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Arts and Science

Looking back to go forward

Students are able to use the materials on display in the Archives to put together their final essays.

Students in Steven Maynard’s “History of Sexuality in Canada” (HIST 210) class are taking an in-depth look at Queen’s history of tackling sexual violence on campus.

At Queen’s, principals, deans, rectors, faculty, staff and students have all grappled with the topic of sexual assault for close to four decades and, in many cases, implemented preventative measures and responsive initiatives, which are highlighted in a display in the foyer of Kathleen Ryan Hall.

“I try to structure each year of my HIST 210 class to speak to different present-day concerns,” says Professor Maynard. “Sexual assault has been a big topic on Canadian university campuses this year and so it made sense to focus on its history.”

With the help of university archivist Heather Home, Professor Maynard compiled materials for a timeline of Queen’s efforts to tackle sexual assault on campus so his HIST 210 students could conduct research for their final essays. The display includes 1970s Queen’s Journal articles, photographs of the 1989 “No Means No” protests, and ends with the recent interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol.

Students Kaitlyn Puffalt and Kirsten Andersen used the display for their final essays.

“This was my first time using primary documents and I found being able to see the processes behind campus initiatives very interesting,” says Ms. Puffalt, Artsci’17. “For example, Walkhome and the blue lights on campus were a result of a safety audit conducted in the 1980s.”

The final essays involve analysis of the archival documents and then cross-referencing those primary sources to other media reports so that each student is able to think about what it means when initiatives are forgotten or the institutional memory is lost.

“You never know what you can find in the Archives until you’ve been there and had a look for yourself.”
- Steven Maynard

“By studying the display I’ve been able to understand what techniques worked for the university, and what didn’t,” says Ms. Andersen, Artsci’15. “As history students, it’s important for us to be able to look back and learn from the past in order to make decisions about the present and future.”

While the display was primarily for HIST 210 students to examine for class, it will remain posted well into the summer. Professor Maynard hopes that members of the Queen’s and Kingston community will go and take a look for themselves.

“You never know what you can find in the Archives until you’ve been there and had a look for yourself,” says Professor Maynard. “I want to help history students see the present-day value of historical archival research and how it can help them understand an issue in their lives today.”

This topic is one that continues to be addressed on campus today. This academic year, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG) has finalized an interim sexual assault protocol that will be used while the permanent policy is developed. A subcommittee of SAPRWG is currently working on a draft policy and progress report with recommendations for the final policy and procedures to be presented at the end of April.

Most recently, SAPRWG embarked upon a campus climate study that will examine student perceptions and incidences of certain types of sexual and physical experiences in relationships on campus. The results of this study will provide important information on the campus climate and help the university enhance its sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

What's old is new again

More than 400 students have graduated from Queen’ University’s Master in Art Conservation (MAC) program and founder Ian Hodkinson has proudly kept track of many of them. For 40 years, graduates of MAC - the only program like it in Canada - have gone on to important positions at museums all over the world.

“We have students in key museum positions all over,” says Mr. Hodkinson with a smile. “I’m just over the moon with how this program has turned out thanks largely to the talented colleagues who helped get it started and have improved it over the years.”

Mr. Hodkinson felt there was a better way to train conservators than he had experienced and realized that Queen’s had all the ingredients necessary for an integrated interdisciplinary conservator training program within the Department of Art. In 1970 he met with Duncan Sinclair- then Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, who encouraged him to approach then Principal John Deutsch with his proposal

Second year students Laura Hashimoto (l) and Lauren Buttle discuss a painting with Ian Hodkinson during a visit last week.

“He was enthusiastic about the idea so we continued the process of approval,” says Mr. Hodkinson. “I presented the proposal within Queen’s and to various organizations and levels of government – 28 times in all – until it was approved.”

However it was not until 1972 with the announcement of a new National Museums Policy and the creation of the Museums Assistance Program that funding became available to realize the dream

The first intake of 12 students was in 1974 and the first cohort graduated in 1976. The students spent the first year in the basement of Gordon Hall before the program moved to its current location on Bader Lane, behind the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Rona Rustige, Curator of Cultural Property at the Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville, has worked with Queen’s MAC students for more than 25 years. She has first-hand knowledge of the skill and dedication of the students as they have worked on a wide range of Glanmore pieces.

“When Queen’s works on our pieces, I always put them proudly on display, they never go back into storage,” says Ms. Rustige.  “Queen’s has worked on about 100 of our pieces. It’s expensive to get conservation work done so we are fortunate Queen’s has such an exemplary program. Museums just don’t have a lot of money to spend on conservation.”

Ms. Rustige said it’s also a benefit Queen’s has three streams of conservation – fine art, paper and objects. Glanmore currently has nine pieces undergoing conservation at Queen’s.

On a recent visit to the MAC labs, Mr. Hodkinson took a number of opportunities to interact with students and ask questions about their work. The professor emeritus says his favourite memories are summers spent with his students, doing internship work in the field. Two project highlights include the conservation of The Croscup Room, a group of scenic wall murals in Nova Scotia, now in the National Gallery of Canada, and the Church of Our Lady of Good Hope in the Northwest Territories. The church is now a national historic site.

“Those are special memories. They were wonderful experiences for the students,” says Mr. Hodkinson, “and an important extension of their studies in the labs at Queen’s to help them achieve the success that they have.”

The public is welcome to visit the MAC labs and interact with staff and students during the open house Saturday, April 25 from 12:30-2 pm.

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, for example in conservation science.

Exceptional research showcased in lecture event

The Prizes for Excellence in Research public lectures. Monday, April 27 from 4:30 to 6:15 pm at the School of Medicine, 15 Arch Street.

The Queen's community will have the opportunity to hear from five of the university’s top researchers. The free, public lecture event will see each researcher present a 12 minute overview of their work, so that in just over an hour audience will hear about a gamut of exceptional research from philosophy to nanophotonics to Vitamin D.

The annual Prizes for Excellence in Research public lectures are set for Monday, April 27.

The Prizes for Excellence in Research Public Lectures features the 2014 recipients – Stephen Hughes (Physics), Glenville Jones (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), John Kirby (Education), Ian Moore (Civil Engineering) and Christine Overall (Philosophy).

An internationally renowned researcher, Dr. Hughes has made a number of outstanding contributions to the field of nanophotonics and quantum optics. In a series of landmark papers Dr. Hughes and his group developed an accurate way to understand the influence of fabrication imperfections on the propagation of light in photonic crystals, and designed a “single photon gun” for use in quantum information processing.

Dr. Jones is a widely respected biochemist and authority in the metabolism of vitamin D, a compound whose dysregulation or deficiency is correlated with a broad spectrum of diseases including osteoporosis, rickets, psoriasis, renal failure, cancer and various hypercalcemic conditions.

Dr. Kirby is one of Canada’s preeminent educational scholars and is most renowned for his contributions related to theories of reading, intelligence and students’ conceptions of learning. He is also cross-appointed to the Department of Psychology and is a member of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies.

Dr. Moore received the award for his achievements in fundamental and applied engineering research and advances in the understanding and design of buried pipes. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and in 2002 he became the second civil engineer to be awarded a Killam Research Fellowship.

Dr. Overall has made important and diverse contributions to both applied ethics and social philosophy. Her pioneering insights into reproductive ethics, where she has contributed to debates about conception, pregnancy, birthing, and reproductive technologies, continue to be influential. In 1998, Dr. Overall became the first feminist philosopher to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

For more information on the Prizes for Excellence in Research visit the website.

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. 


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