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NSERC funding supports Indigenous educational outreach

NSERC PromoScience grant will support STEM professional development project for First Nations educators.

Melanie Howard and Denise Miller, grade 5/6 teacher from Emily C. General School in Six Nations
Through the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program at Queen's University, Melanie Howard and her team are building strong relationships with partner First Nations schools, including Emily C. General School in Six Nations, where Denise Miller teaches a Grade 5/6 class. (Supplied Photo) 

An award-winning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational outreach program at Queen’s has received $450,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience program to continue its work with Indigenous youth and their teachers.

Created as an effort to increase the number of qualified Indigenous engineers in Canada, Aboriginal Access to Engineering (AAE), based in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, has seen tremendous growth in terms of its educational outreach capacity and as a student success initiative. When the initiative launched in 2011, only four students pursuing Queen’s engineering degree programs self-identified as Indigenous. Seven years later, the 2018-19 academic year saw 48 Indigenous students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Nicole General (B.Ed 2016), AAE staff member
AAE staff member Nicole General (B.Ed 2016), works with a teacher at Emily C. General School in Six Nations. (Supplied photo)

“AAE was founded to promote and develop contributions by Indigenous Peoples to the engineering profession and to cultivate the input of professional engineers with Indigenous communities who are facing serious infrastructure and development issues,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “The work developing the on-campus student success program, and the educational outreach program, has seen Queen’s contribute significantly to the mandate established at the outset – to increase the number of qualified Indigenous engineers in Canada.”

For the past three years, AAE has built strong relationships with partner First Nations schools in the communities of Ahkwesahsne, Kahnawake, Kanehsatake, Kehnteke (Tyendinaga), and Ohsweken (Six Nations).  All full-time team members with the educational outreach program are qualified Indigenous teachers, and deliver STEM-enriched lessons to students attending partner schools.

Through the NSERC PromoScience program, partner school leaders and administrators identified the need for more direct professional development opportunities for their teaching staff, and worked with Melanie Howard, Director of Aboriginal Access to Engineering, to outline how best to address this need.

“It is very heartening to know that NSERC believes in what we are doing, and sees that we continue to evolve our educational STEM outreach model to respond to community-identified priorities,” Howard says. “This latest round of support will bolster our teaching team and provide meaningful and ongoing professional development to teachers of Indigenous youth, with AAE staff working in a coaching role to improve teaching and learning in STEM for First Nation schools.” 

NSERC's PromoScience program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering (including mathematics and technology).

“Aboriginal Access to Engineering contributes significantly to the relationships Queen’s University has with neighbouring First Nation communities,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal Indigenous Initiatives. “I applaud the decision by NSERC to support AAE in continuing their important community-based educational outreach work.”

For more information on the PromoScience program, visit the NSERC website.

Employee and Family Assistance Program provider publishes May edition of Life Lines

Read Lifelines online.

As the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider for Queen’s University, Homewood Health publishes a number of regular newsletters, including Lifelines.

The monthly newsletter is intended to support key personnel with a wealth of information on the topic presented. The May edition is entitled “Vacation: Relax, Refresh and Reconnect.”

For more information on the Queen’s EFAP, visit the Human Resources website.

For 24-hour EFAP services call 1-800-663-1142 (English) or 1-866-398-9505 (French).

Ce fichier est disponible en francais.

Queen’s remembers student Stephanie Maunder

Queen’s regrets to inform the community of the death of student Stephanie Maunder. Stephanie was enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program with a major in geology and was in her third year. 

Stephanie Maunder

She died Sunday, April 28 following a three-month battle with cancer.

Stephanie was a gymnast and longtime coach in Kingston; she volunteered at Nightlight, a local drop-in centre, and last spring, did mission work in Ecuador.

“On behalf of the Queen's community, I want to extend sincere and deep condolences to Stephanie’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this time,” says Principal Daniel Woolf.

Flags on campus will be lowered in her memory on Friday, May 3.

Visitation is May 2, and a funeral service will be held May 3. More details are available online.

Anyone in need of support is encouraged to contact Student Wellness Services at 613-533-6000 ext.78264 and/or Faith and Spiritual Life at chaplain@queensu.ca.

Seven honorary degrees being conferred during Spring Convocation

The presentation of honorary degrees is one of the many traditions of convocation at Queen’s University. This spring, seven recipients will be honoured during the ceremonies. All recipients were selected by Queen’s community members for their contributions to the local community, Canadian society, or the world.

The honorary degree recipients this year include:

Shelagh Rogers (Artsci’77) – Ceremony 4, May 24, 4 pm

Shelagh RogersShelagh Rogers is an award-winning Canadian broadcast journalist and the 11th chancellor of the University of Victoria.  She is the host and producer of CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter. Rogers began in broadcasting at CFRC, the campus radio station of Queen’s University, while she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History. In 1980, she joined CBC Radio, where she worked on a variety of shows including The Arts Tonight, Basic Black, and Morningside alongside Peter Gzowski. In 2011, Rogers was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for promoting Canadian culture and for her advocacy work in the fields of mental health, adult literacy, and reconciliation. She was inducted as an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2011, and continues to champion reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.  She is the co-editor of Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential School (2012), Reconciliation and the Way Forward (2014) and Speaking My Truth: A Journey to Reconciliation (2018). She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

Terence Dickinson – Ceremony 6, June 3, 2:30 pm

Terence Dickinson became interested in astronomy at age five when he saw a brilliant meteor one evening from the front lawn of the family home. A prolific science writer specializing in astronomy, more than one million copies of his 15 astronomy books are in print in several languages. His book NightWatch is widely regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers, and Hubble’s Universe is promoted at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as recommended reading for the Hubble Space Telescope. In 1974, he moved to Wisconsin to become editor of Astronomy magazine and returned to Canada in 1976 to the Ontario Science Centre, in Toronto. The following year, he moved to eastern Ontario and became a full-time astronomy writer and editor. He then began a series of CBC radio interviews with host David Suzuki that continued periodically into the 1990s. In 1994, he became editor of SkyNews, Canada’s national astronomy magazine. In 1995, he was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to public understanding of astronomy.

George Cope – Ceremony 9, June 4, 4 pm

As President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, George Cope has led the nation’s largest communications company with a strategy of unparalleled investment and innovation in broadband networks and wireless, TV, internet and media growth services. A 2018 Canadian Business Hall of Fame inductee and Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year in 2015, Cope has earned a reputation as a strategic leader in Canadian communications and as a builder of high-performance teams in public-company chief executive roles over the past 30 years. Cope also led the launch of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, the largest-ever corporate commitment to Canadian mental health and now one of the country’s most prominent community investment campaigns. He was Chair of United Way Toronto’s record-breaking 2013 campaign, and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on Bell Let’s Talk. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.

Deborah Turnbull (Artsci’75) – Ceremony 11, June 5, 2:30 pm

Deborah Turnbull graduated from Queen’s with a Bachelor (Honours) degree in biology.  While at Queen’s she was a member of the swim team as well as the university’s first women’s water polo team. She also worked as a part-time at the Queen’s Biology Library and as a research assistant to the late Allan Keast at the Queen’s University Biology Station.  Turnbull went on to earn a Master’s Degree in oceanography from McGill. She later graduated from the Executive Development Program at the University of Calgary and is a Certified International Trade Professional. Turnbull served as a member of the Queen’s University Council (1990-2002) and has organized events for her graduation class. For her more than 40 years of distinguished voluntary and professional service, she received the 2018 Queen’s Alumni Toronto Branch Award. Over her career, Turnbull has worked with the International Development Research Centre, Agrodev Canada, and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) and taught international development studies courses at the University of Toronto. She is or has been on the board or chaired many non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Richard Evans – Ceremony 12, June 6, 10 am

Sir Richard John Evans obtained his doctorate from Jesus and St Antony’s College, Oxford, in 1973, before embarking on an academic career. He was Professor of European History at the University of East Anglia, England, and subsequently Professor of History, Vice-Master and Acting Master at Birkbeck, London University’s college for adult, part-time students. In 1998 he became Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University. He was appointed Regius Professor of History in 2008, retiring in 2014. From 2010 to 2017 he was President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is currently Provost of Gresham College in the City of London, which has been offering free lectures for the general public since 1597. He is Deputy Chair of the Spoliation Advisory Panel, a non-departmental public body advising the UK government on claims for the return of cultural objects looted during the Nazi era. Sir Richard is the author of more than 20 books. His three-volume history of Nazi Germany (The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, and The Third Reich at War) has been translated into 15 languages.

Fiona Sampson (Artsci'85, Law'93) – Ceremony 13, June 6, 1 pm

A human rights lawyer with a PhD in women’s equality law, Fiona Sampson has dedicated her 20-plus year career to seeking justice for society’s disadvantaged: disabled persons, refugees, Indigenous persons, and victims of violence.  A two-time graduate of Queen’s University – Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws – Sampson founded the equality effect, an NGO that uses international human rights law to make girls/women’s rights real. As CEO, she led her team to the landmark 160 Girls High Court victory in Kenya. As one of the last thalidomide victims born in Canada, she has an affinity with other disadvantaged persons that inspires her human rights work. Sampson recently completed a seven-year term as a Commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  An experienced litigation lawyer, she has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada representing various women’s NGOs in equality rights cases.  She has published widely relating to women’s and girls’ equality and has received many awards and much recognition for her human rights work. In 2015 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Gerald Sutton (Com’48) – Ceremony 16, June 11, 2:30 pm

Gerald Sutton arrived in Canada from England in 1941 and settled in Chatham, Ont. Two years later he joined the RCAF at the age of 17 and would be commissioned as a pilot. Following his service he enrolled in the Commerce program Queen’s University, graduating in 1948. A year later he graduated from the Master of Commerce program. Working in the head office of the Bank of Montreal he would become Assistant Economic Adviser but left in 1958 to be Director of Research at Nesbitt, Thompson And Company Limited, now BMO Nesbitt Burns. In 1961 he organized Canada’s first venture capital company, Canadian Enterprise Development Corporation Limited (CED). He was appointed General Manager in 1964 and subsequently President of CED. Throughout his career, Sutton was also a pioneer in organizing and supporting not-for-profit organizations to improve the quality of life for developmentally handicapped people. Sutton and his wife Margaret, also a graduate of Queen’s, are enthusiastic supporters of Queen’s and have established a number of bursaries, awards and scholarships. Two rooms in Goodes Hall bear their names.

Starting Thursday, May 23 and finishing Wednesday, June 12, a total of 18 ceremonies are being held for Spring Convocation. The first 14 will held at Grant Hall while the final four will be hosted at the Athletics and Recreation Centre Main Gym.

Live ceremony feeds will begin approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled start of each ceremony. The full schedule of the ceremonies is available online.

More information about Convocation at Queen's is available on the website of the Office of the University Registrar.

Queen’s Chancellor has term extended additional year

Jim Leech to serve as Chancellor until June 2021.

Jim Leech, Queen's University Chancellor
Jim Leech has served as Queen’s University Chancellor since 2014.

Queen’s University Council members have voted to extend the current term of appointment of Chancellor Jim Leech for an additional 12 months to June 30, 2021. Acting on a recommendation from the University Council Executive Committee, Councilors agreed that Chancellor Leech’s extension would ensure continuity and support for the incoming Principal, Patrick Deane.

“I’m honoured that the University Council has voted to extend my term for an additional year,” says Chancellor Leech. “I look forward to contributing in any way I can to the smooth transition of leadership, as Daniel Woolf completes his exceptional tenure as Principal and Vice-Chancellor and we welcome Principal Designate Deane back into the Queen’s community.”

The Chancellor is the university’s highest officer and serves as ceremonial head of the school, as well as the University Council chairperson and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and its committees. Chancellor Leech first assumed his role in July 2014, making him the 14th person to occupy the Chancellorship since its creation over 140 years ago. He has a long history of exemplary service in the position, having presided over countless convocations and conferred many degrees, chaired important governance committees, and served as an outspoken ambassador for the school.

“It has been a great pleasure to work alongside Jim over the last five years, as his energy, expertise, and enduring commitment to the university has strengthened and inspired the Queen’s community,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “He is an invaluable champion and a steady hand, and I am pleased that he has agreed to stay and support Dr. Deane as he transitions into his role as Principal.”

Outside of Queen’s, Chancellor Leech most recently retired as President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – one of the world’s largest pension plans – and previously led Unicorp Canada Corporation, and Union Energy Inc. He is involved in a number of charitable causes, including as chair of the board of the Mastercard Foundation, and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his involvement with the True Patriot Love Foundation, which supports Canadian military families. In 2014, he was also invested as a Member of the Order of Canada.

The University Council unanimously ratified Chancellor Leech’s term extension on Thursday, April 25 during a special meeting of Council members.

2019-20 Queen’s National Scholar program launched

The Queen’s National Scholar (QNS) program was first established in 1985, with the objective to “enrich teaching and research in newly-developing fields of knowledge as well as traditional disciplines.” Since then, over 100 QNS faculty appointments have been made in a wide variety of disciplines, and the appellation of Queen’s National Scholar has become synonymous with academic excellence.

The next round of the QNS program has now launched to attract candidates of the highest calibre to Queen’s. An annual allocation of $100,000 during the first five years of the appointment is provided. Expressions of Interest are due to faculty deans by June 14, 2019.  Full information on the QNS program

A night to remember

Queen’s pays tribute to Principal Daniel Woolf with portrait unveiling and a special concert by world-renowned jazz singer Claire Martin.

  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Chancellor Jim Leech and former Queen’s Board of Trustees chair Barbara Palk unveil the portrait of Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and Julie Gordon Woolf react after the unveiling of the portrait during the tribute event at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Daniel Woolf speaks about his two terms as principal and vice-chancellor of Queen's during a special tribute event hosted in his honour on Friday, April 26.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Queen's and Kingston community members fill the Performance Hall at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts for a special presentation and tribute concert for Principal Daniel Woolf.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)Tom Harris speaks ahead of the tribute concert for Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf at the Isabel.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Renowned vocalist Claire Martin and multi-instrumentalist Martin Sjöstedt perform during the tribute concert for Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf.
  • [Principal Woolf Tribute Concert]
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and Julie Gordon Woolf share a laugh during the tribute concert held in his honour at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

It was a night of music and celebration as a special tribute event recognizing Daniel Woolf’s 10 years of service as Queen’s principal and vice-chancellor was hosted at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, April 26.

The event was highlighted by a concert featuring world-renowned jazz vocalist Claire Martin and multi-instrumentalist Martin Sjöstedt.

Ahead of the concert Principal Woolf’s official portrait was unveiled. The painting, by artist Phyllis Dupuy, will be placed in Wallace Hall alongside Principal Woolf’s predecessors, once his current term ends in June.

During the event it was also announced that a new named professorship in the humanities will be created in Principal Woolf’s honour.

Queen’s going smoke-free

Smoking, vaping, and tobacco will be prohibited on the university’s Canadian campuses and properties beginning June 1, 2019.

As part of the university’s focus on fostering a culture of wellbeing at Queen’s, smoking, vaping, and the use of tobacco products will be banned from its Canadian campuses and properties beginning June 1, 2019.

“The health and well-being of everyone on the Queen’s campus is of utmost importance to me, and to the entire senior university administration,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “We want our community members to feel their best – and living, working, and studying in a smoke-free environment is a key step toward that goal.”

Queen’s joins 82 Canadian universities and colleges that have implemented smoke-free campus policies, according to a 2018 National Status Report by the Canadian Cancer Society. The Queen’s Smoke-Free University Policy also aligns with the university’s adoption of the Okanagan Charter, a formal commitment by the university to the health and wellness of our students, staff, and faculty. 

Queen’s University’s policy applies to students, faculty, staff, contractors, visitors and all others on university property, and prohibits smoking of any substance in any manner, and use of all tobacco products. The policy contains a comprehensive definition of smoking, smoking devices and tobacco products. Allowances will be made available for Indigenous use of traditional medicines, approved teaching and research, and prescribed medical cannabis.

“Through the Smoke-Free University Policy, Queen’s commits to creating a space free of smoke exposure and to supporting those trying to quit with appropriate services and resources,” says Principal Woolf. “More broadly, we seek to shift cultural norms around smoking and to encourage the greater population to make healthier choices that benefit everyone.”

The university is offering assistance to both students and employees seeking smoking cessation supports. Details are available at the Cessation Resources section on the Smoke-Free Queen’s FAQ.

Smoking rates in Canada have declined significantly over the past 50 years, from approximately 50 per cent in 1965 to 18 per cent in 2017, as the direct links between smoking and adverse health effects have become increasingly clear. Still, an estimated 5 million Canadians smoke, and 3.5 million of those people smoke daily. Second-hand smoke also poses significant health hazards.

“Use of tobacco products remains the leading cause of preventable diseases in Canada, claiming more than 45,000 lives annually - that's 125 lives each day,” says Elizabeth Eisenhauer, Queen’s Professor Emerta (Oncology), and member of the Queen’s Clean Air Steering Committee formed to guide the move toward a smoke-free campus. “By adopting this policy, we are advancing health promotion for our campus community and paving the way to a healthier future.”

Learn more about the Queen’s Smoke-Free University Policy and available resources. More information is also available relating to cannabis on campus.

University conditionally approves JDUC redevelopment project

Student-led effort to improve John Deutsch University Centre gains Board of Trustees support.

Queen's University's John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC)
The proposed project would modernize the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), with modernized spaces for undergraduate and graduate students.

Queen’s students are making headway in their pursuit of a revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) – a facility that has been central to student life on campus for over 70 years.

On March 1, the Queen’s University Board of Trustees conditionally agreed to support the proposed redevelopment project that would serve to modernize the facility, creating a fully accessible, sustainable, and inclusive location for students to learn, socialize, and study. Recent student referendums affirmed their funding commitment to the project.

“The Board’s decision to support the JDUC redevelopment keeps this effort on track to become an important and exciting project for the university,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Provided conditions are met, the student community will gain a vibrant new facility to call home, that will further strengthen the student learning experience at Queen’s.”

Under the plan, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) will contribute $50.5 million over 25 years, through a student fee levy. These contributions to the project were confirmed during graduate and undergraduate referendums in February 2018 and January 2019.

In turn, the university will support with a contribution of $11.8 million. This includes $1.8 million from the university’s operating funds, and $10 million in donor funds that are expected to be in place by Fall 2020 to continue advancing the project. Queen’s will also provide the project financing.

“While the fundraising campaign has just begun, the vision for the JDUC renovations will be exciting to alumni who know the building and share the enthusiasm of current students for its possibilities,” says Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement).

The redevelopment could save significant costs too, as the current facility will require an estimated $6 million in deferred maintenance and $8 million in system replacement over the next five to 10 years.

“It’s been a pleasure working with students to bring this project forward,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “This is a project that will have a lasting impact on campus life for future students, and our current students are to be commended for their leadership that has culminated in the Board’s conditional approval. I look forward to working with student leadership and all stakeholders to advance this project.”

In preliminary concept work with architects, students included in their proposal a vision for a facility with additional study and social areas for undergraduate students, rooms for campus clubs to form and flourish, and expanded mental health services among other services. The proposed plans were assembled after a year-long period of student consultation, and align with the university’s Campus Master Plan.

“We are excited that students and university stakeholders have come together to recognize the importance of the JDUC project,” says AMS President, Miguel Martinez. “As we take the next steps toward a new JDUC, we will continue to engage the Queen’s community so its members can inform the important decisions that lie ahead, and so we can best improve the Queen’s experience through this project.”

Plans also feature new and enhanced spaces for graduate students to socialize, study, host professional development programs, and more.

“The support from Queen’s and the approval by the Board of Trustees once again signals that Queen’s is actively engaged in strengthening the graduate community,” says Tyler Morrison, SGPS President.

For more about the AMS' proposed plan for the JDUC revitalization project, visit myJDUC.com.

Pitch-In Kingston community clean-up

Join the local effort to rid local neighbourhoods and parks of litter.

Pitch-In Kingston, an annual community clean-up event run by Sustainable Kingston, runs from April 22-29, 2019, and Queen's University encourages everyone on campus to get involved.
The goal of the event is to encourage community groups, individuals and businesses to celebrate the start of spring by cleaning up waste from local parks, streets, and shorelines. Last year, over 5,000 people in Kingston participated - and this year there are already over 6,600 registered. The local action is part of a Canada-wide Pitch-In effort.
Visit Sustainable Kingston's website to register your participation for free, and be sure to drop by Richardson Hall, Suite 352 or the Sustainability Office on the Rideau Building's second floor to pick up Pitch-In trash bags.


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