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Celebrating 175 years of excellence

[Queen's 175th logo]
Queen's 175th

To recognize the 175th anniversary in 2016, Queen’s has decided to honour its own.

[Convocation ceremony]
Queen's hononary degrees will be reserved for alumni in 2016 in celebration of the university's 175th anniversary.

“Reserving honorary degrees in 2016 for Queen’s alumni fits with the anniversary’s goal of celebrating the university’s unique legacy, contributions and role at the national and international level since the institution was founded in 1841,” says David Walker, Chair, 175th Anniversary Executive Committee.

The Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees is now accepting nominations for 2016. In order to solicit the broadest range of nominations, anyone can nominate an alumnus or alumna for consideration based on outstanding contributions to his or her discipline or field of work, to the community, to society, or to the university. Alumni include those who have received a degree or diploma from the university, or who registered and attended classes for at least one full session (academic year or equivalent) and whose class has graduated.

“As people prepare their nominations, we encourage them to give some thought to the ways they could incorporate the honorary degree recipient into their 175th anniversary celebration if their nomination is successful,” Dr. Walker says.

The nomination deadline is Aug. 14, 2015. The Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees will send its recommendations to Senate for approval in September 2015.

Visit the University Secretariat website for more information and to download a nomination form.

More information about Queen’s 175th anniversary celebration is available online.

Helping Nepal

[Nepal Earthquake]
Local Nepalese community members recently held a vigil in downtown Kingston to help raise awareness and support following the earthquake in their homeland. (Supplied Photo)

In the early hours of Sunday, April 25, Prabeen Joshi answered the call that so many Nepalese living abroad received.

At 3:40 a.m. his sister, who lives in Australia, called to inform him that a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake had struck Nepal. The good news was that his parents, who still live in Nepal, were safe and unharmed.

Queen's in the World

At the time, little information was known but it didn’t take long for the Nepalese community in Kingston – approximately 50 people with about 15 attending Queen’s as students or as post-doctoral fellows – to be alerted to the situation.

“I tried to contact my parent myself but I couldn’t. They were away from home at one of my cousins’ engagement party,” he says. “The party was over and then the earthquake happened. But they were together. That was a big relief that such a big devastation happened and still my parents were fine.”

Unable to go back to sleep, Mr. Joshi, a PhD student in civil engineering, spent the rest of the night finding out what he could about his homeland. It left him reeling. The death toll has already surpassed 7,000 and is expected to top 10,000.

Overall, Mr. Joshi has only heard of one local member who has suffered a loss. However, the disaster has taken a heavy toll as the community can only look on from halfway around the world.

Looking to do anything to help, the community decided to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness of the disaster. They held a vigil in downtown Kingston where they raised $960 in donations.

The have also set up a crowd-funding site to raise more funds.

“That is the best thing we could do as there’s no option for going back and helping immediately,” he explains. “So the best thing to do was to come together as a community and start collecting whatever we can.”

The campaign wraps up Saturday but donations can still be made at their webpage.

The window for opportunity is small. Already, he points out, Nepal has dropped off the front pages but the massive relief effort continues and the rebuilding of the country will take years.

Still, he has hope that the country and its people will recover. For example, the disaster has pulled the Nepalese diaspora together to help the recovery effort.

“When you are unified only good things happen,” Mr. Joshi says.

FIT TIPS: Get your 150 minutes of activity

Here are 10 tips to help you aim for 150 minutes of physical activity in a week, and to help you live a healthy lifestyle. See how many you can do in one week:

1. Eat half your food when at a restaurant and package the rest for lunch the next day (restaurants normally serve 4 portions in one serving!)
2. Have fresh fruit or yogurt for dessert
3. Book a squash or racquetball court with a friend at the ARC - racquet court bookings are covered in your ARC membership. Rent a racquet for $2 if you don't have one!
4. Don’t go grocery shopping when hungry
5. Make a grocery list, and stick to it!
6. Use a workout video to exercise at home when you don’t want to leave the house (check out YouTube and bodyrock.tv for free options)
7. Don’t skip breakfast, it really is the most important meal of the day
8. Try bowling on a Friday or Saturday night
9. Add raw nuts or grilled chicken to your salad for extra protein
10. Try yoga

Digging through data? Get some help at Data Day

Robert G. May has spent several years sifting through pages and pages of poet F.R. Scott’s typescripts and manuscripts housed at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library. Dr. May and his colleague Dean Irvine at Dalhousie University intend to post the material online and publish an authoritative edition of works by Scott, a seminal figure in modern Canadian poetry.

Dr. May will share the unique challenges that arise when working with such a vast and rich archive during Data Day on Monday, May 11.

[Robert May]
Robert G. May is digitizing the typescripts and manuscripts of seminal Canadian poet F.R. Scott. Dr. May will share his experience managing the archival material at Data Day on May 11.

“Digitizing four archive boxes of material is a painstaking, page-by-page process,” says Dr. May (English Language and Literature). “During Data Day, I am interested to see what researchers in other disciplines are doing with archival research and data in their fields.”

Scott Lougheed, another panelist at Data Day, has some advice for fellow researchers looking to improve their data management practices.

“I recommend researchers pick a “New Year’s resolution project” where they go to Data Services in Queen’s University Library (QUL) at the outset and develop a data management plan,” says the doctoral candidate in the School of Environmental Studies.  “I have found that researchers frequently encounter challenges with their data at the end of the project. By that time, though, they have moved on to another project and it’s too late to make the necessary changes.”

Mr. Lougheed is one of several presenters at this year’s Data Day, an annual event where researchers and service providers share their expertise and experiences working with diverse data sets.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Lougheed will make the case that having a well-defined plan in place at the start of the project is worth the time and effort.

Data Day 2015
When: Monday, May 11, 8:45 am-1 pm
Where: Douglas Library
More information and register online

“Working with QUL early on can streamline the research process,” he says. “With a plan, you can avoid getting halfway through your project and realizing that you haven’t properly stored your interview transcripts or data sets, for example.”

Karina McInnis, Executive Director, University Research Services (URS), notes that the tri-council funding agencies will require researchers to submit a data management plan with their proposals in the future.  Jeff Moon, QUL Data Librarian, will provide an introduction to data management plans during his Data Day session (Graham George Seminar Room, second floor of Douglas Library, 10:45 am).

Ms. McInnis, along with Sharon Murphy, Head of Academic Services, QUL, Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer, and Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC, recently shared the tri-council and university perspective on data management planning at a conference hosted by the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI). The Queen’s group won best presentation at the conference.

“Data Day allows us to highlight the ways URS, the library and ITS have partnered to raise awareness and advance the services Queen’s offers to researchers to manage their data and make it accessible and reusable by the wider research community for years to come,” Ms. Murphy says.

Visit the Data Day 2015 website to view the complete program and register.

Asia-Pacific Diplomats come to Queen's

Queen's in the World

Queen’s University played host earlier this week to ambassadors and high commissioners from the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s Ambassadors' Forum, held on May 4, brought together 15 officials and high commissioners from countries such as Myanmar, Korea and New Zealand for a luncheon, presentation and discussion.

The Ambassadors' Forum was first held at Queen's in 2003. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Dr. Hok-Lin Leung, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, organizes the annual event, which was first held in 2003. The forum serves as a chance for the ambassadors to meet in a neutral setting to promote international dialogue and cooperation.

“There’s a lot of potential to build international relationships at the forum,” says Dr. Leung. “It’s an opportunity to showcase Queen’s and Canada’s talent, as well as to learn from other parts of the world.” 

After the luncheon, the officials listened to a talk by Scott Lawrence (Com’96), Managing Director of CPP Investment Board, who spoke about international investment strategies. Talks in previous years have covered topics such as Canadian identity, ocean management and international human rights.  

Along with the event held in Kingston, Dr. Leung also organizes an Ottawa meeting of this group of diplomats each year. 

Potential elementary school teachers’ strike

As many employees may be aware, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents Ontario’s 73,000 public elementary school teachers, has indicated that there will be "central strike” action commencing Monday, May 11. While schools will not be closed, administrative services will be withdrawn, and the ETFO will be in a legal strike position. We recognize that this may pose challenges for some Queen’s employees.

In the event that the ETFO commences a strike, staff will be expected to make alternate arrangements regarding the care of their children. Staff may have the option of using vacation leave, lieu time (when applicable), or leave without pay. In cases where it is operationally feasible to do so, managers may approve requests by employees to work from home and/or work flexible hours. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consideration of the operational requirements of the department.

Any employee or manager who has questions may contact the Client Services Team in Human Resources.

Sparking curiosity

Science Rendezvous is a free event and is open to children and their families. Join in the fun at the Rogers K-ROCK Centre and The Tragically Hip Way on Saturday, May 9 from 10 am to 3 pm.

This Saturday, downtown Kingston’s K-ROCK Centre will transform into a hive of science activity, complete with bats, bugs, snakes, robots and even a giant walk-through colon for Science Rendezvous Kingston.

Science Rendezvous immerses children from the community in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities that spark their curiosity Queen’s researchers are a fixture at the annual event and this year Tara Diesbourg (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies), Gillian Mackey (Chemistry), and Alvine Kamaha (Physics) will each host booths aimed at getting kids excited about STEM subjects.

“Children engage with topics early on and sometimes they will develop a negative attitude towards STEM subjects as early as the third grade,” says Lynda Colgan, Director of the Queen’s Community Outreach Centre and the woman behind Science Rendezvous’s roaring success in Kingston. “Science Rendezvous is a chance to give children an informal experience with science and stimulate their curiosity at the same time.”

Science Rendezvous events take place across Canada. Last year, Kingston’s Science Rendezvous had over 50 stations, 300 volunteers and over 3,750 visitors – making it the largest in Canada.

For Tara Diesbourg and her team in the Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab at Queen’s, their booth is inspired by this summer’s Pan-Am Games and will feature five stations which relate to different events at the Games.

Kids will be able to test their strength in a weightlifting simulation, which will show them a measure of their muscle activity. At a jump-themed station, participants can use a force plate to see how high they jump according to force – an important skill if you’re a basketball player or track and field athlete.

“We’re really hoping to captivate the kids who visit our booth and take part in our stations,” says Ms. Diesbourg, a PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “Our team of ten have created some cool activities for the kids, including an accelerometer attached to a tennis racket to test how fast they can swing it, and a rowing machine so they can measure the force exerted by their hands and feet.”

Gillian Mackey, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, has been making chemistry magic for the past five years at Science Rendezvous. This year, her booth will show kids safe chemistry experiments they can try at home.

Visitors to Ms. Mackey’s booth will see how  a solution of vinegar and salt can make a copper penny shine like new, and how that same solution can coat the surface of a screw in copper. Outside the K-ROCK Centre, kids will be able to blow bouncy bubbles and watch them bob away.

“I can’t wait to work with the kids and see how energetic they are,” says Ms. Mackey. “Each year, I’m astonished by their high energy and how excited they are to see chemistry at work.”

Taking a break from studying particle astrophysics, Alvine Kamaha is preparing a selection of displays to show the fun in physics.

This year, Ms. Kamaha has chosen two displays: a cloud chamber and a Kelvin water dropper – two physics experiments that can be recreated at home. The Kelvin water dropper uses falling water to generate voltage sparks and a cloud chamber shows signs of ionizing radiation as condensation is produced where charged particles have interacted.

“We chose these experiments because we wanted something that would attract the kids, would be simple to understand, and would be something they could recreate at home as we’ll give them two sheets with instructions,” says Ms. Kamaha. “They’ll also have the chance to build their own experiments in the booth that they can take home with them.”

Centre supports women studying off campus

For more than 40 years, the Ban Righ Centre (BRC) has served as an on-campus resource for women, especially mature women returning to Queen’s.

[Andrea Bennett]
Andrea Bennett, who lives on Manitoulin Island, has received support from the Ban Righ Centre while completing the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program. 

Students don’t necessarily have to visit the brown brick building on Bader Lane to access the centre’s services, though. In recent years, the centre has increased its efforts to support women who are completing their Queen’s degree online while juggling multiple responsibilities such as work and children.

“I am so fortunate that I found the Ban Righ Centre, which recognizes the hardships we have to battle against when we are down,” says Andrea Bennett, who is completing the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program while living on Manitoulin Island. “Ban Righ Centre staff are always there for me and seem to say the right thing even when I am in despair.”

Following the death of her husband, Ms. Bennett faced the challenge of raising four children along with work and school. She struggled financially because student aid wasn’t an option and she wasn’t eligible for government funding as a non-status Indian.

She never lost sight of her dream of becoming a teacher. The centre recently supported Ms. Bennett’s goal by presenting her with the Dorothy Matheson Parnell Bursary, which is awarded on the basis of financial need with a preference given to single mothers.

Drawing strength from other women

Like Ms. Bennett, Carrie Dean encountered obstacles that nearly derailed her post-secondary education dreams. Seventeen years after completing one year at Brock University, Ms. Dean resumed her studies and is currently completing her Queen’s psychology degree by distance.

Ms. Dean says she draws strength from the centre as she and her husband raise four children and she works full time as a clinical team secretary with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group.

[Carrie Dean]
Through her connection with the Ban Righ Centre, Carrie Dean has found strength knowing there are other women pursuing a post-secondary education while juggling multiple responsibilities.

“The Ban Righ Centre has reminded me that I am by no means alone in my pursuits,” says Ms. Dean, who received the Elizabeth Wallace Bursary from the Queen’s Women’s Association. “Simply knowing there are other women experiencing similar situations is comforting.”

Accessing education can be a real challenge for women with multiple responsibilities, says Ms. Morrison. While students on campus have more opportunities to learn about resources from their peers, women taking online courses may struggle to find the right service at the right time.

“To help bridge any existing gaps, the Ban Righ Centre is reaching out to women who are accessing online learning,” Ms. Morrison says. “In some cases, the centre has been able to provide over-the-phone advice and support as well as emergency bursaries.”

Ms. Bennett and Ms. Dean were recognized along with many other women at the centre’s spring celebration held May 2. The annual event celebrates the perseverance, courage and dedication of mature women at Queen’s who overcome barriers and juggle multiple roles while pursuing their education.

Visit the Ban Righ Centre website to learn more about the organization and the services it provides.  

Ready for any emergency

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency can make all the difference when the time comes to respond.

[Emergency Preparedness Booklet]
View the Responding to Emergencies booklet

Emergency Preparedness Week – May 3-9 – is a week designed to raise awareness about the importance of emergency planning and response.

At Queen’s, there are many people who contribute to ensuring a safe, healthy environment for students, staff and faculty and there are a number of valuable resources available, such as the Emergency Notification System.

“Emergencies can happen with little or no warning. Fortunately emergencies at Queen’s are rare events, but not unforeseeable,” says David Patterson, Director of Campus Security and Emergency Services, who suggests members of the Queen’s community review the Queen’s University Emergency Response Procedures. “By taking the time to review now it can assist you in remembering what to do in a serious, unexpected situation.”

Mr. Patterson points out that it’s a good idea to print a copy of the procedures for your desk or workplace. Queen’s also has to ensure that the university is prepared in the event of a broad range of emergencies.

For access to emergency information while on the go, download the SeQure app for your mobiles phone or follow Campus Security and Emergency Services on Twitter and on Facebook.  

Individualized workplace emergency response plans for employees who have a disability that requires accommodation can be found on the university’s Environmental Health and Safety website, as well as a template to create lab specific emergency response procedures.

Emergency Preparedness Week is also a good time to think about how you would respond to an emergency at home.

Information on how to prepare you and your family for an emergency is available at the following links:

Emergency Management Ontario

Get Prepared

Environment Canada Weather Office

Canadian Red Cross

St. John Ambulance

The Salvation Army 

A week to recognize and reflect on mental health efforts

[Caring Campus]
Student leaders from the Caring Campus Project meet with the team’s principal Investigators: (middle row, centre) Heather Stuart (centre left) Shu-Ping Chen and (centre right) Terry Krupa.

This week, May 4-10, is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada. At Queen’s, it’s a natural time to reflect on past challenges and recognize the progress students, faculty and staff have made in areas of mental health education and support. The university community has made a concerted effort to keep talking about mental health. The following is a roundup of many of the mental health initiatives and programs that were highlighted in the Gazette in the 2014-15 academic year.

April 17, 2015: ‘Paying it forward’ with mental health support fund

March 3, 2015: Chair boosts mental health awareness

Feb. 5, 2015: Easing the post-secondary transition  

Jan. 27, 2015: Taking the talk to the next level

Jan. 22, 2015: Student-athletes promote mental health awareness

Jan. 6, 2015: New online mental health resource aims to get more feet on the ground

Dec. 8, 2014: Mental health efforts backed by Jack.org

Dec. 3, 2014: Stressed out about exams? Help is available

Nov. 5, 2014: Creating a caring campus

Sept. 19, 2014: New workshop takes closer look at mental health

June 12, 2014: Continuing the talk on mental health

More information on mental health initiatives on campus is available from the Queen’s Mental Health Working Group.

 

 

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