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Taking a closer look at the Class of 2019

More than 4,600 undergraduate students from the Class of 2019 are experiencing university academic life for the first time this month, with classes beginning on Queen’s campus in Kingston and at the Bader International Student Centre (BISC) in Sussex, England.

[Class of 2019]
More than 4,600 undergraduate students make up the Class of 2019 at Queen's University. (University Communications)

“Queen’s is excited to welcome the incoming class, the newest members of the Queen’s family,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “We look forward to supporting these students as their passion for learning takes them in new and exciting directions over the next four years.”

Queen’s received nearly 31,000 applications for 4,517 spaces in the first-year class. The incoming class boasts an average of 88.4  per cent, and female students make up 60 per cent of first-year students.

These new students hail from all 10 provinces, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Queen’s also continues to make progress on its goal of increasing the number of high achieving international undergraduate students. There are 318 international students in the first-year class, an increase of 29.8 per cent over the same time last year. Almost 10  per cent of the incoming class    attended high school outside of Canada in 42 different countries and 29 U.S. states.

“The Queen’s student learning experience is enriched by the diversity of experience and perspective that students from all over the country and around the world bring to the Queen’s campus,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.

Queen’s continues to do well in attracting Ontario, out of province and international students with acceptances from Ontario students increasing by 4.3 per cent and out of province acceptances increasing by 8 per cent. 

Some other quick facts about the incoming class include:
• 4.3 per cent of students self-identify as the first generation in their family to attend post-secondary education;
• 1.5 per cent of the incoming class identifies as Aboriginal; and
• 93 per cent of the incoming class was 18 years of age or younger as of June 1, 2015. 

Faculty of Arts and Science students make up 68.7 per cent of the incoming class, followed by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science with 16.5 per cent, Commerce with 10.7 per cent and Nursing with 2 per cent.

Gaels get back on winning track

[Gaels vs Varsity Blues]
Queen's Gaels receiver Peter Hannon celebrates his touchdown during Saturday's 37-18 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues. (Photo by Jamie MacDonald)


The Queen's Gaels (3-2) got a breakout game from quarterback Nate Hobbs as they scored a 37-18 road win over the Toronto Varsity Blues (1-3) on Saturday.

Hobbs threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns while adding 14 yards on the ground and another touchdown as he faced his older brother Marcus, the backup pivot for Toronto.


The Queen's Gaels men's soccer team (5-1-2) stretched their win streak to five games with a pair of victories at home on the weekend. On Sunday at Miklas-McCarney Field, the Gaels topped the Trent Excalibur 4-2. On Saturday dispatched the UOIT Ridgebacks (3-3-1) by a score of 1-0.


The Queen’s Gaels women’s soccer team (4-2-3) earned a weekend split after beating the Trent Excalibur 4-1 on Sunday at Miklas-McCarney Field. On Saturday the Gaels (0-7-0) lost 1-0 to the UOIT Ridgebacks (4-2-0).


Emma Chown had a big night for the Queen’s Gaels women’s rugby team (3-0) scoring five tries in a 106-3 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues (0-3) Saturday at Nixon Field.  The Gaels scored a pair of tries in the first five minutes and held a 64-3 lead at the half.

The Queen’s Gaels men’s rugby team (3-1) battled to a 33-19 win over the RMC Paladins on Saturday, relying on a dominant second half. The Paladins led 14-12 at halftime.


The Queen’s Gaels men's volleyball team began their preparation for the 2015-16 season with their first exhibition action this weekend in Toronto at the Ryerson National Bank Invitational Tournament, finishing with a 2-1 round-robin record. That was enough to get the Gaels into the final but they fell to the Western Mustangs on Sunday in four sets (17-25, 20-25, 25-21 and 19-25).


The Queen’s Gaels women's volleyball team participated in their second exhibition tournament in Saskatchewan this weekend at the University of Regina Invitational tournament. Queen's went 1-2 in the round robin and claimed fifth place with a four-set win over Brandon on Sunday (32-34, 25-17, 25-21, 25-17).

JDUC window project starts Sept. 28

On Monday, Sept. 28, Emmons & Mitchell will commence work on pulling windows (installing temporary Lexan inserts) from the west end of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) main elevation on the east side of Wallace Hall. Fencing is in place for isolation of the work from public areas. Site work using genie or boom lifts will only operate within the fenced area.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, weather permitting, Emmons & Mitchell will commence installing the walk-through scaffold over the south entrance and the two basement exits to the side. During the installation of the scaffold, each of the three exits will sequentially be out of service for regular use – i.e., only one exit at a time will be out of service. Even during the brief time that an exit is “closed” it will still be available for emergency use.  A simple barricade to dissuade use of an exit will be easily and quickly moved clear if an emergency occurs.

Please note:

  • Emmons & Mitchell will temporarily dismantle the walk-through scaffold and remove equipment and fencing for Homecoming events.
  • Work associated with this project will be done in stages. The current schedule has the crew working in Wallace Hall and on most of the west elevation windows next spring and summer. The site foreman from Emmons & Mitchell will work with the Student Life Centre staff as appropriate. 
  • Grad Residence is not included in the scope of work for this project.

Any questions regarding this window project should be directed to Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by e-mail.

Accessibility audit update: Sept. 28-Oct. 2

Several campus buildings will undergo an accessibility audit during the week of Sept. 28:

  • 18 Barrie St. – Monday, Sept. 28
  • Richardson Hall – Tuesday, Sept. 29
  • Dunning Hall – Wednesday, Sept. 30
  • John Watson Hall – Thursday, Oct. 1 and Friday, Oct. 2

Overseen by Campus Planning and Development (CPD), the audit is evaluating Queen’s buildings for compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and several other provincial and municipal design standards and codes. The results of the audit will help CPD plan and prioritize repairs and upgrades that have the maximum benefit for students, faculty and staff.

Questions or concerns about the accessibility audit can be directed to Barry Kaplan, AODA Project Manager, Campus Planning and Development, by email or 613-533-6001.

Preparing for the next step at Queen's Career Fair

Transitions are a regular part of university life and for those looking to get an early start on their time after Queen’s – either finding a job or further education – the Queen’s Career Fair offers the chance to gain information and make some vital connections.

[Queen's Career Fair]
Queen's students can make connections with employers and educational programs at the Queen's Career Fair. (University Communications) 

This year’s event, being hosted Tuesday at the ARC Gym, is the biggest ever at Queen’s, attracting over 100 recruiter booths, including employers from a variety of sectors and a wide range of schools.

New this year, the Queen’s Career Fair is partnering with the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) to help students interested in working or studying outside of Canada.

“This event gives students a chance to speak with employers, educational programs, and advisors, all in one location,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “Queen’s students have multiple options to consider and the career fair allows them to see what is available after graduation.”

This year’s Queen’s Career Fair includes:

Student Prep Area – get ideas about questions to ask and a map of exhibitors as well as a new headshot to make you LinkedIn profile a bit more professional looking.

Employer Showcase – featuring close to 30 organizations from a variety of sectors, including all three levels of government, interested in hiring Queen’s students

Education Expo – with more than 70 further education programs including law, education, rehabilitation and medicine

Skills Development Zone –providing opportunities for students to increase their career skills including: resume review clinic; drop-in career advising booth; QUIP (learn about internships) and more.

International Opportunities – meet with representatives from a variety of sectors and countries

The Queen’s Career Fair is being held at the ARC on Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 10:30 am-3 pm.

For more information go to careers.queensu.ca/events-workshops/career-fair

Fit Tip: Stretching for health

Have you stretched today?

Flexibility, which is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion, is one of the most neglected components of a workout for most people. Flexibility is important for completing everyday activities like getting up out of bed, lifting groceries and vacuuming the floor. If not done regularly, your flexibility will deteriorate with age. 

Here are some stretches you can do at your desk.



University working to implement sexual assault recommendations

The implementation team that is reviewing and prioritizing the recommendations made in a June comprehensive report on sexual assault has made progress over the summer. The report, by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group, includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual assault, as well as a draft sexual misconduct policy.

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison is chairing the implementation team, which will continue to meet in the fall.

“I am very pleased with the continued efforts of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group and the implementation team as we work towards achieving the objectives outlined in the report,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s is also well positioned to meet the requirements we expect the provincial government to set out in legislation later this year.”

One of the report’s recommendations was to enhance the profile of sexual assault support services and resources, including those that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To achieve that objective, an updated poster has been circulated and is available electronically to help students more easily access the resources on and off campus. 

In addition, the green folder resource for faculty members, teaching assistants and staff has been updated to include more information about the steps students can take if they or someone they know has been sexually assaulted, and about the university’s dedicated supports. 

New sexual assault-related prevention and education initiatives and resources were also put in place for this year’s orientation week. A guest speaker, Dr. Rachel Griffin, an American gender violence scholar, gave a talk to first-year students and staff, and consent and resource information will be delivered to all first-year undergraduate students and incoming graduate students. New first-responder and bystander training was provided to all orientation leaders and student volunteers, dons and other residence student leaders, counsellors, and other first responders, including security staff.

Progress has also been made towards the development of dedicated space for sexual assault support services, and work has begun on recommendations for a campus-wide policy for students requiring academic accommodations in respect of issues related to sexual assault and other exceptional circumstances. 

“The team is committed to working expeditiously on behalf of the university,” says Provost Harrison. “Some recommendations require longer-term resource allocation and planning, but I am very encouraged by the progress already made.”


CIMVHR relocates to Kingston Hall

  • [CIMVHR Open House]
    The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research hosted an open house at Kingston Hall with director Alice Aiken, right, and associate director Stephanie Belanger.
  • [CIMVHR Open House]
    Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Alice Aiken, left, and associate director Stephanie Belanger show visitors the new office space.

The Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) held an open house on Wednesday at its new location in Kingston Hall.

The new office – Room 301 – offers a larger, newly-renovated space that will help the CIMVHR team to meet the needs of its mission to enhance the lives of Canadian military personnel, veterans and their families by harnessing the national capacity for research.

“What’s really good for us is the whole team is now in one space,” says Alice Aiken, CIMVHR director and an associate professor and head of the Physical Therapy Program in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “The group has always been very functional, they’ve always worked really well together but this really consolidated us as a team.”

Previously, the institute was dispersed within the Faculty of Health Sciences, including the main office in Botterell Hall.  The new space also has a boardroom where meetings can be held with the Board of Directors and various advisory councils when they visit Queen’s University.

The new location also has a historical link to the military, points out Stephanie Belanger, associate director of the CIMVHR and associate professor at the French Department of the Royal Military College of Canada.

“The fact that this space is in a building that was a hospital during the First World War is so meaningful,” she says. “It’s the open space too. With the working in teams that we do, it really reflects what we do with all the institutes working together as well.”

CIMVHR is currently partnered with 37 universities across Canada. The institute acts as a channel between the academic community, government organizations, industry and similar international organizations to address the health and well-being of military personnel, veterans and their families. 

Tapping into student initiative

A new iPhone app developed by Queen’s University students is aimed at helping new arrivals find their way around campus.

[Q Tap]
Designed by a pair of Queen's engineering students, QTap is an iPhone app aimed at helping first-year students get around campus.

Initially developed as a class assignment during their first-year studies, Rony Besprozvanny (Sc’18) and Zach Yale (Sc’18) have created QTap, an app designed to make getting around campus a little easier for first-year students.

QTap incorporates a user-friendly interface to display class schedules, operating hours for on-campus buildings, and helpful contact information phone numbers. Using Apple Maps, the app also includes a basic web view of directions between campus buildings.

“It is great to see this creativity and initiative from our students. This is a fantastic example of experiential learning, where real-world applications of technology are linked to the classroom,” says Bo Wandschneider, CIO and Associate Vice-Principal.

Building on previous relationships between Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Faculty of Engineering, Brian Frank (Electrical Engineering) approached ITS with the project. Over the summer, ITS supported the student-led initiative by funding the further development of the app so that it could be used by all Queen’s students.

“Our inspiration for QTap came from the fact that we wanted to create something that filled all the confusion and gaps that we experienced as first years in understanding our schedules and knowing where to go for our classes,” Mr. Besprozvanny said. “With this is mind I think we've designed an app that will really benefit all Queen’s students. As a result I am most excited about the ‘Dashboard’ and ‘Campus’ features and how they can be used side by side to provide a seamless yet powerful experience.”

Mr. Yale also hopes the app will alleviate the stress that first-year students experience navigating class schedules and getting around campus.

“I'm most excited about the 'Dashboard' feature. Before QTap, students would have to screenshot their schedule on SOLUS to know what classes they had coming up next,” he says. “People would have to use their schedule as their phone background, or scramble around through their pictures at the end of their class to find their schedule. With the 'Dashboard', all it takes is one tap on your homescreen to instantly see your schedule, and your upcoming classes. I personally think that's the most exciting aspect of QTap.”

Starting this fall semester, QTap will be available for free for users with an iPhone 4s or greater running iOS 8.0 or higher through the Apple App Store for those who want to download the app. While QTap is not an official source of information from Queen’s University, it is a great complementary tool to assist new students learning how to get around campus. The app has seen some success with approximately 1,800 active users since its launch on Sept. 13. The developers are looking for feedback on users’ experience. Feedback can be submitted to qtap@queensu.ca.

Student-athletes excel in classroom

[Academic All Stars]
Queen's recently celebrated the 396 student-athletes who earned a 3.5 grade point average or higher in 2014-15. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Queen’s student-athletes are used to getting up early as they balance athletic and scholastic demands. Many of the 396 academic all-stars from 2014-15 were up at the crack of dawn again this morning, but this time they could relax as the university celebrated their achievements at a special ceremony.

“Despite a demanding schedule of early morning workouts, daily practices, and weekends on the road competing for Queen’s, our student-athletes demonstrate a remarkable commitment to academic success in the classroom,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “Our student-athletes are wonderful ambassadors for Queen’s, accomplishing so much, both academically and in their chosen sport.”

More than 40 per cent of the student-athlete population at Queen’s earned a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or 80 per cent average in 2014-15. This is the highest ever number of academic all-stars at Queen’s and a 20 per cent increase over the previous year. Queen’s consistently places among the top five schools in Canada for the number of academic all-stars.

[VLC co-presidents present award to Alan Harrison]
Varsity Leadership Council Co-Presidents Victoria Restivo and Mike Tomlinson present Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), with the Athletics Champion Award. Provost Harrison was recognized for his commitment and support for student-athletes. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

“We are extremely proud of these outstanding student-athletes,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Queen’s Athletics and Recreation (A&R).  “Their hard work combined with dedicated support from our coaches and staff members in the faculties, schools and various departments have led to some truly outstanding academic and athletic achievements.” 

In 2014-15, 222 student-athletes earned the academic all-star distinction for the first time, while 25 of the 174 repeat all-stars have been honoured consecutively five, six or seven times. (Varsity clubs outside of Ontario University Athletics or Canadian Interuniversity Sport don’t have eligibility restrictions).

The women’s track and field and women’s basketball teams boasted the highest percentage of all-stars on their rosters, with 88 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively. The top academic all-stars include Cameron Bardwell (Track and Field, Arts and Science), who posted a 4.3 GPA (the highest possible average on the Queen’s grading scale), and Julia Jackson (Triathlon, Arts and Science), Sam Abernethy (Soccer, Arts and Science) and Alesha Sealy (Hockey, Engineering and Applied Science), all who posted a 4.27 GPA.

Also at the academic all-star celebration, A&R presented Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), with the Athletics Champion Award. Harrison, who is retiring when his term ends on July 31, 2016, was honoured for his support and recognition that sport, recreation and physical activity are an important part of campus life and the student learning experience.


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