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Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.


A taste of Peru

[Chef Claudia Alvarado]
Chef Claudia Alvarado of Sodexo Peru is visiting Queen's University as part of the Global Chef Program. (University Communications)
[Queen's in the World]
Queen's in the World

The Queen’s community will have the chance to taste the flavours of Peru on Friday at Leonard Hall.

Queen’s University Hospitality Services is hosting one of Sodexo Peru’s leading chefs, Claudia Alvarado, as part of the company’s Global Chef Program.

Chef Alvarado will be serving up seven classic Peruvian dishes including Pollo a la Brassa al Estilo Peruana (Peruvian style chicken), Pimiento Relleno (stuffed red peppers) and Seco de Cordero al Estilo Norteno (leg of lamb in cilantro sauce with rice). There will also be vegetarian dishes and a vegan dish.

For Chef Alvarado, the key to Peruvian cuisine is the variety of ingredients and the pairing of flavours.

“What is good about Peruvian food is that you can mix all the ingredients and everything is going to taste really, really good,” she says.

Combine peppers, potatoes, seafood, tomatoes, lamb and beef and throw in a mixed bag of cultural influences, including China, Africa and Europe.

Chef Alvarado knew from a very young age that she wanted to cook as her whole family spent so much time in the kitchen together. At two years old, and looking to help out, she would bother her parents so much, she says, that her mother gave her a toy knife. She would then get busy chopping imaginary carrots, potatoes or whatever else was on the menu.

“My whole family cooks. Every time my dad cooked I was in the kitchen with him, helping him. It’s a passion for me to be in the kitchen and to make really, really good food makes me happy,” she says.

Chef Alvarado would go on to study at Le Cordon Bleu Peru and joined Sodexo, moving to various positions including North Arizona University in Flagstaff.

But home would call her back and she returned to Peru where she is now the Head of Project for Sodexo Peru.

While this is the first time she has participated in the Global Chef Program, she sees it as a valuable opportunity to gain experience, meet different people and learn new techniques as well as share hers with her hosts.

“We are very fortunate to have Chef Alvarado join us on Queen’s campus,” says Colin Johnson, Queen’s Campus Executive Chef. “She has great skill in the kitchen, and it is a wonderful experience for our team to learn more about Peruvian culture and foods. We are always interested in expanding our menus for students, staff and faculty.”

On Friday she’s hoping diners arrive ready to try something new and fresh.

“I am hoping they are going to like the food, and come for more,” she says.

The Classic Peruvian Menu by Chef Alvarado will be available at Leonard Hall on Friday from 11 am to 2 pm. Many of the menu items will also be available at Ban Righ Dining Hall from 11 am to 2 pm, and West Campus from 4:30 pm to 7 pm. The regular Staff and Faculty $5 Friday event will include the featured Peruvian menu.

From campus to castle

High school summer courses will be held starting this year at the Queen’s University Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in England through a partnership with the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) and MEI Academy.

High school students will now be able to earn secondary school credits inside the historic walls of Herstmonceux Castle, a 15th century castle in East Sussex, England.

“Queen’s is pleased to be able to share the beautiful BISC with high school students through the LDSB and the MEI Academy,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s. “Now, more high school students will have the unique opportunity to live and learn in an environment with a sense of community and a rich history located in the heart of the English countryside.”

Students will be able to choose from a variety of high school credit courses held at the BISC, including English, History, and IB Prep. The LDSB will provide all teaching staff.

The BISC is located on 600 acres of parkland with extensive gardens and trails just 80 minutes south of London.

It was donated to Queen’s in 1993 by Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, with the intent to establish it as a centre of international education. In 1994, after extensive renovations to transform bedrooms into offices and work areas into classrooms, the first students arrived.

"Limestone is pleased to offer this new and exciting opportunity to secondary students interested in reaching ahead while exploring the rich culture and heritage offered by the Herstmonceux Estate," says Shawn Lehman, Supervising Principal of Student Success. "We hope students will consider this unique learning opportunity."

To apply, please visit: http://www.meiacademy.com/apply/ 

Follow these links for more information on the Bader International Study CentreMEI Academy and the Limestone District School Board.

This is the second partnership between Queen's and the Limestone District School Board to bring global perspectives to the Kingston institutions and their community partners. In 2013 a pre-admission initiative to provide international students who meet the university's academic and language requirements with a seamless path for completing their high school studies and obtaining entry into Queen's was launched. Learn more about the Limestone-Queen's Pathway here.

A glimpse of the world

  • QUIC Photo Contest Overall Winner
    Overeall Winner: Pause, Surabaya, Indonesia - Fenton Isaacs (Artsci’17)
  • QUIC Photo Contest - Home Away From Home
    Home Away From Home: Golden Rays from Home, Montreal - Werdah Iqbal (Artsci’15)
  • QUIC Photo Contest - People and Culture
    People and Culture: Early Rider, East Sussex, England - Mitchell Gleason (Artsic’17)
  • QUIC Photo Contest - Landscape and Nature
    Landscape and Nature: The Fog in the Fairytale, Venice, Italy - Erin Colwell (Artsci’15)
  • QUIC Photo Contest - Critical Global Issues
    Critical Global Issues: Street Dogs Puppy Love, Ghana - Kelsey Ross (Artsci’15)

There is beauty to be found all around the world — from grand buildings and cities to hidden treasures and everyday life.

A panel of judges has selected the winners of the seventh annual Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) Photo Contest in the categories of People and Culture, Landscape and Nature, Home Away From Home and Critical Global Issues, as well as a grand prize winner.

Sharing international experiences with others is an important step in the building of understanding, appreciation and enjoyment across cultures.

This year’s grand prize winner Pause was taken by Fenton Isaacs (Artsci’17).

Other category winners include:

  • Home Away From Home: Werdah Iqbal (Artsci'15)
  • People and Culture: Mitchel Gleason (Artsci'17)
  • Landscape and Nature: Erin Colwell (Artsci'15)
  • Critical Global Issues: Kelsey Ross (Artsci'15)

Photos from the contest will be exhibited March 3-4 from 4-6 pm at QUIC, located in the John Deutsch University Centre. There will be a  second exhibit of selected photos (RETROSPECT ’09 -’15) at the Pump House Steam Museum in downtown Kingston from April 1-25. Admission is free with Queen’s ID.

Voting for the People's Choice Award - including continues until Friday, Feb. 27 at 4 pm. You can cast your vote by following this link.

Matariki member talks international collaboration

Iain Watt, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of the University of Western Australia in Perth, visited Queen’s University last week. UWA and Queen’s are members of the Matariki Network of Universities, an international group that focuses on research partnerships and undergraduate teaching. Communications Officer Andrew Stokes spoke with Mr. Watt about his trip. 

Andrew Stokes: What are your priorities for your time at Queen’s?

Iain Watt is Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Western Australia, a member of the Matariki Network. 

Iain Watt: One of my primary goals is to discuss international exchange opportunities for Australian students. Our target is to have 40 per cent of our students go on an overseas exchange during their undergraduate degree, and to attract more students to come to Australia. Our current exchange rate is between 20-25 per cent, so I’m trying to find out if we’re not doing some things as well as other universities.

AS: How does Queen’s fit into those exchange goals?

Queen's in the World

IW: UWA and Queen’s have been significant partners for student mobility, but we’d like to strengthen the tie. When international exchanges first began, there were fewer students doing them, so having partnerships with a large number of institutions made more sense. Now, the administrative work required to maintain partnerships with around 150 schools is very expensive, so we’d like to have a smaller number of partners, but send a greater number of students there each year. 

Since UWA and Queen’s signed our exchange agreement in 2001, we’ve had more than 300 students exchange between us, so it’s a strong relationship. We’re an isolated country and city, so from Perth it’s easier to get to Jakarta or Singapore than a city on Australia’s east coast, like Sydney. For international exchanges, students want to go somewhere more exotic than Singapore, so Canada is an interesting option.

AS: How is UWA benefiting from its membership in the Matariki Network?

IW: The network is still in its formative stages, trying to decide what it wants its goals to be, but we generally want to share and talk about research strengths, student exchanges, teaching opportunities and anything that the other schools are doing well. One of the things we’re looking at is how we might fund research cooperation networks. The seven member universities fund research rather differently, so a structure that works for us may not work for Queen’s or for the University of Otago — we need to find something that works for all of us.

AS: You’re visiting Innovation Park during your visit, is the focus on innovation growing in Australia?

IW: I’m very interested in seeing what Queen’s has done around innovation. Australia is lagging behind most Western countries and UWA wants to be better at commercialization, innovation and incubation. Right now we’re not great at taking research from universities and making it marketable. Also, because many of the major businesses in Australia are headquartered in the United Kingdom or the United States, much of their research is done overseas. While there are good reasons for that, we need to find ways to improve it. 

Internship program connects Canada and China

Representatives from Queen’s, partner organizations and the Chinese embassy recently gathered at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre to celebrate the six officials from the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) who completed a six-month internship program.

Li Xu, China Projects Coordinator in the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), Professor John Meligrana, SURP, Professor Emeritus Hok-Lin Leung, SURP, Cynthia Fekken,  Associate Vice-Principal (Research), Mao Zhongying, Science and Technology Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada. Front row are interns Yu Haitao, Luo Jia, Zhao Daoya, Wang Dejie, Niu Chunnying, and Gao Yongbao.

The annual program, a partnership between Queen’s and the MLR, sees a group of staff from the ministry spend between three and six months in a Canadian public or private organization, working as an intern in the field of land and resource management.

“Queen’s University is proud of its collaborative role in supporting the academic component of the internship program, which enables an exchange of ideas and practices, and shared learning between interns and their host organizations,” says Cynthia Fekken, Associate Vice-Principal (Research), who was on hand to present certificates of completion to the interns.

The partnership has been in place since 1995, an initiative of Hok-Lin Leung, professor emeritus and former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Queen’s and the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources recently extended this partnership with the signing of a memorandum of understanding last summer.

The Queen’s-MLR partnership also includes an internship for Queen’s student in China and a program that sees up to 50 MLR staff members and mining professionals attend a three-week training program run jointly by the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining.

The partnership between Queen’s and the MLR is one of many that the university has developed with partners in China. Highlights include a recently established Master of Finance program with Renmin University, a semester abroad program with Fudan University, as well as a 2+2 degree program and environment research network with Tongji University. China is a priority region in Queen’s efforts to enhance its international reach.

Speaking the world’s language

Campus has gotten a little more multicultural since the creation of the World Languages Club this January.

Daniel Hu and the World Languages Club want to make campus more multilingual. (University Communications)

Aimed at people who want to speak new languages and learn about world cultures, the club holds language- and culture-themed nights out of the Queen’s University International Centre. They’re hoping to spark greater interest in cross-cultural sharing and learning.

“Language is such a big thing that connects and it’s not given enough focus in our predominantly English-speaking environment,” says Daniel Hu (ArtSci ’15), the club’s president. “We want to encourage a campus culture of multilingualism.”

Leading by example, Mr. Hu, who is also chair of the Department of Literatures, Languages and Cultures’ student council, is fluent in or working on learning five different languages.

Though there are a number of smaller language clubs around campus, Mr. Hu says they struggle to maintain consistent membership and interest, something he hopes the World Languages Club can fix. Its plan is to have chapters within the club that run events about a given language or culture, such as an Oktoberfest for German and the Lunar New Year for Chinese. That way, events will be more regular, structured and the club can retain more members.

In order to make sure the events are accessible for all skill levels among speakers, they’ll utilize a rotation system. The system groups together those with similar skills and has more proficient speakers deliver lessons to those who need them.

“We would really like to build a membership that is not restricted to language concentrators and international students,” says Mr. Hu. “We want to make this opportunity available to wider Queen’s community.”

Along with culture-specific nights, the club will also hold multilingual events celebrating international exchange and the benefits of multilingualism. Complementing all events will be a spread of food related to their culture, either provided by the club or assembled by potluck.

“This is a great venue for students to get together, discuss what they’ve learned and even practice their foreign language skills,” says Dr. Donato Santeramo, Head, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

The department will be assisting and liaising with the club as it continues to grow.

More information can be found at the club’s webpage.

Gaining a global awareness at QMUN

[Queen's Model United Nations]
Queen's Model United Nations co-chairs Prabhjot Sidhu and Brandon Jamieson say the event offers student delegates a chance to see different viewpoints and gain a learning experience outside the classroom. (University Communications)

Queen’s Model United Nations (QMUN) is taking on today’s global issues as it marks its 30th year.

The student-organized event, being held at the John Deutsch University Centre from Thursday to Sunday, has 155 delegates this year, all from Queen’s University. However, it’s not simply a venue for politics students. Delegates this year hail from a wide array of faculties, including engineering, life science and commerce.

The strength of QMUN in comparison to other similar programs, according to co-chairs Brandon Jamieson (Artsci’15) and Prabhjot Sidhu (ConEd’15), is that there is a wide range of topics.

“Our topics are very broad, very diverse, and because of that I think everyone can relate to one issue or another,” says Mr. Jamieson. “We are talking about obesity and inequalities to militarizing outer space, to resource depletion in East Africa. It covers everything. People enjoy the sharing of ideas, the debate.”

Add to that the fact that delegates are not required to have any experience in the field and QMUN draws students who might not otherwise attend a model UN event.

Delegates represent various countries on various committees such as the Arab League, the Security Council and the World Health Organization. At the committees real-world issues are debated and the delegates must represent their country’s interests, even if they do not agree with them on a personal level.

“This opens them to different viewpoints, viewpoints that they would necessarily consider,” says Ms. Sidhu. “They represent a country and it’s not necessarily their country so they have to take on those views. A lot of the time they may be representing a country they don’t agree with at all and so to take that perspective is a huge learning experience.”

One of the end goals of the event is for delegates to gain some insight into how difficult multinational forums such as the UN can be. Problem-solving skills and understanding are required.

“It’s very easy to be critical and approach it from a critical lens but I think that people overlook the struggles,” says Mr. Jamieson. “The United Nations is meant to be an open forum and when you have 198 opposing views in one room, trying to find a solution that pleases 50 per cent plus one of them is very hard to do.”

QMUN also offers a number of guest speakers, who also represent a wide range of views and backgrounds, such as Israel’s Ambassador to Canada Rafael Barak who took part in Thursday evening’s opening ceremony. Others taking part include former Speaker of the House Peter Milliken, US Consul General Jim Dickmeyer, China’s Ambassador to Canada Luo Zhaohui and  Margaret Biggs, former president of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

“We’re just trying to give our delegates the most well-rounded experience possible and allow them to get the best understanding of international politics and global issues,” says Ms. Sidhu.

For more information visit the QMUN website.

GeoEngineering Centre's work making a ‘real impact’

[Dr. Kerry Rowe]
Kerry Rowe and his colleagues at the GeoEngineering Centre are studying the use and performance of geosynthetics and geomembranes, such as those used to prevent the escape of contaminants from landfills. (University Communications)

For Kerry Rowe, a fellow of the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific society (the Royal Society based in London UK, 1660), and his colleagues in the GeoEngineering Centre, winning awards for their research is nice. However, the real reward, says the professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, is knowing that the work they are doing is having a lasting impact on people’s lives and the environment.

“While we write papers and win awards, really the most important aspect, at least to me, is the fact that people are using it,” says Dr. Rowe, the Canada Research Chair in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. “It’s affecting regulations around the world. Regulators are using it. Manufacturers are using it. Designers are using it. Manufacturers are using our research as a basis for improving their products. We find something’s not working so well and the manufacturer is going to find a way to make it work better.

“That’s the real impact of our work. It’s actually being used to protect the environment.”

Dr. Rowe’s area of study is focused on the use and performance of geosynthetics and geomembranes such as those used to prevent the escape of contaminants from landfills.

His most recent award, picked up earlier this year, was for the best paper published in 2013 in Geosynthetics International, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK and considered one of the top journals in the field.  The paper, which examines methods of increasing how long a plastic geomembrane used in the bottom liner of a landfill will last, was co-authored by Dr. Rowe, Fady Abdelaal, and Richard Brachman, all of Queen’s.

Dr. Rowe also won the award in 2013 for an article written with Melissa Chappel, Dr. Brachman and Andrew Take. That team then won the International Geosynthetics Society Award and Gold Medal for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of wrinkling in geomembranes” for their pioneering work on this topic.

Dr. Rowe says he was drawn to the field by Love Canal, an environmental disaster in the 1970s where a neighbourhood was built adhacent to a toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, NY. While many things have improved around landfills in the decades that have followed, one of the biggest issues he’s found is that many of the design guidelines were developed in the late 1980s and 1990s when very little was known about geomembranes and geosynthetics.

The GeoEngineering Centre is changing that.

“What we’ve been doing over the past 20 years is really coming to understand the long-term performance of these materials, because they need to last for many, many decades to centuries, depending on the size of the facility, to provide protection,” he says. “We are, I think it’s fair to say, the world leaders in doing that. We’re interested in the long-term performance through accelerated tests but also field testing. We have field test sites literally from the Arctic to the Antarctic.”

These are some extreme conditions but geosynthetics and geomembranes often face extreme stresses, increasingly in the mining industry for waste materials and tailings. Some of these mining applications are over 200 metres in height, says Dr. Rowe. They are utterly massive.

“The vast majority of geosynthetics are now sold in the mining industry,” he says. “We are working on heap leach pads and the selection of appropriate geomembranes because they are being used, but no one, until we started doing it, was doing the research.”

The research is informing designers and helping manufacturers create new products with better performing characteristics.

“It’s protection of the health and safety of the environment that is the motivation for our work. What we are trying to do is prevent Love Canal-type situations from arising,” he says. “We’ve got a fantastic group of people, in terms of faculty and really tremendous post-docs and graduate students that we have working on this.”

Queen's MBA ranked in global top 100

[Queen's School of Business]
The Queen's School of Business' MBA program is ranked among the top 100 internationally by the Financial Times (University Relations)

The Financial Times has released its list of the top 100 full-time global MBA programs with Queen’s placing 86th in the world and third in Canada.

This marks the first year that Queen’s School of Business (QSB) has participated in Financial Times’ ranking of full-time MBA programs since 2009.

“We made significant, market-driven changes to our full-time MBA program over the last few years, and wanted to wait until those program enhancements were established before reentering the ranking,” said David Saunders, Dean, Queen’s School of Business. “We are very pleased to be recognized as one of the top 100 programs in the world by the widely respected Financial Times.”

The Financial Times global MBA ranking is calculated based on 20 separate criteria, such as value for money, career progress, international faculty and faculty research, but is heavily weighted to salary measures (worth 40 per cent of the overall ranking). Six Canadian schools made the 2015 ranking.

Visit the Financial Times 2015 Global MBA ranking to view the full ranking.

In October 2014, Queen’s MBA was ranked in the top 10 in the world outside the U.S. in Businessweek’s Best Business Schools ranking. QSB also topped the list for Canadian Business magazine’s ranking of Canada’s Best MBA Programs. The Canadian Business “Top 10” focuses on value for money, citing “a big return on investment” as the key reason Queen’s MBA secured the top spot in the 2014 ranking.

Queen’s School of Business is one of the world’s premier business schools — renowned for exceptional programs, outstanding faculty and research, and the quality of its graduates. Canadian executives regard Queen’s as Canada’s most innovative business school, offering students academic excellence and a superior overall experience. Queen’s School of Business — where Canada’s first Commerce program was launched in 1919 — is located at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The School also delivers programs at locations across Canada, as well in the U.S., the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and China.

Piano Festival a treat for music lovers

Piano Festival
The Queen's School of Music's 10th Piano Festival is being held Jan. 16-18, featuring Roman Rudnytsky and Amanda Johnston (Mus’93). (Supplied photos)

The Queen’s School of Music is marking the 10th edition of the Piano Festival with an outstanding lineup of artists and events.

Being held Jan. 16-18 and March 13, the festival will be headlined by Roman Rudnytsky, a winner of 10 international competitions who has enjoyed a varied career as performer and is currently Distinguished Professor at Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University.

Mr. Rudnytsky will hold a piano master class on Saturday, Jan. 17 starting at 11 am in Room 124, Harrison-Lecaine Hall. He will also perform a recital at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 2:30 pm.

Bringing top-level artists to Kingston has drawn interest not only from music lovers but students as well.

“I have found that the master classes, recitals and lectures offered by PianoFest guests inspire students to play better,” says festival organizer Ireneus Zuk, a professor in Queen's School of Music. “They hear the calibre of performances by artists on the international scene and then strive to reach that level. It is very important for students to be able to interact with and learn from such exceptional individuals."

Also participating in the festival is Amanda Johnston (Mus’93), an associate professor of music at the University of Mississippi. Her studies at Queen’s and institutions in Germany and the Czech Republic helped her establish a multifaceted career as an accompanist, coach and diction specialist. 

Ms. Johnston will take part in a pair of events Friday, Jan. 16: a colloquium presentation at 12:30 pm and a master class for voice students at 3 pm. Both events are in Room 124, Harrison-Lecaine Hall. On Saturday, Jan. 17 she will hold a voice and piano recital with tenor Robert Martin at the Isabel.

On March 13, a pair of events will be held featuring Yoko Hirota, a professor of piano at Laurentian University.

The festival receives support from the G.T. Richardson Fund, the Faculty of Arts and Science Visiting Scholar Program and the International Visitors Program.

All events are free with the exception of Mr. Rudnytsky’s recital which is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

For further information, visit the Queen’s School of Music’s website.


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