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William Leggett receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Leggett.

William Leggett, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and Queen's 17th principal, has received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

The American Fisheries Society is the biggest association of professional aquatic ecologists in the world, with over 9,000 members worldwide.

"œIt feels good to be singled out by such large group of people who I respect so highly," says Dr. Leggett. "œI didn'™t expect to receive this award so it'™s a big honour and thrill to get it."

Dr. Leggett'™s research focuses on the dynamics of fish populations and his work as a biologist and a leader in education has been recognized nationally and internationally. A membership in the Order of Canada, a fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education are just some of the awards he has received for outstanding contributions to graduate education and marine science.

The Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society recognized Dr. Leggett'™s "œexceptional contributions to the understanding of early life history of fishes that has inspired the careers of a number of fisheries scientists worldwide and has led to major progress in fish ecology and studies of recruitment dynamics."

The award was recently presented in Quebec City at the 38th annual Larval Fish Conference held in conjunction with the 144th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society.


Supporting children’s mental health during a pandemic

More Confronting COVID-19 Stories

Dr. Tess Clifford’s tips for helping kids cope with the anxieties of an outbreak and changes to routine.

Child holding red paper shaped as a heart (Photo by Anna Kolosyuk, Unsplash)
On Thursday, April 2 at 8 pm ET, join Dr. Tess Clifford on the Psychology Clinic at Queen’s University Facebook page for a Facebook Live session on parenting and supporting children’s mental health during a pandemic.

Knowing how to talk to your children about risks is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. Now, as most of us social distance to give health care workers the best chance to confront the COVID-19 outbreak, it's important that we help children understand why it’s important for us, our friends, and our neighbours, to stay home.

“Children notice disruptions in daily routines and they pick up on parents’ anxieties, which are both unavoidable during a stressful situation like this one,” says Tess Clifford, Director of the Queen’s Psychology Clinic. “There are, however, ways we can communicate and educate that can help our children cope with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and our response to it.”

Dr. Clifford suggests providing age-appropriate information to your children, putting it in terms that express the need to keep one another safe while sparing the more alarming details. Remind them that grown-ups are working hard to help others stay healthy, by washing hands regularly and keeping space from others. Should they ask about risks the outbreak poses to them, it’s okay to talk about how most children affected by COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms.

Explanations can help, but they don’t eliminate all uncertainty. Dr. Clifford says that parents can still expect difficult behaviours from their kids.

“Tantrums, disrupted sleep, increased clinginess, acting younger or more emotional; these are all signs that your child is experiencing stress, but there are things you can do,” says Dr. Clifford. “Talking to them about how you’re feeling and about what you’re doing about your emotions encourages children to talk about theirs.”

Most importantly, Dr. Clifford recommends doing what you can to keep yourself calm, as children often take emotional cues from their parents.

“Make sure to keep your own mental health in mind as well. Deep breathing, guided relaxation, and meditation can be very beneficial, and keeping in touch with others, whether its online video chat or on the phone, is so important,” says Dr. Clifford. “Develop new routines with your kids. Make time for fun and connection.”

When parenting meets working from home

With many people now working remotely, more parents are having to juggle productivity and all-day childcare on their own.

“For parents working from home, it’s all about setting reasonable expectations,” says Dr. Clifford. “It won’t be possible to focus as much on work as you’re used to, so zero in on the essentials. Prioritize connecting and showing love to your children, and make plans to have fun with your kids before and after your working periods.”

Dr. Clifford suggests asking your kids about the activities they most enjoy at school, and try some of them when designing your family’s new routine. She also advises parents to be flexible.

“Our daily schedules are atypical lately, so it’s okay to bend your own rules about screen time, food, and behaviours,” says Dr. Clifford. “Stay focused on your family’s health and wellbeing first and foremost and, where and when you can, build in opportunities for learning and fun.”

Learn more about the Psychology Clinic at Queen's University.

Making all the right moves

More Confronting COVID-19 Stories

Queen’s University researcher Robert Ross encourages us to stay active during trying times.

A person walks along a path in a park
A key to staying healthy while working remotely is to reduce time in front of the screen and being physically active, while practicing proper social distancing. (Unsplash / Arek Adeoye)

Self-isolation comes with its own unique set of challenges including staying fit and healthy when normal routines have been disrupted. Queen’s University researcher Robert Ross has several ideas on how to stay active during this challenging time.

“These are somber, uncertain times and, unfortunately, we have little control over what is happening,” says Dr. Ross, professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies  “The one thing we do have control over is how we take care of ourselves and this is empowering news. You have control over your own behaviours, including staying physically active.”

Dr. Ross runs the Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Research Unit at Queen’s. His research is focused on obesity in adults. The lab has conducted a number of randomized trials to determine the effectiveness of lifestyle-based interventions on improving overall health.

One key area Dr. Ross says everyone should keep in mind is reducing the amount of time you are sitting, including time spent in front of screens while working from home.

“Just getting up and moving around is huge. During commercials, online meetings, finishing emails or breaks between shows, walk around the house, stand up and stretch, take a break outside. Make it a fun family activity.”

He added people also need to remember they should still go outside and get some fresh air and exercise – while practicing proper social distancing with anyone not in their household.

“I’m asking people to go for walks – any kind of walk will do. You can walk fast, or you can walk slow. Move at your own pace. I’m not telling people to run five kilometres, do whatever is comfortable for you and it will still improve your health and wellbeing.”

These simple tricks will also help people sleep better during this time of increased anxiety and stress and also ensure proper weight is maintained while our lives are disrupted. Exercise has also been shown to help maintain the immune system.

“We aren’t certain about what lies ahead but we can empower ourselves by committing to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Twenty-Four Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults are available for free at https://csepguidelines.ca/.

Getting your rest during trying times

More Confronting COVID-19 Stories

Queen’s sleep expert Judith Davidson outlines the best way to get the rest we need as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woman sleeping in a brown bed
Queen’s University researcher Judith Davidson, one of Canada’s leading sleep experts, says it is normal to have some degree of sleep difficulty in times of uncertainty and when our daily routines have been suddenly altered. (Unsplash / Gregory Pappas)

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, more and more people are finding themselves confined to their homes for most of the day. Queen’s University researcher Judith Davidson is one of Canada’s leading sleep experts and says it is normal to have some degree of sleep difficulty in times of uncertainty and when our daily routines have been suddenly altered.

“People may be experiencing some trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, associated with the uncertainty about the pandemic, processing the fast-changing global news about it, and making sense of what it all means for them, and their family and friends,” Dr. Davidson, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, says.

Dr. Davidson has worked in sleep research since 1981 and her work now focuses on insomnia and its treatment. She is currently looking at the best ways to make effective, non-drug treatment more available to people with insomnia. She says there four things people can do to help improve their sleep, without resorting to medication:

  • Know that it’s completely normal to have some anxiety, uneasiness, and perhaps some temporary sleep difficulty at this time.
  • Keep your routines in place. If you are off work or working from home, have structure in your day. Get up at the same time each day, get dressed, and start your day. Keep your regular meal and exercise times and stick to your regular bedtime. Avoid drifting to later bedtimes and sleeping in. On the other hand, avoid going to bed earlier than usual.
  • Don’t try to sleep. If you’re in bed and it feels like you’ve been awake for more than about 15 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room and do something until you are sleepy. Return to bed when you feel sleepy. Same thing applies to waking up during the night.
  • Give your brain a break from the news and thinking about what’s happening in the world, especially in the hour before bedtime. Read a book, watch a movie, work on a jigsaw puzzle or a crossword.

Dr. Davidson explains temporary sleep difficulty can lead to irritability and low mood, and if the issue turns into chronic insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep that persists for at least three months and that interferes with daytime functioning), there is an increased likelihood of depression, cardiovascular problems, and Type 2 diabetes.

“It doesn’t mean everyone with chronic insomnia gets these things, it means that the likelihood is somewhat higher compared to people without chronic insomnia,” she explains. “Fortunately, there is a very effective treatment for chronic insomnia called cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia. This is the first-line treatment, above medications. So, even if you develop chronic insomnia, it can be reversed.”

For more information, visit Dr. Davidson’s website.

Queen’s hosts Inuit artist residency

Inuit women-centred filmmaking collective explores Indigenous culture, health, and multimedia.

Oana Spinu, Before Tomorrow (production still), copyright Arnait Video Productions, 2009
Oana Spinu, Before Tomorrow (Copyright Arnait Video Productions, 2009)

Update: Due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19, today’s Arnait events are cancelled. Find general information on the university's evolving response on the coronavirus COVID-19 information website.

Queen’s is hosting the world’s leading women-centred Inuit filmmaking collective, Arnait Video Productions, for a unique artist residency, running from March 10-16. Residency events are set to include Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s exhibition Inuuqatikka: My Dear Relations special film screenings, a series workshops, and a public roundtable event and feast.

As of 2019, Arnait has produced over 20 works, including three fiction features, a documentary feature, two television series, 12 short and mid- length documentaries, one short and one mid-length fiction film, and two animated films. Queen’s University Archives is in the unique position of holding a substantial portion of the Arnait archive.

“The importance of Arnait’s residency and associated exhibition hinges on intergenerational knowledge sharing, bringing together amazing Elders and collaborators, students, and researchers, to keep the work alive and accessible,” says Susan Lord, Queen’s Professor of Film and Media, and Director of the Vulnerable Media Lab, which is hosting the residency. “Arnait’s legacy takes us deep into the process of honouring the land and all living beings—and the work women do to pass on these ways of knowing.”

If you're feeling sick, avoid attending gatherings, especially if you have a fever or a cough. To learn more, visit the Queen's Coronavirus COVID-19 Information website.

During the March 13 roundtable and feast, Arnait members Madeline Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk, and Marie-Hélène Cousineau, will lead an intergenerational conversation about Inuuqatikka: My Dear Relations (curated by Nakasuk Alariaq, Linda Grussani and Tamara de Szegheo Lang) and the process of revisiting and remediating the Arnait video archives, with the help of their translator Zipporah Ungalaq.

From March 10-12, Arnait members led a series of Unpacking the Archive/The Living Archive: Process and Pedagogy workshops at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts’ Art and Media Lab, speaking to a broad range of subjects, covering Inuit midwifery and traditional medicine, adoption and family, and filmmaking. During the workshops collective members will unpack the Queen’s archive of Arnait material in public and speak to the material they find of interest. Queen’s students will make recordings of these conversations, which will then made part of the Agnes Etherington exhibition.

Ultimately, the residency will centre on this archive and how the collective members want it treated, described, accessed, and remediated so that knowledge can be passed down to future generations in a manner that is ethically consistent with cultural practices.

“Arnait’s archive of decades of production materials are being digitized and described by students, and through conversations with the collective members,” says Dr. Lord, whose Vulnerable Media Lab is focused on the preservation, digitization, and remediation of audio-visual heritage by women, Indigenous and Metis peoples, and LGBTQ2 communities. “The Vulnerable Media Lab is a project and an infrastructure. The project is about the social ecology of both media making and the processes of preservation and access. This requires a lot of time and conversation to do in a way that is consistent with cultural practices. Numerous students are involved, including graduate students Sylvia Nowak and Valerie Noftle, and undergraduates Arvin Zhang and Ariane Grice.”

The Arnait residency, exhibition, and related events are part of the Archive/Counter-Archive project, supported by a SSHRC partnership grant and led by Janine Marchessault at York University. Other funders include the Visiting Artist in Residence fund of the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research); the Agnes Etherington Art Centre; the Faculty of Arts & Science, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Fund, and the Poole Student Initiatives Fund Queen’s University; and the Leonard Schein Visiting Artist in Screen Culture in Film and Media Studies.

Learn more about the Arnait artist residency on the Vulnerable Media Lab website. Some of the residency’s film screenings are appearing as part of the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival, profiled recently by the Queen’s Gazette.

Making hockey more inclusive and accountable

New policy paper from Queen’s University researchers outlines seven calls to action.

Hockey net on an outdoor rink
The recently released Policy Paper for Anti-Racism in Canadian Hockey calls on hockey organizations and governments to enact policy changes to highlight the importance of anti-racism and to promote strategies for making hockey culture safer and more inclusive. (Unsplash / Chris Liverani)

Queen’s University researchers Sam McKegney and Courtney Szto are calling on hockey organizations and governments to enact policy changes to invigorate the need for re-education of coaches, parents, players, and officials on the importance of anti-racism, and to promote strategies for making hockey culture safer, more inclusive, and more accountable for its practices.

Together with Michael Auksi (PhD student, McGill University) and Bob Dawson (Senior Sportswriter, Boxscore World Sportswire) they have authored a Policy Paper for Anti-Racism in Canadian Hockey. The paper was developed during a Roundtable on Racism in Hockey hosted at Queen’s with support from the National Hockey League.

“Racist incidents occur time and time again, and the hockey community is righteously appalled — but then attention fades and it’s back to business as usual, with no substantive structural or systemic change,” says Dr. McKegney (English Language and Literature). “We’re advocating for practical, actionable changes we believe will not only make hockey more inclusive but will help unlock the game’s potential as an instrument of positive social change.”

The calls to action include:

  • All levels of government and hockey administrative bodies to publicly adopt and enforce Calls to Action 87 to 91 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • Implementing modules addressing intercultural competency, conflict resolution, and anti-racism in sport to be included in certification for coaches, administrators, billets, and officials
  • Hockey Canada instituting a “duty to report” with relation to all incidents of suspected racism and track those incidents over time to establish objectives with regards to the elimination of such incidents
  • The Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities creating an external oversight body which sole purpose is to receive and investigate claims of racial, sexual, homonegative, and gendered abuse/discrimination, and to advocate for claimants.
  • Improving hiring policies, including instituting a blind review process
  • Calling upon Hockey Canada to implement a system to collect numbers on the participation of racialized groups in hockey in order to monitor demographic changes and trends
  • Hockey Canada and the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities subsidizing high school hockey programs and asking sporting goods retailers to create hockey equipment libraries to help mitigate costs
  • Asking Hockey Canada to allocate a percentage of the budget to support Indigenous hockey in Canada
  • Calling on the members of the media to work to illustrate the pattern of racism experienced by racialized players, rather than treating examples of racism as isolated incidents.

“Hockey can be a joyous game under the right conditions, but the reality is that ‘Canada’s game’ offers no professional opportunities for women in Canada today, there is no openly gay NHL player, and racism at the rink remains consistent,” says Dr. Szto (Kinesiology and Health Studies). “Our hope is that these calls to action bring the game one step closer to living the ideal of hockey being for everyone.”

James Carson appointed editor of Queen’s Quarterly

Queen’s University has appointed James Carson as editor of the Queen’s Quarterly effective March 1, 2020, following the retirement of its longstanding and distinguished editor Dr. Boris Castel.

Dr. Carson has been a faculty member in the Department of History at Queen’s since 1996 and a full professor since 2008. From 2006 to 2011 he was the associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, and from 2011 to 2016 he was the chair of the Department of History. Since 2017, he has been serving as the head of the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He has a BA from the University of North Carolina, an MA from Tulane University, and a PhD from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Carson will bring a unique academic record and approach to his work at the Queen’s Quarterly which, since 1893, has been an interdisciplinary journal publishing analysis, opinion, and reflection in diverse academic and literary fields.  

Dr. Carson has an extensive and distinguished record of scholarship in the ethnohistory of Indigenous North America, enhanced by creative non-fiction and interdisciplinary publications in accessible prose that communicate his research and ideas to a wider audience. As associate dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science he founded Native South, an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on the Indigenous peoples of the southern United States. 

Dr. Carson will bring academic and literary experience, editorial and leadership skills, and strategic vision to his work with the Queen’s Quarterly.

History in the making

Queen's University's Faculty of Arts and Science to introduce Minor in Black Studies for fall 2021.

As the Queen's community looks back for Black History Month, scholars in the Faculty of Arts and Science are looking forward to developing a new BA Minor/General in Black Studies with a target launch date of fall 2021.

Dr. Katherine McKittrick
Katherine McKittrick, a professor in the Department of Gender Studies, is one of the key players in the development of the Minor in Black Studies program. 

The Minor in Black Studies will create cohesion between existing black studies courses offered in the Faculty of Arts and Science. These include courses related to Caribbean political economies, water politics in Southern Africa, black sound studies, African American history, black feminist thought, black geographies, and more.

“The diverse course offerings will provide students with rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship that uncovers the complexities of race and belonging, while also giving them tools to theorize oppression and resistance,” says Katherine McKittrick, one of the key players in the development of the program and a professor in the Department of Gender Studies, adding that it will be beneficial not only for students, but also the Faculty of Arts and Science and the university as well.

This Minor in Black Studies has the potential to open fields of study, by introducing Black Studies as an interdisciplinary minor to both black and non-black scholars, stimulating cross-faculty conversations and engagement.

The creation of this program dates back to 2015, with the event ‘Shaping the Future of Black Scholarship,’ when black alumni, faculty, students, and staff gathered to discuss ways in which infrastructural and administrative support could help foster a welcoming environment for black scholars at the university. Ideas included the introduction of a Minor in Black Studies, a Chair in Black Studies, more undergraduate and graduate scholarships, new faculty hires, and curriculum changes. The creation of this program is a direct result of these early conversations amongst passionate black scholars and activists.

This program was also inspired by the work of student activists resisting racism and other forms of discrimination on campus as well as by historical black scholars like Robert Sutherland, the ground-breaking work that began in the U.S. in the 1960s, and by black studies courses, interdisciplinary programs, and certificate offerings at other notable universities, including York University, Dalhousie University, and Nottingham University.

The development of the Minor in Black Studies is an example of the Faculty of Arts and Science Strategic Plan’s guiding principle of equity, diversity, and inclusion and its strategic priority of enriching the student experience through diversifying its curriculum, increasing access to interdisciplinary programs, and offering programs that engage intellectual curiosity within and beyond Western knowledge frameworks.

The Minor in Black Studies is a project born of students, faculty, staff and community members who are interested in sustaining and developing intellectual conversations about liberation, abolition, and anti-colonialism. Black Studies at Queen’s has brought staff, students, faculty, and community into conversation with one another, sharing ideas and building a base for a more ethical future – a trend it hopes to continue.

Dr. McKittrick is excited to see this vision taking shape.

“This is the world I teach and reach for, and it is the world I want to live in,” she says. “So, students will benefit from the books (the scholarship, the workshops, the research, the conversations, the debates) and the work (building new worlds and our collective well-being across racial identifications) – all of which will take place across within the university, across departments and faculties, and in Kingston.”

Research@Queen’s Feature: Diving into microplastics

How do we tackle this “wicked” problem? Queen’s researcher Myra Hird believes the answer is in our own consumption and production habits.

[Dr. Myra Hird]
Queen's researcher Myra Hird, FRSC, wants us to rethink our consumption and production habits.

Microplastics – They are in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we consume, and we are still learning about what this means for our health, the health of our environment, and our future.

How do we tackle this “wicked” problem? Queens researcher Myra Hird believes the answer is in our own consumption habits.

Did you know that the university recently launched a new central website for Queen’s research? From in-depth features to the latest information on the university’s researchers, the site is a destination showcasing the impact of Queen’s research. Discover Research@Queen’s.

Due to exposure and wear and tear, big plastics inevitably break down into smaller pieces. Microplastics are pieces of plastic that measure up to 5 millimetres on their longest dimension. (The definition includes nanoplastics, which are even tinier particles.) Hard to detect and hard to control, these pollutants have been proven, in controlled experiments, to harm both the environment and living creatures. So far, the high concentrations simulated in laboratories have not yet been found in nature. Yet, given the limitations of the current measurement methods and the fact that many human activities (agriculture, fishery, industry, and others) continue to release microplastics into the environment, this is no reason for relief.

Continue the story on the Research@Queen’s website.

Making a ‘major’ decision

Sixth annual Majors Night will help students connect their interests, goals, and academic options at Queen’s.

Photo of students attending Majors Night in 2018
Students attending Majors Night in 2018.

Choosing a major can be a difficult decision for students, which is why Queen’s University will be hosting its sixth annual Majors Night on Thursday, Feb. 27. The event is a partnership between Career Services, the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS), and the Faculty of Arts and Science.

The drop-in event will be held from 4-7 pm in the Biosciences Complex, and is open to all students looking to learn more about the various Arts and Science programs.

Students will have the opportunity to visit booths with members from each Departmental Student Council (DSC) who will be available to answer questions about their experiences with the programs offered by each department.

Staff from Career Services, a unit within Student Affairs, the Faculty of Arts and Science Academic Advising team, and Peer Academic Support Service (PASS), will also be present to answer specific questions about choosing a program and where to find career resources at Queen’s.

“Majors Night gives first-year students the chance to speak with peers and professional staff about their academic options and how they fit their respective goals and interests,” says Cathy Keates, Director of Career Services. “We want to give students as much support as possible so that they can make an informed decision about their academic and career futures."

Throughout the evening, information sessions will be held to provide more insight into subjects such as internships, degree certificates, and exchange opportunities.

For students who are unable to attend the event, the information sessions will be live streamed through the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Facebook page.

For more information, visit the Career Services website.


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