Culture and the Way Ahead for Military Colleges

Culture and the Way Ahead for Military Colleges

Culture and the Way Ahead for Military Colleges

Start Date
Thursday June 8, 2023
End Date
Friday June 9, 2023
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Kingston Market Square Hotel | 285 King St E, Kingston, Ontario

This workshop focuses on military culture and socialization in Canadian Military Colleges, with a focus on organizational culture and climate, leadership, pedagogy, and training and education. The workshop provides a forum for defence and civilian academics, policymakers, and practitioners to reflect on scholarly research that can advance our understanding of military colleges, and that can inform participants’ reflections in the context of the recommendations included in the Arbour report.

Download the full Program (PDF 3mb)

DAY 1- Thursday, 8 June 2023 (Gibraltar Room, 2nd Floor)

0800   Registration – 2nd Floor foyer

0845   Land Acknowledgement

0900   Welcome and introduction

0915   Keynote from Major-General Craig Aitchison

1015 - 1030   Break

1030 - 1200   Panel I – Setting the Stage: Culture Change and Colleges

Canadian Military Colleges offer a unique glimpse into military culture, its processes of socialization, and approaches to leadership development. As the Arbour Report notes, the momentum for and progress on culture change within the military hinges on the culture and practices at the Colleges. This panel will focus on formal and informal practices and curricula that shape student experiences at military colleges in Canada and beyond.

Chair and Moderator: Sara Greco, Canada Defence Academy


  • Grace Scoppio, Royal Military College of Canada
  • Sean Norton, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis
  • Elissa Hack and Richard Niemeyer, United States Air Force Academy

1200 - 1300  Lunch, Old Stones, 2nd Floor

1300 - 1400   Fireside Chat with Nancy Taber, Brock University and Karen Davis, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis

Chair: Stéfanie von Hlatky, Queen’s University

Moderated by: Al Okros, Canadian Forces College

1400 - 1530  Panel II – Best Practices from Civilian Universities

Civilian universities across Canada have been foregrounding Indigeneity, diversity, equity, and the empowerment of learners from diverse identities and experiences. In this moderated panel, we ask professors across Canada to share implementation strategies and best practices.

Chair and Moderator: Margaret Shepherd, Royal Military College of Canada


  • Sheri Fabian, Simon Fraser University
  • Tammy George, York University
  • Vanessa Brown, Canadian Forces College

1530 - 1545  Break

1545 - 1715  Panel III - Military Socialization and Training

This panel focuses on training and socialization processes in early training environments in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their impact on military culture, values, attitudes, and professional conduct. The role of formal and informal socialization processes and the complementarity of education, training, and lived experiences will be discussed.

Chairs: Irina Goldenberg and Sara Rubenfeld, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis

Moderated by: Irina Goldenberg


  • Esther Briner, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis
  • Michael Rostek, Toronto Research Centre - Defence Research and Development Canada
  • Sara Rubenfeld, Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis
  • Alan Okros, Canadian Forces College

1730 – 1900  Networking reception

With welcoming remarks by Lieutenant-General Lise Bourgon, Acting Commander, Military Personnel Command


DAY 2 - Friday, 9 June 2023 (Gibraltar Room)

0900 - 1200   Design Thinking and Military Colleges

Drawing from best practices emerging from universities, and considering the recommendations of the Arbour report, the second day of the workshop delves into the strategies, initiatives, and processes that can be implemented to advance cultural change and promote inclusion and diversity in military colleges. The breakout sessions will explore how innovation and self-reflexive learning by doing can support GBA+ analysis, mainstream diverse and intercultural perspectives in curriculum design; create and foster safe and non-judgmental spaces for teaching and student participation; and promote a supportive and welcoming teaching and learning environment for positive and inclusive military socialization.

Lead: Barbara J. Falk, Canadian Forces College

Discussion Animators/Facilitators:

  • Barbara J. Falk, Canadian Forces College
  • Madison Schramm (University of Toronto)
  • Howard Coombs (Royal Military College of Canada)

1200 - 1300   Lunch, Old Stones

1300 - 1600   Breakout Group Discussions

Rapporteurs: Yerin Chung, Claire Parsons, Isabela Rittinger, Queen’s University

Breakout Group #1 Curriculum Design – Room 306 -  

  • Academic facilitator Dr. Madison Schramm; lead military discussant Col Sarah Heer

Breakout Group #2 Teaching and Participation in the Classroom – Room 307 -

  • Dr. Barbara J. Falk; lead military discussant Col Maureen Wellwood

Breakout Group #3 The Teaching and Learning Environment– Gibraltar Room -

  • Dr. Howard Coombs; lead military discussant LCol Melanie Lake

1600 - 1700   Report-out Results of Breakout Groups/Next Steps