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Sparking curiosity

Science Rendezvous is a free event and is open to children and their families. Join in the fun at the Rogers K-ROCK Centre and The Tragically Hip Way on Saturday, May 9 from 10 am to 3 pm.

This Saturday, downtown Kingston’s K-ROCK Centre will transform into a hive of science activity, complete with bats, bugs, snakes, robots and even a giant walk-through colon for Science Rendezvous Kingston.

Science Rendezvous immerses children from the community in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities that spark their curiosity Queen’s researchers are a fixture at the annual event and this year Tara Diesbourg (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies), Gillian Mackey (Chemistry), and Alvine Kamaha (Physics) will each host booths aimed at getting kids excited about STEM subjects.

“Children engage with topics early on and sometimes they will develop a negative attitude towards STEM subjects as early as the third grade,” says Lynda Colgan, Director of the Queen’s Community Outreach Centre and the woman behind Science Rendezvous’s roaring success in Kingston. “Science Rendezvous is a chance to give children an informal experience with science and stimulate their curiosity at the same time.”

Science Rendezvous events take place across Canada. Last year, Kingston’s Science Rendezvous had over 50 stations, 300 volunteers and over 3,750 visitors – making it the largest in Canada.

For Tara Diesbourg and her team in the Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab at Queen’s, their booth is inspired by this summer’s Pan-Am Games and will feature five stations which relate to different events at the Games.

Kids will be able to test their strength in a weightlifting simulation, which will show them a measure of their muscle activity. At a jump-themed station, participants can use a force plate to see how high they jump according to force – an important skill if you’re a basketball player or track and field athlete.

“We’re really hoping to captivate the kids who visit our booth and take part in our stations,” says Ms. Diesbourg, a PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “Our team of ten have created some cool activities for the kids, including an accelerometer attached to a tennis racket to test how fast they can swing it, and a rowing machine so they can measure the force exerted by their hands and feet.”

Gillian Mackey, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, has been making chemistry magic for the past five years at Science Rendezvous. This year, her booth will show kids safe chemistry experiments they can try at home.

Visitors to Ms. Mackey’s booth will see how  a solution of vinegar and salt can make a copper penny shine like new, and how that same solution can coat the surface of a screw in copper. Outside the K-ROCK Centre, kids will be able to blow bouncy bubbles and watch them bob away.

“I can’t wait to work with the kids and see how energetic they are,” says Ms. Mackey. “Each year, I’m astonished by their high energy and how excited they are to see chemistry at work.”

Taking a break from studying particle astrophysics, Alvine Kamaha is preparing a selection of displays to show the fun in physics.

This year, Ms. Kamaha has chosen two displays: a cloud chamber and a Kelvin water dropper – two physics experiments that can be recreated at home. The Kelvin water dropper uses falling water to generate voltage sparks and a cloud chamber shows signs of ionizing radiation as condensation is produced where charged particles have interacted.

“We chose these experiments because we wanted something that would attract the kids, would be simple to understand, and would be something they could recreate at home as we’ll give them two sheets with instructions,” says Ms. Kamaha. “They’ll also have the chance to build their own experiments in the booth that they can take home with them.”

Centre supports women studying off campus

For more than 40 years, the Ban Righ Centre (BRC) has served as an on-campus resource for women, especially mature women returning to Queen’s.

[Andrea Bennett]
Andrea Bennett, who lives on Manitoulin Island, has received support from the Ban Righ Centre while completing the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program. 

Students don’t necessarily have to visit the brown brick building on Bader Lane to access the centre’s services, though. In recent years, the centre has increased its efforts to support women who are completing their Queen’s degree online while juggling multiple responsibilities such as work and children.

“I am so fortunate that I found the Ban Righ Centre, which recognizes the hardships we have to battle against when we are down,” says Andrea Bennett, who is completing the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program while living on Manitoulin Island. “Ban Righ Centre staff are always there for me and seem to say the right thing even when I am in despair.”

Following the death of her husband, Ms. Bennett faced the challenge of raising four children along with work and school. She struggled financially because student aid wasn’t an option and she wasn’t eligible for government funding as a non-status Indian.

She never lost sight of her dream of becoming a teacher. The centre recently supported Ms. Bennett’s goal by presenting her with the Dorothy Matheson Parnell Bursary, which is awarded on the basis of financial need with a preference given to single mothers.

Drawing strength from other women

Like Ms. Bennett, Carrie Dean encountered obstacles that nearly derailed her post-secondary education dreams. Seventeen years after completing one year at Brock University, Ms. Dean resumed her studies and is currently completing her Queen’s psychology degree by distance.

Ms. Dean says she draws strength from the centre as she and her husband raise four children and she works full time as a clinical team secretary with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

[Carrie Dean]
Through her connection with the Ban Righ Centre, Carrie Dean has found strength knowing there are other women pursuing a post-secondary education while juggling multiple responsibilities.

“The Ban Righ Centre has reminded me that I am by no means alone in my pursuits,” says Ms. Dean, who received the Elizabeth Wallace Bursary from the Queen’s Women’s Association. “Simply knowing there are other women experiencing similar situations is comforting.”

Accessing education can be a real challenge for women with multiple responsibilities, says Ms. Morrison. While students on campus have more opportunities to learn about resources from their peers, women taking online courses may struggle to find the right service at the right time.

“To help bridge any existing gaps, the Ban Righ Centre is reaching out to women who are accessing online learning,” Ms. Morrison says. “In some cases, the centre has been able to provide over-the-phone advice and support as well as emergency bursaries.”

Ms. Bennett and Ms. Dean were recognized along with many other women at the centre’s spring celebration held May 2. The annual event celebrates the perseverance, courage and dedication of mature women at Queen’s who overcome barriers and juggle multiple roles while pursuing their education.

Visit the Ban Righ Centre website to learn more about the organization and the services it provides.  

Ready for any emergency

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency can make all the difference when the time comes to respond.

[Emergency Preparedness Booklet]
View the Responding to Emergencies booklet

Emergency Preparedness Week – May 3-9 – is a week designed to raise awareness about the importance of emergency planning and response.

At Queen’s, there are many people who contribute to ensuring a safe, healthy environment for students, staff and faculty and there are a number of valuable resources available, such as the Emergency Notification System.

“Emergencies can happen with little or no warning. Fortunately emergencies at Queen’s are rare events, but not unforeseeable,” says David Patterson, Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services, who suggests members of the Queen’s community review the Queen’s University Emergency Response Procedures. “By taking the time to review now it can assist you in remembering what to do in a serious, unexpected situation.”

Mr. Patterson points out that it’s a good idea to print a copy of the procedures for your desk or workplace. Queen’s also has to ensure that the university is prepared in the event of a broad range of emergencies.

For access to emergency information while on the go, download the SeQure app for your mobiles phone or follow Campus Security and Emergency Services on Twitter and on Facebook.  

Individualized workplace emergency response plans for employees who have a disability that requires accommodation can be found on the university’s Environmental Health and Safety website, as well as a template to create lab specific emergency response procedures.

Emergency Preparedness Week is also a good time to think about how you would respond to an emergency at home.

Information on how to prepare you and your family for an emergency is available at the following links:

Emergency Management Ontario

Get Prepared

Environment Canada Weather Office

Canadian Red Cross

St. John Ambulance

The Salvation Army 

A week to recognize and reflect on mental health efforts

[Caring Campus]
Student leaders from the Caring Campus Project meet with the team’s principal Investigators: (middle row, centre) Heather Stuart (centre left) Shu-Ping Chen and (centre right) Terry Krupa.

This week, May 4-10, is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. At Queen’s, it’s a natural time to reflect on past challenges and recognize the progress students, faculty and staff have made in areas of mental health education and support. The university community has made a concerted effort to keep talking about mental health. The following is a roundup of many of the mental health initiatives and programs that were highlighted in the Gazette in the 2014-15 academic year.

April 17, 2015: ‘Paying it forward’ with mental health support fund

March 3, 2015: Chair boosts mental health awareness

Feb. 5, 2015: Easing the post-secondary transition  

Jan. 27, 2015: Taking the talk to the next level

Jan. 22, 2015: Student-athletes promote mental health awareness

Jan. 6, 2015: New online mental health resource aims to get more feet on the ground

Dec. 8, 2014: Mental health efforts backed by Jack.org

Dec. 3, 2014: Stressed out about exams? Help is available

Nov. 5, 2014: Creating a caring campus

Sept. 19, 2014: New workshop takes closer look at mental health

June 12, 2014: Continuing the talk on mental health

More information on mental health initiatives on campus is available from the Queen’s Mental Health Working Group.



Take Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus home with you

Staff and faculty can save some money on personal computer costs thanks to a new licence for Office 365 negotiated by Queen’s Information Technology Services (ITS).

University employees are now licensed to install Office 365 ProPlus for free on up to five personal computers, plus additional installs on mobile devices.

“We recognize that many staff and faculty, through their work at Queen’s, become familiar with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook and they would like to use those applications at home,” says Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (ITS) and Chief Information Officer. “We are pleased to work with Microsoft and reduce the financial hurdle often associated with installing this software on personal devices.”

The Office 365 ProPlus suite for Windows, Mac and mobile devices includes familiar applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. The availability of specific applications will vary based on the device and operating system.

“We recognize that many staff and faculty, through their work at Queen’s, become familiar with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook and they would like to use those applications at home."
Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (ITS) and Chief Information Officer. 

Office 365 ProPlus also offers benefits for staff and faculty who prefer Mac computers for personal use. They can now download and install Outlook 2015 for Mac.

ITS has posted a service page as well as detailed tutorials for downloading Office 365 ProPlus. Queen’s-owned computers and devices should continue to use the software available through MyQueensU portal.

Skype for Business replaces Lync

ITS has also started rolling out Skype for Business to replace Microsoft Lync, an instant messaging and collaboration platform. This change will automatically occur through regular Microsoft updates. (Users must accept the update for the change to occur).  

Staff and faculty will not lose any features or functionality they were accustomed to following the transition to Skype for Business.

“The update to Skype for Business incorporates the strengths of both programs,” Mr. Wandschneider says. “Skype for Business offers instant messaging, audio and video calling, as well as easy sharing and collaboration tools.”

ITS has created a Skype for Business service page that includes more information and tutorials about the platform.

If you have questions about Office 365 ProPlus or Skype for Business, please contact the IT Support Centre at 613-533-6666 during regular business hours or fill out an online help form.

FIT TIPS: Stay active and healthy

Here are 10 tips to help you aim for 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. Explore Kingston on foot or bike

2. When putting on your shoes, hold the stretch for 30 seconds

3. Try one new piece of equipment every time you go to the ARC

4. Maintain a regular sleep routine and schedule

5. Avoid electronics and screens one hour before bed (read a book)

6. Stand up and walk around when talking on the phone

7. Stand up and change the channel yourself instead of using the remote control

8. Buy a fresh herb plant to use in cooking instead of using dried herbs

9. Avoid menu items that use the words “creamy”, “crispy”, “breaded”, and “battered”; they’re normally high in fat

10. If the ARC intimidates you, ask a fit friend or fitness supervisor to show you the ropes (the ARC also offers free orientations!)

LIVES LIVED: A passion for mathematics, church and Scottish dance

Doug Crawford, a professor at Queen’s for many years, died Jan. 19, in his 91st year.

Doug Crawford

Doug was born in Scotland, and long maintained his passion for Scottish dancing. However, he immigrated to North America and completed a PhD in mathematics education at the University of Syracuse. In 1962 he joined the Department of Mathematics at Queen’s University, with his focus primarily on math education and secondarily on statistics, and subsequently joined the Queen’s Faculty of Education when it was founded in 1968.

As well as his regular teaching he was heavily involved until his retirement in 1988 in numerous studies and reports on school mathematics (again, often concentrating on statistics), most often in collaboration with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). 

Doug was a life-long dedicated churchgoer, usually attending his neighborhood United Church, St. Margaret’s United (later Crossroads United) where his wife Pat sang in the choir, but for a while attended St. George’s Cathedral when one of his sons sang in the boys’ choir there.

Both at work and at church Doug had a wide range of strong opinions, and was not shy about sharing them, but always well-reasoned and articulated (even if not always persuasive).

Doug was a voracious reader with many areas of interest, and this naturally went along with a sharpness of mind that stayed with him right to the end.  Indeed, almost his only complaint about the nursing home where he spent his last years was what he felt was rather a lack of intellectual stimulation.

He lived a full and rich life.

Norman Rice is a retired professor from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He was a long-time friend and colleague of Doug Crawford.

Legacy of George Taylor Richardson expands with local induction

Nearly 100 years after his death on a First World War battlefield, George Taylor Richardson is being recognized by his hometown for his athletic accomplishments.

With the outbreak of the First World War, George Taylor Richardson joined the Canadian Army.

Richardson is one of the greats of Queen’s University’s sporting history, first as a top talent in the early days of hockey as well as being a star football player. The main stadium for sporting events at Queen’s, Richardson Stadium, is named in his memory.

On Friday evening, Richardson will be inducted into the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, for his achievements in a life cut short by war.

Born and raised in Kingston, Richardson belonged to perhaps the most prominent family in the history of Queen’s University – his brother James Armstrong Richardson served as chancellor of Queen's and his sister Agnes Richardson Etherington was a mainstay of life at the university and donated her house, now known as the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. James Richardson’s daughter, Agnes Benidickson (BA’41, LLD’79), served as the second chancellor in the family from 1980 to 1996 while other Richardsons have served on the Board of Trustees, and the family has made considerable donations to Queen's libraries and lectureships.

George Taylor Richardson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Queen’s in 1906.

As significant as his induction is for the community, it is even more so for Queen’s.

“The Queen’s community holds a special place in its heart for the stadium that bears the Richardson name and this honour extends that feeling,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf. “The induction of George Taylor Richardson into the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame is a fitting tribute to his athletic achievements at Queen’s and in Kingston, and to their nearly 100-year legacy.”

[George Taylor Richardson]
George Taylor Richardson netted 23 goals in 12 regular season games for the Queen's Golden Gaels.

In his three seasons with the Golden Gaels hockey team, Richardson netted 23 goals in 12 games. After graduation he played for, and was president of, Kingston’s Frontenac Hockey Club. He also skated for the 14th Regiment of The Princess of Wales’s Own Rifles after joining the military unit in 1907.

Richardson was captain of the regimental team of 1908 when they claimed the Ontario Hockey Association’s senior series, netting seven of his team’s nine goals in the second and final game of the series against Stratford. Later, he was added to the Queen’s University team that won the Allan Cup in 1909. Finally, he would play for the Frontenacs in the OHA senior division in 1911-12 helping the team to the John Ross Robertson Cup final.

With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 Richardson enlisted in the Canadian Army and rose to the rank of captain. He was killed in battle on Feb. 9, 1916 in Belgium and was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour by France.

His brother James would later donate the funds to build George Taylor Richardson Memorial Stadium, which continues to be a cornerstone of sports at Queen’s. In 2014, the Richardson Foundation, the charitable arm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited, pledged $5 million towards the revitalized Richardson Stadium that is scheduled to be opened in 2016.

Richardson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950.

Duncan Sinclair enters Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

[CMHF Inductees 2015]
Dr. Richard Reznick, right, accepting on behalf of Dr. Duncan G. Sinclair, attended the induction ceremony of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in Winnipeg on April 23. From left are: John McCrae Kilgour, accepting on behalf of his great uncle, the late Dr. John McCrae; Dr. Bernard Langer; Dr. Judith G. Hall; Dr. Julio Montaner; and Dr. Alan Bernstein. (Photo by Andrew Sikorsky)

Long recognized as a leader in health-care reform, Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Duncan Sinclair was officially inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) on April 23.

Dr. Sinclair was one of six “health care luminaries” honoured for their significant contributions to the improvement of health and health care in Canada and worldwide at the ceremony in Winnipeg.

At Queen’s he has held a number of administrative positions including Dean of Medicine and Vice-Principal (Health Sciences) – the first non-medical doctor to serve in these positions in Canada – as well as Vice-Principal (Institutional Relations), Vice-Principal (Services), and Dean of Arts and Science.

“Dr. Duncan G. Sinclair is widely admired and he has had a transformational influence on the health-care landscape in Canada,” says Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences. “An outstanding academic administrator and scholar, Dr. Sinclair has made extraordinary contributions to the life and work of Queen’s University. He has been a trusted advisor and counsellor to students, faculty, alumni, Chancellors and Principals, all of who hold him in the highest of esteem.”

Away from Queen’s, Dr. Sinclair headed the governance subcommittee of the Steering Committee for Review of the Public Hospitals Act in Ontario and achieved national recognition as a member of the National Forum on Health. He was the founding chair and acting CEO of Canada Health Infoway/Inforoute Santé du Canada – an organization designed to foster the development of Canada’s health information management.

Dr. Sinclair continues to teach at the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and a lectureship has been established in his name to recognize his contributions to the university and the Medical Research Council of Canada.

Fellow inductees Dr. Bernard Langer and Dr. Alan Bernstein both hold honorary degrees from Queen's.

The CMHF is a national charitable organization that has honoured the accomplishments of Canadian medical professionals since 1994.

Faculty play special role in convocation

Faculty members can be a part of their graduating students’ big day by participating in the academic procession during spring convocation ceremonies.

[[Faculty members participating in convocation]
Faculty members can participate in the academic procession during convocation ceremonies.

“Our students have dedicated a great deal of energy and effort during their academic career at Queen’s building to this important moment,” Principal Daniel Woolf says. “To share convocation with those faculty members who nurtured and mentored them during this journey of discovery and achievement makes the celebration all the more meaningful.”

Spring convocation includes 21 ceremonies held from May 21 to June 11. Faculty members have until May 8 to reserve regalia to participate in the academic processions during the convocation ceremonies.

Faculty members who are Queen's graduates can confirm their participation in one or more of the academic processions and reserve regalia by filling out an online form. Members of the academic procession who are not Queen’s graduates must make their own arrangements for hoods; however, they may reserve a black gown and confirm their participation online.

Faculty members can pick up their regalia 30 minutes prior to each ceremony in Room 209, Kingston Hall. Those not requiring regalia can still confirm their attendance in the period leading up to the ceremonies after the May 8 deadline for booking regalia.

For more information about convocation, including the department and faculty breakdown for the 21 ceremonies, visit the University Registrar website.

For more information, or if there is difficulty submitting the form, please contact Brent Cameron, Convocation and Communications Administrator, Office of the University Registrar, by email or call ext. 74050.


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