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Queen's recognizes exemplary careers with honorary degrees

Ten new honorary degree recipients will be honoured at the spring 2015 commencement ceremonies at Queen’s University. Recipients include James Cuddy, Eric Windeler and Alan Broadbent. The degrees are awarded to people who have made remarkable contributions to the lives of people throughout the world in academia, business, politics, science and the arts.

Jean-Robert Bernier is the first person from outside continental Europe elected as chair of the committee of surgeons general of NATO and partner nations (COMEDS) beginning in November 2015. Thursday, May 21 at 2:30 pm.

Lyse Doucet is a Canadian journalist and the BBC's chief international correspondent and an occasional contributing editor to the BBC. Wednesday, June 3 at 10 am.

James Cuddy is the co-founder of Blue Rodeo, a band with more than four million records sold and 11 JUNO awards. Wednesday, June 3 at 2:30 pm.

Alexander McComber has worked with a number of national diabetes organizations including Health Canada’s Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative. Wednesday, June 3 at 6:30 pm.

John MacGregor has made major contributions to the development and practice of advanced control techniques in industry including the Canadian technology sector. Thursday, June 4 at 10 am.

David John Mullan is a long-serving law professor at Queen’s University, a prolific writer and an often-called upon consultant. Friday, June 5 at 2:30 pm.

Alan Broadbent is chairman and founder of Maytree, and chairman and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation. Monday, June 8 at 2:30 pm.

Eric Windeler is the founder and executive director of Jack.org, an organization created after the suicide of his son Jack, a Queen’s University student. Tuesday, June 9 at 2:30 pm.

Michael Kirby retired from the High Court of Australia as the country’s longest serving judge. Wednesday, June 10 at 2:30 pm.

David Reville operates David Reville & Associates in Toronto, specializing in social research and community development. Friday, June 11 at 2:30 pm.

Divestment committee invites comments

Divestment quick links:

An advisory committee is seeking input from the Queen’s community on whether the university should divest its Pooled Endowment Fund and Pooled Investment Fund from public companies that engage in fossil fuel extraction and distribution.

Principal Daniel Woolf struck the Advisory Committee on Divestment of Fossil Fuels, in accordance with the requirements of the university’s Statement on Responsible Investing (SRI), after an expression of concern was received from the student group Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change. Divestment is not currently being considered for the Queen’s Pension Plan.

“Consultation is an important part of the advisory committee’s mandate,” says David Allgood, a Queen’s alumnus and the committee’s chair. “We look forward to receiving views and evidence from students, staff, faculty, retirees, alumni, and any individual or group that wishes to contribute during the consultation process.”  

“Consultation is an important part of the advisory committee’s mandate. We look forward to receiving views and evidence from students, staff, faculty, retirees, alumni, and any individual or group that wishes to contribute during the consultation process.”

- David Allgood, Chair

According to its mandate, the committee must assess whether the activities of public fossil fuel companies constitute “social injury”, as defined in the SRI, and what action, if any, to recommend to the university.

“The committee is particularly interested in hearing views on the question of social injury and on what actions it might recommend to the university,” says Mr. Allgood. “Depending on its findings, the committee could recommend that no further action be taken, that the university divests, or that Queen’s remain invested and undertake shareholder engagement activities.”

There are three ways to participate in the consultation process: General views may be submitted to the advisory committee via its webpage or by email; formal written submissions may be sent in response to the committee’s call for submissions; or a request can be made to present directly to the committee. All submissions should be sent to the committee no later than September 17.

“While the committee was originally expected to make its recommendations by the end of June, we recognize that this is a busy time of year for everyone at Queen’s,” says Mr. Allgood. “The Principal has agreed to extend the timeline until the end of September so that all stakeholders, including students, have a full opportunity to participate in the consultation process.”

A series of meetings is currently being organized to allow individuals and groups to present to the committee, whether in person on the Queen’s campus or by teleconference. Although details have not yet been finalized, anyone interested in this option may email the committee for further details.

The advisory committee is expected to conclude its work at the end of September, and will make its recommendation to the principal on what action, if any, should be taken. The principal will then bring that recommendation to the investment committee of the Board of Trustees for a final decision.

Reconciliation through education

The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair was appointed chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2009. Over the past five years, the commissioners have spoken with survivors, families, communities and other people affected by Indian Residential Schools.

Justice Sinclair visited Queen’s on March 27 to give the inaugural lecture in the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series. Before the talk, he sat down with Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr to discuss his views on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and the reconciliation process.

[Murray Sinclair
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair believes post-secondary institutions have an obligation to encourage academic discourse and research about Indigenous issues. 

Mark Kerr: How has your understanding of the Indian Residential School legacy changed and evolved after visiting hundreds of communities and listening to thousands of people tell their stories?

Justice Murray Sinclair: When I started this work, I knew the magnitude of the problem we were going to be dealing with. The experience of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has shown me the significance and the impact of not just the residential schools but the role of education more generally on Indigenous people.

The number of Indigenous people who went through residential schools is not much more than 30 per cent of the total Indigenous population in Canada. Yet most Aboriginal people in Canada suffer from feelings of inferiority, feelings of anger and frustration at the way the education system that they experienced has portrayed them. We have to talk about the ways public schools are implicated in the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people as well.

The experience of Aboriginal people in schools involves so much physical and sexual abuse. And that abuse has had significant impact on their lives when you consider it occurred to them at a vulnerable time when they were children and that it continued for such a long time. Even if they weren’t physically abused, they lived in constant fear that they might be abused.

MK: Why is it important that Canadians learn about the history of residential schools?

MS: Because this is their history too. At the same time Aboriginal people were being told in residential schools and public schools that they were inferior, they were heathens, they were savages and their history was irrelevant, that same message was being given to non-Aboriginal people. And so non-Aboriginal people have been raised in an educational environment both in the schools and public to believe in the superiority of European societies, peoples and cultures and that Aboriginal people are inherently inferior because of that.

That story, therefore, implicates all Canadians and we need to ensure that the story of what it means to be Canadian and what Canada is needs to be told in a way that includes everybody.

[The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair]
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair says the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will work to continue the conversation around reconciliation after the final report is released this June. 

MK: What can universities do to promote and foster reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians?

MS: The key to reconciliation – repairing the damage that has been done to the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people – is education. All educational institutions including post-secondary institutions have an obligation in the course of their teaching about this country and topics such as science and the environment to try and include the Aboriginal understanding of those issues as well to show the validity of Aboriginal thinking. Aboriginal people are so much a part of this country and they are so influential in this country.

Post-secondary institutions also have an obligation to engage in dialogue and academic discussions and to foster research into these issues. The full story has not yet been told and the experience has not yet been portrayed in a way that people believe is valid.

Quick Link
Learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by visiting its website.

MK: You’ve said that truth is hard but residential school reconciliation is harder. What does reconciliation look like to you and how do we achieve that as Canadians?

MS: Reconciliation is about establishing a respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Before we can have mutual respect, we have to understand the importance of ensuring that Aboriginal people in future generations have self-respect. That’s a difficult thing to do because it involves undoing a lot of things that are founded on the racism of the past.

One thing we have pointed out to people is that this history of oppression, of taking away from Aboriginal people their faith in themselves, their belief in their systems and culture, their ability to speak their language, their understanding of their own history, has resulted in a population of young Indigenous people who are not only angry and frustrated at having those things denied them, they’re also feeling at a loss because they want those things put back into their lives.

They want to know what it means to be Anishnaabe, they want to know what it means to be a Cree, to be a Dene, to be a Dakota. They want to know what those teachings are so that they will be able to stand up proudly and proclaim that to their children and grandchildren.

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

FIT TIPS: Keep on moving

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.

We live in a computer-based world, and we can’t always jump up from our desks for a quick jog. Here are a few ways to burn more calories throughout your day:

• Clean up! Move your trashcan away from your desk, so you have to go for a short walk to throw things away.

• Fidget! Simply tapping your foot during your favorite songs throughout the day can help you burn calories.

• Stand tall! If you want to slim down and boost your confidence, good posture is the first step. It will help you burn extra calories.

• Have a giggle! Laughing for 10-15 minutes a day burns an additional 50 calories each day.

• Take the stairs! A person climbing stairs uses around 10 calories per minute.

You don’t have to dramatically reschedule your day to be active. Be creative and you will find new ways to add movement to your whole day.

Sharing ideas worth spreading

With nothing but a few slides to back them up, 15 members of the Queen’s community will take to the stage this Sunday to share some ideas worth spreading. These presenters are taking part in the fifth annual TEDxQueensU conference, an event dedicated to talks about technology, entertainment and design.

Last year's TEDx conference featured a talk by Rachel Wayne, a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. (Photo Supplied)

“This is a community event that builds a platform for people to share ideas, create and innovate together,” says Tom Edgerton (Artsci’15), Director of TEDxQueensU. “It’s a great chance to highlight Queen’s and Kingston’s talent, and there’s a lot of real-time collaboration that happens here.”

Mr. Edgerton, who’s been involved with TEDx since his first year of study, says this year’s conference is set to be the biggest and best one yet. While there have been TEDx conferences happening at Queen’s for five years now, the event has undergone massive growth this year, nearly quadrupling in size. Held for the first time in the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the event is still dedicated to encouraging curiosity, inspiring the exchange of ideas and celebrating dynamic thinking.

The event is comprised of brief talks, usually between 15 and 20 minutes, delivered by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the Queen’s community. The talks are followed by opportunities for the audience to meet and speak with one another as well as the presenters.

To better reach those who aren’t able to make it to campus, the conference will also be live-streamed through the TEDxQueensU website.

“This is a student event, but this is also one of the greatest vehicles we have to show campus, our school and the research and innovation happening here to people around the world,” says Mr. Edgerton.

The speakers at this year’s event come from a diverse array of backgrounds that includes people like Afraj Gill (Comm’15) and Beverly Thomson. Mr. Gill is a technology entrepreneur who’s co-founded two tech companies and written for the Globe and Mail and Business Insider, while Ms. Thomson is a broadcast journalist, philanthropist, and co-host of Canada AM, CTV’s national morning news show.

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” says Mr. Edgerton. “If you have an idea worth spreading, we want you on the stage to share it with us, why we should care and how it will work.”

TEDxQueensU will be held on SundayMarch 29 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

More information and a schedule of the day’s events can be found on their website.

Tickets can be purchased through an online vendor

Queen's moves to per-term billing

Queen’s University will introduce per-term billing for all students starting in the 2015-16 academic year.

The university will require students to pay their tuition fees and student assistance levy (SAL) for their fall 2015 courses on Sept. 1, 2015. Tuition fees and the SAL for winter 2016 courses will be due Jan. 10, 2016. Tuition and SAL for summer courses will remain the same. The session start date continues to be the due date for summer classes.

Residence fees, which include a mandatory meal plan, will also be split and billed per term. Half of the residence costs will be due on Sept. 30, 2015 and the remaining due on Jan. 31, 2016.

This change will give students and their families more flexibility when it comes to making their tuition and residence payments.

Barbara Emorine, Associate University Registrar (Records and Services)

All student activity fees will continue to be billed in the fall term with a payment deadline of Sept. 30, 2015. UHIP fees for international students are also not being split; full payment is due Sept. 30.

“This change will give students and their families more flexibility when it comes to making their tuition and residence payments,” says Barbara Emorine, Associate University Registrar (Records and Services).

Even with the move to per-term billing, the alternate payment arrangement (APA) program will continue to assist students who cannot meet the payment deadlines of Sept. 1 and Jan. 10 but have a proven source of funding.

More information
Per-term billing FAQs
Email solus@queensu.ca or call 613-533-6894

The APA allows students, upon approval, to defer payment of their tuition and SAL, without penalty, to Sept. 30, 2015 for fall fees and Jan. 31, 2016 for winter fees. Visit the University Registrar’s website for more information about who is eligible and how to apply for an APA.

The University Registrar has posted on its website answers to frequently asked questions about per term billing, including a section for graduate students and student receiving financial aid and/or awards. If students have additional questions, they can send an email to solus@queensu.ca or call 613-533-6894.

Boag, Rumball pick up top sports awards

[Colour Awards Varsity Team]
Jacob Rumball and Liz Boag were recognized as Queen's University's top student-athletes at the 79th annual Colour Awards Varsity Team banquet Wednesday.

The top student-athlete awards went to members of the women’s basketball and men’s rugby teams as Queen’s University held the 79th annual Colour Awards Varsity Team banquet Wednesday night at the ARC Main Gym.

Liz Boag (Sc’15) and Jacob Rumball (Artsci’15) received the top awards for the 2014-15 season as both capped their stellar Gaels’ careers.

Ms. Boag received the PHE '55 Alumnae Award while Mr. Rumball was awarded the Jenkins Trophy.

Other awards handed out included the Outstanding Performance of the Year (OPY) honour for Larkin Davenport Huyer (PHE’16) of women's rowing.

The Alfie Pierce Trophy, awarded to the top rookies, went to a pair of hockey players in Addi Halladay (Artsci’18) and Spencer Abraham (Artsci’18), while the Jim Tait Trophy, presented annually to the top performing varsity team was handed to the OUA champion men's rugby team.

On Tuesday, Queen's honoured its top athletes in the varsity club stream. Erin Milner from synchronized swimming and Ryan Wilson from men's ultimate, claimed the top senior student-athlete awards while women's squash earned Varsity Club of the Year.  Haley Golding from cycling and Austin O'Boyle from baseball claimed rookie of the year awards.

For more on these awards and the athletics and recreation programs available at Queen's go to gogaelsgo.com.

 

International student wins Three Minute Thesis

  • Three Minute Thesis
    Chenman Yin is the winner of the Three Minute Thesis competition for Queen's University. She will now represent Queen's at the provincial final at Western on April 23.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Nicolle Domnik's presentation on her cardiopulminary system research earned her the Runner-Up Award in the Three Minute Thesis.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Changhai Zhu's research on bass populations in Lake Ontario earned him the People's Choie Award at the Three Minute Thesis.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Kevser Aktas makes her presentation on "The Impact of Powerful Numbers" during Tuesday's Three Minute Thesis final at Quen's University.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Amy Rentz's presentation at the Three Minute Thesis final focussed on her research on improving the durability of geosynthetics used in landfills.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    The judges panel was comprised of, from left, Principal Daniel Woolf, journalist Ann Lukits, Toby Abramsky of Keystone Property Managment and Ken Stevens of DuPont.

Distilling years of research into a three-minute presentation is challenging enough, but doing it in your second language is a monumental task.

That’s what Chenman Yin did as she claimed the Queen’s University title for the Three Minute Thesis on Tuesday.

Ms. Yin, who is pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering and Applied Physics, is an international student from China who also completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s.

Her presentation – a three-minute talk and a single static slide – on using lasers to cut bone during brain surgery, earned her the top prize of $1,000 and the chance to compete at the provincials. She competed against nine other finalists who spoke on a wide array of topics, from powerful numbers in mathematics and using geosynthetics in landfills to protecting traditional knowledge and whether or not allergies develop before birth.

The event is a mix of in-depth research, engagement and humour, with the goal of helping the audience understand the findings.

The win was a bit of a surprise for Ms. Yin who entered the contest at the last minute and, being an international student, wasn’t confident in her presentation skills. She credits her friends for pushing her to enter the contest in the first place.

“As an international student, where English is not my first language, there is always pressure when speaking in front of a big crowd. I think I needed that push to do something like this. I wouldn’t voluntarily do it,” she says.

She also points out that taking part in the event will help her as she works on her thesis, providing focus as well as giving her confidence in her presentation abilities. She also just loves what she is doing and wants others to know about it.

“I think this is a great opportunity to think about what you did over the past two years, in three minutes. I personally think that my project is cool so I really want to tell people about it,” she says. “A lot of people get scared when they hear the word physics but for me it isn’t (scary), so I guess I try to use everyday language to show people why physics is neat and they actually can do something to help people live a better life.”

Nicolle Domnik, who is pursuing a PhD in physiology, claimed the runner-up prize and $500 for her presentation on her research on the cardiopulmonary system, while Changhai Zhu, a Master’s student in biology, picked up the People’s Choice Award for his work in using fishing competitions to monitor bass populations in Lake Ontario.

Ms. Yin will represent Queen’s at the Ontario University Three Minute Thesis Competition set for April 23 at Western University.

For further information on the Three Minute Thesis, go to queensu.ca/3mt/.

'Never give up'

[Alex Mann]
Alex Mann (Sc’16) marked his fifth year free of cancer on March 9 and celebrated by launching an online campaign that raised $11,000 for a pair of childhood cancer foundations. (University Communications)

On March 9 Alex Mann (Sc’16) marked a special anniversary: five years without cancer.

The day marked a sort of conclusion to a journey of loss and triumph.

The loss of a promising future in baseball. The loss of an 18-cm section of his humerus, the bone in your upper arm. Triumph over adversity at so many levels.

Now, at the dawn of a new stage in his life, he’s looking to give back.

To celebrate, Mann, who at the age of 17 was diagnosed with Ewing’s Cell Sarcoma, a rare form of childhood bone cancer, has launched an online fundraising campaign that will benefit two of the charities that helped him through his darkest days: Childhood Cancer Canada and Children’s Wish.

In less than two weeks, he raised more than $11,000. It has been an enlightening exercise.

“Getting $11,000, it’s overwhelming, the amount of support. When I first put it up, the amount of people who were sharing it and sending me thoughtful messages, it just blew me away,” he says. “I have some really good friends here at Queen’s but I just didn’t realize the amount of support I really had. People are reaching out to me personally and some of these people I haven’t spoken to in years.”

It was also thanks to the support of his close friends that he initiated the campaign and the five-year mark had always seemed to be the right time.

Anyone who has fought cancer or is close to someone with the deadly disease, knows that the fifth anniversary is a key waypoint in the journey.

While not an absolute, in the majority of cases it marks a successful end of the battle.

For Mann, it certainly was a special day.

[Alex Mann pitching]
Alex Mann pitched for the Queen's Gaels for three seasons. (Supplied photo)

“Waking up it was just like, all right, it worked, I was okay, I was living, I was healthy,” he says. “I kept having these flashback memories of the hospital. Some good moments and some bad moments and it was just crazy for me to think that was five years ago today, that I was leaving the hospital. I won’t ever forget that.”

He also won’t forget the shock, pain and trials that he and his family went through in his “lost year.”

It was May 2009 and Mann was riding high, having just celebrated his 17th birthday and in the midst of a solid baseball campaign. But then he felt a pain in the upper portion of his left arm, the one he used for fielding. It wasn’t the usual ache that comes from playing ball, so he went to the hospital to get it checked out.

What happened next would change his life forever – he was diagnosed with cancer.

“It was surreal. I was a healthy guy. It was baseball on the weekends strictly,” he says. “You ask ‘How did this really happen and how did it develop?’ It’s not the right question to ask yourself. At the time you always think things happen because of the way you live.”

A bit of research and Mann learned that in most cases of cancer, there isn’t a specific reason or cause. It just happens.

A mere three weeks later he would undergo his first seven rounds of chemotherapy. In November he had surgery, removing the bone and part of his deltoid and replacing it with a metal rod linking his shoulder and elbow joint.

After two weeks of recuperation, there were seven more rounds of chemotherapy.

At the end of it, he was literally a shadow of his former self. His body had been wracked by the aggressive treatments. He had lost 30 pounds.

Yet he was alive and the outlook was good. Doctors told him the chemotherapy had destroyed 99 per cent of the cancerous cells.

Through it all, he set himself a number of goals, including getting back to playing baseball, which he would do the next year and eventually would go on to pitch for the Queen’s Gaels. He also made sure he set himself up for a good education.

Mann wasn’t alone and had a lot of support, first and foremost from his family, but also from a number of foundations, including Childhood Cancer Canada and Children’s Wish.

He credits his parents for ensuring he put up a good fight. They simply told him “never give up.” And they hammered it home.

He has shared that simple message with others as they begin their treatment.

“For the most part I was just pushing them and saying there is going to be a life after cancer. And there is a life after cancer,” he says. “You can’t count yourself out. You’re going to come out beaten and bruised and, you know, I came out totally different than I thought I was going to. You have to have that goal. You can’t let yourself get depressed about it. It’s not going to make the situation better. Asking ‘Why me?’ is not going to help anything. You just have to put it in perspective and you just have to stay up as much as you can.”

Mann’s campaign can be found at tilt.com/campaigns/alex-mann-five-years-and-counting.

Policy series celebrates inaugural director's legacy

As the inaugural director of Queen’s School of Policy Studies (SPS), Tom Courchene strived to bring together the academic and professional policy communities through the school’s programs, conferences and lectures.

Queen's School of Policy Studies has developed a speakers series to honour Tom Courchene, the school's inaugural director and a distinguished member of the Canadian public policy community.

SPS has recognized the former director’s enduring legacy by establishing the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series. The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, commissioner and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), will give the first lecture in the series this Friday at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The speaker series is supported by the Margie and Tom Courchene Endowment Fund. It was established in 1999 with an initial gift by the Courchenes. Since that time, generous donations from Dr. Courchene’s colleagues at Queen’s and across the country have supplemented the fund.

“This speaker series will provide our students, and the Queen’s community more broadly, with a bridge between academics and policy-makers,” says Kim Nossal, Director, Queen’s School of Policy Studies. “This series will encourage an on-going discussion on critical issues, in particular Indigenous policy and governance, a policy field Tom has been increasingly engaged with in recent years.”

The Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series
“What do we do about the legacy of Indian Residential Schools?”
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, Commissioner and Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Friday, March 27, 11:45-1:15 pm, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (390 King St. West) Transportation available More information

Dr. Courchene came to Queen’s in 1988 as the Stauffer-Dunning Chair in Public Policy and the first director of the new School of Policy Studies. From 1991 until his retirement in 2012, he held the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Professorship in Economics and Financial Policy at Queen’s, where he was a member of the Department of Economics, the School of Policy Studies and the Faculty of Law.

Dr. Courchene has written more than 300 articles and authored or edited 60 books. The recipient of many awards and accolades, Dr. Courchene is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada. 

Justice Sinclair was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal judge and the second Aboriginal judge in Canada. He has received numerous honours for his work in the field of Aboriginal justice. Justice Sinclair chairs the TRC, which was established in 2007 with a mandate to inform all Canadians about the 150-year history residential schools, and guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

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