Expanding Horizons

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New Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Appointed

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 12:00
New Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Appointed

Thursday April 12, 2018
By Communications Staff

Dr. Fahim Quadir joins Queen’s from York University.

Queen’s University announced today the appointment of Fahim Quadir as Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for a five-year term effective July 1, 2018.

Fahim Quadir has been appointed as the next Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, effective July 1, 2018.

Dr. Quadir joins Queen’s from York University where he is currently Interim Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a professor of Development Studies and Social Science. He was enthusiastically recommended for the position by the Principal’s Advisory Committee, chaired by Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Quadir has accepted my invitation to lead the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Promoting and supporting the graduate mission is one of Queen’s highest priorities, and Dr. Quadir will work to provide strategic direction, academic planning leadership, and administrative oversight to achieve the highest possible standards in graduate education and research.”

Previously, Dr. Quadir has held academic positions at St. Lawrence University in New York, Dalhousie University in Halifax, and the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He also taught Political Studies here at Queen’s for 18 months from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Quadir then joined York University in 2001 and in 2006 he became the founding director of the Graduate Program in Development Studies and its undergraduate program in International Development Studies, both of which aimed to trans-nationalize the process of knowledge production.

Over the past several years, he has championed a variety of innovations to enhance the graduate student experience at York, including new online tools, improved student complaint processes, strengthened supervisory policies and education, and more supports for international graduate students.

“Dr. Quadir brings both broad expertise in graduate education and passion for the graduate student experience. I am delighted that he is coming back to Queen’s to take on this very important leadership role,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

As a researcher, Dr. Quadir specializes in International Development, International Relations and International Political Economy. His current work focuses on South-South cooperation, democratic cosmopolis, emerging donors, aid effectiveness, good governance, civil society, and human development. He has edited/co-edited five books and published extensively in various international peer reviewed journals.

He was the recipient of several SSHRC grants, the Fulbright Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, International Development Research Centre ‘Canada in the World’ Fellowship, and Killam Memorial Scholarship, among others. In 2007, he was presented with the York University-Wide Teaching Award for teaching excellence in the full-time faculty category.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across all faculties at Queen’s to ensure the university’s continued reputation for excellence and leadership in the nexus of graduate teaching, learning and research,” says Dr. Quadir.

The principal and provost wish to extend their most sincere thanks to Brenda Brouwer for her exceptional tenure as vice-provost and dean, and to the members of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for their commitment and sound advice.

This article was originally published in the Queen's Gazette. Reposted with permission

Tags: News

Doctoral Candidate Receives Inaugural Art Award

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 15:40
Doctoral Candidate Receives Inaugural Art Award

Tuesday April 10, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

Tanya Lukin Linklater is the first recipient of the Wanda Koop Research Fund, which supports mid-career artists.


Tanya Lukin Linklater is a doctoral candidate and artist. She recently received a national research fund recognizing her work. (Photo by Brandon Gray)

It was a call Tanya Lukin Linklater wasn’t expecting.

Ms. Lukin Linklater, an artist and Queen’s doctoral candidate, was recently named the recipient of the Canadian Art Foundation’s inaugural Wanda Koop Research Fund. This new research fund, worth $15,000, was named for the Winnipeg artist appearing on the cover of the first issue of Canadian Art in fall 1984.

Ms. Lukin Linklater is Alutiiq and originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in Alaska. She is currently based in northern Ontario, and that setting has been inspiring her most recent work.

“I spend time thinking through and investigating Indigenous ideas in dance, performance, video, and installation primarily,” she says. “My work carries a deep responsibility to Indigenous peoples, and I am mindful to work in a good way and to respectfully be in relation to community. I follow questions or ideas, investigating where they will go, and that helps me determine which medium I work in and through to share an idea.”

Most recently, Ms. Lukin Linklater developed a performance called Sun Force, in response to the work of Rita Letendre at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ms. Lukin Linklater was an artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario where Rita Letendre’s retrospective, Fire & Light, was shown. Letendre’s practice of abstract painting became the impetus for Ms. Lukin Linklater’s performance.

She also completed a video entitled The treaty is the body which shares Indigenous understandings of treaty relationships, and challenges non-Indigenous audiences to consider their responsibilities in relation to treaty.


A still from The treaty is the body video highlighting two of the video's youth dancers. (Photo by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Liz Lott)

The recipients of the Wanda Koop Research Fund are selected by a ‘who’s-who’ of art experts from across the country. The judging panel called Ms. Lukin Linklater’s work, “complex, engaging, multidimensional, and inspiring”.

“Our selection recognizes an artist who continues to grow and flourish in her art creation and intellectual artistic investigations,” Julie Nagam, chair of the history of Indigenous arts of North America at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg told CanadianArt.ca on behalf of the judging panel. “Her practice is leading the way in terms of performance, dance and installation-based work and we were excited for her to be the inaugural recipient of a mid-career award for a visual artist.”


Sun Force by Tanya Lukin Linklater. (Supplied Photo)

Ms. Lukin Linklater’s next works will explore Alaskan Native objects – a topic that is personal to her, but one she has not revisited recently. The Queen’s community will get to see the outcome of that work as she produces a new performance for the Soundings Festival that is scheduled for March 2019 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

In the meantime, Ms. Lukin Linklater also has her doctoral studies to work on. She started her doctorate part-time in 2015 in the field of cultural studies. Ms. Lukin Linklater’s supervisor, Dylan Robinson, was pleased to hear about the recognition for her artistic practice.

“Her work has received significant attention over the past few years, with major commissions including her work for La Biennale de Montréal in 2016 and her participation in documenta 14, a major international series of contemporary art exhibitions,” says Dr. Robinson, who is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s. “The PhD research she has undertaken through Queens’ Cultural Studies Program is exciting and this important award recognizes her leadership in the area of Indigenous research-creation.”

“I am privileged to work with Dr. Robinson and my committee,” she says. “My doctoral work has contributed significantly to my practice by reminding me of some of the essential questions I grapple with – for example, how Indigenous ways of being and knowing are embodied in our present circumstances, despite colonialism – while giving me an opportunity to investigate, learn, and contribute to the production of knowledge in the field of Indigenous arts.”

The Wanda Koop Research Fund prize is valued at $15,000, and is intended to support travel and research costs.

To learn more about Tanya Lukin Linklater and her work, visit her website. She was also recently featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC’s) Exhibitionists program.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

3 minutes & 1 slide is no match for our students!

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 08:21
3 minutes & 1 slide is no match for our students!

Last night the finalists in this year's 3MT competition, showed just how good they are at distilling their research in just 3 minutes.  You would think only having to talk for 3 minutes would be easy, well it isn't.   Just ask all of our 3MT participants this year - but they did make it look easy.  Throughout the last 2 weeks, our graduate students have presented their research in such an engaging way for all of us to understand.  From preliminary rounds to the final, our students worked hard, improving each time they got up to speak.  Now they have a ready made speech to continue to enthrall us all and to get us to want to ask more questions about what they are doing.

Congratulations to all who participated this year and congratulations to Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology) who will now go on to represent Queen's at this years Ontario 3MT on the 19th April at York University.  Priyanka's presentation title was "When Prevention Could be the Cure".  Supervised by Dr Will King from the Public Health Sciences department, this Master of Science student talked about rather than always looking for a cure, perhaps we should be looking more at how to prevent. 

Runner Up was Dhruv Bisario from Astrophysics and Astronomy with his talk on "Accretion in Old Galaxies - A Piece of the Puzzle"

Well done everyone and thank you to our wonderful judges and emcee for the night Julie Brown from CKWS. 

Participants and Judges - 3MT final 2018

Back row (L-R): Shannon Neville (BIomedical Engineeing), Dr James Reynolds (SGS), Dhruv Bisario (Astrophysics & Astronomy)

Middle row (L-R): Jasmine Buddingh (Chemistry), Frances Waller (Art History), Jo-Elllen Worden (Law), Craig Desjardins (CIty of Kingston), Principal Woolf, Sawyer Hogenkamp (Education)

Front row (L-R): Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology), Debrah Zemanek (Civil Engineering), Judith Ebegbulen (Chemical Engineering), Ms Isabel Turner, Kuukuwa Andam (Law), Viola David (Education), Jennifer Williams (Kinesiology &Health Studies)

Tags: News

Final of the 3MT set to go

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 07:28
Final of the 3MT set to go

This year's final of the 3 Minute Thesis competition is going to keep with tradition and be a douzy!  Yes on Wednesday 28th March (tomorrow) in Kinesiology 101 starting at 5pm, you can come and watch our 12 finalists as they share with us their research.  Of course you can also vote for your favourite by taking part in the People's Choice Award.  Finalists this year are:

  • Sawyer Hogenkamp (Education)
  • Shannon Neville (Biomedical Engineering)
  • Jo-Ellen Worden (Law)
  • Dhruv Bisaria (Astrophysics and Astronomy)
  • Voila David (Education)
  • Jennifer Williams (Kinesiology & Health Studies)
  • Jasmine Buddingh (Chemistry)
  • Frances Wallace (Art History)
  • Debrah Zemanek (Civil Engineering)
  • Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology)
  • Kuukuwa Andam (Law)
  • Judith Ebegbulem (Chemical Engineering)

Judges for the final are:  Principal Daniel Woolf,  Ms Isabel Turner (Mayor of Kingston 2000 - 2003), Clark Day (chef and restauranteur) and Craig Desjardin (Director of the Office of Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships at the City of Kingston). 

This year's emcee is Julie Brown from CKWS.

Come out and support your colleagues.  We hope to see you there!

Tags: News

Heat 3 a great way to finish the preliminary rounds

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 17:26
Heat 3 a great way to finish the preliminary rounds

Today was the last of the heats for the 2018 3MT competition. As with the previous heats, all grad students did an exceptional job.  Congratulations to those going through to the final next week.

Results from today were:

First place – Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology)

Second place - Jennifer Williams (Kinesiology & Health Studies)

Third place – Debrah Zemanek (Civil Engineering)

People’s Choice – Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology)

As the People’s Choice winner was also one of the top 3 from the judges, Dhruv Bisaria (Astrophysics and Astronomy) will also go through to the final as the 4th placed participant.

Our thanks again to the Campus Bookstore for providing our prizes and to our judges today – Sandra den Otter (former Associate Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and History professor), Jennifer Dods (Executive Director of Student Wellness Services) and Susan Korba (Director of Student Academic Success Services)

 

Heat 3 participants (back row) - Aschille Clarke-Mendes (Law),  Jordan Crocker (History), Dhruv Bisaria (Astrophysics & Astronomy),Debrah Zemanek (Civil Engineering), Courtney Books (Art Conservation), Brian Cox (Law)

Front Row - Valeria Vendries (Anatomy & Cell Biology), Emily Leach (English), Courtney Bannerman (Biomedical & Molecular Sciences), Jennifer Williams (Kinesiology & Health Studies), Shahreen Shehwar (Global Development Studies), Priyanka Gogna (Epidemiology), Somayeh Mirzaee (Physics)

 

This year the School of Graduate Studies made a special announcement to also include two (2) Wildcard entries into the final.  Judged by the School of Graduate Studies from all participants in the competition, the following two students will now also move through to the final:  Gillian Thiel (Geography) and Valeria Vendries (Anatomy & Cell Biology - DBMS). 

Congratulations to all participants and best of luck to those going to the final.

Tags: News

Wow - Heat 2 continues to impress

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 00:00
Wow - Heat 2 continues to impress

Who said being a judge is easy.  Our ten participants today did another fantastic job of presenting their research to us all.  Once again disciplines across faculties were well represented.

Congratulations go to Jasmine Buddingh (Chemistry), Sawyer Hogenkamp (Education), Judith Ebegbulem (Chemical Engineering) and Jo-Ellen Worden (Law) who will be going through to the final next week.

Our thanks again to the Campus Bookstore for providing our prizes and to our judges - Nathalie Soini (Queen's University Library), Barb Lotan (Office of Human Rights and Equity) and Miguel Hahn (Career Services)

Heat 2 Participants (L-R): Loretta Idowu (Chemical Engineering), Ting Li (Managment), Kayla Dettinger (History), Sawyer Hogenkamp (Education), Judith Ebegbulem (Chemical Engineering), Shamik Sen (Neuroscience), Gillian Thiel (Geography), Jasmine Buddingh (Chemistry), Melissa Munoz (Astrophysics & Astonomy), Jo-Ellen Worden (Law)

Tags: News

3MT Heat 1 off to a great start

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:25
3MT Heat 1 off to a great start

2018 Three Minute Thesis Competition started today and the presentations were great.  Not an easy task for the judges, but all participants should be proud of how they conveyed to audience their research in just 3 minutes.  Four will go through to the final next week, but congratulations should go to all participants. It is never easy being the first round,but they did themselves and their program proud.

Results are:

First place - Kuukuwa Andam (Law)

Second place - Frances Wallace (Art History)

Third place and Peoples Choice - Shannon Neville (Biomedical Engineering)

As 3rd place was also People's Choice, Voila David (Education) will also go through to the final.

The School of Graduate Studies would like to thank the Campus Bookstore for again supplying the prizes for this year's competition. Thank you also to our judges - Dr Sue Fostaty-Young (CTL), Dr David Rappaport (Computing) and Dr Bahman Gharesifard (Mathematics & Statistics)

(Judges and participants - L to R: Frances Wallace (Art History), Dr Bahman Gharesifard (Math & Stats),Shannon Neville (Biomedical Engineering), Dr Sue Fostaty-Young (CTL), Voila David (Education), Dr David Rappaport (Computing), Heena Mistry (History), Matthew Cormier (Pathology & Molecular Medicine), Kuukuwa Andam(Law)

Tags: News

Congratulations to PhD-Community Initiative Teams!

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:32
Congratulations to PhD-Community Initiative Teams!

  • PhD-Community Initiative

  • PhD-Community Initiative

  • PhD-Community Initiative

  • PhD-Community Initiative

  • PhD-Community Initiative

  • PhD-Community Initiative

On Wednesday March 14, 2018 six interdisciplinary student teams presented their work to the community at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. The PhD-Community Initiative was launched last year as a new theme in the Expanding Horizons program - Setting Ideas in Motion. Each student group was paired up with a local community partner in order to develop recommendations for a challenge the partner organization is facing.

All teams received positive feedback from the audience and the panel of judges, with team KEYS Job Centre being selected as giving the winning presentation of the event. The group developed a strategy to improve aspects of their Refugee Resettlement Services Kingston program by devising new ways refugee families could engage and integrate into the community.

The School of Graduate Studies congratulates all participants who have demonstrated talent, energy and enthusiasm to create positive change by applying the skills and knowledge gained in graduate studies to addressing challenges beyond the academic arena.

We thank the panel of judges: Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic); Bhavana Varma, President and CEO of United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and; Rob Wood, CEO of 8020Info Inc.

Thank you to the City of Kingston and Mayor Bryan Paterson for their support of the initiative, and to Principal Daniel Woolf for providing closing remarks.

Tags: News

Unprecedented Grant Awarded to Queen’s Art Conservation

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:09
Unprecedented Grant Awarded to Queen’s Art Conservation

Thursday March 1, 2018
By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

Prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funding for Queen’s Master of Art Conservation program increases focus on Indigenous material culture.


Conservation student Paige Van Tassel is mechanically surface cleaning a 19th century Iroquois beaded frame. Photo by Marissa Monette.

The internationally-recognized Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s has received a grant of $632,000 over five years from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop conservation research and online courses with a focus on Indigenous material culture.

Specifically, the new funding will help initiate and implement comprehensive change to the program’s curriculum and research activities and will help advance the university’s goals of diversity, equity, anti-racism and inclusion. 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation supports institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to a heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Importantly, this is the first time the United States-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has funded a Canadian art conservation project.

“We are very grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support for this project,” says Rosaleen Hill, Director of the Art Conservation Program. “We are excited to have this opportunity to engage with the broader community, nationally and internationally, in curriculum diversification. This project will have a significant and lasting impact through the development of online courses and the creation of an international network of colleagues focused on diversity."

Founded in 1974 as Canada’s only graduate program in art conservation, the Queen’s program has established key priorities, including an increased focus on Indigenous material culture and ethics. As graduates from this program go on to care for objects and artworks in public and private collections, this project will have a fundamental influence on how these objects are preserved and accessed in future.

The new five-year project also focuses on developing strengths in research and curriculum on both Indigenous material cultures and modern media and is designed to increase course accessibility through the use of web-based learning.

The proposed activities of the project include:

  • Symposiums to engage the Canadian and international conservation communities, and the broader field of cultural heritage, in an open discussion related to the challenges involved in the development of new curriculum
  • Hosting visiting scholars to build local, national and international networks which include Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers, to support curriculum diversification focusing on Indigenous material and modern media
  • Web-based courses to maximize access to new curriculum content
  • Increasing diversity in the conservation profession through engagement with under-represented groups, coordination with heritage institutions with Indigenous youth programs to provide a pathway to graduate studies in art conservation

“One of our institutional research strengths, the Art Conservation program is internationally recognized for excellence in scholarship and for the development of graduates who go on to work in the world’s leading museums, archives and galleries,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). "This support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow the program to better diversify and support a more inclusive and global approach to preservation, such as exploring new and innovative ways to recognize and incorporate traditional knowledge.”

For more information on the Queen’s program, visit the website.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

A Week of Masterful Celebrations

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 13:54
A Week of Masterful Celebrations

Friday March 2, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

The School of Graduate Studies, the faculties, and campus and community partners came together to celebrate masters and doctoral studies this week.

  • Grad Chat host CJ the DJ (back row) interviews Korey Pasch (Political Studies), Amy Stephenson (Aging & Health), Caitlin Miron (Chemistry), Anika Cloutier (Management), and Andre Brault (Civil Engineering). (Supplied Photo)

  • Brenda Brouwer, Dean of Graduate Studies, delivers remarks at the Tri-Council Reception. The event recognizes recipients of funding from Canada's three main funding agencies. (Supplied Photo)

  • Dozens of graduate students and their supervisors fill the Bioscience Complex atrium as part of the Tri-Council Reception. (Supplied Photo)

  • Civil Engineering Master's student Titilope-Oluwa Adebola was one of six student presenters at a Research Showcase, which highlighted the impact graduate students have through their research and community engagement. (University Communications)

  • Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson (MA’01, PhD’07) speaks at the City-sponsored showcase about his own experience as someone who moved to Kingston to pursue graduate studies at Queen's. (University Communications)

  • The School of Graduate Studies, the faculties, and campus and community partners came together to celebrate masters and doctoral studies this week.

Tri-Council Reception - Statistics

  • More than 243 Queen’s graduate students hold Tri-Agency awards, amounting to $6.18 million in scholarship support
  • 477 applications received by Queen’s (2017-18 Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program (CGS-M) competition)
  • Queen’s has 73 CGS-M holders
  • 24.3% of all graduate merit-based funding is from the Tri-Agencies
  • Seven Queen’s post-doctoral fellows hold Tri-Agency funding.

The impact of graduate students is felt by our community all year round. Their research, community involvement, and contributions to campus life result in economic, cultural, and scientific benefits.

Over the past week, the contributions of Queen’s masters and doctoral have been on full display as part of the inaugural Celebrating Graduate Studies week.

The week, aimed at recognizing current graduate students and recruiting new students, included panel discussions, research presentations, and recruitment events. The celebration also aimed to put a face to graduate studies at Queen’s, allowing community members the opportunity to meet graduate students through events like the “Human Library”, a Research Showcase at City Hall, and a live taping of the CFRC 101.9fm radio show “Grad Chat”.

During the radio show, host CJ the DJ interviewed five graduate students including Korey Pasch (Political Studies), Caitlin Miron (Chemistry), Anika Cloutier (Management), Andre Brault (Civil Engineering), and Amy Stephenson (Aging & Health) about their research and their experience at Queen’s.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Gaining Real-world, International Experience

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 12:00
Gaining Real-world, International Experience

Friday February 16, 2018
By Andrew Carroll, Gazette Editor


Led by Ajay Agarwal (School of Urban and Regional Planning), this year’s group of students traveling to India as part of International Planning Project Course (SURP 827), was the largest yet at 12.

The School of Urban and Regional Planning’s International Planning Project course (SURP 827) is a learning experience like no other.

Each year, Ajay Agarwal has taken a group of planning students from Queen’s to the Indian city of Auroville, where, in a period of just two weeks, they are tasked with creating a project report of professional quality that can be used by the community.

For the students who take part in the course, it is an opportunity to be part of a consulting team while gaining real-world and international experience at the same time.

It is also an exercise in resilience, adaptability and resourcefulness, all vital tools for future planners, Dr. Agarwal points out.

This year the team was tasked with creating a growth management framework for the greenbelt surrounding the intentionally-planned community. There are a number of villages within the protected area and their population growth and development has placed increasing pressures on the greenbelt.

“The concern is that if that development is left unchecked the very purpose of the greenbelt will be lost,” Dr. Agarwal says. “So the people of Auroville wanted us to suggest ways to ensure that any development that takes place inside the greenbelt is in harmony – and harmony being the key word – with Auroville’s vision for the future.”

Starting the course in September, the student team has three months to conduct research, collect information and make initial contacts before heading to India in early December.

Once the 12-member team was assembled in Auroville, Dr. Agarwal quickly put them to work. Several students only had time to take a shower before taking part in the initial presentation.

It was a tough schedule for sure but a realistic one when it comes to consulting and planning for an international client. Time, as the students learned, is at a premium.

The first week was mostly dedicated to conducting interviews with stakeholders and gathering information, points out Meghan Robidoux, who acted as the project manager for the team. With data gathered from 19 interviews and two focus groups, they quickly learned that much of the earlier research was not really applicable. Nothing can substitute for direct engagement and interaction, they found out. Thankfully they were prepared for such an outcome.

“At the end of our first week we sat down and kind of redefined the scope of our project based on all the information we collected and the feedback from that initial presentation,” she says. “So much changes once you get there. We knew that from the beginning that would be the case. Ajay prepared us very well. We knew that was going to happen and that was okay.”

The team also quickly learned that working in India is very different from Canada. The culture is very different and communicating can be difficult. Internet connectivity is spotty and they initially had no working cellphones.

Yet they were able to find solutions – resilience, adaptability and resourcefulness.

“We went old school,” Dr. Agarwal says. “We had a giant poster on the wall with a timetable and Post-Its with everybody’s name on it. So everybody, including me, was supposed to keep checking the schedule throughout the day. It kept changing every hour.”

The team quickly determined that working together was the only way to succeed.

“This was a large group, so that was a challenge at times, trying to make sure that we were using everyone to the best of their ability and taking advantage of so many people’s assets and skill sets,” Ms. Robidoux says. “In so many ways it was great because we had such a talented team. I feel strongly that every member really contributed in important ways to the project. So managing the team wasn’t a problem in that sense, it was more of making sure that everyone had the opportunity to share their opinion and group meetings took a long time.”

As a member of that team Jennifer Smyth found the international course to be the experience she was looking for and she is certain that it will help her now and in the future.

“One of the major planning lessons that I’ve taken away from this is learning in a foreign context. I know for some team members it was a challenge to go to this place where they have beliefs that we couldn’t necessarily understand or agree with. But as a planner acknowledging those beliefs was so important,” she says. “Just planning for a project with so many unknowns was a huge learning experience, maintaining an objective stance among so many varying perspectives and finding balance. I think this experience really helped us learn how

Now in its sixth year, Dr. Agarwal has seen the course grow in popularity and become one of SURP’s key learning experiences. Both Ms. Smyth and Ms. Robidoux were drawn to Queen’s specifically because of the international opportunity offered through SURP 827. With 12 participants, this year’s group was the largest to travel to India.

For his work in creating and continuing the course Dr. Agarwal received the 2016 International Education Innovation Award, which recognizes excellence in the internationalization of curriculum in programs or courses. It is one of the six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards.

For more information about the course or to obtain a copy of the full project report, contact Dr. Agarwal.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Fellowships Profile New Generation of Indigenous Scholars

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:50
Fellowships Profile New Generation of Indigenous Scholars

Wednesday February 7, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

The Faculty of Arts and Science has launched a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship program to recognize outstanding scholarship among Indigenous PhD candidates.


The Faculty of Arts and Science has launched a new Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Indigenous Students. Those wishing to learn more should attend an upcoming Feb 15 webinar. (Supplied Photo)

A new program aims to bring some of Canada’s most promising Indigenous doctoral candidates to Queen’s for a year to further their learning, and allow Queen’s to learn from them.

A prestigious Pre-Doctoral Fellowship program, one of the first of its kind in Canada, has been created as a way of recognizing up and coming Indigenous scholars and enhancing their academic profile. The Faculty of Arts and Science is offering four spaces in this Fellowship program, which provides the recipients with a $34,000 annual stipend, teaching wages, and funds for research and conferences.

“We are proud of our continuing dedication to life-long learning and reconciliation efforts, and of the many academic and personal successes of our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and alumni,” says Lynda Jessup, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies and Research) with the Faculty of Arts and Science. “After working with Erin Sutherland (PhD’16), an Indigenous student who had received a pre-doctoral fellowship at another university, I was inspired to develop this program as a way of supporting culturally relevant learning opportunities both for Queen’s and for Indigenous students.”

To be eligible, students must have Indigenous heritage, must be enrolled in a doctorate program at another Canadian university, and must relocate to Kingston for the year. During the year, the PhD candidate would teach a course within the Faculty of Arts and Science, which would help Indigenize some of Queen’s curriculum, and they would engage with local Indigenous peoples and communities.

The candidates would also have the chance to broaden their scholarly network by working with Queen’s faculty members and researchers, thereby improving their career opportunities. Most importantly, the Fellowship would support the successful completion of their doctoral studies.

“The pre-doctoral fellowship I received gave me time, space, and support to finish my dissertation, and it gave me a new community to share my ideas with, to learn from, to be with,” says Dr. Sutherland. “The community helped me to develop ideas which ended up being central to my dissertation. Specifically, my time spent with community – both at the University and outside of it – supported my learning and discussion of Indigenous methodologies. Most importantly, it better prepared me to deal with change and how to work in and adapt to a new academic and community environment.”

Applications are being accepted to this pilot program until Sunday, Apr. 1. A webinar is planned for Thursday, Feb. 15 to share more information about the program with potential applicants. For more information on this new program, visit the Faculty of Arts and Science’s website.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 09:56

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro Stigma is like a mountain that people with mental illnesses have to climb every day.

Article by Natalia Mukhina

Recently, Shamik Sen, a graduate student in Neuroscience, returned from Tanzania, where he was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. He reached the summit, which is at 5,895 meters above sea level, to raise funds for mental illness stigma awareness. Prior to this courageous adventure, Sen had created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to support Addiction and Mental Health Services Kingston (AMHS-KFLA).

“I’ve partnered with AMHS-KFLA for my thesis research on mental illness recovery with Dr. Roumen Milev and Dr. Heather Stuart, who also is the Bell Canada Research Chair on Mental Health. I wanted to raise funds to improve the quality and quantity of stigma-related workshops offered by AMHS-KFLA in the community for people living with mental illness.”

Sen has been engrossed in mental health research since he began studying life sciences at Queen’s. “I have always been interested in the brain. There is still so much about the brain that we really don’t know! Neuroscience is an challenging, yet exciting and rapidly evolving field. Yet, regarding mental health particularly, there was very little in my curriculum that covered the individual’s psychological well-being. I was intrigued and perplexed at why something that affects all of us receives less attention than it deserves.”

Thinking back on his collaboration with AMHS-KFLA, Sen recalls the tremendous response from the people with mental health issues who attended the workshops and educational programs, which made him feel empowered and motivated. Sen explains that there is public stigma concerning mental health, and individuals who are suffering internalize this stigma and public attitude, which eventually becomes debilitating. The more efforts we put into overcoming both public and self-stigma, the easier the path to recovery for people with mental illnesses.

Why do people donate to support Sen’s climbing expeditions? I asked Sen this question to learn, in his opinion, what feelings this initiative evokes in members of the public. “Let me provide a personal example,” responds Sen after a pause. “After I launched the campaign, a person reached out to me and shared a story that happened with their family member with a mental illness. This individual did not receive sufficient care because of the stigma within the family. The person who had reached me felt deeply frustrated: ‘I saw that this happened first-hand, but I did nothing out of fear of judgement.’ I think the same feelings are common amongst many of us. We’ve seen something happen, but we’ve turned a blind eye, and we’ve become a part of that stigmatization without even realizing.”

“I’d like to believe that the majority of support I’ve received is because the donors, probably, have looked at my initiative and had a bit of self-reflection on people who are close to them.”

Sen’s current research is looking at how stigma affects recovery in patients with mental illnesses, specifically mood disorders. “Sometimes a patient goes to psychiatrist who - as a trained medical professional - has learned a lot of things. What frequently happens next? The psychiatrists try to fit the patient into the things they’ve learned like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The most challenging thing for me is to be able to shut my mind off and start listening to people. I must listen to the greatest extent I can. This is the trickiest part in my field.”

In the future, Sen sees himself as a part of the healthcare reform movement. He argues that many people talk about making changes in healthcare, but the term “changes” is still very loosely defined. What are these changes? How and why should they be made? Sen is going to become familiar with the healthcare industry to learn how to make a tangible change in terms of healthcare reform.

“How can we address the changes in healthcare efficiently? We need to have more crosstalk between medical professionals, patients, and industry in order to come up with a unified solution. I’ve done some training within the scientific research, and I have patient experience, but I need to obtain the business vision to make an impact on healthcare. This is my short-term plan.”

Let’s imagine now that we are nearby Mount Kilimanjaro, where Sen has undertaken his climbing expedition. Sen states that it was more challenging mentally than physically. What did he learn about himself after coming down from the mountain?

“The last day before reaching the summit, our group got up before midnight. We all had 3-4 hours of sleep because you were anxious about how this all would be. And we reached the summit at 7:45 am climbing during 8 hours in the -15 Celsius condition, heavy winds, unforgiving pain, and no light. All we could see were stars and our boots. We had no concept of how far the summit was and what time it was. I could control just one foot in front of the other. When I finally reached the summit, it blew my mind that I could accomplish that by simply keeping one foot in front of the other.”

“I wish I could tell everybody, ‘Hey, if you are persistently keeping doing what you love and excited about, you will get to the summit. As for me, I hope to continue putting one foot in front of the other as long as I can to achieve my goals. One of them is to eliminate mental health stigma.”

Donate at www.gofundme.com/climb-for-mental-health-stigma.

Tags: Featured ArticleNews

Brainy International Research Collaboration Receives Renewed Funding

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 08:55
Brainy International Research Collaboration Receives Renewed Funding

Tuesday January 30, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

The German Research Foundation has funded “The Brain in Action” for another four and a half years.

An international research collaboration uniting two German universities and three Canadian universities, including Queen’s, will continue its important work studying how perception and action interact and how they are processed by the human brain.

Renewed funding from the German Research Foundation means the International Research Training Group "The Brain in Action" project will carry on with its work for another four and a half years. Funding from the foundation was set to end in April 2018.

The main goal of this research training group is to deepen our understanding of the neural systems and processes that underlie perception and action in everyday living – for instance, how the brain processes the sensory and motor signals involved in reaching for a cup of coffee and the feeling involved in touching it.


Annually, the graduate students and faculty involved in "The Brain in Action" attend a retreat at the Queen's University Biological Station. (Supplied Photo)

At Queen’s, the project unites faculty members Gunnar Blohm and Doug Munoz of the Biomedical and Molecular Sciences department with Nikolaus Troje of the Psychology department. The three are currently supervising seven Queen’s PhD candidates, and co-supervising several German doctoral students at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus Liebig Universität Giessen. York and Western Universities are the other two Canadian institutions involved in the research group.

“We are grateful for the renewed funding, which confirms the value of our work and in the relationships being formed between our students, institutions, and countries” says Dr. Blohm. “Merging the distinct academic cultures of the two countries has been a valuable learning and networking experience for our students. I am sure that many collaborative initiatives will continue to happen long after they graduate.”


Nikolaus Troje explores virtual reality while PhD candidate Christoph Lenk monitors his progress in the Queen's Biomotion Lab. (University Communications)

The two German universities boast 25 PhD candidates and 12 faculty members working on the project. As part of their studies, the students spend several months learning in Canada.

“I really appreciate the welcoming and helping Canadian culture. My colleagues at work and my housemates have helped me to feel comfortable in the first weeks,” says Christoph Lenk, one of the German students currently studying in Canada. “My master’s studies in biomechanics, motor control, motion analysis, and perception led to an interest in perception in virtual reality. I am glad that I can exchange experiences with other young researchers in Canada and in Germany on this field of research.”

The aim of research training groups such as this one is to prepare PhD candidates for careers outside academia by bolstering their transferrable skills. So far, many of the graduates have gone on to work in the science or high tech fields. Parisa Abedi Khoozani, an international Queen’s PhD candidate who is working on the project, is hoping to teach science in Canada once she graduates.


Queen's PhD candidate Sia Eftekharifar speaks with Mr. Lenk about his work in the Queen's Biomotion Lab. (University Communications)

“I am currently in Germany on my second visit as part of this research group, working with another collaborator who is also researching computer neuroscience,” says Ms. Khoozani. “The exposure to different fields and different areas of research has been interesting and beneficial. This opportunity has been as much about the learning as it has been about forming connections, and I hope to continue collaborating with my German colleagues in the future.”

In addition to the German Research Foundation funding, the “Brain in Action” research training group is supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) CREATE grant.

Learn more about this international research training group on the School of Graduate Studies’ website.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Queen’s Supported Startup Goes International

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 11:18
Queen’s Supported Startup Goes International

Thursday January 18, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

Laser Depth Dynamics, founded by Paul Webster (Sc'06, PhD'13) and Roger Bowes (Sc’92) in 2012, has been acquired by a leading developer of high-performance fibre lasers and amplifiers.

Welding is an important manufacturing process across many sectors of today’s global economy – from automotive, to aerospace, medical, and consumer goods. When working on products like cars or pacemakers, where lives could be on the line, it’s important that every component is built as intended. This can be a challenge when spending an extra second per part makes a difference to the bottom line.

Enter Paul Webster (Sc'06, PhD'13) and Roger Bowes (Sc’92). In 2012, the pair worked with Queen’s to found Laser Depth Dynamics (LDD) and commercialize a technology Dr. Webster co-developed with associate professor James Fraser, who teaches physics. The technology, called inline coherent imaging (ICI), allows for direct measurement of weld penetration depth for laser welding. This is done using a near-infrared measurement beam to ensure high quality in real-time.

“The story of our company is one of bringing the right elements together to create success,” says Dr. Webster, LDD’s chief technology officer and co-founder. “We combined the support of a leading university with strong industry connections and the right intellectual property policies and technology transfer capabilities to create an impactful product which reduces waste for companies and improves product quality for consumers.”

Recently, the Kingston-based company was purchased by IPG Photonics Corporation, the world leader in high-performance fibre lasers and amplifiers. The company aims to incorporate LDD’s technology into its laser welding solutions to drive adoption of this advanced technology throughout manufacturing of metal parts. Becoming part of a bigger, international organization will mean even more global exposure for LDD’s products.

“LDD’s weld monitoring systems and accessories significantly enhance IPG’s portfolio of industry-leading beam delivery products and laser welding solutions,” said Felix Stukalin, IPG’s senior vice president of North American operations. “LDD’s ability to monitor weld quality in real time and ensure process consistency is increasingly important within automated production environments.”

Laser Depth Dynamics was initially formed with support from Dr. Webster’s thesis supervisor, Dr. Fraser; the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy; and PARTEQ Innovations, the university’s technology transfer organization that is now part of the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation. IPG Photonics was also involved from the early days, supplying equipment for the research and in helping LDD find early market potential.

John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research) says success stories like Laser Depth Dynamics demonstrate the value of the research that is conducted at Queen’s.

“This is an example of a research idea, identified and advanced by a student and professor, funded by research grants, and, with support from the university’s technology transfer team, was patented, spun-off as a business, and was successfully commercialized,” says Dr. Fisher. “This story showcases the innovation ecosystem at work here at Queen’s, the important role our Office of Partnerships and Innovation plays in fostering economic growth, and how critical the support of the Ontario government is for our innovation programs. We congratulate the Laser Depth Dynamics team on this exciting news as they become part of a global leader in its field.”

With the purchase, Laser Depth Dynamics will become IPG Photonics (Canada), and will remain in its existing Kingston office location on Railway Street. About half of its employees are Queen’s graduates, and Dr. Webster suggests they may add more Queen’s talent in the future.

IPG Photonics is a global company and the leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers for diverse applications in numerous markets. To learn more about IPG’s purchase of LDD, visit www.ipgphotonics.com.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Congratulations to Connor Stone

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:57
Congratulations to Connor Stone

The School of Graduate Studies would like to congratulate Connor Stone (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) on his placing in the #IAminnovation contest. Please see full press release below from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

#IAmInnovation Twitter contest winners announced
January 8, 2018

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Canada’s young researchers are curious, ambitious, innovative and collaborative problem solvers. Today, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced that three of these talented young researchers have won its #IAmInnovation Twitter contest, which aimed to showcase how their work in CFI-funded labs is helping them and their research.

The three winners are:

  • PhD candidate Arinjay Banerjee of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, who is researching the potentially high impact of emerging viruses on humans;
  • PhD candidate Krysta Coyle of the Department of Pathology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, who is exploring new drug treatments for cancer; and,
  • Master’s student Connor Stone of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., who is striving to improve our understanding of the universe’s dark matter.

For the contest, the CFI invited student and post-doc researchers nationwide to tweet an image or video demonstrating their work in state-of-the-art facilities and with cutting-edge equipment funded by the CFI.

“We wanted young researchers to tell all Canadians just how important it is to equip this country’s bright minds with the tools they need to think big and innovate,” says Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the CFI. “The CFI knows that tomorrow’s research is being shaped by this new generation of great minds, and we want to highlight their contributions by celebrating and sharing their vision of a better future for Canada.”

The contest ran from October 2 to December 1 and drew submissions from across the country. Winners will have a chance to take over the CFI’s @InnovationCA Twitter feed in the coming weeks, and will be the CFI’s guests at a special event in Ottawa, where they will have an opportunity to discuss their research with MPs, Senators and senior government officials.

The CFI wishes to acknowledge and thank postsecondary institutions for their help in promoting the contest to their students, as well as a number of individuals for producing videos promoting the contest on social media, including the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

Tags: News

Happy New Year

Mon, 01/01/2018 - 23:13
Happy New Year

Here's to a fabulous 2018 for us all

Tags: News