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

Student Learning Experience

Edward Burtynsky to collaborate with Queen’s on unique work of public art

Renowned photographer and artist to collaborate with Queen’s Engineering and Arts & Science on life-size whale skeleton sculpture.

Concept design for Standing Whale
Edward Burtynsky's conceptual design for Standing Whale.

Today, two Queen’s University faculties announced a partnership with world-renowned Canadian photographer and Queen’s Honorary Degree recipient, Edward Burtynsky, to help realize his new public art piece titled Standing Whale

On the heels of his critically acclaimed and highly successful Anthropocene project, Burtynsky continues to push his artistic practice into a new dimension, with the creation of his first large-scale public sculptural work – a true-to-size, artistic re-imagining of a whale skeleton, inspired by retrieved whale skeletons that washed ashore in Newfoundland in 2014. 

“My hope is this public art sculpture will become a true Canadian statement: one that symbolizes our commitment to protecting the environment, our cultural institutions and heritage, as well as our efforts to ensure that our planet experiences a positive Anthropocene instead of a negative one,” says Burtynsky.

The partnership will engage the expertise and innovative thinking of faculty and students in multiple programs across the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Faculty of Arts and Science, who will tackle the piece’s structural and conceptual challenges with the aim of bringing this artwork to life in a public setting.

Edward Burtynsky partners with Queen's University on "Standing Whale".

“Edward Burtynsky creates compelling, passionate calls to action on climate change,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Contributing to Standing Whale represents an opportunity for our faculty and students to take on unique engineering challenges that span the disciplines of engineering but also rely on collaboration with our colleagues from the arts and sciences.”

Based on the story of a pod of North Atlantic blue whales that perished in an unprecedented ice event, Standing Whale is a thematic continuation of Burtynsky’s 40-year artistic practice looking at the impacts of humans on the planet. When the bodies of these whales washed ashore following their demise, there were only an estimated 250 of the mammals left worldwide. This pod represented four per cent of those remaining. The North Atlantic blue whale, like so many other species, is at risk of becoming a casualty of the climate crisis and Standing Whale acts as an homage to and lament for this loss.

“Through the duration of this partnership with Queen’s University and the deployment of these multidisciplinary special projects, students will have an opportunity to engage with this artwork in a tangible way and work towards achieving feats of both engineering and storytelling alongside Canada’s most prolific contemporary photographer,” says Dean Barbara Crow, Faculty of Arts and Science.

Review of Teaching and Learning at Queen’s

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane and Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green have initiated an external review of the Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) (VPTL) portfolio, including its relationship to the work of the Centre for Teaching and Learning and other units, prior to the appointment later this year of a new VPTL. 

The members of the review team are: Simon Bates, Associate Provost, Teaching and Learning, University of British Columbia; John Doerksen, acting Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Western University; and Arig al Shaibah, Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion, McMaster University. They will consider a self-study report, background documents, and input from members of the community; meet with key stakeholders; and submit a report to the principal and provost. The reviewers’ report and recommendations will then be circulated to the university community.

The reviewers will consider the breadth and scope of practice of the teaching and learning portfolio; the resources and structures that support it; its relationship to other units; and how it should reflect the university’s Strategic Framework, commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and indigeneity, and the Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism.

In their report the reviewers will assess the challenges and opportunities facing teaching and learning at Queen’s and make recommendations concerning future growth and development; the scope, focus and priorities of the portfolio; and the skills and experience of the ideal VPTL.

“The teaching and learning portfolio is central to the work of the university, and the VPTL’s office is an important focus for setting and meeting the university’s goals and priorities,” Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green says. “In recognition of the importance of the VPTL role to the university, we have launched a full-scale review to ensure that the office of the VPTL provides the necessary support to pedagogy and learning across the campus. We invite interested members of the community to contribute to the review.”

Members of the community are invited to comment on the strengths of and opportunities in the teaching and learning portfolio by sending an email to provost@queensu.ca by 8 am on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Responses will be shared in confidence with the reviewers unless respondents indicate that their comments are intended only for the Office of the Provost.

The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on the Provost’s webpage.

Online career events in January

Job search and networking opportunities for all students are continuing online this term as pandemic-related restrictions remain in place. Faculty and staff are encouraged to promote these activities to students who are exploring their career options.

Upcoming events this month, include:

Career Networking Event for Indigenous Students – Wednesday, Jan. 19, 4-6 pm

Co-hosted by Queen’s Career Services, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, and Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Indigenous students and recent Queen’s graduates can make connections with potential employers that can lead to short-term and long-term career opportunities.

First piloted in November 2020, the event was a success for both students and employers who recognize and value the contributions of Indigenous colleagues, employees, and partners.

Students can register in MyCareer.

Engineering & Technology Fair – Jan. 19-20

This two-part, two-day event is open to all students and recent grads seeking internships and full-time positions in engineering and technology fields.

On Wednesday Jan. 19, Career Services staff members and resume coaches will be available to provide advice and support to help prepare participants for meeting with employers the following day.

Students from all disciplines are encouraged to attend, as recruiters often look for candidates beyond those with engineering and technology backgrounds. Once registered, students can preview the exhibitor booths and learn about which employers will be attending, their organizations, and available jobs.

Students and recent grads are invited to register below for one or both days:

Summer Opportunities Fair – Jan. 26, 10:30 am-3:30 pm

This annual event is open to all students, and connects them to employers for summer work, including part-time positions, internships, international experiences, and more.

Once registered, students can preview the exhibitor booths. Some booths may not be fully set up until closer to the event date and additional booths are being added, as exhibitors continue to register.

Email Queen’s Career Services at qocr@queensu.ca with any questions or assistance with any of these events.

For all Career Services events, services and supports, visit careers.queensu.ca

Teaching and learning beyond the classroom

Queen’s is developing digital educational resources through funding from the Government of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy.

The pandemic has highlighted the important role that new technologies can play in helping instructors connect with students and expand educational opportunities beyond the physical classroom. Earlier this year, Queen’s received more than $2 million in funding from the Government of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy Initiative (VLS) for 32 projects to improve its online education offerings. These projects are now under way and will be available in March 2022 to students and faculty at Queen’s and across the province through eCampus Ontario, which will collect all projects in their Open Library.

“The projects created through Virtual Learning Strategy funding enable our Queen’s community to provide highly accessible educational materials to a wide range of students at Queen’s and across Ontario,” says Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning) Klodiana Kolomitro. “These projects will have a high impact for years to come.”

The 32 projects currently in development span a wide range of disciplines and topics, including robotics, artificial intelligence, race and migration in Canada, and sustainability. The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen’s Health Sciences, the Faculty of Education, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Regional Assessment and Resource Centre are all developing digital resources. A number of the projects align with areas of strategic focus for the university, including equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigenization.

Teaching skills for decolonization

The Decolonial Struggle is a project that will create a new online undergraduate course to support the Indigenous Studies major launched in the fall. This Indigenous-led online course will focus on the role of decolonial thought and practice in building more just, equitable, and socially responsible communities in settler colonial states such as Canada. The course aims to provide students with valuable knowledge and skills that prepare and empower them to make personal and systemic changes for a more sustainable future.

Graduate student success

Upskilling Graduates for Success is a series of e-courses that will offer Ontario graduate students self-paced professional development to ensure they are prepared to enter a rapidly evolving labour market, locally and globally. Developed through a partnership across five Ontario Universities, course topics were strategically selected to capitalize on institutional strengths and purposefully designed to respond to labour market trends. Each course in the series will be based on explicit learning outcomes and pedagogically structured through four interactive infographics, self-assessments, scenario-based learning activities and authentic experiential tasks. Students will leave these courses with new skills that set them apart and prepare them to cultivate wellbeing in their communities and workplaces.

Combating microaggressions in nursing

Racism, discrimination, and microaggressions experienced by underrepresented nursing students has many negative effects on their education and wellbeing. Harnessing Cultural Humility Against Microaggressions is developing innovative and accessible resources that tackle this issue. The project includes resources to help underrepresented nursing students navigate situations in which racism and microaggressions occur, as well as resources for faculty and peers to support students affected by racism and microaggressions. The project will make use of both eLearning modules and virtual simulation games, which have been shown to be effective in providing equity, diversity, and inclusivity training in healthcare settings.

More VLS projects

Learn more about these projects and others being developed with VLS funding on the website of the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

Q&A: What factors lead to a mudslide?

Queen's researchers in the Queen’s Coastal Engineering Lab create debris flows to gain a better understanding of how they happen and the damage they can cause.

The Queen's University Coastal Engineering Lab can simulate a mudslide using this flume. (Supplied photo)

The picturesque towns and communities in British Columbia’s lower mainland were plunged into chaos this week when parts of Canada’s landscape suddenly changed due to catastrophic flooding, mudslides, and landslides. Queen’s researcher Andy Take, professor and researcher in Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, and second-year Master’s student Lisa Tauskela spend their days in the Queen’s Coastal Engineering Lab triggering debris flows, which are commonly called mudslides. Here is a closer look at their research.

What is the difference between a landslide and a mudslide?

What makes a debris flow (mudslide) different from a regular landslide is that liquefaction is occurring in the material. This means the material is saturated with water and due to internal water pressure, the soil grains have lost their friction. Therefore, a previously solid material can now flow like a liquid.

What causes a mudslide?

Excess rain can lead to liquefaction and debris flows as it introduces the requisite water. Debris flows can also be triggered during earthquake, and often occur in mountainous or sloping terrain around the world. Mudslides often travel farther and faster than landslides where liquefaction is not present. This can lead to increased devastation. The United States Geological Survey says debris flows can travel up to and exceeding 55 km/h.

Second-year Master's Student Lisa Tauskela,  researcher in Geotechnical Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's University
Lisa Tauskela, second-year Master's student, Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering

What kind of damage can they cause?

Extremely large debris flows can travel kilometers at high speeds and devastate entire communities. The damage is dependent on the type of landslide that occurs. A 2006 slide in Oso, Washington travelled 100 metres. In 2014, the same slope failed, liquefied the valley floor, and travelled over a kilometre and killed 43 people.

How can you simulate a mudslide in the Coastal Engineering lab?

The objective of the research is to increase the fundamental understanding of liquefaction mechanisms as they affect debris flow mobility. We create landslides of up to 3,000 kg of debris in the Queen’s University flume. This facility consists of a release box located at the crest of an 8-metre-long, 30-degree slope and a 36-metre long horizontal runout zone. (Master's student) Lisa Tauskela varies the water content and volume of the material and captures the landslides with a variety of sensors and cameras. These observations are intended to provide a comprehensive database of landslide behavior to test the ability of newly-developed numerical models. Numerical models that can estimate the likelihood and size of a debris flow are extremely useful for issuing evacuation orders or warnings. Improving the accuracy of these lifesaving models is the subject of research around the world.

How can we prevent them from happening?

We can either stop a debris flow from happening in the first place or we can reduce its impact on nearby people and infrastructure. Debris flows are more likely to occur when excess water is present, whether this is from rainfall, overland flow, or damaged culverts, water pipes etc. Debris flows also occur when the toe (bottom) of a slope is removed, whether this is from erosion or excavation for construction. To prevent debris flows, we should minimize clear-cutting trees, add more vegetation, monitor erosion, and minimize construction near unstable slopes.

Call for nominations for Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards

Awards recognize excellence and innovation in Indigenous education, curriculum development, educational leadership, international education, promoting student inquiry, and use of educational technology.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane is pleased to announce that the nomination period for the Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards is now open, from Nov. 15 to Jan. 31.

Principal's Teaching and Learning Awards:
• Indigenous Education Award
• Curriculum Development Award
• Educational Leadership Award
• Educational Technology Award
• International Education Innovation Award
• Promoting Student Inquiry Teaching Award

The awards, presented by the Office of the Principal along with partners the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Queen’s Library, Information Technology Services, and the Office of the Vice Provost (International), recognize excellence and innovation in indigenous education, curriculum development, educational leadership, international education, promoting student inquiry, and use of educational technology.

New this year, the nomination process has been streamlined with a single set of guidelines, an online nomination form, and awards criteria published in a single point format for transparency and so nominators know exactly what expectations their nominee must meet or exceed in adjudication. Nominations may be submitted by any combination of students, faculty, and staff colleagues, department heads or deans.

Nominations for women, visible/racialized minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity are welcome and encouraged.

Nominations can be submitted through the new web page, now the “one stop shop” for all information related to awards as well as the online nomination form to apply.



Listening and learning: Insights from Indigenous research

This year’s Indigenous Research Collaboration Day incorporated the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals in highlighting the important of collaboration in research with Indigenous communities.

Relevance, respect, reciprocity, and responsibility. These are the themes participants were encouraged to consider during Queen’s Indigenous Research Collaboration Day.

[Illustration "Respect" by Portia Chapman]

Co-hosted annually since 2017 by the School of Graduate Studies and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, in partnership with the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Research Portfolio, Indigenous Research Collaboration Day aims to showcase the outstanding research done by Queen’s graduate students, post-docs, and faculty and highlight the importance of collaborating with local Indigenous communities on issues of inequality and access.

“Indigenous Research Collaboration Day grew out of a need to provide Queen’s researchers with information on the proper protocols and understanding necessary to participate in research with Indigenous communities,” explains Kanonhsyonne Jan Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) and member of the day’s planning committee. “This understanding is crucial if we are to properly engage with peoples and voices that have, up to this point, been largely excluded from the research dialogue.”

This year’s event, which took place via Zoom on Friday, Nov. 5, centred on the principles of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs present a call to action, encouraging people to act as citizens of a global community in an effort to take care of our shared environment and commit to a better life for all. The theme evokes Queen’s own commitment to advancing the principles of equality and sustainability through its research and operations in the local community and around the world, as laid out in the university’s Strategic Framework. It is also well-fitted to reflect the core values embedded in Indigenous cultures and a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and collaborating with Indigenous ways of being.

Following an opening keynote by Queen’s Chancellor, The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Queen’s doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows from the School of Graduate Studies presented their research through panels organized around the specific SDG themes of Reduced Inequality, Quality Education, and Good Health and Well-being. Many of the students are themselves members of Indigenous communities and their research serves to underlie the importance of listening to and learning from Indigenous peoples when it comes to addressing Indigenous needs.

[Photo compilation of L-R/T-B: Elisa Corbett, Dr. Tina Dacin, Kacey Doo, Olivia Franks, Kenneth Gyamerah, Jodi Mae John, Alice Johnston, Brittany McBeath, Dr. Jackson Pind, Tyler Twarowski]
Some of the day's panelists. Clockwise from top left: Elisha Corbett, Dr. Tina Dacin, Kacey Dool, Olivia Franks, Kenneth Gyamerah, Tyler Twarowski, Dr. Jackson Pind, Brittany McBeath, Alice Johnston, and Jodi Mae John.

PhD student panelist Jodi John is Mohawk, Bear clan from Tyendinaga Mohawk territory, where she lives and works as a Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator. This June, Jodi was also the inaugural recipient of the Teyonkwayenawá:kon Graduate Scholarship, administered by the School of Graduate Studies to support Indigenous graduate student research and promote the diversification of teaching and learning at Queen’s.

Presenting her research on the advantages of using Indigenous ways of being to benefit Indigenous health outcomes, Jodi says what she most hopes attendees took with them from the day is an understanding that “Indigenous people know their communities best and are best situated to address ongoing issues, including those of Indigenous health disparities.”

“My community is the inspiration for my research,” says Jodi. “I hope that my research will contribute to transforming healthcare spaces from places of fear, violence, and adversity to those of safety, engagement, and empowerment.”

For more information on this year’s panelists, their research, and to view the full day’s agenda, visit the School of Graduate Studies website.

Medical students collaborate to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in healthcare

Summer research studentships to allow students to pursue research on a pressing issue in healthcare.

Medical students look at EDI
Medical students, from left, Gabriele Jagelaviciute, Ishita Aggarwal, and Simran Sandhu participated in summer research studentships that looked at ways to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in healthcare.

Providing medical students an excellent education is a point of pride for the Faculty of Health Sciences and Queen’s University. In a contemporary context, providing quality education requires more than access to peer-reviewed literature and experienced instructors. Medical students must develop cultural awareness and anti-discriminatory practices.

Each year, the School of Medicine offers several summer research studentships to allow students to pursue research on a pressing issue in healthcare. This year, three of these students led research projects with the intention of advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within medical education and the healthcare system.

Simran Sandhu and Ishita Aggarwal are investigating the ways in which EDI can be more effectively implemented in medical training, while Gabriele Jagelaviciute is analyzing the role of gender on the clinical practice of emergency medicine in Canada.

While the students were drawn to two different projects, their choice to pursue themes around EDI was personal.

“I’ve seen firsthand how gender-based bias and discrimination continue to affect the career choice, development, promotion, and wellbeing of female trainees and physicians,” says Jagelaviciute. “I only hope that my findings will make an impact on students tackling inequity while pursuing an already challenging vocation.”

All three students agree that EDI needs to be more than just supplementary in healthcare.

“In the future, we're going to be treating diverse populations and it's important that our education reflects that so that we're prepared to provide the best possible care that we can,” says Aggarwal.

Exposing medical students to EDI and anti-oppression practices from the beginning of their training allows them to become more compassionate, safe and informed healthcare providers and colleagues.

“Incorporating EDI into our education helps us develop confidence in addressing the world and our positions in it,” says Sandhu. “Our profession directly impacts the livelihoods of our patients; it’s important that we understand how we as future physicians can perpetuate inequity when we are ignorant of those unlike ourselves.”

Sandhu, Aggarwal, and Jagelaviciute agree that the opportunity to undertake research projects supervised by their professors has challenged them to think more critically while also allowing them to take agency and enact positive change even before they begin their careers as clinicians.

“This project has made me realize that even as a racialized person myself, I too have so much to learn and improve upon,” says Sandhu.

Though their projects remain works in progress, the students are eager to begin evolving health sciences curriculum with each new discovery and innovation that comes along the way.

“We look forwarding to surveying and interviewing our peers and using their feedback to devise actionable ways of applying EDI into our curriculum” says Aggarwal.

The students are grateful for such a meaningful research opportunity during their studies and look forward to helping their peers and future colleagues become better informed healthcare providers.

“This is a crucial project to engage in, and we can’t wait to see where it leads us,” Aggarwal says.

“It has been incredibly reassuring to feel seen, heard, and valued amongst my classmates and professors. I only hope we can make the same true for all students,” Jagelaviciute adds.

Pioneering Queen’s chemistry research gets $24M boost

Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund supporting novel research that could extend the lifespan of metals and potentially save billions across the infrastructure, microchip, and health care industries.

[Photo of Dr. Cathleen Crudden in the lab]
Dr. Cathleen Crudden, Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry.

While oxygen may give us life, it constantly eats away at modern living.

Picture your commute to work or school, to a store or the gym. You may drive a car or take public transit. Your route may take you over a river by bridge or by train. Maybe your phone rings along the way; it’s your friend asking for a pick-up from the airport later.

These activities, along with countless others in which we routinely engage, rely on the strength and resilience of metals, which play indispensable roles in sectors from automotive and engineering to health care and communications. The problem: when most metals meet oxygen – be it the oxygen in the air or in the molecules that comprise water – they grow unstable and break down.

With $24 million in newly announced support from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, Queen’s chemistry researcher Cathleen Crudden is poised to revolutionize industries worldwide with unique molecular coatings designed to significantly extend the lifespan of vital metals. These advances could not only improve our daily lives, but they could also save society billions in infrastructure and manufacturing costs.

Molecular science. Momentous effect.

Together with her multidisciplinary team of international researchers and industry collaborators, Dr. Crudden is developing a fundamentally new approach for protecting metal surfaces. Building on her prior discovery that a certain class of organic molecules can form bonds with a wide range of metals, the group is exploring and developing a carbon-on-metal coating that could slow or halt corrosion and degradation caused by oxygen, changes in pH, and heat.

"Worldwide, countries spend, on average, over three per cent of their GDP each year on corrosion maintenance. Annually, Canada spends around $66 billion across sectors," says Dr. Crudden, professor and Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry. "With new strategies, like the innovative coatings we are developing, we could save governments, taxpayers, and industries up to 25 per cent of this cost. We are very excited about the potential this work holds, and grateful for this significant support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund: Transformation Stream."

These coatings could prevent metals in microchips from breaking down, leading to greater longevity for our computers, phones, and other devices. They could also guard against automobile rust, improve aerospace design, and even be used on a nanoscale, improving targeted chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and refining medical imaging.

The technology’s potential to improve cancer care is promising, as it could enable new advances to nanomedical precision cancer treatments that could impact the health and wellbeing of one-in-two Canadians who will develop the disease in their lifetimes.

High-risk. High-reward.

Drs. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences). [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]
Drs. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences). [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]

The New Frontiers in Research Fund: Transformation Stream grant awarded to Dr. Crudden and her team is one of only seven grants of up to $24 million announced by the federal government earlier this morning. Distributed to recipients over a six-year span, the funding is designed to support large-scale projects involving high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary research. This is the first time New Frontiers in Research Grants: Transformation Stream have been awarded.

"I am beyond proud of the Canadian institutions and researchers who think outside disciplines and borders to tackle major challenges," says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "These programs are a catalyst for amplifying new voices, insights and discoveries that will answer communities’ needs, elevate our innovation hub and shape Canada’s prosperity for years to come. Congratulations to all recipients!"

The development of new coatings could help position Canada at the forefront of the barrier coatings industry, which has a national economic impact of $31 billion per year, and currently employs 211,000 people across the country.

"Thanks to support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund, Dr. Crudden and her interdisciplinary team will be able to advance the application of their pioneering research, protecting vital metals across industries," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. "This work reflects the importance of research being undertaken at Queen’s and the impact it can have on both human and economic aspects of our society."

Both Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation and GreenCentre Canada – a Queen’s spinoff led by another Queen’s Chemist Philip Jessop – are on board to assist the project group with research translation and potential commercialization through regular assessments of the technology’s readiness and economic potential.

International collaboration, learning, and training.

[Dr. Cathleen Crudden with collaborators and students]
Dr. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) with her team of Queen's collaborators, lab members, and students. [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]

Along with multidisciplinary research and industry collaborators across Canada, the US, and Europe, Dr. Crudden is working alongside several Queen’s University colleagues. Chantelle Capicciotti, Queen’s National Scholar and assistant professor of Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, joins Dr. Crudden as a co-principal investigator on the project, while Kevin Stamplecoskie, assistant professor in Chemistry, and Alastair McLean, professor in Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, are co-applicants.

"I want to congratulate Dr. Crudden and her team on being awarded this new funding, and thank the Government of Canada for supporting high-risk, high-reward research with the potential for wide-ranging impacts," says Nancy Ross, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research). "Not only could this project boost Canada’s position in the global high-tech sector, but it will also enhance cross-disciplinary collaborations, support early career professionals, strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion opportunities, and expand student learning in myriad ways."

The project’s potential to boost professional and educational development for those involved is significant. Early career researchers like Drs. Capicciotti and Stamplecoskie, stand to gain invaluable leadership, learning, and collaborative experiences while performing vital roles in advancing the work.

Graduate and post-doctoral students will be involved as well; learning and working alongside, and supervised by, early career and seasoned researchers – building their skillsets and improving future employability. Dr. Crudden is preparing to hire approximately 14 students and post-doctoral fellows to assist with the project.

Project collaborators

Project co-principal investigators:

Western University, Concordia University, McGill University, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Networks

Project co-applicants:

University of St Andrews (Scotland), University of Texas (Dallas), University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), University of Toronto, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (US), University of Tokyo, École de technologie supérieure, Département de génie de la construction, Simon Fraser University

Identified industrial collaborators:

3M, Solvay, (SFL)-CanUSA, National Research Council Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre, Division of Transportation and Manufacturing, NRCan – CanMetMATERIALS, Hydro Quebec and CRDQA, Ocean Networks Canada, Jernkontoret, The Nickel Institute, Intel Corporation, Tokyo Electron Limited, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Izotropic Corporation, Nano-medicine Innovation Network

The New Frontiers in Research Funding results were announced as part of a bundled science announcement that included the latest round of Canada Research Chair appointment and renewals and graduate scholarships and fellowships. You can find Queen’s coverage of these funding achievements here.

New Smith School of Business partnership provides Indigenous business training

A new partnership between the Centre for Business Venturing (CBV) at Smith School of Business and Spalyan Education Group is bringing business, entrepreneurship and management training to six Indigenous communities in British Columbia.

The three new programs will provide specialized training in business applications, proposal writing and Indigenous leadership to approximately 30 members of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government, Yunetsit’in Government, Tsi Del Del First Nation, ʔEsdilagh First Nation, Tl’etinqox Government and the Tl’esqox First Nation. Participants in the programs will earn Certificates of Completion.

JP Shearer, partnership lead for Smith and associate director of the CBV, is thrilled about what the new programs will provide to learners.

“Providing every person with the opportunity to learn and develop is really what matters most, and we are excited to bring six communities together for a collaborative, immersive experience,” he says.

The programs builds on the success of a pilot program delivered through the CBV in September 2020 in partnership with Red Bird Circle Inc. and the Xeni Gwet’in community. A $70,000 grant from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in B.C. allowed 32 members to participate in that three-month program and earn a Certificate of Completion in Business and Administration Management.

During the course of the program, three new businesses were founded in the community and 96 per cent of participants in that pilot program said they felt more prepared for the workforce upon its completion. Ninety per cent also indicated they were interested in furthering their education.

For June Lulua, founder of Spalyan Education Group, that pilot program proved Smith’s commitment to providing entrepreneurship and business education to Indigenous communities across Canada, and gave her the confidence to pursue a partnership.

“After (the pilot program) was complete, I knew that (Smith) was progressive and flexible in terms of program creation and delivery,” says Lulua, who notes that the usual top-down education model, which often concludes with an exam or similar form of testing can be a barrier to success for Indigenous people.

At Spalyan, Lulua works with educational institutions to provide a rich and diverse learning environment and deliver culturally safe training and education to students from Indigenous communities.

With an increase in grant funding from the ministry, Spalyan and the CBV have co-designed the current sessions, which began in September.

“With Spalyan, we have been able to achieve this by blending our teaching with First Nations' traditions and cultures to deliver innovative business education. It is truly an exciting time for CBV at Smith,” says Shearer.

Lulua is particularly excited about the Certificate of Completion in Indigenous Leadership program, which will see students exploring topics like colonialization and Tsilhqot’in resistance, the Indian Act and Tsilhqot’in Governance, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Units will be taught by Indigenous leaders as well as by Indigenous allies and mentors.


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