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Celebrating a century of commerce

Digital storytelling campaign showcases the breadth and depth of the program’s 100-year legacy

Commerce 100
Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is celebrating a century of innovation with the arrival of Com'23, the 100th commerce class. (University Communications) 

Smith School of Business at Queen’s University is celebrating a century of innovation with the arrival of the 100th commerce class (Com’23) at Goodes Hall.

Queen’s University launched the first undergraduate business degree in Canada in 1919 and as the program grew in popularity, the business school that is now Smith was established.

To mark the milestone, a digital storytelling campaign has been launched to showcase the breadth and depth of the program’s 100-year legacy. A new interactive website – smithqueens.com/100 – invites the community to explore some of the many highlights, profiles, memories, and stories from the last 100 years. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to share their experiences and memories of commerce via an online form on the site. 

“I have had the pleasure of meeting alumni from many decades of the Commerce program – some as far back as the 1930s – and the one thing that has remained constant over the past 100 years is the quality of the Queen’s experience,” says David Saunders, Dean, Smith School of Business. “This outstanding experience not only fosters talented students, but creates alumni who remain engaged with the program long after they have graduated.”

The 100th commerce class reflects the growth and diversity of the business world. There are 495 students in the Class of 2023, 52 per cent are women. They come not just from all over Canada but from around the world, too. Seventeen per cent of the 100th commerce class is international, with citizenship from countries such as Bulgaria, Ireland, India, Peru, Jordan, Pakistan, Nigeria and China.

This, of course, was all far off in 1919. The first graduating class of 1921 comprised just two students. The next year seven students graduated, including the first woman to earn an undergraduate business degree, Beatrice Eakins. The curriculum focused heavily on economics and math in the early days and over the years, academics have remained central to the student experience.

Smith Commerce is renowned for its excellence and leadership in business education, having pioneered team-based and experiential learning. Students attain a deep understanding of business strategies and concepts, while at the same time fostering personal capacity in leadership, teamwork, cultural intelligence, resilience, communication, and presentation.

A number of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary are being planned and will be announced soon.

Discover the rich history and legacy of the Commerce program, and share your memories, at smithqueens.com/100.

Mentoring tomorrow’s Indigenous health experts

Queen's hosts Indigenous and non-Indigenous post-secondary trainees at Indigenous Mentorship Network of Ontario's 2019 Summer Institute.

2019 Summer Institute participants and mentors
Participants, mentors, and speakers gathered for the 2019 Summer Institute.

The Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) is known as one of the premier scientific field stations in the country, and typically hosts researchers studying ecology, evolution, conservation, geography, and environmental science. Earlier this summer, it also became a place 25 Indigenous and non-Indigenous post-secondary trainees in Indigenous health research and professional programs gathered together to connect with the land, scholarly mentors, Indigenous knowledge keepers, and with each other during the 2019 Summer Institute.

The annual event, made available by the Indigenous Mentorship Network of Ontario (IMN-O), aims to support and grow the next generation of Indigenous health scholars and advance Indigenous health equity in the province.

“Health equity is one of the primary issues in Indigenous communities and with Indigenous peoples, and there is a great need to have expertly trained Indigenous health professionals for all facets of health in this country. The IMN-O provides training in all areas pertinent to upcoming scholars, researchers, and professionals,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Queen’s Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation), who served as Elder for the occasion. “The inclusion of land-based and cultural knowledge was instrumental to the success of this year’s Summer Institute as it ensured a fulsome experience that some participants may not otherwise have opportunity to experience.”

In June, participants met on Anishinaabe land at QUBS for five days, during which time they engaged in research and career-building workshops, cultural and ceremonial activities, and connected with the land and water there. The group was comprised of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students from Queen’s, Trent University, University of Ottawa, Western University, Lakehead University, Laurentian University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto – all representing various health disciplines.

Sunrise ceremonies were conducted each morning before participants attended expert sessions on grant writing, community-based participatory research, academic publishing, ethics, research training, and more. Throughout the week, participants engaged smudging ceremonies, a medicine walk, a full moon ceremony, sharing circles, and fire teachings, led by Kanonhsyonne and Knowledge Keeper Tim Yearington.

“Spending time on the land, in relation with the place and each other, and engaging in ways of being and knowing that don’t fit the conventional sense of the academy, were instrumental to the success of this year’s Summer Institute,” says Heather Castleden, Queen’s Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities. “Connecting and learning from one another in these ways moves us toward decolonizing the structures wherein we study and work.”

The IMN-O is an interdisciplinary collaboration involving 13 research institutions in Ontario, and includes many of the province’s leading Indigenous health scholars and research centres. Dr. Castleden serves as one of the network’s principal investigators and was the Queen’s lead in organizing the Summer Institute, alongside Dr. Lucie Levesque and Dr. Mike Green, and their project coordinator and Queen’s master's student, Olivia Franks (ArtSci'19).

“All of the mentorship activities we included in this year’s Summer Institute were crafted with feedback we sought from students, faculty, and staff during the program’s application process,” says Franks. “It was important to design our program in respect to a spectrum of lived experiences and perspectives, so those attending would get exactly what they were looking for.”

Other Queen’s faculty and staff as well as Kingston community members who supported the institute activities were Dr. Karen Lawford, Vanessa McCourt, Helena Neveu, and Terri Ward. The planning and organizing group is now hard at work compiling feedback from the 2019 Summer Institute, with plans to build their learnings into future Indigenous mentorship opportunities for the Queen’s community. At their latest meeting, there was talk of seeking resources to establish an annual Summer Institute for Queen’s Indigenous health trainees. Natasha Stirrett (ArtSci'13, MA'15), a PhD candidate at Queen's, says mentorship has played a role in helping her navigate her educational and career paths as an Indigenous student and professional.

“Through my experience with the Summer Institute, I learned valuable tools and attained practical knowledge on applying for grants, community-based research, ethics in the academy, and how to navigate the hiring process for tenure-track positions,” says Stirrett, who has recently become a faculty lecturer at Carleton University. “I actually have applied a few of these teachings from IMN mentors in navigating my recently-acquired role as a tenure-tracked faculty member.”

Stirrett highlighted the traditional learnings shared at the Summer Institute as well.

“Having the opportunity to engage in traditional Indigenous ceremonies — a medicine walk and the unique experience of listening in and learning about men’s fire teachings with a knowledge keeper — was truly a highlight,” she says. “I am grateful for the experience.”

Funding and support of the 2019 Summer Institute was provided by Queen’s Office of the Vice-Principal (Research), Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science, Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University, University of Ottawa, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

To learn more about the Summer Institute and the Indigenous Mentorship Network of Ontario, visit the website.

Start-ups awarded seed funding in Kingston’s biggest pitch competition

Seven teams win big in annual Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre's summer pitch competition.

  • Backr, the team named by judges to take home the grand prize of $30,000, delivering their winning pitch.
    Backr, the team named by judges to take home the grand prize of $30,000, deliver their winning pitch.
  • Nina Tangri, Member of Provincial Parliament and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (Economic Development), sharing remarks during the opening of the competition.
    Nina Tangri, Member of Provincial Parliament and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (Economic Development), shares remarks during the opening of the competition.
  • Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson makes opening remarks at the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition.
    Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson makes opening remarks at the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition.
  • Fourteen teams pitched their ventures to a panel of judges over the course of the competition.
    Fourteen teams pitched their ventures to a panel of judges over the course of the competition at Mitchell Hall.
  • Lifted took home $10,000 after winning over the audience with their pitch. They were voted crowd favourite and were recognized with the Wisdom of the Market Award.
    Lifted took home $10,000 after winning over the audience with their pitch. They were voted crowd favourite and were recognized with the Wisdom of the Market Award.
  • Following each pitch, the panel of judges asked questions of the competitors to further explore each team's proposal.
    Following each pitch, the panel of judges asked questions of the competitors to further explore each team's proposal.
  • Cromble was among the seven winning teams that competed in front of the large audience at Mitchell Hall, the new facility that houses the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre.
    Cromble was among the seven winning teams that competed in front of the large audience at Mitchell Hall, the new facility that houses the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre.

After weeks of preparation, teams of emerging entrepreneurs stood before a panel of esteemed judges at the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition and made their case as to why their start-up businesses are ready to take the next big step.

Fourteen teams, all but one of which was comprised of students from Queen’s University, took part in the competition, each vying for a piece of $100,000 of total seed funding available to be won. The annual contest is the largest of its kind in Kingston, and past Queen’s winners have included ClimaCube (2018) and SpectraPlasmonics – who have gone on to compete internationally.

“I want to congratulate this year’s teams on their outstanding pitches, and commend their determination and drive to become Kingston’s next generation of innovators,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC). “We know that access to seed capital is so important for fledgling companies, and that a vote of confidence from our judging panel can go a long way toward growing opportunities. We continue to be excited and proud to host this thrilling competition every summer.”

Teams had only a few minutes to make their business’ case for support, after which the judges asked a series of questions of each group about anything from product development to corporate strategy and financing. Sitting on the judging panel this year were Raj Melville, Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation; Benjamin Barrows, Founder and CEO of technology and data firm Cabot 7; Allison Turner, co-founder and Director of Product Development at PnuVax; David Lloyd, CEO of Post Beyond; and Shelby Yee, CEO of RockMass Technologies, the grand-prize winning company for the 2016 Summer Pitch Competition.

“The Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition has made tremendous progress over the years both in the quality and breadth of solutions pitched as well as the general interest from a worldwide audience, thanks in large part to the efforts of the DDQIC Staff,” says Melville. “The teams have worked really hard and it showed in the polished presentations that highlighted key business opportunities and issues facing them. We congratulate the teams and look forward to seeing them succeed and grow.”

Following the judges’ deliberations, seven teams walked away with seed funding, with Backr securing the largest sum — $30,000 — to support their online tool to help online content creators better engage their fans.

“We are thankful to the DDQIC for supporting entrepreneurship in the Queen's and Kingston community. It was our privilege to pitch alongside so many terrific teams,” says Duncan Cameron-Steinke, on behalf of the Backr team. “For our company, we can now apply the funds towards accelerating our product development and arrive sooner to market. This is just the beginning for us and we are thankful to the judges who believed in our team and in our vision.”

Cameron-Steinke, a recent graduate of engineering physics, is one of 45 Queen’s students who competed on teams this year, from across multiple disciplines, including Business, Engineering and Applied Science, Arts and Science, and Graduate Studies. Other competitors included entrepreneurs from the Kingston region and from the Royal Military College of Canada.

The competition was held in the atrium of Queen’s University’s recently-opened Mitchell Hall — the new home of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. Queen’s Interim Provost and Vice-Principal Tom Harris, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson and MPP Nina Tangri, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (Economic Development), delivered remarks to open the day’s events.

“Businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy,” says MPP Tangri to the competing teams in her opening remarks. “All of you have come here today with innovation, and whether your venture aims to impact your local community, address social issues, support other business and people, or make advancements in science and technology, you should all be proud of the work you have done to be here today.”

To learn more about the competition, visit the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition website.
 



2019 DDQIC Summer Pitch Competition Results:

Backr - $30,000
Backr created a tool that promotes fan engagement while creating revenue for online creators. The group works alongside creators' existing social platforms and reward fans for every act of engagement, motivating them to do more.

HeroHub - $15,000
HeroHub is an online platform that creates a greater social impact by connecting local charities and non-profits to individuals or businesses seeking volunteer opportunities, charity events, and to donate new or gently-used items.

Cromble - $15,000
Cromble works to divert 100 per cent of wasted spent grain — a byproduct of beer brewing — and use it in creating a wide range of products, including health foods.

Red Gold of Afghanistan - $10,000
This team is helping female farmers in Afghanistan achieve financial independence by building their capacity in saffron cultivation and connecting them to global markets.

Research Stream - $5,000
Research Stream is a digital platform that connects researchers and participants for human subject research.

Big Spoon Lil’ Spoon (BSLS) - $5,000
BSLS is a social venture that provides healthy living programs and life skills workshops to people with disabilities and their siblings. BSLS’s goal is to help teach participants of all ages learn to be self-sufficient and lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Lifted - $10,000 (Wisdom of the Market Award)
This team, selected as a winner by audience vote, created a bra company that strives to redesign the lingerie industry to be more diverse and inclusive.

Bringing the Queen’s and Indigenous communities together

Gift from David Sharpe (Law'95) will fund a three-year program integrating Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into the academic environment and develop connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.

[Gift from David Sharpe (Law'95)]
David Sharpe (Law'95), Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator Ann Deer, former Faculty of Law Dean Bill Flanagan, and Faculty of Law Dean Mark Walters, attend the Chief R. Donald Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Fund gift announcement. (Photo by Rai Allen)

A gift from David Sharpe (Law’95) will bring a highly-respected Indigenous scholar to Queen’s University to lead a new program to promote reconciliation and Indigenous cultures on campus.

Sharpe, a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, made a $250,000 donation to fund the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative, a three-year program that will integrate Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into the academic environment and develop connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.

The donation helps support the efforts of Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force, which outlines 25 recommendations for sustained institutional change to create a more welcoming environment for Indigenous students, staff and faculty.

“Queen’s is doing much more for the Indigenous community than when I was a student (in the 1990s), but there is still more to be done,” says Sharpe.

The gift enables Queen’s to bring Indigenous scholar Professor Mark Dockstator to campus this fall to lead the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative. Dockstator is a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, and was the first person from a First Nation to graduate with a doctorate in law. He recently completed a five-year term as president of First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Sask., that saw the school reach record levels of student enrolment.

Sharpe would like to see that success at Queen’s.

“I want more Indigenous students to come to Queen’s and be able to embrace their culture,” he says. “Mark Dockstator is the perfect person to bring the Queen’s and Indigenous communities closer together. He is very familiar with both the academic and Indigenous worlds.”

Exactly how the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative will bring the two communities closer together will be decided by Dockstator through a year-long consultation process with elders, Indigenous faculty and students, and administrative leaders. The following two years will see the recommended programs launched and refined.

Sharpe believes access to post-secondary education is key to helping Aboriginal students and communities. His Queen’s Law degree, along with an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and a Master of Laws from Osgoode, led to a successful career on Bay Street in the financial services industry. He is currently the CEO of Bridging Finance Inc., one of the few alternative financing companies in Canada that fund First Nations and Inuit infrastructure projects.

“I have an opportunity to make a difference, and the only way I know how to do that is through education and economic development,” says Sharpe.

The Indigenous Knowledge Initiative is supported by the Chief R. Donald Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Fund, which Sharpe established in honour of Don Maracle, the long-time chief of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

Queen’s University is making its campus more welcoming to the Indigenous community by implementing the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force recommendations. A 2018 progress report highlights many actions taken, including doubling the size of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to meet the demands of a growing Indigenous community and installing a permanent Indigenous art display in the Queen’s Law atrium to honour both Canada’s Indigenous legal traditions and the principals of reconciliation.

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

Experiential learning at work

New reflection component of student jobs helps with career-focused skill development and improves confidence.

More than 1,000 Queen’s students, working on and off campus, have benefitted to date from the introduction of an interactive experiential learning (EL) component to their position.

The EL WrapAround program provides students and their supervisors with an easy-to-use structure that integrates experiential learning into existing and new student roles.  The use of an evidence-based high-impact, low-time-commitment form allows supervisors to engage students in guided reflection. Research has shown that on-the-job reflection results in better work performance and boosts resilience and confidence.

Conversations between students and supervisors also provide an opportunity for students to identify and track the skills they are developing, and how those skills align with their current and longer-term employment goals.

This past academic year, the EL WrapAround was added to 481 work-study and 686 Student Affairs student staff and volunteer roles.

Helen Wong, BCom’22, worked part-time in a Communications and Marketing position with the Division of Student Affairs this past year. She found that the EL WrapAround form helped her connect the tasks she completed on the job to transferrable skills that she will use in the future, and to better articulate her employment experience.

“Having spent the time reflecting and reviewing the skills and goals I wanted to develop, I am better able to remember what I did and how I grew from it,” she says. 

The program also supports supervisors through workshops and one-on-one consultations. Career Services provided training to over 80 staff in 2018-19 on topics such as providing effective feedback and having effective conversations with students about their skill and career development.

The EL WrapAround is continuing to expand. Faculty members and staff who are interested in adding EL to existing student roles or want to learn more about the program and upcoming supervisor training dates are invited to visit the Experiential Learning Hub website for more information.

Students who are interested in learning more about experiential learning and career development opportunities, are invited to contact Career Services.

Supporting graduate student success

Student Academic Success Services offers numerous collaborative supports for graduate students this summer.

Summer can be a time of rest and relaxation; however, for many graduate students, these months are filled with writing, research, and looming deadlines.

Student Academic Success Services (SASS) in Student Affairs offers a variety of resources to help graduate students stay on track throughout the summer and achieve their academic goals.

Throughout the summer Student Academic Success Services (SASS) in Student Affairs offers a variety of resources to help graduate students stay on track and achieve their academic goals. (Supplied Photo) 

In addition to their May-through-July schedule of one-on-one, in-person, and online writing appointments, this summer SASS engaged in a number of campus-wide partnerships that tailored academic skills and writing resources for graduate student needs.

“Our campus-wide partnerships have been invaluable to the success and outreach of our graduate support programming,” says Susan Korba, Director of SASS. “We are pleased to offer so many collaborative summer programs and workshops, to help ensure the needs of all graduate students are met.”

In May, SASS worked with the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to offer a four-day Dissertation Bootcamp. The workshop gave 59 graduate students the chance to write in a distraction-free environment with time for breaks and structured group discussions.

Professional staff from SASS delivered the support for the program, facilitating group discussions and offering individual appointments on topics such as procrastination, organizing information, and editing your own writing.

SASS also worked with the Society of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS) to continue running Grad Writing Lab throughout May and June. This drop-in program, held in the Graduate Student Reading Room in Stauffer Library, provided a weekly communal writing space with an academic writing specialist available to answer questions.

In addition, SASS continues to expand supports for international graduate students through its collaboration with the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC).

Last summer, QUIC and SASS hired Agnieszka Herra into the new shared role of Intercultural Academic Support Coordinator. Over the past year, Herra has worked to enhance the international student experience on campus, and has developed new programming and supports.

In May, Herra facilitated two graduate writing workshops as a part of the English Academic Writing Support series. The workshops helped international and English-as-additional-language (EAL) students prepare for a successful summer of writing and introduced them to two new academic writing resources, the Analyzing Disciplinary Expectations Checklist and the Self-Editing Checklist.

These resources, which are now available online, provide guidance on identifying writing expectations in specific academic fields and how to edit writing, sentence by sentence.

“It’s important to recognize the intersectional experience of international graduate students, and tailor our support to benefit these students in a way that is both intentional and accessible,” Herra says. “Going forward, SASS and QUIC will continue to cultivate partnerships across campus to create more resources and programming for all international students.”

Over the 2019-20 academic year, SASS plans to continue the English Academic Writing Support program at QUIC as well as the weekly Grad Writing Lab with SGPS and Queen’s Library. SASS will also be offering a satellite writing clinic at the Smith School of Business for EAL graduate students and is working with SGS to facilitate workshops in the Expanding Horizons series.

For more information on supports for international graduate students, contact Agnieszka Herra at ah43@queensu.ca.

To learn more about services and upcoming programs, visit the SASS website.

Queen's experts ensure past won't stay buried

Students work to catalogue grave markers in hidden Kingston cemetery.

Queen's Masters student Paulina Marczak working to map the Lower Burial Ground.
Queen's Masters student Paulina Marczak working to map the Lower Burial Ground beneath St. Paul's Anglican Church in Kingston.

For more than a century, a burial ground beneath a church in downtown Kingston has remained hidden. Some of the city’s earliest citizens – including prominent residents, sailors, Black slaves brought here by the Loyalists, and American prisoners of the War of 1812 – are interred there; their identities slowly fading from the pages of history.

Experts from Queen’s University are among those now working to inventory and preserve the grave markers concealed in the Lower Burial Ground underneath a hall at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, on the corner of Kingston’s Queen and Montreal streets.

Panorama of Lower Burial Ground site.
Panoramic photograph of the Lower Burial Ground site.

“It’s probably safe to say that most people in Kingston are not even aware this site exists,” says Sue Bazely, Queen’s PhD candidate and the project’s co-coordinator. “Many may also be surprised to know about some of the renowned people buried there, including Molly Brant and her daughters.”

Molly Brant was instrumental in bringing together Mohawk and Iroquois nations to fight against the Americans during the American Revolution.

Grave marker fragments at the Lower Burial Ground site.
Grave marker fragments at the Lower Burial Ground site.

Bazely is working together with the Lower Burial Ground Restoration Society, historical and cemetery experts, parish and local volunteers, and an interdisciplinary group of Queen’s graduate, undergraduate students, and faculty to record and categorize the site’s gravestones, many of which are significantly damaged or worn. Using traditional archaeological methods, photography, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) – a surveying method that uses lasers to make digital, 3D representations of targeted objects – the team will scan the stones’ inscriptions so their information can be pieced back together, read, and recorded.

“This project will not only restore respect and dignity to one of the oldest Anglican cemeteries in Ontario,” says Bazely. “We’re striving toward making this underground portion of the site accessible to the public; not physically, but virtually through a digital medium, so those buried there can be recognized and remembered.”

Queen's Geography & Planning grad students Mark Ouseley and Nic England mapping gravestones.
Queen's Geography & Planning grad students Mark Ouseley and Nic England mapping gravestones.

Students and faculty from a number of Queen’s departments are involved in the project, including Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Geography and Planning, Classics, History, and Art History.

“Many Queen’s student volunteers involved in the project were so eager to seize such a hands-on learning opportunity,” says Bazely. “Field work can be incredibly valuable to a student’s overall studies, and this project in particular allows us to make a meaningful contribution right here in the community.”

The project runs from June to August 2019, and is supported in part by the City of Kingston Heritage Fund. Other restoration and presentation efforts received support from the City of Kingston Heritage Fund, the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites, the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area, and the United Way for Kingston Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington.

Visit the Lower Burial Ground Restoration Project website to learn more.

Lecturer lands spot in international final

Queen’s University PhD candidate Morgan Lehtinen wins inaugural Young Persons’ Lecture Competition.

Queen's University PhD candidate Morgan Lehtinen (Chemistry) is the first Queen's student to win the Canadian Young Persons’ Lecture Competition and earn a spot in the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition in London, England.

Morgan Lehtinen (Chemistry) won the inaugural Canadian Young Persons' Lecture Competition.

Under the supervision of Guojun Liu (Chemistry), Lehtinen’s research focuses on the development of smart filters and their use in oil and water separation. These new tools could provide a greener option to the current separation methods – especially in regards to oil spills.

“When I began my research career, I knew I wanted to work on an applied project focusing on developing green technologies that could aid in solving one of the many issues our planet faces and make an impact on the world around me,” says Lehtinen. “When the opportunity arose to conduct research with my supervisor Dr. Liu on oil and water separation, I knew it was the perfect fit and combined my passions of scientific discovery with improving the state of our planet.”

The national lecture competition is co-hosted by the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute in partnership with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). The competition invites students and professionals aged 28 and under to deliver a short lecture on select materials science and processing subjects. This is the first time the event has been hosted in Canada.

“Both Queen’s and the McDonald Institute are expanding the breadth and range of experience-driven opportunities for grad students in astroparticle physics to engage the public, collaborate with entrepreneurs, and build broad-based skills relevant to careers inside and outside of academia,” says Tony Noble, Scientific Director of the McDonald Institute. “Events like this are wonderful platforms for developing skills in science-translation and public outreach.”

In addition to advancing research into areas such as the mysteries surrounding dark matter and neutrino science, the institute has a mandate for scientific outreach and to develop unique undergraduate and graduate student programming and opportunities.

Astroparticle physicists investigate elementary particles at matter’s smallest scales to understand cosmological phenomena at matter’s largest scales. Apart from its focus on the nature of matter itself, experimental work in the field requires many novel materials processes to build and operate ultra-sensitive detectors, which motivates the McDonald Institute’s partnership with IOM3. 

With her victory and pending trip overseas for the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition this fall, Lehtinen says she hopes her work can motivate other young women interested in research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

“I hope to show young women that we all have a seat at the table in the STEM world and if you are passionate about your field of study, do not let anything stop you from pursuing it,” says Lehtinen. “I strongly believe that our planet and society will not improve without the collaboration of all different types of people from various backgrounds with diverse ways of thinking. If I can give one piece of advice, it is to surround yourself with a support system that fosters inclusivity, innovation, and an overall positive learning environment.”

For more information visit the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) website.

The Boy on the Beach selected for Queen’s Reads

This year’s Queen’s Reads book explores newcomer experiences, the global refugee crisis, the politicization of tragedy, and the love and hope of one family on their continuing journey through grief and adversity.

The Boy on the Beach is a poignant memoir about the family of Alan Kurdi, the two-year-old boy who became the global emblem for the Syrian refugee crisis after his small body washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, and the tragic image made headlines around the world.

Author Tima Kurdi is Alan’s aunt, who now lives in British Columbia and is an internationally-recognized spokesperson on the global refugee crisis.

“The Queen’s Reads program uses literature to encourage critical thinking and foster meaningful discussions on campus and within the greater community,” says Kevin Collins, Coordinator, Student Development at the Student Experience Office in the Division of Student Affairs. “The themes in The Boy on the Beach can help us better understand a diverse range of lived experiences as together, we learn and talk about the extraordinary resilience of the Kurdi family.”

Starting in September, Queen’s students will be able to pick up a free copy of the book at a number of locations around campus including the Student Experience Office in the John Deutsch University Centre, Stauffer Library, Victoria Hall, the Queen’s University International Centre and the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in programming and events throughout the academic year, including discussion groups, a festival of short films, a panel event and a scheduled campus visit by Tima Kurdi in Spring 2020.

Once again, local high school students will have the opportunity to read last year’s Queen’s Reads novel, and explore the interconnected stories of a culturally-diverse Scarborough neighbourhood, including recent immigrants, Indigenous Peoples, single parents, and children. Earlier this month, the Division of Student Affairs donated over 200 copies of the novel for use in classrooms across Kingston.

“We are very thankful to Queen’s for their significant donation of Catherine Hernandez’s novel Scarborough,” says Krishna Burra, Superintendent of Education for the Limestone District School Board. “Copies will be shared with all secondary schools in the Limestone District School Board as a potential book choice in class-based book clubs, which provide a valuable learning opportunity for students.”

Learn more about the Queen’s Reads program on the Student Experience Office website.

Silver celebration at The Castle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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