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Queen's holds a special place in Cuddy's heart

This article is the second of three being written by Queen's Rector Mike Young on his experiences as he presides over Spring Convocation.

  • [Jim Cuddy honorary degree]
    Jim Cuddy speaks after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's University, his alma mater, on Wednesday, June 3.
  • [Jim Cuddy honorary degree]
    Jim Cuddy speaks after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's University, his alma mater, on Wednesday, June 3.
  • [Jim Cuddy honorary degree]
    Jim Cuddy receives his honorary degree from Queen's University Chancellor Jim Leech on Wednesday, June 3.
  • [Jim Cuddy honorary degree]
    Singer Jim Cuddy waits to receive an honorary degree from Queen's University, his alma mater, on Wednesday, June 3.
  • [Jim Cuddy honorary degree]
    Singer Jim Cuddy took some time on Wednesday to speak with Rector Mike Young about his experiences at Queen's University.

“You’re going to use your experiences at Queen’s in ways that right now, you can’t really fathom.”

That was Jim Cuddy, Artsci’83 and now LLD’15, when asked what he would want Queen’s students to know as he prepared to receive his honorary degree on Wednesday.

Beyond his life as an icon in Canadian music, Mr. Cuddy is an admirer of English literature, and says he is honoured to have the chance to share some wisdom with this year’s graduating class.

It was a homecoming of sorts for the Blue Rodeo co-founder and he says that Queen’s has helped shape his world in many different ways.

Kingston has been a regular stop for Mr. Cuddy over the years, whether it be to play a show, visit his son (who graduated last spring), or to play hockey in a beer league with some buddies, and he says each visit elicits the same feeling of nostalgia of a great fondness for his alma mater.

While at Queen’s, Mr. Cuddy was an extremely focused and diligent student and artist.

“It was a very productive time for me,” he says. “I played a lot of guitar and had a small group of friends. I had a really beautiful and peaceful time. It was the coming together of a lot of things for me.”

Harkening back to his time living on William Street, he described how his good friend and current Vice Chairman at MasterCard, Walter Macnee (Artsci ’77, B.Ed ’78), was one of the best musicians he’d ever met, and how Macnee served as one of his most impactful musical mentors.

“I would sit on his porch and wait for him to come home,” Mr. Cuddy explains, “and I begged him to give me lessons… I’d just get him to show me one thing, so I’d practice that all week, and I’d show up on the porch again.”

It was connections like this that Mr. Cuddy made while at Queen’s that served as the building blocks to his career as a musician.

Perhaps more surprising than his musical growth at Queen’s was the adoration he developed for the literature of Shakespeare and the Renaissance. When asked what he came away from Queen’s with, Mr. Cuddy cited a love for literature and time as the two most significant gifts.

“Time was very important because it allowed me to play guitar and contemplate all of these things I was learning,” he says. “But I think the really unexpected thing was that I really, really loved my studies.

“When I was in high school, I just did (my work) because you had to do it. But when I was here (at Queen’s)… I really was inspired by my professors… I did not think that I would get so wrapped up in it. I even contemplated, for a very short time, being an academic.”

Speaking about his related love for studying and developing the poetry and literature of music and lyrics, Mr. Cuddy feels that his love for literature and music are closely linked.

His being celebrated by Queen’s with an honorary degree is meaningful for him and he says that he is beginning to cherish the awards that look beyond the music and that celebrate, “how we’ve conducted our lives.”

Queen’s holds a special place for the Cuddy family as they pile up degrees and memories.

“To be honoured by an institution that graduated my parents, my wife, my son – my parents were married here by Padre Laverty – it’s very moving,” he says. “I have a very strong attachment to Queen’s. It means a lot to me.”

He wanted to leave Queen’s students with the following message:

“You have to appreciate that the way life is ordered now is not the way it’s going to end up being… You don’t know where life will lead you, but you will be ready.”

Queen's helps organize first Great Lakes Water Festival

  • [Great Lakes Water Fesitval]
    Grade 4 students from schools in the Kingston area learn about water conservation and stewardship with the help of Queen's students at the Great Lakes Water Festival.
  • [Great Lakes Water Fesitval]
    Grade 4 students from schools in the Kingston area learn about water conservation and stewardship with the help of Queen's students at the Great Lakes Water Festival.
  • [Great Lakes Water Fesitval]
    Grade 4 students from schools in the Kingston area learn about water conservation and stewardship with the help of Queen's staff and faculty at the Great Lakes Water Festival.

Elementary school students from across the Kingston area gathered at Lake Ontario Park on Thursday, June 4, for a day of fun and information on a broad range of topics involving water at the first Great Lakes Water Festival.

Through interactive and hands-on activities, students learned about water conservation and protection, water health and safety, water science and technology as well as water and society . 

Queen’s University helped organize the event along with KFL&A Public Health, Utilities Kingston, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Limestone District School Board, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Provincial Police, Sustainable Kingston and the Katarokwi Indigenous Grandmothers Council.

Queen's student the People's Choice at national 3MT

Cara (Chenman) Yin has given Queen’s University its first award at the national level of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT).

[Cara (Chenman) Yin]
Queen's University's Cara (Chenman) Yin has won the People's Choice Award at the national competition of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT).

Ms. Yin, a master’s student in physics, captured the People's Choice Award for her presentation “Seeing the world at the tip of a laser beam,” which encapsulates her ongoing research into using lasers to cut bone and improve outcomes in brain surgery. Voting for the award was conducted online.

Making the win all the more impressive is that Ms. Yin is an international student, who, when she first arrived in Kingston for her undergraduate studies, spoke very little English.

In the 3MT, competitors have just three minutes and one static slide to convey their research to the judges and audience.

Having advanced through the preliminary and final rounds at Queen’s, as well as the provincials, before reaching the national competition, Ms. Yin says she entered the 3MT as a fun challenge for herself. Although she says she was nervous to begin with, she gained strength and refined her presentation with each round.

“By the time of the Queen's finals, I was more confident about what I had to say in that three minutes. And I am very lucky to have family, friends and the Queen's physics department to cheer me on which really calmed me,” she says. “For the Ontario final, I really wanted to do well because I am not just representing myself but also Queen's. Queen's School of Graduate Studies helped me prep for the provincial competition which was extremely valuable.”

Judging for the national competition was based on videos of the presentations at the provincial competition.

Her accomplishment is also being lauded by the university.

“We are delighted that Cara has been recognized with the People’s Choice Award in the Canadian Three Minute Thesis competition. She represented Queen’s University brilliantly with her clear, informative and engaging presentation that landed her the majority of the more than 2,000 votes submitted from across the country,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “ In three minutes Cara has educated many people about how lasers may be used as a neurosurgical tool with the potential to improve outcomes and she has provided a glimpse into the incredible research that our graduate students are doing.”  

Ms. Yin is grateful for the support she received from the Queen’s community and beyond.

“Winning the national People's Choice Award was a nice surprise. I should thank those who used social media like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word,” she says. “I am very grateful for the whole 3MT experience and highly encourage other graduate students to participate in future years.” 

First place went to Elizabeth Watt, a physics and astronomy student from University of Calgary, while second went to Rebecca (Delong) Dielschneider who is studying immunology at the University of Manitoba.

The announcement of the results and videos of all 11 presentations can be viewed at the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies website.

Richard Reznick reappointed Health Sciences dean

Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf recently announced the reappointment of Richard Reznick as dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences for a second five-year term effective July 1, 2015.

“The Faculty of Health Sciences has developed a considerably broader profile in the health sciences community under Dr. Reznick’s leadership,” Principal Woolf says. “I am pleased that Dr. Reznick will continue his efforts to build strong relationships with Kingston’s three hospitals and foster a supportive connection with students in the faculty.”

[Richard Reznick]
Under Dr. Richard Reznick's leadership, the Faculty of Health Sciences has worked to intensify research activities and develop new models of teaching and training.

Over the past five years, the Faculty of Health Sciences has attracted some of the brightest students in Canada and actively recruited outstanding faculty. Many of the new faculty were recruited via a special initiative, which has brought a cadre of clinician scientists to Queen’s. 

The faculty has worked hard on its goals of intensifying research and developing new models of teaching and training. In the past few years, new programs such as the multidisciplinary Master of Science in Healthcare Quality, a combined MD/PhD program, a functional anatomy boot camp, the Queen’s University Clinician Investigator Program, and the Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) have been initiated.

Dr. Reznick, a professor in the Department of Surgery, completed his medical degree at McGill University and later graduated from the general-surgery training program at the University of Toronto. He completed a master of education degree at Southern Illinois University then did a fellowship in colorectal surgery at the University of Texas in Houston.

Connect with the dean
Dr. Reznick uses a variety of communications channels to recognize the accomplishments of faculty members and connect with stakeholders. Each week he writes a post for the Dean on Campus blog and he is active on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more about Dr. Reznick on the Faculty of Health Sciences website.

As dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Reznick serves as the chief executive officer of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Association (SEAMO).  He is also currently a member of the boards of Kingston General Hospital, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Providence Care.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University boasts a unique structure that encompasses the schools of MedicineNursing and Rehabilitation Therapy. The collaborative culture fostered by this structure is a key contributor to the individual successes of the three schools, and to the collective success of the faculty. The unified strategic direction of the faculty encompasses targeted and collaborative research, new models of inter-professional education and training, and patient-centred care.

Convocation ceremonies enter second week

  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Principal Daniel Woolf, left, Chancellor Jim Leech, centre, and Rector Mike Young, preside over Monday's convocation ceremony.
  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Friends and family gathered at the Athletics and Recreation Centre for the convocation ceremony on Monday.
  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Graduands from the Queen's School of Business do an impromptu 'Oil Thigh' at Monday's convocation ceremony.
  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Yolande Chan, Associate Vice-Principal (Research), congratulates a PhD recipient at Monday's convocation ceremony.
  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Due to the number of graduates in the Queen's Bachelor of Commerce program, the convocation ceremony was held at the ARC.
  • [Queen's Convocation]
    Chancellor Jim Leech presides over Monday's convocation ceremony at Queen's University's Athletics and Recreation Centre.

Convocation at Queen’s University continued on Monday, with a second week of ceremonies getting under way.

There are a total of 21 ceremonies this spring with the final ceremony taking place Thursday, June 11.

A number of honorary degrees are being awarded this week including: Lyse Doucet (Wednesday, June 3 at 10 am); Jim Cuddy (Wednesday, June 3 at 2:30 pm); Alexander McComber (Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 pm); John MacGregor (Thursday, June 4 at 10 am); and David John Mullan (Friday, June 5 at 2:30 pm).

For the full schedule, visit the University Registrar’s website.

Comprehensive report addresses sexual assault on campus

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group releases a detailed report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual assault, as well as a draft policy.

The university’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG) has released a detailed report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual assault, as well as a draft sexual misconduct policy for the university. A team will be established to exercise oversight of, and set priorities and timelines for, the implementation of the report’s recommendations, working in consultation with the working group and its policy sub-committee.

“The university takes sexual assault extremely seriously, and I am pleased that the working group has been able to expedite its report,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I want to thank the members of the working group and the policy sub-committee for their efforts. The work, however, does not stop here – a team will now be assembled and tasked with prioritizing the recommendations and developing an implementation plan. I expect this process will also be conducted expeditiously.”

The report includes 11 strategic objectives, from integrating and profiling support and advocacy services, to improving institutional and public accountability.

Recommendations associated with the objectives include:

  • Establishing a central, visible and welcoming sexual assault centre;
  • Raising the profile of all sexual assault support services;
  • Clarifying and communicating the roles of various university personnel responsible for first response;
  • Standardizing academic accommodations processes;
  • Broadly targeting our diverse student body with more effective prevention education programming;
  • Incorporating educational opportunities for academic and non-academic departments; and
  • Developing a comprehensive, stand-alone sexual assault policy.

“The report, recommendations and draft policy represent the culmination of months of research, planning, and consultation with the Queen’s community, and examination of best practices across the sector,” says Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning) and chair of the SAPRWG.

The policy builds on an interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol, established by the working group in December 2014. The policy will go through the university’s governance approval process, first to the Senate and then to the Board of Trustees, likely in the fall. Releasing the policy as a draft will allow the university to gather feedback from the university community.

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison is establishing the team that will prioritize recommendations and set timelines for next steps.

In addition, the policy sub-committee will continue its work on the sexual misconduct procedures over the summer, with the goal of having them approved and in place by the end of 2015.

The university is also well positioned to meet the requirements of the provincial government’s Provincial Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment and any associated legislation.

Click here to read the SAPRWG report.

Click here to view the SAPRWG website.

Taking up the Commuter Challenge

Hundreds of members of the Queen’s community are leaving their cars at home this week, opting instead to walk, cycle or bus to work. They’re taking part in the annual Commuter Challenge, a national weeklong competition that encourages people to find an alternative way driving alone to get to work.

[Commuter Challenge]
As part of the Commuter Challenge, Queen's University will be hosting the Roll-in Breakfast on Tuesday morning. (University Communications)

Queen’s is taking part again this year and is encouraging everyone participating to log their travels at commuterchallenge.ca. From there, participants can see the greenhouse gas emissions they’ve avoided, the calories they’ve burned, and track how well the university, Kingston and the province are doing as well.

“The Commuter Challenge brings awareness to how easy it can be to find an alternative form of transportation,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager. “Whether it’s walking, cycling, using public transport or carpooling, we hope the event gets people to reconsider how they get to work.”

Along with helping the environment and getting some exercise, there’s a reputation to uphold as well. Queen’s was the city’s largest participating group last year and Kingston has taken first place in its size category for three years running. Last year alone, Kingstonians responded to the Commuter Challenge by travelling more than 37,000 km by using active transportation and those changes saved 2,475 L of fuel and prevented the emission of 5,702 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr. Ball says that each person who participates can add up to a big effect on our environmental impact.

“At Queen’s the average commuter produces 2-3 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, so anyone we can convince to change that, even part-time, has a large effect. Your heart will thank you for the changes you make as well.”

To make cycling to work easier, the university is holding a “roll-in breakfast” on Tuesday morning at University and Union, passing out coffee and breakfast foods. The Sustainability Office is being joined by the Alma Mater Society and Athletics and Recreation at the breakfast station to help pour coffee and share tips on going green and getting your weekly 150.

Even people not cycling to work on Tuesday are encouraged to come to the booth to sign up for campus’ new bicycle registration system. The online database, which was created by three Computer Science students, aims to deter bicycle theft by letting anyone with a NetID register their bike using their serial number, a photograph and recording other distinguishing features.

FIT TIPS: Be an active commuter and Get Your 150

The Kingston Commuter Challenge is May 31 to June 6. This week-long event encourages employees and community members to use active and sustainable forms of transportation (such as walking, taking transit, cycling etc) instead of driving. For the last three years, Kingston commuters have achieved the highest participation rate of a city our size in Canada!

Cycling to work is a great way to Get Your 150 and burn several hundred calories while improving your cardiovascular functioning, leg strength, balance and coordination, plus improvements in mood, and can help with weight management. Take advantage of these great health benefits while being an active commuter. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!

To find out how you can win great prizes and take part in the Kingston Commuter Challenge from May 31 to June 6 visit www.gogaelsgo.com


Rector at Convocation: Memories that will last a lifetime

The following is the first in a series of three articles by Queen's University Rector Mike Young on his experiences during convocation.

  • [Rector Mike Young]
    Rector Mike Young speaks during one of the Spring Convocation ceremonies held May 22, 2015.
  • [Rector Mike Young]
    Rector Mike Young stands as Chancellor Jim Leech makes his way to the stage in Grant Hall.
  • [Rector Mike Young]
    Rector Mike Young speaks to the gathered graduands and their family and friends at Grant Hall.

Queen’s University does a lot of things really, really well.

A convocation ceremony in Grant Hall serves as one of the best examples of something very special that we have going on at Queen’s. A total of 21 ceremonies in the spring and a handful more in November provide graduating students, and lucky people like me who get to take part, with a magical farewell celebration in our most iconic Queen’s landmark.

Let me give you an idea of what a typical convocation day looks like through the eyes of one of the three folks on stage sitting in thrones:

For the morning ceremonies, which all begin at 10 am, I show up to Kingston Hall’s Red Room with the rest of the Chancellor’s procession at about 9:30 am. I pick up my script for the ceremony (which at this point doesn’t feel entirely necessary as I could recount a ceremony in my sleep) and jump into my Rector robe. After a few moments of getting settled, it is my job as honorary convocation drill sergeant to get our procession into the proper form, ready to enter Grant Hall.

The next part has always been one of my favourites. After we are all set to go, the bagpipes start singing as we line up and watch the students exit Kingston Hall with smiles on their faces as they proceed towards Grant, before following them and their faculty members in attendance. The walk outside from Kingston to Grant Hall is often a time where I reflect on how special the day is for the soon-to-be graduates about to convocate. It is during this walk that I get energized for each and every ceremony, whether it be the first or the 21st.

After the students and faculty have made their way into the gorgeous convocation hall, I get to lead the Chancellor’s procession as the organist plays “Flourish for the Chancellor” – a tune that sends shivers throughout my body every time I hear it – that comes to its apex as I walk up the stairs, reach my seat, and turn around to face graduates and guests. The Chancellor and Principal assume their seats next to me, we sing “God Save the Queen” (a song that I had to pretend I knew the words to for the first dozen ceremonies), and then we sit.

Sitting in that big throne is quite the experience. It’s much more comfortable than you might think, though I’ve yet to figure out where to rest my hands. Sitting on that stage, in that seat, in those robes, is something I can’t properly put into words. Convocation is arguably the happiest day of many graduates’ lives, and I get to be one of the first to congratulate them on their immense accomplishments. As if shaking the hands of our newest alumni wasn’t enough, I also have the honour of speaking at convocation, at which point I will highlight the importance of the support provided by family members and friends throughout one’s university experience.

From students who decide to take a selfie with the Chancellor, to a student last week who was less of a hand-shaker and more of a hugger, to a student overcome with joy and tears in their eyes – it just never gets old or less enjoyable.

Add to this that I get to meet some of Canada’s and the world’s finest individuals when it comes to guest speakers and honorary degree recipients, and I trust it becomes clear – Queen’s Convocation is unlike anything else. As an undergraduate student coming out of my fourth year, it’s especially surreal that I will be watching so many of my classmates walk across that stage.

In my robes, and on my throne, I’ll be waiting – with a huge, uncontrollable smile on my face.

See you soon, class of 2015!

Mike Young is the Rector of Queen's University. He is the 34th person to hold the position.

Take the Queen’s Alumni Review readership survey

Queen’s faculty, staff and students are invited to take part in the Queen’s Alumni Review readership survey, which runs from May 28 to June 15. The Review is mailed to Queen’s alumni and friends worldwide, and is also available across campus. The current issue features Queen’s students, staff, faculty and alumni who are changing the way we think about mental health. Feedback from the survey will help to shape the magazine’s content in the future. If you are not currently on the Review email circulation list, and wish to participate in the survey, email review@queensu.ca


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