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February 14, 2006

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Masterminds: A Lecture Series by UVic Retirees

It’s not a quiz show, but a chance for you to learn from a lifetime of research, creativity, and involvement by active UVic retirees. The UVic Retirees Association and the centre on aging are presenting a series of five lectures in March as part of Embrace Aging Month (for more information visit www.embraceaging.org). “Masterminds: A Lecture Series by UVic Retirees” will be held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Hickman Building, room 105. The topics include Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren: The Underground Child Welfare System (March 1); Can the Religions Live Together? (March 8); The NEPTUNE Project: Transforming Our Understanding of the Deep Ocean Environment (March 15); Inscapes in Time’s Eye: A History of Printmaking, Including Projection of an Extensive Slide Collection (March 22); and A Digital Photographic Tour of Germany and its Neighbours: Streetscapes, Restoration and Image Editing (March 29). Admission is free. Please register by calling 472-4473 and plan to arrive early, because seating will be limited. For more information visit www.coag.uvic.ca/events_retirees_lectures.htm#digital  Media Contacts:
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

UVic Psychology Graduates Score Highest in Canada

Graduates of the University of Victoria’s clinical psychology doctoral program achieved the top average in the country for their performance in the examination required for registration as a psychologist. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a standardized test written by all individuals across North America seeking to become registered psychologists. Exam results from 1997 to 2005 show that UVic grads scored a mean of 172.1, a full 10 points above the Canadian average.
“This achievement demonstrates the high quality of the students and our training program,” says Dr. Marsha Runtz, acting director of clinical training at UVic. “We’re extremely pleased with these results, which wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our students and, faculty. These graduates will be exceptional additions to the profession of clinical psychology.”
UVic’s clinical psychology program has a strong emphasis on scientist-practitioner training where the students conduct extensive research, obtain clinical practice skills and participate in internships across North America. Highly skilled faculty and practicum supervisors train the students in a variety of assessment and treatment approaches, and the program offers additional areas of focus not offered in many other clinical programs in Canada.
Clinical psychology focuses on the study, assessment and treatment of emotional and behavioural disorders and problems.

Details on the Canadian exam results are available at:
  Media Contacts:
Dr. Marsha Runtz (Psychology) at (250) 721-7546 or runtz@uvic.ca
Suzanne Connell (Social Sciences Communications) at (250) 472-4496 or sconnell@uvic.ca

Demanding Dogs Provide Health Benefits

As well as being your best friend, dogs may also be good for your health. A study co-authored by University of Victoria researchers published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that dog ownership nearly doubles the amount of time spent taking healthy walks. While walking his own dog, exercise psychologist Dr. Ryan Rhodes wondered if dog owners were more motivated to get out and walk and if they benefited from time with their pooch. Rhodes and physical education master’s student Shane Brown surveyed 177 men and 174 women between age 20 and 80 in Greater Victoria. They found that the 70 dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes a week compared to 168 minutes a week for the others.
“There’s this extra dog obligation that helps get people up and out for their exercise,” says Brown. Other than walking, the dog owners in this study actually got less overall exercise than people without dogs, suggesting that when dog owners go for walks, they do it partly because they choose to be active with their pets.
Neither the sex of the owner nor the size of the dog made a difference: men and women who owned dogs participated in increased amounts of moderate exercise compared with those who had no dog.
Despite the findings, Brown said he’s certainly not recommending people get a dog just to help them get exercise. “We're definitely not saying, ‘Everyone go out and get a dog.’ We are saying that for those of us who have dogs, or those who are thinking of getting a dog, this is an added benefit.”
Rhodes’ and Brown’s study was supported with funding from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
  Media Contacts:
Dr. Ryan Rhodes (Physical Education) at (250) 721-8384 or rhodes@uvic.ca
Shane Brown (Physical Education) at (250) 953-4450 or sgbrown@uvic.ca
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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