The StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre administers the Wallace Family Entrepreneurship Fund. Students who have an enterprise idea and who are interested in starting a new venture, developing a new prototype, or applying innovative approaches to a particular product or service are encouraged to apply for a summer internship. Interns receive coaching and assistance from StFX staff and faculty mentors and engage in learning activities that help them explore and develop an enterprise venture. The internships support full-time employment for StFX students for a 12-week period during the summer (April-July).

This year’s interns are:

Katie Rennie

Katie is a recent graduate from the StFX Bachelor of Science Honours in Human Nutrition program. Her venture aims to improve the quality of life of individuals with various ailments through the creation of medicinal cannabis products. Katie plans on continuing research and product development to refine her formulations. She will also focus on developing a business strategy to bring her products to the marketplace. By developing a line of cannabis products, Katie strives to enable the individualization of patient care within the medicinal cannabis sector.

Paytan Ruiz, Shyanne Hedges, Megan Frost

Paytan (Bachelor of Business Administration), Shyanne (BSc Human Kinetics), and Megan (Bachelor of Business Administration) are members of the StFX Varsity Women’s Soccer Team. As incoming captains they recognize the key role that leadership plays in creating a strong team culture and success on and off the field. Under the mentorship of StFX Soccer Head Coach Graham Kennedy, the girls are working on developing a peer-led leadership curriculum called ICAN, which will be tailored to first year varsity athletes with hopes to expand to other markets in the future. The ICAN model, which stands for Integrity, Capacity, Action, and Noteworthy Results, focuses on the importance of character development, which is the driving force behind building competence as a student athlete. The Wallace internship will allow them to dive deep into leadership research in order to create a youth-focused leadership program developed by young people, enabled by young people, and delivered by young people.

Brent Ashfield and Liam Saxon

Brent and Liam are recent graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics program and will be returning to StFX for the Bachelor of Education program in Fall 2019. They are working with an innovative para ice hockey program to foster inclusive physical activity for children with and without physical disability. Following a successful pilot program through the local Antigonish minor hockey program during the 2018-2019 season, Brent and Liam aim to expand the delivery of their evidence-based model into other minor hockey associations across Nova Scotia and Canada. Research has shown that people with disability have few opportunities to participate in sustainable physical activity programs, especially in rural communities. Inclusion is powerful. Children with and without disabilities stand to benefit from participation in inclusive physical activity. Bullying and stigma decrease while respect, awareness, health and self-esteem may improve. The inclusive para ice hockey program aims to reduce barriers for inclusive physical activity by translating knowledge into action, allowing all participants to access programming, while sharing their love for the game of hockey with peers without disability. 

The Wallace Internship will allow Brent and Liam to engage with stakeholders including governing organizations for sport, minor hockey associations, and non-profit organizations to design an applied user-friendly manual that may be adapted to diverse community needs, both urban and rural. In addition, Brent and Liam will evaluate the real-life impact of the program by examining the perceptions

Laura Blinn

Laura Blinn is a fourth year StFX Honours student in Sociology. Her venture aims to cultivate meaningful intergenerational relationships within the community. As a Wallace Intern, she will work to develop an intergenerational co-housing program. The program will connect students in need of low-cost housing with seniors who could benefit from the companionship. As part of laying the foundation for an intergenerational co-housing program in Antigonish, Laura is working to develop a community-driven and co-developed research protocol. This intergenerational co-housing project functions to enhance quality of life across generations, and address current issues related to availability, quality and affordability of housing faced by local seniors and students. Laura’s initiative is underpinned by the motivation to address the innate human need for sincere intergenerational connections. Findings from the project will be shared with the community and will also advance research Laura is conducting for her honours thesis.