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Principal Woolf announces new awards

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf has announced new awards to celebrate excellence in teaching. The six principal’s teaching and learning awards recognize the diverse ways in which educators and educational supports enhance the student learning experience at Queen’s.

“Educators and educational support staff across campus are doing innovative things in their classes and in the services they provide to students,” says Principal Woolf.  “These teaching and learning awards will highlight that important work and some of the many dedicated individuals who are making a difference in the education and lives of our students.”

The suite of awards includes:

“The principal’s teaching and learning awards are an excellent way to recognize individuals and groups who are demonstrating excellence in their work and in areas of teaching and learning that are of particular importance to Queen’s,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Nominations for the six awards are now open and close on Sept. 30. For more information about the individuals awards and the nomination process, visit the CTL website.

Douglas Library's elevators to be shut down

A crew from Elevator One will be rebalancing the counterweights of all three elevators in Douglas Library (EL114, EL1142 and EL1143) on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Only one elevator will be shutdown at a time to minimize the impact of this work for library patrons and staff.

Any questions or concerns regarding this planned shutdown should be directed Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by e-mail.

People of Queen's: Finding a ‘forever home’

[Karen Logan]
Karen Logan, Development Officer with Stewardship, part of Queen's University’s Office of Advancement, has found her “forever home” in Kingston. (University Communications)

Karen Logan remembers what she said to her husband when he asked her if she wanted to move to Kingston. “I said ‘yeah, that would be fun,’” the Ottawa-native recalls with a laugh. 

But she also admits that she never expected they would stay. 

Though a Queen’s graduate with a fondness for the city (“I’m a nerdy tri-colour bleeding person – I do oil thighs at the drop of a hat!”), Ms. Logan (Artsci’94) had already lived in Hamilton and Calgary with her husband as he pursued advanced degrees in psychology. She expected his position in Kingston to be equally short-lived. 

Not long after arriving, she heard about a job as a development officer with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and decided she would apply. 

“It was totally a shot in the dark,” Ms. Logan says, explaining that while she didn’t have a background in fundraising, she had worked in project management for an oil and gas company in Calgary and with Canadian Blood Services in Hamilton. 

“They really took a chance on me,” she says. 

It was a chance that paid off: Ms. Logan took to the work instantly. “I learned that fundraising is really about connecting people with their passion,” she says warmly. “People want to do something, they want to make a change. We can help make it happen. It doesn’t get better than that.” 

Fifteen years later, Ms. Logan is still with Queen’s – though she has moved from fundraising into stewardship, which she describes as “recognizing and celebrating donors.” As a Development Officer with Stewardship (part of the university’s Office of Advancement), Ms. Logan says her days can include anything from writing a stewardship report for the university’s most generous benefactors, the Baders, to visiting the Queen’s University Biological Station, to updating the Benefactors Wall in Stauffer Library. 

“I get to meet and work with all sorts of interesting people right across campus,” she explains. “We get to learn a little about everything. It’s really fun.” 

But as much as she enjoys her work, Ms. Logan is particularly grateful for her colleagues, describing them as an “amazing bunch of people.” When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it was her colleagues in Advancement who put forward a team in Ms. Logan’s name, “K. Lo’s Krew,” for Kingston’s annual Run for the Cure. Undergoing chemotherapy at the time, Ms. Logan recalls wondering if the team might raise $5,000 for the charity. By race day, they had raised $50,000. 

“It was like being surrounded by a big, pink, fluffy hug,” Ms. Logan says of the support. “It was almost overwhelming!” 

Her namesake team continues to run in the annual fundraiser. 

Ms. Logan, meanwhile, is pleased to call Kingston her “forever home” (“at least until retirement!”) and speaks with gratitude of the opportunity to do work she enjoys with people she loves. 

“I think it would be hard to fundraise for another university,” she admits, “because you have to be passionate about the cause. But it’s easy for me to talk about this place. I had a sense of community when I was here as a student and I still have it today.” 

MQUP to publish Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report

McGill-Queen’s University Press will publish its own edition of the six volumes of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, following its official release set for mid-December.

[McGill-Queen’s University Press]

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to tell Canadians about the 150-year history of the schools, in part through the statements of those whose lives were affected by them.

“This is one of the most important documents to emerge in the history of Canada,” says Philip Cercone, executive director of McGill-Queen's University Press. “These ground-breaking volumes are destined to work towards healing the breach of silence and ignorance that has surrounded these issues for more than a century.”

The final report is expected to be over 2 million words with contributions from over 6,750 survivor and witness statements from across the country. While the report itself is a public document, MQUP will provide print and E-book editions in English and French.

The report will consist of the following volumes:

  • Canada's Residential Schools: The History, Part 1, Origins to 1939. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume I.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: The History, Part 2, 1939 to 2000. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume I.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: The Inuit and Northern Experience. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 2.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: The Métis Experience. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 3.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 4.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: The Legacy. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 5.
  • Canada's Residential Schools: Reconciliation. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 6.

McGill-Queen's University Press says it expects to release its editions in early 2016 in print and E-book versions.

The summary of the final report was released on June 2.

Established in 1960, McGill-Queen's University Press is a joint venture of McGill University and Queen’s University. 

Power outage planned for Chown Hall - Aug. 25

A planned power outage will affect Chown Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 25 between 9:45 am and 3 pm while contractors electrically tie in the new standpipe fire pump for the building.

Please note:

  • Occupants should power down computers and sensitive equipment by 9:30 
  • The passenger elevator (EL1311) will be shutdown at 9:30 am and will be restored to service at 3:15 
  • There are no fire safety implications as the fire alarm system will be on standby generator power during this outage.

Any questions or concerns regarding this planned outage should be directed to Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by e-mail.

A new acquisition for the Agnes

Jacquelyn N. Coutré remembers what it felt like when she learned that she had successfully acquired an important Old Master painting for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

“I felt tremendous exhilaration,” she recalls. “There may have been a little dance in my office as well.”

[Ruth and Naomi]
JanVictors, Ruth and Naomi, 1653, oil on canvas, 108.6 x 137.2 cm, Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2015 (58-002). Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s, Inc.

For Dr. Coutré, the acquisition of the painting by Jan Victors, entitled  Ruth and Naomi, is a significant one for a number of reasons. Not only is it the first painting by the artist to enter into the gallery’s permanent collection, it also rounds out the scope of its Old Master works – specifically those by Rembrandt and his followers.

While Dr. Coutré, the Bader Curator and Researcher of European Art at the Agnes, says it is unclear whether Victors studied formally with Rembrandt around 1640, the painting, which was created in 1653, certainly takes elements of his style in its gestures and facial expressions.

Ruth and Naomi depicts a scene from the Old Testament’s Book of Ruth (1:15-17) in which the widowed Israelite Naomi urges her widowed Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, to return to her people to find a new husband. Ruth, however, vows to stand by Naomi as widows related by marriage, even though it means that Ruth could forgo remarrying and having a family.

“Victors has captured just this moment, when Ruth pledges her allegiance to Naomi, and the latter struggles to accept her decision. It really pares down a complicated narrative to the most essential emotional moment of the story,” Dr. Coutré explains.

While Rembrandt was working on a small scale, Ruth and Naomi is an impressive 109 x 137 cm – a large painting by the standards of the day.

“When you think about Dutch paintings, they tend to be small because they had to fit in tall, narrow Dutch homes,” she says. “This painting would have made a statement in a variety of ways, not the least of which is because of its size.”

The painting, which was purchased with the support of the Bader Acquisition Fund, has special significance because it was a work that Dr. Alfred Bader himself had once wished to purchase at auction in 1988.

“At the time, he went for another painting that is now in the Agnes collection,” says Dr. Coutré, “but he had always regretted not buying it. It stayed in his mind. So he was excited when he saw that it was coming up at auction. It was really the fulfillment of one of his collecting desires.”

While Dr. Coutré and Dr. Bader discussed the possibility of acquiring Ruth and Naomi for the Agnes collection together, it was she who put in the successful bid on behalf of the gallery. “I really wanted it,” she says happily of her first acquisition since stepping into her role at the Agnes in April of this year. “It’s simply a gorgeous painting.”

Dr. Coutré anticipates that Ruth and Naomi will be exhibited for the first time in the summer of 2017 as part of an exhibition celebrating Dr. Bader’s many years as an art collector and marking his 50-year relationship with the Agnes.

For more about Ruth and Naomi, visit the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s website.

New faculty welcomed to Queen's

  • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
    Recently-arrived faculty were informed about the resources and support available at Queen's University through New Faculty Orientation Day.
  • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
    One of the key elements of New Faculty Orientation Day is the opportunity to meet new colleagues at Queen's University.
  • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
    Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), makes a presentation during the New Faculty Orientation Day that was held at Robert Sutherland Hall on Wednesday.

It’s always encouraging to have someone show you the ropes when starting a new job.

For incoming faculty at Queen’s University that helping hand comes in the form of the New Faculty Orientation Day, held Wednesday at Robert Sutherland Hall, where they were introduced to the many resources that are available to them, questions were answered and they were able to network with new colleagues.

The focus of the event, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Recruitment and Support Program in the Faculty Relations Unit, is getting participants the information they need and fostering the connections to help them succeed in this latest path of their careers.

“New faculty orientation is hugely important because a new position is an investment in a future career, for both the new hire and the university,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “We want to extend a warm welcome to our new faculty by providing them with an overview of the resources available to them and where to go for more information when they need it.”

At total of 63 new faculty members have arrived at Queen’s since last year’s event. For many of the participants, this is their first faculty appointment. As a result, they may not have a foundation of experience at other institutions.

Throughout the day there were presentations about the support that is available from Information and Technology Services, Queen’s Library and Archives and Queen’s Communications, to name a few. There also were several panel discussions where the new faculty could gain clarification on any of the questions they may have heading into the fall term.

“It’s really helpful coming from a post-doctoral position where it’s mostly focused on research and publishing. I hadn’t really thought of any of the logistics required for a faculty member so it’s been a good opportunity to learn how the university works and the services that are available, as well as meeting some of the other new faculty,” says Robert Colautti, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

Looking ahead, he says the information gained at the orientation will certainly help him as he begins his time at Queen’s.

“It’s a bit daunting, overwhelming, all the things that need to be done but this provides some background knowledge that will save some time later on,” he says “If something comes up I know where to find the information.”

Queen’s releases comprehensive international plan

International students received tricolour scarves during international student orientation at Queen's.

Queen’s has released its first Comprehensive International Plan, aimed at supporting the university’s international efforts from 2015 to 2019.

The plan sets university-wide priorities for internationalization based on four pillars: international research engagement; international mobility; international enrolment management; and international at home.

“Internationalization is central to Queen’s academic mission and is a strategic priority for the university,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The Comprehensive International Plan will help guide the university as it works to build further international learning opportunities and strengthen its academic and research partnerships around the world.”

Kathy O’Brien, Associate-Vice Principal (International), led the development of the international plan over the course of the past year; a process that included extensive consultation within the Queen’s community.

“There is clear enthusiasm for internationalization at Queen’s and I would like to thank the many faculty, staff, students and alumni who provided their insight as this plan developed,” says Ms. O’Brien. “The result is a plan that sets clear university-wide objectives that will enhance the wide range of international activities that are happening at the university.”

Kathy O’Brien
Associate-Vice Principal (International)

The specific objectives of the plan include increasing the number of high quality international undergraduate students to 10 per cent of the incoming class, growing research funding from international sources, building new academic collaborations with international partners, increasing the number of students participating in exchanges, and tracking international learning outcomes through the Queen’s University Quality Assurance Process.

“The plan is about building on our strengths and ensuring that Queen’s transformative student learning experience and research activities are enhanced through our international activities, programs and partnerships,” says Ms. O’Brien.

Queen’s University is deeply engaged internationally with strong academic and research ties around the globe. The university’s Bader International Study Centre in the United Kingdom provides unique international educational programs, while the university’s China Liaison Office works to builds relations with partner institutions, prospective students and alumni. Queen’s has more than 180 student exchange partners in more than 50 countries and numerous research partnerships around the world.

Click here to read the full text of the Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan 

Bader fellowships ‘enliven’ humanities

Alfred and Isabel Bader have continually shown their generous support for Queen’s University and one of their most recent gifts is coming to fruition.

[Isabel and Alfred Bader]
The Bader Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities were created through the support of Isabel and Alfred Bader.

The first Bader Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities have brought 11 new scholars to Queen’s starting this fall and over the next two years they will teach courses as well as pursue a research program building on their doctoral research.

“The presence of these emerging, exceptional  teachers and scholars at Queen’s will enrich the student learning experience, and enliven teaching and research activity across the humanities,”  says Gordon E. Smith, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science.

The 10 departments in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the appointees and their area of study, are: 

• Art History: Jen Kennedy (PhD, Binghamton University, 2014) – Art, Spectacle and Femininity in Postwar France
• Classics: Cristian Tolsa: (PhD, University of Barcelona, 2013) – Ancient Science and Greek and Roman Philosophy
• Drama and Music: Monique Giroux (PhD, York University, 2014) – Music and the Articulation and Representation of Métis Identity
• English: Emma Peacocke (PhD, Carleton University, 2013) – Literary Romanticism and the Discourse of University Reform in Britain and Canada
• Film and Media: Tracy Zhang (PhD. Simon Fraser University, 2012) – Critical Media Studies and Global Cultural Industries
• French Studies: Julien Lefort-Favreau (PhD, Université de Montréal, 2013) – French Autobiography and Politics (1960s to the present)
• History: Vanessa Cook (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) – US History and Contemporary Public Protests
• Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: Jennifer Hardwick (PhD, Queen’s University, 2015) – Literary Voices and Indigenous Youth
• Philosophy: Anthony Fisher (PhD, Syracuse University, 2012) – Metaphysics; History of Philosophy
• School of Religion: Sharday Mosurinjohn (PhD, Queen’s University, 2015) – Contemporary Religious Movements; Christopher Byrne (PhD, McGill University, 2015) – Chinese Religions

For Dr. Giroux, an ethnomusicologist, the fellowship will allow her to gain valuable experience and continue her research into the ways in which music is used within the Metis culture.

“For me it’s a really important stepping stone in my career and also a really important opportunity to do additional research,” she says. “A lot of us go into academics because we enjoy the research aspects of it and once you finish your PhD it can be difficult to get the resources in order to continue that research.”

An event celebrating the Bader Postdoctoral Fellows is planned for the fall.

Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07) are Queen’s most generous benefactors. They have given back to Queen’s in countless ways: transforming the campus, enriching the student experience, supporting scholarship, and helping to enhance the University’s reputation as a top-tier educational institution. In an extraordinary philanthropic gesture, the couple funded Queen’s purchase of a 15th century English castle – Herstmonceux – that has been meticulously restored and is now home to the Bader International Study Centre. Last fall, thanks to a transformational gift from the Baders, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was opened.

Campus canvas

  • [Campus Canvas]
    A nice, shaded place to sit by a flower garden and overlooking the arboretum at Summerhill – Annalisa Boccia.
  • Campus Canvas
    One of the ways that the grounds crew brighten up Queen's University is the many planters that are located on campus.
  • Campus Canvas
    Each year the members of the grounds crew plan out what to plant around campus in the planters and garden beds.
  • Matthew Barrett
    Matthew Barrett, grounds manager, credits his crew for its dedication and experience in helping make the campus a beautiful place.

Queen’s University is known as one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada, and it’s not only because of the striking limestone buildings.

There also is a natural beauty to be found here in the trees and gardens that fill the grounds.

However, that beauty, the sweet fragrances and vibrant colours, doesn’t just happen. There is a massive amount of work and planning that goes into maintaining such a lofty standard.

The Gazette is looking for photos of your favourite spots around campus that show off the beauty of Queen's University.
Take a quick pic of a shaded spot near Summerhill, a garden that stands out, or a location that makes you stop to appreciate its beauty. 
Send the files to andrew.carroll@queensu.ca and we will make a slideshow for the website.

From caring for ash trees more than 100 years old to planting brilliant beds of annuals to cutting the grass and watering planters, the spring, summer and fall mean a never-ending list of tasks for grounds manager Matthew Barrett, an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist who also studied at Niagara Parks School of Horticulture with a diploma in ornamental horticulture and completed an internship at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew in London, England.

Fortunately, Mr. Barrett points out, he has an excellent crew that he can rely on to keep Queen’s looking fabulous.

“I look at the university as a little city within the city. I went to school to learn how to maintain everything but it’s like a big park to me and I’m just here to guide things along and make sure that everything is looking good,” he says. “But a lot of it comes back to my crew too. I’ve got a really good crew. The grounds crew is really dedicated to the way the grounds look and really takes it personally.”

And it shows.

For the annual flower beds and planters, planning starts the year before and orders are placed at greenhouses to ensure the selected plants are ready at the right time. Then comes the actual planting, with thousands of plants being put into the ground by hand.

The beauty is not only found in the flowers. There is an amazing array of trees at Queen’s, some of which, Mr. Barrett says, are unlikely to be found elsewhere in Kingston or southeastern Ontario. That’s thanks in part to the microclimates that are created on campus by the buildings and proximity to Lake Ontario.

As an arborist, the collection of mature trees and the diversity of species are particularly special to Mr. Barrett.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we have an arboretum on campus around Summerhill,” he says. “There’s a lot of old, interesting trees within the arboretum that we’re trying to preserve and we’re trying to add new ones to keep the species diverse within that microclimate that we have there.”

Summerhill also is a favourite location for Mr. Barrett, which links him to Queen’s much longer than his three years in his current position. Growing up in Kingston, his mother worked at the university and he attended a number of Queen’s camps during the summers of his youth. Lunches were spent on the shaded green expanse of Summerhill, and helped draw him back to his hometown.

When it comes to the planning of the gardens, Mr. Barrett says that his team aims for originality and present something new each year for the Queen’s community and visitors to the university. The problem then becomes trying to top the year before.

It’s a lot of work but there are rewards.

“You’re trying to keep everyone guessing and thinking ‘Oh, what is that annual they are using this year?’ or ‘What is that flower?’” he says. “I think one of the most rewarding parts of the job is when people call and ask you planting questions or tree questions or what are the types of flowers you have planted in Agnes Benidikson field? It makes you realize that people are noticing what’s going on around campus and what the crews are doing and what I’m trying to help do.”

For Mr. Barrett and his crew each season brings new tasks, new chores that need to be done. Preparing the gardens and grounds in spring and then it’s a summer of trimming hedges, constant weeding and cutting the grass. Autumn means planting tulips and collecting the leaves that carpet the campus in hues or red, orange and yellow, a truly massive endeavour. And when that is all done, it’s time to start clearing the snow from the walkways and steps.

Looking ahead to next year, there are big plans for the university’s 175th anniversary.

Mr. Barrett says his team is looking to make a big splash, including carpet bedding, where logos and other designs can be made with flowers, as well as hanging baskets on the lampposts along University Avenue.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting year. We’ve got a lot of plans. We’ll be planting tulips and daffodils this fall for the 175th. Normally we do about 6,000-8,000 tulip bulbs, but this year we’re going to try to do 15,000-18,000 just to give it a nice pop and show for the 175th,” he says. “It’s a lot but it’s amazing what the crew can get done in a short amount of time.”

This article is published in the Aug. 11 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus.


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