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    A new acquisition for the Agnes

    Jacquelyn N. Coutré remembers what it felt like when she learned that she had successfully acquired an important Old Master painting for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

    “I felt tremendous exhilaration,” she recalls. “There may have been a little dance in my office as well.”

    [Ruth and Naomi]
    JanVictors, Ruth and Naomi, 1653, oil on canvas, 108.6 x 137.2 cm, Purchase, Bader Acquisition Fund, 2015 (58-002). Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s, Inc.

    For Dr. Coutré, the acquisition of the painting by Jan Victors, entitled  Ruth and Naomi, is a significant one for a number of reasons. Not only is it the first painting by the artist to enter into the gallery’s permanent collection, it also rounds out the scope of its Old Master works – specifically those by Rembrandt and his followers.

    While Dr. Coutré, the Bader Curator and Researcher of European Art at the Agnes, says it is unclear whether Victors studied formally with Rembrandt around 1640, the painting, which was created in 1653, certainly takes elements of his style in its gestures and facial expressions.

    Ruth and Naomi depicts a scene from the Old Testament’s Book of Ruth (1:15-17) in which the widowed Israelite Naomi urges her widowed Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, to return to her people to find a new husband. Ruth, however, vows to stand by Naomi as widows related by marriage, even though it means that Ruth could forgo remarrying and having a family.

    “Victors has captured just this moment, when Ruth pledges her allegiance to Naomi, and the latter struggles to accept her decision. It really pares down a complicated narrative to the most essential emotional moment of the story,” Dr. Coutré explains.

    While Rembrandt was working on a small scale, Ruth and Naomi is an impressive 109 x 137 cm – a large painting by the standards of the day.

    “When you think about Dutch paintings, they tend to be small because they had to fit in tall, narrow Dutch homes,” she says. “This painting would have made a statement in a variety of ways, not the least of which is because of its size.”

    The painting, which was purchased with the support of the Bader Acquisition Fund, has special significance because it was a work that Dr. Alfred Bader himself had once wished to purchase at auction in 1988.

    “At the time, he went for another painting that is now in the Agnes collection,” says Dr. Coutré, “but he had always regretted not buying it. It stayed in his mind. So he was excited when he saw that it was coming up at auction. It was really the fulfillment of one of his collecting desires.”

    While Dr. Coutré and Dr. Bader discussed the possibility of acquiring Ruth and Naomi for the Agnes collection together, it was she who put in the successful bid on behalf of the gallery. “I really wanted it,” she says happily of her first acquisition since stepping into her role at the Agnes in April of this year. “It’s simply a gorgeous painting.”

    Dr. Coutré anticipates that Ruth and Naomi will be exhibited for the first time in the summer of 2017 as part of an exhibition celebrating Dr. Bader’s many years as an art collector and marking his 50-year relationship with the Agnes.

    For more about Ruth and Naomi, visit the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s website.

    New faculty welcomed to Queen's

    • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
      Recently-arrived faculty were informed about the resources and support available at Queen's University through New Faculty Orientation Day.
    • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
      One of the key elements of New Faculty Orientation Day is the opportunity to meet new colleagues at Queen's University.
    • [New Faculty Orientation Day]
      Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), makes a presentation during the New Faculty Orientation Day that was held at Robert Sutherland Hall on Wednesday.

    It’s always encouraging to have someone show you the ropes when starting a new job.

    For incoming faculty at Queen’s University that helping hand comes in the form of the New Faculty Orientation Day, held Wednesday at Robert Sutherland Hall, where they were introduced to the many resources that are available to them, questions were answered and they were able to network with new colleagues.

    The focus of the event, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Recruitment and Support Program in the Faculty Relations Unit, is getting participants the information they need and fostering the connections to help them succeed in this latest path of their careers.

    “New faculty orientation is hugely important because a new position is an investment in a future career, for both the new hire and the university,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “We want to extend a warm welcome to our new faculty by providing them with an overview of the resources available to them and where to go for more information when they need it.”

    At total of 63 new faculty members have arrived at Queen’s since last year’s event. For many of the participants, this is their first faculty appointment. As a result, they may not have a foundation of experience at other institutions.

    Throughout the day there were presentations about the support that is available from Information and Technology Services, Queen’s Library and Archives and Queen’s Communications, to name a few. There also were several panel discussions where the new faculty could gain clarification on any of the questions they may have heading into the fall term.

    “It’s really helpful coming from a post-doctoral position where it’s mostly focused on research and publishing. I hadn’t really thought of any of the logistics required for a faculty member so it’s been a good opportunity to learn how the university works and the services that are available, as well as meeting some of the other new faculty,” says Robert Colautti, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology.

    Looking ahead, he says the information gained at the orientation will certainly help him as he begins his time at Queen’s.

    “It’s a bit daunting, overwhelming, all the things that need to be done but this provides some background knowledge that will save some time later on,” he says “If something comes up I know where to find the information.”

    Queen’s releases comprehensive international plan

    International students received tricolour scarves during international student orientation at Queen's.

    Queen’s has released its first Comprehensive International Plan, aimed at supporting the university’s international efforts from 2015 to 2019.

    The plan sets university-wide priorities for internationalization based on four pillars: international research engagement; international mobility; international enrolment management; and international at home.

    “Internationalization is central to Queen’s academic mission and is a strategic priority for the university,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The Comprehensive International Plan will help guide the university as it works to build further international learning opportunities and strengthen its academic and research partnerships around the world.”

    Kathy O’Brien, Associate-Vice Principal (International), led the development of the international plan over the course of the past year; a process that included extensive consultation within the Queen’s community.

    “There is clear enthusiasm for internationalization at Queen’s and I would like to thank the many faculty, staff, students and alumni who provided their insight as this plan developed,” says Ms. O’Brien. “The result is a plan that sets clear university-wide objectives that will enhance the wide range of international activities that are happening at the university.”

    Kathy O’Brien
    Associate-Vice Principal (International)

    The specific objectives of the plan include increasing the number of high quality international undergraduate students to 10 per cent of the incoming class, growing research funding from international sources, building new academic collaborations with international partners, increasing the number of students participating in exchanges, and tracking international learning outcomes through the Queen’s University Quality Assurance Process.

    “The plan is about building on our strengths and ensuring that Queen’s transformative student learning experience and research activities are enhanced through our international activities, programs and partnerships,” says Ms. O’Brien.

    Queen’s University is deeply engaged internationally with strong academic and research ties around the globe. The university’s Bader International Study Centre in the United Kingdom provides unique international educational programs, while the university’s China Liaison Office works to builds relations with partner institutions, prospective students and alumni. Queen’s has more than 180 student exchange partners in more than 50 countries and numerous research partnerships around the world.

    Click here to read the full text of the Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan 

    Bader fellowships ‘enliven’ humanities

    Alfred and Isabel Bader have continually shown their generous support for Queen’s University and one of their most recent gifts is coming to fruition.

    [Isabel and Alfred Bader]
    The Bader Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities were created through the support of Isabel and Alfred Bader.

    The first Bader Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities have brought 11 new scholars to Queen’s starting this fall and over the next two years they will teach courses as well as pursue a research program building on their doctoral research.

    “The presence of these emerging, exceptional  teachers and scholars at Queen’s will enrich the student learning experience, and enliven teaching and research activity across the humanities,”  says Gordon E. Smith, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science.

    The 10 departments in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the appointees and their area of study, are: 

    • Art History: Jen Kennedy (PhD, Binghamton University, 2014) – Art, Spectacle and Femininity in Postwar France
    • Classics: Cristian Tolsa: (PhD, University of Barcelona, 2013) – Ancient Science and Greek and Roman Philosophy
    • Drama and Music: Monique Giroux (PhD, York University, 2014) – Music and the Articulation and Representation of Métis Identity
    • English: Emma Peacocke (PhD, Carleton University, 2013) – Literary Romanticism and the Discourse of University Reform in Britain and Canada
    • Film and Media: Tracy Zhang (PhD. Simon Fraser University, 2012) – Critical Media Studies and Global Cultural Industries
    • French Studies: Julien Lefort-Favreau (PhD, Université de Montréal, 2013) – French Autobiography and Politics (1960s to the present)
    • History: Vanessa Cook (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) – US History and Contemporary Public Protests
    • Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: Jennifer Hardwick (PhD, Queen’s University, 2015) – Literary Voices and Indigenous Youth
    • Philosophy: Anthony Fisher (PhD, Syracuse University, 2012) – Metaphysics; History of Philosophy
    • School of Religion: Sharday Mosurinjohn (PhD, Queen’s University, 2015) – Contemporary Religious Movements; Christopher Byrne (PhD, McGill University, 2015) – Chinese Religions

    For Dr. Giroux, an ethnomusicologist, the fellowship will allow her to gain valuable experience and continue her research into the ways in which music is used within the Metis culture.

    “For me it’s a really important stepping stone in my career and also a really important opportunity to do additional research,” she says. “A lot of us go into academics because we enjoy the research aspects of it and once you finish your PhD it can be difficult to get the resources in order to continue that research.”

    An event celebrating the Bader Postdoctoral Fellows is planned for the fall.

    Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07) are Queen’s most generous benefactors. They have given back to Queen’s in countless ways: transforming the campus, enriching the student experience, supporting scholarship, and helping to enhance the University’s reputation as a top-tier educational institution. In an extraordinary philanthropic gesture, the couple funded Queen’s purchase of a 15th century English castle – Herstmonceux – that has been meticulously restored and is now home to the Bader International Study Centre. Last fall, thanks to a transformational gift from the Baders, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was opened.

    Campus canvas

    • [Campus Canvas]
      A nice, shaded place to sit by a flower garden and overlooking the arboretum at Summerhill – Annalisa Boccia.
    • Campus Canvas
      One of the ways that the grounds crew brighten up Queen's University is the many planters that are located on campus.
    • Campus Canvas
      Each year the members of the grounds crew plan out what to plant around campus in the planters and garden beds.
    • Matthew Barrett
      Matthew Barrett, grounds manager, credits his crew for its dedication and experience in helping make the campus a beautiful place.

    Queen’s University is known as one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada, and it’s not only because of the striking limestone buildings.

    There also is a natural beauty to be found here in the trees and gardens that fill the grounds.

    However, that beauty, the sweet fragrances and vibrant colours, doesn’t just happen. There is a massive amount of work and planning that goes into maintaining such a lofty standard.

    The Gazette is looking for photos of your favourite spots around campus that show off the beauty of Queen's University.
    Take a quick pic of a shaded spot near Summerhill, a garden that stands out, or a location that makes you stop to appreciate its beauty. 
    Send the files to andrew.carroll@queensu.ca and we will make a slideshow for the website.

    From caring for ash trees more than 100 years old to planting brilliant beds of annuals to cutting the grass and watering planters, the spring, summer and fall mean a never-ending list of tasks for grounds manager Matthew Barrett, an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist who also studied at Niagara Parks School of Horticulture with a diploma in ornamental horticulture and completed an internship at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew in London, England.

    Fortunately, Mr. Barrett points out, he has an excellent crew that he can rely on to keep Queen’s looking fabulous.

    “I look at the university as a little city within the city. I went to school to learn how to maintain everything but it’s like a big park to me and I’m just here to guide things along and make sure that everything is looking good,” he says. “But a lot of it comes back to my crew too. I’ve got a really good crew. The grounds crew is really dedicated to the way the grounds look and really takes it personally.”

    And it shows.

    For the annual flower beds and planters, planning starts the year before and orders are placed at greenhouses to ensure the selected plants are ready at the right time. Then comes the actual planting, with thousands of plants being put into the ground by hand.

    The beauty is not only found in the flowers. There is an amazing array of trees at Queen’s, some of which, Mr. Barrett says, are unlikely to be found elsewhere in Kingston or southeastern Ontario. That’s thanks in part to the microclimates that are created on campus by the buildings and proximity to Lake Ontario.

    As an arborist, the collection of mature trees and the diversity of species are particularly special to Mr. Barrett.

    “A lot of people don’t realize that we have an arboretum on campus around Summerhill,” he says. “There’s a lot of old, interesting trees within the arboretum that we’re trying to preserve and we’re trying to add new ones to keep the species diverse within that microclimate that we have there.”

    Summerhill also is a favourite location for Mr. Barrett, which links him to Queen’s much longer than his three years in his current position. Growing up in Kingston, his mother worked at the university and he attended a number of Queen’s camps during the summers of his youth. Lunches were spent on the shaded green expanse of Summerhill, and helped draw him back to his hometown.

    When it comes to the planning of the gardens, Mr. Barrett says that his team aims for originality and present something new each year for the Queen’s community and visitors to the university. The problem then becomes trying to top the year before.

    It’s a lot of work but there are rewards.

    “You’re trying to keep everyone guessing and thinking ‘Oh, what is that annual they are using this year?’ or ‘What is that flower?’” he says. “I think one of the most rewarding parts of the job is when people call and ask you planting questions or tree questions or what are the types of flowers you have planted in Agnes Benidikson field? It makes you realize that people are noticing what’s going on around campus and what the crews are doing and what I’m trying to help do.”

    For Mr. Barrett and his crew each season brings new tasks, new chores that need to be done. Preparing the gardens and grounds in spring and then it’s a summer of trimming hedges, constant weeding and cutting the grass. Autumn means planting tulips and collecting the leaves that carpet the campus in hues or red, orange and yellow, a truly massive endeavour. And when that is all done, it’s time to start clearing the snow from the walkways and steps.

    Looking ahead to next year, there are big plans for the university’s 175th anniversary.

    Mr. Barrett says his team is looking to make a big splash, including carpet bedding, where logos and other designs can be made with flowers, as well as hanging baskets on the lampposts along University Avenue.

    “I think it’s going to be an exciting year. We’ve got a lot of plans. We’ll be planting tulips and daffodils this fall for the 175th. Normally we do about 6,000-8,000 tulip bulbs, but this year we’re going to try to do 15,000-18,000 just to give it a nice pop and show for the 175th,” he says. “It’s a lot but it’s amazing what the crew can get done in a short amount of time.”

    This article is published in the Aug. 11 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus.

    Stocking up – on food, and student life

    At Bearance’s grocery store, shoppers and staff are in the perfect spot to observe Queen's interactions.

    Michael Greenwood seems to get a kick out of the glimpses he gets into the lives of students at Queen’s. As owner of Bearance’s, a grocery store nestled conveniently between west and main campuses, he is at the perfect vantage point for observing university life.

    “It can be quite hilarious, students running into their professors in the store. Their principal (Daniel Woolf) shops here. They love to chat him up,” says Mr. Greenwood, who’s owned the store for 28 years.

    Owner Michael Greenwood poses with an old photo of himself and the Bearance brothers when they passed over ownership of the store.

    Asked if there’s any one student shopper that stands out for him, he says he remembers an international student, from Taiwan, who came in frequently to buy meat from the custom butcher shop.

    “He was a master’s student, I think, and always wore a suit. He was so happy to discover Bearance’s – he was a foodie, a fellow of means, too,” says Mr. Greenwood, smiling. “He’d come in, knowing exactly what he wanted. And he was very polite. Our female employees always wanted to visit with him.”

    A community hub, Bearance’s has been pleasing both the foodie and non-foodie crowds in the neighbourhood for almost 100 years. Before Mr. Greenwood bought the store, which was established in 1918, it was owned by the Bearance family – first by Elwood Bearance, and later by his sons Ron and Elmer. Prior to the Bearances’ ownership, the store was called Bannister’s, opened in 1890.

    There are several reminders of Bearance’s long history in the store. A receipt from 1938 hangs framed on a wall near the produce section, and photos of Mr. Greenwood with the Bearance brothers are visible behind one of the cash counters. Mr. Greenwood is also keen to point out a hole (now covered) in the back of the store, where big blocks of ice from Lake Ontario were once inserted to keep the meat in the butcher shop cold.

    “In the early 1900s, there used to be an ice hut around the counter – blocks of ice were stored there year-round, covered in straw in the warmer months, and delivered to the store,” explains Mr. Greenwood.

    An old receipt details transactions at Bearance's in 1938.

    While modern technology has meant many changes in the store since then, Mr. Greenwood still tries to keep with the store’s traditional values of good food and good service. He strives to offer as many local products as possible, along with a great meat selection, and he’ll custom-order products for clients whenever possible. But, he says, the store’s best asset is its people.

    “I don’t do it alone. I have a great staff,” he says, pointing to one of his longest-serving employees, Bibiana, who’s been there 27 years.

    And Queen’s students are also key to the store’s daily functioning. Mr. Greenwood has hired dozens of students over the years and is very happy for their part-time help, along with the word-of-mouth advertising they provide, letting their friends know about the shop.

    “Students are an important part of our fabric,” says Mr. Greenwood. “If they come in once, chances are they’ll come in again. They love when they ‘discover’ Bearance’s.”

    Bearance's is open Monday-Saturday, 9 am – 6 pm.

    'The perfect writing retreat'

    [Dissertation on the Lake]
    Graduate students can work on their dissertations in a more natural setting next week at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre. (University Communications)

    Graduate students looking to get a boost as they work on their dissertations will be returning to Elbow Lake for a five-day writing retreat next week.

    Dissertation on the Lake offers participants the opportunity to get out of the city and away from the distractions of daily life to write in a more tranquil setting. 

    The event, offered by the School of Graduate Studies, is being held Aug. 24-28 at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre, located about 30 minutes north of Kingston.

    “It’s inspiring to look around the grounds at Elbow Lake and see grad students everywhere – on the dock, under the trees, in the sun, at picnic tables – who are all so focused, so intent on the singular task of working on their dissertations. Everyone is quiet, and yet the silence is punctuated by energy, much like the woods themselves, simultaneously peaceful and full of life,” says Andrea Phillipson, a PhD candidate in Kinesiology and Health Studies, who attended the first event last year. “This work can be incredibly isolating, but when we are all striving together at the same time, the effort feels somehow shared.”

    The grad students will stay in the centre’s cabins and there are two writing sessions each morning and afternoon. While writing remains the primary activity, there also is ample opportunity for relaxation including swimming, canoeing and hiking.

    “Finding an extended period of time to write is a luxury - add to the mix the freedom from other responsibilities and the beauty of Elbow Lake and surroundings and you have the makings of the perfect writing retreat” says Brenda Brouwer, the Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Dissertation on the Lake is a wonderful opportunity for our graduate students to kick-start, restart or regain writing momentum as well as enjoy the outdoors; it’s a great balance”.   

    For more information about Dissertation on the Lake visit the website of the School of Graduate studies.

    Bronze bust added to Fleming exhibition

    [Alvan Bregman and Sir Sandford Fleming]
    Alvan Bregman, curator, W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library, is excited about the recent addition of a bronze bust to the ehibition marking the 100th anniversary of the death of Sir Sandford Fleming. (University Communications)

    A bronze bust of Sir Sandford Fleming may be a late arrival to the exhibition at Queen’s University marking the centenary of his death but it is a welcome addition nonetheless.

    The piece was originally unveiled in 1907 during convocation and was created by Hamilton MacCarthy, a prominent sculptor of the day. The bust had been commissioned to mark Fleming’s 80th birthday.

    From the curls of his beard to the medals that adorn his chest, the bust clearly captures the grandeur of the man who served as chancellor of Queen’s from 1880 to his death in 1915.

    The bust was created, after students raised the tidy sum of $700, as a “graceful commemoration of his eminent service” and was installed in Grant Hall.

    Already well-known for his work on standard time, the Canadian Pacific Railroad as well as surveying and mapping large swathes of the nascent nation, Fleming also was warmly regarded by the students at the university, as was detailed in an account of the unveiling printed in the Queen’s Journal.

    “As years pass Chancellor Fleming becomes more deeply endeared to the students and members of the governing bodies. His memory will long be kept fresh at Queen’s. But it is well that there should be about the halls some object to remind the students of the future of the wonderful man who did so much for Queen’s, for Canada and the whole British Empire,” the passage reads.

    However, over the years the bust was removed from Grant Hall and was not included in the register of the university’s holdings.

    It was brought to the attention of Alvan Bregman, curator, W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library, by reference assistant Pam Manders and services coordinator Kim Bell who found it tucked away in a corner of Fleming Hall.

    It is now on the register and is on recurring loan at Douglas Library.

    “We think he’s great,” says Dr. Bregman. “It’s a great piece by one of the leading Canadian sculptors of monumental sculptures. And it’s large. It’s quite a splendid piece.”

    The exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of Fleming’s death features a multitude of items from collections at Queen’s. It continues through to the end of August. The W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library is located on the third floor of the Douglas Library.

    Deputy Provost stepping down

    Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison announced today that Laeeque Daneshmend will be stepping down from his position as Deputy Provost, effective Dec. 31, 2015. He will return to his faculty position as a professor in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

    Laeeque Daneshmend will be stepping down from his position as Deputy Provost, effective Dec. 31, 2015.

    “From the first day he began as Deputy Provost, Laeeque has played an important and influential role in the Provost’s Office,” says Alan Harrison.  “He will be sorely missed.”

    As a result of Dr. Daneshmend’s departure from the role, and for the purpose of continuity over the upcoming academic year, oversight of Campus Planning and Development will transfer back to the Office of Planning and Budgeting starting Sept. 1, and will report to Megan Sheppard, Associate Vice-Principal (Planning and Budgeting). Ms. Sheppard will also assume the role of chair of the Campus Planning Advisory Committee.

    Details regarding other arrangements for the oversight of the Deputy Provost portfolio will be made available prior to Dr. Daneshmend’s departure.

    Power shutdown planned for parts of Stirling Hall

    A planned power shutdown will affect the 400 and 500 levels in Stirling Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 18 between 7:30 am and 4 pm while contractors install a new circuit breaker and feeder for the research laboratory in Room 158.

    Please note:

    • There will be no power available for all electrical systems and lighting in the rooms on the 400 and 500 levels.
    • The fire alarm system and emergency/exit lighting will not be affected.
    • There will be no impact to the electrical service to other levels in the building and elevators will remain in operation.
    • Occupants on the 400 and 500 levels should power down computers and equipment before leaving for the day on Monday, August 17.

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


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