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2022: The year in research

We are celebrating the milestones and accomplishments of Queen’s research community over the past 12 months.

From January to December, our researchers, students, and staff enjoyed being back to in-person events, celebrating funding for groundbreaking projects, and connecting to our community beyond campus. As we approach the end of year, let’s take time to review some of the highlights from 2022.

Memorable moments

As Canada gradually reopened after pandemic shutdowns, we had the chance to once again hold on campus events to celebrate research and innovation. In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade Vic Fedeli, and other dignitaries came to Queen’s to announce a $1.5 billion investment in an EV battery facility in Eastern Ontario that will create hundreds of jobs and partnership opportunities for the university, and boost Ontario’s economy. The podium party also took the opportunity to interact with Queen’s researchers and students.

[Group photo of Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Champagne, and Queen's researchers]
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister François-Philippe Champagne meet with Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, and Queen's researchers at Ingenuity Labs Research Institute.

In November, Queen's hosted the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. He met with students, senior leadership, and members of the research community. The same week, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) president Ted Hewitt visited the campus to meet with Queen's senior leadership and early career researchers, including scholars in Indigenous and Black Studies research.

Support for groundbreaking research

Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) kicked-off 2022 with $24 million in support from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund to advance research on molecular coatings designed to significantly extend the lifespan of vital metals.

In August, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiatives Fund also announced key support for two research facilities affiliated with Queen’s. Combined, SNOLAB – Canada’s deep clean astroparticle research laboratory – and the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) Operations and Statistics Centre were granted $122 million, representing around 20 per cent of the total funding announced to support Canada’s major research infrastructure. Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross travelled 2 km underground to host the announcement, which included Minister Champagne and Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor.

[Photo of Queen's researchers and government officials travel to SNOLAB]
Dr. Nancy Ross accompanies Queen's Emeritus Professor and Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, Minister François-Philippe Champagne, local Members of Parliament, and SNOLAB administration on their way to the facility 2 km underground.

Other funding that will support Queen’s future research include:

[Art of Research photo Aging with Oasis by Riley Malvern]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: Aging with Oasis by Riley Malvern, Staff (Health Services and Policy Research Institute), Kingston, Ontario.

Several Queen’s researchers were also recognized with prestigious awards and prizes. John McGarry (Political Studies) was the 2022 laureate for the Pearson Peace Medal, an award designated by the United Nations Association of Canada to recognize a Canadian who has made outstanding contributions to peace and prosperity around the world.

Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) received the inaugural Canadian Association of Physicists Fellowship for lifetime achievement. Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering) was awarded the inaugural NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research, which recognizes outstanding research that has led to exceptional benefits for Canadian society, the environment, and the economy. Early-career researcher Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh (Chemistry) earned Ontario’s Polanyi Prize for her research advancing innovative computational molecular design techniques.

Other recognitions included fellowships from of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Faculty members were also appointed or reappointed as Canada Research Chairs, the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, and as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Chair of Artificial Intelligence. Queen’s students and postdoctoral fellows received Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, two of the most prestigious national awards for future researchers. Internally, three researchers received the Queen’s Prizes for Excellence in Research, which are granted to early-career researchers who have demonstrated significant contributions to their fields.

[Clockwise: Fateme Babaha, Mackenzie Collins, Jessica Hallenbeck, Joshua Kofsky, Sandra Smeltzer, Jodi-Mae John, Michael P.A. Murphy, Chloe Halpenny.]
Queen's 2022 Vanier Scholars and Banting Fellows [clockwise] Fateme Babaha, Mackenzie Collins, Jessica Hallenbeck, Joshua Kofsky, Sandra Smeltzer, Jodi-Mae John, Michael P.A. Murphy, Chloe Halpenny.

In the news

The Gazette published dozens of research profiles and stories that highlight some of the groundbreaking research undertaken by faculty and students. Our community is addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges, like climate change, with programs on carbon dioxide conversion technology and sustainable finance.

Queen’s experts are responding to challenges worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, like health professionals’ mental health struggles, and working to create new technological solutions for human problems, including robots that can improve human mobility. They are also advancing the field of neuromorphic computers and figuring out new ways to manage obesity.

We continued our partnership with The Conversation Canada, an online news platform that pairs academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be shared and repurposed by media outlets worldwide. Over spring and fall, Queen’s hosted members of their editorial team for four workshops for researchers and graduate students.

This year, 69 Queen’s researchers published 76 articles and garnered over 1.7 million reads on The Conversation. Some of our most read articles covered topics like the impacts of housework imbalance in women’s sexual desire, the power of routines, the relationships between eating rhythms and mental health, and the causes for lung damage in COVID-19.

[Art of Research photo: The Tiniest Tree of Life by Dr. Elahe Alizadeh]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: The Tiniest Tree of Life by Dr. Elahe Alizadeh, Staff (Queen's CardioPulmonary Unit [QCPU]), Queen's University.

Mobilizing research

At Queen’s, we believe inspiring new generations of researchers, gearing research processes towards more equitable and inclusive ones, and bringing together the academy and our community is as important as doing outstanding research. We are proud of our efforts to support Black Excellence in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine/health) and women’s participation and leadership in Engineering.

In 2022, our annual photo contest, Art of Research, was reimagined to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and placed a spotlight on the intrinsic connection between research and social impact.

Our researchers and students have also been working to bring their expertise to the public via outreach events, art installations, short presentations, and connecting with the global community to discuss urgent matters like the crisis in Ukraine – in April, we hosted a panel discussion about the origins and the impact of the conflict featuring experts in political studies and law.

[Art of Research photo: Polar Bear Denning by Scott Arlidge]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: Polar Bear Denning by Scott Arlidge, Graduate Student (School of Environmental Studies), Coral Harbour, Nunavut.

 

New Vice-Provost and Executive Director appointed at Bader College

Janine Griffiths-Baker has been appointed as the new Vice-Provost and Executive Director of Bader College at Queen’s University.

Bader College at Queen’s University is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Vice-Provost and Executive Director, Janine Griffiths-Baker, LLB (Hons), LLM, PhD, PFHEA. Dr. Griffiths-Baker has also been appointed as an adjunct professor to the Faculty of Law.

Dr. Griffiths-Baker joins Bader College from CILEx Regulation Limited, one of the largest legal regulators in England and Wales, where she is currently Chief Executive. She brings with her more than 25 years of experience in higher education, having held several high-profile leadership positions at various public and private institutions across the United Kingdom including Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Bristol, Deputy Principal at St. Mary’s University (London), Dean of the Faculty of Business and Society at the University of South Wales, Dean of Nottingham Law School, and Chief Executive and Dean of the Institute of Law in the Channel Islands.

Born in Wales, Dr. Griffiths-Baker was educated at Cardiff University, where she obtained her initial degree. She earned a LLM in International Commercial Law at the University of Bristol as well as a PhD.

An accomplished scholar and researcher, Dr. Griffiths-Baker specializes in legal ethics, professional regulation and education. She frequently advises national and international bodies on regulatory issues and training programs. She is a former editor for the Journal of Legal Ethics and has been a member of its International Advisory Board since 2010. As a passionate advocate of experiential learning, she was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. Over the last five years, she has devised and delivered training courses for the Ministry of Justice in Oman, the U.S. State Department and the Guernsey Bar, as well as securing significant grants for the delivery of international programs.

Dr. Griffiths-Baker will be taking up residency at Bader College in late December and will officially begin her new role on Jan 1, 2023. Principal Patrick Deane would like to acknowledge and thank Jennifer Medves, who has been acting in the role since July and will assist with the transition of Dr. Griffiths-Baker.

Dean, Faculty of Law search committee membership announced

Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law, will complete his deanship one year early, on June 30, 2023. 

In accordance with the Appointment of Deans procedure established by Senate, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane is calling upon the Queen’s community for submissions of opinion on the direction and leadership of the Faculty of Law. Submissions should be directed to the email: provost@queensu.ca

Those submitting their views in writing are to state whether they wish to have their letters shown, in confidence, to members of the Advisory Committee. Principal Deane. The principal has asked Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Teri Shearer to chair the Principal’s Advisory Committee that will make recommendations to the Principal on the appointment of the next dean.

Principal Deane would like to thank the following individuals who have agreed to serve on the Advisory Committee:

  • Teri Shearer, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) (Chair)
  • Lori Stewart, Executive Director, Provost’s Office (Secretary)
  • Colin Grey, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Stacia Loft, Director of Indigenous Initiatives and EDII Programs, Faculty of Law
  • Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion)
  • Karla McGrath, Executive Director, Queen’s Law Clinics and Director, Family Law Clinic, Faculty of Law
  • Deanna Morash, Executive Director, Administration and Finance, Faculty of Law
  • Erik Knutsen, Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Ashwini Vasanthakumar, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Lisa Kelly, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Wanda Costen, Dean, Smith School of Business
  • Olivia Moon, President, Law Student Society
  • Kelley McKinnon, Chair, Dean’s Advisory Council

As stipulated by the Senate procedures, Principal Deane will also be writing directly to members of the Faculty of Law’s Faculty Board to invite them to submit their views on the question of potential candidates and matters pertaining to present administration and future development.

All community members are encouraged to fully engage in this process. Principal Deane thanks all for their time and consideration.

Communicating research beyond the academy

In-person workshops with The Conversation Canada will help Queen’s researchers reach bigger audiences with their expertise.

[graphic image] Queen's University & The Conversation workshops

Researchers are experts in their fields and know how society could make use of their expertise to support critical thinking and daily decision making related to a range of topics – from climate change, health, politics, technology, to the economy, and many other topics. But communicating evidence-based knowledge has its challenges: what platform to use? Which aspects of the research are the most interesting to the public? How to address complex issues in a language everyone can understand?

In two workshops hosted by University Relations, the editorial team of The Conversation Canada will walk researchers through these and other questions. The in-person, hands-on workshops will feature what makes a good article, how to explain your research effectively, and how to work with The Conversation to boost research promotion across mediums.

The workshops will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Mitchell Hall (see sidebar to learn more). Faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students are welcome to participate. In the afternoon session, there will be a focus on how to promote research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Seats are limited to 40 participants in each session. Refreshments will be provided.

The Conversation and Queen’s

The Conversation, an online news platform created in Australia in 2011, pairs academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be shared and repurposed by media outlets worldwide. Following its success in Australia, regional editions began appearing worldwide and, in 2017, The Conversation Canada launched with support from some of the country’s top universities, including Queen’s, and Canada’s research funding agencies.

As a founding member of The Conversation Canada, the Queen’s research community has embraced the platform as a unique tool for sharing their research expertise and engaging with the media. Almost 270 Queen’s researchers have published 425 articles that have garnered over 8 million views via The Conversation Canada’s website. Through the platform’s Creative Commons Licensing and newswire access, hundreds of major media outlets, including The National Post, CNN, TIME, The Washington Post, The Weather Network, Today’s Parent, and Scientific American, have republished these pieces.

From cryptocurrencies to how eating rhythms impact our mental health, Queen’s researchers have written on a variety of timely and timeless topics. Some of our most-read articles looked at the physical symptoms caused by pandemic stress, the drama of Haitian children abandoned by UN fathers, the extinction of a bird species, the rising popularity of spirituality without religion, and the negative effects of salting icy roads on aquatic ecosystems.

The Conversation Canada and Queen’s University Workshops

Thursday, Oct. 20

Session 1:
10 to 11:30 a.m. (Click to register.)

Session 2 (STEM research):
2 to 3:30 p.m. (Click to register.)

Rose Innovation Hub Space,
Mitchell Hall

For any questions, contact researchcommunications@queensu.ca

The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement, bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “We have seen participation from every faculty, and Queen’s continues to show leadership in contributing to the platform among Canadian peers.”

The workshops: How to write for The Conversation

The workshops will be led by Scott White, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada, and Nehal El-Hadi, the Science + Technology Editor of The Conversation Canada. The in-person program will highlight the changing media landscape, the role of The Conversation and researchers as credible news sources, and how to craft the perfect pitch. Participants will develop pitch ideas and can receive real-time editorial feedback.

Saskatchewan stabbings: Why Myles Sanderson was granted statutory release

Kingston Penitentiary wall and barbed wire

The violent acts of Myles Sanderson in the Saskatchewan stabbings have raised many questions about why he was in the community of James Smith Cree Nation at all.

First, there are questions about the system of statutory release that saw Sanderson leave federal prison in August 2021. Unlike parole, this is not a form of early release at the discretion of the Parole Board of Canada. Rather, statutory release is an automatic system of structured reintegration triggered once two-thirds of a sentence is completed.

The purpose of statutory release is public safety: it ensures that inmates do not leave a penitentiary without supervision and structure.

When a sentence is over, prison and parole officials are not able to tell a former inmate where to live, whether to abstain from alcohol, whether to communicate with a parole officer and so on. As such, the statutory release period is a critical part of community reintegration through robust supervision tools.

Parole Board not the only body involved

Focusing just on the Parole Board ignores the other equal partner in this system. The Correctional Service of Canada is responsible for the case preparation and the community supervision.

The only way that inmates can be detained past statutory release — until the end of their sentence — is if prison officials bring an application to the board showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the offender is “likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person” before the expiration of their sentence.

That is a high bar to meet. No such application was brought in the case of Sanderson.

Majority pose no risk

Sanderson’s actions while on statutory release were, statistically, extremely unrepresentative of how people behave on this form of release.

In more than 98 per cent of cases over the past five years, statutory release is completed without a new violent offence. These numbers have been improving over time. The rate of revocation for a violent offence went from 1.6 per cent in 2015-16 to 1.1 per cent in 2019-20.

The majority of statutory releases, 65.9 per cent, were successfully completed with no issues at all. A breach of a condition occurred in 26.5 per cent of cases — not a new criminal offence, but perhaps a failure to communicate with a parole officer as required. Just 6.4 per cent were revoked with a new non-violent offence.

To break these numbers down further: 57 people had their statutory release revoked in 2019-20. These numbers account for a small fraction of violence in this country. In that same year, there were 169,528 adults charged for violent offences.

Some may argue that to eliminate the 57 violence offences that occurred in 2019-20, statutory release should be eliminated. If only it were so simple. Without the supervisory safeguards that come with statutory release, releasing thousands of inmates directly from prison each year would make us profoundly less safe.

Released with reprimand

There have also been questions about the fact that Sanderson’s release was suspended in November 2021 because he failed to inform his parole officer that he was involved in an intimate relationship — a special condition of his release.

In February 2022, following a hearing on that issue, the Parole Board did not revoke his statutory release. Instead, the suspension of Sanderson’s release was cancelled and he was released with a reprimand. He returned to the supervision of Corrections Canada, as well as local police.

There have been widespread suggestions the Parole Board should have revoked his statutory release at the February review. Implicit in that view is the idea that Sanderson would have remained incarcerated — meaning the multiple murders and injuries he committed on Sept. 4 would have been prevented. The stabbing incidents left 10 people dead and 18 injured.

In fact, parole revocation does not mean indefinite prison. It means a recalculation of the statutory release date. The new date arrives at two-thirds of the remaining time before warrant expiry. That means Sanderson likely would have been released by summer. It is impossible to know whether a few more months in prison would have changed his path.

The difference between suspension and revocation

The Parole Board’s February 2022 decision to cancel Sanderson’s suspension, rather than to revoke his statutory release, is nearly 10 pages long. It provides a comprehensive picture of Sanderson’s difficult life and his involvement with the criminal justice system over many years.

It describes how his release was suspended when his ex-spouse contacted his parole officer to report that they had been living together and he had failed to report it. The parole officer expressed concern for the safety of his ex-spouse. It seems his risk to re-offend was elevated at that time. Suspension was a reasonable decision.

At the revocation hearing three months later, the Parole Board had to undertake a fuller analysis. At such hearings, the board considers more than whether there was a breach of conditions – it had to decide whether there is a real risk of re-offending.

This involves careful consideration of numerous factors. Sanderson had not committed a new criminal offence and he had turned himself in immediately. He had been sober for the four months he had been out, confirmed by regular drug tests. He had found work, attended therapy and engaged in Indigenous cultural activities. Sanderson had a new plan to live with someone other than his ex-spouse.

The Parole Board opted to allow his return to the community.

The board’s decision was a reasonable one for that moment in time. It appears to represent careful consideration of the many factors that are in play when assessing risk and broader goals of public safety in the near and long term. It is far from certain that a different decision would have been the key to preventing this tragedy.

_________________________________________________

Amy Carter, a lawyer who practices prison law with Grace, Snowdon & Terepocki LLP, co-authored this article.The Conversation

Lisa Kerr, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University

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

Mark Walters stepping down as dean of the Faculty of Law in June 2023

Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law, will complete his deanship one year early, on June 30, 2023.

“Serving as the dean of one of Canada’s leading law schools has been a great privilege,” Dr. Walters says. “I have enjoyed my time as dean immensely, but I am now looking forward to returning to my research, writing, teaching, and mentoring students in the fields of public and constitutional law.”

During his tenure as dean, Dr. Walters has strengthened the Faculty of Law through the development of a new Strategic Framework (2021-2026), the introduction of new academic programs and dynamic course offerings – including the successful launch of the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law – and has expanded faculty hiring in strategic areas to advance the academic mission and research footprint of the school. He has also worked to enhance equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigenization within the Faculty of Law through the establishment of an Anti-Racism Working Group, the launch of a JD curriculum review to align with Queen’s EDII goals, and increased recruitment and support for students from equity-deserving groups.

Principal Deane and Provost Teri Shearer would like to thank Dr. Walters for his service as dean and wish him well on his return to teaching and research. Further information on the search for the next dean of the Faculty of Law will be shared once available.

A statement from Dean Walters can be found on the Faculty of Law website.

New program equips leaders to tackle global challenges

Queen’s launches first-in-Canada Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship.

[Drone photo of campus]

Queen’s has launched a new program to enable executives and professionals from a variety of sectors to better understand and address complex social and global challenges. The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact (ALSI) Fellowship is a first-in-Canada program that provides the tools, knowledge, and networks participants need to tackle the root causes of social problems – from housing affordability to climate change.

“To confront the significant social issues of our day, we need people with a deep understanding and appreciation of the complexities of how to make real impact,” says Jim Leech, former president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, former Chair of the Mastercard Foundation, and Chancellor Emeritus of Queen’s University. “Through the Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship we have the opportunity to foster a community of leaders, from all walks of life, able to drive meaningful solutions for people and the planet.”

Closing a gap

Social issues are complex and must be viewed from multiple perspectives to achieve meaningful outcomes. Leaders must also be equipped with various approaches to initiate or measure progress on impact-driven solutions. The fellowship responds to a gap in the higher education landscape.

The one-year, hybrid program draws from field-leading Queen’s research and industry experts, including environmental biologists, chemical engineers, and international business lawyers. It also applies a human-centric approach to investigate all dimensions of social issues, meaning that stakeholders are involved at all levels of decision-making and can move quickly from theory to practice and project application.

“The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship doesn’t look at social problems in isolation or from one perspective,” says Jean-Baptiste Litrico, Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Queen’s and the program’s co-director. “The program is grounded in the belief that real issues are systemic and require a multidimensional leadership approach to inspire tangible solutions.”

[Photo of people walking on Queen's campus]
ALSI Fellowship participants will engage in four on-campus residency sessions as part of the one-year hybrid program.

Commitment to social impact

The fellowship builds on Queen’s reputation as a leader in advancing sustainability and social impact. For two years in a row, the university has ranked top-10 globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure the institution’s contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  

In addition to being a Canadian-first, the ALSI program marks a milestone as the first cross-faculty delivered professional program. While co-led by faculty from the Smith School of Business and the Faculty of Education, it draws in individuals from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Arts and Science, reflecting the cross-campus commitment to driving social change.

“At Queen’s, we empower our community to advance social impact through research, teaching, and outreach activities,” says Ted Christou, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education and co-director of the program. “We can broaden this reach to likeminded leaders through a transformative curriculum focused on a diversity of perspectives and team-based solutions.”

Transformative leadership

In October 2022, the ALSI Fellowship will welcome its first cohort with an initial intake representing a variety of careers and backgrounds. Designed to accommodate those working full-time or with other commitments, the program will combine on-campus residential sessions with online synchronous learning, and a team-based culminating project.

The one-year program includes over 130 hours of curriculum that are divided into three themed semesters: discovery, design, and delivery. Each focuses on a core mindset required to understand drivers of problems and move from theory to practice.

Participants will also network with faculty, mentors, and peers, learning from leading experts in the field with both academic and applied experience.

The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship is currently recruiting participants for 2022-2023. For more information on the program, visit the website.

Convocation returns

  • A graduate from the School of Medicine points to his family as he is congratulated by Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech during the convocation ceremony on Friday, May 27.
    A graduate from the School of Medicine points to his family as he is congratulated by Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech during the convocation ceremony on Friday, May 27.
  • Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech poses with a graduate of the Faculty of Law on the stage during Friday's convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
    Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leech poses with a graduate of the Faculty of Law on the stage during Friday's convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.
  • A graduate embraces Stacia Loft, Director, Indigenous Initiatives and EDII Programs for the Faculty of Law, as she receives a Blackfoot Peoples Mountain Blanket.
    A graduate embraces Stacia Loft, Director, Indigenous Initiatives and EDII Programs for the Faculty of Law, as she receives a Blackfoot Peoples Mountain Blanket.
  • Graduates from the Faculty of Law and the School of Medicine look to their family and supports at Grant Hall as the convocation ceremony begins.
    Graduates from the Faculty of Law and the School of Medicine look to their family and supports at Grant Hall as the convocation ceremony begins.
  • A graduate from the School of Medicine gets a fist bump from Rector Owen Crawford-Lem as he crosses the stage at Grant Hall.
    A graduate from the School of Medicine gets a fist bump from Rector Owen Crawford-Lem as he crosses the stage at Grant Hall.

Queen’s University held its first in-person convocation ceremonies in two years on Friday, May 27, celebrating the Class of 2022 for both the Faculty of Law and the School of Medicine.

Graduates and their families and supports gathered at Grant Hall to mark the successful completion of their Juris Doctor and Doctor of Medicine degrees.

Convocation will return on June 20-24 with ceremonies celebrating the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 at the Leon’s Centre.

Details about convocation and the full schedule of events are available at queensu.ca.

Cast your vote for the Art of Research

The public has until June 2 to vote for their favourite Queen's research photo in the People’s Choice category.

[Collage of photos with text: Art of Research photo contest]
A selection of Queen's research photos included in the People's Choice vote as part of the Art of Research photo contest.

Voting is now open for the People’s Choice prize in the annual Art of Research photo contest. The public is invited to cast their ballot and participate in promoting the diversity of research happening across Queen’s.

Hosted by the Office of the Vice-Principal (University Relations), the annual contest is an opportunity for Queen’s researchers to mobilize their research beyond the academy. The contest is aimed at providing a creative and accessible method of sharing the ground-breaking research being done by the Queen’s community and celebrating the global and social impact of this work.

Contest prizes

The 2022 contest has been reimagined through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to celebrate the impact of research in advancing these important global goals. Five new categories inspired by the SDGs were introduced for this year’s contest alongside the popular People’s Choice prize.

Images selected for voting in the People’s Choice are entries that generated discussion and were shortlisted by the adjudication committee.

All prizes come with a monetary prize of $250.

Cast your vote

The survey closes on June 2 at midnight. Winners of the 2022 Art of Research photo contest will be announced shortly following the vote.

To learn more about past contests, visit the Research@Queen’s website.

2022 Art of Research Adjudication Committee

  • Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research)
  • Kanonhsyonne - Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation)
  • Nicholas Mosey, Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Heidi Ploeg, QFEAS Chair for Women in Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • Ruth Dunley, Associate Director, Editorial Strategy, Office of Advancement
  • Jung-Ah Kim, PhD Student, Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies
  • Melinda Knox, Director, Thought Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, University Relations
  • Véronique St-Antoine, Communications Advisor, NSERC

Transforming the global academy

Principal Patrick Deane on how the SDGs are helping break down silos, provoke dialogue, and unite us all in a common global purpose.

[Photo of Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane]
Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen's University

This op-ed was originally published in the Times Higher Education supplement in 2021.

As a member of the international group tasked with updating the Magna Charta Universitatum – the declaration of university freedoms and principles that was first signed in Bologna in 1988 – I am struck by the extent to which the intervening three decades have altered the global consensus about the nature and function of universities. Where the original document spoke eloquently to the fundamental values of the academy, the new Magna Charta Universitatum 2020 reaffirms those values but also expands upon their social function and utility. I would summarise the shift this way: we have moved from an understanding of universities as defined primarily by their ability to transcend historical contingency to a more complicated view, which asserts that timeless principles such as academic freedom and institutional autonomy are the platform from which the academy must engage with history.

If the situation in Europe and around the world in 1988 made it important to speak up for the freedoms without which teaching and research would be impoverished, by 2020 it had become equally important to speak of the responsibilities incumbent on institutions by virtue of the privileges accorded to them. The reality of rapid climate change has brought urgency and authority to this new view of universities, as have parallel trends in the social, cultural, and political climate, and “education for sustainable development” has emerged as the increasingly dominant model for global higher education – one which fuses the concerns of environment, society, and economy.  

Recent columns in Times Higher Education have admirably described the diverse ways in which the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been intrinsic to this reorientation of the global academy: as a rallying point for students and staff, as an accountability framework, and as a global language for political action, for example. Here at Queen’s University, the SDGs have been an important frame for our current planning process, and in all of those ways have influenced the manner in which we understand and wish to articulate our mission.

At one point in the process, an influential and valued friend of the university expressed some irritation to me about the way in which the SDGs had come to dominate and disrupt the university’s normally untroubled and inwardly-focused dialogue with itself about mission and values. “And in any case,” came the throwaway dismissal, “there’s nothing original or new about aligning with the SDGs.” Of course, that is true in 2021, but is it relevant? If a university is able to maximise its global impact, does the inherent originality or novelty of its planning parameters matter? In such exchanges – still occurring, I’m certain, on campuses everywhere – we can see that the changing consensus about which I wrote at the start is not yet complete.

It seems to me, in fact, that much of the value of the SDGs as an organising framework for universities resides in their not being proprietary or “original” to one institution, or to an exclusive group of institutions. It has often been pointed out that they now provide a shared language which helps universities in diverse geographical, political, and socio-economic locations understand and build upon the commonality of their work in both teaching and research. Adoption of the SDGs, however variously that is done from institution to institution, is turning the “global academy” from a rhetorical to a real construct, and I can’t imagine why it would be in the interests of any university to hold itself aloof from that transformation. Having watched our planning process unfold at Queen’s over the last two years, I can confirm that what the SDGs do at the global level, they do also at the level of the individual institution, providing a common language that provokes and sustains dialogue – not only between disciplines, but between the academic and non-academic parts of the operation.

I want to end by commenting on the excitement generated when siloes are broken open and when people and units understand how they are united with others in a common purpose and in service to the greater good. To cultivate that understanding has been the primary objective of planning at Queen’s for the last two years, and preparing our first submission to the Impact Rankings has been an intrinsic part of that process of learning and self-discovery. Naturally, we are delighted and excited by where we find ourselves in the rankings, but we are energised in a more profound way by the knowledge of what synergies and collaborations exist or appear possible both within our university and in the global academy.

The first 16 SDGs point to the areas in which we want to have impact. The 17th tells us what the whole project is really all about: acting in community for the communal good.

 

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