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    A capstone experience

    Queen’s Department of English Language and Literature to host Scotiabank Giller Prizewinner.

    For the ninth straight year, Queen’s Department of English Language and Literature will host the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for a lecture, reading and question-and-answer period at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

    “The tradition of having the Giller Prize winner visit Queen’s started when Alistair MacLean was Dean of Arts and Sciences and challenged us to create a capstone experience for the English graduating class,” says Shelley King, Head of the Department of English Language and Literature.

    She credits English Professor Chris Bongie for suggesting that the department invite a prize-winning author to campus to interact with the students, who would also receive a copy of the book as a sort of “cohort experience.” The event is currently supported through a gift from Queen’s English alum Diane King and the Department of English Alumni Fund.

    This year’s winner, André Alexis, received the prize for his novel, Fifteen Dogs. In the novel, 15 dogs in a veterinary clinic in Toronto are granted the gifts of reason and language by the Greek gods Hermes and Apollo. The novel follows the pack as they explore these fundamentally human abilities and the differing paths it places them on.

    Mr. Alexis’ visit will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 19, starting at 2:30 pm, at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre. During the visit, Mr. Alexis will hold a public reading and discussion, as well as a book signing. All are welcome to attend.

    The Scotiabank Giller Prize was established in 1994 by Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife Doris Giller, a former literary editor at the Toronto Star. The Giller Prize, the largest awarded for fiction in Canada, is given to one Canadian author of a novel or short story collection published in English during the previous year.

    Senior staff changes announced

    Three senior-level staffing changes in Human Resources and Faculty Relations will take effect in February. 

    Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), and Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), announced today changes to senior-level appointments in Human Resources and Faculty Relations that will take effect on Feb. 1, 2016.

    Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources), has decided to step down from his position, effective Feb. 1, 2016. 

    Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources), has decided to step down from his position due to health reasons.  Mr. Orth will become a part-time special adviser on a project to design and implement a Jointly Sponsored Pension Plan for Ontario universities.  

    “Al Orth is an accomplished human resources professional who has an extensive background in the field. In the five years he was with Human Resources, he led a number of initiatives to strengthen and improve services based on the recommendations of a comprehensive review that was carried out in 2010,” says VP Davis. “I would like to thank Al for his contributions since joining Queen’s in 2011, including the improvements he has brought about in relations between Queen’s and its unions. I wish him a speedy return to good health.”  

    Dan Bradshaw, Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations), will be appointed Interim Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) effective Feb. 1, 2016.

    Dan Bradshaw will be appointed interim associate vice-principal (human resources) and Dan McKeown will be appointed interim associate vice-principal (faculty relations). Mr. Bradshaw has been the director of faculty relations, and subsequently associate vice-principal (faculty relations) since August 2009.

    “I would like to thank Dan Bradshaw for his leadership during his time in Faculty Relations. Among many accomplishments, Dan’s contributions have included improving relations with Queen’s University Faculty Association, as well as successfully negotiating two renewed collective agreements on behalf of Queen’s,” says Harrison.  “I look forward to working with Dan McKeown in his new role. He brings a wealth of experience to the position. I wish them both every success in their new appointments.”

    Dan McKeown, Associate Director of Faculty Relations, will be appointed interim Associate Vice-Principal (Faculty Relations) effective Feb. 1, 2016.

    Mr. McKeown has significant experience as a practising labour and employment lawyer in private practice and as a senior in-house counsel. Prior to joining Queen’s in 2014 as associate director of Faculty Relations, he was managing counsel, Labour & Employment, at CIBC.





    Sharing ideas

    TEDxQueensU is the largest student-run conference at Queen’s and the third-largest TEDx event in Canada. (Supplied Photo)

    This year’s TEDxQueensU conference promises to be bigger and better than ever and a quick look at the lineup of speakers certainly backs that claim.

    ​CBC radio host Anna Maria Tremonti, Chef Michael Smith of the Canadian Grilling Company and broadway director and iPad app entrepreneur Jeff Whiting head the list of 11 speakers that also includes Laura Anderson, a Queen’s student who initiated the social media campaign #MyBodyMyBusiness last year.

    In its sixth year, TEDxQueensU, an event dedicated to talks about technology, entertainment and design, is the largest student-run conference at Queen’s and the third-largest TEDx event in Canada.

    Being held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Feb. 7, the event offers an opportunity for community members to find inspiration from the diverse range of speakers as well as fellow delegates.

    “TEDxQueensU is so much more than sitting down and listening to talks. It’s about what we do with the ideas shared on this day that build the TED and TEDx community into what it is today,” says co-director Lucy Chen (Sc’16). “The applicants can expect to easily mingle with fellow delegates, speakers, speaker coaches, community members, as well as the organizing team in a very light-hearted and open environment. The Start-Up Space is bigger and brighter this year with exhibitions of new and upcoming projects, art, and innovation waiting to be showcased.”

    This year’s theme is “Uncharted,” and each speaker will incorporate the theme into their talks based on what it means to them.

    Before moving to the Isabel last year, TEDxQueensU was held at Theological Hall and only had space for 100 delegates. Today there are 500 delegate spots available, divided between two pools of applicants – Queen’s students and general tickets for alumni, faculty and staff, and Kingston community members.

    Last year’s conference was a watershed moment for organizers and they are looking to keep the momentum going.

    “On the day of the event last year we had many delegates showing up at 8 am when we had told them that doors open at 9 am. It was quite a frenzy because, at that moment, we were still setting up, but it just goes to show how ambitious and eager the TEDx community is,” says Ms. Chen. “We’ve also had great feedback with attendees being impressed with not only the caliber of speakers and ideas spread, but the professionalism of the production and stage design. So many people wanted to get a picture with the life-size TED sign to tweet, snap and Instagram that they became a part of this event, community, and collaboration.”

    Deadline for applications is Friday, Jan. 15 and are available online. Successful applicants will be emailed a link to purchase their tickets, which are $45 for Queen’s students and $70 for general. A catered lunched is included in the ticket price for the all-day event.

    For more information visit tedxqueensu.com.

    Making a significant contribution

    Queen’s researcher Wendy Craig invested in the Order of Ontario.

    In recognition of her continuing work in the field of bullying prevention and the promotion of healthy relationships, Wendy Craig (Psychology) has been invested to the Order of Ontario.

    The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario announced Wednesday that Dr. Craig, the co-scientific director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), would be one of 25 new members of the most prestigious official honour in Ontario.

    Queen's University researcher and PREVNet co-scientific director, Dr. Wendy Craig, has been invested in the Order of Ontario In recognition of her continuing work in the field of bullying prevention and the promotion of healthy relationships.

    “I’m truly humbled by this honour,” says Dr. Craig. “Through the partnerships in PREVNet, we’ve been able to make a significant contribution and impact. I may be the co-scientific director, but this is really an Order of Ontario for PREVNet.”

    Since forming PREVNet in 2006, Dr. Craig has been a co-leader of this national initiative that provides individuals and organizations with the evidence-based knowledge, strategies, and tools to prevent violence. She has been recognized, both in Canada and internationally, as a leading expert on preventing bullying and promoting healthy relationships amongst youth. PREVNet’s bullying prevention toolkit has been disseminated to every school in the province in an effort to provide educators with the support to address bullying in their school and promote healthy relationships. Moving forward, Dr. Craig says the plan is to ensure that PREVNet’s toolkit is available to an even wider audience.

    “The next phase is focused on leveraging some of PREVNet’s most impactful tools, adapting them to the needs of the various provinces and territories in Canada, by collaborating with government and industry to increase their impact,” says Dr. Craig.

    The formal appointment ceremony will be held on Jan. 20 at the Ontario Legislative Assembly in Toronto. The full ceremony can be viewed online. Following the ceremony, appointees will attend a gala dinner, where Dr. Craig will be responding to the toast in honour of the appointees.

    Instituted in 1986 by Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier David Peterson, the civilian Order honours current or former Ontario residents demonstrating  “the best of Ontario's caring and diverse society and [whose] lives have benefited society in Ontario and elsewhere.”

    Rising to the challenge

    Queen’s students and faculty are helping Syrian refugees settle in Kingston

    Several third-year law students at Queen’s University have come together to welcome Syrian refugees to Kingston.

    Jess Spindler, Rosa Stall, Kaisha Thompson and Lauren Wilson have created the Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program after receiving training through the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. The Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program is already offering assistance to Peter (his name has been changed by the Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program to protect his identity), a 26-year-old who fled the violent civil war in Syria.

    “We are now working to help him deal with the realities of living in Kingston,” says Ms. Spindler. “That includes shopping for groceries, banking, getting a job and dealing with the cold weather.”

    Working on the Queen's Law Refugee Support Program are (l to r): Jess Spindler, Kaisha Thompson, Lauren Wilson and Rosa Stall.

    Ms. Thompson says it’s helpful that they are the same age as Peter so they can help him through the loneliness. “Cultural isolation is a definite issue so we are trying to get Peter to meet with other Canadians and members of the Kingston community who speak his language, people who understand where he is coming from.”

    Initially, the Queen’s group was going to help with paperwork for new refugees. With the federal government assuming those duties, they are now focused on fundraising and helping refugees resettle in the community. They have launched a Tilt campaign which is getting close to $1,500. William Flanagan, Dean, Queen’s Law, has been a key supporter in the students’ efforts and the program is supervised by Queen’s Law professor Lisa Kerr.

    “The campaign has been going really well,” says Ms. Wilson. “The Dean and the entire law school have been very supportive.”

    “We are here to help and that means many different things,” says Ms. Stall. “We are prepared to assist with any tasks and want to continue to reach out as more refugees arrive in the future.”

    Arriving on Boxing Day, Peter was the first of three Syrian refugees who have been formally sponsored by a group of Queen’s faculty, staff and alumni to arrive in Kingston.  This group is also sponsoring a young couple who arrived in Kingston on New Year’s Eve. They are now taking full time English classes and hope to start volunteer activities soon. They are currently living temporarily with Sandra den Otter, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

     “It has been a rewarding experience, and we’ve been astounded by the response from the Queen’s community and the Kingston community,” says Dr. den Otter. “There has been an overwhelming response to this opportunity for us to share the work of resettlement with newcomers from Syria.” Organizations like ISKA (Immigrant Services Kingston and the area), KEYS employment services, Queen’s Family Health Team, and others have been extremely helpful.

    Along with Sandra den Otter, Queen’s professors Margaret Moore, Zsuzsa Csergo, Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, John McGarry in Political Studies, Henry Laycock and Alistair McLeod (Philosophy) and Queen’s alumna France Pellicano are supporting the couple, in collaboration with several community members.

    In addition to the law student group, graduate students from History, Political Studies, and Computing have been actively supporting the newcomers. Dr. den Otter says providing support for refugees gives Queen’s students a unique experience. “Assisting in the settlement of newcomers from Syria is such a valuable form of community engagement and global citizenship for graduate students.”

    For more information about how to assist visit the Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program Facebook page, email Jess Spindler at jess.spindler@queensu.ca or to help in the settlement of the three newcomers to Kingston please email Sandra den Otter at denotter@queensu.ca or Margaret Moore at margaret.moore@queensu.ca.

    Theory and practice meet

    Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College unveil joint biotechnology program

    Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College are collaborating on a new joint Bachelor of Science (Honours) advanced degree/diploma in biotechnology that will produce career-ready students to work in the emerging field of biotechnology.

    Queen's University Provost Alan Harrison, left, and Glenn Vollebregt, president and CEO of St. Lawrence College sign an MOU on a new joint Bachelor of Science (Honours) advanced degree/diploma in biotechnology. (University Communications)

    Students enrolling in the new Biotechnology Specialization Plan at Queen’s University can earn credit towards the Advanced Diplomas in Biotechnology at St. Lawrence, and vice versa.

    “The university training will enhance participants’ theoretical and research training, while the college environment will give them hands-on technical expertise,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University. “Combined, the program will provide a transformative student learning experience.”

    Students may transfer academic credits between the two institutions, resulting in the accelerated completion of both programs (a four-year BScH in biotechnology, and a three-year advanced diploma in biotechnology) in just five years.

    Students can start the degree/diploma at either institution, and will spend between 2.5 and 3.5 years at Queen’s, with the remaining time at St. Lawrence. The Bachelor of Science (Honours) biotechnology specialization will also be available as a stand-alone four-year degree program for Queen’s students. This program received approval at the same time as the joint program.

    “This partnership with Queen’s University truly puts our students first. The joint program provides students entering St. Lawrence College or Queen’s with the opportunity to earn both credentials in just five years,” says Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College. “Providing students with access to two outstanding institutions will help them prepare for a successful career in the field after graduation.”   

    This memorandum of understanding is the second with St. Lawrence College. The first is the joint Bachelor of Music Degree/Music and Digital Media diploma program. This five-year program also combines the theoretical knowledge of a Queen’s degree and the technical skills of a St. Lawrence diploma.

    Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines.

    Achieve work goals through 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 sessions offered in the coming weeks. Visit the HR website to view the entire learning catalogue and to sign up.

    Effective Communication: Influencing Colleagues and Supervisors
    Tuesday, Jan. 19, 9 am-noon, Seminar Room, Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176

    This workshop allows participants to assess their assertiveness style and use this information to develop skills needed to express themselves directly and honestly. Participants learn techniques to communicate concisely, identify core issues and focus the dialogue accordingly. Participants learn to understand their audience in order to tailor their communication appropriately.

    Anti-Oppression in the Workplace
    Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1-4 pm, Seminar Room, Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176

    This session helps participants define oppression as it relates to equity-seeking groups in Canada as well as identify various forms of oppression and the ways in which they are sustained by institutional, political, economic, cultural and other power structures. Participants also learn how to develop strategies they can draw upon to create communities and workplaces that are anti-oppressive for all people, particularly those most affected by inequity.

    Diversity at Queen’s
    Thursday, Jan. 21, 9 am-noon, Seminar Room, Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176

    This workshop, presented in partnership with Queen’s University International Centre and the Human Rights Office, includes legislation information, scenarios and the opportunity to interact and share perspectives with international students.

    Queen’s Volunteer Engagement Certificate
    Module 3: Setting Volunteers up for Success – Orientation and Training
    Thursday, Jan. 21, 1-3 pm, Seminar Room, Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176

    Learn how Alumni Relations and Annual Giving have developed a comprehensive orientation strategy for close to 300 student volunteers each year to prepare them for Homecoming weekend. Templates and tools will help you create a consistent and standardized orientation program.

    New Staff Orientation
    Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1-4 pm, Seminar Room, Mackintosh-Corry Hall B176

    The Human Resources Department invites all newly hired employees (general staff, CUPE Local 229, CUPE Local 254, CUPE Local 1302, ONA, OPSEU, research grants and contract and post-doctoral fellows) to an informative discussion that includes presentations from various university departments and services. The orientation also covers essential human resources information.

    First Gazette of 2016

    The Jan. 12 edition of the Gazette, the first for 2016, is now available and can be picked up around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

    As always the newspaper is filled with interesting Queen's-focused items including:

    [Gazette Jan. 12, 2016]
    Read the digital version of the Jan. 12 Gazette.
    • A look back at the events surrounding Professor Emeritus Art McDonald being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm.
    • The latest incredible donation of a Rembrandt masterpiece from Alfred and Isabel Bader.
    • An introduction to the next chair of the Board of Trustees Don Raymond.
    • 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 Jan. 26.

    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


    Lessons learned from a life in public service

    Former Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks to Queen’s political studies students.

    Room 202 in Sutherland Hall was filled to capacity on Monday as former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty took part in a guest lecture and Q&A session with students from the Department of Political Studies. During the talk, which was co-sponsored by the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. McGuinty touched on a number of lessons he learned during his 23-year political career.

    Dalton McGuinty, former Premier of Ontario, speaks to Queen's Political Studies students on January 11.

    “I never thought I would go into politics,” he says. “Most of us coat ourselves with a thin veneer of cynicism but, at heart, we want to make a difference.”

    During the course of the one-hour talk, Mr. McGuinty covered a wide range of topics, under the overarching theme of “finding ways to engage with Canadians.” He discussed lessons learned on leadership, partisanship and dealing with difficult circumstances.

    “To have former Premier Dalton McGuinty speaking to a standing-room only crowd, comprised predominantly of students, speaks volumes about the commitment of Queen's students to politics, policy and the value of public service,” says Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Director, Institute of Intergovernmental Relations.

    “Mr. McGuinty's talk was honest and enlightening, and adds important practical expertise to students with a passion for the study of politics and policy - all the more so as many of our students will go on to public life in decades to come.”

    He repeatedly stressed the importance of collective action in tackling the most pressing societal issues. Calling on students to become politically and socially active citizens, he said that a society that fails to draw on the creativity and energy of its youth does itself a great disservice. Emphasizing this point, the former premier recalled one of his father’s favourite maxims.

    “He would tell my siblings and me, all 10 of us, that ‘no one here is as strong as all of us are. No one here is as smart as all of us are.’”

    After his talk, Mr. McGuinty answered questions from the audience on topics ranging from post-secondary funding to partisanship and even his regrets from this time as premier.

    After retiring from elected office in 2013, Mr. McGuinty completed a fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is currently the special advisor to the president of Desire2Learn and a senior fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. His 2015 book, Making a Difference, covers his 23-year term in public life, from facing defeat in his first election, to the victories and challenges that followed.


    Inspiring future leaders

    Queen’s student group holds conference for women in politics.

    This past weekend, over 100 participants took part in the first annual Queen's Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP) Conference.

    The two-day event brought together delegates from across the Queen’s community to learn from a wide range of experienced and engaging keynote and panel speakers, and take part in hands-on leadership and media workshops. Participants then had the opportunity to put what they learned to the test in a case study challenge, addressing real world issues and concerns.

    The Queen's Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP) executive members posing for photos after a successful inaugural conference. (Supplied Photo)
    The Queen's Female Leadership in Politics (QFLIP) executive members posing for photos after a successful inaugural conference. (Supplied Photo)

    “I think it’s wonderful for young women to become inspired and to feel like their voices are being heard,” says Emily Pilon, Marketing Director for QFLIP. “I know many young people, women and men, want to become politically active, but don’t necessarily have the skills or opportunities to pursue that goal. This conference offers the opportunity to cultivate those skills and show them how to achieve their goals.”

    Guest speakers at the conference included Julie Lindhout, President of the Atlantic Council of Canada and the NATO Association of Canada, and Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. Delegates also took in a panel discussion on careers in the political sector featuring Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant (Political Studies) as well as a workshop on media and communications from renowned political communications specialist Ian Capstick.  Alison Redford, the first female Premier of Alberta and the fourth woman in Canada's history to lead a provincial party to victory, delivered the conference’s capstone address at a banquet Sunday evening.

    Rachel Tung (ArtSci’18), QFLIP’s founder and co-chair, says planning for the conference began in earnest in March, but the original idea came to her much earlier than that.

    “I was inspired to start this conference after hearing Scottish Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick speak at the Principal’s Forum in January 2015,” says Ms. Tung.  “After the forum Caroline (Marful, ArtsSci’18) and I were having lunch in the Ban Righ dining hall when I proposed that there should be a conference and other events on female empowerment in politics. She immediately she responded, ‘Let’s do it, I can see it in my head already.’ We immediately started working on making our dream of this conference a reality.”

    While QFLIP formed, in part, out of the desire to host a forum such as this, the organization hopes to expand its aims to host additional events to help young women get a foothold in the world of politics. The group is already planning a career roundtable later this semester in conjunction with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association

    “QFLIP isn’t just a once-a-year conference,” says Ms Tung. “We’re planning many more opportunities to continue our mission of inspiring and equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills necessary to build their careers.”


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