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    Weigh in on the Queen’s Learning Outcomes Framework

    The Queen’s Learning Outcomes Working Group is calling on the Queen’s community to take part in its final survey and is welcoming feedback from students, staff, faculty and alumni on its draft learning outcomes framework.

    Integrating learning outcomes into curricula is among the key drivers of successful student learning, and the working group is endeavoring to create a framework of both the academic and co-curricular skills and knowledge that make an education at Queen’s distinctive. They consulted broadly across the university through focus groups, surveys, and meetings with groups like faculty boards and the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and have used that input to create a six item framework.

    The survey will be open until Monday, Feb. 1, after which the working group plans to revise the learning outcomes. They hope to bring the learning outcomes framework forward for approval to the Senate Committee on Academic Development and the Senate in early spring. 

    Quiet writing time for faculty, post-docs

    The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) is teaming up with Queen’s University Library to offer communal space for quiet writing on a monthly basis to Queen's faculty and post-docs.

    [Fireplace Room]
    Quiet space is being made available to Queen's faculty and post-docs once a month on Friday mornings in the Fireplace Reading Room in Stauffer Library. (University Communications)

    This space will be offered once a month on Friday mornings in the Fireplace Reading Room in Stauffer Library for the rest of the academic year. The first quiet writing time will be held this Friday, Jan. 29, from 8 am – noon.

    “In December we hosted a writing retreat to encourage faculty members to set time aside to stimulate their creativity and to prioritize their writing," says Yolande Chan, Associate Vice-Principal (Research). "The event was a great success, and several faculty members suggested that we provide time and space on campus for faculty to gather to write on a regular basis.”

    Several individuals specifically mentioned holding this event in the library.

    "The library was delighted to make this space available to faculty," says Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost and University Librarian. "In our planning we are always looking at ways we can continue to support research prominence through our services, collections and spaces.”

    In addition to this Friday, quiet writing times are scheduled from 8 am-noon on the following dates:

    • Friday, Feb. 26
    • Friday, March 18
    • Friday, April 29
    • Friday, May 27
    • Friday, June 24

    Space is limited, and registration is recommended to ensure a spot. To register for Jan. 29 writing session click here.

    Questions and suggestions may be directed to Yolande Chan at ychan@queensu.ca.

    Mental Health: An Evergreen Priority at Queen’s

    The following item was first published on the Principal's Blog.

    As our campus evolves and strategic targets are reached, new priorities take the place of the old. In my six years as principal, I’ve seen ambitious goals come and go as they are met, but there is one priority that remains high on the list year after year: mental health.

    [Principal Daniel Woolf]
    Daniel Woolf is principal and vice-chancellor of Queen's University.

    Some might consider this a failure, but I believe the opposite is true. We have made far too many strides in improving awareness of the mental health-related challenges that are inherent in university life, and the resources that exist on our campus to help our students manage these challenges, for us to write it off as such. However, we know that we still have a long way to go in building the most responsive and supportive community that we can. On paper, we can set deadlines and targets, but in reality, this issue is complex, pervasive and constantly evolving. At Queen’s, mental health has become our evergreen priority.

    We are working to support mental health research at Queen’s, and yet each time we address a challenge, new concerns present themselves. For instance, Dr. Michael Condra, our former director of Student Wellness Services, and Dr. Heather Stuart, our Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, are two researchers who have been studying ways to reduce the shame and stigma associated with mental illness on campus. We are now witnessing the positive outcomes of their important work. As the stigma has slowly dissipated, and the number of requests for accommodations has risen, we have responded by increasing the number of advisors available to Queen’s students and we recently piloted a first-year transition program for students with disabilities.

    Of course, we have also been working hard to improve our counselling and wellness services across campus, and we know that we must continue to increase access to them. We are now actively exploring ways to co-locate services that promote physical and mental wellness with other academic and student services offices as a way of integrating health with the entire student experience. The proposed new wellness and innovation centre will be complemented by our embedded counselling services within faculties and campus buildings, which serve to reduce stigma and offer easier access to care and programming that is customized to the needs, culture and environment of each faculty.

    We also know that we need to focus on the health and wellness of the entire Queen’s community, and not just our students. For example, approximately 24 per cent of reported sick leave absences among employees relate to mental illness. In addition, these absences tend to be the longest in duration and most difficult to overcome when returning to the workplace. In an effort to combat this, Queen’s hosted its first Thrive Week this past November, which comprised a series of events focused on building positive mental health for students, faculty and staff. More than 70 events were held on campus over five days, structured around Thrive’s mental health themes: sleep, stress, stigma, physical activity and nutrition. It was wildly successful for its first year, and the implementation team is now working to maintain many of the activities throughout the year, and explore ways to improve faculty turnout next year.

    I think it is also fair to say that the issues our community members face evolve over time and our response needs to reflect the increasing diversity of our student population. Last week, our university chaplain Kate Johnson talked about how she has increased student access to faith-based support through the hiring of part-time chaplains of multiple faith, a new multi-faith space on west campus, and a values-based financial literacy program, which has seen the number of enrolled students double in the past year.

    Today at Queen’s we celebrate Bell Let’s Talk Day, which serves as both an important reminder of the issues we face together and a unique fundraising campaign that has helped to funnel more than $100 million towards mental health initiatives in Canada since 2010. Today, we also celebrate the work of our researchers who are making it easier to ask for help. We celebrate the dedication of our students, faculty and staff to making Queen’s a safer and more inclusive place. We celebrate our accomplishments, while acknowledging that we still have a great deal of distance to go.


    For more information on Bell Let’s Talk Day, see a recent blog post from our Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, Dr. Heather Stuart.

    Work remains in battle against mental illness stigma

    Queen’s researcher Heather Stuart continues to make a difference for people with mental illness

    Entering her fifth year as the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair, Heather Stuart is encouraged by the progress she and her team have made in the emerging field of research. However, she knows her work is far from over.

    Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair Heather Stuart continues her fight against stigma.

    “This chair highlights a need for expertise in an area that was completely neglected before. The chair has allowed us to build bridges between the academic world, media, programs, practitioners, people with mental illnesses, and their family members,” Dr. Stuart says. “However, this chair is the only one of its kind in the world, so there’s room for additional expertise in this area, which was completely neglected just a few short years ago.”

    The campaign to end stigma around mental illness will take centre stage on Wednesday, Jan. 27 during Bell Let’s Talk Day. Dr. Stuart believes public outreach events like this one and the Bell Lecture on Mental Health and Anti-Stigma are critical for advancing the cause.

     “We have made a huge impact and people are definitely talking about this,” says Dr. Stuart, who has been a featured speaker at the Bell lecture in previous years. “The people who participate in these events are grateful we are recognizing the stigma around mental health after it has been ignored for so many years. At the end of the talks, so many people lineup to meet me and the other presenters and talk about their lives. We are validating their experiences in a way.”

    In her own research, Dr. Stuart is concentrating on intervention. Her goal is to create a tool kit that’s accessible to everyone across Canada. To achieve this goal, she is focusing on finding community partners and working with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to develop best practices.

    “Everyone wants to make a difference, but they need the resources to do a great job. It’s a long term process, but I am looking forward to the day when everyone can work from the same document,” says Dr. Stuart.

    Read Dr. Stuart's Dean on Campus guest blog on the School of Medicine website. For more information on Bell Let’s Talk Day visit the website.

    Payroll Services update for January

    The following is an update from Payroll Services regarding changes that will apply to the January payroll for employees of Queen’s University:

    Please note that 2016 CPP & EI deductions have restarted this month

    Federal and Ontario basic tax exemptions have increased in 2016

    For information on 2016 Federal and Provincial taxes:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/fq/txrts-eng.html

    2015 T4 & T4A tax slips will be available by the end of February 2016. For further information regarding Electronic T4/T4A Tax Slips: http://www.queensu.ca/humanresources/peoplesoft/myhr/t4t4a-tax-slips

    Guest speaker urges action on accessibility

    [David Lepofsky]
    David Lepofsky (right) delivers his talk while Andrew Ashby, Queen's Accessibility Coordinator, looks on. Mr. Lepofsky spent the day at Queen's meeting with students and encouraging others to get involved and help ensure Ontario meets its accessibility commitment by 2025.

    David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan group Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and co-chair of Barrier-Free Canada, spoke at Queen’s University last week. In the morning, Mr. Lepofsky, a lawyer and currently a visiting professor of legal ethics and public interest advocacy at the Osgoode Hall Law School, met with Queen’s law students. They discussed issues related to advocacy for the rights of the 1.8 million Ontarians and four million Canadians with disabilities.

    Following the classroom visits, the disability rights advocate participated in the Accessibility Café hosted by Accessibility Queen’s and the Equity Office. During his lecture, he shared his concerns that Ontario won’t be fully accessible by 2025 as required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). During the second half of the café, Mr. Lepofsky led a workshop session where participants brainstormed ways they could get involved in the cause and advance accessibility in Ontario.

    Mr. Lepofsky’s lecture was recorded and will be posted shortly on the Queen’s Accessibility Hub.  

    Jan. 26 edition of the Gazette

    The Jan. 26 edition of the Gazette, the second for 2016, is now available and can be picked up around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

    Read the Jan. 26 edition of the Gazette online.

    As always the Gazette is filled with interesting Queen’s-focused items including:

    • A focus on efforts by members of the Queen’s community to help families escaping the civil war in Syria.
    • An article introducing the next provost for Queen’s, Benoit-Antoine Bacon.
    • A one-on-one interview with Ted Hewitt, presiden of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
    • Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

    The Gazette is published biweekly during the academic year; the next edition will hit the newsstands on Feb. 9.

    Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll or Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

    Also visit the Gazette Online for more stories and photos and follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette

    Upcoming HR workshops

    Queen’s Human Resources offers a variety of individual workshops as well as lunch and learn sessions. See below for more information about a few of the upcoming sessions offered in the coming weeks. Visit the HR website to view the entire learning catalogue and to sign up.

    Event Planning: Essential Strategies
    Tuesday, Feb. 2, 9 am-noon, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room B176

    Events come with a high level of visibility and accountability, so it’s essential that they are planned and executed flawlessly. This workshop offers an introduction to planning and staging your Queen’s event. Participants will walk away from the session with many useful tools and templates to facilitate future planning.

    The File Cabinet in your Computer
    Tuesday, Feb. 2, 1-4 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room B176

    Become more efficient with your time through the use of an electronic file management system. Participants will learn how to organize, store and name files in a consistent way. Participants will have an opportunity to apply their new skills using a case study. Part of the Administrative Professionals @ Queen’s Certificate program

    Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1-4 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room B176

    This training is designed for front-line staff who may encounter hostile or aggressive customers in the course of their duties. Participants will learn to invoke four priorities essential to your organization’s violence response procedures, and effectively debrief once tension reduction occurs.

    Learning to Listen
    Thursday, Feb. 4, 1-4 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room B176

    Improving listening skills can benefit all of us, both in our personal and professional lives. What are your strengths? Where do you need to 'grow' in terms of your listening skills? Find out at this workshop, which focuses on listening skills rather than listening styles. Part of the Certificate in Workplace Communications

    Managing the Risks in International Education
    Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1-4 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room B176

    Participants will gain an understanding of the basic principles of risk management, including risk and responsibility and liability issues for outbound students and health and safety issues for incoming students. They will be introduced to the various risk management concepts which can be applied to Queen's programs and activities. Part of the Certificate in International Perspectives

    MS Outlook – More than Email
    Thursday, Feb. 11, 10:30 am-noon, Jeffrey Hall, Room 156

    This popular 90-minute workshop offers insights into little-known techniques to get the most of our mail, manage meetings, track tasks, cultivate contacts and customize Outlook to your individual needs. (Departmental fee: $50)

    Flags lowered for Bruce Laughton

    [Dr. Bruce Laughton]
    Bruce Laughton

    Flags on campus are lowered in memory of Bruce Laughton, a professor emeritus in the Department of Art History and Art Conservation. He died on Jan. 18 in his 88th year.

    Dr. Laughton taught art history at Queen’s from 1971 until his retirement in 2004. He was head of the Queen’s Department of Art from 1983 to 1988 and authored several scholarly works in his lifetime on British artists including William Coldstream, the Euston Road School and Philip Wilson Steer.

    Cremation has taken place. A family gathering and interment of ashes will be held in the spring. As expressions of sympathy, the family has asked that you please consider a donation to the Alzheimer Society in memory of Dr. Laughton. Robert J. Reid and Sons Funeral Home has created an online guestbook for sharing memories of Dr. Laughton.

    Inquiry@Queen’s deadline extended to Feb. 5

    Help Inquiry@Queen’s mark the 10th anniversary of the I@Q Undergraduate Research Conference.

    All undergraduate students with research results to share are invited to submit an abstract for the 10th annual conference to be held March 10-11 in the Queen's Learning Commons, Stauffer Library.

    Participation in the conference gives undergraduate students the opportunity to:

    • share their research with the Queen’s community
    • experience an academic conference
    • enhance graduate and career skills including critical thinking, effective writing and presentation skills
    • engage in scholarly communication with students and faculty from many disciplines.

    The deadline for the submission of proposals has been extended to Feb. 5, 2016.

    For more information on submitting a proposal, see our website: www.queensu.ca/iatq/iq-undergraduate-research-conference

    For questions, contact iatq@queensu.ca


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