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Being dean a 'creative time' for Stephen Elliott

Dr. Elliott steered the Faculty of Education through productive, yet challenging years – and now looks forward to having time to paint.

Stephen Elliott is a visual artist, but he learned his business sense from his father, who taught business and finance and was an industrial engineer for Chrysler earlier in his career. At Chrysler, it was his father's job to find the most efficient ways to do things on the factory floor.

“He would routinely do time studies, measuring how fast specific tasks were being completed. He’d bring that home with him and create games for me and my siblings, such as fastening bolts to a matrix,” says Dr. Elliott. “He would time us completing the tasks, and take his findings back to work. These activities left me with a great interest in making things, being creative in my approach and doing things the best and most efficient way possible.”

It’s this philosophy of doing things efficiently, and creatively, that served him well in his position of dean in the Faculty of Education, a post he held for the past five and a half years and left last month, making way for incoming Dean Rebecca Luce-Kapler.

Stephen Elliott – seen with his painting, Still Life with Lemon, Pepper, and three Kittys – stepped down from his position as dean of the Faculty of Education last month.

Dr. Elliott likens his work as dean to a performance arts piece – pulling disparate parts together in a meaningful way to create a meaningful thing.

“Most of what I did as dean I learned in art school,” says Dr. Elliott, who earned his BFA from Queen’s in 1979, studying printmaking and later working as a master printmaker for noted artists such as André Biéler. “Bringing things together, shaping them — it’s been a great job for me, being dean. I’ve worked with wonderful faculty and staff.”

Dr. Elliott has steered the faculty through productive, yet challenging years. The faculty faces different challenges than other faculties, he explains, because the province regulates enrolment, tuition and program, and recently mandated the change in structure to undergraduate degrees in education from one year to two. Students in the Consecutive Education program now take four successive semesters, beginning in May and ending in August of the following year.

“This new program has just begun, but we think it’s going to be great. Most other programs in the province have the break over the summer, but ours is intensive and puts students into the workforce a full eight months before other programs in the province. It’s really intensive – it drives the experience deeper into their souls.”

In addition to the changes in the BEd program, Dr. Elliott is also proud of the new online master’s program the faculty offers.

Dr. Elliott never expected to work in administration. After his BFA, he worked as a printmaker for a fine art publisher in Toronto and went on to complete a BEd at Queen’s, leading to a career as a high school art teacher. He received his MEd from Queen’s and a decade later finished a PhD in art in education from Concordia University.

After teaching in Gananoque for several years, Dr. Elliott came to Queen’s as a professor in 1989. He became the coordinator of the Art in Community Education (ACE) program, and infused the program with his passion for nurturing the arts in education and in the greater community. While teaching in ACE, he often urged students to go into education administration, because the arts are often underrepresented and not well understood in schools.

“Artists are too busy to waste time in meetings,” he says. “But students need the opportunity to think divergently, differently, and the arts do that. We nurture that.”

In the end, Dr. Elliott, while urging students to pursue administrative roles, was encouraged to do the same himself. A student asked him, at one point, what he was doing in terms of administration. While he always served on committees and boards, he hadn’t actively pursued an administrative position. As he opened himself to the idea, the position of associate dean of undergraduate studies at Queen’s became available. He put his name in, spent one and a half years in that role before taking on the deanship.

“I’ve really enjoyed the experience of being dean. It’s been a creative time for me,” says Dr. Elliott, who continued to teach in the ACE program while leading the faculty. “We have the best programs in the province, and moving forward I think the faculty is in a strong position, with excellent people to lead it.”

Next for Dr. Elliott is a return to painting. He’ll clean out his home studio and see what comes up. The last painting he did before becoming dean used to hang in his office in Duncan McArthur Hall. It’s a still life — a whimsical image of a dog and a table, with a wispy plant sitting in a glass.

While he’s still a systems-oriented, forward-thinking taskmaster (thanks to his father), he’s looking forward to having the headspace to paint, and to taking a more relaxed approach to his art and life. “I hope I become more playful as I get older,” he says, smiling.

 

 

 

 

New daycare location readies for opening

A new Queen’s Day Care Centre facility, located in the An Clachan complex on Van Order Drive, will open its doors in September, and staff members are excited about the new space.

“We’re very excited to be moving into An Clachan. A lot of our families are at An Clachan, so it works out very well,” says Eileen Beauregard, Executive Director, Queen’s Day Care Centre. “There is not a lot of infant care available in that area, so it’s going to be a great addition to the whole apartment complex.”

The daycare will be the second Queen’s Day Care Centre location, in addition to the one at 184-186 Union St.

In order to meet the needs of the majority people on the daycare’s waiting list, the new facility will be able to accommodate 10 infants (newborns – 16 months) and 15 toddlers (16 months to two and a half years) this September. In fall 2016, it will also begin accepting preschoolers.

“The space is lovely,” says Ms. Beauregard. “It’s tucked away at the back of the building, away from the road. It’s beautifully bright with large windows, and we’ll have a wonderful yard with trees, grass and sand for the children to enjoy.”

The new facility will also be on one floor, making it accessible for children and parents.

Renovations to the space are well underway, and are scheduled to be completed by the end of July. After that, new toys and equipment will be delivered, and parents should be able to tour the finished facility by mid-August. The anticipated opening date is Sept. 8.

In the meantime, interested parents are invited to call 613-533-3008 or email daycare@queensu.ca the daycare to inquire about availability. By mid-August, parents will also be able to make an appointment to tour the new location.

“Parents are welcome to come and have a look at the facility once the renovations are completed, and ask any questions they may have,” says Ms. Beauregard. “We know that people are excited to have this in the neighbourhood.” 

Flags lowered for PPS staff member

Flags on campus are lowered to honour Daniel "Dan" Wilson, an employee in Physical Plant Services (PPS), who died suddenly on Friday, July 10.

Mr. Wilson was employed as a custodian at Queen's for the past decade. Over the past few years, he worked predominantly in Queen's School of Business.

Funeral mass will be held in the Church of St. John the Apostle (88 Patrick St., Kingston) on Monday, July 13 at 1 pm. Cremation to follow.

This story will be updated when the celebration of life details are announced following the funeral mass. 

Email phishing alert

The following is a Queen's University ITServices notification:

Queen's is receiving a large volume of phishing emails that reference an update to email service.

Please do not follow the link or enter your credentials to verify your account. If you do follow the link to the bogus site and attempt to login, your failed login will simply provide your credentials to a hacker.  Please change your netid password immediately if you have tried to log into the bogus website.

ITServices have posted a number of tips to help you determine when an email is a phishing attempt. Searching for the term phishing from the Queen's home page will direct you to the following tutorial: http://www.queensu.ca/its/security/EducationAndAwareness/phishing.html

Need Help? Call the ITServices Support Centre at 613.533.6666 or fill out the online help form.

Divestment committee begins consultation meetings

The Advisory Committee on Divestment of Fossil Fuels is holding a series of consultation meetings over the coming weeks to hear directly from interested individuals and groups.

Divestment consultation meetings

  • Wednesday, July 15, 11:30 am–1:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 30, 12:30–3 pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 12:30–3 pm
  • Thursday, Sept. 17, 1–3:30 pm

All meetings will be held in Richardson Hall, Room 340.

Interested in participating? Contact the committee by email

“The committee has already received many emails and written submissions from members of the Queen’s community, demonstrating the high level of interest in the question of divestment,” says David Allgood, a Queen’s alumnus and the committee’s chair. “These upcoming consultation meetings will be an important opportunity for the committee to have a dialogue directly with stakeholders and I would encourage anyone who wishes to participate to contact the committee.”

Four consultation meetings are currently planned for July, August and September. While they will be held on the Queen’s campus, it may be possible for individuals who are unable to be in Kingston to make arrangements to participate remotely.

The advisory committee was struck by Principal Daniel Woolf, as required by the university’s Statement on Responsible Investing (SRI), after an expression of concern was received from the student group Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change.

The committee is seeking input from the Queen’s community on whether the university should divest its Pooled Endowment Fund and Pooled Investment Fund from public companies that engage in fossil fuel extraction and distribution.

Divestment is not currently being considered for the Queen’s Pension Plan.

Anyone who wishes to present to the committee should make a request by email as soon as possible. Written submissions are also welcomed by email no later than Sept. 17.

The advisory committee is expected to conclude its work at the end of September, and will make its recommendation to the principal on what action, if any, should be taken. The principal will then bring that recommendation to the investment committee of the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

For more information about the advisory committee, visit its webpage.

Newly proposed policies posted

Newly-proposed policies for Protection of Minors Involved in University Camps, Programs & Activities and Establishing a Camp for Minors have been posted on the website of the University Secretariat for the Queen’s community to review and provide feedback.  The community will be able to provide feedback until July 20, 2015.  Feedback can be sent to policies@queensu.ca.

Fit Tip: Small changes can make a big difference

Here are 10 tips to help you achieve 150 minutes of physical activity in a week, and to help you live a healthy lifestyle. See how many you can do in one week:

  1. Make an exercise game out of your favourite TV show, so every time a catchphrase is used you have to do 10 jumping jacks, etc.
  2. Volunteer to be a referee or coach for a local youth sports team
  3. Walk to go pick up food instead of getting delivery
  4. Buy organic or local when possible
  5. Use technology to find new strength exercises (Nike+ app is great and free!)
  6. Pay attention to recommended serving sizes
  7. Start a jogging group
  8. Order dressing on the side of salads
  9. Go on the haunted walk in downtown Kingston
  10. Take advantage of the equipment desk at the ARC, whether its sport- or exercise-related 

Lives Lived: A generous colleague and a beloved and inspiring teacher

Following a prolonged illness, Stanley M. Corbett, the Faculty of Law’s longest-serving Associate Dean, passed away peacefully at Kingston General Hospital on May 18, just 10 days before his 70th birthday. 
 

Stanley Corbett will be deeply missed by the Queen’s Law community. Faculty, staff and students, like his family and friends, were inspired by his limitless curiosity, touched by his generosity, and delighted by his gentle humour.

[Stanley Corbett]
Stanley Corbett

In Dr. Corbett’s 50-year history at Queen’s University – particularly during his time with the Faculty of Law – he distinguished himself as a scholar, author, teacher, mentor, leader, colleague, and friend. Those campus years included four degrees: BA’66, MA’72, PhD’82, and LLB’95. He started his studies in mathematics before moving to philosophy for post-graduate studies. After several years on faculty at Acadia University, including a term as head of the Philosophy Department, he left that academic career to return to Queen’s for a law degree.

Dean Bill Flanagan, who would become Dr. Corbett’s long-time colleague and friend, first met him in his property law class in 1992 and recalls he was a “terrific student” – which is why he was invited to join the faculty full-time in 1997, just two years after his graduation.

“Stan was a brilliant student,” agrees Professor Emeritus David Mullan (LLM’73, LLD’15), who had him in his first-year public law class. “Later, as a colleague, I benefitted greatly from our many discussions about emerging public law issues and our respective courses.”

Dr. Flanagan sees Dr. Corbett’s overall influence on Queen’s Law as incalculable. 

“It is rare that a single individual has an indelible impact on a school,” he says. “In our case, it is impossible to imagine what our faculty would be like today without Stan’s work here.”

Many of his greatest contributions to the faculty’s future were made as Associate Dean (Academic). He held this top academic post for an unprecedented three terms, starting in 2008, and, in the dean’s words, “always demonstrated skill, good judgment, a sense of humour, and dedication to the school.”

Colleagues also recall that Dr. Corbett routinely carried a heavier-than-usual teaching load, was ready to assist faculty and students with any challenge, and was an accomplished author with a commitment to justice. His 2007 book, Human Rights Law and Commentary (LexisNexis Canada), now in its second edition, is catalogued in more than 100 law libraries across North America, and he published more than two dozen articles, reviews and other materials over his career.

It was under his guidance that the law school expanded from classroom education into blended and online learning; added essential law skills courses to the first-year program; and updated and expanded the curriculum to meet the evolving needs of today’s law students – and the profession itself.

His other main legacy, among many, is as a teacher who shaped his students’ experience of Queen’s Law, both at home and abroad. Dr. Corbett won the Law Students’ Society Teaching Excellence Award three times. 

He was a leader in curriculum planning for the Law school and its Global Law Programs overseas, serving as the latter’s academic director at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle from 2008 to 2014. 

A celebration of his life will be held at Grant Hall in October.

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on the website of the Faculty of Law.

Reach of libraries increasing

[MArtha Whitehead]
Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost and University Librarian at Queen’s University, was recently elected president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). (University Communications)

Research libraries have witnessed great change in recent years with the increasing influence of digital platforms, but, at their core, they have maintained their focus on access to information and knowledge. 

Martha Whitehead, Vice-Provost and University Librarian at Queen’s University, was recently elected president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). Enriching research and higher education is at the heart of CARL, as it works to leverage the opportunities of digital formats and ensure their long-term preservation. CARL members are Canada’s 29 largest university libraries and two federal institutions.

“Many, many years ago it was all about information in physical objects,” Ms. Whitehead says. “Now we care about the physical objects plus the digital environment. The pressure in the digital environment is to ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to provide access to that content now and for future researchers.” 

Librarians’ preservation and information management skills have become all the more important in our increasingly digital world as massive amounts of data are created. CARL’s current initiatives include the development of a research data management network called Portage. Ms. Whitehead has been facilitating this project with library colleagues across the country, and with other agencies responsible for high speed computing and networks.

“Research data management is an increasingly important area of focus. It’s about planning how data will be managed and providing the appropriate infrastructure – both human expertise and support and technical resources,” she explains. “You want to decide which data needs to be preserved and how to make it accessible, so you can maximize the benefit of that research by re-using data for new studies or replicating results.”

Research libraries are working at a global scale on information access and preservation. They are also working locally, on their own campuses, with their students and researchers.

A key aspect to the modern library is still spaces conducive to research and studying, to higher learning. At Queen’s, this was made abundantly clear during the Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP) consultation process. People want their library to be a place that feels welcoming and inspiring.  

This can be seen in one of the first projects emerging from the Library and Archives Master Plan, the revitalized Lederman Law Library. Creating more study space, improving accessibility and taking care of collections were key factors in the design of renovations taking place this summer.

“You look at some of the great libraries around the world and they are beautiful, amazing places. They make you feel you’re somewhere that’s all about knowledge, learning,” says Ms. Whitehead. “The way that people feel about that hasn’t changed. People still gravitate to that kind of space that you traditionally think of as a library.”

Yet the library is no longer limited to its physical structure and the constraints that imposes. Through the digital environment, Queen’s University Library provides vast amounts of information for its users, wherever they are.

This increasing reach can be seen not only in the virtual expansion but in the staff working across the university fostering greater links and making information more accessible. It’s what Ms. Whitehead calls an increased “embeddedness” and she notes that “the library is everywhere.”

“Our librarians are working with faculty in every discipline and helping students in every discipline,” says Ms. Whitehead. “We have a liaison librarian connected with each department and that person will curate information resources and teach information literacy skills within that context. They work with the faculty members to define learning outcomes and identify individual courses where it makes sense to involve a librarian in a research component.” 

Clearly, at Queen’s and at research institutions across the country, libraries continue to be about providing the people, places and information resources to support excellence in teaching, learning and research.
For more information visit the websites of Queen’s University Library and CARL.

 

Paddling to victory

[Bob Ross]
Bob Ross (Kinesiology and Health Studies), right, and racing partner Dave Hutchison recently won the 2015 Yukon River Quest. 

“You can never stop paddling if you want to win.”

These words of wisdom are from Bob Ross (Kinesiology and Health Studies), the winner of the 2015 Yukon River Quest, the world’s longest canoe and kayak race. Dr. Ross and racing partner Dave Hutchison finished the race in their tandem kayak in just over 44 hours with a time of 44:51:07.

The race is ranked as one of the top 10 endurance races in the world and was followed online this year by 31,000 people.

“The race takes place on the large and unforgiving Yukon River where you might go 24 hours before seeing another person,” explains Dr. Ross, who was the oldest competitor among solo and tandem boats in the race. “The race attracts only the most serious paddlers from around the world and it’s an amazing journey. We paddled from Whitehorse to Dawson, the trail of the original gold rush.”

To prepare for the race, which takes up to 78 hours for some paddlers to finish, Dr. Ross trained year round and, once spring arrived, spent 15 to 20 hours on the water each week. He also trained in Montana, where Mr. Hutchison lives, for three days.

Dr. Ross says the mental preparation that goes into the race is just as important as the physical preparation.

“At many points in the race you need to dig deep inside yourself to find just a little bit more,” says Dr. Ross. “There are only two stops – a seven-hour break in Carmacks at the 300-km mark and a three-hour break at the 550-km mark. It’s a long race and you have to be prepared.”

In order to keep a non-stop paddling pace, Dr. Ross says he depends on liquid nutrition and pulls water directly from the river and uses tablets to treat it. He positions the hydration hose from his drinking bladder (a lightweight bag that holds water) close to his mouth which allows him to keep his hands on his paddles.

Other than fatigue, the main challenge for the duo was a massive thunderstorm that hit at the 650-km mark when they were starting to get tired.

“The headwind was ridiculous," Dr. Ross says. "The wind was the worst I have ever paddled in.”

For more information visit the website.

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