Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Health, Wellness & Community

Health, Wellness & Community Learning Outcomes

  • Refine and develop knowledge and skills that assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
  • Understand the intercultural nature of both workplace and academic environments and the importance of diversity and inclusion.
  • Develop skills in time management and financial management.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of laws and policies concerning interpersonal conduct in the university setting and in society at large.
  • Develop as global citizens.

Workshop Categories & Descriptions


Research Collaboration with Indigenous Communities

Host: This Co-organized by the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

The objective of this workshop is to raise awareness in the Queen’s community about the steps that need to be put in place to ensure that relevant community groups, agencies, students, academic mentors and administrative personnel are prepared to address the distinct requirements of conducting research with Indigenous community partners.

The workshop has three major components:

  1. A keynote presentation by Alex McComber, DSc (h.c.), Mohawk from Kahnawà:ke Territory who has held leadership positions in the development of academic-community research collaborations in the area of Indigenous health and is an adjunct professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University.
  2. A panel of short presentation by students, faculty, and Indigenous community membersdiscussing from first-hand experience the challengesand rewards of research ollaboration across academic and indigenous communities, and
  3. A Talking Circle during which all participants will have an opportunity to share insights, questions, and reflections. The Talking Circle will be moderated by Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

Building Successful Academic Relationships Across Cultures

Host: School of Graduate Studies and Dr Nanda Dimitrov

As a graduate student and scholar, you will collaborate and teach across cultures throughout your academic career. Join us to learn strategies for navigating cultural differences in communication styles, expectations and collaboration with your supervisors, peers and students or anyone with whom you work collaboratively across global and disciplinary cultures.

During the session, you will work together with others to develop strategies for responding to challenging supervision scenarios; negotiating with research team members and explore strategies for getting the mentorship you need to succeed in a global academic and professional environment in graduate school and beyond.

Biography of Dr Nanda Dimitrov

Dr DimitrovDr. Nanda Dimitrov is an educational developer and intercultural communication scholar exploring critical issues in internationalizing higher education through an intercultural communication lens at Western University, Canada where she is the Director of the Teaching Support Centre, and holds an adjunct research professor appointment in the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the Faculty of Education. 

Nanda’s work as an educational developer focuses on TA development, doctoral education, mentorship across cultures, and interculturalizing the curriculum. Her recent publications have explored disciplinary communication competence, the impact of International TA training programs, and the development of intercultural teaching competence.

She has facilitated workshops on graduate supervision and teaching across cultures at eleven universities, including UBC, SFU, and York University; as well as the meetings of provincial and national associations of Graduate Studies (CAGS; OCGS and NEAGS).  Outside Canada, she has facilitated teaching workshops at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

For a list of her publications and presentations, please go to her website

Intercultural Awareness Certificate

Host:  Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (4DASC)

QUIC and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre invite students to participate in this five-part series of workshops which will help them to recognize that gaining intercultural awareness requires a commitment to life-long learning. At the end of the training they will be able to:

  • Describe the concept of culture and apply this concept to evaluate their own personal cultures;
  • Identify various dimensions of culture that will help them effectively engage in an intercultural context;
  • Practise various skills that will help them be more effective in intercultural interactions;
  • Recognize their own strengths and challenges when interacting with cultural commonality and difference; and
  • Evaluate their experiences with cultural difference and commonality in order to continue the development of their intercultural competence.
  • Gain greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture; and
  • Gain greater understanding and empathy for the lived experience of Western colonialism by Indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Participants must attend five 90 minute workshops, or three 150 minute workshops, in order to receive a certificate. Workshops are repeated in the Fall and Winter Terms.  See the full schedule. Space is limited; reserve your place by emailing quic.training@queensu.ca.

Participants are asked to complete the online training  Tools for Success in an Intercultural World before registering for the Certificate workshops.

Workshops Descriptions:

  1. Intercultural begins with you: Participants will be introduced to basic concepts of intercultural learning, with an emphasis on the importance of knowing one’s own cultural self as a means to understanding and appreciating the culture of others, and thus gaining intercultural competence.
  2. Between cultures – it takes a skill or two: In this workshop, we will continue to look at dimensions of culture – how we communicate and how we respond to difference – and how they affect our intercultural interactions. Participants will learn Janet Bennett’s Describe-Interpret-Evaluate (D.I.E.) method for dealing with human interactions, as well as possible links between intercultural communication and effective interactions.
  3. Thinking about your intercultural competence – an introduction to the Intercultural Development Continuum: The Intercultural Development Continuum, or IDC, was developed by Dr. Mitchell Hammer; the IDC outlines different stages of intercultural competence, or ‘mindsets’. This workshop will introduce you to the IDC; it will help you to recognize characteristics of the various mindsets identified in the IDC, both in yourselves and in those around you.
  4. Indigenous Culture & Experience – KAIROS Blanket Exercise:  Queen’s Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre will present an interactive learning experience that teaches Indigenous rights history. The Kairos Blanket Exercise covers 500 years of history in a ninety minute participatory workshop. Participants will take-on the roles of Indigenous and Settler peoples in Canada and experience pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance.
  5. Indigenous Culture & Experience – Cultural Safety Training: This session is comprised of two parts. The first part focuses on the diversity of Indigenous communities and peoples. Participants explore the concept of self-identity, the context of proper terminology to use when referring or speaking with Indigenous peoples. Participants are also guided to reflect and share their uniqueness, what gifts they carry as individuals, and methods of cross-communication through reflection. The session also utilizes the cultural framework model by taking the group through the Indigenous paradigm and comparing it to the dominant Western society. In the second part, participants explore the concept of issues in urban settings, why Indigenous Peoples choose not to self-identify. The group will further discuss and reflect on their individual stereotypes and biases they carry, along with societal privileges. Participants will also explore the ideology of creating empathetic relationships and collaborating with members of Indigenous communities.


Community Awareness: Kairos Blanket Exercise

Host Presenters: Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre - Laura Maracle

How do you “unlearn” a story that you thought was the truth your whole life?

The Kairos Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on the Aboriginal Peoples – which recommended education on Canadian-indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in on a one and half hour participatory workshop.


By engaging on an emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy and encourages collaboration.

"The Break" - Talking Circle

Host Presenter: SGS and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre

Come and discuss this year's Queen's Read book, "The Break" by Katherena Vermette. Moderated by Kandice Baptiste, Four Directions new Director.

Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention Training

Host Presenter:  SGPS

Using an intersectional, community-based approach, Bystander Intervention Training Sessions give students, faculty, and staff the tools needed to recognize and respond to sexual violence. Facilitated by the Division of Student Affairs, the programming is administered by a trained team of undergraduate and graduate student leaders.

Religious Literacy

Host Presenter: The Chaplain's Office, Kate Johnson

Religious Literacy workshop: In an age where a fast-growing number of Canadian citizens identify their religious identification as “none”, religion still plays a significant role in our society. For better or worse, religion impacts politics, social policy, workplace, family and social interactions. This workshop will give participants a very high level overview of the Canadian religious landscape and the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on that landscape. Participants are welcome to bring specific questions (or even better submit them in advance) so that Chaplain Kate Johnson can speak to your desired learning outcomes. This workshop is relevant for anyone planning a career that deals with the general public in a government or business setting as well as those aspiring to management.


Setting the Tone for Inclusivity in the Classroom

Host Presenter: Dr Erin Clow and Jean Pfleiderer Queen's Human Rights Office

Are you prepared for the increasing diversity of your student body? How will you incorporate diversity into your curriculum, syllabus and pedagogy? How does privilege operate within the classroom and what can you do to disrupt this privilege?

The topic of inclusivity in the classroom will be explored interactively in this scenario-based workshop. Drawing examples from several forms of marginalization, we will share practical tips and tools for interrupting privilege and creating a more inclusive environment.  It is the goal of this session that attendees will leave with practical, implementable ideas and resources that will aid in setting the tone for inclusivity in the classroom.

After completing this workshop participants will:

  • Have an understanding of the concept privilege, and how it can operate within the classroom
  • Possess a variety of techniques aimed at proactively setting an inclusive environment in the classroom
  • Have practical/implementable strategies for interrupting privilege in the classroom

Health & Wellbeing

Time Management: Coping with Procrastination & Maintaining Motivation

Host Presenters: Learning Strategies

Through a mix of self-reflection exercises and practical suggestions this workshop will to help you to identify your own priorities and sources of motivation, manage procrastination, and balance your time to meet your responsibilities, goals and health.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participating in this workshop will enable the student to
  • Become aware of personal values and ambitions as a source of motivation
  • Set SMART goals
  • Learn strategies to avoid or manage procrastination
  • Learn techniques to manage a large work load, meet deadlines, and achieve both long-term and short-term goals.

Managing Stress

Host Presenter: Student Wellness Centre

Details to come

Introduction To Mindfulness

Host Presenter: Student Wellness Centre

Details to come

Approaches to Work-life Balance

Host Presenter: Student Wellness Centre

Details to come 

Financial Skills

Financial Skills for the Real World Series

Host: This Series is offered in collaboration with the McGill University Financial Skills for The Real World Series. Please note that these workshops are 2.5 hours: 4.30pm- 7pm.

Presenter: Alex Gavrila

Alex Gavrila is a Graduate Education Assistant at McGill University's  Teaching and Learning Services, Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience at Concordia University, and Director of the Science & Policy Exchange. He has a keen interest in behavioural economics, policy, and finance and has researched key aspects of modern economies such as: rehypothecation of collateralized financial assets, high frequency trading, and the overall operation of the shadow banking system. He enjoys promoting financial literacy through personal finance workshops and discussing important policy issues with key Canadian and international stakeholders and policy-makers.

Session 1: Budgeting and Expense Planning

  • This workshop primarily focuses on how to create and maintain a reasonable budget given your income level. It covers the main pitfalls of improper budgeting and will show you ways to stay on track. Learn how to effectively monitor and cut costs, determine your spending patterns, and automate your savings. Join us for this workshop brought to you by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to learn how small changes in your daily spending can lead to major savings.

  • Note: This workshop is relevant for international students & newcomers to Canada, as it covers many of the basics about different types of bank accounts available to you.

  • Topics covered: Brief introduction to the economic landscape in Canada; Myths about wealth building; How to create a budget, save money, and identify spending patterns; Useful links to free online resources provided by the government of Canada and various other non-profit organizations that can be used to make better financial decisions.

  • *Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction to Investing sessions in full will receive an official FCAC workshop participation certificate.

Session 2: Debt and Credit Scores

  • This workshop will cover the ins and outs of credit cards, credit scores, and the benefits of debt consolidation. Participants will learn how to select the best credit card given their specific circumstances, the importance of credit scores, and ways to boost them, as well as how to obtain free credit reports. Various types of debt such as standard loans, lines of credit, and payday loans will be reviewed. Common online scams and ways to prevent identity theft will also be addressed.

    Note: This workshop is also relevant for international students & newcomers to Canada, as it covers many of the basics about different types of bank accounts and credit card features available to you.

    Topics covered: Types of debt (standard loans, credit cards, lines of credit, and payday loans); Strategies to pay off one's debts more effectively (debt consolidation, snowball method, and debt avalanche method); Important aspects of credit scores, how to boost them; How to obtain free yearly credit reports; Protection from identity theft.

  • *Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction

Session 3: Introduction to Investing

  • Do TFSAs, RRSPs, GICs, ETFs, and RESPs sound like a foreign language? Do you equate investing in the stock market to a game of chance? Join us for this insightful workshop brought to you by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and learn how better managing your finances today can lead to a more prosperous future.

    Topics covered: Financial investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, GICs, ETFs, mutual funds, etc.) and their associated risk profiles; Key features of different types of accounts (TFSAs, RRSPs, margin accounts, RESPs).

  • *Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction to Investing sessions in full will receive an official FCAC workshop participation certificate.

Session 4: Investing and Taxation

  • Under what circumstances does an RRSP or a TFSA contribution make more sense? What are some of the most tax-efficient investments available? How is the RRSP tax refund calculated? The first half of this workshop covers various investment vehicles in greater detail, how they get taxed, and the most tax-efficient way to distribute various investments in different types of accounts.

  • The second half of this workshop will show you how to properly evaluate your local housing market, review the difference between FRMs, ARMs, and VRMs, go over various CMHC and other freely-available industry reports looking at key metrics to help you decide whether renting or buying is the right choice for you given your personal circumstances, and much more, so that you can make an informed decision on what will likely be the most expensive purchase of your life.

    Topics covered: Some advanced features of various types of investments and how they get taxed; Common tax credits and deductions available to Canadians; Reports and tools for analyzing the housing market; Pros and cons of renting vs. buying; Live examples of how to use the free tools and websites covered in this workshop when purchasing a home.


Volunteering on campus or within the Kingston community can be credited to your Expanding Horizons certificate. Proof must be provided and it must be for a minimum of 4 hours.  Examples of volunteering are - Homecoming, Peer Support work, Big Sister/Big Brother etc