notably though, Hadfield flew two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station in Spring of 2014. Hadfield grew in popularity when he chronicled his time in space through social media posts on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.

Space Oddity – Chris Hadfield


Ottawa shooting on Parliament Hill on Oct. 22, 2014

At 9:52 a.m. gunfire was heard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. One man was seen have gone down and another four shots were heard. Dozens of gunfire heard in the parliament building while people scrambled into hiding. It was found that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had inititated a violent attack on Parliament Hill and fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier stationed on ceremonial sentry duty. After a shootout with security, Zehaf-Bibeau ran inside the building and was then cornered and killed by the Commons Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers.


House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers honored as a hero for taking down the shooter who killed reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24

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“Watchers: A Journey To Alberta” by Jenny Crakes wins the 2014 Balocating Prize for Poetry

Congratulations Jenny!

The RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU

Congratulations to Jenny Crakes, a Junior in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and Professional Writing at Michigan State University. Crakes won the Center for Poetry’s 2014 Annie Balocating Prize for Poetry for her poem, “Watchers: A Journey To Alberta.” The judge for the 2014 Balocating Prize was Virginia Poet Laureate Sofia M. Starnes, who visited the Center for Poetry on April 16, 2014, to do a poetry reading and announce the winner. Starnes said the following about the winning poem: “The writing is uncluttered, yet rich in metaphor. The scenes are clean and fluid, the language flows seamlessly, the emotion — like centering prayer — gathers the scene around itself, yet is remarkably open. There is mystery, too, which I always value, a layered quality that leaves the reader wondering about the solitary traveler, the ‘what for’ and ‘why’ of the journey, even as the landscape…

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