The Angel Lab Opens Its Wings

The Angel Lab Opens Its Wings


By: Michael Czobit

A day after turning 164 years old, University of St. Michael’s College celebrated the opening of Angel Lab, a student-driven social justice initiative that will use the methods and tools of the start-up world.

The event held at Brennan Hall on Friday afternoon began with a talk by University of Toronto graduate Dr. Mayrose Salvador and concluded with five St. Mike’s students joining Angel Lab to become its founding members. The new endeavour fits within the College’s tradition of championing social justice, but takes it step forward by empowering students with modern tools to make a meaningful difference in the world.

In Salvador’s talk, “It Takes a Microbe to Save a Village,” she described how she co-founded the NGO Pueblo Science, which has provided science education to 1,800 teachers and 136,000 students in Canada, the Philippines, Thailand, Guyana, India and Bolivia.

Salvador said that teaching science to teachers and students who lacked access would help them to get out of poverty. Salvador told one story of a group of benefactors who had taken what they learned and it applied it to their agricultural activities to start a business. At the start of her talk, Salvador joked that she’d read on a bumper sticker that bacterial culture was the only culture we had left. But by empowering communities with scientific knowledge she realized that “giving back” was the only culture we had left.

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Students at the Angel Lab LAUNCH in Brennan Hall

A receptive audience of more than forty students and faculty applauded Salvador’s message. After she concluded, St. Mike’s Principal Randy Boyagoda addressed the students in attendance. He explained the vision of Angel Lab and asked St. Mike’s President David Mulroney, who was also in attendance, if students who joined the Lab would have the support of the school. Mulroney’s answer was an emphatic yes.

Next, Boyagoda asked the students present if they had ideas around social justice and whether they would like to become a founding member of the new initiative. Five students raised their hands. Boyagoda said that in time, the Lab will find a permanent home on campus. But for now, the Angel Lab has its founding five who will decide the Lab’s next venture.

 

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