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William Leggett receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Leggett.

William Leggett, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and Queen's 17th principal, has received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

The American Fisheries Society is the biggest association of professional aquatic ecologists in the world, with over 9,000 members worldwide.

"œIt feels good to be singled out by such large group of people who I respect so highly," says Dr. Leggett. "œI didn'™t expect to receive this award so it'™s a big honour and thrill to get it."

Dr. Leggett'™s research focuses on the dynamics of fish populations and his work as a biologist and a leader in education has been recognized nationally and internationally. A membership in the Order of Canada, a fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education are just some of the awards he has received for outstanding contributions to graduate education and marine science.

The Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society recognized Dr. Leggett'™s "œexceptional contributions to the understanding of early life history of fishes that has inspired the careers of a number of fisheries scientists worldwide and has led to major progress in fish ecology and studies of recruitment dynamics."

The award was recently presented in Quebec City at the 38th annual Larval Fish Conference held in conjunction with the 144th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society.


Queen’s Innovation Centre promotes design thinking in Vietnam

DDQIC delivers design thinking workshop to students in Ho Chi Minh City.

Students in Vietnam take part in design thinking workshop.

On November 14, the team from the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC), in conjunction with Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment, delivered a design thinking workshop to over 40 high-school students in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event, which took place at the Canadian International School in Vietnam, gave participants the opportunity to learn about design thinking and experience a little taste of Queen’s.

“I’d like to thank Queen’s University for conducting the Design Thinking Workshop at the Canadian International School Vietnam,” says Melissa O’Leary, Secondary Guidance Counsellor at the Canadian International School. “The scaffolded process led them to higher levels of thinking and problem solving - and many remarked that they surprised themselves in being able to develop a solution to a problem within a short time span.  They were engaged the entire time and it most definitely helped to build their confidence.”

The DDQIC was established in 2012 as a startup, and it has since grown into a driver of innovation and entrepreneurship across Queen’s, Kingston, and beyond.

The design thinking workshop, which was facilitated by Greg Bavington, Melanie Robb, Allison Yokom, and Chau Mai, gave students the tools and techniques to think differently, see new opportunities, and create innovative, high-impact solutions.

“We were very impressed with how bright and motivated these students were throughout the workshop,” says Bavington, Executive Director of the DDQIC. “Activities like this really highlight what we are trying to do within the DDQIC.  We are a pan-university initiative, and our commitment is to support students from all academic disciplines and demonstrate how the tools of innovation and entrepreneurship can be applied to advancing an idea or developing a solution to a problem.”

In the future, the DDQIC team hopes to present design thinking workshops in China as well as with their Pathways to Education partners in Toronto.

To learn more, visit the Queen’s Innovation Centre website.

Statement on Queen's students on exchange with universities in Hong Kong

Queen’s University is very concerned by ongoing events and recent escalations in Hong Kong. We have been in contact with all 15 of our exchange students to confirm they are safe. The safety and wellbeing of our students is the highest priority for Queen’s.

We have strongly recommended affected Queen’s students return to Canada for the remainder of the term, and have offered assistance to facilitate completion of courses, financial assistance for flight changes, and temporary accommodation in Kingston.

Queen’s has partnerships with five universities in Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong (City University), Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Last week, some of Queen’s Hong Kong partner institutions cancelled or suspended courses and activities after violence spread to their campuses; others are seeing their services and/or campus safety compromised. In response, Queen's has initiated our emergency support program under the Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) and is working with International SOS to keep our students informed of the security services available to them.

We are also in contact with our partner institutions in Hong Kong, other Canadian universities with students situated there, and Global Affairs Canada, as we actively monitor the situation.

Decisions regarding the winter exchange program to Hong Kong are expected to be made shortly.

International faculty and staff supports

The Human Rights & Equity Office is holding discussion sessions about developing and strengthening supports for employees coming to Queen's from abroad.

Staff and faculty participating in the first brainstorm meeting
Queen's faculty and staff participating in a brainstorming session about supports for international employees.

The Human Rights & Equity Office (HREO) recently invited international staff and faculty to engage in an initial conversation about what potential supports or groups could be created or strengthened to assist those moving from abroad for employment at Queen’s University.

A group of international faculty and staff gathered on Sept. 30 for a brainstorming session facilitated by Queen's Human Rights Advisor Nilani Loganathan, who guided the group in an exercise to begin to identify gaps in services and programs, and suggest ways that could better support international employees.

“I’m very pleased with the ideas brought forth by those who attended our first session,” says Loganathan. “We touched on a number of areas, including issues concerning relocating to Kingston, settling in at Queen’s, employment and education supports for families, and much more. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation and collecting more feedback that will best inform our path forward.”

Employees who identify as international staff and faculty will have additional opportunities to provide their input. The next session is to take place on Friday, Nov. 15 in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, B176 from 12pm – 1pm. Please email hrights@queensu.ca to confirm your attendance.

Queen’s partners with international charity to provide new educational opportunities

Queen’s University has signed a long-term agreement with The Karta Initiative, which will enable talented, low-income youth from rural India to study at Queen’s.

The Karta Initiative works to transform the futures of students from developing and emerging economies. The global initiative runs an on-the-ground access program for students in rural India – providing career exposure, skill development and community building – as well as powering Karta Connect, their online learning platform.

“We look forward to welcoming Karta scholars to Queen’s and we are committed to supporting their success,'' says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “This partnership is part of our wide-ranging efforts to promote increased access to Queen’s for youth across Canada and around the world.”

Karta scholars will be connected to staff in the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), who will provide information and guidance throughout their studies about programs and services, including peer mentoring, academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and social activities.

The Karta Initiative, in partnership with Queen’s, will support up to five academically-eligible Karta Scholars each year across a range of undergraduate programs. The first Karta Scholar will begin studying at Queen’s this fall.

“Talent exists everywhere, but opportunity is not equally available,” says Karta Initiative Founder and Trustee Ranjita Rajan. “The Karta Initiative is pleased to be working with Queen’s University to advance our joint mission: bridging the divide between under-resourced youth and leading educational and professional opportunity. These Scholars are lodestars who impact and uplift entire communities.”

 The agreement will be in effect through to August 2033.

Welcoming international students to campus

[International students tour Queen's University campus]
A group of international students tour the campus of Queen's University, guided by a Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) volunteer. 

With the start of a new academic year fast approaching, the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) in Student Affairs is preparing to welcome over 1,400 international students to campus.

In 2018-19, 11.9 per cent of the full-time undergraduate Queen’s student population and 27.2 per cent of the full-time graduate population were international students from more than 90 countries. In 2019-20, that is expected to increase slightly.

As they arrive on campus QUIC is offering a variety of activities and resources to ensure that all new international and English as an Additional Language (EAL) students make a smooth and successful transition to Queen’s.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our new international students to Queen’s. The QUIC team has put together an excellent orientation program for early arrivals to support international students with their transition to Kingston,” says Sultan Almajil, Director of QUIC. “Orientation is an opportunity for us to ensure that international students take full advantage of all that Queen’s has to offer, and it is also an opportunity to build relationships and learn about our students’ journey and their cultures.” 

For those arriving early in Kingston, QUIC will be hosting a week of welcome sessions, Aug. 26-30, giving students the opportunity to visit QUIC, meet their peers, and discover useful resources – all before Orientation Week.

From Aug. 26 to Sept. 13, QUIC will operate on extended hours: from 8:30 am-7:30 pm on weekdays and from 1-7:30 pm on weekends and Labour Day.

International and EAL students can also take advantage of the many pre-arrival webinars available online. The webinars, which are a part of the Student Experience Office (SEO) Summer Webinar Series, provide useful information on topics from the Canadian education system to visas and study permits.

QUIC’s Fall Orientation and Welcome Programming begins on Monday, Aug. 26 and continues until Saturday, Sept. 14, in collaboration with university orientation programs. Participants will have additional opportunities to tour campus, attend information sessions, and participate in games and movie nights at QUIC’s new space in Mitchell Hall, and a trip to Niagara Falls.

“Coming to Queen’s University as an international student, I was filled with excitement but also a bit of trepidation on coping with the new environment, different culture and education system,” says Abirami Katlathy, a Master’s of Science student. “At QUIC, my social circle widened and I found myself getting more comfortable with my new life. It was like a second home where I met people from different backgrounds, engaged in quite a few enlightening conversations and spent time with my friends.”

To learn more about QUIC’s Welcome and Orientation fall program and to register, visit the QUIC website.

Chinese delegates and scholars visit Queen’s for collaborative research and training

A series of summer meetings, workshops, and study opportunities strengthen knowledge-sharing relationship.

Officials and scholars from China made Kingston their summer destination of choice this July – with a number of international training and partnership events taking place on the Queen’s campus.

Representatives of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources attended a training program from July 7-20, organized by the Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. A delegation from Shanghai’s Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office met with Queen’s faculty and staff to discuss their continued collaboration, and the Queen’s Department of Biology welcomed researchers from Shanghai’s Tongji University to the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) for their annual environment and sustainability workshop.

“Queen’s is working to strengthen existing partnerships with China and to develop new opportunities with leading universities,” says Sandra den Otter, Associate Vice-Principal (Research & International). “The recent visits, programs, and workshops highlight the importance of collaborative research and training in several key areas, including the environment and public policy.”

Members of Shanghai's Foreign Affairs Office visiting Queen's.
Members of Shanghai's Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office visiting Queen's.

Since 1995, Queen’s School of Urban and Rural Planning (SURP) has been hosting two yearly training programs for members of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources (formerly the Ministry of Land and Resources). One program sees up to 50 Chinese delegates partake in a two- or three-week training with presentations from SURP, Canadian federal and provincial representatives, and private sector speakers.

The second program sees five to eight young members of the ministry complete a five-month internship program administered by Queen’s. After an on-campus orientation, SURP places each intern with partner organizations in government, and the non-profit and private sectors, to facilitate the sharing and exchange of knowledge, ideas, and practices. This program is supported by Natural Resources Canada; Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and the municipalities of Kingston and Hastings.

From July 16-17, the Queen’s Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International) hosted a delegation from Shanghai’s Foreign Affairs Office, and discussed an ongoing relationship between the group and the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Since 2001, Shanghai has sent staff to partake in 12-month Master’s Degree programs at Queen’s, within the Department of Political Studies and School of Policy Studies. The delegation and Queen’s groups expressed to continue this relationship and also discussed possible collaborations on professional short-term training in the future.

Participants attend the Sino-Canada Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development workshop
Participants attend the 5th annual Sino-Canada Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development workshop at Queen's.

Between July 18-20, scholars from Tongji University visited Queen’s Department of Biology for the 5th Sino-Canada Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development workshop. Twenty Chinese participants, including scholars, post-doctoral students, PhD candidates and Master's candidates from Tongji; World Wildlife Fund representatives from their Shanghai programs office; Queen’s; and St. Lawrence River Institute. Among topics covered by the group was ongoing research comparing the Yangtze River and St. Lawrence River waterways and ecosystem health, as well as bilateral education and student exchange possibilities.

These recent research and training programs build on Queen’s well-established engagement with China. 

Queen’s was the first Canadian university to open an office in China (2007) and the Queen’s China Liaison Office continues to work closely with Queen’s faculty and staff to support current and new activities.

Learn more about Queen’s University’s research, learning, and other collaborations with China.

Mobilizing international academics

Program at Queen’s University welcomes scholars from around the world to work in collaboration with local researchers.

Top row left to right: Lévis Kahandukya Nyavanda, Nuworza Kugbey, Ryenchindorj Erkhembayar. Bottom row left to right: Phidelia Doegah, Munkhzaya Mandakh, Masauso Chirwa, Gantuya Dorj

Seven international scholars travelled to Canada this summer to participate in the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program and work with researchers based at Queen’s University. Hailing from Mongolia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Ghana the team is working to address factors that contribute to maternal and child health inequities among disadvantaged groups within the Kingston area.

Their work will result in new research dedicated to understanding barriers to accessing maternal and child health among equity-seeking groups; strategies for addressing these barriers; development of a network focused on equity, and improved research capacity and strengthened relationships in and across all partner institutions.

The aim of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program is to mobilize a community of young global researchers through inter-cultural exchanges comprising international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences so they can bring those experiences back to their home countries.

Ryenchindorj Erkhembayar (l) and Lévis Kahandukya Nyavanda work together on a project.

“The program is very useful and for me as a lecturer and researcher,” says Munkzaya Mandakh, a PhD candidate from Mongolia. “First off, I have strengthened my command of the English language, then I have enhanced my knowledge studying in a developed country like Canada. For me it was the personalized approach of training and responsiveness of all staff to the needs of each trainee which I think are unique characteristics of Queen’s.”

At Queen’s, the QE Scholars are hosted by ARCH -  A Research Collaborative for Global Health Equity  which includes Queen’s professors Heather Aldersey, Eva Purkey, Colleen Davison, and Susan Bartels.

 “The QES project has presented amazing opportunities for collaboration with international partners,” Dr. Purkey says. “It has built my own research capabilities and allowed me to practice mentoring colleagues across cultures and geographic locations. It is my hope that this will produce ongoing partnerships not only with existing scholars, but with their institutions, as well as possibilities for further network development.”

The group has been working with the Street Health Centre in Kingston. The facility is a 365-days-a-year harm reduction health centre that specializes in providing accessible, responsive, health services to communities that are marginalized from mainstream healthcare services. 

Along with academic work (l to r) Phidelia Doegah, Nuworza Kugbey, Masauso Chirwa, Lévis Kahandukya Nyavanda enjoyed their first strawberry picking trip.

“Having QES scholars and mentors has been an amazing opportunity for Street Health Centre,” says Meredith MacKenzie, who works at the centre. “This has given us a chance to have resources to investigate some growing areas of practice that may influence policy and program development for clients in Kingston.”

Leaving at the end of August, the scholars have received a number of benefits from their time at Queen’s and in Kingston.

“Most importantly I have gained the knowledge of writing winnable grant proposals and the professional networks I have formed will definitely be very important for my career development,” says Masauso Chirwa, a scholar from Zambia. “I have received tremendous support from Queen’s, an ideal place for professional development through seminars and paper presentations. I’m the coordinator for postgraduate studies in my home country, thus, this will give me a platform to share the acquired knowledge not only with the academic staff but also postgraduate students.”

Learn more about the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program.

Students explore global Indigenous histories and resilience

Fourth annual Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program brings international group to Queen's for discussions on issues facing Indigenous land, language, and learning.

2019 Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program participants.
This year's Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program participants at Queen's University.

Students from around the world gathered at Queen’s University recently for an immersive, two-week exploration of Indigenous histories and resilience in the face of centuries of colonial oppression. The fourth annual Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program (MISMP) brought together 21 participants from universities in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, and Canada, to discuss issues facing Indigenous land, language, and learning.

“We covered a lot of ground, both figuratively and literally, over the course of this year’s program,” says Lindsay Morcom, Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Education and MISMP faculty lead at Queen’s. “I’m very proud of how this wonderful and diverse group of students continually sought the deep, meaningful discussions required when learning about the breadth of issues facing Indigenous communities worldwide.”

The program opened with a welcoming ceremony inside a traditional longhouse on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory – an area not far from Kingston. The gathering provided students and community attendees with an opportunity to share knowledge, song, and language, as well as explore how Indigenous experiences in Canada connect with Indigenous experiences globally.

“Languages hold so many unique ways of understanding and expressing ideas, so it was inspiring to see students, elders, and community members speaking and sharing insights in their heritage languages,” says Dr. Morcom, who was recently named the Canada Research Chair in Language Revitalization and Decolonizing Education. “Educating in culturally relevant ways not only helps boost self-esteem in students, it also contributes to building their capacity as the next generation of scholars.”

Over the following two weeks, students visited Indigenous educational centres in the region, including the Quinte Mohawk School and the First Nations Technical Institute, and spent time at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre engaging in discussions with experts and researchers on issues ranging from Indigenous land relations, treaties, feminism, and food sovereignty.

Students also learned about Canada’s assimilative policies and the social impacts of its past residential school program. They visited Kingston Penitentiary as well, learning about and discussing the effects of the penal system on Indigenous communities, and participated in a walking tour of the Queen’s campus that highlighted areas of significance to the university’s own Truth and Reconciliation efforts.

“I felt seen and I felt loved,” says Queen’s student participant Caleigh Matheson about her MISMP experience. “I didn’t feel the need to make myself and my opinions smaller, but instead felt reinvigorated. It gave me a bit more faith in academia.”

Many participants expressed feelings of acceptance, enlightenment, and inspiration during the program.

“Just being able to know that we are not alone was powerful,” added Queen’s student Brittany McBeath. Matheson and McBeath took part in the MISMP alongside four fellow Queen’s students.

The program culminated in a trip to Ottawa – during which MISMP students visited the First Nations exhibits at the Canadian Museum of History – and field outings to Petroglyphs Provincial Park and Curve Lake Whetung Art Centre.

“It was a great pleasure to host the MISMP group this year, as it provided an opportunity for our experts to share much of the great Indigenous research being done here at Queen’s,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Queen’s Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). “It also gave students a hands-on experience through which to develop their understanding of our local Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe perspectives, and time to nurture important global relationships and partnerships through this learning.”

The Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) facilitates the MISMP, and hosting rotates through member institutions year by year. The program, held June 23 to July 6, was the first hosted at Queen’s University.

Silver celebration at The Castle

  • A plaque was unveiled to honour philanthropists Alfred and Isabel Bader. (Photo by Alex Read)
    Chancellor Jim Leech and BISC Executive Director Hugh Horton unveil a plaque honouring philanthropists Alfred and Isabel Bader. (Photo by Alex Read)
  • People attending the BISC 25th anniversary enjoy a falconry demonstration. (Photo by Alex Read)
    People attending the BISC 25th anniversary enjoy a falconry demonstration. (Photo by Alex Read)
  • Many people toured the Bader International Study Centre's beautiful gardens. (Photo by Alex Read)
    Many people toured the Bader International Study Centre's beautiful gardens. (Photo by Alex Read)
  • NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is congratulated by Principal Daniel Woolf following his talk about his mission to the International Space Station. (Photo by Alex Read)
    NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is congratulated by Principal Daniel Woolf following his talk about his mission to the International Space Station. (Photo by Alex Read)
  • The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, left, and BISC Executive Director Hugh Horton open the new science labs. (Photo by Alex Read)
    The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, left, and BISC Executive Director Hugh Horton open the new science labs. (Photo by Alex Read)

More than 175 alumni and Queen’s community members, some travelling from as far away as Hong Kong and Singapore, helped celebrate the past, present, and future of the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) during its 25th anniversary celebration on June 29-30.

Sunny weather greeted former students as they returned to Queen’s international campus at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England, to reconnect with old classmates and participate in a number of activities that paid homage to the castle’s 15th-century roots, including falconry and archery. Guests were also invited to explore the BISC’s new state-of-the-art science labs.

The weekend was also a time to pay tribute to philanthropists Drs. Alfred Bader (BSc’45, BA’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07). Alfred Bader passed away in December at the age of 94. He and Isabel decided to donate the castle to Queen’s in 1992 after seeing it for sale in a newspaper ad.

Daniel Woolf (Artsci’80), who officially stepped down after completing a second five-year term as principal and vice-chancellor over the weekend, praised the Baders for having the vision to see that the castle could be turned into a campus attracting students from around the world.

“Over the last decade, Queen’s has endeavored to expand its international footprint and ensure that our students, our researchers, and our campus all benefit from stronger ties with partners around the globe,” Dr. Woolf told alumni during his opening remarks on Saturday. “The Bader International Study Centre has been instrumental in bringing that vision to fruition.”

During a ceremony in the Elizabethan Garden, a plaque was unveiled to honour the Baders’ legacy. There, Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73) noted how studying abroad at the BISC, which uses small classes and its international location to create an exceptional learning environment, can be a life-changing experience.

“The Bader International Study Centre has played a foundational role in the education of thousands of students who are out there making a difference in the world,” Chancellor Leech said.

Attendees also heard a keynote talk from NASA astronaut Drew Feustel (PhD’95, DSc’16) who spoke about his career and recent six-month mission to the International Space Station.

In honour of Canada Day, the castle was open on Sunday to both alumni and local community members, and hundreds of people enjoyed Canuck-friendly fun such as street hockey and servings of poutine and Nanaimo bars.

A display of the traditional hunting practice of falconry thrilled a large crowd as several birds of prey flew over people’s heads. Other weekend events included archery lessons, croquet, an afternoon tea in the gardens, and tours of the new state-of-the-art science and innovation labs. The labs, opened by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex (the Queen Elizabeth II’s official representative in the county), are part of the BISC’s long-term plan to offer more science-based programs.

Vice-Provost and Executive Director Hugh Horton said he is looking forward to seeing the BISC continue to grow and offer an exceptional international learning experience to students.

“Our challenge now is to build on what we have so that we will have even more to celebrate by the time we mark our 50th anniversary,” Dr. Horton said during the official opening. “We want to create more experiential learning opportunities for our students. We want to give them access to state-of-the-art classrooms and study spaces.”

Visit the BISC Alumni Spotlight Series website and learn how studying at Herstmonceux Castle impacted the lives of former BISC students.

To see more pictures of the BISC anniversary, please see the Queen’s Alumni Flickr album.

This article was first published on the Queen's Alumni website.


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