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Nominations sought for the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision

The School of Graduate Studies invites nominations for the 2020 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision.

This award recognizes outstanding supervisors who demonstrate excellence in advising and mentoring graduate students through their training. Further details can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Nomination packages should be addressed to the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, and submitted by email to sgsasst@queensu.ca by Monday, June 29, 2020

Leading undergraduates

A new AMS executive team is bringing extensive experience in student government to their new roles.

Photo of AMS executive team: Alexandra Samoyloff, Vice President (Operations); Jared den Otter, President; and Alexia Henriques, Vice President (University Affairs)
The new AMS executive team: Alexandra Samoyloff, Vice President (Operations); Jared den Otter, President; and Alexia Henriques, Vice President (University Affairs). (Supplied photo)

With a thriving culture of over 18,000 undergraduates, leading the undergraduate student government at Queen’s University is a significant undertaking. But the new executive team for the Alma Mater Society (AMS) has a wide range of experience to draw on as they work to represent the interests of their peers. Jared den Otter, Alexandra Samoyloff, and Alexia Henriques were elected as the new AMS leaders in January and began their roles on May 1.

“The AMS plays a very important role on campus, as it provides services and resources to undergraduates, oversees over 250 clubs, and works with the administration on the behalf of students. As we begin our term, we are looking forward to working with our peers to address their concerns and provide them the support they need,” says Jared den Otter, President, AMS.

Executive teams for the Alma Mater Society are comprised of a president, vice president (operations), and vice president (university affairs). And they run for election as a group, campaigning and strategizing as a team. In the new executive team, den Otter is president, Samoyloff is vice president (operations), and Henriques is vice president (university affairs).

Developing a platform

These three decided to run together because they felt they brought complementary perspectives to a variety of issues that are important to students. And they had made a connection with each other over their previous years at Queen’s through student government and academics. Before they began as the new AMS executive team, each of them had served in representative roles for several years.

As they campaigned, the new executive team developed a platform that rests on five pillars: health and wellness; sustainability; equity; external affairs; and student engagement. They decided on these pillars after speaking with many different students and student groups. All three of them also had become passionate about pursuing these strategic areas of focus in their prior work in student government at Queen’s.

Student government during the pandemic

While they still aim to pursue issues related to their five pillars, the new AMS executives have had to devote a significant amount of attention to pandemic-related issues in the first few weeks of their term. But they are doing their best to tie this work into their other overarching goals.

“In our responses to the pandemic, we’re letting the core values we outlined in our platform guide us. We’re trying to keep important issues like equity and student engagement in mind as we make decisions,” says den Otter.

As the AMS works to adapt throughout the pandemic, the executive team is letting their peers know that they are there to help them. They are actively using social media to keep undergraduates updated on their latest developments. And they will also be launching a COVID-19 web page next week to compile the latest information in one place.

“Throughout our campaign, we used the slogan ‘We’re with you,’ and we want Queen’s undergraduates to know that that is especially true right now,” says den Otter.

To learn more about the AMS visit their website

Ban Righ Centre Spring Awards

The Ban Righ Foundation is honouring 14 mature women students for their resilience and dedication in their studies and in the community.

The Ban Righ Centre’s annual Spring Celebration recognizes the accomplishments of mature women students at Queen’s who are working to reach their professional and personal goals. This year’s awards ceremony has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however all honourees are being celebrated on the Ban Righ Centre Facebook page and website, and they will receive their awards and certificates by mail.

“This year, there will be no Spring Celebration, however we won’t let that dampen our desire to acknowledge the incredible work of our award recipients,” says Susan Belyea, Director of the Ban Righ Centre. “This year’s student applicant pool was incredibly strong and we are lucky to have so many passionately committed and tireless mature women students at Queen’s University.”

The Ban Righ Centre – a unit in the Division of Student Affairs – supports the academic pursuits of women who have returned to their studies after a break. While the centre on Bader Lane remains closed due to the pandemic, staff are connecting remotely with students over email, phone and video, providing advice, support and connecting them to resources across the university.

One of this year’s Spring Award recipients is Crystal Jardine-Garvey, a PhD candidate in the School of Nursing who faced significant challenges while pursuing her studies.

Crystal Jardine-Garvey

Jardine-Garvey was awarded one of four Diane Mackenzie awards, which was established in memory of Dr. Jean Hill, Dean of Nursing from 1968-1977, with priority given to nursing students.

"My academic and professional experience enhanced my deeply rooted passion for promoting diversity, inclusion, social justice, equity, and advocating for anti-bullying,” she says. “The adverse circumstances I’ve faced have not distracted me from my studies – they have helped to develop my character, enhance my resilience, and been a motivation for completing my studies.”   

The Ban Righ Centre staff and Board of Directors hope to host a small celebration once social gathering restrictions are lifted and the Centre is reopened.

The Ban Righ Foundation was established in 1974 to support the continuing formal and informal education of women, especially mature women, returning to Queen’s. To learn more, visit the Ban Righ Centre website.

Kingston’s startup ecosystem globally recognized amongst giants

Kingston ranks as a top-10 startup ecosystem in Canada.

Startup Blink, the world’s most comprehensive startup ecosystem map and research centerranks Kingston as a top-10 startup ecosystem in Canada, while improving its global ranking moving up six spots to make Kingston a Top 150 Startup Ecosystem in the world. 

Kington moves up six spots globally to the 144th-ranked startup ecosystem in the world, and moves up one spot nationally to ninth in Canada, surpassing Victoria, BC. 

Collaborations and partnerships are variables that have led to Kingston’s improved ranking. Queen’s University, together with Launch Lab and St. Lawrence College, are regional partners to Invest Ottawa in the delivery of the Scale-up Platform in Eastern Ontario, which provides access to programs, services, and resources to entrepreneurs and companies that are advancing science-based, technology-based and/or software-based solutions. 

Queen’s has recently launched the WE-CAN Project to strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs in Kingston and region. Queen’s is collaborating with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the City of Kingston, St. Lawrence College, KEYS Job Centre, and L-SPARK to develop and deliver three distinct programming streams that provide eligible women entrepreneurs with additional training and support services focusing on issues that create barriers to successful business creation and growth. 

The Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation team launched a new incubator called the Queen’s Startup Runway, which is located at the new Seaway Coworking facility and includes co-location with the Queen’s team, Launch Lab, St. Lawrence College, and the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network – recently ranked as the #1 new angel network in Canada. 

 “There are very few cities of Kingston’s smaller population that can make it in the Top 150 global ranking. Many of the top ecosystems are from gigantic populous cities with million-plus inhabitants. An increase of even a single spot in the ranking is a result of tremendous efforts, as Kingston is a much smaller city,” says Andrew Bacchus, Business Development Officer, Kingston Economic Development. 

Kingston Economic Development will leverage the Startup Blink ranking to invest in its startup business community. For example, staff at Kingston Economic Development launched new programming with Smith School of Business at Queen’s to help startups and businesses navigate the new challenges with the Kingston Region Business Support Network. 

Queen’s is delighted to accelerate the growth of startups in Kingston by creating and delivering unique programs and services that provide founders with in-depth mentorship and access to numerous resources.  We are grateful for federal investments that have allowed us to provide this leadership,” says Kim Woodhouse, Vice-Principal Research. 

For more information visit, the website. 

Representing graduate and professional students

A new SGPS executive team is striving to stay connected throughout the pandemic.

Photo of Justine Aman, SGPS President
Justine Aman started her term as President of Society for Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) on May 1. (Supplied photo)

Queen’s offers a wide range of highly-regarded graduate and professional programs that bring over 5,000 students to campus. For most of them, their student government is the Society for Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) during their time at the university.

Each year, students elect a new executive team to the SGPS, and at the beginning of May, Justine Aman started her term as president. Joining her in the SGPS leadership will be Anthony Lomax (VP Community), Tamara Mitterer (VP Finance), Courtney Bannerman (VP Graduate), and John Jeyaratnam (VP Professional).

“As graduate and professional students come to Queen’s from all around the world and at many different stages of life, SGPS works to ensure that the voices of this diverse group are heard. This executive team is excited to work with our peers and meet their needs,” says Aman.

Working for graduate and professional students

A first-year master’s student in epidemiology, Aman served as the director of the Sexual Health Resources Centre this academic year. The centre is affiliated with SGPS, so she became increasingly familiar with the society through her work. When election season came around, Aman knew she wanted to become as actively involved in SGPS as she could.

When campaigning for the position of president in early 2020, Aman laid out strategic goals and stressed several core values that would guide her time in office: transparency; honesty; equity, diversity, and inclusivity; and creative advocacy. While she has had to revise some of her goals in the midst of the pandemic, she remains committed to these values.

Leading through the pandemic

To foster communication with their peers, Aman and the rest of the executive team recently held a virtual town hall. Many graduate and professional students joined their SGPS representatives to discuss the issues facing them at this time. From this discussion, the executive team has developed ideas of how they can best support their peers throughout the pandemic.

“We want to make sure that students know that we’re committed to helping them however we can through this time. We’re all trying to pursue our studies in unprecedented circumstances, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for us to achieve our goals,” says Aman.

As long as the need for physical distancing continues, SGPS will continue to communicate with students through virtual council meetings and social media. Aman has also instituted an online anonymous feedback form for students who want to express their concerns without revealing their identity. And to enable one-on-one communication with her peers, Aman is holding virtual office hours every Tuesday from noon to one over Zoom. 

To learn more about the SPGS, visit their website, and follow them on social media on Facebook and Instagram. And to learn more about how they are helping students during the pandemic, see their COVID-19 webpage.

Graduates’ video shares some good news

Meet the students who reached out to actor John Krasinski and were rewarded with a turn in a viral video. 

Some Good News Queen's graduation
With Spring Convocation postponed due to COVID-19, Queen's students Aimée Carter, Taylor De Sousa, and Stacy Pinto decided to host their own graduation ceremony, which was picked up by Some Good News. (Some Good News / YouTube)

Many of us will agree, this is the time of year when the beauty of the Queen’s Campus is at its peak. Thousands of students and families would normally be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the university as they attend the convocation ceremonies. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person events have been postponed. But that didn’t stop three friends from finding a creative way to cap off their time at Queen’s. 

The pandemic restrictions meant the university needed to rethink the traditional way it marks the end of the university experience. In mid-March, the Office of the University Registrar announced it is looking at Fall 2020 as a possible timeframe for convocation ceremonies to occur, in the interest of safety for faculty, students and families. 

“Since convocation was rescheduled, my housemates Taylor (De Sousa), Stacy (Pinto), and I decided to make our own celebration to commemorate our time at Queen's and still ‘graduate’ together” says Aimée Carter, a graduating Global Development Studies student. 

The trio gathered items that reminded them of Queen’s and got creative. 

“Our ‘diplomas’ were Golden Words newspapers and we made our caps out of pizza boxes” Carter says. 

But it was the graduation video the women made and submitted to actor John Krasinski’s You Tube series Some Good News that created the most memorable touch to their endeavor. 

“I’m a huge fan of John Krasinski and we all love watching his episodes of Some Good News each week,” says Taylor De Sousa, a graduating Psychology student. “I noticed Krasinski posted on the Some Good News Facebook page asking to see how we were all celebrating our graduation. There were so many comments from other grads like us, so I joined in and submitted our video.”  

Krasinski created the eight-week series as a way to celebrate the triumphs, joys and innovations of regular people. It grew to include celebrity drop-ins, fundraising endeavors and cool stunts.   

“Honestly, I was so shocked and excited when I saw that we were in Some Good News! We had joked about getting featured, but I didn't think it would actually happen” says Carter. 

The friends describe the video as “very uplifting” and say being featured made graduation feel a little more real. The icing on the cake perhaps, was the star power the post received. 

“It was amazing to see people like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and Malala Yousafzai congratulate everyone in the video and I am so happy to have been a part of it, even if it was just in a little way,” says Carter. 

The graduating students now plan to further their education, with De Sousa returning to Queen’s in the fall to begin her master's studies, and Carter hoping to pursue a master's abroad.   

So far, the 30-minute video, which was posted May 3 has been viewed over 3.4 million times. The Queen’s graduates are featured at the 22:14 mark. 

“Overall the reception has been pretty cool, people keep noticing the Queens flag in the background and sharing the video. It has definitely been a fun and surprising conclusion to our undergrad,” says Carter. 

Queen’s University remains committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to celebrate graduation, just as previous classes of Queen’s graduates have-with friends and family at Convocation. Until that time, Queen’s is on schedule to confer degrees over the coming days and weeks. 


For The Record: May 25, 2020

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, June 25. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, June 22. For the Record is published monthly during the summer and bi-weekly throughout the academic year.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Gazette Editor Andrew Carroll.

Advisory Search Committee - Director, Human Mobility Research Centre

The Deans of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and the Faculty of Health Sciences have established an Advisory Search Committee to review applications and provide recommendations on internal candidates for the Director of the Human Mobility Research Centre (HMRC).

HMRC is the premier research nexus between Queen’s University and Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), coalescing expertise from the clinical, engineering, basic science, computing and social science communities in the development of technologies, materials, methods, practices and policies for improved human health.  With its interdisciplinary, collaborative research setting, it is uniquely positioned for innovation driven research.

The three partnering faculties are seeking an individual to play the primary leadership role in advancing and diversifying the research mission and profile of the HMRC by providing strategic and operational management, developing and supporting an outstanding research environment, establishing external research linkages, ensuring long-term viability by increasing external research funding from an array of funding sources, and fostering excellence in research training. The successful candidate will be key to expanding the Centre membership around shared research interests. The director will be an established researcher with a dynamic, externally funded research program, who is internationally recognized for their translational innovations and leadership in collaborative initiatives that may extend to disciplines beyond those in the sciences and health sciences, which have been the traditional focus of HMRC. 

Interested individuals are invited to submit applications to the Advisory Search Committee, whose membership includes:

  • Dr. Steven Smith (Chair), Vice-Dean Research, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Amir Fam, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Dr. Nick Mosey, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Dr. Lynne Postovit, Head, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
  • Dr. Jeff Yach, Division Chair Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery
  • Dr. Brian Amsden, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Dr. Parvin Mousavi, Professor, School of Computing
  • Ms. Christa Camirand, Manager Human Resources, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Ms. Morgan Lehtinen, Graduate Student Representative

All qualified individuals are invited to submit an application.  Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.

Applications should consist of a cover letter, an up-to-date curriculum vitae, a 1-page vision of HMRC, and a list of three referees.  Completed applications and submissions are to be submitted on/before Monday, June 1, 2020 to:

Dr. Steven Smith
Chair, HMRC Advisory Search Committee
c/o Gladys Smith, FHS Research
Queen’s University
Ste 300-CRI, 10 Stuart Street
Kingston, ON  K7L 3N6

Electronic submissions, queries, and/or requests for the role description can be forwarded to Gladys.Smith@queensu.ca.

Faculty, staff, students, residents and all other members of the hospital and university communities, are invited to submit comments, in writing, on the present state and future prospects of the HMRC, as well as the names of possible candidates for the directorship.  Responses received will remain confidential and will be shared only with the members of the search committee; anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Call for Nominations: Mihran and Mary Basmajian Award for Excellence in Health Research

Each year, the Mihran and Mary Basmajian Award for Excellence in Health Research seeks nominations for individuals who have made notable contributions to health sciences research over the past year or several years.

Nominations can be made by any Health Sciences faculty member or department head and those nominated must be full-time faculty members with at least eight years of research experience.

Please find the full nomination and adjudication criteria and required documents here: Basmajian Award Instructions and the CV form here: Basmajian CV Form.

Nominations for this award are due by Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

For more about the history of the Mihran and Mary Basmajian Award for Excellence in Health Research, please read about Dr. Basmajian and his gift to the faculty.

Read about 2019 recipient Dr. Madhuri Koti here: Dr. Madhuri Koti awarded the 2019 Mihran and Mary Basmajian Award for Excellence in Health Research.

Celebrating graduates during COVID-19

Principal, Chancellor, and Rector share special video messages with the class of 2020 to mark important milestone.


Student waving Queen's flag.
Lists of conferred graduates will appear on the new Registrar web page over the coming weeks.

As public health officials continue to respond to COVID-19, the class of 2020 is marking their graduation under truly unprecedented circumstances. Since traditional convocation ceremonies have been delayed until safety guidelines permit, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Rector Sam Hiemstra, have shared special video messages of congratulations with graduates to mark this important milestone.

“This has been an amazing academic year, and I’ve thought a lot about the situation of our students bringing their careers to a close in what is an absolutely unprecedented set of circumstances,” says Principal Deane. “The big celebration with the robes, the music, and the applause – that will have to wait. In the meantime, congratulations! You have my deepest admiration, and best wishes for the future.”

The video messages have been shared as part of a new degree conferral and graduation activity webpage, which will also highlight evolving lists of graduates that will be added as they are conferred over the coming days and weeks. With in-person ceremonies postponed for an indeterminant period, many of the faculties are looking to celebrate graduates in a variety of virtual ways, and degrees will be mailed directly to them over the coming weeks. These activities will be highlighted on this page as they become available as well.

“We want to take this moment to congratulate you for completing your studies, and thus, earning your degrees, diplomas and certificates,” says Chancellor Leech. “You should be proud of your accomplishments, and that you are now a full-fledged member of Queen’s alumni.”

Planning is underway to offer in-person celebrations to ensure the university is ready to offer Spring 2020 graduates the experience they deserve, once conditions allow.

“During a traditional ceremony, we would soon gather outside of Ontario Hall, admiring the gardens and feeling the iconic Kingston warm breeze as we take photos and reminisce,” says Rector Hiemstra. “While that may not be happening today, from the bottom of my heart, I want you all to know that you are celebrated and valued.”

Learn more on the degree conferral and graduation activities webpage. Queen’s will update Spring 2020 graduates on planning for in-person ceremonies as pandemic response guidelines continue to evolve.

Queen’s University opens limited outdoor facilities

The university has opened two fields and a tennis court on main campus for limited use.

Effective Friday May 22, Queen’s University will re-open the following outdoor facilities for casual, informal use. Physical distancing requirements remain in effect.

  • Nixon Field
  • Tindall Field
  • Tindall Field Running Track
  • Summerhill Tennis Courts

All other Athletics & Recreation facilities, including ALL fields and buildings at the West Campus remain closed.

Provincial Emergency Measures and City of Kingston bylaws remain in effect. 

Use of any of the University’s opened outdoor spaces remain subject to the following conditions:

  • Provincial Emergency Measures and City By-laws remain in effect
  • Physical distancing restrictions required at all times (minimum of 2 metres apart)
  • Individual activities only
  • No group or organized activity permitted (practices, games, etc.)
  • Maintain safety measures (wash hands, cough into elbow, wear masks, remove litter)
  • Bring hand sanitizer/water; wash hands before/after use of the facility
  • No dogs permitted
  • Use at own risk
  • Follow directions of Queen's Campus Security and Staff

Failure to comply with any of the conditions above may result in individuals being removed from the facilities, and/or closure of the facility.

Group bookings of the facilities listed above cannot be made at this time.

Keep up to date on the University’s COVID-19 safety precautions here

Up to date information on A&R facilities, programs and services can be found here.

Global community responds to need

Smith School of Business community in China sends thousands of masks to Kingston.

Cindy Liang (Comm'23), left, delivers a shipment of masks to Ann van Herpt, director of supply chain services at 3SO.

In these trying times, there are many examples of people helping families, friends, neighbours and strangers. The Smith School of Business community – which spans the globe and encompasses students, staff, faculty, alumni, partners and more – is no different.

As a business school with deep international ties, Smith has long benefited from its relationships around the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the Smith community have repeatedly demonstrated their eagerness to join together to help those in need.

Over the past few months, there has been a well-documented shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by frontline health-care workers facing the threat of COVID-19. As the crisis became more manageable in China, it was only starting in North America, and health professionals in Kingston were in need of PPE. 

By April, several members of the Smith community had begun initiatives to get a supply of protective masks from China to Canada. Global partners, alumni clubs and individual students rallied to get thousands of masks delivered.

“The Smith community was quick to respond to the needs generated by the spread of COVID-19, from alumni and students pivoting their businesses and launching new initiatives to assist frontline workers and those at risk, to faculty, students, staff and local community partners coming together to support impacted businesses,” notes Dean Brenda Brouwer. “The donations of personal protective equipment from our students, alumni and partners in China further emphasize the strength and spirit of the Smith network.”

One donation, of 2,000 masks, came to Kingston from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing. Smith’s partnership with Peking, which began in 2005, was expanded last year to allow for select Commerce students to earn a dual degree from both institutions. In a letter to Smith administration, a Peking official expressed thanks for the support the school received during the early stages of the crisis and offered to send the masks as a sign of gratitude and to provide practical help.

With thousands of business-minded alumni spanning the globe, it is no surprise that by late March, Smith alumni in China were also hard at work on a plan to help out. Members of Smith Business Club China, which represents and connects the growing number of Smith alumni in China, were eager to help out their alma mater from afar. They arranged to deliver 6,400 masks to the Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) in early May.

For Smith Commerce students, international experiences are integral to their time in the program. Whether they have come to Kingston from abroad to earn their degrees or have a broadened perspective from participating in international exchange, students appreciate that they are preparing to enter an increasingly globalized business world.

This knowledge was not lost on first-year Commerce student Cindy Liang, Comm’23, who arranged a third donation of masks after seeing a tweet from KHSC regarding PPE donations. She worked with a group of former peers from her high school (Beijing’s Keystone Academy) who were interested in donating medical supplies to those in need abroad. 

“After they heard my story, they didn’t hesitate to help and generously sent many medical supplies to me, shipping a total of 14 packages to Canada,” Cindy explains.

She worked with university representatives to get the shipment into Canada and delivered 3,650 masks to KHSC.

“Looking back at the process, I have to say I am very appreciative of the help from the Queen’s community because I could not have accomplished this task without them,” says Cindy, who received help from the university’s procurement services to get the masks through customs. 

“I am glad that we could contribute to frontline medical workers in Kingston, and I am also fortunate to be part of the Queen’s community, which is filled with love and support.”

All mask donations were facilitated through 3SO (Shared Support Services Southeastern Ontario), which is responsible for sourcing and distributing PPE for the Kingston region. 


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