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Introducing our new faculty members: Kristy Timmons

Kristy Timmons (Education) is one of the 41 new faculty members hired in 2017-18 as part of Principal Daniel Woolf's faculty renewal plans. 

This profile is part of a series which will highlight some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the Principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over the next five years - approximately 10 net new faculty hires per year.

Kristy Timmons (Education) sat down with the Gazette to talk about her experience so far and how she made it to Queen’s.

Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)
Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)

Tell us about yourself and how your first few months at Queen’s have been.

My research and teaching are focused in the area of early child development. I completed my undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in Early Childhood Studies. This experience really taught me the importance of having both theoretical knowledge and practical experiences to truly understand child development. Upon graduation, I pursued graduate studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), in the Child Study and Education Master’s program.

I really enjoyed working as a Registered Early Childhood Educator and a Certified teacher. These experiences surfaced a lot more questions than answers about the education field. This lead me to pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/University of Toronto. While completing my doctoral studies I had the opportunity to teach in Higher Education at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

While I was writing my dissertation, in the final year of my doctoral work, this position in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s was posted and it really felt like the perfect fit for me.

I have now been in the position since July 1, 2017 and I feel lucky to be at a University where there is so much support for new Faculty. In the Faculty of Education we have a mentorship program and are supported in our transition to Queen’s. This mentorship group includes both formal and informal meetings. I was hired with two other new faculty members, Dr. Lee Airton and Dr. Alana Butler, who I am really fortunate to work with!

Tell us about your research.

Fast facts about Dr. Timmons

  Department: Education

  Hometown: Pickering, Ontario

  Research area: The processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation

  Favourite kid’s book: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid

  Dr. Timmons' webpage

My research interests centre on the processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation. Within this focus, I have carried out research with children, families, and pre- and in-services educators.

My doctoral work examined the influence of educator and child expectations on kindergarten children’s literacy and self-regulation outcomes.

My current research focuses on two additional studies that were informed by findings from my doctoral work. The first is titled, “What is self-regulation anyway? Examination of the ways in which self-regulation is defined and promoted in early years practice and policy documents in Ontario. The second is, “Beyond expectation levels: The influence of educator expectations, beliefs, and practices on children’s learning outcomes in play-based kindergarten classrooms

Sell us on taking a class with you. 

I am currently teaching four courses in the Consecutive Bachelor of Education Program. I hope to teach a graduate course this fall.

I recently pitched a graduate course on self-regulation and executive functions. Self-regulation has been a research focus in many fields ranging from education to neurobiology to many subfields of psychology. One of the major challenges is that there is no universal definition for self-regulation, and with differing definitions comes varying ways of measuring it.

It is important that teachers are aware of how to support the development of self-regulation. I often talk about co-regulation with students, as self-regulation involves a social component where a parent or teacher can support children in developing skills to be successful at managing their behaviours, impulses, emotions, and thoughts. Think of a group of Kindergarten students sitting on the carpet: one student is trying to talk to another student about their birthday party while the teacher is reading a story aloud to the class. The child has to inhibit their desire of talking to their friend about their birthday party in order to comprehend the story. With older students, the distraction could be looking on Facebook or checking a text message. These are really simple examples but are helpful in thinking about the daily interactions that require self-regulation skills. 

Childrens self-regulatory and attention skills are among the strongest predictors of future academic success. Although educators know the importance of self-regulation development, researchers and teachers alike continue to struggle to understand the complexities of what self-regulation is and how best to support it in a school context. I am hoping to offer a graduate course where we can begin to unpack the complexities of self-regulation and executive functions together.

Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)
Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)

You are teaching teachers so…what are some of the strategies you use in the classroom?

I apply a lot of strategies I used when I was a teacher to my teaching in higher education. It sounds a bit funny, but when you think about it, I am teaching at the Faculty of Education, many of our graduates will become teachers. I try to model strategies and practices that they will use in their classrooms.

I use various teaching approaches into my weekly class structure. I integrate a lecture component with in-class activities and discussions. I often integrate case studies into my lectures, as I find this allows students to reflect on real practice situations. I promote student involvement in the courses I teach through think, pair, and share interactions and small group discussions. I often encourage students to begin discussing concepts in these smaller groups and then ask for a group leader or a member of the partner team to summarize key points that have been discussed.

This past term, I had the opportunity to teach a Foundations of Psychology course where I had over 500 students. This was my first time teaching a large lecture-style class and I am continuing to learn what works and does not work in that teaching context.

Given your interest in early years education…what is your favourite kid's book, and why? And what was your favourite subject in school?

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid. I like to promote inquiry-based learning methods with students. In one of my classes, before reading the story, I asked the students to picture a tree and then to draw what they were picturing. Some drew a family tree, some drew a Christmas tree, and others had personal stories about a tree they had planted in their backyard or a tree they pass by on their daily run.

I emphasize in my literacy and language course how to use storybooks as a starting point into an exploration. I think these examples demonstrate the unique ideas and perspectives students bring with them to their teaching and learning.

My favourite subject…language arts or social studies. 

Anything you do to unwind?

Since moving to Kingston, I have taken up rock climbing which is something I never tried before. Unwinding for me often involves being active…spinning, weight lifting, and walking my dog. I am looking forward to exploring more of Kingston this summer. I went to Wolfe Island last year but I am hoping to see other islands this year.

What are you most grateful for?

I had an interest in research and teaching in the early years. With this role at Queen’s, I have found a path that brings teaching and research together. From early on, I knew I was interested in teaching yet I always had questions I wanted to explore in a research capacity. I am grateful to be in a position where I get to teach in higher education, work in the early years through my research ,and continue to explore questions with the hope of improving the education of our youngest learners.

I am also really grateful to have a loving supportive network of family and friends around me who have supported me in accomplishing my goals. They have provided that extra external motivation when my internal motivation was running low.

I am the only teacher in my family, my brother’s background is in musical theatre and I remember telling him  ‘teaching is my stage’.

Faculty Renewal 

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the past six years and will result in approximately 10 net new hires per year.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to seek proactively representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

To learn more about the Principal’s faculty renewal plans, read this Gazette article. Stay tuned for additional new faculty profiles in the Gazette.

Research hits the airwaves

“Blind Date with Knowledge” will air on CFRC.

Do you ever wonder what drives a researcher’s curiosity? What was the spark that led them to discovery? Beginning on January 31 at 5:30 pm, you can listen in and hear these types of questions answered directly by scholars themselves.

CFRC, the Queen’s radio station, 101.9fm,  is launching a bi-weekly radio show called “Blind Date with Knowledge.” The show seeks to demystify scholarly research and personalize the research process through discussions with various Queen’s faculty members.

“Blind Date with Knowledge” is one way Queen’s is increasing its efforts to promote the importance of research conducted by faculty and students. The show is a collaboration between CFRC, the Office of the Vice-Principal (University Relations), and the show host, Barry Kaplan. Kaplan is a member of the Kingston community, and his passion for spreading knowledge about research at Queen’s is palpable.

“There is a lot of interesting and consequential knowledge being created, in a huge range of subjects, by an array of Queen’s researchers,” says Kaplan. “This show is a small but important platform for knowledge-sharing about research, as spoken about by the researchers themselves, to get a little more visibility and traction with everyday people.”

The quirky name “Blind Date with Knowledge” is based on the premise that research isn’t predictable. Like a blind date, research is about taking risks and being prepared for failure and success.

Each episode will feature scholars from different disciplines sharing their stories about what it’s really like to do research. With so many different research projects being conducted by Queen’s faculty, “Blind Date with Knowledge” provides a small glimpse into the pioneering work of these scholars.

Laura Murray
Dr. Laura Murray (Photo Credit: Barry Kaplan)

Dr. Laura Murray (English Language and Literature) will be featured in the first episode of the show, discussing how she has used archival research and oral history as a tool to uncover some of Kingston’s lesser-known history.

“Talking to non-specialists about academic research isn’t always that easy – but it’s hugely important and rewarding,” says Murray. “I’m glad Queen’s is encouraging it. My 15 minutes with Barry went extremely quickly and I enjoyed the challenge!”

John McGarry
Dr. John McGarry (Photo Credit: Barry Kaplan)

Dr. John McGarry (Political Studies) will also appear in the first episode. As an expert in conflict resolution, Dr. McGarry will explain the forces that can lead to the beginning of civil conflict, focusing on Northern Ireland.

“It is great for Queen’s to have a radio show that does not just showcase research, but shows the positive impact that research can have on people’s lives,” he says. “People are often curious about how my research begins and the form it takes, and participating in the show is a way to share this with everyday people.”

CFRC also hosts the weekly radio show "Grad Chat", which is a platform for Queen's graduate students to share their research with both the Queen's and greater Kingston community. The show airs on Tuesdays at 4pm, and past episodes can be listened on the School of Graduate Studies website.

After airing, all episodes of "Blind Date with Knowledge" will be available online on the CFRC website. If you have questions about the radio show, please contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives.

The schedule for the first five episodes of "Blind Date with Knowledge" is available now. The schedule is subject to change.

 

Episode

Air Date

Researchers

1

Jan. 31, 2018

Laura Murray (English Language and Literature) and John McGarry (Political Studies)

2

February 14, 2018

Lynda Colgan (Education) and Adrian Baranchuk (Medicine)

3

February 28, 2018

Patricia Smithen (Art History and Art Conservation) and John Smol (Biology)

4

March 14, 2018

Leela Viswanathan (Geography and Planning) and Gregory Jerkiewicz (Chemistry)

5

March 28, 2018

Alana Butler (Education) and Antonio Nicaso (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)

Queen’s faculty members named among most influential Hispanic Canadians

Two Queen’s faculty members were recently named among TD Bank's 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians by the Hispanic Business Alliance in cooperation with the Canadian Hispanic Congress.

Receiving the awards were Rosa Bruno-Jofré, Professor of History of Education and former dean of the Faculty of Education, and Carlos Prado, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy.

The awards recognize Hispanic Canadians who demonstrate influence in education, achievements, volunteerism and/or entrepreneurship.

Rosa Bruno-Jofré

Rosa Bruno-JofreArriving in Canada from Argentina in 1977 with a degree from Universidad Nacional del Sur, Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofré was appointed Associate Dean of Education at the University of Manitoba (1996-2000) and then Dean of Education at Queen’s University (2000-2010), while building an influential international research program that, today, is at the forefront of thought on educational theory and history of education.

Dr. Bruno-Jofré has authored and co-authored numerous books that have also been translated into French, Spanish, and Chinese. She is co-founding senior editor of Encounters in Theory and History of Education since 2000. She has been recently a keynote at Cambridge University for a special celebration of the 100th anniversary of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education.

She is recognized by colleagues for her academic brilliance, entrepreneurial initiative, and tireless passion.

Carlos Gonzales Prado

Carlos PradoA native of Guatemala, Dr. Carlos Prado immigrated to Canada in 1965. After completing his PhD in 1970, he began his career in teaching, research, and service in philosophy at Queen’s University.

In 2013, Dr. Prado was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the nation’s highest recognition for achievements in arts and humanities. Dr. Prado is author or co-author of 15 books and editor of four anthologies. He continues to have an extraordinary impact in the fields of medical ethics and epistemology (the theory of knowledge). Also, his research on French philosopher Michel Foucault has built bridges between Anglo-American analytical philosophy and Continental European philosophy.

Dr. Prado has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students and junior colleagues at Queen’s and in the broader international philosophy community. He is also the sponsor of the annual “Prado Philosophy Prize” for the best PhD thesis in philosophy and the “Prado Music Prize” at Queen’s.

For more information about the award visit the website

New support for Indigenous students near and far

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre has hired a new Cultural Counsellor/Elder-in-Residence, while the Faculty of Education has also added an Elder-in-Residence.

Two new staff members hired this fall are already having a significant positive impact on the Queen’s community, particularly for Indigenous students.

Vernon Altiman (University Relations)
Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) can be found at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. (University Communications)

Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) joined Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre in Oct. as an Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Counsellor, a new role which sees him meeting with students and supporting Indigenous cultural ceremonies. His hiring diversifies the voices at Four Directions, as he is the only Anishinaabe man working in the centre.

Mr. Altiman’s career has been focused on traditional healing practices, specifically in mental health. He was summoned by the Elders to complete a Master’s of Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy Program through Seven Generations Education Institute in Fort Frances, Ontario. The institute is connected to the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC), and is affiliated with Queen’s.

Mr. Altiman moved back to Kingston last year to work with the federal penitentiaries, and while in town he became involved in the local Indigenous community through Four Directions.

He began helping the centre with its Ojibway language programming and, through the connections he made at Four Directions, Mr. Altiman heard that Queen’s was seeking an Ojibway language teacher.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime,” he says. “I never dreamed that I would be asked to do it.”

A few months later, Mr. Altiman also took on the Elder and Cultural Counsellor roles with Four Directions. He says there are some similarities in providing guidance to students and his past work.

“The difference is that the students are willing and seeking the knowledge,” he says. “There are different objectives, different teachings that are used…and it is open and free.”

Since joining Four Directions, Mr. Altiman has had the opportunity to present to medical and education students, and help organize Indigenous ceremonies on campus including smudging. Annually, he participates in ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, which involves four days without food or water and a trial of physical endurance.

“It’s not just feathers and beads…it is research. It is hard work, commitment, and sacrifice,” he says. “I pick up a lot of baggage that I have to dispose of, so that’s why I am committed to these traditional annual practices.”

Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant). (Supplied Photo)
Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) has an office in Duncan McArthur Hall, and she also connects to students through video conferencing. (Supplied Photo)

Meanwhile, in the Faculty of Education, Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) is applying new technologies to Indigenous traditions. Ms. St Amant (Ed’82) describes the largest part of her role as a ‘Cyber Elder’, where she virtually connects with students in the Master of Education in Aboriginal and World Indigenous Educational Studies (AWIES) and the faculty’s doctorate programs.

“When the AWIES students get together in the summer, they really like that sense of community,” Ms. St Amant says. “When they leave Kingston – headed to Whitehorse, to Moosonee, and every other part of Canada – they lose that connection to their student learning community. The relationship is so important in any Indigenous culture…it’s all about the relationship and being able to see the person.”

To help foster those relationships with the students, she holds regular video calls – and, starting in January, she hopes to start a virtual ‘talking circle’ with the entire group simultaneously connected to the same video call. Ms. St Amant is also on-campus twice a month specifically to support students in the Aboriginal Teachers Education Program (ATEP) or other faculty, staff, and students seeking an Elder.

She says Indigenous students face a number of barriers in the education system, and it can be helpful to have an Elder who can counsel them and vouch for them.

“A lot of the discussions I have are about the challenges of doing this work online as an Indigenous person; about social, familial, and funding barriers; barriers within the education system and cultural misunderstandings; and the intergenerational trauma that was caused by the residential school system,” she says. “Those who have not experienced some of these hurdles cannot understand their impact, but I am able to help them clear these hurdles.”

Ms. St Amant, who possesses both Métis and Ojibway heritage, worked as a teacher for three decades before retiring in 2012 – skills which have served her well as Elder-in-Residence in an academic environment. Since starting in her part-time role in October, there has been significant demand for her time.

“This is an important role, and it’s a great step for the faculty. I something like this was available when I was a student.”

The Elder-in-Residence position within the Faculty of Education was established with the support of Oriel MacLennan in memory of her mother, Edwina Diaper (MEd’82), who was a teacher in the Kingston community for many years. Learn more about this position on the Faculty of Education’s website.

Community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program expands to full-time model

The Faculty of Education is now offering its community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) on a new full-time model that will provide teacher candidates with greater skills and knowledge to teach in the primary-junior level at First Nations or Ontario provincial schools, as well as the opportunity to obtain a transitional certificate.

Community-based ATEP graduation
Peter Chin, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, for the Faculty of Education, stands with a group of graduates from the community-based Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP). 

Beginning in May 2018, teacher candidates attend classes at Queen’s for one summer session and at Kenjgewin Teg on Manitoulin Island for two fall terms, two winter terms and one summer term. Experientially-based, the program also offers supervised teaching placements in First Nations and provincial school settings.

Under the new model, teacher candidates in the program can choose between two study concentrations: Aboriginal Language Teacher, which prepares them to teach an Aboriginal language; or Northern Teacher, which prepares them to work in a rural or remote setting.

The application period is currently open. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 1, 2018.

Class scheduling is designed to accommodate teacher candidates who work or have other responsibilities and must continue to live in their home communities. The program begins with orientation and extended weekend classes offered at Kenjgewin Teg located at M’Chigeeng First Nation. Spring classes and a three-week practicum in a First Nation or provincial school are followed by a short summer session on campus at Queen’s in July. Students return to Kenjgewin Teg for fall and winter classes in Year One and Year Two. Classes are offered over extended weekend sessions held about once a month and some course content is offered online. The program concludes with a community-based summer session to be offered on Manitoulin Island in the summer of 2020.

Through the new program, following an assessment during their first practicum and successful completion of summer session courses, teacher candidates may apply toreceive a transitional teaching certificate issued by the OCT. This will allow teacher candidates who are currently working in a classroom teaching position to fulfill practicum requirements while continuing their teaching job.

“The new model enhances access to this program by allowing teacher candidates to spend the majority of their time in the communities,” says Peter Chin, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies. “The introduction of the transitional certificate is an important feature of the program, because many teacher candidates can continue their teaching jobs and apply the teaching time towards their practicum requirement. While most of the program is delivered in their community, the teacher candidates engage in the Queen’s community during their first semester on campus and through the virtual learning.”

Many of the community-based ATEP’s courses will be taught by professors of Aboriginal ancestry, and learning opportunities include the application of Aboriginal perspectives to theory and practice, problem solving with peers, and review of Aboriginal and other curriculum resources in conjunction with provincial curriculum guidelines.

For ATEP Coordinator Lindsay Morcom, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, introducing the Indigenous language teacher stream is particularly exciting as it responds directly to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

“Graduates from our program will be OCT-qualified teachers with the language knowledge and teaching skill to provide students in the Manitoulin-North Shore region and beyond with access in school to the Anishinaabemowin language, either through language classes or immersion education,” she says. “They will also be able to support the policy of the United Chiefs and Council of Mnidoo Mnising to offer all services, including education, in the Anishinaabemowin language by 2030.  We are working closely with our partners in the Manitoulin-North Shore region to ensure that the program is culturally and linguistically accurate and appropriate and reflects local goals for education and self-determination as we develop the curriculum for this exciting new educational opportunity.

For applicants of Aboriginal ancestry, the community-based ATEP can be entered with Grade 12 or equivalent (Diploma in Education), or can be entered with an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Education).  Applicants who are non-Aboriginal are also encouraged to apply, but must hold an undergraduate degree before beginning the program.

For more information, visit the ATEP Community-Based webpage.

Keeping up The Conversation

It’s a simple, but powerful, formula. Take one part leading academic research, add a dash of journalistic flair, and mix in a robust digital presence. It is this winning recipe that has earned The Conversation, an academic journalism website, the participation of thousands of researchers worldwide, and captured the attention of millions of citizens interested in news with a healthy dose of academic rigour.

The Conversation
Queen's is a founding member of the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation and, since its launch earlier this year, 33 articles by Queen's experts have been published.   

After a successful soft launch this summer, the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation is running at full steam, having published hundreds of researchers’ articles, including a number from Queen’s. The university is a founding member of the national news platform.

“Our participation in The Conversation relays the importance and impact of disseminating and promoting the leading-edge research and scholarship happening at Queen’s University,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement and is already bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile.”

Over the course of the summer, over two dozen Queen’s academics contributed to The Conversation, sparking dialogue about the business of marijuana, how to improve the skills of tomorrow’s doctors, , recruiting more women to join the military, how to prevent irregular heartbeats, the meaning of The Tragically Hip’s lyrics, and more. These faculty and graduate students suggested topics, wrote columns, and submitted them to The Conversation. From there, professional journalists helped edit the articles to ensure consistency and clarity.

The Conversation’s unique model puts the researchers in the driver’s seat when sharing their expertise,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is increasingly important that we convey the impact of our research and ideas beyond the academy, and we believe tools such as The Conversation are filling that gap in a powerful way.”

THE STATS

The 33 articles published to date by Queen’s experts have garnered a combined 167,000 reads and 166 comments on The Conversation’s website. One of the most popular, and possibly most controversial, pieces was an article by David Maslove, Clinician Scientist with the Department of Medicine and Critical Care Program, about the need to regulate journalism in the same way his profession is regulated.

“Working with The Conversation’s editorial team was great, with turnaround times between drafts that were much faster than what I’m used to in traditional academic publishing,” says Dr. Maslove. “It was really gratifying to see the piece we created reach a wider audience and stimulate debate.”

Another notable Queen’s submission included Sarita Srivastava’s (Sociology) “I wanna be white!’ Can we change race? – a piece analyzing a recent controversy on transracialism. Dr. Srivastava’s piece led to an invitation for her to speak during a symposium on the matter held at the University of Alberta.

Sarita Srivastava
Sarita Srivastava

“Writing for The Conversation has been a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience and to comment on current events as they are happening,” says Dr. Srivastava. “Their editor was extremely skilled in working with me to write in a more journalistic style, while maintaining scholarly content. Within days of my article’s publication, I was invited to speak at an upcoming symposium on the same topic.”

Once the articles are posted to The Conversation’s website, they are shared with a large network of Canadian and international media organizations through a “Republish” feature and posting via The Canadian Press Wire service. The work of Queen’s academics has gone on to be featured in major North American newspapers such as The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News and The National Post, magazines like Scientific American, and national dailies as far away as Australia, where The Conversation was originally founded.

“In our first three months of publication, content from The Conversation Canada has been viewed almost two million times. Combining academic expertise with journalistic storytelling means we are reaching a wide audience across Canada and around the world at a time when the public is thirsting for reliable, fact-based information,” says Scott White, editor-in-chief of The Conversation Canada. “We're very pleased that Queen's has been with us from the very beginning, including a Day One story, as well as important articles on the country's health care system and the beauty of song lyrics, to name just a few.”

The Conversation is regularly seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca

Investing in research

QROF supports cancer research 
Last year, 20 Queen’s faculty members received QROF grants, including Parvin Mousavi (School of Computing) whose project is advancing multi-parametric imaging for augmenting the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. A recipient of the International Fund, Dr. Mousavi is working within the Advanced Multimodal Image-guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School.
According to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies, 262,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually and these numbers are expected to double by 2025 when the baby boomer generation reaches the age of peak prevalence. Dr. Mousavi’s research will contribute to better diagnoses and risk stratification of prostate cancer, and help decrease its mortality and morbidity.

Letters of intent are being requested for two funding competitions open to researchers and scholars at Queen’s University – the 2017-2018 Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds (QROF) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant (SIG) competitions.

The QROF provides researchers and scholars financial support to accelerate their programs and research goals, and offers opportunities to leverage external funding to build on areas of institutional research strength. Through a federal government block grant provided to Queen’s by SSHRC, the recently-redesigned SIG competition supports social sciences and humanities researchers with funding for research project development, pilot study work, or to attend or run knowledge-mobilization activities like workshops, seminars or scholarly conferences.

“Championing research and scholarly excellence is a cornerstone of our mission at Queen’s University,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “The QROF competition allows us to make our largest internal investment in research, scholarship and innovation by supporting researchers striving to take their work to the next level. With SSHRC's recent redesign of the allotment of funding from the SIG, we are poised to reinvigorate research in the social sciences and humanities, further strengthening scholarship in the SSHRC disciplines."

The QROF competition consists of four funds:

  • The Research Leaders’ Fund – for strategic institutional commitments to aspirational research in support of the university’s research strengths and priorities
  • The International Fund – to assist in augmenting the university’s international reputation through increased global engagement
  • The Arts Fund – designed to support artists and their contributions to the scholarly community and to advancing Queen’s University
  • The Post-Doctoral Fund – to both attract outstanding post-doctoral fellows to Queen’s and to support their contributions to research and to the university

The SIG competition provides funding through two granting programs:

  • SSHRC Explore Grants – support social sciences and humanities researchers at any career stage with funds to allow for small-scale research project development or pilot work, or to allow for participation of students in research projects
  • SSHRC Exchange Grants – support the organization of small-scale knowledge mobilization activities in order to encourage collaboration and dissemination of research results both within and beyond the academic community, as well as allow researchers to attend or present research at scholarly conferences and other venues to advance their careers and promote the exchange of ideas

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has issued calls for letters of intent, and successful candidates will be invited to submit a full application. Information on each of the funds and the application processes can be found on the on the website of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). For more information, email ferrism@queensu.ca.

Indigenous academics share knowledge at Matariki Conference

Matariki participants were educated on the Noongar history of the Swan River area with Noongar Elder Walter McGuire. (Supplied Photo)

A group from Queen’s University travelled to Australia this summer to learn about a topic close to their hearts. Ana Mejicano Greenberg (Artsci’18), Jenna O'Connor (M.Ed’18), and Katrina Brown Akootchook (M.Ed’18), along with Professor Lindsay Morcom from the Faculty of Education, participated in the Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program (MISMP) in July. The 10-day program was hosted by the University of Western Australia, a member of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU), and focused on sharing the knowledge, history, and customs of Indigenous Peoples.

L-R: Jenna O'Connor, Prof. Lindsay Morcom, Katrina Brown Akootchook, and Ana Mejicano Greenberg at a Matariki Network event in Australia. (Supplied Photo)

“My time in Australia impacted me both personally and professionally,” says Ms. Mejicano Greenberg. “I have taken many courses on Indigenous Studies at Queen’s, but this provided the opportunity to learn more about indigeneity in other contexts and use that knowledge to delve into my own history. It inspired me to learn more about my Indigenous lineage and the Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala.”

The packed program included opportunities to learn about local wildlife and eat traditional foods, experience Australian history through the eyes of its Indigenous Peoples, and explore the city of Perth, among other activities. The four Queen’s representatives were joined by students and faculty members from other MNU institutions in New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K. For Ms. Mejicano Greenberg, the chance to meet the other participants and learn about their backgrounds stood out as a highlight.

“It was the relationships which provided some of the greatest value,” she says. “The program offered ten days of intense and amazing intellectual and spiritual stimulation, and the opportunities for introspection and reflection were very important. I enjoyed every session.”

Katrina Brown Akootchook is introduced to local culture hands-on as she meets a koala during the trip to Australia. (Supplied Photo)
Katrina Brown Akootchook is introduced to local culture hands-on as she meets a koala during the trip to Australia. (Supplied Photo)

The program was guided by a number of experts, including academics and museum curators. What made this program special, Dr. Morcom explains, was that these academics were educated in Indigenous Studies; they taught classes about Indigenous knowledge and cultures; and they had Indigenous heritage themselves. 

Jenna O'Connor tours an art gallery in Australia as part of the Matariki Network Indigenous Student Mobility program. (Supplied Photo)
Jenna O'Connor tours an art gallery in Australia as part of the Matariki Network Indigenous Student Mobility program. (Supplied Photo)

“They were knowledge keepers, elders, and professors, and it was interesting to see the way these people engaged western academia but in an Indigenous way, with their knowledge held in the same esteem,” says Dr. Morcom. “It was a privilege to learn from them, and to continue the conversation with my fellow faculty members around the dinner table and hear about their research. The most striking thing for me was the similarity of experience, of culture, and of philosophy across these many different groups, and this has inspired me to engage in broader international Indigenous research in the future.”

Queen’s is a member of the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU),an international group of like-minded universities, each of which is amongst the most historic in its own country and recognized as a premier place of advanced learning. The network aims to create opportunities for collaboration in research and education for its seven international members.

The Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program (MISMP) is hosted annually, and will take place at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire in 2018. Applications for this funded opportunity will open in winter 2018. Queen’s 2017 MISMP applicants were assessed by a selection committee of faculty members engaged in Indigenous Studies; the MISMP faculty advisor; and representatives from the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts and Science, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, and the International Programs Office. Shortlisted candidates were interviewed prior to final selection.

To learn more about international opportunities available at Queen’s visit the international page of the Queen’s website and the MNU website.

Post-graduate certificates for teachers expand to Ontario

As the modern classroom continues to evolve, there is an increasing demand for teachers at the elementary and secondary levels to upgrade and develop new skills.

To meet this need, the Continuing Teacher Education unit at the Faculty of Education has been offering Additional Qualification (AQ) and Additional Basic Qualifications (ABQ) courses to Ontario teachers for over 25 years. Four years ago, they expanded into British Columbia to offer post-graduate certificates online. A wide range of courses have been offered for the past four years to teachers in B.C., and this fall the post-grad certificates will expand with certificates designed specifically for teachers in Ontario.

"Hands on a laptop"
Queen's has expanded its online post-graduate certificates program to teachers in Ontario. (Supplied Photo)

This marks a significant expansion for learning opportunities, explains Jessica Della-Latta, Executive Director of the Faculty of Education’s Professional and Non-Credit Programs, adding that the new certificates will provide advanced standing for the online Professional Masters of Education (PME). The PME is a course-based master’s degree program, which we designed for working professionals in diverse educational fields, and consists of 10 courses. The program offers fields of specialization to help students make the most of their education – fields include Aboriginal Education, Assessment and Evaluation, Classroom Specialist, Literacy, and Teaching Abroad. The completion of one of the new post-grad certificates will allow two courses towards the PME.

Initially, two certificates – Special Education and English Language Learners – were available in B.C., but have since expanded to include Mathematics Education, and Early Childhood Education. In 2018 they will add another post-grad certificate for Teacher-Librarian.

After a small start the online program has gone from 25 enrolments in the first year to offering eight sessions annually, with more than 700 enrolments for the past summer term alone.

“Enrolments in B.C. have increased dramatically and it’s primarily through word of mouth,” Ms. Della-Latta says. “Response has been great. We have candidates calling up just to say how fantastic the courses are and that they are telling everyone they know about them.”

Ms. Della-Latta says she expects to see a similar reaction in Ontario now that AQ/ABQ courses can be taken for a post-grad certificate ultimately leading to advanced standing in the PME. The initial post-grad certificates for Ontario will include Special Education, Teaching English Language Learners, Teacher Leadership and Technology in Teaching. An approval for a fifth post-grad certificate in Reading and Literacy is pending.

“The people who are taking the online post-graduate certificates love it and they love that Queen’s is doing it,” she says. “These courses showcase the Faculty of Education’s commitment to quality teaching and learning and the candidates notice. We are excited to see how the program grows.”

To learn more about the Post-Graduate Certificates, visit the Post-Graduate Certificates webpage.

Information about the online Professional Master of Education is available on the program website. 

Queen's remembers alumna Tammy Chen

A Queen’s community member was killed in the Aug. 13 terror attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Tammy Chen (M.Ed.’10) was killed in the restaurant shooting along with her husband Mehsen Fenaiche.

"Tammy Chen"
Tammy Chen

Tammy pursued her Master’s of Education at the Faculty of Education from 2007 to 2010. A vibrant young woman, she had been working in Burkina Faso to empower people to improve their lives through education. She had started a foundation – Brighter Futures of Burkina Faso – that focused on sustainable, community-based development. At the time of her death, she was combining her work in Burkina Faso with research for her doctorate at Cambridge University. 

Tammy will be remembered as a kind and caring teacher, who took time to get the best out of each of her pupils. She sincerely believed in trying to make the world a better place through helping others, and with the power of education, and did so courageously and joyfully.

A personal remembrance by Dean Rebecca Luce-Kapler is available on the Faculty of Education website.

Further information about her research and work is available in a 2010 article written for the School of Graduate Studies website.

Information regarding funeral arrangements will be posted when available.

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