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Fostering the giving spirit of Giving Tuesday

With the holiday shopping season upon us, a movement now adopted by Queen’s University is aiming to prove that it is better to give than to receive.

Giving Tuesday is a self-declared movement of charitable giving and volunteering that opens the season of giving the day after the consumer-frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This year, for the first time, several Queen’s faculties and schools are taking part in Giving Tuesday. Each faculty or school has its own specific initiatives, but the central purpose is to request philanthropic gifts to support students.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is focusing on Dean Susan Mumm’s highest priority: increasing the number of admission scholarships.

This year’s goal is to offer Admission Scholarships of $2,000 to all qualified students.

“We ask that you join us to support our goal in any amount possible,” says Dean Mumm.

From small gifts to funding a scholarship yourself, the campaign is determined to make scholarships happen.

The new Admission Scholarships for the Arts will attract exceptional students to Queen’s, grow the caliber of the Arts and Science student body, and offer students new opportunities that would otherwise not be possible.

Queen’s School of Business is asking for gifts to support four separate funds for students. Donations to the Commerce Legacy Fund for Student Health and Wellness support student health and wellness initiatives like seminars, workshops and increasing the availability of individual counselling.

Donations are also encouraged to the QSB Commerce Bursary Fund, MBA Scholarships Endowment Fund, and the Dean’s Innovation Fund. Each of these funds provides assistance to students in financial need and helps recruit the brightest students.

QSB has a few twists to Giving Tuesday. First, all individual donations between $1,000 and $25,000 will be matched by the Dean’s Matching Fund. Also, any gifts in this same range from QSB alumni who graduated since 1994 – typically identified as “young alumni” – will be ‎doubled.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is using Giving Tuesday as a way of highlighting the 10th anniversary of the Integrated Learning Centre and raising funds for the Dean’s Excellence Fund. Students are calling attention to the Centre, as home to the Engineering Society, Engineering Student Lounge and Tea Room, as a hub for student experience and learning.

The Faculty of Health Sciences is asking benefactors to support Giving Tuesday through gifts to its three Schools.

The Rehabilitation Therapy Student Experience Fund helps students cover their expenses while they learn away from Queen’s on placements. The Nursing 75th Anniversary Fund supports a variety of causes including bursaries, scholarships, equipment, and professorships. Finally, the Medical School Excellence Fund supports new educational initiatives, simulation and clinical learning, research and provides student support.

Researcher honoured with international fellowship

[Randy Ellis]
Dr. Randy Ellis holds the Queen's Research Chair in Computer-Assisted Surgery and recently received a lifetime achievement award for his work.

For his significant contributions to the development of computer-assisted surgical technology, Randy Ellis from the Queen’s School of Computing has been named the 2015 Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the institute and is recognized as a prestigious honour and important career achievement. Dr. Ellis joins four other current researchers from Queen’s in receiving this honour. The IEEE currently has 400,000 members across 160 countries and is a leading authority on fields ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

“I’m honoured to have been elected as a fellow of the IEEE and to join world-class researchers in my field ,” says Dr. Ellis, who is also appointed as a professor in the departments of Biomedical And Molecular Sciences, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Surgery. “I’m looking forward to continuing my research and I hope to be able to expand and pioneer new techniques in the field of computer-assisted surgery.”

As a result of Dr. Ellis’ research, a ground-breaking surgery took place at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) in 1997 when the world’s first total knee replacement with computer-assisted guidance was performed.

More recently, Dr Ellis, who also holds the Queen’s Research Chair in Computer-Assisted Surgery, received the Maurice E. Müller Award – a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery.

“On behalf of the School of Computing, I’d like to extend my congratulations to Dr. Ellis on this distinct honour,” says Selim Akl, Director, Queen’s School of Computing. “Computing and the field of computer-assisted surgery are lucky to have a researcher who is ready to push the boundaries and pioneer so many significant advances.”

Dr. Ellis joined Queen’s shortly after obtaining his PhD in robotics in 1987 and took the lead in developing a computer-assisted surgical suite at KGH, which is now recognized as one of the world’s leading facilities for imaged-guided orthopedic research.

For more information on the IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit www.ieee.org.

Raising community, holiday spirit through sing-a-long

  • [Messiah Sing-a-Long 2014]
    Members of the Queen's University and Kingston community take part in the annual Messiah Sing-a-Long on Friday at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • [Messiah Sing-a-Long 2014]
    Darrell Bryan, adjunct lecturer with the Queen’s School of Music, performs in the annual Messiah Sing-a-Long.
  • [Messiah Sing-a-Long 2014]
    Gordon Craig, adjunct assistant professor at the Queen’s School of Music, leads the annual Messiah Sing-a-Long.
  • [Messiah Sing-a-Long 2014]
    Students from the Queen’s School of Music participate in the annual Messiah Sing-a-Long.
  • [Messiah Sing-a-Long 2014]
    Students from the Queen’s School of Music participate in the annual Messiah Sing-a-Long.

The Queen’s School of Music’s Messiah Sing-a-Long, a holiday-season tradition at Queen’s University, was held for the first time at the recently-opened Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, Nov. 28.

Queen’s and Kingston community members turned out in the lobby area to listen to and take part in George Frideric Handel’s choral masterpiece.

An honorary degree for Pinchas Zukerman

  • [Pinchas Zukerman]
    Principal Daniel Woolf offers introductory remarks while Boris Castel, Pinchas Zuckerman and Gordon Smith (left to right) look on.
  • [Pinchas Zukerman]
    Pinchas Zukerman addresses the audience after receiving his honorary degree.
  • [Pinchas Zukerman performing]
    The Zukerman Trio including cellist Amanda Forsythe and pianist Angela Cheng performed before a sold-out crowd at the Isabel as part of the honorary degree presentation.

World-renowned violinist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman added another accolade to an already impressive list of accomplishments this weekend: honorary graduate. Mr. Zukerman, who also serves as music director for the National Arts Centre, accepted his degree after intermission during a sold-out performance at the Isabel on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, Gordon Smith, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Boris Castel, Professor Emeritus (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) and editor of the Queen's Quarterly, joined Mr. Zukerman for the brief ceremony. A busy touring schedule prevented Mr. Zukerman from receiving his degree at a fall convocation ceremony.


Going beyond the books

For graduate students juggling research, writing and teaching, finding time to get job experience can be tough. To help students get a leg up, the Department of English Language and Literature have another option in the curriculum: internships.

Kimberley Adams interned this semester at the McGill-Queen's University Press.

Taken in lieu of a seminar course, the internships require 50 hours of work over the fall semester and can be done at a variety of organizations. In operation since 2012, the internships are now in their third year. For the 2014-15 year, six students have worked at the McGill-Queen’s University Press (MQUP), the Kingston Literacy and Skills program, the City of Kingston’s Municipal Heritage Committee and Kingston WritersFest. In the past, Queen’s Strathy Language Unit has also hosted interns.

“The internship is a good way of changing the thinking about what an MA is,” says Glenn Willmott, a professor in the department who’s facilitating the internships this year. “Rather than the researching, reading and writing of a seminar class, the internships allow students to put their skills and knowledge into practice.”

To take part in the internship, students and the host organizations rank one another according to their preferences, with the English department facilitator finding the best matches.

Kimberley Adams, MA’15, interned this year with the MQUP. She worked with an editor at the press to survey the current trends in the field of sociology, mapping where they think the study is headed.

“We looked into manuscripts currently being written, special issues of journals and the themes of recent conferences to see what’s popular right now,” says Ms. Adams. Analyzing the data gave her an opportunity to hone her research skills and see a side of publishing she otherwise wouldn’t have known. Her research gives MQUP a better sense of the field and allows the press to be more strategic when it comes to making decisions about manuscripts.

“This internship has given me a chance to diversify my education and take part in a process I’ve never seen before,” she says. “I’ve gotten some real world experience and developed some transferrable skills, plus if I’m ever looking to publish something, I have an understanding of the work that’s involved.”

Along with the internship program, the English department also has its graduate students take part in a professionalization class that teaches them the skills needed to work as a professional academic. Along with training in how to mark essays and write grant applications, the course teaches students about hunting for work in the academic job market.

“These internships affirm that there’s a practical and productive side to scholarly life outside academia and getting to take part enriches the student experience,” says Dr. Willmott. 

Flags lowered for Professor Emeritus McTavish

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of David McTavish, a professor emeritus in the Department of Art.

Dr. McTavish began teaching at Queen’s in 1973 and was promoted to full professor in 1989. He is widely recognized, nationally and internationally, as a scholar of the Italian Renaissance with a special interest in the role of drawings.

[David McTavish with graduate students in Vienna]
David McTavish, seen here with graduate students in Vienna last year, continued to engage with a range of professorial duties following his retirement from Queen's in 2013.

Dr. McTavish was head of the Department of Art from 1989 to 1997 during which time the PhD program in art history was inaugurated, the Bader fellowships for PhD students were put in place and the first of two endowed Bader chairs was established. During this time he was also asked to direct the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s capital project – this included an $8 million fundraising campaign, an architectural competition and the move of the entire collection. He served in this capacity from 1991 to 2001. 

Dr. McTavish retired from the university in 2013 but continued to engage with a range of professorial duties from graduate supervision to research and publication with commitment and dedication. The Agnes Etherington Art Centre published his study of El Greco's The Adoration of the Shepherds earlier this year.

He received his BA (Honours) and MA from the University of Toronto; he completed a PhD at the University of London (Courtauld Institute of Art) in 1978. His scholarly activities mostly have focused on Italian art of the Renaissance through Mannerism to the Baroque period. In his doctoral work, he was principally interested in the relationships between so-called schools of art, in particular those of Venice and Rome in the 16th century; he was fortunate to carry out his doctoral studies under the supervision of John Shearman and Michael Hirst, two of the foremost scholars in the field. 

In 1978, he was asked to chair the first collection committee of the newly formed Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Gallery of Ontario; he has maintained close ties with the department ever since. Since 2009, he has been an adviser to the acquisitions committee of the board of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

A celebration of Dr. McTavish's life will take place at the University Club on Dec. 7 at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Holiday tradition unites voices

The holiday season is all about tradition. For some, it’s about making special meals, visiting far-flung relatives, or decking the halls in whimsical ways. But for others, no holiday is complete without belting out an aria or two from George Frideric Handel’s choral masterpiece, The Messiah. Thanks to the Queen’s School of Music’s Messiah Sing-a-Long, the opportunity to do just that is close at hand.

Queen's students and faculty members will serve as soloists at Friday's Messiah Sing-A-Long. (University Communications)

While traditionally held in the modest foyer of Harrison-LeCaine hall, this year’s Sing-a-Long event will take place in the spacious lobby at the Isabel. It will be the first time the glassed-in space in the university’s brand new arts building will play host to its own musical event.

“That lobby is a place just waiting for music to happen in it,” says Margaret Walker, Director of the School of Music. “I think it will be an excellent acoustic to sing in. I think the voices will go right to the top off those glass walls and reverberate. And whatever the lake is doing outside those windows always enhances anything.”

The Sing-a-Long provides an opportunity for Queen’s students, staff, and faculty, as well as members of the Kingston community, to join together in singing excerpts from the Handel’s popular oratorio, which is frequently performed at Christmas. An orchestra of volunteer student musicians, under the direction of Gordon Craig, accompanies the singers.

“It’s not rehearsed a whole lot,” laughs Dr. Walker. “Whoever is available joins in, and we have a big pile of Messiah score songbooks that we hand out.”

She says students and faculty members who are familiar with the oratorio, which was composed in 1741, will serve as soloists, organized and coached by voice professor Bruce Kelly. Rather than singing all 53 movements, the Sing-a-Long session focuses on popular excerpts, like the “Hallelujah Chorus”.

Dr. Walker says the Sing-a-Long event has long been a popular tradition at Queen’s.

“One year it was cancelled because of a programming conflict, and as we got into November our students noticed that it wasn’t on the calendar. They decided it had to happen, so they got together with a couple faculty members and threw one together. It’s that important!”

She says she hopes the new venue will provide lots of room for people to let their voices ring out.  “It’s really for fun and celebration.”

The Messiah Sing-a-Long takes place on Friday, Nov. 28 at 2:30pm in the lobby of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, 390 King St. W. All are welcome. Musical scores will be available for use. For more information visit the website of the Queen’s School of Music.




Lecture honours former chancellor David Dodge

To honour his six years spent as Queen’s chancellor, an annual lecture has been named for David Dodge. Principal Daniel Woolf announced the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance which recognizes the contribution Dr. Dodge, who was Queen’s 13th chancellor from 2008-2014, has made to the university and public policy and finance in Canada.

Chancellor Emeritus Dodge speaking at the "Last Lecture on Earth" series. (University Communications)

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with David Dodge over his six years as chancellor,” says Principal Woolf. “This lecture commemorates the exceptional service he’s rendered to Queen’s and Canada where his leadership and expertise in the financial sector have served to benefit many.”

Prior to his position as Queen’s chancellor, Dr. Dodge served in a number of public service roles including time as national deputy minister of finance (1992-1997) and as governor of the Bank of Canada (2001-2008). Dr. Dodge, whose term as Queen’s chancellor ended in June 2014, has since been appointed chancellor emeritus by University Council.

The inaugural lecture will be delivered by Dr. Dodge himself and is titled “Preparing Canada for our Collective Old Age.”

"I am honoured to have this lecture series in public finance established in my name and particularly pleased to be asked to give the first lecture" says Dr. Dodge. "The public finance implications of the aging of the baby boom generation need to be the subject of a national conversation. We need to plan for the repercussions of this demographic shift on Canadian society, the economy and public policies."

The lecture is open to the public and is being held in the George Teves Room of the University Club (138 Stuart St, Kingston) on Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm.

The Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance has been established jointly by the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s School of Business and Department of Economics.

Reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease

Queen’s University researcher Christopher Bowie (Psychology) is one of the lead investigators of a new $10 million project funded by the Chagnon Family and Ontario Brain Institute to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease. Co-led by his colleagues Drs. Benoit Mulsant and Tarek Rajji at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, where Dr. Bowie has a research appointment, the study is the largest ever funded focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team will study whether combining brain stimulation treatments delays or prevents the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bowie is combining his cognitive remediation treatment with a process to stimulate the firing of neurons in the prefrontal cortex called transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS).

Queen's researcher Christopher Bowie is working on a method to prevent Alzheimer's Disease.

“This type of remediation enhances the area of the brain responsible for planning, organization and multi-tasking,” says Dr. Bowie. “Right now there is no effective treatments to slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which is often associated with early deterioration of function in the temporal lobes. Our novel approach is to enhance the connectivity in frontal lobes to improve their functioning. We think this will compensate for deterioration in other brain regions and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Two groups of people known to be at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease will be included in the study: 250 older adults with clinical depression who have been successfully treated with antidepressants, and 125 people with mild cognitive impairment.

The treatments currently available for Alzheimer’s dementia are usually initiated when the patient is diagnosed, at which point the brain is already damaged. By using tDCS to enhance the effects of cognitive remediation, the goal is to improve cognition and then prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia by stimulating neurons in the regions of the brain critical for critical executive functioning skills such as problem solving.

“The project, which has initial funding for five years, will be a success if we can demonstrate a reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease or stop cognitive decline in people who do develop Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Bowie. “With a diverse team of experts studying genetic, blood-based, and other biomarkers, the study will also provide a wealth of data about risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.”

For more information on the study, read the announcement on the CAMH website.

Queen's announces joint program with Tongji University


Queen's in the World

Queen’s University today announced the creation of a “two-plus-two” degree program, in partnership with China’s Tongji University.

The program will see Tongji students study for two years at its College of Environmental Science and Engineering in Shanghai, before coming to Kingston for two years of study in Queen’s School of Environmental Studies. Graduates will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Queen’s.

“This two-plus-two program will provide an exceptional international experience that will enrich the education of participating students as well as their classmates at Queen’s,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is a partnership that builds upon existing collaborations in environmental science between our two universities, as well as Queen’s longstanding ties in China.”

Wu Jiang, Vice-President (Academic) at Tongji University, and Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen's University, greet each other during the signing ceremony in Shanghai for the new two-plus-two degree program in Environmental Science. 

Queen’s officials, including Provost Harrison, Susan Mumm, Dean of Arts and Science, and Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), were in Shanghai this week when the agreement was officially signed at Tongji.

“Queen’s comprehensive international plan identifies China as one of our priority regions for developing academic and research partnerships, as well as student recruitment,” says Ms. O’Brien. “This program will further co-operation between our two institutions and will strengthen the understanding of environmental expertise in both countries.”

The two-plus-two program is the next step in a series of collaborations between Queen’s and Tongji, which also includes a joint field course in Aquatic Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment, as well as the Sino-Canada Network for the Environment and Sustainable Development, a joint research initiative focusing on topics such as low-impact urban development, aquatic ecosystem remediation, and the monitoring of environmental change using remote sensing and geographic information systems technology.

Brian Cumming, the director of Queen’s School of Environmental Studies and the Queen’s co-ordinator of the new 2+2 program, says that participating students will be able to apply their international experience to environmental problems.

“Environmental issues can have both local and global dimensions, and are often impacted by cultural and social circumstances,” says Dr. Cumming. “This program will be an excellent way for Chinese and Canadian students to learn from each other and we look forward to welcoming the first group of students from Tongji.”

The program is expected to draw roughly 15 students to Queen’s annually.  The first contingent of Tongji students will arrive in the fall of 2015.

Expanding the university’s international reach is a strategic priority for Queen’s and a key driver in its strategic framework. China is central to Queen’s international plan, and a senior delegation from the university is currently touring China to meet with partner institutions, alumni and prospective students. Queen’s also recently launched a Chinese webpage to strengthen the university’s connections with prospective Chinese students and their parents.


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