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On Jan. 31, and every day, let’s talk

The conversation around mental health on post-secondary campuses, including Queen’s, will take a big step forward in 2018.

Maintaining positive mental health is important in every season, and especially during the tough winter months. In recent years there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to this vital facet of wellbeing by schools, government, and business.

A signed Bell Let's Talk banner with the tagline "Keep the conversation going".
A signed Bell Let's Talk banner from 2017 with the tagline "Keep the conversation going". A similar banner will be available on Wednesday, Jan. 31. (Supplied Photo)

Bell Let’s Talk Day has become one of the most significant days of the year for Canadians to reflect on their own mental health and help break down the stigma around mental health challenges. This year’s campaign at Queen’s will build on last year’s national focus on student athletics and aim to further expand the conversation across campus.

“Bell Let’s Talk Day sparks conversations about the impact of mental illness, and how we can support one another,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean (Student Affairs). “Most importantly it is about breaking down the stigma about these issues and ensuring that those in need get the help they need every day of the year.”

The first Bell Let’s Talk events on campus will take place on Friday, Jan 26, at the varsity men and women’s basketball games against Laurentian University starting at 6 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear the blue Bell Let’s Talk toques that were distributed last year. The games will also feature more toques, special in-game promotions and contests, peer health promotion volunteers, a banner for fans to sign, talk bubbles, thunder sticks, and temporary tattoos.

Student athletes pose in support of Bell Let's Talk Day
Student athletes pose in support of Bell Let's Talk Day. This year's Bell Let's Talk games will take place Friday, Jan 26. (Supplied Photo)

On Monday, Jan. 29, representatives from Queen’s will be in Toronto as Bell Canada announces an expansion of the company’s outreach to students.

Mental health at Queen’s

Attend the basketball games on Jan 26

● Stop by the booth in the ARC on Wed, Jan 31 – and tweet with #BellLetsTalk. Student athletes will be tweeting using #oneteamformentalhealth.

● Learn more about what Counselling Services is doing this semester to reach more students

"The student-athlete initiative clearly showed that mental health is a priority for students on Canadian campuses. This year, we're building on that momentum as we expand the conversation to 128 universities and colleges throughout the country," said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. "On Jan. 31, we encourage all students around the country to join in, share their own stories and help fight the stigma around mental illness."

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, which is Bell Let’s Talk Day, you can expect to see a booth in the Athletics and Recreation Centre staffed by student volunteers – as the nationwide social media discussion around mental health engages millions of Canadians online through the hashtag #BellLetsTalk.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view, and use of their Facebook frame or Snapchat filter. Visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk to find out more about the initiative and this year’s national campaign.

Jan. 23 edition of the Gazette now available

Jan. 23 2018 Gazette
Read the online version of the Gazette. 

The Jan. 23 edition of the Gazette is now available and can be picked up around Queen’s campus.

This latest edition of the Gazette is filled with interesting Queen’s-focused items including:

  • Interviews with the newly-appointed Director of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre as well as her predecessor, who is now the Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives.
  • An interview with Stephanie Simpson who has been appointed as the Executive Director (Human Rights and Equity Offices) and University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights.
  • Articles recent funding for the contemporary art programming at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Winter Launch.
  • ​Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

The next edition of the Gazette will be published Feb. 6, 2018. However, new articles are posted daily at the Gazette Online.

Follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.

Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll.


New student impact award recognizes commitments to equity and diversity

Nominations are now open for this new award, as well as two other student recognition awards.

The Division of Student Affairs has established a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Impact Award.

The award builds on the division’s annual student recognition program, that includes the Peer Leadership and Brian Yealland Community Leadership Awards. Nominations for all awards are open; the deadline is Feb. 11.

“We are delighted to expand our recognition program to honour student contributions to a more inclusive campus,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “We know there are many undergraduate and graduate students who are working to strengthen our community, and we are excited to showcase their initiative and accomplishments, as part of our annual leadership program.”

Recipients of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Impact Award can be individuals or groups who will have demonstrated involvement in, and a commitment to, social justice causes that impact the Queen’s community on a broad or small scale; their contributions will reflect efforts to furthering an understanding of the interplay and intersections among different identities on campus.

Named in honour of Brian Yealland, Queen's chaplain for 32 years, the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award is presented annually to Queen’s students (individuals or groups) who make a significant contribution to society by working with and encouraging youth who are experiencing social, behavioral, economic or other challenges by helping them realize their worth as individuals and their potential to achieve.

The division’s Peer Leadership Award is presented annually to Queen’s students (individuals or groups) who, through their commitment, skill, dedication, and interest in helping others, have exemplified excellence in peer-to-peer assistance and outreach.

The awards will be presented at a Student Leadership reception on March 21, where all students who are involved in peer leadership across the Division of Student Affairs are celebrated.

Recruitment is underway in the division’s Peer Programs for 2018-19. There are multiple positions in mentoring, health education, learning strategies, international experience, career coaching and more. Recruitment and information events are taking place the week of Feb. 5. Learn more at:  www.queensu.ca/peerprograms.

Black History Month looks to the future

The theme for February’s celebration of African and Caribbean culture is the resilience of black people throughout history, and how that resilience continues today.

This year’s Black History Month at Queen’s will examine the struggles faced and overcome by black people both here at Queen’s and throughout the world. It will also look at how their collective strength through those moments has shaped their present and future.

The African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA) and the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS) will be working together to organize an opening ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Renaissance Event Venue in downtown Kingston.

Organizers, speakers, and some attendees of Black History Month 2017. (Supplied Photo)
Organizers, speakers, and some of the attendees of Black History Month 2017 gather in Robert Sutherland Hall. (Supplied Photo)

QBAS will be holding talks on diversity and mental wellness within the black community, exploring structural sources of mental wellness obstacles for persons of colour and ways in which the community can work together to eliminate obstacles for individuals seeking resources and help.

They will also be hosting a social mixer, and running a unique campaign within the Queen’s community centred on one of its most prominent black alumni, Robert Sutherland.

“His story is carved into the very structures of Queen’s University and it lives through the black excellence and resilience of Queen’s black students and alumni,” says Asha Gordon (Artsci’18). “Through a media and tabling campaign called “I Am Robert Sutherland”, we hope to show his story is both a narrative of the past and of the present. The faces of the Robert Sutherland legacy are all around us.”

ACSA will also be looking at the history of black people within the Queen’s context, and highlighting their story of resilience. As one example, they will be hosting Queen’s employee and former journalist Edward Thomas (Sc’06, MSc’11) who, on the one-hundredth anniversary of the event, has investigated the expulsion of black medical students in 1918, and what happened to them after Queen’s.

“We chose the theme of resilience because black people have gone through so much and have come out stronger than before,” says Elorm Vowotor (Artsci'18). “Another focus this year is on bringing the community into our celebrations, so everyone – Queen’s students and the broader Kingston community – is welcome to join us at our events. We are inclusive and want to welcome everyone to learn more about the history of black people in Canada.”

The group will also host a dance workshop, and an event celebrating African and Caribbean food, with traditional dishes such as Jamaican jerk chicken, West African jollof, and Guayanese pholourie.

Both QBAS and ACSA received grants from the Alma Mater Society and the Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) to help fund this year’s activities. The two groups will be regularly providing updates and photos throughout the month through social media.

Planning for Black History Month began last semester, and involves both students and members of the Kingston community. For more information on the launch of Black History Month at Queen’s, please stay tuned to the Kingston Black History Month Facebook page.

To learn more about the history of Black History Month in Canada, please visit the Department of Canadian Heritage’s website.

Gaels blank Excalibur in women’s volleyball

Queen's Gaels women's volleyball compete against Trent
Nicola Ros, centre, and Makayla Keith, right, of the Queen's Gaels attempt to block Genna Saunders of the Trent Excalibur during Sunday's OUA women's volleyball match at the Athletics and Recreation Centre. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine)

A quick roundup of Queen’s Gaels teams in action over the weekend:


The Queen's Gaels (8-3) beat the Trent Excalibur (0-10) in straight sets on Sunday and remain second in the OUA East standings. The Gaels took each set convincingly 25-15, 25-19 and 25-15.
Shannon Neville finished with 16 kills, an ace and a block while Makayla Keith put up an impressive seven blocks to go along with five kills and two aces.


The Queen's Gaels (5-5) were able to snap a five-game losing streak as they returned home to the ARC for the first time since November to defeat the Trent Excalibur (0-9) in four sets 25-21, 25-13, 24-26 and 25-14.

Joel Rudd finished with 12 kills and three aces while Markus Trence had a solid game with 10 kills, four aces, and three blocks. Zane Grossinger added 42 assists.


The No  9. Queen's Gaels (13-3) finished off a 2-0 weekend in Toronto with a 74-66 win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (5-11) on Saturday.

The Gaels opened the game strong and at the half had a 43-34 lead. The Gaels widened the gap early in the third but Toronto rallied to keep the game close. However, the Gaels controlled the ball in the fourth quarter to close out the game.

Marianne Alarie led the way with 20 points while Andrea Priamo finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

On Friday the Gaels topped the Ryerson Rams (10-6) by a score of 71-65.

The Gaels stormed out to a 23-6 lead early with some big defence keeping the Rams at bay. The Gaels went into the break up 31-19 and kept a healthy lead into the final quarter. The Rams closed the gap but the Gaels kept control through to the final whistle.

Veronika Lavergne scored 17 points while Priamo and Abby Dixon added 12 points each.


The Queen's Gaels (9-7) lost 74-64 to a tough University of Toronto Varsity Blues (9-7) team on Saturday after leading for much of the game.

The game was close throughout and the Gaels went into the final quarter leading 53-51. However, the home side was able to pull away on a 7-2 run to start the quarter, and held on to the momentum the rest of the way.

Jaz Bains and Matt Elcock both had 17 points.

On Friday, the Gaels gave a tough Ryerson Rams (11-5) team a run but eventually tumbled 94-81.

After the Rams jumped out to a 30-14 lead after the first quarter, the Gaels put up some solid defence and went into the half with a 42-40 lead.

After the break the teams stayed even but the Rams were able to find another gear in the fourth quarter to clinch the win.

Tanner Graham was the leading scorer for the Gaels with 24 points and Bains had 20.


Goalie Kevin Bailie earned his 50th career regular season win in style on Saturday night with a 4-0 shutout as the Queen's Gaels (15-5-3) defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs (5-15-1). 

Bailie made 26 saves on the night as the Gaels started strong and were able to shut down the Voyageurs attack all night long. Ryan Bloom and Warren Steele both scored on the power play in the first period with Luke Edwards and Alex Stothart rounding out the scoring with markers in the second and third period, respectively.

On Friday, the Gaels held on in the final moments to preserve a 4-3 win over the Nipissing Lakers (8-11-2).

The Lakers mounted a furious rally in the final minutes of the game, but the Gaels held on to skate away with two valuable points. Slater Doggett set a new career high in assists with four to lead the Gaels attack while also tying his career best for points in a game.

Edwards, Bloom, Eric Ming and Steele scored for the Gaels. Jacob Brennan made 21 saves for the win.

Prior to puck drop, Gaels forward Darcy Greenaway was honoured as this year's Murray Douglas Scholarship recipient.


The No. 8 Queen’s Gaels (10-3-2-3) suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Western Mustangs (10-2-5-2) on Sunday.

It was Kingston Ice Wolves appreciation day and hundreds of players from the Greater Kingston Girls Hockey Association were on hand for the game.

The Gaels outshot the Mustangs 25-24 but were unable to solve Western goalie Carmen Lasis.

On Saturday, the Gaels used a balanced effort that saw six different players find the back of the net for an 8-1 win over the Windsor Lancers (2-1-14-2).

Katrina Manoukarakis and Emily Gervais both scored twice to lead the Gaels while the other goals came from Devon Greenough, Clare McKellar, Hailey Wilson and Brigid Goris.

For the Record: Jan. 18

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, Feb. 1. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, Jan. 30. For the Record is published bi-weekly throughout the academic year and monthly during the summer.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Gazette Editor Andrew Carroll.


On behalf of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Dean Kevin Deluzio is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Pilkey as Head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering for a five-year term, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Dr. Pilkey, BSc, MSc (University of Waterloo), and PhD (Carleton University), obtained his PhD in the area of microstructure-property relationships and formability of aluminum alloy sheet developed for automotive structures. Prior to joining Queen’s in 2000, Dr. Pilkey was an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University.

Dr. Pilkey has previous leadership experience, serving as the associate and acting head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering from 2008-14. His dedication to teaching and the support of student activities at Queen’s has also been recognized; Dr. Pilkey is a three-time recipient of the Silver Wrench Award and a nominee for the Frank Knox Award.

In making this announcement Dean Deluzio would like to thank the members of the Selection Committee and to express his sincere gratitude to Christopher Mechefske for his leadership as acting head of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering since July 2017.


Job Title: Community Outreach Coordinator
Department: Standardized Patient Program
Competition: J0917-1536
Successful Candidate: Rebecca Snowdon

Job Title: Learning Management System Specialist (USW Local 2010)
Department: Department of Continuing and Distance Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science
Competition: J0917-0506
Successful Candidate: Trevor Stone (Med Tech Unit)

Job Title: Manager, Inventory
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: J0617-1079
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Admissions and Student Support Coordinator
Department: School of Rehabilitation Therapy
Competition: J0917-0418
Successful Candidate: Angela Anthony (Human Resources)

Job Title: Multimedia Support Analyst (USW Local 2010)
Department: Department of Online Learning and Development, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Competition: J0917-0173
Successful Candidate: Daniel Clarke

Job Title: Laboratory Technologist (Hydrometallurgy)
Department: Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining
Competition: J1017-0466
Successful Candidate: Shirin Shafiei Zadeh

Job Title: Senior Investment Associate (USW Local 2010)
Department: Investment Services
Competition: J0817-0386
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Carpenter (CUPE Local 229)
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: J0917-1492
Successful Candidate: Cory Burns and Justin Clancy

Job Title: Digital Communications Officer
Department: Advancement Communications and Marketting
Competition: J1017-0284
Successful Candidate: Anna Ruck

Job Title: Clinical Trials Assistant
Department: Canadian Cancer Trials Group
Competition: J1017-0345
Successful Candidate: Amanda Bontje

Job Title: Executive Speechwriter/Communications Lead
Department: Office of the Principal
Competition: J1017-1172
Successful Candidate: Mary Beth Gauthier

Job Title: Admissions/Recruitment Assistant
Department: Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Competition: J0817-0669
Successful Candidate: Katie Norris

Job Title: Departmental and Financial Administrator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Pediatrics
Competition: J0917-1469
Successful Candidate: Wendy Phillips (Financial Services)

Job Title: Refrigeration Mechanic (CUPE Lcoal 229)
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: J0817-0176
Successful Candidate: James Clark

Job Title: Business Analyst (USW Local 2010)
Department: Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Competition: J0917-0783
Successful Candidate: Withdrawn

Job Title: Coordinator, Community Engaged Learning (USW Local 2010)
Department: Student Affairs
Competition: J1117-0165
Successful Candidate: Kevin Collins (Student Affairs)

Job Title: Technical Support Services Assistant (USW Local 2010)
Department: Athletics and Recreation
Competition: J1117-0270
Successful Candidate: Vernon Simkins

Job Title: Career Counsellor (USW Local 2010)
Department: Career Services
Competition: J1117-0075
Successful Candidate: Jenny Lee Northey

Job Title: Business Development & recruitment Officer (USW Local 2010)
Department: School of English, Faculty of Education
Competition: 2017-013
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Personal Counsellor
Department: Student Wellness Services
Competition: J0817-0174
Successful Candidate: Laurie Hooke, Anna Paolucci

Job Title: Development Coordinator, Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME)
Department: Oncology
Competition: J1017-0511
Successful Candidate: Jane Willms (Faculty of Education)

Job Title: Business Analyst (Student Area) (USW Local 2010)
Department: Information Technology Services
Competition: J0917-0835
Successful Candidate: Amey Stranak (Awards)

Job Title: Senior Admission Coordinator - Non-Traditional Enrolment (USW Local 2010)
Department: Undergraduate Admissions
Competition: J1017-0711
Successful Candidate: Ryan Snowdon (Undergraduate Admissions)

Job Title: Program Assistant
Department: Biomedical and Molecular Science
Competition: J1117-0063
Successful Candidate: Sirena Jonik

Job Title: Peer Health Outreach Coordinator
Department: Student Wellness Services
Competition: J1117-0492
Successful Candidate: Schuyler Schmidt

Job Title: Development Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Competition: J1117-0582
Successful Candidate: Maura Doyle

Job Title: Recruitment Representative- GTA
Department: Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions
Competition: J0717-0756
Successful Candidate: Curtis Carmichael

Job Title: Financial Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Chemistry
Competition: J1017-0459
Successful Candidate: Dawn Free (Chemical Engineering)

Job Title: Instructional Designer/Editor (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Education
Competition: J1217-0279
Successful Candidate: Carla Douglas (Continuing Teacher Education)

Job Title: Budget and Financial Officer (USW Local 2010)
Department: Athletics and Recreation
Competition: J1017-1145
Successful Candidate: Renata Vorano (Financial Services)


Survey takes close look at benefits plan

Employee survey results show high level of satisfaction with Queen’s Employee Benefits Plan.

Just over a year ago Queen’s University surveyed its benefit-eligible employees to gain insight into the benefit options they value the most. The employee benefits survey is part of a comprehensive review of the Queen’s Employee Benefits Plan, launched in May 2016.

The university’s benefits consultant Mercer has analysed the survey results and recently presented them to the Multi-Employee Group Employee Benefits Committee (MEGEBC) at Queen’s. The MEGEBC is comprised of participants from university employee groups.

The survey results indicated that there is a high level of satisfaction with the current employee benefit plan and that benefits play a part in an employee’s decision to stay with the university. Dental and medical are the most highly valued benefits, with long-term disability coverage also ranked highly by employees. Overall, the response rate for the survey was high and there was good participation across several major employee groups.  

Possible changes to the current benefit plan design are being explored as part of the review process.

“Given that the university has a single benefits plan for all benefits-eligible employees, striking the right balance in plan design for all employee groups will be important,” says Dan Bradshaw, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “The committee is currently engaged in discussions to determine if any changes can be made to the benefit plan design without adding expense to the plan.”

Following the review of the plan, the university will be conducting a formal Request for Proposals for a benefits provider. The MEGEBC will recommend criteria to be used in evaluating proponents who participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The RFP process will be conducted in accordance with and will be governed by the policies and procedures set out in the university’s Procurement Policy and the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive. The target for posting of an RFP is mid-2018.

More information about the employee benefits review is available on the HR website. Employees can also send questions about the project to benefits.project@queensu.ca.

Shaping the future of Ontario through policy

The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and other policy experts visit the School of Policy Studies to kick off the winter speaker series.

  • The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivers the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture.
    The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivers the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture.
  • Master's of Public Administration students listen intently to the Lieutenant Governor's thoughts on a year of celebration and reflection of Canada's 150 year history.
    Master of Public Administration students listen intently to the Lieutenant Governor's thoughts on a year of celebration and reflection of Canada's 150 year history.
  • Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, explores the areas of change that will affect the Ontario public service in the future during his lecture.
    Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, explores the areas of change that will affect the Ontario public service in the future during his lecture.
  • Mr. Orsini shares his thoughts on the future of the Ontario public service with Master of Public Administration students, and others interested in public policy.
    Mr. Orsini shares his thoughts on the future of the Ontario public service with Master of Public Administration students, and others interested in public policy.

Two standout lectures by experts in the public service kicked off the School of Policy Studies winter 2018 Policy Speaker Series, and there are more to come throughout the winter term.

On Jan. 18, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture to students, faculty, and staff.

The Lieutenant Governor reflected on her experience over the past year attending over 100 Canada 150 events, and her participation in the celebrations marking our country’s history and growth. She reflected on the call for reconciliation from Indigenous communities and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing Ontario in the future in an increasingly globalized and complex world.

“Ontarians have not only a lot to contribute to the world, but also a lot to learn from it – which is both an opportunity, and a responsibility,” said the Lieutenant Governor. “In a time of fake news and echo chambers, when there is a temptation to isolate ourselves, I think we must resist that urge. Ontarians, in my experience, are very good at building bridges, and we can lead by example.”

Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, spoke Jan. 12 to a packed audience about transforming the Ontario Public Service to adapt to the future. Mr. Orsini focused on the continuing journey of the Ontario public service to become a more client-focused, innovative, efficient, and inclusive organization that is prepared for rapid change.

The Distinguished Lectures and Policy Speaker series will continue to bring eminent academics and public policy experts to Queen’s throughout the term. The speakers are:

  • Marian Campbell Jarvis, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Development Policy
  • Kathy Brock, cross-appointed professor, School of Policy Studies and Department of Political Studies
  • Keith Banting, Stauffer Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies,
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Professor Emeritus of Trent University, Native Studies Department
  • Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Canada’s National Inuit Leader – The Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series
  • George Thomson, Senior Director – International of Canada’s National Judicial Institute
  • Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada – The David Dodge Lecture, presented this year by the Smith School of Business
  • Robert Wolfe, Professor Emeritus, School of Policy Studies – The J. Douglas Gibson Lecture
  • Shelly Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
  • Tim McTiernan, visiting scholar in the School of Policy Studies and former president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

The winter series will run 10 more lectures from Thursday, Feb. 1, to Thursday, March 29. For more information about the winter term lineup, see the Policy Speakers Series website.

Queen’s Engineering recognized for Indigenous outreach

The Queen’s Engineering Outreach office has received a national award for their efforts to engage with Indigenous youth.

A program which has brought class and community workshops, family events, clubs, and camp opportunities to tens of thousands of Indigenous youth across Canada is being recognized with a national education award.

The Queen’s Engineering Outreach team from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science received the Actua Experience Award – Indigenous Youth in STEM. The award was presented at Actua’s annual awards night in Ottawa Thursday evening. The Canadian charity focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education among youth.

  • Quinte Mohawk School students program code into tablets, which control these robots as part of an after-school robotics club called Codemakers. (Supplied Photo)
    Quinte Mohawk School students program code into tablets, which control these robots as part of an after-school robotics club called Codemakers. (Supplied Photo)
  • EngWAY is a week-long program operated by the Aboriginal Access to Education group, and is run on the Queen's campus. (Supplied Photo)
    EngWAY is another program operated by the Aboriginal Access to Education group, and is run on the Queen's campus. (Supplied Photo)EngWAY is a week-long program operated by the Aboriginal Access to Education group, and is run on the Queen's campus. (Supplied Photo)
  • Through EngWAY, Indigenous youth in grades 7 and 8 come to live in residence and take engineering design courses related to Indigenous community issues. (Supplied Photo)
    Through EngWAY, Indigenous youth in grades 7 and 8 come to live in residence and take engineering design courses related to Indigenous community issues. (Supplied Photo)
  • The Queen's Engineering Outreach Team accepts their Actua Award. (Photo by Martin Lipman)
    The Queen's Engineering Outreach Team accepts their Actua Award. (Photo by Martin Lipman)

Engineering Outreach runs multiple programs designed to engage Indigenous youth through Aboriginal Access to Engineering (AAE), which was the primary focus of the award. Workshops in partner First Nation grade schools involve hands-on engineering design projects that complement the Ontario science curriculum, integrate robotics in math and language classes, and explore culturally-linked science topics, as examples.

On campus, AAE has hosted Engineering Week for Aboriginal Youth (EngWAY) since 2012. During EngWAY, Indigenous youth in middle school come to stay on campus and take engineering design courses related to Indigenous community issues. AAE also provides bursaries to the Queen’s Summer Engineering Academy for Indigenous high school students, and works in partnership with the student-directed Science Quest program to bring local Indigenous youth to their day camps. In addition, AAE produces a series of comic books about engineering disciplines, featuring Queen's students and graduates, with curriculum-linked plans to help teachers across Canada use them in class.

Outreach, combined with an Indigenous student success program within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, has resulted in a significant increase of Indigenous students enrolling in Engineering programs at Queen's - from four self-identified students in 2011 to 37 students this academic year.

“Over the past five years, we have engaged more than 20,000 Indigenous youth, and we continue to broaden our outreach to Indigenous communities right across Canada,” says Melanie Howard, Director of Outreach and Aboriginal Access with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Through our unique model, we partner with teachers and schools to deliver tailored content which matches with math and science curriculum, while paying attention to Indigenous contributions and cultural linkages whenever possible.”

Actua is a network with 35 post-secondary members, including Queen’s. In granting an award to the Queen’s Engineering Outreach team, the selection committee was impressed by their dedication to the key components in Actua's Indigenous STEM outreach goals. In particular, Aboriginal Access to Engineering’s focus on long-term community engagement and high-quality content tied to Indigenous worldviews and STEM delivered by Indigenous instructors and role models were particularly noted.

“Congratulations to the Queen’s Engineering Outreach team on all their efforts, which have culminated in this meaningful award,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “This unique program, which is predominantly run by Indigenous professionals employed by Queen's, has successfully encouraged many Indigenous youth to stay in school and pursue post-secondary studies in the STEM fields. Thank you to Actua for this recognition of our important efforts to diversify the STEM field.”

To learn more about the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program, visit www.aboriginalaccess.ca

UPDATE: New Eyes on the Universe exhibit extended


The “New Eyes on the Universe” exhibit, currently being hosted at the Visitor Centre of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre, located in Stirling Hall, has been extended until March 29.

* * *

The SNOLAB exhibit “New Eyes on the Universe” has returned to Queen’s and this time it is being hosted by CPARC at Stirling Hall.

The exhibit, which debuted July 1, 2016 at Canada House in London before touring across Canada, features 40 panels the discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), the recognition of this work with a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015 for SNO Director Arthur McDonald, and the facilities and experiments of SNOLAB.

Video kiosks let visitors explore themes and offer a virtual tour of SNOLAB. A life-size “Virtual Art” presents information from Dr. McDonald about the work of SNO and SNOLAB and his perspective on the future. A diffusion cloud chamber also allows the public to see particle tracts in real time, making the invisible visible.

The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Arthur McDonald and Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita is featured through images from Nobel Week in Stockholm and a display of the Nobel Medal, citation and artwork. Exhibit artifacts include unique detector components developed especially for SNO, as well as a scale model of the SNO detector.

The exhibit is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, at the CPARC Visitor Centre, Stirling Hall, Room 302, until Friday, Feb. 23. Admission is free. For information on tour bookings, contact Nathalie Ouellette at 613-533-6000 ext. 74781.


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