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Bringing the Queen’s and Indigenous communities together

Gift from David Sharpe (Law'95) will fund a three-year program integrating Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into the academic environment and develop connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.

[Gift from David Sharpe (Law'95)]
David Sharpe (Law'95), Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator Ann Deer, former Faculty of Law Dean Bill Flanagan, and Faculty of Law Dean Mark Walters, attend the Chief R. Donald Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Fund gift announcement. (Photo by Rai Allen)

A gift from David Sharpe (Law’95) will bring a highly-respected Indigenous scholar to Queen’s University to lead a new program to promote reconciliation and Indigenous cultures on campus.

Sharpe, a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, made a $250,000 donation to fund the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative, a three-year program that will integrate Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into the academic environment and develop connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.

The donation helps support the efforts of Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force, which outlines 25 recommendations for sustained institutional change to create a more welcoming environment for Indigenous students, staff and faculty.

“Queen’s is doing much more for the Indigenous community than when I was a student (in the 1990s), but there is still more to be done,” says Sharpe.

The gift enables Queen’s to bring Indigenous scholar Professor Mark Dockstator to campus this fall to lead the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative. Dockstator is a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, and was the first person from a First Nation to graduate with a doctorate in law. He recently completed a five-year term as president of First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Sask., that saw the school reach record levels of student enrolment.

Sharpe would like to see that success at Queen’s.

“I want more Indigenous students to come to Queen’s and be able to embrace their culture,” he says. “Mark Dockstator is the perfect person to bring the Queen’s and Indigenous communities closer together. He is very familiar with both the academic and Indigenous worlds.”

Exactly how the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative will bring the two communities closer together will be decided by Dockstator through a year-long consultation process with elders, Indigenous faculty and students, and administrative leaders. The following two years will see the recommended programs launched and refined.

Sharpe believes access to post-secondary education is key to helping Aboriginal students and communities. His Queen’s Law degree, along with an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and a Master of Laws from Osgoode, led to a successful career on Bay Street in the financial services industry. He is currently the CEO of Bridging Finance Inc., one of the few alternative financing companies in Canada that fund First Nations and Inuit infrastructure projects.

“I have an opportunity to make a difference, and the only way I know how to do that is through education and economic development,” says Sharpe.

The Indigenous Knowledge Initiative is supported by the Chief R. Donald Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Fund, which Sharpe established in honour of Don Maracle, the long-time chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Queen’s University is making its campus more welcoming to the Indigenous community by implementing the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force recommendations. A 2018 progress report highlights many actions taken, including doubling the size of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to meet the demands of a growing Indigenous community and installing a permanent Indigenous art display in the Queen’s Law atrium to honour both Canada’s Indigenous legal traditions and the principals of reconciliation.

This article was first published on the Queen's Alumni website.

Queen's remembers Nancy McCormack

Faculty of Law recognizes passing of lauded professor and librarian.

Nancy McCormack
Nancy McCormack was a valued member of the Queen’s Law and Library communities since joining the university in 2002, including five years as Head Law Librarian (Photo: Greg Black).

The Queen’s community is remembering Nancy McCormack, a faculty member and librarian with the Queen’s University Faculty of Law, who died on July 17 following a period of illness. She was 56.

A member of the faculty since 2002, including five years as Head Law Librarian, Professor McCormack was lauded as a teacher, writer, and librarian. In her faculty role, she taught Torts and Advanced Legal Research for JD students and Legal Research and Writing for graduate students. She co-authored numerous books including the Annotated Federal Interpretation Act, The Practical Guide to Canadian Legal Research, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of Canada, and Updating Statutes and Regulations for all Canadian Jurisdictions. She published widely on the subjects of legal research, Canadian legislation, statutory interpretation, and law librarianship.

“Nancy served with great distinction since joining the Faculty in 2002, including five years as our Head Law Librarian” says Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law. “Nancy will be missed as a caring and thoughtful teacher, scholar, and colleague, someone valued for her love of legal learning, for her sense of pragmatic wisdom, and of course for her generous spirit and wonderful sense of humour. She was a treasured member of our community.”

In recent months, Professor McCormack was completing her work as the sole editor and compiler of the 5th edition of The Dictionary of Canadian Law (Thomson Reuters), a Herculean task at approximately 1400 pages and 31,000 entries. It is due to be published later in 2019.

Professor McCormack was the keynote speaker at Canada’s New Law Librarians’ Institute, and spoke nationally and internationally on both academic and library-related issues. She served as Associate Editor for the Canadian Law Library Review published by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries. She was awarded the Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship in 2014 and the Michael Silverstein Prize, in 2018, for enhancing the understanding, analysis and appreciation of primary law.

The family will be holding a celebration of life at a later date, with flags lowered on campus to commemorate her on that day.

Meet the Dean of Queen’s Law

Mark Walters shares his thoughts and plans for the Faculty of Law and its community members as he begins his term as dean.

Mark Walters, Law’89 graduate and former faculty member, has returned to Queen's to lead the Faculty of Law’s next phase of development. His depth and breadth of experience in research, teaching, and academic leadership will enable Queen’s Law to continue its momentum as one of Canada’s leading law schools. (University Communications / Photo by Greg Black)

Mark Walters (Law'89) is recognized as one of Canada’s leading scholars in public and constitutional law, legal history and legal theory. His work on the rights of Indigenous peoples, focused on treaty relations between the Crown and Canada’s Indigenous nations, has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as by courts in Australia and New Zealand. 

As he begins his term as dean of the Faculty of Law, a return to his alma mater, his expertise will certainly help Queen’s in its continuing effort to be a leader in innovative legal education and scholarship.

“Legal education and practice are poised for enormous change,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Dr. Walters has a depth and breadth of experience in research, teaching and academic leadership that will enable Queen’s Law to continue its momentum as one of Canada’s leading law schools.”

For the past three years, Dr. Walters has held the distinguished F.R. Scott Chair in Public and Constitutional Law at McGill’s Faculty of Law. For the 17 years before that, he was a faculty member at Queen’s Law, where he led the 2008 launch of the school’s doctoral program and co-chaired the committee that developed its 2014-19 strategic plan. Previously, he taught at Oxford University after practising law in Toronto in the area of Aboriginal title and treaty rights. Over his academic career, he has held a number of research and visiting fellowships and received national awards. 

What’s also interesting about his close connection with Queen’s Law is that he literally wrote the scholarly paper chronicling the school’s first five decades in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2007.

As he begins his five-year term, Dean Walters shares his thoughts and his plans for the school and its community members.       

How do you feel about being appointed Dean of Queen’s Law?

I’m thrilled to return to Queen’s to lead the law school in the next phase of its remarkable development. It will be a privilege to work with faculty, staff and students who are committed to excellence and innovation in legal education and research and passionate about law’s promise in building a more just society.

What attracted you to the position? 

Queen’s Law is in an enviable position. I’ve always been impressed by the people who make the school a true community. What also impresses me is that this community has set an ambitious path forward: to be a leader in innovative legal education and scholarship with a global reach. The law school has solid foundations and proud traditions, and it has expanded its faculty complement significantly and launched important new initiatives. Leading the school at this important moment is an exciting opportunity.

What did you do to prepare for your new role?  

I begin today, but my work started on March 28, when my appointment was announced. I was in close touch with (former dean) Bill Flanagan, and we planned a smooth transition. Over the past few months I met with as many people in the Queen’s Law community as possible. I attended the Queen’s Law alumni event in Toronto on May 23; the international law conference and celebration of Bill’s deanship at “the Castle,” the Bader International Study Centre in England, on May 30-31; and the Kingston alumni reception on June 19. I also met the members of the advisory board of the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace in June. 

As Dean, what will you do first?

The first thing I’ll do is to meet the new faculty members. Since I left three years ago, Queen’s Law has engaged in a remarkable expansion, and almost one-third of the faculty are new. I’m astounded by the quality of legal scholars who have joined Queen’s Law, both before and after my departure. I’ll enjoy getting to know the new faculty and learning about their research, and I can’t wait to reconnect with my wonderful former colleagues.

What are your top priorities? 

My priorities, I’m sure, are the priorities of all members of the Queen’s Law community. When I picture Queen’s Law, I see a legal-academic community with a passionate commitment to serving society through innovative legal education and groundbreaking research. It’s a school that advances critical understanding about law and the value of legality among the leaders of tomorrow – in the private and public sectors and at the local, national, and international levels. It’s a school that embraces the ideals of inclusion and diversity and, in particular, the goal of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. These are lofty sentiments, I know. 

At a practical level, my priority is to work with faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends of Queen’s Law to develop a strategic plan for the next five years that gives these abstract aspirations concrete shape. One important part of this plan will be to address the hard reality that the school must have more financial resources to pursue its dreams. The priority, then, is to develop a plan for success through broad consultation – and then to implement it.

Find out more about Queen’s Law.

This article is an abridged version of the original article first published on the Faculty of Law website.

Sources of inspiration for new graduates

  • Faculty of Law Convocation 2019
    Honorary degree recipient Fiona Sampson (Artsci’85, Law’93) is hooded by Dean Bill Flanagan during the convocation ceremony for the Faculty of Law on Thursday, June 6. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Faculty of Law Convocation 2019
    Honorary degree recipient Fiona Sampson shakes hands with Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, as Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Rector Alex Da Silva look on.
  • Faculty of Law Convocation 2019
    Graduates from the Faculty of Law are hooded while Erik Knutsen, Associate Dean (Academic), struggles with a hood during the convocation ceremony on Thursday afternoon.
  • Sir Richard Evans honorary degree
    British historian and author Sir Richard Evans receives his honorary degree from Queen's University during Thursday morning's convocation ceremony. (Queen's University/Lars Hagberg)
  • Sir Richard Evans honorary degree
    Sir Richard Evans speaks to the graduands from the Faculty of Arts and Science after receiving an honorary degree at Grant Hall on Thursday, June 6. (Queen's University/Lars Hagberg)
  • Sir Richard Evans honorary degree
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Rector Alex Da Silva share a funny moment on the stage at Grant Hall on Thursday. (Queen's University/Lars Hagberg)
  • Faculty of Education Convocation
    Two graduands from the Faculty of Education are hooded during the Spring Convocation ceremony on Thursday afternoon at Grant Hall. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Faculty of Education Convocation
    Elder-in-Residence for the Faculty of Education Deb St. Amant presents a blanket to a graduate during Thursday afternoon's convocation ceremony. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)
  • Faculty of Education Convocation
    A group of graduates from the Faculty of Education celebrate outside of Grant Hall on Thursday, June, 6. (Queen's University/Garrett Elliott)

Queen’s presented two more honorary degrees on the sixth day of Spring Convocation at the university.

Sir Richard Evans, a British historian and author, was presented with his honorary degree during the morning ceremony at Grant Hall. Throughout his academic career Sir Richard has received a number of key appointments, including as Regius Professor of History in 2008 until retiring in 2014, and as president of Wolfson College, Cambridge from 2010-2017. He is currently Provost of Gresham College in the City of London, which has been offering free lectures for the general public since 1597. Sir Richard is the author of more than 20 books. His three-volume history of Nazi Germany (The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, and The Third Reich at War) has been translated into 15 languages.

Fiona Sampson (Artsci’85, Law’93) was recognized during the afternoon ceremony for dedicating her 20-plus year career to seeking justice for society’s disadvantaged: disabled persons, refugees, Indigenous persons, and victims of violence. Sampson founded the equality effect, an NGO that uses international human rights law to make girls/women’s rights real and, as CEO, led her team to the landmark 160 Girls High Court victory in Kenya. She has published widely relating to women’s and girls’ equality and has received many awards and much recognition for her human rights work.

A total of seven honorary degrees are being conferred by Queen’s during convocation.

Spring Convocation will resume on Tuesday, June 11 with two ceremonies being held at main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC).

A total of 18 ceremonies are being held for Spring Convocation, with the final one scheduled for Wednesday, June 12. The full schedule of the ceremonies is available online.

Live ceremony feeds will begin approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled start of each ceremony.

More information about Convocation at Queen's is available on the website of the Office of the University Registrar.

More photos can be viewed at the Queen’s University page on flickr.

Castle campus marks 25 years

Queen’s Bader International Study Centre to celebrate milestone with alumni reunion.

Queen's Bader International Study Centre
Queen's Bader International Study Centre (BISC) celebrates 25 years.

Inside the walls of a nearly 600-year-old English castle, Queen’s alumni, faculty, staff, and friends will soon gather to mark the 25th anniversary of the Queen’s Bader International Study Centre (BISC) housed there. Among them: a NASA astronaut, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, leading academics, Canadian expats, local community members, and those traveling from around the world – all of whom will be on hand from June 29-30, 2019 to celebrate the past, present, and future of the overseas Queen’s campus.

“For a quarter century, the BISC has been a temporary home to Queen’s students looking to further broaden the scope of their learning,” says Hugh Horton, Vice-Provost and BISC Executive Director. “Here, they are able to engage with scholars from across the world, in a close-knit, interdisciplinary academic environment to not only enhance their education, but give it a truly global dimension.”

Visionary philanthropists and Queen’s alumni Alfred and Isabel Bader gifted the BISC, located on the Herstmonceux Castle estate in East Sussex, UK, to Queen’s University in 1993, and it opened doors to students in 1994. It has since provided innovative, international undergraduate and graduate programs to over 7,000 Queen’s students, across disciplines as diverse as archaeology, music, international law and politics, global health, international project management, and astronomy. Program offerings continue to grow.

In 2017, the BISC accepted its first group of students from the Queen’s Concurrent Education Program, which prepares undergraduates to become educators. Students enrolled in this program complete local practicums at primary and secondary schools nearby the BISC campus, providing a hands-on comparative learning experience.

This year, programming for science students is set to expand with the opening of the BISC’s brand-new teaching science laboratory and innovation design space, allowing the campus to offer practical science subjects on campus for the very first time. The facility will be officially unveiled during the 25th anniversary celebrations.

The Bader International Study Centre
Queen's Bader International Study Centre.

“The Baders envisaged a learning facility that could take the Queen’s educational experience Alfred deeply cherished, and extend its reach internationally,” says Dr. Horton. “With 25-years of BISC alumni now living and working in countries across the world—many of whom are set to join us in celebration of this incredible milestone—and our ever-growing complement of programs, I think their vision has truly taken shape. In honour of their vision, and of Alfred, who passed away late last year, I look forward to continuing our momentum forward into the next 25 years.”

On June 29, 2019, BISC alumni and their families are invited to the first day of 25th anniversary celebrations. There, they will have a chance to reminisce during castle tours, have tea in the Elizabethan gardens, mingle with professors, and attend the unveiling of a commemorative garden honouring the Baders. NASA astronaut and Queen’s alumnus Drew Feustel, who returned from the International Space Station last October following a six-month mission, will also deliver a keynote address.

On June 30, the celebration will open to the public and take on a Canadian theme in recognition of the Canada Day weekend. Canadians living in England are encouraged to join alumni on the castle grounds for street hockey, tastes from home such as poutine and Nanaimo bars, falconry and archery demonstrations, and a symphonova performance by the BISC Musicians in Residence, featuring works by Dan School of Drama and Music Professor John Burge.

Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand will be among senior leaders there to help mark the milestone.

“In 1993, the Baders bestowed Queen’s with the BISC; an amazing gift that went on to play a foundational role in extending our university’s global horizons,” says Principal Woolf. “The unique, experiential learning prospects that the facility provides helped inspire us to chart educational linkages with many other institutions and organizations internationally – opening a world of opportunities for our students.”

Those interested in attending the festivities can register on the website.

Rwanda and Sri Lanka: A tale of two genocides

A Tamil man who was paralyzed by shelling during the final weeks of the conflict in Mullivaikkal in 2009 is seen in this 2018 photo in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Priya Tharmaseelan)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and the 10th year since the Tamil genocide in Sri Lanka. While the 1994 Rwandan genocide has become part of the world’s collective memory, the 2009 Tamil genocide has not.

Mullivaikkal Genocide Remembrance Day on May 18, named after the village that was the site of cataclysmic violence, is a day to remember those who died in the Sri Lankan conflict. Mullivaikkal commemoration events have been taking place around the world this month.

However, 10 years and a series of United Nations reports and resolutions have made little progress toward truth, accountability or reparations for the survivors of atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka. In the aftermath of the recent Easter Sunday bombings, the spectre of ethnic violence has resurfaced.

The Rwandan genocide offers important lessons for Sri Lanka.

Tutsis slaughtered

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutu were killed in just 100 days in 1994. Thousands more were subjected to sexual violence and tortured in a systematic campaign by the Hutu ethnic majority.

Fifteen years later, another slaughter unfolded — this time in northern Sri Lanka. The protracted civil war between the national government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was coming to a catastrophic end. The goal of an independent state for the minority Tamils was slipping away.

Throughout the conflict, both sides failed to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. Unlawful killings and enforced disappearances carried out by the Sri Lankan security forces were daily occurrences. The LTTE was condemned for its suicide bombings and forcible recruitment of child soldiers.

For most of the 2000s, the LTTE was operating as a de facto state in the north and east. By early 2009, military losses had gradually crushed the LTTE’s civil administration of these areas.

The LTTE and an estimated 330,000 Tamil civilians were trapped in a small piece of land on the northeast coast in the Mullaithivu District. The government ordered the UN to evacuate their last few international workers from the region while international media were excluded and local journalists silenced.

Carnage unfolded

Transatlantic cellphone photos and a few video clips had begun circulating with images of the unfolding carnage. Hospitals on the front lines were systematically shelled, as were food distribution lines and even Red Cross ships attempting to evacuate the wounded.

Within a few months, a brutal siege of the officially declared “safe zone” and the indiscriminate shelling of Tamil civilians concentrated there brought the war to an end. The Sri Lankan government celebrated its successful “humanitarian rescue operation.” In fact, it was genocide.

By August 2009, Britain’s Channel 4 News was broadcasting gruesome footage of summary executions and rape perpetrated by Sri Lankan soldiers. Dozens of surrendering Tamils, including senior Tiger political leaders and their families, had been shot dead by soldiers as they walked out of the safe zone hoisting white flags.

In 2012, the UN Secretary General estimated that 40,000 civilians were killed over the final five months of the conflict. The exact number, as in many conflict situations, remains contested and is likely higher.

Once the conflict ended, hundreds of thousands of Tamils were interned in squalid camps in the northern Vanni region. Even today, thousands of Tamils remain displaced in their own country.

‘War without witness’

If the Rwandan genocide was a genocide foretold, yet no action was ever taken by the international community, then the Tamil genocide was deliberately hidden and dubbed the “war without witness.”

In both cases, the UN and the European Union had direct warnings but opted against taking action. The international community’s inertia in Rwanda and Sri Lanka has been acknowledged as “grave failures.”

The establishment of an international criminal tribunal was an explicit attempt to grapple with Rwanda’s past. Convictions were secured in the cases of 61 “ringleaders.” A groundbreaking decision on sexual violence as an act of genocide was among its many rulings. Local “gacaca courts” conducted some two million trials. A truth commission continues efforts to promote reconciliation between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples.

While highly imperfect, these transitional justice mechanisms have generated a record of what really happened and why it happened.

In contrast, Sri Lanka has repeatedly reneged on pledges to investigate and prosecute war-time atrocity crimes. Abductions, torture in custody and sexual violence remain rampant amid a long history of failed promises.

Occupied land not returned

The harassment of Tamil activists as well as targeted violence against the Muslim community continue. Commitments to demilitarize and return occupied land are unfulfilled. Weak state structures, the lack of an independent judiciary and a culture of impunity remain significant obstacles.

As Harvard University scholar Martha Minow suggests, the relentless repetition of atrocity requires a pathway between “too much forgetting” and “too much memory,” between vengeance and forgiveness. In Sri Lanka today, memory and memorialization are radical counterpoints to official state narratives that resist accounting for the past.

Holocaust survivor Primo Levi once said:

“It happened; therefore, it can happen again… it can happen everywhere.”

So long as impunity and the failure to address the root causes of atrocity crimes continue in Sri Lanka, lasting peace will remain elusive. Acknowledging the past must be a precondition to meaningful reconciliation.

A poem in Cheran’s anthology In a Time of Burning evokes the challenge of closure in the wake of mass violence:

“there is neither sea nor wind

for us to dissolve the ashes

proclaim an end

and close our eyes.”The Conversation

_________________________________________________________

Sharry Aiken is an Associate Professor of Law at Queen's University and Cheran Rudhramoorthy is an Associate Professor at University of Windsor.

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.

Funding new scientific frontiers

New Frontiers in Research Fund fuels Queen’s research in topics ranging from Lyme disease to climate change.

Early-career researchers are the backbone of Canada’s research infrastructure. Recognizing this area of research strength and its potential, the Government of Canada has launched the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) to support early-career researchers as they pursue the next great discovery in their fields.

[Minister Kirsty Duncan]
Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

Seven Queen’s University projects earned a $1.72 million portion of the $38 million in NFRF funding announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, earlier this week. The successful Queen’s researchers are: Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry) and Mark Ormiston (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences), Robert Colautti (Biology), Samuel Dahan (Law), Lindsay Morcom (Education), Jessica Selinger (Kinesiology and Health Science), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Laura Thomson (Geography and Planning).

“I am pleased today to celebrate the very first researchers to benefit from the New Frontiers in Research Fund. Our government’s vision is for our researchers to take risks and be innovative,” says Minister Duncan. “We want our scientists and students to have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and we want the halls of academia to better reflect the diversity of Canada itself. This new fund will help us achieve that vision.”

Drs. Capicciotti and Ormiston are studying how cancer cells change the sugars that they express on their surface to avoid detection by the immune system. The researchers will work to develop technology to screen hundreds of sugar structures, with the ultimate goal of creating new cancer therapies that function by boosting an individual’s immune response.

As a member of the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network (CLyDRN) based at Queen’s, Dr. Colautti is leading a diverse and multidisciplinary group of researchers to disrupt the way that tick-borne diseases are identified and managed in Canada. Their approach includes the use of handheld DNA sequencers and cloud computing for rapid detection of known or potential tick-borne pathogens, summarizing this information into a risk assessment framework for medical practitioners, public health officials, and the general populace.

Professor Dahan, in collaboration with Xiaodan Zhu (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and a team of 25 data scientists, Artificial Intelligence researchers, and law students, is working on an open source AI-tribunal for small claims in Ontario. This digital dispute-resolution platform will provide predictive legal services and negotiation support for self-represented plaintiffs. The NFRF funding will help develop the first stage of the product, focusing on severance pay and termination negotiation.

Using the skills of an interdisciplinary team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and visual and digital media artists, Dr. Morcom and her team will work to create a network of virtual reality spaces across the country. The newly-created spaces will be used to stage cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and cross-generational encounters.

Dr. Selinger has formed an interdisciplinary team that combines expertise in fundamental human biomechanics, clinical rehabilitative medicine, and applied robotic control. The research has the potential to revolutionize the next generation of rehabilitation strategies by focusing on how people re-learn to walk after a stroke.

Focusing on a new area of research, Dr. Stamplecoskie and partner Guojun Liu (Chemistry), are researching new electrochemical devices, capable of capturing the tremendous amount of energy available in rainfall, waves, and evaporating water. The research is working to create new devices capable to meeting global energy demands.

Dr. Thomson has amassed an interdisciplinary team that will integrate modern glacier research practices and inter-generational perspectives on climate, to improve environmental monitoring in Canada’s high-Arctic. This initiative will provide open-access, real-time climate data for the first time in this part of the Arctic, and provide public access to rare historic data.

All of the Queen’s projects are funded under the Exploration stream of the NFRF program. The second stream is the Transformation stream that provides large-scale support for Canada to build strength and leadership in interdisciplinary and transformative research. The third stream, International, will come online later, according to Minister Duncan.

“Through the NFRF program, early-career researchers at Queen’s are bringing new ideas and methodologies to critical issues from Lyme disease to climate change,” say Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Importantly, they are increasing the potential impact and application of their work by collaborating across disciplinary boundaries.”

For more information, visit the NFRF website.

Don’t miss out on research funding opportunities, subscribe to the University Research Services Funding Opportunities listserv.

Queen’s names first Distinguished University Professors

Recipients recognized for international research and teaching excellence.

2018-19 Distinguished University Professors
2018-19 Distinguished University Professors: (Left to right) Top row: Donald H. Akenson, Stephen Archer, Nicholas Bala. Middle row: Susan P. C. Cole, Cathleen Crudden, John McGarry. Bottom row: Ram Murty, R. Kerry Rowe, Suning Wang.

Queen’s University recently awarded its highest research-related honour to nine faculty members internationally recognized for contributions to their respective fields of study. Each recipient was named a Distinguished University Professor for exhibiting an outstanding and sustained research record, teaching excellence, and significant and lasting contributions to Queen’s, Canada, and the world.

“The work being done here at Queen’s in many different academic disciplines is contributing to our understanding of the world and the overall global body of knowledge in many fields,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “To celebrate this level of world-class excellence in research and teaching, it is my pleasure to designate nine of our most accomplished faculty members as Distinguished University Professors.”

The group of individuals chosen are the first to receive designations under the Distinguished University Professor Program, which was made official by the university’s Senate in 2017-18. Each year, the program’s advisory committee will invite nominations from the campus community, review the submissions, and make recommendations to the principal, who then determines successful nominees.

“Choosing this year’s recipients, from what was an impeccable pool of nominees, was no easy task,” says Principal Woolf. “That said, it served as a wonderful opportunity for me to learn even more about the breadth of work taking place here at Queen’s, and the incredible faculty driving it forward.”

Each recipient will soon add an honorific name to their title, to be selected from a list of Senate approved names. For the first set of designates, this process will take place shortly.

The inaugural group of Distinguished University Professors includes:

  • Donald H. Akenson, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History
  • Stephen Archer, Distinguished University Professor, School of Medicine
  • Nicholas Bala, Distinguished University Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Susan P. C. Cole, Distinguished University Professor, Queen’s Cancer Research Institute
  • Cathleen Crudden, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • John McGarry, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Political Studies
  • Ram Murty, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • R. Kerry Rowe, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
  • Suning Wang, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Chemistry

Visit the Principal’s website to learn more about the Distinguished University Professors Program, its advisory committee, and selection of honorific names.

Queen’s Law launches Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law

A ground-breaking program at Queen’s Law is poised to transform the training of individuals seeking entrance to the immigration and citizenship consulting profession.

Announced today, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) has named Queen’s University Faculty of Law as the sole accredited English-language provider of a new graduate diploma program to train prospective immigration and citizenship consultants. Delivered primarily online and including an optional blended format (online/onsite), Queen’s Law will launch its new Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law in January 2021.

This program will be aimed at training students to write the ICCRC’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Entry-to-Practice Exam. Upon successful completion of this exam, graduates may apply to become a member of the ICCRC and, subject to successfully completing the registration process and being admitted to the Council, would then be permitted to offer immigration and/or citizenship advice and/or representation for a fee.

“Immigration and refugee applicants are among the most vulnerable consumers of Canadian legal services,” says Sharry Aiken, Queen’s Law Professor and Academic Director of this new program. “Their first language may not be English or French; they may not be familiar with our legal system. It’s crucial that those helping them are qualified, trained, and rigorously assessed.”

“We are in a unique position to develop and design this program, building on the success of our two existing online programs, the undergraduate Certificate in Law and the Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management,” says Dean of Law Bill Flanagan. “This is a historic moment for the law school, placing Queen’s Law as an international leader in online legal education. Traditionally, law schools have focused primarily on training lawyers. At Queen’s Law we have taken the lead in thinking broadly about what legal education can be, from offering a range of courses in law to undergraduate students to developing a graduate level program to train legal professionals in key business skills. Our new Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law is a natural extension, putting Queen’s Law at the forefront of innovation at Canadian law schools.”

“We’re making a major contribution to the quality of services and representation in this area,” Professor Aiken says. “The federal government has expressed concerns about the quality of current services, which our program directly addresses.”

With an anticipated intake of about 500 students a year, the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law will be a 66-week program, currently planned as nine courses covering everything from the foundations of Canadian immigration law to ethics and professional responsibility, along with best practices for managing an immigration/citizenship consulting business. Entry to this new program will require an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and a high level of English language proficiency.

“We are building a program that will help set a new and much higher regulatory standard for immigration and citizenship consultants in Canada,” Dean Flanagan says. “With over 500 hours of instruction in the program, built by immigration and citizenship experts like Professor Aiken and supported by professional instructional designers and course developers, we aim to help transform the quality of immigration consultant services in Canada and abroad.” 

The program will also be available in French, developed by the Université de Sherbrooke to be launched later in 2021. Queen’s Law will work closely in collaboration with the Université de Sherbrooke in the development of the program.

“Ensuring immigration and citizenship consultants are properly trained and highly skilled is the first step to ensuring that immigrants to Canada are treated equitably and humanely throughout every step of their journey here,” Professor Aiken says. “We’re proud to be at the centre of a program that will increase the quality and reliability of immigration services and increase access to justice for those who often need it most.”

** Please note that this program is under development, and will require the approval of Queen’s Senate and the Quality Council of Ontario before it can be offered.

New dean of the Faculty of Law announced

Queen’s University announced today the appointment of Mark Walters as dean of the Faculty of Law for a five-year term effective July 1, 2019.  

[Mark Walters]
Mark Walters succeeds Bill Flanagan as the dean of the Faculty of Law for a five-year term effective July 1, 2019..

An alumnus and former faculty member of the Queen’s Faculty of Law, Dr. Walters is currently the F.R. Scott Chair in Public and Constitutional Law at McGill University where he researches and publishes in the areas of public and constitutional law, legal history, and legal theory. He is also a leading scholar on the rights of Indigenous peoples, with a special focus on treaty relations between the Crown and Indigenous nations. His work in this area has been cited by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as courts in Australia and New Zealand. 

“Legal education and practice is poised for enormous change,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Dr. Walters has a depth and breadth of experience in research, teaching and academic leadership that will enable Queen’s Law to continue its momentum as one of Canada’s leading law schools.”

Prior to joining McGill, Dr. Walters was a faculty member at Queen’s for 17 years, serving as the first associate dean (Graduate Studies and Research) where he led the launch of the Queen’s doctoral program in law.  He co-chaired the faculty’s strategic planning committee, and wrote a detailed history of the Queen’s Faculty of Law as part of the faculty’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Before his tenure at Queen’s, Dr. Walters taught at Oxford University after practicing law in the area of Aboriginal title and treaty rights. 

Dr. Walters has a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Western University, and is a  graduate of Queen’s Law.  He attended Oxford University on a Commonwealth Scholarship where he pursued graduate studies in law, completing his doctorate before being called to the Ontario Bar.

Dr. Walters has held a number of research and visiting fellowships, including the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship (SSHRC), the Sir Neil MacCormick Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), the Herbert Smith Fellowship (Cambridge University) and the H.L.A. Hart Fellowship (Oxford University). He is the recipient of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Award for Academic Excellence (2006) and the Queen’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision (2012).

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to return to Queen’s to lead the law school in the next phase of its remarkable development,” Dr. Walters says. “It will be such a privilege to work with faculty, staff, and students who are committed to excellence and innovation in legal education and research, and who are passionate about law’s promise in building a more just society.”

Principal Daniel Woolf made the offer of appointment, following a comprehensive search process chaired by Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Harris.  

The principal and provost extend their sincere thanks to Bill Flanagan for his exceptional 14-year tenure as dean, and to the members of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for their commitment and sound advice.

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