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Governor General to speak at the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series

Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada.

This year's School of Policy Studies Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series will feature Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada. The topic of the discussion, “Through the Eyes of the North: Our Collective Responsibility,” will focus on Canada’s Arctic.

Her Excellency has gained national and international recognition for her work on Arctic and Indigenous issues and for her efforts in advocating for Inuit rights, youth, education, and culture.

The virtual event serves as a bridge between the academic and professional policy communities to engage faculty, students, policymakers, politicians, and other opinion leaders in discussion on major policy issues, with a particular focus on Indigenous Policy and Governance.

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 12, at 4:30 pm ET. It will be hosted by Robert Watts, an expert in Indigenous policy, negotiations, training, and conflict resolution. An adjunct professor and distinguished fellow at Queen’s, Watts was recently appointed to the university’s Board of Trustees.

The event will include introductory remarks from Her Excellency on our collective responsibility to the North, followed by a discussion with Professor Watts and time for questions from attendees.

The Margie and Tom Courchene Endowment Fund was established to create a permanent speakers’ series in the School of Policy Studies, to be known subsequently as the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series.

The School of Policy Studies has played a longstanding role in convening conversations with leaders of influence to discuss topics and issues of global impact. Past speakers have included the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the Right Honourable Paul Martin.

A recording of the event will be posted on the School of Policy Studies YouTube channel shortly after the event. The webinar will also be re-broadcast on April 19 on the CFRC Aboriginal Voices program.

Live broadcast of the Special Recognition of Staff Awards on April 14

The annual Special Recognition of Staff Awards will be presented during a special ceremony on Thursday, April 14 at 5 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The event is for award recipients and invited guests. The award presentation will also be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

The award winners were announced in December and the presentation was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Feedback sought on proposed Intellectual Property Commercialization Policy

The University Secretariat and Legal Counsel has posted the Intellectual Property Commercialization Policy and Procedures for public comment from the university community.

To view the proposed policy visit the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website. Comments can be sent to policies@queensu.ca

The deadline for comments is April 13 at 4 p.m.

Queen’s community remembers student Kathryn Stewart

Kathryn StewartThe Queen’s community is remembering student Kathryn Stewart who died Saturday, April 2 at the age of 19, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Kathryn, a first-year student in the Faculty of Arts and Science, had battled cancer for most of her life after being diagnosed 14 years ago with neuroblastoma. At Queen’s it was her goal to earn her degree in psychology.

Attending Queen’s was a lifelong dream for Kathryn as she followed in the footsteps of her grandfather Murdoch Robertson (Sc’62), aunt Sharyl Robertson-Cole (Con-Ed’88), uncle John Robertson (Artsci ’85, MDiv’87), cousin William Robertson (Sc‘19) and her mother Heather Stewart (Artsci’92).

When her family helped move her into residence at Watts Hall Kathryn kept saying “I can’t believe I am here and I made it.” 

A family obituary describes Kathryn as refusing “to be defined by her diagnosis and prioritized living a full life, having as many experiences with her family and friends as she could. She graduated high school with honours, earning numerous awards on the way.“

Kathryn was a proud ambassador for the SickKids Foundation, sharing her story and helping raise much-needed funding to support childhood cancer research and established her own fundraiser –Kathryn’s Krop 4 a Kure. 

A visitation will be held Friday, April 8, 6-9 p.m. at Jones Funeral Home (11582 Trafalgar Rd), in Georgetown. A celebration of Kathryn’s life will be held at the Norval United Church (14015 Danby Rd.) in Georgetown on Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m. 

Queen’s community remembers former staff member Glenyth Green

Glenyth GreenThe Queen’s community is remembering former staff member Glenyth Green, who died March 22, at the age of 71.

Flags on campus are being lowered in her memory on Thursday, April 7.

Glenyth worked for the Faculty of Arts and Science Student Services department for more than 35 years, before retiring in 2012. During her time at the university, she made many friendships that she cherished and helped countless students on their academic journey.

A family obituary is available online.

A celebration of life and memorial service will be held at a later date.

Flag raising helps unite students across campus

Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and the Yellow House raise flags in solidarity with Indigenous, gay, queer, trans, and 2spirirt students. 

  • Kandice Baptiste, Director of Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, speaks about the importance of the flag-raising, that represents the ongoing support and allyship between Indigenous, gay, queer, trans, and 2spirit students across campus. (Queen's University)
    Kandice Baptiste, Director of Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, speaks about the importance of the flag-raising, that represents the ongoing support and allyship between Indigenous, gay, queer, trans, and 2spirit students across campus. (Queen's University)
  • The flags for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Anishnaabe, Metis, Two Row Wampum, Pride, and Transgender communities now fly in front of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. (Queen's University)
    The flags for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Anishnaabe, Metis, Two Row Wampum, Pride, and Transgender communities now fly in front of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. (Queen's University)
  • Kel Martin, Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor at Yellow House, talks about how the flag raising is helping bring people together, helping foster a sense of community. (Queen's University)
    Kel Martin, Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor at Yellow House, talks about how the flag raising is helping bring people together, helping foster a sense of community. (Queen's University)

A special event was held on April 5 to celebrate the newly-raised flags outside the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. In collaboration with the Yellow House, the flag raising represents the ongoing support and allyship between Indigenous, gay, queer, trans, and 2spirit students across campus. 

The two poles now fly the flags of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Anishnaabe, Metis, Two Row Wampum, Pride, and Transgender communities.

The event featured presentations by Four Directions Director Kandice Baptiste, and Kel Martin, Sexual and Gender Diversity Advisor at Yellow House.

“It really helps to make everyone feel like a community instead of pockets of people doing work on their own, seeing the community come together and start to support each other,” Martin says of the collection of flags being flown in front of Four Directions. “It’s something that really benefits students of many identities, it helps build solidarity across different communities. It invites others in, and we become stronger, we have each others backs.”

The permanent location for the flags also marks a commitment towards meaningful action to make all locations on campus more inclusive and welcoming.

“Flags have a past and present, but most importantly they also have a future and I think that future is about moving forward and healing,” Baptiste says. “We want Indigenous, queer, nonbinary students to see the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre as theirs, but we also want them to go to the ARC and see that they are welcome there as well, so it was really important to get the support of the larger community.”

A full recording of the event is available on the Four Directions Facebook page.

Groups moving out of JDUC ahead of revitalization project

John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC)
Starting in May, a two-year project will see the revitalization of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC). Current occupants, including the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the print centre, and numerous student clubs are being relocated to other areas of campus over the next six weeks. (Queen's University)

Preparations for the start of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) revitalization project are underway.

As the two-year project is set to begin in May 2022, current occupants, including the Alma Mater Society (AMS), the print centre, and numerous student clubs are being relocated to other areas of campus over the next six weeks.

The AMS and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) are among the first offices to change locations and began moves to the LaSalle Building on Monday, April 4. Student clubs will be among the next to relocate into the Rideau Building. The AMS Printing and Copying Centre (PCC) — a space frequented by campus community members — will operate out of an interim space in the Queen’s Centre.

Once the moves are complete, wood hoarding will be erected around the site, and construction will start in the early summer. Pedestrian routes will be maintained along both University Avenue and Union Street. Access to the adjacent Mitchell Hall and the Queen’s Centre will be uninterrupted.

“The planning for this project has been complex with a diverse group of stakeholders, the logistics of demolition and construction, as well as the unique challenges posed by the pandemic — so it’s wonderful to be reaching the construction stage,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Students have worked diligently together with the university to craft the vision for a revitalized JDUC, and to move it toward its realization. The renewed building will be an inspiring addition to the Queen’s student experience.”

The project is targeting a LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. When complete, the renovated facility will feature a modernized design, with fully accessible, sustainable, and inclusive spaces for students to learn, socialize, and study.

“We’re very excited to see this long-anticipated renewal get underway,” says Zaid Kasim, AMS President. “I am proud to have played a part in moving this project forward, and I know the future AMS staff, clubs, and students will welcome having a fresh, new, and modern space when the JDUC re-opens in 2024.”

  • Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) on the west side, on University Avenue.
    Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) on the west side, on University Avenue.
  • Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) on the southern side along Union Street.
    Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) on the southern side along Union Street.
  • Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), at the north entrance.
    Rendering of the revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), at the north entrance.

Students will contribute the majority of the funding for the renovation project, through student levies over 25 years, which the students agreed to through graduate and undergraduate referendums held in February 2018 and January 2019. The university is supporting the project with a contribution from a combination of capital reserves and donor funds. Queen’s is also providing the project financing.

As part of a separate but concurrent project, the university will be renovating the 90 residence rooms located within the JDUC. The larger JDUC renovation provided an opportune time to undertake a much-needed refresh. This element is entirely funded by the university’s ancillary operations.

“The scope of work includes a complete interior renovation including new in-room fixtures, lighting, paint, curtains, infrastructure, and elevator modernization, as well as lounge and study space upgrades,” says Leah Wales, Executive Director of Housing and Ancillary Services. “While we are temporarily closing 90 rooms during the renovation period, with the new residence building on Albert Street opening this fall, we will have additional capacity already added to our inventory to offset this.”

A website will be established on the Facilities website closer to the start of construction with key dates and project activities.

Ramadan pre-dawn meals available on campus to students

Housing and Ancillary Services has collaborated with the Queen’s University Muslim Student Association (QUMSA) to develop supports and services to students observing Ramadan during the month of April, including ‘pick and pack’ pre-dawn meals.

Ramadan, which is observed from April 2-May 2, 2022, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and involves fasting during the daylight hours between dawn and sunset. Observers of Ramadan break their fast at night after sunset with a meal called Iftar. According to the Muslim faith, Ramadan is a time of self-examination, restraint, and religious devotion. The month ends with the celebration ’Īd al-Fiṭr, which translates to ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast,’ on May 2 at sunset.

Students on a meal plan can register for the program, which allows them to package their pre-dawn meal the night before using an ECO Container. A dedicated gathering space will be offered in Leonard and Jean Royce dining halls, allowing students to break their daily fast and feast with others observing Ramadan.

Students who have registered for the program, but who must isolate due to COVID-19, will be able to order and pick up all of their meals during their isolation period.

Queen’s Campus Executive Chef, Residence Dining Manager, and Wellness and Sustainability Manager Theresa Couto, a Registered Dietitian, met with members of the Residence Life team and student representatives from QUMSA to determine suitable options for pre-dawn meals, known as Suhoor. Students recommended the best food options during Ramadan and a method for pickup. It was expressed the tradition of breaking fast is a celebratory moment, typically with family and friends, and students would like to gather while enjoying the post-sunset meal.

Organizers expect nearly 100 students to participate in the pre-dawn meal program.

Students can connect with peers through the Queen’s University Muslim Student Association (QUMSA). Additionally, there are prayer spaces across campus for use by students, faculty and staff.

For food-related information, please visit Queen’s Hospitality Services website or email Theresa Couto. Information can also be found on the Queen’s University Hospitality Services Instagram and Facebook pages.

Showcase your research … but do it quickly

The Three Minute Thesis graduate student competition tests the ability to present one’s research projects in a clear, concise way in only 180 seconds.

  • Participants and judges gather at the end of the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis competition at Mitchell Hall. The winning presentation was delivered by Amtul Haq Ayesha, who participated remotely. (Queen's University)
    Participants and judges gather at the end of the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis competition at Mitchell Hall. The winning presentation was delivered by Amtul Haq Ayesha, who participated remotely. (Queen's University)
  • Navjit Gaurav, a PhD student in Rehabilitation Science, was selected as the runner-up in the Queen's Three Minute Thesis for his presentation 'What goes inside a designer's mind?' (Queen's University)
    Navjit Gaurav was selected as the runner-up in the Queen's Three Minute Thesis for his presentation 'What goes inside a designer's mind?' (Queen's University)
  • Lydia Johnson, a master's student in biology, delivers her presentation 'Why is two better than one' during the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis final competition at Mitchell Hall. (Queen's University)
    Lydia Johnson delivers her presentation 'Why is two better than one' during the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis final competition at Mitchell Hall. (Queen's University)
  • Provost Mark Green, one of the judges at the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis final competition, listens to Amtul Haq Ayesha, a master's student in computing, as she makes her presentation remotely. (Queen's University)
    Provost Mark Green, one of the judges at the Queen’s Three Minute Thesis final competition, listens to Amtul Haq Ayesha, a master's student in computing, as she makes her presentation remotely. (Queen's University)

It is often challenging for researchers to summarize their findings into a paper to be published or into a short presentation for a meeting, let alone to put years of work into a three-minute pitch. But that’s exactly the challenge proposed by the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) organized by Queen’s School of Graduate Studies.

Each year, masters and doctoral candidates are invited to present their research and its impact in front of selected non-specialist judges and a live audience. The winner gets to represent Queen’s in an Ontario-wide 3MT event and can be among the few selected to participate in national and international competitions. This year marks the 10th year Queen’s has hosted a 3MT.

On March 24, the 10 finalists who made it through qualifying heats showcased their ability to communicate research in a clear, engaging way. The winner of the $1,000 grand prize was Amtul Haq Ayesha, a master’s student in the School of Computing. She will represent Queen’s at the Ontario-wide 3MT competition to be hosted at the University of Guelph on May 4.

Working on methods to allow remote measuring of vital signs – heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and others – using online video calls, Ayesha has dived deep enough into technical knowledge to understand how challenging it can be to talk about her research in a way non-experts can engage with.

“When you have spent such a long time on one project, everything in your mind is crystal clear. This makes us think that whatever we are talking is very simple to understand,” she says. “But when someone hears your subject for the first time, it takes time to absorb and understand. That is the most challenging part – to infer how much a person hearing about it (and for only three minutes) comprehends. As presenters, we want the audience to understand everything clearly”.

Ayesha believes participating in 3MT helped her practice “the art of explaining the technical jargon in such simple words that the audience relates with it” – an ability she foresees being very useful in her journey as a researcher.

Watch Ayesha's winning presentation:

 

Lessons learned on how to communicate research

Another presenter that stood out to the judges was PhD candidate Navjit Gaurav (Rehabilitation Science), the runner-up for this year’s competition. He presented his project on new ways to design schools in India to promote inclusion of children with disabilities.

For Gaurav, the main challenges of the research communications exercise were managing time, speaking in a jargon-free way, and knowing what not to communicate.

“Most of the time we have a lot to convey, and we think each piece of information is indispensable. We had to reflect on what is the most important thing that we want the audience to know about our research,” he explains.

To prepare for his presentation, Gaurav practiced with family members who are not familiar with his area of expertise. He believes this was very useful to help him craft his pitch in plain language to engage non-expert audiences.

Watch Gaurav's presentation:

 

People’s choice voting is open

The 10 finalists that participated in Queen’s 3MT final event are now competing for a People’s Choice prize. Voting will be open today from 4 p.m., until April 6 at 4 p.m. For more information and to cast your vote, visit the website.

Queen’s economic and social impact

New Deloitte report highlights how Queen’s University generates over $1.6 billion annually in local economic and social benefits, including one in 10 jobs in Kingston and 11 per cent of regional GDP.

Aerial view of Queen's campus and Kingston beyond.
Deloitte's Economic and Community Impact Study highlights Queen's wide-ranging impacts on community prosperity, healthcare, research, and more in Kingston region.

A new study shows Queen’s generates over $1.6 billion in annual economic and social benefits locally, including one in 10 jobs in Kingston and 11 per cent of regional GDP. Conducted by Deloitte, the Economic and Community Impact Study shows the university’s close engagement with local organizations, government, and other partners provides wide-ranging benefits for the local community, including leading health care and cancer research expertise, thousands of volunteer hours, millions of dollars in local spending and philanthropy, and support for hundreds of start-ups. 

“One of Canada’s greatest economic strengths is its world-class postsecondary education sector, and Queen’s University is a leading example,” says Craig Alexander, Chief Economist and Executive Advisor at Deloitte. “Queen’s makes large scale investments and is a significant employer in the region, but a strictly traditional economic impact assessment could understate the full importance and impact that Queen’s demonstrates. In our report, we’ve also highlighted the community impacts of the university.”

Key economic highlights of the report include:

  • $1.67B generated by Queen’s activities in Kingston and region annually
  • Queen’s economic activity comprises 11% of regional GDP
  • 1 in 10 jobs in Kingston are located at the university
  • $237M spent in Kingston by students every year
  • 600 Kingston-based start-up companies supported

“Kingston is absolutely perfect to launch and grow a business, and we’ve been fortunate to work closely with Queen’s University over the years,” says Dan Desjardins, CEO and co-founder of Kings Distributed Systems, a growing local business. “We’ve hired a lot of excellent students, worked with a lot of intelligent professors, and developed a lot of excellent research.” 

Key healthcare highlights of the report include:

  • 400+ medical doctors on Queen’s faculty work across a range of specialties in the region
  • 500 medical trials led by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), headquartered at the Queen’s Cancer Institute
  • $620M in research and development funding attracted to Queen’s since 2013

“We partner with Queen’s in many ways, including renting St. Mary’s of the Lake to test a new model of care delivery, where patients can avoid going to an acute care hospital,” says Cathy Szabo, President and CEO of Providence Care. “They can come to the new site, receive care, and hopefully return home at a level of independence that they can manage their own care.”

Key volunteer and philanthropy highlights of the report include: 

  • $1M raised annually by students, staff, and faculty to support local causes, including over $450,000 for the United Way of KFL&A in 2021
  • Thousands of local volunteer hours worked by students

“While it is long understood that universities bring value to the communities in which they exist, it is necessary to look deeper, beyond solely the economic contributions, to see how institutions like Queen’s truly impact our communities,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “This approach is a key pillar of our new strategic plan. The future of Queen’s depends upon the positive impact we make through the efforts and dedication of our students, faculty, and staff and this is only possible, in part, because of the relationships and collaborations we have with local partners. Together, we all continue to make significant contributions toward building a prosperous, healthy, sustainable, and livable Kingston region.”

Learn more about Deloitte’s work and read the Economic and Community Impact Study in its entirety on the Queen’s Economic and Community Impact website.

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