Copp boasts student projects


(Photo by Nick Lachance)

“I don’t want to pretend I know how to do any of this,”  Terry Copp, director of the Laurier Center for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), stated while talking about digitization of LCMSDS publications. “But I know how to encourage young people who know how to do these things … and on a good day I know how to raise money to make it possible.”

On Saturday morning, as most students were preparing for Laurier’s homecoming game, a modest group of Alumni and students gathered on campus for the Legends of Laurier lecture.

This was the third lecture in the series, and was given by Copp. He related his initial impression of the university as one that was student focused.

Praising both Fred Nichols and Arthur Stephen as architects of the modern Laurier student atmosphere,  Copp went on to talk about his student focused projects.

Copp has provided students with engaging opportunities through publications and other research projects since the centre’s foundation in 1991. One of the first to benefit was current communications director, Mike Bechthold.

After doing both his undergraduate and graduate degree at WLU, Bechthold became the center’s first full-time employee as editor of LCMSDS’s quarterly magazine, Canadian Military History.

This goes to show, as Copp stated, that the centre is “to put it mildly, an active place full of all kinds of energy.”

Making specific mention to the LCMSDS series of battlefield guides, Copp highlighted the success of the centre’s most recent publication, Canadian Battlefields 1915-1918: A Visitors Guide.

He then went on to announce the book will be re-released as an interactive e-book in 2015.

Rounding off his presentation Copp spoke at length about the War of 1812 and the center’s current book project. Entitled “1812: A Guide to The War and its Legacy,”  Copp stated that the book seeks to look past nationalistic historical influences and explore the war and its legacy from an empirical standpoint.

The LCMSDS currently boasts more than a dozen student employees and volunteers working on various projects.

“The young people smiling here are all Laurier students … and a couple of them are now doing Ph.D.’s elsewhere,” Copp said proudly.

“We are, if I may say so Fred, as student centred as you and I ever wanted to be.”

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