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Nature and nurture

Graduate students participating in two annual Queen’s writing retreats find that, by the lake, the words just seem to flow better.

[Queen's University Dissertation on the Lake Suyin Olguin Lake Opinicon]
Nevena Martinović, Suyin Olguin, and Jhordan Layne found a spot by the lake to work on their dissertations. (Supplied Photo)

Picture this: a cabin in the woods, nestled in beside a lake. Adirondack chairs, canoes drifting lazily by in the distance, and wildlife scampering about – with this peaceful stillness occasionally interrupted by bursts of laptop keyboards clacking. 

The scenic venues of Elbow Lake and Lake Opinicon are each, for one week of the year, turned into writing retreat centres for graduate students, offering the 50 participants a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and focus on their thesis. Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean with the School of Graduate Studies, says the retreats combine the serenity of the lakeside settings, the comfort of the cabins and home-cooked meals, and a sense of community which the participants say continues long after the retreats have ended. 

“Both at the Lake Shift and Dissertation on the Lake retreats we try to create an environment that is conducive to writing as well as self-care,” she says. “Students reconnect with their research and can try new work habits, while also allowing themselves to rest and enjoy socializing with their peers.” 

[Amanda Hansen Lake Shift]
Amanda Hansen was clearly ready to 'take the Lake Shift', as she attended in 2017 and returned to Lake Opinicon this year. (Supplied Photo)

The Lake Shift, which takes place at QUBS in July, invites students from a number of Ontario universities to meet at Lake Opinicon and focus on their research for five days. During their time, the students receive plenty of support and guidance to help them through the task ahead of them. After attending Lake Shift in 2017, Brock University nursing student Amanda Hansen formed a research project with another attendee focused on nursing education.

"I immediately knew I wanted to apply to the retreat again this year to continue these conversations and start new ones, but also to have dedicated time to write in a space that provides a supportive and energizing atmosphere enabling purposeful writing," says Ms. Hansen. "Some interesting new connections have been made again this year and conversations about new research projects are in the works. Apart from this research project, I also had the organized and motivated time to finish my literature review for my thesis."

Dissertation on the Lake, meanwhile, brings Queen’s graduate students to Elbow Lake in August for a five-day retreat that is focused on writing – though students have been known to occasionally take a breather and enjoy some hiking or other relaxation activities. The retreat, now in its fifth year, typically attracts 30 participants.  

Suyin Olguin is a doctoral candidate and is participating for her second consecutive year because she finds the uninterrupted writing time valuable and important for her health. 

“The demands of teaching and of motherhood throughout the academic year make it very difficult to muster the energy and dedication needed to complete a project of such length and depth,” says Ms. Olguin. “I have produced incredible work at Dissertation on the Lake, all of which is now part of a chapter, has been published, or has been presented at an international conference.” 

This year’s Dissertation on the Lake retreat takes place August 27 – 31. Stay tuned to the School of Graduate Studies website for updates from Elbow Lake. 

Read more about how this year’s Lake Shift went on the Graduate Studies website

Welcoming new faculty

New faculty members and their families gathered to meet their peers at a special welcome barbecue.

  • Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris speaks with recently-arrived faculty members during a special welcome event at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris speaks with recently-arrived faculty members during a special welcome event at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Barbara Crow talks about the opportunities that are available not only at Queen's, but also within the Kingston community. (University Communications)
    Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Barbara Crow talks about the opportunities that are available not only at Queen's, but also within the Kingston community. (University Communications)
  • Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), speaks with a group of new faculty members on Friday, July 13 during a welcome barbecue at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), speaks with a group of new faculty members on Friday, July 13 during a welcome barbecue at the University Club. (University Communications)
  • Faculty members who have recently arrived at Queen's University introduce themselves during a welcome event Friday at the University Club. (University Communications)
    Faculty members who have recently arrived at Queen's University introduce themselves during a welcome event Friday at the University Club. (University Communications)

Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris hosted a welcome barbecue for new faculty and their families at the University Club. They had an opportunity to meet new colleagues from across the university as well as members of the university administration.   

“Queen’s is pleased to welcome our new faculty. We hope that the opportunity to meet one another in a less formal setting, will help them establish friendships and professional connections both for them and their families,” says Dr. Harris.

Principal Daniel Woolf identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of our academic mission. The five-year renewal plan will see 200 new faculty hired.

Opening the cupboard on food insecurity

A team of technological education students creates a space at Duncan McArthur Hall to share and pick up non-perishable food items.

[A team of technological education students create a space at Duncan McArthur Hall to share and pick up non-perishable food items.]
Technological education students, Daniel Troisi, Dante Reitano, Jordan Messier, and Krista McClean designed and built the Queen's Foodshare Cupboard so that  where Queen’s and Kingston community members can either pick up non-perishable food items when needed, or make a donation. (University Communications)  

A team of teacher candidates is helping reduce food insecurity in the community by creating the Queen’s Community Cupboard, which was unveiled recently at Duncan McArthur Hall.

Technological education students, Daniel Troisi, Dante Reitano, Jordan Messier, and Krista McClean designed and built the wood and glass cupboard where Queen’s and Kingston community members can either pick up non-perishable food items when needed, or make a donation.

Located on the south side of Student Street, next to the doors to Jean Royce Hall, the cupboard is accessible to all users of Duncan MacArthur Hall, including students from the Faculty of Education, the School of English, as well as any other visitors to the building.

 “What inspired this project is that, at its core, food insecurity isn’t always visible even for us who are attending post-secondary education and having the cupboard so close to the residence is also important,” says Mr. Troisi, the team lead. “The focus was to provide a space where items can be donated on a perpetual basis rather that once or twice a year.  Now this is something that is always on our minds and is always accessible.”

[Queen's Foodshare Cupboard is unveiled at Duncan McArthur Hall]
Team lead Daniel Troisi open the section of the Quen's Foodshare Cupboard reserved for school supplies to help out projects by teacher candidates. (University Communications)

The cupboard also has a section for school supplies to help out projects by teacher candidates.

Part of the technological education program curriculum, community-based projects are organized by teacher candidates to meet community needs.

“Technological Education is about designing and making products that meet the needs of a client. This community-based project is a way to bring that process to improvements in our community,” says Peter Chin, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) and Coordinator of Technological Education. “Caring for others is also very consistent with what teaching and education is all about, so the two go hand in hand. I’m just happy that someone took up the idea and made it happen.”

Other community-based projects this year included a local lending library for West Park in Kingston and a Providence Care Pampering Day, where the students offered mini-manicures and hand massages to the residents of Providence Manor.

The project received funding from the Queen’s Experiential Learning Projects Fund and is supported by the Faculty of Education. 

Donations can be made at any time, by anyone. A list of recommended items  is available online.

Facing the Street

Unique history project uses photographs to explore Kingston’s Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour.

  • Bill Hackett sells the Kingston Whig-Standard.
    In this photo that is part of the Facing the Street project, Bill Hackett sells the Kingston Whig-Standard.
  • A new photo is installed as part of the exhibit.
    Laura Murray, a professor in English and Cultural Studies at Queen's, displays a photo before it is installed.
  • Installing a sign on Bagot Street.
    Dr. Murray installs a photo on Bagot Street as part of the Facing the Street project.
  • 51 John Street in 1895.
    This image originally taken in 1895 shows the house at 51 John St.

Two of Kingston’s oldest and most colourful neighbourhoods are being brought into a new focus, thanks to a historical photography project being curated by Queen’s University professor Laura Murray and local photographer Chris Miner.

The unique combination of art and history takes a look at the Swamp Ward and the Inner Harbour areas of Kingston.

While conducting oral history interviews, Dr. Murray was often shown family photographs. For this exhibit, project participants allowed her to scan their treasures, and now they are being displayed at the locations they were taken so that people today can reflect on what has changed and what has not.

“This is a special model of research as it draws on the wisdom of the community,” says Dr. Murray. “It’s a way to experience the whole neighbourhood in three dimensions.”

These two areas are the oldest in Kingston and were home to Indigenous peoples. Dr. Murray will also be focusing on the Kingston area as she pursues her work on Indigenous treaty history. 

After the Europeans arrived, the Inner Harbour became industrial, complete with railroads, factories, and docks. The adjacent Swamp Ward was where the workers and their families lived, went to school, went to church, shopped and played.

The project, funded by the City of Kingston Heritage Fund, seeks to bring Kingston history to life. Twenty enlarged black and white photographs taken by, preserved by, and featuring residents of the area between 1890 and 1960 are being mounted outdoors around the neighbourhood at the locations they were taken. The main areas of focus are between Stephen and Queen streets and Barrie and Bagot streets.

The Elm Café at Montreal and Charles streets (long a local landmark as Laverne's Laundry and various groceries before that), will display more portraits together with captions providing information about the people they portray, collected from oral history interviews and other archival sources.

“Through these photographs our participants are providing information that isn’t available in any other way,” says Dr. Murray. “They are opening their doors to us and letting us peek into the history of their families. The photos share stories of stressful times for these working class communities and also show the fun side of their lives.”

A map of the locations of the photographs is available on the Facing the Street website. The Elm Café is open 7 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Friday and 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The exhibit runs until June 30. Mr. Miner and Dr. Murray are giving a curator talk at Kingston City Hall (Memorial Hall) on June 26 at 3 pm.

Spring Convocation 2018 - Day 2

Honorary degree conferred upon Isabel Bassett as three ceremonies are hosted at Grant Hall.

  • Molly Raffan, is hugged by her father James Raffan
    Molly Raffan, a graduate of the Professional Master of Education program, is hugged by her father James Raffan, a former professor at Queen's. (University Communications)
  • MBA wave
    A graduate of the Master of Business Administration program waves as she is hooded during the morning Spring Convocation ceremony on Friday, May 25. (University Communications)
  • Russell Evans and Daniel Woolf
    Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf shakes hands with Russell Evans after he received his PhD in Management during Friday morning's Convocation ceremony. (University Communications)
  • A Master of Business Administration graduate and Chancellor Jim Leech.
    A Master of Business Administration graduate points out her family as she is congratulated by Chancellor Jim Leech. (University Communications)
  • Video with cellphone
    A family member takes a quick photo from the balcony of Grant Hall during the afternoon convocation ceremony Friday at Grant Hall. (University Communications)
  • A pair of graduates from the Smith School of Business Master of Business Administration program are hooded
    A pair of graduates from the Smith School of Business Master of Business Administration program are hooded Friday at Grant Hall. (University Communications)
  • Isabel Bassett, Honorary degree recipient
    Isabel Bassett speaks to the gathered graduates after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's during the fifth ceremony of convocation. (University Communications)
  • Ashley Keays, Master of Public Administration
    Ashley Keays, a graduate of the Master of Public Administration program, receives a blanket from Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. (University Communications)

Spring convocation continued on Friday, with three more ceremonies being held at Grant Hall.

The highlight of the day was the conferring of an honorary degree (LLD) upon Isabel Bassett, former chair and CEO of TVOntario, Member of Provincial Parliament, Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation.

The day’s ceremonies involved graduate programs from the Smith School of Business, as well as the Faculty of Education and School of Graduate Studies.

No ceremonies are being held on Monday, May 28. Two ceremonies will be hosted on Tuesday, May 29.

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

full schedule of the ceremonies and more information about Spring Convocation, for graduates, parents and family, as well as faculty members, is available on the Office of the University Registrar website.

Kicking off convocation

Alex Da Silva installed as 36th rector of Queen's University as Spring Convocation gets underway.

  • Alex Da Silva installed as rector
    Alex Da Silva is installed as Queen's University's 36th rector at the beginning of the first ceremony of Spring Convocation 2018. (University Communications)
  • Phil Gold receives honorary degree
    Honorary degree recipient Phil Gold is congratulated by, from left, Principal Daniel Woolf, Rector Alex Da Silva, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Jenny Medves, Director of the School of Nursing and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. (University Communications)
  • A graduate is hooded by Peter Chin
    A graduate is hooded by the Faculty of Education's Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Peter Chin as Principal Daniel Woolf looks on. (University Communications)
  • Blanket for graduate
    Karissa Dawn Martin receives her blanket from Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. (University Communications)
  • Graduate photo with Chancellor Leech
    A graduate of the Doctor of Medicine program looks for his family as he poses for a photo with Chancellor Jim Leech. (University Communications)
  • A graduate from the School of Nursing
    A graduate is hooded by Cheryl Pulling, an associate professor in the School of Nursing as well as a piper for the convocation ceremonies at Queen's. (University Communications)

Spring Convocation started on Thursday with the first two ceremonies being held at Grant Hall.

The morning’s event saw graduates of the Faculty of Education cross the stage, as their friends, families, and loved ones looked on.

The ceremony also started off with the installation of Alex Da Silva as the 36th rector of Queen’s University. The rector is the third officer of the university, after the chancellor and principal, and is elected by students to represent them.

At each convocation ceremony, the rector sits on stage next to the chancellor and principal, addresses the attendees, and shakes the hands of graduates after they are hooded.

The afternoon ceremony brought together graduates of the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

The ceremony also saw an honorary degree conferred on Phil Gold, Executive Director of the Clinical Research Centre of the McGill University Health Centre at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and Douglas G. Cameron Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Oncology.

full schedule of the ceremonies and more information about Spring Convocation, for graduates, parents and family, as well as faculty members, is available on the Office of the University Registrar website.

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

Celebrating STEAM at Science Rendezvous

 Science Rendezvous Kingston attracts more than 4,300 people to the Rogers K-Rock Centre for a day of fun and learning.

  • A young visitor to Science Rendezvous
    A young visitor to Science Rendezvous is amazed by one of the dozens of interactive activities at Science Rendezvous Kingston on Saturday, May 12. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM)
    A young visitor tries out one of the many interactive displays at Science Rendezvous Kingston, the annual event that celebrates science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Chemistry Magic Show
    One of the highlights of Science Rendezvous Kingston is the Chemistry Magic Show. More than 700 people took in this year's show. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Amer Johri (Department of Medicine) at Science Rendezvous
    Amer Johri, (Medicine), founder and director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen's (CINQ), uses an ultrasound machine to help explain how the heart works. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Crowds fill Rogers K-Rock Centre for Science Rendezvous
    Crowds fill the Rogers K-Rock Centre for Science Rendezvous Kingston on Saturday. More than 4,300 people attended the annual event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • AsapSCIENCE at Science Rendezvous Kingston
    A crowd of 560 people fill the stands to watch a presentation by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, better known as YouTube sensation AsapSCIENCE. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Science Rendezvous Kingston continues to be a massive draw as more than 4,300 people attended the scientific celebration at the Rogers K-Rock Centre on Saturday, May 12.

It was a day of learning and family fun as attendees of all ages were able to speak with researchers, watch demonstrations and take part in experiments, while celebrating the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).

The annual event offered up dozens of family-oriented activities. Special presentations included the Chemistry Magic Show, watched by more than 700 people, while 560 spectators took in a performance and special meet-and-greet with worldwide YouTube sensation AsapSCIENCE.

The Kingston event was one of 300 Science Rendezvous celebrations hosted in 30 cities across Canada on Saturday, under the theme of ‘Full STEAM ahead!’

For more information visit the Science Rendezvous website. You can also follow Kingston’s Science Rendezvous on Twitter and Instagram.

Pulling double duty

An upcoming event aims to help graduate students and post-doctoral fellows balance their family and scholarly lives. 

[Leena Yahia]
Leena Yahia and her husband are both doctoral candidates, and they have four children together. They are helping to organize a workshop for fellow graduate students who are also parents. (University Communications)

Long nights, years of hard work, and plenty of life lessons along the way – graduate studies and parenting have a lot in common. For those who are furthering their education and raising their kids, it can be a challenge to keep up with both responsibilities.

That’s why the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is co-organizing an upcoming workshop to help students and post-docs who are parents, or who want to become parents, with resources, wisdom, and an opportunity to discuss ideas that would help them keep it all on track.

“The idea for the workshop was developed with the Graduate Student Life Advisory Group – a collaboration of students, faculty, and student services staff who work together to enhance the graduate student experience at Queen’s,” says Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “We hope that the event will be an opportunity for the community of parents to meet one another and form a network of support.”

Leena Yahia and her husband are both Queen’s doctoral candidates and they have four children together. After noticing many of their friends and colleagues having similar struggles, they formed a support network and approached the SGS about holding an event on campus.

“We want our kids to have the best experience, while also wanting to be the best students,” says Ms. Yahia. “Rather than complain, we decided to be socially innovative and put something together – and the SGS was very responsive in helping us organize the event.”

The event will begin at 8:30 on Friday morning in room A234 of Duncan McArthur Hall, and will include discussions on time management, stress and mental health, mentorship, existing supports and gaps, and funding. A panel discussion will feature faculty members and post-doctoral fellows balancing caregiving and academic responsibilities, as well as graduate students – like Ms. Yahia – who are studying and parenting simultaneously.

Ms. Yahia notes that, while her graduate studies take time away from her children, it has brought the family together and taught her children to depend on each other and themselves. Plus, she has been able to introduce them to the possibilities of a university education.

“My daughter wants to be a scientist and is keeping in touch with my professors,” she says. “My teenage son wants to be a geneticist and sees what it is to get a university education...he sees that his dream is a not-too-distant reality.”

Ultimately, Ms. Yahia hopes this conversation will spark more discussions about how to make studies at Queen’s more family-friendly through different approaches to conference funding, class scheduling, and spaces for graduate study parents to meet.

Learn more about the event, and register, on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Faculty of Education welcomes Class of '19

  • [Faculty of Education Class of '19 Opening Day]
    Newly-arrived teacher-candidates pose for a photo on the opening day at the Faculty of Education on Wednesday, May 2.
  • [Faculty of Education Class of '19 Opening Day]
    Teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education take part in a team project on the opening day of activities at Duncan McArthur Hall.
  • [Faculty of Education Class of '19 Opening Day]
    Students in the Faculty of Education fill the lecture theatre of Duncan MacArthur Hall on Wednesday, May 2, the opening day of the teacher education program.
  • [Faculty of Education Class of '19 Opening Day]
    The Faculty of Education's Class of '19 took part in a range of welcoming activities as they arrived on opening day at Duncan MacArthur Hall.

While much of Queen’s campus is quiet, Duncan McArthur Hall was buzzing with activity on Wednesday, May 2, as a new cohort of teacher-candidates marked their first day at the university.

More than 300 teacher education students in the Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Education programs took part in the welcoming activities and will spend the next 16 months at Queen’s apart from their practicum placements.

The Faculty of Education’s Class of '19 has arrived from across the country but the majority of students hail from Ontario.

Full STEAM Ahead

Science Rendezvous in Kingston features YouTube stars AsapSCIENCE along with exciting new activities and exhibits

Mitch and Greg of AsapSCIENCE will break down some of science’s weirdest questions and inexplicable phenomena during their session at Science Rendezvous, being held May 12 at the Rogers K-Rock Centre.

The popular Science Rendezvous educational showcase returns to the Rogers K-Rock Centre on May 12 to celebrate innovative science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) projects with the Kingston community. The free, family-oriented event will feature fascinating hands-on exhibits, exciting demonstrations, and a thrilling ‘headlining’ performance and special meet-and-greet with worldwide YouTube sensation AsapSCIENCE.

“We’re very excited to be bringing Science Rendezvous back for the eighth straight year,” says Lynda Colgan, Professor in the Faculty of Education and lead event organizer. “With the support of people, families, schools, and businesses across Kingston, the event has grown by leaps and bounds, allowing us connect more Kingstonians with fun, inspiring, and educational opportunities.”

With the help of 375 local volunteers, Science Rendezvous hosted over 4,400 visitors last year, with as many or more expected to attend the upcoming event. An extensive complement of exciting presenters will be on hand, including: an interactive visual exhibition by Art The Science – a Canadian non-profit celebrating connections between art and science; a chemistry magic show by the Department of Chemistry; a ‘magic mirror’ decoder game with Math Midway and; a life-sized replica of Leonardo DaVinci’s self-supporting bridge created by the Pump House Steam Museum.

There will also be stage shows, robotics demonstrations, virtual reality sessions, large-scale experiments, science games, and more. Ontario’s own Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown of AsapSCIENCE will be doing a 30-minute performance in which they will break down some of science’s weirdest questions and inexplicable phenomena.

“There is something for everyone at Science Rendezvous,” says Dr. Colgan. “Whatever your interests, we try to share a wide variety of thought-provoking exhibits designed to delight and excite the young and young at heart.”

The first 2,000 families to arrive at this year’s event in Kingston will receive a take-home booklet filled with experiments that can be done at home, as well as a free tote bag – some of which will contain additional prizes, like passes to local museums, merchandise, and more.

“It’s also been very important to me for this event to remain free for everyone year in and year out, because everyone deserves to learn and to experience the wonder of the world around us,” says Dr. Colgan. “I want to extend my gratitude to all of those people who are working to make this year’s Science Rendezvous the best one yet. I’d like to especially thank the Queen’s Office of the Provost and Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) for their support; Rick Mercer for helping to promote the event; local Kingston radio stations 93.5 Country, Kiss 102.7, and K-Rock 105.7 for providing the venue free of charge; and, of course, the staff and management of the Rogers K-Rock Centre for hosting our event.”

Kingston’s event will be one of 300 Science Rendezvous celebrations happening in 30 cities across Canada on May 12, all of which will be marking this year’s theme “Full STEAM ahead!”

For more information on the event please visit the Science Rendezvous website. You can also follow Kingston’s Science Rendezvous on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

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