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Queen's remembers Jeff McGill

One mark of a great professor is how much he or she gives back to colleagues, students, and others. In that regard, Jeff McGill was simply outstanding.

[Professor Emeritus Jeff McGill]
Professor Emeritus Jeff McGill

“Jeff was a mentor to many, he gave back as an editor of academic journals and he had a significant impact in making (Smith School of Business) a leader in analytics,” Professor Emeritus Brent Gallupe,, said in remembering his friend and colleague. “We were very fortunate to have him at the school.”

A longtime Smith faculty member and Professor Emeritus, Jeff McGill passed away at his home in Kingston on Aug. 10 surrounded by family. He was 68.

McGill joined Smith in 1993 as an assistant professor. His area of research was dynamic pricing and revenue management. Essentially the study of selling the right product to the right people at the right time and the right price, revenue management has in recent years become a popular topic in business. Yet in the 1990s, it was still something new. McGill was an early expert, notably in the area of transportation and airline pricing.

“A lot of people consider him a pioneer in the field,” said Yuri Levin, Executive Director of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at Smith.

In 2013, Levin and McGill led the launch of the Master of Management Analytics program. “Analytics is really starting to brand the school. Without Jeff’s support and influence, the analytics program here would have had a much slower start,” Gallupe said.

McGill’s work was recognized by his peers many times. Among his awards: the 2008 Research Historical Prize in Revenue Management and Pricing from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS). In 2013 McGill, Levin and fellow Smith professor Mikhail Nediak were awarded the INFORMS Practice Prize in Revenue Management and Pricing.

McGill’s work was also recognized at Smith. In 2008, he received the school’s Research Achievement Award.

Despite his accolades, McGill was a modest man. “He did not brag. He was passionate about the profession and the school, and he showed a great deal of respect to his colleagues, particularly younger colleagues,” Levin said.

Deputy Provost Teri Shearer remembers McGill for his generosity to others, devotion to friends and for his leadership in management science at Smith. “He was very community minded and he put the group ahead of himself,” Shearer said.

Gallupe recalls his sense of humour, always delivered with “a smile and twinkle in his eyes.” Outside work, McGill enjoyed golfing and playing poker with friends. “He was just a good person,” Gallupe said.

Jeffrey McGill was born Nov. 1, 1949 in Montreal. After graduating with a BSc in physics from Bishop’s University in 1970, he took a job in new product development at Domtar in Montreal. Three years later, he went to work in operations research at CN Rail, while getting his MSc in mathematics from Concordia University.

McGill began teaching in 1979, first at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the University of British Columbia (where he received his PhD in management science in 1990), then at the University of Denver.

One student McGill made a lasting impression on was Kam Moud (MSc’04), now managing director with AIG in New York City. The two met during one of the school’s information sessions. Moud had just moved to Canada from Sweden and was thinking of returning to school. McGill encouraged him to apply to the Master of Science in Management program, and over the next several years, “he took me under his wing and gave me a lot of guidance,” Moud said, adding McGill was as helpful to other students as well.

Upon graduation Moud thought he’d like to one day repay McGill for all his help. He did just that three years ago, creating a scholarship in McGill’s name.

Today, the Jeff McGill Graduate Fellowship is awarded to an international student on the basis of academic excellence enrolled in the MSc or PhD management science programs. Said Moud: “In your life there are people whose support makes a real difference to you, and you end up somewhere better for it. For me, Jeff became one of those people.


Queen's remembers Barrie Frost

Barrie J. Frost, MA, PhD, LLD (h.c.), FRSC, FAAAS, FCPA, and Professor Emeritus in Psychology, died peacefully on Oct. 4 at the age of 79 after a courageous battle with cancer. His wife Ginny and his sons, Andrew, Tim, and Hugh were with him.

[Professor Emeritus Barrie Frost]
Professor Emeritus Barrie Frost

Barrie was born in Nelson, New Zealand. There, he grew up roaming the steep hills that connect the mountain range in the north with the fjords and deep waters that characterize the coast of his Southern Island hometown. He completed his teacher’s certificate in Christchurch in 1959, followed by a BA in 1961, and an MA in 1964, both at the University of Canterbury. Barrie then moved to Sydney, Australia, as a lecturer at the University of Sydney before coming to Canada where he completed his PhD at Dalhousie University under the supervision of W. K. Honig in 1967. He then joined Gerald Westheimer’s laboratory at the University of California in Berkeley as a postdoctoral fellow. Barrie was appointed at Queen’s in 1969 and remained one of its most luminous and inspiring members for almost half a century.

Barrie spent his lifetime as a pioneer in many fields of neuroscience research. He published over 100 articles in scientific journals and lived an illustrious career that was recognized internationally through many awards and fellowships. These included the Rutherford Scholarship of the Royal Society of London, the James McKeen Cattel Award of the Association for Psychological Science, the Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science, and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize. Barrie was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Barrie’s main interest was in understanding the physiology and function of visual systems. As a postdoctoral fellow, he worked on systems as diverse as eye movements in the water flea Daphnia pulex, single cell electrophysiology in the retina and tectum of amphibia, and rod-cone interactions in the human visual system.

As a young professor in the departments of psychology and biology, Barrie taught generations of students and worked on a diverse portfolio of questions, methods and organisms. Students remember him for his contagious enthusiasm. He was able to open their eyes to the curiosities of nature, the odd twists that evolution sometime takes, and the sophisticated interconnections and dependencies between organisms. Barrie was also a valued and respected mentor to his junior colleagues. His door was always open and he was never too busy to provide support and advice, often peppered with animated anecdotes of his own adventures.

Barrie’s research remained immensely diverse. Over his career, he worked on sensory systems in many different bird species, but also in invertebrates and mammals, including humans. He published research on depth perception in owls, optic flow computation in pigeons, and self-motion perception in humans to name just a few of his many contributions to vision science. He was also interested in tactile perception and hearing. One of his many projects involved the creation of the “tactile vocoder,” a device that translates sound into a pattern of tactile sensations that could be used by profoundly deaf people to experience sound, including spoken language.

In 2004, when Barrie turned 65, he retired from administrative and teaching duties and became a professor emeritus. On the research side, however, he continued to be as active as ever. Research projects he conducted during this part of his career included studies of the migratory behaviour of the monarch butterfly, mechanisms of magnetoreception in birds, and navigation strategies in night-migrating moths.

It was only in March of this year that Barrie returned from his last field trip. Together with an international group of colleagues, he had been studying the spectacular ability of the night-migrating Bogong moth to find its way, 1,000 km from the hot and dry spring conditions of southeast Australia, to a small number of cool caves in the Australian Alps, where they can survive the summer. His last publication appeared in July 2018 and made the front cover of the prestigious journal Current Biology. 

Barrie was not only an acclaimed scientist and educator, but he was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. He delighted in his family and friends and enjoyed sharing his love of discovery with everyone. He was a gifted storyteller, sage advisor, and trusted friend. Those who were fortunate to know him will never forget him.

This Lives Lived was written by Dr. Nikolaus Troje with the support of Dr. Frost’s colleagues at Queen’s.

Nominations for 2018 Tri-Awards

The Human Rights & Equity Office is seeking nominations for the annual Tri-Awards.

The deadline for the awards, which recognize individuals and groups on campus who have made significant contributions to university life in the areas of accessibility, equity and human rights, is noon on Friday, Jan. 11.

Who can Nominate?

Any member of the Queen’s community including students, staff, faculty, or alumni, as well as members of the general Kingston community and surrounding area who have an interest in Queen's University may submit nominations.

For more information about each award, and to access nomination forms, click the links below:

Queen’s United Way campaign reaches its goal

​More than $343,000 has already been donated in support of the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

[Queen's United Way]
James Ligthart, co-chair of the Queen’s United Way Committee, and Alma Mater Society representative Carina Sabourin present Fred Godbile, the 2018 campaign chair for the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, with a cheque for $340,000 at the United Way KFLA Touchdown Breakfast. Donations are still welcome. (Supplied Photo)

The Queen’s community has supported the United Way Campaign by donating $343,569, surpassing its goal of $330,177. And more can still be done.

 “As this successful campaign shows, the Queen’s community is a caring and giving community,” say Queen’s campaign co-chairs Kellie Hart and James Ligthart. “The Queen’s campaign is the largest workplace campaign for the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Moving ahead we are looking to increase the participation rate here at Queen’s and increasing our support to change lives in our community.”

Moving ahead we are looking to increase the participation rate here at Queen’s and we are looking at ways to achieve this goal.”

Donations to this year’s campaign in support of United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington are still more than welcome.

Queen’s community members can back the United Way through payroll deduction, a one-time gift, credit card, cheque or cash. 

To make a donation online through the United Way’s ePledge system, simply go to queensu.ca/unitedway and fill out the forms. Please note that if you donated last year and selected the auto-renewal action, no further action is required unless you would like to change your donation. 

Another way the Queen’s community can show its support during the holidays is the annual Gift of Hope campaign.

The Gift of Hope is available through the United Way KFLA website and provides opportunities to donate and provide support in six categories: Buy Winter Boots to Keep a Child Warm; Help Give a Youth Shelter; Hot Meals for the Hungry; Welcome Home Basket; and Buy a Backpack for a Child.

Last year, more than 58,000 people in the community benefited from United Way-funded programs.

“It’s very encouraging to see how many lives are touched by the United Way with the continuing support of the Queen’s community and so many others,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and Executive Sponsor for the Queen’s United Way campaign. “The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is addressing the root causes of social inequity and poverty by bringing ideas as well as volunteers to problems, and working with the community to solve them.”

More information on the campaign and the role of the Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee is available in this Gazette article.

More to explore at newly-opened Mitchell Hall

Several student services unveil new space within Queen’s newest building.

  • Mitchell Hall signage for QUIC, Faith and Spiritual Life, and Student Community Services
    Mitchell Hall signage for QUIC, Faith and Spiritual Life, and Student Community Services. (University Communications)
  • The lounge in Faith and Spiritual Life's new office.
    The lounge in Faith and Spiritual Life's new office, located on the second floor. (University Communications)
  • The new Health Promotion space on Mitchell Hall's main level.
    Part of the new Health Promotion space, which is located on Mitchell Hall's main level. (University Communications)
  • The new Queen's University International Centre
    The new Queen's University International Centre is now open on the second level of Mitchell Hall. (University Communications)

Mitchell Hall welcomed the campus community into its brand new central atrium, examination spaces, and a second Starbucks location last week, marking the public debut of Queen’s newest building. This week, the next wave of occupants take their places in the signature new facility, providing a variety of services for students and staff.

The Queen’s University International Centre, Health Promotion, Faith and Spiritual Life, and Student Community Relations move into Mitchell Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 11 and Wednesday, Dec. 12.

“Watching staff and students pass through the doors of Mitchell Hall for the first time last week was a real pleasure,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Now that exams are successfully underway in many of the building’s new spaces, including three gyms, multi-purpose classrooms, and the Examination Centre, I’m proud to welcome our campus community to explore more of Mitchell Hall with the openings of four new facilities.”

Students and staff are now able to visit the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) on the second floor of Mitchell Hall. QUIC is an international education support service for students, faculty, and staff that provides resources for international students studying at Queen’s, connects Queen’s students with educational opportunities abroad, and works to enhance and diversify international learning on campus. The new QUIC is a bright space with floor-to-ceiling windows facing Union Street. Students, both international and domestic, are invited to come socialize and network, seek advice, access a variety of programming, and learn about campus activities and services.

On Friday, Dec. 14, the new Gregory David and Neil Rossy Health Promotion Hub will be ready for visitors. This student-focused service aims to support and improve health and well-being by working across the interconnected domains of physical, mental, and social health. Peer volunteer teams assist students in making healthy choices, providing education and skill building related to harm reduction, substance use, nutrition, sexual health, and more. The new facility is a visible main floor space for peer programs, training, professional development workshops, and the creation of new programs.

Faith and Spiritual Life is open throughout December, providing a space on Mitchell Hall’s second level for students and staff to engage in reflection and prayer, and participate in the various programs offered by the Faith and Spiritual Life team. Led by Queen’s Chaplain Kate Johnson, Faith and Spiritual Life provides a range of spiritual supports to students, faculty, and staff. The new space includes a small, cheerful lounge where students are welcome to heat and eat their lunch, or enjoy a cup of tea after they have been at prayer. A new Interfaith Room is also nearing completion, and there are ablution stations in the second floor bathrooms. The West Campus location of Faith and Spiritual Life remains open on Tuesday afternoons or by appointment.

Students seeking assistance with community-related matters, including support with off-campus housing issues, are now able to visit the new Student Community Relations Office (SCR) on Mitchell Hall’s second floor. Coordinator Joan Jones will be available for confidential guidance on evaluating off-campus housing, tenant rights and responsibilities, resources for moving, and more. The move to Mitchell Hall keeps SCR near the student services that often refer students to its services, and in the heart of an active student-centered building.

“Mitchell Hall’s central location on campus enhances the visibility and accessibility of many of the important services Queen’s offers its students,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “It also brings many services together, increasing opportunities for collaborative initiatives that respond to evolving student needs.”

Athletics and Recreation is opening ARC South in January, which includes a new High Performance Varsity Training Centre for student athletes, as well as expanded intramural activities in the three gyms currently hosting exams.

With the exception of Health Promotion, Student Wellness Services will continue operating in its current space in the Lasalle Building on Stuart Street until the end of the academic year, before taking up residence in the new Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre on Mitchell Hall’s main floor. Over the next few weeks, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science active learning classrooms will be opening, as will new research and innovation spaces.

Located at the corner of Union and Division streets on the former site of the Physical Education Centre, Mitchell Hall was made possible through over $50 million in philanthropic support. The federal and Ontario governments also contributed $22 million to the project.

Learn more about Mitchell Hall and all of its current and future tenants, on the website.

Helping newcomers access the healthcare system

[Setareh Ghahari]
Setareh Ghahari, an assistant professor at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, created ACHIEVE. a program that helps immigrants and refugees learn about how they can get the care that they need. (University Communications) 

As a newcomer to Canada, Setareh Ghahari experienced first-hand some of the challenges faced by newcomers in attempting to access health services.

Despite being a registered occupational therapist with extensive knowledge, experience, and access to resources, she experienced difficulty accessing health-related services. These experiences provided motivation to develop and launch an innovative new program aimed at supporting newcomers to Canada (including groups such as immigrants, refugees, and international students) as they navigate a complex and unfamiliar health system. 

After completing some research, it became clear to Dr. Ghahari that her experience and the barriers she faced in accessing health services were fairly representative. These difficulties are often compounded for immigrants or refugees with significant language barriers, or who are experiencing traumatic personal circumstances. Dr. Ghahari concluded that there was a gap in resources. In other words, there needed to be something in place that could enable newcomers to access the Canadian healthcare system. They need to be educated about what services are available and how they can best be accessed, but newcomers also need help with building networks of support to enable this access to services.

Dr. Ghahari decided that she would develop a program to do this work.

Since coming to Queen’s as an assistant professor at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy in 2014, following the completion of a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Ghahari launched Accessing Canadian Health Care for Immigrants – Empowerment, Voice and Enablement (ACHIEVE). ACHIEVE is a seven-week program that brings immigrants and refugees together to learn how they can get the care that they need in their new country. The program features one two-hour session each week, covering different topics, such as screenings and preventions, finding a family doctor, mental health, and prevention.

Some of the aspects of the program that Dr. Ghahari has found most useful for participants are those that teach newcomers how to use English to communicate about illness. This addresses a serious issue, because immigrants and refugees will wait too long to seek out healthcare because they don’t feel comfortable talking about their conditions in English, even if they are otherwise capable speakers. While many of the newcomers in ACHIEVE have very strong English skills, that does not always mean that they know the specific words to convey pain or sickness. Reinforcing language skills around health is especially important, Dr. Ghahari explains, because people need them most in highly stressful situations – exactly when people often have trouble speaking precisely in their first language, let alone their second.

As a critical part of this work, Dr. Ghahari built partnerships with several community organizations in the Kingston area, including the KEYS Job Centre, Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education, and Immigrant Services Kingston and Area (ISKA). Immigrants and refugees frequently seek out services at these different centres, so they make for a convenient place to hold the classes. No less important, they are also spaces in which newcomers feel welcome and comfortable.

When ACHIEVE first started, Dr. Ghahari taught every session herself, but now the program has grown and she has trained students in the Queen’s occupational therapy program to deliver the sessions. To help ACHIEVE expand beyond Kingston, she is training ESL teachers and healthcare practitioners, and she is developing online modules that can both deliver the program and train new facilitators.

Even when the program is online, Dr. Ghahari will encourage individuals to participate as part of a group, as this is a fundamental aspect of ACHIEVE – to build a community of support for new Canadians. This all feeds into Dr. Ghahari’s ultimate goals for ACHIEVE: to build and empower communities of newcomers, thereby enabling their access to Canadian healthcare systems while also reducing feelings of vulnerability or social isolation.

This article was first published on the Dean’s Blog. It is written by Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, with support from Erika Beresford-Kroeger, Online Programs Manager in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, and Andrew Willson, Senior Communications Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences.

Faculty focus on writing

  • Adrian Kelly, Research Projects Advisor in the Faculty of Arts and Science,
    Adrian Kelly, Research Projects Advisor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, facilitates a workshop on writing habits during the Faculty Writing Retreat. (University Communications)
  • [Faculty Writing Retreat]
    Queen's faculty members attend a special writing workshop coordinated by the Research Portfolio on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Donald Gordon Centre. (University Communications)

Queen’s faculty members were able to focus on writing for a day and gain some insight and guidance during the fifth annual Faculty Writing Retreat, coordinated by the Research Portfolio, on Tuesday, Dec. 11

Held at the Donald Gordon Centre, the annual retreat provides an opportunity for the busy scholar to set aside a full day for reflection, collaboration, and bringing momentum to stalled writing projects.

Throughout the day there were opportunities for discussions with colleagues from across the university, and private one-on-one consultations with University Research Services.

Also on offer was an hour-long writing workshop on writing habits led by Adrian Kelly, Research Projects Advisor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, entitled Around the Blocks: Techniques and Tools to Beat Back Fear, Stop Procrastination, and Become a Daily Writer.

15 Days of self-care

The ninth annual 15 Days of Exams Health Challenge is now underway through to Dec. 20.

[15 Days of Exams Health Challenge]15 Days of Exams is a social media contest, coordinated by Health Promotion in Student Wellness Services, that promotes student self-care. During the 15-day period, Health Promotion’s Be Well social media sites will be posting daily tips and challenges. Each post will address ways to stay healthy during the busy and stressful exam season. Students are encouraged to leave comments about their healthy habits and can win weekly prize baskets by sharing their ideas.

“This challenge was initially developed as a healthier version of an advent calendar,” says Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Coordinator at Student Wellness Services. “We want to encourage students to incorporate daily self-care into what is often a very stressful and perhaps unhealthy time of year.”

The challenges change every year and are created in collaboration with students who work and volunteer with Health Promotion. 

To get involved, check out Queen’s University Be Well on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Queen’s remembers Hilda Thompson

The Queen’s community mourning the passing of Hilda Thompson, an information services technician with Queen’s University Library, who died on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

In her 65th year, Hilda passed away peacefully at Providence Care Hospital, surrounded by loving family. Hilda began as a library technician in 1998 and spent the last several years working at Bracken Health Sciences Library. She was a dedicated employee and was a joy to work with. Her unwavering kindness and compassion will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.

Hilda will be sadly missed by husband Gavin Hutchison, brother Wayne (Sue), nieces and nephew Erin (Russel) Jones, Sarah and Adam (Shandel Dyck), aunt Marjorie, stepdaughters and son Sarah (Leon Miklos) Hutchison, Diana (Scott) Steadman and David (Tristan Smith) Hutchison and great-nephews Oliver, Grayson, and Haze. She was predeceased by her parents Blake and Adel and loving aunts and uncles.

The visitation for family and friends is Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at the James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd. The funeral will be held Thursday, Dec. 13 at 11:30 am in the chapel.

Flags on campus will be lowered on Thursday in memory of Hilda.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Canadian Cancer Society, Inverary United Church or Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides would be appreciated by the family.

A memorial is also available online.

Employee and Family Assistance Program provider publishes December edition of Lifelines

[Lifelines December 2018]
Read the December 2018 edition of Lifelines online.

As the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider for Queen’s University, Homewood Health publishes a number of regular newsletters, including Lifelines.

The monthly newsletter is intended to support key personnel with a wealth of information on the topic presented. The December edition is entitled Holiday Stress and Anxiety Prevention.

For more information on the Queen’s EFAP, visit the Human Resources website.

For 24-hour EFAP services call 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (French).


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