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Local food conference sprouts on campus

As general manager of Hospitality Services, Joli Manson has tried to include more locally and provincially grown ingredients in food options on campus. Her efforts have been so successful that Queen’s now spends 63 per cent of its food dollars on produce from Ontario.

63 per cent of Queen's food dollars are spent on local food.

To spread the word about the benefits of locally sourced foods, Queen’s is hosting a conference to bring together producers and institutional buyers.

“Food is a basic item of health and we want to explore how to produce the most magnificent meals we can with the food that’s available near to us,” Ms. Manson says. “Eating food is about more than just fuelling up — and I think that food cooked from scratch and made with local ingredients is better in terms of flavour, quality and cost.”

Hospitality Services will co-host the conference on Friday, Oct. 31 along with the Queen’s School of Business’ Centre for Social Impact and My Sustainable Canada. It will bring together representatives from educational and health-care institutions and producers and distributors in the Kingston area to explore the adoption of local food options. Supported by the Greenbelt Fund, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting farmers and Ontario agriculture, the conference will feature presentations, workshops and group discussions.

“Kingston is a city of institutions,” Ms. Manson says, “so we’re in the perfect position to participate in more local food initiatives. I’m hoping this conference will have lively, interesting and maybe even heated discussions about what we can do to make local food sourcing a priority.”

Of course, the event’s lunch is made with ingredients sourced from local producers and prepared by Hospitality Services.

With Hospitality Services having collaborated previously with the Centre for Social Impact, working together on the conference seemed like a natural fit. Along with the conference, the two groups will be working to promote local food initiatives in Kingston.

“I’m personally passionate about getting our students to experience high quality food options on campus,” says Tina Dacin, Director, Centre for Social Impact. “We are always open to partnering with initiatives that are in line with our focus on investing in our communities.”

More information about Queen’s local food initiatives can be found on the Hospitality Services website.

Undergrads hone research skills during summer program

  • [Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellows]
    Principal Daniel Woolf and Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss with the recipients of the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.
  • [Principal Daniel Woolf and Emily Gong]
    Principal Daniel Woolf listens as undergraduate student Emily Gong explains her research on the history of art, religion and culture in the Dunhuang Mogao Caves.
  • [Ellen O'Donoghue and Mariah Horner]
    Mariah Horner (right) explains her research on contemporary Canadian performance to fellow student Ellen O'Donoghue.
  • [Steven Liss and Jessica Metuzals]
    Undergraduate student Jessica Metuzals explains her work to Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).
  • [Undergraduate student Michelle Tam]
    A crowd gathers around Michelle Tam as she explains her research during the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship celebration.

The university hosted a special celebration on Oct. 27 to recognize the 20 students who participated in the 2014 Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) program. Principal Daniel Woolf and Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss attended the event and congratulated the students on their accomplishments.

The USSRF program is an opportunity for continuing undergraduate students in social sciences, humanities, business and education to develop research skills under the guidance of a faculty researcher. The program provides meaningful opportunities to engage in discovery-based learning and to develop research and presentation skills. More information

Insights, advice and a song for Major Admission Awards

  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams of The Abrams Brothers perform during the Major Admission Awards Reception held Monday, Sept 22 at Wallace Hall.
  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams of The Abrams Brothers perform during the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Abrams Brothers]
    John and James Abrams stand alongside Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), during the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Haley Kawaja]
    Haley Kawaja, a Chernoff Family Award Scholar, speaks during the Major Admission Awards Reception as Ann Tierney and Alan Harrison look on.
  • [Admission Awards Reception]
    Donato Santeramo, Department Head for Languages, Literatures & Cultures, speaks to students at the Major Admission Awards Reception.
  • [Admission Awards - Ann Tierney]
    Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, emceees the Major Admission Awards Reception at Wallace Hall.
  • [Admission Awards Reception]
    Students and faculty members attend the Major Admission Awards Reception held Monday, Sept. 22 at Wallace Hall.

A pair of upper year students offered their advice and personal insights Monday evening as Queen’s recognized its major admission award recipients at a reception. 

Both John Abrams and Haley Kawaja are award recipients themselves but have taken very different paths in their education and lives.

Mr. Abrams, a Chancellor’s Scholar from Kingston, is in his third year majoring in Film and Media with a minor in English Language and Literature.

However, he is better known as half of The Abrams Brothers, a country music duo named Best New Artist at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Awards. He and his brother James performed a song for the gathered crowd at Wallace Hall.  

His message was that many people, past and present, may have the ability to study at the university level but may not have the means. It was a message he related through the stories of his grandparents and parents. His father, now a judge, studied law after a career in the RCMP. Mr. Abrams recalled going to his father’s classes at Queen’s when he was a mere three years old.

“Most importantly for me, I recognize that in my generation a lot of us have what I would consider a misplaced sense of entitlement,” he says. “I observe that and I try every day to remember that I am not necessarily entitled to this, that this is a wonderful privilege to be here at this institution, to have this scholarship. As a result I carry myself accordingly and try and work as hard as I can to live up to those expectations and responsibilities.”

Ms. Kawaja, a Chernoff Family Award Scholar from Cornerbrook, N.L., is a fourth-year biology student with a minor in English Language and Literature.

She too has not taken the conventional path in her education, having taken a year away from her studies to live in Kenya, where she developed an educational program for HIV prevention.

Her message was that it was okay to not know what you want, a pressure that many award recipients and Queen’s students may feel.

“I wanted to get across that your plans are always made by a less mature version of yourself,” she says. “You make a plan in high school for the next four years, then in four years your plan hasn’t accounted for everything you learn over that time. More than anything, (my message is) it’s okay to not know what you want and to change your plan.”

Currently, there are 251 entering and in-course award recipients at Queen’s, hailing from coast to coast and across all faculties and departments.  

“Major Admission Award recipients are those who are engaged within their high schools and/or communities, demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities, possess creativity and initiative, and excel academically.  They continue to demonstrate these attributes throughout their time here," says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who emceed the event. “Each year, the selection committee has to work harder to make its decisions, because of the calibre of students who apply to Queen's.”

The awards are generously supported by numerous donors.  Many donors want to give back this way because they too received some form of support, recognition and encouragement when they were students. Their generosity has a significant impact within the Queen's community and the recipients of their awards.

The 2015-16 Major Admission Award application is now open for students applying to Queen's for the 2015-16 academic year. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2014. Visit the Student Awards website for further information about our Major Admission Awards.

Principal Woolf announces his priorities for 2014-2015

At the beginning of each academic year it has been my practice to outline for the community, in broad strokes, the goals and priorities I intend to pursue over the course of the year. These goals are, unsurprisingly, aligned with the four strategic drivers identified in the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014-2019, a document that will guide the university’s decision making over the next five years.

Principal Daniel Woolf speaks with students during an event on campus. Strengthening the student learning experience is one of his goals for the 2014-15 academic year.

As I commence my second term as Principal my overarching goal remains unchanged-- to advance Queen’s as a university that uniquely combines quality and intensity of research with excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. The strategic drivers – the student learning experience, research prominence, financial sustainability and internationalization – directly support the success of Queen’s as a balanced academy.

It should be noted that the framework builds on and is fully aligned with The Third Juncture, a 10-year vision for Queen’s that I wrote in 2012, as well as a number of other recent planning documents including the Academic Plan (2011), the Strategic Research Plan (2012), the Teaching and Learning Action Plan (2014), and the Campus Master Plan.

In this context, my senior administrative colleagues and I are committed to:

1. Strengthening the student learning experience

A transformative learning experience is central to the Queen’s identity and to our vision as a university. Our academic plan outlines the centrality of developing our students’ fundamental academic skills while also providing them with learning opportunities that will help prepare them for the future. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Increasing the number of new opportunities for expanded credentials, as well as more opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning, both on and off campus.
  • Further integrating technology into the delivery of course content where it enables improved learning.
  • Continuing to focus on strategies for teaching and learning based on student engagement and broad-based learning outcomes.

2. Strengthening our research prominence

Queen’s is recognized as one of Canada’s outstanding research institutions, but sustaining and enhancing our status means we must guide and support our research enterprise while resolutely pursuing funding. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Maintaining success rates in applications for Tri-Council funding.
  • Remaining among the country’s top three universities for faculty awards, honours and prizes, and election to major learned bodies such as the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Supporting the development and engagement of Queen’s faculty members as set out in the Senate-approved Strategic Research Plan.

3. Ensuring financial sustainability

To support teaching and research into the future, we will need stable and diverse revenue streams, particularly as government funding, per student, continues to fall. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Continuing strong revenue growth together with revenue diversification.
  • Meeting our $60 million annual fund raising target as part of the Initiative Campaign, while focusing on its overall achievement by 2016.
  • Pursuing long-term sustainability for our pension plan.

4. Raising our international profile

Two years ago I stated in The Third Juncture that as global competition among universities increases over the next decade, it will not be sufficient to be simply ‘known’ in one’s own country. Increasingly, the value of our students’ degrees will be tied to our international reputation, as will our ability to attract international students, who raise our profile and contribute a great deal to the academic environment. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Moving forward on multi-year plans to increase undergraduate international enrolment.
  • Maintaining our strong record in attracting international graduate students.
  • Supporting growth in international collaborations and partnerships.

5. Promoting and developing talent

We will need to ensure that we are able to acquire, develop and retain top quality faculty and staff to thrive as an institution. Our talent management strategy, which I initiated last year, will provide a strategic approach to ensure we have the right leaders in place and in the wings as we advance our academic mission and work to secure financial sustainability. Goals related to this priority include:

  • Continuing with succession planning efforts for academic and administrative leadership roles across the university.
  • Developing a competency model that will be used to identify necessary competencies when hiring, and for leadership development and performance dialogue discussions.
  • Refining our hiring practices.
  • Promoting discussion among the Deans around faculty renewal. 

QSII win a boost for young entrepreneurs

Mosaic Manufacturing
Team members of Mosaic Manufacturing, from left, Mitch Debora, Derek Vogt, Danny Lloyd, Heather Evans and Chris Labelle, celebrate after taking the top prize in the Queen's Summer Innovation Initiative. Photo by Jim McLellan

After four months of planning, preparation and development, the students in the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative (QSII) made their final pitch presentations to a panel of judges. In front of a roomful of professors, peers, media and industry professionals, each business team made the case why their company should take the top prize. For a precious few minutes they succinctly explained their product, what they had achieved so far, and what they planned on doing with the money at stake before being needled with tough questions from the judges.  

For the summer break, the students assembled into small teams and were given a crash course in entrepreneurship, innovation and business management before brainstorming an idea for a start-up business. With $2,500 in seed money each team set about building and designing their businesses from the ground up, collaborating and competing with each other along the way.

“The students make real companies and they run them independently, generating commercial revenue,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Queen’s Innovator Connector, who oversees QSII. “It’s a program that we wanted to be as realistic as possible, giving students a chance for experiential learning outside of the classroom. They’re learning how to create and manage businesses; we’ve just removed some of the risks of entrepreneurship.”
To make QSII more available to a broader group of students, those participating are paid a stipend while they work on their businesses.

“Paying our students to participate makes us an anomaly in university entrepreneur internships. Neglecting to pay the students or making the students pay to participate creates a program that’s only accessible to those with the means to do so. This way we have the greatest number of applicants, making for a more intense competition process.”

Once up and running, the student-companies created products such as crowdfunding websites, hospital sanitization devices and a microbrewery. The team who took the top prize, Mosaic Manufacturing, invented an addition to consumer 3D printers, dramatically improving their ability to print in colour.

Winning the competition netted them a $40,000 prize to further build their business.

“After months of hard work, it’s fantastic to take first place,” says Chris Labelle (Comm’14). “We have access to excellent facilities and resources here at Queen’s and we couldn’t have won without the support we’ve received.”

Working out of the Integrated Learning Centre in Beamish-Munro Hall, all the QSII teams had access to SparQ Labs, a makerspace that has tools, fabricators and a milling machine to create their products. SparQ Labs is also accessible to Queen’s students throughout the academic year.

Mosaic and some of the other competitors have now moved their offices and operations to Innovation Park where they’ll continue to work on their products. For Mosaic, they have a clear plan of what to do next that includes hiring more staff, further developing their device and creating a crowdfunding campaign. Things don’t end there though, because they have big goals for the future. “We’ve spoken to a lot of people who have ideas about what they want to use 3D printers for, and the technology just isn’t there yet,” Mr. Labelle says. “We hope one day you can print anything you can imagine, and we want to help make that happen.”

This article is published in the Sept. 9 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus. Follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.

A social media success story

Neil Bearse
Neil Bearse, Associate Director of Marketing at Queen’s School of Business, says that keeping in mind a few principles such as listening, adjusting your expectations and being interactive can help bolster a social media campaign. University Communications
 

With ever-growing numbers of consumers taking to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, droves of companies have followed close behind to get the word out about their products. With so many brands vying for space, it can be difficult to differentiate between what works and what just adds to so much online noise.

A study conducted by the professional networking site LinkedIn ranked the globe’s “Most Influential Brands” to determine what worked and what didn’t. By tracking page views, discussions, shared posts and other interactions, the study established who was winning the race for consumers’ attention.

In Canada, the Queen’s School of Business took one of the top spots due in large part to QSB Insight, an online platform dedicated to sharing knowledge generated at Queen’s with the greater business community. Since April 2013, QSB Insight has been regularly updating, attracting droves of readers. Neil Bearse, QSB’s Associate Director of Marketing who has taught a number of executive education classes shared some of the principles that led to their success.

“When a consumer needs to opt into your message by following you on Twitter, they need to be getting something out of it beyond a flat sales pitch,” he says. “That may have worked in a time when the audience had no choice but to listen to your appeal, but nowadays it’s different.”
During the age of television and radio’s dominance, advertisers were concerned with reach: getting the sales message to as many people as possible.

“At QSB, instead of gearing ourselves towards reach, we solved the equation for value,” Bearse says. “We certainly have those purely informative posts about the fact our MBA programs exist, but they only comprise about 10 per cent of our content. The rest is about showcasing the interesting work that’s happening in our building and our classrooms. We do that by sharing webinars, white papers or exciting conversations.”

Bolstering one’s success on social media can be done by keeping in mind a few principles.

Listen: “When people ask questions, you have to respond,” Bearse says. “Marketing used to be a one-way conversation, but now it’s a dialogue. You need to care about and react to what your followers say, even if they don’t have nice things to say.”

Adjust your expectations: “Companies get onto social media expecting it to be both magical and free. Creating good content requires work and time. Tacking responsibilities to someone’s portfolio without training them or giving them the resources to do it well will leave everyone disappointed.”

Limit choice: “Having too many options is overwhelming, so guide your reader into knowing what their next move should be. If you want them to share a post, design it accordingly, but don’t expect them to share, respond and follow a link,” he says.

Be interactive: “Social media algorithms are designed to quickly spread the posts that are being engaged with, so instead of ending a post with a period that says the conversation is over, end with a question mark that prompts feedback. Of course, be more imaginative than a last-minute, ‘what do you think?’ “

Tone: “I don’t want my bank making jokes,” says Bearse. “Remember to align your message with your brand values and to speak to people in the register you would if they called you on the phone. Every brand needs to ask themselves: Do we use smiley faces? There’s nothing wrong with doing so — just have the conversations in advance to ensure alignment with the image you’re trying to cultivate.

A friendship, not a campaign: “If the first time someone met you they were asked for a big favour, they likely wouldn’t be interested in developing a relationship. If instead, over a period of time you relate to them, engage with them and genuinely want them to be happy, eventually they’ll be happy to help,” he says. “If you’re not getting responses to your posts, ask what you’ve contributed to the relationship that deserves a response.”

New courses focus on experiential learning

The 2014-15 academic year comes with a host of new course offerings from the Queen’s faculties, many of which have been adapted to new teaching subjects and practices.

“Queen’s makes providing students a transformative learning experience a top priority,” says Dr. Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “We’re proud that our faculties are constantly enhancing their offerings, whether in terms of bringing in new research in the field, integrating transferable skills or expanding experiential opportunities in the classroom. Every semester brings fresh ideas and innovative pedagogies.”

The following are a selection of new Queen’s courses.

Faculty of Arts and Science

HIST 212 - Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Offers credit for non-academic work in historical practice at locations such as museums, archives, historic sites, etc. Students must write a proposal prior to the work experience and a report after its completion.

RELS 268 - Religion and Bioethics
Studies the moral and religious norms of ethical judgment in bio-medicine; specific issues will be chosen such as population control, abortion, genetic control, experimentation, consent, behaviour control, death and euthanasia.

Faculty of Education

GDPI 811 – Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Helps students develop a foundational understanding of innovation in the workplace grounded in exploration of historical, sociological, and philosophical contexts and frameworks. Student will explore case studies and develop a plan of action rooted in the particular needs of their workplace.

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

APSC 223 – Global Project Management at the Castle
Covers the knowledge areas and processes of project management with a focus on a practical and applied approach. The course utilizes the global city of London, its engineering firms, experts, practitioners and massive engineering undertakings (The Shard, Cross-Rail, the Eurotunnel, the Thames Barrier, etc.) to investigate the problems, challenges and successes of managing global engineering projects.

CIVL 372 – Water and Wastewater Engineering
Introduces the general concepts of water/wastewater engineering for the protection of human and ecosystem health. Alternative and innovation urban water management strategies will be discussed and emerging issues for water managers will be introduced.

Faculty of Health Sciences

The Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) program has been improved for its second year of operation. Along with a full slate of courses in an Arts and Science Honours degree program, QuARMS students now have access to additional courses in topics like Population and Global Health and Skin and Special Senses. Continuing this year will be the First Patient Project, where students are partnered with and learn from a patient in the community, as well as Patient Contact in Internal Medicine, where students work with an internal medicine physician on the examination and observation skills. 

Faculty of Law

LAW 527 – Queen’s Family Law Clinic
Students provides services at the Family Law Clinic, providing legal advice, assistance, information and representation to low income individuals in the Kingston area involved with the family justice system. Instruction is provided through lectures and class discussion, simulation exercises in interviewing and advocacy and individual supervision of student casework by the clinic’s project director.

School of Business

COMM 356 – Gender and Diversity in Organizations
Studies diversity and difference in the workplace, and emphasizes the importance of equity and inclusivity in modern organizations. Classes are discussion-focused and will help students grow comfortable discussing, addressing and managing issues of gender and diversity in their careers and organizations.

COMM 433 – Marketing Analytics
Explores the technological and marketing innovations that have been enabled by the advent of “big data.” This course equips students to transform information to insight and insight into shrewd judgement, allowing them to make better marketing and resource allocation decisions. 

Staff and students prepare for orientation week

Student leaders undergo intensive pre-orientation week training to welcome new students to campus.

Faculty orientation week will have more than 1,000 student leaders on hand to welcome new students to campus.

Next week, Queen'™s will welcome approximately 4,000 new first-year students to campus and introduce them to the place that will become their home away from home.

Once students have moved into residence they begin orientation week activities. At Queen's, incoming first-year students have the option to participate in a two-part orientation week.

More than 1,000 student volunteers undergo intensive training to ensure they are equipped to prepare students for their new living and learning environment and to introduce them to the spirit that makes Queen's unique.

Arig al-Shaibah, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Learning, understands how important this training is for student leaders.

Orientation week by the numbers

More than 1,000 orientation leaders
will be on hand to offer advice and supervision

There are almost 150 SEO student volunteers, residence dons, and Residence Society members involved in university orientation

Queen'™s is welcoming 4,000 new students this fall

Each faculty orientation leader undergoes a minimum of 19 hours of training

There are 8 different faculty orientation weeks at Queen'™s

In 2013, Queen's raised $71,294.70 for Shinerama Canada

"œThe university is excited to welcome a new group of students to campus and give them an educational, inclusive, safe and enjoyable introduction to life on campus and the Kingston community," she says. "To do this, all of our student organizers and leaders receive training to handle a variety of situations in many different areas such as inclusivity, safety, accessibility and mental health."

The first part of the week, university orientation, begins with the Queen's Welcomes U event, the evening of Sunday, Aug. 31, after residence move-in. University orientation days continue on Monday, Sept. 1 and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

University orientation days are co-ordinated by the Student Affairs staff in the Student Experience Office (SEO) who work with Residence Life staff and dons, Residence Society members, and the AMS First Years Not In Residence (FYNIR) student group to ensure students living in residence and off-campus are introduced to their new home and life at Queen'™s and in Kingston.

After university orientation, new students can take part in their faculty-specific orientation days, which run Wednesday, Sept. 3 through Saturday, Sept. 6. Events during faculty orientation days are co-ordinated by the AMS Orientation Roundtable (ORT), comprising student leader representatives from all faculties and schools, as well as incoming exchange, transfer and Bader International Study Centre students.

"œTraining for faculty orientation week leaders is a fundamental part of equipping these students with the knowledge needed to assist in achieving the goals of our orientation week," says Erin Maguire, AMS Orientation Roundtable Co-ordinator. "The AMS looks forward to helping provide incoming students with a solid foundation for a successful academic and social transition to Queen's."

For more information on orientation week at Queen's, visit http://www.queensu.ca/orientation/. More information on the inclusivity and accessibility training provided to all orientation leaders can be found on the Accessibility Hub.

Student entrepreneurs get innovative

Hasina Daya (Artsci'14) provides an update on her team’s start-up business, Cellblock Brewery, during a 3-2-1 meeting that is held weekly as part of the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative. University Communications

This article is published in the Aug. 12 edition of the Gazette. Pick up your copy of the newspaper at one of the many locations around campus.

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor

Friday mornings throughout the summer there is a group of students who gather in Beamish-Munro Hall. Divided into teams, they take their turn at the front of Room 313 and provide a progress report on their projects.

This is a 3-2-1 meeting. They have three slides, two minutes for presentation and one minute for questions.

These are young entrepreneurs and they are taking part in the Queen’s Summer Innovation Initiative (QSII).
Run by the Queen’s Innovation Connector (QIC), the program brings together students from a number of faculties, as well as St. Lawrence College, with a range of backgrounds. Their goal, however, is the same – to plan and create a product and then make it market-ready.

From a device providing digital video in boreholes deep in the earth to a microbrewery drawing upon Kingston’s a prison town heritage to an electronic device cleaner for hospitals, the projects are imaginative and diverse.

QIC itself was established in 2012 as a collaboration between Queen’s School of Business and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The aim, along with that of QSII, is to build on the university’s strengths “in cultivating ideas and fueling discoveries.”

It is clear within a few presentations at the 3-2-1 meeting that those goals are being met.

Leading the way at the QSII are Jim McLellan, QIC’s Academic Director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, Greg Bavington, QIC’s Executive Director, and Alix Murphy, QSII Co-ordinator. University Communications

Leading the way at the QSII are the trio of Greg Bavington, QIC’s Executive Director, Jim McLellan, QIC’s Academic Director, professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Engineering Chemistry, and Alix Murphy, QSII Co-ordinator. The 16-week paid internship program, now in its third year, is aimed at advancing innovation and entrepreneurship and each summer has a fresh crop of bright minds, eager to see their ideas come to fruition.

While there are similar programs at other schools, QSII differentiates itself in the breadth of programming and that it is a pan-university effort. Instead of belonging to a particular faculty the QIC reports to the Provost. There is tangible support from all the major faculties and even the Alma Mater Society.
In a short time, the team has seen a lot of progress.

“I’d say we’ve leap-frogged most of them,” says Mr. Bavington when comparing QSII to similar programs in Canada. “We don’t have the track record, we don’t have the scale but I’d say our programming is exceptional and at the leading edge.”

For example, Mr. Bavington and Dr. McLellan recently attended a symposium in Massachusetts where the organizers offered a list of around 20 best practices for on-campus incubation. QSII had already implemented all of them on its own.

One is that the teams are formed by the students themselves, rather than being pre-selected by the directors. The reason for this is simple: while there may be some hurt feelings and awkward moments for the students, it mirrors what really happens in the private sector.

That’s experiential learning and that is key to the program. It is not an academic certificate course and isn’t run as such. The projects really are start-ups and there are no grades.

The teams do not work in isolation either. While there is plenty of competition, with a $30,000 first prize on the line to help grow the team’s business, there also is a massive amount of collaboration. The weekly meetings are an example. Not only are the teams giving a progress report, they are turning to their peers for ideas, support, and perhaps most importantly, constructive criticism. Teams and individuals are held to account.

“They enjoy problem solving and they enjoy brainstorming and they enjoy critical thinking and they enjoy creativity,” Dr. McLellan says. “And where you will see that is in these 3-2-1 presentations where each venture will say ‘here is what we have done, here is our timeline and here are some of the obstacles.’ They just sort of put it out there and they get feedback. Everyone understands that it is time for a constructive but potentially critical feedback.”

Now with the third group of students working on projects, the team is confident in saying that there is a large amount of interest in such a program and that Queen’s students are showing that they are self-starters and bring a strong mix of initiative, creativity and critical thinking to the table. Yet, they aren’t perfect, Mr. Bavington says.

“One of the things that I’ve learned personally is that I am absolutely convinced not only is there a lot of pent-up demand, there’s a lot of talent in these young people” he says. “They’ve got a ton of talent, they’re nice kids, they’re well-intentioned kids, they’re bright, eager, highly motivated, they’re organized and they’re fun. But one of the weaknesses that they have is that they have failed very rarely in their lives.”

Many of the students have been the top of their class throughout their education. The QSII program will challenge them like never before and by the time the program is over there are plenty of students who realize that entrepreneurship is not for them.

However, they will have gained much.

“Some of the important qualities for entrepreneurship are thinking on your feet, being able to say something succinctly, take an idea, figure out what you don’t know, what you don’t know and being able to go dig and figure out what you need to know,” Dr. McLellan says. “Those are all sorts of critical thought qualities you want in students anyway.”

High demand for Queen's programs outpaces Ontario university trend

By Communications Staff,

The number of students choosing Queen’s University is outpacing the provincial trend, reflecting strong demand for Queen’s undergraduate education and quality programs.

According to data recently released by the Ontario University Application Centre, the number of confirmations—students who have accepted Queen’s offer of admission—is up 11 per cent for the 2014 academic year. That compares to an overall decline of 1.3 per cent across Ontario universities. Queen’s continues to have one of Canada’s highest entering averages at 88.4 per cent.

“Top students choose Queen’s not only because of its world-class academic programs, but also because we offer a welcoming community where faculty and staff do everything they can to ensure our students succeed,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Thanks are due to our recruitment staff, faculty and alumni who talked to prospective students about our outstanding living and learning environment and the benefits of a Queen’s education.”

Queen’s is highly regarded for its student learning experience, performing very well in the National Survey of Student Engagement’s (NSSE) key benchmarks, including enriching educational experience and level of academic challenge. 86 per cent of senior-year Queen’s students surveyed by NSSE report their entire educational experience as “excellent” or “good”, which puts Queen’s among the top institutions in Ontario.

“Queen’s offers a unique value proposition to prospective students,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “We have all of the benefits of a mid-sized, residential university focused on an exceptional undergraduate education, within the context of a research-intensive institution where innovation happens on a daily basis.”

The growing interest in Queen’s extends beyond Canada’s borders, with international students expected to make up 6.3 per cent of the 2014 incoming class.

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