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Teams contending in 2017 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition

[Dunin-Deshpande Innovation Centre, Summer Pitch Competition, Aug. 16, Isabel Bader Centre for the Perorming Arts]
A dozen startups will compete for their share of up to $100,000 in funding.

In less than two weeks, eight student entrepreneur teams and four regional ventures will compete at The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, vying for up to $100,000 in seed funding for their businesses.

The sixth annual Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition gets underway at noon on Wednesday, August 16. The presentations will take place from noon to 6 pm, with the awards presentation commencing at 6:45 pm.

For the past five years, the pitch competition has been an opportunity for the summer students to get seed funding to help launch their ventures following the program. Due to generous philanthropic donations, the pitch competition was expanded this year to incorporate four regional ventures, two of which belong to the open cohort QyourVenture program, who are eligible to compete for the pool of funding available.

One of the 2016 Pitch Competition participants. Who will take home prizes this year? (Supplied photo)

“We are pleased to be expanding the pitch competition and inviting the community in through the generous support of The Dunin Foundation and Gururaj and Jaishree Deshpande. The Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition will be an exciting event that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship at Queen’s and in our region,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. “The 35 participants in this year’s Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) cohort come from across many different disciplines – including Queen’s students and two Loyalist College students. They have worked hard over the past four months, drawing on the training and mentorship provided by numerous faculty, staff and alumni.”


Meet this year’s competitors, in their own words

Dream Again

Dream Again is working on the customization of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks. The problem with current CPAP therapy is that there are only standard-sized fitting masks for full-face, nasal, and nasal-pillow users. While extensively researching the market, Dream Again has concluded that the best way to find a solution with the current masks, is to focus on the main problem with them, which is non-compliance. There are many reasons for non-compliance, the main ones being: reducing leakage, size, and discomfort. We are working to provide an alternative mask option which helps solve these issues. Our “custom-fit” solution uses scanning and 3D printing to meet these needs.

Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth

Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Indigenous communities by empowering youth through opportunities that will develop employable skills and greater self-confidence. In collaboration with these communities, Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth develops educational programs which will enable youth to improve their own living conditions and develop a greater understanding of land-based living. As facilitators, we create a design, source materials, and acquire funding to make the projects into a reality. Our vision is to scale this program across Canada, empowering youth with the tools they need to succeed while helping their communities thrive. Whether it’s building a greenhouse, a tiny home or something completely unique. The possibilities are endless to create a prosperous and sustainable future for all.


Fitra provides health clubs with tracking and feedback tools that keep members motivated to reach their fitness goals. Fitra provides seamless workout tracking by retrofitting existing strength machines and free-weights with sensors, connected to a mobile app, to create an integrated smart gym experience. This is paired with a club management dashboard, which will give operators valuable insight on how members are interacting with their facilities.


School boards currently lack resources to fund educational assistants and special education programs, while teachers do not have time to complete research into teaching strategies for each student with learning disabilities. Kuebiko allows teachers to provide for each student by generating a list of evidence-based learning strategies for the students with diverse needs and characteristics. The teachers will be able to further personalize their teaching by Kuebiko's feedback loop, which uses the teachers' assessment of effectiveness to generate tiered and specific strategies.

Mero Technologies

Mero Technologies is a cloud-based technology startup delivering insights on washroom supply levels to cleaners and property managers. The platform enables its customers to ensure facilities are always kept clean, cleaning staff are properly managed, and that buildings uphold their commitment to sustainable environmental practices. Mero’s product not only saves building managers' money, but also ensures a building's dispensers are always functioning as they should be: with fully stocked supplies.

Monetta Tech

Monetta Technologies is developing a meeting management software that utilizes speech to text technology to automate note-taking during meetings, while providing productivity data and a document repository for your team. Monetta Technologies will revolutionize how meetings minutes are taken and used, by providing teams with a seamless method to keep track of their progress, thereby increasing team accountability and driving productivity in the workplace.

Ozira Foods

Ozira Foods is working to bring the newest and most sustainable superfood to market in Canada. Khai Nam is a plant-based meat alternative with a strong nutritional profile boasting 30 to 40 percent protein; it is high in fibre, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Ozira grows, harvests, dries, and grinds Khai Nam to produce a highly nutritious fine powder that can be incorporated into any meal. Khai Nam is vegan, common allergen-free, and has a significantly lower environmental impact than any meat on the market.

Reverie Baby

Reverie Baby aims to tackle the issue of sleep deprivation in new parents by reducing the frequency of non-essential infant night wakings. Integrating the functionality of today’s best baby monitors with a wide array of research-backed soothing techniques, the Reverie Baby Smart Sleeper detects the sleep/wake state of your baby and automatically initiates one or more on-board soothing techniques to help ease the baby back to sleep without the need for intervention. Reverie Baby offers the first monitoring and soothing solution personalized to each baby’s unique sleep habits, learning what techniques are most effective and delivering unique routines to match them.

Spectra Plasmonics

Spectra Plasmonics delivers a chemical sensor for applications including food safety, forensics, and law enforcement. With state-of-the-art capability, this device saves time and money in detecting trace levels of harmful compounds in complex mixtures.

TimberWolf Cycles

TimberWolf Cycles integrates performance cycling and history's most tested material: wood.  Producing high-performance road bikes from this natural material yields aesthetic and technical elegance.  The unique properties of a variety of woods soften road vibration while efficiently delivering power to the road through an exceptionally light weight and beautiful frame.


Whisk is creating a better restaurant experience. By offering a mobile payment platform, no longer will customers have to wait for the bill. Users can easily access deals, split items amongst friends, and pay right from their phones. Restaurants will benefit from quicker turnover, greater customer insight, and happier patrons. By seamlessly integrating with existing restaurant systems, there are no capital or training costs to worry about. It’s time to start dining and dashing…legally.

Your Mobility Innovations

Your Mobility Innovations is dedicated to innovation in the area of assistive devices for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Our product is an adjustable grab bar that can easily adjust to meet the needs of rapidly changing users. Our mission is to change the lives of anyone with physical limitations by improving their independence, safety and confidence with in their community.


To learn more about the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre and the QICSI program, visit www.queensu.ca/innovationcentre or come to The Isabel on Wednesday, August 16 at noon for the Summer Pitch Competition.

Collaborative campaign adds up to an award

"It All Adds Up collage"
The focus of the It All Adds Up campaign is to help students understand what they have already achieved, through their studies and int the community and how this can be applied to their future careers or education. (Supplied Photo)

When Career Services and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) first launched the It All Adds Up campaign for the 2014-15 academic year, the goal was to help Queen's students reduce stress about their futures by gaining a better understanding of what they have already achieved, both as part of their studies and in the community.

“It is so important to acknowledge learning both in and out of the classroom,” says Victoria Lewarne, Academic Affairs Commissioner for the AMS.  “With so many exceptional opportunities at Queen's, It All Adds Up is a great program for students to recognize how everything they do fits into a broader learning experience.”

Now, heading into its fourth year, the career health campaign is being used by 43 post-secondary institutions across the country and recently received the Excellence in Innovation (Student Engagement) Award from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE).

The award recognizes all the participating schools, a first for this honour, explains Christine Fader, a career counsellor at Career Services.  

“This was such a unique project in that it involved so many partners across the country. We are really excited to share this award with 42 partner career centres at colleges and universities across Canada,” she says.

Students respond positively to the quick interaction as they start to see how what they are doing “adds up.”

“Students found reflecting on things really helpful,” says Ms. Fader. “We know that students stress about feeling they always have to add more and more to their schedules. We know they are doing a lot, and really it’s just that they need to take a minute and ask: ‘What am I doing? Do I want to keep doing these things? Does it makes sense for me, and how are they all adding up?’”

The strength of the campaign is its simplicity and that it doesn’t require much in terms of funding, points out Ms. Fader. It has been refined and primarily uses the social media platform Instagram. Career Services put together a toolkit and some webinars before sharing the program provincially, and then across Canada.

With so many career centres participating, the overall result is an incredible snapshot of the amazing things that students are doing across the country. 

“There are students who have directed a film, were working on a scientific project, contributed hundreds of hours to theatre, or volunteered every week for years at a seniors’ home,”  Ms. Fader notes. “I felt like it was such a great counterpoint to the perception that this generation isn’t working hard enough because, as we clearly saw, not only are they going to school, but when they are in school or outside of school, they are doing all these other things as well.”

Queen’s and schools across the country are gearing up for this fall’s launch of It All Adds Up in November. 

“We are all so excited to see how this initiative continues to grow and benefit students across Canada,” says Ms. Lewarne. 

More information about It All Adds Up is available online.

To learn more about Queen’s Career Services, visit their website.

Gift creates award for Indigenous law students

David Sharpe (Law’95) has been helping Queen’s Law reach out to Indigenous Juris Doctor (JD) prospects for the past four years as a volunteer ambassador. Now he has bolstered that support with a $50,000 gift, creating the David Sharpe Indigenous Law Student Award for upper-year studies.

"David Sharpe"
David Sharpe (Law’95) has provided Queen's law with a $50,000 gift to create an Indigenous law student award for upper-year studies. (Photo by Studio 66)

“It is a pleasure and an honour to be able to share in Queen’s commitment to making higher education more accessible to Indigenous students,” says Mr. Sharpe, CEO of Bridging Finance Inc. and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Governors for First Nations University of Canada.

The award, valued at $10,000 for each of the next five years, will be given on the basis of students’ contributions to the law school or broader university community to enhance understanding and respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture, governance and perspectives on law, as well as good academic standing and general proficiency in JD studies. Two students may share the award after completion of first or second year of the JD program.

Following University Senate approval, the first Sharpe Award recipient(s) will be selected in the summer of 2017. 

“This award will be of tremendous assistance to our Indigenous students in Law,” says Heather Cole, (Artsci’91, Law’96, MPA’00), the Faculty of Law’s Assistant Dean of Students. “Queen’s Law has made a strong commitment to recruiting more Indigenous students and creating a law school that supports diversity and cultural awareness and understanding. We are grateful to alumni like David Sharpe who support these efforts.” 

In a timely law course he developed especially for his alma mater and introduced last winter, Mr. Sharpe also began teaching students how to negotiate in a First Nations context.

“Queen’s is developing solid Indigenous leaders,” says Mr. Sharpe, a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “I am committed to assisting with this endeavour and honouring the Calls to Action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.”

Helping post-graduate residents become better teachers

The way students learn is constantly evolving and ensuring that the School of Medicine’s residents are prepared for their teaching responsibilities is the ongoing focus of a blended learning program.

Developed by the team of professors from the School of Medicine, Lindsay Davidson, Michelle Gibson, Stephen Mann, along with Lynel Jackson, Instructional Design and Training, Education Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Sheila Pinchin, Manager, Educational Development and Faculty Support, Faculty of Health Sciences, the program addresses one of the major challenges in medical education – ensuring that post-graduate residents are well prepared for their role as teaches and supervisors of undergraduate medical students in clinical settings.

"Faculty and staff from the School of Medicine receive the Educational Technology Award, one of six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards."
A team of faculty members and staff from the Faculty of Health Sciences won the Educational Technology Award, one of six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards. From left: Dr. Lindsay Davidson; Lynel Jackson; Dr. Michelle Gibson; Dr. Stephen Mann; Sheila Pinchin; and Principal Daniel Woolf. (University Communications)

The result is a “backbone” of four online modules that provides first-year residents, who have only recently graduated from medical school themselves, with the tools and background they need to succeed as teachers and mentors for undergraduate students. The modules are linked with a two-day symposium that provides some “face-to-face teaching,” that reinforces the materials, Dr. Davidson explains.

For their work on the program, the team received the Educational Technology Award, one of six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards. The award recognizes the innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning at Queen’s. An award is available both for faculty and/or staff.

“I think that people are recognizing more and more that medical education starts in medical school but it continues right through into practice,” Dr. Davidson says, adding that residents do an enormous amount of teaching and supervision of undergraduate students in the clinical setting. “What we are recognizing more than anything is that relationship is a really important influence and can really impact on the student’s experience. Yet, before this program was introduced, when you graduated from medical school you really hadn’t learned much about teaching and supervising junior learners. So really this was an initiative to solve that problem.”

By completing the modules residents gain information on wide range of topics including  medical student course objectives, best practices in supervising trainees, effective ways of providing feedback as well as other tips to succeed as a clinical teacher.

Once the program has been completed the modules remain accessible to the residents so they can review the modules throughout the residency, which can last from two to five years.

Building upon the success the modules have been reused and repurposed for faculty members, says Dr. Davidson.

“We have regional faculty members because we have students who are placed in hospitals all over the province and those faculty members” she says. “So we are reusing the modules with some small revisions to introduce those faculty to ‘this is what the Queen’s medical program is like, this is what the objectives are, this is what we expect students to do,’ those sorts of things.”

The Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards, created in 2015, recognize individuals and teams who have shown exceptional innovation and leadership in teaching and learning on campus. The awards are administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

The Educational Technology Award is sponsored and coordinated by Information Technology Services. Nominations for the 2017 are currently being accepted. All nominations should be sent electronically in PDF form to the chair of the selection committee via stacey.boulton@queensu.ca no later than Tuesday, Aug. 1, by 4 pm.

For more information about the award and the nomination form and process, visit the CTL website.

Moving forward through writing retreat

  • Over the five days of The Lake Shift, held at Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS), participants took part in workshops and had blocks of time dedicated to writing.
    Over the five days of The Lake Shift, held at Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS), participants took part in workshops and had blocks of time dedicated to writing.
  • A total of 50 graduate students from 14 universities across Ontario took part in The Lake Shift, July 9-14, at Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS).
    A total of 50 graduate students from 14 universities across Ontario took part in The Lake Shift, July 9-14, at Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS).
  • Graduate students taking part in The Lake Shift also had many opportunities to try out activities other than writing and workshops, such as canoeing on Lake Opinicon.
    Graduate students taking part in The Lake Shift also had many opportunities to try out activities other than writing and workshops, such as canoeing on Lake Opinicon.
  • Getting away from the computer and taking part in some recreational activities, including volleyball, is a key element of The Lake Shift.
    Getting away from the computer and taking part in some recreational activities, including volleyball, is a key element of The Lake Shift.

Doctoral students from across Ontario made their way to Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) for a second straight year for The Lake Shift, a special writing retreat hosted by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

The Lake Shift builds upon the success of SGS programs such as Dissertation on the Lake and Dissertation Bootcamp, by providing PhD students with time for writing and sharing the camp experience and resources available to Queen’s students with their peers at other universities.

This year’s event, held July 9-14, brought together 50 graduate students from 14 universities (Brock, Carleton, Guelph, Lakehead, Laurentian, Nipissing, Trent, Toronto, Western, Wilfred Laurier, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Windsor, York, and Queen’s), to help them hone their writing skills, make progress on their dissertations, reflect on their writing practice, and take a breather or two in a beautiful, natural setting.  

“The beauty of The Lake Shift is that it provides graduate students with the opportunity to focus on writing while also getting away from their daily routines. Add in the beautiful surroundings and healthy meals, the result is a welcome balance of productivity and wellness,” says Kim McAuley, Acting Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “Apart from that, this event also brings graduate students together to exchange ideas, share tips and strategies for writing and research, and develop networks among their peers. “

Over the five days, participants take part in workshops and have blocks of time dedicated to writing. However, the schedule also includes opportunities for recreation and conversation with other attendees. It’s a model that has worked in Dissertation on the Lake and Dissertation Bootcamp, says Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

“We offered The Lake Shift as a way of making available to students at other Ontario universities the advantages of our writing support programs, especially the advantages of combining work, rest, and play in a supportive community and at this location, at QUBS, which is unique to Queen’s” she says.

Attendees were impressed with the mix of work, learning opportunities, as well as health and wellness on offer.

“There was a nice balance between time for writing and time for relaxation and as a result the writing went very quickly,” says Mark Sholdice, a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph. “I would highly recommend the retreat to other PhD students and, if I could, I’d stay here all summer and come back next year. But by that time I hope to be finished with my dissertation.”

QUBS is located on Lake Opinicon offering a beautiful shoreline and hiking trails. The field station features a library and multiple exhibitions to engage visitors and foster public awareness of environmental and conservation issues. QUBS is an internationally-renowned facility, regularly hosting field researchers from Canadian and international institutions.

Taking a closer look at who's studying online

Arts and Science Online (ASO) continues to grow at Queen’s, both in terms of courses and enrolment.

"Arts and Science Online Survey Results Graphic"
The second annual survey by Arts and Science Online provides a clearer picture of who is taking Queen's online courses and why. Click on image to enlarge.

Currently offering 125 fully online courses in three academic terms, ASO recently conducted its second annual survey to gain a clearer picture of who is taking these courses and why.

A total of 154 respondents participated in the survey and provided information ranging from age and gender to why they chose online studies at Queen’s .

Among the findings is that the majority of online students are female, making up 78 per cent, while those identifying as gender neutral increased to two per cent. The average age was found to be 33 years old while nearly 60 per cent of respondents were working full time.

The survey also revealed that the two main reasons for the respondents continuing their education through online studies were “to support a career change” at 36 per cent and “to finish or upgrade a degree” at 26 per cent. The results also showed an increase in the number of students who already have post-secondary education to 90 per cent, including 48 per cent with a college diploma, 11 per cent with a bachelor’s degree and six per cent with a master’s degree.

Leading the way in terms of why the students chose Queen’s was the university's reputation for quality.

“We know the profile of our distance students is very different from the profile of our on-campus students. We want to ensure our distance students have a great Queen’s experience,” says Bev King, Assistant Dean (Teaching & Learning) for the Faculty of Arts and Science. “Having two years of data now allows us to better understand our students, and enables us to innovate curriculum, make better marketing decisions, and improve our student services.”

Visit the ASO website to learn more about online learning and the courses available.

Summer-long outreach builds on SOAR

Close to 2,200 first-year students and family members visited campus this month for Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR), a day-long program that introduces students to new academic expectations, and provides information about on-campus resources, and tips to support the transition to university life.

[Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources]
Incoming students and their families and supports take part in a guided tour during Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR) on July 6. (University Communications)

Those who couldn’t make it to campus for SOAR, though, don’t have to miss out on summer orientation programming. The Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with faculties and schools, is continuing its outreach to first-year students and their families with weekly webinars. They are focused on topics that cover studying, living, staying healthy, arriving, and thriving.

“The summer webinar series is hosted by upper-years students and professional staff, who talk about course registration, living in residence, orientation week, academics, student life, and specific transition issues experienced by some international students,” says Student Experience Office Manager Woo Kim. “We record and archive most of the online sessions because we want to make the information, and questions and answers, as widely available as possible, especially as so many students can’t travel to campus before September.”

For the first time, the Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with faculties and schools, is also taking SOAR on the road in August. “Get Ready for Queen’s” information events will be held in Calgary on Aug. 16 and in Vancouver on Aug. 17, in recognition of the large numbers of first-year students who come to Queen’s from Western Canada.

“This year we have approximately 530 first-year students enrolled at Queen’s from Alberta and B.C. Most are not able to come to SOAR, so we want them to have an opportunity to connect with us in-person, learn how they can best prepare for the transition to Queen’s, and for students and family members to get all of their questions answered,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We also know that it can be a big step to send a student across the country. We want to reassure them that we have many resources on campus and in the community to support their academic and personal success.”

For students who are passing through Kingston this summer, student-led campus tours are also offered most weekdays at 11 am and 1:30 pm.

Queen’s is preparing to welcome more than 4,500 first-year students to residence on move-in day on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Professional Studies launches new website

The brand new Professional and Non-Credit Programs website.

When Jessica Della-Latta, Executive Director of the Faculty of Education’s Professional and Non-Credit Programs, looks at the growing market of professional studies, she sees countless opportunities.

Offering online professional development courses for working professionals, Queen’s University Professional Studies recently launched a new website. There currently are two non-credit programs available: the Professional Editing Standards Certificate and the Certificate for International Education Professionals.

Comprising five courses, each program is offered online, allowing a greater number of people to access the Queen’s educational experience. Courses are written and taught by experts in the field and, by offering the courses online, candidates have the opportunity to network with colleagues while working on real-world tasks.

For example, the Professional Editing Standards Certificate program is open to all who are looking to add a new skill. Working with Editors Canada, the program acts as a preparation for the national editing exam as well as for other professionals looking to take their editing abilities to the next level.

Throughout the process collaboration has been key, says Ms. Della-Latta, and will continue to be as more programs are added.

“We can look at any profession, find the gaps, and provide a flexible learning opportunity for working professionals. We hire experts at the top of their fields to both develop and instruct the courses. The instructional design team is incredible. They have developed a well-defined process that can help anyone who doesn’t see themselves as a writer produce an excellent course.”

"The potential for growth is exciting,” she says, adding that the Faculty already has a reputation for excellence in online learning with more than 175 credit and non-credit courses available through Continuing Teacher Education and the Faculty’s online graduate programs.

Early feedback shows that as professionals look to add to their skill set they are interested in Queen’s reputation for expertise and quality. They are able to get that through the professional development courses.

Ms. Della-Latta also credits Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of the Faculty of Education, for supporting the Professional Studies unit.

“The thing I love about being at the Faculty of Education is that we are encouraged to think creatively and are given the freedom to try new things. By extending the Faculty of Education’s values of quality learning, community building, and support, we can offer to other professions the same high-quality learning experiences that our teachers expect from us.

”I have an amazing team with a broad vision and positive attitude. Coupled with the support from our Dean, there’s no limit to what we can do.”

To learn more visit the Professional Studies at Queen’s website.

Record number of first year students to study at the castle

  • For hundreds of Canadian students this upcoming academic year, this will be home - historic Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England.
    For hundreds of Canadian students this upcoming academic year, this will be home - historic Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England.
  • Imagine this as your classroom as you study history, arts, or science. The Bader International Study Centre is 'a unique and special place to study and work'.
    Imagine this as your classroom as you study history, arts, or science. The Bader International Study Centre is 'a unique and special place to study and work'.
  • Why learn about historic art through a screen when you can see it in person? Students on a field trip visit the Musée Guimet in Paris.
    Why learn about historic art through a screen when you can see it in person? Students on a field trip visit the Musée Guimet in Paris.

With a new school year soon to begin, there is a renewed sense of enthusiasm and pride for staff and faculty at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC). The incoming class for the 2017-18 academic year is 139 first-year Queen’s students – the largest yet – and, with new Vice Provost and Executive Director Hugh Horton having just started his term, the next year looks to be a significant one in the campus’ history.

“This is a unique and special place to study, and to work, and I am excited to be joining the team at the BISC,” says Dr. Horton. “My first priorities include building on our recent strong enrolment performance, expanding our partnerships locally and with the Kingston campus, and continuing to refine and enhance the unique and personal student experience we have established at this campus. I look forward to building on the progress which has been made in recent years.”

Next year will mark 25 years since Queen’s University alumni Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07) donated Herstmonceux Castle to Queen’s – now known as the Bader International Study Centre. Since then, the castle has undergone renovations, generated many new partnerships, and established itself as a significant and distinct member of the Canadian higher education landscape.

In addition to providing a home and educational campus to about 250 Canadian university students each year, the BISC is involved in a number of other business ventures year-round and additional revenue-generating plans are in the works to help offset the cost of operating the castle. For example, when not in use by students, the site serves as a centre for academic and business conferences, a venue for festivals, weddings, concerts, plays, workshops, and exhibitions, and as a bed-and-breakfast facility and a tourist attraction for visitors. It was recently named one of the top 10 castles in the UK for a family day out by The Guardian

“The BISC is a key part of Queen’s internationalization strategy, supporting the aims of our strategic framework,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “Our new programs have been very successful, both in terms of attracting excellent students, and in student outcomes.”

In recent years, programming at the BISC has expanded to include a first-year science program in 2015, and a concurrent education (arts) program in 2016. These two programs join the existing first-year arts program, and an international law program. All programs offer a unique educational experience: small class sizes and close contact with professors, an interdisciplinary and community-oriented environment, and the opportunity for experiential learning activities in an international setting, whether at the castle or in sites across Europe.

“The field studies offered while I was studying art history at the castle were truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and being lectured in front of the historic paintings I was studying were some of the most amazing academic experiences I have ever had,” Maddi Andrews (Artsci’19) said in a recent news article, reflecting on her experience learning about Claude Monet’s “Water Lillies” series.

To learn more about the BISC, visit queensu.ca/bisc.

International students offered taste of grad studies at Queen’s

Queen's in the World

Students from around the globe got a glimpse of life as a graduate student at Queen’s at a recent event held through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Every summer, SGS invites students participating in the Mitacs Globalink international research internships to visit Queen’s and Kingston. During their day-long visit, the undergraduate students – who are spending the summer working on research projects at various Canadian universities (including Queen’s) – take a campus tour, meet with graduate students and professors from various fields, and take a trolley bus tour through Kingston.

“It’s an opportunity for them to learn about research opportunities at Queen’s and the advantages of studying and living in Kingston,” says Kim McAuley, Acting Vice-Provost and Dean, SGS.

Several international students visited Queen's last week, exploring graduate studies options, and touring campus and Kingston (with Kingston Trolley Tours, above). 

“The interns make personal connections with our faculty and current graduate students so they can envision studying as future master’s or PhD students at Queen’s. The interns see that current international graduate students are working on interesting research projects with talented professors. Globalink helps Queen’s attract top international graduate students with external funding from Mitacs.”

For Daniela Iribe Gonzalez, the Queen’s visit was a chance to explore Queen’s research program and see if it would be a good fit for her and her studies in geodetic engineering.

“I’d heard that Queen’s is really good at research. I enjoy the research and I want to do more,” says Ms. Iribe Gonzalez, a student from Mexico who is spending the summer on a Globalink internship at the University of Ottawa. While she hasn’t made any decisions on where she’ll apply to graduate school, she was impressed with what Queen’s offers. “People are very welcoming and the campus is beautiful,” she says.

Jiaqi Chen, from China, is currently a research intern at Queen’s, working with Professor Mark Daymond in Mechanical and Materials Engineering. He’s considering graduate studies in Canada, but has yet to make any firm application decisions.

“I’ve only been here about 10 days. The work I’m doing is different than I expected, but it’s interesting,” he says. “I find Kingston and Queen’s to be a quiet and beautiful place. Life is slower here than in China and the people are very nice. I’ve never been abroad before, and my English is not always great, but so far, I think everyone understands me and they have been helpful."

In total, Queen’s hosted seven Mitacs research interns and 13 undergraduate Globalink students from other universities at the event. Currently, seven Mitacs Graduate Research Fellows study at Queen’s, and this summer, the university is hosting nine undergraduate Globalink research interns. Many of them attended the event as well. More info about the organization’s internships and scholarships is available on their website.

Through existing and developing research collaborations, student mobility programs, and international activities at home, Queen’s continues to expand its global reach and offer students and researchers a diverse and enriching environment that pushes their thinking and offers them opportunities to create a lasting impact on their communities, and the world as a whole. Learn more on the International website.




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