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Closing the c-suite diversity gap

The Smith School of Business is launching new executive leadership programs for LGBTQ+ leaders, newcomers to Canada, and more. 

[Erin LeBlanc and Tina Dacin]
Erin LeBlanc (left) and Tina Dacin (right) are two of the minds behind this executive leadership program. (University Communications)

In the coming years, the Smith School of Business will unveil a series of programs aimed at fostering diversity in the corporate boardrooms and executive offices across the country. 

The first such program launches this October, and is designed specifically for senior business professionals who identify as LGBTQ+.  

“Many LGBTQ+ business people shield their identities in the workplace,” says Tina Dacin, Stephen J. R. Smith Chair of Strategy & Organizational Behavior, and Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Smith Business School. “While significant strides have been made in LGBTQ+ acceptance in Canada, there are still barriers to senior leadership roles for members of the community. Our hope is that all of these programs will support leaders as they embrace and apply their full identities at work.” 

According to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s 2017 Annual Report Card, the number of respondents who self-identify as LGBTQ serving on Financial Post 500 boards decreased from 2.1% in 2016 to 1.6% in 2017. The LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program aims to help turn the dial and speed up progress in this area by increasing the talent pool in this category of diversity. 

Offered by Smith’s Centre for Social Impact at the SmithToronto learning facility, this five-day program is intended to help individuals strengthen their leadership impact and work with confidence and authenticity. The five days will include speaker presentations, group discussion, exercises, and opportunities for self-reflection. Completing this course can also help students attain their Certificate in Social Impact for Professionals from Smith.

The LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program is the first of its kind in Canada, and was inspired by a similar program offered by Stanford University. There are 30 spaces available in this inaugural offering, and Dr. Dacin says interest has been strong. 

Erin LeBlanc is an Adjunct Lecturer with Smith School of Business, and will be one of the faculty in this leadership program. She was a part of the program design committee, and will be presenting on the diversity of communication, thinking, and problem solving styles. 

“As a member of one of the communities that is the focus of this program, I would have loved to take a program like this had it been available before,” says Ms. LeBlanc. “People are concerned about being their authentic selves at work for fear of reducing their upward mobility, and we hope this program will help them bring their whole selves to work without compromise.” 

In the coming years, the Smith Centre for Social Impact will also be launching programming for women in leadership, Indigenous leaders, and newcomers to Canada. 

To apply to the LGBTQ+ Executive Leadership Program or to learn more, visit ssb.ca/diversity.  

Honorary degrees for spring ceremonies

The presentation of honorary degrees is one of the many traditions of convocation. This spring, seven recipients will be honored during the ceremonies. All recipients were selected by Queen’s community members for their contributions to the local community, Canadian society, or the world.

The honorary degree recipients this year include:

Phil Gold, Doctor of Science DSc

[Phil Gold]
Phil Gold

Ceremony 2: Thursday, May 24 at 2:30 pm

Phil Gold is the Executive Director of the Clinical Research Centre of the McGill University Health Centre at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and the Douglas G. Cameron Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Oncology at McGill University. He has served as the Inaugural Director of the Goodman Cancer Centre, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill, and Physician-in-Chief at the MGH.

Dr. Gold’s early research led to the discovery and definition of the Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), and the subsequent CEA blood test. In 2006, the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine was inaugurated at McGill University. Dr. Gold was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010, and also received the Life Time Achievement Award from McGill University and the inaugural McGill University Faculty of Medicine Global Achievement Award in 2011.

Dr. Gold has received national and international recognition throughout his career, including the Gairdner Foundation Annual International Award (1978), Medizinische Hochschule, Germany (1978), the Johann-Georg-Zimmerman Prize for Cancer Research (1978), the Isaak Walton Killam Award in Medicine of the Canada Council (1985), the National Cancer Institute of Canada R.M. Taylor Medal (1992), the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal (2002), and many other accolades, including honorary degrees from a number of universities.

Isabel Bassett, Doctor of Laws LLD

[Isabel Bassett]
Isabel Bassett

Ceremony 5: Friday, May 25 at 4 pm.

Professionally, Isabel Bassett was Chair and CEO of TVOntario, MPP and Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation for the Ontario Government, and host and producer of award winning documentaries on CFTO TV, which focused on social issues such as sexual abuse, mental health, and teen gangs.

Now retired, Ms. Bassett is a facilitator using her know-how and connections to work for gender parity. She advocates to get young people more involved in politics and for more diversity on boards and in senior management positions. She is now adding her voice in support of the McMichael Gallery to awaken the public to Canada's little known treasure house of Canadian Art.

Indira Samarasekera, Doctor of Science DSc

[Indira Samarasekera]
Indira Samarasekera

Ceremony 12: Thursday, May 31 at 4 pm

Indira Samarasekera served as the twelfth President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta from 2005 to 2015. She also served as Vice-President (Research) at the University of British Columbia from 2000 to 2005. She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennett Jones LLP and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Magna International, and TransCanada. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a Federal Member to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments until 2017.

Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her ground-breaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 for outstanding contributions to steel process engineering. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the US, the profession’s highest honour.

As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976 and a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1980. She has received honorary degrees from the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and from Western University in Canada, as well as Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

Valerie Tarasuk, Doctor of Science DSc

[Valerie Tarasuk]
Valerie Tarasuk

Ceremony 13: Friday, June 1 at 10 am

Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Tarasuk’s research includes Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but much of her career has focused on income-related problems of food access in Canada. She played a pivotal role in the implementation of food insecurity monitoring in Canada and has helped spearhead efforts to use monitoring data to inform programming and policy decisions. Dr. Tarasuk has led PROOF, an interdisciplinary research program investigating household insecurity in Canada, since 2011. In 2017, Dr. Tarasuk was honored by the Canadian Nutrition Society with the Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition.

John Baird, Doctor of Law LLD

[John Baird]
John Baird

Ceremony 14: Friday, June 1 at 2:30 pm

John Baird served as a senior cabinet minister in the Government of Canada. Mr. Baird spent three terms as a Member of Parliament and four years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In 2010, he was selected by MPs from all parties as Parliamentarian of the Year. He is currently a Senior Business Advisor with Bennett Jones LLP.

An instrumental figure in bilateral trade and investment relationships, Mr. Baird has played a leading role in the Canada-China dialogue and worked to build ties with Southeast Asian nations.

Mr. Baird holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s. He volunteers his time with Community Living Ontario, the Prince's Charities, and is a board member of the Friends of Israel Initiative.

Hugh Segal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Hugh Segal]
Hugh Segal

Ceremony 15: Monday, June 4 at 10 am

Now the fifth elected Principal of Massey College and a strategic advisor at the law firm of Aird and Berlis, LLP, Hugh Segal has spent his career in such public service roles as the Associate Cabinet Secretary (Federal-Provincial Affairs) in Ontario and the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.  In Ontario, he was involved in the negotiations to patriate the Canadian constitution and create the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Mr. Segal chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism between 2005 and 2014.  He served as Canada's Special Envoy to the Commonwealth and a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on reform and modernization, human rights, and rule of law.

A former President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Queen's School of Policy Studies, and the Smith School of Business at Queen's, Mr. Segal holds honorary doctorates from the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Ottawa.

Douglas Cardinal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Douglas Cardinal]
Douglas Cardinal

Ceremony 21: Wednesday, June 6 at 2:30 pm

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Douglas Cardinal's architectural studies at The University of British Columbia took him to Austin, Texas, where he achieved his architectural degree and found his passion for human rights initiatives. Mr. Cardinal has become a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings, and ecologically designed community planning.

Mr. Cardinal has received many national and international awards, including 20 Honorary Doctorates, Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for best sustainable village. He was also titled an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards that can be given to a Canadian, and he was awarded the declaration of “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects.

Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics awarded $1.8M in funding

Faculty at Smith School of Business to develop leading-edge tools for Canada’s financial industry.

A financial services project at Smith School of Business’ Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics (SCCA) has received a $900,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant program. This funding has been matched by Scotiabank for a total $1.8 million.

Michael Zerbs and Yuri Levin
Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank, and Yuri Levin, Executive director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

The multi-phase project will look at several areas of technology in financial services, including large-scale customer behaviour analysis, risk evaluation, price and resource optimization, big data and online algorithms.

This funding will enable researchers to develop tools and models to ensure Canada’s financial industry continues to be a technological leader, creating innovative products to help customers.

“This project is an incredible example of government, the private sector, and professors and students collaborating on important applied research in the financial industry,” says Yuri Levin, Executive Director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

“We are pleased to enhance the important, customer-focused research coming out of Smith and the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics,” says Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank. “The collaboration between the students and professors at the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics is helping Scotiabank to reshape and enhance the customer experience. These students are our future leaders and Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success.”

Intended to foster mutually beneficial collaborations expected to result in industrial and economic benefits to Canada, CRD Grants give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions.

“NSERC’s Research Partnerships program supports strong R&D collaborations and dynamic interchange between academia and partners,” says Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “We are proud to support this collaboration that will help Canadian banks remain innovative and competitive by incorporating the best analytics practices in their operations. They will tackle various emerging issues in the banking industry which will provide many tangible and intangible benefits to Canada, like better customer satisfaction and better risk management.”

The Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics opened at Smith in January 2016. Scotiabank pledged $2.2 million in support of the centre, with some of the funding tied to various NSERC research grant programs. The centre builds on Queen’s research leadership in big data and advanced research computing.

Queen’s rises to the World’s Challenge Challenge

A team of Queen’s students will compete this summer at a social enterprise competition hosted at Western University.

[James Hantho, Karina Bland, and Mitch Sadler of ClimaCube]
James Hantho (Comm'18), Karina Bland (Sc'18), and Mitch Sadler (Sc'18) celebrate their win at the local World's Challenge Challenge competition. The international finals take place in June in London, ON. (Supplied Photo)

Hot off the heels of their win at the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) Winter Pitch Competition, ClimaCube will represent Queen’s at an international competition designed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The World’s Challenge Challenge (WCC) is a competition started at Western University in 2014, and expanded to include other institutions last year. The mission of the competition is to bring together students from a wide range of institutions, cultures, and continents to create potential solutions to significant global issues. Past winners include a team from Dalhousie University who planned to 3D print prosthetics in developing countries from recycled materials, and a team from The Netherlands who created a knapsack to help Indonesian anglers keep their catches cold. There are four prizes up for grabs this year, including a grand prize of $30,000.

Queen’s recently held a local competition, supported by the DDQIC, aimed at selecting a team to represent Queen’s at the WCC. Galvin Niu (Sc’19) and Jacob Riha (Sc’18) ran the local competition, which concluded this past weekend.

ClimaCube includes James Hantho (Comm'18), Leigh-Ann McKnight (Sc'18), Karina Bland (Sc'18), and Mitch Sadler (Sc'18). The team is developing portable cold storage units to maintain the quality of items such as samples or vaccinations and extend the cold lifetime (or 'cold chain') as they are in transit.

As the winning team, ClimaCube earns the right to represent Queen’s at the WCC and their costs to attend the conference will be picked up by the DDQIC.

ClimaCube is also being sponsored to attend the MassChallenge Awards with DDQIC in October 2018, which is the grand finale to the MassChallenge accelerator program in Boston. On past trips, DDQIC has taken students to lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), visited local incubators, and networked with the startup community at MassChallenge – all opportunities that ClimaCube may receive this fall.

“We are all very excited about this next step in our venture’s journey,” says Ms. Bland. “Competing at The World’s Challenge Challenge at Western University in June has further motivated our team to speed up our prototyping process, which we think can greatly contribute to our success in the competition. Additionally, as Queen’s students we are excited to compete against our rival Western University.”

Members of the Queen’s and Kingston communities served as judges for the local competition, including Dirk Rodenburg, a lecturer and educational consultant; Pavel Graymason, Executive Director of Sustainable Kingston; and Chloe Beisheim of the DDQIC.

"I have judged a few of these competitions at Queen's, and it is always a refreshing and exciting experience," says Mr. Graymason. "I believe innovation is implementation, and in that respect these students are way ahead of some seasoned professionals - they have big ideas and they make them happen. All the ideas presented were great and demonstrated significant creativity and it is an honour to support them."

When scoring the proposals, judges followed criteria set by WCC organizers which looks at the strength of the proposal’s argument, its financials and feasibility, potential partners, some recognition of the origins of the problem, and three other categories.

Four teams applied to represent Queen’s at the WCC this year, and the DDQIC hopes to attract even more competitors in the future. Two runner-up teams will receive a one-year membership to SparQ Studios, a makerspace on campus designed to help these entrepreneurs further develop their ideas.

The World’s Challenge Challenge international finals take place June 3 to 8 in London, Ont. For more information, visit www.worldschallengechallenge.com

Six budding businesses boosted

A pitch competition organized by the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre resulted in cash for some innovative ideas. 

The ClimaCube team, from L-R: James Hantho (Comm'18), Leigh-Ann McKnight (Sc'18), Karina Bland (Sc'18), and Mitch Sadler (Sc'18). (University Communications)
The ClimaCube team, from L-R: James Hantho (Comm'18), Leigh-Ann McKnight (Sc'18), Karina Bland (Sc'18), and Mitch Sadler (Sc'18). (University Communications)

Queen’s students are applying their skills to tackle global challenges both small and large – from better Lyme disease testing to ensuring protection of medical samples while in transit.

These are just a couple of the ideas that were on display at a recent pitch competition organized by the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC). The centre invited student entrepreneurs to present their ideas for a chance to win funding, and potentially to enter the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) bootcamp beginning in May.

“The pitches were excellent, and there was quite a remarkable diversity of technologies and ideas,” says Anton Toutov (Sc’11), chair of the Los Angeles node of the Queen’s Innovation Centre Global Network and one of the event’s judges. “These businesses were primarily in the idea stage, but the thought process and care was quite good and the quality was high. I want to congratulate all those who pitched.”

Ten teams sought funding in the competition, and in the end six of them will each be receiving between four and five thousand dollars in seed money. ClimaCube, a team which is developing portable cold storage units to maintain the quality of items such as samples or vaccinations and extend the cold lifetime (or 'cold chain') as they are in transit, was one of the successful competitors.

Successful pitches:
eBridges - A multi-vendor e-commerce platform that provides small businesses and independent merchants in developing countries with direct access to the global marketplace. Received $5,000.
Lymelight Genetech - Developing a diagnostic to provide reliable, accessible, and affordable Lyme disease testing. Received $5,000.
BearCloud Games - A digital game studio specializing in mobile and virtual reality games. Received $4,000.
ClimaCube - Developing portable cold storage units to extend the quality of products as they are in transit, such as samples or vaccinations. Received $4,000.
Leash Technologies - A small device that will alert you if you have left your phone behind at home or any public place. Received $4,000.
Sicana - A text message encyclopedia that allows students in countries with limited internet access the ability to text basic search questions and receive an answer. Received $4,000.

The ClimaCube team recently returned from a social enterprise competition in Dubai known as the Hult Prize. The team gained great experience going through that process, which helped prepare them to pitch at the QICSI competition. Both presentations were great learning experiences, says Karina Bland (Sc’18).

“This presentation was a fantastic experience for us, as the judges were highly engaged and provided helpful feedback,” says Ms. Bland, one of the team members behind ClimaCube. “We appreciated the fact that the QICSI presentations were short and there was a longer question period, which allowed us to clarify some aspects of our product. With this funding, we aim to produce a prototype of our portable active cooling system.”

Ms. Bland says, thanks to this win, she and her three co-founders will all be participating in the competitive QICSI bootcamp this summer – providing them a further leg up as they develop their business.

“As I come from a technical background, I am excited to learn a lot about business and benefit from the experience of the QICSI mentors,” she says.

The QICSI bootcamp runs from May to August and features intensive instruction designed to help student entrepreneurs build stronger businesses. The program ends with a pitch competition where the start-ups bring their best pitches to try and earn seed funding. Forty-seven students will be attending this year’s bootcamp after competing in the spring and fall pitch competitions. One team is also attending QICSI after winning the Kingston Mayor’s Innovation Challenge.

Other funded pitches at the spring competition include eBridges, Lymelight Genetech, BearCloud Games, Leash Technologies, and Sicana. For these six, and for the four who did not receive funding this time, Dr. Toutov has the same advice.

“Win or lose, successful or unsuccessful in this competition, the network available to these entrepreneurs is amazing,” he says. “Talk to people within the Queen’s community to get connected to others in your field to avoid landmines and de-risk your business. Don't hesitate to make those connections.”

For more news from the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, visit queensu.ca/innovationcentre/newsandevents

A lesson in leadership

Commerce student Vanessa Lin spends a day with Purolator's John Ferguson through CEOx1Day program.

Vanessa Lin and John Ferguson of Purolator
Through the CEOx1Day program, Vanessa Lin (Com'19) spent a day of learning with Purolator CEO John Ferguson as well as other company executives. (Supplied Photo)

When Vanessa Lin (Com’19) was selected to take part in the CEOx1Day program, she knew she was in for a unique experience.

What she didn’t know was how much access she would be given to Purolator President and Chief Executive Officer John Ferguson.

As a result of the in-person connection, Ms. Lin gained valuable insight into what it takes to lead a Canadian company with more than 10,000 employees.

Run by talent management firm Odgers Berndtson, CEOx1Day connects students with industry leaders for in-person learning opportunities.

When she heard about the program, Ms. Lin knew she had to apply.

“I was drawn to it because it is such a unique opportunity,” she says. “When else would you get the chance to learn from someone with such a high-level scope? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see that kind of role firsthand.”

After applying online Ms. Lin underwent a rigorous, multi-stage assessment and interview process. In the end she was one of 18 post-secondary students from across Canada selected for the job-shadowing program.

Ms. Lin arrived at Purolator on Friday, Feb. 23 and started her day with a tour of the massive shipping facility in Mississauga. Throughout the day she met with a number of executives, including Mr. Ferguson, learning about the company and their roles.

What impressed Ms. Lin the most was the opportunity to observe Mr. Ferguson’s leadership style through a series of meetings, including a straight-talk session with employees.

“He takes a very collaborative approach,” Ms. Lin says. “Even though he leads, he also really values everyone else’s contributions. You can tell he really embodies diversity characteristics and understands that a team is better when there is diversity and everyone works together.  Seeing that and then seeing how transparent he is with people in all positions throughout the company – that consistent approach really resonated with me. That is the kind of leader I want to be as well.”

In her third year of studies at Smith School of Business, Ms. Lin is busy outside the classroom through extra-curricular activities and also volunteers in the Kingston community with Girls Inc. and the Algonquin and Lakeshore District School Board. This fall semester she completed a study exchange at the University of Economics, Prague.

Looking to her own career path there is no definite end goal, she says, but she is clear on her approach.

“I will be working hard and doing something I love,” she says. “It’s about making an impact wherever that turns out to be.”

Governor of the Bank of Canada shows his Queen’s colours

  • Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz
    Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, delivers the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance, entitled “Today’s Labour Market and the Future of Work.”
  • Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz
    Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, holds up the newly-unveiled $10 bill featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond.
  • Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz
    Queen's students, staff and faculty members fill BMO Atrium at Smith School of Business as Stephen Poloz delivers the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance.
  • Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz
    Queen's faculty and administration members listen as Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, speaks at BMO Atrium in Goodes Hall on Tuesday, March 13.
  • Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz
    Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz answers a question during a media conference as Bank of Canada Media Relations Consultant Rebecca Ryall looks on.

Donning the Queen’s jacket he wore during his student days, Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz (Artsci’78), delivered the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance on Tuesday, March 13 at the BMO Atrium at Smith School of Business.

Back at his alma mater, Dr. Poloz spoke on “Today’s Labour Market and the Future of Work,” fielded a number of questions and took part in a series of events where he met with students, faculty, and administration.

Dr. Poloz earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queen’s. He is the third Queen’s graduate to hold the central bank’s top job. Chancellor Emeritus Dodge (Arts’65, LLD’02) served as governor from 2001 to 2008, and Gerald Bouey (Arts’48, LLD’81) headed the bank from 1973 to 1987.

Governor of the Bank of Canada to visit Queen’s on Tuesday

Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz (Artsci’78) is returning to his alma mater on Tuesday, March 13 to deliver a special lecture.

Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen PolozDr. Poloz, who majored in economics at Queen’s, will deliver the Chancellor David Dodge Lecture in Public Finance, entitled “Today’s Labour Market and the Future of Work”.

The event, being held in the BMO Atrium of Smith School of Business starting at 10:30 am, is free and open to all.

During his time on campus Dr. Poloz will also be taking part in a series of events, interacting with students, faculty, and administration.

Appointed governor in 2013, Dr. Poloz has more than three decades of experience in the public and private sectors, including 14 years at the Bank of Canada prior to his appointment and served as president and CEO of Export Development Canada.

He is the third Queen’s graduate to hold the central bank’s top job.

Chancellor Emeritus Dodge (Arts’65, LLD’02) served as governor from 2001 to 2008, and Gerald Bouey (Arts’48, LLD’81) headed the bank from 1973 to 1987.

Smith launches North America’s first graduate business degree in artificial intelligence

Master's program focuses on the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of modern business decision-making.

Smith School of Business has launched a new management business degree in artificial intelligence that will help fill the talent gap for much-needed managers who can apply AI strategies to business decisions.

Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence
Smith School of Business’ new Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI), a first for North America, is focused on the effective management of AI in business.

Smith’s new Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI), a first for North America, is focused on the effective management of AI in business. The program is designed specifically for studying the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of modern business decision-making.

“AI is being considered for every function within organizations, from operations to marketing and customer experience, to finance and forecasting,” says Elspeth Murray, Associate Dean, MBA and Masters Programs, Smith School of Business. “But the challenge is bridging the power of technology with the needs and context of the organization. That requires a new kind of professional with a balance of science and management expertise. That’s why the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence is so needed today.”

The MMAI content will be delivered by Smith faculty and adjunct faculty from the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a hub of outstanding global talent focused on research excellence in deep learning and machine learning.

Based at SmithToronto, Smith’s state-of-the-art facility in downtown Toronto, the MMAI will start classes in September 2018, subject to approval by the Ontario Universities Quality Council. A 12-month program that students take while they continue to work, classes are held Tuesday evenings and alternate Saturdays, plus two one-week residential sessions in Kingston.

Smith is known for its innovation and leadership in business education. The school has a strong history of recognizing a market need and quickly developing programs – from establishing the first undergraduate business degree a century ago to launching the leading and largest Master of Management Analytics (MMA) in 2013. The MMAI is built on the foundational business and analytics courses of the MMA with the addition of courses in deep learning, natural language processing, AI ethics and policy, reinforcement learning, and an AI capstone project.

“AI will be a core business function for the next generation of business leaders, and we want to graduate business managers who will generate tangible business outcomes from AI,” Dr. Murray says.

To learn more about the Smith School of Business visit smith.queensu.ca.

Cheering on Canada’s Olympians and Paralympians

A flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee will fly in front of Goodes Hall for the duration of the Games.

  • Smith School of Business-Canadian Olympic Committee flag raised
    A flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee is raised in front of Goodes Hall on Thursday. From left: Paralympian Anne Fergusson; Olympian Greg Douglas; Olympian Christine Robinson; and Dean David Saunders.
  • Christine Robinson and Greg Douglas
    Christine Robinson, who competed in the Olympics in water polo, and Greg Douglas, an Olympian in sailing, spoke about their experiences as top-level athletes.
  • Dean David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, speaks about the strategic partnership between Smith and the Canadian Olympic Committee during a special flag-raising event at Goodes Hall.
  • Smith School of Business Olympic event group shot
    Queen's community members gather for a photo during a special event at Smith School of Business ahead of the start of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
  • David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, with Olympians and Paralympian
    David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, third from left, poses for a photo alongside, from left, Olympian Christine Robinson, Paralympian Anne Fergusson, and Olympian Greg Douglas.
  • Good wishes signing
    Members of the Queen's community sign a large scroll in support of Canada's Olympians and Paralympians ahead of a special flag-raising event at Goodes Hall.

With the Winter Olympics opening in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, Feb. 9, a special event was held Thursday to raise a flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Hosted by Dean David Saunders, the event was attended by Olympians and Queen’s students Christine Robinson (water polo) and Greg Douglas (sailing), as well as Paralympian and Queen’s alumna Anne Fergusson (sitting volleyball).

In November 2016, Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee formed a strategic partnership, with Smith becoming the exclusive business education partner of the COC and a founding partner of Game Plan, Canada’s athlete career transition initiative. Over eight years, some 1,200 athletes will be eligible to enroll in various Smith programs.

The flag, located in front of Goodes Hall, will continue to fly until Sunday, March 18, the final day of the Paralympic Games.

More information about the official partnership is available on the Smith School of Business website.



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