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Honouring secondary school mentors

Annual award allows graduating students to recognize the influence of former teachers.

As convocation ceremonies this week celebrate the achievements of thousands of Queen’s graduates, three students are marking this milestone by also honouring a high school educator who had a major influence on their journey to post-secondary education.

The teachers have been selected to receive a Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching, established by Chancellor Emeritus A. Charles Baillie.

The 2022 recipients are:

Nadia Bernabei of Kingston was nominated by Emma Smith (BNSc’22). Bernabei offers extra support to her students and a safe space in her mathematics classroom at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School. In her nomination, Smith describes Bernabei as instrumental in helping her make the decision to study nursing at Queen’s and to find joy and passion in learning.

“She led me to nursing and encouraged me to follow my dreams,” Smith says. “Without Ms. Bernabei, I truly would not be where I am today, as the remarkable impact, inspiring wisdom, and lasting impact she has had on me is truly unmeasurable.”

Jennifer Clark, who teaches mathematics at St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School in Bowmanville, was nominated by Cheyenne Kammerer (Artsci’22), for being a strong role model for students considering a path in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In her nomination, Kammerer highlights Clark’s readiness to encourage her class to view mistakes as opportunities to learn.

“She genuinely cared about teaching us to be good people,” says Kammerer. “Her impact will be lifelong. If I can be half as optimistic, compassionate, empathetic, and kind, I will be making a difference.”

Ben Gross, a social and global studies teacher at Don Mills Collegiate Institute in North York, was nominated by Natalee Bryanna Veisi (Artsci’22), who details the ways Gross made their school a safer and more inclusive space, including his efforts to engage Indigenous leaders and artists to facilitate meaningful learning opportunities for his students.

“He is the embodiment of everything I, as an aspiring educator, hope to be,” says Veisi. “My desire to serve as an educator in the future is attributable to the excellence that I count myself lucky to have seen Mr. Gross demonstrate on a daily basis.”

Teacher-recipients receive a financial award, a framed certificate, and recognition in the convocation program.

Learn more about the awards and past recipients on the Student Affairs website.

New graduates celebrate their achievement

Thousands of new Queen’s graduates are crossing the stage this week as convocation ceremonies pass the halfway mark.

  • Graduating students from the Faculty of Arts and Science laugh during Monday morning's convocation ceremony. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Two new graduates celebrate on the steps of Ontario Hall following their convocation ceremony on Monday. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • A new Queen's graduate is wrapped in a Pendleton blanket by Kanonhsyonne - Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • City Hall is lit up in tricolour for convocation week.
  • Principal Patrick Deane, Rector Owen Crawford-Lem, and Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech pose for a photo with a graduating student during one of the 10 convocation ceremonies being held this week. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Robert Spade started the convocation ceremonies on Tuesday, National Indigenous Peoples Day, by drumming in the graduands and providing a teaching. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • A group of graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering – masters in black and doctorals in red – pose for a group photo in front of Richardson Hall. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Graduating students fill the floor in front of the stage during Monday evening's convocation ceremony at the Leon's Centre in downtown Kingston. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Family members capture the big moment as their graduating student takes part in convocation. Two ceremonies are being held each day from June 20-24. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)
  • Campus is packed with graduates and their friends and families following each ceremony to get photos in front of buildings such as Ontario Hall and Grant Hall. (Queen's University/Bernard Clark)

Convocation is all about special moments and there have been many moments to celebrate as Queen’s enters the final two days on Thursday and Friday.

Throughout the week – June 20-24 – Queen’s is hosting an expected 8,000 graduating students along with their families and friends, as they officially mark the completion of their studies.

All ceremonies – two each day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – are being hosted at the Leon’s Centre in downtown Kingston with many new graduates returning to campus to cap their big day with some photos around our beautiful buildings.

Ceremonies are being hosted for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022, due to delays during the pandemic.

Joining the celebration, the City of Kingston has illuminated City Hall in Queen’s tricolour, and Kingston Transit is offering free transportation between campus and the Leon’s Centre on behalf of Queen’s.

Full details on the convocation ceremonies are available online, including schedules, directions, and venue information.

Those unable to attend in person can join over livestream.

The university is also sharing photos and stories on its social channels, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Graduates are encouraged to use the hashtags #QueensuGrad20 #QueensuGrad21 and #QueensuGrad22 to share their photos and convocation moments.

Queen’s honours National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day

Chancellor Murray Sinclair
Chancellor Murray Sinclair is the former chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Manitoba’s first Indigenous judge, and recently retired from the Canadian Senate.

Listen as Chancellor Murray Sinclair shares his thoughts on reconciliation and how Queen’s is contributing

On June 21, people across the country will be marking National Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s an opportunity to honour the history, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

In his role as Queen’s University Chancellor, the Honourable Murray Sinclair, shared his thoughts on the importance of sustaining the national push for reconciliation.    

“The importance of Indigenous Peoples Day is that it gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the rich history and the culture of Indigenous people, their historical presence, and the fact that they have a history in this country that has long been ignored by Canadian authorities and by the general society; because it was in Canada's interest that history be ignored, and their presence be ignored and often belittled,” said the Honourable Murray Sinclair in a special message. “But now, we are in an era when we're beginning to recognize the importance of it and the contributions that Indigenous people are making to Canadian society.”

“At Queen's University, we're contributing to that participation and we're contributing as well to the important influence that Indigenous people can make to this country through the students and the faculty members that we have, and the fact that we are beginning to focus our thoughts on reconciliation and how we can come to a better relationship with the Indigenous community,” he said.  

Marking reconciliation on campus

To help mark our ongoing commitment to this change, Queen’s intends to install a flagpole on campus to permanently fly the Truth and Reconciliation Survivors’ Flag. The university hopes to install the flag near the historical plinth at Ontario Hall that is dedicated to the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples. The plinth itself will also be updated, noting the appointment of the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Queen’s first Indigenous Chancellor.

“As we mark National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day, we recognize these are opportunities to learn about, honour, and commemorate the rich history, heritage, linguistic, and cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s University is dedicated to building a campus and community committed to reconciliation.”

First cohort of graduates of the Queen’s Certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture program

This June also marks a significant moment as the first cohort of graduates of the Queen’s Certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture program will be attending a special convocation ceremony on June 23 in Tyendinaga, where the program is delivered.  This program allows students, who are members of the Tyendinaga community and Mohawk Nation, to stay in their home community while learning about Mohawk language and culture. In 2018, this Queen’s partnership began with Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre in Tyendinaga, to help move forward Mohawk language revitalization efforts.

Partnering with Kingston to raise awareness

In Kingston, the Queen’s Office of Indigenous Affairs will be marking National Indigenous Peoples Day by celebrating the Tipi Moza Transitional Housing Grand Opening, co-hosted with Tipi Moza, Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre at Queen’s, and Métis Nation of Ontario. Following the opening, there will be events at City Park, including Corn Husk Doll crafting, language activities, drumming, dancing, and traditional refreshments.

Throughout Indigenous History Month and the rest of the year, Queen’s invites the community to learn about Indigenous ways of knowing and contribute to a campus that embraces reconciliation. Many resources are available on the Office of Indigenous Initiatives website.

Transcript – Chancellor Murray Sinclair, Indigenous Peoples Day

[Indigenous Greeting] Hello everybody, I'm Chancellor Murray Sinclair from Queen's University.

I just wanted to take an opportunity to speak to you about the importance of Indigenous Peoples Day, which is on June 21st of every year.

The importance of Indigenous Peoples Day, of course, is that it gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the rich history and the culture of Indigenous people, their historical presence, and the fact that they have a history in this country that has long been ignored by Canadian authorities and by general society, because it was in Canada's interest that that history be ignored, and the presence be ignored and often belittled.

But now, we are in an era when we're beginning to recognize the importance of it and the contributions that Indigenous people are making to Canadian society.

At Queen's University, we're contributing to that participation and we're contributing as well to the important influence that Indigenous people can make to this country through the students and the faculty members that we have.  We are beginning to focus our thoughts on reconciliation and how we can come to a better relationship with the Indigenous community, not only around us, but across the country and with other universities as well, to engage them in a dialogue to see how post-secondary institutions themselves can contribute to a better understanding of the historical relationship that Canada and Indigenous people have had over the years and the important place that Indigenous people can play in this country.

On Indigenous Peoples Day, I want to encourage all of you to begin to think about how you can learn about Indigenous people. Those of you who are not studying it in your courses at university but are just generally participating in your daily life, in your communities, in your homes, and at your work.

What it is that you need to know, what it is that you’d like to know, how it is that you might be able to gain some experience as Canadians dealing with indigenous issues, and understanding indigenous issues as well, because remember that in this world – internationally – Canada's reputation depends upon the importance that Canada places upon all of its people, including those people who were here first. I think all of us have a ways to go in order to be able to make this country establish a better relationship than we have had in the past, and that we have historically been trying to present in a way that was not accurate so we have work to do. It takes all of us to be able to do it.

Thank you very much and enjoy Indigenous Peoples Day.

Launch of Research Discovery Network

The Vice-Principal Research Portfolio has spearheaded a new initiative to support the Queen’s research community and enable interdisciplinary collaborations. The Research Discovery Network (RDN) is a digital platform designed to spark new engagement with groups in academia, industry, media, and communities from across campus to around the world.

The RDN builds off the success of Queen’s Translational Institute of Medicine (TIME), which has used the system since 2017. The platform has enabled TIME to showcase the breadth of their translational research, identify opportunities for members to collaborate, and maintain a directory for the state-of-the art technologies available for use at Queen’s. The university is now extending that network to researchers looking for profile and engagement for their own research, that of their group or lab, or sharing their research resources.

The two main features of the RDN include hosting a public profile and CV management. The profile tool helps researchers showcase their research interests, active projects, publications, and media engagements for optimized discovery on the network. Researchers are also able to leverage the network’s robust topic tagging system to find other researchers at the university to build collaborations and connections. The RDN also supports CV management through direct integration with the Canada Common CV (CCV) system. Researchers can simultaneously update their CCV and their public research profile while using a more intuitive and streamlined interface.

Profile-building is currently underway with information and resources, such as drop-in and training sessions and direct support, available on the Vice-Principal Research Portfolio website. A how-to webinar is also scheduled for June 22 with registration available as part of the Resources for Research at Queen’s (R4R@Q) series. If members of the research community have any questions or are looking for further information, a direct contact form is also available. 

Queen’s welcomes graduating students for in-person convocation ceremonies

Convocations guidebooks
Queen's University is hosting its first in-person convocation ceremonies since 2019 over five days beginning on Monday, June 20. (Queen's University)

Thousands of Queen’s graduates will come together next week to celebrate a major milestone as in-person convocation returns to the university after a three-year pause due to the pandemic. Celebrating the achievements of the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022, Queen’s will host an estimated 8,000 graduates plus family and friends for a total of as many as 25,000 total guests between June 20-24 to officially mark the completion of their studies at Queen’s.

Due to the magnitude of the event and the numbers involved, graduate-focused ceremonies will take place at the Leon’s Centre in downtown Kingston at 10 am and 3 pm daily over the five-day period. Those unable to attend in person can join over livestream.

“We have been in touch with our graduates since the pandemic began and we know there is no replacement for in-person convocation,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean, Student Affairs. “We are thrilled to bring this capstone event back and have been working closely with our community partners to host this exciting week for all our graduates, their families, and friends.”

Downtown Kingston will be bustling with activity as visitors come to town to take part in the events. For its part, the City of Kingston will be illuminating City Hall in Queen’s tricolour for four evenings of the week, and Kingston Transit is offering free transportation between campus and the Leon’s Centre on behalf of Queen’s.

Convocation ceremony details are available online, including full schedules, directions, and venue information.

Graduates are encouraged to use the hashtags #QueensuGrad20 #QueensuGrad21 and #QueensuGrad22 to share their photos and convocation moments.

Additional convocation coverage will be featured throughout the week on Queen's main channels including photos, video footage, and social media posts.

Alumni elect 11 new University Council members

Queen’s alumni have elected 11 new representatives to University Council – 10 for four-year term and one of two years – with a starting date of Sept. 1, 2022.

The successful candidates are:

  • John Armitage (re-elected)
  • Elena Christopoulos 
  • Dr. Kieva Hranchuk 
  • Chessa Jope 
  • Erin Polansky
  • Saara Romu 
  • Frannie Shen 
  • Amrita V. Singh (re-elected)
  • Susan Smith (re-elected)
  • Elaine Wu (re-elected)

The successful candidate for the two-year position is:

  • Heather Black (re-elected)

An online vote for the 10 positions was held May 31- June 14.

A total of 42 candidates put their name forward for the four-year term positions and another five for the two-year position.

Established by statute in 1874, University Council serves as an advisory body to the university. Members provide advice on issues relating to the prosperity and well-being of Queen’s. The council’s responsibilities include the appointment of the Chancellor and the election of six members to the Board of Trustees.

For more information visit the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website.

Questions can be directed to the University Secretariat at 613-533-6095 or email.

New Progress Pride colours on campus

Colourful crosswalks installed at the intersection of Bader Lane and University Avenue and in front of Duncan McArthur Hall on Union Street.

Progress Pride Crosswalk
Crosswalks at the intersection of Bader Lane and University Avenue, and in front of Duncan McArthur Hall on Union Street, are painted in the colours of the Progress Pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, pink, baby blue, black, and brown. (University Communications)

As Monday’s sun made its way toward the horizon, a crew began working on a project to shine a light on a gesture of inclusivity at Queen’s. Crosswalks at the intersection of Bader Lane and University Avenue, and in front of Duncan McArthur Hall on Union Street were painted in the colours of the Progress Pride flag – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, pink, baby blue, black, and brown.

June is Pride Month, representing a moment to honour and support members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

“It’s extremely important the university always creates a welcoming environment for everyone at the university and we can do that through small and large gestures,” says Tony Gkotsis, Director, Campus Planning and Real Estate. “Every opportunity we have to create a welcoming environment for all of our population, we need to take those opportunities.”

Gkotsis says his office is open to ideas from the community regarding future projects like this.

Progress Pride Crosswalk
The crosswalk at University Avenue and Bader Lane are one of two on campus painted in the colours of the Progress Pride flag. (University Communications)

“I am thrilled that we were able to make this crosswalk project happen this year, showing support to our students and the community during Pride Month,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Queen’s is a place that strives to be welcoming to everyone.”

Approval for the crosswalk painting was required by the City of Kingston, along with utilization of the same company that painted the crosswalk in front of City Hall.

This project is one of several serving as a visual representation of the support for the Queen’s and broader LGBTQ2S+ community on campus. On June 1, the Progress Pride flag was raised on the flagpole adjacent to the John Deutsch Student Centre for the entire month. Additional resources include the Positive Space Campaign, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, Queen’s University Association for Queer Employees, and the Provost's Action Group for Gender and Sexual Diversity. A list of resources can be found on the Inclusive Queen’s page.

“Queen's is committed to making all students feel welcome on our campus,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The crosswalks as well as the Progress Pride flag indicate this is an inclusive place and that we value and support diversity in our community.”

Another way in which that support is given is through the Positive Space Campaign. Visually represented with an inverted rainbow triangle behind the Queen’s ‘Q,’ this movement supports members of the LGBTQ2S+ community by sending a clear message that everyone is welcomed at Queen’s and that this is a safe space.

Students, staff, faculty, and visitors will notice Positive Space stickers affixed to windows and doors throughout the university community. Like those decals, the hope is to create life lessons and dialogues that stick with us, creating a more diverse and inclusive society.

Throughout June, Queen’s University will highlight several resources available to our students, staff, and faculty and point to several events taking place in Kingston this month. Continue to visit Queen’s social media platforms as we highlight organizations around campus throughout the month of June. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Pride Parade on Princess Street, which takes place June 18 starting at 11 a.m.

Learn more about the Progress Pride flag on the Yellow House website.

Campus infrastructure projects continue at a rapid pace

 

Albert Street Residence
Work on the Albert Street Residence is nearing completion, with most of the exterior and the interior work being complete. (University Communications)

Several major capital projects are nearing completion on the Queen’s University campus, while others are just getting started. While construction projects on campus have been challenged by supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and provincial labour actions by various trade organizations, on balance staff and contractors have worked together to keep them on track.

The following are a few of the major capital projects underway across the Kingston campus people will notice:

Albert Street Residence

Work on the 334-bed Albert Street student residence building is nearing completion. With the building now sealed against weather, most of the exterior and much of the interior is complete. May saw the installation of the building ventilation systems craned onto the roof of the structure, and the paving of the laneway around the building is now taking place. Furniture will arrive later in the summer, and the building will be open in time to house students this fall.

355 King Street West

The 355 King Street West renovation (the former St. Mary’s of the Lake site) is also nearing completion, with a partial handover of the site from our contractors currently underway. Construction of a wheelchair ramp, slated for the west side of the King Street entrance is still in design, with construction anticipated in late summer.

In early June, several departments will begin moving into the renovated facility, including Facilities, Finance, Procurement, Environmental Health and Safety, Investment, Audit and Risk, and Postal services. The offices of the Vice Principal Research will follow later this summer once the wing on the southeast side is completed.

John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC)

Work on the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) is about to begin. Initial moves to temporary locations for several building tenants, including groups such as the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), the office of the Rector, student clubs, and the Copy Centre, have been initiated. The project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2024.

Duncan McArthur Hall

The Duncan McArthur Hall project is scheduled to get underway this summer, and includes the construction of a new seven-story tower and a renovation of the existing structure. The tower is expected to be ready by late 2023 and the renovation of the existing building will be complete in 2024.

Richardson Stadium Pavilion

Work on the new pavilion at Richardson Stadium is underway with excavation taking place to install the structure’s new footings. The project consists of a structure at the northern end of the Richardson Stadium and is designed to complement the existing landscape of the West Campus. Construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2023.

Additional projects, Queen’s focus on sustainability and accessibility

There is also a renovation being done to the Leonard Dining Hall and kitchen area, a new Indigenous gathering area outside Mackintosh-Corry, and a reimagining of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre with that construction anticipated to start in summer 2023. 

“All of Queen’s major capital projects are planned to further the academic mission of the university and to enrich the student experience on campus,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “We focus on a wide array of elements including aesthetics, functionality, affordability, as well as sustainability, accessibility and physical safety and security.”

355 Kings Street West
Renovation work at 355 King Street West (the former St. Mary’s of the Lake site) is nearly complete, with a partial handover of the site from the contractors currently underway. (University Communications)

The focus on sustainability has led to the introduction of technologies such as geothermal exchange systems. The 355 King Street West project features the first geothermal exchange system on campus, and required the drilling of 40 wells in 2021, which were installed under the grounds of the facility. A similar system is being incorporated into the Duncan McArthur Hall project. In addition, the Albert Street student residence, Duncan McArthur Hall, and the JDUC projects are all targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which is one of the highest ratings under this worldwide green building certification program.

Accessibility is also a key consideration. In addition to meeting all legislated code requirements, Queen’s has developed the Queen’s University Facility Accessibility Design Standards (QFADS) which goes beyond provincially legislated requirements. 

All major capital projects are reviewed by the Built Environment Accessibility Group and presented at Accessibility Cafés to the broader community to seek their input and feedback into capital projects, according to Vice-Principal Janiec.

“This ensures accessibility considerations are incorporated into every aspect of our projects,” she says. “The group has provided excellent input into various projects including the Albert Street student residence project that aided in room and amenity designs, and into elements like the wheelchair access ramp currently being installed along King Street West to ensure the gradient from the street up to the building is manageable for those using mobility aids.”

Security is also incorporated into designs including features such as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), physical access through pass cards, surveillance cameras and privacy, and the installation of blue light devices. The new projects currently being developed on campus will feature our new blue lights that feature higher visibility.

The university continues to invest in its campus infrastructure to ensure the university remains a vibrant, sustainable, and compelling place for global academic study and research. More information on current projects is available on the Facilities website.

Virtual meeting backgrounds celebrate Pride and Indigenous History Month

  • National Indigenous History Month virtual background
    National Indigenous History Month virtual background
  • National Indigenous History Month virtual background
    National Indigenous History Month virtual background
  • Pride Month virtual background
    Pride Month virtual background
  • Pride Month virtual background
    Pride Month virtual background

In honour of Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, the Integrated Communications unit in University Relations worked with the Human Rights Equity Office and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives to develop four virtual meeting backgrounds to celebrate sexual and gender diversity, and the heritage of Indigenous peoples.   

Staff and faculty are encouraged to use the new backgrounds as it marks the university’s ongoing commitment to Indigenization and support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Virtual backgrounds are available for download on the Queen’s Brand Central website.

Learn more about activities during Pride Month and resources available to the Queen’s 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month

Queen’s launches new Employee Disconnecting from Work Policy

New policy encourages and supports employee health and wellbeing.

In an effort to support the health and wellbeing of employees, Queen’s Senior Leadership Team has approved a new Employee Disconnecting from Work Policy. The new policy, which took effect June 2, 2022, in compliance with requirements set out by the province, encourages employees to disconnect from work outside of work hours to support a work-life balance.

The university aims to foster a workplace culture that promotes and values disconnecting from work. This includes taking steps to ensure employees are made aware what their expected work hours are, and informing them of circumstances, if any, in which they will be expected to engage in work-related communications outside of their work hours. Employees that have any concerns or issues they feel are impacting their ability to disconnect from work are encouraged to report them to their Employment Supervisor.

Employees may have different work hours and operational needs may vary across the university. Employment Supervisors are asked to lead by example by following best practices, helping to establish work priorities, and establishing boundaries on workload expectations.

All employees are encouraged to review and familiarize themselves with the Employee Disconnecting from Work Policy.

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