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Syncing stories on Canada’s North

[Alexander Zahara]
Environmental studies student Alexander Zahara explains his research on a waste site fire in Iqaluit to a fellow symposium participant. The title of his poster is "Taima: Risk and Uncertainty in the Iqaluit 'Dumpcano.'" Taima means “enough” in Inuktitut. (University Communications)

Alexander Zahara (MES’15) is interested in waste. In fact, the environmental studies student has made looking at waste sites the focus of his master’s research. But when a controversial dump fire erupted in the summer of 2014 during his fieldwork in Iqaluit, he knew it was about much more than waste.

“The fire – dubbed “Dumpcano” – burned for three months, was the size of a football field, and released carcinogens into the air, causing all sorts of problems for the community and its citizens,” says Mr. Zahara, who participated in the Northern Research Symposium at Queen’s on April 15. “I’ve been studying it as a waste issue, which means that so many other issues – social, political, cultural and economic – are wrapped into it. The research is very interdisciplinary.”

Mr. Zahara’s multidisciplinary approach to the research is one reason he brought his work to the annual symposium, which draws together scholars who work in the Canadian North from many different departments across Queen’s – including those in biology, chemical and civil engineering, geography, kinesiology and health, and sociology.

“The northern regions face a lot of challenges, many of them multidisciplinary, and Queen’s is well-positioned in its research programs to look at those challenges and find synergies between the different projects underway,” said Neal Scott (Geography), a faculty organizer, in his opening remarks at the symposium.

“This event brings together 13 university departments and 13 countries are represented through the various collaborations with other universities,” added Cynthia Fekken, Associate Vice-Principal (Research), who attended the symposium. “It’s a delight to see so many participating in northern research and gathering here where there is a chance for open dialogue and networking.”

Biology student Casper Christiansen (PhD’15), also one of the event’s organizers, says if the symposium didn’t exist, many students and scholars wouldn’t have the chance to meet, and wouldn’t, perhaps, strike up inter-departmental research collaborations or get the chance to think about their own work in a different light.

“It’s all about making connections. We can all learn from each other, and ask different questions,” he says.

For example, physical scientists are often absorbed in very specific data collection, such as tracking temperature changes in Arctic rivers, and are not necessarily thinking about the social and political issues. The symposium helps researchers look at their own work in new and varied ways.

This year’s event began with a keynote address from Scott Goetz, from the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Mass. Dr. Goetz spoke about his work measuring changes in arctic and boreal vegetation and their climate feedback implications. He also talked about the impact of a fire in northern peatlands on carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. 

“These disturbances, and future anthropogenic disturbances in this region, could have a major impact on the carbon balance of the Arctic”, says Dr. Scott.

Participants then had a chance to view poster presentations in the BioSciences Atrium, including that of Mr. Zahara, and heard various brief oral presentations from Queen’s students and faculty.

At the end of the day, Mr. Zahara, whose research was conducted as part of the SSHRC-funded Canada's Waste Flow research project, says it was great to see such a strong focus on research that engages with northerners.

“The symposium is an important event that brings together a variety of Queen’s researchers who care deeply about Canada's North. It's good for us to have a conversation.”

More information on the Northern Research Symposium


Flags lowered for Professor Emeritus Pritchard

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of James Pritchard, a professor emeritus in the Department of History.

Dr. Pritchard taught history courses on New France, Quebec, and early modern European expansion. His research focused on areas of early Canadian colonial and maritime history. He was the author of several well-known titles including Louis XV's Navy; A Study of Organization and Administration; Anatomy of a Naval Disaster; The 1746 French Expedition to North America; and In Search of Empire, The French in the Americas, 1670-1730.  Most recently, he published A Bridge of Ships; Canadian Shipbuilding during the Second World War.

A celebration of Dr. Pritchard's life will be held at the Donald Gordon Conference Centre (421 Union St.) on Saturday, May 2 at 2 pm. In remembrance, donations may be made to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation – St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital, Palliative Care Unit. You are invited to share your memories and condolences online at www.cataraquicemetery.ca.

Top honours for two top researchers

Dr. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) and Dr. Troy Day

Researchers from Queen’s have been awarded two of the six Canada Council Killam Fellowships for 2015.

Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) and Troy Day (Mathematics and Statistics) have each earned one of the prestigious Killam Fellowships, one of Canada’s most distinguished awards for outstanding career achievements in health sciences, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

“I’m proud that two of six Killam Fellowships are being awarded to two highly deserving researchers from Queen’s,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “These honours go to show the high quality research taking place at the university and how cutting-edge ideas are becoming reality.”

Recipients for the Killam Fellowships are chosen by a committee of 15 Canadian scholars appointed by the Canada Council.

For her project Organically Modified Metal Surfaces: Biosensing and Beyond, Dr. Crudden has proposed to carry out research important for advances in materials science, health care, energy production and the environment.

“We’ll be studying the applications of a recent discovery from our lab in which we made novel organic coatings on metals that have unprecedented robustness due to the presence of actual chemical bonds between the organic layer and the metal surface,” says Dr. Crudden, who is currently cross-appointed to the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules at Nagoya University in Japan. “The organic film has a thickness that is approximately 100,000 times smaller than a human hair, yet it is stable to temperatures greater than 300 °C, and survives boiling in various solvents, acid, base and oxidizing environments.”

Dr. Crudden is proposing research that can be applied to the development of biological sensors for use by hospitals to improve reliability in the diagnoses of viruses and diseases such as cancer. This research could also be applied to areas including solar-cell technology, corrosion prevention and the monitoring of environmental pollutants.

For Dr. Day, combining mathematics with biology can mean a better understanding of the appropriate treatment for different diseases. While it’s widely believed that early and aggressive use of antibiotics can both kill bacterial infections and prevent drug resistance, this isn’t always the case.

“We are using mathematics to better understand how to slow the evolution of drug resistance. Our results so far point to the interesting new possibility of using chemical agents that target host molecules, in addition to traditional drug therapy, as a way of slowing evolution,” Dr. Day says.

As a part of his research, Dr. Day is using mathematics to understand when this aggressive use of drugs is called for and when other strategies may be more appropriate. His project Designing Evolution-Proof Cancer Chemotherapy with Mathematics aims to explore these same ideas in the context of resistance to anti-cancer chemotherapy.

“Thanks to the Killam Fellowship, I’ll be able to take the extra time needed to further develop my ideas on drug resistance and strengthen collaborations with researchers at other institutions who plan to test this theory experimentally,” says Dr. Day.

Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions within Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in science, engineering and health.

Queen's researcher presents annual Heart and Stroke Lecture

  • Ian Janssen presents the annual Heart and Stroke lecture.
  • Heart and Stroke CEO David Sculthorpe presents at the annual lecture.
  • A good crowd gathered for the annual lecture.
  • Ian Janssen talks about children and outdoor play.
  • Visiting Queen's for the lecture were, from left: David Sculthorpe, Vince Bowman (Director, Research Programs, Ontario), Landan Burns-Keaney (Area Manager, KFLA) and Leslie McCarley (VP Philanthropy, Ontario).

Queen's University professor Ian Janssen (Kinesiology and Health Studies) delivered his message on children and active play on Monday, April 13 at the second annual Queen’s University Heart and Stroke Foundation Lecture Series. About 40 people gathered in the Queen's Medicine Building to hear Dr. Janssen speak about his research into keeping our children healthy. His talk focused on why physical activity and outdoor active play are vital for a child's health and the barriers to getting children outside. He commented on fears that outdoor play is dangerous and noted a lack of recognition that unstructured activities are important for growth and development.

The annual lecture series highlights Queen’s researchers receiving funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Reliving the past through virtual exhibits

As she entered the final year of her undergraduate degree, Tiffany Chan wanted to expand beyond research essays.

Using the concepts and skills she learned at the inaugural Digital Humanities Field School at the Bader International Study Centre last summer, Chan researched and created a virtual exhibit using materials from the “Stereoscopic Views” collection in the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.

[Tiffany Chan]
Tiffany Chan (Artsci'15) took advantage of Inquiry@Queen's earlier this year to explain the virtual exhibit she created using material from the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.

“I am drawn to the digital humanities by the idea of ‘making’ – the idea that you can learn and create new knowledge by creating digital or physical objects,” she says. “I really enjoy the creativity, some might say the ‘artistry,’ involved in digital humanities projects as well as the research aspects, though I don’t necessarily think of them as separate.”

Chan successfully applied for a student assistantship position in the library that was offered to digital humanities field school participants. Alvan Bregman, Curator, Special Collections, worked with Shannon Smith, director of the field school, and instructor Emily Murphy to develop meaningful projects and learning outcomes for the student assistant. Dr. Bregman and Ms. Murphy co-supervised Chan while Dr. Smith continued to provide guidance during the project.

“It was delightful having Tiffany at work in our library, where she helped make our stereo view cards accessible as a digital collection, an activity that provided context for her virtual exhibit,” Dr. Bregman says. “This was a great demonstration project for the library, showing the intrinsic importance of special collections to digital scholarship."

Chan explored in-depth six of the 108 stereo cards held in the Queen’s collection. Each section of the virtual exhibit features images of the stereo card’s front and back, the socio-historical context, and an animated GIF that approximates the 3D effect of the stereoscope.

Rather than perfectly recreate the experience of a stereo card with her virtual exhibit, Chan was interested in exploring relationships between digital and analog media, past and present perspectives, and what that says about the culture experiencing them.

After spending hours on the project in addition to her course work, Chan showcased her work at the Inquiry@Queen’s Undergraduate Research Conference in March and the Re:Humanities undergraduate symposium on digital media at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

Chan is excited about Queen’s support for digital humanities and the possibility of a Centre for Digital and Print Culture in Douglas Library – one of the recommendations in the Library and Archives Master Plan.

Learn more about digital humanities at the BISC.

'Internationalization at the grassroots level'

Queen's in the World

For nearly three years, a website conceived and developed at Queen’s has fostered a community where students and instructors around the world engage in valuable intercultural language exchanges.

The developers of LinguaeLive want to continue growing those connections, and they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to make it happen.

[Jenn Hoskek and Mayu Takasaki]
Jennifer Ruth Hosek and Mayu Takasaki discuss LinguaeLive, a website conceived and developed at Queen's that connects language instructors and students around the world. Dr. Hosek has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support LinguaeLive. 

“We are doing internationalization at the grassroots level,” says Jennifer Ruth Hosek, Associate Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and a founder of the online tool. “LinguaeLive is unique because it connects language instructors as opposed to individual learners. This ensures trust between students and improves the chances of successful exchanges. We are proud of the tool and we want to continue sharing it with the community.”

Using LinguaeLive, language instructors can find other instructors around the world whose students have complementary expert and target languages; students then find suitable peers in the complementary course.

The students communicate with each other in order to improve their proficiency in the language they are acquiring. At the same time, they also learn about the culture and cultivate their independent learning skills, all while having fun.

“LingaueLive is a powerful tool that instructors can integrate into their course delivery in order to improve learning outcomes,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning).  “It’s encouraging to see that active and collaborative learning – a vital component of student engagement – doesn’t have to be limited by geography.”

Mayu Takasaki, a Japanese language instructor at Queen’s who uses LinguaeLive, has found that students are not as nervous to practice their new language when talking with a peer.

“Having that personal connection motivates students, and they see that what we learn in class is relevant,” she says. “Making a personal connection to the culture and the country is so powerful, because it taps into their emotion and that’s what fosters life-long learning.”

Go-Go LinguaeLive

Visit LinguaeLive’s Indiegogo page for more information about the tool and the fundraising campaign.

The last day to donate to the campaign is April 29.

Dr. Hosek has seen the impact that cultural exchange can have. Just recently, one of her former students travelled to Germany to meet the person he conversed with using LinguaeLive. Ms. Takasaki also hears from many students who have travelled to Japan to meet their language exchange partners.

Money raised through the Indiegogo campaign will help offset the cost associated with hosting the website. The funding will also support the hiring of Queen’s work study students, who get valuable experience providing technical support for LinguaeLive and promoting the tool to instructors and students.

A hidden gem

  • Masters of Art Conservation students work to prepare a mural by Kenneth Hensley Holmden (1893-1963) for removal from 16 Bath Rd.
    Master of Art Conservation students work to prepare a mural by Kenneth Hensley Holmden (1893-1963) for removal from 16 Bath Rd.
  • The image of a Mediterranean port is 3.4 by 1.8 metres and was created using oil paint on a canvas which was then affixed to a plaster wall.
    The image of a Mediterranean port is 3.4 by 1.8 metres and was created using oil paint on a canvas which was then affixed to a plaster wall.
  • A Master of Art Conservation student prepares the mural for removal from the wall.
    A Master of Art Conservation student prepares the mural for removal from the wall.
  • Mural being removed.
    The mural was slowly removed from the wall and wrapped around a large cardboard cylinder for transportation.
  • Mural is tied up
    After the mural was wrapped around the cylinder, it was secured to prepare for transportation.
  • Removing the mural from 16 Bath Rd.
    Removing the mural from 16 Bath Rd. took about three hours in total, which included two hours of preparation and one hour of removal.
  • Group shot
    Seven Master of Art Conservation students will have the opportunity to restore the painting under the supervision of an art conservation professor.

It came as a surprise to renovators when, on a wintry day in Kingston, they uncovered a Mediterranean port hidden behind a false wall.

The Mediterranean port makes up the scene on a long-forgotten, 3.4 by 1.8 metre oil on canvas mural that had hung hidden behind the wall at 16 Bath Rd. for approximately 40 years. Queen’s students will have the opportunity to give the painting a new lease on life by the Springer Group of Companies, the property owner which has donated the mural to the Master of Art Conservation Program.

“Restoring this painting is a perfect degree of complexity for a beginner’s project,” says Michael O’Malley, a professor of painting conservation. Restoration is expected to take about 100 hours or more.

Kenneth Hensley Holmden (1893-1963) is the artist behind the mural. Born in Ottawa to British parents, Mr. Holmden is credited for his decorative murals in Montreal and in the original Ruby Foos Restaurant, the now demolished York Cinema, and the Imperial Bank of Canada building on St. Jacques Street. One of his works is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

“The painting is not in great condition. It has a very yellowed varnish, some tears and flaking paint, and a small missing section of the canvas in the lower left corner,” says Amandina Anastassiades, assistant professor of art conservation (artifacts) at Queen’s. “However, in its present condition the mural is of great value to the Art Conservation Program. It will provide a wonderful opportunity for Queen’s University and the students of its Art Conservation Program to be involved in preserving a piece of Kingston and Canadian heritage through the rescue and conservation of a large painted mural by a well-known Canadian artist.”

Removing the mural from 16 Bath Rd. took about three hours, which included two hours of preparation and one hour of physically removing the canvas from the plaster that had been its home since the building housed the attached diner for the then-Kingston Bus Terminal.

“I remember visiting the diner with my grandfather when I was younger and now we’re happy to be able to donate the mural to the Master of Art Conservation Program,” says Bryon Springer of the Springer Group of Companies.

For now, the mural will be restored in the labs of the Master of Art Conservation Program on campus, where a team of seven students under the supervision of the incoming professor of paintings conservation will restore the mural to its former glory.

Upon further investigation, the mural was found to be based on an image originally created by artist William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854) entitled Fish Market, Toronto.

Queen's University offers the only Master of Art Conservation program in Canada. Students specialize in the conservation of paintings, artifacts or paper objects or carry out research in conservation science. 

Seminar to highlight RSC researchers

[RSC Seminar]
Queen’s University’s John Burge, left, Pascale Champagne and Ian McKay will be presenting their research at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada, being held Saturday, April 11 at The University Club.

A special event featuring four recent additions to the Royal Society of Canada will offer a vast array of research being done at universities in eastern Ontario.

Four researchers – three from Queen’s and one from the University of Ottawa – will make presentations on their work at the Eastern Ontario Regional Seminar of the Royal Society of Canada, being held Saturday, April 11 at The University Club.

The topics are wide-ranging from microalgal biofuels and a closer look at the life of an “engaged intellectual,” to coronary artery disease and the links between architecture and music.

John Burge, of Queen’s School of Music, will be presenting “What I Mean when Describing Architecture in My Music?”

As he explains there are similarities in various art forms, including structure.

“While structure in music can really be quite an abstract concept, it is not uncommon to borrow analogies from other art forms such as the visual arts or literature to explain the organization of a composition's musical form,” he says. “Recently, in my own composition Cathedral Architecture, an almost 40-minute work for organ and orchestra, I found myself making tangible connections between the architectural design of a cathedral and the resultant musical work's form.”

His lecture at 2 pm will incorporate recorded examples that will help demonstrate the connections he has found in his approach.

He also points out that the seminar offers an opportunity to meet others who are passionate about their research and are leaders in their field of study.

“As a creative artist, I know that I continually find a spark of inspiration in the unlikeliest of moments and the sharing of intellectual ideas can be a great stimulus for one's own creativity,” Dr. Burge says. “I certainly look forward to this opportunity to broaden my own horizons and knowledge base.”

Others taking part in the seminar, and the times of their presentation, are:

• Ian McKay – Department of History – Queen’s – The Embattled Liberalism of C.B.Macpherson: Reflections on the Life of an Engaged Intellectual (10 am)

• Pascale Champagne – Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering – Queen’s – Microalgal Biofuels: What Makes Them Green? (11 am)

• Ruth McPherson – Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Ottawa Heart Institute – The Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease (3 pm)

Organizers expect that the event will once again help with the sharing of ideas, for the speakers as well as those who attend.

“Participants, including our four speakers each year, make fruitful contacts among each other and the audience; contacts which stretch between the four universities represented and which cross disciplinary lines,” says Pierre du Prey, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art History and a co-chair of the event with Mike Sayer, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy. “Overarching themes emerge as if by magic from the diverse papers presented and the discussion that follows them. In this way arts and science become reunited by the common quest for knowledge.”

The forum, hosted by Queen's and actively encouraged by the RSC, gives New Scholars and Fellows of the Society, as well as members of the general public, a chance to benefit from discourse at the highest level, Dr. du Prey adds.The presentations are open and free to the public and start at 10 am at The University Club. Individuals can attend any or all of the talks. A lunch is held for Fellows of the RSC and guests for a cost of $30. Registration for the lunch is required through Dr. Sayer at sayerm@physics.queensu.ca.

Queen’s is also scheduled to host the Royal Society of Canada’s annual general meeting in 2016. The Royal Society of Canada was established by an Act of Parliament in 1882 as Canada’s national academy. The organization helps promote Canadian research and scholarly accomplishment, and advises governments, non-governmental organizations and Canadians on matters of public interest.

Homecoming for new Canada Research Chair

Alan Jeffrey Giacomin has been named the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Rheology, and for him, it’s a homecoming. Born just a few blocks from campus, the position has brought him back to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Dupuis Hall where his university studies began.

“After nearly 30 years of professorship in Texas and Wisconsin, the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Rheology has lured me back to Canada,” says Dr. Giacomin (Sci’81). “The research funds attached to the CRC chair will help me build my rheology dream lab.”

Rheology is the study of sticky, runny elastic liquids, like moulded melted plastics, and how the motions of molecules make liquids gooey. Rheometers help us decipher how these liquids change shape.

Queen's three new Canada Research Chairs, from left: Alan Jeffrey Giacomin, Grégoire Webber and Jordan Poppenk.

Along with Dr. Giacomin, Queen’s has two new Tier 2 CRCs and five renewals. Jordan Poppenk (Psychology) has been named the Tier 2 NSERC Chair in Cognitive Neuroimaging and Grégoire Webber (Law) is the new Tier 2 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Chair (SSHRC) in Public Law and Philosophy of Law.

Dr. Poppenk’s research focuses on bringing memories to life. Using emerging brain imaging methods, he observes how memories interact and links these interactions to participants’ brain anatomy.

 “In my research, I attempt to explain how our particular memory abilities help to shape our many traits - for example, our personalities,” says Dr. Poppenk. “To support this work, I draw upon novel biomarkers derived from computationally intensive analysis of brain scans. CRC funding will contribute the research focus I need to consolidate these domains, while also helping me attract and support a world-class team of trainees to engage with my research program.”

Dr. Webber’s research program on human rights, public law, and authority and obligation explores the foundations of law and government.

“It is a special privilege to be awarded the Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law,” Dr. Webber says. “The chair's two research areas build on strengths at Queen's and promote the existing interactions between colleagues in law, philosophy and political studies.”

Queen’s will receive $200,000 per year over seven years for each Tier 1 Chair and $100,000 per year over five years for each Tier 2 Chair.

“By supporting the most skilled and promising researchers, the CRC program facilitates cutting-edge research and advances Canada as a world leader in discovery and innovation. It also allows us to both attract and retain leading researchers in their respective fields” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).   “Our success in garnering three new chairs and five renewals is demonstrative of  Queen’s leadership in research areas that address some of the most challenging and complex problems facing the world today – from public law and climate change to the development of power electronics.”

The five CRC renewals include:

Praveen Jain - Tier 1 NSERC Canada Research Chair in Telecom Power Electronics. Dr. Jain is researching a smart microgrid platform that will address a growing demand for more eco-friendly energy sources.

Ian Moore - Tier 1 NSERC Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Engineering. Dr. Moore’s research focuses on Canada’s huge pipe replacement and repair burden by establishing the remaining strength of deteriorated culverts, sewer and water pipes and determining the best way to repair them.

Douglas Munoz - Tier 1 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Munoz is using eye movements to assess brain function in health and disease and searching for novel biomarkers to accelerate the development of novel diagnostic procedures and treatments.

Ugo Piomelli - Tier 1 NSERC Canada Research Chair in Turbulence Simulation and Modelling. Dr. Piomelli is studying turbulence through computer simulations.

John Smol - Tier 1 NSERC Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. Dr. Smol will continue to develop and apply paleolimnological approaches (the study of sediment) to examine environmental issues including climate change.

For more information visit the website.

Exercise, prescribed

Exercise-Rx was designed to increase physical activity in patients in Kingston and Amherstview.

What started out as a class project is now changing the way doctors issue exercise prescriptions.

Exercise-Rx is a computerized exercise prescription program developed by Erica Pascoal and Aaron Gazendam during their time in KNPE 463, an undergraduate course in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. The program was created in collaboration with the Queen’s-established Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative and is now used daily by the Loyalist Family Health Team in Amherstview.

Exercise-Rx aims to increase physical activity amongst patients in Kingston and Amherstview primarily through discussions and prescriptions between doctors and their patients.

Patients with diseases including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could all receive prescriptions for exercise, along with their medication prescription.  For example, a patient with type 2 diabetes might find him or herself with a two-part exercise prescription that could include: aerobic training four days per week and two days per week of strength training, adding up to 150 minutes of activity per week as per the recommended Canadian physical activity guidelines.

“All doctors know that physical activity is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” says Ms. Pascoal, Artsci’14, now a medical student at the University of Toronto. “We’ll be collecting data each year to analyze the results of this program, and checking to see if physical activity is affecting blood glucose levels in patients.”

For Ms. Pascoal and Mr. Gazendam, their decision to explore exercise prescriptions as a focus for their KNPE 463 project was based on their love of being active and their desire to keep exploring how physical activity can treat and prevent diseases.

“Previous research has shown that receiving written exercise advice from a physician can significantly increase the number of people participating in physical activity when compared to receiving verbal advice alone,” says Mr. Gazendam, Artsci’14, also a medical student at the University of Toronto.

Having this type of prescription available electronically increases its accessibility for health practitioners and their patients. As a complement to Exercise-Rx, the Loyalist Family Health Team has begun offering a monthly class with an occupational therapist to give those who are new to exercise a place to start and a place to help mobility-impaired people adapt the exercises to their capabilities. In addition, the health team has also begun promoting exercise across its clinic and on its website through how-to videos and “Walk with your Doc” – days where community members are invited to take a walk with their physicians and health team members.

Lucie Lévesque, KNPE 463 instructor and an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, says that the outcomes of the initiatives developed in this community service learning course have real-world benefits.

“Initiatives like Exercise-Rx are important for everyone. Students get the opportunity to gain some experience in program development, implementation and evaluation and even publish their results and patients are able to easily access physical activity recommendations,” says Dr. Lévesque.

To read the full research paper, please follow this link.

More information on Exercise is Medicine.


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