Queen's University

Back to school story ideas


Back to school time is just around the corner and Queen’s University offers an interesting array of experts available to comment on many aspects of back to school.

Parents and separation – Mike Condra
Mike Condra, director of the Queen’s University Health Counselling and Disability Services, is available to comment on parental anxiety after their child leaves home, often for the first time. He can discuss the many challenges associated with a child moving away including dealing with the sense of loss, expectations for their children and how university has changed since they attended.
“Both as a parent and as someone who has counseled students (and parents) for many years, I know what it is like when a child goes away to school. It can be a challenge – the good news is that both parents and students do survive it!”

Bullying prevention – Wendy Craig
With school just around the corner many parents have dived into back to school planning for their children. This is an excellent time to open up a discussion about bullying prevention with your child.
“There are strategies parents can engage in to reduce a child's stress regarding bullying,” says Wendy Craig (Psychology) Scientific Co-director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network. “For example, create a time to talk about their concerns, discuss strategies to cope with the stress and concerns, start developing the relationship with the teacher on the first day and, if possible, plan to go to school with a friend.”
Please note Dr. Craig is unavailable until August 23.

Using social media to teach – Sidneyeve Matrix
Film and Media Studies professor Sidneyeve Matrix is an expert in digital culture and communication and says this fall more professors are taking advantage of social media tools for teaching.
“Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, YouTube, Twitter, and even text messaging are all being leveraged to connect with GenY students who are adept at digital communication. Connecting the classroom to culture at large, sharing real-time news updates and supporting collaborative coursework are all reasons digitally fluent faculty are incorporating the social web,” says Dr. Matrix.

Computer technology trends for students – Keith McWhirter
Queen’s manager of Campus Computer Sales and Service Keith McWhirter can comment on what students need for classes in terms of the latest technology.
“There is more emphasis now on how a computer is going to be used, than what it will be used for. Almost any price point of computer will serve the needs of an incoming university student. The questions we are asking at time of purchase focus more on details such as: where the laptop will be used, how long the battery life needs to be and what would a comfortable weight for the computer be. These answers help determine whether the student needs an ultra-light, long lasting and durable computer, or a larger unit that stays in the dorm room and offers more multimedia features such as better speakers and a larger screen.”

New Mohawk, Inuktitut courses introduced at Queen’s
Queen’s students will have the opportunity to study the languages and cultures of the Mohawk and Inuit peoples this fall through two new courses offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LLCU). “We feel very strongly that we want to represent as many regions and cultures as possible, and we want to be inclusive in our offerings,” says Jill Scott, acting associate head, LLCU.
Click to read full story: http://www.queensu.ca/news/articles/new-mohawk-inuktitut-courses-introduced

Transition from student to faculty member – Amanda Cooper
Amanda Cooper (Education) is available to comment on the change from being a secondary school teacher to a grad student in education. She next was hired as a Queen’s faculty member. She can comment on sharing that experience with other female academics through workshops and other discussion forums.
“Now that I am a member of the Queen’s faculty, I can focus on my research in the public section with the aim of improving services,” she says.

Curriculum reforms – Theodore Christou
Education professor Theodore Christou is available to comment on today’s curriculum reforms and the new wave of progressive education. Are Ontario’s schooling practices and programs out of touch with the pressing concerns of contemporary life?
“Today’s curriculum reforms must be understood in light of their historical context,” says Professor Christou. “We are caught up in a new current of progressive education, which first began to transform Ontario’s schools after the First World War and, again, in the late 1960s. Ontarians are increasingly attentive to the changing circumstances and realities of contemporary life and school curricula are once more seemingly out of touch with the realities of modern existence. As in 1937, when Ontario’s first progressive curricula were implemented in the province under the leadership of Duncan McArthur, today’s curriculum revisions demonstrate a perceived need for schools to adequately respond to and prepare students for active participation in a modern world that was ever-evolving and fraught with change.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.

Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston via fibre optic cable. Please call for details.

Copyright © Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000
Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.