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Sweet win for incoming Queen's student

Jennifer Brown (ConEd’15) arrives at Queen’s this weekend as a bit of a celebrity.

The resident of Glencoe, Ont., a town of about 2,200 people near London, was announced Thursday as the winner of the Tim Hortons Duelling Donuts contest.

Jennifer Brown shows off her contest-winning Love Reese's to Pieces donut. Tim Hortons photo

With her tasty creation – Love Reese's to Pieces donut – she beat out 76,500 other contestants, earning $10,000. Her donut – a chocolate donut filled with crème brûlée, covered in chocolate fondant and white dots, and topped with peanuts and peanut butter cups – will be sold at Tim Hortons locations across the country.

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks as she prepares for the new school year., but Ms. Brown is taking it all in stride.

“It’s been really funny,” she says. “That’s my description of it, just funny. And I never would have expected all this to happen but here we are.”

She’s also excited about coming to Queen’s for the fifth and final year of the Queen’s-Trent concurrent education program. She says she’s always wanted to be a teacher.

From her earlier visits, she says she loves the community feel at the university as well as the beauty of Kingston.

As one of the eight finalists, she was allowed to taste her creation and gushes that they’re “delicious.”

“I was nervous because, honestly, the crème brûlée filling seems a little different, an odd choice,” she says. “But I tasted it and it is fantastic, it. It works so well.”

After online voting the finalists were broughttravelled to the company’s head office in Oakville where they had make a pitch to celebrity judges – Jason Priestley, Ben Mulroney, Jann Arden and Anna Olson.

Staff and students prepare for orientation week

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orientation week by the numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen's-led study key to improving the health of young people

By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

A recent report shows Canadian youth smoking rates have dropped in the past 20 years, while rates of obesity and cannabis use remain consistently high. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) report explores trends in the health of young people over the past two decades.
Study author John Freeman.
The HBSC survey has been coordinated every four years since 1989 by the Social Program Evaluation Group (SPEG) of Queen’s University in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada. The study is supported by the World Health Organization and has 43 participating countries primarily from North America and Europe.  Ã¢Â€ÂœThe success we have achieved in reducing adolescents' smoking rates in Canada shows what we can accomplish with a unified cross-sectoral public health approach,” says John Freeman (Education), director of SPEG.
Five key findings came out of the HBSC report:
  • Cigarette smoking is the one public health concern that has shown the greatest improvement for Canadian adolescents over the past 20 years. In 1994, Canadian 13-year-old boys and 15-year-old girls had the highest rates of smoking at least once a week internationally. In the 2010 survey, Canadian boys had the lowest smoking rates internationally and rates for Canadian girls dropped to some of the lowest in the countries surveyed. This approach should be adopted in tackling other health issues.
  • Being overweight or obese is an ongoing concern for Canadian students in Grades 6 to 10. In the 2010 survey, Canada ranked second out of 39 HBSC countries in the prevalence of overweight and obese 15-year-old boys and girls. For 13-year-old boys and girls, Canada ranked third and fourth respectively. These numbers have changed little over time.
  • Canadian adolescents have consistently been among the highest levels of cannabis use internationally. In 2010, Canada ranked first for cannabis use in 15-year-old girls and 15-year-old Canadian boys ranked second. Forty percent of Grade 10 Canadian boys and 37 percent of Canadian girls reported having tried cannabis.
  • The prevalence of reported well-being for Canadian young people has been decreasing since the beginning of the survey cycle. The life satisfaction on the national level, as compared to other countries, has been worsening. With a focus on promotion of positive mental health, researchers expect this to improve in the 2014 survey.
  • Youth voices should continue to be heard on research, policy and programming that affect their health.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to have supported Queen’s University in the development of this important report,” said Gregory Taylor, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer. “Having accurate information available that helps us understand the changes in the behaviours and attitudes of children and youth is invaluable. This will help to inform policy and program decisions that ultimately promote the health and well-being of Canadian children and youth.”
Other Queen’s contributors to the report include Matthew King (SPEG) and Heather Coe (Faculty of Education).

Peter Wolf to head Centre for Teaching and Learning

By Communications Staff,

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Alan Harrison has announced the appointment of Peter Wolf as Queen’s inaugural associate vice-provost (teaching and learning), effective Oct. 1. In this role, Wolf will direct the Centre for Teaching and Learning and work closely with Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), to support the implementation of the Teaching and Learning Action Plan.

“Our strategic framework reflects our academic plan by emphasizing the importance to Queen’s of the student learning experience, and Peter Wolf will play a crucial role in helping us make the learning experience even better for our students,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Peter will become an invaluable asset to Queen’s.”

Peter Wolf, Queen’s inaugural associate vice-provost (teaching and learning).

Peter Wolf was most recently the director, teaching and learning initiatives, at the University of Guelph, having previously served as its inaugural director of open learning and educational support, as well as its director of teaching support services.

“Peter is well known for his enthusiasm, experience and expertise in fostering educator-driven enhancement of teaching and learning in higher education,” says Jill Scott. “His expertise on learning outcomes development and assessment, and his work in the use of learning analytics to better understand the student and educator experience, will be immensely valuable to Queen’s.”

Peter Wolf’s research has principally been in the area of extending education development through course and curriculum interventions. He co-edited an issue of New Directions for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education on curriculum development and has published with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

“I have already had the pleasure of collaborating with many faculty and staff at Queen's in the past and am looking forward to collaborating with many others in the near future, to further build on Queen's strengths and commitment to the student learning experience," says Wolf.

Wolf has an extensive record of service to the teaching and learning community in higher education. He is, or has been, a member of the learning outcomes steering committee of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer, the Council of Ontario Universities AODA Educators' Accessibility Resource Workgroup, and a director of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Sports camps supervisor hones his skills

Lucas Matheson has been working with the Queen’s summer sports camps for the past three years and is currently the camps supervisor. (University Communications)

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor

Sometimes there's just no denying what you are good at.

For Lucas Matheson (Artsci’14, Ed'15) he has come to accept that, well, he's good with kids. And for that, many parents around Queen's and Kingston are grateful.

Mr. Matheson is the supervisor of the summer sports camp program at Queen’s and has worked his way up over the past three years from counsellor to assistant supervisor to the top spot.

Each day he’s responsible for the goings-on at the camps, as well as the young charges who have arrived to hone basic physical skills but also to just have fun. It’s a job that lines up well with his education as well as his future plans.

Mr. Matheson graduated from the physical and health education program this spring and will be be pursuing a Bachelor of Education here at Queen’s in the fall.

“There was no plan of becoming a teacher before working here. It planted the idea that being around kids is something that I am good at and really have a passion for as a career. Being in the phys-ed program, people always assumed ‘Oh. You’re going to be a gym teacher,’” he says. “I guess out of spite I would always say ‘No, I’m not going to be a phys-ed teacher, just because you said so, that was your first assumption.’ But working at the camp it really made me realize that I am good at this. I have the patience, I have the empathy to be able to relate to the kids, because I was a camper before. It really showed me, hey, I could do this as a career. I really enjoy my day, every day here.”

On a busy day at the Athletics and Recreation Centre, the gym is filled with the sounds of bouncing balls, whistles as well as squeals and laughter. It’s clear that Mr. Matheson is in his element.
His duties range from scheduling and making sure the counsellors are comfortable and doing their jobs correctly, to dealing with parents on any issues, including assuring them that their kids are safe. He also visits the camps and spends some time with the kids.

“It’s nice always saying hello to a little eight-year-old around each corner. That puts a smile on my face every day,” he says.

The summer sports program provides two main camps – divided by age groups: 5-7 and 8-13 – that teach kids the active fundamentals. By introducing them to a range of sports and activities, the kids learn fundamental motor skills as well as lateral movements, spatial awareness and the proper way to catch and throw. In the older group they hone these skills further.

He also oversees the specialty camps – such as football, soccer, volleyball, even fencing – that are run through the varsity sports program. Some of the top competitive athletes at Queen’s are the instructors at the camps while counselors, who are more used to the intricacies of youth camps, act as liaisons with the kids and their parents.

The camps have been running for 25 years and this year have drawn approximately 1,500 kids.

New to the program this year is incorporating the Canadian Sport for Life model that promotes learning the fundamentals at an early age. As a result the sports camps program has adapted to get the kids to learn these skills through fun games. Another area of development, Mr. Matheson points out, is basic social interaction as many of the camp attendees return each summer and meet with friends they haven’t seen over the school year.

While he enjoys the job immensely, responsibilities and all, Mr. Matheson also knows that he is also learning his own fundamentals that will form the foundation of his future studies and, hopefully, career as an elementary school teacher.

“It’s been the perfect job to have considering it actually has an effect towards my career,” he says. “Putting it on a resume as a counsellor and supervisor looks really good trying to apply not only for teachers college and getting into teachers college but now moving forward after that, applying to school boards, showing that I’ve been able to move up all the way from a counsellor to supervisor. Working at a camp looks pretty good and keeps me pretty confident moving forward.”

Painting under pressure

By Andrew Stokes, Communications Officer

Twelve painters will enter the studio, but only one will emerge as Kingston’s champion.

The regional final of Art Battle, a live painting competition that sees artists vie for audience votes, will take place on July 5. The previous four Art Battle competitions have featured Queen’s students and staff, and this year is no different.

Ania Ochocinski poses with her winning painting at February's Art Battle. (Photo Supplied) 

Ania Ochocinski (ConEd’14), a staff member at the Queen’s Learning Commons, is one of 12 finalists competing on Saturday. She advanced to the regional round after winning the monthly competition in February.

Just as with other Art Battles, Ms. Ochocinski was given brushes, acrylic paint and 20 minutes to create a masterpiece. With her canvas set among a circle of others, she painted as the audience slowly swirled around the easels.

“It’s exciting for the audience to see the creative process as it happens because they’re the ones voting — they have the final say,” she says. “Art Battle is part performance, part finished product, so their perception can be impacted by how you paint.”

The performance aspect is what makes live painting so interesting for Ms. Ochocinski. “There’s an adrenaline rush to it, which makes for a much different experience than painting alone,” she says. “Unlike a medium like singing where you can stand in front of a crowd and really pour your heart out, paintings are typically considered as a static, finished product. Art Battle lets you see the passion and the process behind the piece. You get to put your energy on display.”

While relatively new to Kingston, Art Battle was started in Toronto five years ago. Following its success there, it spread out to other cities, reaching the West Coast in 2012.

The winner of Saturday’s competition will get to compete at the national level later this month at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto against 20 other artists from across the country. A share of Art Battle’s proceeds go to the Sick Kids Foundation.

More information about this Saturday’s show can be found on the Art Battle Kingston website.

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.

Science Rendezvous receives funding boost

Dr. Lynda Colgan.

By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer

Lynda Colgan thinks about her grant money in terms of popsicle sticks, straws and other supplies for her experiments at Science Rendezvous.

That’s what her $20,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) PromoScience award went to fund this year and will fund at next year’s event.

“It’s a real privilege and honour to win the NSERC PromoScience grant,” says Dr. Colgan, Science Rendezvous’ lead organizer. “Receiving these funds is a wonderful way to know that we can continue to do new and innovative things at Science Rendezvous.”

Science Rendezvous 2014, held this past May, saw 3,700 children and their parents visit the Rogers K-Rock Centre where students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Faculty of Education were hosting experiment stations to get children excited about science, technology and engineering.

Their station, the “Widget Workshop” –combined small mechanical devices created by engineering students with lesson plans created by education students – was the station that won Dr. Colgan’s team the grant money.

“Widgets are simple objects that illustrate or illuminate an important science, engineering or technology concept that children could build at Science Rendezvous and bring home with them to play and continue to experiment with,” says Dr. Colgan.

Teams of first-year engineers and teacher candidates developed these widgets and tested them with children at the Boys and Girls Club in Kingston. The widgets, such as hovercrafts made from balloons, CDs and plastic bottle tops, were then taken home by the children.

“The best part was seeing the kids explain to their parents what they had made,” says Dr. Colgan. “Having kids get excited talking about science is the best I could have hoped for.”

More information on the NSERC PromoScience program can be found here.







Student lends unique perspective to provincial council

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad and other members of the Crane Clan of the Ojibway, Odawa and Pottowattomi Nations are charged with external leadership responsibilities. They must keep the best interests of the tribe in mind at all times.

[Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad]Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad, a teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education, has been appointed as a council member of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Ms. Edgar-Webkamigad, a teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education, sees a correlation between her First Nations background and her new role as a council member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), where she has sworn to serve and protect the public interest when it comes to the province’s teaching profession.

“I am very honored and excited for this opportunity,” says Ms. Edgar-Webkamigad, who is enrolled in the Manitoulin-North Shore Aboriginal Teacher Education Program at Queen’s. “I have a passion for learning and teaching. My formal and informal teacher roles complement my cultural heritage and beliefs very nicely. I am not able to separate them; they are connected.”

The 37-member OCT council develops and approves policies that regulate the teaching profession in Ontario. Serving on the council is one of many commitments for Ms. Edgar-Webkamigad. She has successfully juggled being a mother of four children, working full-time managing a family health team, working part-time as a college instructor, and simultaneously studying for her arts degree at Algoma University and her education degree at Queen’s.

Even though her life has been busy and challenging, Ms. Edgar-Webkamigad has found it rewarding to be the first person in her family to graduate from university.

My formal and informal teacher roles complement my cultural heritage and beliefs very nicely.

Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad

“I fast tracked my degree at Algoma University and I went to school year round to complete my degree in two years,” she says. “It was worth all of the effort when I heard my name called and walked across the stage to receive my diploma cum laude.

“I really look forward to being able to do it again at Queen’s during the fall convocation,” she adds.

Ms. Edgar-Webkamigad has already attended two OCT council meetings and is serving on the standards of practice and education committee and the accreditation committee.

“I have participated in learning all of my life, and I am so excited to continue on with that,” she says. “I hope to keep learning well into my sunset years. Learning is forever and I would love to instill that in people I happen to cross paths with.”

Using humour to bridge cultural divides

IETP Summer Institute
June 8-13

Keynote address by comedian Gilson Lubin
June 10, 6 pm at Residence Inn by Marriott (7 Earl St.)

More information

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

A comedian and an equity/diversity advisor walk into a classroom…

This setup promises to draw a lot of laughs and foster a serious discussion during the International Educators Training Program Summer Institute next week.

“We want to explore the ways humour can bridge cultural differences,” says Ekta Singh, an equity/diversity advisor in the Equity Office, who will lead the workshop with stand-up comic Gilson Lubin. “We also hope the participants will share the ways they use humour when interacting in an intercultural setting as well as with colleagues.”

[Ekta Singh]Ekta Singh, seen here during a recent Queen's University International Centre socio-cultural training program session, will lead a workshop on humour and intercultural learning during the upcoming International Educators Training Program Summer Institute.

Ms. Singh and Cathy Lemmon, an international programs advisor at Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), incorporate humour into the socio-cultural training program (SCT) they offer to international students. Some jokes get people from around the world laughing together; other times, the instructors need to take more time explaining what they mean by certain idioms and language.

Humour offers more than just a window into a culture, according to Ms. Singh. She says research has shown that humour can ease the anxiety international students feel when they are experiencing a new culture and help them form bonds with others.

Using humour in a cross-cultural context does pose some risks, though.

“There is a responsibility to be educated about how we use humour in this context,” says Ms. Singh. “For example, there are some issues and topics Canadians feel comfortable joking about in public that people from other cultures might find insulting or offensive.”

In addition to the workshop, Mr. Lubin will also perform during the Summer Institute’s dinner and comedy evening on June 10. The event is open to the public.

QUIC has hosted the IETP Summer Institute since 2003. The core curriculum, courses and workshops offered during the Summer Institute give international education professionals from across Canada and around the world practical skills-based training on a variety of topics.

More information about the Summer Institute is available on the QUIC website.


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