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Science Rendezvous Day declared

Queen’s and the Kingston community prepare for popular science festival recently proclaimed an official day on May 7.

Kids participate on hands-on science activities during Science Rendezvous
Leon's Centre in Downtown Kingston will host over 30 hands-on science activities for people of all ages.

From a bird walk across City Park to seeing real fossils of Ice Age creatures, Queen’s will be once again hosting its favourite hands-on science event: Science Rendezvous. After being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and pivoting to virtual in 2021, the Kingston-based science festival is ready for an in-person comeback. Earlier this year, Mayor Bryan Paterson, on behalf of the Kingston City Council, proclaimed May 7, 2022 as “Science Rendezvous Kingston Day” in the City of Kingston.

“I like to say Science Rendezvous Kingston is like a spring garden that bursts into full bloom each May. It is colourful, diverse and waiting to be walked through, discovered and enjoyed,” says Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Education Lynda Colgan, who has been leading the event in Kingston for the past decade.

Science Rendezvous is part of Science Odyssey, a country-wide science festival powered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to celebrate Canadian research in all STEM areas. This year will mark the 11th annual Science Rendezvous celebrated in Kingston.

The free, family-oriented event at the Leon’s Centre in downtown Kingston will feature Queen’s research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A large team of volunteers, including many Queen’s faculty, staff and students will be on hand to help the public navigate through the exhibits and answer visitor’s questions. Over 30 interactive displays will be set up, covering topics like space research, the human brain and heart, mining, climate, robotics and more.

Exhibitors include the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and SNOLAB, the Queen’s Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen's (CINQ Lab), the Chemistry Department, the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and the Queen’s Baja Dune Buggy team.

Kids participate on hands-on science activities during Science Rendezvous
Outdoor activities are also part of Science Rendezvous 2022.

That same day, the Kingston Frontenac Public Library will host two different hands-on workshops, “Ice Age”, for grades 4-6, and “Youth Climate Lab Policy Jam,” for secondary students. While these activities are also free, pre-registration is required due to limited space.

Ahead of the big day, the Science Rendezvous team will offer a sneak peek of the activities at Kingston’s Springer Market Square on Wednesday, May 4 from 3-6 pm where the public will have the chance to interact with robots, look inside working beehives, see fossil skulls from pre-historic giant mammals, and operate a ping pong ball cannon.

The program for this year’s science festival also includes virtual presentations and workshops running from May 6-13, including a virtual tour of SNOLAB, Canada’s deep underground research laboratory near Sudbury, Ontario, and a presentation on how robots can improve the daily work of dairy farms. Those virtual activities require pre-registration.

On May 4, the Science Rendezvous Kingston team is also launching STEM on DEMAND, a collection of resources for educators and families to keep STEM learning alive all year long. “With over 30 groups providing videos, activity booklets and instruction sheets, children can learn and have fun to extend the Science Rendezvous experience in many purposeful and engaging ways,” says Dr. Colgan.

For more information and registration links, access the website.

Queen’s community remembers former staff member Mary Fraser

Mary FraserThe following Lives Lived is written by Matthew M. Reeve, a professor and colleague of Mary Fraser in the Department of Art History.

Mary Fraser died peacefully on April 13 in the presence of her close friends Jesse Archibald, Rev. Susan Davies, and Mary Jane Kingston. She was 80.

Mary was a longstanding member of the Queen’s community, serving as the coordinator of the Visual Resources Unit at the Department of Art. She was also president of the Queen’s Staff Association (1988-90), representative to the Board of Trustees, and vice-president of the Gallery Association of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. In the Art Department (as it was called in her time), she held memorable “coffee clutches” (nearly mandatory lunchtime meetings for faculty and staff), and built up what is the strongest art exhibition catalogue collection in Canada. But such a list obscures rather than reveals the extraordinary person that Mary was. Her personality and life are the things of poetry that easily elude the confines of a conventional obituary.

She was the granddaughter of William Hugh Coverdale, early and influential collector of Quebec art and CEO of Canada Steamship Lines, who purchased the family estate at Lemoine Point in 1918 where Mary lived most of her life. Coverdale was himself a native son of Kingston and the grandson of William Coverdale, architect of the Kingston Penitentiary and a list of other prominent buildings in the city. Mary’s local roots ran deep, but her mindset was overtly international.

Mary studied at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and the University of Toronto for her BA, which she earned in 1964. She fell in love with medieval sculpture and moved to London to work with the doyen of English Romanesque art, the eminent Polish scholar George (Jerzy) Zarnecki (1915-2008). I was surprised to learn this as a young medievalist myself when I first appeared at Queen’s in 2003 fresh from Cambridge. She would recount many tales of her London days over dinner in subsequent years. Before moving to England in 1971, Mary met Peter Fraser, a Scottish art historian and her future husband, who had himself worked under the illustrious (and infamous) Sir Anthony Blunt at the Courtauld Institute. After a year of study in London, Mary knew that her heart resided with Peter and Lemoine’s Point, so she packed in her degree to return home, get married, and become the steward of Lemoine’s Point Farm.

Peter and Mary had an unwavering love for each other, and the material precipitate of that love is still manifest in some of the physical remains of their shared passions. First was their art collection of Canadian, Scottish, Continental Baroque and Rococo paintings and drawings, objects and furniture that ornamented the houses of Lemoine’s Point. Mary left parts of her collection of art and objects to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. Second was their love of sailing. Mary and Peter spent many summers in the Mediterranean racing, exploring, and living on the ocean, before they moored their boat permanently in Halifax where, after Peter’s passing, Mary and friends sailed each summer. Third was an unwavering conviction that life was for living and enjoying, and this very conviction fuelled the dazzling social life at Lemoine Point, which hosted a thousand dinner parties — some that cleared the wine cellar — with friends and family. For Mary, her friends were very much her family, and she was blessed to have a long list of loyal, loving friends with whom she traveled, visited, and generally shared her life.

Her genealogy alone might have made a lesser person a snob or a socialite, but Mary was resolutely neither. As the owner and manager of an active farm of Highland cattle, sheep and other creatures, Mary had deep knowledge of the animals she cared for and the complex science of agriculture itself. Mary rode the big horses in the farm's display at the Kingston Agricultural Fair each year and fended off more than one interloper onto the farm on horseback. She loved the lambing season when she slept on the blue sofa in front of the fireplace ready to dash out to the barn to help the ewes bring new lambs into the world. Mary could hoist bails into the hayloft with the brawny strength of an athlete, debate the finer points of a medieval manuscript leaf with the acuity of a connoisseur, tie off a sailor’s knot better than any deckhand, discipline her many border collies like a schoolmistress, or cook a fast risotto that would have made even Julia Child nervous. She approached all of this with tremendous humour and never failed to see the comical and ridiculous of any situation. Simply put, she was unlike anyone else I ever met.

Never suffering fools, but embracing and holding onto the people she loved, Mary was a dear friend to many. She leaves behind her nephews and nieces and many, many friends who love her.

A memorial service will be held July 9.

New academic accommodation management portal launches May 2

Queen’s University, as previously announced, is enhancing the academic accommodation process by adopting Ventus, a new online portal for managing accommodations. The new platform has been developed specifically for Queen’s over the past year, in consultation with instructors, support staff, and a student feedback group.

Ventus, which will launch on May 2, 2022, will securely connect students, Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS), the Exams Office, instructors, and other support services in the process to manage and implement academic accommodations. Ventus streamlines communication needs for instructors and students, and supplies instructors with the essential information required for providing students with the appropriate accommodation. The interface also enables students to view details of their accommodation arrangements for in-class work, quizzes, exams, and more.

A Ventus support website has been created to support students, instructors, and staff in the use of Ventus. Additional support resources will be added to the Ventus support website throughout the summer.

After the initial implementation of Ventus in May 2022, the project team will continue to seek and address user feedback to further enhance the system for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond.

Student-led initiative contributes to sustainability and local charities

Arts and Science Undergraduate Society event reduces waste by allowing students to drop off, pick up, and donate items as the end of the academic year approaches.

  • Items, from plates and printers to clothing and chairs, can be dropped off and picked up at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society exchange.
    Items, from plates and printers to clothing and chairs, can be dropped off and picked up at the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society exchange.
  • The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society host an event where household items and clothing can be dropped off and picked up for free for Queen's and Kingston community members.
    The Arts and Science Undergraduate Society host an event where household items and clothing can be dropped off and picked up for free for Queen's and Kingston community members.
  • ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner Emily Armstrong stacks clothing items during the item swap hosted outside the ASUS office on University Avenue.
    ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner Emily Armstrong stacks clothing items during the item swap hosted outside the ASUS office on University Avenue.

As students finish the academic year many of those living off campus are left with furniture, clothing, and household objects which they no longer have a need for – particularly for those traveling long distances.

To address the environmental impact caused by removing these items the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) is hosting an event where students can drop off, pick up, and donate items to charity.  

Improving sustainability

Students were asked to drop off furniture, household items, electronics, spent batteries, clothing, and food between April 27-29 at the ASUS office (183 University Ave.) in an effort to reduce the amount of waste discarded or left behind at the end of the academic year and encourage reuse of these items within the larger Kingston community.

“It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement and there is a real need for items in the community, as well as providing an option for students to give back in a meaningful way,” says Emily Armstrong, ASUS Community Outreach Commissioner. “We’ve had comments from students saying that they have needed this service for months, while the charitable donations have the ability to make life easier for others in the community.”

The first day of the event was well attended with many students dropping off, sorting, and exchanging items. With a focus on reusing and recycling items, the initiative diverts waste away from landfills and contributes to a greener, more sustainable campus.

Community impact

At the end of each day, surplus items are donated to various local organizations including the Kingston Youth Shelter, Dawn House, Trellis HIV and Community Care.

“We’re always in need of new and gently used items for our shelter and two transition houses, we also have a number of people who will be graduating from our programs – so it helps them out when they don’t have a lot of funds to get off the ground,” says Anne Brown, Executive Director of Kingston Youth Shelter. “Partnerships and events like this help create a dialogue that raises awareness in the community about the needs of not-for-profits.” 

Voluntarism by Queen’s students, faculty, and staff, was highlighted in a recent economic and community impact study carried out by Deloitte. Each year the Queen’s community has a positive impact on the city and region by contributing to a wide range of local causes, with millions of dollars raised and thousands of volunteer hours provided to local organizations.

Visit the ASUS website for more information on future student-led events and initiatives.

Supporting mental health at Queen’s

Employee Wellness Services is offering a variety of initiatives and supports during Mental Health Week from May 2-6.

Mental Health Week - Empathy
This year’s theme for Mental Health Week is focused on empathy – being present, listening completely, and learning different perspectives. (CMHA image) 

For more than 70 years, Mental Health Week has been recognized, promoted, and celebrated across Canada. Led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the week reminds us to focus on our own personal mental health while also raising awareness about the supports in place. This year’s theme is about empathy – being present, listening completely, and learning different perspectives. 

In support and celebration of Mental Health Week, Employee Wellness Services will be offering a variety of initiatives and programs from May 2-6. Review some of the highlights for the week below or visit the HR Intranet for the complete list.

Wall of Gratitude (virtual)

Take time to recognize and appreciate the incredible work of colleagues from across the university. Write a positive message on the Digital Wall of Gratitude to tell them they are doing a great job, and that they are appreciated.

Outdoor Yoga (in-person)
Monday, May 2, 5:30 – 6:20 pm

Strengthen, stretch, and sweat in this hatha-based yoga class that incorporates meditation and breath-work with classic yoga poses. With variations offered in each pose, you'll learn the foundations of yoga and find opportunities to challenge yourself in new ways. Suitable for all participant levels. Program details online.

Learning to Recharge Seminar (virtual)
Tuesday, May 3, Noon – 12:45 pm

Explore techniques to energize, calm your mind, or relax your body. Discover what you most need to recharge. Register online.

Gardening Workshop (in-person)
Wednesday, May 4, Noon – 1 pm

Learn what’s needed to create and maintain healthy soil as well as regenerative techniques for gardening that help diversify our biological ecosystem. Email employee.wellness@queensu.ca to register.

Coffee Break (virtual)
Wednesday, May 4, 10 – 11 am

Take time to connect with colleagues across campus over a cup of coffee. Those interested can also craft and colour during the break. Register online.

Open Wellness Forum (virtual)
Thursday, May 5, 11 am – Noon

Reflect on what wellness means to you as an employee at Queen’s. Participate in the open wellness forum and share your unique perspectives. Register online.

ArtHive at Agnes (in-person)
Thursday, May 5, 4 – 6 pm

Artmaking is innately therapeutic and can improve general wellbeing. Explore the creative process through experimentation and play. ArtHive is free; materials are provided, and no prior art experience is necessary. Register online.

Coffee Break (in-person)
Friday, May 6

Show your employee ID to enjoy a free medium-sized standard brewed coffee or tea at the following Queen’s food outlets on campus on Friday, May 6:

  • MC2 – MacIntosh-Corry Hall (8 am – 3 pm)
  • Starbucks – Goodes Hall (8 am – 3:30 pm)
  • Tim Horton’s – Queen’s Centre (7:30 am – 3:30 pm)

If you are enjoying a hot beverage at MC2, you are encouraged to bring your own reusable mug.  

We recognize the challenges facing many members of the Queen’s community. Support for staff and faculty is available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program and additional wellness resources are available on the HR Intranet.  

Sharing Indigenous storytelling and community through food

Program brings Chef Joseph Shawana to campus to share the foundations of Indigenous foods systems, ingredient history, and methods of modernizing and de-colonizing Indigenous recipes.

Indigenous chef and Queen's Hospitality Services members.
Chef Joseph Shawana, front centre, offered education and training to residence dining hall staff and guest chefs, during a recent visit to Queen's. From left to right: Chef Jeremy Pastell (Aramark), Chef Adrian Salalac (Aramark), Chef Shawana, Shawn Kermeen (Cook, Ban Righ dining hall), Chef John Sousa (Executive Chef Ban Righ dining hall), Colin Johnson (Campus Executive Chef), Kevin Silva (Sous Chef, Ban Righ dining hall), Chef Peggy O'Rourke (Aramark). 

Students eating at Ban Righ and Leonard dining halls last month had the opportunity to learn about – and sample – Indigenous cuisine and stories.

Queen’s University Hospitality Services presented Traditions Storytelling Through Food, a two-day event featuring a visit from Chef Joseph Shawana who offered education and training to residence dining hall staff and guest chefs in understanding the foundations of Indigenous foods systems, ingredient history, and methods of modernizing and de-colonizing Indigenous recipes. The events also featured learning opportunities for students through engagement with Chef Shawana while discussing the different ingredients used in the recipes, and the story behind certain dishes.

Chef Shawana is Odawa, part of the Three Fires Confederacy. He was born and raised in Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Chair of Indigenous Culinary Associated Nations (ICAN) and instructor at Centennial College, Chef Shawana trained in classical French cuisine, and his cooking infuses classical French techniques with Native American cuisine.

“By coming in to do these kinds of events, not only do I get to tell my personal story, but I get to tell the history of our food,” says Chef Shawana. “I try to get all my influences from the stories I hear, the ingredients I know, and the whole history of where I come from. A lot of these students don’t know what these types of food are, or feel disconnected from where their food comes from, so I hope I have opened up a few doors for them for learning about the true history of Canada.”

The event began with a feature dinner menu at Leonard Hall on March 23 and continued with a pop-up lunch at Ban Righ Hall on March 24. Students learned about Indigenous ingredients, histories, and recipes at multiple food stations. Chef Shawana shared the many facets of Indigenous food, culinary and cultural experiences across each region of the country.

“Hospitality Services staff were excited to be part of this amazing in-person event where they had an opportunity to cook and serve the Indigenous menu created by Chef Shawana using authentic ingredients and spices,” says Campus Executive Chef Colin Johnson. “It was not only a great experience for them to work side by side with Chef Shawana, but inspiring to hear the great student feedback. We are looking forward to planning a similar event next year in March during the Indigenous Week celebrations on campus.”

Chef Shawana and ICAN aim to connect, influence, and share community through genuine Indigenous food experiences to envision a world where Indigenous food is not a dish served for one, but a cultural feast and celebration of nations.

For more on Indigenous culinary practices and community building, visit the ICAN website, as well as Chef Shawana’s Instagram.

For more food events, visit the Queen’s University Hospitality Services Facebook page.

Sustainable Living Series: Reducing damage from garden pests

The expert-led online session offers valuable information on how to protect household gardens from pests and insects.  

As the warm spring weather approaches, join master gardener Nancy Louwman for the next session in the Sustainable Living Series on reducing damage from garden pests.

The virtual event will share useful educational tips on how to reduce and eradicate many garden pests.

This session will take place Thursday, April 28, 2:30-3:30 pm.

All sessions of the Sustainable Living Series are open to all students, staff, faculty, and the public to attend.

For more information, to register, or to view past sessions visit the Sustainable Queen’s website.

Seeking nominations for new EDII award

The Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity provides $100,000 towards institutional initiatives and research projects focused on EDII.    

Do you or your colleagues have a track record of advancing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDII) within Canada’s research ecosystem, and are thinking of the next bold institutional initiative?

Faculty are invited to nominate candidates for the inaugural Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity.

Launched by the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP), the award recognizes Canadian researchers who contribute their time, expertise, and lived experience to help address inequities within their institution, the research environment and academia, and provide opportunities for students and trainees to contribute to EDII-related initiatives.  

Annually, the CRCP will confer three $100,000 awards to scholars in Canada, selected through a peer-review process led by the program’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.  

To qualify for the award, the researcher or team of eligible faculty members and/or program leaders must have a full-time academic appointment at the time of nomination and for the duration of the award, and be eligible for Tri-Agency funding.

How to apply:

Queen’s is restricted to nominating only one candidate/team per competition cycle. The university is inviting all interested candidates to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) consisting of a 1,000-word proposal describing how the funds will be used, and a description of the expertise and contributions to EDII by the candidates/teams.

EOIs will be evaluated by an internal selection committee and short-listed candidates/teams will be invited to an interview to discuss their proposal. There is no limit on the number of internal submissions from any department or faculty. Following the internal review, the successful candidate will continue to the CRCP peer-review process for evaluation and consideration for the national award. 

The deadline for EOIs is Thursday, May 19

Learn more about the internal nomination process for the Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity.

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green to step down

Current Deputy Provost, Academic Operations and Inclusion, Teri Shearer will serve as Interim Provost starting July 1, 2022.

Today, Principal and Vice Chancellor Patrick Deane shared with the Queen’s community that Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green will be stepping down, effective July 1, 2022.

The following is Principal Deane’s message and Dr. Green’s letter:

Dear Colleagues,

It is with regret that I write to you today to inform you that Dr. Mark Green has made the personal decision to step down from his role as Provost and Vice-Principal Academic effective July 1, 2022. I want to thank Provost Green for his dedication in serving the university over the past two years, especially during such extraordinary times. Dr. Teri Shearer, currently our Deputy Provost, Academic Operations and Inclusion, will serve as Interim Provost while we commence a formal search for a new Provost.  

Provost Green has written a message regarding his resignation for the community which I would like to share with you. It is provided below. I trust you will all join me in thanking Dr. Green for his service and wish him well upon his return to the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.  

Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice-Chancellor


Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green

It has truly been an honour and a privilege to serve as Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal Academic. Queen’s is a remarkable place, and I am honoured to have been part of the Queen’s family for more than 30 years, including most recently as Provost and Vice-Principal Academic. 

The last two years have been extremely busy, challenging, and rewarding, and I am so proud of the way the Queen’s team has stepped up to face these challenges together. Even though the focus has been on COVID-19 and keeping the university safe, I am proud of a number of important initiatives that we have been able to accomplish during these difficult times.

Dealing with some of these issues has taken a significant amount of time and energy and like many people recently, I have taken time to reflect and think about the future. After a discussion with my family and balancing personal and professional considerations, I have decided to step down from my role as provost. I would like to thank everyone for their support and guidance over the past two years. My lifelong commitment to Queen’s has not changed, and I am looking forward to continuing my research, my work to improve equity, diversity, and Indigenization in academia, and most importantly, my teaching, something I have truly missed while serving in this role. I wish the very best for everyone.

Mark Rahswahérha Green
Provost and Vice-Principal Academic

Graduate school initiative continues to build ties in the community

More than two dozen Queen’s PhD students partner with Kingston area businesses to solve pressing community problems.

The latest session of the PhD-Community Initiative has now concluded, highlighted by a virtual capstone event featuring Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane, and Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Mark Green, among others.

The PhD-Community Initiative, which began in 2016 as a pilot program, is led by the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and fosters partnerships between Queen’s students and community organization within and beyond Kingston, including the City of Kingston. Each year during this initiative, interdisciplinary teams of graduate students are paired with community partner organizations to tackle challenges important to their partner.

This year, six teams, each partnered with a distinct organization, worked to provide meaningful toolkits, recommendations, or research to address a pressing need or issue, helping their partner move forward. The teams are supported in their work by mentors (including retired faculty members and staff), and participate in a series of professional development workshops to enhance their learning throughout the year. The program attracted 26 students from across the Faculties of Arts and Science, Education, Engineering and Applied Science, Health Sciences, and Law.

These projects serve as a valuable opportunity for graduate students to translate their research skills and training into action, creating real impact in our local communities. In addition, many students participate to give back to the community they call home and to develop stronger relationships with other students from across campus – some of these ties last long beyond the end of the program.  

For participating organizations, the fresh, interdisciplinary, and analytical approach graduate students bring to the projects help them to take the next steps towards achieving their goals. The 2021/2022 Projects included:

ABLE2 | Support for People with Disabilities

ABLE2 collaborated with students to review and make recommendations on its volunteer recruitment and retention program, as well as their Volunteer Handbook. Ottawa-based ABLE2 (the first organization to participate outside of Kingston) supports people of all ages across the disability spectrum and their families to live life as valued members of their communities. ABLE2's Matching Program believes that community connection is the way to ensure seniors, people with disabilities and mental health challenges can live a good life and enrich their home community. ABLE2 matches volunteers, also known as Allies, in the community with a person with a disability (Friend) in an intentional relationship. The impacts for the person experiencing disability when someone chooses to be in their life are profound. This connection is shown to reduce loneliness and isolation, develop personal networks, decrease vulnerability, increase self-confidence, and improve mental and physical health.

Little Forests Kingston | Youth-led Neighborhood Climate Resilience Assessment Project

This collaboration aimed to create a toolkit to be used by youth to carry out an assessment of the climate resilience of their neighborhoods. The PhD-CI team worked with Little Forests Kingston’s community team to create/codesign the Neighborhood Climate Resilience Assessment to measure these important parameters. The methodology will be piloted in Summer 2022 in a student employment project, led by a mentor.

Little Forests Kingston is a local grassroots group focused on reforestation of urban spaces with diverse native species inspired by the Miyawaki method. The reforestation is based on local landscape conditions and planted intensively at 300 trees/100 sq meters. Miyawaki forests have shown rapid growth, with beneficial effects on biodiversity, carbon sequestration, management of stormwater and microclimate cooling, thus strengthening the climate resilience of the local ecology. Local communities are involved in planning, planting and caring for the Little Forest.

Higher density neighborhoods with limited canopy are at risk for heat island effects and flooding. Therefore, it is important that these communities understand the impact of the local ecology on the microclimate resilience of their neighborhood and what they can do about it as a community, including reforestation on public lands. Little Forest believes that youth who live in the neighborhood hold a great potential to lead change while centering the needs of their families, neighbors and elders. 

Royal Kingston Curling Club

The Royal Kingston Curling Club (RKCC) asked their team of students to determine how to best utilize its facility and evaluate current services to provide high value for members and attract new members to the club. To better serve the community, RKCC has placed a high value on equity, diversity, inclusivity, and Indigeneity and partnered with PhD students to investigate the needs of its membership and the broader community to further contribute to the club’s mission.

The Royal Kingston Curling Club (RKCC) is a non-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors, established in 1820. The club’s goal is to enhance the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of members and the community as a whole.

Elginburg Public School | Forest School in a Public School Setting

To better meet the needs of its learners, Elginburg Public School (EPS) paired with a group of graduate students for its Forest School program. The team investigated the behavioural impact an extended time outdoors in a natural setting has on children who are at risk of or diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or other behavioural conditions. EPS was interested in a quantitative study that is as scientifically rigorous as possible within the rules and regulations currently in place.

City of Kingston | Social Enterprise Sustainability and Growth

Students involved in the Social Enterprise Sustainability and Growth Program helped build out a ‘social enterprise incubator’ for new groups looking to create impact in the Kingston community. Programs like this play a critical role in the Kingston economy, particularly for socio-economic program delivery. The global pandemic further highlighted the vital contribution of these organizations and the continued need for their services. But there exists a need to provide support (in the form of mentorship, training and skills development, resources- human and financial) to many existing organizations to ensure sustainability, growth, and operational success. This project aligned with Kingston City Council Priorities and Principal Deane’s vision for Queen’s in the Community.

School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs | Community Partner Onboarding and Toolkit

As part of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs’ efforts to expand and improve the PhD-Community Initiative, students considered how to better support community partners involved in the program. A key time in the cycle of the program is the recruitment and onboarding of new partners each summer. To help ensure partners get the information they need to make an informed decision about their engagement in the program and to help them formulate and frame the “challenges” they’d like students to address, the team working on this project were asked to review current PhD-CI onboarding practices, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

If you’d like to learn more about past PhD-Community Initiative projects, please visit the program website. If you have any questions about the program, please email Heather Merla.


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