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Emerging researchers earn national support

Three doctoral candidates and a researcher recently received Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships while a researcher received a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. From left: Midori Ogasawara; Oluwatobiloba “Tobi” Moody; Tyler Cluff; and Mike Best. Supplied photos

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Four promising Queen’s researchers recently won national awards.

Doctoral candidates Mike Best, Oluwatobiloba “Tobi” Moody and Midori Ogasawara each received Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships worth $50,000 per year over the next three years. The federal government established the program in 2008 to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to make Canada world-renowned for excellence in research and higher learning.

The same day the Vanier Scholars were announced, Tyler Cluff learned he was the recipient of a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, a bursary program that provides funding to the top postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country's economic, social and research based growth.

Dr. Cluff will receive $70,000 per year over the next two years, which will allow him to test promising new ideas in movement neuroscience, including how humans use sensory information about their bodies and the world around them to make skilled movements.

“This research will not only help us understand basic aspects of motor control and learning, but may lead to advancements in neurological assessment tools and treatment options for movement impaired individuals,” says Dr. Cluff, who is a member of Dr. Stephen Scott’s Laboratory of Integrative Motor Behaviour (LIMB) in Queen’s Centre for Neuroscience Studies.

As a Vanier Scholar, Mr. Best (Psychology) plans to build on his master’s thesis that found members of the general population have an early neurobiological bias towards the speech of people with schizophrenia that results in reduced attention and processing of what someone with schizophrenia is saying. This bias could be a major factor in understanding why people with schizophrenia are excluded, he says.

“Receiving the Vanier CGS provides me with the freedom and financial support to focus more thoroughly on conducting and disseminating my research,” says Mr. Best, who won this year’s Queen’s 3 Minute Thesis Competition. “Social exclusion can be devastating for people with psychosis. With the support of this award I can continue to expand my work to reduce social exclusion and improve the lives of millions of people living with psychosis.”

Mr. Moody (Law) is analyzing the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, the legal framework that is intended to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

Mr. Moody is examining biopiracy debates as well as ongoing related efforts to protect traditional knowledge in international forums. He argues that a coherent global intellectual property system is critical for the Nagoya Protocol’s effective implementation and, ultimately, for the effective protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources.

“The Vanier Scholarship represents to me a humbling affirmation of the significance and importance of my current research within the context of ongoing international efforts to address the effective protection of the traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources of indigenous peoples and local communities,” says Mr. Moody, a Nigerian by birth who started his PhD in the Faculty of Law in September 2012. “I am elated as the Scholarship will equip me with resources to enable me participate in relevant conferences and will afford me the opportunity to devote maximum time and concentration to the development of quality research in this area.”

Ms. Ogasawara (Sociology) is examining the development of national identification systems in Japan from the colonial times to today. The focus of her PhD will be the origins developed in Manchu-kuo, an area of northeast China occupied by the Japan from the 1920s to 1945, as well as the roles of the national ID systems in relation to the colonization then and neoliberal economy nowadays.

“I am very excited to receive a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship because it enables my research to expand to a geographically wider scope and pursue the historical understanding,” says Ms. Ogasawara. “As an international student who has a domestic responsibility for a young child, there would be no other scholarships that could support me in the same way as the Vanier scholarship does.”


 

 

Flags lowered in memory of former Faculty of Law dean

By Communications Staff

Flags on campus are lowered in memory of Professor Emeritus Bernard "Bernie" Adell, a former dean of the Faculty of Law and an internationally recognized scholar in the employment and labour law field.

[Bernard Adell]Bernard Adell

Dr. Adell joined Queen’s Faculty of Law in 1964. He served as associate dean of the faculty from 1969–1971 and as dean from 1977–1982. He was appointed an emeritus professor in 2004.

During his career, Dr. Adell published extensively and developed and delivered a wide range of courses around employment and labour law. From 2005 to 2009, Dr. Adell was academic director of the Professional Development LLM Program in Labour and Employment Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. In 2010, he co-ordinated a master’s course in comparative labour law, taught by several leading British and European labour law scholars, at the Bader International Studies Centre in England. More recently, he was closely involved in the planning and launching of the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace.

He conducted numerous studies for government commissions and international organizations and had many years of experience as a labour arbitrator and mediator. He was the Canadian Industrial Relations Association’s H.D. Woods Memorial Lecturer in 1996, and he was one of the principal researchers in a nation-wide study on strikes and lockouts in essential services. Dr. Adell was editor of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal and a long-time faculty advisor to the Queen’s Law Journal.

A memorial service and reception to honour Dr. Adell and his legacy will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 1-4 pm in Grant Hall on Queen’s campus.
 

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.

Making competitive moot points count

By Nancy Dorrance, Senior Development Writer

Thinking on their feet, improvising under pressure and working as a team – these important skills enabled law students Emily Evangelista, Law’15, and Ben Snow, Law’14, to help their Queen’s teams capture first place at two key mooting competitions this spring.

Now, as the result of a $100,000 gift from Toronto litigation firm Lenczner Slaght, Queen’s will be able to further expand and deepen the range of mooting opportunities it can offer its students, giving them the chance to hone their courtroom skills in a real-life environment.

[Moot court competition]Law students hone their courtroom skills by preparing for moot competitions. A $100,000 gift by Toronto litigation firm Lenczner Slaght will allow the Faculty of Law to deepen the range of mooting opportunities it can offer students.

“Experiential learning has long been an integral part of our students’ legal education,” says Faculty of Law Dean Bill Flanagan. “Our Competitive Moot Court Program allows upper-year students to develop essential legal research and written and oral advocacy skills. With the generous support of our alumni and friends at Lenzcner Slaght, we will continue to provide a first-class range of mooting opportunites for our students.”

Each year, teams from Queen’s compete in up to 20 national and international mooting competitions in a wide range of legal areas including constitutional law, Aboriginal law, criminal law, international law, tax, securities law, environmental law, trade law, commercial arbitration, IP, labour arbitration, trial advocacy and client counselling. At least one-third of all law graduates participate in a competitive moot during their time at Queen’s: among the highest participation rates of any law school in Canada.

“Lenczner Slaght is committed to the development of our advocates of tomorrow,” says Peter Griffin, Law ’77, the firm’s Managing Partner, past president of The Advocates’ Society and member of the Dean’s Council. “We are delighted to be a strong supporter of the Queen’s Moot Court Program.”

Mooting forced me to take principles that I’d spent hours reading and hearing about, and learn how to communicate them with persuasive precision.

– Ben Snow (Law'14)

For Ms. Evangelista and Mr. Snow, the opportunity to develop their own unique advocacy skills at competitive moots has proved invaluable. “The best way to learn how to do anything is by practicing, and mooting is the best advocacy practice you can get,” says Ms. Evangelista, whose Queen’s team recently won the Canadian rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition – the largest and most competitive moot in the world. (See page 3 of the Gazette newspaper for more details).

“There's no other course in law school like it,” she adds. “And employers also take note of moot participation: every interviewer I've had has asked about my experience on the Jessup team.”

“Mooting forced me to take principles that I’d spent hours reading and hearing about, and learn how to communicate them with persuasive precision,” says Mr. Snow, a member of the Queen’s team that brought home the 2014 Arnup Cup for trial advocacy. “The program connected me with experienced coaches who provided essential guidance and mentorship. Most importantly, mooting created an unparalleled, fail-safe opportunity to take risks, receive constructive feedback and build confidence as I developed these skills.”

The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.
 

SGPS president set to advocate for grad students

By Hollie Knapp-Fisher, Communications Intern

After winning a gruelling, tightly contested election, Kevin Wiener (Law’15) is happy to move on and focus on his duties and responsibilities as president of Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS).

[Kevin Wiener, SGPS president]As SGPS president, one of Kevin Wiener's goals is to work with Senate to develop a policy addressing the academic harassment of graduate students.

“This was a very different SGPS election than the past. Usually they are very low key but this year was a big event,” he says. “Now I am really looking forward to working alongside my new team.”

Even before officially taking over from Iain Reeve on May 1, Mr. Wiener had started doing a lot of work. “I needed to make sure I was up to date with all that had gone on in the past so I could properly proceed into the future.”

Mr. Wiener plans to focus on some key issues during his term as president. First, he aims to develop an online municipal voter registration system for Queen’s students. That effort is in line with his work last year challenging Kingston city council’s decision to adopt new electoral boundaries that did not count the postsecondary student population. Mr. Wiener and his co-appellants, the Alma Mater Society and the Sydenham District Association, won the Ontario Municipal Board appeal and city council’s decision was nullified.

Additionally, he wants to work with Senate to develop a policy addressing the academic harassment of graduate students.

“These are both issues I am passionate about because I believe they meet the needs of our students,” says Mr. Wiener. “My door and inbox are always open to talk about the important issues happening around campus. I want next year to be the absolute best it can be for the SGPS.”

Although his studies and his new position demands a lot of his time, Mr. Wiener remains active in both the Queen’s and Kingston community volunteering his time to a number of different organizations. When he finds a spare moment, he enjoys engaging with peers on social media as well as the occasional video game.

 

Law firm gift expands legal ethics instruction

By Nancy Dorrance, Senior Development Writer

Queen’s law students will have more opportunities to learn about legal ethics and professionalism thanks to philanthropic support from Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault.

[Law students in class]Upper-year law students will be required to take a course in legal ethics and professionalism. They will also learn from legal experts in the field thanks to the support from Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault.

Beginning in September 2014, all upper-year law students will be required to take a course in legal ethics and professionalism. The new mandatory course, to be offered in both fall and winter terms, is part of a broader initiative that will help place Queen’s on the forefront of research and teaching in this important field.

“This program demonstrates the law school’s commitment to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, instilling them in our students from the beginning of their time at Queen’s,” says Dean Bill Flanagan. “The generous gift from McCarthy Tétrault will deepen and enrich our students’ experience, and provide an opportunity for legal experts to share their professional insights and experiences with the Queen’s community.”

The total cost of the three-year initiative is $105,000. Other components of the program include:

• A presentation to first-year students by an expert panel from private practice, the bench and the Law Society of Upper Canada;
• An annual public lecture series;
• A new fellowship program involving research and teaching; and,
• A course prize.

“We are proud to support the Initiative Campaign, investing in the next generation of professionals in their pursuit of excellence,” says Paul Steep, Law’80, partner at McCarthy Tétrault and a member of the Dean’s Council. “We recognize the significant contribution Queen’s Law makes in attracting the best and brightest talent, and are pleased to call many Queen’s alumni our colleagues.”

Dean Flanagan recently announced the appointment of Tom Harrison (Artsci’89, Ed’92, Law’01) as the first McCarthy Tétrault LLP Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professionalism. Mr. Harrison is currently a PhD candidate in Queen’s Law focused on professionalism issues for judges and lawyers. The former Crown counsel has taught a legal ethics course at Queen’s the past two years. He will take the lead on implementing the new program.

The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.
 

Jeffrey Simpson to receive alumni award

By Andrea Gunn, Manager, Alumni Marketing and Communications

Jeffrey Simpson (Arts’71, LLD’05) will receive the 2014 Agnes Benidickson Award from the Ottawa Branch of the Queen’s University Alumni Association on March 26, in recognition of his distinguished work as a journalist, and his volunteer contributions to both Queen’s and the Ottawa community.

[Jeffrey Simpson]Jeffrey SImpson (Arts'71, LLD'05), the Globe and Mail's national affairs columnist, got his start in journalism at CFRC Radio.

The national affairs columnist of The Globe and Mail and author of eight books, Mr. Simpson's interests in politics and journalism were honed at Queen’s, both inside the classroom and out. A student of political science and history, he was also active in campus activities, including the Debating Club.

Knowing he wanted to pursue journalism as a career, Mr. Simpson approached The Queen’s Journal in first year to volunteer. He was rebuffed.

“I was deemed not good enough for The Queen’s Journal,” he laughs. “[At the time], the Journal was under the control of something called the Free Socialist Movement, a group of Marxist-oriented students…. And I didn’t fit the mold, as it were, so I was actively discouraged from continuing my association. So, I marched down to the CFRC studio in the basement of Carruthers Hall, waltzed in, and introduced myself.”

Thus began four years as an on-air broadcaster for CFRC Radio. Mr. Simpson co-hosted a weekly news show on international and national affairs and then started calling the Gaels football games, making a name for himself as “The Voice of the Golden Gaels.”

He also got involved in campus governance, becoming one of the first elected student representatives on University Senate. As an alumnus, Mr. Simpson continued to contribute to Queen’s governance, sitting first on University Council, then on the Board of Trustees. His other contribution was his work, in 1993, to find Queen’s next principal. He was recruited by Chancellor Agnes Benidickson for a working group of the Board of Trustees that selected Bill Leggett.

I marched down to the CFRC studio in the basement of Carruthers Hall, waltzed in, and introduced myself.

Mr. Simpson began writing for The Globe and Mail in 1974, first covering the city hall beat in Toronto, then moving on to Quebec politics. In 1977, he became a member of the paper’s Ottawa bureau. Still based in Ottawa, he has been the newspaper’s national affairs columnist since 1984.

More information about the 2014 Agnes Benidickson Award Reception can be found on the Alumni Relations website. (A longer version of this story appears on the Alumni Relations news site).
 

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