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Quid novi: what's new on campus February 2017

Quid novi: what's new on campus February 2017

[University of Gondar]
Photo courtesy University of Gondar

The gates of the University of Gondar in Ethiopia.

A new partnership in Ethiopia

Thanks to a generous 10-year, USD $24.2-million grant from the MasterCard foundation, Queen’s University has begun a partnership with the University of Gondar to advance inclusive education for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia and Africa.

Part of the foundation’s Scholars Program, the partnership will provide 450 next-generation African leaders with a high-quality education at the University of Gondar, while also providing 60 of the university’s faculty members ith the opportunity to study at Queen’s, where they will enhance their skills in innovative pedagogy and in leading collaborative research between African and North American universities. The University of Gondar and Queen’s University will also collaborate to develop Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program.

Through the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICABRR), Queen’s University will provide 44 University of Gondar faculty members with PhD training to develop skills and capabilities needed to supervise scholars’ research and practica. Queen’s will also support the University of Gondar as it develops and implements the first undergraduate occupational therapy curriculum and program in Ethiopia. This work will involve providing master’s-level training in occupational therapy to 16 University of Gondar faculty members, who will then work with Queen’s occupational therapy faculty members to develop a curriculum and teach in the first occupational therapy program at the University of Gondar.

“This partnership brings about mutual and substantial benefits to both Queen’s and the University of Gondar,” says Heather Aldersey, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, and the faculty project lead at Queen’s. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with visionary leaders in disability and inclusive development at the University of Gondar on this project. I have no doubt that the impact of this work will create sustained improvement of opportunities for young people with disabilities in Ethiopia.”

As part of the partnership, the University of Gondar will provide 290 undergraduate and 160 master’s-level degrees in multidisciplinary fields that will encompass health sciences, law, education, nursing, and rehabilitation sciences, taking special care to recruit young people with disabilities, as well as young people from conflict-affected countries. The University of Gondar will deliver an annual summer leadership camp for scholars across the program, as well as a robust, practicum-based experiential program focused on giving back to the community, through service and leadership skill development in the field of community-based rehabilitation.

New names for library study rooms

Twelve new study rooms at Stauffer Library have been given Indigenous names to increase the visibility of the Indigenous community. The rooms, opened in October, also addressed a need for more study space on campus.

“One of our primary mandates, since I started here, has been to increase the visibility of Indigenous presence on campus in order to contribute to the understanding that Queen’s is a welcoming space for Indigenous students, staff, and faculty,” said Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

[library room]
(Photo by Bernard Clark)

Seven of the rooms were named after the Anishinaabe Seven Grandfather Teachings:

  • Wisdom – Nibwaakaawin
  • Love – Zaagi’idiwin
  • Respect – Minaadendamowin
  • Bravery – Aakode’wein
  • Honesty – Gwayakwaadiziwin
  • Humility – Dabaadendiziwin
  • Truth – Debwewin

The remaining five rooms were named using Mohawk, Cree, Michif (Métis), Mik’maq, and inuktitut words:

  • Learning – Keweyentehtahs
  • Teaching – Kishnamakayin
  • Knowledge – Kiskellitamowin
  • Persistence – Munsa’t
  • Community Place – Katimmavik

To add a unique element to the third- and fourth-floor rooms, the library and Four Directions formed a partnership with Correctional Services Canada to commission Indigenous artists from Joyceville Institution to create paintings to be displayed in the rooms.The artists incorporated the meaning of the new room names into their artworks.

“One of our strategic priorities in the library is to realize the potential of library spaces and provide memorable places for social and intellectual encounters and discovery,” said Martha Whitehead (Vice-Provost and University Librarian). “We are very pleased at this opportunity to partner with Four Directions to celebrate cultural diversity and provide inclusive learning spaces.”

Photo caption: The Kiskellitamowin study room in Stauffer Library. “Kiskellitamowin” means “knowledge” in Cree. The painting inside, Knowledge: sitting still, is by Austin Elijah and Thomas McMahon.

Bell Chair renewal

In January, Bell Let’s Talk announced a $1-million gift to Queen’s to renew the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair. Heather Stuart, the inaugural holder of the world’s first anti-stigma research chair, has been reappointed to the position for another five-year term.

“The Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair positions canada as a leader in advancing research into the pervasive stigma around mental illness, a significant barrier to treatment for many people. the support of Bell Let’s Talk enables Dr. Stuart and her team to continue their important work in finding new ways to leave stigma behind,” said Principal Daniel Woolf.

Dr. Stuart’s advocacy work has led to greater awareness and the development of best practices in stigma reduction. She has shared best practices in anti-stigma intervention and outreach with
organizations around the country and internationally, including the Mental health commission of Canada and the World Psychiatric Association.

[Heather Stuart]
Dr. Heather Stuart, Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair

The profile of the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair continues to grow. Dr. Stuart brings her work to audiences across the country through public lectures, including in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, and Vancouver to date. “I am extremely grateful for the support of Bell Let’s Talk and Queen’s and i look forward to continuing my work with partner organizations to develop and evaluate mental health best practices,” Dr. Stuart said. “This work will include significant knowledge exchange through speaking at conferences, consulting with policymakers and others, and publishing in peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

While one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, two-thirds of those will not seek treatment for fear of judgment or rejection. Working to end that stigma is a key pillar of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative, alongside access to care, research, and workplace mental health. in 2015, Dr. Stuart and Bell Let’s Talk developed five simple ways to help end the stigma around mental illness.

Learn more at Bell Let's Talk

New CFI funding for research facilities

Three Queen’s University-affiliated research facilities have received a combined $44.25 million in support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) under the Major Science Initiatives (MSI) Fund. The three Queen's-affiliated facilities accounted for 13.5 per cent of the $328.5 million in total MSI funding awarded in the 2017-2022 competition cycle. In addition, nearly 17 per cent of the facilities funded (three out of 18) are affiliated with Queen’s University.

“Today’s leading-edge research, particularly large-scale collaborative research projects, can be very expensive to undertake due to the extensive infrastructure needed and the indirect costs of maintaining facilities,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal of Queen’s University. “The funding announced is critical to ensuring that these prominent research centres can continue to operate and remain competitive, while providing opportunities for researchers at Queen’s and across Canada to continue their groundbreaking research.”

The fund supports ongoing operations and maintenance costs for a select group of national research facilities which serve as hubs for collaboration and contribute to Canada’s reputation as a global leader in research and innovation. Through these facilities, researchers at Queen’s gain access to leading edge infrastructure – aiding them in addressing some of the most important issues facing society and probing the deepest mysteries of the universe.

The Canadian Cancer Trials Group has received a five-year, $8.68 million grant to support its Operations and Statistics Centre at Queen’s. CCTG is a cancer research cooperative that provides the expertise and infrastructure for researchers to conduct national and international phase I-III cancer clinical trials. From its centre at Queen's, CCTG has supported over 500 trials in over 40 countries, aimed at improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients around the world.

SNOLAB has received a three-year, $28.57 million grant from CFI, in support of the lab’s continued operation. Born out of the Queen’s-led Sudbury Neutrino Observatory – for which Arthur McDonald was named the co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics – SNOLAB is one of only a handful of underground laboratories worldwide capable of supporting the current and future generations of subatomic and astroparticle physics experiments, seeking to unlock the mysteries of the universe. The work conducted as part of the SNO collaboration and subsequently at SNOLAB has led to groundbreaking results cementing Canada’s, and Queen’s, reputation as a world leader in the field. Building on this history of success, Queen’s is home to Gilles Gerbier, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics. SNOLAB continues to attract top-flight scientific collaborations, including the recently-announced Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC).

Recognized worldwide for their work advancing innovation in micro-nano technologies, CMC Microsystems has received a three-year, $7-million grant from CFI, with the option to apply for an additional two years. The funding will support researchers across Canada’s National Design Network by providing state-of-the-art commercial design tools, expertise and industrial connections for research and development in advanced smart technologies. The long-term goal is to foster Canadian leadership in advanced technology manufacturing and establish Canada as a global technology leader. Queen’s contracts with CMC to manage CFI funds granted to Queen’s as part of Canada’s National Design Network.

“Through the MSI program the Government of Canada clearly recognizes the importance of sustaining key research platforms, and supporting large-scale collaborations that are conducting leading-edge research with global impact,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “This support is crucial to the success of our leading research facilities as the funds enable our faculty, students, and post-doctoral fellows, as well as our collaborators to access state-of-the-art research infrastructure required to undertake their seminal research programs.”

Created in 1997, the Canada Foundation for Innovation makes financial contributions to Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research organizations to increase their capability to carry out high quality research. The foundation provides funding to eligible Canadian institutions, through a rigorous competitive and independent merit-review process, through a suite of funds. Funding is awarded based on the quality of the research proposed and its need for infrastructure, its contribution to strengthening the capacity for innovation and the potential benefits of the research to Canada.

For more information on the Canada Foundation for Innovation, or the Major Science Initiatives Fund, please visit the website.

In memoriam

Professor Emeritus Richard Hope Simpson died Nov. 11. He taught classics and archaeology a t Queen’s from 1964 to 1993, and received the Queen’s Prize for Research Excellence in 1985.

Professor Emeritus Alfred Fisher, former director of the Queen’s School of Music, died December 14.

If you have memories of these professors you would like to share, please email us at review@queensu.ca.

[cover of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 1, 2017]