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Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

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Flags lowered for Professor Emeritus Smith

Flags on campus currently lowered for student Madison Crich will remain lowered in honour of Professor Emeritus Howard A. Smith.

His career in the Queen’s Faculty of Education began in 1971 where he became a full professor in 2002, and professor emeritus in 2008. He served a term as associate dean of undergraduate programs in the 1990s. His contributions to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University helped shape the faculty's vision and program for 37 years.

Dr. Smith's research interests included educational psychology as a science of signs, applied semiotics in learning and education, and multiple "intelligences" or ways of learning. He was the recipient of numerous grants, of which four were from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), as either principal investigator or co-investigator.

He wrote two significant books: Psychosemiotics (2001) and Teaching adolescents: Educational Psychology as a science of signs (2007). His work was also widely disseminated through peer reviewed journals and national and international conferences. 

There will be a celebration of Dr. Smith's life on Sunday, June 28 at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre from 2-4 pm.

Queen’s remembers Madison Crich

Queen’s regrets to inform the community of the death of student Madison Crich. Madison, who passed away suddenly of natural causes on April 24, recently completed her first year of study in the Faculty of Law and was an accomplished dressage rider. 

[Madison Crcih]
Madison Crich

“On behalf of the Queen's community, I want to extend deep and sincere condolences to Madison's family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time,” says Principal Daniel Woolf.

A celebration of life will be held on Friday, May 1. Details can be found at tubmanfuneralhomes.com. Flags on campus will be lowered in Madison’s memory.

Anyone in need of support is encouraged to contact Health, Counselling and Disability Services at 613-533-6000 ext.78264 and/or University Chaplain Kate Johnson at 613-533-2186 or kate.johnson@queensu.ca. After hours, students are encouraged to contact Campus Security at 613-533-6080, or Kate Johnson at kate.johnson@queensu.ca.

FIT TIPS: Preventing, reducing stiffness

With the aim of helping faculty, staff and students "Get Your 150" (minutes of recommended exercise a week) to improve health and wellness, the Gazette and Athletics and Recreation will be offering Fit Tips each week.

Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your muscles. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try these simple office stretches throughout your workday.

• Stretch your shoulder by placing one hand under your elbow, lift your elbow and stretch it across your chest.

• Stretch the muscles of your chest by placing your hands behind your head, squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows back as far as possible.

• Loosen stiff neck and shoulder muscles by lowering your chin to your chest.

• Stretch the muscles along the side of your neck by tilting your ears towards your shoulder. (Don't bring your shoulder up to your ear.)

• Stretch your lower back by bring one of your knees toward your chest while sitting forward in your chair. Use your hands to gently pull it toward you. (Keep your back straight, being careful not to lean forward.)

A bloom of thanks

  • [Library cafe]
    Library staff surprise the library’s café workers, Kim Crawford and Cindy Delaney, with flowers and cards.
  • [Library cafe]
    Library staff Valerie Ashford (L) and Lori Vos (R) present flowers to café staff Kim Crawford and Cindy Delaney.
  • [Library cafe]
    The library's staff also presented the library’s café workers, Kim and Cindy, with a handmade card to thank them for a busy year.

The women who keep students and staff fuelled with coffee and snacks in Stauffer Library got a sweet-smelling surprise to mark their last day of work for the academic year. The library staff and those who work in Student Academic Success Services (SASS) took up a collection and surprised the pair with bouquets of flowers and cards to thank them for their hard work in 2014-2015. 

“Everybody loves Kim and Cindy because they are unfailingly kind and good-humoured,” says Valerie Ashford, Writing Specialist and Workshop Coordinator with Student Academic Success Services, who helped organize the gift. 

“They really embody the sort of kindness that keeps you going when it’s 9:30pm and you still have to keep studying,” agrees Tracy Bell, a Master’s student in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, who stopped by the kiosk while the flowers were being presented. “They are the kind of people who would go into their own wallets to help out a student who needed it. They want to make sure everyone gets the nutrition they need, without any judgement or hesitation.” 

The library kiosk will be closed for the summer and will reopen in September.

Visit the Hospitality Services website to view the hours of operation for on-campus retail outlets during the spring and summer months.

Conference looks at creativity and mental illness

[Dr. William Kenny]
William Kenny (Psychiatry) is hosting Creativity and the Mind, a conference looking at mental illness and creativity, at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Friday. (University Communications)

As a professor at Queen’s and counsellor for the past four years at Health, Counselling and Disability Services, William Kenny (Psychiatry) has been immersed in the workings of the mind, including when it comes to mental health and creativity.

On Friday, Dr. Kenny is hosting the academic conference Creativity and the Mind, the first of its kind at the university, which will take a closer look at mental health from a spectrum of approaches.

The conference is inspired by similar events Dr. Kenny has attended in the United States that offered a view of mental health and treatment at odds with the mainstream approach where a patient is assessed and often treated with a pill.

This will be the focus of Creativity and the Mind, Dr. Kenny says.

“The conference is an attempt to bring together mental health people, artists, scientists, people who look at this from a different management (perspective), as well as the general public, and then try to come to grips with ‘What do we mean? How do people think?’ this sense of ‘What are we understanding, what are we labelling?’ and trying to broaden the dialogue, really, about mental illness both from a scientific standpoint and a humanistic standpoint within the general public.”

A conference he attended in Syracuse, NY, brought together mental health professionals and creative people, including a poet and a professor in fashion. It changed not only the way Dr. Kenny viewed mental health treatment but the links with creativity as well.

“Whenever I visit an art museum, especially modern art, which really deconstructs the mind actually, I come away a better therapist, with a better way of approaching people,” he says.

The Queen’s event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC), will follow a similar path and offer a broad range of discussions connected to mental health and creativity.

One example is Anne Koval, a professor of art history at Mount Allison University and a poet herself. Her discussion will be on ekphrastic poetry, a form where the writer focuses on a visual work of art.

During the interactive sessions following her talk, Dr. Koval will lead a group to different paintings within the AEAC and encourage them to write their own poetry.

The key for the day, Dr. Kenny says, will be for participants to be willing to explore a wide range of ideas.

“They should come with an open mind, hopefully, and also a hopeful one,” he says. “Instead of seeing mental illness as a dead end, they’re seeing that it can open a doorway to understanding ourselves better, not just people who have an emotional illness.”

Creativity and mental illness have long been linked. Dr. Kenny explains there is a theory that the link is genetic but that the gene can affect members of the same family very differently.

“Creativity is usually the product of off-the-wall thinking, asynchronous thinking, for creative people.  Whether it is an artist or Steve Jobs, they think out of the box, so they are (considered) a genius,” he says. “Well that same out-of the-box thinking in another member of the family, they are overwhelmed, they can’t deal with it and therefore they develop an  illness as opposed to their brother, sister or cousin who becomes a very creative force.”

The all-day conference starts at 8 am and will conclude around 5:30 pm. Registration is required for the conference. Fees are: $140 - Mental Health Professionals/Family Physicians; $90 - General Public; $70 - Students/Residents

Removing the 'surprise factor' from annual reviews

Human Resources workshops encourage employees and managers to engage in an open dialogue about performance throughout the year. 

Shortly after joining Queen’s, Jennifer Bishop realized the potential of the annual review, a process she found underwhelming in the past.

“I came from an environment where employees just received a copy of their review, signed it and it was done,” says Ms. Bishop, a production administrator in Queen’s School of Business. “The Preparing for your Annual Review workshop offered by Queen’s Human Resources helped me see the annual review process as a give-and-take conversation. I also understood the questions I could ask and the responsibilities of both me and my manager.”

[Mary Elms with workshop participants]
Mary Elms (standing), Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, discusses the annual review process with workshop participants Rob Bertschi, Multimedia Support Annalyst, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Sheena Graham, Administrative Assistant, Vice-Principal (Finance), and Tiffany Bambrick, Co-ordinator, Fitness and Wellness Programs, Athletics and Recreation (left to right). The next Preparing for your Annual Review: Employee Session will take place May 12.

HR offers workshops that help employees as well as managers prepare for annual reviews. According to Mary Elms, Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, the annual review is one part of an ongoing dialogue in which employees work with managers to set objectives and receive regular feedback and coaching. Ms. Elms also strongly encourages one-on-one meetings between employees and managers in addition to check-ins at the mid-year and end-of-year points.

“Educating managers and employees on performance management processes facilitates a cohesive approach to talent assessment and development,” Ms. Elms says. “These workshops help to mitigate the surprise factor in evaluation meetings and increase employee engagement, resulting in improved organizational performance and achieving the university’s goals.”

Julia Baran, who also completed the annual review workshop for employees, now sees the annual review as an ongoing process. Ms. Baran, a clinical trials assistant with NCIC Clinical Trials Group, learned the importance of keeping a regular log of her accomplishments, new duties and feedback.

“If you are reflective and take the time to prepare throughout the year, you go into the review meeting relaxed. As a result, it’s a much more positive experience for both you and your manager,” she says.

The Performance Management: Manager’s Session continues to grow in popularity. Three separate sessions this year attracted more than 60 participants in total compared to only 12 participants (all managers) last year. In addition, three departments requested separate sessions for their leadership teams. Ms. Elms intends to offer the manager’s session again next year.

The next Preparing for your Annual Review: Employee Session will occur May 12. Visit the Human Resources learning catalogue to sign up for this session or get more information about the other workshops and sessions offered by HR.

A world of training just a click away

lynda.com, the popular training website for business, software, technology and creative skills, is now available to all students, staff and faculty at Queen’s.

Offering thousands of instructional videos on topics including software programs, presentation skills, social media and photography, lynda.com offers an excellent way for anyone to learn a new skill or brush up on changing technology.

Paul Roman, Associate Professor in Queen’s School of Business and Director of the Executive MBA Americas program, is already using lynda.com to complement his course material. He recommends the website to students in his business decision modelling course, which uses Microsoft Excel extensively.

“We use Excel in class so students can apply the theory they are learning and I direct them to lynda.com as a resource to hone their skills with the program. That allows me to spend more class time focused on the course content,” says Dr. Roman. “I’ve heard from students that they find the lynda.com tutorials very useful.”

Paul Roman, Associate Professor in Queen’s School of Business and Director of the Executive MBA Americas

While currently teaching executive MBA students, Dr. Roman will continue to recommend lynda.com when he offers the course at the undergraduate level in the fall.

“I can’t think of a circumstance when I wouldn’t recommend it, because you’ll always have a broad range of skill levels with the software tools you use in class,” says Dr. Roman. “lynda.com can help bring students with no exposure up to an acceptable level, and for those with some experience it can help them dive deeper into the software’s rich features. That can make students more efficient and more effective in their work.”

lynda.com is also a valuable training tool for Queen’s staff. It can be accessed quickly to watch a single video, for example on how to embed a video into a PowerPoint slide, or to watch an hour-long series on a topic like effective project management.

Many of the videos on lynda.com provide a hands-on approach, allowing users to practice techniques in exercise files as you follow along with the instructor. You can even print a certificate of completion when you finish all the videos in a series.

The availability of lynda.com at Queen’s is made possible by a pilot project sponsored by ITS, Human Resources, Queen’s Library, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and Queen’s School of Business. Log in to Lynda.com now with your Queen’s NetID at lynda.queensu.ca and begin browsing the wide range of videos available.

Marking 175 moments

To celebrate the university’s 175th anniversary in 2016, a group is collecting historic Queen’s moments – and they welcome your input.

[175 moments curation team]
The 175 moments curation team — Duncan McDowall, Celia Russell, Mike Blair, Paul Banfield, Alison Migneault, Greg McKellar, Andrea Gunn and David Walker (clockwide from top left) — deliberate during a recent meeting. The last call for submissions is April 29. The moments will be highlighted during Queen's 175th anniversary in 2016.

[Queen's 175th logo]

Although the clock is ticking, there’s still time to suggest an historic Queen’s moment you feel should be included in a special Queen’s 175th anniversary project.

“Identifying 175 seminal moments from the past 175 years is a major way we are engaging alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members leading up to and during Queen’s 175th anniversary in 2016,” says Mike Blair, Queen’s 175th anniversary co-ordinator and chair of the 175 moments curation team. “Through the moments, we will reflect on the evolution of Queen’s, celebrate our many successes, and ponder what the future holds beyond this significant anniversary.”

Over the past year, the group has reached out to many stakeholders and distributed submission cards to alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members at various events.

“We are excited to receive such a diverse range of moments involving events, people, ideas and locations, and we are still welcoming further suggestions,” Mr. Blair says. “The thoughtful contributions will certainly lead to some interesting and compelling deliberations around the table.”

Team members including University Historian Duncan McDowall and University Archivist Paul Banfield are currently sifting through the submissions and identifying any gaps. Once the list is finalized, Dr. McDowall will write short entries for each moment over the summer.

Submit your Moment
Do you have a Queen's moment that you think should be recognized during the 175th anniversary celebration in 2016? Send it to Mike Blair at qu175@queensu.ca

The team will then work with the 175th anniversary executive committee to develop a plan for unveiling the moments.

Email your submissions by April 29 to qu175@queensu.ca and visit the Queen’s 175th anniversary website for more information and updates about the celebration plans.

In other 175th anniversary news, the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees is currently accepting nominations for 2016. All degrees awarded that year will be given to Queen’s alumni to mark the 175th occasion. Visit the University Secretariat website for more information.  

Pick up your edition of the Gazette

The April 21 edition of the Gazette is out and distributed around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

[Gazette Cover]
Read the Gazette online

The newspaper is filled with interesting Queen's-focused items including:

  • A feature article on the three new Canada Research Chairs named at Queen's University.
  • A look at the second season at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • "People of Queen's" series, featuring Queen's Digital and Private Record Archivist Jeremy Heil.
  • Briefs on the latest research, awards and achievements of student-athletes.

The Gazette will be published monthly during the summer; the next edition will hit the newsstands on May 12.

Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll or Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

Also visit the Gazette Online for more stories and photos and follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette

Packing up and cleaning up? Here are some tips

Students can drop off unwanted household items at MacGillivray-Brown Hall on April 30, May 1 and May 2.

With exams almost over, students are on the move, cleaning and packing and deciding what’s next.

To make the process easier, the university, student government and the city offer several moving-related resources, including three days of Drop & Shop at MacGillivray-Brown Hall, where students can bring unwanted items, and also purchase things they need.

“This is the first year students have the opportunity to purchase items dropped off by other students,” says Joan Jones, Student Community Relations Coordinator. “This is a wonderful way for students to get household items at low cost and support Queen’s groups with the proceeds.”

Working with the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) and the Alma Mater Society, Ms. Jones and staff have set up three days for Drop & Shop: April 30, May 1 and May 2. MacGillivray-Brown Hall will be open 8:30 am-8 pm each day. Proceeds will be shared between Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Oxfam Queen’s and the Sexual Health Resource Centre. Unsold items will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Items accepted at Drop & Shop include: clothing, linens, books, unopened food and personal hygiene products, and sports equipment. Only students with valid student identification will be able to purchase items.

“We always want this transition to be as smooth as possible for students, and we hope this event makes it a little easier,” says Ms. Jones. “We are also thankful to the SGPS, in particular, for partnering with us on Drop & Shop and staffing the event. They recognize that undergraduates are usually busier this time of year, and have really taken the lead on this.”

The City of Kingston’s student page is also a great moving resource, providing information on waste disposal, and a Facebook group called Queen’s Free & For Sale is a good site for selling and buying items.

On campus, while the Drop & Shop marketplace will not be held in the JDUC, as in past years, students can still head to the JDUC to buy bag tags for extra garbage and moving boxes.



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