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Virtual exhibit examines the digital future

Showcasing innovative Queen's technology projects that could change the way we live.

Close-up of hands using computer (courtesy of Glenn Cartens Peters, Unsplash)

Last fall, experts and audience members gathered at Queen’s University to discuss the future of research, knowledge sharing, and the student learning experience in the digital age at the first-ever Principal’s Symposium.

Hosted by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, and emceed by CBC Radio’s Nora Young, the symposium examined advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and data governance, as well as how ongoing digital transformation is influencing post-secondary students, Indigenous communities, and people in developed and developing countries.

“The speakers and panelists at our symposium shared a broad and detailed picture of how digital innovation is reshaping learning and discovery both here in Canada and abroad,” says Principal Woolf. “With their insights in mind, as well as those being revealed by researchers and students at Queen’s, we can build upon our institution’s digital framework and take advantage of the opportunities future technologies will surely present.”

The symposium also marked the launch of a supporting virtual exhibit – Imagining Our Digital Future – to highlight digital planning initiatives currently underway at Queen’s and in the Kingston community.

“For decades, Queen’s faculty and students have been leveraging technologies to advance learning and research,” says Principal Woolf. “Technological innovation will continue to change how we live, so our ongoing exploration of this new frontier is not only important, but essential to the future of knowledge, truth, and healthy societal progress. Sharing our ideas and efforts across disciplines will help us stay concerted in our efforts to create an open, inclusive, collaborative, and innovative digital future.”

The virtual exhibit features over 40 digital technology projects happening at Queen’s and in Kingston that have the potential to impact our daily lives, and create previously unimaginable learning and research opportunities across the disciplines – with plans to showcase new projects on an ongoing basis.

Currently, featured projects include everything from “smart” surgical instruments that will help doctors more efficiently remove cancerous tumours and state-of-the-art camera technology used for analyzing human movement, to online database technology used to help preserve Indigenous heritage and art or reunite communities with their history. There are also projects focused on augmented reality and VR simulators, ambient and artificial intelligence, astroparticle physics research, archaeology, surveillance, and more.

Faculty, staff, students, and Kingston community members engaged in interesting digital initiatives are welcomed to submit their project for possible inclusion in the virtual exhibit. Contact the virtual exhibit curators using the online form.

An education in reconciliation

Queen’s Faculty of Education stepping up Indigenous education programming to support teacher candidates.

Education students participate in a KAIROS Blanket Exercise
A facilitator leads Queen's teacher candidates through a KAIROS Blanket exercise.

Teacher candidates at Queen’s University took part in exercises this week aimed at supporting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada. As of September, students in the Faculty of Education became required to complete Indigenous education programming as part of their overall training.

“Canada is a diverse country of many voices and perspectives that all have a place within the structures of learning,” says Peter Chin, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Faculty of Education. “As educators, we always encourage an inclusive and equitable approach that creates safe and caring environments for students from all backgrounds. We want our teacher candidates to leave Queen’s with the skills needed to create respectful, insightful, and open environments in their future classrooms.”

The training is broken into a three-part cultural safety workshop that starts with a KAIROS blanket exercise – an interactive learning experience designed to teach Indigenous rights history – followed by a debrief discussion with the Faculty of Education’s Elder-in-Residence, Deb St. Amant. Students then learn from representatives from the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and various school faculties about Indigenous paradigms, relationship building, and reconciliation.

Since becoming a mandatory part of teacher candidate training in September 2018, these cultural safety courses have been completed by more than 300 students, with another 300 scheduled to complete it by the end of the academic year.

“Originally, we only had an Indigenous education course as part of a student’s final semester of the two-year program, but after talking with teacher candidates we added this additional training earlier, as they thought perspectives on reconciliation helped provide a better lens through which to view all of their studies,” says Dr. Chin.

In addition to the new training, the Faculty of Education has a wide variety of Indigenous education initiatives already in place for teacher candidates. There is a sacred medicine garden, and weekly smudging events open to all teacher candidates, as well as guest lectures from Indigenous education speakers. Opening and closing ceremonies for the education program include an Indigenous welcome, and there are even Anishinaabe interpretive depictions of the Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice plaque-mounted on campus.

“This is a great step for the Faculty of Education and for Queen’s, as it further bolsters culturally relevant learning opportunities and efforts toward reconciliation,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). “Incorporating Indigenous perspectives right into the curriculum in this way will prepare Queen’s students for their future roles as educators, and tomorrow’s champions of a more fair and inclusive Canada.”

Efforts toward reconciliation have stretched beyond campus into the community as well. Recently, Queen’s Faculty of Education staff members Kate Freeman and Lindsay Morcom partnered with Shawn McDonald of Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and the EdCan Network to create an infographic designed to help teachers integrate Truth and reconciliation in their classrooms.

Grade 11 student, Kristian Murphy's illustration "Let Justice Speak" on display at Queen's University's Faculty of Education.
An illustration titled "Let Justice Speak" by local Grade 11 student Kristian Murphy on display at the Faculty of Education's "Imagine a Canada" exhibit.

The Faculty of Education is also supporting the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s “Imagine a Canada” initiative to encourage young people to share their own vision of what Reconciliation in Canada can look like. On November 26, Queen’s University’s West Campus hosted the opening of a gallery exhibit featuring art by local Kingston elementary and high school students depicting how they can help lead our nation through Reconciliation. The exhibition can be viewed at The Studio (B144) in Duncan McArthur Hall until Friday, Jan. 11.

Queen’s University offers a variety of Indigenous initiatives and supports across campus, and continues to implement strategies recommended by the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force.

Entering the U.S. market

Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen's University now offers courses for teachers in the United States.

A leader in online professional development for teachers in Ontario for more than 20 years, and more recently in British Columbia, the Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen’s University is now expanding into the United States market.

With many states requiring teachers to complete Continuing Teacher and Leadership Education (CTLE) courses to maintain their licenses, the Continuing Teacher Education Office at Queen's University sees a great opportunity for growth. (Photo by neonbrand/Unsplash)

It is increasingly mandatory in many states for teachers to complete Continuing Teacher and Leadership Education (CTLE) courses to maintain their licenses. Seeing a massive opportunity for growth, the CTE Office created courses with the United States teacher in mind, based around what is known as Common Core Standards. The CTE Office is now an approved CTLE sponsor in New York state.

As with the Ontario and B.C. programming, these new courses make use of the Faculty of Education’s instructional strengths and leadership in research, while providing an online platform that allows users to develop new skills, collect valuable resources, share ideas, and collaborate with a community of learners. Many comparable programs utilize Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), says Nathan Cheney, Business Developer in the Professional Studies Office. These courses provide the required content and, once complete, a certificate is awarded. In contrast, all Queen’s courses are instructor-led. The courses are supported by current research but also based in practice, designed with the working teacher in mind.

“This offers an opportunity to be different from a lot of the other professional development courses. All of our courses have up-to-date research that is written by experts in the field,” Cheney says.  “Our courses are written by teachers for teachers. These aren’t courses that are designed to give you overarching theory only. They are designed to be directly applicable to something the teachers can use in the classroom, which is an important feature.”

The first courses – Teaching Mathematics in Elementary Schools and Teaching English Language Learners – started being offered Nov. 12.

Another important component is that the Queen’s courses also create a “community of learners,” through open discussions with instructors as well as fellow teachers.

“In my opinion, the best thing about these courses is the discussion component. We’ll have 15 or 20 teachers in a class and in doing so they must interact with each other, which means they are setting up a community of learners, they are setting up a resource group,” Cheney says. “The courses are designed so that participants are sharing their resources as part of the discussion board. So not only are you walking away with the resources you get from the expert instructor, you are walking away with resources from all these other instructors who are in the class with you.”

As seen in the Ontario and B.C. courses these networks can continue long after the course is complete. The interactive nature of the courses also allows variety of perspectives to be voiced, says Jessica Della-Latta, Executive Director of Professional and Non-Credit Programs at the Faculty of Education.

“What’s great about the courses being online is you can get so many perspectives. You can have a seasoned inner city teacher and a new rural teacher sharing their point of view and experiences,” she says. “You get the richness of all these perspectives which creates the opportunity for problem-solving, creativity and new outlooks to challenges. In the Ontario and B.C. courses professional friendships develop and the mutual support that is so important within the course continues long after the course ends. It’s not only setting up an expert level course that is written and designed for them, it’s setting up an opportunity for them to have colleagues from across the country that they can lean on throughout their careers.”

For more information or to register, visit the CTE website

Opening doors to lifelong learning

Ever Scholar, offered by the Professional Studies Unit at the Queen’s Faculty of Education, provides opportunities to explore topics in the arts, science, and the humanities.

Ever Scholar, a new program offered by the Professional Studies Unit at the Queen’s Faculty of Education, opens up learning opportunities for retirees and seniors in the Kingston area.

[Ever Scholar]
Ever Scholar is a lifelong learning program providing opportunities to explore topics in the arts, science, and the humanities. (University Communications)

Ever Scholar is an open-enrollment course series for anyone in the Kingston and surrounding area. Designed as a lifelong-learning program, Ever Scholar provides opportunities to explore topics in the arts, science, and the humanities.

The program got its start when Jessica Della-Latta, Executive Director of Professional and Non-Credit Programs at the Faculty of Education, took part in the Foundational Leadership course offered by Queen’s Human Resources. She had just received an enquiry regarding Queen’s offerings for third-age learners. The enquiry was for something more than a lecture but not as intensive as a course for credit. To set the program up for success, Della-Latta’s Foundational Leadership project team polled Kingston community members and alumni and met with potential partners such as ESU, community organizations, and senior administrators at Queen’s.

They discovered that while programming for third-age learners is abundant in the Kingston area through local community groups, none specifically met the immersive course experience that many retirees and seniors were looking for. Seeing a win-win opportunity, Della-Latta and her project team moved the project forward.

Meeting with all stakeholder groups including Queen’s University Institute for Lifelong Learning (QUILL), Later Life Learning, Kingston Seniors Centre, Retirees Association of Queen’s (RAQ), and the Enrichment Studies Unit confirmed the need. 

“I met with all those groups because I didn’t want to redo what was already being done well. I wanted to identify the gap and fill it. I wanted this to be a collaboration,” Della-Latta says. “So we formed an advisory board with members from each of those groups to help shape and guide – they came up with the name Ever Scholar – what our focus and subject areas will be.  It is an important collaboration.  We all cross-promote our programs in the spirit of learning for all.”

The Faculty of Education was a natural place for such a program.

“As educators, we believe that education continues beyond formal schooling. Ever Scholar is an opportunity for us to share our wealth of knowledge and research with the community and offer accessible lifelong learning opportunities for everyone” says Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of the Faculty of Education.

The first six-week course, entitled First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Studies, started on Wednesday, Oct. 10 and is hosted primarily at Duncan McArthur Hall, along with field trips to locations such as the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre.

The courses are being developed by graduate students from the Faculty of Education.

The programming is also being developed with cost-effectiveness in mind, not only for the university but for the students as well. For example, parking is covered by the registration fee.

Another key for Ever Scholar, points out Nathan Cheney, Business Developer in the Professional Studies Office, is building positive relationships between the university and the community

“We wanted to try and remove as many barriers for people as possible while maintaining the quality of learning that we are proud to offer at Queen’s University," he says. "One of the things that Queen’s focuses on is the community aspect and the community experience of the campus. We decided to host this on Queen’s campus so learners experience all Queen’s has to offer."

The second course, which will focus on health sciences, will be offered in May.

If you have an idea for an Ever Scholar course, Della-Latta is open to suggestions from all faculties.

For more information about Ever Scholar, visit the Professional Studies website.

Beauty of research resonates on campus

  • Art of Research photo exhibit
    Photos from the Art of Research contest are featured in a travelling, pop-up photo exhibit currently being held on the first floor of Stauffer Library.
  • Art of Research building banner
    New building banners highlighting Queen's research were recently placed on prominent buildings, including Stauffer Library and Grant Hall.
  • Art of Research light post pennants
    A series of four pennants, featuring photos from the Art of Research contest, adorn the light posts along University Avenue.

Every day impactful, cutting-edge research is being conducted at Queen’s and the university wants everyone to know about it.

Enter a new multi-faceted campaign on campus aimed at promoting and celebrating the groundbreaking work of the university’s researchers.

“Research is core to the foundation of Queen’s as an institution, yet much of the work takes place where it isn’t easily accessible to the public – in labs, archives, and in the field,” says Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives. “While many of our research promotion initiatives are aimed at external stakeholders, the goal of this campaign is to showcase the breadth and impact of our research to the Queen’s and Kingston communities, while at the same time adding a little more beauty to campus.”

Other building banners and light pole pennants around campus are highlighting a pair of celebrations – the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Education and the 125th anniversary of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

At the heart of Queen’s, building banners celebrating award-winning research don Grant Hall and Stauffer library. Pole pennants have also been installed on the light posts along University Avenue, featuring images from the Art of Research photo contest. Each year the popular photo contest provides faculty, students, alumni, and staff the opportunity to showcase their research, scholarly, and artistic work. It also provides many amazing photos.

Together, the new banners cover a wide array of research – from arts and humanities to physics to cancer and health sciences to biodiversity and climate change.

The first image, Santa Fina, was taken by Una D’Elia, a faculty member in the Department of Art History and Art Conservation, at Musei Civici in San Gimignano, Italy. The striking image shows a marble bust of a saint by sculptor Pietro Torrigiani, a competitor of Michelangelo.

The second image, Leaving Home, features a spheroid of cancer cells embedded in a 3D protein matrix as seen through a microscope. Taken by Eric  Lian, a PhD  student in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, individual cells can be seen radiating away on all sides.

The third image, Razorbill, was captured by Brody Crosby, a Master’s student in the Department of Biology during fieldwork on seabirds in Witless Bay, Nfld. Mistakenly assuming the approaching researchers were its parents, the razorbill chick is captured as it begs for a meal.

The fourth image is a rendition of the universe, and captures the work of researchers elucidating the fundamental building blocks of the universe, shedding light on things we cannot see.

The Art of Research is also being featured in a travelling, pop-up photo exhibit currently being held on the first floor of Stauffer Library. Offering a large selection of photos from the last three years of the contest, the exhibit highlights the diversity of research happening across campus.

The photo exhibit will subsequently be on display in Grant Hall for Homecoming, Oct. 19-21, and then in the Lederman Law Library, Oct. 22-Nov. 5.

The exhibit is also available to campus partners throughout the year for events and display purposes.

For more information on research at Queen’s or the Art of Research photo contest, visit the website.

A member of the prestigious U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, Queen’s has a long history of unmistakable discovery and innovation that has shaped our knowledge and helped address some of the world’s deepest mysteries and most pressing questions

The Conversation: We all put too much emphasis on test scores

[School test]
Language tests are an important factor in determining whether international students are admitted to universities (Photo by Ben Mullins/Unsplash)

We live in testing times. We also live in a time of globalization, immigration and the internationalization of schools and universities around the world. Our current obsession with school accountability and student learning outcomes has resulted in the increased use and abuse of test scores — in particular language test scores.

Language test scores are now an admission ticket for post-secondary education and for skilled immigrants trying to gain entry into new countries. Test scores serve as the key to learning opportunities and professional success, impacting millions of lives. They also play a crucial role in political, social and educational policies.

Despite the considerable consequences of language testing, what exactly do test scores indicate? What can we tell about someone and their achievement or professional capability from a single test score? What are the implications when bureaucrats and education officials misinterpret test scores when making policy decisions on immigration or attracting more international students?

[The Conversation]In my role as director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, I’ve been involved in research on how students are tested for language proficiency and the consequences of such testing.

Second language is essential

It’s an important topic because evidence shows that an ability to speak a second language can determine so many things about an immigrant’s future, including economic success, social integration and their overall ability to contribute to society. My research looks at the prevalence and impact of language testing. A key issue is how test scores are used or misused by policy makers.

We should not be using a single test score to make decisions that can have a huge impact on someone’s life. However, governments and organizations tend to do this because it is cheaper and they believe it offers a more clean-cut case on immigration, university entrance and professional certification.

According to the latest census data, Canada has more than 7.5 million foreign-born individuals who arrived as immigrants. That represents about 22 per cent of the population.

All skilled workers and professionals who wish to immigrate to Canada need to demonstrate their English or French language ability via a language test, no matter where in the world they come from. The results of their test scores determine whether they are permitted to settle and to practise as recertified professionals in Canada.

Increase in international students

There has been a rapid increase in the number of international students who wish to study at Canadian universities. The latest federal government data shows Canada had roughly 500,000 international students at the end of 2017. Canada’s international student population has nearly tripled over the past decade and now ranks fourth behind the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Canada retains many of these international students as skilled workers through Express Entry.

All international students are required to take a language test as part of the application process and their scores must meet the entrance requirements for Canadian universities.

It’s natural to assume anyone taking those tests would be nervous, anxious or even frustrated. That is what we call high-stakes testing, which affects the lives of millions of people, all over the world, every day.

An incomplete picture

For example, when the stakes are high, research suggests that test-takers’ motivation and anxiety are significant factors associated with their test performance. Judging someone’s test score without taking those factors into account presents an incomplete picture of the person taking the test.

Successfully evaluating someone’s English- or French-language abilities through various language tests has a direct impact on millions of lives of people who come to Canada to study and settle.

Education and government decision-makers should not rely solely on test scores when making decisions about admitting people to schools or the country. That’s why test validation — ensuring accurate uses and interpretations of the test scores — has become so important and has grown into a major field of research.

Our research at Queen’s is intended to raise public awareness of the intended and unintended consequences of how test scores are used and to make the case that policy-makers need better training on how to properly interpret scores.The Conversation


Liying Cheng is professor and director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG) at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. Her primary research interests are the impact of large-scale testing on instruction, the relationships between assessment and instruction, and the academic and professional acculturation of international and new immigrant students, workers, and professionals to Canada.

This article was originally published on The Conversation, which provides news and views from the academic and research community. Queen’s University is a founding partner. Queen's researchers, faculty, and students are regular contributors.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca

Making Aboriginal education accessible

A mixed-heritage student has created an online resource to help teachers learn about Aboriginal education.

[Queen's University Olivia Rondeau Faculty of Education reconciliation]
Olivia Rondeau created a website to support grade school teachers looking to educate their students about Indigenous Peoples. (Supplied Photo)

Grade school teachers in Canada may wish to educate their students about Indigenous Peoples in Canada, but might be unsure where to start. Recognizing this gap, Queen’s student Olivia Rondeau recently launched a new website to support Canadian educators looking to delve deeper into Indigenous matters.

Teaching Aboriginal Education, or TAE for short, is a free online resource, which offers lesson plans, community resources, and a blog to support educators and foster reconciliation.

“Teaching Aboriginal education is so important to the reconciliation and healing process of so many students and their family members,” says Ms. Rondeau. “As teacher candidates, we learn so much about the importance of teaching First Nations, Métis, and Inuit curriculum, but I found that many people were unsure of the resources and community supports available to assist them. So, I created an Aboriginal education website to make it more accessible to teachers.”

Ms. Rondeau hopes that teachers use the materials on the site as a resource to create culturally relevant curriculum in their classrooms so that Aboriginal students can feel represented, valued, and safe in classroom and school communities. While the site was originally created as part of a class project, she intends to continue updating the site throughout the year.

“As someone who is of mixed heritage (Mohawk and French) and a teacher candidate, this project was special because I recognize the importance of teaching Aboriginal perspectives, experiences, and initiatives both as a student and as a future teacher,” she says.

The project also gets top marks from the Faculty of Education. Lindsay Morcom, a professor in the Faculty of Education, says Ms. Rondeau has done an “outstanding job”.

“I am constantly impressed by Liv’s commitment to creating positive change and presenting learning opportunities to others,” she says. “In this resource, and in all she does, Liv shows us that the path toward reconciliation will be guided by brilliant young Indigenous leaders.”

Ms. Rondeau’s site can be found at teachingaboriginaleducation.weebly.com.

This story originally appeared on the Faculty of Education’s website.

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.


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