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Senate in brief

Highlights from the March 31 meeting of Senate

Consent Agenda

Senate received:

  • A report from the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD)
  • Reports for February and March from the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP)
  • A report from the Senate Advisory Research Committee
  • A report from the Senate Cyclical Program Review Committee
  • Reports for February and March from the Senate Educational Equity Committee
  • A report from the Senate Governance and Nominating Committee (SGNC)
  • A report from the Senate Library Committee
  • A report from Senate Committee on Non-Academic Discipline
  • A report from the Queen's University Planning Committee
  • The Senate research report
  • The Advancement fundraising report
  • A University of Ottawa report on e-learning, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Academic Development for its review

Principal’s Report

In addition to his written report and schedule highlights, the Principal provided the following updates:

  • Queen’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs, including the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative, are increasingly being recognized across Canada and in the United States.
  • The principal was recently in Toronto and had the opportunity to discuss Queen’s innovation and experiential learning opportunities with senior government officials at Queen’s Park.
  • Innovation was the topic of a roundtable during the recent visit of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
  • Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, visited Queen’s to present and consult on the NSERC 2020 strategic plan.

Provost’s Report

Provost Alan Harrison provided a written report to Senate.

Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Professor Brian Frank, Director of Program Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, presented on the work of the Queen’s-specific Learning Outcomes Working Group.

Board of Trustees Report

Trustee Andrew Aulthouse provided a report on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

COU Academic Colleague Report

Senate received the COU Academic Colleague Report.

Committee Motions and Reports

Senate approved:

Senate defeated:

Reports of Faculties and Schools

Senate received reports from the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Business.

Question Period

  • Provost Harrison and Dean Mumm provided a written response to a question regarding online courses
  • Provost Harrison provided a written response to a question concerning the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization


Senate received:

A healthy start to exams

[Beth Blackett]
For Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Coordinator at Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), the key to staying in top shape for exams is getting the proper amount of sleep.

It’s exam time once again and one of the keys to success is staying healthy.

To stay in top exam shape, says Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Coordinator at Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), the first step is getting a proper amount of sleep. It’s best to forget the all-nighters.

“Sleep is my number one thing that I say is crucial. It affects every other area, like how well you eat and how active you are and how effective you are at studying,” she says. “So if you can keep to a similar bed time, wake-up time that’s what our body prefers. And making sure that an hour before bed avoid things that can contribute to you being more stressed out, such as finishing up your study notes, but instead giving your body and brain time to relax.”

Proper nutrition and staying active are also key and both do not take much effort. Be sure to have at least one nutritious meal at either dinner or lunch. Being active doesn’t necessarily mean getting in a good workout, although that is a good thing. Sometimes you just have to get away from the desk, go outside and get some fresh air. It can be that simple.

While all exams can be stressful, the final exams of the academic year can take it up a notch.

The reason for this, Ms. Blackett explains, is that the end of the academic year is also a time of transition for students who might be trying to arrange a summer job, preparing to move, apply for grad school or start their career hunt.

These added pressures can prove to be a serious distraction at exam time.

“It’s hard if you don’t get the result you were hoping for,” says Ms. Blackett. “It’s building up that resiliency, that’s a key word we hear a lot about these days. Being resilient in dealing with things that come at you that you didn’t expect, being able to switch gears is a great life skill.”

At Queen’s there is a strong support system available from Learning Strategies through Student Academic Success Services (SASS), to an array of counsellors through Health Promotions’ Counselling Services as well as counsellors embedded within a number of the faculties. There are also two counsellors embedded in residence, to specifically support first-year students.

It’s also important to know that it is okay to reach out to a helping hand, Ms. Blackett says.

“We don’t like to ask for help. We like to think that we can do everything and manage on our own,” she says. “But if you kind of reframe the way you look at it, being that I am doing okay but if I go to see someone to get a few tips or some help I can be exponentially better and more effective and not have it interfere with things that I need to get done. Same thing with going into exams, you know there is going to be stress associated with it but reframing being that this is a time to show everything that I’ve learned as a student over the last few years, which turns it into a positive.”

Students who wish to make an appointment with Counselling Services can do so by calling 613-533-6000, ext. 78264. Embedded counsellors are located in various faculty and university buildings across campus: Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science (613-533-3447), Faculty of Education (613-533-2334), School of Graduate Studies (613-533-2136), School of Business (via Commerce Portal), Residence Counsellors (613-533-6000, ext. 78330 or 78034), the School of Medicine (613-533-6000, ext. 78264), and the Outreach Counsellor/Student Advisor in the JDUC (613-533-6000, ext. 78441).

Appointments with Learning Strategies can be set up by calling 613-533-6315.


5 things you can do to manage final exam stress

1. Schedule in healthy things – making a study schedule is great at helping you make sure you’re well prepared for your upcoming exams. It’s also important to carve out time during your schedule to prepare and eat a healthy meal, be physically active and sleep.  Aim to prepare at least one nutritious meal a day, be physically active for at least 20 minutes a day, and sleep seven to nine hours a night.

2. Take meaningful breaks – to be an effective studier Learning Strategies suggests you study for 50 minutes then take a 10-minute break. While it can be easy to surf Facebook, Reddit or Instagram for your break, try instead to call a friend or family member or get up and stretch or grab a healthy snack.

3. Eat power snacks – ideally you want to keep your blood sugar levels constant and avoid the highs and lows. To do this, it’s best to have snacks that include a fruit or vegetable, a complex carbohydrate, and protein. For example, celery sticks with peanut butter and craisins.

4. Get outside – getting some fresh air can help you clear your head and re-focus your studying efforts. It’s also a great way to get some physical activity and vitamin D that we have been lacking so much during the cold, dark winter months!

5. Relax before bed – because it’s during your sleep cycle that new memories are consolidated and stored, getting a good amount of sleep is directly linked to better academic outcomes. Since it can be hard to go from studying to sleep, give yourself one hour before bedtime to relax whether that be hanging out with your floormates/housemates, reading a non-academic novel, or watching your favourite TV show.


Celebrating Queen’s alumni and volunteers

[QUAA Awards]
The Queen's University Alumni Association (QUAA) recently celebrated the efforts and achievements of exceptional alumni and volunteers in the Queen’s community. (University Communications)

On the last weekend in March the Queen’s University Alumni Association celebrated the efforts and achievements of exceptional alumni and volunteers in the Queen’s community.

The weekend-long series of events included the Alumni Volunteer Summit, a talk from NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel (PhD’95), the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Awards with the induction of seven new members into the Tricolour Society and culminated with the gala evening for the QUAA Alumni Awards.

“It is an honour to sit amongst some of the most notable members of the Queen’s family and to recognize their achievements,” said QUAA President and host of the Alumni Awards, George M. Jackson (Artsci’85). “Without a doubt, our university is what is it is today because of those who have given as students, and continue to do so as alumni.”

Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73) shared with Mr. Jackson the honour of hosting and presenting the awards to 11 recipients. The two presenters traded anecdotes about their social media habits during the presentation. 

Among the recipients this year were Catherine Donnelly, (Rehab’95, PhD’13), who was presented with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Dr. Feustel, who received the Alumni Achievement Award. All recipients spoke highly of their experiences as students at Queen’s but none captured the audience’s attention like Alumni Mentorship Award recipient Troy McAllister (Artsci/PHE’03).

During Mr. McAllister’s acceptance speech, the grand atrium of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts became an intimate setting as he explained his work with the students at Wendell Phillips Academy, on Chicago’s troubled South Side. The epitome of Queen’s leadership, the former Gaels player and coach has helped transform Wendell Phillips, a school that was destined for closure, by being a positive role model for his students, who struggle with poverty and violence every day. His leadership has also transformed the school’s football program, leading his team of young men to compete in the state football championship ­– a first in the school’s 109-year history.

As Mr. McAllister made his way down from the podium, the Isabel erupted with an outpouring of applause. The standing ovation was an expression of pride and appreciation from the Queen’s community and friends, for the hard work and dedication that alumni like Mr. McAllister bring to everything they do.

The complete list of QUAA Alumni Award recipients.

See this year’s recipients of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award.

Make a nomination for the QUAA Alumni Awards, visit the Queen’s Alumni website or email nikki.remillard@queensu.ca.

Current edition of the Gazette now available

The April 7 edition of the Gazette is now available around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

Gazette 2015-04-07
View the Gazette online.

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

  • A close-up look at how a Queen’s professor helped launch a life-saving app.
  • An overview of the recent visit to Queen’s by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor.
  • The announcement of this year’s honorary degree recipients for convocation.
  • Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

The Gazette is published bi-weekly; the next edition will hit the newsstands on April 21.

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.

Payroll Services on the move

Payroll Services, which moved within the Financial Services portfolio effective Feb. 1, will relocate to the third floor of the Rideau Building from Fleming Hall on April 10.

As of April 13, employees can pick up their payroll cheques at Rideau Building. They must also send overpayment reimbursements, TD1 and voided cheques to Payroll Services’ new location.

Payroll forms such as additional /one-time payment request, direct deposit authorization, and T4 copy request should be sent to Payroll Services in the Rideau Building.

Payroll Services’ telephone numbers and fax number will remain the same.

Any questions concerning the move can be sent to payroll.services@queensu.ca, which replaces the former general Payroll Services email HRPay@queensu.ca

Nomination deadline fast approaching for Distinguished Service Award

Queen’s faculty, staff and retirees are invited to nominate candidates for a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award. Inaugurated by the University Council in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have made the university a better place through their extraordinary contributions. Recipients become honorary life members of the council.

Recent changes to the University Council bylaws now allow Queen’s employees and retirees to nominate recipients, who will be recognized at the University Council annual dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.   

The guidelines, the nomination form and additional information are available online.

Please submit nominations to the University Council executive committee, care of the University Secretariat, by Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4 pm

Please contact the University Secretariat at ucouncil@queensu.ca or 613-533-6095 if you have questions about the Distinguished Service Award or the nomination process.

ViewPoint: Crowd-sourcing nearby heroes

Back in 2009, San Francisco Fire Chief Richard Price was having lunch out with colleagues when he heard the familiar sound of a fire engine approaching. To his surprise, a truck from his own station pulled up outside the restaurant, and he soon discovered that the firefighters had been dispatched to a cardiac arrest just next door. As a veteran first responder, Price knew the statistics – for every minute that passed before CPR was started, the probability of survival decreased by up to 10 per cent. Realizing in that moment that he’d missed the opportunity to help, Price set out to develop a tool that could harness the power of ready and able bystanders to help save more lives.  The outcome of his efforts is an incredible mobile phone app called PulsePoint.

[Dr. Steven Brooks]
Dr. Steven Brooks displays the PulsePoint app on his own mobile device.

Ever since I became an ER physician, I’ve been interested in resuscitation and bystander intervention. These two things are inextricably linked simply because we depend on the public to take us through the critical steps in the “chain of survival” – early recognition, an early 911 call, early CPR, and early defibrillation. For years, we have been pouring resources into the community to teach people CPR and purchase AEDs, but when the time comes, all of that effort and all of those resources just don’t seem to connect. We really only have seconds or minutes to get it right, and yet if something is out of a bystander’s line of sight, the whole process can fail. As soon as I heard about PulsePoint, I knew it had the ability to change all of that, and I became set on bringing it to Canada.

The idea is simple. When someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, a phone call to 911 is made and the location of the victim is provided to the operator. While simultaneously dispatching EMS teams, the 911 operator sends out a PulsePoint alert. Anyone who is within 500 metres of the victim and has PulsePoint installed on their phone will be alerted with the exact location of the cardiac arrest. The PulsePoint users can then rush to help the victim before EMS teams arrive. Additionally, PulsePoint shows bystanders the exact location of nearby AEDs.

Due to the complex organization that is required to set up PulsePoint in a community, the app isn’t available everywhere just yet. However, thanks to a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and a lot of hard work from a number of key partners, I am thrilled to announce that PulsePoint is now ready for use in Kingston. While PulsePoint is used successfully all over the United States, Kingston will be the first Canadian city to pilot the app.

Here at Queen’s University, there are thousands of students, faculty, and staff with up-to-date CPR training. As a community, we have the opportunity to change the cardiac arrest statistics in our city and save more lives. If you are interested in learning more about PulsePoint, I encourage you to come out to the Queen’s launch of the app where we will showcase how it works first hand. We are hosting it on April 7 in the ARC main gym from 1:30-2 pm. In the meantime, you can follow the key steps outlined below to get PulsePoint up and running on your phone.


LIVES LIVED: A pioneer in cardiology and a gifted teacher

John O. “Jack” Parker made a positive difference in Canadian medicine and cardiology. His contributions to cardiovascular medicine and to Queen’s University are internationally recognized and will long be remembered.

[Dr. Jack Parker]
Dr. Jack Parker

A prize-winning medical graduate of Queen’s in 1954, Jack undertook further training at Queen’s and then spent a two-year research fellowship in the cardiopulmonary laboratory of the Nobel laureate Andre Cournand. Thereafter, Jack received a McLaughlin travelling fellowship that permitted him to complete a final year of training in Paris and London at the National Heart Hospital.

He returned to Queen’s University as he was appointed Assistant Professor of Cardiology in 1962 and he rapidly rose through the academic ranks becoming the Chair of the Queen’s Division of Cardiology (1972-1988). Ultimately Jack’s leadership had national and international impact. He served as President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (1986-1988) and then became a Trustee of the American College of Cardiology (1988-1993).

Jack pioneered coronary angiography in Canada in the early 1960s after visiting the laboratory of Mason Sones at the Cleveland Clinic, where it was first developed. Invasive cardiology was then in its infancy and Jack soon began a series of elegant studies of the pathophysiology of angina pectoris and coronary artery disease that garnered international recognition after they were published in the premier cardiac journal Circulation. This work was followed by thematic studies exploring the most common therapy for angina at the time, namely nitroglycerin and its various formulations; these then guided physicians towards a better approach to nitrate use.

His investigative work led to international recognition and invitations to not only lecture around the world but also numerous requests from other investigators to visit Queen’s and establish new collaborations.

An inspired and energetic clinician scientist, Jack was one of the few Canadians to be honoured by election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He achieved this in recognition of his pioneering work in coronary angiography and physiology.

An accomplished, skilled and insightful physician Dr. Parker had a large clinical practice. His ward rounds were memorable for their inspired blend of clinical care, learning, and probing of unsolved clinical issues. House staff under his watch were expected to dress and behave professionally and were promptly excused if his exacting standards were unmet.

He was a gifted teacher who taught generations of medical students and young doctors the principles of cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Parker’s influence on a host of cardiovascular trainees is legendary.  His enthusiasm, work ethic, curiosity, clarity of thought, impatience for change, and willingness to push the envelope in the search for new knowledge created an exciting laboratory in which to work and explore clinically relevant questions.

In return for their hard work his trainees received generous guidance and career support that paid lasting dividends. Many of his trainees went on to academic positions in Canada and around the world after being transfected with the “Parker gene” for clinical investigation.

It was my privilege to serve as his trainee between 1967-1969 and later as his colleague at Queen’s between 1972-1984.

In an era when the “triple threat” is thought to have disappeared, John Parker represented what was rare but possible… if you were talented, dedicated, tenacious and curious. His career accomplishments brought honor to himself and to Queen’s. 

Paul Armstrong is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Alberta and Director of the Canadian VIGOUR Centre. He is Director of TORCH  a Strategic Training Program Initiative in cardiovascular research.

AMS exec plans next chapter

When they officially assume their roles on May 1st, the incoming Alma Mater Society (AMS) executive team want to focus on modest, incremental changes rather than big-ticket items. The team, comprised of Kanivanan Chinniah (Artsci’15) as President, Catherine Wright (Artsci’15) as Vice-President (University Affairs) and Kyle Beaudry (Com’15) as Vice-President (Operations), want to refine the services the AMS already offers, rather than overhauling or creating any new ones.

The incoming AMS executive team is (l-r) Kanivanan Chinniah, Catherine Wright and Kyle Beaudry. (Photo supplied)

“The AMS is in a place now where we’ve benefitted from wells that we didn’t dig ourselves. Our predecessors have done a lot of work and we want to build on that work with small, practical changes,” says Mr. Chinniah. “Our term is 366 days, but it’s only one chapter in a broader book.”

Mr. Beaudry, who oversees AMS corporate services like the Publishing and Copy Centre and Queen’s Pub, outlined some of the changes the team hopes to bring into effect. Along with a customer satisfaction audit to improve service at all AMS outlets, they also have specific changes in mind for the campus café, Common Ground.

“We want to address the lack of seating at CoGro. We’ve heard from students that the lines are long and that they can’t find seats,” he says. “We want to restructure the seating to allow for more people, so that students can more easily find space to have a coffee and a snack.”

Speaking to some of the broader plans they want to work with the university to implement, Ms. Wright says the executive team plans to advocate for the creation of a student health and wellness centre in the Physical Education Centre and wants to see an experiential learning credit created for students.

“The credit would allow students to take courses outside of their faculty or program, but wouldn’t affect their grade point average. A credit like that would encourage students to diversify the learning experience they have here at Queen’s,” Ms. Wright says.

Before elaborating on their plans, however, the team wants to make sure they’ve allowed the student body to have their say.

“We’re committed to the consultative process and want to make sure we’re engaged in informed advocacy. We want to do that by meeting with students in focus groups, using surveys and by holding town halls,” says Ms. Wright. “When we’re at the decision-making table, we want to make sure the opinions we’re bringing are what students want.” 

Current issue of For the Record


Faculty of Health Sciences

Matthew T. Simpson, Assistant Professor, Family Medicine – March 1, 2015

Human Resources

Successful candidates

Job Title: Project Coordinator, Competency-Based Medical Education (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Postgraduate Medical Education, Faculty of Health Sciences 
Competition: 2015-023 
Successful Candidate: Jennifer Railer (QEDC General Admin)

Job Title: Research Accounting Administrator (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Financial Services 
Competition: 2015-034 
Successful Candidate: WITHDRAWN

Job Title: Research Coordinator 
Department: Medicine 
Competition: 2015-R007 
Successful Candidate: Cathy Ferri

Job Title: Research Associate 
Department: Medicine 
Competition: 2015-R002 
Successful Candidate: Kristin MacLeod

Job Title: Program Associate (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Chemical Engineering 
Competition: 2015-026 
Successful Candidate: Ethan Katz

Job Title: Research Technician 
Department: Cancer Biology & Genetics 
Competition: 2015-R006 
Successful Candidate: Ashley Huck


Nominations invited for grad student supervision award

The School of Graduate Studies invites nominations of faculty members for consideration for the 2015 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize those outstanding supervisors who demonstrate excellence in advising, monitoring and mentoring their graduate students. Two awards will be presented at the fall 2015 convocation: one in the social sciences and humanities, and one in life sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Award nomination forms and guidelines are available from the Office of the Dean, School of Graduate Studies (deansgsr@queensu.ca) or at www.queensu.ca/sgs. Nomination packages should be submitted to the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Queen’s University, Gordon Hall 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 by 4 pm on Thursday, May 28.

Nominations now accepted for Distinguished Service Award

Queen’s faculty, staff and retirees are invited to nominate candidates for a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award. Inaugurated by the University Council in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have made the university a better place through their extraordinary contributions. Recipients become honorary life members of the council.

Recent changes to the University Council bylaws now allow Queen’s employees and retirees to nominate recipients, who will be recognized at the University Council annual dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.   

The guidelines, the nomination form and additional information are available online.

Please submit nominations to the University Council executive committee, care of the University Secretariat, by Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4 pm

Please contact the University Secretariat at ucouncil@queensu.ca or 613-533-6095 if you have questions about the Distinguished Service Award or the nomination process. 


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