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

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Systems outage May 2-3

Several systems will be unavailable Saturday, May 2 starting at 5 am, and ending Sunday, May 3 at noon in order for ITServices to perform upgrades to the Oracle databases that support these applications: 

  • SOLUS
  • PeopleSoft
  • FAST - Financial Reporting
  • NetID profile manager
  • NetID activation, password resets

ITServices will post an update on its website when services have been restored.

Questions or concerns can be directed to ITServices Support Centre:
On Campus: ext. 36666
Off Campus: 613-533-6666

Flags lowered for Professor Emeritus Pritchard

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of James Pritchard, a professor emeritus in the Department of History.

Dr. Pritchard taught history courses on New France, Quebec, and early modern European expansion. His research focused on areas of early Canadian colonial and maritime history. He was the author of several well-known titles including Louis XV's Navy; A Study of Organization and Administration; Anatomy of a Naval Disaster; The 1746 French Expedition to North America; and In Search of Empire, The French in the Americas, 1670-1730.  Most recently, he published A Bridge of Ships; Canadian Shipbuilding during the Second World War.

A celebration of Dr. Pritchard's life will be held at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre (421 Union St.) on Saturday, May 2 at 2 pm. In remembrance, donations may be made to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation – St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital, Palliative Care Unit. You are invited to share your memories and condolences online at www.cataraquicemetery.ca.

New lab boosts support for international students

[Queen's in the World]
Queen's in the World

Queen’s students – in particular, English as a second language (ESL) and international students – now have access to expanded services as they work to develop their language and academic skills.

The Queen’s Learning Commons (QLC) Academic Skills Lab in Stauffer Library is a welcoming and flexible space that can accommodate small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with professional staff and trained peer assistants.

[Min Xing Zhu]
Min Xing Zhu uses the new Queen's Learning Commons Academic Skills Lab to practice her presentation skills with Donna Katinas, ESL co-ordinator in the Writing Centre.

“In addition to academic skill development in writing and learning, which Student Academic Success Services (SASS) already provides, the lab is a great addition that will help students improve in areas such as presentation skills and pronunciation,” says Donna Katinas, the ESL co-ordinator in the Writing Centre, which is part of SASS.

QLC repurposed a group study room on the ground floor of Stauffer Library to create the lab, which features a group meeting space. The room also includes several workstations equipped with learning software. In addition, the Residence Society’s First Year Experience Fund will help offset the cost of Inspiration and Kurzweil 3000, adaptive technologies for the lab.

“With Queen’s seeking to increase the number of international students, this lab is well positioned to meet the needs of those students both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” says Nathalie Soini, QLC Co-Ordinator. “The services offered at the lab have the potential to alleviate some of the stress international students experience when they give a class presentation or lead a seminar, for example.”

QLC and SASS partnered to develop the new lab. As the lab develops over the next few months, they plan to work with the Adaptive Technology Centre (ATC). Ms. Soini says that as a QLC partner, the ATC will help train staff and peer assistants on common technology, such as Kurzweil 3000, educational software that provides literacy support for students.

Susan Korba, Director, SASS, says the new lab fits well with the Queen’s University International Centre’s English language support offerings, which focus more on conversational skills.

“International students want to develop the confidence in a wide range of academic skills. The new lab is another piece of that puzzle,” she says.

For more information about the new lab, please contact Susan Korba by email or at ext. 77630 or Donna Katinas by email or at ext. 75180. 

Getting a first look at Queen's

Garfield Dunlop, Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities for the Progressive Conservatives and MPP for the riding of Simcoe North, visited Queen’s on Tuesday, April 14, and received a tour of the university. During his visit he spoke with administration and students to gain a better understanding of the university, including recent developments to improve the learning experience such as the active learning classrooms and the increasing focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Gazette editor Andrew Carroll spoke to Mr. Dunlop about his visit.

[Garfield Dunlop]
Garfield Dunlop, MPP for the riding of Simcoe North and Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities for the Progressive Conservatives, visited Queen’s University on Tuesday. (University Communications)
 

Andrew Carroll: In your role as Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities, what do you see as the biggest challenges for Ontario’s universities today and moving forward?

Garfield Dunlop: I think the rapidly changing world. We have to make sure that our universities are properly funded and that’s a challenge for the government and the private sector and for the universities themselves to meet the demands that will be put on them in the changing world ahead, such as, in particular, the electronic world. We’ve seen examples of that today where Queen’s has moved in a very forward-thinking way with their classrooms, their innovative new ideas. So making sure that they don’t get caught in a rut where there’s no money and there’s no resources for them to move ahead. It’s kind of a partnership that everybody has to share in but universities are the future of our country.

AC: What do you see as the strengths of Ontario’s universities, in particular Queen’s?

GD: I come from central Ontario and even there the general feeling is that if you have gone to Queen’s you’ve got a really good opportunity for finding a good job down the road. It’s a university that is really appreciated by almost all Ontarians. They’ve done it right for almost 175 years, they don’t need anybody to come in and to do a rapid change to what is happening here. Just make sure this is properly funded for the future and it will continue it churn out good citizens and good taxpayers for Ontario and, for a lot of cases, for the rest of the world.

AC: While it has only been a brief visit, what are you taking away from your time at Queen’s?

GD: I think first of all there is a real sense of community here. I see the students are friendly, nice, wanting to share their experiences in some of the discussions we had. The administration took a lot of time to be with me and explained to me the challenges they face – government challenges, red tape, and things that they don’t really need. So I think that overall I learned an awful lot. As a critic I have to get out and learn what each university is about and what they specialize in and, after today, I think I can say a lot of positive things about Queen’s University.

AC: Do you have any advice for current graduates and for those of the future?

GD: I think graduates of this university have a great opportunity for good job placements, whether it’s in Kingston, in Ontario, in Canada or whether it’s international. There certainly is a number of international-national connections made here at Queen’s. So the advice from me would be to share the story about Queen’s. For example, I told my own granddaughter, who wants to be a doctor, about Queen’s medical school. We have a Queen’s graduate living in Orillia who is a pediatrician and is a great example of what can be accomplished. I pointed out to her that the doctor is a graduate of Queen’s and through the university she has had the opportunity to travel around the world and work and she now has come back with new skills and perspectives to contribute to the community. 

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

 

Laying the leadership foundation

Michael Kawaja (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) has gradually assumed more and more administrative duties during his career. While years of education prepared him to research and teach in the neuroscience field, he never received any formal training for chairing a committee or leading a program.

That’s why Dr. Kawaja jumped at the opportunity to enroll in the Health Sciences Leadership Series when he saw it advertised last fall.

“I honed some of those leadership skills ‘on the job’ as chair of the medical admissions committee and co-ordinator of the neuroscience graduate program, but I am always looking for training opportunities,” he says. “The Health Sciences Leadership Series really covers the breadth of what I am responsible for in my current administrative duties and has helped me identify areas where I can improve.”

Dr. Kawaja plays an important liaison role as the associate dean of life sciences and biochemistry in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Most students in life sciences and biochemistry programs are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, while the majority of professors and curriculum developers are associated with the Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr. Kawaja says he is already applying the lessons he has learned about interpersonal communication and conflict resolution to his interactions with representatives from the two faculties.

[Dr. Moran]
Dr. Onofre Moran-Mendoza (right) believes the Health Sciences Leadership Series has improved his interactions with respirology colleagues.

Onofre Moran-Mendoza (Medicine) doesn’t have the same level of administrative duties as his colleague Dr. Kawaja, but he has found the series just as beneficial.

“Many of us in the Faculty of Health Sciences have some degree of leadership responsibility: for instance, in our relationship with residents,” says Dr. Moran-Mendoza, an associate professor in the Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. “If I eventually get a higher leadership role, this course has provided me with the knowledge and tools to interact more positively with people across the organization and to better understand and deal with conflict.”

The series is presented by the Human Resources Department in collaboration with Faculty Development, Faculty of Health Sciences. Shannon Hill, HR Learning and Development Specialist, is pleased with the positive feedback from the participants.

“The faculty members enjoy having a safe yet challenging environment where they can discuss their strengths and weaknesses and learn from their colleagues,” she says. “We are hopeful the success of this first custom leadership series could pave the way for the development of similar programs for other faculties at Queen’s.”

Visit the Faculty of Health Sciences website for more information about the series. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Ms. Hill by email or phone 613-533-6000 ext. 74175.

People of Queen's: Helping students find their strength

People of Queen's is a regular feature of the Gazette, profiling a Queen's staff member whose dedication and passion has enriched the various offices they have worked in and the community.

[Hagar Prah]
From her office in the JDUC, Outreach Counsellor and Student Life Advisor Hagar Akua Prah offers one-on-one counselling and advising sessions to Queen’s students. (University Communications)

Partway through talking about her work as Outreach Counsellor and Student Life Advisor, Hagar Akua Prah pauses to pick up a framed picture. Inside the frame is a word cloud, an image made up of words and phrases clustered together that she received as a gift last year from the volunteers of the Alma Mater Society’s Peer Support Centre. In large script, scattered around the image are phrases like “intelligent,” “soothing”, “talented” and “the Peer Support Centre’s best resource.”

“As an educator, it’s really nice to get a response like this,” says Ms. Prah with a grin.

Before taking on her current role in the Division of Student Affairs in 2009, Ms. Prah was long active with members of the university community. A trained social worker, she previously held a position at the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, a role that had her managing a group of volunteers largely made up of Queen’s students.

“I love working with students, they have energy, openness and want to take risks. I was always impressed with the level of commitment Queen’s students demonstrated in the area of violence prevention,” Ms. Prah says. “They brought not only their perspectives and knowledge, but also their passion and skill to the movement.”  

After collaborating for years with students from disciplines as diverse as medicine, law and gender studies, she says it was a natural fit to move to Queen’s and work more directly with the student body.

Along with the training she does for groups like the Peer Support Centre and residence dons, Ms. Prah devotes much of her time to one-on-one counselling and advising sessions for students.

“I’m here so that people feel they have someone they can talk with when dealing with something challenging, whether it’s impacting their mental health or their sense of wellbeing,” she says. “People want to feel validated about their thoughts and decisions.”

In her role at Queen’s, Ms. Prah specializes in sexual assault counselling and advocacy and is committed to providing a safe space where students can share how they think and feel.

“One of the greatest things someone can do is walk through my door,” she says. “It’s a brave thing to step forward and decide to try to work something out and get help doing it.”

Beyond a passion for helping people through a difficult time, it’s seeing people help themselves that inspires Ms. Prah’s work.

“I have the privilege of witnessing the process of someone going from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ and ‘I did,’” she says. “I get to see them at the beginning of their journey — at their most vulnerable — and then I get to see them find their strength. One of the best parts of my job is seeing people surprise themselves.”

A cookie and a smile

  • Principal's Cookie Day
    Principal Daniel Woolf hands a cookie to a Queen's University student at Stauffer Library on Sunday, April 12.
  • Principal's Cookie Day
    A student smiles as Principal Daniel Woolf offers her a cookie during the annual Principal's Cookie Day on Sunday.
  • Principal's Cookie Day
    Julie Gordon-Woolf offers a cookie to a student on Sunday, one of 1,200 that she and Principal Daniel Woolf handed out.
  • Principal's Cookie Day
    For the past five years, Principal Daniel Woolf and Julie Gordon-Woolf have handed out cookies to students as they study for exams.
  • Principal's Cookie Day
    A student takes a selfie with Principal Daniel Woolf after receiving a cookie during the Principal's Cookie Day.

Cookies can brighten up anyone's day.

That was clearly apparent as Principal Daniel Woolf and his wife Julie Gordon-Woolf handed out cookies to students at Queen's University on Sunday, in what has become an annual event - the Principal's Cookie Day.

While studying for exams students received a bit of a break and a cookie from the principal. Together Principal Woolf and his wife handed out 1,200 cookies, their most ever, at the university's libraries, including the Education Library and Teacher Resource Centre, Bracken Health Sciences Library, Lederman Law Library, Douglas Library and Stauffer Library.

This marked the fifth year for the cookie drop.

The cookies were sponsored by the Queen's University Alumni Association while the Queen's Student Alumni Association helped bag the treats.

FIT TIPS: Skip the sheep and get some sleep

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.

A good sleep is essential to your health and wellbeing. If you have trouble getting a good night sleep try these tips before heading to bed for the night:

• Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.

• Go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on the weekends.

• Avoid eating large meals for 2-3 hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.

• In your bedroom try dark curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, or a “white noise” machine. No TV’s or computers in the bedroom!

• When you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.

With these tips you can kick the sheep to the curb and get a good night’s sleep.

Winning the battle against tax season drudgery

David Foster Wallace and Art Cockfield
Queen's law professor Art Cockfield, right, recently published an academic paper taking a closer look at the work of author David Foster Wallace, left.

For most people, the idea of doing their income taxes invokes fears of hours of drudgery and outright boredom.

However, there is beauty to be found in the details says Art Cockfield, a Queen’s professor specializing in tax law, in a new academic paper that takes a closer look at the life and work of award-winning author David Foster Wallace.

In his final book, The Pale King, published posthumously after his suicide, Mr. Wallace took an in-depth look at taxes in the United States and the way the majority of society approaches them. Mr. Wallace was fascinated by how people deal with tedium in their everyday lives. No surprise then that he was drawn to taxes.

In The Pale King, Dr. Cockfield explains, Mr. Wallace looked at how earlier generations considered filling out their tax returns as a sort of “moral obligation,” that they were doing their part for the greater community.

The book takes place in the 1980s when taxes were still done by hand, rather than online. However, it addresses contemporary issues.

“The book focuses on tax bureaucrats, people who work at the IRS, but the larger purpose I think is to discuss how most of us struggle with work boredom,” says Dr. Cockfield. “No matter who we are, a big chunk of our lives are taken up by work and this notion that we are confronting tedium throughout the day is very real and one of the great challenges most of us struggle with.”

A huge fan of Mr. Wallace’s writing, in particular his award-winning second novel Infinite Jest, Dr. Cockfield was named Fulbright Visiting Chair in Policy Studies in 2013 to the University of Texas in Austin, where, it so happened, the collected works of David Foster Wallace are housed.

Dr. Cockfield says that he simultaneously read The Pale King while delving into the author’s notes and writings. He learned that Mr. Wallace felt there is beauty and great insight to be found in everyday things that we take for granted, particularly at work, he explains in the academic paper.

“So I sifted through his accounting notes and tried to see and understand how he compiled the information for his novel and this great exploration about work boredom and how it affects our interior lives,” says Dr. Cockfield. “His themes were don’t get distracted, focus on what you are up to, try to develop a passion for it.”

So, whether it is filling out a tax form or sitting at a desk performing some “drone-like tasks,” if we focus and aren’t distracted we derive something from these experiences.

And while most of us think our taxes reveal nothing more than what we earned and what we owe, Dr. Cockfield says they actually provide incredible insight about each taxpayer. “A tax return is a kind of x-ray of an individual, their hopes and dreams, not just their income; their various deductions and charitable contributions and so on,” he says. “It’s fascinating from one perspective.”

 

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

Communications

Senate received:

Pages

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