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    New website a hub for sustainability

    The Queen’s Sustainability Office has launched a newly redesigned website to act as a hub for sustainability information at Queen’s and engage the campus community in lessening the university’s impact on the environment.

    “The website is a resource for everyone, whether you want to know about energy savings, sustainable transportation options, or simply which recycling bin your coffee cup goes in,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager. “We now have sections that link users with ways they can become more active in campus sustainability, and a resource area that offers information, tips and guides through a variety of mediums such as videos and posters.”

    One of the sustainability-themed posters available on the Sustainability Office's new website.

    The website features a new collection of videos on sustainability topics, green maps that highlight bike rack and water bottle filling station locations, downloadable sustainability posters, and tip sheets to help green your office and reduce energy consumption. It also has an idea form where anyone can submit a tip or project that could help make a more sustainable campus.

    One of Mr. Ball’s favourite features is a new “history of campus sustainability” timeline.

    “It is one of the coolest elements of the site, illustrating the environmental journey we have been on dating back to 1904,” he says. “And it’s a history that is still being written. We look forward to adding new sustainability initiatives to the timeline as the university undertakes new projects and reaches new milestones in the years ahead.”

    During March, the Queen’s Sustainability Office is running a contest.  To participate, check out the new website and follow the link to the office’s Facebook page. Those that ‘Like’ the page and post a comment about their favourite feature of the new website will be entered into a draw to win a prize.

    People of Queen's: Up to the challenge

    With this article, the Gazette launches a new series profiling Queen’s staff members. Their passion and dedication have enriched the various offices they have worked in over the years and helped make the university what it is today.

    [Audrey Hunt]
    Audrey Hunt has held a number of positions at Queen’s University since starting to work here in 1979. Currently she is the Department of Emergency Medicine’s departmental and financial administrator. (University Communications)

    At 2009’s Celebration of Service Tree Dedication ceremony, Audrey Hunt was asked to speak on behalf of her peers to those in attendance. In the 30 years she’d worked at Queen’s, she had held a number of positions in different departments, so it seemed fitting that she speak for the group.

    “The Queen’s spirit extends beyond the students and alumni.  I feel a great loyalty to Queen’s. I have worked here since 1979 and my husband Rick since 1982.  It’s been our livelihood all these years,” she says. “I always felt like there were great opportunities to advance. There are strong benefits to working at Queen’s and I love the energy and atmosphere — I like that there’s always young people around, even if it seems like they get younger every year.”

    Mrs. Hunt began at Queen’s in temporary positions, working as a secretary in the Department of Electrical Engineering and then receptionist in Human Resources. Her first permanent job was as the secretary in the Department of Classics in 1979. There, among other responsibilities, she typed faculty members’ class notes and research reports.

    “Every once in a while they’d use a word that needed the Greek alphabet,” she says with a laugh. “So, I mastered the art of changing the typewriter ball from English to Greek and back again.”

    Mrs. Hunt always had her eyes set on coming opportunities so she made a point of taking advantage of every professional development course at Queen’s that would help build her skillset. She says the mix of administration, financial and managerial training courses she took were instrumental in getting her from work in Student Awards where she held 3 different positions, to the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, to her current position as the Department of Emergency Medicine’s departmental and financial administrator.

    In Emergency Medicine, Mrs. Hunt manages the department’s budget, helps develop its strategic plans, supervises staff and handles a number of other responsibilities that she’s taken on over the 18 years she’s been in the position. Since the department achieved full departmental status, it has undergone significant changes, growing from 12 faculty members to 45, four support staff and many medical residents and students. Audrey Hunt has been there for all of them.

    “I absolutely love this job and our faculty, staff and students. I’ve enjoyed all my jobs, but up until this one, I felt like I was moving up, like it was a progression. When I arrived here, I believed this was it,” she says. “If it had ever gotten to the point where there weren’t new challenges, I probably would have searched for something else. But, looking out, as long as the group will have me for another few years, I hope this is where I’ll retire from.”

    Suggestions for profiles can be sent to Gazette editor Andrew Carroll.


    Community shares ideas for Stauffer Terrace

    • [Design ideas on paper]
      Participants could look out on Stauffer Terrace as they dreamed up ideas for the space.
    • [Justin Reekie]
      Justin Reekie, Vice-President (Operations), Alma Mater Society, shares his design idea for the Stauffer Terrace.
    • [Public meeting in Alan G. Green Fireplace Reading Room]
      Participants at the Stauffer Terrace meetings explored and sketched their ideas for the design of the space.
    • [Joe Davis and Shelley King]
      Project manager Joe Davis and Shelley King, a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, discuss the Stauffer Terrace designs.

    Queen’s University Library held a number of design charrettes  last week where faculty, staff, students and alumni brainstormed ideas for Stauffer Terrace. The outdoor space is located on the second floor of the library overlooking Union Street adjacent to the Alan G. Green Fireplace Reading Room.

    The Stauffer Terrace project supports the Library and Archives Master Plan’s recommendation of converting unused or underused areas in Queen’s libraries into study, social and event spaces. Ideas gathered during the meetings will inform the redevelopment project, which is in the early stages with scope and timeline still to be determined. 

    Senate, Board election results announced

    The University Secretariat has announced the results of the recent Board of Trustee and Senate elections.

    Dean McKeown (Queen’s School of Business) won the Senate staff election.

    Ginette Denford (Division of Student Affairs) will join the Board as the newest staff trustee. David Bakhurst (Philosophy) will fill the faculty/librarian/archivist trustee position.

    The University Secretariat would like to congratulate the winners and thank all of the faculty and staff members who put their names forward in the elections.  

    Helping with the move off campus

    A special information session in support of students who will be moving of campus next school year is being held Wednesday at the Leonard Hall dining hall foyer.

    "What you need to know about moving off campus" will offer information about the Kingston Police Community Services Unit, City of Kingston services and programs, the AMS Holiday Housecheck, and Campus Security and Emergency Services’ Off-Campus Response Program. .

    The event, presented by the Campus Safety Working Group, will be held from 11:30 am to 1 pm. For more information contact the Student Affairs Office at 613-533-6944 or vpdean.sa@queensu.ca.

    Empowering tomorrow's engineers — with robots

    A Robogals session begins with an experiment. The club, which works with local schools and youth groups to encourage young women to consider becoming engineers, will have students draw what they imagine an engineer to look like. For the club’s members, the results are telling.

    Robogals recently held a session with the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston. (Photo Supplied)

    “Typically, they’ll draw a person holding a wrench or standing by a bridge, but regardless of what they’re doing, it’s almost always a man,” says Mandy Jor, Sci’15 and the club’s president. “If they do draw a woman, it’s because they have a mother, an aunt or family friend who’s an engineer.”

    A major part of the work that Robogals members, who are female engineering students, do, is to provide a positive female role model. An offshoot of the international Robogals organization, the Queen’s chapter leads robotics workshops for young women, giving them a chance to learn the ins and outs of engineering by building and programming LEGO robots.

    By working in an all-female environment, Ms. Jor says they’re better able to cater to specific learning styles.

    “We usually see that boys and girls approach problems differently. The boys like to experiment and try things out to see how they work, but the girls prefer to strategize. They hang back and think things through before going hands on. When the boys go straight for the building materials, the girls can get left out, so we try to provide an all-female environment so the girls can come out of their shells and try things in a way that works for them.”

    Robogals have partnered with groups like the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and a number of elementary schools and their numbers are continuing to grow. They now have nearly 60 volunteers to conduct workshops and visit classrooms.

    “Robogals is empowering for us and it empowers the girls we work with too,” says Ms. Jor. “We want to inspire them to see engineering as an option, something they could do, even if they eventually decide it’s not what they want to do.”

    Historically, women have been underrepresented in various engineering fields, a matter that Robogals works to change. At Queen’s, they collaborate with another likeminded group, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), to make women more aware of the opportunities available in engineering. Their efforts seem to be having an effect, as Queen’s continues to outpace the national average for females studying engineering.

    “While our faculty doesn’t do anything specifically to attract female students, many are nonetheless drawn by the fundamental pillars of our program,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “This year, 28.8 per cent of our first-year students are female, compared to the national average of approximately 19 per cent.”

    A worthwhile diversion

    [Recycling Promotion]
    Leah Kelley, the AMS’ Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability, says the new recycling bins and signage in the Queen’s Centre and JDUC are aimed at increasing the amount of waste diverted from the landfill. (University Communications)

    So you’ve just finished your cup of coffee and you’re standing in front of the recycling bins wondering what goes where?

    It might seem like a straightforward task but campus waste audits show that the Queen’s community could use some help to get the job done right.

    Coffee cups are just one part of the waste diversion equation but it is perhaps the most noticeable issue.

    As a result, a collaboration between the Queen’s Sustainability Office and the Alma Mater Society is taking aim at promoting and improving campus recycling practices

    It’s a multi-pronged approach which includes a series of five videos to clear up any questions as well as highlight some important facts, including that Queen’s sent 1,800 metric tons to the landfill last year, or the equivalent of 360 adult African elephants.

    “The Sustainability Office was excited to collaborate with the AMS on this initiative and hopes the videos inspire campus users to take a more active role in improving campus waste diversion rate,” says Llynwen Osborne, Waste Coordinator, Sustainability Office.

    There’s a lot that can be done to reduce that amount of items going to landfill.

    “The waste we generate on campus 90 per cent of it can be diverted, either to recycling – plastic, metals, glass, paper – or to compost,” says Leah Kelley, the AMS’ Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability. “In our buildings now, we have the ability for students to divert that waste. It’s just about knowing what goes into which bin and taking those extra few seconds to properly sort it rather than toss it in the garbage.”

    Proper sorting is key as any contamination, particularly for organics, results in the bin going to landfill rather than being diverted. To help with this, new, simpler signage has been introduced  in the Queen’s Centre and JDUC to show people what goes where.

    Back to the coffee cup conundrum then.

    “Coffee cups actually go in plastics/metals/glass, the blue bin, because it has a wax lining that makes it plastic by the perspective of our (contracted) waste company,” Ms. Kelley (Artsci’16) explains. “So approximately 1.1 million coffee cups were used last year and when you have more than 75 per cent of people not knowing how to properly get rid of them a lot of garbage is being generated. We did want to emphasize the proper way to deal with a coffee cup because sadly it is not as straightforward as we would like it to be.”

    The wax-lined cup and plastic lid go in the blue bin. The sleeve, which is paper only, goes in the grey bin.

    The videos are also being used to shine a light on some of the positives that have already been accomplished such as the increased organics programs involving campus locations like Queen’s Pub, and Common Ground. While some of the problems for recycling may seem complex, the solutions are rather simple.

    “People generally want to do the right thing, we all want to increase our waste diversion,” says Ms. Kelley. “We are at a 42 per cent waste diversion rate when we have 90 per cent of waste that can be diverted. So we really want to emphasize this as much as possible and increase that 42 per cent diversion rate.”

    There are five videos in the series covering the following topics:

    For further information go to the Queen's Sustainability Office website or the website for the AMS' Commission of the Environment and Sustainability.

    Steven Liss reappointed vice-principal (research)

    Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf today announced the reappointment of Steven Liss as vice-principal (research) for a second term, from Sept. 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2020.

    “Over the past five years, Queen’s has continued to build on its reputation as an outstanding research institution due in large part to the expert guidance of Dr. Liss,” Principal Woolf says. “I am delighted that Dr. Liss will continue to lead our efforts to sustain and enhance Queen’s research prominence.”

    [Steven Liss]
    Dr. Steven Liss has helped build Queen's reputation as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

    During his first term, Dr. Liss led the renewal of the Queen’s Strategic Research Plan (SRP), which outlines research priorities and details the processes and mechanisms for advancing research at Queen’s. During Dr. Liss’ tenure, Queen’s improved its standing among Canadian universities in both research income and research intensity. He also spearheaded efforts to raise the profile of Queen’s research through a variety initiatives including the launch of the (e)AFFECT magazine.

    Quick Links
    Learn more about Dr. Liss on the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) website

    Dr. Liss, a professor of environmental studies and chemical engineering, graduated from Western University in microbiology and immunology, and has a master’s degree and PhD in applied microbiology from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a member or chair of a number of boards and management groups. Recognizing Dr. Liss’ work to advance research and innovation in this country, the Government of Canada awarded him the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

    The university’s Board of Trustees recently approved the reappointment of Dr. Liss.

    Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines.

    Apply now for Senate committee vacancies

    The Senate Governance and Nominating Committee encourages all members of the Queen’s community to apply for vacancies on Senate committees such as Academic Procedures, Non-Academic Discipline, Residence, and more.

    Applications are due March 20, 2015.

    Senate committees discuss issues of broad interest to the academic community and make recommendations on policy and practice that are essential to the university's operations and evolution.  Committee work allows you to directly impact the way Queen's functions as a teaching and research institution, and as a community of scholars, students and staff.

    Visit the Senate website to get more information and to download online application forms. You can direct your questions to senate@queensu.ca

    Building on the positive

    In all of her work as an organizational development consultant in Human Resources, Lisa Sansom strives to identify and work with a positive emphasis rather than focus on the negatives.

    “I am thrilled to be at Queen’s and sharing some of the insights I have gained from studying positive psychology,” says Ms. Sansom, who joined Queen’s Human Resources last year. “I am eager and passionate to help leaders and teams move forward based on what’s working well within their unit or department and identify areas of opportunity for positive change.”

    [Lisa Sansom]
    As an organizational development consultant in Human Resources, Lisa Sansom encourages leaders and teams at Queen's to take a positive approach to issues within the workplace. 

    Ms. Sansom earned her Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania five years ago. At the time, positive psychology was a relatively new field. Ms. Sansom, vice-chair of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, notes that awareness and understanding of positive psychology has expanded in recent years thanks to the work of researchers like Dr. Dean Tripp at Queen’s and others across Canada and around the world.

    “I see acceptance of positive psychology growing, which is exciting. I believe a positive approach to issues within the workplace has a lot to offer leaders and teams at Queen’s,” she says. “Too often we focus on one mistake or negative aspect that has the power to erase all of the good that has occurred. We need to start recognizing what works well a lot more.”

    Employing this positive approach, Ms. Sansom offers a variety of services and activities. For example, she leads organizational reviews, identifies and documents work flow efficiencies, provides leadership coaching, supports change management and designs and delivers new initiatives, facilitates leadership team development, and engages leaders in talent management initiatives like 360° assessments.

    Ms. Sansom had ties to the university even before joining HR last year. After moving to Kingston a decade ago, she started a consulting company. She provided team and executive services to the MBA and Executive MBA programs at Queen’s School of Business and facilitated leadership retreats with several other groups on campus.

    To find out more or access resources offered by Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning team, contact the HR advisor for your area


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