Campus News

Campus News: Fall 2023

Squiggly lines spiralling from a centre point

Photograph by Cassandra Brand

On Campus 

This year’s winner of the Art of Research photo contest is Cassandra Brand, a graduate student in Translational Medicine. Cassandra’s image of a corneal fingerprint, in the Good Health and Wellbeing category, was taken at Botterell Hall. 

  • The structural: Mouse corneal nerves 
  • The science: The cornea is one of the most densely innervated tissues in the human body 
  • The research: Researchers are clarifying the role of corneal nerves in spontaneous pain and tear production in dry-eye disease

The Rossy Foundation makes new mental-health centre a reality 

Queen’s and the Department of Psychiatry, in partnership with the Rossy Foundation, have launched a student mental-health research centre that will help improve student well-being at Queen’s and at other university and college campuses.   

The U-Flourish Centre for Student Mental Health Research began work in September, thanks to a major donation from the Rossy Foundation. The U-Flourish Centre represents a major investment in transdisciplinary education and research. The centre will expand capacity for student mental-health research through national and international collaborations and be under the direction of Professor Anne Duffy (Department of Psychiatry), a pioneer in student mental-health research, in partnership with students and faculty across disciplines, as well as campus and community stakeholders.   

“On behalf of Queen’s University, I want to thank the Rossy Foundation for their generosity,” says Queen’s Health Sciences Dean Jane Philpott. “This investment will help us expand mental health research and resources that benefit students at Queen’s and beyond.”  

The U-Flourish Research Centre will generate and translate evidence into resources, tools, and educational assets, as well as integrated care models and pathways to support student well-being and mental health. The centre will help inform policy and build capacity in student mental health by training the next generation of educators, researchers, and academic clinicians in the field. 

Annual celebration reignites friendships, celebrates Queen’s community 

Thousands of alumni and friends returned to campus for Homecoming weekend Oct. 20-22. 

People from across Canada and around the world returned to explore the campus and reconnect with the university, current students, former classmates, friends, and professors. Alumni from as far away as Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, England, France, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland were in attendance.   

“Homecoming is not only an opportunity to reignite friendships and celebrate our Queen’s alumni community, it is also a chance to explore campus and discover how Queen’s is having an impact on the world,” says Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand, Artsci’94. “From Nobel Prize – winning research to restoring and displaying priceless works of art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, to improving and saving lives, Queen’s faculty and alumni are making a difference in the world.” 

The football game, the Tricolour Guard Dinner, and the Fall Harvest Alumni Gathering were some of the marquee events keeping people entertained, along with numerous faculty open houses and class reunion dinners. 

Grand opening of Lang Pavilion concludes revitalization project 

Former Gaels, donors, alumni, supporters, and community members gathered Sept. 16 to celebrate the grand opening of the Lang Pavilion – the final piece of the Richardson Stadium revitalization project

The two-storey structure at the north end now fully encloses the stadium and gives Queen’s one of the top stadiums in Canadian university sport. The Lang Pavilion includes facilities that enhance the training environment for varsity sports, creating a centre for athletic excellence that positions Queen’s programs at the pinnacle of student-athlete development. It houses coaches’ offices, a new concession area, therapy space, storage, washrooms, locker rooms, student-athlete meeting areas, and an elevated viewing area for fans.  

Fundraising for the Lang Pavilion began in 2014 and more than 300 donors came together to make the project happen, with longtime Queen’s supporters Stu Lang, Sc’74, and Kim Lang, Artsci’76, being the lead donors. 

“This building is not just about bricks and mortar. It’s about preserving our distinguished history and nurturing the sporting dreams of all the student-athletes who will compete here,” says Stu Lang, a star receiver with Queen’s from 1970 to 1974 who went on to help Edmonton win five Grey Cups during his Canadian Football League career. “I anticipate this magnificent stadium will be the new home for many future championships that are celebrated by Queen’s students and alumni.”

Alumna, student help Canada qualify for Paris Games in Rugby Sevens 

Congratulations to Sophie de Goede, Com’22, and current student Chloe Daniels for helping Canada qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in Women’s Rugby Sevens.  

The pair helped Canada earn a berth at the Summer Games thanks to a 53–0 win over Mexico in the final of the 2023 Rugby Americas North Sevens in August. 

Chloe Daniels is a former Queen’s varsity rugby player who has stepped away from the team to focus her attention on the national team. She was named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Rookie of the Year after finishing the 2021 regular season third in team scoring with four tries. 

Sophie De Goede won the Lois and Doug Mitchell U Sports Athlete of the Year Award in 2022 after she led Queen’s University’s Gaels women’s rugby team to their first championship and then helped the women’s basketball team win the bronze medal at the 2022 U Sports Women’s Basketball Championship. She was also the captain of the Canadian team at the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. 

Five Queen’s students receive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships 

Canada’s top funding agencies announced the recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, one of the most prestigious national awards for doctoral students. Five Queen’s students are among this year’s recipients recognized for their exceptional research achievements and leadership skills. 

The five are Mahzabeen Emu (Computing), Ahmed Ismaiel (Film and Media), Julia Moreau (Psychology), Daniel Reddy (Chemistry), and Dilakshan Srikanthan (Translational Medicine).  

Announced as part of a $960-million funding suite, the Vanier program helps Canadian institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students by investing $50,000 per year for three years during their doctoral studies. 

Jointly funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC),  
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), these awards recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement and leadership in their research fields. This year, 166 students across Canada will be receiving an investment of $24.9 million in funding over three years to support their top-tier research. 

“Queen’s University is proud to welcome exceptional individuals who were awarded prestigious Vanier scholarships,” says Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. “These remarkable students have earned national acclaim as beacons of excellence, charting a path to a brighter future. These scholars represent the tangible results of cutting-edge research, the impactful expansion of knowledge, and visionary leadership. We are profoundly honoured to be part of their academic journey.” 

Committee formed to identify safety measures on campus 

Queen’s introduced additional measures this fall to ensure that students, faculty, and staff all feel and are safe on campus. 

“We were appalled by the violent attack during Pride Month at Waterloo, which resulted in three people being hospitalized,” says Queen’s Provost and Vice--Principal (Academic) Matthew Evans. “There is no excuse for violence of any sort, especially on a university campus. Queen’s stands shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues at Waterloo as they cope with this terrible act. It is a sad reflection on the state of the world today that this act of hate could occur.” 

To ensure Queen’s proactively addressed any lessons learned from the June 2023 classroom attack on students at the University of Waterloo, an ad hoc committee was formed, led by the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). The committee identified three key actions that have been or were to be undertaken heading into the fall term. 

The first is to refrain from making public any information concerning class locations or details such as instructor names. Specific information is available to each student individually when that student registers for the course. 

The second action is an audit of all central classrooms to ensure that appropriate signage and telephone connections are available in the event of an emergency.  

The third is a review of supports and tools for instructors. Instructors are already provided with materials to assist them in dealing with disclosures of intimate partner violence and mental-health issues. In addition, Campus Security and Emergency Services (CSES) currently offers de-escalation training to provide employees with the skills to identify, respond to, and verbally de-escalate certain situations.

Art tells powerful story at the Isabel  

On Oct. 24, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts hosted a special Welcoming Celebration for a unique exhibition. Art and Wastes in Panniqtuuq, Nunavut looked at the research of Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies), who has been working with the Inuit community of Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), Nunavut, on waste issues, and one of her PhD students, Micky Renders. For the past four years, Ms. Renders has worked with several Inuit artists to create art that engages with waste issues from a Truth and Reconciliation perspective. The exhibition included contributions from Inuit Elders, artists, and youth, and included sculptures, photographs, tapestry and other art works that provided insights into the contemporary history of Canada, waste issues, and Truth and Reconciliation. The exhibition was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the VP Academic Office, the Human Rights and Equity Office, and the Provost’s Advisory Committee for the Promotion of the Arts at Queen’s. Special guests at the event included Provost and VP Academic Matthew Evans, VP Research Nancy Ross, and Sen. Mary Coyle, a representative of the Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples. The exhibition is scheduled to be presented in Peterborough, Ont., in 2025 and organizers hope to take it to other Canadian cities in the future.  

Early ’60s Golden Gaels football teams mark 60th anniversary 

The early 1960s Golden Gaels football reunion was held on the weekend of Sept. 15-16. Some 50 former players and spouses were in attendance, sharing memories at a Friday pre-game pizza lunch, during the Western University game, and at a dinner Saturday evening at the Donald Gordon Centre. There, former players who had passed away were fondly remembered and it was announced that the group, with help from other non-football donors as well, had raised more than $125,000 to fully fund the Early ’60s Golden Gaels Football Award, the annual proceeds of which will go to supporting a Gaels football player with his studies. This year’s winner is Eric Colonna, #21, defensive back.

Alumni strike a pose 

For the first time, the Queen’s Alumni Review offered a photo booth at Homecoming 2023, turning alumni into models for the magazine’s cover. Photographed by photojournalist and alumna Jana Chytilova, Sc’87, everyone from classmates to housemates, spouses and multiple generations of families, babies and centenarians got in on the fun, with lineups of alumni winding their way through Grant Hall. The special-edition Homecoming covers were emailed to our models as a keepsake. Thanks to everyone for dropping by to share some love with the Alumni Review, and each other.

  • A cover of the Queen's Alumni Review with the superfan

    Photograph by Jana Chytilova

  • A group of alumni pose for the cover

    Photograph by Jana Chytilova

  • Three alumni jump in the air wearing their Queen's jackets

    Photograph by Jana Chytilova

  • The back of a Queen's Applied Science jacket held together with duct tape

    Photograph by Jana Chytilova

  • A couple at Homecoming pose together wearing their tams

    Photograph by Jana Chytilova

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