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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.

Building teacher networks across borders

A group of teacher-candidates travels to Africa in support of 1 Million Teachers, a startup created by a Queen's alumnus.

[1 Million Teachers host workshop in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivore]
A group of Queen's teacher-candidates visited the Iqrah International Model Kiddies College in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire as part of the collaboration with 1 Million Teachers, a startup created by Queen's alumnus Hakeem Subair. (Supplied Photo) 

The Faculty of Education has partnered with a startup, created by a Queen’s alumnus, that is providing support for teachers in countries where in-class and educational resources are lacking.

1 Million Teachers is the brainchild of Hakeem Subair, a graduate of the Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Smith School of Business. The organization’s goal is to help attract, train, and retain 1 million teachers, as well as develop the capacity to train more, in developing countries through its online platform. Utilizing reward-based training, the program aims to transform teachers into life-long learners who are engaged and motivated – positively impacting the future of millions of children around the world.

A number of faculty members from across Queen’s are involved in the advisory team while a group of 13 final year teacher candidates from the Faculty of Education recently traveled to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to deliver workshops and engage with teachers interested in the program.

Collaboration and relationship-building is a key theme.

“We’re not going there and saying ‘this is what you need to know.’ That’s not our approach,” says Jane Chin (Education), who traveled with the group and is a member of the 1MT advisory board. “The teacher-candidates are excited because the whole point is to go sit with these teachers, who are their colleagues, and say ‘What do we have in common and how do we support each other?’ They’re really excited to have the opportunity to learn from other teachers.”

All but one of the teacher candidates is in the Educators Abroad focus track of the teacher education program.

As with any project, there is a lot of work that must be done first in creating the structure and connections, as well as the online content for the program.

“All of the teacher candidates involved expressed an interest in teaching overseas or cross-cultural teaching and they have to do a three-week alternative practicum as part of our program,” says Dr. Chin. “This group has worked really hard and has put together 10 modules to be used and sent out through 1 Million Teachers. That is a lot of content.”

The support, both online and on the ground, has helped build a strong foundation for 1 Million Teachers while also providing valuable experience for the teacher candidates, says Mr. Subair.

“The modules are high-quality work,” he says. “The (teacher candidates) are involved in every aspect of the process – the writing, the audio and the editing of the graphics as well.” 

In Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the Queen’s group will lead a number of workshops while fostering the creation of professional learning communities for attendees, a key element for 1MT.

“We will get the dialogue going – here are some of the things we are thinking about in Canada, here’s some things we think about in relation to the new ideas about teaching, getting students to ask good questions, how do you do it, kind of sharing – but then the ultimate goal is to facilitate these teachers connecting to one another,” says Dr. Chin. “We want them to know that they do not have a lot of resources but we do. You communicate with one another, support one another and we’ll support you.”

Having grown up in Nigeria, Mr. Subair knows the monumental task facing teachers in sub-Saharan Africa and other locations all too well. In many countries there is little funding or resources provided to teachers. As a result, for many families there is a stigma toward pursuing teaching as a career. Still, he points out, there are those who remain passionate about teaching and educating the next generation.

Through 1MT, these teachers can get the support they need. There’s also a longer-term goal of improving the situation for teachers overall, Mr. Subair adds.

“This is the community. The idea is all the teachers using the platform are part of the community. Imagine having someone like Professor Chin and someone is asking a really technical question about teaching and she’s able to respond,” he says. “There’s an advocacy piece as well. We are engaging with governments and we want to be able to strongly advocate for teachers with governments to change policy such as increasing remuneration.”

To learn more about the program, visit the 1 Million Teachers website.

Celebrating a ’strong research culture’

  • Ben Kutsyuruba shows a comic that is included in "The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective".
    Ben Kutsyuruba shows a comic that is included in "The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective," a book he co-edited in 2017.
  • People attend the Celebration of Scholarly Activity
    Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal, Office of Partnerships and Innovation, explains the office’s role in supporting research enterprise at Queen’s and partner institutions.
  • Rosa Bruno-Jofre speaks at the Celebration of Scholarly Activity
    Rosa Bruno-Jofre talks about her successful experiences in the grants process as well as authoring two books that were published in 2017.
  • Tom Russell shows his ISATT Award
    Tom Russell speaks about the importance of participating in conferences as well as building relationships with colleagues from around the world.

The Faculty of Education recognized the achievements of faculty members over the past year on Thursday, Feb. 22 as it hosted its Celebration of Scholarly Activity

At the second annual event, hosted by Ted Christou, Interim Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, four faculty members were recognized for their work and shared their experiences, including research, navigating the grants process, publishing, and networking with their colleagues.

“Our Faculty of Education has a strong research culture. Our faculty members are involved in diverse projects involving educational stakeholders at local, national, and international levels,” Dr. Christou says. “Celebrating research excellence allows us to pause and highlight the meaningful work that we engage in regularly.” 

Those recognized were:

Rosa Bruno-Jofre: Authored two books – Catholic Education in the Wake of Vatican II with a SSHRC Connection Grant and Vatican II and Beyond: The Changing Mission and Identity of Canadian Women Religious; received a SSHRC Connection Grant to organize a symposium on educationalization of social and moral problems at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago in August 2017; and received an award as one of TD Bank's 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians.

Chris DeLuca: Received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Paper Award in Classroom Assessment for a paper entitled “Changing approaches to classroom assessment: An empirical study across teacher career stages”; received a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for a project titled “Preparing Teachers for the Age of Accountability: An International Partnership for Enhancing Teacher Education in Assessment”; and received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for a project titled “Building Creative Capacity through Assessment for Learning in the Arts”.

Ben Kutsyuruba: Co-editor of the book The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective.

Tom Russell: Received the ISATT Award from the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching for “significant and exemplary contributions through research, teaching, and professional service in the international field of teaching and teacher education, and continued an international collaboration speaking to universities and organizations in Chile.

At the event, guest speaker Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal, Office of Partnerships and Innovation, highlighted the office’s role in supporting research enterprise at Queen’s and partner institutions, such as providing incubator space for startups, entrepreneurship programming, developing and promoting research partnerships with industry, governments, and not-for-profits including other academic institutions, as well as intellectual property and commercial expertise.

Introducing our new faculty members: Kristy Timmons

Kristy Timmons (Education) is one of the 41 new faculty members hired in 2017-18 as part of Principal Daniel Woolf's faculty renewal plans. 

This profile is part of a series which will highlight some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the Principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over the next five years - approximately 10 net new faculty hires per year.

Kristy Timmons (Education) sat down with the Gazette to talk about her experience so far and how she made it to Queen’s.

Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)
Kristy Timmons, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education. Dr. Timmons joined Queen's in the summer of 2017, part of a faculty renewal program initiated by the Principal. (University Communications)

Tell us about yourself and how your first few months at Queen’s have been.

My research and teaching are focused in the area of early child development. I completed my undergraduate degree at Ryerson University in Early Childhood Studies. This experience really taught me the importance of having both theoretical knowledge and practical experiences to truly understand child development. Upon graduation, I pursued graduate studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), in the Child Study and Education Master’s program.

I really enjoyed working as a Registered Early Childhood Educator and a Certified teacher. These experiences surfaced a lot more questions than answers about the education field. This lead me to pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/University of Toronto. While completing my doctoral studies I had the opportunity to teach in Higher Education at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

While I was writing my dissertation, in the final year of my doctoral work, this position in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s was posted and it really felt like the perfect fit for me.

I have now been in the position since July 1, 2017 and I feel lucky to be at a University where there is so much support for new Faculty. In the Faculty of Education we have a mentorship program and are supported in our transition to Queen’s. This mentorship group includes both formal and informal meetings. I was hired with two other new faculty members, Dr. Lee Airton and Dr. Alana Butler, who I am really fortunate to work with!

Tell us about your research.

Fast facts about Dr. Timmons

  Department: Education

  Hometown: Pickering, Ontario

  Research area: The processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation

  Favourite kid’s book: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid

  Dr. Timmons' webpage

My research interests centre on the processes that influence young children’s learning, engagement, and self-regulation. Within this focus, I have carried out research with children, families, and pre- and in-services educators.

My doctoral work examined the influence of educator and child expectations on kindergarten children’s literacy and self-regulation outcomes.

My current research focuses on two additional studies that were informed by findings from my doctoral work. The first is titled, “What is self-regulation anyway? Examination of the ways in which self-regulation is defined and promoted in early years practice and policy documents in Ontario. The second is, “Beyond expectation levels: The influence of educator expectations, beliefs, and practices on children’s learning outcomes in play-based kindergarten classrooms.

Sell us on taking a class with you. 

I am currently teaching four courses in the Consecutive Bachelor of Education Program. I hope to teach a graduate course this fall.

I recently pitched a graduate course on self-regulation and executive functions. Self-regulation has been a research focus in many fields ranging from education to neurobiology to many subfields of psychology. One of the major challenges is that there is no universal definition for self-regulation, and with differing definitions comes varying ways of measuring it.

It is important that teachers are aware of how to support the development of self-regulation. I often talk about co-regulation with students, as self-regulation involves a social component where a parent or teacher can support children in developing skills to be successful at managing their behaviours, impulses, emotions, and thoughts. Think of a group of Kindergarten students sitting on the carpet: one student is trying to talk to another student about their birthday party while the teacher is reading a story aloud to the class. The child has to inhibit their desire of talking to their friend about their birthday party in order to comprehend the story. With older students, the distraction could be looking on Facebook or checking a text message. These are really simple examples but are helpful in thinking about the daily interactions that require self-regulation skills. 

Childrens self-regulatory and attention skills are among the strongest predictors of future academic success. Although educators know the importance of self-regulation development, researchers and teachers alike continue to struggle to understand the complexities of what self-regulation is and how best to support it in a school context. I am hoping to offer a graduate course where we can begin to unpack the complexities of self-regulation and executive functions together.

Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)
Dr. Timmons delivers a lecture in "Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Contexts". (University Communications)

You are teaching teachers so…what are some of the strategies you use in the classroom?

I apply a lot of strategies I used when I was a teacher to my teaching in higher education. It sounds a bit funny, but when you think about it, I am teaching at the Faculty of Education, many of our graduates will become teachers. I try to model strategies and practices that they will use in their classrooms.

I use various teaching approaches into my weekly class structure. I integrate a lecture component with in-class activities and discussions. I often integrate case studies into my lectures, as I find this allows students to reflect on real practice situations. I promote student involvement in the courses I teach through think, pair, and share interactions and small group discussions. I often encourage students to begin discussing concepts in these smaller groups and then ask for a group leader or a member of the partner team to summarize key points that have been discussed.

This past term, I had the opportunity to teach a Foundations of Psychology course where I had over 500 students. This was my first time teaching a large lecture-style class and I am continuing to learn what works and does not work in that teaching context.

Given your interest in early years education…what is your favourite kid's book, and why? And what was your favourite subject in school?

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid. I like to promote inquiry-based learning methods with students. In one of my classes, before reading the story, I asked the students to picture a tree and then to draw what they were picturing. Some drew a family tree, some drew a Christmas tree, and others had personal stories about a tree they had planted in their backyard or a tree they pass by on their daily run.

I emphasize in my literacy and language course how to use storybooks as a starting point into an exploration. I think these examples demonstrate the unique ideas and perspectives students bring with them to their teaching and learning.

My favourite subject…language arts or social studies. 

Anything you do to unwind?

Since moving to Kingston, I have taken up rock climbing which is something I never tried before. Unwinding for me often involves being active…spinning, weight lifting, and walking my dog. I am looking forward to exploring more of Kingston this summer. I went to Wolfe Island last year but I am hoping to see other islands this year.

What are you most grateful for?

I had an interest in research and teaching in the early years. With this role at Queen’s, I have found a path that brings teaching and research together. From early on, I knew I was interested in teaching yet I always had questions I wanted to explore in a research capacity. I am grateful to be in a position where I get to teach in higher education, work in the early years through my research, and continue to explore questions with the hope of improving the education of our youngest learners.

I am also really grateful to have a loving supportive network of family and friends around me who have supported me in accomplishing my goals. They have provided that extra external motivation when my internal motivation was running low.

I am the only teacher in my family, my brother’s background is in musical theatre and I remember telling him  ‘teaching is my stage’.

Faculty Renewal 

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the past six years and will result in approximately 10 net new hires per year.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to seek proactively representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

To learn more about the Principal’s faculty renewal plans, read this Gazette article. Stay tuned for additional new faculty profiles in the Gazette.

Research hits the airwaves

“Blind Date with Knowledge” will air on CFRC.

Do you ever wonder what drives a researcher’s curiosity? What was the spark that led them to discovery? Beginning on January 31 at 5:30 pm, you can listen in and hear these types of questions answered directly by scholars themselves.

CFRC, the Queen’s radio station, 101.9fm,  is launching a bi-weekly radio show called “Blind Date with Knowledge.” The show seeks to demystify scholarly research and personalize the research process through discussions with various Queen’s faculty members.

“Blind Date with Knowledge” is one way Queen’s is increasing its efforts to promote the importance of research conducted by faculty and students. The show is a collaboration between CFRC, the Office of the Vice-Principal (University Relations), and the show host, Barry Kaplan. Kaplan is a member of the Kingston community, and his passion for spreading knowledge about research at Queen’s is palpable.

“There is a lot of interesting and consequential knowledge being created, in a huge range of subjects, by an array of Queen’s researchers,” says Kaplan. “This show is a small but important platform for knowledge-sharing about research, as spoken about by the researchers themselves, to get a little more visibility and traction with everyday people.”

The quirky name “Blind Date with Knowledge” is based on the premise that research isn’t predictable. Like a blind date, research is about taking risks and being prepared for failure and success.

Each episode will feature scholars from different disciplines sharing their stories about what it’s really like to do research. With so many different research projects being conducted by Queen’s faculty, “Blind Date with Knowledge” provides a small glimpse into the pioneering work of these scholars.

Laura Murray
Dr. Laura Murray (Photo Credit: Barry Kaplan)

Dr. Laura Murray (English Language and Literature) will be featured in the first episode of the show, discussing how she has used archival research and oral history as a tool to uncover some of Kingston’s lesser-known history.

“Talking to non-specialists about academic research isn’t always that easy – but it’s hugely important and rewarding,” says Murray. “I’m glad Queen’s is encouraging it. My 15 minutes with Barry went extremely quickly and I enjoyed the challenge!”

John McGarry
Dr. John McGarry (Photo Credit: Barry Kaplan)

Dr. John McGarry (Political Studies) will also appear in the first episode. As an expert in conflict resolution, Dr. McGarry will explain the forces that can lead to the beginning of civil conflict, focusing on Northern Ireland.

“It is great for Queen’s to have a radio show that does not just showcase research, but shows the positive impact that research can have on people’s lives,” he says. “People are often curious about how my research begins and the form it takes, and participating in the show is a way to share this with everyday people.”

CFRC also hosts the weekly radio show "Grad Chat", which is a platform for Queen's graduate students to share their research with both the Queen's and greater Kingston community. The show airs on Tuesdays at 4pm, and past episodes can be listened on the School of Graduate Studies website.

After airing, all episodes of "Blind Date with Knowledge" will be available online on the CFRC website. If you have questions about the radio show, please contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives.

The schedule for the first five episodes of "Blind Date with Knowledge" is available now. The schedule is subject to change.



Air Date



Jan. 31, 2018

Laura Murray (English Language and Literature) and John McGarry (Political Studies)


February 14, 2018

Lynda Colgan (Education) and Adrian Baranchuk (Medicine)


February 28, 2018

Patricia Smithen (Art History and Art Conservation) and John Smol (Biology)


March 14, 2018

Leela Viswanathan (Geography and Planning) and Gregory Jerkiewicz (Chemistry)


March 28, 2018

Alana Butler (Education) and Antonio Nicaso (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)

Queen’s faculty members named among most influential Hispanic Canadians

Two Queen’s faculty members were recently named among TD Bank's 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians by the Hispanic Business Alliance in cooperation with the Canadian Hispanic Congress.

Receiving the awards were Rosa Bruno-Jofré, Professor of History of Education and former dean of the Faculty of Education, and Carlos Prado, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy.

The awards recognize Hispanic Canadians who demonstrate influence in education, achievements, volunteerism and/or entrepreneurship.

Rosa Bruno-Jofré

Rosa Bruno-JofreArriving in Canada from Argentina in 1977 with a degree from Universidad Nacional del Sur, Dr. Rosa Bruno-Jofré was appointed Associate Dean of Education at the University of Manitoba (1996-2000) and then Dean of Education at Queen’s University (2000-2010), while building an influential international research program that, today, is at the forefront of thought on educational theory and history of education.

Dr. Bruno-Jofré has authored and co-authored numerous books that have also been translated into French, Spanish, and Chinese. She is co-founding senior editor of Encounters in Theory and History of Education since 2000. She has been recently a keynote at Cambridge University for a special celebration of the 100th anniversary of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education.

She is recognized by colleagues for her academic brilliance, entrepreneurial initiative, and tireless passion.

Carlos Gonzales Prado

Carlos PradoA native of Guatemala, Dr. Carlos Prado immigrated to Canada in 1965. After completing his PhD in 1970, he began his career in teaching, research, and service in philosophy at Queen’s University.

In 2013, Dr. Prado was named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the nation’s highest recognition for achievements in arts and humanities. Dr. Prado is author or co-author of 15 books and editor of four anthologies. He continues to have an extraordinary impact in the fields of medical ethics and epistemology (the theory of knowledge). Also, his research on French philosopher Michel Foucault has built bridges between Anglo-American analytical philosophy and Continental European philosophy.

Dr. Prado has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students and junior colleagues at Queen’s and in the broader international philosophy community. He is also the sponsor of the annual “Prado Philosophy Prize” for the best PhD thesis in philosophy and the “Prado Music Prize” at Queen’s.

For more information about the award visit the website

New support for Indigenous students near and far

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre has hired a new Cultural Counsellor/Elder-in-Residence, while the Faculty of Education has also added an Elder-in-Residence.

Two new staff members hired this fall are already having a significant positive impact on the Queen’s community, particularly for Indigenous students.

Vernon Altiman (University Relations)
Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) can be found at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. (University Communications)

Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) joined Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre in Oct. as an Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Counsellor, a new role which sees him meeting with students and supporting Indigenous cultural ceremonies. His hiring diversifies the voices at Four Directions, as he is the only Anishinaabe man working in the centre.

Mr. Altiman’s career has been focused on traditional healing practices, specifically in mental health. He was summoned by the Elders to complete a Master’s of Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy Program through Seven Generations Education Institute in Fort Frances, Ontario. The institute is connected to the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC), and is affiliated with Queen’s.

Mr. Altiman moved back to Kingston last year to work with the federal penitentiaries, and while in town he became involved in the local Indigenous community through Four Directions.

He began helping the centre with its Ojibway language programming and, through the connections he made at Four Directions, Mr. Altiman heard that Queen’s was seeking an Ojibway language teacher.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime,” he says. “I never dreamed that I would be asked to do it.”

A few months later, Mr. Altiman also took on the Elder and Cultural Counsellor roles with Four Directions. He says there are some similarities in providing guidance to students and his past work.

“The difference is that the students are willing and seeking the knowledge,” he says. “There are different objectives, different teachings that are used…and it is open and free.”

Since joining Four Directions, Mr. Altiman has had the opportunity to present to medical and education students, and help organize Indigenous ceremonies on campus including smudging. Annually, he participates in ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, which involves four days without food or water and a trial of physical endurance.

“It’s not just feathers and beads…it is research. It is hard work, commitment, and sacrifice,” he says. “I pick up a lot of baggage that I have to dispose of, so that’s why I am committed to these traditional annual practices.”

Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant). (Supplied Photo)
Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) has an office in Duncan McArthur Hall, and she also connects to students through video conferencing. (Supplied Photo)

Meanwhile, in the Faculty of Education, Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant) is applying new technologies to Indigenous traditions. Ms. St Amant (Ed’82) describes the largest part of her role as a ‘Cyber Elder’, where she virtually connects with students in the Master of Education in Aboriginal and World Indigenous Educational Studies (AWIES) and the faculty’s doctorate programs.

“When the AWIES students get together in the summer, they really like that sense of community,” Ms. St Amant says. “When they leave Kingston – headed to Whitehorse, to Moosonee, and every other part of Canada – they lose that connection to their student learning community. The relationship is so important in any Indigenous culture…it’s all about the relationship and being able to see the person.”

To help foster those relationships with the students, she holds regular video calls – and, starting in January, she hopes to start a virtual ‘talking circle’ with the entire group simultaneously connected to the same video call. Ms. St Amant is also on-campus twice a month specifically to support students in the Aboriginal Teachers Education Program (ATEP) or other faculty, staff, and students seeking an Elder.

She says Indigenous students face a number of barriers in the education system, and it can be helpful to have an Elder who can counsel them and vouch for them.

“A lot of the discussions I have are about the challenges of doing this work online as an Indigenous person; about social, familial, and funding barriers; barriers within the education system and cultural misunderstandings; and the intergenerational trauma that was caused by the residential school system,” she says. “Those who have not experienced some of these hurdles cannot understand their impact, but I am able to help them clear these hurdles.”

Ms. St Amant, who possesses both Métis and Ojibway heritage, worked as a teacher for three decades before retiring in 2012 – skills which have served her well as Elder-in-Residence in an academic environment. Since starting in her part-time role in October, there has been significant demand for her time.

“This is an important role, and it’s a great step for the faculty. I something like this was available when I was a student.”

The Elder-in-Residence position within the Faculty of Education was established with the support of Oriel MacLennan in memory of her mother, Edwina Diaper (MEd’82), who was a teacher in the Kingston community for many years. Learn more about this position on the Faculty of Education’s website.


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