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Making a local impact

Queen’s students consult with regional leaders and research best practices to help the Town of Gananoque develop an actionable plan to help fight climate change.

Aerial photograph of the Town of Gananoque
The Town of Gananoque is located just outside Kingston on the St. Lawrence River. (Adobe Stock)

Climate change is a global problem, but communities around the world are looking to contribute to the solution by making local changes. When the Town of Gananoque decided to create a sustainability plan, they turned for help to a team of Queen’s students in Smith Business Consulting (SBC), a student-run management consulting firm that partners with businesses, start-ups, non-profits, and government to provide high-impact, cost-effective advice.

Julian Burger, Engineering ’21, and Christian Filippini, Commerce ’22, took part in the SBC program this past summer, and they took on the challenge of developing an Environmental and Energy Action Plan for the town, located just outside of Kingston on the St. Lawrence River.

The students researched municipal climate planning in Canada, developed a situational analysis of Gananoque, and presented their final plan to Gananoque in August.

“Julian and Christian provided an energy plan that ranged from concepts that were easy to implement to long range concepts that the Town of Gananoque needs to plan for,” says Gananoque Mayor Ted Lojko. “They researched what other municipalities had included in their energy and environment impact plans, undertook outreach into the community, and provided a thorough plan that clearly addressed the energy and environment impacts of various sectors.”

Using utilities data provided by the town, Burger and Filippini developed an emissions inventory for Gananoque. The town can use this baseline going forward to set climate goals and measure the impact of their carbon reduction strategies. The students also provided actionable first steps, such as identifying local buildings that could be made more environmentally friendly with strategic retrofitting.

The Environmental and Energy Action Plan charts a path for Gananoque to meet the criteria to join Partners for Climate Protection (PCP), a national network of more than 400 municipalities working to reduce emissions. Joining PCP would commit the town to completing a five-step process within 10 years that would result in a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The plan also identifies funding opportunities Gananoque could pursue to finance sustainability projects.

“Working on the Environmental and Energy Action Plan gave me an opportunity to make a localized and tangible impact on one of the most pressing problems facing our planet today,” says Filippini. “It was a capstone component in my educational experience as it gave me a chance to apply both financial and environmental theories that I’ve learned in my courses. As well as an opportunity to develop real-world consultancy and business skills in a way that no traditional classroom could replicate. It will be rewarding to see Gananoque implement some of our recommendations going forward.”

This work with Gananoque is only the latest project that SBC has undertaken for nearby municipalities. Recently, SBC has also completed a report on affordable housing for Prince Edward County as well as a review of public transportation for Gananoque, among other projects.

“Our students have become trusted advisers and partners for eastern Ontario communities,” says Charlie Mignault, Director of SBC and Adjunct Professor at the Smith School of Business who supervised the students. “The SBC program selects projects based on our students’ interests. This work integrated learning platform provides a challenging performance environment where students are highly motivated and create real value for our clients. In the end, clients move their objectives forward and our students benefit from solving real-world business challenges while developing contemporary workforce skills and capabilities.”

Learn more about Smith Business Consulting on the Smith School of Business website.

Harnessing the digital transformation

Engage with faculty and graduate researchers on the multi-disciplinary impact of digital technologies during the virtual Queen’s Digitalization Research Conference.

[Photo of an art installation by fabio courtesy of Unsplash]

In recent years, digital technologies have come to play a progressively integral role in nearly all interactions in our day-to-day lives, from business to politics, health, education, culture, and society. The take-over of Zoom, for instance, in our shift from in-person to remote work and school, provides an excellent example of just how influential digital technologies can become in shaping our lives.

Spanning a wide variety of sectors, technology-enabled transformation is a phenomenon that has produced research across a similarly diverse set of disciplines here at Queen’s.

In order to create a space for faculty and graduate students to connect and present their research on digitalization in our society, the Queen’s University Digital Transformation Research Group has organized its first annual Digitalization Research Conference, on Friday, Oct. 22. The virtual conference aims to bring together researchers from across disciplines to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange amongst students and faculty. The long-term goal is to build upon this collaboration as an important step towards making Queen’s a thought-leader in Canada on digitalization.

The conference is supported by two faculty sponsors: Kathryn Brohman (Smith School of Business), Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Digital Technology, and Martin Hand (Sociology).Queen’s PhD students Patrick Egbunonu (Smith School of Business) and Spencer Huesken (Sociology) are the conference co-chairs.

“The conference will not only translate into future research productivity, but it will also identify cross-disciplinary opportunities for future programs and make Queen’s the ‘go to’ place for policymakers and media,” says Dr. Brohman.

The conference will touch on the themes of technology’s impact on power dynamics, digitalization of work, industry and practice, and social implications of digitalization, data, and information. It also features a presentation by keynote speaker Jan Recker who holds the position of Nucleus Professor for Information Systems and Digital Innovation in the Hamburg Business School at the University of Hamburg. By exploring the intersection of people, technology and organizations, Recker’s work tries to understand how technology design and process thinking can help solve complex problems.

Following the presentations, participants are welcome to join the Digital@Queen’s Hangout, which is meant to provide graduate students with an opportunity to connect socially and share ideas in a more informal forum.

Dr. Brohman stresses the importance of fostering a space for inter-disciplinary collaboration.

“Students and faculty across disciplines are doing amazing work in digitalization and we hope that by starting a conversation, Queen’s will identify ways to make their work more impactful.”  By designating the conference as “pan-Queen’s”, conference leaders are taking a ‘bottom up’ approach to motivating high quality and high impact research as opposed to ‘top-down’ efforts that try to get cross-disciplinary faculty to collaborate.”

The Friday, Oct. 22 event is free and open to the public with registration and full schedule available on Eventbrite. You can find more information about the conference on their website and you can follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for updates and highlights.

Canada must change gears, move faster on sustainable finance, concludes expert report

Expert-driven assessment comes as sustainable finance becomes increasingly essential to Canada’s global competitiveness.

The Institute of Sustainable Finance launched a new report Thursday assessing Canada’s progress to scale sustainable finance and bolster Canadian competitiveness. The report, Changing Gears: Sustainable Finance Progress in Canada, uses the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance’s 2019 recommendations as its starting point, and reveals that while progress has been made against the recommendations, Canada needs to move faster in aligning financial systems with a global low-carbon transition.

In his foreword to the report, Andy Chisholm, member of the Expert Panel and RBC Board Director, notes: “The central message from this ISF report is that we can and must do better; time is of the essence and Canada needs to up its game in its efforts to develop a competitive and sustainable economy, which supports an inclusive and successful transition to net-zero. This analysis is not a surprise, but it is another wake up call to the public and private sectors that timely implementation is critical.”   

The report’s conclusion is informed by interviews with 35 leading Canadian experts in sustainable finance, including the Governor of the Bank of Canada, leaders from the “Big Five” Canadian banks, representatives from Canada’s largest insurance companies and pension funds, global market experts and investors. They note Canada is being outpaced globally – and its overly cautious approach has left the country in a “catch up” position. Meanwhile, public and private sector initiatives elsewhere continue to set the tone and direction for the sustainable finance policies and practices that are reshaping the global economic landscape. 

“As the world rushes ahead, our public and private sector must shift into a higher gear,” says Sean Cleary, Chair of ISF and the report’s co-author. “By taking decisive action now, we can propel the Canadian-specific solutions that our industries need to thrive over the next three decades.”

According to the report’s findings, the next step is catching up fast on the table stakes – policy certainty and decision-useful information – which includes mandating disclosures and clarifying the scope of fiduciary duty in law and practice. This point is underlined by Margaret Childe, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) for Manulife Investment Management, who notes in the report: “Wh(at still remains a challenge (for asset managers and investors) is the lack of clarity around what are the duties around the consideration of ESG factors in the investment process. Particularly on the asset owner side - pensions are looking for clarification.”

Simultaneously, the report underlines the importance of getting more investment flowing towards clean innovation in Canadian sectors, which will require cooperation between the public sector, private sector, and financial system.

“Our interviews reveal that from capitalizing on hydrogen and mineral-to-battery supply chain opportunities, to electrification, building retrofits, and building climate smart infrastructure – we know where money needs to flow to build the resilient economy and industries Canadian competitiveness depends on,” says Sara Alvarado, Executive Director for ISF.

The report also highlights Canada can step in and be the responsible supplier of choice for minerals. Andrew Hall, Director of Sustainable Finance for TMX Group, notes, “As a resource-based economy, Canada has a unique opportunity to be a major producer of low-carbon commodities and minerals contributing to a net-zero economy.”

The report outlines seven themes:

1. Accelerated action and execution is needed. Canada must catch up to Europe and the UK. The private financial sector is now moving faster than the government and regulators in Canada.

2. Our financial ecosystem needs to embrace change. There is strong support for Canada’s investment industry and financial institutions to shift their attitudes and behaviours.

3. Canadian-specific solutions are required. This includes sector-specific decarbonization pathways and transition scenarios that are supported by research within a Canadian context.

4. Sustainable finance must include more than climate. In the context of COVID-19 and Canada’s reckoning with the urgency of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, there is a need for a broader, more inclusive, and socially concerned sustainable finance conversation.

5. Canada’s net-zero transition requires a more unified approach and narrative. This means a more centralized voice and perspective for the country on sustainable finance and the net-zero transition, as well as strengthened communication.

6. While climate mitigation is critical, we need a greater focus on adaptation and resiliency. Climate resilience and adaptation have continued to be priorities as climate change impacts become more apparent.

7. Clean Innovation and other opportunities need more support. The importance of capitalizing on cleantech opportunities, as well as our lack of progress to date in doing so, is of utmost concern.

Visit the Institute for Sustainable Finance’s website to read the report, as well as review all past research projects. 

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About the Institute for Sustainable Finance

ISF was launched in 2019 as a Canadian-specific centre of expertise and collaboration for advancing sustainable finance. Housed at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, ISF is independent and non-partisan. It focuses on developing research, education, and collaborations among academia, business and government that will improve Canada’s capacity for sustainable finance as the shift to a low-carbon economy occurs.

Sustainable finance is the integration of environmental, social and governance considerations into capital flows such as lending and investment, risk management, and financial processes including disclosure, valuations and oversight.

ISF’s work is generously supported by The Ivey Foundation (inaugural supporter), the McConnell Foundation, the McCall MacBain Foundation, the Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University and Founding Contributors BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD Bank Group.

Three Queen’s students Olympics bound

Gavin Stone, Benjamin Preisner, and 2016 Olympic champion Erica Wiebe are set to compete in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Gavin Stone prepares for a rowing practice
Gavin Stone, a Queen's engineering student and member of the Gaels rowing team, will compete in the men's 4x rowing event at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. 

The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games are on track to begin on July 23, and the Queen's community has extra reason to cheer on three Canadian athletes. Queen’s students Gavin Stone, Erica Wiebe, and Benjamin Preisner are representing Canada with their sights set on the podium.

Erica Wiebe, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, is back at her second Games to compete for her title. Athletics runner Benjamin Preisner will be racing in the marathon, and Gavin Stone will be competing in the men’s 4x rowing event.

Stone is a fourth-year engineering student and former Queen’s University rower, who has been preparing in Japan since the beginning of the month.

“I think the best part of my Olympic journey has been the people I've gotten to meet along the way. I've been lucky to have some really amazing people as my teammates and they are now some of the closest friends I have,” says Stone. “Excitement is probably the main thing I feel right now. In a couple weeks we'll have the chance to race for gold on the biggest stage in the world and I've thought of that moment so many times. Although it's not going to be the normal environment of the Olympic Games with getting to watch other events and meet athletes from Canada or around the world, I'm still hoping that I get to make some connections outside of my sport and feel the bond of being on the Canadian team.”

Stone will be competing in the men’s 4x, a rowing event with a four-person boat and double oar, along with Will Crothers, Jakub Buczek and Luke Gadsdon. The rowing events kick off in the first week of the Games, with some heats starting on July 23.

Stone brings with him a long list of rowing accomplishments, including representing Canada at the Under-23 World Championships in 2017 and 2018. He competed with the Queen’s University Gaels rowing team for three seasons, was recognized with Queen’s 2018-2019 Outstanding Performance of the Year award and won gold at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in 2018. 

“On the athletic side I couldn't thank the Queen's coaches I've been lucky enough to train under more,” shares Stone. “They helped set me on the path and come up with a plan that helped launch me to success in the Canadian university level but also onto U23 national teams and paved the way to help make the push towards the Olympics.”

Erica Wiebe holds up a gold medal
Erica Wiebe, who is pursuing an Executive MBA Americas degree, is looking to defend her gold medal in the women’s freestyle wrestling 75kg weight class. (Wrestling Canada - Vaughn Ridley)

Reigning champion wrestler, Erica Wiebe, is back to compete in her second Olympics. Wiebe made her Olympic debut in 2016 and took home a gold medal in the women’s freestyle 75kg weight class.

She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in March 2020 – weeks before the Games were postponed for a year. With the Games on hold, Wiebe took the opportunity to start her Executive MBA Americas program earlier than anticipated. The 17-month Executive MBA Americas program is a partnership between Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business and Cornell University’s SC Johnson Graduate School of Management. The program has been virtual because of the pandemic, allowing Wiebe to study from her home in Calgary while also training for the Tokyo Olympics. Weibe will be competing in the Olympic women’s freestyle wrestling 76kg weight class event, which starts on Aug. 1.

Benjamin Preisner runs for Team Canada
Benjamin Preisner, who joins the Master of Management Artificial Intelligence program this fall, will compete in the marathon at the Olympic Games.

Another Smith School of Business student preparing for the Games is Benjamin Preisner. He will be running in the Olympic marathon event, and then starting in the Master of Management Artificial Intelligence program at Queen’s University this fall.

From Milton, Ont., Preisner has a background in the 3,000-metres steeplechase and cross country running. He previously represented Canada at the World Cross Country Championships and IAAF World Junior Championships. Preisner made his half marathon debut in Vancouver in 2019, and his marathon debut in December 2020 – earning a ninth-place finish under the Olympic standard time. A year and a half later, he was named to the Canadian Olympic team. The men’s marathon event will take place on Aug. 8.

“The Olympics are an incredible time for us all to come together to celebrate excellence,” says Wanda Costen, Dean, Smith School of Business. “We are so very proud of all the Queen’s athletes heading to Tokyo to represent Canada, and wish them much success!”

Alumni qualify for Summer Olympics

A total of five Queen’s alumni will also be competing at these Olympics.

Julie-Anne Staehli, Haley Smith, Ali ten Hove, William Jones, and Tom Ramshaw have all booked their tickets to Tokyo.

Staehli will compete in the women’s 5,000 metres event while Smith was named to Canada’s cycling team and will participate in the women's mountain biking cross-country event. Ten Hove (49er FX), Jones (49er), and Ramshaw (Finn) will be competing in sailing events. 

Four ways companies can avoid post-pandemic employee turnover

Employee wrapping a package at his desk.
Some workers may be thinking of jumping ship once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Here’s how organizations can build morale and stop valued employees from leaving. (Unsplash / Bench Accounting)

With pandemic-related lockdowns being lifted around the world, businesses are announcing plans to bring employees back into the office.

The Conversation Canada logoConsidering the widespread isolation and Zoom fatigue of the past year, one might expect employees to welcome a return to the office. Instead, they’re resisting. In fact, early reports are suggesting that many employees would rather quit their jobs rather than return to the office. Why?

Reasons for employee resistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has had big implications for the relationship between employees and employers.

For one, it’s revealed how many employers profoundly mistrust their employees’ ability to get their work done without in-person supervision. It’s no wonder that when faced with a hot post-pandemic economic recovery, employees are choosing to find a new employer over returning to a boss and organization that lacked trust in them during the pandemic.

Second, working from home has revealed that employees can have it all and they don’t want to lose this privilege. A recent survey showed that almost half of employees would look for a new employer rather than give up the ability to work from home at least part of the time.

The ability to pop out for a spin class in the middle of the afternoon or pick up the kids from school early reflect the type of flexibility that many employees simply don’t want to give up. They’re resisting a return to the nine-to-five facetime culture of pre-pandemic times.

Third, firms have been inept at maintaining a cohesive workplace culture during the pandemic. Many employees report feeling “left behind” by bosses who did not provide adequate support during the pandemic. A recent survey by an employee engagement company suggests that 46 per cent of employees felt less connected to their employer during the pandemic, while 42 per cent say company culture has become worse during the crisis.

This isn’t surprising because research has shown that, if not managed properly, employees in virtual teams can feel “shunned and left out.” The new “work from anywhere” movement is allowing employees to choose flexibility over allegiance to employers they have become disconnected from over the last year and a half.

A woman slumps on her laptop
Some workers on virtual teams report feeling shunned and left out. (Anna Tarazevich/Pexels)

What can employers do about it?

High employee turnover is unwelcome news for employers. Given the high costs of employee training, keeping a good employee is far cheaper than hiring a new one. Her are four proposals for employers to stave off employee turnover during the return to in-person work:

  1. Offer flexibility The major reason employees want to continue working remotely is flexibility and the ability to improve their work-life balance. While there are undeniable benefits for in-person work like spontaneous interactions, better supervision and more opportunities for mentoring, they don’t negate the advantages of working from home. Employers must consider the possibility of allowing employees to work from home at least part-time, moving towards a hybrid workplace that allows both in-person and remote working opportunities.

  2. Reinforce the best of your workplace culture The move towards a hybrid workplace creates the challenge of fostering a workplace culture that is consistent online and in-person. What matters to your organization? If inclusion is a priority, remote work can provide the opportunity to bring in hires from around the world that otherwise would not be available. If training and mentorship are most important, think about how online tools can be used to foster these types of relationships. Whatever it is that makes an organization unique should be fundamental to the practices that underpin the return to work.

  3. Show employees you care The post-pandemic economy is revving up. With many new opportunities for jobs both at home and abroad, employees will be able to choose where they want to work. The time is now for employers to show employees how they appreciate the resilience and flexibility they’ve shown during the pandemic. Supervisors should also meet with their employees and discuss their personal and professional goals. Retaining employees will depend on the ability to keep them motivated and engaged. This can include offering employees financial incentives while also offering the chance to get involved on new projects or on new work teams.

  4. Keep tabs on top performers The most expensive employees to replace (and the most in demand) will be top performers. Employers should hone in on these individuals and make sure that they are being offered the growth opportunities and recognition they desire.

Hopefully, the post-pandemic return to work will provide an opportunity for employers and employees to reconsider their relationships with one another. This is the time for a “new normal” that provides employees with opportunities for respect and empowerment in the workplace.The Conversation

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Erica Pimentel, Assistant Professor, Smith School of Business, Queen's University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

How to create effective, engaged workplace teams after the COVID-19 pandemic

For workplace teams returning to the office post-pandemic, it will still be important to protect the benefits of remote work: uninterrupted time for strategically important projects, and respect for personal preferences. (Pixabay)

Well into the pandemic’s second year, we are beginning to see light on the horizon. We’re not out of the woods here in Canada. As some areas of the country continue to struggle to contain the virus, others are optimistic due to lowering case counts thanks to restrictions and lockdown measures.

Ontario — the country’s largest province by population — is now in the first step of its reopening, and officials have said the majority of those who want to receive a vaccine could be fully immunized by the end of the summer.

The rolling lockdowns and public health restrictions of the pandemic response meant a massive shift to remote and virtual work for many workplaces. As we look towards and plan for the post-pandemic future, businesses and organizations need to thoughtfully consider what the future of work looks like for them.

They will need to reflect on their operations pre-pandemic, consider what they learned from the disruption of the crisis, and ask themselves: How can we build back better?

Structure shift

Recent decades have seen a shift in the structure of businesses and organizations, away from hierarchical models in favour of cross-functional and, at times, self-managing networks of teams. In fact, a 2016 survey found the majority of large corporations rely on interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams. In 2019, 31 per cent of respondents said that most or almost all work is performed in teams.

For many of these organizations, the pandemic saw these teams transition from in-person work to remote interactions via video-conferencing services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype.

Many appreciated the comfort and autonomy inherent in working from home, but the erosion of work-life balance and social interaction has caused challenges.

As we come out of the pandemic, workplace teams will need an environment that retains the experience of autonomy while also providing a sense of belonging. Employees should be free to decide where they want to work and when they want to work whenever possible. But we must also address the negative impact of isolation — loneliness, fatigue or even depression, all of which have been frequently reported during the pandemic.

Five women at a desk have a conversation.
Effective workplace teams will be critical to building back better. (Piqsels)

Research on workplace teams finds that autonomy can in fact co-exist with a sense of belonging and cohesion. For this to be achieved, organizations need to find a balance, and need to organize teams according to these structural considerations:

• Teams have a strong leader, or they can feature shared leadership.

• Teams have clearly defined task interdependencies and interfaces among team members, or team members can perform their work largely in isolation.

• Teams have the same goals and rewards for all members, or they can offer individualized goals and rewards.

• Teams communicate virtually, or they can communicate so face-to-face.

• Teams have a shared history and aspirations, or they operate for a limited time, after which they disband.

A strong leader, alongside clearly defined task interdependencies, focuses on the team as a whole, whereas virtual teamwork and individual rewards emphasize the individual team member.

Combining features of teamwork that promote autonomy with other features that foster cohesiveness and a sense of belonging is likely the best path forward.

Emphasize shared goals

As long as employees continue to operate in a virtual setting, it’s important for leaders to define shared goals and rewards. Teams must share a vision of the future that complements the larger degree of autonomy they’ve experienced through virtual teamwork.

Focusing on elements of teamwork that bring team members closer together should not be left to chance. As some organizations learned during the pandemic, scheduling social hours can replace the spontaneous conversations at the water cooler. A book club can replace the informal learning over a lunch chat. A fireside Zoom chat on company values and goals can replace an in-person town hall.

But post-pandemic, few organizations will maintain an all-virtual presence. Many will move towards a hybrid model. For those teams returning to the office, it will still be important to protect the benefits of remote work: uninterrupted time for strategically important projects, and respect for personal preferences.

The pandemic has also almost eliminated a troublesome feature of organizational life: presenteeism, or showing up to work when sick. We must not go backwards in this regard. Workers must protect themselves and their team members from the consequences of illness.

Post-pandemic, the world of work will probably never be the same again. And that’s probably a good thing. We now have an opportunity to make it better.The Conversation

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Matthias Spitzmuller, Associate Professor and Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Queen's University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

Queen’s experts provide insight into our post-pandemic future

On June 29, multimedia journalist and Queen’s alumnus Elamin Abdelmahmoud will moderate a candid discussion on how we can move beyond COVID.

[Road to Recovery: Reintegration - Queen's Virtual Event]

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our health, economy, and society. It has challenged individuals and institutions to think creatively about how they can harness their resources to help confront the crisis, politically, economically, and socially. As vaccination rates rise, cases drop, and businesses reopen, Canadians and global citizens are attempting to return to so-called “normal life.” This has led to myriad questions related to reintegration and reconnection – What does integration back to the classroom and office look like? What are the implications for our physical and mental health and how can we address them? How has society changed over the past 18 months and what have we learned about ourselves and each other?

To help answer some of these questions, University Relations, Advancement, and the Faculty of Health Sciences have joined forces to host Road to Recovery: Reintegration. This free, open-to-the-public event will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 29 at 11 a.m. EDT and will feature a panel of Queen’s alumni and research experts who will share their views on work, social norms, and life in a post-pandemic world.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Artsci’11) and host of CBC’s weekly pop culture podcast Pop Chat, co-host of CBC’s political podcast Party Lines, and culture editor for BuzzFeed news. In a recent interview about the series, Abdelmahmoud explained some of his reasons for hosting the event, saying, “When it comes to reintegration, I have a lot of questions. I am anxious to return to some semblance of normality but I don’t know what that looks like anymore. I would love to get some answers from people who study these questions for a living.”    

During Tuesday’s discussion, Abdelmahmoud will be joined by a number of experts in health care, education, research, and policy-making at the local, national, and international levels. They are:

  • Tina Dacin – Stephen J.R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour and the Director of the Community Impact Research Program in the Smith School of Business
  • Gerald Evans – Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases at Queen’s University and Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases at Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Allyson G. Harrison – Clinical Neuropsychologist and the Clinical Director of the Regional Assessment and Resource Center at Queen’s
  • Scott McFarlane, BA/BPHE’97, BEd’98, MEd’07 is a Vice-Principal with the Limestone District School Board 

To register for the event and join the discussion, visit the website.

Supporting big research ideas

The Government of Canada announces support for Queen's researchers through the federal funding agencies and the Canada Research Chair program.

Over 125 Queen’s researchers across disciplines have received support that will advance discovery, innovation, and collaboration in their research programs. Today, The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (ISED), announced a bundled research announcement under the theme "Supporting BIG ideas!", meant to continue the Government’s historic investments in support of a strong and vibrant world-leading research ecosystem.

The bundled announcement includes funding from a variety of programs under the umbrellas of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canada Research Chairs program. More than $635 million is being invested in scholars across Canada through new grants or grant extensions.

"We are proud to continue investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of Canada’s research ecosystem," says Minister Champagne. "It is inspiring to see the ingenuity and dedication Canadian researchers embrace in exploring big ideas that will fuel the discoveries and innovations of tomorrow to make our world a better place and create prosperity for Canadians."

The funding will advance the research continuum from fundamental to applied scholarship at Queen’s. In addition to pandemic-related projects, these investments will support emerging and ongoing research in areas of critical importance, such as precision medicine, military family health, particle physics, climate change, citizenship and social justice, chronic pain, and gender, race, and inclusive policies. For more information on each of the funding programs and the Queen’s recipients please see below:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The goal of SSHRC’s Insight program is to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies, and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Insight grants provide stable support for long-term research initiatives, while the Insight Development grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches, and/or ideas.

Partnership Development grants provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to seven years to advance research, research training, and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities. Partnership funding is intended for formal partnerships between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grants 2020

Principal Investigator Affiliation Project Title
Heather Aldersey School of Rehabilitation Therapy Redefining the social contract: Rebalancing formal and natural support for people with disabilities and their families
Heidi Cramm

School of Rehabilitation Therapy; Psychiatry

Families matter: A partnership of partners to study, serve, and support the families of military, Veterans, and public safety personnel

SSHRC Insight Grants 2020

Principal Investigator Affiliation Project Title
Elizabeth Brulé Gender Studies Decolonizing the academy: Indigenizing the university seven generations in the future
Rosa Bruno-Jofré Education; History Giving the past a new meaning to re-imagine the future in education
Pierre Chaigneau Smith School of Business Too many rewards? Performance shares and the optimal structure of executive pay
Amanda-Mae Cooper Education Social science research funding agencies' support and promotion of knowledge mobilization and research impact: Learning from high impact case studies of collaborative research networks
Theresa Claire Davies Mechanical and Materials Engineering A Delphi Study to advance research on accessibility standards for augmentative and alternative communication
Anthony Goerzen Smith School of Business Improving global value chain governance
Kerah Gordon-Solmon Philosophy Duties, constraints, prerogatives, and permissions: Or, how to defend lesser-evil options
Oded Haklai Political Studies Population settlements and territorial control
Fiona Kay Sociology Paralegals and access to justice: Regulation, job rewards, and legal services during COVID-19 pandemic
Benjamin Kutsyuruba Education Understanding the well-being capacity of pre-service teachers
Susan Lord Film and Media; Art History; Gender Studies; Cultural Studies Under the shadow of empire: Minor archives and radical media distribution in the Americas
David McDonald Global Development Studies; Geography and Planning; School of Environmental Studies Public Banks + Public Water
Nicole Myers Sociology Risky decisions: Professional judgement, public safety and the bail decision
Steven Salterio Smith School of Business Understanding the extant and nature of replication research in social sciences: The case of accounting research
Marcus Taylor Global Development Studies; Sociology; School of Environmental Studies Can climate-resilient crops transform smallholder agriculture? A comparative sociological analysis
Veikko Thiele Smith School of Business; Economics Scale-up Ecosystems: Theory and Empirical Evidence
Grégoire Webber Law; Philosophy Recovering the good in law

Canada Research Chairs

Part of a national strategy to attract and retain leading and promising minds, the Canada Research Chairs program aims to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising researchers. Queen’s is currently home to 51 Canada Research Chairs across a variety of disciplines.

Canada Research Chair (CRC) Renewals

Name Affiliation Status Research Area
Heather Castleden Geography and Planning; Gender Studies Tier 2 - CRC in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities Applying Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to research involving social and environmental justice and health equity: this research aims to create healthier relationships between Indigenous peoples and Settler (non-Indigenous) Canadians by advancing recognition, responsibility, and reconciliation in community-driven and participatory ways.
Philip Jessop Chemistry Tier 1 - CRC in Green Chemistry Using carbon dioxide as a “trigger” for “switchable materials” able to change from one form to another: this research will make industry safer and more environmentally-benign through the reuse of waste carbon dioxide gas.
Mark Ormiston Biomedical and Molecular Sciences; Medicine; Surgery Tier 2 - CRC in Regenerative Cardiovascular Medicine The study of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the development of diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension: this research could lead to the creation of new immune-based treatments that could reverse changes made in a person’s lungs.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

The Discovery program supports ongoing research with long-term goals. These multi-year grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Discovery program grants are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long-term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs, but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.

Notably, Cathy Crudden (Chemistry), Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry, received the largest Discovery grant in Canada (valued at $605k over five years)  for her project Nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and surfaces: Bridging the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. 

NSERC Discovery Program Grants 2020/2021

Principal Investigator Affiliation Project Title
Furkan Alaca School of Computing Securing user authentication in emerging threat landscapes
Brian Amsden Chemical Engineering Aliphatic polycarbonates: Building blocks for new biodegradable biomaterials
Levente Balogh Mechanical and Materials Engineering Structure-property relations of materials having complex microstructures generated by radiation damage and additive manufacturing
Sameh Basta Biomedical and Molecular Sciences M2a macrophage activation and the regulation of immune functions
Albrecht Birk Mechanical and Materials Engineering Safe transport and storage of pressure liquefied hazardous materials
Amanda Bongers Chemistry Cognition in chemistry: Exploring how the brain encodes and manipulates scientific models
Joseph Bramante Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Astroparticle theory for dark sectors
Chantelle Capicciotti Chemistry; Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Chemical biology tools for probing and discovering glycan-protein interactions
Pascale Champagne Civil Engineering; Chemical Engineering Photosynthetically-enhanced eco-engineered treatment systems
Che Colpitts Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Membrane rearrangement by positive-sense RNA viruses: Molecular mechanisms and cellular responses
Cathleen Crudden Chemistry

Nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and surfaces: Bridging the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis

Critical replacement of super critical fluid HPLC for chiral separations

Variable temperature UV/Vis spectrophotometer for study of NHC-stabilized gold nanoclusters

Michael Cunningham Chemical Engineering; Chemistry Replacing traditional surfactants in the preparation of polymer nanoparticles
Mark Daymond Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy; Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Effect of local microstructure on cracking of materials for next generation reactors

Characterising irradiation induced damage and phase changes

Kevin Deluzio Mechanical and Materials Engineering Tools for the biomechanical analysis of human movement
George diCenzo Biology Gene networks of Sinorhizobium meliloti
Marc Dignam Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Nonlinear and quantum optics in two-dimensional materials and nanophotonic systems
Steven Honghui Ding School of Computing Assistant professor
Juergen Dingel School of Computing Model-driven engineering for distributed, reliable, adaptive, web-based software
Cao Thang Dinh Chemical Engineering Electrode engineering for carbon dioxide electroreduction to fuels and chemicals
Paul Duchesne Chemistry Earth-abundant heterogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of renewable fuels
Christopher Eckert Biology Ecology & evolution of species range limits
Dixia Fan Mechanical and Materials Engineering Physics-informed (and -informative) reinforcement learning and bio-inspired design of a smart morphing flapping wing for dual aerial/aquatic-propulsion and maneuvering
Laura Fissel Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Understanding the role of magnetic fields in star and planet formation using stratospheric balloon-borne polarimeters
Luis Flores Psychology Brain function and real-world choice and effectiveness of intrapersonal and social forms of emotion regulation
Georgia Fotopoulous Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering Fusion of heterogeneous geosensing observations for enhanced site characterization
Jason Gallivan Psychology; Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Human functional neuroimaging stimulus presentation and data collection system for studies of action, perception and decision-making
Jun Gao Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Surfaces and interfaces of luminescent polymer mixed ionic/electronic conductors
Charlotte Gibson Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining

Surface analysis for the concentration and extraction of metals using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Concentrating minerals critical to energy storage applications from Canadian hard rock deposits

Guillaume Giroux Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy NEWS-G search for light dark matter with spherical proportional counters
Sidney Givigi School of Computing Safe adaptive social cyber physical systems
Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh Chemistry Theoretical chemical design with machine learning: Model development and applications
Tom Hollenstein Psychology Integrated psychophysiology and observational system for synchronous measurement and analysis
Neil Hoult Civil Engineering Reimagined environmentally-friendly (RE-Design) of reinforced concrete infrastructure
Graeme Howe Chemistry Tracing enzyme mechanisms across evolution to elucidate the origins of enzymatic catalysis
Stephen Hughes Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Dissipative mode theories and reservoir engineering in quantum nanophotonics
Robin Hutchinson Chemical Engineering Measurement and modeling of polymerization kinetics for process and product development
Judith Irwin Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy From galaxy to intergalactic medium -- the magnetic connection in the age of the square kilometre array
Shideh Kabiri Ameri Abootorabi Electrical and Computer Engineering High performance visually imperceptible on-skin sensors and electronics based on nanomaterials
Frederick Kan Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Oviductal regulation of gamete interaction and reproductive function
Sadan Kelebek Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining Investigations on the separation of metal-bearing values from secondary sources in the production of value-added products
Il Yong Kim Mechanical and Materials Engineering System, layout, and topology optimization for automotive and aerospace design
Marianna Kontopoulou Chemical Engineering Environmentally friendly and scalable processes for the production of graphene and applications in advanced functional materials and technologies
Ehssan Koupaie Chemical Engineering Techniques for enhanced anaerobic digestion and bioenergy and conversion of pulp and paper sludge
Valerie Kuhlmeier Psychology Cognitive origins of ownership concepts
Yanzhe Lei Smith School of Business Real-time dynamic optimization for omnichannel retailers
Guang Li Smith School of Business Revenue management and policy design in the presence of customer multi-item shopping behavior
Qingguo Li Mechanical and Materials Engineering Biomechanical energy harvesting: Optimization, control and biomechanics
Hok Kan Ling Mathematics and Statistics Shape-constrained inference: Testing and estimation for incomplete survival data
Alexander Little Biology Mechanisms and costs of adaptive plasticity in a starlet anemone (Nematostella Vectensis) model
Christopher Lohans Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Mechanistic enzymology of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance mechanisms and target proteins
Alan Lomax Medicine; Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Analysis of the vagal afferent innervation of the mouse colon
Stephen Lougheed Biology

Digital PCR infrastructure to enhance research and HQP training in biology

High performance computing infrastructure for evolutionary biology, spatial ecology, and conservation biology

Giusy Mazzone Mathematics and Statistics Partially dissipative systems with applications to fluid-solid interaction problems
Kim McAuley Chemical Engineering Combining fundamental models with data
Chris McGlory School of Kinesiology and Health Studies Mechanisms underlying the regulation of human skeletal muscle protein turnover by omega-3 fatty acids
Jordan Morelli Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Applied magnetics - nuclear fusion
Michele Morningstar Psychology Development of neural and cognitive processing of peers' nonverbal cues in adolescence
Parvin Mousavi School of Computing Learning algorithms for predictive modeling in biomedical computing: Methods and applications
Christian Muise School of Computing Advanced techniques for action model solicitation, verification, and induction
Kevin Mumford Civil Engineering Contaminant transport and remediation in dynamic gas-and-groundwater systems
Ram Murty Mathematics and Statistics Zeta functions and probability theory
Sara Nabil School of Computing

Advanced techniques for everyday embodied interaction

E-textiles digital design and fabrication

Guy Narbonne Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering When life got big - Ediacaran evolution in a period of profound global change
Jianbing Ni Electrical and Computer Engineering Secure and privacy-preserving edge caching in next-generation mobile networks
Jean-Michel Nunzi Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy; Chemistry Life-mimetic nano-photonics
Gema Olivo Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering Mineral resources in basins: Base metal ore systems and footprint
Mary Olmstead Psychology Immune-reward interactions: Contributions of the endocannabinoid system
Christopher Omelon Geography and Planning Impacts of talik microbial geochemistry on a changing permafrost landscape
Diane Orihel Biology; School of Environmental Studies A new ecological framework for adverse outcomes of contaminants on ecosystems: Microplastics as a case study
Patrick Oosthuizen Mechanical and Materials Engineering Numerical and experimental studies of steady and unsteady natural and mixed convective heat transfer from horizontal and inclined surfaces of complex shape
Anna Panchenko Biomedical and Molecular Sciences; Pathology and Molecular Medicine; School of Computing Deciphering the mechanisms of modulation of DNA accessibility in chromatin: Discovery of novel pioneer transcription factors
Sarah Jane Payne Civil Engineering Elucidating drinking water quality deterioration in premise plumbing
David Reed Medicine Inhibition of visceral sensation by cannabinoids in the gastrointestinal tract
David Rival Mechanical and Materials Engineering High-speed, plane-wave ultrasound imaging for Lagrangian particle tracking
Matthew Robertson Mechanical and Materials Novel robot actuators leveraging the molecular mechanics and topology of biological muscle
Nir Rotenberg Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Frontiers of nonlinear quantum optics: From fundamentals to technology

Ultra-coherent lasers for the exploration of quantum photonic nonlinearities

Karen Rudie Electrical and Computer Engineering Keeping secrets: Realizing the potential of decentralized discrete-event systems
Sarah Sadavoy Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy The role of magnetic fields in forming stars, disks, and planets
Yuksel Asli Sari Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining Innovative dynamic short-term, medium-term and long-term mine planning strategies incorporating new automation and data analytics technologies
Jessica Selinger School of Kinesiology and Health Studies; Mechanical and Materials Engineering A lower-limb exoskeleton system for investigating the neuromechanical control of human locomotion and designing assistive robotic aids
Bhavin Shastri Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Neurophotonic-electronic brain-machine interface system
Zhe She Chemistry Probing molecular interactions of soft surfaces by scanning probe microscopy
Amber Simpson School of Computing; Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Integrated computational modeling of multi-scale biomedical data
Gregory Smith Mathematics and Statistics Combination algebraic geometry
Yanglei Song Mathematics and Statistics Sequential decision making under uncertainty: Fundamental limits and applications
Sameh Sorour School of Computing Enabling intelligence on multi-access edge networks with heterogeneous resources
Christopher Spencer Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering Constraining the interplay of geodynamics with the biosphere and atmosphere across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary
Patrick Stroman Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Functional MRI investigation of spinal cord resting-state networks and their physiological relevance
Myron Szewczuk Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Nobel biased G-protein coupled receptor-signalling paradigm regulating growth factor and pathogen-sensing receptors
William Take Civil Engineering Landslide triggering, mobility, and monitoring in a changing climate
David Thomson Mathematics and Statistics Statistical spectrum estimation and solar gravity modes
Aaron Vincent Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Discovering the dark sector with astroparticle phenomenology
Bas Vriens Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering Sustainable mine waste management: From microscale hydrogeochemical processes to macroscale prediction models
Jeffrey Wammes Psychology Mechanisms underlying learning-related representational reorganization
Robert Way Geography and Planning Susceptibility of peatland permafrost in coastal Labrador to future environmental change
Peng Wang Chemistry; Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy Discovery and development of crystalline radiation detection materials
Joshua Woods Civil Engineering

System-level multi-element analysis of structures using hybrid-simulation (SMASH) lab

High-performance structural systems for seismic protection and resilience of built infrastructure

Gang Wu Chemistry Development of new 17O NMR spectroscopic techniques for studying biological systems
Sarah Yakimowski Biology The evolution of herbicide resistance
Laurence Yang Chemical Engineering Learning models of metabolism and gene expression from biological big data
Scott Yam Electrical and Computer Engineering Intelligent fiber sensors via digital signal processing and machine learning
Mohammad Zulkernine School of Computing Building and monitoring security in emerging softwarized systems

For more information on the Government of Canada’s Support BIG Ideas announcement, please visit the website.

Celebrating Queen’s spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation

Queen’s receives the Deshpande Symposium Award for The Entrepreneurial University for its curriculum innovation and student engagement.

Every Spring, the Deshpande Foundation hosts the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, which brings together academics, policy planners, practitioners, business incubators, and foundations to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities.

At this year’s virtual gathering, Queen’s University received the Deshpande Symposium Award for The Entrepreneurial University. This award celebrates an institution that demonstrates excellence in entrepreneurship-related curriculum innovation and student engagement.

"Entrepreneurship has become an important means by which we fulfill our obligations of positive societal impact, to the regional community in which it is embedded, and in global society," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Queen’s was unanimously voted as the 2021 recipient of this honour for fostering a culture of innovation throughout its many curricular and extra-curricular offerings.

Curricular Offerings in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The university’s academic and curricular programs of study make entrepreneurship and innovation a priority at all levels. Undergraduate and graduate students across Queen’s are exposed to entrepreneurship and related topics in a broad range of sectors across disciplines. Some courses engage students in team-based venture projects in for-profits contexts, while others, like the Arts and Science "Dean’s Changemaker" courses ASCX200/300, give them opportunities to identify and pursue entrepreneurial solutions to pressing societal problems. The Dean’s Changemaker program supported 12 students in its pilot run and is expected to grow to 50 students per year.

Curricular delivery prioritizes interdisciplinarity. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity (CEIC), offered by the Dan School of Drama and Music, is taught not only by faculty from the Dan School but also from the Smith School of Business and the faculties of Arts and Science and Engineering and Applied Science. These pan-university partnerships persist even at senior levels of education and training. The blended format Master of Management of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE), for example, is a joint collaboration between Business and Engineering and offers networking opportunities with other programs across campus. Since its inception five years ago, 420 students representing 25 countries globally have completed the program, which now accepts 114 students/cohort. MMIE participants have created 89 start-ups and scale-ups, collectively raising $750,000 and employing 112 people. By placing a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity, Queen’s has been able to increase each individual unit’s capacity for providing immersive programming, thereby fostering development of entrepreneurial mindsets.

[Photo of the QICSI 2019 cohort at Mitchell Hall]
The 2019 Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) cohort at Mitchell Hall.

Co- and Extra-Curricular Offerings in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The university also offers numerous co- and extra-curricular opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation, many of which are provided and/or coordinated through the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) and Queen’s University’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI). DDQIC was founded in 2012, following a significant gift jointly provided by distinguished alumni Andrew Dunin, Sc ’83, MBA ‘87, and his wife Anne Dunin, ArtSci ‘83, and Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, PhD ‘79, and his wife Jaishree Deshpande. 

DDQIC collaborates with schools and faculties, assisting in the development and delivery of many co-curricular programs across campus. The centre runs the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI), a 16-week full-time program in which participants complete a two-week boot camp and receive seed capital to found and build ventures. Since 2012, DDQIC has mentored 460 changemakers in QICSI and helped students launch and grow 200 ventures, 50% of which are still in operation, including Mosaic Manufacturing, CleanSlate UV, and RockMass Technologies. The part-time DDQIC QyourVenture program operates year-long and supports early stage start-ups by providing foundation and mentorship. Furthermore, DDQIC prioritizes innovators and leaders from underrepresented groups through its Konnect program for women entrepreneurs and the Jim Leech MasterCard Foundation Fellowship for young African entrepreneurs. 

QPI supports programming through workshops targeting thematic areas and groups (e.g. health, research-based graduate students) and in sector-targeted and IP/commercialization-advising roles. It provides an accelerator facility for growing ventures, complementing DDQIC’s QICSI, and offers linkages to other ecosystems, notably the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway in Health Innovation, Invest Ottawa, the Toronto-based Technology Innovation Accelerator Program, and L-Spark. Since 2014, QPI has supported 300 entrepreneurs and 150 ventures.

Student engagement extends beyond Queen’s as DDQIC, QPI, and their partner organizations deliver entrepreneurship-geared educational outreach programs, providing translational career and leadership skills to high school students in the Kingston area and globally.

The university received the award as part of a ceremony on June 10, 2021.  

Celebrating the Class of 2021

Queen’s congratulates graduates on success in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Another academic year at Queen’s is now complete and more than 5,800 students have a big reason to celebrate, now that they have officially graduated. To help mark these achievements, the university is sharing a video message to offer congratulations to graduates and highlight their achievements and perseverance in the face of challenges posed by COVID-19.

“These have been unprecedented times, and very difficult times in which to bring an end to your course of study,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, in his remarks. “That you’ve done so in such circumstances is remarkable, and therefore all the more admirable and deserving of our congratulations.”

With strict public health measures still in place in Ontario, on-site convocation events have had to be postponed, with plans to offer in-person ceremonies later once guidelines permit. As vaccination programs continue across the country, and return to campus planning well underway, Queen’s is hopeful that ceremonies missed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic can be held.

“I’m so honoured to be able to offer you my most sincere congratulations on the completion of your degree at Queen’s,” says Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation), who joined Principal Deane in the video. “It’s been a very challenging year, but you persevered and succeeded. You should be very proud of yourself for doing so.”

While opportunities to host future in-person ceremonies are explored, graduates can expect to receive their diplomas by mail in the coming weeks, and the names of conferred degree recipients are being shared online by the Office of the University Registrar marking their official graduation. Several faculties and schools are planning virtual events or gestures of recognition in the near term.

“I’m so pleased to celebrate the successful conclusion to your studies and recognize your earned degree, diploma or certificate,” Chancellor Jim Leech says, making the final congratulatory remarks in the video.  “You should be proud of your accomplishment and that you are now a full-fledged Queen’s alum.”

For more information on Spring 2021 graduation, please visit the office of the University Registrar's website.

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