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Cultural communicator

[Telmary]
Cuban hip-hop artist Telmary visited Queen’s March 5-11 as part of a continuing exchange with the University of Havana and took part in talks, classes and performances. The visit was supported by the International Visitors Program of the Principal's Development Fund. (University Communications)

Having lived in Canada for a period of seven years, Cuban hip-hop/rap artist Telmary has gained valuable insight into the cultures of both countries.

During her March 5-11 visit as part of a continuing exchange with the University of Havana, Telmary shared her experiences and music with the Queen’s community through a series of talks and performances.

A foundational figure in Cuban rap, Telmary describes herself first as a communicator, a journalist using an alternative medium. All of her work begins as writing and then is shared through her music.

It’s the connection with the audience she is looking for.

“Everything that I write ends up in a song eventually. That’s what I do,” she says. “But I can’t say that just to write makes me completely satisfied, happy. My special moment is when I am on stage. More than being a recording artist I prefer to be on stage. I like to perform, I like to express in front of the audience, and my goal is to find two eyes that are connected to me and get the message.”

During her time in Canada she found that she was able to connect with audiences – the music overcame the barriers of language and geography she says.

While she enjoyed her time in Toronto, lacking a support network here Telmary returned to her homeland to give birth to her daughter. That reconnection with Cuba provided a new spark for her artistic career and she decided to stay.

“I decided to come back to Cuba and I thought it was for a short period at the beginning and then I discovered that I really needed to stay because my muse actually woke up when I came back,” she says. A new album soon followed.

Music holds a significant place in the Cuban culture Telmary explains and the focus is more on the art form itself rather than celebrity.

“You are a full-time musician in Cuba. Everybody respects you and you have an audience that is honest, that is demanding and educated,” she says. “If you do something over there and people don’t like it, they are not afraid to tell you. That is my thermometer.”

Telmary’s visit is part of a continuing exchange in support of the Global Development Studies (DEVS) course “Cuban Culture and Society.” Through the course a group of up to 40 Queen’s students also travels to Cuba as part of the collaboration with the University of Havana.

Karen Dubinsky (Global Development Studies), one of the course’s instructors along with Susan Lord (Film Studies), has been an admirer of Telmary’s for years and has seen her connect with students as a visitor to the course. 

“I see in Telmary the same quality that I see in Carlos Varela (the first artist to participate in the exchange) and that is this ability to communicate daily life and daily truths in a way that is both beautiful, poetic but also educational – educational for me as well as an outsider who is always trying to figure out what is going on in this society that is not my own,” Dr. Dubinsky says. “It is a joy to watch someone who has artistic performance training but who also has the sensibility of a teacher who knows how to communicate that when she’s talking to students. And the students love her.”

Telmary’s visit was supported by the International Visitors Program of the Principal’s Development Fund.

Awarding a commitment to outreach

Queen’s professor receives award for outstanding efforts in sharing earth science with Canadians.

In recognition of his research and public outreach, Queen’s paleontologist Guy Narbonne (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) has received the E.R.Ward Neale Medal from the Geological Association of Canada.

In recognition of his research and public outreach, Dr. Guy Narbonne has been awarded the E.R.Ward Neale Medal from the Geological Association of Canada. (Supplied Photo) 

“I feel tremendously honoured to be recognized by the Association with this award,” says Dr. Narbonne. “Just as the research isn’t done until you’ve written the publication, the research also isn’t done until you’ve told all the stakeholders what they got out of it. We went from almost no one having ever heard of Mistaken Point, to paleontologists around the world knowing about it, to designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stamp issued by Canada Post to celebrate this UNESCO designation. This shows the kind of level of recognition that we’re getting by conducting rigorous research, sharing it with the public and showing why it matters.”

Over the course of his more than 30-year career, Dr. Narbonne has dedicated his efforts to both high-impact research and sharing his findings with the public. His research has been profiled in a number of television documentaries - including BBC’s Snowball Earth, a documentary series on the geology of Canada in The Nature of Things narrated by David Suzuki, and First Life narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Dr. Narbonne also played a leading role in Mistaken Point receiving World Heritage Site designation by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“Dr. Narbonne’s research has made a tremendous impact on our understanding of early life on Earth, and his outreach efforts have brought the geological sciences into the mainstream Canadian consciousness,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “I wish Dr. Narbonne my sincere congratulations for this well-deserved national recognition.”

Mistaken Point shows “when life got big,” and provides a fossil record of the appearance of large multicellular creatures 570 million years ago after nearly three billion years of microbial evolution. Volcanic eruptions 580 million years ago preserved surfaces covered with the fossils of the thousands of the soft-bodied creatures that were covered by beds of volcanic ash on the deep sea floor.

When Dr. Narbonne began his work at Mistaken Point in 1998, none of its abundant fossils had been formally named. It took nearly 12 years of research to bring the scientific understanding of the site up to the level necessary for UNESCO to consider naming Mistaken Point a World Heritage Site.

During this time, Dr. Narbonne produced over 30 scientific papers on Mistaken Point and related fossils – several of which were published in high-profile journals such as Science and Nature. Dr. Narbonne credits many factors for the success of the Mistaken Point project, including the ability to take a long-term approach to his research, and the support of the Queen’s Research Chair.

“There probably would not be a UNESCO World Heritage site at Mistaken Point without the QRC,” says Dr. Narbonne. “I’m deeply grateful to those who set up the program and am grateful for them selecting me. An awful lot of great things came out of their investment and their faith in me.”

Dr. Narbonne will formally receive the medal at the GAC-MAC annual conference, taking place May 15-17 in Kingston, Ontario.

The Neale Medal, named after Canadian geoscientist E.R. Ward Neale, is awarded annually to a researcher in recognition of sustained outstanding efforts in sharing earth science with Canadians – including through public lectures, media, and other forms of public outreach.

For more information, please visit the website.

Prepared to premiere

[Kento Stratford]
Kento Stratford’s choir and piano arrangement of a hymn originally created by former professor Bill Barnes for Queen’s sesquicentennial in 1991, will premiere Friday at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. (University Communications)

This Friday night, Kento Stratford, a second-year music student, will see a major project performed for the first time on the stage of the concert hall at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

As the opening number of the Dan School of Drama and Music’s year-end choir and orchestra concert, Mr. Stratford’s choir and piano arrangement of a hymn that was originally created by former professor Bill Barnes for Queen’s sesquicentennial in 1991 will be premiered.

The piece has five verses and will be performed by a 120-person choir. It was a massive undertaking, says Mr. Stratford. But now, after five months of hard, detailed work, he’s ready to see his creation come to life.

“Hearing it in the Isabel recital hall… the acoustics are so good,” Mr. Stratford says. “Just having my piece played, it’s something I’ve dreamt about, actually. I’m definitely excited to hear it in person.”

The opportunity arose from a meeting with music professor and award-winning composer John Burge to discuss one of Mr. Stratford’s composition assignments. At the end of the meeting Dr. Burge asked Mr. Stratford if he was interested in arranging the sesquicentennial piece as part of the continuing celebrations of Queen’s 175th anniversary.

“It was a ‘in the right place at the right time’ sort of thing,” Mr. Stratford explains. “I said yes, it’s such a great opportunity. Where else would you get that opportunity?”

Through the work Mr. Stratford has gained valuable compositional experience, which will help him as he continues his studies and into his future career.

“Kento has produced a marvelous piece that added greatly to the original words and music,” says Dr. Burge. “Kento possesses a very clear understanding of harmony and counterpoint and this experience has given him a firm foundation upon which to build as he develops his own compositional craft and creativity. Full credit and thanks also goes to Darrell Bryan, conductor of the Queen’s Choral Ensemble, for his support in bringing everything together.”

The Queen's Symphony Orchestra and Choral Ensemble’s year-end concert, featuring Carl Jenkins' The Armed Man, is being held at the Isabel on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets$15 adults; $7 students/seniors – are available online, by phone at 613-533-2424, or at the door.

TRC report brings communities together to change course

  • Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

At a special reception Tuesday night to mark the unveiling of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force final report and recommendations, Principal Daniel Woolf told the crowd of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local Indigenous community members that, “Today, our communities come together to change course.”

“By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, by recognizing that we can all benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university,” said Principal Woolf.

The special event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the TRC report represent a significant milestone for Queen’s and the local Indigenous communities, signalling a broad and sustained effort to build and improve relations, and to effect meaningful institutional change. The recommendations in the report span everything from hiring practices and programming, to research, community outreach, and the creation of Indigenous cultural spaces on campus. (More detailed list of recommendations below.)

Principal Woolf reiterated his commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the task force’s final report, and to illustrate that commitment, he announced that the university will be creating an Office of Indigenous Initiatives in the coming months – an announcement met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

“This is just one of the task force’s many recommendations that I am committed to implementing across campus, and because I believe that we are stronger together, I welcome the rest of the Queen’s community to join me in that commitment,” he said.

Principal Woolf also stated his commitment to the TRC recommendations in a special Senate meeting on March 7, where he acknowledged “Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People.”

‘We are making history’

Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, Tuesday’s event was hosted by TRC Task Force co-chairs Mark Green and Jill Scott and showcased the importance of ceremony – with a traditional Mohawk opening presented by lecturer Nathan Brinklow, presentations by Elder Marlene Brant Castellano and student Lauren Winkler, an Anishinaabe Honour Song performed by the Four Directions Women Singers, and to end the evening, a Haudenosaunee Round Dance, led by performers from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, that brought guests together in a huge circle, hands linked.

“Ceremony reminds us that what we do today is important, impacting the relationships and responsibilities that we carry forward, and woven into our memory as a community,” said Dr. Brant Castellano, a member of the task force, Queen’s alumna, and pioneer and champion of Indigenous rights and education.

“We are making history,” Dr. Brant continued. “In creating the task force, Queen’s has stepped up to ask of itself: What can we do to advance reconciliation? … The task force has brought together voices from the Queen’s community saying: We can do this. We have a responsibility to do this. The report is presented to the principal, who speaks on behalf of the university. In this ceremony, all who are present become witnesses to Queen’s acknowledgement of past errors and commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples and others of good mind to restore and maintain a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect.”

“I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through"
​~ Lauren Winkler

Lauren Winkler, student and president of the Queen’s Native Student Association, as well as deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for the Alma Mater Society and member of the TRC Task Force, spoke about the experiences of Indigenous students and the challenges and racist encounters they face on Queen’s campus.

"Our education system has failed and is failing to educate our students at the cost of Indigenous students. The university recognizes this – it’s one of the truths in our truth and reconciliation process," said Ms. Winkler, who went on to thank Principal Woolf for his acknowledgements of the history of mistreatment of the Indigenous community and Queen’s role in perpetuating the mistreatment.

"I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through," said Ms. Winkler.

The TRC Task Force’s final report, which includes reproductions of artwork included in the Indigenous art collection at the Agnes, outlines recommendations and timelines for implementation – in particular, the formation of an implementation team that will work with faculties, schools, and shared service units to expedite recommendations. The task force asks for five-year plans from the faculties, schools, and other units to be completed by fall 2017.


An ambassador of Canadian science

Stephen Lougheed (Biology) has received the Science Ambassador Award from Partners in Research (PIR). The award recognizes an outstanding Canadian researcher for their body of work over a period of time, their contributions to the field of science, and their promotion of this research to the Canadian public.

“I really like the challenge of articulating what we do in our lab or in the field for a general audience” said Dr. Lougheed. “Moreover, making publically-funded university research accessible and intelligible is incredibly important.”

Queen's biology professor Dr. Stephen Lougheed has received the PIR Science Ambassador Award, in recognition of his contributions to the field of conservation biology as well as his dedication to community outreach and knowledge dissemination. (Supplied Photo)

Dr. Lougheed’s research has made significant contributions to our understanding of how historical climate change, shifts in vegetation, mountain uplift and fluctuating sea levels during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs (from 5.3 million to 11,700 years ago) affected the diversification of species in North and Latin America. He has authored more than 100 refereed journal articles and book contributions, and his work on biogeography and evolutionary genetics have been cited more than 3500 times. In December 2016, Dr. Lougheed and his northern and university collaborators received a $9.2 million grant for a project combining leading-edge genomics and Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to develop a non-invasive means of tracking polar bear responses to environmental change.

“Dr. Lougheed is a leading scientist in the field of conservation biology, who has demonstrated both a dedication to fundamental research and to disseminating information to the public at large,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This award is a wonderful acknowledgment of Dr. Lougheed’s accomplishments and a testament to the excellence of Queen’s researchers and faculty.”

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Lougheed has made outreach and public engagement a focus of his career. Since associating with the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) in 1994, he has taught over 45 field courses at QUBS and at other locales spanning four continents. He became the station director in 2012, and with his dedicated staff he has dramatically increased the station’s public outreach activities through public lecture series, programming for school and community groups, augmented on-line resources, and a camp for youth.

“Some of my most cherished moments at QUBS have been showing young people a creature like a ratsnake or musk turtle or giant water bug, and talking about their unique ecologies,” stated Dr. Lougheed, “or talking with school groups about how we might contribute to the conservation of one of our many species at risk.”

PIR is a registered Canadian charity founded in 1988 to help Canadians understand the significance, accomplishments and promise of biomedical research in advancing health and medicine. Since its genesis, PIR has broadened its scope to encompass science, technology, engineering and mathematics as fields of discovery and study for Canadian students.

Dr. Lougheed will receive the award at the Partners in Research National Awards Ceremony, held in Ottawa in May.

Queen’s researchers awarded $4.5M in Ontario government funding

  • The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, announces that four Queen's researchers would receive a combined $4.5 million in research funding from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, announces that four Queen's researchers would receive a combined $4.5 million in research funding from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, welcomes the investment of $4.5 million in research funding for four Queen's researchers, and discusses the importance of research and innovation in Kingston. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands, welcomes the investment of $4.5 million in research funding for four Queen's researchers, and discusses the importance of research and innovation in Kingston. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf discusses how the funding announced by Minister Moridi will assist Queen's researchers in breaking new ground in their respective fields. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf discusses how the funding announced by Minister Moridi will assist Queen's researchers in breaking new ground in their respective fields. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering) discusses how the funding announced today will help researchers at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePOWER) continue to find new methods of producing efficient and environmentally-friendly renewable energy. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering) discusses how the funding announced today will help researchers at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research (ePOWER) continue to find new methods of producing efficient and environmentally-friendly renewable energy. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • Khadijat Hassan, a master's student conducting research in the ePOWER lab, discusses how the investment will help create new research opportunities for students at Queen's. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    Khadijat Hassan, a master's student conducting research in the ePOWER lab, discusses how the investment will help create new research opportunities for students at Queen's. (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
  • From L-R: Principal Daniel Woolf, Khadijat Hassan, The Honorable Reza Moridi, MPP Sophie Kiwala, Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)
    From L-R: Principal Daniel Woolf, Khadijat Hassan, The Honorable Reza Moridi, MPP Sophie Kiwala, Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering), Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). (March 14, 2017. Photo Credit: Garrett Elliott)

The Government of Ontario today announced more than $4.5 million in new infrastructure and research funding for four Queen’s researchers through the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure programs. The Honorable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, made the announcement today at Queen’s, as part of a $77-million investment in research across the province. The grants will provide funding to support key research programs, as well as the operational and equipment acquisition costs associated with research that is leading-edge and transformative.

“The funding announced today highlights Queen’s record of sustained research excellence and demonstrates how our researchers are working to address crucial issues – such as renewable energy development – facing the province and the public at large,” says Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for its continued investment in research and innovation at Queen’s and across the province.”

A leader in the field of energy and power electronics research, Praveen Jain (Electrical and Computer Engineering), the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, has received $4 million from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence to develop small-scale, point-of-use photovoltaic (solar) power systems for residential use. Dr. Jain will lead a team of researchers from four Ontario universities in developing new technology to reduce cost and increase the efficiency, output, and reliability of residential solar systems. Dr. Jain was previously awarded funding from the Ontario Research Fund.

“Our government recognizes the importance of investing in our innovation ecosystem,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “We are proud to support the researchers at Queen’s University who are working on transformative research that will help strengthen our province’s competitive edge.”

Geophysicist Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) has received $180,000 to support the acquisition of a superconducting gravimeter – one of only 12 such devices in the world. The device will be used for monitoring fluid migration processes in oil, gas, and water reservoirs, to monitor mass changes in reservoirs, and to help mitigate environmental hazards related to extraction.

Psychology researcher Jason Gallivan (Psychology) has received $150,000 from the fund to support new infrastructure in the Memory, Action, and Perception laboratory (MAPlab). Dr. Gallivan’s research examines how a stroke or other neurological disorder can alter the perceptual, cognitive, and motor-related mechanisms of the brain.

In addition, physicist Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy) has received a grant of $250,000 to support the establishment of a world-class facility to develop p-type point contact detectors. These complex detectors are used to more accurately measure interactions with difficult-to-detect particles, such as neutrinos and dark matter.

“Innovative research is essential for future economic growth and I am absolutely thrilled with the investments being made in projects in Kingston and across Ontario,” says Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston and the Islands. “The world-class research being conducted at Queen’s University is an immense source of pride for our region and I am excited and anxious to see the results of this funding. This investment demonstrates Ontario’s commitment to supporting cutting-edge, innovative research that will lead us into the future. Congratulations to all of the Queen’s researchers receiving these competitive awards.”

More information is available on the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence and Research Infrastructure Funds websites.

 

Out of the classroom, into the wild

Queen’s biology course goes hands-on in the forests of Mexico.

Queen's in the World

From Feb. 14-27, a group of Queen’s biology students had the experience of a lifetime during a two-week field course in Jalisco, Mexico.

A collaborative effort between Queen’s and the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, this combined undergraduate and graduate course provided students with the rare opportunity to explore the rich biological diversity of western Mexico’s cloud forests and dry tropical forests, and to study a range of exotic animals and plants in their native habitats.

Drs. Lougheed (Biology), Wang (Biology) and Ortiz (Universidad Michoacana) are photographed on Isla Pajarera - Bird Island. The three co-led the field course, which gaves students from Queen's and Universidad Michoacana the opportunity to spend two weeks hands-on with a wide array of plants and animals in two Mexican field stations. (Supplied Photo)

Stephen Lougheed (Biology) led the course along with Queen’s colleague Yuxiang Wang (Biology) and Javier Salgado Ortiz, a Queen’s biology alumnus and now professor at Universidad Michoacana. Dr. Lougheed says the course allowed both Canadian and Mexican students to experience first-hand ecological interactions and species that they may have studied in the classroom, as well as learn about other cultures and research from other regions of the world.

“One of the highlights for students was interacting with professors and fellow students in a field context from dawn to well past dusk,” says Dr. Lougheed. “I think that changes the perspective a lot – seeing not only the tremendous research being conducted, but some of the challenges faced by field biologists as well.”

Students pose in front of the sign at Estación Cientifica Las Joyas - one of two field stations visited during the course. (Supplied Photo).

During their two weeks in the field, the class visited two field stations: Estación de Biología Chamela and Estación Cientifica Las Joyas. In Las Joyas, the students explored the cloud forests – a type of evergreen montane tropical forest famous for its high humidity, low-level cloud cover, and unique diversity. The students studied aspects of the ecology of some of the animals and plants inhabiting the forest, gathering data that will be evaluated for a final project they will complete upon their return.

Students also visited Isla Pajarera – Bird Island – where they observed American oystercatchers, magnificent frigate birds, brown boobies, and other varieties of birds associated with these coastal environments. Dr. Lougheed says that, while the logistics of traveling to remote research locations can be a challenge, these immersive learning opportunities more than make up for it.

“We try to teach these courses in locales that are somewhat remote and relatively pristine,” explains Dr. Lougheed. “Located on the border between the Neotropic and Nearctic biogeographic realms, Jalisco has exceptional diversity and a unique mix of species. There is some terrific ecological research being done here by Mexican scientists, as well as important conservation initiatives.”

While the course may sound like a vacation, the students and professors were kept plenty busy with seminars, field exercises, long hikes, and research for their final assignment.

Throughout the course, students posted daily summaries of the course to a course blog. To learn more about field course offerings, please visit the Queen’s Biology Department website.

Queen’s offers a number of opportunities for students to undertake international study experiences – through field courses abroad, exchange programs, or studying at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC). For more information, please visit the Queen’s University International website.

 

Musical role models

[Faculty Concert Series]
The fourth concert of the Faculty Artists Series brings Russell DeVuyst, Dan Tremblay (Dan School of Drama and Music) and Tom Davidson (Dan School of Drama and Music) to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 12. 

The fourth concert in the Faculty Artist Series will feature music for trumpet and piano.

Taking to the stage at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 12 will be Russell DeVuyst, former assistant principal trumpet of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and a faculty member of McGill University, who will perform alongside his former student Dan Tremblay, the trumpet teacher at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and the Dan School of Drama and music and conductor of the Queen’s Wind Ensemble. Tom Davidson, professor at McGill and Queen’s, will play the piano.

Tremblay is excited to perform with DeVuyst, who instructed him during his Master’s studies at McGill. He’s also excited to take the Isabel stage.

“This is the first time for me at the Isabel as a soloist and I’m really looking forward to it,” he says. “This is, in my opinion, is the best acoustics in Canada.”

The Faculty Artist Series also provides a different kind of learning opportunity for the students at the Dan School of Drama and Music, Tremblay explains. Outside of being an instructor, the faculty members become role models by showing how a professional musician prepares for a recital.

“To be honest, we do like to be on stage but it’s also for the students. We like to give an example to follow for the students,” he says. “When I’m preparing for a recital like this, the students will hear me practicing late at night and they will know what it is to prepare for a professional recital. This motivates the students and also gives me ideas on how to prepare them for their own recitals as I’m struggling with my own.”

The concert starts at 2:30 pm.

Tickets start at $20 for adults and $10 for students. Purchase tickets online or in person at the Isabel Box Office, Monday to Friday, 12:30-4:30pm. 

Making a major decision

[Majors Night 2017]
First-year students in the Faculty of Arts and Science fill Grant Hall for Majors Night on March 1. The event is a partnership between Career Services, the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), the Arts and Science Departmental Student Councils and the Faculty of Arts and Science. (Photo by Laura Wyatt)

For first-year Arts and Science students at Queen’s, it’s one of the biggest decisions they will make in undergrad: choosing a degree plan.

The third annual Majors Night, held March 1, was a major success, as Grant Hall was packed with over 1,300 students seeking out the best program for them.

“This event aims to provide as many touch points as possible to help first-year students make an informed decision,” says Miguel Hahn, Project Lead for Career Services.

Majors Night is a partnership among Career Services, the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), the Arts and Science Departmental Student Councils and the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“Our 28 undergraduate departments were there, representing over 90 different degree plans,” says Lindsey Fair, Associate Director in the Faculty of Arts and Science. “Students had the opportunity to interact with upper-year peers, staff and faculty members to help them in making this significant decision. The Major Maps were also a popular item at the event and helped students see how their degree plans would align with everything else they do at Queen’s.”

First-year students say the event is very helpful.

“I got a lot of advice from upper-year students and staff about how to decide on a specific major,” says Derrick Wang. (ArtSci’20). “I also got some information about internships at Queen’s and exchange opportunities, which helped me create a clear plan for university life."

A new addition to this year’s event was the presence of the Experiential Learning and Employer Team of the Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP). First-year students were able to interact with current interns, learn about what they are experiencing in their internships, and speak to program coordinators about opportunities to pursue their own hands-on work experiences in the future.

“This is the second year that students in Arts & Science have had the option of a 12-16 month internship, and we are seeing a lot of interest,” says Kristen Eppel, QUIP coordinator, Career Services.

“It was wonderful to talk to students who are thinking about taking advantage of this new opportunity.”

For more information about QUIP, visit careers.queensu.ca/quip

Expanding online offerings

Queen’s University has received approximately $1.2 million in funding from eCampusOntario to develop or redesign seven online programs through the New Program Development grant program.

eCampusOntario, which represents Ontario’s 45 colleges and universities, put out a call for proposals in July 2016 and received 174 submissions. A total of 61 submissions received funding totaling more than $21 million.

Of the seven successful proposals from Queen’s six were submitted by the Faculty of Arts and Science and one was submitted by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The successful proposals cover a broad range of subjects including entrepreneurship and innovation, health leadership, and undergraduate research.

“Queen’s has a proven track record in securing funding to support the development of online learning,” John Pierce, Acting Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), says. “In this round alone, over 10 per cent of the 61 successful proposals were from Queen’s. Our successes are a direct result of the expertise and engagement that our faculty and staff bring to the development of these innovative, well-designed courses. Collectively, we remain committed to facilitating a transformative online learning experience for our students, and these new projects will contribute to that.”

Queen’s already has more than 160 courses available online, as well as five full degree programs. More information about online offerings is available on Queen’s online learning hub.

Ontario’s shared online course funding program was created to promote the development of online courses at universities and colleges and to give students greater flexibility as they pursue their degrees. 

The Queen’s online programs receiving grants from eCampusOntario are:

Doctor of Science - Rehabilitation and Health Leadership
Grant:
$182,594
Project will work to develop the new Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership (DSc RHL) plus four courses within this program. The DSc (RHL) is a professional doctorate that will produce ‘leader scholars.’

Queen's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate (QEIC)
Grant:
$363,835
Project is to develop a new fully online certificate program in innovation and entrepreneurship to be launched in Fall 2018. This will be a uniquely collaborative academic initiative that brings together participants from nine Queen’s faculties, schools, departments and service units to develop, design and deliver the program.

Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership
Grant:
$151,317
Project will develop three courses for the new online Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership (MEERL) to be launched in January 2017. MEERL is a part-time, course-based, graduate program introduced by the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen’s that: 1) Capitalizes on Queen’s widely recognized strengths in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Law, the Smith School of Business, the School of Policy Studies and the Department of Economics; 2) Works with industry to deliver courses that take an interdisciplinary approach focused on resource-related decision-making; Can be leveraged by those working in natural resources, policy, and regulation.

Certificate in Employment Relations (CEMPR)
Grant:
$262,956
Project will redesign a certificate program in employment relations for fully online delivery, to be launched in Summer 2018. Project brings together two universities and participants from several Queen’s Faculties, Schools, Departments and Programs to develop, design and deliver the program.

Global Action and Engagement Certificate (GAEC)
Grant:
$212,517
Project will develop a new, fully online undergraduate Global Action and Engagement Certificate (GAEC), and three core courses, to launch in Fall 2018. The fully online delivery model will make this innovative program: 1) Accessible to learners across Ontario and Canada; 2) An ideal way to earn a recognized credential that demonstrates cross-cultural competencies, intellectual creativity, collaborative problem solving skills; 3) The standard for proficiencies to work/volunteer in complex global settings.

Certificate in Advanced Research Skills
Grant:
$187,298
Project will develop a new, fully online certificate program in advanced research skills, to be launched in Fall 2017. The fully online delivery model will make this innovative program accessible to learners from all disciplines in Ontario and across Canada. To our knowledge, it is the first interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research skills certificate. This ground breaking course will: 1) Recognize the ability of the learner to construct her or his own learning; 2) Create opportunities for self-directed learning; 3) Be aligned with the pedagogical approach of inquiry-based learning.

French for Professionals Certificate
Grant:
$214,047
Project is to develop a new fully online undergraduate certificate in French for Professionals to be launched in Fall 2018. In Canada, new graduates, professionals and other job-seekers who can communicate effectively in French as a Second Language (FSL) are more likely to be successfully employed in bilingual workplaces (Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, 2016). Goal of this new certificate program is to enable learners of French as a Second Language to develop and enhance language skills to work in bilingual professional environments such as health care, government, law and other industries.

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