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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.

 

Decade-long Cuban partnership continues

Queen’s and the University of Havana celebrate the future of their partnership.

[The 2018 Cuba trip cohort pose together with a statue in Havana. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)]
The 2018 Cuba trip cohort pose together with a statue in Havana. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)

Queen’s and the University of Havana have partnered  for the past 10 years to teach the Cuban Society and Culture course and host visiting scholars and artists. The study abroad course has seen over 300 Queen’s students study in Havana thus far, and will continue thanks to a new agreement signed in Havana during a celebration of the course and partnership in May.

[Students, staff, and faculty from both universities enjoy local food and musical (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)]
Students, staff, and faculty from both universities enjoy local food and music. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)

For Susan Lord (Film and Media) and Karen Dubinsky (History/Global Development Studies), their ongoing professional relationship with their colleagues from the University of Havana has created opportunities that stretch farther than their annual course.

The course begins at Queen’s in the winter term. Students learn about the history of Cuba from 1959 to present day, studying social and cultural challenges, successes, and innovations. Students then travel to Havana for two weeks to experience what they learned over the semester. They visit historic monuments, take in the modern landscape of music, agriculture, and city living, participate in classes at the University of Havana, and enjoy the warm hospitality of their Cuban colleagues and fellow students.

“We have sessions throughout the trip for students to digest their experiences,” says Dr. Lord. “We talk about what they find on the street that contradicts or extends what they’ve learned in books. Some of the key takeaways for students from this past trip was the amount of music everywhere in Havana and the diversity of perspectives on Cuban reality presented by professors in the course. This is much more enriching than only learning in a textbook.”

[Students travel through an art exhibit featuring mosaic tile. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)]
Students travel through an art exhibit featuring mosaic tile. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)

A decade of collaboration has led to lasting relationships between the coordinators from both countries. University of Havana professor Sonia Enjamio was a core contact for Drs. Lord and Dubinsky before she died in 2010. To commemorate her dedication to the course and students, the coordinators of the course, including Drs. Lord and Dubinsky and University of Havana Vice-Dean (International) Lourdes Perez, decided to create the Sonia Enjamio Fund to help Queen’s students continue their studies and University of Havana students study at Queen’s.

“Relationships are a key ingredient to success for these kinds of programs, and the Cuban Society and Culture course is a great example of best practices,” says Jenny Corlett, Director of International Initiatives with the Faculty of Arts and Science. “The coursework is the trunk of the tree, but there are so many relationships that spread like roots to make it stable and keep it growing.”

This connection between Queen’s and the University of Havana has led to dozens of research projects by both universities’ researchers. Ten scholars and artists from Cuba have participated in exchanges to Queen’s. Freddy Monasterio Barso (Cultural Studies) is a Cuban PhD candidate and one of the course instructors for Cuban Society and Culture.

Recent research collaborations between Cuba and Queen’s include:

  • An upcoming book of essays and interviews of Sara Gómez, an Afro-Cuban filmmaker of the sixties by Dr. Lord;
  • A book on Canada-Cuban person-to-person relations by Dr. Dubinsky;
  • A master’s thesis on staying current in an offline country by Xenia Reloba de la Cruz, a Cuban journalist who completed her master’s at Queen’s in Cultural Studies; and
  • A 2014 anthology of renowned Cuban musician Carlos Varela’s work in English and Spanish curated by Dr. Dubinsky, Ms. Reloba de la Cruz, and former Cuban visiting scholar to Queen’s Maria Caridad Cumana. Mr. Varela received an honorary degree from Queen’s in the same year.

“The relationship between Queen’s and the University of Havana precedes the course by several decades,” says Dr. Dubinsky. “It began in the early seventies as part of a large project organized by Canadian University Service Overseas, a Canadian non-governmental organization. Fifty Canadian engineering professors taught over 300 Cuban students. That first project was judged a rousing success, and efforts such as our course continue that connection.”

[Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), and Barbara Crow, Dean (Faculty of Arts and Science) participate in the awarding of certificates to students in the course. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)]
Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International), and Barbara Crow, Dean (Faculty of Arts and Science) participate in the awarding of certificates to students in the course. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)

Dr. Lord’s vision for the next 5 years of the course is a healthy mixture of growth and sustainability.

“We work hard to keep the costs low. This is one of the least expensive exchange courses to Cuba, so we have to be innovative about how we grow sustainably,” says Dr. Lord. “We would like to increase the Sonia Enjamio Fund to have more reciprocal exchange, and explore more initiatives to support the course. I’d also like to do more work with graduate students to help facilitate their participation.”

The end of the tenth trip was marked with a celebration involving students, staff, and faculty from both universities. Guests enjoyed local cuisine, music (including a concert by Cuban hip hop artist Telmary Diaz, visiting artist at Queen’s in 2017), and the signing of an agreement by Barbara Crow, Dean (Faculty of Arts and Science) and Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International) to continue the partnership for another 5 years.

[Students thank their guides and professors during the contract signing and 10 year celebration at the end of the visit. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)]
Students thank their guides and professors during the contract signing and 10 year celebration at the end of the visit. (Photo: Chris Tianyu Yao)

“Cuban Culture and Society is one of my favourite memories of my first year here at Queen’s,” says Chris Tianyu Yao (ArtSci’21), a Film and Media student. “From my perspective, the uniqueness of the course is the diverse and interdisciplinary content. It gave me an opportunity to engage in many new fields of study, such as politics, global development, and health studies. I could also easily find my own interests in this course. These experiences helped me to continue my study and research in film, art, and cultural studies.”

To find out more about the course, visit the Department of Global Development Studies website.

Alumnus takes command of ISS

A. J. (Drew) Feustel, Queen’s alumnus and astronaut, has taken command of the ISS for Expedition 56 after three months in space.

  • [Dr. Feustel floats above the Earth (Photo: University Relations)]
    Dr. Feustel floats above the Earth, representing Queen’s. (Photo: University Relations)
  • [Kingston as seen from the ISS (Photo: @Astro_Feustel on Twitter)]
    Kingston, as seen by Dr. Feustel from the International Space Station on May 10, 2018. (Photo: @Astro_Feustel on Twitter)
  • [Dr. Feustel during his spacewalk on March 29, 2018 (Photo: @Astro_Feustel on Twitter)]
    Dr. Feustel pauses for a photo during his six and a half hour spacewalk on March 29, 2018. (Photo: @Astro_Feustel on Twitter)
  • [A rock and roll concert on the ISS (Photo: @OlegMKS on Twitter)]
    Dr. Feustel and his crewmates jam out together on the ISS. (Photo: @OlegMKS on Twitter)

A. J. (Drew) Feustel (PhD’95) became commander of Expedition 56 on the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, June 1.

The Change of Command Ceremony involved Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos handing over command of the station to Dr. Feustel. The ceremony was streamed live through NASATV.

Three of the Expedition 55 crew return to Earth on June 3, marking the official beginning of Expedition 56 as Dr. Feustel, NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev continue as a three-person crew for several days. Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Valerevich, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, and NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor will arrive on June 6 to complete the Expedition 56 crew.

Expedition 56 continues the international research work of Expedition 55, which brought Dr. Feustel to the ISS as a Flight Engineer. The patch for Expedition 56 features a dove with an olive branch in its beak, symbolizing the hope for peace that comes from international space collaboration. The patch has a special significance to Dr. Feustel; his son, Aden, designed it.

Dr. Feustel has had a busy three months aboard the station, now halfway through his time there. On top of the dozens of scientific experiments he and his crew have conducted already, he has also worked on repairs to the outside of the ISS, taken photos of home below, and even starred in a rock concert.

Drs. Feustel and Arnold performed the 100th spacewalk by ISS crewmembers on March 29. For over six hours, the astronauts installed a new communications antenna and replaced camera equipment on the outside of the ISS. This was followed by another spacewalk on May 16 to replace pumps for the station’s thermal control system and other equipment. Dr. Feustel is now ranked seventh for most cumulative time spent spacewalking.

Dr. Artemyev shared a photo of an impromptu concert in space. Dr. Feustel called it ‘the first guitar jam in space with amplifiers and effects’. The photo features the crew playing guitars, flutes, and a drum.

Every 90 minutes (the time it takes for the ISS to make a rotation around the Earth), Dr. Feustel can look down from the station and see the provinces and states he spent the first 32 years of his life in, including Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, and Indiana.

“Congratulations to my alma mater Queen’s and Canadian partner universities on the launch of the McDonald Institute,” Dr. Feustel said in a tweet on May 10, including a photo of Kingston taken from the ISS (408 km above sea level). “Wonderful to see it named after Queen’s Nobel Laureate, Art McDonald!”

To learn more about Dr. Feustel’s journey from Queen’s to the ISS, check out our previous stories:

The Castle’s marathon man

Running 52 marathons in 52 weeks helped Adrian Thomas share his experience and tackle the stigma of mental health issues in the workplace.

Adrian Thomas and his son pose after his fifty-second marathon in 52 weeks.
Adrian Thomas and his son pose after his 52nd marathon in 52 weeks.

Adrian Thomas, Catering Manager at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC), began his weekly marathon challenge with two goals; maintain a healthy lifestyle, and raise awareness about the stigma that surrounds mental health issues in the workplace.

Fresh from the final marathon of his 52 in 52 Challenge and on the heels of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK (May 14 to 20), Mr. Thomas and the BISC have big plans to support student and employee mental health.

Battling stigma

Mr. Thomas lives with depression and had a mental health crisis in 2011 that led to a yearlong period when he was unable to work, which caused anxiety and hardship for him and his family.

“Fortunately, I have a very supportive wife, Michelle, and an adorable son, Edwin, and several close friends who have helped me hugely as I came out of that bad period in my life,” says Mr. Thomas.

Mr. Thomas took up running during this time, having read that it can help with symptoms of depression. He joined his local running club, The Hailsham Harriers, and set ever-increasing mileage targets to slowly increase his endurance levels until he was able to run marathons and even ultra-marathons.

When Mr. Thomas reflects on his experiences, he describes a stigma in the workplace at his previous employers regarding mental health issues and a lack of understanding. He also describes the frustration that his wife experienced because she felt she had no one she could turn to who could help her understand what he was going through.

The custom medal for the 52 in 52 Challenge.
The custom medal for the 52 in 52 Challenge.

In April 2017, Mr. Thomas entered the 52 in 52 Challenge, where competitors pledge to complete 52 official marathons in 52 weeks. His additional goal was to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and address the stigma associated with discussing mental health in the workplace.

Mr. Thomas completed the challenge in just 50 weeks by participating in marathon races across southern England in Sussex, Kent, and Surrey. He wore through six pairs of running shoes and spent roughly $6,000 (£3,500) on race fees, travel, accommodations, and gear.

Mr. Thomas launched his own charity, Different Minds, on World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10) in 2017. The charity trains volunteers in recognizing the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues to become Mental Health First Aiders.

“I firmly believe that by opening up a dialogue where it is okay to talk about our mental health, we as a society can change attitudes,” says Mr. Thomas. “Our volunteers are trained to go anywhere and say, ‘We can all suffer from depression and it’s okay to talk about it!’”

Mr. Thomas partnered with the student government at the BISC in March for an auction fundraiser to support Different Minds, and to broaden the conversation at the Castle about mental health at work and school.

Safeguarding student mental health

At the BISC, the on-site Student Services Team places a particular emphasis on promoting positive student mental health at the Castle. The team is stepping up their services this year by growing their Peer Health Educator Program (now in its second year), providing free access to two professional counsellors through ten bookable sessions every week, and by creating an environment of open dialogue year-round.

“Our Student Services team take a holistic approach to students’ health and wellness. We offer spaces for conversations and direct students to appropriate resources, such as personal counselling,” says Roxy Denniston-Stewart, Student and Enrolment Services Manager at the BISC. “Students are also provided with a space to speak up and share stories with peers. Our goal is to provide students at the BISC with the resources and tools they need to support their wellbeing in an interdependent community.”

Events to promote healthy living happen year-round at the BISC, including the BISC Mental Health Week in the fall term. The week will focus on coping with exam stress and promoting the benefits of exercise, diet, and sleep during the revision period.

To read more about Mr. Thomas’s story and the work of Different Minds, check out the Facebook page.

Introducing our new faculty members: Thomas Rotter

Thomas Rotter is a new member of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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 initiative, which will see 200 new faculty members hired over five years.

Thomas Rotter (Healthcare Quality) sat down with the Gazette to talk about his experience so far. Dr. Rotter is an associate professor.

[Thomas Rotter]
Dr. Thomas Rotter joined the Queen's community in July of 2017. (University Communications)
Fast Facts about Dr. Rotter

Department: Healthcare Quality, and Nursing

Hometown: Günzburg, Germany

Alma mater: Technische Universität Dresden (public health), Erasmus University (evaluation science)

Research areas: healthcare quality, risk, and patient safety

Hobbies include: Cooking, bicycling, gardening

Dr. Rotter’s web bio
How did you decide to become a teacher?
I never thought I would be a professor, which makes me a rare species. If you told me even in my thirties that I would be a professor, I would not have believed you. 
I worked as a nurse clinician for eleven years in Germany in a variety of settings before deciding to go back to university to complete my PhD. While completing my doctorate, I connected with the Cochrane Collaboration – this is like a dating agency for those involved in evidence-based practice and medicine. Through this, I met my mentor – Dr. Leigh Kinsman in Australia – and we started doing research together. He taught me about how to successfully apply for high-level research grants, how to publish, and he helped me overcome my anxiety about these things.
He is still my most important collaborator and friend, and my mentor – before I make any important decisions, such as taking this job at Queen’s, I am always consulting him. My passion for research led me to academia, and I ended up loving it.
How did you end up in Canada?
In 2012, I applied for a research chair position at the University of Saskatchewan in health quality improvement science, and I was accepted. During my time there, my wife and I had our daughter – she’s now four years old. So we are now working on our citizenship applications and intending to stay in Canada. I decided after five years of this wonderful chair position that I should go for a faculty position so I could have more time with my daughter.
With this faculty position at Queen’s, teaching is about 35 per cent of my job and I really love it. One course I teach is about research and evaluation methods in health quality, risk, and safety. It is delivered in a hybrid format as part of a two-year masters course. Students are here twice for a week, and the rest is delivered online.
It was a bit of a challenge in the start, but it is going really well and I am looking forward to more teaching – as well as bringing more of my research from Saskatchewan here.
Tell us a bit about your research. Why is it important?
All of my research has a common aim – to cut down the time it takes for a new discovery in healthcare to arrive at the patient’s bedside. I am considering both the patient outcomes, as well as the knowledge and ability of the healthcare professionals – ensuring they are using the best available knowledge to treat their patients. All of my research is of an applied nature. I am doing loads of different stuff because my scope is broad. It applies to every discipline in primary and hospital care.
Some of my research focuses on clinical pathways – interventions which are aimed at guiding evidence-based practice and improving the interactions between health services. I have worked on pathway projects in Canada and internationally as a way to standardize the way we provide care for patients with cancer, pediatric asthma, gastroenteritis, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to improve both their quality of life and life expectancy – but primarily focusing on quality of care.
I also want to do some research into suicide prevention, going back to my time as a psych nurse. The numbers are terrible, and we have to do something.
My skills are generally applicable as long as I work with content experts. I am currently working with a lung doctor on a project in Saskatchewan to implement and evaluate a clinical pathway for COPD patients in Regina.
How did you become passionate about healthcare quality?
This area is under-researched, when compared to basic research, and it is truly multidisciplinary by nature. Some innovations make it into the care setting quicker and we don’t know why. It can be the political climate, the context, or just the right timing – what I know is that we don’t know.
We spend billions of dollars every year to create ‘me too’ drugs that are almost the same as existing drugs – if we instead focused more on quality and ensuring medical knowledge and cutting-edge products made it into the care setting faster, this would save lives and have a much greater effect. This principle applies to every sector of medicine.
Another project you have worked on relates to simulating patient deterioration. What is that?
This is a project I worked on in Australia, which I would like to bring to Canada to test the transferability. We picked two hospitals in Australia and used face-to-face simulations to test nurses’ knowledge and skills on patient deterioration before and after the training, and in two other hospitals we used web-based video simulations. I was a strong believer in face-to-face simulation. I have a background as a health economist, and Dr. Kinsman asked me to do the cost analysis.
We found that both formats were as effective at increasing nurses’ knowledge, and that over time web-based delivery gets cheaper. It is costly at the start but after about 100 nurse trainees you hit the break-even point. I hope to test the findings next year in Canada.
[Thomas Rotter]
Dr. Rotter holds up a picture of his daughter. (University Communications)
What do you think of Kingston?
It was a very good trade – the best thing my family and I have done since moving to Canada. Though we had a wonderful time in Saskatchewan, this is the right opportunity for us and it is closer to Europe so I can visit my family in Germany. It is a magnificent town. It is the right size, and every time I drive home from Toronto I am happy to be coming back – though it is nice to visit Toronto too and take in the sights.
What you might not know is Saskatchewan has no passenger trains, and being from Europe I am so used to that. I appreciate the trains here. I am regularly going to Ottawa or Toronto…I can work. It’s almost like being back home.
What do you do for fun?
I am a hobby chef. I enjoy cooking from country to country – the more exotic the better. Most of the stuff I like is from Africa or the Caribbean. I never cook for myself – I love to cook for guests, and cooking together.
I also love to bike – I lived in the Netherlands for six years and my wife and I both fluently speak Dutch. I recently went to a conference in Amsterdam and the first thing I did was get a bike – I would bike from the hotel to the conference. My Canadian colleagues looked at me and asked, “Are you biking?” and I said, “Yes, every morning – it’s nice guys!” “Is this considered to be safe?” they asked. They took a cab or the tram.
I am also a hobby gardener. What I like about gardening is to grow your own vegetables. Having your own veggie garden is the only way to know what you are eating, and it is a great workout.

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.

African Studies conference focuses on transformation

The Canadian Association of African Studies conference hosted scholars from around the world to discuss issues of change in African countries.

[Conference attendees share a laugh during the conference. (Photo: Faculty of Arts and Science)]
Attendees share a laugh during the conference. (Photo: Faculty of Arts and Science)

The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) focused their 10th anniversary conference on a broad but important topic: Transformations in African environments.

[Marc Epprecht, Amila Guidone, and Sarah Katz-Lavigne]
President of CAAS and professor in Global Development Studies Dr. Marc Epprect stands at the registration table with Amila Guidone, Research Assistant at Queen’s, and Sarah Katz-Lavigne, PhD candidate at Carleton University. (Photo: University Communications)

“I’m excited to show the progress that Queen’s has made since 2009 when we last hosted the conference. There were many professors retiring then, and it seemed African Studies had had its day here, even though Queen’s was one of the first institutions in Canada to have dedicated, tenured faculty members who taught African topics roughly 50 years ago,” says Marc Epprecht, President of the CAAS and professor of Global Development Studies at Queen’s. “Luckily in the last three or four years, there’s been quite a turn around. We’ve hired new faculty members and there is a new project partnering with the MasterCard Foundation and the University of Gondar in Ethiopia, so we’re getting all kinds of great African talent here with PhD and Masters students. To me, it’s a really exciting time to be studying Africa at Queen’s.”

The conference, held Thursday, May 3 to Sunday, May 6, included panels, round-tables, and a keynote from international scholars and specialists.

Dr. Shireen Hassim, professor (University of the Witwatersrand) and Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University), gives the keynote speech during the Canadian Association of African Studies Conference. (Photo: University Communications)
Dr. Shireen Hassim gives the keynote speech during the Canadian Association of African Studies Conference. (Photo: University Communications)

Shireen Hassim, professor (University of the Witwatersrand) and Matina S. Horner Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University), gave the keynote address on Saturday. Dr. Hassim explored the life of Winnie Mandela and violence under racist capitalism, as well as the history and intersection of racism and sexism in South Africa. She also shared how she introduced a feminist lens into academic discussions throughout her career as a researcher.

Among the many events during the conference, one of the engaging panels was Adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa: From policy to action. Colleen Davison (Public Health Sciences) and Martin Ayanore (University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana) presented on the panel with their colleagues Lydia Kapiriri (McMaster University) and Danielle Mpalirwa (Carleton University).

Dr. Davison focused on ensuring rights for vulnerable populations of adolescents in African countries, such as those living in very poor families, adolescents in rural areas, young people living with disabilities, or adolescents from particular ethnic groups in some countries.

[Dr. Lydia Kapiriri, Dr. Martin Ayanore, and Dr. Colleen Davison pose together]
Dr. Lydia Kapiriri, Dr. Martin Ayanore, and Dr. Colleen Davison pose together  after their panel on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo: Colleen Davison)

“Almost all of the seventeen sustainable development goals [discussed during the panel] give us opportunity for action related to ensuring that the sexual and reproductive rights for these even more marginalized populations are met,” says Dr. Davison.

Dr. Ayanore discussed Universal Health Coverage and its role in driving the goal of equitable sexual reproductive health rights among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. The discussion centred on how strategic purchasing can be used to improve commodity supplies at national levels.

“There are three dimensions that must fit into the drive towards providing adolescent sexual and reproductive services in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Dr. Ayanore. “Risk protection for vulnerable population groups in terms of access to broad range of reproductive services, context-based evidence for improving services and driving further research, and strong national- and international-level commitments to drive resources to advance better health outcomes.”

Other panels and round tables explored the changing landscape of governance, the coup in Zimbabwe, the struggle against homophobia, the effect of political conflict on sustainable development, ageing research, gender politics, access to disability services, mining, and urbanism in African countries.

To find out about upcoming conferences and events, follow the new Global Development Studies Twitter account.

 

Deadline extended for Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program

Applications have been extended until midnight on Monday, May 7, 2018, for the Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program (MISMP), now in its third year.

The program will support up to three undergraduate or graduate students and one faculty member to take part in MISMP 2018 at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA. The participants will take part in experiential learning and research activities on the MISMP themes of Indigenous spirituality and undertaking Indigenous research.

The MISMP fosters global scholarship and community engagement between universities in the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) to deepen understanding of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledge systems.

The MNU connects seven universities; the University of Western Australia (Australia), Durham University (UK), Uppsala University (Sweden), Tübingen University (Germany), Dartmouth College (USA), Queen’s University (Canada), and the University of Otago (New Zealand).

Applicants must be registered in a degree program at Queen’s and have completed at least two years of undergraduate study before the start of the program. Find out more about the program and how to apply on the Queen’s MISMP website.

Foghlaim Gaeilge at the Irish Language Weekend

Ever wonder where the lyrics of the Queen's Oil Thigh song come from, or what they mean? The last weekend of April features a crash course in Irish language, dancing, and music.

[Ruth Wehlau (English Language and Literature)]
Ruth Wehlau (English Language and Literature) continues two decades of Irish language teaching in Kingston, connecting the Queen’s community to Irish culture.

The Irish Language Weekend is an opportunity for the Queen’s community to dive into the Celtic language and culture that has a long history at the university. Newcomers can dabble in Irish phrases and experienced speakers can stretch out their vocabulary in an immersive environment.

The weekend includes classes (in four levels from beginner to advanced), meals, workshops on music and dancing, lectures, and a ceili (dance).

Ruth Wehlau (English Language and Literature), the lead organizer for the event, has a passion for teaching Irish and wants to spread the word on the yearly event, now in its 21st year.

“Kingston has a big hidden Irish history, and a very active Irish community,” says Dr. Wehlau. “It’s a nice feeling to connect with this language and community that isn’t gone, despite the previous years of colonization of Ireland that has endangered the language.”

The Harp of Tara society has shared Irish language and culture through annual workshops for over two decades in Kingston. Queen’s is hosting the immersion weekend this year from Dé hAoine (Friday), April 27 to Dé Domhnaigh (Sunday), April 29.

“Any time that you learn a new language, you’re learning a new way to experience the world,” says Dr. Wehlau. “The Irish language has lots of proverbs, curses, and interesting turns of phases that are less cut and dry than English.”

Irish, also known as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic, is one of four surviving Celtic languages still spoken around the world.

“The spelling is different from English, but it follows rules,” says Dr. Wehlau. “Celtic languages are famous, or notorious, for initial sound changes. This can be a challenge if you’re listening for cues and the beginning of a word doesn’t sound the same, but it’s actually natural to change certain words when speaking. For example, if I want to say that I live in Kingston, I have to change the K to a G, and say 'í gKingston'. The sound changes are embedded in the language. It really isn’t like English, but I think that’s part of the appeal.”

The weekend costs $165 for the full package or $70 for a student one day (Saturday) pass.

To learn more about the weekend or to purchase your ticket, contact Dr. Wehlau at wehlaur@queensu.ca or visit the Harp of Tara website.

Scholarship helps promote human rights

Queen’s University program supports equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

A Queen’s University program focusing on disability-inclusive development is one of 20 university programs to receive funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) program.

The funding will allow the International Centre for the Advancement of Community-Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) to support occupational therapy and physical therapy students to participate in internships abroad and international students in community-based rehabilitation programs to train at Queen’s.

“International fieldwork learning is something that the occupational therapy program at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy recognizes as a means to equip student occupational therapists with skills around cultural competence, enhanced problem-solving skills, and awareness of global health in context,” says Susanne Murphy, a lecturer in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

[Shirin Ataollahi-Eshqoor]
Shirin Ataollahi-Eshqoor makes jewellery with a member of the Pamaoja Tunaweza Boys and Girls Club. (Supplied photo)

Both domestic and international students’ activities will be linked to ICACBR’s ongoing community-based rehabilitation projects, which provide training and support to equalize opportunities and promote the human rights of people with disabilities.

“This specific internship program has been running since 2014 and is a continuation of funding from the QES program,” says program leader Heather Aldersey (Rehabilitation Therapy). “This funding enables sustainability and continuity of student efforts abroad – when one group of students leave, there is another group incoming to continue the projects the previous group started at the partner sites.”

With the grant received in 2014, the ICACBR supported 18 Queen’s occupational therapy students to hold clinical and community development placements in India and Tanzania. It also supported a Canadian master’s student to conduct research in Bangladesh, and enabled four community leaders (two from Ghana, one from Nigeria, and one from India) to complete PhDs in the Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

In India, students worked to increase community resources for people with spinal cord injuries and improve knowledge about spinal cord injuries for clients and families. In Tanzania, they worked to increase employment skills for street youth as well as employment opportunities in the community.

“My dream of pursuing a PhD education at Queen’s University would not have been possible without QES support,” says PhD candidate Atul Jaiswal. “It provided me with an international experience in the rehabilitation science field and its current advancements in terms of practice and research. This learning enhanced my overall knowledge and gave me tools to conduct research that builds my academic career and is meaningful to the people in our society.”

Through this latest grant, the ICACBR will support 18 new occupational therapy and physical therapy internships abroad, as well as two new incoming PhD students.

“The funding that supported my occupational therapy placement in Moshi, Tanzania left me with a broader perspective of the world, a lot of personal growth, and an eagerness to give back to communities in need,” says Molly Flindall-Hanna, who spent several months in Tanzania working with youth in the Boys and Girls Club. “An important lesson for me was learning to face challenges proactively – the challenge many communities face in accessing resources, the challenge of systemic barriers, and the challenge of making a larger difference, one small step at a time.”

The QES program fosters a dynamic community of young global leaders that create lasting impacts at home and abroad. Through professional experiences, the program provides international education opportunities for discovery and inquiry.

For more information, visit the QES website.

New Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies appointed

Dr. Fahim Quadir joins Queen’s from York University.

Queen’s University announced today the appointment of Fahim Quadir as Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for a five-year term effective July 1, 2018.

[Fahim Quadir]
Fahim Quadir has been appointed as the next Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, effective July 1, 2018.

Dr. Quadir joins Queen’s from York University where he is currently Interim Dean and Associate Vice-President Graduate in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and a professor of Development Studies and Social Science. He was enthusiastically recommended for the position by the Principal’s Advisory Committee, chaired by Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Quadir has accepted my invitation to lead the Queen’s School of Graduate Studies,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Promoting and supporting the graduate mission is one of Queen’s highest priorities, and Dr. Quadir will work to provide strategic direction, academic planning leadership, and administrative oversight to achieve the highest possible standards in graduate education and research.”

Previously, Dr. Quadir has held academic positions at St. Lawrence University in New York, Dalhousie University in Halifax, and the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He also taught Political Studies here at Queen’s for 18 months from 1999 to 2000. Dr. Quadir then joined York University in 2001 and in 2006 he became the founding director of the Graduate Program in Development Studies and its undergraduate program in International Development Studies, both of which aimed to trans-nationalize the process of knowledge production.

Over the past several years, he has championed a variety of innovations to enhance the graduate student experience at York, including new online tools, improved student complaint processes, strengthened supervisory policies and education, and more supports for international graduate students.

“Dr. Quadir brings both broad expertise in graduate education and passion for the graduate student experience. I am delighted that he is coming back to Queen’s to take on this very important leadership role,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

As a researcher, Dr. Quadir specializes in International Development, International Relations and International Political Economy. His current work focuses on South-South cooperation, democratic cosmopolis, emerging donors, aid effectiveness, good governance, civil society, and human development. He has edited/co-edited five books and published extensively in various international peer reviewed journals.

He was the recipient of several SSHRC grants, the Fulbright Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, International Development Research Centre ‘Canada in the World’ Fellowship, and Killam Memorial Scholarship, among others. In 2007, he was presented with the York University-Wide Teaching Award for teaching excellence in the full-time faculty category.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across all faculties at Queen’s to ensure the university’s continued reputation for excellence and leadership in the nexus of graduate teaching, learning and research,” says Dr. Quadir.

The principal and provost wish to extend their most sincere thanks to Brenda Brouwer for her exceptional tenure as vice-provost and dean, and to the members of the Principal’s Advisory Committee for their commitment and sound advice.

Principal’s Advisory Committee

• Benoit-Antoine Bacon (Chair) – Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
• Lori Stewart (Secretary) – Director, Office of the Provost & Vice-Principal (Academic)
• Adam Ali – Teaching Fellow, School of Kinesiology & Health Studies
• Monica Corbett – Director, Admissions & Student Services, School of Graduate Studies
• Ann Deer – Indigenous Recruitment & Support Coordinator
• John Fisher – Interim Vice-Principal (Research)
• Il Yong Kim – Associate Professor, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
• Ceren Kolsarici – Associate Professor of Marketing, Smith School of Business
• Palmer Lockridge – Vice-President (University Affairs), Alma Mater Society
• Rebecca Luce-Kapler – Dean, Faculty of Education
• Stefy McKnight – Vice-President (Graduate), Society of Graduate & Professional Students
• Cherie Metcalf – Associate Dean (Academic), Queen's Law
• Kathy O'Brien – Associate Vice-Principal (International)
• Stephanie Simpson – Executive Director (Human Rights and Equity Offices) and University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights
• Denise Stockley – Office of the Provost (Teaching & Learning Portfolio) and the Faculty of Health Sciences
• Stéfanie von Hlatky – Associate Professor of Political Studies and Director, Centre for International & Defence Policy

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