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Steam Shutdown - Botterell Hall

A steam shutdown is scheduled for the Cancer Research Institute on Thursday, May 21st between 3 -5 pm.

A steam shutdown is scheduled for the Cancer Research Institute on Thursday, May 21st between 3 pm and 5 pm while a Physical Plant Services steamfitter repairs a steam leak. During the shutdown period, there will be no steam available to the autoclave on the B2 level of Botterell and there will be no heat in the MRI unit (fans will be shutdown).

Any questions about this shutdown should be directed to Fixit by phone at extension 77301 or by e-mail.

Heading back to class boosts managers' skillset

The most recent cohort of Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program officially ended last week, but the relationships the participants forged over the past 16 months will continue well into the future.

[HR foundational leadership presentation]
Team members Nicole Fowler, Carole Morrison, Tom Herra, Sandra Brooks and David Crabb present their project to the panel including Steven Liss, Caroline Davis, Ann Tierney and Mary Elms during the graduation ceremony on May 15.

“I found it really beneficial getting to know managers across different units,” says Sandra Brooks, Manager, User Support Specialists, ITServices, and one of 28 program participants. “By working with other people, I saw the similarities in our managerial experiences, as well as some of the challenges others face.”

The comprehensive program helps managers develop their leadership and management skills through 14 full-day classroom sessions. Applying the skills they develop in class, the participants form teams and develop a project that supports an aspect of the university’s strategic framework. They presented their work to a panel of senior university administrators during their graduation event on May 15.

Mary Elms, Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, Human Resources, is continually impressed by the hard work and effort the participants dedicate to the program. The three cohorts of the program have produced managers who are more confident in their capabilities, according to Ms. Elms.

“We are really focused on leadership development as one aspect of our strategic approach to managing talent at the university,” she says. “Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program is one of our most successful programs, bringing about transformational change in many of our managers.”

After earning his certificate, Matt Simpson looked back fondly on the mad scramble he often performed before the leadership classes.

“The funny part about this pre-class anxiety ritual, personally, was that not a day went by that I didn’t end up feeling great about myself, the skills I was introduced to, or the personal connections I made with my peers,” says Mr. Simpson, Manager, Education Technology Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences. “We all have busy lives, both professionally and personally. We have been fortunate enough to have an opportunity to take some time for personal development and invest in ourselves.”

Visit the Human Resources website to learn more about the Queen’s Foundational Leadership Program.

Flags lowered for Stanley Corbett

Flags on campus are currently lowered for Adjunct Assistant Professor Stanley Corbett (BA’66, MA’72, PhD’82, Law’95), Associate Dean, (Academic), for the Faculty of Law. He passed away on Monday, May 18.

Stanley Corbett

With links to Queen’s University stretching over five decades, Dr. Corbett began his studies in mathematics before moving to philosophy for his post-graduate degrees. After several years at Acadia University, he returned to Queen’s to earn a law degree and worked as an adjunct professor in philosophy and law before becoming a full-time member of the Faculty of Law in 1997.

Dr. Corbett was the faculty’s longest serving associate dean, initially taking up the position in 2008. He was also the academic director of the faculty’s Global Law Programs at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in England, where he taught a course in Public International Law.

He was a member of the affiliated faculty with the Queen's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, a sessional lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and taught courses in the School of Policy Studies.

Dr. Corbett was a three-time winner of the Law Students’ Society teaching award.

A celebration of life will be held in the summer.

Getting a writing boost at Dissertation Boot Camp

[Kathrin Tyryshkin]
Kathrin Tyryshkin got the support she needed to finish writing her dissertation at the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies’ Dissertation Boot Camp. The next Boot Camp is scheduled for June 8-12. (University Communications)

Before even defending her PhD in Computer Science, Kathrin Tyryshkin had two job offers – one in industry, and one at a Queen’s department (the one she ultimately took).

Dr. Tyryshkin surely chose a timely field and stayed the course with diligence in publishing, conferencing and teaching, but she credits at least part of her success to Queen’s School of Graduate Studies’ Dissertation Boot Camp.

The primary aim of the five-day Dissertation Boot Camp is for participants to write and make substantial headway on their thesis. The majority of the time is spent writing, with breaks for snacks, lunch, and structured group discussions about topics relevant to thesis writers.

As a computer scientist working in the field of biomedical computing, Dr. Tyryshkin loves analyzing data, but has never been particularly fond of writing.

“I struggled to find motivation to write,” she says of that component of the PhD work. But “from the first moment of Boot Camp, there’s something in the air, and you understand that you’re going to start right now. You don’t want to check your email or phone. You no longer feel obligated to think of planning what’s for supper. You have permission to just be in the zone.”

Beyond having the pressure of endless everyday decisions lifted and absorbing the motivationally charged atmosphere, it was a consultation with Student Academic Success Services’ Liz Parsons that made a big difference to Dr. Tyryshkin’s writing approach.

“Liz had me plan out the tasks I had in store and write down beside each one the time it would take,” she says. “I added it up and said: this won’t work.”

Dr. Tyryshkin reorganized though, and then work she most certainly did.

After her fourth and final Boot Camp, Dr. Tyryshkin went to the library every day for a month until she was finished writing. When it came time to share the results with the people who cared the most – her thesis examiners, including co-supervisors Janice Glasgow (School of Computing) and Stephen Scott (Neuroscience; Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) – the quality of Dr. Tyryshkin’s writing made the difference between a stressful event and one that the newly-minted PhD genuinely enjoyed.

“My defence was a great experience. The committee complimented my written work, saying it was enjoyable to read,” she says. “I’m grateful to Dissertation Boot Camp for that.”

Recognizing the importance of being nice to your reader, she says simply: “A good thesis equals a good defence.”

Now, Dr. Tyryshkin is working for Queen’s Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine performing various genetic data analyses for pathologists and clinicians, as well as mentoring some graduate students. She is also teaching a second year Computer Science course for which she had been the TA for a number of years. By looking at things such as gene expression and protein expression, researchers can discover differences in things such as treatment prognosis and differences between subgroups of cancer – perhaps enabling the administration of targeted therapies.

The next Dissertation Boot Camp is scheduled for June 8-12. Registration will open in mid-May.

Registration forms can be found at queensu.ca/sgs/dissertation-bootcamp. Once complete the form can be returned to Colette Steer, School of Graduate Studies, Gordon Hall, room 425 or by email.


Lives Lived: A social view of the world and education

Howard A. Smith, B. Sc. (University of New Brunswick, 1964), Educational Diploma, Class I (McGill, 1965), M. A. (University of Toronto, 1969), Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1972), began his long career in education as a secondary school teacher at Baron Byng High School in what was then the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (1965-1967). From 1967 to 1971, he engaged his academic career in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

[Howard Smith]
Howard Smith

His career at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education, began in 1971 where he became a Full Professor in 2002, and Professor Emeritus in 2008. He served a term as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs in the 1990s. His contributions to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University helped shape the faculty’s vision and program for 37 years.

Howard noted his research interests as: Educational psychology as a science of signs, applied semiotics in learning and education, and multiple “intelligences” or ways of learning Charles S. Peirce. He was the recipient of numerous grants, of which four were from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), as either principal investigator or co-investigator. Howard wrote two significant books Psychosemiotics  (2001): Peter Lang, and Teaching adolescents: Educational Psychology as a science of signs (2007): University of Toronto Press. His work was also widely disseminated through peer reviewed journals and national and international conferences.

Howard was an avid outdoor person who enjoyed hiking and other outdoor activities. His interest in photography was paired with his interest in nature. He was a founding director and president of New Leaf Link (NeLL), “a non-profit charitable organization that supports the continuing education and meaningful occupation of youth and adults with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum conditions, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injury, and other neurological conditions” (newleaflink.ca).

Howard’s social view of the world and education made a difference in the lives of many individuals.

- Ann Marie Hill is a Professor at the Faculty of Education. She was a colleague, research partner, and friend of Howard A. Smith.

People of Queen's: Keeping Queen's sustainable

[Aaron Ball]
Aaron Ball is Queen’s Sustainability Manager and says that one of the great things about his job is working with students who are eager to make a difference. (University Communications)

Aaron Ball’s face lights up when he talks about the work he does with students.

“One of the greatest things about this job is that there’s a ton of interaction with students,” says Mr. Ball, who has been Queen’s Sustainability Manager since 2008. “They’re full of energy, they’re bright, intellectual and super engaged. I get to feed off that energy.”

As Sustainability Manager, Mr. Ball works regularly with Queen’s student governments to put into action the campaigns and initiatives they plan and with classes as they imagine and design solutions to major sustainability challenges. It’s just one part of a job that has him working to reduce the energy consumption, waste output and improve the overall environmental impact of campus.  

While technological changes and efficiency improvements can have a large impact on campus’ carbon footprint, Mr. Ball’s office typically focuses on changes that can happen at an individual level.

“We often focus on everyday behavioural changes, because these are easy for people to change,” he says. “To make our programs and initiatives successful, we need the buy-in and cooperation of other units on campus. We’re rarely in a position where we develop and launch something on our own.”

An alumnus of Queen’s, Mr. Ball (Artsci’01) returned to campus three years after graduating to begin working in Physical Plant Services. As one of campus’ assistant area managers, he oversaw the custodial work and maintenance of buildings like Stauffer Library and Gordon Hall. Interested in sustainability, he put into practice a green cleaning program for those buildings, and jumped at the chance to work as sustainability manager when the position was created.

Since the office’s creation, he’s worked to keep the university’s environmental impact in check, even as campus has grown to include new buildings like the Queen’s Centre and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The key to making a more sustainable campus, he says, is by letting the people who work and study at Queen’s have their say.

“It’s important to an overall sustainability strategy for the entire community to get involved, think about it and change their behaviour in small ways. Ultimately, it’s a group effort.”

That’s the key to the sustainability office’s most recent undertaking to improve waste diversion from landfills. Their posters and materials remind people to take special care when sorting garbage and recycling because “one mistake makes the entire bin garbage.” 

It’s not the last campaign of its kind that Mr. Ball hopes to run, and he knows his work won’t be over anytime soon. 

“There’s no silver bullet for sustainability,” he says. “There’s always more to be done, better solutions and an endless variety of challenges.”

A tale of tested traditions

In the early 20th century, female Queen’s students participated in an initiation ceremony every October in Grant Hall. The upper-year students lit the younger students’ candles that were adorned with tricolour ribbons. After blowing out the candles, the first-year students examined where the wax fell on the ribbon to determine who they would marry: gold for an engineer, blue for a medical student, and red for an arts student.

[Duncan McDowall]
University Historian Duncan McDowall sits in his writing space in the Queen's Archives surrounded by the thousands of documents he used to research the third volume of Queen's official history. Queen's University, Volume III, 1961-2004: Testing Tradition will be published in 2016.

The antiquated tradition eventually changed with the emergence of second wave feminism in the 1960s. As female students increasingly regarded Queen’s as a place to get a top-notch education rather than meet their future husband, the ceremony evolved into a celebration of women.

This challenge to tradition is just one of many that occurred at Queen’s between 1961 and 2004, the period University Historian Duncan McDowall covers in the third volume of Queen’s official history, which will be published in early 2016.

“In the book, which I have titled Testing Traditions, I document a lot of these tensions,” says Dr. McDowall, who started the project in 2010. “People were asking: ‘Why do we keep these traditions? Do these traditions sustain us or do they obstruct our future? Should we jettison them or simply modify them to the times?’”

In a sense, Dr. McDowall even “tested the tradition” of official Queen’s histories. From the outset, Dr. McDowall knew that he wanted to take a broader, livelier approach to writing the university’s history than his mentor and former Queen’s professor Frederick Gibson, who wrote Queen's University, Volume II, 1917-1961: To Serve And Yet Be Free, and Hilda Neatby, author of Queen's University, Volume I, 1841-1917: And Not to Yield.

“I am not faulting Fred. History, like any other discipline at the university, has changed over the past 30 years,” Dr. McDowall says. “What’s missing from the two previous volumes is any sense of the cultural and social ethos of the university and what it was like to be a student, a professor or even an electrician at Queen’s. I hope I have brought some of that perspective into this volume.”

The volume is still an institutional history, though, and Dr. McDowall doesn’t ignore the significant contributions the administration, Board of Trustees and Senate made to the direction of Queen’s. In addition to chapters focused on the various principal tenures, Dr. McDowall intersperses the books with sections on student and faculty life, town-gown relations, and Queen’s opening up to the growing diversity of Canadian society in the 1980s and 1990s.

“People were asking: ‘Why do we keep these traditions? Do they sustain us or do they obstruct our future? Should we jettison them or simply modify them to the times?’”
University Historian Duncan McDowall

Dr. McDowall spent two years plowing through thousands of documents in the rich collections of the Queen’s Archives and interviewing hundreds of people. When it came time to write the book, he hunkered down in an office on the top floor of Queen’s Archives, which gave him easy access to material when he needed to check a fact or detail.

“The project was a delight because the Queen’s Archives is just the best in Canada,” he says. “I was surrounded by limestone in my little writing room in the Archives, which was very atmospheric. I liked writing here because I could come to work every day and watch the daily rhythm of Queen’s life unfold in the Medical Quad below my window.”

McGill-Queen’s University Press will publish Testing Traditions in early 2016 to coincide with the university’s 175th anniversary. Even though he is breathing a bit easier these days with the book off at the publisher, Dr. McDowall certainly isn’t taking it easy. Throughout the summer, he will write short entries for 175 seminal moments in Queen’s history. The major project will serve to engage alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members leading up to the university’s anniversary next year

Half a century of stellar service

[Hans Metz]
Hans Metz, Technical Services Manager in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, received a 50-year ring at the Celebration of Service on Tuesday, May 12.

Back in 2010 when he was recognized for his 45 years of service at Queen’s University, Hans Metz said he planned on attending his 50-year service dinner as well.

On Tuesday, he did just that.

Mr. Metz (Arts'71), the Technical Services Manager in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, was among the 154 people recognized at the Celebration of Service for reaching 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of employment at Queen’s. Mr. Metz was the lone member of the 50-year club while five Queen’s employees reached the 45-year mark – Professor Donald Akenson (History); Perry Conrad (Physical Plant Services); Bonnie McCalpin (Obstetrics and Gynaecology); Frederic Post (Biology); and Arlie Redmond (Stauffer Library).

Mr. Metz arrived at Queen’s in 1965 and since then has been responsible for the technical activities and physical resources of what was then known as the Department of Biochemistry. Some of the tasks he has undertaken to support researchers in their work include maintaining complex pieces of equipment, creating technical drawings, designing a departmental magazine and even glass blowing to create lab equipment.

It has been an ideal job for someone who is always busy working on something, tinkering, keeping busy.

“It’s been total fun,” he says about the work. “Everything and anything, whatever.”

However, one of the keys to his longevity at the university, as well as his youthful outlook, has been his connection with graduate students, even today.

“In the early days I used to go skiing every weekend in New York and loaded a car full of grad students who wanted to go skiing,” he says. “So they’ve always been my comrades. They don’t get older and if you have lots of fun with them, you’re one of them.”

Though Mr. Metz will officially be retiring at the end of May, he says he will be making himself available to help out whenever needed.

Visit the Human Resources website to view a complete list of employees who were honoured at this year’s Celebration of Service dinner.

FIT TIPS: Live, laugh, play

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.

Make physical activity fun and enjoyable as well as social.

Join a Queen’s intramural team and take advantage of the beautiful outdoor weather Kingston experiences.  Instead of going for a walk, run or bike ride on your own, invite a friend or make physical activity a family outing.

Backyards, schoolyards and parks are meant for exploring; trees are meant for climbing; sprinklers are meant for running through; and mud puddles are meant for stomping in.

Remember your childhood fun or help create new childhood memories for you and your children and get outside and play!

Making her own mark

Andrea Gunn
After four editions as the editor, Andrea Gunn feels she has put her own mark on the Queen’s Alumni Review. (University Communications)

Andrea Gunn has her dream job.

With four editions already under her byline, Ms. Gunn is the new editor of the Queen’s Alumni Review, the quarterly magazine that helps connect thousands of alumni across the globe with each other as well as with what is happening at the university.

Back in August, when she moved into the editor’s chair, it marked a major career accomplishment that also came with some trepidation.

Ms. Gunn isn’t exactly new to the magazine. She started working at Queen’s in 2008 and a year later joined the QAR as the Keeping in Touch editor.

“I was elated. It really was, and is, my dream job,” she says. “It was a little bit scary because I know the two most recent editors and my immediate predecessor was on the job for 28 years. So I knew I had some big shoes to fill and at the same time I need to carry on a tradition while making my own mark on the magazine.”

And she has already started making that mark.

Under Ms. Gunn’s editorship, the magazine has taken on a more graphic-style of design, employing new ways of delivering information and stories. She also points out that each edition is being centred on a different theme.

“We started a graphic redesign last year that has really started to bloom. We’re focusing a lot of our resources on great graphics, big photos that tell a great story, and illustrations,” she says. “But we’re also being more thoughtful with our stories and our story curation. For instance, our upcoming May edition is focused on mental health and it’s a weighty topic but I wanted to show various pieces of the mental health story – what’s important to talk about, what Queen’s researchers are doing in different fields, what Queen’s students are doing in terms of peer support – so, really telling different aspects of a larger story.”

Visit the Queen's Alumni Review website.

At the same time there is an increasing use of the QAR’s website but instead of simply posting the stories from the magazine Ms. Gunn is utilizing the strengths of the medium to complement the print version. In the August edition, she explains, she wrote a profile of an alumnus who is a composer and conductor.  In addition, exclusive to the website, she published an interview with the alumnus done by a recent School of Music graduate. Those interested could read the printed story, the online interview, or get the full experience by reading both.

Another new step is that there will be an online-only edition of the magazine this fall, which Ms. Gunn says offers her an opportunity to explore new ways of delivering information through video, audio and photo albums.

However, the print version of the QAR is here to stay, she adds.

“I don’t see the print issue going away. People really like having a print university magazine,” she says. “It still bucks the trend of the dying of print magazines. People still like to have the magazine in their hands or on their coffee table.”

From the feedback she has received so far, it is clear that QAR readers remain engaged and are always eager to hear the stories of their university, their community.

“The role of the QAR is, I think, to inform and engage the readers on what is happening at Queen’s today as well as providing a conduit for them to share their news with their Queen’s friends,” she says. “So I want to inform them about research, about student works, faculty work, and keep them excited about what is happening at Queen’s.”

Yet she also doesn’t want to give readers information they already know and that means having her finger on the pulse of life at the university, from new programs and graduate student research to new forms of teaching and the ups and downs of the greater Queen’s family.

The next edition of the QAR will be published May 19. Along with home delivery for alumni, issues are available at various locations across Queen’s.


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