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Top 10 UM Today stories for 2023

December 20, 2023 — 

What a year it’s been for the University of Manitoba, and did we have people talking!

In 2023, University of Manitoba experts, students and staff were featured in stories that covered a number of issues that were top-of-mind for Canadians—from our finances to Truth and Reconciliation, the climate crisis and breaking international research news. 

Here are the top 10 UM Today stories that had us scrolling to the bottom of the article.

10. Hitting a nerve

We started 2023 with big news for people who suffer with nerve damage. In January, new research aimed at helping people who suffer from chronic numbness or pain and tingling in their extremities, caused by diabetes or other conditions might soon see relief. This study by an international team led by Dr. Paul Fernyhough of the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre  found that a class of drugs prescribed for other medical issues such as nearsightedness, incontinence or peptic ulcers may also prevent numbness and pain in fingers, arms and legs.

9. Standing out in the crowd

Who me? Yes, UM! We were all full of bison pride this November when the influential annual list by ShanghaiRanking listed five UM subjects/programs on the top 10 list in Canada. UM ranked fourth in Canada in dentistry and oral sciences — its top ranking nationally, and in the top 101-150 globally. Read the full list here.

8. Prime time politics comes to campus

The Prime Minister visited campus in April to speak to students, faculty, and President and Vice-Chancellor Michael Benarroch about UM’s role in addressing Canada’s clean technology needs, and advancing Truth and Reconciliation. During the roughly three-hour visit, engineering students eagerly showed Trudeau the electric Formula 1 car they were building for an upcoming competition and no matter their political stripe, people couldn’t help but click on the full story to read more.

7. Billions back in Manitoba

In October, you were invested in reading the UM  Economic Impact Study. It showed how the University of Manitoba contributed an estimated $7.3 billion to Manitoba’s economy in 2022-23, greater than 9 per cent of Manitoba’s recent GDP. For every dollar of funding the Province of Manitoba invests in UM, it receives a return of $4.10, and that doesn’t include the larger impacts associated with alumni and research contributions. You read all about how UM trains the talent Manitoba needs.

6. Farwell to a founder

In the early days of August, UM lost a faculty member who was instrumental in discussing human rights  and social justice on campus. Arthur V. Mauro passed away on August 5th, 2023 at the age of 96 years old. He was a philanthropist, human rights visionary, past Chancellor of UM and a renowned business leader. Today, his legacy extends throughout UM, in the student residence, research chair and research institute that all bear his family’s name. Read more about his legacy here.

5. Beware of those creepy crawlies

Have you seen this tick? That was the question we were all asking in September after a Winnipeg man sounded the alarm about a rare tick that can cause an allergy to red meat, after one was found embedded in his dog’s skin. Kateryn Rochon, an associate professor and acting head of the University of Manitoba’s entomology department was ready to field all the questions in this Winnipeg Free Press article that spread across North America faster than a woodtick on a hound dogs tail.

4. The Truthteller

This powerful UM Today The Magazine piece features UM Alum Murray Sinclair, who’s listened to thousands of personal stories of suffering and survival, and he shared his own. As the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission he discusses why he chooses joy over anger. Sinclair figures he sat down with roughly 5,000 Survivors of residential schools, listening in-person to each of their stories of abuse. The details were harder to absorb than he anticipated. Take the time to read this article again and share it among your friends. 

3. White coats

The next generation of doctors and the white coat ceremony on 2023 drew a lot of readers. The largest medical class in University of Manitoba history – the Class of 2027 – were cloaked in their first white coats as part of Inaugural Day Exercises for the Max Rady College of Medicine on Aug. 23. The college increased its enrolment to 125 incoming medical students, up from 110 students in recent years. It was a great day for UM and future patients in Manitoba, relive the moment again.

2. The Big (Tiny) Problem

Microplastics in our waters may threaten ecosystems and accelerate the melting of Arctic sea ice. But are we ignoring the greater danger at the heart of this climate conundrum? You made it a priority to read about the important work of Feiyue Wang, Canada Research Chair in Arctic Environmental Chemistry and it had you clicking on this article.

1. And in top spot…food prices and funding

1. The price of groceries and the federal rebate were top-of-mind for everyone this year. People are struggling to get food on the table and pay their bills, but federal relief was promised and one of UM’s experts explained how it was all going to roll out. Wayne Simpson, Professor, Department of Economics wrote a piece for The Conversation in April about one of the most anticipated measures of the 2023 Canadian federal budget, the grocery rebate. The rebate was designed to provide relief to millions of Canadians who are struggling with rising grocery prices and food insecurity. 

So long 2023, thank you for the conversations. Some were exciting, some were deeply personal and some have changed us forever. But we aren’t done growing, and in the words of Arthur V. Mauro:
“…In years to come we can with pride, claim some small contribution to creating a better world.”

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