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Giving the gift of hope through the United Way

The Queen’s United Way campaign continues to raise funds towards its $320,000 target, and the goal is in sight.

During the holidays the Queen’s community can continue to show their support for the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington through the annual Gift of Hope campaign.

The Gift of Hope is available through the United Way KFLA website and provides opportunities to donate and provide support in six categories: Buy Winter Boots to Keep a Child Warm; Refugee Relief; Help Give a Youth Shelter; Hot Meals for the Hungry; Welcome Home Basket; and Buy a Backpack for a Child.

“The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is addressing the root causes of poverty by bringing ideas as well as volunteers to a problem, and working with the community to solve it,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations) and Executive Sponsor for the Queen’s United Way campaign. “It’s encouraging to consider how many lives are touched by the United Way, thanks to the support of the Queen’s community and so many others.”

While the United Way KFLA has wrapped up its campaign, the Queen’s United Way campaign continues to accept donations for its campaign. The final total will be announced in January.

Queen’s community members can back the United Way through payroll deduction, a one-time gift, credit card, cheque or cash. To make a donation online through the United Way’s ePledge system, simply go to queensu.ca/unitedway. Please note that if you donated last year and selected the auto-renewal action, no further action is required unless you would like to change your donation. 

More information on the campaign and the role of the Queen’s United Way Campaign Committee is available in this Gazette article.

Expanding access to Queen’s

New recruitment rep in the GTA aiming to bring more under-represented students to Queen’s University.

As a first-year student at Queen’s, Curtis Carmichael knew that he wanted to work full-time with youth from populations that are under-represented on university campuses.

Curtis Carmichael receives the Russ Jackson Award
As a member of the Queen's Gaels football team, Curtis Carmichael received the Russ Jackson Award in 2015. Mr. Carmichael will be returning to Queen's as the university's first GTA-based Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment representative. (Photo by Mathieu Belanger)

He now has that opportunity as Queen’s first GTA-based Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment representative, who will focus on outreach to prospective students from diverse backgrounds with the goal of motivating them to apply to Queen’s.

He will be advising students on admission policies and requirements, campus resources and services, student life and financial assistance. In addition, he will be building relationships with communities and organizations that serve and support students, who may benefit from Queen’s new First-Generation Admission Policy. The policy seeks to encourage more applications from a broad range of under-represented populations, including students who would be the first in their family to attend university and those facing educational or socio-economic disadvantage.

“This is not just a job for me,” he says. “It’s my passion to give students the tools to overcome systemic barriers. My purpose is to provide more equitable access to education for students from under-represented communities.”

Mr. Carmichael is a Queen’s alumnus (Artsci’16), a former football Gael, and recipient of scholarships and national awards for academic excellence, athletics, and leadership. He is currently completing a degree at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Education. He has volunteered with low-income youth and marginalized adults at drop-in centres, and he speaks on topics such as education, race, privilege, and poverty. He is also the founder of Ride for Promise, and cycled across Canada to raise money and awareness of institutional racism and the stigma of social housing.

“We are looking forward to Curtis joining our recruitment team, enhancing our connections with youth and community groups in the GTA, and talking to them about the opportunities that are accessible at Queen’s,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “Curtis has extensive experience and a strong commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for youth. We are thrilled to welcome him back to Queen’s as we work to increase enrolment among under-represented student populations.”

Mr. Carmichael joins Queen’s on Jan. 15, and will initially spend time at the Kingston campus, meeting colleagues across campus and training.

Gerald Jacob Joseph Tulchinsky: 1933-2017

Gerald Jacob Joseph Tulchinsky
Professor Emeritus Gerald Tulchinsky

Gerald Jacob Joseph Tulchinsky, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 13. He was 84.

Professor Tulchinsky arrived at Queen’s in 1966 and taught history until 1999. After his retirement he served as director of Jewish Studies at Queen’s.

He was a much loved and respected member of the Department of History, and of the Queen’s community, and will be greatly missed by many.

Professor Tulchinsky’s funeral took place Thursday, Dec. 14 at Beth Israel Congregation in Kingston.

His obituary is available online. Former colleague Peter Campbell (History) also wrote a memorial tribute.

Getting into the holiday spirit at the Ban Righ Centre

Many students who use Queen’s Ban Righ Centre are mothers who can’t always afford to give their children multiple presents for the holidays and some of these students do not celebrate Christmas, but their children hear about it at school.

The daughter of a Queen’s student pick out donated presents for the holiday season ( Candice Pinto Photo)
The daughter of a Queen’s student picks out donated presents for the holiday season, during the Winter Bazaar at the Ban Righ Centre. (University Communications)

To help everyone enjoy the pleasure of gift giving for whatever reason they choose, the centre recently hosted its second annual Winter Bazaar.

The event is held for students with children, to build community, share a meal, and give the kids a chance to visit the university campus. The basement of the Ban Righ Centre is filled with new and slightly used toys, jewelry, and household items that have been gifted or donated by Queen’s staff, faculty, the Society of Graduate and Professional Students and some local businesses.

Children are able to go shopping and make purchases for a quarter each for gifts for their family and friends. Their parents and caregivers visit upstairs in the living room area, while the children select and wrap their gifts together, making new friends and playmates.

“Oftentimes, mothers who have returned to their studies after a break do not have a lot of time to socialize or meet other parents on campus,” says Carole Morrison, Director of the Ban Righ Centre. “In particular, international students, and other non-traditional students, may be attending Queen’s away from their existing social networks and support systems. We want to host and promote events that are child-friendly, that celebrate the diversity within our student population, and leave the children and their parents knowing that they belong and are welcome.”

Rosie, a Fine Arts student, arrived at the bazaar for the second year with her son, and noted the impact the event has had on her family.

“For us, even though my whole family is in our home country, the Ban Righ Centre is very family-oriented and is a welcoming space for us,” she says. “At the centre, we are all non-traditional students, but still feel supported and have a place to call home.”

To learn more about the Ban Righ Centre, visit: http://banrighcentre.queensu.ca/  

New support for Indigenous students near and far

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre has hired a new Cultural Counsellor/Elder-in-Residence, while the Faculty of Education has also added an Elder-in-Residence.

Two new staff members hired this fall are already having a significant positive impact on the Queen’s community, particularly for Indigenous students.

Vernon Altiman (University Relations)
Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) can be found at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. (University Communications)

Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) joined Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre in Oct. as an Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Counsellor, a new role which sees him meeting with students and supporting Indigenous cultural ceremonies. His hiring diversifies the voices at Four Directions, as he is the only Anishinaabe man working in the centre.

Mr. Altiman’s career has been focused on traditional healing practices, specifically in mental health. He was summoned by the Elders to complete a Master’s of Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy Program through Seven Generations Education Institute in Fort Frances, Ontario. The institute is connected to the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC), and is affiliated with Queen’s.

Mr. Altiman moved back to Kingston last year to work with the federal penitentiaries, and while in town he became involved in the local Indigenous community through Four Directions.

He began helping the centre with its Ojibway language programming and, through the connections he made at Four Directions, Mr. Altiman heard that Queen’s was seeking an Ojibway language teacher.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime,” he says. “I never dreamed that I would be asked to do it.”

A few months later, Mr. Altiman also took on the Elder and Cultural Counsellor roles with Four Directions. He says there are some similarities in providing guidance to students and his past work.

“The difference is that the students are willing and seeking the knowledge,” he says. “There are different objectives, different teachings that are used…and it is open and free.”

Since joining Four Directions, Mr. Altiman has had the opportunity to present to medical and education students, and help organize Indigenous ceremonies on campus including smudging. Annually, he participates in ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, which involves four days without food or water and a trial of physical endurance.

“It’s not just feathers and beads…it is research. It is hard work, commitment, and sacrifice,” he says. “I pick up a lot of baggage that I have to dispose of, so that’s why I am committed to these traditional annual practices.”

Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant). (Supplied Photo)
Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) has an office in Duncan McArthur Hall, and she also connects to students through video conferencing. (Supplied Photo)

Meanwhile, in the Faculty of Education, Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) is applying new technologies to Indigenous traditions. Ms. St Amant (Ed’82) describes the largest part of her role as a ‘Cyber Elder’, where she virtually connects with students in the Master of Education in Aboriginal and World Indigenous Educational Studies (AWIES) and the faculty’s doctorate programs.

“When the AWIES students get together in the summer, they really like that sense of community,” Ms. St Amant says. “When they leave Kingston – headed to Whitehorse, to Moosonee, and every other part of Canada – they lose that connection to their student learning community. The relationship is so important in any Indigenous culture…it’s all about the relationship and being able to see the person.”

To help foster those relationships with the students, she holds regular video calls – and, starting in January, she hopes to start a virtual ‘talking circle’ with the entire group simultaneously connected to the same video call. Ms. St Amant is also on-campus twice a month specifically to support students in the Aboriginal Teachers Education Program (ATEP) or other faculty, staff, and students seeking an Elder.

She says Indigenous students face a number of barriers in the education system, and it can be helpful to have an Elder who can counsel them and vouch for them.

“A lot of the discussions I have are about the challenges of doing this work online as an Indigenous person; about social, familial, and funding barriers; barriers within the education system and cultural misunderstandings; and the intergenerational trauma that was caused by the residential school system,” she says. “Those who have not experienced some of these hurdles cannot understand their impact, but I am able to help them clear these hurdles.”

Ms. St Amant, who possesses both Métis and Ojibway heritage, worked as a teacher for three decades before retiring in 2012 – skills which have served her well as Elder-in-Residence in an academic environment. Since starting in her part-time role in October, there has been significant demand for her time.

“This is an important role, and it’s a great step for the faculty. I something like this was available when I was a student.”

The Elder-in-Residence position within the Faculty of Education was established with the support of Oriel MacLennan in memory of her mother, Edwina Diaper (MEd’82), who was a teacher in the Kingston community for many years. Learn more about this position on the Faculty of Education’s website.

Building momentum

The Gazette speaks to Teri Shearer about how she is advancing diversity and inclusivity efforts on campus.

In spring of 2017, Teri Shearer’s role as Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) was expanded to take on leadership for diversity and inclusivity. In this interview, the Gazette speaks with Dr. Shearer about the importance of diversity and her work since the spring.

Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost. (University Communications)
Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). (University Communications)


Why are diversity and inclusivity important to Queen’s, and why should these matter to staff, faculty, students, and alumni?

It’s about excellence in our research, teaching, learning, and overall experience.

We’re all justifiably very proud of the student experience that is kind of a defining feature of Queen’s. If we do not make the student experience inclusive of the diversity of all our students, we’ll lose that strength that Queen’s has historically had.

The world is globalized. If we don’t reflect the diversity of the Canadian workforce and population, we simply won’t be able to maintain excellence. Research study after research study proves that diverse groups of individuals make better decisions. In our context, being a more diverse university means better pedagogy and more creativity in scholarship.


What have been some of your first priorities and actions in your expanded role?

The university has commissioned two strong reports to help us build a more inclusive campus, including the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) report and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force final report. We are taking both reports seriously.

It was important that we move quickly once the reports were released this spring. I spent the summer planning, preparing, and listening so we could be ready to hit the ground running this fall.

My first priority was to hire our inaugural Director of Indigenous Initiatives, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) in this new role.

Another priority was to establish the inaugural University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE). This group will help inform the overall vision and strategy for the university, and in particular will help ensure we continue to make progress on these important goals while building a two-way dialogue with equity-seeking groups on our campus.

At the same time, I have started working with the Equity Office and Human Rights Office to ensure, when we are hiring new staff members, that we are building employment equity into the process. We are also rolling out equity training for all employees in the coming years, starting with senior administrators this year.

“Things are being done at a departmental level, an individual level, a Faculty and School level, at a central level, and in the shared services…if we keep this momentum going, we will make a real difference. -Dr. Teri Shearer


Could you tell us more about those employment equity practices?

Not only is it is essential that we increase the diversity of our students, but we also need to diversify our staff and faculty. We have defined what we need to do to and have started to act on it.

For instance, diversity is one of the criteria we are using as part of our faculty renewal efforts. When I look at the faculty we have hired recently, there is a high percentage of faculty who identify as a visible minority – much higher than the percentage within the general Canadian workforce.

We have also implemented a new partnership with a national job broadcast service called Equitek. This company works with community organizations across the country who serve underrepresented groups. So, through Equitek, our job postings will be visible to a much more diverse job-seeking population.

We will also be providing additional training to hiring committee members, including some special training to employee equity representatives who will sit on our hiring committees. So we are making progress.


What are some other goals in the year ahead?

The university has made good progress on a number of the recommendations of the PICRDI report. I am working on some of the yet-to-be-completed recommendations to see how we can make them a reality. There is still plenty of work to do, and I am continually re-evaluating our progress and seeking ways we can improve.

On the student recruitment and retention side, I am chairing a working group to review Undergraduate Orientation and ensure it is a welcoming and inclusive experience for all students. Over the next few months, we want to hear from all members of our community about how we can enhance orientation at Queen’s.

Additionally, I am working with Advancement to secure additional financial support for Indigenous and racialized students. We look forward to making a significant announcement about this in the near future.

And now that UCARE is established, I will be working with that council to assist me in generating ideas and prioritizing the PICRDI recommendations.

I am also meeting regularly with student groups and others with ideas about how to foster inclusivity at Queen’s. It is critical that we keep the communications channels open.

I am also supporting the efforts of the Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning) to incorporate course content that includes Indigenous content and reflects a diversity of Indigenous backgrounds and perspectives. A job was posted recently for an Educational Developer centred on Indigenous Curriculum.

As a personal goal, I aim to complete the Equity Office’s “Diversity to Inclusion” certificate for my own improvement.

All of this work will contribute to our big picture goal of creating a safe and inclusive living and learning environment.


What have been some of the biggest surprises over the past few months?

What surprised me the most is the commitment across the university to make change in terms of how we relate to Indigenous communities, in creating and furthering diversity in the Queen’s community, and in addressing systemic racism and implicit bias. I have been here for 21 years and I have never seen anything like this.

I am in a position where I get to see the change because people come and tell me what they’re doing. Things are being done at a departmental level, at an individual level, at a faculty and school level, at a central level, and in the shared services…if we keep this momentum going, we will make a real difference.

Strengthening global health collaboration

The Office of Global Health (OGH) in the Faculty of Health Sciences recently became an institutional member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), an international body tasked with fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and the sharing of knowledge to address global health challenges.

The Office of Global Health recently became an institutional member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. From left, Linda Chan, Health Education Research Associate; Jenn Carpenter, Director of the Office of Global Health; Mikaila De Sousa, Program and Events Coordinator.
The Office of Global Health recently became an institutional member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. From left, Linda Chan, Health Education Research Associate; Jenn Carpenter, Director of the Office of Global Health; Mikaila De Sousa, Program and Events Coordinator. (Supplied Photo)

Global health entails study, research, and practice that prioritize improving health and achieving equity in health for all.

Through this membership in the CUGH, all Queen’s global health and equity educators, advocates, and researchers will be able to connect with a network of more than 19,000 individuals and over 145 academic institutions involved in global health worldwide. Membership also provides access to interest groups, educational, and program development materials, as well as conferences aimed at building partnerships and engaging in advocacy across research, education, and service. In joining the consortium, all Queen’s staff, faculty, and students may now enjoy the benefits of membership and have access to CUGH resources.

In light of the university’s commitment to internationalization and new membership in CUGH, the OGH is looking to strengthen Queen’s global health network by gaining a full understanding of the global health community at Queen’s. The OGH is conducting a survey to gather information on global health work being done at the university. The survey will also serve to collect information from the Queen’s community about program information to be shared with the CUGH network.

“There is so much important global health and health equity work being done across the faculties at Queen’s. It seemed like the perfect time to both join the ever-growing CUGH network, and identify potential collaborations here at Queen’s,” says Jenn Carpenter, Director of the Office of Global Health. 

To complete the survey about work being done at Queen’s or to join the CUGH network, visit https://queensu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8tXre9zWgcTkuEt.  Please note that the global health survey will collect information on academic global health programs to be shared on the CUGH Global Health Academic Programs Database. Only faculties and departments that would like to share their program on the CUGH academic programs database should complete that particular part of the survey. For further information about the survey, please contact the Office of Global Health.

You can also register online to subscribe to the OGH newsletter.


Connecting women veterans through mentorship

Transition from a career in the military to civilian life can be difficult. In Canada, women veterans have fewer gender-specific resources available than male veterans.

From left to right: Stéphanie Bélanger, Co-Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military Veterans Health Research; Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP); and Meaghan Shoemaker, PhD student with the CIDP have collaborated to create an engaging workshop for Canadian women veterans.
From left to right: Stéphanie Bélanger, Co-Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military Veterans Health Research; Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP); and Meaghan Shoemaker, PhD student with the CIDP have collaborated to create an engaging workshop for Canadian women veterans.

“The veteran population has changed a lot with the increase of women in the military. We have to adapt our policies and programs to reflect changing demographics in the Canadian veteran population,” says Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP). “There’s a community of female veterans that is sometimes forgotten in the provision of veteran services. What we wanted to see is how the female veteran experience differs from men in order to create a mentorship program which is tailored to women who are transitioning from military to civilian life.”

The Gender Dimension of Veteran Re-integration Workshop, spearheaded by Meaghan Shoemaker, PhD student and head of the Gender Lab in the CIDP with support from Dr. von Hlatky, aims to address that gap in May 2018.

Dr. von Hlatky and Ms. Shoemaker coordinated the pilot workshop last year to connect women veterans beginning their transition into civilian life with resources, job skills, and mentors. They received funding from the Department of National Defence and work with veteran groups to coordinate resources and spread the word about the workshop. They’re also working closely with the Canadian Institute for Military Veteran Health Research, located at Queen’s, to connect with provincial and national partners.

“There are a lot of personal and professional challenges that these women can face when transitioning, including issues such as family dynamics and care responsibilities, transitioning military skills to private sector jobs, and discriminatory hiring, to name a few,” says Ms. Shoemaker. “Creating programs like ours, which is breaking new ground in gender-based analysis in the military, is important to do now, to accommodate more female veterans in the future.”

The upcoming workshop will last two days; one day focused on emerging academic research on gender-based analysis in the military, and the second focused on workforce training, personal development sessions, and mentor pairing for women veterans.

Ms. Shoemaker hopes to double the number of participants in the mentorship portion this year over last year’s pilot workshop. Both mentors and mentees will share their struggles, successes, and tips for handling the challenges of transitioning from military life.

Both Dr. von Hlatky and Ms. Shoemaker want the workshop to continue as a yearly event, and spread to more cities across the country so that they can connect more women veterans together.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating as a mentor or mentee for the women's veteran mentorship program, please contact Ms. Shoemaker at ERACIDP@gmail.com

To learn more about the upcoming workshop, visit the CIDP event page.

Queen's network outage scheduled Dec. 22 at 5 pm to Dec. 23 at 3 am

Why will the network be down? 

The outage is a result of a hardware upgrade and is part of a continued effort to strengthen Queen's network availability, resilience and performance.   

What does this mean for me?  

The following buildings will experience minor interruptions (lasting only a few minutes) throughout the outage period: 

  • Duncan McArthur Hall 
  • Donald Gordon Centre 
  • Richardson Stadium 
  • Goodes Hall 
  • Stauffer Library 
  • Mackintosh-Corry Hall 
  • BioSciences Complex 
  • Dupuis Hall – ITS Wing 
  • Queen’s Centre 
  • Botterell Hall 
  • New Medical Building 
  • Cancer Research 
  • Louise D. Acton 
  • All Queen’s Residence buildings 

All other buildings on campus will experience up to a six-hour outage with no connectivity to campus resources, networks, or the internet. 

You will be unable to access Queen’s resources such as VPN, my.queensu.ca and Single Sign-On services during the outage window. Access to Office 365 will continue to be available, as will all Queen’s hosted services such as PeopleSoft, MyQueen'sU, and the main Queen’s website. 

What if I am still having issues connecting after the upgrade period?  

If you are still experiencing problems connecting to the network after the upgrade has been completed, please contact the IT Support Centre at (613)533-6666 or by filling out the Online Help Form


IWC construction site to be closed in

Keeping the snow out means more work can be done on the inside of the Innovation and Wellness Centre building.

While the Queen’s community gets into the holiday spirit by hanging festive decorations, the Innovation and Wellness Centre (IWC) construction crews are getting ready to hang the last panes of glass on the north side of the building.

Once the glass is in place the entire building will be closed in, keeping the snow out and allowing contractors to complete more interior work.

The Innovation and Wellness Centre at night. (Supplied Photo)
The snow is flying, and so are the glass panels as they are expertly hoisted into place by construction crews working on the IWC. (Supplied Photo)

“With the recent work completed on the roof and exterior of the IWC, we are on track to keep our New Years’ resolution of having the building enclosed by the end of 2017,” says Bob Polegato, Project Manager with Physical Plant Services. “While the Queen’s community is tucking into holiday dinners and unwrapping presents, our crews will be unboxing supplies to continue the work indoors from Dec 27 to 29.”

Once the site is weathertight, it will be heated to help construction move to the next phase. Some exterior sections, like the north staircase, won’t be completed until spring, however.

The IWC is scheduled to open Fall 2018. The creation of the IWC was made possible through $55 million in philanthropic support. In addition, the federal and Ontario governments contributed a combined total of nearly $22 million.


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