Jim Leech’s term as the 14th Chancellor of Queen’s University is worth celebrating. For seven years, the MBA’73 graduate has spent countless hours presiding over 174 convocations, conferring 43,601 degrees, supporting students, and stewarding important relationships with key alumni and partners. As his term came to a close on July 1, members of the Queen’s community thanked the chancellor for his tireless efforts.
A fundraising campaign on behalf of Mr. Leech exceeded its goal, raising $1.75 million in new gifts and commitments to support the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC). The ceilidh, the large open gathering space at the heart of the JDUC, will be renamed the Jim Leech Ceilidh Centre in his honour.
“Jim has given so much to this university and its students. It has been an honour to co-lead the effort and recognize his many years of volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership,” says Barb Palk (Arts’73), the former Queen’s Board of Trustees chair and co-chair of the fundraising campaign alongside Stephen Smith (Sc’72, LLD’17).
Mr. Leech assumed the role of chancellor after retiring as CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in 2013, but his relationship with Queen’s goes as far back as the 1960s, when his father, Brig.-Gen. George Leech, served as the university registrar.
The Honourable Murray Sinclair became the university’s 15th chancellor on July 1.
Queen’s Student Becomes Inaugural McCall MacBain Scholar
After a rigorous six-month application process, Queen’s student Nicole Osayande (Com’21), is one of 20 Canadians chosen as inaugural McCall MacBain Scholars. The program enables students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while connecting with mentors and participating in a leadership development program.
It is the country’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship for master’s and professional studies and more than 735 people applied. Scholars were chosen based on character, community engagement, leader-ship potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.
After hearing she was one of the first students in her Toronto high school’s history to attend Queen’s, she started the Queen’s Student Diversity Project to encourage other students of diverse backgrounds to consider applying to the university.
Ms. Osayande’s work in bio-medical computing at Queen’s included collaborating with a professor to build software modules for a hip replacement surgery tool. She will pursue a master’s degree in biological and biomedical engineering at McGill.
Two additional Queen’s students, Mikyla Callaghan and Rhianna Hamilton, were offered McCall MacBain Finalist Awards ($10,000) for their master’s or professional studies.
Alumni Donations Pave Way for Richardson Stadium Addition
Thanks to generous donations from Queen’s alumni, the university is set to build a new two-storey pavilion for Richardson Stadium that will provide enhanced amenities for athletes, coaches, and spectators. The addition is the final piece of a redevelopment project to rejuvenate the stadium that started in 2016.
Queen’s announced the gifts behind the project during an online event April 15. More than 300 donors contributed more than $10 million to make the pavilion possible, with the lead gift coming from Stu Lang (Sc’74) and Kim Lang (Artsci’76).
“I think I can safely speak on behalf of all past and present football Gaels when I say that this pavilion will be a point of pride for Queen’s University, and something that brings all of us together as a community,” says Stu Lang, a former Canadian Football League player who also played for the Gaels as an undergraduate.
The addition, expected to be completed in spring 2023, will provide coaches and athletes with modern preparation spaces and athletic therapy and hydrotherapy facilities. It will also enable more varsity teams and greater gender inclusivity at Richardson Stadium, will help athletics programs attract and retain top student-athletes, and will provide increased access to the stadium for Kingston community members.
The upgraded amenities include dedicated game-day gathering spaces for alumni and alumni events. And the pavilion will connect the entire stadium at the concourse level and provide the permanent home of the Gaels Club, which will offer concessions for spectators as well as an elevated viewing area.
Homegrown Software Platform Becomes World-Class Solution
An online platform initially created to assist Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) has grown to become the first-ever Queen’s-owned corporation.
The Elentra platform was commissioned in 2004 to organize data around the stringent requirements for the Queen’s School of Medicine’s accreditation process and to create a centralized location for students to access up-to-date schedules and resources.
Four years later, Queen’s launched a consortium to allow for collaboration on the development of Elentra with other institutions.
As news spread of Elentra’s outstanding design and functionality, FHS started to receive inquiries from institutions that were interested in using Elentra for their programs. To meet the demand, Elentra was adapted to allow for a hosted cloud service and by 2020, 10 institutions signed on to Elentra Cloud, pushing the platform’s total global user base to 30 institutions.
In response to this dramatic growth, on Feb. 1, Elentra officially launched as a separate legal entity, resulting in the first-ever Queen’s-owned corporation.
Leslie Flynn, FHS Vice-Dean of Education, says, “Institutions and students from across the world will benefit from this platform, and that should be a huge point of pride for the Queen’s community.”
Recognizing Outstanding Leadership in Medical Research
Queen’s researcher Elizabeth Eisenhauer has been awarded Canada’s top medical research prize, receiving the 2021 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award for outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science.
The award recognizes a Canadian health researcher who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership paired with exceptional science. Of the 394 scientists who have received the award since 1959, 92 have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize in medicine.
Dr. Eisenhauer’s research has established new standards in cancer treatment that have impacted patients worldwide. Her insight has been key to the creation of new treatments for ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, and brain tumours, and her work has expanded the understanding of therapeutic interventions.
“Not only has her research had an impact on cancer patients in Canada and around the world, she is a role model and mentor for women in health research,” says Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Jane Philpott.
Queen’s Professor Wins Highest Accolade in Electrical Power Field
A pioneer in the field of high-frequency power conversion technology has been awarded the highest honour in electrical power from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
which is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.
On May 13, Queen’s professor Dr. Praveen Jain, Director of the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics Research in the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineer-ing and the Canada Research Chair in Power Electronics, was awarded the 2021 Medal in Power Engineer-ing in recognition of his 40 years of career research and achievements. Dr. Jain is the third Canadian ever to receive this medal.
Trailblazer Named Dean of Smith School of Business
Queen’s new dean of Smith School of Business is a trailblazer who brings a unique combination of experience to the role.
Wanda Costen’s experience combines academia – as a dean, senior administrator, researcher, and professor – with both a private- and public-sector management career.
Dr. Costen has a PhD in sociology from Washington State University as well as an executive MBA from Pepperdine University, and she completed her under-graduate degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in only the seventh West Point class to include women. In 2013–14 she was a Fulbright Scholar with the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Her research interests encompass women and leader-ship, strategic human resources, racial and gender inequality in organizations, managing diversity, and ethnic minority student experiences.
Dr. Costen’s five-year term began July 1.
Tour Queen’s Campus From Inside a Video Game
This past spring, almost 100 prospective engineering students from around the world came together to share in a unique recruiting event – touring campus from inside a game.
Minecraft is a popular video game in which users build their own worlds with blocks, similar to virtual Lego.
Thanks to QUCraft – a campus Minecraft club – the build came together over the course of a year with the dedicated help of more than 100 students and alumni.
The club’s aim was to connect the Queen’s community by recreating the campus on Minecraft when COVID-19 made it impossible to visit in person.
Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, says as far as a virtual recruiting event goes, it was possibly, “a first in the nation, if not the world.”
QUCraft continues the build today with plans to finish campus exteriors by the end of the year, followed by interior floor plans.
Visit map.qucraft.me to see daily updates on the build progress and take a personal virtual tour of the Queen’s campus.
Artsci Grad Named New Vice-Principal (Research)
Nancy Ross (Artsci’90, MA’92) is the new vice-principal (research) following unanimous approval by the Board of Trustees.
Dr. Ross is the former associate vice-principal (research and innovation) at McGill Univer-sity and succeeds interim Vice-Principal (Research) Kimberly Woodhouse, who had been in the role since 2018.
A recognized expert in population health, Dr. Ross is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, a member of the Department of Geography, and an associate member of the departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health and Epidemiology at McGill. A social scientist by training, she has conducted award-winning interdisciplinary research funded mainly by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and she is past editor-in-chief of Health Reports, Canada’s flagship population health journal.
A proud Queen’s alumna, Dr. Ross received her BA and MA degrees in geography. She obtained her PhD in geography from McMaster University and subsequently worked as a senior research scientist with Statistics Canada. She joined McGill’s faculty in 2001.
Her five-year term began on Aug. 1 and she is a faculty member in the Faculty of Health Sciences.