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Research leaders earn academic accolades

Three Queen’s University professors have been named to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists program. The new program recognizes an emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership and seeks to gather scholars, artists and scientists at a highly productive stage of their careers into a single collegium where new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives.

Queen’s received the maximum allowance of three New College inductees.

“This is an exciting new program that opens the doors of the RSC to early to mid-career scholars and researchers, and provides them an opportunity to contribute to the promotion of learning and research, an important mandate of the RSC,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “Equally important is the opportunity for the RSC to connect with younger colleagues representing a wide range of research pursuits and perspectives. Although we were limited to a maximum of three, the Queen’s researchers elected into the inaugural College cohort are great representatives of the diverse range of leading edge and innovative research being undertaken by our younger colleagues across our campus.”

Pascale Champagne (l), Morten Nielsen and Una D'Elia were honoured by the Royal Society of Canada.

The three new members include:

Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering) is an innovative and collaborative researcher rapidly establishing herself as an expert in the development of alternate water and waste management technologies and sustainable environmental approaches with a focus on integrated bioresource management.  “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award,” says Dr. Champagne. “The award will create new collaborative research opportunities and allow me to develop new synergies with other researchers, and contribute to Canada’s ability to manage bioresources in a manner that is both sustainable and supportive of economic development.”

Una D’Elia (Art History), a leading scholar in the elucidation of Renaissance art. Her award-winning and critically acclaimed publications are lauded internationally for revealing new interpretations of such famous artists as Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael.

“I take this award as validation of the importance and relevance of the study of the arts and humanities,” says Dr. D’Elia. “On a personal level, I am particularly proud to be able to have my two girls see their mother receiving this honour.”

Morten Nielsen (Economics), the Canada Research Chair in Time Series Econometrics and the David Chadwick Smith Chair in the Department of Economics. Dr. Nielsen is a research leader in econometrics, the field of study focused on developing methods for the statistical analysis of economic data.

“I am delighted to be inducted into the RSC College. Being recognized by your peers in this way is a great honour, and I am both humbled and thrilled,” says Dr. Nielsen.

For information on the New College, visit the website.

Queen's, Stuttgart to develop dual master's program

KINGSTON, ON – Queen’s University and the University of Stuttgart, Germany, have agreed to work together on the development of a dual master’s program in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering and physics. The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin the process.

Queen's Provost Alan Harrison and Univeristy of Stuttgart Rector Wolfram Ressel sign a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a dual master's program.

“International research experience can be a significant benefit for many graduate students, both academically and in terms of setting them apart in the job market,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Signing this MOU is an important step in advancing our existing relationship with the University of Stuttgart and providing a valuable international opportunity for Queen’s students.”

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison signed the MOU on behalf of Principal Woolf, and Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, was at Queen’s to sign on behalf of his institution.

“The MOU provides an optimal framework for the graduate students of both institutions. International exchange and sharing of knowledge is important for the young scientists,” says Wolfram Ressel, “The memorandum promotes a sustainable relationship between the University of Stuttgart and Queen´s University.”

The University of Stuttgart was founded in 1829 and today has an international reputation for excellence in a range of disciplines, including the physical sciences, engineering, and mobile and information technology.  Around 26,500 students are enrolled in the courses of the university offered by 150 institutes in 10 different faculties. Queen’s has a long standing relationship with Stuttgart, both as a frequent research collaborator and as an exchange partner.

“International research experience can be a significant benefit for many graduate students, both academically and in terms of setting them apart in the job market,”

– Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

“A growing number of Queen’s faculty members collaborate with colleagues overseas, including those at Stuttgart, on significant research projects. This MOU will lead to further opportunities to share expertise through our graduate students,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), who hosted Rector Ressel and the Stuttgart delegation. “The next step will involve both institutions working out the specific details of the academic program over the coming months.”           

Founded in 1841, Queen's University is one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, renowned for fundamental advances in health care, the environment, materials and energy, as well as its contributions to public policy, economics, law and culture. Queen’s attracts students from across Canada and from more than 90 countries around the world.

Students get up-close look at the Isabel

  • [Isabel Open House - Wind Ensemble]
    Members of the Queen's Wind Ensemble practice during the student open house held the Isabel.
  • [Isabel Open House - Ceremony]
    Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf speaks following the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the student open house at the Isabel.
  • [Isabel Open House]
    A special open house for students was held at the Isabel on Saturday, Sept. 13.
  • [Isabel Open House - Sound Lab]
    Visitors explore the Isabel's new sound lab during the student open house on Saturday.
  • [Isabel Open House - Wood Press]
    Students use a wood press during the student open house held at the Isabel.
  • [Isabel Open House - Dan Tremblay]
    Wind Ensemble director Dan Tremblay works with ensemble members during the student open house held at the Isabel.
  • [Isabel Open House - Theatre]
    Vickie Sprenger performs in front of Craig Walker and Tim Fort of the Department of Drama.

Queen’s students got an inside view of all the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (also known as “the Isabel”) has to offer on Saturday during a special open house.

Visitors were able to tour the recently-completed building while also taking in performances by fellow students held in the state-of-the art concert hall, rehearsal hall, film screening room, as well as other locations.

There also was a hands-on aspect to the day as visitors could learn how to operate a wood press and find out what is happening on campus at the Performing Arts Clubs Fair, held in the lobby.

The open house wrapped up with a concert by Polaris Music Prize-nominated band Timber Timbre, part of The Isabel Goes Alt concert series. 

Go online to find out more about the Isabel.

LIVES LIVED: Seeing the big picture and the tiny brushstrokes

Alec Stewart, was a native of Saskatchewan and studied at Dalhousie and Cambridge universities.

[Alec Stewart]
Dr. Alec Stewart

Alec was lured back to Canada from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1968 as Queen's Head of Physics. The department saw rapid expansion during his six-year headship. His appreciation of all aspects of the department was legendary. Alec saw not only the big picture but all the tiny brush strokes that go to make up the whole canvas.

He nurtured the young people he hired stressing the professorial virtues of dedication to teaching, excellence in research and service to the department, the university and the broader community, while his wife Alta helped to establish the new young families in Kingston and is fondly remembered. The social gatherings hosted by Alec and Alta at their home helped to mold the department into a vigorous community.

His research addressed important questions in physics. Collaboration at Chalk River with Nobel Laureate Bert Brockhouse developed the study of atomic motion in crystals using slow neutrons, and he pioneered the use of positron annihilation as a tool to study condensed matter and as a diagnostic tool in materials science. He was instrumental in organizing the first two international conferences on positron annihilation and he was the first chairman of the International Advisory Committee for Positron Annihilation. He also applied his knowledge to the public interest, including in a Royal Society of Canada study of the safety of nuclear power reactors and the development of emergency response plans, and in the expert panel on the possible risk posed by electromagnetic fields from power lines.

He contributed to the Canadian and international scientific communities through his work with the Royal Society of Canada for which he served as President of the Academy of Sciences, with the NRC and NSERC and with the Canadian Association of Physicists over which he presided. In recognition of his many contributions he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001.

Alec and Alta raised three sons – James, Hugh and Duncan. After losing Alta to cancer, Alec married Annabel and together they enjoyed 10 years of happy marriage.

– Malcolm Stott joined the Department of Physics at Queen’s University while Alec Stewart was head of the department. The two worked with together for several years and latterly shared an office.

This article is published in the Sept. 9 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus. Follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.

New courses focus on experiential learning

The 2014-15 academic year comes with a host of new course offerings from the Queen’s faculties, many of which have been adapted to new teaching subjects and practices.

“Queen’s makes providing students a transformative learning experience a top priority,” says Dr. Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “We’re proud that our faculties are constantly enhancing their offerings, whether in terms of bringing in new research in the field, integrating transferable skills or expanding experiential opportunities in the classroom. Every semester brings fresh ideas and innovative pedagogies.”

The following are a selection of new Queen’s courses.

Faculty of Arts and Science

HIST 212 - Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Offers credit for non-academic work in historical practice at locations such as museums, archives, historic sites, etc. Students must write a proposal prior to the work experience and a report after its completion.

RELS 268 - Religion and Bioethics
Studies the moral and religious norms of ethical judgment in bio-medicine; specific issues will be chosen such as population control, abortion, genetic control, experimentation, consent, behaviour control, death and euthanasia.

Faculty of Education

GDPI 811 – Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Helps students develop a foundational understanding of innovation in the workplace grounded in exploration of historical, sociological, and philosophical contexts and frameworks. Student will explore case studies and develop a plan of action rooted in the particular needs of their workplace.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

APSC 223 – Global Project Management at the Castle
Covers the knowledge areas and processes of project management with a focus on a practical and applied approach. The course utilizes the global city of London, its engineering firms, experts, practitioners and massive engineering undertakings (The Shard, Cross-Rail, the Eurotunnel, the Thames Barrier, etc.) to investigate the problems, challenges and successes of managing global engineering projects.

CIVL 372 – Water and Wastewater Engineering
Introduces the general concepts of water/wastewater engineering for the protection of human and ecosystem health. Alternative and innovation urban water management strategies will be discussed and emerging issues for water managers will be introduced.

Faculty of Health Sciences

The Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) program has been improved for its second year of operation. Along with a full slate of courses in an Arts and Science Honours degree program, QuARMS students now have access to additional courses in topics like Population and Global Health and Skin and Special Senses. Continuing this year will be the First Patient Project, where students are partnered with and learn from a patient in the community, as well as Patient Contact in Internal Medicine, where students work with an internal medicine physician on the examination and observation skills. 

Faculty of Law

LAW 527 – Queen’s Family Law Clinic
Students provides services at the Family Law Clinic, providing legal advice, assistance, information and representation to low income individuals in the Kingston area involved with the family justice system. Instruction is provided through lectures and class discussion, simulation exercises in interviewing and advocacy and individual supervision of student casework by the clinic’s project director.

School of Business

COMM 356 – Gender and Diversity in Organizations
Studies diversity and difference in the workplace, and emphasizes the importance of equity and inclusivity in modern organizations. Classes are discussion-focused and will help students grow comfortable discussing, addressing and managing issues of gender and diversity in their careers and organizations.

COMM 433 – Marketing Analytics
Explores the technological and marketing innovations that have been enabled by the advent of “big data.” This course equips students to transform information to insight and insight into shrewd judgement, allowing them to make better marketing and resource allocation decisions. 

Classes start at the Isabel

Matt Rogalsky (Music) leads his class at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in an exercise in acoustic design. He described it as “an exercise in listening to sound through the fingertips.” He plays a tone and the students walk around the class holding balloons, noting how different parts of the room affect the sound.  (University Communications)


It was a day of firsts Monday.

First day of classes at Queen’s but also the first day of classes at the newly built Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

On a beautiful, sunny morning, small groups of students walked along King Street and down the entranceway, some getting their first glimpse of the building.

The anticipation of a new start was clear.

“I think the building is absolutely brilliant — the big windows give a beautiful view,” says film student Nicholas Simonds (Artsci’16), who arrived a half hour early for class so he could look around. “I love that they’ve used limestone throughout. It really makes it feel like a Kingston building.”

Mat Kahansky (Artsci’16) also decided to get an early start and ended up being one of the first students to arrive.

As he wandered the halls trying to locate his classroom, he was impressed by what he saw. The ancient limestone, concrete and the steel and glass of the main lobby elicited a wide-eyed reaction.

He’s hopeful about the building’s future.

“It’s very pretty,” he says, as he settles into a sitting area for students that provides a stunning view of Lake Ontario. “It will be interesting to see how much Queen’s facilitates students as well as make use of the building to its full potential.”

The Isabel not only hosts the Department of Film and Media and acts as a working and learning space for the university’s other creative arts disciplines, but also boasts a film screening room, black box theatre sound studio and a world-class concert hall.

“I think it’s excellent for Queen’s to have its own state-of-the-art music facility,” Mr. Kahanksy says, adding that it boosts the reputation of the school.

Matt Rogalsky (Music), who was teaching a class on recording techniques, acoustics and radio production Monday morning, also says he is excited to be teaching at the Isabel.

“My class and I will be making great use of the new sound studio,” he says. “It’s the most advanced space on campus for mixing audio and I’m excited to put it to use.”

With files from Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer.

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was made possible by a transformational gift from Alfred Bader (SC’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and his wife Isabel (LLD’07) as well as the financial backing of the federal and provincial governments, the City of Kingston and additional philanthropic support.

Petroglyphs provide glimpse of the past

Queen's archaeologist Barbara Reeves and her team made a surprise discovery of 157 rock carvings that detail life thousands of years ago.

Dr. Barbara Reeves stands with petroglyphs in Humayma, Jordan

Barbara Reeves’ team of archaeologists accidently stumbled upon the first of 157 ancient images just days before leaving the Humayma excavation site in Jordan.  

Humayma – located in western Jordan – has been an excavation site since 1986. Even though researchers have conducted many archaeological surveys in and around the area for years, the numerous carvings on the rocks, known as petroglyphs, remained undiscovered until this summer.

“The area had been inspected by surveyors many times in the past, but these petroglyphs appear to have been overlooked since each surveyor was typically looking for something quite specific, and that didn’t include rock carvings,” says Dr. Reeves, professor of archaeology in the Department of Classics and director of the Humayma Excavation Project.

After Dr. Reeves’ team discovered one petroglyph in the area, the archaeologists went looking for more information to help with the analysis. They discovered more than 150 other petroglyphs and 20 inscriptions that had been there unseen for years.

Carved footprints, like this, could mean the area was once a major pilgrimage site.

For Dr. Reeves, who has been excavating at Humayma since 1995, the discovery was a significant find.

“The petroglyphs show soldiers, hunters, worshippers, animals and feet,” says Dr. Reeves. “These petroglyphs are also all covered in what we call a ”desert varnish,“ which is a chemical process that happens on the surface of the sandstone that gives older inscriptions a darker tone than newer ones, allowing excavators to estimate ages of the inscriptions.”

After some initial analyses of the images, Dr. Reeves and her team have hypothesized that one site was a major pilgrimage site, with more than 50 carved footprints and inscriptions.

“Carved footprints commemorate a person’s presence at a religious site,” says Dr. Reeves. “This discovery aligns with a fifth century foundation myth, which suggests that the area and its landscape had some spiritual significance.”

Now that Dr. Reeves is back in Kingston, she plans to include some students in the analysis of Humayma’s data until she returns to the site next summer to continue deciphering the ancient carvings.

The survey at Humayma this past year was funded by a research grant from the Queen’s Senate Advisory Research Committee.

Anti-bullying expert makes an impact

Queen's University professor Wendy Craig, an international leader in bullying prevention, has been named as one of three finalists for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Award. These awards are the highest achievements given annually by SSHRC.

The nomination recognizes a SSHRC-funded partnership for its outstanding achievement in advancing research, training or developing new partnerships. The Partnership Awards are one of five awards under the Impact Awards portfolio.

[Wendy Craig]

Wendy Craig is a finalist for a prestigious national award for her work as co-director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet).

Dr. Craig was nominated for her work as the co-director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet). The other co-director is Dr. Debra Pepler from York University.

"Dr. Pepler and I are honoured to receive this recognition for our work on bullying and healthy relationships through PREVNet, funded by SSHRC through the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)," says Dr. Craig.

"Through this funding, we have been privileged to work with 63 partners across the country and 75 researchers and co-created more than 200 knowledge mobilization projects."

PREVNet works to create knowledge mobilization resources through four strategy pillars: education and training, assessment and evaluation, prevention and intervention, and policy. Dr. Craig says she has learned that through the process of co-creation with other partners PREVNet can move science into practice and practice into science to decrease bullying in Canada.

With this funding, Dr. Craig says they can continue to engage in knowledge mobilization efforts with the PREVNet partners.  The team plans to focus on working with PREVNet's youth to develop tools to address cyberbullying.

"Through PREVNet, Dr. Craig has developed a unique partnership model that has demonstrated influence both within and beyond the academic community," says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). "PREVNet's sophisticated knowledge-mobilization tools and bullying prevention resources are timely and effective in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing today's children and youth."

The winners will be announced at the annual award ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 3. For more information visit the website.

PREVNet is a national network of leading researchers and organizations, working together to stop bullying in Canada. It is the first of its kind in this country and a world leader in bullying prevention. Through education, research, training and policy change, PREVNet aims to stop the violence caused by bullying so every child can grow up happy, healthy and safe.

Single tickets for the Isabel's classical series now on sale

Single tickets for the inaugural season at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts are now available for purchase.

The 2014-2015 season includes two series of classical concerts: The Soloists and The Ensembles. The line-up includes performances by internationally renowned artists like violinist Sarah Chang and pianist Cédric Tiberghien, as well ensembles like the Zukerman Chamber Players and Les Violons du Roy, who will perform with pianist Marc-André Hamelin.

Tickets for both series are available for purchase online from the Isabel'™s website. Significant discounts are available for Queen'™s faculty, staff and students.

Staff and faculty tickets for The Isabel Goes Alt series will be available online from Sept. 3.

For more information visit theisabel.com


Digital database puts music resources at educators' fingertips

Music resource opens up new realm for educators. 

Dr. Rena Upitis (left) and Kingston piano teacher Jodie Compeau use the DREAM website to search for digital music resources.


Starting this September, music educators from across Canada will be able to find and download the best available digital music resources for free.

The Digital Resource Exchange About Music (DREAM) is an online space created by collaborators at Queen’s University, Concordia University and The Royal Conservatory that can be used in French or English on all devices including computers, tablets and smartphones.

“The real strength of DREAM is that the resources are of high quality and relevance to music teachers. For example, teachers will often spend time sorting through a whole page of recordings trying to find one that is good enough to share – our website has done that work for them,” says Dr. Rena Upitis, a professor in the Queen’s Faculty of Education and project director of DREAM.

DREAM, which took two years to develop, also allows users to listen to high quality recordings of popular repertoire. Kingston piano teacher Jodie Compeau says that functionality will augment her students’ learning experiences.

“DREAM is a fantastic tool that streamlines my search for useful apps, websites and recordings that enhance the quality of my studio,” she says. “DREAM means quickly finding a game to help my students learn to read music, or locating an app to help students mix their newest musical creations. It’s a real time saver for music educators.”

Additionally, users who sign up for a free DREAM account are able to rate, review and add resources to the website. All resources are approved the DREAM team.

“DREAM aims to change the way that teachers learn by facilitating the exchange of information free from the constraints of distance or time,” says Dr. Upitis. “This means teachers can do what they do best: teach.”

DREAM belongs to a suite of digital tools developed by Queen’s, Concordia and The Royal Conservatory. Research leading to the development of DREAM was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. For more information, visit www.musictoolsite.ca


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