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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.

 

Law student plans to make her country disability-friendly

[Hiwot Mekuanent]
With funding from the MasterCard Foundation, PhD student Hiwot Mekuanent is using her evidence-based study and scholarship at Queen’s Law to find the right solution to end discriminatory laws and practices in Ethiopia. (Photo by Andrew Van Overbeke).

Hiwot Mekuanent will be applying her doctoral work at Queen’s Faculty of Law to help improve the lives of people with disabilities in her homeland Ehtiopia. Admitted into the school’s PhD program as an “exceptional faculty leader” from the University of Gondar, she has received a Mastercard Foundation at Queen’s University Scholarship to complete her studies.      

With an LLM in human rights law from Addis Ababa University, she also has over six years of experience in the area. She is a lecturer and the director for the Disability Studies and Service Directorate at the University of Gondar, where she focuses on creating conducive learning and working environments for students and employees with disabilities. 

Hiwot Mekuanent recently spoke about the focus of her dissertation, how she became an expert in the area, and her plans for the future. 

Tell us about your research. 

My research focuses on the issues that people with disabilities and their families face in Ethiopia. My dissertation critically examines Ethiopia’s institutional and legal framework that governs the rights of persons with disabilities. Specifically, I explore why Ethiopia still has discriminatory laws and institutional frameworks while committed to both domestic and international human rights instruments that guarantee equality for persons with disabilities. For example, the Ethiopian Custom Authority enacted a directive that allows persons with disabilities to import a personal-use car duty free. While this provision may seem progressive, it only benefits persons with disabilities who appear at the Social Affairs Office in person and claim their rights. So in practice, it discriminates between persons with different types of disability.  

What led you to the area of human rights law, and more specifically to disability rights law? 

My brother has an intellectual disability and I’ve seen him face a number of challenges throughout his life. This has made me passionate about dedicating my education and career to breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities. I started with my undergraduate thesis that explored the “Rights of Persons with Disabilities under Ethiopian Legal System.” I built on this knowledge in my master’s degree in human rights law obtained from Addis Ababa University, where I wrote my thesis on the “Right to Education of Children With Intellectual Disability and its Implementation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.” Particularly, my master’s degree allowed me to see the different concepts and issues of disability from a human rights perspective. I started to think about the international instruments and guarantees that protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Moreover, my experience serving as the director of the Disability Studies and Service Directorate of the University of Gondar exposed me to different laws and procedures that are discriminatory to persons with disabilities and challenged me to explore them in greater depth. My academic foundation and first-hand experience in the directorship role at the university are my main inspirations to continue my studies of discriminatory laws and practices in Ethiopia. I truly believe that evidence-based study and scholarship is the best way to find the right solution. 

What are your future plans after graduation? 

My plan after graduation is to continue to actively engage in disability advocacy work. I believe that it is important to turn my knowledge and expertise in the area of human rights law into practice. I would like to establish an organization that is dedicated to creating disability-friendly environments in public institutions. I am sure that my four years of PhD studies under guidance from Queen’s Law faculty will help me reach my goals and that I will gain important new perspectives from Canada that will shape my future. 

What do you like best about your Queen’s Law studies in Kingston thus far? 

I receive excellent supervision from my advisors, Professor Ashwini Vasanthakumar (Faculty of Law) and Professor Heather Aldersey (School of Rehabilitation Therapy). I appreciate their guidance and support of my research. What I like best about Queen’s Law is the Lederman Library and full support of faculty in accessing the plentiful resources in the library. 

What do you like to do outside the classroom? 

Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. As a mom, taking care of my family and helping my children grow is important to me. I believe I have the responsibility to help shape the next generation be the best they can be to take care of our world. 

Queen’s signs new partnership with Chinese university

Beijing Normal University and Queen’s University geography departments develop faculty and student exchange.

  • Representatives from both universities present at the November 2018 Beijing Normal University signing ceremony in China.
    Representatives, including signatories Song Changqing, Executive Dean of Geographical Science at BNU, and Barbara Crow, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science at Queens, at the Nov. 2018 Beijing Normal University ceremony in China.
  • Queen's representatives add the final signatures to the agreement on Jan. 10, 2019 during a ceremony at Richardson Hall.
    Queen's representatives add the final signatures to the agreement on Jan. 10, 2019 during a ceremony at Richardson Hall. (From left: Warren Mabee, Head of Geography and Planning; Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Interim Associate Vice-Principal (International); and Dean of Arts and Science, Barbara Crow
  • Signatories Dr. Mabee, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Crow joined by Professor of Geography and Planning Mark Rosenberg, and Director of the Queen's China Liaison Office, Zhiyao Zhang at the Jan. 10, 2019 ceremony at Richardson Hall.
    Signatories Dr. Mabee, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Crow joined by Professor of Geography and Planning Mark Rosenberg, and Director of the Queen's China Liaison Office, Zhiyao Zhang at the Jan. 10, 2019 ceremony at Richardson Hall.

Queen’s and Beijing Normal University (BNU) signed an agreement for a new joint field course, formalizing ongoing ties between the BNU Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Queen’s Department of Geography and Planning. Made official at a signing ceremony at Richardson Hall, the agreement strengthens opportunities for research collaboration, faculty collaboration, and undergraduate and graduate mobility.

“It’s been very exciting to watch the relationship between our two universities grow,” says Mark Rosenberg, the Queen’s professor of geography and planning who spearheaded this initiative. “This formal agreement will result in a growing number of benefits for Queen’s and BNU faculty and students, including chances to work and study in very dynamic research environments, and to work alongside many of the brightest young scholars from both Canada and China.”

In August 2018, Dr. Rosenberg led the two-week field course pilot, during which 15 undergraduate students and two faculty from BNU visited Queen’s to study and learn from planners and industry experts. The course’s itinerary had them visit Ottawa, Toronto, Prince Edward Country, and Niagara to develop an understanding for the varied historical and geographic development of Southeastern Ontario.

Looking ahead, Dr. Rosenberg will host more BNU students for the next iteration of the field course in summer 2019, with Queen’s undergraduate students making their first Beijing visit sometime in 2020. He expects graduate student exchange between the two schools’ geography departments will begin within that period as well.

“I have had an academic relationship with China, and particularly BNU, for many years,” says Dr. Rosenberg, who also holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Development Studies. “I think it is fantastic that students and colleagues will have similar opportunities to collaborate there under this agreement, and believe it presents unique, cross-cultural opportunities to push knowledge in new and exciting directions.”

Present at the Richardson Hall signing were representatives from Queen’s University, including Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science; Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Interim Associate Vice-Principal (International); Warren Mabee, Head, Department of Geography and Planning; Zhiyao Zhang, Director, Queen’s China Liaison Office; and Dr. Rosenberg. Representatives from Beijing Normal University signed the agreement at an earlier ceremony held at BNU in November 2018, during a visit by Dr. Crow.

“Deepening engagement with universities in China is a priority for the Faculty of Arts and Science and this agreement is an excellent example of the type of partnerships we hope to pursue in the future,” says Dr. Crow. “This signing marks a very exciting development in our relationship with Beijing Normal University, and it demonstrates the international capacity and networks of our colleagues in the Faculty of Arts and Science. This will provide wonderful opportunities for our faculty and students.”

International students receive a warm winter welcome

Hundreds of international students from around the world arrive at Queen's for winter term.

[QUIC campus winter tour]
Leia Johnson, a third-year health studies student and a volunteer at the Queen's University International Centre, gives newly-arrived international students a tour of campus on Thursday, Jan. 3. (University Communications)

It’s the beginning of a new academic adventure as close to 400 international students have arrived at Queen’s for the winter term.

From Norway to China, Chile to Germany, these students come from all over the world to study at Queen’s.

Starting Jan. 2 the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC) has been welcoming newly-arriving international students with its International Welcome and Orientation activities, including campus walks, social events, and information packages presented by QUIC leaders. QUIC has recently moved to the newly-opened Mitchell Hall and now offers new facilities to support student experience.

QUIC activities continue throughout the winter term in collaboration with various Division of Student Affairs and faculty units, including advising, information sessions, learning workshops, drop-in assistance, the QUIC English Conversation Program, intercultural training, day trips and movie nights, as well as World Link cultural events and socials.

Find out more about these events on the QUIC website.

BISC commemorates Alfred Bader’s journey on the Kindertransport

Performances and viewing of documentary highlight special day of events at the Bader International Study Centre.

  • The BISC Choir and Diana Gilchrist perform
    The BISC Choir and Diana Gilchrist sing three movements from Queen’s alumnus Eleanor Daley’s 'Requiem'. (Photo by Oliver Browning)
  • Sue Read, director, Children who cheated the Nazis
    Following the viewing of 'Children Who Cheated the Nazis' director Sue Read discussed her film and answered questions from the audience. (Photo by Duncan Watkinson)
  • Musical performance at BISC
    As part of the special event at the BISC, violinist Midori Komachi performed with pianist Shelley Katz. (Photo by Oliver Browning)
  • Craig Walker, BISC commemorates Alfred Bader’s journey on the Kindertransport
    Craig Walker, Director, Dan School of Music, reads extracts from Dr Alfred Bader’s autobiography. (Photo by Duncan Watkinson)

The Bader International Study Centre (BISC) held a special celebration on Sunday, Nov. 25, to mark 80 years since its founder, Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86), left Vienna on the Kindertransport.

Some 100 guests gathered to view the documentary, The Children Who Cheated the Nazis (2000), followed by a musical concert in honour of Dr. Bader, who, along with his close friend Ralph Emanuel, assisted filmmaker Sue Read in the making of the film. It was especially poignant to remember that Dr. Emanuel, who remains Dr. Bader’s closest friend, is the son of Bessy Emanuel, who answered the Home Office’s call, 80 years ago to the day, for British families to provide homes for refugees from Europe.

The Children Who Cheated the Nazis was screened in the Castle’s ballroom. Narrated by Richard Attenborough, this powerful film tells the story of the 10,000 children, among them a young Alfred Bader, who came to Britain in 1938 to escape the Holocaust.

Images of small, terrified children, forced to flee their homes without their parents left many in the audience visibly moved, and yet there was also a message of hope. Many of the survivors who shared their honest and inspiring stories described how proudly they bore their emotional scars and what they had accomplished with their lives since the war. Director Sue Read answered questions from the audience after the screening in an informal, yet candid Q&A session. She said the film, which took her the best part of five years to research and complete, “totally changed my life.”

In the second half of the event, Craig Walker, Director of Dan School of Drama and Music, prefaced each element of the musical program with extracts from Dr. Bader’s autobiography. Each excerpt recounted Dr. Bader’s memories of the war and gave those in attendance a personal insight into his journey from his birthplace in Vienna, to the United Kingdom, and then Canada, to the man we know today – Commander of the British Empire, chemist, proud Queen’s alumnus, art collector, and philanthropist.

The audience was treated to performances from world-renowned violinist Midori Komachi, soprano Diana Gilchrist, and the BISC Choir. Directed by Shelley Katz, the musical programme took the audience on a journey with the young Alfred.

“The BISC was pleased to work closely with Isabel Bader on this event and to welcome so many of the Baders’ close friends to the Castle,” says Hugh Horton, Vice-Provost and Executive Director of the BISC. “It has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Alfred’s life with them, and with our students. Today provided all of us with valuable insights into a truly remarkable man.”

________________________________

Alfred Bader (Sc’45, Arts’46, MSc’47, LLD’86) and Isabel Bader (LLD’07) are Queen’s most generous benefactors. They have given back to Queen’s in countless ways: transforming the campus, enriching the student experience, supporting scholarship, and helping to enhance the university’s reputation as a top-tier educational institution. In an extraordinary philanthropic gesture, the couple funded Queen’s purchase of a 15th-century English castle – Herstmonceux – that has been meticulously restored and is now home to the Bader International Study Centre. 

Celebrating cultural diversity through cinema

The QUIC World Link-SGPS Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival promotes intercultural awareness on campus.

[Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival]
The most recent installment of the Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF) brought together more than 60 members of the Queen's community to watch the film Coco. (University Communications)

More than 60 students, faculty and community members gathered to watch Coco, one of six movies that comprise this year’s Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF), on Friday, Nov. 16.

DIFF is organized by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) in collaboration with the World Link program at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), that work together to promote intercultural communication, diversity and inclusion through film.

The festival started in March 2018, and has grown into a successful series of events that educate and entertain. Screened films highlight a specific culture and are complemented by discussion, music, and food from the region.

“DIFF is a one-of-a-kind event, weaving stories from various places around the world, right here at Queen's,” says Atul Jaiswal, International Commissioner at the SGPS, and one of the festival’s organizers. “We intend to use movies as a tool to showcase the culture unique to the specific region, so people can appreciate each other’s cultures.”

[Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival]
On Friday, Nov. 16 the Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF) highlighted the culture of Mexico. (University Communications)

DIFF has featured films from Ireland, India, Japan and Mexico. The final festival event takes place on Friday, Nov 30, with a screening of Indian Horse, an Indigenous coming-of-age story set in Canada.

All are welcome to attend the final screening or check out one of the numerous programs and events offered at QUIC. Inclusivity is a key factor in QUIC’s mission to promote strong communities and create lasting bonds among domestic and international students.  

QUIC has experienced a very successful fall term, helping to welcome more than 900 international students at the centre. QUIC provides a home away from home for these students and creates a comfortable environment to meet new people, learn about life in Canada and develop academic skills.

"Since my very first day at Queen's, I felt the most comfortable at QUIC and it has really become my second home here,” says Herman Kaur, a first-year master’s student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen’s. “It is always so amazing to talk to the students and staff at QUIC and be part of various activities and workshops being organized."

With 25-30 part-time student staff, and up to 100 student volunteers, QUIC offers a variety of opportunities for students to get involved and help develop intercultural awareness on campus. By working together as a community, QUIC supports diversity and inclusion at Queen’s and beyond.

In mid-December, QUIC is moving from the JDUC to the second floor of Mitchell Hall, the university’s new Wellness and Innovation Centre in the heart of campus.

Check out QUIC’s website to learn more about upcoming events and how to get involved.

Introducing our new faculty members: Ricard Gil

Ricard Gil is a faculty member in Smith School of Business.

This profile is part of a series highlighting some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community. The university is currently in the midst of the principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over five years. 

Ricard Gil (Smith School of Business) sat down with the Gazette to talk about his experience so far. Dr. Gil is an associate professor of business economics.

[Queen's University Ricard Gil Smith School of Business]
Ricard Gil is a faculty member in Smith School of Business. (University Communications)
Fast Facts about Dr. Gil

Department: Smith School of Business

Hometown: Barcelona, Spain

Alma mater: Harvard University (post-doctoral fellowship), University of Chicago (PhD), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (undergraduate)

Research area: Organizational economics

Hobbies include: European football, Netflix (House of Cards), food, sports

Dr. Gil’s web bio
Tell us a bit about your academic journey.
I completed my PhD at the University of Chicago. My first job was at University of California in Santa Cruz – which was a lovely place to be, at least for a little while. I recommend Northern California to everyone.
While at UCSC, I took a one-year hiatus to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Business School. I was offered tenure at Santa Cruz, but made what might be considered an unconventional decision…I instead took an offer without tenure at John Hopkins University. I was single and young back then, so it made sense at the time.
In between, I took a year off and visited the MIT Sloan School of Management and the department of management at the London School of Economics.
Hopkins was a good experience as I had never taught in graduate programs before. I also met my wife and started my family in Baltimore.
I have lived in three different time zones since moving to North America – it has been an interesting journey so far!
What are you researching right now?
My scope of research has to do with firm behaviour. It’s all about governance.
The idea is, for very simple transactions like you and I going to the grocery store…there’s no governance for that. Why? Because it is very simple. You go to the store, you buy a product, they give you a receipt which is a contract that states if the product is not in good condition you can bring it back.
The world is not always characterized by these very simple transactions – especially when you have firm to firm, firm to government, or government to individual relationships. The complexities can come from the fact there are more than two parties involved, or how to define the limitations and the contributions of each party. You need to establish a good governance model in these cases.
I study how transaction characteristics drive the adoption of different governance models. I have studied it in the airline, movie, and TV industries…and I once even studied dry cleaning.
[Queen's University Ricard Gil Smith School of Business]
Dr. Gil demonstrates the demand and supply curve. From his career, it is clear his knowledge has been in high demand - he has taught and researched at five universities, including Queen's. (University Communications)
How did you decide this was what interested you, and that you wanted to research it?
You are basically able to observe the same sort of transaction, under the same circumstances, and understand why the diversity of governance models happens. I find that interesting.
I always thought that, through the study of many years, one comes out with many questions which others might not be reflecting on. I like to communicate those.
If I get to shake students out of their comfort zone and make them think in a way that is not conventional, it’s a good day. That’s what keeps it interesting.
What do you do for fun?
I am a soccer fan – I root for Barcelona. I like sports in general – European football tends to drive my weekend.
I like to travel. I watch a lot of movies and shows – not as much as I used to, with young kids I don’t travel as much anymore, and don’t get to watch movies in-flight. Having said that, I just finished the latest season of House of Cards. I am always looking for new shows.
How did you decide Queen’s was the right fit for you?
While I was at Hopkins, I came to Queen’s for a research seminar. I met some people and liked my experience here. There was a job opening a few months later and some of the people I met encouraged me to apply.
Kingston seemed more attractive than Baltimore, and the university’s student profile made it seem like a pretty good deal. So my family moved to Kingston in May – mainly to avoid moving during winter! My wife is happy, my four-year-old is enjoying his school, and our nine-month-old doesn’t seem to mind.
I am looking forward to teaching next year once it is determined who I am teaching. I hear very good things about Smith undergraduates.
In the meantime, I am helping the school with some committee work, getting ready for winter, and conducting some research and supporting my colleagues’ research. And I am once again navigating the bureaucracy to obtain Canadian permanent residency – I currently hold Spanish and U.S. citizenship.

A memorable journey of remembrance

A group of students, faculty, and staff from the Bader International Study Centre travel to the Vimy Memorial in France to take part in a Remembrance Day service.

  • Members of the BISC Chamber and Open Choir lead the procession
    Members of the BISC Chamber and Open Choir lead a procession of pipers and local dignitaries to the memorial site. (Photo by Pascal Brunet)
  • BISC Students lay a wreath on behalf of Queen’s University
    BISC students Harriet Wright, Wyatt Mann, and Sarah Dulmage lay a wreath on behalf of Queen’s University at the Vimy Memorial. (Photo by Samantha Brown)
  • Members of the BISC Chamber and Open Choir
    Members of the BISC Chamber and Open Choir perform during the Remembrance Day Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11, in Vimy, France. (Photo by Samantha Brown)
  • Jake Kidd discovers his great uncle’s inscription
    BISC student Jake Kidd takes a photo of his great uncle's inscription after locating it on the Vimy Memorial. (Photo by Diana Gilchrist)

A group of 110 students and faculty from the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) travelled to the French town of Vimy on a cold, wet, and windy Nov. 11, as the world marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Today, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Canada’s largest overseas war memorial, sits at the highest point of the Vimy Ridge and commemorates not only the Battle of Vimy Ridge, (April 9-12, 1917) but all Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War, including those with no known resting place.

While students from the BISC have been travelling to the memorial on or around Remembrance Day for the past several years, this is the first year that the BISC Chamber and Open Choir have been invited to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremony itself.

BISC group at Vimy Memorial
The members of the BISC Chamber and Open Choir stand in front of the Vimy Memorial after taking part in the Remembrance Day ceremony. (Photo by Pascal Brunet)

The BISC’s 40-strong choir, robed and sporting their BISC scarves, was afforded the honour of leading a procession of pipers and local dignitaries to the memorial site. The choir sang two moving excerpts from Requiem by Eleanor Daly, a Canadian composer and Queen’s University graduate. As the rain came down in earnest, soloist soprano and BISC Musician-in-Residence, Diana Gilchrist also sang Mozart’s Laudate Dominum from his Solemn Vespers.

Three first-year BISC students, Wyatt Mann, Harriet Wright, and Sarah Dulmage, laid a wreath during the ceremony on behalf of the BISC and Queen’s University. They were chosen from dozens of applicants for their outstanding submissions on the subject of what laying a wreath at the Vimy Memorial would mean to them and their families.

“With this opportunity, I take great pride in being able to represent those who have come before me. My great-great grandfather Charlie Wright fought in World War One and took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge,” says Dulmage. “My family is composed of many military personnel, so to me, laying the wreath meant giving the ultimate thanks to my family who have served and allowed me to be who I am and where I am today.”

Choir member and BISC 100 lecturer Beth Richan says she was proud seeing such a mix of generations and a sea of Canadian red in the assembled crowd as the bugler played The Last Post.

“What struck me from speaking to the students afterwards was just how many of them expressed that being present was not only very important to them personally, but would be hugely significant for their parents and grandparents too,” she says.

Student Jake Kidd was one of many who searched the thousands of names etched into the Vimy Memorial on behalf of their families and found a relative, his great uncle.

Following the ceremony, each student was presented with a commemorative Vimy pin and poppy. The students then had the opportunity to visit Ypres and the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, before returning to Herstmonceux Castle.

The trip to Vimy was the culmination of an entire term’s worth of opportunities to learn more about the history and experience of war. On Nov. 7 and 8, approximately 125 students attended performances of Lest We Forget at Hastings’ Stable Theatre. This contemporary production is based on stories from survivors of the Great War from East Sussex and weaves readings, poems, and songs from the era into the narrative. In addition, the Castle Reads group, which encourages members of the Castle community to come together through a shared love of literature, has chosen the First World War novel Strange Meeting by Susan Hill as their book for the fall term.

Back in the UK, the students will have the opportunity to reflect further on their experiences with a concert at the Castle on Sunday, Nov. 25 in honour of the 80th anniversary of Alfred Bader’s participation in the Kindertransport of 1938. Dr. Bader, along with some 10,000 other Jewish children, was evacuated to the safety of the UK from Nazi-occupied Austria. 

Developing strong leaders and stronger communities

Queen’s OceanPath Fellows work with isolated communities to promote healing.

Queen's OceanPath 2018-19 Fellows
Current Queen's OceanPath Fellows Holly McCann, Harry Critchley, and Kaitlyn Gillelan.

Earlier this year, three Queen’s University graduates were named OceanPath Fellows, receiving $25,000 each in support of their proposed initiatives to promote healing and wellness in isolated communities. Annually, twelve university students graduating from McGill, University of Ottawa, Queen’s or St. Francis Xavier are eligible for these prestigious Coady Institute-facilitated fellowships that provide year-long funding in support of community-focused, experiential learning opportunities designed to foster sustainable and positive social change. 

Kaitlyn Gillelan (ArtSci’18), Holly McCann (ArtSci’18), and Harry Critchley (MA’18), were named OceanPath Fellows in 2018, awards that then saw them partner with organizations in Nunavut and Nova Scotia to start implementing the community initiatives they designed. 

“As part of my initiative, our idea is to use art as a medium of self-expression for young women, as a platform to go through the journey of (re)discovering their own individual voices.  Another aspect of this initiative will also be a cultural revitalization component which will aim to reconnect youth with historical art from within their own community,” says Ms. Gillelan, whose fellowship work is taking place in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. “The OceanPath Fellowship has given me the opportunity to be immersed in community, be in a state of constant learning, become reconnected to my own creative passions, and has inspired me to pursue a career in art therapy.” 

Ms. Gillelan had first connected with the high arctic community of Pond Inlet in 2015, when she volunteered as a peer health educator. "I am so extremely grateful to have been able to return to Pond Inlet, as it is a place I’ve come to hold close to my heart. The most rewarding aspect of my fellowship is being back in a community that has fundamentally shaped me into the person that I am today.” 

In the summer of 2017, Ms. McCann also served in the far north as a summer intern with the Arviat Hamlet Office’s Wellness Department, working to create a workshop series on self-care, coping skills, peer support, and healthy relationship skills to support the small community of 2,600 people on mainland Nunavut. She’s since returned to Arviat to pursue her proposed fellowship work. 

“The main focus of my fellowship work is to foster resilience through mentorship programs that bring community youth and elders together,” says Ms. McCann. “Ultimately, I hope we can work together toward lasting and meaningful change that will nurture and support the mental wellbeing of Arviat’s young people.” 

Mr. Critchley works with a community isolated less by geography, and more often by security walls and social stigma. Over the past five years, he has worked closely with several prisoner advocacy organizations in the Maritimes and co-founded the Burnside Prison Education Program – a registered non-profit that provides literacy tutoring, book clubs, art programs, and employment skills training to incarcerated people at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.

“The OceanPath Fellowship has afforded me access to a wealth of resources, connections, and funds, which I have been able to leverage to support my partner organization, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, in securing an additional $65,000 from the provincial government to develop and launch an employment readiness program for formerly incarcerated women,” says Mr. Critchley. “What has been most exciting about the Fellowship overall has been the opportunity to work alongside currently and formerly incarcerated Nova Scotians to develop meaningful bridges of solidarity across communities, institutions, and common struggles."

The next deadline for 2019-20 applications to the OceanPath Fellowship is Nov. 15, 2018. Fellowships are awarded to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who are graduating full-time students under 30 years of age, from one of the partner universities. Students interested in applying for the fellowship can contact Queen’s Experiential Learning Projects Coordinator, Katie Fizzell in Queen’s Career Services.

Star-studded music

Andrew Feustel, recent commander of the ISS and Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip collaborate on an original song and video.

After six months spent orbiting the Earth, Andrew (Drew) Feustel (PhD’95) is now a back on solid ground. He touched down early Tuesday, Oct. 4, in a field in Kazakhstan.

During his time in zero gravity, the Queen’s alumnus became commander of the International Space Station (ISS) and helped carry out hundreds of research projects.

He also took some time to work on a creative project: a new song he wrote and recorded with fellow Queen’s alumnus Gord Sinclair (Artsci’86) of The Tragically Hip.

Listen to the original song and check out the perspective of an alumnus from the ISS.

The song focuses on world unity, love, and the perspective that comes with living thousands of feet above the Earth. Dr. Feustel provided his voice and guitar for the project and Mr. Sinclair wrote the lyrics and music. The astronaut and band have had a long camaraderie, and this is their first collaboration together.

The music video features footage of Earth from the ISS, Dr. Feustel on the ISS as he recorded the song, and scenes across the globe.

The song was one of the last projects for Dr. Feustel during his six-month research mission aboard the ISS. He returned to Earth on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:45 am with no issues after a mission full of exciting events, like the In-Flight Education Downlink with Queen’s in April, a special Canada Day video with other Queen’s alumni, and research projects to study the effects of zero gravity.

As the latest Canadian in space, Dr. Feustel passes on the torch to the next Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques, in December 2018.

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