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    Consultations on divestment conclude next week

    The advisory committee considering the question of whether Queen’s should divest from fossil fuels will wrap up its consultations with the Queen’s community next week.

    The final consultation meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17 and space is still available for individuals or groups who may wish to present their views to the committee. Anyone interested should contact the committee by email as soon as possible.

    The committee continues to welcome written submissions by email no later than Sept. 17.

    “The committee has received many submissions from faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader community expressing views on all sides of the question of divestment,” says David Allgood, a Queen’s alumnus and the committee’s chair. “The consultation meetings are an important opportunity for the committee to have a dialogue directly with stakeholders. I would encourage anyone who wishes to participate to contact the committee.”

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

    The committee is seeking input from the Queen’s community on whether the university should divest its Pooled Endowment Fund and Pooled Investment Fund from public companies that engage in fossil fuel extraction and distribution, whether it should take no action or whether it should engage companies through other activities.

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

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

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

    University, CUPE ratify collective agreements

    The tentative collective agreements between Queen’s University and the Canadian Union of Public Employees locals 229, 254 and 1302 are now in effect following successful ratification votes by CUPE members earlier today.

    The human resources committee of Queen’s Board of Trustees recently voted to ratify the agreements.

    “I want to thank the negotiating teams for both the university and the CUPE locals for their efforts over the past 15 months,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “CUPE members from all three locals play important roles in supporting Queen’s exceptional learning environment, and these agreements will help further the university’s academic mission within the limits of our current financial reality.”

    The new, four-year agreements will each expire on June 30, 2018. Highlights include:

    CUPE Local 229

    • A one-time, lump-sum payment of $750, less any applicable deductions, following ratification
    • A scale increase of 1 per cent across the board, effective July 1, 2015
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board, effective July 1, 2016
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board, effective July 1, 2017

    CUPE Local 254

    • A one-time, lump-sum payment of $750, less any applicable deductions, following ratification
    • A scale increase of 1 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2015, with eligible employees receiving a step increase
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2016, with eligible employees receiving a step increase
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2017, with eligible employees receiving a step increase

    CUPE Local 1302

    • A one-time, lump-sum payment of $750, less any applicable deductions, following ratification
    • A scale increase of 1 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2015, with eligible employees receiving a step increase
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2016, with eligible employees receiving a step increase
    • A scale increase of 1.25 per cent across the board effective July 1, 2017, with eligible employees receiving a step increase

    The parties also entered into separate memoranda of agreement, reaffirming the parties’ shared commitment to the university pension project and setting out the process for engaging in that project.

    Negotiations between the three CUPE Locals and the university began in June of last year. Bargaining took place over 23 dates collectively, seven of which were conducted with the assistance of a provincially appointed conciliator.

    CUPE Local 229 represents approximately 250 heating and maintenance employees; CUPE Local 254 represents approximately 90 technicians; and CUPE Local 1302 represents approximately 55 library and archive employees.

    Putting teaching development in focus

    • [CTL Opening]
      Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), welcomed visitors to the open house for the Centre for Teaching and Learning
    • [CTL Opening]
      The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University hosted an open house for its new office space in Mackintosh-Corry Hall.
    • [CTL Opening]
      James Fraser (Physics) makes a presentation during the opening plenary session of Teaching Development Day, held at Dunning Auditorium.
    • [CTL Opening]
      Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison speaks during the open house event at the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
    • [CTL Opening]
      The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University hosted an open house for its new office space in Mackintosh-Corry Hall.

    It was a busy but special day for the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University on Wednedsay.

    Not only did the centre host Teaching Development Day but it also held an open house for its new office space at Mackintosh-Corry Hall.

    Throughout the day a series of professional development activities were held, starting with the opening plenary featuring a presentation by James Fraser (Physics), recipient of the 2015 Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award, and PhD student Kevin Alexander, entitled "Community before Content: The Four Step Plan," as well as numerous presentations and workshops offered to smaller groups. 

    Colourful orientation

    • [Orientation Week]
      The Frosh Parade was held Wednesday morning as incoming students marched around campus.
    • [Orientation Week]
      Incoming students march past Grant Hall at the start of the Frosh Parade on Wednesday morning.
    • [Orientation Week]
      First-year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science learn some dance moves.
    • [Orientation Week]
      A first-year Commerce student turns to her friends after being asked a question about Queen's history.
    • [Orientation Week]
      A group of first-year students pose for a photo on Tuesday at the art piece near Summerhill.

    There's no more colourful time at Queen's University than Orientation Week.

    Campus is filled with song, dance and activities while the students don a variety of colourful outfits from the maroon of Commerce to the purple of Engineering to the gold of Arts and Science.

    Incoming students are being welcomed into the community as well as being introduced to the many traditions that make up the Queen's experience, an experience they will never forget.

    Curtain rises on School of Drama and Music

    For years, drama and music scholarship have been regarded as separate fields of study. Slowly, though, that’s changing, and Queen’s School of Music and the Department of Drama have come together to take advantage of that trend.

    The School of Drama and Music officially came into existence on July 1 after years of planning. Queen’s Senate approved the merger in April.

    [Craig Walker and Ireneus Zuk]
    Craig Walker (left) will serve as the interim director of the Queen's School of Drama and Music while Ireneus Zuk will become the interim associate director.

    “Collaborations between music and drama are natural, and dialogue between these scholarly fields is now increasing,” says Craig Walker, who will serve as interim director of the new school during the transition period. “While the merger arose in part by the need to use resources more efficiently and boost the units’ profile within the Faculty of Arts and Science, it’s really an aspirational move rather than one of desperation. We want to become an innovative unit that provides enhanced teaching, research and creative work at the intersection of music and theatre.”

    The two departments have collaborated in the past. Before the merger, the units worked together to offer a musical theatre course. Furthermore, faculty members collaborated on a number of independent study courses and on some research projects.

    The merger will allow for an expansion of that work and support excellence in the study of musical theatre.

    “Musical theatre is rife for innovation as it enjoys a rapid international expansion and embraces new forms of cultural exchange,” Dr. Walker says. “We want to look at musical theatre in an integrated way that gives student opportunities to explore different areas of the endeavour.”

    One major initiative made possible by the merger is a new Bachelor of Musical Theatre program Queen’s is developing with St. Lawrence College. The school is also looking at creating a graduate diploma in arts leadership in collaboration with staff at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. In fact, the opening of the Isabel further spurred on the merger, which had been discussed for several years.

    “The world-class teaching and performance spaces in the Isabel have enhanced the learning experience for both drama and music students,” Dr. Walker says. “We believe that by working together, we can elevate our programs to match the professionalism and prestige that comes with sharing quarters in that beautiful building.”

    All degree plans in Drama and Music will continue to be offered in the new school. Dr. Walker notes that he expects they will be enhanced by the merger as students will now have more opportunities to branch out and take different courses. Ireneus Zuk will serve as interim associate director of the new school during the transition period. Dr. Zuk is a professor and renowned pianist.

    Orientation talk addresses issue of sexual assault

    After participating in an energetic welcome rally on Sunday evening, thousands of first-year Queen’s students returned to the Athletics & Recreation Centre on Monday to hear educator and activist Rachel Griffin share her personal experiences as a survivor of sexual assault. The mood in the massive gymnasium was much more subdued as students listened respectfully.

    As Dr. Griffin’s talk drew to a close, though, the students rose to their feet – much like they did the night before – and showed their appreciation for the message delivered by the guest speaker.

    [Rachel Griffin]
    Rachel Griffin (right) speaks with Claire Gummo (left), assistant director of the Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC), Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, and Rector Mike Young following her presentation to first-year students. 

    “You can choose, individually and collectively, to create a climate on campus where all survivors of sexual assault can come forward and say, ‘I am hurt, and I need help,’” Dr. Griffin said. “I am a survivor of rape but I am asking you to always remember that I am a person, and survivors like me deserve to be treated like people. We deserve to be treated like people worthy of compassion and care and respect, no exceptions.”

    That message resonated with first-year student Summer Shaikh.

    “I think it’s always important to remember that people might not be super willing to share if they are having problems, but you should always be aware that they might need the help regardless and be open to that and be accepting,” she said following the talk.

    “I was really proud of how attentive and respectful our students were,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who seeded the idea to bring Dr. Griffin to Queen’s.

    Dr. Griffin, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University, was raped in high school by a male student. She kept the assault secret for years, she says, suffering psychological pain and feelings of worthlessness, and engaging in self-destructive behaviour.

    Seven years after the assault, she built up the courage to share her experience with a peer support advocate at the university she was attending as an undergraduate student. Dr. Griffin says the peer advocate responded by saying she believed her and that what her attacker did was wrong and it was not her fault. That response changed Dr. Griffin’s life.

    “The woman who put my needs above all else, who said ‘I believe you,’ saved me. I honestly can tell you I don’t think I would be alive today if the first person I told, after I finally built up the courage to ask for help, hadn’t said ‘I believe you.’”

    Claire Gummo, Artsci’17, said Dr. Griffin was an incredible speaker who connected with students. Ms. Gummo, a member of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Working Group, said that inviting Dr. Griffin to speak to all first-year students demonstrates the university’s commitment to survivors and its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual violence.

    Ms. Gummo, who is also the assistant director of the Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC) on campus, said she was pleased to hear Dr. Griffin’s strong message about the importance of “enthusiastic consent” between sexual partners.
    You can choose, individually and collectively, to create a climate on campus where all survivors of sexual assault can come forward and say, ‘I am hurt, and I need help.'
    — Dr. Rachel Griffin, educator and activist

    She hopes students and the university build on the momentum initiated by Dr. Griffin’s talk.

    “It’s great that we had Dr. Griffin here today, but this can’t be the last thing. This needs to continue on, and the students and administration need to make a commitment to survivors that will last throughout the year not just during orientation week.”

    The orientation keynote address is part of the broader awareness-raising and prevention education initiatives being undertaken by Queen’s. In the spring of 2015, the SAPR Working Group released a report with several recommendations to enhance sexual violence prevention, support and response. An implementation team, chaired by Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic, has been tasked with reviewing and prioritizing the recommendations.

    “Dr. Griffin is extremely knowledgeable about the subject of gendered and sexual violence,” says Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs who also chairs the SAPR Working Group. “More importantly, her story-telling approach really resonated with the students.”

    Visit the Student Affairs website for more information about the services and resources on campus and in the community to support survivors of sexual assault.

    Accessibility audit update for Sept. 8

    Accessibility auditors will focus on Stauffer Library during the week of Sept. 8-11. 

    Overseen by Campus Planning and Development (CPD), the audit is evaluating Queen’s buildings for compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and several other provincial and municipal design standards and codes. The results of the audit will help CPD plan and prioritize repairs and upgrades that have the maximum benefit for students, faculty and staff.

    Questions or concerns about the accessibility audit can be directed to Barry Kaplan, AODA Project Manager, Campus Planning and Development, by email or 613-533-6001.

    Pick up your copy of the Sept. 8 edition of the Gazette

    The Sept. 8 edition of the Gazette is now available around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

    Read the Sept. 8 Gazette online

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

    • A story on the five professors elected as fellows of the Royal Society of Canada
    • A two-page feature on what’s new and exciting at the Faculty of Education.
    • An interview with Principal Daniel Woolf looking ahead to the 2015-16 academic year as well as the accomplishments of the past year.
    • Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

    The Gazette is published monthly during the summer months; the next edition will hit the newsstands on Sept. 22.

    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.

    Campus electricity demand reduction notification for Sept. 8

    Due to current temperatures and humidity levels across the province, Tuesday, Sept. 8 will be an Electricity Demand Response Day. Please consult the attached newsletter for a complete list of buildings that will be participating in today’s response.

    Please note:

    • Jeffery Hall, Queen’s Centre, Stauffer Library, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Stirling Hall and Watson Hall will not be responding on Tuesday, September 8 only.
    • Wednesday, September 9 has the potential to be a response day; however,  a separate notification will be issued tomorrow to either confirm or cancel the response on this date.

    If you are interested in helping with the response, please turn off non-essential lighting during the day and shutdown your computers and other non-essential equipment before you leave at the end of each day.

    More information about the electricity peak demand management program is available on the sustainability website. Those with questions may also contact Fixit at extension 77301 (internal), 613-533-6757 (external) or by e-mail.

    Royal recognition

    Five Queen's University professors elected as fellows to the Royal Society of Canada.

    Five Queen's University professors have been elected as fellows to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), one of the highest honours for Canadian academics in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences. The five newest fellows from Queen's have a wide variety of research interests, including health, chemistry, computing and music composition.

    Five Queen's University professors have been elected as fellows to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). They are, from left: Keith Poole (Microbiology), Elizabeth Eisenhauer (Oncology), Marjan Mozetich (Music),Suning Wang (Chemistry) and Ugo Piomelli (Mechanical and Materials Engineering).

    "The five newly elected fellows have all made important contributions to their respective fields and are a testament to Queen's commitment to excellence in research," says Principal Daniel Woolf. "I wish to congratulate, on behalf of the Queen's community, these researchers on this tremendous and well-deserved honour."

    The five new RSC members include:

    Elizabeth Eisenhauer (Oncology), a leader in the investigation of cancer drug delivery and cancer clinical trials. Dr. Eisenhauer’s work has led to new standards of cancer treatment and new understandings of how the molecular mechanisms of cancer can be altered by therapeutic invention. From 2006-2009, Dr. Eisenhauer served as president of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, and in 2013, she was elected a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

    "It is an honour, of course, to be elected to the Royal Society of Canada," says Dr. Eisenhauer, "especially for work that I love."

    Marjan Mozetich (Music), an award-winning composer who has uniquely blended elements of modern and classical music to develop a fusion style both innovative and accessible to all types of audiences. He has written more than 65 works of vocal and instrumental combinations for theatre, film, dance, as well as symphonic works, chamber music and solo pieces that have been performed around the world. He has received numerous Canadian and international awards and honours for his compositions.

    "I feel very privileged to be recognized by my colleagues," says Dr. Mozetich. "To have what I do, as a creative, be given credence and importance by my colleagues in the arts and sciences is a tremendous honour."

    Ugo Piomelli (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), a world expert in the area of fluid dynamics.  He has made fundamental contributions to the profession by developing numerical models capable of predicting turbulent flows, and by successfully applying these methods to increase the understanding of the turbulence physics. The models he developed are commonly used by the industrial and research communities, including aerospace, mechanical and environmental engineering, in geophysics and meteorology.

    "I am honoured, truly honoured, to be recognized by my peers for my work," says Dr. Piomelli.

    Keith Poole (Microbiology), a highly respected scholar who has made fundamental contributions to understanding the interplay between basic bacterial physiology and infectious disease. Importantly, he discovered a family of antibiotic pumps that export multiple antimicrobials out of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These so-called multidrug pumps are common in disease-causing bacteria, and their discovery has revolutionized the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy and resistance and influenced antibiotic development in the pharmaceutical industry.

    "I've never done this for accolades. I'm a scientist and, like my peers, am motivated by curiosity," says Dr. Poole. "However, to have an audience of those same peers acknowledge my work is a tremendous honour."

    Suning Wang (Chemistry), a researcher whose innovative approaches to luminescent materials and inorganic chemistry has contributed to opening up a significant new research field: photo-responsive organoboron materials and chemistry. Her studies on the phenomena of photochromism, photoelimination and switchable luminescence of organoboron systems, together with her pioneering scholarship on blue fluorescent and blue phosphorescent emitters for organic light emitting diodes have reinvigorated research on organoboron photochemistry and organoboron-based materials chemistry worldwide.

    "I'm very honoured to be elected into the Royal Society of Canada," says Dr. Wang. "Recognition by one's peers is the highest honour a scientist can receive."

    The Royal Society of Canada is the senior and most prestigious academic society in Canada. Members represent a wide range of academic fields, including the arts, social and natural sciences and humanities. Candidates can be nominated by existing members, seconded by at least two others, or by one of the society's member institutions. Existing members of the society then vote to elect the next cohort of fellows. Election to the society is considered one of the highest honours in Canadian academia.

    The RSC serves to promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment, to recognize academic and artistic excellence, and to advise governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest. For more information, visit the RSC website


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