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Rediscovering my identity: A biracial journey

This column was first published on the Human Rights and Equity Office's blog, Together We Are.

I grew up in a small town in rural Manitoba, the younger of two  my mom is a white woman who grew up in the prairies and my dad is a Black man who emigrated from Nigeria. Apart from the kids of my parents’ friends, I do not remember other Black kids at my school through elementary years and none in my class until high school. It is not an understatement to recognize that I was limited in the scale of diversity I was exposed growing up.

At the same time, I know the smells of my dad’s fufu and pepper soup and can hear the rhythm of the music he would play around the house. So, while being biracial, I was always comfortable self-identifying as Black and while knowing that my brother and I were different, I didn’t think much about or contend with my identity.

Fast forward to 2016. For the first time, I am going to Nigeria with my dad to stay where he was raised, meet my Nigerian family for the first time, and see how he came to grow from “the poorest family in the village” to leaving for Canada on a scholarship.

In meeting a side of my family I had never seen or spoken with I was embraced as though we had known each other our entire lives. Regardless of this being my first visit, I immediately knew I was home and felt like one of the family. That said, at times when we were out in the city, I overheard on a few occasions people gesture and say something in my direction. I had to ask my dad what they were saying, I was told they were commenting about me being ‘a White person’ walking about the area.

This was the first time I had ever been referred to as White, even though I knew that some biracial people do identify themselves as white or hold a protean identity, shifting between Black, White, and biracial. For me, I was thrown back a little, even a little defensive as I felt as though my identity was being challenged. Over time I have been rethinking my understanding of my identity, coming to recognize that the reason why I was thrown was because of my own internalized racism. I felt that because I grew up in a predominantly White community and didn’t have a strong connection with a Black community I wasn’t "Black enough."

The problem with this reasoning is of course, that race is a social construct and I don’t have a right to expect that strangers with cultural and ethnic experiences that differ from my own need to see me as one who shares a common identity. Yes, on the one hand, being in White dominated spaces means that as I continue to unlearn how I think about race and identity, I still identify as Black; living in White dominated spaces I will always be aware of how I exist in that context. On the other hand, because of shadeism and internalized White supremacy, there are barriers and biases that I may not face.

So in the years since my visit home I have been taking stock of the biases and beliefs that I have been putting on myself and other people of colour. I make more time to expose myself to the voices and experiences of other people – reminding myself that I can have my perspectives shaped by my experiences without minimizing or diminishing the stories of others. Often our friend groups look like us and are fairly homogenous, so I try to put myself in situations where I can continue to learn.

In my work I continue to advocate for ways that we can increase the diversity of our team and create spaces to ensure that the staff from underrepresented communities feel welcome and supported. I also get involved in committee work and seek training that is focused on inclusion on campus.

For you, here are a few easy ideas that you can try:

  • Read a more diverse slate of authors
  • Complete training offered by the Human Rights and Equity Office
  • Seek opportunities to learn from others both on campus and in the community
  • Elevate the voices of those who are asking for change to make Queen’s feel like home

I am appreciative of the opportunity to more thoughtfully consider my identity as a Black biracial person, the context I live in as it relates to systems of oppression, and how I can be more actively involved in anti-oppression work in my life. The opportunity to unlearn some of the biases and beliefs we carry around identity and to relearn how to be anti-racist in our actions will help us think about the impact of the work that we do. I know that it has for me.

A life transformed, black awareness heightened

Michael Coleman left an important legacy for the university when he co-founded the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada - Queen’s Chapter.

Michael Coleman Law'17
During his time at Queen's University Michael Coleman (Law’17) co-founded a Queen’s chapter of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) of Canada. 

If there’s a word to describe the three years Michael Coleman (Law’17), spent as a student at Queen’s Law, it’s “transformative.” 

Not only did he earn his JD degree and emerge from the experience a changed person, he also left an important legacy when he co-founded a Queen’s chapter of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) of Canada. 

Today, Coleman is thriving in his role as an associate with Toronto-based Fogler, Rubinoff LLP, where he works in the firm’s commercial real estate and banking groups. But he still marvels at how much his life has changed since his first day of law school in September 2014. 

Coleman was 22 then. While earning an Honours BA from York University, he’d hoped to have a future in law.

“I was inspired by my Grade 12 law teacher who shared positive stories about being a lawyer, and I was always encouraged by my immediate family and (now) fiancée, Schenelle Dias,” he says. “I developed a strong sense that I wanted a legal career. That was something no one else in my family had ever accomplished.”

Coleman was the third of four children born to Jamaican-born immigrant parents. After coming to Canada in the early 1980s, his father, Fedrick, toiled as a transportation dispatcher, his mother, Evadne as a personal support worker. The Colemans worked hard to build better lives for themselves and for their children; education was integral to that goal.

Choosing Queen's

Coleman chose Queen’s Law for two reasons. One was the legacy of Robert Sutherland (c1830-1878), the brilliant Jamaican-born man who was the first black graduate of Queen’s, the first black lawyer in British North America, and one of the university’s most important early benefactors.

“I found his story particularly inspiring,” Coleman says.

A second reason was the collegial approach to learning at the school.

“The students support each other, and the professors are passionate about the subjects they teach," he says. "They challenge you intellectually while encouraging you to think, question, and consider all sides of an issue. That’s something that has stayed with me, and that I try to do in my practice.”

Coleman learned critical legal skills and more at Queen’s Law while finding his way. He began first-year intent on a career in criminal or administrative law; however, a tax course taught by Professor Art Cockfield (Law’93), fired his imagination and nudged him in a different direction.

“That’s one of the great things about Queen’s Law,” Coleman says. “Students are exposed to and have opportunities to experience different areas of the law.” 

At the same time his career goals were changing, he made some big changes personally, becoming “a lot more mindful” of what he was eating and beginning a running-based exercise regimen that helped him drop 90 pounds.   

Giving back to the community

As if all that wasn’t challenging enough, Coleman somehow made time and found the energy to continue “giving back to the community.” This is something his role models have always done, and he has followed their example. In his graduating year at Queen’s Law, Coleman was named to the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Society for his volunteer efforts with Queen’s Legal Aid, for serving as a math and English tutor for inmates at Collins Bay Institution, and for co-founding BLSA-Queen’s.

The latter is an organization that Coleman discovered in October of first year, that he’s still proudly involved with and that he’s delighted to see active at Queen’s Law.

“The BLSA provides me with ongoing opportunities to mentor black law students and to network with other black Queen’s Law alumni,” he says, noting two in particular: Justice Donald McLeod (Law’95) of the Ontario Court of Justice, the first black Queen’s Law grad to be called to the bench, and Frank Walwyn (Law’93) of WeirFoulds LLP, who’s one of the first black partners at a Bay Street law firm.

“I’ve benefited from the friendships that I made at Queen’s Law and from the rich alumni network that’s out there,” says Coleman. “I’ll always feel a strong connection to the school.” 

By Ken Cuthbertson (Law’83)

University statement regarding Steve Boyd

As a community, and as a university, we were saddened and distressed by the February Globe and Mail article concerning a coach and a former university track athlete and her experiences. We are sure it was even more distressing for the many athletes directly impacted, and for the wider sporting community in Canada. No student-athlete should be subjected to the type of environment described. 

We understand that there were many victims in this matter. We expect the behaviours of those who represent us to reflect the values of the institution and to demonstrate proper consideration and respect for those who were victimized.

Queen’s university upholds and promotes the value of free speech.  However, Mr. Boyd made numerous statements on social media berating and blaming student athletes who were themselves victims and which only served to re-traumatize them.  In doing so, Mr. Boyd flagrantly disregarded the respect and dignity requirements of the Queen’s A&R Coaches Code of Ethics, the OUA Code of Conduct and Ethics, and related U SPORTS Policies and Procedures.

Mr. Boyd’s comments follow a pattern of objectionable social media commentary spanning several years, about which he had previously been formally cautioned. Mr. Boyd failed to heed repeated warnings from the administration to stop his reckless social media activities.  

Queen’s University fully supports Canada’s Safe Sport actions to prevent abuse, harassment and bullying.  The university had no choice but to take assertive action in this instance to make it clear that Mr. Boyd’s berating and victim-blaming comments do not reflect the values of the university and we certainly do not condone them.

– Professor Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

Gift enhances library’s Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection

Philanthropist Seymour Schulich donates three books, including one printed in 1477.

  • philanthropist and entrepreneur Seymour Schulich, recently added to that reputation through a gift of three books, including one printed in 1477 that is now the second-oldest in the collection.
    Philanthropist and entrepreneur Seymour Schulich, recently donated three books, including one printed in 1477 that is now the second-oldest in the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. (University Communications)
  • Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum by Pope Pius II
    This volume of Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum by Pope Pius II, is believed to be the only specimen of that edition in Canada.(University Communications)
  • Thomas Moulton’s The Myrrour or Glasse of Helth (1561)
    Thomas Moulton’s The Myrrour or Glasse of Helth (1561) is one of three books recently donated to the Queen’s University Library’s Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection. (University Communications)
  • Ludovico di Varthema’s Die Ritterliche Unnd Lobwirdige Reiss (1556)
    Ludovico di Varthema’s Die Ritterliche Unnd Lobwirdige Reiss (1556) is one of three books recently donated by Canadian philanthropist Seymour Schulich. (University Communications)

Founded in 2016, the Queen’s University Library’s Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection is quickly gaining a reputation as one of Canada’s best collections of early modern print.

Co-founder, philanthropist and entrepreneur Seymour Schulich, recently added to that reputation through a gift of three books, including one printed in 1477 that is now the second-oldest in the collection.

That book, Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum by Pope Pius II, is believed to be the only specimen of that edition in Canada. Also gifted are Ludovico di Varthema’s Die Ritterliche Unnd Lobwirdige Reiss (1556), and Thomas Moulton’s The Myrrour or Glasse of Helth (1561).

“Through these gifts, Mr. Schulich strengthens the library’s goals to promote and preserve distinct collections of information resources that enable high impact research and scholarship,” says Michael Vandenburg, Interim Vice-Provost and University Librarian. “The three new texts will be displayed prominently in the library where they will enhance the student learning experience and stimulate faculty teaching and research. Scholars from around the world will be drawn to Queen’s by the excellence of its research collections.” 

Fellow collection co-founder, Principal Emeritus Daniel Woolf, explains that the new arrivals are good examples of Renaissance-era printing, covering different genres: history, medicine, and travel. Die Ritterliche Unnd Lobwirdige Reiss and The Myrrour or Glasse of Helth illustrate small and medium format printing in ‘black letter’ text, often referred to as Gothic, he says. Historia Rerum Ubique Gestarum is of particular interest as it was printed during the first 50 years of moveable type and is an ‘incunabulum,’ the term for the very, very rare books published between 1450 and 1500.

“The book exemplifies the superior letter casting and printing of Italian printing houses of the day,” Dr. Woolf says of Historia. “The book is important for its content, too, as one of the earliest specimens of Italian humanist historical writing which differed considerably from the late medieval chronicles it supplanted.”
Schulich and Dr. Woolf partnered to donate their personal collections of rare books to Queen’s. In recognition of their generosity and vision, the university established the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection, which resides at the W. D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections in Douglas Library, and combines more than 400 volumes. Schulich also made an additional gift of approximately $2 million to help build and preserve the collection and make it accessible to students and researchers, both at Queen’s and beyond.

“Mr. Schulich has been a very generous benefactor of the library, the Schulich Foundation having either purchased books such as this directly or provided the funds to acquire them, as for instance with last year’s purchase of the Nuremberg Chronicle and the earlier acquisition of a Caxton publication, both also incunabula,” Dr. Woolf says. “With the addition of Mr. Schulich’s own personal collection of books, plus many of my own, the library is building up one of the best collections of early modern print, especially printed editions of Renaissance-era history and travel literature, in the country. I’m personally thrilled that with his and the foundation’s help, the collection continues to grow.”

An industry leader whose career has spanned the financial services and mining sectors, Seymour Schulich has distinguished himself as a philanthropist over the last two decades, donating more than $350 million to universities and hospitals throughout Canada, the U.S., and Israel.

In 2011, he launched the Schulich Leader Scholarships, now a $200-million program that provides full scholarships to promising high school graduates with a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Since the program’s inception, Queen’s has been a top-five destination for Schulich Leaders.

To take a virtual tour and learn more about the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection.

Addressing past discrimination to promote diversity in the future

Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award for their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students.
For their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students, Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award. (University Communications)

On March 3, Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award for their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students. 

The annual Human Rights and Equity Office Tri-Awards honour individuals and group accomplishments in the areas of employment equity, accessibility and human rights. Find out more information about:
Steve Cutway Accessibility Award
Employment Equity Award
Human Rights Initiative Award
The awards reception is scheduled for March 3, 1-3 pm at Rose Innovation Room, Mitchell Hall
Registration: Human Rights and Equity Office, 2019 Tri-Awards Celebration

In 1918, Queen’s School of Medicine banned black students – a ban that went enforced until 1965. Last April, as a result of Edward Thomas’ research on the subject, Dean Reznick and former Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf signed a public apology for this discriminatory policy. According to Thomas’ research, the ban was put in place to be in line with the discriminatory policies favoured at the time by the American Medical Association (AMA), the organization that ranked medical schools in North America. While the AMA had no control over the policies of Canadian medical schools, the Carnegie Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation consulted its rankings when they made decisions about whether or not to provide funding to medical schools.

Recognizing this was an area of need, Dean Reznick went on to form the Commission on Black Medical Students, made up of faculty, students, and staff from Queen’s, including Dr. Joneja and Edward Thomas, in order to address the historical injustice. The commission’s work included personal letters of apology to each of the families affected by the ban, changes made to the Undergraduate Medical Program curriculum, as well as an honorary degree presented to the family of Ethelbert Bartholomew, a student affected by the ban.

The Commission on Black Medical Students remains active under the leadership of Dr. Joneja as chair, and their work on this important initiative continues, including an upcoming symposium and an exhibition at the School of Medicine.

The Human Rights and Equity Office outlined reasons as to why this team was chosen for the award, stating that the work has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of equality and human rights at the university, positively impacted the campus community through the introduction of new curriculum, and enhanced a sense of belonging for racialized students at Queen’s.

*     *     *

Tri-Award Selection Committee

  • Ann Deir, Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator, Faculty of Law
  • Andrew Ashby, Accessibility Coordinator, Human Rights and Equity Office
  • Nilani Loganathan, Human Rights Advisor, Human Rights and Equity Office
  • Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion)
  • Christine Coulter, Faculty, Smith School of Business
  • Penny Zhang, Society of Graduate and Professional Students


MyQueen’sU modernization: Updated look and feel

New MyQueensU homepage
IT Services has released a revitalized MyQueen'sU built to current web standards and is built for optimal performance on many devices.

IT Services is excited to release a revitalized MyQueen'sU to the Queen's community. 

Solus and OnQ on MyQueen'sU
The SOLUS and MyHR links are two of the most used links and have been kept in a prominent location. They can also be found among the other links.

The new version was built in collaboration with University Relations to provide a refreshed and modernized interface. The new interface is built to current web standards and is built for optimal performance on many devices.

Links to all of the applications you're used to seeing are still present plus many more.  You can quickly find what you're looking for by typing a keyword into the search box.  You can filter by your role and group the applications into categories.  If you log in, it's also possible to create a personalized view to keep your most commonly used links readily accessible.

Queen's provides many software applications beneficial to research and your daily digital life via the Software Centre – at no cost. IT Services has also redesigned the Software Centre in Microsoft SharePoint to provide a more modern, user-friendly interface. A link to the Software Centre is provided in the new MyQueen'sU.  Be sure to grab your free copy of EndNote, SPSS, Matlab, Maple and more!

As part of this release, a number of other things have moved outside of MyQueen'sU:

If you have questions, please contact the IT Support Centre by submitting a help form or calling (613) 533-6666.

New Software Centre
IT Services has also redesigned the Software Centre in Microsoft SharePoint to provide a more modern, user-friendly interface

Taking the next step

Principal Patrick Deane speaks to Foundational Leadership Program participants
Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane speaks to Foundational Leadership Program participants during the launch event at the Four Points Sheraton. The program helps managers upgrade their skill set and develop a network of like-minded colleagues from across the university. (University Communications) 

For more than 10 years now, the Foundational Leadership Program (FLP) has provided managers at Queen’s an opportunity to upgrade their skill set and at the same time to develop a network of like-minded colleagues from across the university.

Designed and administered by Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning, Human Resources, the FLP helps managers gain advanced training in leadership development, including best practices in management, communication and coaching skills, and strengthening employee engagement. Gaining skills through 15 classroom sessions, the cohort will form teams and apply this knowledge as they develop a project that supports an aspect of the university’s strategic framework

The blended learning format includes in-class and self-directed activities, readings, discussions, case studies, coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning.

Participants come from a wide range of departments at Queen’s and bring varied expertise to the group. Dora Nomikos is the manager of the Office of Clinical Trial Management at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG). Over the initial two days, she says, getting to meet the others taking the program was a positive experience while the topics discussed generated very lively discussion and awareness of both self and others.

Like many others, she was drawn to the program with the goal of taking the next step in her skills development. The networking aspect was also a key aspect.

“My main motivation in joining the program was to gain knowledge and insight, through the material presented by the experts, in supervisory skills, best management practices and leadership styles and techniques,” Nomikos says. “A very exciting aspect of the program will be networking with other professionals from all across the university and learning from each other, through exchange of ideas and experiences. In the end, I hope that this program will both enhance my management and leadership capabilities as well as enable me to build relationships and collaborations outside my department with other groups within Queen’s.”

Foundational Leadership Program participants listen to Principal Patrick Deane
Members of the 2020-21 cohort for the Foundational Leadership Program listen to Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane during the recent launch event. (University Communications)

Charles Hindmarch arrived at Queen’s Department of Medicine from the UK in 2016 as the Scientific Operations Director for the Translational Institute of Medicine (TIME) and Genomics Specialist for the Queen’s Cardiopulmonary Unit (QCPU).

His positions involve academic work as well as a leadership role in terms of strategic planning and coordination. As these leadership roles have grown he says he has become aware that some of the skillsets he requires would benefit from further development. He’s hoping to gain that through the Foundational Leadership Program.

“I am hoping that this program will allow me to take a more thoughtful and considered approach to working within and leading teams at Queen’s,” Dr. Hindmarch says, adding that he is particularly looking forward to the Action Learning Component, where teams of participants will develop a project for submission to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Not only will this experience galvanize my learning through direct application of methodologies supported by mentorship, it will be a great opportunity to develop personal networks with other leaders at Queen’s University.”

At the end of the program each team will present their final project during the graduation event.

The program has evolved over the past decade to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s managers. With each cohort, the reputation of the Foundational Leadership Program has gained traction while the network of graduates has become a vital aspect of the university.

“There continues to be a great interest for managers across the institution to hone their skillsets and with each cohort there is another group of graduates sharing their positive experiences of the program,” says Shannon Hill, Learning and Development Specialist, Human Resources. “There is a real sense of community amongst the graduates and we have seen the reputation of the program grow.”

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

Postponed: Planned power outages for March 22


The power outages planned for Sunday, March 22 have been postponed to a later date. The future date is yet to be determined, so a separate notice will be issued when a new date is selected.


The forestry crew conducting tree trimming in the Union Street, Collingwood Street, King Street West, Stuart Street, Albert Street, Earl Street, Frontenac Street, Kensington Avenue and Centre Street area is now forecasting that their work will extend for up to six hours on Sunday, March 22 beginning at 9 am. Please plan operational activities accordingly and update tenants where necessary.

 Tip: Plan to power down all computers and sensitive equipment prior to 9 am on Sunday, March 22.

*     *    *

Workers will be conducting tree trimming in the neighbourhood surrounding Queen’s main campus on behalf of electricity distributor, Kingston Hydro Corporation.

During this work, power may be interrupted as follows:

GENERAL LOCATION: Union Street, Collingwood Street, King Street West, Stuart Street, Albert Street, Earl Street, Frontenac Street, Kensington Avenue, and Centre Street

DATE: Sunday, March 22, 2020



Workers will also be installing electrical underground equipment on behalf of electricity distributor, Kingston Hydro Corporation.

During this work, power may be interrupted as follows:

GENERAL LOCATION: 329 Earl St. (Harkness Hall)

DATE: Sunday, March 22, 2020



* Weather conditions, emergencies, or other factors may prevent work from being conducted on the scheduled date forcing postponement to an alternate date.

For an online map of the affected areas, please see below areas in green shading or visit www.utilitieskingston.com. There will be no impact to the other main campus properties while work is in progress.

Map of power outage area


Remembering Black medical alumni

The following was first published through the Dean’s Blog.

If you have been following my blog for the last year, you may be aware that in 2018, it was brought to light that the Queen’s School of Medicine (then Faculty of Medicine) banned Black students in 1918. And while the ban had not been enforced since 1965, it remained on the university’s books as an official policy. So in October 2018, the Queen’s University Senate formally repealed the ban on Black medical students. But I knew that we needed to do more. In April 2019, then Principal Daniel Woolf and I issued a formal apology to those who had been affected by the ban.

John Wiseman Eve
John Wiseman Eve

Ethelbert Bartholomew was one of the Black students enrolled at the time of the ban, and he had completed nearly all of the necessary work to earn his MD. But because of this policy, he had to leave the school before graduating. Unable to secure a spot at another medical school, he supported himself and his family working as a sleeping car porter for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Ethelbert’s son, Daniel Bartholomew, attended the public apology in April 2019. And while he was touched by this action, he requested the university take another symbolic step to address a historical injustice. And so, at the 2019 Spring Convocation, Queen’s presented Ethelbert D. J. Bartholomew with a posthumous MD, 101 years after he was pressured to withdraw from the Faculty of Medicine.

There were 15 Black students enrolled in the Queen’s Faculty of Medicine at the time of the ban with 14 physically present on campus. Half of these students left shortly after the ban was introduced. Despite the promise of continuing their education elsewhere, the university did not help them secure spots at other Canadian schools. Most of these students completed their medical education in the United Kingdom. The other half fought to continue their education at Queen’s, despite constant pressure from the faculty to transfer elsewhere. The last of these enrolled students graduated from Queen’s in 1922.

One of the most damaging consequences of the ban was that the Faculty of Medicine failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of those Black alumni who graduated during the early 20th century.

In honour of Black History Month, I want to share with you the names of four students; three are alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine. These stories are but a small sample of the illustrious careers of Black alumni who received their MDs from Queen’s before the ban was enacted.

Dr. Courtney Clement Ligoure (Meds 1916)
Dr. Ligoure graduated from Queen’s before the ban and established his practice in Halifax, N.S. Unable to secure hospital privileges, he set up an independent surgery at his home in the city’s north end. He became the publisher of the Atlantic Advocate and used this position to advocate for the formation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. In 1917 when the Halifax Explosion killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 people, he set off to tend the injured, using his home as a local dressing station where he successfully treated hundreds of injured persons over the next several days.

Dr. Hugh Gordon H. Cummins (Meds 1919)
Dr. Cummings rose to prominence as a co-founder of the Barbados Labour Party in partnership with Sir Grantley Adams. He became the second premier of Barbados and played an instrumental role in revoking the island’s predatory Located Labourers Act.

Dr. Curtis Theopolis Skeete (Tufts 1925) 
Dr. Skeete left Queen’s immediately after the 1918 ban. He would eventually graduate from Tufts University and establish his medical practice in Nassau County, N.Y. In the 1940s, he became the first president of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which played a pivotal role in confronting Long Island’s infamous regime of racial segregation. 

John Wiseman Eve (Meds 1917)
Wiseman Eve was born in Bermuda and attended the Bertley Institute, graduating with a Senior Cambridge Certificate. He joined Queen’s Faculty of Medicine in 1913, in the class of 1917. He was an excellent violinist and an enthusiastic member of his class. He was a member of the Freshman Year Executive. John died in a canoeing accident on Aug. 12, 1916, just one year before completing his MD.

There are many more stories that I have not included here, but I hope that in reading this blog, you have taken a moment to reflect on these four students who walked through our doors over 100 years ago. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And Drs. Ligoure, Cummins and Skeete did just that.


Creating a culture of wellbeing on campus

Draft Campus Wellbeing Framework released for community input.

Photo of Queen's campus in fall.
Over 1,800 members of the Queen's community were consulted when developing the draft Campus Wellbeing Framework.

Students, faculty and staff are being asked to provide feedback on the university’s draft Campus Wellbeing Framework.

Following a six month consultation with more than 1,800 community members, the draft framework was developed under the leadership of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Wellness and the Campus Wellness Council, comprising students, faculty and staff with diverse experiences, expertise and perspectives related to advancing a health-promoting university community.

Comments on the draft framework can be submitted online until May 1 on the Campus Wellness Project website.

“This draft framework reflects a shared wellbeing vision for the university,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Its guiding principles and areas of focus provide a structure that will support actions across the multiple dimensions of health to promote a culture of care, inclusion and respect. I want to thank all the members of the Queen’s community who have taken the time to share their thoughts and experiences so far.  I would also like to thank members of the Provost’s Advisory Committe on Wellness, and Campus Wellness Council members for their dedication to reviewing and synthesiszing all information collected during the consultation phase.”

The Draft Campus Wellbeing Framework aligns with the Okanagan Charter, which Queen’s adopted in January 2019. The charter calls on post-secondary institutions to embed health and wellbeing in all aspects of campus culture, and to lead human and environmental wellbeing promotion action locally and globally. The Campus Wellbeing Framework is an important step in the university’s work of creating a stronger culture of wellness for all who study, work, and live at Queen’s.

The draft framework provides a conceptual guide to thinking about how wellbeing can be integrated into many aspects of campus life.

“While we believe that we reached a representative sample of the community during consultations, student, staff and faculty input on this draft framework is essential to ensure it reflects our shared values and priorities with respect to creating a culture of wellbeing. I encourage everyone to submit their comments on this draft framework,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) and Co-Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Wellness.

The Campus Wellness Project, funded by The Rossy Foundation, was launched in 2018 to facilitate campus-wide engagement and conversations to advance a culture of wellbeing at Queen’s.


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