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Four alumni named to the Order of Canada

[Peter Milliken]
Peter Milliken, the longest serving Speaker of the House and currently a Fellow at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies, was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. (University Communications)

Four Queen’s alumni – from the fields of medicine, politics and media – have been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Peter Milliken (Arts'68, LLD'12), appointed as an Officer, the second highest rank of the Order of Canada, is the longest-serving Speaker of the House and former MP for Kingston and the Islands. During his decade as Speaker (2001-2011), he made several tie-breaking votes and historic rulings. He's also the longest-serving Member of Parliament for the riding of Kingston and the Islands, having been first elected in 1988.

He is currently a Fellow in the Queen’s School of Policy Studies.

The three others were named as Members of the Order of Canada.

Michael MacMillan (Artsci'78) founded Atlantis Films in 1978. The company won an Oscar (1984 short film Boys and Girls) and an Emmy before acquiring Alliance Communications. The company ran 13 TV networks – including HGTV Canada, History Television and the Food Network – before he retired. He co-authored the book of Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy and founded Samara Canada, a non-profit organization designed to get Canadians more engaged with politics.

Dr. Brenda Gallie (Meds'69) is an ophthalmologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto who has conducted groundbreaking research on the genetics of retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of children’s eyes. 

Dr. Norman Marcon (Meds'62) is a doctor and researcher at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. He is being honored for his work on gastrointestinal diseases and promoting the latest advances in therapeutic endoscopy.

Governor General David Johnston (Law’66, LLD’91) recently announced 95 new appointments to the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest civilian honours. The receipts will be honoured at a ceremony later this year in Ottawa.

Painting a picture of history

Queen’s University professor Gauvin Bailey (Art History) is one of only two scholars outside the United States to win the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. With the funding, Dr. Bailey is undertaking the first comprehensive study of the arts and architecture of the French Atlantic Empire.

His forthcoming book, Art and Architecture in the French Atlantic World, will be the first book that examines both the artistic and architectural heritage of the French Atlantic Empire and looks at the connections and interactions between its many colonies.

Queen's professor Gauvin Bailey has earned funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

“For almost two decades I have worked on the arts and especially architecture of colonial Latin America, including both the Spanish and Portuguese empires,” says Dr. Bailey, Alfred and Isabel Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art. “But it has always fascinated me that there was a third Catholic empire in the Americas at the same time which covered a similarly vast territory with its own cities, country mansions, and missions, yet which is virtually unknown to Latin Americanists. That empire is the French Atlantic Empire, extending from West Africa to Lake Superior, and from Lake Superior to French Guyana.”

The funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship will allow Dr. Bailey to conduct research travel and visit buildings, museums, and archives in distant places which would not otherwise be possible to visit. One of the really exciting things is that in places like Martinique or French Guyana some of the buildings have never even been researched before.

“They are interested in funding me because I am taking a topic that is generally only studied on a country-by-country basis and moving it beyond geographic barriers,” explains Dr. Bailey. “As in Canada, the United States has a huge French heritage that is frankly very little known and the funding agency probably saw that by placing it in the context of the Canadian, Caribbean, and African heritage that the book would be able to ask larger questions about the nature of this vast empire and the ways in which its arts and architecture expressed particular ideologies and attitudes.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $17.9 million in grants for 233 humanities projects. These include research for a book on a Hollywood-based Jewish spy ring that infiltrated and sabotaged Nazi and fascist groups in the U.S. in the 1930s and 40s, and the conservation of artifacts pertaining to the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people, homesteaders, and the Manhattan Project held by the Los Alamos Historical Society.

For more information on the grant visit the website.

A pain in the neck

Steven Fischer received the 2014 Major Sir Frederick Banting Award for the best oral presentation related to military health at this year’s Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum.

For 70 per cent of helicopter aircrew in the Royal Canadian Armed Forces (RCAF), a helmet equipped with the necessary night vision goggles and battery pack causes real pains in the neck.

To help alleviate this pain for RCAF aircrew members, Steven Fischer and his research team from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies have designed a short-term solution in the form of a simple add-on to back of the standard military helmet.

Currently, RCAF aircrew don a large helmet before takeoff. For night-flying, aircrew must also affix night vision goggles to the front of their helmet. Even though it’s only an extra 1.8 kg, the added weight can cause significant neck pain for those flying the helicopter as it causes an increase in the muscular demand of their necks to hold their heads upright.

Helmet
Helmets can cause significant neck strain for the wearer, especially after night vision goggles and a battery pack are fixed to the front of a helmet.

“We’ve designed a device that can be added to the back of the helmet to help support the muscles in keeping head balanced when the extra weight is placed on the front of the helmet,” says Dr. Fischer, who received the 2014 Major Sir Frederick Banting Award for the best oral presentation related to military health, as selected by the Surgeon General, at this year’s Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) Forum.

“Our aim was to be able to reduce the strain on the neck to day flight levels at a minimum. While it’s only a short term solution – a long term solution being a redesign to the entire helmet and night vision goggles system – we needed something practical and easy for pilots to use, that they could wear in the interim.”

After in-lab trials with the device, wearers reported considerably less neck-related pain or fatigue. The team is now working on the device’s ability to adjust/individualize the tension depending on the wearer.

Now that the development phase of this device is completed, the evaluation phase is well-underway with in-flight testing scheduled for the coming weeks.

The research team for this project also includes Jenna Dibblee, Portia Worthy, Joan Stevenson, Susan Reid, and Markus Hetzler.

For more information on the Banting Award, Forum 2014 or CIMVHR, follow this link.

An ode to Gordon Lightfoot

[Carolyn Smart and Gordon Lightfoot]
Carolyn Smart speaks with Gordon Lightfoot during the launch event for “50-plus Poems for Gordon Lightfoot,” an anthology of poetry in honour of the music legend. (Supplied photo)

Imagine being a teen girl in late-1960s Toronto and meeting Canadian music icon Gordon Lightfoot – the patron saint of the city's arts scene at the time - and in his own home no less.

That personal connection is the inspiration for Carolyn Smart’s (English) contribution to a newly-published book of poetry called 50+ Poems for Gordon Lightfoot.

A lifelong Lightfoot fan, Ms. Smart was contacted by Fred Addis, the curator for the Stephen Leacock Museum in Lightfoot’s hometown of Orillia and the organizer of the project, to provide a piece for the anthology. She was honoured just to be asked.

“I was just thrilled out of my mind. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me because, in fact, the poem that I wrote for this anthology tells the story of a true event that happened to me when I was in Grade 13,”she says.

As Ms. Smart, a published poet with six books to her credit who teaches Contemporary Canadian Literature and Creative Writing at Queen’s University, tells the tale, she and a pair of friends got up the courage to knock on the door of Lightfoot’s house.

As they tried to talk their way past the housekeeper Maria, who said the singer was not home, Lightfoot himself intervened.

“She was protecting him. He was preparing for his upcoming Massey Hall concert and just at that point we said ‘Well, we can hear him in here.’ She said ‘No he’s not here.’ He came down the stairs and he invited us in and he had Maria serve us tea,” she says. “We all sat around in his living room, had tea and chatted away.”

Guitarist Red Shea then entered the room and told Lightfoot that it was time to go. But the good times weren’t over for Ms. Smart and her friends.

“He went out one door and we went out the front door and were sort of floating around on the sidewalk and at that point two girls approached us from our high school – girls that we did not like,” she recalls with a laugh. “And at that exact moment Gord and Red Shea drove by and Gord honked his horn and waved at us. And these girls said ‘Oh my God, Oh my God’ and we said ‘Oh yeah, we’ve been hanging out with him.’

“It was the most amazing event, so that’s what I wrote the poem about.”

At the book’s recent launch in Toronto, with Lightfoot in attendance, Ms. Smart was among nine poets to read their piece while several musicians played songs and recounted what Lightfoot has meant to their careers.

“Each of the musicians spoke so generously about Gord and his kindness and his support of them when they were up-and-coming,” she says. “Throughout the evening it became crystal clear, as if I didn’t know it already, what an important impact he has had for generations in this country, both in music and in literature. He was just charming to me afterwards as usual, just the kindest, most respectful person. It was wonderful.”

Three other members of the Queen’s community are also in the anthology: Toronto poet laureate George Elliott Clarke, who earned his PhD from Queen's; Daniel David Moses, a professor in the drama department; and Ms. Smart’s former student Darryl Whetter, now a professor at Université Sainte-Anne.

Student's video captures Queen's spirit and thousands of views

[Ryan Lee]
Ryan Lee (ArtSci’16) created the online video "We Are the Gaels," which has drawn more than 12,000 views in two days. (University Communications)

Ryan Lee (ArtSci’16) set out with the goal of capturing the spirit of Queen’s University in a two-minute online video.

He succeeded.

Posted to YouTube on Monday, “We Are the Gaels” has already attracted more than 12,000 views. It’s fast-paced, polished and, if you have any connection to Queen’s, it will leave your spine tingling.

Perhaps, no surprise then, the video is drawing waves of praise.

“I’m blown away by the reception,” says Mr. Lee. “I did not imagine that it would reach that many people.”

The video took no small effort to complete. Coming in at just over two minutes, Mr. Lee says it took more than 72 hours to edit. Footage was taken throughout this year’s Orientation Week and Homecoming as well as during some early mornings.

“This is the most time I have ever spent on a video,” he says.

Spending the extra time at the university filming, he says, brought him closer to the Queen’s community and what it offers. It was a wonderful experience.

“It wasn’t really so much what I learned about Queen’s but it reinforced what I already knew about it,” he says. “That it really is awesome and that the people here are amazing.”

Mr. Lee is currently the president of the Queen’s Film Production Club and chair of the ASUS Film Committee. He first caught the videography bug through a Grade 8 project, continued to hone his skills and eventually was paid by his high school to create a video. He would then go on to create Reel Videography through the Summer Company program in his hometown of Peterborough.

A rare mathematics and film major, he says videography is an area he would like to continue to explore.

“It’s definitely a potential,” he says. “I’m still trying to figure that out myself but I want to continue my business and expand it to the greater Kingston area and beyond.”

Baders’ gift enhances art collection, Jewish Studies and teaching

[Isabel and Alfred Bader
Isabel and Alfred Bader, seen here at the grand opening of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in September, have donated $5.5 million to support an art collection, Jewish Studies and teaching at Queen's University. (University Communications)

Long-time Queen’s University benefactors Alfred and Isabel Bader have given $5.5 million to support an important international collection and expanding research and student interests.

The gift includes $3 million for the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, $1.5 million for the Jewish Studies program and $1 million for post-doctoral fellows in humanities departments.

“Students and faculty will see the immediate impact of these gifts through greater access to the knowledge afforded by the Jewish Studies program and the stunning Bader Collection in the art centre,” said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf.

The $1.5 million gift to the Jewish Studies program will add teaching capacity to address growing interest among students. Courses in the program are full, with each large lecture, in all periods of Jewish history, attracting 130 students each term. Seminars are also in high demand.

The gift will fund a post-doctoral fellow in Jewish Studies who will teach a combination of lectures and seminars, offer public lectures and consult with students and faculty, and guest speak for other courses.

“Alfred Bader’s gift to Jewish Studies addresses the growing demand from our students of all backgrounds and ideologies to study together and learn from the diverse subjects in the program,” said Susan Mumm, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science.

The $3 million gift supports a new Bader Legacy Fund endowment for the Bader Curator of European Art and the gallery’s care and interpretation of The Bader Collection.

The Bader Collection comprises of over 200 paintings spanning the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, with a focus on Dutch and Flemish paintings of the Baroque era, including two paintings by Rembrandt, which together reflect this master’s sphere of artistic influence.

“This endowment will have a transformative impact on the use and presence of The Bader Collection,” said Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “With these resources, we will be able to create new access to the Collection for all students and undertake ambitious programs.”

Alfred Bader, Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86, and Isabel Bader, LLD’07, are Queen’s most generous benefactors. They have given back to Queen’s in countless ways: transforming the campus, enriching the student experience, supporting scholarship, and helping to enhance the University’s reputation as a top-tier educational institution.

In an extraordinary philanthropic gesture, the couple funded Queen’s purchase of a 15th century English castle – Herstmonceux – that has been meticulously restored and is now home to the Bader International Study Centre. This fall, thanks to a transformational gift from the Baders, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was opened. Earlier this year, they received Queen’s highest honour given by the Queen’s University Alumni Association, the Alumni Achievement Award.

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.

 

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