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    Queen's remembers Carley Allison

    Members of the Queen’s community are remembering first-year student Carley Allison, whose brave fight against throat cancer ended on March 31. She lived in Watts Hall on campus.

    [Carley Allison]
    Carley Allison

    Ms. Allison captured the public’s attention in March 2013 after she posted a video to YouTube of her singing a One Direction song while breathing through a breathing tube. She went to sing the national anthem twice at Toronto Maple Leaf hockey games and appear at several cancer fundraising events in Toronto.

    Through her blog and music, Ms. Allison was able to share her journey and raise awareness and money for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto where she received treatment.

    Ms. Allison was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour outside her trachea in February 2013. She underwent tracheal surgery and chemotherapy treatments that helped push the cancer into remission.

    In August 2014, a few days before she arrived on Queen’s campus, she was diagnosed with clear cell sarcoma in her lungs. She continued to take courses online after she returned to Toronto for treatments.

    Flags on campus are lowered in memory of Ms. Allison.

    Anyone in need of support is encouraged to contact Health, Counselling and Disability Services at 613-533-6000 ext.78264 and/or University Chaplain Kate Johnson at 613-533-2186. After hours, students are encouraged to contact Campus Security at 613-533-6080 or the Good2Talk post-secondary student helpline at 866-925-5454.

    The gift is in the giving back

    [Campaign Co-Chairs]
    Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering Professor Tim Bryant, Executive Director Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment Stuart Pinchin and Emeritus Professor Carlos Prado (Philosophy) are three of the five co-chairs for the Campus Community Appeal.

    Each co-chair of Queen’s Campus Community Appeal has a distinctive reason for helping lead the university’s annual fundraising campaign. What unites all five volunteers is a common desire to “give back” to the university.

    Previously, we asked Terrie Easter Sheen (Gender Studies) and Martha Whitehead (University Librarian) to share what motivates them as volunteers, as well as their personal reasons for giving. Today the remaining three co-chairs – Donald and Joan McGeachy Chair in Biomedical Engineering Professor Tim Bryant, Executive Director Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment Stuart Pinchin and Emeritus Professor Carlos Prado (Philosophy) – respond to the same questions.

    What drew you to this volunteer position as Co-Chair for the Campus Community Appeal?

    Tim Bryant:  Ever since being a student here in the 1970s, I’ve wanted to give back. Now that I’m better able to help financially, that’s one way I can contribute – and giving my time is another. I think both are important to do.

    Stuart Pinchin:  When I was working in the corporate world, I always had a strong desire to be involved in the community and give back. The same is true now that I’m at Queen’s.

    Carlos Prado:  I wanted to do more than simply donate funds. This seemed a good way to contribute a little more.

    What project(s) do you support with your gifts to Queen’s?  

    TB:  As a bursary recipient myself, I know the difference student assistance can make; so that’s one of my support areas. The other is very close to my heart: new facilities for Mechanical and Materials Engineering that will help launch our department into the future.

    SP:  Our class gift many years ago established the Arts ’78 Bursary, after a classmate lost everything in an apartment fire. That’s what I continue to support.

    CP:  I support the Prado Thesis Prize in Philosophy, and my wife and I support the Prado Chamber Music Prize in the School of Music.

    What would you say to someone who was considering a gift to Queen’s?

    TB:  I would encourage them to reflect on the impact of their support 40 or 50 years down the road. Helping to provide a nurturing, stimulating environment for today’s exceptional students has the potential to make a real difference to Canada and the world. Everything we can do to support the Queen’s community is an investment in the future.

    SP: Looking around our campus, you can see so many people giving back – beyond their day-to-day work – in so many ways. Whether a financial gift, or by volunteering their time and energy and knowledge, it has such positive reverberations for both Queen’s and the broader community.

    CP:  First I would tell them that every dollar counts, and not to be shy, as some are, of making small donations. Second – and this is my special preference – I would recommend that they donate in ways that help students directly, as with achievement prizes. Lastly I would mention that donating time and/or money produces a good feeling of participation: one which is hugely bolstered when a student calls to thank you for your donation!

    Every year, in November and March, current and retired staff and faculty members volunteer their time and leadership to encourage their colleagues’ participation in the Campus Community Appeal. The appeal has a direct impact across campus, supporting programs and initiatives that enrich the teaching and learning environment. Gifts may be designated to almost any area of need: from student assistance to mental health and wellness, faculty programs, the library, archives, community outreach and more.

    Ready for the next stage

    [SharpScholar Jawwad Sidiqqi]
     Upon graduation, Jawwad Siddiqui (Com’15), is looking forward to putting his full efforts behind his start-up SharpScholar along with partners Amin Nikdel (Sc’14) and Tejas Mehta, a graduate of the University of Toronto. Below are screengrabs of the app for teachers, top, and for students. (University Communications)

    An app, developed by a pair of Queen’s University students, is helping connect students and professors to improve the learning experience in real-time.

    Two years ago, Jawwad Siddiqui (Com’15) and Amin Nikdel (Sc’14), came up with the idea of using mobile technology to increase interaction between students and teachers through feedback on what parts of the lesson were working for whom, and which ones weren’t. And all of this is done in real-time.

    The duo brought on board another student from the University of Toronto, Tejas Mehta, to help with growing SharpScholar, which is now being used in seven universities across North America, including Queen’s.

    A key step in the development of the program, Mr. Siddiqui says, was identifying professors as the “core value proposition.” This changed everything.

    Still, they had to connect with their target audience and they quickly realized it wouldn’t be easy. Professors often receive calls and offers for new programs to help in the classroom, so the team knew they had to design the app for the teachers first.

    Simplicity was key.

    “Once we took the modern approach to helping teachers, then they realized ‘Wow, this is so easy. I can do it in three steps and I’m done.’ In other words, taking a design approach to helping teachers’ lives,” he says. “We realized there’s a big opportunity to help these professors who were kind of not being served.”

    The response to date has been very positive.

    “It began with a very grassroots approach. We work with different teachers, from math to physics to computer science to business and we’ve just had tremendous success focusing on teachers,” Mr. Siddiqui says. “Teachers feel truly empowered when you value their time and initiative too.”

    However, as is often the case when introducing a new, unproven product, created by a group of university students no less, getting their foot in the door would prove to be a big first step. They were entering the education realm and dealing with professional educators after all.

    “It has been a very uphill battle in terms of building credibility, not just from a research perspective, because we did do research to back our software, but from a purely human relationships perspective, ‘Hey, these students they are not just out there to get our money or build their business,’” he explains. “Professors are just so tired of so many people emailing or cold calling them about this software or that software. So the personal journey of connecting with people, not necessarily for sales but for the betterment of society, in other words their teaching of students, has been a great experience to know how you really bring about change if you want to.”

    The first professors they connected with were at Queen’s and U of T, who saw the potential in the technology. He says they “partnered” with these innovative educators for their mutual benefit. Once they had the validation, they could move forward and expand.

    “That was essentially how we grew. Once we got it into the hands of the educators who were always testing new things, they were like ‘Oh wow this really works. This is unique and this is phenomenal,’” Mr. Siddiqui says. “They helped us build it. We gave them the ownership of it because, to be honest, we are not practicing professors, we can only hear and observe them.”

    Expand they have, to where SharpScholar is already being used at seven universities.

    With Mr. Siddiqui graduating this year, the team will be completely focused on getting the app into more classrooms.

    It’s something that he is looking forward to.

    “Fortunately we have an amazing team and an amazing group of people together, amazing community support from Queen’s professors and even professors worldwide, that it almost feels like an honour to graduate and work in it instead of more of a labour experience,” he says. “So in that regard it is absolutely fascinating but we do know we are stepping into a very risky landscape because currently we are in the stage of raising capital. And that would essentially give us the runway to get this going.”

    Already, the journey has been a fruitful one for the team, one that Mr. Siddiqui describes as “liberating.” It has been a juggling act, of course, trying to balance studies with starting up a new company. Mr. Siddiqui says that he has found that balance, with personal development, school and his company “all falling together.”

    For more information on SharpScholar visit sharpscholar.com.


    'Making a real difference'

    [Student Volunteer Awards]
    Kaylee Clark, left, is one of two recipients of the Peer Leadership Award, while Katie Ahlin and Katie Deakon received the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award. (University Communications)

    Four Queen’s University students are being recognized for their outstanding leadership on campus and in the Kingston community.

    The 2015 Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award and the Peer Leadership Award were presented on Thursday at a reception to recognize student contributions to their peers and members of the community.

    “Students volunteer and work in many capacities across campus and beyond,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “They are engaged in their faculties, schools and departments; they work in student services, in student governments, with clubs and teams, and with community groups and organizations. Their contributions, on campus and off, make a real difference in the lives of other students and members of the Kingston community.”

    Katie Ahlin and Katie Deakon received the Brian Yealland Community Leadership Award, named in honour of former Queen’s Chaplain, Rev. Brian Yealland.

    Ms. Ahlin (ConEd’16) has volunteered as a math tutor for the last three years with Kingston Community Health Centres’ Pathways to Education program and also tutors a student through the Wasa-Nabin program at the Metis Nation of Ontario. She is also a director of Camp Outlook, a charity started by a Queen’s student, that takes youth-at-risk on camping trips in Algonquin Park.

    For the past four years, Ms. Deakon (Artsci’13, Law’16) has volunteered as a Rebound coach with the Kingston Youth Diversion’s Rebound program, teaching life-skills to at-risk teens. In 2014 she received Kingston Youth Diversion’s ‘volunteer of the year’ award.

    Representatives of Pathways and Youth Diversion spoke at the presentation about the value that Queen’s students bring to their organizations.

    The Peer Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in peer-to-peer assistance, education and outreach through involvement in university programs and services, was presented to Emma Dargie and Kaylee Clark.

    Ms. Dargie (Artsci’09, MA’11) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology and for the past seven years has volunteered with the Peer Mentor program in Health, Counselling and Disability Services. The program matches trained mentors with students to help them develop effective time management, study and coping skills as well as strategies to promote academic and personal success. Ms. Dargie also worked with program director Liz Racine to develop a Peer Helpers program at the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

    Ms. Clark (ConEd’16) has held multiple leadership positions in several programs on campus during her time at Queen’s. She is currently a residence don in Harkness Hall, and she guides 35 student volunteers who run the Campus Observation Room, the university’s harm-reduction detox centre in Victoria Hall. She is also been mentoring first-year students in the Bounce Back program this term. In past years, she has been involved in leading Queen’s Reads, and Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR).

    To learn more about these and other awards, visit the Student Affairs website.

    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.


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