Queen's Shift Project receives national recognition

Inclusive culture

Queen's Shift Project receives national recognition

By Communications Staff

May 2, 2024


Queen's Shift Project receives award

Taryn McKenna and Jennifer Ross accepting the award for the Queen's Shift Project. (Supplied photo)

Queen’ Shift Project has been honoured with an Innovation Award from the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS).  

Taryn McKenna, Student Inclusion and Engagement Coordinator in the Student Experience Office, and Jennifer Ross, Manager, Special Projects for Student Affairs, accepted the award at a ceremony last week. It is granted to a program or service that exemplifies innovation and excellence, and could serve as a model of promising practice for other institutions.

The Shift Project launched in 2022 and was inspired by the university’s first campus climate student survey, which was a partnership of Student Affairs and the Human Rights and Equity Office. The project aims to transform campus culture, championing a future where equity, inclusion, and safety are the norm.  

“Receiving this award is particularly meaningful because it recognizes that to create a culture shift on campus, we have to move beyond the status quo,” says McKenna. “Inclusion and belonging don’t happen on their own – there has to be a concerted effort to listen to equity-deserving student experiences and have genuine and honest conversations. We also know that we have to engage the dominant culture and break down barriers of misunderstanding and prejudice in ways that resonate with students in order to make this shift a reality.”  

Year-round events and activities, informed by a Student Advisory Group and coordinated by dedicated staff and students, centre the voices of equity-deserving students and work to build knowledge and leadership in equity and inclusion across the institution.  The student-driven project also promotes allyship and challenges students from dominant cultures to recognize and use their influence to enact positive change.  

“This award reinforces our belief that Queen’s is on a positive path forward to creating a campus culture that is rooted in empathy, respect, and kindness. The work centres students, and our hope is that the project will empower more and more students to get engaged in helping to drive change, promote equity, and contribute to making Queen’s a more inclusive place to learn and grow as individuals and community members,” says Corinna Fitzgerald, Associate Vice-Provost, Student Affairs.  

The Shift Project has been featured at student services conferences in Canada and the US.  

Follow Queen's Shift Project on Instagram, and read the 2023 Shift Survey results on the Shift Project website

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