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YEAR IN REVIEW: Top stories for 2018

​The Gazette takes a look back at some of the top stories for the Queen's community over the past year.

[2018 Year in Review]
It was another exciting year for Queen's with appointments, achievements, and the opening of a new building on campus that will act as a powerful catalyst for growth and change in the lives of students and faculty. (University Communications) 

As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at the stories, events, and people at Queen’s who grabbed our attention over the past 12 months

Looking back it is clear that 2018 was a year of building upon the momentum initiated in 2017 in important areas such as diversity and inclusion and reconciliation, faculty renewal, and the ongoing modernization of our campus. 2018 also saw a number of changes in key positions at the university.


Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf has led the way for Queen’s for the past 10 years and with his second term nearing its conclusion the university announced that Patrick Deane will be 21st principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University. Currently president of McMaster University, Dr. Deane has deep roots at Queen’s, having served as vice-principal (Academic) from 2005 to 2010. He will officially take office on July 1, 2019.

Most Viewed Articles for 2018
1. Queen’s announces appointment of 21st Principal and Vice-Chancellor – 6,736 views
2. Innovation and Wellness Centre gets a new name – 4,222 views
3. Mitchell Hall ready to open its doors – 4,081
4. New Vice-Principal (Advancement) and Interim Vice-Principal (Research) appointed – 3,930
5. Planning underway to welcome students for fall term – 3,482
The most viewed article for 2018 was the announcement of the dates for Homecoming 2018. The article received an incredible 31,546 views, primarily in the weeks leading up to the event.

While not exactly a new face, Tom Harris took up a new position when he was appointed interim provost and vice-chancellor as of July 1, 2018. Dr. Harris had served as vice-principal (Advancement) from 2010 to 2018 and succeeded Benoit-Antoine Bacon who left Queen’s to become president of Carleton University.

At Summerhill, Karen Bertrand was appointed vice-principal (Advancement), also effective July 1. She joined Queen’s from Guelph University where she was associate vice-president, Major Gift Advancement.

On the same day, the university also announced the appointment of Kimberly Woodhouse as Interim Vice-Principal (Research). A professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Dr. Woodhouse recently served as dean of that faculty for two five-year terms from 2007 to 2017.

Elsewhere on campus, Fahim Quadir was appointed vice-provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies.  Dr. Quadir arrived on July 1 from York University where he was interim dean and associate vice-president graduate in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

In November, Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) and Stephanie Simpson accepted the inaugural positions of associate vice-principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) and associate vice-principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion), respectively. The new positions are an integral step in the university’s commitment to inclusion and reconciliation.

The university also continued its faculty renewal plan, started in 2017, with the goal of hiring 200 new faculty members over a five-year period, with approximately 50 of these positions being net new hires.

The Gazette highlighted a number of these new faces through a series of interview called “Introducing our new faculty members.” Among those featured were: Ricard Gil (Smith School of Business); Beata Batorowicz is a faculty member in the (Rehabilitation Therapy)Lindsay Fitzpatrick (Chemical Engineering); Mohamed Khimji (Law); Thomas Rotter (Healthcare Quality); Ravi Prakash (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Anne Duffy (Psychiatry); Kristy Timmons (Education); and Felicia Magpantay (Mathematics and Statistics).

Supporting Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, faculty renewal enables the university to increase representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals, while at the same time building on Queen’s current areas of research strength.


Capital projects on a campus the size of Queen’s are continuous but the main focus for 2018 was the final stages of construction for Mitchell Hall, renamed from the Innovation and Wellness Centre in recognition of a lead donation from a proud Queen’s engineering alumnus.

Combining key elements of campus life under one roof, Mitchell Hall is designed to act as a powerful catalyst for growth and change in the lives of students and faculty. Built on a central and highly-visible location, Mitchell Hall brings together a number of key services for students and is planned as a space that supports leading education and research, interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurial activities, and responsive health and wellness services.

The Queen’s community got its first look inside on Dec. 3 as parts of Mitchell Hall, including the central atriums and a new Starbucks location, opened. Three gymnasiums, two multi-purpose classrooms, and the Examination Centre also opened to host students writing tests during the Fall Term exam period, Dec. 5-20. Many other tenants moved into their new home by year end, and more were to arrive in 2019.


Queen’s students had their first fall-term break, following its approval in 2017. The two-day rest period (Oct. 25-26) is designed to ease stress and improve student success. Students were encouraged to use the time away from classes to catch up on their readings and rest. 

To accommodate the addition of a break, the university adjusted the move-in and orientation schedule at the start of the term. Residence move-in for first-year students was held on Saturday, instead of the usual Sunday. Orientation activities then followed on Sunday, two days earlier than in previous years.

Importantly, Orientation Week activities were designed to make the experience more inclusive. The changes stemmed from a report which focused on creating a more welcoming orientation experience for new students. In the spring the Undergraduate Orientation Review Working Group issued a report, making 20 recommendations to be completed by the university and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) by fall of 2019. 

Also introduced before the beginning of the 208-19 academic year was the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI), a collaborative effort between the City of Kingston, Kingston Police, and Queen’s University to enhance community safety.

The pilot program was developed to help promote a culture of safety and respect in the neighbourhoods surrounding Queen’s. The new enforcement approach means a summons to court for anyone issued a ticket for specific offences under the city’s Nuisance Party and Noise by-laws, as well as the Liquor License Act, during events including Orientation Week, Homecoming, and St. Patrick’s Day.


Building upon recommendations put forward in 2017, the university continued its efforts towards fostering reconciliation on campus.

Along with Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill)’s appointment as the first associate vice-principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation), Queen’s welcomed Kandice Baptiste as the director of Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. Originally from Tyendinaga, Baptiste returned to eastern Ontario from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, where she held the position of manager, Indigenous Initiatives.

The Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre ‘extended its rafters,’ opening its doors on Oct. 23 after an extensive renovation and expansion. Now housed in 144 and 146 Barrie Street, the new facility was a key recommendation of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) task force report. The project also paid tribute to the founding peoples of the area upon which Queen’s is situated with 144 Barrie being designed with a Haudenosaunee longhouse aesthetic, while 146 Barrie honours Anishinaabe peoples with a circular room for cultural and ceremonial events.

Other enhancements include an expanded kitchen and programming space at 144 Barrie and a library and quiet study rooms for students at 146 Barrie.


Throughout the year faculty and researchers also were recognized nationally and internationally for their dedication and groundbreaking work .

Highlights include Ahmed Hassan receiving the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship from NSERC as well as being named a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Staying with the RSC, the trio of Stephen Archer, Heather Stuart and Rena Upitis were elected as fellows. John Smol was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of London and Stephen Hughes received the Humboldt Research Award.