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    Student Learning Experience

    Schulich Leaders get a history lesson from Principal Deane

    Queen’s University’s Schulich Leaders recently met with Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane and Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand to share their experiences and reconnect with their fellow scholarship recipients.

    Hosted at Benedickson House, the former residence of Queen’s principals, the students were treated to a brief history lesson on the building and its role in the early days of Kingston and the university from Principal Deane and then engaged in a Q&A session. Queen’s Schulich Leaders asked the principal how they as a group could help contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as forward-thinking questions about the future of testing education coming out of the pandemic.

    This event is a key feature of the Queen’s Schulich Leaders Program, providing the students with opportunities to engage with Queen’s leadership and other experiential opportunities across campus to broaden their university experience and build connections through community.

    Established in 2012 by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, the Schulich Leader Scholarships are future leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) degree programs, representing some of the best and brightest young minds in Canada. A total of 100 scholarships are awarded each year at 20 partner universities.

    Learn more about the Schulich Leaders Scholarship

    Queen’s Engineering launches new bridging pathway with Ontario college partners

    Queen’s University is launching a pathway to further broaden their horizons and welcome new students to its engineering community.

    The Queen’s Engineering Bridge will give college engineering technology graduates the opportunity to join Queen’s Engineering in its Department of Civil Engineering or the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining. Pathway agreements are in place or presently being finalized with Algonquin, Cambrian, Mohawk, Seneca and St. Lawrence College.

    “We’re happy to be able to increase the opportunity for Ontario's technology students to complement their diplomas with an accredited engineering degree from Queen’s University," says Brian Frank, the Dupont Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development at Queen’s, and a principal architect of the bridging process.

    In Ontario – as the rest of Canada – working as a professional engineer (P.Eng) requires registration with a governing provincial or territorial association. This bridging initiative, a first of its kind in southern Ontario, will allow students to begin additional studies in their final year of college, with summer courses to “bridge” them into full-time studies as engineering students at Queen’s. Students will then graduate with the accredited engineering degree required for a P.Eng designation.

    “We’re pleased to have this expanded opportunity available for our Civil Engineering Technology students,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO at St. Lawrence College. “We know that our students are well prepared to enter the workforce with the required skills and education when they graduate, and this preparedness also serves them well if they chose to pursue more education and credentials.”

    “We’ve created a pathway that recognizes students’ accomplishments in the classroom and in the field to allow them to move efficiently into university studies in our Civil and Mining departments,” Dr. Frank explains. “Once their bridging courses are complete, these students will be full-fledged members of the Queen’s Engineering community, fully integrated into their respective programs. That means access to all our campus services and resources, including a nationally leading full-time internship program.” 

    Pathway development is supported by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT).

    Learn more about the Queen’s Engineering Bridge program.

    Meet one Woman of Influence

    Queen’s student Rachel Ollivier is named one of North America’s Top 25 Women of Influence.

    Rachel Ollivier, PHCNP Diploma Student is named a 2023 Women of Influence+ Photo courtesy of Women of Influence+
    Rachel Ollivier, a Registered Nurse currently enrolled in the Nurse Practitioner diploma program at Queen’s, has been named one of North America’s Top 25 Women of Influence. (Image courtesy of Women of Influence)

    Rachel Ollivier, a Registered Nurse currently enrolled in the Nurse Practitioner diploma program at Queen’s, says she was taken by surprise when she learned she had been named one of this year’s Top 25 Women of Influence for 2023. The annual award celebrates the innovative and courageous accomplishments of self-identified women and gender-diverse role models who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

    “I was aware of the nomination but was not expecting anything to come of it. When I found out about the award, I was so excited, my hands were shaking” says Dr. Ollivier.

    Dr. Ollivier was chosen out of hundreds of nominations from across Canada and the United States for her work and research related to global maternal health and postpartum sexual health, the focus of her doctorate completed at Dalhousie University. This year’s list of recipients includes Allison Forsyth, two-time Canadian Olympian, safe sport advocate, and partner and COO, ITP Sport and Recreation; Domee Shi, Oscar-winning director; and Christine Sinclair, four-time Canadian Olympian and professional soccer player.

    “We are thrilled to be honouring and celebrating the remarkable work of this year’s recipients,” says Rumeet Billan, CEO, Women of Influence+. “Each woman on this year’s list has made their mark in the past year, whether by spearheading initiatives for the greater good, achieving inspiring feats on a global scale, or utilizing their influence to effect tangible change. Our list includes women from all walks of life who have dedicated their work to breaking boundaries, setting new standards, and rewriting the narrative of what is possible. We are excited to shine a spotlight on their achievements and know that their stories will inspire others and future generations.”

    Dr. Ollivier's global and local health work has spanned education, research, and practice, with an emphasis on women’s postpartum sexual health. She collaborated with local care providers in Zambia to develop updated neonatal fluid resuscitation practice policies, involvement with hypertension research in Zambia and maternal health research in Tanzania and guest lecturing in graduate-level nursing courses in Tanzania, in addition to collaborating with the White Ribbon Alliance to advance women's health care in the country.

    Dr. Ollivier also worked on two systematic review papers which were commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform their updated maternal health guidelines. They are now published in JBI Evidence Synthesis, a global organization promoting and supporting evidence-based decisions that improve health and health service delivery.

    Her doctoral research sought to explore sexual health after birth in innovative ways.

    “In Nova Scotia, I created the first patient educational tool on sexual health after birth and was intentional in ensuring that it was relevant and useful for patients while also using gender-affirming language” Dr. Ollivier says.

    While working as a travel nurse in rural and remote areas of British Columbia, she shared recommendations for practice with various health care teams to promote postpartum wellbeing and access to information about sexual health postpartum.

    In November 2022, she was elected to the board of directors for the Canadian Association of Perinatal & Women’s Health Nurses, a non-profit organization that aims to provide national leadership in women’s and maternal health nursing.

     Dr. Ollivier is currently enrolled in the one-year Nurse Practitioner diploma program for students who already hold a Master's or PhD in nursing.

    “This sort of condensed program can be difficult to find outside of Ontario, though the opportunity to complete my diploma at Queen's seemed like the perfect fit given the variety of clinical placements that are available in this area. It was also comforting to have familiar faces among the faculty here, having previously worked with and/or been taught by Dr. Danielle Macdonald and Dr. Erna Snelgrove-Clarke.”

    Dr. Ollivier, who is an actively practicing Registered Nurse in three provinces (Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia), looks forward to a career that combines frontline clinical practice with research. She plans to move out West in September but hopes to continue to partner with faculty here at Queen's and at Dalhousie University.

    Dr. Ollivier will be honoured during the Top 25 Women of Influence Luncheon on April 4, 2023, in Toronto.

    ChatGPT challenge: 5 ways to change how students are graded

    Educators need to carefully consider ChatGPT and issues of academic integrity to move toward an assessment system that leverages AI tools.

    A group of three university students look at a laptop with a professor

    Universities and schools have entered a new phase in how they need to address academic integrity as our society navigates a second era of digital technologies, which include publicly available generative artificial intelligence (AI) like ChatGPT. Such platforms allow students to generate novel text for written assignments.

    The Conversation logoWhile many worry these advanced AI technologies are ushering in a new age of plagiarism and cheating, these technologies also introduce opportunities for educators to rethink assessment practices and engage students in deeper and more meaningful learning that can promote critical thinking skills.

    We believe the emergence of ChatGPT creates an opportunity for schools and post-secondary institutions to reform traditional approaches to assessing students that rely heavily on testing and written tasks focused on students’ recall, remembering and basic synthesis of content.

    Cheating and ChatGPT

    Estimates of cheating vary widely across national contexts and sectors.

    Sarah Elaine Eaton, an expert who studies academic integrity, cautions cheating may be under-reported: she has estimated that at Canadian universities, 70,000 students buy cheating services every year.

    How the recent launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI will impact cheating in both compulsory and higher education settings is unknown, but how this evolves may depend on whether or not institutions retain or reform traditional assessment practices.

    Evading plagiarism detection software?

    The ability of popular plagiarism detection tools to identify cheating using ChatGPT to generate assignments remains a challenge.

    A recent study, not yet peer reviewed, found that 50 essays generated using ChatGPT produced sophisticated texts that were able to evade the traditional plagiarism check software.

    Given that ChatGPT reached an estimated 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after its launch, it is understandable why some have argued AI applications such as ChatGPT will spur enormous changes in contemporary schooling.

    Policy responses to AI and ChatGPT

    Not surprisingly, there are opposing views on how to respond to ChatGPT and other AI language models.

    Some argue educators should embrace AI as a valuable technological tool, provided applications are cited correctly.

    Others believe more resources and training are required so educators are better able to catch instances of cheating.

    Still others, such as New York City’s Department of Education, have resorted to blocking AI applications such as ChatGPT from devices and networks.

    Three circles are seen overlapping in the middle; the circles say AI, student assessment and academic integrity.
    Institutions and educators must examine the intersection of AI, academic integrity and how we assess students. (Louis Volante), Author provided

    Forward-thinking assessment

    The figure below depicts three critical elements of a forward-thinking assessment system. Although each element could be elaborated, our focus is in offering educators a series of strategies that will allow them to maintain academic standards and promote authentic learning and assessment in the face of current and future AI applications.

    Teachers and university professors have relied heavily on “one and done” essay assignments for decades. Essentially, a student is assigned or asked to pick a generic essay topic from a list and submit their final assignment on a specific date.

    Such assignments are particularly susceptible to new AI applications, as well as contract cheating — whereby a student buys a completed essay. Educators now need to rethink such assignments. Here are some strategies.

    1. Consider ways to incorporate AI in valid assessment.

    It’s not useful or practical for institutions to outright ban AI and applications like ChatGPT.

    AI has already been incorporated into some university classrooms. We believe AI technologies must be selectively integrated so that students are able to reflect on appropriate uses and connect their reflections to learning competencies.

    For example, Paul Fyfe, an English professor who teaches about how humans interact with data describes a “pedagogical experiment” in which he required students to take content from text-generating AI software and weave this content into their final essay.

    Students were then asked to confront the availability of AI as a writing tool and reflect on the ethical use and evaluation of language modes.

    2. Engage students in setting learning goals.

    Ensuring students understand how they will be graded is key to any good assessment system.

    Inviting students to collaboratively establish learning goals and criteria for the task, with consideration for the role of AI software, would help students to evaluate and judge appropriate contexts in which AI can work as a learning tool.

    3. Require students to submit drafts for feedback.

    Although students should still complete essay assignments, research into academic integrity policy in response to generative AI suggests students should be required to submit drafts of their work for review and feedback. Apart from helping to detect plagiarism, this kind of “formative assessment” practice is positive for guiding student learning.

    Feedback can be offered by the teacher or by students themselves. Peer- and self-feedback can serve to critically evaluate work in progress (or work generated by AI software).

    4. Grade subcomponents of the task.

    Students could receive a grade for each subcomponent — including their involvement in feedback processes. They would also be evaluated in relation to how well they incorporated and attended to the specific feedback provided.

    The assignment becomes bigger than a final essay, it becomes a product of learning, where students’ ideas are evaluated from development to final submission.

    5. Move to more authentic assessments or include performance elements.

    Good assessment practice involves an educator observing student learning across multiple contexts.

    For example, educators can invite students to present their work, discuss an essay in a conference format or share a video articulation or an artistic representation. The aim here is to encourage students to share their learning through an alternative format. An important question to ask is whether or not you need the essay component at all? Is there a more authentic way to effectively assess student learning?

    Authentic assessments are those that relate content to context. When students are asked to do this, they must apply knowledge in more practical settings, often making AI tools less helpful.

    For help in rethinking assessment practices towards more authentic and alternative approaches, educators can consider taking the free course, Transforming Assessment: Strategies for Higher Education.

    Improve benefits for students

    Collectively, these suggestions may be more time-consuming, particularly in larger undergraduate classes.

    But they do provide greater learning and synergy between forms of assessment that benefit students: formative assessment to guide teaching and learning, and “summative assessment,” primarily used for grading and evaluation purposes.

    AI is here and here to stay, and we must embrace it as part of our learning environment. Incorporating AI into how we assess student learning will yield more reliable assessment processes and valid and valued assessment outcomes.The Conversation


    Louis Volante, Professor of Education Governance and Policy Analysis, Brock University; Christopher DeLuca, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies & Professor, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, and Don A. Klinger, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Te Wānanga Toi Tangata Division of Education; Professor of Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation, University of Waikato

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    Main Queen's website launches with new user-friendly design

    Improved functionality, visual presence, and user journeys align with updated visual identity guidelines.

    Image of the new website displayed on a laptop screen and a smartphone screen

    Queen's has launched its new central website, aimed at improving user experience, aligning with the university’s refreshed visual identity guidelines introduced in 2022, and focused on supporting the Queen’s Strategy. With a contemporary design and updated brand elements, the site's user journeys support the university’s strategic priorities of global impact, research intensity, transformative education programming, while fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community.

    “At Queen’s, we have a community of faculty, students, and staff committed to tackling society’s greatest challenges,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “Our updated website showcases these efforts and accomplishments with the wider world and to our key audiences, positioning our university as one committed to leading positive change.”

    The new design brings research and international engagement to the fore, while facilitating improved user journeys that allow online audiences—both internal and external—to find the information they seek quickly and easily.

    The site also features a newly designed program and department finder for prospective students, best-practice accessibility standards, improved search engine optimization, and a responsive design that allows for better mobile browsing. There is also a new ‘For You’ menu to help direct users to important content by audience type, and a ‘sign-in’ dropdown granting quick access to internal platforms and faculty websites used daily by employees and students.

    The site’s launch follows months of consultation and collaboration with key campus partners and faculty units. Work to refine the site will continue post-launch, with University Relations monitoring usage analytics and user feedback to further adjust and streamline its design and functionality.

    Visual identity and Brand Central

    The look and feel of the refreshed website align Queen’s primary web property with its newly updated visual identity and brand standards, which aim to help campus community members present a unified and consistent Queen’s brand presence across all outreach and communications.

    So far, University Relations has developed over 8,500 customized brand assets for faculties, schools, departments, and units, published six sets of brand and style guidelines, and created nearly 300 digital and social media templates.

    Updated assets and standards are accessible to the Queen’s community via the recently launched Brand Central website. Refreshed logos, lockups, fonts, and colour palettes, as well as guidance on trademarks, licensing, merchandising, and brand voice, are only some of the many tools and resources it makes available.

    Visit the new Queen’s University website at www.queensu.ca.

    A new partnership to prepare Indigenous students for healthcare careers

    Queen’s Weeneebayko Health Education Program launched with support from the Mastercard Foundation to transform Indigenous healthcare in the James Bay region.

    The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA), Queen’s University, and the Mastercard Foundation are partnering to transform healthcare in Northeastern Ontario and to expand education and employment opportunities for Indigenous youth by creating the Queen’s Weeneebayko Health Education Program.

    WAHA and Queen’s Health Sciences will co-develop a university curriculum for health professions training in the western James Bay region. The program will prepare Indigenous students for careers in medicine, nursing, midwifery, and other health professions through culturally-informed education. Programming and resources will also be created to enable local youth to envision, pursue, and succeed in health professions training right from high school.

    “This is a very important initiative for the Weeneebayko Region that will help increase the capacity for culturally-safe healthcare that is directed and delivered by health professionals from our communities,” says Lynne Innes, President and Chief Executive Officer, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority. “It is exciting to work together on this new approach that will support Indigenous youth as they pursue healthcare careers and build a stronger, healthier future for the communities we serve.” 

    The initiative aims to address healthcare challenges facing remote, Indigenous communities, including low accessibility to providers and facilities, the need for cultural safety, health outcome gaps, and underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples amongst health professionals.

    “This project builds on a long-standing relationship between Queen’s, the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority, and the communities of the James Bay region,” says the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Queen's Chancellor. “It offers hope for Reconciliation through new approaches to educating and supporting Indigenous youth in pursuing careers in healthcare. I believe this can help deliver the transformation needed in Indigenous healthcare in Canada.”

    The vision is to establish a new training site in Moosonee that will serve coastal community sites. The training programs will help build comprehensive, sustainable, community-centred healthcare—improving patient outcomes and addressing gaps in delivery. Training within Indigenous communities will bolster workforce retention and graduate professionals capable of providing culturally appropriate care.

    The Mastercard Foundation is involved in this partnership through its EleV Program, which aims to support 100,000 Indigenous young people on their pathways through education and onto meaningful livelihoods by 2030. The Mastercard Foundation committed more than $31 million to support this partnership.

    “The Foundation is making a commitment to support sustainable, systemic change in healthcare education and delivery as led by First Nations youth, communities and leadership in the region,” says Jennifer Brennan, Director of Canada Programs at the Mastercard Foundation.

    “WAHA’s deep partnership with Queen’s University, and their shared experience and expertise, holds potential for real transformation in the region and beyond. Our aim is to get behind innovative approaches that create meaningful opportunities for First Nations youth based on their cultures, values, and aspirations.”

    The health professions training program builds upon a nearly six-decade relationship between Queen’s and Weeneebayko Area health facilities anchored in training, frontline care, and research. Enrollment could start as early as September 2025, with an ultimate enrollment of 240 students per year, across the health professions.

    The curricula will be co-created by WAHA and Queen’s, with guidance from community members. Key aspects include:

    • Decolonized approach: Indigenous ways of knowing integrated throughout
    • Interprofessional: an interprofessional curriculum designed to break down professional silos and prepare graduates to deliver patient care using team-based approaches  
    • Mentorship: a mentorship into practice program will promote graduate retention within local communities
    • Culturally safe care: training will be situated within Indigenous communities and will graduate professionals prepared to deliver the care their communities need 
    • Retention: a student recruitment, placement, and mentorship strategy to retain program graduates in Indigenous communities over the long term

    The partnership will also establish a Health Career Pathways Program to provide career counselling, resources, mentorship, and application support, as well as build access to prerequisite courses to support applications in health sciences. As part of the program’s soft launch, high school students from WAHA communities took part in a week-long, immersive health sciences camp at Queen’s in August 2022.

    “This program will support Indigenous health transformation – improving regional health outcomes, addressing gaps in care delivery, and building the Indigenous health workforce,” says Jane Philpott, Dean, Queen’s Health Sciences. “We look forward to building this dynamic educational model alongside the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and local Indigenous leaders, and we thank the Mastercard Foundation for supporting this crucial work.”

    Monitoring a major new infrastructure project

    Queen’s students and faculty members are using leading-edge technology to help ensure the safety of a new $180 million bridge across the Cataraqui River in Kingston.

    Photograph of Waaban Crossing bridge in Kingston

    A team of students and faculty members from Queen’s Ingenuity Labs recently found themselves high above Kingston’s Cataraqui River looking down from the new $180 million Waaban Crossing bridge. But they were not on top of the new structure. They were on ladders underneath it, installing sensors on the joints and bearings so the city will be able to monitor how the bridge is working in real time.

    Waaban Crossing, named after an Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) word relating to the east and sunrise, is 1.2 km long and took more than four years to build before opening in December 2022. All three levels of government contributed $60 million each to the project.

    During the construction phase, the City of Kingston approached Queen’s to partner in finding tools that could help track the performance of this major new piece of infrastructure. After more than a year of testing and preparation, the Ingenuity Labs team is now using leading-edge technology to help the city monitor the safety and integrity of the bridge in an efficient and cost-effective way.

    “One of our goals at Ingenuity Labs is to bring together researchers and students with different areas of expertise to work on projects that can contribute to the betterment of society,” says Josh Woods, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and the Mitchell Professor in Intelligent Infrastructure Monitoring at Ingenuity Labs. “Major infrastructure projects like the Waaban Crossing don’t happen often, so it was a great opportunity for our team to contribute to a project that will affect literally thousands of people every day. For our students, it was also a chance to take all the theory they’d learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world on a large scale.”

    Photograph of Queen's student Isabel Heykoop next to a sensor she installed under the Waaban Crossing bridge
    Isabel Heykoop, graduate student in the Master of Applied Science program, underneath the Waaban Crossing with a newly-installed sensor to the left. (Supplied photo)

    Without sensor technology, municipalities typically rely on annual or biannual visual inspections of bridges to determine if there are any issues. With these sensors, the city will have constant access to real-time quantitative data that can help them make more informed decisions about the performance and maintenance of the structure.

    The sensors collect data that examine how the bridge’s expansion joints and bearings perform as the concrete expands and contracts with changes in seasons and temperatures. To ensure the sensors worked properly and could withstand the conditions they’d face under the bridge, the team put them through comprehensive tests in a variety of conditions, including lying them under the sun on top of Ellis Hall, the home of the Queen’s Department of Civil Engineering, and letting them sit in a freezer for extended periods of time.

    The Ingenuity Labs team will also be using drones to supplement the data from the sensors with detailed visual inspections that will capture aspects of the bridge that would be very difficult to see otherwise.

    Students integral to the project

    A Queen’s post-doctoral fellow and two Queen’s students are playing instrumental roles in the project: Isabel Heykoop, a graduate student in the Master of Applied Science program; Heshan Fernando, a post-doctoral fellow at Ingenuity Labs; and Dylan Neves, an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

    Photograph of Queen's post-doctoral fellow and students under the Waaban Crossing bridge.
    Dylan Neves, Heshan Fernando, and Isabel Heykoop underneath the new Waaban Crossing to install sensors. (Supplied photo)

    “As an undergraduate at Queen’s, I studied how bridges are designed and built in my coursework, and now as a graduate student I’m getting the chance to see all those principles in action,” says Heykoop. “It means a lot to me to be able to use what I’ve learned to make a contribution that will improve the lives of people for years to come.”

    Learn more on the City of Kingston website and the Ingenuity Labs website.

    Teaching and learning for impact

    Recent strategic initiatives highlight impact of teaching and learning combined with research integration.

    With the winter term underway, new teaching and learning initiatives are advancing goals emphasized in the Queen’s Strategy. By integrating research with student learning, and engaging the community in transformative educational experiences, teaching and learning for impact has become a vital part of Queen’s.

    The Principal’s Undergraduate Research Leaders (PURL) and the Principal’s Impact Courses are two enriching opportunities available for students and faculty to explore research interests, expand understanding and experience, and to learn and teach with purpose.

    “Unique and exciting opportunities at Queen’s are shining a light on academic excellence and at the same time strengthening the education, growth, and impact of our students,” says Klodiana Kolomitro, Special Advisor to the Principal, Strategic Development. “These are curricular and co-curricular programs that bring together diverse disciplines and perspectives, and highlight relationality and impact in teaching and learning. By intentionally weaving these areas, we are better preparing students to have their own impact on the world and shape the future.”  

    The co-curricular Principal’s Undergraduate Research Leaders (PURL) program facilitates research experiences for students. Students accepted into the program take on a leadership role in supporting student-led research initiatives and engaging in knowledge mobilization. They advise peers, increase awareness, and collect and analyse data on student involvement in research. PURL students can be invited to speak in a course or at an event about getting involved in research.

    Fifty-five students submitted applications and six were recently selected to participate in the inaugural cohort (January – May 2023) representing various faculties and levels of study: Hayley Galsworthy (Sc’25), Sylvie Garabedian (Com’25, Artsci’25), Melody Garas (Artsci’24), Sanchit Kaushal (BHSc’24), Lisa Lavalle (Meds’26), and Victoria Yu (ConEd’23).

    PURL students may mentor recipients of student research programs such as the Undergraduate Summer Student Research Fellowship (USSRF) and the Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) that are set to significantly expand in 2023 with the additional funds provided by the Office of the Vice-Principal Research and new federal funding for Black Scholars.

    The curricular Principal’s Impact Courses initiative is designed to push the boundaries of teaching and learning and to promote inquiry-based learning and research so students can explore and answer some of humanity’s essential questions and chart a path, via research, to new knowledge.

    Ten ‘wicked idea’ courses were selected in 2022 with funds granted for their development.

    In one, RELS 301/3.0 Themes in Religion Studies - Religion, Culture, and Death, in its first iteration this term, students develop research projects that explore how human beings attempt to live with the dead and to share space with those no longer alive.

    “By urging students to delve into historical and cultural trends surrounding death, they are able to examine how people around the globe are connecting with their communities and continuing on,” says Richard Ascough, School of Religion, who proposed, developed, and is teaching the course. “By really digging into death and the complex, multi-layered resiliency that exists often amongst tragedy, students are participating in multifaceted research projects and are becoming better equipped to face future challenges.”  

    The Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor invites imaginative proposals for the 2023 round of Impact Courses that directly support the Queen’s Strategy, enhance student learning for impact, promote inquiry-based learning, and strengthen local and global community connections. Proposals should address one or more of these areas, integrate I-EDIAA principles and practices, and focus on the world’s most significant and urgent challenges while demonstrating the benefits to bringing together different disciplines, sectors and approaches, and foster reciprocal and respectful relationships among students, faculty and/or the community.

    “These courses are part of Queen’s long-term commitment to transform curricula and enhance the student learning experience,” says Principal Patrick Deane. “They are extraordinary opportunities for faculty to ‘dream big’ and propose courses that rise to meet our global challenges, aligning with Queen’s vision for the future and in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”  

    The deadline for proposals is April 10, 2023, and an information session is scheduled for March 2, 2023.

    Learn more about the Principal’s Undergraduate Research Leaders (PURL) program and Principal’s Impact Courses on the Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s website.

    Graduate research advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

    Doctoral researchers at Queen’s have been awarded $20,000 from Universities Canada to support their innovative research working to improve global health and education.

    [Photos of Kenneth Gyamerah and Erynn Monette]
    Kenneth Gyamerah (Education) and Erynn Monette (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies)

    Kenneth Gyamerah and Erynn Monette have been recognized by Universities Canada and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for their doctoral research that will contribute to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IDRC is focused on offering funding, awards, and grants to innovative researchers solving some of the most prominent global issues. In partnering with Universities Canada, they have supported the International Doctoral Research Awards (IDRA) to provide funding of up to $20,000 for students at Canadian universities.

    The IDRA program is intended to strengthen the capacities of emerging researchers, growing the cohort of researchers able to advance high quality research contributing to the SDGs with a focus on the Global South. This year, $480,000 was awarded to 24 doctoral students at 13 Canadian universities. The 2022 program was aimed at supporting research that would address developing issues related to climate-resilient food systems, democratic and inclusive governance, education and science, global health, and sustainable inclusive economies.

    Award Recipients

    Kenneth Gyamerah is a PhD Candidate at Queen’s Faculty of Education. His research examines the role of African Indigenous knowledge systems and pedagogies in decolonizing and transforming the teaching and learning of mathematics and science education in Ghanaian primary schools. The IDRA will support his work with Ghanaian educators to help reimagine and transform these subjects with the goal of making them more inclusive, relatable, and accessible to diverse learners.

    Erynn Monette is a MD/PhD student at Queen’s School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. Her research examines how culture influences health care needs and service delivery in rural communities. With a focus on Belize, Erynn’s research uses ethnographic and community-based participatory methods to identify palliative care needs in rural areas and the social and cultural resources that could be used to meet them. The IDRA will help advance this research with the goal of contributing to strengthening community palliative care services in low-income contexts and developing resiliency in the event of future pandemics and public health emergencies.  

    "We are proud that the important work of Queen’s graduate researchers is being recognized on a national level," says Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research). "With their focus on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and improving quality of life for communities around the world, Kenneth and Erynn are putting into practice our institutional vision to solve the world’s most significant and urgent challenges. Congratulations to them on their IDRA achievement."

    Visit Universities Canada to learn more about the recipients of the International Doctoral Research Awards.

    $30M gift will advance ground-breaking research

    A transformative investment from Bruce Mitchell (Sc’68, DSc'20), will support the university in increasing research intensity, graduate student recruitment, and creating an environment for bringing scholars together to make life-changing discoveries.

    [Collage of Queen's Art of Research photos]
    Queen's Art of Research photos: [Clockwise from left] Inside Concord Floral by Naseem Loloie, Love Under the Microscope by Dalila Villalobos, Using Fire to Create Order by Gregory Jerkiewicz, Polypyrrole by Danesh Roudini, and Learning from the Land by Sarah Flisikowski. 

    Bruce Mitchell, Sc’68, DSc'20, is helping Queen’s, one of Canada’s leading research universities, bolster research capacity and volume to make groundbreaking discoveries that will deepen our knowledge of people, the planet, and universe.

    The business leader and philanthropist is making a transformative gift of $30 million to his alma mater with the goal of increasing research intensity and supporting graduate student recruitment.

    "The Queen’s community is grateful for Bruce’s generosity and his commitment to research," says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. "This generous gift provides us with the resources to help achieve our bold research goals in part, through the support of top researchers. With these additional funds, we are realizing our aspirations to become a world leader bringing scholars and innovators together to make improvements across our many fields of study."

    The gift will dramatically improve and expand research and its real-world impact at Queen’s in many ways:

    • Nine existing faculty members will receive funds to ignite their research programs and teams
    • Nine new faculty members will be hired to support research intensity in strategic research areas
    • Queen’s will recruit 54 postdoctoral fellows
    • Queen’s will increase the size of its graduate student body and enhance the university’s competitiveness in attracting a diverse global pool of graduate scholars, through financial support for an estimated 79 grad students

    "The best way to invest in research is to invest in people and create the optimal conditions for them to thrive," says Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross, Artsci'90, MA'92. "This gift allows us to focus on attracting and retaining the best faculty and graduate students. We hope to recruit rising stars and nurture them, setting up research environments where researchers are supported and able to progress."

    The gift will further bolster research at Queen’s. The university is already home to 35 Canada Research Chairs, 99 Royal Society of Canada members, and a Nobel Laureate – Professor Emeritus Arthur B. McDonald, co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    "Research and innovation are powerful forces for positive change, and researchers play a critical role in shaping human knowledge," says Mitchell, the Chief Executive Officer of Permian Industries. "My hope is that this investment in increasing Queen’s research intensity and graduate student enrolment will lead to discoveries that will benefit the world."

    This is not Mitchell’s first significant gift to the university. He was the lead donor in the revitalization of the old Physical Education Centre (PEC), which was named Mitchell Hall in his honour. That transformational investment also supported the creation of the Ingenuity Labs Research Institute within Mitchell Hall as well as the installation of five engineering professorships across three departments.


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