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PhD candidate lands graduate scholarship

[Ksenia Polonskaya]
Ksenia Polonskaya, a PhD candidate in the Facluty of Law, recently was awarded the Graduate Scholarship in International Law from the Centre for International Governance Innovation. (University Communications)

While she has only just arrived at Queen’s, PhD candidate Ksenia Polonskaya is already looking forward to an opportunity outside the university.

Shortly after coming to Queen’s to further her studies with the Faculty of Law, Ms. Polonskaya was informed that she was one of 28 students across Canada to receive the Graduate Scholarship in International Law from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a think-tank based in Waterloo, Ont.

Originally from Russia, Ms. Polonskaya’s area of study is international investment law, a field that she says remains undeveloped. That’s the attraction, she explains.

“I didn’t want to repeat something. I wanted to say something new. That’s why I chose this field,” she says. “I love it so far. It could be really, really interesting.”

She adds that while other areas of law are well developed, for international investment law there remains much room for study, including how to apply methodology from different psychological or sociological fields.

With the $24,000 scholarship, Ms. Polonskaya will spend the summer in Waterloo and will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with the other recipients as well as researchers with CIGI and faculty at the University of Waterloo’s Balsillie School of International Affairs.

The prospect of interacting with these professionals and scholars excites Ms. Polonskaya the most.

“Some of them have been working with the World Trade Organization, they were representatives of Canada in the Uruguay Round, and I was really interested in working with these people. They also invite a lot of Canadian and European scholars to take part in their conferences and activities in international law and governance,” she explains. “So it will be a real interesting several months just to talk with those people and listen to what they are saying because they develop policy in international law and international organizations as well. I’m excited.”

And while she is new to Queen’s, having completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, she is quickly becoming comfortable at her new school.

“I really like it so far,” she says. “It’s like home away from home because everyone here is so nice.”

The International Law Research Program at CIGI is a 10-year, $60 million initiative jointly funded by CIGI and Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The program focuses on international economic law, international intellectual property law and international environmental law.

Prominent Canadian judge receives honorary degree from Queen's

The Honourable George E. Carter receives his honourary degree from Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf.

On Monday, the Honourable George E. Carter, a retired provincial court judge, was conferred an honorary degree by Queen's University at a special luncheon ceremony at Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto. Judge Carter is considered the first native-born jurist of African descent in Canada and rose to his position from humble beginnings as one of the country's early black lawyers.

Starting his legal career in Toronto after articling with firms willing to assist a young minority lawyer in an age of discrimination, Judge Carter established a distinguished career as a pioneer for broadened justice for minorities. At age 93, Judge Carter continues to practise from a home office serving a clientele that includes many from his own West Indian community.

Judge Carter was scheduled to receive his honourary during the Spring 2014 Convocation season but was unable to attend.

Insights, advice and a song for Major Admission Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Principal Woolf announces his priorities for 2014-2015

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

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

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

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

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

1. Strengthening the student learning experience

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

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

2. Strengthening our research prominence

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

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

3. Ensuring financial sustainability

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

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

4. Raising our international profile

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

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

5. Promoting and developing talent

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

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

Law student wins national military award

[Jennifer Dumoulin]
Jennifer Dumoulin, Law'15, was recently selected as the winner of the Sword & Scale essay contest.

For Jennifer Dumoulin, Law'15, winning a prestigious Canadian essay competition isn’t just a personal triumph – it’s a tribute to her upbringing.

Dumoulin was recently selected by a jury as the winner of the Sword & Scale essay contest, an award established by the National Military Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) to promote and reward interest in military law topics in Canadian law schools.

“I’m from a military family,” she says. “My dad’s a retired captain in the Canadian Air Force, so in a way, this competition and the award has always been on my radar. I was definitely thinking of my family when I submitted it.”

Her essay, “What’s in an Act? Conduct, Context and Time,” focuses on a challenging aspect of military engagement and humanitarian law.

“It’s about the concept of direct participation in hostilities,” she says, “defining how civilian status can be abandoned during an armed conflict through acts and allow that person to be lawfully targeted by the armed forces.”

While the military runs in her family, Dumoulin credits the Faculty of Law for her interest in humanitarian law.

“I was a participant in one of the Global Law Programs at the Bader International Study Centre after my first year of studies at Queen’s, learning from Major Phillip Drew (Law’00, LLM’12) really sparked my interest in that aspect of the law,” she says. “Over the last year, I’ve been working with Professor Darryl Robinson – currently on sabbatical – while I developed this essay.”

These interests have already led her abroad: when the award was announced, Dumoulin was in Europe, interning with the Human Rights and Law Division of the UNAIDS Secretariat, assisting with policy work with a focus on human rights.

The CBA jury for the competition commended the essay as “not only concise and clear, but demonstrating Dumoulin’s complete understanding of a complex challenge in the area of international humanitarian law.”

New courses focus on experiential learning

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

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

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

Faculty of Arts and Science

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

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

Faculty of Education

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

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

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

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

Faculty of Health Sciences

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

Faculty of Law

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

School of Business

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

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

New Family Law Clinic expands learning opportunities

The Faculty of Law has launched a new Family Law Clinic that will give students more hands-on learning opportunities.

The new clinic received financial support from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), which is allocating more than $2 million over three years to six university-operated legal clinics to provide family law services for low-income Ontarians.

[Students working at Queen's Legal Aid]
Queen's Faculty of Law has increased the experiential learning opportunities it can offer students with the launch of a Family Law Clinic. It joins existing clinics including Queen's Legal Aid (pictured above), the Prison Law Clinic, Queen's Business Law Clinic, and the Elder Law Clinic.

“For more than 30 years, Queen’s law students have served the local community by providing legal advice and representation to low-income residents,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “With LAO’s wonderful support, the Faculty of Law will expand these legal services and give law students a broader range of experiential learning opportunities, which is a commitment of the university.”

The Family Law Clinic joins four existing legal aid clinics: Queen’s Legal Aid (QLA), the Prison Law Clinic, Queen’s Business Law Clinic, and the Elder Law Clinic. When the Family Law Clinic is fully operational, at least 50 per cent of law students will have the opportunity to take a clinical law course while at Queen’s, in addition to more than 90 students who volunteer with QLA every year.

“At Queen’s, we share Legal Aid Ontario’s commitment to enhancing family law services for low-income residents,” says Faculty of Law Dean Bill Flanagan. “Queen’s has long been a national leader in teaching and scholarship in family law. We are delighted that, with LAO’s generous funding, we will be able to add a Family Law Clinic to our existing four legal aid clinics.”

The Family Law Clinic will see review counsel and law students working with LAO’s duty counsel, clinics and other agencies in Kingston to support low-income residents. Karla McGrath (LLM’13) will serve as the director of the Family Law Clinic.

“Family court is a busy and dynamic work environment that can be challenging for even the most experienced lawyers,” says Ms. McGrath. “The Family Law Clinic will provide myriad learning opportunities for students both with applying the law and providing services to clients. Combine this with the opportunity to provide some very real help to low-income families at their most difficult time and the students of the Family Law Clinic can look forward to a year that is both enriching and rewarding.”

All of Queen’s legal aid clinics will move into the LaSalle Mews Building in downtown Kingston in November.

With a global reputation as one of Canada’s top law schools, Queen’s Faculty of Law offers unique experiential and international opportunities that produce graduates who are leaders in the legal profession. The faculty distinguishes itself through its innovative programs, excellence in teaching, and research that advances the theory and practice of law.

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.


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