Department of Global Development Studies


Global Development Studies

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Tara McDonald awarded the Eileen Krieger Award

Tara McDolad

The Department of Global Development Studies is happy to announce that Tara McDonald was the recipient of the 2016-2017 Eileen Krieger award. 

Established in the spring of 2003, the award is in memory of Eileen Krieger, who was not only an exceptional student of the Global Development Studies program, but also conveyed an extraordinarily positive and enthusiastic manner in all of her endeavours.  The Eileen Krieger Award provides recognition to a graduating student of Global Development Studies who is both strong academically and partakes in extracurricular activities with a positive and enthusiastic attitude.

The peer who nominator Tara stated, "Tara is a dedicated, community-minded student that balances extracurricular activities, work, and academics with ease. To me, Tara, for lack of better words, just gets it. She questions everything, and uses her knowledge to teach and inspire those around her. I think in order to succeed in Global Development Studies you have to actually put what you learn into practice. Education should not be a book sitting on a shelf; it has to be something you carry with you everyday. Tara has taken everything she has learned in our department and has implemented it to make tangible change around campus, something not many students have the courage to do".



Tara McDonald Receives Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award

Tara McDonald​DEVS 4th-year student Tara McDonald is one of this year’s recipients of the The Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award. The Award and induction in the Tricolour Society is the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable and distinguished service to the University in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities.

Ms. McDonald created the Queen’s Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign for mental health. She is a leader who empowers others and never gives up when advocating for equity and social change.

In her second year at Queen’s, Ms. McDonald and fellow DEVS student Madeline Turner approached the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) about founding Queen’s Elephant in the Room (EITR), which is the first youth chapter of Mood Disorders Society of Canada and is dedicated to using creative methods to eliminate stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. Lucy Mackrell, BA (Hons) '15, MA '16, who worked for ASUS at the time, made our vision a sustainable reality by inducting the committee into the Society and securing an annual budget dedicated to EITR. Three years after being founded, EITR has provided anti-stigma and suicide prevention training to nearly 100 people including student leaders, teaching assistants, and instructors. Upon completing training, each individual is given a small blue elephant to show to students and staff that their office is a stigma-free environment. 

 “I’m incredibly proud to belong to a department at Queen’s that successfully produces students every year that work together collaboratively to build a better Queen’s campus,” says Ms. McDonald. “It is an honour to be inducted into the Tricolour society, but it is an honour that I share with the DEVS department, as well as every student, staff, and faculty member who is working to improve inclusivity and equity at Queen’s.

Jacqueline O'Rourke Awarded 2017 Summer Research Fellowship

Jacqueline O'Rourke Photo​Jacqueline O'Rourke was selected to receive a 2017 Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF).

Project Title:  Empowering sexual minority groups in Uganda through a green, de-growth perspective 

Project Description:  Throughout the course of this research project, I will be addressing the following question, how can the green movement lead to greater economic opportunities and human rights for the LGBTQ community in Uganda? To achieve this, I will focus my research through Degrowth theory, and examine whether alternative native imaginaries can shape the future of development. Moreover, I will be working alongside Solomon Kapere, an owner of a farm that serves as a sanctuary for those in the LGBTQ community that have been ostracized from the rest of society due to their sexual orientation. His farm also serves as a successful example of the transition to a green economy. Using an ethnographic approach and the method of triangulation (using multiple methods of analysis to complement each other), in Uganda I will be working alongside and conducting key informant interviews with various stakeholders, such as local organizations and NGOs in the community.

Hanna Chidwick Awarded OceanPath Fellowship

Hanna Chidwick​DEVS 4th-year student Hanna Chidwick has received an OceanPath fellowship for 2017-2018 to organize “Dinner Wellness Workshops” for older people in Moshi, Tanzania and increase equitable access to health services information.  Historically, the burden of disease in Tanzania – specifically communicable diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS – has been the focus of primary care. Now the community faces a new and different challenge – a steady increase in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, especially among people over 50.

“Dinner Wellness Workshops” will bring together people affected by non-communicable diseases to learn about prevention, treatment and available care. Taking place over a meal, the workshops will share culturally respectful health service information co-designed with community members, NGOs and local district health officers. “I am passionate about this project and the potential to partner with the community to create new supports for this vulnerable population,” explains Chidwick. “My mentors at Queen’s and ongoing support from the Coady International Institute and the Pathy Family Foundation will make it possible for me to facilitate increased access to high quality healthcare for older people in Moshi..”

The OceanPath Fellowship, which is offered by the Coady Institute in partnership with Queen’s University, provides community-focused experiential learning opportunities for graduating students to become active and effective change-makers, bringing new ideas and working closely with communities to foster sustainable and positive social change in Canada and around the world.


DEVS Student Named to Engineers Without Borders Canada Board

Kyela De WeerdtDEVS student Kyela De Weerdt has been named to the Board of Directors of Engineers Without Borders Canada. Within the Queen’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders Canada, Kyela established a Research & Development portfolio to explore the application of development theory and change models to the affairs of the chapter. As vice-president, she designed and facilitated workshops and meetings while overseeing a diverse set of portfolios. She takes pride in having created a chapter culture where personal development and critical engagement are at the forefront of the many projects and events organized. Kyela will graduate with a BA (Hons) in DEVS in April of 2017. 

Engineers Without Borders Canada strives to unlock human potential globally — collaborating with innovators across boundaries, consolidating our similarities, and learning from our differences. This enables people to contribute individually and as a collective, and to challenge the national and global policies, systems and institutions that contribute to the flawed status quo.Our vision is a world where everyone’s basic needs are met and where everyone can live to their full potential. Our mission is to catalyze changes that address the root causes of poverty and inequity by investing in people and ideas that will contribute to building an equitable and sustainable world. To learn more, visit the organization's website by clicking here.

Working in the International Development World - February 1, 2017

The Department of Global Development Studies will host Dr. Niloufar Pourzand on Wednesday, February 1.  She will speak to DEVS 100 students about refugee issues and will also speak more informally to interested students about working in the international NGO world. The DEVS DSC will host this informal session on Wednesday, February 1 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in the DEVS Lounge.  

Any DEVS students are welcome to squeeze into the DEVS 100 lecture that Dr. Pourzand will give prior to her informal talk about Global Refugees issues from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Biosciences Auditorium.

Dr. Pourzand has had a lengthy career in the International NGO world, including various positions in UNICEF field offices in Afghanistan, Barbados, and Indonesia. Most recently she was the Chief of the UNICEF field office in Uttar Pradesh, India.  She holds a PhD in Gender and Ethnic Studies from University of Greenwich, London, UK, where she researched issues of Afghan refugee women. Currently she is Professor of Practice at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University.

Robert (Bob) Lovelace is the recipient of the 2016 Educational Leadership Award

Robert Lovelace

On December 6th, Principal Daniel Woolf announced that Robert (Bob) Lovelace is the recipient of the Principal’s Teaching and Learning: Educational Leadership Award.

Robert Lovelace is the recipient of the Educational Leadership Award, recognizing his 21 years of exemplary leadership in teaching, mentoring, and building the profile of Indigenous issues in Global Development Studies (DEVS), at Queen’s, and in the community at large. Amongst his many achievements, Mr. Lovelace is the originator of on-campus, blended and online courses, has been key in the creation of the new Indigenous Studies Minor, was the founding manager for the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and has been the lead facilitator for the Annual Aboriginal Studies Symposium at Queen’s.

The 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).

“I commend each of the recipients of this year’s awards. They are a dedicated group of faculty and staff who have shown a deep commitment to enhancing the student learning experience at Queen’s,” says Principal Woolf. “There is a great deal of work happening across campus to foster excellence in teaching and learning and I am delighted that these awards can help raise the profile of this initiative.”

“The awards aim to celebrate excellence in strategic areas of teaching and learning at Queen’s and to recognize the faculty and staff members who are making important contributions to that excellence,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning)and Director of the CTL. “I would like to extend my congratulations to all of this year’s winners and to thank everyone who took the time to nominate someone for the awards.”

Formal presentation of the awards will take place at the Teaching Awards Reception to be held in January 2017.

Leonard Cohen — 'The last tourist in Havana' (CBC Opinion Column)

Leonard Cohen — 'The last tourist in Havana'

Cohen arrived when Cuban revolution was just a couple of years old and things were chaotic and uncertain

By Karen Dubinsky, for CBC News Posted: Nov 16, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 16, 2016 5:00 AM ET

Leonard Cohen

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen at his hotel during a break in his British Tour, Dec. 6 1979. (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Leonard Cohen, who died last week at the age of 82, visited Havana at a most unusual time. His sister, Esther, had honeymooned there before the 1959 revolution, and Cohen was curious to see the place. He was also following the route of his literary mentor, Garcia Lorca, who preceded him in Havana.

When Cohen arrived, the Cuban revolution was just a couple of years old and things were chaotic and uncertain.  He told biographer Ira Nadel, "I thought maybe this was my Spanish civil war, but it was a shabby kind of support. It was really mostly curiosity and a sense of adventure."   

Cohen grew a beard and searched for Havana nightlife, which was rapidly diminishing as the revolutionary government closed the casinos and fun-loving Americans turned their vacation sights elsewhere. Cohen described himself at that moment as "the last tourist in Havana."  

The next month, in April, the U.S.- led Bay of Pigs invasion was underway. As Havana prepared for war, it became apparent that — despite his beard and khaki — a boy from Montreal was a bit of an anomaly there.  As international news broke of bombing in Havana, Cohen's mother dispatched a family member attached to the Canadian embassy to check on her son's safety. Cohen was stopped by military police one night during a walk on a beach, and after being detained with a group of "suspicious" foreigners, he left.


Fidel Castro, in glasses, sits inside a tank near Playa Giron, Cuba, during the Bay of Pigs invasion, in this April 17, 1961. (Raul Corrales/Granma/Canadian Press)

Not surprisingly, after all that, Cohen was no fan of the Cuban revolution. But on later he defended his visit and explained what he learned from his time in Cuba: "I'm one of the few men of my generation who cared enough about the Cuban reality to go see it," he said. But he concluded that, "Power chops up frightened men. I saw that in Cuba."  

Cohen was, of course, wrong to think of himself as one of the few of his generation who cared about Cuba. After successfully fighting off the invaders, Havana became a cosmopolitan meeting ground for thousands of supporters including artists, students, and other activists who shared the political ideals of the 1960s. The Cuban Revolution quickly gained iconic status the world over.  

For Cohen, the experience was not so politically romantic. Indeed, it would have been hard for anyone to maintain any sort of utopian thinking while taking cover by the lion statue on Havana's famous Paseo del Prado, as warplanes flew overhead. But Cohen managed to channel his experience into a poem about the politics of his own country — a work that captured the irreverence, anti-authoritarianism and dark humour that characterized Cohen's work for decades.  

"The Last Tourist in Havana Turns His Thoughts Homeward" from Flowers for Hitler.

Come, my brothers,

let us govern Canada,

let us find our serious heads,

let us dump asbestos on the White House,

let us make the French talk English,

not only here but everywhere,

let us torture the Senate individually

until they confess,

let us purge the New Party,

let us encourage the dark races

so they'll be lenient

when they take over,

let us make the CBC talk English,

let us all lean in one direction

and float down

to the coast of Florida,

let us have tourism,

let us flirt with the enemy,

let us smelt pig-iron in our back yards,

let us sell snow

to under-developed nations,

(It is true one of our national leaders

was a Roman Catholic?)

let us terrorize Alaska,

let us unite

Church and State,

let us not take it lying down,

let us have two Governor Generals

at the same time,

let us have another official language, 

let us determine what it will be,

let us give a Canada Council Fellowship

to the most original suggestion,

let us teach sex in the home

to parents,

let us threaten to join the U.S.A.

and pull out at the last moment,

my brothers, come,

our serious heads are waiting for us somewhere

like Gladstone bags abandoned

after a coup d'état,

let us put them on very quickly,

let us maintain a stony silence

on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

-Havana, April 1961

This column is part of CBC's new Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.



Professor Karen Dubinsky quoted in a CBC article regarding Prime Minister Trudeau's Visit to Cuba

"It's in the people-to-people world ... where Canadian-Cuban relationships are the most significant," said Karen Dubinsky, who teaches in a joint Queen's University-University of Havana course that brings Cuban students to Canada and sends Canadian students to Cuba.

"Cuba is good at that, at using soft diplomacy, and I think what I've learned from our experiences working with Cuba is they only want to do more of that."

To read the full article, please go to