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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.

 

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.

25 years at The Castle

The Bader International Study Centre to celebrate anniversary with an all-classes reunion.

The BISC 25th Reunion logo. (Credit: BISC)
The BISC 25th Reunion logo (Credit: BISC) 

As the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) prepares to celebrate 25 years of operations, its mixture of history and community is the perfect backdrop for a reunion.

The BISC, located in East Sussex, England, is home to students, staff, faculty, and over 575 years of history. The Castle was bankrolled by King Henry VIII in 1441 and eventually fell into neglect during the 1700s, until its restoration in the early 1900s. Alfred and Isabel Bader donated The Castle to Queen’s in 1993 as the International Study Centre. The ISC was renamed the Bader International Study Centre in 2009 in celebration of Alfred’s 85th birthday, as a mark of the university’s deep appreciation for his extraordinary generosity to Queen’s.

The BISC has also been the backdrop to major literary adaptions, including the 1990s Chronicles of Narnia films and a wizardly retreat in 2017 and 2018. Check out Ghosts, A Hanging & Henry VIII: All Part of Herstmonceux Castle’s History to dig deeper into The Castle’s long, and sometimes haunted, past.

“The Castle has become a staple of the Queen’s student experience, as both the oldest and newest part of Queen’s,” says Hugh Horton, Vice-Provost of the BISC. “Thanks to our first year program, opportunities for upper year students, small class sizes, and the many treasures that The Castle and grounds have to offer, we deliver a learning experience like no other. That’s worth celebrating.”

Students returned to the BISC this September for the Fall term. The Castle has recently expanded its innovationinclusion and mental health resources for students, and plans to expand its science education facilities in 2019.

The 25th reunion will take place on the 2019 Canada Day weekend at The Castle. Alumni of The Castle will reunite for a weekend full of activities, including a night at the Headless Drummer, a garden party, tours of the improvements to The Castle, mini-lectures from their favourite professors, and many opportunities to catch up after years, for some even decades, apart.

“We want to bring alumni of The Castle together to celebrate and to commemorate the impact that the donation of the BISC has had on so many lives and on Queen’s international programs,” says Elizabeth Gorman, Associate Director, Alumni and Student Engagement. “The Castle is a very special part of Queen’s, and we aim to give alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the local East Sussex community a fun and educational weekend together.”

To count yourself in for the upcoming weekend, check out the 25th anniversary Facebook page.

Recognition in Shanghai

Director of the Queen's China Liaison Office in Shanghai receives the prestigious Magnolia Award.

  • Dr. Zhang (second from the right) stands with a group of recipients during the Magnolia Awards ceremony.
    Dr. Zhang (second from the right) stands with a group of recipients during the Magnolia Awards ceremony.
  • All recipients of the 2018 Shanghai Magnolia Awards stand together after the presentation ceremony,
    All recipients of the 2018 Shanghai Magnolia Awards stand together after the presentation ceremony,
  • Dr. Zhang poses with Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony.
    Dr. Zhang poses with Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai at the Magnolia Awards Ceremony.
  • From left to right: Mr. Zhang Xiaosong, Director-General, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; Mr. Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General In Shanghai; and Dr. Zhang.
    From left to right: Mr. Zhang Xiaosong, Director-General, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; Mr. Weldon Epp, Consul General, Canadian Consulate General In Shanghai; and Dr. Zhang.
  • From left to right: Dr Zhang; Mr. Chen Hui, Department Head, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; and Mr. Li Mingjun, President of China Europe International Business School (CIEBS)
    From left to right: Dr Zhang; Mr. Chen Hui, Department Head, Shanghai Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office; and Mr. Li Mingjun, President of China Europe International Business School (CIEBS)

As a representative for Queen’s in China, Zhiyao Zhang keeps a busy schedule of connecting students with resources, managing collaborative programs with partners, and volunteer work. Recognition from the Shanghai Government has brought him international attention as a Shanghai Magnolia Award recipient.

The magnolia is the official flower of the city. The Magnolia award is recognition from the Shanghai Government to foreigners who work in Shanghai and make great contributions to Shanghai’s development. Awards are granted to those working in economy and trade, finance, education, tourism, and communications. Roughly 50 foreigners are recognized every year since its inception in 2000. Many recipients are CEOs and Chairs of national and multi-national companies.

[Dr. Zhang poses with his award.]
Dr. Zhang and the Magnolia Award certificate.

“My case was a little different. I was chosen for my work as a Canadian university representative,” says Dr. Zhang, Director of the Queen's China Liason Office. “I didn’t expect the award, and I’m happy and honoured.”

The Queen's China Liaison Office was established in 2007, located at Fudan University in Shanghai. The office seeks opportunities for academic and research collaboration with Chinese universities and government offices, recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students for degree programs at Queen’s, and maintaining links with Queen’s alumni in China.

Dr. Zhang’s nomination was the result of over a decade of work representing Queen’s with Fudan University, Tongji University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), and the Municipal Government Foreign Affairs Office in Shanghai on collaborations in research, graduate and undergraduate exchange programs, degree programs, and official training programs.

“As a Queen’s representative, I think this award will help to promote the office and Queen’s in general in Shanghai, and more broadly in China,” says Dr. Zhang. “This recognition helps to build trust. Trust building is important but not easy in China, no matter what business you’re in.”

Dr. Zhang says the award is a result of teamwork. He works closely with people from home campus and Shanghai, initiated and coordinated high profile programs, including:

  • The establishment of Sino-Canada Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, in partnership with Fudan and Tongji University,
  • The Centre for Canadian Public Policy Studies at Fudan, working with Fudan University with the support of the Canadian Embassy in China and Consulate General in Shanghai,
  • High-profile Sino-Canada Conferences organized, such as The Sino-Canada Water Forum and the Sino-Canada Environmental Governance Roundtable, and
  • A Canadian Study Lecture Series at Fudan created to provide a platform for Queen’s faculties to lecture at Fudan.

Indirectly related to his work, Dr. Zhang also contributes his time as a volunteer at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Shanghai Projects Office to promote nature education and works with a freelance ecologist and a farm manager to start the Good Earth Project, promoting eco-friendly agriculture and environment education. Both WWF and Good Earth Projects have now become informal research and teaching sites for Queen’s faculties and visiting students in Shanghai.

Scholarship promotes maternal and child health equity research

Queen's health equality collaborative group wins Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Scholars – Advanced Scholars program funding.

A Queen’s University program focused on maternal and child health equity is one of 20 Canadian university programs that received funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships – Advanced Scholars (QES-AS) program.

[QES-AS program members]
QES-AS program members from left to right: Enkh-Oyun Tsogzolbaatar, Supaporn Trongsakul, Colleen Davison, Katemanee Moonpanane, Heather Aldersey, Susan Thanabalasingam, Eva Purkey, Ariuntuya Sakhiya, and Dédé Watchiba. Not pictured: Luc Kalisya Malemo and Susan Bartels. (Photo: University Communications)

A Research Collaborative for Global Health Equity (ARCH) received $449,000 in funding to support research projects among the visiting scholars and associated faculty.

The QES-AS focuses on institutional capacity to strengthen partner institutions from the Global South. It is expected to engage approximately 420 researchers in international research projects, contributing to improved global talent exchange between Canada and other nations..

This year, the six advanced scholars that visited Queen’s came from a range of backgrounds, from a practicing general surgeon to a government health official to PhDs of political science, biostatistics, and nursing. The scholars include Dédé Watchiba and Luc Kalisya Malemo from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ariuntuya Sakhiya and Enkh-Oyun Tsogzolbaatar from Mongolia, and Katemanee Moonpanane and Supaporn Trongsakul from Thailand. Their common cause is equity in maternal and child health research and services.

“I’m currently focused on a literature review, because one of the aims of the scholarship is to improve the capacity of the researchers. I have never done a literature review, so I get to work with a mentor to conduct it,” says Dr. Moonpanane, Postdoctoral Scholar (Nursing) with Mea Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand. “The experiences that I gain here, I can teach to those in my faculty.”

Dr. Moonpanane is also working on a research project to raise the accessibility and quality of maternal and child health in Thailand, with the hopes of translating her findings to other countries as well.

The three months that the scholars spend at Queen’s are full of research, projects, and collaboration. A third of the scholars’ time is spent on each individual research, collaborative research and a community-based research placement.

“I have my own research project, which I try to share with the team for their points of view and feedback, and there is also a group project between all of us on parenting in adversity,” says Dr. Watchiba, professor of political science and administrative science with the University of Kinshasa. “On top of these projects, we’re also each involved in projects to support a local community organization. I’m working with HARS, the HIV/AIDS Regional Service, to review their strategic plan, determine if they match international standards, and help them create a monitoring design framework.”

The ARCH faculty involved in the QES-AS program include Heather Aldersey (School of Rehabilitation Therapy), Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine), Colleen Davison (Public Health Sciences) and Eva Purkey (Family Medicine).

“Hopefully the 90 days that these Advanced Scholars have spent at Queen’s will spark continued collaborations with both the colleagues who came to Canada and with their other colleagues and students at  their home institutions,” says Dr. Aldersey, Interim Director of International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR).

Queen’s researchers also participated in an outgoing exchange. As an outgoing QES-AS scholar, Dr. Bartels spent 3 months working in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the summer splitting her time between l'Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (ULPGL) de Goma and a community research partner, HEAL Africa Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This research placement fostered inter-institutional collaboration through grant writing, co-hosting research workshops, co-writing manuscripts, and planning for future joint research projects.

To find out more about the ARCH, check out their website.

Teachers-turned-students

The first PhD candidates of the 10-year Mastercard Foundation partnership reflect on their first year at Queen’s, and how their experience will affect Ethiopia.

After a successful first year at Queen’s, Mulugeta Chala and Molalign Adugna are heading home to Ethiopia to conduct field research that will contribute to the foundation of an internationally accredited rehabilitation therapy program at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia. Both are doctoral students in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and participants in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

Mulugeta Chala (left) and Molalign Adugna (right), doctoral students in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, will return to Ethiopia for a year of data collection in the fall after their first year at Queen’s. (Photo: University Communications)
Mulugeta Chala (left) and Molalign Adugna (right), doctoral students in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, will return to Ethiopia for a year of data collection in the fall after their first year at Queen’s. (Photo: University Communications)

Mr. Adugna taught sociology and worked as the Director of Continuing and Distance Educational Programs at the University of Gondar.

“My focus has shifted to rehabilitation from sociology for my PhD, and specifically on the nexus between stigma and inclusive education among children with disabilities in rural Ethiopia,” says Mr. Adugna. “I want to learn different stigma reduction strategies that work in Canada, and find which can be applied to Ethiopia. I also want to develop an intervention strategy for disability awareness for future Ethiopian researchers to practice.”

Mr. Chala is a physiotherapist, clinical educator, and coordinated the Office of Research Linkage and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Gondar to connect researchers with the local community.

“My focus is on chronic lower back pain. I’m hoping to develop a chronic pain self-management program customized to the Ethiopian context. Most programs used in developing countries copy strategies from Europe, the United States, and Canada. Those may work for a while, but they’re not sustainable because they lack the context of the developing country,” says Mr. Chala. “While at Queen’s, I want to gain the research skills to develop a research question, and also lay the foundation for the next generation of researchers in Ethiopia. We have a responsibility to train those that follow us.”

The doctoral students had a similar experience to many international graduate students from typically warmer climates; warned about snow, both bought many heavy jackets to fend off the cold.

“We had a lot of preparation, but I found the winter wasn’t bad. I come from the mountains area of Ethiopia, and we have a cold season,” says. Mr. Chala. “Bussing into the school and library made it not so bad.”

The cultural transition has been successful for both students, thanks to the support of the Queen’s and local community.

“I’ve been to the U.S. before, so I didn’t find it too different in Kingston,” says Mr. Adugna. “I’m impressed with the whole system, from infrastructure to transportation, and the Canadian education system. I had a culture shock at first, but people are very friendly at Queen’s and Kingston, so I feel very supported.”

“When we arrived in June, it was very green and beautiful in Kingston,” says Mr. Chala. “I think Kingston is beautiful, and a friendly place to live. It’s small, compared to Toronto, but I think that’s good for students.”

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is a 10-year, $24 million partnership that brought Queen’s and the University of Gondar together to support the growth of rehabilitation therapy at the Ethiopian university. The partnership, now in its second year, includes:

  • Scholarships for 450 undergraduate scholars, including those with disabilities and from areas of conflict, to study at Gondar,
  • 60 faculty members from the University of Gondar to study at the graduate level at Queen’s,
  • a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) certificate, and
  • an internationally recognized occupational therapy curriculum at the University of Gondar.

Mr. Chala and Adugna return to Ethiopia for a work placement, and will be back at Queen’s for their second year of graduate course work.

To find out more about the Mastercard Foundation Scholar’s Program, check out the University of Gondar and Queen’s University partnership website and stay tuned for more highlights as the second cohort of graduate students prepare for their first semester at Queen’s.

The facts of the (dark) matter

World leading researchers gather at Queen’s to discuss dark matter, galaxies, and the universe.

The Andromeda galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy (Photo credit: Jonathan Sick, Queen's University)

Top scientists from around the world have gathered at Queen's University this week to celebrate fundamental discoveries in the fields of dark matter and galaxy astrophysics, and to honour ten of the top minds in dark matter astrophysics. The symposium, entitled The Physics of Galaxy Scaling Relations and the Nature of Dark Matter, will feature a public lecture, and spotlight research results in the studies of dark matter, galaxy structure, and particle astrophysics during a time of unprecedented intellectual productivity and discovery in the field.  

“To have these giants of dark matter and astroparticle physics gathered here in Canada is a truly rare opportunity that befits the prominent role that Queen’s scientists are developing in these research areas,” says Stéphane Courteau, Chair of the conference organizing committee and Queen’s Professor of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy.  “Our guests of honour are the pioneers of these study areas and architects of models of our Universe in which a very large fraction of the matter is completely dark, so this is a unique and exciting opportunity to discuss the future of dark matter physics and to recognize our guests’ tremendous accomplishments.”

Running from July 15-20, the conference will not only feature panel discussions and invited lectures on some of the universe’s biggest mysteries, but will also serve as a celebration of the career contributions of the event’s ten guests of honour.

Among the distinguished guests is Sandra Faber, Professor Emerita from the University of California, who co-leads a Hubble Space Telescope project looking at galaxy formation back to the time of the Big Bang. She has been the recipient of major international awards, and was recognized most notably by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013 with the National Medal of Science.

On July 19, Michael Turner from the University of Chicago – the researcher who originally coined the term dark energy – will be giving a free public lecture open to attendees, faculty, staff, students, and the Kingston community. Entitled The Dark Side of the Universe, his talk will explain what we know about the crucial roles of dark matter and dark energy play in shaping our universe.

“The complexities of the universe are vast and intricate, so the public lecture will be an excellent opportunity for the Queen’s and Kingston community to gain a clear, thought-provoking understanding of this research,” says Dr. Courteau. “It will also be valuable for current and prospective students who are considering pursuing this field of study, especially with the recent launch of the new McDonald Institute marking Queen’s University’s leadership role in astroparticle physics.”

Queen’s University recently launched the McDonald Institute (Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute) in partnership with eight universities and five research organizations, cementing its reputation as a world leader in astroparticle physics. This week’s conference marks the most high-profile event hosted by the McDonald Institute since its May 2018 unveiling ceremony, organized in honour of its namesake, Queen’s professor emeritus and Nobel Laureate Arthur B. McDonald.

You can learn more about the conference or reserve your free space at the public lecture now.

A focus on global health and rehabilitation

Queen’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) hosts first tri-university conference on global health and rehabilitation.

[Conference Executive Committee]
Some of the members of the conference’s Executive Committee, formed by members of Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, and McGill University. (Photo credit: Atul Jaiswal)

The first global health and rehabilitation conference run collaboratively between Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, and McGill University took place this weekend at Queen’s.

Scholars from the three participating universities and beyond came together for the Future Leaders in Global Health and Rehabilitation Conference 2018. They tackled global topics such as human rights, equity promotion, and global health research competencies.

“This is a first of its kind collaboration between the three disability- and rehabilitation-focused research centres, and may act as a stepping stone for larger engagement among students and faculty in global health research,” says Heather Aldersey, Director of the International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “Giving students and junior scholars a chance to connect with others interested in this field is a fantastic opportunity for them to share, learn and grow, and we were happy to host the first conference at Queen’s.”

The three centres that organized in the conferences included ICACBR, the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto, and the Global Health and Rehabilitation Initiative (GHRI) at McGill University. Community engagement funding from the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program supported the event. Many of the executive organizing committee members were Queen Elizabeth Scholars from low- and middle-income countries.

Students from disciplines such as law, engineering, social work, and geography joined health and rehabilitation students to discuss how to build capacity for global health research competencies, share the activities underway at each centre, and plan for future collaborations.

“This tri-university event provided a wonderful opportunity for the ICACBR to share how and what it has contributed to the developing and developed world in the global health and rehabilitation field,” says Atul Jaiswal, Executive Committee Member for the conference and doctoral candidate with the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “Bringing three leading centres on this discipline together creates opportunities to collaborate and do much more than one centre can do on its own.”

The ICACBR began in 1991 with a mandate to advance the development of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) internationally. Since then, Queen’s has spearheaded CBR, disability, and global health initiatives in over 15 countries in Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific Region.

To learn more about ICACBR and their work within the School of Rehabilitation at Queen’s, visit their website.

 

Forum unites Pan-Asian diplomats

The Ambassadors’ Forum brings diplomats from across the Asia-Pacific region to gather and collaborate.

[queen's university summerhill ambassador's forum]
Queen’s representatives and international ambassadors pose together in front of Summerhill, a yearly tradition after the Ambassadors’ Forum. (University Communications)

The Ambassadors’ Forum at Benidickson House brings diplomats from a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region to Queen’s to connect, share ideas, and learn.

“This forum is a model for how academics and diplomats can work together to further cultural diplomacy between regions,” said Principal Daniel Woolf during his welcome to the delegates to the forum. “We have international aspirations at Queen’s, and are particularly focused on very good relations with the Asia-Pacific region. We’re also very interested in inter-disciplinary experiential research and student mobility in that region.”

The annual event, which began in 2003, is a chance for Queen’s to bring together ambassadors and high commissioners from countries such as Australia, China, India, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand to share international education perspectives, announce partnerships that have been agreed on throughout the year, and discuss issues of relevance as a group.

This year, the forum featured a talk by Dr. James McKay, Assistant Professor of Political Science with the Royal Military College, on “Global Security in the Trump Era”.

In addition to the principal, Queen’s representatives at the forum included Cynthia Fekken, Associate Vice-Principal (Research) and Ryan Rodrigues, Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations and Annual Giving).

[queen's university ambassador forum daniel woolf Hok-Lin Leung]
“I must thank Hok-Lin Leung for his significant help with fostering this international initiative. Dr. Leung recognized the merit and opportunity of linking this very important diplomatic community,” said Dr. Woolf during his welcome speech. Dr. Leung, Professor Emeritus and former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, acts as the organizer of the forum. (University Communications)

 

Introducing our new faculty members: Mohamed Khimji

Mohamed Khimji joins the Faculty of Law as the David Allgood Professor in Business Law.

This profile is part of a series highlighting some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired between 2017-18 and 2022-23.

Mohamed Khimji (Law) sat down with the Gazette to talk about his experience so far. Mr. Khimji is the David Allgood Professor in Business Law.

[Mohamed Khimji]
Mohamed Khimji joined Queen's as the David Allgood Professor in Business Law. (Supplied Photo)
Fast Facts About Mr. Khimji

Department: Law

Hometown: Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

Alma mater: London School of Econonmics and Political Science (LL.M.)

Research areas: Shareholder democracy, business law

Hobbies include: Champions League football (soccer), listening to Indie pop music, cooking

Mr. Khimji's web bio
Why did you decide to join Queen’s Faculty of Law?
I have been in academia for a while now. I started at Dalhousie University in the Law school there, and later taught at the University of Western Ontario where I became a chair in corporate finance during my last year. Then the opportunity came up at Queen’s to take on the David Allgood professorship, which struck me as a very interesting and exciting opportunity.
For this role, the Faculty of Law was looking for someone to provide leadership to the business law program and increase its research profile. The opportunity to drive this initiative was very appealing. As an academic, it is an opportunity to go beyond teaching and research and to get involved in administration.
If you look at the major areas of practice, Queen’s is very strong in all of them. This is about taking the business law program a step further.
What got you interested in business law?
Like a lot of law students, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Business law is the default thing to do. It’s easy to default into it because the business law firms tend to have a very structured hiring program – if you just flow through it, you get a job and you get into it.
I happened to like it, so I stayed in it and I went to graduate school. I got a bit lucky…I took a leave of absence from my firm to do a master’s with a plan to leave my firm and do a PhD later. Once I published my LLM thesis, Dalhousie offered me a job – I didn’t need to obtain my PhD.
It made no sense to move to Nova Scotia, but when you’re young and naïve you make bolder decisions. So I packed up my car, moved to Halifax, and that started my teaching career.
How has teaching been at Queen’s?
I very much enjoy teaching at Queen’s and I like the students. They’re very smart and engaged. I think Queen’s students are especially nice to deal with as people. I get along with them very well, and part of that might be my leadership role in the business law department.
One thing I want to do is help the students to be more successful here. I want more of them to get the big business law jobs, I want more of them to be successful when they get those jobs. The learning curve is quite steep and I want them to be as prepared as possible, so I engage with them in terms of where we might improve.
Tell us about your research.
Last year I won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development grant for a five-year empirical study on shareholder democracy.
This is a big corporate governance issue right now – the extent to which we allocate power to shareholders and management. There are different opinions about what is best for society, what is best for capital markets.
I want to find out why shareholders engage and how shareholders engage, and the extent to which they engage.
What I am working on now is a qualitative study where I am interviewing the different players in the shareholder democracy infrastructure. The interviews are necessary to find out information that is not publicly available.
After this, I want to combine some quantitative analysis with the publicly available information and make some policy recommendations.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I have been in academia long enough where some of my earliest students are now quite senior in the profession. My proudest moment is when I had one of my former students come back to my class to deliver a guest lecture.
This student was a partner in a transactional law practice and he gave a lecture in my mergers and acquisitions class. That was a very proud moment – the student coming back to teach the teacher.
How are you settling in?
My family and I have been living in Toronto. We enjoy the time we spend in Kingston, however. I like the small town community feel. I like bumping into people on my way to work and on my way home from work – I like knowing who my neighbours are.
I find I don’t bump into my students as much as you might think in a city this size – which means I don’t see them in compromising situations and they don’t see me in compromising situations!
The Faculty of Law is great and has been very welcoming. It’s an exciting time to be here with the hiring of seven new faculty members starting in July. We have become more diverse in terms of subject matters and methodologies.
I am also looking forward to working with Robert Yalden again. We will be working closely together as he was appointed the inaugural Stephen Sigurdson Professor in Corporate Law and Finance.
[Khimji office Faculty of Law Queen's]
Walking the halls of the Faculty of Law building, Mr. Khimji's office is not hard to spot. (University Communications)
Any hobbies or interests?
I love football (or soccer as Canadians like to call it) and I cheer for Liverpool in the Champions League.
When I was growing up in Tanzania, you could support one of two football teams. It was either Liverpool or Manchester United. My family happened to frequent this teashop that supported Liverpool, so they became my team. It has been an exciting season – Liverpool reached the final, but then lost quite badly in the final.
I also really enjoy cooking. Right now I am interested in Sichuan cuisine and I am a huge Fuchsia Dunlop fan. She is a food writer who went to the famous Sichuan cooking school for a year. I use her books…I love the spice.
And, of course, taking care of my son who is five months old!

Faculty Renewal

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan, launched in 2017, will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the previous six years.

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

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

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