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For The Record: Feb. 1

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, Feb. 15. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, Feb. 13. For the Record is published bi-weekly throughout the academic year and monthly during the summer.

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


Robert Siemens reappointed as head of the Department of Urology

Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Christopher Simpson is pleased to announce that Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), has reappointed D. Robert Siemens as head of the Department of Urology, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Dr. Siemens will hold the appointment until June 30, 2022. 

Dr. Siemens graduated from Queen’s University in 1988 with his Bachelor of Science, where he also earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1992. He went on to complete his residency in urology in 1997. In 2000, he finished his fellowship in urologic oncology at the University of Iowa. 

Dr. Siemens first joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s in 2000 as an assistant professor in urology. He was promoted to associate professor in 2006, and then professor in 2011. He currently holds cross-appointments in the Department of Oncology and the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Dr. Siemens was first appointed as head of the Department in Urology in 2012. In 2013, he was named director of the Centre for Applied Urological Research. 

He has published over 150 peer-reviewed original manuscripts and book chapters. He has served on the executive board of many research societies and national as well as international specialty associations. He is currently starting his second term as Editor-in-chief of the Canadian Urological Association Journal. His research is focused on urological oncology and has initiated and directed a multi-faceted program including basic and translational investigations as well as health services and clinical trial studies. His basic and translational research has been supported by strong collaborations with other principal investigators in the departments of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, as well as Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

For his outstanding work in his field, Dr. Siemens has been honoured with numerous awards, including the 2013 SEAMO Clinician Scientist Award, the 2010 Canadian Association of Medical Education’s Certificate of Merit Award, and the 2005 Canadian Medial Association Award for Young Leaders.


Job Title: Research Projects Advisor
Department: University Research Services
Competition: 2017-086
Successful Candidate: Hakan Karatas

Job Title: Health Education Research Associate
Department: Office of the Professional Development and Educational Scholarship
Competition: J0917-1569
Successful Candidate: Nicholas Cofie

Job Title: Functional Space Planning Analyst
Department: Planning and Budgetting
Competition: J1017-0698
Successful Candidate: Darcy McNinch

Job Title: Financial Officer
Department: Medicine
Competition: J1017-1193
Successful Candidate: Edwin Cutrona (Family Medicine)

Job Title: Queen's Telefundraising Services (QTS) Coordinator
Department: Office of Advancement
Competition: J1117-0117
Successful Candidate: Morgan Clark (Faculty of Health Science)

Job Title: Small Works Project Manager
Department: Physical Plant Services
Competition: J0717-0377
Successful Candidate: Raj Shekhar

Job Title: Human Resources Advisor
Department: Office of Advancement
Competition: J1017-0616
Successful Candidate: Kacey McCuen (Human Resources)

Job Title: Administrative Assistant
Department: Canadian Cancer Trials Group
Competition: J1117-0104
Successful Candidate: Nicholina Gorganzadeh

Job Title: Program Coordinator
Department: Enrichment Studies
Competition: J1017-1090
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Instructional Designer (Online Learning) (USW Local 2010)
Department: Continuing Distance Studies
Competition: J0717-0087
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Simulation Laboratory Manager (USW Local 2010)
Department: School of Nursing
Competition: J1017-0695
Successful Candidate: Laura Stephens

Job Title: Program and Event Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship
Competition: J0917-0648
Successful Candidate: Bryn Fraser (Applied Science Programs)

Job Title: Administrative Secretary (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Arts and Science - Faculty Office
Competition: J1117-0732
Successful Candidate: Jill Phillips (Undergraduate Admission)

Job Title: Digital Marketing Coordinator (USW Local 2010)
Department: Faculty of Education
Competition: J1217-0482
Successful Candidate: Sara Perosa

Job Title: Registered Practical Nurse (USW Local 2010)
Department: Student Wellness Services
Competition: J0717-0670
Successful Candidate: Mary-Lynn Sarris


Queen’s to host 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Basketball National Championship

Queen's Gaels women's basketball
Queen's has been awarded the right to host the 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Basketball National Championship.

The best university women’s basketball players in the country will be coming to Queen’s in 2021, as the university has been named the host of the U SPORTS Women’s Basketball National Championship.

“Hosting a national championship of this calibre is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Queen’s, our athletics program, and our outstanding student-athletes,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Queen’s Athletics & Recreation. “We look forward to welcoming teams from across the country to compete in what promises to be an exciting tournament.”

The championship will be held from Thursday, March 11 to Sunday, March 14, 2021. The Queen’s women’s basketball team will earn automatic entry into the tournament as hosts, though they are perennially among the best teams in the country, finishing fourth at the 2017 tournament hosted by the University of Victoria.

“For our players in first and second year, this is an opportunity to play at a national championship, which is a highlight for our student-athletes,” says Gaels head coach Dave Wilson. “From a team standpoint, this will certainly be a motivating factor, and will undoubtedly be beneficial for our recruiting over the next two years.”

Queen’s is no stranger to hosting national championships. The university was home to the men’s volleyball championship in 2012, the women’s rugby championship in 2015, and most recently, the women’s hockey championship in 2017.

The event, which features a partnership with Tourism Kingston, will also bring many visitors to the city, including family members, friends, and fans of the visiting teams. There will also be opportunities for local basketball players and coaches to learn from some of the best basketball minds in the country.

U SPORTS also announced that Ryerson University will host the 2019 tournament in Toronto, while Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will share hosting duties for the 2020 tournament in Ottawa.

For more information, visit the U SPORTS website.

New bursaries to support racialized and first-generation students

An estate gift will create new bursaries for first-year Black Canadian students, first-year visible minority and racialized students, and first-year first-generation students.

A Queen’s education will soon become more accessible to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to enroll.

A variety performances by clubs and individuals on campus and in the Kingston community were showcased at the annual ACSA Culture Show in 2017. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
A variety performances by clubs and individuals on campus and in the Kingston community were showcased at the annual ACSA Culture Show in 2017. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

A $2.2 million estate gift provided by the late Ester Margaret Harrison will be used to create bursaries for academically qualified first-year students from equity-seeking groups who demonstrate a financial need.

“We are thankful for this meaningful and impactful gift which will support many qualified students during their time at Queen’s,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “These new awards will help us to increase recruitment and retention of students from under-represented groups, thereby building a more diverse campus community and enhancing our academic mission and student experience.”

Ensuring the availability of targeted financial support for racialized students is a recommendation of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) final report.

“We understand there is still more to do to satisfy the recommendations of the PICRDI report regarding the role of philanthropy at our university,” says Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement). “We continue to work closely with Deputy Provost Shearer to identify new opportunities where we can leverage philanthropy to further support these important recommendations.”

Ms. Harrison was the daughter of Dr. John Featherston (MD 1905), a Kingston-based physician and professor of Anatomy in the Queen’s Faculty of Medicine.  Ms. Harrison specified in her will that her estate would be used to support students in need. Although Ms. Harrison died in 1974, Queen’s was only eligible to receive its interest in her estate after other conditions in her will were satisfied. Student Affairs, in consultation with Advancement and the Human Rights and Equity Offices, drafted the terms of the awards based on the designation in Ms. Harrison's will.

Forty-five percent of the funds will be directed to the Ester Margaret Harrison Awards for Black Canadian Students. Another forty-five percent will be directed to the Ester Margaret Harrison Awards for Visible Minority/Racialized Students. Both of these awards are worth $5,000 and will be annually renewable. Each award will support up to nine new first-year students each year.

The remaining 10 per cent will go to the Ester Margaret Harrison Award for First-Generation Students, a one-time award of $1,000 to students who are the first in their family to attend university as they enter the first year of any undergraduate degree program. The first of these new awards should be disbursed this fall.

To learn more about funding and awards, please visit the Student Affairs website.

Elections being held for Senate, Board positions

An online election is currently being conducted for one faculty/librarian/archivist position on the Senate and one staff position on the Board of Trustees.

Both positions are three-year terms commencing June 1, 2018

Emails went out Monday, Jan. 29 at 10 am to all faculty and staff at Queen’s for their respective election, with details and instructions on how to vote.

Polls will close on Feb. 12 at 9 am.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Office of the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel at (613) 533-6095 or email univsec@queensu.ca. Information about the nomination and election process is available online at the University Secretariat website.

Gaels back Bell Let's Talk

Queen's Gaels Women's basketball
Sophie de Goede of the Queen's Gaels women's basketball team looks for room under the basket during Friday night's game agains the Laurentian Voyageurs.

A quick roundup of Queen's Gaels teams in action over the weekend:


Extending their win streak to three, the No. 9 Queen's Gaels (15-3) took down the Laurentian Voyageurs (3-13) on home court 82-48 Friday night during a special #BellLetsTalk game.

Bell Let's Talk Day is on Wednesday, Jan. 31, here is how you can donate:
- Text and talk: Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and, new this year, Bell MTS customers in Manitoba
- Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Bell Let's Talk Day video view
- Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let's Talk Day video and use of the Bell Let's Talk frame
- Instagram: Every Bell Let's Talk Day video view - Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let's Talk geofilter and video view

With Bell Let’s Talk Day taking place on Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Queen's Gaels hosted a special day in support of mental health awareness. The stands in the ARC gym were swimming with fans and other Gaels varsity teams sporting blue Bell Let’s Talk toques to show their support for the initiative. The game also featured more toque giveaways and peer health groups from the student wellness services who provided information about mental health resources available on campus.

After a slow start by both teams the host Gaels were the first to find their game and went into the break leading 39-28. The Gaels found another gear in the second half, however, and pulled away, including a 12-2 run in the third quarter. The Gaels kept up the pace the rest of the way for the easy win.

Marianne Alarie led with 17 points and Andrea Priamo added 13 with seven rebounds.

On Saturday, the Gaels (15-3) put in another dominant performance for a 75-51 win over the Nipissing Lakers (2-15), on Shoot for the Cure Night at the ARC.

Members of the women's basketball team and Gaels community participated in a “Cuts for Cancer” hair donation during halftime of each the women’s and men’s game.

Veronika Lavergne led with 15 points and nine rebounds while Abby Dixon added seven point with 10 rebounds.

To donate in support of Shoot for the Cure and Cuts for Cancer click here


The Queen’s Gaels men’s basketball team (10-8)  rounded out the #BellLetsTalk night at the ARC with a solid effort but ultimately fell 89-69 the No. 7 nationally-ranked Laurentian Voyageurs (14-2).

Laurentian came out strong, grabbing a 23-15 lead after the first quarter but the Gaels put in an excellent effort to bring the score back to within a basket, trailing 38-36 at the half. However, Laurentian was able to maintain the pressure and gradually broke down the Gaels defence. With a number of Gaels in foul trouble, the visitors pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Jaz Bains led the Gaels with 18 points and six assists. 

On Saturday, the Gaels bounced back with a hard-fought win over the Nipissing Lakers (7-10) 80-68 at the ARC.

In a tight first half, the Lakers went into the break leading 40-38. But the Gaels solid defence eventually won out and the hosts were able to pull away in the fourth quarter for the victory.

Bains finished with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists while Tanner Graham had 20 points and 13 rebounds for his own big night.


The No. 9 Queen’s Gaels women’s hockey team (12-3-2-3) put up a perfect weekend winning both of their games with shutouts by goalie Stephanie Pascal. As a result, the Gaels remain atop the OUA standings.

On Sunday, the Gaels blanked the York Lions (6-0-11-3) 4-0, with Pascal making 19 saves. Hailey Wilson, Alex Maw, Katrina Manoukarakis and Kaylie Dennis scored for the Gaels.

On Saturday the Gaels took down the No.6 Guelph Gryphons with a 1-0 win in Guelph. Clare McKellar potted the game’s only goal early in the second period and Pascal locked up the win with 20 saves.


The No. 10 Queen's Gaels (16-5-3) took their second straight victory over the Laurentian Voyageurs (7-16-1) with a 3-1 win Saturday night in Sudbury.

Spencer Abraham, Darcy Greenaway and Alex Row scored for the Gaels and Kevin Bailie made 23 saves for the win.

With the win the Gaels moved into sole possession of second place in the OUA East.


The Queen’s Gaels (9-4) beat the Toronto Varsity Blues (8-4) in four sets – 25-17, 15-25, 25-16 and 25-19 – for a big win on the road.

Shannon Neville finished with 15 kills and a pair of aces while Julia Wiercigroch had 13 kills with three aces. Natalie Crews led the Tricolour in blocking with seven blocks.

On Sunday, the Gaels fell short in a tight game against the No. 7 Ryerson Rams (14-0), losing in four sets 25-20-25, 22-25, 18-25 and 22-25.
Isabelle Korchinski had 12 kills while Neville and Wiercigroch added 11 each. Natalie Crews had five service aces to go along with four blocks.


The Queen’s Gaels (6-6) beat the Toronto Varsity Blues (5-6) on Saturday afternoon, in four sets— 25-22, 20-25, 25-23 and 25-19.

Jack Peckham led the Gaels with 12 kills and seven blocks. Markus Trence and Lukas Kaufman both racked up 13 digs each, playing a fantastic defensive game. 

On Sunday, the Gaels were blanked by the Ryerson Rams, losing in three sets 21-25, 22-25 and 17-25. Trence led the team with 12 kills and seven digs.

Should God Save the Queen be played at convocation?

Members of the Queen’s community, including students, faculty, alumni, and staff are welcome to complete a survey to share their thoughts on the use of the Royal Anthem, God Save the Queen, as a standard element of convocation ceremonies.

The Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) is conducting a review of the practice, and is seeking input from the Queen’s community at large to help inform that review.

You can complete the survey online here, Survey – Convocation Format.  The survey includes a section to voluntarily provide your contact information, if you wish to be included in a random sampling of representative respondents invited to further express their perspectives at a future meeting of SCAP.

The consultation is open for input from January 29 – February 14, 2018. Following the consultation, SCAP will review the input, consider the matter, and provide its recommendation to Senate.

Intercultural awareness training sees big jump in participation

Intercultural Training
A group of Queen's students hold up their certificates after completing the Intercultural Awareness Certificate program offered by the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). (Submitted photo)

The number of students who have participated in intercultural training on campus to date for this academic year is already nearly double the 2016-17 total.

A total of 1,520 students, most in student leadership positions, have attended tailored sessions offered by the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). This includes 152 students who have completed the newly-expanded, five-session Intercultural Awareness Certificate program delivered by staff at QUIC and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. The certificate has received high satisfaction scores among participants: 4.2 to 4.7 out of 5.  

“We are thrilled to see this increased interest in intercultural learning, as well as the high levels of satisfaction with the certificate program,” says Jyoti Kotecha, QUIC Director. “Our goal is to provide relevant, engaging content and context that promotes self-reflection and a commitment to integrate and apply what is learned into participants’ daily lives and actions.”

The certificate and the individual sessions provide opportunities for participants to learn how to:

  • Describe the concept of culture and apply this concept to evaluate their own personal cultures;
  • Identify various dimensions of culture that will help them effectively engage in an intercultural context;
  • Practise various skills that will help them be more effective in intercultural interactions;
  • Recognize their own strengths and challenges when interacting with cultural commonality and difference;
  • Evaluate their experiences with cultural difference and commonality to continue the development of their intercultural competence;
  • Gain greater awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture; and
  • Gain greater understanding and empathy for the lived experience of Western colonialism by Indigenous peoples in the Americas.

“Intercultural awareness and education is an important way we can promote inclusivity in our campus community, and promote respectful interactions, and understanding among students, faculty and staff who have diverse identities and backgrounds,” says Corinna Fitzgerald, Assistant Dean, Student Life and Learning. “It is great to see so many students develop more skills that will support community-building.”

For winter term offerings of the certificate, and other trainings offered by QUIC, visit the QUIC website.

In alignment with recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force and the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI), the Division of Student Affairs has also expanded recruitment activities focusing on under-represented student populations, enhanced peer mentor and transition programs, created a new position to coordinate initiatives relating to diversity, equity and inclusivity, and is doubling the space of the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

Introducing our new faculty members: Felicia Magpantay

Queen’s has committed to hiring 200 new faculty members over the next five years. Meet Felicia Magpantay, one of the new members of our community.

Felicia Magpantay is one of the 41 new faculty members hired in 2017-18 as part of Principal Daniel Woolf's faculty renewal plans. The Principal's five-year plan will see 200 new faculty members hired over the next five years, which will mean approximately 10 net new faculty hires per year. 

This profile is the first in a series which will highlight these new faculty members, like Dr. Magpantay, who have recently joined the Queen's community. She sat down with the Gazette to talk about her experience so far and how she made it to Queen’s.

Dr. Felicia Magpantay, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics. (Supplied Photo)
Felicia Magpantay, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (Supplied Photo)
Fast facts about Dr. Magpantay:
Hometown: Metro Manila, Philippines
Research area: Delay differential equation and mathematical biology
Recent books Dr. Magpantay has enjoyed: Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith, and The Return by Hisham Matar
Favourite quote: "Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa kanyang paroroonan." "He who does not look back at where he came from will never get to where he is going."
Dr. Magpantay's webpage

Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to get into teaching.

I grew up in the Philippines. Before I came to Canada my only experiences abroad were traveling to Bali and Taipei for the International Physics Olympiad. Meeting so many people from around the world encouraged me to dream about going abroad for my university degree.

I didn’t really think it would happen, but I applied to schools in Canada and received an international scholarship to attend Trent University. I majored in math and physics and eventually decided to go to graduate school in applied math. I went to Western for my masters and McGill for my doctorate. I did a one-year post-doc at York, and two years at the University of Michigan. I accepted my first faculty position at the University of Manitoba in 2015, then moved to Queen’s in 2017. I really enjoyed being in Winnipeg, but Queen’s was overall a better place for me for many reasons including personal reasons.

My father is a retired physics professor in the Philippines. He grew up in a squatter’s area, the 11th of 11 children. His parents did not complete much schooling, but they always understood the value of education. He was able to go to school on science scholarships and eventually completed his PhD at Purdue University. He went back to serve as a professor in the Philippines in the 1980s.

Tell us a bit about your research.

My PhD dissertation was on delay differential equations and numerical analysis. While completing my postdocs, I started working on mathematical biology – basically using mathematical tools to study biological problems.

My current research looks at how diseases spread in a population. This helps us find ways to explain how control efforts, such as mass vaccination with different types of vaccines, can have different ramifications for the population.

What is your proudest accomplishment so far?

Getting here! When I became a professor in Manitoba, a friend wrote an article celebrating my hiring. It is not very common for Filipinos to become professors.

A common joke is that Filipino parents all want their kids to go into something stable, such as nursing. Many Filipinos also come to Canada through the Live-In Caregiver program. Both of those professions are very honorable and provide important services to society. But there are lots of different jobs out there and so, while I was reluctant to be featured as a ‘role model’ in that article, I recognized the importance of showing people that Filipinos can have a whole variety of careers, including academia.

Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffrey Hall. (University Communications)
Dr. Magpantay writes on a blackboard in Jeffery Hall. (University Communications)

Tell us about your teaching style.

In the fall term, I was assigned to teach a calculus class of more than 600 students. That was by far the largest class I had ever taught and it was quite a challenge. I think it will be an asset to learn how to teach such big classes and how to manage that many students. I am still learning.

Right now I’m still more comfortable teaching smaller classes where I can use the blackboard, and check in with the students during a lecture to make sure they understand – working at their pace, going through the theorems, and using a lot of examples.

Anything you do to unwind?

I used to dance salsa and I haven’t since moving to Kingston – there was too much to do and it takes me a while to adjust to a new place. I also used to dance tango and ballet recreationally. Hopefully once I am more settled in I can resume that in the future.

What do you feel most grateful for?

I come from the Philippines, which is still a developing country, and my whole family is still there. I was lucky to be born into a middle-class family who supported me and taught me to value my education early.

I am lucky to be here – most people in the Philippines would not have the chance to pursue the path I did.

•   •   •

Faculty Renewal

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the past six years and will result in approximately 10 net new hires per year.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to seek proactively representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and visible minorities. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

To learn more about the Principal’s faculty renewal plans, read this Gazette article. Stay tuned for additional new faculty profiles in the Gazette.

Gaels look to reclaim Carr-Harris bragging rights

The Queen’s Gaels and RMC Paladins are set to square off once again in the world’s oldest hockey rivalry as the Carr-Harris Challenge Cup will be held at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Thursday, Feb. 1.

Carr-Harris Challenge Cup
The Queen’s Gaels and RMC Paladins meet in the Carr-Harris Challenge Cup on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)

The Gaels will be looking to avenge a 3-2 loss in last year’s event. They topped the Paladins 5-2 in their first meeting of this season on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The Carr-Harris Challenge Cup was initiated in 1986 by the International Hockey Hall of Fame in celebration of the oldest rivalry in hockey, now at 132 years.

The game is named in honour of the Carr-Harris family, which has a long-standing connection with both Kingston universities. Robert Carr-Harris was professor of civil engineering at Royal Military College of Canada in 1879 and afterward a professor of general engineering at Queen’s. All of his sons and two of his cousins were cadets at RMC.

The Carr-Harris Challenge Cup trophy features the “Lennie” sculpture by Kingston native Joan Belch.

It depicts Lennox Irving, the Queen’s player who scored the lone goal in the March 10, 1886 inaugural game between RMC and Queen’s.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm. Tickets are $12 and are available at the customer service desk in the ARC. Tickets are also available at the Rogers K-Rock Box office. A Queen’s Staff and Faculty/Military Special – $30 family four-pack – is also available while tickets for Queen’s and RMC students are available only at the customer service desk in the ARC.

An Olympic dream come true

Rick Hunt
Rick Hunt, who coordinates the teaching labs for the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s, will be taking part in the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a referee for long-track speed skating. (University Communications)

Rick Hunt’s resume as a long-track speed skating referee is impressive. He has officiated at seven World Championships and 11 World Cup events.

That resume, however, is about to get even better as he will soon be officiating at the biggest competition of them all – the Winter Olympics.

Mr. Hunt, who coordinates the teaching labs for the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s, will soon be heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be hosted Feb. 9-25.

It’s the highlight of his career, he says, but when he received the invite back in November, he kept it a secret – even from his wife. He just wanted to be sure, he explains. That same day he had been told that he would be the chief referee for the final World Cup race before the Olympics as well as the World Junior Championships that will follow the Winter Games.

It all seemed a bit much, and there is that friend who is a bit of a prankster.

“I just wanted to make sure it was authentic,” he says with a smile.

But, as he soon found out, it was all true.

Now, the magnitude of what lies ahead has sunk in.

“It took a while. It took a couple of weeks for me to realize,” he says. “Everybody else was excited for me and I guess I might have been in a mild state of shock. I had so many things going on that it really didn’t hit me until two or three weeks afterward, what was going to happen. It’s only been since Christmas and refereeing the Canadian Olympic Trials that it has hit me – I’m going to be refereeing where these athletes going to be competing. And now I am excited.”

This delayed reaction also has something to do with Mr. Hunt’s nature. He’s laid back, easy-going, not one to be flustered easily. He’s also meticulously organized, pays attention to the fine details and believes that being a professional at all times is of the utmost importance. It all makes for an excellent referee for speed skating. This has been instilled from the very beginning of his career by his mentor Guy Chenard – always run every competition like it is the Olympics.

The role of the referee is similar to that of a tournament convener in many other sports, he explains. Creating schedules and pairings, making sure the races are conducted in a fair and timely manner. He also must handle any complaints from team officials. This sometimes can be heated, but, once again, Mr. Hunt’s personality is a perfect fit.

“You can stand there, scream and holler at me all you want. Then it’s ‘OK you said your piece, I agree with you. There’s nothing I can do. That’s the way the rules are written but if you can get them changed, I’ll help you out with it,’” he says. “I’m not intimidated by anyone and I’m not offended by a passionate coach saying their piece about what they think really happened and their side of things. It’s their job to stick up for their skaters.”

Mr. Hunt first became involved in speed skating about 25 years ago when one of his sons wanted to see the provincial short-track championships being hosted in Kingston at the time. Both his sons were hooked and he along with them.

As the boys grew, long track became a better fit. He was competing as well and at one event he offered to help a referee who was working on his own. He found that he enjoyed it more than skating. His career then “evolved” from there, climbing the ladder until, now, he will be officiating at the pinnacle of all sport.

Laid back he may be, but he knows that when he enters the rink and his dream becomes a reality, the moment will have a profound effect.

“When I walk up the stairs onto the infield I guarantee there will be tears in my eyes,” he says. “I am a very emotional person that way.”

There has also been some extra good news recently as his wife, Audrey Hunt, the Departmental and Financial Administrator for the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been accepted as a volunteer at Canada House at the Pyeongchang Olympics.


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